Business in Brief: Teva Pain Reliever Gets Nod From FDA Panel

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Trucks drive in front of Teva Pharmaceutical Logistic Center in the town of Shoam, Israel.
Trucks drive in front of Teva Pharmaceutical Logistic Center in the town of Shoam, Israel.Credit: AP

Teva pain reliever gets nod from FDA panel

A committee of the U.S. Federal Drug Administration recommended approving a new pain reliever developed by Teva Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday evening. The federal agency’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee accepted the drugmaker’s argument that its technology would significantly reduce patients’ potential to abuse its extended-release opioid pain reliever ER Vantrela. Teva stated that this technology minimizes the impact the drug would have on users who sniff, inject and swallow it. The medication is designed for long-term pain relief. While the FDA is not obligated to accept the committee’s findings, it does in most cases.
(Yoram Gabison)

SodaStream competitor shutting down

SodaStream competitor Keurig Kold is closing up shop. Keurig Green Mountain, which made its name as a maker of single-cup coffee machines, is laying off 130 workers after its Keurig Kold home soda machine system fizzled out after less than a year on the market. The company said Tuesday it is discontinuing the first generation of Kold and offering customers refunds for the full purchase price. The home soda-making machine debuted last fall to questions about its affordability for the average consumer. The suggested retail price of the bulky countertop units was $369.99, with each soda pod costing more than a dollar – significantly more expensive than buying and storing cans of soda in your fridge. (AP)

Verint defense business down 9% for Q1

Verint’s defense operations are continuing to stumble: The company’s revenues are down 9% for the first quarter of the year, compared to the parallel quarter in 2015, the company announced. Verint’s revenues from the quarter were $246 million, slightly under analysts’ forecasts of $250 million. The company is trading at a market cap of $2.2 billion, down 45% for the past year. Verint operates in the fields of both defense and civilian industry; its defense products include tracking and video analysis, while its civilian products are mainly designed to enhance call centers. Verint reported that corporate intelligence operations had revenue growth of 3.5% for the quarter, to $152 million., after revenues for this division contracted by 5% in 2015. However, defense operations revenues contracted 24%, to $93 million. (Omri Zerachovitz)

After two fairly good days, TASE closes down

Idan Ofer’s Chinese car initiative surprised forecasters, announcing revenues up 75% for the first quarter of the year, compared to the parallel quarter in 2015, to $80 million in total. Qoros’ gain stemmed from a 96% jump in the number of cars sold during the quarter, for a total of 4,900 in the first three months of the year. Ofer’s Canon Holdings announced that it lost $36 million in the first quarter of the year, compared to a $3.3 million profit in the parallel quarter., due to a loss by Zim Shipping. The holding company’s bottom line also reflects the revenues of Latin American energy subsidiary IC Power, whose revenues expanded by 31% in the first quarter versus the parallel quarter of 2015, and totaled $422 million this year. IC Power’s increased revenues stemmed from the acquisition of Guatemalan power distribution company EnerGuate. (Yoram Gabison)

After two fairly good days, TASE closes down

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange closed with losses on Wednesday, following two days of modest gains. The blue-chip Tel Aviv-25 Index lost 0.6% to close at 1,440 points, while the broader Tel Aviv-100 Index lost 0.55% to close at 1,252 points. Bank shares lost 0.3%, and real estate shares lost 0.4%. Communications shares lost 2.6%, while insurance shares lost 1.1%. Oil and gas shares bucked the trend, gaining 0.3%. Total turnover was 1.04 billion shekels. Notable shares included Cellcom, which lost 3.7%; airline El Al, down 3.2%; and Bezeq, off 2.7%. (Ori Tomer)

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