NewLink Genetics Corp. announced this week that the company has initiated a project to develop new treatment options for the Zika virus. NewLink Genetics’ Infectious Disease Division, which is based in Devens, Mass., has evaluated various approaches for the prevention of infection with the Zika virus, the Ames-based company said in a press release. The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency. Dr. Charles Link, NewLink’s CEO and chief scientific officer, said he believes his company is well-positioned to develop a vaccine candidate for the virus. The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile virus. The company, which specializes in developing cancer vaccines, last year collaborated with international health agencies on an Ebola vaccine.