Aileron Piles on $40M, GenArts Lights Up Lucasfilm’s Screens, Taris Takes on $15M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

6/12/09

Deal flow was on the slow side this past week, but there was at least one whopper of a transaction, namely…

—Aileron Therapeutics, the Cambridge, MA-based developer of a new class of drugs called “stapled peptides,” raised $40 million in venture capital, bringing its total raised to date to about $61 million. The new round was led by GlaxoSmithKline and Excel Medical Ventures and joined by the venture arms of Novartis, Roche, and Eli Lilly, as well as Apple Tree Partners, and two angel investors.

—GenArts, the Cambridge, MA-based visual-effects-software firm, inked a deal with San Francisco-based Lucasfilm that will provide GenArts’ software for every compositing system in the company, including machines at Industrial Light & Magic, Lucasfilm Animation, and LucasArts, the firm’s video game development house. The two companies will also work together to develop advanced visual effects and compositing technologies.

—Super stealthy startup Taris Biomedical of Lexington, MA, revealed that it raised a $15 million Series A round of venture capital last August. Flybridge Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, and Flagship Ventures, provided the funding for the MIT spinoff, which will make its full public debut at our upcoming Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship on June 24.

—Boston-based social networking site Gather raised $5.3 million in equity financing. Allen & Company, American Public Media, Jim Manzi (former CEO of the Lotus Development Corporation), Jack Connors (former CEO of Hill Holiday), Kevin McClatchy, Andrew Tobias, and the Gerace family all participated in the deal

—Tyngsboro, MA-based Beacon Power (NASDAQ: BCON), a maker of flywheel-based systems that help to smooth out power supplies on the electrical grid, inked a tentative deal with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority worth up to $2 million. The agreement would fund the first stages of a planned 20-megawatt flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, NY.

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