STAT+: Moderna will never enforce Covid-19 vaccine patents in poor countries

Moderna said it will not seek to enforce its patents on its Covid-19 vaccine in low- to middle-income countries — but will do so in wealthier nations.

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.

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