Teva touts new manufacturing exec, closes sale of Canada plant

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the world's largest generic drugmaker, has brought on a former Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) executive to oversee its manufacturing operations.

The announcement came as ($TEVA) today reports 50% growth in second-quarter profit, advanced by stronger U.S. sales, and also that its deal to sell a plant in Canada has closed.

Dr. Carlo De Notaristefani has been named president and chief executive officer of global operations, and will report directly to CEO Jeremy Levin. He takes over an extensive manufacturing network of more than 75 manufacturing and ingredient plants around the world, some of which have had issues. The company says in a release that Notaristefani will help the company meet the highest quality standards throughout its operations.

The generics giant has been juggling plant issues around the world. In a February call with analysts, Teva Chief Financial Officer Eyal Desheh said manufacturing problems at plants in California and Jerusalem contributed to a 32% decline in U.S. sales last year. The company voluntarily halted manufacturing of levothyroxine 100-mcg tablets at a U.K. plant in February after some patients experienced issues, and in March its Pliva unit's Croatian plant halted production after an explosion and fire that killed one and injured 8 others.

Teva's manufacturing operation was reduced by one, however, with Teva's completion this week of the sale of its Mirabel plant in Montreal to Halo Pharmaceutical, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Teva announced a year ago it would try to sell the plant that it inherited from its 2010 buyout of Ratiopharm but if it couldn't find a buyer, it would close the facility in March. This factor suggests that Halo may have picked it up at a good price. The companies, which announced the agreement in March, have not said what Halo is paying for the plant.  

The two did say that under a 5-year manufacturing agreement, Halo will continue to produce all of the drugs Teva currently is making at the facility as Teva transfers production of some of them to its Stouffville, Canada, plant. Halo will produce some of them long-term. Halo will keep at least 152 employees currently working at the plant during the agreement. The plant had 340 when Teva acquired it.

Halo CFO Mohd Asif told Canada NewsWire that while the company will continue to supply drugs in Canada, the plant will allow it to make some new dosage forms for export to Europe.

- read the Canada NewsWire story 
- see the Teva press release 
- get the Wall Street Journal story 

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Teva plans to close Montreal plant 
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