You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Why Arbutus Biopharma Is Rocketing Higher Today

The Motley Fool logo The Motley Fool 12/1/2021 Cory Renauer
Why Arbutus Biopharma Is Rocketing Higher Today © Provided by The Motley Fool Why Arbutus Biopharma Is Rocketing Higher Today

What happened

Shares of Arbutus Biopharma (NASDAQ: ABUS) rocketed higher on Wednesday morning in response to a court ruling in its favor. The stock was up 70.2% at 11:41 a.m. on Wednesday.

So what 

Moderna's (NASDAQ: MRNA) attempt to avoid paying royalties on the lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology that its COVID vaccine relies upon took another turn for the worse. A court of appeals decision filed today affirms the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's previous decision not to invalidate Arbutus Biopharma's patents covering LNPs.

Smart investor checkin on their stocks. © Getty Images Smart investor checkin on their stocks.

LNPs are the tiny fat bubbles that encase RNA-based vaccines and therapies, allowing them to travel through the bloodstream to their destination. Licensing the technology has long been part of Arbutus Biopharma's business plan. The company currently receives royalties from Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY) on sales of Onpattro at a rate of up to 2.33% of global net sales.

Video: Tellimer's Malik on Oil Exporter Equities (Bloomberg)

Now what

Moderna's claim that Arbutus Biopharma's LNP technology was too obvious to be patentable is a hard line to swallow. Years ago, Moderna thought Arbutus' LNP technology was important enough to license it for a handful of vaccine targets, none of which were COVID-19.

Figuring out exactly how much revenue Arbutus can expect from Moderna is going to be tricky. In 2018, Arbutus spun out its LNP technology into a separate company it still owns 16% of, called Genevant.


10 stocks we like better than Arbutus Biopharma

When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Arbutus Biopharma wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks


*Stock Advisor returns as of November 10, 2021


Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


More from The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon