Absci reports second quarter 2022 financial results and business update

Absci Corporation (Nasdaq: ABSI), the drug and target discovery company harnessing deep learning AI and synthetic biology to expand the therapeutic potential of proteins, recently reported financial and operating results for the quarter ended June 30, 2022.

“As we pass the halfway point of 2022, our team continues to make excellent progress toward our stated objectives,” said Sean McClain, founder and CEO. “Since becoming a public company one year ago, we have signed 13 discovery programs and continue to see momentum with adoption of our technology, reflected in the discovery deals we’ve signed each of the last three quarters. With 10 new Active Programs for drug discovery activities signed year-to-date, we have already exceeded our guidance for the year. Furthermore, in light of current market conditions, we’ve recently undertaken a diligent strategic review of our operations to refine our focus on drug discovery value creation. This has led to some difficult staffing decisions as we’ve prioritized activities, but it has afforded us an extended cash runway and positioned us optimally to achieve our vision of fully in silico protein-based drug discovery.”

Recent Highlights

  • Exceeded annual guidance of at least eight new Active Programs for 2022 with ten Active Programs for drug discovery activities signed year-to-date, bringing the total current number of Active Programs to 19.
  • Entered into a multi-program collaboration agreement with an undisclosed biotech partner operating in stealth-mode. The partner is focused on discovery and development of antibody-drug-conjugates initially for oncology indications and has developed novel, proprietary warhead linker chemistries that it will target to specified sites on subject antibodies by exploiting Absci’s Bionic™ protein non-standard amino acid incorporation technology.
  • Presented results of development of AI models for antibody optimization in an oral talk at the PEGS conference in May; the research was additionally selected for presentation at the 2022 International Conference on Machine Learning Workshop on Computational Biology in July. This research, along with our plan for continued manuscripts, further demonstrates our progress and leading role in the field of AI/ML drug discovery.
  • Strengthened executive leadership team, adding Denise Dettore as Chief People Officer and Jack Gold as Chief Marketing Officer.

Strategic Reorganization

Absci recently undertook a strategic review of operations to refine our focus on drug discovery value creation, yielding a comprehensive corporate reorganization. Absci is focusing on initiatives that reinforce progress toward our business inflection points, extending cash and cash equivalents sufficient to fund our operations into late 2025.

Internal R&D efforts will prioritize continued development of our AI-powered drug discovery platform and enhancement of our Bionic™ protein non-standard amino acid incorporation technology. As a result of this reorganization, Absci has undertaken actions to streamline its workforce, resulting in a reduction of headcount, in addition to the elimination of certain planned hires and capital expenditures.

Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results

Cash and cash equivalents as of June 30, 2022, was $206.0 million, as compared to $252.6 million as of December 31, 2021.

Research and development expenses were $16.2 million for the second quarter of 2022, as compared to $11.0 million for the second quarter of 2021. This increase was primarily driven by growth in our team and related personnel costs, increased lab operation costs, and additional investments in platform expansion, including data initiatives and AI capabilities.

Selling, general, and administrative expenses were $10.5 million for the second quarter of 2022, as compared to $5.2 million for the second quarter of 2021. This increase was primarily due to personnel-related costs and other expenses related to operating as a publicly traded company.

Net loss was $28.7 million for the second quarter of 2022, as compared to $41.2 million for the second quarter of 2021.

2022 Outlook

Absci now expects a net decrease in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash of approximately $110 million for 2022. This includes one-time, time-based disbursements totaling $10.5 million from restricted cash associated with the Denovium and Totient acquisitions.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.