Amgen in $365m ‘smart facility’ manufacturing expansion

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Gettyimages/Sezeryadigar
© Gettyimages/Sezeryadigar

Related tags: Syringe, Vials, smart facility, Artificial intelligence

The biotech invests in a new facility that will assemble and package vials and syringes for its portfolio of products.

Amgen’s US$365m (€308m) investment will build a new facility focused on final product advanced assembly, labelling, and packaging, located in Columbus, Ohio.

The plant will create 400 jobs upon opening, which the company expects to happen in 2024. When asked which of Amgen’s products will pass through the facility, a spokesperson for Amgen only commented to BioPharma-Reporter that it would be a “wide variety of medicines.”

One Columbus, an economic development organization for the region, added further detail to the announcement, revealing that the facility will cover 270,000-square-feet and construction will begin in the autumn of 2021.

Beyond this, the organization stated that the annual expected payroll for staff will be around US$40m.

Arleen Pauline, SVP of manufacturing at Amgen, stated that the reasoning for locating in Columbus were the favorable operating costs, the talent pool in the area, and the central location, which provided benefits to the business from a logistics perspective.

In regard to the workforce, it was announced that Ohio State University had committed to co-develop an internship program alongside Amgen.

The biotech joins Sarepta Therapeutics in announcing plans for a facility in Colombus, after the latter company also unveiled plans to open a gene therapy center in the region at the beginning of June.

Smart facility

Amgen referred to its newest investment as a ‘smart’ facility, which the spokesperson stated would involve “leveraging the latest available digital technologies.”

In particular, the spokesperson outlined that this would involve utilizing artificial intelligence, automated warehouse technology, as well as ‘cobots’ that work alongside staff and digital control towers, amongst others. This would lead to quicker decision making based on real time data, improve efficiency, quality, and lower costs, they added.

In addition, the company talked up the green credentials of the site. By 2027, Amgen plans to make all operations across its business carbon neutral. As a result, the new facility will be designed to maximize energy efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions, water consumption and waste.

Amgen stated that it will ‘aspire’ for the facility to be LEED-certified, which is an international, green building rating system. Previously​, the company revealed that such aims for its facilities have brought benefits of themselves, with Amgen estimating that it would run its Rhode Island plant at half of the cost of a traditional facility.

Related topics: Bio Developments, Facilities

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