SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Forge Therapeutics, Inc., (Forge), a biotechnology company discovering first-in-class antibiotics using a breakthrough drug discovery platform, announced today the completion of a $15M Series A financing. The round is led by MagnaSci Ventures, with participation from Evotec AG, Alexandria Venture Investments, MP Healthcare Venture Management, Red Apple Group, and WS Investments. Forge has used its enabling technology to identify a novel LpxC inhibitor effective against multi-drug resistant bacteria 'superbugs,' and the funding will support the program into clinical studies.
"This financing is an important step forward to solving the 'superbug' epidemic, an urgent global health issue in desperate need of innovation. We've been impressed with the strength of the Forge team, their technologies and their commitment to innovating the antibiotic space," said Brian T. Dorsey, Founding Partner at MagnaSci Ventures. "With our investment and resources, we look forward to working together on developing the first novel antibiotic against Gram-negative bacteria in decades." In connection with the Series A financing, Mr. Dorsey will be joining Forge's Board of Directors.
"We are pleased to have such quality investors join us in our pursuit to eradicate deadly 'superbug' infections with novel antibiotics stemming from our robust drug discovery engine," said Zachary A. Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO of Forge. "The proceeds from this financing, coupled with the non-dilutive monies received from government agencies CARB-X and NIH/NIAID, will advance our LpxC inhibitor into clinical studies."
About the Series A Investors
The syndicate in Forge's Series A financing is a well-balanced mix of experienced life science investment funds, strategic alliance and pharma partners, and one of America's largest private conglomerates.
MagnaSci Ventures is a Houston based healthcare fund focused on investing in early stage life science companies with exceptional science and entrepreneurs.
Evotec AG (Xetra:EVT) is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Evotec operates worldwide and has leading scientific experts, state-of-the-art technologies as well as key therapeutics expertise in the area of infectious disease.
Alexandria Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), supports innovation by investing capital in the biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, research tools, agtech, digital health, and technology sectors.
MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH) is the venture arm of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC), investing in breakthrough biopharma technologies and products across multiple disease areas.
Red Apple Group, owned by the Catsimatidis family, is one of America's largest private conglomerates and makes highly selective direct investments in energy, life sciences, financial services, technology, and other industries.
WS Investment Co. is the investment fund of the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and makes seed, early stage, and later stage venture investments.
About LpxC and the 'Superbug' Epidemic
Millions of people around the globe have become infected with bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotic treatments, or 'superbugs', creating a global health epidemic. An estimated 700,000 worldwide deaths occur each year from these drug-resistant infections, and in the U.S. alone, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistant infections. The biotechnology industry, leading government agencies and world leaders agree that the need for new antibiotics is urgent.
LpxC is an attractive and highly sought after antibiotic target – it is conserved across Gram-negative bacteria and not found in Gram-positive bacteria or human cells. Other LpxC inhibitors have been evaluated by biopharma in the past but chemistry limitations (e.g. hydroxamic acid) have yielded ineffective compounds that suffer from poor drug-like properties. There are no approved therapeutics targeting LpxC.
About Forge Therapeutics
Forge Therapeutics is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing novel antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant bacteria, or 'superbugs,' that have ignited a global health epidemic. With its proprietary chemistry approach, Forge develops small molecule inhibitors targeting metalloenzymes. Forge's lead effort is focused on LpxC, a zinc metalloenzyme found only in Gram-negative bacteria and which is essential for bacteria to grow. Forge has discovered novel small molecule inhibitors of LpxC that are potent in vitro, efficacious in vivo, and effective against drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria 'superbugs.' To complement its innovative approach to drug discovery, Forge has an efficient business model that utilizes a mix of non-dilutive and traditional funding sources to advance its programs, including LpxC. Forge has formed a strategic alliance with leading drug discovery alliance and development partnership company Evotec AG and has been awarded multiple government awards to address the global 'superbug' epidemic. In addition, Forge has amassed a rich intellectual property estate on metalloprotein inhibitors to protect its technology and pipeline. For further information, please visit the company's website www.ForgeTherapeutics.com and follow us on Twitter @ForgeThera.