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Amgen Boosts B.C.’s Life Science Sector

Amgen, a global biotechnology giant headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, recently completed a 4,500 square foot expansion of its research lab in Burnaby, British Columbia (B.C.), capping off a $27 million investment in the facility. This expansion increases Amgen’s capacity to discover and develop medical treatments and accelerate delivery of therapeutics to patients suffering from serious illnesses.

The lab, a Discovery Research Center of Excellence for Amgen’s Biologic Discovery efforts, engages in various scientific fields such as immunology and biochemistry to discover new ways to improve treatments for cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions.

People at an office waving the Canadian flag. One person in front of the group cuts a ribbon with big scissors. Beyond scientific advancements, this expansion also contributes to job creation. More than 20 new full-time positions for research scientists have been added, supplementing the 37 jobs created over the past two years. The total workforce at the facility now stands at almost 200 scientists.

Amgen has strong ties to British Columbia. The company has been operating in the province since the early 2000s, and some of their groundbreaking technology originated in the region. At the site, they identify promising treatments thereby advancing early candidate molecules through Amgen’s global research teams. These collaborative research efforts have led to the development of six Amgen biologic medicines that benefit people worldwide.

This expansion aligns with B.C.’s plan to establish itself as a global hub for life sciences and reflects the deep pool of talent and experiences in the province. The Honourable Brenda Bailey, B.C. Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, and BC Trade and Investment Representatives in B.C. and the U.S., have been supportive of Amgen’s expansion and growth, which aligns with B.C.’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy.

Three people formally standing in business suits in front of a wall of plants.
From left to right is Chadwick King, Associate Vice President, Research and Site Lead, Amgen Burnaby, The Honourable Brenda Bailey, B.C. Minister of JEDI, and Ugur Gunaydin, Vice President and General Manager of Amgen Canada.

Minster Bailey, expressed her optimism, stating, “”Amgen’s state-of-the-art lab expansion is great news for British Columbians, both for the development of important medical treatments that will help improve people’s lives and for creating well-paying, sustainable jobs in Burnaby,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.  “Through British Columbia’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy, we are creating the conditions that are making the province a great place for businesses like Amgen to anchor and continue to grow, and I can’t wait to hear about the new innovation that will be happening right here in B.C.”

British Columbia stands as a vibrant hub alive with scientific innovation, solidifying its reputation as one of the fastest-growing life science sectors in Canada. The recent expansion of Amgen’s research facility in Burnaby strengthens the province’s life sciences community and highlights the company’s commitment to advancing medical breakthroughs and the support available from the provincial government and Trade and Invest BC.

The success story of Amgen’s expansion is just one among many in British Columbia’s thriving life sciences sector. Notably, the number of life sciences businesses based in the province grew by 26.5% between 2018 and 2021, underlining the dynamic and upward trajectory of this industry. This surge is indicative of the province’s ability to attract and nurture life sciences companies, fostering an environment conducive to growth and innovation.

To learn more about B.C.’s Life Sciences sector contact our Trade and Investment Representatives.

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