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Amgen History


AMGen incorporates.

AMGen (Applied Molecular Genetics Inc.) is established in Thousand Oaks, California, on April 8, 1980, as the brainchild of venture capitalists William K. (Bill) Bowes and associates. With a staff of three, the Company occupies a shared building, now called “Building 1.”



AMGen (Applied Molecular Genetics Inc) founded on April 8th, 1980 by William Bowes and associates. George Rathmann, previously a VP of R&D at Abbott, recruited to be CEO


Led by CFO Gordon Binder, Amgen’s IPO on June 17, 1983, raises nearly $40 million.

The Company officially changes its name to Amgen.


The clone that launched a company. A team led by a young researcher from Taiwan named Fu-Kuen Lin is tasked with finding and cloning the erythropoietin gene. Their job is staggering: finding a gene on a single fragment of DNA among 1.5 million fragments of the human genome. After working tirelessly for two years, they do it. This groundbreaking achievement enables the creation of one of the most successful drugs in biotech history, EPOGEN® (epoetin alfa).


A second discovery.

While Lin is working on erythropoietin, researcher Larry Souza and his team clone granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). This discovery leads to the development of Amgen’s second blockbuster drug NEUPOGEN® (filgrastim).


In 1989, EPOGEN® (epoetin alfa) approved in the US for managing anemia in end-stage renal disease. EPOGEN is named Product of the Year by Fortune magazine.

Aart Brouwer was the first head of Amgen’s European office from 1989 to 2001.


Amgen goes international.

Amgen establishes its European headquarters in Lucerne, Switzerland. Later, the European headquarters will relocate to Zug, also in Switzerland. Over the next several years, Amgen would quickly establish offices across Europe, including a key manufacturing and distribution center in Breda, the Netherlands.


Giving back: the Amgen Foundation is formed.

Amgen establishes the Amgen Foundation as a way to coordinate the various groups and individuals who were already giving back to the community.



A billion-dollar company.

On January 2, 1992, Amgen is added to the S&P 500 and months later, the Company debuts on the Fortune 500 list.


Amgen becomes the first biotech company to receive the U.S. Department of Commerce National Medal of Technology.


The Amgen Values are first launched. Amgen could not have accomplished what it has if not for its commitment to building a culture and social architecture that embraces science and innovation—a culture that continues to shape what Amgen is today.


First European manufacturing site opened

First distribution center for Europe opened in Breda, Netherlands


Seattle-based Immunex, developer of Enbrel® (etanercept), acquired



Providing cutting-edge research experiences.

The Amgen Foundation, in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), launches the Amgen Scholars program to provide undergraduates with access to research experiences and exposure to biotechnology and drug discovery at top institutions globally.


Amgen Dun Laoghaire (ADL) operations facility purchased



Strategic partners and acquisitions.

  • Amgen acquires deCODE Genetics, a global leader in human genetics.
  • Amgen and AstraZeneca agree to jointly develop and commercialize five monoclonal antibodies from Amgen's inflammation portfolio.
  • Amgen also acquires Micromet Inc.(now known as Amgen Research Munich), developers of what would later be approved by the FDA as BLINCYTO® (blinatumomab).
  • Amgen acquires Mustafa Nevzat, a leading privately held Turkish pharmaceutical company.

  • 2012

    Amgen Teach launches in Europe.

    Amgen Teach launches in Europe to provide hundreds of science educators with free training sessions that emphasize hands-on, inquiry-based experiential learning for their students.


    Amgen acquires Onyx Pharmaceuticals, developers of Kyprolis® (carfilzomib) for Injection.


    Amgen aquires Copenhagen-based biopharmaceutical company Nuevolution, now Amgen Research Copenhagen.


    The Amgen Research Copenhagen


    Amgen's 40th Anniversary