Shares of vaccine makers rose sharply again on Thursday, amid rising concerns about the outbreak of a new coronavirus in Wuhan, China that has led the authorities to quarantine the city of 11 million. Novavax Inx. NVAX, +1.83%, which developed a vaccine for MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) in 2013, gained 9% in early trade, while Moderna Inc. MRNA, -1.63% was up 2%. The company said it will work with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine to treat the new illness. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares INO, +10.42% rose 9%, after that company said the CEPI has given it a grant of up to $9 million to develop a vaccine against the virus. NanoViricides NNVC, +36.09%, which rallied on the first reports of the news before falling back after it issued 2.5 million shares, soared 45%. The virus was first identified in December in Wuhan City, China. It has since sickened more than 599 people, including a U.S. resident who had traveled to Wuhan this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. China has reported 17 deaths. Health officials now believe the virus is spread human to human. The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI, -2.69% has gained 18% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.90% has gained 26%.
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