Twist Bioscience Acquires Abveris to Complement Antibody Capabilities

Twist Bioscience snapped up in vivo antibody discovery company Abveris, Inc. in a deal valued at up to $190 million. The acquisition is expected to bolster Twist’s biopharma antibody capabilities.

Privately held Abveris, formerly known as AbX Biologies, provides comprehensive antibody discovery and characterization services through the capabilities of its proprietary DiversimAb family of hyperimmune mouse models. The company’s mouse models can be developed for use in humans through Twist’s own antibody optimization solution program. Through the acquisition, the company believes it will be able to create superior biologics for rapid clinical advancement.

Emily M. Leproust, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twist Biosciences, said the Abveris discovery platform is a natural fit with Twist. She added that it will both complement and extend Twist’s biopharma antibody capabilities through the addition of mouse-based discovery and screening.

“There are three key approaches to antibody discovery: synthetic libraries, which is the specialty of Twist; in vivo discovery through animal models; and artificial intelligence models. With the anticipated acquisition of Abveris, Twist will have expertise in each, creating a robust antibody design, discovery and screening organization to serve both our partners and our internal pipeline,” Leproust said in a statement.

Abveris CEO Tracey Mullen said the combination of Twist and her company are “highly synergistic.” The combination of the capabilities of both companies will allow Twist to pair natural, in vivo antibody development with its humanization and engineering capabilities to introduce what Mullen said will be a “new gold standard in antibody discovery.” 

Under terms of the deal, Twist will pay $150 million in a combination of shares of Twist Bioscience and $10 million in cash. An additional $40 million in Twist shares will be delivered if Abveris achieves an internal revenue target for the calendar year of 2022.

Shares of Twist Bioscience are currently down more than 5% in premarket trading. The company stock closed at $110.62 on Friday. Twist noted in its announcement that the value of the funds available for Abveris will be based on the average per share closing sale price of Twist common stock for the month preceding the closing, which is between $106.10 and $129.68.

In addition to the acquisition of Abveris, Twist also posted its full-year financial earnings for 2021 that showed that as of the end of September, the Bay Area-based company had 34 partners, 41 active and 32 completed programs. Of those, 35 have milestone payments and/or royalties attached, Leproust said. Twist generated $159.5 million in revenue for the year, which was a step above the $116.7 million generated in 2020. 

“In addition, subject to regulatory approval, we expect to have the first Twist-discovered antibody in the clinic in 2022,” the CEO added. 

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