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Close. Joe Biden issued an executive order on Monday to keep U.S.-based innovation ahead of the progress being made by his counterparts in Chinese biotech and biomanufacturing.
The order offers what the White House has called a “whole-of-government approach” to stimulate national bioproduction to buttress supply chain issues that have increased since the start of the pandemic and have been exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
China is a key player in the development of active pharmaceutical ingredients for generic drugs – ingredients that companies around the world rely on.
The executive order reads as follows:
“[The U.S.] the need to develop genetic engineering technologies and techniques to be able to write circuits for cells and program biology in predictable ways in the same way that we write software and program computers; unlock the power of biological data, notably through computer tools and artificial intelligence; and advancing the science of large-scale production while reducing barriers to commercialization so that innovative technologies and products can reach markets faster.
The purpose of the order is “to protect against loss of dominance in biotech manufacturing,” according to a report published in The Washington Post.
The order provides federal support for essential programs that can support manufacturing, including training programs for skilled workers, the Job reported.
A White House Fact Sheet describes some of the training programs offered through the NIH, including an expansion of the I-Corps program, an entrepreneurial biotechnology boot camp.
The government initiative is expected to include billions of dollars in funding, but so far a full amount has not been released.
Megan Van Etten, assistant vice president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), expressed support for the administration’s goal of improving biomanufacturing in the United States.
“As we await additional details on the executive order, we urge the administration to engage with U.S. biopharmaceutical companies and other biotech and biopharma stakeholders to inform OE priorities and implementation. “, said Van Etten. BioSpace.
The president’s plan calls for investments that will protect against illegal acquisition of US-based intellectual property. Intellectual property theft by agents based in China has been a significant concern for the US government. A 2017 report by the FBI noted that intellectual property theft by China costs the United States up to $600 billion a year.
White House plan comes months after FDA reports slow down the process for the review of drugs developed in China for the US market. The regulatory agency has raised concerns about the strength of the clinical studies used to approve the use of these drugs in China.
The slowdown could negatively impact partnerships forged between Western companies like Eli Lilly, Novartis and Chinese companies.