Proposed biosecure act extends deadline for U.S. companies to cut ties with chinese biotech firms.

A revised version of a congressional bill, known as the Biosecure Act, proposes extending the deadline for U.S. companies to disengage from certain Chinese biotechnology companies, including WuXi AppTec and BGI, until 2032. The bill also adds WuXi Biologics to the list of biotech firms of concern. These companies primarily serve as contractors, conducting research and manufacturing for pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally.

The updated bill, introduced on Friday, aims to address national security concerns related to Americans’ personal health and genetic information. It encourages U.S. pharmaceutical and biotech companies to reduce their reliance on China for various aspects, from drug ingredient manufacturing to early-stage research.

The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability is expected to discuss and vote on the bill during a markup session next week, with a similar Senate bill already approved by a committee in March.

The proposed legislation has impacted the stock prices of WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics this year. It seeks to initiate a systematic shift away from Chinese influence in the biotech market while ensuring that the transition does not disrupt essential supply chains.

Congressman Brad Wenstrup, who introduced the revised bill alongside Rep. Raja Krishamoorthi, emphasized the need for a strategic approach to avoid severing ties abruptly. However, the bill has drawn mixed reactions from industry stakeholders.

Complete Genomics expressed concerns about potential disruptions to the U.S. biotech supply chain and urged policymakers to consider its impact on American patients. On the other hand, WuXi AppTec questioned the basis of the bill, emphasizing the importance of accurate information.

John Crowley, president of BIO, highlighted the vulnerability of the global supply chain and supported the bill’s efforts to provide a reasonable timeframe for companies to reduce their dependence on China-based manufacturing.

A survey conducted by BIO revealed that a significant majority of biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have contracts or agreements with China-based manufacturers, primarily WuXi Biologics and WuXi AppTec. These companies estimate that transitioning to new manufacturing partners could take up to eight years.

Meanwhile, BGI Group reiterated its commitment to protecting Americans’ personal data while expressing concerns about the bill’s potential to drive the company out of the U.S. and limit competition in the biotech sector.