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25 January, 2006 - 16:25 By Staff Reporter

Amgen pumps £30 million into Cambridge Science Park

The world’s leading biotechnology firm is to invest £30 million into its Cambridge R & D site as part of a massive cross-continental expansion programme, which is set to cost well over $1 billion (£560m).The world’s leading biotechnology firm is to invest £30 million into its Cambridge R & D site as part of a massive cross-continental expansion programme, which is set to cost well over $1 billion (£560m).

Amgen will take on a third building at the Cambridge Science Park as it pushes forward a global growth plan that includes the construction of a $1bn manufacturing fill and finish facility in Cork, Ireland.

Cambridge has experienced enormous growth under Amgen with 100 staff hired over the last year. The company will also create a new site in Uxbridge, London, capable of accommodating more than 300 additional staff.

Amgen said that both form a key part of a global R & D expansion, the growth of which is required to meet the needs of its outstanding product pipeline in areas such as cancer, bone health and inflammation.

Each year the company spends at least 20 per cent of its product sales on R & D, which in 2004 reached £1.1bn.

Dr Jeremy Haigh, Amgen’s European head of R & D, said: ”Cambridge has a longstanding commitment to science and remains one of Europe’s most important biotechnology clusters. Amgen has had a presence in Cambridge for 15 years where we have continued to expand, recruiting more than 100 people here in the last 12 months alone.

“The expansion will almost double our current UK-based R & D capacity, creating new job opportunities in all aspects of drug development including clinical research, biostatistics, regulatory affairs, safety, data and project management, as well as in key support functions. The decision confirms the UK as a major worldwide scientific hub for Amgen.”

Science Minister Lord Sainsbury said: “This move will further strengthen London and Cambridge’s world leading capabilities for biopharma research and development and reflects the efforts made by the Government to provide a UK environment which offers commercial stability and fair and efficient regulation.

“I am very confident that Amgen will find the UK science and skills base capable of delivering the kind of cutting edge research that biotech companies thrive on to help deliver pioneering products. The collaboration between the Government, Think London and East of England International in highlighting to Amgen the benefits of the UK was particularly crucial in making this development happen.”

As well as Cork, Amgen has announced plans to further strengthen its presence in Europe by making Zug, Switzerland, the headquarters for all commercial operations outside the United States, Canada and Japan. The firm will also expand R & D operations in Cambridge, Massachussets, San Francisco and Seattle.

Based in Thousand Oaks, California, Amgen employs 16,000 staff worldwide, 1,900 in Europe and 511 in the UK. Total revenue for 2004 was £6.0bn.

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