Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
) has been looking to expand its pipeline and reduce its
dependence on lead product, Ampyra, which is approved for the
improvement of walking in multiple sclerosis patients.
Apart from studying Ampyra for additional indications like
cerebral palsy and post-stroke deficits (phase IIb/III study to
commence in the second quarter of 2014), Acorda is evaluating
other candidates like GGF2 (treatment of heart failure -
proof-of-concept study to be initiated by year end) and rHIgM22
(multiple sclerosis - phase I ongoing).
The company has also started enrolling patients in a phase II
study being conducted with AC105. The double-blind, randomized,
placebo controlled study is being conducted in patients with
traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). AC105's safety and efficacy
will be evaluated in this study which will have many exploratory
Patients will receive six intravenous doses of AC105 or
placebo over 30 hours with the first dose being administered
within 12 hours of the injury.
We note that AC105 has fast track status in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command
has awarded a $2.67 million research contract to Acorda for the
phase II study.
Acorda is also looking towards in-licensing deals and
acquisitions to expand its pipeline. In Dec 2012, Acorda acquired
Neuronex and added diazepam nasal spray (management of seizure in
certain epilepsy patients) to its pipeline. Further, in Jul 2013,
Acorda acquired NGX-1998, a phase III ready product for treating
patients suffering neuropathic pain, and Quenteza, an approved
product for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia.
Acorda currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present,
) look attractive. While Actelion is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)
stock, Alkermes and Agenus are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.
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