Amgen feels right at home in Breda
Global bio-pharmaceutical company Amgen had little more than a few dozen employees when it started up in Breda back in 1997. Since then, it has grown to well over 500. What began as Amgen's European Logistics Center has now developed into a campus that is home to five Amgen organizations: Commercial and Clinical Operations, part of the Global Supply Chain organization, International Information Systems, Finance Shared Services and the Dutch medical and marketing affiliate.
There were various motives at the time for this choice. Generally speaking, a favorable labor climate argued in favor of the Netherlands, which also boasts a large English-speaking population. Additional benefits of Brabant and Breda included logistics, such as an excellent infrastructure and the proximity of major international carriers, its location between the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, and the proximity of major airports including Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne and Dusseldorf.
Amgen is a leading producer of bio-technological, protein-based medicines, targeted at combating grievous illness, including cancer, kidney and inflammatory diseases. The company, founded in California in 1980, has a mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines for people with serious illnesses. Breakthrough medicines from Amgen include, amongst others, Aranesp®, Neulasta®, Neupogen®, Vectibix®, Prolia®, Xgeva® and Mimpara®.
With nearly 20,000 employees worldwide, Amgen is one of the largest bio-technology companies in the world. Its headquarters is located in Thousand Oaks, California. Production and filling of clinical and bulk medicines is carried out in the US and Puerto Rico. From there, Amgen’s drug products for the European and other markets are shipped to Breda, where they are finished and ultimately distributed to over 55 countries.
In the 1990s, when Amgen was looking for a location for its European distribution center, it selected Breda in Brabant. Jan Bouman, Executive Director Site Operations and site leader at Amgen Breda, says: “There were various motives at the time for this choice. Generally speaking, a favorable labor climate argued in favor of the Netherlands, which also boasts a large English-speaking population. Additional benefits of Brabant and Breda included logistics, such as an excellent infrastructure and the proximity of major international carriers, its location between the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, and the proximity of major airports including Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne and Dusseldorf.”
These favorable location factors still apply nearly 20 years after the launch. The number of countries that Amgen serves from Breda has grown quickly in recent years, and will increase further in the coming years. Its drugs are shipped from Breda to Western and Eastern European countries, as well as to countries in the Middle East, South-America, Australia and Africa. Its logistics activities include distribution, assembly, design, packaging and labeling.
The entire process of value-added logistics in Breda encompasses a high level of quality control due to the requirements set for these drugs, such as constant temperature between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius (36 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition, the requirements for packaging and international regulations make the Amgen operation in Breda always focus on high quality and the fulfillment of its patients’ needs.
Amgen Breda’s headquarters building and distribution center is quite the attention-grabber, both for its striking and sophisticated architecture as well as its highly visible location. Its site in Breda has also become one of the company's most important locations in the world. Amgen is one of Breda's largest employers. The company feels right at home there and is deeply rooted in local and regional life with an extensive volunteer work program and sponsorship of the Amgen Singelloop Breda city run.