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FORGE Life Sciences

An antiviral development company

Presenter: Lilian Chiang, PhD, MBA, President & CEO


Monday, May 9, 2016

Embassy Suites, Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania (directions)




FORGE Life Sciences was founded on breakthrough discoveries made at Princeton University. Whereas immuno-oncology drugs use the host's immune system to fight cancer, FORGE antivirals use the host cell's intrinsic immunity to defend against infection. The vision is to develop first-in-class antivirals that are safe, address the problem of acquired drug resistance, and provide unique broad-spectrum treatment modalities. This will transform the practice of medicine because FORGE products address the infectious disease condition as opposed to targeting a specific virus-type.


FORGE host-targeted antivirals comprise a platform technology that can be applied to many infectious diseases. Currently, FORGE has applied the technology towards three distinct drug discovery programs, each funded by a distinct SBIR grant, and comprising three distinct prototype drugs (leads): (1) a respiratory infections antiviral, (2) an opportunistic infections antiviral for immunocompromised patients, (3) a brain-penetrant antiviral to treat viral encephalitis. Ensuring successful translation of our early drug discovery programs to ultimately address patient needs in the clinic, FORGE has a world-class management team with proven track record for innovation AND commercialization success. We will pursue a focused business plan maximizing non-dilutive funding with broad pharma partnering opportunities.


The furthest advanced program targets (1) respiratory infections. FORGE has leads with activity against influenza A and B, drug-sensitive and drug-resistant strains. The target market includes those receiving the least benefit from seasonal flu vaccines and with the greatest risk of complications, infants and the elderly. The expanded efficacy profile will include other respiratory viruses (e.g. SARS, RSV). Demonstrated superior clearance of virus compared to Tamiflu suggests the FORGE product will attenuate person-to-person spread and provide palpable symptom relief. If this is clinically demonstrated, the market will be significant (economic loss due to flu ~$87 B/year).


Against opportunistic infections (2), FORGE has leads with activity against three distinct viruses: CMV, BKV, and influenza A. The expanded efficacy profile will include more than a dozen herpes, polyoma, respiratory, and hepatitis viruses, that normally pose minimal health risks. However, immunocompromised patients are at risk of opportunistic infections. In the transplant arena, active immunosuppression is required to maintain the graft. With suppressed immune systems, patients have increased occurrence of infection, but do not exhibit symptoms of infection, and must be actively monitored. Viruses like BKV have no effective drugs. To treat, immune suppression is reduced until the infection clears, putting the graft at risk of rejection. This population extends beyond transplant recipients to HIV patients, those taking medications to treat asthma and rheumatologic diseases, and pregnant women, wherein, as a result, 1 in 150 children are born with congenital CMV, and 1 in 750 will suffer permanent birth defects as a result.


A brain-penetrant FORGE antiviral (3) can treat many viruses causing brain-encephalitis. Most are rare and individually would not be deemed worthwhile to pursue commercially, but collectively, can be deadly. For example, reactivation of JCV causes progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML carries a >20% fatality rate and patients who survive are severely disabled due to brain damage caused by infection and inflammation. FORGE has leads with potent activity against JCV. Other encephalitic viruses include Zika virus, rabies, West Nile virus, herpes viruses, and childhood viruses like measles, rubella, and Mumps. With increasing non-compliance with public health vaccination policies, these illnesses, while still rare, are increasing in occurrence, and can have devastating outcomes for children and families.



3 Major Issues


  1. Who might be interested in FORGE’s platform and/or specific program(s) today? What would be achievable valuations/income streams in partnering today?
  2. What data is needed to successfully partner today? or downstream? What would be comparable valuations/income streams downstream?
  3. To realize FORGE’s vision to treat the infectious disease condition (as opposed to specific virus infections) what is or how does one arrive at the best strategy in pursuing multiple indications?





6:30 - Cocktails & Dinner (Cash bar and special 2-entree buffet menu)

8:00 - Lilian Chiang, PhD, MBA, President and CEO of FORGE, will deliver the Company's "Elevator" Pitch to the Group

8:20 - A Panel will address three major issues crucial to helping the Company reach the next level.

9:00 - Open discussion: members and guests



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FORGE Life Sciences Webcast - 05/09/16


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Contact: Peter van der Kam, | (610) 296-8086




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Meetings Held at Embassy Suites - Valley Forge

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