(Changes dateline from NEW YORK, adds analyst comments)
TEL AVIV Jan 22 Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd TEVA.O (TEVA.TA) said on Tuesday it would
acquire privately held biopharmaceutical company CoGenesys Inc
for $400 million in cash.
Teva said the deal, to be funded from its internal resources
and expected to close during the first half of 2008, would help
its position in the biogenerics market.
Teva said it sees biopharmaceuticals, and primarily
biogenerics, as a key, long-term growth opportunity. Biogeneric
drugs are based on biologics, or proteins manufactured in living
CoGenesys was spun out of Human Genome Sciences Inc HGSI.O
in June 2006. CoGenesys said its albumin fusion technology
allows its drug candidates to have the potential to last longer
in the body and require less frequent doses.
CoGenesys' pipeline of biologic drugs includes treatments
for cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and
autoimmune diseases. The company has 80 employees, including 20
Teva said its large-scale operations and experience in
bringing drugs to market will help boost the potential
development of CoGenesys' technologies and drug pipeline.
Leader Capital Markets analyst Yoav Burgan said the market
has been waiting for a major acquisition from Teva, but this was
"The market has been looking for an acquisition in the
amount of $1 billion to $2 billion," Burgan said, adding that
$400 million was medium size for Teva, a company with over $9
billion a year in sales and a market cap of $38 billion.
Two years ago, Teva acquired drug maker Ivax for $7.4
Yisca Erez, an analyst at Israeli brokerage Clal Finance
Batucha, said deals such as this are measured over the long
"It is difficult to estimate how worth while this deal is or
its enhancement to Teva as it is the acquisition of a technology
that will serve as a platform for innovative and biogeneric
products," she said.
Currently, Teva markets a small number of biopharmaceutical
drugs including human growth hormone.
Teva shares were down 1.3 percent in afternoon trade in Tel
Aviv, compared with declines of 1.9 percent in the broader
(Reporting by Tova Cohen in Tel Aviv, Ritsuko Ando in New York
and Jessica Hall in Philadelphia; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)