After spending much of the past six months at a less-than-impressive two-star rank, SciClone Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SCLN) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 150,000-member Motley Fool CAPS community to climb all the way up to four stars. A total of 89 members have given their opinion on the biopharmaceutical firm, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

Shares of SciClone have regained some ground after retreating from their highs north of $5.00, set late last year. Investors are warming up to the company's prospects again now that the company sees growing strength of its Zadaxin drug in China. The company capped off 2009 with positive fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, compared with losses in the prior year, and forecasts further earnings and revenue growth in 2010.

It has its sights set on several milestones to achieve this year with other treatments in its pipeline as well, which leaves many feeling the company has several good chances at bringing another treatment to market soon.

While the hepatitis C field that SciClone plays in is crowded with companies like GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK), Isis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ISIS), Merck (NYSE: MRK), and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX),  Zadaxin has been growing its presence in countries like China, where strong sales helped contribute to 18% revenue growth for SciClone in the fourth quarter. The company is also looking to apply the drug to other diseases, like enhancing the response of a Novartis (NYSE: NVS) swine flu vaccine and treating melanoma -- an area that others like Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) are looking to enter.                                   

Despite all the risks inherent in small biotech firms, a small but vocal following of CAPS members believe the long-term prospects for SciClone's stock are good, with a solid pipeline of candidates on top of opportunities to expand to new markets.

Do you think SciClone Pharmaceuticals deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his one-man band setup with a piccolo. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Novartis is a Global Gains selection. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKline. The Fool's disclosure policy does a 4-minute mile while hardly breaking a sweat.