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Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR - Analyst Report) continues to progress with its pipeline with the company enrolling the first patient in a phase Ib single-infusion study being conducted with glial growth factor 2 (GGF2). The study is being conducted in patients with heart failure. Three doses of GGF2 will be evaluated along with efficacy outcomes.

Acorda has been looking to expand its pipeline and reduce its dependence on lead product, Ampyra, which is approved for the improvement of walking in multiple sclerosis patients. Apart from studying Ampyra for additional indications like cerebral palsy and post-stroke deficits (phase IIb/III study to commence in the second quarter of 2014), Acorda is evaluating other candidates like rHIgM22 (multiple sclerosis - phase I ongoing) and AC105.

In late Sep 2013, Acorda started enrolling patients in a phase II study being conducted with AC105. The double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study is being conducted in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). AC105’s safety and efficacy will be evaluated in this study which will have many exploratory efficacy measures.

Acorda is also looking towards in-licensing deals and acquisitions to expand its pipeline. In Dec 2012, Acorda acquired Neuronex and added diazepam nasal spray (management of seizure in certain epilepsy patients) to its pipeline. Further, in Jul 2013, Acorda acquired NGX-1998, a phase III ready product for treating patients suffering neuropathic pain, and Quenteza, an approved product for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia.

Acorda currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present, companies like Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF), Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS - Analyst Report) and Agenus Inc. (AGEN - Snapshot Report) look attractive. While Actelion and Isis Pharma are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks, Agenus is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock.

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