Thiel, who has backed several startups as they went public, is an existing investor in AbCellera. He joins the startup's board a couple of months after Reuters reported that it had hired investment banks for a U.S. initial public offering, which could come this year.
AbCellera has been working with Eli Lilly and Co to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus.
Thiel is known for his early investments in Facebook and co-founding electronic payment service provider Paypal Inc. In September, he took data analytics firm Palantir Technologies Inc public through a direct-listing.
(Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)