DARPA letter to KEI confirming investigation of Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications

On Friday, September 18, 2020, KEI received a letter from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) confirming that the agency was investigating Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications. The Financial Times and other outlets had previously reported this investigation (see: https://www.keionline.org/moderna), but this letter is the first official notice we have received from DARPA.

The letter from DARPA is signed by D. Peter Donaghue, who is the Division Director for Contracts at DARPA.

The letter is short, and confirms that DARPA is conducting an investigation. I would expect Moderna to report this to shareholders at some point.

A PDF of the letter from DARPA is available here: DARPAresponse-KEI-Moderna-18Sep2020

The full text of the letter follows:

September 18, 2020

Dear Mr. Love:
I am responding to your letter of August 27, 2020, to Dr. Amy Jenkins at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) requesting the Department of Defense investigate Moderna Therapeutics’ (Moderna) alleged failure to disclose DARPA funding support in its patented inventions. DARPA is reviewing agreements it has awarded to Moderna and U.S. patents and published patent applications for Moderna and ModernaTx, since March 2013.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Should you have any questions, please contact DARPA Deputy General Counsel, Geraldine Chanel, at 571-218-4609 or geraldine.chanel@darpa.mil.

D. Peter Donaghue
Contracting Officer-Division Director
Contracts Management Office