Tensha Nabs $15M, Termeer Gives MIT $10M, Stata Puts $10M Into NABsys, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

9/16/11Follow @xconomy

We saw an interesting mix of financings, collaborations, and research news from New England’s drug and medical device developers this week.

HealthCare Ventures put $15 million in Series A funding into Cambridge, MA-based Tensha Therapeutics, a startup developing small-molecule drugs designed to treat cancer and other diseases by regulating the expression of disease-associated genes.

—Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital said it will use technology from Cambridge-based GNS Healthcare (part of Via Science) to help manage the cost of treating congestive heart failure patients. GNS Healthcare will apply its computer simulation models to predict the likelihood that the hospital patients will experience adverse drug events or readmission.

—Henri Termeer, who was CEO of Cambridge-based Genzyme before its acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis, donated $10 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to establish the new Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies. It will focus on developing more personalized cancer drugs, initially for certain genetic forms of breast cancer, lung cancer, and leukemias.

—Natick, MA-based Boston Scientific (NASDAQ: BSX) revealed that it will be bringing in Michael Mahoney as president starting next month and as CEO in November 2012. Current CEO Ray Elliott announced in May that he’d be stepping down; soon-to-be interim CEO Hank Kucheman will have the job until Mahoney, formerly worldwide chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s medical device and diagnostics group, takes the chief executive role.

GI Dynamics, a Lexington, MA-based medical device developer, went public on the Australian stock exchange to raise the $80 million it needed to get through the next three years, wrote Xconomy New York editor Arlene Weintraub. The company is looking to get regulatory approval for its device to be used as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

—NABsys, a Providence, RI-based maker of gene-sequencing tools, took in a $10 million Series C investment from Stata Venture Partners. The Needham, MA-based firm, founded by semiconductor pioneer Ray Stata, also led NABsys’ $7 million Series B funding round. The startup said it will use the new financing for development and commercialization of its solid-state electronic systems for single-molecule DNA sequencing and analysis.  The company is similar to Ion Torrent, a new unit of Carlsbad, CA-based Life Sciences that’s using semiconductor technology in its gene-sequencing machine.

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