The story of biotechnology company Amgen in the Netherlands is one of immense growth. Two decades after it started with just a few dozen employees, the company’s site in Breda has become a vibrant and multifunctional campus that houses more than 650 people across seven Amgen entities. Amgen has made its European home in the interconnected Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector.
Executive Director Site Operations Jan Bouman, who is responsible for the Breda site, explains: “Breda and Brabant in the Netherlands have proven to be the ideal location to support our growth ambitions and to realize our mission to serve patients.”
Innovating in biotechnology to improve health
Amgen is committed to helping patients fight serious illnesses, including cancer, kidney, heart and inflammatory disease and osteoporosis. The company, which was founded in California in 1980, uses its deep expertise in biotechnology to discover, develop and deliver innovative therapies that lead to better health outcomes and a dramatic improvement in quality of life. With approximately 21,000 employees worldwide and $23.7 billion in 2018 revenue, Amgen is one of the largest biotechnology companies in the world.
Amgen has established its value chain in the Dutch Life Sciences ecosystem
The company’s site in Brabant, which opened in 1997, is a strategically important location for Amgen. This is where Amgen’s medicines – which it produces in the U.S. and Puerto Rico – are assembled, packaged, labeled and distributed across Europe and the rest of the world. Located along the A27 highway on the outskirts of the city of Breda, the site is home to seven Amgen entities. Operations, which includes production and distribution, is by far the largest. Other entities in Breda include corporate IT and finance functions, the global supply organization and the commercial organization for the Dutch market.
The Netherlands is the logistics gateway to Europe
When Amgen was looking for a location in Europe, Brabant stood out because of its excellent infrastructure, its location between the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and the proximity of major airports including Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne and Düsseldorf. Jan Bouman, explains why these factors still apply more than 20 years later.
“It is our commitment to ensure that our medicines are available for every patient, every time with the highest level of quality and safety. This requires a highly reliable and resilient logistics operation. Breda has proven to be the ideal location to make that happen,” Bouman said.
Highly educated and skilled talent
The availability of a highly educated workforce is crucial to help Amgen support its robust growth ambitions. Jan Bouman: “We are always looking for talent, so it’s great to be surrounded by top technical universities and schools in both the Netherlands and across the border with Belgium. But what also helps is the Netherlands’ appeal to expats. Here in Breda, we employ about 20 different nationalities from all over the world. They love living here, and it’s easy for them to get around because of the friendly ambiance and the fact that so many people speak English.”
Expats feel at home in the Netherlands
After more than two decades, Amgen feels right at home in Brabant. The company is deeply rooted in local and regional life with an extensive volunteer work program and sponsorship of the Amgen Singelloop Breda, one of the most enjoyable running events in the Netherlands. Jan Bouman: “As one of the largest employers in the region, we are committed to playing our part in making Breda an even better place to work and live.”
Source: Brabant Development Agency (BOM)