Aurora, Draper Labs, and BAE Team, IBM’s Merger Machine Steams, Lonelygirl15 Beams, & More Deals News

4/22/08Follow @bbuderi

New England firms had a dismal first quarter in terms of securing venture capital investment, but the past week saw a few of them make stabs at turning around Q2, in much the same way the Sox came back to beat the Rangers.

—Stromedix of Cambridge, MA closed a $25 million Series B financing led by New Leaf Venture Partners and joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, Red Abbey Venture Partners, Atlas Venture, and Frazier Healthcare Ventures. Rebecca profiled the 2-year-old startup, which jumpstarted its clinical program by in-licensing drugs from Biogen Idec.

—Boston’s Spark Capital led a $5 million financing round for Los Angeles independent studio Eqal, the firm behind the Longelygirl15 series of YouTube video fame.

—The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency tapped Aurora Flight Sciences, Draper Laboratories, and BAE Systems, all of which have Bay State operations, under its “Vulture” program to help build a plane that can stay aloft for five years.

—GuildCafe, of Cambridge, MA, announced it had closed a $3 million Series A round from Boston’s Flybridge Capital Partners and was changing its name to GamerDNA as it moves to build a platform that lets gamers record and share their gaming experiences across platforms.

—Regulus, a joint venture between Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) and Isis Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ISIS), inked a multi-million-dollar alliance with British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline to discover, develop, and market therapeutics for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Regulus gets $20 million up front, and several hundred million more is on the table.

—Biopharmaceutical company Aileron Therapeutics of Cambridge, which is developing peptide drugs for treating cancer and other diseases, garnered $10 million via a private placement of preferred stock. Apple Tree Partners and the Novartis Venture Fund led the round.

—VisEn Medical of Woburn, MA, raised $5 million in an expanded Series B financing round led by Merck Capital Ventures and Flagship Ventures. The company is developing fluorescence technology for research and medical imaging.

—Wade wrote a fascinating piece that looked at how IBM’s software division makes acquisitions—something it has done 66 times in the last 12 years, often times in Massachusetts. Make that 67, as today Big Blue announced its purchase of Framington, MA-based de-deplication software maker Diligent Technologies.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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