Another week, another pair of big pharma partnerships for local startups. Cambridge-based Ra Pharmaceuticals is working with Merck on a new drug-development deal that could be worth $200 million over time. And Bind Therapeutics is getting up to $50 million in the near term from Pfizer to work on nanoparticle drug delivery. It’s all part of a Boston-area trend toward closer ties between big drugmakers and small companies doing R&D.
In other innovation news …
-- Burlington-based Nuance is working on interactive mobile ads that can talk to you. The idea is sort of like Siri but for advertisers. The speech-recognition company has partnerships with local tech firms including Jumptap and Celtra.
-- Our deal of the week is a $35 million funding round for WorldOne, the New York company that owns Sermo, a Cambridge-based online community site for doctors. The money will be used to expand Sermo’s offerings in peer-to-peer collaboration, medical news, and market research.
-- And lastly, file this under “Ivy League startup problems.” A food-tech company in Providence called Crunchbutton is involved in a dispute with Brown University over reselling and delivering sandwiches to students. There’s more to it than that, but it seems like a classic case of innovation vs. bureaucracy.