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Receptor Life Sciences CEO Gregory Wesner. (Lane Powell Photo)

Seattle-based biotech company Receptor Life Sciences announced a $29 million series A funding round Monday as it emerged from stealth mode, unveiling its work on medicines derived from cannabis.

The $29 million is the first time the company has raised funds. Through a spokesperson, it declined to identify its investors.

Arthur Rubinfeld, a longtime executive at Starbucks, is listed as a director of the company in an SEC filing that disclosed the new funding. Rubinfeld left Starbucks, where he was most recently the president of global innovation at the company’s roastery, in 2016. He is also the founder of Airvision, an advisory firm specializing in consumer oriented businesses.

Receptor’s main product is an inhaler that delivers dry powdered medicines directly to a patient’s lungs. The drugs it plans to use are cannabinoid medicines, compounds based on the active constituents in cannabis. Scientists have extracted more than 100 cannabinoids from the plant, all with varied effects on the nervous system.

Receptor is led by CEO Gregory Wesner, a lawyer who is the chair of intellectual property litigation for Seattle law firm Lane Powell. It currently has five employees.

In a press release, Wesner said the series A will allow the company to start moving through the investigational new drug process with the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S., a step needed before the technology could launch to the market. He said it will also let the company formalize collaborations in Canada and Europe.

“The growing consensus is that cannabinoids have the potential to meet numerous and significant unmet medical needs for indications including epilepsy, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder,” Wesner added. “By leveraging validated drug delivery technologies, we believe our products have the potential to set the standard of care for cannabinoid medicines in terms of onset of action, bioavailability and consistency.”

Also on the company’s executive board: Chief Medical Officer Orrin Devinsky, a neurological professor and the director of New York University’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center; Chief Scientific Officer and longtime biopharmaceutical executive Andrea Leone-Bay, who is an authority on dry powder and oral drug delivery technologies; and startup finance executive Traci Carman, who is the company’s chief financial officer.

Receptor first revealed details of its work in filings submitted during 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.

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