Excelimmune Grabs $10.5M, Aveo Gets $15M In J&J Deal, Myriant Aims for $125M IPO, & More Boston-Area Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

Boston tech and life sciences companies kept busy even through the holiday weekend with partnership, IPO, and financing news.

Proteostasis Therapeutics of Cambridge, MA, received an initial payment of $20 million from Elan to develop traditional small molecule drugs and diagnostics against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and multiple sclerosis. The partnership could also include another $30 million for Proteostasis over the next five years.

—Nashua, NH-based AutoVirt, a maker of file virtualization software, took in $5 million in equity financing from five investors, an SEC filing showed.

—Woburn, MA-based Excelimmune, which develops drugs made with human recombinant polyclonal antibodies, said it pinned down a $10.5 million Series B funding round, from both new and existing individual backers. The biotech said the money will go to enhancing its discovery platform and manufacturing processes, as well as advancing development of its treatment for methicillin-resistant staph infections, Staphguard.

—Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO) of Cambridge said that it had entered into a licensing deal with Centocor Ortho Biotech, a unit of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), taking in $15 million upfront and potentially $540 million more in milestone payments and royalties. The companies will work together on Aveo’s antibodies targeting a receptor that may be involved in the regulation of tumor growth, cancer survival and metastasis, and bone disruption.

Novophage, a Boston-based startup engineering viruses (phages) to combat bacterial contamination in industries like oil and gas, paper, and heating and cooling systems, drank up $5.7 million in Series A financing. The deal was led by Flybridge Capital Partners, and also included Founder Collective, Boston University, and strategic investors Chevron Technology Ventures and The Kraft Group.

Quincy, MA-based biochemical developer Myriant Technologies plans to raise $125 million in an initial public offering, an SEC filing revealed. The company reported a $16 million loss on $14 million in revenue in 2010, and is looking for the IPO proceeds to fund the completion of its plant in Louisiana, as well as working capital, research and development, and general corporate purposes.