FDA Approves Genzyme Pompe Drug, Vertex Hepatitis C Drug Trial Succeeds, Thermo Fisher Acquires Fermentas, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

5/28/10Follow @xconomy

Life sciences news in the past week has run the gamut, from stealthy companies emerging with funding to big name drug makers scoring FDA approval and successful drug trial results, not to mention a few headlines of partnerships and acquisitions.

Logical Therapeutics, a Waltham, MA-based developer of anti-inflammatory drugs designed to be safer on the stomach, closed a $16.9 million Series C round, led by SV Life Sciences. We broke the news last Friday that the company had pulled in the first $10 million of the financing, based on an SEC filing. Burrill & Co., Novo A/S, and Novitas Capital also participated in the funding round.

NormOxys, which is making drugs that incite red blood cells to release a controlled amount of oxygen to deprived tissues, raised $17.5 million. The funding, which was led by Care Capital and included Index Ventures, will go to testing the Wellesley, MA-based company’s drugs in patients with chronic heart failure and cancer.

—PatientKeeper, the Newton, MA-based maker of software that assists doctors in tasks such as viewing patient data, ordering prescriptions or lab tests, and recording service charges, has made its applications available on Apple’s iPad. Originally founded as Virtmed in 1996, PatientKeeper’s technology differs from traditional electronic healthcare software in that it specifically targets physicians, a group that has been slower in adopting healthcare IT products, Ryan wrote.

Cambridge, MA-based T2 Biosystems raised $15 million, led by Physic Ventures, to continue developing its portable diagnostic technology, which aims to identify proteins, molecules, viruses, and DNA using a handheld instrument. A slew of new and existing investors participated in the most recent financing for T2, which says its machine beats traditional diagnostic devices when it comes to speed, price, and the range of biological substances it can detect.

—Waltham-based Avila Therapeutics will get as much as $209 million from Clovis Oncology in a partnership deal for developing drugs for certain types of lung tumors. Clovis is using Avila’s drug technology, which is designed to form irreversible covalent bonds with their targets, as a way to fight lung cancer that has proven resistant to other treatments.

—Cambridge-based Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) nabbed FDA approval to sell its drug for treating the genetic disorder Pompe disease in patients who are at least 8 years old. The drug, alglucosidase alpha (Lumizyme), is made in Genzyme’s Geel, Belgium-based plant, and functions by replacing the enzyme that Pompe patients are lacking, which breaks down sugars that build up and enlarge heart and muscle tissues. Its absence can … Next Page »

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