Teva CFO: I hope we can move more activities to Israel

"We'll have to examine the new tax environment."

"We'll have to examine the new tax environment. Israel is a priority, and over the years we've moved as much activity here as possible, partly because of the tax breaks. I hope we can continue to do this," said Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) CFO Eyal Desheh today at an Oppenheimer conference.

Commenting on generic versions of Copaxone, Teva's brand multiple sclerosis drug, Desheh said, "Copaxone won't disappear. It's a product which will continue to be sold. We believe that to obtain approval of the product, clinical evidence will have to show that the alternative works in the same way. We are more concerned about new oral treatments, and we assume that these products will take substantial market share, but will not completely replace the product."

Teva's Copaxone sales totaled almost $4 billion in 2012.

As for oral treatments for multiple sclerosis, especially Biogen Idec Inc.'s (Nasdaq: BIIB) recently launched Tecfidera, Desheh said, "Without question, the launch appears to be very successful. The product looks good. What we see in the market at the moment conforms with our forecasts."

As for other new brand drugs, Desheh said, "Teva has quite a few brand products in the pipeline. We have a very ambitious plan for NTE (new therapeutic entities) products. We have an accumulation of very interesting products in different fields and very intensive business development activity to cover the whole world and to sign agreements. So we definitely have an accumulation of products whose growth will offset the drop in sales of the product, which is very dominant and very profitable, but clearly will not be so forever. For years, Teva has been working not to create a replacement for Copaxone, but several products which will fill the vacuum that Copaxone will leave behind."

Commenting on Teva's largest generic product, Pulmincort, which now faces growing competition, Desheh said, "This is a product with hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. It is a very difficult product to make; it is very special. We sell it under the settlement with the maker of the brand drug, AstraZeneca plc (LSE; NYSE; OMX: AZN). Actavis Inc. (NYSE: ACT) recently obtained marketing approval for the product. They made an at risk launch, the court blocked their launch, and we're now waiting for the court ruling. Our current working assumption is that we'll have another competitor for the product, but it's quite possible that Actavis will not be allowed to sell it until 2017, which is a big question mark. Our working assumption is that sales of hundreds of millions of dollars will fall, but, as I said, there is a possible upside."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 12, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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