At the end of every month, we recap the biggest tech and startup happenings in Rhode Island. We have an archive of past roundups here. To get this info weekly (Tuesday afternoons, to be exact), sign up for the Rhode Island Inno Beat newsletter.

This time around, it’s less about the quantity of the Rhode Island innovation news, but rather the quality. There have been a number of huge announcements  — from rumored acquisitions to HQ location shifts — with the potential for immense impact on the local ecosystem.

Let’s take a look.

  1. Providence-based Citizens Bank has entered a five-year Senior Secured Credit Facility with Baudette, Minn.-based ANI Pharmaceuticals for up to $125 million. The Facility “is comprised of a $75 million five-year term loan that was closed today in support of ANI’s acquisition of four NDAs acquired from AstraZeneca for $46.5 million in cash as previously announced this morning,” a release announcing the move states, adding that the term loan will be used to refinance existing debts.
  2. Women & Infants Hospital has awarded three Constance A. Howes Women’s Health Innovation Research Fund grants, worth $25,000 each, to Women & Infants Hospital researchers, GoLocalProv reports. The winners are Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Research associate Valery Danilack; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Gynecologic Oncology Director Paul DiSilvestro; and Center for Obstetric and Consultative Medicine obstetric internist Niharika Mehta. Winners were selected from a group of applicants, and proposals received scores based on the research’s potential to advance women’s health, creativity and innovation, among others.
  3. Woonsocket-based health company CVS Health has purchased Portland, Maine-HQed Apothecary by Design, a pharmacy that’s considered one of the city’s fastest-growing companies, the Portland Press Herald reports. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  4. Health insurance company Aetna will keep its headquarters in Hartford, Conn., a CVS Health Corp. confirmed. The future location of the HQ was in flux after it was announced in early December 2017 that CVS would buy the insurance company for $69 billion, with initial talks of moving it to New York City.
  5. Coventry-based Wellness provider Preventure has been acquired by wellness tech company Virgin Pulse. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The announcement comes on the heels of Virgin Pulse’s decision to move its headquarters from Framingham, Mass. to Providence.
  6. Some feel the planned merger of Partners HealthCare and Care New England Health System would harm Rhode Island, and as such, Brown University is developing an “alternative plan,” FierceHealthcare reports. The merger “is likely to lead to specialty healthcare shifting to Massachusetts, impeding access to healthcare for Rhode Islanders,” wrote Brown University President Christina Paxson in a campus-wide letter on the subject. “It also would likely increase the cost of care and reduce the ability of Rhode Islanders — consumers, businesses, healthcare workers and policy-makers — to have a voice in how our healthcare system works.”
  7. Rhode Island-based drug research and development company MindImmune has come to a “research agreement” with pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc., the Providence Journal reports. While terms of the agreement were not disclosed, the report stated that it “allows the companies to talk about their work and offers MindImmune access to Pfizer scientists.”
  8. Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced that the third round of the Main Street Rhode Island Streetscape Improvement Fund is now open, Providence Business News reports. This $500,000 round of funding will provide loans and grants to improvement projects across the state. Read our interview with Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor on this initiative here.
  9. Providence-based Cherrystone Angel Group was among the investors committing $2 million to Boston-based automated patient instructions provider Medumo, BostInno reports. Launchpad Venture Group and Sky Ventures also participated in the seed round.