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Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement of COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer, stock, Moderna, stock, Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement of COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna, Moderna's biotech company, has sued Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in developing the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the US, claiming they copied technology developed by Moderna years before the pandemic.

A claim for monetary damages in an unspecified amount was filed in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. The lawsuit will also be filed in the Dusseldorf District Court in Germany, according to a press release from Moderna.

"We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we developed, invested billions of dollars in creating and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic," Stefan Bansel, CEO of Moderna, is quoted as saying.

The BioNTech/Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2020, and a week later by Moderna.

The Moderna coronavirus vaccine, its only commercial product, generated revenue of $10.4 billion this year, while the Pfizer vaccine generated about $22 billion.

Pfizer said the company is confident in its intellectual property and will vigorously defend itself against the allegations.

Moderna said its lawsuit is not aimed at preventing people from getting vaccines, and repeated its promise never to apply its COVID-19 vaccine patents in 92 low- and middle-income countries.

But the issuer said it expects companies such as Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its intellectual property rights and is demanding royalties from sales after March 8, 2022, excluding sales to the U.S. government or low-income countries.

Pfizer shares fell 2.25% on the NYSE in trading on August 26, and Moderna shares on the NASDAQ lost 3.77%. U.S. BioNTech shares on the NASDAQ fell by 4.01%.

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