Alnylam sticks with aggressive litigation strategy against Pfizer and Moderna, filing yet another patent lawsuit

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals isn't letting up with its COVID-19 vaccine patent allegations. Late last week, the company filed its third set of lawsuits against the two largest manufacturers of coronavirus vaccines.

Once again, RNA specialist Alnylam is accusing Pfizer and Moderna of violating its lipid particle delivery technology with their lucrative COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, Alnylam claims that Pfizer stepped on four of its patents and that Moderna infringed three. With the lawsuits, it's seeking a “reasonable royalty” for the alleged damages.

The new suits come after Alnylam originally sued the two last March, arguing that it invented the delivery tech utilized by the vaccines more than a decade ago. Then, in July, the biotech followed up with new claims.

Earlier this month, Moderna hit back against the claims in a set of countersuits, alleging that Alnylam “baselessly seeks to profit” from its inventions. Moderna pointed out that the company “based its entire business model” on a different type of RNA called small interfering RNA, as opposed to Moderna’s specialty as a messenger RNA company.

The latest patent suits add to the long list of COVID-19 vaccine litigation levied against Pfizer and Moderna. In another example, Arbutus Biopharma and Roivant’s Genevant Sciences last February accused Moderna of stepping on six of their patents.

Meanwhile, German mRNA specialist CureVac has accused Pfizer and BioNTech of violating three patents. Pfizer called that lawsuit an “attempt to profit from the success of BioNTech and Pfizer.”

The two COVID-19 vaccine giants will themselves go head-to-head in court after Moderna accused Pfizer and BioNTech of infringement last August. Pfizer responded with a scathing countersuit.