Epizyme Nabs Eisai Deal, Termeer Could Make $221.2M From Genzyme Buyout, Gates Funds Nimbus, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

3/11/11Follow @xconomy

We saw some meaty stories on Boston-area drug developers this week, as well as headlines about funding for newer healthcare and health IT startups.

Imprivata of Lexington, MA, is working on carving itself a niche in the crowded space of technology for the secure access of healthcare IT systems, Ryan wrote. The company, which has raised a total of $50 million from its investors, is working on getting login times down to a few seconds, and has security features like facial recognition technology and automatically ending a session on a computer when someone walks away.

Genzyme chief executive Henri Termeer could reap a total of $221.2 million from the  $20.1 billion sale of his Cambridge, MA-based biotech to Sanofi-Aventis. He’ll get $158.4 million up front and could earn up to an additional $62.8 million if certain Genzyme products hit goals outlined in the buyout agreement.

Stonewedge, a stealthy Andover, MA-based startup focused on healthcare for seniors, raised $1 million in equity-based funding, an SEC filing showed. The company’s board includes Bernard Gordon, the founder and former chairman and CEO of Analogic (NASDAQ: ALOG), a medical imaging and airport security systems technology firm.

—Cambridge stealth startup Nimbus Discovery grew its seed investment round with funding from Bill Gates and Richard Friesner, a professor of chemistry at Columbia University and a co-founder of Schrödinger, a global chemical-simulation software provider that is partnering with Nimbus on computer-based drug discovery. Founding Nimbus investor Atlas Venture also participated in the seed deal, whose dollar value wasn’t disclosed.

Forma Therapeutics of Cambridge is focusing on developing a drug that tackles the overactive metabolism of cancer cells, Luke wrote. Since founding in January 2009 the company has raised a total of $50 million, formed a number of partnerships, and put together a staff of 100 people across the globe skilled in cancer drug R&D.

—Cambridge-based Epizyme pinned down $6 million up front in a partnership with Japanese drugmaker Eisai to develop drugs against an epigenetic enzyme for treating lymphomas and other cancers. Epizyme, which just two months ago landed a deal with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK)  that could bring in as much as $650 million, could also earn up to another $200 million in milestone payments in the Eisai deal, for various research, development, and sales goals tied to drugs against the EZH2 enzyme target.

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