Mod­er­na los­es lat­est bat­tle in key vac­cine de­liv­ery patent fight as fed­er­al ap­peal falls flat

The US Court of Ap­peals for the Fed­er­al Cir­cuit on Wednes­day re­ject­ed Mod­er­na’s at­tempt to over­turn key patents re­lat­ed to the de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle for its Covid-19 vac­cine af­ter the biotech sought to pre­empt a po­ten­tial­ly risky in­fringe­ment law­suit.

For years, Mod­er­na has been bat­tling a tiny Penn­syl­va­nia biotech known as Ar­bu­tus over patents for a tech­nol­o­gy re­quired to de­liv­er its mR­NA drugs and vac­cines, known as lipid nanopar­ti­cles or LNP. Mod­er­na is con­cerned there’s a sub­stan­tial risk that Ar­bu­tus will as­sert the ’069 patent in an in­fringe­ment suit tar­get­ing Mod­er­na’s Covid-19 vac­cine, par­tic­u­lar­ly as Ar­bu­tus has boast­ed of its patent pro­tec­tion and re­fused to grant a covenant not to sue Mod­er­na.

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Life Sciences Senior Associate

General Catalyst

San Francisco, CA, USA