Moderna Sues Pfizer Over Patents Behind COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna is suing Pfizer and the 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 vaccine Comirnaty infringes on patents Moderna filed several years ago protecting the technology behind its preventive shot, Spikevax. Infringement lawsuits were filed by the company in both a U.S. federal and German court.

Pfizer spokesperson refused to comment, as she said that they had not received a copy from the lawsuit.

Moderna and Pfizer’s two-shot vaccines both use mRNA technology to help patients fight the coronavirus.

The mRNA vaccinations inject a genetic code that encodes spike proteins to coat the coronavirus. That code, the mRNA, is encased in a little ball of fat, and instructs the body’s cells to make some harmless spike copies that train the immune system to recognize the real virus.

Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, stated in prepared statements that the vaccine developer was the first to use this technology and that he invested millions in its creation.

The company said it believes its rivals’ vaccine infringes on patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016.

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