Teva's refresh under new CEO Richard Francis moves into year 2 as Austedo, Ajovy and generics gain steam

After charting a series of sales increases in 2023, Teva’s largely made good on the promise of its new CEO’s “Pivot to Growth” campaign. With group revenues on the up and up, it’s all about maintaining momentum in the years to come, the company’s chief executive Richard Francis said in an interview.

Last year, Teva generated global revenues of $15.8 billion, an 8% increase from 2022. That year, the company's $14.9 billion haul represented a six-year low.

Francis’ game plan for the hybrid generics and innovative medicines company has been dubbed “Pivot to Growth." While the plan hinges on innovative drugs like Austedo, Ajovy and Teva’s new long-acting schizophrenia med Uzedy, copycat pharmaceuticals still have an important role to play in Francis’ vision for the company, the CEO explained.

“Teva’s a global pharmaceutical business that happens to have a world-class generics business but also an emerging world-class innovative business,” Francis said.

When it comes to generics, Teva recently managed to chart sales increases in Europe and other international markets while “stabilizing” the business in the U.S. and returning to growth writ large, Francis said. He attributed those improvements to the recent launch of multiple complex generics that the company “had in the hopper for some time.”

Over the course of 2022 and 2023, Teva scored FDA approvals for 10 new complex generic products, according to a presentation (PDF) accompanying the company’s earnings Wednesday.

That roster of new meds includes copycats to AstraZeneca's inhaler Symbicort, Novo Nordisk's diabetes and obesity drug liraglutide and Viatris' popular epinephrine injector EpiPen.

Beyond generics, Teva’s innovative medicines franchise has been trending upward, too.

Last year, Teva’s tardive dyskinesia and Huntington’s disease drug Austedo grew sales a whopping 28% to $1.2 billion. This year, Teva expects the drug to reel in $1.5 billion. Looking even further ahead, Teva figures Austedo could clinch $2.5 billion by 2027, Francis said.

Elsewhere, Teva’s migraine prevention med Ajovy saw 2023 sales grow 16% to $435 million. Teva expects that sales haul to grow to half a billion dollars in 2024, Francis said.

“All in all, what the pivot to growth strategy shows is when we have the clarity for the company on what we need to do, where need to do it, how we need to prioritize our time, attention and resources—we can actually move the needle,” Francis said.

Elsewhere in Francis' strategic revamp, Teva on Wednesday confirmed plans to sell its active pharmaceutical ingredients business. The strategy reveal comes six months after Bloomberg and Benzinga reported that Teva was weighing its options for the business unit that serves more than 1,000 customers and employs 4,300 people.

Teva expects to complete the divestiture by the first half of 2025 but added that there was no guarantee of a sale or of its timing. The unit, dubbed TAPI, features a portfolio of 350 generic and innovative products.

When asked whether Teva currently has any prospective buyers lined up, Francis said no, adding that “the process now kicks off.” On the off chance a sale doesn’t materialize, Francis added that the company would “regroup.”

“If it didn’t happen—which I think is unlikely—then we’ll still have a good business that we can run within Teva, if that’s what we needed to do," Francis said.

Investors seem pleased with the company's recent progress. Teva's stock price was up more than 5% on Wednesday.