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23 October, 2020 - 14:14 By Tony Quested

Abcam raises $180m through US IPO

Cambridge-based Abcam, which supplies tools globally for life science research, has had a blockbusting response to its IPO on America’s NASDAQ technology exchange.

It initially realised $156.5 million in an American  depositary share offering then applied a generous dollop of icing onto an already generous slice of the cake by hauling in an extra $23.5m following exercise of over-allotment options by underwriters of its ADS exercise. That took the total amount raised to a nice round $180m.

Abcam’s UK share price recovered from an early dip to go slightly north to  1427p at the time of writing today.

Headquartered at Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Abcam now employs around 1,000 people worldwide. A pioneer in data sharing and ecommerce in the life sciences, its over-riding ambition is to be the most influential company in life sciences by helping advance global understanding of biology and causes of disease, which, in turn, will drive new treatments and improved health.

Shrewdly steered from Cambridge by CEO Alan Hirzel, Abcam swells the cluster’s growing cohort on NASDAQ. GW Pharmaceuticals, Bicycle Therapeutics and F-star have blazed the trail. Reports suggest that Horizon Discovery will soon swell those numbers, subject to hitting the right figures, and that Kymab could also be tempted and is just considering timing issues.

Abcam has grown impressively from relatively humble roots: The company was founded in 1998 by Jonathan Milner with co-founders professor Tony Kouzarides and David Cleevely, with the idea of making it easier for research scientists to buy antibodies across the web. It has a £3.08bn market cap and was among Cambridge’s first unicorn businesses.

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