Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., which is awash in turmoil, told financial analysts Tuesday that it projects that about $500 million in 2014 revenue hinges on how soon the Food and Drug Administration approves generic versions of Teva's top-selling multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone.
Teva is a corporate contradiction within the pharmaceutical industry because it is the world leader in generic-drug revenue, but about 20 percent of its revenue comes from one patent-protected, original medication that produces higher profits per unit. That means, depending on the product, it competes on either side of common legal, regulatory, and commercial issues.
Late in the year, many companies give analysts a projection of what they expect in the coming year. Teva did so Tuesday, and it offered two scenarios - with and without Copaxone generic approvals that might mean two competitors go on the market in June. With generic competition, Teva projects between $19.3 billion and $20.3 billion in total revenue in 2014. Without generic competition, it projects between $19.8 billion and $20.8 billion in sales.
Teva isn't the only drugmaker with generic and brand-name divisions, but it has struggled to produce profits that satisfy Wall Street.
"Teva is not for sale," Eyal Desheh, acting chief executive officer of Teva, said Tuesday when one analyst raised the topic. But the issue has swirled in the pharmaceutical industry, and Desheh has the "acting" title because on Oct. 30, then-CEO Jeremy Levin and the board of directors agreed that Levin would resign over a dispute about running the company.
Before departing, Levin accelerated a plan to cut $2 billion in annual operating costs by saying 5,000 more jobs would be cut. That had employment implications in Israel, where Teva has headquarters, and suburban Philadelphia. Teva's Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County. The firm has other facilities in this region, with about 2,300 employees in Pennsylvania.
Desheh said 2014 would be a "pivotal year" with "major transitions," in all areas of the company.
"We will," Desheh said, "dig further into our cost structure throughout the year."