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Alpine Immune Sciences CEO Mitch Gold. (AIS Photo)

Seattle biotech company Alpine Immune Sciences is raising $17 million as part of a merger with Nivalis, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical firm in Boulder, Colo.

Frazier Healthcare Partners, Alpine BioVentures, and OrbiMed Advisors will invest the cash in Alpine before the merger is closed. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, according to a press release from the two companies.

The resulting company will take Alpine’s name and focus on therapies to treat inflammatory diseases and cancers. Alpine is expected to have $90 million in cash and cash equivalents when the deal goes through. Alpine is planning to start clinical trials for its first compound in late 2018.

“This merger provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of our novel immunotherapy platform focused on both inflammation and immuno-oncology,” said Alpine Immune Sciences CEO Mitchell Gold in the announcement. “We look forward to building on our early success by taking multiple novel programs into the clinic to help patients with significant medical needs.”

Nivalis’s employees will remain in Colorado and two members of the team will join the board of the combined companies.

Last year, Alpine Immune Sciences raised $48 million to develop next-generation immunotherapies.

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