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Teva Pharmaceutical's stock climbs as schizophrenia treatment shows promise

By Eleanor Laise

Drugmaker reports first-quarter sales that beat estimates and reiterates full-year outlook

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s American depositary receipts (TEVA) jumped more than 6% premarket Wednesday after the company reported first-quarter sales that topped expectations and released positive late-stage trial data on a schizophrenia treatment.

The Tel Aviv-based drugmaker reported a net loss of $139 million, or 12 cents per share, after a net loss of $220 million, or 20 cents per share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings per share came to 48 cents, up from 40 cents a year earlier but falling short of the FactSet consensus of 52 cents. Revenues totaled $3.819 billion in the quarter, up 4% from a year earlier and beating the FactSet consensus of $3.787 billion.

The company reaffirmed its full-year 2024 guidance, projecting sales of $15.7 billion to $16.3 billion and adjusted earnings per share in the range of $2.20 to $2.50.

Strong sales of generic drugs as well as Huntington's disease treatment Austedo helped fuel revenue growth in the quarter, Teva said. In the U.S., generic product sales grew 8% from a year earlier, to $808 million, while Austedo sales jumped 67%, to $282 million.

Teva and partner Medincell, a French drugmaker, also signaled pipeline progress with an experimental long-acting injection for adults with schizophrenia. The once-monthly treatment, which employs a Medincell technology to provide a steady release of olanzapine, met its primary goal in a phase 3 trial, Teva and Medincell said Wednesday. Olanzapine is one of the most widely prescribed second-generation antipsychotics for schizophrenia.

No cases of post-injection delirium or sedation syndrome have been seen to date, and more safety data will be available in the second half of this year, the companies said in a release. The potential to avoid that serious side effect unlocks "blockbuster opportunity" for the treatment, Jefferies analysts said in a note Wednesday.

Teva is also looking to take a slice of the market from two high-profile blockbuster drugs, AbbVie Inc.'s (ABBV) rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira and Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) psoriasis treatment Stelara. Along with partner Alvotech (ALVO), Teva in recent months has scored U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals of biosimilars for both Humira and Stelara.

Teva shares have gained 33.6% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX is up 8.8%.

-Eleanor Laise

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05-08-24 0915ET

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