CureVac sues BioNTech over COVID-19 vaccine patents

BERLIN, July 5 (Xinhua) -- CureVac filed a lawsuit in Germany against COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNtech SE and two of its subsidiaries for alleged patent infringement, the biopharmaceutical company said on Tuesday.

CureVac was seeking "fair compensation" for the infringement of intellectual property rights used in the manufacture and sale of the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine by BioNtech and its U.S. partner Pfizer, the German company said in a statement.

"CureVac does not seek an injunction nor intend to take legal action that impedes the production, sale or distribution of Comirnaty by BioNTech and its partner Pfizer," it noted.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, CureVac was one of the promising candidates in Germany for the rapid production of a vaccine. In the clinical trial, however, the vaccine showed too little efficacy.

The European Commission has since granted a conditional marketing authorization (CMA) for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer in December 2020, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine authorized in the European Union.

In 2021, turnover and spending on research and development (R&D) in the German biotechnology sector set new records. Turnover soared by 279 percent to 26.32 billion euros (27.01 billion U.S. dollars) and R&D investments increased by 54 percent to 3.84 billion euros, according to the German association of the biotechnology industry, BIO Deutschland.

"The main reason for the new records is the success of vaccine developer BioNTech, but the company CureVac is also making a significant contribution to the growth in R&D investment with its vaccine research," the association said. (1 euro = 1.03 U.S. dollars)

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