Moderna Stock Declines as Arbutus Prevails in Patent Dispute

Moderna Stock Declines as Arbutus Prevails in Patent Dispute

(Reuters) – Moderna shares fell 4% on Wednesday after a U.S. judge issued an order strengthening Arbutus’ arguments in a patent infringement lawsuit related to Moderna’s blockbuster COVID-19 vaccines.

Roivant shares gained 4% in afternoon trading, while its subsidiary Arbutus rose more than 17%.

In a so-called “claim construction order,” U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg interpreted parts of the patents in a way that strengthened Arbutus’ case, rejecting Moderna’s proposed definitions.

The order is relevant to determining whether Moderna’s vaccines are covered by Arbutus’ patented technology.

“He ruled in favor of Arbutus, a subsidiary of Roivant, on 3 of the 4 patent claims… We understand that Moderna cannot appeal at this time because it is not a ‘ ‘formal judgment’ but rather a ‘decision,'” Jefferies analysts wrote. in a note.

Moderna and Arbutus did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The lawsuit, which was filed in 2022, has Arbutus seeking damages for infringement of U.S. patents related to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Arbutus said it developed so-called lipid nanoparticles that house the vaccine’s mRNA payload, the patents for which were licensed to Genevant Sciences, a joint venture between Arbutus and Roivant Sciences Ltd.

The technology is used to deliver RNA to target cells without being attacked by the body’s immune system.

The trial in this case is currently scheduled to begin next April.

(Reporting by Christy Santhosh in Bangalore and Blake Brittain in Washington; editing by Shailesh Kuber and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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