On May 19, Chairman and CEO Bob Bradway presided over Amgen's Annual Meeting of Stockholders, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stockholders voted on matters contained in Amgen's 2020 proxy statement, after which Bradway gave a management presentation and answered questions from listeners.
'We are excited about the future,' Bradway stated, 'and we look forward to leveraging our track record of execution in a competitive and evolving healthcare environment. When it comes to the fight against COVID-19, I am confident that our company is doing its part and that the answer to this pandemic lies in the science that our industry is seeking to advance.'
Bradway noted that Amgen will present clinical data this year on several candidate medicines that 'have the potential to meaningfully contribute to our outlook for long-term growth.' He added that 'we have worked hard in recent years to improve the speed with which we move new drug candidates forward. On average, we have taken three years out of a drug discovery and development cycle that historically has taken anywhere from 10 to 15 years.'
Amgen researchers are 'pushing the boundaries of science to discover new approaches to serious disease,' Bradway commented. 'Human genetics and related data are enhancing our understanding of human biology, and with it, our ability to predict and prevent diseases to a previously unimaginable degree.' By gathering unprecedented amounts of data on proteins, RNA, and genetics through deCODE genetics and our collaborations with Intermountain Healthcare, the UK Biobank, and SomaLogic, Amgen is 'beginning to generate insights that we hope will have a profound impact on our ability to discover new medicines and to develop them smartly in clinical trials.'
Bradway noted that while the United States remains a focus for Amgen as the world's largest pharmaceutical market, 'the rest of the world offers increasingly compelling opportunities to serve more patients and generate growth.' He highlighted our strategic collaboration with BeiGene to help expand Amgen's oncology business in China, and our assumption earlier this year of full ownership of the Amgen Astellas BioPharma joint venture in Japan.
Amgen has generated renewed growth while reducing its environmental footprint. 'In 2019, we achieved targets that we had set seven years earlier for reducing our carbon emissions and water use,' Bradway observed. 'We achieved those targets one year ahead of schedule,' he added, 'even as our business has significantly expanded.'
During the business portion of the meeting, stockholders voted to re-elect 11 Amgen directors, and Bradway recognized the contributions of Board member Dr. Rebecca Henderson, who did not stand for re-election. For a full account of the voting results, please click here to read Amgen's news release.