Generics giant, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, saw net sales top $4.8 billion dollars in 2004 – a 46% rise over the previous year [[17/02/04e]], and a new all-time high for the Israeli firm, boosted by strong sales of the company’s multiple sclerosis and epilepsy drugs.

However, on the down side, net income of $332 million was half the $691 million recorded in 2003, primarily as a result of charges relating to last year’s $3.4 billion purchase of US generics company, Sicor [[26/01/04f]], and a gain in 2003 from a settlement with GlaxoSmithKline. Excluding these items, Teva says that full-year 2004 net income reached $965 million – a 56% increase.

Although revenues were boosted by the continued weakness of the US dollar, a strong performance came from the company’s MS offering, Copaxone (glatiramer acetate), which brought in sales of some $936 million in 2004, a 30% increase over 2003, and in line with preliminary figures released late last month [[27/01/05f]]. In the US, Copaxone generated sales of $625 million – up 26% over last year – and the drug saw a 38% hike in sales outside the USA to $311 million. According to IMS data, the product was the US market leader in terms of new prescriptions in the second half of 2004, reaching an all-time high monthly market share of 32.6% in December.

On a quarterly basis, the company says that sales benefited from 30 new products that were not sold in the comparable quarter of 2003, including Sicor sales and revenues from Teva’s generic version of Pfizer’s top selling epilepsy drug, Neurontin (gabapentin) [[16/12/04e]].

Teva, which also declared a fourth-quarter cash dividend of $0.07 per American depository share, says that it currently has some 140 product applications in its US generics pipeline, and that the branded versions of these products boast annual sales in excess of $82 billion. Of these product applications, Teva believes it could have first-to-file status on as many as 26 of these, potentially providing it with periods of exclusivity for products which, in the aggregate, have annual branded sales of over $21 billion.