Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Hires Financial Advisor To Assist In Seeking Strategic Alternatives

Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOMX), a specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has hired Stifel Nicolaus Weisel as a strategic advisor. Stifel will assist the company in identifying and evaluating various strategies to maximize stockholder value.

“We are committed to working with the Stifel team to evaluate strategies which will allow us to fully leverage our rights in our core asset – Silenor® for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty with sleep maintenance,” said Richard W. Pascoe, Somaxon’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.”

“While we are conducting this process, we will continue to market Silenor in the U.S. to existing prescribers through our 30-person sales force and non-personal promotion, and to protect the intellectual property position of the product,” continued Pascoe. “We will also undertake measures to minimize our cash burn rate, including through a reduction in force involving approximately 60% of our current non-field-based employees.”

The exploration of strategic alternatives may not result in any agreement or transaction and, if completed, any agreement or transaction may not be successful or on attractive terms. Somaxon does not intend to disclose developments with respect to this process unless and until the evaluation of strategic alternatives has been completed or it enters into a definitive agreement for a specific, material transaction.

About Silenor®

Silenor is a low-dose (3 mg and 6 mg) oral tablet formulation of doxepin, and is the first and only non-scheduled prescription sleep medication approved to treat insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep maintenance. Sleep maintenance is defined as waking frequently during the night and/or waking too early and being unable to return to sleep. For more information, please visit www.silenor.com.

Important Safety Information

A doctor should be consulted if insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days. This may mean that there is another condition causing the sleep problem.

Patients should be sure that they are able to devote 7 to 8 hours to sleep before being active again. Silenor should be taken within 30 minutes of bedtime. Patients should not take Silenor with alcohol or with other medicines that can cause drowsiness. Silenor should not be taken with or within two weeks after taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). Patients should not take Silenor if they have untreated narrow angle glaucoma, if they have severe urinary retention, if they have severe sleep apnea or if they are allergic to any of the ingredients in Silenor. Until patients know how they will react to Silenor, they should not drive or operate machinery at night after taking Silenor, and they should be careful in performing such activities during the day following taking Silenor. Before taking Silenor, patients should tell their doctors if they have a history of depression, mental illness or suicidal thoughts. Patients should call their doctors right away if after taking Silenor they walk, drive, eat or engage in other activities while asleep. Drowsiness was the most common adverse event observed in clinical trials.

For more information, please see the complete Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, at www.silenor.com or www.somaxon.com.

About Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company that sells Silenor in the United States. For more information, please visit the company’s web site at www.somaxon.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Somaxon cautions readers that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. For example, statements regarding the process of seeking strategic alternatives and the ability to derive stockholder value from one or more related transactions and Somaxon’s other activities and plans are forward-looking statements. The inclusion of forward-looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Somaxon that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Somaxon’s business, including, without limitation, Somaxon’s ability, together with Stifel, to successfully enter into one or more transactions to enhance stockholder value; Somaxon’s ability to successfully market and sell Silenor; the market potential for insomnia treatments, and Somaxon’s ability to compete within that market; the potential to enter into an agreement with Procter & Gamble relating to over-the-counter rights for Silenor; Somaxon’s ability, together with any partner, to receive FDA approval for an over-the-counter version of Silenor; Somaxon’s ability to successfully hire a sales force, including the transition of contract representatives to Somaxon employees; Somaxon’s ability to raise sufficient capital to fund its operations, and the impact of any such financing activity on the level of its stock price; the impact of any inability to raise sufficient capital to fund ongoing operations, including any patent infringement litigation; the scope, validity and duration of patent protection and other intellectual property rights for Silenor; whether the approved label for Silenor is sufficiently consistent with such patent protection to provide exclusivity for Silenor; Somaxon’s ability to successfully enforce its intellectual property rights and defend its patents, including any developments relating to the submission of abbreviated new drug applications for generic versions of Silenor 3 mg and 6 mg and related patent litigation; the possible introduction of generic competition for Silenor; changes in healthcare reform measures and reimbursement policies; the ability of Somaxon to ensure adequate and continued supply of Silenor to successfully meet anticipated market demand; Somaxon’s ability to operate its business without infringing the intellectual property rights of others; Somaxon’s reliance on its licensee, Paladin Labs, for critical aspects of the commercial sales process for Silenor outside of the United States; the performance of Paladin and its adherence to the terms of its contracts with Somaxon; inadequate therapeutic efficacy or unexpected adverse side effects relating to Silenor that could adversely impact commercial success, or that could result in recalls or product liability claims; other difficulties or delays in development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of Silenor; the timing and results of post-approval regulatory requirements for Silenor, and the FDA’s agreement with Somaxon’s interpretation of such results; and other risks detailed in Somaxon’s prior press releases as well as in its periodic filings with the SEC.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and Somaxon undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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