(Adds trial details, share move)
Nov 15 (Reuters) - Acorda Therapeutics Inc's shares plunged 34 percent on Wednesday after the drugmaker said it had paused enrolling patients in two key trials testing its Parkinson's disease drug following patient deaths.
Acorda said there has been seven cases of sepsis in patients taking tozadenant in the study, including its mid-stage trial, out of which five patients died.
Tozadenant belongs to a new class of drugs called A2a receptor antagonists that can help improve motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease.
The company said it continues to expect to report data from the late-stage trial in the first quarter of 2018.
The drugmaker came under investor pressure to pursue a sale in August, after a judge in March struck down key patents of its multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra, which accounts for almost all of its revenue. (Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)