Absci’s IPO values Vancouver biotech startup at $2 billion

Absci’s IPO values Vancouver biotech startup at $2 billion

Vancouver startup Absci debuted on Wall Street Thursday, with investors pouring money into the biotech company at its initial public offering. Shares jumped 37% from the $16 offering price, to $22. Absci raised about $200 million in Thursday’s IPO to spend in pursuit of its technology for using artificial intelligence to create drugs faster, and less expensively, than through conventional means. It’s a technique with enormous promise — but tremendous uncertainty. The jump in Absci’s market price gave the company a market value of $2.0 billion, instantly making it the seventh most valuable public company in the Portland area with a market capitalization greater than NW Natural, nLight, Schnitzer Steel or Greenbrier. “I firmly believe that we can make this region a successful synthetic biology hub,” Absci CEO Sean McClain said in an interview Thursday from the Nasdaq exchange in New York. He started the company a decade ago after moving back to his parents’ home in Sherwood, then used basement lab space at the Portland State University to demonstrate the technology’s feasibility. The stock will list under the ticker …
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