Tekmira suspends Ebola vaccine development; says will concentrate on HBV instead

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Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation has announced that it is suspending development of its Ebota vaccine and instead will channel all its resources in development of a cure for chronic hepatitis B virus infection. The company’s decision follows that of its earlier move wherein it had called off clinical trial of TKM-Ebola with a small number of Ebola patients in Sierra Leone.

The development activities related to TKM-Ebola will be suspended, the company revealed in a press release and a joint re-evaluation of the development contract with the US Department of Defense is underway.

The announcement about suspension of the Ebola vaccine was a part of company’s corporate announcement regarding change its name to Arbutus Biopharma Corporation. Tekmira said that the name change confirms the successful integration of OnCore BioPharma and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals into a combined company with the singular goal of delivering a cure for chronic HBV.

The company said that their vision is to create an industry-leading therapeutic solutions company focused on developing a cure for chronic hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) and the name change will be be effective on or before August 3, 2015.

The company further added that the management team of the new business unit will evaluate strategic alternatives for their suspended Ebola vaccine efforts.

“We believe that the market opportunity for a curative regimen for HBV is very significant, likely eclipsing the HCV market, and presents a meaningful opportunity for shareholders,” said Dr. Mark J. Murray, President and CEO of Tekmira. “We remain very confident in our potential to create value from our industry-leading strategy, team, and pipeline dedicated to developing therapeutic solutions to cure HBV.”