Amgen successfully broke ground on its new biomanufacturing facility in Holly Springs, N.C., marking another important step in the company's plans to invest nearly $1 billion into new manufacturing capacity across the U.S. The event took place on March 7, and it was attended by Amgen CEO Bob Bradway and Amgen North Carolina site head Bob Kenyon, along with N.C. state governor Roy Cooper, U.S. senator from N.C. Thom Tillis, N.C. secretary of commerce Machelle Baker Sanders, and Holly Springs mayor Sean Mayefskie.
“We chose Holly Springs over more than a dozen other potential locations for this new plant because the Raleigh-Durham area offers advantages that no other region could beat: an attractive and welcoming business climate, a growing reputation for life science innovation, a diverse pool of talent, and a convenient location that fits well into Amgen’s overall manufacturing and distribution network,” Bob Bradway said in his remarks at the event.
Amgen plans to invest $550 million into building the new drug substance manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, bringing around 355 skilled, well-paying jobs to the area, which is a preferred and fast-growing hub for the life sciences and biotech industries. Amgen also recently broke ground on a new packaging and assembly plant in New Albany, Ohio, and between the two facilities, will invest more than $1 billion in U.S. manufacturing. Amgen’s current U.S. manufacturing footprint includes facilities in Juncos, Puerto Rico; Thousand Oaks, Calif.; and West Greenwich, R.I.
“This area—and North Carolina in general—attracted us due to the access to great and diverse talent, and we intend to take advantage of that as we build our team,” said Bob Kenyon. “The culture at this site will be one of diversity, inclusion and belonging where every single person can feel comfortable in the workplace.”
Constuction of the Amgen North Carolina facility will help support the growing demand for Amgen medicines in the U.S. The site will use traditional drug substance technologies and Amgen’s latest innovations to create a hybrid facility, called FleXBatch. This makes drug substance manufacturing more efficient and will help Amgen achieve its company-wide sustainability goals of reducing water use by 40%, cutting waste disposal by 75% and becoming carbon neutral by the year 2027.
“This new FleXBatch plant exemplifies Amgen’s approach to innovative and sustainable biomanufacturing, which – I’m pleased to announce – we are now calling Amgen Ecovation,” Bob Bradway said. “This new name underscores what is today and has always been distinctive about biomanufacturing at Amgen: It is highly innovative, efficient, safe, and environmentally sustainable – all in the service of benefiting patients with medicines manufactured according to the highest quality standards.”
Construction of Amgen North Carolina began at the end of 2021, and manufacturing operations are expected to start in 2025, with licensure anticipated the following year.