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Seattle biotechnology company Kineta and Seattle Children’s Research Institute are joining in an effort to improve development and testing of therapies for pediatric autoimmune diseases.

Their collaboration, called Alliance for Children’s Therapeutics, will be funded both by philanthropic gifts to the research institute and equity investments in Kineta. Its initial aim is to raise $1.5 million and conduct clinical trials of a Kineta drug in treating childhood-onset lupus nephritis, a spokesman said.

Researchers say clinical trials of new drugs typically don’t include children, creating uncertainty about the effects and dosages.

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