Forge fires up gene therapy production partnership with Life Biosciences

Forge Biologics, a genetic medicines manufacturing specialist, inked a manufacturing deal to help Life Biosciences advance its gene therapy platform for age-related diseases.

Under the agreement, Forge will offer its adeno-associated virus (AAV) process development, toxicology, manufacturing and analytical services, the company said in a May 8 press release.

Life Biosciences is looking to leverage Forge’s platform processes including its HEK293 suspension Ignition Cells and pEMBR adenovirus helper plasmid. 

Development and AAV manufacturing will be done at Forge’s 200,000-square-foot facility—known as “The Hearth”—in Columbus, Ohio.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

“We believe we’re on the cusp of revolutionizing medicine with our cellular rejuvenation capabilities across a range of aging-related diseases, including ophthalmic disorders that involve retinal ganglion cell dysfunction,” Jerry McLaughlin, Life Biosciences' chief executive, said in the release. “We are confident our partnership with Forge will have a tremendous impact on our ability to enhance the speed and quality with which we can manufacture our therapeutic candidates as we progress toward the first human clinical trials and continue to develop treatments to reverse diseases of aging by restoring cells to a more youthful state.”

Forge was founded in 2020 with a deep bench of gene therapy veterans that includes Timothy Miller as CEO, Jaysson Eicholtz in the COO position and Erandi De Silva as vice president of product development. All are co-founders of the company.

Just a little over two years ago, Forge hauled in $120 million in funding to advance its viral vector goals.

For its part, Boston-based Life Biosciences formed in 2017 with the mission to "redefine" aging. It's advancing two platforms in multiple indications.