GT Solar Sees Brighter IPO Skies; Pfizer, Merck, and Eli Lilly Back Boston Startup; GSI Group Beams out $360M for Excel Technology & More Deals News

7/14/08

Last week must have been a good one, because I’ve got more than $100 million worth of venture financings, along with a couple of other deals, to tell you about.

—Merrimack, NH-based GT Solar expanded its 15-month-old IPO plans. Originally targeting a $200 million offering, the manufacturer of solar-cell-making equipment is now aiming for an offering of up to $530 million worth of shares.

—Agios Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-area startup focusing on cancer treatments that kill tumors by depriving them of essential nutrients, raised a $33 million first round of venture capital from Third Rock Ventures, Flagship Ventures, and Arch Venture Partners.

—Codon Devices, a synthetic biology firm in Cambridge, MA, forged a multi-year collaboration with Naples, FL-based Algenol Biofuels to develop algae-based alternative fuel.

—Paragon Lake of Boston, MA, closed a $5.8 million Series A financing round from Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners. The two-year-old firm’s Web-based platform helps jewelers turn customers’ sketches into custom-made jewelry.

—Bedford, MA-based digital surveillance firm VideoIQ raised $10 million in a Series B round led by Lehman Brothers Venture Partners and joined by existing investors Matrix Partners and Atlas Venture.

—Open-source Web conferencing firm DimDim of Boston closed a $6 million Series B funding round led by Index Ventures, Nexus India Capital, and Draper Richards.

—PureTech Ventures of Boston, MA, helped forge a unique collaboration between pharma giants Pfizer, Merck, and Eli Lilly, who teamed up to put $39 million into Boston startup Enlight Biosciences. Enlight’s mission is to develop new technologies to facilitate drug development.

—Boston’s Spire.com, a social networking site for the affluent Web users, raised $9 million in Series A round led by Hearst Interactive Media, Trident Capital, TL Ventures, and private investors.

—Laser maker GSI Group (NASDAQ: GSIG) of Billerica, MA announced it will acquire East Setauket, NY-based Excel Technology, (NASDAQ: XLTC) for $360 million in cash.

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