Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Teva launches generic Protonix, ups '07 EPS forecast

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.O: Quote, Profile, Research) TEVA.TA raised its 2007 earnings outlook following the launch of its generic version of Wyeth's (WYE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) ulcer drug Protonix.

Wyeth in response said it will sue Teva for alleged patent infringement on the drug, which Teva said had U.S. sales of $2.5 billion in the 12 months ended September 30, 2007.

Teva, the world's biggest maker of generic drugs, said on Monday it had been awarded a 180-day period of marketing exclusivity for pantoprazole sodium delayed-release tablets, the generic equivalent of Protonix.

Teva said it was increasing its forecast for 2007 fully diluted earnings per share to between $2.34 and $2.36, having previously predicted it would reach the higher end of its forecast range of $2.20 to $2.30.

It said it could not assess the impact of the product on its performance in 2008.

Teva shares were up 3.6 percent in afternoon trade in Tel Aviv and rose 4.4 percent to $47.18 in New York premarket trading.

"In the bottom line, this is great news for Teva at the start of 2008," Yoav Burgan, an analyst at Leader Capital Markets, wrote in a note.


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