Moderna on Friday filed patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer and BioNTech for “infringing the central patents of its mRNA technology platform,” the company said in a press release Friday.
“Moderna believes that the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech Comirnaty infringes Moderna’s 2010-2016 patents covering Moderna’s foundational mRNA technology. This pioneering technology was crucial to the development of Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, Spikevax. Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology, without Moderna’s permission, to make Comirnaty,” the press release said.
A company spokesperson told CNN that Pfizer has not been provided and is “unable to comment at this time.”
Moderna said in the statement that it does not aim to remove the Pfizer vaccine from the market or prevent its vaccine from being sold in the future, nor does it seek compensation for its sale in certain circumstances.
These circumstances include the sale of vaccines in the 92 AMC countries that make up low- and middle-income countries, as well as in cases where “the US Government is liable for any damages” and for activities prior to March 8, 2022.
“In line with its commitment to equitable global access, Moderna pledged in October 2020 not to enforce COVID-19-related patents while the pandemic continues. In March 2022, when the collective fight against COVID-19 entered a new phase and the provision of vaccines was no longer an impediment to Accessing it in many parts of the world, Moderna has updated its pledge.It has made clear that while it will never file its patents on any COVID-19 vaccine used in 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC 92) Moderna expected that companies such as Pfizer and BioNTech would respect their intellectual property rights and would consider a commercially reasonable license if they requested a license to other markets.The statement said Pfizer and BioNTech failed to do so.
Moderna also outlined specific cases in which the company alleges that Pfizer has infringed its patents, saying the company has moved forward with “a vaccine that contains the same mRNA chemical modification in its vaccine as Spikevax.” Moderna scientists have begun developing this chemical modification that avoids triggering an unsuspecting immune response. desirable when mRNA was introduced into the body in 2010 and they were the first to be validated in human trials in 2015.
Moderna also says: “Pfizer and BioNTech have copied Moderna’s method of encoding a full-length spike protein in a coronavirus lipid nanoparticle formula. Moderna scientists developed this approach when they created a MERS-CoV vaccine years before COVID emerged. -19 for the first time.”
Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccines have been the backbone of the US vaccination strategy, with Pfizer making up the majority of doses given.
As of Friday morning, 360,175,884 doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States and 229,236,868 doses of Moderna.
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