Coronavirus Digest No. 4: Patents and Other Intellectual Property Rights  

September, 2020 - Pedro Lomba, Eduardo Nogueira Pinto, Manuel Lopes Rocha, Vítor Palmela Fidalgo (Inventa Internacional)

Coronavirus Digest no. 4 Patents and other intellectual property rights

1. Patents

Moderna reveals that it may not hold the patent rights for the vaccine against Covid-19, because it was not the first to file the patents. This came after the US National Institute of Health claimed co-ownership of the rights to this vaccine. Read more here.

Social networking publications make false claims about the Pirbright Institute, a British research institute dedicated to the study of infectious diseases in farm animals, stating that it holds a patent for the vaccine against Covid-19. Read more here.

2. Vaccine for Covid-19

Russia has registered the first vaccine against Covid-19. Registration is conditional and the vaccine will continue to undergo clinical trials involving thousands of people. This vaccine will start to be distributed on 1 January 2021. For more information, see: here.

Switzerland acquired 4.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna. This ensures that Switzerland has prior access to the vaccine developed by the biotechnology company, if it succeeds. This agreement will enable some 2.25 million people to be vaccinated in Switzerland. Read more here.

The vaccine from Pfizer, a US company, and BioNTech, a German company, causes an immune response in Phase 1 and 2 tests. According to a study published in Nature magazine, volunteers registered a “robust” immune response after receiving the vaccine. Read more here and here.

Anvisa, the National Health Surveillance Agency, released an official note today to say that, to date, the Russian laboratory responsible for vaccine development has not submitted any request for authorisation for research or registration of immunisation. Read more here.

In the race to discover a Coronavirus vaccine, there is a great rush to patent any discovery and this has the potential to prevent access to the world's most sought-after vaccine. Read more here.

Through the partnership with the US Government for the Covid-19 vaccine, Moderna has raised almost a billion dollars in research aid. Read more here.

China has granted its first patent for the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine was developed by Chen Wei of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences and the Chinese company CanSino Biologics. The patent application was submitted on 18 March and approved on 11 August. Read more here.

Portugal will be entitled to 6.9 million vaccines to fight Covid-19, as part of the 300 million vaccine batch reserved by the European Union from AstraZeneca/Oxford University. In the case of individual doses, these will be sufficient for two thirds of the Portuguese population, and they may arrive as early as December. Read more here.

The tests needed to obtain regulatory approval for Russia's Covid-19 vaccine will involve an additional 40,000 people and will be overseen by a foreign research group. Read more here.

Australia guarantees access to a promising vaccine against Covid-19 and will be able to provide free doses to its entire population of 25 million people. The vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company, and Oxford University. Read more here.

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