UPDATE 2-Teva, Antares get FDA nod for needle-free device

Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:17am EDT

* Needle-free device to administer human growth hormone

* Antares shares rise as much as 58 pct (Adds analyst comments, updates share movement)

By Anand Basu

BANGALORE, June 29 (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.TA) TEVA.O said U.S. health regulators approved its partner Antares Pharma Inc's AIS.A needle-free injector device to administer the Israeli company's human growth hormone.

"This is an important validation of the Teva partnership, which is the primary driver of our valuation and excitement about Antares stock," Ladenburg Thalmann analyst Matthew Kaplan said by phone.

Shares of Antares rose as much as 58 percent to a new year high of $1.14, before paring some gains to trade up at $1.02 in morning trade Monday on the American Stock Exchange.

Teva, the world's largest generic drug maker, and Antares filed a supplemental new drug application last year to use the needle-free device to administer Tev-Tropin, a human growth hormone.

Human growth hormone is a protein, given by injection, that is commonly used to treat children with growth hormone deficiency.

Kaplan, who rates Antares a "buy" with a $2 price target, said he expects it to receive about $10 million annually in the form of royalties from sales of Tev-Tropin and of the device, Tev-Tropin Tjet injector system.

He expects Teva to derive about $100 million annually from sales of the products.

The market for human growth hormone in the United States is about $1 billion, Teva said, citing industry estimates.

"This is the first of five products that are partnered with Teva to gain approval. We expect additional approval of possibly two additional partnered products in 2010, and another in 2011 and the fifth in 2012," Kaplan said.

The two companies have entered into several agreements, under which Antares is developing injection systems for administration of some Teva's drugs.

Shares of Teva were almost flat at $48.46 Monday on Nasdaq.

For the alerts double-click [ID:nWNAB2843] . (Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal and Aradhana Aravindan)

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