October 5, 2017 / 4:45 PM / a year ago

Teva's Copaxone faces more generic competition in Europe

LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Teva’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone faces more generic competition in Europe, just two days after regulators approved cut-price copies of the medicine in the United States.

Privately held Alvogen and Synthon said on Thursday they had received decentralised European approval for a 40 mg dose of glatiramer acetate, as Copaxone is known generically.

The two companies, which work as partners in selling the product, already market a 20 mg version in Europe. However, the 40 mg dose is more popular.

Copaxone is Teva’s best-selling drug, generating more than $4 billion in revenue for the Israeli drugmaker last year. The Israeli company’s shares were hit hard following U.S. approval of both 20 mg and 40 mg generics from Mylan late on Tuesday.

Alvogen said Europe accounted for more than 505 million euros ($591 million) of Copaxone sales in 2016, based on IMS Midas data.

Generic competition to Copaxone adds to problems at Teva, which hired a new chief executive last month as its struggles with huge debts and a squeeze on margins. ($1 = 0.8540 euros) (Reporting by Ben Hirschler. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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