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Forge Biologics’ Novel AAV Gene Therapy FBX-101 for Patients with Krabbe Disease is Granted UK’s Innovation Passport Designation

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Forge Biologics, a member of Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services and a leading manufacturer of genetic medicines, today announced that the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the healthcare regulatory body of the United Kingdom (UK), granted Innovation Passport designation to the Company’s novel AAV gene therapy program, FBX-101, to enter the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP). FBX-101 was created for the treatment of patients with Krabbe disease, a rare neurodegenerative disease that is usually fatal in untreated patients by age two. The ILAP is intended to accelerate regulatory and market access interactions in the UK.

Maria Escolar, M.D., Forge’s Chief Medical Officer, will discuss the significance of achieving this regulatory designation and present a poster on updated data from REKLAIM, an early phase clinical trial for FBX-101, during the Advanced Therapies 2024 conference being held in London, March 19-20, 2024.

“Considering the rapid progression of Krabbe disease in young patients and the positive results we’ve observed in the REKLAIM trial, we are pleased to receive the Innovation Passport designation which will enable Forge to further accelerate the clinical development of FBX-101,” stated Dr. Escolar. “ILAP was created to provide access to tools to decrease the time to market and facilitate patient access to medicines in the UK for life-threatening or seriously debilitating conditions.”

The REKLAIM clinical trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of FBX-101 in patients with infantile and late infantile Krabbe disease. Children assessed in REKLAIM have received intravenous FBX-101 in addition to the current standard of care, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Clinical data demonstrate that FBX 101 has been well tolerated and has an excellent safety profile after the treatment of five patients. Results show improvements in motor function in all patients, the most meaningful clinical outcome for this disease.

FBX-101 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation and Priority Medicines (PRIME) designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), allowing Forge to advance and expedite the development of FBX-101 as the leading worldwide gene therapy for patients with Krabbe disease. In the US, the FDA has granted FBX-101 Fast Track Designation, Orphan Drug Designation, and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation.

ILAP is intended to accelerate regulatory and market access interactions in the UK for patient populations with significant need, leading to accelerated patient access to novel therapies. It also provides access to a range of UK development services and tools, including frequent MHRA interactions, accelerated Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) assessment, a Target Development Profile, expanded licensing routes, and more, creating a roadmap for advancement of therapies through regulatory approval.

Regulatory review by the MHRA through ILAP provides opportunities for further global acceptance of Forge’s manufacturing process and facility though additional reviews and inspections, including Compliance Readiness Inspections that provide custom and pragmatic supervisory and licensing inspections specific to the GMP guidelines. Through this designation Forge has expanded global regulatory experience to include interactions with the MHRA in the UK. This access to global health authority resources will enable an added level of assurance to clients utilizing Forge’s CDMO services with integrated regulatory support.

About Krabbe Disease

Krabbe disease is a rare neurodegenerative disease affecting about 1-2.5 in 100,000 people in the US. Krabbe disease is caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the galactocerebrosidase (GALC) gene, an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of certain types of sphingolipids, such as psychosine. Without functional GALC, psychosine accumulates to toxic levels in cells, specifically in cells insulating the nerves in the brain and peripheral nervous system, causing rapid demyelination. Krabbe disease initially manifests in young patients as irritability, developmental delay, and progressive muscle weakness. Symptoms rapidly advance to difficulty swallowing, breathing, and regression of neurodevelopment followed by seizures, vision and hearing loss. Infantile Krabbe disease (0-12 months of age at onset) usually leads to death in untreated patients by two years of age. Late Infantile patients (12-36 months of age at onset) usually die by the age of six. The current standard of care, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), has been shown to stabilize cognitive decline and significantly improve long-term neurological outcomes. However, HSCT does not correct the peripheral neuropathy that is progressive as the patient grows, leading to loss of gross motor skills and eventually death.

About FBX-101

FBX-101 was developed to treat children with Krabbe disease. FBX-101 is an adeno-associated viral serotype rh10 (AAVrh10) gene therapy that is delivered intravenously after HSCT infusion. The vector delivers a functional copy of the GALC gene to cells in both the central and peripheral nervous system and has shown to functionally correct the central and peripheral neuropathy, improve myelination and gross motor function, and significantly prolong lifespan in animal models. This approach also has the potential to overcome some of the immunological safety challenges observed in traditional AAV gene therapies and extend the duration of gene transfer.

About the REKLAIM Trial

REKLAIM is a nonblinded, non-randomized, early phase dose escalation clinical trial currently enrolling children with asymptomatic infantile and symptomatic late infantile Krabbe disease to investigate the safety and efficacy of a single intravenous infusion of FBX-101 administered more than 21 days after HSCT, the current standard of care. Data from extensive natural history subjects will be used to compare as the control group. More information on the REKLAIM trial can be found online at https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05739643.

About Forge Biologics

Forge Biologics, a member of Ajinomoto Bio-Pharma Services, is a hybrid gene therapy contract manufacturing and clinical-stage therapeutics development company, enabling access to life-changing gene therapies by bringing them from concept to reality. Forge’s 200,000 square foot facility, the Hearth, is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and houses 20 custom-designed cGMP suites with 200,000L of manufacturing capacity. Forge’s end-to-end, scalable plasmid and AAV manufacturing services include research-grade manufacturing, process and analytical development, cGMP manufacturing, fill and finish, and integrated regulatory support to help accelerate the timelines of transformative medicines for patients with genetic diseases. To learn more, visit www.forgebiologics.com.

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Contact information

Media Inquiries
Marina Corleto
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
mcorleto@forgebiologics.com

Families and Clinician Inquiries
Maria Escolar, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
advocacy@forgebiologics.com

Business Development
Magdalena Tyrpien
Chief Business Officer
BD@forgebiologics.com

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