Shares of pharmaceutical companies working on Ebola treatments fell after the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan, died. Duncan, who was treated with Chimerix's experimental brincidofovir drug, died Wednesday morning in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Chimerix shares were among the hardest hit, declining nearly 13 percent in heavy volume. Sarepta Therapeutics fell about 5 percent, while shares of Canada-based Tekmira slid about 1.5 percent after gaining more than 2 percent earlier. BioCryst also pared earlier gains and was last trading about 1 percent lower. Earlier this week, Chimerix said the data on the drug, brincidofovir, was based on 48 evaluable patients with adenovirus, a common virus that causes respiratory illnesses. The company said the 48 patients who took brincidofovir had a mortality rate of 35 percent, compared with historic rates of up to 80 percent in the first month after diagnosis. A majority of the patients also had suppression or clearance of adenovirus from the blood, Chimerix said.