Teva Drops Most in 6 Weeks After U.S. Ruling on Copaxone

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. declined the most in six weeks in Tel Aviv trading after a U.S. court invalidated a 2015 patent for the top-selling Copaxone medicine.

The shares fell 1.8 percent, the biggest decline since June 13, to 144.1 shekels ($40.23) at the close in Tel Aviv. The Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva’s more-actively traded American depositary receipts fell 53 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $40.73 at the close in New York trading on July 26. Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing a generic version of the multiple sclerosis drug with Novartis AG’s Sandoz, jumped 12 percent to $17.34.

“Copaxone is by far Teva’s biggest asset,” said Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Tel Aviv-based Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd. “If competition starts as early as May 2014, this will surely have a detrimental impact on Teva’s revenue and profit. It still remains to be seen how soon competitive products will actually penetrate the market, depending on the FDA’s decision and on a Teva appeal.”

The court decision means patent protection for Teva’s Copaxone, which makes up about 40 percent of the MS market, may prevent generic entrants such as Momenta from selling cheaper copies of the injection until next year rather than through 2015. While four patents that expire in May 2014 were upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, other patent claims expiring in September 2015 were invalidated.

Teva said it will appeal the decision. The company can ask that the case be heard before all active judges or seek review before the U.S. Supreme Court. Copaxone, Teva’s largest branded medicine, generated $1.1 billion in sales in the first quarter for the company and accounted for almost a fifth of its revenue last year.