Umm, certainly the prospect of making billions of dollars does not at all factor into his discounting of hydroxychloraquine!
That crook should be arrested.The NIH claims joint ownership of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios
The National Institutes of Health may own intellectual property that undergirds a leading coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna, according to documents obtained by Axios and an analysis from Public Citizen.
Why it matters: Because the federal government has an actual stake in this vaccine, it could try to make the vaccine a free or low-cost public good with wide distribution, if the product turns out to be safe and effective.
The big picture: The NIH mostly funds outside research, but it also often invents basic scientific technologies that are later licensed out and incorporated into drugs that are sold at massive profits. The agency rarely claims ownership stakes or pursues patent rights, but that appears to be different with this coronavirus vaccine.
Driving the news: New evidence shines light on the extent of NIH's involvement.
What they're saying: NIH said in a statement that its scientists created the "stabilized coronavirus spike proteins for the development of vaccines against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2," and the government consequently has "sought patents to preserve the government's rights to these inventions."
Between the lines: Rizvi said co-owning the vaccine could allow NIH to more broadly license the underlying technology to other vaccine manufacturers "without the consent of Moderna," a company that is valued at $25 billion despite having no federally approved drugs on the market.
The bottom line: Many experts anticipate a coronavirus vaccine, once proven safe and effective, would be made as widely available as possible, and that developers aren't likely to seek big profits from it. Partial federal ownership could be a backstop if those assumptions don't bear out, but NIH isn't keen on stepping on industry's toes.