Forge Bio bags $90m funding to expand CGT capabilities

CDMO Forge Biologics has completed a $90 million Series C financing round, which will be used to expand its technologies, manufacturing systems, and cell lines.

The gene therapy contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Forge Bio has raised $90 million with finances led by Aisling Capital, Drive Capital, and an undisclosed strategic investor.

According to the CDMO, it will expand the number of its service offerings available to customers in order to scale its gene therapy programs from research to clinical and commercial production in its 20 suites making use of its operational 50 L, 500 L, and 5,000 L bioreactors. Additionally, a portion of the funding will be used to strengthen its manufacturing platform.

The firm said that it will begin “unfolding” the client offerings later this month and into next year.

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“We continue our ambitious mission to enable access to life changing gene therapies by fulfilling a key goal of bringing them from concept to reality,” said Timothy Miller, CEO, and co-founder of Forge Biologics.

“To deliver on that mission, we’ve made great strides in our facility development, technology advancement, and hiring expansion. These new funds will help support this next measured phase of our growth focused on delivering new services to our clients so that we can support them from idea to impact. Each advancement we make goes towards serving our clients and their patient communities, and we are grateful to our investors for their confidence in our mission.”

The funding round is also said to tackle the challenges associated with the gene therapy industry, which Andrew Schiff, manager partner at Aisling Capital described as “constrained by technical, operational, and capacity constraints.”

“While the industry experienced some correction in the beginning of 2022, manufacturing demand has remained strong throughout the year (there are ~400 active clinical trials for gene therapies), and there continues to be considerable unmet demand for gene therapy manufacturing that Forge is solving for. We were able to raise this money because we met or exceeded all expectations from previous raises (Series A and B rounds). That helps build investor confidence which is really a function of client confidence,” a spokesperson for Forge Bio told us.

Furthermore, to meet demand the CDMO is scaling up its headcount. “We’ve grown to over 255 employees since we launched just two years ago and have plans to add 50-75 more team members over the next year, aiming for approximately 400 by 2024.  The majority of these hires have been in technical roles, including manufacturing, testing and quality,” the spokespersons said.

In May 2021, Forge Bio closed $120 million in Series B financing to expand its adeno associated virus (AAV) manufacturing capabilities and develop gene therapies.