Ironwood Attracts $50M, $37M Blows in for Northern Power Systems, Another Contract for IRobot, & More Boston-Area Deals News

10/6/08

The last week saw a variety of deals across innovation industries in New England, but the biggest ones came from biotech and cleantech.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals raised $50 million from lead investor Morgan Stanley Investment Management and many of the Cambridge, MA-based biotech’s previous investors. Ironwood plans to use the funds in part to advance linaclotide, a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, through Phase 3 clinical trials.

—Link Medicine of Cambridge, MA, closed a massive $40 million Series C financing round with Clarus Ventures and SV Life Sciences. Built around the research of Harvard Medical School neurologist Peter Lansbury, Link is working on new treatments for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

—Barre, VT-based Northern Power Systems raised $37 million in a Series A financing led by Boston-based Rockport Capital Partners and Allen & Company of New York. The firm is developing a wind-cooled permanent magnet turbine drive system that is says will be more efficient than traditional wind turbines at lower wind speeds.

—Waltham, MA-based employee recruiting and retention software maker Authoria agreed to be acquired by White Plains, NY-based private equity firm Bedford Funding for $63.1 million.

—Clinical Data (NASDAQ:CLDA) of Newton, MA, sold $25 million worth of stock and warrants to affiliates of Randal J. Kirk, the chair of the biotech company’s board.

—Commonwealth Capital Partners of Waltham, MA, led a $5 million Series A round of venture financing for Montreal-based Tungle. The Canadian startup makes free Web-based calendar groupware.

—Deepwater Wind, a subsidiary of Newton, MA-based First Wind, won a contract with the state of Rhode Island to lead the construction of a $1 billion offshore wind farm. The facility will aim to generate 1.3 million megawatt hours per year of electricity, equivalent to almost one-sixth of Rhode Island’s electricity usage.

—Woburn, MA, semiconductor design firm Kenet agreed to be acquired by Milpitas, CA-based semiconductor manufacturer Intersil (NASDAQ: ISIL) for an undisclosed sum.

—IRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) of Bedford, MA-based inked a $3.75 million deal with the U.S. Army’s Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to build and deliver two “Warrior 700″ robots, a larger relative of the firm’s Packbot devices that will be able to fight fires and explosives, clear buildings, and extract casualties from the battlefield.

—Auraria Networks, a content management and information analysis products provider in Boxborough, MA, reportedly raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Pilot House Ventures and joined by Matrix Partners.

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