5 Of The Best-Performing Biotech Stocks Of 2017

XOMA Corporation (XOMA - Free Report) : XOMA is focused on the discovery, development and licensing of therapeutic antibodies. The company has several licensing agreements with other biotech and pharma companies which provide XOMA with funds in the form of upfront and milestone payments and potential royalty payments. XOMA’s shares have been on an upward trajectory from August following the signing of licensing agreements with Novartis for gevokizumab and intellectual property covering the use of IL-1 beta targeting antibodies in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. This deal resulted in XOMA receiving upfront payments worth $31 million including an equity investment worth $5 million. The agreement terms also resulted in a 50% reduction in XOMA's outstanding debt through the repayment of its €12 million obligation to Les Laboratoires Servier and the extension of the company’s maturity date for its debt to Novartis by a couple of years. XOMA also stands to earn significant milestone payments and tiered royalties on sales of gevokizumab.

Year to date, XOMA’s shares are up 771.8%, significantly outperforming the 3.5% rally of the industry it belongs to. XOMA is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock – you can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (DVAX - Free Report) : Commercial-stage biopharma company, Dynavax, is focused on the discovery and development of novel vaccines and immuno-oncology therapeutics. The company’s shares shot up in July following a favorable recommendation (12-1) from the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (“VRBPAC”) for Heplisav-B, a vaccine for immunization against hepatitis B infection in adults. Heplisav-B, which had previously received two complete response letters (one in November 2016 and the other in February 2013), from the FDA, gained FDA approval this year in November. The regulatory action makes Heplisav-B the first new hepatitis B vaccine in the United States in more than 25 years and the only two-dose hepatitis B vaccine for adults. Heplisav-B is the first FDA-approved product for the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock, which expects to launch the vaccine in the first quarter of 2018. Dynavax’s shares are up a whopping 386.1% year to date.

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