According to a statement released by Moderna today, Friday, August 26, the company is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for allegedly infringing on its mRNA vaccine technology patents, which were used to create the COVID-19 vaccine.
It asserts that between 2010 and 2016, Pfizer created the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine known as Comirnaty using mRNA vaccine technology that Moderna had patented prior to the pandemic.
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Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Bancel, stated in a statement, “We are bringing these actions to defend the breakthrough mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, spent billions of dollars to develop, and patented over the decade prior to the COVID-19 epidemic.
His underlying platform, which we started constructing in 2010, as well as our patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016, allowed us to deliver a safe and extremely effective COVID-19 vaccine in a record amount of time after the pandemic occurred,” the CEO continued.
Moderna asserts that it is not attempting to have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine taken off the market; rather, it is looking for compensation for damages. However, it states that only high-income countries will be subject to monetary damages, not sales to low- and middle-income nations.
Shannon Thyme Klinger, Chief Legal Officer of Moderna, continued, “We think that Pfizer and BioNTech illegally copied Moderna’s ideas and have continued to utilize them without authorization.
“Outside of the AMC 92 nations, where the availability of vaccines is no longer a barrier to access, Moderna anticipates receiving payment from Pfizer and BioNTech in exchange for Comirnatycontinued ®’s use of Moderna’s proprietary innovations. Without a patent system that rewards and protects innovation, we will not be able to fulfill our ambition to develop a new generation of revolutionary medicines for patients by delivering on the promise of mRNA science.”