A second U.S. government agency is now reviewing whether Moderna (MRNA) properly disclosed millions of dollars in federally funded awards in several patents and patent applications the company filed for its vaccines.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority is reviewing contracts awarded to the vaccine maker in response to a request from an advocacy group that analyzed dozens of patent applications. To date, BARDA has awarded the company up to $955 million to develop a vaccine based on its mRNA technology that would be jointly invented by the National Institutes of Health.
In arguing for a review, Knowledge Ecology International maintained Moderna is obligated under federal law to disclose grants that led to nearly a dozen specific patent applications and explained the financial support means the U.S. government would have certain rights over the patents. Put another way, U.S. taxpayers would have an ownership stake in vaccines developed by the company.