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Drug Giant Amgen (AMGN) to Create Hundreds of New Jobs in Florida

3/23/2017 5:28:16 AM

Drug Giant Amgen to Create Hundreds of New Jobs in Florida March 23, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

TAMPA, Fla. – Biotech giant Amgen (AMGN) is investing $25 million to open a new Capability Center in Tampa that is expected to employ up to 450 people when the site is fully operational by 2018.

According to reports, the facility is planned to open in October. There was no information provided on how many positions the site will employ when it first opens.

An Amgen spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Business Journal that the company looked at multiple sites before settling on Tampa for its new site. The press release announcing the new 136,000-square-foot facility did not provide many details as to what the focus of the site will be. The release noted that the “highly skilled positions” employed at the Tampa facility will “support a variety of functions with the delivery of business-enabling services including operational, analytical, staff support and business support activities.”

In a statement David W. Meline, Amgen’s chief financial officer, said the “services and activities” taking place at the new Tampa facility will support the company’s mission of serving patients through the development of new therapeutics. Amgen’s pipeline is focused on six primary therapeutic areas: oncology/hematology, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, bone health, nephrology and neuroscience.

Earlier this year, Amgen released data from a late-stage trial that showed mixed-results for its cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha combined with statins. Researchers had hoped the combination would cut the risk of cardiovascular events in trial patients by as much as 30 percent, but the data showed it only lowered risks by about 15 percent. However, when looking at heart attacks and strokes, the numbers were better. The combination cut the rate of heart attacks by 27 percent and strokes by 21 percent. It also reduced stents and heart bypass procedures by 22 percent.
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Tampa has become a welcome home to the life sciences industry. Last year, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) opened its new $23.5 million North American Global Services Center headquarters in Tampa—a facility that is expected to bring 500 new jobs to the coastal city. In 2014, rival drugmaker Rival Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) established the 70,000 square foot North America Capability Center in 2014. The BMS facility expects to employ 579 by 2017. Tampa is also home to the Immune Cell Therapy Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, which recently investigated Kite Pharma’s lead CAR-T candidate axicabtagene ciloleucel.

In an interview with the Journal, Meline said Tampa was selected for several reasons. Because of the number of life sciences jobs in the area, there is a large pool of talent available for employment. Also, Meline said Tampa provides a “high quality of living, affordable cost of living and the potential for growth.”

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