Are Teva's Pop and Momenta's Crash Overreactions?

For now, Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MNTA  ) , Novartis (NYSE: NVS  ) , and Mylan (Nasdaq: MYL  ) will have to wait until 2015 to try to grab some of the nearly $4 billion market for Teva Pharmaceuticals' (NYSE: TEVA  ) multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

Momenta, which is partnered with Novartis, Mylan, and India-based Natco Pharmaceuticals, lost its lawsuit aimed at invalidating the patents on Copaxone. Momenta is down 22%, Novartis and Mylan are down a little, and Teva is up 5%, which all makes sense considering the relative effect the drug has on their future.

Teva is dependent on Copaxone, not just because it made up 18% of the company's sales last quarter, but because the brand-name drug produces a higher profit margin than Teva's generic drugs, making Copaxone an even larger contributor to the bottom line.

Unlike Mylan and Novartis, which have multiple generic and brand-name drugs, Momenta only has one other drug, a generic version of Sanofi's Lovenox. Doubling its revenue streams with a generic version of Copaxone will have to wait until 2015.

Still, a 22% drop seems a little extreme for a three-year delay, especially since Momenta and Novartis weren't going to launch immediately even if they won the case; the FDA hasn't approved their copycat yet, and if they won, they were expecting Teva to appeal, which likely would have delayed the launch for a year anyway. Momenta will likely appeal the decision, so the companies could still launch in the 2013 time frame if they can get a little help from the higher court.

If that appeal fails, the issue for the generic-drug makers is how much of the nearly $4 billion Copaxone market will be eroded during the delay. Oral multiple sclerosis drugs from Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB  ) , Sanofi, and Teva are likely to be approved soon. The market might look considerably different in 2015.

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Fool contributor Brian Orelli holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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