Takeda ditches industry trade group BIO following exits by WuXi AppTec, Pfizer and UCB

Joining a list that recently includes Pfizer, UCB and WuXi AppTec, Takeda Pharmaceuticals is the latest drugmaker to pull out of prominent industry lobbying group the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

As the Japanese pharma wraps up its fiscal year, the company opted not to renew its membership after a “routine review of our trade association participation,” a spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“We believe it will allow us to further refine the focus of our resources and continue to play an active role in advancing innovation and advocating for policies that put patients first while improving the global health care ecosystem,” the Takeda representative added.

Takeda is the fourth company to leave BIO since December. The latest exit follows a unique March breakup between BIO and former member WuXi AppTec.

By supporting the BIOSECURE Act, which aims to prevent “adversary biotech companies” from securing public funding, BIO turned its back on the Chinese CDMOs WuXi AppTec and WuXi Biologics. The two are specifically named in the bill due to their alleged ties to Chinese government officials.

“Our adversaries abroad have stated that they intend to become the biotechnology center of excellence in the world,” BIO’s CEO John Crowley announced in a release highlighting the group’s strategic decision on national security. “America and our allies cannot let this happen.”

In that same statement, the lobbying group divulged that WuXi AppTec had proactively ended its membership with BIO.

The manufacturer’s chief operating officer for the U.S. and Europe, Richard D. Connell, Ph.D., inked a letter to Crowley calling out BIO’s stance.

The legislation’s “misinformed efforts, which recently extended to maligning our membership in BIO, risk distracting from the important and honorable work of BIO,” Connell wrote.

Outside of WuXi, Pfizer pulled out of the group in December. UCB followed the move in January after weighing its association memberships.

AbbVie did the same back in 2022 while simultaneously leaving prominent industry trade group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Teva and AstraZeneca also did not renew their 2023 PhRMA memberships. All three exits came after Congress and the Biden administration passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

Editor's Note: The story was updated to correctly attribute a quote to WuXi AppTec's Richard D. Connell.