Bloomberg News

Teva Rises to Highest in Month on Novartis MS Patient

December 14, 2011

(Updates share price in second paragraph.)

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., whose bestseller is a multiple sclerosis drug, rose to the highest level in more than a month after a patient taking Novartis AG’s alternative drug died.

The shares in the Petach-Tikva, Israel-based company whose bestselling drug is Copaxone, an injectable treatment for multiple sclerosis, gained 2.5 percent to 154.70 shekels, the highest level since Nov. 8, at 4:08 p.m. in Tel Aviv.

“Any alternative to Copaxone which encounters safety issues is good news for Teva as it underlines Copaxone’s very clean safety profile,” said Jonathan Kreizman, an analyst at Clal Finance Brokerage Ltd. in Tel Aviv.

Novartis’ patient died on Nov. 23 after starting treatment with Gilenya, the company said yesterday. The death is the first reported within 24 hours of the initial dose in more than 28,000 patients who have taken the drug, and a role for Gilenya in the death can’t be excluded or confirmed, spokesman Eric Althoff said yesterday in a statement.

Teva shares have dropped 17 percent this year in Tel Aviv as competition grows for Copaxone and after it introduced fewer generic drugs in the U.S.

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--Editor: Claudia Maedler, Shanthy Nambiar

To contact the reporters on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at; Tal Barak Harif in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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