US Lawmakers Urge Review of Chinese Biotech Firms WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics for Possible Sanctions

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Zara Nwosu
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US Lawmakers Urge Review of Chinese Biotech Firms WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics for Possible Sanctions

US Lawmakers Call for Sanctions on WuXi AppTec

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers is urging the Biden administration to review Chinese biotech firm WuXi AppTec and its affiliate WuXi Biologics for possible sanctions. This call for action is part of a broader review of the company by the U.S. lawmakers for potential national security implications and risks.

Concerns Over National Security and Intellectual Property Theft

The lawmakers have expressed serious concerns about the potential risks posed to national security and the possibility of intellectual property theft. They argue that WuXi AppTec's links to the Chinese Communist Party and military present a significant threat to U.S. national security. The American lawmakers have pointed to WuXi AppTec's military ties, including investments from People's Liberation Army (PLA) funds, and the CEO's affiliation with China's Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

Proposed Legislation to Restrict Access to American Genetic Information

Legislation has been proposed to restrict federally-funded medical providers from allowing Chinese biotech firms like WuXi AppTec from obtaining genetic information about Americans. The lawmakers suggest that the company's access to such data could be potentially harmful. They urge the inclusion of WuXi AppTec and its subsidiaries on control lists and sanctions under Treasury's Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies List, the Commerce list, and the Pentagon's “1260H” list.

WuXi AppTec's Partnerships with US Biotech Entities

Despite the concerns raised, WuXi AppTec has established partnerships with prominent U.S. biotech entities and pharmaceutical companies. WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics have denied any wrongdoing and have emphasized their commitment to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Impact on WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics Shares

As a result of the proposed legislation and potential sanctions, shares of both WuXi companies have fallen sharply. Since Jan. 26, WuXi AppTec's shares have tumbled by over 26%, while Wuxi Biologics shares have shed more than 29%. The lawmakers' actions underline the growing scrutiny of Chinese companies and their ties to the Chinese government.

Call for Investigation into Alleged Ties to Chinese Military

The U.S. lawmakers have written to various government bodies, including the Department of Defense, seeking an investigation into WuXi AppTec and Wuxi Biologics over alleged ties to the Chinese military. The companies are accused of posing a national security risk and of carrying out human rights abuses or advancing PLA capabilities.

Conclusion

As the U.S. lawmakers continue to pursue their review and potential sanctions against WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics, the global biotech industry will be watching closely. The outcome of the review could have significant implications not only for these specific companies but also for international cooperation in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.