Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (ACOR) gained the most in 18 months in Nasdaq trading on reports the biotechnology company may receive additional patent protection for its top- selling drug, an RBC Capital Markets analyst said.
Trading was halted at 1:58 p.m. Acorda rose $5.71, or 27 percent, to $27.13, and trading remained stopped as of the 4 p.m. close of the Nasdaq Stock Market. The increase is the biggest since Oct. 15, 2009. Shares of the Hawthorne, New York- based company are down 28 percent in the last 12 months.
Acorda’s top seller is the multiple sclerosis medicine Ampyra, approved in January 2010 in the U.S. to improve walking. The drug generated revenue last year of $133.1 million. An update of the company’s application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicates the medicine may receive extended patent protection, RBC’s Michael Yee wrote today in a note to clients.
Intellectual property “extension would be a significant catalyst for the shares and would make Acorda much more amenable to be an acquisition target,” Yee wrote.
Jeff Macdonald, a spokesman for Acorda, said the company had seen the update and wouldn’t comment further. The trading halt was done by Nasdaq, he said.
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