Congress probes popular China-based drugmaker

WuXi AppTec, a drugmaker in China that manufactures multiple chemotherapies for U.S. patients, is facing scrutiny from lawmakers concerned about security threats, The New York Times reported April 15. 

The company is involved in one-fourth of the medications used in the U.S., according to one estimate. But in hearings, legislators rarely mention the biotech company's influence on the country's pharmaceutical industry, according to the Times

Members of Congress say WuXi AppTec has ties to the Chinese government, and lawmakers have named WuXi AppTec and other companies as a potential national security threat to Americans' genetic information and U.S. intellectual property. 

A Times review of hundreds of pages of global records shows the biotech company is "heavily embedded in the U.S. medicine chest, making some or all of the main ingredients for multibillion-dollar therapies that are highly sought to treat cancers, [including] some types of leukemia and lymphoma, as well as obesity and HIV."

In mid-March, WuXi AppTec ended its membership in the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical trade organization. 

WuXi AppTec and its affiliate company, WuXi Biologies, have developed a reputation for low-cost and reliable services. Now, a bill moving through Congress aims to restrict the U.S. government from contracting with WuXi.

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