Moderna (MRNA) has halted a rancorous patent dispute with the U.S. government over assigning credit for its Covid-19 vaccine, saying the ongoing quarrel “could interfere with further discussions aimed at an amicable resolution” with the National Institutes of Health.
The move comes amid intensifying complaints that many vaccine makers are failing to make their intellectual property available so that still other companies can produce vaccines needed for a global eradication campaign. Moderna, which recently projected $18 billion in vaccine sales this year, has been a particular focus of criticism because U.S. taxpayers provided $2.5 billion to help develop the shot.
For the past month, though, Moderna has faced condemnation over its refusal to acknowledge the contributions from NIH scientists, who worked with Moderna on key features of the vaccine that produce an immune response. Specifically, the company last July refused to list the government scientists on a patent application, prompting anger from the NIH.
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