“The next four months will be the most interesting in the history of Teva as an innovative company – more than all of its over 100 years of history,” Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. head of global R&D and chief scientific officer Dr. Michael Hayden, said at a meeting of the scientific advisory council of Sanara Ventures, the medical technology incubator set up jointly by Teva and Philips Healthcare in Ra’anana, Israel.
Hayden was referring to a series of crucial clinical trial results and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals expected in the next few months. These include SD809 (Deutetrabenazine) for the treatment of Huntington Disease, which is awaiting FDA approval; Phase III clinical trial results for chronic migraine treatment Fremanezumab; pain treatment Fasinumab; and multiple sclerosis treatment Laquinimod.
Hayden said, “We don’t expect everything to go smoothly. But we do expect progress that will position us in neurological sector treatments where patients have been left behind to some degree with no solutions. Most of us here will live until we are 85 but not all of us will know that that is what is happening.”
Hayden said that Israeli culture meant that Teva thinks like a startup, especially in the field of innovation. “Teva is like a huge startup. In the past I would have said that it was even like a huge startup with enormous resources. Today I’ll make do with huge startup. We even behave a little like a startup in managing our financing, and look for partners who will take upon themselves some of the financing and some of the development. We have 140 partners including in the NNE (National Network of Excellence) venture in which we collaborate with Israeli academia in the field of CNS, because that’s where our leading treatments have come from.”
He added, “Another example is our bringing through treatments beyond the CNS-hematology barrier. Teva has no special expertise in this area and we are open to collaborations. As a company based on generics, we have no illusions that we have the best innovation. We have no ‘not invented here’ bias. In contrast, as a generics company, we are perhaps a little concerned about risk, while innovative companies understand the need for risks. In recent years, Teva has been developing and can take more risks.”