Brightcove Forges Adobe Alliance, Investors Give in to DemandWare’s $15M Demands, Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent Team Up on Stem Cell Tech, & More Boston-Area Deals News

4/24/09

There’s much to report from New England’s tech and life sciences sectors this week. Let’s get started.

—Clarus Ventures of Cambridge, MA, joined with the likes of InterWest Partners and Arch Venture Partners to lead a $10 million Series A financing for Ann Arbor, MI-based Lycera. The startup is developing treatments for autoimmune diseases based on research from the University of Michigan and New York University School of Medicine.

New Atlantic Ventures closed its third fund, NAV III LP, at $115 million. The venture firm, with offices in Cambridge, MA, and Reston, VA, invests in high-growth technology sectors such as wireless, new media, and online services.

—Cambridge, MA-based Brightcove forged an alliance with Adobe Systems to make it harder to pirate Flash-based streaming media files and easier to publish video made with Adobe’s video production software via Brightcove’s video hosting system. Wade got the details on the collaboration from Jeff Whatcott, Brightcove’s senior vice president of marketing.

—Bob got the rundown on the top 10 New England venture deals of the first quarter. Watertown, MA-based A123Systems and Waltham, MA-based Proteon Therapeutics topped the list, raising $69 million and $38 million, respectively.

—Pharmaceutical behemoth Merck (NYSE:MRK) agreed to pay the Massachusetts Medical School’s Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories and Princeton, NJ-based Medarex (NASDAQ:MEDX) $60 million up front for an exclusive worldwide license to two monoclonal antibodies under development for the treatment of clostridium diffficile infection. The UMass lab and Medarex are also eligible for up to $165 million in additional fees and royalties on any eventual sales.

—Parasol Therapeutics, an MIT spinoff out to develop new treatments and tests for influenza, raised $3.25 million in a seed round of venture capital from Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lux Capital, and others. Ryan has a nice profile of the startup, whose co-founders include MIT’s Ram Sasisekharan and Polaris general partner Alan Crane. Sasisekharan and Crane also co-founded Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MNTA) and Cerulean Pharma (formerly Tempo Pharmaceuticals), both of Cambridge, MA.

—Waltham, MA-based Phase Forward (NASDAQ:PFWD), a maker of software for drug-safety and clinical-trials applications, acquired Cambridge, MA-based Waban Software for $14 million in cash.

—E-commerce startup DemandWare of Woburn, MA-based reportedly raised $15 million in a Series D funding round from North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

—A group of lenders led by Royal Bank of Scotland and including Banco Espirito Santo, Banco Santander, BNP Paribas, CoBank, HSH Nordbank, KeyBank, Société Générale and Credit Suisse put up $376 million to help Boston-based First Wind build a 97-turbine wind farm in Milford, UT.

—Lexington, MA-based NitroMed (NASDAQ:NTMD) inked a deal worth $2.6 million up front and up to $5.2 million in future payments to sell and license its nitric oxide-based technology to the French firm NicOx.

—Portsmouth, NH-based Powerspan announced it had closed a new $50 million financing round led by new investors George Soros, Tenaska Energy, AllianceBernstein, and Persimmon Tree Capital, and joined by NGEN Partners, The Beacon Group, The Tremont Group, RockPort Capital Partners, Calvert, Angeleno Group, Fluor Corporation, and FirstEnergy. Powerspan is developing systems for removing pollutants from flue gas at coal-fired electrical plants.

—Cambridge, MA-based Stemgent teamed with San Diego-based Fate Therapeutics to launch the fee-based Catalyst program, which will give large pharmaceutical companies, big biotech firms, and academic labs access to the companies’ induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology for research purposes.

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