Amgen: A Profile in Rapid Growth

When Pim van der Aar, director of business development, describes Amgen Corp. ( Thousand Oaks, Calif., www.amgen.com), he begins with a list of values and stresses the organization's commitment to patients. He points out that the values posted in the lobby of the European Logistics Center (ELC) in Breda, The Netherlands, aren't just good words on a plaque that no one looks at, they are metrics used to measure performance throughout the organization.

The products handled by the ELC include Neupogen and its improved version Neulasta used to reduce the duration of severe neutropenia (a blood disorder that makes the body vulnerable to bacterial infection) in patients undergoing chemotherapy. Aranesp replaces erythropoietin, which regulates red blood cell production, in kidney failure patients. Mimpara treats secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis. And, Kineret mediates bone resorption and cartilage destruction in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

As a company, Amgen has doubled revenues in the last three years and tripled revenues in four years. European revenues have grown even faster, doubling in two years and quadrupling in three years. Amgen's profit at the end of 2005 was equal to its revenues in 2001. "In the last five years, no company in the Standard and Poor's 500 has matched our revenue or earnings-per-share growth," says van der Aar.

The Breda facility was opened after Amgen took back distribution of Neupogen from Swiss-based Roche in January 1998. The company looked at the products that it had in the pipeline to be introduced in the coming years in Europe and realized it would be competing with some of Roche's products, so it developed the Breda European Logistics Center, where it continues to expand its operations.

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