Takeda and Alnylam Join Forces, Carl Icahn Makes His Case, New England Biotech is Hot (Duh), & More Life Sciences News

Xconomy Boston — 

Japan’s Takeda took another bite out of Boston-area biotech this week, while Ernst & Young’s numbers showed just how juicy that apple is. Here’s more on that, and the rest of the week’s life sciences news.

—Not long after its $8.8 billion acquisition of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Japanese drug giant Takeda Pharmaceutical Company forged an agreement with one of the firm’s Cambridge, MA, neighbors, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ALNY). The deal is potentially worth more than $1 billion over five years.

—Ernst & Young revealed, presumably to nobody’s surprise, that 2007 rocked for New England biotech. Greg summed up the sunny stats.

—In a letter to shareholders, activist investor Carl Icahn once more made the case for his slate of nominees to the Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) board, and said if his representatives are elected they’ll do more than agitate for a quick sale of the Cambridge, MA-based biotech.

—Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX) was hit with a $250 million jury verdict in a patent dispute with Medtronic. The Natick, MA, firm said it would look for the verdict to be set aside.

—Differential Proteomics, a diagnostics startup based in Beverly, MA, took the $10,000 first prize in the 2008 North of Boston Business Plan Competition.

—Atlas Venture of Waltham, MA, placed a bet on the emerging field of mircoRNA by co-leading an $8 million Series A investment in Boulder, CO-based Miragen Therapeutics, which plans to use the approach to develop treatments for heart failure and muscle disease.

—The assets and operations of Meriden, CT-based flu vaccine maker Protein Sciences were bought by Emergent BioSolutions, of Rockville, MD, in a deal worth up to $78 million.

—HyperMed, a medical imaging firm in Burlington, MA, raised $4 million from Greenwich, CT’s GBP Capital.

—NxStage Medical (NASDAQ: NXTM) of Lawrence, MA, a dialysis products maker, unveiled its plan to raise $43 million via a private placement of common stock and warrants.