Moderna is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in the development of the first Covid-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna developed years before the pandemic.
The lawsuit, which seeks undetermined monetary damages, was being filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Dusseldorf in Germany, Moderna said in a news release on Friday.
“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic,” Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in the statement.
Moderna Inc (MRNA.O), on its own, and the partnership of Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE) were two of the first groups to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Just a decade old, Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had been an innovator in the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology that enabled the unprecedented speed in developing the Covid-19 vaccine.