Moderna suing Pfizer over vaccine technology

(Gray News) – Moderna said it’s suing Pfizer and BioNTech over alleged patent infringements, the company announced Friday.

The biotechnology company said Pfizer and BioNTech wrongly used Moderna’s mRNA technology in the development of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna said it believes Pfizer and BioNTech copied two key features of Moderna’s patented technologies which are necessary for the success of mRNA vaccines.

“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 a news release.”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.”

Moderna said it was not enforcing its claim on its intellectual property rights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to quickly get out a vaccine. The company said it changed its stance on March of this year, with its request for “a commercially reasonable license should they request one. … Pfizer and BioNTech have failed to do so.

Moderna said it believes it should be fairly compensated for Pfizer’s “unlawful” use of their technology, but it is not seeking the vaccine’s removal from the market, nor is it seeking damages related to Pfizer’s sales to low- or middle-income countries. The company is also not seeking damages for Pfizer’s sales where the U.S. government would be responsible for any damages.

Pfizer has not yet responded to the lawsuit.

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