Clinical Data Stock Soars on FDA Approval, Amgen Buys BioVex, Stromedix Raises $2M, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

1/28/11Follow @xconomy

We saw news of regulatory approvals, acquisitions, financings, and an even a new venture group surrounding Boston’s life sciences firms this week.

—A European Medicines Agency committee advised against approval of fampridine (Fampyra), Weston, MA-based Biogen Idec’s drug for improving multiple sclerosis patients’ ability to walk. Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB says it will appeal the opinion.

—Ryan took a look at Dossia, a Cambridge, MA-based non-profit consortium that launched in 2006 to provide employees of its member companies with personally controlled digital health records. The group also has a for-profit unit that is looking to raise funding from outside investors and Dossia members, says chief executive Michael Critelli.

—Newton, MA-based Clinical Data saw a nice bump in its stock price alongside news that the FDA had approved its treatment for major depressive disorder, vilazodone. Shares were trading at $24.05 apiece on Monday morning, a 60 percent jump from Friday’s closing price. Ryan took a look at the part Clinical Data’s (NASDAQ: CLDA) chairman, Randal Kirk, played in getting the regulatory approval for the drug.

—Sanofi-Aventis has given shareholders in Cambridge biotech Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) some more time to consider its $69-per-share tender offer, which was set to expire last Friday. Now, Genzyme investors have until just before midnight on February 15 to decide if they want to turn their shares over to the French drug giant at that price.

—Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) announced it was buying Woburn, MA-based BioVex in a deal that could be worth as much as $1 billion. Amgen vice president of R&D Roger Perlmutter is an immunologist by training, so the acquisition of BioVex, which is engineering viruses to kill cancer while sparing healthy tissues, makes sense for Thousand Oaks, CA-based Amgen, Luke wrote.

—Cambridge-based Stromedix, a developer of treatments for a cause of organ failure known as fibrosis, has raised $2 million of a debt offering that could hit $15.5 million, an SEC filing showed.

—Area philanthropist and real estate developer John Flatley has recently founded a venture firm focused exclusively on investing in life sciences companies working on treatments for cystic fibrosis. Flatley Venture Capital is out to invest between $200,000 and $2 million in companies pursuing these treatments, who may not be able to afford to develop technologies for the relatively small cystic fibrosis market.

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