Merck, Pfizer settle pneumococcal vaccine patent spat

Sept. 24, 2021

Merck & Co. and Pfizer's Wyeth subsidiary have resolved a patent dispute over their competing vaccines for preventing pneumonia and meningitis.

The parties asked U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews to dismiss the claims with prejudice — meaning the case was dismissed permanently.

The settlement stems from a January 2021 lawsuit Merck filed claiming that its Vaxneuvance vaccine for diseases caused by pneumococcus bacteria — which just got the FDA nod this past July — didn't infringe three patents related to Wyeth's Prevnar vaccines. Wyeth later countersued Merck for allegedly infringing the Prevnar patents.

According to Bloomberg, under the deal, Merck will pay Pfizer 7.25% of its net sales from pneumococcal conjugate vaccines worldwide through the end of 2026. After that, Merck will owe a 2.5% royalty to Pfizer through the end of 2035.