CureVac is suing fellow German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, claiming that the Covid-19 vaccine maker infringed vital patents relating to messenger RNA technology.
The Tübingen-based group has filed a lawsuit in a German court seeking “fair compensation” for alleged infringements of its intellectual property rights in the development of the Covid shot made by BioNTech and US drugmaker Pfizer.
But it said it was not planning any action that would affect the production, sale or distribution of the vaccine.
CureVac is developing its own mRNA vaccines, including a Covid jab. But it abandoned its first attempt at a Covid vaccine after it appeared less effective in a late stage trial than the Pfizer and Moderna products, although the data were not directly comparable.
BioNTech did not respond to a request for comment. Shares in BioNTech fell 0.9 per cent in pre-market trading in New York.
In a press release, CureVac said it considered the rapid development of the vaccines a “tremendous achievement” with “unprecedented positive impact for global public health”.
“This achievement is based on decades of scientific research and innovation, supported by CureVac as the earliest pioneer in mRNA technology,” it said. “Accordingly, CureVac’s intellectual property rights need to be acknowledged and respected in the form of a fair compensation to reinvest into the further advancement of mRNA technology and the ongoing development of new classes of life-saving medicines.”