Teva Gains on Biogen’s Pain as Shares Narrow Discount

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. rose in Israel, narrowing the discount to its New York shares, as demand for a competitor’s drug showed signs of a slowdown.

The shares of the world’s largest maker of generic drugs climbed 2.9 percent to 141.70 shekels, or $40.12, at the close in Tel Aviv. The stock of the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company advanced 3.9 percent to $40.43 in New York last week, while it declined 1.1 percent in Tel Aviv. The TA-25 Index was little changed at 1,202.75 today.

Teva’s Israeli shares had plunged to an almost two-year low on Aug. 6 on concern revenue growth will slacken as its bestseller Copaxone, an injection for multiple sclerosis that dominates 40 percent of the U.S. market, faces competition. Prescriptions for Biogen Idec Inc.’s drug Tecfidera, which also treats multiple sclerosis, fell 6.7 percent the week ending Aug. 2 to 3,377 from the previous week, according to IMS Health Inc.

“If it’s negative news for a competitor of Copaxone, it’s clearly a positive for Teva,” Kevin Kedra, a health-care analyst at Gabelli & Co., who rates Teva a buy, said by phone from Rye, New York on Aug. 9. Tecfidera is “the newest oral MS product. It’s generated a lot of excitement. It’s gotten off to a very strong launch, so any signs of them maybe slowing down would be a positive for competitors.”

Kate Niazi-Sai, a spokeswoman for Biogen in Weston, Massachusetts, said the company doesn’t comment on weekly sales of prescriptions.

Teva may be overtaken by Biogen’s Tecfidera in the second quarter of 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Industries. The company will also face generic competition next year after a U.S. court invalidated a 2015 patent for Copaxone July 26. The injectable drug generated $1.1 billion in sales in the first quarter for Teva and accounted for almost a fifth of its revenue last year.

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