abcellera ipo release date price
Source: AbCellera

Could AbCellera Be the Next Pharma IPO Winner?

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Dec. 11 2020, Updated 8:49 a.m. ET

AbCellera Biologics is set to begin trading on Nasdaq today. It filed its prospectus on November 20 and revised the size of its IPO upward for a third time this week on huge prospective demand. So, what are AbCellera’s IPO date and price? Could AbCellera be the next IPO winner after Airbnb and DoorDash’s successful debuts this week?

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AbCellera Biologics is a Canada-based drug discovery platform that researches and develops human antibodies to address common diseases and pandemics. It was founded in 2012 by biomedical researchers Véronique Lecault and Carl Hansen. The company is not a pure-play biotech stock as it doesn’t make its own drugs. It, in fact, provides artificial intelligence-powered R&D platform that expedites drug discovery. In March 2020, the company agreed to work with Eli Lilly to co-develop LY-CoV555, a potential antibody therapy to treat and prevent COVID-19. 

abcellera ipo
Source: AbCellera
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On October 7, Eli Lilly submitted an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA, which was granted on November 9. October 29, Lilly announced a fixed price contract for $312.5 million with the U.S. Army Contracting Command. According to AbCellera’s prospectus, in December, the US government agreed to purchase an additional 650,000 doses of LY-CoV555 for $812.5 million.

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How is AbCellera’s IPO priced?

The company is offering 23 million shares. The initial price range for the IPO was $14-$17. The company increased the size of its IPO for the third time this week. The IPO range was raised by the company on December 10 to $20. At this price point, AbCellera will raise $483 million. 

When is AbCellera’s IPO date?

AbCellera had filed for IPO on November 20. It set terms for IPO on December 7 and the company is set for public debut on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ABCL on December 11. AbCellera’s IPO comes hot on the heels of several noteworthy IPOs. Ten traditional IPOs have already or are expected to price their deals this week. Recently, DoorDash, Airbnb and C3.ai opened considerably higher than expected on their public debuts. 

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Could AbCellera be the next winner in the IPO space?

One factor in AbCellera's favor is its backing from Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal Holdings and Palantir Technologies. Thiel acquired a small stake in AbCellera earlier this year. AbCellera said that Peter Thiel has expertise in expanding technology companies.  On November 19, Thiel joined AbCellera’s board of directors. Another notable investor is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

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AbCellera has completed 94 programs and is in progress or under contract with 26 partners as of September 30, 2020. One of the reasons the company is offering its IPO now is to help deliver the product to more partners. According to AbCellera’s filing, antibody-based therapeutics—the market AbCellera is addressing—accounted for more than $140 billion in sales in 2019. The market is expected to reach $260 billion by 2025. So, the potential growth in the market is huge.

At its latest IPO price, AbCellera will have a valuation of $5.32 billion. The company is in and out of profitability often. It recorded a profit of $309,000 in 2018 and a net loss of $2.2 million in 2019. During the first nine months of 2020, AbCellera again saw an increase in profit, netting $1.9 million. 

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The company already knows how to turn a profit, in contrast to many other high profile IPOs this year. Therefore, with a solid financial backing, investors with deep experience, and a growing biotech market, the company could be the next winner in the IPO space. According to The Globe and Mail, as per sources familiar with the matter, AbCellera’s IPO was 20 times oversubscribed by prospective investors.  

How to buy AbCellera stock

To buy AbCellera stock, investors can open a stock trading account with online discount brokers like TD Ameritrade, Robinhood, E-Trade, SoFi Invest, Charles Schwab, and Webull.

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