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Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. recently completed its previously announced acquisition of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals for $25 million. The acquisition was announced on Dec 11, 2012.

As per the terms of the agreement, the stockholders of Somaxon will receive approximately 3,665,689 shares of Pernix common stock at a price of $6.82 per share.

With this acquisition, Pernix now has insomnia drug, Silenor, in its portfolio. Pernix will promote Silenor and might also develop Silenor as an over-the-counter (OTC) product.

Silenor generated sales of $11.7 million as of Sep 30, 2012 on a trailing 12-month basis. Pernix expects net sales from Silenor on an annualized basis to come between $10 million and $15 million.

We remind investors that Pernix has been quite active on the acquisition front with the acquisitions of Cypress Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals in Jan 2013.

The erstwhile Cypress Pharma offered generic drugs targeting the fields of cough and cold, nutritional supplements, analgesics, urinary tract, women’s health, pre-natal vitamins and dental health. On the other hand, Hawthorn Pharma offered branded pharmaceutical products for allergy, respiratory, iron deficiency, nephrology and pain management. 

Hence, the acquisitions will widen Pernix’s portfolio in the respective areas. Pernix currently markets generic products through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Macoven Pharmaceuticals.

We remain cautious on the successful integration of the acquisitions by Pernix given the change in top management. As announced on Jan 24, 2013, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) David Becker will step down effective Mar 31, 2013 due to personal reasons. The search for a new CFO is underway.

Pernix Therapeutics currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other pharma stocks, which also appear to be attractive, include Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR - Snapshot Report), Furiex Pharmaceuticals and Shire (SHPG - Analyst Report). All three carry a Zacks Rank #2.

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