Forge Biologics raises USD 120 Mn in Series B financing

May 6, 20210

The gene therapy contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Forge Biologics has raised USD 120 Mn in Series B financing led by RA Capital Management, Octagon Capital, Surveyor Capital and Marshall Wace. This investment will be used to accelerate expansion of adeno-associated virus (AAV) manufacturing CDMO capabilities and work with towards developing AAV gene therapy programs. Currently, Forge has a 175,000 square foot facility in Columbus, Ohio, “The Hearth,” which has a custom-designed cGMP facility dedicated to AAV viral vector manufacturing to accelerate gene therapy programs from preclinical through clinical and commercial stage manufacturing.

Forge aims to be a dual platform for both manufacturing and developing programs. In its own clinical pipeline, the firm is actively advancing its lead program FBX-101 which aims to treat patients with infantile Krabbe disease causing as trouble eating, delayed mental and physical development, and muscle weakness with most patient’s dying before reaching two years old. FBX-101 is an adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy that is delivered after a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to deliver a functional copy of the GALC gene to cells in both the central and peripheral nervous system. FBX-101 was initially developed in the laboratory of Maria Escolar, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Program for the Study of Neurodevelopment in Rare Disorders (NDRD) at the University of Pittsburgh. Forge Biologics closed a USD 40 Mn Series A financing round last year to expand manufacturing capabilities and support the clinical development of FBX-101.

While the pharma manufacturing industry has seen massive expansion this year owing to the accelerated use of bioreactors for making Covid 19 Vaccines, manufacturing expansion has been observed in the gene therapy segment too.  Recent manufacturing expansion of Delphi by Catalent, AGC biologics expansion, Celonic expansion and acquisition of Promethera by Catalent are all evidence of gene therapy manufacturing expansion to limit the turn over time and enhance access to these drugs.

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