Absci, a Vancouver-based biotech startup, has been valued at $2 billion after debuting in Nasdaq via an Initial Public Offering that caused shares’ price to increase by over 35% during the first day of listing.
By the end of Thursday, Absci had raised about $200 million that the company will use to continue developing its AI-powered technology to boost drug production while reducing costs of production.
The $2 billion valuation was enough to make Absci one of the most valuable public companies in the area, surpassing giants like NW Natural, nLight, Schnitzer Steel, or Greenbrier.
Absci CEO Sean McClain referred to this success by stating:
“I firmly believe that we can make this region a successful synthetic biology hub. We realized that we could raise capital here in the region as well as recruit top talent, so we decided to stay and grow here in the region.”
After having founded the startup over a decade ago in his parent’s home in Sherwood, McClain’s startup grew to employ more than 160 employees and generate more than $4.8 million in revenue in 2020.
The startup is focused on disrupting the protein-based pharmaceutical industry by harvesting the power of its software to improve effectiveness in the treatment of certain conditions. This approach allowed the company to raise more than $230 million prior to the IPO, having important pharmaceutical companies like Merck fund the startup.
While the revenue generated by the startup is still small for its valuation, the potential of its technology has caused investors to jump over the opportunity to invest at a time when the health industry’s shortcomings were highlighted by the recent epidemic.
The success of the biotech startup will depend on its ability to grow its number of drug candidate programs using its offerings, as it will show the technology’s potential. However, with investors like Merck partnering with the startup, Absci stands to generate millions of dollars in revenue for its investors over the next few years.