VCU’s Medicines for All Institute partners with industry to secure pharmaceutical supply chain

vcuThe Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $354 million contract to Richmond-based Phlow Corp. to create the nation’s first strategic stockpile of key ingredients needed to make medicines.

Phlow Corp. has joined forces with the Medicines for All Institute, based in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering, to bring manufacturing of vulnerable pharmaceuticals and their ingredients back to the United States.

Phlow will be manufacturing the drugs in partnership with the nonprofit pharmaceutical company Civica Rx, Virginia Commonwealth University and AMPAC Fine Chemicals, a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

“We have an acute and long-term public health emergency in the United States that we are poised to help solve right now,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “This public-private partnership positions us to ensure that our country will have the essential drugs it needs to treat public health threats such as COVID-19.”

The Medicines for All Institute was founded in 2017 to expand access to safe, effective and affordable medications.

To do this, the institute’s engineers use advanced manufacturing technologies that significantly curb waste, cut costs and reduce pollution.

“The timeliness of this partnership cannot be overstated,” said Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean of the VCU College of Engineering. “The ability to provide critical generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of COVID-19 now and in the post-pandemic world that are manufactured in the United States is invaluable for ensuring the health care of Americans. We look forward to sharing the resources of the Medicines for All Institute with Phlow, Civica and AMPAC to meet these challenges.”

“I am thrilled that HHS has chosen to support Virginia Commonwealth University and Phlow to provide U.S.-based manufacturing capabilities of essential generic medicines, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and chemical precursor materials,” said Congressman Rob Wittman, R-Va. “As a former public health official and co-chair of the Congressional Public Health Caucus, I know the importance of strong leadership on projects that will do the most good for our nation and our Commonwealth. The production of these are vital to our response during the COVID-19 pandemic and our robust reliance on foreign sources of essential generic medicine ingredients is something we must address.”

“The team at VCU is renowned for being at the cutting edge of some of the world’s most important, lifesaving medical and pharmaceutical engineering research. I am pleased that HHS and BARDA recognize VCU’s leadership at the forefront of securing a domestic supply of essential generic medicines, precursor materials, and active pharmaceutical ingredients in the fight against COVID-19,” said Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger, D-Va. “The COVID-19 outbreak shows how vulnerable foreign sourcing of these essential medicines and ingredients have made our supply chain during public health emergencies. I’m proud of this critical research happening right here in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to working with HHS, VCU, and Phlow to continue strengthening our supply chain’s resilience and our overall national security.”



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