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Rohan Persaud, plant manager and executive director at Amgen Rhode Island.  Amgen is also a RIMA member and Mr. Persaud is part of RIMA’s Advisory Council.

The 120,000-square-foot structure had been mostly constructed in Shanghai, then dissembled, placed on cargo ships and sent to Rhode Island. Final destination? The Amgen Rhode Island campus in West Greenwich. More than a year later and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the $200 million biomanufacturing plant – the first of its kind in the United States – is complete, nearly ready to add to the capabilities of Amgen’s West Greenwich location, where the multinational biopharmaceutical company produces the popular arthritis drug Enbrel and other “biologic” medications.

Amgen has said it will hire about 150 people to staff the new plant, adding to the approximately 675 employees who already work at the West Greenwich campus. And the new jobs will pay well, offering a median annual salary of $77,000, according to state data. Amgen says the Rhode Island facility is now one of the world’s largest producers of biologic medicines, which are made from substances found in living things such as mammalian protein instead of chemically synthesized like conventional drugs. The new plant would produce biologic products, some of which already would be approved for use, while others would be in the approval pipeline.