At Teva, the Pipeline Is Full
Generic drugs are back, and Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA ) is in the catbird seat: It has important generic and branded products in its pipeline. Although primarily known as a generic drugmaker, Teva, with sales of $1.7 billion in 2000, "is also an innovator, producing such products as Copaxone, a new drug for multiple sclerosis, and equally critical drugs for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and epilepsy," notes Hilary Kramer of investment firm Cisneros Group. Teva is completing Phase III trials for oral Copaxone by yearend and will file for fast-track approval by the end of the first half of 2002. In generics, it has 51 applications before the Food & Drug Administration. "Teva is the best way to play both generic and branded drugs," says Kramer. Teva climbed from 48 in January to 66 in mid-June, before easing to 62. David Maris of Credit-
Suisse First Boston, who rates the stock a buy, has a 12-month target of 76. Teva's generics include antibiotics, cardiovasculars, analgesics, and respiratory agents. The rising number of drugs going off-patent provides a "tailwind" for Teva's long-term growth, says Maris.
By Gene G. Marcial