Amid intense public pressure, Moderna (MRNA) updated a pledge never to enforce patents for its Covid-19 vaccines against manufacturers that supply dozens of low- and middle-income countries as part of a World Health Organization program. But at the same time, the vaccine maker indicated it would enforce its patents in wealthier nations.
In an announcement issued late Monday, the company maintained that supplies beyond the 92 countries covered by the WHO’s COVAX program are “no longer a barrier to access” and, as a result, licenses will be offered to manufacturers for its technology on “commercially reasonable terms.” There was no detail about the technologies that would be covered or timing to enforce its patents.
“We are committed to defeating the pandemic across the globe, and we are fulfilling that through our pledge not to enforce our COVID-19-related patents in low- and middle-income countries but also through our delivery of the most vaccine doses to COVAX at the lowest price per dose,” Moderna chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.
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