June 27, 2011
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces BioTech Company to Expand and Create 190 New Jobs in Westchester County

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that leading biotechnical drug manufacturer Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. will relocate to a new facility in the Village of Ardsley, potentially creating 190 new jobs.


Acorda will invest an estimated $36 million in the facility. Empire State Development (ESD) will provide Acorda with up to $5.2 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax benefits as an incentive for job creation.


"Acorda Therapeutics's decision to expand its footprint in Westchester County sends another signal that New York is open for business," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will strengthen New York's vibrant biotech industry and create new jobs in the Lower Hudson Valley. This is a sign of good things to come for our state as we work to revitalize New York's economy."


Acorda, one of several dozen biotechnology companies in the Hudson Valley, develops therapies for multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and related nervous system disorders. The company's new 139,000 square foot facility will be located in the Ardsley Park life science campus, owned and managed by BioMed Realty Trust, Inc. The company will relocate to the new facility from its current location in nearby Hawthorne, retaining 159 employees bringing total employment to nearly 350 employees.


Acorda's President and CEO Ron Cohen, M.D. said, "Based on successfully commercializing AMPYRA, a new therapy for people with multiple sclerosis, Acorda has grown significantly over the past several years. The Ardsley Park life science campus will have state-of-the-art laboratory and office space to accommodate our current and future needs. New York state, county and local government and economic groups were collaborative partners as we explored our relocation options and we are pleased to remain a part of Westchester County's growing biotechnology corridor."


Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, "Acorda's investment in a new Westchester facility highlights the attractiveness of the lower Hudson Valley as a competitive location for biotech and life sciences companies. ESD is pleased to support the growth of Acorda and other leading firms in New York's high-tech, health sciences sector. This is precisely the type of capital investment and job-creation our new Excelsior program was created to support."


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, "This significant investment by BioMed Realty Trust continues the Hudson Valley's transformation into an epicenter for biotechnology companies and the high-paying jobs that come with them. Acorda's decision to remain in the Hudson Valley and potentially create up to 190 brand new jobs in a booming sector of our economy affirms the area continues to be attractive for innovative companies. I applaud BioMed for investing in a second life science site which will make 'NY BIOHUD Valley' one of the fastest growing biotech regions in the country."


U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "Biotech is key to the future of the Hudson Valley economy. Westchester is home to world-class research institutions, medical centers, laboratories and academic research organizations. Ardsley Park's state-of-the-art facilities will support Acorda Therapeutics, a leading biotechnology company in research and development, and create good paying jobs right here in Westchester."


Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, "I am pleased Acorda has chosen to keep 159 biotechnology jobs in New York State and specifically right here in Westchester County, which is becoming recognized as a biotech hub, not only in New York State but throughout the country. Westchester has a highly educated and motivated workforce, and relocating to Ardsley will ensure that Acorda has the opportunity to succeed for years to come."


State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, "This is great news for the Hudson Valley. Acorda's newest venture will not only further promote our region as a hub for biotechnical pharmaceuticals, it will provide good, stable jobs to hard working residents. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and our many partners in government, Acorda's investment in our community is that much more substantial."


Assemblyman Thomas J. Abinanti said, "I applaud Acorda's expansion in our region, which will create good jobs and deliver important biomedical products for consumers across the world. This endeavor is the result of true collaboration between the public and private sectors all for the benefit of all New Yorkers. I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition and thank Governor Cuomo and all our partners for making it happen."


Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said, "Retaining and attracting business is critical to the economic health of Westchester and a fundamental goal of my administration. Government can't create private sector jobs. But it can and must create an environment that's conducive to job creation. To do that, my economic development team is constantly working to strengthen relationships with businesses and put government resources to use in ways that will help grow Westchester's economy. Businesses can locate anywhere. Having two major biotech firms choose Westchester as the place to grow their business is a vote of confidence in our county and its highly skilled and motivated workforce."


Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), "Along with the residents of Westchester, I heartily applaud the decision by Acorda Therapeutics to land in Ardsley with nearly 200 new jobs," said. "More and more corporations and new business ventures see Westchester County, with its highly educated workforce and top-rate services, as a perfect environment for growth and prosperity."


Founded in 1995, Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that develops therapies for multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and related nervous system disorders. The company is commercializing and marketing AMPYRA, a potassium channel blocker approved as a treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Acorda also markets ZANAFLEX CAPSULES, a short-acting drug for the management of spasticity. The company's pipeline includes a number of products in development for the treatment, regeneration and repair of the spinal cord and brain.


Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency and administrator of the statewide business resource portal: New York First (www.NYfirst.NY.gov). The mission of Empire State Development is to promote business investment and growth that leads to job creation and prosperous communities across New York State. ESD also oversees the marketing of "I LOVE NY," the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Empire State Development, visit www.esd.ny.gov.