Home Design company Vancouver, Washington biotech company Absci files for public listing

Vancouver, Washington biotech company Absci files for public listing

Absci CEO and Founder Sean McClain. (Abstract photo)

Absci, a Vancouver, Washington-based company that develops technologies to accelerate the drug discovery process, today announced its intention to go public through an IPO. The company’s platform is designed to design and generate protein-based drug candidates and help select them for optimal function.

The announcement follows a series of acquisitions and fundraisers for the company. This month the company acquired the synthetic biology company Totient, following its acquisition in January of Denovium, a small deep learning startup capable of analyzing the function and behavior of proteins.

Earlier this year, Absci also landed an undisclosed investment from Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund. Total funding in March of this year was $ 230 million, including a $ 125 million funding round this spring and a $ 65 million Series E round last fall.

Absci aims to bypass current protein drug development processes, which often require cumbersome and difficult manufacturing in mammalian cells. Simpler solutions are needed because protein forms the basis of many key treatments, such as trastuzumab, an antibody-based cancer drug (brand name Herceptin).

Instead of mammalian cells, Absci makes proteins by E. Coli, a bacteria that is more efficient to use and easier to grow. “This feat was dismissed as impossible in the 1980s and 1990s,” said the founder Sean mcclain, in a letter from the IPO prospectus, but new scientific advances have opened the door.

The company uses in silico models to optimize protein designs, as well as synthetic and custom-designed biology platforms. E. coli to manufacture and screen them for optimal activity. Their customer base is made up of pharmaceutical companies: “Our business model is to partner with biopharmaceutical companies and use our platform to rapidly create next-generation biologic drug candidates and production cell lines,” says deposits with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, founded in 2011, began commercial operations in 2018 and now has partnerships with Merck, Xyphos Biotechnology, Alpha Cancer Technologies and several other pharmaceutical companies. Eight of the programs are focused on cell line development, with an ongoing drug discovery program, a capability they developed in 2020 according to records.

2020 revenue was $ 4.7 million, compared to $ 2 million for 2019. The company collected $ 1.1 million this year as of March 31, mostly from a partner. Net losses amounted to $ 14.4 million in 2020, up from $ 6.6 million in 2019.

Phoenix Venture Partners is the company’s largest shareholder, with a 17.46% stake, followed by McClain, who owns 11.2% of the company. Phoenix Venture Partners led the company’s $ 5.1 million Series A financing in April 2016.

Absci has not determined the number of shares or their price range for the offering.

Three Washington State companies – Sana Biotechnology, Impel Neuropharma and Payment us – went public with a traditional IPO this year. Earlier this month, Seattle-based Nautilus Biotechnology, led by Isilon Systems co-founder Sujal Patel, went public through a SPAC merger. Mobile money transfer company Remitly also filed the first IPO documents.