On The Block

ARYx Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ARYX) hired Cowen & Co. to explore strategic alternatives for the Fremont, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company. Options are being reviewed after parties in advanced talks to license ARYx’s budiodarone product, an oral anti-arrhythmic agent, indicated they wouldn’t pursue a contract. ARYx said it “will explore the possibility of capturing full near-term value for its three lead programs rather than pursuing licensing deals.” For the third quarter of 2009, ARYx swung to a loss of $8.2 million from net income of $3.2 million in the year-earlier period when the company benefited from non-recurring licensing revenue of $17.5 million from a former collaborative partner.

Dynamotive Energy Systems Corp.’s (OTCBB: DYMTF) board of directors is formally exploring strategic alternatives and has hired investment bank Cascadia Capital as its financial adviser. Dynamotive doesn’t plan to discuss the review until a deal is reached. For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the company narrowed its losses to $1.1 million from $2.8 million a year earlier, as a result of cost-cutting efforts. Vancouver-based Dynamotive is an energy company that converts dry waste biomass and energy crops into BioOil. It has offices in Canada, the United States and Argentina.

EDCI Holdings Inc.’s (Nasdaq: EDCI) talks concerning the potential sale of its Entertainment Distribution Co. GmbH unit and some related assets fell through. EDCI said the sale of the German business is likely in the near future, based on the failed negotiations. EDCI will continue to explore strategic alternatives for the subsidiary during a three-year dissolution period required under Delaware law. EDCI expects to transfer its interest in the German unit into a liquidating trust if it still owns any stake after the period ends. EDCI makes and distributes music, movies and gaming CDs and DVDs. Its shareholders approved a liquidation and dissolution plan in January 2010.

Serenic Corp. asked Pricewaterhouse Coopers Corporate Finance Inc. to help it explore strategic alternatives. Serenic is a software developer that specializes in integrated financial management and human resources products for nonprofit organizations, government agencies and Microsoft Dynamics NAV users. It will review capital structure alternatives, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. For the third quarter ended Nov. 30, 2009, the Edmonton, Alberta-based company swung to a profit of $154,064 from a loss of $385,817 a year earlier. Revenue rose 13.6 percent to $2.59 million from $2.28 million on higher software license sales.