Moderna Inc has refused to hand over to China the core intellectual property behind the development of its COVID-19 vaccine, leading to a collapse in negotiations on its sale in the country, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company turned down China’s request to disclose the formula for its mRNA vaccine because of commercial and safety concerns, the newspaper said, citing people involved in negotiations that took place from 2020 to last year, adding that the vaccine maker is still “eager” to sell the product to China.
The company had “given up” on its previous efforts to access the Chinese market because of Beijing’s demand that it reveal the technology as a prerequisite for its sale in the country, the report said.
China has not approved any foreign COVID-19 vaccines and relies on several domestically developed shots.
Moderna chief medical officer Paul Burton last month said the company is keen to collaborate with China on supplying its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
“We would certainly be very eager to collaborate with China if they felt that there was a need for a vaccine there,” Burton told a news conference. “Currently, there is no activity going on, but we’d be very open to it.”
Moderna established a subsidiary in Taiwan on Thursday last week, as the company makes efforts to collaborate with the nation’s private and public sectors, as well as academia, the subsidiary’s general manager Joyce Lee (李宜真) said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan has since early last month received four shipments of the US company’s next-generation COVID-19 vaccine targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of SARS-CoV-2, and local cities and counties began administering the doses on Sept. 24, the Central Epidemic Command Center said.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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