Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has posted a reasonable set of third-quarter results which show that net income fell 13.4% to $525 million, or $0.64 per share, an expected decline that beat analyst consensus estimates.

The reason for the fall was that Teva lost marketing exclusivity in the USA on its generic versions of Merck & Co's Zocor (simvastatin) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pravachol (pravastatin), plus Pfizer’s antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline). However, group turnover was up 4% to $2.37 billion, driven by strong sales of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate).

Pfizer’s multiple sclerosis treatment brought in $441 million, an increase of 24%, which makes Copaxone the leading therapy for the disease in the USA, while sales of the firm's Parkinson's disease drug Azilect (rasagiline) brought in $33 million, compared with $16 million in the third quarter of 2006. Global respiratory revenues reached $179 million, a 34% increase on the corresponding quarter last year, due almost entirely to sales of firm's branded asthma inhaler ProAir (albuterol).

As of October 24, the Jerusalem-headquartered firm had 150 product applications awaiting final US Food and Drug Administration approval and believes it will be the first to file on 43 of these, relating to products whose annual US branded sales are over $38 billion. In Europe, Teva had 147compounds pending submission at the end of September.

Shlomo Yanai, Teva’s chief executive, said that the quarter “once again demonstrated the soundness and strength of our balanced business model”. He added that the result was particularly impressive given “the very challenging comparisons to the third quarter of 2006 - a quarter during which we had exclusivity on three of the largest products in our industry’s history”.

New CFO for mid-2008

Teva also said chief financial Officer Dan Suesskind, who has been at the firm for over 30 years, will retire in mid-2008. He will be replaced by Eyal Desheh, currently the CFO of Check Point Software Technologies. Mr

Suesskind helped transform Teva from “a small Israeli company” with a market cap of $37 million to a leading global drugmaker worth $37 billion, said the firm’s chairman Eli Hurvitz.