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March 24, 2022

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Sues Moderna and Pfizer for Patent Infringement For Technology in COVID-19 Vaccines

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Alnylam”) filed separate lawsuits against Pfizer Inc. (“Pfizer”)  and Moderna, Inc. ("Moderna") on March 16 and 17 in United States District Court in Delaware, claiming both manufacturers used technology in their COVID-19 vaccines that Alnylam had previously developed to deliver the mRNA in their COVID-19 vaccines safely in the body. Specifically, Alnylam claims the manufacturers used cationic biodegradable lipids that Alnylam said it invented several years ago, which “encapsulate and protect the fragile RNA upon administration to the body so the RNA can be delivered to the cells where the RNA would provide its therapeutic effect.”  Alnylam further claims that it had filed provisional and utility patent applications on the cationic biodegradable lipids, and that utility applications describing these lipids had been published in February 2012 and August 2013.