Teva Scales Back Cancer, Women’s Health Work to Cut Costs

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will scale back efforts in women’s health and oncology treatments, part of new Chief Executive Officer Erez Vigodman’s moves to cut costs and concentrate on key areas of research.

The drugmaker will stop work on or divest 14 pipeline projects, amounting to reductions in research and development costs exceeding $150 million in 2015 and $200 million in both 2016 and 2017, Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva said today in a statement. The company will keep a focus on neurological and inhalation treatments.

“Teva is committed to being a world leader” in drugs for central nervous system and respiratory illnesses, “both areas underpinned by significant and growing unmet patient needs,” Vigodman said in the statement. Of the more than 30 products Teva plans to market by 2019 with $4 billion in expected new revenue, in excess of 20 will target those two fields, he said.

Teva’s American depositary receipts declined 2.7 percent to $53.47 at the close in New York. Each receipt is equal to one regular share. The receipts have gained 33 percent this year.

Further reductions in R&D may allow Vigodman, who joined Teva earlier this year, to show he’s making good on a pledge to accelerate cost cuts of as much as $2 billion annually. The company is seeking to boost profitability by holding back spending as its best-selling branded drug, the multiple-sclerosis treatment Copaxone, faces generic competition as soon as this year.

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