Fresh Capital Flows to Arsenal, Azuki, Synageva, and Viximo

5/5/09

It’s pouring venture deals in Boston today. So rather than flood our dear readers with multiple posts, we’ve compiled the news on deals recently completed by Arsenal Medical, Azuki Systems, Synageva BioPharma, and Viximo into a single story. Given the unsavory climate for raising venture dollars, we’ll call these companies the “Fortunate Four.”

Watertown, MA-based medical devices firm Arsenal Medical (formerly WMR Biomedical) has reeled in $8.2 million in a third round of venture financing, tech newspaper Mass High Tech reports. Arsenal (so named, I’m told, after the firm’s office address on Watertown’s Arsenal Street) is developing medical devices with advanced biomaterials for the cardiovascular and ophthalmology markets, company president and CEO Scott Rader tells MHT. The company has been quiet about its specific products under development, but it boasts an All-Star team of founders that includes Harvard chemical engineering professor and Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) co-founder George Whitesides, prolific MIT inventor Bob Langer, and long-time Whitesides collaborator Carmichael Roberts, a general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners in Waltham, MA. We caught up with Roberts in March to talk about how he’s spending his time at North Bridge and startups such as Arsenal. Interestingly, Arsenal co-founder and chief technology officer Jeffrey Carbeck was named this week as one of the New England Clean Energy Council’s Clean Energy Fellows. The fellowships are designed to retrain tech execs for the clean energy industry.

On the Web front, Acton, MA-based Azuki Systems, formerly called PeerMeta, says today that it has raised $6 million in equity financing from previous backers Kepha Partners and Sigma Partners as well as company executives. (We reported nearly a year ago that Kepha and Sigma pumped $6.1 million into Azuki’s Series A round of financing.) The two-year-old firm has rolled out a cloud-based platform that allows publishers of video and other rich media to reach audiences through mobile websites, mobile applications, and desktop widgets.

In life sciences deal news, Synageva BioPharma, based in Waltham, has revealed that two new investors—Hunt BioVentures, of Dallas, and Tokyo-based venture group Yasuda Enterprise Development—have added $3 million to the company’s recently announced private equity round, bringing the total to $33 million. Synageva says it is developing both novel protein drugs and copies of approved biotech drugs, known as follow-on biologics or biosimilars. With U.S. patents on major biotech drugs like industry giant Amgen’s (NASDAQ:AMGN) Epogen due to expire over the next several years, firm’s like Synageva and drug behemoth Merck (NYSE:MRK) are working to develop lower-cost copies of the drugs.

Separately, online services startup Viximo has nabbed $5 million in a round of venture capital from North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners, according to this report on Virtual Goods News. The startup—which, according to its website, provides online services that helps artists to create and sell virtual content—has also replaced its former CEO, Rob Frasca, with acting chief executive Dayna Grayson, a member of the investment team at North Bridge.

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