Genzyme, Epizyme, & Rib-X Among the Week’s Life Sciences Newsmakers

Xconomy Boston — 

We’ve seen clinical trial, funding, partnership, and IPO news from local drug developers this week.

—Genzyme, the Cambridge, MA-based unit of Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) shared more positive data about its experimental multiple sclerosis drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting this week. Patients in a late stage trial receiving the drug were about “twice as likely to experience an improvement or reversal of disability,” compared with patients in the trial treated with the drug Rebif sold by EMD Serono and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), said Michael Panzara, Genzyme head for multiple sclerosis, immune diseases, and neurology.

—New Haven, CT-based antibiotics developer Rib-X Pharmaceuticals revealed in new federal documents that it plans to raise $92.8 million in an initial public offering, selling 6.6 million shares at $14 apiece. The company first revealed its intent to go public last November.

—Cambridge startup Epizyme inked a deal with New Jersey-based Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) worth $90 million upfront, with potentially $160 million more to come in milestone payments for Epizyme. The two companies will build on Epizyme’s work in the field of epigenetics to create targeted cancer treatments.

—OncoPep, a North Andover, MA-based developer of cancer vaccines, raised $2.5 million in equity-based funding from 19 investors, an SEC filing shows.