Amgen boosts UK presence by opening new facilities

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Amgen, United kingdom

Amgen are to create a European Development Centre in the UK,
significantly increasing UK R&D employee numbers. Amgen's
announcement echoes the UK Government's commitment to attract more
R&D investment with a view to making the UK a leader in
biotechnology.

The Centre will add to existing facilities located in Cambridge and reinforces an emerging trend within the biotechnology community that has seen a clutch of companies set up operations with the British Isles.

Commenting on why the UK has been chosen for such a critical role, Amgen highlighted access to talent and good communications as key drivers.

"Uxbridge is located in the heart of the biopharmaceutical community to the West of London and has excellent links with California where our headquarters are based,"​ the company said.

"Cambridge has a longstanding commitment to science and remains one of Europe's most important biotechnology clusters. Amgen has had a presence in Cambridge for 15 years where we have recruited more than 100 people here in the last 12 months alone."

The new site in Uxbridge has room to accommodate 300 additional staff forming a key part of a global R&D expansion for Amgen, effectively doubling current UK-based R&D capacity.

Over £100 million will be invested into Amgen's UK R&D operations with Amgen planning to add to the existing facilities in Cambridge by taking on a third building at the Cambridge Science Park.

Amgen has also announced plans to further strengthen its presence in Europe by locating a production plant in Cork, Ireland, and making Zug, Switzerland, the headquarters for all commercial operations outside the United States, Canada and Japan.

Cork has remained popular with biotechnology companies due to its thriving biotechnology community, infrastructure to support biologics manufacturing and attractive business climate.

By 2010, Amgen expects to employ more than 1,100 people at the new Irish manufacturing facility.

Dr Jeremy Haigh, Amgen's European head of R&D, told In-PharmaTechnologist.com​: "One of the key focuses co-ordinated from the UK will be denosumab, which is currently being studied for its potential in a broad range of conditions associated with high bone turnover, including osteoporosis."

"Another promising product is panitumumab which has shown to improve progression free survival in phase 3 trials for colorectal cancer."

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