Why Absci Corporation (ABSI) stock skyrocketed 60% Friday?

Highlights

  • The ABSI stock was up over 60% in premarket trading on Friday.

  • Absci has signed up for research collaboration with Merck & Company, Inc.

  • Merck will use Absci’s AI-powered “integrated drug creation” platform.

Shares of Absci Corporation (Nasdaq: ABSI) jumped over 60% in the premarket session on Friday after announcing a research collaboration with Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE: MRK).

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They will use Absci’s AI-powered “Integrated Drug Creation” platform to create customized enzymes for Merck’s biomanufacturing applications.

Also, Merck has the option to choose up to three targets and enter into a drug discovery partnership agreement, while Absci would be entitled to receive US$610 million in upfront fees and milestone payments for all three targets, research funds, and tiered royalties on sales.

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The Vancouver, Washington-based Absci has created an integrated platform to identify novel drug targets and related solutions. Merck & Co. is a Kenilworth, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company and provides prescription medicines, vaccines, etc.

Absci founder and CEO Sean McClain has hailed the collaboration with Merck and said it will help create new biologic candidates that will improve patients’ lives.

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Absci Corporation (ABSI) entered into a research collaboration with Merck

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Absci Corporation (Nasdaq: ABSI) stock performance, financial highlights

Its shares of ABSI traded at US$9.84 at 8:22 am ET on January 7, up 60.26% from its previous close. It has a market cap of US$568.51 million, with a forward P/E one year of -26.70. Its stock value plummeted 71.56% over the past six months.

The ABSI stock saw the highest price of US$31.53 and the lowest price of US$6.12 in the last 52 weeks. Its trading volume on January 6 was 632,467.

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The revenue was US$1.5 million in Q3, FY21, compared to US$0.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year. The net loss was US$23.63 million, or a loss of US$0.33 per share, against a loss of US$3.74 million, or a loss of US$0.85 per share in the comparable quarter of 2020.

As of Sept 30, 2021, the company's cash and cash equivalents were US$279.26 million.

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Bottomline

Analysts expect more such collaborations and joint ventures between drug companies this year. Merck’s senior Vice President Fiona Marshall said the company is continuously looking for new ways to develop and expand its biologics capabilities. The MRK stock traded flat at US$78.89 at 9:02 am ET on Friday.

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