ImmunoGen Drug Nears Finish Line, Surface Logix Latches Onto $20M, Athenahealth CEO Bush Talks Stimulus, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

3/11/09

It was nice to see a little venture activity among New England’s biotechs this past week, but overall things have been relatively quiet.

—Regulus Therapeutics, a Carlsbad, CA-based spinoff of Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY), took a step toward greater independence with $20 million in Series A financing from Alnylam and Carlsbad’s Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS), which joined with Alnylam to form Regulus in 2007. Regulus, which is working to develop drugs based on the relatively new field of microRNA, also changed its corporate status from an LLC to a C-corporation to pave the way for contributions from outside investors down the road.

—Acusphere (OTC:ACUS) of Watertown, MA, revealed plans to move its headquarters from there to Tewksbury, MA, and to cut 40 jobs, representing about two-thirds of its staff. Acusphere is seeking FDA approval cardiac imaging agent, perflubutane polymer microspheres (Imagify).

—Venrock Associates of Cambridge, MA; New York; Palo Alto, CA; and Israel launched Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners with a $194 million fund to invest in public and late-stage private healthcare companies.

—Ryan caught a glimpse of a nascent Boston-area biotech called Novophage that’s out to turn bacteria-infecting viruses into a new weapon in the rapidly escalating battle against antibiotic-resistant microbes like MRSA. The startup, whose scientific founders include MIT’s Bob Langer and Gregory Stephanopoulos, Boston University’s James Collins, and … Next Page »

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