Seventh Sense, Polaris, & More Boston Life Sciences Newsmakers

6/15/12Follow @xconomy

This week we saw innovation initiatives and new funding for both established life sciences companies and startups in New England.

—-Seventh Sense Biosystems, a Cambridge, MA-based startup developing a so-called painless system for sampling blood, pulled in the first tranche of a $10 million Series A round from Flagship Ventures and Polaris Venture Partners. The funding will go toward clinical testing and commercialization of its blood sampling device. The company also appointed new CEO Howard Weisman, formerly of EKR Therapeutics.

—Thermo Fisher Scientific announced the launch of its Center for Excellence for portable analytical instruments, which will add 100 jobs to its 400-person Tewksbury, MA, location.

—Boston-based Rhythm Pharmaceuticals nabbed $25 million in Series A funding from return backers MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and Third Rock Ventures, as well as new investor Ipsen, the Paris-based drugmaker. Rhythm is advancing its lead compound, RM-131, as a treatment for a digestion-related complication of diabetes called gastroparesis.

Third Rock Ventures pumped $40.7 million into Global Blood Therapeutics, the first company that the Boston-founded biotech investment firm launched out of its San Francisco office. Third Rock venture partner and former Constellation Pharmaceutials CEO Mark Goldsmith will lead the startup.

—Waltham, MA-based Polaris Venture Partners and healthcare giant Johnson & Johson (NYSE: JNJ) are working together on a new initiative to scout and fund new biotech opportunities in Boston. J&J will provide industrial resources, and regulatory and commercial knowhow, while Polaris could potentially provide space through its Dogpatch Labs.

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