Moderna loses appeal in COVID-19 vaccine patent case

Moderna may be at risk of infringement lawsuits over its COVID-19 vaccine after losing a federal appeal over patents from a rival drugmaker, Bloomberg reported. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Dec. 1 upheld an administrative board's decision that two vaccine technology patents owned by a subsidiary of Canadian drugmaker ​​Arbutus Biopharma were valid.

The decision means Arbutus could sue Moderna and request royalties for its COVID-19 vaccine, which uses a similar vaccine delivery technology as the one covered under the patents. 

A Moderna spokesperson told Becker's it disagrees with the court's decision and does not believe its vaccine falls under Arbutus' patents. 

"Moderna is a pioneer of mRNA-based vaccines, and we have developed our own proprietary [lipid nanoparticle]-delivery technology," the spokesperson said. 

Moderna is also facing a separate dispute with the National Institutes of Health regarding whether federal scientists should have been listed as co-inventors of Moderna's COVID-19 shot in a patent application.


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