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Antibody drug tech firm AbCellera raises $105 million as it works on COVID-19

Canadian drug discovery technology company AbCellera, which analyzes and identifies antibodies for pharmaceutical companies working on a coronavirus treatment and other medicines, said on Wednesday it had raised $105 million in funds.

AbCellera has been working with pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) which is developing a coronavirus drug based on antibodies from patients that have recovered from the disease.

AbCellera uses computer vision and machine learning to quickly analyze data from human samples, and pharmaceutical clients then use that to develop drugs, AbCellera Chief Executive Carl Hansen said.

The human sample is inserted into a device the size of a credit card that has over 250,000 “chambers.” A computer checks human antibodies secreted into the chambers by sample cells to determine which has the best properties for fighting a certain disease and is worth developing, he said.

AbCellera is paid an upfront fee for the work from drug companies, and also payments for milestones of the development and eventually a small royalty as well, Hansen said.

MAY 27, 2020


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