Amgen breaks ground on bio-manufacturing plant

Amgen broke ground for its new 120,000 sq.-ft. next-generation biomanufacturing plant that will be constructed at its West Greenwich, RI campus. The new plant is the first-of-its-kind in the U.S. and will use Amgen’s next-generation biomanufacturing capabilities to manufacture products for the U.S. and global markets. Amgen plans to invest as much as $200 million and the plant is anticipated to create approximately 150 additional highly-skilled manufacturing positions.

“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.”

The 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. Next-generation biomanufacturing plants 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.

“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.”

The existing Amgen Rhode Island plant was licensed by the U.S. FDA 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 lab space to the campus. There are approximately 625 full-time staff employed at the Rhode Island campus.