Genzyme Expects to Pay $175M to FDA, Westphal Leaves Sirtris to Run GSK Venture Arm, Gelesis Obesity Treatment Passes First Human Trial, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

4/23/10Follow @xconomy

Headlines from both long-established pharma companies and stealthy biotech startups made it a busy life sciences news week for us.

—It was a life sciences-focused week for us, with the introduction of our new life sciences columnist, Sylvia Pagán Westphal, a journalist who’s covered biotech for big-name publications. Her inaugural post likened the lack of disclosure behind the recent Goldman Sachs scandal to the self-interest that’s fueled myriad missteps in life sciences companies.

Hygeia Therapeutics, a Holden, MA-based maker of topical medicine, raised $1 million in Series A funding to go toward testing a topical synthetic estrogen drug to treat age-related skin thinning, and developing an anti-androgen.

—Cambridge-based Javelin Pharmaceuticals (AMEX: JAV), a developer of pain treatments, accepted a $145 million buyout offer from specialty drugmaker Hospira, nixing a previous merger agreement with Myriad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MYRX). Lake Forest, IL-based Hospira (NYSE:HSP) plans to pay $2.20 per share for Javelin common stock, and will also loan the company money to repay loans from Myriad and cover expenses related to breaking the agreement.

Dyax, a Cambridge drug developer, will collect as much as $12 million from Paul Capital Healthcare for selling the rights to royalties and fees from its hemophilia treatment, with $10 million upfront and up to $2 million in milestone payments related to the drug’s sales.

—Luke took a closer look at Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, a seven-person Cambridge startup that’s developing drugs to treat inflammation diseases, particularly diabetes. He first broke the news last week that the stealthy company had pulled in $7.7 million of a planned $39.6 million Series A round from SV Life Sciences, Clarus Ventures, and MedImmune Ventures; the company said it will get the remaining funding if it meets certain development goals.

—HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, a biotech founded in Newton, MA that moved to Seattle sometime last year, announced it completed a $12 million Series B funding round. New investors Aberdare Ventures, of San Francisco, led the round, which also included a slew of returning backers and will go to … Next Page »

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