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Kineta-Logo-webKineta, a Seattle-based biotech startup, has raised an investment round worth almost $1.6 million from existing investors in the company. The investment will be used to fund continued development of the drugs that the company is working on.

“This new raise comes from existing investors and shows confidence in what the Kineta team is doing and in the progress we are making on our pipeline,” a company spokesperson said in an email to GeekWire.

In addition to the cash infusion, Kineta is slated to start proof-of-concept clinical trials this fall to show if its lead compound, known as ShK-186, is effective in treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. If the trials are successful, that would bring the company closer to getting its compound approved to treat those conditions.

The news comes a month after the company announced it is teaming up with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute to form the Alliance for Children’s Therapeutics, a group that is investigating how ShK-186 can be used to treat autoimmune diseases in children, including lupus nephritis.

Kineta has raised more than $40 million since it began operating in 2008. Last year, the company received an infusion of cash from RLB Holdings, a company that has a partial stake in the New York Yankees, and is managed by former Glencore oil trader Ray Bartoszek.

The company also received an $8.1 million grant alongside the University of Texas and the University of Washington in 2012 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to help develop treatments to combat Marburg, Ebola, Japanese Encephalitis and other deadly diseases.

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