AlloCure Arrives in New England, Merck Shutters Cambridge Research Site, Infinity Cuts Deal With Intellikine, & More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

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Excelimmune, a Woburn-based developer of human recombinant polyclonal antibody-based drugs has raised half of a planned $9 million equity round of funding. The company attracted $1 million in Series B money in February.

—Cambridge-based Infinity Pharmaceuticals struck a deal with San Diego’s Intellikine, to develop and commercialize drugs that target the overactive PI3 kinase pathways present in patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Infinity (NASDAQ: INFI) will pay the San Diego company $13.5 million upfront, up to $25 million in milestone payments for two drug candidates, and possibly another $450 million if the drugs nab regulatory approval and hit the market.

—New Jersey-based Merck announced plans to shutter its research site in Cambridge’s Kendall Square section. The move comes as part of Merck’s restructuring plan following its November merger with Schering-Plough. The drug giant will also close another seven research facilities and eight manufacturing plants worldwide.

—French drug giant Sanofi-Aventis is expanding its Cambridge presence, with a new cancer research division, the Boston Globe reported. The firm, which has a presence in Kendall Square, is looking to invest about $65 million to also set up shop in the Cambridgeport neighborhood, adding about 300 jobs to the area.

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