The Ticker: After Delays, Teva to Launch Key Migraine Treatment in mid-September

Delek Royalties meets strong demand in maiden bond sale ■ Marijuana shares plummet after exchange refuses to include Together in share indices ■ Pointer teaming up with Microsoft to use AI to understand driver behavior ■ Insurance and energy shares weigh on Tel Aviv market

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A building belonging to drug producer Teva in Jerusalem.
A building belonging to drug producer Teva in Jerusalem. Credit: \ BAZ RATNER/ REUTERS

After delays, Teva expects to launch key migraine treatment in mid-September

Teva Pharmaceuticals said on Wednesday it could launch what it hopes to be a top-selling migraine medication as early as mid-September, after an initial delay. Teva had hoped to receive approval for the drug, Fremanezumab by June, which the company said could have sales that reach $1.7 billion in 2025, but last month it said the drug’s debut would be delayed until no later than the end of 2018. Meantime, Amgen and Novartis announced last week that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved their migraine drug Aimovig, giving them a leg up on Teva. In a statement on Wednesday, Teva said the FDA is slated to make a decision on September 16. “We are preparing to launch the product immediately when approved,” said Brendan O’Grady, head of Teva’s North America Commercial Division. “Migraine patients have waited years for new preventive treatments to enter the market.” Teva shares ended up 0.8% at 76 shekels ($21.27). (TheMarker)

Delek Royalties meets strong demand in maiden bond sale

Delek Royalties, a company formed to buy rights to royalties in the Tamar gas field, said on Wednesday that its initial issue of 400 million shekels ($111.9 million) in bonds drew strong demand from institutional investors. Orders for more than twice the amount on offer came in for the Aa3-rated bonds, which are dollar-linked for a term of 4.7 years and will carry a coupon of 5.48%. The bond issue is the first of a two-stage fundraising process that will be followed by a share offering. The proceeds of the offering will be used to buy so-called overriding royalties that entitle the holder to a fixed share of Tamar revenues. The creation of Delek Royalties is part of a wider effort by Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group to divest its stake in the field, Israel’s second-biggest after Leviathan, ahead of a government-mandated deadline of 2020. Tamar Petroleum, another special purpose corporate vehicle that went public last July, holds 16.75% of Tamar. (Eran Azran)

Marijuana shares plummet after exchange refuses to include Together in share indices

Shares of medical-marijuana companies plunged on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Wednesday after the bourse refused for a second time to include the shares of Together in stock market indices. The bourse’s index committee said it would not consider letting Together shares enter any indices until the medical-marijuana company demonstrates it has actual business operations, this even after shareholders approved a merger with Globus Environmental Quality at the end of April. “In recent months, Together has published several reports on its signing agreements to grow and sell cannabis,” the TASE said. “But so far, the company has not yet published any report on the commencement of operations pursuant to one of these agreements.” Joining a stock market index means that a company’s shares will be bought and held by index funds, ensuring demand for the stock. The TASE’s refusal means other marijuana companies will face the same problem. Together shares ended down 8.9% at 8 shekels ($2.24). (Guy Erez)

Pointer teaming up with Microsoft to use AI to understand driver behavior

Pointer Telocation, whose technology is used by businesses to manage vehicle fleets, said on Tuesday it was collaborating with Microsoft Israel to use big data and artificial intelligence in modeling and understanding driver behavior. The system will learn from the large volume of driver behavior data that has been collected by Pointer as well as on an ongoing basis, and be combined with environmental data such as speed limits, road types and weather conditions. The analysis will be performed using Microsoft Azure cloud services. “Our goal is to work internationally with Microsoft, becoming an influential predictor of the effects of varied driving behavior, with the goal of substantially reducing traffic accidents around the world,” said Pointer CEO David Mahlab. The system will be able to forecast which drivers are more likely to be involved in a future road accident and indicate which aspect of their driving needs improving to reduce risk. Pointer shares were up 0.7% at $13.85 early morning local time in New York. (Oren Dori)

Insurance and energy shares weigh on Tel Aviv market

Insurance and energy shares weighed on the market Wednesday, leaving the TA-35 down for a second day. The benchmark index lost close to 0.6% by the close to end at 1,511.50 points, while the TA-125 shed nearly 0.7% closing at 1,359.19, on turnover of 1.27 billion shekels ($360 million). Phoenix led insurers lower, dropping 2.3% to end at 19.32 shekels. In the energy sector, Isramco paced declines on a 2.3% fall to 42 agorot. El Al Airlines plunged 4.9% to 86 agorot, bringing its drop since the end of April to nearly 20%. Cellcom lost 3% to 29.27 and Israel Discount Bank 1.78% to 10.56. Strauss Group led TA-125 gainers on a 5.1% rise to 75.99 after it reported a 27% rise in first-quarter net profit to an adjusted 146 million shekels. Israel Chemicals said a cash tender offer for $800 million of its 4.500% senior notes due 2024 drew offers of about $605 million, or $1,008.22 per $1,000 principal. (Guy Erez)

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