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Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Moderna said in new financial filings that it "cannot be certain that we were the first to make the inventions claimed in our patents or pending patent applications" — including the company's experimental coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: This disclosure comes six weeks after Axios and Public Citizen highlighted how the National Institutes of Health may hold joint ownership claims for this particular vaccine.

What they're saying: Moderna, which had not included this language in previous quarterly investor reports, added that "publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after."

  • NIH scientists have filed for a provisional patent application tied to Moderna's vaccine, and the federal agency has also said "mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates [are] developed and jointly owned" by NIH and Moderna.

The bottom line: The public increasingly appears to hold a significant ownership stake in Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, which is now in advanced clinical trials.

  • Moderna's stock dropped 3% Monday, but the company still has a market value around $28 billion.

Separately, regarding Moderna's noncompliance with a federal contract about disclosing taxpayer costs as a percentage of the project, HHS has told Axios that it has "reminded the company of the terms and conditions of the contract, and we will continue to monitor the company’s press releases and other public statements to ensure those terms and conditions are followed."

Go deeper

Nov 19, 2020 - Health

Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trials show strong immune response

CSL chief scientific officer Andrew Nash with a small vial to go into the bioreactor to create 30 ml doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Nov. 8 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

A COVID-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca is safe and produces strong immune responses in older people, per preliminary findings of a phase two trial published Thursday in The Lancet.

Why it matters: Coronavirus cases are soaring in the U.S. and across the world. The findings from the study of 560 healthy adults, including 240 people aged over 70, follow Pfizer's announcement Wednesday that its vaccine is 95% effective and Moderna's data released Monday showing its version has a 94.5% vaccination success rate.

Nov 18, 2020 - Health

Over a quarter-million people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

The United States topped 250,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday as infections soar in nearly every pocket of every state in the country, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: The sharp rise in the number of cases and fatalities has accelerated calls for government action. Wednesday's news exceeded infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci's March prediction in which he said "we should be prepared" that COVID-19 could kill 240,000 Americans.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

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