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Sept. 24, 2022

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Vancouver biotechnology company Absci announces layoffs

By , Columbian staff writer

Local biotechnology company Absci’s founder and chief executive Sean McClain announced Tuesday that the company was laying off an undisclosed number of staff.

The action, McClain said, was taken due to the current economy.

“The macro-economic conditions of the last few months prompted us to engage in a comprehensive business analysis to focus the company on those activities that will create the greatest value,” wrote McClain on the company’s website.

McClain said the layoffs will streamline the operations and research and development activities that Absci is prioritizing; those are the development of the company’s artificial intelligence drug and target discovery platforms.

“By focusing our resources, we are positioning ourselves to better enable the creation of next-generation medicines,” McClain wrote. “While this does not make the decisions any easier, we know that disciplined and strategic prioritization puts us in a better position to be successful.”

McClain went on to add that the layoffs would make the company financially healthier and protect its long-term growth.

All employees laid off were offered a separation package, according to McClain’s post.

“Looking forward it remains our mission to change the world, one protein at a time and we will keep building to drive our platform forward,” McClain wrote.

Absci went public in the summer of 2021. The company, which creates drugs with the use of artificial intelligence, has a 61,000-square-foot building near east Vancouver’s Columbia Tech Center Park.

The company last reported having more than 200 employees.

Absci trades on the Nasdaq market under the ticker ABSI. Its stock closed Tuesday at $3.90 but closed up 7.69 percent on Wednesday at $4.20.

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