Warner Bros. Acquires Turbine, Athenahealth Taps IBM, Alkermes Reveals Diabetes Drug Royalty, & More Boston-Area Deals News

4/28/10Follow @xconomy

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—Athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN), a Watertown, MA, provider of systems for electronic health records and billing for physicians, has hired IBM (NYSE: IBM) for assistance with tasks such as data entry and physician billing. The deal with IBM’s Managed Process Business Services wing will enable Athenahealth to better focus on the administrative and reimbursement processing aspects of its software, the company said in a statement.

—For the first time, Waltham, MA-based Alkermes publicly revealed how much it will make in royalties on exenatide once-weekly (Bydureon), a diabetes drug from Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals that harnesses Alkermes’ chemistry technology for making the drug last longer in the blood. The company will take an 8 percent royalty on sales of the first 40 million units of the drug per year. If Amylin and Lilly price Bydureon comparably to the twice-daily injectable version of exenatide, that rate would apply to the first $2 billion in sales, bringing in about $160 million for Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS) for that piece. The royalty rate shrinks to 5.5 percent for sales beyond those first 40 million units.

Novartis exercised its option to buy 55,223 more shares of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals‘ (NASDAQ: ALNY) stock at $17.99 per share. The deal, worth nearly $1 million, allows pharmaceutical giant Novartis to maintain its 13.4 percent ownership stake in the Cambridge-based company, which is developing drugs using RNA interference technology.

—Wilmington, MA-based Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE: CRL) announced its plan to buy WuXi PharmaTech, a Chinese research and development services firm, for $1.6 billion in cash and common stock. The deal, priced at $21.25 a share, represents a 28 percent premium over WuXi’s (NYSE: WX) closing price on Friday. The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval and is expected to close in fourth quarter of 2010.

—Joule Unlimited, a Cambridge-based company developing technology that turns carbon dioxide into ethanol, announced it wrapped up $30 million in a second round of funding that included Flagship Ventures and other unnamed investors. The company launched last summer, originally under the name Joule Biotechnologies.

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