Moderna to sue BioNTech/Pfizer over COVID vaccine

Moderna is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for infringing patents central to Moderna’s mRNA know-how platform used to develop the COVID vaccine, the corporate mentioned in a press launch Friday.

A broadly distributed COVID vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, known as Comirnaty, infringes on patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016, the corporate alleged, including that mRNA know-how was important to the event of its COVID vaccine.

Moderna to sue BioNTech/Pfizer over COVID vaccine

The Moderna headquarters, Nov. 30, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos

Moderna accused Pfizer and BioNTech of copying the mRNA know-how with out its permission in an effort to develop Comirnaty, the press launch mentioned.

“We’re submitting these lawsuits to guard the revolutionary mRNA know-how platform that we pioneered, invested billions of {dollars} in creating, and patented through the decade previous the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel mentioned in a press release.

PHOTO: A medical workers holds a vial of the new Moderna Covid-19 vaccine before filling syringes with it in Needham, Mass., June 21, 2022.

A medical staff holds a vial of the brand new Moderna Covid-19 vaccine earlier than filling syringes with it in Needham, Mass., June 21, 2022.

Joseph Prezioso/AFP through Getty Photos, FILE

“This foundational platform, which we started constructing in 2010, together with our patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016, enabled us to supply a protected and extremely efficient COVID-19 vaccine in report time after the pandemic struck,” he added. “As we work to fight well being challenges shifting ahead, Moderna is utilizing our mRNA know-how platform to develop medicines that would deal with and forestall infectious illnesses like influenza and HIV, in addition to autoimmune and cardiovascular illnesses and uncommon types of most cancers.”

In October 2020, Moderna vowed to forego enforcement of its COVID-related patents amid the pandemic, the corporate mentioned. In March, nonetheless, the pandemic “entered a brand new section and vaccine provide was now not a barrier to entry in lots of elements of the world,” the corporate added.

Moderna would by no means implement patents in 92 middle- and low-income international locations concerned with a financing settlement on the international vaccine alliance Gavi, the corporate mentioned. However, in different markets, Moderna anticipated opponents to respect mental property rights, it added.

In response to a request for remark, Pfizer mentioned in a press release: “Pfizer/BioNTech has not but totally reviewed the grievance however we’re shocked by the litigation given the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine was primarily based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA know-how and developed by each BioNTech and Pfizer.”

“We stay assured in our mental property supporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and can vigorously defend in opposition to the allegations of the lawsuit,” Pfizer added.

BioNTech didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Karen Griggs

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