Proposed pharmaceutical plant for Petersburg plans 180 jobs

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A non-profit organization announced Thursday that it is planning a new pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Petersburg that’s expected to create more than 180 new jobs and make drugs for treatment of COVID-19 and other diseases.

State officials announced Thursday that Civica Inc., a nonprofit organization formed by various U.S. healthcare providers, plans to invest $124.5 million to establish its first in-house pharmaceutical manufacturing operation in Petersburg, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. It’s to be located adjacent to an existing pharmaceuticals factory operated by AMPAC Fine Chemicals.

A key partner in the project is Phlow Corp., a Richmond-based pharmaceutical development company founded last year. In May, Phlow announced that it had received a $354 million federal contract to help build a national, strategic reserve of essential medications and to make active ingredients for more than a dozen medicines used to treat patients with COVID-19.

Part of that funding will go towards the Civica project, which is expected to be under construction on the 120,000-squaer-foot manufacturing facility within weeks, said Eric Edwards, a local entrepreneur who co-founded Phlow with Virginia Commonwealth University professor and chemical scientist Frank Gupton.