THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. and SHANGHAI, Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) and ShanghaiTech University today announced the two organizations have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a strategic partnership for the advancement of biopharmaceutical discovery and translational research in China. This agreement includes plans for Amgen to open a China research and development (R&D) center at ShanghaiTech University. "Amgen and ShanghaiTech University share mutual goals of scientific excellence and rigor and will benefit from each other's strength and expertise in advancing biopharmaceutical discovery in China," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen. "Expansion into China is a business priority for Amgen and opening this R&D center is another clear and important step forward in Amgen's commitment to the China market." Under the terms of the MOU, Amgen will co-locate its China R&D center with ShanghaiTech University's two life science institutes: the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS) and the iHuman Institute. "We are pleased to be partnering with Amgen," said Professor Mianheng Jiang, chairman of Executive Committee of ShanghaiTech University. "ShanghaiTech aims to build a research-oriented university that provides a dynamic approach to learning and ultimately solving problems facing society. This partnership is a commitment to develop more effective bio-medicine for the benefits of the patients in China and in the whole world." "We are excited about this unique opportunity to work with ShanghaiTech University," added Mingqiang Zhang, Ph.D., vice president of China Research and Development at Amgen. "The combination of Amgen's industry-leading expertise in biopharmaceuticals and the world-class academic excellence of scientists at the SIAIS and iHuman institutes of ShanghaiTech will be a very powerful force in advancing drug discovery and development. We aim to address unmet medical needs that are particularly relevant for patients in China." "We are delighted that Amgen, a key player in the global biologics sector, will be co-locating its China R&D center at ShanghaiTech University," said Professor Richard A. Lerner, founding director of Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies, an antibody research institute of ShanghaiTech University. "We aim to become one of the world's leading antibody research institutes and the co-location of Amgen's China R&D center with us will help to steer our research to be more applicable and to ultimately help patients in the fight against serious illnesses." Amgen expects its China R&D center will be fully operational in 2014.