In direct contrast to performances of late, Teva Pharmaceutical this morning said its branded offerings knocked its generic business into touch during the second quarter of the year. Overall, net income was $241 million, up just 5%, while net sales rose 4% to $1.2 billion dollars.

The firm has been hit by what it terms “a lack of opportunities” for products launches so far this year in its largest generics market – the USA – as well as increased competition from generic rivals. However, it remains optimistic that there is a bright future for generics in the USA, with 140 product applications awaiting US Food and Drug Administration approval, covering brands worth over $89 billion dollars a year. Teva believes it is the first to file on 37 of these applications, relating to products whose annual US branded sales are in excess of $26 billion.

In North America, pharmaceutical sales tumbled 8% to $624 million, but the drop off in generic sales was partially offset a good performance from the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) in the USA and Canada. Globally, Copaxone rose 29% to $291 million, and in the USA also jumped 29% to $193 million with a 33% share of total and new prescriptions (Source: IMS Health).

Said Israel Makov, Teva’s president and chief executive: “The temporary lack of opportunities for products launches in 2005 in general, and in this quarter in particular, in our largest generics market, the USA, was offset by strong performances in all our other businesses, leading to continued profitable growth, though modest.”

Last week, the company stole back the number one generics spot after agreeing to buy Ivax for $7.4 billion [[26/07/05a]].