Absci stock rockets after collaboration with Merck could lead to more than $600 million in payments


Shares of Absci Corp. ABSI, +17.10% skyrocketed 59.1% on heavy volume in premarket trading Friday, after the biotechnology company said it could be eligible to receive up to $610 million in upfront fees and milestone payments from Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, +1.86% as part of a research collaboration agreement. Trading volume ballooned to 9.7 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 324,800 shares, to make the stock the biggest gainer and most actively traded ahead of the open. Under the collaboration, Absci’s Bionic Protein amino acid technology will be used to produce enzymes tailored to Merck’s biomanufacturing platform. Merck also has the option to nominate up to three targets and enter into a drug discovery collaboration agreement. The stock, which closed at a record low of $6.14 on Thursday, had tumbled 42.9% over the past three months through Thursday, while the iShares Biotechnology ETF IBB, -1.31% has shed 8.8% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.41% has gained 6.7%.

Source: Marketwatch

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