What happened

Shares of Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ACOR), a biopharmaceutical company focused on neurological disorders, popped 15.4% during early morning trading after Bloomberg reported that Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) and several smaller suitors appear interested in a potential sale. The stock has settled down to a 10% gain as of 11:37 a.m. EST on Friday.

So what 

2017 was a rough year for Acorda Therapeutics. The company saw four important patents invalidated, received a refuse to file letter from the Food and Drug Administration, and announced a serious safety issue concerning one of its most advanced new drug candidates. Given the devastation, the market has been expecting the company to put itself on the auction block. The shares spiked today largely in response to reports of interest from neuroscience heavyweight Biogen.

Businessman drawing an upward sloping chart out of thin air with his fingertips.

Image source: Getty Images.

Although the FDA refused to review the first application Acorda submitted for CVT-301, Biogen has plenty of resources to address the agency's concerns if a more recently submitted package also fails to make the cut. Biogen also has an enormous global salesforce that probably boasts more neurologists on speed dial than any of its peers.

Now what

It's important to point out Biogen hasn't officially expressed interest in buying anything from Acorda. The deal makes sense, but we still don't know exactly why the FDA refused to file Acorda's submission for Inbrija, the candidate formerly known as CVT-301, because such communications aren't subject to disclosure. 

We can expect this stock to move again in mid- to late February. That's when the FDA is expected to announce whether it will formally accept Acorda's resubmission. I wouldn't be surprised if recent buyout rumors solidify, or evaporate, shortly thereafter.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Biogen. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.