Moderna is going to sue Pfizer and BioNTech

18:39 26 August Kyiv, Ukraine

Moderna is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in developing the first US-approved COVID-19 vaccine, alleging they copied technology developed by Moderna years before the pandemic.
The lawsuits were filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts and in the Dusseldorf District Court in Germany, Reuters reports.
“We are bringing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we have developed, invested billions of dollars in creation and patented in the decade leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement.
Founded ten years ago in Cambridge, Moderna was a pioneer in mRNA vaccines that teach human cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response.. Thanks to this, it took months, not years, to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. The German company BioNTech has also worked in this area in collaboration with the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed emergency use of developed COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020. First, the Pfizer/BioNTech development received approval, and a week later, the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna's drug, its only commercial product, has brought in $10.4 billion in revenue this year; Pfizer's vaccine has brought in about $22 billion.

Moderna alleges that Pfizer/BioNTech copied mRNA technology without permission, which Moderna patented between 2010 and 2016, long before COVID-19 emerged in 2019 and spread around the world in early 2020.

In addition to mRNA research, the plaintiff complains about the appropriation of developments related to the coding of the full-length spike protein. Moderna says its scientists were working on the issue while developing a vaccine for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.. Although the MERS vaccine never made it to market, its development helped Moderna quickly launch a vaccine against COVID-19.

At the start of the pandemic, Moderna promised it would not defend its COVID-19 drug patents to help others develop their own vaccines faster.. However, the company said in March 2022 that it expects companies such as Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its intellectual property rights. Claimant will not claim damages for any activity until March 8, 2022.

Pfizer and BioNTech have already faced lawsuits from other companies that claim the partnership's vaccine infringes on their patents. For example, the German company CureVac also filed a lawsuit against BioNTech in Germany in July.. In response, BioNTech stated that its work is original.

Moderna has also been sued for patent infringement in the US and is in an ongoing dispute with the US National Institutes of Health over the rights to mRNA technology.