UPDATE 1-Acorda Q4 loss meets Street, to launch MS drug in March

Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:36am EST

* Q4 loss/shr $0.59 meets estimates

* Q4 revenue $14.4 mln vs. est $14.9 mln

* To launch its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra in March

* Sees sales of Zanaflex capsules declining in 2010

Feb 23 (Reuters) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc (ACOR.O) posted a quarterly loss that was in line with market estimates, but said it expects higher expenses in 2010 due to costs associated with the launch of its recently approved multiple sclerosis drug, Ampyra.

Acorda said it is preparing for the commercial launch of Ampyra in March, but expects sales of its muscle relaxant -- Zanaflex capsules -- to decline in 2010.

Fourth-quarter net loss was $22.5 million, or 59 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $20.2 million, or 54 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter rose 16 percent to $14.4 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to post a loss of 59 cents a share, on revenue of $14.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Last month, the company received U.S. regulatory approval for its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra as the first drug to improve walking ability in patients with multiple sclerosis. [ID:nN22165781]

Shares of the company closed at $31.77 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Krishnakali Sengupta in Bangalore;Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)