What's the story with WuXi?

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Despite the name coming up often in national and international business and political news, there hasn't been any details yet about a joint venture that Mayo Clinic has with a leading Chinese pharma and biotech company based in Shanghai.

New WuXi Life Science Investment Limited and Mayo Clinic formed WuXi Diagnostics in early 2018 as a joint venture.

"It focuses on the development of advanced diagnostic technologies to create a world-leading clinical special diagnostic platform and integrated research and development of clinical diagnostic reagents and products platform, establish a comprehensive large-scale clinical testing data center, and empower Chinese medical institutions," according to a description by WuXi.

The new joint venture soon won the 2018 MedTech Insight Award for the Best Partnership/Alliance at the MedTech Conference, "a premier annual gathering for the medical technology industry."

Dr. William Morice, chair of the Mayo Clinic Dept. of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and president of Mayo Medical Laboratories, was interviewed at the 2018 WuXi Global Forum by WuXi AppTec Communications about the next milestones for joint venture.


"The near-term milestone honestly has to be to build a solid foundation from which to grow between the two organizations. It’s really exciting to take a vibrant and vast-growing company like WuXi and marry it with a very established institution like Mayo. We also want to look ahead and understand how to leverage the strengths of both organizations early on to transfer knowledge," Morice was quoted as stating.

WuXi then popped up in Rochester this year with a small team from the company opening an office in the Collider 424 co-working space in Mayo Clinic's Connolly Building at 410 Third St. SW. That's the building slated to be demolished to clear the way for Mayo Clinic's recently announced Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building on that site.

That's in the Discovery Square subdistrict within Rochester's Destination Medical Center area. 

It's near the new One Discovery Square complex, where it looks like WuXi/Mayo plan to carve out some space.

A building permit was filed earlier this summer for a $543,000 tenant space project on the third floor of the four-story building at Rochester’s corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue Southwest.

The permit describes the project as "tenant improvement" that "includes offices and lab space. (WuXi Diagnostics.)"

When asked about the project, Mayo Clinic spokesman Bob Nellis wrote, "I have no information on this."

Meanwhile, WuXi (actually, a subsidiary WuXi NextCODE) recently was listed in a letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services' inspector general this week from two Republican senators - Chuck Grassley and Marco Rubio - concerned about that the HHS "might have compromised national security by indirectly doing business" with WuXi.


Grassley and Rubio want to know if any U.S. federal money has been paid to WuXi and another firm, which they call "entities connected to the Chinese government," and whether the two firms have access to Americans’ genomic data.

Whatever happens next, it seems to be a safe bet that WuXi will come up in Mayo Clinic news yet this summer.

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