Amgen likes Singapore for expansion

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Amgen ($AMGN), which has been riding a wave of investor goodwill, is looking to produce products in Asia to be closer to that rapidly growing market.

The biotech said yesterday that it will invest $200 million to build a plant in Singapore. The California company said construction will begin in the next few months on a facility that will be able to produce products both for clinical trials and for commercial markets. It initially will make Amgen's monoclonal antibodies.

"Amgen is pleased to be planning for a new world-class facility in Singapore as part of our global expansion strategy," said Madhu Balachandran, Amgen's executive vice president of operations. "Singapore is an ideal location to further our manufacturing efforts based on its rich talent pool and friendly business environment."

This is not the only significant investment the company has rolled out recently. Last month, the biotech announced that it would lay out $415 million to buy deCODE Genetics, an Icelandic company working on genetic triggers.

Amgen was one of the best stock performers for the industry last year, hitting 52-week highs of about $90 a share in December after announcing that it would raise its dividend and continue its share buy-back program. Shares have fallen some since and were down again today in mid-morning trading after the company announced the failure of a clinical trial for its anemia drug Aranesp. Still, they are up significantly from the $68.07 they were trading at a year ago.

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