MIT Teams With Italian Energy Giant, Elixir Postpones Its IPO, Biogen Idec Will Buy or Be Bought, & More

1/23/08

It’s a little bit of an odd week, with the Monday holiday and all the last-minute preparations for last night’s AWESOME battle of the bands (more on that soon), so I’m rounding up last week’s deals a little later than usual. The bonus is you get the first part of this week’s action as well.

—Woburn, MA’s LogMeIn, a provider of IT support and remote-connection services, registered for an $86.25 million IPO.

—Physicians-only social network Sermo inked a deal with Nature Publishing Group (NPG). The partnership will give Sermo’s 50,000 or so members online access to the full text of 10 of the medical journals that NPG publishes.

MIT forged a five-year, $50 million research agreement with Italian energy firm Eni. Under the agreement, half the money will be used to help set up the MITEI (MIT Energy Initiative), spanning research, education, energy security efforts, supply and demand studies, and a variety of other energy-related programs at MIT, and half will go to establishing the Eni-MITEI Solar Frontiers Research Program.

— Pervasis Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company in Cambridge, MA, closed $9.75 million in new funding from Flagship Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, and Musket Research Associates.

—EMC virtualization subsidiary VMware (NYSE: VMW) acquired San Francisco-based Thinstall for an undisclosed sum. Wade explains how Thinstall’s technology lets corporate computer users run Windows programs on their desktops without actually installing them.

—Cambridge, MA-based Elixir Pharmaceuticals postponed what would have been the first Boston-area IPO of the year. The company, which is developing treatments for diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic diseases, had filed for an offering of five million shares, and set a range of between $14 and $16 per share.

—Genzyme spinoff PeptImmune of Cambridge, MA, raised a $8.2 million first tranche of a Series D round. The deal was led by New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital, Hunt Ventures, Boston Medical Investors, and Silicon Valley Bank Capital, among others.

—Bedford, MA-based Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX) sold the rights to Gestiva, a drug for preventing preterm birth, for $82 million to St. Louis, MO’s KV Pharmaceutical. The drug must earn FDA approval, however, for Hologic to collect the full sum.

—Art Technology Group (NASDAQ: ARTG), an e-commerce firm in Cambridge, MA, said it’s set to acquire Seattle’s CleverSet for some $10 million in cash.

—Finally, the last week saw a couple of new rumors of deals for Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB). Last Tuesday, billionaire investor Carl Icahn said in an interview on CNBC that he still believed that the Cambridge, MA-based biotech giant would be bought, despite its unsuccessful effort to find a buyer, which ended in December. Then, on Monday, came the news that Biogen CEO Jim Mullen had said in an interview with news service Mergermarket that the company could make an acquisition of its own this year, perhaps spending as much as $10 billion.

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