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Teva returns rights to Active Biotech's brain disease drug after trial failures

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has returned the global rights to Active Biotech AB's medicine for neurodegenerative diseases after ceasing clinical development of the drug.

Israel's Teva secured the rights to laquinimod in 2014 for an upfront payment of $5 million, plus another $92 million if the medicine met certain milestones. Laquinimod, however, failed in trials for treating Huntington's disease and multiple sclerosis. But the drug did succeed in reducing brain atrophy, a common feature of many diseases that affect the brain. Brain atrophy is a loss of neurons in the brain.

Active Biotech CEO Helén Tuvesson said the company "will assess all opportunities for a continuation of the development of laquinimod."

As of 1:12 p.m. Central European Summer Time, Sweden-based Active Biotech's stock was down 5.95% on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange.