Assessing the Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement in China's Biotechnology Development


In the past decade, China’s biotechnology industry has grown tremendously, fueled by Chinese government policies promoting the biotechnology sector as a driver of economic growth and increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries. Gryphon Scientific, in partnership with Rhodium Group, performed an extensive investigation of China’s biotechnology industry and the role of U.S. companies in its development to assess the economic and security implications for the U.S. Our report provides a comprehensive look at a growing power in the global biotechnology industry and includes recommendations for specific steps to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.

In July 2019, Dr. Mark Kazmierczak provided expert testimony for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission hearing on exploring U.S. reliance on China's biotechnology and pharmaceutical products. Dr. Kazmierczak briefed the Commission on key findings and recommendations from Gryphon's report and answered questions on how China's advances in biotechnology applications in healthcare and other industries may affect the U.S. economy and national security.


In the past decade, Chinese policy has placed an emphasis on the importance of biotechnology to the future economic growth of the country, and its biotechnology industry has seen tremendous growth. Much of this growth has come through increased foreign interaction with the U.S. and other countries, through investment, partnerships, and other business, scientific, and academic relationships. To identify potential economic and security ramifications to the U.S., we sought to identify what strategies Chinese biotechnology companies are using to acquire new technologies and relevant data, including U.S. healthcare-related data, and what increased competition from China could mean for the U.S. biotechnology industry.


Our approach was multi-faceted and drew on diverse data sources. Open source information was used to assess the current capabilities of China’s biotechnology industry and its likely future direction. We spoke to entrepreneurs and investors in the U.S. biotechnology industry to understand the current relationships between the two countries and the benefits and risks that collaboration and partnership may bring. Through our partner, Rhodium Group, we identified and analyzed China-based investments into U.S. biotechnology companies. Through analysis of these data streams, we assessed the potential risks to U.S. economic and national security and identified avenues through which the U.S. could secure its interests.


China’s biotechnology prowess is growing at a tremendous rate, supported by policies and investments at the national and local levels. Our report describes the technologies and capabilities of Chinese biotechnology companies, their goals for growth and development, and the methods used to achieve them. With these activities in mind, an honest and objective look at the risks and benefits of growing interdependence of the U.S. and China follows, with recommendations for specific steps that could be taken to ensure continued vitality of the U.S. biotechnology industry and the security of our country.


The public report, “China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement,” was released on February 14, 2019.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission testimony, “Exploring the Growing Reliance on China’s Biotech and Pharmaceutical Products,” was given on July 31, 2019.