Moderna loses vaccine technology patent challenge

July 24, 2020

A patent court ruled in favor of Arbutus Biopharma, rejecting arguments by Moderna that an Arbutus patent should be revoked because it described obvious concepts.

The patent, known as the ‘069 patent, relates to lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology that allows the human body to make its own therapeutic proteins.

While the LNP technology is crucial to Moderna’s overall vaccine development efforts, it is unclear whether Moderna's anticipated coronavirus vaccine infringes the ‘069 patent. Last week, Moderna released more details about an early study of 45 healthy participants showing that its mRNA vaccine candidate produced antibodies at every dosing level with no serious side effects. Although it is still unproven if the vaccine will be effective enough to work long-term on the general population, Moderna has already begun manufacturing doses for commercial distribution.

Moderna can still appeal the recent patent office ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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