BIO switches gears, cuts links with WuXi AppTec

Global biopharma lobbying organization BIO has forced WuXi AppTec to leave the group due to pressure from the US Congress.

Richard Daverman

March 15, 2024

2 Min Read

Earlier this month, the Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, a US Congressional committee, objected to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), attempt to stop the BIOSECURE Act. The bipartisan Act was written to “ensure foreign adversary biotech companies of US national security concern do not gain access to US taxpayer dollars,” targeting WuXi AppTec’s contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) businesses among others.

The Congressional committee is worried that WuXi, which has several facilities in the US, would use genetic data gathered from clinical trials to harm US citizens. WuXi sent a letter to BIO this week saying that it will resign from the organization.

In February, WuXi published a letter saying that it protected patient data in all clinical trials and that the US has never investigated any breach of ethical behavior of the company.

Until yesterday, BIO defended WuXi, but the organization has now reversed itself.

Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) had accused BIO of having “undertaken a recent advocacy campaign against the BIOSECURE Act,” by defending WuXi. The committee wrote the BIOSECURE Act to guarantee that taxpayer money isn’t used to help fund “foreign adversary biotech companies” that threaten US national security. Writing to Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, Gallagher alleged that BIO’s lobbying “advances the interest of the Chinese Communist Party” and “raises concerns that it is operating as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.”

In response to Gallagher’s allegations, BIO’s CEO John Crowley said, “Our adversaries abroad have stated that they intend to become the biotechnology center of excellence in the world. 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.”

Defending itself, WuXi AppTec said last month that the company has enabled thousands of customers across the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries to discover, develop, and manufacture new medicines to benefit patients over the past 20 years. The company added that it has been guided by its core value of “doing the right thing and doing it right.” It remains committed to this credo, it added.

As a global CDMO, WuXi AppTec is the largest provider of drug development and clinical study services in China. It has many facilities in China, the US and the EU, counting many US and EU as well as Chinese life science companies as its clients

A version of this article was first published in ChinaBio Today on 14 March 2024.

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