Is This Improved Blockbuster Still Running Out of Time?

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA  ) is trying to help multiple sclerosis patients by cutting the number of injections to three-sevenths the current requirement.

Rather than taking a daily injection of Copaxone, it appears that a larger dose taken only three times a week provides a 34.4% reduction in the annual relapse rate compared to placebo. That's 156 annual injections versus 365 injections with the current dosing schedule.

The only problem with that math is that 156 injections are still 156 injections more than patients have to take with newer oral medications.

Novartis (NYSE: NVS  ) has the only approved oral medication, Gilenya, designed to slow the progression of the disease, but there are others in the works, including Biogen Idec's (Nasdaq: BIIB  ) BG-12 and Sanofi's teriflunomide.

If you're just looking at the convenience factor, injections three times a week could still be less convenient than taking Biogen and Elan's (NYSE: ELN  ) Tysabri, which is infused once a month, depending on how easy it is to get to the infusion center. Some patients prefer not to have to think about taking their medication daily or thrice weekly.

Of course, no doctor should prescribe a drug based on convenience alone. Efficacy and safety and, most importantly, a doctor's comfort level with them are crucial for garnering prescriptions. And that's where Teva might be able to hold on to many of its patients, at least until doctors get a better feeling for the oral medications.

If you assume that all the older medications have the same advantage and they aren't going away anytime soon, then moving from seven injections to three injections could help Copaxone capture patients that were on Biogen's Avonex, Bayer's Betaseron, or Rebif that's marketed by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) and Merck KgaA.

This trial isn't going to make Copaxone's sales suddenly skyrocket, but it should help Teva capture, or at least not lose, enough of the multiple sclerosis market as competition heats up to justify the cost of the trial.

This rule-breaking multibagger has the potential for mind blowing growth. Find out the name of the company and why Fool analysts like it so much in the free report, "Discover the Next Rule-Breaking Multibagger."

Fool contributor Brian Orelli holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1914696, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2016 9:01:34 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.27 -53.76 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,143.16 -8.17 -0.38%
NASD 5,283.40 -26.43 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 4:00 PM
TEVA $43.85 Up +0.35 +0.80%
Teva Pharmaceutica… CAPS Rating: ****
BIIB $286.00 Down -4.78 -1.64%
Biogen CAPS Rating: *****
ELN.DL2 $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Elan CAPS Rating: ***
NVS $72.63 Down -2.82 -3.74%
Novartis CAPS Rating: ****