AbCellera officially closes initial public offering with $555.5 million gross proceeds


Vancouver biotech company AbCellera Biologics has officially announced the close of its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq, pulling in gross proceeds of $555.5 million.

The amount includes the company’s underwriters exercising in full their option to purchase 3.6 million additional common shares at $20 (all numbers in USD). The gross proceeds is the final total before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses.

AbCellera has developed a drug discovery platform that searches and analyzes immune systems to find antibodies.

AbCellera began trading on the Nasdaq Friday morning (under the symbol ‘ABCL’), with great initial success. Within minutes of listing the biotech’s stock tripled in value from the $20 per share that it had priced its IPO at. By the afternoon AbCellera’s shares were trading higher than $70.

The announcement of its gross proceeds makes Abcellera the largest-ever IPO for a Canadian biotech company and the most valuable Canadian biotech company, with a market capitalization of $12.65-billion, also making AbCellera the latest Canadian tech company to surpass the $1 billion valuation milestone.

This success was much anticipated by investors. Prior to listing, AbCellera increased the size of its IPO three times. The company had initially set out to raise $200 million, on Monday AbCellera upped the price of its shares and did so a second time on Thursday. According to The Globe and Mail, the deal was “20 times oversubscribed by prospective investors.”

AbCellera was founded in 2012 and has developed a drug discovery platform that searches and analyzes immune systems to find antibodies that can be used to prevent and treat disease.

In November, the Vancouver-based biotech startup acquired San Francisco-based Trianni for $90 million USD, its fourth and largest strategic technology addition to date. The acquisition followed AbCellera’s $144 million Series B funding round in May. Investors included OrbiMed, DCVC Bio, and an investor syndicate that included Viking Global Investors, Peter Thiel of Founders Fund, the University of Minnesota, and Presight Capital. The round also saw participation from Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), an American pharmaceutical company that also entered into a multi-year strategic research partnership and license agreement with AbCellera.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, AbCellera has played a part in finding and developing treatments. Prior to going public, the company was granted interim authorization by Health Canada for a human antibody it developed in collaboration with Lilly. In clinical trials, the treatment proved to reduce viral load, symptoms, and hospitalizations for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

American billionaire entrepreneur and VC Thiel also recently joined AbCellera’s board of directors.

Image source Unsplash

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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