On December 1, 2021, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) earlier rulings that ModernaTX, Inc. (formerly Moderna Therapeutics Inc.) failed to invalidate claims in two Arbutus Biopharma Corp. patents, known as the '069 and ’435 patents, and left the ‘069 patent fully intact. The trading price of Arbutus shares jumped as much as 95 percent after the court posted its opinions on its electronic docket. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented Arbutus in the matter.
Arbutus’s U.S. Patent Nos. 8,058,069 and 9,364,435 relate to a composition based on lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology that delivers nucleic acid payloads to allow the human body to make its own therapeutic proteins.
According to a recent Reuters article, “Moderna previously said in court filings that it believes Arbutus could bring a lawsuit demanding royalties from its COVID-19 vaccine if the patents were upheld.” Reuters reported that Moderna “last month forecast 2021 sales of between $15 billion and $18 billion, and 2022 sales of between $17 billion and $22 billion, for its COVID-19 vaccine.”