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LogMeIn, Safari, Forma, And More Behind the Boston-Area Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

Boston area software and life sciences startups are starting off the new year right with a slew of financing, acquisitions, and partnerships news.

—Marlborough, MA-based Physicians Interactive Holdings received a $17 million pledge from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund to develop Web and mobile apps for connecting physicians and life sciences companies.

—Repeat biotech entrepreneurs Bob Langer and Omid Farokhzad founded a new startup, called Blend Therapeutics, along with Stephen Lippard. Blend is backed by $2.8 million from Flagship Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and NanoDimension, according a FierceBiotech report.

—Last Friday saw a number of financings, some for quirkily named startups: $4 million more for Cambridge-based GrabCAD and $4.5 million for Cambridge-based Krush, $6 million for Boston- and Nashville-based Moontoast, $8.3 million for Linkwell Health, and $4 million for Novogy.

—Safari Books Online, a joint venture between O’Reilly Media and Pearson Education, acquired Threepress, a Boston area company focused on digital publishing tools. The price tag of the deal wasn’t disclosed.

—Woburn, MA-based LogMeIn (NASDAQ: LOGM), which makes remote access and customer support software, paid $16.5 million to acquire Kansas-based Bold Software, a developer of technology for live-chat systems and click-to-call customer service.

—A cluster of area digital marketing startups inked deals: Newton, MA-based Neolane raised $27 million, Boston-based ClickSquared pulled in $9 million, and Boston-based DataXu acquired U.K. and Germany-based Mexad for an undisclosed sum.

—Forma Therapeutics of Watertown, MA, announced its second partnership surrounding cancer drug discovery in less than a week. This time it’s with the Johnson & Johnson unit (NYSE: JNJ) Janssen Biotech, which could pay Forma up to $700 million in development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments if the deal generates new drugs.

—A new Cambridge-based biotech called Warp Drive Bio kicked off with the mission of tapping into substances derived from plants, animals, and other wild organisms as potential sources of new drugs. It nabbed $125 million in funding, from Third Rock Ventures, drugmaker Sanofi (NYSE: SNY), and Greylock Partners.

—On the mobile front, Boston-based Zmags pulled in $7 million from Square 1 Bank and existing backers OpenView Venture Partners and Northcap Partners. The startup offers technology for enabling brands to create and manage advertising campaigns across mobile devices, tablets, and the Web. And Verivo Software, formerly known as Pyxis Mobile, raised $17 million to put toward its tools for companies looking to develop mobile apps. Its investors were Commonwealth Capital, Egan-Managed Capital, and Ascent Venture Partners.

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