Takeda Hands $20M Over to Alnylam, Skyhook Helps Mozilla Find its Way, Nuance Nabs Nokia Agreement, & More Boston-Area Deals News

10/14/08

For those of you who had a long weekend like we did, welcome back. And to refresh your memory about last week’s Boston-area tech and life sciences deals…

—Polaris Venture Partners of Waltham, MA, helped aim a $20 million Series B financing at San Mateo, CA-based internet video advertising firm BlackArrow. Cisco Systems, Comcast Interactive Capital, Intel Capital, and Mayfield Fund also participated in the deal.

—Atlas Venture, also of Waltham, MA, led a €10 million venture round for Paris-based online marketing firm Inspirational Stores.

—Clarus Ventures of Cambridge, MA, led a $60 million Series D financing for Pittsboro, NC-based Biolex Therapeutics, which is developing a treatment for hepatitis C. Others participating in the deal included OrbiMed Advisors, Intersouth Partners, Quaker BioVentures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Investor Growth Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, Mitsui & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, JP Morgan Securities, and the North Carolina Economic Development Fund.

Takeda Pharmaceutical made a $20 million milestone payment to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY). The transaction was part of a collaborative arrangement forged between the Japanese drug giant and the Cambridge, MA-based RNAi pioneer back in May.

—Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst gave us a list of the top fundraisers so far this year among New England private equity firms. Top of the list: Greenwich, CT’s First Reserve Corp.

—Portsmouth, NH’s eCoast Angel Network and Boston Harbor Angels (of Boston, unsurprisingly) participated in a $2 million financing round for New York-based CollegeWikis, a provider of e-mail lists and group-editable wikis for student-based organizations.

—Boston’s Skyhook Wireless forged an agreement with Mountain View, CA-based Mozilla that resulted in Skyhook’s Loki location-finding system being incorporated into an experimental Firefox plugin called Geode. The plugin allows a computer to feed its latitude and longitude to any website that requests it, which could pave the way for a variety of location-based sites and services, Wade explains.

—Burlington, MA-based Nuance Communications inked a multi-year deal with Finnish mobile giant Nokia. Under the agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, Nuance will provide speech and predictive-text technologies for Nokia mobile devices.

—Nashua, NH-based AutoVirt is expected to announce this week that it has raised $4.5 million in a Series A financing round from Sigman Partners and Kepha Partners. [[Editor's note: Turns out this is the same money the company announced back in January as a $4 million Series A round, plus a $500,000 seed round.]] AutoVirt told Wade about its new data-migration technology, which promised to help companies avoid what’s now “an exhausting, error-prone, entirely manual process.”

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