Boston Scientific Wins Stent Approval, Resolvyx Moves Closer to Fish-Oil Drug Trials, Codon Cuts Algae Fuel Deal, & More Life Sciences News

7/9/08

One of the things I find most interesting about New England life sciences firms is the diversity of the technologies they are commercializing. This week’s news from the sector illustrates that nicely.

—Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) won FDA approval for a new type of drug-coated artery-propping stent. The device, called Promus, is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, and is the second drug-coated stent that Boston Scientific will market in the U.S.

—Lexington, MA-based Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) cut a deal worth at least $20 million a year to market AstraZeneca’s intravenous antibiotic Merrem.

—CryoXtract, a startup launched by researchers from Harvard and Northeastern University, won the backing of Allied Minds, an investment firm focused squarely on very early technology from academic research labs. CryoXtract’s technology is a miniature hollow drill able to take diminutive core samples from frozen blood, sperm, and other biological materials without thawing them.

—Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals of Bedford, MA, published data from mouse studies that could pave the way for clinical trials of its fish-oil-derived anti-inflammatory drug, or “resolvin.” The human studies, which the company aims to begin in the first half of next year, would test the drug’s mettle as a treatment for asthma.

—Third Rock Ventures, Flagship Ventures, and Arch Venture Partners teamed up for a $33 million initial funding round for Boston-area Agios Pharmaceuticals, which is developing new drugs that starve cancer cells of essential nutrients.

—Having recently shifted its focus away from the DNA manufacturing part of its business, Codon Devices of Cambridge, MA, inked a multi-year deal with Naples, FL-based Algenol Biofuels to work on alternative fuel made from algae. Codon will contribute its synthetic-biology-based protein engineering techniques to the collaboration.

—Fidelity Biosciences and Flagship Ventures led a $13 million third-round investment in Accuri Cytometers of Ann Arbor, MI. The startup aims to make high-speed cell analysis, or flow cytometry, a routine, affordable part of biomedical research.

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