10-K 1 opgn-10k_20161231.htm 10-K opgn-10k_20161231.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 10-K

 

 

(Mark one)

ANNUAL REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016

TRANSITION REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from _______ to _______.

Commission file number 001-37367

 

 

OPGEN, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

06-1614015

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

708 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 205

 

 

Gaithersburg, Maryland

 

20878

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

(240) 813-1260

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

The NASDAQ Capital Market

Warrants, exercisable for one share of common stock

 

The NASDAQ Capital Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    YES  ☐   NO  ☒

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    YES  ☐   NO  ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    YES     NO  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    YES     NO  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.

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  

 

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company) 

 

Smaller reporting company  

 

Indicate by check mark whether registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   YES  ☐   NO  

The aggregate market value of the voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2016, was $8.4 million (based upon the last reported sale price of $1.52 per share on June 30, 2016, on The NASDAQ Capital Market).

As of March 20, 2017, 27,377,490 shares of common stock of the registrant were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.

 


 

OPGEN, INC.

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K

For the Year Ended December 31, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

 

4

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

26

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

47

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

47

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

47

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

47

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

48

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

 

49

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

49

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

56

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

56

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

56

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

56

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

57

 

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

58

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

62

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

70

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

71

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

73

 

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

74

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

74

 

 

 

 

 

Signatures

 

75

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Financial Statements

 

F-1

 

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INFORMATION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 (the “Annual Report”) and certain information incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). In this Annual Report, we refer to OpGen, Inc. as the “Company,” “we,” “our” or “us.” All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, strategy and plans, and our expectations for future operations, are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “design,” “intend,” “expect” or the negative version of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, strategy, short- and long-term business operations and objectives, and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors.” In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances included herein may not occur, and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

our ability to finance our operations;

 

the commercialization of our current products, including our QuickFISH® and PNA FISH® diagnostic products for infectious diseases, our Acuitas® MDRO test services and our Acuitas Lighthouse® bioinformatics services;

 

our ability to grow our customer base for our current products;

 

our liquidity and working capital requirements, including our cash requirements over the next 12 months and beyond;

 

anticipated trends and challenges in our business and the competition that we face;

 

the execution of our business plan and our growth strategy;

 

our expectations regarding the size of and growth in potential markets;

 

our opportunity to successfully enter into new collaborative agreements;

 

changes in laws or regulations applicable to our business, including potential regulation by the FDA;

 

our ability to develop and commercialize new products to address unmet needs in our industry, and the timing of commercialization;

 

compliance with the U.S. and international regulations applicable to our business; and

 

our expectations regarding future revenue and expenses.

Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, level of activity, performance or achievements. In addition, neither we nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this Annual Report speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We disclaim any duty to update any of these forward looking statements after the date of this Annual Report to confirm these statements to actual results or revised expectations.

These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with our other disclosures, including but not limited to the risk factors described in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report. Other risks may be described from time to time in our filings made under the securities laws. New risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks. All forward-looking statements in this Annual Report speak only as of the date made and are based on our current beliefs and expectations. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

NOTE REGARDING TRADEMARKS

We own various U.S. federal trademark registrations and applications and unregistered trademarks and servicemarks, including OpGen®, Acuitas®, Acuitas Lighthouse® Argus®, AdvanDx®, QuickFISH®, and PNA FISH®. All other trademarks, servicemarks or trade names referred to in this Annual Report are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks and trade names in this Annual Report are sometimes referred to without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, their rights thereto. We do not intend the use or display of other companies’ trademarks and trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies, products or services.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

Please refer to the Glossary at the end of this Business section for definitions or descriptions of scientific, diagnostic, healthcare and regulatory terms used in this Annual Report.

Overview

We are a precision medicine company using molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. We are developing molecular information products and services to combat infectious disease in global healthcare settings, helping to guide clinicians with more rapid information about life threatening infections, improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Our proprietary DNA tests and bioinformatics address the rising threat of antibiotic resistance by helping physicians and other healthcare providers optimize patient care decisions and protect the hospital biome through customized screening and surveillance products and services.

Our molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics offerings combine our Acuitas® DNA tests, Acuitas Lighthouse® bioinformatics services and CLIA lab services for MDRO surveillance. We are working to deliver our products and services, some in development, to a global network of customers and partners. These include:

 

Our Acuitas DNA tests, which provide rapid microbial identification, and antibiotic resistance gene information. These products include the QuickFISH® family of FDA-cleared and CE-marked diagnostics used to rapidly detect pathogens in positive blood cultures, the Acuitas MDRO Gene Test to detect, type, track, and trend antibiotic resistant organisms in real-time and our Acuitas Rapid Test in development. We are working to provide actionable, precise diagnostic information powered by pathogen surveillance data collected through hospital screening programs and a network of hospital and public health laboratories globally.

 

Our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics systems, which are cloud-based HIPAA compliant bioinformatics offerings that combine clinical lab test results with patient and hospital information and provide analytics to help manage MDROs in the hospital and patient care environment. These include our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics, which can be specific to a healthcare facility, public health department or collaborator, such as a pharmaceutical company, and our Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase, a proprietary data warehouse in development to include genomic data matched with antibiotic susceptibility information for microbes and patient information from healthcare providers, in which we are beginning to collect and store MDRO information from a variety of sources for use with our Acuitas Rapid Test in development.

There is rising global concern about the profound health and macroeconomic consequences if the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance is not tackled. Drug resistant infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year in the United States and Europe alone, with many hundreds of thousands more dying in other areas of the world. Recognizing this emerging threat, the White House issued a National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistance Bacteria in March 2015. The National Action Plan aims to achieve major reductions in the incidence of these urgent and serious threats and improvements in antibiotic stewardship during the next five years. The 2016 U.S. government budget included approximately $1 billion to help combat drug resistant infections. Three key areas have been highlighted for investment: rapid diagnostics, surveillance, and new antibiotics. We are focused in rapid diagnostics where our current tests help identify microorganisms and determine their antibiotic resistance genes and susceptibility faster than conventional diagnostics.  We are also focused on developing more rapid diagnostic tests to provide pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance information within one to three hours of specimen collection. Through the use of our Acuitas data warehouse we are working to provide antibiotic decision support tools to help physicians interpret and act on this information. A second area of our focus is surveillance of microbial infections and colonization with MDROs in the hospital environment. These products and services are designed to help enable effective response to resistant organisms and to help control MDRO transmission and outbreaks in the hospital.  

We believe that the diagnostic paradigm for management of drug resistant infections is poised for change. In acute care settings, initial treatment today relies heavily on initial use of broad spectrum antibiotics on an empiric basis. For example, it is common for patients to receive the antibiotic vancomycin for treatment of potential Gram positive infections such as Staphylococcus and the antibiotic cefipime for treatment of potential Gram negative infections from organisms such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, or Pseudomonas. These powerful antibiotics are often prescribed without previous knowledge of whether the organism they are intended to treat is present. Current methods require 2-4 days to determine the organism identification and antibiotic susceptibility. During this period in advance of receiving the correct diagnosis, patients may often be over-treated or treated with an ineffective antibiotic leading to potentially undesirable outcomes such as morbidity from expanded infection, drug resistance, and opportunistic infections. If the diagnosis is that the initial empiric antibiotic therapy was incorrect, a new therapy must be chosen which may result in poor clinical outcomes, additional length of stay, and increased healthcare costs.

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Improved diagnostics for detection of resistant bacteria and characterization of resistance patterns will help healthcare providers make optimal treatment decisions earlier and assist public health officials in taking action to prevent and control disease. Improved and more rapid diagnostics will also help decrease unnecessary or inappropriate use of antibiotics. Optimal precision medicine tests for combatting infectious disease will provide diagnostic information in the first hours after presentation of the acutely ill patient to the healthcare facility in order to impact initial antibiotic selection decisions. Conventional microbiology methods have been largely unchanged, and we believe that it is unlikely that they will be adapted to provide rapid one to three hour diagnostic tests for high resolution microbial analysis. DNA analysis technology, such as our Acuitas DNA tests in development, which have the potential to help revolutionize rapid diagnostics for microbiology. DNA tests are highly accurate and can be performed in just 30 minutes to an hour. Our FDA-cleared QuickFISH rapid pathogen identification tests are examples of such rapid detection technology; they currently provide rapid pathogen analysis within 30 minutes after a positive blood culture report. We are working on tests to accelerate such pathogen analysis to occur within one to three hours of specimen collection.  In addition, DNA sequencing technology now makes it possible to sequence the entire genome of microbes for subsequent analysis, antibiotic selection decision making software, and microbe tracking.

Our suite of DNA-based products and products in development are intended to provide actionable, precise diagnostics powered by microbial surveillance data. The high resolution Acuitas DNA tests use multiplex PCR to help provide reliable and accurate detection of drug resistance. The QuickFISH tests are powered by PNA technology and provide rapid pathogen identification, typically in less than 30 minutes from a positive blood culture result. The Acuitas MDRO Gene Test is used for determining if ICU patients are colonized with MDROs. Positive samples are confirmed using microbiological methods and the Acuitas Resistome Test for high resolution genotyping. Test results are maintained in the Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse for subsequent interpretation by physicians and healthcare providers.

We are developing a new disruptive testing paradigm that we believe could provide results in one to three hours from specimen collection and help address many of the current issues with testing for antibiotic resistance. We are developing a new high resolution Acuitas Rapid Test designed to detect the key resistome profiles of Gram negative organisms. The product is anticipated to be used initially for research use only in infection control and clinical research.  Ultimately, following receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals, we anticipate the Acuitas Rapid Test will be used in the clinical setting to provide pathogen and antibiotic resistance gene information to aid in decision making for patients with complicated urinary tract infections, complicated pneumonia, and blood stream infections.    We are also developing a smart cloud based clinical database that we are calling the Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase that will include critical infection control information and provide additional analysis of Acuitas resistance test results to provide additional insight to aid initial antibiotic selection and clinical decision making. Our proprietary Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase distills large amounts of data into one actionable profile. We believe our disruptive approach will be globally applicable and could be an important new weapon in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria. The figure below describes the potential workflow and anticipated results from our new testing approach.

 

 

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Our Strategy

We are using our current product and service offerings, and will use our products in development to build a comprehensive precision medicine solutions for combatting infectious diseases with a focus on developing diagnostic tests for rapid pathogen identification and genetic profiling, antibiotic resistance analysis and advanced bioinformatics to store and analyze MDRO and other infectious disease data for hospitals, out-patient settings and other healthcare providers. We believe more rapid genetic identification methods will reduce morbidity from MDROs, reduce healthcare costs through reduced length of stay, and assist in the identification of targeted antibiotic therapy. Current conventional microbiology, largely unchanged in 50 years, requires one to two days for growth and phenotypic analysis and often leads to the use of broad spectrum antibiotic therapy in the early stages of infection. Our current QuickFISH and PNA FISH FDA-cleared, CE-marked diagnostic tests can accelerate accurate pathogen identification by one to three days when compared to conventional methods by providing identification of the pathogen within 30 to 90 minutes of positive blood culture results.  We are working to:

 

Expand our rapid diagnostics product offerings through development of the Acuitas Rapid Test, with a goal of achieving one to three hour antibiotic resistance analysis from the time of specimen collection;

 

Grow our Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse offerings for resistance and susceptibility data in a hospital, hospital system, or broader community through the creation of the Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase;

 

Continue development of our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics and decision-making software and work to install Acuitas Lighthouse access at all customer sites in the United States and globally who meet minimum test volume license requirements;

 

Accelerate the commercialization of our Acuitas Gene Tests and Acuitas Lighthouse informatics;

 

Expand our lab service offerings and capabilities through the supply of kits for use on our DNA probe assay platform and commercially available rapid diagnostic testing systems, develop additional MDRO DNA sequencing tests and informatics;

 

Partner with reference laboratories, government agencies, diagnostic companies and information technology providers to offer our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics and Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase on a global basis; and

 

Accelerate growth through strategic partnerships, which may include companies developing rapid diagnostic tests for MDROs, sponsored research programs with governments and industry, and strategic acquisitions.

We believe our products and services, including those in development, can be integrated into a MDRO and antibiotic single solution for assisting healthcare providers to rapidly combat infectious diseases. By seeking to address institutional needs for informatics, genetic analysis and microbiologic testing, we are working to establish a market leadership position in MDRO analysis. We are focused on developing products and services to help hospitals reduce hospital acquired infection rates by helping to rapidly identify patients colonized with MDROs who should receive contact precautions, and helping to guide antibiotic therapy in a variety of healthcare settings.

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Molecular Information Business

We are working to build a unique and highly proprietary molecular information business. Our approach combines FDA-cleared and CE-marked rapid diagnostics and CLIA lab-based MDRO surveillance tests with our Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse. We are developing an integrated solution based on a genomic knowledgebase of drug resistant pathogens.  Our approach involves sourcing thousands of pathogens from hospitals worldwide and completing genomic analysis including DNA sequencing, drug susceptibility testing of each individual pathogen. These data are combined along with hospital patient data and other information in our Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase. We anticipate using this information and insights we derive from it to help power our rapid diagnostic products, healthcare management solutions and new applications to support pharmaceutical companies.

 

2016 Events

Business Initiatives

In May 2016, OpGen and the District of Columbia Hospital Association (“DCHA”) announced the completion of the first city wide quantification of MDROs. The study was conducted with Washington D.C.’s public health departments to gauge the prevalence of the multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria CRE in healthcare facilities throughout the District of Columbia.  The results revealed the prevalence of CRE and other CRO was 5.1% and 6.4%, respectively.  The study also reported a wide range of variability across the 16 institutions tested providing direction for concentrated intervention.

In July 2016, we completed the Intermountain Healthcare (“IHC”) Retrospective MDRO Health Outcome Study.  The study was one of the largest of its kind ever conducted in an integrated health system.  900,000 hospital admissions were evaluated over an eight-year period at IHC, including 22 hospitals and affiliated clinics to help evaluate actual healthcare costs of MDRO and C. difficile infections and to provide proprietary data sets to help guide OpGen commercialization and R&D activities.  The researchers found that a 222% increase was observed in the prevalence of C. difficile infections as well as a 322% increase in ESBL (extended spectrum beta lactamase) positive organisms.  The study documented total costs of hundreds of millions of dollars and average individual patient costs of between $25,000 and $80,000.  Total costs are projected to double over the next seven years.

In October 2016, we entered into a research collaboration with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck Co. & Inc. (“Merck”) to develop new rapid diagnostics and information technology products to help combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance. The companies will collaborate to support OpGen’s development of rapid DNA tests and a genomic knowledgebase of antibiotic-resistant pathogens for predicting antibiotic susceptibility based on test results. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will provide access to its archive of over 200,000 bacterial pathogens gathered over the last 15 years through the Study for Monitoring Antimicrobial Resistance Trends (“SMART”), one of the world’s largest surveillance studies of antimicrobial resistance supported by Merck in collaboration with International Health Management Associates (“IHMA”). OpGen will perform genomic analysis, microbiology testing for drug resistance, and incorporate this information into its Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase and the development of rapid DNA tests such as the Acuitas Rapid Test in development. OpGen will initially perform molecular analyses on up to 10,000 pathogens to identify markers of resistance to support rapid decision making using the Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse, and

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to speed development of OpGen’s rapid diagnostic platforms. Merck will gain access to the high-resolution genotype data for the SMART isolates as well as access to Acuitas Lighthouse informatics to support internal research and development programs.

Financings

On May 19, 2016 and June 27, 2016, the Company offered and sold units in a private offering to members of management and employees and to accredited investors, including Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (“Merck GHI”) and jVen Capital, each unit consisting of either (i) one share of common stock and a detachable stock purchase warrant to purchase an additional 0.75 shares of common stock, or (ii) one share of non-voting convertible preferred stock and a detachable stock purchase warrant to purchase an additional 0.75 shares of common stock, at a price of $1.14 per unit.  The total net proceeds to the Company, after deducting offering commissions and expenses was $9.5 million.  The Company is using the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.  Pursuant to the private offering the Company issued 6,744,127 shares of common stock, 2,309,428 shares of Series A non-voting convertible preferred stock and stock purchase warrants to acquire an additional 6,790,169 shares of common stock.  Each share of non-voting convertible preferred stock was convertible at the option of the holder in whole or in part and from time to time into one share of common stock, is entitled to dividends on as “as converted basis” when and if dividends are issued to common stockholders, and participates in liquidation on a pari passu basis with common stockholders.  Holders of the Series A non-voting convertible preferred stock subsequently converted all 2,309,428 shares of preferred stock into 2,309,428 shares of common stock.  The stock purchase warrants issued as part of the units are exercisable $1.3125 per share beginning 90 days after closing for five years, expiring on May 18, 2021.   On July 20, 2016, the Company’s registration statement on Form S-3, registering for resale by the holders of the shares of common stock acquired in the private offering was declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). 

In August 2016, the Company filed a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 registering $50 million of common stock for future offerings.  The shelf registration statement was declared effective by the SEC on September 9, 2016.

On September 13, 2016, the Company entered into the Sales Agreement with Cowen and Company LLC (“Cowen”) pursuant to which the Company may offer and sell from time to time, up to an aggregate of $25 million of shares of its common stock through Cowen, as sales agent, with initial sales limited to an aggregate of $11.5 million. Pursuant to the Sales Agreement, Cowen may sell the shares of common stock by any method permitted by law deemed to be an "at the market” offering as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), including, without limitation, sales made by means of ordinary brokers' transactions on The NASDAQ Capital Market or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, in block transactions, or as otherwise directed by the Company. The Company pays Cowen compensation equal to 3.0% of the gross proceeds from the sales of common stock pursuant to the terms of the Sales Agreement.  As of December 31, 2016, the Company has sold an aggregate of approximately 3.6 million shares of its common stock under this at the market offering resulting in aggregate net proceeds to the Company of approximately $4.4 million, and gross proceeds of $4.7 million. As of December 31, 2016, remaining availability under the at the market offering is $6.8 million. Subsequent to December 31, 2016, the Company has sold an aggregate of approximately 2.1 million shares of its common stock under this at the market offering resulting in aggregate net proceeds to the Company of approximately $2.1 million, and gross proceeds of $2.2 million. Under the initial sales agreement, remaining availability under the at the market offering is $4.6 million.

Market Overview

Antibiotic Resistance – An Urgent Global Issue

We believe that antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global healthcare issue. MDROs have been prioritized as an urgent national and global threat by the CDC, the President of the United States and the WHO. In September 2014, The White House issued a National Strategy for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The strategy calls for the strengthening of surveillance efforts to combat resistance, the development and use of innovative diagnostic tests for identification and characterization of resistant bacteria and antibiotic stewardship and development.

The CDC estimates that in the United States more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result. Antibiotic-resistant infections add considerable but often avoidable costs to the U.S. healthcare system. In most cases, these infections require prolonged and/or costlier treatments, extended hospital stays, additional doctor visits and healthcare facilities use, and result in greater disability and death compared with infections that are treatable with antibiotics. Estimates for the total economic cost to the U.S. economy range between $20 and $35 billion annually. As described in a December 2014 report issued by the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the U.K. Prime Minister titled “Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a Crisis for the Health and Wealth of Nations,” 300 million people are expected to die prematurely because of drug resistance over the next 35 years, which could result in $60 to $100 trillion worth of economic output if the problem of antimicrobial drug resistance is not resolved.

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In February 2017, the WHO published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” – a catalog of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health.  The list was drawn up in a bid to guide and promote research and development (“R&D”) of new antibiotics, as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines. The list highlights the threat of gram-negative bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics.  These bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment and can pass along genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug-resistant as well. The most critical group of all includes multidrug resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes, and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters. They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus).  They can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia. These bacteria have become resistant to a large number of antibiotics, including carbapenems and third generation cephalosporins – the best available for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Another emerging global threat are carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (“CREs”) that are either difficult to treat or wholly untreatable. According to former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, CREs are a “nightmare bacteria.” The strongest antibiotics do not work and patients are left with potentially untreatable infections with mortality rates ranging between 40% and 80%. CRE strains are transmitted easily in healthcare settings from patients with asymptomatic intestinal colonization, and the CRE strains have the potential to spread antibiotic resistance through plasmid transfer to other bacterial species, including common human flora and potential pathogens such as Escherichia coli. The CDC has called for urgent action to combat the threat of CRE bacteria. Core prevention measures recommended by the CDC for all acute and long-term care facilities include: contact precautions for all patients who are colonized or infected with CRE, single patient room housing or cohorting, laboratory notification procedures, antibiotic stewardship and screening to identify unrecognized CRE colonization in patients admitted to high risk settings such as ICUs, long-term acute care units or facilities, or epidemiologically linked contacts.

Emergence of Superbugs and Lack of Treatment Options

Over the last decade multidrug-resistant Gram negative bacteria, frequently referred to as Superbugs, have been implicated in severe HAIs, and their occurrence has increased steadily. For example, Klebsiella pneumoniae, or K. pneumoniae, is responsible for roughly 15% of Gram-negative infections in hospital intensive care units. Infections caused by KPC strains have few treatment options and are associated with a mortality rate upwards of 50%.

Exacerbating the problems associated with the emergence of these highly resistant KPC strains is their propensity to cause outbreaks in healthcare institutions. These pathogens persist both in the flora of hospitalized patients and in the hospital environment, and they have the capacity to silently colonize patients or hospital personnel by establishing residence in the gastrointestinal tract without causing any signs of infection. Individuals can be silently colonized or become asymptomatic carriers for long periods of time, with detection of these carriers often proving difficult. These silent carriers act as reservoirs for continued transmission, which makes subsequent spread difficult to control and outbreaks difficult to stop. In addition, KPC strains can survive for several hours on the hands of hospital personnel, which likely facilitates spread from patient to patient. Effective control of KPC outbreaks requires a detailed understanding of how transmission occurs, but current technologies do not allow healthcare providers to routinely perform these investigations on a timely basis.

The lack of currently available treatment options and scarcity of new treatment options in development are compounding the emerging Superbug problem. It has been close to 30 years since a new class of antibiotics was developed and successfully introduced. As a result, we believe that rapid, accurate identification of the pathogen and its genetic make-up, screening, infection control and antibiotic stewardship have become one of the most powerful weapons in the fight to contain this threat.

Based on industry analyses, we believe the global HAI market is a $2 billion dollar market with the molecular diagnostic segment representing a fast growing segment of such market with multiple high acuity patients and significant infectious sites, including urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, pneumonia, bloodstream infections.

The initial focus of our MDRO surveillance business is the U.S. hospital market where there are approximately 5,000 hospitals and a potential market opportunity of six million tests annually for our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test. According to statistics issued by AHA Hospitals Statistics in 2011, there are 1,395 acute care hospitals in the United States with 200 or more beds that are candidates for weekly screening of the approximately 20% of patients who are at high risk for MDRO colonization or infection. There are also 290 long term acute care hospitals where we believe all patients are candidates for bi-weekly screening. We believe the high-risk MDRO testing market opportunity in the United States is approximately $400 million. The trend toward consolidated health systems is resulting in the combination of small and mid-sized hospitals into large health systems that are the initial targets for our test and informatics products. A typical large health system could have more than $4 billion in annual revenue, a central hospital with more than 400 beds and 6-8 smaller hospitals and long-term care facilities. These large health systems have started to centralize their microbiology lab testing, making them an attractive target market for us.

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The trend towards forming ACOs is expected to increase the focus on reducing length of stay and the overall cost of hospital procedures. Since HAIs result in increased costs of approximately $24,000 per affected patient, we anticipate ACOs will be particularly receptive to our MDRO management offerings. According to Diagnostic Kit – second edition, March 2014 by Cowen & Co., the MRSA surveillance testing market and C. difficile testing market in the United States are approximately $300 million and $150 million, respectively. 

Products

Our current product offerings include our QuickFISH and PNA FISH products, which are FDA-cleared, CE-marked in vitro diagnostic (“IVD”) tests designed to rapidly identify antimicrobial resistant pathogens significantly earlier than currently available conventional methods, our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, Acuitas CR Elite Test and Acuitas Resistome Test, each a CLIA lab-based test that provides a profile of MDRO resistant genes for surveillance and response to outbreaks, and our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics.

FISH Products

We have commercialized 15 QuickFISH, PNA FISH and XpressFISH diagnostic test products in the United States and Europe for the identification of various infectious pathogens. The pathogens identified and differentiated by our FISH products are:

 

QuickFISH

PNA FISH

XpressFISH

Staphylococcus

Staphylococcus

MRSA

Enterococcus

Enterococcus

MSSA

Gram-negative bacteria

Gram-negative bacteria

 

Gram –positive bacteria

Gram-positive bacteria

 

Candida

Candida

 

 

Our FISH products can provide pathogen identification and differentiation within 20 to 90 minutes of positive blood culture results. Differentiation of the pathogen, such as, for example differentiating a methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (“MRSA”) infection from a methicillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (“MSSA”) infection provides actionable information that can be used by the healthcare provider to determine appropriate antibiotic therapy.

We currently have approximately 100 U.S. hospital customers purchasing our FISH products, and sell our FISH products to hospitals in 10 countries with antibiotic stewardship programs. Our hospital customers include academic medical centers, tertiary care hospitals and community hospitals.

An example of the usefulness of our QuickFISH products at Winter Haven Hospital in Florida was described in a recent publication “The Impact of Implementation of Rapid QuickFISH Testing for Detection of Coagulase Negative Staphylococci at a Community-Based Hospital,” American Journal of Clinical Pathology, January 2016. In such case study our QuickFISH products demonstrated clinical utility and cost effectiveness in the more rapid identification and differentiation of staph-infected patients which resulted in a 90% reduction in pathogen identification (1.4 hours as compared to 17.2 hours from a positive blood culture), decreased utilization of Vancomycin antibiotic therapy, a 30% reduction in length of stay and annual savings of approximately $764,000.

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Other Acuitas Products

Our high resolution DNA tests are marketed under the Acuitas trade name. We have developed Acuitas DNA tests for use in our CLIA lab such as the Acuitas MDRO Gene Test and we are developing a rapid Acuitas DNA test for use in hospital laboratories that will combine rapid pathogen identification and detection of antibiotic resistance genes.

 

Our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test is, to our knowledge, the first CLIA lab-based test able to provide information regarding the presence of ten MDRO resistance genes from one patient specimen. The ten drug-resistant genes identified by our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test are associated with CRE, ESBL and VRE organisms, and are gastrointestinal organisms frequently associated with antibiotic-resistant infections. The test results can be used by healthcare providers to identify patients colonized with organisms expressing the drug-resistant genes or who are actively infected.

 

Our Acuitas CR Elite Test adds the ability for the healthcare provider to order a microbiology culture screen to be performed from the same specimen sent for our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, thereby providing additional information about the organism(s) associated with an active infection, as well as an antibiotic susceptibility profile for such organism(s).

 

Our Acuitas Resistome Test, launched in the second quarter of 2015, is a more comprehensive MDRO molecular test which detects 49 genes covering over 900 subtypes associated with antibiotic resistance. The test includes additional resistance genes for carbapenemases, ESBLs and AmpC genes, in replacement of the vancomycin resistant genes found in the Acuitas MDRO Gene Test. We believe the AmpC targets of the Acuitas Resistome Test are more specific for Gram-negative bacteria, thereby strengthening the coverage provided by our Acuitas Resistome Test to detect resistance genes found in Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter cloacae, and Citrobacter freundii. We use Acuitas Resistome Test results for Acuitas Lighthouse profiling of specimens collected in hospitals and clinical isolates from infected patients. Information from our Acuitas Resistome Test provides additional gene detection information to supplement our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test. Acuitas Resistome Test results can be used in conjunction with the Acuitas CR Elite Test to provide high resolution Acuitas Lighthouse profiles. Our goal is to provide DNA test-based Acuitas Lighthouse profiles, within 24 hours of sample receipt, and, using the Acuitas CR Elite Test to supplement our Acuitas Lighthouse profiles, with biologically derived, phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility data within 84 hours. We anticipate improving the accuracy, over time, of our Acuitas Resistome Test by performing DNA sequence analysis of microbial isolates within our Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse. We believe our menu of genotypic and phenotypic tests along with our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics platform profiles, will enable better surveillance and epidemiology, improved infection control practices, improved antibiotic stewardship and individualized patient care, as well as help to facilitate outbreak detection and response in healthcare settings. We also anticipate combining tests for infectious diseases such as C. difficile, MRSA and others to provide enhanced MDRO screening and patient management offerings.

See below for information about the Acuitas products in development.

Acuitas Lighthouse

Our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics platform enables proactive MDRO management to prevent in-hospital transmission events and to help improve patient outcomes. Using our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics, launched in December 2015, we offer trend analysis of patient specific data, data specific to individual hospital facilities and health systems, which can be provided safely and confidentially to healthcare providers. Our Acuitas Lighthouse’s dynamic profiling incorporates identity, phenotype and MDRO gene presence and assigns unique microbe identifiers, or Acuitas Lighthouse informatics profiles, based on MDRO gene composition, and antibiotic susceptibility, or AST, data. We believe our Acuitas Lighthouse profiling will provide a comprehensive diagnostic tracking tool for MDRO infections in the hospital setting. It is based on our CLIA- and HIPAA-compliant LIMS database system. We have developed a web-based portal to allow our customers access to LIMS-based lab reports and Acuitas Lighthouse data reports.

We are also focused on further developing Acuitas Lighthouse into the Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase, to provide an evergreen database for comprehensive testing and bioinformatics analysis to help guide antibiotic therapy decision making with continual global pathogen data from our CLIA lab and hospital customers, with such data to be used to:

 

assist in accelerating more rapid diagnosis with improved molecular susceptibility data;

 

provide MDRO screening and surveillance capabilities to hospitals to identify pathogen and resistance profiles; and

 

potentially accelerate new antibiotic development as the data are used to reveal genetic resistance patterns to direct drug discovery.

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During 2016 we completed initial development of our genomic discovery engine including custom genotyping and DNA sequencing tests.  We completed development of the informatics infrastructure including the data warehouse and portal to support large-scale pathogen testing for the Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase.

Other Products

Prior to our shift in focus to developing and commercializing our MDRO products, OpGen had developed and commercialized the Argus® Whole Genome Mapping System, MapIt® Services and MapSolver™ bioinformatics products and services. Such products and services were sold to academic, public health and corporate customers to allow them to perform Whole Genome Mapping and analysis of microbial, plant, animal and human genomes for life sciences applications. We have more than ten years of experience mapping microbial genomes. Our customers for these products include government and public health agencies such as the CDC, FDA, USDA and biodefense organizations, who use the Argus and MapSolver products in research and development, food safety and public health settings. In 2016 we ceased production of our Whole Genome Mapping products and notified our customers that we would no longer support these products and services. 

In September 2013, we entered into a technology development agreement with Hitachi High‑Technologies Corporation (“Hitachi”) to commercialize our Whole Genome Mapping technology for mapping, assembly and analysis of human DNA. Under that agreement we developed cloud-based human genome map assembly capabilities. The technology development agreement ended in December 2015; there was no further activity under this agreement in 2016.

In June 2016, we entered into a license agreement with Hitachi, pursuant to which we resolved various matters with respect to previously delivered milestones under the technology development agreement and provided a non-exclusive development license and a commercial products license to our Whole Genome Mapping technology.  The license agreement grants Hitachi designated development and commercialization rights.  We are not an active participant with Hitachi under the license agreement.  During the year ended December 31, 2016, we recognized $137,603 of revenue related to the license agreement.

Research and Development

For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, our research and development expenses were $8.6 million and $6.0 million, respectively. We intend to continue to invest in the development of additional Acuitas gene tests, our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics platform, and our QuickFISH rapid identification tests. Our current focus is on completing the development of our product offerings to provide actionable, precise diagnostics powered by our Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase for rapid diagnostics of pathogens, determination of the appropriate antibiotics to treat the infection and accumulation of actionable surveillance data to provide information useful for monitoring and controlling outbreaks and promoting antibiotic stewardship.

Our ongoing research and development efforts include:

 

Development of the Acuitas Rapid Test, capable of providing genetic resistance information for up to 150 drug resistance genes in one to three hours from specimen collection, and a cloud-based Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase for interpretation of test results and clinical decision making support tools to help select appropriate antibiotic therapies;

 

Development of more rapid molecular diagnostic products to achieve actionable pathogen identification and differentiation in the first few hours of presentation or symptoms;

 

Automating our QuickFISH products through digital imaging and analysis, new formats requiring less hands on time to process samples, multiplex formats that allow for testing of a broader range of microorganisms;

 

Continued investments in our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics platform, focused on (i) data warehouse and portal for MDRO data and (ii) antibiotic analysis;

 

Further development of our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, Acuitas Resistome Test and DNA sequencing; and

 

Converting our CLIA lab-based products to IVD kits that can be sold, upon receipt of FDA clearance and other approvals, directly to our customers and to other clinical reference laboratories.

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Our ongoing Acuitas Rapid Test research and development programs and their stage of development are provided below.

 

 

During 2016 we completed the initial development of our genomic discovery engine including custom genotyping and DNA sequencing tests. We completed development of the information infrastructure including the Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse and portal to support large-scale pathogen testing for the Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase. As an important component of this, in October 2016, we entered into a research collaboration with Merck to develop new rapid diagnostics and information technology products to help combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance. For more information, please see the description of this research collaboration above under the heading “2016 Events – Business Initiatives.”

Sales and Marketing

We currently sell and market our products and services in the United States through a 12 person sales and marketing organization including direct sales professionals and a dedicated marketing support organization. Internationally, we sell our products through a network of distributors in 16 countries. We operate a subsidiary in Denmark that provides support for our European customers and to distributors in other parts of the world. We are involved in pilot programs in approximately 10 countries to demonstrate the clinical and cost effectiveness of our FISH products. We are working to expand our market reach by entering into strategic co-marketing relationships with larger diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies and by expanding our network of distributors globally.

Our strategic focus is on selling to health systems and larger healthcare ecosystems such as individual cities or regions.  The collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare in Utah and the DC-HARP study in Washington, DC are examples of company initiatives to deploy its technology across multi-hospital healthcare settings.  We are working to expand this successful initial project to a funded pilot implementation across multiple healthcare facilities in the city. For more information, please see the description of these strategic initiatives above under the heading “2016 Events – Business Initiatives.”

We operate in one segment. Substantially all of our operations are in the United States. Total revenues from customers for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 were $4.0 million and $3.2 million, respectively. Net loss for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 was $19.2 million and $17.4 million, respectively. Total assets at December 31, 2016 and 2015 were $9.0 million and $13.8 million, respectively.

No individual customer represented in excess of 10% of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2015, revenue earned from Hitachi represented 11% of total revenues.

We anticipate that our direct sales organization, working in conjunction with our regional and health system high-level cooperation efforts, will sell and support our genomic diagnostic products, including MDRO surveillance and rapid diagnostics, and our Acuitas

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Lighthouse informatics offerings.  In the United States, we anticipate that the Acuitas Rapid Test will become a lead product.  As we work to gain appropriate regulatory approvals for this new product we plan to conduct clinical trial evaluations to document test performance and potential improved healthcare outcomes and reduced costs.  Each testing site is anticipated to have access to our MDRO surveillance CLIA lab services and our Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase.

Competition

We believe we are currently the only company developing a molecular information business focused on leading a transformation in microbiology and infectious disease through precision medicine products and services that combine genomic data and bioinformatics. Our approach combines proprietary DNA tests developed in our CLIA laboratory, FDA-cleared and CE-marked rapid diagnostics, and our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics and data warehouse offerings. Our competitors include rapid diagnostic testing and traditional microbiology companies, commercial laboratories, information technology companies, and hospital laboratories who may internally develop testing capabilities. Principal competitive factors in our target market include: organizational size, scale, and breadth of product offerings; rapidity of test results; quality and strength of clinical and analytical validation data and confidence in diagnostic results; cost effectiveness; ease of use; and regulatory approval status.

Our principal competition comes from traditional methods used by healthcare providers to diagnose and screen for MDROs and from other molecular diagnostic companies creating screening and diagnostic products such as Cepheid, Becton-Dickinson, bioMérieux, Accelerate Diagnostics, T2 Biosystems GenMark and Nanosphere. We believe our focus on identifying antibiotic-resistant genes, rather than primarily organisms, the genes and associated diseases included in our gene tests, and our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics offerings distinguish us from such competitors.

We also face competition from commercial laboratories, such as Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc., Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and EuroFins, which have strong infrastructure to support the commercialization of diagnostic services.

Competitors may develop their own versions of our product offerings in countries where we do not have patents or where our intellectual property rights are not recognized.

Many of our potential competitors have widespread brand recognition and substantially greater financial, technical, research and development and selling and marketing capabilities than we do. Others may develop products with prices lower than ours that could be viewed by hospitals, physicians and payers as functionally equivalent to our products and services, or offer products and services at prices designed to promote market penetration, which could force us to lower our list prices and affect our ability to achieve profitability. If we are unable to change clinical practice in a meaningful way or compete successfully against current and future competitors, we may be unable to increase market acceptance and sales of our products, which could prevent us from increasing our revenue or achieving profitability and could cause our stock price to decline.

Laboratory Operations

Our laboratory operations are headquartered at our CLIA-certified laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where we perform all Acuitas testing. Samples are transported to the laboratory by FedEx or by courier. Once received, samples are assessed for acceptability, accessioned into our LIMS, prepared for processing and analyzed with traditional microbiology culture methods or using molecular testing instrumentation. Laboratory test data is housed in a proprietary LIMS database that is CLIA laboratory compliant. Customers access CLIA laboratory test results through individual PDF test reports and through our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics. Our laboratory also performs testing for research and development purposes and for both the creation and ongoing maintenance of our Acuitas Lighthouse data warehouse.

We believe we have sufficient laboratory capacity to perform Acuitas testing for at least the next 24 months.

Manufacturing

We manufacture our FDA-cleared and CE-marked PNA FISH and QuickFISH products in our Woburn, Massachusetts facility. We are currently operating this facility under a five-year lease. Specialty reagents for our CLIA laboratory are manufactured at our Gaithersburg, Maryland facility.

Manufacturing of our FDA-cleared products is performed under the current Good Manufacturing Practices - Quality System Regulation as required by the FDA for the manufacture of IVD labeled products. These regulations carefully control the manufacture, testing and release of IVD products as well as raw material receipt and control. We also have ongoing postmarket vigilance responsibilities under FDA regulations, and are subject to periodic inspections by the FDA to determine compliance with the FDA’s

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requirements, including primarily the quality system regulations and medical device reporting regulations. The results of these inspections can include inspectional observations on FDA’s Form 483, warning letters, or other forms of enforcement. Our Woburn, Massachusetts facility was inspected by the FDA in 2015. Following such inspection, the FDA issued a report of its findings and observations, typically referred to as “Form 483 observations," primarily related to our quality systems and testing policies and documentation. We have responded, or intend to respond, to all inspection observations within the required timeframe and are working with the FDA’s Office of Compliance to satisfy the identified deficiencies.

Seasonality of Business

We do not believe our business is subject to seasonality. However, our business can be subject to and affected by the business practices of our business partners. To the extent that the availability of inventory or materials from or development practices of our partners is seasonal, our sales may be subject to fluctuations quarter to quarter or year over year.

Quality Assurance

Our quality assurance function oversees the quality of our laboratory and our FDA-cleared and CE-marked diagnostic products as well as the quality systems used in research and development, client services, billing operations and sales and marketing. We have established a quality assurance system across our entire business, including implementation and maintenance, document control, supplier qualification, corrective or preventive actions, oversight, and employee training processes. We monitor and seek to improve our quality over time in compliance with all applicable regulations.

Raw Materials and Suppliers

We procure reagents, equipment, chips and other materials we use to perform our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test from sole suppliers such as Fluidigm Corporation. We purchase the PNA probes, glass slides and specialty consumables for our QuickFISH products from third party manufacturers who have long lead times and who manufacture several of these products for us on a sole source basis. We also purchase our collection kits from sole-source suppliers. Some of these items are unique to these suppliers and vendors. While we have developed alternative sourcing strategies for these materials and vendors, we cannot be certain whether these strategies will be effective or whether alternative sources will be available when we need them. If these suppliers can no longer provide us with the materials we need to perform our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test or manufacture our QuickFISH products, if the materials do not meet our quality specifications, or if we cannot obtain acceptable substitute materials, our business would be negatively affected.

Payments and Reimbursement

Our Acuitas MDRO test products, our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics and our QuickFISH tests are, and other future products and services will be, sold to hospitals and public health organizations on a fee-for-service basis. When hospital and health system clients purchase our QuickFISH tests we bill them directly for the purchase of test kits and consumables. Hospitals that purchase MDRO services from our CLIA laboratory are billed on a per test basis. Currently, we provide access to our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics. The portal capability is provided to our test customers who have sufficient test volume as part of our MDRO test offerings.

In the future, we envision selling our Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase to health systems, hospitals and long-term care facilities under capitated, flat-rate contracts. Health systems and hospitals absorb the costs of extended stay from HAIs and poor treatment outcomes. For healthcare providers to support the use of our tests and services, OpGen needs to demonstrate improved outcomes and reduced costs. Various studies have documented increased hospital stays of six days or more for patients infected with MDROs, resulting in increased costs of $25,000 to $82,000 per infected patient. Determining if an infection is hospital-acquired or was originally obtained from another source is an important issue for hospitals. We believe our tests may help adjudicate payment favorably for hospitals. Isolation procedures are also costly to hospitals, so it is critical that isolation/de-isolation decisions are made accurately. Two recent studies documented a daily extra cost of approximately $101 for contact precaution equipment and approximately $57 for nursing time and contact precaution supplies for each infected patient. In addition to costs to individual hospitals, estimates of the economic costs of antibiotic resistance to the U.S. economy range from $20 billion to $35 billion annually.

Our marketing strategy focuses on the rapid turn-around time of our Acuitas MDRO and QuickFISH test results and the panel of results available from one patient sample. We believe the combination of our Acuitas MDRO test products, including QuickFISH, and our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics differentiates us in the marketplace by offering a single sample process for identification and management of MDROs. Our approach can deliver a number of benefits to healthcare organizations including: (1) reduced lengths of stays; (2) cost savings and improved patient outcomes; and (3) avoidance of penalties by third-party payers for HAIs.

We employ diverse marketing programs to inform key stakeholders of the value of our products and services in order to drive adoption. As part of our marketing strategy, we educate hospitals, other healthcare institutions, and healthcare professionals about our

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value proposition. We intend to expand our marketing efforts using proceeds from this offering to increase these activities by expanding our sales and marketing efforts to microbiology and infection control professionals and hospital executives. We anticipate supporting efforts to advocate for expanded MDRO hospital surveillance, legislation at the state and federal level to encourage best practices for MDRO surveillance, and clinical practice guidelines. Finally, our website serves as a portal for educational material for hospitals, healthcare professionals and patients.

Third-Party Payers

We do not currently rely on any third-party payers for payment or reimbursement to us for our Acuitas MDRO or QuickFISH test products. Although we do not anticipate seeking direct reimbursement to us, we do believe that Federal healthcare programs and other third-party payers may, in the future, reimburse hospitals for implementing institution-wide surveillance, infection control and antibiotic stewardship programs. Our management team has experience seeking reimbursement from Federal healthcare programs and other third-party payers, and would work to:

 

Meet the evidence standards necessary to be consistent with leading clinical guidelines. We believe demonstrating that our products and services meet leading clinical practice guidelines plays a critical role in payers’ coverage decisions;

 

Engage reimbursement specialists to ensure the payor outreach strategy reacts to and anticipates the changing needs of our customer base. A customer service team would be an integral part of our reimbursement strategy, working with hospitals to navigate the claims process;

 

Cultivate a network of key opinion leaders. Key opinion leaders are able to influence clinical practice by publishing research and determining whether new tests should be integrated into practice guidelines. We would collaborate with key opinion leaders early in the development process to ensure our clinical studies are designed and executed in a way that clearly demonstrates the benefits of our tests to physicians and payers; and

 

Compile a library of peer-reviewed studies that demonstrate that our Acuitas MDRO test products are effective, accurate and faster than current methods.

Intellectual Property

In order to remain competitive, we must develop and maintain protection of the proprietary aspects of our technologies. To that end, we rely on a combination of patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as contracts, such as confidentiality, invention assignment and licensing agreements. We also rely upon trade secret laws to protect unpatented know-how and continuing technological innovation. In addition, we have what we consider to be reasonable security measures in place to maintain confidentiality. Our intellectual property strategy is intended to develop and maintain our competitive position.

As of December 31, 2016, we had total license or ownership rights to 172 patents, including 12 pending United States non-provisional patent applications, and 68 issued United States patents. More specifically, as of December 31, 2016, related to our FISH products, we had license or ownership rights to 99 patents, including 1 pending United States non-provisional patent applications, and 45 issued United States patents. These issued patents began to expire in March 2017 and will be fully expired by January 2029. As of December 31, 2016, related to our Acuitas products, we had license or ownership rights to 22 patents, including 4 pending United States non-provisional patent applications and no issued United States patents. As of December 31, 2016, related to our other products, we had license or ownership rights to 51 patents, including 7 pending United States non-provisional patent applications, and 23 issued United States patents related to our other products. These issued patents begin to expire in April 2017 and will be fully expired by January 2032.

We intend to file additional patent applications in the United States and abroad to strengthen our intellectual property rights; however, our patent applications (including the patent applications listed above) may not result in issued patents in a timely fashion or at all, and we cannot assure investors that any patents that have issued or might issue will protect our technology.

We require all employees and technical consultants working for us to execute confidentiality agreements, which provide that all confidential information received by them during the course of the employment, consulting or business relationship be kept confidential, except in specified circumstances. Our agreements with our research employees provide that all inventions, discoveries and other types of intellectual property, whether or not patentable or copyrightable, conceived by the individual while he or she is employed by us are assigned to us. We cannot provide any assurance, however, that employees and consultants will abide by the confidentiality or assignment terms of these agreements. Despite measures taken to protect our intellectual property, unauthorized parties might copy aspects of our technology or obtain and use information that we regard as proprietary.

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Regulation

The following is a summary of the regulations materially affecting our business and operations.

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988

As a clinical reference laboratory, we are required to hold certain Federal, state and local licenses, certifications and permits to conduct our business. Under CLIA, we are required to hold a certificate applicable to the type of laboratory examinations we perform and to comply with standards covering personnel, facilities administration, quality systems and proficiency testing.

We have a current Certificate of Compliance under CLIA and a Medical Laboratory Permit from the State of Maryland to perform clinical testing at our Gaithersburg, Maryland laboratory. To renew our CLIA certificate, we are subject to survey and inspection every two years to assess compliance with program standards. The regulatory and compliance standards applicable to the testing we perform may change over time, and any such changes could have a material effect on our business. Our current CLIA certificate expires on October 1, 2017, and our Medical Laboratory Permit expires on June 30, 2018.

If our clinical laboratory is out of compliance with CLIA requirements, we may be subject to sanctions such as suspension, limitation or revocation of our CLIA certificate, as well as a directed plan of correction, state on-site monitoring, civil money penalties, civil injunctive suit or criminal penalties. We must maintain CLIA compliance and certification in order to perform clinical laboratory tests and report patient test results. If we were to be found out of compliance with CLIA requirements and subjected to sanction, our business could be harmed.

Federal Oversight of Laboratory Developed Tests and Research-Use-Only Products

Clinical laboratory tests, like our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, are regulated under CLIA, as well as by applicable state laws. Historically, most laboratory developed tests (“LDTs”), were not subject to FDA regulations applicable to medical devices, although reagents, instruments, software or components provided by third parties and used to perform LDTs may be subject to regulation. FDA defines the term “laboratory developed test” as an IVD test that is intended for clinical use and designed, manufactured and used within a single laboratory. We believe that our Acuitas MDRO test products are LDTs. Currently, the FDA exercises enforcement discretion with respect to LDTs such that it does not enforce provisions of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act applicable to IVD devices. In July 2014, due to the increased proliferation of LDTs for complex diagnostic testing, and concerns with several high-risk LDTs related to lack of evidentiary support for claims, erroneous results and falsification of data, the FDA notified Congress that it would issue guidance that, when finalized, would adopt a risk-based framework that would increase FDA oversight of LDTs. As part of this developing framework, the FDA issued draft guidance in October 2014, informing manufacturers of LDTs of its intent to collect information from laboratories regarding their current LDTs and newly developed LDTs through a notification process. The FDA will use this information to classify LDTs and to prioritize enforcement of premarket review requirements for categories of LDTs based on risk, beginning with LDTs that present the highest risk. Specifically, the FDA plans to use advisory panels to provide recommendations to the agency on LDT risks, classification and prioritization of enforcement of applicable regulatory requirements on certain categories of LDTs, as appropriate, for those tests not yet categorized.

Some products are for research use only (“RUO”), or for investigational use only (“IUO”). RUO and IUO products are not intended for human clinical use and must be properly labeled in accordance with FDA guidance. Claims for RUOs and IUOs related to safety, effectiveness, or clinical utility or that are intended for human diagnostic or prognostic use are prohibited. In November 2013, the FDA issued guidance titled “Distribution of In Vitro Diagnostic Products Labeled for Research Use Only or Investigational Use Only - Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff.” This guidance sets forth the requirements to utilize such designations, labeling requirements and acceptable distribution practices, among other requirements. Mere placement of an RUO or IUO label on an IVD product does not render the device exempt from otherwise applicable clearance, approval or other requirements. The FDA may determine that the device is intended for use in clinical diagnosis based on other evidence, including how the device is marketed.

We cannot predict the potential effect the FDA’s current and forthcoming guidance on LDTs and IUOs/RUOs will have on our product offerings or materials used to perform our diagnostic services. While we qualify all materials used in our diagnostic services according to CLIA regulations, we cannot be certain that the FDA might not promulgate rules or issue guidance documents that could affect our ability to purchase materials necessary for the performance of our diagnostic services. Should any of the reagents obtained by us from vendors and used in conducting our diagnostic services be affected by future regulatory actions, our business could be adversely affected by those actions, including increasing the cost of service or delaying, limiting or prohibiting the purchase of reagents necessary to perform the service.

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We cannot provide any assurance that FDA regulation, including premarket review, will not be required in the future for our surveillance and diagnostic services, whether through additional guidance or regulations issued by the FDA, new enforcement policies adopted by the FDA or new legislation enacted by Congress. On November 17, 2015, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held one such hearing entitled “Examining the Regulation of Diagnostic Tests and Laboratory Operations.” We expect that new legislative proposals will be introduced from time to time. It is possible that legislation could be enacted into law or regulations or guidance could be issued by the FDA which may result in new or increased regulatory requirements for us to continue to offer our diagnostic services or to develop and introduce new services.

FDA’s Premarket Clearance and Approval Requirements

The FDA classifies medical devices into one of three classes: Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3. Devices deemed to pose lower risk are placed into either Class 1 or Class 2. Class 1 or Class 2 devices that are exempt from the premarket notification process must comply with applicable regulations but can simply list their products with the FDA. Class 1 or Class 2 devices that are non-exempt from the premarket notification process must comply with applicable regulations and submit a 510(k) premarket submission for review to receive clearance to list and market their devices. The 510(k) must establish substantial equivalence to a predicate device. Devices deemed by the FDA to pose the greatest risk, such as life-sustaining, life-supporting or implantable devices, or devices deemed not substantially equivalent to a previously cleared device, are placed in Class 3 and require premarket approval (“PMA”) before commercialization. The majority of the medical devices manufactured by OpGen at its Woburn, Massachusetts facility (i.e., the AdvanDx products) are Class 1; one product manufactured in Woburn is a Class 2 device. All of these products are non-exempt and required 510(k) premarket submissions. At this time our CLIA tests are not required to be reviewed by the FDA; however, our LDTs would be considered non-exempt Class 2 devices and would require a 510(k) premarket submission to continue.

All medical device manufacturers must register their establishments with the FDA; such registrations require the payment of user fees. In addition, both 510(k) premarket submissions and PMA applications are subject to the payment of user fees, paid at the time of submission for FDA review. At this time our CLIA lab is not required to register and list with the FDA; however, the Medical Device User Fee Act IV (“MFUFA IV”) negotiations currently taking place between the FDA and medical device manufacturers include discussions regarding user fees for clinical laboratories running LDTs. This new fee would be in addition to the user fees required to operate a clinical laboratory.

The FDA has issued a regulation outlining specific requirements for “specimen transport and storage containers.” “Specimen transport and storage containers” are medical devices if “intended to contain biological specimens, body waste, or body exudate during storage and transport” so that the specimen can be used effectively for diagnostic examination. Since medical devices are subject to registration and listing requirements, the reporting of corrections and removals, and responsible for medical device reporting requirements, if the FDA were to determine that our sample collection container is a medical device, the manufacturer would be required to register and list with the FDA for us to use the container for diagnostic purposes. The specimen collection device would be exempt from premarket review, and from Quality System Regulation (“QSR”) requirements except for recordkeeping and complaint handling requirements, so long as no sterility claims are made, but the manufacturer would still be required to comply with applicable regulations.

510(k) Clearance Pathway

If required to obtain 510(k) clearance for our future products or conversion of our Acuitas MDRO test products to diagnostic kits, such tests would be classified as medical devices and we would have to submit a premarket notification demonstrating that the proposed device is substantially equivalent to a previously cleared 510(k) device or a device that was in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976, for which the FDA has not yet called for the submission of premarket approval applications. FDA’s 510(k) clearance pathway usually takes from three to twelve months. On average the review time is approximately six months, but it can take significantly longer than twelve months in some instances, as the FDA may require additional information, including clinical data, to make a determination regarding substantial equivalence.

After a device receives 510(k) clearance, any modification that could significantly affect its safety or effectiveness, or that would constitute a new or major change in its intended use, will require a new 510(k) clearance or, depending on the modification, require premarket approval. The FDA requires each manufacturer to determine whether the proposed change requires submission of a new 510(k) notice, or a premarket approval, but the FDA can review any such decision and can disagree with a manufacturer’s determination. If the FDA disagrees with a manufacturer’s determination, the FDA can require the manufacturer to cease marketing and/or recall the modified device until 510(k) clearance or premarket approval is obtained. If the FDA requires us to seek 510(k) clearance or premarket approval for any modifications to a previously cleared product, we may be required to cease marketing or recall the modified device until we obtain this clearance or approval. Also, in these circumstances, we may be subject to significant regulatory fines or penalties. We have made and plan to continue to make additional product enhancements to products that we believe do not require new 510(k) clearances.

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 Premarket Approval Pathway

A premarket approval application must be submitted if a device cannot be cleared through the 510(k) process. The premarket approval application process is generally more costly and time consuming than the 510(k) process. A premarket approval application must be supported by extensive data including, but not limited to, analytical, preclinical, clinical trials, manufacturing, statutory preapproval inspections, and labeling to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use.

After a premarket approval application is sufficiently complete, the FDA will accept the application and begin an in-depth review of the submitted information. By statute, the FDA has 180 days to review the “accepted application,” although, generally, review of the application can take between one and three years, but it may take significantly longer. During this review period, the FDA may request additional information or clarification of information already provided. Also during the review period, an advisory panel of experts from outside the FDA may be convened to review and evaluate the application and provide recommendations to the FDA as to the approvability of the device. The preapproval inspections conducted by the FDA include an evaluation of the manufacturing facility to ensure compliance with the QSR, as well as inspections of the clinical trial sites by the Bioresearch Monitoring group to evaluate compliance with good clinical practice and human subject protections. New premarket approval applications or premarket approval application supplements are required for modifications that affect the safety or effectiveness of the device, including, for example, certain types of modifications to the device’s indication for use, manufacturing process, labeling and design. Significant changes to an approved PMA require a 180-day supplement, whereas less substantive changes may utilize a 30-day notice, or the 135-day supplement. Premarket approval supplements often require submission of the same type of information as a premarket approval application, except that the supplement is limited to information needed to support any changes from the device covered by the original premarket approval application, and may not require as extensive clinical data or the convening of an advisory panel. None of our products are currently approved under a premarket approval.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are almost always required to support a premarket approval application and are usually required to support non-exempt Class 1 and Class 2 510(k) premarket submissions. Clinical trials may also be required to support certain marketing claims. If the device presents a “significant risk,” as defined by the FDA, to human health, the FDA requires the device sponsor to file an investigational device exemption (“IDE”) application with the FDA and obtain IDE approval prior to conducting the human clinical trials. The IDE application must be supported by appropriate data, such as analytical, animal and laboratory testing results, manufacturing information, and an Investigational Review Board (“IRB”) approved protocol showing that it is safe to test the device in humans and that the testing protocol is scientifically sound. The IDE application must be approved in advance by the FDA prior to initiation of enrollment of human subjects. Clinical trials for a significant risk device may begin once the investigational device exemption application is approved by the FDA. If the clinical trial design is deemed to be “non-significant risk,” the clinical trial may eligible for the “abbreviated” IDE requirements; in some instances IVD clinical trials may be exempt from the more burdensome IDE requirements if certain labeling requirements are met. All clinical trials conducted to support a premarket submission must be conducted in accordance with FDA regulations and Federal and state regulations concerning human subject protection, including informed consent, oversight by an IRB and healthcare privacy requirements. A clinical trial may be suspended by the FDA or the IRB review board at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to the study participants outweigh the benefits of participation in the study. Even if a study is completed, the results of our clinical testing may not demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the device, or may be equivocal or otherwise not be sufficient to obtain approval of our product. Similarly, in Europe the clinical study must be approved by the local ethics committee and in some cases, including studies of high-risk devices, by the Ministry of Health in the applicable country.

21st Century Cures Act

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act.  The Act contains several sections specific to antimicrobial innovation and antibiotic stewardship, and other provisions related to medical device innovations.  The Company believes that implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act may have a positive impact on the Company’s businesses through facilitating innovation and/or reducing the regulatory burden imposed on medical device manufacturers, especially those involved in antimicrobial susceptibility testing.  The Company cannot predict how and when these initiatives under the Act will be implemented at the federal or state level in which we may do business, or the effect any future regulation will have on us.

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Pervasive and Continuing FDA Regulation

Numerous regulatory requirements apply to our products classified as devices would continue to apply. These include:

 

product listing and establishment registration, which helps facilitate FDA inspections and other regulatory action;

 

QSR, which requires manufacturers, including third-party manufacturers, to follow stringent design, testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures during all aspects of the development and manufacturing process;

 

labeling regulations and FDA prohibitions against the promotion of products for uncleared, unapproved or off-label use or indication;

 

clearance of product modifications that could significantly affect safety or efficacy or that would constitute a major change in intended use of one of our cleared devices;

 

approval of product modifications that affect the safety or effectiveness of one of our cleared devices;

 

medical device reporting regulations, which require that manufacturers comply with FDA requirements to report if their device may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury, or has malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if the malfunction of the device or a similar device were to recur;

 

post-approval restrictions or conditions, including post-approval study commitments;

 

post-market surveillance regulations, which apply when necessary to protect the public health or to provide additional safety and effectiveness data for the device;

 

the FDA’s recall authority, whereby it can ask, or under certain conditions order, device manufacturers to recall from the market a product that is in violation of governing laws and regulations;

 

regulations pertaining to voluntary recalls; and

 

notices of corrections or removals.

OpGen’s Woburn, Massachusetts facility is currently registered as an establishment with the FDA. If the LDTs performed in OpGen’s CLIA lab were deemed medical devices by the FDA, then we and any third-party manufacturers of such devices would need to register with the FDA as medical device manufacturers and obtain all necessary state permits or licenses to operate our business. We and any third-party manufacturers would be subject to announced and unannounced inspections by the FDA to determine our compliance with quality system regulation and other regulations. Our Woburn, Massachusetts facility was inspected by the FDA in 2015. Following such inspection, the FDA issued a report of its findings and observations, typically referred to as “Form 483 observations," primarily related to our quality systems and testing policies and documentation. We have responded to all inspection observations within the required time frame and are working with the FDA’s Office of Compliance to satisfy the identified deficiencies.

Failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements could result in enforcement action by the FDA, which might include any of the following sanctions: (1) untitled letters, warning letters, fines, injunctions, consent decrees and civil penalties; (2) unanticipated expenditures to address or defend such actions; (3) customer notifications for repair, replacement and refunds; (4) recall, detention or seizure of our products; (5) operating restrictions or partial suspension or total shutdown of production; (6) refusing or delaying our requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of new products or modified products; (7) operating restrictions; (8) withdrawing 510(k) clearances or PMA approvals that have already been granted; (9) refusal to grant export approval for our products; or (10) criminal prosecution.

After a medical device is placed on the market, numerous regulatory requirements apply. These include: all of the relevant elements of the QSR, labeling regulations, restrictions on promotion and advertising, the medical device reporting (which requires the manufacturer to report to the FDA if its device may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if it were to recur), the Reports of Corrections and Removals regulations (which requires manufacturers to report certain recalls and field actions to the FDA), and other post-market requirements.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Under HIPAA, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), has issued regulations to protect the privacy and security of protected health information used or disclosed by healthcare providers, such as us, and by certain vendors of ours, also known as our business associates. The regulations include limitations on the use and disclosure of protected health information and impose notification requirements in the event of a breach of protected health information. HIPAA also regulates standardization of data

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content, codes and formats used in healthcare transactions and standardization of identifiers for health plans and providers. Penalties for violations of HIPAA regulations include civil and criminal penalties.

We have developed and implemented policies and procedures designed to comply with these regulations. The requirements under these regulations may change periodically and could have an effect on our business operations if compliance becomes substantially more costly than under current requirements.

In addition to Federal privacy regulations, there are a number of state laws governing confidentiality of health information that are applicable to our business. If our business expands internationally, we would be subject to compliance with other laws regarding confidentiality of health information and privacy.

New laws governing privacy may be adopted in the future as well. We have taken steps to comply with health information privacy requirements to which we are aware that we are subject. However, we can provide no assurance that we are or will remain in compliance with diverse privacy requirements in all of the jurisdictions in which we do business. Failure to comply with privacy requirements could result in civil or criminal penalties, which could have a materially adverse effect on our business.

Federal and State Physician Self-referral Prohibitions

As a clinical laboratory, and manufacturer and seller of diagnostic tests, we are subject to the Federal physician self-referral prohibitions, commonly known as the Stark Law, and to similar restrictions under the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law. Together, these restrictions generally prohibit us from billing a patient or any governmental or private payor for any clinical laboratory services when the physician ordering the service, or any member of such physician’s immediate family, has an investment interest in or compensation arrangement with us, unless the arrangement meets an exception to the prohibition.

Both the Stark Law and the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law contain an exception for compensation paid to a physician for personal services rendered by the physician. We have compensation arrangements with a number of physicians for personal services, such as clinical advisory board services, speaking engagements and other consulting activities. We have structured these arrangements with terms intended to comply with the requirements of the personal services exception to the Stark Law and the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law.

However, we cannot be certain that regulators would find these arrangements to be in compliance with the Stark Law, the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law, or similar state laws. We would be required to refund any payments we receive pursuant to a referral prohibited by these laws to the patient, the payor or the Medicare program, as applicable.

Sanctions for a violation of the Stark Law include the following:

 

denial of payment for the services provided in violation of the prohibition;

 

refunds of amounts collected by an entity in violation of the Stark Law;

 

a civil penalty of up to $15,000 for each service arising out of the prohibited referral;

 

possible exclusion from Federal healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid; and

 

a civil penalty of up to $100,000 against parties that enter into a scheme to circumvent the Stark Law’s prohibition.

These prohibitions apply regardless of the reasons for the financial relationship and the referral. No finding of intent to violate the Stark Law is required for a violation. In addition, knowing violations of the Stark Law may also serve as the basis for liability under the Federal False Claims Act, which prohibits knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the U.S. Government.

Further, if we submit claims in violation of the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law, we can be held liable to the payer for any reimbursement received for the services by us. Finally, other states have self-referral restrictions with which we have to comply that differ from those imposed by Federal and Maryland law. While we have attempted to comply with the Stark Law and the Maryland Physician Self-Referral Law, it is possible that some of our financial arrangements with physicians could be subject to regulatory scrutiny at some point in the future, and we cannot provide assurance that we will be found to be in compliance with these laws following any such regulatory review.

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Federal and State Anti-Kickback Laws

The Federal healthcare program Anti-Kickback Law makes it a felony for a person or entity, including a laboratory, to knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit or receive remuneration, directly or indirectly, in order to induce business that is reimbursable under any Federal healthcare program. A violation of the Anti-Kickback Law may result in imprisonment for up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 in the case of individuals and $500,000 in the case of organizations. Convictions under the Anti-Kickback Law result in mandatory exclusion from Federal healthcare programs for a minimum of five years. In addition, HHS has the authority to impose civil assessments and fines and to exclude healthcare providers and others engaged in prohibited activities from Medicare, Medicaid and other Federal healthcare programs. Actions which violate the Anti-Kickback Law also incur liability under the Federal False Claims Act.

Although the Anti-Kickback Law applies only to Federal healthcare programs, a number of states, including Maryland, have passed statutes substantially similar to the Anti-Kickback Law pursuant to which similar types of prohibitions are made applicable to all other health plans and third-party payers. Violations of Maryland’s anti-kickback law are punishable by tiered criminal penalties based on the crime with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and fines of up to $200,000, or both. Civil penalties include three times the amount of any overpayment made in violation of the statute.

Federal and state law enforcement authorities scrutinize arrangements between healthcare providers and potential referral sources to ensure that the arrangements are not designed as a mechanism to induce patient care referrals or induce the purchase or prescribing of particular products or services. The law enforcement authorities, the courts and Congress have also demonstrated a willingness to look behind the formalities of a transaction to determine the underlying purpose of payments between healthcare providers and actual or potential referral sources. Generally, courts have taken a broad interpretation of the scope of the Anti-Kickback Law, holding that the statute may be violated if merely one purpose of a payment arrangement is to induce referrals or purchases.

In addition to statutory exceptions to the Anti-Kickback Law, regulations provide for a number of safe harbors. If an arrangement meets the provisions of a safe harbor, it is deemed not to violate the Anti-Kickback Law. An arrangement must fully comply with each element of an applicable safe harbor in order to qualify for protection. There are no regulatory safe harbors to the Maryland anti-kickback law.

Among the safe harbors that may be relevant to us is the discount safe harbor. The discount safe harbor potentially applies to discounts provided by providers and suppliers, including laboratories, to physicians or institutions. If the terms of the discount safe harbor are met, the discounts will not be considered prohibited remuneration under the Anti-Kickback Law. Maryland does not have a discount safe harbor.

The personal services safe harbor to the Anti-Kickback Law provides that remuneration paid to a referral source for personal services will not violate the Anti-Kickback Law provided all of the elements of that safe harbor are met. One element is that if the agreement is intended to provide for the services of the physician on a periodic, sporadic or part-time basis, rather than on a full-time basis for the term of the agreement, the agreement must specify exactly the schedule of such intervals, their precise length, and the exact charge for such intervals. Our personal services arrangements with some physicians may not meet the specific requirement of this safe harbor that the agreement specify exactly the schedule of the intervals of time to be spent on the services because the nature of the services, such as speaking engagements, does not lend itself to exact scheduling and therefore meeting this element of the personal services safe harbor is impractical. Failure to meet the terms of the safe harbor does not render an arrangement illegal. Rather, the government may evaluate such arrangements on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all facts and circumstances.

While we believe that we are in compliance with the Anti-Kickback Law and the Maryland anti-kickback law, there can be no assurance that our relationships with physicians, academic institutions and other customers will not be subject to investigation or challenge under such laws. If imposed for any reason, sanctions under the Anti-Kickback Law and the Maryland anti-kickback law could have a negative effect on our business.

Other Federal and State Fraud and Abuse Laws

In addition to the requirements discussed above, several other healthcare fraud and abuse laws could have an effect on our business. For example, provisions of the Social Security Act permit Medicare and Medicaid to exclude an entity that charges the Federal healthcare programs substantially in excess of its usual charges for its services. The terms “usual charge” and “substantially in excess” are ambiguous and subject to varying interpretations.

Further, the Federal False Claims Act prohibits a person from knowingly submitting a claim, making a false record or statement in order to secure payment or retaining an overpayment by the Federal government. In addition to actions initiated by the government itself, the statute authorizes actions to be brought on behalf of the Federal government by a private party having knowledge of the

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alleged fraud, also known as qui tam lawsuits. Because the complaint is initially filed under seal, the action may be pending for some time before the defendant is even aware of the action. If the government is ultimately successful in obtaining redress in the matter or if the plaintiff succeeds in obtaining redress without the government’s involvement, then the plaintiff will receive a percentage of the recovery. It is not uncommon for qui tam lawsuits to be filed by employees, competitors or consultants.

Finally, the Social Security Act includes its own provisions that prohibit the filing of false claims or submitting false statements in order to obtain payment. Violation of these provisions may result in fines, imprisonment or both, and possible exclusion from Medicare or Medicaid programs. Maryland has an analogous state false claims act applicable to state health plans and programs, as do many other states.

Maryland Laboratory Licensing

Maryland requires that any site that performs clinical laboratory testing located in the state of Maryland, with limited exceptions, must be licensed by the state, in addition to meeting Federal CLIA requirements. As such, our laboratory in Gaithersburg, Maryland holds a current Maryland license and is subject to on-site surveys by Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality. Our license was renewed in 2016 and will expire in June 2018.

Other States’ Laboratory Licensing

In addition to Maryland, other states including California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, require licensing of out-of-state laboratories under certain circumstances. We have obtained licenses to receive specimens from Pennsylvania and Florida, and we have submitted an application to New York. We intend to obtain licenses from additional states and jurisdictions where we believe we are required to be licensed, and believe we are in compliance with applicable licensing laws.

From time to time, we may become aware of other states that require out-of-state laboratories to obtain licensure in order to accept specimens from the state, and it is possible that other states do have such requirements or will have such requirements in the future. If we identify any other state with such requirements or if we are contacted by any other state advising us of such requirements, we intend to comply with such requirements.

International Regulation

Sales of diagnostic tests like our Acuitas MDRO test products outside the United States would be subject to foreign government regulations, which vary substantially from country to country. In order to market our products in other countries, we would need to obtain regulatory approvals and comply with extensive safety and quality regulations in other countries. OpGen’s Woburn, Massachusetts facility is currently ISO 13485 certified; the facility passed an inspection by our Notified Body in January 2017. While such certification is not required to distribute products internationally, the ISO 13485 certification implies that we are in compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements to distribute our medical devices internationally. OpGen currently distributes products in the European Union through its Denmark office. The time required to obtain approval by a foreign country may be longer or shorter than that required for FDA clearance or approval, and the requirements may differ significantly. If we elect to, or are required to, seek clearance of or approval for any of our products from the FDA, we may be able to commercialize such products with shorter lead time in international markets, but would need to establish international operations in order to do so.

Environmental Matters

Our operations require the use of hazardous materials (including biological materials) which subject us to a variety of Federal, state and local environmental and safety laws and regulations. Some of these regulations provide for strict liability, holding a party potentially liable without regard to fault or negligence. We could be held liable for damages and fines as a result of our, or others’, business operations should contamination of the environment or individual exposure to hazardous substances occur. We cannot predict how changes in laws or new regulations will affect our business, operations or the cost of compliance.

Glossary  

The following scientific, healthcare, regulatory and OpGen-specific terms are used throughout this Annual Report:

“ACOs” means accountable care organizations, a voluntary combination of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers and other healthcare system participants, including insurers, formed under the PPACA, to provide coordinated healthcare to patients.

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“Acuitas CR Elite” is a comprehensive test for detection of CRE including our Acuitas MDRO gene test, culture based detection, and Acuitas resistome testing on positive specimens.

“Acuitas Lighthouse” is our bioinformatics platform, developed internally to provide real-time information on the MDRO status for patients and hospitals. We combine our molecular test information and microbiology test results from our customized CLIA-based tests to create Acuitas Lighthouse profiles for hospitals, health systems and communities, which we call our Acuitas Lighthouse informatics, and we are developing a more comprehensive and global Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase for use with our Acuitas Rapid Test in development. Acuitas Lighthouse profiling facilitates MDRO tracking and results can be aggregated with hospital data to provide customized reports including alerts, prevalence, trend analysis and transmission information.

“Acuitas MDRO Gene Test” means our internally developed test that detects ten critical MDRO genes, including CRE (7 genes), ESBL (2 genes) and VRE resistant organisms, from one patient swab.

“Acuitas MDRO test products” means our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, Acuitas CR Elite Test and Acuitas Resistome Test.

“Acuitas Rapid Test” mean our diagnostic test in development, capable of providing genetic Resistome information for up to 150 drug resistance genes in one to three hours from specimen collection.

“Acuitas Resistome Test” means our rapid, high resolution test that includes additional resistance genes for carbapenems, ESBLs and AmpC.

“Annual Report” means this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016.

“antibiotic stewardship” has been defined by the CDC to mean hospital-based programs dedicated to improving use of antibiotic therapy with the goal of optimizing the treatment of infections and reducing the adverse events associated with antibiotic use.

“Argus System” means OpGen’s proprietary system used to perform Whole Genome Mapping.

“bioinformatics” refers to methods, algorithms and processes for the collection, classification, storage and analysis of biochemical and biological data and information using computers, especially as applied in molecular genetics and genomics. Our focus is on acquiring such data and information related to MDROs to assist in diagnosis and screening of patients and antibiotic stewardship initiatives by acute care hospitals. When we use the term “advanced bioinformatics,” we mean bioinformatics combined with higher levels of complexity, sophistication and subject matter expertise related to MDROs, diagnostics, antibiotic stewardship, and the development of associated analysis tools, or the novel application of existing bioinformatics in future products or services. In this Annual Report, we also sometimes use the phrase “bioinformatics products and services,” often interchangeably with “bioinformatics platform,” to describe the Company’s focus on the use of bioinformatics and advanced bioinformatics in its current and future product and service offerings.

“bioinformatics platform” means a combination of software tools and analytical processes that streamline the production and analysis of bioinformatics data. When we use the term bioinformatics platform, we are primarily referring to Acuitas Lighthouse.

“CDC” means the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“C. difficile” means Clostridium difficile, an MDRO that causes intestinal tract infections that can lead to sepsis.

“CLIA” means the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act of 1988, as amended.

“CLIA lab” means a clinical or reference laboratory meeting the requirements of the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act of 1988, as amended.

“CMS” means the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“CRE” means carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, an MDRO.

“CRO” means carbapenem-resistant organisms; an MDRO.

“DNA sequencing” is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule.

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“epidemiologically linked” means situations where it is shown that one person is the source of an infection that spreads through contact to one or more other persons.

“ESBL” means extended spectrum beta lactamase bacteria.

“FDA” means the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“HAIs” means hospital acquired infections. Such infections could arise first in the hospital or other healthcare setting, or could result from a patient, colonized with an organism, developing an active infection once admitted to the hospital or other healthcare setting.

“HIPAA” means the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH Act”). HIPAA and HITECH Act are Federal laws mandating security and privacy of protected personal health information of patients.

“hospital biome” is used in this Annual Report to refer to the unique characteristic microbial environment found in a specific hospital or other healthcare setting, which could change from time to time based on the MDRO profile of the institution.

“ICU” means an intensive care unit in a health-care facility.

“IVD” means in vitro diagnostic.

“KPC” means Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase, an MDRO.

“LIMS” means a laboratory information management system.

“MDRO” means a multidrug-resistant organism.

“microfluidic” means devices or processes that are designed, manufactured or formulated to accommodate applications that require very small volumes of fluid, on the order of nanoliters or picoliters.

“PPACA” means the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act.

“QSR” means Quality System Regulation.

“USDA” means the United States Department of Agriculture.

“WHO” means the World Health Organization.

“Whole Genome Mapping” means OpGen’s proprietary technology that provides a customer with a high resolution, ordered, whole genome restriction map generated from single DNA molecules extracted from organisms, such as bacteria, yeast or other fungi, plants or animals and humans. Whole Genome Mapping compliments genome assembly and enables scientist to identify highly repetitive regions, tandem repeats and translocations that are difficult to identify and clarify with sequencing alone.

Employees

As of December 31, 2016, we had 62 employees worldwide, with 61 employed in the United States and 1 employed in Denmark. There are 59 full-time employees. The 61 employees in the United States primarily work in our Gaithersburg, Maryland and Woburn, Massachusetts locations. None of our employees are the subject of collective bargaining arrangements, and our management considers its relationships with employees to be good.

Corporate Information

OpGen, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 2001. On July 14, 2015, the Company acquired AdvanDx, Inc., a Delaware corporation, as a wholly owned subsidiary in a merger transaction. The Company’s headquarters are in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and its principal operations are in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Woburn, Massachusetts. The Company also has operations in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Available Information

The Company maintains a website at www.opgen.com. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is available on our website. We are not incorporating our website into this Annual Report. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, are available free of charge on our website as soon as practicable after electronic filing of such material with, or furnishing it to, the SEC. This information may be read and copied at the Public Reference Room of the SEC at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549. The SEC also maintains an internet website that contains reports, proxy statements, and other information about issuers, like OpGen who file electronically with the SEC. The address of the site is http://www.sec.gov.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

The following are significant factors known to us that could materially harm our business, financial condition or operating results or could cause our actual results to differ materially from our anticipated results or other expectations, including those expressed in any forward-looking statement made in this Annual Report. The risks described are not the only risks facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, also may adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results. If any of these risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, and operating results could suffer significantly.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have a history of losses, and we expect to incur losses for the next several years. The report of our independent registered public accounting firm on our financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 contains explanatory language that substantial doubt exists about our ability to continue as a going concern.

We have incurred substantial losses since our inception, and we expect to continue to incur additional losses for the next several years. For the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, we had net losses of $19.2 million and $17.4 million, respectively. From our inception through December 31, 2016, we had an accumulated deficit of $133.3 million. The report of our independent registered public accounting firm on our financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 contains explanatory language that substantial doubt exists about our ability to continue as a going concern. We completed a number of financings in 2016, including a private investment public equity, or PIPE, in May and June to members of management, employees and accredited investors, including Merck GHI and jVen Capital, and an at-the-market, or ATM, public offering commenced in September 2016.  The net proceeds from such 2016 financings were approximately $13.9 million.

We expect to continue to incur significant operating expenses relating to, among other things:

 

commercializing our rapid pathogen identification and Acuitas MDRO and Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics services;

 

developing our Acuitas Rapid Test products and services for antibiotic resistance testing, and our automated rapid molecular diagnostic products;

 

developing, presenting and publishing additional clinical and economic utility data intended to increase clinician adoption of our current and future products and services, including the efficacy of use of our products in MDRO surveillance activities;

 

expansion of our operating capabilities;

 

maintenance, expansion and protection of our intellectual property portfolio and trade secrets;

 

future clinical trials as we seek regulatory approval for some of our product offerings;

 

expansion of the size and geographic reach of our sales force and our marketing capabilities to commercialize potential future products and services; and

 

continued focus on recruiting and retaining our quality assurance and compliance personnel and activities.

Even if we achieve significant revenues, we may not become profitable, and even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain consistently profitable could adversely affect the market price of our common stock and could significantly impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business or continue to pursue our growth strategy.  We believe that current cash on hand will be sufficient to fund operations into the second quarter of 2017.  In the event we are unable to successfully raise additional capital during or before the second quarter of 2017, we will not have sufficient cash flows and liquidity to finance our business operations as currently contemplated. Accordingly, in such circumstances we would be compelled to reduce general and administrative expenses and delay research and development projects,

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including the purchase of scientific equipment and supplies, until we are able to obtain sufficient financing.  We have no committed sources of capital and may find it difficult to raise money on terms favorable to us or at all. The failure to obtain sufficient capital to support our operations would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We expect to make significant additional investment in the future related to our diagnostic products and services, which investments will require additional financing transactions through the issuance of equity or debt. If we are unable to make such investments our business will suffer.

We anticipate that we will need to make significant investments in our Acuitas Rapid Test in development, Acuitas MDRO tests, bioinformatics services and QuickFISH products and services in order to make our business profitable. We have identified potential synergies for future rapid diagnostic test developments based on our existing product and service offerings, but need to expend significant investments to develop such products and services. There can be no assurance that we can obtain sufficient resources or capital from operations or future financings to support these development activities.

To meet our capital needs, we are considering multiple alternatives, including, but not limited to, additional equity financings, debt financings and other funding transactions, licensing and/or partnering arrangements and business combination transactions. In September 2016, we filed a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 to offer for sale and sell, from time to time, up to $50 million of shares of our common stock.  As a smaller reporting company, we are limited to sales under such shelf registration statement, or similar offerings, of no more than one-third of our public float over a rolling twelve-month period.  In September 2016, we commenced an “at the market,” or ATM, offering under the shelf registration statement to raise up to $11.5 million.  As of December 31, 2016, we have raised approximately $4.7 million under the ATM offering.  We believe that additional equity financings are the most likely source of capital.  There can be no assurance that we will be able to complete any such financing transaction on acceptable terms or otherwise.

We believe that current cash on hand will be sufficient to fund operations into the second quarter of 2017.  In the event we are unable to successfully raise additional capital during or before the second quarter of 2017, we will not have sufficient cash flows and liquidity to finance our business operations as currently contemplated. Accordingly, in such circumstances we would be compelled to immediately reduce general and administrative expenses and delay research and development projects, including the purchase of scientific equipment and supplies, until we is able to obtain sufficient financing. If such sufficient financing is not received timely, we would then need to pursue a plan to license or sell assets, seek to be acquired by another entity, cease operations and/or seek bankruptcy protection.

In July 2015, in connection with our acquisition of AdvanDx, Merck GHI made investments in the Company, including a $1 million senior secured promissory note secured by a security interest in substantially all of our assets, including our intellectual property assets. The secured promissory note requires interest-only payments at a rate of 8% per annum for two years, with the principal due and payable on July 14, 2017. Such secured creditor rights could negatively impact our ability to raise money in the future. If we default on payments under the promissory note, Merck GHI has the rights of a secured creditor. If those rights are exercised, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

Our products and services may never achieve significant commercial market acceptance.

Our products and services may never gain significant acceptance in the marketplace and, therefore, may never generate substantial revenue or profits for us. Our ability to achieve commercial market acceptance for our products will depend on several factors, including:

 

our ability to convince the medical community of the clinical utility of our products and services and their potential advantages over existing tests, including our surveillance services offering, despite the lack of reimbursement for such services;

 

our ability to successfully develop automated rapid pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance testing products and services, including bioinformatics, and convince hospitals and other healthcare providers of the patient safety, improved patient outcomes and potential cost savings that could result;

 

our ability to grow our microbial isolate and antibiotic resistance genes knowledgebase;

 

our ability to convince the medical community of the accuracy and speed of our products and services, as contrasted with the current methods available; and

 

the willingness of hospitals and physicians to use our products and services.

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Our future success is dependent upon our ability to expand our customer base.

The current customers we are targeting for our rapid pathogen identification and Acuitas MDRO test products and services are hospital systems, acute care hospitals, particularly those with advanced care units, such as intensive care units, community-based hospitals and governmental units, such as public health facilities. We need to provide a compelling case for the savings, patient safety and recovery, reduced length of stay and reduced costs that come from adopting our MDRO diagnosis and management products and services. If we are not able to successfully increase our customer base, sales of our products and our margins may not meet expectations. Attracting new customers and introducing new products and services requires substantial time and expense. Any failure to expand our existing customer base, or launch new products and services, would adversely affect our ability to improve our operating results.

We have seen declining revenues from our current customers for our QuickFISH products as we work to automate and expand our current product offerings. We may not be successful in developing such automated rapid pathogen identification products, which would materially, adversely affect our business.

During the third quarter of 2016, we encountered supply chain issues that impacted our ability to deliver our QuickFISH products to customers.  Although such supply chain issues were resolved, future supply chain or other manufacturing issues could adversely affect our ability to deliver our products to our customers and adversely impact our revenues and results of operations.  

We are developing new diagnostic products for the more rapid identification of MDROs and antibiotic resistance genomic information.  If we are unable to successfully develop, receive regulatory clearance or approval for or commercialize such new products and services, our business will be materially, adversely affected.

We are currently beginning development of a new one to three hour antibiotic resistance diagnostic product that we believe could help address many of the current issues with the need for more rapid identification of infectious diseases and testing for antibiotic resistance.  Development of new diagnostic products is difficult and we cannot assure you that we will be successful in such product development efforts, or, if successful, that we will receive the necessary regulatory clearances to commercialize such products.  Our intent is to identify over 100 antibiotic resistance genes to help guide clinician antibiotic therapy decisions when test results are evaluated using the Acuitas Lighthouse.  Although we have demonstrated preliminary feasibility, and confirmed genotype/phenotype predictive algorithms, such product development efforts will require us to work collaboratively with other companies, academic and government laboratories, and healthcare providers to access sufficient numbers of microbial isolates, develop the diagnostic tests, identify and license a third-party rapid array platform, successfully conduct the necessary clinical trials and apply for and receive regulatory clearances or approvals for the intended use of such diagnostic tests.  In addition, we would need to successfully commercialize such products. Such product development, clearance or approval and commercialization activities are time-consuming, expensive and we are not assured that we will have sufficient funds to successfully complete such efforts.  We currently estimate that such antibiotic resistance diagnostic tests will be commercially available by 2019.  Any significant delays or failures in this process could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

We may offer these products in development to the research use only market or for other non-clinical research uses prior to receiving clearance or approval to commercialize these products in development for use in the clinical setting.  We will need to comply with the applicable laws and regulations regarding such other uses.  Failure to comply with such laws and regulations may have a significant impact on the Company.  

Our sales cycle is lengthy and variable, which makes it difficult for us to forecast revenue and other operating results.

The sales cycles for our Acuitas MDRO test products and services and for our Acuitas Lighthouse services are lengthy, which makes it difficult for us to accurately forecast revenues in a given period, and may cause revenue and operating results to vary significantly from period to period. Potential customers for our products typically need to commit significant time and resources to evaluate our products, and their decision to purchase our products may be further limited by budgetary constraints and numerous layers of internal review and approval, which are beyond our control. We spend substantial time and effort assisting potential customers in evaluating our products. Even after initial approval by appropriate decision makers, the negotiation and documentation processes for the actual adoption of our products on a facility-wide basis can be lengthy. As a result of these factors, based on our experience to date, our sales cycle, the time from initial contact with a prospective customer to routine commercial use of our products, has varied and could be 12 months or longer, which has made it difficult for us to accurately project revenues and operating results. In addition, the revenue generated from sales of our products may fluctuate from time to time due to changes in the testing volumes of our customers. As a result, our results may fluctuate on a quarterly basis, which may adversely affect the price of our common stock.

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We have in the past, and in the future may, enter into collaborations with third parties to develop product and services candidates. If these collaborations are not successful, our business could be adversely affected.  

We have entered into licensing and collaboration agreements with third parties in the past related to our Whole Genome Mapping products and services and may enter into additional collaborations in the future related to our MDRO and bioinformatics products and services.  Such collaborations may be with pharmaceutical companies, platform companies or other participants in our industry.  We have limited control over the amount and timing of resources that any such collaborators could dedicate to the development or commercialization of the subject matter of any such collaboration. Our ability to generate revenues from these arrangements would depend on our and our collaborator’s abilities to successfully perform the functions assigned to each of us in these arrangements. Our relationships with future collaborators may pose several risks, including the following:

 

collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to these collaborations;

 

collaborators may not perform their obligations as expected;

 

we may not achieve any milestones, or receive any milestone payments, under our collaborations, including milestones and/or payments that we expect to achieve or receive;

 

the clinical trials, if any, conducted as part of these collaborations may not be successful;

 

a collaborator might elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on clinical trial results, changes in the collaborator’s strategic focus or available funding or external factors, such as an acquisition, that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;

 

we may not have access to, or may be restricted from disclosing, certain information regarding product or services candidates being developed or commercialized under a collaboration and, consequently, may have limited ability to inform our stockholders about the status of such product or services candidates;

 

collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidates if the collaborators believe that competitive products are more likely to be successfully developed or can be commercialized under terms that are more economically attractive than ours;

 

product or services candidates developed in collaboration with us may be viewed by our collaborators as competitive with their own product or services, which may cause collaborators to cease to devote resources to the commercialization of our product or services candidates;

 

a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more of our product or services candidates that achieve regulatory approval may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of any such product candidate;

 

disagreements with collaborators, including disagreements over proprietary rights, contract interpretation or the preferred course of development of any product or services candidates, may cause delays or termination of the research, development or commercialization of such product or services candidates, may lead to additional responsibilities for us with respect to such product or services candidates or may result in litigation or arbitration, any of which would be time-consuming and expensive;

 

collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential litigation;

 

disputes may arise with respect to the ownership of intellectual property developed pursuant to a collaboration;

 

collaborators may infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability; and

 

collaborations may be terminated for the convenience of the collaborator and, if terminated, we could be required to raise additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product or services candidates.

If our future collaborations do not result in the successful development and commercialization of products or services, we may not receive any future research funding or milestone or royalty payments under the collaborations. If we do not receive the funding we would expect under these agreements, our development of product and services candidates could be delayed and we may need additional resources to develop our product candidates.  

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We may not be successful in finding strategic collaborators for continuing development of certain of our product or services candidates or successfully commercializing or competing in the market for certain indications.

We may seek to develop strategic partnerships for developing certain of our product or services candidates, due to capital costs required to develop the product or services candidates or manufacturing constraints. We may not be successful in our efforts to establish such a strategic partnership or other alternative arrangements for our product or services candidates because our research and development pipeline may be insufficient, our product or services candidates may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort or third parties may not view our product or services candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate commercial success.

If we are unable to reach agreements with suitable collaborators on a timely basis, on acceptable terms or at all, we may have to curtail the development of a product or service candidate, reduce or delay our development program, delay our potential commercialization, reduce the scope of any sales or marketing activities or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense. If we elect to fund development or commercialization activities on our own, we may need to obtain additional expertise and additional capital, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we fail to enter into collaborations and do not have sufficient funds or expertise to undertake the necessary development and commercialization activities, we may not be able to further develop our product candidates and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We may enter into agreements with U.S. or other government agencies, which could be subject to uncertain future funding.

The presence of MDROs and the need for antibiotic stewardship activities have prompted state, federal and international government agencies to develop programs to combat the effects of MDROs.  In the future, we may seek to enter into agreements with governmental funding sources or contract with government healthcare organizations to sell our products and services.  If we enter into such funding agreements, we would rely on the continued performance by these government agencies of their responsibilities under these agreements, including adequate continued funding of the agencies and their programs. We have no control over the resources and funding that government agencies may devote to these agreements, which may be subject to annual renewal.

Government agencies may fail to perform their responsibilities under these agreements, which may cause them to be terminated by the government agencies. In addition, we may fail to perform our responsibilities under these agreements. Any government agreements would be subject to audits, which may occur several years after the period to which the audit relates. If an audit identified significant unallowable costs, we could incur a material charge to our earnings or reduction in our cash position. As a result, we may be unsuccessful entering, or ineligible to enter, into future government agreements.

We are an early commercial stage company and may never be profitable.

We rely principally on the commercialization of our QuickFISH and Acuitas MDRO test products and our Acuitas Lighthouse services to generate future revenue growth. To date, the Acuitas MDRO test products and Acuitas Lighthouse services have delivered only minimal revenue. We believe that our commercialization success is dependent upon our ability to significantly increase the number of hospitals, long-term care facilities and other inpatient healthcare settings that use our products. We have experienced very limited revenue and customer adoption for our Acuitas MDRO products and services to date. If demand for products does not increase as quickly as we have planned, we may be unable to increase our revenue levels as expected. We are currently not profitable. Even if we succeed in increasing adoption of our products by our target markets, maintaining and creating relationships with our existing and new customers and developing and commercializing additional molecular testing products, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to achieve or sustain profitability.

The loss of key members of our senior management team or our inability to attract and retain highly skilled scientists and laboratory and field personnel could adversely affect our business.

Our success depends largely on the skills, experience and performance of key members of our executive management team. The efforts of each of these persons will be critical to us as we continue to develop our products and services and as we attempt to transition to a company with broader product offerings. If we were to lose one or more of these key employees, we may experience difficulties in competing effectively, developing our technologies and implementing our business strategies.

Our research and development programs and commercial laboratory operations depend on our ability to attract and retain highly skilled scientists and technicians, particularly as we seek to further integrate operations of the combined company. We may not be able to attract or retain qualified scientists and technicians in the future due to the intense competition for qualified personnel among life science businesses. We also face competition from universities, public and private research institutions and other organizations in recruiting and retaining highly qualified scientific personnel.

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In addition, our success depends on our ability to attract and retain laboratory and field personnel with extensive experience in infection control in inpatient settings. We may have difficulties locating, recruiting or retaining qualified salespeople, which could cause a delay or decline in the rate of adoption of our current and future products and service offerings. If we are not able to attract and retain the necessary personnel to accomplish our business objectives, we may experience constraints that will adversely affect our ability to support our discovery, development, verification and commercialization programs.

We have limited experience in marketing and selling our products, and if we are unable to adequately address our customers’ needs, it could negatively impact sales and market acceptance of our product and we may never generate sufficient revenue to achieve or sustain profitability.

We sell our products through our own direct sales force, which sells our Acuitas MDRO test products and services, which includes our QuickFISH products, and our Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics services and surveillance product and services offerings.  All of these products and services may be offered and sold to different potential customers or involve discussions with multiple personnel in in-patient facilities. Our future sales will depend in large part on our ability to increase our marketing efforts and adequately address our customers’ needs. The inpatient healthcare industry is a large and diverse market. As a result, we believe it is necessary to maintain a sales force that includes sales representatives with specific technical backgrounds that can support our customers’ needs. We will also need to attract and develop sales and marketing personnel with industry expertise. Competition for such employees is intense. We may not be able to attract and retain sufficient personnel to maintain an effective sales and marketing force. If we are unable to successfully market our products and adequately address our customers’ needs, it could negatively impact sales and market acceptance of our products and we may never generate sufficient revenue to achieve or sustain profitability.

We may be unable to manage our future growth effectively, which could make it difficult to execute our business strategy.

We commenced the formal commercial launch of our CLIA lab in late 2013, launched our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test in the second quarter of 2014, launched our Acuitas CR Elite Test in December 2014, our Acuitas Resistome Test in the second quarter of 2015, and we began providing Acuitas Lighthouse informatics in December 2015. In addition, we integrated the sales of our QuickFISH products beginning in the third quarter of 2015. We anticipate future growth in our business operations. This future growth could create strain on our organizational, administrative and operational infrastructure, including laboratory operations, quality control, customer service and sales force management. We may not be able to maintain the quality or expected turn-around times of our diagnostic or screening results, or satisfy customer demand as it grows. Our ability to manage our growth properly will require us to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls, as well as our reporting systems and procedures. The time and resources required to implement the systems to handle such growth is uncertain, and failure to complete this in a timely and efficient manner could adversely affect our operations.

We may fail to realize some or all of the anticipated benefits of the business combination of OpGen and AdvanDx, which may adversely affect the value of our common stock.

The success of the continued integration of AdvanDx will depend, in part, on our ability to realize the anticipated benefits and cost savings from combining the respective business and operations of OpGen and AdvanDx. To realize these anticipated benefits and cost savings, we must successfully combine the acquired business with our legacy operations and integrate our respective operations, technologies and personnel, which is particularly challenging given the geographic and cultural differences between the personnel and facilities based in Maryland and Massachusetts, plus the European operations of AdvanDx, and the lack of experience we have in combining businesses. If we are not able to fully achieve these objectives within the anticipated time frame or at all, the anticipated benefits and cost savings of the acquisition may not be realized fully or at all or may take longer to realize than expected, and the value of our common stock may be adversely affected. In addition, the overall integration of the businesses is a complex, time-consuming and expensive process that, without proper planning and effective and timely implementation, could significantly disrupt our operations.

Risks in integrating AdvanDx into our operations in order to realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition include, among other factors:

 

coordinating research and development activities to enhance the introduction of new diagnostic tests and technology of the combined business;

 

failure to successfully integrate and harmonize financial reporting and information technology systems of the two companies;

 

retaining each company’s relationships with its partners;

 

retaining and integrating key employees from OpGen and AdvanDx;

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managing effectively the diversion of management’s attention from business matters to integration issues;

 

combining research and development capabilities effectively and quickly;

 

integrating partnership efforts so that new partners acquired can easily do business with us; and

 

transitioning all facilities to a common information technology environment.

Actual cost synergies, if achieved at all, may be lower than we expect and may take longer to achieve than anticipated. If we are not able to adequately address these challenges, we may be unable to successfully integrate the operations of the business acquired from AdvanDx into our own, or to realize the anticipated benefits of the integration. The anticipated benefits and synergies assume a successful integration and are based on projections, which are inherently uncertain, and other assumptions. Even if integration is successful, anticipated benefits and synergies may not be achieved. An inability to realize the full extent of, or any of, the anticipated benefits of the acquisition, as well as any delays encountered in the integration process, could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations, which may affect the value of the shares of our common stock.

If the utility of our current products and products in development is not supported by studies published in peer-reviewed medical publications, the rate of adoption of our current and future products and services by clinicians and healthcare facilities may be negatively affected.

The results of our clinical and economic validation studies involving our Acuitas MDRO test and bioinformatics products and services have been presented at major infectious disease and infection control society meetings. We need to maintain and grow a continued presence in peer-reviewed publications to promote clinician adoption of our products. We believe that peer-reviewed journal articles that provide evidence of the utility of our current and future products and services, and adoption by key opinion leaders in the infectious disease market are very important to our commercial success. Clinicians typically take a significant amount of time to adopt new products and testing practices, partly because of perceived liability risks and the uncertainty of a favorable cost/benefit analysis. It is critical to the success of our sales efforts that we educate a sufficient number of clinicians and administrators about our products and demonstrate their clinical benefits. Clinicians may not adopt our current and future products and services unless they determine, based on published peer-reviewed journal articles and the experience of other clinicians, that our products provide accurate, reliable, useful and cost-effective information that is useful in MDRO diagnosis, screening and outbreak prevention. If our current and future products and services or the technology underlying our products and services or our future product offerings do not receive sufficient favorable exposure in peer-reviewed publications, the rate of clinician adoption could be negatively affected. The publication of clinical data in peer-reviewed journals is a crucial step in commercializing our products, and our inability to control when, if ever, results are published may delay or limit our ability to derive sufficient revenue from any product that is the subject of a study.

The performance of clinical and economic utility studies is expensive and demands significant attention from our management team.

The performance of clinical and economic utility studies is expensive and demands significant attention from our management team. Data collected from these studies may not be positive or consistent with our existing data, or may not be statistically significant or compelling to the medical community. If the results obtained from our ongoing or future studies are inconsistent with certain results obtained from our previous studies, adoption of our current and future products and services would suffer and our business would be harmed.

Our products and services are not covered by reimbursement by Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental and third-party payors. If we cannot convince our customers that the savings from use of our products and services will increase their overall reimbursement, our business could suffer.

Our products and services do not currently receive reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, other governmental payors or commercial third-party payors. The recent policy and rule changes in reimbursement announced by CMS, including potential financial incentives for reductions in hospital acquired infection, and penalties and decreased Medicare reimbursement for patients with HAIs provide us with an opportunity to establish a business case for the purchase and use of our screening and diagnostic products and services. If we cannot convince our customers that the savings from use of our products and services will increase or stabilize their overall profitability and improve clinical outcomes, our business will suffer.

If our sole laboratory facility or manufacturing facility becomes inoperable, we will be unable to perform Acuitas MDRO test services, or manufacture our QuickFISH PNA Fish products, and our business will be harmed.

We perform all of our Acuitas MDRO and Acuitas Lighthouse services in our CLIA laboratory located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We do not have redundant laboratory facilities. Our facility and the equipment we use to perform our diagnostic and screening assays

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would be costly to replace and could require substantial lead time to repair or replace, if damaged or destroyed. The facility may be harmed or rendered inoperable by natural or man-made disasters, including flooding and power outages, which may render it difficult or impossible for us to perform our tests for some period of time. The inability to perform our tests may result in the loss of customers or harm our reputation, and we may be unable to regain those customers in the future. Although we possess insurance for damage to our property and the disruption of our business, this insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our potential losses and may not continue to be available to us on acceptable terms, if at all.

In order to establish a redundant laboratory facility, we would have to spend considerable time and money securing adequate space, constructing the facility, recruiting and training employees, and establishing the additional operational and administrative infrastructure necessary to support a second facility. Additionally, any new clinical laboratory facility opened by us would be required to be certified under CLIA, a federal law that regulates clinical laboratories that perform testing on specimens derived from humans for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of disease.  We would also be required to secure and maintain state licenses required by several states, including Maryland, California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania which can take a significant amount of time and result in delays in our ability to begin operations at that facility.  We currently have active licenses in Maryland, Florida and Pennsylvania.  If we failed to secure any such licenses, we would not be able to process samples from recipients in such states. We also expect that it would be difficult, time-consuming and costly to train, equip and use a third-party to perform tests on our behalf. We could only use another facility with the established state licensures and CLIA certification necessary to perform our current or future tests following validation and other required procedures. We cannot assure you that we would be able to find another CLIA-certified facility willing or able to adopt our current or future tests and comply with the required procedures, or that this laboratory would be willing or able to perform the tests for us on commercially reasonable terms.

We manufacture our QuickFISH and PNA Fish products in a leased facility located in Woburn, Massachusetts.  If demand for these products increase beyond our current forecasts or, regulatory requirements arise, we may not be able to meet our obligations to produce these products, and backlog or reduced demand for such products could occur.  If we decide to relocate the facility, we will need to obtain all necessary FDA certifications, which could delay our ability to manufacture these products.  If any of these issues occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

In order to meet the turn-around time required for our Acuitas MDRO test services, we rely on transport of specimens to our sole laboratory facility; any disruption in such transport could significantly adversely affect our business.

Our current customers for our Acuitas MDRO test services are located near our sole laboratory facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As we expand our customer base, and the jurisdictions where we are licensed to provide our CLIA laboratory services, we will need to secure the proper licenses for shipment of specimens and rely on accurate and timely delivery of the specimens by overnight delivery services such as FedEx. Any failure to procure the proper licenses, to comply with the license regulations or to receive undamaged specimens from overnight delivery services could adversely affect our business and reputation.

We rely on a limited number of suppliers or, in some cases, sole suppliers, for some of our laboratory instruments and materials and may not be able to find replacements or immediately transition to alternative suppliers.

We rely on several sole suppliers and manufacturers, including Fluidigm Corporation, for supplying certain laboratory reagents, raw materials, supplies and substances which we use in our laboratory operations and products and to manufacture our products. An interruption in our operations could occur if we encounter delays or difficulties in securing these items or manufacturing our products, and if we cannot, then obtain an acceptable substitute. Any such interruption could significantly affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.

We believe that there are only a few other equipment manufacturers that are currently capable of supplying and servicing the equipment and other supplies and materials necessary for our laboratory operations. The use of equipment or materials furnished by these replacement suppliers would require us to alter our laboratory operations. Transitioning to a new supplier would be time consuming and expensive, may result in interruptions in our laboratory operations, could affect the performance specifications of our laboratory operations or could require that we revalidate our products. There can be no assurance that we will be able to secure alternative equipment and other materials, and bring such equipment and materials on line and revalidate them without experiencing interruptions in our workflow. If we should encounter delays or difficulties in securing, reconfiguring or revalidating the equipment we require for our products, our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation could be adversely affected.

If we cannot compete successfully with our competitors, we may be unable to increase or sustain our revenue or achieve and sustain profitability.

Our competitors include rapid diagnostic testing and traditional microbiology companies, commercial laboratories, information technology companies, and hospital laboratories who may internally develop testing capabilities. Principal competitive factors in our

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target market include: organizational size, scale, and breadth of product offerings; rapidity of test results; quality and strength of clinical and analytical validation data and confidence in diagnostic results; cost effectiveness; ease of use; and regulatory approval status.

Our principal competition comes from traditional methods used by healthcare providers to diagnose and screen for MDROs and from other molecular diagnostic companies creating screening and diagnostic products such as Cepheid, Becton-Dickinson, bioMérieux, Accelerate Diagnostics, T2 Biosystems GenMark and Nanosphere.

We also face competition from commercial laboratories, such as Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc., Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated and EuroFins, which have strong infrastructure to support the commercialization of diagnostic services.

Competitors may develop their own versions of competing products in countries where we do not have patents or where our intellectual property rights are not recognized.

Many of our potential competitors have widespread brand recognition and substantially greater financial, technical, research and development and selling and marketing capabilities than we do. Others may develop products with prices lower than ours that could be viewed by hospitals, physicians and payers as functionally equivalent to our product and service offering, or offer products at prices designed to promote market penetration, which could force us to lower the list prices of our product and service offerings and affect our ability to achieve profitability. If we are unable to change clinical practice in a meaningful way or compete successfully against current and future competitors, we may be unable to increase market acceptance and sales of our products, which could prevent us from increasing our revenue or achieving profitability and could cause our stock price to decline.

If we are unable to develop products to keep pace with rapid technological, medical and scientific change, our operating results and competitive position could be harmed. New test development involves a lengthy and complex process, and we may not be successful in our efforts to develop and commercialize our diagnostic and screening products and services. The further development and commercialization of additional diagnostic and screening product and service offering are key to our growth strategy.

A key element of our strategy is to discover, develop, validate and commercialize a portfolio of additional diagnostic and screening products and services to rapidly diagnose and effectively treat MDRO infections and reduce the associated costs to patients, inpatient facilities and the healthcare industry. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully complete development of or commercialize any of our planned future products and services, or that they will be clinically usable. The product development process involves a high degree of risk and may take up to several years or more. Our new product development efforts may fail for many reasons, including:

 

failure of the test at the research or development stage;

 

lack of clinical validation data to support the effectiveness of the test;

 

delays resulting from the failure of third-party suppliers or contractors to meet their obligations in a timely and cost-effective manner;

 

failure to obtain or maintain necessary certifications, licenses, clearances or approvals to market or perform the test; or

 

lack of commercial acceptance by in-patient healthcare facilities.

Few research and development projects result in commercial products, and success in early clinical studies often is not replicated in later studies. At any point, we may abandon development of new products, or we may be required to expend considerable resources repeating clinical studies or trials, which would adversely impact the timing for generating potential revenues from those new products. In addition, as we develop new products, we will have to make additional investments in our sales and marketing operations, which may be prematurely or unnecessarily incurred if the commercial launch of a product is abandoned or delayed.

Our insurance policies are expensive and protect us only from some business risks, which will leave us exposed to significant uninsured liabilities.

We do not carry insurance for all categories of risk that our business may encounter. Some of the policies we currently maintain include general liability, employee benefits liability, property, umbrella, business interruption, workers’ compensation, product liability, errors and omissions and directors’ and officers’ insurance. We do not know, however, if we will be able to maintain existing insurance with adequate levels of coverage. Any significant uninsured liability may require us to pay substantial amounts, which would adversely affect our cash position and results of operations.

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If we use hazardous materials in a manner that causes injury, we could be liable for damages.

Our activities currently require the use of hazardous materials and the handling of patient samples. We cannot eliminate the risk of accidental contamination or injury to employees or third parties from the use, storage, handling or disposal of these materials. In the event of contamination or injury, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources or any applicable insurance coverage we may have. Additionally, we are subject on an ongoing basis to federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the use, storage, handling and disposal of these materials and specified waste products. We are, or may be in the future, subject to compliance with additional laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment and human health and safety, and including those relating to the handling, transportation and disposal of medical specimens, infectious and hazardous waste and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), requirements.

If we are sued for product liability or errors and omissions liability, we could face substantial liabilities that exceed our resources.

The marketing, sale and use of our products could lead to product liability claims if someone were to allege that a product failed to perform as it was designed. We may also be subject to liability for errors in the results we provide to physicians or for a misunderstanding of, or inappropriate reliance upon, the information we provide. For example, if we diagnosed a patient as having an MDRO but such result was a false positive, the patient could be unnecessarily isolated in an in-patient setting or receive inappropriate treatment. We may also be subject to similar types of claims related to products we may develop in the future. A product liability or errors and omissions liability claim could result in substantial damages and be costly and time consuming for us to defend. Although we maintain product liability and errors and omissions insurance, we cannot assure you that our insurance would fully protect us from the financial impact of defending against these types of claims or any judgments, fines or settlement costs arising out of any such claims. Any product liability or errors and omissions liability claim brought against us, with or without merit, could increase our insurance rates or prevent us from securing insurance coverage in the future. Additionally, any product liability lawsuit could cause injury to our reputation or cause us to suspend sales of our products and services. The occurrence of any of these events could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

We have incurred net losses since inception and do not expect to become profitable in 2017 or for several years thereafter. To the extent that we continue to generate taxable losses, unused losses will carry forward to offset future taxable income, if any, until such unused losses expire. We may be unable to use these net operating loss carryforwards (“NOLs”), and certain tax credit carryforwards to offset income before such unused NOLs tax credit carryforwards expire. Under Section 382 of the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership over a three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change NOLs and other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income may be further limited. The Merger with AdvanDx resulted in an ownership change for AdvanDx and, accordingly, AdvanDx’s net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes in U.S. taxing jurisdictions are subject to limitations on their use after the Merger. OpGen’s net operating loss carryforwards may also be subject to limitation as a result of prior shifts in equity ownership and/or the Merger. Additional ownership changes in the future could result in additional limitations on our net operating loss carryforwards. Consequently, even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of our net operating loss carryforwards and other tax attributes, which could have a material adverse effect on cash flow and results of operations. We have not performed an analysis on previous ownership changes. It is possible that we have experienced an ownership change, or that we will experience an ownership change in the future. We had U.S. federal NOL carryforwards of $151.0 million and research and development tax credits of $2.6 million as of December 31, 2016, that may already be or could be limited if we experience an ownership change.

We may be adversely affected by the current economic environment and future adverse economic environments.

Our ability to attract and retain customers, invest in and grow our business and meet our financial obligations depends on our operating and financial performance, which, in turn, is subject to numerous factors, including the prevailing economic conditions and financial, business and other factors beyond our control, such as the rate of unemployment, the number of uninsured persons in the United States and inflationary pressures. We cannot anticipate all the ways in which the current economic climate and financial market conditions, and those in the future, could adversely impact our business.

We are exposed to risks associated with reduced profitability and the potential financial instability of our customers, many of which may be adversely affected by volatile conditions in the financial markets. For example, unemployment and underemployment, and the resultant loss of insurance, may decrease the demand for healthcare services and diagnostic testing. If fewer patients are seeking medical care because they do not have insurance coverage, we may experience reductions in revenues, profitability and/or cash flow. In addition, if economic challenges in the United States result in widespread and prolonged unemployment, either regionally or on a national basis, a substantial number of people may become uninsured or underinsured. To the extent such economic challenges result in less demand for our proprietary tests, our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely affected.

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Risks Related to Our Securities and Public Company Status

Trading of our common stock is limited, and trading restrictions imposed on us by applicable regulations may further reduce trading in our common stock, making it difficult for our stockholders to sell their shares; and future sales of common stock could reduce our stock price.

Trading of our common stock is currently conducted on The NASDAQ Capital Market. The liquidity of our common stock is limited, not only in terms of the number of shares that can be bought and sold at a given price, but also as it may be adversely affected by delays in the timing of transactions and reduction in security analysts’ and the media’s coverage of us, if at all. As of December 31, 2016, a significant number of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock were held by officers, directors and beneficial owners of at least 10% of our outstanding shares, each of whom is subject to certain restrictions with regard to trading our common stock.  In addition, Merck GHI became our principal stockholder following the 2016 PIPE financing transaction; as of December 31, 2016 it owns approximately 21% of our outstanding common stock, and has the right to acquire approximately 3.0 million additional shares upon the exercise of stock purchase warrants, which, if exercised, could put its ownership at approximately 30% of our outstanding shares.  These factors may result in different prices for our common stock than might otherwise be obtained in a more liquid market and could also result in a larger spread between the bid and asked prices for our common stock. In addition, without a large public float, our common stock is less liquid than the stock of companies with broader public ownership, and, as a result, the trading prices of our common stock may be more volatile. In the absence of an active public trading market, an investor may be unable to liquidate his investment in our common stock. Trading of a relatively small volume of our common stock may have a greater impact on the trading price of our stock than would be the case if our public float were larger. We cannot predict the prices at which our common stock will trade in the future, if at all.

Directors, executive officers, principal stockholders and affiliated entities own a significant percentage of our capital stock, and they may make decisions that you do not consider to be in the best interests of our stockholders.

Our directors, executive officers, principal stockholders and affiliated entities beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately 59% of our outstanding common stock as of the date of this filing.  As a result, if some or all of them acted together, they would have the ability to exert substantial influence over the election of our Board of Directors and the outcome of issues requiring approval by our stockholders.  This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of the Company that may be favored by other stockholders.  This could prevent transactions in which stockholders might otherwise recover a premium for their shares over current market prices.

The exercise of outstanding common stock purchase warrants and stock options will have a dilutive effect on the percentage ownership of our capital stock by existing stockholders.

As of December 31, 2016, we had outstanding warrants to acquire 10,506,524 shares of our common stock, and stock options to acquire 2,977,660 shares of our common stock.  The expiration of the term of such options and warrants range from August 2017 to December 2026.  A significant number of such warrants are out of the money, but the holders have the right to effect a cashless exercise of such warrants.  If a significant number of such warrants and stock options are exercised by the holders, the percentage of our common stock owned by our existing stockholders will be diluted.

We will incur increased costs and demands on management as a result of compliance with laws and regulations applicable to public companies, which could harm our operating results.

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, as well as rules implemented by the SEC and The NASDAQ Stock Market, impose a number of requirements on public companies, including with respect to corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance and disclosure obligations. Moreover, these rules and regulations will increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly. We also expect that it will be more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance.

Changes in, or interpretations of, accounting rules and regulations could result in unfavorable accounting changes or require us to change our compensation policies.

Accounting methods and policies for diagnostic companies, including policies governing revenue recognition, research and development and related expenses and accounting for stock-based compensation, are subject to further review, interpretation and guidance from relevant accounting authorities, including the SEC. Changes to, or interpretations of, accounting methods or policies may require us to reclassify, restate or otherwise change or revise our financial statements, including those contained in this Annual Report. Restatement of our financial statements could have a negative impact on our business.

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If we are unable to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our reported financial information and the market price of our common stock may be negatively affected.

As a public company, we are required to maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal control. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and provide a management report on internal control over financial reporting. If we have a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, we may not detect errors on a timely basis and our financial statements may be materially misstated.

When we are no longer an emerging growth company, our independent registered public accounting firm will be required to issue an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm may conclude that there are material weaknesses with respect to our internal controls or the level at which our internal controls are documented, designed, implemented or reviewed.

When we are no longer an emerging growth company, if our auditors were to express an adverse opinion on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting because we had one or more material weaknesses, investors could lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial disclosures, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline. Internal control deficiencies could also result in a restatement of our financial results in the future.

We are an emerging growth company and may elect to comply with reduced public company reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies, which could make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined under the Securities Act. We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although if our revenue exceeds $1 billion in any fiscal year before that time, we would cease to be an emerging growth company as of the end of that fiscal year. In addition, if the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our second fiscal quarter of any fiscal year before the end of that five-year period, we would cease to be an emerging growth company as of December 31 of that year. As an emerging growth company, we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to certain other public companies, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced financial statement and financial-related disclosures, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirement of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and obtaining stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved by our stockholders. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive if we choose to rely on any of these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result of any choices to reduce future disclosure we may make, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

Risks Related to Regulation of Our Business

If we fail to comply with federal, state and foreign laboratory licensing requirements, we could lose the ability to perform our tests or experience disruptions to our business.

We are subject to CLIA for our Acuitas MDRO tests, a federal law that regulates clinical laboratories that perform testing on specimens derived from humans for the purpose of providing information for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of disease. CLIA regulations mandate specific standards in the areas of personnel qualifications, administration and participation in proficiency testing, patient test management and quality assurance. CLIA certification is also required in order for us to be eligible to bill state and federal healthcare programs, as well as many private third-party payors. To renew these certifications, we are subject to survey and inspection every two years. Moreover, CLIA inspectors may make random inspections of our clinical reference laboratories.

We are also required to maintain state licenses to conduct testing in our laboratories. Maryland law requires that we maintain a state license and establishes standards for the day-to-day operation of our clinical reference laboratory in Gaithersburg, including the training and skills required of personnel and quality control matters. In addition, our clinical reference laboratory is required to be licensed on a test-specific basis by New York State. New York law also mandates proficiency testing for laboratories licensed under New York state law, regardless of whether such laboratories are located in New York. Moreover, several other states including California, Pennsylvania, and Florida require that we hold licenses to test samples from patients in those states. Other states may adopt similar requirements in the future.

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If we were to lose, or have restrictions imposed on, our CLIA certificate or Maryland license for our Gaithersburg laboratory, whether as a result of revocation, suspension or limitation, we would no longer be able to perform our test products, which would eliminate our primary source of revenue and harm our business. If we cannot secure a license from New York or from other states where we are required to hold licenses, we will not be able to test specimens from those states.

A number of the rapid diagnostic products are regulated by the FDA and non-U.S. regulatory authorities. If we or our suppliers fail to comply with ongoing FDA, or other foreign regulatory authority, requirements, or if we experience unanticipated problems with the products, these products could be subject to restrictions or withdrawal from the market.

We do not have significant experience in complying with the rules and regulations of the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities. The rapid diagnostic products regulated as medical devices, and the manufacturing processes, reporting requirements, post-approval clinical data and promotional activities for such products, are subject to continued regulatory review, oversight and periodic inspections by the FDA and other domestic and foreign regulatory bodies. In particular, we and our suppliers are required to comply with FDA’s QSR and ISO regulations for the manufacture, labeling, distribution and promotion of the QuickFISH products and other regulations which cover the methods and documentation of the design, testing, production, control, quality assurance, labeling, packaging, storage and shipping of any product for which we obtain clearance or approval. Regulatory bodies, such as the FDA, enforce the QSR and other regulations through periodic inspections. The failure by us or one of our suppliers to comply with applicable statutes and regulations administered by the FDA and other regulatory bodies, or the failure to timely and adequately respond to any adverse inspectional observations or product safety issues, could result in, among other things, any of the following enforcement actions: (1) untitled letters, warning letters, fines, injunctions, consent decrees and civil penalties; (2) unanticipated expenditures to address or defend such actions; (3) customer notifications for repair, replacement and refunds; (4) recall, detention or seizure of our products; (5) operating restrictions or partial suspension or total shutdown of production; (6) refusing or delaying our requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of new products or modified products; (7) operating restrictions; (8) withdrawing 510(k) clearances or PMA approvals that have already been granted; (9) refusal to grant export approval for our products; or (10) criminal prosecution.

If any of these actions were to occur it could harm our reputation and cause our product sales and profitability to suffer and may prevent us from generating revenue. Furthermore, if any of our key component suppliers are not in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements we may be unable to produce our products on a timely basis and in the required quantities, if at all.

We are also subject to periodic inspections by the FDA to determine compliance with the FDA’s requirements, including primarily the quality system regulations and medical device reporting regulations. The results of these inspections can include inspectional observations on FDA’s Form 483, warning letters, or other forms of enforcement. Since 2009, the FDA has significantly increased its oversight of companies subject to its regulations, by hiring new investigators and stepping up inspections of manufacturing facilities. The FDA has recently also significantly increased the number of warning letters issued to companies. If the FDA were to conclude that we are not in compliance with applicable laws or regulations, or that any of our FDA-cleared products are ineffective or pose an unreasonable health risk, the FDA could take a number of regulatory actions, which could materially adversely affect our business.

Some of the clearances obtained are subject to limitations on the intended uses for which the product may be marketed, which can reduce our potential to successfully commercialize the product and generate revenue from the product. If the FDA determines that our promotional materials, labeling, training or other marketing or educational activities constitute promotion of an unapproved use, it could request that we cease or modify our training or promotional materials or subject us to regulatory enforcement actions. It is also possible that other federal, state or foreign enforcement authorities might take action if they consider our training or other promotional materials to constitute promotion of an unapproved use, which could result in significant fines or penalties under other statutory authorities, such as laws prohibiting false claims for reimbursement.

In addition, we may be required to conduct costly post-market testing and surveillance to monitor the safety or effectiveness of our products, and we must comply with medical device reporting requirements, including the reporting of adverse events and malfunctions related to our products. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with our products, including unanticipated adverse events or adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, manufacturing problems, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements such as QSR, may result in changes to labeling, restrictions on such products or manufacturing processes, withdrawal of the products from the market, voluntary or mandatory recalls, a requirement to repair, replace or refund the cost of any medical device we manufacture or distribute, fines, suspension of regulatory approvals, product seizures, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties which would adversely affect our business, operating results and prospects.

If we were to lose, or have restrictions imposed on, FDA clearances received to date, our business, operations, financial condition and results of operations would likely be significantly adversely affected.

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If the FDA were to begin regulating our laboratory tests, we could incur substantial costs and delays associated with trying to obtain premarket clearance or other approvals.

Clinical laboratory tests, like our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test, are regulated under CLIA, as well as by applicable state laws. Historically, most LDTs were not subject to FDA regulations applicable to medical devices, although reagents, instruments, software or components provided by third parties and used to perform LDTs may be subject to regulation. The FDA defines the term “laboratory developed test” as an IVD test that is intended for clinical use and designed, manufactured and used within a single laboratory. We believe that our Acuitas MDRO test products are LDTs. Until 2014, the FDA exercised enforcement discretion such that it did not enforce provisions of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “FDA Act”) with respect to LDTs. In July 2014, due to the increased proliferation of LDTs for complex diagnostic testing and concerns with several high-risk LDTs related to lack of evidentiary support for claims, erroneous results and falsification of data, the FDA issued guidance that, when finalized, would adopt a risk-based framework that would increase FDA oversight of LDTs. As part of this developing framework, FDA issued draft guidance in October 2014, informing manufacturers of LDTs of its intent to collect information from laboratories regarding their current LDTs and newly developed LDTs through a notification process. The FDA will use this information to classify LDTs and to prioritize enforcement of premarket review requirements for categories of LDTs based on risk, using a public process. Specifically, the FDA plans to use advisory panels to provide recommendations to the agency on LDT risks, classification and prioritization of enforcement of applicable regulatory requirements on certain categories of LDTs, as appropriate.

We cannot provide any assurance that FDA regulation, including premarket review, will not be required in the future for our tests, whether through additional guidance or regulations issued by the FDA, new enforcement policies adopted by the FDA or new legislation enacted by Congress. It is possible that legislation will be enacted into law, regulations could be promulgated or guidance could be issued by the FDA which may result in increased regulatory burdens for us to continue to offer our tests or to develop and introduce new tests. We cannot predict the timing or content of future legislation enacted, regulations promulgated or guidance issued regarding LDTs, or how it will affect our business.

If FDA premarket review, including clearance or approval, is required for our Acuitas MDRO test products or any of our future tests (either alone or together with sample collection devices), products or services we may develop, or we decide to voluntarily pursue FDA clearance or approval, we may be forced to stop selling our tests while we work to obtain such FDA clearance or approval. Our business would be negatively affected until such review was completed and clearance to market or approval was obtained. The regulatory process may involve, among other things, successfully completing additional clinical studies and submitting premarket notification or filing a premarket approval application with the FDA. If premarket review is required by the FDA or if we decide to voluntarily pursue FDA premarket review of our tests, there can be no assurance that our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test or any tests, products or services we may develop in the future will be cleared or approved on a timely basis, if at all, nor can there be assurance that labeling claims will be consistent with our current claims or adequate to support continued adoption of our tests. If our tests are allowed to remain on the market but there is uncertainty in the marketplace about our tests, if we are required by the FDA to label them investigational, or if labeling claims the FDA allows us to make are limited, orders may decline. Ongoing compliance with FDA regulations would increase the cost of conducting our business, and subject us to heightened regulation by the FDA and penalties for failure to comply with these requirements.

If we are required to but fail to maintain regulatory approvals and clearances, or are unable to obtain, or experience significant delays in obtaining, FDA clearances or approvals for our products or product enhancements, our ability to commercially distribute and market our products could suffer.

If the FDA determines that enforcement discretion is not appropriate or that LDTs are generally subject to FDA regulation and that premarket review, including clearance or approval, is required for our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test or any of our future tests, diagnostic test kits that we may develop, or other products that would be classified as medical devices, the process of obtaining regulatory clearances or approvals to market a medical device can be costly and time consuming, and we may not be able to obtain these clearances or approvals on a timely basis, if at all. In particular, the FDA permits commercial distribution of a new medical device only after the device has received clearance under Section 510(k) of the FDA Act, or is the subject of an approved PMA, unless the device is specifically exempt from those requirements. The FDA will clear marketing of a lower risk medical device through the 510(k) process if the manufacturer demonstrates that the new product is substantially equivalent to other 510(k)-cleared products. High risk devices deemed to pose the greatest risk, such as life-sustaining, life-supporting, or implantable devices, or devices not deemed substantially equivalent to a previously cleared device, require the approval of a PMA. The PMA process is more costly, lengthy and uncertain than the 510(k) clearance process. A PMA application must be supported by extensive data, including, but not limited to, technical, preclinical, clinical trial, manufacturing and labeling data, to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction the safety and efficacy of the device for its intended use. Our currently commercialized products have not received FDA clearance or approval, as they are marketed under the FDA’s enforcement discretion for LDTs or are class I medical devices, which are exempt from the requirement for FDA clearance or approval.

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Our failure to comply with U.S. federal, state and foreign governmental regulations could lead to the issuance of warning letters or untitled letters, the imposition of injunctions, suspensions or loss of regulatory clearance or approvals, product recalls, termination of distribution, product seizures or civil penalties. In the most extreme cases, criminal sanctions or closure of our manufacturing facility are possible.

Modifications to our marketed products may require new 510(k) clearances or PMA approvals, or may require us to cease marketing or recall the modified products until clearances or approvals are obtained.

If we are required to obtain 510(k) clearance or PMA approval for any of our current or future products, any modification to those products would require additional clearances or approvals. Modifications to a 510(k)-cleared device that could significantly affect its safety or efficacy, or that would constitute a major change in its intended use, requires a new 510(k) clearance or, possibly, a PMA. The FDA requires every manufacturer to make this determination in the first instance, but the FDA may review the manufacturer’s decision. The FDA may not agree with our decisions regarding whether new clearances or approvals are necessary. If the FDA requires us to seek 510(k) clearance or a PMA for any modification to a previously cleared product, we may be required to cease marketing and distributing, or to recall the modified product until we obtain such clearance or approval, and we may be subject to significant regulatory fines or penalties. Further, our products could be subject to recall if the FDA determines, for any reason, that our products are not safe or effective. Any recall or FDA requirement that we seek additional approvals or clearances could result in significant delays, fines, increased costs associated with modification of a product, loss of revenue and potential operating restrictions imposed by the FDA.

There is no guarantee that the FDA will grant 510(k) clearance or PMA approval of our future products, and failure to obtain necessary clearances or approvals for our future products would adversely affect our ability to grow our business.

Some of our future products may require 510(k) clearance from the FDA. Other products, potentially, could require PMA approval. In addition, some of our new products may require clinical trials to support regulatory approval and we may not successfully complete these clinical trials. The FDA may not approve or clear these products for the indications that are necessary or desirable for successful commercialization. Indeed, the FDA may refuse our requests for 510(k) clearance or premarket approval of new products. Failure to receive a required clearance or approval for our new products would have an adverse effect on our ability to expand our business.

Our products may in the future be subject to product recalls that could harm our reputation, business and financial results.

The FDA and similar foreign governmental authorities have the authority to require the recall of regulated products in the event of material deficiencies or defects in design or manufacture. In the case of the FDA, the authority to require a recall must be based on an FDA finding that there is a reasonable probability that the device would cause serious injury or death. In addition, foreign governmental bodies have the authority to require the recall of our products in the event of material deficiencies or defects in design or manufacture. Manufacturers may, under their own initiative, recall a product if any material deficiency in a device is found. A government-mandated or voluntary recall by us or one of our distributors could occur as a result of component failures, manufacturing errors, design or labeling defects or other deficiencies and issues. Recalls of any of our products would divert managerial and financial resources and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The FDA requires that certain classifications of recalls be reported to FDA within 10 working days after the recall is initiated. Companies are required to maintain certain records of recalls, even if they are not reportable to the FDA. We may initiate voluntary recalls involving our products in the future that we determine do not require notification of the FDA. If the FDA disagrees with our determinations, they could require us to report those actions as recalls. A future recall announcement could harm our reputation with customers and negatively affect our sales. In addition, the FDA could take enforcement action for failing to report the recalls when they were conducted.

If our products cause or contribute to a death or a serious injury, or malfunction in certain ways, we will be subject to medical device reporting regulations, which can result in voluntary corrective actions or agency enforcement actions.

Under the FDA medical device reporting regulations, medical device and LDT manufacturers are required to report to the FDA information that a device or LDT has or may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury or has malfunctioned in a way that would likely cause or contribute to death or serious injury if the malfunction of the device or one of our similar devices were to recur. If we fail to report these events to the FDA within the required timeframes, or at all, FDA could take enforcement action against us. Any such adverse event involving our products also could result in future voluntary corrective actions, such as recalls or customer notifications, or agency action, such as inspection or enforcement action. Any corrective action, whether voluntary or involuntary, as well as defending ourselves in a lawsuit, will require the dedication of our time and capital, distract management from operating our business, and may harm our reputation and financial results.

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We may be subject to fines, penalties or injunctions if we are determined to be promoting the use of our products for unapproved or "off-label" uses.

We believe that our Acuitas MDRO test products are LDTs, subject to the FDA’s enforcement discretion. To remain within the FDA’s enforcement discretion, we are restricted in the ways we can promote and market our products. Furthermore, certain of our future products, including specimen transport containers we may develop such as Grow on the Go, might be regulated as class I medical devices for which premarket clearance or approval is not required, subject to certain limitations. We believe that our promotional activities for our products fall within the scope of the FDA’s enforcement discretion and applicable premarket exemptions. However, the FDA could disagree and require us to stop promoting our products in certain ways unless and until we obtain FDA clearance or approval for them. In addition, because our products are not currently cleared or approved by the FDA, if the FDA determines that our promotional materials constitute promotion of a use for which premarket clearance or approval is required, it could request that we modify our promotional materials or subject us to regulatory or enforcement actions, including the issuance of an untitled letter, a warning letter, injunction, seizure, civil fine and criminal penalties. It is also possible that other federal, state or foreign enforcement authorities might take action if they consider our promotional materials to constitute promotion of an unapproved use, which could result in significant fines or penalties under other statutory authorities, such as laws prohibiting false claims for reimbursement. In that event, our reputation could be damaged and adoption of the products would be impaired.

We may generate a larger portion of our future revenue internationally and would then be subject to increased risks relating to international activities which could adversely affect our operating results.

We believe that a portion of our future revenue growth will come from international sources as we implement and expand overseas operations. Engaging in international business involves a number of difficulties and risks, including:

 

required compliance with existing and changing foreign health care and other regulatory requirements and laws, such as those relating to patient privacy;

 

required compliance with anti-bribery laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), and U.K. Bribery Act, data privacy requirements, labor laws and anti-competition regulations;

 

export or import restrictions;

 

various reimbursement and insurance regimes;

 

laws and business practices favoring local companies;

 

longer payment cycles and difficulties in enforcing agreements and collecting receivables through certain foreign legal systems;

 

political and economic instability;

 

potentially adverse tax consequences, tariffs, customs charges, bureaucratic requirements and other trade barriers;

 

foreign exchange controls;

 

difficulties and costs of staffing and managing foreign operations; and

 

difficulties protecting or procuring intellectual property rights.

As we expand internationally, our results of operations and cash flows would become increasingly subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. Our expenses are generally denominated in the currencies in which our operations are located, which is in the United States. If the value of the U.S. dollar increases relative to foreign currencies in the future, in the absence of a corresponding change in local currency prices, our future revenue could be adversely affected as we convert future revenue from local currencies to U.S. dollars. If we dedicate resources to our international operations and are unable to manage these risks effectively, our business, operating results and prospects will suffer.

We face the risk of potential liability under the FCPA for past international distributions of products and to the extent we distribute products or otherwise operate internationally in the future.

In the past, we have distributed certain of our products internationally, and in the future we may distribute our products internationally and possibly engage in additional international operations. The FCPA prohibits companies such as us from engaging, directly or indirectly, in making payments to foreign government and political officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or securing any other improper advantage, including, among other things, the distribution of products and other international business operations. Like other U.S. companies operating abroad, we may face liability under the FCPA if we, or third parties we have used to distribute our products or otherwise advance our international business, have violated the FCPA. Any violations of these laws, or

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allegations of such violations, could disrupt our operations, involve significant management distraction, involve significant costs and expenses, including legal fees, and could result in a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations. We could also suffer severe penalties, including criminal and civil penalties, disgorgement and other remedial measures.

Risks Related to Compliance with Healthcare and Other Regulations

Changes in healthcare policy, including legislation reforming the U.S. healthcare system, may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operations.

In March 2010, President Obama signed into law both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Affordable Care Act”) and the reconciliation law known as Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (the “Reconciliation Act,” and, with the Affordable Care Act, the “2010 Health Care Reform Legislation”). The constitutionality of the 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation was confirmed twice by the Supreme Court of the United States. The 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation has changed the existing state of the health care system by expanding coverage through voluntary state Medicaid expansion, attracting previously uninsured persons through the new health care insurance exchanges and by modifying the methodology for reimbursing medical services, drugs and devices. Both Congressional leaders and newly elected President Trump have announced plans to repeal or modify the 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation.  At this time the Company is not certain as to the impact of federal health care legislation on its business.

The 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation subjects manufacturers of medical devices to an excise tax of 2.3% on certain U.S. sales of medical devices beginning in January 2013. This excise tax was suspended in December 2015 for two years, and we anticipate that this may be repealed. If eventually implemented, this excise tax will likely increase our expenses in the future.

Further, the 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation includes the Open Payments Act (formerly referred to as the Physician Payments Sunshine Act), which, in conjunction with its implementing regulations, requires certain manufacturers of certain drugs, biologics, and devices that are reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to report annually certain payments or “transfers of value” provided to physicians and teaching hospitals and to report annually ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members during the preceding calendar year. We have provided reports under the Open Payments Act to the CMS since 2013.   The failure to report appropriate data accurately, timely, and completely could subject us to significant financial penalties. Other countries and several states currently have similar laws and more may enact similar legislation.  

We cannot predict whether future healthcare initiatives will be implemented at the federal or state level or in countries outside of the United States in which we may do business, or the effect any future legislation or regulation will have on us. The taxes imposed by the new federal legislation and the expansion in government’s effect on the United States healthcare industry may result in decreased profits to us, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure in our information technology, storage systems or our digital platform technology could significantly disrupt our operations and our research and development efforts, which could adversely impact our revenues, as well as our research, development and commercialization efforts.

Our ability to execute our business strategy depends, in part, on the continued and uninterrupted performance of our information technology systems, which support our operations and our research and development efforts, as well as our storage systems and our analyzers. Due to the sophisticated nature of the technology we use in our products and service offerings, including our Acuitas Lighthouse services, we are substantially dependent on our information technology systems. information technology systems are vulnerable to damage from a variety of sources, including telecommunications or network failures, malicious human acts and natural disasters. Moreover, despite network security and back-up measures, some of our servers are potentially vulnerable to physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses and similar disruptive problems. Despite the precautionary measures we have taken to prevent unanticipated problems that could affect our information technology systems, sustained or repeated system failures that interrupt our ability to generate and maintain data, and in particular to operate our digital immunoassay platform, could adversely affect our ability to operate our business. Any interruption in the operation of our digital immunoassay platform, due to information technology system failures, part failures or potential disruptions in the event we are required to relocate our instruments within our facility or to another facility, could have an adverse effect on our operations.

Security breaches, loss of data and other disruptions could compromise sensitive information related to our business or prevent us from accessing critical information and expose us to liability, which could adversely affect our business and our reputation.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, including legally protected health information and personally identifiable information about our customers and their patients. We also store sensitive intellectual property and other proprietary business information, including that of our customers. We manage and maintain our applications and data utilizing a combination of on-site

42


 

systems and cloud-based data center systems. These applications and data encompass a wide variety of business critical information, including research and development information, commercial information and business and financial information.

We face four primary risks relative to protecting this critical information: loss of access risk, inappropriate disclosure risk, inappropriate modification risk and the risk of our being unable to identify and audit our controls over the first three risks.

We are highly dependent on information technology networks and systems, including the Internet, to securely process, transmit and store this critical information. Security breaches of this infrastructure, including physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses, attacks by hackers and similar breaches, can create system disruptions, shutdowns or unauthorized disclosure or modification of confidential information. The secure processing, storage, maintenance and transmission of this critical information is vital to our operations and business strategy, and we devote significant resources to protecting such information. Although we take measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure, our information technology and infrastructure may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or viruses or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions.

A security breach or privacy violation that leads to disclosure or modification of or prevents access to consumer information (including personally identifiable information or protected health information) could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with disparate state breach notification laws, require us to verify the correctness of database contents and otherwise subject us to liability under laws that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenue. If we are unable to prevent such security breaches or privacy violations or implement satisfactory remedial measures, our operations could be disrupted, and we may suffer loss of reputation, financial loss and other regulatory penalties because of lost or misappropriated information, including sensitive consumer data. In addition, these breaches and other inappropriate access can be difficult to detect, and any delay in identifying them may lead to increased harm of the type described above.

Any such breach or interruption could compromise our networks, and the information stored there could be inaccessible or could be accessed by unauthorized parties, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such interruption in access, improper access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, such as the federal HIPAA and regulatory penalties. Unauthorized access, loss or dissemination could also disrupt our operations, including our ability to perform tests, provide test results, bill facilities or patients, process claims and appeals, provide customer assistance services, conduct research and development activities, collect, process and prepare Company financial information, provide information about our current and future solutions and other patient and clinician education and outreach efforts through our website, and manage the administrative aspects of our business and damage our reputation, any of which could adversely affect our business. Any such breach could also result in the compromise of our trade secrets and other proprietary information, which could adversely affect our competitive position.

In addition, the interpretation and application of consumer, health-related, privacy and data protection laws in the U.S. and elsewhere are often uncertain, contradictory and in flux. It is possible that these laws may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our practices. If so, this could result in government-imposed fines or orders requiring that we change our practices, which could adversely affect our business. Complying with these various laws could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices and compliance procedures in a manner adverse to our business.

Payments for our tests and other services could decline because of factors beyond our control.

If hospital patient volumes drop as a result of severe economic conditions, or other unforeseen changes in healthcare provision or affordability, individual hospitals and health systems may be less willing to invest in our products and services. In addition, state and federal funds that are anticipated to be invested in the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria could be reduced. If such funds are reduced, the market for our products would be impacted, which may affect our ability to generate revenues.

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If we accept payment from federal and state healthcare programs in the future, we will be subject to enforcement actions involving false claims, kickbacks, physician self-referral or other federal or state fraud and abuse laws, and we could incur significant civil and criminal sanctions and loss of reimbursement, which would hurt our business.

The government has made enforcement of the false claims, anti-kickback, physician self-referral and various other fraud and abuse laws a major priority. In many instances, private whistleblowers also are authorized to enforce these laws even if government authorities choose not to do so. Several clinical diagnostic laboratories and members of their management have been the subject of this enforcement scrutiny, which has resulted in very significant civil and criminal settlement payments. In most of these cases, private whistleblowers brought the allegations to the attention of federal enforcement agencies. The risk of our being found in violation of these laws and regulations is increased by the fact that some of the laws and regulations have not been fully interpreted by the regulatory authorities or the courts, and their provisions are open to a variety of interpretations. In the event we begin accepting reimbursement from federal or state healthcare programs for our tests, we would be subject to the following laws:

 

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which constrains certain marketing practices, educational programs, pricing policies and relationships with healthcare providers or other entities by prohibiting, among other things, soliciting, receiving, offering or paying remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce or in return for, the purchase or recommendation of an item or service reimbursable under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs;

 

federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws, which prohibit, among other things, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment from Medicare, Medicaid, or other third party payors that are false or fraudulent;

 

federal physician self-referral laws, such as the Stark Law, which prohibit a physician from making a referral to a provider of certain health services with which the physician or the physician’s family member has a financial interest, and prohibit submission of a claim for reimbursement pursuant to a prohibited referral; and

 

state law equivalents of each of the above federal laws, such as anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to items or services reimbursed by any third party payor, including commercial insurers, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

If we or our operations, are found to be in violation of any of these laws and regulations, we may be subject to penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, exclusion from participation in U.S. federal or state healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. We have compliance policies and are in the process of adopting a written compliance plan based on the HHS Office of the Inspector General guidance set forth in its model compliance plan for clinical laboratories, and federal and state fraud and abuse laws. We will monitor changes in government enforcement, particularly in these areas, as we grow and expand our business. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses, divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business and hurt our reputation. If we were excluded from participation in U.S. federal healthcare programs, we would not be able to receive, or to sell our tests to other parties who receive reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs, and that could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we cannot license rights to use technologies on reasonable terms, we may not be able to commercialize new products in the future.

In the future, we may license third-party technology to develop or commercialize new products. In return for the use of a third party’s technology, we may agree to pay the licensor royalties based on sales of our solutions. Royalties are a component of cost of services and affect the margins on our products. We may also need to negotiate licenses to patents and patent applications after introducing a commercial product. Our business may suffer if we are unable to enter into the necessary licenses on acceptable terms, or at all, if any necessary licenses are subsequently terminated, if the licensors fail to abide by the terms of the license or fail to prevent infringement by third parties, or if the licensed patents or other rights are found to be invalid or unenforceable.

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property effectively, our business would be harmed.

We rely on patent protection as well as trademark, copyright, trade secret and other intellectual property rights protection and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary technologies, all of which provide limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage. If we fail to protect our intellectual property, third parties may be able to compete more effectively against us and we may incur substantial litigation costs in our attempts to recover or restrict use of our intellectual property.

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In July 2015, we issued a senior secured promissory note, in the principal amount of $1 million, to Merck GHI. Such Note is secured by a lien on our assets, including our intellectual property assets. If we default on our payment obligations under the Note, Merck GHI has the right to control the disposition of our assets, including our intellectual property assets. If such default occurs, and our intellectual property assets are sold or licensed, our business could be materially adversely affected.

We apply for patents covering our products and technologies and uses thereof, as we deem appropriate, however we may fail to apply for patents on important products and technologies in a timely fashion or at all, or we may fail to apply for patents in potentially relevant jurisdictions. It is possible that none of our pending patent applications will result in issued patents in a timely fashion or at all, and even if patents are granted, they may not provide a basis for intellectual property protection of commercially viable products, may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be challenged and invalidated by third parties. It is possible that others will design around our current or future patented technologies. We may not be successful in defending any challenges made against our patents or patent applications. Any successful third-party challenge to our patents could result in the unenforceability or invalidity of such patents and increased competition to our business. The outcome of patent litigation can be uncertain and any attempt by us to enforce our patent rights against others may not be successful, or, if successful, may take substantial time and result in substantial cost, and may divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business.

The patent positions of life sciences companies can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions for which important legal principles remain unresolved. No consistent policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in such companies’ patents has emerged to date in the United States or elsewhere. Courts frequently render opinions in the biotechnology field that may affect the patentability of certain inventions or discoveries, including opinions that may affect the patentability of methods for analyzing or comparing DNA.

In particular, the patent positions of companies engaged in the development and commercialization of genomic diagnostic tests, like ours, are particularly uncertain. Various courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have recently rendered decisions that affect the scope of patentability of certain inventions or discoveries relating to certain diagnostic tests and related methods. These decisions state, among other things, that patent claims that recite laws of nature (for example, the relationship between blood levels of certain metabolites and the likelihood that a dosage of a specific drug will be ineffective or cause harm) are not themselves patentable. What constitutes a law of nature is uncertain, and it is possible that certain aspects of genetic diagnostics tests would be considered natural laws. Accordingly, the evolving case law in the United States may adversely affect our ability to obtain patents and may facilitate third-party challenges to any owned and licensed patents. The laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and we may encounter difficulties protecting and defending such rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of many other countries do not favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biotechnology, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents in such countries. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial cost and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business.

Changes in either the patent laws or in interpretations of patent laws in the United States or other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property. We cannot predict the breadth of claims that may be allowed or enforced in our patents or in third-party patents. We may not develop additional proprietary products, methods and technologies that are patentable.

In addition to pursuing patents on our technology, we take steps to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology by entering into agreements, including confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements and intellectual property assignment agreements, with our employees, consultants, academic institutions, corporate partners and, when needed, our advisors. Such agreements may not be enforceable or may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets or other proprietary information in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure or other breaches of the agreements, and we may not be able to prevent such unauthorized disclosure. If we are required to assert our rights against such party, it could result in significant cost and distraction.

Monitoring unauthorized disclosure is difficult, and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to prevent such disclosure are, or will be, adequate. If we were to enforce a claim that a third party had illegally obtained and was using our trade secrets, it would be expensive and time consuming, and the outcome would be unpredictable. In addition, courts outside the United States may be less willing to protect trade secrets.

We may also be subject to claims that our employees have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of third parties, or to claims that we have improperly used or obtained such trade secrets. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights and face increased competition to our business. A loss of key research personnel work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize potential products, which could harm our business. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.

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Further, competitors could attempt to replicate some or all of the competitive advantages we derive from our development efforts, willfully infringe our intellectual property rights, design around our protected technology or develop their own competitive technologies that fall outside of our intellectual property rights. Others may independently develop similar or alternative products and technologies or replicate any of our products and technologies. If our intellectual property does not adequately protect us against competitors’ products and methods, our competitive position could be adversely affected, as could our business.

We have not yet registered certain of our trademarks in all of our potential markets. If we apply to register these trademarks, our applications may not be allowed for registration in a timely fashion or at all, and our registered trademarks may not be maintained or enforced. In addition, opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademark applications and registrations, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. If we do not secure registrations for our trademarks, we may encounter more difficulty in enforcing them against third parties than we otherwise would.

To the extent our intellectual property offers inadequate protection, or is found to be invalid or unenforceable, we would be exposed to a greater risk of direct competition. If our intellectual property does not provide adequate coverage of our competitors’ products, our competitive position could be adversely affected, as could our business. Both the patent application process and the process of managing patent disputes can be time consuming and expensive.

We may be involved in litigation related to intellectual property, which could be time-intensive and costly and may adversely affect our business, operating results or financial condition.

We may receive notices of claims of direct or indirect infringement or misappropriation or misuse of other parties’ proprietary rights from time to time. Some of these claims may lead to litigation. We cannot assure you that we will prevail in such actions, or that other actions alleging misappropriation or misuse by us of third-party trade secrets, infringement by us of third-party patents and trademarks or other rights, or the validity of our patents, trademarks or other rights, will not be asserted or prosecuted against us.

We might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by each of our pending patent applications and we might not have been the first to file patent applications for these inventions. To determine the priority of these inventions, we may have to participate in interference proceedings, derivation proceedings, or other post-grant proceedings declared by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that could result in substantial cost to us. No assurance can be given that other patent applications will not have priority over our patent applications. In addition, recent changes to the patent laws of the United States allow for various post-grant opposition proceedings that have not been extensively tested, and their outcome is therefore uncertain. Furthermore, if third parties bring these proceedings against our patents, we could experience significant costs and management distraction.

Litigation may be necessary for us to enforce our patent and proprietary rights or to determine the scope, coverage and validity of the proprietary rights of others. The outcome of any litigation or other proceeding is inherently uncertain and might not be favorable to us, and we might not be able to obtain licenses to technology that we require on acceptable terms or at all. Further, we could encounter delays in product introductions, or interruptions in product sales, as we develop alternative methods or products. In addition, if we resort to legal proceedings to enforce our intellectual property rights or to determine the validity, scope and coverage of the intellectual property or other proprietary rights of others, the proceedings could be burdensome and expensive, even if we were to prevail. Any litigation that may be necessary in the future could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition.

As we move into new markets and applications for our products, incumbent participants in such markets may assert their patents and other proprietary rights against us as a means of slowing our entry into such markets or as a means to extract substantial license and royalty payments from us. Our competitors and others may now and, in the future, have significantly larger and more mature patent portfolios than we currently have. In addition, future litigation may involve patent holding companies or other adverse patent owners who have no relevant product revenue and against whom our own patents may provide little or no deterrence or protection. Therefore, our commercial success may depend in part on our non-infringement of the patents or proprietary rights of third parties. Numerous significant intellectual property issues have been litigated, and will likely continue to be litigated, between existing and new participants in our existing and targeted markets and competitors may assert that our products infringe their intellectual property rights as part of a business strategy to impede our successful entry into or growth in those markets. Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. In addition, our competitors and others may have patents or may in the future obtain patents and claim that making, having made, using, selling, offering to sell or importing our products infringes these patents. We could incur substantial costs and divert the attention of our management and technical personnel in defending against any of these claims. Parties making claims against us may be able to obtain injunctive or other relief, which could block our ability to develop, commercialize and sell products, and could result in the award of substantial damages against us. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may be required to pay damages and ongoing royalties, and obtain one or more licenses from third parties, or be prohibited from selling certain products. We may not be able to obtain these licenses on acceptable terms, if at all. We could incur substantial costs related to royalty payments for licenses obtained from third parties, which could negatively affect our

46


 

financial results. In addition, we could encounter delays in product introductions while we attempt to develop alternative methods or products to avoid infringing third-party patents or proprietary rights. Defense of any lawsuit or failure to obtain any of these licenses could prevent us from commercializing products, and the prohibition of sale of any of our products could materially affect our business and our ability to gain market acceptance for our products.

Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. In addition, during the course of this kind of litigation, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

In addition, our agreements with some of our customers, suppliers or other entities with whom we do business require us to defend or indemnify these parties to the extent they become involved in infringement claims, including the types of claims described above. We could also voluntarily agree to defend or indemnify third parties in instances where we are not obligated to do so if we determine it would be important to our business relationships. If we are required or agree to defend or indemnify third parties in connection with any infringement claims, we could incur significant costs and expenses that could adversely affect our business, operating results, or financial condition.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

The Company leases 20,939 square feet of office and laboratory space at our headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Pursuant to this lease agreement, as amended, our lease will continue in effect until January 31, 2021 and may be renewed for one additional five-year period at the Company’s election. The Company also leases 12,770 square feet of office space at its facility in Woburn, Massachusetts under an operating lease that expires in January 2022, and provides the Company with options to extend the lease beyond the current expiration date. Additionally, the Company leases 2,967 square feet of office space in Denmark; this lease is currently on a month-to-month basis. Rent expenses under the Company’s facility operating leases for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015 were $1,000,726 and $683,519, respectively.

We believe that our existing facilities are, or any such new facilities will be, adequate to meet our business requirements for at least the next 18 months and that additional space will be available on commercially reasonable terms, if required.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

From time to time, we may be party to lawsuits in the ordinary course of business. We are currently not a party to any material legal proceedings.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock and IPO warrants have traded on The NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbols “OPGN” and “OPGNW,” respectively, since May 5, 2015. Prior to such time, there was no public market for our common stock or our warrants. The following table shows the high and low sales price for our common stock and IPO warrants as reported by The NASDAQ Capital Market for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

Common Stock:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

1.76

 

 

$

0.89

 

Third Quarter

 

$

3.70

 

 

$

1.36

 

Second Quarter

 

$

1.78

 

 

$

1.03

 

First Quarter

 

$

1.96

 

 

$

1.36

 

IPO Warrants:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

0.26

 

 

$

0.09

 

Third Quarter

 

$

0.49

 

 

$

0.13

 

Second Quarter

 

$

0.46

 

 

$

0.11

 

First Quarter

 

$

0.35

 

 

$

0.19

 

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

Common Stock:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

2.79

 

 

$

1.45

 

Third Quarter

 

$

4.43

 

 

$

2.21

 

Second Quarter (beginning May 5, 2015)

 

$

5.43

 

 

$

3.12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IPO Warrants:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Quarter

 

$

0.59

 

 

$

0.25

 

Third Quarter

 

$

0.84

 

 

$

0.30

 

Second Quarter (beginning May 5, 2015)

 

$

0.95

 

 

$

0.50

 

 

Stockholder Information

As of March 20, 2017, there were approximately 65 stockholders of record of our common stock, which does not include stockholders that beneficially own shares held in a “nominee” or in “street” name.

Dividends

We have not paid cash dividends in the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. We do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future, as we intend to use our revenue and capital to advance our product development and commercialization activities.

Sales of Unregistered Securities

The Company issued no unregistered securities during the fourth quarter of 2016.

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Use of Proceeds from the Sale of Registered Securities

As of December 31, 2016, we have used all of the net cash proceeds from our IPO for sales and marketing, research and development and working capital purposes. There has been no material change in our planned use of the balance of the net proceeds from the IPO as described in our final prospectus dated May 4, 2015 and filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act on May 5, 2015. We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from our IPO. We may find it necessary or advisable to use the net proceeds from our IPO for other purposes than those described in our final prospectus.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

None.

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

As a smaller reporting company, we are not required to provide the information required by this Item.

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report. This discussion contains forward-looking statements, based on current expectations and related to future events and our future financial performance, that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many important factors, including those set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors” included under Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report.

Overview

OpGen was incorporated in Delaware in 2001. On July 14, 2015, OpGen completed the Merger with AdvanDx (“the Merger”) (see Note 4). Pursuant to the terms of a Merger Agreement, Velox Acquisition Corp., OpGen’s wholly owned subsidiary formed for the express purpose of effecting the Merger, merged with and into AdvanDx with AdvanDx surviving as OpGen’s wholly-owned subsidiary. OpGen, AdvanDx are collectively referred to hereinafter as the “Company.” The Company’s headquarters are in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and its principal operations are in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Woburn, Massachusetts. The Company also has operations in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Company operates in one business segment.

OpGen is a precision medicine company using molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. The Company is developing molecular information products and services to combat infectious disease in global healthcare settings, helping to guide clinicians with more rapid information about life threatening infections, improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Its proprietary DNA tests and bioinformatics address the rising threat of antibiotic resistance by helping physicians and other healthcare providers optimize patient care decisions and protect the hospital biome through customized screening and surveillance products and services.

The Company’s molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics offerings combine its Acuitas DNA tests, Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics services, and CLIA lab services for MDRO surveillance. The Company is working to deliver its products and services, some in development, to a global network of customers and partners. These include:

 

Its Acuitas DNA tests, which provide rapid microbial identification, and antibiotic resistance gene information. These products include the QuickFISH family of FDA-cleared and CE-marked diagnostics used to rapidly detect pathogens in positive blood cultures, the Acuitas MDRO Gene Test to detect, type, track, and trend antibiotic resistant organisms in real-time and the Acuitas Rapid Test in development. The Company is working to provide actionable, precise diagnostic information powered by pathogen surveillance data collected through hospital screening programs and a network of hospital and public health laboratories globally.

 

Its Acuitas Lighthouse bioinformatics systems, which are cloud-based HIPAA compliant bioinformatics offerings that combine clinical lab test results with patient and hospital information and provide analytics to help manage MDROs in the hospital and patient care environment. These include its Acuitas Lighthouse informatics, which can be specific to a healthcare facility, public health department or collaborator, such as a pharmaceutical company, and its Acuitas Lighthouse Knowledgebase, a proprietary data warehouse in development to include genomic data matched with antibiotic susceptibility information for microbes and patient information from healthcare providers, in which the Company is beginning to collect and store MDRO information from a variety of sources for use with its Acuitas Rapid Test in development.  

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The Company’s operations are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. The risks include rapid technology changes, the need to manage growth, the need to retain key personnel, the need to protect intellectual property and the need to raise additional capital financing on terms acceptable to the Company. The Company’s success depends, in part, on its ability to develop and commercialize its proprietary technology as well as raise additional capital.

Recent Developments

Since inception, the Company has incurred, and continues to incur, significant losses from operations. The Company has funded its operations primarily through external investor financing arrangements. The Company raised significant funds in 2016, including:

 

$9.5 million in net proceeds from the issuances of common stock, non-voting convertible preferred stock and stock purchase warrants in a private placement to members of management and to accredited investors, including Merck GHI and jVen Capital.  

 

$4.4 million in net proceeds under the "at the market offering" program from the selling of approximately 3.6 million shares of its common stock.

See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below for a description of the Company’s recent financing activities.

Results of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2015

Revenues

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product sales

 

$

3,524,178

 

 

$

2,701,142

 

Laboratory services

 

 

228,904

 

 

 

120,476

 

Collaboration revenue

 

 

272,603

 

 

 

336,102

 

Total revenue

 

$

4,025,685

 

 

$

3,157,720

 

 

Our total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased 27%, to $4.0 million from $3.2 million, when compared to the same period in 2015. This increase is primarily attributable to:

 

Product Sales: the increase in revenue of 30% in 2016 as compared to 2015 is attributable to the inclusion of AdvanDx products sales subsequent to the Merger, offset in part by a reduction in the sale of our Argus products, as we transition from our legacy mapping products to the introduction of Acuitas MDRO products;

 

Laboratory Services: the increase in revenue of 90% in 2016 as compared to 2015 is a result of increases in sales of our Acuitas MDRO test services and Acuitas Lighthouse services; and

 

Collaboration Revenue: the decrease in collaboration revenue of 19% in 2016 as compared to 2015 is primarily the result of decreased revenue associated with our technology development agreement with Hitachi, partially offset by $135,000 of revenue recognized related to the Company’s agreement with Healthcare Services & Solutions LLC, an affiliate of Merck GHI.

Operating expenses

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Cost of products sold

 

$

1,658,571

 

 

$

1,179,771

 

Cost of services

 

 

631,333

 

 

 

367,802

 

Research and development

 

 

8,613,236

 

 

 

6,002,941

 

General and administrative

 

 

6,602,608

 

 

 

5,834,642

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

5,529,274

 

 

 

4,305,444

 

Transaction expenses

 

 

 

 

 

526,283

 

Total operating expenses

 

$

23,035,022

 

 

$

18,216,883

 

 

50


 

The Company’s total operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased 26%, to $23.0 million from $18.2 million, when compared to the same period in 2015. This increase is primarily attributable to:

 

Costs of products sold: cost of products sales for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased approximately 41% when compared to the same period in 2015. The change in costs of products sold is primarily attributable to the inclusion of AdvanDx costs of products sold subsequent to the Merger, offset in part by a reduction in the costs of products sold of our Argus products, as we transition from our legacy mapping products to the introduction of Acuitas MDRO products;

 

Costs of services: cost of services for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased approximately 72% when compared to the same period in 2015. The change in costs of services is primarily attributable to an increase in sales of our Acuitas MDRO test services and Acuitas Lighthouse services;

 

Research and development: research and development expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased approximately 43% when compared to the same period in 2015, primarily due to costs related to the Automated Pathogen identification project;

 

General and administrative: general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased approximately 13% when compared to the same period in 2015, primarily due to a full-year of payroll and facility costs associated with the AdvanDx acquisition in 2015 and public company costs;

 

Sales and marketing: sales and marketing expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 increased approximately 28% when compared to the same period in 2015, primarily due to costs associated with our expanded sales and marketing team, the Intermountain Healthcare Retrospective study, and industry trade show expenses; and

 

Transaction expenses: transaction expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased 100% when compared to the same period in 2015 due to the prior year acquisition of AdvanDx Inc.

Other income (expense)

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Interest expense

 

$

(143,347

)

 

$

(1,801,320

)

Foreign currency transaction losses

 

 

(8,102

)

 

 

 

Change in fair value of derivative financial instruments

 

 

 

 

 

(647,342

)

Interest and other (expense)/income

 

 

(5,967

)

 

 

26,657

 

Total other expense

 

$

(157,416

)

 

$

(2,422,005

)

 

Other expense for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased to a net expense of $157,416 from a net expense of $2,422,005 in the same period of 2015, and was primarily the result of a reduction in interest expense due to the settlement of a significant portion of our debt upon the closing of our IPO and the reclassification of derivative warrant liabilities, which were reclassified to stockholders’ equity upon the closing of our IPO when their net cash-settlement features lapsed.

The Company recognized a benefit for income taxes of $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 (none in 2016) as a result of the net deferred tax liabilities in a U.S. taxing jurisdiction related to the AdvanDx Merger.

Liquidity and capital resources

At December 31, 2016, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $4.1 million, compared to $7.8 million at December 31, 2015. The Company has funded its operations primarily through external investor financing arrangements and has raised significant funds in 2016 and 2015, including:

On September 13, 2016, the Company entered into the Sales Agreement with Cowen and Company LLC (“Cowen”) pursuant to which the Company may offer and sell from time to time, up to an aggregate of $25 million of shares of its common stock through Cowen, as sales agent, with initial sales limited to an aggregate of $11.5 million. Pursuant to the Sales Agreement, Cowen may sell the shares of common stock by any method permitted by law deemed to be an "at the market” offering as defined in Rule 415 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), including, without limitation, sales made by means of ordinary brokers' transactions on The NASDAQ Capital Market or otherwise at market prices prevailing at the time of sale, in block transactions, or as otherwise directed by the Company. The Company pays Cowen compensation equal to 3.0% of the gross proceeds from the sales of common stock pursuant to the terms of the Sales Agreement.  As of December 31, 2016, the Company has sold an aggregate of approximately 3.6 million shares of its common stock under this at the market offering resulting in aggregate net proceeds to the

51


 

Company of approximately $4.4 million, and gross proceeds of $4.7 million. As of December 31, 2016, remaining availability under the at the market offering is $6.8 million. Subsequent to December 31, 2016, the Company has sold an aggregate of approximately 2.1 million shares of its common stock under this at the market offering resulting in aggregate net proceeds to the Company of approximately $2.1 million, and gross proceeds of $2.2 million. Under the initial sales agreement, remaining availability under the at the market offering is $4.6 million.

In May and June 2016, the Company offered and sold units in a private offering to members of management and employees and to accredited investors, including Merck GHI and jVen Capital, each unit consisting of either (i) one share of common stock and a detachable stock purchase warrant to purchase an additional 0.75 shares of common stock, or (ii) one share of non-voting convertible preferred stock and a detachable stock purchase warrant to purchase an additional 0.75 shares of common stock, at a price of $1.14 per unit.  The total net proceeds to the Company, after deducting offering commissions and expenses was $9.5 million.  The Company intends to use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes.  Pursuant to the private placement, the Company issued 6,744,127 shares of common stock, 2,309,428 of non-voting convertible preferred stock and stock purchase warrants to acquire an additional 6,790,169 shares of common stock.

In July 2015, the Company raised $6.0 million by issuing 1,136,364 shares of common stock at $4.40 per share and a $1.0 million senior secured promissory note to Merck GHI. Also in July 2015, the Company entered into a Registration Rights Agreement with Merck GHI and the AdvanDx stockholders who received Merger Consideration in the Merger, which will require the Company to register such shares of Company common stock for resale by such holders in the future. Under the Purchase Agreement, Merck GHI has the right to participate in future securities offerings made by the Company.

In May 2015, OpGen completed its IPO pursuant to which it offered and sold 2,850,000 units, each unit consisting of one share of common stock and a detachable stock purchase warrant to purchase an additional share of common stock, at an initial offering price of $6.00 per unit. Of the total gross proceeds of $17.1 million, approximately $2.1 million was used to satisfy outstanding demand notes by exchanging such notes for 350,000 units in the IPO. After considering the demand notes, underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses, the total net cash proceeds were $12.1 million. On the IPO closing date, the underwriters exercised their over-allotment option to acquire an additional 422,500 stock purchase warrants. In connection with the IPO, all of OpGen’s outstanding Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock, 2014 convertible notes and 2015 convertible notes were converted into 7,374,852 shares of common stock.

To meet its capital needs, the Company is considering multiple alternatives, including, but not limited to, additional equity financings, debt financings and other funding transactions, licensing and/or partnering arrangements and business combination transactions. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to complete any such transaction on acceptable terms or otherwise. The Company believes that current cash on hand will be sufficient to fund operations into the second quarter of 2017.  In the event the Company is unable to successfully raise additional capital during or before the second quarter of 2017, the Company will not have sufficient cash flows and liquidity to finance its business operations as currently contemplated. Accordingly, in such circumstances the Company would be compelled to immediately reduce general and administrative expenses and delay research and development projects, including the purchase of scientific equipment and supplies, until it is able to obtain sufficient financing. If such sufficient financing is not received timely, the Company would then need to pursue a plan to license or sell its assets, seek to be acquired by another entity, cease operations and/or seek bankruptcy protection.

Sources and uses of cash

The following table summarizes the net cash and cash equivalents provided by (used in) operating activities, investing activities and financing activities for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Net cash used in operating activities

 

$

(17,250,637

)

 

$

(14,278,004

)

Net cash (used in)/provided by investing activities

 

 

(123,514

)

 

 

1,181,915

 

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

 

13,664,690

 

 

 

20,169,078

 

 

Net cash used in operating activities

Net cash used in operating activities in 2016 consists primarily of our net loss of $19.2 million, reduced by certain non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization expense of $0.7 million, share-based compensation of $0.9 million, and the net change in operating assets and liabilities of $0.2 million. Net cash used in operating activities for 2015 consists primarily of our net loss of $17.4 million, reduced by certain non-cash items, including depreciation and amortization expense of $0.6 million, share-based compensation expense of $1.4 million, partially offset by the net change in operating assets and liabilities of $1.1 million.

52


 

Net cash used in/provided by investing activities

Net cash used in/provided by investing activities in 2016 consisted solely of the purchase of property and equipment. Net cash provided by investing activities in 2015 includes cash on hand at AdvanDx at the date of the Merger of $1.4 million, along with the purchase of property and equipment.

Net cash provided by financing activities

Net cash provided by financing activities in 2016 of $13.7 million consisted primarily of the net proceeds from our private placement of common stock, non-voting convertible preferred stock and stock purchase warrants and issuance of common stock under the ATM offering. Net cash provided by financing activities in 2015 of $20.2 million consisted primarily of the net proceeds from our IPO of $12.1 million, the net proceeds from the issuance of common stock to Merck GHI of $5.0 million, and the net proceeds from the issuance of debt instruments (including a $1.0 million senior secured promissory note to Merck GHI) of $3.1 million.

Critical accounting policies and use of estimates

This Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations is based on our audited consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amount of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. In our audited consolidated financial statements, estimates are used for, but not limited to, share-based compensation, allowances for doubtful accounts and inventories, valuation of derivative financial instruments, beneficial conversion features of convertible debt, deferred tax assets and liabilities and related valuation allowance, and depreciation and amortization and estimated useful lives of long-lived assets. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

A summary of our significant accounting policies is included in Note 3 to the accompanying audited consolidated financial statements. Certain of our accounting policies are considered critical, as these policies require significant, difficult or complex judgments by management, often requiring the use of estimates about the effects of matters that are inherently uncertain.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue for the sales of QuickFISH, PNA FISH and XpressFISH diagnostic test products is recognized upon shipment to the customer.

The Company recognizes revenue associated with laboratory services contracts when the service has been performed and reports are made available to the customer.

The Company recognizes revenue primarily from sales of the Argus System, sales of extended warranty service contracts for the Argus System, sales of AdvanDx diagnostic products, providing laboratory services, and from “funded software development” arrangements with collaborative parties. Revenue is recognized when the following criteria are met: persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists; delivery has occurred; the selling price is fixed or determinable; and collectability is reasonably assured. At times, the Company sells products and services, or performs software development, under multiple-element arrangements with separate units of accounting; in these situations, total consideration is allocated to the identified units of accounting based on their relative fair value and revenue is then recognized for each unit based on its specific characteristics.

When an Argus System is sold without the Genome Builder software, total arrangement consideration is recognized as revenue when the system is delivered to the customer. Ancillary performance obligations, including installation, limited customer training and limited consumables, are considered inconsequential and are combined with the Argus System as one unit of accounting. When an Argus System is sold with the Genome Builder software in a multiple-element arrangement, total arrangement consideration is allocated to the Argus System and to the Genome Builder software (considered multiple elements) based on their relative selling prices. Selling prices are determined based on sales of similar systems to similar customers and, where no sales have occurred, on management’s best estimate of the expected selling price relative to similar products. Revenue related to the Argus System is recognized when it is delivered to the customer; revenue for the Genome Builder software is recognized when it is delivered to the customer. Revenue is recognized for Genome Builder software and for consumables, when sold on a stand-alone basis, upon delivery to the customer.

The Company recognizes revenue associated with extended warranty service contracts over the service period in proportion to the costs expected to be incurred over that same period. The Company’s funded software development arrangements generally consist of multiple elements. Total arrangement consideration is allocated to the identified units of accounting based on their relative selling

53


 

prices and revenue is then recognized for each unit based on its specific characteristics. When funded software development arrangements include substantive research and development milestones, revenue is recognized for each such milestone when the milestone is achieved and is due and collectible. Milestones are considered substantive if all of the following conditions are met: (1) the milestone is nonrefundable; (2) achievement of the milestone was not reasonably assured at the inception of the arrangement; (3) substantive effort is involved to achieve the milestone; and (4) the amount of the milestone appears reasonable in relation to the effort expended, the other milestones in the arrangement and the related risk associated with achievement of the milestone.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Property and equipment is reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. Recoverability measurement and estimating of undiscounted cash flows is done at the lowest possible level for which we can identify assets. If such assets are considered to be impaired, impairment is recognized as the amount by which the carrying amount of assets exceeds the fair value of the assets.

Definite-lived intangible assets include trademarks, developed technology and customer relationships. If any indicators were present, the Company would test for recoverability by comparing the carrying amount of the asset to the net undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated from the asset. If those net undiscounted cash flows do not exceed the carrying amount (i.e., the asset is not recoverable), the Company would perform the next step, which is to determine the fair value of the asset and record an impairment loss, if any.

Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price for AdvanDx over the fair values of the acquired tangible or intangible assets and assumed liabilities. The Company will conduct an impairment test of goodwill on an annual basis as of October 1 of each year, and will also conduct tests if events occur or circumstances change that would, more likely than not, reduce the Company’s fair value below its net equity value.

Share-Based Compensation

Share-based payments to employees, directors and consultants are recognized at fair value. The resulting fair value is recognized ratably over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the option. The estimated fair value of equity instruments issued to nonemployees is recorded at fair value on the earlier of the performance commitment date or the date the services required are completed.

For all time-vesting awards granted, expense is amortized using the straight-line attribution method. For awards that contain a performance condition, expense is amortized using the accelerated attribution method. Share-based compensation expense recognized is based on the value of the portion of stock-based awards that is ultimately expected to vest during the period. The fair value of share-based payments is estimated, on the date of grant, using the Black-Scholes model. Option valuation models, including the Black-Scholes model, require the input of highly subjective estimates and assumptions, and changes in those estimates and assumptions can materially affect the grant-date fair value of an award. These assumptions include the fair value of the underlying and the expected life of the award.

See additional discussion of the use of estimates relating to share-based compensation, and a discussion of management’s methodology for developing each of the assumptions used in such estimates, in Note 3 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.

Recent accounting pronouncements

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued guidance for revenue recognition for contracts, superseding the previous revenue recognition requirements, along with most existing industry-specific guidance. The guidance requires an entity to review contracts in five steps: 1) identify the contract, 2) identify performance obligations, 3) determine the transaction price, 4) allocate the transaction price, and 5) recognize revenue. The new standard will result in enhanced disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue arising from contracts with customers. In August 2015, the FASB issued guidance approving a one-year deferral, making the standard effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, with early adoption permitted only for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. In March 2016, the FASB issued guidance to clarify the implementation guidance on principal versus agent considerations for reporting revenue gross rather than net, with the same deferred effective date.  In April 2016, the FASB issued guidance to clarify the identification of performance obligations and licensing arrangements. In May 2016, the FASB issued guidance addressing the presentation of sales and other similar taxes collected from customers, providing clarification of the collectability criterion assessment, as well as clarifying certain transition requirements.  The Company is currently evaluating the impact, if any, that this guidance will have on its consolidated financial statements.

54


 

In August 2014, the FASB issued guidance requiring management to evaluate on a regular basis whether any conditions or events have arisen that could raise substantial doubt about the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern. The guidance 1) provides a definition for the term “substantial doubt,” 2) requires an evaluation every reporting period, interim periods included, 3) provides principles for considering the mitigating effect of management’s plans to alleviate the substantial doubt, 4) requires certain disclosures if the substantial doubt is alleviated as a result of management’s plans, 5) requires an express statement, as well as other disclosures, if the substantial doubt is not alleviated, and 6) requires an assessment period of one year from the date the financial statements are issued. This guidance is effective for the annual periods ending after December 15, 2016 and for annual and interim reporting periods thereafter. The Company has made the appropriate disclosures required by this guidance. The adoption of this guidance has had no financial statement impact.

In April 2015, the FASB issued accounting guidance requiring that debt issuance costs related to a recognized liability be presented on the balance sheet as a direct reduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability, consistent with debt discounts. The recognition and measurement guidance for debt issuance costs are not affected. The standard is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015. The Company adopted this guidance effective January 1, 2016 on a retrospective basis, and all periods are presented under this guidance.

In April 2015, the FASB issued guidance as to whether a cloud computing arrangement (e.g., software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, and other similar hosting arrangements) includes a software license and, based on that determination, how to account for such arrangements. If a cloud computing arrangement includes a software license, then the customer should account for the software license element of the arrangement consistent with the acquisition of other software licenses. If a cloud computing arrangement does not include a software license, the customer should account for the arrangement as a service contract. The guidance is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015, and can be adopted on either a prospective or retrospective basis. The Company adopted this guidance for the year ended December 31, 2016, on a prospective basis. The adoption of this new guidance did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In July 2015, the FASB issued accounting guidance for inventory. Under the guidance, an entity should measure inventory within the scope of this guidance at the lower of cost and net realizable value, except when inventory is measured using LIFO or the retail inventory method. Net realizable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable costs of completion, disposal, and transportation. In addition, the FASB has amended some of the other inventory guidance to more clearly articulate the requirements for the measurement and disclosure of inventory. The standard is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The amendments in this pronouncement should be applied prospectively, with earlier application permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact, if any, that this new accounting pronouncement will have on its consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued guidance for the accounting for leases. The guidance requires lessees to recognize assets and liabilities related to long-term leases on the consolidated balance sheets and expands disclosure requirements regarding leasing arrangements. The guidance is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and early adoption is permitted. The guidance must be adopted on a modified retrospective basis and provides for certain practical expedients. The Company is currently evaluating the impact, if any, that this new accounting pronouncement will have on its financial statements.

In March 2016, the FASB issued guidance simplifying the accounting for and financial statement disclosure of stock-based compensation awards. Under the guidance, all excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies related to stock-based compensation awards are to be recognized as income tax expenses or benefits in the income statement and excess tax benefits should be classified along with other income tax cash flows in the operating activities section of the statement of cash flows. Under the guidance, companies can also elect to either estimate the number of awards that are expected to vest or account for forfeitures as they occur. In addition, the guidance amends some of the other stock-based compensation awards guidance to more clearly articulate the requirements and cash flow presentation for withholding shares for tax-withholding purposes. The guidance is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption is permitted, though all amendments of the guidance must be adopted in the same period. The adoption of certain amendments of the guidance must be applied prospectively, and adoption of the remaining amendments must be applied either on a modified retrospective basis or retrospectively to all periods presented. The Company elected to adopt the guidance effective for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 and apply it retrospectively for all periods presented. This has not materially impacted the Company's consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows.

The Company has evaluated all other issued and unadopted Accounting Standards Updates and believes the adoption of these standards will not have a material impact on its consolidated results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, the Company did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.

55


 

JOBS Act

On April 5, 2012, the JOBS Act was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. In other words, an “emerging growth company” can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. The Company has elected to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards under Section 102(b)(1) of the JOBS Act. This election allows it to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until those standards apply to private companies. As a result of this election, the Company’s financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with public company effective dates.

Subject to certain conditions set forth in the JOBS Act, as an “emerging growth company,” the Company intends to rely on certain of these exemptions, including without limitation, (i) providing an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and (ii) complying with any requirement that may be adopted by the PCAOB regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements, known as the auditor discussion and analysis. The Company will remain an “emerging growth company” until the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which it has total annual gross revenues of $1 billion or more; (ii) December 31, 2019; (iii) the date on which the Company has issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which the Company is deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the SEC.

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

As a smaller reporting company, the Company is not required to provide the information required by this Item.

Item 8. Financial Statements

The Company’s consolidated financial statements and the report of our independent registered public accounting firm are included in this Annual Report as indicated in Part IV, Item 15.

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

None.

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

The Company's management evaluated, with the participation of the Company's principal executive and principal financial officers, the effectiveness of the Company's disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, as of December 31, 2016. We maintain disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate, to allow for timely decisions regarding disclosure. Based on their evaluation, management has concluded that the Company's disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of December 31, 2016.

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

In the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2016, there have been no changes in the Company's internal controls over financial reporting that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, the Company's internal controls over financial reporting.

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

The Company's management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act). The Company's internal control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements. Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the

56


 

degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. Under the supervision and with the participation of management, including the Company's Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the Company assessed the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016. In making this assessment, management used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission ("COSO") in its statement "Internal Control-Integrated Framework (2013)."

Based on this assessment, management has concluded that, as of December 31, 2016, internal control over financial reporting is effective based on these criteria.

Item 9B. Other Information

None.

57


 

PART III

Item 10. Directors and Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

The Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) are elected at the annual meeting of the stockholders, and serve for the term for which each director is elected and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. Executive officers of the Company are elected by the Board, and serve for a term of one year and until their successors have been elected and qualified or until their earlier resignation or removal by the Board. There are no family relationships among any of the directors and executive officers of the Company. None of the executive officers or directors has been involved in any legal proceedings of the type requiring disclosure by the Company during the past ten years. On July 14, 2015, the Company entered into a Common Stock and Note Purchase Agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with Merck GHI.  Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, the Company’s Board was expanded to seven (7) members and Merck GHI had the right, subject to the consent of the Company, to fill the new vacancy on the Board.  Additionally, for as long as Merck GHI holds at least five percent (5%) of the outstanding common stock of the Company, the Board is required to nominate Merck GHI’s designee, or any replacement, for election by the stockholders at each annual or special meeting of the stockholders at which directors are elected.  Merck GHI nominated, and the Board consented to, David M. Rubin Ph.D. serving as its designee on the Board.  Otherwise, there are no arrangements or understandings between any director or executive officer and the Company pursuant to which he or she was selected as a director.  

The following table sets forth the names and ages of all directors, director nominees and executive officers of the Company and their respective positions with the Company as of the date of this Annual Report:

 

Name

 

Age

 

 

Position

Directors

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evan Jones

 

 

60

 

 

Chief Executive Officer, Director and Chairman of the Board

Brian G. Atwood

 

 

64

 

 

Director

Harry J. D'Andrea

 

 

60

 

 

Director

Timothy J.R. Harris, Ph.D., D.Sc

 

 

66

 

 

Director

Laurence R. McCarthy, Ph.D.

 

 

72

 

 

Director

David M. Rubin, Ph.D.

 

 

52

 

 

Director

Misti Ushio, Ph.D.

 

 

45

 

 

Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Executive Officers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy C. Dec

 

 

58

 

 

Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary

Geoffrey McKinley

 

 

65

 

 

Senior Vice President of R&D and Business Development

Vadim Sapiro

 

 

46

 

 

Chief Information Officer

Robert McG. Lilley

 

 

71

 

 

Chief Commercial Officer

G. Terrance Walker

 

 

58

 

 

Senior Vice President, Research and Development

 

Board of Directors  

The following information summarizes, for each of our directors, his or her principal occupations and other public company directorships for at least the last five years and information regarding the specific experiences, qualifications, attributes and skills of such director:

Evan Jones.  Mr. Jones has served as our Chief Executive Officer since October 2013 and as Chairman of our Board since September 2010.  He served as our President from October 2013 until April 2015.  Since 2007, Mr. Jones has served as managing member of jVen Capital, LLC, a life sciences investment company.  Previously, he co-founded Digene Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on women’s health and molecular diagnostic testing that was sold to Qiagen N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN) in 2007.  He served as chairman of Digene’s board of directors from 1995 to 2007, as Digene’s chief executive officer from 1990 to 2006, and as Digene’s president from 1990 to 1999.  Mr. Jones currently serves on the board of directors of Fluidigm Corporation (NASDAQ: FLDM), a technology company that develops, manufactures and markets life science analytical and preparatory systems, since March 2011, Foundation Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ: FMI), a cancer testing molecular informatics company, since January 2013, and Veracyte, Inc. (NASDAQ: VCYT), a leading genomic diagnostics company, since 2008.  Mr. Jones received a B.A. from the University of Colorado and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  We believe that Mr. Jones’ qualifications to serve as CEO of the Company and as Chairman of our Board include his extensive experience in the molecular diagnostic testing industry, including as chief executive officer of a public company focused on molecular diagnostic testing, as well as his service as a board member with other public and private companies and Vice Chair of the board at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  The Board believes that Mr. Jones’ more than 30 years’ leadership experience in the

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life science and healthcare industries, his extensive board experience at privately held, publicly traded companies and nonprofit healthcare institutions, and his investment expertise, coupled with his deep understanding of our technologies, product candidates, market and history make him an essential contributor to our Board, including his service as Chairman of the Board.

Brian G. Atwood.  Mr. Atwood has been a director of OpGen since July 2007 and is currently a member of our Audit Committee.  Mr. Atwood co-founded Cell Design Labs, Inc., a privately held company focused on developing human cell engineering technology, and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since July 2015. Mr. Atwood is also a Managing Director and was a co-founder of Versant Ventures.  He also has more than fifteen years of operating experience in the biotechnology industry, with emphasis on therapeutic products, devices, diagnostics, and research instrumentation. Prior to launching his career in venture capital, Mr. Atwood was founder, President, and CEO of Glycomed Incorporated, a publicly traded biotechnology company.  Prior to Glycomed, he co-founded and served as director of Perkin Elmer/Cetus Instruments, a joint venture for robotics automation and genomics research instruments and products later acquired by Perkin Elmer.  He currently serves as a board member at the private company Atreca, Inc., as well as the public companies, PhaseRX, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZRX) and Clovis Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS). Mr. Atwood received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine; an M.S. from the University of California, Davis, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Atwood’s extensive biotechnology, bioinformatics and investing experience, and his familiarity with both publicly traded and privately held companies in our industry, position him to provide valuable insight and make substantial contributions to our Board and Audit Committee.

Harry J. D’Andrea.  Mr. D’Andrea has been a director of OpGen since April 2016.  Mr. D’Andrea is managing general partner of Valhalla Partners, a venture capital firm, a position he has held since January 2012.  He previously served as administrative general partner of Valhalla Partners since June 2002, and was a co-founder of Valhalla Partners in 2002.  From June 1999 to February 2002, Mr. D’Andrea was Chief Financial Officer of Advanced Switching Communications, Inc., a Nasdaq-listed company that completed its IPO in October 2000.  Prior thereto from 1989 to 1999 he held senior financial positions with a number of privately held and public companies.  Mr. D’Andrea has served on the boards of two publicly traded companies in the past.  He received his B.A. in Foreign Service from The Pennsylvania State University in 1978 and his MBA from Drexel University in 1980.  The Board believes that Mr. D’Andrea’s qualifications, attributes and skills for service on our Board and Audit Committee include his experience as a managing general partner of a venture fund, his board experience, his extensive experience in senior financial positions, including serving as a chief financial officer of three publicly traded companies, and his qualification as a financial expert.  

Timothy J.R. Harris, Ph.D., D.Sc.  Dr. Harris has been a director of OpGen since April 2015. Dr. Harris is a molecular biologist and biochemist and an executive with over thirty-two years of experience. Dr. Harris is currently acting Head of Research and Development for Bioverativ Inc. (NASDAQ: BIVV).  He is also a venture partner of SV Life Sciences, a position he has held since March 2016.  He previously served as the Senior Vice President for Precision Medicine at Biogen, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) from March 2015 until February 2016.  Prior to such position, he was Senior Vice President for Translational Medicine and Technology at Biogen from June 2011 to February 2015. Before joining Biogen, he was the Chief Technology Officer and Director of the Advanced Technology Program at SAIC-Frederick, Inc. in Maryland from January 2007 to June 2011.   His professional experience includes senior executive positions at a number of companies, including Novasite Pharmaceuticals, where he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2005 to September 2006. Dr. Harris founded SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Structural GenomiX Inc.) (SGX) in 1999. Before founding SGX, Dr. Harris was Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Axys Pharmaceuticals Inc. (formerly Sequana Therapeutics Inc.).  Dr. Harris received a Ph.D. and M.S. in General Virology and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Birmingham in England and has an honorary doctorate (D.Sc.) from the University of Birmingham, UK awarded in July 2010. Dr. Harris serves on the board of directors of BG Medicine, Inc.  Dr. Harris brings the following qualifications and skills to his service on the Board—his extensive executive officer experience at publicly held and privately owned pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and his scientific experience, coupled with his familiarity with, and contributions to, OpGen from his service on the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board from May 2011 to May 2015.

Laurence R. McCarthy, Ph.D.  Dr. McCarthy has been a director of OpGen since July 2013. Dr. McCarthy joined Ampersand Capital Partners in 2007 as an Operating Partner and serves as a Director of Dynex Technologies, Inc.  He has served as Executive Chairman of Bako Pathology Services, Executive Chairman of Viracor-IBT, Executive Chairman of PrimeraDx, and as a member of the board of directors of Magellan Diagnostics, Inc. and Genoptix, Inc. (GXDX), and as the President and CEO, through 2004, and later as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, of Focus Diagnostics, Inc. until its acquisition by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated in 2006. Prior to Focus Diagnostics, Dr. McCarthy served in various positions at Boehringer Mannheim GmbH and Becton Dickinson & Co. He holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire and served on the faculties of Johns Hopkins, the University of North Carolina and Cornell University. Dr. McCarthy’s greater than 40 years’ experience in healthcare, his background in building and growing companies in biotechnology, microbiology, laboratory services and healthcare industries, his technical expertise in infectious disease, as well as his senior management experience, faculty positions and board service at diagnostic and infectious disease-focused companies and academic institutions allow him to play an integral role as a member of our Board, Compensation Committee and Compliance Committee, of which he is the Chair. His experience in many biotechnology and life science companies

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gives him an understanding and appreciation of the many regulatory and developmental issues confronting diagnostic laboratory and biotechnology companies. He also served on our Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board from July 2013 until May 2015.  

David M. Rubin, Ph.D.  Dr. Rubin is currently a managing director at Merck GHI, where he is responsible for identifying investment opportunities in emerging health care solutions and services, with a particular emphasis on solutions for personalized medicine and point of care diagnostics. Prior to joining Merck GHI, Dr. Rubin managed Merck & Co.’s efforts in MRL Oncology.  Dr. Rubin joined Merck in 2007 from Cognia Corporation, where he was the president and chief executive officer. Previously, Dr. Rubin was at The Wilkerson Group/IBM Global Services. In addition, Dr. Rubin previously founded and ran a venture-backed research and development software and content products company. Dr. Rubin previously served on the board of VirtualScopics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSCP) from 2012 through 2014. Dr. Rubin currently serves on the boards of directors of Daktari Diagnostics, Inc., Electrocore Medical, LLC, Navigating Cancer, Inc. and Prophecy Inc.  Dr. Rubin was a National Institute of Health and American Cancer Society post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Rubin also received training in post‑graduate business at Harvard University. Dr. Rubin holds a Ph.D. from Temple University in Molecular Biology and a B.A. from SUNY Binghamton in Biology.  Dr. Rubin’s extensive background working with precision medicine and diagnostic companies, his investing experience, his current executive position with Merck GHI and scientific background make Dr. Rubin a valuable contributor to the Board and the Audit Committee of the Board.

Misti Ushio, Ph.D.  Dr. Ushio has been a director of OpGen since March 2012. Dr. Ushio is the co-founding chief executive officer and a director of TARA Biosystems, a position she has held since February 2016.  Prior thereto, she was Chief Strategy Officer and a Managing Director at Harris & Harris Group, Inc. from May 2007 to February 2016.  Prior to joining Harris & Harris, Dr. Ushio worked at Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) for over ten years in bioprocess research & development, and was a Technology Licensing Officer at Columbia University. Dr. Ushio currently serves or has served on the boards of Accelerator-NYC, AgBiome, Enumeral Biomedical, Lodo Therapeutics, Petra Pharma, Senova Systems and SynGlyco.  Dr. Ushio holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University, and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from University College London. Dr. Ushio’s board, management and operational leadership experience, her familiarity with both private and publicly traded companies in our industry and her scientific background make Dr. Ushio a valuable contributor to our Board and to our Compensation Committee, of which she is Chair.

Executive Officers

The following information summarizes, for each of our officers, his principal occupations and other employment for at least the last five years:

Evan Jones.  See above under “Board of Directors.”

Timothy C. Dec.  Mr. Dec joined OpGen as our interim Chief Financial Officer in April 2015 and became our Chief Financial Officer in May 2015.  Prior to joining OpGen, Mr. Dec served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Clubwidesports, LLC, a start-up sports management software company, from January 2014 to April 2015. From December 2012 to the present, Mr. Dec is an adjunct professor at Mount St. Mary’s University, where he teaches M.B.A. courses in Finance. From August 2007 to December 2012, Mr. Dec served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Fortress International Group, Inc., a publicly traded company. Mr. Dec has served in chief financial officer or other senior financial executive roles at companies in a number of industries from September 1986 through August 2007, including three publicly traded companies listed on NASDAQ or AMEX, such as Corvis Corporation, and with private equity-backed companies. Mr. Dec also has public accounting firm experience. Mr. Dec received his B.S. in Accounting from Mount St. Mary’s University and an M.B.A. from American University.

Geoffrey A. McKinley, Ph.D.  Dr. McKinley joined OpGen as Senior Vice President of R&D and Business Development in July 2015 when OpGen acquired AdvanDx, Inc.  At AdvanDx, Dr. McKinley was Senior Vice President of R&D and Business Development responsible for R&D strategy and new product development plan from November 2014 until July 2015.  Prior to AdvanDx, Dr. McKinley was Chief Science Officer at DxNA, Inc. from December 2013 to October 2014.  Prior to DxNA, Dr. McKinley was Senior Vice President of Research & Development at GenturaDx, Inc. from June 2011 to July 2013.  Dr. McKinley was employed by Osmetech plc (LSE:OMH) (currently GenMark Diagnostics, Inc. NASDAQ:GNMK) from 2004 to June 2011 and served as its Vice President of Molecular Diagnostics Research & Development and Business Development.  From 1994 to 2004, Dr. McKinley served in senior R&D and business development positions with life sciences companies.  Dr. McKinley is an author on 12 U.S. patents.  He received his B.S. from Grove City College in 1973 and received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1979.

Vadim Sapiro.  Mr. Sapiro joined OpGen in December 2011 as Chief Information Officer. Mr. Sapiro is responsible for leading the development of the Company’s bioinformatics applications, software, databases and information technology operations. Prior to joining OpGen, Mr. Sapiro was Senior Vice President at SAIC-Frederick (now Leidos Biomedical Research Inc.) from June 2008 to December 2011, overseeing the Information Systems Program for the National Cancer Institute at SAIC-Frederick.  From January

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2007 to May 2008, Mr. Sapiro served as Vice President for Information Technology of J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit research institute. Mr. Sapiro served in other senior information technology roles from July 1999 through December 2006, including another non-profit research institute. Mr. Sapiro holds a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland.

Robert McG. Lilley. Mr. Lilley joined OpGen in October 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. Lilley is currently non‑executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Immunexpress, Inc., a Seattle-based molecular diagnostic company focused on developing diagnostic tests for patients at risk of sepsis. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing for Digene Corporation, from June 1999 until its sale to QIAGEN NV in 2007. He had held prior sales executive positions with Digene from March 1997 to June 1999. Mr. Lilley worked for QIAGEN NV as Senior Advisor, Molecular Diagnostics from August 2007 until September 2009. He previously served as Head of Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Sales and Marketing for TDS Healthcare Information Systems, as well as Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA of Alltel Healthcare Systems. In 1970, Mr. Lilley joined the first Earth Day team, and he has retained an interest in environmental affairs since. Today he serves on the Boards of the Global Footprint Network, and Terra Global Capital, both based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also served on the Board of Trustees of The Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Mr. Lilley holds a BA from Yale University.

G. Terrance Walker, Ph.D.  Dr. Walker joined OpGen in June 2013 as Vice President, Research and Development and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Research and Development in October 2014. Dr. Walker’s responsibilities include leading the development of genomic technologies and new products supporting molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases. Prior to joining OpGen, Dr. Walker held senior R&D leadership roles at Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), from January 2011 to April 2012, at Duke University and The Biomarker Factory, from February 2009 to December 2010, at GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE: GSK), from January 2001 to September 2009, and at Becton, Dickinson and Company (NYSE: BDX), from March 1998 to December 2000. Dr. Walker received his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Rochester with postdoctoral training in Biophysical Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance

Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, requires the Company’s officers and directors and persons who own more than 10% of the Company’s outstanding common stock to file with the SEC initial reports of ownership and reports of changes in ownership of common stock and any other equity securities of the Company. Directors, officers, and greater than 10% stockholders are required by SEC regulations to furnish the Company with copies of all Section 16(a) forms they file.  Based solely on a review of the Company’s records and written representations by the persons required to file such reports, all filing requirements of Section 16(a) were satisfied with respect to the 2016 fiscal year, except for one late filing for Timothy C. Dec to report the vesting of restricted stock units, which was filed on Form 5 on February 10, 2017.

Code of Ethics

We have adopted a written code of business conduct and ethics that applies to our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. A current copy of the code is posted on the Corporate Governance section of our website, which is located at www.opgen.com. If we make any substantive amendments to, or grant any waivers from, the code of business conduct and ethics for any officer, we will disclose the nature of such amendment or waiver on our website or in a Current Report on Form 8‑K.

Communications with the Board of Directors

Stockholders who want to communicate with members of the Board, including the independent directors, individually or as a group, should address their communications to the Board, the Board members or the Board committee, as the case may be, and send them to c/o Chair of the Audit Committee, OpGen, Inc., 708 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 205, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. The Chair of the Audit Committee will forward all such communications directly to such Board members. Any such communications may be made on an anonymous and confidential basis.

There have been no changes to the procedures by which interested parties may communicate with the Board.

Audit Committee Financial Expert

Messrs. Atwood and D’Andrea and Dr. Rubin serve on the Audit Committee, which is chaired by Mr. D’Andrea. Our Board has determined that each member of the Audit Committee is “independent” and “financially literate” for Audit Committee purposes as such terms are defined in the rules of the SEC and the applicable rules of The NASDAQ Stock Market. Mr. D’Andrea is currently identified as the “audit committee financial expert” as defined in the rules of the SEC.

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Item 11. Executive Compensation

This section discusses the material components of the executive compensation program for our executive officers who are named in the “Summary Compensation Table” below. In 2016, our named executive officers were Evan Jones, our Chief Executive Officer, Timothy Dec, our Chief Financial Officer and Vadim Sapiro, our Chief Information Officer, and Kevin Krenitsky, our former President.

Summary Compensation Table

This table provides disclosure, for fiscal years 2016 and 2015 for the named executive officers, who are (1) any individual serving in the office of Chief Executive Officer during any part of 2016 and (2) the Company’s two most highly compensated officers, other than the Chief Executive Officer, who were serving in such capacity on December 31, 2016, and one named executive officer for whom disclosure would be provided but for the fact that he was not serving as an executive officer at December 31, 2016.

 

Named Executive Officer and

Principal Position

 

Year

 

Salary ($)

 

 

Bonus (2)($)

 

 

Stock Awards

(1)($)

 

 

Option

Awards (1)($)

 

 

Non-Equity Incentive

Plan Compensation

($)

 

 

All Other

Compensation ($)

 

 

Total ($)

 

Evan Jones

 

2016

 

$

316,538

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

499,352

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

815,890

 

Chief Executive Officer

 

2015

 

$

190,000

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

843,260

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

1,033,260

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy Dec

 

2016

 

$

273,462

 

 

$

50,000

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

44,996

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

368,458

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

2015

 

$

182,050

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

42,500

 

 

$

318,226

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

542,776

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vadim Sapiro

 

2016

 

$

280,385

 

 

$

50,500

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

29,997

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

360,882

 

Chief Information Officer

 

2015

 

$

275,000

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

54,375

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

329,375

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Krenitsky, M.D.

 

2016

 

$

233,263

 

 

$

61,000

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

44,996

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

53,364

 

(5)

$

392,623

 

Former President (3)

 

2015

 

$

194,950

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

85,000

 

 

$

1,006,087

 

 

$

-

 

 

$

10,891

 

(4)

$

1,296,928

 

 

(1)

The “Stock Awards column reflects the grant date fair value for all restricted stock units awarded under the 2015 Plan during 2016.  The “Option Awards” column reflects the grant date fair value for all stock option awards granted under the 2015 Plan or the 2008 Plan during 2016 and 2015, respectively, except for Mr. Jones the 2016 stock option grant was made outside of the 2015 Plan, subject to stockholder approval that was obtained on June 22, 2016.  These amounts are determined in accordance with FASB Accounting Standards Codification 718 (ASC 718), without regard to any estimate of forfeiture for service vesting.  Assumptions used in the calculation of the amounts in these columns for 2016 and 2015 are included in footnote 8 to the Company’s consolidated audited financial statements included in this Annual Report.

(2)

Bonus amounts represent 2015 earned amounts that were not finalized until after the 2015 annual report and paid in 2016. No bonuses were earned for 2016.

(3)

Dr. Krenitsky resigned from his position on August 31, 2016.

(4)

Represents relocation expenses for which the Company reimbursed Dr. Krenitsky during the year ended December 31, 2015.

(5)

Represents severance related expenses.

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Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year End

The following table shows the outstanding equity awards held by the named executive officers as of December 31, 2016.  

 

 

 

OPTION AWARDS

 

STOCK AWARDS

Name

 

(1) Number of

Securities

Underlying

Unexercised

Options

Exercisable

 

 

(1) Number of

Securities

Underlying