Vancouver-based biotechnology firm Absci held an initial public offering Thursday, resulting in a valuation of nearly $2 billion. The news comes a little more than a year after the company first filed a registration statement declaring its IPO plans.
Absci’s stock trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol ABSI. The company announced Wednesday that it would offer 12.5 million shares of common stock at $16 per share, with the goal of netting $200 million in gross proceeds.
Shares immediately jumped by more than 30 percent when trading began on Thursday morning, landing at $21 and remaining at near that level throughout the day to end at $21.45.
Absci specializes in producing an engineered form of E. coli microorganisms that can be tailored to produce specific proteins, offering an avenue for pharmaceutical companies to bring new drugs to market by licensing the Absci platform for research or production purposes.
The company was founded in Portland in 2011 and moved to Vancouver in 2016, landing in the downtown Hudson Building. Founder and CEO Sean McClain announced late last year the company had outgrown its office and would soon move to a bigger headquarters at the Columbia Tech Center in east Vancouver.