Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement in COVID-19 vaccine development

Moderna is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in the development of the first US-approved COVID-19 vaccine, copying technology Moderna developed years before the pandemic. claims.

Pfizer shares fell 1.4% ahead of Bell, with BioNTech down about 2%.

Moderna said in a news release on Friday that lawsuits seeking undetermined monetary damages have been filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts and in the Düsseldorf District Court in Germany.

“We are filing these lawsuits to protect our innovative mRNA technology platform,” Moderna CEO Stephen Bancel said in a statement. developed, invested billions in development and patented in the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccination at a mobile clinic for First Nation members and their partners in Montreal on April 30, 2021. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Proprietary Moderna and the Pfizer-Biontech SE partnership are two of the first groups to develop vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna became an innovator in messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology just 10 years ago, enabling unprecedented speed in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Pfizer said it has not received the service and cannot comment at this time.

Patent lawsuits common to new technologies

Approval processes that previously took years are now completed in months. This is largely thanks to breakthroughs in mRNA vaccines that teach human cells how to make proteins that trigger immune responses.

Germany-based BioNTech was also working in this space in partnership with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Vials of vaccine on the table.
A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years is seen at the Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx, New York on June 21, 2022. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first granted Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine to Pfizer-BioNTech in December 2020 and to Moderna a week later.

Moderna’s only commercial product, Moderna’s COVID vaccine, brought in $10.4 billion in revenue this year, while Pfizer’s vaccine brought in about $22 billion.

Pfizer-BioNTech used Moderna’s patented mRNA technology between 2010 and 2016 without permission from Moderna, well before COVID-19 emerged in 2019 and exploded into global consciousness in early 2020. Claims to be copied.

Moderna said it would not enforce its COVID-19 patents early in the pandemic to help others develop their own vaccines, especially for low- and middle-income countries. But in March 2022, Moderna said it expected companies like Pfizer and his BioNTech to respect their intellectual property rights. It said it would not seek damages for any activity until March 8, 2022.

In the early stages of new technology, patent litigation is not uncommon.

In this illustration, created on January 11, 2021, a vial and syringe can be seen in front of the Moderna logo displayed. (Dad Lubitsch/Reuters)

Pfizer and BioNTech have already faced multiple lawsuits from other companies alleging that the partnership’s vaccines infringe their patents.Pfizer-BioNTech says it will vigorously defend its patents. .

For example, Germany’s CureVac also filed a lawsuit against BioNTech in Germany in July. BioNTech responded in a statement that the work was original.

Moderna is also being sued for patent infringement in the United States and is in dispute with the National Institutes of Health over rights to its mRNA technology.

The accusation contains two types of IP

In a statement on Friday, Moderna said Pfizer BioNTech had misappropriated two types of intellectual property.

One involved an mRNA structure that Moderna scientists said they began developing in 2010 and first validated in human trials in 2015.

“Pfizer and BioNTech have put four different vaccine candidates into clinical trials, including options that pave the way for Moderna innovation. We decided to go ahead with a vaccine that has the exact same mRNA chemical modifications as the vaccine,” Moderna said in a statement.

The second alleged breach involves coding a full-length spike protein that Moderna scientists claim to have developed when creating a vaccine for the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Although the MERS vaccine never reached the market, its development helped Moderna rapidly deploy a COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement in COVID-19 vaccine development

Source link Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement in COVID-19 vaccine development

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