Adimab, ImmunoGen, OvaScience, & More Boston Life Sciences News

4/6/12Follow @xconomy

Funding for drug development and a diagnostics firms dominated the deals news.

—A souped up breast cancer drug from Genentech and Waltham, MA-based ImmunoGen called T-DM1 passed its biggest clinical trial yet, by keeping tumors from spreading for a significantly longer time than the drugs in a control group. Immunogen supplied the technology that links a toxin to Genentech’s original antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin), to form the beefed up drug. If the treatment nabs FDA approval, ImmunoGen stands to get a “mid-single digit” percentage royalty on worldwide sales.

—-Boston-area life sciences entrepreneur Norman Priebatsch is missing and presumed dead after a hiking accident on Mount Washington last Sunday. Priebatsch—whose LinkedIn profile lists Adeptrix and Tinnix as companies he previously co-founded—leaves behind a wife, Suzanne, a son, Seth, who runs the local mobile tech startup SCVNGR, and a daughter, Daniella, who works at Google. He was 67.

—Adimab, the Lebanon, NH-based developer of antibody discovery technology, announced that it closed a Series F financing round from existing investors and acquired  a new research site that will serve as company headquartes. The announcement didn’t mention the deal value, but a filing with the SEC this week puts the dollar total at $13.8 million.

—Burlington, MA-based AlloCure, a developer of stem cell treatments for kidney diseases, snapped up $25 million in Series B funding, from new investor Lundbeckfond Ventures and previous backers SV Life Sciences and Novo A/S. The company’s treatment for acute kidney injury is set to enter another clinical trial this summer.

—Good Start Genetics of Cambridge, MA, inked $14 million in Series B funding to fund commercial efforts for its pre-conception screening tests and research into other applications for its diagnostics technology. The money comes from return backers OrbiMed Advisors, Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE) and SV Life Sciences.

—And another local startup developing stem cell-based drugs also nabbed some series B funding. That would be Boston-based OvaScience, which raised $37 million and is looking to treat infertility by using stem cells from the ovary. The deal was led by General Catalyst, with participation from BBT Capital Management Advisors, Cycad Group, Hunt BioVentures, RA Capital and existing investors Longwood Fund and Bessemer Venture Partners. OvaScience’s co-founders are Longwood partners and repeat biotech entrepreneurs Michelle Dipp and Christoph Westphal.

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