BERLIN ( Associated Press) – German biotech company CureVac announced Tuesday that it has filed an alleged patent infringement lawsuit against rival BioNTech over work by BioNTech and its partner Pfizer that contributed to the development of a coronavirus vaccine. BioNTech responded that its work is original and that it will fight the lawsuit “loudly.”
Last year, CureVac reported disappointing results from the latest trials of its own COVID-19 vaccine. The company said it was seeking “reasonable compensation” from BioNTech related to the alleged misconduct, but did not name an amount.
CureVac said it will not seek an injunction and does not intend to take legal action preventing the production, sale or distribution of the blockbuster Comirnaty vaccine made by BioNTech-Pfizer.
Both CureVac and BioNTech have worked on developing messenger RNA technology to be used in their respective vaccines and potentially for other uses.
CureVac said it filed a lawsuit against BioNtech and two subsidiaries in Düsseldorf state court. It said in a statement that its intellectual property portfolio “protects multiple inventions deemed essential to the design and development of BioNTech’s SARS CoV-2 mRNA vaccine.”
That said, they are concerned with the engineering of mRNA molecules, including sequence modification to increase stability, and specific mRNA vaccine formulations for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
BioNTech responded in a statement that it values and respects legitimate intellectual property rights. He added that his “work is original and we will vigorously defend it against all allegations of patent infringement.”
“However, we know that it is not uncommon for other companies in the pharmaceutical industry that have seen the success of Comirnati to now suggest that the vaccine potentially infringes on their intellectual property rights,” he said.