HAWTHORNE, NY-New York State officials announced this week that Acorda Therapeutics plans to increase its leased space at Mack-Cali Realty’s 15 Skyline Dr. property here by another 20,000 sf.

The firm, which began operations in New York City in 1995, currently leases 30,000-sf at the 55,000-sf building that is part of Mack-Cali’s Mid-Westchester Executive Park complex. Tierney Saccavino, an Acorda Therapeutics spokesperson, says that the company moved to 15 Skyline Dr. in August 1998 and initially leased approximately 13,000 sf. Since then, the firm has more than doubled its office space commitment at the property.

The company’s planned expansion was announced by Governor George Pataki, who said that the firm’s growth plans would create 100 new biotech jobs at the Hawthorne site in the next three years. Acorda currently has a workforce of 68 employees at its Hawthorne offices.

While the company did release its growth plans to the state in connection with its application for a $370,000 capital grant from the Empire State Development Corp., Acorda’s Saccavino noted that those plans will only be implemented if the Phase III trials, part of the FDA approval process for its Fampridine–SR B spinal cord injury therapy drug, go well. If the company does follow through with its office expansion initiative, Acorda will invest $1.65 million to expand its space, purchase machinery and equipment, improve the facility’s infrastructure and make investments in employee training.

At present, she notes that no lease deal has been negotiated as yet on the 20,000 sf of additional space it plans to occupy if the approval process goes well. She adds that the Phase III trail process should run through the end of 2003. If the company decides to grow, the firm would look to lease the additional space sometime in 2004, she adds.

The privately held company has raised more than $73 million through a combination of individual and venture investments, corporate partnerships, and grants. Its major institutional investors include Novartis BioVenture Fund, Merrill Lynch Ventures and Forward Ventures.

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