Vertex Pays $60M for Alios Drugs, PKE Acquires Dexela, AisleBuyer Grabs $7.5M, & More Boston-Area Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

New England software and drug developers inked partnerships, financings, and acquisitions deals this week.

Admantx, a Hartford, CT-based provider of semantic-based online advertising technology, pulled in $2.8 million from Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno, the venture capital fund of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo. Admantx, which was spun off last year from the semantic software firm Expert System, said it will put the first-round funding toward sales and marketing.

—Estonia- and Cambridge, MA-based GrabCAD, a current member of the TechStars Boston class, took in $1.1 million in seed funding from Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture, NextView Ventures, and angel investors. GrabCAD offers an online marketplace for connecting mechanical design engineers with manufacturing and product development companies.

—Lexington, MA-based Wikets, a new social Web startup founded by BladeLogic veterans, pinned down $1.5 million in equity-based funding from nine investors.

—Cambridge,MA-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals paid $60 million upfront for a worldwide license to hepatitis C drug candidates from South San Francisco-based Alios Biopharma. Vertex (NASDAQ: VRTX) looks to put the drugs into an entirely oral hepatitis C drug regimen, and could pay $715 million more in development milestones and $750 million more in sales milestones.

Synageva BioPharma of Lexington, MA, merged with Durham, NC-based Trimeris (NASDAQ: TRMS) in an all-stock transaction. The new publicly traded company, called Synageva BioPharma, will focus on developing novel therapeutics for patients with rare diseases.

—AisleBuyer, a Boston-based developer of apps for mobile-based checkouts at stores, raised $7.5 million in a Series E deal, from Old Willow Partners. The money will go to product development, new hires, and customer acquisition.

—Waltham, MA-based PerkinElmer (NYSE: PKI, a provider of life sciences tools and products, picked up London-based X-ray detection technology developer Dexela for an undisclosed sum.