F-1 1 d293184df1.htm F-1 F-1
Table of Contents

Registration Statement No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM F-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

ZYMEWORKS INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

Canada   2834   47-2569713

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

  (Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

Suite 540—1385 West 8th Avenue

Vancouver, BC V6H 3V9

(604) 678-1388

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

 

 

The Corporation Trust Company

Corporation Trust Center

1209 Orange Street

Wilmington, DE 19801

(302) 658-7581

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

 

 

Copies to:

 

Riccardo Leofanti
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
222 Bay Street, Suite 1750
Toronto, ON, M5K 1J5
(416) 777-4700
 

Joseph Garcia

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

595 Burrard Street,

Suite 2600

Vancouver, BC, V7X 1L3

(604) 631-3307

 

Charles S. Kim

David Peinsipp

Andrew S. Williamson

Cooley LLP

4401 Eastgate Mall

San Diego, CA, 92121

(858) 550-6000

   David Frost

McCarthy Tétrault LLP

745 Thurlow Street,

Suite 2400

Vancouver, BC, V6E 0C5

(604) 643-7113

 

 

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

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, 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, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

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

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

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of
Securities To Be Registered
 

Proposed

Maximum
Aggregate

Offering Price(1)(2)

 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Common Shares

  $75,000,000   $8,693

 

 

(1)   Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).
(2)   Includes common shares the underwriters have the option to purchase to cover over-allotments, if any.

 

 

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 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

The information in this preliminary 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 preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 31, 2017

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS

 

LOGO

            Shares

Zymeworks Inc.

Common Shares

 

 

We are offering             common shares. Prior to this offering there has been no public market for our shares. We currently expect the initial public offering price to be between $         and $         per common share.

We have applied to list our common shares on the New York Stock Exchange and, we intend to apply to list our common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the symbol “ZYME.”

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 and, as such, will be subject to reduced public company reporting requirements.

 

 

Investing in our common shares involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 13.

 

 

 

     Per share      Total  

Initial public offering price

   $                   $               

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

   $      $  

Proceeds to us, before expenses

   $      $  

 

(1)   See “Underwriting” for additional information regarding total underwriter compensation.

We have granted the underwriters the right to purchase up to an additional              common shares to cover over-allotments, if any. The underwriters can exercise this right at any time within 30 days after the date of this prospectus.

The underwriters expect to deliver the common shares against payment in New York, New York on or about                     , 2017.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state or Canadian securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

Joint Book-Running Managers

 

Citigroup   Barclays           Wells Fargo Securities

 

 

Lead Manager

Canaccord Genuity

 

 

Co-Manager

Cormark Securities (USA) Limited

Prospectus dated                 , 2017


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SUMMARY

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     13  

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     60  

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION

     63  

EXCHANGE RATE DATA

     63  

MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

     63  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     64  

DIVIDEND POLICY

     66  

CAPITALIZATION

     67  

DILUTION

     70  

SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

     73  

UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     75  

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

     76  

BUSINESS

     100  

MANAGEMENT

     159  

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

     173  

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

     187  

PRINCIPAL SHAREHOLDERS

     190  

DESCRIPTION OF SHARE CAPITAL

     193  

SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

     201  

TAXATION

     203  

UNDERWRITING

     211  

EXPENSES RELATED TO THIS OFFERING

     218  

LEGAL MATTERS

     219  

EXPERTS

     220  

CHANGES IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

     221  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     222  

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     F-1  

 

 

Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with information other than that contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give to you. The information contained in this prospectus or any free writing prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus or such free writing prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any free writing prospectus.

We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, common shares only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. Neither we nor the underwriters have taken any action to permit a public offering of our common shares or the possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than the United States and Canada. You are required to inform yourselves about and to observe any restrictions relating to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus.

We own or have rights to trademarks, service marks or trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business. In addition, our names, logos and website names and addresses are our service marks or trademarks. Azymetric, Zymeworks, ZymeCAD and the phrase “Building Better Biologics” are our registered trademarks. The other trademarks, trade names and service marks appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, tradenames and copyrights

 

i


Table of Contents

referred to in this prospectus are listed without the ©, ® and TM symbols, but we will assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and tradenames.

We express all amounts in this prospectus in U.S. dollars, except where otherwise indicated. References to “$” and “US$” are to U.S. dollars and references to “C$” are to Canadian dollars. Except as otherwise noted, all amounts referred to in this prospectus as “$            , as converted” shall mean the U.S. dollar amount applying the noon conversion rate from Canadian dollars as of February 28, 2017. See “Exchange Rate Data.”

Except as otherwise indicated, references in this prospectus to “Zymeworks,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Zymeworks Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. Furthermore, except as otherwise indicated, references to “Merck,” “Lilly,” “Celgene,” “GSK,” and “Daiichi” refer to Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Ltd., Eli Lilly and Company, Celgene Corporation and Celgene Alpine Investment Co. LLC, GlaxoSmithKline Intellectual Property Development Limited and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., respectively.

 

ii


Table of Contents

SUMMARY

This summary highlights certain information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information that may be important to you. You should read and carefully consider the following summary together with the entire prospectus, especially the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus and our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this prospectus before deciding to invest in our common shares. For more information on our business refer to the “Business” section of this prospectus. Some of the statements in this prospectus constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including those discussed in the “Risk Factors” and other sections of this prospectus. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Overview

Zymeworks is an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer. Our suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and our fully-integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly-differentiated product candidates. These capabilities have resulted in multiple wholly-owned product candidates with the potential to drive superior outcomes in large underserved and unaddressed patient populations, as further described below.

Our lead product candidate, ZW25, is a novel bispecific (dual-targeting) antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, targeting two distinct domains of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or HER2, a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. This unique design enables ZW25 to address patient populations with all levels of HER2 expression, including those with low to intermediate HER2-expressing tumors, who are otherwise limited to chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Approximately 81% of patients with HER2-expressing breast cancer and 57% of patients with HER2-expressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have tumors that express low to intermediate levels of HER2, making them ineligible for treatment with currently-approved HER2-targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta, which generated combined sales of $8.6 billion in 2016. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, ZW25 has demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies. Our second product candidate, ZW33, capitalizes on the unique design of ZW25 and is a bispecific antibody-drug conjugate, or ADC, based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 but armed with a cytotoxic (potent cancer cell-killing) payload. We designed ZW33 to be a best-in-class HER2-targeting ADC for several indications characterized by HER2 expression for which we expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2017. We are also advancing a deep pipeline of preclinical product candidates and discovery-stage programs in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition to our wholly-owned pipeline, two of our therapeutic platforms have been further leveraged through multiple revenue-generating strategic partnerships with the following global pharmaceutical companies: Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi.

Our proprietary capabilities and technologies include four modular, complementary therapeutic platforms that can be easily used in combination with each other and with existing approaches. This ability to layer technologies without compromising manufacturability enables us to engineer next-generation biotherapeutics with synergistic activity, which we believe will result in superior patient outcomes. Our core platforms include:

 

    Azymetric, our bispecific platform, which enables therapeutic antibodies to bind two distinct locations on a target, known as epitopes. This is achieved by tailoring multiple configurations of the antibody’s Fab regions (locations on the antibody to which epitopes bind);

 

    ZymeLink, our ADC platform, which comprises multiple cytotoxic payloads and the linker technology used to couple these payloads to tumor-targeting antibodies or proteins. This platform can be used in conjunction with our other therapeutic platforms to increase safety and efficacy as compared to existing ADC technologies;

 

 

1


Table of Contents
    EFECT, which enables finely-tuned modulation (both up and down) of immune cell recruitment and function; and

 

    AlbuCORE, our antibody-alternative platform, which augments the properties of naturally-occurring human serum albumin, or HSA, with multivalent (multi-targeted) binding to enable complex mechanisms of action that are not amenable to antibody-based approaches.

Our protein engineering expertise and proprietary structure-guided molecular modeling capabilities enable these therapeutic platforms. Together with our internal antibody discovery and generation technologies, we have established a fully-integrated drug development engine and toolkit that is capable of rapidly delivering a steady pipeline of next-generation product candidates in oncology and other therapeutic areas.

The field of oncology has benefited from major advances in the understanding of cancer biology over the past decade, which have led to the development of several successful biotherapeutics contributing to a global market valued at greater than $83.7 billion in 2015 and projected to grow to $128.0 billion by 2020. Despite this scientific progress, cancer remains the second-leading cause of death worldwide, leaving a substantial opportunity for Zymeworks to develop and deliver more effective medicines. We believe our novel therapeutic platforms, and our ability to build better biologics, uniquely position us to take advantage of recent advancements in cancer biology and address these underserved patient populations.

Our lead product candidate, ZW25, is an Azymetric bispecific antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, which simultaneously binds two non-overlapping epitopes of HER2 resulting in dual HER2 signal blockade and increased tumor cell binding, immune cell recruitment and HER2 receptor downregulation as compared to existing HER2-targeted therapies. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, preliminary anti-tumor activity has been observed across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies. We plan to present detailed safety and preliminary anti-tumor activity data for ZW25 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June 2017. For our second product candidate, ZW33, we expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2017. ZW33 is a bispecific anti-HER2 ADC that is based on the same antibody framework as ZW25, but is armed with a potent cytotoxic payload. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted Orphan Drug Designation to both ZW25 and ZW33 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and to ZW25 for the treatment of gastric cancer. We will continue to focus on advancing multiple well-differentiated product candidates into clinical trials to build our pipeline portfolio as well as exploiting our protein engineering expertise to develop innovative therapeutic platforms.

Our unique combination of proprietary protein engineering capabilities and resulting therapeutic platform technologies was initially recognized by Merck and Lilly, with whom we established strategic partnerships focused on our Azymetric and EFECT therapeutic platforms. We subsequently entered into broader strategic partnerships with Celgene and GSK followed by a collaboration and cross-licensing agreement with Daiichi. During the initial partnerships with Merck, Lilly and GSK, the relationships were expanded to include either additional licenses or therapeutic platforms. These relationships provide our strategic partners with access to components of our proprietary Azymetric and EFECT therapeutic platforms for their development of a defined number of protein therapeutics on a predominantly non-target-exclusive basis. Importantly, these strategic partnerships have provided Zymeworks with non-dilutive funding as well as access to proprietary therapeutic assets, which increase our ability to rapidly advance our product candidates while maintaining worldwide commercial rights to our wholly-owned therapeutic pipeline.

The mission that unites everyone at Zymeworks is to create biotherapeutics that allow patients to return home to their loved ones, disease free. We intend to advance the development of disruptive therapeutic platforms and impactful biotherapeutics, especially in areas of unmet need. We believe we are well-positioned to deliver on our mission.

 

 

2


Table of Contents

Overview of our Proprietary Therapeutic Platforms

Our expertise in protein engineering has enabled the development of our proprietary therapeutic platforms, a complementary suite of highly-tailored biologics solutions. Our therapeutic platforms can be used alone, or in combination, with synergistic activity to develop multifunctional fit-for-purpose biotherapeutics with bispecific capabilities (Azymetric), cytotoxic payload delivery (ZymeLink), finely-tuned immune function modulation (EFECT) and multivalent targeting (AlbuCORE). The modular design and ease of use of our therapeutic platforms allow for the design and evaluation of multiple candidates with different formats to determine the optimal therapeutic combination early in development. We continue to leverage these therapeutic platforms to expand our pipeline of next-generation biotherapeutics that we believe could represent significant improvements to the standard of care in multiple cancer types.

We believe our in-house biologics design and engineering capabilities confer significant competitive advantages to our therapeutic platforms and are ultimately reflected in our programs. Some of these key advantages are:

 

    Highly Modular and Customizable.    Our platforms can be combined in multiple ways and this capability has achieved synergistic results in preclinical studies. For example, our ZymeLink platform enables the attachment of cytotoxic payloads to the candidates in any of our other platforms to create enhanced therapeutics, such as ADCs. These capabilities allow us to finely-tune characteristics such as tumor-killing potential, target specificity and immune cell engagement, and expand our ability to engineer superior drugs against multiple cancers.

 

    Fit-For-Purpose.    Our platforms can also be utilized to engineer biotherapeutics that are tailored for the particular target and disease state. For example, Azymetric bispecifics can be developed with multiple antigen binding formats to provide specific engagement geometry for a given target. This allows us to identify the targets and diseases that we wish to exploit and then engineer an optimized biotherapeutic to maximize therapeutic effect. We believe this method of deliberate drug development is a more effective and efficient mechanism for the creation of next-generation biotherapeutics.

 

    Consistent with Native (Antibody or Albumin) Formats.    Our antibody platforms are differentiated from our competitors and have been engineered to retain the desirable biophysical characteristics of native antibody (Immunoglobulin, or IgG) formats such as a low risk of provoking an adverse anti-drug immune response, or immunogenicity, superior pharmacokinetics, the ability to beneficially recruit the immune system through effector function, and ease of manufacturing and purification. Likewise, our AlbuCORE platform builds on native HSA and exploits the natural accumulation of albumin in tumors, which we believe may lead to enhanced targeting of the tumor.

 

    Readily Scalable and Transferable.    Our in-house biologics design and engineering expertise and infrastructure is positioned to create a steady stream of product candidates that are scalable, efficient to manufacture (by us, a partner or a contract manufacturing organization) and naturally endorse favorable characteristics such as high production and purity levels. We believe this is a significant competitive advantage given the historical challenges faced by others in the field who manufacture complex biologics, such as bispecifics and ADCs.

 

 

3


Table of Contents

Proprietary Therapeutic Platforms

 

LOGO

Azymetric Bispecific Antibody Platform.    The Azymetric platform consists of a library of proprietary amino acid substitutions that enable the transformation of monospecific antibodies into bispecific antibodies, which gives them the ability to simultaneously bind two non-overlapping epitopes. Azymetric bispecific technology enables the development of biotherapeutics with dual-targeting of receptors/ligands and simultaneous blockade of multiple signaling pathways, increasing tumor-specific targeting and efficacy while reducing toxicities and the potential for drug-resistance. In preclinical studies, the dual-targeting of Azymetric antibodies has demonstrated synergistic activity relative to the application of an equivalent dose of the corresponding monospecific antibodies. Azymetric bispecifics can also be engineered to enhance internalization of the antibody into the tumor cell and consequently increase the delivery of cytotoxic payloads.

First-generation bispecific platforms significantly alter the structure of monoclonal antibodies or rely upon complex and proprietary manufacturing processes. Azymetric bispecifics, in contrast, retain the desirable drug-like qualities of monoclonal antibodies, including long half-life, stability and low immunogenic potential, which increases their probability of success. Azymetric bispecifics are also compatible with standard manufacturing processes with high production yields and purity, which accelerates manufacturing timelines and reduces costs.

ZymeLink Conjugation Platform and Cytotoxins.    The ZymeLink conjugation platform is a suite of novel site-specific protein coupling technologies and customizable cleavable linkers that allow for the delivery of our proprietary cytotoxic payloads, which can be applied to all of our antibody and albumin-based therapeutic platforms. We believe that ZymeLink provides multiple competitive advantages over existing approaches, including optimized activity and tolerability profiles through increased drug delivery to target cells with reduced off-target effects, product homogeneity, preservation of immune cell interaction and stable pharmacokinetics.

EFECT Antibody Effector Function Modulation Platform.    The EFECT platform comprises sets of modifications to the crystallizable fragment, or Fc, region of antibodies that enable the selective modulation of recruited cytotoxic immune cells for diverse therapeutic applications. This allows us to rationally tailor the selective enhancement or elimination of immune effector function to optimize product candidates.

AlbuCORE Multispecific Antibody-Alternative Platform.    The AlbuCORE platform is a novel and proprietary suite of multivalent scaffolds engineered from the HSA backbone from which therapeutics can be developed. This platform is highly flexible and enables the addition of up to four customized targeting domains, which allows for additional tumor specificity and synergistic activity as well as an increase in the affinity and

 

 

4


Table of Contents

selectivity for a desired target. The resulting superstructure naturally accumulates in tumor microenvironments or areas of inflammation, and benefits from several attractive attributes of HSA, including superior pharmacokinetics and stability. Additionally, these AlbuCORE constructs possess standard manufacturing and purification protocols compatible with industry standard conjugation technologies, which accelerate the manufacturing process, while reducing costs.

Product Candidate Pipeline and Advanced Preclinical and Discovery Programs

We currently have one wholly-owned product candidate in clinical development and several wholly-owned product candidates in preclinical development that leverage our multiple therapeutic platforms to address areas of significant unmet medical need. We define our programs as “lead product candidates” when they initiate IND-enabling studies and as “preclinical stage programs” when lead molecules have been identified and demonstrate activity in biological models. Our lead product candidates, ZW25 and ZW33, utilize our Azymetric bispecific platform to address patient populations with all levels of HER2 expression, including those with low to intermediate HER2-expressing tumors, and are described in detail below. We are also actively advancing a diverse set of preclinical and discovery programs, which leverage one or more of our proprietary therapeutic platforms to create multifunctional biotherapeutics for several solid tumor indications. Our bispecific ADC programs utilize the Azymetric, EFECT and ZymeLink platforms and have demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity in preclinical studies with the potential for an enhanced therapeutic window. Our most advanced T cell-engaging bispecific program leverages the Azymetric and EFECT platforms combined with our proprietary protein engineering expertise, which results in potent anti-tumor activity and reduced toxicity in preclinical studies. We are also developing several checkpoint-modulating bispecifics for immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. Our goal is to advance at least one of these programs to the IND stage every year to create a deep pipeline of well-differentiated product candidates.

 

Lead Product Candidates

 

    ZW25 is our lead product candidate currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial in the United States, based on our Azymetric platform. It is a bispecific antibody that can simultaneously bind two non-overlapping epitopes, known as biparatopic binding, of HER2 resulting in dual HER2 signal blockade, increased binding and removal of HER2 protein from the cell surface, and enhanced effector function. These combined mechanisms of action have led to significant anti-tumor activity in preclinical models of breast cancer, including trastuzumab (currently branded as Herceptin) resistant high HER2-expressing tumors, as well as in tumors with lower levels of HER2 expression. Approximately 81% of patients with HER2-expressing breast cancer and 57% of the patients with HER2-expressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have tumors that express low to intermediate levels of HER2, making them ineligible for treatment with currently-approved HER2-targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta. In the United States and EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) alone, approximately 405,803 and 49,058 patients are diagnosed with HER2-expressing breast and gastroesophageal cancer, respectively, every year. In addition, multiple other cancers, including ovarian, bladder, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancers, or NSCLC, also express HER2 at varying levels. Therefore, there is a significant unmet need for HER2-targeted agents that can effectively treat these patients.

We are developing ZW25 as a best-in-class HER2-targeting antibody intended as a treatment option for patients with any solid tumor that expresses HER2. Our initial focus is on the treatment of patients with breast or gastric cancers who have progressed after treatment with HER2-targeted therapies or who are not eligible for approved HER2-targeted therapies based on low to intermediate levels of HER2 expression. We then intend to develop ZW25 for other HER2-expressing cancers, including ovarian cancer. ZW25 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of both gastric and ovarian cancer by the FDA. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, ZW25 has demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies.

 

 

5


Table of Contents
    ZW33 is a bispecific anti-HER2 ADC that is based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 but armed with a cytotoxic payload. ZW33 retains the mechanisms of action of ZW25 but takes advantage of high levels of antibody-target internalization to deliver a potent cytotoxin. We are developing ZW33 as a best-in-class HER2-targeting ADC for several indications characterized by HER2 expression including breast and ovarian cancer, especially those that have progressed or are refractory to HER2-targeted agents, including Kadcyla. The FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation for ZW33 for the treatment of ovarian cancer. We plan on initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial for ZW33 in the second half of 2017.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to leverage our next-generation therapeutic platforms and proprietary protein engineering capabilities to become a domain dominator in the discovery, development and commercialization of best-in-class multifunctional biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet medical need.

Our key strategies to achieve this goal are to:

 

    aggressively advance our lead product candidate, ZW25, through the clinic in multiple HER2-expressing tumor types;

 

    pursue a rapid and multi-faceted development strategy for our novel and highly differentiated pipeline into clinical trials across many oncology indications with a critically high unmet medical need;

 

    leverage our therapeutic platforms and proprietary protein engineering capabilities to continue to discover and develop additional novel product candidates;

 

    leverage our strategic partnerships, while pursuing additional collaborations that can augment the power of our platforms and value of our pipeline; and

 

    continue to develop innovative therapeutic platforms and expand our therapeutic focus into logical areas such as autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases.

Risk Factors

Investing in our common shares is speculative and involves substantial risk. You should carefully consider all of the information in this prospectus prior to investing in our common shares. There are numerous risk factors related to our business that are described under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. These risks could materially and adversely impact our business, results of operations, financial condition and future prospects, which could cause the trading price of our common shares to decline and could result in a loss of your investment. Among these important risks are the following:

 

    we have a limited number of product candidates, all of which are still in preclinical or early clinical development, and we may fail to obtain, or experience significant delays in obtaining, regulatory approval for one or more of our product candidates;

 

    our product candidates may have undesirable side effects that may delay or prevent marketing approval or, if approval is received, require them to be taken off the market, require them to include safety warnings or otherwise limit their sales; no regulatory agency has made any determination that any of our product candidates are safe or effective for use by the general public for any indication;

 

    we have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future; our accumulated deficit was $97.8 million as of December 31, 2016, representing our cumulative losses since our inception in 2003;

 

    we have no products approved for commercial sale; to date we have not generated any revenue or profit from product sales and we may never achieve or sustain profitability;

 

    we will require substantial additional funding, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all, and, if available, may require us to delay, scale back, or cease our product development programs or operations;

 

 

6


Table of Contents
    our existing strategic partnerships are important to our business, and future strategic partnerships may also be important to us; if we are unable to maintain any of these strategic partnerships, or if these strategic partnerships are not successful, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnerships and our business could be adversely affected;

 

    our commercial success depends significantly on our ability to operate without infringing the patents or proprietary rights of third parties; and

 

    we may not be able to obtain adequate protection for the intellectual property covering our product candidates or related technology.

As a result of these risks and other risks described under “Risk Factors” there is no guarantee that we will experience growth or profitability in the future.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

We qualify as an “emerging growth company” pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified exemptions from various requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies in the United States. These provisions include:

 

    an exemption to include in an initial public offering registration statement less than five years of selected financial data; and

 

    an exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of the emerging growth company’s internal control over financial reporting.

The JOBS Act also permits an emerging growth company such as us to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. We have not elected to avail ourselves of the exemption that allows emerging growth companies to extend the transition period for complying with new or revised financial accounting standards. This election is irrevocable.

We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of:

 

    the last day of our fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of at least $1.0 billion;

 

    the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering;

 

    the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities; or

 

    the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our common shares that are held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter.

We have availed ourselves in this prospectus of the reduced reporting requirements described above with respect to selected financial data. As a result, the information that we are providing to you may be less comprehensive than what you might receive from other public companies. When we are no longer deemed to be an emerging growth company, we will not be entitled to the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act discussed above.

Our Corporate Information

We were incorporated on September 8, 2003 under the Canada Business Corporations Act, or CBCA, under the name Zymeworks Inc. On October 22, 2003, we were registered as an extra-provincial company under the Company Act (British Columbia), the predecessor to the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia), or BCBCA. Effective as of January 1, 2017, we completed a short-form amalgamation with a former wholly-owned subsidiary, Zymeworks Biochemistry Inc. Immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, we will file a

 

 

7


Table of Contents

continuation application to continue the Company to British Columbia under the BCBCA and to amend and redesignate our authorized and issued share capital. See “Description of Share Capital.” Our principal executive offices are located at 540-1385 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V6H 3V9 and our telephone number is (604) 678-1388. Our website address is www.zymeworks.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus. We have included our website address in this prospectus solely as an inactive textual reference.

 

 

8


Table of Contents

The Offering

 

Common shares offered by us

            shares

 

Over-allotment option

We have granted the underwriters an option, exercisable within 30 days of the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an additional                 common shares to cover over-allotments, if any, in connection with this offering.

 

Common shares to be outstanding after this offering

                shares (                 shares if the over-allotment option is exercised in full).

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $                 million, or approximately $                 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares from us in full, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to fund approximately $             million to $              million of clinical development expenses for ZW25 through our ongoing adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial and additional product candidate manufacturing, approximately $             million to $              million of clinical development expenses for ZW33 through our planned Phase 1 clinical trial and additional product candidate manufacturing, approximately $             million to $              million to fund the development of additional product candidates in our pipeline and the remainder for working capital and general corporate purposes, which may include other research and development programs, such as our proprietary therapeutic platforms. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Proposed NYSE and TSX trading symbol

“ZYME”

 

Risk factors

See “Risk Factors” and the other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of factors you should consider carefully before investing in our common shares.

The number of common shares to be outstanding after this offering is based on                      common shares after giving effect to the conversion of all outstanding Class A convertible preferred shares as of February 28, 2017, which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, into an estimated aggregate of                      common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” and excludes:

 

    2,525,505 common shares issuable upon the exercise of fully-vested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of February 28, 2017, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$3.98 per share (or $3.00 per share, as converted);

 

 

9


Table of Contents
    2,949,825 common shares issuable upon the exercise of unvested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of February 28, 2017, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$7.51 per share (or $5.67 per share, as converted);

 

    828,431 common shares reserved for future issuance under our stock option plan;

 

    280,000 common shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding common share warrants, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$4.86 per share (or $3.67 per share, as converted); and

 

                     common shares issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding Class A preferred share warrant, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” at an exercise price of $4.90 per share.

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

 

    no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional         common shares from us to cover over-allotments, if any, in connection with this offering;

 

    the conversion of all of our outstanding Class A preferred shares into an estimated aggregate of                  common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering;

 

    the conversion of an outstanding Class A preferred share warrant to purchase 704,081 shares of our Class A preferred shares into a common share warrant to purchase                  common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering;

 

    the effectiveness of a                  for                  reverse stock split of our common shares, which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering; and

 

    the filing of a continuation application, which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering to, among other things, continue our company to British Columbia under the BCBCA and to amend and redesignate our share capital.

 

 

10


Table of Contents

Summary Historical Consolidated Financial Data

The following tables summarize our historical consolidated financial data for the periods presented and should be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary historical consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP, and are presented in U.S. dollars except where otherwise indicated. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results we expect in the future.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2014     2015     2016  
     (dollars in thousands except share and per share amounts)  

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

      

Revenue

   $ 1,670     $ 9,660     $ 11,009  

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development

     12,622       24,654       36,816  

Government grants and credits

     (2,149     (251     (1,265
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
     10,473       24,403       35,551  

General and administrative

     3,945       5,217       12,554  

Impairment on acquired IPR&D

     —         —         768  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     14,418       29,620       48,873  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (12,748     (19,960     (37,864

Change in fair value of warrant liabilities

     —         —         (808

Other income (expense)

     (194     824       (212
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (12,942     (19,136     (38,884

Income tax expense

     —         (34     (430

Deferred income tax benefit

     —         —         5,505  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (12,942   $ (19,170   $ (33,809
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per common share (basic and diluted)

   $ (0.74   $ (0.71   $ (1.11

Weighted-average number of common shares (basic and diluted)

     17,479,680       26,888,906       30,397,535  

Pro forma basic net loss per common share(1)

     $ (0.71   $ (0.79

Pro forma diluted net loss per common share(1)

     $ (0.71   $ (0.79

Pro forma basic weighted-average number of common shares(1)

       26,888,906       42,746,386  

Pro forma diluted weighted-average number of common shares(1)

       26,888,906       42,746,386  

 

 

11


Table of Contents

 

(1)   The pro forma basic and diluted net loss per share reflects the estimated conversion of all outstanding Class A preferred shares immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, assuming (i) an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares”, and (ii) all such Class A preferred shares had been converted to common shares for all periods in which such Class A preferred shares were outstanding.

 

     As of December 31, 2016  
     Actual      Pro Forma(3)      Pro Forma As
Adjusted(2)(3)
 
    

(dollars in thousands)

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

        

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 16,437      $                   $               

Short-term investments

     23,824        

Working capital (deficit)

     29,928        

Total assets

     93,995        

Total liabilities

     26,133        

Total shareholders’ equity

     9,002        

 

(2)   The pro forma consolidated balance sheet data reflect the estimated conversion of all outstanding Class A preferred shares immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares;” the conversion of a warrant to purchase 704,081 of our Class A preferred shares into a warrant to purchase                  of our common shares immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” and the resultant reclassification of our common share warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, a component of total shareholders’ equity and preferred shares, in connection with such conversion. The pro forma as adjusted consolidated balance sheet data give additional effect to the issuance of             common shares at an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
(3)   A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital (deficit), total assets and total shareholders’ equity and preferred shares by $            , assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase or decrease of 1,000,000 common shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, working capital (deficit), total assets and total shareholders’ equity and preferred shares by approximately $            , assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

 

12


Table of Contents

RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common shares is speculative and involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the following risk factors, as well as the other information in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, before you decide to purchase our common shares. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected, the value of our common shares could decline and you may lose all or part of your investment. This prospectus also contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including the risks described below. See “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Risks Related to Our Business and the Development and Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

We have a limited number of product candidates, all which are still in preclinical or early clinical development. If we do not obtain regulatory approval of one or more of our product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially adversely affected.

We currently have no products approved for sale or marketing in any country, and may never be able to obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. As a result, we are not currently permitted to market any of our product candidates in the United States or in any other country until we obtain regulatory approval from the FDA or regulatory authorities outside the United States. Our product candidates are in early stages of development and we have not submitted an application, or received marketing approval, for any of our product candidates. Furthermore, the fact that our core competencies have been recognized through strategic partnerships does not improve our product candidates’ outlook for regulatory approval. We have limited experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval by the FDA. Obtaining regulatory approval of our product candidates will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

 

    successfully completing formulation and process development activities;

 

    completing clinical trials that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of our product candidates;

 

    receiving marketing approval from applicable regulatory authorities;

 

    establishing commercial manufacturing capabilities; and

 

    launching commercial sales, marketing and distribution operations.

Many of these factors are wholly or partially beyond our control, including clinical advancement, the regulatory submission process and changes in the competitive landscape. If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner, we could experience significant delays or an inability to develop our product candidates at all.

Clinical trials are very expensive, time consuming and difficult to design and implement and involve uncertain outcomes. Furthermore, the results of previous preclinical studies and clinical trials may not be predictive of future results, and the results of our current and planned clinical trials may not satisfy the requirements of the FDA or non-U.S. regulatory authorities.

Positive or timely results from preclinical or early-stage trials do not ensure positive or timely results in late-stage clinical trials or product approval by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. We will be required to demonstrate with substantial evidence through well-controlled clinical trials that our product candidates are safe and effective for use in a diverse population before we can seek regulatory approvals for their commercial sale. Our planned clinical trials may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we or any of our current and future strategic partners may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical or preclinical testing. Success in preclinical studies or early-stage clinical trials does not mean that future clinical

 

13


Table of Contents

trials or registration clinical trials will be successful because product candidates in later-stage clinical trials may fail to demonstrate sufficient safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of the FDA and non-U.S. regulatory authorities, despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. Product candidates that have shown promising results in early clinical trials may still suffer significant setbacks in subsequent clinical trials or registration clinical trials. For example, a number of companies in the pharmaceutical industry, including those with greater resources and experience than us, have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials, even after obtaining promising results in earlier clinical trials. Similarly, preclinical interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results.

If clinical trials for our product candidates are prolonged, delayed or stopped, we may be unable to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize our product candidates on a timely basis, or at all, which would require us to incur additional costs and delay our receipt of any product revenue.

We are currently enrolling an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial of ZW25 in patients with recurrent or metastatic HER2-expressing solid tumors, and expect to commence an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial of ZW33 in the second half of 2017. We may experience delays in our ongoing or future preclinical studies or clinical trials, and we do not know whether future preclinical studies or clinical trials will begin on time, need to be redesigned, enroll an adequate number of patients on time or be completed on schedule, if at all. The commencement or completion of these planned clinical trials could be substantially delayed or prevented by many factors, including:

 

    further discussions with the FDA or other regulatory agencies regarding the scope or design of our clinical trials;

 

    the limited number of, and competition for, suitable sites to conduct our clinical trials, many of which may already be engaged in other clinical trial programs, including some that may be for the same indication as our product candidates;

 

    any delay or failure to obtain approval or agreement to commence a clinical trial in any of the countries where enrollment is planned;

 

    inability to obtain sufficient funds required for a clinical trial;

 

    clinical holds on, or other regulatory objections to, a new or ongoing clinical trial;

 

    delay or failure to manufacture sufficient supplies of the product candidate for our clinical trials;

 

    delay or failure to reach agreement on acceptable clinical trial agreement terms or clinical trial protocols with prospective sites or clinical research organizations, or CROs, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different sites or CROs; and

 

    delay or failure to obtain institutional review board, or IRB, approval to conduct a clinical trial at a prospective site;

 

    slower than expected rates of patient recruitment and enrollment;

 

    failure of patients to complete the clinical trial;

 

    the inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients in studies to ensure adequate statistical power to detect statistically significant treatment effects;

 

    unforeseen safety issues, including severe or unexpected drug-related adverse effects experienced by patients, including possible deaths;

 

    lack of efficacy during clinical trials;

 

    termination of our clinical trials by one or more clinical trial sites;

 

    inability or unwillingness of patients or clinical investigators to follow our clinical trial protocols;

 

    inability to monitor patients adequately during or after treatment by us or our CROs;

 

14


Table of Contents
    our CROs or clinical study sites failing to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all, deviating from the protocol or dropping out of a study;

 

    the inability to produce or obtain sufficient quantities of a product candidate to complete clinical studies;

 

    in ability to address any noncompliance with regulatory requirements or safety concerns that arise during the course of a clinical trial;

 

    the need to repeat or terminate clinical trials as a result of inconclusive or negative results or unforeseen complications in testing; and

 

    our clinical trials may be suspended or terminated upon a breach or pursuant to the terms of any agreement with, or for any other reason by, current or future strategic partners that have responsibility for the clinical development of any of our product candidates.

Changes in regulatory requirements, policies and guidelines may also occur and we may need to significantly amend clinical trial protocols to reflect these changes with appropriate regulatory authorities. These changes may require us to renegotiate terms with CROs or resubmit clinical trial protocols to IRBs for re-examination, which may impact the costs, timing or successful completion of a clinical trial. Our clinical trials may be suspended or terminated at any time by the FDA, other regulatory authorities, the IRB overseeing the clinical trial at issue, any of our clinical trial sites with respect to that site, or us.

Any failure or significant delay in commencing or completing clinical trials for our product candidates would adversely affect our ability to obtain regulatory approval and our commercial prospects and ability to generate product revenue will be diminished.

If we are unable to enroll patients in clinical trials, we will be unable to complete these trials on a timely basis.

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 subjects to clinical sites, the eligibility criteria for the trial, the design of the clinical trial, ability to obtain and maintain patient consents, risk that enrolled subjects will drop out before completion, competing clinical trials and clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages of the drug being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new drugs that may be approved for the indications we are investigating. In particular, we are developing certain of our products for the treatment of rare diseases, which have limited pools of patients from which to draw for clinical testing. If we are unable to enroll a sufficient number of patients to complete clinical testing, we will be unable to gain marketing approval for such product candidates and our business will be harmed.

The design or our execution of clinical trials may not support regulatory approval.

The design or execution of a clinical trial can determine whether its results will support regulatory approval and flaws in the design or execution of a clinical trial may not become apparent until the clinical trial is well advanced. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial protocols, differences in size and type of the patient populations, adherence to the dosing regimen and other trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. We do not know whether any Phase 2, Phase 3 or other clinical trials we or any of our strategic partners may conduct will demonstrate consistent or adequate efficacy and safety to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates.

Further, the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process an in determining when or whether regulatory approval will be obtained for any of our product candidates. Our product candidates may not be approved even if they achieve their primary endpoints in future Phase 3 clinical trials or registration trials. The FDA or other non-U.S. regulatory authorities may disagree with

 

15


Table of Contents

our trial design and our interpretation of data from preclinical studies and clinical trials. In addition, any of these regulatory authorities may change requirements for the approval of a product candidate even after reviewing and providing comments or advice on a protocol for a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial that has the potential to result in FDA or other agencies’ approval. In addition, any of these regulatory authorities may also approve a product candidate for fewer or more limited indications than we request or may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials. The FDA or other non-U.S. regulatory authorities may not approve the labeling claims that we believe would be necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of our product candidates.

Our product candidates may have undesirable side effects that may delay or prevent marketing approval or, if approval is received, require them to be taken off the market, require them to include safety warnings or otherwise limit their sales; no regulatory agency has made any such determination that any of our product candidates are safe or effective for use by the general public for any indication.

All of our product candidates are still in preclinical or early clinical development. Additionally, all of our product candidates are required to undergo ongoing safety testing in humans as part of clinical trials. Consequently, not all adverse effects of drugs can be predicted or anticipated. Unforeseen side effects from any of our product candidates could arise either during clinical development or, if approved by regulatory authorities, after the approved product has been marketed. While we believe our lead product candidates have demonstrated a favorable safety profile in animals, ZW25 has recently commenced dosing in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial and ZW33 has never been tested in humans. Therefore, the results from clinical trials may not demonstrate a favorable safety profile in humans. The results of future clinical trials may show that ZW25 or our other product candidates cause undesirable or unacceptable side effects, which could interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials, and result in delay of, or failure to obtain, marketing approval from the FDA and other regulatory authorities, or result in marketing approval from the FDA and other regulatory authorities with restrictive label warnings, limited patient populations or potential product liability claims. Even if we believe that our Phase 1 clinical trial and preclinical studies demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, only the FDA and other comparable regulatory agencies may ultimately make such determination. No regulatory agency has made any such determination that any of our product candidates are safe or effective for use by the general public for any indication.

If any of our product candidates receive marketing approval and we or others later identify undesirable or unacceptable side effects caused by such products:

 

    regulatory authorities may require us to take our approved product off the market;

 

    regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, specific warnings, a contraindication or field alerts to physicians and pharmacies;

 

    we may be required to change the way the product is administered, conduct additional clinical trials or change the labeling of the product;

 

    we may be subject to limitations on how we may promote the product;

 

    sales of the product may decrease significantly;

 

    we may be subject to litigation or product liability claims; and

 

    our reputation may suffer.

Any of these events could prevent us or our current or future strategic partners from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product or could substantially increase commercialization costs and expenses, which in turn could delay or prevent us from generating revenue from the sale of any future products.

 

16


Table of Contents

We face significant competition and if our competitors develop and market products that are more effective, safer or less expensive than our product candidates, our commercial opportunities will be negatively impacted.

The life sciences industry is highly competitive and subject to rapid and significant technological change. We are currently developing biotherapeutics that will compete with other drugs and therapies that currently exist or are being developed. Products we may develop in the future are also likely to face competition from other drugs and therapies, some of which we may not currently be aware. We have competitors both in the United States and internationally, including major multinational pharmaceutical companies, established biotechnology companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies, universities and other research institutions. Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial, manufacturing, marketing, drug development, technical and human resources than we do. Large pharmaceutical companies, in particular, have extensive experience in clinical testing, obtaining regulatory approvals, recruiting patients and in manufacturing pharmaceutical products. These companies also have significantly greater research and marketing capabilities than we do and may also have products that have been approved or are in late stages of development and collaborative arrangements in our target markets with leading companies and research institutions. Established pharmaceutical companies may also invest heavily to accelerate discovery and development of novel compounds or to in-license novel compounds that could make the product candidates that we develop obsolete. As a result of all of these factors, our competitors may succeed in obtaining patent protection or FDA approval or discovering, developing and commercializing products in our field before we do.

Specifically, there are a large number of companies developing or marketing treatments for cancer and autoimmune disorders, including many major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. These treatments consist both of small molecule drug products, as well as biologics that work by using next-generation antibody therapeutic platforms to address specific cancer targets. In addition, several companies are also developing bispecific antibodies. Other companies are developing new treatments for cancer that enhance the Fc regions of antibodies to create more potent antibodies, including Macrogenics, Inc., Xencor, Inc. and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG.

Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for our product candidates, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market.

Smaller and other early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These third-parties compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs. In addition, the biopharmaceutical industry is characterized by rapid technological change. If we fail to stay at the forefront of technological change, we may be unable to compete effectively. Technological advances or products developed by our competitors may render our technologies or product candidates obsolete, less competitive or not economical.

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

Our ability to compete may be affected in many cases by insurers or other third-party payors seeking to encourage the use of biosimilar products. Biosimilar products are expected to become available over the coming years. Even if our product candidates achieve marketing approval, they may be priced at a significant premium over competitive biosimilar products, if any have been approved by then. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively the PPACA,

 

17


Table of Contents

created a new regulatory scheme authorizing the FDA to approve biosimilars. Under the PPACA, a manufacturer may submit an application for licensure of a biologic product that is “biosimilar to” or “interchangeable with” a previously approved biological product or “reference product.” Under this new statutory scheme, an application for a biosimilar product may not be submitted to the FDA until four years following approval of the reference product. The FDA may not approve a biosimilar product until 12 years from the date on which the reference product was approved. Even if a product is considered to be a reference product eligible for exclusivity, another company could market a competing version of that product if the FDA approves a full Biologics License Application, or BLA, for such product containing the sponsor’s own preclinical data and data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, purity and potency of their product. Furthermore, recent legislation has proposed that the 12-year exclusivity period for each a reference product may be reduced to seven years.

If any of our product candidates receive regulatory approval, the approved products may not achieve broad market acceptance among physicians, patients, the medical community and third-party payors, in which case revenue generated from their sales would be limited.

The commercial success of our product candidates will depend upon their acceptance among physicians, patients and the medical community. The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

    limitations or warnings contained in the approved labeling for a product candidate;

 

    changes in the standard of care for the targeted indications for any of our product candidates;

 

    limitations in the approved clinical indications for our product candidates;

 

    demonstrated clinical safety and efficacy compared to other products;

 

    lack of significant adverse side effects;

 

    sales, marketing and distribution support;

 

    availability of coverage and extent of reimbursement from managed care plans and other third-party payors;

 

    timing of market introduction and perceived effectiveness of competitive products;

 

    the degree of cost-effectiveness of our product candidates;

 

    availability of alternative therapies at similar or lower cost, including generic and over-the-counter products;

 

    the extent to which the product candidate is approved for inclusion on formularies of hospitals and managed care organizations;

 

    whether the product is designated under physician treatment guidelines as a first-line therapy or as a second or third-line therapy for particular diseases;

 

    whether the product can be used effectively with other therapies to achieve higher response rates;

 

    adverse publicity about our product candidates or favorable publicity about competitive products;

 

    convenience and ease of administration of our products; and

 

    potential product liability claims.

If any of our product candidates are approved, but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance by physicians, patients and the medical community, we may not generate sufficient revenue from these products, and we may not become or remain profitable. In addition, efforts to educate the medical community and third-party payors on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may never be successful.

 

18


Table of Contents

We may be unable to obtain orphan drug exclusivity in specific indications for ZW25 or ZW33 or in future product candidates that we may develop. If our competitors are able to obtain orphan product exclusivity for their products in specific indications, we may not be able to have competing products approved in those indications by the applicable regulatory authority for a significant period of time.

Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and Europe, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a product candidate as an orphan drug if it is a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally defined as a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals annually in the United States. The FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation to both ZW25 and ZW33 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and to ZW25 for the treatment of gastric cancer and we may seek Orphan Drug Designation for additional indications in the future. Orphan Drug Designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug nor gives the drug any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process.

Generally, if a product candidate with an Orphan Drug Designation subsequently receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to a period of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, or the FDA from approving another marketing application for the same drug for the same indication for that time period. The applicable period is seven years in the United States and 10 years in Europe. The European exclusivity period can be reduced to six years if a product no longer meets the criteria for Orphan Drug Designation or if the product is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified. Orphan drug exclusivity may be lost if the FDA or EMA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.

Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for ZW25 or ZW33, or for any other product candidates that receive an Orphan Drug Designation in the future, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs with different active moieties can be approved for the same condition. Further, in the United States, even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug for the same condition submitted by a competitor if the FDA concludes that the later drug is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. If we fail to maintain our current Orphan Drug Designations for our product candidates, ZW25 and ZW33, or for any other product candidates that receive an Orphan Drug Designation in the future, or if the FDA approves Orphan Drug Designation for similar product candidates of other pharmaceutical companies, our competitive position would be harmed.

Even if we obtain FDA approval of any of our product candidates, we may never obtain approval or commercialize such products outside of the United States, which would limit our ability to realize their full market potential.

In order to market any products outside of the United States, we must establish and comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of other countries regarding safety and efficacy. Clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries, and regulatory approval in one country does not mean that regulatory approval will be obtained in any other country. Approval procedures vary among countries and can involve additional product testing and validation and additional administrative review periods. Seeking foreign regulatory approvals could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and may require additional preclinical studies or clinical trials which would be costly and time consuming. Regulatory requirements can vary widely from country to country and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in those countries. Satisfying these and other regulatory requirements is costly, time consuming, uncertain and subject to unanticipated delays. In addition, our failure to obtain regulatory approval in any country may delay or have negative effects on the process for regulatory approval in other countries. We do not have any product candidates approved for sale in any jurisdiction, including international markets, and we do not have experience in obtaining regulatory approval in international markets. If we fail to comply with regulatory requirements in international markets or to obtain and maintain required approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our products will be harmed.

 

19


Table of Contents

Reimbursement decisions by third-party payors may have an adverse effect on pricing and market acceptance. If there is not sufficient reimbursement for our products, it is less likely that our products will be widely used.

Even if our product candidates are approved for sale by the appropriate regulatory authorities, market acceptance and sales of these products will depend on reimbursement policies and may be affected by future healthcare reform measures. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which drugs they will reimburse and establish payment levels. We cannot be certain that reimbursement will be available for any products that we develop. If reimbursement is not available or is available on a limited basis, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any of our approved products.

In the United States, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, also called the Medicare Modernization Act, or the MMA, changed the way Medicare covers and pays for pharmaceutical products. The legislation established Medicare Part D, which expanded Medicare coverage for outpatient prescription drug purchases by the elderly but provided authority for limiting the number of drugs that will be covered in any therapeutic class. The MMA also introduced a new reimbursement methodology based on average sales prices for physician-administered drugs. We expect to experience pricing pressures in connection with the sale of any products that we develop, due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative proposals.

There may be significant delays in obtaining coverage and reimbursement for newly approved drugs, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug is approved by the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for coverage and reimbursement does not imply that a drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution expenses. Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs, if applicable, may also be insufficient to cover our and any collaborator’s costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost drugs and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Net prices for drugs 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 from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Our or any collaborator’s inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products that we or our strategic partners develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize product candidates and our overall financial condition.

If the market opportunities for any product that we or our strategic partners develop are smaller than we believe they are, our revenue may be adversely affected and our business may suffer.

We intend to initially focus our independent product candidate development on treatments for oncology. Our projections of addressable patient populations that have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates are based on estimates. If any of the foregoing estimates are inaccurate, the market opportunities for any of our product candidates could be significantly diminished and have an adverse material impact on our business.

We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate or indication and fail to capitalize on product candidates or indications 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 on research programs, therapeutic platforms and product candidates that we identify for specific indications. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other therapeutic platforms or product candidates or for other indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize

 

20


Table of Contents

on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future research and development programs, therapeutic platforms and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products. 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.

We may not be successful in our efforts to use and expand our therapeutic platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates.

A key element of our strategy is to use and expand our therapeutic platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates and progress these product candidates through clinical development for the treatment of a variety of diseases. Although our research and development efforts to date have resulted in a pipeline of product candidates directed at various cancers, we may not be able to develop product candidates that are safe and effective. In addition, although we expect that our therapeutic platforms will allow us to develop a steady stream of product candidates, they may not prove to be successful at doing so. Even if we are successful in continuing to build our pipeline, the potential product candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development, including as a result of being shown to have harmful side effects or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to be products that will receive marketing approval and achieve market acceptance. If we do not continue to successfully develop and begin to commercialize product candidates, we will face difficulty in obtaining product revenue in future periods, which could result in significant harm to our financial position and adversely affect our share price.

Even if we receive regulatory approval to commercialize any of the product candidates that we develop, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense.

Any regulatory approvals that we receive for our product candidates may be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or subject to certain conditions of approval, and may contain requirements for potentially costly post-approval trials, including Phase 4 clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the marketed product.

For any approved product, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and extensive oversight by regulatory authorities, including with respect to manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion and recordkeeping for the product. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-approval information and reports, as well as continued compliance with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP, and current good clinical practices, or cGCP, for any clinical trials that we or our strategic partners conduct post- approval. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

 

    restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product;

 

    withdrawal of the product from the market or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;

 

    fines, warning letters or holds on clinical trials;

 

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

 

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

 

    injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

 

21


Table of Contents

Occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material and adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Further, the FDA’s or other ex-U.S. regulator’s policies may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates. 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, which would adversely affect our business, prospects and ability to achieve or sustain profitability.

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

We face an inherent risk of product liability lawsuits related to the testing of our product candidates in seriously ill patients, and will face an even greater risk if product candidates are approved by regulatory authorities and introduced commercially. Product liability claims may be brought against us or our strategic partners by participants enrolled in our clinical trials, patients, health care providers or others using, administering or selling any of our future approved products. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against any such claims, we may incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of their merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

 

    decreased demand for any future approved products;

 

    injury to our reputation;

 

    withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

    termination of clinical trial sites or entire trial programs;

 

    increased regulatory scrutiny;

 

    significant litigation costs;

 

    substantial monetary awards to or costly settlement with patients or other claimants;

 

    product recalls or a change in the indications for which they may be used;

 

    loss of revenue;

 

    diversion of management and scientific resources from our business operations; and

 

    the inability to commercialize our product candidates.

If any of our product candidates are approved for commercial sale, we will be highly dependent upon consumer perceptions of us and the safety and quality of our products. We could be adversely affected if we are subject to negative publicity. We could also be adversely affected if any of our products or any similar products distributed by other companies prove to be, or are asserted to be, harmful to patients. Because of our dependence upon consumer perceptions, any adverse publicity associated with illness or other adverse effects resulting from patients’ use or misuse of our products or any similar products distributed by other companies could have a material adverse impact on our financial condition or results of operations.

We may need to have in place increased product liability coverage when we begin the commercialization of our product candidates. Insurance coverage is becoming increasingly expensive. As a result, we may be unable to maintain or obtain sufficient insurance at a reasonable cost to protect us against losses that could have a material adverse effect on our business. A successful product liability claim or series of claims brought against us, particularly if judgments exceed any insurance coverage we may have, could decrease our cash resources and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation.

Changes in methods of product candidate manufacturing or formulation may result in additional costs or delay.

As product candidates are developed through preclinical to late-stage clinical trials towards approval and commercialization, it is common that various aspects of the development program, such as manufacturing

 

22


Table of Contents

methods and formulation, are altered along the way in an effort to optimize processes and results. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve these intended objectives. Any of these changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of planned clinical trials or other future clinical trials conducted with the altered materials. This could delay completion of clinical trials, require the conduct of bridging clinical trials or the repetition of one or more clinical trials, increase clinical trial costs, delay approval of our product candidates and jeopardize our ability, or our strategic partners’ ability, to commence product sales and generate revenue.

Acquisitions or joint ventures could disrupt our business, cause dilution to our shareholders and otherwise harm our business.

We actively evaluate various strategic transactions on an ongoing basis and recently acquired Kairos Therapeutics Inc., or Kairos. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Acquisition of Kairos” and “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.” We may acquire other businesses, products or technologies as well as pursue strategic alliances, joint ventures or investments in complementary businesses. Any of these transactions could be material to our financial condition and operating results and expose us to many risks, including:

 

    disruption in our relationships with existing strategic partners or suppliers as a result of such a transaction;

 

    unanticipated liabilities related to acquired companies;

 

    difficulties integrating acquired personnel, technologies and operations into our existing business;

 

    retention of key employees;

 

    diversion of management time and focus from operating our business to management of strategic alliances or joint ventures or acquisition integration challenges;

 

    increases in our expenses and reductions in our cash available for operations and other uses; and

 

    possible write-offs or impairment charges relating to acquired businesses.

Foreign acquisitions involve unique risks in addition to those mentioned above, including those related to integration of operations across different cultures and languages, currency risks and the particular economic, political and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.

Also, the anticipated benefit of any strategic alliance, joint venture or acquisition may not materialize or such strategic alliance, joint venture or acquisition may be prohibited. In June 2016, we entered into a credit facility, or the Perceptive Facility, with Perceptive Credit Opportunities Fund, L.P., or Perceptive, and PCOF Phoenix II Fund, L.P., or, together with Perceptive, the Perceptive Facility Lenders. The Credit Agreement and Guaranty which we entered into in connection with the Perceptive Facility, or the Credit Agreement, restricts our ability to pursue certain mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations or consolidations that we may believe to be in our best interest. Additionally, future acquisitions or dispositions could result in potentially dilutive issuances of our equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses or write-offs of goodwill, any of which could harm our financial condition. We cannot predict the number, timing or size of future joint ventures or acquisitions, or the effect that any such transactions might have on our operating results.

Foreign governments tend to impose strict price controls, which may adversely affect our future profitability.

In most foreign countries, particularly in those in the European Union, prescription drug pricing and reimbursement is subject to governmental control. In those countries that impose price controls, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after the receipt of marketing approval for a product. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we or our strategic partners may be required to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of our product candidates to other available therapies.

 

23


Table of Contents

Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we or our strategic partners might obtain marketing approval for a product candidate in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay commercial launch of the product candidate, possibly for lengthy time periods, and negatively impact the revenue that are generated from the sale of the product in that country. If reimbursement of such product candidates is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, or if there is competition from lower priced cross-border sales, our profitability will be negatively affected.

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

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store petabytes of sensitive data, including legally protected health information, personally identifiable information, intellectual property and proprietary business information owned or controlled by ourselves or our strategic partners. We manage and maintain our applications and data by utilizing a combination of on-site systems, managed data center systems and cloud-based data center systems. These applications and data encompass a wide variety of business-critical information, including research and development information, commercial information and business and financial information. We face four primary risks relative to protecting this critical information, including loss of access risk, inappropriate disclosure risk, inappropriate modification risk and the risk of being unable to adequately monitor our controls over the first three risks.

The secure processing, storage, maintenance and transmission of this critical information are vital to our operations and business strategy, and we devote significant resources to protecting such information. Although we take measures to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure, our information technology and infrastructure and that of any third-party billing and collections provider we may utilize, may be vulnerable to attacks by hackers or viruses or breached due to employee error, malfeasance or other disruptions. Any such breach or interruption could compromise our networks and the information stored there could be accessed by unauthorized parties, publicly disclosed, lost or stolen. Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, such as HIPAA and regulatory penalties. Although we have implemented security measures and a formal enterprise security program to prevent unauthorized access to patient data, there is no guarantee that we can continue to protect our systems from breach. Unauthorized access, loss or dissemination could also disrupt our operations, including our ability to conduct our analyses, provide test results, bill payors or providers, process claims and appeals, conduct research and development activities, collect, process and prepare company financial information, provide information about any future products, manage the administrative aspects of our business and damage our reputation, any of which could adversely affect our business.

The U.S. Office of Civil Rights may impose penalties on us or our CROs if we, or our CROs, do not fully comply with requirements of HIPAA. Penalties will vary significantly depending on factors such as whether we, or our CROs, knew or should have known of the failure to comply, or whether our failure, or that of our CROs, to comply was due to willful neglect. These penalties include civil monetary penalties of $100 to $50,000 per violation, up to an annual cap of $1,500,000 for identical violations. A person who knowingly obtains or discloses individually identifiable health information in violation of HIPAA may face a criminal penalty of up to $50,000 per violation and up to one-year imprisonment. The criminal penalties increase to $100,000 per violation and up to five-years imprisonment if the wrongful conduct involves false pretenses, and to $250,000 per violation and up to 10-years imprisonment if the wrongful conduct involves the intent to sell, transfer, or use identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm. The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for criminal prosecutions under HIPAA. Furthermore, in the event of a breach as defined by HIPAA, we have specific reporting requirements to the Office of Civil Rights under the HIPAA regulations as

 

24


Table of Contents

well as to affected individuals, and we may also have additional reporting requirements to other state and federal regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission, and to the media. Issuing such notifications can be costly, time and resource intensive, and can generate significant negative publicity. Breaches of HIPAA may also constitute contractual violations that could lead to contractual damages or terminations.

In addition, the interpretation and application of consumer, health-related and data protection laws in the United States, the European Union, or EU, and elsewhere are often uncertain, contradictory and in flux. It is possible that these laws may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our practices. If so, this could result in government-imposed fines or orders requiring that we change our practices, which could adversely affect our business. In addition, these privacy regulations vary between states, may differ from country to country, and may vary based on whether testing is performed in the United States or in the local country. Complying with these various laws could cause us to incur substantial costs or require us to change our business practices and compliance procedures in a manner adverse to our business.

Furthermore, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or future clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Likewise, we rely on other third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and to conduct clinical trials, and similar events relating to their computer systems could also have a material adverse effect on our business.

Current and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to commercialize any products that we or our strategic partners develop and affect the prices we may obtain.

The United States and some foreign jurisdictions are considering or have enacted a number of legislative and regulatory proposals to change healthcare systems in ways that could affect our ability to sell any of our product candidates profitably, if such product candidates are approved for sale. Among policy makers and payors in the United States and elsewhere, there is significant interest in promoting changes in healthcare systems with the stated goals of containing healthcare costs, improving quality and expanding access. In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry has been a particular focus of these efforts and has been significantly affected by major legislative initiatives.

In March 2010, the PPACA was enacted, which includes measures that have significantly changed, or will significantly change, the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers. Among the provisions of the PPACA of importance to the pharmaceutical industry are the following:

 

    an annual, non-deductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic agents, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs;

 

    an increase in the rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to 23.1% of the average manufacturer price, or AMP, for branded drugs or the difference between AMP and best price, whichever is greater. For generic drugs the rebate is 13%;

 

    Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% point-of-sale discounts to negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period;

 

    extension of manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability to covered drugs dispensed to individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations;

 

    expansion of 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 certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level, thereby potentially increasing manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability;

 

25


Table of Contents
    requirement that applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations report annually to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, information certain payments and other transfers of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals, and any ownership or investment interest physicians, or their immediate family members, have in their company;

 

    a requirement to annually report drug samples that manufacturers and distributors provide to physicians;

 

    expansion of healthcare fraud and abuse laws, including the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute, new government investigative powers, and enhanced penalties for noncompliance;

 

    a licensure framework for follow-on biologic products;

 

    a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research;

 

    creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board which, when and if empaneled, will have authority to recommend certain changes to the Medicare program that could result in reduced payments for prescription drugs and those recommendations could have the effect of law even if Congress does not act on the recommendations; and

 

    establishment of a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at CMS to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending.

Since its enactment, there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the PPACA. In January, Congress voted to adopt a budget resolution for fiscal year 2017, or the Budget Resolution, that authorizes the implementation of legislation that would repeal portions of the PPACA. The Budget Resolution is not a law, however, it is widely viewed as the first step toward the passage of legislation that would repeal certain aspects of the PPACA. Further, on January 20, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the PPACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the PPACA that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden on states, individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. Congress is currently considering a bill to revise the PPACA and could consider subsequent legislation to replace elements of the PPACA that are repealed.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the PPACA was enacted. These changes include aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which began in 2013 and will remain in effect through 2025 unless additional Congressional action is taken. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals and cancer treatment centers, increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. These new laws may result in additional reductions in Medicare and other healthcare funding, which could have a material adverse effect on customers for our product candidates, if approved, and, accordingly, our financial operations. Also, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny recently over the manner in which drug manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which have resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed bills 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.

In the EU similar political, economic and regulatory developments may affect our ability to profitably commercialize our current or any future products. In addition to continuing pressure on prices and cost containment measures, legislative developments at the EU or member state level may result in significant additional requirements or obstacles that may increase our operating costs. In international markets, reimbursement and healthcare payment systems vary significantly by country, and many countries have instituted price ceilings on specific products and therapies. Our future products, if any, might not be considered medically reasonable and necessary for a specific indication or cost-effective by third-party payors, an adequate level of reimbursement might not be available for such products and third-party payors’ reimbursement policies might adversely affect our or our strategic partners’ ability to sell any future products profitably.

 

26


Table of Contents

Legislative and regulatory proposals have been made to expand post-approval requirements and restrict sales and promotional activities for pharmaceutical products. We cannot be sure whether additional legislative changes will be enacted, or whether the FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes on the marketing approvals of our product candidates, if any, may be. In addition, increased scrutiny by the U.S. Congress of the FDA’s approval process may significantly delay or prevent marketing approval, as well as subject us to more stringent product labeling and post-approval testing and other requirements.

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 or our strategic partners are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we or our strategic partners are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, our product candidates may lose any marketing approval that may have been obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business.

Our business may become subject to economic, political, regulatory and other risks associated with international operations.

Our business is subject to risks associated with conducting business internationally. Some of our suppliers and collaborative and clinical trial relationships are located outside the United States. Accordingly, our future results could be harmed by a variety of factors, including:

 

    economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in particular foreign economies and markets;

 

    differing regulatory requirements for drug approvals in foreign countries;

 

    potentially reduced protection for intellectual property rights;

 

    difficulties in compliance with non-U.S. laws and regulations;

 

    changes in non-U.S. regulations and customs, tariffs and trade barriers;

 

    changes in non-U.S. currency exchange rates and currency controls;

 

    changes in a specific country’s or region’s political or economic environment;

 

    trade protection measures, import or export licensing requirements or other restrictive actions by U.S. or non-U.S. governments;

 

    differing reimbursement regimes, including price controls;

 

    negative consequences from changes in tax laws;

 

    compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad;

 

    workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States;

 

    difficulties associated with staffing and managing foreign operations, including differing labor relations;

 

    production shortages resulting from any events affecting raw material supply or manufacturing capabilities abroad; and

 

    business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including war and terrorism, or natural disasters including earthquakes, typhoons, floods and fires.

Our business and current and future relationships with customers and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere will be subject, directly or indirectly, to applicable federal and state anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, transparency, health information privacy and security and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to criminal sanctions, civil penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens, and diminished profits and future earnings.

Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval.

 

27


Table of Contents

Our current and future arrangements with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers, and third-party payors and other entities may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal False Claims Act, that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we conduct clinical research on product candidates and market, sell and distribute any products for which we obtain marketing approval. In addition, we may be subject to transparency laws and patient privacy regulation by the federal government and by the U.S. states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct our business. The applicable federal, state and foreign healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

    the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration (including any kickback, bribe or rebate), directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward 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 federal and state healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid;

 

    federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws, including the federal False Claims Act, which impose criminal and civil penalties, including civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, against individuals or entities for knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or other third party payor claims for payment that are false or fraudulent or making a false statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government;

 

    the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which among other things, imposes criminal liability for knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g. public or private) and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services relating to healthcare matters;

 

    HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and its implementing regulations, which imposes certain obligations, including mandatory contractual terms, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without the appropriate authorization by entities subject to the law, such as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and healthcare providers and their respective business associates;

 

    the federal Open Payments program under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, created under Section 6002 of the PPACA and its implementing regulations requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to HHS information related to “payments or other transfers of value” made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, and applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations to report annually to HHS ownership and investment interests held by physicians (as defined above) and their immediate family members; and

 

   

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, including: state anti-kickback and false claims laws which may apply to our business practices, including, but not limited to, research, distribution, sales and marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by state governmental and non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the applicable compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government; state laws that require drug manufacturers to track gifts and other remuneration and items of value provided to healthcare professionals and entities and file reports relating to pricing and marketing information; and state and

 

28


Table of Contents
 

foreign laws that govern the privacy and security of health information in specified circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not pre-empted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and safe harbors available under the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute and analogous state laws, it is possible that some of our current and future business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. In addition, recent healthcare reform legislation has strengthened these laws. For example, the PPACA, among other things, amends the intent requirement of the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute and criminal healthcare fraud statutes. A person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of these statutes or specific intent to violate them in order to be in violation. Moreover, the PPACA provides that the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal False Claims Act.

Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations may involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, including, without limitation, damages, fines, imprisonment, exclusion from participation in government healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, additional reporting requirements and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. If any of the physicians or other providers or entities with whom we expect to do business, including our strategic partners, is found not to be in compliance with applicable laws, it may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from participation in government healthcare programs, which could also materially affect our business.

We are subject to U.S. and certain foreign export and import controls, sanctions, embargoes, anti-corruption laws, and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Compliance with these legal standards could impair our ability to compete in domestic and international markets. We can face criminal liability and other serious consequences for violations which can harm our business.

We are subject to export control and import laws and regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations, various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and other state and national anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees, agents, contractors, and other partners from authorizing, promising, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, improper payments or anything else of value to recipients in the public or private sector. We may engage third parties for clinical trials outside of the United States, to sell our products abroad once we enter a commercialization phase, or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations, and other regulatory approvals. We may have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or government-affiliated hospitals, universities, and other organizations. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our employees, agents, contractors, and other partners, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have actual knowledge of such activities. Any violation of the laws and regulations described above may result in substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties, imprisonment, the loss of export or import privileges, debarment, tax reassessments, breach of contract and fraud litigation, reputational harm, and other consequences.

 

29


Table of Contents

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital

We have incurred significant losses since inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future. We have no products approved for commercial sale, and to date we have not generated any revenue or profit from product sales. We may never achieve or sustain profitability.

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. We have incurred significant losses since our inception. Our net loss for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was $12.9 million, $19.2 million and $33.8 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2016, our accumulated deficit was approximately $97.8 million. We expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect these losses to increase as we continue our research and development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, our product candidates, prepare for and begin to commercialize any approved product candidates and add infrastructure and personnel to support our product development efforts and operations as a public company. The net losses and negative cash flows incurred to date, together with expected future losses, have had, and likely will continue to have, an adverse effect on our shareholders’ deficit and working capital. The amount of future net losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenue.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with pharmaceutical product development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of increased expenses or when, or if, we will be able to achieve profitability. For example, our expenses could increase if we are required by the FDA to perform trials in addition to those that we currently expect to perform, or if there are any delays in completing our currently planned clinical trials or in the development of any of our product candidates.

To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and commercializing product candidates with significant market potential. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities for which we are only in the preliminary stages, including developing product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval for such product candidates, and manufacturing, marketing and selling those product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval. We may never succeed in these activities and may never generate revenue from product sales that is significant enough to achieve profitability. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods. Our failure to become or remain profitable would depress our market value and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, develop other product candidates, or continue our operations. A decline in the value of our company could also cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of uncertainty. We have never generated any revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.

We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources and efforts to developing our proprietary therapeutic platforms, identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical studies and a clinical trial. We and our partners are still in the early stages of developing our product candidates, and we have not completed development of any products. Our revenue to date has been primarily revenue from the license of our proprietary therapeutic platforms for the development of product candidates by others or revenue from our strategic partners. Our ability to generate revenue and achieve profitability depends in large part on our ability, alone or with our strategic partners, to achieve milestones and to successfully complete the development of, obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for, and commercialize, product candidates. We do not anticipate generating revenue from sales of products for the foreseeable future.

 

30


Table of Contents

We will require substantial additional funding, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all, and, if not available, may require us to delay, scale back, or cease our product development programs or operations.

We are currently advancing two of our product candidates through preclinical and clinical development as well as other potential product candidates through discovery. Developing pharmaceutical products, including conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, is expensive. In order to obtain such regulatory approval, we will be required to conduct clinical trials for each indication for each of our product candidates. We will continue to require additional funding beyond this contemplated offering to complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates and to continue to advance the development of our other product candidates and such funding may not be available on acceptable terms or at all. In addition, in June 2016, we entered into the Credit Agreement with the Perceptive Facility Lenders pursuant to which we are able to borrow up to an aggregate of $15 million, consisting of Tranche A and Tranche B term loans for $7.5 million each. The Credit Agreement requires us to pay monthly interest payments up until June 2, 2018, after which monthly principal payments of $225,000 will also commence. The remaining outstanding principal balance under the Credit Agreement will need to be paid on June 2, 2020. Furthermore, in August 2016 we entered into a license agreement with Innovative Targeting Solutions Inc., or ITS, which requires licensing payments to ITS totaling $12.0 million over the following five year period.

Although it is difficult to predict our liquidity requirements, based upon our current operating plan, we believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents will enable us to advance the clinical development of ZW25 and ZW33 product candidates. We may also be eligible to receive certain research, development and commercial milestone payments in the future, as described under “Business – Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.” However, because successful development of our product candidates and the achievement of milestones by our strategic partners is uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require to complete research and development and to commercialize our product candidates.

Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including but not limited to:

 

    the number and characteristics of other product candidates that we pursue;

 

    the scope, progress, timing, cost and results of research, preclinical development, and clinical trials;

 

    the costs, timing and outcome of seeking and obtaining FDA and non-U.S. regulatory approvals;

 

    the costs associated with manufacturing our product candidates and establishing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities;

 

    our ability to maintain, expand and defend the scope of our intellectual property portfolio, including the amount and timing of any payments we may be required to make in connection with the licensing, filing, defense and enforcement of any patents or other intellectual property rights;

 

    our need and ability to hire additional management, scientific and medical personnel;

 

    the effect of competing products that may limit market penetration of our product candidates;

 

    our need to implement additional internal systems and infrastructure, including financial and reporting systems; and

 

    the economic and other terms, timing of and success of our existing strategic partnerships, and any collaboration, licensing, or other arrangements into which we may enter in the future, including the timing of receipt of any milestone or royalty payments under these agreements.

Until we can generate a sufficient amount of product revenue to finance our cash requirements, which we may never do, we expect to finance future cash needs primarily through a combination of public and private equity offerings, debt financings, strategic partnerships and grant funding. However, subject to limited

 

31


Table of Contents

exceptions, the Credit Agreement prohibits us from incurring indebtedness without the prior written consent of the Perceptive Facility Lenders. If sufficient funds on acceptable terms are not available when needed, or at all, we could be forced to significantly reduce operating expenses and delay, scale back or eliminate one or more of our development programs or our business operations.

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our shareholders, including purchasers of common shares in this offering, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish substantial rights.

To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these new securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a common shareholder. Debt financing, if available at all, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures, or declaring dividends. If we raise additional funds through partnerships, collaborations, strategic alliances, or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, product candidates, or future revenue streams, or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain additional funding if and when necessary. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis, we could be required to delay, scale back or eliminate one or more of our development programs or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

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

Global credit and financial markets experienced extreme disruptions at various points over the last decade, characterized by diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. If another such disruption in credit and financial markets and deterioration of confidence in economic conditions occurs, our business may be adversely affected. If the equity and credit markets were to deteriorate significantly in the future, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult to complete, more costly, and more dilutive. Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and share price and could require us to delay or abandon development or commercialization plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our current strategic partners, service providers, manufacturers and other partners would not survive or be able to meet their commitments to us under such circumstances, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget.

We are subject to risks associated with currency fluctuations, and changes in foreign currency exchange rates could impact our results of operations.

Management assesses its functional currency to be the U.S. dollar based on management’s analysis of the changes in the primary economic environment in which we operate.

As of December 31, 2016, approximately 33% of our cash and cash equivalents was denominated in Canadian dollars. Fluctuations in U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar exchange rates could result in a material increase in reported expenses relative to revenue, and therefore could cause our operating income (expense) to appear to decline materially. Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates also impact the reporting of our receivables and payables in non-Canadian currencies. As a result of such foreign currency fluctuations, it could be more difficult to detect underlying trends in our business and results of operations. In addition, to the extent that fluctuations in currency exchange rates cause our results of operations to differ from our expectations or the expectations of our investors, the trading price of our common shares could be adversely affected.

 

32


Table of Contents

From time to time, we may engage in exchange rate hedging activities in an effort to mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. For example, we maintain a natural currency hedge against fluctuations in the U.S./Canadian foreign exchange rate by matching the amount of U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar investments to the expected amount of future U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar obligations, respectively. Any hedging technique we implement may fail to be effective. If our hedging activities are not effective, changes in currency exchange rates may have a more significant impact on the trading price of our common shares.

The terms of our credit facility require us to meet certain operating and financial 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 Perceptive Facility is secured by a lien covering substantially all of our assets, including our intellectual property. Subject to the terms of the Credit Agreement, amounts borrowed under the facility can be repaid at any time, subject to certain penalty payments, prior to the June 2, 2020 maturity date, at which time all amounts borrowed will be due and payable. In connection with the Perceptive Facility, Perceptive was concurrently issued a warrant that entitles Perceptive to purchase up to 704,081 of our Class A preferred shares at an exercise price of $4.90 per share, with a term of five years.

The Credit 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 Credit Agreement, the Perceptive Facility Lenders will be able to declare all obligations immediately due and payable and take control of our pledged assets, potentially requiring us to renegotiate our agreement on terms less favorable to us or to immediately cease operations. Further, if we are liquidated, the Perceptive Facility Lenders’ rights to repayment would be senior to the rights of the holders of our common shares to receive any proceeds from the liquidation. The Perceptive Facility Lenders could declare a default under the Credit Agreement upon the occurrence of any event that the Perceptive Facility Lenders interpret as a material adverse change as defined under the credit 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 Perceptive Facility Lenders of an event of default could significantly harm our business and prospects and could cause the price of our common shares to decline. If we raise any additional debt financing, the terms of such additional debt could further restrict our operating and financial flexibility.

Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties

Our existing strategic partnerships are important to our business, and future strategic partnerships will likely also be important to us. If we are unable to maintain our strategic partnerships, or if these strategic partnerships are not successful, our business could be adversely affected.

We have limited capabilities for drug development and do not yet have any capability for sales, marketing or distribution. Accordingly, we have entered into strategic partnerships with other companies that we believe can provide such capabilities, including our collaboration and license agreements with Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi. These relationships also have provided us with non-dilutive funding for our wholly-owned pipeline and therapeutic platforms and we expect to receive additional funding under these strategic partnerships in the future. Our existing strategic partnerships, and any future strategic partnerships we enter into, may pose a number of risks, including the following:

 

    strategic partners have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to these partnerships;

 

    strategic partners may not perform their obligations as expected;

 

33


Table of Contents
    strategic partners may not pursue development and commercialization of any product candidates that achieve regulatory approval or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on clinical trial results, changes in the partners’ strategic focus or available funding, or external factors, such as an acquisition, that divert resources or create competing priorities;

 

    strategic partners 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;

 

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

 

    product candidates discovered in collaboration with us may be viewed by our strategic partners as competitive with their own product candidates or products, which may cause strategic partners to cease to devote resources to the commercialization of our product candidates;

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

    strategic partnerships may be terminated for the convenience of the partner and, if terminated, we could be required to raise additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product candidates. For example, each of our collaboration and license agreements with Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi may be terminated for convenience upon the completion of a specified notice period.

We may not realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnerships.

If our strategic partnerships do not result in the successful development and commercialization of product candidates or if one of our partners terminates its agreement with us, we may not receive any future research funding or milestone or royalty payments under the collaboration. Moreover, our estimates of the potential revenue we are eligible to receive under our strategic partnerships may include potential payments in respect of therapeutic programs for which our partners have discontinued development or may discontinue development in the future. Furthermore, our strategic partners may not keep us informed as to the status of their in-house research activities and they may fail to exercise options embedded within certain agreements. Any discontinuation of product development by our strategic partners could reduce the amounts receivable under our strategic partnerships below the stated amounts we are eligible to receive under those agreements. If we do not receive the funding we expect under these agreements, our development of our therapeutic platforms and product candidates could be delayed and we may need additional resources to develop product candidates and our therapeutic platforms. All of the risks relating to product development, regulatory approval and commercialization described in this prospectus also apply to the activities of our program strategic partners.

 

34


Table of Contents

Additionally, subject to its contractual obligations to us, if one of our strategic partners is involved in a business combination, the partner might deemphasize or terminate the development or commercialization of any product candidate licensed to it by us. If one of our strategic partners terminates its agreement with us, we may find it more difficult to attract new partners.

We face significant competition in seeking new strategic partners.

For some of our product candidates, we may in the future determine to collaborate with additional pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for development and potential commercialization of therapeutic products. 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. The strategic partner may also consider alternative product candidates or technologies for similar indications that may be available to collaborate on and whether such a collaboration could be more attractive than the one with us for our product candidate.

Strategic partnerships are complex and time-consuming to negotiate and document. 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. If we are unable to reach agreements with suitable strategic partners on a timely basis, on acceptable terms, or at all, we may have to curtail the development of a product candidate, reduce or delay one or more of our other development programs, delay its potential commercialization or reduce the scope of any sales or marketing activities, or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense. If we elect to fund and undertake development or commercialization activities on our own, we may need to obtain additional expertise and additional capital, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we fail to enter into strategic partnerships and do not have sufficient funds or expertise to undertake the necessary development and commercialization activities, we may not be able to further develop our product candidates or bring them to market or continue to develop our therapeutic platforms and our business may be materially and adversely affected.

We rely on third-party manufacturers to produce our clinical product candidates. Any failure by a third-party manufacturer to produce acceptable product candidate for us may delay or impair our ability to initiate or complete our clinical trials or commercialize approved products.

We do not currently own or operate any manufacturing facilities nor do we have any in-house manufacturing experience or personnel. We rely on our strategic partners to manufacture product candidates licensed to them or work with multiple third-party contract manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of materials required for the manufacture of our product candidates for preclinical testing and clinical trials, in compliance with applicable regulatory and quality standards, and intend to do so for the commercial manufacture of our products. If we are unable to arrange for such third-party manufacturing sources, or fail to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to successfully produce sufficient supply of product candidate or we may be delayed in doing so. Such failure or substantial delay could materially harm our business.

Reliance on third-party manufacturers entails risks to which we would not be subject if we manufactured product candidates ourselves, including reliance on the third party for regulatory compliance and quality control and assurance, volume production, the possibility of breach of the manufacturing agreement by the third party because of factors beyond our control (including a failure to synthesize and manufacture our product candidates

 

35


Table of Contents

in accordance with our product specifications) and the possibility of termination or nonrenewal of the agreement by the third-party at a time that is costly or damaging to us. In addition, the FDA, EMA and other regulatory authorities require that our product candidates be manufactured according to current cGMPs and similar foreign standards. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and their subcontractors are required to register their facilities or products manufactured at the time of submission of the marketing application and then annually thereafter with the FDA and certain state and foreign agencies. They are also subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA, state and other foreign authorities. Any subsequent discovery of problems with a product, or a manufacturing or laboratory facility used by us or our strategic partners, may result in restrictions on the product or on the manufacturing or laboratory facility, including marketed product recall, suspension of manufacturing, product seizure, or a voluntary withdrawal of the drug from the market. We may have little to no control regarding the occurrence of third-party manufacturer incidents. Any failure by our third-party manufacturers to comply with cGMP or failure to scale up manufacturing processes, including any failure to deliver sufficient quantities of product candidates in a timely manner, could lead to a delay in, or failure to obtain, regulatory approval of any of our product candidates.

The manufacture of our product candidates is complex. We and our third-party manufacturers may encounter difficulties in production. If we encounter any such difficulties, our ability to supply our product candidates for clinical trials or, if approved, for commercial sale could be delayed or halted entirely.

The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is complex and requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. The process of manufacturing our product candidates is extremely susceptible to product loss due to contamination, equipment failure or improper installation or operation of equipment, vendor or operator error, contamination and 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 in our product candidates or in the manufacturing facilities in which our product candidates are made, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination. All of our engineered antibodies are manufactured by starting cells that are stored in a cell bank. We have one master cell bank for each antibody manufactured in accordance with cGMP and multiple working cell banks. While we believe we would have adequate back up should any cell bank be lost in a catastrophic event, it is possible that we could lose multiple cell banks and have our manufacturing severely impacted by the need to replace the cell banks. Any adverse developments affecting manufacturing operations for our product candidates, if any are approved, may result in shipment delays, inventory shortages, lot failures, product withdrawals or recalls, or other interruptions in the supply of our products. We may also have to take inventory write-offs and incur other charges and expenses for products that fail to meet specifications, undertake costly remediation efforts or seek more costly manufacturing alternatives.

We rely on third parties to monitor, support, conduct and oversee clinical trials of the product candidates that we are developing and, in some cases, to maintain regulatory files for those product candidates. We may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates or commercialize any products that may result from our development efforts, if we are not able to maintain or secure agreements with such third parties on acceptable terms, if these third parties do not perform their services as required, or if these third parties fail to timely transfer any regulatory information held by them to us.

We rely on entities outside of our control, which may include academic institutions, CROs, hospitals, clinics and other third-party strategic partners, to monitor, support, conduct and oversee preclinical studies and clinical trials of our current and future product candidates. We also rely on third parties to perform clinical trials on our current and future product candidates when they reach that stage. As a result, we have less control over the timing and cost of these studies and the ability to recruit trial subjects than if we conducted these trials with our own personnel.

 

36


Table of Contents

If we are unable to maintain or enter into agreements with these third parties on acceptable terms, or if any such engagement is terminated prematurely, we may be unable to enroll patients on a timely basis or otherwise conduct our trials in the manner we anticipate. In addition, there is no guarantee that these third parties will devote adequate time and resources to our studies or perform as required by our contract or in accordance with regulatory requirements, including maintenance of clinical trial information regarding our product candidates. If these third parties fail to meet expected deadlines, fail to transfer to us any regulatory information in a timely manner, fail to adhere to protocols or fail to act in accordance with regulatory requirements or our agreements with them, or if they otherwise perform in a substandard manner or in a way that compromises the quality or accuracy of their activities or the data they obtain, then clinical trials of our product candidates may be extended or delayed with additional costs incurred, or our data may be rejected by the FDA, EMA or other regulatory agencies.

Ultimately, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the applicable protocol, legal, regulatory and scientific standards, and our reliance on third parties does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities.

We and our CROs are required to comply with cGCP regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA, the competent authorities of the member states of the EU and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for products in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these cGCP regulations through periodic inspections of clinical trial sponsors, principal investigators and clinical trial sites. If we or any of our CROs fail to comply with applicable cGCP regulations, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and our submission of marketing applications may be delayed or the FDA may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. Upon inspection, the FDA could determine that any of our clinical trials fail or have failed to comply with applicable cGCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with product produced under the cGMP regulations enforced by the FDA, and our clinical trials may require a large number of test subjects. Our failure to comply with these regulations may require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process and increase our costs. Moreover, our business may be implicated if any of our CROs violates federal or state fraud and abuse or false claims laws and regulations or healthcare privacy and security laws.

If any of our clinical trial sites terminate for any reason, we may experience the loss of follow-up information on patients enrolled in our ongoing clinical trials unless we are able to transfer the care of those patients to another qualified clinical trial site. Further, if our relationship with any of our CROs is terminated, we may be unable to enter into arrangements with alternative CROs on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

Switching or adding CROs or other suppliers can involve substantial cost and require extensive management time and focus. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new CRO or supplier commences work. As a result, delays may occur, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines. If we are required to seek alternative supply arrangements, the resulting delays and potential inability to find a suitable replacement could materially and adversely impact our business.

We rely on third parties for various operational and administrative aspects of our business, including for certain cloud-based software platforms, which impact our financial, operational and research activities. If any of these third parties fail to provide timely, accurate and ongoing service or if the cloud-based platforms suffer outages that we are unable to mitigate, our business may be adversely affected.

We currently rely upon third party consultants and contractors to provide certain operational and administrative services. These services include external tax advice and clinical and research consultation. The failure of any of these third parties to provide accurate and timely service may adversely impact our business operations. In addition, if such third-party service providers were to cease operations, temporarily or permanently, face financial distress or other business disruption, increase their fees or if our relationships with these providers deteriorate, we could suffer increased costs until an equivalent provider could be found, if at all,

 

37


Table of Contents

or we could develop internal capabilities, if ever. In addition, if we are unsuccessful in choosing or finding high-quality partners, if we fail to negotiate cost-effective relationships with them, or if we ineffectively manage these relationships, it could have an adverse impact on our business and financial performance.

Further, our operations depend on the continuing and efficient operation of our information technology and communications systems and infrastructure, and specifically on the “cloud-based” platforms. These platforms are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, vandalism, sabotage, terrorist attacks, floods, fires, power outages, telecommunications failures, and computer viruses or other deliberate attempts to harm the systems. The occurrence of a natural or intentional disaster, any decision to close a facility we are using without adequate notice, or particularly an unanticipated problem at our cloud-based virtual server facility, could result in harmful interruptions in our service, resulting in adverse effects to our business.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

Our commercial success depends significantly on our ability to operate without infringing the patents and other proprietary rights of third parties.

Our success will depend in part on our ability to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties. Other entities may have or obtain patents or proprietary rights that could limit our ability to make, use, sell, offer for sale or import our future approved products or impair our competitive position. For example, certain patent applications held by third parties cover Fab region engineering methods for bispecific antibodies and mutations in Fab heavy and light chains regions to generate correctly paired bispecific antibodies. Although we believe that these applications will not be granted with the currently pending claims, if any patent applications are eventually granted with claims that cover any Fab region heavy and light chains used in our products or our strategic partners’ products and we are unable to invalidate those patents, or if licenses for them are not available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, our business could be materially harmed.

We are also aware of third party patents and patent applications containing claims directed to compositions and methods for treating various forms of cancer with antibodies targeting HER2, alone or in combination with other anti-cancer agents, as well as compositions and methods for making and using anti-HER2 antibody conjugates comprising certain toxins, which patents and applications could potentially be construed to cover our product candidates and the use thereof to treat cancer. If our products or our strategic partners’ products were to be found to infringe any such patents, and we were unable to invalidate those patents, or if licenses for them are not available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, our business could be materially harmed. These patents may not expire before we receive marketing authorization for our product candidates, and could delay the commercial launch or one or more future products. There is also no assurance that there are not third-party patents or patent applications of which we are aware, but which we do not believe are relevant to our business, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to limit our ability to make, use, sell, offer for sale or import our future approved products or impair our competitive position.

Patents that we may ultimately be found to infringe could be issued to third parties. Third parties may have or obtain valid and enforceable patents or proprietary rights that could block us from developing product candidates using our technology. Our failure to obtain a license to any technology that we require may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Moreover, our failure to maintain a license to any technology that we require may also materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, we would be exposed to a threat of litigation.

In the pharmaceutical industry, significant litigation and other proceedings regarding patents, patent applications, trademarks and other intellectual property rights have become commonplace. The types of situations in which we may become a party to such litigation or proceedings include:

 

    we or our strategic partners may initiate litigation or other proceedings against third parties seeking to invalidate the patents held by those third parties, to obtain a judgment that our products or processes do not infringe those third parties’ patents or to obtain a judgement that those parties’ patents are unenforceable;

 

38


Table of Contents
    if our competitors file patent applications that claim technology also claimed by us or our licensors, we or our licensors may be required to participate in interference, derivation or opposition proceedings to determine the priority of invention, which could jeopardize our patent rights and potentially provide a third-party with a dominant patent position;

 

    if third parties initiate litigation claiming that our processes or products infringe their patent or other intellectual property rights or initiating other proceedings, including post-grant proceedings and inter partes reviews , we and our strategic partners will need to defend against such proceedings; and

 

    if a license to necessary technology is terminated, the licensor may initiate litigation claiming that our processes or products infringe or misappropriate their patent or other intellectual property rights and/or that we breached our obligations under the license agreement, and we and our strategic partners would need to defend against such proceedings.

These lawsuits would be costly and could affect our results of operations and divert the attention of our management and scientific personnel. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the cost of such litigation and proceedings more effectively than we can because of their substantially greater resources. There is a risk that a court would decide that we or our strategic partners are infringing the third party’s patents and would order us or our strategic partners to stop the activities covered by the patents. In that event, we or our strategic partners may not have a viable alternative to the technology protected by the patent and may need to halt work on the affected product candidate or cease commercialization of an approved product. In addition, there is a risk that a court will order us or our strategic partners to pay third party damages or some other monetary award, depending upon the jurisdiction. An adverse outcome in any litigation or other proceeding could subject us to significant liabilities to third parties, potentially including treble damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to have willfully infringed, and we may be required to cease using the technology that is at issue or to license the technology from third parties. We may not be able to obtain any required licenses on commercially acceptable terms or at all. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business.

If we are unable to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and trade secret protection for our product candidates and related technology, our business could be materially harmed.

Our strategy depends on our ability to identify and seek patent protection for our discoveries. This process is expensive and time consuming, and we may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner or in all jurisdictions where protection may be commercially advantageous. 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. Moreover, in some circumstances, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications, or to maintain the patents, covering technology that we have licensed from third parties. Therefore, our owned or in-licensed patents and patent applications may not be prosecuted and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. Our patent applications cannot be enforced against third parties practicing the technology claimed in such applications unless, and until, patents issues from such applications, and then only to the extent the issued claims cover the technology. The patent applications that we own or in-license may fail to result in issued patents with claims that cover our current and future product candidates in the United States or in other foreign countries.

Moreover, the patent position of biopharmaceutical companies generally is highly uncertain, involves complex legal and factual questions and has in recent years been the subject of much litigation. The issuance of a patent does not ensure that it is valid or enforceable. Third parties may challenge the validity, enforceability or scope of our issued patents, and such patents may be narrowed, invalidated, circumvented, or deemed unenforceable. In addition, changes in law may introduce uncertainty in the enforceability or scope of patents owned by biotechnology companies. If, our patents are narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, third parties may be able to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us without payment to us. There is no assurance that all potentially relevant prior art relating to our patents and patent applications has been

 

39


Table of Contents

found, and such prior art could potentially invalidate one or more of our patents or prevent a patent from issuing from one or more of our pending patent applications. There is also no assurance that there is not prior art of which we are aware, but which we do not believe affects the validity or enforceability of a claim in our patents and patent applications, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to affect the validity or enforceability of a claim. Furthermore, even if our patents are unchallenged, they may not adequately protect our intellectual property, provide exclusivity for our product candidates, prevent others from designing around our claims or provide us with a competitive advantage. The legal systems of certain countries do not favor the aggressive enforcement of patents, and the laws of foreign countries may not allow us to protect our inventions with patents to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Because patent applications in the United States and many foreign jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all, and because publications of discoveries in scientific literature lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that we were the first to make the inventions claimed in our issued patents or pending patent applications, or that we were the first to file for protection of the inventions set forth in our patents or patent applications. As a result, we may not be able to obtain or maintain protection for certain inventions. Therefore, the issuance, validity, enforceability, scope and commercial value of our patents in the United States and in foreign countries cannot be predicted with certainty and, as a result, any patents that we own or license may not provide sufficient protection against competitors. We may not be able to obtain or maintain patent protection from our pending patent applications, from those we may file in the future, or from those we may license from third parties. Moreover, even if we are able to obtain patent protection, such patent protection may be of insufficient scope to achieve our business objectives. In addition, the issuance of a patent does not give us the right to practice the patented invention. Third parties may have blocking patents that could prevent us from marketing our own patented product and practicing our own patented technology.

Our patents covering one or more of our products or product candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged.

Any of our intellectual property rights could be challenged or invalidated despite measures we take to obtain patent and other intellectual property protection with respect to our product candidates and proprietary technology. For example, if we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States and in some other jurisdictions, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld material information from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or the applicable foreign counterpart, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. A litigant or the USPTO itself could challenge our patents on this basis even if we believe that we have conducted our patent prosecution in accordance with the duty of candor and in good faith. The outcome following such a challenge is unpredictable.

With respect to challenges to the validity of our patents, for example, there might be invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on a product candidate. Even if a defendant does not prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, our patent claims may be construed in a manner that would limit our ability to enforce such claims against the defendant and others. The cost of defending such a challenge, particularly in a foreign jurisdiction, and any resulting loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on one or more of our product candidates and our business.

Enforcing our intellectual property rights against third parties may also cause such third parties to file other counterclaims against us, which could be costly to defend, particularly in a foreign jurisdiction, and could require us to pay substantial damages, cease the sale of certain products or enter into a license agreement and pay

 

40


Table of Contents

royalties (which may not be possible on commercially reasonable terms or at all). Any efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights are also likely to be costly and may divert the efforts of our scientific and management personnel.

Our intellectual property rights will not necessarily provide us with competitive advantages.

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

 

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

 

    others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights;

 

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

 

    we may obtain patents for certain compounds many years before we obtain marketing approval for products containing such compounds, and because patents have a limited life, which may begin to run prior to the commercial sale of the related product, the commercial value of our patents may be limited;

 

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

 

    we may fail to develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;

 

    the laws of certain foreign countries may not protect our intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, or we may fail to apply for or obtain adequate intellectual property protection in all the jurisdictions in which we operate; and

 

    the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business, for example by preventing us from marketing one or more of our product candidates for one or more indications.

Any of the aforementioned threats to our competitive advantage could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We may become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents and trade secrets, which could be expensive, time consuming and unsuccessful.

Third parties may seek to market biosimilar versions of any approved products. Alternatively, third parties may seek approval to market their own products similar to or otherwise competitive with our product candidates. In these circumstances, we may need to defend or assert our patents, including by filing lawsuits alleging patent infringement. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. In any of these types of proceedings, a court or agency with jurisdiction may find our patents invalid or unenforceable. Even if we have valid and enforceable patents, these patents still may not provide protection against competing products or processes sufficient to achieve our business objectives.

Even after they have issued, our patents and any patents that we license may be challenged, narrowed, invalidated or circumvented. If our patents are invalidated or otherwise limited or will expire prior to the commercialization of our product candidates, other companies may be better able to develop products that compete with ours, which could adversely affect our competitive business position, business prospects and financial condition. In addition, if the breadth or strength of protection provided by our patents and patent applications is threatened, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop or commercialize current or future product candidates.

 

41


Table of Contents

The following are examples of litigation and other adversarial proceedings or disputes that we could become a party to involving our patents or patents licensed to us:

 

    we or our strategic partners may initiate litigation or other proceedings against third parties to enforce our patent and trade secret rights;

 

    third parties may initiate litigation or other proceedings seeking to invalidate patents owned by or licensed to us or to obtain a declaratory judgment that their product or technology does not infringe our patents or patents licensed to us;

 

    third parties may initiate opposition or reexamination proceedings challenging the validity or scope of our patent rights, requiring us or our strategic partners and/or licensors to participate in such proceedings to defend the validity and scope of our patents;

 

    there may be a challenge or dispute regarding inventorship or ownership of patents or trade secrets currently identified as being owned by or licensed to us;

 

    the USPTO may initiate an interference between patents or patent applications owned by or licensed to us and those of our competitors, requiring us or our strategic partners and/or licensors to participate in an interference proceeding to determine the priority of invention, which could jeopardize our patent rights; or

 

    third parties may seek approval to market biosimilar versions of our future approved products prior to expiration of relevant patents owned by or licensed to us, requiring us to defend our patents, including by filing lawsuits alleging patent infringement.

These lawsuits and proceedings would be costly and could affect our results of operations and divert the attention of our managerial and scientific personnel. Adversaries in these proceedings may have the ability to dedicate substantially greater resources to prosecuting these legal actions than we or our licensors can. There is a risk that a court or administrative body would decide that our patents are invalid or not infringed or trade secrets not misappropriated by a third party’s activities, or that the scope of certain issued claims must be further limited. An adverse outcome in a litigation or proceeding involving our own patents or trade secrets could limit our ability to assert our patents or trade secrets against these or other competitors, affect our ability to receive royalties or other licensing consideration from our licensees, and may curtail or preclude our ability to exclude third parties from making, using and selling similar or competitive products. Any of these occurrences could adversely affect our competitive business position, business prospects and financial condition.

We may not be able to prevent, alone or with our licensors, infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States. Any litigation or other proceedings to enforce our intellectual property rights may fail, and even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees.

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 an adverse effect on the price of our common shares.

The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain because legal means afford only limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep our competitive advantage. For example:

 

    others may be able to develop a platform that is similar to, or better than, ours in a way that is not covered by the claims of our patents;

 

    others may be able to make compounds that are similar to our product candidates but that are not covered by the claims of our patents;

 

42


Table of Contents
    we might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by patents or pending patent applications;

 

    we might not have been the first to file patent applications for these inventions;

 

    any patents that we obtain may not provide us with any competitive advantages or may ultimately be found invalid or unenforceable; or

 

    we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable or that afford meaningful trade secret protection.

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 biosimilars. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents 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.

If we do not obtain protection under the Hatch-Waxman amendments and similar foreign legislation for extending the term of patents covering each of our product candidates, our business may be materially harmed.

Depending upon the timing, duration and conditions of FDA marketing approval of our product candidates, one or more of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent term extension of up to five years for a patent covering an approved product as compensation for effective patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. However, we may not receive an extension if we fail to apply within applicable deadlines, fail to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents or otherwise fail to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the length of the extension could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the period during which we can enforce our patent rights for that product will be shortened and our competitors may obtain approval to market competing products sooner. As a result, our revenue from applicable products could be reduced, possibly materially. Further, if this occurs, our competitors may take advantage of our investment in development and trials by referencing our clinical and preclinical data and launch their product earlier than might otherwise be the case.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information, the value of our technology and products could be adversely affected.

In addition to patent protection, we also rely on other proprietary rights, including protection of trade secrets, and other proprietary information. For example, we treat our proprietary computational technologies, including unpatented know-how and other proprietary information, as trade secrets. To maintain the confidentiality of trade secrets and proprietary information, we enter into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, strategic partners and others upon the commencement of their relationships with us. These agreements require that all confidential information developed by the individual or made known to the individual by us during the course of the individual’s relationship with us be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties. Our agreements with employees and our personnel policies also provide that any inventions conceived by the individual in the course of rendering services to us shall be our exclusive property. However, we may not obtain these agreements in all circumstances, and individuals with whom we have these agreements may not comply with their terms. Thus, despite such agreement, such inventions may become assigned to third

 

43


Table of Contents

parties. In the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of our trade secrets or proprietary information, these agreements, even if obtained, may not provide meaningful protection, particularly for our trade secrets or other confidential information. To the extent that our employees, consultants or contractors use technology or know-how owned by third parties in their work for us, disputes may arise between us and those third parties as to the rights in related inventions. To the extent that an individual who is not obligated to assign rights in intellectual property to us is rightfully an inventor of intellectual property, we may need to obtain an assignment or a license to that intellectual property from that individual, or a third party or from that individual’s assignee. Such assignment or license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming and the outcome is unpredictable. The disclosure of our trade secrets would impair our competitive position and may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Costly and time consuming litigation could be necessary to enforce and determine the scope of our proprietary rights, and failure to maintain trade secret protection could adversely affect our competitive business position. In addition, if any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent such third party, or those to whom they communicate such technology or information, 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, or if we otherwise lose protection for our trade secrets or proprietary know-how, the value of this information may be greatly reduced and our business and competitive position could be harmed. Adequate remedies may not exist in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of our proprietary information.

As is common in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, we employ individuals who were previously or concurrently employed at research institutions and/or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. 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, or that patents and applications we have filed to protect inventions of these employees, even those related to one or more of our product candidates, are rightfully owned by their former or concurrent employer. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Such trade secrets or other proprietary information could be awarded to a third party, and we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to commercialize our technology or products. Such license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, documentary, fee payment and other requirements imposed by regulations and 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 or applications will be due to the USPTO and various foreign patent offices at various points over the lifetime of our patents or applications. We have systems in place to remind us to pay these fees, and we rely on our outside patent annuity service to pay these fees when due. Additionally, the USPTO and various foreign patent offices 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 rules applicable to the particular jurisdiction. However, there are situations in which noncompliance 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. If such an event were to occur, it could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

44


Table of Contents

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship of our patents and other intellectual property.

Although we are not currently experiencing any claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents , we may in the future be subject to claims that former employees, strategic partners or other third parties have an interest in our patents or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. While it is our policy to require our employees and contractors who may be involved in the conception or development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who, in fact, conceives or develops intellectual property that we regard as our own. For example, the assignment of intellectual property rights may not be self-executing or the assignment agreements may be breached, or we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting obligations of consultants or others who are involved in developing our product candidates. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, valuable intellectual property. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.

Patent protection and patent prosecution for some of our product candidates may be dependent on, and the ability to assert patents and defend them against claims of invalidity may be maintained by, third parties.

There may be times in the future when certain patents that relate to our product candidates or any approved products are controlled by our licensees or licensors. Although we may, under such arrangements, have rights to consult with our strategic partners on actions taken as well as back-up rights of prosecution and enforcement, we have in the past and may in the future relinquish rights to prosecute and maintain patents and patent applications within our portfolio as well as the ability to assert such patents against infringers.

If any current or future licensee or licensor with rights to prosecute, assert or defend patents related to our product candidates fails to appropriately prosecute and maintain patent protection for patents covering any of our product candidates, or if patents covering any of our product candidates are asserted against infringers or defended against claims of invalidity or unenforceability in a manner which adversely affects such coverage, our ability to develop and commercialize any such product candidate may be adversely affected and we may not be able to prevent competitors from making, using and selling competing products.

Changes in patent laws or patent jurisprudence could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

The patent positions of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions for which important legal principles remain unresolved. Changes in either the patent laws or in the interpretations of patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our intellectual property. We cannot predict the breadth of claims that may be allowed or found to be enforceable in our patents, in our strategic partners’ patents or in third-party patents. The United States has enacted and is currently implementing wide-ranging patent reform legislation. Further, recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have either narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the validity, scope and value of patents, once obtained.

For our U.S. patent applications containing a priority claim after March 16, 2013, there is a greater level of uncertainty in the patent law. In September 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, also known as the America Invents Act, or AIA, was signed into law. The AIA includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law, including provisions that affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation.

 

45


Table of Contents

The AIA and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have an adverse effect on our business. An important change introduced by the AIA is that, as of March 16, 2013, the United States transitioned to a “first-to-file” system for deciding which party should be granted a patent when two or more patent applications are filed by different parties disclosing or claiming the same invention. A third party that has filed, or does file a patent application in the USPTO after March 16, 2013 but before us, could be awarded a patent covering a given invention, even if we had made the invention before it was made by the third party. This requires us to be cognizant going forward of the time from invention to filing of a patent application.

Among some of the other changes introduced by the AIA are changes that limit where a patentee may file a patent infringement suit and providing opportunities for third parties to challenge any issued patent in the USPTO. This applies to all of our U.S. patents, even those issued before March 16, 2013. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States federal court necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action.

Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the U.S. federal courts, the USPTO or similar authorities in foreign jurisdictions, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that may weaken our and our licensors’ ability to obtain new patents or to enforce existing patents we and our licensors or partners may obtain in the future.

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

Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and state laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our current or future products, if any, and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Recent United States Supreme Court cases have narrowed the scope of what is considered patentable subject matter, for example, in the areas of software and diagnostic methods involving the association between treatment outcome and biomarkers. This could impact our ability to patent certain aspects of our technology in the United States.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biotechnology products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

 

46


Table of Contents

Additionally, the requirements for patentability may differ in certain countries, particularly developing countries. For example, unlike other countries, China has a heightened requirement for patentability, and specifically requires a detailed description of medical uses of a claimed drug. In India, unlike the United States, there is no link between regulatory approval of a drug and its patent status. In addition to India, certain countries in Europe and developing countries, including China, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In those countries, we and our licensors may have limited remedies if patents are infringed or if we or our licensors are compelled to grant a license to a third party, which could materially diminish the value of those patents. This could limit our potential revenue opportunities. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we own or license.

We will need to obtain FDA approval for any proposed product candidate names, and any failure or delay associated with such approval may adversely affect our business.

Any proprietary name or trademark we intend to use for our product candidates will require approval from the FDA regardless of whether we have secured a formal trademark registration from the USPTO. The FDA typically conducts a review of proposed product candidate names, including an evaluation of the potential for confusion with other product names. The FDA may also object to a product name if it believes the name inappropriately implies certain medical claims or contributes to an overstatement of efficacy. If the FDA objects to any product candidate names we propose, we may be required to adopt an alternative name for our product candidates. If we adopt an alternative name, we would lose the benefit of any existing trademark applications for such product candidate and may be required to expend significant additional resources in an effort to identify a suitable product name that would qualify under applicable trademark laws, not infringe the existing rights of third parties and be acceptable to the FDA. We may be unable to build a successful brand identity for a new trademark in a timely manner or at all, which would limit our ability to commercialize our product candidates.

Risks Related to Additional Legal and Compliance Matters

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

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

If we market products in a manner that violates healthcare fraud and abuse laws, or if we violate government price reporting laws, we may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.

In addition to FDA restrictions on the marketing of pharmaceutical products, federal and state healthcare laws restrict certain business practices in the biopharmaceutical industry. Although we currently do not have any

 

47


Table of Contents

products on the market, we may be subject, and once our product candidates are approved and we begin commercialization will be subject, to additional healthcare laws and regulations enforced by the federal government and by authorities in the states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct our business. These state and federal healthcare laws, commonly referred to as “fraud and abuse” laws, have been applied in recent years to restrict certain marketing practices in the pharmaceutical industry, and include, but are not limited to, anti-kickback, false claims, data privacy and security and transparency statutes and regulations.

Federal false claims laws prohibit any person from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false claim for payment to the federal government or knowingly making, or causing to be made, a false statement to get a false claim paid. The federal healthcare program anti-kickback statute prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce, or in return for, purchasing, leasing, ordering or arranging for the purchase, lease or order of any healthcare item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federally financed healthcare programs. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand and prescribers, purchasers and formulary managers on the other. Although there are several statutory exemptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting certain common activities from prosecution, the exemptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly, and practices that involve remuneration intended to induce prescribing, purchasing or recommending may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exemption or safe harbor. Most states also have statutes or regulations similar to the federal anti-kickback law and federal false claims laws, which may apply to items such as pharmaceutical products and services reimbursed by private insurers. Administrative, civil and criminal sanctions may be imposed under these federal and state laws.

Over the past few years, a number of pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been prosecuted under these laws for a variety of promotional and marketing activities, such as:

 

    providing free trips, free goods, sham consulting fees and grants and other monetary benefits to prescribers;

 

    reporting to pricing services inflated average wholesale prices that were then used by federal programs to set reimbursement rates;

 

    engaging in off-label promotion; and

 

    submitting inflated best price information to the Medicaid Rebate Program to reduce liability for Medicaid rebates.

The civil monetary penalties statute imposes penalties against any person or entity who, among other things, is determined to have presented or caused to be presented a claim to a federal health program that the person knows or should know is for an item or service that was not provided as claimed or is false or fraudulent.

HIPAA created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors, and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services.

In addition, we may be subject to data privacy and security regulation by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business. HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, and its implementing regulations, imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. Among other things, HITECH makes HIPAA’s security standards directly applicable to business associates—independent contractors or agents of covered entities that receive or obtain protected health information in connection with providing a service on behalf of a covered entity. HITECH also created four new tiers of civil monetary penalties, and newly empowered state attorneys general with the authority to enforce

 

48


Table of Contents

HIPAA. In January 2013, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the Final Omnibus Rule under HIPAA pursuant to HITECH that makes significant changes to the privacy, security and breach notification requirements and penalties. The Final Omnibus Rule generally took effect in September 2013 and enhances certain privacy and security protections, and strengthens the government’s ability to enforce HIPAA. The Final Omnibus Rule also enhanced requirements for both covered entities and business associates regarding notification of breaches of unsecured protected health information. In addition, state laws govern the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways. These state laws may not have the same effect and often are not pre-empted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Additionally, the PPACA also included the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually information related to certain payments or other transfers of value made or distributed to physicians and teaching hospitals, or to entities or individuals at the request of, or designated on behalf of, the physicians and teaching hospitals and to report annually certain ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members. Failure to comply with required reporting requirements could subject applicable manufacturers and others to substantial civil money penalties.

Also, many states have similar healthcare statutes or regulations that apply to items and services reimbursed under Medicaid and other state programs, or, in several states, apply regardless of the payor. Certain states require pharmaceutical companies to implement a comprehensive compliance program that includes a limit or outright ban on expenditures for, or payments to, individual medical or health professionals and/or require pharmaceutical companies to track and report gifts and other payments made to physicians and other healthcare providers.

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the healthcare laws or regulations described above or any other laws that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including potentially significant criminal, civil or administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, exclusion of products from reimbursement under government programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens, diminished profits and future earnings or the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations. To the extent that any of our products will be sold in a foreign country, we may be subject to similar foreign laws and regulations, which may include, for instance, applicable post-marketing requirements, including safety surveillance, fraud and abuse laws, and implementation of corporate compliance programs and reporting of payments or transfers of value to healthcare professionals.

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

Our research and development involves, and may in the future involve, the use of potentially hazardous materials and chemicals. Our operations may produce hazardous waste products. Although we believe that our safety procedures for handling and disposing of these materials comply with the standards mandated by local, state and federal laws and 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 and fire and building codes, including those governing laboratory procedures, exposure to blood-borne pathogens, use and storage of flammable agents and the handling of biohazardous materials. Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance as prescribed by the Washington State and the Province of British Columbia 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. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us. Additional federal, state and local

 

49


Table of Contents

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.

We may lose our “foreign private issuer” status in the future, which could result in additional costs and expenses to us.

We are a “foreign private issuer,” as such term is defined in Rule 405 under the Securities Act and are not subject to the same requirements that are imposed upon U.S. domestic issuers by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We may in the future lose foreign private issuer status if a majority of our common shares are held in the United States and we fail to meet the additional requirements necessary to avoid loss of foreign private issuer status, such as if: (i) a majority of our directors or executive officers are U.S. citizens or residents; (ii) a majority of our assets are located in the United States; or (iii) our business is administered principally in the United States. The regulatory and compliance costs to us under U.S. securities laws as a U.S. domestic issuer will be significantly more than the costs incurred as a Canadian foreign private issuer. If we are not a foreign private issuer, we would be required to file periodic and current reports and registration statements on U.S. domestic issuer forms with the SEC, which are generally more detailed and extensive than the forms available to a foreign private issuer. In addition, we may lose the ability to rely upon exemptions from corporate governance requirements that are available to foreign private issuers. Further, if we engage in capital raising activities after losing foreign private issuer status, there is a higher likelihood that investors may require us to file resale registration statements with the SEC as a condition to any such financing.

Risks Related to Employee Matters and Managing Growth

Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

We are highly dependent on the research and development, clinical and business expertise of Dr. Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., our President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Neil Klompas, our Chief Financial Officer, as well as other members of our senior management, scientific and clinical team. Although we have entered into employment agreements with our executive officers, each of them may terminate their employment with us at any time. We currently maintain “key person” insurance coverage for Dr. Tehrani (C$5.0 million) and Mr. Neil Klompas (C$2.0 million). The loss of the services of our executive officers or other key employees could impede the achievement of our research, development and commercialization objectives and seriously harm our ability to successfully implement our business strategy.

Recruiting and retaining qualified scientific, clinical, manufacturing and sales and marketing personnel will also be critical to our success. In addition, we will need to expand and effectively manage our managerial, operational, financial, development and other resources in order to successfully pursue our research, development and commercialization efforts for our existing and future product candidates. Furthermore, replacing executive officers and key employees may be difficult and may take an extended period of time because of the limited talent pool in our industry due to the breadth of skills and experience required to successfully develop, gain regulatory approval of and commercialize products. Intense competition for attracting key skill-sets may limit our ability to retain and motivate these key personnel on acceptable terms. We also experience competition for the hiring of scientific and clinical personnel from universities and research institutions. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors, including scientific and clinical advisors, to assist us in formulating our research and development and commercialization strategy. Our consultants and advisors may be employed by employers other than us and may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high quality personnel, our ability to pursue our growth strategy will be limited.

 

50


Table of Contents

We will need to grow our organization, and we may experience difficulty in managing this growth, which could disrupt our operations.

As of February 28, 2017, 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. Additionally, as our product candidates enter and advance through preclinical studies and any clinical trials, we will need to expand our development, manufacturing, regulatory sales and marketing capabilities or contract with other organizations to provide these capabilities for us. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain, motivate and integrate additional employees. Also, our management may need to divert a disproportionate amount of their attention away from our day-to-day activities and devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities. We may not be able to effectively manage the expansion of our operations, which may result in weaknesses in our infrastructure, give rise to operational errors, loss of business opportunities, loss of employees and reduced productivity amongst remaining employees. Our expected growth could require significant capital expenditures and may divert financial resources from other projects, such as the development of existing and additional product candidates. If our management is unable to effectively manage our expected growth, our expenses may increase more than expected, our ability to generate or grow revenue could be reduced and we may not be able to implement our business strategy. Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize our product candidates and compete effectively with others in our industry will depend on our ability to effectively manage any future growth.

Risks Related to Our Common Shares and this Offering

Our share price is likely to be volatile and the market price of our common shares after this offering may drop below the price you pay.

You should consider an investment in our common shares as risky and invest only if you can withstand a significant loss and wide fluctuations in the market value of your investment. You may be unable to sell your common shares at or above the initial public offering price due to fluctuations in the market price of our common shares arising from changes in our operating performance or prospects. In addition, the stock market has recently experienced significant volatility, particularly with respect to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life sciences company stocks. The volatility of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life sciences company stocks often does not relate to the operating performance of the companies represented by the stock. Some of the factors that may cause the market price of our common shares to fluctuate or decrease below the price paid in this offering include:

 

    results and timing of our clinical trials and clinical trials of our competitors’ products;

 

    failure or discontinuation of any of our development programs;

 

    issues in manufacturing our product candidates or future approved products;

 

    regulatory developments or enforcement in the United States and foreign countries with respect to our product candidates or our competitors’ products;

 

    competition from existing products or new products that may emerge;

 

    developments or disputes concerning patents or other proprietary rights;

 

    introduction of technological innovations or new commercial products by us or our competitors;

 

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

 

    changes in estimates or recommendations by securities analysts, if any cover our common shares;

 

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

 

51


Table of Contents
    public concern over our product candidates or any future approved products;

 

    litigation;

 

    future sales of our common shares;

 

    share price and volume fluctuations attributable to inconsistent trading volume levels of our shares;

 

    additions or departures of key personnel;

 

    changes in the structure of health care payment systems in the United States or overseas;

 

    failure of any of our product candidates, if approved, to achieve commercial success;

 

    economic and other external factors or other disasters or crises;

 

    period-to-period fluctuations in our financial condition and results of operations, including the timing of receipt of any milestone or other payments under commercialization or licensing agreements;

 

    general market conditions and market conditions for biopharmaceutical stocks;

 

    overall fluctuations in U.S. equity markets; and

 

    other factors that may be unanticipated or out of our control.

In addition, in the past, when the market price of a stock has been volatile, holders of that stock have instituted securities class action litigation against the company that issued the stock. If any of our shareholders brought a lawsuit against us, we could incur substantial costs defending the lawsuit and divert the time and attention of our management, which could seriously harm our business.

An active trading market for our common shares may not be sustained.

There is currently no public market for our common shares. An active trading market for our shares may not develop or be sustained. If an active market for our common shares does not continue, it may be difficult for our shareholders to sell their shares without depressing the market price for the shares or sell their shares at or above the prices at which they acquired their shares or sell their shares at the time they would like to sell. The initial public offering price of our common shares will be determined through negotiations between us and the underwriters. The initial public offering price may not be indicative of the market price of our common shares after the offering. Any inactive trading market for our common shares may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund our operations by selling shares and may impair our ability to acquire other companies or technologies by using our shares as consideration.

A significant portion of our total outstanding common shares are restricted from immediate resale but may be sold into the market in the near future. This could cause the market price of our common shares to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of our common shares in the public market could occur in the future. These sales, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of common shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common shares. Immediately after closing this offering, we will have              outstanding common shares. This figure includes the shares sold in this offering, which are eligible to be resold in the public market immediately and the remaining shares that are currently restricted under securities laws or as a result of lock-up agreements but will be able to be resold as described in the “Shares Eligible for Future Sale” section of this prospectus. Moreover, holders of an aggregate of 31,492,303 common shares have rights, subject to certain conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other shareholders. Certain of the holders of such registration right may not elect to sell any shares in this offering and therefore those holders could require us to file additional registration statements covering their shares in the future. We also intend to file a registration

 

52


Table of Contents

statement on Form S-8 to register all common shares that we may issue under our stock option plan, and, they therefore can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance and once vested, subject to the lock-up agreements described in the “Underwriting” section of this prospectus.

Substantial future sales of our common shares, or the perception that these sales could occur, may cause the price of our common shares to drop significantly, even if our business is performing well.

A large volume of sales of our common shares could decrease the prevailing market price of our common shares and could impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of equity securities in the future. Even if a substantial number of sales of our common shares does not occur, the mere perception of the possibility of these sales could depress the market price of our common shares and have a negative effect on our ability to raise capital in the future.

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

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. In addition, our administrative staff will be required to perform additional tasks. For example, in anticipation of becoming a public company, we will need to adopt additional internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures, retain a transfer agent and adopt an insider trading policy. As a public company, we will bear all of the internal and external costs of preparing and distributing periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the securities laws.

In addition, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the related rules and regulations implemented by the SEC, the applicable Canadian securities regulators, the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, and the Toronto Stock Exchange, or TSX, have increased legal and financial compliance costs and will make some compliance activities more time consuming. We are currently evaluating these rules, and cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. We intend to invest resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment will result in increased general and administrative expenses and may divert management’s time and attention from our other business activities. If our efforts to comply with new laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies due to ambiguities related to practice, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us and our business may be harmed. In connection with this offering, we increased our directors’ and officers’ insurance coverage which increased our insurance cost. In the future, it may be more expensive or more difficult for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain coverage. These factors could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified members of our board of directors, particularly to serve on our audit committee and compensation committee, and qualified executive officers.

Under the corporate governance standards of the NYSE, a majority of our board of directors and each member of our audit committee must be an independent director no later than the first anniversary of the completion of this offering. The policies of the TSX require our board of directors to consist of at least two independent directors and Canadian securities laws require each member of the audit committee to be independent within the meaning of Canadian securities laws. We may encounter difficulty in attracting qualified persons to serve on our board of directors and the audit committee, and our board of directors and management may be required to divert significant time and attention and resources away from our business to identify qualified directors. If we fail to attract and retain the required number of independent directors, we may be subject to the delisting of our common shares from the NYSE and TSX.

 

53


Table of Contents

We are a “foreign private issuer” and may have disclosure obligations that are different from those of U.S. domestic reporting companies. As a foreign private issuer, we are subject to different U.S. securities laws and rules than a domestic U.S. issuer, which could limit the information publicly available to our shareholders.

As a “foreign private issuer”, we are subject to reporting obligations that, in certain respects, are less detailed and less frequent than those of U.S. domestic reporting companies. We are required to file or furnish to the SEC the continuous disclosure documents that we are required to file in Canada under Canadian securities laws. For example, we are not required to issue quarterly reports, proxy statements that comply with the requirements applicable to U.S. domestic reporting companies, or individual executive compensation information that is as detailed as that required of U.S. domestic reporting companies. We will also have four months after the end of each fiscal year to file our annual reports with the SEC and will not be required to file current reports as frequently or promptly as U.S. domestic reporting companies. Furthermore, our officers, directors and principal shareholders are exempt from the insider reporting and short-swing profit recovery requirements in Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Accordingly, our shareholders may not know on as timely a basis when our officers, directors and principal shareholders purchase or sell their common shares, as the reporting deadlines under the corresponding Canadian insider reporting requirements are longer. As a foreign private issuer, we are also exempt from the requirements of Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) which, generally, are meant to ensure that select groups of investors are not privy to specific information about an issuer before other investors. As a result of such varied reporting obligations, shareholders should not expect to receive the same information at the same time as information provided by U.S. domestic companies.

In addition, as a foreign private issuer, we have the option to follow certain Canadian corporate governance practices rather than those of the United States, except to the extent that such laws would be contrary to U.S. securities laws, provided that we disclose the requirements we are not following and describe the Canadian practices we follow instead. As a result, our shareholders may not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all domestic U.S. corporate governance requirements.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and any decision on our part to comply only with certain reduced reporting and disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our common shares less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the JOBS Act. For as long as we continue to be an “emerging growth company,” we may choose to take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies that are not “emerging growth companies,” including, but not limited to, not being required to have our independent registered public accounting firm audit our internal control over financial reporting under Section 404, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and shareholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We could be an “emerging growth company” for up to five years following the completion of this offering, although, if we have more than $1.0 billion in annual revenue, if the market value of our common shares held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of June 30 of any year, or we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period before the end of that five-year period, we would cease to be an “emerging growth company” as of the following December 31. Investors could find our common shares less attractive if we choose to rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common shares less attractive as a result of any choices to reduce future disclosure, there may be a less active trading market for our common shares and our share price may be more volatile.

 

54


Table of Contents

In connection with the audit of our financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015 and 2016 material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting were identified and we may identify additional material weaknesses in the future.

Prior to this offering, we have been a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal control over financial reporting.

In connection with the preparation and audits of our financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015 and 2016 material weaknesses (as defined under the Exchange Act and by the auditing standards of the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB) were identified in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The identified material weaknesses arose from a lack of resources in our finance function that resulted in (a) the incorrect determination that a beneficial conversion feature existed in a 2013 extension to a convertible debenture, which debenture was settled through conversion in 2014, (b) errors in the calculation of Scientific Research and Experimental Development, or SR&ED, credits and SR&ED receivables for the year ended December 31, 2015 (c) errors in the classification of certain legal expenses related to our intellectual property, for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 and (d) errors in classification of stock options, determination of volatility rates used in the Black-Scholes model, determination of the appropriate marketability discount in a valuation and identification of related parties, for the year ended December 31, 2016, each of which resulted in post-closing audit adjustments.

In light of the identified material weaknesses, it is possible that, had we performed a formal assessment of our internal control over financial reporting or had our independent registered public accounting firm performed an audit of our internal control over financial reporting in accordance with PCAOB standards, additional control deficiencies may have been identified.

We have begun taking measures, and plan to continue to take measures, to remediate these material weaknesses. However, the implementation of these measures may not fully address these material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, and, if so, we would not be able to conclude that they have been fully remedied. Our failure to correct these material weaknesses or our failure to discover and address any other control deficiencies could result in inaccuracies in our financial statements and could also impair our ability to comply with applicable financial reporting requirements and make related regulatory filings on a timely basis. As a result, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, as well as the trading price of our common shares, may be materially and adversely affected.

If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. As a result, shareholders could lose confidence in our financial and other public reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our common shares.

Effective internal controls over financial reporting are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and, together with adequate disclosure controls and procedures, are designed to prevent fraud. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, any testing by us conducted in connection with Section 404 or any subsequent testing by our independent registered public accounting firm, may reveal deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses or that may require prospective or retroactive changes to our financial statements or identify other areas for further attention or improvement. Inferior internal controls could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our common shares.

We will be required to disclose changes made in our internal controls and procedures on a quarterly basis and our management will be required to assess the effectiveness of these controls annually. However, for as long as we are an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404. We could be an “emerging growth company” for up to five years. An independent assessment of the

 

55


Table of Contents

effectiveness of our internal controls could detect problems that our management’s assessment might not. In addition, our management and independent registered public accounting firm did not perform an evaluation of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2014, December 31, 2015 or December 31, 2016, in accordance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Had we and our independent registered public accounting firm performed such an evaluation, control deficiencies may have been identified by management or our independent registered public accounting firm, and those control deficiencies could have also represented one or more material weaknesses. Undetected material weaknesses in our internal controls could lead to financial statement restatements and require us to incur the expense of remediation.

We do not anticipate paying cash dividends, and accordingly, shareholders must rely on share appreciation for any return on their investment.

We have never paid any dividends on our common shares. We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to fund the development and growth of our businesses and do not anticipate that we will declare or pay any cash dividends on our common shares in the foreseeable future. See “Dividend Policy.” The Credit Agreement also contains a negative covenant which prohibits us from paying dividends subject to limited exceptions. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common shares will be your sole source of gain on your investment for the foreseeable future. Investors seeking cash dividends should not invest in our common shares.

Our management team will have broad discretion to use the net proceeds from this offering and its investment of these proceeds may not yield a favorable return. They may invest the proceeds of this offering in ways with which investors disagree.

Our management team will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and could spend or invest the proceeds in ways with which our shareholders disagree. Accordingly, investors will need to rely on our management team’s judgment with respect to the use of these proceeds. We intend to use the proceeds from this offering in the manner described under “Use of Proceeds.” The failure by management to apply these funds effectively could negatively affect our ability to operate and grow our business.

We cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the closing of this offering. In addition, the amount, allocation and timing of our actual expenditures will depend upon numerous factors, including milestone payments received from our strategic partnerships and royalties received on sale of our approved product and any future approved product. Accordingly, we will have broad discretion in using these proceeds. Until the net proceeds are used, they may be placed in investments that do not produce significant income or that may lose value.

We are at risk of securities class action litigation.

In the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following a decline in the market price of its securities. This risk is especially relevant for us because biotechnology companies have experienced significant stock price volatility in recent years. If we face such litigation, it could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could materially harm our business.

Investors in this offering will pay a much higher price than the book value of our common shares and therefore you will incur immediate and substantial dilution of your investment. Furthermore, depending on the pricing of this offering, our outstanding Class A preferred shares may experience a favorable conversion adjustment causing additional dilution of your investment.

The initial public offering price will be substantially higher than the net tangible book value per common share based on the total value of our tangible assets less our total liabilities immediately following this offering. Therefore, if you purchase common shares in this offering, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution of approximately $         per share, representing the difference between our pro forma as adjusted net

 

56


Table of Contents

tangible book value per share after giving effect to this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. As at February 28, 2017, we have issued 5,475,330 outstanding stock options and 280,000 outstanding warrants to acquire common shares and an outstanding warrant to acquire 704,081 Class A preferred shares at prices below the assumed initial public offering price. To the extent these outstanding options and warrants are ultimately exercised, you will experience further dilution. See “Dilution.”

Moreover, immediately prior to the completion of this offering, each of our outstanding Class A preferred shares will automatically convert into common shares at the applicable conversion ratio then in effect. It is possible that the initial public offering price of our common shares will be lower or higher than the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, which would increase or decrease, respectively, the number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of our Class A preferred shares. We will not know the initial public offering price and, as a result, the total number of common shares to be issued upon such conversion, until the determination of the actual price per share following the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. See “Description of Share Capital  — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares” for more information about the conversion ratios for our Class A preferred shares.

The NYSE or TSX may delist our securities from its exchange, which could limit investors’ ability to make transactions in our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions.

We have applied to list our common shares on the NYSE and, we intend to apply to list our common shares on the TSX, under the trading symbol “ZYME.” In order to make a final determination of compliance with their listing criteria, the NYSE or TSX may look to the first trading day’s activity and, particularly, the last bid price on such day. In the event the trading price for our common shares drops below NYSE or TSX’s minimum bid requirements, the NYSE or TSX could rescind our initial listing approval. If we failed to list the common shares on NYSE and TSX, the liquidity for our common shares would be significantly impaired, which may substantially decrease the trading price of our common shares.

In addition, in the future, our securities may fail to meet the continued listing requirements to be listed on the NYSE or TSX. If the NYSE or TSX delists our common shares from trading on its exchange, we could face significant material adverse consequences, including:

 

    a limited availability of market quotations for our securities;

 

    a determination that our common shares is a “penny stock” which will require brokers trading in our common shares to adhere to more stringent rules and possibly resulting in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for our common shares;

 

    a limited amount of news and analyst coverage for our company; and

 

    a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.

We are governed by the corporate laws of Canada which in some cases have a different effect on shareholders than the corporate laws of the United States.

Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, we will be governed by the BCBCA and other relevant laws, which may affect the rights of shareholders differently than those of a company governed by the laws of a U.S. jurisdiction, and may, together with our charter documents, have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another party from acquiring control of our company by means of a tender offer, a proxy contest or otherwise, or may affect the price an acquiring party would be willing to offer in such an instance. The material differences between the BCBCA and Delaware General Corporation Law, or DGCL, that may have the greatest such effect include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) for certain corporate transactions (such as mergers and amalgamations or amendments to our articles) the BCBCA generally requires the voting threshold to be a

 

57


Table of Contents

special resolution approved by 66 2/3% of shareholders, or as set out in the articles, as applicable, whereas DGCL generally only requires a majority vote; and (ii) under the BCBCA a holder of 5% or more of our common shares can requisition a special meeting of shareholders, whereas such right does not exist under the DGCL. We cannot predict whether investors will find our company and our common shares less attractive because we are governed by foreign laws.

U.S. civil liabilities may not be enforceable against us, our directors, our officers or certain experts named in this prospectus.

Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, we will be governed by the BCBCA and our principal place of business is in Canada. Many of our directors and officers, as well as certain experts named herein, reside outside of the United States, and all or a substantial portion of their assets as well as all or a substantial portion of our assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States upon us and such directors, officers and experts or to enforce judgments obtained against us or such persons, in U.S. courts, in any action, including actions predicated upon the civil liability provisions of U.S. federal securities laws or any other laws of the United States. Additionally, rights predicated solely upon civil liability provisions of U.S. federal securities laws or any other laws of the United States may not be enforceable in original actions, or actions to enforce judgments obtained in U.S. courts, brought in Canadian courts, including courts in the Province of British Columbia. Furthermore, provisions in our articles that will become effective immediately prior to the consummation of this offering provide that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the appellate courts therefrom, to the fullest extent permitted by law, will be the sole and exclusive forum for certain actions or proceedings brought against us, our directors and/or our officers. See “Description of Share Capital.”

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our share price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common shares will depend on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have any control over these analysts. We cannot assure you that analysts will cover us or provide favorable coverage. If one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrade our stock or change their opinion of our common shares, our share price would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which could cause our share price or trading volume to decline.

U.S. holders of the company’s shares may suffer adverse tax consequences if we are characterized as a passive foreign investment company.

We believe that we were not classified as a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for the taxable year ending December 31, 2016. However, the determination as to whether we are a PFIC for any taxable year is based on the application of complex U.S. federal income tax rules that are subject to differing interpretations. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder (as defined under “United States Federal Income Tax Considerations for United States Holders”) holds the common shares, it would likely result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences for such U.S. Holder. U.S. Holders should carefully read “United States Federal Income Tax Considerations for United States Holders” for more information and consult their own tax advisors regarding the likelihood and consequences if we are treated as a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including the advisability of making a “qualified electing fund” election (including a protective election), which may mitigate certain possible adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences but may result in an inclusion in gross income without receipt of such income.

 

58


Table of Contents

Insiders have substantial control over us which could delay or prevent a change in corporate control or result in the entrenchment of management or the board of directors.

After this offering, our directors, executive officers and principal shareholders, together with their affiliates and related persons, will beneficially own, in the aggregate, approximately             % of our outstanding common shares. As a result, these shareholders, if acting together, may have the ability to determine the outcome of matters submitted to our shareholders for approval, including the election and removal of directors and any merger, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. In addition, these persons, acting together, may have the ability to control the management and affairs of our company. Accordingly, this concentration of ownership may harm the market price of our common shares by:

 

    delaying, deferring, or preventing a change in control;

 

    entrenching our management or the board of directors;

 

    impeding a merger, takeover, or other business combination involving us; or

 

    discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.

Provisions in our corporate charter documents and Canadian law could make an acquisition of us, which may be beneficial to our shareholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our shareholders to replace or remove our current management and/or limit the market price of our common shares.

Provisions in our notice of articles and articles that will become effective immediately prior to consummation of this offering, as well as certain provisions under the BCBCA, and applicable Canadian securities laws, may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition or other change in control of us that shareholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which they might otherwise receive a premium for their common shares. These provisions include the establishment of a staggered board of directors, which divides the board into three groups, with directors in each group serving a three-year term. The existence of a staggered board can make it more difficult for shareholders to replace or remove incumbent members of our board of directors. As such, these provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for our common shares, thereby depressing the market price of our common shares. In addition, because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our shareholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for shareholders to replace members of our board of directors. Among other things, these provisions include the following:

 

    shareholders cannot amend our articles unless such amendment is approved by shareholders holding at least a majority of the shares entitled to vote on such approval;

 

    our board of directors may, without shareholder approval, issue preferred shares having any terms, conditions, rights, preferences and privileges as the board of directors may determine; and

 

    shareholders must give advance notice to nominate directors or to submit proposals for consideration at shareholders’ meetings.

 

59


Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. securities laws and “forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian securities laws, or collectively, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements that may relate to our plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, future revenue or performance, capital expenditures, financing needs and other information that is not historical information. Many of these statements appear, in particular, under the headings “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business.” Forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of terminology such as “subject to”, “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “project,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” “can,” the negatives thereof, variations thereon and similar expressions, or by discussions of strategy. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. In particular, forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

    the size of our addressable markets and our ability to commercialize product candidates;

 

    the achievement of advances in and expansion of our therapeutic platforms and antibody engineering expertise;

 

    the likelihood of product candidate development and clinical trial success;

 

    our ability to predict and manage government regulation; and

 

    the proposed use of proceeds of this offering.

All forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, our examination of historical operating trends, are based upon our current expectations and various assumptions. Certain assumptions made in preparing the forward-looking statements include:

 

    our ability to manage our growth effectively;

 

    the absence of material adverse changes in our industry or the global economy;

 

    trends in our industry and markets;

 

    our ability to maintain good business relationships with our strategic partners and partners;

 

    our ability to comply with current and future regulatory standards;

 

    our ability to protect our intellectual property rights;

 

    our continued compliance with third-party license terms and the non-infringement of third-party intellectual property rights;

 

    our ability to manage and integrate acquisitions;

 

    our ability to retain key personnel; and

 

    our ability to raise sufficient debt or equity financing to support our continued growth.

We believe there is a reasonable basis for our expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain. We may not realize our expectations, and our beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. The following uncertainties and factors, among others (including those set forth under “Risk Factors”), could affect future performance and cause actual results to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by forward-looking statements:

 

    our ability to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates without significant delays;

 

    the predictive value of our current or planned clinical trials;

 

60


Table of Contents
    delays with respect to the development and commercialization of our product candidates, which may cause increased costs or delay receipt of product revenue;

 

    our ability to enroll subjects in clinical trials and thereby complete trials on a timely basis;

 

    the design or our execution of clinical trials may not support regulatory approval;

 

    the potential for our product candidates to have undesirable side effects;

 

    our ability to face significant competition;

 

    no regulatory agency has made a determination that any of our product candidates are safe or effective for use by the general public or for any indication;

 

    the competitive threat of biosimilar products;

 

    the likelihood of broad market acceptance of our product candidates;

 

    our ability to obtain Orphan Drug Designation or exclusivity for some or all of our product candidates;

 

    our ability to commercialize products outside of the United States;

 

    the outcome of reimbursement decisions by third-party payors relating to our products;

 

    our expectations with respect to the market opportunities for any product that we or our strategic partners develop;

 

    our ability to pursue product candidates that may be profitable or have a high likelihood of success;

 

    our ability to use and expand our therapeutic platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates;

 

    our ability to meet the requirements of ongoing regulatory review;

 

    the threat of product liability lawsuits against us or any of our strategic partners;

 

    changes in product candidate manufacturing or formulation that may result in additional costs or delay;

 

    the potential disruption of our business and dilution of our shareholdings associated with acquisitions and joint ventures;

 

    the potential for foreign governments to impose strict price controls;

 

    the risk of security breaches or data loss, which could compromise sensitive business or health information;

 

    current and future legislation that may increase the difficulty and cost of commercializing our product candidates;

 

    economic, political, regulatory and other risks associated with international operations;

 

    our exposure to legal and reputational penalties as a result of any of our current and future relationships with various third parties;

 

    our ability to comply with export control and import laws and regulations;

 

    our history of significant losses since inception;

 

    our ability to generate revenue from product sales and achieve profitability;

 

    our requirement for substantial additional funding;

 

    the potential dilution to our shareholders associated with future financings;

 

    unstable market and economic conditions;

 

    currency fluctuations and changes in foreign currency exchange rates;

 

    restrictions on our ability to seek financing, which are imposed by our current credit agreement and or may be imposed by future debt;

 

61


Table of Contents
    our ability to maintain existing and future strategic partnerships;

 

    our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnerships;

 

    our ability to secure future strategic partners;

 

    our intention to rely on third-party manufacturers to produce our clinical product candidate supplies;

 

    our reliance on third parties to oversee clinical trials of our product candidates and, in some cases, maintain regulatory files for those product candidates;

 

    our reliance on the performance of independent clinical investigators and CROs;

 

    our reliance on third parties for various operational and administrative aspects of our business including our reliance on third parties’ cloud-based software platforms;

 

    our ability to operate without infringing the patents and other proprietary rights of third parties;

 

    our ability to obtain and enforce patent protection for our product candidates and related technology;

 

    our patents could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged;

 

    our intellectual property rights may not necessarily provide us with competitive advantages;

 

    we may become involved in expensive and time consuming patent lawsuits;

 

    we may be unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information;

 

    the risk that the duration of our patents will not adequately protect our competitive position;

 

    our ability to obtain protection under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments and similar foreign legislation;

 

    our ability to comply with procedural and administrative requirements relating to our patents;

 

    the risk of claims challenging the inventorship of our patents and other intellectual property;

 

    our intellectual property rights for some of our product candidates are dependent on the abilities of third parties to assert and defend such rights;

 

    patent reform legislation and court decisions can diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products;

 

    we may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world;

 

    we will require FDA approval for any proposed product candidate names and any failure or delay associated with such approval may adversely affect our business;

 

    the risk of employee misconduct including noncompliance with regulatory standards and insider trading;

 

    our ability to market our products in a manner that does not violate the law and subject us to civil or criminal penalties;

 

    if we do not comply with law regulating the protection of the environment and health and human safety, our business could be adversely affected;

 

    we risk losing our “foreign private issuer” status;

 

    our ability to retain key executives and attract and retain qualified personnel; and

 

    our ability to manage organizational growth.

Consequently, forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as our current plans, estimates and beliefs. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. We cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We do not undertake and specifically decline any obligation to update, republish or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

 

62


Table of Contents

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION

We prepare and report our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. We maintain our books and records in U.S. dollars.

We have made rounding adjustments to some of the figures included in this prospectus. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures that precede them.

EXCHANGE RATE DATA

We express all amounts in this prospectus in U.S. dollars, except where otherwise indicated. References to “$” and “US$” are to U.S. dollars and references to “C$” are to Canadian dollars. The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high, low, average and end of period noon rates of exchange for one U.S. dollar, expressed in Canadian dollars, published by the Bank of Canada during the respective periods.

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
 
     2014      2015      2016  

Highest rate during the period

     1.1643        1.3990        1.4589  

Lowest rate during the period

     1.0614        1.1728        1.2544  

Average noon spot rate for the period(1)

     1.1084        1.2907        1.3231  

Rate at the end of the period

     1.1601        1.3840        1.3427  

 

(1)   Determined by averaging the rates on the last day of each month during the respective period.

On February 28, 2017, the Bank of Canada noon rate of exchange was $1.00 = C$1.3248. On March 30, 2017, the Bank of Canada noon rate of exchange was $1.00 = C$1.3279.

MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this prospectus concerning our industry and the market in which we operate, including our market position, market opportunity and market size, is based on information from various sources such as industry publications, on assumptions that we have made based on such data and other similar sources and on our knowledge of the markets for our products. These data involve a number of assumptions and limitations. We have not independently verified any third-party information.

In addition, projections, assumptions and estimates of our future performance and the future performance of the industry in which we operate is necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties and by us.

 

63


Table of Contents

USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $         million, based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $         per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares from us in full, we estimate that the net proceeds will be approximately $         million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $         million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase or decrease of 1,000,000 common shares in the number of common shares offered by us would increase or decrease the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $         million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

We are undertaking this offering in order to increase our liquidity and raise capital to further develop and advance our pipeline of product candidates. We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering as follows:

 

    approximately $             million to $             million to fund clinical development expenses for ZW25 through our ongoing adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial (approximately $             million to $             million), including monotherapy and combination therapy cohort expansion arms, as well as to potentially commence Phase 2 randomized studies or accelerated registrational studies (approximately $             million to $             million), and additional product candidate manufacturing (approximately $                 million to $                 million);

 

    approximately $             million to $             million to fund clinical development expenses for ZW33 through our planned Phase 1 clinical trial and additional product candidate manufacturing;

 

    approximately $             million to $             million to fund the development of additional product candidates in our pipeline, including our bispecific ADC, T-Cell engaging bispecific and checkpoint modulating bispecific programs (see “Business – Overview – Our Pipeline of Product Candidates and Discovery Programs”); and

 

    the remainder for working capital and general corporate purposes, which may include other research and development programs, such as our proprietary therapeutic platforms (see “Business – Overview – Overview of our Proprietary Therapeutic Platforms.”)

We may also use a portion of the net proceeds in connection with any exercise of co-development or co-promotion rights under our current or future strategic partnerships; however, no such rights exist or are currently exercisable. In addition, we may also use a portion of the net proceeds to acquire, license and invest in complementary products, technologies or businesses; however, we currently have no agreements or commitments to complete any such transaction.

We currently conduct our research development, or R&D, using a hybrid model approach where both computational and wet-lab methods are employed. All of the computational R&D is performed internally whereas a majority of the wet-lab R&D is subcontracted to third party contract research and manufacturing organizations. For research, a significant portion of the subcontracted work is performed by Canadian companies and institutions (e.g. National Research Council of Canada and universities); however, certain activities may transition internally as our laboratory facility becomes operational. In contrast, the majority of the subcontracted development and manufacturing work is performed by international companies.

We have established cGMP manufacturing processes for the manufacturing of our product candidates, ZW25 and ZW33. We have manufactured sufficient quantities of ZW25 and ZW33 to satisfy our near-term clinical trial requirements. Pending potential future clinical and commercial needs, we will be required to

 

64


Table of Contents

produce additional quantities of ZW25 and ZW33. Additionally, there may be opportunities to further optimize the manufacturing processes for ZW25 and ZW33 to minimize the cost of goods prior to commercial production of these compounds.

We have funded our operations with proceeds from equity financings and collaboration payments, and expect to seek additional financing through equity financings and strategic collaborations to finance our product development and corporate growth. Although it is difficult to predict future liquidity requirements, based upon our current operating plan, we believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents will enable us to continue to advance the clinical development of our ZW25 and ZW33 product candidates. We may also be eligible to receive certain research, development and commercial milestone payments in the future, as described under “Business – Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.” However, because successful development of our product candidates and the achievement of milestones by our strategic partners is uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require to complete the research, development and commercialization of our product candidates. See “Risk Factors – Risk Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties – We may not realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnerships.”

This expected use of the net proceeds of this offering represents our intentions based on our current plans and business conditions, which could change in the future as our plans and business conditions evolve. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot predict with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the closing of this offering or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. The amounts, allocation and timing of our actual expenditures will depend upon numerous factors, including:

 

    the focus, scope and results of our research, drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development activities;

 

    the type, number, costs and results of clinical trials for our product candidates;

 

    regulatory actions relating to our product candidates;

 

    our ability to achieve milestones and obtain royalty payments from our strategic partners;

 

    whether any co-funding or co-promotion rights under our strategic partnerships are exercised;

 

    competitive and technological developments; and

 

    the rate of growth, if any, of our business.

Pending our use of the net proceeds from this offering, we intend to invest the net proceeds in a variety of capital preservation investments, including short-term, interest-bearing, investment-grade securities, certificates of deposit or government securities.

Business Objectives and Milestones

We expect that the net proceeds from the offering will allow us to continue the development of ZW25 through to estimated completion of its ongoing adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, including dose escalation in the second quarter of 2017, as well as monotherapy and combination therapy cohort expansion arms in the fourth quarter of 2018, and potentially commence Phase 2 randomized clinical trials or accelerated registration clinical trials in either the second half of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019. In addition, the net proceeds will enable us to continue the development of ZW33 through to estimated completion of our planned Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2018. Our product development progress is contingent upon a number of factors, and there can be no assurances that we will complete each stage of development in accordance with the timelines and estimated costs set out above, or at all. See “Risk Factors.”

 

65


Table of Contents

DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never paid any dividends on our common shares or any of our other securities. We currently intend to retain any future earnings to finance the growth and development of our business, and we do not anticipate that we will declare or pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay cash dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will be dependent upon our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, restrictions under any future indebtedness and other factors the board of directors deems relevant. In addition, the terms of the Credit Agreement restrict our ability to pay dividends to limited circumstances.

 

66


Table of Contents

CAPITALIZATION

The following table indicates our capitalization, cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and long-term debt at December 31, 2016:

 

    on an actual basis;

 

    on a pro forma basis to reflect the automatic estimated conversion of our outstanding Class A preferred shares into                  common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in below, and to reflect the conversion of a warrant to purchase 704,081 Class A preferred shares into a warrant to purchase              of our common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in below, and the resultant reclassification of our common share warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, a component of total shareholders’ equity, in connection with such conversion, each of which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering; and

 

    on a pro forma as adjusted basis to give further effect to our issuance and sale of             common shares in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The pro forma and pro forma as adjusted information below is illustrative only, and our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and consolidated capitalization following the completion of this offering will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of our initial public offering determined at pricing. You should read this table together with “Selected Historical Consolidated Financial Information,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements,” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     As of December 31, 2016  
     Actual     Pro Forma      Pro Forma
As Adjusted(1)
 
     (dollar in thousands, except share data)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 16,437     $               $           

Short-term investments

     23,824       
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Long-term debt

   $ 4,417     $ —        $ —    

Common share purchase warrant liabilities

     1,028       —          —    

Preferred share purchase warrant liabilities

     3,314       —          —    

Redeemable, convertible preferred shares and shareholders’ equity:

       

Redeemable, convertible preferred shares, 15,306,123 authorized shares, no par value; 12,554,665 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted.

     58, 860       

Common shares, unlimited authorized shares, no par value; 31,327,561 shares issued and outstanding, actual;              shares issued and outstanding, pro forma;             shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     106,595       

Additional paid-in capital

     6,856       

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

     (6,659     

Accumulated deficit

     (97,790     
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total shareholders’ equity

   $ 9,002     $      $  
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Consolidated capitalization

   $ 76,621     $      $  
  

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)  

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as

 

67


Table of Contents
 

applicable, pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital and total shareholders’ equity by $        , assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable us. An increase or decrease of 1,000,000 common shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents and additional paid-in capital and total preferred shares and shareholders’ equity by approximately $            , assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable us.

The number of common shares shown as outstanding in the table above is based on 43,882,226 common shares after giving effect to the estimated conversion of all outstanding Class A convertible preferred shares as of December 31, 2016, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in below, which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, into an aggregate of                  common shares and excludes:

 

    2,184,871 common shares issuable upon the exercise of fully-vested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of December 31, 2016, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$3.61 per share (or $2.72 per share, as converted);

 

    2,387,304 common shares issuable upon the exercise of unvested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of December 31, 2016, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$6.08 per share (or $4.59 per share, as converted);

 

    1,693,337 common shares reserved for future issuance under our stock option plan;

 

    280,000 common shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding common share warrants, at an exercise price of C$4.86 per share (or $3.67 per share, as converted); and

 

                 common shares issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding Class A preferred share warrant, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” at an exercise price of $4.90 per share.

For additional information regarding our capital structure, see “Management — Employee Benefit Plans,” “Description of Share Capital” and Note 11 of the Notes to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares

Immediately prior to the completion of this offering, each of our outstanding Class A preferred shares will automatically convert into common shares at the applicable conversion ratio then in effect. See “Description of Share Capital  — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares” for more information about the conversion ratios for our Class A preferred shares. The number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of all outstanding Class A preferred shares depends, in part, on the initial public offering price of our common shares. We expect the initial public offering price of our common shares to be between $             and $             per share, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. However, the actual initial public offering price may be lower or higher than the midpoint of this range, which would increase or decrease, respectively, the number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of our Class A preferred shares, as described in more detail below. We will not know the initial public offering price and, as a result, the total number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of the Class A preferred shares, until the determination of the actual price per share following the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. The

 

68


Table of Contents

terms of our Class A preferred shares provide that the ratio at which such shares automatically convert into common shares in connection with this offering will increase if the initial public offering price is below $7.35 per share, or the Conversion Threshold Price. If the initial public offering price is below the Conversion Threshold Price for the Class A preferred shares, the conversion ratio will be adjusted to be the ratio determined by (i) dividing $4.90 by (ii) the quotient obtained by dividing (a) the initial public offering price by (b) 1.5, which would result in additional common shares being issued upon conversion of our Class A preferred shares upon the completion of this offering. The special conversion adjustment applicable to the Class A preferred shares are similarly applicable to all outstanding warrants to purchase Class A preferred shares.

The table below shows the effect of the special conversion adjustment of the Class A preferred shares at various initial public offering prices (i.e., the increase in number of common shares issued and outstanding pro forma and pro forma as adjusted in the table above). The initial public offering prices below of $            , $             or $            , represent the low, mid and highpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page if this prospectus. The initial public offering prices shown in the table below are hypothetical and illustrative.

 

Initial Public Offering

Price Per Share

   Increase in the Number
of Common Shares Issued
Upon Conversion of Class
A Convertible
Preferred Shares
     Total Number of
Common Shares to be
Outstanding after
this Offering
 

$                     

     

$                     

  

$                     

  

 

69


Table of Contents

DILUTION

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

Our historical net tangible book value as of December 31, 2016 was $35.22 million, or $1.12 per share. The historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets (total assets less intangible assets) less our total liabilities, divided by the number of common shares outstanding as of December 31, 2016.

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of December 31, 2016 was $         million, or $         per share. Pro forma net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities, divided by the number of common shares after giving effect to (1) the amendment and redesignation of our Class A preferred shares as common shares and (2) the estimated conversion of our outstanding Class A preferred shares into          common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustments more fully described in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares;” and to reflect the conversion of a warrant to purchase 704,081 Class A preferred shares into a warrant to purchase              common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” and the resultant reclassification of our common share warrant liability to additional paid-in capital, a component of total shareholders’ equity, in connection with such conversion, each of which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering.

After giving effect to (1) the estimated conversion of the outstanding Class A preferred shares into common shares immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per common share (the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization — Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares”; (2) the conversion of a warrant to purchase 704,081 Class A preferred shares into a warrant to purchase          common shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustments more fully described in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering; (3) the issuance of common shares in this offering; and (4) receipt of the net proceeds from the sale of common shares in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per common share (the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2016 would have been approximately $         million, or $         per common share. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value of $         per common share to existing shareholders and an immediate dilution of $         per common share to new investors purchasing common shares in this offering.

The following table illustrates this dilution on a per common share basis to new investors:

 

Assumed initial price to public per common share

   $               

Historical net tangible book value per common share as of December 31, 2016

   $ 1.12  

Decrease per common share attributable to conversion of Class A preferred shares

  

Pro forma net tangible book deficit per common share before this offering

  

Increase in net tangible book value per common share attributable to investors participating in this offering

  
  

 

 

 

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per common share, as adjusted to give effect to this offering

  
  

 

 

 

Pro forma dilution per common share to investors participating in this offering

   $  
  

 

 

 

 

70


Table of Contents

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per common share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) would increase or decrease, as applicable, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $         million, or approximately $         per common share, and increase or decrease the pro forma dilution per share to investors in this offering by approximately $         per common share, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of common shares we are offering. An increase or decrease of 1,000,000 common shares in the number of shares offered by us would increase or decrease, as applicable, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $        , or $         per common share, and the pro forma dilution per common share to investors in this offering by $         per common share, assuming that the assumed initial public offering price remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. The pro forma as adjusted information discussed above is illustrative only and will adjust based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.

The following table summarizes, as of December 31, 2016, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as described above, the aggregate number of common shares, as well as the total consideration and the average price per share paid to us by existing shareholders and to be paid by new investors acquiring shares in this offering.

 

     Shares Acquired     Total Consideration     Average Price
per Share
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percent    

Existing shareholders

                   $                        $           

New investors

             $  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Totals

        100   $        100  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional common shares to cover over-allotments, if any, in connection with this offering, is exercised in full, the number of shares held by the existing shareholders after this offering would be reduced to     % of the total number of shares outstanding after this offering, and the number of shares held by new investors would increase to             shares, or     % of the total number of shares outstanding after this offering.

The number of common shares shown as outstanding in the table above is based on              common shares after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding Class A convertible preferred shares as of December 31, 2016, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” which will occur immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, into an estimated aggregate of              common shares and excludes:

 

    2,184,871 common shares issuable upon the exercise of fully-vested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of December 31, 2016, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$3.61 per share (or $2.72 per share, as converted);

 

    2,387,304 common shares issuable upon the exercise of unvested outstanding options to issue common shares, as of December 31, 2016, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$6.08 per share (or $4.59 per share, as converted);

 

    1,693,337 common shares reserved for future issuance under our stock option plan;

 

    280,000 common shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding common share warrants, at a weighted-average exercise price of C$4.86 per share (or $3.67 per share, as converted); and

 

71


Table of Contents
                 common shares issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding Class A preferred share warrant, assuming an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” at an exercise price of $4.90 per share.

To the extent that new options are issued under our share-based compensation plans or we issue additional common shares, convertible debt or equity-linked instruments in the future, there will be further dilution to investors participating in this offering.

Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares

As discussed in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares” and “Description of Share Capital —Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” the number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of all outstanding Class A preferred shares depends, in part, on the initial public offering price of our common shares. We expect the initial public offering price of our common shares to be between $             and $             per share, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. However, the actual initial public offering price may be lower or higher, which would increase or decrease, respectively, the number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of our Class A preferred shares, as described in more detail below. We will not know the initial public offering price and, as a result, the total number of common shares to be issued upon the conversion of the Class A preferred shares, until the determination of the actual price per share following the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

The table below shows the effect of the special conversion adjustment of the Class A preferred shares at various initial public offering prices on our tangible book value and the dilution to new investors. The initial public offering prices below of $             , $             or $            , represent the low, mid and highpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page if this prospectus. The initial public offering prices shown in the table below are hypothetical and illustrative.

 

     As of December 31, 2016  
IPO Price Per Share    Pro Forma
Net Tangible
Book Value
Per Share
     Pro Forma
As Adjusted
Net Tangible
Book Value
Per Share
     Dilution
Per Common Share
to New Investors in
This Offering
 

$                

   $                   $                   $           

$                

   $      $      $  

$                

   $      $      $  

 

72


Table of Contents

SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2015 and 2016 included in this prospectus have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Our audited consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP and are presented in U.S. dollars except where otherwise indicated. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results we expect in the future. The following data should be read together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements” and our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2014     2015     2016  
     (dollars in thousands except share and per share amounts)  

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

      

Revenue

   $ 1,670     $ 9,660     $ 11,009  

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development

     12,622       24,654       36,816  

Government grants and credits

     (2,149     (251     (1,265
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
     10,473       24,403       35,551  

General and administrative

     3,945       5,217       12,554  

Impairment on acquired IPR&D

     —         —         768  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     14,418       29,620       48,873  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (12,748     (19,960     (37,864

Change in fair value of warrant liabilities

     —         —         (808

Other income (expense)

     (194     824       (212
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (12,942     (19,136     (38,884

Income tax expense

     —         (34     (430

Deferred income tax benefit

     —         —         5,505  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (12,942   $ (19,170   $ (33,809
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per common share (basic and diluted)

   $ (0.74   $ (0.71   $ (1.11

Weighted-average number of common shares (basic and diluted)

     17,479,680       26,888,906       30,397,535  

Pro forma basic net loss per common share(1)

     $ (0.71   $ (0.79

Pro forma diluted net loss per common share(1)

     $ (0.71   $ (0.79

Pro forma basic weighted-average number of common shares(1)

       26,888,906       42,746,386  

Pro forma diluted weighted-average number of common shares(1)

       26,888,906       42,746,386  

 

(1)  

The pro forma basic and diluted net loss per share reflects the estimated conversion of all outstanding Class A preferred shares immediately prior to the consummation of this offering, assuming (i) an initial public offering price of $             per common share, the midpoint of the estimated price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and giving effect to the conversion price adjustment more fully described in “Capitalization – Special Conversion Adjustment for Class A Preferred Shares,” and (ii) all such Class A

 

73


Table of Contents
 

preferred shares had been converted to common shares for all periods in which such Class A preferred shares were outstanding.

 

     As of December 31,  
     2015      2016  
     (dollars in thousands)  

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 11,519      $ 16,437  

Short-term investments

     3,641        23,824  

Working capital (deficit)

     12,828        29,928  

Total assets

     23,149        93,995  

Total liabilities

     4,910        26,133  

Total shareholders’ equity and preferred shares

     18,239        67,862  

 

74


Table of Contents

UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements reflect the historical financial statements of Zymeworks on a pro forma basis to give effect to our March 18, 2016 acquisition of Kairos. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Acquisition of Kairos.”

Our (i) unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated statement of loss for the year ended December 31, 2016 and (ii) unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated statement of loss for the year ended December 31, 2015, have each been prepared giving effect to the acquisition of Kairos as if the acquisition had occurred on January 1, 2015. The unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with our historical financial statements and related notes for the periods presented.

The pro forma adjustments to our unaudited historical condensed consolidated financial statements are based on currently available information and certain estimates and assumptions. The actual effect of the transaction discussed in the accompanying notes may differ from the unaudited pro forma adjustments included herein. However, we believe that the assumptions utilized to prepare the pro forma adjustments provide a reasonable basis for presenting the significant effects of the transaction and that the unaudited pro forma adjustments are factually supportable, give appropriate effect to the impact of the events that are directly attributable to the transaction, and reflect those items expected to have a continuing impact on our financial condition.

The unaudited pro-forma financial statements do not necessarily reflect what the combined company’s results of operations would have been had the acquisition occurred on January 1, 2015. They may also not be useful in predicting future results of operations for the combined company. The actual results from operations may differ significantly from the pro forma results reflected therein. The combined results of operations do not reflect the realization of any expected cost savings or other synergies from the acquisition of Kairos as a result of planned cost savings or other initiatives following the completion of the acquisition.

For further information on the pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements, see our unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

75


Table of Contents

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations contains important information about Zymeworks’ business and its performance for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and should be read together with our consolidated financial statements, prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and the related notes and the other financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus. Amounts for subtotal, totals and percentage variances included in tables may not sum or calculate using the numbers as they appear in the tables due to rounding. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties. Our actual results, performance and achievements could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed below and elsewhere in this prospectus, particularly under “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Overview

Zymeworks is an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer. Our suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and our fully-integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly-differentiated product candidates. These capabilities have resulted in multiple wholly-owned product candidates with the potential to drive superior outcomes in large underserved and unaddressed patient populations, as further described below.

Our lead product candidate, ZW25, is a novel bispecific antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, targeting two distinct domains of the HER2 receptor. This unique design enables ZW25 to address patient populations with all levels of HER2 expression, including those with low to intermediate HER2-expressing tumors, who are otherwise limited to chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Approximately 81% of patients with HER2-expressing breast cancer and 57% of patients with HER2-expressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have tumors that express low to intermediate levels of HER2, making them ineligible for treatment with currently-approved HER2-targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, ZW25 has demonstrated preliminary anti-tumour activity across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after second lines of treatment HER2- targeted therapies. Our second product candidate, ZW33, capitalizes on the unique design of ZW25 and is a bispecific ADC based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 but armed with a cytotoxic payload. We designed ZW33 to be a best-in-class HER2-targeting ADC for several indications characterized by HER2 expression for which we expect to initiate a Phase I clinical trial in the first half of 2017. We are also advancing a deep pipeline of preclinical product candidates and discovery-stage programs in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition to our wholly-owned pipeline, two of our therapeutic platforms have been further leveraged through multiple revenue-generating strategic partnerships with the following global pharmaceutical companies: Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi.

Our proprietary capabilities and technologies include four modular, complementary platforms that can be easily used in combination with each other and with existing approaches. This ability to layer technologies without compromising manufacturability enables us to engineer next-generation biotherapeutic product candidates with synergistic activity, which we believe will result in superior patient outcomes. Our core platforms include Azymetric, ZymeLink, EFECT and AlbuCORE. These therapeutic platforms are enabled by our protein engineering expertise and proprietary structure-guided molecular modeling capabilities. Together with our internal antibody discovery and generation technologies, we have established a fully-integrated drug development engine and toolkit that is capable of rapidly delivering a steady pipeline of next-generation product candidates in oncology and potentially other therapeutic areas.

We commenced active operations in 2003, and have since devoted substantially all of our resources to research and development activities including developing our therapeutic platforms, identifying and developing

 

76


Table of Contents

potential product candidates and undertaking preclinical studies as well as providing general and administrative support, business planning, raising capital and protecting our intellectual property. We have not generated any revenue from product sales to date and do not expect to do so until such time as we obtain regulatory approval of and commercialize one or more of our product candidates. We cannot be certain of the timing or success of approval of our product candidates. We have financed our operations primarily through private equity placements, an issuance of convertible debentures, payments received under license and collaboration agreements, government grants and Scientific Research and Experimental Development, or SR&ED, tax credits. From inception through December 31, 2016, we received $142.5 million, net of share issue costs, from private equity placements, and the issuance of convertible debt which subsequently converted into equity securities. Payments received from our license and collaboration agreements include upfront fees and milestone payments as well as research support and reimbursement payments through our strategic partnerships and government grants. Although it is difficult to predict our funding requirements, based upon our current operating plan, we anticipate that our existing cash and cash equivalents and short term investments as of December 31, 2016, combined with the collaboration payments we anticipate receiving, together with the estimated net proceeds of this offering, will enable us to fund the clinical and preclinical development of our lead product candidates for at least the next twelve months.

Through December 31, 2016, we had an accumulated deficit of $97.8 million. We reported a net loss of $33.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. We expect that over the next several years we will increase our research and development expenditures in connection with the ongoing development of our product candidates and other clinical, preclinical and regulatory activities.

Acquisition of Kairos

On December, 21 2015, we acquired a 19.99% ownership interest in Kairos, a privately held company specializing in the discovery and development of ADCs, for $3.6 million (C$5.0 million), paid in cash, which was accounted for under the equity method. On March 18, 2016, we completed the acquisition of the remaining shares of Kairos for approximately $24.8 million (C$32.3 million). The consideration was comprised of $23.0 million (C$30.0 million) in common share equity of Zymeworks, and $1.7 million (C$2.3 million) in cash, pursuant to a net working capital adjustment determined at closing. At the time of acquisition, we issued 3,628,572 common shares having a fair value of $19.2 million (C$25.0 million) as part of the consideration. The remaining 725,714 common shares, having a fair value of $3.8 million (C$5.0 million), were held back for a period of six months under the terms of the agreement for the sellers’ satisfaction of general representations and warranties and potential working capital adjustments and were issuable in six months, subject to adjustments for any undisclosed matters that may have arisen during that period. On September 18, 2016, 721,445 common shares were issued after accounting for the finalization of adjustments relating to certain additional pre-acquisition invoices. Subsequent to the acquisition, the name of Kairos was changed to Zymeworks Biochemistry Inc. Effective as of January 1, 2017, we completed a short-form amalgamation with Zymeworks Biochemistry Inc.

The acquisition is accounted for in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, 805 Business Combinations. The purchase consideration has been allocated on a preliminary basis based on management’s best estimates at the time the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 were prepared. As a result of the allocation of consideration, $20.7 million has been allocated to the in-process research and development intangible asset, or IPR&D, and $12.0 million has been allocated to goodwill. During the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded a $0.1 million loss related to the equity in Kairos and a $0.2 million gain related to increase in fair value of equity investment at the time of the acquisition. For more detail and Kairos’ historical financial statements and our unaudited pro forma financial information, see “Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements,” our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

77


Table of Contents

Strategic Partnerships and Licenses

Our unique combination of proprietary protein engineering capabilities and resulting therapeutic platform technologies was initially recognized by Merck and Lilly, with whom we established strategic partnerships focused on our Azymetric and EFECT therapeutic platforms. We subsequently entered into broader strategic partnerships with Celgene and GSK and a collaboration and cross-licensing agreement with Daiichi. Following the completion of the initial agreements with Merck, Lilly and GSK, the relationships were subsequently expanded to include either additional licenses or therapeutic platforms. These strategic partnerships have provided non-dilutive funding as well as access to proprietary therapeutic assets, and increase our ability to rapidly advance our product candidates while maintaining worldwide commercial rights to our wholly-owned therapeutic pipeline. Our strategic partnerships include the following:

 

    Research and License Agreement with Merck

In August 2011, we entered into a research and license agreement with Merck, which was amended and restated in December 2014, to develop and commercialize three bispecific antibodies generated through the use of the Azymetric and EFECT platforms. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted Merck a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody sequence pair exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize certain licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $190.75 million, including an upfront payment ($1.25 million received in 2011), research milestone payments totaling $3.5 million ($2.0 million and $1.5 million received in 2012 and 2013, respectively), payments for completion of IND-enabling studies of up to $6.0 million, development milestone payments of up to $66.0 million and commercial milestone payments of up to $114.0 million. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to mid-single digits on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks patent coverage on products, or (ii) for five years, beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. If there is no Zymeworks patent coverage on products, royalty rates will be reduced.

Under the agreement, we are sharing certain research and development responsibilities with Merck to generate bispecific antibodies with the Azymetric and EFECT platforms. Merck provides funding for a portion of our internal and external research costs in support of the collaboration. After the conclusion of the research program, Merck will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the products.

 

    Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with Lilly

In December 2013, we entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement with Lilly to research, develop and commercialize one bispecific antibody, with an option for a second antibody, generated through the use of the Azymetric platform. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted Lilly a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody target pair-specific exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize certain licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $103.0 million, including an upfront payment ($1.0 million received in 2013) and per product potential milestone payments, comprised of research milestone payments totaling $1.0 million ($1.0 million received in 2015), IND submission milestone payments of $2.0 million, development milestone payments of $8.0 million and commercial milestone payments of $40.0 million. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to mid-single digits on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks platform patent coverage on products, or (ii) for ten years, beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. If there is no Zymeworks patent coverage on products, royalty rates may be potentially reduced.

Under the agreement, we are sharing certain research and development responsibilities with Lilly to generate bispecific antibodies with the Azymetric platform. Lilly provides funding for a portion of our internal and external research costs in support of the collaboration. After the conclusion of the research program, Lilly will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of the products.

 

78


Table of Contents
    Second Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with Lilly

In October 2014, we entered into a second licensing and collaboration agreement with Lilly to research, develop and commercialize three bispecific antibodies generated through the use of the Azymetric platform. This agreement did not alter or amend the initial agreement entered in 2013. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted Lilly a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody target-pair exclusive (for two bispecific antibodies) and an antibody sequence pair-specific (for one bispecific antibody) license to research, develop and commercialize certain licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $375.0 million, comprised of research milestone payments of up to $6.0 million ($2.0 million earned in 2016), IND submission milestone payments of up to $24.0 million, development milestone payments of up to $60.0 million and commercial milestone payments of up to $285.0 million. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to mid-single digits on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks platform patent coverage on products, or (ii) for ten years, beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. If there is no Zymeworks patent coverage on products, royalty rates may be potentially reduced. In conjunction with this collaboration agreement, Lilly purchased approximately $24.0 million of our common shares.

Under the agreement, we are sharing certain research and development responsibilities with Lilly to generate bispecific antibodies with the Azymetric platform. We are responsible for our internal and external research costs in support of this collaboration. After the conclusion of the research program, Lilly will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the products.

 

    Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with Celgene

In December 2014, we entered into a collaboration agreement with Celgene to research, develop and commercialize up to eight bispecific antibodies generated through the use of the Azymetric platform. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted Celgene a right to exercise options to worldwide, royalty-bearing, antibody sequence pair-specific exclusive licenses to research, develop and commercialize certain licensed products. Celgene has the right to exercise options on up to eight programs and if Celgene opts in on a program, we are eligible to receive up to $164.0 million per product candidate (up to $1.3 billion for all eight programs), comprised of a commercial license option payment of $7.5 million, development milestone payments of up to $101.5 million and commercial milestone payments of up to $55.0 million. No development or commercial milestone payments or royalties have been received to date.

In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to mid-single digits on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks platform patent coverage on products, or (ii) for 10 years, beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. Celgene also has the right, prior to the first dosing of a patient in a Phase 3 clinical trial for a product, to buy down the royalty to a flat low-single digit rate with a payment of $10.0 million per percentage point. In addition to this collaboration agreement, the parties also entered into an equity subscription agreement under which Celgene paid $8.6 million for common shares.

Under the agreement, we are collaborating with Celgene to generate and develop a number of bispecific antibodies during the research program, the term of which expires in April 2018 but can be extended by Celgene by 24 months if Celgene makes an additional payment. After the conclusion of the research program, Celgene will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the products.

 

    Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with GSK

In December 2015, we entered into a collaboration and license agreement with GSK to research, develop and commercialize up to 10 new Fc-engineered monoclonal and bispecific antibodies generated through

 

79


Table of Contents

the use of the EFECT and Azymetric platforms. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted GSK a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody target-exclusive license to new intellectual property generated to the EFECT platform under this collaboration and a non-exclusive license to the Azymetric platform to research, develop and commercialize future licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion, including research, development and commercial milestone payments of up to $110.0 million for each product. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low-single digits on net sales of products, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks patent coverage on products or certain joint patent coverage on products, or (ii) for 10 years beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. If there is no Zymeworks patent coverage or certain joint patent coverage on products, royalty rates will be reduced. No development or commercial milestone payments or royalties have been received to date. We retained the right to develop up to four products, free of royalties, using the new intellectual property generated in this collaboration, and after a period of time, to grant licenses to such intellectual property for development of additional products by third-parties.

Under the collaboration and license agreement, we are sharing certain research and development responsibilities with GSK to generate new Fc-engineered antibodies. Each party will bear its own costs for the responsibilities assigned to it during the research period. After the conclusion of the research period, each party will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of its own respective products. During the term of the agreement and solely based on the outcome of the research collaboration, we have granted GSK exclusive rights to develop and commercialize monospecific antibodies against targets nominated by GSK. If GSK develops bispecific antibodies using its own platform approaches, we have granted GSK exclusive rights to develop and commercialize such antibodies comprising of specific antibody sequence pairs.

 

    Second Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with GSK

In April 2016, we entered into a licensing agreement with GSK to research, develop and commercialize up to six bispecific antibodies generated through the use of the Azymetric platform. This may include bispecific antibodies incorporating new engineered Fc regions generated under the 2015 GSK agreement outlined in the preceding section. Under the terms of this agreement, we granted GSK a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody sequence pair-specific exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $908.0 million, including an upfront payment as a technology access fee ($6.0 million received in 2016), research milestone payments of up to $30.0 million, development milestone payments of up to $152.0 million and commercial milestone payments of up to $720.0 million. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low to mid-single digits on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks patent coverage on products, or (ii) for ten years beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. If there is no Zymeworks patent coverage on products, royalty rates may be potentially reduced. No research, development or commercial milestone payments or royalties have been received to date. GSK has the right, prior to the first dosing of a patient in a Phase 3 clinical trial for a product, to buy down the royalty payable on such product by only 1% with a payment of $10.0 million.

Under the agreement, GSK will bear all responsibility and all costs associated with research, development and commercialization of products generated using the Azymetric platform.

 

    Licensing and Collaboration Agreement with Daiichi

In September 2016, we entered into a collaboration and cross-license agreement with Daiichi to research, develop and commercialize one bispecific antibody generated through the use of the Azymetric and EFECT platforms. Under the terms of the agreement, we granted Daiichi a worldwide, royalty-bearing antibody sequence pair-specific exclusive license to research, develop and commercialize certain licensed products. We are eligible to receive up to $149.9 million, including an upfront payment as a technology

 

80


Table of Contents

access fee of $2.0 million (received in 2016), research and development milestone payments and a commercial option payment totaling up to $67.9 million and commercial milestone payments of up to $80.0 million. In addition, we are eligible to receive tiered royalties ranging from the low single digits up to 10% on product sales, with the royalty term being, on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, either (i) for as long as there is Zymeworks platform patent coverage on products, or (ii) for ten years beginning from the first commercial sale, whichever period is longer. No research, development or commercial milestone payments or royalties have been received to date. We also gained non-exclusive rights to develop and commercialize up to three products using Daiichi’s proprietary immune-oncology antibodies, with royalties in the low single digits to be paid to Daiichi on sales of such products.

Under the agreement, we are sharing certain research and development responsibilities with Daiichi to generate bispecific antibodies with the Azymetric platform. Daiichi is responsible for our internal and external research costs in support of this collaboration during the research program term. After the research program term, Daiichi will be solely responsible for the further research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of the products. Under the non-exclusive immuno-oncology antibody license to Zymeworks, we are solely responsible for all research, development and commercialization of the resulting products.

For additional information on our strategic partnerships, see “Business—Strategic Partnerships.”

Financial Operations Overview

Revenue

Our revenue consists of collaboration revenue, including amounts recognized relating to upfront non-refundable payments for licenses or options to obtain future licenses, research and development funding and milestone payments earned under collaboration and license agreements with strategic partners. We expect these and other strategic partnerships to be our primary source of revenue for the foreseeable future.

Research and Development Expense

Research and development expenses consist of expenses incurred in performing research and development activities. These expenses include conducting research experiments, preclinical studies, and other indirect expenses in support of advancing our product candidates and therapeutic platforms. The following items are included in research and development expenses:

 

    employee-related expenses such as salaries and benefits;

 

    employee-related overhead expenses such as facilities and other allocated items;

 

    share-based compensation expense to employees and consultants engaged in research and development activities;

 

    depreciation of laboratory equipment, computers and leasehold improvements;

 

    fees paid to consultants, subcontractors, CROs, and other third party vendors for work performed under our clinical trials and preclinical studies, including but not limited to laboratory work and analysis, database management, statistical analysis, and other items; and

 

    amounts paid to vendors and suppliers for laboratory supplies.

 

81


Table of Contents

The following table shows a summary of our research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
 
         2014              2015              2016      
     (dollars in millions)  

Research and development expense

        

ZW25

   $ 2.8      $ 5.2      $ 6.1  

ZW33

     1.5        5.3        9.2  

Therapeutic platforms

     4.0        5.9        7.6  

Other research activities

     4.3        8.3        13.9  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total research and development expense

   $ 12.6      $ 24.7      $ 36.8  

Less: Government credits

     2.1        0.3        1.3  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
   $ 10.5      $ 24.4      $ 35.5  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

It is difficult to determine with certainty the duration and completion costs of our current or future clinical trials and preclinical programs of our product candidates, or if, when or to what extent we will generate revenue from the commercialization and sale of any of our product candidates that obtain regulatory approval. We may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. The duration, costs and timing of clinical trials and development of our product candidates will depend on a variety of factors, including the uncertainties of clinical trials and preclinical studies, uncertainties in clinical trial enrollment rate and significant and changing government regulation. In addition, the probability of success for each product candidate will depend on numerous factors, including competition, manufacturing capability and commercial viability. We will determine which programs to pursue and how much to fund each program in response to the scientific and clinical success of each product candidate, as well as an assessment of each product candidate’s commercial potential.

For the year ended December 31, 2016, our research and development expenditures increased by $11.1 million, compared to the prior year. This was primarily due to increased clinical manufacturing activities and Investigational New Drug Application, or IND-enabling studies associated with ZW25 and ZW33, as well as increased activities associated with our therapeutic platforms and early-stage research and discovery programs recorded in other research activities. The increase in expenses was partially offset by the increase in government credits due to an increase in SR&ED claims in 2016 of approximately $1.0 million. We expect to incur additional expenses as we advance our product candidates, pursue regulatory approval, identify future product candidates and advance our therapeutic platforms.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative expenses consist of salaries and related benefit costs for employees in our executive, finance, intellectual property, business development, human resources and other support functions, legal and professional fees, and travel and general office expenses. We expect to incur additional expenses related to supporting our ongoing research and development activities, operating as a public company and other administrative expenses.

Other Income (Expense)

Other income (expense) primarily consists of interest and accretion expenses, change in fair value of warrant liabilities, foreign exchange gain (loss), income (expense) from investments and impairment expense.

Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Judgments and Estimates

Our management’s discussion and analysis of financial conditions and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of

 

82


Table of Contents

these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates, judgments and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the balance sheets and the reported amount of the revenue and expenses recorded during the reporting period. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable. We review and evaluate these estimates on an ongoing basis. These assumptions and estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities and amounts that have been recorded as revenue and expenses. Actual results and experiences may differ from these estimates. The results of any material revisions would be reflected in the consolidated financial statements prospectively from the date of the change in estimate.

While a summary of significant accounting policies has been included in note 2 of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus, we believe that the following accounting policies are the most critical to assist you in fully understanding and evaluating our financial results and any affect the estimates and judgments we used in preparing our consolidated financial statements. There have been no material changes to our critical accounting policies during the year ended December 31, 2016 with the exception of the change in our functional currency as described below.

Functional Currency

Prior to January 1, 2016, our functional currency was the Canadian dollar.

We reassessed our functional currency and determined that, as at January 1, 2016, our functional currency changed from the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar based on management’s analysis of the changes in the primary economic environment in which we operate. The change in functional currency is accounted for prospectively from January 1, 2016 and prior year financial statements have not been restated for the change in functional currency.

For periods prior to January 1, 2016, the effects of exchange rate fluctuations on translating foreign currency monetary assets and liabilities into Canadian dollars were included in the statement of operations and comprehensive loss as foreign exchange gain/loss. Revenue and expense transactions were translated into the U.S. dollar reporting currency at the balance sheet date at average exchange rates during the period, and assets and liabilities were translated at end of period exchange rates, except for equity transactions, which were translated at historical exchange rates. Translation gains and losses from the application of the U.S. dollar as the reporting currency while the Canadian dollar was the functional currency are included as part of the cumulative foreign currency translation adjustment, which is reported as a component of shareholders’ equity under accumulated other comprehensive loss.

For periods commencing January 1, 2016, monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into U.S. dollars using exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. Opening balances related to non-monetary assets and liabilities are based on prior period translated amounts, and non-monetary assets and non-monetary liabilities incurred after January 1, 2016 are translated at the approximate exchange rate prevailing at the date of the transaction. Revenue and expense transactions are translated at the approximate exchange rate in effect at the time of the transaction. Foreign exchange gains and losses are included in the statement of operations and comprehensive loss as foreign exchange gain (loss).

The functional currency of Zymeworks Biopharmaceuticals Inc. and Zymeworks Biochemistry Inc. is also the U.S. dollar.

Business Combination and Goodwill

Acquisitions of businesses are accounted for using the acquisition method. The consideration of a business combination is measured, at the date of the exchange, as the aggregate of the fair value of assets given, liabilities incurred or assumed and equity instruments issued by us to the former owners of the acquiree in exchange for

 

83


Table of Contents

control of the acquiree. Acquisition related costs incurred for the business combination are expensed. The acquiree’s identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities are recognized at their fair value at the acquisition date. We estimate the fair value of acquired IPR&D using the cost approach. The cost approach uses estimated total research costs incurred to date in order to recreate the asset, estimated cost multiples from comparable companies and expected investor return rates.

Goodwill arising on acquisition is recognized as an asset and initially measured at cost, being the excess of the consideration of the acquisition over our interest in the fair value of the net identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities recognized. If our interest in the fair value of the acquiree’s net identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities exceeds the cost of the acquisition, the excess is recognized in earnings or loss immediately. Goodwill will be evaluated for impairment on an annual basis or more frequently if an indicator of impairment is present. Goodwill is subject to a two-step impairment test on an annual basis. The first step compares the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying amount, which includes the goodwill. When the fair value of a reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, goodwill of the reporting unit is considered not to be impaired, and the second step of the impairment test is unnecessary. If the carrying amount exceeds the implied fair value of the reporting unit, the second step measures the amount of the impairment loss. If the carrying amount exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit, an impairment loss is recognized equal to that excess.

In-Process Research and Development Intangible Asset

The IPR&D arose from the Kairos acquisition on March 18, 2016 and the fair value of the IPR&D was determined to be $20,700 at such acquisition date. The Kairos ADC platform technology (currently known as “ZymeLink”) that we acquired as part of Kairos acquisition constitutes the most significant part of the IPR&D. The total carrying value of the Kairos ADC platform technology was $17,628 in our consolidated financial statements as of December 31, 2016.

ZymeLink comprises multiple potent cancer cell-killing payloads and the linker technology used to couple these payloads to tumor-targeting antibodies or proteins. This platform can be used in conjunction with our other therapeutic platforms to increase safety and efficacy as compared to existing ADC technologies and broaden the therapeutic window. Currently, ZymeLink is being applied to a number of discovery programs at the preclinical stage.

Kairos is at an early stage of development and a detailed and reliable financial forecast is not available, whereas historical costs incurred by Kairos were known and the total platform development costs to date could be reasonably estimated. Furthermore, guideline licensing transactions data for companies with similar technology were available. Accordingly, the fair value of Kairos ADC platform technology has been estimated using the cost approach. The cost approach estimates the total value of the asset by reference to costs that would have been incurred in order to recreate the asset. Within the cost approach, the combination of following valuation methods were used: comparable public company cost multiple approach and expected investor return approach. The primary inputs and assumptions that were used for the calculation were:

 

    estimated cost multiple, which was determined based on the average cost multiples of entities comparable to Kairos in terms of the therapeutic area that they operate and the status for their lead product candidates;

 

    estimated non-risk adjusted venture capital returns that were selected from independent resources; and

 

    estimated in-kind support provided by Kairos’ parent company during the period prior to acquisition.

IPR&D is classified as indefinite-lived and is not amortized. IPR&D becomes definite-lived upon the completion or abandonment of the associated research and development efforts. Intangible assets with finite useful lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives, which are the respective patent terms. Amortization begins when intangible assets with finite lives are put into use. If there is a major event indicating that the carrying value of intangible assets may be impaired, then management will perform an

 

84


Table of Contents

impairment test and if the carrying value exceeds the recoverable value, based on discounted future cash flows, then such assets are written down to their fair values.

The costs incurred in establishing and maintaining patents for intellectual property developed internally are expensed in the period incurred.

Revenue Recognition

We recognize revenue when all of the following criteria are met: persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the fee is fixed or determinable, delivery or performance has been substantially completed and collectability is reasonably assured.

Our revenues are primarily derived from research and development agreements with strategic partners for the research and development of therapeutics products. The terms of the agreements may include non-refundable signing and licensing fees, research funding, milestone payments and royalties on any product sales derived from strategic arrangements.

We analyze agreements with more than one element, or deliverable, based on the guidance in ASC 605-25, Revenue Recognition—Multiple Element Arrangements (“ASC 605-25”). Each required deliverable is evaluated to determine whether it qualifies as a separate unit of accounting. A delivered item or items are considered separate units of accounting if they have value to the collaborator or licensee on a stand-alone basis and, if the agreement includes a general right of return, the delivery or performance of undelivered items is considered probable and within our control.

In assessing whether an item or items have stand-alone value, we consider if the deliverable or deliverables

have been sold separately on a stand-alone basis. Additional factors considered include research capabilities of the strategic partner or licensee, the availability of the associated expertise in the general marketplace, whether the delivered item or items can be used for their intended purpose without receipt of the remaining item(s), whether the value of the delivered item(s) is dependent on the undelivered item(s) and whether there are other vendors that can provide the undelivered item(s).

Arrangement consideration that is fixed or determinable is allocated at the inception of the agreement to all identified units of accounting based on the relative estimated selling prices in accordance with the selling price hierarchy. The selling price of each deliverable is determined using vendor specific objective evidence of selling prices, if it exists; otherwise, third-party evidence of selling prices. If neither vendor specific objective evidence nor third-party evidence exists, we use our best estimate of the selling price for each deliverable. We may be required to exercise considerable judgment in estimating the selling prices of identified units of accounting under our agreements. The arrangement consideration otherwise allocable to delivered units is limited to the amount that is not contingent on the delivery of additional items or fulfillment of other performance conditions.

When we determine that the license and the related therapeutic platform have stand-alone value to the licensee, these items are considered a unit of accounting and arrangement consideration allocated to this unit of accounting is recognized upon delivery of the therapeutic platform. When research services related to the transfer of the technical information are required, then the license, the applicable research services, and therapeutic platform are considered a unit of accounting and we must determine the period over which the performance obligations will be performed, which generally relates to the period the research services will be performed, and over which revenue is recognized. If we cannot reasonably estimate the timing and the level of effort to complete its performance obligations under the arrangement, then revenue under the arrangement is recognized on a straight-line basis over the period we expect to complete our performance obligations.

 

85


Table of Contents

We recognize other research support payments as revenue upon the performance of activities, which are eligible for research support payments from our strategic partners, in accordance with the respective licensing and collaboration agreements.

We analyze milestones based on the guidance in ASC 605-28, Revenue Recognition—Milestone Method (“ASC 605-28”). We evaluate milestone payments on an individual basis and recognize revenue from non-refundable milestone payments when the earnings process is complete and the payment is reasonably assured. Non-refundable milestone payments related to arrangements under which we have continuing performance obligations are recognized as revenue upon achievement of the associated milestone, provided that the milestone event is substantive and its achievability was not reasonably assured at the inception of the agreement.

A milestone event is considered substantive if (i) the milestone is commensurate with either (a) our performance to achieve the milestone or (b) the enhancement of the value of the delivered item(s) as a result of a specific outcome resulting from our performance to achieve the milestone; (ii) it relates solely to past performance; and (iii) it is reasonable relative to all of the deliverables and payment terms (including other potential milestone consideration) within the arrangement. If any portion of the milestone payment does not relate to performance, does not relate solely to past performance or is refundable or adjustable based on future performance, the milestone is not considered to be substantive.

Certain milestones in the agreements do not meet the ASC 605-28 definition of a milestone because

achievement of the milestone solely depends on the performance of the licensee. Any revenue from these contingent payments is subject to an allocation of arrangement consideration and is recognized over the remaining period of performance obligations, if any, relating to the arrangement. If there are no remaining performance obligations under the arrangement at the time the contingent payment is triggered, the contingent payment is recognized as revenue in full upon the triggering event occurring.

Options for future deliverables are considered substantive if, at the inception of the arrangement, we are at risk as to whether the licensee will choose to exercise the option. Factors that we consider in evaluating whether an option is substantive include the overall objective of the arrangement, the benefit the licensee might obtain from the arrangement without exercising the option, the cost to exercise the option and the likelihood that the option will be exercised. For arrangements under which an option is considered substantive, we do not consider the item underlying the option to be a deliverable at the inception of the arrangement and the associated option fees are not included in the initial consideration, assuming the option is not priced at a significant and incremental discount. Conversely, for arrangements under which an option is not considered substantive or if an option is priced at a significant and incremental discount, we would consider the item underlying the option to be a deliverable at the inception of the arrangement and a corresponding amount would be included in the initial consideration.

Royalty revenue will be recognized upon the sale of the related products provided we have no remaining performance obligations under the arrangement.

We periodically enter into contract amendments and subsequent contracts with the same entity. Contracts that amend the terms of existing agreements are treated in substance as one arrangement. Subsequent contracts that contain unrelated deliverables are accounted for as separate arrangements. The factors considered by us when determining if a deliverable in one agreement is unrelated to a deliverable in another agreement include assessing if the different deliverables in each agreement are closely interrelated or interdependent in terms of design, technology and function, if the fee in one agreement is impacted by the performance in another agreement, and is a deliverable in one agreement essential to the functionality of a deliverable in another agreement.

 

86


Table of Contents

Research and Development Expense and Related Accrued Expenses

As part of the process of preparing our consolidated financial statements, we may be required to estimate accrued expenses. In order to obtain reasonable estimates, we review open contracts and purchase orders. In addition, we communicate with applicable personnel in order to identify services that have been performed, but for which we have not yet been invoiced. In most cases, our vendors provide us with monthly invoices in arrears for services performed. We confirm our estimates with these vendors and make adjustments as needed. The following are examples of our accrued expenses:

 

    fees paid to clinical research organizations (“CROs”) for services performed on preclinical studies; and

 

    fees paid for professional services.

Liability classified awards

For awards accounted for under Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 718 “Compensation—Stock

Options” (“ASC 718”), with an exercise price which is not denominated in: (a) the currency of a market in which a substantial portion of our equity securities trades, (b) the currency in which the individual’s pay is denominated, or (c) our functional currency, are required to be classified as liabilities. For awards accounted for under ASC 815 “Derivatives and Hedging” (“ASC 815”), any warrant or option that provides for an exercise price which is not denominated in our functional currency is required to be classified as a liability.

Liability classified awards are subsequently measured at fair value at each balance sheet date until exercised or cancelled, with changes in fair value recognized as compensation cost or additional paid-in capital (ASC 718

awards) or other income and expenses (ASC 815 awards) for the period. Under ASC 718, when an award is

reclassified from equity to liability, if at the reclassification date the original vesting conditions are expected to be satisfied, then the minimum amount of compensation cost to be recognized is based on the grant date fair value of the original award. Fair value changes below this minimum amount are recorded in additional paid-in capital. Fair value is calculated using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The Black-Scholes option pricing model uses various inputs to measure fair value, including estimated fair value of our underlying common shares at the grant date, expected term, estimated volatility, risk-free interest rate and expected dividend yields of our common shares.

Share-based Compensation

We recognize share-based compensation expense on share awards granted to employees and members of the board of directors based on their estimated grant date fair value using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. This Black-Scholes option pricing model uses various inputs to measure fair value, including estimated fair value of our underlying common share at the grant date, expected term, estimated volatility, risk-free interest rate and expected dividend yields of our common shares. We recognize share-based compensation expense, net of estimated forfeitures, in the consolidated statements of loss and comprehensive loss on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period. We apply an estimated forfeiture rate derived from historical employee termination behavior. If the actual number of forfeitures differs from those estimated by management, adjustments to compensation expense may be required in future periods.

Share based compensation expense related to stock options granted to individual service providers who are not employees is measured on the date of performance using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model and the awards are periodically remeasured as the underlying options vest. The fair value of the share-based awards is amortized over the vesting period.

In the absence of a public trading market for our common shares, on each grant date, we develop an estimate of the fair value of our common shares in order to determine an exercise price for the option grants. We engaged an independent third-party valuation firm to assist our board of directors in determining an estimated fair value of

 

87


Table of Contents

the common shares underlying our equity awards in accordance with the guidance provided in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Practice Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation (“The Practice Guide”). Findings of the independent third-party valuation firm are discussed with management and the audit committee of the board in regards to the operation of the business, key assumptions, risks and other factors. All options to purchase our common shares have been granted with an exercise price per share no less than the estimated fair value per common share underlying those options on the date of grant, based on the information known to us on the date of grant.

The Practice Guide identifies various available methods for allocating enterprise value across classes and series of common shares to determine the estimated fair value of common shares at each valuation date. In determining an estimated fair value for our common shares, we used the following methods:

 

    Probability-Weighted Expected Return Method. The probability-weighted expected return method (“PWERM”) is a scenario-based analysis that estimates value per share based on the probability-weighted present value of expected future investment returns, considering each of the possible outcomes available to us, as well as the economic and control rights of each share class.

 

    Option Pricing Method. Under the option pricing method (“OPM”) 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 shares and common shares are inferred by analyzing these options. Given the absence of a public trading market for our common shares, 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 shares, including:

 

    our stage of development;

 

    the status of research and development efforts;

 

    the status of our strategic and collaboration transactions;

 

    the rights, preferences and privileges of our preferred shares relative to those of our common shares;

 

    our operating results and financial condition, including our levels of available capital resources;

 

    equity market conditions affecting comparable public companies;

 

    general U.S. market conditions; and

 

    the lack of marketability of our common shares.

For valuations after the completion of our initial public offering, the fair value of each share of underlying common shares will be based on the closing public trading price of our common shares on the date of grant.

 

88


Table of Contents

The following table illustrates our stock option grant information from January 1, 2014, including the estimated fair value of our common shares on the date of grant.

 

Grant Date

   Number of Options
Granted
     Option Exercise
Price in C$(1)
     Option Exercise
Price in $(2)
     Estimated Fair
Value
of Common

Shares in
C$
     Estimated Fair
Value
of Common

Shares in
$(2)
 

January 1, 2014

     284,000        4.86        3.67        4.86        3.67  

April 1, 2014

     30,000        4.86        3.67        4.86        3.67  

July 1, 2014

     20,000        4.86        3.67        4.86        3.67  

October 1, 2014

     60,000        4.86        3.67        4.86        3.67  

January 1, 2015

     742,000        6.05        4.57        6.05        4.57  

April 1, 2015

     75,000        6.05        4.57        6.05        4.57  

July 1, 2015

     42,500        6.05        4.57        6.05        4.57  

October 1, 2015

     50,000        6.05        4.57        6.05        4.57  

January 1, 2016

     45,000        5.07        3.83        5.07        3.83  

January 29, 2016

     1,540,000        5.07        3.83        5.07        3.83  

February 29, 2016

     165,000        5.07        3.83        5.07        3.83  

November 9, 2016

     595,855        8.69        6.56        8.69        6.56  

January 6, 2017

     22,000        9.49        7.16        9.49        7.16  

February 2, 2017

     440,500        9.47        7.15        9.47        7.15  

February 3, 2017

     598,117        9.47        7.15        9.47        7.15  

February 6, 2017

     47,500        9.47        7.15        9.47        7.15  

 

(1)   Due to the absence of a public market for our common shares to date, the exercise price per share was the estimated fair value of common shares and represented the determination by our board of directors of the fair value of our common shares as of the date of each grant, taking into consideration various objective and subjective factors, as discussed more fully herein.
(2)   Canadian dollar amounts are converted to U.S. dollars based on the historical Canadian to U.S. noon rate of exchange as at February 28, 2017. For further information, see “Exchange Rate Data. ”

Based on an assumed offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the estimated initial public offering price set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, the aggregate intrinsic value of options outstanding as of December 31, 2016 was $         million, of which $         million related to vested options and $         million related to unvested options.

In determining the exercise prices of the options set forth in the table above granted from January 1, 2014 through February 6, 2017, our board of directors considered the most recent valuations of our common shares, and based its determination in part on the analyses summarized below. On October 17, 2016, an independent third-party valuation was prepared to calculate the liability for our outstanding vested stock awards as of September 30, 2016. An independent third-party valuation was also prepared as of November 8, 2016 to assist our board of directors in determining the exercise price of options which were issued on November 9, 2016.

 

89


Table of Contents

The key assumptions from each of our third-party valuations are detailed below:

 

Third-Party Valuation Date

   Per share
Estimated
Fair Value of
Common Shares(C$)
     Per share
Estimated
Fair Value of
Common Shares($)(1)
     Volatility     Dividend
Yield
    Risk Free
Rate
    Discount for
lack of
marketability
 

31-Dec-13

     4.86        3.67        55     0     0.78     35%  

31-Dec-14

     6.05        4.57        55     0     1.10     35%  

31-Mar-15

     6.05        4.57        55     0     0.89     35%  

30-Jun-15

     6.05        4.57        55     0     1.10     35%  

30-Sep-15

     6.05        4.57        55     0     0.92     35%  

31-Dec-15

     5.07        3.83        55     0     1.22     15% - 30%  

31-Mar-16

     6.89        5.20        65     0     1.00     15% - 30%  

30-Jun-16

     7.37        5.56        65     0     0.71     15% - 30%  

08-Nov-16

     8.69        6.56        65     0     0.99     15% - 30%  

31-Dec-16

     9.49        7.16        65     0     1.47     12.5% - 30%  

31-Jan-17

     9.47        7.15        65     0     1.48     10.0% - 30%  

 

(1)   Canadian dollar amounts have been converted to U.S. dollars based on the historical Canadian to U.S. noon rate of exchange as at February 28, 2017. For further information, see “Exchange Rate Data.”

Stock Option Grants from January 2014 to October 2014

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on January 1, 2014, April 1, 2014, July 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014, with each option having an exercise price of C$4.86 per share, (or $3.67 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on independent third-party valuation as of December 31, 2013 and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant date, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between December 31, 2013 and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the December 2013 valuation. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between December 31, 2013 and October 1, 2014 that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at January 1, 2014, April 1, 2014, July 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014 was C$4.86 per share (or $3.67 per share, as converted).

Stock Option Grants from January 2015 to October 2015

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on January 1, 2015, with each option having an exercise price of C$6.05 per share, (or $4.57 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on independent third-party valuations as of December 31, 2014 and March 31, 2015 and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant dates, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between the valuation dates and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the December 31, 2014, March 31, 2015, June 30, 2015 and September 30, 2015 valuations. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between valuation dates and grant dates that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at January 1, 2015, April 1, 2015, July 1, 2015 and October 1, 2015 was C$6.05 per share (or $4.57 per share, as converted).

 

90


Table of Contents

Stock Option Grants from January 2016 to February 2016

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on January 1, 2016, January 29, 2016 and February 29, 2016, with each option having an exercise price of C$5.07 per share (or $3.83 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on independent third-party valuations as of December 31, 2015 and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant dates, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between the valuation dates and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the December 31, 2015 valuation. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between valuation dates and grant dates that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at January 1, 2016, January 29, 2016 and February 29, 2016 was C$5.07 per share (or $3.83 per share, as converted).

Stock Option Grants in November 2016

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on November 9, 2016 with each option having an exercise price of C$8.69 per share (or $6.56 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on independent third-party valuations as of November 8, 2016 (valuation date) and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant date, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between the valuation dates and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the November 8, 2016 valuation. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between valuation dates and grant dates that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at November 9, 2016 was C$8.69 per share (or $6.56 per share, as converted).

Stock Option Grants in January 2017

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on January 6, 2017 with each option having an exercise price of C$9.49 per share (or $7.16 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on independent third-party valuations as of December 31, 2016 (valuation date) and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant date, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between the valuation dates and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the December 31, 2016 valuation. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between valuation dates and grant dates that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at January 6, 2017 was C$9.49 per share (or $7.16 per share, as converted).

Stock Option Grants in February 2017

Our board of directors granted options to purchase common shares on February 2, 2017, February 3, 2017 and February 6, 2017 with each option having an exercise price of C$9.47 per share (or $7.15 per share, as converted). In establishing this exercise price, our board of directors relied in part on an independent third-party valuation as of January 31, 2017 (valuation date) and considered input from management, as well as the objective and subjective factors outlined above. At the grant date, our board of directors considered the events and circumstances most likely to affect the value of our common shares that occurred between the valuation dates and the grant dates and whether those events and circumstances were part of the assumptions used in the January

 

91


Table of Contents

31, 2017 valuation. Our board of directors determined that there were no other events and circumstances that occurred between valuation dates and grant dates that were indicative of a significant change in the fair value of our common shares. Based on these factors, our board of directors determined that the fair value of our common shares at February 2, 2017, February 3, 2017 and February 6, 2017 was C$9.47 per share (or $7.15 per share, as converted).

JOBS Act

In April 2012, the JOBS Act was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this extended transition period and, as a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for other public companies.

We continue the process of evaluating the benefits of relying on other exemptions and reduced reporting requirements under the JOBS Act. Subject to certain conditions, as an emerging growth company, we may rely on certain of these exemptions, including without limitation, (i) providing an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and (ii) complying 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, known as the auditor discussion and analysis. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenue of $1 billion or more; (ii) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of our IPO; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the SEC.

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

Research and Development Revenue

The following represents a comparison of our research and development revenue for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2015              2016          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)      

Revenue from research and collaborations

   $ 9.7      $ 11.0      $ 1.3        13

The increase in collaboration revenue of $1.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 compared to 2015 is primarily due to $2.0 million and $6.0 million of upfront technology access fees received from Daiichi and GSK, respectively in 2016 compared to the $7.5 million upfront payment from Celgene, which was recognized as revenue in 2015. Additionally, in 2016 we recorded milestone revenue of $2.0 million from Lilly compared to $1.0 million in 2015.

 

92


Table of Contents

Research and Development Expense

The following represents a comparison of our research and development expense for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2015              2016          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)      

Research and development expense

           

ZW25

   $ 5.2      $ 6.1      $ 0.9        17

ZW33

     5.3        9.2        3.9        74

Therapeutic platforms

     5.9        7.6        1.7        29

Other research activities

     8.3        13.9        5.6        67
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total research and development expense

   $ 24.7      $ 36.8      $ 12.1        49

During the year ended December 31, 2016, our research and development expenditures increased by $12.1 million, compared to 2015. This was primarily due to the start of clinical activities related to ZW25, increased clinical manufacturing activities and IND-enabling studies associated with ZW25 and ZW33, as well as increased activities associated with our therapeutic platforms and early-stage research and discovery programs recorded in other research activities.

General and Administrative Expense

The following represents a comparison of our general and administrative expense for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2015              2016          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)      

General and administrative expense

   $ 5.2      $ 12.6      $ 7.4        142

General and administrative expense increased for the year ended December 31, 2016 by $7.4 million, compared to the same period in 2015, primarily due to an increase in compensation costs and professional fees. The compensation cost increase was the result of new hires and higher share-based compensation expense due to reclassification of certain awards from equity to liability. The increase in professional fees over the same period in 2015 was associated with consulting services and lab and office expansions as well as legal and human resources advisory services.

Other Income (Expenses)

Other income for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased by approximately $2.6 million primarily due to a $1.5 million increase in interest and accretion expenses, $0.8 million of losses due to change in fair value of warrant liabilities and $0.8 million of impairment on IPR&D that was partially offset by a $0.4 million increase in foreign exchange gain and a net gain of $0.2 million from the previously held equity investment (Kairos).

Results of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2014 and 2015

Research and Development Revenue

The following represents a comparison of our research and development revenue for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2014              2015          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)      

Revenue from research and collaborations

   $ 1.7      $ 9.7      $ 8.0        471

 

93


Table of Contents

The increase in collaboration revenue of $8.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 is primarily due to the recognition of deferred revenue related to the $7.5 million Celgene upfront payment recognized into revenue from January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015. In addition, the increase relates to the milestone revenue from Lilly and research support payments from Merck.

Research and Development Expense

The following represents a comparison of our research and development expense for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2014              2015          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)      

Research and development expense

     

ZW25

   $ 2.8      $ 5.2      $ 2.4       86

ZW33

     1.5        5.3        3.8       253

Therapeutic platforms

     4.0        5.9        1.9       48

Other research activities

     4.3        8.3        4.0       93
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total research and development expense

   $ 12.6      $ 24.7      $ 12.1       96

Less: Government credits

     2.1        0.3        (1.8     (86 %) 
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total research and development expense, net

   $ 10.5      $ 24.4      $ 13.9       132
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

During the year ended December 31, 2015, our research and development increased by $12.1 million, compared to 2014. This was primarily due to increased clinical manufacturing activities and IND-enabling studies associated with ZW25 and ZW33, increased activities associated with our therapeutic platforms, as well as early-stage research and discovery programs recorded in other research activities.

Government credits, which consist of SR&ED, decreased by $1.8 million in 2015. The SR&ED amount for the current year is calculated based on our preceding year taxable capital and preceding year total assets. The decrease was primarily due to the increase in our taxable capital and total assets amounts in 2014, which resulted in a lower credit in 2015. Furthermore, changes in the Quebec SR&ED structure resulted in certain research and development, or R&D, expenses being ineligible for R&D tax credits in Quebec.

General and Administrative Expense

The following represents a comparison of our general and administrative expense for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015:

 

     Year Ended
December 31,
        
         2014              2015          Increase/(Decrease)  
     (dollars in millions)  

General and administrative expense

   $ 3.9      $ 5.2      $ 1.3        33

General and administrative expense increased for the year ended December 31, 2015 by $1.3 million compared to 2014 primarily due to an increase in salaries expense, professional fees and facilities expenses. The salaries increase was the result of new hires made after the second quarter in 2014 as well as higher share-based compensation expense resulting from an increase in stock option grants in 2015 as compared to the same period in 2014. The increase in professional fees in 2015 was associated with the conversion of our financial statements to U.S. GAAP financial statements and other financial reporting requirements, as well as an increase in legal and advisory services. The increase in facilities expenses was due to higher office and rent expenses as a result of greater headcount and square footage.

 

94


Table of Contents

Other Income (Expenses)

Other expenses for the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased primarily due to the absence of accretion on convertible debentures issued to CTI Life Sciences Fund, L.P., or CTI, which were converted into common shares on June 16, 2014. Additionally, there was an increase in other income in 2015 due to higher interest income and foreign exchange gain compared to 2014. As a result, there was no accretion expense for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Quarterly Results of Operations

The following selected historical consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss data for the quarters ended March 31, 2015 to December 31, 2016 have been derived from our unaudited consolidated financial statements and footnotes. The unaudited consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a basis consistent with our audited consolidated financial statements and, in the opinion of management, include all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, which management considers necessary for the fair presentation of the information for the unaudited periods. Historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results, and our interim period results are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for a full year or any other interim period. The following data should be read in conjunction with the remainder of this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

Consolidated Statement of Quarterly Loss:

 

    Q1
2014
    Q2
2014
    Q3
2014
    Q4
2014
    Q1
2015
    Q2
2015
    Q3
2015
    Q4
2015
    Q1
2016
    Q2
2016
    Q3
2016
    Q4
2016
 
    (dollars in thousands, except for share and per share amounts)  
    (unaudited)  

Revenue

  $ 482     $ 778     $ 181     $ 229     $ 3,925     $ 3,956     $ 340     $ 1,439     $ 262     $ 6,343     $ 2,172     $ 2,232  

Operating expenses:

                       

Research and development

    2,462       3,125       2,862       4,173       4,118       7,141       5,157       8,238       7,916       10,223       9,759       8,918  

Government grants and credits

    —       —       —       (2,149     —       —       —       (251     —       —       —       (1,265
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 
    2,462       3,125       2,862       2,024       4,118       7,141       5,157       7,987       7,916       10,223       9,759       7,653  

General and administrative

    662       985       849       1,449       1,379       1,273       1,194       1,371       2,085       2,656       2,696       5,117  

Impairment on acquired IPR&D

    —         —         —         —         —         —         —         —         —         —         768       —    
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    3,124       4,110       3,711       3,473       5,497       8,414       6,351       9,358       10,001       12,879       13,223       12,770  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (2,642     (3,332     (3,530     (3,244     (1,572     (4,458     (6,011     (7,919     (9,739     (6,536     (11,051     (10,538

Other income (expense)

    (112     (119     16       21       682       (61     199       4       1,620       (815     (1,091     (734
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

    (2,754     (3,451     (3,514     (3,223     (890     (4,519     (5,812     (7,915     (8,119     (7,351     (12,142     (11,272

Income tax expense

                  (34       (72     (255     (103

Deferred income tax benefit

    —       —       —       —       —       —       —       —       5,407       —       —       98  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

  $ (2,754   $ (3,451   $ (3,514   $ (3,223   $ (890   $ (4,519   $ (5,812   $ (7,949   $ (2,712   $ (7,423   $ (12,397   $ (11,277
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per common share (basic and diluted)

  $ (0.20   $ (0.25   $ (0.25   $ (0.14   $ (0.03   $ (0.17   $ (0.22   $ (0.29   $ (0.10   $ (0.24   $ (0.40   $ (0.36

Weighted-average number of common shares (basic and diluted)

    13,677,550       13,934,244       13,983,702       22,990,268       26,698,342       26,930,645       26,959,778       26,963,168       27,485,161       30,604,907       31,327,561       31,327,561  

 

95


Table of Contents

Liquidity and Capital Resources

We have financed our operations primarily through private equity placements of our common shares, a private placement of preferred shares and most recently our credit facility. We entered into the Perceptive Facility on June 2, 2016 with the Perceptive Facility Lenders. Pursuant to the Credit Agreement, we are able to borrow up to an aggregate of $15.0 million, consisting of Tranche A and Tranche B term loans for $7.5 million each. The Tranche A term loan was made available to us immediately. We will be eligible for the Tranche B term loan when we have: (i) enrolled at least one patient in a Phase 1 clinical trial developing ZW25 for an indication targeting HER2 expressing tumors by June 2, 2017, which we achieved in September 2016; (ii) enrolled at least one patient in a Phase 1 clinical trial developing ZW33 for an indication targeting HER2 expressing tumors by August 2, 2017; and (iii) entered into a collaboration agreement with a publicly-traded pharmaceutical or biotechnology company with a market capitalization greater than $10 billion that is reasonably expected to result in aggregate payments in excess of $100 million, which we achieved in April 2016 by entering into a licensing and collaboration agreement with GSK. These milestones are outlined in greater detail in Section 6.02 of the Credit Agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part and which will be filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on the system for electronic document analysis and retrieval, or SEDAR, at www.sedar.com, under our profile.

Amounts borrowed under the facility can be repaid at any time, subject to certain penalty payments, prior to the June 2, 2020 maturity date, at which time all amounts borrowed will be due and payable. Amounts borrowed under the Tranche A or Tranche B term loans and subsequently repaid or prepaid may not be reborrowed. In addition, the terms of the Perceptive Facility require us to pay monthly interest payments up until June 2, 2018, after which monthly principal payments of $225,000 will also commence. Advances under the Perceptive Facility bear interest at the rate of LIBOR plus 10% annually, with LIBOR to be a minimum of 1%. As of December 31, 2016, the applicable interest rate was 11%. On August 3, 2016, the warrant certificates were assigned to Perceptive Credit Holdings, LP, an affiliate of the Perceptive Facility Lenders.

We made customary affirmative and negative covenants in Credit Agreement. As of the date of this prospectus, we are in compliance with the terms and covenants of the Credit Agreement. In the event of a default, including, among other things, our failure to make any payment when due or our uncured default in the performance or observance of any term, covenant, condition or agreement we were required to perform, the lenders under the Perceptive Facility will be able to declare all obligations immediately due and payable. The Perceptive Facility was collateralized by substantially all of our assets, including our intellectual property but excluding specific intellectual property linked to our strategic partnerships and collaborations. Pursuant to the terms of the Credit Agreement, Perceptive was concurrently issued a warrant certificate that entitles Perceptive to purchase up to 704,081 of our Class A preferred shares at an exercise price of $4.90 per share, with an expiry term of five years.

In addition, our operations have been funded through upfront fees, milestone payments, research support payments from our strategic partners and government grants and SR&ED credits. As of December 31, 2016, we had $40.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments.

In addition to our existing cash and cash equivalents, we expect to continue to receive additional reimbursements from our existing and future research collaborations for research and development services rendered and additional milestone payments. However, our ability to receive these milestone payments is dependent upon our ability to successfully complete specified research and development activities and therefore it is uncertain at this time. We also expect to increase our cash and cash equivalents with the estimated net proceeds of this offering and through future equity financings.

 

96


Table of Contents

Cash Flows

The following table represents a summary of our cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
         2014             2015             2016      

Net cash provided by (used in):

      

Operating activities

   $ (7.0   $ (22.2   $ (35.2

Investing activities

     (0.3     (9.2     (25.5

Financing activities

     46.4       1.5       64.8  

Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

     (1.3     (5.4     0.8  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

   $ 37.8     $ (35.3   $ 4.9  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Operating Activities

Net cash used in operating activities reflects, among other things, amounts used to fund our preclinical activities, including clinical manufacturing and IND-enabling studies. The increase in net cash used in operating activities was primarily due to an increase in the activities associated with our ongoing research programs and increase in our professional fees resulting from the license and collaboration agreements.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities in 2016 primarily related to $20.0 million in short-term investments and $4.5 million in purchases of lab equipment, computer hardware, and increases in leaseholds, whereas in 2015, short-term investments was $4.3 million and purchases of office equipment and software amounted to $0.8 million. Net cash used in investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2015 primarily relates to short-term investments and our equity investment in Kairos. Net cash used in investing activities in the year ended December 31, 2014 is primarily related to the acquisition of computer hardware and software.

Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2016 includes $58.9 million of net proceeds from the equity financing that was completed in January 2016 and $7.0 million of net proceeds from the credit facility. Net cash provided by financing activities in each of the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 includes net proceeds of $1.8 million and $46.4 million respectively, primarily from private equity placements.

Funding Requirements

We have not generated any revenue from product sales to date and do not expect to do so until such time as we obtain regulatory approval of and commercialize one or more of our product candidates. As we are currently in clinical and preclinical stages of development, it will be some time before we expect to achieve this and it is uncertain that we ever will. We expect that we will continue to increase our operating expenses in connection with ongoing clinical trials and preclinical activities and the development of product candidates in our pipeline. We expect to continue our strategic partnerships and will look for additional collaboration opportunities. We also expect to continue our efforts to pursue additional grants and refundable tax credits from the Canadian government in order to further our research and development. Although it is difficult to predict our funding requirements, based upon our current operating plan, we anticipate that our existing cash and cash equivalents and short term investments as of December 31, 2016, combined with the net proceeds of this offering, will enable us to advance the clinical development of ZW25 and ZW33 product candidates based on our Azymetric platform technology. We may also be eligible to receive certain research, development and commercial milestone

 

97


Table of Contents

payments in the future, as described under “Business – Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.” However, because successful development of our product candidates and the achievement of milestones by our strategic partners is uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require to complete the research, development and commercialization of product candidates. See “Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Dependency on Third Parties – We may not realize the anticipated benefits of our strategic partnerships.”

Contractual Obligations and Contingent Liabilities

Lease Commitments

We lease premises in Vancouver, British Columbia under an agreement that expires in August 2021 and in Seattle, Washington under agreements that expire in January 2020 and February 2022. We have also entered into a lease for laboratory space in Vancouver, British Columbia that will expire in August 2021. The leases contain rent escalation clauses. We also lease pieces of office equipment under capital lease agreements. Future minimum lease payments under the non-cancellable operating leases and capital leases at December 31, 2016 are as follows:

 

     Payments Due By Period  
     Less Than
1 Year
     1 to 3
Years
     3 to 5
Years
     More Than
5 Years
     Total  

Capital lease obligations

   $ 5      $ 8      $ 3      $   —      $ 16  

Operating lease obligations

     1,726        3,766        3,127        44        8,663  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations

   $ 1,731      $ 3,774      $ 3,130      $ 44        8,679  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Other Commitments

We have entered into research collaboration agreements with our strategic partners, in the ordinary course of operations, that may include contractual milestone payments related to the achievement of pre-specified research, development, regulatory and commercialization events and indemnification provisions, which are common in such agreements. The maximum amount of potential future indemnification is unlimited; however, we currently hold commercial and product liability insurance. This insurance limits our liability and may enable us to recover a portion of any future amounts paid. Historically, we have not made any indemnification payments under such agreements and we believe that the fair value of these indemnification obligations is minimal. Accordingly, we have not recognized any liabilities relating to these obligations for any period presented.

In August 2016, we entered into a license agreement with Innovative Targeting Solutions Inc., or ITS, to use ITS’ protein engineering technology for the development and commercialization of antibody and protein therapeutics. Pursuant to the agreement, we agreed to pay an aggregate of $12.0 million in annual licensing fees to ITS over a five-year period. The licensing fee for the first year was $1.0 million, which has been recorded in intangible assets and is being amortized over a twelve-month period. We may also be required to make payments to ITS upon the achievement of certain development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on net sales.

In connection with the Kairos acquisition, we may be required to make future payments to CDRD Ventures Inc., or CVI, upon the direct achievement of certain development milestones for products incorporating certain Kairos intellectual property, as well as royalty payments on the net sales of such products. For out-licensed products and technologies incorporating certain Kairos intellectual property, we may be required to pay CVI a mid-single digit percentage of the future revenue as a result of a revenue sharing agreement.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We have no material undisclosed off-balance sheet arrangements that have or are reasonably likely to have, a current or future effect on our results of operations or financial condition.

 

98


Table of Contents

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk

We are exposed to market risks in the ordinary course of our business. The market risk inherent in our financial instruments and in our financial position represents the potential loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates.

We had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $40.3 million and $15.2 million at December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively, consisting primarily of funds in cash and guaranteed investment certificates. The primary objective of our investment activities is to preserve principal and liquidity while maximizing income without significantly increasing risk. We do not enter into investments for trading or speculative purposes. Due to the short-term nature of our investment portfolio, we do not believe an immediate 10% increase in interest rates would have a material effect on the fair market value of our portfolio, and accordingly we do not expect our operating results or cash flows to be materially affected by a sudden change in market interest rates.

We undertake certain transactions in Canadian dollars and as such are subject to risk due to fluctuations in exchange rates. Canadian dollar denominated payables are paid at the converted rate as due. We do not use derivative instruments to hedge exposure to foreign exchange rate risk due to the low volume of transactions denominated in foreign currencies. At December 31, 2016, our net monetary assets denominated in Canadian dollars was $ 10.0 million (C$13.5 million).

Our operating results and financial position are reported in U.S. dollars in our financial statements. The fluctuation of the Canadian dollar in relation to the U.S. dollar will consequently have an impact upon our loss and may also affect the value of our assets and the amount of shareholders’ equity.

We do not believe that inflation and changing prices had a significant impact on our results of operations for any periods presented herein.

Segment Reporting

We view our operations and manage our business in one segment, which is the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer.

 

99


Table of Contents

BUSINESS

Overview

Zymeworks is an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer. Our suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and our fully-integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly-differentiated product candidates. These capabilities have resulted in multiple wholly-owned product candidates with the potential to drive superior outcomes in large underserved and unaddressed patient populations, as further described below.

Our lead product candidate, ZW25, is a novel bispecific (dual-targeting) antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, targeting two distinct domains of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or HER2. This unique design enables ZW25 to address patient populations with all levels of HER2 expression, including those with low to intermediate HER2-expressing tumors, who are otherwise limited to chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Approximately 81% of patients with HER2-expressing breast cancer and 57% of patients with HER2-expressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have tumors that express low to intermediate levels of HER2, making them ineligible for treatment with currently-approved HER2 targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta, which generated combined sales of $8.6 billion in 2016. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, ZW25 has demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies. Our second product candidate, ZW33, capitalizes on the unique design of ZW25 and is a bispecific antibody-drug conjugate, or ADC, based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 but armed with a cytotoxic (potent cancer cell-killing) payload. We designed ZW33 to be a best-in-class HER2-targeting ADC for several indications characterized by HER2 expression for which we expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2017. We are also advancing a deep pipeline of preclinical product candidates and discovery-stage programs in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition to our wholly-owned pipeline, two of our therapeutic platforms have been further leveraged through multiple revenue-generating strategic partnerships with the following global pharmaceutical companies: Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi.

Our proprietary capabilities and technologies include four modular, complementary platforms that can be easily used in combination with each other and with existing approaches. This ability to layer technologies without comprising manufacturability enables us to engineer next-generation biotherapeutics with synergistic activity, which we believe will result in superior patient outcomes. Our core platforms include:

 

    Azymetric, our bispecific platform, which enables therapeutic antibodies to bind two distinct locations on a target, known as epitopes. This is achieved by tailoring multiple configurations of the antibody’s Fab regions (locations on the antibody to which epitopes bind);

 

    ZymeLink, our ADC platform which comprises multiple cytotoxic payloads and the linker technology used to couple these payloads to tumor-targeting antibodies or proteins. It can be used in conjunction with our other therapeutic platforms to increase safety and efficacy as compared to existing ADC technologies;

 

    EFECT, which enables finely-tuned modulation (both up and down) of immune cell recruitment and function; and

 

    AlbuCORE, our antibody-alternative platform, which augments the properties of naturally-occurring human serum albumin, or HSA, with multivalent (multi-targeted) binding to enable complex mechanisms of action that are not amenable to antibody-based approaches.

Our protein engineering expertise and proprietary structure-guided molecular modeling capabilities enable these therapeutic platforms. Together with our internal antibody discovery and generation technologies, we have established a fully-integrated drug development engine and toolkit that is capable of rapidly delivering a steady pipeline of next-generation product candidates in oncology and other therapeutic areas.

The field of oncology has benefited from major advances in the understanding of cancer biology over the past decade, which have led to the development of several successful biotherapeutics contributing to a global

 

100


Table of Contents

market valued at greater than $83.7 billion in 2015 and projected to grow to $128.0 billion by 2020. Despite this scientific progress, cancer remains the second-leading cause of death worldwide, leaving a substantial opportunity for Zymeworks to develop and deliver more effective medicines. We believe our novel therapeutic platforms, and our ability to build better biologics, uniquely position us to take advantage of recent advancements in cancer biology and address these underserved patient populations.

Our lead product candidate, ZW25, is an Azymetric bispecific antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial, which simultaneously binds two non-overlapping epitopes of HER2 resulting in dual HER2 signal blockade and increased tumor cell binding, immune cell recruitment and HER2 receptor downregulation as compared to existing HER2-targeted therapies. In our Phase I clinical trial, preliminary anti-tumor activity has been observed across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies. We plan to present detailed safety and preliminary anti-tumor activity data for ZW25 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June 2017. For our second product candidate, ZW33, we expect to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in the second half of 2017. ZW33 is a bispecific anti-HER2 ADC that is based on the same antibody framework as ZW25, but is armed with a potent cytotoxic payload. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, has granted Orphan Drug Designation to both ZW25 and ZW33 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and to ZW25 for the treatment of gastric cancer. We will continue to focus on advancing multiple well-differentiated product candidates into clinical trials to build our pipeline portfolio as well as exploiting our protein engineering expertise to develop innovative therapeutic platforms.

Our unique combination of proprietary protein engineering capabilities and resulting therapeutic platform technologies was initially recognized by Merck and Lilly, with whom we established strategic partnerships focused on our Azymetric and EFECT therapeutic platforms. We subsequently entered into broader strategic partnerships with Celgene and GSK followed by a collaboration and cross-licensing agreement with Daiichi. During the initial partnerships with Merck, Lilly and GSK, the relationships were expanded to include either additional licenses or therapeutic platforms. These relationships provide our strategic partners with access to components of our proprietary Azymetric and EFECT therapeutic platforms for their development of a defined number of protein therapeutics on a predominantly non-target-exclusive basis. Importantly, these strategic partnerships have provided Zymeworks with non-dilutive funding as well as access to proprietary therapeutic assets, to increase our ability to rapidly advance our product candidates while maintaining worldwide commercial rights to our wholly-owned therapeutic pipeline.

The mission that unites everyone at Zymeworks is to create biotherapeutics that allow patients to return home to their loved ones, disease free. We intend to advance the development of disruptive therapeutic platforms and impactful biotherapeutics, especially in areas of unmet need. We believe we are well-positioned to deliver on our mission.

Overview of our Proprietary Therapeutic Platforms

Our expertise in protein engineering has enabled the development of our proprietary therapeutic platforms, a complementary suite of highly-tailored biologics solutions. Our therapeutic platforms can be used alone, or in combination, with synergistic activity to develop multifunctional fit-for-purpose biotherapeutics with bispecific capabilities (Azymetric), cytotoxic payload delivery (ZymeLink), finely-tuned immune function modulation (EFECT) and multivalent targeting (AlbuCORE). The modular design and ease of use of our therapeutic platforms allow for the design and evaluation of multiple candidates with different formats to determine the optimal therapeutic combination early in development. We continue to leverage these therapeutic platforms to expand our pipeline of next-generation biotherapeutics that we believe could represent significant improvements to the standard of care in multiple cancer types.

We believe our in-house biologics design and engineering capabilities confer significant competitive advantages to our therapeutic platforms and are ultimately reflected in our programs. Some of these key advantages are:

 

   

Highly modular and customizable.     Our platforms can be combined in multiple ways and this capability has achieved synergistic results in preclinical studies. For example, our ZymeLink platform enables the

 

101


Table of Contents
 

attachment of cytotoxic payloads to the candidates in any of our other platforms to create enhanced therapeutics, such as ADCs. These capabilities allow us to finely-tune characteristics such as tumor-killing potential, target specificity and immune cell engagement, and expand our ability to engineer superior drugs against multiple cancers.

 

    Fit-for-purpose.     Our platforms can also be utilized to engineer biotherapeutics that are tailored for the particular target and disease state. For example, Azymetric bispecifics can be developed with multiple antigen binding formats to provide specific engagement geometry for a given target. This allows us to identify the targets and diseases that we wish to exploit and then engineer an optimized biotherapeutic to maximize therapeutic effect. We believe this method of deliberate drug development is a more effective and efficient mechanism for the creation of next-generation biotherapeutics.

 

    Consistent with native (Antibody or Albumin) formats.     Our antibody platforms are differentiated from our competitors and have been engineered to retain the desirable biophysical characteristics of native antibody (Immunoglobulin, or IgG) formats such as a low risk of provoking an adverse anti-drug immune response, or immunogenicity, superior pharmacokinetics, the ability to beneficially recruit the immune system through effector function, and ease of manufacturing and purification. Likewise, our AlbuCORE platform builds on native HSA, and exploits the natural accumulation of albumin in tumors which we believe may lead to enhanced targeting of the tumor.

 

    Readily scalable and transferable.    Our in-house biologics design and engineering expertise and infrastructure is positioned to create a steady stream of product candidates that are scalable, efficient to manufacture (by us, a partner or contract manufacturing organization), and naturally endorse favorable characteristics such as high production and purity levels. We believe this is a significant competitive advantage given the historical challenges faced by others in the field who manufacture complex biologics, such as bispecifics and ADCs.

 

LOGO

Azymetric Bispecific Antibody Platform

The Azymetric platform consists of a library of proprietary amino acid substitutions that enable the transformation of monospecific antibodies into bispecific antibodies, which gives them the ability to simultaneously bind two non-overlapping epitopes. Azymetric bispecific technology enables the development of biotherapeutics with dual-targeting of receptors/ligands and simultaneous blockade of multiple signaling pathways, increasing tumor-specific targeting and efficacy while reducing toxicities and the potential for drug-resistance. In preclinical studies, the dual-targeting of Azymetric antibodies has demonstrated synergistic activity relative to the application of an equivalent dose of the corresponding monospecific antibodies. Azymetric

 

102


Table of Contents

bispecifics can also be engineered to enhance internalization of the antibody into the tumor cell and consequently increase the delivery of cytotoxic payloads.

First-generation bispecific platforms significantly alter the structure of monoclonal antibodies or rely upon complex and proprietary manufacturing processes. Azymetric bispecifics, in contrast, retain the desirable drug-like qualities of monoclonal antibodies, including long half-life, stability and low immunogenic potential, which increases their probability of success. Azymetric bispecifics are also compatible with standard manufacturing processes with high production yields and purity, which accelerates manufacturing timelines and reduces costs.

ZymeLink Conjugation Platform and Cytotoxins

The ZymeLink conjugation platform is a suite of novel site-specific protein coupling technologies and customizable cleavable linkers that allow for the delivery of our proprietary cytotoxic payloads, which can be applied to all of our antibody and albumin-based therapeutic platforms. We believe that ZymeLink provides multiple competitive advantages over existing approaches, including optimized activity and tolerability profiles through increased drug delivery to target cells with reduced off-target effects, product homogeneity, preservation of immune cell interaction and stable pharmacokinetics.

EFECT Antibody Effector Function Modulation Platform

The EFECT platform comprises sets of modifications to the crystallizable fragment, or Fc, region of antibodies that enable the selective modulation of recruited cytotoxic immune cells for diverse therapeutic applications. This allows us to rationally tailor the selective enhancement or elimination of immune effector function to optimize product candidates.

AlbuCORE Multispecific Antibody-Alternative Platform

The AlbuCORE platform is a novel and proprietary suite of multivalent scaffolds engineered from the HSA backbone from which therapeutics can be developed. This platform is highly flexible and enables the addition of up to four customized targeting domains, which allows for additional tumor specificity and synergistic activity as well as an increase in the affinity and selectivity for a desired target. The resulting superstructure naturally accumulates in tumor microenvironments or areas of inflammation, and benefits from several attractive attributes of HSA, including superior pharmacokinetics and stability. Additionally, these AlbuCORE constructs possess standard manufacturing and purification protocols compatible with industry standard conjugation technologies, which accelerate the manufacturing process, while reducing costs.

 

103


Table of Contents

Product Candidate Pipeline and Advanced Preclinical and Discovery Programs

We currently have one wholly-owned product candidate in clinical development and several wholly-owned product candidates in preclinical development that leverage our multiple therapeutic platforms to address areas of significant unmet medical need. We define our programs as “lead product candidates” when they initiate IND-enabling studies and as “preclinical stage programs” when lead molecules have been identified and demonstrate activity in biological models. Our lead product candidates, ZW25 and ZW33, utilize our Azymetric bispecific platform to address patient populations with all levels of HER2 expression, including those with low to intermediate HER2-expressing tumors, and are described in detail below. We are also actively advancing a diverse set of preclinical and discovery programs, which leverage one or more of our proprietary therapeutic platforms to create multifunctional biotherapeutics for several solid tumor indications. Our bispecific ADC programs utilize the Azymetric, EFECT and ZymeLink platforms and have demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity in preclinical studies with the potential for an enhanced therapeutic window. Our most advanced T cell-engaging bispecific program leverages the Azymetric and EFECT platforms combined with our proprietary protein engineering expertise, which results in potent anti-tumor activity and reduced toxicity in preclinical studies. We are also developing several checkpoint-modulating bispecifics for immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. Our goal is to advance at least one of these programs to the IND stage every year to create a deep pipeline of well-differentiated product candidates. The table below summarizes our current product candidate pipeline.

 

LOGO

The table below summarizes the therapeutic class of our preclinical and advanced discovery programs.

 

LOGO

 

   

ZW25 is our lead product candidate currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial in the United States, based on our Azymetric platform. It is a bispecific antibody that can simultaneously bind two non-overlapping epitopes, known as biparatopic binding, of HER2 resulting in dual HER2 signal blockade, increased binding and removal of HER2 protein from the cell surface, and enhanced effector function. These combined mechanisms of action have led to significant anti-tumor activity in preclinical models of breast cancer, including trastuzumab (currently branded as Herceptin) resistant high HER2-expressing tumors, as well as in tumors with

 

104


Table of Contents
 

lower levels of HER2 expression. Approximately 81% of patients with HER2-expressing breast cancer and 57% of patients with HER2-expressing gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer have tumors that express low to intermediate levels of HER2, making them ineligible for treatment with currently-approved HER2-targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta. In the United States and EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) alone, approximately 405,803 and 49,058 patients are diagnosed with HER2-expressing breast and gastroesophageal cancer, respectively, every year. In addition, multiple other cancers, including ovarian, bladder, colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, also express HER2 at varying levels. Therefore, there is a significant unmet need for HER2-targeted agents that can effectively treat these patients.

We are developing ZW25 as a best-in-class HER2-targeting antibody intended as a treatment option for patients with any solid tumor that expresses HER2. Our initial focus is on the treatment of patients with breast or gastric cancers who have progressed after treatment with HER2-targeted therapies or who are not eligible for approved HER2-targeted therapies based on low to intermediate levels of HER2 expression. We then intend to develop ZW25 for other HER2-expressing cancers, including ovarian cancer. ZW25 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of both gastric and ovarian cancer by the FDA. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, ZW25 has demonstrated preliminary anti-tumor activity across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies.

 

    ZW33 is a bispecific anti-HER2 ADC that is based on the same antibody framework as ZW25 but armed with a cytotoxic payload. ZW33 retains the mechanisms of action of ZW25 but takes advantage of high levels of antibody-target internalization to deliver a potent cytotoxin. We are developing ZW33 as a best-in-class HER2-targeting ADC for several indications characterized by HER2 expression including breast and ovarian cancer, especially those that have progressed or are refractory to HER2-targeted agents, including Kadcyla. The FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designation for ZW33 for the treatment of ovarian cancer. We plan on initiating a Phase I clinical trial for ZW33 in the second half of 2017.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to leverage our next-generation therapeutic platforms and proprietary protein engineering capabilities to become a domain dominator in the discovery, development and commercialization of best-in-class multifunctional biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other diseases with high unmet medical need.

Our key strategies to achieve this goal are to:

 

    Aggressively advance our lead product candidate, ZW25, through the clinic in multiple HER2-expressing tumor types.    We plan to pursue the most rapid path possible to advance ZW25 through clinical trials and towards commercialization. We believe ZW25 is best-positioned to initially treat patients who have progressed after or who are not eligible for approved HER2-targeted therapies, such as Herceptin and Perjeta, based on low to intermediate levels of HER2 expression. A first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial for ZW25 commenced in September 2016 and consists of three segments: a dose escalation segment in HER2-expressing solid tumors to assess safety and identify the maximum tolerated dose followed by expansion to evaluate ZW25 as both a monotherapy and in combination with standard of care therapy in patients with HER2-expressing refractory breast and gastric or gastroesophageal cancers and other HER2-expressing cancers including ovarian, bladder, colorectal and NSCLC. In our Phase 1 clinical trial, preliminary anti-tumor activity has been observed across multiple cancer types in patients who have progressed after several lines of treatment with HER2-targeted therapies. We plan to present detailed safety and preliminary anti-tumor activity data for ZW25 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June 2017.

 

   

Pursue a rapid and multi-faceted development strategy for our novel and highly differentiated pipeline into clinical trials across many oncology indications with a critically high unmet medical need.     We have completed the Good Laboratory Practice, or GLP, toxicology studies and Current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, manufacturing for ZW33 and plan to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial in

 

105


Table of Contents
 

the second half of 2017. We are able to realize significant cost and time savings for ZW33 relative to other bispecifics by leveraging the same antibody manufacturing processes as well as insights related to the safety, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity and anti-tumor activity data generated for ZW25 in both the preclinical and clinical setting since they share an identical bispecific antibody backbone. The planned clinical trials will be designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose in the dose escalation phase before exploring safety and anti-tumor activity in HER2-expressing cancers including high HER2-expressing breast cancer that has progressed after existing HER2-targeted therapies, as well as in other cancers including HER2-expressing ovarian cancer. Our subsequent clinical product candidates will be chosen from a diverse set of programs that we are aggressively advancing through preclinical development in several oncology indications with significant unmet need. These product candidates leverage both novel and well-validated targets and take advantage of one or more of our proprietary therapeutic platforms, which we believe results in a deep pipeline of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics. Our goal is to advance at least one new product candidate to the IND stage every year.

 

    Leverage our therapeutic platforms and proprietary protein engineering capabilities to continue to discover and develop additional novel product candidates.    We will continue to exploit the advantages of our therapeutic platforms to discover and develop novel product candidates with a focus on leveraging our Azymetric, ZymeLink, EFECT and AlbuCORE platforms for generating bispecific and multifunctional antibody therapeutics, drug conjugates and multispecific antibody alternatives. We are currently evaluating a number of disease targets, therapeutic candidates and cytotoxic payloads with the aim of advancing a steady pipeline of next-generation product candidates from discovery and preclinical research into clinical trials.

 

    Leverage our strategic partnerships, while pursuing additional collaborations that can augment the power of our platforms and value of our pipeline.    We will continue to work closely with our strategic partners to help advance multiple programs developed using our therapeutic platforms. These strategic partnerships underscore the strengths of our therapeutic platforms, provide non-dilutive funding, broaden the scope of development efforts and have the potential to provide clinical validation. We plan to opportunistically enter into additional or expanded strategic relationships with top-tier biopharmaceutical companies, including retaining key geographic and commercial rights, particularly in disease areas not currently being pursued by us or by our current strategic partners.

 

    Continue to develop innovative therapeutic platforms and expand our therapeutic focus into logical areas such as autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases.    We plan to advance novel first-in-class product candidates and to continue to develop next-generation therapeutic platforms through our in-house research and development activities, collaborations with recognized leading academic institutions as well as in-licensing and acquisition of new technologies.

Background

Cancer Biology

Cancers are a diverse group of diseases characterized by unregulated cell growth and disruption of adjacent tissues. In normal tissues, cell growth and death are tightly regulated processes, with new cells continually being generated to replace cells that have become damaged or function abnormally. Tumors develop when genetic changes render cells insensitive to naturally occurring apoptosis, or programmed cell death, or invisible to the immune system. Under these conditions, cells grow and proliferate unchecked, leading to the development of solid tumors or blood cancers. Tumors can become malignant, invading nearby tissues, or become metastatic, traveling through the circulatory or lymphatic systems to form new tumors far from their primary site of origin. Once tumors become malignant or metastatic, treatment options are limited based on currently available therapeutics.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. The incidence, prevalence and mortality rates associated with cancer vary greatly depending on the cancer type. The following table lists the annual incidence rates in the United States for the most prevalent cancers, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer.

 

106


Table of Contents

Annual Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates in the United States (2016) and EU5 (2013)(1)

 

 

Cancer Type

  US   EU (FR, GR, IT, SP, UK)
  Estimated
New Cases
       Estimated
Deaths
       Estimated
New Cases
       Estimated
Deaths

Breast

  249,260         40,890       248,658         59,311

Lung

  224,390       158,080       195,191       165,084

Prostate

  180,890         26,120       242,887         45,044

Colorectal

  134,490         49,190       225,502         92,802

Bladder

    76,960         16,390         80,431         25,865

Melanoma

    76,380         10,130         56,216           9,471

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

    72,580         20,150         56,623         21,145

Thyroid

    64,300           1,980         26,104           2,273

Kidney

    62,700         14,240         57,126         22,374

Leukemia (all types)

    60,140         24,400         41,788         26,993

Endometrial

    60,050         10,470         40,018           9,158

Pancreatic

    53,070         41,780         51,402         50,539

Head & Neck

    48,330           9,570         63,279         22,051

Gastroesophageal

    43,280         26,420         74,084         54,364

Liver

    39,230         27,170         37,975         33,568

Ovarian

    22,280         14,240         27,104         18,303

Immune System and Antibodies

The immune system detects and defends organisms from invading pathogens, and identifies and eliminates aberrant cells. It is comprised of two subsystems: the innate and adaptive immune systems. The innate immune system mounts non-specific responses to conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns and to alarm signals released by pathogen-infected cells. Key components of the innate immune system include:

 

    cytokines and chemokines, which are small signaling proteins that allow immune cells to communicate with one another and regulate cell movement towards a site of inflammation or infection;

 

    the complement pathway, which is a system of interacting proteins that coat pathogens, mark them for destruction and induce inflammatory responses;

 

    macrophages, which are cells that ingest and destroy foreign materials;

 

    neutrophils, which are cells that ingest and destroy microorganisms and are also capable of releasing enzymes that kill microorganisms; and

 

    natural killer, or NK, cells, which recognize and lyse pathogenic cells.

In contrast to innate immunity, the adaptive immune system mounts highly specific responses against non-self molecules, or antigens, and can be activated by the innate immune system. Key components of the adaptive immune system include:

 

    B cells, which generate unique antibodies targeting intact extracellular antigens;

 

    helper T cells, which stimulate B cells to divide, differentiate and secrete antibodies in response to peptide antigens processed from extracellular proteins presented by other immune cells; and

 

    cytotoxic T cells, which destroy infected or cancerous cells presenting peptide antigens processed from intracellular proteins.

 

(1)   U.S. data excerpted from: Cancer Facts and Figures 2016. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2016. Head & Neck in the United States refers to patients with oral cavity and pharyngeal tumors.

EU5 data excerpted from: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 (Internet). Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Head & Neck in the EU5 refers to patients with lip, oral cavity, larynx, nasopharynx and other pharyngeal tumors.

 

107


Table of Contents

Antibodies are Y-shaped, symmetrical molecules that recognize one antigen and can potentially engage two copies of that antigen simultaneously, as illustrated in the following diagram:

 

LOGO

Monoclonal Antibody Schematic.    Typical monoclonal antibodies are composed of two identical heavy chains and two identical light chains. The Fc comprises two identical CH2 and CH3 domains that form a complex known as a homodimer and interact with immune cells, complement components and receptors that prolong antibody half-life. The antigen binding fragments, or Fabs, interact with the antigen target through exposed surfaces on their distal tips.

Antigen binding is achieved by exposed loops (in VH and VL) located at the distal tips of the Fab arms. Sequence variations in these regions give different antibodies the ability to target different antigens. The Fc domain is a protein domain at the base of the “Y” and includes CH2 and CH3 domains. The Fc is shared by all antibodies of a particular isotype and can be engaged by various receptors to recruit immune cells and destroy antigen-expressing target cells. This immune cell-mediated activity is called effector function, and may include antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, or ADCC, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, or ADCP, and complement-dependent cytotoxicity, or CDC.

In the context of cancer, the immune system performs continuous surveillance, eliminating cancerous cells and microscopic tumors. However, microscopic tumors occasionally escape immune surveillance and grow uncontrollably, leading to significant tissue damage and eventually compromising essential functions.

Oncology Overview and Next-Generation Therapy

Cancer treatment depends on multiple factors, including the type, stage and degree of localization of the cancer. Small, localized tumors can often be effectively treated by surgery and radiation, and supplemental, or adjuvant, drugs are commonly administered in this setting. Patients with primary tumors that cannot be removed or which have metastasized beyond the primary site are typically treated with systemically-delivered drugs, such as chemotherapy.

 

108


Table of Contents

Chemotherapy

Cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents were the first type of systemic drug treatment developed for cancer and many remain in use today. These drugs typically act by disrupting cellular metabolism, division and mobility, which are required for tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. Tumors are more sensitive to chemotherapeutic agents than normal cells by virtue of their accelerated proliferation rates. However, chemotherapy also kills normal cells, particularly those that naturally grow and divide rapidly, such as those in the gastrointestinal tract. Because of this toxicity, these agents are typically administered in a limited range of doses within which tumors can be eliminated while minimizing toxic side effects, resulting in a narrow therapeutic window. As a result, chemotherapeutic agents are not always effective in eradicating cancer cells at doses low enough to avoid potentially fatal toxic damage.

Targeted Therapies

To address the broad toxicity of systemic chemotherapy, researchers have developed targeted therapies that interfere with the specific molecules that drive the rapid growth of cancer cells and lead to metastasis, or which can re-engage the immune system to combat cancer. While each patient’s cancer is characterized by a unique combination of genetic mutations, many of these changes are common across many cancers. These common genetic changes are targeted by newer targeted therapies that discriminate cancerous from normal cells, often leading to superior tolerability and broader therapeutic windows compared to chemotherapy. The three most common classes of targeted therapies are as follows:

Small Molecules

Small molecule therapeutics are chemical compounds that generally interfere with the intracellular signaling of tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinase signaling regulates cell growth, proliferation, migration and new blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis, of tumors. Blocking these signals slows the growth of tumors. Small molecule therapeutics, due to their small size and the weaker binding of targets, are generally less specific and more toxic than biologics.

First-Generation Biologics

Most biologics used as cancer therapies are monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor cell surface antigens, though this class of therapeutics also includes vaccines, cytokines and receptor fusion proteins. Due to their high degree of target specificity, monoclonal antibodies also offer the unique ability to target tumor-selective antigens, while minimizing off-target side effects. In oncology, first-generation biologics were generally used for growth signal neutralization through ligand or receptor blockade or degradation such as Herceptin or Perjeta for the HER2 receptor and Erbitux for the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR.

Second-Generation Biologics

Second-generation biologics were designed to further increase efficacy and reduce toxicity of targeted cancer therapies. In some instances, the domain of a monoclonal antibody was engineered to enhance therapeutic efficacy, or the Fab domains were engineered to improve target antigen affinity and specificity. In addition, small molecules or cytokines could be conjugated to antibodies to precisely deliver toxic payloads specifically to tumors. Antibodies could also be engineered such that they simultaneously engaged multiple different antigens (i.e., bispecific antibodies) and induced biological effects previously unattainable with first-generation monoclonal antibodies. This resulted in biologics often being the preferred treatment option for many cancers given their higher efficacy and safety profile as well as longer serum exposure in comparison to small molecules.

 

109


Table of Contents

Zymeworks’ Next-Generation Biologics

Small molecule therapeutics and biologics have led to improvements in patient outcomes compared to chemotherapies. However, some patients acquire resistance, become refractory to, or cannot tolerate the increased toxicity of these treatments. Importantly, these treatments often only delay disease progression and do not induce durable cancer remission. As a result, there is a need for new therapies with improved, long-lasting efficacy and reduced toxicity. We believe the future of oncology will be defined by multifunctional therapeutics specifically designed to act through several synergistic mechanisms of action to enhance efficacy, overcome resistance and minimize side effects. Furthermore, we believe our proprietary protein engineering capabilities and our integrated biologics discovery engine uniquely enable us to develop the next generation of biotherapeutics, including bispecific and multifunctional antibodies, immune engagers, ADCs and other proprietary protein formats to help address this treatment gap. Our suite of proprietary therapeutic platforms uniquely allows us to utilize all of the above approaches in our mission to allow patients to return home to their loved ones, disease free.

Zymeworks’ Competitive Advantage: Proprietary Therapeutic Platforms

Our expertise in protein engineering has enabled the development of our next-generation therapeutic platforms, a suite of complementary and highly-tailored biologics solutions. Our therapeutic platforms can be used alone or in combination with synergistic activity to develop fit-for-purpose biotherapeutics with bispecific capabilities (Azymetric), cytotoxic payload delivery (ZymeLink), finely-tuned immune cell regulation (EFECT) and multivalent targeting (AlbuCORE). We continue to leverage these therapeutic platforms to expand our deep pipeline of next-generation biotherapeutics that we believe could represent significant improvements to the standard of care in multiple cancer types.

Azymetric Bispecific Antibody Platform

The Azymetric platform consists of a library of proprietary amino acid substitutions in the Fc and Fab regions that transform monospecific antibodies into bispecific antibodies, giving them the ability to simultaneously bind two non-overlapping epitopes. The core technology consists of complementary amino acid substitutions on each of the CH3 domains that we have engineered to facilitate the obligate interaction of two distinct heavy chains. Additional amino acid substitutions are also introduced at the heavy-light chain interfaces to facilitate the correct pairing of the heavy chains with their respective light chains.

 

110


Table of Contents

We are leveraging the multiple therapeutic mechanisms of action of our Azymetric platform to develop our internal pipeline of wholly-owned bispecific product candidates, including ZW25 and ZW33. We have also licensed the Azymetric platform to our strategic partners (Merck, Lilly, Celgene, GSK and Daiichi) for their own therapeutic development.

 

 

LOGO

Azymetric Antibody Schematic.    Azymetric antibodies consist of two different heavy chains and two different light chains which, when associated using proprietary, engineered Fc and Fab domain interfaces, can engage two distinct antigens through two different antigen-targeting arms.

We have engineered our Azymetric bispecific antibodies to retain the desirable features of naturally-occurring IgG antibodies, including low immunogenicity, long serum half-life, high stability and the ability to mediate effector function. Azymetric antibodies are also manufactured using industry-standard monoclonal antibody processes and maintain high production yields and product purity. This allows for “plug-and-play,” low-cost, high-quality manufacturing for both our proprietary and partnered product candidates. These are significant advantages compared to competing bispecific technologies, which in many cases suffer from poor stability or may require additional complex manufacturing steps. By retaining the properties of an unmodified Fc region, Azymetric antibodies can be stably formulated, dosed on a convenient schedule, and have the ability to kill tumors through multiple mechanisms of action. In addition, Azymetric antibodies are compatible with glyco-engineering and other Fc modifications (for example, our EFECT platform) to enhance therapeutic activity.

 

111


Table of Contents

LOGO

Unique Mechanisms of Action of Bispecific Antibodies.    Bispecific antibodies can mediate effects through multiple unique mechanisms of action, including: (i) enhanced receptor clustering, which may accelerate internalization and promote sub-cellular sorting to the lysosome for improved cytotoxin delivery; (ii) recruitment of immune cells to tumor cells by simultaneous engagement of receptors on each cell; (iii) increasing tumor cell decoration by engaging two targets on the same receptor, or two different receptors, to enhance Fc-mediated effector cell function; (iv) improved specificity of tumor targeting by requiring engagement of two tumor-associated antigens; (v) dual receptor blockade with a single antibody to suppress signaling through two oncogenic pathways (the same effect can be achieved by dual ligand binding); or (vi) by bridging proteins to replace a missing component of a macromolecular complex. Other unique bispecific mechanisms of action (not shown) include delivering biologics across the blood brain barrier, enhancing tumor cell death signaling by improved receptor clustering, and increasing cytotoxin delivery by coupling a poorly-internalizing tumor-specific receptor to a well-internalizing target.

 

112


Table of Contents

Unlike many other bispecific platforms, the Azymetric platform is compatible with alternative antigen binding formats (e.g. antigen binding fragments, or Fabs, single chain antibodies, or scFvs, and heavy chain antibodies, or VHHs, see illustration below). This flexibility allows us to explore multiple different structural variants and to select the format that provides optimized engagement geometry for a given target pair to maximize therapeutic effect for the desired biology. We believe that this level of therapeutic customization will be essential to design next-generation biologics that effectively target increasingly complex biological challenges.

 

LOGO

Azymetric Format Variants.    Azymetric antibodies can be formatted with dual Fab antigen-targeting arms, with common light chains, in alternate scFv or VHH formats, hybrid formats, or as ADCs, in order to create highly-tailored biotherapeutics that provide optimal engagement geometry for a given target pair to maximize therapeutic effect.

We have designed the Azymetric platform to provide us with the following competitive advantages:

 

    dual-targeting of receptors and ligands
    enables enhanced tumor specificity and synergistic efficacy;

 

    simultaneous blockade of multiple signals or parallel pathways
    enhances efficacy while reducing the potential for drug resistance and relapse;

 

    several modular and compatible antibody formats
    enables fit-for-purpose biotherapeutic development that optimally exploits therapeutic targets in the context of each particular disease state;

 

    redirected targeting of immune effector cells to the tumor
    recruits and activates the patient’s naïve immune cells to attack tumors for increased efficacy;

 

    enhanced antibody internalization and sub-cellular sorting
    delivers more drug to tumors for increased efficacy;

 

113


Table of Contents
    IgG-like biophysical and functional properties
    retains effector function and enhances pharmacokinetics and stability, with resistance to aggregation and reduced immunogenic potential relative to other bispecific formats; and

 

    compatible with existing industry-standard manufacturing and purification protocols
    plug-and-play manufacturing process accelerates development and reduces cost of goods.

ZymeLink Conjugation Platform and Cytotoxins

The ZymeLink conjugation platform represents a suite of novel site-specific protein conjugation technologies and customizable cleavable linkers that enable the delivery of cytotoxic payloads, and can be applied to all of our antibody and albumin-based therapeutic scaffolds. The ZymeLink platform enables the production of homogeneous product candidates that are stable in circulation but enable the efficient release of payload upon internalization by target cells. For antibodies, the ZymeLink platform has been specifically engineered to preserve Fc effector function to facilitate the recruitment and activation of immune cells as well as maintain typical antibody pharmacokinetics.

 

LOGO

ZymeLink Drug Conjugate Platform.    The ZymeLink drug conjugate platform is a suite of novel site-specific protein conjugation technologies and customizable cleavable linkers that allow for the delivery of our proprietary cytotoxic payloads, and can be applied to all of our antibody and albumin-based therapeutic platforms.

We have also developed a series of proprietary cytotoxic payloads, spanning multiple classes, which possess highly potent anti-tumor activity against a broad range of cancer cell types. When conjugated to tumor-targeting antibodies, the resulting ZymeLink-cytotoxin conjugates demonstrate exceptional anti-tumor activity and tolerability in vivo in our preclinical studies. In fact, the ZymeLink-cytotoxin conjugates are tolerated by non-human primates at doses six-fold higher than the only currently-approved cleavable ADC platform based on monomethyl auristatin E, or MMAE, potentially resulting in an expanded therapeutic window in patients. This key competitive advantage may enable administration of higher ADC doses and delivery of more cytotoxin to the tumor, with reduced toxic side effects, relative to other ADC platforms.

 

114


Table of Contents

ZymeLink Antibody-Drug Conjugates are Potent and Have Greater Exposure than MMAE Antibody-Drug Conjugates

 

LOGO