UPDATED: WuXi files a 406 extension with U.S. SEC. What's the secret?

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX) sought and has been approved for an extension under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 406 to keep confidential treatment of information excluded from Form F-1 filed on July 24, 2007, as amended, according to an order filed June 17.

WuXi PharmaTech CEO Ge Li

"Based on representations by WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. that this information qualifies as confidential commercial or financial information under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4), the Division of Corporation Finance has determined not to publicly disclose it," the SEC notice said. "Accordingly, excluded information from the following exhibit will not be released to the public for the time period specified: Exhibit 10.11 through March 30, 2015."

A Form F-1 is a requirement to register securities issued by foreign issuers for which no other specialized form exists or is authorized, according to Investopedia.

A request for confidential treatment under Rule 406 of the Securities Act must be on narrow grounds, according to a blog by law firm Qashu & Schoenthaler, covering "trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential."

The SEC generally does honor requests on information that is specifically required to be disclosed under applicable securities laws or is otherwise material to investors.

It's no secret, however, that management of China's largest CRO has been busy signing deals and alliances ahead of plans to take the Nasdaq-listed company private.

In an email, Rong Aldridge of Investor Relations at WuXi AppTec gave a brief comment in an email to FiercePharmaAsia.

"This is a normal procedure when a company has a large contract with an important customer and wants to file it with the SEC but not make it public."

- here's the SEC notice
- and the Qashu & Schoenthaler law blog