Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has filed separate lawsuits alleging that Pfizer and Moderna infringed on its patents in developing their Covid-19 vaccines, the latest dispute over valuable intellectual property stemming from the pandemic.
In each suit, Alnylam claims the companies used its lipid nanoparticles technology that carries and delivers RNA-based therapies or vaccines in the body. RNA plays a key role in turning the instructions held in the DNA of a person’s genome into functional proteins in cells. Both Pfizer and Moderna developed and now market mRNA-based vaccines, and mRNA is a type of RNA. However, mRNA is easily degraded and the lipid technology provides protection for delivery.
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