Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over coronavirus vaccine | Massachusetts


Moderna is suing its US pharmaceutical rival Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech over patent infringement in developing the first Covid-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna used years before the pandemic developed.

The lawsuit, seeking indefinite monetary damages, was filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts and the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany, Moderna said in a press release on Friday.

“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating and patenting during the decade leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in the statement. declaration.

Moderna Inc, on its own, and the partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech were two of the first groups to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Just ten years old as a company, Moderna was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an innovator in messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology that enabled the unprecedented speed in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine after the coronavirus pandemic began in late 2019 and spread all over the world.

An approval process that previously took years was completed in months, thanks in large part to breakthroughs in mRNA vaccines, which teach human cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

Germany-based BioNTech also worked in this area when it partnered with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved the use of the Covid-19 vaccine to Pfizer/BioNTech in December 2020 and then to Moderna a week later.

Moderna alleges that Pfizer/BioNTech unauthorized copied mRNA technology that Moderna patented between 2010 and 2016, well before the deadly Covid-19 surfaced in China in 2019 and exploded into global consciousness in early 2020.

Early in the pandemic, Moderna said it would not enforce its Covid-19 patents 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 BioNTech to respect their intellectual property rights. It said it would not seek damages for any activity before March 8, 2022.

Patent litigation is not uncommon in the early stages of new technology.

Pfizer and BioNTech are already facing multiple lawsuits from other companies that say the collaboration’s vaccine infringes on their patents. Pfizer/BioNTech have said they will vigorously defend their patents.

In July, the German CureVac also filed a lawsuit against BioNTech in Germany. BioNTech responded in a statement that its work was original.

Moderna has also been sued for patent infringement in the US and has an ongoing dispute with the US National Institutes of Health over rights to mRNA technology.

In Friday’s statement, Moderna said Pfizer/BioNTech has appropriated two types of intellectual property.

One involved an mRNA structure that Moderna scientists say began developing in 2010 and were the first to be validated in human trials in 2015.

“Pfizer and BioNTech took four different vaccine candidates into clinical trials, including options that would have avoided Moderna’s innovative path.

However, Pfizer and BioNTech ultimately decided to go ahead with a vaccine that has the exact same chemical mRNA modification as its vaccine,” Moderna said in its statement.

The second alleged breach involves the encoding of a full-length spike protein that Moderna scientists developed while making a vaccine for the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers).

While the Mers vaccine never made it to the market, its development has helped Moderna rapidly roll out its Covid-19 vaccine.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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