Moderna Should Dedicate Its COVID-19 Vaccine Technology to WHO

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Moderna Inc. announced today it will not enforce patents related to its experimental COVID-19 while the pandemic continues. Moderna has been saddled by patent disputes related to technology used in mRNA-1273, and its announcement may be an attempt to avoid costly litigation or royalty payments. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program, released this statement:

“Moderna’s move is a positive development, though it may be designed to help the corporation avoid costly patent litigation. It shows that patents indeed are a barrier to vaccine production unless governments and corporations choose to make that patented technology available to all. Moderna should take the next step and dedicate its technology to the World Health Organization (WHO), so that the world can prepare to make vaccines for billions of people, rather than permit vaccine apartheid where only wealthy countries have vaccine access.

“Public Citizen has shown that taxpayers are paying twice for the NIH-Moderna vaccine candidate and that the U.S. government likely will co-own key patents for this vaccine.”