San Diego’s Forge develops life-saving science

Mar 16, 2018 - Sarah Lubeck

Every year, more than 23,000 people in the U.S. die from antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The World Health Organization has called them a global pandemic, going so far as to caution that these superbugs pose an enormous threat to our well-being.

Leave it to San Diego to find the solution. Forge Therapeutics is a San Diego-based startup that is creating a new type of antibiotic that is targeting antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The secret behind the life-saving science lies in metal-binding enzymes. Forge’s team has assumed the role of the blacksmiths of modern medicine; they are using chemistry to target naturally occurring metals that help combat superbugs.

In December 2014, Forge’s founders Zak Zimmerman and Seth Cohen met on a soccer field. (Yes, soccer in December because it’s San Diego.) Next thing they knew, they were combining Cohen’s background in the UC San Diego lab with Zimmerman’s chemistry experience. Forge launched in 2015 and immediately hired a team of experienced chemists and biologists to develop this life-changing breakthrough.

After a successful series A in 2017, Forge inked an international partnership to create the BLACKSMITH platform that has and will continue to expedite the timeline to get its life-saving science to market.

This week, the company made another important announcement. Because of the early success of the BLACKSMITH platform, it will be doubling its employment count in San Diego over the next two years. Forge Therapeutics became the newest tenant at Alexandria Real Estate’s Torrey Ridge Science Center and joined the growing list of San Diego companies with some pretty incredible office space , revealing its new, amenity-rich 7,000 square-foot spot on the Mesa.


And new space means more room for new employees. Just some of the nearly 50,000 jobs in San Diego’s life sciences industry.

Life-saving technologies, university-licensed technology, plus a chance outdoor meeting in San Diego’s ‘harsh’ winter. It doesn’t get any more San Diego than that.

Read more about the company’s recent announcement.

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