AFTER HOURS BREAKING NEWS
Moderna stock tumbled late Thursday after the biotech lost a patent battle that may jeopardize the financial future of its coronavirus vaccine.
Moderna ( MRNA ) challenged patents held by Arbutus Biopharma ( ABUS ) covering lipid nanoparticle, or LNP, technology. Lipid nanoparticles are the delivery system for messenger RNA drugs, including Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, which is known as mRNA-1273 .
Despite the company's contention, the ruling could cut into profits on any Moderna drug, including mRNA-1273 , says SVB Leerink analyst Mani Foroohar.
"Revenue concentration in (the coronavirus vaccine) is a central feature of the investment case for Moderna shares," Foroohar said. "Any meaningful royalty burden could hamper Moderna's pricing flexibility and margin profile vs. other players in the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine market."
Foroohar called the decision in Arbutus' favor "a disappointing turn for Moderna ."
"This decision opens the door to a fascinating (and likely protracted) period of investor controversy and debate around the implications of any potential infringement of claims by Arbutus regarding Moderna's use of Lipid Nanoparticle delivery technology, and any further actions Moderna may take to defend their own (intellectual property) position and freedom to operate," he said.
Where's ABUS going? To $100.00 ...???
On the monthly chart, it looks like $9.00 might be the next stop..? At this point, I am not sure if there is a top right now for ABUS .
The news is huge for ABUS and could entitle ABUS to billions in profits and revenue from the COVID-19 vaccine.
Intelligent comments welcome.
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It seems to me that Moderna tried to legally void Arbus's patent by challenging it in court, which would mean that Moderna could avoid having to pay Arbus for the technology they developed and that Moderna wants to use. So really, it seems Moderna was trying to take technology that wasn't theirs without having to pay for it. This has nothing to do with covid-19, but everything to do with technology Arbus developed that hundreds if not thousands of companies around the world are using. Why would Arbus be expected to handle over what was probably millions of dollars and years of research, probably a big profit center for their business, just so Moderna wouldn't have to pay them licensing fees for the use of the technology? That is how this stuff works. Company A invents something, Company B wants to use... so they licence it.
Of course Moderna lost and it cost them not only in legal fees and time, but also face with their investors. Arbus simply defended their patent. If you know anything about patent law, if you don't defined your patents, you can lose them. I suspect this is why Moderna's stock is dropping while Arbus's stock is going up.