Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Amgen names first Puerto Rican woman to lead local operations

By on December 2, 2020

Amgen’s Juncos plant (Courtesy)

Brenda Torres in charge of biomanufacturing processes

SAN JUAN – Amgen Manufacturing Limited (AML) appointed industrial engineer Brenda Torres Rivera as its vice president of operations for the biopharmaceutical’s operations in Juncos. With this appointment, the executive becomes the first Puerto Rican woman to assume the position at the plant, which employs more than 2,000 people. The leading company has been in Puerto Rico for the past 28 years.

AML Operations Vice President Brenda Torres (Courtesy)

“Brenda Torres’ strategic vision made it possible for Amgen Puerto Rico to continue its leadership in manufacturing and to supply promising drugs and technologies to patients around the world. We are confident that her training as an industrial engineer will contribute to various manufacturing and operational functions within AML, where she has enjoyed a successful and meaningful 15-year career. We are proud to have a leader of Torres’ caliber as Vice President of Operations in Puerto Rico,” said Aixa Caballer, senior corporate affairs manager at Amgen.

Torres has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. She is responsible for ensuring that AML produces and supplies biopharmaceutical drugs and products for patients globally.

Before her appointment, Torres was vice president of manufacturing – drug product at AML. In that role, she led 1,500 employees, established a “robust operational rigor, and developed her team to deliver new business capabilities. When she joined Amgen in 2006 as executive director of Supply Chain, she successfully launched its first Foreign Trade Zone while implementing innovative risk mitigation projects. Four years later, her outstanding performance paved the way to her next assignment as Amgen Executive Director, Plant Manager,” the media release reads. “In this role, she led the inspection and packaging operations for the Fill & Finish Facility and ensured patient supply while moving the organization to the next operational execution level. She also led efforts to design and implement a successful operation to serve the Japanese market needs.”

In 2012, Torres served As executive director, U.S. Region Supply Chain.

“She led the U.S. Distribution and Customer Service Operations to deliver 99.5% On Time in Full. While in California, as Executive Director, Supply Chain led a strategic team that developed a global supply chain strategy that enabled capabilities for continued growth. From the Golden State, she moved to Amgen’s site at Woburn, Massachusetts, where she led site operations to support Imlygic®. Within six months, she achieved impressive metrics: 20% yields increase, 25% drug product efficiency increase, and 23% drug product reject rate reduction. After these professional achievements, in 2016, she returned to work for Amgen in her native Puerto Rico,” the company says.

Caballer emphasized that Torres’ strength lies in “her ability to visualize and lead large organizations as part of her commitment to creating a robust quality and compliance culture,” according to the release. She highlighted Torres’ “commitment to serving patients and cutting-edge knowledge and passion for enhancing inclusion and diversity membership in Amgen and the biotechnology industry in Puerto Rico.”

Torres earned a bachelor’s in industrial engineering and a master’s in engineering management from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. 

Amgen has biotech facilities for the manufacture of medicines and biopharmaceutical products at its facilities in Juncos, and the company says it has invested about $3.7 trillion on the island to expand its facilities and develop biomanufacturing processes from 2002 to 2019.

At the community level, this year the Amgen-Puerto Rico Foundation has made a social investment of about $1.2 million in community-based entities and organizations, and the Academy focused on STEM science and social justice education. Among the entities supported by the Amgen Foundation are Alliance for a Drug-Free Puerto Rico, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico, Sor Isolina Ferré Centers, EcoExploratorio, Inc., P.R. Community Foundation, Center for Puerto Rico, P.R. Science Technology and Research Trust, and Puerto Rico Science. Also, it has educational alliances with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and Humacao.  

Amgen Puerto Rico manufactures EPOGEN, NEUPOGEN, Aranesp, Neulasta, Enbrel, Sensitpar, Vectibix, Nplate, Prolia, XGEVA, Aimovig, Corlanor, Repatha, Parsabiv, Amjevita, Evenity , Mimpara, and MVASI.

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