Westphal Leaving Glaxo, Cubist Settles Patent Litigation with Teva, BSX Buys S.I., & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

4/8/11Follow @xconomy

We saw news of personnel shifts, litigation, clinical progress, financing, and acquisitions from health IT firms, device makers, and drug companies in New England this week.

—Waltham, MA-based Forerun, a developer of patient-charting software for emergency room doctors, raised $2 million in a Series C funding led by the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation.

—GlaxoSmithKline (NSYE: GSK) announced Boston-based biotech entrepreneur and investor Christoph Westphal will leave his position at SR One, Glaxo’s venture arm. Westphal will focus on other businesses, including Longwood Founders Fund, the relatively new VC fund he founded with Rich Aldrich and Michelle Dipp, who will also leave her position at Glaxo. Both Dipp and Westphal came to Glaxo through the drug firm’s $720 million acquisition of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals in 2008, and both have agreed to stay in their positions until successors are lined up.

—Natick, MA-medical devices maker Boston Scientific (NASDAQ: BSX) paid $5.13 million upfront for acquiring Israel-based S.I. Therapies in November, the Israeli business news website Globes reported. Boston Scientific could pay a total of $24.3 million if S.I., a maker of catheter devices for treating artery blockages, hits certain milestones.

—Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST) of Lexington, MA, announced it had settled patent litigation with Teva Pharmaceutical, surrounding the antibiotic daptomycin (Cubicin), Cubist’s only marketed drug. Teva will drop its claims that two patents on the drug were unenforceable, and in exchange, will get to market a generic version of Cubicin as early as December 24, 2017 under a licensing deal with Cubist, who will also be Teva’s supplier of the product for the U.S. market.

—Cambridge, MA-based RNA interference drug developer Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) said it filed a legal response and counterclaim against Canadian firm Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, which last month accused Alnylam of misappropriating trade secrets.

—My colleague Ryan wrote about the progress that a trio of Boston-area firms are making in developing their products. T2 Biosystems of Lexington said its magnetic biosensor diagnostic approach was able to identify five species of Candida infections from whole blood samples in less than two hours, much faster than the two days taken in existing approaches. Waltham-based On-Qi-ity said its developmental chip for diagnosing cancer was about twice as efficient as a clinically available chip in capturing tumor cells. Cambridge-based gene sequencing startup GnuBIO said it supplied the Montreal Heart Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard with its first sequencing data and that it had raised an $8 million Series A round from angel investors in November.

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