S-1/A 1 ds1a.htm AMENDMENT NO. 3 TO FORM S-1 Amendment No. 3 to Form S-1
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 22, 2010

Registration No. 333-163778

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

AMENDMENT NO. 3

TO

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

AVEO PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware   2834   04-3581650
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

75 Sidney Street

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(617) 299-5000

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

Tuan Ha-Ngoc

Chief Executive Officer

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

75 Sidney Street

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(617) 299-5000

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

Copies to:

 

Steven D. Singer, Esq.

Cynthia T. Mazareas, Esq.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

60 State Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02109

(617) 526-6000

 

Joseph D. Vittiglio, Esq.

Vice President, Corporate Counsel

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

75 Sidney Street

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(617) 299-5000

 

Patrick O’Brien, Esq.

Paul M. Kinsella, Esq.

Ropes & Gray LLP

One International Place

Boston, Massachusetts 02110

(617) 951-7000

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after this Registration Statement is declared effective.

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), check the following box.  ¨

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer  ¨

   Accelerated filer  ¨   Non-accelerated filer  x   Smaller reporting company  ¨
     (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)  

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

Title of Each Class of

Securities to be Registered

   Amount to
be Registered(1)
   Proposed Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price
per Share(2)
   Proposed Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price(2)
   Amount of
Registration
Fee(3)(4)

Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share

   8,050,000    $ 15.00    $ 120,750,000    $ 7,273
(1)

Includes 1,050,000 shares of common stock that may be purchased by the underwriters to cover over-allotments, if any.

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(3)

Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(a) based on a bona fide estimate of the proposed maximum aggregate offering price.

(4)

A registration fee of $4,813 has been paid previously in connection with this Registration Statement pursuant to Rule 457(o) based on an estimate of the proposed maximum aggregate offering price. The remaining $2,460 of the registration fee is being paid herewith.

THE REGISTRANT HEREBY AMENDS THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT ON SUCH DATE OR DATES AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO DELAY ITS EFFECTIVE DATE UNTIL THE REGISTRANT SHALL FILE A FURTHER AMENDMENT WHICH SPECIFICALLY STATES THAT THIS REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL THEREAFTER BECOME EFFECTIVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 8(A) OF THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933 OR UNTIL THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ON SUCH DATE AS THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ACTING PURSUANT TO SAID SECTION 8(A), MAY DETERMINE.

 

 

 


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The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

PROSPECTUS (Subject to Completion)

 

Issued February 22, 2010

 

7,000,000 Shares

 

LOGO

 

COMMON STOCK

 

 

 

This is the initial public offering of common stock by AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AVEO is selling 7,000,000 shares of common stock. Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our common stock. The initial public offering price of our common stock is expected to be between $13.00 and $15.00 per share.

 

 

 

We have applied for listing of our common stock on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol AVEO.

 

 

 

       Per share      Total

Initial public offering price

     $                      $                

Underwriting discounts and commissions

     $                      $                

Proceeds to AVEO, before expenses

     $                      $                

 

We have granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 1,050,000 additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments.

 

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 9.

 

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares on or about                     , 2010.

 

 

 

J.P.Morgan     Morgan Stanley
  Leerink Swann  
  Canaccord Adams  
   

 

                    , 2010


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You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus and in any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. We have not authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different. This prospectus may only be used where it is legal to offer and sell shares of our common stock. The information in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of shares of our common stock.

Until                     , 2010 (25 days after the commencement of this offering), all dealers that buy, sell or trade shares of our common stock, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This delivery requirement is in addition to the dealers’ obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

For investors outside the United States: We have not and the underwriters have not done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the shares of common stock and the distribution of this prospectus outside the United States.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, especially the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page 9 and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus, before making an investment decision.

Our Company

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel cancer therapeutics. Our product candidates are directed against important mechanisms, or targets, known or believed to be involved in cancer. Tivozanib, our lead product candidate, is a highly potent and selective oral inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, receptors 1, 2 and 3. Our clinical trials of tivozanib to date have demonstrated a favorable safety and efficacy profile for tivozanib. We have completed a successful 272-patient phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced renal cell cancer, or RCC. In this trial, we measured, among other things, each patient’s progression-free survival, which refers to the period of time that began when a patient entered the clinical trial and ended when either the patient died or the patient’s cancer had grown by a specified percentage or spread to a new location in the body. The overall median progression-free survival of patients in the phase 2 clinical trial was 11.8 months. In a retrospective analysis of the subset of 176 patients in our phase 2 clinical trial who had the clear cell type of RCC and who had undergone prior removal of their affected kidney, referred to as a nephrectomy, both of which are inclusion criteria for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, the median progression-free survival was 14.8 months. The incidence of side effects in the trial, such as diarrhea, fatigue, rash, mucositis, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome, which are commonly associated with other VEGF receptor inhibitors, was notably low, with moderate to severe episodes of these side effects occurring in fewer than two percent of treated patients. In December 2009, we initiated patient screening for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC, in which we plan to enroll 500 patients, which we refer to as the TIVO-1 study. We commenced enrollment of patients in the TIVO-1 study in February 2010. The TIVO-1 study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial of tivozanib compared to Nexavar (sorafenib) in advanced clear cell RCC patients who have undergone a prior nephrectomy, and who have not received any prior VEGF-targeted therapy. Nexavar is an oral VEGF receptor inhibitor approved for the treatment of RCC. In its phase 3 clinical trial in patients with advanced clear cell RCC, 94% of whom had undergone a prior nephrectomy, Nexavar demonstrated a median progression-free survival of 5.5 months. Progression-free survival is the primary endpoint in the TIVO-1 study. The TIVO-1 study is designed so that a difference in progression-free survival of three months or more between the treatment arms would be statistically significant.

Inhibition of the VEGF pathway has demonstrated benefit for patients with a wide range of cancer types, including RCC, metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, liver cancer and brain cancer. Approved VEGF-pathway targeted drugs, including Avastin (bevacizumab), Nexavar and Sutent (sunitinib), accounted for over $6 billion in sales worldwide in 2008, based on 2008 annual reports made publicly available by the companies marketing such drugs. Due to tivozanib’s potency and specificity, we believe that it may enable optimal inhibition of the VEGF pathway, while minimizing side effects associated with inhibition of other pathways, referred to as off-target toxicities. We believe this favorable efficacy and safety profile may allow tivozanib to be successfully used as a monotherapy. It may also allow tivozanib to be more readily combined with standard chemotherapy as well as other targeted therapies, potentially increasing the breadth of its clinical utility. In addition to our recently-initiated phase 3 clinical trial of once-daily, oral tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC, we are currently conducting multiple clinical trials of tivozanib including: a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with Torisel (temsirolimus), an approved inhibitor of the receptor known as mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR, in patients with advanced RCC; a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with the FOLFOX6 chemotherapy regimen in patients with advanced colorectal cancer and other

 

 

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gastrointestinal cancers; a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer; and a phase 1b clinical trial as a monotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We expect that the results of these clinical trials will help to inform our clinical development plans for tivozanib in additional indications. We acquired exclusive rights to develop and commercialize tivozanib worldwide outside of Asia pursuant to a license agreement we entered into with Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. (now Kyowa Hakko Kirin) in 2006. Under the license agreement, we obtained an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize tivozanib, pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any and all human diseases and conditions. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has retained rights to tivozanib in Asia. We have obligations to make milestone, royalty and sublicensing revenue payments to Kyowa Hakko Kirin. For a further discussion of this agreement, please see “Business—Strategic Partnerships—Kyowa Hakko Kirin” beginning on page 95.

In addition to tivozanib, we have a pipeline of monoclonal antibodies derived from our Human Response Platform, a novel method of building preclinical models of human cancer, which are intended to more accurately represent cancer biology in patients. AV-299, our next most advanced product candidate, is an antibody which binds to hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF, thereby blocking its function. Through the use of our Human Response Platform, our scientists have identified the HGF/c-Met pathway as being a significant driver of tumor growth. We have completed a phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299 and expect to initiate a phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer in the first half of 2010. In 2007, we entered into an agreement with Schering-Plough Corporation, or Schering-Plough (which subsequently merged with Merck & Co., Inc., or Merck), under which we granted Merck exclusive worldwide rights to co-develop and commercialize AV-299 and under which Merck funds all development and manufacturing expenses, subject to an agreed-upon budget. Under that agreement, we retain the option to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first large market oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval in the United States.

Our Human Response Platform was designed to overcome many of the limitations of traditional approaches to modeling human cancer. The traditional method of modeling human cancer uses a model referred to as a xenograft. A xenograft model is created by adapting cells from a human tumor to grow in a petri dish, and then injecting these cells in a mouse, where they grow into tumors. However, the resulting tumors differ from the original tumor in important respects, and, accordingly, xenograft models are often poor predictors of the success of cancer drugs in human clinical trials. In our Human Response Platform, we use patented genetic engineering techniques to grow populations of spontaneous tumors in animals containing human-relevant, cancer-causing mutations and tumor variation akin to what is seen in populations of human tumors. Because we believe that these populations of tumors better replicate what is seen in human cancer, we believe that our Human Response Platform provides us with unique insights into cancer biology and mechanisms of drug response and resistance, and represents a significant improvement over traditional approaches. We are utilizing this Human Response Platform alone and with our strategic partners to (i) identify and validate target genes which drive tumor growth, (ii) evaluate drugs which can block the function of these targets and (iii) identify biomarkers, which are indicators of drug response and resistance in patients, in an effort to evaluate which patients are most likely to respond favorably to treatment with such drugs. As of December 31, 2009, we have raised $169.0 million through a number of strategic partnerships based on our Human Response Platform and products derived therefrom with leading cancer companies including Merck, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or OSI, Schering-Plough (now Merck) and Biogen Idec Inc., or Biogen Idec, comprising $91.5 million of non-dilutive capital in the form of license fees, milestone payments and research and development funding from our strategic partners and $77.5 million in the form of equity sales to our strategic partners.

In addition, we have identified a number of other promising targets for the development of novel cancer therapeutics using our Human Response Platform. We have preclinical antibody discovery programs underway focusing on targets that appear to be important drivers of tumor growth, including the ErbB3 receptor (partnered with Biogen Idec), the RON receptor, the Notch receptors and the Fibroblast Growth Factor receptors.

 

 

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Our Strategy

Our objective is to develop and commercialize our product candidates to treat serious unmet medical needs in patients suffering from a variety of cancer types. The critical components of our business strategy are:

 

   

Develop and commercialize our phase 3 clinical product candidate, tivozanib, in multiple cancer types.

 

   

Develop and commercialize our clinical product candidate, AV-299, in collaboration with Merck.

 

   

Build capabilities that will allow us to effectively commercialize our products.

 

   

Leverage our novel Human Response Platform to discover, develop and commercialize a pipeline of first-in-class and best-in-class novel oncology products.

 

   

Establish strategic partnerships to accelerate and maximize the potential of our products and technology while preserving significant commercial rights.

Our Strategic Partnerships

We have entered into the following strategic partnerships where we have granted rights to our product candidates, or have utilized, or granted rights to certain elements of, our Human Response Platform:

 

   

We have a collaboration agreement with Schering-Plough (now Merck), under which we granted Merck worldwide, exclusive rights to develop and commercialize all of our monoclonal antibody antagonists of HGF, including AV-299, for therapeutic and prophylactic use in humans and for veterinary use. We have primary responsibility for certain U.S.-related development activities through completion of the first phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for AV-299. Merck will be responsible for clinical development of AV-299 after completion of such proof-of-concept trial.

 

   

We have a collaboration and license agreement with OSI, which provides for the use of our proprietary in vivo models by our scientists, use of our bioinformatics tools and other target validation and biomarker research to further develop and advance OSI’s small molecule drug discovery and translational research related to cancer and other diseases. Our strategic partnership with OSI is primarily focused on the identification and validation of genes and targets involved in the processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or mesenchymal-epithelial transition, in cancer.

 

   

We have an exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec regarding the development and commercialization of our discovery-stage ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. We are responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial designed in a manner that, if successful, will generate data sufficient to support advancement to a phase 3 clinical trial. Within a specified time period after we complete the phase 2 clinical trial and deliver to Biogen Idec a detailed data package containing the results of the trial, Biogen Idec may elect to obtain a co-exclusive (with us), worldwide license under our relevant intellectual property to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products and an exclusive license under our relevant intellectual property to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in all countries in the world other than the United States, Canada and Mexico.

 

   

We entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Merck to discover and validate small molecule oncology targets. During the research program portion of the collaboration, which concluded in 2006, we used our proprietary cancer models to identify and subsequently validate essential tumor maintenance genes suitable as targets for small molecule drug development. Merck exercised its option to license six targets discovered and validated by us under the research collaboration.

 

   

We also entered into a license and research collaboration agreement with Merck relating to the use of our Human Response Platform. The collaboration concluded in 2007 and was focused on the

 

 

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identification of genetic profiles that correlate with drug response to certain cancer compounds then under development at Merck, in order to more effectively guide Merck’s clinical and market development of these compounds.

Risks Associated with Our Business

Our business is subject to a number of risks of which you should be aware before making an investment decision. These risks are discussed more fully in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus beginning on page 9. In particular:

 

   

We currently have no commercial products and we have not received regulatory approval for, nor have we generated commercial revenue from, any of our product candidates.

 

   

We are dependent on the success of our lead drug candidate, tivozanib, which is in phase 3 clinical development. Positive results in our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib may not be predictive of the results in our phase 3 clinical trial and the results of our phase 3 clinical trial may not be sufficient for approval of tivozanib. We cannot be certain as to what type and how many clinical trials the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, will require us to conduct in order to gain approval to market tivozanib. If the results of our phase 3 clinical trial are not sufficient for the approval of tivozanib, our business will be adversely affected and the value of your investment could decline.

 

   

In order to obtain regulatory approval for the commercial sale of any of our other product candidates, including AV-299, we must demonstrate, through extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials, that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in each target indication, a process that can take many years to complete and that will require us to use substantial resources with highly uncertain results. Problems such as our failure to comply with regulatory requirements, insufficient effectiveness of such product candidates during clinical trials, safety issues, regulatory delays or an inability to enroll and maintain sufficient numbers of patients in our clinical trials could cause us or regulatory authorities to delay, suspend or terminate clinical trials for such product candidates. For these and other reasons, we may never obtain regulatory approval for any of such product candidates. Our failure to meet these ongoing requirements may prevent us from achieving or sustaining profitability.

 

   

We have incurred net operating losses since our inception. Our net loss was $44.1 million, $32.5 million and $25.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. As of December 31, 2009, we had an accumulated deficit of $177.7 million. We anticipate that our operating losses will increase over the next several years. In addition, the report of our independent registered public accounting firm with respect to our consolidated financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus contains an explanatory paragraph stating that our financial results and our need to raise additional financing prior to the end of 2010 raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

 

   

We will need to raise substantial additional funds to achieve our goals. A failure to raise such additional funds may require us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate current or planned activities.

 

   

We expect any product candidate that we commercialize with our strategic partners or on our own will compete with existing, market-leading products. For example, even if tivozanib is approved for the treatment of advanced RCC, it would compete with VEGF pathway inhibitors and mTOR inhibitors that are currently approved for the treatment of advanced RCC and other therapies in development. Many of our potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and personnel resources and commercial infrastructure than we have.

 

   

We currently expect that a substantial portion of our future revenues may be dependent upon our strategic partnerships with OSI, Merck and Biogen Idec. If these strategic partners were to terminate

 

 

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their agreements with us, fail to meet their obligations or otherwise decrease their level of efforts, allocation of resources or other commitments under these agreements, our future revenues could decline and the development and commercialization of our product candidates would be interrupted. In addition, if OSI, Merck or Biogen Idec do not achieve some or any of the development, regulatory and commercial milestones or if they do not achieve certain net sales thresholds, in each case, as set forth in their respective agreements, we will not fully realize the expected economic benefits of the agreements.

 

   

Our inability to obtain adequate patent protection for our product candidates or technology platform or failure to successfully defend against any claims that our product candidates infringe the rights of third parties could also adversely affect our business. In addition, tivozanib and certain aspects of our Human Response Platform are protected by patents exclusively licensed from other companies. If the licensors terminate the licenses or fail to maintain or enforce the underlying patents, our competitive position will be harmed. Any problems relating to our intellectual property may require us to spend a substantial amount of time and money to resolve.

Our Corporate Information

We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware on October 19, 2001 as GenPath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and changed our name to AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on March 1, 2005. Our principal executive offices are located at 75 Sidney Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139, and our telephone number is (617) 299-5000. Our website address is www.aveopharma.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus. Investors should not rely on any such information in deciding whether to purchase our common stock. We have included our website address in this prospectus solely as an inactive textual reference.

Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms “AVEO,” “our company,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this prospectus to refer to AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiary.

The name “AVEO” is a registered trademark in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, and is solely owned by AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The AVEO logo is a registered trademark in the United States and is solely owned by AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The term “Human Response Platform” is an AVEO-owned common law trademark with registration pending. The symbol ™ indicates a common law trademark. Other service marks, trademarks and trade names appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners.

 

 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered

7,000,000 shares

 

Common stock to be outstanding after this offering

27,644,831 shares

 

Over-allotment option

1,050,000 shares

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $88.4 million, or approximately $102.1 million if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, assuming an initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We expect to use substantially all of the net proceeds from this offering to fund our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, our lead product candidate, with the balance, if any, to be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds” on page 37 for a more complete description of the intended use of proceeds from this offering.

 

Risk factors

You should read the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus beginning on page 9 for a discussion of factors to consider carefully before deciding to invest in shares of our common stock.

 

Proposed NASDAQ Global Market symbol

AVEO

The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering is based on 20,644,831 shares of common stock outstanding as of February 1, 2010 after giving effect to the conversion of all of our convertible preferred stock into common stock upon the closing of this offering and excludes:

 

   

3,248,207 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of stock options outstanding as of February 1, 2010 at a weighted average exercise price of $4.56 per share;

 

   

182,200 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants outstanding as of February 1, 2010 at a weighted average exercise price of $9.52 per share; and

 

   

an aggregate of 398,611 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock incentive plans as of February 1, 2010 and an aggregate of 2,125,000 additional shares of common stock that will be available under our 2010 stock incentive plan and 2010 employee stock purchase plan upon the closing of this offering.

Unless otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus reflects and assumes:

 

   

the implementation of a one-for-four reverse stock split of our common stock on February 18, 2010;

 

   

the filing of our restated certificate of incorporation and the adoption of our restated bylaws as of the closing date of this offering;

 

   

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,050,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments;

 

   

the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 18,979,155 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering; and

 

   

the conversion of all outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our convertible preferred stock into warrants to purchase an aggregate of 182,200 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering.

 

 

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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

You should read the following summary financial data together with our financial statements, the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus and the “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of this prospectus. We derived the summary statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2009 from our audited financial statements included in this prospectus. Our historical results for any prior period are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected in any future period, and our results for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results for a full fiscal year.

The pro forma balance sheet data set forth below gives effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into common stock upon the closing of this offering and the pro forma as adjusted balance sheet data also gives effect to our issuance and sale of 7,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2007     2008     2009  
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Statement of Operations Data:

      

Revenue

   $ 11,034      $ 19,660      $ 20,719   

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development

     29,248        41,821        51,792   

General and administrative

     6,502        9,164        10,120   
                        

Total operating expenses

     35,750        50,985        61,912   
                        

Loss from operations

     (24,716     (31,325     (41,193
                        

Other income and expense:

      

Other income, net

            18        (333

Loss on loan extinguishment

            (248       

Interest expense

     (2,437     (2,086     (2,811

Interest income

     2,171        1,168        144   
                        

Other income (expense), net

     (266     (1,148     (3,000
                        

Net loss before taxes

     (24,982     (32,473     (44,193
                        

Tax benefit

                   100   
                        

Net loss

   $ (24,982   $ (32,473   $ (44,093
                        

Net loss per share applicable to common stockholders-basic and diluted

   $ (17.89   $ (21.08   $ (27.43
                        

 

 

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     Year Ended December 31,  
     2007    2008    2009  
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Weighted average number of common shares used in net loss per share calculation—basic and diluted

   1,396    1,541      1,607   

Pro forma net loss per share—basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)

         $ (2.23
              

Shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share—basic and diluted (unaudited)

           19,768   
              

 

(1)

Pro forma basic and diluted net loss per common share is calculated assuming the conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into common stock at the beginning of the period or at the original date of issuance, if later.

 

     As of December 31, 2009  
     Actual     Pro Forma(a)     Pro Forma as
Adjusted(b)
 
     (unaudited)  
     (in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

      

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities

   $ 51,301      $ 51,301      139,691   

Working capital

     18,789        18,789      107,179   

Total assets

     59,844        59,844      148,234   

Loans payable, including current portion

     19,745        19,745      19,745   

Preferred stock warrant liability

     1,459               

Convertible preferred stock

     156,705               

Accumulated deficit

     (177,725     (177,725   (177,725

Total stockholders’ deficit

     (170,291     (12,127   76,263   

 

(a)

The pro forma consolidated balance sheet data gives effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into 18,979,155 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering and the conversion of all outstanding preferred stock warrants into warrants for the purchase of 182,200 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering.

 

(b)

The pro forma as adjusted consolidated balance sheet data also gives further effect to the sale of 7,000,000 shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information contained in this prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus, before deciding to invest in our common stock. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition could suffer materially, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Development, Clinical Testing and Regulatory Approval of Our Drug Candidates

We are dependent on the success of our lead drug candidate, tivozanib, which is in phase 3 development.

To date, we have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources in the research and development of tivozanib. We initiated our phase 3 clinical trial for tivozanib in December 2009 and are currently conducting four phase 1b clinical trials, three of which focus on tivozanib in combination with other known anti-cancer agents.

Our near-term prospects, including our ability to finance our company and to generate strategic partnerships and revenues, will depend heavily on the successful development and commercialization of tivozanib. All of our other potential product candidates, with the exception of AV-299, which we have partnered with Schering-Plough Corporation, or Schering-Plough (now Merck & Co., Inc., or Merck), are in the preclinical research stage. The clinical and commercial success of tivozanib will depend on a number of factors, including the following:

 

   

timely enrollment in our phase 3 clinical trial or our other on-going or planned clinical trials, which may be slower than we currently anticipate, potentially resulting in significant delays;

 

   

our ability to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, tivozanib’s safety and efficacy through current and future clinical trials;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of adverse side effects;

 

   

timely receipt of necessary marketing approvals from the FDA and similar foreign regulatory authorities;

 

   

achieving and maintaining compliance with all regulatory requirements applicable to the product;

 

   

the availability, relative cost and relative efficacy of alternative and competing treatments;

 

   

the effectiveness of our own or our potential strategic partners’ marketing, sales and distribution strategy and operations;

 

   

the ability of our third-party manufacturers to manufacture clinical trial supplies of our product candidates and to develop, validate and maintain a commercially viable manufacturing process that is compliant with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP;

 

   

our ability to successfully launch commercial sales of tivozanib, assuming FDA approval is obtained, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

   

our ability to avoid third party patent interference or patent infringement claims;

 

   

acceptance of tivozanib as safe and effective by patients, the medical community and third-party payors; and

 

   

a continued acceptable safety profile of the product following approval.

 

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Many of these factors are beyond our control. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will ever be able to generate revenues through the sale of tivozanib. If we are not successful in commercializing tivozanib, or are significantly delayed in doing so, our business will be materially harmed and the value of your investment could substantially decline.

Positive results in our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib may not be predictive of the results in our phase 3 clinical trial. If the results of our phase 3 clinical trial are not positive, or are not sufficient for approval of tivozanib, our business will be adversely affected.

Positive results in early clinical trials of a drug candidate may not be replicated in later clinical trials. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in earlier-stage development. Although the results of our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib for the treatment of advanced RCC were positive, we cannot assure you that the phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of advanced RCC will achieve positive results. A number of factors could contribute to a lack of positive results in our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib.

For example, in our phase 2 clinical trial, we compared tivozanib to treatment with placebo. In our phase 3 clinical trial, the primary endpoint is a comparison of progression-free survival of patients treated with tivozanib to the progression-free survival of patients treated with Nexavar. Nexavar is a VEGF receptor inhibitor which has been approved by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency, or the EMEA, for the treatment of advanced RCC, as well as the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Based on our discussions with the FDA and the EMEA, we have set the number of patients to be enrolled in the clinical trial at a number sufficient to demonstrate that a difference in progression-free survival of three months or more between the treatment arms would be statistically significant. The FDA has advised us that the results of the phase 3 clinical trial will need to show not only that patients treated with tivozanib have a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival as compared to patients treated with Nexavar, but also that the improvement in progression-free survival of patients treated with tivozanib is clinically meaningful in the context of the safety of the drug. It is not clear how much of an improvement in progression-free survival will be required in order for it to be deemed clinically meaningful in the context of the safety of the drug. The FDA and other regulatory authorities will have substantial discretion in evaluating the results of our phase 3 clinical trial, including with respect to what constitutes a clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival. Overall survival is a secondary endpoint in our phase 3 clinical trial. Based on our discussions with the FDA, we do not expect the FDA to require that we show a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in patients treated with tivozanib in order to obtain approval by the FDA; however, if the overall survival data are not positive it may influence how the FDA and other regulatory authorities interpret other data from our phase 3 clinical trial. We did not gather data on overall survival in our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib.

We cannot be certain as to what type and how many clinical trials the FDA, or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, will require us to conduct in order to gain approval to market tivozanib. Prior to approving a new drug, the FDA generally requires that the efficacy of the drug be demonstrated in two adequate and well-controlled clinical trials. In some situations the FDA approves drugs on the basis of a single well-controlled clinical trial. Based on our discussions with the FDA and the EMEA, we believe we will be required to conduct only a single phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib in advanced RCC. All of the VEGF inhibitor drugs approved by the FDA and the EMEA to date in advanced RCC, including Votrient, which was approved by the FDA in October 2009, have been approved on the basis of a single phase 3 clinical trial. However, if the FDA or EMEA determines that our phase 3 clinical trial results are not statistically significant and do not demonstrate a clinically meaningful benefit and an acceptable safety profile, or if the FDA or EMEA requires us to conduct additional phase 3 clinical trials of tivozanib in order to gain approval, we will incur significant additional development costs, commercialization of tivozanib would be prevented or delayed and our business would be adversely affected.

 

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If we do not obtain regulatory approval for tivozanib, AV-299 or any other product candidates, our business will be adversely affected.

Tivozanib, AV-299 and any other product candidate we seek to develop will be subject to extensive governmental regulations relating to, among other things, development, clinical trials, manufacturing and commercialization. In order to obtain regulatory approval for the commercial sale of any product candidate, we must demonstrate through extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in each target indication, and that our production process yields a consistent and stable product. This process can take many years to complete, requiring the expenditure of substantial resources with highly uncertain results. We may never obtain regulatory approval for tivozanib, AV-299 or any other product candidate we may develop.

We have recently completed a phase 2 clinical trial of our lead product candidate, tivozanib, and have initiated a phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib for the treatment of RCC. We are also conducting phase 1b clinical trials of tivozanib in various combinations and dosing regimens in RCC and additional solid tumor indications, including breast cancer and colorectal cancer. In addition to tivozanib, we have a pipeline of monoclonal antibodies derived from our Human Response Platform, a novel method of building preclinical models of human cancer, which are intended to more accurately represent cancer biology in patients. Our first product candidate derived from our Human Response Platform, AV-299, is expected to enter a phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer in the first half of 2010. The results to date from preclinical studies, our phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials of tivozanib and our phase 1 clinical trials of AV-299 may not be predictive of results in future preclinical studies and clinical trials. A failure of one or more preclinical or clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. Moreover, there can be no assurance that we will demonstrate the required safety and efficacy to obtain regulatory approvals for either of these product candidates.

Even though tivozanib has been generally well-tolerated in the limited number of patients who have been treated with it, there is no guarantee that unacceptable side effects or other risks will not occur with the exposure of a larger number of patients. If tivozanib, AV-299 or any other product candidate is not shown to be safe and effective in humans through clinical trials, we will not be able to obtain regulatory approval for such product candidate, and the resulting delays in developing other product candidates and conducting related preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as the potential need for additional financing, would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we are not successful in discovering, developing and commercializing additional product candidates, our ability to expand our business and achieve our strategic objectives would be impaired.

Although a substantial amount of our efforts will focus on the continued clinical testing and potential approval of tivozanib as well as the continued development of AV-299, a key element of our strategy is to discover, develop and commercialize a portfolio of antibody-based products. We are seeking to do so through our internal research programs and intend to explore strategic partnerships for the development of new products. All of our other potential product candidates remain in the discovery and preclinical study stages. Research programs to identify product candidates require substantial technical, financial and human resources, whether or not any product candidates are ultimately identified. Our research programs may initially show promise in identifying potential product candidates, yet fail to yield product candidates for clinical development for many reasons, including the following:

 

   

the research methodology used may not be successful in identifying potential product candidates;

 

   

competitors may develop alternatives that render our product candidates obsolete;

 

   

a product candidate may on further study be shown to have harmful side effects or other characteristics that indicate it is unlikely to be effective or otherwise does not meet applicable regulatory criteria;

 

   

a product candidate may not be capable of being produced in commercial quantities at an acceptable cost, or at all; and

 

   

a product candidate may not be accepted as safe and effective by patients, the medical community or third-party payors.

 

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Any failure or delay in completing clinical trials for our product candidates may prevent us from obtaining regulatory approval or commercializing product candidates on a timely basis, or at all, which would require us to incur additional costs and delay receipt of any product revenue.

We cannot predict whether we will encounter problems with any of our ongoing or planned clinical trials that will cause us or regulatory authorities to delay, suspend or terminate those clinical trials. The completion of clinical trials for product candidates may be delayed or halted for many reasons, including:

 

   

delays or failure in reaching agreement on acceptable clinical trial contracts or clinical trial protocols with prospective sites;

 

   

failure of our third-party contractors or our investigators to comply with regulatory requirements or otherwise meet their contractual obligations in a timely manner;

 

   

delays or failure in obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators or institutional review boards in order to commence a clinical trial at a prospective trial site, or their suspension or termination of a clinical trial once commenced;

 

   

our inability, or the inability of our strategic partners or licensees, to manufacture or obtain from third parties materials sufficient to complete our preclinical studies and clinical trials;

 

   

delays in patient enrollment, and variability in the number and types of patients available for clinical trials, or high drop-out rates of patients in our clinical trials;

 

   

difficulty in maintaining contact with patients after treatment, resulting in incomplete data;

 

   

poor effectiveness of our product candidates during clinical trials;

 

   

safety issues, including serious adverse events associated with our product candidates;

 

   

governmental or regulatory delays and changes in regulatory requirements, policy and guidelines; or

 

   

varying interpretations of data by the FDA and similar foreign regulatory agencies.

Clinical trials often require the enrollment of large numbers of patients, and suitable patients may be difficult to identify and recruit. For example, we plan to enroll 500 patients in our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib. Our ability to enroll sufficient numbers of patients in our clinical trials depends on many factors, including the size of the patient population, the nature of the protocol, the proximity of patients to clinical sites, the eligibility criteria for the trial, competing clinical trials and the availability of approved effective drugs. There are a number of approved treatments for advanced RCC, including drugs that work by inhibiting the VEGF pathway. The availability of these approved treatments and the requirement in our phase 3 clinical trial that patients not have been treated with drugs that inhibit the VEGF pathway could make it more difficult to enroll patients or could delay enrollment in our phase 3 clinical trial. Moreover, we are aware of a number of ongoing clinical trials in RCC which will compete for eligible patients with our tivozanib clinical trials and may delay enrollment in our clinical trials.

In addition, patients may withdraw from a clinical trial for a variety of reasons. If we fail to enroll and maintain the number of patients for which the clinical trial was designed, the statistical power of that clinical trial may be reduced which would make it harder to demonstrate that the product candidate being tested in such clinical trial is safe and effective. Additionally, we may not be able to enroll a sufficient number of qualified patients in a timely or cost-effective manner.

We, the FDA, applicable regulatory authorities or institutional review boards may suspend or terminate clinical trials of a product candidate at any time if we or they believe the patients participating in such clinical trials are being exposed to unacceptable health risks or for other reasons.

Significant clinical trial delays could allow our competitors to obtain marketing approval before we do or shorten the patent protection period during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates. Our product development costs also will increase if we experience delays in completing clinical

 

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trials. In addition, it is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted, or whether FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes, if any, may be. If we experience any such problems, we may not have the financial resources to continue development of the product candidate that is affected or the development of any of our other product candidates.

Even if we receive regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we will be subject to ongoing FDA obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense. Additionally, our product candidates, if approved, could be subject to labeling and other restrictions and market withdrawal and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our products.

Any regulatory approvals that we or our strategic partners receive for our product candidates may also be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing, including phase 4 clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the product candidate. In addition, if the FDA approves any of our product candidates, the manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion and recordkeeping for the product will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration, as well as continued compliance with cGMP and good clinical practices, or GCP, for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

 

   

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, withdrawal of the product from the market, or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;

 

   

fines, warning letters or holds on clinical trials;

 

   

refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us or our strategic partners, or suspension or revocation of product license approvals;

 

   

product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products; and

 

   

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA’s policies may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates. We cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the United States or abroad. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any marketing approval that we may have obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business.

Failure to obtain regulatory approval in jurisdictions outside the United States will prevent us from marketing our products abroad.

We intend to market our products, if approved, in international markets, which will require separate regulatory approvals and compliance with numerous and varying regulatory requirements. The approval procedures vary among countries and may involve requirements for additional testing, and the time required to obtain approval may differ from that required to obtain FDA approval. In addition, in many countries outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that country. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for our product is also subject to approval. Approval by the FDA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions, and approval by one foreign regulatory authority does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other foreign countries or by the FDA. The foreign regulatory approval process may include all of the risks associated with obtaining FDA

 

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approval. We may not obtain foreign regulatory approvals on a timely basis, if at all. We and our future strategic partners may not be able to file for regulatory approvals and may not receive necessary approvals to commercialize our products in any market.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Capital Requirements

We have incurred net operating losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur substantial operating losses for the foreseeable future. We may never achieve or sustain profitability, which would depress the market price of our common stock, and could cause you to lose all or a part of your investment.

We have incurred net losses since our inception, including net losses of $44.1 million, $32.5 million and $25.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively. As of December 31, 2009, we had an accumulated deficit of $177.7 million. We do not know whether or when we will become profitable. To date, we have not commercialized any products or generated any revenues from the sale of products, and we do not expect to generate any product revenues in the foreseeable future. Our losses have resulted principally from costs incurred in our discovery and development activities. We anticipate that our operating losses will substantially increase over the next several years as we execute our plan to expand our discovery, research, development and commercialization activities, including the phase 3 clinical development and planned commercialization of our lead product candidate, tivozanib.

If we do not successfully develop and obtain regulatory approval for our existing and future pipeline product candidates and effectively manufacture, market and sell any product candidates that are approved, we may never generate product sales, and even if we do generate product sales, we may never achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, diversify our product offerings or continue our operations. A decline in the market price of our common stock also could cause you to lose all or a part of your investment.

In addition, the report of our independent registered public accounting firm with respect to our consolidated financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus contains an explanatory paragraph stating that our operating losses and negative cash flows from operations since inception, and our need to raise additional financing and/or financial support prior to December 31, 2010 in order to continue to fund our operations, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. We believe that the successful completion of this offering will eliminate this doubt and enable us to continue as a going concern; however, if we are unable to raise sufficient capital in this offering, we will need to obtain alternative financing or significantly modify our operational plans for us to continue as a going concern. Further, even if we successfully complete and receive the net proceeds from this offering, given our planned expenditures for the next several years, including, without limitation, expenditures in connection with our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, it is possible that our independent registered public accounting firm may conclude, in connection with the preparation of our financial statements for fiscal year 2010 or any other subsequent period, that there is substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern as of December 31, 2010 or as of the end of any other subsequent period.

We will require substantial additional financing to achieve our goals, and a failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed could force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development or commercialization efforts.

Since our inception, most of our resources have been dedicated to the discovery and preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates. In particular, we initiated a phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib in December 2009, which will require substantial funds to complete. We believe that we will continue to expend substantial resources for the foreseeable future developing tivozanib and other new and existing antibody product candidates. These expenditures will include costs associated with research and development, acquiring new

 

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technologies, conducting preclinical and clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and manufacturing products, as well as marketing and selling any products approved for sale. In addition, other unanticipated costs may arise. Because the outcome of our planned and anticipated clinical trials is highly uncertain, we cannot reasonably estimate the actual amounts necessary to successfully complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

We believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, committed research and development funding and milestone payments that we expect to receive under our existing strategic partnership and license agreements, along with payments we believe that we will receive under new strategic partnerships we assume we will enter into under our current projected operating plan, will allow us to fund our operating plan through at least the second quarter of 2012. However, our operating plan may change as a result of many factors currently unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, such as strategic partnerships. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans.

Our future capital requirements depend on many factors, including:

 

   

the number and characteristics of the product candidates we pursue;

 

   

the scope, progress, results and costs of researching and developing our product candidates, and conducting preclinical and clinical trials;

 

   

the timing of, and the costs involved in, obtaining regulatory approvals for our product candidates;

 

   

the cost of commercialization activities if any of our product candidates are approved for sale, including marketing, sales and distribution costs;

 

   

the cost of manufacturing our product candidates and any products we successfully commercialize;

 

   

our ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships, licensing or other arrangements and the financial terms of such agreements;

 

   

the costs involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patent claims, including litigation costs and the outcome of such litigation; and

 

   

the timing, receipt and amount of sales of, or royalties on, our future products, if any.

Additional funds may not be available when we need them, on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all. If adequate funds are not available to us on a timely basis, we may be required to:

 

   

delay, limit, reduce or terminate preclinical studies, clinical trials or other development activities for one or more of our product candidates;

 

   

delay, limit, reduce or terminate our research and development activities; or

 

   

delay, limit, reduce or terminate our establishment of sales and marketing capabilities or other activities that may be necessary to commercialize our product candidates.

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our existing stockholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates.

We may seek additional capital through a combination of private and public equity offerings, debt financings, strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a stockholder. Debt financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take certain actions, such as incurring debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends. If we raise additional funds through strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies or product candidates, or grant licenses on terms that are not

 

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favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financing when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development or commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

A substantial portion of our future revenues may be dependent upon our agreements with OSI, Merck and Biogen Idec.

Our success will depend in significant part on our ability to attract and maintain strategic partners and strategic relationships to support the development and commercialization of our products. We currently expect that a substantial portion of our future revenues may be dependent upon our strategic partnerships with OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or OSI, Merck and Biogen Idec, Inc., or Biogen Idec. Under each of these strategic partnerships, our strategic partners have significant development and commercialization responsibilities with respect to anticipated therapeutics to be developed and sold. If these strategic partners were to terminate their agreements with us, fail to meet their obligations or otherwise decrease their level of efforts, allocation of resources or other commitments under these agreements, our future revenues could be negatively impacted and the development and commercialization of our product candidates would be interrupted. In addition, if OSI, Merck or Biogen Idec do not achieve some or any of the development, regulatory and commercial milestones or if they do not achieve certain net sales thresholds, in each case, as set forth in the respective agreements, we will not fully realize the expected economic benefits of the agreements. Further, the achievement of certain of the milestones under these strategic partnership agreements will depend on factors that are outside of our control and most are not expected to be achieved for several years, if at all. Any failure to successfully maintain our strategic partnership agreements could materially and adversely affect our ability to generate revenues.

For a discussion of additional risks that we face with respect to our strategic partnership agreements, see “— If any of our current strategic partners fails to perform its obligations or terminates its agreement with us, the development and commercialization of the product candidates under such agreement could be delayed or terminated and our business could be substantially harmed” beginning on page 22.

Unstable market and economic conditions may have serious adverse consequences on our business, financial condition and stock price.

As widely reported, global credit and financial markets have been experiencing extreme disruptions over the past several years, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates, and uncertainty about economic stability. There can be no assurance that further deterioration in credit and financial markets and confidence in economic conditions will not occur. Our general business strategy may be adversely affected by the recent economic downturn and volatile business environment and continued unpredictable and unstable market conditions. If the current equity and credit markets deteriorate further, or do not improve, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly, and more dilutive. Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and stock price and could require us to delay or abandon clinical development plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our current service providers, manufacturers and other partners may not survive these difficult economic times, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget.

At December 31, 2009, we had $51.3 million of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities consisting of cash, money market and government obligations. While as of the date of this prospectus, we are not aware of any downgrades, material losses, or other significant deterioration in the fair value of our cash equivalents or marketable securities since December 31, 2009, no assurance can be given that further deterioration in conditions of the global credit and financial markets would not negatively impact our current portfolio of cash equivalents or marketable securities or our ability to meet our financing objectives. Further dislocations in the credit market may adversely impact the value and/or liquidity of marketable securities owned by us.

There is a possibility that our stock price may decline, due in part to the volatility of the stock market and the general economic downturn.

 

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Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

Because we have a short operating history, there is a limited amount of information about us upon which you can evaluate our business and prospects.

Our operations began in October 2001 and we have only a limited operating history upon which you can evaluate our business and prospects. In addition, as an early stage company, we have limited experience and have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully overcome many of the risks and uncertainties frequently encountered by companies in new and rapidly evolving fields, particularly in the biopharmaceutical area. For example, to execute our business plan, we will need to successfully:

 

   

execute product development activities;

 

   

obtain required regulatory approvals for the development and commercialization of our product candidates;

 

   

build and maintain a strong intellectual property portfolio;

 

   

build and maintain robust sales, distribution and marketing capabilities;

 

   

gain market acceptance for our products;

 

   

develop and maintain successful strategic relationships; and

 

   

manage our spending as costs and expenses increase due to clinical trials, regulatory approvals and commercialization.

If we are unsuccessful in accomplishing these objectives, we may not be able to develop product candidates, raise capital, expand our business or continue our operations.

We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing products before, or more successfully, than we do.

Our future success depends on our ability to demonstrate and maintain a competitive advantage with respect to the design, development and commercialization of product candidates. Our objective is to design, develop and commercialize new products with superior efficacy, convenience, tolerability and safety. We expect any product candidate that we commercialize with our strategic partners or on our own will compete with existing, market-leading products. For example, we anticipate that tivozanib, if approved for the treatment of advanced RCC, would compete with angiogenesis inhibitors and mTOR inhibitors that are currently approved for the treatment of advanced RCC, such as Avastin, marketed by Roche Laboratories, Inc., Nexavar, marketed by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Bayer HealthCare AG, Sutent, marketed by Pfizer Inc., Votrient, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline plc, Torisel, marketed by Pfizer, and Afinitor, marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, and other therapies in development.

Many of our potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and personnel resources than we have. In addition, many of these competitors have significantly greater commercial infrastructures than we have. We will not be able to compete successfully unless we successfully:

 

   

design and develop products that are superior to other products in the market;

 

   

attract qualified scientific, medical, sales and marketing and commercial personnel;

 

   

obtain patent and/or other proprietary protection for our processes and product candidates;

 

   

obtain required regulatory approvals; and

 

   

collaborate with others in the design, development and commercialization of new products.

Established competitors may invest heavily to quickly discover and develop novel compounds that could make our product candidates obsolete. In addition, any new product that competes with an approved product must demonstrate compelling advantages in efficacy, convenience, tolerability and safety in order to overcome

 

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price competition and to be commercially successful. If we are not able to compete effectively against our current and future competitors, our business will not grow and our financial condition and operations will suffer.

If we fail to attract and keep senior management and key scientific personnel, we may be unable to successfully develop our product candidates, conduct our clinical trials and commercialize our product candidates.

Our success depends in part on our continued ability to attract, retain and motivate highly qualified management, clinical and scientific personnel. We are highly dependent upon our senior management, particularly Tuan Ha-Ngoc, our Chief Executive Officer, Elan Ezickson, our Chief Business Officer, David Johnston, our Chief Financial Officer, William Slichenmyer, our Chief Medical Officer, and Jeno Gyuris, our Senior Vice President, Head of Research, as well as other senior scientists on our management team. Although none of these individuals has informed us to date that he intends to retire or resign in the near future, the loss of services of any of these individuals or one or more of our other members of senior management could delay or prevent the successful development of our product pipeline, completion of our planned clinical trials or the commercialization of our product candidates. We do not carry “key person” insurance covering any members of our senior management. Although we have entered into an employment agreement and a severance and change in control agreement with Tuan Ha-Ngoc, and severance and change in control agreements with each of Elan Ezickson, David Johnston, William Slichenmyer and Jeno Gyuris, these agreements do not provide for a fixed term of service.

Although we have not historically experienced unique difficulties attracting and retaining qualified employees, we could experience such problems in the future. For example, competition for qualified personnel in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals field is intense. We will need to hire additional personnel as we expand our clinical development and commercial activities. We may not be able to attract and retain quality personnel on acceptable terms.

Our employees may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements and insider trading.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees could include intentional failures to comply with FDA regulations, to provide accurate information to the FDA, to comply with manufacturing standards we have established, to comply with federal and state health-care fraud and abuse laws and regulations, to report financial information or data accurately or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. We have adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant fines or other sanctions.

In addition, during the course of our operations, our directors, executives and employees may have access to material, nonpublic information regarding our business, our results of operations or potential transactions we are considering. Despite the adoption of an Insider Trading Policy, we may not be able to prevent a director, executive or employee from trading in our common stock on the basis of, or while having access to, material, nonpublic information. If a director, executive or employee was to be investigated, or an action was to be brought against a director, executive or employee for insider trading, it could have a negative impact on our reputation and our stock price. Such a claim, with or without merit, could also result in substantial expenditures of time and money, and divert attention of our management team from other tasks important to the success of our business.

 

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We may encounter difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations successfully.

As we seek to advance our product candidates through clinical trials, we will need to expand our development, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities or contract with third parties to provide these capabilities for us. As our operations expand, we expect that we will need to manage additional relationships with various strategic partners, suppliers and other third parties. Future growth will impose significant added responsibilities on members of management. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize our product candidates and to compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to manage any future growth effectively. To that end, we must be able to manage our development efforts and clinical trials effectively and hire, train and integrate additional management, administrative and sales and marketing personnel. We may not be able to accomplish these tasks, and our failure to accomplish any of them could prevent us from successfully growing our company.

If product liability lawsuits are brought against us, we may incur substantial liabilities and may be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates.

We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing of our product candidates and will face an even greater risk if we commercialize any products. For example, we may be sued if any product we develop allegedly causes injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during product testing, manufacturing, marketing or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability, and a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates. Even successful defense would require significant financial and management resources. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

 

   

decreased demand for our product candidates or products that we may develop;

 

   

injury to our reputation;

 

   

withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

   

costs to defend the related litigation;

 

   

a diversion of management’s time and our resources;

 

   

substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;

 

   

product recalls, withdrawals or labeling, marketing or promotional restrictions;

 

   

loss of revenue;

 

   

the inability to commercialize our product candidates; and

 

   

a decline in our stock price.

Our inability to obtain and retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop. We currently carry product liability insurance covering our clinical studies in the amount of $10 million in the aggregate. Although we maintain such insurance, any claim that may be brought against us could result in a court judgment or settlement in an amount that is not covered, in whole or in part, by our insurance or that is in excess of the limits of our insurance coverage. Our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. We will have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts.

 

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We may incur significant costs complying with environmental laws and regulations, and failure to comply with these laws and regulations could expose us to significant liabilities.

We use hazardous chemicals and radioactive and biological materials in certain aspects of our business and are subject to a variety of federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the use, generation, manufacture, distribution, storage, handling, treatment and disposal of these materials. Although we believe our safety procedures for handling and disposing of these materials and waste products comply with these laws and regulations, we cannot eliminate the risk of accidental injury or contamination from the use, manufacture, distribution, storage, handling, treatment or disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of contamination or injury, or failure to comply with environmental, occupational health and safety and export control laws and regulations, we could be held liable for any resulting damages and any such liability could exceed our assets and resources. We do not maintain insurance for any environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us.

Risks Related to Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

We have no sales, marketing or distribution experience and we will have to invest significant resources to develop those capabilities.

We have no sales, marketing or distribution experience. To develop internal sales, distribution and marketing capabilities, we will have to invest significant amounts of financial and management resources, some of which will be committed prior to any confirmation that tivozanib will be approved. For product candidates such as tivozanib where we decide to perform sales, marketing and distribution functions ourselves, we could face a number of additional risks, including:

 

   

we may not be able to attract and build an effective marketing or sales force;

 

   

the cost of establishing a marketing or sales force may not be justifiable in light of the revenues generated by any particular product; and

 

   

our direct sales and marketing efforts may not be successful.

Outside of the United States, where appropriate, we may elect in the future to utilize strategic partners or contract sales forces to assist in the commercialization of tivozanib and future products, if approved. We may have limited or no control over the sales, marketing and distribution activities of these third parties. Our future revenues may depend heavily on the success of the efforts of these third parties.

Our commercial success depends upon attaining significant market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved, including tivozanib and AV-299, among physicians, patients, health care payors and, in the cancer market, acceptance by the major operators of cancer clinics.

Even if tivozanib, AV-299 or any other product candidate that we may develop or acquire in the future obtains regulatory approval, the product may not gain market acceptance among physicians, health care payors, patients and the medical community. Market acceptance of any products for which we receive approval depends on a number of factors, including:

 

   

the efficacy and safety of tivozanib, as demonstrated in clinical trials;

 

   

the clinical indications for which the drug is approved;

 

   

acceptance by physicians, major operators of cancer clinics and patients of the drug as a safe and effective treatment;

 

   

the results obtained in our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib for the treatment of advanced clear cell RCC and the extent to which the results demonstrate that treatment with tivozanib represents a clinically meaningful improvement in care as compared to other available VEGF inhibitors;

 

   

the potential and perceived advantages of tivozanib over alternative treatments, including, for example, Avastin, Nexavar, Sutent or Votrient;

 

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the cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments;

 

   

the availability of adequate reimbursement and pricing by third parties and government authorities;

 

   

the continued projected growth of oncology drug markets;

 

   

relative convenience and ease of administration;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of adverse side effects; and

 

   

the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts.

If our approved drugs fail to achieve market acceptance, we would not be able to generate significant revenue.

Reimbursement may be limited or unavailable in certain market segments for our product candidates, which could make it difficult for us to sell our products profitably.

Market acceptance and sales of our product candidates will depend significantly on the availability of adequate coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors for any of our product candidates and may be affected by existing and future health care reform measures. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which drugs they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including the third-party payor’s determination that use of a product is:

 

   

a covered benefit under its health plan;

 

   

safe, effective and medically necessary;

 

   

appropriate for the specific patient;

 

   

cost-effective; and

 

   

neither experimental nor investigational.

Obtaining coverage and reimbursement approval for a product from a government or other third party payor is a time consuming and costly process that could require us to provide supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data for the use of our products to the payor. We may not be able to provide data sufficient to gain acceptance with respect to coverage and reimbursement. We cannot be sure that coverage or adequate reimbursement will be available for any of our product candidates. Also, we cannot be sure that reimbursement amounts will not reduce the demand for, or the price of, our products. If reimbursement is not available or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to commercialize certain of our products.

In both the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the health care system that could impact our ability to sell our products profitably. In particular, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 revised the payment methodology for many products under Medicare. This has resulted in lower rates of reimbursement. There have been numerous other federal and state initiatives designed to reduce payment for pharmaceuticals.

As a result of legislative proposals and the trend towards managed health care in the United States, third-party payors are increasingly attempting to contain health care costs by limiting both coverage and the level of reimbursement of new drugs. They may also refuse to provide any coverage of approved products for medical indications other than those for which the FDA has granted market approvals. As a result, significant uncertainty exists as to whether and how much third-party payors will reimburse patients for their use of newly approved drugs, which in turn will put pressure on the pricing of drugs. We expect to experience pricing pressures in connection with the sale of our products due to the trend toward managed health care, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations, additional legislative proposals, as well as country, regional, or local healthcare budget limitations.

 

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Governments may impose price controls, which may adversely affect our future profitability.

We intend to seek approval to market our future products in both the United States and in foreign jurisdictions. If we obtain approval in one or more foreign jurisdictions, we will be subject to rules and regulations in those jurisdictions relating to our product. In some foreign countries, particularly in the European Union, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals and biologics is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after the receipt of marketing approval for a product candidate. If reimbursement of our future products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability.

Healthcare reform measures, if implemented, could hinder or prevent our commercial success.

There have been, and likely will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals at the federal and state levels directed at broadening the availability of healthcare and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. We cannot predict the initiatives that may be adopted in the future. The continuing efforts of the government, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce costs of healthcare may adversely affect:

 

   

the demand for any drug products for which we may obtain regulatory approval;

 

   

our ability to set a price that we believe is fair for our products;

 

   

our ability to generate revenues and achieve or maintain profitability;

 

   

the level of taxes that we are required to pay; and

 

   

the availability of capital.

Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties

If any of our current strategic partners fails to perform its obligations or terminates its agreement with us, the development and commercialization of the product candidates under such agreement could be delayed or terminated and our business could be substantially harmed.

We currently have strategic partnerships in place relating to certain of our product candidates and technologies as follows:

 

   

We have a collaboration agreement with Merck related to the development and commercialization of AV-299, our monoclonal antibody antagonist of hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF. Pursuant to the agreement, we have primary responsibility for certain U.S.-related development activities through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial for AV-299 designed to demonstrate achievement of a primary efficacy endpoint in humans as established by the parties, which we refer to as a proof-of-concept trial. Merck will be responsible for clinical development of AV-299 after completion of the first proof-of-concept trial. We are currently leading the clinical development of AV-299, which includes conducting multiple phase 1 clinical trials and preparing to conduct a phase 2 clinical trial, and we are using our Human Response Platform to conduct translational research to guide the clinical development of AV-299. Merck is responsible for all costs related to the clinical development of AV-299 and clinical and commercial manufacturing, subject to an agreed-upon budget.

 

   

We have entered into a strategic partnership with OSI, primarily focused on the identification and validation of genes and targets involved in the processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition or mesenchymal-epithelial transition in cancer. Key elements of our strategic partnership with OSI include: (1) identifying and validating a pre-agreed number of oncology targets for drug discovery, development and commercialization by OSI, (2) generating target-driven in vivo mouse tumor models for use in drug screening and biomarker validation to support OSI’s drug discovery and translational research activities, and (3) applying our Human Response Platform to identify genetic profiles that correlate with drug response to compounds in certain of OSI’s small molecule drug discovery

 

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programs. We are required to devote, and OSI is required to fund, a mutually agreed minimum number of individuals to the research program each year. Under the terms of our agreement, OSI may, but has no obligation to, elect to obtain exclusive rights to certain aspects of our intellectual property to research, develop, make, sell and import drug products and associated diagnostics directed to a specified number of targets identified and/or validated under the strategic partnership. OSI has sole responsibility and is required to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize drugs and associated diagnostics directed to the targets to which it has obtained rights.

 

   

We have entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec regarding the development and commercialization of our ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Under the agreement, we are responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial designed in a manner that, if successful, will generate data sufficient to support advancement to a phase 3 clinical trial. Within a specified time period after we complete the phase 2 clinical trial and deliver to Biogen Idec a detailed data package containing the results of the trial, Biogen Idec may elect to obtain (1) a co-exclusive (with us) worldwide license under our relevant intellectual property to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products, and (2) an exclusive license under our relevant intellectual property to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in all countries in the world other than the United States, Canada and Mexico. We will retain an exclusive right to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Until completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial, we are solely responsible for the research, development, and manufacture of ErbB3 antibody(ies) pursuant to a written work plan meeting specific pre-agreed guidelines. We are solely responsible for all expenses incurred through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial. If Biogen Idec exercises its option to obtain exclusive commercialization rights to ErbB3 products in its territory, then we will be solely responsible, subject to a mutually agreed development plan, budget and the oversight of a joint development committee, for the global development of ErbB3 antibody products, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for ErbB3 antibody product development activities that relate solely to the Biogen Idec territory. We and Biogen Idec will share global development costs (including manufacturing costs to support development) for ErbB3 antibody products equally, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for its territory, and we will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for the United States, Canada and Mexico.

These strategic partnerships may not be scientifically or commercially successful due to a number of important factors, including the following:

 

   

Each of our strategic partners has significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that it will apply to their strategic partnership with us. The timing and amount of any cash payments, related royalties and milestones that we may receive under such strategic partnerships will depend on, among other things, the efforts, allocation of resources and successful development and commercialization of our product candidates by our strategic partners under their respective agreements.

 

   

Our strategic partnership agreements permit our strategic partners wide discretion in deciding which product candidates to advance through the clinical trial process. Under certain of our strategic partnerships, it is possible for the strategic partner to reject product candidates at any point in the research, development and clinical trial process, without triggering a termination of the strategic partnership agreement. In the event of any such decision, our business and prospects may be adversely affected due to our inability to progress such candidates ourselves.

 

   

Our strategic partners may develop and commercialize, either alone or with others, products that are similar to or competitive with the product candidates that are the subject of their strategic partnerships with us.

 

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Our strategic partners may change the focus of their development and commercialization efforts or pursue higher-priority programs.

 

   

Our strategic partners may enter into one or more transactions with third parties, including a merger, consolidation, reorganization, sale of substantial assets, sale of substantial stock or change in control, which could divert the attention of a strategic partner’s management and adversely affect a strategic partner’s ability to retain and motivate key personnel who are important to the continued development of the programs under the applicable strategic partnership with us. For example, we entered into a strategic partnership with Schering-Plough prior to its merger with Merck. We also entered into agreements with Merck prior to that merger. Although the effect of the merger on our strategic partnerships is unknown, management of the combined company could determine to reduce the efforts and resources that the combined company will apply to its strategic partnerships with us. In addition, the third-party could determine to reprioritize the strategic partner’s development programs such that the strategic partner ceases to diligently pursue the development of our programs and/or cause the respective strategic partnership with us to terminate.

 

   

Our strategic partners may, under specified circumstances, terminate their strategic partnership with us on short notice and for circumstances outside of our control, which could make it difficult for us to attract new strategic partners or adversely affect how we are perceived in the scientific and financial communities. For example, Merck can terminate its agreement related to AV-299 with us upon 90 days written notice to us or in connection with an insolvency event or material breach that remains uncured for a specified cure period. OSI can terminate its agreement with us, with respect to any or all collaboration targets and all associated products, upon written notice to us and can terminate the entire agreement with us in connection with a material breach of the agreement by us that remains uncured for a specified cure period. Biogen Idec may terminate its agreement with us for convenience with respect to any product(s), by providing us with three months’ prior written notice, or due to a material breach of the agreement by us that is not cured within a short time period or if all of our assets are acquired by, or we merge with, another entity, and the other entity is independently developing or commercializing a product containing an ErbB3 antibody and fails to divest the ErbB3 product within a specified time period.

 

   

Our strategic partners may have the first right to maintain or defend our intellectual property rights and, although we may have the right to assume the maintenance and defense of our intellectual property rights if our strategic partners do not, our ability to do so may be compromised by our strategic partners’ acts or omissions.

 

   

Our strategic partners may utilize our intellectual property rights in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property rights or expose us to potential liability.

 

   

Our strategic partners may not comply with all applicable regulatory requirements, or fail to report safety data in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements.

 

   

If any strategic partner were to breach or terminate its arrangements with us, or if Biogen Idec does not elect to exercise its option to participate in development of our ErbB3 antibody candidate, the development and commercialization of the affected product candidate could be delayed, curtailed or terminated because we may not have sufficient financial resources or capabilities to continue development and commercialization of the product candidate on our own.

 

   

Our strategic partners may not have sufficient resources necessary to carry the product candidate through clinical development or may not obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.

If one or more of our strategic partner fails to develop or effectively commercialize product candidates for any of the foregoing reasons, we may not be able to replace the strategic partner with another partner to develop and commercialize a product candidate under the terms of the strategic partnership. We may also be unable to

 

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obtain, on terms acceptable to us, a license from such strategic partner to any of its intellectual property that may be necessary or useful for us to continue to develop and commercialize a product candidate. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and our ability to achieve future profitability, and could cause our stock price to decline.

We may not be successful in establishing and maintaining additional strategic partnerships, which could adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize products.

In addition to our current strategic partnerships, a part of our strategy is to enter into additional strategic partnerships in the future, including alliances with major biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. We face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership or other alternative arrangements for any future product candidates and programs because our research and development pipeline may be insufficient, our product candidates and programs may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort and/or third parties may not view our product candidates and programs as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Even if we are successful in our efforts to establish new strategic partnerships, the terms that we agree upon may not be favorable to us and we may not be able to maintain such strategic partnerships if, for example, development or approval of a product candidate is delayed or sales of an approved product are disappointing. Any delay in entering into new strategic partnership agreements related to our product candidates could delay the development and commercialization of our product candidates and reduce their competitiveness even if they reach the market.

Moreover, if we fail to establish and maintain additional strategic partnerships related to our product candidates:

 

   

the development of certain of our current or future product candidates may be terminated or delayed;

 

   

our cash expenditures related to development of certain of our current or future product candidates would increase significantly and we may need to seek additional financing;

 

   

we may be required to hire additional employees or otherwise develop expertise, such as sales and marketing expertise, for which we have not budgeted; and

 

   

we will bear all of the risk related to the development of any such product candidates.

In addition, if we fail to establish and maintain additional strategic partnerships involving our Human Response Platform, we would not realize its potential as a means of identifying and validating targets for new cancer therapies in collaboration with strategic partners or of identifying biomarkers to aid in the development of our strategic partners’ drug candidates.

We rely on third-party manufacturers to produce our preclinical and clinical drug supplies and we intend to rely on third parties to produce commercial supplies of any approved product candidates. Any failure by a third-party manufacturer to produce supplies for us may delay or impair our ability to complete our clinical trials or commercialize our product candidates.

We have relied upon a small number of third-party manufacturers for the manufacture of our product candidates for preclinical and clinical testing purposes and intend to continue to do so in the future. For instance, we rely on one supplier for the active pharmaceutical ingredient for tivozanib. Currently, a separate contract manufacturer manufactures, packages and distributes clinical supplies of tivozanib. While we believe that our existing supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredient or an alternative supplier would be capable of continuing to produce active pharmaceutical ingredient in commercial quantities, we will need to identify a third-party manufacturer capable of providing commercial quantities of drug product. If we are unable to arrange for such a third-party manufacturing source, or fail to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to successfully produce and market tivozanib or may be delayed in doing so.

 

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The process for producing AV-299 has been developed and multiple batches of drug substance have been and are continuing to be produced to support clinical trials of AV-299 through phase 2 clinical trials. Our strategic partner Merck is responsible for the continued process development and all manufacturing of AV-299, including for clinical trial and commercial use. If our strategic partner Merck does not complete process development and manufacture of AV-299 as we expect, clinical trials and any commercial production of AV-299 could be adversely affected.

As with tivozanib and AV-299, we also expect to rely upon third parties to produce materials required for the clinical and commercial production of any other product candidates. If we are unable to arrange for third-party manufacturing sources, or to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to complete development of such other product candidates or market them.

Reliance on third-party manufacturers entails risks to which we would not be subject if we manufactured product candidates ourselves, including reliance on the third party for regulatory compliance and quality assurance, the possibility of breach of the manufacturing agreement by the third party because of factors beyond our control (including a failure to synthesize and manufacture our product candidates in accordance with our product specifications) and the possibility of termination or nonrenewal of the agreement by the third party, based on its own business priorities, at a time that is costly or damaging to us. In addition, the FDA and other regulatory authorities require that our product candidates be manufactured according to cGMP and similar foreign standards. Any failure by our third-party manufacturers to comply with cGMP or failure to scale up manufacturing processes, including any failure to deliver sufficient quantities of product candidates in a timely manner, could lead to a delay in, or failure to obtain, regulatory approval of any of our product candidates. In addition, such failure could be the basis for action by the FDA to withdraw approvals for product candidates previously granted to us and for other regulatory action, including recall or seizure, fines, imposition of operating restrictions, total or partial suspension of production or injunctions.

We rely on our manufacturers to purchase from third-party suppliers the materials necessary to produce our product candidates for our clinical studies. There are a small number of suppliers for certain capital equipment and raw materials that we use to manufacture our drugs. Such suppliers may not sell these raw materials to our manufacturers at the times we need them or on commercially reasonable terms. We do not have any control over the process or timing of the acquisition of these raw materials by our manufacturers. Moreover, we currently do not have any agreements for the commercial production of these raw materials. Although we generally do not begin a clinical trial unless we believe we have a sufficient supply of a product candidate to complete the clinical trial, any significant delay in the supply of a product candidate or the raw material components thereof for an ongoing clinical trial due to the need to replace a third-party manufacturer could considerably delay completion of our clinical studies, product testing and potential regulatory approval of our product candidates. If our manufacturers or we are unable to purchase these raw materials after regulatory approval has been obtained for our product candidates, the commercial launch of our product candidates would be delayed or there would be a shortage in supply, which would impair our ability to generate revenues from the sale of our product candidates.

Although we believe the current manufacturing process for the active pharmaceutical ingredient for tivozanib is adequate to support future development and commercial demand, because of the complex nature of many of our other compounds, our manufacturers may not be able to manufacture such other compounds at a cost or in quantities or in a timely manner necessary to develop and commercialize other products. If we successfully commercialize any of our drugs, we may be required to establish or access large-scale commercial manufacturing capabilities. In addition, as our drug development pipeline increases and matures, we will have a greater need for clinical trial and commercial manufacturing capacity. We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of clinical or commercial quantities of our product candidates and we currently have no plans to build our own clinical or commercial scale manufacturing capabilities. To meet our projected needs for commercial manufacturing, third parties with whom we currently work will need to increase their scale of production or we will need to secure alternate suppliers.

 

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We rely on third parties to conduct preclinical and clinical trials for our product candidates, and if they do not properly and successfully perform their obligations to us, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approvals for our product candidates.

We design the clinical trials for our product candidates, but we rely on contract research organizations and other third parties to assist us in managing, monitoring and otherwise carrying out many of these trials. We compete with larger companies for the resources of these third parties.

Although we rely on these third parties to conduct many of our clinical trials, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with its general investigational plan and protocol. Moreover, the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies require us to comply with regulations and standards, commonly referred to as good clinical practices, for designing, conducting, monitoring, recording, analyzing, and reporting the results of clinical trials to assure that the data and results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial participants are protected. Our reliance on third parties that we do not control does not relieve us of these responsibilities and requirements.

The third parties on whom we rely generally may terminate their engagements with us at any time and having to enter into alternative arrangements would delay introduction of our product candidates to market.

If these third parties do not successfully carry out their duties under their agreements with us, if the quality or accuracy of the data they obtain is compromised due to their failure to adhere to our clinical trial protocols or regulatory requirements, or if they otherwise fail to comply with clinical trial protocols or meet expected deadlines, our clinical trials may not meet regulatory requirements. If our clinical trials do not meet regulatory requirements or if these third parties need to be replaced, our preclinical development activities or clinical trials may be extended, delayed, suspended or terminated. If any of these events occur, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property Rights

We could be unsuccessful in obtaining adequate patent protection for one or more of our product candidates.

The following is a list of patents issued and granted to date to us and the number of patent applications filed by us that are currently pending with respect to our lead programs and technologies:

 

   

tivozanib and related technologies

 

U.S. patents: 4 issued; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2017 to 2029

 

European patents: 3 granted; none pending; expirations ranging from 2017 to 2022

 

Canadian patents: none granted; 1 pending; expiration 2022

 

Australian patents: 1 granted; none pending; expiration 2022

 

International application: 1 pending; expiration 2029

 

   

our antibody product pipeline and related technologies

 

U.S. patents: 3 issued; 3 pending; expirations ranging from 2027 to 2029

 

European patents: none granted; 2 pending; expirations 2027

 

International application: 2 pending; expiration 2029

 

   

various facets of our technology platform

 

U.S. patents: 4 issued; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2020 to 2025

 

European patents: 1 granted; 4 pending; expirations ranging from 2023 to 2026

 

Australian patents: 2 granted; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2023 to 2025

We cannot be certain that patents will be issued or granted with respect to applications that are currently pending, or that issued or granted patents will not later be found to be invalid and/or unenforceable. The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies is generally uncertain because it involves complex legal and factual considerations. The standards applied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and foreign patent offices in granting patents are not always applied uniformly or predictably. For example, there is no

 

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uniform worldwide policy regarding patentable subject matter or the scope of claims allowable in biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents. Consequently, patents may not issue from our pending patent applications. As such, we do not know the degree of future protection that we will have on our proprietary products and technology. The scope of patent protection that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will grant around the antibodies in our antibody product pipeline is uncertain. It is possible that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will not allow broad antibody claims that cover closely related antibodies as well as the specific antibody. Upon receipt of FDA approval, competitors would be free to market antibodies almost identical to ours, thereby decreasing our market share.

Issued patents covering one or more of our products could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court.

If we or one of our corporate partners were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our products, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Although we have conducted due diligence on patents we have exclusively in-licensed, and we believe that we have conducted our patent prosecution in accordance with the duty of candor and in good faith, the outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability during patent litigation is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on one of our products or certain aspects of our Human Response Platform. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business.

Claims that our platform technologies, our products or the sale or use of our products infringe the patent rights of third parties could result in costly litigation or could require substantial time and money to resolve, even if litigation is avoided.

We cannot guarantee that our platform technologies, our products, or the use of our products, do not infringe third party patents. Third parties might allege that we are infringing their patent rights or that we have misappropriated their trade secrets. Such third parties might resort to litigation against us. The basis of such litigation could be existing patents or patents that issue in the future.

It is also possible that we failed to identify relevant patents or applications. For example, applications filed before November 29, 2000 and certain applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents issue. Patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are published approximately 18 months after the earliest filing, which is referred to as the priority date. Therefore, patent applications covering our products or platform technology could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications which have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our platform technologies, our products or the use of our products.

With regard to tivozanib, we are aware of a third party United States patent, and corresponding foreign counterparts, that contain broad claims related to the use of an organic compound that, among other things, inhibits VEGF binding to one of the VEGF receptors. Additionally, tivozanib falls within the scope of certain pending patent applications that have broad generic disclosure and disclosure of certain compounds possessing structural similarities to tivozanib. Although we believe it is unlikely that such applications will lead to issued claims that would cover tivozanib and still be valid in view of the prior art, patent prosecution is inherently unpredictable. We are also aware of third party United States patents that contain broad claims related to the use of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in combination with a DNA damaging agent such as chemotherapy or radiation and we have received written notice from the owners of such patents indicating that they believe we may need a

 

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license from them in order to avoid infringing their patents. With regard to AV-299, we are aware of two separate families of United States patents, United States patent applications and foreign counterparts, with each of the two families being owned by a different third party, that contain broad claims related to anti-HGF antibodies having certain binding properties and their use. We are also aware of a United States patent that contains claims related to a method of treating a tumor by administering an agent that blocks the ability of HGF to promote angiogenesis in the tumor. With regard to AV-203, we are aware of a third party United States patent that contains broad claims relating to anti-ErbB3 antibodies. Based on our analyses, if any of the above third party patents were asserted against us, we do not believe our proposed products or activities would be found to infringe any valid claim of these patents. If we were to challenge the validity of any issued United States patent in court, we would need to overcome a statutory presumption of validity that attaches to every United States patent. This means that in order to prevail, we would have to present clear and convincing evidence as to the invalidity of the patent’s claims. There is no assurance that a court would find in our favor on questions of infringement or validity.

In order to avoid or settle potential claims with respect to any of the patent rights described above or any other patent rights of third parties, we may choose or be required to seek a license from a third party and be required to pay license fees or royalties or both. These licenses may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Even if we or our future strategic partners were able to obtain a license, the rights may be nonexclusive, which could result in our competitors gaining access to the same intellectual property. Ultimately, we could be prevented from commercializing a product, or be forced to cease some aspect of our business operations, if, as a result of actual or threatened patent infringement claims, we are unable to enter into licenses on acceptable terms. This could harm our business significantly.

Defending against claims of patent infringement or misappropriation of trade secrets could be costly and time consuming, regardless of the outcome. Thus, even if we were to ultimately prevail, or to settle at an early stage, such litigation could burden us with substantial unanticipated costs. In addition, litigation or threatened litigation could result in significant demands on the time and attention of our management team, distracting them from the pursuit of other company business.

Unfavorable outcomes in intellectual property litigation could limit our research and development activities and/or our ability to commercialize certain products.

If third parties successfully assert intellectual property rights against us, we might be barred from using certain aspects of our technology platform, or barred from developing and commercializing certain products. Prohibitions against using certain technologies, or prohibitions against commercializing certain products, could be imposed by a court or by a settlement agreement between us and a plaintiff. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in defending against allegations of patent infringement or misappropriation of trade secrets, we may be forced to pay substantial damage awards to the plaintiff. There is inevitable uncertainty in any litigation, including intellectual property litigation. There can be no assurance that we would prevail in any intellectual property litigation, even if the case against us is weak or flawed. If litigation leads to an outcome unfavorable to us, we may be required to obtain a license from the patent owner, in order to continue our research and development programs or to market our product(s). It is possible that the necessary license will not be available to us on commercially acceptable terms, or at all. This could limit our research and development activities, our ability to commercialize certain products, or both.

Most of our competitors are larger than we are and have substantially greater resources. They are, therefore, likely to be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation longer than we could. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our clinical trials, continue our internal research programs, in-license needed technology, or enter into strategic partnerships that would help us bring our product candidates to market.

In addition, any future patent litigation, interference or other administrative proceedings will result in additional expense and distraction of our personnel. An adverse outcome in such litigation or proceedings may expose us or our strategic partners to loss of our proprietary position, expose us to significant liabilities, or require us to seek licenses that may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, if at all.

 

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Intellectual property litigation may lead to unfavorable publicity that harms our reputation and causes the market price of our common stock to decline.

During the course of any patent litigation, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, rulings on motions, and other interim proceedings in the litigation. If securities analysts or investors regard these announcements as negative, the perceived value of our products, programs, or intellectual property could be diminished. Accordingly, the market price of our common stock may decline.

Tivozanib and certain aspects of our platform technology are protected by patents exclusively licensed from other companies. If the licensors terminate the licenses or fail to maintain or enforce the underlying patents, our competitive position and market share will be harmed.

We are a party to several license agreements under which certain aspects of our business depend on patents and/or patent applications owned by other companies or institutions. In particular, we hold exclusive licenses from Kyowa Hakko Kirin for tivozanib and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for our MaSS screen, which is a method of using our models to screen for, and identify, novel targets for new cancer drugs. We are likely to enter into additional license agreements as part of the development of our business in the future. Our licensors may not successfully prosecute certain patent applications under which we are licensed and on which our business depends. Even if patents issue from these applications, our licensors may fail to maintain these patents, may decide not to pursue litigation against third party infringers, may fail to prove infringement, or may fail to defend against counterclaims of patent invalidity or unenforceability. In addition, in spite of our best efforts, our licensors might conclude that we have materially breached our license agreements and might therefore terminate the license agreements, thereby removing our ability to obtain regulatory approval and to market products covered by these license agreements. If these in-licenses are terminated, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended market exclusivity, competitors would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical to ours. This could have a material adverse effect on our competitive business position and our business prospects.

We could be unsuccessful in obtaining patent protection on one or more components of our technology platform.

We believe that an important factor in our competitive position relative to other companies in the field of targeted oncology therapeutics is our proprietary Human Response Platform. This platform is useful for identifying new targets for drug discovery, confirming that newly-identified drug targets actually play a role in cancer, testing new compounds for effectiveness as drugs, and identifying traits useful for predicting which patients will respond to which drugs. We own issued U.S. patents covering our chimeric model technology and directed complementation technology. We have exclusively licensed certain patent rights covering a method of using our inducible cancer models to identify new targets for cancer drugs. However, patent protection on other aspects of our technology platform, such as our reconstituted human breast tumor model, is still pending. There is no guarantee that any of such pending patent applications, in the United States or elsewhere, will result in issued patents, and, even if patents eventually issue, there is no certainty that the claims in the eventual patents will have adequate scope to preserve our competitive position. Third parties might invent alternative technologies that would substitute for our technology platform while being outside the scope of the patents covering our platform technology. By successfully designing around our patented technology third parties could substantially weaken our competitive position in oncology research and development.

Confidentiality agreements with employees and third parties may not prevent unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information.

In addition to patents, we rely on trade secrets, technical know-how, and proprietary information concerning our business strategy in order to protect our competitive position in the field of oncology. In the course of our research and development activities and our business activities, we often rely on confidentiality agreements to protect our proprietary information. Such confidentiality agreements are used, for example, when we talk to vendors of laboratory or clinical development services or potential strategic partners. In addition, each of our employees is

 

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required to sign a confidentiality agreement upon joining our company. We take steps to protect our proprietary information, and our confidentiality agreements are carefully drafted to protect our proprietary interests. Nevertheless, there can be no guarantee that an employee or an outside party will not make an unauthorized disclosure of our proprietary confidential information. This might happen intentionally or inadvertently. It is possible that a competitor will make use of such information, and that our competitive position will be compromised, in spite of any legal action we might take against persons making such unauthorized disclosures.

Trade secrets are difficult to protect. Although we use reasonable efforts to protect our trade secrets, our employees, consultants, contractors, or outside scientific collaborators might intentionally or inadvertently disclose our trade secret information to competitors. Enforcing a claim that a third party illegally obtained and is using any of our trade secrets is expensive and time consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, courts outside the United States sometimes are less willing than U.S. courts to protect trade secrets. Moreover, our competitors may independently develop equivalent knowledge, methods and know-how.

Our research and development strategic partners may have rights to publish data and other information to which we have rights. In addition, we sometimes engage individuals or entities to conduct research relevant to our business. The ability of these individuals or entities to publish or otherwise publicly disclose data and other information generated during the course of their research is subject to certain contractual limitations. These contractual provisions may be insufficient or inadequate to protect our confidential information. If we do not apply for patent protection prior to such publication, or if we cannot otherwise maintain the confidentiality of our proprietary technology and other confidential information, then our ability to obtain patent protection or to protect our trade secret information may be jeopardized.

Intellectual property rights do not necessarily address all potential threats to our competitive advantage.

The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property rights is uncertain because intellectual property rights have limitations, and may not adequately protect our business, or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. The following examples are illustrative:

 

   

Others may be able to make compounds that are similar to our product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own or have exclusively licensed.

 

   

We or our licensors or strategic partners might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by the issued patent or pending patent application that we own or have exclusively licensed.

 

   

We or our licensors or strategic partners might not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our inventions.

 

   

Others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights.

 

   

It is possible that our pending patent applications will not lead to issued patents.

 

   

Issued patents that we own or have exclusively licensed may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by our competitors.

 

   

Our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets.

 

   

We may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable.

 

   

The patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

Changes in U.S. patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

As is the case with other biopharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biopharma industry involve both

 

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technological complexity and legal complexity. Therefore, obtaining and enforcing biopharma patents is costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, Congress may pass patent reform legislation. The Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, either narrowing the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakening the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future.

Risks Related to This Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock

We do not know whether a market will develop for our common stock or what the market price of our common stock will be and as a result it may be difficult for you to sell your shares of our common stock.

Before this offering, there was no public trading market for our common stock. If a market for our common stock does not develop or is not sustained, it may be difficult for you to sell your shares of common stock at an attractive price or at all. Further, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to enter into strategic partnerships or acquire companies or products by using our shares of common stock as consideration. We cannot predict the prices at which our common stock will trade. It is possible that in one or more future periods our results of operations may be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors and, as a result of these and other factors, the price of our common stock may fall.

The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile, and you may not be able to resell your shares at or above the initial public offering price.

The trading price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in price in response to various factors, many of which are beyond our control, including:

 

   

new products, product candidates or new uses for existing products introduced or announced by our strategic partners, or our competitors, including Roche’s Avastin, Pfizer’s Sutent, Onyx’s Nexavar, GSK’s Votrient and the timing of these introductions or announcements;

 

   

actual or anticipated results from and any delays in our clinical trials, including our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, as well as results of regulatory reviews relating to the approval of our product candidates;

 

   

the results of our efforts to discover, develop, acquire or in-license additional product candidates or products;

 

   

disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;

 

   

announcements by us or our competitors of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures and capital commitments;

 

   

additions or departures of key scientific or management personnel;

 

   

conditions or trends in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries;

 

   

actual or anticipated changes in earnings estimates, development timelines or recommendations by securities analysts;

 

   

general economic and market conditions and other factors that may be unrelated to our operating performance or the operating performance of our competitors, including changes in market valuations of similar companies; and

 

   

sales of common stock by us or our stockholders in the future, as well as the overall trading volume of our common stock.

 

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In addition, the stock market in general and the market for biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies in particular have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of those companies. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our operating performance. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market, securities class-action litigation has often been instituted against companies. Such litigation, if instituted against us, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

Our principal stockholders and management own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exercise significant influence over matters subject to stockholder approval.

As of February 1, 2010, our executive officers, directors and principal stockholders, together with their respective affiliates, owned approximately 41.7% of our common stock, including shares subject to outstanding options and warrants that are exercisable within 60 days after February 1, 2010, and we expect that upon completion of this offering, that same group will continue to hold at least 31.5% of our outstanding common stock. Accordingly, even after this offering, these stockholders will be able to exert a significant degree of influence over our management and affairs and over matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of our board of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. This concentration of ownership could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in our control or otherwise discouraging a potential acquirer from attempting to obtain control of us, which in turn could have a material and adverse effect on the fair market value of our common stock.

A significant portion of our total outstanding shares may be sold into the public market in the near future, which could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could occur at any time after the expiration of the lock-up agreements described in the “Underwriting” section of this prospectus. These sales, or the market perception that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock. After this offering, we will have 27,644,831 shares of common stock outstanding based on the number of shares outstanding as of February 1, 2010. This includes the 7,000,000 shares that we are selling in this offering, which may be resold in the public market immediately. The remaining 20,644,831 shares, or 74.6% of our outstanding shares after this offering, are currently restricted as a result of securities laws or lock-up agreements but will be able to be sold, subject to any applicable volume limitations under federal securities laws with respect to affiliate sales, in the near future as set forth below.

 

Number of Shares and % of Total Outstanding

  

Date Available for Sale into Public Market

       16,250 shares, or .06%

  

On the date of this prospectus

       88,934 shares, or .32%

  

90 days after the date of this prospectus

20,539,647 shares, or 74.30%

  

180 days after the date of this prospectus, subject to extension in specified instances, due to lock-up agreements between the holders of these shares and the underwriters. However, the representatives of the underwriters can waive the provisions of these lock-up agreements and allow these stockholders to sell their shares at any time.

In addition, as of February 1, 2010, there were 728,800 shares of convertible preferred stock convertible into 182,200 shares of common stock subject to outstanding warrants, 3,248,207 shares of common stock subject to outstanding options, an additional 398,611 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our employee benefit plans and an aggregate of 2,125,000 additional shares of common stock that will be available for future grant under our 2010 stock incentive plan and 2010 employee stock purchase plan upon the closing of this offering. The shares of common stock underlying these securities, including the shares underlying grants that may be made in the future under our employee benefit plans, will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by any applicable vesting requirements, the lock-up agreements and Rules 144 and 701

 

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under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Moreover, after this offering, holders of an aggregate of 18,937,663 shares of our common stock and holders of warrants to purchase 25,000 shares of our common stock will have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders. If such holders, by exercising their registration rights, cause a large number of securities to be registered and sold into the public market, these sales could have an adverse effect on the market price for our common stock. We also intend to register all shares of common stock that we may issue under our employee benefit plans. Once we register these shares, they can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to the lock-up agreements and the restrictions imposed on our affiliates under Rule 144.

You will incur immediate and substantial dilution as a result of this offering.

If you purchase common stock in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution of $11.24 per share, representing the difference between the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share and our pro forma net tangible book value per share after giving effect to this offering and the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock upon the closing of this offering. Based upon our shares outstanding on December 31, 2009, purchasers of shares of our common stock in this offering will have contributed 36.5% of the aggregate investment made by all purchasers of our capital stock to date based on the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, but will own only 25.3% of the outstanding shares of our common stock immediately after the offering. Moreover, we issued warrants and options in the past to acquire common stock at prices significantly below the assumed initial public offering price. As of February 1, 2010, there were 728,800 shares of convertible preferred stock subject to outstanding warrants with a weighted average exercise price of $2.38 per share (such warrants will be converted into warrants for 182,200 shares of common stock with a weighted average exercise price of $9.52 per share upon the consummation of this offering) and 3,248,207 shares of common stock subject to outstanding options with a weighted average exercise price of $4.56 per share. To the extent that these outstanding warrants or options are ultimately exercised, you will incur further dilution. In addition, an aggregate of 2,125,000 additional shares of common stock will be available under our 2010 stock incentive plan and 2010 employee stock purchase plan upon the closing of this offering. To the extent that any of these shares are granted as awards under the plans, you will incur further dilution.

Failure to achieve and maintain effective internal controls in accordance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act could have a material adverse effect on our ability to produce accurate financial statements and on our stock price.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, we will be required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. We have not been subject to these requirements in the past. The internal control report must contain (a) a statement of management’s responsibility for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, (b) a statement identifying the framework used by management to conduct the required evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, (c) management’s assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of our most recent fiscal year, including a statement as to whether or not internal control over financial reporting is effective, and (d) a statement that our independent registered public accounting firm has issued an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting.

To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we will be engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to dedicate internal resources, engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to (a) assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, (b) take steps to improve control processes where appropriate, (c) validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented, and (d) implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, we can provide no assurance as to our, or our independent registered public accounting firm’s, conclusions with respect to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404. There is a risk that neither we nor our independent registered public accounting firm will be able to

 

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conclude within the prescribed timeframe that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. This could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements.

We do not expect to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Investors in this offering may never obtain a return on their investment.

You should not rely on an investment in our common stock to provide dividend income. We do not anticipate that we will pay any cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Instead, we plan to retain any earnings to maintain and expand our existing operations. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends is currently prohibited by the terms of one of our debt financing arrangements, and any future debt financing arrangement may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any return on their investment. As a result, investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock.

We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds of this offering and may not use them effectively.

We expect to use substantially all of the net proceeds from this offering to fund the phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, our lead product candidate, with the balance, if any, to be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes. However, our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and could spend the proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common stock. The failure by management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business, cause the price of our common stock to decline and delay the development of our product candidates. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation, our by-laws or Delaware law might discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company or changes in our management and, therefore, depress the trading price of our common stock.

Provisions of our certificate of incorporation, our by-laws or Delaware law may have the effect of deterring unsolicited takeovers or delaying or preventing a change in control of our company or changes in our management, including transactions in which our stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares over then current market prices. In addition, these provisions may limit the ability of stockholders to approve transactions that they may deem to be in their best interest. These provisions include:

 

   

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations;

 

   

the inability of stockholders to act by written consent or to call special meetings;

 

   

the ability of our board of directors to make, alter or repeal our by-laws; and

 

   

the ability of our board of directors to designate the terms of and issue new series of preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used to institute a rights plan, or a poison pill, that would work to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, likely preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our board of directors.

In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a business combination with an interested stockholder, generally a person which together with its affiliates owns, or within the last three years has owned, 15% of our voting stock, for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person became an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner.

The existence of the foregoing provisions and anti-takeover measures could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock. They could also deter potential acquirers of our company, thereby reducing the likelihood that you could receive a premium for your common stock in an acquisition.

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this prospectus, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” “contemplate,” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

The forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, among other things, statements about:

 

   

our plans to develop and commercialize tivozanib and AV-299;

 

   

our ongoing and planned preclinical studies and clinical trials;

 

   

the potential benefits of strategic partnership agreements and our ability to enter into selective strategic partnership arrangements;

 

   

the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our product candidates;

 

   

the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of our products;

 

   

our plans to leverage our Human Response Platform to discover and develop product candidates;

 

   

our ability to quickly and efficiently identify and develop product candidates;

 

   

our commercialization, marketing and manufacturing capabilities and strategy;

 

   

our intellectual property position;

 

   

our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and needs for additional financing; and

 

   

other risks and uncertainties, including those listed under the caption “Risk Factors.”

We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. We have included important factors in the cautionary statements included in this prospectus, particularly in the “Risk Factors” section, that we believe could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that we make. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments we may make.

You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

The forward-looking statements in this prospectus represent our views as of the date of this prospectus. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this prospectus.

This prospectus also contains estimates and other statistical data made by independent parties and by us relating to market size and growth and other data about our industry. This data involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such estimates. We have not independently verified the statistical and other industry data generated by independent parties and contained in this prospectus. In addition, projections, assumptions and estimates of our future performance and the future performance of the industries in which we operate are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds from our issuance and sale of 7,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering will be approximately $88.4 million, assuming an initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share would increase (decrease) our net proceeds from this offering by approximately $6.5 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, we estimate that the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $102.1 million, assuming an initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

We expect to use substantially all of the net proceeds from this offering to fund our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, our lead product candidate, with the balance, if any, to be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

This expected use of net proceeds from this offering represents our intentions based upon our current plans and business conditions. The amounts and timing of our actual expenditures depend on numerous factors, including the ongoing status of and results from clinical trials and other studies, as well as any strategic partnerships that we may enter into with third parties for our product candidates and any unforeseen cash needs. As a result, our management will retain broad discretion over the allocation of the net proceeds from this offering.

Pending use of the proceeds from this offering, we intend to invest the proceeds in a variety of capital preservation investments, including short-term, investment-grade and interest-bearing instruments.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock and our ability to pay cash dividends is currently prohibited by the terms of one of our debt financing arrangements. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. We do not intend to pay cash dividends to our stockholders in the foreseeable future.

 

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INDUSTRY AND MARKET DATA

We obtained the industry, market and competitive position data in this prospectus from our own internal estimates and research as well as from industry and general publications and research surveys and studies conducted by third parties. While we believe that each of these studies and publications is reliable, we have not independently verified market and industry data from third-party sources. While we believe our internal company research is reliable and the market definitions we use are appropriate, neither such research nor these definitions have been verified by any independent source.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our capitalization as of December 31, 2009:

 

   

on an actual basis;

 

   

on a pro forma basis to give effect to the conversion of all of our outstanding convertible preferred stock into common stock upon the closing of this offering; and

 

   

on a pro forma as adjusted basis to give further effect to the issuance and sale of 7,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us and the receipt by us of the proceeds of such sale.

Our capitalization following the closing of this offering will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this table together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus, the sections entitled “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other financial information contained in this prospectus.

 

     As of December 31, 2009
(unaudited)
     Actual    Pro Forma    Pro Forma
As Adjusted(1)
     (in thousands, except per share data)

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities

   $ 51,301    $ 51,301    $ 139,691
                    

Current portion of loans payable

     7,467      7,467      7,467
                    

Loans payable, net of current portion

     12,278      12,278      12,278

Warrants to purchase convertible preferred stock

     1,459          

Series A convertible preferred stock, $.001 par value: 12,448,000 shares authorized; 12,428,198 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma and pro forma adjusted

     15,560          

Series B convertible preferred stock, $.001 par value: 27,215,385 shares authorized; 26,906,354 shares issued and outstanding actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma and pro forma adjusted

     43,723          

Series C convertible preferred stock, $.001 par value: 4,166,668 shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma and pro forma adjusted

     11,583          

Series D convertible preferred stock, $.001 par value: 21,794,310 shares authorized; 21,165,510 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma and pro forma adjusted

     52,914          

Series E convertible preferred stock, $.001 par value: 15,000,000 shares authorized; 11,250,000 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma and pro forma adjusted

     32,925          

 

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     As of December 31, 2009
(unaudited)
 
     Actual     Pro Forma     Pro Forma
As Adjusted(1)
 
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Common stock, $.001 par value: 25,500,000 and 100,000,000 shares authorized actual and pro forma; 1,640,714 shares issued and outstanding, actual; 20,619,869 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma; and 27,619,869 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     2        21        28   

Additional paid-in capital

     7,432        165,577        253,960   

Accumulated other comprehensive income

                     

Accumulated deficit

     (177,725     (177,725     (177,725
                        

Total stockholders’ deficit

   $ (170,291   $ (12,127   $ 76,263   
                        

Total capitalization

   $ 151      $ 151      $ 88,541   
                        

 

(1)

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and total capitalization by approximately $6.5 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The table above does not include:

 

   

3,275,906 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2009 at a weighted average exercise price of $4.56 per share;

 

   

728,800 shares of convertible preferred stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants outstanding as of December 31, 2009 at a weighted average exercise price of $2.38 per share (such warrants will be converted into warrants to purchase 182,200 shares of common stock upon the consummation of this offering); and

 

   

an aggregate of 395,876 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock incentive plans as of December 31, 2009 and an aggregate of 2,125,000 additional shares of common stock that will be available under our 2010 stock incentive plan and 2010 employee stock purchase plan upon the closing of this offering.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our common stock and the net tangible book value per share of our common stock after this offering.

Our historical net tangible book value (deficit) as of December 31, 2009 was $(170.3) million or $(103.79) per share of our common stock. Our historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets less total liabilities, divided by the number of shares of common stock outstanding.

Our pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) as of December 31, 2009 was $(12.1) million or $(0.59) per share of our common stock. Pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets less total liabilities, divided by the total number of shares of common stock outstanding after giving effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 18,979,155 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering.

After giving effect to the issuance and sale by us of 7,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, less underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2009 would have been $76.3 million, or $2.76 per share. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share of $3.35 to existing stockholders and immediate dilution of $11.24 in pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering. Dilution per share to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the initial public offering price per share paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share of common stock

     $ 14.00

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2009

   $ (0.59  

Increase per share attributable to new investors

     3.35     
          

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering

     $ 2.76

Dilution per share to new investors

     $ 11.24

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our pro forma net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $6.5 million, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $0.24 and dilution per share to new investors by approximately $0.76, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

If the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value will increase to $3.14 per share, representing an immediate increase to existing stockholders of $3.73 per share and an immediate dilution of $10.86 per share to new investors. If any shares are issued upon exercise of outstanding options or warrants, you will experience further dilution.

 

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The following table summarizes, as of December 31, 2009, the number of shares purchased or to be purchased from us after giving effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 18,979,155 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering, the total consideration paid or to be paid to us and the average price per share paid or to be paid to us by existing stockholders and by new investors purchasing shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range listed on the cover page of this prospectus, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. As the table below shows, new investors purchasing shares of our common stock in this offering will pay an average price per share substantially higher than our existing stockholders paid.

 

     Shares Purchased    Total Consideration    Average Price
per Share
     Number    Percentage    Amount    Percentage   

Existing stockholders

   20,619,869    74.7%    $ 170,218,278    63.5%    $ 8.26

New investors

   7,000,000    25.3%    $ 98,000,000    36.5%    $ 14.00
                        

Total

   27,619,869    100%    $ 268,218,278    100%    $ 9.71
                            

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $14.00 per share would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors by $7.0 million and increase (decrease) the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by approximately 1.7%, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same.

The number of shares purchased from us by existing stockholders is based on 20,619,869 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2009 after giving effect to the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into common stock upon the closing of this offering and excludes:

 

   

3,275,906 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2009 at a weighted average exercise price of $4.56 per share;

 

   

728,800 shares of convertible preferred stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants outstanding as of December 31, 2009 at a weighted average exercise price of $2.38 per share (such warrants will be converted into warrants to purchase 182,200 shares of common stock at a weighted average exercise price of $9.52 per share upon the consummation of this offering); and

 

   

an aggregate of 395,876 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock incentive plans as of December 31, 2009 and an aggregate of 2,125,000 additional shares of common stock that will be available under our 2010 stock incentive plan and 2010 employee stock purchase plan upon the closing of this offering.

If all our outstanding stock options and outstanding warrants had been exercised as of December 31, 2009, assuming the treasury stock method, our pro forma net tangible book value as of December 31, 2009 would have been approximately $(12.1) million or $(0.55) per share of our common stock, and the pro forma net tangible book value after giving effect to this offering would have been $2.61 per share, representing dilution in our pro forma net tangible book value per share to new investors of $11.39.

 

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

You should read the following selected consolidated financial data together with our financial statements, the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus and the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section of this prospectus.

We derived the annual consolidated financial data from our audited financial statements, the last three years of which are included elsewhere in this prospectus. We derived the summary statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2005 and 2006 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2005, 2006 and 2007 from our audited financial statements not included in this prospectus.

Our historical results for any prior period are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected in any future period, and our results for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results for a full fiscal year. Pro forma basic and diluted net loss per common share have been calculated assuming the conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into shares of common stock.

 

     Years Ended December 31,  
     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009  
                                
     (in thousands, except per share data)  

Statement of operations data:

          

Revenue

   $ 6,213      $ 7,783      $ 11,034      $ 19,660      $ 20,719   

Operating expenses:

          

Research and development

     17,758        26,845        29,248        41,821        51,792   

General and administrative

     4,783        5,161        6,502        9,164        10,120   
                                        

Total operating expenses

     22,541        32,006        35,750        50,985        61,912   
                                        

Loss from operations

     (16,328     (24,223     (24,716     (31,325     (41,193
                                        

Other income and expense:

          

Other income, net

     7                      18        (333

Loss on loan extinguishment

                          (248       

Interest expense

     (635     (1,591     (2,437     (2,086     (2,811

Interest income

     859        909        2,171        1,168        144   
                                        

Other income (expense), net

     231        (682     (266     (1,148     (3,000
                                        

Net loss before taxes

     (16,097     (24,905     (24,982     (32,473     (44,193

Tax benefit

                                 100   
                                        

Net loss

   $ (16,097   $ (24,905   $ (24,982   $ (32,473     (44,093
                                        

Net loss per share applicable to common stockholders-basic and diluted

   $ (12.35   $ (18.73   $ (17.89   $ (21.08   $ (27.43
                                        

Weighted average number of common shares used in net loss per share calculation—basic and diluted

     1,303        1,330        1,396        1,541        1,607   

Pro forma net loss per share—basic and diluted (unaudited)

           $ (2.23
                

Shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share—basic and diluted (unaudited)

             19,768   

 

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     As of December 31,  
     2005     2006     2007     2008     2009  
                                
     (in thousands)  

Balance sheet data:

          

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities

   $ 25,991      $ 16,748      $ 61,742      $ 32,364      $ 51,301   

Working capital

     17,087        3,674        42,542        16,073        18,789   

Total assets

     33,074        22,448        67,654        40,087        59,844   

Loans payable, including current portion

     7,076        19,365        15,078        21,055        19,745   

Preferred stock warrant liability

            727        905        1,211        1,459   

Convertible preferred stock

     66,223        66,223        123,720        123,720        156,705   

Accumulated deficit

     (51,323     (76,176     (101,158     (133,631     (177,725

Total stockholders’ deficit

     (49,817     (74,547     (98,458     (128,688     (170,291

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this prospectus, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should read the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel cancer therapeutics. Our product candidates are directed against important mechanisms known or believed to be involved in cancer. Tivozanib, our lead product candidate, is a highly potent and selective oral inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, receptors 1, 2 and 3. We have completed a successful 272-patient phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced renal cell cancer, or RCC, and initiated patient screening for a phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC in December 2009, in which we plan to enroll 500 patients. We commenced enrollment of patients in the phase 3 clinical trial in February 2010. We are also conducting phase 1b clinical trials of tivozanib in RCC, breast, lung and colorectal cancer. We have completed a phase 1 clinical trial of our next most advanced product candidate, AV-299, and expect AV-299 to enter a phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer in the first half of 2010. We are also developing a pipeline of earlier stage novel antibodies which are designed to target mechanisms which we believe to be important in cancer. Our drug discovery and development activities are supported by our novel proprietary cancer modeling platform, which we refer to as our Human Response Platform. Our Human Response Platform is based on a unique method of building genetically-engineered preclinical models of human cancer, which are intended to more accurately reflect human disease.

We have devoted substantially all of our resources to our drug discovery efforts comprising research and development, conducting clinical trials for our product candidates, protecting our intellectual property and the general and administrative support of these operations. We have generated no revenue from product sales and, through December 31, 2009, have principally funded our operations through:

 

   

$91.5 million of non-dilutive capital in the form of license fees, milestone payments and research and development funding received from our strategic partners; and

 

   

$169.6 million of funding from the sale of convertible preferred stock to all of our investors, including $77.5 million of equity sales to our strategic partners.

We have never been profitable and, as of December 31, 2009, we had an accumulated deficit of $177.7 million. We incurred net losses of approximately $25.0 million, $32.5 million and $44.1 million in the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. We expect to incur significant and increasing operating losses for the foreseeable future as we advance our product candidates from discovery through preclinical studies and clinical trials to seek regulatory approval and eventual commercialization. We will need additional financing to support our operating activities. In addition, the report of our independent registered public accounting firm with respect to our consolidated financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus contains an explanatory paragraph stating that our operating losses and negative cash flows from operations since inception, and our need to raise additional financing and/or financial support prior to December 31, 2010 in order to continue to fund our operations, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. We will seek to fund our operations through public or private equity or debt financings or other sources, such as strategic partnerships. Adequate additional funding may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. We expect that research and development expenses will increase along with

 

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general and administrative costs, as we grow and operate as a public company. We will need to generate significant revenues to achieve profitability and we may never do so.

Financial Obligations Related to the License and Development of Tivozanib

In December 2006, we entered into a license agreement with Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. (now Kyowa Hakko Kirin) under which we obtained an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize tivozanib (f/k/a KRN951), pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers. Our exclusive license covers all territories in the world, except for Asia. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has retained rights to tivozanib in Asia. Under the license agreement, we obtained exclusive rights in our territory under certain Kyowa Hakko Kirin patents, patent applications and know-how related to tivozanib, to research, develop, make, have made, use, import, offer for sale, and sell tivozanib for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any and all human diseases and conditions.

Upon entering into the license agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin, we made a one-time cash payment in the amount of $5.0 million. We will be required to make a $10.0 milestone payment to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in connection with our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, which we expect to pay in the first quarter of 2010. In addition, we may be required to make up to an aggregate of $50.0 million in additional milestone payments upon the achievement of specified regulatory milestones. We are also required to pay tiered royalty payments on net sales we make of tivozanib in our territory. The royalty rates under the agreement range from the low to mid teens as a percentage of our net sales of tivozanib. In the event we sublicense the rights licensed to us under the license agreement, we are required to pay Kyowa Hakko Kirin a specified percentage of any amounts we receive from any third party sublicensees, other than amounts we receive in respect of research and development funding or equity investments, subject to certain limitations.

Strategic Partnerships

OSI Pharmaceuticals

In September 2007, we entered into a collaboration and license agreement with OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or OSI. Our strategic partnership with OSI is primarily focused on the identification and validation of genes and targets involved in the processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition or mesenchymal-epithelial transition, in cancer. We are currently working with OSI on the development of proprietary target-driven tumor models for use in target validation, drug screening and biomarker identification to support OSI’s drug discovery and development activities. The research program portion of our strategic partnership began in October 2007 and will expire at the end of June 2011 unless the agreement is terminated earlier by either party. Under the terms of our agreement, OSI may, but has no obligation to, elect to obtain exclusive rights, with the right to grant sublicenses, under certain aspects of our intellectual property, to research, develop, make, sell and import drug products and associated diagnostics directed to a specified number of targets identified and/or validated under the agreement. OSI has sole responsibility and is required to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize drugs and associated diagnostics directed to the targets to which it has obtained rights. In July 2009, we expanded our strategic partnership with OSI and we granted OSI a non-exclusive license to use our proprietary bioinformatics platform, and non-exclusive, perpetual licenses to use bioinformatics data and to use a proprietary gene index related to a specific target pathway. Further, as part of our expanded strategic partnership, we granted OSI an option to receive non-exclusive perpetual rights to certain elements of our Human Response Platform and our bioinformatics platform, including the right to obtain certain of our tumor models and tumor archives. If OSI elects to exercise this additional option and we transfer the relevant technology to OSI, OSI will be required to pay us license expansion fees equal to, in the aggregate, $25 million.

In September 2007, OSI paid us an up-front payment of $7.5 million, which was recorded in deferred revenue and is being amortized over our period of substantial involvement which is now determined to be through July 2011. OSI also paid us $2.5 million for the first year of research program funding, which was recorded in deferred revenue and was recognized as revenue over the performance period and, thereafter, made sponsored research payments of $625,000 per quarter through July 2009. In addition, OSI purchased 1,833,334

 

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shares of series C convertible preferred stock, at a per share price of $3.00, resulting in gross proceeds to us of $5.5 million. We determined that the price paid of $3.00 per share by OSI represents a premium of $0.50 over the price per share for shares of our series D convertible preferred stock sold in April 2007; accordingly, we will recognize the premium of $917,000 as additional license revenue on a straight-line basis over the period of substantial involvement.

In July 2009 under the amended agreement, OSI paid us an up-front payment of $5.0 million, which was recorded in deferred revenue and will be amortized over our remaining period of substantial involvement. OSI also agreed to fund research costs through June 30, 2011. In addition, OSI purchased 3,750,000 shares of series E convertible preferred stock at a per share price of $4.00, resulting in gross proceeds to us of $15.0 million. We determined that the price of $4.00 per share paid by OSI represents a premium of $1.04 per share over the fair value of the series E convertible preferred stock of $2.96 as calculated by us in our retrospective stock valuation; accordingly, we will recognize the premium of $3.9 million as additional license revenue on a straight-line basis over the period of substantial involvement.

Under the new agreement, if all applicable milestones are achieved, payments for the successful achievement of discovery, development and commercialization milestones under the agreement could total, in the aggregate, over $94.0 million for each target and its associated products.

Under these agreements, we received cash payments related to upfront license fees, milestone payments, research and development funding, and sales of equity of $26.5 million, $2.0 million and $15.5 million, and recorded revenue of $9.8 million, $6.1 million and $1.1 million, for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Biogen Idec

In March 2009, we entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec International GmbH, a subsidiary of Biogen Idec Inc., which we collectively refer to herein as Biogen Idec, regarding the development and commercialization of our discovery-stage ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Under the agreement, we are responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial designed in a manner that, if successful, will generate data sufficient to support advancement to a phase 3 clinical trial. Within a specified time period after we complete this phase 2 clinical trial and deliver to Biogen Idec a detailed data package containing the results thereof, Biogen Idec may elect to obtain (1) a co-exclusive (with us), worldwide license, including the right to grant sublicenses, under our relevant intellectual property to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products, and (2) an exclusive license, including the right to grant sublicenses, under our relevant intellectual property, to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in all countries in the world other than the United States, Canada and Mexico. We retain the exclusive right to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec paid us an upfront cash payment of $5.0 million in March 2009, which will be amortized over our period of substantial involvement once determined. In addition, Biogen Idec purchased 7,500,000 shares of series E convertible preferred stock at a per share price of $4.00, resulting in gross proceeds to us of $30.0 million. We determined that the price of $4.00 paid by Biogen Idec includes a premium of $1.09 per share over the fair value of the series E convertible preferred stock of $2.91 as calculated by us in our retrospective stock valuation; accordingly, we will recognize the premium of $8.2 million as revenue on a straight-line basis over the period of substantial involvement. In June 2009, we received a $5.0 million milestone payment for achievement of the first pre-clinical discovery milestone under the agreement. We could also receive (i) a $5 million milestone payment related to the selection of a development candidate as well as another $5 million near-term pre-clinical discovery and development milestone payment, and (ii) if Biogen Idec exercises its option to obtain exclusive rights to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in its territory, an option exercise fee and regulatory milestone payments of $50.0 million in the aggregate. Since the $5.0 million milestone payment received in June 2009 is a near term milestone and not considered to be substantive and at risk, the revenue is being amortized as additional license revenue over our period of substantial involvement. We expect to select a

 

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development candidate in the first quarter of 2010, and once a development candidate has been selected we will begin amortizing all license revenue under this agreement over the projected twenty-year patent life of the candidate.

Under this agreement, we received cash payments related to upfront license fees, milestone payments and sales of equity of $40.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. We have not yet recorded any revenue under this agreement as the period of substantial involvement had not yet been determined as of December 31, 2009.

Schering-Plough (now Merck)

In March 2007, we entered into an agreement with Schering-Plough Corporation, or Schering-Plough (now Merck & Co., Inc., or Merck), through its subsidiary Schering Corporation, acting through its Schering-Plough Research Institute division, under which we granted Merck exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize all of our monoclonal antibody antagonists of hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF, including AV-299, for therapeutic and prophylactic use in humans and for veterinary use. We also granted Merck an exclusive, worldwide license to related biomarkers for diagnostic use. Merck has the right to grant sublicenses under the foregoing licensed rights. We have primary responsibility for certain U.S.-related development activities through the first phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for AV-299. Merck will be responsible for clinical development of AV-299 after completion of such proof-of-concept clinical trial. We also are using our Human Response Platform to conduct translational research to guide the clinical development of AV-299. Merck is responsible for all costs related to the clinical development of AV-299 and clinical and commercial manufacturing.

Under the agreement, Merck paid us an up-front payment of $7.5 million in May 2007, which is being amortized over our period of substantial involvement, or through completion of the first proof-of-concept trial which is estimated for this purpose to be to be the first half of 2012. In addition, Merck purchased 4,000,000 shares of series D convertible preferred stock, at a per share price of $2.50, resulting in gross proceeds to us of $10.0 million. The amount paid for the series D convertible preferred stock represented fair value as it was the same as the amounts paid by unrelated investors in March and April 2007. Milestone payments for the successful development and commercialization of AV-299, if all approvals in multiple indications and all sales milestones are achieved, could total, in the aggregate, $464.0 million. Upon commercialization, we are eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on Merck’s net sales of AV-299, which range from low double digits to high teens as a percentage of net sales. Under this agreement, we received cash payments related to upfront license fees, milestone payments, research and development funding and sales of equity of $10.6 million, $9.5 million and $25.8 million, and recorded revenue of $10.9 million, $13.3 million and $6.6 million, for the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Merck

In November 2003, we entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Merck to discover and validate oncology targets. During the research program portion of the collaboration, which concluded in November 2006, we used our proprietary cancer models to identify and subsequently validate essential tumor maintenance genes suitable as targets for small molecule drug development. During the research program, Merck exercised its option with respect to, and we granted Merck an exclusive, worldwide license, with the right to grant sublicenses, to six molecular targets, and associated data, discovered and validated by us under the research collaboration, to develop, manufacture and commercialize small molecule products directed to such targets for therapeutic use. In conjunction with the exclusive license granted to Merck, we granted Merck non-exclusive licenses, with the right to grant sublicenses, to (1) develop, manufacture and commercialize products and compounds directed at certain targets for diagnostic use, and (2) develop, manufacture and use biological products directed at certain targets solely for the research or development of products for therapeutic and/or diagnostic use. Merck is solely responsible for drug discovery, clinical development and commercialization of the products directed to the six collaboration targets it selected.

 

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If all development and regulatory milestones are reached with respect to each of the six targets, potential additional milestone payments could total, in the aggregate, $249.0 million. We are also eligible to receive tiered royalties from Merck based on the sales of products that are directed to or use the collaboration targets selected by Merck.

In August 2005, we entered into a second license and research collaboration agreement with Merck relating to the use of our Human Response Platform. Over the course of the collaborative research program, which has concluded, we received approximately $4.5 million in research funding. If all development and regulatory milestones under the agreement are achieved, potential milestone payments could total, in the aggregate, $4.9 million.

In connection with these agreements, Merck purchased an aggregate of 2,333,334 shares of series C convertible preferred stock, at a per share price of $3.00, resulting in gross proceeds to us of approximately $7.0 million.

Revenue earned under all Merck agreements was $3.2 million and $7.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, respectively, for a total of $21.8 million earned under these agreements. No revenue was earned after 2007.

Financial Operations Overview

Revenue

To date, we have not generated any revenue from product sales. All of our revenue to date has been derived from license fees, milestone payments, and research and development payments received from our strategic partners.

In the future, we may generate revenue from a combination of product sales, license fees, milestone payments and research and development payments in connection with strategic partnerships, and royalties resulting from the sales of products developed under licenses of our intellectual property. We expect that any revenue we generate will fluctuate from quarter to quarter as a result of the timing and amount of license fees, research and development reimbursements, milestone and other payments received under our strategic partnerships, and the amount and timing of payments that we receive upon the sale of our products, to the extent any are successfully commercialized. We do not expect to generate revenue from product sales until 2013 at the earliest. If we or our strategic partners fail to complete the development of our drug candidates in a timely manner or obtain regulatory approval for them, our ability to generate future revenue, and our results of operations and financial position, would be materially adversely affected.

Research and Development Expenses

Research and development expense consists of expenses incurred in connection with the discovery and development of our product candidates. These expenses consist primarily of:

 

   

employee-related expenses, which include salaries and benefits;

 

   

expenses incurred under agreements with contract research organizations, investigative sites and consultants that conduct our clinical trials and a substantial portion of our preclinical studies;

 

   

the cost of acquiring and manufacturing clinical trial materials;

 

   

facilities, depreciation and other allocated expenses, which include direct and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities and equipment, and depreciation of fixed assets;

 

   

license fees for and milestone payments related to in-licensed products and technology;

 

   

stock-based compensation expense to employees and non-employees; and

 

   

costs associated with non-clinical activities and regulatory approvals.

We expense research and development costs as incurred.

 

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Conducting a significant amount of research and development is central to our business model. Product candidates in late stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of late stage clinical trials. We plan to increase our research and development expenses for the foreseeable future as we seek to complete development of our most advanced product candidate, tivozanib, and to further advance our earlier-stage research and development projects.

Prior to January 1, 2006, we did not record our internal research and development costs or our personnel and personnel-related costs on a project-by-project basis. Prior to 2006, our research resources were shared among all of our programs. Since January 1, 2006, we have tracked external development expenses and personnel expense on a program-by-program basis and have allocated common expenses, such as scientific consultants and lab supplies, to each program based on the personnel resources allocated to each program. Facilities, depreciation, stock-based compensation, research and development management and research and development support services are not allocated and are considered overhead. Below is a summary of our research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008 and 2009:

 

     Years Ended December 31,
     2007    2008    2009
    

(in thousands)

Tivozanib

   $ 5,810    $ 14,231    $ 23,399

AV-299

     4,101      5,671      6,498

AV-203 program

          992      1,763

Platform collaborations

     2,025      2,836      2,960

Antibody pipeline

     4,660      5,176      5,523

Other research and development

     5,010      3,437      2,358

Overhead

     7,642      9,478      9,291
                    

Total research and development expenses

   $ 29,248    $ 41,821    $ 51,792
                    

Tivozanib

We have completed a phase 2 clinical trial and in December 2009 initiated a phase 3 clinical trial for tivozanib in advanced RCC. We are also conducting phase 1b clinical trials of tivozanib in various combinations and dosing regimens in advanced RCC and additional solid tumor indications. Future research and development costs for the tivozanib program are not reasonably certain because such costs are dependent on a number of variables, including the cost and design of any additional clinical trials including additional trials in combination with other drugs, the timing of the regulatory process, and the success of the phase 3 clinical trial. Our current estimate for the cost of the phase 3 clinical trial program, including the cost of the comparator drug, Nexavar, is approximately $67.0 million. Additionally, we will be required to pay a $10.0 million milestone to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in connection with our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, which we expect to pay in the first quarter of 2010. We may also be required to make up to an aggregate of $50.0 million in additional milestone payments to Kyowa Hakko Kirin upon the achievement of specified regulatory milestones. Further, we are required to pay tiered royalty payments on net sales we make of tivozanib in our territory, which range from the low to mid teens as a percentage of net sales. In the event we sublicense the rights licensed to us under the license agreement, we are required to pay Kyowa Hakko Kirin a specified percentage of any amounts we receive from any third party sublicensees, other than amounts we receive in respect of research and development funding or equity investments, subject to certain limitations.

AV-299

We have entered into a license agreement related to AV-299 with Schering-Plough (now Merck) and under the terms of the exclusive worldwide research, development and license agreement, we are responsible for leading the clinical development of AV-299 through completion of the first phase 2 proof-of-concept trial. All

 

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expenses related to development are reimbursed by Merck in accordance with an agreed-upon budget. We record revenue and expenses on a gross basis under this arrangement. All future costs of this program are expected to be fully funded by Merck. We have completed a phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299 and expect to commence a phase 2 clinical trial of AV-299 in 2010.

AV-203 Program

Our AV-203 program is focused on identifying inhibitors of ErbB3 and is currently in preclinical development. We have granted Biogen Idec an exclusive option to co-develop (with us) and commercialize our ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Due to the unpredictable nature of preclinical and clinical development and given the early stage of this program, we are unable to estimate with any certainty the costs we will incur in the future development of any candidate identified from this program. We expect to select a development candidate and commence manufacturing of this candidate in 2010 in preparation for preclinical and human clinical trials.

Platform Collaborations

We perform research services for third parties using our Human Response Platform. The related expenses, including personnel and related expenses, are captured as a cost of our various agreements with such third parties. Expenses incurred under our existing agreement with OSI are fully supported by the revenue from that agreement.

Antibody Pipeline

We expect that the expenses related to our antibody pipeline will continue to increase as we seek to identify additional targets for preclinical research and additional personnel are added to these projects. Future research and development costs for our antibody pipeline are not reasonably certain because such costs are dependent on a number of variables, including the success of preclinical studies on these antibodies and the identification of other potential candidates across multiple oncology indications.

The process of conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials necessary to obtain FDA approval for each of our product candidates is costly and time consuming. The probability of success for each product candidate and clinical trial may be affected by a variety of factors, including, among others, the quality of the product candidate’s early clinical data, investment in the program, competition, manufacturing capabilities and commercial viability.

At this time, we cannot reasonably estimate or know the nature, specific timing and estimated costs of the efforts that will be necessary to complete the remainder of the development of our product candidates, or the period, if any, in which material net cash inflows may commence from our product candidates. This is due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with developing drugs, including the uncertainty of:

 

   

the progress and results of our clinical trials;

 

   

the scope, progress, results and costs of preclinical development, laboratory testing and clinical trials for any other product candidate;

 

   

the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our product candidates;

 

   

our ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships and the terms and success of those strategic partnerships, if any, including the timing and amount of payments that we might receive from potential strategic partners;

 

   

the emergence of competing technologies and products and other adverse market developments; and

 

   

the costs of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications and maintaining, enforcing and defending intellectual property-related claims.

 

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As a result of the uncertainties discussed above, we are unable to determine the duration and completion costs of current or future clinical stages of our product candidates or when, or to what extent, we will generate revenues from the commercialization and sale of any of our product candidates. Development timelines, probability of success and development costs vary widely. We anticipate that we will make determinations as to which additional programs to pursue and how much funding to direct to each program on an ongoing basis in response to the scientific and clinical success of each product candidate, as well as ongoing assessment of the product candidate’s commercial potential. We plan to develop additional product candidates internally which will increase significantly our research and development expenses in future periods. We will need to raise additional capital in the future in order to complete the development and commercialization of tivozanib and to fund the development of our other product candidates.

Other Research and Development

Other research and development includes expenses related to AV-412, a product candidate for which we have decided not to pursue further development, and certain funding related to our Human Response Platform which is not specifically related to a particular product candidate or a specific strategic partnership. AV-412 was the subject of a license agreement with Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation. We terminated the license agreement with Mitsubishi Pharma effective January 26, 2010. The costs to wind down this program are expected to be minimal.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses consist principally of salaries and related costs for personnel in executive, finance, business development, marketing, information technology, legal and human resources functions. Other general and administrative expenses include facility costs not otherwise included in research and development expenses, patent filing, prosecution and defense costs and professional fees for legal, consulting, auditing and tax services.

We anticipate that our general and administrative expenses will increase for, among others, the following reasons:

 

   

we expect to incur increased general and administrative expenses to support our research and development activities, which we expect to expand as we continue the development of our product candidates;

 

   

we may also begin to incur expenses related to the sales and marketing of our product candidates in anticipation of commercial launch before we receive regulatory approval of a product candidate; and

 

   

we expect our general and administrative expenses to increase as a result of increased payroll, expanded infrastructure and higher consulting, legal, accounting and investor relations costs, and director and officer insurance premiums associated with being a public company.

Interest Income and Interest Expense

Interest income consists of interest earned on our cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities. The primary objective of our investment policy is capital preservation.

Interest expense consists primarily of interest, amortization of debt discount, and amortization of deferred financing costs associated with our loans payable.

Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Judgments and Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally

 

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accepted in the United States. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to accrued expenses and stock-based compensation. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

Our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in Note 2 of the notes to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. We believe the following accounting policies to be most critical to the judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.

Revenue Recognition

Our revenues are generated primarily through collaborative research, development and commercialization agreements. The terms of these agreements typically include payment to us of one or more of the following: non-refundable, up-front license fees; funding of research and/or development efforts; milestone payments; and royalties on future product sales.

When evaluating multiple element arrangements, we consider whether the components of the arrangement represent separate units of accounting. This evaluation requires subjective determinations and requires management to make judgments about the fair value of the individual elements and whether such elements are separable from the other aspects of the contractual relationship.

We typically receive upfront, nonrefundable payments when licensing our intellectual property in conjunction with a research and development agreement. We believe that these payments generally are not separable from the activity of providing research and development services because the license does not have stand-alone value separate from the research and development services that we provide under our agreements. Accordingly, we account for these elements as one unit of accounting and recognize upfront, nonrefundable payments as revenue on a straight-line basis over our contractual or estimated performance period, which is typically the term of our research and development obligations. If we cannot reasonably estimate when our performance obligation ends, then revenue is deferred until we can reasonably estimate when the performance obligation ends. The periods over which revenue should be recognized are subject to estimates by management and may change over the course of the strategic partnership agreement. Such a change could have a material impact on the amount of revenue we record in future periods.

Our strategic partnership agreements may also contain milestone payments. Revenues from milestones, if they are nonrefundable and considered substantive, are recognized upon successful accomplishment of the milestones. If not considered substantive, milestones are initially deferred and recognized over the remaining performance obligation.

We receive payments and reimbursements for development activities undertaken by us for the benefit of our strategic partners and present them on a gross basis when we are acting as the principal in the arrangement, so long as there is persuasive evidence of an arrangement, the fee is fixed or determinable, and collection of the related receivable is reasonably assured.

We have not received any royalty revenues to date.

Accrued Clinical Expenses

As part of the process of preparing our financial statements, we are required to estimate our accrued expenses. This process involves reviewing open contracts and purchase orders, communicating with our applicable personnel to identify services that have been performed on our behalf and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when we have not yet been invoiced or

 

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otherwise notified of actual cost. The majority of our service providers invoice us monthly in arrears for services performed. We make estimates of our accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date in our financial statements based on facts and circumstances known to us at that time. We periodically confirm the accuracy of our estimates with the service providers and make adjustments if necessary. Examples of estimated accrued clinical expenses include:

 

   

fees paid to contract research organizations in connection with clinical studies;

 

   

fees paid to investigative sites in connection with clinical studies;

 

   

fees paid to contract manufacturers in connection with the production of clinical trial materials; and

 

   

fees paid to vendors in connection with the preclinical development activities.

We base our expenses related to clinical studies on our estimates of the services received and efforts expended pursuant to contracts with multiple research institutions and contract research organizations that conduct and manage clinical studies on our behalf. The financial terms of these agreements are subject to negotiation, vary from contract to contract and may result in uneven payment flows. Payments under some of these contracts depend on factors such as the successful enrollment of patients and the completion of clinical trial milestones. In accruing service fees, we estimate the time period over which services will be performed and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from our estimate, we adjust the accrual accordingly. Although we do not expect our estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, our understanding of the status and timing of services performed relative to the actual status and timing of services performed may vary and may result in us reporting amounts that are too high or too low in any particular period. Based on our level of clinical trial expenses as of December 31, 2009, if our estimates are too high or too low by 5%, this may result in an adjustment to our accrued clinical trial expenses in future periods of approximately $231,000.

Stock-Based Compensation

Effective January 1, 2006, we adopted the fair value recognition provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, 718 “Accounting for Stock Based Compensation” (formerly Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123(R), Share-Based Payments), which we refer to as ASC 718, using the modified prospective transition method. The modified prospective transition method applies the provisions of ASC 718 to new awards and to awards modified, repurchased or cancelled after the adoption date. Additionally, compensation cost for the portion of the awards for which the requisite service has not been rendered that are outstanding as of the adoption date is recognized in the Statement of Operations over the remaining service period after the adoption date based on the award’s original estimate of fair value. All stock-based awards granted to non-employees are accounted for at their fair value in accordance with ASC 718, and ASC 505, “Accounting for Equity Instruments that are Issued to Other Than Employees for Acquiring, or in Conjunction with Selling, Goods or Services,” under which compensation expense is generally recognized over the vesting period of the award. Determining the amount of stock-based compensation to be recorded requires us to develop estimates of fair values of stock options as of the grant date. Calculating the fair value of stock-based awards requires that we make highly subjective assumptions. We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to value our stock option awards. Our expected stock price volatility is based on an average of several peer companies. For purposes of identifying peer companies, we considered characteristics such as industry, length of trading history, similar vesting terms and in-the-money option status. For periods prior to 2009, we used an average of several peer companies with the characteristics described above to calculate our expected term given our limited history. For 2009, due to lack of available quarterly data for these peer companies, we elected to use the “simplified” method for “plain vanilla” options to estimate the expected term of the stock option grants. Under this approach, the weighted-average expected life is presumed to be the average of the vesting term and the contractual term of the option. We utilize a dividend yield of zero based on the fact that we have never paid cash dividends and have no present intention to pay cash dividends. The risk-free interest rate used for each grant is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant for instruments with a similar expected life.

 

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The fair value of stock options was estimated at the grant date using the following assumptions:

 

     Years Ended December 31,
     2007    2008    2009

Volatility

   68.16%    68.70%    70.35%-72.04%

Expected Term (in years)

   5.58    5.61    5.50-6.25

Risk-Free Interest Rates

   3.49%-5.03%    1.55%-3.34%    1.98%-3.04%

Dividend Yield

        

We recognized stock based compensation expense of approximately $788,000, $2.3 million and $2.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively, in accordance with ASC 718. As of December 31, 2009, we had $4.4 million in total unrecognized compensation expense, net of related forfeiture estimates which we expect to recognize over a weighted-average period of approximately 2.3 years.

Upon the adoption of ASC 718, we were also required to estimate the level of forfeitures expected to occur and record compensation expense only for those awards that we ultimately expect will vest. We performed a historical analysis of option awards that were forfeited prior to vesting and recorded total stock option expense that reflected this estimated forfeiture rate.

We have historically granted stock options at exercise prices not less than the fair market value of our common stock as determined by our board of directors, with input from management. Our board of directors has historically determined the estimated fair value of our common stock on the date of grant based on a number of objective and subjective factors, including external market conditions affecting the biotechnology industry sector, the prices at which we sold shares of convertible preferred stock, the superior rights and preferences of securities senior to our common stock at the time of each grant, the results of operations, financial position, status of our research and development efforts, our stage of development and business strategy and the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event such as an initial public offering, or IPO, or sale of our company.

The following table presents the grant dates and related exercise prices of stock options granted to employees since December 18, 2008:

 

Date

   Number
of Shares
Subject to
Options Granted
   Exercise
Price
   Reassessed
Fair Value of
Common Stock
Per Share at
Date of Grant
   Intrinsic Value
at Date of
Grant

December 18, 2008

   2,500    $ 6.88    $ 7.12    $ 0.24

January 30, 2009

   114,437    $ 8.00    $ 8.60    $ 0.60

April 1, 2009

   145,526    $ 8.48    $ 9.28    $ 0.80

June 16, 2009

   94,300    $ 8.72    $ 10.04    $ 1.32

July 17, 2009

   10,000    $ 8.72    $ 10.04    $ 1.32

October 8, 2009

   208,025    $ 9.64    $ 10.40    $ 0.76

December 17, 2009

   18,887    $ 11.32      N/A      N/A

February 2, 2010

   398,182    $ 12.24      N/A      N/A
             

Total

   991,857         
             

The exercise price for stock options granted above was set by our board of directors based upon our valuation models. Our valuation models used the Market Approach and the Probability Weighted Expected Return Method as outlined in the AICPA Technical Practice Aid, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation, or Practice Aid. The exercise prices for stock options granted on December 18, 2008, January 30, 2009, April 1, 2009, June 16, 2009, July 17, 2009, October 8, 2009, December 17, 2009 and February 2, 2010 were determined by the results of our contemporaneous valuations completed in November 2008, January 2009, March 2009, June 2009, September 2009, December 2009 and January 2010, respectively. These valuations considered the following scenarios for achieving shareholder liquidity:

 

   

an IPO;

 

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sale of the company at an equity value greater than the aggregate liquidation preference of the preferred stock; and

 

   

sale of the company at an equity value equal to or less than the aggregate liquidation preference of the preferred stock.

In connection with the preparation of the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2009 and in preparing for an IPO, we reexamined the contemporaneous valuations of our common stock during the period November 2008 to September 2009. In connection with that reexamination, we prepared retrospective valuation reports of the fair value of our common stock for financial reporting purposes as of November 28, 2008, January 15, 2009, March 20, 2009, June 1, 2009 and September 25, 2009. We believe that the valuation methodologies used in the retrospective valuations and the contemporaneous valuations are reasonable and consistent with the Practice Aid. We also believe that the preparation of the retrospective valuations was necessary due to the fact that the timeframe and probability for a potential IPO had accelerated significantly since the time of our initial contemporaneous valuations.

In the IPO scenario for our retrospective and contemporaneous valuations, on November 28, 2008 and January 15, 2009, we applied the guideline transactions method under the market approach as provided in the Practice Aid and for the subsequent valuations, we applied the guideline public company method under the market approach as provided in the Practice Aid due to the very limited number of biotechnology company IPOs in 2008 and 2009. Our selection of guideline companies included companies deemed comparable because of their disease focus (oncology), stage of clinical trials, and size.

In the sale above liquidation preference scenario for each of our retrospective and contemporaneous valuations, we applied the guideline transactions method under the market approach as provided in the Practice Aid. Our selection of guideline transactions took into account the timing of the transactions and the characteristics of the acquired companies. We selected target companies which were deemed comparable because of their disease focus (oncology), stage of clinical trials, and size.

In the liquidation scenario for each of our retrospective and contemporaneous valuations, we assumed a sale or liquidation of the company at an equity value equal to the aggregate liquidation preference of our preferred stock.

Future values for each scenario are converted to present value by applying a discount rate estimated using a size-adjusted capital asset pricing model, or CAPM. As described in the Practice Aid, the CAPM takes into account risk-free rates, an equity risk premium, the betas of selected public guideline companies and a risk premium for size. The estimated discount rate includes a premium for company-specific risk as well.

In our application of CAPM, on each of the valuation dates disclosed, we assumed a risk-free rate of 3.17% to 4.56% based on long-term U.S. Treasuries, a supply-side equity-risk premium of 5.0% to 6.2% based on Ibbotson’s SBBI Valuation Yearbook and PPC’s Guide to Business Valuation, a beta of 1.27 to 1.71 based on historical trading data for our guideline public companies and a risk premium for size of 2.71% to 5.82% based on Ibbotson’s SBBI Valuation Yearbook and company-specific risk of 5.5% to 10.0%. Changes in the risk-free rate, the equity-risk premium and beta reflect changes in market conditions. Market volatility in late 2008 and early 2009 corresponded to a decline in guideline public company betas. Changes in the risk premium for size reflect changes in the value of the company relative to the categories of size reported by Ibbotson. The company-specific risk premium reflects the significant overall business risk associated with our pre-commercial stage of development prior to the IPO and also includes our:

 

   

dependence on the success of our lead drug candidate, tivozanib, which is in phase 3 development;

 

   

short operating history and history of operating losses since inception;

 

   

need for substantial additional financing to achieve our goals; and

 

   

dependence on a limited number of collaboration partners.

 

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In our retrospective valuations for the period from November 2008 to September 2009 and our contemporaneous valuations for December 2009 and January 2010, we estimated the following probabilities and future sale and IPO dates:

 

Appraisal Date

  11/28/08   1/15/09   3/20/09   6/1/09   9/25/09   12/17/09   2/2/10

Exercise price per share of options

  $ 6.88   $ 8.00   $ 8.48   $ 8.72   $ 9.64   $ 11.32   $ 12.24

Reassessed fair value of common stock per share at date of grant

  $ 7.12   $ 8.60   $ 9.28   $ 10.04   $ 10.40     N/A     N/A

Probabilities

             

IPO in Q1 2010

    20%     25%     35%     40%     25%     35%     35%

IPO in Q2 2010

            25%     35%     35%

Sale above liquidation preference

    70%     70%     60%     55%     45%     25%     25%

Sale below liquidation preference

    10%     5%     5%     5%     5%     5%     5%

Future sale date

    12/31/09     12/31/10     12/31/10     9/30/11     9/30/11     9/30/11     9/30/11

1st IPO date

    12/31/09     12/31/09     3/31/10     3/31/10     3/31/10     3/31/10     3/31/10

2nd IPO date

            6/30/10     6/30/10     6/30/10

Discount rate

    24%     24%     24%     24%     24%     24%     24%

The estimated fair market value of our common stock at each valuation date is equal to the sum of the probability weighted present values for each scenario.

We have incorporated the fair values calculated in the retrospective valuations into the Black-Scholes option pricing model when calculating the stock-based compensation expense to be recognized for the stock options granted during the period November 2008 to September 2009. The retrospective valuations generated per share fair values of common stock of $7.12, $8.60, $9.28, $10.04 and $10.40, respectively, at November 2008 and January, March, June and September 2009, respectively. This resulted in intrinsic values of $0.24, $0.60, $0.80, $1.32 and $0.76 per share, respectively, at each grant date.

The retrospective fair values of our common stock increased throughout 2009 thereby reducing the difference between the fair value of our common stock and the estimated IPO price range. The increases were caused by business and scientific milestones, financing transactions and the proximity to a potential IPO. The retrospective fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 2,500 shares granted on December 18, 2008 was determined to be $7.12 per share. The fair value of the common stock on that date took into account changes in the following factors:

 

   

initiation of a phase 1 clinical trial for AV-299, for which the first patient dosed triggered a $3.0 million milestone payment from Merck; and

 

   

because of the unfavorable conditions in the public markets, we deemed the probability of an IPO to be low, or 20%.

The retrospective fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 114,437 shares granted on January 30, 2009 was determined to be $8.60 per share. The increase in value from the November 2008 valuation was primarily due to the following:

 

   

we received a term sheet for the Biogen Idec agreement for ErbB3 that included a proposed $30.0 million investment in new series E convertible preferred stock which would be priced at a premium to our other series of convertible preferred stock;

 

   

the expected proceeds from the Biogen Idec agreement would improve our position for funding future cash needs;

 

   

due to our progress, including continued progress of our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib showing a favorable safety profile in patients with advanced RCC, we deemed that the probability of an IPO increased to 25% and the probability of a sale below the liquidation preference decreased to 5%; and

 

   

the timeline for a sale above the liquidation preference was extended due to expected timing of enrollment of our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib.

 

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The retrospective fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 145,526 shares granted on April 1, 2009 was determined to be $9.28 per share. The increase in value from the January 2009 valuation was primarily due to the following:

 

   

execution of the agreement with Biogen Idec, which included a $30.0 million investment in series E convertible preferred stock at $4.00 per share and a $5.0 million upfront payment;

 

   

we initiated a phase 1b/2a clinical trial of tivozanib as monotherapy for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer; and

 

   

due to our progress, including continued progress of our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib showing a favorable safety profile in patients with advanced RCC, we deemed that the probability of an IPO increased to 35%, although the assumed timing was adjusted to March 31, 2010 due to our assessment of current market conditions.

The retrospective fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 94,300 shares granted on June 16, 2009 was determined to be $10.04 per share. The increase in value from the March 2009 valuation was primarily due to the following:

 

   

in May 2009, we announced additional data from our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib, which demonstrated an overall median progression-free survival of patients of 11.8 months and a favorable safety profile in patients with advanced RCC;

 

   

due to our progress with respect to tivozanib, including the data noted above, we deemed that the probability of an IPO increased to 40%; and

 

   

the timeline for a sale above the liquidation preference was extended to September 30, 2011, which is closer to the date we anticipate that data will become available from our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib.

The retrospective fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 208,025 shares granted on October 8, 2009 was determined to be $10.40 per share. The increase in value from the June 2009 valuation was primarily due to the following:

 

   

execution of an agreement with OSI which included a $15.0 million investment in Series E convertible preferred stock at $4.00 per share and a $5.0 million upfront payment;

 

   

our plans to commence the phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib; and

 

   

due to our progress and plans to commence a phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, we deemed that the probability of an IPO increased to 50%, with a 25% probability of an IPO being completed in the first quarter of 2010 and a 25% probability of an IPO being completed in the second quarter of 2010.

The fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 18,887 shares granted on December 17, 2009 was determined to be $11.32 per share. The increase in value from the October 2009 valuation was primarily due to the following:

 

   

initiation of the phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib; and

 

   

due to our progress and initiation of the phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, we deemed that the probability of an IPO increased to 70%, with a 35% probability of an IPO being completed in the first quarter of 2010 and a 35% probability of an IPO being completed in the second quarter of 2010.

The fair value of our common stock underlying options to purchase 398,182 shares granted on February 2, 2010 was determined to be $12.24 per share. The increase in value from the December valuation was primarily due to a reduction in the period of time before the expected completion of an IPO.

On February 9, 2010, we and the underwriters determined the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. The midpoint of the range is $14.00 per share as compared to $12.24 per share, which was based on

 

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management’s contemporaneous valuation prepared on January 22, 2010, of the estimated fair value of our common stock. The $12.24 was used on February 2, 2010, the date of our most recent grant of stock options. This estimated fair value represents a discount of approximately 12.6% from the midpoint of the range and an increase of 8% from the estimated fair value of our common stock on December 17, 2009. We note that, as is typical in initial public offerings, the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus was not derived using a formal determination of fair value, but was determined based upon discussions between us and the underwriters. Among the factors considered in setting this range were prevailing market conditions and estimates of our business potential. In addition to this difference in purpose and methodology, we believe that the difference in value reflected between the midpoint of the range and management’s determination of the estimated fair value of our common stock on January 22, 2010 is primarily the result of the following factors:

 

   

The contemporaneous valuation we prepared on January 22, 2010 contained multiple scenarios including two IPO scenarios with an aggregate probability of 70% and two sale scenarios. If we had considered only a single scenario with 100% probability and that assumed that the IPO will be completed as of March 31, 2010, the contemporaneous valuation would have resulted in a fair value determination of $14.48 per share.

 

   

On February 2, 2010, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals completed their initial public offering, which we believe demonstrates a significant improvement in the market for initial public offerings in the U.S. in the biopharmaceutical industry. We note, however, that Ironwood’s initial public offering was completed at $11.25 per share, or a 25% discount from the midpoint of their filing range.

 

   

Our February 2010 discussions with the underwriters took into account our and the underwriters’ perceptions of significantly increased optimism regarding the market for initial public offerings, and confirmed our and our underwriters’ expectations that we would complete our initial public offering by the end of the first quarter of 2010. As noted above, our January 22, 2010 contemporaneous valuation included a scenario with a 35% probability that the IPO would not be completed until the end of the second quarter of 2010.

 

   

History has shown that it is reasonable to expect that the completion of an initial public offering will increase the value of stock as a result of the significant increase in the liquidity and ability to trade/sell such securities. However, it is not possible to measure such increase in value with precision or certainty.

Based on the $14.00 midpoint of the range, the intrinsic value of the options granted on February 2, 2010, the last date we granted stock options, was approximately $701,000, all of which related to unvested options. Also based on the $14.00 midpoint of the range, the intrinsic value of outstanding options as of February 2, 2010 was $31.3 million, of which $24.3 million related to vested options and $7.0 million related to unvested options.

There are significant judgments and estimates inherent in the determination of these valuations. These judgments and estimates include assumptions regarding our future performance, the time to completing an IPO or other liquidity event, and the timing of and probability of successful completion of our clinical trials as well as determinations of the appropriate valuation methods. If we had made different assumptions, our share-based compensation expense, net loss and net loss per share could have been significantly different.

Valuation models require the input of highly subjective assumptions. Because our common stock has characteristics significantly different from that of publicly traded common stock and because changes in the subjective input assumptions can materially affect the fair value estimate, in management’s opinion, the existing models do not necessarily provide a reliable, single measure of the fair value of our common stock. The foregoing valuation methodologies are not the only valuation methodologies available and will not be used to value our common stock once this offering is complete. We cannot make assurances as to any particular valuation for our stock. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the foregoing valuation methodologies as an indicator of future stock prices.

 

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Results of Operations

Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2008 and 2009

 

     Years Ended
December 31,
    Increase/
(decrease)
    %
     2008     2009      
     (in thousands)

Revenue

   $ 19,660      $ 20,719      $ 1,059      5%

Operating expenses:

        

Research and development

     41,820        51,792        9,972      24%

General and administrative

     9,165        10,120        955      10%
                            

Total operating expenses

     50,985        61,912        10,927      21%
                            

Loss from operations

     (31,325     (41,193     (9,868   32%

Other income (expense), net

     18        (333     (351   (1950)%

Loss on loan extinguishment

     (248            248      (100)%

Interest income

     1,168        144        (1,024   (88)%

Interest expense

     (2,086     (2,811     (725   35%
                            

Loss before taxes

     (32,473     (44,193     (11,720   36%
                            

Taxes

            100        100     
                            

Net loss

   $ (32,473   $ (44,093   $ (11,620   36%
                            

 

     Years Ended
December 31,
   Increase/
(decrease)
    %

Revenue

   2008    2009     
     (in thousands)

Strategic Partner:

          

Schering-Plough (Merck)

   $ 13,349    $ 10,853    $ (2,496   (19)%

OSI Pharmaceuticals

     6,144      9,788      3,644      59%

Kyowa Hakko Kirin

          78      78     

Eli Lilly

     167           (167   (100)%
                          
   $ 19,660    $ 20,719    $ 1,059      5%
                          

Revenue.    Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $20.7 million compared to $19.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, an increase of approximately $1.1 million or 5%. Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2008 included a $3.0 million milestone payment from Schering-Plough (now Merck) for the first human dosed in the phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299. There was no corresponding milestone in 2009. Excluding the $3.0 million milestone payment in 2008, revenue for the year ended December 31, 2009 increased $4.1 million over the same period in 2008. The increase was attributable to an increase in amortization of deferred revenue associated with the amended OSI agreement in the amount of $2.4 million; an increase in research revenue earned under the OSI agreement of $1.3 million; additional research and development revenue of $1.0 million earned under the agreement with Schering-Plough (now Merck); and a $0.1 million reimbursement by Kyowa Hakko Kirin for our supply of tivozanib to Kyowa Hakko Kirin to be used in a phase 1 clinical trial which Kyowa Hakko Kirin is conducting in Japan. These increases were offset by a decrease of $0.5 million in amortization of deferred revenue under the agreement with Schering-Plough (now Merck) due to a change in the estimated period of our substantial involvement and $0.2 million in revenue from Eli Lilly and Company pursuant to our agreement with Eli Lilly and Company which ended in 2008.

Research and Development.    Research and development expense for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $51.8 million compared to $41.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, an increase of $10.0 million or 24%. The increase was primarily attributable to a $3.0 million purchase of Nexavar, the comparator drug

 

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which will be used in our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib; an increase in clinical trial costs of $2.1 million resulting primarily from costs for the phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib offset by a reduction in costs of the phase 2 clinical trial for tivozanib as it winds down; an increase in spending for toxicology supporting tivozanib of $1.4 million; a $1.4 million increase in salaries and benefits mainly due to an increase in personnel primarily supporting development activities for tivozanib and our antibody pipeline; a $1.0 million increase in contract manufacturing for tivozanib to support an increasing number of trials, including our phase 3 clinical trial; a $0.8 million increase in costs related to AV-299 which are reimbursed by Merck but recorded on a gross basis; a $0.5 million increase in outsourced services primarily supporting research activities for the antibody pipeline; a $0.4 million increase in lab supplies and mice; a $0.4 million increase in stock-based compensation for employees and nonemployees; and a $0.2 million increase in facility expenses as result of our lease in September 2008 of an additional 7,407 square foot of space. These increases were offset by a decrease in licensing costs of $0.8 million as a result of a license of a third party drug discovery technology in 2008 which was fully expensed in 2008; and a $0.3 million decrease in contract manufacturing costs for the AV-412 program which has been discontinued.

Included in research and development expense were stock-based compensation charges of $1.2 million and $0.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.

General and Administrative.    General and administrative expense for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $10.1 million compared to $9.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, an increase of $1.0 million or 10%. The increase was primarily a result of $0.8 million in salaries and benefits mainly due to an increase in personnel needed to support increased research and development; a $0.2 million increase in consulting associated with finance and marketing; a $0.1 million increase in patent expenses related to AV-299 which are reimbursed by Merck but are recorded on a gross basis; a $0.1 million increase in legal expenses primarily related to the support of our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib; and a $0.1 million increase in public relations expense. Such increases were partially offset by a $0.4 million decrease in stock-based compensation expense. The decrease in stock-based compensation expense results from a $0.8 million share-based expense for a stock issuance in 2008 to a former consultant and an entity affiliated with a board member after a warrant held by such entity expired unexercised.

Included in general and administrative expense were stock-based compensation charges of $1.1 million and $1.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. Stock-based compensation charges for 2008 included a $0.8 million share-based expense for a stock issuance in 2008 to a former consultant and an entity affiliated with a board member after a warrant held by such entity expired unexercised.

Other Income (Expense), Net.    Other income (expense), net for the year ended December 31, 2009 was ($0.3 million) compared to $18,000 for the year ended December 31, 2008, a decrease of $0.4 million. The decrease was largely a result of a charge for the increase in the value of warrants to purchase preferred stock resulting from an increase in value of the underlying stock.

Loss on Loan Extinguishment.    Loss on loan extinguishment in 2008 resulted from the repayment of an existing loan upon entering into a new loan agreement. Under the guidance for Debtor’s Accounting for a Modification or Exchange of Debt Instruments, the repayment was considered an extinguishment of debt and the remaining loan discount and prepaid loan fees of $0.2 million were recorded as a loss on loan extinguishment.

Interest Income.    Interest income for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $0.1 million compared to $1.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, a decrease of $1.0 million or 88%. Although the average cash balances were higher for the year ended December 31, 2009, interest rates decreased to only slightly above 0% in 2009 causing the significant decrease in interest income.

Interest Expense.    Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $2.8 million compared to $2.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2008, an increase of $0.7 million or 35%. The increase was due to an increase in the average loan balance in 2009 due to a drawdown of $10.0 million in September 2008 which was outstanding for the full period of 2009.

 

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Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2007 and 2008

 

     Years Ended
December 31,
    Increase/
(decrease)
    %
     2007     2008      
     (in thousands)

Revenue

   $ 11,034      $ 19,660      $ 8,626      78%

Operating expenses:

        

Research and development

     29,248        41,820        12,572      43%

General and administrative

     6,502        9,165        2,663      41%
                            

Total operating expenses

     35,750        50,985        15,235      43%
                            

Loss from operations

     (24,716     (31,325     (6,609   27%

Other income, net

            18        18     

Loss on loan extinguishment

            (248     (248  

Interest income

     2,171        1,168        (1,003   (46)%

Interest expense

     (2,437     (2,086     351      (14)%
                            

Net loss

   $ (24,982   $ (32,473   $ (7,491   30%
                            

 

     Years Ended
December 31,
   Increase/
(decrease)
    %

Revenue

   2007    2008     
     (in thousands)

Strategic Partner:

          

Schering-Plough (Merck)

   $ 6,624    $ 13,349    $ 6,725      102%

OSI Pharmaceuticals

     1,083      6,144      5,061      467%

Merck

     3,244           (3,244   (100)%

Eli Lilly and Company

     83      167      84      101%
                          
   $ 11,034    $ 19,660    $ 8,626      78%
                          

Revenue.    Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $19.7 million compared to $11.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, an increase of $8.6 million, or 78%. The increase resulted from a $6.7 million increase in revenue from Schering-Plough (now Merck) consisting of a $3.0 million milestone for the start of the phase 1 clinical trial for AV-299; a $2.6 million increase in research and development funding; and a $1.1 million increase in revenue related to the amortization of upfront licensing fees and milestones. We entered into the agreement with Schering-Plough (now Merck) in March 2007, therefore 2008 represents a full year of funding. Additionally, OSI revenue increased by $5.1 million, consisting of a $2.8 million increase in research funding and a $2.3 million increase in amortization of upfront licensing fees and milestones. The OSI agreement was signed in September 2007, therefore 2008 represents a full year of funding. The increases in Schering-Plough (now Merck) and OSI revenues were offset by a decrease in revenue of $3.2 million under the initial Merck agreement as the strategic partnership was completed in 2007.

Research and Development.    Research and development expense for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $41.8 million compared to $29.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, an increase of $12.6 million, or 43%. The increase was primarily attributable to a $6.4 million increase in clinical trial expenses principally due to the phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib, which began in October 2006 and was fully enrolled in July 2007; an increase in salaries and benefits costs of $2.4 million due primarily to an increase in personnel related to clinical development of tivozanib, our antibody pipeline and our strategic partnerships with Merck and OSI; a $1.7 million increase in lab supplies and mice due primarily to an increase in scientific personnel and support for our agreement with OSI; a $0.9 million increase in expenses related to AV-299 which are fully reimbursed by Schering-Plough (now Merck) but are recorded on a gross basis; an increase in licensing costs of $0.8 million as a result of a license of a third party drug discovery technology in 2008 which was fully expensed in 2008; and a $0.4 million increase in stock-based compensation expense.

 

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Included in research and development expense were stock-based compensation charges of $424,000 and $810,000 for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2008, respectively.

General and Administrative.    General and administrative expense for year ended December 31, 2008 was $9.2 million compared to $6.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, an increase of $2.7 million, or 41%. The increase was a result of a $1.0 million increase in salaries and benefits due primarily to an increase in personnel needed to support increased research and development; a $0.8 million expense for a stock issuance in 2008 to a former consultant and an entity affiliated with a board member, after a warrant held by such entity had expired unexercised; a $0.3 million increase in stock compensation expense; a $0.2 million increase in consulting expenses; a $0.1 million increase in recruiting expenses; a $0.1 increase in travel costs; and a $0.1 increase in facility allocation due to an increase in personnel.

Included in general and administrative expenses were stock-based compensation charges of $364,000 and $1,495,000 for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2008, respectively. Stock-based compensation charges for the year ended December 31, 2008 included a $804,500 share-based expense for a stock issuance in 2008 to a former consultant and an entity affiliated with a board member, after a warrant held by such entity had expired unexercised as noted above.

Other Income, Net.    Other income, net for 2008 represented net gains on sale of assets of $11,000 and $7,000 from the revaluation of warrants to purchase preferred stock.

Loss on Loan Extinguishment.    Loss on loan extinguishment in 2008 resulted from the repayment of an existing loan upon entering into a new loan agreement. Under the guidance for Debtor’s Accounting for a Modification or Exchange of Debt Instruments, the repayment was considered an extinguishment of debt and the remaining loan discount and prepaid loan fees of $248,000 were recorded as a loss on loan extinguishment.

Interest Income.    Interest income for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $1.2 million compared to $2.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, a decrease of $1.0 million, or 46%. The decrease in interest income was a result of a decrease in interest rates from an average rate of 5.0% in 2007 to an average rate of 2.7% in 2008.

Interest Expense.    Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2008 was $2.1 million compared to $2.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, a decrease of approximately $0.4 million, or 14%. The decrease in interest expense was a result of a beneficial conversion charge in 2007 in the amount of $0.2 million related to a conversion option given to a financing institution which was extinguished in March 2007 upon the closing of the series D convertible preferred stock financing in which the financing institution chose not to exercise its option. The remaining $0.2 million decrease was a result of a lower principal balance under our equipment financing line with General Electric Capital Corporation.

 

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

We have funded our operations principally through the private placement of equity securities, revenue from strategic partnerships, debt financing and interest income. As of December 31, 2009, we have received gross proceeds of $169.6 million from the issuance of convertible preferred stock, including $52.9 million from the sale of 21,165,510 shares of series D convertible preferred stock in 2007 and $32.9 million from the sale of 11,250,000 shares of series E convertible preferred stock in 2009. As of December 31, 2009, we had received an aggregate of $91.5 million in cash from our three agreements with Merck and our agreements with OSI, Biogen Idec and Eli Lilly, and $21.0 million in funding from our debt financing with Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc., or Hercules, and Comerica Bank. As of December 31, 2009, we had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of approximately $51.3 million. Currently, our funds are invested in money market funds, U.S. Treasuries, U.S. government agencies and commercial paper. The following table sets forth the primary sources and uses of cash for each of the periods set forth below:

 

     Years Ended
December 31,
 
     2007     2008     2009  
     (in thousands)  

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities

   $ (8,605   $ (35,301   $ (9,973

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

     (39,894     28,151        3,414   

Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities

     52,834        6,881        31,035   
                        

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

   $ 4,335      $ (269   $ 24,476   
                        

During 2007, 2008 and 2009, our operating activities used cash of $8.6 million, $35.3 million and $10.0 million, respectively. The use of cash in all periods primarily resulted from our net losses adjusted for non-cash items and changes in operating assets and liabilities. The cash used in operations in 2007 was due primarily to our net loss adjusted for non-cash items and an increase in deferred revenue related to upfront license payments and near term milestones of $17.5 million from our strategic partners OSI and Schering-Plough (now Merck) offset by payment of a $5.0 million license fee to Kyowa Hakko Kirin accrued in 2006. The increase in cash used for the year ended 2008 resulted from an increase in research and development activities. The decrease in cash used for 2009 was primarily the result of an increase in deferred revenue of $22.0 million related to upfront license payments, near term milestones and equity premiums from our agreements with Biogen and OSI completed in 2009 and an increase in accounts payable and accrued expenses of $7.6 million primarily related to our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib and costs in preparation for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib offset by an increase in our net loss.

During 2007, 2008 and 2009, our investing activities provided (used) cash of $(39.9) million, $28.2 million and $3.4 million, respectively. The cash provided by investing activities for the years ended 2008 and 2009 was due primarily to the net result of maturities and sales of marketable securities. These maturities were offset partially by purchases of property and equipment of $1.4 million and $1.7 million, respectively. The use of cash for the year ended 2007 was primarily the net result of the purchase of marketable securities and the purchases of property and equipment of $0.4 million.

During 2007, 2008 and 2009, our financing activities provided $52.8 million, $6.9 million and $31.0 million, respectively. The cash provided by financing activities in 2007 was due to the sale and issuance of 1,833,334 shares of series C convertible preferred stock and 21,165,510 shares of series D convertible preferred stock, for total net proceeds of $57.4 million, offset partially by principal payments on loans payable in the amount of $4.6 million. The cash provided in 2008 was a result of the issuance of loans payable of $20.8 million partially offset by extinguishment of the previous loan of $10.1 million and principal payments on loans payable of $3.8 million. The cash provided by financing activities in 2009 was due to the sale and issuance of 11,250,000 shares of series E convertible preferred stock, for total net proceeds of $32.9 million, offset partially by the principal payments on loans payable of $2.0 million.

Credit Facilities.    On March 29, 2006, we entered into a $15.0 million financing agreement with Hercules for general corporate purposes. On May 15, 2008, we repaid the remaining principal of $10.1 million due on this

 

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loan and entered into a new $21.0 million financing agreement with Hercules and Comerica Bank. The full amount of the new loan was drawn down in 2008. In May 2009, we triggered a provision allowing a six month extension to the original twelve month interest only period. The new loan is now repayable over 48 months beginning June 2008, with the first 18 payments representing interest only. The remaining principal and associated interest is due and payable in equal monthly installments based upon a 30-month amortization schedule. The loan also calls for a deferred charge of 5.95% to be paid upon maturity. The deferred charge of $1.3 million has been recorded as a loan discount and is being amortized to interest expense over the term of the loan using the effective interest rate method. We recorded a long-term liability for the full amount of the charge since the payment of such amount is not contingent on any future event. Interest is payable at a fixed interest rate of 9.75%. The loan is secured by a lien on all of our assets, except for intellectual property and the capital equipment securing our equipment and refinancing lines of credit. As of December 31, 2009, the principal balance outstanding was $20.4 million. We began making principal payments in December 2009 with a final loan maturity in May 2012.

In November 2003, we entered into a $7.5 million financing agreement with General Electric Capital Corporation for an equipment capital expenditure line which we refer to as the equipment line and a refinancing line of existing equipment debt which we refer to as the refinancing line. Borrowings under the equipment line are repayable over 54 months, the first six of which are interest only at fixed interest rates ranging from 8.39% to 10.11%, with a 10% end-of-term balloon payment (guaranteed purchase option). The refinancing line has been fully paid. The equipment line is secured by an interest in the specific financed assets. Under the equipment line, there is a requirement to maintain minimum unrestricted cash equal to the greater of $12.0 million or nine months cash burn. In the event we violate the minimum cash requirement, we must provide a letter of credit or security deposit equal to 70% of the outstanding balance under the equipment line. The aggregate principal outstanding under the equipment line and the refinancing line at December 31, 2009 was approximately $101,900. There is no remaining ability to borrow under the equipment line.

Operating Capital Requirements.    Assuming we successfully complete clinical trials and obtain requisite regulatory approvals, we anticipate commercializing our first product in 2013 at the earliest. Therefore, we anticipate that we will continue to generate significant losses for the next several years as we incur expenses to complete our clinical trial programs for tivozanib, build commercial capabilities, develop our antibody pipeline and expand our corporate infrastructure. In addition, the report of our independent registered public accounting firm with respect to our consolidated financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus contains an explanatory paragraph stating that our operating losses and negative cash flows from operations since inception, and our need to raise additional financing and/or financial support prior to December 31, 2010 in order to continue to fund our operations, raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. We believe that the successful completion of this offering will eliminate this doubt and enable us to continue as a going concern; however, if we are unable to raise sufficient capital in this offering, we will need to obtain alternative financing or significantly modify our operational plans for us to continue as a going concern. Further, even if we successfully complete and receive the net proceeds from this offering, given our planned expenditures for the next several years, including, without limitation, expenditures in connection with our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, it is possible that our independent registered public accounting firm may conclude, in connection with the preparation of our financial statements for fiscal year 2010 or any other subsequent period, that there is substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern as of December 31, 2010 or as of the end of any other subsequent period.

We believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, committed research and development funding and milestone payments that we expect to receive under our existing strategic partnership and license agreements, along with payments we believe that we will receive under new strategic partnerships we assume we will enter into under our current projected operating plan, will allow us to fund our operating plan through at least the second quarter of 2012.

If our available cash and cash equivalents are insufficient to satisfy our liquidity requirements, or if we develop additional opportunities to do so, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain a credit facility. The sale of additional equity and debt securities may result in additional dilution to our

 

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shareholders. If we raise additional funds through the issuance of debt securities or preferred stock, these securities could have rights senior to those of our common stock and could contain covenants that would restrict our operations. We may require additional capital beyond our currently forecasted amounts. Any such required additional capital may not be available on reasonable terms, if at all. If we were unable to obtain additional financing, we may be required to reduce the scope of, delay or eliminate some or all of our planned research, development and commercialization activities, which could harm our business.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products, we are unable to estimate the exact amounts of our working capital requirements. Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to:

 

   

the number and characteristics of the product candidates we pursue;

 

   

the scope, progress, results and costs of researching and developing our product candidates, and conducting preclinical and clinical trials;

 

   

the timing of, and the costs involved in, obtaining regulatory approvals for our product candidates;

 

   

the cost of commercialization activities if any of our product candidates are approved for sale, including marketing, sales and distribution costs;

 

   

the cost of manufacturing our product candidates and any products we successfully commercialize;

 

   

our ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships, licensing or other arrangements and the financial terms of such agreements;

 

   

the costs involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patent claims, including litigation costs and the outcome of such litigation; and

 

   

the timing, receipt and amount of sales of, or royalties on, our future products, if any.

Contractual Obligations and Commitments.    The following table summarizes our contractual obligations at December 31, 2009:

 

     Total    Less than
1 Year
   1 to 3
Years
   4 to 5
Years
   After 5
Years
     (in thousands)

Short and long-term debt (including interest)

   $ 24,356    $ 9,605    $ 14,751    $    $       —

Operating lease obligations

     9,683      2,365      4,742      2,576     

Kirin License Agreement(1)

     10,000      10,000               

Supply Agreement(2)

     5,227      5,227               

Other License Agreements(3)

     2,125      1,225      850      50     
                                  

Total contractual cash obligations

   $ 51,391    $ 28,422    $ 20,343    $ 2,626    $
                                  

 

(1)

We will be required to make a $10.0 million milestone payment to Kyowa Hakko Kirin in connection with our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, which we expect to pay in the first quarter of 2010. In addition, we may be required to make up to an aggregate of $50.0 million in additional milestone payments upon the achievement of specified regulatory milestones. We are also required to pay tiered royalty payments on net sales we make of tivozanib in our territory, which range from the low to mid teens as a percentage of net sales.

 

(2)

We have a supply arrangement with a third party for the supply of the comparator drug, Nexavar, which will be used in our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib. Pursuant to an open purchase order, we are committed to make a $5.2 million payment in the first quarter of 2010. We may be required to make additional payments of $5.9 million under this agreement for additional supply of Nexavar if the trial is completed as planned.

 

(3)

As discussed in Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements, we have executed license agreements for patented technology and other technology related to research projects, including technology to humanize

 

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AV-299 and other antibody product candidates. The license agreements required us to pay nonrefundable license fees upon execution, and in certain cases, require milestone payments upon the achievement of defined development goals. The license agreements also require us to pay annual maintenance payments totaling a maximum of $475,000 per year. We have included maintenance and milestone payments of $1.3 million and $0.8 million, respectively, in the table above, as we consider the payment of these amounts to be probable. We have not included any additional amounts as we are not able to make a reasonable estimate of the probability and timing of such payments, if any. Including amounts in the table above, these agreements call for sales and development milestones of up to $22.5 million, $6.3 million and $4.2 million per product, and single digit royalties as a percentage of sales.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We did not have during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any off-balance sheet arrangements, as defined under SEC rules.

Tax Loss Carryforwards

As of December 31, 2009, we have net operating loss carryforwards of approximately $130.9 million to offset future federal income taxes and approximately $102.2 million to offset future state income taxes. These federal and state loss carryforwards expire at various times through 2029. We also have research and development and investment tax credit carryforwards of approximately $3.5 million to offset future federal income taxes, and approximately $2.1 million to offset future state income taxes. The federal and state tax credits expire at various times through 2029. In addition, the occurrence of certain events, including significant changes in ownership interests, may limit the amount of the net operating loss carryforwards and tax credit carryforwards available to be used in future years. At December 31 2009, we recorded a 100% valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets of approximately $72.3 million, as our management believes it is uncertain that they will be fully realized. If we determine in the future that we will be able to realize all or a portion of our net operating loss carryforwards, an adjustment to our net operating loss carryforwards would increase net income in the period in which we make such a determination.

Recently Adopted Accounting Standards

Effective January 1, 2009, we adopted new accounting guidance related to accounting for uncertainty in income taxes. This accounting standard clarifies the recognition threshold and measurement attribute for the financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. This accounting standard also provides guidance on recognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition. We have not identified any material uncertain tax positions for which reserves would be required and the adoption of this accounting standard did not have an effect on its consolidated financial statements.

In April 2009, the FASB issued FASB Staff Position FAS 107-1 and APB No. 28-1, “Interim Disclosures About Fair Value of Financial Instruments (codified within ASC 825),” which expands the fair value disclosures required for financial instruments to interim reporting periods for publicly traded companies, including disclosure of the significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of financial instruments. We adopted this guidance effective June 15, 2009. The adoption did not impact our financial position or results of operations.

In May 2009, the FASB established general standards of accounting for and disclosures of events that occur after the balance sheet date but before financial statements are issued or are available to be issued. It requires the disclosure of the date through which an entity has evaluated subsequent events and the basis for selecting that date, that is, whether that date represents the date the financial statements were issued or were available to be issued. Our adoption of this standard had no material impact on its financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

In June 2009, the FASB issued ASC 105, “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,” which established the FASB Accounting Standards Codification as the sole source of authoritative generally accepted accounting

 

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principles. Pursuant to the provisions of ASC 105, we have updated references to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP, in our financial statements issued for the period ended December 31, 2009. The adoption of ASC 105 did not impact our financial position or results of operations.

In August 2009, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2009-05, “Measuring Liabilities at Fair Value”, or ASU 2009-05. ASU 2009-05 amends Accounting Standards Codification Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements. Specifically, ASU 2009-05 provides clarification that in circumstances in which a quoted price in an active market for the identical liability is not available, a reporting entity is required to measure fair value using one or more of the following methods: (1) a valuation technique that uses (a) the quoted price of the identical liability when traded as an asset or (b) quoted prices for similar liabilities or similar liabilities when traded as assets and/or (2) a valuation technique that is consistent with the principles of Topic 820 of the Codification (e.g. an income approach or market approach). ASU 2009-05 also clarifies that when estimating the fair value of a liability, a reporting entity is not required to adjust to include inputs relating to the existence of transfer restrictions on that liability. The adoption of this standard did not have an impact on the our financial position or results of operations.

In October 2009, the FASB issued ASC Update No. 2009-13, Revenue Recognition (Topic 605): Multiple-Deliverable Revenue Arrangements. The consensus in Update No. 2009-13 supersedes certain guidance in Topic 605 (formerly EITF Issue No. 00-21, Multiple-Element Arrangements) and requires an entity to allocate arrangement consideration at the inception of an arrangement to all of its deliverables based on their relative selling prices. The consensus eliminates the use of the residual method of allocation and requires the use of the relative-selling-price method in all circumstances in which an entity recognizes revenue for an arrangement with multiple deliverables subject to ASC 605-25. We are required to adopt Update No. 2009-13 as of January 1, 2011 and are in the process of determining the impact that the adoption of Update No. 2009-13 will have on our future results of operations or financial position.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risks

We are exposed to market risk related to changes in interest rates. As of December 31, 2008 and December 31, 2009, we had cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities of $32.4 million and $51.3 million, respectively, consisting of money market funds, U.S. Treasuries, U.S. Agencies, and commercial paper. Our primary exposure to market risk is interest rate sensitivity, which is affected by changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates, particularly because our investments are in short-term marketable securities. Our marketable securities are subject to interest rate risk and will fall in value if market interest rates increase. Due to the short-term duration of our investment portfolio and the low risk profile of our investments, an immediate 10% change in interest rates would not have a material effect on the fair market value of our portfolio. We have the ability to hold our marketable securities until maturity, and therefore we would not expect our operating results or cash flows to be affected to any significant degree by the effect of a change in market interest rates on our investments. We do not currently have any auction rate securities.

We contract with contract research organizations and investigational sites globally. We may be subject to fluctuations in foreign currency rates in connection with these agreements. We do not hedge our foreign currency exchange rate risk.

Our long-term debt and our equipment line obligations bear interest at fixed rates. As a result, we have limited exposure to changes in interest rates.

 

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BUSINESS

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel cancer therapeutics. Our product candidates are directed against important mechanisms, or targets, known or believed to be involved in cancer. Tivozanib, our lead product candidate, is a highly potent and selective oral inhibitor of the vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, receptors 1, 2 and 3. Our clinical trials of tivozanib to date have demonstrated a favorable safety and efficacy profile for tivozanib. We have completed a successful 272-patient phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced renal cell cancer, or RCC. In this trial, we measured, among other things, each patient’s progression-free survival, which refers to the period of time that began when a patient entered the clinical trial and ended when either the patient died or the patient’s cancer had grown by a specified percentage or spread to a new location in the body. The overall median progression-free survival of patients in the phase 2 clinical trial was 11.8 months. In a retrospective analysis of the subset of 176 patients in our phase 2 clinical trial who had the clear cell type of RCC and who had undergone prior removal of their affected kidney, referred to as a nephrectomy, both of which are inclusion criteria for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, the median progression-free survival was 14.8 months. The incidence of side effects in the trial, such as diarrhea, fatigue, rash, mucositis, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome, which are commonly associated with other VEGF receptor inhibitors, was notably low, with moderate to severe episodes of these side effects occurring in fewer than two percent of treated patients. In December 2009, we initiated patient screening for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC, in which we plan to enroll 500 patients, which we refer to as the TIVO-1 study. We commenced enrollment of patients in the TIVO-1 study in February 2010. The TIVO-1 study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial of tivozanib compared to Nexavar (sorafenib) in advanced clear cell RCC patients who have undergone a prior nephrectomy, and who have not received any prior VEGF-targeted therapy. Nexavar is an oral VEGF receptor inhibitor approved for the treatment of RCC. In its phase 3 clinical trial in patients with advanced clear cell RCC, 94% of whom had undergone a prior nephrectomy, Nexavar demonstrated a median progression-free survival of 5.5 months. Progression-free survival is the primary endpoint in the TIVO-1 study. The TIVO-1 study is designed so that a difference in progression-free survival of three months or more between the treatment arms would be statistically significant.

Inhibition of the VEGF pathway has demonstrated benefit for patients with a wide range of cancer types, including RCC, metastatic breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, liver cancer and brain cancer. Approved VEGF-pathway targeted drugs, including Avastin (bevacizumab), Nexavar and Sutent (sunitinib), accounted for over $6 billion in sales worldwide in 2008, based on 2008 annual reports made publicly available by the companies marketing such drugs. Due to tivozanib’s potency and specificity, we believe that it may enable optimal inhibition of the VEGF pathway, while minimizing side effects associated with inhibition of other pathways, referred to as off-target toxicities. We believe this favorable efficacy and safety profile may allow tivozanib to be successfully used as a monotherapy. It may also allow tivozanib to be more readily combined with standard chemotherapy as well as other targeted therapies, potentially increasing the breadth of its clinical utility. In addition to our recently-initiated phase 3 clinical trial of once-daily, oral tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC, we are currently conducting multiple clinical trials of tivozanib including: a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with Torisel (temsirolimus), an approved inhibitor of the receptor known as mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR, in patients with advanced RCC; a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with the FOLFOX6 chemotherapy regimen in patients with advanced colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers; a phase 1b clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer; and a phase 1b clinical trial as a monotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We expect that the results of these clinical trials will help to inform our clinical development plans for tivozanib in additional indications. We acquired exclusive rights to develop and commercialize tivozanib worldwide outside of Asia pursuant to a license agreement we entered into with Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. (now Kyowa Hakko Kirin) in 2006. Under the license agreement, we obtained an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize tivozanib, pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any and all human diseases and conditions. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has retained rights to tivozanib in Asia. We have obligations to make milestone, royalty and sublicensing revenue payments to

 

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Kyowa Hakko Kirin. For further discussion of this agreement, please see “ — Strategic Partnerships — Kyowa Hakko Kirin” beginning on page 95.

In addition to tivozanib, we have a pipeline of monoclonal antibodies derived from our Human Response Platform, a novel method of building preclinical models of human cancer, which are intended to more accurately represent cancer biology in patients. AV-299, our next most advanced product candidate is an antibody which binds to hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF, thereby blocking its function. Through the use of our Human Response Platform, our scientists have identified the HGF/c-Met pathway as being a significant driver of tumor growth. We have completed a phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299 and expect to initiate a phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer in the first half of 2010. In 2007, we entered into an agreement with Schering-Plough Corporation, or Schering-Plough (which subsequently merged with Merck & Co., Inc., or Merck) under which we granted Merck exclusive worldwide rights to co-develop and commercialize AV-299 and under which Merck funds all development and manufacturing expenses, subject to an agreed-upon budget. Under that agreement, we retain the option to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first large market oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval in the United States.

Our Human Response Platform was designed to overcome many of the limitations of traditional approaches to modeling human cancer. The traditional method of modeling human cancer uses a model referred to as a xenograft. A xenograft model is created by adapting cells from a human tumor to grow in a petri dish, and then injecting these cells in a mouse, where they grow into tumors. However, the resulting tumors differ from the original tumor in important respects, and, accordingly, xenograft models are often poor predictors of the success of cancer drugs in human clinical trials. In our Human Response Platform, we use patented genetic engineering techniques to grow populations of spontaneous tumors in animals containing human-relevant, cancer-causing mutations and tumor variation akin to what is seen in populations of human tumors. Because we believe that these populations of tumors better replicate what is seen in human cancer, we believe that our Human Response Platform provides us with unique insights into cancer biology and mechanisms of drug response and resistance, and represents a significant improvement over traditional approaches. We are utilizing this Human Response Platform alone and with our strategic partners to (i) identify and validate target genes which drive tumor growth, (ii) evaluate drugs which can block the function of these targets and (iii) identify biomarkers, which are indicators of drug response and resistance in patients, in an effort to evaluate which patients are most likely to respond favorably to treatment with such drugs. As of December 31, 2009, we have raised $169.0 million through a number of strategic partnerships based on our Human Response Platform and products derived therefrom with leading cancer companies including Merck, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or OSI, Schering-Plough (now Merck), and Biogen Idec Inc. or Biogen Idec, comprising $91.5 million of non-dilutive capital in the form of license fees, milestone payments and research and development funding from our strategic partners and $77.5 million in the form of equity sales to our strategic partners.

Our Human Response Platform was originally based on a method of building germ line transgenic models of human cancer, which are models that contain genetic alterations in every cell of the animal, and a method of using such models to screen for new targets, which we refer to as the MaSS screen, developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, or DFCI. We exclusively licensed these models and the MaSS screen from DFCI when we were founded. We subsequently developed and patented an improved chimeric version of the model system, in which the original genetic modifications are present in some, but not all, of the cells of the animal, as well as an additional technology which we refer to as directed complementation, which allows us to engineer tumors whose growth depends on a particular gene of interest. Under our agreement with DFCI, we have exclusive, worldwide rights under DFCI patents and patent applications relating to the licensed tumor model system and the MaSS screen; the right to grant sublicenses; and sole ownership rights to any improvements made solely by our employees to the cancer model technology licensed from DFCI. We have fulfilled certain milestone payment obligations to DFCI. We will have no royalty obligation to DFCI based on sales of products discovered, designed, developed or tested using the licensed technology.

 

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In addition, we have identified a number of other promising targets for the development of novel cancer therapeutics using our Human Response Platform. We have preclinical antibody discovery programs underway focusing on targets that appear to be important drivers of tumor growth, including the ErbB3 receptor (partnered with Biogen Idec), the RON receptor, the Notch receptors and the Fibroblast Growth Factor, or FGF, receptors.

Our Strategy

Our objective is to develop and commercialize our product candidates to treat serious unmet medical needs in patients suffering from a variety of cancer types. The critical components of our business strategy are:

 

   

Develop and commercialize our phase 3 clinical product candidate, tivozanib, in multiple cancer types.    We are seeking to develop tivozanib, our triple VEGF receptor inhibitor, in multiple cancer types. The first indication we are pursuing in our development strategy is advanced RCC, a significant market opportunity for which we believe we can build a focused commercial capability through a targeted specialty sales force. Based on discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and the European Medicines Agency, or the EMEA, we have designed a single, global phase 3 clinical trial to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC who have not been treated with any other VEGF directed therapy. If successful, this phase 3 clinical trial, which we refer to as our TIVO-1 study, together with results from our completed phase 2 clinical trial, will form the basis for registration applications to be submitted to the U.S. and European regulatory agencies for tivozanib’s approval in advanced RCC. In addition, we are conducting earlier-stage clinical trials of tivozanib in combination with other anti-cancer drugs in breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

 

   

Develop and commercialize our clinical product candidate, AV-299, in collaboration with Merck.    The first antibody program developed utilizing our Human Response Platform is our anti-HGF program, AV-299. We completed a phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299 in 2009 and expect to initiate a phase 2 clinical trial for non-small cell lung cancer in the first half of 2010. In 2007, we entered into a strategic partnership with Schering-Plough (now Merck) for the development of AV-299, under which Merck funds all development and manufacturing expenses, subject to an agreed-upon budget. In addition, Merck is required to pay us development milestones and royalties on the sale of AV-299. Pursuant to that agreement, we are currently leading the clinical development of AV-299, which includes conducting multiple phase 1 clinical trials and preparing for the conduct of a phase 2 clinical trial, and for conducting ongoing research utilizing our Human Response Platform, all at Merck’s expense. Merck is responsible for conducting clinical development of AV-299 after phase 2 and for commercializing AV-299 on a worldwide basis. Under the agreement, we retain the option to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first large market oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval in the United States.

 

   

Build capabilities that will allow us to effectively commercialize our products.    We have worldwide rights outside of Asia to develop and commercialize our lead product candidate, tivozanib, and retain an option to co-promote AV-299 in certain oncology indications in the United States. In our strategic partnership with Biogen Idec, we retain all rights to commercialize products resulting from our ErbB3 antibody program in the United States, Canada and Mexico. We intend to build a targeted, specialty sales force in the United States to effectively support the commercialization of these and future oncology products. Outside of the United States, where appropriate, we may elect in the future to utilize strategic partners or contract sales forces to assist in the commercialization of tivozanib and other products.

 

   

Leverage our novel Human Response Platform to discover, develop and commercialize a pipeline of first-in-class and best-in-class novel oncology products.    We believe that our Human Response Platform provides us a competitive advantage in discovering and developing novel oncology drugs by identifying biomarkers that can facilitate more efficient drug development. We have preclinical antibody discovery programs underway focusing on important cancer targets, including ErbB3, the

 

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Notch receptors, RON and the FGF receptors, all targets that we have tested in our Human Response Platform. We believe these programs provide us with future product opportunities which we can develop internally, or which can serve as the basis for future strategic partnerships. We also believe that our Human Response Platform can provide us with a competitive advantage in assessing potential in-licensing candidates by allowing us to identify the most promising targets and product candidates from among the many cancer drugs in development.

 

   

Establish strategic partnerships to accelerate and maximize the potential of our products and technology while preserving significant commercial rights.    In addition to our current arrangements with Biogen Idec and Merck, we intend to continue to establish strategic partnerships where we can accelerate the development or maximize the value of our product candidates by leveraging the scientific, clinical development, manufacturing, commercialization and/or financial strengths of leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies while still preserving significant commercial rights. For example, we may seek a partner for tivozanib outside of the United States in addition to our current partner Kyowa Hakko Kirin, which currently holds exclusive rights to tivozanib in Asia. We also intend to establish additional strategic partnerships, as we have done with Merck and OSI, in which we utilize our Human Response Platform to (i) identify and validate targets for new cancer therapies in collaboration with the strategic partners and (ii) identify biomarkers to aid the development of our strategic partners’ drug candidates.

Product Pipeline

We are seeking to develop multiple new drugs that target important mechanisms known or believed to be involved in cancer. These drugs include our lead drug candidate, tivozanib, a small molecule oral cancer drug, designed to prevent tumor growth by inhibiting angiogenesis, as well as monoclonal antibodies against HGF and ErbB3. We also are developing a pipeline of earlier stage novel antibodies which are designed to target mechanisms which we believe to be important in cancer. Our drug discovery and development activities are supported by our Human Response Platform.

The chart below summarizes our current product candidates and their stages of development and planned development.

LOGO

 

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Tivozanib: Triple VEGF Receptor Inhibitor

VEGF Pathway Inhibitors in Tumor Angiogenesis

The formation of new blood vessels, known as angiogenesis, is required to support certain important natural processes such as embryonic development, reproduction and wound healing. Angiogenesis also plays an important role in cancer progression and the spread of tumors within the body, or metastasis. Tumors cannot grow beyond a small size in the absence of the formation of new blood vessels. Tumors use these vessels to obtain oxygen and nutrients, both of which are required to sustain tumor growth, and to remove toxic waste products that result from rapid metabolism. In addition, new vessels in the tumor provide a way for tumor cells to enter the circulation and to spread to other organs.

Cancer cells and associated tumor tissue secrete a variety of protein activators, or growth factors, that bind to receptors and promote angiogenesis. Growth factors that bind to specific receptors are known as ligands for those receptors. Vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, stimulates angiogenesis and is required for the maintenance of new blood vessels. Most tumors produce various forms of VEGF and other ligands which bind to the three VEGF receptors, VEGFR1, 2 and 3. The VEGF receptors are found predominantly on the surface of normal vascular endothelial cells. The secretion of these ligands attracts normal endothelial cells to the tumor site where they are stimulated to proliferate and form new blood vessels that feed the tumor.

Each of the three VEGF receptors has been shown to play a role in angiogenesis. Drugs designed to inhibit the VEGF pathway may be directed either to one or more ligands of the receptors, or to the VEGF receptors themselves. Because there are multiple ligands that can bind to the three VEGF receptors and stimulate angiogenesis, products such as Avastin which block only one of these ligands may result in an incomplete blockade of the VEGF pathway. Similarly, receptor-targeted drugs which fail to effectively block all three of the VEGF receptors may also result in incomplete blockade of the VEGF pathway.

Because essentially all solid tumors require angiogenesis to progress beyond microscopic size, anti-angiogenesis drugs have demonstrated benefit in a wide variety of tumor types. Current therapies targeting the VEGF pathway have been approved in many tumor types, including colon, lung, breast, kidney, liver and brain cancers. In many of these tumors, other than kidney, liver and brain cancer, VEGF pathway inhibitors have demonstrated meaningful efficacy only when given in combination with other drugs; therefore, the opportunity for VEGF pathway inhibitors is most significant for those agents, such as Avastin, which can be safely combined with other anti-cancer agents.

We believe that the optimal approach to inhibiting the VEGF pathway is through an oral drug that potently and selectively inhibits all three VEGF receptors. We believe that drugs, such as Avastin, which bind to only one of the ligands for the VEGF receptors may not achieve optimal inhibition of the VEGF pathway. Moreover, each of the currently approved VEGF receptor inhibitors can cause significant side effects when administered alone, and studies have shown that it is extremely challenging to administer these drugs in combination with other anti-cancer agents due to overlapping toxicities. Each of the currently available VEGF receptor inhibitors have one or more drawbacks, including: (i) a lack of adequate potency, which necessitates high dosage levels in order to sufficiently block all three VEGF receptors, (ii) a lack of selectivity, which can cause side effects due to unintended impact on other receptors, referred to as off-target toxicities, and (iii) short duration of inhibition, which may necessitate dosing more than once per day and may not ensure continuous inhibition of the VEGF pathway.

Despite the various challenges encountered with the approved VEGF receptor inhibitors, sales of VEGF pathway inhibitor drugs exceeded $6 billion worldwide in 2008, based on 2008 annual reports made publicly available by companies marketing such drugs. According to EvaluatePharma® consensus forecasts from equity research analysts, drugs targeting angiogenesis are projected to have sales of more than $14 billion by 2014. Currently approved VEGF pathway inhibitors include Avastin, an antibody which blocks only one of the ligands for the VEGF receptors, and Nexavar, Sutent and Votrient (pazopanib), each of which are small molecule drugs which target the VEGF receptors, but also bind to a number of other targets, with varying potency.

 

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We believe there is a significant unmet need for a new oral VEGF pathway inhibitor which more completely blocks the activities of all three VEGF receptors, which is more tolerable and can be more easily combined with other currently available cancer drugs and which can maintain continuous inhibition of the pathway with a convenient dosing regimen.

Potential Advantages of Tivozanib

The potential advantages of tivozanib include a unique potency and selectivity profile, which we believe is the basis for the favorable efficacy and safety profile observed in the clinical trials of tivozanib to date. We believe that this favorable efficacy and safety profile may allow tivozanib to be successfully used as a monotherapy and to be more readily combined with other anti-cancer agents. Coupled with a convenient dosing regimen, we believe these advantages may differentiate tivozanib from existing marketed VEGF receptor inhibitors and allow tivozanib to fulfill an unmet need in the anti-angiogenesis market.

Potency.    Based on published data of marketed products or compounds in clinical development that target the VEGF pathway, we believe tivozanib is the most potent inhibitor of all three VEGF receptors. Due to its high potency, tivozanib is administered at a dose of only 1.5 mg per day. In contrast, the daily dose of the other approved VEGF receptor inhibitors ranges from 50 mg per day to 800 mg per day. Because tivozanib’s high potency allows it to be administered at a very low dose, patients who take tivozanib have less drug circulating in their body and therefore less potential for off-target toxicity. This may also contribute to the favorable safety profile that has been observed to date in clinical trials of tivozanib.

Selectivity.    Tivozanib more potently inhibits the VEGF receptors than it does any other targets in the body. This selectivity for the VEGF receptors has the potential to confer two important advantages:

 

   

Tolerability.    Many of the existing drugs which act by inhibiting the VEGF pathway also inhibit receptors in other pathways, which can cause side effects, or off-target toxicities. Sutent, Nexavar and Votrient, all relatively non-selective VEGF inhibitors, more potently inhibit other targets than they do the VEGF receptors. For example, Sutent and Votrient more potently inhibit the receptor known as c-Kit and Nexavar more potently inhibits the protein known as raf. The common toxicities for Sutent and Nexavar are fatigue, rash and diarrhea, and a common toxicity for Votrient is diarrhea. Votrient has also been associated with severe, and sometimes fatal, liver toxicity. These drugs also frequently cause a number of other side effects in patients that can be very difficult for patients to tolerate, including mucositis, a painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, stomatitis, inflammation of the mucous lining of the mouth, including the cheeks, gums, tongue, lips, throat and roof or floor of the mouth, and hand-foot syndrome, blistering, burning, swelling and tenderness on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands that can interfere with a patient’s ability to walk and use his or her hands. Sutent, Nexavar and Votrient can also cause myelosuppression, which refers to a decrease in the production of blood cells, resulting in both anemia and neutropenia. Anemia is a decrease in the number of red blood cells which carry oxygen and neutropenia is a decrease in the number of certain white blood cells which fight infection.

None of these side effects are believed to be associated with inhibition of the VEGF pathway and, therefore are considered off-target toxicities. These side effects can be very difficult to manage, and result in frequent dose reductions and discontinuations, as well as a reduced quality of life for patients taking these drugs. In clinical trials, more than 30% of patients receiving Sutent, more than 20% of patients receiving Nexavar and more than 40% of patients receiving Votrient have required dose reductions or dose interruptions.

In the clinical trials of tivozanib to date, we have observed low rates of off-target toxicities, and fewer than 15% of patients have required dose reductions or dose interruptions. Clinical trials with tivozanib have shown that hypertension is by far the most common toxicity in patients, consistent with its high selectivity for the VEGF receptors. The occurrence of hypertension is largely driven by inhibition of the VEGF pathway. The occurrence of hypertension in patients is frequently interpreted as an

 

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indication that the VEGF pathway has been substantially inhibited, and is therefore often referred to as an on-target toxicity. Hypertension associated with tivozanib can usually be managed using standard anti-hypertensive drugs.

 

   

Combinability.    While the approved VEGF pathway inhibitors have demonstrated modest improvements in outcomes in the cancers they are used to treat, we believe an opportunity exists for significantly improved outcomes through the use of rational combinations of VEGF pathway inhibitors in combination with other anti-cancer therapies. Frequently, however, combining anti-cancer drugs, each of which carries with it significant levels of toxicity, can lead to very high levels of side effects which either make the combination unsafe or extremely difficult for patients to tolerate. For example, in a phase 1 clinical trial designed to test the combination of Sutent with Torisel, another drug approved to treat RCC, the trial had to be halted due to high levels of toxicity of the combination. This high level of toxicity was observed even though both agents were administered at doses well below the doses used when the drugs are administered alone. Similarly, in a phase 2 clinical trial in breast cancer patients designed to test the safety and efficacy of Nexavar in combination with Xeloda (capecitabine), a drug approved for the treatment of breast cancer, although patients seemed to benefit from the combination, more than 40% of patients developed Grade 3 hand-foot syndrome, a serious skin reaction, that interfered with their ability to conduct normal activities of daily living. There is no Grade 4 hand-foot syndrome.

Because of the potency and selectivity of tivozanib, we believe that tivozanib has the potential to be more safely combined with other anti-cancer drugs, and therefore has the potential for significantly improved anti-cancer activity and better clinical outcomes. We have commenced phase 1b clinical trials testing tivozanib in combination with other anti-cancer agents in multiple cancer types, including RCC, breast and colorectal cancer. All of these trials are ongoing. For our ongoing phase 1b clinical trial in RCC, we are treating patients with a combination of tivozanib and Torisel, each administered at full dose, the dose administered when the drugs are used alone. The data from the clinical trial to date indicate that the combination has been well-tolerated and resulted in tumor shrinkage in 12 out of 16 of the patients treated. Similarly, in our ongoing phase 1b trial in patients with colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers, we are treating patients with a combination of tivozanib and FOLFOX6, a standard chemotherapy regimen, each administered at full dose.

Dosing Regimen.    In clinical trials, levels of tivozanib in a patient’s blood have been maintained for a prolonged period following a single dose, which allows for convenient, once-a-day dosing. Tivozanib has demonstrated a half-life, meaning the time it takes for the concentration of a drug in circulation to be reduced by one-half, of approximately four days. When drugs do not sufficiently maintain blockade of the VEGF receptors throughout the course of therapy, patients can experience a rebound effect, which can worsen their condition. For this reason, it is important to maintain sufficient levels of drug in the patient throughout the course of therapy. Because tivozanib has demonstrated a long half-life, we dose tivozanib on a convenient, once-per-day schedule. Even if a patient misses an occasional dose, we expect that sufficient levels of tivozanib will remain in the body to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.

Renal Cell Cancer

Overview.    We recently completed a 272-patient phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib in advanced RCC. In this trial, the overall median progression-free survival of patients was 11.8 months. In a retrospective analysis of the subset of 176 patients in our phase 2 clinical trial who had the clear cell type of RCC and who had undergone a prior nephrectomy, both of which are inclusion criteria for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, the median progression-free survival was 14.8 months. The incidence of side effects in the trial, such as diarrhea, fatigue, rash, mucositis, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome, which are commonly associated with other VEGF receptor inhibitors, was notably low. Tivozanib was well-tolerated by patients and relatively few patients needed to discontinue or reduce their dose of tivozanib. In December 2009, we initiated a phase 3 clinical trial for tivozanib in patients with advanced clear cell RCC who have undergone a prior nephrectomy and who have not received any prior VEGF-targeted therapy. Based on the data we have received from clinical trials conducted to date, we believe that tivozanib may offer a unique therapeutic alternative for the first-line treatment of advanced RCC.

 

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Market Opportunity.    Based on an epidemiology study performed by D. Max Parkin et al. (published in 2005 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians), there were approximately 208,000 new cases of kidney cancer diagnosed in the world in 2002, and, according to the National Cancer Institute, new cases of kidney cancer have been increasing steadily for the past 65 years. The American Cancer Society reports that there will have been approximately 57,760 new cases of kidney cancer in North America in 2009. According to an epidemiology study performed by J. Ferlay (published in 2007 in the Annals of Oncology), 63,000 new cases were diagnosed in the European Union in 2006. As published in a 1996 review article by R. Motzer et al. in The New England Journal of Medicine, RCC accounts for 80-85% of all malignant kidney tumors. We estimate, based on publicly-available information, including 2008 annual reports made publicly available by companies that market drugs approved for RCC, that the current worldwide RCC market for prescription drugs is over $1 billion, with agents targeting the VEGF pathway representing over 80% of sales. The market is expected to expand significantly over the next ten years, driven by an increased incidence of RCC, an increased use of frontline therapy as more tolerable agents are developed and an increased use of later-stage therapy as more treatment options become available.

Current Diagnosis and Treatments.    The diagnosis of RCC is generally made by examination of a tumor biopsy under a microscope. Evaluation of the visual appearance of the tumor cells by a pathologist allows classification of RCC into clear cell or non-clear cell types. In general, patients with clear cell type of RCC, approximately 85% of all RCC diagnoses according to a 1996 review article by R. Motzer et al. in The New England Journal of Medicine, tend to have a more favorable prognosis than patients with non-clear cell RCC. The initial treatment for most patients with both clear cell and non-clear cell RCC is surgical removal of the tumor, usually requiring removal of the affected kidney, or nephrectomy, if that is technically feasible. Patients who undergo a nephrectomy tend to have a better prognosis than patients who do not undergo a nephrectomy. Patients whose tumors have metastasized to other organs or whose tumors cannot be removed surgically are considered to have advanced RCC. Advanced RCC is highly resistant to chemotherapy. The standard of care for advanced RCC is treatment with one of the recently approved drugs that inhibit the VEGF pathway, including the oral drugs Sutent, Nexavar and Votrient as well as the injectable product Avastin. Although none of these drugs have been compared head-to-head in phase 3 clinical trials, Sutent, Nexavar, Votrient and Avastin have all demonstrated improvements in progression-free survival in clear cell RCC patients compared to placebo or interferon. The reported progression-free survival in the treatment arms of the phase 3 clinical trials of these drugs in patients with advanced clear cell RCC is 11.0 months for Sutent, 5.5 months for Nexavar, 9.2 months for Votrient and 10.2 months for Avastin when Avastin is given in combination with interferon. In these trials, the percent of patients who had undergone a prior nephrectomy was 91% for Sutent, 94% for Nexavar, 89% for Votrient and 100% for Avastin. Torisel and Afinitor (everolimus), drugs which target mTOR, have also been approved in RCC. In their respective phase 3 clinical trials, the reported median progression-free survival for Torisel was 5.5 months in patients with poor-prognosis RCC, and the reported median progression-free survival for Afinitor in patients who had progressed despite prior treatment with a VEGF receptor inhibitor was 4.9 months.

Despite the efficacy of the approved oral VEGF pathway inhibitors, these drugs are also associated with significant side effects such as neutropenia, fatigue, diarrhea, hand-foot syndrome, mucositis, stomatitis and abnormalities in liver function. A significant number of patients in the phase 3 clinical trials for each of these drugs required a reduction or discontinuation of their therapy due to these side effects. Although these drugs were not tested head-to-head in their respective phase 3 clinical trials, the reported frequency of dose reductions from the phase 3 clinical trials of these drugs in patients with advanced RCC is 32% for Sutent, 13% for Nexavar and 36% for Votrient. The reported frequency of dose interruptions due to adverse events in the phase 3 clinical trials of these drugs in patients with advanced RCC is 38% for Sutent, 21% for Nexavar and 42% for Votrient.

The Tivozanib Opportunity.    We believe there is unmet need for an RCC therapy that demonstrates significant efficacy while having a safety profile that will allow patients to remain on drug while maintaining a good quality of life. Added potential may exist for a selective VEGF pathway inhibitor which could be combined with other anti-cancer agents having a different mechanism of action, as VEGF pathway inhibitors are often most effective when administered in combination with other anti-cancer agents.

 

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Clinical Trials

Phase 1 Clinical Trials.    In 2007, we completed a phase 1 clinical trial of tivozanib in 41 cancer patients. Results from the phase 1 clinical trial showed that patients were able to tolerate tivozanib at a dose of 1.5 mg/day given continuously for 4 weeks followed by a 2 week rest period, and that toxicities were reversible upon stopping treatment. The primary dose-limiting toxicity identified in the phase 1 clinical trial was hypertension, which is a frequent side effect of VEGF inhibitors and is considered an on-target effect resulting from the blockage of VEGF receptors. Hypertension was treated with standard anti-hypertensive agents such as calcium channel blockers or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.

In the phase 1 clinical trial, 9 of 41 patients had RCC and all 9 patients experienced clinical benefit from tivozanib. Two of these patients had a partial response, according to RECIST criteria, including one patient whose partial response lasted for over two years. The remaining seven RCC patients had stable disease lasting for at least two months. Stable disease was also observed in patients with other types of solid tumors including colorectal cancer, where 4 out of 10 patients who had progressed after prior chemotherapy demonstrated stable disease lasting for approximately six months during treatment with tivozanib. One patient with an acinar cell tumor of the pancreas that had progressed after prior treatment with gemcitabine has been receiving tivozanib for over two years and remains on treatment with stable disease. Given the promising activity observed in the phase 1 clinical trial, we decided to move forward with the development of tivozanib in multiple solid tumors, with RCC being the leading program.

Standard Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, or RECIST, defines disease progression and tumor response based on the sum of the longest diameters of a set of target tumor lesions identified when the patient enters the trial, which we refer to as baseline. A 20% or greater increase in the sum of diameters in target lesions, or unequivocal progression in non-target lesions, or the appearance of a new lesion, is defined as disease progression. A reduction in the sum of the diameters of at least 30% as compared to baseline is defined as a partial response. A complete disappearance of target and non-target lesions, and the normalization of any tumor markers, constitutes a complete response. Both partial and complete responses must be confirmed by repeat assessments at least four weeks after the partial or complete response was first documented. Stable disease refers to patients who exhibit neither response nor disease progression. Objective response rate is typically defined as the sum of the partial and complete response rates.

Phase 2 Clinical Trial.    In 2007, we began a phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib in patients with advanced RCC. This clinical trial was conducted under an Investigational New Drug application submitted to the FDA and 272 patients were enrolled between October 2007 and July 2008 at sites in Russia, the Ukraine and India. To be eligible for the clinical trial, patients could not have received any prior VEGF-targeted therapies. Results from the phase 1 clinical trial showed that patients were able to tolerate tivozanib at a dose of 1.5 mg/day given continuously for 4 weeks followed by a 2 week rest period, but in order to minimize the rest period during which patients are off treatment, the dosing regimen for the phase 2 clinical trial was changed to 3 weeks continuous dosing followed by a 1 week rest period. The trial included patients with both clear cell RCC (83%) and non-clear cell RCC (17%). 27% of patients had not had a prior nephrectomy. Approximately 54% of patients had not received any other drug treatment for their disease, while the remainder had received one or more prior therapies, but no VEGF pathway inhibitors.

All patients received tivozanib for the first 16 weeks, at which time patients with ³25% tumor regression continued on tivozanib while patients with <25% change from baseline were randomly assigned to tivozanib or placebo in a double-blinded manner for the next 12 weeks. Patients with >25% increase in tumor size discontinued tivozanib treatment.

The primary endpoints of the trial were (i) the percentage of patients remaining progression-free 12 weeks following random assignment to tivozanib or placebo, (ii) objective response rate and (iii) safety. Secondary endpoints included overall progression-free survival from start of treatment and progression-free survival after random assignment to tivozanib or placebo.

 

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All radiology scans from the study were reviewed by a single, centralized group of independent radiologists in the United States who were blinded to treatment assignment. All laboratory tests were conducted at a central lab in the United Kingdom. Disease progression and tumor response rates were determined in accordance with the RECIST criteria. The data reported in the following paragraph with respect to the percentage of patients remaining progression-free 12 weeks following random assignment as compared to placebo is based on data from the tivozanib phase 2 clinical trial as of the cutoff date of January 31, 2009, which was after sufficient time had elapsed for all patients in the trial to reach the pre-specified primary endpoint (i.e., 12 weeks post-randomization). All other data for the phase 2 clinical trial is based on updated data from the trial on October 31, 2009. Based on preliminary data as of February 1, 2010, 55 patients remain on tivozanib therapy in this clinical trial, with 39 patients remaining on therapy for more than 1.5 years and 16 patients remaining on therapy for more than 2 years. We intend to submit updated data from the phase 2 clinical trial for presentation at an appropriate medical meeting in 2010.

A significantly higher percentage of patients on tivozanib remained progression-free 12 weeks following random assignment as compared to placebo. 55% of patients randomized to tivozanib were progression-free compared to 28% of patients randomized to placebo. This difference was statistically significant (p=0.004). As of October 31, 2009, the median progression-free survival of patients randomized to the placebo treatment arm was 5.6 months and the median progression-free survival of patients randomized to the tivozanib treatment arm was 14.3 months.

The graph below shows the probability of a patient remaining alive without tumor progression while in the tivozanib phase 2 clinical trial. The overall median progression-free survival of patients in the phase 2 clinical trial was 11.8 months. The median was calculated based on data from the phase 2 clinical trial using a standard statistical procedure known as a Kaplan-Meier analysis. In the phase 2 clinical trial, the event being measured was progression-free survival. The vertical tick marks of the graph represent points during the clinical trial at which one or more patients were removed from the data analysis either because the patient was on treatment and still responding at the time of the data cut-off or because the patient withdrew from the clinical trial due to reasons other than disease progression or because the patient was randomized to placebo.

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In the subset of 176 patients in the phase 2 clinical trial who had clear cell RCC and who had undergone a prior nephrectomy, both of which are inclusion criteria for our phase 3 clinical trial of tivozanib, the median progression-free survival was 14.8 months, calculated retrospectively using a Kaplan-Meier analysis, as shown in the graph below.

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More than 80% of patients who received tivozanib therapy in the phase 2 clinical trial experienced some degree of tumor shrinkage while on therapy. As of October 31, 2009, 26.8% of patients with tivozanib had demonstrated an objective response, with 1 (0.4%) confirmed complete response, 56 (20.6%) confirmed partial responses, and 16 (5.9%) unconfirmed partial responses as measured by independent radiological review. In patients with clear cell RCC who had undergone a prior nephrectomy, 31.8% had an objective response as measured by independent radiological review. This includes 1 patient (0.6%) who had a confirmed complete response, 43 patients (24.4%) who had a confirmed partial response, and 12 patients (6.8%) who had an unconfirmed partial response. Per the RECIST criteria, confirmed responses are defined as responses that are confirmed by a repeat assessment that is performed at least 4 weeks after the criteria for response are first met. If the responses cannot be confirmed by a repeat assessment (due to reasons such as discontinuation from study due to toxicity or progression), then the responses are classified as unconfirmed partial or complete responses.

 

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The graph below shows the change in tumor size for each of the patients in the phase 2 clinical trial as of October 31, 2009. Each vertical bar in the graph represents the percent change from the time when the patient entered the clinical trial (baseline) until the maximum change was observed for that patient. The changes in tumor size are based on independent radiological assessment.

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The most common treatment-related adverse events seen in our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib were hypertension (50%) and hoarseness of voice, or dysphonia (22%), both of which are believed to be directly related to the mechanism of VEGF pathway inhibition. Of the 272 patients enrolled in the clinical trial, as of October 31, 2009, only 10.3% required a dose reduction and only 3.7% required a dose interruption. The incidence of certain side effects commonly associated with other VEGF receptor inhibitors was notably low.

The table below illustrates drug-related adverse events seen in >5% of patients as of October 31, 2009, including the number of patients in which these drug-related adverse events were seen. Grade 1 and 2 adverse events are generally characterized as mild. Grade 3 adverse events are considered moderate, and Grade 4 adverse events are considered severe. The incidence of mucositis, stomatitis and hand-foot syndrome were less than 5%, with less than 1% Grade 3 or Grade 4 events reported.

Drug-Related Adverse Events

(seen in >5% of patients as of October 31, 2009)

 

     Severity    Total
# (%)

Adverse Event

   Grade 1
# (%)
   Grade 2
# (%)
   Grade 3
# (%)
   Grade 4
# (%)
  

Hypertension

   59(21.7)    53(19.5)    21(7.7)    3(1.1)    136(50.0)

Hoarseness of Voice

   55(20.2)    4(1.5)      0           0           59(21.7)

Asthenia (Muscle weakness)

   7(2.6)      21(7.7)    6(2.2)    0           34(12.5)

Diarrhea

   21(7.7)      8(2.9)      4(1.5)    0           33(12.1)

Fatigue

   10(3.7)      8(2.9)      4(1.5)    0           22(8.1)  

Dyspnoea

   10(3.7)      6(2.2)      3(1.1)    0           19(7.0)  

Rash

   9(3.3)      5(1.8)      3(1.1)    0           17(6.3)  

Cough

   10(3.7)      4(1.5)      3(1.1)    0           14(5.1)  

 

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Phase 3 Clinical Trial.    Based on the results of the phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib and following discussions we have had with the FDA and EMEA, we initiated a phase 3 clinical trial in patients with advanced RCC in December 2009. We refer to the phase 3 clinical trial as our TIVO-1 study. The TIVO-1 study is expected to enroll 500 patients at more than 90 sites in 17 countries, including in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and India.

The TIVO-1 study is a randomized, controlled clinical trial of tivozanib compared to Nexavar in patients with advanced RCC who are treatment-naïve or have received no more than one prior regimen of immunotherapy or chemotherapy, and no prior VEGF-targeted therapy. Unlike in the phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib where we permitted the enrollment of patients with both clear cell and non-clear cell RCC, and did not require that patients be nephrectomized, enrollment in the TIVO-1 study will be restricted to patients with clear cell RCC who have had a prior nephrectomy. The primary endpoint for the trial will be progression-free survival. Based on our discussions with the FDA and the EMEA, we have set the number of patients to be enrolled in the clinical trial at a number sufficient to demonstrate that a difference in progression-free survival of three months or more between the treatment arms would be statistically significant. Secondary endpoints include overall survival, objective response rate, duration of response, which is a measure of the time from when a patient’s tumors have shrunk until they resume their growth in size, and quality of life, as measured from questionnaires completed by the patient which provide information about symptoms and the impact of the cancer on a patient’s daily life activities. Results from the TIVO-1 study, together with results from our already completed phase 2 clinical trial, will form the basis for registration applications to be submitted to the U.S. and European regulatory agencies for tivozanib’s approval in advanced RCC.

Nexavar was approved in the United States in December 2005 as the first VEGF receptor inhibitor for the treatment of advanced RCC. Nexavar received marketing authorization by the European Commission in July 2006 for the treatment of patients with advanced RCC who have failed prior interferon-a or interleukin-2 based therapy or are considered unsuitable for such therapy. In the phase 3 clinical trial of Nexavar, patients with advanced clear cell RCC, 94% of whom had undergone a prior nephrectomy, treated with Nexavar had a median progression-free survival of 5.5 months and patients treated with placebo had a median progression-free survival of 2.8 months.

We chose Nexavar as the active comparator for the TIVO-1 study because Nexavar has been extensively tested in patients with advanced RCC who had received no prior drug treatment as well as advanced RCC patients who had failed prior therapy with interferon-a or interleukin-2. Because the TIVO-1 study will allow enrollment of a broad RCC population (treatment-naïve as well as previously-treated patients), we believe that Nexavar is the most appropriate active comparator for tivozanib in this patient population. Following discussions, both the FDA and EMEA indicated that Nexavar is an acceptable choice as the active comparator in the TIVO-1 study.

In the TIVO-1 study, patients will be randomized in equal numbers to treatment with tivozanib or Nexavar. Patients randomized to the tivozanib treatment arm will receive tivozanib on the same dose and schedule that was well tolerated in our phase 2 clinical trial of tivozanib. Patients randomized to the Nexavar treatment arm of the clinical trial will receive the approved dose of Nexavar, which is 400 mg twice a day. Patients randomized to the tivozanib treatment arm who have documented disease progression will be discontinued from the clinical trial. Patients randomized to the Nexavar treatment arm who have documented disease progression will be discontinued from the clinical trial and will be given the option to receive tivozanib by enrolling in a separate long-term treatment protocol. In order to meet FDA standards for assessing results in phase 3 trials, all radiology scans will be assessed by a single, centralized group of independent radiology reviewers in the United States who will be blinded to the assigned treatment. There can be no assurance that the efficacy and safety profile seen in prior clinical trials of Nexavar and of tivozanib will be reproduced in the TIVO-1 study.

In addition to the TIVO-1 study, we plan to conduct, or seek waivers from conducting, a variety of other clinical trials that would support a New Drug Application, or NDA, including a mass balance study, a food effect study, a thorough QTc study, drug-drug interaction studies, special population studies, and a pediatric study. We are also conducting additional toxicology studies in non-human primates and rodents, which will be included in our registration application.

 

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Tivozanib Combination Therapy

We believe tivozanib’s favorable efficacy and safety profile increases its potential to be combined with other anti-cancer agents in a manner that may produce better clinical outcomes. As a result, we have a number of clinical trials underway that are designed to test tivozanib in combination with other drugs and chemotherapies in multiple solid tumor types. We are also utilizing our Human Response Platform to help identify rational drug combinations and patient populations most likely to be responsive to these combination therapies. We expect that the results of these clinical trials, together with the results of our ongoing research efforts, will help to inform our clinical development plans for tivozanib in additional indications.

Renal Cell Cancer.    In 2007, we initiated a phase 1 clinical trial of tivozanib in combination with Torisel, an injectable mTOR inhibitor, in patients with advanced clear cell RCC who have failed up to one prior VEGF-targeted therapy. Torisel was approved by the FDA for the treatment of advanced RCC in 2007, and is considered a standard of care for treatment of patients with poor-prognosis RCC. Based on preclinical studies we have conducted using our Human Response Platform, we believe that the combination of tivozanib and mTOR inhibitors may have enhanced anti-tumor activity in patients with RCC.

Clinical trials have shown that Sutent cannot be used in combination with Torisel due to severe toxicities. A phase 1 clinical trial testing the combination of Sutent and Torisel was discontinued when two out of the first three patients treated in the first cohort with less than full doses of each drug (15 mg of Torisel and 25 mg of Sutent) developed serious dose-limiting toxicities.

Nexavar has also had a significant challenge combining with Torisel at full doses due to a variety of dose-limiting toxicities. The only approved VEGF pathway inhibitor that we are aware of that is currently being developed in combination with Torisel at full doses is Avastin. The preliminary data using this combination showed a high rate of tumor shrinkage in RCC. However, the combination of Avastin and Torisel requires a weekly intravenous injection, placing a high burden on the patients’ quality of life.

While no other oral VEGF receptor inhibitor has demonstrated that it can be safely combined with Torisel, to date, the results of our ongoing phase 1 clinical trial indicate that tivozanib may be able to be used safely in combination with Torisel at full doses. As of October 30, 2009, with a median duration of treatment of 16.8 weeks, no dose-limiting toxicities have been reported. Preliminary results of this ongoing study show tumor shrinkage in 12 out of 16 patients in all dose groups evaluated, and two partial responses as assessed by RECIST criteria, as shown in the graph below.

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Colorectal Cancer.    We believe that tivozanib has the potential to significantly enhance the treatment of colorectal cancer when used in combination with standard of care chemotherapy or other targeted drugs. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 148,000 patients will have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and 50,000 patients will have died from this disease, in the United States in 2009. Despite recent advances in chemotherapy, the American Cancer Society also reports that less than 10% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer survive beyond 5 years. Therefore, there is a critical need for new and more effective treatments for colorectal cancer. Based on recent clinical trials, Avastin in combination with chemotherapy has become the standard of care for metastatic colorectal cancer. These studies have demonstrated that the VEGF pathway is important in colorectal cancer. We believe more potent inhibitors of the pathway, such as tivozanib, have the potential to improve therapy for this disease.

In 2008, we initiated a phase 1 clinical trial of tivozanib in combination with FOLFOX6, a standard chemotherapy regimen, in patients with colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers. This clinical trial has shown that tivozanib can be safely administered at full dose (1.5 mg) in combination with full dose FOLFOX6 chemotherapy. As of February 1, 2010, 20 patients were enrolled in this trial and being treated with one of three doses of tivozanib in combination with FOLFOX6. Three of these patients have demonstrated a confirmed partial response (one patient each with pancreatic, esophageal and colorectal cancer). This clinical trial is currently enrolling patients for an expanded assessment of safety and activity in this patient population.

Building on the safety data generated to date in the Torisel combination clinical trial in RCC, we are also interested in exploring the safety and activity of tivozanib in combination with an mTOR inhibitor in colorectal cancer. A phase 1 investigator-sponsored clinical trial is being initiated with a combination of tivozanib and Afinitor, an oral mTOR inhibitor approved for the treatment of RCC. If this trial is successful, we believe that an all oral regimen comprising a VEGF pathway inhibitor and an mTOR inhibitor would be an attractive drug combination worthy of further development in colorectal cancer.

Breast Cancer.    We believe that tivozanib can provide an improved therapy for women diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2009, approximately 192,000 women will have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 40,000 women will have died from breast cancer, in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. Currently available chemotherapy and hormonal therapies have significantly enhanced the survival of women diagnosed with breast cancer; however metastatic breast cancer remains an incurable disease. Recent clinical trials with Avastin showed improved results when used in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy in women with metastatic breast cancer. Avastin is now FDA approved for women with metastatic breast cancer. Recently presented phase 2 clinical trial data also showed that Nexavar, when combined with Xeloda, an oral chemotherapy approved in breast cancer, showed improved outcomes over Xeloda alone; however, overlapping toxicities have resulted in numerous side effects, including more than 40% of patients experiencing Grade 3 hand-foot syndrome. Based on tivozanib’s favorable toxicity profile, and minimal off-target toxicities with tivozanib monotherapy in clinical trials to date, we believe that tivozanib has the potential to be safely combined with Xeloda.

In 2008, we initiated a phase 1 clinical trial of tivozanib in combination with a standard dose of paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer. As of February 1, 2010, 18 patients have been enrolled in this trial, of whom 4 patients have demonstrated a confirmed partial response. This clinical trial is currently enrolling patients at full dose of 1.5 mg of tivozanib in combination with full dose paclitaxel chemotherapy.

Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.    We believe that tivozanib could also provide an improved treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC. Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in men and women, with approximately 219,000 new cases and 159,000 deaths in the United States in 2009, according to the American Cancer Society. Chemotherapy has shown modest activity in NSCLC and advanced lung cancer remains an incurable disease. Avastin, approved by the FDA for use in NSCLC in combination with chemotherapy, and various small molecular VEGF receptor inhibitors have demonstrated modest single-agent activity in lung cancer.

In 2009, we initiated a phase 1 clinical trial of tivozanib monotherapy in patients with advanced NSCLC. This clinical trial is testing a continuous dosing regimen of tivozanib and will also provide preliminary

 

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indications of activity in this cancer. Demonstrating the safety of a continuous dosing regimen of tivozanib in advanced NSCLC would facilitate the development of tivozanib in combination with chemotherapy in advanced NSCLC.

AV-299: Anti Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF) Antibody

Through the use of our Human Response Platform, our scientists have identified the HGF/c-Met pathway as a significant driver of tumor growth. HGF is a protein that circulates in the blood and binds to and activates a receptor called c-Met. Activation of c-Met is believed to be important in normal processes in embryonic development and wound healing. Activation of c-Met, however, is also believed to trigger many activities that are involved in cancer development and metastasis. Altered HGF/c-Met signaling is observed in many tumors including bladder, lung, breast, gastric, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, head and neck, certain sarcomas and several other solid tumors and in multiple myeloma and leukemias. There are no approved therapies which target the HGF/c-Met pathway.

Less than two years after our scientists characterized the importance of the HGF/c-Met pathway, we identified our AV-299 antibody, a potent and selective inhibitor of HGF. In preclinical models, AV-299 has demonstrated an ability to inhibit the growth of many different tumors, including lung and colon tumors, glioblastomas and multiple myeloma. In preclinical studies of AV-299 we have also shown that AV-299 has additive efficacy when given in combination with other approved anti-cancer agents such as Tarceva (erlotinib), Erbitux (cetuximab) and Temodar (temozolomide). In preclinical studies conducted by us, AV-299 was more effective at inhibiting tumor growth (at the dose tested) than AMG-102 and TAK-701, the other anti-HGF antibodies currently in clinical development. Clinical trials will need to be conducted in order to determine whether the differences observed in these preclinical studies will contribute to greater efficacy in patients.

In March 2007, we entered into a collaboration agreement with Merck under which we granted Merck worldwide rights to develop and commercialize AV-299. Merck funds all development and manufacturing expenses, subject to an agreed-upon budget, and is required to pay us development milestones and royalties on the sale of AV-299. We have primary responsibility for certain U.S.-related development activities through completion of the first phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for AV-299, and for conducting translational research to guide the clinical development of AV-299. Merck is responsible for manufacturing AV-299 for clinical and commercial use, and for global development after completion of such proof-of-concept trial and for commercialization activities. We retain the option to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first large market oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval in the United States.

In 2008, we commenced a phase 1 clinical trial of AV-299 in patients with a variety of solid tumors to establish the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, maximum tolerated dose and the recommended phase 2 clinical trial dose of AV-299 as monotherapy. The phase 1 clinical trial showed good tolerability with no dose limiting toxicities up to the highest dose tested, 20mg/kg. The most frequently observed adverse events were mild fatigue, tissue swelling, also referred to as edema, and headache. The phase 1 clinical trial also includes a cohort to test the activity of AV-299 in multiple myeloma, as well as a cohort to test the safety of combining AV-299 with Tarceva, an EGFR inhibitor.

 

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Eleven out of 24 patients enrolled in the phase 1 clinical trial experienced stable disease lasting for 12 weeks or more, as shown in the chart below.

LOGO

We are also conducting a phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients with liver metastases in order to evaluate the activity of AV-299 in HGF pathway activation in metatastic tumors. Additionally, a phase 1 clinical trial is also being initiated to evaluate the ability of AV-299 to cross the blood brain barrier in patients suffering from primary brain cancer.

As part of our strategic partnership with Merck, we are also using our Human Response Platform to identify tumor types and patient populations most likely to be responsive to AV-299 therapy. There are very few traditional preclinical models that are driven by HGF/c-Met. Consequently, we have utilized our proprietary technology to develop novel model systems that can be used preclinically to give insights into the best clinical settings in which to test a novel inhibitor of the pathway. We believe that these preclinical models will provide us with an advantage over other competitive programs.

We and our partner Merck are planning a phase 2 clinical trial program to test the combination of AV-299 with other rationally chosen chemotherapeutic or targeted agents in selected indications based on our preclinical studies using our Human Response Platform. Based on the observations that the EFGR and HGF/c-Met pathways are both frequently activated in many solid tumors, and that activation of the HGF/c-MET pathway appears to be a common resistance mechanism to EGFR inhibition, the first phase 2 clinical trial will test a combination of AV-299 with Iressa (gefitinib), an EGFR inhibitor, versus Iressa alone in patients with newly diagnosed non-small-cell lung cancer. This 170-patient, randomized clinical trial, which will be conducted in Asia, is expected to begin in the first half of 2010 and will study response rate and progression-free survival in patients with a high incidence of EGFR mutations.

AV-203: Anti-ErbB3 Antibody Program

Through the use of our Human Response Platform, our scientists have highlighted the importance of the ErbB3 receptor in tumor growth. ErbB3 belongs to a family of four proteins that also includes EGFR and Her2.

 

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Both EGFR and Her2 have been implicated in promoting the growth of significant numbers of tumors, particularly in breast and lung cancers. Drugs blocking the activity of EGFR have demonstrated clinical benefit in lung, colon and head and neck cancers while drugs targeting Her2 show clinical benefit in the treatment of Her2 overexpressing breast cancers.

ErbB3 is significantly over-expressed in many human breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and head and neck cancers and its overexpression generally correlates with poor prognosis. It has also been implicated in resistance to certain drugs which target EGFR in lung cancer and with resistance to radiotherapy. In addition, while the anti-Her2 antibody Herceptin has been very successful in treating many breast tumors which express Her2, as many as 60% of Her2 positive patients do not respond, as reported in a 2007 Herceptin review by C.A. Hudis published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Because ErbB3 preferentially binds with Her2, we believe that breast cancer patients who do not respond well to anti-Her2 therapy might benefit from drug combinations with an anti-ErbB3 antibody.

Through our discovery efforts, we have identified antibodies that have been shown to be potent and selective inhibitors of ErbB3 in preclinical studies. In preclinical testing, these antibodies have significantly inhibited the growth of a number of different tumors, including breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers. In the first quarter of 2010, we intend to select a development candidate and commence manufacturing of this candidate in preparation for preclinical studies and human clinical trials. We have not yet submitted to the FDA an investigational new drug application for any product candidate under our AV-203 program.

In March 2009, we granted Biogen Idec an exclusive option to obtain rights to co-develop (with us) and commercialize our ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Under the agreement, we are responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial designed in a manner that, if successful, will generate data sufficient to support advancement to a phase 3 clinical trial.

Within a specified time period after we complete the phase 2 clinical trial and deliver to Biogen Idec a detailed data package containing the results thereof, Biogen Idec may elect to obtain (1) a co-exclusive (with us) worldwide license under our relevant intellectual property to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products, and (2) an exclusive license under our relevant intellectual property to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in all countries in the world other than in the United States, Canada and Mexico. We retain the exclusive right to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Until completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial, we are solely responsible for the research, development, and manufacture of ErbB3 antibody(ies) pursuant to a written work plan meeting specific pre-agreed guidelines. We are solely responsible for all expenses incurred through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial. If Biogen Idec exercises its option to obtain exclusive commercialization rights to ErbB3 products in its territory, then we will be solely responsible, subject to a mutually agreed development plan, budget and the oversight of a joint development committee, for the global development of ErbB3 antibody products, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for ErbB3 antibody product development activities that relate solely to the Biogen Idec territory. We and Biogen Idec will share global development costs (including manufacturing costs to support development) for ErbB3 antibody products equally, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for its territory, and we will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Other Antibody Pipeline Programs

In addition to the HGF/c-Met pathway and ErbB3, we have utilized our Human Response Platform to identify a number of other targets that appear to be potent drivers of tumor growth. We have further evaluated the involvement of these targets in the development of human cancers using available human cancer databases. Targets with the ability to drive tumor growth in our tumor models and with frequent genetic alterations in human cancers were selected as targets for our next generation of antibody drug discovery programs. The targets we have focused on to date are the Notch receptors, FGF receptors and the RON receptor, as more fully described below.

 

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Notch Program.    Genetic screens conducted using our Human Response Platform have demonstrated that activation of the Notch signaling pathway is a potent driver of tumor growth and confirmed its important role in tumor formation, or tumorigenesis. The Notch receptors are a family of four receptors on the surface of cells, Notch 1-4, whose activity has been shown to play important roles in normal stem cell function and in multiple aspects of tumor biology.

Notch signaling is also thought to be important for the maintenance of cancer stem cell populations in tumors. Cancer stem cells are thought to represent a distinct cell population within the tumor contributing to tumorigenesis. Cancer stem cells may cause tumor metastasis and relapse following anti-tumor treatments by regenerating the tumor tissue. Eradication of cancer stem cells may lead to increased survival in cancer patients. We intend to use our Notch specific antibodies to investigate the role of Notch signaling in the maintenance of cancer stem cells. We believe that this effort may lead to the development of a novel therapeutic regimen that specifically targets cancer stem cell populations.

The goal of our Notch drug discovery efforts is to identify specific inhibitory antibodies to Notch1, Notch2 and Notch3 that prevent ligand binding and activation of the receptors. The program has generated functional inhibitory antibodies against the Notch1 and Notch3 receptors. Our team has demonstrated proof of concept with our lead Notch1 antibody candidate in preclinical models of angiogenesis and preclinical testing is ongoing. In these preclinical models, our Notch1 antibody shows no evidence of the gastro-intestinal toxicity that has limited the clinical development of other Notch inhibitors.

We are utilizing our Human Response Platform to investigate the context in which Notch inhibition, either alone or in combination with tivozanib, would have the greatest efficacy. Because the blockade of Notch1 signaling results in a potent inhibition of angiogenesis by a mechanism which differs from VEGF inhibition, we believe that blockade of both pathways simultaneously might significantly increase the efficacy of anti-angiogenesis therapy. We are also exploring preclinical models to determine which tumors might be uniquely dependent on Notch1 function for survival as another mechanism of action for the drug. Our scientists have identified the HeyL protein as a potential biomarker that predicts that a significant subset of tumors driven by the mutant Ras oncogene may depend on Notch function. Oncogenes are genes that, when mutated, help turn normal cells into cancer cells. Specifically, high levels of HeyL in colon and pancreatic cell lines that carry a mutated form of Ras correlate with the sensitivity of these tumors to Notch pathway inhibitors. In June 2009, we were granted a U.S. patent on a method of identifying cancer tissue likely to be sensitive or resistant to treatment with an inhibitor of Notch receptor activation.

Fibroblast Growth Factor Program.    Fibroblast growth factors, or FGFs, and their receptors, FGFR1-4, represent a signaling network that plays important roles in the regulation of cell growth, survival, differentiation and angiogenesis. Work in our Human Response Platform identified FGF ligands and receptors as powerful drivers of tumor growth in a variety of tumor models and implicated the activation of the pathway in tumor development. Increasing amounts of human genetic and genomic data also point to the alteration of this pathway in the development of a number of different types of human cancers.

Recently, the human Cancer Genome Sequencing project identified the FGF/FGFR pathway as the most frequently altered signaling pathway in human cancers. Similar studies demonstrated that FGF pathway activation may not only play a role in tumor development but also may be implicated in the development of drug resistance. Different tumors and tumor types exhibit varying profiles of FGF pathway alterations; therefore, targeting individual FGFR receptors may have different therapeutic applications.

Certain FGF ligands have been shown to have pro-angiogenic activity and may act synergistically with VEGF to amplify tumor angiogenesis. The upregulation of FGF pathway activity in response to anti-VEGF therapy is thought to play an important role in the development of resistance to VEGF inhibition, suggesting that the combination of FGF and VEGF pathway inhibitors may add to the benefits achievable by targeting VEGF alone.

The goal of our ongoing drug discovery efforts is to identify specific FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3 and FGFR4 inhibitory antibodies that prevent activation of these receptors. We will evaluate the activity of candidate antibodies in specific target-driven tumor models created using our Human Response Platform.

 

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RON Program.    RON is a receptor closely related to c-Met which is the receptor for HGF, the target of AV-299. Similarly, the Macrophage Stimulating Protein, or MSP protein, which activates RON, is most closely related to HGF. The activation of RON signaling is believed to trigger many of the same cellular activities as activation of the HGF/c-Met pathway. Like c-Met, RON has been implicated in promoting tumor cell metastasis and invasiveness and, in one preclinical breast cancer model, RON expression in tumor cells dramatically increased their ability and propensity to metastasize to bone.

RON and c-Met are frequently co-expressed in certain tumors. Breast, bladder and colon cancer patients whose tumors have high levels of RON or c-Met have a poor prognosis and the worst prognosis has been observed in patients in which both receptors were overexpressed.

Our scientists have identified antibodies which can inhibit the growth of RON-driven tumors created through our Human Response Platform. Preclinical testing of these antibodies is ongoing.

Our Human Response Platform

Our scientific founders, Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. and Lynda Chin, M.D., both of the Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Tyler Jacks, Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School, leaders in the field of cancer modeling and cancer genetics, believed that traditional preclinical cancer models were poorly predictive of drug responses in patients and that work from their various laboratories indicated that substantially better models of cancer could be developed. Accessing key intellectual property and insights from our founders, we have created a series of unique genetically engineered models of cancer, as well as proprietary ways of analyzing complex gene expression data to better translate such data from our models to human patient populations. These innovations help to address three key issues in cancer drug discovery and clinical development:

 

   

Target Identification and Validation:    Identifying and validating which of the many candidate cancer causing genes are most important to tumor growth.

 

   

Drug Discovery:    Enabling the development of tumor models driven by the target gene of interest to facilitate the evaluation of drug candidates directed against the target, and the selection of the most promising candidate.

 

   

Biomarker Identification:    Enabling the identification of genetic markers, or biomarkers, which may help identify patients who are more likely to be responsive or resistant to such drugs by leveraging the naturally occurring genetic variation in our cancer models and their divergent sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs.

We believe that our platform provides unique insights into cancer biology that may provide us and our strategic partners with a competitive advantage in all phases of cancer drug discovery and development. To date, Merck, OSI and Schering-Plough (now Merck) have entered into agreements with us to utilize our Human Response Platform.

Scientific Background

Cancer is a disease caused by genetic mutations that accumulate in cells over the lifetime of an individual that can ultimately result in the unrestrained growth of the altered cells and their invasion into surrounding normal tissues. Cancer causing mutations arise at random within a cell, which then undergoes a selective process where any mutation that provides the cell with an increased ability to grow and survive is retained. It is estimated that at least a dozen different mutations are required to transform a normal cell into a cancerous one. Even within specific types of cancer that all carry certain powerful cancer causing mutations, there are multiple combinations of additional mutations present such that each individual tumor is slightly different.

During the last 20 years, many of the mutations which promote cancer in people have been identified from human tumors. These have generally fallen into two classes: oncogene activating mutations and tumor suppressor

 

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gene mutations. Oncogene activating mutations function to promote cell growth. By analogy to driving a car, oncogene activating mutations act much liking pushing the accelerator to the floor, giving a permanent signal to promote cell growth. Examples of these mutations include mutations in EGFR, Her2 and K-Ras. Tumor suppressor gene mutations inactivate mechanisms which turn off cell growth. Elimination of tumor suppressor gene function is analogous to cutting the brake lines in the car: mechanisms to stop the growth of the cell are gone. When a single cell collects an oncogene activating mutation and a tumor suppressor gene mutation, it is not yet transformed into a cancer cell but it is well on its way. Research has shown that introduction of these two types of mutations in many different cell types is sufficient to induce tumor formation over time. During this time, additional spontaneous mutations arise to complete the transformation of the normal cell into a full blown cancer cell capable of unlimited growth.

Limitations of Existing Cancer Models

Researchers use cancer models to help identify targets for new cancer drugs, to help screen the best drugs directed against such targets and to help identify which cancer patients are most likely to benefit from treatment with such drugs. For these reasons, cancer models which most accurately recreate the attributes of cancer in patients are important to increase the likelihood of successfully developing new safe and effective cancer drugs.

For the past several decades the standard models used by cancer researchers have been xenograft models. A xenograft model is created by adapting cells from a human tumor to grow in a petri dish. These cells are then injected under the skin of a mouse, where they grow into a tumor. Researchers can then test drugs to see if they can inhibit growth of the resulting tumors without causing unacceptable side effects.

This approach has several limitations. First, the process of adapting the human tumor cells to grow in a petri dish results in further unintended changes to the tumor cells that cause them to change in ways that do not reflect the original tumor from which they came. Second, because of the differences between human cells and mouse cells, the human cells are not able to interact in a natural way with the cells in the surrounding tissues. Finally, because there are relatively few of these xenografts models for each human tumor type, it is difficult to understand the reasons why some of these models respond to certain drugs and others do not.

Xenograft models are often poor predictors of the success of cancer drugs in human clinical trials and there is a substantial need in oncology for preclinical models that better replicate human cancer. For example, as reported in a 2006 article by K. Garber in Journal of National Cancer Institute, only 3.8% of patients in phase 1 clinical cancer drug trials show a significant clinical response, whereas most of these drugs have been shown to work in xenograft models in mice.

Our Human Response Platform

We were founded with the goal of developing a fundamentally new kind of cancer model designed to overcome many of the limitations of traditional xenografts models, and thereby improve the probability of success in developing new cancer drugs. We utilize these novel models to identify and validate target genes which drive tumor growth, to identify drugs which can block the function of these targets, and to identify patients who are most likely to respond favorably to treatment with such drugs. We have used these models to advance drugs in our pipeline and in collaboration with our strategic partners such as Merck, OSI, Schering-Plough (now Merck) and Biogen Idec. Our cancer models, together with the various techniques we have developed to use these models to aid in the discovery and development of new cancer drugs, are collectively referred to as our Human Response Platform. Key components of our Human Response Platform are covered by issued patents or pending patent applications.

Our Novel Approach to Modeling Human Cancer

We begin the development of our genetically-engineered tumor models by introducing a human oncogene into mouse stem cells in which we have inactivated the function of a tumor suppressor gene. As in human cancer, these are the two key elements which are necessary to begin the process of a cell becoming cancerous. The

 

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oncogene is introduced in a manner which allows us to control its expression—we can direct in which tissue it will be expressed (e.g., breast or lung or colon), and we can turn it on by adding a simple non-toxic chemical to the animal’s drinking water. We refer to this genetic engineering process as the inducible oncogene approach, as it allows the researcher to control whether or when to induce, or turn on, the oncogene.

Originally, we used this inducible oncogene approach in germ line transgenic mice, which we licensed from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute when we were founded, in which the oncogene is expressed in all of the cells of the animal. However, recognizing that in naturally occurring human tumors oncogenes are only activated in a subset of the cells of the body, we subsequently developed an alternate method which are called chimeric mice, in which the oncogene is only activated in a subset of the cells of the animal. This makes it a more realistic model than a germ line transgenic model in which the entire animal is made up of genetically modified cells.

In our patented method of making chimeric mouse models, the key starting mutations that will allow them to develop into cancerous cells are introduced directly into the stem cells. Then, we inject the stem cells into 3-day old mouse embryos, alongside normal cells, and implant the embryos into mice. When the mice are born, we “turn on” the expression of the oncogene. Animals do not develop tumors right away, but expression of the oncogene begins a process whereby the engineered cells begin to accumulate additional genetic alterations randomly over a period of months. Eventually, most animals develop tumors in the tissue where we have directed the oncogene to be expressed. Importantly, although the initial driving oncogene is the same in every tumor, the additional mutations which accumulate are different from animal to animal, just as would be the case in a human population.

LOGO

The power and versatility of our mouse model platform is greatly enhanced by our patented method of making chimeric mouse models. Prior to our invention of this patented method, every time a different chimeric model was desired, a germ line transgenic mouse containing all the desired genetic modifications had to be produced by a lengthy process that included at least one, and often several, rounds of breeding, in order to obtain the embryonic stem cells necessary to make the desired chimeric model. For a biopharmaceutical company frequently needing to produce new chimeric models containing different mutations, producing each new chimeric model through the conventional breeding process would be prohibitively time-consuming. We addressed this problem by greatly improving the speed of chimeric model production. In our patented method, it is no longer necessary to do mouse breeding every time a new chimeric model is produced. Instead, all the desired genetic

 

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modifications are assembled directly in an individual mouse embryonic stem cell, which is then injected into a mouse embryo. This reduces the time required to produce each new chimeric mouse model by as much as one year. We believe that this ability to produce new chimeric models in a commercially meaningful time frame is an important advance in the state of the art.

In addition to this patented method of making new tumor models, we have also developed a model of human breast cancer in which we have applied many of these same features to genetically modified human breast tissue. This Human-in-Mouse model is created by first isolating normal human breast tissue from surgical specimens, genetically modifying it to express oncogenes and then introducing the modified tissue into specially-engineered mice. The modified breast tissue first grows into normal breast tissue, but then rapidly develops into human breast tumors while growing in the mouse breast tissue. To our knowledge this is the first and only preclinical model in which normal human breast tissue has been engineered to develop into spontaneous breast tumors in a mouse.

Advantages of Our Cancer Models

We believe that our novel cancer models have a number of unique advantages over traditional xenografts and other methods of developing cancer models used in many academic settings. First, because the tumors grow naturally in the animals, the normal interactions between tumors and the tissues around them, including blood vessels, are preserved. This is not the case in traditional xenografts, where human tumor cells are implanted into mice, and certain of the important cellular signals sent by the growing human tumor may not be recognized by the surrounding mouse cells. Second, as is the case in human cancer, the cancer cells grow alongside normal cells, whereas in many other cancer models, all of the cells of the animal contain the cancer-causing mutations. Third, because of the switch that we introduce into our models, we can turn on the cancer-causing mutations after the animals are born, replicating what is seen in many human cancers. In many other models, these mutations are on before the animals are born, and interfere with their normal embryonic development. Finally, because tumors in our model develop spontaneously after introduction of the initial cancer causing mutations, we can develop populations of tumors that exhibit differences in genetic backgrounds, again much more akin to what is seen in a population of human tumors.

Use of Our Models in Target Discovery and Validation

In a proprietary method called the MaSS screen, we turn off the inducible oncogene driving the growth of the tumors in our models. We then activate other genes in the tumor cells to see if the tumor cells grow with the driving oncogene turned off. This allows us to screen for genes capable of replacing the function of a known oncogene. Such genes are potential new targets for anti-cancer drugs. The MaSS screen technique is protected by issued patents exclusively licensed to us by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

We have conducted MaSS screens in multiple tumor models we developed in different tumor types with different genetic backgrounds. These screens identified many genes important in tumor formation. The most common pathway identified in our screens has been the HGF/c-Met pathway, and this observation triggered the initiation of our program to develop antibodies against HGF (our AV-299 program). Numerous other pathways have also been identified in our screens, including ErbB3, Notch and FGF, all of which are now the basis of certain of our ongoing antibody discovery programs.

The data from all of the screens performed to date are routinely re-evaluated and compared with data coming from other sources, such as mutations identified in the human Cancer Genome Sequencing project. Many target genes originally identified in the screen are poorly understood—these targets become more interesting as targets as new data about their function becomes available. This now very large data set provided the basis of our target discovery strategic partnerships with both Merck and OSI. In the case of OSI, scientists from our company and OSI have reevaluated our target data base with a goal of finding novel targets possibly involved in the transition of a tumor cell to a more aggressive phase, where the original epithelial tumor cell becomes more mesenchymal like—more invasive and able to survive passage through the blood stream—the so-called epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

 

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Use of Our Models in Drug Discovery

One of the significant challenges in drug discovery can often be identifying preclinical models that are driven by a particular target of interest. Human xenografts, for example, may be driven by multiple targets, and have many other limitations. For this reason, developing tumor models that are known to be driven by a particular target can be an important drug discovery tool for identifying the most potent drug candidates against that target.

Because the driving oncogene in our models can be turned on and off, we can turn off the oncogene and replace it with other genes of interest. For example, in the cells of a breast tumor that was originally driven by Her2, we can turn off the Her2 gene, and replace it with EGFR, another important oncogene. When we do so, the tumors that arise from those cells are no longer sensitive to drugs that inhibit Her2, but are sensitive to drugs that inhibit EGFR. These tumors provide an excellent system for studying the relative ability of different EGFR inhibitors, either antibodies or small molecules, to affect tumor growth driven by EGFR. This is a powerful preclinical model for ranking the efficacy of different compounds and an example of our patented directed complementation technique. Frequently, similar systems are not available for new targets or newly discovered mutated forms of existing targets, and, accordingly, this technology provides a convenient way of rapidly generating new drug testing systems. We have used this approach to support our antibody drug discovery and development programs.

Use of Our Models in Biomarker Identification

Because each of the tumors that develops in our models accumulates random genetic mutations independently, populations of tumors in our models exhibit a significant degree of genetic heterogeneity. Consequently, the tumors that develop in our models, like human tumor populations, typically exhibit variation in response to anti-cancer drugs. The tumors in our models have been studied extensively for genetic characteristics, providing an opportunity to correlate the genetic makeup, or genetic context, of each tumor with its relative sensitivity or resistance to a given anti-cancer drug. By understanding the genetic context of tumors that respond to particular drugs, we hope to identify genetic markers, or biomarkers, that can be measured in patients prior to treatment to select or predict which tumors, tumor subtype, or patient subsets are most likely to respond to a given anti-cancer drug. We are using this approach to identify potential biomarkers for our pipeline drugs and it will be important to demonstrate that the biomarkers we identify translate into clinical benefit in humans. We are also using this approach to assist our strategic partners, such as Merck and OSI, in the development of drugs in their pipelines.

In our tivozanib program, we have used our Human Response Platform to identify candidate biomarkers that are expected to help to predict responsiveness to tivozanib therapy. Because most traditional xenograft models are highly sensitive to VEGF pathway inhibitors (in fact, more sensitive than human tumors in patients), such models are not useful for identifying biomarkers. In contrast, because we are able to identify both responsive and resistant tumors in our models and compare the genetic makeup of the tumors, our Human Response Platform is very useful for identifying candidate biomarkers. We have an issued United States patent on a biomarker test for identifying patients likely to be sensitive or resistant to treatment with tivozanib. We also have a pending United States patent application to a second tivozanib response biomarker test. We intend to use these candidate biomarker tests in clinical trials of tivozanib.

Similar efforts to identify candidate biomarkers for our other development programs are also underway. For instance, in June 2009, we were granted a U.S. patent on a method of identifying cancer tissue likely to be sensitive or resistant to treatment with an inhibitor of Notch activation.

Competition

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are highly competitive. There are many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, public and private universities, and research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our products. A number of multinational pharmaceutical companies, as well as large biotechnology companies, including Roche

 

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Laboratories, Inc., or Roche, Pfizer Inc., or Pfizer, Bayer HealthCare AG, or Bayer, and GlaxoSmithKline plc, or GSK, are pursuing the development or are currently marketing pharmaceuticals that target VEGF, HGF and ErbB3, or other oncology pathways on which we are focusing. It is probable that the number of companies seeking to develop products and therapies for the treatment of unmet needs in oncology will increase.

Many of our competitors, either alone or with their strategic partners, have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and significantly greater experience in the discovery and development of product candidates, obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals of products and the commercialization of those products. Accordingly, our competitors may be more successful than we may be in obtaining approval for drugs and achieving widespread market acceptance. Our competitors’ drugs may be more effective, or more effectively marketed and sold, than any drug we may commercialize and may render our product candidates obsolete or non-competitive before we can recover the expenses of developing and commercializing any of our product candidates. We anticipate that we will face intense and increasing competition as new drugs enter the market and advanced technologies become available.

Tivozanib Competition

Angiogenesis inhibitors represent a rapidly growing drug category in oncology with 2008 sales in excess of $6.0 billion worldwide, based on 2008 annual reports made publicly available by companies marketing such drugs. There are currently four FDA-approved drugs in oncology which target the angiogenesis pathway. Avastin (Roche) is an infused monoclonal antibody approved in combination with other anti-cancer agents for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, Her2-negative metastatic breast cancer, and advanced RCC. It is also approved as a monotherapy for the treatment of glioblastoma in patients with progressive disease following prior therapy. There are three FDA-approved oral small molecule VEGF receptor inhibitors, Nexavar, marketed by Bayer and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sutent, marketed by Pfizer and Votrient, marketed by GSK, that are non-specific and target other receptors more potently than the VEGF receptors. Nexavar is approved as a monotherapy for advanced RCC and unresectable hepatocellular cancer; Sutent is approved as a monotherapy for advanced RCC and for gastrointestinal stromal tumors; Votrient is approved as a monotherapy for advanced RCC. Other recently approved agents for the treatment of RCC are Torisel, marketed by Pfizer and Afinitor, marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, both of which inhibit mTOR.

We are aware of a number of companies that have ongoing programs to develop both small molecules and biologics to target the VEGF pathway. We believe the only other VEGF pathway inhibitor in late stage development in RCC is Pfizer’s AG013736 (axitinib), which is currently in a phase 3 clinical trial for the second-line treatment of advanced RCC. Other VEGF pathway inhibitors in late stage development in other cancer types include Amgen Inc.’s and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited’s AMG706 (motesanib), AstraZeneca plc’s AZD2171 (Recentin, cediranib) and AZD6474 (Zactima, vandetanib), Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH’s BIBF-1120, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company’s BMS-582664 (brivanib alaninate), Exelixis Inc.’s and BMS’ XL-184 (BMS-907351), ImClone LLC’s IMC-1121b, Onco Therapy Science Inc.’s OTS-102 and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s and Sanofi-Aventis US LLC’s aflibercept.

We believe tivozanib potentially offers several important advantages over the other VEGF pathway inhibitors on the market and in development, including stronger potency, which could lead to better efficacy, and higher selectivity to the VEGF receptors, which could lead to fewer off-target toxicities. Taken together, we believe that these properties may also create the opportunity for a full-dose combination of tivozanib and various chemotherapies and targeted agents.

AV-299 Competition

We believe the products in development targeting HGF consist of Amgen’s AMG-102 (rilotumumab), currently in phase 2 clinical trials, and Takeda’s TAK-701 (HuL2G7, under license from Galaxy Biotech, LLC), currently in phase 1 clinical trials.

 

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Other clinical stage drugs which target the HGF/c-Met pathway include Roche’s MetMAb (5D5 Fab), ArQule, Inc.’s / Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.’s ARQ-197, MethylGene, Inc.’s MGCD-265, Exelixis’ and GSK’s XL-880 (foretinib), Pfizer’s PF-2341066 and Exelixis’ and BMS’ XL-184.

AV-203 Program Competition

We believe the most direct competitors to our AV-203 program are monoclonal antibodies which specifically target the ErbB3 receptor, including Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s and Sanofi-Aventis’ MM-121 and Daiichi Sankyo’s and Amgen’s U3-1287 / AMG-888, both of which are in phase 1 clinical development. Other clinical-stage competitors include PharmaMar’s elisidepsin and Merrimack’s MM-111.

Strategic Partnerships

We have entered into multiple strategic partnerships in which we have granted rights to certain aspects of our Human Response Platform and antibody products. These agreements provide us with a source of cash flow in the form of upfront payments, equity investments, research and development funding, payments upon achievement of specified milestones, and potential royalties from product sales.

To date, we have entered into the following strategic partnerships where we have acquired rights to products, granted rights to our product candidates, or have utilized, or granted rights to certain elements of, our Human Response Platform:

 

Strategic Partner   Initial Date of
Agreement
 

Subject Matter

 

Payments

Received as of
December 31, 2009(1)

Kyowa Hakko Kirin   December 2006   Tivozanib(2)   N/A
OSI Pharmaceuticals   September 2007   Target and Biomarker Identification   $44.0 million
Biogen Idec   March 2009   AV-203   $50.0 million(3)
Schering-Plough

(now Merck)

  March 2007   AV-299   $45.9 million
Merck   November 2003   Target Identification   $22.3 million
Merck   August 2005  

Biomarker Identification

  $6.5 million

 

(1)

Includes upfront payments, equity investments, research and development funding and milestone payments.

 

(2)

We in-licensed the rights to our lead product candidate, tivozanib, in all territories of the world, except for Asia.

 

(3)

Includes an equity investment made prior to the initial date of the agreement.

Kyowa Hakko Kirin

In December 2006, we entered into a license agreement with Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. (now Kyowa Hakko Kirin) under which we obtained an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize tivozanib (f/k/a KRN951), pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers. In this description, our references to tivozanib include pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers. Our exclusive license covers all territories in the world, except for Asia. The territory in which we are licensed is referred to as our territory. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has retained rights to tivozanib in Asia, including the People’s Republic of China, India and Japan. Under the license agreement, we obtained exclusive rights in our territory under certain Kyowa Hakko Kirin patents, patent applications and know-how related to tivozanib, to research, develop, make, have made, use, import, offer for sale, and sell tivozanib for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any and all human diseases and conditions. We have the right to grant sublicenses under the foregoing licensed rights, subject to certain restrictions. In addition, we may, but are not obligated to, apply our

 

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Human Response Platform to identify optimal chemotherapy combinations, as well as additional patient populations likely to respond to tivozanib monotherapy and combination therapy. We and Kyowa Hakko Kirin each have access to and can benefit from the other party’s clinical data and regulatory filings with respect to tivozanib and biomarkers identified in the conduct of activities under the license agreement.

Under the license agreement, we are obligated to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize tivozanib in our territory, including meeting certain specified diligence goals. We also must obtain Kyowa Hakko Kirin’s consent if we intend to change the initial indication for which we seek marketing approval for tivozanib to an indication other than RCC. Prior to the first anniversary of the first post-marketing approval sale of tivozanib in our territory, neither we nor any of our subsidiaries has the right to clinically develop, seek marketing approval for or commercialize any other product that also works by inhibiting the activity of the VEGF receptor.

Upon entering into the license agreement, we made a one-time cash payment in the amount of $5.0 million. In addition, we are required to make various milestone payments which could total, in the aggregate, $60.0 million, including a milestone payment in connection with the TIVO-1 study (or initiation of the first phase 3 clinical trial for tivozanib designed to support an application for marketing approval) and certain other milestone payments upon the achievement of specified regulatory milestones. We are also required to pay tiered royalty payments on net sales we make of tivozanib in our territory, which range from the low to mid teens as a percentage of net sales. The royalty rate escalates within this range based on increasing tivozanib sales. Our royalty payment obligations in a particular country in our territory begin on the date of the first commercial sale of tivozanib in that country, and end on the later of 12 years after the date of first commercial sale of tivozanib in that country or the date of the last to expire of the patents covering tivozanib that have been issued in that country. In the event we sublicense the rights licensed to us under the license agreement, we are required to pay Kyowa Hakko Kirin a specified percentage of any amounts we receive from any third party sublicensees, other than amounts we receive in respect of research and development funding or equity investments, subject to certain limitations.

The license agreement will remain in effect until the expiration of all of our royalty and sublicense revenue obligations to Kyowa Hakko Kirin, determined on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, unless we elect to terminate the license agreement earlier. If we fail to meet our obligations under the agreement and are unable to cure such failure within specified time periods, Kyowa Hakko Kirin can terminate the agreement, resulting in a loss of our rights to tivozanib and an obligation to assign or license to Kyowa Hakko Kirin any intellectual property or other rights we may have in tivozanib, including our regulatory filings, regulatory approvals, patents and trademarks for tivozanib.

OSI Pharmaceuticals

In September 2007, we entered into a collaboration and license agreement with OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or OSI, which provides for the use of our proprietary in vivo models by our scientists at our facilities, use of our bioinformatics tools and other target validation and biomarker research to further develop and advance OSI’s small molecule drug discovery and translational research related to cancer and other diseases. Our strategic partnership with OSI is primarily focused on the identification and validation of genes and targets involved in the processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or EMT, or mesenchymal-epithelial transition, or MET, in cancer. EMT/MET processes are of emerging significance in tumor development and disease progression. We are currently working with OSI on the development of proprietary target-driven tumor models for use in target validation, drug screening and biomarker identification to support OSI’s drug discovery and development activities. The research program portion of our strategic partnership began in October 2007 and will expire at the end of June 2011 unless the agreement is terminated earlier by either party. Key elements of our strategic partnership with OSI include:

 

   

identifying and validating a pre-agreed number of oncology targets for drug discovery, development and commercialization by OSI;

 

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generating target-driven in vivo mouse tumor models for use in drug screening and biomarker validation to support OSI’s drug discovery and translational research activities; and

 

   

applying our Human Response Platform to identify genetic profiles that correlate with drug response to compounds in certain of OSI’s small molecule drug discovery programs.

We are required to devote, and OSI is required to fund, a mutually agreed minimum number of individuals to the research program each year.

Under the terms of our agreement, OSI may, but has no obligation to, elect to obtain exclusive rights, with the right to grant sublicenses, under certain aspects of our intellectual property, to research, develop, make, sell and import drug products and associated diagnostics directed to a specified number of targets identified and/or validated under the agreement. OSI has sole responsibility and is required to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize drugs and associated diagnostics directed to the targets to which it has obtained rights.

In connection with the July 2009 expansion of our strategic partnership with OSI, we granted OSI a non-exclusive license to access our proprietary bioinformatics platform, and non-exclusive perpetual licenses to use bioinformatics data and to use a proprietary gene index related to a specific target pathway. Further, as part of our expanded strategic partnership, we granted OSI an option to receive non-exclusive perpetual rights to certain elements of our Human Response Platform and our bioinformatics platform, including the right to obtain certain of our tumor models and tumor archives. If OSI elects to exercise this additional option and we transfer the relevant technology to OSI, OSI will be required to pay us license expansion fees equal to, in the aggregate, $25 million.

During the remainder of the research program, which will expire in June 2011, neither we nor our affiliates has the right to conduct validation or biomarker research with respect to certain pre-agreed targets that are being, or may be, pursued under our strategic partnership, or to grant any such rights to any third party. Further, during the remainder of the research program, we cannot grant any third party rights to intellectual property used in creating the tumor models and archives to which we granted OSI an option, except that we may grant rights in this intellectual property and these archives to our affiliates and to third parties in connection with the partnering of our existing drug discovery and development programs. We also retain the right to use this intellectual property and these archives for our internal research purposes, including internal use for the benefit of our existing and future third party strategic partners.

Upon entering into the initial collaboration and license agreement with OSI in September 2007, we received a one-time cash payment of $7.5 million and an equity investment in the amount of $5.5 million. In July 2009, in connection with the expanded rights we granted to OSI, we received a one-time cash payment of $5.0 million and an equity investment in the amount of $15.0 million. As of December 31, 2009, we have received approximately $8.2 million in research and development funding under the agreement, and we will continue to receive research funding to support all individuals we devote to the strategic partnership until expiration of the research program. To date, we have received milestone payments under the agreement in the amount of $2.8 million. If all applicable milestones are achieved, payments for the successful achievement of discovery, development and commercialization milestones under the agreement could total, in the aggregate, over $94.0 million for each target and its associated products. In addition, OSI is required to make payments to us upon our completion of additional deliverables under the research plan. Upon commercialization of products under the agreement, we are eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on sales of products by OSI, its affiliates and sublicensees. OSI’s royalty obligations to us in a particular country begin on the date of first commercial sale of the product in that country, and end on the latest to occur of: (i) 10 years after the first commercial sale of the product, (ii) expiration of regulatory exclusivity applicable to the product (if any) and (iii) the date of expiration of the last to expire issued patent covering the product in the applicable country.

At the conclusion of the research program, we will retain rights to any targets that were included in the strategic partnership but were not selected by OSI. We have also obtained exclusive rights to certain intellectual property developed by OSI under our strategic partnership to develop and commercialize small molecule products and associated diagnostics with respect to the targets that were returned to us, and to develop and

 

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commercialize antibody products against any target, other than the targets OSI selected for the development of antibody products. In connection with the licenses granted to us from OSI, we are required to make a one-time milestone payment upon regulatory approval and to pay a royalty on sales of each product where the regulatory approval of the product includes a claim in the product label for a targeted patient population and such claim in the product label is covered by patent rights developed under our strategic partnership.

The collaboration and license agreement will remain in effect until the expiration of both OSI’s royalty obligations to us, and our royalty obligations to OSI, in each case determined on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis. OSI has the right to terminate the agreement with respect to any or all collaboration targets and all associated products. Either party has the right to terminate the agreement in connection with a material breach of the agreement by the other party that remains uncured for a specified cure period. If OSI elects to terminate the agreement due to our material breach, we will lose our rights to certain intellectual property developed under the strategic partnership, and OSI will have the right to reduce its milestone and royalty obligations to us by the amount of monetary damages suffered by OSI as a direct result of our material breach. If OSI elects to terminate the agreement with respect to one or more collaboration targets and all associated products, OSI’s licenses to such targets and products will terminate and revert to us, or if we elect to terminate the agreement due to OSI’s material breach of the agreement, OSI’s licenses to all targets and products will terminate and revert to us, in either case subject to our continued milestone and royalty payment obligations to OSI, which we will have the right to reduce by the amount of monetary damages we suffer as a direct result of OSI’s breach. In addition, if OSI elects to terminate the agreement with respect to one or more collaboration targets and associated products, for a specified time period after such termination OSI and its affiliates may not, nor may they grant third parties the right to, conduct research or development activities with respect to the terminated collaboration target(s).

Biogen Idec

In March 2009, we entered into an exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec International GmbH, a subsidiary of Biogen Idec Inc., which are collectively referred to herein as Biogen Idec, regarding the development and commercialization of our discovery-stage ErbB3-targeted antibodies for the potential treatment and diagnosis of cancer and other diseases outside of the United States, Canada and Mexico. Under the agreement, we are responsible for developing ErbB3 antibodies through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial designed in a manner that, if successful, will generate data sufficient to support advancement to a phase 3 clinical trial. Within a specified time period after we complete the phase 2 clinical trial and deliver to Biogen Idec a detailed data package containing the results of the trial, Biogen Idec may elect to obtain (1) a co-exclusive (with us), worldwide license, including the right to grant sublicenses, under our relevant intellectual property to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products, and (2) an exclusive license, including the right to grant sublicenses, under our relevant intellectual property, to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in all countries in the world other than the United States, Canada and Mexico. We retain the exclusive right to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In this description, the countries in the world other than the United States, Canada and Mexico are referred to as Biogen Idec’s territory, and the United States, Canada and Mexico are referred to as our territory. If Biogen Idec exercises its exclusive option to ErbB3 antibody products, Biogen Idec will grant us (a) co-exclusive (with Biogen Idec), worldwide license under Biogen Idec’s relevant intellectual property, to develop and manufacture ErbB3 antibody products anywhere in the world, and (b) an exclusive license under Biogen Idec’s relevant intellectual property, to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Until completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial, we are solely responsible for the research, development and manufacture of ErbB3 antibody(ies) pursuant to a written work plan meeting specific pre-agreed guidelines. We will share the written work plan with Biogen Idec for its review and comment, and we are required to use commercially reasonable efforts to perform the activities set forth in the work plan. We are solely responsible for all expenses incurred through completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial. If Biogen Idec exercises its option to obtain exclusive commercialization rights to ErbB3 products in its territory, we will then be solely responsible, subject to a mutually agreed development plan, budget and the oversight of a joint development committee, for

 

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the global development of ErbB3 antibody products, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for ErbB3 antibody product development activities that relate solely to the Biogen Idec territory. Further, neither party has the right to conduct development activities in its respective territory if those development activities would materially and adversely affect the development of ErbB3 antibody products in the other party’s territory. We and Biogen Idec will share global development costs (including manufacturing costs to support development) for ErbB3 antibody products equally, except that Biogen Idec will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for its territory, and we will be solely responsible for all development costs associated solely with the development of ErbB3 antibody products for the United States, Canada and Mexico. If either party wishes to develop a new ErbB3 antibody product under the agreement, and the other party does not also wish to develop that product, the party that desires to conduct development activities regarding the new ErbB3 antibody product has the right to independently, and at its sole cost, develop and manufacture the new ErbB3 antibody product for commercialization solely in its territory.

We are solely responsible for, and obligated to use commercially reasonable efforts to, manufacture and supply clinical and commercial quantities of ErbB3 antibody products for the Biogen Idec territory and for the United States, Canada and Mexico. If we determine to retain a third party to manufacture and supply ErbB3 antibody products for phase 3 clinical trials and/or for commercialization in the United States, Canada and Mexico or the Biogen Idec territory, then we must first notify Biogen Idec thereof, and, subject to certain limitations, Biogen Idec may elect to become the sole supplier of ErbB3 antibody product for phase 3 clinical trials and for worldwide commercialization.

Pursuant to the agreement, commercialization efforts will be discussed and coordinated at meetings of the joint commercialization committee, comprised of our and Biogen Idec’s representatives. We have the sole right, at our sole expense (including manufacturing costs), to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and we are required to use commercially reasonable efforts to do so in countries in our territory where marketing approval has been obtained. Biogen Idec has the sole right, at its sole expense (including manufacturing costs) to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in its territory, and is required to use commercially reasonable efforts to do so in countries in its territory where marketing approval has been obtained.

We have agreed that, prior to Biogen Idec’s exercise of its exclusive option, or until the expiration of Biogen Idec’s option right, we and our affiliates will not grant any third party rights to develop ErbB3 antibodies in our territory or in the Biogen Idec territory. We have also agreed that, during the term of the agreement, we will not grant any third party rights to develop or commercialize ErbB3 antibody products if such third party is independently developing or commercializing its own product containing an ErbB3 antibody. Prior to entering into discussions with, or granting a license or sublicense to, any third party with respect to the commercialization of ErbB3 antibody products, we are required to negotiate in good faith with Biogen Idec for a limited time period with respect to granting such rights to Biogen Idec. We have also agreed that, except pursuant to our agreement with Biogen Idec, during the term of the agreement, neither we nor our affiliates, alone or with or on behalf of any third party, will develop, manufacture or commercialize any ErbB3 antibody for therapeutic or diagnostic use in humans, or grant rights to any third party to do any of the foregoing.

Upon entering into the exclusive option and license agreement with Biogen Idec, we received a one-time cash payment in the amount of $5.0 million and an equity investment in the amount of $30.0 million. In June 2009, we received a $5.0 million milestone payment for achievement of the first pre-clinical discovery milestone under the agreement. We could also receive (i) additional near-term pre-clinical discovery and development milestone payments of $10.0 million in the aggregate, and (ii) if Biogen Idec exercises its option to obtain exclusive rights to commercialize ErbB3 antibody products in its territory, an option exercise fee and regulatory milestone payments of $50.0 million in the aggregate. If Biogen Idec exercises its exclusive option, Biogen Idec will pay us royalties on its sales of ErbB3 antibody products in the Biogen Idec territory, and we will pay Biogen Idec royalties on our sales of ErbB3 antibody products in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Biogen Idec’s royalty obligations to us, and our royalty obligations to Biogen Idec, determined on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, commence on the first commercial sale of the ErbB3 antibody product in the applicable country, and expire on the later of the date of expiration of (1) the last applicable patent covering the

 

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ErbB3 antibody product in the applicable country, and (2) any regulatory exclusivity applicable to the ErbB3 antibody product in that country.

If Biogen Idec fails to exercise its exclusive option to co-develop and commercialize ErbB3 antibody products, then the agreement will terminate on the date Biogen Idec’s option right expires, and we will retain all of our rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize our ErbB3 antibody products. If Biogen Idec exercises its exclusive option to co-develop and commercialize ErbB3 antibody products, then, unless earlier terminated, the agreement will remain in effect until the last to expire of all royalty obligations under the agreement, or, if later, upon completion of any development activities that were pending before the expiration of all royalty obligations under the agreement.

Biogen Idec may terminate the agreement for convenience with respect to any product(s), by providing us with three months’ prior written notice. Either party may terminate the agreement due to a material breach of the agreement by other party that is not cured within a short period.

If Biogen Idec terminates the agreement for convenience, or if we terminate the agreement due to a material breach of the agreement by Biogen Idec, in each case prior to Biogen Idec’s exercise of its exclusive option (and prior to the expiration of the option exercise period), then Biogen Idec’s exclusive option will terminate.

If Biogen Idec terminates the agreement for convenience, or if we terminate the agreement due to a material breach of the agreement by Biogen Idec, in each case with respect to one or more ErbB3 antibody products after Biogen Idec’s exercise of its exclusive option, then at our election, (1) Biogen Idec will lose all rights to the terminated product(s), (2) we will have the worldwide right to develop, manufacture and commercialize the terminated product(s), subject to milestone and royalty obligations to Biogen Idec in our territory and in the Biogen Idec territory, and (3) Biogen Idec will be required to transfer to us all regulatory approvals, data, promotional materials and other documents, materials and information reasonably necessary to enable us to develop, manufacture and commercialize the terminated products in the Biogen Idec territory. Further, in the case of termination by Biogen Idec for convenience, Biogen Idec will be required to continue to pay its share of all development costs with respect to the terminated product for a specified period after the effective date of termination.

If Biogen Idec terminates the agreement due to our material breach of the agreement, at Biogen Idec’s election (1) if not yet exercised, Biogen Idec will be deemed to have exercised its exclusive option and will not be required to pay us the option exercise fee, (2) Biogen Idec will have no further milestone payment obligations to us, (3) we will lose all rights to the terminated product(s), (4) Biogen Idec will have the worldwide right to develop, manufacture and commercialize the terminated product(s), subject to royalty obligations to us based on worldwide net sales, and (5) we will be required to transfer to Biogen Idec all regulatory approvals, data, promotional materials and other documents, materials and information reasonably necessary to enable Biogen Idec to develop, manufacture and commercialize the terminated products in the Biogen Idec’s territory.

If all of our assets are acquired by, or we merge with, another entity, and the other entity is independently developing or commercializing a product containing an ErbB3 antibody and fails to divest the ErbB3 product within a specified time period, Biogen Idec will have the option to either terminate the agreement or maintain the agreement. If Biogen Idec elects to terminate the agreement, then each party will have the right to develop, manufacture and commercialize ErbB3 antibody products for its respective territory, subject to reduced royalty obligations to the other party, and Biogen Idec’s activities will not be subject to the oversight of the joint committee. If Biogen Idec elects to maintain the agreement, Biogen Idec will have the right to assume the key development, manufacturing, budgeting and governance rights, responsibilities, and obligations under the agreement that had previously been our rights and obligations.

Schering-Plough (now Merck)

In March 2007, we entered into an agreement (which became effective in April 2007) with Schering-Plough (now Merck), through its subsidiary Schering Corporation, acting through its Schering-Plough Research Institute division, under which we granted Merck worldwide, exclusive rights to develop and commercialize all of our

 

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monoclonal antibody antagonists of hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF, including AV-299, for therapeutic and prophylactic use in humans and for veterinary use. We also granted Merck an exclusive, worldwide license to related biomarkers for diagnostic use. Merck has the right to grant sublicenses under the foregoing licensed rights. We have primary responsibility for certain U.S.-related development activities through completion of the first phase 2 proof-of-concept trial for AV-299 designed to demonstrate achievement of a primary efficacy endpoint in humans as established by the parties. Merck will be responsible for clinical development of AV-299 after completion of such proof-of-concept trial. We are currently leading the clinical development of AV-299, which includes the conduct of multiple phase 1 trials and preparation for a phase 2 clinical trial, and we are using our Human Response Platform to conduct translational research to guide the clinical development of AV-299. Merck is responsible for all costs related to the clinical development of AV-299 and clinical and commercial manufacturing, subject to an agreed-upon budget.

Merck is solely responsible for all commercialization activities and expenses, subject to our right to elect to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval in the United States. If the first oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval is not a large market oncology indication, defined as first or second-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer or prostate cancer, then we will also have the right to co-promote AV-299 in the United States for the first large market oncology indication for which Merck files for marketing approval. Until the date that is two years after completion of the first phase 2 clinical trial for AV-299 designed to demonstrate achievement of a primary efficacy endpoint in humans, as established by the parties, neither we nor Merck has the right, alone, or in collaboration with or by granting rights to any other party, to research, develop, manufacture or commercialize another product that binds to HGF and directly inhibits or modulates the activity of HGF.

Upon entering into the license agreement with Merck, we received a one-time cash payment in the amount of $7.5 million and an equity investment in the amount of $10.0 million. As of December 31, 2009, we have received approximately $22.6 million in research and development funding under the agreement. Milestone payments for the successful development and commercialization of AV-299, if all approvals in multiple indications and all sales milestones are achieved, could total, in the aggregate, $464.0 million. Upon commercialization, we are eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on Merck’s net sales of AV-299, which range from low double digits to high teens as a percentage of net sales. Merck’s royalty obligations in a particular country begin on the date of first commercial sale of a product in that country, and end on the later of 10 years after the date of first commercial sale of the product in that country or the date of the last to expire of the issued patents covering the product in that country. The agreement will remain in effect until the expiration of all of Merck’s royalty obligations to us, determined on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis. Merck has the right to terminate the agreement at will upon 90 days written notice to us. Either party has the right to terminate the agreement in connection with an insolvency event or a material breach of the agreement by the other party that remains uncured for a specified cure period. In the event that Merck terminates the agreement at will, or if we terminate the agreement due to Merck’s material breach of the agreement or bankruptcy, worldwide rights to the development, manufacture, and commercialization of AV-299 revert back to us. If rights to AV-299 are returned to us as a result of a termination of the agreement, we will be required to make tiered royalty payments to Merck if the termination occurs after initiation of the first clinical trial for AV-299 having safety and efficacy endpoints that, if met, are sufficient to apply for regulatory approval.

Merck

Target Identification Collaboration

In November 2003, we entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Merck to discover and validate oncology targets. During the research program portion of the collaboration, which concluded in November 2006, we used our proprietary cancer models to identify and subsequently validate essential tumor maintenance genes suitable as targets for small molecule drug development. During the research program, Merck exercised its option with respect to, and we granted Merck an exclusive, worldwide license, with the right to

 

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grant sublicenses, to six molecular targets, and associated data, discovered and validated by us under the research collaboration, to develop, manufacture and commercialize small molecule products directed to such targets for therapeutic use. In conjunction with the exclusive license granted to Merck, we granted Merck non-exclusive licenses, with the right to grant sublicenses, to (1) develop, manufacture and commercialize products and compounds directed at certain targets for diagnostic use, and (2) develop, manufacture and use biological products (antibodies, proteins, polypeptides, etc.) directed at certain targets solely for the research or development of products for therapeutic and/or diagnostic use. We also granted Merck a non-exclusive right to use data generated during the collaboration, not related to the six collaboration targets exclusively licensed by Merck, solely for Merck’s and its affiliates’ internal research purposes. Except for the six collaboration targets selected by Merck, we retain all of our rights to targets that were explored under the research collaboration. Merck is solely responsible for drug discovery, clinical development and commercialization of the products directed to the six collaboration targets it selected.

Upon entering into the agreement with Merck, we received a $7.0 million cash up-front payment. Over the course of the three-year research program, we received approximately $6.0 million in research funding, and as of December 31, 2009, we have received milestone payments of approximately $300,000. The collaboration was expanded in April 2005, and as part of that expansion, we received a $5.0 million equity investment. We also received cash payments of $2.0 million in each of May 2005 and April 2006 in return for providing Merck with rights to advance a pre-agreed number of targets into high-throughput screening. In addition, if all development and regulatory milestones are reached with respect to each of the six targets, potential additional milestone payments could total, in the aggregate, $249.0 million. We are also eligible to receive tiered royalties from Merck based on the sales of products that are directed to or use the collaboration targets selected by Merck. Merck’s royalty obligations in a particular country begin on the date of first commercial sale of a product in that country, and end on the later of 10 years after the date of first commercial sale of the product in that country or the date of the last to expire of the issued patents covering the product in that country.

Our agreement with Merck will remain in effect for the length of Merck’s royalty obligation to us, determined on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis. Merck has the right to terminate the agreement at any time, in its sole discretion, upon 120 days’ prior written notice to us. Either party has the right to terminate the agreement in connection with a material breach of the agreement by the other party that remains uncured for a specified cure period. If Merck terminates the agreement at will, or if we terminate the agreement due to Merck’s material breach of the agreement, Merck’s licenses to develop, manufacture, and commercialize products directed to or using the collaboration targets will terminate, and we will be permitted to use the data generated under our collaboration to research, develop and commercialize products directed to such targets.

Biomarker Identification Collaboration

In August 2005, we entered into our second collaboration with Merck, a license and research collaboration agreement relating to the use of our Human Response Platform. The collaboration concluded in December 2007 and was focused on the identification of genetic profiles that correlate with drug response to certain cancer compounds then under development at Merck, in order to more effectively guide Merck’s clinical and market development of these compounds.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck obtained exclusive rights to all inventions and discoveries developed in the conduct of the collaborative research program that relate to Merck’s proprietary cancer compounds, including gene expression patterns that correlate with a response to Merck’s compounds. We and Merck jointly own the rights to all inventions and discoveries developed in the conduct of the collaborative research program that relate to control compounds (i.e. non-Merck compounds), including gene expression patterns that correlate with a response to the control compounds. Upon entering into the license and research collaboration agreement with Merck, we received a $2.0 million equity investment, and over the course of the collaborative research program we received approximately $4.5 million in research funding. If all development and regulatory milestones under the agreement are achieved, potential milestone payments could total, in the aggregate, $4.9 million.

 

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Either party may terminate the agreement in the event of an uncured material breach by, or a bankruptcy event of, the other party. If Merck terminates the agreement due to our material breach of the agreement, Merck’s payment obligations to us will also terminate. Merck may terminate the agreement at any time for convenience by providing us with at least 120 days’ prior written notice, however, Merck’s payment obligations to us will continue after such termination if the applicable milestone events are achieved. If the license and research collaboration agreement is not terminated as described above, the agreement will continue in effect until the expiration of all of Merck’s payment obligations to us under the agreement.

Patents and Proprietary Rights

General Intellectual Property Considerations

We have been building and will seek to continue to build a strong intellectual property portfolio. In this regard, we have focused on patents, patent applications and other intellectual property covering:

 

   

tivozanib and related technologies

 

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U.S. patents: 4 issued; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2017 to 2029

 

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European patents: 3 granted; none pending; expirations ranging from 2017 to 2022

 

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Canadian patents: none granted; 1 pending; expiration 2022

 

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Australian patents: 1 granted; none pending; expiration 2022

 

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International application: 1 pending; expiration 2029

 

   

our antibody product pipeline and related technologies

 

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U.S. patents: 3 issued; 3 pending; expirations ranging from 2027 to 2029

 

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European patents: none granted; 2 pending; expirations 2027

 

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International application: 2 pending; expiration 2029

 

   

various facets of our technology platform

 

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U.S. patents: 4 issued; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2020 to 2025

 

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European patents: 1 granted; 4 pending; expirations ranging from 2023 to 2026

 

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Australian patents: 2 granted; 2 pending; expirations ranging from 2023 to 2025

We strive for multi-tiered patent protection, where possible. For example, with respect to tivozanib, we have exclusively licensed patents that cover the molecule and its therapeutic use (patent expiration 2022, with the possibility of patent term extension to 2027 in the United States), a key step in manufacturing the molecule, and a crystal form of the molecule, i.e., a polymorph with low hygroscopicity used in the clinical formulation. Complementing these in-licensed patents relating to tivozanib, is our own issued U.S. patent that covers a biomarker test for identifying human patients likely to respond to treatment with tivozanib, a pending application on a different tivozanib response biomarker test, and a pending application on a method of using tivozanib in combination with temsirolimus.

We own issued U.S. patents containing composition-of-matter claims that cover our HGF antibodies. In addition, we own pending patent applications covering our HGF antibodies, our FGFR3 antibodies, and methods of making and using those antibodies. We are prepared to file patent applications on the other antibodies in our antibody product pipeline soon after the experimental data necessary for a strong application become available.

In addition to filing and prosecuting patent applications in the United States, we file counterpart patent applications in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia (and sometimes additional countries), in cases where we think such foreign filing is likely to be cost-effective.

 

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The term of individual patents depends upon the legal term of the patents in the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, the patent term is 20 years from the earliest date of filing a non-provisional patent application. In the United States, a patent’s term may be lengthened by patent term adjustment, which compensates a patentee for administrative delays by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in granting a patent, or may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over another patent.

The patent term of a patent that covers an FDA-approved drug may also be eligible for patent term extension, which permits patent term restoration as compensation for the patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, permits a patent term extension of up to five years beyond the expiration of the patent. The length of the patent term extension is related to the length of time the drug is under regulatory review. Patent extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval and only one patent applicable to an approved drug may be extended. Similar provisions are available in Europe and other foreign jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug. In the future, if and when our pharmaceutical products receive FDA approval, we expect to apply for patent term extensions on patents covering those products.

In addition, our patent portfolio contains a number of patents and patent applications relevant to our business. For example, we own a granted U.S. patent and pending foreign counterpart applications covering a method of making a chimeric mouse cancer model. We also own a granted U.S. patent and pending foreign counterpart patent applications covering a method of producing primary tumor material via directed complementation. We also own pending U.S. and foreign patent applications covering a mouse model that contains a human breast tumor. Furthermore, we own a granted U.S. patent and a pending international patent application covering a method of identifying cancer tissue likely to be sensitive or resistant to treatment with an inhibitor of Notch receptor activation. Besides having a portfolio of patents and pending patent applications owned by us covering our platform technology, we are exclusively licensed under Dana-Farber patents that cover germ line transgenic mouse models of cancer, and a method of using spontaneous inducible mouse tumor models to screen for, and identify, novel targets for new cancer drugs, which we refer to as our MaSS screen technology.

For some aspects of our proprietary technology, trade secret protection is more appropriate than patent protection. For example, our proprietary bioinformatics software tools and databases are protected as trade secrets. Our bioinformatics tools and databases give us the means to store, analyze, interpret and integrate the large volume of data generated from our various tumor models and from analysis of human clinical samples from clinical trials. We continually make incremental improvements in our proprietary software tools, as we tailor them to the changing needs of our research and development programs. In general, trade secret protection can accommodate this continuing evolution of our bioinformatics system better than other forms of intellectual property protection.

Many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and academic institutions are competing with us in the field of oncology and filing patent applications potentially relevant to our business. In order to contend with the inevitable possibility of third party intellectual property conflicts, we make freedom-to-operate studies an ongoing part of our business operations. With regard to tivozanib, we are aware of a third party United States patent, and corresponding foreign counterparts, that contain broad claims related to the use of an organic compound that, among other things, inhibits VEGF binding to one of the VEGF receptors. We are also aware of third party United States patents that contain broad claims related to the use of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in combination with a DNA damaging agent such as chemotherapy or radiation and we have received written notice from the owners of such patents indicating that they believe we may need a license from them in order to avoid infringing their patents. With regard to AV-299, we are aware of two separate families of United States patents, United States patent applications and foreign counterparts, with each of the two families being owned by a different third party, that contain broad claims related to anti-HGF antibodies having certain binding properties and their use. We are aware of a United States patent that contains claims related to a method of treating a tumor by administering an agent that blocks the ability of HGF to promote angiogenesis in the tumor. With regard to AV-203, we are aware of a third party United States patent that contains broad claims relating to anti-ErbB3 antibodies. Based on our analyses, if any of the above third party patents were asserted against us, we do not

 

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believe our proposed products or activities would be found to infringe any valid claim of these patents. If we were to challenge the validity of any issued United States patent in court, we would need to overcome a statutory presumption of validity that attaches to every United States patent. This means that in order to prevail, we would have to present clear and convincing evidence as to the invalidity of the patent’s claims. There is no assurance that a court would find in our favor on questions of infringement or validity.

From time to time, we find it necessary or prudent to obtain licenses from third party intellectual property holders. Where licenses are readily available at reasonable cost, such licenses are considered a normal cost of doing business. In other instances, however, we may use the results of freedom-to-operate studies to guide our early-stage research away from areas where we are likely to encounter obstacles in the form of third party intellectual property. For example, where a third party holds relevant intellectual property and is a direct competitor, a license might not be available on commercially reasonable terms or available at all. We strive to identify potential third party intellectual property issues in the early stages of research of our research programs, in order to minimize the cost and disruption of resolving such issues.

In spite of these efforts to avoid obstacles and disruptions arising from third party intellectual property, it is impossible to establish with certainty that our technology platform or our product programs will be free of claims by third party intellectual property holders. Even with modern databases and on-line search engines, literature searches are imperfect and may fail to identify relevant patents and published applications. Even when a third party patent is identified, we may conclude upon a thorough analysis, that we do not infringe the patent or that the patent is invalid. If the third party patent owner disagrees with our conclusion and we continue with the business activity in question, we might have patent litigation thrust upon us. Alternatively, we might decide to initiate litigation in an attempt to have a court declare the third party patent invalid or non-infringed by our activity. In either scenario, patent litigation typically is costly and time-consuming, and the outcome is uncertain. The outcome of patent litigation is subject to uncertainties that cannot be quantified in advance, for example, the credibility of expert witnesses who may disagree on technical interpretation of scientific data. Ultimately, in the case of an adverse outcome in litigation, we could be prevented from commercializing a product or using certain aspects of our technology platform as a result of patent infringement claims asserted against us. This could have a material adverse affect on our business.

To protect our competitive position, it may be necessary to enforce our patent rights through litigation against infringing third parties. Litigation to enforce our own patent rights is subject to the same uncertainties discussed above. In addition, however, litigation involving our patents carries the risk that one or more of our patents will be held invalid (in whole or in part, on a claim-by-claim basis) or held unenforceable. Such an adverse court ruling could allow third parties to commercialize our products or our platform technology, and then compete directly with us, without payment to us.

In-Licenses

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.    When forming the company in March 2002, we entered into a license agreement with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, or DFCI. Under the agreement, we have: exclusive, worldwide rights under certain DFCI patents and patent applications relating to spontaneous, inducible mouse tumor models; the right to grant sublicenses; and sole ownership rights to any improvements made solely by our employees to the mouse model technology licensed from DFCI. We have fulfilled certain milestone payment obligations to DFCI. We will have no royalty obligation to DFCI based on sales of products discovered, designed, developed or tested using the licensed mouse tumor models. Our license from DFCI will expire on the expiration date of the last-to-expire of the underlying patents.

Kyowa Hakko Kirin.    In December 2006, we entered into a license agreement with Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. (now Kyowa Hakko Kirin) under which we obtained an exclusive license to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize tivozanib (f/k/a KRN951), pharmaceutical compositions thereof and associated biomarkers for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of any and all human diseases and conditions. Our exclusive license covers all territories in the world, except for Asia. Kyowa Hakko Kirin has retained rights to tivozanib in Asia. Subject to certain restrictions, we have the right to grant sublicenses under the foregoing licensed rights. Under the

 

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Kyowa Hakko Kirin license agreement, we have obligations to make milestone, royalty and sublicensing revenue payments to Kyowa Hakko Kirin. For further discussion of this agreement, please see “— Strategic Partnerships — Kyowa Hakko Kirin.”

Other.    We hold several non-exclusive licenses from other third parties that give us access to various technologies involved in building and using our technology platform and discovering and developing our antibody pipeline.

Manufacturing

We currently contract with third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates for preclinical studies and clinical trials and intend to do so in the future. We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of clinical or commercial quantities of our product candidates. We currently have no plans to build our own clinical or commercial scale manufacturing capabilities. To meet our projected needs for commercial manufacturing, third parties with whom we currently work will need to increase their scale of production or we will need to secure alternate suppliers. Although we rely on contract manufacturers, we have personnel with extensive manufacturing experience to oversee the relationships with our contract manufacturers.

One of our contract manufacturers has manufactured what we believe to be sufficient quantities of tivozanib’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (or drug substance) to support the ongoing phase 1 and phase 3 clinical trials. We believe the current manufacturing process for the active pharmaceutical ingredient for tivozanib is adequate to support future development and commercial demand. In addition, currently, a separate contract manufacturer manufactures, packages and distributes clinical supplies of tivozanib. While we believe that our existing supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredient would be capable of continuing to produce active pharmaceutical ingredient in commercial quantities, we will need to identify a third party manufacturer capable of providing commercial quantities of drug product. If we are unable to arrange for such a third-party manufacturing source, or fail to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to successfully produce and market tivozanib.

The process for producing AV-299 has been developed and multiple batches of drug substance have been and are continuing to be produced to support clinical trials of AV-299 through phase 2 clinical trials. Our strategic partner Merck is responsible for the continued process development and all manufacturing of AV-299, including for clinical trial and commercial use.

To date, our third-party manufacturers have met our manufacturing requirements. We believe that there are alternate sources of supply that can satisfy our clinical and commercial requirements, although we cannot be certain that identifying and establishing relationships with such sources, if necessary, would not result in significant delay or material additional costs.

Sales and Marketing

Due to its unique efficacy and safety profile, we believe that tivozanib could address the needs of many patients who currently are not fully satisfied with other approved treatment options in advanced RCC. If tivozanib is approved, we intend to maximize its potential value in the U.S. by demonstrating tivozanib’s efficacy and favorable safety profile, with a goal of establishing tivozanib as the first-line treatment of choice for patients with advanced RCC.

We intend to build the commercial infrastructure in the United States necessary to effectively support the commercialization of tivozanib and future oncology products, if approved. The commercial infrastructure for specialty oncology products typically consists of a targeted, specialty sales force that calls on a limited and focused group of physicians supported by sales management, internal sales support, an internal marketing group and distribution support. Additional capabilities important to the oncology marketplace include the management of key accounts such as managed care organizations, group-purchasing organizations, specialty pharmacies, oncology group networks, and government accounts. Based on the number of physicians who treat RCC and the

 

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size of competitive sales forces, we believe that we can effectively target the relevant audience with a sales force of approximately 50-75 representatives. To develop the appropriate commercial infrastructure, we will have to invest significant amounts of financial and management resources, some of which will be committed prior to any confirmation that tivozanib will be approved.

Outside of the United States, where appropriate, we may elect in the future to utilize strategic partners or contract sales forces to assist in the commercialization of tivozanib and other products.

Government Regulation

Government authorities in the United States (including federal, state and local authorities) and in other countries, extensively regulate, among other things, the manufacturing, research and clinical development, marketing, labeling and packaging, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, advertising and promotion, and export and import of pharmaceutical products, such as those we are developing. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

United States Government Regulation

In the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and related regulations. Drugs are also subject to other federal, state and local statutes and regulations. Biological products are subject to regulation by the FDA under the FDCA, the Public Health Service Act, and related regulations, and other federal, state and local statutes and regulations. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. regulatory requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include the imposition by the FDA or an Institutional Review Board, or IRB, of a clinical hold on trials, the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications or supplements, withdrawal of an approval, warning letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, civil penalties or criminal prosecution. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.

The Investigational New Drug Process

An Investigational New Drug application, or an IND, is a request for authorization from the FDA to administer an investigational drug or biological product to humans. Such authorization must be secured prior to interstate shipment (usually to clinical investigators) and administration of any new drug or biological product to humans that is not the subject of an approved New Drug Application or Biologics License Application, except under limited circumstances.

To conduct a clinical investigation with an investigational new drug or biological product, we are required to file an IND with the FDA in compliance with Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 312. These regulations contain the general principles underlying the IND submission and the general requirements for an IND’s content and format.

The central focus of the initial IND submission is on the general investigational plan and the protocol(s) for human studies. The IND also includes results of animal studies or other human studies, as appropriate, as well as manufacturing information, analytical data and any available clinical data or literature to support the use of the investigational new drug or biological product. An IND must become effective before human clinical trials may begin. An IND will automatically become effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless before that time the FDA raises concerns or questions related to the proposed clinical trials as outlined in the IND. In such a case, the IND may be placed on clinical hold and the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns or questions before clinical trials can begin. Accordingly, submission of an IND may or may not result in the FDA allowing clinical trials to commence.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational drug or biological product to patients under the supervision of qualified investigators in accordance with Good Clinical Practices, or GCPs. Clinical trials are

 

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conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the study, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety, and the efficacy criteria to be evaluated. A protocol for each clinical trial and any subsequent protocol amendments must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. Additionally, approval must also be obtained from each clinical site’s independent IRB before the trials may be initiated. All participants in our clinical trials must provide their informed consent in writing in compliance with GCPs and the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki.

The clinical investigation of an investigational drug or biological product is generally divided into three phases. Although the phases are usually conducted sequentially, they may overlap or be combined. The three phases of an investigation are as follows:

 

   

Phase 1.    Phase 1 includes the initial introduction of an investigational new drug or biological product into humans. Phase 1 clinical trials are typically closely monitored and may be conducted in patients with the target disease or condition or healthy volunteers. These studies are designed to evaluate the safety, dosage tolerance, metabolism and pharmacologic actions of the investigational drug or biological product in humans, the side effects associated with increasing doses, and if possible, to gain early evidence on effectiveness. During phase 1 clinical trials, sufficient information about the investigational drug’s or biological product’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects may be obtained to permit the design of well-controlled and scientifically valid phase 2 clinical trials. The total number of participants included in phase 1 clinical trials varies, but is generally in the range of 20 to 80.

 

   

Phase 2.    Phase 2 includes the controlled clinical trials conducted to preliminarily or further evaluate the effectiveness of the investigational drug or biological product for a particular indication(s) in patients with the disease or condition under study, to determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage, and to identify possible adverse side effects and safety risks associated with the drug or biological product. Phase 2 clinical trials are typically well-controlled, closely monitored, and conducted in a limited patient population, usually involving no more than several hundred participants.

 

   

Phase 3.    Phase 3 clinical trials are generally controlled clinical trials conducted in an expanded patient population generally at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. They are performed after preliminary evidence suggesting effectiveness of the drug or biological product has been obtained, and are intended to further evaluate dosage, clinical effectiveness and safety, to establish the overall benefit-risk relationship of the investigational drug or biological product, and to provide an adequate basis for product approval. Phase 3 clinical trials usually involve several hundred to several thousand participants.

The FDA’s primary objectives in reviewing an IND are to assure the safety and rights of patients and to help assure that the quality of the investigation will be adequate to permit an evaluation of the drug’s effectiveness and safety and of the biological product’s safety, purity and potency. The decision to terminate development of an investigational drug or biological product may be made by either a health authority body such as the FDA (or IRB/ethics committees), or by us for various reasons. Additionally, some trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether or not a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access that only the group maintains to available data from the study. Suspension or termination of development during any phase of clinical trials can occur if it is determined that the participants or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Other reasons for suspension or termination may be made by us based on evolving business objectives and/or competitive climate.

In addition, there are requirements and industry guidelines to require the posting of ongoing clinical trials on public registries, and the disclosure of designated clinical trial results.

Assuming successful completion of all required testing in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements, detailed investigational drug or biological product information is submitted to the FDA in the form of an NDA or Biologics License Application, or BLA, requesting approval to market the product for one or more indications.

 

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The NDA/BLA Approval Process

In order to obtain approval to market a drug or biological product in the United States, a marketing application must be submitted to the FDA that provides data establishing the safety and effectiveness of the drug product for the proposed indication, and the safety, purity and potency of the biological product for its intended indication. The application includes all relevant data available from pertinent preclinical and clinical trials, including negative or ambiguous results as well as positive findings, together with detailed information relating to the product’s chemistry, manufacturing, controls and proposed labeling, among other things. Data can come from company-sponsored clinical trials intended to test the safety and effectiveness of a use of a product, or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by investigators. To support marketing approval, the data submitted must be sufficient