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Biotech Company Relocates To Ardsley

ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Acorda Therapeutics relocated its corporate headquarters to Ardsley Thursday – a move that could create more jobs in the area.  It is now the largest biotech company in Ardsley Park’s life science campus.

Acorda’s move to Ardsley, the company said, was based on outgrowing its previous facilities in Hawthorne and an economic incentive deal with Empire State Development Corporation and other organizations.  The incentive package includes up to $5.2 million in tax credits for Acorda to promote the creation of new jobs, according to a press release.

“At the end of the day we were able to find a great new space in Ardsley specifically designed for life science companies,” said Jeff Macdonald, senior director of communications.

Macdonald said the number of jobs created in Ardsley is largely dependent on the pharmaceutical market and development of new medication, which can take up to 15 years from development to FDA approval. Acorda was founded in 1995 and moved to Westchester in 1998, and specializes in drugs that treat neurological, spinal cord and central nervous system illnesses, Macdonald said.

Acorda’s growth picked up in 2010 when the FDA approved Ampyra to improve walking ability in patients with multiple sclerosis. Macdonald said Acorda is now in the process of testing the drug to see if it has any benefits for people with cerebral palsy or who have had a stroke.

One of the biggest draws to the Ardsley facility was its close proximity to the previous headquarters in Hawtorne, allowing existing workers to keep their jobs without having to relocate their homes, Macdonald said.

“Our goal is to continue to grow and the Ardsley facility allows us to do that,” Macdonald said. “We’re really pleased that we were able to stay in Westchester. We have a really highly skilled workforce of educated people with specialized skills and Westchester has a critical mass of that.”

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