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NIH Raked In Royalties From CCP-Owned Pharmaceutical Firm That Partnered With Wuhan Lab, Report Shows

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received over $325 million in royalty payments from organizations in 31 different countries, according to newly obtained documents from Open The Books.
  • One of these companies is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) and collaborates with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), despite concerns about the WIV’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The NIH also received royalties from a Russian animal vaccine developer that allegedly fronted as a bioweapons lab.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) received royalty payments from a Chinese-state owned pharmaceutical company controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that works with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to newly unredacted documents obtained by Open The Books.

NIH received over $325 million in royalties for taxpayer-funded technologies that were licensed by organizations around the globe, including a CCP-controlled company that neighbors and collaborates with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to Open The Books. NIH also received funding from a Russian animal vaccine developer which allegedly fronted as a bioweapons lab, and from an American pharmaceutical company that plead guilty to deceptive marketing about OxyContin addiction.

Republican congressional efforts to discover which companies made payments to NIH were largely ignored by the organization, despite NIH acting Director Lawrence Tabak admitting that every royalty payment had the “appearance” of a conflict of interest, during a 2022 congressional hearing.

“We now finally have a glimpse of where the money is coming from, and it only reinforces our reasons for working so hard to uncover the records. Medical innovations funded by the American taxpayer are being licensed and utilized by companies in adversarial nations like China, Russia and Belarus,” Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of Open The Books, said in a statement. “Congress must ensure these payments don’t simply disappear back into the swamp in future years. They should make it law for third-party royalty payments to be disclosed routinely so that the public, journalists and any interested party can examine them.”

Over 34 Chinese companies have licensed NIH taxpayer-funded technologies and made royalty payments in return, including the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products Co, which is a subsidiary of CCP-controlled pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, according to Open The Books. The Wuhan Institute of Biological Products also made royalty payments to Douglas Lowy, the acting director of the National Cancer Institute.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology was recently cut off from funding by the Biden administration amid concerns that the lab was the origin point of the COVID-19 virus, according to a Department of Health and Human Services memo issued in July.

NIH also received 20 royalty payments from Russian-based Pokrov Biologics Plant, a Russian vaccine company for farm animals that allegedly fronted as an off-the-record bioweapons lab, Open The Books reported. Former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia visited Pokrov Biologics Plant in 2002 and said it was a reminder of why unchecked biological and chemical material is the “world’s gravest threat,” according to The New York Times.

Purdue Pharma licensed NIH technologies and in return made 15 royalty payments from 2010 to 2013, a time period in which the NIH admitted it aimed to form a partnership with the company, according to Open The Books. Purdue twice pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges in 2007 and 2020 for deceptive marketing that downplayed the risk of becoming addicted to OxyContin, NPR reported.

Anthony Fauci also personally received royalty payments from companies he previously refused to disclose to Congress, including blood testing and vaccine company Chiron Corporation, according to Open The Books. Chiron Corp was acquired by Novartis in 2006 and has received $15 million in grants from NIH, where Fauci was a senior official and worked for over five decades.

“As the most recognized official at NIH, Dr. Anthony Fauci was the face of the third-party royalties controversy. But our investigation was about a lot more than any single scientist,” said Andrzejewski. “It was about allowing for scrutiny of these records for potential conflicts of interest, public health implications, and even national security implications for all of us. Every American should understand the stakes in play when public health guidance is released by the federal government.”

NIH did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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Jake Smith

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