As a company, Amgen's mission is to serve patients, and while innovating new medicines may be at the core of what they do every day, staff are always excited for new ways to serve not only patients, but also the communities where they live and work. And in 2022, that's just what they did—from launching the company's first-ever Mission Week dedicated to sharing patient stories, to fundraisers and advocacy events with celebrities and pop stars, and community support efforts from California to Ukraine.
Here's a look back at 10 ways the people of Amgen came together in 2022 to help patients, families and communities live happier, healthier lives.
1. Putting patients' stories center stage at Amgen's Mission Week
Making and delivering medicines that help patients living with serious illnesses is the mission at the heart of Amgen. To help raise up the voices of those patients, Amgen hosted its first Mission Week event in 2022, at the company's headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif. At panel discussions, patients like lung cancer survivor Deborah Carpenter shared their inspiring stories to live audiences, which were also streamed live to global audiences at Amgen sites around the world. The week-long event provided opportunities for face-to-face meetings between Amgen staff, patient advocates, and patients fighting some of society's most challenging diseases.
2. Advancing innovative medicines for seriously ill patients through new acquisitions
When it comes to helping patients living with rare or hard-to-treat illnesses, scientific innovation offers the potential for new, life-changing therapies. As an innovative biotech company, Amgen welcomes innovation from all directions, including through the acquisition of innovative companies to bring resources to bear in the development and manufacture of promising new drugs so they reach the most patients possible. In 2022, the acquisition of ChemoCentryx means that Amgen can expand patient access to an important medicine for a rare inflammatory disease.
3. Serving more patients by growing Amgen's U.S. research and manufacturing footprint
The need for cutting-edge innovation into new medicines for hard-to-treat illnesses has never been greater, and the patient demand for Amgen medicines in the U.S. has also grown significantly. That's why, in 2022, Amgen not only opened a new, state-of-art Research & Devlopment facility for its Amgen San Francisco site, but it also broke ground on a new drug substance facility in Holly Springs, NC, that will help ensure more medicines reach more patients across the U.S., and that they are produced using sustainable processes.
4. Building alliances to boost biomarker testing among patients with cancer
Treatment for many types of cancer is moving beyond "one-size-fits-all" chemotherapy and toward precision medicines. That's why it's increasingly important for patients diagnosed with certain cancers to receive biomarker testing, so their care teams can know which treatment options are right for them. This year, Amgen has continued advocating for comprehensive biomarker testing through alliances with organizations like the lung cancer nonprofit, LUNGevity Foundation, and the nonprofit No One Left Alone, which leads a study into best practices for incorporating comprehensive biomarker tests into patient care at community cancer clinics.
5. Breaking down barriers and racial inequities in cancer care
Cancer can affect anyone, but people of color face worse outcomes than their white counterparts due to disparities in prevention, detection, treatment, and survival. To help address barriers in cancer care, Amgen teamed up with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and The Players' Tribune to launch a series called Fight the Fight, in which athletes came together to share their experiences with cancer. For one installment, former linebacker and public speaker Emmanuel Acho sat down with Dr. Robert Winn, ACS board member and director of the VCU Massey Cancer Center, to discuss ways to solve disparities in cancer care.
6. Launching an initiative to improve the lives of asthma sufferers
An estimated 25 million Americans live with asthma, but not all asthma patients have the same experience. Some minorities are not only more likely to have asthma, but they may also struggle to access the healthcare they need to manage their condition. To help reduce the burden of asthma in the most at-risk communities, Amgen worked with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to launch an initiative called HEAL Innovation. The multiyear, multicity initiative began in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and St. Louis, all ranked among the most difficult places to live with asthma. Amgen sponsored the first year with a $1 million contribution.
7. Searching for solutions to social health challenges
"Our mission is to serve patients—not white patients or Black patients, not rich patients or poor patients, but all patients," said Amgen CEO Bob Bradway in his opening remarks at Amgen's 9th annual Health Equity Summit. As part of the company's ongoing work to help achieve health equity for all people, Amgen convened key opinion leaders across therapeutic areas to discuss healthcare disparities and solutions. Panels highlighted how the COVID-19 pandemic shined new light on health inequities, and participants encouraged collaboration across the healthcare field, including advocating for the potential of community health workers to help improve outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease, asthma, and other chronic conditions.
8. Conserving water in drought-stricken California, and around the world
When communities throughout California faced an unprecedented drought in 2022, Amgen did its part by reassessing water usage at its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, with an eye toward significant water conservation. Reducing water use at all Amgen sites around the world was already an important pillar of Amgen's sustainability goals. And at the Thousand Oaks campus, staff are embracing ESG efforts in implementing new initiatives to reduce water use, from replacing grass and other landscaping with drought tolerant plants to encouraging staff to report water leaks or other problems.
9. Volunteering to create a cleaner and healthier environment
Amgen staff have a long history of contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable environment in their communities, helping to ensure a healthier world. In September, for the 17th year in a row, nearly 350 Amgen employees across 13 global locations joined the International Coastal Cleanup, cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers, and waterways in their local communities from California to the Netherlands and Singapore. The California Coastal Commission also gave Amgen Thousand Oaks volunteers an appreciation award in recognition of outstanding public service, for protecting and enhancing the beauty and natural resources of the California coast.
10. Supporting clinical trial patients, and communities, in Ukraine after the Russian invasion
The Russian invasion of Ukraine beginning in February 2022 threw millions of lives into upheaval, and many fled to other countries as refugees. The war posed new challenges for people living with complex medical conditions, especially those enrolled in clinical trials. In response, Amgen established a multi-lingual global hotline for Ukrainian refugee patients participating in Amgen clinical trials. The Amgen Foundation also made grants to international agencies supporting humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people and implemented a dollar-for-dollar match program for donations made by Amgen staff. In addition, one Amgen staff member in the Czech Republic offered her family farmhouse as a home for displaced Ukrainian refugees.