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Moderna sues Pfizer/Biontech over Covid-19 vax patent

Saturday, August 27th 2022 - 09:30 UTC
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Messenger RNA vaccines are the ones most used worldwide against COVID-19 Messenger RNA vaccines are the ones most used worldwide against COVID-19

US pharmaceutical company Moderna Friday sued Pfizer / BioNTech over patent ownership infringement regarding the COVID-19 RNA vaccine

“Moderna is convinced that Pfizer and BioNTech's Comirnaty Covid-19 vaccine infringes on patents filed by Moderna between 2010 and 2016 covering Moderna's fundamental messenger RNA technology,” the company said in a statement.

The two companies were the first to manufacture coronavirus vaccines shortly after the start of the pandemic, using messenger RNA technology, which enables it to instruct human cells to make proteins present in the virus to accustom the immune system to recognize and neutralize it, thus changing the technique used until then in the development of immunizers, which were based on weakened or inactivated forms of the virus to train the body to defend itself.

Messenger RNA technology was the culmination of four decades of research that has overcome numerous hurdles. “This groundbreaking technology was crucial to the development of Moderna's own messenger RNA vaccine, Spikevax. Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology, without Moderna's permission, to manufacture Comirnaty,” Moderna's statement added.

“We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna's inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission,” Moderna Chief Legal Officer Shannon Thyme Klinger said in a statement.

The patent infringement lawsuits were filed in Massachusetts, in the United States, and in Düsseldorf in Germany. Moderna said it filed patents from 2010 to 2016 for its mRNA technology.

“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said, who also pointed out that the company was continuing to use this technology to develop treatments for influenza and HIV, as well as for autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases and some rare forms of cancer.

Moderna does not want Comirnaty removed from the market but does want compensation, the company said in a press release.

Pfizer denied Moderna's claims, saying in a statement Friday that Comirnaty was “based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer,” and insisted they would “vigorously defend against the allegations of the lawsuit.”

Top Comments

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  • Pugol-H

    This is going to be interesting, big money at stake for Pfizer/BioNTech.

    Aug 28th, 2022 - 12:29 pm 0
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