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Amgen Adds $400 Million And 200 Jobs To Juncos Expansion

Nearly doubling current investment of $450 million to centralize product manufacturing in Puerto Rico


March 20, 2003
Copyright © 2003 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

This week, Amgen Chairman & CEO Kevin Sharer visited Puerto Rico to announce the additional investment of $400 million to its biotechnology plant in Juncos, adding an additional 500,000 square feet and generating 200 new jobs in the region, said industry sources.

With this latest investment, Amgen has pledged a total of $850 million to its Juncos facility since 2000 and committed to adding more than 600 new jobs to its 430 workforce by 2005. An estimated 1,350 jobs will be created during construction.

This is the third expansion that Amgen has announced in Puerto Rico since 2000. The company’s first announcement involved $200 million to expand its 86-acre site by adding an adjoining 80-acre parcel of land. Construction of the 300,000 to 400,000-square-foot addition to the 200,000-square-foot biotechnology plant would result in 200 new jobs. In 2001, Amgen added $250 million to the expansion, which should result in another 240 new jobs.

Amgen’s principal products manufactured on the island are Epogen and Neupogen, with global sales that have surpassed more than $1 billion annually; and Enbrel, a treatment to prevent bone and joint damage for rheumatic arthritis patients with sales expected to reach $700 million by 2005. The company also produces Neulasta, Aranesp, and Anakinra.

As part of the company’s new product portfolio, two candidates are being considered. One is a small molecule, AMG548, a treatment to prevent inflammation; and Glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), potentially beneficial for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Amgen’s Juncos plant is the biotechnology company’s only fill-and-finish operation and manufactures active ingredients for its products worldwide. In the past, management has alluded to the company’s plans to transfer the manufacturing of all its products to Puerto Rico. So far, it provides 99% of the company products manufacturing needs globally.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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