AbCellera announced that it has closed a $105 million Series B financing. The financing was led by OrbiMed and current investor DCVC Bio, with an investor syndicate that includes Viking Global Investors, Peter Thiel, Founders Fund, Eli Lilly and Company, University of Minnesota, and Presight Capital. AbCellera focuses on therapeutic antibodies, screening, choosing and analyzing millions of naturally produced antibodies to be used as next-generation drug candidates.
The company will use the funds to create and aggregate novel tools to propel the development of new biological modalities, from monoclonal, multi-specific, and single-domain antibodies, to bioconjugates, gene-encoded biologics, and cell therapies. The funds will also be used to add staff, open a new 48,000-square-foot research-and-development facility in 2021, and build a GMP manufacturing facility to produce biologics for clinical testing.
“Drug development takes too long, fails too often, and costs too much. With the backing of visionary investors, we will double-down on our strategy of making long-term investments in technology and teams that are needed to put drug development on the fast track,” said Carl Hansen, Ph.D., CEO of AbCellera. “We’re building a modern operating system for drug developers to ensure the best science is translated quickly into new therapies for patients.”
AbCellera has successfully completed more than 55 programs, delivering high-quality antibody drug candidates for a wide variety of drug targets, including historically challenging multi-pass membrane protein targets, such as GPCRs and ion channels. The company has generated lead therapeutic antibody candidates for unmet needs in various disease areas including cancer, immuno-oncology, neurodegeneration, pain, fibrosis, and metabolic disorders.
“AbCellera is at the intersection of biology, technology, and AI, allowing it to make new antibody drug discovery advancements, which we previously couldn’t dream of, possible,” said John Hamer, Managing Partner, DCVC Bio. “From developing therapeutics for neurological diseases to COVID-19 and everything in-between, AbCellera is transforming the antibody discovery process, delivering more possibilities in less time and with less expense. We continue to be enthusiastic supporters of its progress.”
Within the last three years AbCellera has signed collaboration deals with biopharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Gilead Sciences and Novartis. In March, AbCellera and Lilly entered into a development and manufacturing partnership for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Lilly announced in April that it plans to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the end of May, with expectations for launching clinical trials shortly afterwards.