Am­gen adds 400 jobs in cen­tral Ohio as part of an ex­pan­sion of its pack­ag­ing op­er­a­tions

For drug­mak­ers look­ing to ex­pand the sup­ply chain, re­al es­tate near some of the in­dus­try’s biggest hubs can be pro­hib­i­tive­ly ex­pen­sive. But fur­ther afield, big drug­mak­ers like Am­gen can find a bet­ter deal — and now cen­tral Ohio is set to wel­come a new neigh­bor to town.

Ar­leen Pauli­no

Am­gen will in­vest $365 mil­lion in­to a new man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in New Al­bany, OH, 18 miles north­east of Colum­bus, to fur­ther its as­sem­bly and pack­ag­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties for med­i­cines set to be dis­trib­uted in the US, the com­pa­ny said in a re­lease.

The site will en­com­pass 270,000 square feet, and Am­gen re­ceived sev­er­al tax breaks to open up shop in the up-and-com­ing New Al­bany In­ter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Park, in­clud­ing a 100% prop­er­ty tax abate­ment for 15 years.

The lo­ca­tion will al­low for a cen­tral lo­ca­tion for dis­tri­b­u­tion around the coun­try, SVP of man­u­fac­tur­ing Ar­leen Pauli­no said in a re­lease, and Ohio will of­fer both low op­er­at­ing costs and a grow­ing tal­ent pool. Am­gen cur­rent­ly has 25,000 em­ploy­ees across the world, 14,000 of which are based in the US.

Es­te­ban San­tos

“We are adding this ad­di­tion­al as­sem­bly and pack­ag­ing plant to our glob­al sup­ply chain net­work to sup­port the an­tic­i­pat­ed growth in de­mand for Am­gen med­i­cines,” Am­gen EVP of op­er­a­tions Es­te­ban San­tos said in a state­ment. “We plan to in­clude some of our most ad­vanced dig­i­tal au­toma­tion tech­nolo­gies in this new lo­ca­tion as we part­ner with the thriv­ing busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty of the Colum­bus re­gion to fur­ther ex­pand biotech­nol­o­gy re­gion­al­ly.”

VP of site op­er­a­tions San­dra Ro­driguez-Tole­do will move from Puer­to Ri­co to Ohio to over­see the new fa­cil­i­ty. One of its fea­tures is a heavy em­pha­sis on au­toma­tion, as it will fea­ture self-dri­ving ve­hi­cles to move ma­te­r­i­al from one place in the fa­cil­i­ty to an­oth­er and smart sen­sor to eval­u­ate the prod­ucts, as well us­ing da­ta-gath­er­ing tools to pre­dict quan­ti­ty and en­sure ef­fi­cien­cy.

“Our as­pi­ra­tion is to have the most ad­vanced as­sem­bly and pack­ing op­er­a­tion while we will cre­ate a fa­cil­i­ty that will lever­age the new tech­nol­o­gy that is in the mar­ket to be able to help ad­vance au­toma­tion,” Ro­driguez-Tole­do said in a call with End­points News.

The site is set to cre­ate 400 new jobs, and Am­gen has an agree­ment with Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Pres­i­dent Kristi­na John­son said, to cre­ate an in­tern­ship pro­gram and oth­er ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing chances.

The New Al­bany fa­cil­i­ty will sup­port Am­gen’s cur­rent en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards, as the com­pa­ny aims to be car­bon neu­tral by 2027. It will al­so sup­port the OneTen ini­tia­tive, which Am­gen is a part of along with com­pa­nies such as AT&T, Lowe’s and Gilead, to hire a mil­lion Black Amer­i­cans in­to well-pay­ing jobs by 2031.

IDC: Life Sci­ences Firms Must Em­brace Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion Now

Pre-pandemic, the life sciences industry had settled into a pattern. The average drug took 12 years and $2.9 billion to bring to market, and it was an acceptable mode of operations, according to Nimita Limaye, Research Vice President for Life Sciences R&D Strategy and Technology at IDC.

COVID-19 changed that, and served as a proof-of-concept for how technology can truly help life sciences companies succeed and grow, Limaye said. She recently spoke about industry trends at Egnyte’s Life Sciences Summit 2022. You should watch the entire session, free and on-demand, but here’s a brief recap of why she’s urging life sciences companies to embrace digital transformation.

Tom Barnes, Orna Therapeutics CEO

UP­DAT­ED: 'We have failed to fail': Mer­ck gam­bles $250M cash on a next-gen ap­proach to mR­NA — af­ter punt­ing its big al­liance with Mod­er­na

Merck went in deep on its collaboration with Moderna on new mRNA programs, and dropped them all over time, including their RSV partnership. But after writing off what turned out as one of the most successful infectious disease players in the business, Merck is coming in this morning with a new preclinical alliance — this time embracing a biotech that hopes to eventually outdo the famously successful mRNA in a new run at vaccines and therapeutics.

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Bayer's first DTC ad campaign for chronic kidney disease drug Kerendia spells out its benefits

Bay­er aims to sim­pli­fy the com­plex­i­ties of CKD with an ABC-themed ad cam­paign

Do you know the ABCs of CKD in T2D? Bayer’s first ad campaign for Kerendia tackles the complexity of chronic kidney disease with a play on the acronym (CKD) and its connection to type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Kerendia was approved last year as the first and only non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist to treat CKD in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the TV commercial launched this week, A is for awareness, B is for belief and C is for cardiovascular, explained in the ad as awareness of the connection between type 2 and kidney disease, belief that something can be done about it, and cardiovascular events that may be reduced with treatment.

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James Mock, incoming CFO at Moderna

Mod­er­na taps new CFO from PerkinElmer af­ter for­mer one-day CFO oust­ed

When Moderna hired a new CFO last year,  it didn’t expect to see him gone after only one day. Today the biotech named his — likely much more vetted — replacement.

The mRNA company put out word early Wednesday that after the untimely departure of then brand-new CFO Jorge Gomez, it has now found a replacement in James Mock, the soon-to-be former CFO at diagnostics and analytics company PerkinElmer.

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Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division

GSK lands first-ever UNICEF con­tract for malar­ia vac­cine worth $170M

GSK has landed a new first from UNICEF the first-ever contract for malaria vaccines, worth up to $170 million for 18 million vaccine doses distributed over the next three years.

The vaccine, known as Mosquirix or RTS,S, won WHO’s backing last October after a controversial start, but UNICEF said these doses will potentially save thousands of lives every year.

“We hope this is just the beginning,” Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF’s supply division, said. “Continued innovation is needed to develop new and next-generation vaccines to increase available supply, and enable a healthier vaccine market. This is a giant step forward in our collective efforts to save children’s lives and reduce the burden of malaria as part of wider malaria prevention and control programmes.”

Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Mayor Kenneth Branner, Jr., Delaware Prosperity Partnership President Kurt Foreman, WuXi AppTec Chairman and CEO Ge Li, WuXi AppTec Co-CEO and WuXi STA CEO Minzhang Chen, and others celebrate the groundbreaking for the WuXi STA Middletown campus.

WuXi breaks ground on Delaware fa­cil­i­ty, boost­ing its US pres­ence

While Middletown, Delaware’s main claim to fame was the site location for the film the Dead Poets Society, the city will soon play host to a massive manufacturing outfit.

WuXi AppTec’s contract research and manufacturing subsidiary WuXi STA, has broken ground on a 190-acre manufacturing campus in Middletown.

According to the company, this site will be WuXi’s second facility in the US, and it will create around 500 full-time jobs by 2026, but there are plans to kick off operations in 2025.

Joe Jonas (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

So­lo Jonas broth­er car­ries Merz's new tune in Botox ri­val cam­paign

As the lyrics of his band’s 2019 pop-rock single suggest, Joe Jonas is only human — and that means even he gets frown lines. The 33-year-old singer-songwriter is Merz’s newest celebrity brand partner for its Botox rival Xeomin, as medical aesthetics brands target a younger audience.

Merz kicked off its “Beauty on Your Terms” campaign on Tuesday, featuring the Jonas brother in a video ad for its double-filtered anti-wrinkle injection Xeomin.

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Paul Perreault, CSL Behring CEO

CSL CEO Paul Per­reault de­ter­mined to grow plas­ma col­lec­tion af­ter full-year sales dip

As the ink dries on CSL’s $11.7 billion Vifor buyout, the company posted a dip in profits, due in part to a drop in plasma donations amid the pandemic.

However, CEO Paul Perreault assured investors and analysts on the full-year call that the team has left “no stone unturned” when assessing options to grow plasma volumes. The chief executive also spelled out positive results for the company’s monoclonal antibody garadacimab in hereditary angioedema (HAE), though he isn’t revealing the exact numbers just yet.

Blaise Coleman, Endo International CEO

En­do files for Chap­ter 11 as it looks to fin­ish off its opi­oid lit­i­ga­tion

Irish drugmaker Endo International is entering into bankruptcy as it faces the weight of serious litigation related to its involvement in the opioid epidemic in the US.

The company has filed Chapter 11 proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, with the company expected to file recognition proceedings in Canada, the UK and Australia. The company’s bankruptcy filing showed the company had assets and liabilities in the range of $1 billion to $10 billion.