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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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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