Soft line in patent protection: EU signs for billions of Biontech cans

Soft line with patent protection
EU signs for billions of Biontech cans

Sufficient vaccine from Biontech should also be available in the EU in the coming months. The EU therefore concludes another contract with the company. At the same time, it is known that Biontech will turn a blind eye to patent protection until the end of the corona pandemic.

The European Union has signed a contract with Biontech and Pfizer for the delivery of up to 1.8 billion additional corona vaccine doses. As EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on the sidelines of the EU Social Summit in Portugal, an agreement was reached with the Mainz-based company and its US partner for 900 million vaccine doses and options for 900 million additional vaccine doses for the years 2021 to 2023.

The EU Commission announced the signing of the contract in mid-April. In this way, one also wants to be prepared for booster vaccinations and against possible future mutations of the virus. So far, in addition to the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer, the corona vaccines from Moderna, Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson have been approved for use in the European Union. Approval is still pending for Curevac, Sputnik V and Sanofi-GSK.

At the same time it became known that Biontech wants to temporarily refrain from enforcing patent protection for its corona vaccine. As the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” reported in advance, according to a spokeswoman, the company will not take legal action against any imitators until the end of the corona pandemic. The US pharmaceutical company Moderna made the same promise a few months ago, according to the report.

The corona vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are based on the new mRNA technology and have so far shown the highest effectiveness of all approved corona vaccines. A heated political debate has recently broken out about patent protection for vaccines. The World Health Organization is in favor of generally suspending patent protection in order to be able to supply the population of poorer countries with cheap vaccines. The US government agreed to this demand, Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out against it, and the proposal met with skepticism at the EU summit in Porto.