Igenica leads a trio of new venture rounds

There's a trio of new biotech financing rounds to report today.

Igenica, a cancer antibody start-up based in Burlingame, CA, is reporting that it raised $24 million in a Series B. The new round was led by The Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors and 5AM Ventures.

Launched a little more than a year ago, Igenica says it uses two technology platforms to generate tumor antigens and antibody candidates for cancer. "Igenica's technology is ideally positioned to develop cancer antibodies that will function as first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics on their own or in combination with current treatments," said David V. Goeddel, PhD, managing partner at The Column Group and chairman of the board of Igenica.

San Diego-based Otonomy tells Xconomy that Avalon Ventures has converted a $10.5 million loan into an equity stake in the biotech, which is focused on hearing loss treatments and other diseases related to the ear. Otonomy says the first round is likely to expand significantly as it brings in new investors. CEO Jay Lichter, a venture capitalist, was inspired to start the company after experiencing a bout of Meniere's disease, which causes dizziness.

And Quark Pharmaceuticals in Fremont, CA says it raised $10 million from Japan's SBI Holdings to back its work in RNAi. "We are pleased to close our latest financing round and remain well-capitalized to advance our promising siRNA drug candidates through the clinic," says CEO Daniel Zurr.

- check out the release on Igenica
- here's the story from Xconomy
- take a look at the Quark release