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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.

Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing August 23, 2010

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Providence, Rhode Island based Shape Up The Nation, Inc., a provider of social network based online health and wellness services, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity financing from a group of investors including Cue Ball Capital and Excel Venture Management.

Belmont’s SaveWave, digital coupon solutions provider, raises $2.3 Million in a Series A round of equity funding August 23, 2010

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Belmont’s SaveWave, (formerly known as Upromise) digital coupon solutions provider, raises $2.3 Million in a Series A round of equity funding from a group of undisclosed investors.

Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc. raises $5 Million in a Series A August 21, 2010

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Newton’s MedNetworks, Inc., a provider of technology for analyzing real life social networks of physicians and patients, raises $5 Million in a Series A round of equity funding led by Excel Venture Management.

Cambridge’s Marginize raises $350k in a Series A round August 21, 2010

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Cambridge’s Marginize, a provider of real time conversation on top of existing web pages, raises $350k in a Series A round of equity financing led by a group of investors including Longworth Venture Partners, Atlas Ventures, David Cohen and Dharmesh Shah.

Cambridge’s Wiggio raises $2.1 Million in a Series A round of equity funding from New Atlantic Ventures May 27, 2010

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Cambridge’s Wiggio, an online collaboration tool, raises $2.1 Million in a Series A round of equity funding from New Atlantic Ventures.

About Wiggio

Wiggio is a group application software company. With over 200,000 users, the company’s software application allows group members to share and edit files, host free video meetings and conference calls, manage a group calendar, poll group members, post links, chat online and send mass text, voice and email messages to group members. Wiggio was created in January 2008 by Dana Lampert. Wiggio’s mission is to eliminate frustration, and enable groups to work effectively. For more information please visit http://wiggio.com.

 

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