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Teva names Vigodman CEO and makes bid for NuPathe

Israeli pharma company confirms Jeremy Levin’s replacement
Teva Erez Vigodman

Israel's Teva has appointed Erez Vigodman as its new chief executive and announced a takeover bid for NuPathe as efforts continue to rejuvenate the world's biggest generic drugmaker.

54-year-old Vigodman (pictured) was widely tipped to succeed former CEO Jeremy Levin earlier this week after winning an endorsement from a key shareholder, and is due to take up the role on February 11. Acting CEO Eyal Desheh - who was also in the running for the job - will now revert to his former role of chief financial officer.

Vigodman is currently CEO of generic agrochemicals company Makhteshim Agan Industries and has been credited with returning the firm to profitability since taking the helm in 2010. Investors are hoping he can help guide Teva through a difficult period as it loses patent protection for cash cow product Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) for multiple sclerosis.

Despite a lack of pharma experience, Vigodman emerged as the prime candidate because of his "impressive track record in transforming global and complex corporations and delivering breakthrough results," said Teva vice chairman Amir Elstein, another recent addition to the company.

He described Vigodman as a "change agent" with a "proven ability to execute restructuring programs, build organisational momentum, expand successfully in emerging markets, and work with the capital markets." Teva is in the throes of a major restructuring programme - introduced by Levin - that is aimed at cutting $2bn off its costs by 2017.

For his part, Vigodman said he understands the challenges facing Teva and is confident of "expanding Teva's businesses and delivering long-term growth."

NuPathe bid
New of the appointment emerged shortly after migraine specialist NuPathe said it had received an unsolicited $3.65 per share bid from Teva, which values the company at $114m and tops an earlier $105m offer from Endo Health Solutions.

NuPathe won US approval for its Zecuity (sumatriptan) migraine product last year, when it became the first transdermal patch cleared for the condition. NuPathe has been holding off on a launch until it secures a commercial partner.

Teva is also offering additional staged payments to shareholders if Zecuity sales top $100m, $300m and $450m a year within nine years of launch.

Article by
Phil Taylor

9th January 2014

From: Sales

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