Moderna sues Pfizer/BioNTech for Covid vaccine infringement
New York, Aug 26 (EFE).- American pharmaceutical company Moderna is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for alleged patent infringement in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, the firm said in a statement Friday.
Moderna has accused pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German biotechnology partners BioNTech of copying its mRNA technology patented between 2010-2016, years before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in the statement.
“This foundational platform, which we began building in 2010, along with our patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016, enabled us to produce a safe and highly effective Covid-19 vaccine in record time after the pandemic struck.
“As we work to combat health challenges moving forward, Moderna is using our mRNA technology platform to develop medicines that could treat and prevent infectious diseases like influenza and HIV, as well as autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases and rare forms of cancer.”
In October 2020, Moderna pledged not to enforce patent claims relating to its Covid-19 vaccine technology while the pandemic was in effect but updated this pledge in March 2022, when, according to the company, “vaccine supply was no longer a barrier in many parts of the world.”
Moderna said it would not enforce patents in 92 low to middle income countries recognized by the Gavi Vaccine Alliance.
“We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna’s inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission,” said Moderna Chief Legal Officer Shannon Thyme Klinger.
“Outside of AMC 92 countries, where vaccine supply is no longer a barrier to access, Moderna expects Pfizer and BioNTech to compensate Moderna for Comirnaty®’s ongoing use of Moderna’s patented technologies.”
Moderna filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany.
According to Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech lacked experience in developing mRNA vaccines when the Covid-19 pandemic began, and “knowingly followed Moderna’s lead in developing their own vaccine.”
Moderna claimed the US-German pharmaceutical partnership copied two key features of patented technology.