According to news sources, Sweden-based Active Biotech, a developer of treatments for autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer, has nearly doubled its cash position and brought a new investor on board in a $42.6- million deal. The company’s board agreed to issue 6 million shares to Investor AB, a Swedish investment firm, in a move that will reportedly broaden the shareholder base.

Sources indicate that the funds will be used to support development of the company’s drug therapies, including (i) tasquinimod, a prostate cancer drug, which has reportedly completed enrollment in a 1,245-patient Phase III study and started Phase II trials in prostate cancer and other solid cancers, and (ii) laquinimod, a multiple sclerosis treatment reportedly under review in Europe and wrapping up Phase III testing in the United States.

Active Biotech President and CEO Tomas Leanderson said that the firm’s “focus over the next 18-month period will be on finding suitable partners and partnering structures for each project,” observing that a strong balance sheet is viewed as a “prerequisite in order to succeed with this activity in an optimal way.” See, March 6, 2013;, March 13, 2013.