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Green Chemistry is Smart Science

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Amgen has steadily built a culture of Green Chemistry that infuses our synthetic drug discovery, development, and manufacturing efforts. Our approach is based on the 12 principles of Green Chemistry, which include the minimization of toxicity and waste and conservation of energy and water.

Practices of Green Chemistry frequently improve the efficiency of our work and can save financial as well as natural resources. We have proven that Green Chemistry is smart science that makes solid business sense.

A recent and significant milestone for Green Chemistry at Amgen is Parsabiv™ (etelcalcetide). The United States Environmental Protection Agency honored Amgen with a 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Award for the green chemistry practices, developed in partnership with Bachem, we applied to the development and manufacture of this synthetic peptide drug. Through green chemistry practices we successfully eliminated one of five manufacturing steps and significantly optimized the remaining four. This innovative approach, which earned two prominent internal awards, had a positive impact on manufacturing operations, cost, and the environment, achieving a 71 percent reduction in solvent use during the development lifecycle, a five-fold increase in throughput, and an estimated 40 percent reduction in operating time.

“Amgen is committed to developing robust and efficient manufacturing processes for our medicines, aligned with the principles of Green Chemistry,” said an Amgen staff member. “By actively identifying areas for optimization, Amgen has been able to achieve significant reductions in both solvent usage and manufacturing time for our synthetic drug candidates.” Synthetic drugs like Parsabiv, for which we employ Green Chemistry practices, are a relatively small percentage of Amgen’s therapeutic modality toolkit. With our non-synthetic drug candidates, including biologics, which represent the largest portion of our product portfolio, we also employ sustainable practices that can conserve energy and water, reduce waste and improve efficiency and costs of development and manufacturing.