Spanberger Tours Phlow Lab at VCU, Focuses on Strengthening Domestic Supply Chain & Bringing High-Paying Jobs to Central Virginia
Last Year, HHS Awarded Phlow Corp. with a $354 Million Contract to Work with VCU in Strengthening the U.S. Domestic Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
RICHMOND, V.A. —U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today toured the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medicines for All Institute’s lab to learn more about its work with Phlow Corporation (Phlow Corp.) to prevent domestic shortage of critical medications, particularly in the wake of COVID-19.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $354 million, four-year contract with Phlow Corp. to accelerate this initiative and strengthen the U.S. domestic pharmaceutical supply chain. In March 2020, Spanberger was part of a bipartisan effort calling on the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at HHS to consider Phlow’s potential for successful collaboration with the federal government to strengthen U.S. development of essential medications and their ingredients.
During the visit, Spanberger learned more about Phlow’s efforts to bring additional biopharmaceutical jobs to the greater Richmond area through this federal contract and collaboration with BARDA. Additionally, Phlow and VCU leaders shared their progress on creating a partnership dedicated to researching and standing up advanced manufacturing techniques that will improve the resiliency of our domestic supply chains and manufacture essential medicines that have been prone to shortages.
“Unfortunately, the pandemic demonstrated how vulnerable our medical supply chain can be in the face of a public health emergency. The collaboration between Phlow and VCU demonstrates how American ingenuity and innovation can overcome these challenges, strengthen our resilience, and prevent future shortages,” said Spanberger. “During today’s visit, I was proud to see this critical research happening right here in Virginia. VCU has long been recognized for its cutting edge pharmaceutical engineering research, and this collaboration represents the best of our region’s research community and its strong potential to create additional jobs in this sector. I look forward to following this team’s progress as they work to prevent shortages and advocate for American-made, lifesaving medications.”
“We appreciate that Rep. Spanberger took the time to come down and see for herself how we’re working toward our vision of producing 100 percent of all essential medicines right here in the U.S. The Medicines for All Institute and Phlow, along with all our partners, believe we can reinvent how drugs are produced in the 21st century,” said B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., Floyd D.Gottwald, Jr. Chair in Pharmaceutical Engineering; Chair, Professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University; Founder & CEO, Medicines for All Institute; Co-Founder, Phlow Corp.
“Phlow, a public benefit corporation, is on a bold mission to provide access to affordable, high-quality essential medicines for every American. To make this possible, we are proud to partner with Virginia Commonwealth University's Medicines for All Institute on a pioneering approach to developing and manufacturing these medications currently in shortage and dangerously dependent on foreign nations,” said Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, Co-Founder, President, & CEO, Phlow. “We greatly appreciate Congresswoman Spanberger’s interest in essential medicines and the vital role they play in our country’s national public health security. It was an honor to demonstrate a solution to Congresswoman Spanberger that is 100% U.S.-based and fully integrated that will have an extraordinary impact on the lives of patients and the families for decades to come.”
Spanberger has long advocated for homegrown steps to prevent domestic shortages of critical medications and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign-based pharmaceuticals — including the adoption of continuous manufacturing practices. Last year, she backed two bipartisan bills to strengthen the capacity and security of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain amid fears of drug shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May 2020, VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. thanked Spanberger and other federal officials for their strong advocacy in support of this partnership.