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May 4, 2021 - Governor Ralph Northam has announced that AMPAC Fine Chemicals (AFC), a leading manufacturer of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the United States, will invest $25 million to expand its existing operation on North Normandy Drive in the City of Petersburg. Virginia successfully competed with California and Texas for the project, which will create 156 new jobs. Governor Northam joined company leaders, key partners, and local economic development officials at AMPAC’s Petersburg facility to make the announcement.
AMPAC Fine Chemicals is a major collaborator in the new U.S. government-funded partnership with Phlow Corporation, Medicines for All Institute, and non-profit drugmaker Civica Inc. Through this partnership, Phlow executed a $354 million contract with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to produce essential medications using advanced manufacturing processes from the Medicines for All Institute based at the College of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). As part of this initiative, AFC will expand the former Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) chemical plant, purchased in 2016, and in operation since 2019. In January, Governor Northam announced that Civica Inc. would invest $124.5 million to establish a new facility adjacent to Phlow’s future operation and AMPAC’s existing facility. The Civica plant will convert active pharmaceutical ingredients from AMPAC and Phlow into vials and syringes of finished medications for use in hospitals.
“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 Governor Northam. “This critical partnership between Phlow Corporation, Medicines for All Institute, Civica Inc., and AMPAC will have a positive and far-reaching impact, ensuring greater access to high-quality, lifesaving medications while also creating much-needed jobs to support our economic recovery in Virginia.”
Founded in 1945, AMPAC Fine Chemicals, an SK pharmteco company, solves problems through technology and innovation to reliably deliver quality products that save and improve lives. With over 75 years of experience, AFC has mastered challenging chemistries, enabling the company to provide the highest quality services to all customers. AMPAC has fully cGMP compliant facilities located in California, Texas, and Virginia that specialize in process development, scale-up, and production from kilograms to multi-ton quantities. The company currently employs 109 in Virginia.
“This major expansion boosts the fast-growing pharmaceutical manufacturing campus in Petersburg and is a major win for the region and the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We are confident Virginia’s workforce training programs and skilled talent pipeline will ensure AMPAC’s continued success, and applaud the company and its partners for fulfilling the mission to provide quality products to patients everywhere.”
“Of our three AMPAC locations, Virginia offers an enabling environment for developing and sustaining the growth in capacity and infrastructure demanded for the pharmaceutical industry,” said Dr. William DuBay, AMPAC Global Vice President of Research and Development. “Our growing relationship with the Commonwealth, VEDP, the City of Petersburg, and others, including VCU, Phlow, and Civica, is a cornerstone of our vision for American-based manufacturing of critical pharmaceutical ingredients.”
“We are honored to partner with AMPAC and other trailblazers, such as Civica and VCU’s Medicines for All Institute, to take another step towards establishing a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing campus in central Virginia that will attract highly technical jobs, industry leading partners, and economic development opportunities,” said Eric Edwards, MD, PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Phlow Corporation. “Together, we are committed to operationalizing a comprehensive, end-to-end, domestic supply chain solution that will provide access to the essential medicines necessary to sustain life and conquer disease for countless patients and their families.”
“AMPAC’s commitment to growing the Petersburg site represents the other major pillar of our strategy for onshoring essential medicines in the United States,” said Dr. Frank Gupton, Co-Founder of Phlow Corporation, Chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at VCU, and CEO of the Medicines for All Institute. “Our Medicines for All team has been working with AMPAC to ensure that the processes that we install in Petersburg will meet or exceed all FDA quality standards, while using the most cost-effective pharmaceutical processing technology.”
“We are proud that we are already providing essential medicines to hospitals in every state in the union, including right here in central Virginia,” said Martin VanTrieste, President and CEO of Civica. “By having all the manufacturing in one place, we can greatly simplify the supply chain, and patients will benefit from the reliable, affordable supply of drugs.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with the City of Petersburg, Virginia’s Gateway Region, the Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), and Dominion Energy to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $640,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Petersburg with the project. The Governor also approved a $250,000 Virginia Investment Performance Grant, a performance-based incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies. The company is eligible to receive benefits from the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created.
Support for AMPAC’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program, a workforce initiative created by VEDP in collaboration with the Virginia Community College System and other higher education partners, with funding support from the Northam Administration and the Virginia General Assembly. Launched in 2019, the program accelerates new facility start-ups through the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s unique products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture. All program services are provided at no cost to qualified new and expanding companies as an incentive for job creation.
“My fellow city council members and I have been working with the team at AFC, VEDP, and other state agencies since 2016, and we are thrilled the City of Petersburg was chosen from a variety of competitors,” said Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham. “Our city is making its mark again as a national and regional leader in the bioscience industry.”
“We are delighted that AMPAC has decided to expand at its home base in Petersburg, the heart of the Gateway Region,” said Keith Boswell, President and CEO of Virginia’s Gateway Region Economic Development Organization. “Our region is emerging as a pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster and we look forward to supporting AMPAC and its partner companies as they stabilize America’s essential medicine supply chain.”
“CCWA and John Tyler Community College are honored to work with VEDP, AMPAC, and Civica in identifying and addressing workforce development and training needs, now and in the future,” said Elizabeth Creamer, Vice President of Workforce Development at CCWA, a partnership of John Tyler and Reynolds Community Colleges. “The Tyler and CCWA faculty team that we’ve assembled is already identifying best practices in training and education for the industry, from K-12 through workforce and community college programming.”
“We are excited that AMPAC Fine Chemicals has chosen to expand its facility in Petersburg,” said Ed Baine, President of Dominion Energy Virginia. “We look forward to continuing to help the company meet the growing needs of the pharmaceutical industry and creating long-term success in this region.”
“I’m really pleased that AMPAC has chosen to expand in Petersburg, bringing 156 jobs and other economic development,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “This is great for Petersburg, great for the region, and great for the Commonwealth.”
“In addition to new job creation, this expansion brings with it a clear vision—a vision of a strong domestic supply chain, American-made pharmaceutical ingredients, and a skilled workforce that can keep our nation competitive in the 21st century,” said Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. “I’d like to thank the team at AMPAC for demonstrating confidence in the people of our region, and I’d also like to thank Phlow and Civica for their continued efforts to make the Richmond-Petersburg area not only a national hub of innovation in the pharmaceutical space, but a global leader on this cutting-edge front. I look forward to working with these teams into the future as we prevent shortages, create high-paying jobs in this exciting sector, and advocate for homegrown, lifesaving medications.”
“I am pleased to hear that AMPAC Fine Chemicals will be investing an additional $25 million into its operation in Petersburg,” said Senator Joe Morrissey. “The Petersburg community will indeed benefit from the creation of 156 jobs and I look forward to the beneficial impact of this significant economic development project.”
“The announcement of an additional investment in Petersburg by AMPAC Fine Chemicals deepens the company’s roots and commitment to our community and its people,” said Delegate Lashrecse Aird. “This expansion of infrastructure is critical to sustaining innovative economic development for the region and will have an impact for years to come.”