Battle of the Pharmaceutical Giants: GSK Suing Pfizer for Alleged RSV Vaccine IP Violations

On Wednesday, GlaxoSmithKline embarked on an epic legal battle against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, claiming four breaches of their patents regarding the antigen used in their Arexvy respiratory syncytial virus shot.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has filed a complaint in federal court in Delaware against Pfizer, alleging that its recently-released RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, makes use of GSK’s patented inventions without permission. GSK is seeking a jury trial and damages, such as lost profits and royalties – aiming to hold Pfizer accountable for the alleged patent infringement.

Pfizer staunchly denies any charges of misconduct and has publicly declared it will fight to maintain its integrity.

This past May, the FDA gave the thumbs up for two long-awaited RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) vaccines, GSK’s Arexvy and Pfizer’s Abrysvo, only for the companies to be dragged into a legal battle shortly afterwards. Now, GSK has leveled a complaint against Pfizer, alleging that they infringed on its patents related to Arexvy.

With the approval of both Arxvy and Abrysvo by the FDA for use in adults 60 and older, doses of these two medicines have become available to the public through retail pharmacies. However, GSK is fighting back by attempting to block Pfizer from being able to sell their version.

GSK is taking a stand against Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) by ensuring that their separate shots of Abrysvo are available to prevent infancts from getting the virus. The FDA is expected to make a final ruling on the vaccine later this month, which could potentially save thousands of seniors and young children from the deadly disease.

RSV commonly causes cold-like symptoms, but in more serious cases it can prove to be fatal. With the hope of GSK’s Abryvo separation shots now in the picture, there is an optimistic chance of dramatically reducing the amount of lives lost to the virus every year.

The RSV vaccine market could boom to over $10 billion in just ten years, according to market analysts. This impressive growth is a key part of both companies’ plans, aiming to replace drugs that are soon to face cheaper generic competition. Such a remarkable breakthrough could prove very lucrative for investors.

Pfizer allegedly started working on a RSV vaccine program in 2013, which would have been seven years after GSK had already begun working on theirs. In October 2019, Pfizer reportedly began questioning the validity of GSK’s patents – seemingly aware of the patented technology GSK had developed. With a legal complaint issued as a result, it appears that Pfizer will do anything to protect their own RSV vaccine program.

Just a few days after AstraZeneca agreed to shell out $510 million to Bristol-Myers Squibb in a settlement of their patent-infringement disputes, GlaxoSmithKline is now embroiled in a similar controversy with Pfizer. Both companies are set to clash in court over a significant expiry of important patents.

Leave a Comment