Teva Halts Search for Partners to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine

Teva Pharmaceutical reportedly stopped looking for partners to develop a COVID vaccine, saying candidates went with other companies.
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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries  (TEVA) - Get Report reportedly stopped searching for opportunities to produce COVID-19 vaccines with a developer partner.

Shares of the Jerusalem company at last check were off 1.4% to $10.23.

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CEO Kare Schultz had said in February that Teva was in discussions with top-tier shot makers about helping with production and distribution. 

The talks ended after the companies clinched other manufacturing agreements and determined they had sufficient capacity to meet targets, he told Bloomberg.

“We really wanted to help if we could,” Schultz said in an interview. “The companies with vaccines that we were in contact with, they went for classic contract manufacturers, or they went with big pharma companies for partnerships.”

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Schultz added that "it's probably pretty much done (but) we can't rule it out." 

"We're still in discussion with some of the companies, and we're still willing to do it if we can help," he said.

Vaccine production has become a major issue in light of a surge in COVID-19 cases in India.

India is now reporting about 1 million new coronavirus cases every three days, with the daily death toll exceeding 3,293 on Wednesday, CNN reported, citing data from the Indian Ministry of Health.

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The outbreak has pushed the country's health care system to near the breaking point.  

Much of the world remains without access to vaccines, with Africa furthest behind. Countries with the highest incomes are getting vaccinated about 25 times faster than those with the lowest, Bloomberg reported.

Separately, Teva reported first-quarter earnings of $77 million, or 7 cents a share, up from $66 million, or 6 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest adjusted earnings per share were 63 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 59 cents. 

Revenue totaled $3.9 billion, down from $4.3 billion a year earlier and below the FactSet consensus of $4 billion.

Schultz said he expects prescription trends to normalize globally in the first quarter of 2022.

In February, Teva reported stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.