Health 2.0 Firms in the Spotlight, Biogen Board in the Clear, Alnylam in Asia, & More Life Sciences News

6/25/08

New England’s public life sciences firms were feeling particularly newsworthy this last week, it seems. But plenty of private firms are represented in this first item:

—Wade uncovered yet another thriving New England tech cluster: The thirty-odd “Health 2.0″ firms using the Web to deliver various kinds of healthcare services. The next day he profiled one such company, Newton, MA’s InnovationRx, that uses e-mail, text messages, and phone calls to help patients remember to take their medicine.

—At an annual meeting, shareholders rejected billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s bid to put his people on the board of Cambridge, MA-based Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB).

—Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) inked a deal worth up to $93 million, plus royalties, with Japan’s Kyowa Hakko Kogyo to commercialize an RNAi-based treatment for respiratory syncytial virus in Japan and other major Asian markets.

—ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN) of Waltham, MA, raised about $25 million in a sale of 7.8 million shares of stock to Ziff Asset Management.

—GTC Biotherapeutics of Framingham, MA, forged a partnership worth as much as $257 million with Deerfield, IL’s Ovation Pharmaceuticals. The firms will work together to try to bring GTC’s ATryn—an anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory drug produced in the milk of genetically engineered goats–to market in the United States.

—Cambridge, MA-based Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) and Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ISIS) of Carlsbad, CA, finalized the terms of their partnership to develop Isis’s cholesterol-lowering drug, mipomersen. The new terms shift $50 million more of the development costs to Isis.

—RXi Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXII), a Worcester, MA-based firm seeking to commercialize RNAi-based medicines, raised about $8.7 million in a private placement of stock.

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