Aveo, Mersana, Haemonetics, & More from the Boston Life Sciences Roundup

8/3/12Follow @xconomy

We’ve seen a mix of new life sciences players, funding announcements, acquisitions, and clinical trial updates this week in New England.

—My colleague Arlene profiled Cambridge, MA-based Thrombolytic Science International and its effort to produce a drug that can dissolve clots after strokes without the time limit that comes with the existing clot dissolver on the market from Genentech.

—Cambridge-based Mersana Therapeutics nabbed $27 million in a Series A-1 financing from new investors Pfizer Venture Investments and New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and existing investors Fidelity Biosciences, ProQuest Investments, Rho Ventures, and Harris and Harris Group. The funding will go to advancing Mersana’s technology for creating antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), proteins that are linked to cancer-fighting toxins to target tumor cells.

—Braintree, MA-based blood management company Haemonetics (NYSE: HAE) said that it completed the acquisition of the blood filtrations, collection, and processing lines of of Port Washington, NY-based Pall (NYSE: [[ticker: PALL]]) for $550 million, $15 million of which will be paid when Pall delivers certain manufacturing assets to Haemonetics by 2016.

—Nuclea Biotechnologies, a Pittsfield, MA-based developer of clinical diagnostics assays, said that it raised $5 million in Series C funding, to make for a total of $35.9 million raised since it was founded in 2005. It will put the new money toward clinical trials and hires, according to the news announcement.

—Enlight Biosciences, a firm founded to help Big Pharma with research and development, revealed its newest portfolio company, Cambridge-based Knode. The startup has developed partnerships with players like AtraZeneca for its LinkedIn-esque social networking tool for drug companies.

—And shares of Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) tumbled more than 25 percent Thursday on the Cambridge-based drugmaker’s report that fewer patients survived one year in a clinical trial on its kidney cancer drug tivozanib than on a competing drug from Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. The company said that not enough deaths have occurred in the clinical trial to determine the final result, and that it believes it can address the FDA’s concerns, and still file its application for approval before the end of this year.

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