Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (טבע תעשיות פרמצבטיות בע"מ), is an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel. It specializes in generic and proprietary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It is the largest generic drug manufacturer in the world and one of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide. In 2007, its sales totaled $9.4 billion, of which 80% was in Europe and North America. After its acquisition of U.S. rival Ivax Corporation in January 2006, the company has about 28,000 employees in 50 countries. Teva's facilities are located in Israel, North America, Europe, and Latin America.
Teva's earliest predecessor was Salomon, Levin, and Elstein Ltd., a wholesale distributor based in Jerusalem that was founded in 1901. During the 1930s, new immigrants from Europe founded several pharmaceutical companies including Teva, Assia, and Zori. In 1951, Teva raised capital through the newly founded Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange.
In 1964, Assia and Zori merged and acquired a controlling interest in Teva. In 1976, these three companies merged into the modern Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. In 1980, Teva continued to follow its vision of becoming one of the world's biggest Pharmaceutical companies by acquiring Ikapharm, then Israel's second largest drug manufacturer.
Teva's Innovative Research and Development has been granted approval for two innovative drugs: Copaxone (for the treatment of multiple sclerosis) in the mid-1990s, and Azilect (sold as Agilect in some countries) for treatment of Parkinson's disease in the 2000s. Several innovative compounds are in the pipeline, but the innovative arm carries far less weight in Teva (when compared to generics) than in any other top 20 pharmaceutical company.
On June 23, 2006, Teva (through a former Ivax subsidiary) received from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration a 180-day exclusivity period to sell simvastatin (Zocor) in the U.S. as a generic drug in all strengths except 80 mg. Teva presently competes with the maker of brand-name Zocor, Merck & Co.; Ranbaxy Laboratories, which has 180-day exclusivity for the 80 mg strength; and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, whose authorized generic version (licensed by Merck) is exempt from exclusivity.
In 2005, Teva opened a new, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Har Hotzvim, a technology park in Jerusalem. The plant received FDA approval in early 2007.
On December 24, 2007, Teva released an AB-rated generic alternative to Protonix.