Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is one of three pharma companies that stand accused of patent infringement, in lawsuits alleging the unlawful use of a technology used in their respective Covid-19 treatments.
According to suits filed by San Diegoâ€™s Allele Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Inc. â€“ one against Tarrytown-based Regeneron, and the other against New York City-based Pfizer Inc. and German firm BioNTech â€“ the companies have been using Alleleâ€™s patented mNeonGreen technology commercially without proper authorization.
Allele maintains that the mNeonGreen protein â€œis considered the worldâ€™s brightest monomeric fluorescent protein, and the technology behind that protein was patented in 2019. Prominent scientific journals have touted the use of mNeonGreen as the â€˜gold standardâ€™ for use in assays testing neutralizing antibody and vaccine candidates.â€
â€œIn no way does Allele want to prohibit, or slow down development of vaccines or therapeutics discovered using this technology,â€ said Allele Founder and CEO Dr. Jiwu Wang. â€œOur goal is to have these companies recognize, as many others have before them, the hard work that went in to developing this technology and to respect our intellectual property.â€
According to the complaint, Allele reached out to Regeneron on multiple occasions to negotiate a license, but all of its requests went unanswered. In fact, the company says, no defendant sought any permission in advance of using mNeonGreen to obtain breakthrough successes in developing and testing their vaccines.
â€œThe purpose of these lawsuits is to maintain Allele’s patent rights and to ensure that an agreement can be put in place to protect the rights of current and future licensees,â€ said Allele Executive Director, Licensing and Business Development Dan Catron.
According to a Regeneron statement, the company â€œis aware of the lawsuit filed by Allele Biotech. We are still reviewing the details in the Complaint, but we disagree that Regeneron has infringed any valid patent and we will vigorously defend our position against this lawsuit.â€
Regeneron has been in the headlines lately for providing a single 8-gram dose of REGNCOV2, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies, to President Donald Trump during his recent hospitalization for Covid-19.
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