The US House of Representatives version of the Biosafety Act is expected to be heard next week, with supplier contract exemptions expected to be extended for 8 years

The revised bill will restrict US entities from conducting business with certain Chinese biotechnology companies, including WuXi AppTec and BGI, and explicitly require US companies to end their cooperation with these companies before January 2032, which extends the buffer time for companies to seek new partners.

On May 10th local time, the US Congress released a revised version of the Biosafety Act, and the US House of Representatives committee is expected to decide next week whether to proceed with the bill.

The revised bill will restrict US entities from conducting business with certain Chinese biotechnology companies, including WuXi AppTec and BGI, and explicitly require US companies to end their cooperation with these companies before January 2032, which extends the buffer time for companies to seek new partners.

The US House of Representatives committee is expected to discuss and vote on the bill next Wednesday, which is a normal procedural step for the bill to proceed. In March of this year, the United States Senate Committee approved the Senate version of the bill.

A US investor told First Financial reporters that the determination of the United States to promote pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to reduce their dependence on Chinese suppliers is very firm. But the revised bill extends the exemption for cooperation between these enterprises and Chinese suppliers until 2032, also considering that the adjustment and establishment of the supply chain requires a long cycle. American biotechnology companies cannot cut off their relationship with Chinese suppliers at once and must make adjustments in a systematic manner.

US Congressmen Brad Wenstrup and Raja Krishamoorthi jointly pushed for the revised version of the House of Representatives bill.

John Crowley, Chairman of the BIO Industry Association in the United States, stated in a statement that the latest bill “highlights our weaknesses in the global supply chain and, importantly, provides businesses with a reasonable time frame.”.

The association submitted a membership survey results to Congress on Wednesday. Among the 124 biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that responded, 79% of the companies had signed at least one contract or product agreement with manufacturers with Chinese backgrounds, and the “vast majority” of the surveyed businesses were believed to be related to WuXi Biotech and WuXi AppTec.

This survey shows that biotech companies estimate that changing manufacturing partners will take up to eight years.

On May 10th, an investor asked WuXi AppTec on an interactive platform: If the Biosafety Act is passed, the company’s business in the United States will suffer huge losses. Is there a response strategy after the bill is passed? In response, WuXi AppTec stated, “The draft has not yet been effective and promulgated, and the legislative process still needs to go through multiple steps. The content of the draft also needs further review and may be changed. The company will continue to evaluate the potential impact of the bill.”

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