E Ebola's Financial Implications (Updated)

Update (Oct. 23): Reuters reports J&J, GSK ready to collaborate on Ebola vaccine work

Update (Oct. 18): Zacks lists companies researching an Ebola vaccine or treatment, including GSK, NLNK, AGN, INO, BCRX, TKMR, SRPT.

Update (Oct. 15): Pater Tenebrarum explains why the Ebola outbreak is a black swan event.

The spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa, and the media frenzy over its potential global spread, has created a volatile environment for investors who need to consider its financial impact, even if they feel uneasy about doing so. Financial writers and investment analysts are equally struggling to fulfill their missions to inform without sounding coldhearted and opportunistic. Most are doing a good, thoughtful job of it.

Louis James of Casey Research began his article How To Ebola-Proof Your Portfolio by saying,

First, however, I want to say that I am deeply dismayed by the outbreak; as a human being, I feel for those directly affected, I mourn for those we’ve lost, and I understand the concern of those who fear the spread of the disease. Whatever else may be said, this outbreak is a tragedy of historic proportions unfolding.

He goes on to give an in-depth analysis of how the impact inside Africa could impact metals markets, energy, and other commodities. Further exploration of the impact on cocoa futures can be found in Tyler Durden's Ebola Fears Send Price Volatility Surging In Chocolate.

No industry is more on the cusp of this crisis than pharmaceuticals. As Kate Kelland reported in Reuters, Scientists grapple with ethics in rush to release Ebola vaccines. As she reports,

In an effort to save lives, health authorities are determined to roll out potential vaccines within months, dispensing with some of the usual testing, and raising unprecedented ethical and practical questions.

At the end of September, Ilene Carrie discussed in Ebola Vs. Us how the developed world has been (too slowly) responding to the crisis and the need for pharmaceutical intervention.

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Jen Smith 5 years ago Member's comment
This is really informative, I learned a lot. They really did a great job because they found a great method to increase efficacy of DNA vaccines by using an electroporation device.
Terry Chrisomalis 5 years ago Contributor's comment

I would pick Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and Inovio Pharmaceuticals as the two leading runners because both of their technologies is what will change medicine for a long time. Tekmira is working with RNAi-- RNA interference -- so that's a new science that is making strides to knock down the genes of diseases before a protein of that disease is ever made.

As for Inovio they have found a great method to increase efficacy of DNA vaccines by using an electroporation device that unfolds cells temporarily so that Inovio's Synthetic DNA vaccine antigen can enter the cell quickly before the cell closes back up. If I had to choose two companies for Ebola outbreak I would chose those, plus the fact that their pipelines are even bigger than imagined.