In the COVID-19 vaccine patent dispute, Moderna’s attempt to shift blame is unsuccessful

Despite having the support of the US government, Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) was unable to convince a federal judge on Friday that the US should have been sued over its COVID-19 vaccine rather than Moderna Inc. For the second time, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg decided that Moderna had failed to establish that Arbutus Biopharma Corp (ABUS.O) and Genevant Sciences GmbH’s case against the government was appropriate. A Genevant representative declined to offer any insight into the choice. Requests for comment on Friday were not immediately answered by representatives of Moderna, the US Food and Drug Administration, or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Last year, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna was sued for patent infringement by Warminster Township, Pennsylvania-based Arbutus and Genevant, a joint venture between Arbutus and Roivant Sciences Ltd (ROIV.O), demanding royalties from Moderna’s multibillion-dollar COVID vaccines. In May of last year, Moderna urged the court to dismiss the case. It claimed that because the company produced its vaccine for the government’s widespread vaccination campaign, the United States was the proper target of the claims. It cited a law that had previously been used to prevent patent disputes from obstructing the supply of war materials during World War One.

In November, Goldberg issued his first decision rejecting Moderna. He claimed that Moderna had not yet demonstrated that the images were created “for the government” and suggested that it might have been a “incidental beneficiary” instead. In a court document submitted last month, the U.S. Justice Department stated that it supports Moderna’s contention and contends that the business shouldn’t be held accountable for shots delivered under its contract with the government as part of Operation Warp Speed.

Moderna’s plea, according to Goldberg’s Friday ruling, was still premature because further information regarding the extent of the company’s government contracts was still being developed. Arbutus Biopharma Corp. v. Moderna Inc., No. 1:22-cv-00252, U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

More about Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine that is designed to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. The vaccine contains a small piece of genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA), which provides instructions to cells in the body to produce a protein that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Once the protein is produced, the immune system recognizes it as foreign and mounts a response to destroy it, as well as any actual virus that may be encountered in the future.

The Moderna vaccine is administered as two doses, given 28 days apart. It is approved for use in individuals aged 18 and older in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and severe illness, with efficacy rates above 90%.

Like all vaccines, the Moderna vaccine may cause some side effects, although they are generally mild and short-lived. The most common side effects include pain and swelling at the injection site, as well as fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle aches. These side effects typically resolve on their own within a few days.

Overall, the Moderna vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in protecting against COVID-19, and it is an important tool in the fight against the ongoing pandemic.

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