Nov. 17, 2014
SHANGHAI (17 Nov. 2014) – Amgen, the world’s largest independent biotechnology company, today announced the official opening of its Asia Research and Development Center (R&D Center) on the campus of ShanghaiTech University. To date, the R&D Center is Amgen’s only multi-disciplinary research lab in the Asia Pacific region, and it is one of only a handful of multinational-led R&D centers in China to focus on furthering biomedical research.
The R&D Center’s opening ceremony was attended by Mianheng Jiang, president of ShanghaiTech University; Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen; and Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen.
“We are confident that building relationships with institutions such as ShanghaiTech University will lead to exciting opportunities to collaborate and innovate in ways that help improve the lives of patients suffering from serious illness,” said Bradway. “Through the opening of Amgen’s new Asia Research & Development Center, we are also pleased to play a role in supporting China’s aspiration to grow its biotechnology capability.”
The R&D Center heralds the arrival of a new model of innovation for the establishment of a research center collaborated by a pioneering, multinational biotechnology medicine company and a leading Chinese university. The center is situated on the grounds of the university and linked with two of the university’s existing biological research institutes, the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies and the iHuman Institute. This innovative R&D model creates an organic synthesis of industrialization, education and research, and will increase Amgen’s ability to scientifically evaluate the efficacy of medicines on Chinese patients, providing them with optimal individualized treatments.
The R&D Center has already begun research into G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in tandem with the iHuman Institute. This large family of proteins plays a broad role in enabling cells to communicate, and GPCRs as a group are the single most common drug target among approved pharmaceuticals. It is estimated that 27 percent of the medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are directed at GPCRs. The collaboration between Amgen and the iHuman Institute is aimed at better understanding the structure of GPCRs, gaining a clearer insight into their action-mechanisms, and using this information to design more effective medicines. To date, major breakthroughs have been made in their research into some of these receptors.
“Amgen believes very strongly in the need to harness external innovation,” said Harper. “By placing our R&D Center here in Shanghai, we have been able to build research relationships with world-class scientists and institutions based in Shanghai. We intend to play a role in helping to strengthen the capabilities of China’s emerging biotech sector and in supporting China’s national goal of expanding the nation’s biopharmaceutical sector to serve more Chinese patients with our advanced healthcare solutions.”
“Amgen is a world leader in biomedical research, and as a vibrant research university oriented towards the practical applications of research, the results of its collaboration with us can be greater than the sum of our parts and push forward the rapid, strong development of China’s biomedical industry,” said ShanghaiTech University president Jiang.
As another important component of Amgen’s deepening research ties with China, last year the company founded a postdoctoral scholarship program, providing a total of 10 scholarships to postdoctoral students at Qinghua University, Peking University, the Beijing National Institute of Biological Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and ShanghaiTech. The program aims to support recipients of the grant from these five leading institutions for two years of academic research. Some of these awardees have since contributed to prestigious publications, including one published in the internationally renowned periodical Molecular Cell.
Dr. Wang Xiaodong, director and investigator of the National Institute of Biological Sciences (Beijing), member of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), and foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “Amgen’s innovative model of collaboration with domestic research institutes has been very successful. I believe the launch of the Amgen Asia R&D Center will further enhance our research capabilities in serious diseases and accelerate the development of the biotechnology industry in China.”
In addition to Amgen’s new R&D Center in Shanghai, Amgen has also established its R&D capability in Beijing, focusing on drug registration as well as overseeing clinical research in China. Amgen has both recruited from abroad and hired and trained personnel within China to staff its local R&D organization.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its biologics manufacturing expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be the world's largest independent biotechnology company, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
For more information, visit www.amgen.com and follow us on www.twitter.com/amgen.
About Amgen China
Amgen established an affiliate in China in 2012, and has since opened its China Headquarters and Asia Research & Development Center in Shanghai. Amgen also has an office in Beijing, which is responsible for drug registration and clinical trials, with the aim to deliver its medicines to patients in China.
Grace Gu, Amgen China: 156 1822 6113 (media)
Apple Jiang, Edelman China: 136 2196 8941 (media)