S-1/A 1 d553197ds1a.htm S-1/A S-1/A
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As filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission on September 17, 2018.

 

Registration No. 333-227103

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

AMENDMENT NO.1

to

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

SUTRO BIOPHARMA, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   2836   47-0926186

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

310 Utah Avenue, Suite 150

South San Francisco, CA 94080

(650) 392-8412

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

 

 

William J. Newell

Chief Executive Officer

Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

310 Utah Avenue, Suite 150

South San Francisco, CA 94080

(650) 392-8412

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

 

 

Copies to:

 

Effie Toshav, Esq.

Robert A. Freedman, Esq.

Amanda L. Rose, Esq.

Fenwick & West LLP

555 California Street

San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 875-2300

 

David Peinsipp

Charles S. Kim, Esq.

Andrew S. Williamson, Esq.

Kristin VanderPas, Esq.

Cooley LLP

101 California Street, 5th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94111

(415) 693-2000

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.

If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 check the following box.  

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

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the 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  
Emerging growth company       

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Securities to be Registered   Amount to be
Registered(1)
  Proposed Maximum
Offering Price Per
Share
  Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price(2)
  Amount of
Registration Fee(3)

Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share

  5,750,000   $16.00   $92,000,000   $11,454

 

 

(1)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Includes 750,000 additional shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

 

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the amount of the registration fee.

 

(3)

The Registrant previously paid $9,338 of this amount in connection with the initial filing of this Registration Statement.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 


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

 

 

PROSPECTUS (Subject to Completion)   September 17, 2018

 

5,000,000 Shares

 

 

LOGO

Common Stock

This is an initial public offering of shares of common stock by Sutro Biopharma, Inc. We are offering 5,000,000 shares of our common stock. The initial public offering price is expected to be between $14.00 and $16.00 per share.

Prior to this offering, there has been no market for our common stock. We have applied to list our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “STRO.”

We are an “emerging growth company” as that term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements for this prospectus and future filings.

 

 

 

      Per share              Total        

Initial public offering price

  $                        $                      

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

  $        $    

Proceeds to Sutro, before expenses

  $        $    

 

 

(1)

See “Underwriting” for a description of the compensation payable to the underwriters.

We have granted the underwriters an option for a period of 30 days to purchase up to 750,000 additional shares of common stock.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 14.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed on the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Certain of our existing stockholders and their affiliated entities, including stockholders affiliated with our directors, have indicated an interest in purchasing shares of common stock in this offering with an aggregate value of up to approximately $30.0 million at the initial public offering price. However, because indications of interest are not binding agreements or commitments to purchase, the underwriters may determine to sell more, fewer or no shares in this offering to any of these parties, or any of these parties may determine to purchase more, fewer or no shares in this offering. The underwriters will receive the same underwriting discount on any shares purchased by these parties as they will on any other shares sold to the public in this offering.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, a holder of approximately 12.5% of our outstanding common stock, has agreed to purchase from us, concurrently with this offering in a private placement, up to $10.0 million of shares of our common stock at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price, subject to a 17.5% ownership cap after giving effect to the concurrent private placement and this offering. The sale of shares in the concurrent private placement will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The closing of this offering is not conditioned upon the closing of the concurrent private placement. The shares of common stock purchased in the concurrent private placement will not be subject to any underwriting discounts or commissions.

The underwriters expect to deliver shares of common stock to purchasers on                , 2018.

 

 

Joint Book-running Managers

 

Cowen    Piper Jaffray

Co-managers

 

JMP Securities    Wedbush PacGrow

                    , 2018


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

    Page  

Prospectus Summary

    1  

The Offering

    7  

Risk Factors

    14  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

    69  

Market and Industry Data

    70  

Use of Proceeds

    71  

Dividend Policy

    73  

Capitalization

    74  

Dilution

    77  

Selected Financial Data

    80  

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

    82  

Business

    101  

Management

    142  

Executive Compensation

    153  

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions

    164  

Principal Stockholders

    168  

Description of Capital Stock

    172  

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

    178  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders

    181  

Underwriting

    186  

Legal Matters

    194  

Experts

    194  

Additional Information

    195  

Index to Financial Statements

    F-1  

 

 

We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representations other than those contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the shares offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus or in any applicable free writing prospectus is current only as of its date, regardless of its time of delivery or any sale of shares of our common stock.

Through and including                    , 2018 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers effecting transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This delivery is in addition to a dealer’s obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as an underwriter and with respect to an unsold allotment or subscription.

Persons who come into possession of this prospectus and any applicable free writing prospectus in jurisdictions outside the United States are required to inform themselves about and to observe any restrictions as to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus and any such free writing prospectus applicable to that jurisdiction.


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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information contained elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our common stock, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes thereto and the information set forth under the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Selected Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in each case included in this prospectus. Some of the statements in this prospectus constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. See the section entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms “Sutro,” “company,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this prospectus to refer to Sutro Biopharma, Inc.

Overview

We are a clinical stage drug discovery, development and manufacturing company focused on leveraging our proprietary integrated cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF, to create a broad variety of optimally designed, next-generation protein therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disorders. We aim to design therapeutics using the most potent modalities, including cytokine-based immuno-oncology, or I/O, therapeutics, antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, and bispecific antibodies that are directed primarily against clinically validated targets where the current standard of care is suboptimal. We believe our platform allows us to accelerate the discovery and development of potential first-in-class and best-in-class molecules by enabling the rapid and systematic evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships to create optimized homogeneous product candidates. Our mission is to transform the lives of patients by using our XpressCF Platform to create medicines with improved therapeutic profiles for areas of unmet need.

Our two most advanced product candidates are wholly owned: STRO-001, an ADC directed against CD74, for patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL, and STRO-002, an ADC directed against folate receptor-alpha, or FolRa, for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial, with initial safety data expected in mid-2019. We plan to submit an investigational new drug, or IND, application for STRO-002 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Our Product Candidates

Our first internally developed product candidate is STRO-001, which we believe has the potential to be a first-in-class and best-in-class ADC directed against CD74, an antigen that is highly expressed in many B cell malignancies. In multiple preclinical models, STRO-001 has demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity. In addition, the properties of STRO-001 suggest a low likelihood of off-target toxicity and potential for an improved therapeutic index. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial for multiple myeloma and NHL and we expect initial safety data in mid-2019.

We are also internally developing STRO-002, an ADC directed against FolRa, initially targeted for the treatment of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Our experiments show that FolRa expression can be detected in 90% or more of ovarian and endometrial cancers. In preclinical models, STRO-002 has demonstrated the potential for enhanced and selective activity against cells expressing FolRa, superior inhibition of tumor growth and greater linker stability, in comparison to experiments we conducted with a benchmark FolRa-targeting molecule. We expect to submit an IND for STRO-002 in the fourth quarter of 2018.



 

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Although we believe our product candidates have the potential to be first-in-class and/or best-in-class and to provide potent anti-tumor activity with reduced off-target toxicity, we will need to complete additional studies to determine the safety and efficacy of our product candidates. The results of these future studies may be different than the results of our earlier studies. We have not received regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, and in order to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize our product candidates, the FDA or foreign regulatory agencies will need to determine that our product candidates are safe and effective. We may not obtain regulatory approval on the timeline we currently expect, or at all, and competing therapies and products may ultimately reach the market faster or have more favorable safety and efficacy profiles than our products candidates.

The benefits of our XpressCF Platform have resulted in collaborations with leaders in the field of oncology, including Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, Celgene and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (operating in the United States and Canada under the name “EMD Serono”). We have leveraged these strategic partnerships to extend our own capabilities and broaden the scope of our XpressCF Platform. To date, all of our collaborations have provided us with approximately $330.0 million in payments, which includes $43.7 million in investments in our stock. Our collaborations include:

 

   

Merck Programs.    We have granted Merck the right to jointly develop up to three research programs directed to cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders, including rights to certain prior cytokine-based research efforts.

 

   

Celgene Programs.    We have granted Celgene the right to jointly develop up to four anti-cancer bispecific antibodies and/or ADCs directed primarily to immuno-oncology targets. The lead candidate generated for this collaboration is a novel ADC therapeutic directed against the target BCMA for which an IND submission is expected in early 2019.

 

   

EMD Serono Programs.    We have granted EMD Serono the right to designate up to six cancer targets against which we will discover, develop and optimize up to three mono, bispecific or multi-specific ADC product candidates per target. EMD Serono has selected all six possible target antigens under the strategic research and development partnership. The most advanced candidate in this collaboration is a bispecific ADC, which is currently in preclinical development.

We intend to selectively enter into additional collaborations with partners who are seeking efficient and effective drug discovery, preclinical development and manufacturing capabilities for the creation of novel therapeutics.

Beyond these wholly owned programs and collaborations, we are developing a broader pipeline of next-generation protein therapeutics using our XpressCF Platform. Our protein engineering and chemistry efforts are focused on maximizing therapeutic indices, and our technology allows us to rapidly test our therapeutic hypothesis in significantly more product candidates than conventional protein synthesis allows in order to identify the best molecule to advance to the clinic. Our drug discovery teams are exploring novel immuno-oncology therapies, including cytokine-based therapies. We are also actively pursuing the discovery and development of other novel ADC and bispecifics and currently have four ADC and two bispecific T cell-engager discovery programs.

Our Proprietary XpressCF Platform

Our XpressCF Platform is the first and only current Good Manufacturing Practices, or cGMP, compliant scalable cell-free protein synthesis technology that has resulted in products in clinical development. Our XpressCF Platform is fundamentally different from the conventional cell-based



 

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protein synthesis approach in that we separate the production of the cell mass from the production of the protein. We believe key advantages of our cell-free protein synthesis platform over conventional biologic drug discovery and development include:

 

   

Ability to Rapidly Produce and Evaluate a Wide Variety of Protein Structures In-house.    By decoupling the production of the cell-free extract from the production of the protein, we are able to stockpile large quantities of cell-free extract from which we are able to manufacture a wide variety of proteins without the need to generate individual cell lines, including cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies.

 

   

Ability to Incorporate Non-Natural Amino Acids.    Our technology allows for efficient incorporation of a non-natural amino acid in any location in an antibody or protein with high precision and fidelity, which we believe allows for the design of optimized protein conjugates.

 

   

Faster Cycle Time.    Our ability to produce thousands of protein variants in parallel overnight allows us to rapidly express, test and characterize many variants early in discovery to elucidate structure-activity relationships and identify opportunities for superior therapeutic profiles, as well as new intellectual property. We are therefore able to efficiently optimize many properties with high specificity in parallel.

 

   

Efficient Drug Discovery and Early Pharmacology and Safety Assessment.    Our cell-free technology creates the opportunity for accelerated pharmacology and safety assessments during the design and discovery phase of product development. This approach allows us to generate optimized proteins early in our discovery process, which can be transitioned seamlessly to clinical scale production using the same cell-free process.

 

   

Rapid and Predictable Scalability.    Our cell-free extract does not need to be modified in any manner as we scale from research to preclinical to clinical to commercial production. This enables us to move more rapidly to the clinic by eliminating master cell banking activities and significantly de-risks scale-up to manufacturing.

We use our XpressCF Platform to discover and develop cancer therapeutics by empirically determining the optimum structure-activity relationships for cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies and transitioning those products to cGMP compliant manufacturing. The following chart illustrates the applicability of these attributes across the range of modalities we are developing.

 

XpressCF Attributes for Various Therapeutic Modalities

XpressCF Attribute

 

ADCs

 

Bispecific I/O, Bispecific ADCs
and Bispecific T cell-engagers

  

Cytokine-based
therapeutics

Homogeneous Design

      
Stable, site-specific attachment of chemical functionality    

(if needed)

  

Experimentally Defined

Structure-Activity Relationships

      
Rapid, direct comparison of a wide variety of protein variants       

Rapid and Efficient Transition

from Discovery to the Clinic

      
Single-source scalability from discovery to clinical / commercial       

Despite recent advancements within the field of oncology, specifically around cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies, limitations still exist. The response is



 

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often not durable and many patients relapse or become refractory to treatment. Also, safety and tolerability concerns often limit the use of higher, potentially more efficacious doses. We believe our XpressCF Platform will provide enhanced therapeutic approaches for treating cancer to address these unmet needs.

We also intend to selectively expand the scope of our XpressCF Platform into other therapeutic areas. Due to the versatility of our platform, we can explore additional indications outside of oncology, such as autoimmune and metabolic diseases. We intend to promote further investment in and development of our XpressCF Platform to expand our pipeline of product candidates.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to use our proprietary XpressCF Platform to create cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies primarily against clinically validated targets. Key elements of our strategy are to:

 

   

advance STRO-001 and STRO-002 through clinical development;

 

   

develop a diverse pipeline of novel product candidates with optimal therapeutic profiles;

 

   

strategically pursue additional collaborations to broaden the reach of our XpressCF Platform;

 

   

maintain worldwide rights to our core product candidates; and

 

   

selectively expand the scope of our XpressCF Platform into other therapeutic areas.

Risks Affecting Us

Our business is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including those highlighted in the section entitled “Risk Factors” immediately following this prospectus summary. These risks include, among others, the following:

 

   

We have a limited operating history, a history of significant losses and may never achieve or maintain profitability.

 

   

Even if we complete this offering and the concurrent private placement, we will need substantial additional funds to advance development of our product candidates and failure to obtain timely funding, may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development programs, commercialization efforts or other operations.

 

   

Our product candidates are in early stages of development and may fail in development or suffer delays that materially and adversely affect their commercial viability.

 

   

Our business is dependent on the success of our product candidates based on our cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF, and, in particular, our lead product candidates, STRO-001 and STRO-002. Existing and future preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates may not be successful and if we are unable to commercialize our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

 

   

If we do not achieve our projected development goals in the time frames we announce and expect, the commercialization of our products may be delayed and, as a result, our stock price may decline.

 

   

If our collaborations with third parties for development and commercialization are not successful, we may not be able to capitalize on the market potential of our XpressCF Platform and resulting product candidates.

 

   

If we are not able to obtain and enforce patent protection for our technologies or product candidates, development and commercialization of our product candidates may be adversely affected.



 

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We or our collaborators may be unable to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, U.S. or foreign regulatory approval and, as a result, unable to commercialize our product candidates.

Concurrent Private Placement

Merck has agreed to purchase from us, concurrently with this offering in a private placement, up to $10.0 million of shares of our common stock at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price, or up to approximately 666,666 shares based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, subject to a 17.5% ownership cap after giving effect to the concurrent private placement and this offering. The sale of these shares to Merck will not be registered in this offering.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in April 2003 under the name Fundamental Applied Biology, Inc. We subsequently changed our name to Sutro Biopharma, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at 310 Utah Avenue, Suite 150, South San Francisco, California 94080, and our telephone number is (650) 392-8412. Our website address is www.sutrobio.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not part of, and is not incorporated by reference into, this prospectus. Investors should not rely on any such information in deciding whether to purchase our common stock.

The marks “Sutro Biopharma,” “XpressCF” and “XpressCF+” are our registered trademarks. The Sutro logo, XtractCF and all product names are our common law trademarks. All other service marks, trademarks and trade names appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks and tradenames referred to in this prospectus appear without the ® and ™ symbols, but those references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights, or the right of the applicable licensor to these trademarks and tradenames.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

As a company with less than $1.07 billion in revenue during our last fiscal year, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of reduced reporting requirements that are otherwise applicable to public companies. These provisions include, but are not limited to:

 

   

being permitted to present only two years of audited financial statements and only two years of related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in this prospectus;

 

   

not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting;

 

   

not being required to comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (auditor discussion and analysis);

 

   

reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation arrangements; and

 

   

exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

We may use these provisions until the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering. However, if certain events occur prior to the end of such five-year



 

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period, including if we become a “large accelerated filer,” our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion or we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt in any three-year period, we will cease to be an emerging growth company prior to the end of such five-year period.

We have elected to take advantage of certain of the reduced disclosure obligations in the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part and may elect to take advantage of other reduced reporting requirements in future filings. As a result, the information that we provide to our stockholders may be different than you might receive from other public reporting companies in which you hold equity interests.

The JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards, until those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period and, therefore, we will not be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies. Our financial statements may therefore not be comparable to those of companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards. Until the date that we are no longer an emerging growth company or affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the exemption provided by Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, upon issuance of a new or revised accounting standard that applies to our financial statements and that has a different effective date for public and private companies, we will disclose the date on which adoption is required for non-emerging growth companies and the date on which we will adopt the recently issued accounting standard.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered

5,000,000 shares

 

Option to purchase additional shares

We have granted the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days after the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares from us.

 

Potential insider participation

Certain of our existing stockholders and their affiliated entities, including stockholders affiliated with our directors, have indicated an interest in purchasing shares of common stock in this offering with an aggregate value of up to approximately $30.0 million at the initial public offering price. However, because indications of interest are not binding agreements or commitments to purchase, the underwriters may determine to sell more, fewer or no shares in this offering to any of these parties, or any of these parties may determine to purchase more, fewer or no shares in this offering. The underwriters will receive the same underwriting discount on any shares purchased by these parties as they will on any other shares sold to the public in this offering.

 

Concurrent private placement

Merck has agreed to purchase from us, concurrently with this offering in a private placement, up to $10.0 million of shares of our common stock at a price, or up to approximately 666,666 shares based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, per share equal to the initial public offering price, subject to a 17.5% ownership cap after giving effect to the concurrent private placement and this offering. The sale of shares in the concurrent private placement will not be registered in this offering. The closing of this offering is not conditioned upon the closing of the concurrent private placement. The shares of common stock purchased in the concurrent private placement will not be subject to any underwriting discounts or commissions. We refer to the private placement of these shares of common stock as the concurrent private placement.


 

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Common stock to be outstanding immediately after this offering and the concurrent private placement

22,156,630 shares (or 22,906,630 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $65.9 million (or approximately $76.3 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full), based upon the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. We expect that the net proceeds from the concurrent private placement will be up to approximately $10.0 million.

 

  We intend to use the net proceeds that we receive in this offering and the concurrent private placement to fund the further development of STRO-001 and STRO-002, the further development of our technology platform, including manufacturing, to broaden our pipeline of product candidates and for working capital and general corporate purposes. See the section entitled “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Directed shares

At our request, the underwriters have reserved for sale, at the initial public offering price, up to 5% of the shares offered hereby for employees, directors and other persons associated with us who have expressed an interest in purchasing common stock in the offering. See “Underwriting” for more information.

 

Risk factors

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

 

Proposed Nasdaq Global Market symbol

“STRO”


 

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The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering and the concurrent private placement is based on (i) 482,216 shares of our common stock outstanding as of August 31, 2018 and (ii) 16,007,748 shares of common stock that we expect to issue immediately prior to the completion of this offering upon the conversion of 493,056,139 shares of our outstanding redeemable convertible preferred stock as of August 31, 2018, and excludes:

 

   

816,618 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of options outstanding as of August 31, 2018 under our 2004 Stock Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $10.40 per share;

 

   

71,731 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase 2,370,799 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock outstanding as of August 31, 2018, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.33 per share, which will automatically convert to warrants to purchase shares of our common stock upon the completion of this offering; and

 

   

5,375,957 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock-based compensation plans, consisting of (i) 2,845,957 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan as of August 31, 2018, (ii) 2,300,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, which will become effective on the date immediately prior to the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, of which shares we intend to grant equity awards consisting of 312,406 shares issuable upon the vesting of restricted stock units and 2,267,266 shares issuable upon the exercise of stock options (with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price) effective upon the date of this prospectus and (iii) 230,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which will become effective on the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Upon completion of this offering, any remaining shares available for issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan will be added to the shares reserved under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and we will cease granting awards under our 2004 Stock Plan. Our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan also provide for automatic annual increases in the number of shares reserved under the plans each year, as more fully described in “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Plans and Other Benefit Plans.”

Except as otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus assumes or gives effect to:

 

   

the conversion of all outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 16,007,748 shares of common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

the expiration of outstanding warrants to purchase 1,791,784 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock and 1,099 shares of common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

the automatic conversion of outstanding warrants to purchase 2,370,799 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock into warrants to purchase 71,731 shares of common stock upon the completion of this offering;

 

   

the issuance and sale by us in the concurrent private placement of up to approximately 666,666 shares of common stock to Merck, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus;

 

   

a 1-for-1.1940912491 forward stock split of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock, which became effective on July 26, 2018;



 

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a 36.3-for-1 reverse stock split of our common stock, which became effective on September 14, 2018;

 

   

the effectiveness of our restated certificate of incorporation and restated bylaws in connection with the completion of this offering;

 

   

no exercise of outstanding options or warrants; and

 

   

no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our common stock.



 

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Summary Financial Data

The following tables set forth our summary statements of operations and balance sheet data. The summary statements of operations data presented below for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017 are derived from our audited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. We derived our summary statements of operations data for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018 and our summary balance sheet data as of June 30, 2018 from our unaudited interim financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our unaudited interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles on the same basis as our audited annual financial statements and, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, consisting only of normal, recurring adjustments, that are necessary for the fair statement of our financial position as of June 30, 2018 and our results of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018. The following summary financial data should be read in conjunction with “Selected Financial Data,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in any future period and our interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2018 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year ending December 31, 2018, or any other period. The summary financial data in this section are not intended to replace the financial statements and are qualified in their entirety by the financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.



 

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    Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months Ended
June 30,
 
    2016      2017     2017     2018  
                 (unaudited)  
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Statements of Operations Data:

        

Revenue:

        

Collaboration revenue

  $ 59,731      $ 51,741     $ 30,202     $ 7,031  

Other revenue – related parties

    —          —         —         4,466  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenue

    59,731        51,741       30,202       11,497  

Operating expenses:

        

Research and development

    43,550        54,639       25,830       26,833  

General and administrative

    14,817        16,374       7,411       8,455  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    58,367        71,013       33,241       35,288  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from operations

    1,364        (19,272     (3,039     (23,791

Interest income

    251        273       130       80  

Interest expense

           (612           (784

Other income (expense), net

    87        (77     (17     908  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

  $ 1,702      $ (19,688   $ (2,926   $ (23,587
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(1)

  $      $ (43.95   $ (6.63   $ (49.90
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(1)

    407,735        447,946       441,059       472,647  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

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

     $ (3.54     $ (3.50
    

 

 

     

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)

       5,511,350         6,997,394  
    

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

(1)

See Notes 2 and 13 to our audited financial statements and Notes 2 and 10 to our unaudited interim financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the calculations of our basic and diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted pro forma net loss per share, and the weighted-average number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

 

                                                              
    As of June 30, 2018  
    Actual     Pro Forma(1)     Pro Forma
As
Adjusted(2)(3)
 
   

(unaudited)

 
    (in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

 

Cash and cash equivalents(4)

  $ 25,420     $ 77,628     $ 154,666  

Working capital

    10,997       63,205       140,243  

Total assets

    45,181       97,389       173,239  

Debt

    14,802       14,802       14,802  

Redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability

    801              

Redeemable convertible preferred stock

    135,720              

Accumulated deficit

    (138,598     (138,598     (138,598

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

    (132,019     56,710       132,560  


 

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(1)

The pro forma balance sheet data gives effect to (i) the receipt of $52.0 million in net proceeds from the sale of 194,465,218 shares of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock in July 2018, (ii) the conversion of 298,590,921 outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock as of June 30, 2018 and 194,465,218 shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock issued in July 2018 into an aggregate of 16,007,748 shares of common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering and (iii) the conversion of redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants into common stock warrants and the related reclassification of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability to total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and (iv) the repayment of principal and interest on a $0.2 million outstanding note issued to an executive officer.

 

(2)

The pro forma as adjusted balance sheet data gives effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments described in footnote (1) above, (ii) the receipt of $65.9 million in net proceeds from the sale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering, based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses and (iii) the receipt of up to $10.0 million in net proceeds from the sale by us in the concurrent private placement of up to approximately 666,666 shares of common stock to Merck based on the assumed initial public offering price.

 

(3)

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets and total stockholders’ equity (deficit) by approximately $4.7 million, assuming that the number of shares offered, as set forth on the cover of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets and total stockholders’ equity (deficit) by approximately $14.0 million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price per share as set forth on the cover of this prospectus remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. The pro forma as adjusted information is illustrative only, and we will adjust this information based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering and the concurrent private placement determined at pricing.

 

(4)

Excludes the $60.0 million upfront payment received pursuant to the August 2018 Exclusive Patent License and Research Collaboration Agreement with Merck.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before making your decision to invest in shares of our common stock, you should carefully consider the risks described below, together with the other information contained in this prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus. We cannot assure you that any of the events discussed below will not occur. These events could have a material and adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. If that were to happen, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

We are a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale. We have a history of significant losses, expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability, which could result in a decline in the market value of our common stock.

We are a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history on which to base your investment decision. Biotechnology product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk.

To date, we have tested our first clinical stage product candidate, STRO-001, in only a few clinical trial patients, have no products approved for commercial sale, have not generated any revenue from commercial product sales and, as of June 30, 2018, had an accumulated deficit of $138.6 million. For the year ended December 31, 2017 and for the six months ended June 30, 2018, our net loss was $19.7 million and $23.6 million, respectively, and for the year ended December 31, 2016, our net income was $1.7 million. Substantially all of our losses have resulted from expenses incurred in connection with our research and development programs and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations. Our technologies and product candidates are in early stages of development, and we are subject to the risks of failure inherent in the development of product candidates based on novel technologies. In addition, we have limited experience as a clinical stage company and have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully overcome many of the risks and uncertainties frequently encountered by companies in new and rapidly evolving fields, particularly in the biotechnology industry. Furthermore, we do not expect to generate any revenue from commercial product sales for the foreseeable future, and we expect to continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future due to the cost of research and development, preclinical studies and clinical trials and the regulatory approval process for our product candidates. We expect our net losses to increase substantially as we progress further into clinical development of our lead programs and create additional infrastructure to support operations as a public company. However, the amount of our future losses is uncertain. Our ability to achieve profitability, if ever, will depend on, among other things, our, or our existing or future collaborators’, successful development of product candidates, obtaining regulatory approvals to market and commercialize product candidates, manufacturing any approved products on commercially reasonable terms, establishing a sales and marketing organization or suitable third-party alternatives for any approved product and raising sufficient funds to finance business activities. If we, or our existing or future collaborators, are unable to develop our technologies and commercialize one or more of our product candidates or if sales revenue from any product candidate that receives approval is insufficient, we will not achieve profitability, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods.

 

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Even if we complete this offering and the concurrent private placement, we will need substantial additional funds to advance development of our product candidates. This additional financing may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development programs, commercialization efforts or other operations.

The development of biopharmaceutical product candidates is capital-intensive. If our product candidates enter and advance through preclinical studies and clinical trials, we will need substantial additional funds to expand our development, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities. We have used substantial funds to develop our technology and product candidates and will require significant funds to conduct further research and development and preclinical testing and clinical trials of our product candidates, to seek regulatory approvals for our product candidates and to manufacture and market products, if any, which are approved for commercial sale. In addition, upon the completion of this offering, we expect to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company.

Since our inception, we have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources in research and development activities for our two product candidates STRO-001, our primary clinical program, and STRO-002, our late-stage preclinical program, and the development of our in-house manufacturing capabilities. Clinical trials for our product candidates will require substantial funds to complete. As of June 30, 2018, we had $25.4 million in cash and cash equivalents. We expect to incur substantial expenditures in the foreseeable future as we seek to advance STRO-001 and STRO-002 and any future product candidates through clinical development, the regulatory approval process and, if approved, commercial launch activities, as well as in connection with the continued development of our manufacturing capabilities. Based on our current operating plan, we believe that our available cash and cash equivalents, together with the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement, will be sufficient to fund our operations through at least the next 12 months. However, our future capital requirements and the period for which we expect our existing resources to support our operations may vary significantly from what we expect and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned. Our monthly spending levels vary based on new and ongoing research and development and other corporate activities. Because the length of time and activities associated with successful research and development of our product candidates is highly uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require for development and any marketing and commercialization activities for approved products. The timing and amount of our operating expenditures will depend largely on:

 

   

the timing and progress of preclinical and clinical development activities;

 

   

the costs associated with the development of our internal manufacturing facility and processes;

 

   

the number and scope of preclinical and clinical programs we decide to pursue;

 

   

the progress of the development efforts of parties with whom we have entered or may in the future enter into collaborations and research and development agreements;

 

   

the timing and amount of milestone and other payments we may receive under our collaboration agreements;

 

   

our ability to maintain our current licenses and research and development programs and to establish new collaboration arrangements;

 

   

the costs involved in prosecuting and enforcing patent and other intellectual property claims;

 

   

the costs of manufacturing our product candidates and those of our collaborators using our proprietary XpressCF Platform;

 

   

the cost and timing of regulatory approvals;

 

   

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

 

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our efforts to enhance operational systems and hire additional personnel, including personnel to support development of our product candidates and satisfy our obligations as a public company.

If we are unable to obtain funding on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, we may have to delay, reduce or terminate our research and development programs and preclinical studies or clinical trials, limit strategic opportunities or undergo reductions in our workforce or other corporate restructuring activities. We also could be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborators or others that may require us to relinquish rights to some of our technologies or product candidates that we would otherwise pursue on our own. We do not expect to realize revenue from sales of commercial products or royalties from licensed products in the foreseeable future, if at all, and, in no event, before our product candidates are clinically tested, approved for commercialization and successfully marketed. To date, we have primarily financed our operations through payments received under our collaboration agreements, the sale of equity securities and debt financing. We will be required to seek additional funding in the future and currently intend to do so through additional collaborations and/or licensing agreements, public or private equity offerings or debt financings, credit or loan facilities, or a combination of one or more of these funding sources. Our ability to raise additional funds will depend on financial, economic and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Additional funds may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. Subject to limited exceptions, the Loan and Security Agreement prohibits us from incurring indebtedness without the prior written consent of Oxford Finance LLC, or Oxford, and Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity securities, our stockholders will suffer dilution and the terms of any financing may adversely affect the rights of our stockholders. If we raise additional funds through licensing or collaboration arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our product candidates, or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us. In addition, as a condition to providing additional funds to us, future investors may demand, and may be granted, rights superior to those of existing stockholders. Our current debt financing involves, and future debt financings, if available, are likely to involve, restrictive covenants limiting our flexibility in conducting future business activities, and, in the event of insolvency, debt holders would be repaid before holders of our equity securities received any distribution of our corporate assets. Failure to obtain capital when needed on acceptable terms may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development and commercialization of our current or future product candidates, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Our product candidates are in early stages of development and may fail in development or suffer delays that materially and adversely affect their commercial viability. If we or our collaborators are unable to complete development of or commercialize our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We have no products on the market and all of our product candidates for cancer therapy are in early stages of development. In particular, our most advanced product candidate, STRO-001, is in the initial stages of dose escalation in clinical trial patients. Additionally, we have programs, including those listed in the Discovery and Preclinical Programs chart included elsewhere in this prospectus, that are in earlier stages of discovery and preclinical development and may never advance to clinical-stage development. Our ability to achieve and sustain profitability depends on obtaining regulatory approvals for and successfully commercializing our product candidates, either alone or with third parties, and we cannot guarantee you that we will ever obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. We have limited experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. Before obtaining regulatory approval for the commercial distribution of our product candidates, we or an existing or future collaborator must conduct extensive preclinical tests and clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy in humans of our product candidates.

 

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We may not have the financial resources to continue development of, or to modify existing or enter into new collaborations for, a product candidate if we experience any issues that delay or prevent regulatory approval of, or our ability to commercialize, product candidates, including:

 

   

negative or inconclusive results from our clinical trials or the clinical trials of others for product candidates similar to ours, leading to a decision or requirement to conduct additional preclinical testing or clinical trials or abandon a program;

 

   

product-related side effects experienced by patients in our clinical trials or by individuals using drugs or therapeutic biologics similar to our product candidates;

 

   

difficulty achieving successful continued development of our internal manufacturing processes, including process development and scale-up activities to supply products for preclinical studies, clinical trials and commercial sale;

 

   

our inability to transfer successfully our manufacturing techniques to third-party contract manufacturers;

 

   

inability of us or any third-party contract manufacturer to scale up manufacturing of our product candidates and those of our collaborators to supply the needs of clinical trials and commercial sales, and to manufacture such products in conformity with regulatory requirements using our proprietary XpressCF Platform;

 

   

delays in submitting investigational new drug applications, or INDs, or comparable foreign applications or delays or failures in obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators to commence a clinical trial, or a suspension or termination of a clinical trial once commenced;

 

   

conditions imposed by the FDA or comparable foreign authorities regarding the scope or design of our clinical trials;

 

   

delays in enrolling patients in our clinical trials;

 

   

high drop-out rates of our clinical trial patients;

 

   

inadequate supply or quality of product candidate components or materials or other supplies necessary for the conduct of our clinical trials;

 

   

inability to obtain alternative sources of supply for which we have a single source for product candidate components or materials;

 

   

greater than anticipated costs of our clinical trials;

 

   

harmful side effects or inability of our product candidates to meet efficacy endpoints during clinical trials;

 

   

failure to demonstrate a benefit-risk profile acceptable to the FDA or other regulatory agencies;

 

   

unfavorable FDA or other regulatory agency inspection and review of one or more of our clinical trial sites or manufacturing facilities;

 

   

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

 

   

delays and changes in regulatory requirements, policy and guidelines, including the imposition of additional regulatory oversight around clinical testing generally or with respect to our technology in particular; or

 

   

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

We or our collaborators’ inability to complete development of or commercialize our product candidates or significant delays in doing so due to one or more of these factors, could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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Our business is dependent on the success of our product candidates based on our proprietary XpressCF Platform and, in particular, our lead product candidates, STRO-001 and STRO-002. Existing and future preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates may not be successful. If we are unable to commercialize our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources in the development of our proprietary XpressCF Platform and our lead product candidates, STRO-001 and STRO-002. Our ability to generate commercial product revenues, which we do not expect will occur for many years, if ever, will depend heavily on the successful development and eventual commercialization of STRO-001 and STRO-002. We have not previously submitted a new drug application, or NDA, or a biologics license application, or BLA, to the FDA, or similar regulatory approval filings to comparable foreign authorities, for any product candidate, and we cannot be certain that our product candidates will be successful in clinical trials or receive regulatory approval. Further, our product candidates may not receive regulatory approval even if they are successful in clinical trials. If we do not receive regulatory approvals for our product candidates, we may not be able to continue our operations. Even if we successfully obtain regulatory approvals to market our product candidates, our revenues will be dependent, in part, upon the size of the markets in the territories for which we gain regulatory approval and have commercial rights. If the markets for patient subsets that we are targeting are not as significant as we estimate, we may not generate significant revenues from sales of such products, if approved.

We plan to seek regulatory approval to commercialize our product candidates both in the United States and in selected foreign countries. While the scope of regulatory approvals generally is similar in other countries, in order to obtain separate regulatory approvals in other countries, we must comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of such countries regarding safety and efficacy. Other countries also have their own regulations governing, among other things, clinical trials and commercial sales, as well as pricing and distribution of our product candidates, and we may be required to expend significant resources to obtain regulatory approval and to comply with ongoing regulations in these jurisdictions.

The success of STRO-001 and STRO-002 and our other product candidates will depend on many factors, including the following:

 

   

successful enrollment of patients in, and the completion of, our clinical trials;

 

   

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

 

   

establishing our commercial manufacturing capabilities or making arrangements with third-party manufacturers;

 

   

obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and non-patent exclusivity for our product candidates and their components;

 

   

enforcing and defending our intellectual property rights and claims;

 

   

achieving desirable therapeutic properties for our product candidates’ intended indications;

 

   

launching commercial sales of our product candidates, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with third parties;

 

   

acceptance of our product candidates, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;

 

   

effectively competing with other therapies; and

 

   

maintaining an acceptable safety profile of our product candidates through clinical trials and following regulatory approval.

 

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If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to successfully commercialize our product candidates, which would materially harm our business.

Additionally, we have created a benchmark folate receptor-alpha, or FolRa, targeting ADC using conventional technology that results in a heterogeneous ADC mixture. We have compared STRO-002 to this benchmark molecule in multiple preclinical models. We believe the results of these tests help us understand how the therapeutic index of STRO-002 compares to competitors. However, we cannot be certain that our benchmark molecule is the same as the molecule we are attempting to recreate, and the results of the tests comparing our benchmark molecule to STRO-002 may be different than the actual results of a head-to-head test of STRO-002 against a competitor molecule. Additional preclinical and clinical testing will be needed to evaluate the therapeutic index of STRO-002 and to understand its therapeutic potential relative to other product candidates in development. While we believe our ADCs may be superior to other investigative agents in development, without head-to-head comparative data, we will not be able to make claims of superiority to other products in our promotional materials, if our product candidates are approved.

If we do not achieve our projected development goals in the time frames we announce and expect, the commercialization of our products may be delayed and, as a result, our stock price may decline.

From time to time, we estimate the timing of the anticipated accomplishment of various scientific, clinical, regulatory and other product development goals, which we sometimes refer to as milestones. These milestones may include the commencement or completion of scientific studies and clinical trials and the submission of regulatory filings. From time to time, we may publicly announce the expected timing of some of these milestones. All of these milestones are and will be based on numerous assumptions. The actual timing of these milestones can vary dramatically compared to our estimates, in some cases for reasons beyond our control. If we do not meet these milestones as publicly announced, or at all, the commercialization of our products may be delayed or never achieved and, as a result, our stock price may decline.

Our approach to the discovery and development of our therapeutic treatments is based on novel technologies that are unproven and may not result in marketable products.

We are developing a pipeline of product candidates using our proprietary XpressCF Platform. We believe that product candidates identified with our product discovery platform may offer an improved therapeutic approach by taking advantage of precision design and rapid empirical optimization, thereby reducing the dose-limiting toxic effects associated with existing products. However, the scientific research that forms the basis of our efforts to develop product candidates based on our XpressCF Platform is ongoing. Further, the scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing therapeutic treatments based on our XpressCF Platform is both preliminary and limited.

To date, we have tested our first clinical stage product candidate, STRO-001, in only a few clinical trial patients. We may ultimately discover that our XpressCF Platform and any product candidates resulting therefrom do not possess certain properties required for therapeutic effectiveness. XpressCF product candidates may also be unable to remain stable in the human body for the period of time required for the drug to reach the target tissue or they may trigger immune responses that inhibit the ability of the product candidate to reach the target tissue or that cause adverse side effects in humans. We currently have only limited data, and no conclusive evidence, to suggest that we can introduce these necessary properties into these product candidates derived from our XpressCF Platform. We may spend substantial funds attempting to introduce these properties and may never succeed in doing so. In addition, product candidates based on our XpressCF Platform may demonstrate different chemical and pharmacological properties in patients than they do in laboratory studies. Although our

 

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XpressCF Platform and certain product candidates have produced successful results in animal studies, they may not demonstrate the same chemical and pharmacological properties in humans and may interact with human biological systems in unforeseen, ineffective or harmful ways. As a result, we may never succeed in developing a marketable product, we may not become profitable and the value of our common stock will decline.

The regulatory approval process for novel product candidates such as ours can be more expensive and take longer than for other, better known or extensively studied product candidates. We are not aware of any company currently developing a therapeutic using our approach to ADC development and no regulatory authority has granted approval for such a therapeutic. We believe the FDA has limited experience with therapeutics in oncology or other disease areas developed in cell-free-based synthesis systems, which may increase the complexity, uncertainty and length of the regulatory approval process for our product candidates. For example, our XpressCF ADC product candidates contain cleavable or non-cleavable linker-warhead combinations or novel warheads that may result in unforeseen events when administered in a human. We and our existing or future collaborators may never receive approval to market and commercialize any product candidate. Even if we or an existing or future collaborator obtains regulatory approval, the approval may be for targets, disease indications or patient populations that are not as broad as we intended or desired or may require labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings. We or an existing or future collaborator may be required to perform additional or unanticipated clinical trials to obtain approval or be subject to post-marketing testing requirements to maintain regulatory approval. If the products resulting from our XpressCF Platform prove to be ineffective, unsafe or commercially unviable, our entire platform and pipeline would have little, if any, value, which would have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials may not be predictive of results of future clinical trials.

The outcome of preclinical studies and early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of clinical trials do not necessarily predict success in future clinical trials. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials after achieving positive results in earlier development, and we could face similar setbacks. The design of a clinical trial can determine whether its results will support approval of a product and flaws in the design of a clinical trial may not become apparent until the clinical trial is well advanced. We have limited experience in designing clinical trials and may be unable to design and execute a clinical trial to support marketing approval. In addition, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses. Many companies that believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval for the product candidates. Even if we, or future collaborators, believe that the results of clinical trials for our product candidates warrant marketing approval, the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree and may not grant marketing approval of our product candidates.

In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the dosing regimen and other clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial patients. If we fail to receive positive results in clinical trials of our product candidates, the development timeline and regulatory approval and commercialization prospects for our most advanced product candidates, and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects would be negatively impacted.

 

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The market may not be receptive to our product candidates based on a novel therapeutic modality, and we may not generate any future revenue from the sale or licensing of product candidates.

Even if regulatory approval is obtained for a product candidate, we may not generate or sustain revenue from sales of the product due to factors such as whether the product can be sold at a competitive cost and whether it will otherwise be accepted in the market. Historically, there have been concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of ADCs, and an ADC drug was voluntarily withdrawn from the market. These historical concerns may negatively impact the perception market participants have on ADCs, including our product candidates. Additionally, the product candidates that we are developing are based on our proprietary XpressCF Platform, which is a new technology. Market participants with significant influence over acceptance of new treatments, such as physicians and third- party payors, may not adopt an ADC product, or a product or treatment based on our novel cell-free production technologies, and we may not be able to convince the medical community and third-party payors to accept and use, or to provide favorable reimbursement for, any product candidates developed by us or our existing or future collaborators. Market acceptance of our product candidates will depend on, among other factors:

 

   

the timing of our receipt of any marketing and commercialization approvals;

 

   

the terms of any approvals and the countries in which approvals are obtained;

 

   

the safety and efficacy of our product candidates;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of any adverse side effects associated with our product candidates;

 

   

limitations or warnings contained in any labeling approved by the FDA or other regulatory authority;

 

   

relative convenience and ease of administration of our product candidates;

 

   

the willingness of patients to accept any new methods of administration;

 

   

the success of our physician education programs;

 

   

the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement from government and third-party payors;

 

   

the pricing of our products, particularly as compared to alternative treatments; and

 

   

the availability of alternative effective treatments for the disease indications our product candidates are intended to treat and the relative risks, benefits and costs of those treatments.

Because our product candidates are based on new technology, we expect that they will require extensive research and development and have substantial manufacturing and processing costs. In addition, our estimates regarding potential market size for any indication may be materially different from what we discover to exist at the time we commence commercialization, if any, for a product, which could result in significant changes in our business plan and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Moreover, if any product candidate we commercialize fails to achieve market acceptance, it could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We have entered, and may in the future seek to enter, into collaborations with third parties for the development and commercialization of our product candidates using our XpressCF Platform. If we fail to enter into such collaborations, or such collaborations are not successful, we may not be able to capitalize on the market potential of our XpressCF Platform and resulting product candidates.

Since 2014, we have entered into collaborations with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, Celgene Corporation, or Celgene, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (operating in the United States and Canada under the name “EMD Serono”) to

 

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develop certain cancer therapeutics. In addition, we may in the future seek third-party collaborators for research, development and commercialization of other therapeutic technologies or product candidates. Biopharmaceutical companies are our prior and likely future collaborators for any marketing, distribution, development, licensing or broader collaboration arrangements. With respect to our existing collaboration agreements, and what we expect will be the case with any future collaboration agreements, we have and would expect to have limited control over the amount and timing of resources that our collaborators dedicate to the development or commercialization of our product candidates. Moreover, our ability to generate revenues from these arrangements will depend on our collaborators’ abilities to successfully perform the functions assigned to them in these arrangements.

Collaborations involving our product candidates currently pose, and will continue to pose, the following risks to us:

 

   

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

 

   

collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of our product candidates or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on preclinical studies or clinical trial results, changes in the collaborators’ strategic focus or available funding, or external factors such as an acquisition that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;

 

   

collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial program, stop a clinical trial or abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;

 

   

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;

 

   

collaborators with marketing and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of such product or products;

 

   

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 litigation or potential liability;

 

   

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

 

   

disputes may arise between the collaborators and us that result in the delay or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our product candidates or that result in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources; and

 

   

collaborations may be terminated and, if terminated, may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product candidates.

As a result of the foregoing, our current and any future collaboration agreements may not lead to development or commercialization of our product candidates in the most efficient manner or at all. Moreover, if a collaborator of ours were to be involved in a business combination, the continued pursuit and emphasis on our product development or commercialization program could be delayed, diminished or terminated. Any failure to successfully develop or commercialize our product candidates pursuant to our current or any future collaboration agreements could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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To date, no product developed on a cell-free manufacturing platform has received approval from the FDA, so the requirements for the manufacturing of products using our XpressCF Platform are uncertain.

We have invested in our own current Good Manufacturing Practices, or cGMP, compliant manufacturing facility in San Carlos, California. In this facility, we are developing and implementing novel cell-free production technologies to supply our planned preclinical and clinical trials. However, before we may initiate a clinical trial or commercialize any of our product candidates, we must demonstrate to the FDA that the chemistry, manufacturing and controls for our product candidates meet applicable requirements, and in the European Union, or EU, a manufacturing authorization must be obtained from the appropriate EU regulatory authorities. Because no product manufactured on a cell-free manufacturing platform has yet been approved in the United States, there is no manufacturing facility that has demonstrated the ability to comply with FDA requirements, and, therefore, the timeframe for demonstrating compliance to the FDA’s satisfaction is uncertain. Delays in establishing that our manufacturing process and facility comply with cGMPs or disruptions in our manufacturing processes, implementation of novel in-house technologies or scale-up activities, may delay or disrupt our development efforts.

We expect that development of our own manufacturing facility will provide us with enhanced control of material supply for preclinical studies, clinical trials and the commercial market, enable the more rapid implementation of process changes and allow for better long-term margins. However, we have limited experience as a company in establishing and operating a manufacturing facility and there exist only a small number of contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, with the experience necessary to manufacture our product candidates. We may have difficulty hiring experts for internal manufacturing or finding and maintaining relationships with external CMOs and, accordingly, our production capacity could be limited.

Our existing collaborations with Merck, Celgene and EMD Serono are important to our business. If our collaborators cease development efforts under our existing or future collaboration agreements, or if any of those agreements are terminated, these collaborations may fail to lead to commercial products and we may never receive milestone payments or future royalties under these agreements.

We have entered into collaborations with other biotechnology companies to develop several of our product candidates, and such collaborations currently represent a significant portion of our product pipeline. Substantially all of our revenue to date has been derived from our existing collaboration agreements with Merck, Celgene and EMD Serono, and a significant portion of our future revenue and cash resources is expected to be derived from these agreements or other similar agreements into which we may enter in the future. Revenue from research and development collaborations depends upon continuation of the collaborations, payments for research and development services and product supply, and the achievement of milestones, contingent payments and royalties, if any, derived from future products developed from our research. If we are unable to successfully advance the development of our product candidates or achieve milestones, revenue and cash resources from milestone payments under our collaboration agreements will be substantially less than expected.

We are unable to predict the success of our collaborations and we may not realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic collaborations. Our collaborators have discretion in determining and directing the efforts and resources, including the ability to discontinue all efforts and resources, they apply to the development and, if approval is obtained, commercialization and marketing of the product candidates covered by such collaborations. As a result, our collaborators may elect to de-prioritize our programs, change their strategic focus or pursue alternative technologies in a manner that results in reduced, delayed or no revenue to us. Our collaborators may have other marketed products and product candidates under collaboration with other companies, including some of our competitors, and their

 

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corporate objectives may not be consistent with our best interests. Our collaborators may also be unsuccessful in developing or commercializing our products. If our collaborations are unsuccessful, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be adversely affected. In addition, any dispute or litigation proceedings we may have with our collaborators in the future could delay development programs, create uncertainty as to ownership of intellectual property rights, distract management from other business activities and generate substantial expense.

Moreover, to the extent that any of our existing or future collaborators were to terminate a collaboration agreement, we may be forced to independently develop these product candidates, including funding preclinical studies or clinical trials, assuming marketing and distribution costs and defending intellectual property rights, or, in certain instances, abandon product candidates altogether, any of which could result in a change to our business plan and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may not successfully engage in strategic transactions, including any additional collaborations we seek, which could adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize product candidates, impact our cash position, increase our expenses and present significant distractions to our management.

From time to time, we may consider strategic transactions, such as additional collaborations, acquisitions of companies, asset purchases and out- or in-licensing of product candidates or technologies that we believe will complement or augment our existing business. In particular, we will evaluate and, if strategically attractive, seek to enter into additional collaborations, including with major biotechnology or biopharmaceutical companies. The competition for collaborators is intense, and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Any new collaboration may be on terms that are not optimal for us, and we may not be able to maintain any new collaboration if, for example, development or approval of a product candidate is delayed, sales of an approved product candidate do not meet expectations or the collaborator terminates the collaboration. In addition, there have been a significant number of recent business combinations among large pharmaceutical companies that have resulted in a reduced number of potential future strategic partners. Our ability to reach a definitive agreement for a collaboration will depend, among other things, upon our assessment of the strategic partner’s resources and expertise, the terms and conditions of the proposed collaboration and the proposed strategic partner’s evaluation of a number of factors. These factors may include the design or results of clinical trials, the likelihood of approval by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States, the potential market for the subject product candidate, the costs and complexities of manufacturing and delivering such product candidate to patients, the potential of competing products, the existence of uncertainty with respect to our ownership of technology, which can exist if there is a challenge to such ownership without regard to the merits of the challenge and industry and market conditions generally. Moreover, if we acquire assets with promising markets or technologies, we may not be able to realize the benefit of acquiring such assets due to an inability to successfully integrate them with our existing technologies and we may encounter numerous difficulties in developing, manufacturing and marketing any new products resulting from a strategic acquisition that delay or prevent us from realizing their expected benefits or enhancing our business.

We cannot assure you that following any such collaboration, or other strategic transaction, we will achieve the expected synergies to justify the transaction. For example, such transactions may require us to incur non-recurring or other charges, increase our near- and long-term expenditures and pose significant integration or implementation challenges or disrupt our management or business. These transactions would entail numerous operational and financial risks, including exposure to unknown liabilities, disruption of our business and diversion of our management’s time and attention in order to manage a collaboration or develop acquired products, product candidates or technologies, incurrence of substantial debt or dilutive issuances of equity securities to pay transaction consideration or costs, higher than expected collaboration, acquisition or integration costs, write-downs of assets or goodwill

 

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or impairment charges, increased amortization expenses, difficulty and cost in facilitating the collaboration or combining the operations and personnel of any acquired business, impairment of relationships with key suppliers, manufacturers or customers of any acquired business due to changes in management and ownership and the inability to retain key employees of any acquired business. Also, such strategic alliance, joint venture or acquisition may be prohibited. For example, our Loan and Security Agreement, in the absence of SVB’s prior written consent, restricts our ability to pursue certain mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations or consolidations that we may believe to be in our best interest.

Accordingly, although there can be no assurance that we will undertake or successfully complete any transactions of the nature described above, any transactions that we do complete may be subject to the foregoing or other risks and would have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Conversely, any failure to enter any additional collaboration or other strategic transaction that would be beneficial to us could delay the development and potential commercialization of our product candidates and have a negative impact on the competitiveness of any product candidate that reaches market.

We expect to rely on third parties to conduct certain of our preclinical studies or clinical trials. If those third parties do not perform as contractually required, fail to satisfy regulatory or legal requirements or miss expected deadlines, our development program could be delayed with potentially material and adverse effects on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We have relied in some cases and intend to rely in the future on third-party clinical investigators, clinical research organizations, or CROs, clinical data management organizations and consultants to assist or provide the design, conduct, supervision and monitoring of preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates. Because we intend to rely on these third parties and will not have the ability to conduct all preclinical studies or clinical trials independently, we will have less control over the timing, quality and other aspects of preclinical studies and clinical trials than we would have had we conducted them on our own. These investigators, CROs and consultants will not be our employees and we will have limited control over the amount of time and resources that they dedicate to our programs. These third parties may have contractual relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors, which may draw time and resources from our programs. The third parties with which we may contract might not be diligent, careful or timely in conducting our preclinical studies or clinical trials, resulting in the preclinical studies or clinical trials being delayed or unsuccessful.

If we cannot contract with acceptable third parties on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, or if these third parties do not carry out their contractual duties, satisfy legal and regulatory requirements for the conduct of preclinical studies or clinical trials or meet expected deadlines, our clinical development programs could be delayed and otherwise adversely affected. In all events, we will be responsible for ensuring that each of our preclinical studies and clinical trials are conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. The FDA requires preclinical studies to be conducted in accordance with good laboratory practices and clinical trials to be conducted in accordance with good clinical practices, including for designing, conducting, recording and reporting the results of preclinical studies and clinical trials to assure that data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of clinical trial participants are protected. Our reliance on third parties that we do not control will not relieve us of these responsibilities and requirements. Any adverse development or delay in our preclinical studies or clinical trials as a result of our reliance on third parties could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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If we are unable to obtain sufficient raw and intermediate materials on a timely basis or if we experience other manufacturing or supply difficulties, our business may be adversely affected.

The manufacture of certain of our product candidates requires the timely delivery of sufficient amounts of raw and intermediate materials. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure the continuity of supply, but cannot guarantee these efforts will always be successful. Further, while efforts are made to diversify our sources of raw and intermediate materials, in certain instances we acquire raw and intermediate materials from a sole supplier. While we believe that alternative sources of supply exist where we rely on sole supplier relationships, there can be no assurance that we will be able to quickly establish additional or replacement sources for some materials. A reduction or interruption in supply, and an inability to develop alternative sources for such supply, could adversely affect our ability to manufacture our product candidates in a timely or cost-effective manner.

We currently manufacture a portion of our product candidates internally and also rely on third-party manufacturing and supply partners to supply components of our product candidates. Our inability to manufacture sufficient quantities of our product candidates, or the loss of our third-party suppliers, or our or their failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements or to supply sufficient quantities at acceptable quality levels or prices, or at all, would materially and adversely affect our business.

Manufacturing is a vital component of our business strategy. To ensure timely and consistent product supply we currently use a hybrid product supply approach wherein certain elements of our product candidates are manufactured internally at our manufacturing facilities in San Carlos, California, and other elements are manufactured at qualified third-party CMOs. Since our own manufacturing facilities may be limited or unable to manufacture certain of our preclinical and clinical trial product materials and supplies, we rely on third-party contract manufacturers to manufacture such clinical trial product materials and supplies for our or our collaborator’s needs. There can be no assurance that our preclinical and clinical development product supplies will not be limited, interrupted, or of satisfactory quality or continue to be available at acceptable prices. In particular, any replacement of our manufacturer could require significant effort and expertise because there may be a limited number of qualified replacements.

The manufacturing process for a product candidate is subject to FDA and foreign regulatory authority review. We, and our suppliers and manufacturers, must meet applicable manufacturing requirements and undergo rigorous facility and process validation tests required by regulatory authorities in order to comply with regulatory standards, such as cGMPs. If we or our contract manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture material that conforms to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, we may not be able to rely on our or their manufacturing facilities for the manufacture of elements of our product candidates. Moreover, we do not control the manufacturing process at our contract manufacturers, and are completely dependent on them for compliance with current regulatory requirements. In the event that any of our manufacturers fails to comply with such requirements or to perform its obligations in relation to quality, timing or otherwise, or if our supply of components or other materials becomes limited or interrupted for other reasons, we may be forced to manufacture the materials ourselves or enter into an agreement with another third party, which we may not be able to do on reasonable terms, if at all. In some cases, the technical skills or technology required to manufacture our product candidates may be unique or proprietary to the original manufacturer and we may have difficulty applying such skills or technology ourselves, or in transferring such to another third party. These factors would increase our reliance on such manufacturer or require us to obtain a license from such manufacturer in order to enable us, or to have another third party, manufacture our product candidates. If we are required to change manufacturers for any reason, we will be required to verify that the new manufacturer maintains facilities and procedures that comply with quality standards and with all applicable regulations and guidelines; and we may be required to repeat some of the development

 

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program. The delays associated with the verification of a new manufacturer could negatively affect our ability to develop product candidates in a timely manner or within budget.

We expect to continue to rely on third-party manufacturers if we receive regulatory approval for any product candidate. To the extent that we have existing, or enter into future, manufacturing arrangements with third parties, we will depend on these third parties to perform their obligations in a timely manner consistent with contractual and regulatory requirements, including those related to quality control and assurance. If we are unable to obtain or maintain third-party manufacturing for product candidates, or to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to develop and commercialize our product candidates successfully. Our or a third party’s failure to execute on our manufacturing requirements and comply with cGMPs could adversely affect our business in a number of ways, including:

 

   

an inability to initiate or continue clinical trials of product candidates under development;

 

   

delay in submitting regulatory applications, or receiving regulatory approvals, for product candidates;

 

   

loss of the cooperation of an existing or future collaborator;

 

   

subjecting third-party manufacturing facilities or our manufacturing facilities to additional inspections by regulatory authorities;

 

   

requirements to cease distribution or to recall batches of our product candidates; and

 

   

in the event of approval to market and commercialize a product candidate, an inability to meet commercial demands for our products.

Additionally, we and our contract manufacturers may experience manufacturing difficulties due to resource constraints or as a result of labor disputes or unstable political environments. If we or our contract manufacturers were to encounter any of these difficulties, our ability to provide our product candidates to patients in pre-clinical and clinical trials, or to provide product for treatment of patients once approved, would be jeopardized.

We, or third-party manufacturers, may be unable to successfully scale-up manufacturing of our product candidates in sufficient quality and quantity, which would delay or prevent us from developing our product candidates and commercializing approved products, if any.

In order to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates, we will need to manufacture them in large quantities. We, or any manufacturing partners, may be unable to successfully increase the manufacturing capacity for any of our product candidates in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all. In addition, quality issues may arise during scale-up activities. If we, or any manufacturing partners, are unable to successfully scale up the manufacture of our product candidates in sufficient quality and quantity, the development, testing, and clinical trials of that product candidate may be delayed or infeasible, and regulatory approval or commercial launch of any resulting product may be delayed or not obtained, which could significantly harm our business.

The manufacture of biologics is complex and we or our third-party manufacturers may encounter difficulties in production. If we or any of our third-party manufacturers encounter such difficulties, our ability to provide supply of our product candidates for clinical trials, our ability to obtain marketing approval, or our ability to provide supply of our products for patients, if approved, could be delayed or stopped.

Our product candidates are considered to be biologics and the process of manufacturing biologics is complex, time-consuming, highly regulated and subject to multiple risks. We and our contract manufacturers must comply with cGMPs, regulations and guidelines for the manufacturing of biologics used in clinical trials and, if approved, marketed products. To date, we and our contract manufacturers have limited experience in the manufacturing of cGMP batches of our product candidates.

 

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Manufacturing biologics is highly susceptible to product loss due to contamination, equipment failure, improper installation or operation of equipment, vendor or operator error, inconsistency in yields, variability in product characteristics and difficulties in scaling the production process. Even minor deviations from normal manufacturing processes could result in reduced production yields, product defects and other supply disruptions. If microbial, viral or other contaminations are discovered at our manufacturing facilities or those of our third-party manufacturers, such facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination, which could delay clinical trials and adversely harm our business. Moreover, if the FDA determines that our manufacturing facilities or those of our third-party manufacturers are not in compliance with FDA laws and regulations, including those governing cGMPs, the FDA may deny BLA approval until the deficiencies are corrected or we replace the manufacturer in our BLA with a manufacturer that is in compliance.

In addition, there are risks associated with large scale manufacturing for clinical trials or commercial scale including, among others, cost overruns, potential problems with process scale-up, process reproducibility, stability issues, compliance with cGMPs, lot consistency and timely availability of raw materials. Even if we or our collaborators obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, there is no assurance that manufacturers will be able to manufacture the approved product to specifications acceptable to the FDA or other regulatory authorities, to produce it in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements for the potential launch of the product or to meet potential future demand. If our manufacturers are unable to produce sufficient quantities for clinical trials or for commercialization, commercialization efforts would be impaired, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Scaling up a biologic manufacturing process is a difficult and uncertain task, and we may not be successful in transferring our production system or our third-party manufacturers may not have the necessary capabilities to complete the implementation and development process. If we are unable to adequately validate or scale-up the manufacturing process at our own manufacturing facilities or those of our current manufacturers, we will need to transfer to another manufacturer and complete the manufacturing validation process, which can be lengthy. If we are able to adequately validate and scale-up the manufacturing process for our product candidates at our manufacturing facility or with a contract manufacturer, we will still need to negotiate with such contract manufacturer an agreement for commercial supply and it is not certain we will be able to come to agreement on terms acceptable to us.

We cannot assure you that any stability or other issues relating to the manufacture of any of our product candidates or products will not occur in the future. If we or our third-party manufacturers were to encounter any of these difficulties, our ability to provide any product candidates to patients in planned clinical trials and products to patients, once approved, would be jeopardized. Any delay or interruption in the supply of clinical trial supplies could delay the completion of planned clinical trials, increase the costs associated with maintaining clinical trial programs and, depending upon the period of delay, require us to commence new clinical trials at additional expense or terminate clinical trials completely. Any adverse developments affecting clinical or commercial manufacturing of our product candidates or products may result in shipment delays, inventory shortages, lot failures, product withdrawals or recalls, or other interruptions in the supply of our product candidates or products. We may also have to take inventory write-offs and incur other charges and expenses for product candidates or products that fail to meet specifications, undertake costly remediation efforts or seek more costly manufacturing alternatives. Accordingly, failures or difficulties faced at any level of our supply chain could adversely affect our business and delay or impede the development and commercialization of any of our product candidates or products, if approved, and could have an adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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As part of our process development efforts, we also may make changes to our manufacturing processes at various points during development, for various reasons, such as controlling costs, achieving scale, decreasing processing time, increasing manufacturing success rate or other reasons. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve their intended objectives, and any of these changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of our ongoing clinical trials or future clinical trials. In some circumstances, changes in the manufacturing process may require us to perform ex vivo comparability studies and to collect additional data from patients prior to undertaking more advanced clinical trials. For instance, changes in our process during the course of clinical development may require us to show the comparability of the product used in earlier clinical phases or at earlier portions of a trial to the product used in later clinical phases or later portions of the trial.

We may not be successful in our efforts to use our XpressCF Platform to expand our pipeline of product candidates and develop marketable products.

The success of our business depends in large part upon our ability to identify, develop and commercialize products based on our XpressCF Platform. STRO-001 and STRO-002 are our primary clinical and late-stage preclinical programs and our research programs may fail to identify other potential product candidates for clinical development for a number of reasons. Our research methodology may be unsuccessful in identifying potential product candidates or our potential product candidates may be shown to have harmful side effects or may have other characteristics that may make the products unmarketable or unlikely to receive marketing approval. If any of these events occur, we may be forced to abandon our development efforts for a program or for multiple programs, which would materially harm our business and could potentially cause us to cease operations. Research programs to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial and human resources. We may focus our efforts and resources on potential programs or product candidates that ultimately prove to be unsuccessful.

We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate and fail to capitalize on product candidates that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we focus our research and development efforts on certain selected product candidates. As a result, we may forgo or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future research and development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable product candidates. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through collaboration, licensing or other royalty arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate.

Failure to successfully validate, develop and obtain regulatory approval for companion diagnostics for our product candidates could harm our drug development strategy and operational results.

If companion diagnostics are developed in conjunction with clinical programs, the FDA may require regulatory approval of a companion diagnostic as a condition to approval of the product candidate. For example, if we use a diagnostic test to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from STRO-001 for the treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma by designing our pivotal trial or trials of STRO-001 in that indication to require that clinical trial patients have elevated CD74 expression as a criterion for enrollment, then we will likely be required to obtain FDA approval or

 

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clearance of a companion diagnostic, concurrent with approval of STRO-001, to test for elevated CD74 expression; we may also be required to demonstrate to the FDA the predictive utility of the companion diagnostic—namely, that the diagnostic selects for patients in whom the biologic therapy will be effective or more effective compared to patients not selected for by the diagnostic. Similarly, as we are developing STRO-002 for a potential indication in patients with elevated FOLRa expression levels, we will likely be required to obtain FDA approval or clearance of a companion diagnostic, concurrent with approval of STRO-002, to test for elevated FOLRa expression. We do not have experience or capabilities in developing or commercializing diagnostics and plan to rely in large part on third parties to perform these functions. We do not currently have any agreement in place with any third party to develop or commercialize companion diagnostics for any of our product candidates. Companion diagnostics are subject to regulation by the FDA and foreign regulatory authorities as medical devices and require separate regulatory approval or clearance prior to commercialization.

If we or our collaborators, or any third party, are unable to successfully develop companion diagnostics for our product candidates, or experience delays in doing so:

 

   

the development of our product candidates may be adversely affected if we are unable to appropriately select patients for enrollment in our planned clinical trials;

 

   

our product candidates may not receive marketing approval if their safe and effective use depends on a companion diagnostic; and

 

   

we may not realize the full commercial potential of any product candidates that receive marketing approval if, among other reasons, we are unable to appropriately identify patients with the specific genetic alterations targeted by our product candidates.

In addition, although we believe genetic testing is becoming more prevalent in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and conditions, our product candidates may be perceived negatively compared to alternative treatments that do not require the use of companion diagnostics, either due to the additional cost of the companion diagnostic or the need to complete additional procedures to identify genetic markers prior to administering our product candidates. If any of these events were to occur, our business would be harmed, possibly materially.

We face competition from entities that have developed or may develop product candidates for cancer, including companies developing novel treatments and technology platforms. If these companies develop technologies or product candidates more rapidly than we do or their technologies are more effective, our ability to develop and successfully commercialize product candidates may be adversely affected.

The development and commercialization of drugs and therapeutic biologics is highly competitive. Our product candidates, if approved, will face significant competition and our failure to effectively compete may prevent us from achieving significant market penetration. Most of our competitors have significantly greater resources than we do and we may not be able to successfully compete. We compete with a variety of multinational biopharmaceutical companies, specialized biotechnology companies and emerging biotechnology companies, as well as with technologies and product candidates being developed at universities and other research institutions. Our competitors have developed, are developing or will develop product candidates and processes competitive with our product candidates and processes. Competitive therapeutic treatments include those that have already been approved and accepted by the medical community and any new treatments, including those based on novel technology platforms, that enter the market. We believe that a significant number of products are currently under development, and may become commercially available in the future, for the treatment of conditions for which we are trying, or may try, to develop product candidates. There is intense and rapidly evolving competition in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and antibody and immunoregulatory therapeutics fields. While we believe that our XpressCF Platform, associated

 

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intellectual property and our scientific and technical know-how give us a competitive advantage in this space, competition from many sources exists or may arise in the future. Our competitors include larger and better funded biopharmaceutical, biotechnological and therapeutics companies, including companies focused on cancer immunotherapies, such as AstraZeneca PLC, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, or BMS, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc., or Pfizer, Roche Holding Ltd, Sanofi S.A and companies focused on ADCs, such as Pfizer, ImmunoGen, Inc., or Immunogen, Seattle Genetics, Inc., or Seattle Genetics, and Genentech, Inc., or Genentech, as well as numerous small companies. Moreover, we also compete with current and future therapeutics developed at universities and other research institutions.

We are aware of several companies that are developing ADCs, bispecific antibodies and cancer immunotherapies. Many of these companies are well-capitalized and, in contrast to us, have significant clinical experience, and may include our existing or future collaborators. In addition, these companies compete with us in recruiting scientific and managerial talent.

Our success will depend partially on our ability to develop and protect therapeutics that are safer and more effective than competing products. Our commercial opportunity and success will be reduced or eliminated if competing products are safer, more effective, or less expensive than the therapeutics we develop.

If our lead product candidates are approved, they will compete with a range of therapeutic treatments that are either in development or currently marketed. Currently marketed oncology drugs and therapeutics range from ADCs, such as Genentech’s Kadcyla, to immune checkpoint inhibitors such as BMS’s Opdivo to T cell-engager immunotherapies such as Amgen, Inc.’s Blincyto. In addition, numerous compounds are in clinical development for cancer treatment. With respect to B cell based malignancies, such as multiple myeloma, the most common treatments are chemotherapeutic compounds, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation and immunomodulating agents. The clinical development pipeline for cancer includes small molecules, antibodies, vaccines, cell therapies and immunotherapies from a variety of companies and institutions.

Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing, sales and supply resources or experience than we have. If we successfully obtain approval for any product candidate, we will face competition based on many different factors, including the safety and effectiveness of our products, the ease with which our products can be administered and the extent to which patients accept relatively new routes of administration, the timing and scope of regulatory approvals for these products, the availability and cost of manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities, price, reimbursement coverage and patent position. Competing products could present superior treatment alternatives, including by being more effective, safer, less expensive or marketed and sold more effectively than any products we may develop. Competitive products may make any products we develop obsolete or noncompetitive before we recover the expense of developing and commercializing our product candidates. Such competitors could also recruit our employees, which could negatively impact our level of expertise and our ability to execute our business plan.

Any inability to attract and retain qualified key management and technical personnel would impair our ability to implement our business plan.

Our success largely depends on the continued service of key management, advisors and other specialized personnel, including William J. Newell, our chief executive officer, Edward Albini, our chief financial officer, Trevor J. Hallam, Ph.D., our chief scientific officer, Arturo Molina, M.D., our chief medical officer and Shabbir T. Anik, Ph.D., our chief technical operations officer. The loss of one or more members of our management team or other key employees or advisors could delay our research and development programs and have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The relationships that our key managers have cultivated

 

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within our industry make us particularly dependent upon their continued employment with us. We are dependent on the continued service of our technical personnel because of the highly technical nature of our product candidates and XpressCF Platform technologies and the specialized nature of the regulatory approval process. Because our management team and key employees are not obligated to provide us with continued service, they could terminate their employment with us at any time without penalty. Our future success will depend in large part on our continued ability to attract and retain other highly qualified scientific, technical and management personnel, as well as personnel with expertise in clinical testing, manufacturing, governmental regulation and commercialization. We face competition for personnel from other companies, universities, public and private research institutions, government entities and other organizations. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high-quality personnel, the rate and success at which we can discover and develop product candidates will be limited which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We will need to grow our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations.

As of June 30, 2018, we had 128 full-time employees. As our development and commercialization plans and strategies develop, and as we transition into operating as a public company, we expect to expand our employee base for managerial, operational, financial and other resources. In addition, we have limited experience in product development and have just begun our first clinical trial for our first product candidate. As our product candidates enter and advance through preclinical studies and clinical trials, we will need to expand our development, regulatory and manufacturing capabilities or contract with other organizations to provide these capabilities for us. In the future, we expect to have to manage additional relationships with collaborators or partners, suppliers and other organizations. Our ability to manage our operations and future growth will require us to continue to improve our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures. We may not be able to implement improvements to our management information and control systems in an efficient or timely manner and may discover deficiencies in existing systems and controls. Our inability to successful managing our growth and expand our operations could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

If any of our product candidates are approved for marketing and commercialization and we are unable to develop sales, marketing and distribution capabilities on our own or enter into agreements with third parties to perform these functions on acceptable terms, we will be unable to commercialize successfully any such future products.

We currently have no sales, marketing or distribution capabilities or experience. If any of our product candidates are approved, we will need to develop internal sales, marketing and distribution capabilities to commercialize such products, which would be expensive and time consuming, or enter into collaborations with third parties to perform these services. If we decide to market our products directly, we will need to commit significant financial and managerial resources to develop a marketing and sales force with technical expertise and supporting distribution, administration and compliance capabilities. If we rely on third parties with such capabilities to market our products or decide to co-promote products with collaborators, we will need to establish and maintain marketing and distribution arrangements with third parties, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into such arrangements on acceptable terms or at all. In entering into third-party marketing or distribution arrangements, any revenue we receive will depend upon the efforts of the third parties and there can be no assurance that such third parties will establish adequate sales and distribution capabilities or be successful in gaining market acceptance of any approved product. If we are not successful in commercializing any product approved in the future, either on our own or through third parties, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

 

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Our future growth may depend, in part, on our ability to operate in foreign markets, where we would be subject to additional regulatory burdens and other risks and uncertainties.

Our future growth may depend, in part, on our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates in foreign markets for which we may rely on collaboration with third parties. We are not permitted to market or promote any of our product candidates before we receive regulatory approval from the applicable regulatory authority in that foreign market, and may never receive such regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. To obtain separate regulatory approval in many other countries, we must comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of such countries regarding safety and efficacy and governing, among other things, clinical trials and commercial sales, pricing and distribution of our product candidates, and we cannot predict success in these jurisdictions. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements in international markets and receive applicable marketing approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be harmed and our business will be adversely affected. We may not obtain foreign regulatory approvals on a timely basis, if at all. Our failure to obtain approval of any of our product candidates by regulatory authorities in another country may significantly diminish the commercial prospects of that product candidate and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. Moreover, even if we obtain approval of our product candidates and ultimately commercialize our product candidates in foreign markets, we would be subject to the risks and uncertainties, including the burden of complying with complex and changing foreign regulatory, tax, accounting and legal requirements and reduced protection of intellectual property rights in some foreign countries.

Price controls imposed in foreign markets may adversely affect our future profitability.

In some countries, particularly member states of the EU, the pricing of prescription drugs is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after receipt of marketing approval for a product. In addition, there can be considerable pressure by governments and other stakeholders on prices and reimbursement levels, including as part of cost containment measures. Political, economic and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after reimbursement has been obtained. Reference pricing used by various EU member states and parallel distribution, or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. In some countries, we or current or future collaborators may be required to conduct a clinical trial or other studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of our therapeutic candidates to other available therapies in order to obtain or maintain reimbursement or pricing approval. Publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If reimbursement of any product candidate approved for marketing is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

Our business entails a significant risk of product liability and our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

As we are conducting clinical trials of our product candidates we may be exposed to significant product liability risks inherent in the development, testing, manufacturing and marketing of therapeutic treatments. Product liability claims could delay or prevent completion of our development programs. If we succeed in marketing products, such claims could result in an FDA investigation of the safety and effectiveness of our products, our manufacturing processes and facilities or our marketing programs and potentially a recall of our products or more serious enforcement action, limitations on the approved indications for which they may be used or suspension or withdrawal of approvals. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may also result in decreased demand for our products,

 

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injury to our reputation, costs to defend the related litigation, a diversion of management’s time and our resources, substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients and a decline in our stock price. While we currently have product liability insurance that we believe is appropriate for our stage of development, we may need to obtain higher levels prior to later stages of clinical development or marketing any of our product candidates. Any insurance we have or may obtain may not provide sufficient coverage against potential liabilities. Furthermore, clinical trial and product liability insurance is becoming increasingly expensive. As a result, we may be unable to obtain sufficient insurance at a reasonable cost to protect us against losses caused by product liability claims that could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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

As with all companies, we are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees could include intentional failures to comply with FDA regulations, provide accurate information to the FDA, comply with manufacturing standards we may establish, comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations, report financial information or data accurately or disclose unauthorized activities to us. In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, loss of eligibility to obtain approvals from the FDA, exclusion from participation in government contracting, healthcare reimbursement or other government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, integrity oversight and reporting obligations, or reputational harm.

We depend on our information technology systems, and any failure of these systems, or those of our CROs or other contractors or consultants we may utilize, could harm our business. 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, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

We collect and maintain information in digital form that is necessary to conduct our business, and we are increasingly dependent on information technology systems and infrastructure to operate our business. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, store and transmit large amounts of confidential information, including intellectual property, proprietary business information and personal information. It is critical that we do so in a secure manner to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of such confidential information. We have established physical, electronic and organizational measures to safeguard and secure our systems to prevent a data compromise, and rely on commercially available systems, software, tools, and monitoring to provide security for our information technology systems and the processing, transmission and storage of digital information. We have also outsourced elements of our information technology infrastructure, and as a result a number of third-party vendors may or

 

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could have access to our confidential information. Our internal information technology systems and infrastructure, and those of our current and any future collaborators, contractors and consultants and other third parties on which we rely, are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, malware, natural disasters, terrorism, war, telecommunication and electrical failures, cyber-attacks or cyber-intrusions over the Internet, attachments to emails, persons inside our organization, or persons with access to systems inside our organization.

The risk of a security breach or disruption or data loss, particularly through cyber-attacks or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. In addition, the prevalent use of mobile devices that access confidential information increases the risk of data security breaches, which could lead to the loss of confidential information or other intellectual property. The costs to us to mitigate network security problems, bugs, viruses, worms, malicious software programs and security vulnerabilities could be significant, and while we have implemented security measures to protect our data security and information technology systems, our efforts to address these problems may not be successful, and these problems could result in unexpected interruptions, delays, cessation of service and other harm to our business and our competitive position. If such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our product development programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or ongoing or planned clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Moreover, if a computer security breach affects our systems or results in the unauthorized release of personally identifiable information, our reputation could be materially damaged. In addition, such a breach may require notification to governmental agencies, the media or individuals pursuant to various federal and state privacy and security laws, if applicable, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and its implementing rules and regulations, as well as regulations promulgated by the Federal Trade Commission and state breach notification laws. We would also be exposed to a risk of loss or litigation and potential liability, which could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Our information technology systems could face serious disruptions that could adversely affect our business.

Our information technology and other internal infrastructure systems, including corporate firewalls, servers, leased lines and connection to the Internet, face the risk of systemic failure that could disrupt our operations. A significant disruption in the availability of our information technology and other internal infrastructure systems could cause interruptions and delays in our research and development and manufacturing work.

The terms of our Loan and Security Agreement require us to meet certain covenants and place restrictions on our operating and financial flexibility. If we raise additional capital through debt financing, the terms of any new debt could further restrict our ability to operate our business.

The Loan and Security Agreement is secured by a lien covering all of our assets, excluding our intellectual property and certain other assets. Subject to the terms of the Loan and Security Agreement, we have the option to prepay all, but not less than all, of the amounts borrowed under the Loan and Security Agreement, subject to certain penalty payments, prior to the August 1, 2021 maturity date, at which time all amounts borrowed will be due and payable.

In connection with the Loan and Security Agreement, we issued Oxford and SVB warrants to purchase shares of Series D-2 redeemable convertible preferred stock, which, in connection with the initial closing of our Series E redeemable preferred stock financing, converted into warrants to purchase Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock.

 

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The Loan and Security Agreement contains customary affirmative and negative covenants, indemnification provisions and events of default. The affirmative covenants include, among others, covenants requiring us to maintain our legal existence and governmental approvals, deliver certain financial reports and maintain certain intellectual property rights. The negative covenants include, among others, restrictions on transferring or licensing our assets, changing our business, incurring additional indebtedness, engaging in mergers or acquisitions, paying dividends or making other distributions, and creating other liens on our assets, in each case subject to customary exceptions. If we default under the Loan and Security Agreement, the lenders will be able to declare all obligations immediately due and payable and take control of our collateral, potentially requiring us to renegotiate our agreement on terms less favorable to us or to immediately cease operations. Further, if we are liquidated, the rights of Oxford and SVB to repayment would be senior to the rights of the holders of our common stock to receive any proceeds from the liquidation. Oxford, acting as collateral agent for the lenders, could declare a default under the Loan and Security Agreement upon the occurrence of any event that Oxford and SVB interpret as a material adverse change as defined under the Loan and Security Agreement, thereby requiring us to repay the loan immediately or to attempt to reverse the declaration of default through negotiation or litigation. Any declaration by the collateral agent of an event of default could significantly harm our business and prospects and could cause the price of our common stock to decline. If we raise any additional debt financing, the terms of such additional debt could further restrict our operating and financial flexibility.

If we do not comply with laws regulating the protection of the environment and health and human safety, our business could be affected adversely.

Our research, development and manufacturing involves the use of hazardous chemicals and materials, including radioactive materials. We maintain quantities of various flammable and toxic chemicals in our facilities in South San Francisco and San Carlos, California that are required for our research, development and manufacturing activities. We are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of these hazardous chemicals and materials. We believe our procedures for storing, handling and disposing these materials in our South San Francisco and San Carlos facilities comply with the relevant guidelines of the two municipalities, the counties of San Francisco and San Mateo, the state of California and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. Although we believe that our safety procedures for handling and disposing of these materials comply with the standards mandated by applicable regulations, the risk of accidental contamination or injury from these materials cannot be eliminated. If an accident occurs, we could be held liable for resulting damages, which could be substantial. We are also subject to numerous environmental, health and workplace safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures, exposure to blood-borne pathogens and the handling of animals and biohazardous materials. Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of these materials, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. While we maintain pollution legal liability insurance for our manufacturing facility in San Carlos, California, we do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological or hazardous materials in our other locations. Additional federal, state and local laws and regulations affecting our operations may be adopted in the future. We may incur substantial costs to comply with, and substantial fines or penalties if we violate, any of these laws or regulations.

Our current operations are in two cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we or the third parties upon whom we depend may be adversely affected by earthquakes or other natural disasters and our business continuity and disaster recovery plans may not adequately protect us from a serious disaster.

Our current operations are located in our facilities in South San Francisco and San Carlos, California. Any unplanned event, such as earthquake, flood, fire, explosion, extreme weather condition,

 

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medical epidemic, power shortage, telecommunication failure or other natural or manmade accidents or incidents that result in us being unable to fully utilize our facilities, or the manufacturing facilities of our third-party contract manufacturers, may have a material and adverse effect on our ability to operate our business, particularly on a daily basis, and have significant negative consequences on our financial and operating conditions. Loss of access to these facilities may result in increased costs, delays in the development of our product candidates or interruption of our business operations. Earthquakes or other natural disasters could further disrupt our operations, and have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. If a natural disaster, power outage or other event occurred that prevented us from using all or a significant portion of our headquarters, that damaged critical infrastructure, such as our research or manufacturing facilities or the manufacturing facilities of our third-party contract manufacturers, or that otherwise disrupted operations, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible, for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The disaster recovery and business continuity plans we have in place may prove inadequate in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. As part of our risk management policy, we maintain insurance coverage at levels that we believe are appropriate for our business. However, in the event of an accident or incident at these facilities, we cannot assure you that the amounts of insurance will be sufficient to satisfy any damages and losses. If our facilities, or the manufacturing facilities of our third-party contract manufacturers, are unable to operate because of an accident or incident or for any other reason, even for a short period of time, any or all of our research and development programs may be harmed. Any business interruption could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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

Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50 percentage points change (by value) in the ownership of its equity over a rolling three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss, or NOL, carryforwards and certain other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income and taxes may be limited. We have experienced such ownership changes in the past, and we may have experienced a further ownership change in connection with the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing, as a result of the price at which the shares were issued and the number of shares that were issued. Moreover, we may experience ownership changes in the future as a result of this offering and the concurrent private placement or subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, some of which are outside our control. As of December 31, 2017, we had federal NOL carryforwards of approximately $91.6 million, and our ability to utilize those NOL carryforwards could be limited by an “ownership change” as described above, which could result in increased tax liability to our company.

On December 22, 2017, the current U.S. presidential administration, signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Reform Act. The legislation significantly changes U.S. tax law by, among other things, lowering the corporate income tax rates. The Tax Reform Act permanently reduces the U.S. corporate income tax rate from a maximum of 35% to a flat 21% rate, effective January 1, 2018. Additionally, the Tax Reform Act will no longer allow deductions for compensation in excess of $1.0 million for certain employees, even if paid as commissions or performance-based compensation. We may be subject to these limitations as provided for under Section 162(m) of the Code in the future. The Tax Reform Act also limits the amount taxpayers are able to deduct for federal NOL carryforwards generated in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 to 80% of the taxpayer’s taxable income. The law also generally repeals all carrybacks. However, any NOLs generated in taxable years after December 31, 2017 can be carried forward indefinitely. Losses arising in taxable years beginning before December 31, 2017 may still be carried back two years and are

 

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subject to their current expiration period. As of December 31, 2017, we have approximately $91.6 million of federal NOLs that were generated prior to 2018 which will expire at various dates beginning in 2032, if not used to reduce income taxes payable in the future. Federal NOLs generated by us subsequent to 2017 may only offset 80% of taxable income.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 to address the application of generally accepted accounting principles in the United States in situations when a registrant does not have the necessary information available, prepared or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete the accounting for certain income tax effects of the Tax Reform Act. We have recognized provision tax impacts related to the revaluation of deferred tax assets and liabilities and included this amount in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017. The ultimate impact may differ from these provision amounts, due to, among other things, additional analysis, changes in interpretations and assumptions we have made, additional regulatory guidance that may be issued and actions we may take as a result of the Tax Reform Act. The accounting is expected to be complete when the 2017 U.S. corporate income tax return is filed in 2018.

Risks Related to Intellectual Property

If we are not able to obtain and enforce patent protection for our technologies or product candidates, development and commercialization of our product candidates may be adversely affected.

Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain patents and other forms of intellectual property rights, including in-licenses of intellectual property rights of others, for our product candidates, methods used to manufacture our product candidates and methods for treating patients using our product candidates, as well as our ability to preserve our trade secrets, to prevent third parties from infringing upon our proprietary rights and to operate without infringing upon the proprietary rights of others. As of June 30, 2018, we solely own 25 issued patents and 93 pending patent applications; and, under an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, the Stanford Agreement, we licensed 59 issued patents with claims relating to methods related to expression of the protein components of our product candidates using our XpressCF Platform. We may not be able to apply for patents on certain aspects of our product candidates in a timely fashion or at all. Further, we may not be able to prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications, or maintain, enforce and license any patents that may issue from such patent applications, at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. It is also possible that we will fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection. We may not have the right to control the preparation, filing and prosecution of all patent applications that we license from third parties, or to maintain the rights to patents licensed to third parties. Therefore, these patents and applications may not be prosecuted and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. Our existing issued and granted patents and any future patents we obtain may not be sufficiently broad to prevent others from using our technology or from developing competing products and technology. There is no guarantee that any of our pending patent applications will result in issued or granted patents, that any of our issued or granted patents will not later be found to be invalid or unenforceable or that any issued or granted patents will include claims that are sufficiently broad to cover our product candidates or to provide meaningful protection from our competitors. Moreover, the patent position of biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies can be highly uncertain because it involves complex legal and factual questions. We will be able to protect our proprietary rights from unauthorized use by third parties only to the extent that our current and future proprietary technology and product candidates are covered by valid and enforceable patents or are effectively maintained as trade secrets. If third parties disclose or misappropriate our proprietary rights, it may materially and adversely affect our position in the market.

 

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other provisions during the patent process. There are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, competitors might be able to enter the market earlier than would otherwise have been the case. The standards applied by the USPTO and foreign patent offices in granting patents are not always applied uniformly or predictably. For example, there is no uniform worldwide policy regarding patentable subject matter or the scope of claims allowable in biotechnology and biopharmaceutical patents. As such, we do not know the degree of future protection that we will have on our proprietary products and technology. While we will endeavor to try to protect our product candidates with intellectual property rights such as patents, as appropriate, the process of obtaining patents is time consuming, expensive and sometimes unpredictable.

Once granted, patents may remain open to opposition, interference, re-examination, post-grant review, inter partes review, nullification or derivation action in court or before patent offices or similar proceedings for a given period after allowance or grant, during which time third parties can raise objections against such initial grant. In the course of such proceedings, which may continue for a protracted period of time, the patent owner may be compelled to limit the scope of the allowed or granted claims thus attacked, or may lose the allowed or granted claims altogether. In addition, there can be no assurance that:

 

   

others will not or may not be able to make, use or sell compounds that are the same as or similar to our product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own or license;

 

   

we or our licensors, or our existing or future collaborators are the first to make the inventions covered by each of our issued patents and pending patent applications that we own or license;

 

   

we or our licensors, or our existing or future collaborators are the first to file patent applications covering certain aspects of our inventions;

 

   

others will not independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights;

 

   

a third party may not challenge our patents and, if challenged, a court would hold that our patents are valid, enforceable and infringed;

 

   

any issued patents that we own or have licensed will provide us with any competitive advantages, or will not be challenged by third parties;

 

   

we may develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;

 

   

the patents of others will not have a material or adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects; and

 

   

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

If we or our licensors or collaborators fail to maintain the patents and patent applications covering our product candidates, our competitors might be able to enter the market, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed.

In addition to seeking patent protection for certain aspects of our product candidates, we also consider trade secrets, including confidential and unpatented know-how important to the maintenance of our competitive position. We protect trade secrets and confidential and unpatented know-how, in

 

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part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to such knowledge, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants that obligate them to maintain confidentiality and assign their inventions to us. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time- consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor, our competitive position would be harmed which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Other companies or organizations may challenge our or our licensors’ patent rights or may assert patent rights that prevent us from developing and commercializing our products.

Therapeutics in oncology or other disease areas developed in cell-free-based synthesis systems are a relatively new scientific field. We have obtained grants and issuances of, and have obtained a license from a third party on an exclusive basis to, patents related to our proprietary XpressCF Platform. The issued patents and pending patent applications in the United States and in key markets around the world that we own or license claim many different methods, compositions and processes relating to the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of antibody-based and other therapeutics.

As the field of antibody-based therapeutics continues to mature, patent applications are being processed by national patent offices around the world. There is uncertainty about which patents will issue and, if they do, as to when, to whom, and with what claims. In addition, third parties may attempt to invalidate our intellectual property rights. Even if our rights are not directly challenged, disputes could lead to the weakening of our intellectual property rights. Our defense against any attempt by third parties to circumvent or invalidate our intellectual property rights could be costly to us, could require significant time and attention of our management and could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects or our ability to successfully compete.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

Obtaining a valid and enforceable issued or granted patent covering our technology in the United States and worldwide can be extremely costly, and our or our licensors’ or collaborators’ intellectual property rights may not exist in some countries outside the United States or may be less extensive in some countries than in the United States. In jurisdictions where we or our licensors or collaborators have not obtained patent protection, competitors may seek to use our or their technology to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we or they have patent protection, but where it is more difficult to enforce a patent as compared to the United States. Competitor products may compete with our future products in jurisdictions where we do not have issued or granted patents or where our or our licensors’ or collaborators’ issued or granted patent claims or other intellectual property rights are not sufficient to prevent competitor activities in these jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, make it difficult to enforce patents and such countries may not recognize other types of intellectual property protection, particularly relating to biopharmaceuticals. This could make it difficult for us or our licensors or collaborators to prevent the infringement of our or their patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our or their proprietary rights generally in certain jurisdictions. Proceedings to enforce our

 

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patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial cost and divert our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us or our licensors or collaborators. We or our licensors or collaborators may not prevail in any lawsuits that we or our licensors or collaborators initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful.

We generally file a provisional patent application first (a priority filing) at the USPTO. An international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, PCT, is usually filed within twelve months after the priority filing. Based on the PCT filing, national and regional patent applications may be filed in the United States, EU, Japan, Australia and Canada and, depending on the individual case, also in any or all of, inter alia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and other jurisdictions. We have so far not filed for patent protection in all national and regional jurisdictions where such protection may be available. In addition, we may decide to abandon national and regional patent applications before grant. Finally, the grant proceeding of each national or regional patent is an independent proceeding which may lead to situations in which applications might in some jurisdictions be refused by the relevant registration authorities, while granted by others. It is also quite common that depending on the country, various scopes of patent protection may be granted on the same product candidate or technology.

The laws of some jurisdictions do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws in the United States, and many companies have encountered significant difficulties in protecting and defending such rights in such jurisdictions. If we or our licensors or collaborators encounter difficulties in protecting, or are otherwise precluded from effectively protecting, the intellectual property rights important for our business in such jurisdictions, the value of these rights may be diminished and we may face additional competition from others in those jurisdictions. Many countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patent. If we or any of our licensors or collaborators are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents relevant to our business, our competitive position in the relevant jurisdiction may be impaired and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be adversely affected.

We, our licensors or collaborators, or any future strategic partners may need to resort to litigation to protect or enforce our patents or other proprietary rights, all of which could be costly, time consuming, delay or prevent the development and commercialization of our product candidates, or put our patents and other proprietary rights at risk.

Competitors may infringe our patents or other intellectual property. If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our products or our technology, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that an individual connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability during patent litigation is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on one or more of our products or

 

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certain aspects of our platform technology. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Interference or derivation proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by us or declared by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patents or patent applications. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or if a non-exclusive license is offered and our competitors gain access to the same technology. 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. There could also 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 material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. Patents and other intellectual property rights also will not protect our technology if competitors design around our protected technology without legally infringing our patents or other intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights of third parties could adversely affect our ability to commercialize our product candidates, and we, our licensors or collaborators, or any future strategic partners may become subject to third party claims or litigation alleging infringement of patents or other proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate patents or other proprietary rights. We might be required to litigate or obtain licenses from third parties in order to develop or market our product candidates. Such litigation or licenses could be costly or not available on commercially reasonable terms.

We, our licensors or collaborators, or any future strategic partners may be subject to third-party claims for infringement or misappropriation of patent or other proprietary rights. There is a substantial amount of litigation, both within and outside the United States, involving patent and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, including patent infringement lawsuits, interferences, oppositions and inter partes review proceedings before the USPTO, and corresponding foreign patent offices. There are many issued and pending patents that might claim aspects of our product candidates and modifications that we may need to apply to our product candidates. There are also many issued patents that claim antibodies, or portions of antibodies, linkers, or cytotoxic warheads that may be relevant for the products we wish to develop. Thus, it is possible that one or more organizations will hold patent rights to which we will need a license. If those organizations refuse to grant us a license to such patent rights on reasonable terms, we may not be able to market products or perform research and development or other activities covered by these patents which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. We are obligated under certain of our license and collaboration agreements to indemnify and hold harmless our licensors or collaborators for damages arising from intellectual property infringement by use. For example, we are obligated under the Stanford Agreement to indemnify and hold harmless Stanford for damages arising from intellectual property infringement by us resulting from exercise of the license from Stanford. If we, our licensors or collaborators, or any future strategic partners are found to infringe a third-party patent or other intellectual property rights, we could be required to pay damages, potentially including treble damages, if we are found to have infringed willfully. In addition, we, our licensors or collaborators, or any future strategic partners may choose to seek, or be required to seek, a license from a third party, which may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Even if a license can be obtained on acceptable terms, the rights may be non-exclusive, which could give our competitors access to the same technology or intellectual property rights licensed to us. If we fail to obtain a required license, we or our existing or future collaborators may be unable to effectively market product candidates based on our technology, which could limit our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability and possibly prevent us from generating revenue sufficient to sustain our operations. In addition, we may find it necessary to pursue claims or initiate lawsuits to protect or enforce our patent or other intellectual property rights. The cost to us in defending or initiating any

 

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litigation or other proceeding relating to patent or other proprietary rights, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial, and litigation could divert our management’s attention. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could delay our research and development efforts and limit our ability to continue our operations.

Because the antibody-based therapeutics landscape is still evolving, it is difficult to conclusively assess our freedom to operate without infringing on third-party rights. There are numerous companies that have pending patent applications and issued patents broadly covering antibodies generally, covering antibodies directed against the same targets as, or targets similar to, those we are pursuing, or covering linkers and cytotoxic warheads similar to those that we are using in our product candidates. For example, we are aware of an issued patent, expected to expire in 2023, which has claims relating to methods of treating CD74-positive multiple myeloma with an ADC targeting CD74. If valid and not yet expired when, and if, we receive marketing approval for STRO-001, we may need to seek a license to this patent, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Failure to receive a license could delay commercialization of STRO-001. Our competitive position may suffer if patents issued to third parties or other third-party intellectual property rights cover our products or product candidates or elements thereof, or our manufacture or uses relevant to our development plans. In such cases, we may not be in a position to develop or commercialize products or product candidates until such patents expire or unless we successfully pursue litigation to nullify or invalidate the third-party intellectual property right concerned, or enter into a license agreement with the intellectual property right holder, if available on commercially reasonable terms. There may be issued patents of which we are not aware, held by third parties that, if found to be valid and enforceable, could be alleged to be infringed by our XpressCF Platform and related technologies and product candidates. There also may be pending patent applications of which we are not aware that may result in issued patents, which could be alleged to be infringed by our XpressCF Platform and related technologies and product candidates. If such an infringement claim should be brought and be successful, we may be required to pay substantial damages, including potentially treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, and we may be forced to abandon our product candidates or seek a license from any patent holders. No assurances can be given that a license will be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.

It is also possible that we have failed to identify relevant third-party patents or applications. For example, U.S. applications filed before November 29, 2000 and certain U.S. applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents issue. Patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are published approximately 18 months after the earliest filing for which priority is claimed, with such earliest filing date being commonly referred to as the priority date. Therefore, patent applications covering our products or platform technology could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications that have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our platform technology, our products or the use of our products. Third-party intellectual property right holders may also actively bring infringement claims against us. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully settle or otherwise resolve such infringement claims. If we are unable to successfully settle future claims on terms acceptable to us, we may be required to engage in or continue costly, unpredictable and time-consuming litigation and may be prevented from or experience substantial delays in marketing our products. Parties making claims against us may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation or administrative proceedings, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure. In addition, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have material adverse effect on our ability to

 

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raise additional funds or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. If we fail in any such dispute, in addition to being forced to pay damages, we may be temporarily or permanently prohibited from commercializing any of our product candidates that are held to be infringing. We might, if possible, also be forced to redesign product candidates so that we no longer infringe the third-party intellectual property rights. Any of these events, even if we were ultimately to prevail, could require us to divert substantial financial and management resources that we would otherwise be able to devote to our business and could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Intellectual property litigation could cause us to spend substantial resources and distract our personnel from their normal responsibilities.

Litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims, with or without merit, is unpredictable and generally expensive and time consuming and is likely to divert significant resources from our core business, including distracting our technical and management personnel from their normal responsibilities. 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, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments and 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. Moreover, such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing or distribution activities.

We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately conduct such litigation or proceedings. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing upon or misappropriating or from successfully challenging our intellectual property rights. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete in the marketplace.

If we fail to comply with our obligations under any license, collaboration or other agreements, we may be required to pay damages and could lose intellectual property rights that are necessary for developing and protecting our product candidates or we could lose certain rights to grant sublicenses.

Our current licenses impose, and any future licenses we enter into are likely to impose, various development, commercialization, funding, milestone, royalty, diligence, sublicensing, insurance, patent prosecution and enforcement and/or other obligations on us. If we breach any of these obligations, or use the intellectual property licensed to us in an unauthorized manner, we may be required to pay damages and the licensor may have the right to terminate the license, which could result in us being unable to develop, manufacture and sell any future products that are covered by the licensed technology or enable a competitor to gain access to the licensed technology. Moreover, our licensors may own or control intellectual property that has not been licensed to us and, as a result, we may be subject to claims, regardless of their merit, that we are infringing or otherwise violating the licensor’s rights. In addition, while we cannot determine currently the amount of the royalty obligations we would be required to pay on sales of future products, if any, the amounts may be significant. The amount of our future royalty obligations will depend on the technology and intellectual property we use in products that we successfully develop and commercialize, if any. Therefore, even if we successfully develop and commercialize products, we may be unable to achieve or maintain profitability.

 

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Moreover, disputes may arise regarding intellectual property subject to a licensing agreement, including:

 

   

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;

 

   

the extent to which our product candidates, technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

 

   

the sublicensing of patent and other rights under our collaborative development relationships;

 

   

our diligence obligations under the license agreement and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations;

 

   

the inventorship and ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners; and

 

   

the priority of invention of patented technology.

In addition, the agreements under which we currently license intellectual property or technology from third parties are complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology, or increase what we believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on commercially acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product candidates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial conditions, results of operations, and prospects.

We may be subject to claims that we or our employees or consultants have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of our employees’ or consultants’ former employers or their clients. These claims may be costly to defend and if we do not successfully do so, we may be required to pay monetary damages and may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel.

Many of our employees were previously employed at universities or biotechnology or biopharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although no claims against us are currently pending, we may be subject to claims that these employees or we have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers. 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 or personnel. A loss of key research personnel or their work product could hamper our ability to commercialize, or prevent us from commercializing, our product candidates, which could severely 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.

Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates for an adequate amount of time.

Patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date. Various extensions may be available, but the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Even if patents covering our product candidates are obtained, once the patent life has expired, we may be open to competition from competitive products, including generics or biosimilars. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents

 

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protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for non-compliance with these requirements.

Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuity fees and various other governmental fees on patents and/or applications will be due to be paid to the USPTO and various governmental patent agencies outside of the United States in several stages over the lifetime of the patents and/or applications. We have systems in place to remind us to pay these fees, and we employ an outside firm and/or rely on our outside counsel to pay these fees due to non-U.S. patent agencies. The USPTO and various non-U.S. governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process. We employ reputable law firms and other professionals to help us comply, and in many cases, an inadvertent lapse can be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules. However, there are situations in which non-compliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market and this circumstance would have a material adverse effect on our business.

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

Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States or in other ex-U.S. jurisdictions could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of patent applications and the enforcement or defense of issued patents. In the United States, numerous recent changes to the patent laws and proposed changes to the rules of the USPTO that may have a significant impact on our ability to protect our technology and enforce our intellectual property rights. For example, the America Invents Act, enacted within the last several years involves significant changes in patent legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, some of which cases either narrow the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weaken the rights of patent owners in certain situations. For example, the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. precludes a claim to a nucleic acid having a stated nucleotide sequence that is identical to a sequence found in nature and unmodified. We currently are not aware of an immediate impact of this decision on our patents or patent applications because we are developing product candidates that contain modifications that we believe are not found in nature. However, this decision has yet to be clearly interpreted by courts and by the USPTO. We cannot assure you that the interpretations of this decision or subsequent rulings will not adversely impact our patents or patent applications. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts and the USPTO, and similar legislative and regulatory bodies in other countries in which may pursue patent protection, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future.

If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our business may be adversely affected.

Our trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these

 

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trademarks and trade names or may be forced to stop using these names, which we need for name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. If we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively which could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Risks Related to Government Regulation

Clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results. If we are unable to develop, obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize our product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

All of our product candidates are in preclinical or early clinical development and their risk of failure is high. It is impossible to predict when or if any of our product candidates will receive regulatory approval. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of any product candidate, we must complete preclinical studies and then conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans. Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the development process. The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits, despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or safety profiles, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials.

We commenced a Phase 1 clinical trial of STRO-001, an ADC directed against CD74, for certain cancers in April 2018, and we plan to submit an IND for STRO-002, an ADC directed against Folate Receptor alpha, for certain cancers to the FDA in the fourth quarter of 2018. Commencing our future clinical trials is subject to finalizing the trial design and submitting an IND or similar submission with the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authority. Even after we submit our IND or comparable submissions in other jurisdictions, the FDA or other regulatory authorities could disagree that we have satisfied their requirements to commence our clinical trials or disagree with our study design, which may require us to complete additional preclinical studies or amend our protocols or impose stricter conditions on the commencement of clinical trials.

We or our collaborators may experience delays in completing our preclinical studies and initiating or completing clinical trials of our product candidates. We do not know whether planned preclinical studies and clinical trials will be completed on schedule or at all, or whether planned clinical trials will begin on time, need to be redesigned, have patients enrolled on time or be completed on schedule, if at all. We or our collaborators may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval to commercialize our product candidates. Our development programs may be delayed for a variety of reasons, including delays related to:

 

   

the FDA or other regulatory authorities requiring us or our collaborators to submit additional data or imposing other requirements before permitting us to initiate a clinical trial;

 

   

obtaining regulatory approval to commence a clinical trial;

 

   

the FDA or other regulatory authorities placing a clinical trial on clinical hold;

 

   

reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective CROs and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical trial sites;

 

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clinical trials of our product candidates producing negative or inconclusive results, and we or our collaborators deciding, or regulators requiring us, to conduct additional clinical trials, including testing in more subjects, or abandoning product development programs;

 

   

third-party contractors used by us or our collaborators failing to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations in a timely manner, or at all;

 

   

obtaining institutional review board, or IRB, approval at each clinical trial site;

 

   

recruiting suitable patients to participate in a clinical trial;

 

   

developing and validating any companion diagnostic that would be used in a clinical trial;

 

   

cost of clinical trials being greater than anticipated;

 

   

the supply or quality of our product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates being insufficient or inadequate;

 

   

having patients complete a clinical trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;

 

   

clinical trial sites deviating from trial protocol or dropping out of a trial;

 

   

adding new clinical trial sites; or

 

   

manufacturing sufficient quantities of our product candidates for use in clinical trials.

Patient enrollment, a significant factor in the timing of clinical trials, is affected by many factors including the size and nature of the patient population, the proximity of patients to clinical sites, the eligibility criteria for the trial, the design of the clinical trial, competing clinical trials and clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages of the product candidate being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new drugs or therapeutic biologics that may be approved for the indications being investigated by us. Furthermore, we expect to rely on our collaborators, CROs and clinical trial sites to ensure the proper and timely conduct of our clinical trials and, while we expect to enter into agreements governing their committed activities, we have limited influence over their actual performance.

We could encounter delays if prescribing physicians encounter unresolved ethical issues associated with enrolling patients in clinical trials of our product candidates in lieu of prescribing existing treatments that have established safety and efficacy profiles.

Further, a clinical trial may be suspended or terminated by us, our collaborators, the IRBs of the institutions in which such trials are being conducted, the Data Safety Monitoring Board for such trial or placed on clinical hold by the FDA or other regulatory authorities due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from using a drug or therapeutic biologic, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial. If we experience delays in the completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of our product candidates will be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenues from any of these product candidates will be delayed. In addition, any delays in completing our clinical trials will increase our costs, slow down our product development and approval process and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenues. Any of these occurrences could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates.

 

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We and/or our collaborators may be unable to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, U.S. or foreign regulatory approval and, as a result, unable to commercialize our product candidates.

Our product candidates are subject to extensive governmental regulations relating to, among other things, research, testing, development, manufacturing, safety, efficacy, approval, recordkeeping, reporting, labeling, storage, packaging, advertising and promotion, pricing, marketing and distribution of drugs and therapeutic biologics. Rigorous preclinical testing and clinical trials and an extensive regulatory approval process are required to be completed successfully in the United States and in many foreign jurisdictions before a new drug or therapeutic biologic can be marketed. Satisfaction of these and other regulatory requirements is costly, time consuming, uncertain and subject to unanticipated delays. It is possible that none of the product candidates we may develop, either alone or with our collaborators, will obtain the regulatory approvals necessary for us or our existing or future collaborators to begin selling them.

Although our employees have experience in conducting and managing clinical trials from prior employment at other companies, we, as a company, have no prior experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval by the FDA. The time required to obtain FDA and other approvals is unpredictable but typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials, depending upon the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidate. The standards that the FDA and its foreign counterparts use when regulating us require judgment and can change, which makes it difficult to predict with certainty their application. Any analysis we perform of data from preclinical and clinical activities is subject to confirmation and interpretation by regulatory authorities, which could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval. We or our collaborators may also encounter unexpected delays or increased costs due to new government regulations, for example, from future legislation or administrative action, or from changes in FDA policy during the period of product development, clinical trials and FDA regulatory review. It is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted, or whether FDA or foreign regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or the impact of such changes, if any.

Given that the product candidates we are developing, either alone or with our collaborators, represent a new approach to the manufacturing and type of therapeutic biologics, the FDA and its foreign counterparts have not yet established any definitive policies, practices or guidelines in relation to these product candidates. Moreover, the FDA may respond to any BLA, that we may submit by defining requirements that we do not anticipate. Such responses could delay clinical development of our product candidates. In addition, because there may be approved treatments for some of the diseases for which we may seek approval, in order to receive regulatory approval, we may need to demonstrate through clinical trials that the product candidates we develop to treat these diseases, if any, are not only safe and effective, but safer or more effective than existing products. Furthermore, in recent years, there has been increased public and political pressure on the FDA with respect to the approval process for new drugs and therapeutic biologics, and FDA standards, especially regarding product safety, appear to have become more stringent.

Any delay or failure in obtaining required approvals could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to generate revenues from the particular product candidate for which we are seeking approval. Furthermore, any regulatory approval to market a product may be subject to limitations on the approved uses for which we may market the product or on the labeling or other restrictions. In addition, the FDA has the authority to require a risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, or REMS, plan as part of a BLA or after approval, which may impose further requirements or restrictions on the distribution or use of an approved biologic, such as limiting prescribing to certain physicians or medical centers that have undergone specialized training, limiting treatment to patients who meet certain safe-use criteria and requiring treated patients to enroll in a registry. These limitations and restrictions may limit the size of the market for the product and affect reimbursement by third-party payors.

 

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We are also subject to numerous foreign regulatory requirements governing, among other things, the conduct of clinical trials, manufacturing and marketing authorization, pricing and third-party reimbursement. The foreign regulatory approval process varies among countries and may include all of the risks associated with FDA approval process described above, as well as risks attributable to the satisfaction of local regulations in foreign jurisdictions. Moreover, the time required to obtain approval may differ from that required to obtain FDA approval. FDA approval does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities outside the United States and vice versa. Any delay or failure to obtain U.S. or foreign regulatory approval for a product candidate could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Delays in obtaining regulatory approval of our manufacturing process may delay or disrupt our commercialization efforts. To date, no product using a cell-free manufacturing process in the United States has received approval from the FDA.

Before we can begin to commercially manufacture our product candidates in third-party or our own facilities, we must obtain regulatory approval from the FDA for a BLA that describes in detail the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls for the product. A manufacturing authorization must also be obtained from the appropriate EU regulatory authorities. The timeframe required to obtain such approval or authorization is uncertain. In addition, we must pass a pre-approval inspection of our manufacturing facility by the FDA before any of our product candidates can obtain marketing approval, if ever. In order to obtain approval, we will need to ensure that all of our processes, methods and equipment are compliant with cGMP, and perform extensive audits of vendors, contract laboratories and suppliers. If any of our vendors, contract laboratories or suppliers is found to be out of compliance with cGMP, we may experience delays or disruptions in manufacturing while we work with these third parties to remedy the violation or while we work to identify suitable replacement vendors. The cGMP requirements govern quality control of the manufacturing process and documentation policies and procedures. In complying with cGMP, we will be obligated to expend time, money and effort in production, record keeping and quality control to assure that the product meets applicable specifications and other requirements. If we fail to comply with these requirements, we would be subject to possible regulatory action and may not be permitted to sell any products that we may develop.

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

Any regulatory approvals that we or our existing or future collaborators obtain for our product candidates may also be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which a product may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing, including Phase 4 clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the product candidate.

In addition, if the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority approves any of our product candidates, the manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, import, export, advertising, promotion and recordkeeping for the product will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements. The FDA has significant post-market authority, including the authority to require labeling changes based on new safety information and to require post-market studies or clinical trials to evaluate safety risks related to the use of a product or to require withdrawal of the product from the market. The FDA also has the authority to require a REMS plan after approval, which may impose further requirements or restrictions on the distribution or use of an

 

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approved drug or therapeutic biologic. The manufacturing facilities we use to make a future product, if any, will also be subject to periodic review and inspection by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, including for continued compliance with cGMP requirements. The discovery of any new or previously unknown problems with our third-party manufacturers, manufacturing processes or facilities may result in restrictions on the product, manufacturer or facility, including withdrawal of the product from the market. If we rely on third-party manufacturers, we will not have control over compliance with applicable rules and regulations by such manufacturers. Any product promotion and advertising will also be subject to regulatory requirements and continuing regulatory review. If we or our existing or future collaborators, manufacturers or service providers fail to comply with applicable continuing regulatory requirements in the United States or foreign jurisdictions in which we seek to market our products, we or they may be subject to, among other things, fines, warning letters, holds on clinical trials, delay of approval or refusal by the FDA or similar foreign regulatory bodies to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications, suspension or withdrawal of regulatory approval, product recalls and seizures, administrative detention of products, refusal to permit the import or export of products, operating restrictions, injunction, civil penalties and criminal prosecution.

Subsequent discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

 

   

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

 

   

fines, warning or untitled letters or holds on clinical trials;

 

   

refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us or our strategic partners;

 

   

suspension or revocation of product license approvals;

 

   

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

 

   

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA policies may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates. For example, in December 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act, or Cures Act, was signed into law. The Cures Act, among other things, is intended to modernize the regulation of drugs and biologics and to spur innovation, but its ultimate implementation is unclear. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any marketing approval that we may have obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business.

We also cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative or executive action, either in the United States or abroad. For example, certain policies of the current U.S. presidential administration may impact our business and industry. Namely, the current U.S. presidential administration has taken several executive actions, including the issuance of a number of executive orders, that could impose significant burdens on, or otherwise materially delay, the FDA’s ability to engage in routine regulatory and oversight activities such as implementing statutes through rulemaking, issuance of guidance, and review and approval of marketing applications. Notably, on January 23, 2017, the current U.S. presidential administration ordered a hiring freeze for all executive departments and agencies, including the FDA, which prohibited the FDA from filling employee vacancies or creating new positions. Under the terms of the executive order, the freeze was to remain in effect until implementation of a plan recommended by the Director for the Office of Management and Budget, or OMB, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, to reduce the size of the federal workforce through attrition. While the general

 

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hiring freeze was lifted on April 12, 2017, the FDA remained under a hiring freeze until May 25, 2017. However, the fiscal 2018 budget proposal for the FDA still calls for overall reductions in the FDA workforce, mostly through attrition. We believe an under-staffed FDA could result in delays in the FDA’s responsiveness or in its ability to review submissions or applications, issue regulations or guidance, or implement or enforce regulatory requirements in a timely fashion or at all. Moreover, on January 30, 2017, the current U.S. presidential administration issued an executive order, applicable to all executive agencies, including the FDA, which requires that for each notice of proposed rulemaking or final regulation to be issued in fiscal year 2017, the agency shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed, unless prohibited by law. These requirements are referred to as the “two-for-one” provisions. This executive order includes a budget neutrality provision that requires the total incremental cost of all new regulations in the 2017 fiscal year, including repealed regulations, to be no greater than zero, except in limited circumstances. For fiscal years 2018 and beyond, the executive order requires agencies to identify regulations to offset any incremental cost of a new regulation and approximate the total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation. In interim guidance issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within OMB on February 2, 2017, the administration indicates that the “two-for-one” provisions may apply not only to agency regulations, but also to significant agency guidance documents. It is difficult to predict how these requirements will be implemented, and the extent to which they will impact the FDA’s ability to exercise its regulatory authority. If these executive actions impose constraints on the FDA’s ability to engage in oversight and implementation activities in the normal course, our business may be negatively impacted.

We may face difficulties from healthcare legislative reform measures.

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

In the United States, there have been and continue to be a number of legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs. For example, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Healthcare and Education Reconciliation Act, or together, the ACA, was enacted, which substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers, and significantly impacts the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The ACA, among other things, (i) subjected therapeutic biologics to potential competition by lower-cost biosimilars by creating a licensure framework for follow on biologic products, (ii) proscribed a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs and therapeutic biologics that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected, (iii) increased the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extended the rebate program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations, (iv) established annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs and therapeutic biologics, (v) established a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs and therapeutic biologics to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs and therapeutic biologics to be covered under Medicare Part D, (vi) expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to additional individuals and by adding new mandatory eligibility categories for individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability, (vii) expanded the entities eligible for discounts under the Public Health program (viii) created a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee,

 

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identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research and (ix) established a Center for Medicare Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending.

The current U.S. presidential administration and U.S. Congress have sought, and we expect they will continue to, seek to modify, repeal, or otherwise invalidate all, or certain provisions of, the ACA. Since January 2017, the current U.S. presidential administration has issued two executive orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the ACA. For example, on October 12, 2017, the current U.S. presidential administration issued an executive order that expands the use of association health plans and allows anyone to purchase short-term health plans that provide temporary, limited insurance. This executive order also calls for the halt of federal payments to health insurers for cost-sharing reductions previously available to lower-income Americans to afford coverage. There is still uncertainty with respect to the impact this executive order could have on coverage and reimbursement for healthcare items and services covered by plans that were authorized by the ACA. Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the ACA. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, two bills affecting the implementation of certain taxes under the ACA have been signed into law. The Tax Reform Act, among other things, includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”. Additionally, on January 22, 2018, the current U.S. presidential administration signed a continuing resolution on appropriations for fiscal year 2018 that delayed the implementation of certain ACA-mandated fees, including the so-called “Cadillac” tax on certain high cost employer-sponsored insurance plans, the annual fee imposed on certain health insurance providers based on market share, and the medical device excise tax on non-exempt medical devices. Further, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, or the BBA, among other things, amends the ACA, effective January 1, 2019, to increase from 50 percent to 70 percent the point-of-sale discount that is owed by pharmaceutical manufacturers who participate in Medicare Part D and to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole”. More recently, in July 2018, CMS published a final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain ACA qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the ACA risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. There is still uncertainty with respect to the impact the current U.S. presidential administration and Congress may have, if any, and any changes will likely take time to unfold, and could have an impact on coverage and reimbursement for healthcare items and services covered by plans that were authorized by the ACA. However, we cannot predict the ultimate content, timing or effect of any healthcare reform legislation or the impact of potential legislation on us.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the ACA was enacted to reduce healthcare expenditures. U.S. federal government agencies also currently face potentially significant spending reductions, which may further impact healthcare expenditures. On August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011 among other things, created measures for spending reductions by Congress. A joint select committee on deficit reduction, tasked with recommending a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for the years 2013 through 2021, was unable to reach required goals, thereby triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year. These reductions went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, including the BBA, will remain in effect through 2027 unless additional Congressional action is taken. Moreover, on January 2, 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased

 

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the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. If federal spending is further reduced, anticipated budgetary shortfalls may also impact the ability of relevant agencies, such as the FDA or the National Institutes of Health to continue to function at current levels. Amounts allocated to federal grants and contracts may be reduced or eliminated. These reductions may also impact the ability of relevant agencies to timely review and approve research and development, manufacturing, and marketing activities, which may delay our ability to develop, market and sell any products we may develop.

Moreover, payment methodologies, including payment for companion diagnostics, may be subject to changes in healthcare legislation and regulatory initiatives. For example, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or MMA, changed the way Medicare covers and pays for pharmaceutical products. The legislation expanded Medicare coverage for drug purchases by the elderly and introduced a new reimbursement methodology based on average sales prices for physician-administered drugs. In addition, this legislation provided authority for limiting the number of drugs that will be covered in any therapeutic class. While the MMA only applies to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates. Therefore, any reduction in reimbursement that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. In addition, CMS has begun bundling the Medicare payments for certain laboratory tests ordered while a patient received services in a hospital outpatient setting and, beginning in 2018, CMS will pay for clinical laboratory services based on a weighted average of reported prices that private payors, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicaid Managed Care plans pay for laboratory services. Further, on March 16, 2018, CMS finalized its National Coverage Determination, or NCD, for certain diagnostic laboratory tests using next generation sequencing that are approved by the FDA as a companion in vitro diagnostic and used in a cancer with an FDA-approved companion diagnostic indication. Under the NCD, diagnostic tests that gain FDA approval or clearance as an in vitro companion diagnostic will automatically receive full coverage and be available for patients with recurrent, metastatic relapsed, refractory or stages III and IV cancer. Additionally, the NCD extended coverage to repeat testing when the patient has a new primary diagnosis of cancer.

Recently there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drug products. At the federal level, the current U.S. presidential administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 contains further drug price control measures that could be enacted during the 2019 budget process or in other future legislation, including, for example, measures to permit Medicare Part D plans to negotiate the price of certain drugs under Medicare Part B, to allow some states to negotiate drug prices under Medicaid, and to eliminate cost sharing for generic drugs for low-income patients. Additionally, on May 11, 2018, the current U.S. presidential administration laid out the administration’s “Blueprint” to reduce the cost of prescription medications while preserving innovation and cures. While the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, is soliciting feedback on some of these measures, other actions may be immediately implemented by HHS under existing authority. Although a number of these, and other potential, proposals will require authorization through additional legislation to become effective, Congress and the current U.S. presidential administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. At the state level, legislatures are increasingly passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be

 

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adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services, which could result in reduced demand for our product candidates or companion diagnostics or additional pricing pressures.

Additionally, on May 30, 2018, the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act of 2017 was signed into law. The law, among other things, provides a federal framework for certain patients to access certain investigational new drug products that have completed a Phase I clinical trial and that are undergoing investigation for FDA approval. Under certain circumstances, eligible patients can seek treatment without enrolling in clinical trials and without obtaining FDA authorization under an FDA expanded access program.

We expect that the ACA, as well as other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our products.

Our operations and relationships with healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, customers and third-party payors will be subject to applicable anti-bribery, anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, transparency and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to, among other things, enforcement actions, criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens and diminished profits and future earnings.

Our current and future arrangements with healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, third-party payors and customers expose us to broadly applicable anti-bribery, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we research, market, sell and distribute our product candidates. In addition, we may be subject to patient data privacy and security regulation by the U.S. federal government and the states and the foreign governments in which we conduct our business. Restrictions under applicable federal and state anti-bribery and healthcare laws and regulations, include the following:

 

   

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, individuals and entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made under a federal and state healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid. A person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;

 

   

the federal criminal and civil false claims and civil monetary penalties laws, including the federal False Claims Act, which can be imposed through civil whistleblower or qui tam actions against individuals or entities, prohibits, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment that are false or fraudulent, knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim, or from knowingly making a false statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government. In addition, certain marketing practices, including off-label promotion, may also violate false claims laws. Moreover, the government may assert that a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act;

 

   

HIPAA, which imposes criminal and civil liability, prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit

 

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program, or knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services; similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;

 

   

HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, which impose obligations on certain healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, known as covered entities, as well as their business associates that perform certain services involving the storage, use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information, including mandatory contractual terms, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security, and transmission of individually identifiable health information, and require notification to affected individuals and regulatory authorities of certain breaches of security of individually identifiable health information;

 

   

the federal legislation commonly referred to as Physician Payments Sunshine Act, enacted as part of the ACA, and its implementing regulations, which requires certain manufacturers of covered drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies that are reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with certain exceptions, to report annually to CMS information related to certain payments and other transfers of value to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by the physicians described above and their immediate family members, with the information made publicly available on a searchable website;

 

   

the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, which prohibits, among other things, U.S. companies and their employees and agents from authorizing, promising, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, corrupt or improper payments or anything else of value to foreign government officials, employees of public international organizations and foreign government owned or affiliated entities, candidates for foreign political office, and foreign political parties or officials thereof;

 

   

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, that may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; and

 

   

certain state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring drug and therapeutic biologics manufacturers to report information related to payments to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures and pricing information, state and local laws that require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives, and state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

If we or our collaborators, manufacturers or service providers fail to comply with applicable federal, state or foreign laws or regulations, we could be subject to enforcement actions, which could affect our ability to develop, market and sell our products successfully and could harm our reputation and lead to reduced acceptance of our products by the market. These enforcement actions include, among others:

 

   

exclusion from participation in government-funded healthcare programs; and

 

   

exclusion from eligibility for the award of government contracts for our products.

Efforts to ensure that our current and future business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations could involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, agency guidance or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other

 

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healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any such requirements, we may be subject to significant penalties, including civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, loss of eligibility to obtain approvals from the FDA, exclusion from participation in government contracting, healthcare reimbursement or other government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, integrity oversight and reporting obligations, or reputational harm, any of which could adversely affect our financial results. Although effective compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, these risks cannot be entirely eliminated. Any action against us for an alleged or suspected violation could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and could divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business, even if our defense is successful. In addition, achieving and sustaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations may be costly to us in terms of money, time and resources.

Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidate, such product candidate may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations or third-party coverage and reimbursement policies, which would harm our business.

The regulations that govern regulatory approvals, pricing and reimbursement for new drugs and therapeutic biologics vary widely from country to country. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug or therapeutic biologic before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription biopharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain regulatory approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods and negatively impact the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if our product candidates obtain regulatory approval.

Our ability to commercialize any products successfully also will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Even if we succeed in bringing one or more products to the market, these products may not be considered cost-effective, and the amount reimbursed for any products may be insufficient to allow us to sell our products on a competitive basis. Because our programs are in the early stages of development, we are unable at this time to determine their cost effectiveness or the likely level or method of coverage and reimbursement. Increasingly, the third-party payors who reimburse patients or healthcare providers, such as government and private insurance plans, are requiring that drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices, and are seeking to reduce the prices charged or the amounts reimbursed for biopharmaceutical products. If the price we are able to charge for any products we develop, or the coverage and reimbursement provided for such products, is inadequate in light of our development and other costs, our return on investment could be affected adversely.

There may be significant delays in obtaining reimbursement for newly approved drugs or therapeutic biologics, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug or therapeutic biologic is approved by the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug or therapeutic biologic will be reimbursed in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution.

Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs or therapeutic biologics, if applicable, may also be insufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may be based on payments allowed for lower cost drugs or therapeutic biologics that are already reimbursed, may be incorporated into existing payments for other services and may reflect budgetary constraints or

 

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imperfections in Medicare data. Net prices for drugs or therapeutic biologics may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs or therapeutic biologics from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Further, no uniform policy for coverage and reimbursement exists in the United States, and coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates, but also have their own methods and approval process apart from Medicare determinations. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement rates from both government-funded and private payors for new drugs or therapeutic biologics that we develop and for which we obtain regulatory approval could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

If in the future we are unable to establish U.S. or global sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to sell and market our product candidates, we may not be successful in commercializing our product candidates if they are approved and we may not be able to generate any revenue.

We currently do not have a marketing or sales team for the marketing, sales and distribution of any of our product candidates that are able to obtain regulatory approval. To commercialize any product candidates after approval, we must build on a territory-by-territory basis marketing, sales, distribution, managerial and other non-technical capabilities or make arrangements with third parties to perform these services, and we may not be successful in doing so. If our product candidates receive regulatory approval, we may decide to establish an internal sales or marketing team with technical expertise and supporting distribution capabilities to commercialize our product candidates, which will be expensive and time consuming and will require significant attention of our executive officers to manage. For example, some state and local jurisdictions have licensing and continuing education requirements for pharmaceutical sales representatives, which requires time and financial resources. Any failure or delay in the development of our internal sales, marketing and distribution capabilities would adversely impact the commercialization of any of our product candidates that we obtain approval to market.

With respect to the commercialization of all or certain of our product candidates, we may choose to collaborate, either globally or on a territory-by-territory basis, with third parties that have direct sales forces and established distribution systems, either to augment our own sales force and distribution systems or in lieu of our own sales force and distribution systems. If we are unable to enter into such arrangements when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any of our product candidates that receive regulatory approval or any such commercialization may experience delays or limitations. If we are not successful in commercializing our product candidates, either on our own or through collaborations with one or more third parties, our future product revenue will suffer and we may incur significant additional losses.

Our product candidates for which we intend to seek approval as biologic products may face competition sooner than anticipated.

With the enactment of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, or BPCIA, an abbreviated pathway for the approval of biosimilar and interchangeable biological products was created. The abbreviated regulatory pathway establishes legal authority for the FDA to review and approve biosimilar biologics, including the possible designation of a biosimilar as interchangeable based on its similarity to an existing reference product. Under the BPCIA, an application for a biosimilar product cannot be approved by the FDA until 12 years after the original branded product is approved under a BLA. On March 6, 2015, the FDA approved the first biosimilar product under the BPCIA. However, the law is complex and is still being interpreted and implemented by the FDA. As a result, its ultimate impact, implementation, and meaning are subject to uncertainty. While it is uncertain when the processes intended to implement BPCIA may be fully adopted by the FDA, any such processes could have a material adverse effect on the future commercial prospects for our biological products.

 

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We believe that if any of our product candidates are approved as a biological product under a BLA, it should qualify for the 12-year period of exclusivity. However, there is a risk that the FDA will not consider any of our product candidates to be reference products for competing products, potentially creating the opportunity for biosimilar competition sooner than anticipated. Additionally, this period of regulatory exclusivity does not apply to companies pursuing regulatory approval via their own traditional BLA, rather than via the abbreviated pathway. Moreover, the extent to which a biosimilar, once approved, will be substituted for any one of our reference products that may be approved in a way that is similar to traditional generic substitution for non-biological products is not yet clear, and will depend on a number of marketplace and regulatory factors that are still developing.

If any of our product candidates receives marketing approval and we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by the product candidate, our ability to market and derive revenue from the product candidates could be compromised.

Undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates could cause regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in more restrictive labeling or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. We have only recently initiated our first clinical trial for the first of our product candidates. Given its nature as an ADC, it is likely that there may be side effects associated with its use. Results of our clinical trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects. In such an event, our clinical trials could be suspended or terminated and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Such side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the clinical trial or result in potential product liability claims. Any of these occurrences may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Further, clinical trials by their nature utilize a sample of the potential patient population. With a limited number of patients and limited duration of exposure, rare and severe side effects of our product candidates may only be uncovered with a significantly larger number of patients exposed to the product candidate.

In the event that any of our product candidates receive regulatory approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by one of our products, any of the following adverse events could occur:

 

   

regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of the product or seize the product;

 

   

we may be required to recall the product or change the way the product is administered to patients;

 

   

additional restrictions may be imposed on the marketing of the particular product or the manufacturing processes for the product or any component thereof;

 

   

we may be subject to fines, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties;

 

   

regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a black boxed warning or a contraindication;

 

   

we may be required to create a Medication Guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;

 

   

we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients;

 

   

the product may become less competitive; and

 

   

our reputation may suffer.

Any of these occurrences could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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If we decide to pursue a Fast Track Designation by the FDA, it may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process.

We may seek Fast Track Designation for one or more of our product candidates. If a drug or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and the drug or biologic demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the product sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track Designation. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant this designation, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, we cannot assure you that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track Designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. The FDA may withdraw Fast Track Designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program.

If we decide to seek Orphan Drug Designation for some of our product candidates, we may be unsuccessful or may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with Orphan Drug Designation, including the potential for supplemental market exclusivity.

As part of our business strategy, we may seek Orphan Drug Designation for one or more of our product candidates, and we may be unsuccessful. Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and Europe, may designate drugs and therapeutic biologics for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a drug or therapeutic biologic as an orphan drug if it is a drug or therapeutic biologic intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally defined as a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug or therapeutic biologic will be recovered from sales in the United States. In the United States, Orphan Drug Designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding toward clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user fee waivers. In addition, if a product that has Orphan Drug Designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including a full BLA, to market the same product for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity or where the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient product quantity.

Even if we obtain Orphan Drug Designation for our product candidates in specific indications, we may not be the first to obtain marketing approval of these product candidates for the orphan-designated indication due to the uncertainties associated with developing pharmaceutical products. In addition, exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan-designated indication or may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. Further, even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs or therapeutic biologics with different principal molecular structural features can be approved for the same condition. Even after an orphan product is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug or therapeutic biologic with the same principal molecular structural features for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later drug or therapeutic biologic is safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. Orphan Drug Designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug or therapeutic biologic nor gives the drug or therapeutic biologic any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process. In addition, while we may seek Orphan Drug Designation for our product candidates, we may never receive such designations.

The recent tax reform legislation, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017 reduced the amount of the qualified clinical research costs for a designated orphan product that a sponsor may

 

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claim as a credit from 50% to 25%. Thus, further limiting the advantage and may impact our future business strategy of seeking the Orphan Drug Designation.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock and This Offering

Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate significantly or may fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts, each of which may cause our stock price to fluctuate or decline.

We expect our operating results to be subject to quarterly fluctuations. Our net loss and other operating results will be affected by numerous factors, including:

 

   

variations in the level of expense related to the ongoing development of our XpressCF Platform, our product candidates or future development programs;

 

   

results of preclinical and clinical trials, or the addition or termination of clinical trials or funding support by us, or existing or future collaborators or licensing partners;

 

   

our execution of any additional collaboration, licensing or similar arrangements, and the timing of payments we may make or receive under existing or future arrangements or the termination or modification of any such existing or future arrangements;

 

   

any intellectual property infringement lawsuit or opposition, interference or cancellation proceeding in which we may become involved;

 

   

additions and departures of key personnel;

 

   

strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, strategic investments or changes in business strategy;

 

   

if any of our product candidates receives regulatory approval, the terms of such approval and market acceptance and demand for such product candidates;

 

   

regulatory developments affecting our product candidates or those of our competitors; and

 

   

changes in general market and economic conditions.

If our quarterly operating results fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the price of our common stock could decline substantially. Furthermore, any quarterly fluctuations in our operating results may, in turn, cause the price of our common stock to fluctuate substantially. We believe that quarterly comparisons of our financial results are not necessarily meaningful and should not be relied upon as an indication of our future performance.

The market price of our stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

The trading price of our common stock following this offering and the concurrent private placement is likely to be highly volatile and subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which we cannot control. As a result of this volatility, investors may not be able to sell their common stock at or above the initial public offering price. The market price for our common stock may be influenced by many factors, including the other risks described in this section of the prospectus entitled “Risk Factors” and the following:

 

   

results of preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates, or those of our competitors or our existing or future collaborators;

 

   

regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries, especially changes in laws or regulations applicable to our product candidates;

 

   

the success of competitive products or technologies;

 

   

introductions and announcements of new products by us, our future commercialization partners, or our competitors, and the timing of these introductions or announcements;

 

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actions taken by regulatory agencies with respect to our products, clinical studies, manufacturing process or sales and marketing terms;

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in our financial results or those of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;

 

   

the success of our efforts to acquire or in-license additional technologies, products or product candidates;

 

   

developments concerning any future collaborations, including but not limited to those with our sources of manufacturing supply and our commercialization partners;

 

   

market conditions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors;

 

   

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

 

   

developments or disputes concerning patents or other proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our product candidates and products;

 

   

our ability or inability to raise additional capital and the terms on which we raise it;

 

   

the recruitment or departure of key personnel;

 

   

changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;

 

   

actual or anticipated changes in earnings estimates or changes in stock market analyst recommendations regarding our common stock, other comparable companies or our industry generally;

 

   

our failure or the failure of our competitors to meet analysts’ projections or guidance that we or our competitors may give to the market;

 

   

fluctuations in the valuation of companies perceived by investors to be comparable to us;

 

   

announcement and expectation of additional financing efforts;

 

   

speculation in the press or investment community;

 

   

trading volume of our common stock;

 

   

sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders;

 

   

the concentrated ownership of our common stock;

 

   

changes in accounting principles;

 

   

terrorist acts, acts of war or periods of widespread civil unrest;

 

   

natural disasters and other calamities; and

 

   

general economic, industry and market conditions.

In addition, the stock market in general, and the markets for pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biotechnology stocks in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have been often unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of the issuer. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. The realization of any of the above risks or any of a broad range of other risks, including those described in this “Risk Factors” section, could have a dramatic and adverse impact on the market price of our common stock.

You will experience immediate and substantial dilution as a result of this offering and the concurrent private placement and may experience additional dilution in the future.

If you purchase common stock in this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution of $9.02 per share, representing the difference between the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share and our pro forma net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2018 after giving effect to this offering and the concurrent private placement and

 

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the conversion of all outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock upon the completion of this offering and the concurrent private placement.

Moreover, we issued options in the past to acquire common stock at prices significantly below the assumed initial public offering price. As of June 30, 2018, there were 820,875 shares of common stock subject to outstanding options under our 2004 Stock Plan. To the extent that these outstanding options and options granted in the future are ultimately exercised, you will incur further dilution.

The future sale and issuance of equity or of debt securities that are convertible into equity will dilute our share capital.

We may choose to raise additional capital in the future, depending on market conditions, strategic considerations and operational requirements. To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale and issuance of shares or other securities convertible into shares, our stockholders will be diluted. Future issuances of our common stock or other equity securities, or the perception that such sales may occur, could adversely affect the trading price of our common stock and impair our ability to raise capital through future offerings of shares or equity securities. No prediction can be made as to the effect, if any, that future sales of common stock or the availability of common stock for future sales will have on the trading price of our common stock.

An active and liquid trading market for our common stock may not develop and you may not be able to resell your shares of common stock at or above the public offering price.

Prior to this offering, no market for shares of our common stock existed and an active trading market for our shares may never develop or be sustained following this offering. The initial public offering price for our common stock will be determined through negotiations with the underwriters and the negotiated price may not be indicative of the market price of our common stock after this offering. The market value of our common stock may decrease from the initial public offering price. As a result of these and other factors, you may be unable to resell your shares of our common stock at or above the initial public offering price. The lack of an active market may impair your ability to sell your shares at the time you wish to sell them or at a price that you consider reasonable. The lack of an active market may also reduce the fair market value of your shares. Furthermore, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to enter into strategic collaborations or acquire companies or products by using our shares of common stock as consideration.

A sale of a substantial number of shares of our common stock may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Based on shares outstanding as of June 30, 2018, and giving effect to the issuance and sale of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock in July 2018, upon completion of this offering and the concurrent private placement, we will have outstanding a total of 22,153,791 shares of common stock. Of these shares, only 5,000,000 shares of common stock sold in this offering, or 5,750,000 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, will be freely tradable, without restriction, in the public market immediately after this offering. The 666,666 shares expected to be sold in the concurrent private placement will be freely tradeable, subject to limitations set forth under Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. Each of our officers, directors, substantially all of our stockholders and participants in our directed share program have entered or will enter into lock-up agreements with the underwriters that restrict their ability to sell or transfer their shares. The lock-up agreements pertaining to this offering will expire 180 days from the date of this prospectus. However, our underwriters may, in their sole discretion, permit our officers, directors, other current stockholders and participants in our directed share program who are subject to the contractual lock-up to sell shares prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements. After the lock-up agreements expire, based on shares outstanding as of June 30, 2018, up to an additional 16,487,125

 

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shares of common stock will be eligible for sale in the public market, approximately 8,032,407 of which are held by our officers, directors and their affiliated entities, and will be subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 under the Securities Act. In addition, 820,875 shares of our common stock that are subject to outstanding options as of June 30, 2018 will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting agreements, the lock-up agreements and Rules 144 and 701 under the Securities Act.

After this offering and concurrent private placement, the holders of an aggregate of 16,023,174 shares of our outstanding common stock as of June 30, 2018 will have rights, subject to some conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or our stockholders. We also intend to register shares of common stock that we may issue under our equity incentive plans. Once we register these shares, they will be able to be sold freely in the public market upon issuance, subject to the 180-day lock-up period under the lock-up agreements described above and in the section entitled “Underwriting.”

We cannot predict what effect, if any, sales of our shares in the public market or the availability of shares for sale will have on the market price of our common stock. However, future sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, including shares issued upon exercise of outstanding options or warrants, or the perception that such sales may occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

We also expect that significant additional capital may be needed in the future to continue our planned operations. To raise capital, we may sell common stock, convertible securities or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. These sales, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock.

We will have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement and may not use them effectively.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement, and you will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of these proceeds. You will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether we are using the proceeds appropriately. Our management might not apply our net proceeds in ways that ultimately increase the value of your investment. If we do not invest or apply the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement in ways that enhance stockholder value, we may fail to achieve expected financial results, which could cause our stock price to decline.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports about our business, or if they issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding our stock, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. We do not currently have and may never obtain research coverage by securities and industry analysts. If no or few securities or industry analysts commence coverage of us, the trading price for our common stock could be impacted negatively. In the event we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage, if any of the analysts who cover us issue an adverse or misleading opinion regarding us, our business model, our intellectual property or our stock performance, or if our preclinical studies and clinical trials and operating results fail to meet the expectations of analysts, our stock price would likely decline. If one or more of such analysts cease coverage of us or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause a decline in our stock price or trading volume.

 

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

Based on the beneficial ownership of our common stock as of August 31, 2018, prior to this offering and the concurrent private placement, our executive officers, directors and affiliates beneficially owned approximately 50.3% of our voting stock and, upon the completion of this offering and the concurrent private placement, that same group will hold approximately 37.8% of our outstanding voting stock (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, no exercise of outstanding options or warrants and no purchases of shares in this offering and the concurrent private placement by any of this group, with the exception of Merck in connection with the concurrent private placement), in each case assuming the conversion of all outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock into shares of our common stock and the net exercise of warrants outstanding that would otherwise expire upon the completion of this offering. As a result, these stockholders, if acting together, will continue to have significant influence over the outcome of corporate actions requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors, amendment of our organizational documents, any merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets and any other significant corporate transaction. The interests of these stockholders may not be the same as or may even conflict with your interests. For example, these stockholders could delay or prevent a change of control of our company, even if such a change of control would benefit our other stockholders, which could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company or our assets and might affect the prevailing market price of our common stock. The significant concentration of stock ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock due to investors’ perception that conflicts of interest may exist or arise.

We are an “emerging growth company” and we cannot be certain if the reduced reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including (i) not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, (ii) reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and our periodic reports and proxy statements and (iii) exemptions from the requirements of holding nonbinding advisory stockholder votes on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not approved previously. In addition, as an emerging growth company, we are only required to provide two years of audited financial statements and two years of selected financial data in this prospectus.

We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years following the completion of this offering, although circumstances could cause us to lose that status earlier, including if we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” which occurs when the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30, or if we have total annual gross revenue of $1.07 billion or more during any fiscal year before that time, in which cases we would no longer be an emerging growth company as of the following December 31, or if we issue more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during any three-year period before that time, in which case we would no longer be an emerging growth company immediately. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we may still qualify as a “smaller reporting company,” which would allow us to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and in our periodic

 

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reports and proxy statements. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our share price may be more volatile.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to take advantage of the benefits of this extended transition period. Our financial statements may therefore not be comparable to those of companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards. Until the date that we are no longer an “emerging growth company” or affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the exemption provided by Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act, upon issuance of a new or revised accounting standard that applies to our financial statements and that has a different effective date for public and private companies, we will disclose the date on which adoption is required for non-emerging growth companies and the date on which we will adopt the recently issued accounting standard.

Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of us, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Our restated certificate of incorporation and our restated bylaws that will be in effect upon completion of this offering contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change in control of our company. These provisions could also make it difficult for stockholders to elect directors who are not nominated by current members of our board of directors or take other corporate actions, including effecting changes in our management. These provisions:

 

   

establish a classified board of directors so that not all members of our board are elected at one time;

 

   

permit only the board of directors to establish the number of directors and fill vacancies on the board;

 

   

provide that directors may only be removed “for cause” and only with the approval of two-thirds of our stockholders;

 

   

require super-majority voting to amend some provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and restated bylaws;

 

   

authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that our board could use to implement a stockholder rights plan;

 

   

eliminate the ability of our stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;

 

   

prohibit stockholder action by written consent, which requires all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;

 

   

prohibit cumulative voting; and

 

   

establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by stockholders at annual stockholder meetings.

In addition, our restated certificate of incorporation, to the fullest extent permitted by law, will provide that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for: any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, our restated certificate of incorporation, or our restated bylaws; or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Furthermore, our amended and restated bylaws will also provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. These choice of forum

 

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provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provisions contained in our restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.

In addition, Section 203 of the DGCL may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company. Section 203 imposes certain restrictions on mergers, business combinations and other transactions between us and holders of 15% or more of our common stock.

We will incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, and particularly after we are no longer an emerging growth company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of the Nasdaq Global Market and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel will need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, we expect these rules and regulations to substantially increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to incur substantial costs to maintain sufficient coverage. We cannot predict or estimate the amount or timing of additional costs we may incur to respond to these requirements. The impact of these requirements could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers. Moreover, these rules and regulations are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices.

We are not currently required to comply with the SEC’s rules that implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and are therefore not required to make a formal assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for that purpose. Pursuant to Section 404, we will be required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. However, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we will be engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, potentially engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, there is a risk that we will not be able to conclude, within the prescribed timeframe or at all, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. If we identify one or more material weaknesses, it could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements. In addition, if we are not able to continue to meet these requirements, we may not be able to remain listed on the Nasdaq Global Market.

 

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Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be your sole source of gain.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be your sole source of gain for the foreseeable future.

We may be subject to securities litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.

The market price of our common stock may be volatile and, in the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. We may be the target of this type of litigation in the future. Securities litigation against us could result in substantial costs and divert our management’s attention from other business concerns, which could seriously harm our business.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus, including the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Use of Proceeds,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business” contains forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “potentially,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “expect” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a competitive and rapidly changing environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements we may make. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this prospectus may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements.

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason after the date of this prospectus to conform these statements to actual results or to changes in our expectations, except as required by law.

You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part with the understanding that our actual future results, levels of activity, performance and events and circumstances may be materially different from what we expect.

 

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MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

This prospectus contains estimates and other statistical data made by independent parties and by us relating to our industry and the markets in which we operate, including our general expectations and market position, market opportunity, the incidence of certain medical conditions and other industry data. These data, to the extent they contain estimates or projections, involve a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such estimates or projections. Industry publications and other reports we have obtained from independent parties generally state that the data contained in these publications or other reports have been obtained in good faith or from sources considered to be reliable, but they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such data. The industry in which we operate is subject to risks and uncertainties due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications and reports.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds from our sale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $65.9 million, or $76.3 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full. We expect that the net proceeds from the concurrent private placement will be up to approximately $10.0 million.

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by $4.7 million, assuming the number of shares offered, as set forth on the cover of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered would increase (decrease) the net proceeds that we receive from this offering by $14.0 million, assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, a holder of approximately 12.5% of our outstanding common stock, has agreed to purchase from us, concurrently with this offering in a private placement, up to $10.0 million of shares of our common stock at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price, or up to approximately 666,666 shares based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated offering price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, subject to a 17.5% ownership cap after giving effect to the concurrent private placement and this offering.

We currently intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering and the concurrent private placement as follows:

 

   

approximately $35.0 million to $40.0 million to fund further development of STRO-001 into 2021;

 

   

approximately $30.0 million to $35.0 million to fund further development of STRO-002 into 2021;

 

   

any remaining amounts to fund the further development of our technology platform, including manufacturing, to broaden our pipeline of product candidate and to fund working capital and general corporate purposes.

Based on our planned use of the net proceeds, we estimate such funds, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, will be sufficient for us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into 2021.

The expected use of the net proceeds from the offering and the concurrent private placement represents our intentions based upon our current plans and business conditions. The amounts we actually expend in these areas, and the timing thereof, may vary significantly from our current intentions and will depend on a number of factors, including the success of research and product development efforts, cash generated from future operations and actual expenses to operate our business. We may use a portion of the net proceeds for the acquisition of, or investment in, businesses that complement our business, although we have no present commitments or agreements.

The amounts and timing of our clinical expenditures and the extent of clinical development may vary significantly depending on numerous factors, including the status, results and timing of our current

 

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preclinical studies and clinical trials and those which we may commence in the future, the product approval process with the FDA and other regulatory agencies, our current collaborations and any new collaborations we may enter into with third parties and any unforeseen cash needs. As a result, we cannot predict with any certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. Accordingly, our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds, and investors will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the net proceeds of this offering and the concurrent private placement.

The expected net proceeds of this offering and the concurrent private placement will not be sufficient for us to fund any of our product candidates through regulatory approval, and we will need to raise substantial additional capital to complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

Pending the uses described above, we intend to invest the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement in short term, investment-grade interest-bearing securities such as money market accounts, certificates of deposit, commercial paper and guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our financial condition, operating results, capital requirements, general business conditions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, under the terms of our current loan and security agreement, we are prohibited from paying cash dividends or making any distribution on account of our capital stock without the consent of Silicon Valley Bank and Oxford Finance LLC. See the section entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” for a description of the restrictions on our ability to pay dividends.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of June 30, 2018 on:

 

   

an actual basis;

 

   

a pro forma basis, giving effect to (i) the receipt of $52.0 million in net proceeds from the sale of 194,465,218 shares of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock in July 2018, (ii) the conversion of 298,590,921 outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock as of June 30, 2018 and 194,465,218 outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock issued in July 2018 into an aggregate of 16,007,748 shares of common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering, (iii) the conversion of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants into common stock warrants and the related reclassification of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability to total stockholders’ equity (deficit), (iv) the repayment of principal and interest on a $0.2 million outstanding note issued to an executive officer and (v) the effectiveness of our restated certificate of incorporation in connection with the completion of this offering; and

 

   

a pro forma as adjusted basis, giving effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments described above, (ii) the sale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering, based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses and (iii) the issuance and sale by us in the concurrent private placement of up to approximately 666,666 shares of common stock to Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, based on the assumed initial public offering price.

The pro forma as adjusted information set forth in the table below is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering and the concurrent private placement determined at pricing.

You should read this table together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our audited financial statements and related notes, each included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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    As of June 30, 2018  
    Actual     Pro Forma     Pro Forma
As
Adjusted(1)
 
   

(Unaudited)

 
    (in thousands, except share and per
share data)
 

Cash and cash equivalents(2)

  $ 25,420     $ 77,628     $ 154,666  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Debt

  $ 14,802     $ 14,802     $ 14,802  

Redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability

    801              

Redeemable convertible preferred stock, $0.001 par value—366,402,781 shares authorized; 298,590,921 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma or pro forma as adjusted

    135,720              

Stockholders’ equity (deficit):

     

Preferred stock, $0.001 par value: no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; 10,000,000 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

                 

Common stock, $0.001 par value—540,000,000 shares authorized; 479,377 shares issued and outstanding, actual; 300,000,000 shares authorized; 16,487,125 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma; 22,153,791 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

          16       22  

Note receivable from stockholder

    (208            

Additional paid-in-capital

    6,787       195,292       271,136  

Accumulated deficit

    (138,598     (138,598     (138,598
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

    (132,019     56,710       132,560  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total capitalization

  $ 19,304     $ 71,512     $ 147,362  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1)

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in-capital, total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and total capitalization by approximately $4.7 million, assuming that the number of shares offered remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in-capital, total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and total capitalization by approximately $14.0 million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

The table above excludes the following shares:

 

   

820,875 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of options outstanding as of June 30, 2018 under our 2004 Stock Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $10.41 per share;

 

   

71,731 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase 2,097,260 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.37 per share (which in connection with the July 2018 closing of the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing were adjusted such that they represent warrants to purchase a total of 2,370,799 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock), which will automatically convert to warrants to purchase shares of our common stock upon the completion of this offering; and

 

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4,221,759 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock-based compensation plans, consisting of (i) 1,691,759 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan as of June 30, 2018, (ii) 2,300,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, which will become effective on the date immediately prior to the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, of which shares we intend to grant equity awards consisting of 312,406 shares issuable upon the vesting of restricted stock units and 2,267,266 shares issuable upon the exercise of stock options (with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price) effective upon the date of this prospectus and (iii) 230,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which will become effective on the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Upon completion of this offering, any remaining shares available for issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan will be added to the shares reserved under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and we will cease granting awards under our 2004 Stock Plan. Our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan also provide for automatic annual increases in the number of shares reserved under the plans, as more fully described in “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Benefit Plans and Other Benefit Plans.”

 

(2)

Excludes the $60.0 million upfront payment received pursuant to the August 2018 Exclusive Patent License and Research Collaboration Agreement with Merck.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be immediately diluted to the extent of the difference between the amount per share paid by purchasers of shares of common stock in this offering and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of common stock immediately after this offering and the concurrent private placement.

Net tangible book value (deficit) per share is determined by dividing our total tangible assets (which excludes deferred offering costs) less our total liabilities and redeemable convertible preferred stock by the number of shares of common stock outstanding. Our historical net tangible book value (deficit) as of June 30, 2018 was $(133.2) million, or $(277.88) per share, based on 479,377 shares of common stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018. Our pro forma net tangible book value as of June 30, 2018 was approximately $55.5 million, or $3.37 per share of common stock. Our pro forma net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets (which excludes deferred offering costs) reduced by the amount of our total liabilities and divided by the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018, after giving effect to (i) the receipt of $52.0 million in net proceeds from the sale of 194,465,218 shares of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock in July 2018 and (ii) the conversion of 298,590,921 outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock as of June 30, 2018 and 194,465,218 outstanding shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock issued in July 2018 into an aggregate of 16,007,748 shares of common stock immediately prior to the completion of this offering.

Net tangible book value dilution per share to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement represents the difference between the amount per share paid by purchasers of shares of common stock in this offering and the concurrent private placement and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of common stock immediately after completion of this offering and the concurrent private placement. After giving effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments set forth above, (ii) our sale in this offering of 5,000,000 shares of our common stock at an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses and (iii) the issuance and sale by us in the concurrent private placement of up to approximately 666,666 shares of common stock to Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA based on the assumed initial public offering price, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of June 30, 2018 would have been approximately $132.6 million, or $5.98 per share of our common stock. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma net tangible book value of $2.61 per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution of $9.02 per share to investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement, as illustrated in the following table:

 

Assumed initial public offering price, per share

    $ 15.00  

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2018

  $ 3.37    

Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement

    2.61    
 

 

 

   

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering and the concurrent private placement

      5.98  
   

 

 

 

Dilution per share to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement

    $ 9.02  
   

 

 

 

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $4.7 million, or $0.23 per

 

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share and the dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement by $0.77 per share, assuming the number of shares offered, as set forth on the cover of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered in this offering and the concurrent private placement would increase our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $14.0 million, or approximately $0.35 per share, and would increase dilution per share to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement by approximately $0.35 per share and each decrease of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered in this offering and the concurrent private placement would decrease our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $14.0 million, or approximately $0.37 per share, and would decrease dilution per share to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement by approximately $0.37 per share, assuming the assumed initial public offering price per share remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. The pro forma as adjusted information is illustrative only, and we will adjust this information based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering and the concurrent private placement determined at pricing.

If the underwriters exercise their option in full to purchase additional shares, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering and the concurrent private placement would be $6.24 per share, the increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to existing stockholders would be $2.87 per share and the dilution to new investors in this offering and the concurrent private placement would be $8.76 per share.

The following table shows, as of June 30, 2018, on a pro forma as adjusted basis described above, the differences between the existing stockholders and the purchasers of shares in this offering and the concurrent private placement with respect to the number of shares purchased from us, the total consideration paid, which includes net proceeds received from the issuance of common and redeemable convertible preferred stock, cash received from the exercise of stock options, and the value of any stock issued for services and the average price paid per share (in thousands, except per share amounts and percentages):

 

    Shares Purchased     Total Consideration     Average
Price
Per Share
 
    Number      Percent     Amount      Percent  

Existing stockholders

    16,487,125        74.4   $ 133,065,000        61.0   $ 8.07  

Concurrent private placement investor

    666,666        3.0       10,000,000        4.6     $ 15.00  

New public investors

    5,000,000        22.6       75,000,000        34.4     $ 15.00  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Total

    22,153,791        100.0   $ 218,065,000        100.0  
 

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $5.0 million, assuming that the number of shares offered, as set forth on the cover of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares of common stock offered in this offering would increase (decrease) total consideration paid by new investors and total consideration paid by all stockholders by approximately $15.0 million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

In addition, to the extent that any outstanding options or warrants are exercised, investors in this offering will experience further dilution.

 

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Except as otherwise indicated, the above discussion and tables assume no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, our existing stockholders would own 74.9% and our new investors would own 25.1% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding upon the completion of this offering and the concurrent private placement.

Certain of our existing stockholders and their affiliated entities, including stockholders affiliated with our directors, have indicated an interest in purchasing shares of common stock in this offering with an aggregate value of approximately $30.0 million at the initial public offering price. As these indications of interest are non-binding, the foregoing discussion and table do not reflect the potential purchase of any shares in this offering by these parties.

The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018 excludes:

 

   

820,875 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of options outstanding as of June 30, 2018 under our 2004 Stock Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $10.41 per share;

 

   

71,731 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase 2,097,260 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock outstanding as of June 30, 2018 with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.37 per share (which in connection with the July 2018 closing of the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing were adjusted such that they represent warrants to purchase a total of 2,370,799 shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock), which will automatically convert to warrants to purchase share of our common stock upon the completion of this offering; and

 

   

4,221,759 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our stock-based compensation plans, consisting of (i) 1,691,759 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan as of June 30, 2018, (ii) 2,300,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, which will become effective on the date immediately prior to the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, of which shares we intend to grant equity awards consisting of 312,406 shares issuable upon the vesting of restricted stock units and 2,267,266 shares issuable upon the exercise of stock options (with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price) effective upon the date of this prospectus and (iii) 230,000 shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, which will become effective on the date of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Upon completion of this offering, any remaining shares available for issuance under our 2004 Stock Plan will be added to the shares reserved under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and we will cease granting awards under our 2004 Stock Plan. Our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan and 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan also provide for automatic annual increases in the number of shares reserved under the plans, as more fully described in “Executive Compensation—Equity Compensation Benefit Plans and Other Benefit Plans.”

 

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SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following tables set forth our selected statements of operations and balance sheet data. The selected statements of operations data presented below for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017 and the selected balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016 and 2017 are derived from our audited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus, which financial statements have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, our independent registered public accounting firm. The Ernst & Young LLP audit report on the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 includes an explanatory paragraph that describes an uncertainty about our ability to continue as a going concern. We derived our summary statements of operations data for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018 and our summary balance sheet data as of June 30, 2018 from our unaudited interim financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our unaudited interim financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles on the same basis as our audited annual financial statements and, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, consisting only of normal, recurring adjustments, that are necessary for the fair statement of our financial position as of June 30, 2018 and our results of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018. The following selected financial data below should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in any future period and our interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2018 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year ending December 31, 2018, or any other period. The selected financial data in this section are not intended to replace the financial statements and are qualified in their entirety by the financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months Ended June 30,  
    2016     2017     2017     2018  
               

(unaudited)

 
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Statements of Operations Data:

     

Revenue:

       

Collaboration revenue

  $ 59,731     $ 51,741     $ 30,202     $ 7,031  

Other revenue – related parties

    —         —         —         4,466  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total revenue

    59,731       51,741       30,202       11,497  

Operating expenses:

       

Research and development

    43,550       54,639       25,830       26,833  

General and administrative

    14,817       16,374       7,411       8,455  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    58,367       71,013       33,241       35,288  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) from operations

    1,364       (19,272     (3,039     (23,791

Interest income

    251       273       130       80  

Interest expense

          (612           (784

Other income (expense), net

    87       (77     (17     908  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss)

  $ 1,702     $ (19,688   $ (2,926 )    $ (23,587
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(1)

  $     $ (43.95   $ (6.63   $ (49.90
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted(1)

    407,735       447,946       441,059       472,647  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

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

    $ (3.54     $ (3.50
   

 

 

     

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing pro forma net loss per share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)

      5,511,350         6,997,394  
   

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

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(1)

See Notes 2 and 13 to our audited financial statements and Notes 2 and 10 to our unaudited interim financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for an explanation of the calculations of our basic and diluted net income (loss) per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted pro forma net loss per share and the weighted-average number of shares used in the computation of the per share amounts.

 

    As of December 31,     As of June 30,
2018
 
    2016     2017  
                (unaudited)  
    (in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

  $ 11,593     $ 22,020     $ 25,420  

Marketable securities

    35,928              

Working capital (deficit)

    (493     (6,327     10,997  

Total assets

    69,277       40,769       45,181  

Debt

          14,634       14,802  

Redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability

    1,193       1,708       801  

Redeemable convertible preferred stock

    102,505       102,505       135,720  

Accumulated deficit

    (95,323     (115,011     (138,598

Total stockholders’ deficit

    (90,901     (109,001     (132,019

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the section of this prospectus entitled “Selected Financial Data” and our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion and other parts of this prospectus contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, such as statements of our plans, objectives, expectations, intentions and beliefs. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the section of this prospectus entitled “Risk Factors.”

Overview

We are a clinical stage drug discovery, development and manufacturing company focused on leveraging our proprietary integrated cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF, to create a broad variety of optimally designed, next-generation protein therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disorders. We aim to design therapeutics using the most potent modalities, including cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, and bispecific antibodies that are directed primarily against clinically validated targets where the current standard of care is suboptimal. Our platform allows us to accelerate the discovery and development of molecules by enabling the rapid and systematic evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships to create optimized homogeneous product candidates. Our mission is to transform the lives of patients by using our XpressCF Platform to create medicines with improved therapeutic profiles for areas of unmet need.

Once identified, production of protein drug candidates can be rapidly and predictably scaled in our current Good Manufacturing Practices compliant manufacturing facility. We have the ability to manufacture our cell-free extract that supports our production of proteins on a large scale using a semi-continuous fermentation process. Our two most advanced product candidates are wholly owned: STRO-001, an ADC directed against CD74, for patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma; and STRO-002, an ADC directed against folate receptor-alpha, or FolRa, for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial, with initial safety data expected in mid-2019. We plan to submit an investigational new drug, or IND, application for STRO-002 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the fourth quarter of 2018. We have also entered into multi-target, product-focused collaborations with leaders in the field of oncology, including a cytokine derivatives collaboration with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, or Merck, a B cell maturation antigen, or BCMA, and an immuno-oncology directed alliance with Celgene Corporation, or Celgene, and an oncology-focused collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (operating in the United States and Canada under the name “EMD Serono”).

Since the commencement of our operations, we have devoted substantially all of our resources to performing research and development and manufacturing activities in support of our own product development efforts and those of our collaborators, raising capital to support and expand such activities and providing general and administrative support for these operations. We have funded our operations to date primarily from upfront, milestone and other payments under our collaboration agreements with Merck, Celgene and EMD Serono, the issuance and sale of redeemable convertible preferred stock and debt proceeds.

We have not generated any revenue from commercial product sales and have no products for commercial sale. We had a net loss of $19.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 and a net loss of $23.6 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018. Although we had net income for the year

 

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ended December 31, 2016 of $1.7 million, we cannot assure you that we will ever be profitable again or that we will generate positive cash flow from operating activities. As of June 30, 2018, we had an accumulated deficit of $138.6 million. We do not expect to generate any revenue from commercial product sales unless and until we successfully complete development and obtain regulatory approval for one or more of our product candidates, which we expect will take a number of years. If we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution. We expect our operating expenses to significantly increase as we continue to develop, and seek regulatory approvals for, our product candidates, engage in other research and development activities, expand our pipeline of product candidates, continue to develop our manufacturing facility and capabilities, maintain and expand our intellectual property portfolio, seek regulatory and marketing approval for any product candidates that we may develop, acquire or in-license other assets or technologies, ultimately establish a sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure to commercialize any products for which we may obtain marketing approval and operate as a public company. Our net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year, depending on the timing of our clinical trials, our expenditures on other research and development activities and the timing of achievement and receipt of upfront, milestones and other collaboration agreement payments.

As of December 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018, we had $22.0 million and $25.4 million, respectively, in cash and cash equivalents. We completed an equity financing and obtained $52.0 million in gross proceeds from the sale of our Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock in July 2018. In July 2018, we entered into an Exclusive Patent License and Research Collaboration Agreement, or the 2018 Merck Agreement, with Merck to jointly develop up to three research programs focusing on cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders. Under the 2018 Merck Agreement, we received an upfront payment of $60.0 million in August 2018 for our commitment to the research and development of the target programs. We expect that the net proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, the proceeds from our recent Series E financing and Merck collaboration will be sufficient to fund our operations through at least the next 12 months. We will need substantial additional funding in addition to the net proceeds of this offering and the concurrent private placement to support our continuing operations and pursue our long-term business plan. We may seek additional funding through the issuance of our common stock, other equity or debt financings, or collaborations or partnerships with other companies. The amount and timing of our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including the pace and results of our clinical development efforts for our product candidates and other research activities, payments received under any future or existing license and collaboration agreements, and development and manufacturing activities. We may not be able to raise additional capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Any failure to raise capital as and when needed would compromise our ability to execute on our business plan and may cause us to significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development of some of our programs or curtail any efforts to expand our product pipeline.

Collaboration and License Agreements

Merck Agreement

In July 2018, we entered into the 2018 Merck Agreement with Merck to jointly develop up to three research programs focusing on cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Upon signing the 2018 Merck Agreement, Merck agreed to pay us an upfront payment of $60.0 million, which we received in August 2018, for the research and development of two target programs, and Merck purchased $20.0 million in Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock from us. Under the 2018 Merck Agreement, we are eligible to receive financial support for our research and development efforts based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related

 

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reimbursement rate. Additionally, we are eligible to receive another milestone payment if a third target program is selected, and Merck has agreed to purchase up to $10.0 million of our common stock concurrently with the closing of this offering.

Under the terms of the 2018 Merck Agreement, we are eligible to receive aggregate milestone payments of up to $1.6 billion, assuming the development and sale of all therapeutic candidates and all possible indications identified under the collaboration. If one or more products from each of the target programs are developed for non-oncology or a single indication, we will be eligible for reduced aggregate milestone payments. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit to low teen percentages on the worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the collaboration.

Celgene Agreements

In September 2014, we entered into a Collaboration and License Agreement with Celgene, or the 2014 Celgene Agreement, to discover and develop bispecific antibodies and/or ADCs focused primarily on the field of immuno-oncology using our XpressCF Platform. Under the 2014 Celgene Agreement, we received upfront payments totaling $95.0 million in September 2014, which included an $11.9 million equity investment, and additional payments totaling $60.0 million.

In August 2017, we entered into an Amended and Restated Collaboration and License Agreement with Celgene, or the 2017 Celgene Agreement, to refocus our 2014 Celgene Agreement on four programs that are advancing through preclinical development, including an ADC program targeting BCMA. Upon signing the 2017 Celgene Agreement, we received an option fee payment of $12.5 million in August 2017 and are eligible to receive a second option fee payment of $12.5 million following the first IND clearance, if any, for one of the four programs, if Celgene desires to maintain its option to acquire the U.S. rights to develop and commercialize a second collaboration program to reach IND status. If Celgene exercises its option to acquire from us the U.S. rights to a second collaboration program, it will make an option exercise fee payment to us, the amount of which depends on which program reaches IND status.

Under the terms of the 2017 Celgene Agreement, we are eligible to receive a potential future payment for manufacturing activities of $10.0 million. We are also entitled to receive financial support for research and development services to be assigned to us by Celgene, based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related reimbursement rate. In addition, for licensed products for which Celgene holds worldwide rights, we are eligible to receive aggregate milestone and option fee payments of up to $295.0 million for certain licensed products and up to $393.7 million for certain other licensed products under the collaboration, if approved in multiple indications, and, depending on the licensed product, tiered royalties ranging from single digit to low teen percentages on worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the 2017 Celgene Agreement. For licensed products for which Celgene holds ex-U.S. rights, we will also be eligible to receive pre-commercial contingent payments and tiered royalties ranging from mid to high single digit percentages.

We recognized revenue from the Celgene agreements of $54.0 million and $44.6 million during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively, and $26.5 million and $3.4 million during the six months ended June 30 2017 and 2018, respectively. As of December 31, 2016 and 2017 and June 30, 2018, there was $39.5 million, $18.0 million and $14.8 million, respectively, of deferred revenue related to payments received by us under the Celgene agreements.

EMD Serono Agreement

We entered into a Collaboration Agreement with EMD Serono in May 2014, or the Collaboration Agreement, which was replaced by a License Agreement with EMD Serono in September 2014, or the MDA Agreement, to develop ADCs for multiple cancer targets.

 

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Upon signing the Collaboration Agreement, we received $10.0 million in an upfront payment. In addition, upon signing the MDA Agreement, we received an additional $10.0 million in an upfront payment and receive financial support for our research and development services based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related reimbursement rate. As of June 30, 2018, we had received approximately $7.0 million in funding support since inception for research and development services. We anticipate entering into a manufacturing supply agreement with EMD Serono to provide them with product candidate materials for IND-enabling and clinical studies.

We are eligible to receive up to $52.5 million for each product developed under the MDA Agreement, primarily from pre-commercial contingent payments. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from low to mid single digit percentages, along with certain additional one-time royalties, on worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the MDA Agreement.

We recognized revenue from the MDA Agreement of $5.7 million and $7.1 million during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively, and $3.7 million and $3.7 million during the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018, respectively. As of December 31, 2016 and 2017 and June 30, 2018, there was $10.0 million, $5.9 million and $3.8 million, respectively, of deferred revenue related to payments received by us under the MDA Agreement.

Financial Operations Overview

Total Revenue

We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from commercial product sales. Our total revenue to date has been generated principally from our collaboration and license agreements with Celgene and EMD Serono, and to a lesser extent, from manufacturing, supply and services and products we provide to Celgene and SutroVax, Inc., or SutroVax.

Collaboration Revenue

Collaboration revenue consists of revenue received from upfront, milestone and contingent payments received from our collaborators. We recognize revenue from nonrefundable upfront license payments over the term of our estimated period of performance under the agreements. In addition to receiving upfront payments, we may also be entitled to milestone and other contingent payments upon achieving predefined objectives. Revenue from milestones, if they are nonrefundable and deemed substantive, are recognized upon successful accomplishment of the performance obligations. To the extent that non-substantive milestones are achieved, and we have remaining performance obligations, such payments are deferred and recognized as revenue over the estimated remaining period of performance.

We expect that any collaboration revenue we generate principally from our current collaboration and license agreements with Merck, Celgene and EMD Serono, and from any future collaboration partners, will fluctuate in the future as a result of the timing and amount of upfront, milestones and other collaboration agreement payments. We will begin recognizing revenue under the 2018 Merck Agreement in the third quarter of 2018.

Other Revenue – Related Parties

Other revenue – related parties consists of revenue received from development, manufacturing and supply chain management services, including clinical product supply, that we provide to Celgene and from extracts and custom reagents that we provide to SutroVax. We recognize revenue when the services or products are provided. We expect other revenue – related parties will fluctuate from period to period as a result of the timing of ordering and providing such services and products.

 

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Operating Expenses

Research and Development

Research and development expenses represent costs incurred in performing research, development and manufacturing activities in support of our own product development efforts and those of our collaborators, and include salaries, employee benefits, stock-based compensation, laboratory supplies, outsourced research and development expenses, professional services and allocated facilities-related costs. We expense both internal and external research and development costs as they are incurred. Non-refundable advance payments for services that will be used or rendered for future research and development activities are recorded as prepaid expenses and recognized as expenses as the related services are performed.

We expect our research and development expenses to increase substantially in absolute dollars in the future as we advance our product candidates into and through preclinical studies and clinical trials, pursue regulatory approval of our product candidates, expand our pipeline of product candidates and continue to develop our manufacturing facility and capabilities. The process of conducting the necessary preclinical and clinical research to obtain regulatory approval is costly and time consuming. The actual probability of success for our product candidates may be affected by a variety of factors including: the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, early clinical data, investment in our clinical programs, the ability of collaborators to successfully develop our licensed product candidates, competition, manufacturing capability and commercial viability. We may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. As a result of the uncertainties discussed above, we are unable to determine the duration and completion costs of our research and development projects or when and to what extent we will generate revenue from the commercialization and sale of our product candidates.

 

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The following table summarizes our research and development expenses incurred during the periods indicated. The internal costs include personnel, facility costs and research and scientific related activities associated with our pipeline. The external program costs reflect external costs attributable to our clinical development candidates and preclinical candidates selected for further development. Such expenses include third-party costs for preclinical and clinical studies and research services, and other consulting costs.

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
     Six Months Ended
June 30,
 
    2016      2017      2017      2018  
                  (unaudited)  
    (in thousands)  

Internal Costs:

          

Research and drug discovery

  $ 17,040      $ 15,636      $ 7,748      $ 7,620  

Process and product development

    8,224        8,195        4,196        4,185  

Manufacturing

    14,496        19,769        8,035        8,266  

Clinical development

           843        327        599  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total internal costs

    39,760        44,443        20,306        20,670  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

External Program Costs:

    

Research and drug discovery

    1,650        1,090        498        515  

Toxicology and translational science

    138        3,767        2,699        1,122  

Process and product development

    158        208        44        240  

Manufacturing

    1,844        4,198        2,075        2,946  

Clinical development

           933        208        1,340  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total external program costs

    3,790        10,196        5,524        6,163  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total research and development expenses

  $ 43,550      $ 54,639      $ 25,830      $ 26,833  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

General and Administrative

Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of personnel costs, expenses for outside professional services, including legal, human resource, audit, accounting and tax services and allocated facilities-related costs. Personnel costs include salaries, employee benefits and stock-based compensation. We expect to incur additional expenses as a result of this offering and operating as a public company, including expenses related to compliance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and listing standards applicable to companies listed on a national securities exchange, additional insurance expenses, investor relations activities and other administrative and professional services. We also expect to increase the size of our administrative function to support the anticipated growth of our business.

Interest Income

Interest income consists primarily of interest received on our invested funds.

Interest Expense

Interest expense includes interest incurred on our debt and amortization of debt issuance costs.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net primarily includes gains and losses from the remeasurement of our liabilities related to our redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants. We will continue to adjust the liability for changes in estimated fair value until the earlier of the exercise of the warrants, expiration of the warrants, or conversion of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants upon the

 

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completion of a liquidation event, including the completion of an initial public offering, into common stock warrants. At such time, the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability will be reclassified to additional paid-in-capital and we will no longer record any related periodic fair value adjustments.

Comparison of the Six Months Ended June 30, 2017 and 2018

 

    Six Months Ended
June 30,
               
    2017      2018      $ Change      % Change  
    (unaudited)                
    (in thousands except percentages)         

Collaboration revenue

  $ 30,202      $ 7,031      $ (23,171      (77 )% 

Other revenue—related parties

           4,466        4,466        *  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total revenue

    30,202        11,497        (18,705      (62
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

          

Research and development

    25,830        26,833        1,003        4  

General and administrative

    7,411        8,455        1,044        14  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Total operating expenses

    33,241        35,288        2,047        6  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Income (loss) from operations

    (3,039      (23,791      (20,752      *  

Interest income

    130        80        (50      (38 )% 

Interest expense

           (784      (784      *  

Other income (expense), net

    (17      908        925        *  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Net loss

  $ (2,926    $ (23,587    $ (20,661      *  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

*

Percentage not meaningful

Revenue

We have recognized revenue as follows during the periods indicated:

 

     Six Months Ended June 30,  
     2017      2018  
     (unaudited)  
     (in thousands)  

Collaboration revenue:

     

Celgene:

     

Amortization of up-front payments

   $ 13,713      $ 3,257  

Research and development services

            98  

Milestones and contingent payments

     12,825         
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     26,538        3,355  

EMD Serono:

     

Amortization of up-front payments

     2,060        2,066  

Research and development services

     1,604        1,610  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

     3,664        3,676  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total collaboration revenue

   $ 30,202      $ 7,031  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Other revenue—related parties:

     

Celgene:

     

Development and manufacturing services and clinical product supply

   $      $ 3,564  

SutroVax:

     

Supply and other

            902  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other revenue—related parties

   $      $ 4,466  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Total revenue decreased by $18.7 million, or 62%, during the six months ended June 30, 2018 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2017. The decrease was due to the decline in collaboration revenue of $23.2 million due primarily to a decrease of $12.8 million recognized from milestones and contingent payments from Celgene and the decline in collaboration revenue of $10.5 million recognized from the up-front nonrefundable payment of $83.1 million received in 2014 under the 2014 Celgene Agreement, as the remaining deferred revenue balance, as of the effective date of the 2017 Celgene Agreement, along with the payments under the 2017 Celgene Agreement, will be recognized ratably starting in August 2017 and ending in September 2020. The decrease was partially offset by a $3.6 million increase in other revenue recognized from development and clinical manufacturing services and supplies provided to Celgene, and an increase of $0.9 million in supplies and other revenue provided to SutroVax.

Research and Development Expense

Research and development expense increased by $1.0 million, or 4%, during the six months ended June 30, 2018 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2017. The increase was primarily due to increased costs incurred under the Celgene agreements partially offset by the decrease from personnel-related costs of $0.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018 being classified to general and administrative expense effective January 2018, as the underlying activities are now more focused on operational matters.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative expense increased by $1.0 million, or 14%, during the six months ended June 30, 2018 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2017. The increase was due to $0.6 million in personnel-related expenses from higher headcount and $0.3 million from the inclusion of the personnel-related costs previously in research and development expense effective in January 2018.

Interest Expense

Interest expense increased by $0.8 million during the six months ended June 30, 2018 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2017, due to interest incurred under a loan and security agreement that we entered into with Oxford Finance LLC, or Oxford, and Silicon Valley Bank, or SVB, in August 2017.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net changed by $0.9 million during the six months ended June 30, 2018 compared to the six months ended June 30, 2017. The change was primarily due to the gain of $0.9 million for the change in the estimated fair value of our redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants during the six months ended June 30, 2018.

 

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Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2017

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
     $ Change      % Change  
    2016      2017  
    (in thousands except percentages)         

Collaboration revenue

  $ 59,731      $ 51,741      $ (7,990      (13 )% 

Operating expenses:

          

Research and development

    43,550        54,639        11,089        25  

General and administrative

    14,817        16,374        1,557        11  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Total operating expenses

    58,367        71,013        12,646        22  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Income (loss) from operations

    1,364        (19,272      (20,636      *  

Interest income

    251        273        22        9  

Interest expense

           (612      (612      *  

Other income (expense), net

    87        (77      (164      *  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

Net income (loss)

  $ 1,702      $ (19,688    $ (21,390      *  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

*

Percentage not meaningful

Collaboration Revenue

We have recognized revenue from our collaboration agreements as follows during the periods indicated:

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
 
    2016      2017  
    (in thousands)  

Celgene:

    

Amortization of up-front payment

  $ 27,730      $ 16,694  

Research and development services

           660  

Milestones and contingent payments

    26,271        27,252  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

    54,001        44,606  

EMD Serono:

    

Amortization of up-front payment

    4,120        4,120  

Research and development services

    1,610        3,015  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

    5,730        7,135  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total collaboration revenue

  $ 59,731      $ 51,741  
 

 

 

    

 

 

 

Revenue decreased by $8.0 million, or 13%, during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. The decrease was due to the decline in collaboration revenue of $11.0 million recognized from the up-front nonrefundable payment of $83.1 million received in 2014 under the 2014 Celgene Agreement, as the remaining deferred revenue balance, as of the effective date of the 2017 Celgene Agreement, along with the payments under the 2017 Celgene Agreement, will be recognized ratably starting in August 2017 and ending in September 2020. The decrease was partially offset by a $1.0 million increase in revenue recognized from milestones and contingent payments from Celgene and an increase of an aggregate of $2.1 million in research and development services for Celgene and EMD Serono.

Research and Development Expense

Research and development expense increased by $11.1 million, or 25%, during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was due to an

 

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increase of $3.4 million in personnel-related expenses due to headcount growth, an increase of $2.4 million in consulting and other external services, an increase of $1.7 million in facilities-related costs, as a result of increased research and development activities in support of our own product development efforts and those of our collaborators, and a net increase of $0.9 million in preclinical and pharmacology research spending as well as manufacturing supplies and production materials. The increase in research and development expense also reflects an impairment charge of $2.7 million pertaining to certain custom-built manufacturing equipment that failed to meet our acceptance criteria.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative expense increased by $1.6 million, or 11%, during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was due to an increase of $0.5 million in equipment-related expenses and an increase of $0.7 million in personnel-related expenses due to higher headcount. In addition, we incurred an additional $0.4 million related to external investor relations services and professional services fees.

Interest Expense

Interest expense increased by $0.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was due to the interest incurred under a loan and security agreement that we entered into in August 2017. We had no outstanding debt in 2016.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net increased by $0.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to the year ended December 31, 2016. The increase was primarily due to the change in estimated fair value of our Series B and Series C redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Sources of Liquidity

Since inception, we have funded our operations primarily by payments received from our collaborators, net proceeds from the sale of our redeemable convertible preferred stock and debt proceeds. Our expenditures are primarily related to research, development and manufacturing activities. At December 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018, we had available cash and cash equivalents of $22.0 million and $25.4 million, respectively. As of June 30, 2018, our outstanding debt was $14.8 million, which is net of $0.4 million unamortized debt discount, and we had an accumulated deficit of $138.6 million.

In July 2018, we completed a closing of the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing that resulted in gross proceeds of $52.0 million. In combination with the $33.4 million in gross proceeds we raised in the May and June 2018 closings of the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing, the total gross proceeds from the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing were $85.4 million. Additionally, in July 2018, we entered into the 2018 Merck Agreement, pursuant to which we received an upfront payment of $60.0 million in August 2018.

In August 2017, we entered into a loan and security agreement with Oxford and SVB under which we borrowed $15.0 million. The loan is due in 30 monthly installments from March 2019 through its repayment in August 2021, with interest-only monthly payments until March 2019. If certain qualified funding events occur, the loan will be due in 24 monthly installments from September 2019 through repayment on August 2021, with interest-only payments until September 2019.

The interest charges on the loan are based on a floating rate that equals the greater of 7.39% or the sum of the 30-day U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, plus 6.40%. In addition,

 

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we will make a final payment equal to 3.83% of the original principal amount of the loan, or $574,500, which will be accrued over the term of the loan using the effective-interest method.

The loan is secured by all our assets, excluding intellectual property and certain other assets. The loan contains customary affirmative and restrictive covenants, including with respect to our ability to enter into fundamental transactions, incur additional indebtedness, grant liens, pay any dividend or make any distributions to our holders, make investments, merge or consolidate with any other person, or engage in transactions with our affiliates, but does not include any financial covenants. The loan agreement provides that an event of default will occur if, among other triggers, there occurs any circumstances that could reasonably be expected to result in a material adverse effect on our business, operations or condition, or on our ability to perform our obligations under the loan. We have disclosed that there was substantial doubt about our ability to continue as going concern as of December 31, 2017 given our continuing operating losses and our then-available capital resources, which could have been deemed to be an event of default if such condition was considered to have a material adverse effect on our business, operations or condition. As a result, at December 31, 2017, we classified the entire debt balance as a current liability given that a determination of such an event of default was outside of our control. However, as of June 30, 2018, our existing cash and cash equivalents, proceeds from our Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing, the upfront payment under the 2018 Merck Agreement and proceeds from this offering and the concurrent private placement will be sufficient to fund our operating requirements for at least the next 12 months, and therefore, we do not believe that the prior doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern has a material adverse effect on our business. Based on the proceeds from our July 2018 Series E convertible redeemable preferred stock financing and the $60.0 million upfront payment from Merck described above, as of June 30, 2018, we classified $2.0 million of the outstanding debt balance as current and the remainder as non-current, which reflects the scheduled repayments under the loan.

The loan agreement also includes customary representations and warranties, other events of default and termination provisions. We were in compliance with all covenants under the loan as of December 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Funding Requirements

Based on our planned operations and the proceeds from our July 2018 Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing and the $60.0 million upfront payment from Merck, we expect that our current cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund our operations for at least 12 months after the date the unaudited interim financial statements are issued. However, we will need to raise additional capital through equity or debt financing, or potential additional collaboration proceeds prior to achieving commercialization of our products. As noted in our 2017 audited financial statements, there were conditions that raised substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of one year from the date of the issuance of our 2017 financial statements. Our ability to continue as a going concern is dependent upon our ability to successfully secure sources of financing and ultimately achieve profitable operations.

We will require additional financing to fund working capital and pay our obligations. We may seek to raise any necessary additional capital through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances, licensing arrangements and other marketing and distribution arrangements. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in acquiring additional funding at levels sufficient to fund our operations or on terms favorable to us. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing when needed, we may have to delay, reduce the scope of or suspend one or more of our pre-clinical and clinical studies, research and development programs or commercialization efforts. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with the development and commercialization of our product candidates and the extent to which we may enter into additional collaborations with third parties to participate in their development and commercialization, we are

 

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unable to estimate the amounts of increased capital outlays and operating expenditures associated with our current and anticipated clinical studies. Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including the following:

 

   

the scope, rate of progress, results and cost of our clinical trials, preclinical studies and other related activities;

 

   

the cost of manufacturing clinical supplies, and establishing commercial supplies, of our product candidates and any products that we may develop;

 

   

the receipt of any future payments from current or potential collaborators;

 

   

the number and characteristics of product candidates that we pursue;

 

   

the cost, timing and outcomes of regulatory approvals;

 

   

the cost and timing of establishing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities;

 

   

the terms and timing of any other collaborative, licensing and other arrangements that we may establish;

 

   

the timing, receipt and amount of sales, profit sharing or royalties, if any, from our potential products;

 

   

the cost of preparing, filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights; and

 

   

the extent to which we acquire or invest in businesses, products or technologies, although we currently have no commitments or agreements relating to any of these types of transactions.

To the extent that we raise additional capital through additional collaborations, strategic alliances or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our product candidates, future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates or to grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we do raise additional capital through public or private equity or convertible debt offerings, the ownership interest of our existing stockholders will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect our stockholders’ rights. If we raise additional capital through debt financing, we may be subject to covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends.

Cash Flows

The following table summarizes our cash flows during the periods indicated:

 

    Year Ended
December 31,
    Six Months Ended
June 30,
 
    2016     2017     2017     2018  
                (unaudited)  
   

(in thousands)

 

Cash used in operating activities

  $ (13,160   $ (37,074   $ (30,196   $ (28,955

Cash provided by (used in) investing activities

    9,591       32,602       24,816       (400

Cash provided by financing activities

    184       14,639       38       32,755  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash

  $ (3,385   $ 10,167     $ (5,342   $ 3,400  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Cash Flows from Operating Activities

Cash used in operating activities for the six months ended June 30, 2018 was $29.0 million. Our net loss of $23.6 million was decreased by non-cash charges of $2.3 million for depreciation and amortization and $0.5 million for stock-based compensation, which were partially offset by the gain of $0.9 million for the change in fair value of our redeemable convertible preferred stock warrant liability.

 

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Cash used in operating activities reflected a change in net operating assets of $7.2 million, primarily due to a decrease in our deferred revenue balance of $5.3 million from the recognition of revenue pertaining to payments received from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono during prior periods, an increase in accounts receivable of $1.6 million due to higher research and development services revenues from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono and a $0.7 million decrease in accounts payable due to the timing of payments.

Cash used in operating activities for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was $30.2 million. Our net loss of $2.9 million was decreased by non-cash charges of $2.6 million for depreciation and amortization and $0.5 million for stock-based compensation. Cash used in operating activities reflected a change in net operating assets of $30.6 million, primarily due to a decrease in our deferred revenue balance of $28.6 million from the recognition of revenue pertaining to payments received from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono during prior periods and a decrease in accrued bonus compensation of $0.9 million driven primarily by the payment of prior year accrued bonuses, which were offset by an increase in the current period accrual due to higher headcount and a decrease of $0.8 million in accounts payable due to timing of payments.

Cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2017 was $37.1 million. Our net loss of $19.7 million was decreased by non-cash charges of $5.0 million for depreciation and amortization, $2.7 million for an impairment charge on certain equipment, $1.4 million for stock-based compensation and $0.4 million in other non-cash charges. Cash used in operating activities reflected a change in net operating assets of $26.9 million, primarily due to a decrease in our deferred revenue balance of $25.6 million from the recognition of revenue pertaining to payments received from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono during prior periods, and an increase in accounts receivable of $1.0 million due to higher research and development services revenues from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono.

Cash used in operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $13.2 million. Our net income of $1.7 million was increased by non-cash charges of $5.7 million for depreciation and amortization, $1.0 million for stock-based compensation and $0.2 million for amortization of premium on marketable securities. Cash used in operating activities reflected a decrease in net operating assets of $21.7 million, primarily due to a decrease in our deferred revenue balance of $23.1 million from the recognition of revenue pertaining to payments received from our collaborators Celgene and EMD Serono during prior periods, an increase in accrued bonus compensation of $1.2 million driven primarily by higher headcount and an increase of $0.9 million in accounts payable due to a higher level of research and development activities.

Cash Flows from Investing Activities

Cash used in investing activities of $0.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018 was related to purchases of property and equipment, principally for laboratory and manufacturing equipment and leasehold improvements.

Cash provided by investing activities of $24.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was related to proceeds from maturities of marketable securities of $27.9 million and sales of marketable securities of $3.8 million, partially offset by purchases of marketable securities of $5.0 million and purchases of property and equipment of $1.8 million, principally for laboratory and manufacturing equipment and leasehold improvements.

Cash provided by investing activities of $32.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 was related to proceeds from maturities of marketable securities of $34.9 million and sales of marketable securities of $15.2 million, partially offset by purchases of marketable securities of $14.2 million and purchases of property and equipment of $3.3 million, principally for laboratory and manufacturing equipment and leasehold improvements.

 

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Cash provided by investing activities of $9.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 was related to proceeds from maturities of marketable securities of $57.8 million and sales of marketable securities of $8.5 million, partially offset by purchases of marketable securities of $52.3 million and purchases of property and equipment of $4.4 million, principally for laboratory and manufacturing equipment and leasehold improvements.

Cash Flows from Financing Activities

Cash provided by financing activities of $32.8 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018 was primarily related to the net proceeds from our issuance of Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock of $33.2 million, partially offset by the payment of $0.5 million in financing costs related to this offering.

Cash provided by financing activities of $38,000 for the six months ended June 30, 2017 was related to proceeds from the issuances of common stock from the exercise of stock options.

Cash provided by financing activities of $14.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 was primarily related to the proceeds from our debt with Oxford and SVB, net of issuance costs, of $14.8 million and partially offset by the payment of $0.3 million in financing costs related to this offering.

Cash provided by financing activities of $0.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 was related to proceeds from the issuances of common stock from the exercise of stock options.

Contractual Obligations and Other Commitments

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2017:

 

    Payments Due by Period  
    Less
than 1
year
     1 to 3
years
     3 to 5
years
     More
than 5
years
     Total  
    (in thousands)  

Contractual obligations:

             

Debt, principal(1)

  $      $ 11,000      $ 4,000      $           –      $ 15,000  

Debt, interest(2)

    1,173        1,524        666               3,363  

Operating lease obligations

    3,540        7,426        3,195               14,161  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

  $   4,713      $ 19,950      $   7,861      $      $ 32,524  
 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Represents principal payments only. We will pay interest on outstanding indebtedness based on the rates and terms summarized in Note 7 to our audited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

(2)

Represents interest expense expected to be incurred on our debt based on obligations outstanding and rates effective at December 31, 2017, including a final one-time payment of $0.6 million.

In addition, we enter into agreements in the normal course of business with contract research organizations for clinical trials and with vendors for preclinical studies and other services and products for operating purposes, which are generally cancelable upon written notice. These payments are not included in this table of contractual obligations.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We have not entered into any off-balance sheet arrangements, as defined under SEC rules. While we have an investment classified as variable interest entity, its purpose is not to provide off-balance sheet financing.

 

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Critical Accounting Polices and Estimates

Our management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported revenue generated and expenses incurred during the reporting periods. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

While our significant accounting policies are described in the notes to our financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus, we believe that the following critical accounting policies are most important to understanding and evaluating our reported financial results.

Revenue Recognition

We generate revenue from collaboration and license agreements for the development and commercialization of our product candidates. Under our collaboration agreements, we may receive non-refundable upfront payments, funding for research and development services, milestones, other contingent payments and royalties. In assessing the appropriate revenue recognition related to a collaboration agreement, we first determine whether an arrangement includes multiple elements, such as the delivery of intellectual property rights and research and development services.

Typically, access to the intellectual property rights under our collaboration agreements do not have stand-alone value from the other elements within the arrangement. As such, upfront payments are recorded as deferred revenue in the balance sheet and are recognized as collaboration revenue over the estimated period of performance that is consistent with the terms of the research and development obligations contained in the collaboration

Revenue is recognized when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, the price is fixed or determinable and collectability is reasonably assured. For multiple-element arrangements, each deliverable within a multiple-deliverable revenue arrangement is accounted for as a separate unit of accounting if both of the following criteria are met: (i) the delivered item or items has value to the customer on a stand-alone basis and (ii) for an arrangement that includes a general right of return relative to the delivered item, delivery or performance of the undelivered item is considered probable and substantially in management’s control.

We recognize revenue from milestone payments when: (i) the milestone event is substantive and its achievability has substantive uncertainty at the inception of the agreement and (ii) we have completed our performance obligations related to the achievement of the milestone. Milestone payments are considered substantive if all of the following conditions are met: the milestone payment (a) is commensurate with either our performance subsequent to the inception of the arrangement to achieve the milestone or the enhancement of the value of the delivered item or items as a result of a specific outcome resulting from our performance subsequent to the inception of the arrangement to achieve the milestone, (b) relates solely to past performance and (c) is reasonable relative to all of the deliverables and payment terms (including other potential milestone consideration) within the arrangement.

Determining whether and when these revenue recognition criteria have been satisfied often involves assumptions and judgments that can have a significant impact on the timing and amount of

 

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reported revenue. Changes in assumptions or judgments or changes to the elements in an arrangement could cause a material increase or decrease in the amount of revenue that is reported in a particular period.

Under certain collaborative arrangements, we are entitled to payments for certain research and development activities, including providing product and other related materials. Our policy is to account for such payments by our collaboration partners as collaboration revenue.

Research and Development

We record accrued expenses for estimated costs of our research and development activities conducted by third party service providers, which include outsourced research and development expenses, professional services and contract manufacturing activities. We record the estimated costs of research and development activities based upon the estimated amount of services provided but not yet invoiced, and include these costs in current liabilities in the balance sheets and within research and development expense in the statements of operations.

Nonrefundable advance payments for goods or services that will be used or rendered for future research and development activities are deferred and capitalized and recognized as an expense as the goods are delivered or the related services are performed.

For outsourced research and development expenses, such as professional fees payable to third parties for preclinical studies, clinical trials and research services and other consulting costs, we estimate the expenses based on the services performed, pursuant to contracts with research institutions that conduct and manage preclinical studies, clinical trials and research services on our behalf. We estimate these expenses based on discussions with internal management personnel and external service providers as to the progress or stage of completion of services and the contracted fees to be paid for such services. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from the original estimates, we will adjust the accrual accordingly. Payments made to third parties under these arrangements in advance of the performance of the related services by the third parties are recorded as prepaid expenses until the services are rendered.

Stock-Based Compensation

We recognize compensation costs related to stock options granted to employees based on the estimated fair value of the awards on the date of grant, net of estimated forfeitures. We estimate the grant date fair value, and the resulting stock-based compensation expense, using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The grant date fair value of the stock-based awards is generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the respective awards.

The Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires the use of highly subjective assumptions to determine the fair value of stock-based awards, including the expected term and the price volatility of the underlying stock. These assumptions include:

 

   

Expected term—The expected term represents the period that the stock-based awards are expected to be outstanding. We used the “simplified” method to determine the expected life of options granted, which calculates the expected term as the average of the weighted-average vesting term and the contractual term of the option.

 

   

Expected volatility—Since we are not yet a public company and do not have any trading history for our common stock, the expected volatility was estimated based on the average historical volatilities of common stock of comparable publicly traded entities over a period equal to the expected term of the stock option grants. We will continue to apply this process until a sufficient amount of historical information regarding the volatility of our own stock price becomes available.

 

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Risk-free interest rate—The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield in effect at the time of grant for zero coupon U.S. Treasury notes with maturities approximately equal to the expected term of the options.

 

   

Expected dividend—We have never paid dividends on our common stock and have no plans to pay dividends on our common stock. Therefore, we used an expected dividend yield of zero.

In addition to the assumptions used in the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, we must also estimate a forfeiture rate to calculate the stock-based compensation for our awards. We will continue to use judgment in evaluating the expected volatility, expected terms and forfeiture rates utilized for our stock-based compensation calculations on a prospective basis.

Historically, for all periods prior to this initial public offering, the fair value of the shares of common stock underlying our share-based awards were estimated on each grant date by our board of directors. In order to determine the fair value of our common stock underlying option grants, our board of directors considered, among other things, timely valuations of our common stock prepared by an unrelated third-party valuation firm in accordance with the guidance provide by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation. For each of the valuation dates during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, we applied the Guideline Publicly Traded Company Analysis (Life Science Expected Compound Method) for the valuation of our equity. We were at an early stage of development and future liquidity events were difficult to forecast. We therefore used the option-pricing method, or OPM, to determine the estimated fair value of our common stock. In an OPM framework, shares are valued by creating a series of call options with exercise prices based on the liquidation preferences and conversion terms of each equity class. The estimated fair values of the preferred and common stock are inferred by analyzing these options. For the valuation dates during the six months ended June 30, 2018, the equity value was allocated using the OPM and the Probability Weighted Expected Return Method, or PWERM, or the hybrid method. The hybrid method applied the PWERM utilizing the probability of going public and the OPM was utilized in the remaining private scenario. The hybrid method was used commencing May 31, 2018 because of a near-term potential IPO scenario that also factored in the inherent uncertainty associated with being able to complete an IPO.

Given the absence of a public trading market for our common stock, our board of directors exercised reasonable judgment and considered a number of objective and subjective factors to determine the best estimate of the fair value of our common stock, including important developments in our operations, our stage of development, valuations performed by an independent third party valuation firm, sales of our redeemable convertible preferred stock, actual operating results and financial performance, the conditions in the biotechnology industry and the economy in general, the stock price performance and volatility of comparable public companies, the lack of liquidity of our common stock, and the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering or sale.

After the completion of this offering, our board of directors will determine the fair value of each share of underlying common stock based on the closing price of our common stock as reported on the date of grant.

The intrinsic value of all outstanding options as of June 30, 2018 was $3.8 million based on an assumed initial public offering price of $15.00 per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus.

Redeemable Convertible Preferred Stock Warrants

We have issued freestanding warrants to purchase shares of redeemable convertible preferred stock. We account for these warrants as a liability in our financial statements and they are recorded at their estimated fair value, because the warrants may conditionally obligate us to transfer assets at some point in the future due to redemption provisions that are outside our control.

 

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The fair value of the warrants at the issuance date, December 31, 2016 and 2017 and June 30, 2018 was determined using the Option Pricing Method. The warrants are re-measured at each financial reporting period with any changes in fair value being recognized in the other income (expense), net in the statement of operations. We will continue to adjust the liability for changes in fair value until the earlier of the expiration of the warrants, exercise of the warrants, or conversion of the redeemable convertible preferred stock warrants into common stock warrants upon the completion of a liquidation event, including the completion of an initial public offering.

Income Taxes

As of December 31, 2017, we had federal net operating loss, or NOL, carryforwards of $91.6 million and federal general business credits from research and development expenses totaling $7.4 million, as well as state NOL carryforwards of $65.2 million and state research and development credits of $7.8 million. If not utilized, the federal NOL carryforwards will expire at various dates beginning in 2032, and the federal credits will expire at various dates beginning in 2023. The state NOL carryforwards will expire at various dates beginning in 2030, if not utilized. The state research and development tax credits can be carried forward indefinitely.

Utilization of the net operating loss carryforwards may be subject to a substantial annual limitation due to the ownership change limitations provided by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, or the Tax Reform Act, as amended, and similar state provisions. The annual limitation may result in the expiration of NOLs and credits before utilization. We have performed a Section 382 study for the period of June 16, 2003 through December 31, 2016 and concluded that it is more likely than not that we experienced an ownership change on April 9, 2007. This change does not limit our ability to use our existing NOLs within the carryforward period provided by the Internal Revenue Code, subject to availability of taxable income. We may have experienced a further ownership change in connection with the Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock financing, as a result of the price at which the shares were issued and the number of shares that were issued. Moreover, we may experience ownership changes in the future as a result of this offering and the concurrent private placement or subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, some of which are outside our control. If there is a subsequent event or further change in ownership, these losses may be subject to limitations, resulting in their expiration before they can be utilized.

We assess all material positions taken in any income tax return, including all significant uncertain positions, in all tax years that are still subject to assessment or challenge by relevant taxing authorities. Assessing an uncertain tax position begins with the initial determination of the position’s sustainability and is measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than fifty percent likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. As of each balance sheet date, unresolved uncertain tax positions must be reassessed, and we will determine whether (i) the factors underlying the sustainability assertion have changed and (ii) the amount of the recognized tax benefit is still appropriate. The recognition and measurement of tax benefits requires significant judgment. Judgments concerning the recognition and measurement of a tax benefit might change as new information becomes available.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business. These risks primarily include interest rate sensitivities. The primary objective of our investment activities is to preserve our capital to fund our operations. We also seek to maximize income from our investments without assuming significant risk. To achieve our objectives, we maintain a portfolio of cash equivalents and investments in a variety of securities of high credit quality.

We had cash and cash equivalents $22.0 million and $25.4 million as of December 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018, respectively, which consisted of deposits, money market funds, commercial paper,

 

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corporate debt securities and U.S. government agency securities. Such interest earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk; however, historical fluctuations in interest income have not been significant.

We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes and have not used any derivative financial instruments to manage our interest rate risk exposure. We have not been exposed nor do we anticipate being exposed to material risks due to changes in interest rates. A hypothetical 10% change in interest rates during any of the periods presented would not have had a material impact on our financial statements.

As of December 31, 2017 and June 30, 2018, we had $14.6 million and $14.8 million, respectively, in debt outstanding, net of debt discount. Our debt with Oxford and SVB bears interest at a floating rate that equals the greater of 7.39% or the sum of the 30-day U.S. Dollar LIBOR plus 6.40% and has a maturity date of August 1, 2021. Such interest-bearing debt carries a limited degree of interest rate risk. If overall interest rates had increased or decreased by 100 basis points during the periods presented our interest expense would not have been materially affected.

JOBS Act Accounting Election

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards issued subsequent to the enactment of the JOBS Act until such time as those standards apply to private companies.

We have elected to use this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until the earlier of the date we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.

We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (1) the last day of our first fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenues of at least $1.07 billion, or (ii) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700.0 million as of the prior June 30th and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the prior three-year period.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Note 2 to our financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for more information.

 

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BUSINESS

Overview

We are a clinical stage drug discovery, development and manufacturing company focused on leveraging our proprietary integrated cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF, to create a broad variety of optimally designed, next-generation protein therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disorders. We aim to design therapeutics using the most potent modalities, including cytokine-based immuno-oncology, or I/O therapeutics, antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs, and bispecific antibodies that are directed primarily against clinically validated targets where the current standard of care is suboptimal. We believe our platform allows us to accelerate the discovery and development of potential first-in-class and best-in-class molecules by enabling the rapid and systematic evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships to create optimized homogeneous product candidates. Our mission is to transform the lives of patients by using our XpressCF Platform to create medicines with improved therapeutic profiles for areas of unmet need.

Our two most advanced product candidates are wholly owned: STRO-001, an ADC directed against CD74, for patients with multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL, and STRO-002, an ADC directed against folate receptor-alpha, or FolRa, for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial, with initial safety data expected in mid-2019. We plan to submit an investigational new drug, or IND, application for STRO-002 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, in the fourth quarter of 2018. We have also entered into multi-target, product-focused collaborations with leaders in the field of oncology, including a cytokine derivatives collaboration with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, or Merck, a B Cell Maturation Antigen, or BCMA, and an immuno-oncology directed alliance with Celgene Corporation, or Celgene, and an oncology-focused collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (operating in the United States and Canada under the name “EMD Serono”).

Our XpressCF Platform is the first and only current Good Manufacturing Practices, or cGMP, compliant scalable cell-free protein synthesis technology that has resulted in products in clinical development. We believe key advantages of our cell-free protein synthesis platform over conventional biologic drug discovery and development include:

 

   

ability to rapidly produce a wide variety of protein structures in-house;

 

   

ability to incorporate multiple, different non-natural amino acids in a single protein;

 

   

faster cycle time;

 

   

efficient drug discovery and early pharmacology and safety assessment; and

 

   

rapid and predictable scalability.

We plan to leverage these capabilities to accelerate the discovery and development of potential first-in-class and best-in-class molecules.

The benefits of our XpressCF Platform have resulted in collaborations with leaders in the field of oncology, including Merck, Celgene and EMD Serono. As a result of discovery efforts enabled through our XpressCF Platform, Merck has the right to develop cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders. Additionally, Celgene has the right to develop up to four anti-cancer bispecific antibodies and ADCs. The lead candidate in this collaboration is a novel ADC therapeutic directed against BCMA for which an IND submission is expected in early 2019. Under the collaboration with EMD Serono, we are using our XpressCF Platform to discover and develop mono, bispecific or multispecific ADC product candidates against up to six cancer targets. The most advanced candidate in this collaboration

 

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is a bispecific ADC that is currently undergoing preclinical studies. To date, we have received in aggregate approximately $330.0 million in payments from all of our collaborations, which includes $43.7 million in investments in our stock. We intend to selectively enter into additional collaborations with partners who are seeking efficient and effective drug discovery, preclinical development and manufacturing capabilities for the creation of novel therapeutics.

Our first internally developed product candidate is STRO-001, which we believe has the potential to be a first-in-class and best-in-class ADC directed against CD74, an antigen that is highly expressed in many B cell malignancies. In multiple preclinical models, STRO-001 has demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity. In addition, the properties of STRO-001 suggest a low likelihood of off-target toxicity and potential for an improved therapeutic index. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial for multiple myeloma and NHL and we expect initial safety data in mid-2019.

We are also internally developing STRO-002, an ADC directed against FolRa, initially targeted for the treatment of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Our experiments show that FolRa expression can be detected in 90% or more of ovarian and endometrial cancers. In preclinical models, STRO-002 has demonstrated the potential for enhanced and selective activity against cells expressing FolRa, superior inhibition of tumor growth and greater linker stability, in comparison to experiments we conducted with a benchmark FolRa-targeting molecule. We expect to submit an IND for STRO-002 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Although we believe our product candidates have the potential to be first-in-class and/or best-in-class and to provide potent anti-tumor activity with reduced off-target toxicity, we will need to complete additional studies to determine the safety and efficacy of our product candidates. The results of these future studies may be different than the results of our earlier studies. We have not received regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, and in order to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize our product candidates, the FDA or foreign regulatory agencies will need to determine that our product candidates are safe and effective. We may not obtain regulatory approval on the timeline we currently expect, or at all, and competing therapies and products may ultimately reach the market faster or have more favorable safety and efficacy profiles than our products candidates.

Beyond these wholly owned programs and collaborations, we are developing a broader pipeline of next-generation protein therapeutics using our XpressCF Platform. Our protein engineering and chemistry efforts are focused on maximizing therapeutic indices, and our technology allows us to rapidly test our therapeutic hypothesis in significantly more product candidates than conventional protein synthesis allows in order to identify the best molecule to advance to the clinic. Our drug discovery teams are exploring novel immuno-oncology therapies, including cytokine-based therapies. We are also actively pursuing the discovery and development of other novel ADC and bispecific antibodies and currently have four ADC and two bispecific T cell-engager discovery programs.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to use our proprietary XpressCF Platform to create cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies primarily against clinically validated targets. Key elements of our strategy are to:

 

   

Advance STRO-001 and STRO-002 through clinical development.    We are currently evaluating STRO-001 in a Phase 1 trial for patients with advanced and/or refractory multiple myeloma and NHL. Based on compelling preclinical data, we believe STRO-001 has the potential to be a first-in-class and best-in-class ADC directed against CD74, which is highly expressed in many B cell malignancies. We have initiated the Phase 1 trial and expect initial safety data in mid-2019. We are currently conducting IND-enabling studies for STRO-002 for the treatment of patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers that express the clinically

 

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validated target, FolRa. Given STRO-002’s homogeneous design, we believe it could be a best-in-class FolRa-targeted ADC and provide greater activity, stability and safety as compared to other investigational agents in development. We plan to submit an IND application for STRO-002 to the FDA in the fourth quarter of 2018.

 

   

Develop a diverse pipeline of novel product candidates with optimal therapeutic profiles.    We intend to build a broad pipeline of optimally designed, next-generation protein therapeutics for cancer and autoimmune disorders using our XpressCF Platform. Our cell-free-based protein synthesis system enables the rapid and systematic evaluation of protein structure-activity relationships, which we believe will accelerate the discovery and development of molecules. We aim to take advantage of the most potent modalities, including cytokines, ADCs and bispecifics, to create drugs that are directed primarily against clinically validated targets where the current standard of care is suboptimal.

 

   

Strategically pursue additional collaborations to broaden the reach of our XpressCF Platform.    To maximize the value of our XpressCF Platform technology, we have entered into multi-target, product-focused collaborations with leaders in the field of oncology, including a cytokine derivatives collaboration with Merck, a BCMA and immuno-oncology directed alliance with Celgene and an oncology-focused ADC collaboration with EMD Serono. We intend to selectively enter into additional collaborations with partners who are seeking efficient and effective drug discovery and manufacturing capabilities for the development of novel therapeutics. As with our current collaborations, we intend to retain certain development and commercial rights to maximize the future potential value of product candidates discovered and developed using our XpressCF Platform.

 

   

Maintain worldwide rights to our core product candidates.    We own the worldwide commercial rights to our lead product candidates, STRO-001 and STRO-002. We have assembled a management team with extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including drug discovery and development through commercialization, and our plan is to independently pursue the development and commercialization of our product candidates. As we continue to advance our products, we may opportunistically pursue strategic partnerships that maximize the value of our pipeline.

 

   

Selectively expand the scope of our XpressCF Platform into other therapeutic areas.    Due to the versatility of our platform, we can explore additional therapeutic areas outside of oncology, such as autoimmune and metabolic diseases. We intend to make further investment in the development of our XpressCF Platform to expand our pipeline of product candidates.

Cancer Remains a Major Unmet Medical Need

Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the United States, accounting for nearly one in every four deaths. Approximately 40% of Americans will develop cancer and, according to the American Cancer Society, there will be 1.7 million new cases of cancer and 601,000 deaths due to cancer in the United States in 2018.

Traditional Cancer Therapeutics

Cancer treatment has traditionally included chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of these approaches. Chemotherapy agents and other small molecule targeted therapies can be effective in certain types of cancer, but they can also cause toxicities that may lead to life-threatening consequences, lower quality of life or untimely termination of treatment. Furthermore, these agents offer limited efficacy in many types of cancer.

Over the last twenty years, new paradigms of cancer research and treatment have emerged to address the limitations of existing treatments. Some of the most promising new approaches involve biologic therapies, including monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that bind to

 

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antigen targets on tumor cells and inhibit tumor growth, or block processes that provide nourishment for the tumor. As a drug class, monoclonal antibodies have transformed the treatment of oncology and represent some of the top selling therapies on the market. For example, Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin dominated the market with over $20 billion in combined 2017 annual sales.

Despite the success of conventional monoclonal antibodies, they still have limitations. For example, the response seen with monoclonal antibodies can be variable, with some patients responding, while others do not. In addition, the response is often not durable and many patients relapse or become refractory to treatment. Also, safety and tolerability concerns often limit the use of higher, potentially more efficacious doses. We believe our XpressCF Platform will provide enhanced therapeutic approaches for treating cancer to address these unmet needs. A new generation of biologics is emerging, including immuno-oncology agents, ADCs and bispecific antibodies. The expectation is that multiple therapeutic modalities will be used in novel combinations to treat patients and provide the most potent anti-cancer effect.

Immuno-oncology

The immune system is capable of recognizing and eliminating tumor cells. However, some cancer cells over express proteins, called immune checkpoints, which suppress the immune system, and enable the tumor cells to evade destruction. Immuno-oncology has emerged as a promising new therapeutic approach that aims to enhance anti-tumor immune responses by using monoclonal antibodies to overcome these immune checkpoint blockades.

Monoclonal antibody immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as Opdivo, Keytruda and Yervoy, have been approved for the treatment of a number of cancer indications such as, melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, renal cancer and bladder cancer. During 2017 the combined sales of these three checkpoint inhibitors were approximately $10 billion and by 2022, forecasted sales are projected to exceed $20 billion.

Limitations to Current Immuno-oncology Approaches

The effectiveness of any cancer immunotherapy is dependent on the status of an individual patient’s immune system. While many single-agent immunotherapies have resulted in remarkable clinical results, only a minority of patients have realized durable benefits from these treatments. An immunotherapy cannot succeed if a patient’s immune cells are too impaired to benefit from a particular checkpoint inhibitor or cytokine-based therapeutic. As a result, combination therapies have been explored clinically and are designed to provide an additional boost to revive a patient’s ability to mount an immune response against their tumor. However, combination therapies will likely have to provide a significant risk-benefit advantage in order to justify the cumulative costs of combining two separate immunotherapies. New single agent approaches to achieving combinatorial stimulation of a patient’s immune system may therefore create the preferred option for many patients and physicians.

 

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Antibody-Drug Conjugates

After two decades of industry efforts, several new modalities of highly potent monoclonal antibody-based therapies have emerged, including ADCs. The key components of ADCs include an antibody, a stable linker and a cytotoxic agent (warhead). The antibody is used to target and deliver the cytotoxic agent to tumor cells. ADCs can be mono, bispecific or multi-specific. The intended result of this powerful and targeted approach is greater tumor cell death and less systemic tolerability issues as compared to traditional chemotherapy. The following diagram shows the component parts of an ADC.

 

 

LOGO

Antibody: Targets cancer cells Cytotoxic Agent / Warhead: Destroys cancer cells Linker: Joins antibody & cytotomic agent / warhead

Currently, there are more than 100 ADCs being explored in clinical development. Kadcyla and Adcetris are ADCs that have been approved for the treatment of specific subsets of breast cancer and lymphoma, respectively. In the second half of 2017, Besponsa and Mylotarg were approved for the treatment of specific subsets of leukemia. All four of these newly approved therapies demonstrate that ADCs have an emerging role in the armamentarium of cancer therapeutics.

 

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Limitations to Current ADC Approaches

Despite the approvals of these ADCs, there have been challenges in achieving the full clinical potential of this modality. We believe these challenges are directly related to the following:

 

   

Heterogeneity as a Result of Imprecise and Variable Conjugation.    The approved ADCs and many that are in development use imprecise technologies that opportunistically attach the cytotoxic payload to naturally occurring amino acids within the antibody and result in a heterogeneous mixture. In these mixtures, the number and site location of the linker-warhead can vary significantly from antibody to antibody within the single ADC product. These many different forms in the final product are likely to perform differently, with some forms carrying insufficient cytotoxin to kill the tumor, and some forms carrying too high a load resulting in unintended toxicities. The overall performance of the heterogeneous ADC is therefore the average activity of the different species within the ADC mixture, which may limit both efficacy and tolerability. For these reasons, we believe this current class of ADCs, which are heterogeneous mixtures, are suboptimal for effective cancer treatment. The figure below compares homogeneous and heterogeneous ADCs.

 

 

LOGO            LOGO

Homogeneous ADCs Heterogeneous ADCs

 

   

Suboptimal Linker-Warhead Positioning.    Conventional ADC technologies use conjugation chemistry to attach linker-warheads to naturally occurring amino acids within an antibody; therefore, the position is dictated by the pre-existing amino acid sequence. Published research studies have demonstrated that linker-warhead positioning along an antibody can have significant effect on the ability of an ADC to kill tumor cells, with some positions resulting in suboptimal killing. This position effect also contributes to the challenge of a heterogeneous ADC mixture. We believe that superior ADCs can be developed using technologies that allow linker-warhead positioning to be fine-tuned to empirically determined sites for maximal therapeutic benefit.

 

   

Instability Due to Linker Design.    One of the major challenges in ADC technology has been to develop linking chemistries that ensure that warheads are only released from the antibody within a tumor cell, and not released within the blood or healthy tissue as the ADC is delivered systemically and travels through the body. We believe that safer ADCs can be developed by utilizing non-natural amino acids that enable state-of-the-art chemistries to ensure that the warhead is not prematurely released.

 

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Bispecific Antibodies

Bispecific antibodies are engineered proteins that can simultaneously bind to two different types of antigens. Targeting two individual antigens simultaneously is expected to drive a larger clinical impact than conventional monoclonal antibodies. As a class, bispecific antibodies are projected to have potential sales on a worldwide basis of up to $4.4 billion by 2023 and over 60 molecules are currently in clinical development. Bispecific antibodies can be engineered in a variety of different formats as shown below.

 

 

LOGO

Binding Site: Antigen #1 Specific Binding Site: Antigen #2 Specific Antigen #1 Antigen #1 Antigen #2 Antigen #2 Antigen #1 Antigen #2 Antigen #1 Antigen #2

Bispecific antibodies come in a wide variety of structural formats that can be used in multiple therapeutic modalities, including dual blocking bispecific antibodies, T cell-engaging bispecific antibodies and dual antigen targeting bispecific antibodies. Given the potential synergistic nature of these approaches, they have the potential to provide a similar, if not improved, therapeutic benefit as compared to a traditional combination approach. In addition, they may also demonstrate an improved safety and tolerability profile. These characteristics could allow for a wider therapeutic index as compared to the comparable combination therapy approach. Additionally, combining two mechanisms in a single bispecific antibody could have advantages in manufacturing, clinical development and patient convenience.

Limitations to Current Bispecific Antibody Approaches

Bispecific antibodies are highly engineered proteins with structural features not found in nature. The generation of these molecules therefore presents significant design and development challenges especially when using conventional cell-based technologies. These challenges include:

 

   

Optimization Challenges.    Bispecific antibodies simultaneously engage two different targets and therefore have precise requirements for the binding properties and spatial orientation of each domain in order to have pharmacologic activity. Combinatorial pairing of antibody binding arms to identify an optimized bispecific antibody requires many distinct cell lines that must be

 

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engineered during the discovery process, a cumbersome process when using conventional cell-based technologies.

 

   

Challenges to T cell-Engagers.    Discovery of bispecific T cell-engagers is further limited by the challenge of designing bispecific pairs that can safely activate T cells specifically in the tumor environment without activating peripheral T cells, which would result in severe toxicities.

 

   

Difficulties in Protein Expression and Manufacturing.    Because bispecific antibodies are highly engineered proteins, conventional cell-based systems have significant difficulties in protein expression, particularly at a larger scale.

We believe that new protein engineering technologies will enable significantly broader design opportunities to discover new bispecific antibodies optimized for therapeutic activity, safety and manufacturability.

Cytokine-Based Immuno-oncology Therapeutics

Cytokines are small biologically active proteins that play an essential role in immune cell function. Cytokines are important for cell-to-cell communication and they are responsible for controlling immune cell growth and differentiation. Recombinant human cytokines were among the first biotechnology products engineered for therapeutic use, and, in the field of oncology, cytokines that stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells have been viewed as a potential new approach.

Certain cytokines play a central role in T cell function, contributing to the careful balance between helpful and harmful immune responses. These can be powerful activators of the immune system but can also suppress immune responses through certain specialized T cells that have suppressive functions. A previously approved cytokine therapeutic Proleukin had shown therapeutic benefit in a small number of cancer patients but its therapeutic use was limited due to toxicity. Scientists at other companies have focused research on finding ways to modify cytokines so as to reduce toxicity while maintaining therapeutic benefit. The observed efficacy of a modified cytokine in combination with an immune checkpoint inhibitor indicates the potential of this new approach. In light of these data and our prior research into cytokines, we commenced a cytokine-based research program using our XpressCF+ Platform technology. We believe that recent advances in immuno-oncology combined with new protein engineering technologies create opportunities to identify novel cytokine-based therapeutics with superior therapeutic indexes.

Our Proprietary XpressCF Platform

While cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies hold significant promise, drug developers working with these complex biologics face significant design and development challenges. Optimizing these complex biological structures is a challenging, trial and error process that requires the refinement of several properties in tandem. This iterative process is cumbersome and fraught with significant limitations. As a result, the drug candidate nominated for development is often plagued by inefficient design properties, which then translates to a suboptimal therapeutic index when investigated in the clinic.

Our XpressCF Platform seeks to address these significant shortcomings. We believe our cell-free-based protein synthesis technology allows for efficient and proper design exploration to be conducted prior to nominating a lead drug candidate. In addition, we believe we can optimally design these types of complex biologics in a manner that is ideal for subsequent production at relevant scale and manufacture. We are the only company with products in clinical development that has the capability to produce cell-free-based protein synthesis at scale. We believe we have a significant advantage over other development approaches in this space.

 

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Limitations of Current Cell-Based Synthesis Approaches

All existing therapeutic proteins rely on cell-based design, production and manufacturing technologies. The conventional biotechnology approach for the production of these complex biologics relies primarily on CHO cell lines. This first requires low yield transient production from cells that enable characterization of a new protein over several months. This is then followed by development of stable cell lines over several months to a year to enable larger scale preclinical, clinical and commercial production. The characterization process has to be reproduced for every minor variant of the therapeutic protein, which may or may not result in improved properties. Each change requires development of new cell-based methods to generate protein of sufficient quality and quantity to evaluate. Therefore, it is extremely laborious and resource intensive to elucidate principles of structure-activity relationship, and drug discovery is limited by the number of cell lines that can be practically managed in parallel. In addition, they have limited ability to introduce non-natural amino acids into proteins. We believe these limitations hinder the efficiency of drug discovery and often result in suboptimal protein selection.

Overview of Our XpressCF Platform

Our XpressCF Platform is fundamentally different from the conventional cell-based protein synthesis approach in that we separate the production of the cell mass from the production of the protein.

We first generate a cellular mass from our propriety cell line from which we harvest the inner cellular machinery for making proteins. The cellular mass is generated from our highly engineered variant of Escherichia coli, or E.coli bacteria, and has been optimized to make extract that produces complex mammalian proteins. These cells are grown over the course of several days, harvested, broken apart, clarified and stored as a cell mass for future production of our protein therapeutics. We refer to this proprietary cell mass as extract, or XtractCF. The extract includes necessary components for energy production, transcription and translation and can be used to support cell-free protein synthesis. This extract can then be used agnostically to manufacture a wide variety of therapeutic proteins and protein fragments without the need to generate further cell lines.

As a result, protein synthesis then becomes a predictable and reproducible biochemical reaction, independent of the constraints of a cell. A specific DNA sequence is added to the extract, which results in the coding and expression of the desired protein in less than 24 hours. Using this process, we express hundreds or thousands of DNA sequences simultaneously within the same cell-free extract system and therefore can make and purify hundreds or thousands of unique proteins at the same time. This allows us to perform rapid expression, testing and characterization of many variants early in discovery to elucidate structure-activity relationships. Structure-activity relationship refers to how changes to the structure of a protein can lead to improvements in a molecule’s properties, such as binding, internalization, functional activity and stability, which are properties that are key to the therapeutic protein’s efficacy and tolerability in the patient. We are thereby able to optimize many properties with high specificity including: binding efficiency to each antigen target, spatial orientation, linker design, target killing efficiency, immunological activity, protein expression and folding efficiency and stability.

Advantages of Our XpressCF Platform

We believe our drug discovery platform provides significant advantages over conventional cell-based protein synthesis approaches and has the ability to produce a large number of variants during the development stage, while preserving the ability to design and test large families of molecules for optimized efficacy and safety features. As a result, we believe that our drug discovery platform can accelerate time to IND by nine to fifteen months compared to conventional technologies.

 

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We believe the advantages of our cell-free-based protein synthesis technology platform include:

 

   

Ability to Rapidly Produce and Evaluate a Wide Variety of Protein Structures In-house.    By decoupling the production of the cell-free extract from the production of the protein, we are able to stockpile large quantities of cell-free extract from which we are able to manufacture a wide variety of proteins without the need to generate individual cell lines, including cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies.

 

   

Ability to Incorporate Non-Natural Amino Acids.    Our technology allows for efficient incorporation of a non-natural amino acid in any location in an antibody or protein with high precision and fidelity, which we believe allows for the design of optimized protein conjugates.

 

   

Faster Cycle Time.    Our ability to produce thousands of protein variants in parallel overnight allows us to rapidly express, test and characterize many variants early in discovery to elucidate structure-activity relationships and identify opportunities for superior therapeutic profiles, as well as new intellectual property. We are therefore able to efficiently optimize many properties with high specificity in parallel.

 

   

Efficient Drug Discovery and Early Pharmacology and Safety Assessment.    Our cell-free technology creates the opportunity for accelerated pharmacology and safety assessments during the design and discovery phase of product development. This approach allows us to generate optimized proteins early in our discovery process, which can be transitioned seamlessly to clinical scale production using the same cell-free process.

 

   

Rapid and Predictable Scalability.    Our cell-free extract does not need to be modified in any manner as we scale from research to preclinical to clinical to commercial production. This enables us to move more rapidly to the clinic by eliminating master cell banking activities and significantly de-risks scale-up to manufacturing.

Our XpressCF Solution for cytokine, ADCs and bispecific antibodies-based drug therapeutics

As a result, we believe our technology enables new approaches to cytokine, ADCs and bispecific antibody-based drug discovery, development and manufacturing. Key attributes are:

 

   

Homogeneous Design.    Our XpressCF Platform enables precise and specific placement of non-natural amino acids in defined numbers and positions within our engineered proteins. These non-natural amino acids then serve as highly stable attachment sites, also known as conjugation sites, for chemical functional groups. For example, we attach linker-warheads to non-natural amino acids within our antibodies to create single-species, tumor-killing ADCs. Similarly, we attach polyethylene glycol polymers onto non-natural amino acids within our cytokine-based therapeutics to create single-species immunotherapies designed for extended pharmacokinetics and safety.

 

   

Experimentally Defined Structure-Activity Relationships.    Our cell-free technology enables rational design of protein therapeutics through a rapid, reiterative process that experimentally defines structure-activity relationship for cytokine-based therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies. This approach allows us to explore a wide variety of structural features and formats in parallel as we optimize therapeutic candidates. For example, the precise location of chemical conjugation sites directly affects the activity of both ADCs and cytokine-based therapeutics. Our proprietary technology is key to our ability to define the best number and positions of non-natural amino acids for conjugation based on: conjugation efficiency; functional activity/pharmacological properties; and pharmacokinetics and safety. This design flexibility is also an important aspect of our discovery approach to other protein therapeutics. For example, we are able to make and directly compare a variety of pairings and structural formats for our immuno-oncology bispecific antibody and bispecific T cell-engager programs. This allows us to identify antibody pairs and formats with the best binding properties, spatial orientations and structural stability to create the optimal balance of therapeutic activity and safety.

 

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Rapid and Efficient Transition from Discovery to the Clinic.    Protein therapeutics can encounter obstacles, or even fail, during the transition from research-grade cell lines to cGMP cell lines appropriate for clinical development and commercialization. Our XpressCF Platform can rapidly produce different protein types from a single proprietary extract, which can be scaled for discovery, development and ultimately, we believe, commercialization of cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs and bispecific antibodies and bispecific T cell-engagers.

Accordingly, we use our XpressCF Platform to discover and develop cancer therapeutics by empirically determining the optimum structure-activity relationships for cytokine-based immuno-oncology therapeutics, ADCs, bispecific antibodies, and transitioning those products to cGMP compliant manufacturing. The following chart illustrates the applicability of these attributes across the range of modalities we are developing.

 

XpressCF Attributes for Various Therapeutic Modalities

XpressCF Attribute

 

ADCs

 

Bispecific I/O, Bispecific ADCs
and Bispecific T cell-engagers

  

Cytokine-based
therapeutics

Homogeneous Design       
Stable, site-specific attachment of chemical functionality    

(if needed)

  
Experimentally Defined Structure-Activity Relationships       
Rapid, direct comparison of a wide variety of protein variants       
Rapid and Efficient Transition from Discovery to the Clinic       
Single-source scalability from discovery to clinical / commercial       

Our Collaborations Demonstrate our Capabilities

Our XpressCF Platform has garnered the attention of leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies and resulted in collaborations to discover and develop novel therapeutics. We have leveraged these strategic partnerships to extend our own capabilities and broaden the scope of our XpressCF Platform. To date, all of our collaborations have provided us with approximately $330.0 million in payments, which includes $43.7 million in investments in our stock. Our collaborations include:

 

   

Merck Programs.    We have granted Merck the right to jointly develop up to three research programs directed to cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders, including rights to certain prior cytokine-based research efforts.

 

   

Celgene Programs.    We have granted Celgene the right to jointly develop up to four anti-cancer bispecific antibodies and/or ADCs directed primarily to immuno-oncology targets. The lead candidate generated for this collaboration is a novel ADC therapeutic directed against the target BCMA for which an IND submission is expected in early 2019.

 

   

EMD Serono Programs.    We have granted EMD Serono the right to designate up to six cancer targets against which we will discover, develop and optimize up to three mono, bispecific or multi-specific ADC product candidates per target. EMD Serono has selected all six possible target antigens under the strategic research and development partnership. The most advanced candidate in this collaboration is a bispecific ADC, which is currently in preclinical development.

 

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Our Pipeline of Product Candidates

Our current product candidates, all based on our proprietary XpressCF Platform, are summarized in the chart below:

 

LOGO

SUTRO PROGRAMS PRODUCT CANDIDATE / PROGRAM DISCOVERY PRECLINICAL PHASE 1 PHASE 2 / 3 ANTICIPATED MILESTONE SUTRO BIOPHARMA Worldwide Rights STRO-001 CD74 ADC Multiple Myeloma; Lymphomas; DLBCL, Mantle Cell, Follicular Initial safety data expected mid-2019 STRO-002 FolR alpha ADC Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer IND submission expected 4Q 2018 COLLABORATION PROGRAM Celgene (a) BCMA ADC Multiple Myeloma IND submission expected early 2019

 

 

  (a)

There are a total of four programs to which Celgene currently has ex-U.S. rights and we currently have U.S. rights. Celgene will automatically obtain worldwide rights to the first product candidate to achieve IND clearance in the United States.

Our Discovery and Preclinical Programs

 

LOGO

SUTRO PROGRAMS PROGRAM THERAPEUTIC AREA DISCOVERY PRECLINICAL PHASE 1 PHASE 2 / 3 ANTICIPATED MILESTONE SUTRO BIOPHARMA Worldwide Rights Multiple ADC, Bispecific Antibody (bsAb) & Cytokine-Related Discovery Programs Oncology COLLABORATION PROGRAMS MERCK Cytokine Derivatives Oncology & Autoimmune Celgene (a) Immuno-oncology bsAb Oncology IND submission expected 1H 2019 Immuno-oncology bsAb Oncology Immuno-oncology bsAb Oncology EMD SERONO (b) Undisclosed Bispecific ADC Oncology Multiple ADC Discovery Programs Oncology

 

 

  (a)

There are a total of four programs to which Celgene currently has ex-U.S. rights and we currently have U.S. rights. Celgene can obtain worldwide rights to the second product candidate to have an active IND in the United States by making certain payments to us. For the programs that would potentially be the third and fourth to enter clinical development, we own U.S. rights and Celgene owns ex-U.S. rights.

  (b)

EMD Serono is the U.S. healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Our Product Candidates

STRO-001, an ADC Directed Against the Cancer Target CD74

Overview

We are developing STRO-001, an optimally designed ADC directed against the cancer target CD74 for multiple myeloma and NHL. STRO-001 was designed and optimized for maximal therapeutic index by placing linker-warheads at specific locations within the antibody using our proprietary XpressCF Platform. STRO-001 is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 trial and we expect initial safety data in mid-2019.

 

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CD74 Overview and Current Limitations

CD74 is a transmembrane glycoprotein, or a protein with an attached sugar that spans the inside and outside of a cell. While normal tissues appear to have minimal CD74 expression levels, CD74 is an important B cell target for multiple myelomas and lymphomas. CD74 is expressed in approximately 90% of B cell cancers, including multiple myeloma and lymphoma. Additionally, in a study conducted with a collaborator, we found that CD74 was highly expressed in 75% to 98% of tissues samples derived from individual patients with a variety of B cell malignancies, as illustrated in the table below.

 

Comprehensive Immunohistochemistry Study

Tumor Subtype

 

Tissue Samples

CD74 Positive / Total

  

% Positive

Follicular lymphoma

  148 / 151    98%

Multiple myeloma

  101 / 134    75%

Diffuse large B cell lymphoma

  135 / 140    96%

Mantle cell lymphoma

  19 / 21    90%

Currently, there are no approved therapeutics that specifically target CD74 for treatment of B cell malignancies. We believe earlier ADCs being developed against the target CD74 were ineffective either because they failed to achieve sufficient killing of malignant B cells or they were unable to achieve a sufficient therapeutic benefit before toxicities limited further dose escalations.

B Cell Malignancies Overview and Current Limitations

B cell malignancy tumor subtypes include multiple myeloma and NHL, which includes mantle cell lymphoma, diffuse large B cell lymphoma, or DLBCL, and follicular lymphoma. In the United States alone, there are approximately 100,000 new B cell malignancies cases annually, with a prevalence of more than 600,000 cases. Although several therapeutics have recently been approved for the treatment of specific B cell malignancies, including immunotherapies and targeted kinase inhibitors, unmet need persists. These therapeutics are typically used in combination with other agents to provide the most potent anti-cancer effect. While these new therapies have demonstrated improvements in survival, the majority of these patients ultimately relapse during treatment and some experience a resistance to therapy.

Our Solution, STRO-001

Our first internally developed product candidate is STRO-001, which we believe has the potential to be a first-in-class and best-in-class ADC directed against the cancer target CD74, an antigen that is highly expressed in many B cell malignancies and is an attractive target for an ADC therapeutic, given its rapid internalization by the cell. STRO-001 is an ADC targeting the CD74 protein antigen that was developed using our proprietary XpressCF Platform. STRO-001 is composed of an antibody stably conjugated to a highly potent cytotoxic drug, a maytansinoid derivative, at two specific sites on the antibody using a non-cleavable linker. STRO-001 degrades inside of tumor cells to release very potent intracellular catabolites whose hydrophilic nature results in poor permeability into surrounding cells. We believe this decreases the potential of off-target effect in normal tissues. From a safety perspective, we designed STRO-001 to have an optimal potency to toxicity ratio. We rationally selected a homogeneous ADC with a drug-antibody ratio, or DAR, of two. Heterogeneous ADCs typically have DARs that range from zero to eight, with lower DARs generally being associated with less potency and higher DARs generally being associated with a negative impact on pharmacokinetics and toxicity. We chose a DAR of two after demonstrating that DARs of four or six did not increase the efficacy of STRO-001.

Preclinical Data

While additional clinical testing will be needed to determine the safety and efficacy of STRO-001 and to obtain regulatory approval, if ever achieved, STRO-001 has demonstrated potent in vitro cell

 

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killing activity across multiple B cell tumor lines. Based on these observations, we have used murine tumor models to determine whether STRO-001 also demonstrates cell killing in vivo. In these models, human tumor cell lines are implanted and allowed to grow in mice to subsequently test the activity of anti-cancer agents. Although these murine models do not address safety, they are commonly used to provide experimental proof-of-concept for anti-cancer activity against different tumor types. For example, in tumor bearing mice, single intravenous doses of 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg STRO-001 significantly extended survival in the MM1S-luc bioluminescent disseminated human multiple myeloma xenograft model as shown below on the right. The figure on the left shows bioluminescence imaging of tumor cells during the first month after dosing. This image shows that while the bioluminescent tumor cells disseminated throughout the body in the vehicle treated mice, the tumor cells were cleared from the STRO-001 treated mice. Furthermore, at the high dose, when their bone marrow was assessed at day 129, of the surviving five out of six animals, all appeared to be tumor-free.

 

LOGO   

     LOGO

D7 D14 D21 D28 Vehicle 1 mg/kg STRO-001 Similar response with 3 and 10 mgkg STRO-001 Survival Percent Survivial 0 25 50 75 100 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 Days Post Inoculation Vehicle 1 mg/kg STRO-001 3 mg/kg STRO-001 10 mg/kg STRO-001

 

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STRO-001 demonstrated similar potent efficacy in a murine xenograft model of human DLBCL, the most common form of NHL. In the study shown below, seven out of seven mice exhibited complete tumor regression with no tumor regrowth 90 days after treatment with a single 10 mg/kg dose of STRO-001. Moderate anti-tumor activity was observed with lower doses of 1 or 3 mg/kg, demonstrating a clear dose-response relationship.

 

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Tumor Growth Curves Tumor Size (mm3) 0 500 1000 1500 Days Post Treatment 0 20 40 60 80 100 Vehicle 1 mg/kg STRO-001 3 mg/kg STRO-001 10 mg/kg STRO-001

We also examined the potential for STRO-001 to treat human mantle cell lymphoma in a preclinical murine xenograft model. In the study shown below, mice bearing mantle cell tumors had a mean survival of 81 days. In contrast, 90% to 100% of mice treated with a single dose of 3 or 10 mg/kg STRO-001 survived to the end of the study at day 135. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that STRO-001 has potent anti-tumor activity in three different murine models of human B cell malignancy.

 

 

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Survival Percent Survival 0 25 50 75 100 Treatment Days Post Inoculation 0 25 50 75 100 125 150 Vehicle control 3 mg/kg STRO-001 10 mg/kg STRO-001

 

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We also investigated the safety of STRO-001 in a toxicology study in non-human primates at several dose levels administered on day 1 and day 15. Hematological toxicity was observed consistent with the known effects of the STRO-001 cytotoxic tubulin inhibitor component. No other drug-related toxicities were observed. Importantly, however, we observed clear evidence of STRO-001 pharmacodynamic activity as demonstrated by dose-dependent B cell ablation and recovery as shown below.

 

 

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B cells (CD3++CD20+) Percent of Predose 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Days -7 0 7 14 21 28 35 42 Dashed black lines indicate dosing days Control 1 mg/kg STRO-001 3mg/kg STRO-001 10 mg/kg STRO-001

Clinical Development Plan

The Phase 1 trial for STRO-001 is an open-label study that will evaluate STRO-001 as a monotherapy for patients with multiple myeloma and NHL. The trial will be conducted in two parts: dose escalation and dose expansion. The primary objectives of the trial are to determine the safety and tolerability profile of STRO-001, determine the recommended Phase 2 dose and interval and evaluate preliminary anti-tumor activity. The secondary objectives are to characterize the human pharmacokinetics of STRO-001 and additional safety, tolerability and efficacy measures.

Our Phase 1 trial of STRO-001 is enrolling adult patients with advanced and/or refractory multiple myeloma and NHL (including DLBCL, mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma) who are refractory to, or intolerant of, all established therapy known to provide clinical benefit for their condition. Multiple myeloma and NHL patients will be enrolled in two separate dose escalation cohorts, starting initially with an accelerated dose titration design. We estimate that there will be approximately 30 patients in each cohort and treatment is scheduled for days one and fifteen in a 28-day cycle.

After the recommended Phase 2 dose level is determined, patients could be enrolled into four dose expansion cohorts (myeloma, DLBCL, mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma) if anti-tumor activity is observed during the dose escalation phase. We expect to enroll up to 40 patients in each of the four dose expansion cohorts.

We submitted our IND for STRO-001 in December 2017 and the first patient was dosed in April 2018. We expect initial safety data from our ongoing Phase 1 trial in mid-2019.

STRO-002, an ADC Directed Against the Target Folate Receptor-Alpha (FolRa)

Overview

We are developing STRO-002, an optimally designed ADC directed against the cancer target FolRa, initially targeted for ovarian and endometrial cancers. STRO-002 was designed and optimized for an improved therapeutic index by placing a precise number of linker-warheads at four specific

 

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locations within the antibody using our proprietary XpressCF Platform. We expect to submit the IND for STRO-002 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

FolRa Overview

FolRa is a cell-surface glycoprotein, which is believed to be important for supporting DNA synthesis in rapidly dividing cancer cells. FolRa exhibits limited expression and distribution in normal tissues.

High levels of FolRa have been found in multiple cancer types, including epithelial ovarian cancer, endometrial adenocarcinoma, triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Expression appears to correlate with disease progression in ovarian cancer and continues to be expressed following chemotherapy treatment.

In order to better understand FolRa expression, we tested 187 samples in a tissue microarray from ovarian and endometrial cancer patients. The table below shows that more than 90% of ovarian and endometrial cancer tissue samples express FolRa. Furthermore, medium to high levels of expression were observed for 80% of ovarian cancer samples and 78% of endometrial cancer samples.

 

    FolRa Expression  

Tumor Type

  Negative     Low     Medium     High  

Ovarian Cancer (90 tissue samples)

    10     10     16     64
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Endometrial Cancer (97 tissue samples)

    7     15     24     54

Ovarian Cancer Overview

Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of cancer death from gynecologic tumors in the United States, and the fifth most common cause of cancer death in women. In the United States alone, there are about 23,000 new cases of ovarian cancer annually, and more than 14,000 women die of this disease each year. Given that early stages of the disease cause minimal, nonspecific symptoms or is asymptomatic, 60% of patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed in an advanced stage, for which the prognosis is poor. Standard pre- or post-operative chemotherapy for ovarian cancer is combination therapy with a platinum compound and a taxane, for example, carboplatin and paclitaxel, which achieves a complete response in between 70% to 80% of patients. Patients refractory or resistant to platinum-based treatments are then treated with a host of additional palliative chemotherapeutic agents, each showing only marginal benefit. This represents a significant unmet need and multiple therapies are being tested in the clinic for treatment of these patients, including PARP inhibitors and PD-1 checkpoint protein inhibitors.

Endometrial Cancer Overview

There is also a significant unmet need in the treatment of recurrent or metastatic endometrial cancer. In the United States alone, there are about 60,000 new cases of endometrial cancer annually, and approximately 10,500 patients die of this disease each year. First-line treatment for stage III/IV disease is commonly paclitaxel/carboplatin, with no standard of care or FDA-approved treatment options for recurrent disease. With the lack of available therapies for these patients, long-term survival prospects are poor and novel treatments offering even a modest improvement in progression-free survival or overall survival may be considered for expedited regulatory approval.

Limitations to Current FolRa-Targeted Therapeutics

There have been a number of folate- or FolRa-targeted therapies in development including naked antibodies, small molecule drug conjugates, ADCs and T cell retargeting molecules. The most clinically active agent targeting FolRa to date has been Immunogen’s mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853), an ADC composed of a FolRa-binding antibody linked to the tubulin-disrupting maytansinoid, DM4, via a cleavable linker.

 

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Immunogen’s IMGN853 monotherapy showed clinical activity in a Phase 1 trial of patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, with dose-limiting toxicities including blurred vision, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

Our Solution, STRO-002

STRO-002 is directed against the cancer target FolRa, which is highly expressed in multiple cancer types, including ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. This property, together with the highly restricted expression of FolRa on normal tissues, make FolRa a promising ADC approach.

STRO-002 employs a cleavable linker that releases a cytotoxic drug inside of tumor cells, while being stable and resistant to cleavage in general circulation. The cytotoxic drug used is our proprietary hemiasterlin moiety. From a safety perspective, we designed STRO-002 to have the optimal potency to safety ratio. We rationally selected a homogenous ADC with an optimized DAR of four.

Based on preclinical findings, we believe our efficient homogeneous design of STRO-002 could provide anti-tumor activity, stability and safety with the potential to minimize off-target damage and improve clinical impact by reducing dose-limiting toxicities. We believe an improved therapeutic index could differentiate STRO-002 from conventional technology for the treatment of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. To test this, we have created a benchmark FolRa-targeting surrogate molecule based on conventional technology that has a heterogeneous ADC, with a similar DAR utilizing a DM4 linker-warhead. We have tested this benchmark molecule against STRO-002 in multiple preclinical models. However, additional preclinical and clinical testing will be needed to determine the safety and efficacy of STRO-002 and to obtain regulatory approval, if ever. STRO-002 may not ultimately provide a greater therapeutic benefit than the current standard of care.

Preclinical Data

STRO-002, in comparison with the benchmark molecule that we created, has demonstrated: enhanced in vitro activity on cells expressing FolRa and improved specificity on cells that do not express FolRa; superior inhibition of tumor growth; and greater in vitro and in vivo linker stability.

 

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STRO-002 has demonstrated potent in vitro cell killing activity across multiple ovarian cancer tumor cell lines. Based on these observations, we have used murine tumor models to determine whether STRO-002 also demonstrates cell killing in vivo. In these models, human tumor cells are implanted and allowed to grow in mice to subsequently test the activity of anti-cancer agents. Although these murine models do not address safety, they are commonly used to provide experimental proof-of-concept for anti-cancer activity against different tumor types. As shown in the data below, dose-dependent anti-tumor activity was observed in mice implanted with OVCAR3 human ovarian cancer tumor cells. Importantly, this anti-tumor effect was observed in mice bearing large established tumors, with evidence of tumor regression following a single dose of 10 mg/kg STRO-002.

 

 

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Tumor Growth Curves (~ 400 mm3) Tumor Size (mm3) 0 500 1000 1500 2000 Days Post Inoculation 20 40 60 80 100 Vehicle 5 mg/kg STRO-002 10 mg/kg STRO-002 Single Dose

In an effort to better understand the relative activity of our homogeneous STRO-002 molecule we have performed experiments comparing STRO-002 to a benchmark molecule that we created. STRO-002 and the benchmark molecule have comparable DAR and affinity for FolRa expressing cells; however, the benchmark is made using conventional ADC technology and is therefore a heterogeneous mixture. The data below demonstrates STRO-002 has more potent in vitro cell killing activity compared to the benchmark molecule when tested on cells expressing FolRa. In contrast, STRO-002 has minimal if any activity on cells that do not express FolRa, while the benchmark molecule kills cells even in the absence of FolRa. We believe that the data demonstrate that the homogeneous nature of STRO-002 drives more efficient tumor cell killing with better tolerability for normal tissues.

 

 

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FolR alpha Positive Cell Relative Cell Viability (Cellular ATP content, % of control) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 nM 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 1000 FolR alpha Negative Cell Relative Cell Viability (Cellular ATP content, % of control) 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 nM 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 1000 STRO-002 Heterogeneous Benchmark

We used a human ovarian cancer xenograft model to understand the in vivo stability of STRO-002 compared to our benchmark molecule. In this model we tested for free warhead, released from the

 

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ADC, in the blood or tumor tissue one, three or seven days after dosing. The data below on the left show that the released, free warhead from STRO-002 is observed in the tumor starting one day after dosing, without evidence of free warhead circulating in the blood at any time point. In contrast, the data on the right shows that free warhead derived from the benchmark molecule can be observed circulating in the blood one day after dosing, which could contribute to unintended toxicities. In other preclinical studies, the hemiasterlin free warhead is cleared rapidly from this circulation. Taken together, we believe that these data demonstrate the stability of STRO-002 in vivo, which we believe will contribute to a superior therapeutic index compared to ADCs made using convention technology.

Murine Tumor Model – Free Warhead in Tumor vs. Blood After Dosing

 

 

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STRO-002 Free Warhead Tumor Level (ng/g) 0 50 100 150 * * * Day 1 Day 3 Day 7 Plasma Level (ng/ml) 0 1 2 3 4 Heterogeneous Benchmark Free Warhead Tumor Level (ng/g) 0 50 100 150 * Day 1 Day 3 Day 7 Plasma Level (ng/m) 0 1 2 3 4 Tumor Levels (ng/g) Plasma Levels (ng/ml) * no observable warhead

We examined the safety of STRO-002 in an exploratory toxicology study in non-human primates. Hematological toxicity was observed consistent with the known effects of the STRO-002 cytotoxic tubulin inhibitor component. No other drug-related toxicities were observed and importantly, there were no observed ocular effects in the non-human primate study.

Clinical Development Plan

We expect our Phase 1 trial for STRO-002 to be an open-label study that will evaluate STRO-002 as a monotherapy for patients with ovarian and endometrial cancers. The trial will be conducted in two-parts, dose escalation and dose expansion. The primary objectives of the STRO-002 clinical trial will be to determine the safety and tolerability profile, to define the recommended Phase 2 dose level and interval and to evaluate preliminary anti-tumor activity. Our secondary objectives will be to characterize the human pharmacokinetics and additional safety, tolerability and efficacy measures.

We intend to seek to enroll adult patients with advanced and/or refractory ovarian cancer or endometrial cancer, for whom no suitable treatment exists. These patients are considered to have incurable disease and need repeated courses of life-prolonging and palliative treatment. We believe that ovarian cancer patients will be enrolled in a dose escalation cohort, with treatment frequency and duration yet to be determined. If anti-tumor activity is observed during the dose escalation phase, we would then plan to enroll patients into two dose expansion cohorts (ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer).

We anticipate submitting an IND for STRO-002 in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Additional Discovery Efforts

Our technology allows us to rapidly incorporate non-natural amino acids in varying numbers and positions, to identify the best cytokine modification for pharmacological activity, pharmacokinetics and

 

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safety. Furthermore, our technology enables rapid preclinical development and transition to cGMP manufacturing, ensuring speed to clinic in a promising field. Our drug discovery teams are exploring novel immuno-oncology therapies, including cytokine-based therapies.

We are also actively researching to identify new ADCs to add to our pipeline. We have four ADC discovery programs ongoing using our XpressCF Platform. Our protein engineering and chemistry efforts are focused on maximizing therapeutic indices, and our technology allows us to rapidly test our therapeutic hypothesis in significantly more product candidates than conventional protein synthesis allows in order to identify the best molecule to advance to the clinic.

Our bispecific antibody drug discovery programs are focused on T cell-engagers. We have two active programs, and we are using our technology to find the optimum protein structure and T cell-engaging properties to maximize safety and efficacy for this promising class of cancer therapeutics.

Collaboration and License Agreements

Merck Collaboration

In July 2018, we entered into the 2018 Merck Agreement with Merck to jointly develop up to three research programs focusing on cytokine derivatives for cancer and autoimmune disorders.

Upon signing the 2018 Merck Agreement, Merck agreed to pay us an upfront payment of $60.0 million for the research and development of two target programs, and Merck purchased $20.0 million in Series E redeemable convertible preferred stock from us. Under the 2018 Merck Agreement, we are eligible to receive financial support for our research and development efforts based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related reimbursement rate. Additionally, we are eligible to receive another milestone payment if a third target program is selected, and Merck has agreed to purchase up to $10.0 million of our common stock concurrently with the closing of this offering.

Under the terms of the 2018 Merck Agreement, we are eligible to receive aggregate milestone payments of up to $1.6 billion, assuming the development and sale of all therapeutic candidates and all possible indications identified under the collaboration. If one or more products from each of the target programs are developed for non-oncology or a single indication, we will be eligible for reduced aggregate milestone payments. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from mid-single digit to low teen percentages on the worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the collaboration.

The 2018 Merck Agreement expires on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis upon the later of the expiration of the patents covering products licensed under the 2018 Merck Agreement or ten years after the first commercial sale of a product covered by the 2018 Merck Agreement. Upon expiration, Merck will have a fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable non-exclusive license, with the right to grant sublicenses, under certain of our intellectual property rights.

Merck may terminate the 2018 Merck Agreement at any time with 60 days’ prior written notice. Either we or Merck has the right to terminate the 2018 Merck Agreement based on the other party’s uncured material breach or bankruptcy.

Celgene Collaboration

In September 2014, we entered into a Collaboration and License Agreement with Celgene, or the 2014 Celgene Agreement, to discover and develop bispecific antibodies and ADCs focused primarily on the field of immuno-oncology, using our proprietary integrated cell-free protein synthesis platform, XpressCF. Under the 2014 Celgene Agreement, we received upfront payments totaling $95.0 million in

 

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September 2014, which included an $11.9 million equity investment, and additional payments totaling $60.0 million.

In August 2017, we entered an Amended and Restated Collaboration and License Agreement with Celgene, or the 2017 Celgene Agreement, to refocus our 2014 Celgene Agreement on four programs that are advancing throughout preclinical development, which are:

 

   

BCMA ADC.    The most advanced product candidate under collaboration is a BCMA ADC product candidate, which has been designated as a development candidate by Celgene for the treatment of multiple myeloma. We believe Celgene currently plans to submit an IND for this product candidate in early 2019. We currently own the development and commercial rights in the United States to this BCMA ADC product candidate; however, assuming it is the first development candidate from our 2017 Celgene Agreement to have an active IND in the United States, Celgene will then automatically own worldwide development and commercialization rights to such product.

 

   

Bispecific Antibodies.    The other three product candidates subject to our Celgene collaboration are bispecific antibodies, all of which have been designated as development candidates by Celgene. The second most advanced product candidate under the Celgene collaboration is an immuno-oncology bispecific antibody product candidate. We believe Celgene currently plans to submit an IND for this product candidate in the first half of 2019. We currently own the rights to develop and commercialize these product candidates in the United States; however, assuming the second development candidate from our 2017 Celgene Agreement achieves an active IND in the United States, and Celgene makes the required payments to us, then Celgene will automatically own worldwide development and commercialization rights to such second product.

Upon signing of the 2017 Celgene Agreement, we received an option fee payment of $12.5 million in August 2017 and are eligible to receive a second option fee payment of $12.5 million following the first IND clearance, if any, for one of the four programs, if Celgene desires to maintain its option to acquire the U.S. rights to develop and commercialize a second collaboration program to reach IND status. If Celgene exercises its option to acquire from us U.S. rights to a second collaboration program, it will make an option exercise fee payment to us, the amount of which depends on which program reaches IND status.

We have received and will be eligible to receive financial support for research and development services assigned to us by Celgene, based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related reimbursement rate.

Under the terms of the 2017 Celgene Agreement, we are entitled to earn development and regulatory contingent payments for each of the four programs under the collaboration, and royalties on sales of any commercial products that may result from the 2017 Celgene Agreement. Additionally, we are eligible to receive a potential future payment for manufacturing activities of $10.0 million. For licensed products for which Celgene holds worldwide rights, we are eligible to receive aggregate milestone and option fee payments of up to $295.0 million for certain licensed products and up to $393.7 million for certain other licensed products under the collaboration, if approved in multiple indications, and, depending on the licensed product, tiered royalties ranging from single digit to low teen percentages on worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the 2017 Celgene Agreement. Additionally, for licensed products for which Celgene holds ex-U.S. rights, we will also be eligible to receive pre-commercial contingent payments and tiered royalties ranging from mid to high single digit percentages.

Celgene may terminate the 2017 Celgene Agreement at any time with 120 days’ prior written notice. Either we or Celgene has the right to terminate the 2017 Celgene Agreement based on the

 

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other party’s uncured material breach, challenge of the validity and enforceability of intellectual property, or bankruptcy.

EMD Serono Collaboration

In September 2014, we entered into a License Agreement with EMD Serono, or the MDA Agreement, to develop ADCs for multiple cancer targets, which replaced the Collaboration Agreement we had entered into with EMD Serono in May 2014, or the Collaboration Agreement. The most advanced program in the collaboration is a bispecific ADC drug candidate for which we expect the initiation of IND-enabling studies in 2019.

Upon signing the Collaboration Agreement, we received $10.0 million in an upfront payment. In addition, upon signing the MDA Agreement, we received an additional $10.0 million in an upfront payment and receive financial support for our research and development services based on an agreed-upon level of full-time equivalent personnel effort and related reimbursement rate. As of June 30, 2018, we had received approximately $7.0 million in funding support for research and development services. We anticipate entering into a manufacturing supply agreement with EMD Serono to provide them with product candidate materials for IND-enabling and clinical studies.

We are eligible to receive up to $52.5 million for each product developed under the MDA Agreement, primarily from pre-commercial contingent payments. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from low to mid single digit percentages, along with certain additional one-time royalties, on worldwide sales of any commercial products that may result from the MDA Agreement. The MDA Agreement term expires on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis upon the later of the expiration of the patents covering products licensed under the MDA Agreement or ten years after the first commercial sale of a product covered under the MDA Agreement. Upon expiration, EMD Serono will have a fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, and irrevocable non-exclusive license, with the right to grant sublicenses, under certain of our intellectual property rights.

EMD Serono may terminate the MDA Agreement at any time with 90 days’ prior written notice or upon our inability to provide EMD Serono access to a specified number of cancer drug targets. Either we or EMD Serono has the right to terminate the MDA Agreement based on the other party’s uncured material breach or bankruptcy.

Stanford License

In October 2007, we entered into an Amended and Restated Exclusive Agreement, or the Stanford License, with the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, or Stanford, that grants us an exclusive license, with the right to sublicense, under the patent rights owned by Stanford covering certain technology rights related to our XpressCF expression system.

Upon initiation of the agreement, we made a payment to Stanford of approximately $83,000, of which a portion was creditable against certain prior patent costs incurred by Stanford, reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket costs incurred by Stanford in patent filing, prosecution and maintenance of approximately $184,000, and issued shares of our common stock to Stanford. We are required to make milestone payments to Stanford of up to approximately $930,000 on the accomplishment of certain development and regulatory milestones, of which $180,000 has been paid through June 30, 2018, with a $750,000 payment due upon first commercial sale of the first licensed product consisting of a molecule or compound covered by the licensed patent rights, or the 14th anniversary of the Stanford License in October 2021. Additionally, we owe Stanford annual license maintenance fees of $75,000, which may be creditable against earned royalties in such year, and are required to reimburse Stanford for ongoing patent-related costs. We are also required to pay to Stanford low single digit royalties on net sales and to share any sublicensing income received related to the licensed technology. We may terminate the agreement at any time upon 30 days’ written notice.

 

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SutroVax Investment

In 2013, we and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, through the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, provided initial co-funding for a new company called SutroVax, Inc., or SutroVax, with which we have a license agreement. Under the agreement, SutroVax has the right to use the XpressCF Platform to discover and develop vaccine candidates for the treatment or prophylaxis of infectious diseases. The lead program for SutroVax is a broad-spectrum pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. SutroVax is responsible for performing all research and development activities, and we provide technical support and supply XtractCF and other materials to SutroVax.

We retain an ownership interest in SutroVax and are eligible for single digit royalties on net sales of any vaccine candidates. Also, we retain the right to discover and develop vaccines for the treatment or prophylaxis of any disease that is not caused by an infectious pathogen, including cancer.

Manufacturing

We have significant expertise in the production of therapeutic biologics. Our proprietary XpressCF Platform is a cell-free protein synthesis technology that enables rapid and systematic process development, streamlined scale-up and cGMP manufacturing.

Extract and Reagents

We manufacture our cell-free extract, and expect to manufacture related reagents, in our cGMP manufacturing facility in San Carlos, California for our clinical trials and supply commitments. If we are successful in developing an effective strategic relationship with a contract manufacturing organization, or CMO, we would consider supplementing our manufacturing capacity by outsourcing the production of cell-free extract and related reagents to such CMO to cover our needs during product launch and for long-term commercial supply.

Drug Substance and Drug Product

Our process development and manufacturing strategies are tailored to rapidly advance our product candidates and we use a supply chain of established CMOs to ensure successful execution. The production of antibodies will be done by either us or CMOs, depending on our internal cGMP production capacity. The production of all other necessary elements for the manufacture of our ADC product candidates, and the final manufacture of the ADC drug product, will be handled entirely by CMOs. Our XpressCF Platform has been successfully used for manufacturing several antibodies and requires minimal process optimization to support early clinical phase manufacturing. We utilize industry established production steps for the purification of our antibodies. The CMOs we have selected have strong track records in cGMP manufacturing with expertise in clinical or commercial drug manufacturing for the cytotoxic agent, conjugation and fill-finish of therapeutic biologics. All activities from cell-free extract production to formulated drug product are performed to maintain aggressive timelines and minimize delays.

Competition

The biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries, and the immuno-oncology subsector, are characterized by rapid evolution of technologies, fierce competition and strong defense of intellectual property. Any product candidates that we successfully develop and commercialize will have to compete with existing therapies and new therapies that may become available in the future. While we believe that our proprietary XpressCF Platform and scientific expertise in the field of biologics and immuno-oncology provide us with competitive advantages, a wide variety of institutions, including large biopharmaceutical companies, specialty biotechnology companies, academic research departments and public and private research institutions, are actively developing potentially competitive products and technologies. We face substantial competition from biotechnology and biopharmaceutical

 

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companies developing products in immuno-oncology. Our competitors include larger and better funded biopharmaceutical, biotechnological and therapeutics companies, including companies focused on cancer immunotherapies, such as AstraZeneca PLC, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, or BMS, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc., or Pfizer, Roche Holding Ltd, Sanofi S.A and companies focused on ADCs, such as Pfizer, ImmunoGen, Inc., Seattle Genetics, Inc. and Genentech, Inc., or Genentech, as well as numerous small companies. Moreover, we also compete with current and future therapeutics developed at universities and other research institutions.

If our lead product candidates are approved, they will compete with a range of therapeutic treatments that are either in development or currently marketed. Currently marketed oncology drugs and therapeutics range from ADCs, such as Genentech’s Kadcyla, to immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as BMS’s Opdivo, to T cell-engager immunotherapies, such as Amgen, Inc.’s Blincyto. In addition, numerous compounds are in clinical development for cancer treatment. With respect to B cell based malignancies, such as multiple myeloma, the most common treatments are chemotherapeutic compounds, radiation therapy, stem cell transplantation and immunomodulating agents. The clinical development pipeline for cancer includes small molecules, antibodies, vaccines, cell therapies and immunotherapies from a variety of companies and institutions.

Many of our competitors, either alone or with strategic partners, have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do. Accordingly, our competitors may be more successful than us in obtaining approval for treatments and achieving widespread market acceptance, rendering our treatments obsolete or non-competitive. Accelerated merger and acquisition activity in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. These companies also compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials and acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. Our commercial opportunity could be substantially limited in the event that our competitors develop and commercialize products that are more effective, safer, less toxic, more convenient or less expensive than our comparable products. In geographies that are critical to our commercial success, competitors may also obtain regulatory approvals before us, resulting in our competitors building a strong market position in advance of the entry of our products. We believe the factors determining the success of our programs will be the efficacy, safety and convenience of our product candidates.

Reimbursement

The regulations that govern pricing and reimbursement for new drugs and therapeutic biologics vary widely from country to country. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug or therapeutic biologic before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription biopharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, a drug company can obtain regulatory approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay commercial launch of that product.

A drug company’s ability to commercialize any products successfully will also depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Even if one or more products are successfully brought to the market, these products may not be considered cost-effective, and the amount reimbursed for such products may be insufficient to allow them to be sold on a competitive basis. Increasingly, third-party payors who reimburse patients or healthcare providers, such as government and private insurance plans, are requiring that drug companies provide them with

 

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predetermined discounts from list prices, and are seeking to reduce the prices charged or the amounts reimbursed for biopharmaceutical products.

Significant delays can occur in obtaining reimbursement for newly-approved drugs or therapeutic biologics, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug or therapeutic biologic is approved by the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug or therapeutic biologic will be reimbursed in all cases or at a rate that covers a drug company’s costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution.

Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs or therapeutic biologics, if applicable, may also be insufficient to cover a drug company’s costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may be based on payments allowed for lower cost drugs or therapeutic biologics that are already reimbursed, may be incorporated into existing payments for other services and may reflect budgetary constraints or imperfections in Medicare data. Net prices for drugs or therapeutic biologics may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs or therapeutic biologics from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Further, no uniform policy for coverage and reimbursement exists in the United States. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates, but also have their own methods and approval process apart from Medicare determinations. Therefore coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor.

Intellectual Property

We strive to protect and enhance the proprietary technology, inventions, and improvements that are commercially important to our business, including seeking, maintaining, and defending patent rights, whether developed internally or licensed from third parties. Our policy is to seek to protect our proprietary position by, among other methods, pursuing and obtaining patent protection in the United States and in jurisdictions outside of the United States related to our proprietary technology, inventions, improvements, platforms and product candidates that are important to the development and implementation of our business. Our patent portfolio is intended to cover, but is not limited to, our technology platforms, our product candidates and components thereof, their methods of use and processes for their manufacture, our proprietary reagents and assays, and any other inventions that are commercially important to our business. We also rely on trade secret protection of our confidential information and know-how relating to our proprietary technology, platforms and product candidates, continuing innovation, and in-licensing opportunities to develop, strengthen, and maintain our proprietary position in our XpressCF Platform and product candidates. We expect to rely on data exclusivity, market exclusivity, patent term adjustment and patent term extensions when available. Our commercial success may depend in part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection for our technology, inventions, and improvements; to preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets; to maintain our licenses to use intellectual property owned or controlled by third parties; to defend and enforce our proprietary rights, including our patents; to defend against and challenge the assertion by third parties of their purported intellectual property rights; and to operate without the unauthorized infringement on the valid and enforceable patents and other proprietary rights of third parties.

We believe that we have a strong global intellectual property position and substantial know-how and trade secrets relating to our XpressCF platform technology, platform and product candidates. Our patent portfolio as of June 30, 2018 contained 12 U.S. issued patents and 13 patents issued in ex-U.S. jurisdictions including Europe, China, Japan, Australia and Singapore and 25 U.S. pending applications as well as 68 patent applications pending in ex-U.S. jurisdictions including Europe, China, Japan,

 

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Australia and Singapore owned solely by us. These patents and patent applications include claims relating to:

 

   

bacterial strains, and extracts prepared therefrom, comprising an engineered Release Factor 1 protein, which facilitates incorporation of non-natural amino acids into proteins;

 

   

bacterial strains, and extracts prepared therefrom, comprising combinations of chaperone proteins, which facilitate expression of complex eukaryotic proteins in bacterial extracts;

 

   

antibodies targeting receptors of interest, including CD74 and FolRa;

 

   

ADCs targeting receptors of interest, including CD74 and FolRa;

 

   

hemiasterlin, both as a cytotoxin and as a linker-warhead, which is used in our STRO-0002 product candidate; and

 

   

para-azidomethylphenylalanine, or pAMF, and proteins comprising pAMF, our workhorse non-natural amino acid which is primarily used when we conjugate molecules to proteins produced with our XpressCF Platform.

Our issued patents, and any patents that may issue from our pending patent applications, in our solely owned patent portfolio are expected to expire between January 2030 and March 2039, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions.

In addition, we have exclusively licensed the following patent portfolio from Stanford: 15 U.S. issued patents and 44 patents issued in ex-U.S. jurisdictions including Europe, China, Canada, India, Australia, South Korea, Eurasia and Singapore. This patent portfolio includes claims relating to methods related to in vitro protein synthesis that we use in our XpressCF Platform when discovering, developing and manufacturing our product candidates.

Patents in our patent portfolio licensed from Stanford are expected to expire between March 2019 and January 2028, absent any patent term adjustments or extensions.

As for the XpressCF Platform, product candidates and processes we develop and commercialize, in the normal course of business, we intend to pursue, where appropriate, patent protection or trade secret protection relating to compositions, methods of manufacture, assay methods, methods of use, treatment of indications, dosing and formulations. We may also pursue patent protection with respect to product development processes and technology.

 

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The following table describes the material patents and patent applications owned or licensed by us.

 

Patent Relevance   Ownership  

Type of

Patent

Protection

  Expiration or
Anticipated
Expiration
(absent patent
term extension or
adjustment)
  Pending
Jurisdictions
  Issued
Jurisdictions

XpressCF Platform

  Inlicensed from Stanford   Utility   2023   None   US, AU, CA, EP, JP

XpressCF Platform

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2033   US, CA, CN, EP, IL, IN, JP, KR,   US, AU, SG

XpressCF Platform

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2034   US, AU, CA, CN, EP, HK, IL, IN, JP, KR, SG   None

XpressCF Platform

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2034   US   EP

XpressCF Platform

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2035   None   US, EP

STRO-001 and STRO-002

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2033   US, AU, BR, CA, CN, EP, JP, IN, HK, KR   US, SG

STRO-001 and STRO-002

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2033   US, AU, BR, CA, CN, EP, HK, IL, IN, JP, KR  

US, SG

STRO-001

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2035   US, EP   None

STRO-001

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2037   PCT   None

STRO-001

  Owned by Sutro   Utility   2037   PCT   None

STRO-001

  Owned by Sutro   Provisional   2038   US   None

STRO-002

  Owned by Sutro