Teva trimming 10% of staff ahead of MS drug expiry

Share this article:
Teva's exrended-release painkiller has entered Phase-III testing
Teva's exrended-release painkiller has entered Phase-III testing

Generic drugs giant Teva, one of the main beneficiaries of pharma's years-long patent cliff, said it will lay off about 5,000 employees as it braces for the expiry of one of its own specialty brands.

Its lead drug, the blockbuster MS injection Copaxone, had sales of $3.6 billion last year, up 13% vs. 2011, according to IMS Health, but is set to lose patent protection next year. As the Israeli firm has diversified away from generics—specialty brands now account for about 40% of revenue—Copaxone's loss of exclusivity highlights the pitfalls.

The layoffs, which amount to 10% of the workforce, are coming as part of an effort to decrease operating costs previously announced by CEO Jeremy Levin. The chief executive vowed to cut the fat after revenue slid 7.5% last year. Efforts also include divesting non-core assets.

The company said it now expects to realize approximately $2.0 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2017, compared to what it said was a previously guided range of $1.5 to $2.0 billion. It expects to realize half of the annual cost savings (and complete the majority of the reduction) by the end of next year, and realize 70% of savings by the end of 2015.

Teva said it will prioritize “high-potential programs,” and will funnel initial savings from the restructuring into its complex generics and specialty pharma pipeline.

Company execs said sales of Copaxone, a daily injection, were likely to slide as more therapeutic options became available. The company has filed an sNDA for a three-times-a-week 40mg dose of the drug that could help extend the MS drug's franchise. But it faces competition from other injection and infusion products—such as Biogen Idec's Avonex, Bayer's Betaseron and Pfizer's Rebif—and increasingly from the newer orals: Biogen Idec's Tecfidera, Novartis's Gilenya and Sanofi's Aubagio.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...