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Moderna Sues Pfizer, BioNTech For Patent Infringement

Moderna Inc. (MRNA) said on Friday that it is filing lawsuits against Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX), alleging that their Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty, infringes the patents that it had filed between 2010 and 2016 covering its foundational mRNA technology.

The patent infringement lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany.

The pharma major said that its foundational mRNA technology was critical for the development of its own mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, Spikevax. "Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology, without Moderna's permission, to make Comirnaty," Moderna said in a statement.

However, the drug maker noted that it is not pursuing monetary damages on sales to the 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC 92).

It is also said that Moderna is not seeking to remove Comirnaty from the market and prevent its future sale nor is it claiming damages for the activities reported before March 8.

In a bid to provide equitable access, Moderna had decided not to enforce its Covid-19 related patents when the pandemic continued. In March, the company clarified in an update that it would never enforce its patents for any Covid-19 vaccine used in the 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX AMC 92.

Moderna expected that Pfizer and BioNTech would respect its intellectual property rights and would consider a commercially reasonable license. However, the two drug makers have failed to do so, says the lawsuit.

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