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U.S. Government Pockets $400 Million from Moderna mRNA COVID Shots

NIH building

A recently disclosed contract reveals that the U.S. government received millions of dollars in licensing fees from Moderna, Inc. The company paid the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $400 million to use NIH’s spike protein technology in Moderna’s Spikevax messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 biologic.1 2

The large payment was part of a royalty-bearing license agreement negotiated between Moderna and the NIH in December 2022. The Epoch Times received a copy of the contract through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. While certain portions of the contract were redacted, including a clause stating that Moderna would pay “low single digit royalties” on future sales of the COVID shots, the document revealed that the NIH would receive royalties in late 2022,3 as well as annual royalties of an undisclosed amount.4

NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID ) is to receive a “catch-up” non-refundable royalty in the amount of $400 million from Moderna for the use of its molecular technique. The molecular technique aims to stabilize the SARS-COV2 spike protein in order to create a strong immune response in vaccine recipients. The spike protein technology is jointly owned by the NIH and Dartmouth University’s Geisel School of Medicine, and both are named in the contract along with Moderna.5 6

Moderna and the NIAID began working together on this technology in 2016 and previously published a study using the spike protein from MES-CoV, a similar virus to SARS-COV2, in 2017.7

Duane Compton, PhD, Dean at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College said:

We are excited about how these funds will amplify this important mission at Geisel and for how it will support our training programs for the next generation of biomedical researchers.8

NIH and Moderna Spar over Patent Rights

There has been a lingering dispute between Moderna and the NIH over who developed the spike protein used in Moderna’s Spikevax shot. Moderna attempted to file a principal patent on the entirety of the mRNA sequence fund in their vaccine by claiming its scientists developed the sequence. The NIH disputes their claim and argues that government scientists developed the technology and gave it to the vaccine maker.9

Moderna’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, testified before Congress on March 23 saying that his company developed the same spike protein that NIH developed but did not patent it due to disagreements with NIH.10

The former director of NIH, Francis Collins, MD, PhD said:

I think Moderna has made a serious mistake here in not providing the kind of co-inventorship credit to people who played a major role in the development of the vaccine that they’re now making a fair amount of money off of.11

Bancel argued:

We have abandoned that patent, the NIH is aware of it, and we are moving on because we cannot agree on what happened. The mRNA molecule was designed by the Moderna team. It is our technology.12

One Hand Washes the Other with Public-Private Business Partnerships Between Government and Pharma

While there may be a dispute over who originally developed the spike protein for Spikevax, it Is clear that NIH and Moderna worked together to develop and manufacture the product.  The symbiotic financial relationship between the government and the private company appears to exist in all steps of the COVID vaccine roll-out process. It started with $10 billion dollars of taxpayer funds going to Moderna to help create and test the novel biologic.13

Government scientists may have originally developed the spike protein technology ultimately used by Moderna in Spikevax.14 In order to aid in the distribution of the Spikevax shots to the public, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) paid $1.74 billion to Moderna for 65 million doses of Spikevax in the summer of 2022.15 Now it is revealed that Moderna paid $400 million to the NIH for the development of the spike protein technology used in Spikevax.

The government contracts with Moderna helped the vaccine manufacturer develop the COVID shots resulting in an almost $37 billion dollar windfall for the company with $5 billion in revenue projected for 2023 as the company plans on raising the price of the vaccine by 400% going forward.16 17

The collaboration between NIH and Moderna in the development of Spikevax is another example of the lucrative public-private business partnership between the U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies.18 19 20

Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), observed:

Perhaps the greatest change I have seen in vaccine regulation, policymaking and law over the past four decades has been the development of public-private business partnerships between Big Pharma and the government. That seismic change has affected how new vaccines are developed, licensed and regulated and is influencing what we see happening today.21


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Click here to view References:

1 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
2 Bean M. Moderna pays NIH $400M in COVID-19 vaccine licensing fees. Becker’s Hospital Review Feb. 24, 2023.
3 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. Epoch Times. Mar. 30, 2023.
4 Public Health Service Patent License-Non-Exclusive.
5 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
6 Mole B. As COVID vaccine patent dispute drags on, Moderna forks over $400M to NIH. Ars Technica Feb. 24, 2023.
7 Ibid.
8 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
9 Mole B. As COVID vaccine patent dispute drags on, Moderna forks over $400M to NIH. Ars Technica Feb. 24, 2023.
10 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
11 Mole B. As COVID vaccine patent dispute drags on, Moderna forks over $400M to NIH. Ars Technica Feb. 24, 2023.
12 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
13 Mole B. Moderna CEO says private investors funded COVID vaccine – not billions from gov’t. Ars Technica Mar. 7 2023.
14 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
15 Sharon. US Government Profited from COVID-19 Vaccine. canyon-news. Mar. 28, 2023.
16 Steiber Z. Contract Confirms US Government Received $400 Million From Major COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturer. The Epoch Times Mar. 30, 2023.
17 Mole B. As COVID vaccine patent dispute drags on, Moderna forks over $400M to NIH. Ars Technica Feb. 24, 2023.
18 Fisher BL. End Pharma Liability Shield Endangering Public Health and Human Rights. NVIC Newsletter Nov. 8, 2016.
19 U.S. National Institutes of Health. Public-Private Partnerships. NIAID Oct. 18, 2010.
20 Fisher BL. Here Comes the 21st Century Cures Act: Say Goodbye to Vaccine Safety ScienceNVIC Newsletter  July 21, 2015
21 Fisher BL. Seeing Through the COVID-19 Spin. NVIC Newsletter Apr. 26, 2021.

8 Responses

  1. And then the government turns around and spends $billions on purchasing mRNA injections by the hundreds of millions.

    1. Correction. You, the American citizen paid for that. The government does not have money per se, nor does the government produce anything. They only have the ability to spend other peoples money, to profit from other peoples labor.

  2. Pretty amazing since Fauci basically owns Moderna and just before Covid was rolled out, Moderna was going to declare bankruptcy because everything they had produced failed, didn’t work. Then all of a sudden Fauci started promoting the “vaccine” and lo and behold, Moderna comes out with the jab, and Moderna is back in business. Disgusting.

    1. Opium for the masses. It’s one thing to stand in objection ideologically to corrupt systems. It’s quite another to actually boycott the system and pursue alternative medicine instead. You are what you eat. Pay attention to the ‘contains bio engineered ingredients’ food labeling. If you find that in your food supply and continue to purchase those products, it’s hard to claim any moral high ground upstream to the managers whom produced that technology in the first place. Fauci is the father of genetic modification. This technology proliferated wildly under his tenure, as he constantly directed funding towards rnma research of all types. It all started with crispr-9. Get your mind around it and reject all forms of genetic modification of our foods, bodies, and environment surrounding. If one has a position within government and is not utilizing the power of insider trading, they’re simply stupid for having left money on the table. Because someone else within government, you can guarantee, they will not leave the money and opportunity just sitting there. Taxation is theft. One more time; Where in the hell does the actual money which the government spends actually come from?

  3. The government is the bank. Get your mind around it. The federal reserve is the mechanism by which the government can simply tax the people, by way of taxing our money supply. This deal with patent claiming is yet another obvious issue of speculation by financiers. At least they can tell the truth about something… Wasn’t it just sort of interesting the way that when the product was failing and millions of people were injured, they just could not figure out what was going wrong, more studies were always needed, there was never enough conclusive data to form comprehensive conclusions. When it comes to the money, suddenly they’re able to pay better attention, form comprehensive arguments. Who’s still buying into this?

    “Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.”

    What if the headline read this instead; NIH and Moderna Spar over Patient Rights.
    Can you spot the difference?

  4. What would be really interesting to know is where the money paid to NIH goes. How much to individuals (inventors or directors like Fauci) and how much to institutions. Either way looks like money laundering:
    1) NIH develops a vaccine just before the pandemic and gives it to a failing startup together with government money for distribution
    2) The government also forces people to take the vax with no liability for it or the company and pays for this with more tax money
    3) Then the company pays some people back in government.

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