Board Composed of San Diego Biotech Veterans, Global Drug Development & Corporate Finance Leaders
San Diego, California, May 16, 2017 – Forge Therapeutics, Inc., (Forge), a biotechnology company discovering first-in-class antibiotics using a breakthrough drug discovery platform, announced today the expansion of its Board of Directors whose members will provide strategic guidance to Forge as the company grows and advances its novel metalloprotein inhibitor technology and pipeline.
Following the Company’s recently announced $8.8M CARB-X research award as well as the $15M Series A financing, Forge’s Board now includes Mario Polywka, COO of Evotec AG, John Schmid, former CFO of Trius (acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals for $707M) and Auspex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Teva for $3.5B), Stephen Worland, President and CEO of eFFECTOR Therapeutics and former CEO of Anadys Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Roche for $230M), Brian T. Dorsey, Partner of MagnaSci Ventures, and Zachary Zimmerman, CEO of Forge. In addition, Jonathan Kabakoff of Alexandria Venture Investments and Jeffrey Moore of MP Healthcare Venture Management will serve as Board observers.
“Forge is a very exciting, emerging life science company – its novel platform and programs, its highly efficient business model, and its creative capitalization all attracted me to join the Board at such a pivotal time in the company’s evolution,” said John Schmid. “I look forward to providing strategic, operational and financial guidance to the management team in the coming years.”
Dr. Worland added, “Multi-drug resistant bacteria ‘superbugs’ pose a very serious threat to human health and Forge’s novel antibiotic program provides a promising solution to this global problem. I am honored to join the Forge Board and excited to work with its talented management team, advisors, and alliance and government partners as the company and technology platforms mature.”
About the Forge Board of Directors
Forge’s Board of Directors is a well-balanced composition of San Diego biotechnology industry veterans, global drug development experts and corporate finance leaders.
- Brian T. Dorsey, Founding Partner of MagnaSci Ventures, a healthcare fund focused on investing in early stage life science companies, brings over twenty years of industry experience to Forge’s Board. Throughout his career, Mr. Dorsey has provided high-level drug development, regulatory and quality leadership to numerous pharmaceutical candidates from early development to FDA approval. Mr. Dorsey currently serves as Chief Development Officer for Apricus Biosciences. He is a director for Neurana Pharmaceuticals, Tao Life Sciences and a founder of Kalyra Pharmaceuticals and Septum Solutions. Mr. Dorsey has held senior management roles at Pernix Therapeutics, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Baxter Bioscience and Pfizer Global Research and Development – La Jolla (Agouron). Mr. Dorsey received his Master of Science in Executive Leadership and his B.A. in Chemistry both from the University of San Diego.
- Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec AG (Xetra:EVT), a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company, adds valuable entrepreneurial, operational and pharmaceutical chemistry expertise to the Forge Board. Prior to joining Evotec, Dr. Polywka ran a number of spin-out companies and served on the boards of Pharminox Ltd. and Glycoform Ltd, Nanotether Ltd, Southampton Polypeptides Ltd and Capsant Neurotechnologies Ltd. Previously, Dr. Polywka was a founding chemist of OAI, where he also served as COO and CEO of OAI plc. Dr. Polywka received a doctorate from the University of Oxford in organometallic chemistry and continued at Oxford with post-doctoral studies on aspects of the biosynthesis of penicillins. Dr Polywka is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and has a number of publications and patents mainly in the field of asymmetric synthesis.
- John Schmid brings more than twenty years of fiscal, strategic and operational experience in the life science industry to Forge’s Board. Most recently, he was Chief Financial Officer of Auspex Pharmaceuticals, which he helped take public before it was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals for $3.5B. Prior to serving as CFO at Auspex, Mr. Schmid was co-founder and CFO of Trius Therapeutics, which went public in 2010 and was acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals for over $700M. Previously, he served as CFO of GeneFormatics and Endonetics (acquired by Medtronic). He currently serves as a director of AnaptysBio, Neos Therapeutics, Patara Pharma, and Forge. Mr. Schmid holds a B.A. in Economics from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego.
- Steve Worland, President and CEO and a director of eFFECTOR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on new treatments for cancer, adds extensive industry expertise in identifying growth opportunities and building valuable companies to Forge’s Board. Prior to eFFECTOR, Dr. Worland was President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company which discovered and developed treatments for hepatitis C and cancer, from August 2007 until the company’s acquisition by Roche in November 2011. Dr. Worland joined Anadys in 2001 and served in a number of executive roles prior to being named Chief Executive Officer, including President, Pharmaceuticals, and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Worland began his career at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and remained with the company through its successful commercialization of an HIV protease inhibitor and successive acquisitions by Warner-Lambert, where he held global responsibility for the company’s Anti-Infectives strategy, and Pfizer. Dr. Worland was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow in Molecular Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Worland received his B.S. with highest honors in Biological Chemistry from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
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 a capital 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.
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