Sanofi Buys Genzyme for $20B, Aveo Inks Deal with Astellas, Hologix Nabs FDA Approval, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

2/18/11Follow @xconomy

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data provided by CB Insights FundingFlash. Thirteen healthcare companies brought in $146.5 million, out of a total of $242.5 million for the month.

—Cambridge biotech Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) sold to French drug giant Sanofi-Aventis for $20.1 billion, or $74 per share, making it the biggest biotech acquisition ever in Boston’s cluster. The transaction came after months of courting by Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) and also includes additional compensation to shareholders for milestones primarily related to Genzyme’s experimental drug for multiple sclerosis, alemtuzumab (Lemtrada), which is already on the market for treating leukemia. The purchase price was a boost from Sanofi’s original offer of $69 per share.

—Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) of Cambridge landed its largest deal ever: Japan-based Astellas Pharma is paying the company $125 million initially and up to $1.3 billion in potential milestones related to Aveo’s lead cancer treatment, tivozanib. The company is currently completing a clinical trial of the drug in patients with an aggressive form of kidney cancer.

—Sermo, the Cambridge-based provider of the nation’s largest online community of doctors, nabbed a $3.5 million growth capital financing from MMV Financial. It’s putting the money toward beefing up its physician community, which pharma companies, healthcare institutions, government agencies, and financial services firms can tap into for market research.

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