The White House announced Tuesday a decision to award a $354 million contract to a Virginia pharmaceutical manufacturer to shift drug manufacturing to the United States.
The contract was awarded by the federal government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to Phlow Corp. of Richmond, who released the news Tuesday morning. The initial contract can also be extended after the first four years for up to $812 million.
The company will use a continuous chemical process to develop coronavirus drugs in the United States, rather than use ingredients produced overseas.
“For far too long, we’ve relied on foreign manufacturing and supply chains for our most important medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients while placing America’s health, safety, and national security at grave risk,” Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro said.
Phlow will partner with Civica Rx, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute, and AMPAC Fine Chemicals to help develop and produce the medicines.
“In the midst of this pandemic, America needs a reliable source of high quality, domestically manufactured, affordable pharmaceuticals and their key ingredients,” said Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, the co-founder, president, and CEO of Phlow. “This advanced manufacturing capability will significantly fortify our nation’s pharmaceutical supply chain for critical medicines, including many required to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19.”
The company will also build the country’s first national stockpile of pharmaceutical ingredients, according to the release, helping the United States survive a future global pandemic.
“Years from now, historians will see this innovative project as a defining moment and inflection point for protecting American families — and our country—from current and future public health threats,” Navarro said.