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Civica Rx to Build Essential Medicines Facility in Virginia

Tue January 26, 2021 - National Edition
Associated Press

A rendering of Civica’s 120,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in the city of Petersburg, Va., where it will manufacture vials and syringes of injectable medicines.
A rendering of Civica’s 120,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in the city of Petersburg, Va., where it will manufacture vials and syringes of injectable medicines.

On Jan. 21, Civica Rx (Civica Inc.) announced, along with Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam, its plans to build a 120,000-sq.-ft. sterile injectable manufacturing facility in Petersburg, Va., potentially creating more than 180 jobs. The new plant represents a $124.5 million investment.

Civica Rx is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization established in 2018.

Building its own manufacturing operation in the United States has been a part of Civica's supply strategy since it was founded by leading health systems and philanthropies to address drug shortages and ensure a resilient supply of quality medicines at affordable prices for U.S. patients.

"This is a dream come true for Civica and our hospital partners as we continue to work together to stabilize the supply of essential medicines for patients across the country," said Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica.

"This Virginia plant and our future employees there will play an instrumental role in preventing the chronic drug shortages that have interrupted hospital operations and put patients at risk for over a decade."

Eleven Civica medications are currently in use to help care for COVID-19 patients, including neuromuscular blocking agents, sedatives, pain management medications and blood thinners. The pharmaceutical and its supply partners met surge hospital demand of up to 400 percent for some medications and provided 2.1 million vials to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.

The Virginia manufacturing plant will include disposable technology and advanced technology filling lines to produce 90 million vials and 50 million pre-filled syringes a year, steam sterilization capability, automated visual inspection and packaging lines, and controlled temperature warehousing of raw materials and finished medications. The facility also will be constructed to accommodate future growth.

"We're building a world-class, state-of-the-art facility," said VanTrieste. "Highly automated technology is what is required to make robust, complex sterile injectable medications."

Civica has already initiated the plant's construction and expects to begin operations within three years. A talented, highly experienced leadership team is already on board, and hiring for the rest of the team members will begin this quarter and continue over the next two years.

Civica is part of a key U.S. government-funded partnership with Phlow Corp., Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and AMPAC Fine Chemicals, which also is located in Petersburg. Through this partnership, Phlow executed a $354 million contract with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to manufacture essential medications from beginning to end, including starting raw ingredients, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms.

Civica's role is to produce finished dosage medications in vials and syringes for patient care in its member hospitals and for the national drug stockpile.

"Too many Americans go without access to key medications due to a broken and unreliable supply chain," said Eric Edwards, co-founder, president and CEO of Phlow. "This step today helps to fulfill our bold vision of making the U.S. a country where every human being has access to the essential medicines necessary to sustain life and conquer disease. Essential medicines previously in shortage will be more accessible and affordable for decades to come because of the unique partnerships we've formed. The medicines we make today will save countless American lives tomorrow."

To date, Civica has worked with multiple quality generic drug manufacturers that have U.S. FDA approved manufacturing facilities and capacity to produce Civica-labeled medications for immediate delivery. The company also is developing its own generic drugs for FDA approval to supplement its partnerships and help mitigate the risk of shortages.

Civica serves more than 50 health systems, representing more than 1,350 hospitals and over 30 percent of all licensed hospital beds in the United States. IN addition, it supplies the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense and "340B" hospitals, which care for vulnerable patients in some of the most underserved areas of the country.

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