Alkermes Regains Vivitrol Rights, Biogen Idec Heads for the Burbs, A Peek at Partners Innovation Fund’s Portfolio, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

12/3/08

Several of the Boston area’s public life sciences companies were making news this week. But first…

—Ryan delved into the strategy and portfolio of Partners Innovation Fund, which was launched last year by Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals to invest exclusively in startups with science from the two Harvard-affiliated hospitals. Among the startups to benefit from the young fund are BioBehavioral Diagnostics, which is developing an objective means of diagnosing attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and Freedom-2, which is out to commercialize laser-erasable tattoo ink.

—Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS) regained full commercial rights to its treatment for alcohol dependence when its partner Cephalon of Frazer, PA, relinquished its share of the product, an extended-release version of the drug naltrexone marketed under the name Vivitrol. Cambridge, MA-based Alkermes expects the drug to generate $5 million to $8 million in sales during the 2009 fiscal year.

—Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) of Natick, MA, reportedly participated in an $11 million second-round financing for San Ramon, CA-based Endoscopic Technologies (Estech), a maker of minimally invasive devices for cardiac surgery. Telegraph Hill Partners and Saints Capital also participated.

—Massachusetts biotech giant Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) confirmed plans to move its headquarters from Cambridge to Weston. Biogen will continue to use 400,000 square feet of lab space and 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Cambridge, though.

—Cambridge, MA-based Helicos Biosciences, (NASDAQ: HLCS) replaced CEO Steve Lombardi—who took the post in August–with Ronald Lowy, former CEO of Fisher Biosciences. Lombardi will stay on as president and board member for the maker of genetic analysis tools.

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