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Wednesday's Small-Cap Winners & Losers

Florida-based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (NABI) was also rising after a phase IIb trial of NicVax -- its proposed treatment for nicotine addiction -- achieved its primary endpoint. Shares surged 12.7% to $5.79. Elsewhere in the health sector, California's Pain Therapeutics (PTIE) gained 13.1% to $8.65 after it posted a 28-cent per-share profit in the first quarter, which powered past analysts' downside expectations.

Among small-cap health laggards, however, was CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals (CGPI), which said a patient in midphase testing for its proposed acne treatment, incyclinide, sustained "apparent significant photo-toxicity" -- a severe reaction to sunlight and "a known side effect of tetracyclines," of which incyclinide is a modified form. The Newton, Pa., drugmaker is investigating the incident and, in the interim, has halted further enrollment in the study. Shares were losing more than 18% at $11.45.

Meanwhile, Canada's Neurochem (NRMX) slid 16% to $9.74 on word it privately sold $80 million in convertible bonds, and fellow drugmaker Santarus (SNTS), of San Diego, was off 12.3% at $6.95 after losing 3 cents more per share in the first quarter than Wall Street had predicted.

Returning to the tech sector, real-estate Web site Move (MOVE) broke even in the first quarter, missing analysts' projections by 2 cents despite gaining 2 cents on last year. The California-based company recently plunged 10% to $4.23. And Florida-based Forward (FORD), which makes accessories for handheld electronics, swung to a small loss from penny-a-share profits a year ago. Shares sank 15% at $3.40.

The Russell 2000 Index lately jumped 12.09 points, or 1.5%, to 828.34. The S&P Small-Cap 600 Index gained 6.79, or 1.6%, at 429.57.

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