Forge Biologics, a Columbus, Ohio-based viral vector gene therapy manufacturing and development company with the dual platform of CDMO capabilities and the development of proprietary gene therapy products, closed a $40m Series A financing.
The round was led by the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund with participation from Drive Capital. In conjunction with the Series A financing, Chris Garabedian, Manager of the PXV Fund for Perceptive Advisors and CEO of Xontogeny will be joining the Forge Board of Directors as Chairman.
The company will use the funds to expand AAV manufacturing CDMO capabilities in 2020, with cGMP production capacity available by mid-2021, and for the development of a novel gene therapy pipeline.
Led by Timothy J. Miller, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and CEO, Forge Biologics is a viral vector CDMO and therapeutics developer, located in a 175,000 ft2 facility in Columbus, Ohio. This facility is dedicated to AAV viral vector manufacturing, currently capable of up to 50L scale research and toxicology grade AAV manufacturing. By mid-2021, it will host end-to-end cGMP AAV manufacturing services at 500L scale, enabling biotech and pharma clients the ability to accelerate their gene therapy programs from pre-clinical development through clinical and commercial stage manufacturing. In addition to its CDMO capabilities, the company is developing its own pipeline of innovative gene therapies aimed at treating patients with genetic diseases. Today, Forge announces its lead program, a novel AAV and umbilical cord transplant combination approach to treat infantile Krabbe disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disorder. The combination treatment was pioneered at the University of Pittsburgh in the lab of Maria Escolar, M.D., who joins Forge as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Escolar is currently a Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Program for the Study of Neurodevelopment in Rare Disorders (NDRD) at University of Pittsburgh and brings a wealth of rare disease and clinical gene therapy experience to the team.
Timothy J. Miller, Ph.D. leads an established management team of gene therapy veterans with a track record of success. In addition to Maria Escolar, M.D. joining as CMO, the management team includes co-founders Jaysson Eicholtz, Chief Operations Officer, and Erandi De Silva, Ph.D., Chief Strategy Officer. Most notably, Dr. Miller was previously President, CEO and co-founder of Abeona Therapeutics, Jaysson Eicholtz was previously responsible for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s gene therapy manufacturing facility, and Dr. Silva was previously head of Program Management at Myonexus Therapeutics.