Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal
The oversubscribed Series C financing round will fuel commercialization of AbSci’s protein expression platform. SaluPro can accelerate biopharmaceutical discovery and development and reduce manufacturing costs.
The Vancouver, Washington-based company also announced that AGC Biologics President and CEO Dr. Gustavo Mahler will join AbSci’s board of directors. AGC, the parent company of Seattle-based AGC Biologics, led the round. AGC Biologics is a global contract development and manufacturing organization with 850 employees worldwide.
“We are excited to have so much interest in this round,” AbSci founder and CEO Sean McClain said in a written statement. “Having a strategic partner such as AGC Biologics opens a number of opportunities.”
Two years ago, AbSci closed a $5.1 million funding round led by Phoenix Venture Partners, then completed a Series B round, the amount of which was undisclosed, last year.
AbSci currently employs 24 workers and plans to add 11 more by 2019. It expects to employ as many as 50 by late 2019. It recently expanded its downtown Vancouver space and plans to expand again at its current facility.
SoluPro is a synthetic biologic platform based on genetically engineered E. coli and plasmids. AbSci’s platform aims to eliminate a step in an otherwise inefficient and expensive process to achieve high yields of soluble and active insulin. It can produce in one-to-two days what normally takes three-to-four weeks using mammalian cells.