UPDATE 1-Somaxon to explore strategic options, cut jobs

Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:02am EST

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc said it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale, and will cut jobs to conserve cash.

The company, which hired Stifel Nicolaus Weisel as its financial advisor, said it will cut about 60 percent of its current non-field-based employees.

"This process will focus on strategic alternatives, which may include one or more of a sale of the company or assets relating to Silenor, or partnering or other collaboration transactions relating to U.S. or ex-U.S. prescription or over-the-counter rights to Silenor," Chief Executive Richard Pascoe said.

Silenor is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty with sleep maintenance.

Somaxon shares closed at 60 cents on Friday on Nasdaq.

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