The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment of smallpox on Friday.
Siga Technologies (NASDAQ: SIGA) announced the FDA's approval of TPOXX, or tecovirimat. The drug consists of an antiviral treatment designed to diminish the effects of smallpox upon outbreak and is the first approved treatment of its kind.
Siga stock jumped 17.6 percent Friday on the news and was trading up another 4.29 percent at the time of publication Monday morning.
Why It’s Important
The smallpox drug's importance is twofold. On the consumer side, the approval of this treatment occurs at an integral time.
Smallpox is considered one of the deadliest diseases in human history. While it was eradicated in 1980, research and findings in the last few years suggest the disease could return. The pathogen could be used maliciously, according to the FDA.
"Today's approval provides an important milestone in these efforts. This new treatment affords us an additional option should smallpox ever be used as a bioweapon,” FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.
As smallpox is not a direct and current threat to the population,Siga shares may not remain on a steady incline — but an increased bioterrorism threat could draw more attention to the stock.
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