Company news: GlaxoSmithKline, Teva

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GlaxoSmithKline is once again in hot pursuit of Human Genome Sciences. The company, rebuffed two and a half weeks ago, is offering investors $13 a share in cash. The two companies are partners in several drugs, including Benlysta. HGSI's public refusal came weeks before Germany said no to the high-priced drug and shortly before HGSI's first quarter showed that Benlysta was not yet the powerhouse it needs it to be. Yet HGSI says it is remaining firm—the company said in a statement Wednesday that the GSK is still bidding too low for its liking and that it continues to look into other options.


Teva pharmaceutical's CEO Shlomo Yanai closed out his career with a sales high: first-quarter sales were up $5 billion, a 25% increase for the period ended March 31, compared to the same period last year. Yanai is ending his five-year tenure as CEO and is being replaced by Jeremy Levin. Generics continued to provide the foundation for the quarter, with $1.2 billion in US sales, an increase of 23% compared with the year before. US branded drug sales were also up, reaching $1.5 billion for the quarter, a 23% increase over the same period last year.
The company said branded sales were powered by the 2011 Cephalon acquisition, which included the drugs Copaxone ($910 million in sales for the quarter), Provigil ($291 million) and Nuvigil ($84 million). R&D expenses hit $292 million for the quarter, up from $239 million for the same period last year. SG&A expenses were also on the rise, reaching $916 million for the quarter, compared to $825 million for the same period last year. Teva said the R&D increases were part of the Cephalon purchase, and the SG&A jump was partly due to taking on marking responsibilities for Copaxone in Europe.

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