Messenger RNA: CureVac files a complaint against its rival BioNTech for intellectual property infringement

It frightens the antivaccines but the laboratories tear it off. The German CureVac has filed a complaint against its rival BioNTech, inventor of the vaccine against Covid-19 Pfizer, for infringement of intellectual property concerning the innovative technology of messenger RNA. The laboratory is seeking “fair compensation for the violation of a number of its intellectual property rights,” according to a company statement.

The biotech start-up, recognized for its research into drugs based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), wants to “enforce its intellectual property rights resulting from more than two decades of pioneering work in mRNA technology, which have contributed to the development of anti-Covid vaccines”, proclaims the company.

In the midst of a new wave of infections in many European countries, CureVac assures “not to seek an injunction and does not intend to take legal action which could hinder the production, sale or distribution of vaccines by BioNTech and its American partner.

But the company believes that its “22 years” of work on RNA technology, which has enabled “the rapid development” of vaccines against the new coronavirus, deserve “fair compensation”, which the laboratory does not quantify. This remuneration would allow “to be able to invest in the development of RNA technology and new classes of drugs that can save lives”, assures CureVac.

BioNTech “appreciates and respects valid intellectual property rights”, reacted the laboratory. But “the work of BioNTech is original and we will defend it vigorously against any allegation of patent infringement”, reacted the laboratory in a press release.

CureVac had to abandon its vaccine, for lack of effectiveness

BioNTech is “aware that it was not uncommon for other companies in the pharmaceutical industry, having witnessed the success of Comirnaty (the Covid vaccine), to now suggest that the vaccine possibly violates their intellectual property rights. “.

In 2020, BioNTech was “able to quickly and successfully create the world’s first approved Covid-19 vaccine, which was a remarkable achievement by our co-founders and their teams”, recalls the laboratory based in Mainz, Germany. . It has generated billions of euros in revenue for Pfizer and BioNTech.

CureVac, founded in 2000 by researcher Ingmar Hoerr, a pioneer in messenger RNA research, was among the first to enter the vaccine race. But BioNTech’s rival had to announce in October 2021 the abandonment of its candidate vaccine against Covid-19, initially promising, but whose effectiveness proved to be disappointing.

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