The unexpected lawsuit from Moderna filed against Pfizer and BioNTech over patent infringement for its Covid vaccination technology shows more about the future market for mRNA shots than the current state of the Covid pandemic.
Experts say that the federal government’s vaccination purchase for Covid shots is likely to drop off. Therefore, top manufacturers are competing for customers. But furthermore, the technology is expected to be used for other conditions, and manufacturers are also competing for this.
Moderna sees Pfizer’s success as a threat to the market share, experts said. Modern’s lawsuit may slow this down, and therefore be one of the ways that ensure Moderna has a share of the product and will remain one of the leaders in this space.
On Friday, Moderna alleged that Pfizer and BioNTech copied technology that it developed first, years before the pandemic, when it produced its Covid vaccination. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to be approved in the U.S.
Moderna is not seeking monetary damages for sales prior to March 8, 2022, or asking Pfizer to remove its vaccination from the market. It also does not seek any financial gains from vaccination distribution in 92 developing countries.
What the lawsuit does do is protect the mRNA technology platform Moderna pioneered, its CEO Stephane Bancel said, stating that Moderna not only pioneered the technology, but also invested billions of dollars in its creation, and then patenting, for a decade before Covid.
Moderna has said that it uses its mRNA platform in four areas: infectious disease, cancer, rare diseases and autoimmune disorders.
Experts say that the company is trying to protect the franchise, and is thinking ahead into the future.
The Moderna case could pivot around a pledge that the company made in October 2020 not to enforce its Covid vaccination patents during the pandemic. The pledge was later updated, limiting it to the 92 low-and middle-income countries in the Gavi COVAX vaccination alliance.