Law Street Media

Pfizer Sued Over COVID-19 Vaccine Patents

A rendition of amicroscopic coronavirus.

Coronavirus. COVID-19. 3D Render

On Tuesday, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. filed a patent infringement suit in the District of Delaware against Pfizer, Inc.; Pharmacia & Upjohn Co. LLC; BioNTech SE; and BioNtech Manufacturing GmbH (collectively,  defendants). The plaintiff alleges that the defendants,  in connection with their manufacture and sale of their well known COVID-19 vaccine, have infringed the plaintiff’s ‘979 patent,which the plaintiff claims is “foundational to the success of the recently developed messenger RNA (‘mRNA’) based COVID vaccines.” 

Alnylam describes its infringed intellectual property as “the Alnylam LNP Technology.” The complaint explains that “Over a decade ago, Alnylam invented a breakthrough class of cationic biodegradable lipids used to form lipid nanoparticles (‘LNP’) that carry and safely deliver in the body RNA-based therapeutics or vaccines (the ‘Alnylam LNP Technology’).”

The plaintiff  pleads only one cause of action: patent infringement. The plaintiff seeks a judgment that the defendants “directly infringe” and “induce infringement” of the ‘979 patent along with monetary relief.  The plaintiff specifically states that it “does not seek any form of injunctive relief.”

Plaintiff counsel is McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Alnylam has also brought patent infringement litigation against Modern relating to its COVID-19 vaccine.

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