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Health Care Sector Update for 05/14/2020: VCNX,APDN,ALLO,SDC

Health care stocks continued to add to their mid-day gains, with the NYSE Health Care Index maintaining a 0.3% advance late in Thursday’s session while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF was up almost 1.0%.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was falling 0.8% this afternoon.

In company news, Vaccinex (VCNX) was more than 8% higher in late Thursday trading after the biotherapeutics company reported a Q1 net loss of $0.45 per share, improving on a $0.79 per share loss during the same quarter last year and easily beating the Capital IQ consensus expecting a $0.75 per share net loss for the three months ended March 31. It had no revenue, as expected.

Applied DNA Sciences (APDN) shares climbed more than 69% after the company said the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization allowing clinical laboratories to use the company’s Linea COVID-19 assay kit to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The assay is approved to run on Applied Biosystems’ QuantStudio Dx polymerase chain reaction device, which can process up to 94 samples within an hour.

Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO) rose over 34% on initial data from phase I testing of a combination of its ALLO-501 drug candidate and ALLO-647 anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody in patients with relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Both compounds were “well-tolerated” by the first nine patients treated with escalating doses of ALLO-501 and a lower dose of ALLO-647. The company expects to begin enrolling patients for an early-stage trial of its next-generation ALLO-501A before mid-year.

SmileDirectClub (SDC) dropped 10% after the mail-order orthodontics company reported a Q1 net loss of $0.28 per diluted share, lagging the Capital IQ consensus for a $0.20 loss. Net sale increased 11% year-over-year to $197 million but missed the $215 million Street view.

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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