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Arbutus files patent infringement lawsuit against Moderna

FILE PHOTO: Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi, U.S. December 20, 2020. Paul Sancya/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) – Arbutus Biopharma Corp said on Monday it had filed a lawsuit against Moderna Inc seeking damages for infringement of patents related to its COVID-19 vaccine.

The lawsuit comes after a federal appeals court in December rejected Moderna’s challenge to patents belonging to Arbutus Biopharma that were licensed to Genevant Sciences Inc.

The court let stand an administrative panel’s findings that Arbutus’ patents – which may cover technology used in the vaccines – were valid, as the science involved was not previously known.

Moderna did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Arbutus and Genevant do not seek to interfere with the sale, manufacturing or distribution of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, said Arbutus Chief Executive Officer William Collier in a statement.

“However, we seek fair compensation for Moderna’s use of our patented technology that was developed with great effort and at great expense, without which Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine would not have been successful.”

Genevant Sciences was launched in 2018 by Arbutus and Roivant Sciences Ltd. Roivant owns about 80% of Genevant and Arbutus holds the remainder stake.

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