Biotechnology company Amgen has announced its plans to develop a new, next generation biomanufacturing plant at its campus in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. It will the first of its kind in the US and utilise next-generation biomanufacturing capabilities and manufacture products for the US and global markets.
Since 2004, the company Foundation has also committed over $4.8mn to support science education and community programs in Rhode Island.
The plant will incorporate multiple innovative technologies into a single facility, and will be 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.
The new plant will also utilise “disposable plastic containers, instead of the steel vats of a traditional plant, to grow cells, eliminating the need for complicated piping and wiring, making it easier to change product lines,” Reuters has reported.
"Amgen has three decades of experience in biologics manufacturing, and we are proud of our track record of providing a reliable supply of high-quality medicines for patients around the world," explained Esteban Santos, Executive Vice President of Operations at Amgen.
"We are pleased to build the first commercial scale, next-generation biomanufacturing plant in the US, leveraging Amgen's capabilities and incorporating the latest technologies."
Upon completion, the new biomanufacturing plant will create approximately 150 additional highly-skilled manufacturing positions and approximately 200 construction and validation jobs.
"I am thrilled that Amgen is planning to expand and bring new, highly skilled jobs to Rhode Island and further enhance the State's life sciences community and manufacturing expertise," said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. "We welcome Amgen's future health care advancements for patients around the world that will come from this new biomanufacturing plant."
Amgen opened its first next-generation biomanufacturing plant in Singapore in 2014. Within the plant, the equipment is portable, smaller and disposable, which provides greater flexibility and speed when manufacturing different medicines simultaneously.
This process eliminates costly and complex retrofitting inherent in standard facilities which allows Amgen to respond to changing demands with increased agility, ultimately impacting the speed at which a medicine is available for patients.
Amgen has invested more than $1.5bn in its Rhode Island site, adding more than 500,000 square feet of manufacturing, utility, administrative and laboratory space to the campus. There are also 625 full-time staff members employed at the campus.