5:41 PM
Apr 05, 2019
 |  BC Extra  |  Politics & Policy

CFIUS drawing line in sand on personal data

The Trump administration has further reinforced which kinds of life science investments will be off limits for foreign investors, as reports emerge that CFIUS is compelling two more Chinese firms to relinquish control over companies that collect U.S. citizens’ personal data.

CNBC reported Thursday that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is forcing iCarbonX Inc. (Shenzhen) to sell its stake in PatientsLikeMe Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.), which aggregates patient-generated health data via an online platform. The report cited undisclosed sources.

iCarbonX initially invested $100 million through its Digital Life Alliance for a stake in PatientsLikeMe in January 2017, and iCarbonX CEO Jun Wang has a seat on the U.S. company's board. The Chinese firm has invested almost $400 million across seven companies via its Digital Life Alliance, including SomaLogic Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) and AOBiome LLC (Cambridge, Mass.). SomaLogics is compiling a proteomics database; AOBiome is a microbiome company utilizing ammonia oxidizing bacteria to treat inflammatory diseases. Wang sits on the boards of both companies; neither responded to inquiries regarding a potential CFIUS review (see "iCarbonX Names Digital Health...

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