Israel's Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) against Proneuron over the rights to use the Copaxone molecule for treatment of diseases other than multiple sclerosis. The three justice panel of Uzi Fogelman, Noam Solberg and David Mintz has ended a stormy dispute between the two companies of more than a decade of mutual recriminations and mudslinging.
The case began in 2006 over a clinical trial Teva conducted on patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. Proneuron claimed that Teva had initiated the trial and endangered the lives of its participants simply to avoid cancelling its agreement and returning the rights to the molecule to Proneuron. Teva insisted the trials were valid and Proneuron's founder Prof. Michal Schwartz had distorted trial results that had shown the opposite.
The Supreme Court upheld Judge Avi Zamir's ruling in the Tel Aviv District Court that Teva's trial had not been planned well and did not meet the terms of the agreement. Therefore he ordered Teva to return the rights to the product to Proneuron. However, the court also ruled that it was not proven that Teva endangered the lives of the patients in the trial or knew for certain that the trial was superfluous.
The significance of the ruling is that Proneuron can now develop Copaxone for non-multiple sclerosis treatments, although it is not clear if it is worth their while doing so.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 16, 2020
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