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Teva Enrolls First Patient in Study

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA - Free Report) recently announced that it has enrolled the first patient in the phase IV MODERATO (Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Assess the Effect of Rasagiline on Cognition in Patients with Parkinson’s disease) study. The study is being conducted to evaluate the effect of Azilect (rasagiline) on cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Parkinson's disease (PD-MCI).

The multi-center MODERATO study will evaluate the effect of Azilect on cognitive function in adults with PD-MCI after 24 weeks of treatment. About 170 patients will be enrolled across 30 sites in the US.

Azilect, which is approved for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease both as initial therapy alone and to be added to levodopa later in the disease, posted global in-market revenues $420 million in 2012, up 7%.

Teva, which hosted an Investor Day meeting in Dec 2012, is currently working on streamlining its pipeline and has discontinued 12 programs while introducing 18 new programs. Teva expects to have 10-15 new therapeutic entities (NTEs) approved for development in 2013.

Teva currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company, which is going through a transition period, provided disappointing guidance for 2013. However, with the company not including the impact of its cost-savings plan in its guidance, we believe Teva is leaving some room for delivering above expectations. Share buybacks also leave some room for upside.

We expect investor focus to remain on the execution of the company’s new strategy. Earlier this year, Teva sold off its animal health business in the US to Bayer (BAYRY - Free Report) . This will allow the company to focus on developing, manufacturing and marketing branded and generic drugs globally -- Teva’s primary areas of strength.

Among generic companies, Mylan (MYL - Free Report) currently looks better-positioned with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. , a specialty pharmaceutical company that also sells generic products, also carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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