from the May 2014 issue

Top-selling prescription drugs based on Israeli research

The best-known and most successful medication developed in Israel is Copaxone®, a breakthrough treatment that significantly reduces the severity of clinical episodes in multiple sclerosis patients also making them less frequent. Developed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and the Weizmann Institute of Science, it is the world's leading MS therapy, approved in 52 countries, with global sales reaching $2.8 billion in 2009.

Teva's first proprietary drug, Copaxone®, is today responsible for a third of the company's profits. Teva is one of the 15 biggest international pharma companies in the world and one of the largest generic drug manufacturers. The company employs more than 35,000 people in 50 countries, and earned almost $14 billion in 2009. It is increasingly expanding into cutting-edge patentable therapies.

Azilect® (rasagiline) is another Teva product. Based on research at the Technion Institute of Technology, it combats Parkinson's disease, both as initial therapy and, later in the disease, in conjunction with L-dopa. Its 2009 sales reached $175 million.

Exelon® is a medication for Alzheimer's disease that reduces symptoms, enabling patients to remain independent and 'themselves' for longer. Originating in research at the Hebrew University and developed and commercialized by Novartis, its global sales in 2009 were more than $954 million.

Doxil® is a chemotherapy agent used in treating different types of leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma and cancers of the bladder, breast, stomach, lung, ovaries and thyroid. Based on research at the Hadassah Medical Center, it was sold to Johnson & Johnson, and recorded global sales of $430 million in 2009.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report May 2014

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