In a letter to the US Departments of Treasury, Defense, and Commerce, four lawmakers have expressed their concerns regarding biotech WuXi AppTec and its subsidiary WuXi Biologics’ supposed ties to the Chinese military.

The 12 February letter from Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) asked that the administration add Wuxi to US government control lists given the biotech’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and involvement in the CCP genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Reuters first reported.

In addition, the letter alleges that the biotech is “closely affiliated” with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), claiming that the biotech’s chairman and CEO Dr. Li has “personally commended CCP branch work in the company and has called on Party branches and members to play an active role in the company.”

Lawmakers also claim that CEO Chen Zhisheng of WuXi Biologics, which is a global contract research development and manufacturing organization giant, has attributed the organisation’s success to local CCP support.

Reuters reported that Wuxi has previously said it does not pose a national security risk to any country.

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Over the past year, WuXi has made strides and signed several partnerships that expand its global footprint.

In May 2023, WuXi Biologics agreed to provide Jena, Germany-based InflaRx with cGMP manufacturing services to advance Gohibic (vilobelimab), an investigational first-in-class monoclonal anti-human complement factor C5a antibody, as a treatment for a specific group of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

The CDMO also signed an agreement with IMIDomics in October 2023 to progress the development and manufacturing of the San Rafael, California-based company’s humanised antibody IMB1001 for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs).

Most recently in November 2023, UK-based Myricx Bio collaborated with WuXi Biologics on a deal that will see Myricx use WuXi’s antibody to develop an antibody-drug conjugate using its NMTi payload platform.