Alexza Pharmaceuticals explores sale, layoff options

Alexza Pharmaceuticals Inc. said late on Friday that it has hired Lazard Ltd. to help it look into "strategic options that would enhance stockholder value." Lazard is a financial advisory and asset management company.

Strategic options could include "a possible sale or disposition of one or more corporate assets, a strategic business combination, partnership or other transactions," according to a prepared statement released by Alexza.

The Mountain View-based pharmaceutical company also said it has given all employees a 60-day notice of layoffs. In 2008, the company had 144 employees. Bloomberg data suggests the drugmaker had 97 employees at the end of 2010.

It plans to significantly reduce headcount so that it can continue necessary work for U.S. Federal Drug Administration's approval of Adasuve, a branded named for its loxapine inhalation aerosol, a drug for the rapid treatment of agitation in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder patients.

In December, a committee of the FDA voted to approve the drug as a single dose in 24 hours in conjunction with an FDA recommended Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or a strategy to manage a known or potential serious risk associated with a drug.

Source: Biz Journals