Markets

Sector Update: Health Care

Healthcare stocks were broadly higher with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising about 0.9% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 adding about 1.1% as a group.

In company news, NewLink Genetics ( NLNK ) shares surged as much as 21% today after the biotech company said it is ready to begin testing its prospective Ebola vaccine in humans.

"We're getting a lot of assistance from a number of sources to accelerate this," according to Gordon Link, chief financial officer at the company, later adding "people are greasing the paths as much as they can," making it difficult to come up with a precise schedule for the start of testing.

The VSV-EBOV vaccine was developed by Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory and is licensed by NLNK, which has been working "around the clock" to start trials, president Nicholas Vahanian today told Bloomberg News in a telephone interview.

NLNK shares were up over 10% at $24.82 each shortly before the closing bell Thursday afternoon, earlier climbing to a session high of $28.30 a share. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $15.61 to $53.48 a share, rising about 33.3% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) MDRX, Extends partnership with Clinical Architecture, integrating its dbMotion health information exchange with Clinical's Symedical terminology management system and providing more efficient mapping tool and vocabularies distribution.

(-) CNAT, Postpones release of Phase II testing of emricasan drug candidate in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease until Q1 of 2015 from late 2014. Q2 net loss of $5.3 mln, or $0.34 per share, beats analyst estimates by $0.05 per share.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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