Life sciences briefing: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007

Featured companies: BioMicro Systems, Diasome Pharmaceuticals, FitLinxx, FitSense, Novartis, Radius Health

[NOTE: This is a catchup briefing, posted on 9/29/07. I’ve adjusted the item’s timestamp to keep the briefings in chronological order. Good news is that this should be the last one. –D.P.H.]

diasome_logo.jpgDiasome names new CEO, aims to raise $15M for nanotech diabetes drugs — Diasome Pharmaceuticals, a Conshohocken, Pa., biotech focused on nanotech drug delivery, named David Tierney as its new CEO and is close to raising $15 million in a combination of bridge and second-round financing, VentureWire reports (subscription required).

Tierney was most recently CEO of Valera Pharmaceuticals, and previous served as an executive at both Biovail and Roberts Pharmaceutical, a unit of Shire. He takes over from Diasome founder Len Rosenberg, who remains president and COO.

Diasome has already raised most of its bridge funding, but declined to tell VentureWire how much it sought. BioAdvance Ventures and various individuals provided that funding. The remainder of the $15 million should be wrapped up by the end of the year. Diasome makes nanotech particles designed to deliver drugs directly to liver cells, with the specific intent of treating diabetics by shuttling insulin specifically to the organ primarily responsible for regulation of blood sugar.

radius-health-logo.jpgRadius Health adds $10M, strikes Novartis deal for osteoporosis — Cambridge, Mass.-based Radius Health licensed an osteoporosis drug candidate to Novartis in a deal worth up to $500 million. At the same time, the company raised an additional $10 million in third-round funding from Novartis via a fund managed by MPM Capital. The company’s release is here (PDF).

The drug in question, BA058, is a synthetic version of human parathyroid hormone-related protein, a key molecule for promoting bone growth. It is currently in mid-stage human testing for osteoporosis. VentureWire has more here.

Exercise-data firm FitLinxx acquires FitSense — Venture-backed FitLinxx, a Norwalk, Conn., developer of exercise-tracking devices, agreed to acquire FitSense, a Southborough, Mass., maker of wireless health-data technology. Details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed; the release is here.

BioMicro Systems draws $1.7M for microfluidic devices — The Salt Lake City company called down $1.7 million of a $2 million second round of funding, PE Hub reports, citing a regulatory filing. From PE Hub:

Shareholders include vSpring Capital and Glen Arden Associates. The company developers microfluidic biochip technologies for genomics, proteomics and diagnostics research.