JERUSALEM Jan 29 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
shares opened higher on Wednesday after U.S.
regulators approved the company's three-times-a-week multiple
sclerosis drug Copaxone.
Teva, the world's largest generics drugmaker, has
been banking on a three-times-a-week version of Copaxone ahead
of possible competition from generic rivals of the drug this
Teva has said it plans to covert some 35 percent of patients
- about 30,000 - to the 40 mg dose administered three times a
week from a current daily dose of 20 mg by June and 57 percent
by year end.
"We don't believe generic penetration of the daily
formulation will be rapid," Cowen and Co analyst Ken Cacciatore
said in a note to clients. "Therefore, the net result should
brand Copaxone retention with relatively slow declines
thereafter," he said. "Teva should continue to grind higher."
Teva's shares have gained 10 percent so far in 2014. They
were flat between 2012 and 2013.
They were 2.7 percent higher in early Tel Aviv trade.
Its New York shares rose 2.6 percent in after hours trade in
the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer. Editing by Jane Merriman)