Phlow and nonprofit USP team to open drug development and manufacturing lab

Phlow, a Virginia-based CDMO, has teamed with the nonprofit U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) to open a new drug development lab to focus on research and development of new drugs and advanced manufacturing technologies.

USP will use the lab to develop analytical methods that track the quality of medicines made with advanced production technologies such as continuous manufacturing, the partners said in a release. The lab is located at the Advanced Pharmaceutical Development Center at Virginia Biotechnology Research Park in Richmond, Virginia.

“Our new analytical laboratory service offerings extend USP’s capability to assist manufacturers considering the adoption of continuous manufacturing, and will help ensure availability of trusted, quality medicines made with continuous manufacturing alongside those made with traditional batch manufacturing technology,” Ronald Piervincenzi, Ph.D., USP’s chief executive, said in the release.

In addition to the launch of the new lab, Phlow said it “was on track” to open API manufacturing facilities in Petersburg, Virginia, next year and in 2024.

Phlow, which was founded in early 2020, burst onto the manufacturing landscape as the COVID-19 pandemic exploded globally and exposed cracks in global supply chains.

Though little known at the time, the Trump administration in 2020 awarded Phlow a four-year, $354 million contract to build a generic medicine and active pharmaceutical ingredient plant in Richmond, Virginia, and supply COVID-19 treatments produced there.

The deal was awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority with an option to expand it up to 10 years and a total of $812 million.

July article by Politico was critical of Phlow, saying the CDMO had “yet to fulfill its promise to bring cheap, generic drug manufacturing to the U.S.”