Sanofi-Aventis Backs Mass Life Sciences Center, Redline Raises $7.45M, Swipely Launches with $7.5M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

We saw a few contributions in the life sciences sector, but for the most part, Internet and software companies have been dominating with deals headlines in the last week.

—Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) got $69 million in cash from Merck, for revising a 2007 agreement with a unit of the drug giant. The revisions give Merck (NYSE: MRK) an exclusive license to develop, produce, and sell Ariad’s experimental cancer drug ridaforolimus, and Merck will cover all future costs related to these activities. Cambridge, MA-based Ariad has already collected $128.5 million in fees and milestones for the collaboration, which initially had the two companies splitting the development responsibilities and marketing rights of the drug.

Sanofi-Aventis, the giant Paris-based drug developer with a Cambridge research site, announced it will contribute $500,000 over two years to Massachusetts’ initiative for accelerating the life sciences industry in the state, according to the program’s administrator, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.

—Cranston, RI-based DormNoise, a developer of online interactive calendar systems for college students, announced it has raised $500,000 in Series A financing. The investment came from online education website PRESENT e-Learning Systems, and DN Ventures, an investor group formed by DormNoise director Alan Jacober.

InstallFree, a Stamford, CT, maker of application virtualization software, brought in $3 million of a planned $3.76 million equity-based round of funding. Richard Fade of Ignition Partners, Peter van Oppen of Trilogy Partnership, and Microsoft veteran Yuval Neeman are listed as company directors on the SEC disclosure of the financing.

—WordStream, a developer of software for enhancing online marketing, said it pulled in $6 million in Series B financing, with contributions from Egan-Managed Capital and Sigma Partners. The cash will go toward the Boston-based company’s growth and expansion of products, which aim to improve both search-engine-optimization and pay-per-click marketing.

—Just call it software week. Redline Trading Solutions, a Woburn, MA, maker of software for getting financial market data to trading applications, raised $7.45 million in equity, according to an SEC filing. The money came from five investors, and $730,249 of the round will go to repurchasing 55,280 shares of common stock held by company president Mark Skalabrin, according to the filing.

—Acton, MA-based optical switch maker Mintera nabbed a $1.65 million offering of equity and debt. Court Square Ventures, JDSU, Polaris Venture Partners, Portview Communications Partners, RRE Ventures, and Star Ventures have previously backed the company.

—Swipely, a Providence, RI-based company whose site allows consumers to share information on their purchases with their social networks, said it raised $7.5 million in Series A funding and launched an invite-only beta version of the site. The company, whose service imports information on users’ credit- and debit-card purchases for friends to comment on, has raised a total of $8.5 million. The newest money comes from Index Ventures, Greylock Partners, First Round Capital, and a group of angel investors.

—Localytics, a Cambridge maker of software that helps mobile app developers track customer usage, announced it had raised $700,000 in its first round of funding, led by Launchpad Ventures and New York Angels.

—Cambridge’s Wiggio, another company like DormNoise working on collaboration groupware for college students, raised $1.95 million in equity-based funding. The filing for the financing listed partners from New Atlantic Ventures as members of the board of directors.

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