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Arbutus gains in patent ruling against Moderna over COVID-19 vaccine

EditorAhmed Abdulazez Abdulkadir
Published 04/04/2024, 09:54 AM
ABUS
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WARMINSTER, Pa. - Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ:ABUS) Corporation (NASDAQ:ABUS), a company focused on finding a cure for chronic hepatitis B, has received a favorable ruling in a patent infringement lawsuit against Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Inc. concerning technology used in Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, MRNA-1273.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has agreed with Arbutus and its licensee Genevant Sciences on key aspects of the patent claims in question. The court's decision supports Arbutus's interpretation of the disputed patent terms related to lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulations that encapsulate mRNA, a crucial component of Moderna's vaccine technology.

According to the court's opinion, the patents covering the composition of total lipid, the cationic lipid with protonatable tertiary amine, and the encapsulation efficiency of mRNA, were upheld in favor of Arbutus's claims.

The court validated the company's position that the claimed molar percentage ranges of the composition can be met by any particle and are not limited to "finished" particles. Additionally, the court agreed that there is no limitation as to the molar percentage of the claimed cationic lipid and that the encapsulation efficiency terms are to be interpreted as Arbutus suggested.

Arbutus's Interim President and CEO, Michael J. McElhaugh, expressed satisfaction with the court's decision, highlighting the company's commitment to defending its intellectual property. Arbutus and Genevant Sciences are seeking compensation from Moderna for the use of their patented LNP technology, which they claim was essential for the success of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The company's broader focus remains on developing treatments for chronic hepatitis B virus (cHBV) infection, with a pipeline that includes an RNAi therapeutic, imdusiran (AB-729), and an oral PD-L1 inhibitor, AB-101, both of which are in clinical trials.

The full details of the court's claim construction ruling are available on the Arbutus website. The outcome of this case may have significant implications for the biopharmaceutical industry, particularly in the area of mRNA vaccine development. The information in this article is based on a press release statement issued by Arbutus Biopharma Corporation.

InvestingPro Insights

Following the favorable court ruling in its patent infringement lawsuit, Arbutus Biopharma Corporation's (NASDAQ:ABUS) financial health and market performance provide additional context for investors. With a market capitalization of $524.12 million, the company is navigating through a period marked by significant revenue decline, with the last twelve months as of Q4 2023 showing a revenue decrease of 53.51%. This is underscored by a gross profit margin of -306.26%, reflecting the challenges the company faces in generating profit from its sales.

Despite these financial headwinds, Arbutus has seen a strong return over the last three months, with a 16.8% total price return, indicating investor confidence may be buoyed by recent developments, including the court ruling. An InvestingPro Tip highlights that Arbutus holds more cash than debt on its balance sheet, which is a positive sign for financial stability and may provide some cushion against the cash burn the company is experiencing.

Investors interested in a deeper analysis can explore further InvestingPro Tips, which reveal that analysts do not anticipate the company will be profitable this year and that Arbutus is trading at a high revenue valuation multiple. For those intrigued by Arbutus's financials and market performance, additional insights are available on InvestingPro. There are 12 more InvestingPro Tips to help investors make informed decisions, accessible at: https://www.investing.com/pro/ABUS. Remember to use coupon code PRONEWS24 to get an additional 10% off a yearly or biyearly Pro and Pro+ subscription.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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