Health care stocks were finishing near their Thursday session highs this afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 1.5% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF was up 1.7%.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was climbing 1.8%.
In company news, Novan (NOVN) was 1.9% higher shortly before the closing bell, easing from a more than 12% gain that followed the company presenting preclinical data showing its berdazimer sodium therapy for COVID-19 can prevent the disease's progression into the lungs and limit its severity.
Iovance Biotherapeutics (IOVA) increased more than 11% after JMP Securities upgraded the immuno-oncology company to market outperform from market perform.
Verona Pharma (VRNA) shares climbed over 14% after granting Nuance Pharma exclusive rights to develop and commercialize its ensifentrine prospective drug treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Greater China.
TRxADE Health (MEDS) was 65% higher this afternoon, earlier rising 165% to a best-ever $10.82 a share, after the health services technology firm announced the launch of its MedCheks health passport through Apple's (AAPL) iOS App Store.