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Pernix will buy Somaxon Pharma for $25M in stock

NEW YORK (AP) -- Children's medicine maker Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it will buy insomnia treatment maker Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $25 million in stock.

It would be the third deal in less than two months for Pernix, which makes the cough and cold treatments Brovex, Aldex, and Pediatrex, and Cedax, an antibiotic for middle ear infections.

San Diego-based Somaxon makes Silenor, a drug that was approved in 2010 to treat both short- and long-term insomnia.

Silenor is a low-dose tablet of doxepin, a drug that is used in greater doses to treat depression and anxiety. The Food and Drug Administration approved Silenor in March 2010, and Somaxon launched the drug in September through an agreement with Procter & Gamble Co.

Pernix said sales of Silenor have totaled about $11.7 million over the last 12 months, and it expects continued annual sales of $10 million to $15 million.

Silenor is given by prescription, but Pernix said it believes Silenor could become an over-the-counter product.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal.

Pernix, which is based near Houston in The Woodlands, Texas, agreed in November to buy generic drug maker Cypress Pharmaceuticals and branded product maker Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals. At the time Pernix said it expected to report $135 million to $145 million in revenue in 2013.

Shares of Somaxon rose 92 cents, or 63 percent, to $2.39 in morning trading. The stock has traded between $1.29 and $6.40 over the last year. Pernix shares lost 56 cents, or 7.1 percent, to $7.37. Its shares have traded between $5.90 and $10.75 over the past year.