Amgen Plans to Eliminate 380 Jobs in Drug Research Division

Amgen Inc., the world’s largest biotechnology company, is firing 380 employees in its research and development division, a spokeswoman said.

The Thousand Oaks, California-based company increased its research spending 26 percent during the second quarter, to $808 million, as three experimental drugs moved into larger clinical trials, which are more expensive and require more resources, said Mary Klem, a spokeswoman.

“We will continue to invest in our R&D,” Klem said today in an interview. “This doesn’t represent an across-the board cut.”

Amgen spent $2.84 billion in research and development last year, according to Bloomberg data. The company said in July its adjusted research and development costs will be at the upper end of the range of 18 percent to 20 percent of product sales.

The company said about half of its second-quarter increase in spending for the division was related to three drugs in development, trebananib, ganitumab and OncoVEX, with the remaining funds going to marketing approved medicines such as bone-strengthening drug Prolia and Xgeva, which reduces fractures in cancer patients.

Amgen was little changed at $57.32 at 4 p.m. New York time. The shares have risen 4.4 percent this year.