City Hill Leads $6M Financing to Pioneer RA Diagnostics at Ignyta

12/31/12Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego-based Ignyta, founded in 2011 as NexDx with a focus on improving the diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, says today its Series B financing has expanded to $5.5 million—about $2.5 million more than its original target. With a $500,000 loan provided in June by Silicon Valley Bank, Ignyta says its Series B financing now totals $6 million.

In a statement today, Ignyta says Dallas, TX-based Colt Ventures joined in the expanded round, along with other institutional and individual investors, including former CEOs and CFOs of publicly listed biotechnology companies.

Ignyta was co-founded by Gary Firestein, a professor of medicine who is now the UC San Diego dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine, and Jonathan Lim of San Diego’s City Hill Ventures. (The company, which licensed the diagnostics technology from UCSD and has four patent applications pending, says the scientific discoveries that fueled the founding of Ignyta are described in the July 2012 issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.)

Jonathan Lim

Lim, who founded City Hill Ventures after taking San Diego’s Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO) from a startup with five employees to public company, describes City Hill as small and “very hands-on, operational venture firm.”

In an interview a few weeks ago, Lim told me he’s closed his first fund after making only five investments, including Eclipse Therapeutics, which he founded with anti-cancer antibody technology acquired from the closure of Biogen Idec’s San Diego facility. Australia’s Bionomics acquired Eclipse in September for about $10 million, about 18 months after Lim founded the startup and City Hill invested $2 million to advance the technology. (City Hill also has invested in San Diego-based Independa, and was the founding investor in San Diego’s Inhibrx and Medenovo.)

“We’re building companies that are not going to be in JAMA anytime soon,” Lim told me, referring to the Journal of the American Medical Association. “But these are companies that are going to be very important to patients.”

Lim, who is currently the CEO at … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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