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Teva CEO: Competition Not Harming Copaxone

Teva CEO: Competition Not Harming Copaxone [Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel]

From Globes (Tel Aviv) (July 28, 2011)

July 27--"I wish to say that Copaxone's sales growth has led us to reiterate our guidance for our flagship product. Copaxone's US sales rose by 7 percent and non US sales rose by 9 percent, and the effect of the entry of competing products is minimal for the company," said Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) president and CEO Shlomo Yanai.

"Our sales outside the US demonstrate our wide diversity and ability to compensate for a temporary weakness in a particular segment." He added, "Our future is naturally affected by our products pipeline. We acquired Cephalon in part to reduce our dependence on any particular product. It will enable us to diversify and expand.

"We will soon receive the results of the second stage of the Phase III clinical trial for Lacquinimod. I believe that we have another important product to treat multiple sclerosis."

As for the acquisition of Japan's Taiyo Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., Yanai said, "This acquisition will enable us to reach a turnover of $1 billion in Japan in a few years."

Yanai concluded, "The expansion of growth engines, as well as geographical and product diversification, will give us the means to continue growing and have a balanced business that will handle all the challenges facing us. We are definitely on track in our five-year plan."

Asked whether Teva would move operations out of Israel, Yanai said, "R&D in Israel will continue to expand. We have no intention of moving it abroad, not even after the acquisition of Cephalon. The proof is the opening of the new R&D center in Kfar Saba. Every year, Teva hires 500 people for its Israeli operations. We've added 4,000 employees in ten years, which shows our position about our Israeli operations, and about their future.

"I have a positive outlook about our Israeli operations. There is wonderful science here. Every project we begin will continue here. This does not prevent us from transferring projects overseas if things don't work out here -- that's natural. So long as we rely on Israeli science we'll expand our commercial operations here. We invest NIS 2 billion a year in our Israeli operations."

Asked about Teva's latest legal settlements, Yanai said that there had no change in policy. "Every launch is complicated, and our appetite in this area is unchanged. It is proper to reduce exposure and risk in the field, which is why we settled cases."

Commenting on the weak US sales in the second quarter, Teva Americas president and CEO William Marth said, "Despite the drop in sales in the quarter, there are still opportunities in the US, and the growth potential there is still high and growing. The US generic market is strong."


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Posted: July 2011