Akamai Acquires Acerno, Archemix Adds Eli Lilly to Partner List, Sermo Signs Up Bloomberg Subscribers, & More Boston-Area Deals News

10/27/08

The deals news from Boston-area firms last week was dominated by the life sciences companies.

—Archemix of Cambridge, MA, inked a deal giving drug giant Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) options to apply its “aptamer”-based drug technology to up to two disease targets. The agreement, financial terms of which were not disclosed, follows similar ones that Archemix has forged with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Merck (FRA:MRK).

—Internet content distribution network operator Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) of Cambridge, MA, announced it will pay $95 million for Acerno, a New York- and San Francisco-based targeted-advertising company.

—Waltham, MA-based ImmunoGen (NASDAQ: IMGN) granted drug giant Bayer an exclusive worldwide license to its “Tumor-Activated Prodrug” technology. Bayer will give the Waltham firm $4 million up front, plus up to $170 in milestone payments, as well as sales royalties, for each drug it develops with the technology.

—Acton, MA-based Neuroptix, which is developing a non-invasive test for Alzheimer’s disease, closed a $18.5 million Series B financing round led by Inventages. Neuroptix’s test uses a laser eye-scanning device and an eye drop to identify proteins related to Alzheimer’s disease in the lens of the eye.

—GE revealed that it had invested an additional $30 million in battery maker A123Systems, bringing its total investment in A123 to $55 million and giving it a 9 percent ownership stake in the Watertown, MA-based firm. The investment was part of a $102 million Series E round raised by A123 in May.

—Cambridge, MA-based Sermo, which operates a social networking site for doctors, inked a deal to give the 280,000 analysts and investors who subscribe to the Bloomberg Professional information service access to Sermo as part of their subscriptions. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, represents a vast expansion of Sermo’s AlphaMD service, which was launched last year.

—NitroMed (NASDAQ: NTMD) of Lexington, MA, reached an agreement to sell all the assets related to its only product, a heart-failure pill for African Americans, to New Jersey-based JHP Pharmaceuticals for $24.5 million in cash plus up to $1.8 million for existing inventory.

—Cancer drug developer Mersana Therapeutics of Cambridge, MA, raised $4 million in a convertible note placement, bringing its total private investment raised to date to about $36 million.

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