Analysts sanguine on Teva despite U.S. court ruling
Teva Pharmaceuticals’ shares rallied yesterday as analysts said the company did not face an imminent threat to its best-selling Copaxone drug from generic rivals. Writing three days after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Teva’s motion to delay a lower-court ruling clearing the way for generic versions of the multiple sclerosis treatment as early as May, Citibank said it doubted any company would risk launching competing products without being entirely sure the court wouldn’t eventually rule in favor of Teva’s patent claims. Barclays Capital also expressed confidence. “Teva can take solace in Chief Justice Robert’s comment that Teva had demonstrated ‘fair prospect of success on the merits’ in the case, which could extend Copaxone’s patent protection to September 2015,” it said. Analyst Douglas Tsao retained Teva’s Overeight rating and $65 target price. Teva shares closed 2.8% higher in Tel Aviv, at 178.20 shekels ($51.15). (Yoram Gabison)
Sale of satellite operator Spacecom getting closer
The sale of Spacecom, operator of the Amos satellites, is moving close to completion with representatives from Spain’s Hispasat due in Israel on today. Hispasat is the leading candidate to buy Spacecom, but Hong Kong’s Asia Satellite Telecommunications is also still in the running and is expected to improve its offer, sources said. Two other bidders, the British buyout fund Apax Partners and Intelsat of the United States, have dropped out. Spacecom shares, which have jumped 40% to a market capitalization of 1.35 billion shekels ($390 million) since Eurocom, Spacecom’s controlling shareholder, announced that the company was for sale, rose 0.9% on Tuesday to close at 66.53 shekels in Tel Aviv. Spacecom is likely to fetch as much as 1.6 billion shekels, market sources said. (Michael Rochvarger)
Brainsway reports positive results in Parkinson’s trial
Brainsway on Tuesday reported a statistically significant difference in the motor function of patients using its Deep TMS for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and those of two placebo groups. The study, which took place over four weeks at Milan’s San Rafaelle Hospital, divided patients into three groups – one getting Deep TMS treatments in both the motor cortex and prefrontal cortex; another getting treatment in just the motor cortex, with a placebo treatment in their prefrontal cortex; and a third group subject to a placebo-only treatment. Brainsway’s device uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to produce electromagnetic fields that can induce excitation or inhibition of neurons deep inside the brain for the treatment of depression and other brain-related disorders. Shares of Brainsway rose 5% to close at 57.18 shekels in Tel Aviv. (Yoram Gabison).
Biomed stocks lead Tel Aviv shares higher, but bonds post decline
Biomed stocks led a strong rise in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on yesterday as trading resulted after a four-day holiday weekend. The benchmark TA-25 index finished up 1.2% at 1,4005.23 points and the broader TA-100 index added 1.5% to 1,281.20points. Turnover was a relatively thin 1.04 billion shekels ($300 million). Biomed shares joined a global rally of the sector, set off by mergers and acquisitions speculations, with Compugen jumping 8.3% to close at 33.94 shekels, Mazor Robotics ending up 7.2% at 32.82 shekels, Perrigo advancing 6.9%, to 530.10 shekels and PhotoMedex up 6% to 54.04 shekels. Insurance stocks, however, slid on proposed health insurance reforms (see story on this page) . Harel lost 2.1% to finish at 20.78 shekels and Phoenix ended down 2.2% at 13.62 shekels. The government’s shekel bond due in 2024 shed 0.55%, raising its yield to 3.41%. Its inflation-linked bond due in 2023 fell 0.47% to boost the yield to 1.09%. The dollar rose 0.29% against the shekel to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.4840 shekels. (Shelly Appelberg)