TOKYO: Moderna Inc believed from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that BioNTech SE used its intellectual property in producing a rival vaccine, Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said on Wednesday.

Moderna filed suit against BioNTech and its partner Pfizer Inc last month for patent infringement in the development of the first COVID-19 vaccine approved in the United States.

Bancel, speaking in Tokyo, said Moderna is considering building facilities in Japan to produce mRNA-derived products. (Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Tom Hogue)