NewLink Genetics, an Ames-based biopharmaceutical company, on Tuesday reported a net loss of $13.5 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2016 and a net loss of $85.2 million, or $2.94 per diluted share, for the year ended Dec. 31. By comparison, the company had a fourth-quarter 2015 net loss of $21.6 million, or 75 cents per diluted share, and a full-year 2015 net loss of $40.4 million, or $1.41 per diluted share. The company, which is focused on developing immuno-oncology drugs for cancer treatments, ended the year with $131.5 million in cash and equivalents, which it said is sufficient to fund near- and medium-term goals. In a release, NewLink said the so-called IDO pathway, which helps cancer escape the patient's immune system, became increasingly validated as an immuno-oncology target during 2016. "NewLink Genetics has two separate and distinct IDO pathway inhibitors in clinical development," said Dr. Charles Link Jr., CEO and chief scientific officer. "In 2017, we look forward to advancing clinical validation of IDO as an immuno-oncology target."