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Moderna suing Pfizer over Covid vaccine inventions

Images: Fletcher [CC BY 4.0], Norbert Nagel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Moderna claims Pfizer and BioNTech “unlawfully copied” mRNA technology developed before the pandemic

The US drug company Moderna has said it is suing Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement in the development of one of the first Covid-19 vaccines.

Moderna claims US-based Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech copied its mRNA technology that was developed before the pandemic.

“We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna’s inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission," said Moderna chief legal officer Shannon Thyme Klinger.

In a statement released on 26 August, Moderna claimed that neither Pfizer nor BioNTech had Moderna’s level of experience with mRNA vaccines when Covid-19 first emerged and they “knowingly followed Moderna’s lead” when developing their own.

Moderna said the mRNA technology used in the development of its vaccine was based on foundational work in 2010 and patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016.

"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 chief executive Stéphane Bancel.

The lawsuit was filed in Germany and the US state of Massachusetts.

Research Professional News has contacted Pfizer and BioNTech for comment.