Photo of Forge Biologics gene therapy work being done.

Forge Biologics and Case Western Reserve University announce gene therapy workforce development partnership

Forge Biologics, a gene therapy-focused contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), has launched the Forge Forward gene therapy workforce development program in partnership with the National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) at Case Western Reserve University. The goal: to train and attract top talent with specialized Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) training to the company.

“The gene therapy manufacturing boom has created an unmet workforce demand whose training will be foundational for the success of the gene therapy industry. We are especially excited to be partnering with the NCRM to help expand the talent pool of trained gene therapy manufacturers in the Midwest,” said Timothy J. Miller, chief executive officer, president and co-founder of Forge.

The inaugural Forge Forward program will help build and extend Ohio’s leadership in gene and cell therapy manufacturing by enrolling promising students who wish to learn the basics of the field. Selected candidates will learn how to work in both research and GMP environments and will gain hands-on experience in cell culture and sterile techniques through both lecture and laboratory teaching.

“The NCRM training environment offers a unique opportunity to respond adeptly to the needs of the regenerative medicine biotechnology industry of the state. We welcome the opportunity to work together to train an outstanding work force,” said Stan Gerson, interim dean of Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine and NCRM director.

The Forge Forward internship initiative will integrate the experience of NCRM and the Master’s of Regenerative Medicine and Entrepreneurship (RGME), enhancing the educational and experiential exposure to gene therapy technology, manufacturing and clinical development. The goal of the hands-on education program will be to streamline the industry’s workforce development, providing dozens of opportunities for both internship participants and Forge Biologics.

“This program has the potential to provide the experiential learning our students want and the specific skills they need for employment in this rapidly growing field,” added Cheryl Thompson, associate professor and assistant dean of educational initiatives for the School of Medicine.

This article was originally published July 7, 2021.