COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna is suing Pfizer and German drugmaker BioNTech, accusing its main competitors of copying Moderna’s technology in order to make their own vaccine.
Moderna said Friday that Pfizer and BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine infringes patents that Moderna filed several years ago to protect the technology behind Spikevax’s preventative shot. The company has filed patent infringement lawsuits in both the US Federal Court and the German Court.
A Pfizer spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the company had not received a copy of the lawsuit.
Moderna and Pfizer’s two-leaf vaccines use messenger RNA technology to help patients fight the coronavirus.
mRNA vaccines work by injecting a genetic code for the barbed protein that coats the surface of the coronavirus. This code, mRNA, is encased in a little ball of fat and instructs the body’s cells to make harmless copies of the spike that trains the immune system to recognize the real virus.
Moderna CEO Stephan Bancel said in a prepared statement that the vaccine developer pioneered this technology and invested billions of dollars in creating it.
The company said it believes its competitors’ vaccine infringes patents that Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016.
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