Moderna is sued for stealing technology to make anti-covid vaccine

Moderna is accused of stealing technology to develop its vaccine (Credit: Tânia Rêgo / Agência Brasil)

The American pharmaceutical company Moderna has been accused for the second time of having stolen technology to develop its vaccine against Covid-19. Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences, both small biotechnology companies, have filed suit against Moderna’s registered messenger RNA vaccine.

According to the Washington Post, Moderna is accused of infringing the patent for the lipid nanoparticle technology. The companies claim “years of painstaking work to develop and refine” the technology used.

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Moderna lost, in late 2021, a long battle over vaccine patents in a decision by the US Court of Appeals. The company expects sales of coronavirus vaccines to earn $19 billion this year.

Arbutus and Genevant, founded by former Arbutus scientists, demand part of Moderna’s vaccine revenues as royalties (copyrights).

Moderna, which developed the immunizer in less than a year, is also facing another lawsuit over patents, this time with the federal government. The company disputed allegations that three scientists at the National Institutes of Health were co-inventors of the vaccine.

These three scientists worked for Moderna in January 2020 to develop an antibody to the spike protein, which the coronavirus uses to cling to human cells. Moderna still received billions in federal funding to develop the vaccines.

“Relying on Arbutus’ lipid nanotechnology particle technology, Moderna was able to begin producing its Covid-19 vaccine within just a few days after the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence entered the public domain,” the lawsuit says. private companies against Moderna.

“Modern’s vaccine could not have been developed, let alone in a record time unprecedented in human history, without the Arbutus patent.”

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