Moderna is suing Pfizer-BioNTech for vaccine patent infringement; the White House is pushing for American citizens to have access to all publicly funded research by 2026; Monkeypox cases drop 21% globally, stopping a months-long increase.
Moderna alleges that Pfizer-BioNTech improperly used the company’s foundational technology to develop its COVID-19 vaccine, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday in the United States and Germany. The legal battle will likely take 3 to 5 years, as most patent lawsuits end up in appeals courts. Pfizer had not received the lawsuit at time of questioning but defended its vaccine in a similar lawsuit from CureVac, a German company that attempted to make its own COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer said its work was original and that they would defend against any lawsuit.
The White House has announced it is pushing for all publicly funded research to be accessible to the public, stating that all academic journals will have to provide immediate access to any such papers. This would end a policy that could allow publishers to keep such research behind a paywall for up to 1 year. The policy will be fully implemented in early 2026. Supporters state this could be beneficial for students at universities who cannot afford to pay for subscriptions for academic papers. It could also keep the public in the loop on groundbreaking research, such as cancer breakthroughs or clean-energy technology.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that monkeypox cases have dropped 21% in the past week, which may indicate the slowing spread in Europe. Since April, there have been 45,000 cases of monkeypox reported in 98 countries, with 60% of cases in the Americas. Although the decrease is a good sign for Europe, the WHO says that the Americas continue to see a steep rise in case numbers, with Latin America struggling due to lack of awareness and public health measures. Last week, British health authorities said there were signs of a slowing spread; they downgraded the country’s monkeypox outbreak last month due to evidence of the disease only spreading among men who were gay, bisexual, or had sex with other men.