Moderna Trades Sideways on Mulling Enforcing Patent in Rich Nations

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Moderna Trades Sideways on Mulling Enforcing Patent in Rich Nations
Credit: © Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA ) stock is trading sideways in premarket Tuesday after it signaled that it may begin to enforce patents of its Covid-19 vaccine in wealthier countries.

The stock was up 1.2% initially but gave up all the gains to trade 0.6% lower. It later traded 0.1% up.

Moderna’s latest view is a departure from its previous stand of eschewing enforcing patents anywhere.  

“If people have used, or are using our technology to make a vaccine, I don’t understand why, once we’re in an endemic setting when there’s plenty of vaccine and there’s no issue to supply vaccines, why we should not get rewarded for the things we invented,” CEO Stéphane Bancel told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Notwithstanding any revised stance, Moderna is maintaining its previous pledge of not enforcing its Covid-19 vaccine patents in 92 countries that are part of an international program, called Covax, that provides Covid-19 vaccines.

These countries include South Africa, India, Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Rwanda, Vietnam, Egypt, and Algeria.

Moderna has been hailed for its mRNA-based Spikevax vaccine that has saved millions of lives. At one point, along with Pfizer-BioNTech and Russia’s Gamaleya, Moderna was the only other company in the world making Covid-19 vaccines. It decided to undervalue the price of its vaccine while the pandemic lasts.

In 2021, the company delivered 807 million doses of the only product it sells; a fourth of those went to low- and middle-income countries. The biotech firm expects $19 billion in sales of its Spikevax vaccine this year compared to the $18.5 billion it had forecast earlier.

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