M&A

After resisting a push to the auction block, Acorda preps for a sale and shares shoot up — report

Over the last 8 months Acorda $ACOR has had to lay off staffers in a painful restructuring as it reacted to the likely loss of patent protection for its sole franchise drug, watched a critical drug application get kicked back as inadequate, scrapped a top pipeline therapy following the death of a slate of patients and adopted a poison pill defense as a key investor pushed for a sale.

But now company CEO Ron Cohen may be having second thoughts about the advisability of a sale.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Acorda has brought in advisers to help explore an auction, spurring a 12% surge in its share price.

Acorda’s woes focus heavily around Ampyra, a multiple sclerosis drug, after a US district court tossed four key patents last spring. Badly wounded at the prospect it would soon lose its cash cow, Acorda went into survival mode.

The initial plan was to hustle the levodopa drug CVT-301 and positive Phase III data to regulators, looking for an approval that would allow for the seamless switch to a new lead therapy. But that path was temporarily blocked by regulators who kicked back the application, asking for Acorda to fill in some blanks.

Now Cohen and the team, who strongly resisted a push to the sales block last year, may see a sale and a handoff as the best new strategy for 2018.


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