Keeping tabs on Covid-19: Moderna eliminates its IP barriers for vaccine development and Israeli manufacturing facility committed to support supply of EU vaccines

Responding to the success of its mRNA technology, Moderna has pledged not to enforce its patents against other companies using its technology to help eradicate the pandemic

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As of October 8, 2020 the World Health Organization had reported 36,002,827 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with a total of 6,558,747 cases confirmed in Europe alone.

This week’s Pharma IQ round-up on the industry’s drive to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic features updates from Mapi Pharma, who has commissioned the expansion of its Jerusalem-located fill-and-finish facility to support vaccine delivery across the European Union (EU), while Moderna released updates on its Intellectual Property (IP) rights to propel worldwide vaccine development.

Moderna eliminates IP barriers to its Covid-19 vaccine

Among the life-changing discoveries advanced by Moderna has been the combination of mRNA technology and lipid nanoparticles to make vaccines, which has proved effective in human clinical trials for 11 different infectious disease vaccines since 2015. This discovery has acted to uniquely position Moderna with the expertise to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic quickly in the fight to develop a vaccine.

Moderna this week released a statement advising that the company would not enforce its Covid-19-related patents against competitors making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic. Moreover, to eliminate any perceived IP barriers to vaccine development during the pandemic period, upon request the company said it would license its IP for Covid-19 vaccines to others for the post-pandemic period.

Moderna said: “As a company committed to innovation, Moderna recognizes that IP rights play an important role in encouraging investment in research. Our portfolio of IP is an important asset that will protect and enhance our ability to continue to invest in innovative medicines.

“Moderna is proud that its mRNA technology is poised to be used to help end the current pandemic.”

Mapi Pharma commissions vaccine production facility to support supply in Israel and across the EU

Mapi Pharma, a late clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced that it would dedicate capacity at its manufacturing facility to support the global effort to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to Israel and the EU.

Currently expanding its Jerusalem fill-and-finish facility to support the company’s endeavors, over US$100m has been invested in the facility to add a new line for sterile filling and finishing of liquids and powders for Covid-19 injections. The company said it hoped this would support the global effort to bring a Covid-19 vaccine, once approved, to Israeli and EU citizens.

Ehud Marom, chairman and CEO of Mapi, said: “We are making available our production capacity, as well as our cold-chain and storage capacities, for the delivery of vaccines to Israeli and EU. The global supply chain of vaccinations is currently limited and requires agility to enable the supply of vaccines on a broad scale.

“By making our manufacturing capacity available, we hope to assist in the quick deployment of vaccines once they are approved by the heath authorities. We are in communications with the major vaccination developers and governments to join forces in the fight against this dangerous virus.”

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