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The equity research department at Standard & Poor's believes that Teva (TASE, Nasdaq: TEVA) will remain one of the world leaders in generic drugs. It achieved that status after acquiring Ivax, in S&P's opinion on February 28, 2006, which further broadened its range of products and pipeline.

S&P is also upbeat about the global generic drugs industry in general, as the population ages and healthcare coverage improves. The agency is evidently less moved by concerns that competition in the sector will heat up.

Teva means to launch 25 new generic drugs in 2006, representing combined brand sales of about $17 billion a year, say the analysts. During 2007 and 2008 it expects Teva to launch between 70 to 80 more, with combined brand sales of about $35 billion.

Also, the analysts expect strengthening sales of Copaxone, Teva's proprietary treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and also income from Azilect, its in-house development for Parkinson's Disease. Ivax also has ethical products of its own.

S&P's 12-month price target for Teva is $45, which is ten dollars above its present share price in Tel Aviv and New York. In other words the analysts see a potential upside of 30%.

sharon.shpurer@themarker.com