Oracle Acquires Phase Forward, Diax Collects Up to $12M from Paul Capital, Agios Gets $130M from Celgene, & More Boston-Area Deals News

4/21/10Follow @xconomy

Acquisitions, partnership agreements, and early round financing for some stealthy operations made it a busy deals news week for us.

Third Rock Ventures, a Boston firm focused on investments in life sciences companies, plans to raise $400 million for its second fund, according to an SEC filing. The firm closed its first fund, with $378 million, in 2007.

—Waltham, MA-based scientific instrument maker PerkinElmer revealed it agreed to acquire Spokane, WA-based Signature Genomic Laboratories for about $90 million in cash.

—Foundation Medicine, a company that’s focused on fighting cancer by testing for genetic traits in a tumor and matching them with treatments, reported that it pulled in part of a $25 million Series A funding round. The startup is incubated out of Boston’s Third Rock Ventures, which also led the financing. In February, Ryan was the first to report that former CombinatoRx (NASDAQ: CRXX) CEO Alexis Borisy was leading Foundation.

—Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge-based startup run by Sirtris Pharmaceuticals veterans, revealed in a regulatory filing that it pulled in $7.7 million of a planned $39.7 million financing. The stealthy operation is developing treatments for inflammatory and metabolic diseases by leveraging the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cambridge’s Agios Pharmaceuticals nabbed $130 million from Summit, NJ-based Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), in exchange for an exclusive option to license and develop Agios’ experimental cancer drugs, for a certain span of time. The deal essentially makes the Cambridge company Celgene’s cancer metabolism drug unit without outright acquiring it.

—The Daily Grommet, a Lexington, MA-based e-commerce company that promotes consumer products with online videos, has raised $3.4 million in Series A funding. The financing included existing investors LaunchCapital and Nickelodeon and Oxygen Media founder Gerry Laybourne. Daily Grommet also attracted new investors Jean Hammond of Hub Angels and Launchpad Venture Group, John Landry of Lead Dog Ventures, Nancy Peretsman, and Jill Preotle of Boston Golden Seeds.

Phase Forward, a Waltham, MA-based maker of software for managing clinical trial data, will be acquired by database software giant Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) for $17 a share, or a total of $685 million, the companies announced Friday. The deal is still subject to shareholder approval, but represents a roughly 30 percent increase over Phase Forward’s closing stock price on Thursday of $13.08.

—Enterprise communication management software provider Tangoe filed for an initial public offering worth $75 million. Deutsche Bank Securities and Thomas Weisel Partners will act as joint book-runners for the Orange, CT-based company’s deal.

—Holden, MA-based topical drug developer Hygeia Therapeutics announced that it closed a $1 million Series A round, which will go toward testing for its topical synthetic estrogen treatment, and developing a topical anti-androgen drug.

—Dyax (NASDAQ: DYAX), a Cambridge drug developer, announced a deal worth up to $12 million with Paul Capital Healthcare, which will get the rights to royalties and fees from the sales of Dyax’s hemophilia treatment. Paul Capital will pay $10 million upfront and up to another $2 million in milestone payments related to the sale of the drug, which Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) is commercializing.

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