In the next phase of Amgen’s manufacturing expansion, the company recently announced plans to build a new multi-product drug substance manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, N.C., in the Raleigh-Durham metro area of Wake County.
“Amgen is investing in a technologically-advanced drug substance plant in North Carolina to support the increasing demand for our medicines,” says Esteban Santos, Amgen’s executive vice president of Operations. “Together with the previously announced advanced packaging plant in Ohio, we have committed to investing nearly $1 billion in new manufacturing capacity in the United States.”
Amgen has been a leader in the development and manufacture of biologic medicines for more than 40 years, and millions of patients around the world receive Amgen medicines for serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and inflammation. The strength and reliability of Amgen’s global manufacturing network have built the company's long-standing reputation for serving “every patient, every time.”
Bringing high-tech drug substance manufacturing to North Carolina’s Research Triangle
The Holly Springs facility will bring a biologics drug substance manufacturing plant to the region, near the Raleigh-Durham area’s Research Triangle Park, anchored by the major research universities of North Carolina State University, Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“Amgen has a long history in biologics manufacturing and continues to innovate and develop new technologies to better serve patients. At this new facility, we plan to include some of our most advanced technologies,” said Arleen Paulino, Amgen senior vice president, Manufacturing. “We chose North Carolina for this new plant because of the robust biologics ecosystem, and we are excited to partner with the Wake County business community to further expand biotechnology regionally.”
The new plant will support both traditional stainless steel-fed batch manufacturing and next-generation single-use technologies, allowing flexibility for multiple pipeline products in one plant. This combination of capabilities is an approach that Amgen is calling FleXBatch manufacturing, which will make the facility more flexible and efficient, and require a smaller physical footprint than a traditional plant.
Committing to regional investment and jobs creation
Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in December 2021, with an estimated completion date of late 2024. Amgen has committed to a total investment of $550 million, and the establishment of the plant will bring up to 355 full-time jobs to the region by 2029, including engineers, technicians, quality, management and administrative roles.
“We are excited to be making this investment in Holly Springs and becoming an important part of the community,” says Bob Kenyon, Amgen’s vice president of Site Operations, who will lead the Holly Springs facility. “Beyond being a vibrant business environment, the area offers a skilled, trained, and diverse talent pool that we know will help Amgen maintain its long history of serving patients.”
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts are an important part of Amgen’s business goals. One of those goals is for all Amgen operations to be carbon neutral by 2027. The new FleXBatch plant at the Holly Springs facility is expected to reduce carbon footprint by 50% and water usage by 50%, compared with a traditional drug substance manufacturing plant.
Amgen’s focus on ESG also includes a commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, both in hiring and working at Amgen. In December 2020, Amgen announced its role as a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of many of the world’s largest, best-known companies that aims collectively to hire one million Black Americans into well-paying jobs over the next 10 years. The Holly Springs facility will play a role in achieving this OneTen commitment.
For more information, see the announcement here.