Amgen breaks ground on next-gen biomanufacturing plant

The biotech company expects to invest up to $200 million in the approximately 120,000 square foot next-generation manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, US

The facility is expected
to be completed by 2020

Amgen, a biotech company based in California, US, has announced the groundbreaking of its new next-generation biomanufacturing plant that will be constructed at its West Greenwich campus, in Rhode Island.

Boasting 120,000 sq ft, the facility is the first-of-its-kind in the US and will use Amgen's proven next-generation biomanufacturing capabilities to manufacture products for the US and global markets.

"Biologics manufacturing is a complex science and has long been a competitive advantage for Amgen," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen.

"We are working to extend that advantage even further with a next-generation biomanufacturing plant in Rhode Island that will produce medicines to serve patients around the world suffering from serious illnesses."

Nex-gen biomanufacturing

A next-generation biomanufacturing plant incorporates multiple innovative technologies into a single facility and therefore is built in half the construction time with approximately one half of the operating cost of a traditional plant.

This kind of facilitites require a smaller manufacturing footprint and offer greater environmental benefits, including reduced consumption of water and energy and lower levels of carbon emissions.

Within the plant, the equipment is portable, smaller and some components are disposable, which provides greater flexibility and speed when manufacturing different medicines simultaneously. This eliminates costly and complex retrofitting inherent in standard facilities and allows Amgen to respond to changing demands for its medicines with increased agility, ultimately impacting the speed at which a medicine is available for patients.

Amgen expects to invest up to US$200 million. This plant is anticipated to create approximately 150 additional highly-skilled manufacturing positions.

"Since its inception in 2002, Amgen Rhode Island has evolved to a multi-product manufacturing facility, which is a testament to our focus on innovation, technology and great staff," said Tia Bush, vice president of Operations at Amgen Rhode Island.

"Constructing this next-generation plant in Rhode Island further enhances our manufacturing capabilities within Amgen's global operations network to deliver on our mission to serve patients," Bush added.

The existing Amgen Rhode Island plant was licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2005 and houses one of the world's largest mammalian protein manufacturing facilities.

The facility manufactures commercial and clinical bulk drug substance. Amgen has invested more than $1.5 billion in its Rhode Island campus, adding more than 500,000 sq ft of manufacturing, utility, administrative and laboratory space to the campus.

There are approximately 625 full-time staff members employed at the Amgen Rhode Island campus.