Moderna Files Motion To Dismiss COVID-19 Vaccine Related Patent Claims: WSJ

  • Moderna Inc MRNA is trying to fight off rival companies’ patent infringement claims related to its COVID-19 vaccine, arguing that the companies may only pursue their claims by seeking royalties from the federal government.
  • As per Wall Street Journal report, Moderna filed a motion to dismiss some of the patent-infringement claims in the lawsuit filed by Arbutus Biopharma Corp ABUS and Genevant Sciences GmbH in federal court in Delaware.
  • Arbutus and Genevant claimed in their lawsuit that Moderna’s vaccine has components covered by their patents, and they are seeking royalties from the sales of Moderna’s vaccine. 
  • Related: Arbutus Hits Moderna With New Suit Claiming COVID-19 Vaccine Patent(s).
  • The patents cover lipid nanoparticles, which encase the genetic material messenger RNA in the vaccine and help get into human cells once injected.
  • Moderna says its vaccine doesn’t infringe the patents and uses its proprietary lipid nanoparticle technology.
  • In the new court filing, Moderna said that even if it had infringed the patents, federal patent law protects government contractors from certain patent-infringement lawsuits. 
  • The federal government has been the only U.S. purchaser of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine doses during the pandemic. 
  • Moderna wants a judge to dismiss the lawsuit’s claims and said Arbutus and Genevant should instead file a patent-infringement lawsuit against the federal government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
  • Genevant said it would oppose Moderna’s motion to dismiss the patent claims. “Rather than respond to the substance of our claims, Moderna is trying to shift responsibility for its patent infringement to the U.S. taxpayer,” Genevant said in a statement.
  • Moderna’s move to shift potential liability to the government may draw criticism because it has received substantial federal funding for its vaccine.
  • Price Action: MRNA shares are down 1.33% at $132.61 during the premarket session on the last check Monday.
  • Photo by mufidpwt via Pixabay
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