Aydin Harston Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article on Mounting Patent Lawsuits Involving Covid-19 Vaccines

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Partner Aydin Harston is quoted in a Bloomberg Law article entitled "Covid Vaccine 'Windfall Profits' Under Attack by Patent Holders," dated Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

Lawsuits are being filed in federal courts against Moderna and Pfizer, as Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Arbutus, CureVac, and other drug patent owners attempt to collect a cut of the profits earned from the messenger RNA (mRNA) Covid vaccines. “The windfall profits for Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna have painted a huge target on those companies,” Aydin told Bloomberg. 

“It is not surprising at all that various companies have mined their patent estates for any claims that may cover some aspect of the marketed vaccine products to get a seat at the negotiating table for a piece of the windfall profits,” Aydin said. 

Many early lawsuits involving Covid-19 manufacturers began before the pandemic and involved lipid nanoparticles, a necessary piece of mRNA. One suit was the attack by Moderna on Arbutus Biopharma Corp, which ended with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit going against Moderna. This left some of Arbutus' patents "battle tested," said Aydin. Arbutus is one of the companies that has sued Moderna.

As for Alnylam and other companies, Aydin noted that other patents in the pipeline “will likely lead to a rise in the number of lawsuits it files . . . and that several other patent holders may also have claims they can assert. 'Those parties may be considering jumping into the fray or may be involved in licensing negotiations,' he said. 'Thus, the filing of new actions is far from over.'”

To view the entire article, please visit the Bloomberg Law website.

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