Pfizer, biotech firm end patent fight over COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer, biotech firm end patent fight over COVID-19 vaccine

Health


A medical staff prepares a booster dose of Pfizer’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are seen at a vaccination centre in Brussels, Belgium, January 5, 2022. — Reuters
  • Allele Biotechnology says Pfizer, BioNTech misused protein in vaccine development.
  • Pfizer denied claims, said patent was invalid.
  • Parties said resolution was “mutually satisfactory”.

San Diego-based Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals has resolved its patent dispute with Pfizer and BioNTech over technology allegedly used in developing their COVID-19 vaccine, according to a filing late Tuesday in San Diego federal court.

The companies said in a joint statement provided by an Allele spokesperson on Wednesday that they had resolved the dispute “in a mutually satisfactory manner.”

The parties agreed to dismiss the claims with prejudice, which means they can’t be refiled.

New York-based Pfizer said in November that it expected sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which it developed with Germany’s BioNTech, to reach $36 billion in 2021, and estimated another $29 billion in sales in 2022.

Allele sued Pfizer and BioNTech in 2020, arguing they used its patented fluorescent protein without permission in researching, developing and testing their vaccines. 

It said the companies never contacted it about licensing the protein, known as mNeonGreen, calling it “the critical link in defendants’ COVID-19 vaccine development.”

Pfizer and BioNTech later denied the claims and argued the patent was invalid. A trial in the case was scheduled to begin in about a year.

Pfizer, BioNTech and their attorneys didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Allele sued Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in New York the same day it sued Pfizer and BioNTech for allegedly infringing the same patent in developing its COVID-19 antibody treatment. That case is still ongoing.



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