UPDATE 1-Anadys exploring strategic options, including sale
* Retains Lazard Freres as strategic advisor
* To raise about $12.5 mln
* Shares up 8 pct
May 26 (Reuters) - Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc ANDS.O said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including potential sale of the company.
The company said it has retained Lazard Freres & Co. LLC as its strategic adviser.
Anadys said strategic alternatives may include selling or licensing its experimental hepatitis C drug, ANA598, which is in a mid-stage trial.
The company could also consider alternatives that include a liquidation of its assets and resulting cash distribution per share after payment of outstanding liabilities.
Separately, the company said it entered into agreements with certain institutional investors to raise about $12.5 million.
The company would offer 5.8 million shares at $2.15 per share in a "registered direct" offering.
Shares of the company were up 8 percent at $2.40 in early morning trade Wednesday on Nasdaq. They closed at $2.23 Tuesday. (Reporting by Anand Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)