[Ip-health] Wall Street Journal: Moderna Vows to Not Enforce Covid-19 Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Oct 8 09:44:11 PDT 2020


Moderna Vows to Not Enforce Covid-19 Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

The company is also willing to license the technology behind its
experimental coronavirus vaccine

By Peter Loftus
Oct. 8, 2020 7:00 am ET

Moderna Inc. said it wouldn’t enforce patents related to its experimental
Covid-19 vaccine while the pandemic continues and is willing to license the
patents to others after the pandemic.

The Cambridge, Mass., company has at least seven U.S. patents related to
its vaccine, including one for the invention of a vaccine using a
gene-based technology to protect against a family of coronaviruses. The
family of viruses includes the one that causes Covid-19.

The move means other drugmakers or governments wouldn’t need to fear that
Moderna would try to block any other Covid-19 vaccines the company argues
are based on any proprietary technology.

“We’re quite studiously not asserting infringement,” Moderna President
Stephen Hoge said in an interview. “We’re doing the opposite of creating
that kind of anxiety for folks. We’re not interested in using that IP to
decrease the number of vaccines available in a pandemic.”

Dr. Hoge said Moderna decided to publicly commit to not enforcing its
patent rights during the pandemic because company had been getting
questions from investors about its patents.


Moderna has taken out a group of patents to cover its mRNA-based drugs and
vaccines. In 2017, the company licensed rights to patents, held by
Cellscript LLC and mRNA RiboTherapeutics Inc., that are based on mRNA
research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania.


BioNTech also licensed patents based on the Penn research.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has said it is
seeking patent protection for its work related to spike-protein technology,
to preserve the U.S. government’s rights and to provide an incentive for
commercial partners to develop vaccines and make them available to the

NIAID has said it adopted a nonexclusive licensing approach for these
rights to allow multiple vaccine developers to use the technology in
proprietary vaccine platforms

Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org

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