Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has posted another very strong set of financials for the first quarter, boosted by impressive sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

Net income rose 58% to $713 million, while sales jumped 16% to $3.65 billion. Turnover rose 20% in North America to $2.30 billion, helped by the launch of a generic version of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Mirapex (pramipexole) for Parkinson’s disease and continued strong sales of Teva’s versions of Shire’s Adderall XR (amphetamine salts) for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Sanofi-Aventis’ cancer drug Eloxatin and AstraZeneca’s asthma drug Pulmicort Respules (budesonide), as well as Roche’s acne drug Accutane (isotretinoin).

The company’s branded business was again dominated by Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). The treatment brought in $796 million, an increase of 28%, while sales of Azilect (rasagiline) for Parkinson’s disease reached $77 million, up 40%. Global respiratory revenues were up 4% at $193 million, while Teva's women's health business, which was acquired as part of its acquisition of Barr last year, had sales of $79 million, down 18.6%.

The company noted that as of Aprill 26, it had 210 product applications awaiting final US Food and Drug Administration approval. The company believes it will be the first to file on 44 of these applications, relating to products whose annual US branded sales are worth over $113 billion.

In Europe, since the beginning of 2010, Teva has received 206 generic approvals in Europe relating to 64 compounds in 135 formulations, As of March 31, it had 3,207 marketing authorisation applications pending approval, relating to 242 compounds in 474 formulations.

Chief executive Shlomo Yanai said “2010 is off to a great start for Teva”, driven by “contributions from across our many businesses and geographies”. The first quarter saw the company agree to acquire Germany’s Ratiopharm “an important milestone in executing our long-term strategy, and one that will make Teva - the global generics leader - the leader in Europe as well”, he added.