Biotech startup AbSci raises $125M for ‘Protein Printing’ tech; total funding up to $230M

AbSci CEO and founder Sean McClain. (AbSci Photo)

New funding: Vancouver, Wash.-based biotech company AbSci raised $125 million in a round led by Casdin Capital and Redmile Group.

The tech: Founded in 2011, AbSci’s “Protein Printing” technology is used to discover and manufacture complex biological molecules such as antibodies and insulin. The idea is to reduce failure rates and accelerate development of protein biomanufacturing.

A big year: AbSci raised a $65 million Series E round in October. In January it acquired Denovium, a small startup that uses deep learning to analyze the function and behavior of proteins. AbSci then landed an undisclosed investment from Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund earlier this year. Total funding to date is now $230 million. The company declined to provide an updated valuation.

Investors: New backers including Fidelity Management; Research Company LLC; D1 Capital Partners; Perceptive Advisors; aMoon Edge; and Irving Investors also participated, as well as existing investor ArrowMark Partners. The round was described as “crossover financing,” a strategy used by startups expecting to go public to raise cash from firms that traditionally invest in public companies. It’s used by companies particularly in the life sciences sector.

Quoted: “As we unlock access to novel biologies and therapeutic modalities, and work with our partners to create exciting new medicines, we are continuing to innovate and expand the scope of what we can accomplish and the impact we can have to improve human health,” AbSci CEO and founder Sean McClain said in a statement.

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