RonCohen, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, founded Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. in 1995. Previously he was a principal in the startup and an officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the growth of human organ tissues for transplantation. Dr. Cohen received his B.A. with honors in Psychology from Princeton University, and his M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Cohen previously served as Chair of the Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), as Chair of the Emerging Companies Section of the BIO Board, and as Director and Chair of the New York Biotechnology Association (NYBA).He currently serves on the Board of Directors of VBL Therapeutics. Dr. Cohen was awarded Columbia University’s Alumni Medal for Distinguished Service.
Dr. Cohen was named NeuroInvestment’s (now called NeuroPerspective) CEO of the Year 2010 and was recognized by PharmaVoice Magazine in 2009 as one of the 100 Most Inspirational People in the Biopharmaceutical Industry. He is a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the New York Metropolitan Region and is an inductee of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s “Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame.” In 2010, Dr. Cohen was recognized by the New York Biotechnology Association as the NYBA “The Cure Starts Here” Business Leader of the Year and was named by MM&M/PR Week as one of the top 50 health influencers of 2017.
Neil Belloff has been the General Counsel at Acorda since November 2021. Mr. Belloff has over 30 years of business and legal experience and was formerly the Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Eloxx Pharmaceuticals and held senior level positions at Celgene Corporation, Deutsche Telekom, AG, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Belloff received his J.D. from the University of Bridgeport School of Law, M.A. from New York University, his B.A. from Queens College of the City University of New York, and completed post-graduate studies in the LL.M Program in Securities Regulation at Georgetown University Law Center.
Kerry Clem has been the Chief Commercial Officer at Acorda since September 2021. He joined Acorda in January 2011 as VP of Sales, and most recently was Executive Vice President of Sales, Market Access, and Commercial Operations. Before joining Acorda, Mr. Clem was Vice President of Sales at Allos Therapeutics, Inc. where he built the organization’s inaugural sales force to launch their first commercially available product. Mr. Clem also served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Solstice Neurosciences, Inc. Mr. Clem has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the areas of neurology, oncology, movement disorders, cardiology, anesthesiology and pain. Over the span of his career he has been involved in the development of commercial organizations and multiple product launches. Mr. Clem holds a B.S. degree from Florida State University.
Denise Duca, Ed.M. has been Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Acorda since January 2015. She has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in our HR department since 2002.
Ms. Duca received her B.A. in Professional Studies from Pace University, and an M.A. and Ed.M. in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has also been a doctoral candidate in the Organization and Leadership Department at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Michael Gesser has been the Chief Financial Officer at Acorda since November 2021. Mr. Gesser was most recently the CFO of Tergus Pharma and has also held CFO positions at BioMedomics, Inc., HAP Innovations, LLC, Suntech Medical, Inc., and Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp. Previous to those roles, he held several senior-level financial positions at Allergan Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Gesser received his M.B.A. from the Belk School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his B.S. in Finance at the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Lauren Sabella has been Chief Operations Officer at Acorda since September, 2021, with responsibility for Strategic Planning, Business Operations, Technical Operations, Information Technology, and Quality. Ms. Sabella joined Acorda in 2010 as Executive Vice President of Commercial Development, with responsibility for the commercial launch of Ampyra, and became Chief Commercial Officer at Acorda in February 2015.
Before joining Acorda, Ms. Sabella was the Founder and Principal of Tugboat Consulting Group, an independent consulting practice assisting companies in the commercialization process. Ms. Sabella also served as Corporate Officer and Vice President of Commercial Development at Altus Pharmaceuticals, with responsibility for all aspects of commercialization. Prior to joining Altus, Ms. Sabella was employed by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals for 18 years in positions of increasing responsibility. In her last role, she served as Vice President of Sales, Eastern Zone, where she led the successful sales launch of Spiriva® (tiotropium bromide) and ran both Primary Care and Specialty Divisions, including Neurology, Urology and Cardio/Pulmonary. Prior to this role, she had over ten years of marketing experience where she led several product launches including Mobic® (meloxicam), an NSAID which became a $1 billion brand. Ms. Sabella holds a B.B.A. from Hofstra University.
Burkhard Blank, M.D. was Acorda’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) from July 2016 to December 2021. Dr. Blank continues to serve Acorda as a consultant, supporting our drug safety and other functions.
Dr. Blank has more than 25 years of industry experience, and previously served as CMO for several biopharmaceutical companies, including Boehringer Ingelheim (BI). While at BI, he oversaw the submission of five New Drug Applications (NDAs) and had direct responsibility for all aspects of presenting at two U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committee Meetings; subsequently, all five NDAs received FDA approval.
Dr. Blank has also served as a strategic advisor to several biotechnology companies, leading the submission process for multiple Investigational Drug Applications (INDs), successfully developing protocols for clinical trial programs, and overseeing communications with regulatory agencies.
Dr. Blank received his medical degree from Universitaet Marburg, Germany. He is board-certified in Germany in internal medicine.
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Acorda has acquired Biotie Therapies. We invite you to explore www.acorda.com to learn more about our company, including our continued development of BIotie clinical programs for tozadenant, SYN120 and BTT1023. Information regarding transfers of value made to healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations in connection with Biotie’s clinical development programs is also available.