Hologic Faces Lawsuit, OLPC Chooses a Distributor, Point Therapeutics Agrees to a Reverse Merger, and More

10/15/07

While we were up to our ears in court documents from iRobot and Genzyme, a whole lot of other stuff was happening in New England technology circles.

—With a vote on its proposed $6.2 billion acquisition of Marlborough, MA’s Cytyc (NASDAQ: CYCT) slated for this Thursday, Bedford-based diagnostics and imaging firm Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX) is being sued by Johnson & Johnson for patent infringement related to a biopsy system manufactured by Hologic subsidiary Suros Surgical Systems. In an SEC filing, Hologic says it believes the suit to be without merit.

—Following on the heels of a $45 million financing round, Lowell, MA’s Konarka Technologies, which makes nanotech-based solar materials, announced it had received funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program to develop transparent, flexible solar modules for building applications such as windows. The award, worth $4.7 million, will be shared with Lehigh Valley, PA-based Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD).

—With cash from a recently closed $13.1 million Series B round presumably in hand, medical device firm WMR Biomedical is moving its headquarters from Cambridge to a larger space on Arsenal Street in Watertown.

—The One Laptop Per Child project has chosen Miami-based Brightstar as the distributor for its “Give 1, Get 1″ program. Slated for two weeks starting November 12, the program will allow consumers to pay $399 for two of OLPC’s XO laptops—one to keep and one for a child in a developing country.

—After a series of downsizings and a move from Boston to Wellesley Hills, MA, Point Therapeutics (NASDAQ: POTP) has agreed to merge with privately held Dara BioSciences of Raleigh, NC. Under the terms of the agreement, which the firms believe will qualify as a “reverse merger” (in other words, a way for Dara to go public without doing an IPO), Dara stockholders will own 96.4% of Point’s common stock, and Point will change its name to Dara BioSciences and move its headquarters to Raleigh.

—Cambridge, MA-based CombinatoRx (NASDAQ: CRXX), which completed a $42 million IPO in November, 2005, announced that it will sell another $35 million of stock in a registered direct offering that’s expected to close on Tuesday.

—In venture news, Littleton MA-based radiotherapy-technology firm Still River Systems garnered “around $6.9 million” in a Series C round, peHub’s Dan Primack reports. Also from Primack comes the news that E Ink of Cambridge has raised $16 million in Series B financing, for a total of more than $130 million venture dollars raised since 1997. (Is that one incredibly long A round, or has E Ink found some letters between A and B that I don’t know about?) Boston’s Octavian, which develops software for the wealth and investment management market, closed a $10 million second round from Vertex Venture Capital, which led the deal, and Carmel Ventures and Gemini Israel Funds. Warren, RI’s TPI Composites, a manufacture of structures for the wind energy, transportation, and military vehicles, took in $22 million in a Series A deal led by NGP Energy Technology Partners.

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