UPDATE 1-MiddleBrook gets going concern warning, shares tank

Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:52am EST

* To eliminate field-sales force, significantly cut jobs

* CEO resigns effective March 15 as part of job cuts

* Auditors express going concern doubts

* Looking at strategic options including sale of co

* Shares drop 33 pct

March 12 (Reuters) - MiddleBrook Pharmaceuticals Inc MBRK.O said its auditors have expressed doubts on the company's ability to continue as a going concern and that it was evaluating strategic options, which may include selling itself.

The company, which plans to significantly reduce staff to preserve cash, also said its Chief Executive John Thievon would resign effective March 15, as part of the job cuts.

Thievon would be succeeded by current finance chief David Becker, who will assume the role of acting CEO.

MiddleBrook said recurring operating losses and management's substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern for at least 12 months prompted its auditors to include the warning in their audit opinion for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009.

The company, which also reported a wider fourth-quarter loss, has engaged Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group as its financial advisor to assist the board in identifying and evaluating strategic alternatives, it said in a statement. [ID:nWNAB8869]

Shares of the company were down 33 percent at 34 cents Friday morning on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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