Shares for San Diego-based Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Inc. have nearly doubled in price after it announced that it is being acquired for about $25 million in stock by Pernix Therapeutics Holdings Inc., a Houston-based maker of children’s medicine.

Somaxon shares rose from $1.45 at market close on Dec. 10 to $2.70 at market close on Dec. 12. Pernix’s shares have also increased, though less substantially — from $7.50 to $7.82 in the same window.

Pernix produces cough and cold medications and an antibiotic for ear infections. Somaxon produces a sleep aid called Silenor, a low-dose tablet of the antidepressant doxepin.

“Somaxon’s product Silenor, which is a non-seasonal product, broadens our branded product line and may also have potential as an OTC product in the future,” Pernix president and CEO Cooper Collins said in a statement.

Somaxon reported sales from Silenor to be about $11.7 million this year. Pernix expects continued annual sales of $10 million to $15 million, it said in a statement.

The acquisition is still subject to the approval of Somaxon’s shareholders, but the companies said both boards have approved the deal.

— SDBJ Staff Report