The latest news from Chinese pharma, including progress on the US Senate bill targeting BGI and WuXi AppTec, a report on why drug research is slowing in the country, and why Chinese firms are targeting global deals to navigate the capital crunch.


US Senate bill targeting China’s BGI, WuXi AppTec moves forward (Reuters)

The U.S. Senate’s homeland security committee voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that could restrict business with Chinese biotech companies like BGI and WuXi AppTec (603259.SS), opens new tab on national security grounds.

The bill is designed to keep Americans’ personal health and genetic information from foreign adversaries. The bill has spurred deep concern among investors, driving a sell-off in the shares of WuXi AppTec when news of its introduction first reached Chinese markets last month.


Lab monkey prices plunge in China as drug research slows (FT)

Lab monkey prices in China have plummeted as a post-pandemic slowdown in drug development ripples through the pharmaceutical sector in the world’s second-largest economy.

The price of so-called non-human primates in China — an indicator of the future pipeline of drugs undergoing clinical trials — hit a peak of $26,000 per animal in 2022, up from $4,000 in 2019. But by the end of last year, it had fallen to $11,000, according to UBS data.


Out-licensing Deals Between Chinese Pharma and Global Companies are Heating Up (PharmExec)

In 2023, we witnessed considerable changes in the Chinese pharmaceutical market, especially a booming market of innovative drugs and out-licensing arrangements between China-based biopharma companies and international firms. In recent years, with the vigorous development of novel drugs in China and the implementation of policies such as medical insurance cost control and centralized procurement, the single domestic market can no longer fully meet the commercialization needs of Chinese innovative drug companies. Against this backdrop, an increasing number of biopharma companies are setting their sights on overseas markets.


Chinese Pharma Turns to Global Deals to Cure Capital Crunch (Caixin)

After enduring the chill of a prolonged capital winter, China’s drugmakers have begun to feel a thawing breeze.

Deal-making has surged in 2024, with the nation’s pharmaceutical industry attracting increased attention from international rivals for their innovative treatments. Last year, Chinese drugmakers set a record for new drug out-licensing deals — in which a company allows another party to use its product, technology or intellectual property — and saw the first-ever acquisition of a domestic biotech firm by a multinational pharmaceutical giant.


U.S. taps Indian pharma, but supply chains still lead back to China (Bloomberg)

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden embraced a plan from India’s government last year to edge China out of its position as a leader in making ingredients for generic pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S., but a new report shows that many of those ingredients are likely still coming from China.

America’s reliance on China for drug ingredients has raised alarm bells in Congress. House committees will hold two hearings Tuesday on drug shortages and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s foreign inspection program, which has seen a big drop in visits to Chinese factories over the last few years due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic.