Incoming Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) president and CEO Jeremy Levin, who will succeed Shlomo Yanai next month, has been reviewing the company's drug development process. He has not ordered the suspension of drug development, at least for most drugs.
Teva is developing more than 70 innovative drugs, mostly acquired through the acquisition of Cephalon for $6.8 billion last year. Levin, who previously managed strategy for Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS; LSE: NOV; SWX: NOVZ), is reviewing Teva's drug development system ahead of his taking office next month, so at least until then, no decisions are expected over the development of which drugs will be pursued and which will be terminated.
The review process is routine as part of Levin's taking office. In the past few months, he has been studying Teva with Yanai. Sources say that the cooperation between the two men has been exceptional.
When Teva announced Levin's appointment at a special press conference in late 2011, Levin implied that Teva would focus on the development of innovative drugs. Development costs of such drugs are high, but the payoff on success can be even higher in terms of profits. Teva's brand multiple sclerosis intravenous treatment, Copaxone, is a good example. It is the leading global treatment for the disease, accounted for an estimated one third of the company's profits. The company is trying to develop new brand drugs to take its place when its patents expire in 2014-15.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 11, 2012
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012