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Peter Thiel joins board of antibody therapy developer AbCellera

FILE PHOTO: PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel delivers his speech on the U.S. presidential election at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

(Reuters) - Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel has joined AbCellera Biologics Inc’s board of directors, the Canadian antibody therapy developer said on Thursday.

Thiel, who has backed several startups as they went public, is an existing investor in AbCellera. He joins the startup’s board a couple of months after Reuters reported that it had hired investment banks for a U.S. initial public offering, which could come this year.

AbCellera has been working with Eli Lilly and Co LLY.N to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Thiel is known for his early investments in Facebook FB.O and co-founding electronic payment service provider Paypal Inc PYPL.O. In September, he took data analytics firm Palantir Technologies Inc PLTR.N public through a direct-listing.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel