Exact Sciences Makes the List, Curis and Alkermes Get Dropped, Patent Reform Sparks Debate, & More Life Sciences News

3/12/08

Well, it’s our second installment of Life Sciences Wednesday, and once again the week has seen a relative dearth of financings and stock offerings. Still plenty of news to report from the sector, though.

—Curis (NASDAQ: CRIS) and Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS), both of Cambridge, MA, both had pharma partners pull out of large drug-development agreements. In Curis’ case, it was Wyeth that aborted a joint effort, worth up to $170 million, to find treatments for stroke and cardiovascular disease. For Alkermes in was Eli Lilly that pulled the plug, on a deal aimed at developing an inhaled insulin product.

—A noninvasive, DNA-based test for colon cancer developed by Marlborough, MA, Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS) made the list of options for screening for the disease presented in the latest American Cancer Society guidelines.

—Waltham, MA’s Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled a new agent for RNAi research that can deliver the gene-silencing molecules directly, rather than relying on conventional delivery vehicles.

—I-Therapeutix, another Waltham firm that is developing a polymer sealant for use in eye surgery, reportedly raised $6 million in a Series B funding round led by Versant Ventures of California and SV Life Sciences of Boston.

—Allegro Diagnostics of Boston took in $4 million in a Series A financing round; participants included Kodiak Venture Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures, and Boston University.

—Xconomist David Resnick took up the patent reform debate with a column that argues pointedly against the proposed changes to the U.S. system. Feel free to join the comment storm.

—Yoel Fink, CEO of Cambridge, MA’s OmniGuide, shared the story of how his firm, founded in 2000 as a telecom company, transformed itself into a medical device maker.

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  • tom

    EXAS is going to be huge.90+ million people need to be screened.
    and at $45 PER TEST.this small cap company will be on its way