Good News for Genzyme, Bad News for Boston Scientific, and all the Other News We Didn’t Get to This Week

8/3/07

The recent heat wave seems to have driven members of the local tech community into their offices rather than out to the beach, because this week has seen too many announcements for us to keep up with. Here a few of the most interesting ones:

—After a string of disappointing clinical-trial results and a protracted struggle to acquire New York biotech Bioenvision (NASDAQ: BIVN), Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) got some good news this week: a second phase 3 trial of the drug Mozobil (plerixafor)—which boosts stem cells in the blood for transplantation—met its primary and secondary endpoints. On the strength of this and another pivotal trial Genzyme plans to file for U.S. and European approval of the drug in the first half of 2008.

—Several companies had good luck raising venture capital this week. Chelmsford, MA-based Desktone, which makes a virtual desktop platform that simplifies enterprise computing operations, took in $17 million in a Series A round led by Highland Capital Partners and SoftBank Capital. Data-analysis-software firm StreamBase Systems, of Lexington, MA, raised $15 million in a third funding round also led by Highland. And Boston-based Compete, an online analytics firm founded by Bill Gross of Overture fame, garnered $10 million in Series III funding. Investors included Charles River Ventures, idealab, Split Rock Partners, and William Blair Capital Partners, according to Dan Primack’s PE Week Wire.

—Westborough, MA-based IT consulting and outsourcing firm Virtusa (NASDAQ: VRTU) raised $61.6 million in an IPO.

—In other IPO news, Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) scrapped its plans to offer a minority interest in its endosurgery group. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch subsequently cut the firm’s bonds to junk status, as Moody’s had done last week.

—Merrimack, NH’s GT Solar, a supplier to the photovoltaic industry, signed a $171 million dollar contract with China’s Glory Silicon Energy to provide furnaces for silicon-ingot production.

—With the help of a $6.5 million NIH grant, Foxborough, MA-based Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems teamed up with Brown University and the Cleveland FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) Center at the Case Western Reserve University to further the development the Cyberkinetics’ BrainGate technology. The system employs a brain implant to help paralyzed people to regain control of their muscles and organs.

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