Genzyme Sheds Testing Unit, Red Bend Acquires VirtualLogix, Acceleron Forges Alliance with Shire, & More Boston-Area Deals News

9/15/10

New England’s life sciences companies inked the majority of this week’s deals, but several software firms had interesting business to report as well.

—Boston-based startup Rhythm Pharmaceuticals completed its Series A financing round with a total of $40 million. Third Rock Ventures participated in the closing, joining MPM Capital and New Enterprise Associates, who led a $21 million initial closing of the round back in March.

—Database software maker VoltDB of Billerica, MA, raised $5 million in an equity-based round of funding, according to a regulatory filing. Four investors participated in the round, according to the filing; members of Sigma Partners and Kepha Partners are listed on the document as VoltDB directors.

—Waltham, MA-based Red Bend Software acquired Santa Clara, CA-based VirtualLogix for an undisclosed sum. Both companies make software for the mobile market—Red Bend’s technology allows for over-the-air management of mobile devices’ software and VirtualLogix’s technology enables mobile handsets to run multiple operating systems.

—Cambridge, MA-based Anchor Therapeutics inked an agreement worth up to $480 million with the Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). The deal gives Ortho-McNeil-Janssen access to Anchor’s “pepducin” drug technology, and focuses on several drug targets in the fields of cancer and metabolic diseases.

—ByAllAccounts of Woburn, MA, raised $5 million in a deal led by Castile Ventures, and joined by Commonwealth Capital Ventures. The startup, which raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Commonwealth in 2008, makes technology that enables financial advisors to aggregate account data.

— Cambridge-based drugmaker Acceleron Pharma nabbed $45 million in upfront cash, and stands to collect as much as $498 million total, in a deal with U.K.-based Shire. The co-development and co-marketing agreement gives Shire rights outside of North America for drugs that treat muscle disorders like Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

—Software maker Prelert raised $3.75 million in Series A financing from Fairhaven Capital Partners and Sierra Ventures. The Needham, MA-based startup, launched in 2008, makes tools that help identify the cause of IT service disruptions.

—Boston-based Locately, a location analytics firm, raised $300,000 in seed funding from new accelerator program and investment fund Project 11 Ventures, and members of Hacker Angels. Greg took a look at what makes the small deal so intriguing.

Good Start Genetics, also of Boston, raised $18 million in a Series A round of funding from OrbiMed Advisors, Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), and SV Life Sciences. The Harvard University spinoff plans to use the cash to help fund development of its technology for testing would-be parents for genetic mutations they might pass down to their children; Good Start aims to launch its service next year.

—Speaking of genetic testing, Cambridge-based Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) agreed to sell its Genzyme Genetics unit to Laboratory Corporation of America for $925 million in cash. The divestment is part of a plan Genzyme announced in May to boost shareholder value; two additional Genzyme businesses are on the block as part of the plan.

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