Status: 05.07.2022 17:54
The Tübingen pharmaceutical company CureVac has filed a complaint against the corona vaccine manufacturer BioNTech. CureVac seeks compensation for patent infringement by BioNTech. The Corona vaccine has made billions for BioNTech.
The Tübingen-based biotechnology company CureVac has its patents infringed by the corona vaccine of its competitor BioNTech, which has been sold billions of times. CureVac has therefore filed a lawsuit against BioNTech and two subsidiaries of the Mainz-based company in the Düsseldorf Regional Court, the company announced.
A “fair compensation” demanded
CureVac is seeking “fair compensation” for the infringement of a number of its intellectual property rights used in the manufacture and sale of the Covid-19 Comirnaty vaccine by BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer. “Many years of our research have also contributed to the success of mRNA vaccines and made them possible,” said CEO Franz-Werner Haas.
Haas did not specify the amount CureVac is considering. This needs to be clarified in the process. The parties disagree on this issue after much discussion.
However, CureVac does not want to prevent the sale of BioNTech vaccines
The Tübingen-based company says it is not seeking an injunction and has no intention of taking legal action that could impede the production, sale or distribution of the BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. The company approached BioNTech, which has “the utmost respect” for rapid vaccine development, Haas said. CureVac deliberately only filed the lawsuit now, “because other things naturally took priority at the height of the Corona crisis”. But now is the right time for legal clarification of this issue. Previous discussions with BioNTech over the four patents that CureVac considers to be infringed have not resulted in an agreement.
BioNTech initially wouldn’t comment, but released a statement. The federal government, which owns about 16% of CureVac, would not comment on the patent dispute. The dispute is one of the first known cases of a company going to court after the race to develop a corona vaccine.
A company wants to develop a new vaccine
After a promising start in mid-2021, CureVac failed to bring a corona vaccine to market and now wants to pioneer the development of a new second-generation vaccine with its UK partner GlaxoSmithKline. A clinical study of the new candidate was launched at the end of March.
Also lawsuit against Moderna?
Haas wouldn’t say whether CureVac was also planning legal action against US biotech group Moderna, but wouldn’t rule it out. It’s part of the company’s patent strategy, which he can’t comment on. The Moderna vaccine is also based on messenger RNA (mRNA), which is meant to deliver information to human cells to fight off pathogens.