More MS news articles for May 2001

Private pharmaceutical company profiles

Extracted from:

By Tom Geck
Red Herring
April 15, 2001
This article is from the April 1, 2001, issue of Red Herring magazine.

Acorda Therapeutics
CEO Ron Cohen
Founded 1995
Employees 41
Hawthorne, NY


Develops therapeutic drugs for the treatment of spinal cord injuries (SCI) and other central nervous system disorders. Initial product, Fampridine-SR, enhances nerve conduction, resulting in improved neurological function for patients with chronic SCI. Product is expected to complete Stage II trials for treatment of SCI in second quarter 2001. It is also in Stage II trials for treatment of multiple sclerosis. Other products in development include M1 monoclonal antibodies (which build up the layer of myelon that surrounds neurons) and L1 axonal guidance proteins (which regenerate the central nervous system). Partners include Athersys and Elan. Targets large pharmaceutical companies and hospitals. Competes with ProNeuron, Alexion, and Boston Life Sciences.


Prerevenue. Raised a third round of $33.7 million in January 2001 from Forward Ventures, Swiss Life Private Equity Partners, Novartis BioVenture Fund, China Development Industrial Bank, Royal Bank Capital Partners, Bay Star Capital, and the Endpoint Merchant Group. Total capital raised: $67 million. CEO previously cofounded Advanced Tissue Sciences.


Regeneration of spinal cord nerve processes was believed to be impossible as recently as ten years ago. While Acorda has an early mover advantage in this area, it's challenging to be one of the first to enter uncharted territory.