Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) has filed for a US patent for a Copaxone-Laquinimod mixed treatment for multiple sclerosis. Copaxone, Teva's flagship branded drug had record sales of $4 billion in 2012 although sales are expected to fall slightly to $3.7-3.9 billion in 2013.
While Copaxone is administered by injection, Laquinimod is an oral drug that Teva is developing to treat multiple sclerosis. However, in 2011 in an advance Phase III trial, the clinical targets were not achieved, and the company was only able to reach the desired results after statistical corrections. Teva is preparing for an additional clinical trial which is delaying the drug's introduction to the market.
Sanford Bernstein analyst Dr. Ronny Gal said that if the patent is approved, it will be valid through July 2031. The Copaxone-Laquinimod mix would be administered as an injection and from clinical trials on mice the benefit was seen as greater than the existing treatment.
Gal said that it is no surprise that the mixture is more effective but the tougher question relates to the degree of side-effects.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 13, 2013
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