Small-cap stocks leapt higher than the broader market Thursday as several health names ratcheted up on positive news.

Leading the way was Seattle-based

Dendreon

(DNDN)

, shares of which soared 27% to $8.55 after the Food and Drug Administration

detailed

what extra information it will require for approval of the biotech's prostate-cancer vaccine, Provenge.

Also surging on regulatory news was

Critical Therapeutics

(CRTX) - Get Cortexyme, Inc. Report

, another biotech. Shares of the Lexington, Mass., company traded up 21.4% to $3.23 after the FDA

approved for commercialization

Zyflo CR, extended-release tablets for asthma treatment. Critical will co-promote the drug with Dey, an affiliate of Germany's

Merck GKaA

.

Meanwhile Canada-based

OccuLogix

( OCCX), which makes systems for eye-disease treatment, jumped 15.8% to $1.17 on word it will be taken private by JEGC OCC, a private-equity group ultimately controlled by Occulogix CEO Elias Vamvakas and David Folk of Jefferson Partners.

On or before June 22, JEGC will buy

TLCVision's

TheStreet Recommends

( TLCV) 1.9-million-share Occulogix stake for $1.05 a share -- a slight premium to the stock's latest close price -- and within the next 90 days it will acquire the remainder of the company. TLCVision shares slipped 2 cents to $5.94.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide

(QTWW)

, based in Irvine, Calif., bounced 22% to $1.78 after its Tecstar Automotive Group struck a deal to provide

Force Protection

(FRPT) - Get Freshpet Inc Report

with engineering design and production support for a mine-resistant line of its military vehicles. Terms weren't disclosed. Force Protection shares dropped 6% to $28.47.

Elsewhere, Ohio's

Jo-Ann Stores

( JAS) quartered its losses from last year to 7 cents a share. This meets Wall Street expectations, per Thomson Financial. JoAnn shares added 9.5% to $33.82, helping to boost both the Russell 2000 and the S&P SmallCap 600 -- each higher by 0.5%.

Among sliding small-cap names, however,

Novacea

(NOVC)

pulled back a bit from Wednesday's giant leap after a Bear Stearns analyst cut its rating to peer perform from outperform, citing valuation. Yesterday, shares exploded on word of a

lucrative new deal

with

Schering-Plough

( SGP). Today, shares lost 15.1% to $12.74.

Blyth

(BTH)

sank 9.2% after the home-goods retailer shaved a nickel off its fiscal 2008 income guidance to range between $1.02 to $1.12 a share. Excluding items, its profit should be between $1.32 and $1.37 a share, or at least a penny under two analysts' estimates. Earnings for the quarter ended April 30 far exceeded expectations, but shares were still off $2.78, at $27.44.