Tekmira Stock Surges With The First US Reported Ebola Case


Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TKMR) is a Vancouver, Canada based bio-pharmaceutical company who is a known world leader in RNA Interference (RNAi) delivery technology. The company focuses on novel RNAi-based product candidates. Most recently Tekmira has been developing a treatment for the Ebola virus, called TKM-EBOLA.

Tekmira In The News

Shares of Tekmira jumped up about 27% on Tuesday, September 30th and continued to increase the rest of the week after reports came out of the very first case of the Ebola virus in the United States. This is the first case of Ebola diagnosed outside of Africa. Tekmira is currently in  phase 1 of testing TKM –EBOLA, having already treated two American aid workers back in August and a few patients outside of the United States with some success. The company will continue to test TKM-EBOLA in Africa, where the Ebola outbreak is the worst.

A Financial Expert’s Opinion

On October 3rd, Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and raised his price target from $23 to $31. He noted, “Tekmira continues to make progress in the development of TKM-EBOLA. On September 22, 2014 the company announced that TKM-EBOLA was cleared for emergency use on the ground in West Africa. The company announced it will join an international consortium that will establish clinical development centers in Ebola hot zones. We have accelerated our Ebola assumptions and as a result it drives additional upside.” Kolbert has rated Tekmira 8 times, earning an 86% success rate recommending the stock.

Jason Kolbert’s Past Recommendations

Kolbert has a history of rating stocks in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Gilean Sciences (GILD) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), helping him earn a 50% success rate recommending stocks and a +11.8% average return per recommendation.

On July 14th of this year, Kolbert reaffirmed a Buy rating on Gilead Sciences with a $112 price target. He reasoned, “We believe the costs of Sovaldi need to be put in the proper perspective—that is, the total cost of treating HCV patients rises only incrementally, and it may actually go down, when the cure rate is considered. As such, we do not pay much attention to the recent ‘reimbursement’ articles, as we believe Solvaldi (and ledipasvir-NS5A) represents a significant advance over SOC today at an incremental cost.” Kolbert has rated Gilead Sciences 10 times, earning a 90% success rate recommending the stock.

Similarly on June 24th, Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on Vertex Pharmaceuticals and raised his price target from $92 to $107. He explained, “All four 24-week combination treatment arms in the studies met their primary endpoint of mean absolute improvement in ppFEV1 from baseline compared to placebo at the end of treatment. Mean absolute improvements in ppFEV1 of between 2.6 and 4.0 percentage points from baseline compared to placebo were observed across the studies (p≤0.0004), with mean relative improvements of 4.3% to 6.7% (p≤0.0007). We consider this ‘best case’ data versus expectations for these two trials (Traffic and Transport).” Kolbert has rated Vertex 4 times, earning a 75% success rate recommending the stock.

However, Kolbert has not always been so successful with his recommendations. On September 26th of this year, Kolbert maintained a Buy rating on Galena Biopharma (GALE) with a $7 price target. He wrote, “Galena is now putting the IR debacle that occurred last year behind the company. As such, we would have investors focus on fundamentals: 1. The company has grown from a small company with 12 employees to an integrated biopharma company of 62 people, now having a commercial product (Abstral) and a second coming (Zuplanz) in the commercial pipeline. 2. Galena patient services program: Trans-mucosal rapid delivery of pain medicine. Market share is now 8% by prescription and 4% by dollar volume. The goal is to drive market share in the oncology practice.” Kolbert has rated Galena 3 times, earning a 33% success rate recommending the stock.

Jason Kolbert has experience in recommending Bio-Pharmaceutical stocks, but would you trust his latest recommendation based on his financial advice history?

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