With the help of ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lilly Ventures and Venrock, San Diego-based Receptos announced today the closing of a two-tranche $25 million Series A financing. Receptos is developing a method that will help researchers clearly see G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). By doing so, drug developers can formulate treatments that hit GPCR targets, which could cut down on the guesswork involved in developing new drugs. "What Receptos does is enable scientists to see the binding sites on the targets, to develop more effective new drugs against them," Ray Stevens of the Scripps Research Institute tells Xconomy. Forty percent of currently marketed products hit GPCR targets.
Receptos, which has 20 employees and ties with Biogen Idec, has selected a multiple sclerosis treatment as its lead drug. Clinical trials of the oral MS pill will begin next year.
"We were privileged to bring together groundbreaking technology in GPCR structural biology and a patent estate from Scripps Research that allowed our chemistry and structural biology team to deliver a best-in-class S1P1 agonist candidate," CEO William Rastetter says in a statement. "These assets combined with a seasoned management team attracted a strong investor syndicate to the formation of Receptos," adds Rastetter. "The combined elements present at Receptos will catalyze the future development of novel therapeutics directed at high-value GPCR targets, some of which have not been amenable to successful drug development."
- read Receptos' release
- see this Xconomy article for more