Wall Street is probably going through the busiest phase since the recession, in terms of the number of businesses seeking to go public. Companies in diverse fields, from retail and information technology to emerging areas like artificial intelligence and biomedical engineering are jumping on the IPO bandwagon. Absci Corp., a company committed to simplifying the process of drug development, is all set to raise around $210 million in its initial public offering.
R&D Made Easy
The Vancouver-based company, which offers an integrated platform to unify biologic drug discovery and development, supported by advanced digital technology, was founded in 2011 by Sean McClain who has served as the chief executive officer since then. It is estimated that the company’s protein printing platform can simplify the medical R&D process significantly and reduce costs.
After revealing its intention to take Absci public a few months ago, the management set the IPO terms last week but the date of listing is yet to be disclosed. It will offer 12.5 million shares at an estimated price of $15-$17 apiece. As per an official statement submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company expects to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol ABSI, which would lift its valuation to around $1.5 billion. The lead underwriters to the offering are JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse.
Focus on Investment
The proceeds from the offering will be used mainly for expanding the capabilities of the integrated drug creation platform. However, Absci would need additional funding to meet its long-term growth target of fully developing the platform and streamlining operations. The platform allows accelerated development timelines to create new biologic modalities, brings efficiency in the production of complex biologics, helps design better drug candidates and reduces costs.
In March, Absci had raised $125 million in a crossover funding round. Last month, it agreed to acquire Totient Inc., which operates a bioinformatics and machine learning-based antibody discovery software platform. The company’s partners include some of the big names in the healthcare industry such as Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) and Xyphos Biosciences. Meanwhile, efforts are on to further expand the partner network.
Absci reported a net loss of $49.5 million or $3.19 per share for the fiscal year ended December 2020, which is more than double the loss it incurred a year earlier. The negative bottom-line performance reflects a sharp increase in R&D expenses to $11.5 million. On the other hand, revenues rose to $4.8 million from $2.1 million in the previous year. Going by the current trend, the company has a long way to go before achieving profitability.
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