WuXi AppTec Shared Client IP with Beijing, Say US Intelligence Officials: Reuters

Capitol dome_iStock, Evgeniia Ozerkina

Pictured: A close-up of the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, DC/iStock, Evgeniia Ozerkina

China-based biotech WuXi AppTec allegedly handed a U.S. client’s intellectual property over to the Chinese government without consent, according to an exclusive Reuters report on Thursday.

Citing sources who requested anonymity, Reuters reported that U.S. intelligence officials—led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—told senators about WuXi’s IP transfer in a classified briefing.

The intelligence officials informed the lawmakers that WuXi and other China-affiliated entities had “engaged in activity in the U.S. contrary to U.S. national security interests,” Reuters reported.

The sources did not disclose the name of WuXi’s client or the nature of the information the biotech allegedly provided to Chinese authorities. The sources also did not comment on the other matters discussed during the classified briefing.

“We are not aware of any unauthorized transfers by WuXi AppTec of any U.S. client’s data or intellectual property to China. Neither the U.S. government nor any customer has shared these allegations with the company,” a WuXi AppTec spokesperson said in an emailed statement to BioSpace.

“We strongly object to such serious allegations against our company without due process and would welcome the opportunity to review and respond to any specific claims of this nature,” the spokesperson continued, adding that protecting their clients’ data is “of the utmost importance to us,” and that the company “fully complies with the strict requirements” of various federal and state authorities.

Reuters’ report comes after WuXi AppTec in February 2024 posted an open letter in response to allegations that the company posed a U.S. national security threat. The biotech blasted what it called a “misguided U.S. legislative initiative” to target them “without a fair and transparent review of facts.”

Earlier this month, industry trade group Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announced that it had parted ways with WuXi.

At the time, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the House Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, had written to Attorney General Merrick Garland claiming that BIO had “undertaken a recent advocacy campaign against the BIOSECURE Act.”

BIO’s lobbying, Gallagher added, “advances the interest of the Chinese Communist Party” and could suggest that “it is operating as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.”

In January 2024, Gallagher and the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party introduced the BIOSECURE Act, which is designed to keep American taxpayer dollars away from “foreign adversary biotech companies” that pose a threat to U.S. national security.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. Reach out to him on LinkedIn or email him at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

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