Coronavirus vaccines produced by Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ: MRNA) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), in collaboration with BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX), pioneered COVID-19 prevention and have raised over a billion dollars. Moderna, on the other hand, is now accusing competitors of stealing its ideas when developing their vaccines. What are the implications of this issue for both companies?
Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are based on mRNA. At the same time, Moderna produced its vaccine after a decade of research, and Pfizer partnered with the German company BioNTech to leverage their mRNA expertise.
MRNA is now suing rivals in the United States and Germany for patents submitted between 2010 and 2016. According to the complaint, Pfizer and BioNTech simultaneously replicated multiple Moderna technology, including a chemical alteration that inhibits undesired immune responses and a technique for encoding the coronavirus spike protein in lipid nanoparticles.
Pfizer goods are not required to be pulled from sale, nor damage from sales to low- and middle-income nations required under Moderna.
Pfizer’s partner, the German company BioNTech, claims that their vaccine did not infringe on patent rights because it was based on unique inventions. It should be highlighted that the coronavirus vaccine is both BioNTech and Moderna’s sole commercial offering.
For the time being, Wall Street analysts are wary of the ramifications of the Moderna-Pfizer disagreement. Pfizer and BioNTech might lose billions of dollars in license payments if Moderna is successful in establishing their case.
Moderna Inc. (MRNA), on the other hand, is not demanding damages for sales prior to March of this year. This means that for the time being, the majority of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine income will be unaffected. If Moderna does not win the case or the firms do not reach an agreement, the market condition will likely stay unchanged.
However, one must keep in mind that such patent cases can last many years, therefore the impact of the judge’s judgment on the revenue of all parties involved will not be apparent for some time.