Finance & Investment
Gene Therapy
GMP

$80 Million Non-Dilutive Financing to Accelerate Forge Biologics Planned CDMO Expansion

Anna Osborne
11 January 2022
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Forge Biologics, a clinical-stage gene therapy development and CDMO, has announced closing an $80 million non-dilutive financing agreement with MidCap Financial to support facility expansion.  

The company, who are striving to address the growing demand for gene therapy manufacturing,  previously closed $40 million Series A financing in July 2020 and $120 million Series B financing in April 2021, bringing the total project financing to approximately $240 million. 

The secured financing will provide additional funds to Forge to accelerate the ongoing expansion of its new cGMP facility and headquarters in Columbus, Ohio: ‘The Hearth’ facility. 

Expanding capacity of ‘The Hearth’ will provide increased manufacturing services to accelerate client gene therapy programmes from preclinical through clinical, to commercial stages. The facilities specialisation in AVV vector manufacturing provides capacity for clients using this vector to advance the timeline of their transformative therapeutics.  

The expansion will see the development of 20 cGMP suites – a total of over 200,000 square feet in manufacturing space – ready for client use by the latter part of 2022.  

This will greatly increase the number and capacity of Forge’s 50L, 500L, and 1000L bioreactors. It is also to include installation of 5000L cGMP bioreactors for use with Forge’s HEK 293 IgnitionTM cell line, to accommodate large-scale clinical and commercial programmes.  

“We are excited to deliver on our goal of offering our clients expanded manufacturing capacity, while providing access to some of the largest suspension bioreactors available in the industry,” commented Timothy Miller, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of Forge. 

Additionally, the expansion will also provide onsite access to automated cGMP fill-finish facilities. The cleanroom background classification will meet European Medicines Agency requirements for late-stage clinical and commercial filling needs.  

The planned increase in manufacturing and bioreactor capacity will be matched with substantial workforce growth, with plans to reach a total of 400 employees in the next three years. This staffing expansion is being supported by a grant from the State of Ohio.  

Forge’s overall capacity growth will have huge benefits in getting disease-modifying gene therapy treatments to patients with rare genetic diseases.   

“The world-class researchers, talent and investors in Ohio have created an environment where Forge can develop life-changing gene therapy advancements that can positively impact lives worldwide,” concluded J.P. Nauseef, Ohio President and CEO. 

Capitalising on their current investment, Forge has begun making further plans for additional cGMP suites beyond the 2022 expansion.  

The financing of this project reflects the recognition by investors of the positive and rapid developments being made within the advanced therapies industry, creating a need for increased manufacturing capacity to allow these therapeutics to reach and change the lives of patients.  

Source: Forge Biologics Press Release