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

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$50 million last year. Ironwood, which has now raised $231 million over the past decade, plans to use the cash to develop treatments for high cholesterol and irritable bowel syndrome—and “to build the next great pharmaceutical company,” CEO Peter Hecht told Luke.

Alnylam Takes Takeda ‘Cashola’

—Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) was also on the receiving end of a deal with Japan’s Takeda last year. The deal brought Cambridge-based Alnylam $100 million in upfront payments and potentially more than $1 billion in milestone fees. It also made Takeda the exclusive Asian partner for Alnylam’s RNA-interference drugs in development to silence disease genes. I know of at least two other developers of RNAi drugs in the Boston area that have met with Japanese drug companies to test their appetites for similar kinds of deals.

Genzyme’s Super-Sized Market Move

—Did you think we could complete this list without mentioning the big guy in town? Genzyme (NASDAQ:GENZ) made a deal to remember in 2008, paying $325 million in upfront cash to Carlsbad, CA-based Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS) for rights to co-market Isis’s cholesterol-lowering drug mipomersen. Even without the big dollars the deal is notable because Cambridge-based Genzyme, which has built a multibillion-dollar business selling treatments mostly for small groups of patients with rare diseases, showed that it’s charting at least part of its future on the super-sized market for anti-cholesterol drugs. Luke wrote more on the deal last year.

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