Covid-19 Vaccine Patent Breach: Moderna Drags Pfizer, BioNTech to Court

*Seeks Monetary Damages City with Agency Reports

August 26, 2022.

Reeling from the stiffening effects of Covid-19, the global community turned to Moderna Inc for respite after it developed its much-sought vaccine in partnership with Pfizer Inc and BioNTech.

Sky reports that the romance may have hit the rock as the Massachusetts-based Moderna has dragged both the Groton, Connecticut-based partner Pfizer, alongside German affiliate, BioNTech, to court over alleged vaccine patent breach.

Notice of the awsuit is contained in a statement issued by Moderna, early Friday.

According to the statement, Pfizer/BioNTech appropriated two of Moderna’s intellectual property-one involving the mRNA structure, the other, the coding of a full-length spike protein.

Put differently, Pfizer/Biotech allegedly copied Moderna’s innovative technology, a reason the latter is now asking for unnamed monetary damages.

“Pfizer and BioNTech took four different vaccine candidates into clinical testing, which included options that would have steered clear of Moderna’s innovative path.
“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 Chief Executive, Stephane Bancel noted in the statement.

A more concise Moderna’s chief legal officer, officer Shannon Thyme Klinger, disclosed that Pfizer/BioNTech is using the technology to develop treatments for influenza and HIV, as well as autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases and rare forms of cancer, apparently the consent of Moderna.

“We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna’s inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission,” Klinger declared.

Although Moderna is barely 10 years old, it has been a leading innovator in the messenger RNA, mRNA vaccine technology, a process that works by guiding human cells on how to make a protein that will trigger immune response.

The company had indictated early in the pandemic that it had no intention of enforcing its COVID patents, which it secured between 2010 and 2016, in order to help others develop their own vaccines. In March 2022 however, it made it clear that it expects pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and BioNTech, to respect its intellectual property rights.

But it alleged that Pfizer/BioNTech disregarded the expectation as it allegedly continued to copy mRNA technology without permission.

Whereas Moderna has raked in a $10.4bn (£8.8bn) revenue from the vaccine, Pfizer is reported to have raised about $22bn (£18.6bn), more than Moderna.

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