7 things to know about startup drugmaker Phlow

President Donald Trump this week signed a four-year, $345 million contract with Phlow, a little-known generic drugmaker that was founded less than six months ago, to manufacture drugs for the national medication stockpile. 

Seven things to know about Phlow: 

  1. The company was founded in January and is based in Richmond, Va., according to Business Insider. Though it was founded less than six months ago, a spokesperson for the company told Biopharma Dive it has been talking with government officials about the U.S. pharmaceutical supply for more than a year.

  2. Phlow describes itself as a "public benefit pharmaceutical manufacturing company." It says its goals are to make low-cost, high-quality generic drugs for the U.S. to reduce its reliance on foreign supply chains. The company said it uses a technique called advanced continuous manufacturing that allows it to reduce its reliance on active pharmaceutical ingredients from China and India.

  3. Phlow has yet to manufacture any drugs, and it's unclear when it plans to start, according to Politico. A Phlow spokesperson told Biopharma Dive that its first facility should be operational within the next 12 months.

  4. Phlow said all of its drug products will be made in the U.S., and all prices will be completely transparent.

  5. Phlow CEO Eric Edwards has faced scrutiny for previous ventures, according to STAT, including for another company he founded in 2018 called Kaleo. The company became the focus of a 2018 U.S. Senate investigation after it abruptly raised the price of an opioid overdose treatment by more than 600 percent.

  6. Mr. Edwards told Politico the company was originally meant to produce pediatric drugs before the COVID-19 pandemic presented the need to develop drugs for the strategic national stockpile of drugs, such as antibiotics and medicines used for ventilator support and pain.

  7. Phlow's board of directors includes several longtime healthcare executives, including Martin VanTrieste, CEO of Civica Rx.

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