Medtronic Sells Proprietary Formula for $35M

AC105, the compound whose rights are now owned by Acorda Therapeutics, could be a potential treatment for brain and spinal cord injuries.

New York-based Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., announced Friday that it will pay Medtronic, Inc., up to $35 million for global development and commercialization rights to a magnesium formula that could be a potential treatment for neurological traumas like spinal cord and brain injuries.

Acorda said it paid a $3 million up-front payment to Medtronic for the proprietary compound-called AC105-and it will pay up to $32 million over time as certain regulatory and development milestones are reached. Medtronic will also receive single-digit sales royalties if Acorda commercializes the clinical-stage compound.

AC105 received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fast-track designation in February 2009 for spinal cord injury treatments. Acorda plans to seek the FDA's orphan drug designation for the formula. Fast-track status is typically given to treatments for life-threatening conditions for which no other drug exists or works as well. Orphan drug status is to encourage development of drugs for rare diseases.

“We are excited to leverage [our] expertise to continue the clinical development of AC105, potentially providing a new therapy to people who suffer debilitating central nervous system injuries,” Acorda President and CEO Ron Cohen said in a statement. “The acquisition of AC105 is an important addition to our existing pipeline.”

Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing therapies for multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and related nervous system disorders. The company's GGF2 compound is in early Phase 1 clinical trials for the treatment of heart failure.

Fridley-based Medtronic is the seventh-largest public company in the state based on revenue, which totaled $15.8 billion in its most recent fiscal year.