18-month-old Forward Therapeutics raises $50M to advance small molecule immune therapies

Forward Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company on a mission to transform the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders. The company is developing next-generation small molecule therapies for chronic immunological and inflammatory disorders.

Today, the Palm Beach Gardens based startup announced a $50 million Series A financing led by BVF Partners LP with participation from other leading life sciences investors RA Capital Management and OrbiMed.

Forward was founded in 2022 by Toufike Kanouni and Ewan Taylor, who each have over 20 years of experience in drug discovery. Forward will use the funding to advance its portfolio of novel, small molecule immunology medicines toward clinical development.

“This Series A financing round is a significant milestone for Forward Therapeutics,” said  Kanouni, Forward’s CEO, in a statement. “We are grateful to be supported by leading life sciences investors who recognize the potential of our novel therapies to impact the lives of millions of people living with chronic immunological and inflammatory conditions.”

Forward Therapeutics reports it is the first company to partner with Curie.Bio, a new model for venture capital in biotech focused on helping founders launch therapeutics companies. Curie.Bio provided its undisclosed seed round, which launched the company just 18 months ago.

The funding round is not ony unusually large for a company so young, it is also South Florida’s largest round so far this year in the medtech space, which is one of South Florida’s most active VC sectors.  In the first half of the year, healthtech and life science companies raised $114 million, representing 18% of the deals, according to the midyear eMerge Insights report, and in Q3, two medtech deals were among the top 10 raises. This follows 2022, when $591 million was invested in South Florida medtech companies.

“Our programs target key immunology nodes, aiming to reduce inflammation, promote healing and restore quality of life,” said Taylor, Forward’s chief scientific officer. “Our goal is to expand global patient access to high quality medicines. We appreciate our investors support to help achieve our vision.”


Nancy Dahlberg