Business & Finance
Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech over COVID-19 vaccine patents
26 August 2022 -

US pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc (Nasdaq:MRNA) announced on Friday that it is filing patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and its partner, German biotechnology company BioNTech SE (Nasdaq:BNTX), over the technology behind their COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna has alleged that Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty infringes patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016 covering mRNA technology. This technology was critical to the development of Moderna's own mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax.

"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 CEO Stéphane Bancel.

The lawsuits have been filed in Massachusetts and in Germany.

Moderna said it is not seeking to remove Comirnaty from the market and is not asking for an injunction to prevent its future sale. The company is also not seeking damages related to Pfizer's sales to the 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC 92).

"We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna's inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission," said Moderna's chief legal officer, Shannon Thyme Klinger. "Outside of AMC 92 countries, where vaccine supply is no longer a barrier to access, Moderna expects Pfizer and BioNTech to compensate Moderna for Comirnaty's ongoing use of Moderna's patented technologies."