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Petersburg

Ampac expands site for essential medicines

Alongside city and Commonwealth of Virginia officials, Ampac Fine Chemicals (AFC) has announced that it will invest over $25 million to expand the capabilities of its former Boehringer Ingelheim plant at Petersburg Industrial Park in Petersburg. The site, which Ampac acquired in 2016 and brought back into operation in 2019, was chosen over others in California and Texas

The investment will bring an East Coast presence for Ampac Analytical Labs, which offers third party development and testing services for the analysis, validation and release of intermediates and APIs, as well as improved R&D functions for continuous processing of pharmaceutical ingredients. In the process, it will create 156 new jobs on top of 109 existing ones.

“Ampac’s investment will further advance the pharmaceutical cluster that has emerged in Petersburg and solidify our Commonwealth as a significant player in domestic drug manufacturing,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who had approved a $640,000 grant to assist Petersburg with the project and a $250,000 Virginia Investment Performance Grant.

AFC is in a US Government-funded partnership with Phlow, non-profit drug maker Civica and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute. Phlow and AFC will both make APIs, which Civica will fill and finish into vials and syringes for use in hospitals at the $124.5 million facility it is building adjacent to AFC’s existing facility and Phlow’s planned one.

As part of the partnership, Phlow recently signed a $354 million contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research & Development Authority (BARDA) to produce essential medications at VCU. Over time, it intends to create the first Strategic API Reserve in the US, a stockpile of ingredients and medicines that have been in short supply or are otherwise deemed essential. At first, they will make drugs to treat COVID-19. In the second part of the agreement, an infrastructure is to be created to continue manufacturing essential medicines that are in short supply for domestic use.

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