Business in Brief: Teva Wins Copaxone Respite After Momenta Says Its Generic Probably Won’t Launch in Q1

Delek affiliate Ithaca Energy begins North Sea production | MySize allocates shares at steep discount to unnamed investor | Tel Aviv shares end higher in light trading

A building belonging to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's biggest generic drugmaker and Israel's largest company, in Jerusalem, February 8, 2017.
Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Teva wins Copaxone respite after Momenta says its generic probably won’t launch in Q1

Teva Pharmaceuticals got a brief respite from the onset of competition for its best-selling Copaxone drug after Momenta Pharmaceuticals said on Friday it was “unlikely” to launch its generic version of the multiple sclerosis drug in the first quarter. Momenta, which was expected to be among the first six companies to introduce Copaxone generic, said Pfizer, the supplier for its Glatopa MS drug, had received a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letter stating that the Pfizer facility was not in full compliance with FDA code, which would delay production. The news comes just over two weeks after a U.S. court invalidated four of Teva’s five patents on the flagship 40-miligram version of Copaxone, clearing the way for generic competition. Last week Teva estimated that one or two generic versions of the drug would shave as much as $1.3 billion off its 2017 sales. Teva shares finished 2.7% higher at 137.50 shekels ($37.13). (Yoram Gabison)

Delek affiliate Ithaca Energy begins North Sea production

Ithaca Energy, the North Sea energy company whose biggest shareholder is Israel’s Delek Group, said on Friday it had begun production at its flagship Greater Stella Area field. As a result, the company said it expected to more than double its total production to between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Production begins two weeks after Delek said would made a tender offer of $524 million for all of the Ithaca shares it doesn’t already own, an offer approved by Ithaca’s board. Delek bought a 19.7% stake in the U.K. company for $66 million in October 2015 as part of its strategy of expanding its energy holdings outside of Israel, where it is a partner in the Tamar and Leviathan gas field. Last week Midroog warned that taking over Ithaca would have a negative impact on Delek’s A2 credit rating. Delek shares ended up 0.5% at 822.90 shekels ($222.20). (Eran Azran)

MySize allocates shares at steep discount to unnamed investor

MySize, a tiny company with an app for taking apparel measurements with a smartphone, has added more mystery to its shares’ recent roller coaster performance. The company said Thursday it had agreed to sell an unnamed investor 200,000 shares for $1 each and warrants for another 250,000 shares at $3.50 each – prices representing a steep discount to its share price. Adding to the puzzle is that My Size said its board took the decision on January 29, just before its stock began an unexplained rally. In response to a query by TheMarker, the company would only say it was a “strategic investor” and that terms of the allocation were agreed on before My Size’s share price took off. My Size shares, which doubled in the Nasdaq in the two weeks to February 13 to $10.97 and then plunged to $3.60 in just four days last week, ended down 10% to 12.82 shekels ($3.46) Sunday in Tel Aviv. (Shelly Appelberg)

Tel Aviv shares end higher in light trading

Tel Aviv shares ended higher Sunday in light trading. The blue chip TA-35 index added 0.5% to end at 1,460.47 points, while the TA-100 gained 0.6% to 1,295.31, on turnover of just under 600 million shekels ($162 million). Among the biggest gainers, Discounts Investments rose 4.5% to close at 15 shekels and El Al Airlines marked its fourth day of big rises with a 3.9% advance to close at 2.89 shekels after signing a labor agreement with pilots over the weekend that lifted the threat of flight disruptions. Nova Measuring Instruments posted a third straight session of strong gains on good fourth-quarter results, rising 3.8% to 64.36. Oppenheimer said over the weekend that it expected to see faster organic growth from Nice Systems this year following its acquisition of InContact, but Nice shares ended down 0.4% at 61.05. In the fixed income market, the government’s 10-year Galil bond gained 0.31% to a yield of 0.5%. (Shelly Appelberg)