Health care stocks continued to soar this afternoon, with the NYSE Health Care Index rising 4.8% while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF also was up 4.5%.

The Nasdaq Biotechnology index was climbing 5.9%.

In company news, Biogen (BIIB) sprinted almost 44% higher after a US Food and Drug Administration briefing document appeared to support its aducanumab drug candidate ahead of an advisory panel meeting Thursday to review the biologics license application for the prospective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The report describes the results of one late-stage study of aducanumab as "highly persuasive," although a separate trial produced negative results.

Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN) climbed almost 24% after late Tuesday reporting better-than-expected Q3 financial results and raising its FY20 revenue forecast above Wall Street estimates. The drugmaker is now projecting between $500 million to $525 million in FY20 product sales, up from its prior range of $460 million to $500 million and topping the Capital IQ consensus looking for $495.3 million in sales for the 12 months ending Dec. 31.

CRISPR Therapeutics (CRSP) was 9% higher after the gene-editing technology company and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) Wednesday said data from separate phase I/II studies show their CTX001 drug candidate raised hemoglobin levels in patients with either severe sickle cell disease or transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia. Vertex shares were 2.7% higher.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) climbed 6.5% after its proposed $13.1 billion acquisition of biopharmaceuticals company MyoKardia (MYOK) received antitrust clearance in the US following the expiration of the federal waiting period, the companies said. The deal remains subject to a majority of MyoKardia investors accepting a $225-per-share cash tender offer and other customary closing conditions. MyoKardia shares were 1.6% higher.

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