Courtagen Grabs $8M, Nuance Buys Swype, OpenView Eyes Expansion Stage Investments, & More Boston-Area Deals News

Xconomy Boston — 

The death of Steve Jobs dominated the tech news world in the last week, even on this coast, but we still saw some deals headlines from New England IT and life sciences players.

—Agios Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, MA-based developer of cancer-starving drugs, added $20 million to the already $130 million collaboration it inked with New Jersey-based Celgene last year. Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) could also pay Agios up to $120 million for each drug it decides to bring into its own pipeline for further development.

—Courtagen Life Sciences, a disease detection technology startup, raised $8 million in equity funding from 67 investors. The company, formerly called Avantra Biosciences, is developing protein biomarker technology it acquired in 2009 from Decision Biomarkers after it filed for bankruptcy.

—Burlington, MA-based speech technology giant Nuance Communications  (NASDAQ: NUAN) bought Seattle-based Swype, a developer of predictive text technology for the mobile phone, for $102.5 million in cash.

—Cambridge drug developer Tolerx is shutting its doors and liquidating its assets via auction, FierceBiotech first reported. The company, which had raised $150 million in funding throughout its tenure, is passing on its experimental diabetes drug otelixizumab—which failed in a pivotal clinical trial—to partner GlaxoSmithKline.

—Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners founder Scott Maxwell chatted with Xconomy Boston editor Greg Huang about his firm’s strategy for selecting deals in the business software, cloud computing, and software spaces.

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