Alexandria Forbes, Ph.D. is the President and CEO of MeiraGTx (NASDAQ: MGTX). MeiraGTx is a gene therapy company with end-to-end capabilities in gene therapy discovery, development and GMP manufacturing. The company currently has 6 clinical programs, including one in a pivotal study. In addition, MeiraGTx has two wholly owned GMP manufacturing facilities, a leading proprietary manufacturing platform process, large scale GMP plasmid production as well as in-house fill and finish and QC for stability and release. This infrastructure supports multiple clinical programs from IND through commercialization.
MeiraGTx has also built industry-leading vectorology capabilities including optimization of all viral vector elements, with multiple discovery platforms from de-novo construction thorough AI driven in silico design. MeiraGTx has also developed a transformative riboswitch technology that tightly controls transgene expression in response to bespoke oral small molecules. This technology allows, for the first time, precise control of any transgene in any context based on the dose of a small molecule, which provides enormous potential for expanding the possibilities in genetic medicines today.
Prior to founding MeiraGTx, Dr. Forbes spent 10 years as a public markets healthcare investor responsible for investments in biotechnology, specialty pharmaceuticals and diagnostics companies and was portfolio manager of the Sivik Global Life Science Fund, a long-biased public markets fund investing in biotechnology companies globally. During her time as a biotechnology investor, Dr. Forbes covered over 300 companies and gained expertise in biotechnology business strategies and clinical drug development as well as a wide range of disease areas. Particular areas of focus included HIV, HCV, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease and liver disease.
Before entering the hedge fund industry, Dr. Forbes was an academic scientist studying the regulation of stem cell identity and different aspects of embryogenesis. She was a Human Frontiers/Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, in the laboratory of Dr Ruth Lehman, where her research focused on cytoplasmic determinants and cell signaling pathways involved in the migration, establishment and maintenance of germ line stem cells in Drosophila melanogaster. Prior to this, Dr. Forbes was a research fellow at Duke University and at the Carnegie Institute at Johns Hopkins University where she identified the role of the hedgehog gene and its signaling pathway in the Drosophila embryo and adult. Dr. Forbes received her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Oxford University, UK and attained a double first degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, UK.
Dr. Forbes serves on the Board of Directors of MeiraGTx, and as a Trustee and Director of the Hilary and Galen Weston Foundation, the European arm of the Weston Brain Institute, a charity supporting research into neurodegenerative diseases with the aim of speeding the time to the development of disease modifying treatments for these currently intractable diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s.