Citi maintains Teva rating

The company now looks to a second Phase III trial which compares laquinimod to another drug, as well as to a placebo.

Citi analysts, led by John Boris, today maintained their "Buy" rating on Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) after the pharmaceuticals company announced results of a Phase III clinical trial of oral MS drug Laquinimod.

Laquinimod showed a significant reduction in annualized relapse rate (ARR, primary endpoint) and disability progression as measured by Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) compared with a placebo. There were no deaths in the laquinimod arm.

Citi did not carry sales of laquinimod in its valuation model, and the analysts assume it has similar profitability to Copaxone. Citi did note that solid efficacy would add significant upside.

Citi pointed to Teva's ongoing phase III trial which compares laquinimod to another drug - Avonex - as well as a placebo. Today's results were against a placebo only. The remaining Phase III trial results, if the test is completed on time, will be presented at a conference in Amsterdam on October 19-22, 2011.

Teva has received Fast Track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will likely receive a six-month priority review, with approval as early as the first half of 2012.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on December 9, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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