pfizer denied the opponent’s accusations Art Nouveau that her Covid-19 vaccine is a copy, accusing the Boston biotech company of rewriting history to claim technology developed by scientists for years.
On Monday, Pfizer asked a Massachusetts federal court to dismiss Moderna’s claim for monetary damages for alleged patent infringements related to the Boston company’s Covid vaccine. Pfizer has asked the court to prevent Moderna from suing it or its partners again for three alleged patent infringements.
Moderna, in a complaint filed in August, accused Pfizer of copying two key pieces of technology that make Covid messenger RNA vaccines possible.
Moderna accused Pfizer of using the same mRNA modification that keeps the molecule stable long enough to program human cells to produce a key spike protein that triggers an immune response against Covid.
Moderna has also accused Pfizer of using the same full-length spike protein in its Covid shots. Moderna claims that in 2015 it demonstrated a full burst of immune response when it developed an mRNA vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This vaccine never entered the market.
“Moderna’s inventions, which Pfizer and BioNTech decided to copy, were the basis for the success of their vaccine,” the company said.
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have strongly denied these allegations, saying that the technological building blocks for vaccines were developed by research scientists before the pandemic even began. They accused Moderna of trying to “single-handedly draw attention to themselves.”
“Moderna is wrong and its revisionist story is not based on facts. Pfizer and BioNTech did not copy Moderna technology,” Pfizer said in a response. “Rather, Pfizer and BioNTech independently developed their vaccine, using the innovation of their scientists and relying on decades of research done by others before the pandemic.”
Pfizer said the mRNA modification was developed by research scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, one of whom is now the head of BioNTech. He dismissed Moderna’s claim to have full-length spike protein technology. Pfizer said scientists were worried about coronaviruses after the 2003 SARS outbreak, and by 2009, scientists realized that a full-blown spike elicited a strong immune response.
Pfizer and Moderna have generated tens of billions of dollars in revenue from Covid vaccines and made windfall profits since vaccines were first allowed in December 2020.
Moderna is asking the court to award her monetary compensation from March 2022, including fees and lost profits with interest. The company also seeks damages in the amount of three times the amount of compensatory damages.