Amgen Begins Shifting R&D Ops Away From Headquarters

Published: Jan 22, 2015

Amgen (AMGN) Begins Shifting R&D Ops Away From Headquarters
January 19, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Following a strong financial performance in 2014, the Pacific Coast Business Times reported on Jan. 16 that Amgen , the California-based biopharmaceutical company, may shift its research initiatives away from its Thousand Oaks headquarters.

Amgen announced a 30 percent increase increase in the 2015 first quarter dividend back in December, declaring an amount of $0.79. During a presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this month, Amgen Chief Executive Officer Robert Bradway said that the company was now in a position to improve operating margins through a structural transition.

Cuyler Mayer, a press representative from Amgen, reiterated to the Times that the company has not changed its plans for its Thousand Oaks facility, which were announced last July – Amgen confirmed that 2,400 jobs would be cut.

Expanding Abroad
In January 2013, Amgen announced that it would be opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Singapore. The company planned to spend $200 million on the location, which would focus on expanding the company’s manufacturing capacity for monoclonal antibodies.

“Singapore is an ideal location to further our manufacturing efforts based on its rich talent pool and friendly business environment," Madhu Balachandran, executive vice president of Operations at Amgen, stated at the time of the announcement.

On Nov. 20, 2014, the Singapore facility was finally opened. The location marked Amgen’s first manufacturing site in Asia.

"Amgen's decision to locate its first commercial-scale facility in Singapore, which utilizes their suite of breakthrough biomanufacturing technologies, is a testament to Singapore's capabilities as a high quality, future ready, global biopharmaceutical hub. EDB will continue to invest in talent, process capabilities and new technologies to support the strong growth in this sector,” said Yeoh Keat Chuan, managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

The site only took 15 months to construct, and it is 75 percent smaller than a conventional biologics facility – it uses 80 percent less water and energy, but it can churn out the same amount of products. Amgen specified that its Singapore location will produce a drug substance used to treat bone-related disorders in cancer patients, as well as osteoporosis.

The company also announced that it will increase its Singapore staff from 70 to 200 within the next two years. Amgen said that it has plans to build another biomanufacturing facility at the same site.

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