Business in Brief: Children’s Savings Program Signed Into Law

Impax to buy portfolio of generic drugs from Teva, Allergan; Opko shares climb after FDA approves kidney-disease treatment; Tel Aviv shares turn lower at end of session.

Stock prices flash on an electronic screen displaying world clocks at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.
Bloomberg

Children’s savings program signed into law

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon signed a directive Tuesday creating the mechanism for a children’s saving program.

“The Savings for Every Child program is another step toward reducing social gaps in Israel, enhancing equality of opportunity for middle- and lower-class families and increasing awareness of the importance of saving,” Kahlon said.

The program, which goes into effect next year, calls for the National Insurance Institute to deposit 50 shekels ($13) every month in a provident fund or other savings program for every Israeli under age 18. Parents can opt to take another 50 shekels from the children’s allowance paid by the NII and add to the savings program. At the end of 18 years, an account should be worth about 20,000 shekels, assuming parents don’t supplement it, which can be used by the holder to help fund his or her higher education or start a business, the treasury said. (Moti Bassok)

Impax to buy portfolio of generic drugs from Teva, Allergan

Impax Laboratories said Tuesday it would buy a portfolio of generic drugs from Teva Pharmaceuticals and Allergan for about $586 million.

The deal is part of the divestiture process mandated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission as a condition for approving Teva’s $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan’s generics business.

Impax said it will also take back rights from Teva to a generic version of Concerta, an ADHD drug made by Johnson & Johnson, adding a near-term launch product to its pipeline. The generic products generated about $150 million in net sales and about $100 million in gross profit in 2015, Impax said.

Reuters reported last month that Teva was finalizing up to $2 billion in asset sale agreements to win antitrust clearance for its purchase of the Allergan products. Teva and Allergan earlier this month sold eight generic drugs to India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories for $350 million in cash. Teva shares ended down 0.75% at 198.30 shekels ($51.36). (Reuters)

Opko shares climb after FDA approves kidney-disease treatment

Opko Health shares rose sharply Tuesday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its Rayaldee capsules for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adults with chronic kidney disease.

The company said that the potential market for the drug in the U.S. is estimated at 9 million people with SHPT, which causes softening of the bones and calcification of vascular and renal tissues.

“The current standard of care is high dose vitamin D supplementation, an approach for treating SHPT that is neither FDA approved nor demonstrated to be safe and effective in this population,” said Dr. Charles W. Bishop, CEO of Opko’s Renal Division.

Opko said it expected to launch the drug in the U.S. through its dedicated sales force in the second half of the year. Opko shares finished up 6.2% at 37.50 shekels ($9.71) in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading. (TheMarker Staff)

Tel Aviv shares turn lower at end of session

Tel Aviv shares ended lower Tuesday as the market surrendered early gains in the last hours of trading. The TA-25 index finished down 0.1% at 1,428.63 points, while the TA-100 lost 0.15% to 1,236.41 on turnover of 1.08 billion shekels ($280 million).

Mylan finished down 2.1% at 172.40 shekels and Elbit Systems fell 1.9% to 351.50. Africa Israel Investments lurched lower, falling 7.1% to a close of 1.10, after a three-day rally. Biotime fell 1.7% to 9.46 shekels after it completed a $17.5 million U.S. secondary offering at $2.39 a share.

The Oil and Gas index, however, ended up 1.6% at 963.59 amid reports that Israel and Turkey are nearing a political rapprochement that could pave the way to Israeli gas exports. Housing & Construction Limited finished up 1% at 6.68, its third session higher. Oz Levi, head of research at Apex Capital, said concerns about the builder’s exposure to the flagging Nigerian economy are overstated. (Uri Tomer)