ODP recently signed a $20 million contract with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. 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.
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 will create a state-of-the-art 44,500-square-foot facility in Rockville. The company selected Montgomery County for its first commercial location over Boston; Princeton, N.J.; and other locations around the country.
“Montgomery County is ideal for government partners who need to be in Washington, D.C., regularly and want to access the experienced talent here,” said 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. The versatility has the potential to produce low volume drugs, such as those for rare diseases, at the fraction of their current cost.
Dr. Ling developed the ODP concept while serving as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. When Dr. Ling was deployed at a combat hospital in Afghanistan, a wounded American soldier needed a life-saving treatment that was not available onsite. The treatment was flown in from a base in Germany, a time-consuming and costly undertaking. Dr. Ling turned frustration into inspiration when he realized he could have made the drug himself with some simple starting ingredients. His idea came to fruition through work at MIT that was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
"On Demand Pharmaceuticals will feel right at home here in Montgomery County, where they join a wide array of ground-breaking innovators,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our County is the place for diverse and highly capable businesses to nurture ideas and see them come to fruition."
Benjamin H. Wu, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, said, “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. 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. MCEDC also connected ODP with Facility Logix, a Montgomery County company that specializes in the design and construction of biotech manufacturing and research and development facilities.
ODP, as a Maryland company, is eligible for State tax credits through the More Jobs for Marylanders and Job Creation Tax Credits programs, as well as a Partnership for Workforce Quality grant.