Moderna Doesn’t Plan To Enforce Coronavirus Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Drugmakers live and die by the exclusivity provided by patents on their medications. Generic competition or even a branded competitor can substantially cut a company’s market share. But Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is putting society ahead of its bottom line. The biotech announced on Thursday that it won’t enforce patents for its coronavirus vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company noted: “We feel a special obligation under the current circumstances to use our resources to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. Accordingly, while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.”

Moderna has patents on its base technology, which allows for the expression of protein-based vaccines in patients’ cells through the use of mRNA. The company also has patents on the delivery of mRNA-based vaccines using its lipid nanoparticles technology.

Investors shrugged off the announcement, with shares closing up 0.8% for the day. That might be because Moderna is in a no-win situation. If it did actually try to enforce patents to keep other drugmakers from launching competing vaccines, the biotech would be seen as a bully given the unprecedented need. At least by saying it won’t enforce the patents, Moderna gets a public relations boost.

The company could even make a little money off the situation. Moderna said it’s willing to license its intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines in the post-pandemic period. Competitors worried about a patent fight might agree to pay for a license to reduce their risk.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout

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Salesforce creates for-profit platform to help governments distribute COVID vaccine when it’s ready

The Daily Beast

Armenians Fear Turkey Is Back to Finish Off the Genocide

MOSCOW—The fighting in a mountain enclave in the Caucasus escalated Tuesday when Turkish-backed forces shelled five villages including the capital of Stepanakert, according to Armenian officials.Skirmishes broke out on the border of Azerbaijan and Armenia over the weekend and the official death toll is over 100 as a decades-old dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh or the Republic of Artsakh erupted into violence.Artsakh is an ethnic Armenian pocket that was once part of Azerbaijan’s territory but now hews closely to Armenia against the wishes of Turkey, which has lucrative oil and gas deals with Azerbaijan and a long-standing enmity with Armenia.Turkey Sends ISIS Warlord to Azerbaijan to Face Off Against Putin’s Armenian Allies“We fight not only with Azerbaijan, with Turkey and thousands of its mercenary soldiers from the Middle East,” Masis Mailyan, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, told The Daily Beast in a phone interview on Tuesday. “This morning the attackers shelled an Armenian town of Vardenis. This is the continuation of the Turkish genocide against Armenian people. The genocide, that the U.S. Congress officially recognized in a resolution last year, affirming that the Turkey exterminated 1.5 million Armenians.”Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has fueled the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but he blames mediators for failing to solve the territorial dispute since a ceasefire in 1994. “The United States, Russia and France have not been able to resolve the conflict for almost 30 years. On the contrary, they are doing everything they can to prolong the problem,” Erdogan said in half an hour speech on Tuesday. “Azerbaijan has already listened to you for 30 years! But whose lands are occupied? Azerbaijan’s!”Civilians, including women and children, were reported killed on both sides. Tanks burned, armed drones

Salesforce.com adapts its software for pandemic vaccine distribution

(Reuters) – Salesforce.com on Wednesday said it has adapted some of its business software to help healthcare organizations and government entities distribute vaccines for the novel coronavirus once they become available.

The San Francisco-based company said the offering, called Work.com for Vaccines, will help cities, states and health-care groups track vaccine inventory levels, create online appointment portals and track how patients fare after being vaccinated.

Multiple companies and nations around the world are racing to develop a vaccine to provide some degree of immunity to the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19. The chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s largest maker of vaccines, on Tuesday said she was optimistic the industry will be able to make vaccine widely available next year.

Salesforce.com’s efforts build on tools rolled out in May aimed at modifying the company’s business software to help governments make re-opening decisions based on public health data and carry out contact tracing and other tasks related to the pandemic.

The company said pricing of the new tools will be “based upon the unique requirements of each public agency or private healthcare organization.”

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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