Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for alleged infringement of mRNA vaccine technology patents, the company announced today.
“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we created, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented in the decade leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stefan Bancel, our CEO. in the current situation.
Moderna said in 2020 that it would not apply its patents during the pandemic to allow an unimpeded public health response. The company said in a statement that it still does not plan to enforce patents in low- and middle-income countries. But it comes after Pfizer and BioNTech, which have said they expect “their intellectual property rights to be respected”. In the deposit“Moderna declined to confirm its patents earlier in order not to distract from efforts to end the pandemic as quickly as possible,” the company said.
The lawsuit should not have a significant impact on vaccine availability — Moderna said it is not looking to remove the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, known commercially as Comirnaty, from the market. “Moderna expects that Pfizer and BioNTech will reimburse Moderna for Comirnaty’s continued use of Moderna’s patented technologies,” Moderna’s chief legal officer, Shannon Thame Klinger, said in the statement.
It does not seek compensation from the vaccines sold to the US government. But the United States is planning to stop paying COVID-19 vaccines, and will be sold through regular commercial routes.
Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have both developed COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA. The shots deliver tiny snippets of the coronavirus’ genetic material into the body to build antibodies against it.
In the legal filing, Moderna claimed that Pfizer/BioNTech copied two ingredients from its mRNA vaccine. The first is a chemical modification of mRNA that prevents the body from attacking the vaccine before it can work in the body. mRNA vaccines that no Including this type of modification, such as the COVID-19 vaccine made by German company CureVac, is further away less effective.
The second is the part of the virus that the vaccines are training the body to recognize — the two companies’ vaccines target the coronavirus’ full spike protein, the part of the virus that allows it to infiltrate human cells. Moderna said in its legal filing that it has patents on vaccines containing the whole spike protein based on research on MERS, a different coronavirus.
Pfizer/BioNTech has also been sued for patent infringement by CureVac. Moderna is also Facing lawsuits Biotech companies Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences have sued the way mRNA is packaged and delivered to the body. Another biotech company, El Nilam, is lawsuit Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna both have similar technology.
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