Selecta Scores $15M, Fate Expands into Canada, Xconomy Launches Health IT Channel, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

4/9/10Follow @xconomy

With the world aflutter over Apple’s iPad release, it seemed this week was all about IT, making it a lighter life sciences news week for us. The two spaces don’t have to be mutually exclusive, though; a fact we showcased with the launch of our new Health IT channel.

—Ryan introduced Xconomy’s Health IT channel, a new section of the website dedicated to the increasing flow of news on how the healthcare industry is using technology to better manage patient care. The channel includes a feature entirely new to our site: App Watch, which aims to keep readers up-to-date on health-oriented mobile and Web products, which do everything from helping you buy healthier groceries and tracking your workouts, to taking your vital signs and transmitting the data to healthcare providers.

Selecta Biosciences, a Watertown, MA-based vaccine developer, raised $15 million in Series C money, to put towards development of nanoparticles, which are key components of what it hopes will be a new generation of more effective vaccines. New investor OrbiMed Advisors led the funding, which included a slew of existing backers, and adds to the $15 million the company raised in February 2009.

—Cambridge, MA-based Dyax (NASDAQ: DYAX) added another $8 million to its stock offering when underwriter Jefferies & Company exercised its over-allotment option to purchase an additional 2.55 million shares of common stock at $3.25 per share. The company sold 17 million shares at $3.25 apiece in March, but the underwriter deal, which closed on Monday, bumped up the total net proceeds from the offering to $59.6 million.

—Speaking of Health IT, I caught up with Vitality, a Cambridge startup that’s making Internet-connected pill caps that remind people to take their meds on time. The company, whose technology also aims to target the psychological reason behind why people skip out on their prescriptions, is rolling out a pilot program with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts later this month. Pharma companies lose major revenue streams when patients take pills less often than they’re prescribed, a problem Vitality CEO David Rose hopes will push the drugmakers to employ his system.

—San Diego-based Fate Therapeutics, a stem cell technology developer that also sponsors research labs in Boston and Seattle, announced it will acquire Ottawa, Canada-based Verio Therapeutics, which has drug candidates that could be useful in regenerating damaged pancreatic and heart cells. Fate, which seeks to use stem cell science to create drugs that enable the body’s cells to repair and regenerate tissue, didn’t disclose financial details of the deal.

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