Image001The Richmond area is planning a major pharmaceutical manufacturing initiative to build drugs here, restore the nation’s stockpile of essential medicines and to make them more affordably.

The sprawling enterprise has major players, including Virginia Commonwealth University, the cities of Richmond and Petersburg and drug manufacturers Civica, Phlow and AMPAC Fine Chemicals.

Now it has a new pivotal piece: the money.

The initiative, named the Alliance for Building Better Medicine, has received $53 million from the federal government’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Those funds come in addition to $14 million in local donations and $45 million from the state.

The money will help build labs in downtown Richmond and Chesterfield County and manufacturing facilities in Petersburg. Not only will the alliance bring jobs to the area, it will boost national security, said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who came to Richmond on Tuesday to celebrate the budding development.

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