Ariad Arranges for Another $24.3M, Dismal Economy Doesn’t Stop Aveksa and Apparent Networks, Selecta Biosciences Chooses to Reveal Itself, & More Boston-Area Deals News

2/27/09

It was a mixed week for New England’s tech and life sciences firms, with several sizeable venture deals closed and a few less happy transactions as well.

—Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) cut a $24.3 million deal with new and existing institutional investors, who bought 14.37 million shares of the Cambridge, MA-based firm’s common stock. Ariad’s lead drug candidate, deforolimus, is in late-stage development as a treatment for advanced cases of sarcoma.

—Chelmsford, MA-based Zoll Medical (NASDAQ:ZOLL) forged an agreement to buy the assets of Alsius (NASDAQ:ALUS)—an Irvine, CA-based maker of products for regulating body temperature—for $12 million in cash. Alsius shareholders must approve the deal.

—Boston-based healthcare software provider Amicas (NASDAQ:AMCS) announced plans to buy Birmingham, AL-based competitor Emageon (NASDAQ:EMAG) for $39 million in cash. Amicas plans to begin a $1.82-per-share tender offer for all outstanding shares of Emageon common stock on March 5.

—Ryan took a look at how two local software firms—Waltham-based Aveksa and Wellesley Hills-based Apparent Networks—were able to close significant venture financings despite the dismal economic environment. Aveksa, which makes systems that let big businesses control access to their information resources, raised $10 million in a Series C round led by FTV Capital and joined by Charles River Ventures and FirstMark Capital; all are return investors. Apparent Networks raised a $12 million Series C investment from return investors Egan-Managed Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, JMI Equity, and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Apparent’s software enables large organizations to track IT services and applications across networks.

—Ryan shed some light on previously stealthy Selecta Biosciences, a Watertown, MA-based startup built around technology from the lab of MIT’s Bob Langer and Harvard Medical School’s Omid Farokhzad and Ulrich von Andrian. The startup, which overcame its shyness to reveal it had raised a $15.1 million second round of financing from Flagship Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, NanoDimension, and Harvard Medical School professor Timothy Springer, is developing nanoparticle drugs that target specific cells in the immune system to either fight or prevent illnesses.

—Maynard, MA-based Tizor Systems, which had raised $23.3 million in its last two rounds of financing, was acquired by Marlborough, MA-based Netezza (NYSE:NZ) for just $3.1 million in cash. Netezza, a maker of data warehouse appliances, says the acquisition will enhance its customers’ ability do forensic analysis of data and to comply with regulatory requirements.

—Biotech firm Clinical Data (NASDAQ:CLDA) of Newton, MA, has raised $50 million in a convertible debt financing from investment affiliates of its chairman, Randal Kirk. The funding will help the firm wrap up a second late-stage clinical trial of its depression treatment, vilazodone, and apply for FDA approval of the drug, as well as support a late-stage trial for of the cardiac imaging agent apadenoson (Stedivaze).

—Pogo Jet, which is gearing up to launch a fleet of charter VLJs, or very light jets, officially withdrew its planned IPO. The Chicopee, MA-based firm had hoped to sell 7 million shares of its common stock at between $12.50 and $16.50 per share.

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