Antigenics Expands Experimental Cancer Treatment, Novartis Adds to Cambridge Presence, Boston Scientific Sells Unit to Stryker, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

10/29/10Follow @xconomy

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had completed a reverse merger with an entity called InVivo Therapeutics Holdings. The firm, which was listed on the OTC market under the symbol “NVIV” as of Thursday, is also conducting a $10.5 million private placement financing to put toward funding a human study of its device.

—Ryan took a look at Cambridge-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) and the potential in its pipeline’s lead cancer drug, ridaforolimus. Later this year Ariad is expected to report the results from a Phase III trial of the drug, which is being developed by Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK).

—Sudbury, MA-based Solx, a maker of a treatment system for glaucoma, raised $3.7 million of a planned $7.2 million equity-based financing, according to an SEC filing. Members of MVM Life Science Partners are listed as directors of Solx, which launched in 2000 and operated out of the Boston University Photonics Center business accelerator program for four years.

—Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IDIX), a Cambridge-based developer of antiviral drugs, announced it had brought on Ronald Renaud, Jr. as president, CEO, and board member. Renaud has previously held the roles of chief financial officer, treasurer, and chief business officer at Idenix and replaces Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, who resigned to pursue other biotech opportunities, the company says.

—Natick, MA-based medical device firm Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) said it has agreed to sell its neurovascular business unit to Kalamazoo, MI-based Stryker (NYSE: SYK) for $1.5 billion in cash. Boston Scientific will net $1.2 billion in the sale, about half of which will go to new acquisitions, with the remainder going to paying down debt.

—Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is tangled in some litigation with Bay Area biotech startup GateKeeper Pharmaceuticals, which was founded by scientists from the research firm to commercialize an anti-cancer molecule they discovered. If successful, the drug could combat non-smallcell lung cancer with specific gene mutations resistant to existing treatments, like Roche and OSI Pharmaceuticals’ blockbuster cancer pill erlotinib (Tarceva) and AstraZeneca’s gefitinib (Iressa). GateKeeper made a move to exercise its right to a license to develop the drug, but Dana-Farber has sought to revoke the deal. Longtime Dana-Farber backer Novartis claims that it actually has the rights to the drug.

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