Agile biomanufacturing technology incubated by DARPA reaches commercial facility milestone
On Demand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ODP) announced on Feb. 15 the opening of a new facility in Montgomery County, Md., dedicated to manufacturing all aspects of the medicine supply chain, from fine chemicals to final drug product.
The facility’s opening comes as the U.S. Government looks to continue investing in new capabilities like ODP’s breakthrough manufacturing technology platform, the Pharmacy on Demand (PoD)™, to mitigate drug shortages during peacetime and crises and reduce U.S. dependence on foreign manufacturers.
Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) provided opening remarks to a delegation of support at the official ribbon-cutting event on February 15th. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) provided a virtual message of support.
“On Demand Pharmaceuticals has come up with a remarkable invention and innovation that could become an historic game-changer for the production and distribution of pharmaceuticals to our people,” noted Congressman Raskin. “A durable and resilient medicine supply chain is essential to strengthening America’s public health system, and I am proud that Maryland’s 8th district is the headquarters of a new era of medicine manufacturing led by pioneer companies like ODP.”
ODP’s PoD offers a rapid response capability that can be quickly customized to produce anything from key starting materials to active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and final formulated drugs. ODP is spearheading the development of automated and deployable PoD machines that will ultimately help ensure Americans have a secure supply of essential medicines whenever and wherever medicines are needed.
“The United States must make investments now to mitigate and prevent drug shortages in the future. Covid-19 has made all too clear the consequences when we do not,” said Senator Cardin. “I am so pleased the first medicines to be produced here [at ODP] are critical care medicines currently experiencing shortages.”
The foundational PoD technology was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the Battlefield Medicine program. DARPA then funded ODP in the Make-It program to build out this technology and demonstrate its ability to produce a single solid dosage medicine that met regulatory standards. In response to critical pharmaceutical supply chain disruptions during the pandemic, DARPA and HHS ASPR funded ODP through the 2020 CARES Act to build a suite of new capabilities, including the ability to produce injectable medicines and their critical precursors.
“DARPA’s investments in such foundational technologies through our Battlefield Medicine and Make-It programs have enabled revolutionary capabilities for pharmaceutical manufacturing,” said Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, DARPA’s director. “This new facility and continuing advances in this technology space are key to ensuring resilient and responsive domestic production of critical medicines and other chemical products.”
The new facility will support production of critical care medicines in preparation for the upcoming regulatory filings.