Hey Life Sciences Fans, Remember The Deals Back in 2008…

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$45 million in first-round financing from HealthCare Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences, New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Option Fund, and Genzyme Ventures. Luke spoke with company CEO David Pendergast, who explained how the company plans to develop chemical drugs that can help the body maintain protein homeostasis to treat diseases.


Dollars Aligned for Constellation Pharma

—Constellation Pharmaceuticals, based in Cambridge, MA, raised $32 million in Series A funding last year to discover drugs that target epigenetics. Epigenetic functions, broadly speaking, turn genes on and off without affecting the underlying DNA code. Constellation—backed by Third Rock Ventures, The Column Group, and Venrock—aims to use its knowledge of epigenetics to develop treatments for cancer initially and other diseases later.

Glaxo Gobbled Sirtris Pharma

—It’s tough to forget London-based drug giant GlaxoSmithKline’s buyout of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals for $720 million in cash. What struck many people about this was that Glaxo essentially made a large bet on a biotech firm with drug candidates still in the early stages of clinical development. Of course, if Sirtris—which operates with a high degree of autonomy in Cambridge under the leadership of CEO Christoph Westphal—is able to extend healthy human life with its sirtuin-targeting drugs, Glaxo will be rewarded handsomely for its leap of faith.

Takeda’s Big Biotech Grab

—In the biotech landscape, there are a limited number of revenue-generating properties, as the mass majority of companies in the industry have yet to make their first drug sale. Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Company bought one of the few moneymaking enterprises in the industry with its purchase of Cambridge, MA-based Millennium for $8.8 billion. Millennium brought some girth to Takeda’s oncology business with its blood cancer drug bortezomib (Velcade). Velcade, a treatment for cancer of the bone marrow called multiple myeloma, racked up more than $1 billion in sales in 2008.

Ironwood Takes Private Route

—Cambridge, MA-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals proved once again last year that you don’t have to go the way of the IPO to raise a bunch of money. With such investors as Morgan Stanley and Polaris Venture Partners of Waltham, Ironwood raised a private equity round of … Next Page »

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