Another Patent Dispute Emerges: Small Biotech Firm Sues Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech Over COVID-19 Vacci
Pfizer IncPFE,BioNTech SEBNTX, andModerna IncMRNA were named in lawsuits byPromosomeaccusing their COVID-19 vaccines of infringing a patent related to messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.
The small biotechnology firm claims that its scientists, including Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman, who died in 2014, Vincent Mauro, and two colleagues from The Scripps Research Institute, developed a method used in the COVID-19 vaccines.
Thelawsuitclaims that one of the scientists' significant contributions is a patented method for increasing mRNA protein expression, protected by U.S. Patent No. 8,853,179 (the 179 Patent).
Promosome, the exclusive licensee of the 179 patent, disclosed and taught its method of increasing protein expression to Moderna, but Moderna declined to license it.
Years later, Moderna developed a COVID-19 vaccine generating billions in revenue. And when the sequence used in its mRNA was revealed, it became clear that Moderna had taken Promosome's patented method.
The lawsuits alleged that Promosome had discussions with Moderna between 2013 and 2016 regarding the licensing of the technology.