Merck and Pfizer Wyeth settle vaccine patent dispute

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GetttyImages/stocknshares
© GetttyImages/stocknshares

Related tags: Merck, patent dispute, Vaccine

Merck and Pfizer subsidiary, Wyeth LLC, have resolved a patent row related to their competing vaccines for preventing diseases including pneumonia and meningitis.

In a statement late last week, Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, said it had entered into a settlement and license agreement with Pfizer Inc, resolving all worldwide patent infringement litigation related to the use of Merck’s pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) products.

Under the terms of the deal, the Kenilworth, New Jersey based, Merck, will pay Pfizer 7.25% of its net sales from pneumococcal conjugate vaccines worldwide through the end of 2026. After that, Merck will owe a 2.5% royalty to Pfizer through the end of 2035.

In a Delaware, US court filing, the companies asked the judge in question to dismiss the claims with prejudice, reported Reuters. 

The settlement comes more than two months after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) backed Vaxneuvance for pneumonia caused by 15 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae. About a month earlier, Pfizer (PFE) got US regulatory approval for an updated version of its pneumonia vaccine, PREVNAR 20.

In January this year, Merck had requested a court ruling that its Vaxneuvance vaccine did not violate three patents linked to Pfizer’s (PFE) Prevnar vaccines.

It claimed, in that filing, that Pfizer was engaging in the aggressive pursuit of overly broad interpretations for its pneumococcal vaccines. Merck alleged that Pfizer would be free to continue this practice unhindered unless a declaratory judgment made Pfizer’s patents invalid.

Pfizer Wyeth later countersued Merck for allegedly infringing the Prevnar patents.

Merck's complaint said it and Wyeth had been involved in patent proceedings related to the vaccines for over four years in a number of countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, and the UK.

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