April 5, 2017 / 10:07 AM / 5 months ago

Acorda Therapeutics to cut 20 percent of workforce

(Reuters) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc (ACOR.O) will cut nearly 20 percent of its workforce as part of a cost reduction plan, the company said on Wednesday, less than a week after losing certain patents for its multiple sclerosis (MS) drug, Ampyra.

The company, which had 597 employees as of Feb. 20, said the job cuts are expected to result in cost savings of more than $21 million annually.

Acorda said the cost reductions would help the company focus on its two late-stage studies for Parkinson's disease.

A federal judge in Delaware on Friday struck down key patents held by Acorda related to Ampyra, opening the doors for generic versions of the drug by companies including Mylan Inc (MYL.O) and Roxane Laboratories Inc.

Those companies had sought approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell a generic version of Ampyra. Acorda responded by suing them, seeking a court declaration that its patents on the drugs were valid.

A total of ten companies have sought to sell generic versions of Ampyra.

Acorda reached settlement agreements with seven of the generic companies, including Allergan plc (AGN.N) and Par Pharmaceuticals.

Mylan, Roxane and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) did not settle and challenged the validity of Acorda's patents in court.

Acorda said on Wednesday it would provide an updated 2017 earnings forecast during its first-quarter earnings call.

Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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