Genocea Announces New CEO, Pfizer to Add Jobs In MA, Ocular Raises $14M, and More Boston-Area Life Sciences News

Xconomy Boston — 

We saw a mix of meaty pieces on company strategies and outlooks, as well as breaking news on funding for Boston’s life sciences companies.

—Ryan took a look at Cambridge, MA-based drug developer Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals (and neighbor to Xconomy) as it navigates Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which it filed for in December. The firm, which has four oncology products and one cardiac imaging drug at various stages of human clinical development, has accrued debts of nearly $200 million largely related to bonds it issued in 2007.

—Pervasis Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based developer of cellular therapeutics, got the regulatory nod roughly a year ago to kick off an important clinical trial for its lead candidate for improving improving blood vessel access in hemodialysis patients, but hasn’t taken action yet, Ryan wrote. It’s looking for a partner to help finance the Phase III clinical trial, and the CEO is hopeful regarding discussions Pervasis has had with potential partners for financing.

—Genzyme budged enough to let French drug company Sanofi-Aventis take a look at its books and conduct due diligence, as part of Sanofi’s pursuit to take Cambridge-based Genzyme. Various media reports this week noted that the deal could happen in the next week or so, and that Sanofi is willing to significantly raise its $18.5 billion ($69 per share) offer to buy Genzyme (NASDAQ: GENZ).

—Cambridge-based vaccine developer Genocea Biosciences promoted its chief business officer Chip Clark to the role of CEO. Previous Genocea CEO Staph Bakali left his position in September.

—BG Medicine, a Waltham, MA-based diagnostics firm, revealed that it was aiming to price a 4.75-million-share initial public offering at $7 per share, after withdrawing a proposal for an IPO in December that was looking to price between $13 and $15 per share. The firm had previously withdrawn a proposal for an initial public offering in 2008 as well.

—Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) of Cambridge is nudging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to recommend routine screenings of hepatitis C. If the CDC follows through, the policy could … Next Page »

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