ATLANTA – Corautus, which cancelled a public offering when its lead drug candidate failed in a clinical trial last November, is merging with a California pharmaceutical firm.

Corautus (NASDAQ: VEGF) said Thursday it would merge with VIA Pharmaceuticals, a privately held company in San Francisco. The combined company will focus on drugs for treating of blood vessel inflammation as a means of fighting cardiovascular disease.

VIA’s lead product is a candidate to treat a process believed to be a key process in atherosclerosis.

The merger is valued at $12 million. VIA stockholders will own more than 76 percent of the combined company.

Once the merger is complete, VIA’s chief executive officer, Lawrence Cohen, will run the venture.