- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc. plans to buy privately-held Civitas Therapeutics for $525 million in cash as the drugmaker seeks to expand into treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Acorda, based in Ardsley, New York, makes drugs for patients with multiple sclerosis, spasticity and those who are experiencing pain after a shingles infection. Civitas, based in Chelsea, Massachusetts, is currently testing an inhaler treatment, called CVT-301, which reduces tremors and reduced movement caused by Parkinson’s disease. A late stage study on CVT-301 will start next year, and if successful, the company will file for U.S. regulatory approval by the end of 2016.

Acorda said about one million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s diseases, and the treatment could bring in as much as $500 million in sales a year in the U.S.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Acorda jumped $2.54, or 8.7 percent, to $31.89 in premarket trading 30 minutes before the market open Wednesday.

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