Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement relating to the mRNA platform used to develop COVID vaccines


Moderna Inc. MRNA, -3.77% said Friday it is suing Pfizer Inc. PFE, -2.25% and German partner BioNTech SE BNTX, -4.01% for infringing patents relating to its mRNA platform, the source of the COVID vaccines developed by the three parties. The suit is to be filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany. “This groundbreaking technology was critical to the development of Moderna’s own mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Spikevax,” the company said in a statement. “Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology, without Moderna’s permission, to make Comirnaty,” said the statement, referring to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said the company was seeking to protect the technology that cost it billions of dollars in investments in the decade leading up to the pandemic. Moderna said in 2020 that it would not enforce its patents while the pandemic continued, but has now updated its pledge. It will not pursue patents for vaccine used in the 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market commitment, but expects Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its IP rights now. Moderna shares were down 0.4% premarket. BioNTech stock was down 1.6% and Pfizer was down 1.2%.

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