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Moderna sues Pfizer, BioNtech for copying Covid vaccine’s mRNA technology

Moderna argues that Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty infringes patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016 covering Moderna's foundational mRNA technology.

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Washington: American pharmaceutical company Moderna said Friday it is suing Pfizer and BioNTech, alleging that the competitors copied its mRNA technology to make their own COVID-19 vaccine.

“Moderna, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today is filing patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer and BioNTech in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany,” the company said in a statement.

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Moderna argues that Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty infringes patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016 covering Moderna’s foundational mRNA technology. Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology to make Comirnaty without getting Moderna’s permission, it added.

“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,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said. “This foundational platform, which we began building in 2010, along with our patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016, enabled us to produce a safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccine in record time after the pandemic struck.”

Moderna Chief Legal Officer Shannon Thyme Klinger accused Pfizer and BioNTech of unlawfully copying its technology. “Moderna expects Pfizer and BioNTech to compensate Moderna for Comirnaty’s ongoing use of Moderna’s patented technologies,” she added.

The company said it is not seeking seeking to remove Comirnaty from the market and is not asking for an injunction to prevent its future sale.

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