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BioNTech ‘will vigorously defend’ patent infringement allegations


Company says its work was “original” after Moderna sues it over Covid vaccine technology

The biotechnology company BioNTech has said it will “vigorously defend” allegations of patent infringement, after rival biotech firm Moderna announced it is suing BioNTech for allegedly copying technology used in its Covid-19 vaccine.

Germany-based BioNTech developed one of the first Covid-19 vaccines, called Comirnaty, in collaboration with US-based company Pfizer.

Moderna—another US-based company that developed its own Covid-19 vaccine—announced on 26 August that it was suing BioNTech and Pfizer, alleging that they copied mRNA technology developed before the pandemic.

Moderna claimed that neither Pfizer nor BioNTech had Moderna’s level of experience with mRNA vaccines when Covid-19 first emerged and that they “knowingly followed Moderna’s lead” when developing their own vaccines.

In response, BioNTech said its work was “original, and we will vigorously defend against all allegations of patent infringement”. It said it has “deep expertise” in mRNA vaccine development.

BioNTech added: “It is an unfortunate but rather regular occurrence that other companies make allegations that a successful product potentially infringes their intellectual property rights, even more so here after witnessing the historic accomplishments of a vaccine like Comirnaty.”

The lawsuit was filed in Germany and the US state of Massachusetts. Research Professional News has contacted Pfizer for a comment.