Xcyte Therapies, the only Seattle biotech company to go public in the last two years, will disappear in a merger with a private Scottish firm announced Thursday morning.

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Xcyte Therapies, the only Seattle biotech company to go public in the last two years, will disappear in a merger with a private Scottish firm announced Thursday morning.

In what’s known as a reverse acquisition, Xcyte will acquire all of Cyclacel Limited and then issue stock to Cyclacel shareholders.

When the deal closes, probably during the first quarter of 2006, Cyclacel shareholders will own 80 percent of the combined public company, to be renamed Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, and Xcyte shareholders will have the rest.

Xcyte’s stock, which has been on a steady decline since it went public at $8 a share in March 2004, was up 30 cents, or more than 93 percent, to 62 cents at 11 a.m. PST.

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Cyclacel develops small-molecule drugs to treat diseases including non-small cell lung cancer. It currently has two products in human trials.

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals’ headquarters will be in Short Hills, N.J., with labs in Scotland and England. The company will be traded on the Nasdaq and has reserved “CYCC” as a ticker symbol.

Xcyte also sold its experimental technology for invigorating immune system cells to Invitrogen. Xcyte had eight remaining employees this fall, down from more than 100 earlier this year.

Benjamin J. Romano: bromano@seattletimes.com