Private Company Phlow Lands $354M US Pact to Make Coronavirus Drugs

Andrew Cummings
May 22, 2020

Phlow has also said it is building the United States' first Strategic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients Reserve (SAPIR), a long-term, national stockpile to secure key ingredients used to manufacture the most essential medicines on US soil, reducing America's dependency on foreign nations to support its drug supply chain. Phlow partners with Virginia Commonwealth University with the goal of providing affordable, high-quality, and USA -manufactured medicines to patients.

"It's incredible how many individuals don't realize how vulnerable our active ingredient supply chain has been", Edwards said. "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".

A Phlow release says they - along with three other strategic partners that includes Virginia Commonwealth University's Medicines for All Institute - have initiated making precursor ingredients, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and finished dosage forms for over a dozen medicines to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients. "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".

An arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas Nev
An arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas Nev

"Utilizing advanced manufacturing processes increases the speed we can provide patients with treatments, reduces the likelihood of drug shortages and increases USA readiness", said Gary Disbrow, acting director of BARDA.

Civica Rx also plans to build a factory at the site to make sterile injectable drugs and expects to have its plant ready within two to three years, according to Martin VanTrieste, chief executive officer.

VanTrieste said it will take two years or more to get the factory built and ready for use, but Civica Rx already has supplies of those drugs in its warehouses. Those were drugs in short supply in hot-spot hospitals: pain medicines fentanyl and lidocaine, the sedative midazolam, a nerve blocker and an antibiotic. While the initial contract is for $354 million, it can be extended for a total of $812 million over 10 years, the agency said.


Under the new HHS plan, drug ingredients will be manufactured at facilities in the US, including a new facility to be built in Virginia.

White House officials called it a potential landmark in the efforts to return pharmaceutical manufacture to the United States from overseas.

In the course of recent years, because of financial and administrative variables among others, assembling dynamic pharmaceutical fixings and fundamental nonexclusive prescriptions in the USA pointedly declined.


He said multiple contracts with established generic drugmakers are needed to shore up the supply of generics, which account for about 90% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S.


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