This past week produced a cornucopia of life sciences news, including new partnerships, personnel and real estate changes, venture deals, and some intriguing science.
—A team led by UMass Medical School researcher Michael Czech, co-founder of Worcester, MA-based RXi Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXII), reported in the journal Nature that it has come up with an oral pill form of an RNA-interference based drug, which passed an early test in mice. RXi has an exclusive license to the technology, which could conceivably help solve one of the biggest challenges in RNAi—getting the gene-silencing molecules where they need to go in the body.
—Luke pulled together some of the most interesting lessons that emerged in last week’s Xconomy Forum: Tomorrow’s Biotech—Innovators and Innovations. Definitely worth a read if you missed the event (or if you were there an want to reminisce).
—Cambridge, MA-based Acceleron Pharma unveiled plans to expand its workforce from 114 to 160 by the end of 2009, and to lease another 19,700 square feet of lab and office space in Cambridge, bringing its total footprint in the city to 95,000 square feet.
—Ironwood Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, MA, inked a deal giving European development and commercial rights to Barcelona, Spain-based Laboratorios Almirall for linaclotide, Ironwood’s experimental drug for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. The Cambridge firm will collect $40 million in up-front payments, another $15 million in payments for reaching near-term milestones, and $40 million in payments before the drug is commercialized—as well as a percentage royalty on sales if linaclotide can become a marketed product.