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Needham’s Sonian, a provider of email archiving solutions, raises $4 Million December 20, 2010

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Needham’s Sonian, a provider of email archiving solutions, raises $4 Million from a group of investors including Prism VentureWorks and Summerhill Venture Partners.

Boston’s SensorLogic, a developer of machine-to-machine applications platforms, raises $5 Million December 20, 2010

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Boston’s SensorLogic, a developer of machine-to-machine applications platforms, raises $5 Million from a group of investors led by Sevin Rosen Funds, Boston Millennia Partners, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund and Covera Ventures.

Cambridge’s Rive Technology, a developer of catalyst technology for petroleum refining, raises $25 Million December 20, 2010

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Cambridge’s Rive Technology, a developer of catalyst technology for petroleum refining, raises $25 Million from a group of investors including Blackstone Group, Charles River Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and Nth Power.

Lexington’s 1366 Technologies, a developer of silicon wafer technology, raises $6 Million in a series B round of equity funding December 20, 2010

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Lexington’s 1366 Technologies, a developer of silicon wafer technology, raises $6 Million in a series B round of equity funding led by a group of investors including Hanwha Chemical, Ventizz Capital Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners.

Magen Biosciences, a Waltham, MA-based company focused on novel dermatology treatments, is acquired by the contract research firm PPD for $14.5 million December 18, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Acquisitions, Biotech, Health Care IT, Pharmaceuticals, Startups.
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Magen Biosciences, a Waltham, MA-based company focused on novel dermatology treatments, will be acquired by the contract research firm PPD for $14.5 million. The firm was founded in 2006 by a well known group of biotech entrepreneuers and investors, including Rich Aldrich, founder of RA Capital, David Fisher, chief of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Christoph Westphal, co-founder of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. Having raised $17 million in seed and Series A financing from a syndicate of backers including ARCH Venture Partners, TVM Capital, and IDG Ventures (now Flybridge Capital Partners), the purchase price is unlikely to result in an exit for Magen’s backers.

Back in 2008, Magen inlicensed for an undisclosed sum a number of derm compounds from Eli Lilly that showed positive anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative results in preclinical studies. It’s a good thing they did: those compounds were the primary reason for PPD’s interest in the biotech. The buy-out gives PPD an entrée into the specialist field of dermatology. In a press release announcing the news, PPD CEO Fred Eshelman noted that dermatologic treatments generally have a “more straightforward path to regulatory approval.” That’s certainly part of the logic behind moves of another specialist drug maker, Valeant, which is trying to brand itself as a derm power-house thanks to the recent acquisitions of Coria Laboratories, Dow, and DermaTech.

Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics December 18, 2010

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Novartis Option Fund leads a $30 million Series B financing round for Waltham’s Avila Therapeutics.

In a deal that combines equity financing with an option on an early-stage research program, Novartis Option Fund led a $30 million Series B financing on July 27 for Avila Therapeutics, which uses its proprietary Avilomics platform to design and develop covalent drugs in the areas of cancer, autoimmune disease and viral infection (read a write-up from The Pink Sheet” DAILY, here). NOF is a $200 million fund that seeds innovative companies through initial and follow-on investments – the initial investment is coupled with a program option to provide early validation of the company’s technology. Avila says it will use the proceeds to advance its first program into clinical development – its lead programs are a protease inhibitor for hepatitis C (AVL181) and a molecule targeting the Btk kinase (AVL291), an emerging target in oncology and autoimmune disease.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company did not say which of those programs would advance to clinical development first, and neither company identified the therapeutic target of the program for which NOF has option rights. Avila says its drugs work through protein-silencing – the molecules’ covalent nature enables them to bond strongly, selectively and resiliently to disease-causing proteins, theoretically producing superior therapeutic outcomes. The drug candidates’ covalent bonding also makes them effective against mutations in disease targets, according to Avila.

Participating with NOF in the Series B were Avila’s original investors – Abingworth, Advent Venture Partners, Atlas Venture and Polaris Venture Partners. The four VC firms staked Avila with $21.3 million in Series A funding in 2007, and also made a convertible debt purchase this past May that initially brought Avila $5 million and eventually could yield $15 million.

Boston’s Apperian, a maker of mobile applications, raises $500k from CommonAngels December 17, 2010

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Boston’s Apperian, a maker of mobile applications, raises $500k from CommonAngels.

Woburn’s 8DWorld, a developer of a virtual world for learners of English as a second language, raises $5.25 Million in a round B December 17, 2010

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Woburn’s 8DWorld, a developer of a virtual world for learners of English as a second language, raises $5.25 Million in a round B.

Natick’s ID-8 Mobile, a Provider of peripheral products for mobile connected devices, raises $875k from a group of undisclosed investors December 9, 2010

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Natick’s ID-8 Mobile, a Provider of peripheral products for mobile connected devices, raises $875k from a group of undisclosed investors.

Boston’s AisleBuyer, a developer of smartphone-driven self-checkout technology for retailers, raises $4 Million December 9, 2010

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Boston’s AisleBuyer, a developer of smartphone-driven self-checkout technology for retailers, raises $4 Million from the founding investor of the following companies: InnerWorkings, Echo Global Logistics, Mediabank, Forseva and Groupon. [The Editor wishes to thank AisleBuyer’s Marketing Coordinator Katie Despres for pointing out a factual error in my earlier posting regarding the source of the investment capital, and I further wish AisleBuyer the best of good fortune in their exciting and important business venture!]

Boston’s FitnessKeeper, maker of the popular RunKeeper application, raises $1.1 Million December 9, 2010

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Boston’s FitnessKeeper, maker of the popular RunKeeper application, raises $1.1 Million from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

Beverly’s Envista Corporation, a developer of Web-based software for municipality project management, raises $4.1 Million December 9, 2010

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Beverly’s Envista Corporation, a developer of Web-based software for municipality project management, raises $4.1 Million froma group of investors including Borealis Ventures, Egan managed Capital, Point Judith Capital.

Acton’s Azuki Systems, a provider of a mobile media communications platform, raises $4 Million December 9, 2010

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Acton’s Azuki Systems, a provider of a mobile media communications platform, raises $4 Million from a group of investors including Sigma Partners and Kepha Partners.

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