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Secretive Startup Receptor Life Sciences Raises $7.5M for Therapies Based on ‘Plant Extracts’

By October 11, 2018No Comments

Secretive biotechnology company Receptor Life Sciences has raised a funding round totaling just over $7.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A representative of the Seattle-area company confirmed that amount in response to an inquiry from GeekWire but declined to name investors or share details of its work.

However, in separate filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company revealed that it is developing inhalable “pharmaceutical preparations with plant extracts” that could treat a variety of symptoms.

Receptor has been around since 2015, but the company has been operating in stealth mode. Its website contains only an image of trees and a contact form, and only one person lists the company as their place of employment on LinkedIn: Andrea Leone-Bay, a New York-based biopharmaceutical  executive whose profile says she is the company’s chief scientific officer.

But the company has revealed some details about its work as part of a prolonged appeal with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in its effort to trademark its name. That appeal was rejected on Sept. 29, according to USPTO records.

In filings with the trademark office, Receptor disclosed that it is developing pharmaceuticals based on plant extracts. The company declined to disclose what plant it is basing these drugs on. However, the list of possible targets includes many ailments that cannabis is often prescribed to treat: “pain, central nervous systems, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal disorders” and “for use in side effects from chemotherapy.”

The company also said the drugs will be inhalable, and that it is developing “inhalers sold prefilled with pharmaceutical preparations.”

The SEC filing lists Traci Carman as the president of Receptor. Three other people are listed as directors: patent attorney Gregory Wesner, former high-ranking Starbucks executive Arthur Rubinfeld, who now runs a consumer-focused brand consulting company, and a David Thomson.

The company is represented by lawyers from Lane Powell, where Wesner is a partner, and Lane Powell’s Seattle headquarters is listed as the address for the company in the SEC filing. An address in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood is listed on Receptor’s business license.