Pulmatrix Pulls in $30.2M, GenArts Gobbles Up Wondertouch, BioVex Bags $30M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

11/11/09

Several of New England’s tech and life sciences firms got juicy deals the past week and a half.

—Boston’s RunMyErrand, an online clearinghouse where busy people can find helpers for odd jobs, raised $1 million in a Series A venture financing round. The cash, from California investors Baseline Ventures and Maples Investments, will help the startup staff up and expand to San Francisco.

—Cambridge, MA-based Cequent Pharmaceuticals raised $3.35 million in the first tranche of its second venture financing round; the round could eventually total $15 million. Cequent, a developer of RNA-interference based drugs, raised $15 million in its 2007 Series A round from Ampersand Ventures, Pappas Ventures, Yasuda, and Novartis Option Fund.

Pulmatrix raised $30.2 million in a Series B venture round led by Arch Venture Partners and Novartis Bioventures Fund and joined by Polaris Venture Partners and 5AM Ventures. The Lexington, MA-based startup is developing drugs that prevent a variety of microbes, including influenza, from infecting the lungs.

—GTC Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:GTCB) of Framingham, MA, raised $10 million in a sale of stock to French biotech drug maker LFB Biotechnologies, already a major shareholder

—Waltham, MA-based On-Q-ity, a developer of cancer diagnostic tools, reportedly raised $21 million in a Series A round of venture capital from Mohr Davidow Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Physic Ventures, and Northgate Capital. The startup was formed through the merger of two Mohr Davidow portfolio companies, CELLective Diagnostics and The DNA Repair Company.

—Boston’s Flybridge Capital Partners helped funnel $3.4 million into New York-based open-source database developer 10gen. Returning investor Union Square Ventures also contributed to the Series B round.

—Special effects software startup GenArts of Cambridge, MA, acquired St. Louis, MO-based Wondertouch, whose software generates so-called “particle-based” special effects. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wade took a fun look at the companies’ technologies.

—We got the inside scoop last week at our Xconomy event on pharmaceutical innovation when Boston-based Enlight Biosciences revealed that it struck a deal with Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). Abbott agreed to join the consortium of big pharmas that are backing Enlight’s efforts to develop platform technologies that could help streamline the process of drug development. Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will give Enlight up to $13 million for its own operations and to invest in spinoff companies.

—Bitwave Semiconductor, a Chelmsford, MA–based maker of radio-frequency integrated circuits for portable devices, raised $1.33 million out of a planned $6 million Series C equity funding round, according to SEC filing.

—Software maker LogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM) of Woburn, MA, announced that early investors plan to sell 2.9 million of their shares in a secondary public offering. The company itself, which went public in July, intends to sell 100,000 shares as well.

—Guilford, CT-based Ion Torrent Systems raised $23 million out of a planned $26 million round of financing, according to regulatory filings. Famed Harvard genomics researchers George Church is one of the firm’s advisors; the startup is tight-lipped about who its investors are or what it intends to do with the money, but Luke pieced together some interesting possibilities.

—Woburn, MA-based BioVex, a developer of cancer-killing viruses, raised $30 million from Morningside Venture, Ventech, MVM Life Science Partners, Sectoral Asset Management, and Ysios Capital Partners. The company will use the cash to help complete a pivotal clinical trial of its lead drug candidate for melanoma.

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