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Teva expects big things from improved drug programme

Aims to market enhanced versions of existing medicines

Teva has said it expects sales of its recently implemented new therapeutic entity (NTE) programme - which focuses on improved versions of existing drugs - to reap $3bn in sales by 2020.

The NTE programme was introduced by outgoing chief executive Jeremy Levin in 2012 as one of Teva's key strategies to maintain growth at the company as it weathers the loss of patent protection on multiple sclerosis blockbuster Copaxone (glatiramer acetate).

Presenting details of the programme via a webinar yesterday, Teva's chief scientific officer Michael Hayden said that 15 NTEs entered development since the start of the project, and eight will be filed for approval in the next three years.

The first will be new opioid products for pain relief formulated with abuse-resistant properties - Teva has four of these in its pipeline - while the company is also developing new depot formulations of the antipsychotic risperidone for schizophrenia as well as treatments for Parkinson's disease, glaucoma, Crohn's disease and HIV.

The aim is to create a sustainable platform with around 10 new development programmes getting underway each year, with six of these reaching the market, he added. Most of the successful projects expected to achieve relatively minor peak sales in the $100m-$300m range, although Haydon believes a third could reach $500m and around 10 per cent could top that threshold.

The NTE approach relies on taking an established molecule and delivering it in a new way - or for a new indication - that meets an unmet patient need. Done right, that is a low-risk development strategy with shorter timelines, lower costs and potentially high returns on investment, according to Haydon.

While development of a new chemical entity (NCE) can take a decade or more and cost upwards of $1bn, NTEs typically take three to six years at a cost of $10m-$50m, with success rates of 66 per cent versus 41 per cent for NCEs.

Some analysts have expressed scepticism about the ability of the NTE programme to offset an expected steep decline in Copaxone sales when it loses patent protection, which now looks set to occur in 2014 in the US instead of 2015.

Teva is presenting its financial projections for 2014 at a meeting next week (December 10).

Article by
Phil Taylor

5th December 2013

From: Research

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