Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over Covid-19 vaccine

The firm has claimed that the Comirnaty vaccine 'unlawfully copied' its mRNA technology.

Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over Covid-19 vaccine mRNA technology iStock

Moderna is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for “infringing patents” on its technology, which it claims was central to development of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The biotechnology giant has claimed that the Comirnaty vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, copied its technology.

Moderna’s foundational mRNA technology was “critical” to the development of its own Covid-19 vaccine, Spikevax, the company said on Friday.

“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 believes that Pfizer and BioNTech “unlawfully copied” its inventions and is continuing to use them without permission.

It added that it is not trying to remove the vaccine from the market, or prevent future sales of Pfizer’s vaccine and also is not seeking damages of its sale in specific circumstances.

Those circumstances include the sale of the vaccines in the 92 low-and-middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment, also in instances where U.S. Government would be responsible for any damages and for usage before March 8, 2022.

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