Ex-UBC prof Carl Hansen now worth more than $4 billion following spectacular AbCellera Biologics IPO

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      Most Vancouverites have never heard of Carl Hansen.

      He's certainly not as famous as lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson or businessman Jimmy Pattison.

      But today, thanks to an initial public offering, Hansen is in their league—financially speaking.

      The former UBC professor of physics and astronomy is the CEO of AbCellera Biologics, a Vancouver-based biotech company that began trading on NASDAQ.

      On the first day, investors pushed the stock up from US$20 to US$58.90 at the closing bell.

      According to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, Hansen owns 61,827,830 common shares of AbCellera Biologics.

      Doing the math, Hansen's shares are worth more than US$3.6 billion.

      Convert that to Canadian currency and it adds up to $4.61 billion.

      Not bad for a guy who earned $115,627 in his final year as a professor at UBC, where he also worked at the Michael Smith Laboratories.

      But hey, Hansen has more than 50 patents to his name.

      Even more importantly, his company figured out how to identify 500 antibody sequences to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

      This landed it a partnership with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company.

      That's of much greater worth to society than making yoga pants or operating a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum.

      Hansen still has a way to go to catch up to Pattison, who's worth US$6.1 billion, according to Forbes.

      That same business magazine pegs Wilson's net worth at US$5.9 billion.

      AbCellera's second-largest shareholder is board member John Edward Hamer. He's also managing partner of the San Francisco–based venture capital firm DCVC Bio.

      His 29,114,300 AbCellera shares were worth more than US$1.7 billion at the close of trading.

      Last month, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel joined AbCellera's board of directors. His 11,965,493 shares are now worth more than US$704 million.