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Active Biotech to Sell North America, Japan TASQ Rights

Active Biotech AB (ACTI) expects to license the North American and Japanese rights to the TASQ prostate cancer drug before results are in from a late-stage clinical trial.

Active Biotech is also in talks to license its Anyara medicine for a form of kidney cancer and has no plans to seek more financing for its late-stage experimental drugs, Chief Executive Officer Tomas Leanderson said in an interview at a conference in Stockholm today.

Active Biotech, based in Lund, Sweden, partnered with Ipsen SA (IPN) in April, giving the French drugmaker global commercial rights to TASQ, excluding North and South America and Japan. Data for TASQ, which is in late-stage clinical trials, will be presented in the second half of next year, Leanderson said.

A third late-stage trial for laquinimod, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, will probably be a stand-alone trial, not in combination with existing treatments, Leanderson said.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), Active Biotech’s partner on laquinimod, will start the new study in two or three months, Lesley Russell, head of the Israeli company’s research and development of global branded products, told investors at a presentation in New York on Feb. 27.

Teva and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are in discussions about the trial design, which will involve a higher dosage than previous tests, Leanderson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at

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