AbCellera Biologics is the latest IPO backed by Silicon Valley VC Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal [$PYPL] and Palantir Technologies [$PLTR]; his big-data analytics company went public in September via direct listing. Today, shares of Palantir have nearly tripled from their $10 IPO price and are trading at $26.95 after touching an all time high of $33.5 on November 27.
Make no mistake, AbCellera Biologics isn’t a biotech. Instead, the company provides an AI-powered R&D platform that helps expedites drug discovery. In March, AbCellera and Eli Lilly [$LLY] agreed to co-develop antibody products to treat and prevent the virus. [Palantir: Peter Thiel’s Next Home Run]
In August, Lilly began testing LY-CoV555, the lead antibody from its collaboration with AbCellera, in U.S. nursing homes. Three months later in November, the FDA approved an emergency-use agreement for the drug to treat certain patients with ‘rona. In December, the U.S. government agreed to buy 650,000 doses of LY-CoV555 for $812.5 million. [Hey Pfizer, Moderna said “Hold My Beer”]
The Vancouver, British Columbia–based company reported income of $1.9 million for the nine months ending on September 30, compared with $570,000 in losses for the same period in 2019. Revenue tripled to $25.2 million for the nine months ended September 30 from $8.4 million in 2019.
AbCellera is expected to price its IPO on Thursday, December 10, and trade the following day. The company is offering 23 million shares at $14 to $17 each and could raise $391 million at the top of its expected range. It’s set to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker $ABCL. Lead underwriters include Credit Suisse, Stifel, Berenberg, SVB Leerink, and BMO Capital Markets. AbCellera founder and CEO Carl Hansen, a former professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia, is holding presentations about the IPO to technology and biotech investors.
The IPO market is set to close up shop after next week, after two companies, Upstart and Wish, are scheduled to go public on Wednesday, December 16. Roblox, a gaming platform, filed in November for an IPO but has yet to set terms. [Roblox Files for $1B IPO]