Moderna sues Pfizer/BioNTech over COVID-19 vaccine. The defendant company has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
The stumbling block was the fundamental technology of mRNA. On the official website of Moderna, it is reported that it was copied without the permission of the developer. The company claims that Pfizer’s and BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine infringes on patents filed in 2010-2016 on mRNA technology used by Moderna to create its own Spikevax vaccine.
The report notes that in October 2020, in line with the world’s fair global access to vaccines against COVID-19, the company promised not to apply its patents during the pandemic period.
In March 2022, with the onset of a new phase of the collective fight against coronavirus and with the availability of a vaccine almost worldwide, the company decided to apply its patent on Pfizer and BioNTech, allegedly infringing intellectual property rights.
The statement also said that Pfizer and BioNTech refused to recognize the commercial license from Moderna, which resulted in lawsuits in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Dusseldorf Regional Court in Germany. Stéphane Bancel, CEO of the company, notes:
“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform we pioneered by investing billions of dollars in creation and patented in the decade leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Moderna says it will not seek an injunction against Pfizer to sell vaccines and damages until March 8, 2022, and explains the nuances of its claims.
The company believes that Pfizer and BioNTech have copied two unique features of patented technologies that are critical to the success of mRNA vaccines. When the coronavirus emerged, neither Pfizer nor BioNTech had Moderna’s level of expertise in developing mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases, yet they consciously used them to create their own drug. The message says:
“Pfizer and BioNTech have conducted clinical trials of four different candidate vaccines that would avoid Moderna’s innovation path. Pfizer and BioNTech have decided to continue developing a vaccine that has the same exact mRNA chemical modification as the Spikevax vaccine.”