Health care stocks were advancing Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index adding 0.8% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF (XLV) was up 1.2%.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was climbing by 2.1%.
In company news, Quoin Pharmaceuticals (QNRX) was posting a 39% gain, earlier rising as much as 98%, after the specialty drug maker overnight withdrew plans to sell nearly 16.1 million of its American depository shares through a public offering first proposed on June 17.
Certara (CERT) rose 3.1% after Piper Sandler began coverage of the biosimulation company with an overweight stock rating and a $28 price target.
On the downside, AstraZeneca (AZN) slipped 0.2% Friday after reporting positive results from a pair of Phase III trials of combinations of its Imfinzi drug candidate, with the experimental therapy meeting its primary endpoints in patients with liver and biliary tract cancers.
Agile Therapeutics (AGRX) plunged over 45%, staying within close range of its nearly 48% after the drug maker priced an upsized $24 million public offering of nearly 26.7 million shares at $0.90 apiece, or almost 23% below Thursday's closing price. Investors also received an equal number of five-year warrants to buy an additional share exercisable at $0.90 per share along with 13-month warrants also exercisable at $0.90 per share.