Promedior, Aveo, Ra, and More Boston Life Sciences Headlines

5/18/12Follow @xconomy

Drugs, devices, and nonprofits showed up in this week’s New England life sciences news.

—Promedior, a maker of treatments for tissue damage known as fibrosis, is moving its headquarters from Pennsylvania to Boston and has hired Suzanne Bruhn, a veteran of the Irish drug giant Shire’s Human Genetic Therapies division, as its new CEO.

—Cambridge, MA-based Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) and its Japan-based partner Astellas Pharma announced their experimental kidney cancer drug tivozanib reached the main goal in a pivotal of 517 patients. Aveo said tivozanib prevented tumors from spreading for a longer period than sorafenib (Nexavar), a rival drug from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and also showed an edge in safety and ease of use.

—Cambridge-based Ra Pharmaceuticals emerged from stealth mode to reveal it would be focusing on the rara immune system disorder hereditary angioedema as its lead drug program.

—Mitralign, a Tewksbury, MA-based maker of cardiac devices, announced it had closed on $35 million in Series D financing, led by Forbion Capital Partners. The deal also included previous venture investors, such as Oxford Bioscience Partners, Triathlon Medical Ventures, Medtronic Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

—My colleague Arlene Weintraub wrote about Xconomist Tom Maniatis’ involvement in a non-profit known as Prize4Life. The Cambridge-based organization offers a $1 million prize to scientists making strides in research for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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