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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Tekmira stock soars after FDA relaxes precautions on experimental Ebola drug

TORONTO - Shares of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. (TSX:TKM) shot up about 47 per cent Friday following a U.S. regulatory decision that relaxes safety precautions on the Vancouver-based company's experimental drug for treating Ebola.

The rare disease has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa since an outbreak began in March.

Tekmira has a $140-million contract from the U.S. government to develop its drug TKM-Ebola but last month a small human trial of the experimental drug was put on hold after safety issues emerged.

The company said Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has "verbally confirmed" that the hold has been modified so Tekmira can make the drug available, even though it has yet to be proven safe and effective.

Tekmira stock jumped $7.39 to $23 on Friday, with about 1.7 million shares traded at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The stock closed on Aug. 1 at $15.55.

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