Innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing company On Demand Pharmaceuticals (ODP) has selected Rockville in Montgomery County, MD for its new Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing, research, development, and headquarters facility.
ODP recently signed a $20 million contract with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a domestic production capability for critical active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and medicines using its proprietary Pharmacy on Demand (PoD) technology. PoD is a modular manufacturing machine the size of a small household refrigerator that can be quickly customized to produce pharmaceuticals from key starting materials to API and final formulated drugs.
ODP’s on demand manufacturing approach will enable a more resilient domestic medicine production capability and create secure alternatives to KSMs (key starting materials) and APIs currently sourced from offshore manufacturers. PoD’s small-scale, adaptive and distributed manufacturing has the ability to provide an adequate, safe and reliable supply of medicines to communities around the world.
ODP is creating a state-of-the-art 44,500 square foot facility in Rockville. The company selected Montgomery County for its first commercial location after also considering Boston, MA; Princeton, NJ, and other locations around the country. It expects to have up to 75 employees by the end of 2021 and potentially hundreds at the end of five years.
“Montgomery County is ideal for government partners who need to be in Washington, DC regularly and want to access the experienced talent here,” said Dr. Geoffrey Ling, CEO and co-founder of ODP. “Our physical needs were critical as we needed to scale up our operations quickly in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and Montgomery County had a site that worked for our use, a flexible landlord experienced with life sciences, and local officials who helped to expedite the move.”
Dr. Ling views ODP’s technology as a crucial breakthrough for healthcare workers in some of the world’s most difficult environments. A key advantage of the PoD system is its flexibility; the same machines can be easily switched to make different medicines and in various formulations. This versatility has the potential to produce low volume drugs, such as those for rare diseases, at the fraction of their current cost.
“On Demand Pharmaceuticals will feel right at home here in Montgomery County, MD, where they join a wide array of ground-breaking innovators,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our county is the place for diverse and highly capable businesses to nurture ideas and see them come to fruition.”
“This technology is revolutionary for the pharmaceutical industry in some of the same ways that iconic IT brands designed around the end user have been revolutionary,” said Benjamin H. Wu, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) President & CEO. “On Demand’s PoD technology has the potential to produce life-saving medicines within reach of every American while also safeguarding our nation’s security through greater domestic manufacturing production.”
MCEDC connected the company with the City of Rockville for expedited permitting review.
“The City of Rockville changed its permitting systems in the last few years to be more business friendly and was ready to nimbly meet the needs for this project,” said Cindy Rivarde, CEO of Rockville Economic Development Inc. “The city also gave ODP high priority in processing due to the pressing public health needs and ODP’s strong positive economic impact to our community.”
MCEDC also connected ODP with Facility Logix, a Montgomery County company that specializes in the design and construction of biotech manufacturing and R&D facilities.
“As a member of the local life sciences community, we were pleased to work closely with ODP to help them with their commercial facility design and implementation,” said Pat Larrabee, CEO of Facility Logix. “We helped them avoid costly overruns so they could focus on their core and unique mission to change pharmaceutical delivery.”
ODP, as a Maryland company, is eligible for state tax credits through the More Jobs for Marylanders (MJM) and Job Creation Tax Credits (JCTC) programs, as well as a Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ) grant.
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