Merck Ends Aveo Deal, Acceleron Rides Pharma Partnership Wave, Rhythmia Raises $5M, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

10/1/10

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deliver the a keynote talk at our upcoming Xconomy Forum. The forum, called “Boston’s War on Cancer,” will be hosted by Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company in Cambridge October 20. Full details here.

—Cambridge-based Ligon Discovery forged an alliance with Germany’s Bayer Schering Pharma which gives the German firm access to Ligon’s drug-screening technology, which was developed at Harvard. Terms of the deal—Ligon’s first with a major drugmaker—were not disclosed.

—Ryan make the long (not) trek from Xconomy’s HQ downstairs to the new offices of Lantos Technologies, an MIT spinoff developing technology for 3D imaging of the ear canal. Lantos CEO Shahid Azim talked to Ryan about the advantages and challenges of following in the footsteps of Brontes Technologies, a developer of 3D oral imaging technology co-invented by MIT professor Doug Hart, Lantos’ scientific founder. St. Paul, MN-based 3M (NYSE:MMM) bought Brontes for $95 million just four years after it was founded.

—Cambridge-based Dyax (NASDAQ: DYAX) agreed to let Japanese contract research organization CMIC commercialize its drug DX-88 (ecallantide) in Japan, in exchange for $4 million up front, as much as $102 million in development and sales milestones, and royalties worth 20 percent to 24 percent of net sales. Dyax already markets the drug in the U.S. under the name Kalbitor as a treatment for the inflammatory disease hereditary angioedema.

—Pharma giant Merck ended a collaboration with cancer drug developer Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) of Cambridge, returning worldwide rights to the antibody drug candidate AV-299 to the Massachusetts firm. Aveo said its 2010 year-end cash balance will not be affected by the agreement’s termination.

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