Court Rules Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR)(NYSE:TEVA) Did Not Infringe On Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) Uceris Patent

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A court in Delaware has ruled that the abbreviated new drug application for Uceris’ generic version submitted by Israeli drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (ADR)(NYSE:TEVA) did not infringe on any patent.

Since it is the first generics drugmaker to file an abbreviated new drug application with a view to developing a generic copy of Uceris, Teva may enjoy as many as six months of exclusivity in the generics market if it is granted approval. Uceris, whose patent is held by Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), had yearly sales in the United States of around $191 million per data obtained from IMS.

New CEO

Teva’s abbreviated new drug application for Uceris coincides with the drug firm’s new chief executive officer and president, Kare Schultz taking up the position on November 1, just a day before the generics drugs giant presents financial results for the third quarter. Yitzhak Peterburg had been serving as the interim chief executive officer since the resignation of Erez Vigodman earlier in the year.

While welcoming Schultz to the company the chairman of Teva, Sol Barer expressed confidence that the incoming CEO would turn around the fortunes of the Israeli pharmaceutical giant.

“Kåre Schultz joining is the start of a new chapter at Teva … Under Kåre’s leadership, we can position Teva for long-term success and deliver on our promises to shareholders, employees and patients around the world,” said Barer in a statement.

Company strategy

Among the tasks that are waiting for Schultz include restoring investor confidence, debt reduction, divestiture of assets and setting up strategy. In the last one year the shares of Teva have fallen by around 67% in the wake of leadership troubles. By mid this year the debt of Teva was stood at approximately $35.1 billion.

In deciding on the company’s strategy Schultz will have to decide whether the focus should continue to be on producing generic drugs considering that the sector has come under intense price competition or to take the route of developing branded drugs. One of the most successful branded drugs that Teva has ever produced is Copaxone which is used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

On Tuesday shares of Teva rose by 1.85% to close the day at $13.80.

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