According to the Financial Times, Moderna has turned down a request from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to hand over its COVID-19 vaccine technology.
Moderna has refused to give Beijing the recipe of its RNA vaccine know-how due to commercial and safety concerns.
The newspaper cited sources, saying that failure in negotiations in 2020 and 2021 meant it could not sell its vaccine in the China market.
The Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical firm did not want to hand over the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology to a Chinese partner because of possible reputational risks if the local partner failed to follow the manufacturing process properly.
The mRNA vaccine technology developed by Moderna and BioNTech/Pfizer provides more effective and better protection than the inactivated vaccine technology used by Chinese pharma makers.
Chinese pharma firms are struggling to develop an mRNA vaccine as the country faces multiple outbreaks.
The Chinese health agency has not approved any foreign vaccine and relies only on local inactivated vaccines for mass vaccine shots in the country.
The Financial Times reported that recently, Moderna has signaled that it’s willing to renegotiate with China. This month, Modena’s chief medical officer Paul Burton said, “We would certainly be very eager to collaborate with China if they felt that there was a need for a vaccine there.”
The company told the Financial Times: “We are not currently engaged in supply talks with China. We are open to speaking with countries on their supply needs for COVID-19 vaccines.”
Industry insiders said the company’s signal to discuss again with China is due to the weakening demand for mRNA vaccines in wealthier countries.
The Chinese regime is known for requiring foreign companies to transfer their advanced technologies, intellectual property (IP), and know-how to China to gain access to its vast market.
According to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, this forced technology transfer is carried out using six methods: foreign direct investment, venture capital investment, joint ventures, licensing agreements, cyber espionage, and talent acquisition programs.