Teva Pharma CEO bets on Alzheimer's, CNS research amid major reboot

Teva CEO Jeremy Levin

Teva Pharmaceutical CEO Jeremy Levin has highlighted another tactic to his company's revamped strategy to deliver new medicines as older brands face generic drug competition. The Israel-based drugmaker ($TEVA), which is also the world's largest provider of generic meds, plans to boost its investment in research of treatments for major brain disorders.

Levin has touted the plan only months into a reorganization to carve out about $2 billion in annual expenses. As Reuters reports, Teva has bet on early research that could lead to new therapies for Alzheimer's disease and ALS as well as Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. The plan includes $15 million in awards to Israeli universities over the next 5 years, seeding more than 50 projects with grant money as the company seeks next-gen treatments for its pipeline.

"I am convinced that this effort will yield not just one or two drugs but will yield a great understanding how the brain works, what types of diseases affect the brain and Teva and other companies will benefit from it," Levin said, as quoted by the news wire.

Levin took the reins at Teva last year after a successful run at Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), charged with helming the company through some difficult times as competition to its best-selling MS therapy Copaxone mounts and Provigil sales slump from generic competition.

Teva has responded with a plan to emphasize novel drug development and has backed off from multibillion-dollar buyouts--which made the company No. 1 in the generics business--under Levin's leadership. Seeding university labs with grants is a long-term tactic for advancing new therapies into development, and it takes years to know whether such initiatives will yield products.

- check out Reuters' article

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