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Pfizer and BioNTech speak out against CureVac suit over patents for COVID-19 vaccines

The civil suit claims that once CureVac had withdrawn its vaccine candidate, the company was unable to garner 50% efficacy in a late-stage trial


Global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, CureVac, filed a lawsuit earlier this month against BioNTech, making the claim that CureVac should be compensated for an apparent infringement of a range of patents.

The suit took place in German court and BioNTech has declared that it is contesting CureVac’s allegations, and called upon its partner, Pfizer, in a Massachusetts court filing to counter the claims.

Both BioNTech and Pfizer assert that following CureVac’s failed attempts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, CureVac tried to profit from the partnership, threatening patent infringement and legal action as a means of correcting CureVac’s ‘meritless allegations’.

The civil suit claims that once CureVac had withdrawn its vaccine candidate, the company was unable to garner 50% efficacy in a late-stage trial. CureVac had contacted BioNTech in an effort to begin discussions between their IP counsels, with regard to the potential licensing of specific CureVac IP rights.

BioNTech and Pfizer’s goal is to be given a judgment confirming that the partnership has not infringed on any claims made by CureVac.

In addition to this, the partnership has made an order enjoining and restraining CureVac from pursuing further assertions of infringement or acts of enforcement.

In March 2022, CureVac had sent BioNTech a document identifying CureVac’s IP portfolio, consisting of the patents-in-suit and other related patents. Following this, CureVac and BioNTech held a discussion regarding CureVac’s intent to assert its patents relating to the vaccine. This involved both US and European patents.

A resolution was not agreed by the companies, which subsequently resulted in CureVac’s initial suit, claiming that the manufacture and sale of the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine infringed on its patents.

BioNTech has responded by stating that its vaccine does not contain the three particular methods that CureVac claims it patented.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

28th July 2022

From: Regulatory, Healthcare



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