All Sorts of Acquisitions, An Approval for Millennium, Venture Deals, and More

10/22/07

There was a lot of acquisition activity last week (not even counting the Biogen Idec excitement). Here’s more on that, along with the rest of the week’s news.

—Lexington, MA-based Cubist Pharmaceuticals announced it will pay $4.7 million, plus another $1 million in research and operating costs, for an exclusive option to buy Seattle’s Illumigen Biosciences. Illumigen’s lead compound is a protein-based treatment for hepatitis C. If Cubist exercises its option it will pay $9 million upfront, plus development and regulatory milestone payments that could surpass $330 million.

—Burlington, MA, speech and imaging firm Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN) announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Dallas, TX’s Vocada, which produces technology for the automated distribution of medical test results. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

—Northbrook, IL-based Idex (NYSE: IEX) announced it’s acquiring Isolation Technologies of Hopedale, MA, for just under $30 million. Isolation develops hardware and accessories for analytical chemistry instruments used for such applications as drug discovery quality control.

—In non-acquisition news, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MLNM) of Cambridge, MA, won a new FDA approval for Velcade, which was already approved for certain multiple myeloma and lymphoma patients, and is currently the company’s only marketed drug. The new approval allows the drug to be used in the significant subset of multiple myeloma patients who have impaired kidney function.

—Bedford, MA, diabetes-management firm Insulet (NASDAQ: PODD) filed with the SEC for a secondary public offering of some 4.8 million shares. Insulet went public in May with an offering of 7.7 million shares at $15 per share. The stock closed Friday at $23.77.

—And there were several notable venture financings announced last week. Acton, MA-based optical networking firm Mintera closed a $19 million Series C round; the deal was led by Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures. New Haven, CT, diagnostics developer Ikonisys raised $30 million in Series E financing. And peHUB’s Dan Primack reports that Woburn, MA-based molecular imaging firm VisEn Medical took in some $7.5 million in a Series B round, and Hartford, CT’s Genomas closed a Series C financing worth $2.5 million.

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