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China biotech crackdown set for House markup

Illustration of hands with medical gloves placing a DNA strand in a folder

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Legislation cracking down on Chinese biotech is showing new momentum with a House committee markup set for May 15.

Why it matters: The Biosecure Act is aimed at cutting off U.S. government funding from select Chinese biotech companies that backers say pose a national security risk.

  • But there's concern such a move could scramble U.S. drug development by disrupting supply chains and upending a highly interconnected ecosystem between manufacturers and contract researchers like WuXi AppTec.

Driving the news: The House Oversight Committee confirmed to Axios that it is planning to mark up the legislation May 15.

  • With the departure from Congress of previous lead GOP cosponsor Mike Gallagher, Rep. Brad Wenstrup is coming on as a sponsor, along with Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, according to a source familiar with the plans.
  • The bill will also be updated to either match or closely resemble the version of the bill that advanced out of the Senate Homeland Security committee in March, the source said.

The big picture: The movement highlights that the bipartisan measure still has momentum.

  • The coming annual National Defense Authorization Act could be a natural vehicle for moving the bill forward.
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