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Health Care Sector Update for 06/22/2020: NVTA,EVOK,VIR,SINT

Health care stocks pared some of their mid-day declines, with the NYSE Health Care Index Monday rising less than 0.1% in late trade while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF still was down 0.6%.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology index also was fractionally lower.

In company news, Invitae (NVTA) jumped out to a nearly 44% gain after the genetic information company announced plans to acquire privately held diagnostics company ArcherDX for up to $1.4 billion in cash and stock. Under terms of the proposed transaction, investors will share $325 million in cash and 30 million Invitae shares and are also eligible for another 27 million shares as ArcherDX reaches certain regulatory and commercial milestones.

Also Monday, SiNtxTechnologies (SINT) more than tripled in price at one point Monday, rising almost 161% in more recent trading, after saying initial results showed its anti-bacterial silicon nitride powder worked to inactivate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Results from additional testing now underway by outside laboratories to corroborate the effectiveness of silicon nitride against SARS-CoV-2 are expected soon, the company said.

Evoke Pharma (EVOK) was ending nearly 62% higher after the US Food and Drug Administration late Friday approved the new drug application for the company’s Gimoti nasal spray to treat the symptoms of recurrent diabetic gastroparesis in adults. The positive FDA decision also allows Evoke to tap into a $5 million line of credit from business partner Eversana to support production and other commercialization efforts for Gimoti.

Among the losers, Vir Biotechnology (VIR) slipped 7% after late Friday announcing a binding $130 million letter of intent to buy a specified number of batches of its SARS-CoV-2 antibody from Hong Kong-based WuXi Biologics. The companies are continuing to negotiate additional terms for a definitive commercial manufacturing and supply contract ahead of a July 30 deadline, according to a new regulatory filing on Friday night.

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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