November 2012: Acuitas Therapeutics (formerly AlCana) and Tekmira (now Arbutus) enter into a cross license agreement concerning LNP technology.
May 2015: Acuitas grants sublicense to Moderna for LNP technology (Arbutus aware of this sublicense).
June 2016: Arbutus becomes aware Acuitas has breached the cross licensing agreement.
August 26, 2016: Arbutus becomes aware Acuitas has entered into a second sublicense with Moderna.
August 29, 2016: Arbutus sends letter to Acuitas stating the termination of the cross licensing agreement.
October 25, 2016: Acuitas sues Arbutus for terminating the cross licensing agreement.
November 15, 2016: Arbutus counterclaim against Acuitas.
November 15, 2016 Arbutus response to Acuitas civil claim.
December 9, 2016: Acuitas response to counterclaim.
Beginning of 2016: Moderna enters clinic with mRNA therapeutics(s) utilizing Arbutus LNP technology (H/T Matthew Herper).
These details can mostly be found in the public civil court documents, which I have posted below. I don’t want to comment on the claims made by both parties in the court documents (or the license agreements themselves) since I am not a lawyer. However, I will say that it is suspicious that Moderna is utilizing Acuitas/Arbutus LNP despite make claims of the superiority of their in-house LNP technology. It would appear Moderna is trying to use the Acuitas/Arbutus technology as a ‘stepping stone’ while their in-house LNP tech matures (supposedly) towards the clinic.
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