Moderna says patent ruling not to affect COVID-19 vaccine development

News Desk

Moderna Inc said on Friday its formula used in developing a COVID-19 vaccine was not covered under patents owned by Arbutus Biopharma.

An administrative court run by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday rejected Moderna’s arguments to invalidate a U.S. patent owned by Arbutus, sparking worries over its efforts to develop next-generation vaccines, including a coronavirus vaccine.

Moderna said the court’s ruling relates to actions it took in response to “longstanding aggressive posture” taken by Arbutus against developers of nucleic acid-based therapeutics and began well before the development of mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Moderna shares were up slightly in extended trading, while Arbutus shares closed down 20% on Friday.

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 633,711 people across the globe.

At least 15,535,790 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 8,718,700 are now considered recovered.

The United States is the worst-hit country with 144,305 deaths from 4,038,864 cases. At least 1,233,269 people have been declared recovered.

After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 84,082 deaths from 2,287,475 cases, United Kingdom with 45,554 deaths from 297,146 cases, Mexico with 41,908 deaths from 370,712 cases, and Italy with 35,092 deaths from 245,338 cases.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by United Kingdom with 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 56.

Europe overall has 207,118 deaths from 3,026,149 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean 176,862 deaths from 4,155,166 infections, the United States and Canada 153,209 deaths from 4,151,349 cases, Asia 55,123 deaths from 2,334,358 cases, Middle East 24,528 deaths from 1,063,196 cases, Africa 16,702 deaths from 790,344 cases, and Oceania 169 deaths from 15,228 cases.