Teva Gets Boost From Streamlining Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries recorded a rise in its share price of 6.7% on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday to $44.21, a 20-month high, a market thumbs-up on the company’s ongoing streamlining policy, Globes reported.

“We are committed to reducing our costs by $2 billion, hopefully even further than that,” acting CEO and CFO Eyal Desheh told the JPMorgan & Chase Co. healthcare conference in San Francisco.

An announcement of employeed cutbacks caused a public furor in Israel months ago, including calls for elimination of the company’s huge tax breaks.

Desheh added that Teva was moving quickly to shut down “inefficient plants and plants in expensive locations.” Teva will move most U.S. production to Eastern Europe and Asia, without losing sales, and that acquisitions were also a “legitimate” way to grow. “We believe in growing by acquisitions, look at our history,” said Desheh.

Teva is waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a new high-dosage of the company’s flagship drug, Copaxone, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The new version is administered three times a week instead of daily.

“We are rather focused on strengthening the Copaxone franchise, on building it, and learning more about it, and making sure that this drug gets recognized for its incredible safety record, its efficacy, and maintaining sales,” said Teva CSO Michael Hayden.

“We have a big story around Copaxone. It’s a difficult product to make. Our goal is not to block generic Copaxone; our goal is to protect patients, serve the interest of patients, and also serve our shareholders.”

Teva estimates that 45% of multiple sclerosis patients will switch to the new version of Copaxone. If so, and if it happens before generic brands reach market, Teva could emerge from this difficult period in a strong position.