Boston-Area Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News Briefs


Redstone-Founded Advancit Gets $3.2M

Norwood, MA-based Advancit Capital, an early stage investment firm founded by Shari Redstone (daughter of CBS and Viacom director and National Amusements president Sumner Redstone), has inked a $3.2 million investment, an SEC filing shows. The firm, co-founded by Jason Ostheimer, will invest in media, entertainment, and tech startups, according to an e-mail sent to the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital blog.


Brightcove Seeks $50M IPO

Brightcove, a Cambridge, MA-based digital media and video hosting firm that’s planning a move to Boston, revealed in an SEC filing today that it’s aiming to bring in about $50 million in an initial public offering. The company said that Morgan Stanley and Stifel, Nicolaus & Company will serve as joint book-running managers for the deal. Brightcove raised $12 million in Series D funding in April 2010. It reported a net loss of $9.7 million on revenue of $28.4 million for the first six months of 2011.


Foundation Medicine Grabs $10M

Foundation Medicine, a Cambridge, MA-based cancer diagnostics startup, has raised $10 million of a targeted $20.5 million round of equity funding, from one investor, and SEC filing reveals. Last year Foundation announced it had raised the first part of a $25 million Series A financing led by Third Rock Ventures. Earlier this year the startup added former Clarient president Michael Pellini as its new CEO and announced deals with Celgene and Novartis.

Quanterix Finds $6M

Cambridge, MA-based diagnostics startup Quanterix has inked a $6 million equity investment from nine investors, an SEC filing shows. Members of Bain Capital Ventures, Arch Venture Partners, and Flagship Ventures are listed as Quanterix directors on the filing. Earlier this year Novartis struck a deal to use Quanterix’s technology for diagnosing a neurological disorder.


TwinStrata Snags $5.7M

TwinStrata, a Natick, MA-based provider of cloud data storage for businesses, has pinned down $5.7 million of an equity offering that could hit $8.7 million, an SEC filing shows. The funding came from 27 investors, according to the document, which lists Braden Bohrmann and Rich Levandov of Avalon Ventures as TwinStrata directors. Levandov will be participating in an Xconomy chat this September on cloud and consumer trends in Internet startups and innovation.


WaveRx Shuts Down: VentureWire

WaveRx, a Waltham, MA-based developer of treatments for dermatological disorders, has shut its doors, according to a report in Dow Jones VentureWire today. The firm raised $502,512 las year, and raised about $6.8 million of an $11.6 million equity financing in 2009, according to an SEC document. Its investors, 5Am Ventures, Three Arch Partners, and Polaris Venture Partners, decided to close the company last year as it waited to hear back from the FDA on a clinical trial WaveRx had updated and shifted, following a number of delays, VentureWire reported. Today a call to the company was met with an automated message stating the number is out of service.

BAE and GD Win $1B in Army Contracts

The U.S. Department of Defense announced yesterday that it has awarded two metro Detroit defense firms nearly $1 billion in contracts to develop combat vehicles for the Army.

Troy, MI-based BAE Systems Land and Armaments was awarded a contract worth almost $449.9 million to develop technology for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle Infantry Fighting Vehicle at facilities in Troy; Detroit; Waltham, MA; and Madison, AL.

The Sterling Heights, MI-based General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a contract worth $439 million to develop technology for the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle Infantry Fighting Vehicle at facilities in Sterling Heights; Detroit; Dallas, TX; Plano, TX; and Taunton, MA.

Work on both projects is expected to be completed in June 2013.


BuyWithMe Picks Up Scoop St.

BuyWithMe, the group buying site with headquarters in Boston and New York, said today that is has acquired Scoop St., a group buying site focused closely on New York local deals. No financial terms were disclosed. BuyWithMe offers will be available to Scoop St. immediately, and come September 12, Scoop St. will no longer be a separate entity and will be entirely rolled into BuyWithMe. This deal continues BuyWithMe’s 2011 spree of acquisitions, including LocalTwist (active in Seattle and San Diego), San Francisco-based Group Swoop, Chicago-based DealADayOnline, and Cambridge, MA-based Edhance.


Embera Takes In $4.5M

Embera NeuroTherapeutics, a Sudbury, MA- and Shreveport, LA-based developer of drugs for treating addictions, has added another $4.5 million in Series A financing, the company announced today. The money comes from Embera’s existing backers, Louisiana Ventures, Louisiana Fund I, and Themelios Ventures, as well as other private investors. The funding will go to supporting the company’s drug, EMB-001, through a Phase 1 safety study, so it can advance in clinical trials as a treatment for nicotine dependence and cocaine addiction.


Another $15.2M for Proteon

Waltham, MA-based Proteon Therapeutics, a developer of drugs for kidney and vascular disease, has brought in another $15.2 million in equity- and options-based funding from 19 investors, an SEC filing shows. The biotech company’s last financing was in 2009, when it announced raising $12 million from new backers Bessemer Venture Partners and Devon Park Bioventures to bring its then-funding round to $50 million.

Fluidnet Finds $25M

[Updated on 8/23/11 at 10:10 am.] Amesbury, MA-based Fluidnet, which makes electronic infusion pumps for administering IV fluids, announced it has closed a $25 million Series C financing. The deal was led by new investor Fidelity BioSciences and included new investor SCP Vitalife Partners as well as previous backers Cardinal Partners, Easterly Capital and Rockport Venture Partners. The money will go to development of Fluidnet’s infusion pumps. Earlier this month, the company posted an SEC filing revealing it had raised $19.8 million of the round.


A123 Inks GM Production Deal

It looks like A123 Systems is seeing some payoffs from the lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility it opened in Livonia, MI, late last year. Waltham, MA-headquarted A123 (NASDAQ: AONE) has nabbed a production contract from General Motors to provide the battery packs for an upcoming line of electric vehicles from the automaker, GM announced. The battery packs will be produced at the Livonia site. General Motors, which was previously testing the A123 technology in a development agreement with the company, did not disclose the financial terms of the production contract or which vehicles the A123 battery packs will power.


Bydureon FDA Deadline Set

San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN), Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY), and Waltham, MA-based Alkermes (NASDAQ: ALKS) said today that the FDA has set a deadline of Jan. 28 to complete its review of the newly updated application for exenatide once-weekly (Bydureon). The companies are seeking FDA clearance to start marketing the new product as the first once-weekly injectable medicine for diabetes patients in the U.S. The drug was approved in the European Union in June.

Vlingo Cleared in 1st Patent Infringement Case

A federal jury in Boston found Cambridge, MA-based Vlingo’s speech recognition software did not infringe on a patent owned by Nuance Communications (NASDAQ: NUAN), the companies said in two separate announcements (here and here). Burlington, MA-based Nuance has alleged that Vlingo has infringed on a number of its patents, but this particular patent, 6,766,295, covers the technique for making computerized transcription of a users’ speech more accurate over time using audio samples from multiple sessions. The jury of the Federal District Court in Boston found that Vlingo did not infringe on any of the 30 claims Nuance had alleged in this particular patent case, but it did find that the Nuance patent was valid—Vlingo had claimed it was not.


Ironwood, Forest Seek FDA Approval

Cambridge, MA-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD) and New York-based Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) announced today that they have submitted an application to the FDA for approval of their drug linaclotide, a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic constipation.The application includes safety and efficacy data from two long-term safety studies and four placebo-controlled clinical trials. Those four trials involved more than 2,800 patients and showed that linaclotide, Ironwood’s lead drug candidate, provided a statistically significant improvement in abdominal and bowel symptoms when compared against a placebo.

Nanigans Inks $3M Series A

[Corrected 8/10/11, 2:25 pm. See below.] Nanigans, a Boston-based provider of a real-time bidding advertising platform for Facebook, announced today that it has closed a $3 million Series A round, led by Avalon Ventures. Nanigans said that it will be adding Avalon’s Rich Levandov to the board as a result of the funding, which also came from several Boston-based angel investors. [An earlier version of this story stated, based on a Nanigans press release, that Playfish, the social games unit of Electronic Arts, had also selected Nanigans as its exclusive advertising partner for Facebook. Nanigans has since retracted that press release, as it does not have an exclusive relationship with EA or Playfish.] Nanigans raised about $600,000 in funding last year, which we caught in our under-the-radar deals roundup.

Bluesocket Bought By ADTRAN

Burlington, MA-based Bluesocket, which produces wireless networking and security technology, has been acquired by ADTRAN in a transaction effective August 4, the companies announced today. ADTRAN (NASDAQ: ADTN), a provider of networking and communications equipment, will roll Bluesocket into its enterprise networks business. Bluesocket—whose investors include Ascent Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Vesbridge Partners—raised $8 million in January 2010.


Lumenpulse Shines with $16M

Lumenpulse, a manufacturer of LED lighting fixtures, announced today that it has raised $16 million in an equity- and debt-based Series A round of financing. The company, whose U.S. headquarters are in Boston, said the funding will go to market and product development. Investors in the round include Lumenpulse’s management and board of directors, as well as Silicon Valley Bank, which provided a new term loan and working capital line of credit.

Another $5M for DynamicOps

DynamicOps, a Burlington, MA-based developer of technology for virtualizing IT environments for businesses, has brought in another $5 million in equity-based funding, according to an SEC filing. The document for the newest investment lists members of Sierra Ventures and Credit Suisse, which spun out DynamicOps in 2008, as directors at the company. DynamicOps raised $11.3 million in funding earlier this year.


Tantaline Snaps Up $3.6M

Waltham, MA-based Tantaline, a developer of corrosion-resistant surface alloy technology, announced yesterday that it had pulled in $3.6 million in Series B financing, led by Harvard, MA-based Berwind Private Equity, and Danish firms Vaekstfonden and CC Holdings. Tantaline’s technology enables materials to achieve greater energy efficiency in high chemical, pressure, and temperature environments—for applications in the oil and gas, chemical processing, energy, pharmaceuticals, and mining industries. The company said the new investment will help it expand its markets and technical capabilities in the U.S. and Europe.

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