BAVARIAN NORDIC, ACAMBIS FIGHT OVER VACCINE RIGHTS
Dutch firm Bavarian Nordic has accused Acambis of patent infringement, charging that its British rival used stolen trade secrets to develop a competing smallpox vaccine.
Bavarian Nordic's allegations, which come as the two companies are competing for a large HHS contract, revolve around its MVA (modified vaccine virus Ankara) smallpox vaccine products. In a complaint filed recently in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Bavarian Nordic alleges Acambis developed a rival vaccine using proprietary information.
"Without permission from Bavarian Nordic, Acambis received a Bavarian Nordic proprietary MVA-strain and dosing information, and used them to develop a competing MVA smallpox vaccine product," the complaint states.
In a recent statement, Acambis said Bavarian Nordic's claims are unfounded. "We have freedom to research, develop, manufacture and sell our MVA vaccine candidate," Acambis CEO Gordon Cameron said. "That position still stands and we do not expect either of the Bavarian Nordic legal actions to affect that position, in particular for the current U.S. government tender process."
The HHS issued a request for proposals Aug. 15 seeking up to 20 million doses of MVA vaccine over a two-year period. The agency might also purchase an additional 60 million doses of vaccine.
Acambis wasn't the only party to question the validity of Bavarian Nordic's actions. London-based equity research firm Nomura said Bavarian Nordic's allegations are likely a strategy to influence the outcome of the HHS contract award.