Exact Teams With Genzyme, Shrugs off Sequenom; Virtual Computer Reels in $15M; Beacon Power Inks National Grid Agreement; & More Boston-Area Deal News

1/30/09

Plenty of deals to discuss from all areas of technology and life sciences this week—including a couple of M&A switcheroos.

—Diagnostics maker Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS) of Marlborough, MA, sold its assets related to prenatal and reproductive health to Cambridge, MA-based Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) for $24.5 million. In response, San Diego-based Sequenom (NASDAQ:SQNM) ended its attempted takeover of Exact—an all-stock deal valued at $41 million.

—CloudSwitch of Waltham, MA, raised $7.4 million in a Series A financing round. Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners co-led the deal for the cloud-computing startup, which was co-founded by CEO Ellen Rubin and John Considine.

—New Haven, CT-based antibiotic developer Rib-X Pharmaceuticals raised $25 million in a debt financing. Previous investors Warburg Pincus, ABS Ventures, Axiom Ventures, EuclidSR Partners, MedImmune Ventures, Oxford Bioscience Partners, SR One, and Vox Equity Partners participated in the deal.

—Virtual Computer, a PC virtualization startup in Westford, MA, raised $15 million in a Series B funding round led by return investors Highland Capital Partners and Flybridge Capital Partners and joined by strategic investor Citrix Systems of Fort Lauderdale, FL.

—IT security consulting firm GlassHouse Technologies of Framingham, MA, acquired Chicago-based CSSG, a fledgling security consulting firm, for an undisclosed sum. Wade explains the strategy behind the deal and a bit about its history.

—Software maker Centive of Lowell, MA, was acquired by San Jose, CA-based Xactly for an undisclosed sum. Centive offers an on-demand version of its software for tracking commission-based compensation for sales representatives through the Salesforce AppExchange.

—Auditing software provider Lumigent of Acton, MA, secured $6 million in new funding from North Bridge Venture Partners. The 9-year-old firm has refocused its efforts on helping companies lower the cost of complying with financial regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley.

—Lexington, MA-based Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CBST) agreed to pay Cambridge, MA-based Forma Therapeutics up to $14 million over the next three years to discover potential antibiotics to treat infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Forma could also get up to $54 million in milestone payments out of the deal.

—Waltham, MA-based database virtualization firm Xkoto raised $3 million from existing investors GrandBanks Capital and GrowthWorks Canadian Fund, which means the four-year-old firm has raised $13 million in total venture funding to date.

—Beacon Power (NASDAQ: BCON), the Tyngsboro, MA-based developer of flywheel-based energy storage systems, inked an information-sharing agreement with National Grid (NYSE: NGG). The deal gives the UK-based utility access to technical information that could help it decide whether to use Beacon Power’s technology to offset variations in the power available from wind farms.

—Lexington, MA-based NitroMed (NASDAQ:NTMD), agreed to a 80-cent-per share buyout offer from investment firm Deerfield Management. The deal, which requires shareholder approval, puts an end to NitroMed’s earlier agreement to sell its heart-failure drug BiDil to specialty drugmaker JHP Pharmaceuticals and its planned merger with privately held Archemix of Cambridge, MA.

—WordStream, a Boston-based search engine marketing (SEM) company, raised $4 million in venture funding from Boston-based Sigma Partners. Wade profiled the startup’s low-cost approach to SEM.

—Anti-obesity drug developer Zafgen of Cambridge, MA, forged an alliance with Harlow, UK-based contract research firm Argenta Discovery; the UK firm will help Zafgen develop one of its drugs, which are designed to fight fat by choking off its blood supply.

—TheraGenetics, a diagnostics firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and London, agreed to be bought by UK-based Avacta Group for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.

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