"Copaxone will continue to be on the market for decades. It will take competitors a lot of time to obtain approval for generic versions. Meanwhile, we're unconcerned," Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) CEO Eyal Desheh told "Globes" today following the publication of its financial report for the second quarter of 2010.
Desheh added, "I don’t think there is a 'day after Copaxone'. Copaxone is very complex, and competitors will have to prove that their generic versions are identical to the original molecule to obtain approval. They'll have to conduct clinical trials, so we're talking about a long time, if ever, before Copaxone encounters serious competition."
Are you worried about at-risk launches by competitors?
Desheh: "No. As we've said before, Copaxone will be around for years. After its patents expire, we expect our sales to fall, and that's natural, but the drop in sales won't be because of generic versions of Copaxone, but because of competing products."
How are you preparing for future reduced Copaxone sales?
"We have a very broad pipeline. Nine products are undergoing Phase III clinical trials. That's a lot. We intend to try to get them to market, and with the help of this diversified basket of products, we intend to overcome the drop in sales of our flagship drug."
"Globes" asked Teva CEO Shlomo Yanai and Desheh about investors' response on Friday to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of generic versions of deep vein thrombosis treatment Lovenox, made by Sanofi Aventis SA (NYSE; Euronext: SNY) to Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTA) and Sandoz, which sent Teva's share price tumbling in New York and Tel Aviv.
Yanai replied, "I don’t want to get into the thoughts of investors or the analysts who cover us. The market takes a lot of factors into account, and long-term Teva investors will continue to benefit from a sound company, with strong growth rates over time. It's necessary to look at the whole and trend forward. In my opinion, the FDA made a mistake with the Momenta approval, but in any case, investors ought to look only at the case and consider the totality."
Desheh said, "Markets respond fast and furious. I also don’t want to comment about investors' considerations. I do however think that we should talk more about our overall basket of products in the near term, which will help us overcome the drop in Copaxone sales in the future. We will shortly do this. I think that the market doesn’t properly understand the size our basket, which may explain the radical reaction."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 27, 2010
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010