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UPDATE 1-Thiel-backed antibody therapy developer AbCellera files for U.S. IPO

(Adds details on revenue, background, IPO)

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Peter Thiel-backed biotech developer AbCellera Biologics Inc, which has partnered with Eli Lilly for its COVID-19 antibody drug, on Friday filed for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq.

The listing plan from the Canadian firm comes at a time of strong demand for new biotechnology stocks, with almost half of the U.S. IPOs in 2020 coming from the healthcare sector, according to data from IPOScoop.

AbCellera said its revenue rose to $11.6 million in 2019, from $8.8 million a year earlier. Its net loss for the year was $2.2 million, compared with a profit of $309,000 in 2018.

Reuters reported in September that AbCellera had hired investment banks for a U.S. IPO and could look to raise between $200 million and $300 million.

Earlier on Friday, Canada granted interim authorization to Eli Lilly’s antibody drug for treating COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized, but are at risk of serious illness because of their age or other conditions.

AbCellera has filed for an IPO of up to $200 million, a placeholder amount that is expected to change. It plans to list its common shares on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ABCL”.

The company, which also counts Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and healthcare-focused buyout firm OrbiMed Advisors LLC among its investors, said Credit Suisse, Stifel, Berenberg, SVB Leerink and BMO Capital Market are the lead underwriters for the IPO. (Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru;Editing by Arun Koyyur, Aditya Soni)

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