(CNN) –– Moderna filed patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer and BioNTech this Friday “for infringing fundamental patents for (its) mRNA technology platform,” the company said in a statement. release of press.
“Moderna believes that Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine infringes patents that Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016, which cover Moderna’s core mRNA technology. This groundbreaking technology was critical to the development of proprietary mRNA vaccine against covid-19 from Moderna, Spikevax. Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology, without Moderna’s permission, to make Comirnaty,” the statement said.
However, Moderna clarified in its statement that the lawsuit does not seek to withdraw the Pfizer vaccine from the market, nor prevent future sales, nor seek compensation for damages for its sale in specific circumstances.
Those specific conditions include the sale of the vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, or in cases where “the US government would be responsible for any damage,” or for activities before March 8, 2022.
“Consistent with its commitment to equitable global access, in October 2020, Moderna promised that it would not enforce its COVID-19-related patents while the pandemic continued. In March 2022, when the collective fight against COVID-19 entered a new phase and vaccine supply was no longer a barrier to access in many parts of the world, Moderna updated its commitment, making it clear that while it would never enforce its patents for any COVID-19 vaccine used in the 92 low- and middle-income countries in the GAVI COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC 92), Moderna expected companies like Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its intellectual property rights and would consider a commercially reasonable license should they apply for one for other markets. Pfizer and BioNTech have not done so,” the Moderna statement said.
Moderna and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines, both using messenger RNA technology, have been the backbone of the US vaccination strategy, with Pfizer having the majority of doses administered. As of Friday morning, 360,175,884 million doses of Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine and 229,236,868 doses of Moderna’s have been administered in the US.
CNN has reached out to Pfizer for comment.
With information from Amanda Sealy