November 9, 2020
One of the world’s most highly-publicized cases of COVID-19 is now tied to an IP dispute, as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the “antibody cocktail” used to treat Donald Trump, is facing a patent lawsuit. As reported by BNN Bloomberg, the dispute revolves around a fluorescent protein that Regeneron used in its development of the antibody treatment. California company Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals has alleged that Regeneron did not obtain proper authorization for its use of the protein and seeks royalties for its unauthorized use.
Allele was granted a patent for “mNeonGreen” in March 2019, which generally relates to the use of a fluorescent protein that is injected into cells so that researchers can see what is happening. In the case of COVID-19, it can be used in drugs to see how the virus reacts to an antibody.
Allele reportedly reached out to Regeneron to negotiate a licence to use its technology, but Regeneron reportedly did not answer the company’s requests. Allele stated that the protein has been referred to as the “gold standard” in antibody and vaccine testing by scientific journals, and hundreds of organizations have active licences to use the technology. The company has emphasized that its goal in the lawsuit is recognition for its role in this area of development and to maintain its patent rights.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Brennan Caldwell