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Avila Gets Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Funding, Dicerna Unites with Ipsen, Rhythmia to Test Heart Mapping Technology, Amag Licenses to Takeda, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

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reflect the drug technology it’s developing. The company seeks to treat ailments from cancer to inflammation using “pepducins,” which anchor in cell membranes and target molecule receptors involved in a variety of disorders.

—This is the year Rhythmia Medical, a Burlington startup founded by MIT and Harvard business school alumni, will put its technology for mapping the heart to the test. The company has developed a catheter-based system for speeding up the time it takes to pinpoint the problematic tissues behind irregular heartbeats, which will be tested in a clinical trial of fewer than 100 patients in Europe this year, one of the co-CEOs told Ryan.

—Lexington, MA-based Amag Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMAG) pulled in $60 million in initial fees through a licensing deal with Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The deal gave Takeda an exclusive license to all therapeutic uses of Amag’s ferumoxytol, a drug for treating iron deficiency anemia, in Europe, former Soviet states, Asia Pacific countries (excluding China, Japan, and Taiwan), Canada, and Turkey. Last June Amag nabbed FDA approval for marketing the drug as an anemia treatment for adults with chronic kidney disease.

Cambridge-based Cequent Pharmaceuticals and MDRNA (NASDAQ:MRNA), a Bothell, WA-based gene-silencing drug developer, announced plans to merge in an all-stock deal worth about $46 million. The deal, which is expected to close by July, will bring MDNRA enough cash to continue operating through 2010, as well as Cequent’s RNA interference technology.

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