Alexza layoffs looming

Alexza Pharmaceuticals may be literally going for broke as it pursues approval of its inhaled fast-acting antipsychotic drug Adasuve.

The company ($ALXA) announced that it will pursue significant, although as yet unknown, numbers of layoffs to save cash as it pursues FDA approval of Adasuve. Alexza isn't ruling anything out, either, having announced that it will explore a number of "strategic options, " including an asset sale, partnership deal or other move.

Lazard will assist in exploring the company's next course of action, Reuters reported.

On Dec. 12, an FDA panel of experts voted 9-8 in favor of approving the drug, which uses Alexza's Staccato inhaler technology to deliver the vaporized drug directly into the lungs (to work within 10 minutes). But FDA has been vocal with concerns about Adasuve, warning that it could cause some patients to die or be vulnerable to respiratory problems.

The FDA already declined to approve the drug a little more than a year ago, and Alexza resubmitted a revised approval application in August. If approved, the drug would be the first inhaled antipsychotic on the market and compete with injectable meds such as Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) Abilify and Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Zyprexa, Reuters noted.

Reuters reminded readers about one positive development--the company inked an overseas marketing partnership in October with Grupo Ferrer of Barcelona, Spain.

- here's the Reuters wire story

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