SunEthanol Picks Up $25M, New Name; Infinity Pharma Pairs with Purdue Pharma; In-Q-Tel Taps Two Local Firms, & More Boston-Area Deals News

11/24/08

Half a dozen Boston-area tech and life sciences startups have something to be thankful for heading into this week’s holiday, all of them having managed to close venture deals in a very tricky environment. A few public companies cut some interesting deals as well.

—ReGen Power Systems, a Salem, MA-based firm developing a power-producing external combustion engine, raised $5 million from 21Ventures and Quercus Trust. ReGen plans to use the money to build two prototypes of its engine for evaluation and field testing.

—RFID systems maker ThingMagic of Cambridge, MA, inked a strategic investment and technology development deal with CIA-founded venture firm In-Q-Tel. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In-Q-Tel also made an unspecified investment in Febit, a German maker of DNA- and RNA-sequencing devices with laboratories in Lexington, MA.

—Nashua, NH-based virtualization software maker AutoVirt added $4 million to its Series A round from return investors Kepha Partners and Sigma Partners, bringing its total raised to $8.5 million.

—Hadley, MA-based SunEthanol, a developer of cellulosic ethanol technology, raised $25 million in a Series B round of financing led by Venrock and Battery Ventures and joined by BP, Soros Fund Management, Camros Capital, and Long River Ventures. The firm also changed its name to Qteros, in honor of the so-called Q Microbe, the bacterium at the heart of its process for turning cellulose-rich plant material into ethanol.

Archemix of Cambridge, MA, unveiled plans to go public via a reverse merger with Lexington, MA-based NitroMed (NASDAQ:NTMD), which recently sold off its only marketed product. The resulting company would apply to trade under the symbol “ARCH,” and would have cash and cash equivalents of about $50 million to $60 million.

—Rave Wireless, a maker of security and emergency alert software for mobile phones, reportedly raised $7 million in a Series D financing round, bringing its total raised to around $42 million. Backers of the Framingham, MA-based firm include Bain Capital Ventures, Sigma Partners, RRE Ventures, and Trilogy Equity Partners.

—Cambridge, MA-based Idera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDRA) extended its research collaboration with drug giant Merck, forged in December 2006, for one year. The alliance is aimed and developing Idera’s drugs as treatments for cancer, infectious diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.

—Radius Health, a developer of drugs for osteoporosis and women’s health based in Cambridge, MA, topped off its Series C financing round with an additional $15 million, bringing the round to a total of $82.5 million. MPM Capital, the Wellcome Trust, HealthCare Ventures, Oxford Bioscience Partners, BB Biotech Ventures, and Scottish Widows Investment Partnership all contributed to the round.

—Adimab, a Lebanon, NH-based developer of antibody based drugs, raised an undisclosed amount in a Series C round from new investors OrbiMed Advisors, Borealis Ventures, and return backers Polaris Venture Partners and SV Live Sciences.

—Cambridge, MA-based cancer drug maker Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI) inked a deal with Stamford, CT-based Purdue Pharma and its overseas affiliate Mundipharma potentially worth $75 million upfront and giving Infinity access to a $50 million line of credit. The agreement gives Purdue and Mundipharma rights to co-develop several of Infinity’s drugs, but excludes drugs already being developed with AstraZeneca and Novartis.

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