Health IT and RNA interference were big themes we saw in this week’s coverage of New England area life sciences companies.
—Ryan took a look at SmartCells, shortly after the Beverly, MA-based biotech revealed it was being acquired by drug giant Merck (NASDAQ: MRK) a in a deal potentially worth more than $500 million. The startup, which is working on an insulin treatment that could provide greater convenience and control for diabetes patients, has kept pretty quiet since its 2004 inception. Co-founder and CEO Todd Zion talked about the startup’s strategy and conservative approach to raising capital.
—Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY) isn’t getting much love on Wall Street these days, Luke wrote. The Cambridge developer of RNA interference drugs, which was worth $35 per share in July 2008, has recently been trading at less than $10 per share, largely because partnerships it had with Roche and Novartis came to a halt. Luke caught up with CEO John Maraganore to discuss the company’s future and current clinical trials for three RNAi drugs.
—NaviNet, a Cambridge-based provider of what it says is the largest real-time healthcare communications network, announced it had bought McLean, VA-based Prematics. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed, but NaviNet said it will integrate Prematics’ mobile clinical messaging and e-prescribing software into its existing technology.
—Watertown, MA-based RNAi drug developer Dicerna Pharmaceuticals said it was expanding an agreement with Japanese drug-maker Kyowa Hakko Kirin, first announced in January 2010 at a potential $1.4 billion. The pact originally focused on developing cancer treatments and is looking to treatments for immunologic and inflammatory diseases with the expansion.
—Boston health IT firm Healthrageous released a mobile app, available to participants in its employer-sponsored health plans. The h!GO app offers individual health measurements, coaching tips, awards for goals met, and customized questions about a user’s health, and is available iPhone, BlackBerry, and Droid devices.
—Speaking of health IT, Ryan talked to George Roberts of OpenView Venture Partners to get a sense of what it takes for healthcare software companies to get an investment from the firm. The four-year-old venture firm is looking for startups that are growing between 30 percent and 100 percent a year, and have between $2 million and $20 million in annual revenue and a disruptive business model, among other things.
—Momenta Pharmaceuticals brought in $57.4 million through a stock offering. The Cambridge-based drugmaker sold 4 million new shares of common stock at $14.35 apiece, a roughly 5.5 percent discount on Tuesday’s closing share price of $15.18.
—MedNetworks of Newton, MA, announced a new scientific advisory board that includes Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, authors of the social network book “Connected.” MedNetworks’ software is designed to enable healthcare stakeholders map and analyze the influence of social networks on health decisions.