Moderna wins COVID shot patent case, Pfizer gets damages in cancer drug patent trial

Moderna wins COVID shot patent case, Pfizer gets damages in cancer drug patent trial

Pfizer loses against Moderna, but remains winner against AstraZeneca

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Moderna said on Friday the European Patent Office had upheld the validity of one of the company's key patents, a win in an ongoing COVID-19 vaccine dispute with Pfizer and BioNTech.

The company has been locked in a legal battle with Pfizer-BioNTech over their COVID shot Comirnaty after suing them in 2022 for allegedly copying its mRNA technology.

Pfizer and BioNTech have countersued, alleging that Moderna's patent is invalid, after the companies' rival vaccines generated billions in revenues during the pandemic.

Pfizer said it was disappointed and would consider all legal options and may appeal the decision.

"Irrespective of the outcome of this legal matter, we will continue to manufacture and supply the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine," Pfizer said in a statement to Reuters.

BioNTech said the patent office's decision to maintain Moderna's European patent "does not change our unwavering and unequivocal stance that this patent is invalid."

The oral decision was handed down on Thursday, the Financial Times, which was the first to report on the matter, said. The report added a written decision is expected to be published in the coming months.

Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are also involved in parallel proceedings related to their patents in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, England and the US.

Last month, a Massachusetts federal court put a patent lawsuit on hold, while the US Patent Office determines whether two of the three Moderna patents at issue are valid.


AstraZeneca owes Pfizer $107.5 million in damages, a Delaware federal jury said on Friday after finding that AstraZeneca's blockbuster lung cancer drug Tagrisso violated its Wyeth unit's patent rights.

The jury agreed that AstraZeneca's drug infringed two patents covering methods for treating cancer with the breast-cancer drug Nerlynx, which is sold by Puma Biotechnology. Puma licenses the patents from Pfizer to make its drug.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson said the company was disappointed with the verdict but is "confident in our IP (intellectual property) position in relation to Tagrisso" and will "vigorously defend" its rights.

Representatives for Pfizer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the verdict. Puma is no longer a plaintiff in the case.

Tagrisso earned AstraZeneca nearly $5.8 billion in revenue last year, according to a company report.

New York-based Pfizer, which acquired Wyeth in 2009, sued AstraZeneca in 2021. It argued that Tagrisso used kinase inhibitors to treat cancer in the same way as Nerlynx.

AstraZeneca denied infringing the patents and argued that they are invalid.

US District Judge Matthew Kennelly will hold a separate bench trial on some of AstraZeneca's remaining defences in June, which could result in a ruling that negates the verdict.