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Ironwood Inks $40M Deal with Laboratorios Almirall, CombinatoRx and Novartis Seek Combo Cancer Drugs, NABsys Nabs $4M, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences Deals

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services, announced a planned $200 public offering of senior subordinated notes due in 2016.

—This year’s Ernst & Young annual biotech survey, Beyond Borders, showed that the combined market value of New England’s public biotech companies on the last trading day of 2008 was $49.7 billion—down 24 percent from a year earlier. Revenues, on the other hand, were up 15 percent, to $13 billion, and the size of companies’ coffers was up 5 percent, to a combined total of $5.1 billion.

—Providence, RI-based NABsys raised $4 million in a Series A round of financing intended to help it develop a way to use electronics for faster, cheaper DNA sequencing. Providence venture firm Point Judith Capital led the round, which was joined by return investors such as Slater Technology Fund, a venture group funded by the State of Rhode Island.

—Cambridge, MA-based CombinatoRx (NASDAQ:CRXX) forged a new alliance with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis to develop combination treatments for cancer. CombinatoRx—whose lead drug failed late last year in clinical trials, sending the company reeling—will receive an upfront payment of $4 million and research funding for at least two years. The Cambridge firm could also earn up to $58 million for reaching clinical, regulatory, and commercial goals for each drug to come out of the partnership.

—Kenneth Bate, the former CEO of Lexington, MA-based drug developer NitroMed, will take the helm of Cambridge, MA-based Archemix, replacing Duncan Higgons. A proposed merger between NitroMed and Archemix fell through early this year.

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