All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2002

Teva drug trial fails

News temporarily halts trade in share

By Yoram Gavison

Israeli generic drug giant Teva Pharmaceuticals has decided to cease clinical trials of Copaxone as a primary progressive multiple sclerosis treatment. The decision to end the University of Maryland study followed the receipt of data indicating it could not reach statistical certainty.

Teva's VP for strategic product planning, Moshe Manor, said investment in the trials has amounted to a few tens of millions of dollars, all of which is reflected in the profit-loss report, so stopping the trial is not expected to impact financial results.

Investment bank IBI analyst Ela Alkalai noted that the trial's failure will impact the company's long-term growth potential. Nonetheless, Alkalai estimates little short-term impact as few analysts considered success likely and therefore their value models for the company will not be affected.

Due to the trial failure announcement, Nasdaq trade in Teva's share was halted temporarily. Teva responded to the announcement with a 3.7 percent slide while the company's primary MS market competitor Biogen lost 1.3 percent and Serono shed 1.4 percent.

© Copyright 2002 Ha`aretz