Moderna Sues Pfizer-BioNTech For COVID Vaccine Patent Infringement

By Jason Hall

August 26, 2022

A doctor in a white coat and protective gloves holds a medicine in a syringe or a covid-19 Vaccine. The hand of the medical worker knocks on the syringe and knocks out the air with his finger. The concept of health care, vaccination, treatment of diseases
Photo: Moment RF

Moderna filed a lawsuit against Pfizer-BioNTech accusing the pharmaceutical company of "infringing patents central to (its) mRNA technology platform," the company announced in a news release shared on its website Friday (August 26) morning.

Moderna said it believes the Pfizer-BioNtech Comirnaty vaccine infringes patents that it filed "between 2010 and 2016 covering Moderna's foundational mRNA technology," which it said "was critical to the development of Moderna's own mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax" and accused Pfizer and BioNTech of copying "this technology, without Moderna's permission, to make Comirnaty."

"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 Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel."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."

Moderna had previously vowed to forego enforcement of its COVID-related patents in October 2020 amid the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but claimed that the pandemic had “entered a new phase" in March 2022 "and vaccine supply was no longer a barrier to access in many parts of the world."

Pfizer representatives said "we have not been served and are unable to comment at this time" in response to ABC News' request for comment on Friday morning.

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