Rapid7, Veracode, Boston Scientific, Vaxxas in the Boston Deals Roundup

10/10/12Follow @curtwoodward

Biotech and mobile security account for the notable deals making headlines around the Boston area in the past week:

—IT security firm Rapid7, loaded up with nearly $60 million in venture capital, is boosting its portfolio of business services by acquiring Seattle-based Mobilisafe. Founded in 2010 by two veterans of T-Mobile, Mobilisafe just unveiled its software-as-a-service product publicly this June. The two companies had been talking about a partnership, Mobilisafe co-founder Giri Sreenivas says, but it turned into a buyout discussion. No terms were reported, but Mobilisafe was still in the early stages, having raised $1.2 million this spring from Madrona Venture Group and Trilogy Equity Partners. Mobilisafe will stay in Seattle, and Rapid7 takes over selling the product as of today.

—Did someone say mobile security? Burlington, MA-based Veracode, which is known for its Web-based security testing platform, has acquired Marvin Mobile Security of Berkeley, CA. No terms were disclosed for the deal, which expands Veracode’s ability to help businesses track the actions apps are taking on employee mobile devices. This deal and the Rapid7-Mobilisafe tie-up are part of the “bring your own device” or BYOD trend, which is seeing employers embrace the inevitable flood of employee mobile devices—while having to deal with a slew of new security risks once all those machines start accessing company networks.

—In life sciences, we saw a whopper of a deal as Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) shelled out at least $90 million for Burlington, MA-based startup Rhythmia Medical. The deal could grow by an additional $175 million through 2017 if regulatory and sales requirements are met. Rhythmia produces a catheter that captures electrical signals from each heartbeat, which combines with software to form a 3-D view of the heart. Together, the system can pinpoint the location of tissue buildups that are responsible for irregular heartbeats. If doctors can find this tissue buildup, they can remove the tissue, and restore a more normal heartbeat.

—Boston biotech is also sizing up a new import from Australia. Vaxxas, which is developing a patch that it hopes could replace needles for administering vaccines, is establishing a new headquarters in Cambridge and has hired a new CEO, David Hoey. And the company has inked a research deal with Merck, which calls on Merck to pay an up-front fee along with research funding to help Vaxxas to test its technology. The Vaxxas “nanopatch” uses tens of thousands of microneedles per centimeter that can deliver tiny doses of vaccine just beneath the skin—potentially cutting the amount of vaccine needed to inoculate a patient, while also getting a powerful immune response. The terms were kept secret.

—Worcester, MA-based World Energy (NASDAQ: XWES) has acquired Northeast Energy Partners, an energy management and procurement company in Connecticut, for $7.9 million in cash plus $5.2 million in seller notes and future earn-outs. The move appears to strengthen World Energy in mid-market energy management. The company has made four acquisitions in the past year as it has tried to grow faster and become more profitable.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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