NewLink jump-starts a Zika vaccine program as virus spreads

NewLink Genetics ($NLNK), which partnered with Merck ($MRK) on a promising Ebola program, has joined the incipient race to find a vaccine that can be used to combat the recent spread of the Zika virus. Inovio, Hawaii Biotech and other small biotechs have already piled in. "NewLink Genetics is committed to developing a vaccine solution to the tragedy of the Zika virus disease," said Thomas Monath, the CSO at NewLink. "Our R&D group has decades of experience in developing successful vaccines against closely-related flaviviruses, which we will leverage to accelerate our Zika vaccine program." Its shares jumped 5% this morning. Release