all the information, none of the junk | biotech • healthcare • life sciences

Polaris Raises $234M for New Fund, BioScale Pins Down $25M, Clinical Data Nets $30M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

New England-area deal-making news came back with a roar in the last week. We saw headlines of stock sales, myriad stages of venture funding, acquisitions, and a top venture capital firm’s moves to raise money for a new fund.

Etouches, a Ridgefield, CT-based meeting planning company turned software-as-a-service business, said it raised $2.5 million in its first round of venture capital funding, led by Greycroft Partners. Cava Capital and Connecticut Innovations also participated in the financing for etouches, which makes software for managing events.

—Healthrageous, a maker of software designed to give personalized medical advice on issues like weight loss and diabetes, raised $6 million in Series A funding. North Bridge Venture Partners led the investment, and is also housing the startup in its Waltham, MA, offices until it finds Boston-area office space. Egan-Managed Capital and Long River Ventures also kicked in cash, which will go to hiring more engineers and other staff, and development of a platform for smartphones.

—New Haven, CT-based antibiotics developer Rib-X Pharmaceuticals pulled in $5.5 million of a round of debt and options that could reach $15 million, an SEC filing showed. The company took in a new CEO in March and has raised more than $158 million before the newest funding, since its founding in 2000.

—Exogenesis, a Billerica, MA-based developer of technology for improving implantable medical devices’ interaction with the body, raised $3.7 million of a planned $4.1 million round of equity funding. The company lists members of Inflection Point Ventures and Venture Capital Fund of New England as members of the board, according to a regulatory filing.

—Sonicbids, whose website enables bands to discover and book gigs, said it acquired San Francisco-based ArtistData. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, but Boston-based Sonicbids says that ArtistData, which serves as a platform for publishing gig information, will be rolled into its site by the end of this year.

—Cambridge, MA-based BioScale, a maker of life sciences research and diagnostics products that analyze proteins, nabbed a $25 million round of equity financing, led by China’s Morningside Venture. Previous backers New Science Ventures, WFD Ventures, F2 Ventures, and individual investors also contributed to the newest round, which will go to sales and manufacturing of BioScale’s protein analysis tools.

—Waltham-based Polaris Venture Partners wrapped up $233.8 million of its planned $400 million Polaris Venture Partners VI LP fund. The $3 billion-plus venture capital firm focuses heavily on technology and life sciences investments and has made some winning bets on New England companies such as Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY), Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM, and GlycoFi (now owned by Merck & Co.). The newest fund has a smaller target than what we’ve seen from Polaris before. It raised $1 billion for its last fund in 2006, and VentureWire reported the firm has backed away from an earlier goal of making the next fund worth $500 million.

—Clinical Data (NASDAQ: CLDA), a Newton, MA-based drug developer, said it sold 2.24 million shares of stock and netted about $30 million. Last month the FDA agreed to consider the company’s application for approval of its first drug, the depression treatment vilazodone.

—Cambridge-based Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ) announced it will sell $1 billion in corporate debt to put toward a $2 billion stock buyback plan. The drugmaker expects the $1 billion sale of its notes to institutional buyers to close on June 17. Genzyme announced the stock buyback plan last month amid proxy battles with activist investor Carl Icahn, as a way to boost the stock price. The company will also take greater control over its shares as a result of the deal.

—FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge developer of treatments for diseases caused by protein deficiencies, drummed up $29 million in a round of bridge financing. The money comes from new investors Novo Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. Existing backers Alta Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, HealthCare Ventures, Novartis Venture Funds, and TPG Biotechnology also participated in the funding round.