September 24, 2014 / 12:31 PM / 5 years ago

Acorda buys Civitas to gain access to Parkinson's drug

(Reuters) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc said it bought privately held Civitas Therapeutics for $525 million to gain access to a Parkinson’s disease drug in late-stage development.

Acorda’s shares rose as much as 22.6 percent to $35.98 on Wednesday, making them one of the top five percentage gainers on the Nasdaq.

The biotechnology company obtained global rights for Civitas’ experimental drug, CVT-301.

The drug is used as an additional therapy where symptoms such as inability to move and muscle stiffness reappear in some Parkinson’s patients during treatment.

Acorda said it expects to conduct only one late-stage study for the drug.

Positive results from the trial and existing mid-stage study data is expected to hasten the regulatory approval process as CVT-301 is an inhaled dry powder formulation of the current standard oral treatment, levodopa, the company said.

Acorda expects the deal to become “very accretive” within the first year of the drug’s launch, despite higher research costs. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company said the enrollment for a late-stage trial of the drug was expected to begin in early 2015 and it would file for regulatory approval by the end of 2016.

Acorda shares were up 21.8 percent at $35.75 in afternoon trading. Nearly 6 million shares had changed hands by 1.05 p.m. ET — 13 times their 10-day average volume.

Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Joyjeet Das

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