BIO Trade Group to Cut Ties With Chinese Biotech Firm WuXi AppTec

‘BIO is taking steps now to separate from Wuxi AppTec regarding membership in the organization.’The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a trade association representing the biotechnology industry, is taking steps to “separate” from Chinese biotech firm WuXi AppTec amid pressure from lawmakers.On March 13, BIO announced it would take “important steps” to solidify its stance on biotechnology, emphasizing the industry’s critical role in U.S. national security.“Our adversaries abroad have stated that they intend to become the biotechnology center of excellence in the world,” BIO CEO John Crowley said in a statement. “America and our allies cannot let this happen. Securing and advancing our preeminence in biomanufacturing will be one key component of a multi-prong approach to secure and advance this strategic imperative in biotechnology.”Mr. Crowley also sent a letter to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), stating BIO’s position to support the BIOSECURE Act, which Mr. Gallagher introduced to the House in January.“BIO will support the BIOSECURE Act and work with you and other members of Congress as this legislation progresses,” Mr. Crowley wrote. “BIO is taking steps now to separate from Wuxi AppTec regarding membership in the organization.”In a letter dated March 12 provided to Reuters, WuXi AppTec stated that it terminated its membership with BIO. The trade group updated its statement on March 14, saying the Chinese biotech firm “proactively ended its membership in BIO.”Related StoriesThe move comes as Mr. Gallagher requested earlier this month that the Department of Justice (DOJ) review BIO’s lobbying effort against the BIOSECURE Act, which would restrict federally funded medical providers from working with Chinese biotechnology companies that could pose a risk to national security, engaging in contracts with them, or providing taxpayer-funded grants to them.“BIO’s advocacy on behalf of WuXi AppTec raises concerns that it is operating as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal while advancing the interests of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government and the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Gallagher wrote in a letter dated March 5.The legislation singles out several top Chinese firms with deep ties to the CCP and its military, known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). These include biotech companies WuXi Apptec, BGI, MGI, and Complete Genomics.The Senate’s Homeland Security Committee voted last week to advance the Senate version of the BIOSECURE Act, which could deal a blow to Wuxi AppTec and other Chinese biotech companies if it becomes law.Mr. Gallagher welcomed BIO’s decision and its “commitment to the BIOSECURE Act and its recognition of the threat that CCP-backed companies like WuXi AppTec pose to America’s biotechnology industry.”On Thursday, WuXi AppTec shares dropped 13 percent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares have plunged 44 percent this year.In January, then BIO CEO Rachel King sent a letter to senators sponsoring the bill, saying the legislation would “do untold damage to the drug development supply chain both for treatments currently approved and on [the] market as well as for development pipelines decades in the making.”‘Deep Connections With the CCP’Last month, Mr. Gallagher and a group of bipartisan lawmakers called on the Biden administration to investigate WuXi AppTec and its subsidiary, WuXi Biologics, due to their alleged ties to the PLA.According to a report by the think tank Jamestown Foundation, WuXi AppTec “has deep connections with the CCP.” The company “established a CCP organization within its structure in China, boasting 20 Party branches and embedding the Party’s presence within its corporate culture.”The report also reveals that WuXi AppTec had received investment from numerous PLA funds, including the AVIC Military-Civil Integration Selected Hybrid Securities Investment Fund.WuXi AppTec has multiple offices, manufacturing facilities, and labs in the United States, including Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and New Jersey.Wuxi Biologics has partnered with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and state-funded U.S. labs. Their projects include research on Alzheimer’s disease with Pfizer researchers, a vaccine component production deal with AstraZeneca, and a licensing agreement with GSK on antibodies for cancer research.Reuters contributed to this report.

BIO Trade Group to Cut Ties With Chinese Biotech Firm WuXi AppTec

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‘BIO is taking steps now to separate from Wuxi AppTec regarding membership in the organization.’

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a trade association representing the biotechnology industry, is taking steps to “separate” from Chinese biotech firm WuXi AppTec amid pressure from lawmakers.

On March 13, BIO announced it would take “important steps” to solidify its stance on biotechnology, emphasizing the industry’s critical role in U.S. national security.

“Our adversaries abroad have stated that they intend to become the biotechnology center of excellence in the world,” BIO CEO John Crowley said in a statement. “America and our allies cannot let this happen. Securing and advancing our preeminence in biomanufacturing will be one key component of a multi-prong approach to secure and advance this strategic imperative in biotechnology.”

Mr. Crowley also sent a letter to Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), stating BIO’s position to support the BIOSECURE Act, which Mr. Gallagher introduced to the House in January.

“BIO will support the BIOSECURE Act and work with you and other members of Congress as this legislation progresses,” Mr. Crowley wrote. “BIO is taking steps now to separate from Wuxi AppTec regarding membership in the organization.”

In a letter dated March 12 provided to Reuters, WuXi AppTec stated that it terminated its membership with BIO. The trade group updated its statement on March 14, saying the Chinese biotech firm “proactively ended its membership in BIO.”

The move comes as Mr. Gallagher requested earlier this month that the Department of Justice (DOJ) review BIO’s lobbying effort against the BIOSECURE Act, which would restrict federally funded medical providers from working with Chinese biotechnology companies that could pose a risk to national security, engaging in contracts with them, or providing taxpayer-funded grants to them.

“BIO’s advocacy on behalf of WuXi AppTec raises concerns that it is operating as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal while advancing the interests of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government and the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr. Gallagher wrote in a letter dated March 5.

The legislation singles out several top Chinese firms with deep ties to the CCP and its military, known as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). These include biotech companies WuXi Apptec, BGI, MGI, and Complete Genomics.

The Senate’s Homeland Security Committee voted last week to advance the Senate version of the BIOSECURE Act, which could deal a blow to Wuxi AppTec and other Chinese biotech companies if it becomes law.

Mr. Gallagher welcomed BIO’s decision and its “commitment to the BIOSECURE Act and its recognition of the threat that CCP-backed companies like WuXi AppTec pose to America’s biotechnology industry.”

On Thursday, WuXi AppTec shares dropped 13 percent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares have plunged 44 percent this year.

In January, then BIO CEO Rachel King sent a letter to senators sponsoring the bill, saying the legislation would “do untold damage to the drug development supply chain both for treatments currently approved and on [the] market as well as for development pipelines decades in the making.”
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‘Deep Connections With the CCP’

Last month, Mr. Gallagher and a group of bipartisan lawmakers called on the Biden administration to investigate WuXi AppTec and its subsidiary, WuXi Biologics, due to their alleged ties to the PLA.
According to a report by the think tank Jamestown Foundation, WuXi AppTec “has deep connections with the CCP.” The company “established a CCP organization within its structure in China, boasting 20 Party branches and embedding the Party’s presence within its corporate culture.”

The report also reveals that WuXi AppTec had received investment from numerous PLA funds, including the AVIC Military-Civil Integration Selected Hybrid Securities Investment Fund.

WuXi AppTec has multiple offices, manufacturing facilities, and labs in the United States, including Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and New Jersey.

Wuxi Biologics has partnered with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and state-funded U.S. labs. Their projects include research on Alzheimer’s disease with Pfizer researchers, a vaccine component production deal with AstraZeneca, and a licensing agreement with GSK on antibodies for cancer research.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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