4:39 PM
 | 
Jan 10, 2019
 |  BC Extra  |  Politics & Policy

No public input from biopharma on emerging tech for export controls

As the comment period for input on how to define emerging technologies under the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 draws to a close Thursday, a lack of publicly available comments from biopharma companies precludes insight into the industry's strategy for protecting its ability to out-license technology to foreign entities.

The U.S. Department of Commerce received authority to create export controls for "emerging and foundational technologies" under the law. As the department considers updates to its export controls list, its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) sought public input on the definition of emerging technology through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) (see "Clock Ticking for Input on Emerging Biotech for Export Controls").

Of 41 comments that were publicly available at time of publication, none were from biopharma companies or organizations. The bureau has received 66 additional comments, per a Regulations.gov tally, but those remain a black box in terms of their contents and authors. The most recent comment was posted on Dec. 17, before the government partially shut down. The commerce department and BIS did not respond to inquiries regarding whether comments are being updated online during the funding lapse.

PhRMA declined to comment to BioCentury on what emerging technology within biotech should be included under the law, while BIO and the National Venture Capital Association did not respond in time for publication.

The ANPRM does not specify next steps following the public input deadline.

BIS has not yet published a second planned notice for input on the definition of foundational technology.

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