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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Feb. 29, 2024

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Vancouver-based Absci reports revenue up in 2022

CEO says AI central to company’s ‘vision’ for drug creation

By , Columbian staff writer

Vancouver-based Absci reported its fourth quarter and 2022 revenues were up in its recent earnings statement.

Revenue for the last quarter of 2022 was $1.6 million, compared with $1.5 million for the last quarter of 2021. Year-end was $5.7 million for 2022, compared with $4.8 million for 2021.

“What the world has been seeing over the last few months with the power of generative (artificial intelligence) has been central to Absci’s vision for years. We have been integrating our generative (artificial intelligence) capabilities with our wet lab technologies to enable a new paradigm in drug creation,” Absci founder and chief executive Sean McClain said in a statement to the press. He added the year had been transformational for the company.

“This January, we demonstrated our ability to create and validate de novo antibodies with zero-shot generative (artificial intelligence) — an industry breakthrough that unlocks the potential to accelerate time to clinic and increase probability of success for new drugs,” he continued. “We’ve leveraged this platform to our partnered programs to develop better biologics, faster.”

In the statement, McClain boasted about research collaborations the company had with the pharmaceutical giants Merck and NVIDIA. On Tuesday, Absci announced it will partner with M2GEN, a company aspiring to create new medicines for “traditionally ignored” cancers.

McClain said he believes Absci is well positioned for demonstrating the power of its platform in the future.

The earnings report showed the company’s net loss was down — $19.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, compared with $25.2 million for the previous year’s fourth quarter. The net loss was up, however, over the year, coming in at $104.9 million, compared with $101 million in 2021.

While research and development expenses were up for the whole year, they were down in the third quarter. They were $11.3 million at the end of 2022, compared with $15.8 million at the end of 2021. The decrease was driven by a third quarter reorganization, said the earnings report. The company laid off a number of staff last summer.

For the entire year, the company’s research and development expenses were higher than in 2021, coming in at $58.9 million, compared with $44.6 million the year before. The earnings statement said the increase was caused by increased personnel and lab operation costs, as well as investments in Absci’s platform expansion.

Other expenses, including selling, general and administrative costs, were up to $40.6 million for the year, compared with $28.8 million for 2021. This, again, was caused by increased staff and administrative costs, the earnings report said. They were down in the fourth quarter, though — $7.7 million, compared with $9.2 million at the end of last year.

Absci trades on the Nasdaq as ABSI. Its stock closed Tuesday at $1.76 per share, down from where it closed Monday at $1.82 per share.