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10 Hottest Small-Cap Stocks of 2012

Biotechs make up most of this high-flying crowd

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#9: Xoma Corp

YTD Performance: +235%

Xoma Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA) is one of many biotech stocks that will make up this list of high fliers in the Russell 2000.

Xoma develops antibody-based therapeutics. It’s a beginning-phase medical company that is bleeding cash as it works toward clinical trials and (hopefully) the eventual approval of its treatments — then, the cash will start rolling in and probably be followed by a buyout offer from Big Pharma.

XOMA has soared this year on a favorable outlook for its drug gevokizumab, which was granted “orphan drug” status by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for a condition known as uveitis. Uveitis is swelling or inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, and there aren’t a lot of treatments out there. Thus, the FDA has expedited research by this orphan drug designation, which means Xoma could be taking the fast track to market with this treatment if all goes well.

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