Yes, the makers of experimental drugs that have a shot at becoming the first confirmed Ebola treatment fared well in the markets after the Ebola-in-the-U.S. news broke.
"The first confirmed Ebola case in the U.S. is fanning fears around the country, but it's also driving greed in some corners of the stock market," CNNMoney said.
It was just the latest in a series of boons for those companies.
Here's a chart showing the stock price for Tekmira, the makers of TKM-Ebola, over the past three months, via Wall Street Journal's Market Watch:
That giant spike in August coincided with the FDA's announcement that the agency would loosen its hold on the development of Tekmira's Ebola drug.
In late September, health officials announced that they would begin clinical trials in West Africa for several of the most promising experimental drugs designed to treat Ebola. Researchers are determining which drugs to test, but it's known that the trials will include medications produced by Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Sarepta and Tekmira.
And here is Tekmira's stock price charted over the past five days:
Sarepta's shares jumped 8 percent in after-hours trading after the CDC's Tuesday announcement. Sarepta makes another Ebola drug that the company says has been effective in treatments applied to monkeys.
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday night, Sarepta Therapeutics CEO Chris Garabedian said that the company had about 100 doses of its experimental drug available, adding: "Yes, we need more funding to take the drug materials that we have currently to convert that into upwards of 100 more courses of therapy, or more." Garabedian didn't have a cost estimate for such an operation, saying: "We would need to determine those costs and what kind of revenues would need to come into the company for us to be able to do that."
Mapp, maker of another promising Ebola treatment, is privately held. That drug was used to treat two American doctors who contracted the deadly virus while working on the front lines of Ebola in West Africa. While those patients recovered, it's not clear at this point whether that recovery was due to the drug, or some other aspect of their treatment.
In August, Mapp announced that its small, existing supply of ZMapp was exhausted, after a shipment of the medication to a West African country.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, pharmaceutical companies rarely have a financial incentive to work on treatments for rare diseases such as Ebola, which usually kills no more than hundreds in a typical year.
But that's been changing recently: Research and development spending on rarer illnesses such as Ebola and TB went up 20 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to the Journal.
Natural remedy marketers
Health scares cause all sorts of things to happen. One of the more reliable byproducts of something like the Ebola outbreak in Africa (and its arrival in the U.S.) is the marketing of products that aren't actually drugs as potential cures or treatments for the illness.
This is something the FDA anticipated would happen this year, as Ebola began to spread across West Africa. "Oftentimes with public health incidences, like Ebola or even during H1n1, we see products that are marketed, often online, that claim to treat or cure the disease ... without FDA approval," FDA spokesperson Stephanie Yao said in an earlier interview with The Post.
Last week, the agency sent letters to three companies, alerting them that some of their paid consultants were marketing their products -- which included essential oils and organic dark chocolate bars -- as Ebola cures and treatments against FDA regulations.
Although two of the companies in question made it very clear in statements to The Post that they don't condone the marketing of their products in this way, one company was promoting the idea itself.
Natural Solutions Foundation claimed in its online marketing materials that its Nano Silver product could cure Ebola, Hepatitis B and C, and H1N1, among other diseases. "WHO, FDA, the New York Times, etc., have gone on a rampage of disonformation [sic] to keep you in the dark about natural ways to dispose of dangerous microbes without damaging your beneficial bacteria," the company added.
We've gone into the FDA's action against the marketing materials in question in more detail, here.
This example isn't specifically linked to the news of the first Ebola case diagnosed in the U.S., but it turns out that the spread of Ebola through West Africa prompted some hedge funds to bet on it affecting cocoa prices.
The countries hardest hit by the outbreak border the Ivory Coast, one of the world's largest cocoa producers. According to Bloomberg, the possibility that Ebola will spread there is one of many factors leading experts to speculate that cocoa prices will continue to rise.
A Sept. 24 Moody's report cited by Bloomberg notes that Ebola control measures might produce labor shortages during the beginning of cocoa's harvest season in October.