Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its partner in biomedical crime BioNTech is being sued for alleged patent infringement on the first Covid-19 mRNA vaccine approved for emergency use authorization in the United States. Reuters reports:
Moderna sued Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Friday for patent infringement in the development of the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna developed years before the pandemic.
Pfizer shares fell nearly 1%, while BioNTech U.S.-listed shares were down about 1.5% and Moderna shares slipped 1.7% on Friday.
The lawsuit, which seeks undetermined monetary damages, was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. In a news release on Friday, Moderna said the lawsuit would be filed also in the Regional Court of Duesseldorf in Germany.
“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 Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in a news release.
A Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement: “Pfizer/BioNTech has not yet fully reviewed the complaint but we are surprised by the litigation given the COVID-19 vaccine was based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer.”
“We remain confident in our intellectual property supporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and will vigorously defend against the allegations of the lawsuit,” the spokesperson added.
Moderna’s COVID vaccine is its only pharmaceutical product. It has brought in $10.4 billion in revenue in 2022, while Pfizer’s vaccine has raked in about $22 billion.
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