Acetylon Adds $27M, Third Rock Leads Lotus Round, InfraReDx Gets $24M, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

7/1/11Follow @xconomy

New England drug developers, health IT startups, and med devices firms all made life sciences this week.

Genentech brokered a rare deal to obtain an early-stage cancer drug program from Cambridge, MA-based Forma Therapeutics. On top of the more typical upfront payment, development costs coverage, research support, and development milestones, Genentech has the option to acquire the full rights to the drug if it reaches development goals, leaving Forma with no royalty stream. In that case, it would make an asset buyout payment that would be distributed to Forma’s investors, plus further milestone payments to Forma if certain sales goals are met.

—Nimbus Discovery, a drug discovery startup that was seed funded by Microsoft’s Bill Gates, pinned down a $24 million Series A funding round, led by Atlas Venture, SR One, and Lilly Ventures, with participation from Gates.

—Burlington, MA-based InfraReDx raised $24.1 million in an equity offering to existing investors. The funding will go toward expanded clinical applications of InfraReDx’s LipiScan IVUS coronary imaging system. The technology is designed to combine near infrared light and a type of intravascular ultrasound to provide detailed images of a type of fatty plaque in the arteries.

Eliza, a Beverly, MA-based provider of speech recognition technology for communicating healthcare information to patients, inked its first round of institutional funding, from Parthenon Capital Partners.

—Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based firm founded two years ago on research from Harvard University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, snagged a $27 million Series B financing from individual investors. Previous funding for Acetylon, which is developing cancer treatments, has come from Dana-Farber supporters, including tech entrepreneur Marc Cohen and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft.

—Boston-based Third Rock Ventures led a $26 million Series A round for Lotus Tissue Repair, a new Cambridge startup developing a treatment for a rare, genetic disease called dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB).

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