Moderna has been accused of seven counts of patent infringement by the two corporations who claimed that Moderna hijacked technology for the production of COVID vaccines. The lawsuit filed against them, if proven to be true, could land the company in hot water.
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Moderna was sued by two biotechnology firms this week, alleging that the vaccine maker violated on patented technologies in the production of its widely utilized COVID-19 vaccine.
According to a civil lawsuit (read below) lodged in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences contend that Moderna was using “breakthrough technology Arbutus had already created and patented” to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, like the lipid nanoparticle delivery system. Roivant, a business that licensed the patents in contention from Arbutus, owns Genevant.
“Moderna was well aware of Arbutus’s LNP patents and licensed them for other product programs, but it chose not to do so for its COVID-19 vaccine. Instead, it attempted to invalidate several of the patents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and when those efforts largely failed, Moderna simply used the patented technology without paying for it or even asking for a license,” the complaint read.
Moderna was accused of seven counts of patent infringement by the two corporations. They want the company to compensate them financially.
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Moderna issued a response on Monday denying the civil lawsuit’s accusations.
“Moderna denies these allegations, and will vigorously defend itself against Genevant’s claims in Court,” a Moderna spokesperson told the media. “Our COVID-19 vaccine is a product of Moderna’s many years of pioneering mRNA platform research and development, including creation of our own proprietary lipid nanoparticle delivery technology, which has been pivotal to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The statement added: “Further, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1498, Moderna has notified the U.S. government about the accusation of infringement against sales to the U.S. government, so that the U.S. government can protect its rights in defending against any alleged liability to Genevant.”
Genevant and Arbutus said during an announcement that they are not pursuing a court injunction as it would “impede the sale, manufacture or distribution of MRNA-1273” according to William Collier, the CEO of Arbutus.
“However, we seek fair compensation for Moderna’s use of our patented technology that was developed with great effort and at great expense, without which Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine would not have been successful,” Collier continued to say.
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel stated at the end February that bookings for its vaccine had increased to $19 billion for 2022 revenues, rising from $18.5 billion announced a month prior.
“We believe there’s a high probability that we’re moving into an endemic setting,” Bancel told CNBC last week. “We should still be cautious because as we’ve seen with Delta, which came after Alpha and was more virulent, [it] is always possible to get the more virulent variant of course.”
Read the full document below: