Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine patents probed by US Defence Department: Media

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – Moderna Inc’s patents that were filed or awarded are being probed by the US Department of Defence’s research arm, the Financial Times reported, saying the company failed to disclose government funding as required by federal law.

Knowledge Ecology International, a patient advocacy group, said in a report this week that researchers didn’t disclose in vaccine patents where they got about $25 million (S$33.9 million) in grants from the department’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, for its vaccine technology, the newspaper said.

“The company believes it has complied with applicable patent reporting requirements regarding patent filings, including as they relate to the Darpa program,” Ray Jordan, a spokesman for Moderna, said Saturday (Aug 29).

The company estimates that Darpa funding was about $50 million, or 1 per cent of its $5.1 billion total private funding.

The newspaper cited Darpa spokesman Jared Adams as saying that all awards to Moderna included the need to report the role of government funding, adding that “Darpa is actively researching agency awards to Moderna to identify which patents and pending patents, if any at all, may be associated with Darpa support.”

At least one Darpa-linked patent shows government support was disclosed.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said earlier this week it’s in talks with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to potentially supply the country with 40 million or more doses of its vaccine candidate against Covid-19.

It also unveiled new findings relating to its trial.

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