DRS 1 filename1.htm DRS
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As confidentially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 11, 2018.

This draft registration statement has not been publicly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and all information herein remains strictly confidential.

Registration No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

Bionano Genomics, Inc.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

 

Delaware   3826   26-1756290

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

Bionano Genomics, Inc.

9640 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100

San Diego, California 92121

(858) 888-7600

(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Bionano Genomics, Inc.

9640 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100

San Diego, California 92121

(858) 888-7600

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

 

 

Copies to:

 

Thomas A. Coll, Esq.

Kenneth J. Rollins, Esq.

James C. Pennington, Esq.

Cooley LLP

4401 Eastgate Mall

San Diego, California 92121

(858) 550-6000

 

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Bionano Genomics, Inc.

9640 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100

San Diego, California 92121

(858) 888-7600

 

Mitchell Nussbaum, Esq.

Angela Dowd, Esq.

Loeb & Loeb LLP

345 Park Ave.

New York, NY 10154

(212) 407-4000

 

 

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

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

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, 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.  ☐

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

 

Large accelerated filer        Accelerated filer   
Non-accelerated filer      (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)   Smaller reporting company   
       Emerging growth company   

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

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each Class of

Securities to be Registered

  Proposed Maximum
Aggregate Offering
Price(1)(2)
 

Amount of

Registration Fee

Common stock, par value $0.0001 per share(3)

  $           $        

 

 

(1)

Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(2)

Includes the aggregate offering price of additional shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase, if any.

(3)

In accordance with Rule 416(a), the Registrant is also registering hereunder an indeterminate number of additional shares of Common Stock that shall be issuable pursuant to Rule 416 to prevent dilution resulting from stock splits, stock dividends or similar transactions.

 

 

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

 

 

 


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

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED             , 2018

                              Shares

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

We are offering      shares of our common stock. This is our initial public offering and no public market currently exists for our common stock. The initial public offering price of our common stock is expected to be between $         and $         per share. We intend to apply to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “BNGO.” There can be no assurance that our common stock will be approved for listing on The Nasdaq Global Market. The closing of this offering is contingent upon the successful listing of our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market.

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, and as such, have elected to comply with reduced public company reporting requirements and may elect to comply with reduced public company reporting requirements in future filings.

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves risks. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 11 of this prospectus for a discussion of the risks that you should consider in connection with an investment in our securities.

 

     Per
Share
     Total  

Initial public offering price

   $               $           

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

   $      $  

Proceeds to Bionano Genomics, Inc. (before expenses)

   $      $  

 

(1)

See “Underwriting” beginning on page 119 for additional information regarding underwriting compensation.

We have granted the underwriters an option to buy up to an additional      shares of common stock from us at the initial public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, to cover over-allotments, if any. The underwriters may exercise this option at any time during the 30-day period from the date of this prospectus.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares against payment on or about             , 2018.

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

 

 

Sole Book-Running Manager

Roth Capital Partners

Lead Manager

Maxim Group LLC

 

 

The date of this prospectus is             , 2018.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1  

Risk Factors

     11  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     43  

Market, Industry and Other Data

     45  

Use of Proceeds

     46  

Dividend Policy

     47  

Capitalization

     48  

Dilution

     51  

Selected Financial Data

     53  

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

     54  

Business

     65  

Management

     88  

Executive Compensation

     94  

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions

     105  

Principal Stockholders

     108  

Description of Capital Stock

     110  

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

     114  

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences to Non-U.S. Holders of the Ownership and Disposition of Our Common Stock

     116  

Underwriting

     119  

Legal Matters

     123  

Experts

     123  

Where You Can Find Additional Information

     123  

Index to Consolidated Financial Statements

     F-1  

 

 

Neither we nor any of the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with any information or to make any representations other than as contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses we have prepared. Neither we nor the underwriters take responsibility for, and provide no assurance about the reliability of, any information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the shares offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date of this prospectus, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of the common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since that date.

Unless otherwise indicated, all references in this prospectus to “Bionano,” the “company,” “we,” “our,” “us” or similar terms refer to Bionano Genomics, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

No action is being taken in any jurisdiction outside the U.S. to permit a public offering of our common stock or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any such jurisdiction. Persons who come into possession of this prospectus in jurisdictions outside the U.S. are required to inform themselves about and to observe any restrictions about this offering and the distribution of this prospectus applicable to those jurisdictions.

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


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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary does not contain all of the information you should consider before investing in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and our financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus, before making an investment decision.

BIONANO GENOMICS, INC.

Overview

We are a life sciences instrumentation company in the genome analysis space. We develop and market the Saphyr system, a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes, which is known as cytogenetics. Our Saphyr system comprises an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools.

Structural variation refers to large-scale structural differences in the genomic DNA of one individual compared to another. Each structural variation involves the rearrangement or repetition of as few as hundreds to as many as tens of millions of DNA base pairs. Structural variations may be inherited or arise spontaneously and many cause genetic disorders and diseases. Until our commercial launch of the Saphyr system in February 2017, we believe no products existed that could more comprehensively and cost- and time-efficiently detect structural variation.

We have established relationships with key opinion leaders in genomics research and clinical applications, including rare diseases and oncology, and our installed base of over 90 systems made up of Saphyr and its predecessor includes some of the world’s most prominent clinical, translational research, basic research, academic and government institutions as well as leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. Examples include Children’s National Health System, DuPont Pioneer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Genentech, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Pennsylvania State University and Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Approximately 6,000 high throughput sequencers are currently installed worldwide. Sequencing is very good at detecting genome differences involving just a few base pairs or single-nucleotide variations, but sequencing, including next-generation sequencing, or NGS, cannot reliably detect the larger structural variations that our system can detect. Therefore, Saphyr is being adopted alongside this installed base of sequencers as a complement that gives users the ability to see a much wider scope of genome variation than ever before. As shown in the graphic below, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research generated data that we expect to be published which shows the density of structural variations found relative to the size of the structural variation found for our system (blue lines) against next-generation sequencing (Illumina; orange lines). Next-generation sequencing has a very significant deficiency in detecting structural variations. Given our system’s ability to detect structural variations, it picks up essentially where next-generation sequencing drops off, as shown below.

 

LOGO

The Saphyr system is also beginning to be adopted by cytogenetics labs, which rely on existing methods such as karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization, or FISH, and microarrays for clinical tests and research that look at chromosomal structure, location



 

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and function in cells. We estimate that approximately 2,500 clinical cytogenetics labs exist worldwide. We believe Saphyr makes clinical testing for structural variations simpler, higher throughput, more cost effective and more scalable. In addition, we believe that Saphyr makes it easier for cytogenetic labs to accommodate new content when the research community validates newly discovered structural variation-based biomarkers for clinical diagnostics.

Saphyr and its predecessor system, which we collectively refer to as our system in this prospectus, have been cited by researchers and clinicians in approximately 130 publications covering structural variations in areas of high unmet medical need and research interest, such as rare and undiagnosed pediatric diseases, muscular diseases, developmental delays and disorders, prostate cancer and leukemia.

Market Opportunity

According to Research and Markets, the worldwide market for genomics products and services is expected to reach approximately $23.9 billion by 2022, up from approximately $14.7 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10.2%.

We believe that the discovery research and cytogenetics segments together comprise an addressable opportunity for us to sell up to approximately 8,500 Saphyr systems, representing a current total instrument market opportunity of approximately $2.1 billion. In addition to the instrument sales opportunity, Saphyr instruments generate recurring revenue from chip consumables that are used on a per-sample basis. We believe each Saphyr instrument has the potential to create recurring revenue in a range of approximately $75,000 to approximately $150,000 per year, suggesting a potential annual recurring revenue opportunity of approximately $0.6 billion to approximately $1.3 billion. Therefore, we believe that our currently addressable portion of the genome analysis market is estimated to be between $2.7 billion and $3.4 billion.

Existing Technologies and Their Limitations

Even though both single nucleotide variation and structural variation are each very common, a much larger number of variant nucleotides in the average human genome are found in structural variations as compared to single nucleotide variations. A recent study showed that 30 million base pairs, on average, in the human genome are part of structural variations while only 10 million are single nucleotide variations. Sequencing and cytogenetics simply do not elucidate comprehensive structural variations in a systematic and cost- and time-efficient manner. Most structural variations found to date that have been implicated in disease were discovered through laborious, expensive, unindustrialized and non-comprehensive methods over the course of many years.

The Limitations of Sequencing

Nearly all genome sequencing, including next-generation sequencing, uses a method called sequencing by synthesis. Sequencing by synthesis is an in-vitro process for synthesizing a copy of DNA, one base at a time in a way that makes it possible to measure the identity of each base as it is incorporated into the growing DNA copy. The read lengths typical for next-generation sequencing are often too short to determine the right location and orientation of a reading frame in the genome because many of the reads from one chromosome are identical to reads from either another chromosome or even another location on the same chromosome. These short lengths disconnect and destroy most of the structural information of the original genome and make next-generation sequencing unable to reliably detect genomic variations larger than a few hundred base pairs.

The recognition of the need for greater lengths of sequence reads to determine genome structure, birthed the so-called long-read sequencing submarket. Because of the need for long-read sequencing, Pacific Biosciences of California developed a system that uses another alternative form of sequencing by synthesis, while Oxford Nanopore Technologies developed a system that uses nanopore technology. These systems provide users with average read lengths in the tens of thousands of base pairs. However, these read lengths have proven not to be long enough to reliably and comprehensively detect structural variations. Pacific Biosciences’ polymerases cannot regularly produce reads that are the necessary hundreds of thousands of base pairs in length. In addition, Oxford Nanopore’s system has difficulty reliably feeding molecules that are, on average, hundreds of thousands of base pairs in length through each nanopore. The time and cost of providing a comprehensive whole genome analysis of a patient in a clinical setting is prohibitive when using these longer-read technologies.

The Limitations of Cytogenetics

Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomal structure and how structural variations impact health. The field has historically relied on karyotyping, FISH and more recently, microarrays. These methods each can detect some structural variations, but they are all inadequate solutions for high volume and low cost genetic testing for structural variations, and none is an approach that can comprehensively detect structural variations with the ultra-high sensitivity and ultra-high specificity of the Saphyr system.



 

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Karyotyping is the gross optical examination of the chromosomes using a microscope. In this method, chromosomes are directly viewed on a slide by a pathologist with a microscope, resulting in resolution that is limited to structural events that are larger than five million base pairs. When karyotyping is used to diagnose unknown genetic disease, only about 5% of karyotyping tests result in a confirmed pathogenic finding. The test is costly, and its results are subject to each pathologist’s interpretation which introduces variability in diagnostic calls and makes the methodology not amenable to automation.

 

   

FISH is a molecular cytogenetic technique that is used to detect chromosomal aberrations. FISH is limited to known targets and cannot be used for discovery. Every FISH test performed needs to be chosen to look for a specific genetic marker that the clinician anticipates may be found based on the clinical symptoms of the patient. In addition, the test results can be ambiguous and inconclusive, and reproducibility and variability among users can be a significant issue. Like karyotyping, FISH’s diagnostic yield is very low when used to diagnose unknown genetic disease with only an estimated 7% of FISH providing a confirmed pathogenic finding. In addition, FISH is expensive, especially for the limited amount of information that it provides.

 

   

Chromosomal microarrays and SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) arrays are tests consisting of slides that contain thousands of spots of DNA fragments that bind to the DNA of the sample. Microarrays have limited utility as a diagnostic tool as they are only useful when there are gains and losses of base pairs within the sample’s genome that are specific to the probes that are populated on the array. In addition, microarrays have low resolution as they cannot reliably detect structural variants smaller than 50,000 base pairs. Also, the diagnostic yield of microarrays is low. Only an estimated 20% of microarray tests provide a confirmed pathogenic finding when used to diagnose unknown genetic disease.

Our Solution

Our approach to measuring genome structure and structural variation is novel and highly differentiated. Our Saphyr system directly observes extremely long genomic DNA without any amplification to construct a physical map that accurately assigns the chromosomal location, order, orientation and quantity of all the genome’s functional elements. Our solution is built upon four key elements:

 

   

Extremely long molecules for analysis. The Saphyr system is capable of analyzing single molecules that are on average approximately 250,000 base pairs long. These lengths are over 1,000 times longer than the average read length with Illumina systems and approximately 10 times longer than the average read lengths with Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore systems. Building a picture of the genome with massive building blocks overcomes the inherent challenge of genome complexity and is the key to Saphyr’s unprecedented sensitivity and specificity.

 

LOGO

 

   

Proprietary nanotechnology for massively parallel linearization and analysis of long molecules with single molecule imaging. Analyzing these extremely long chromosomal fragments required invention. Molecules of this size are more like balls of yarn in a test tube and must be unraveled for meaningful analysis. We invented, patented, developed and commercialized nanochannel arrays to capture them from solution and unwind and linearize them for structural variation analysis. Each molecule is imaged separately, making it possible to deconvolute complex mixtures including haplotypes and heterogeneous tumors, as shown in the graphic below.



 

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LOGO

 

   

DNA labeling chemistry specifically for physical mapping. The detailed analysis of sequence we use is also highly unique and novel. Instead of identifying the sequence of every base pair in these long fragments, we label and detect specific sequence patterns or motifs that occur universally across every genome with an average frequency of approximately one site for every few thousand base pairs.

 

   

Bioinformatic tools for structural variation analysis. Finally, our approach includes a novel bioinformatics platform that we developed from the ground-up to take advantage of the unique benefits of our solution. It comprises proprietary algorithms for the construction of a structurally accurate physical map of the genome without using a reference genome in assignment of structure. Physical maps of a test subject are then compared in cross-mapping analysis that allows our system to detect genome wide structural variation, including the most complex balanced events.

Our Focus Areas

Our Saphyr system serves many segments of the genomics market seeking to find and understand structural variation. We have identified focus areas where we concentrate our resources to ensure robust adoption of our system and frequent utilization of consumables. We have selected these segments because of their urgent need to detect structural variations and the significant economic opportunity they represent. Our current focus areas are human genetic diseases, including rare diseases and oncology.

 

   

Rare diseases. In genetic disease, existing tools have reached a plateau where almost half of patients with genetic disease who are tested in clinical laboratories fail to receive a molecular diagnosis. In order to increase diagnostic yield, a massive increase in the understanding of the complete structure and variation of the genome is essential.

 

   

Cancer. In cancer, each patient has a unique disease with a complex pattern of genome changes. Traditional and recently-developed treatments do not attack the individual changes in each patient’s tumor. Recent personalized medicine programs aim to provide clinicians with individual treatments specifically targeting the mutations found in each patient’s cancer. For personalized cancer medicine to be successful, all variants in the cancer genome need to be detected, which is not feasible with cytogenetic or whole genome sequencing approaches.

Our Strengths

We have established ourselves as one of the leaders in the field of genome analysis, and we believe we are the industry’s performance leader in structural variation detection. Below are our strengths that we believe will enable us to capture a significant portion of the genome analysis market and retain our leadership position in structural variation:

 

   

Highly differentiated technology platform enables researchers and clinicians to obtain information that cannot be had systematically and cost efficiently from traditional technologies. Saphyr’s unique ability to systematically and cost efficiently see structural variations across the genome from 500 base pairs to tens of millions of base pairs is unique in the industry. We believe this greater insight will facilitate a paradigm shift in healthcare from an emphasis on treatment with relatively untargeted therapies to a focus on earlier detection, more precise diagnosis and treatment with better targeted therapies.

 

   

Validated solution recognized industry-wide. We have deep and expanding scientific validation as evidenced by the quickly expanding base of publications regarding our system. We believe our technology is becoming a vital tool in cutting-edge life sciences research.



 

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Strong installed base of premier customers. We have sold more than 90 of our systems to over 80 customers globally, including some of the world’s most prominent clinical, translational research, basic research, academic and government institutions as well as leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies.

 

   

Attractive business model with a growing, high-margin recurring revenue component. As we continue to grow our installed base of Saphyr systems, optimize workflows and expand our structural variation detection capabilities, we expect to rapidly increase our high-margin revenues derived from consumables.

 

   

Industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We have developed a global patent portfolio that includes 70 issued patents across 15 patent families with recent filing dates ranging from 2006 to 2017.

 

   

Highly experienced senior management team. We are led by a dedicated and highly experienced senior management team with significant industry experience and proven ability to develop novel solutions. Each of the members of our senior management has more than 20 years of relevant experience.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to enable new research in genomics to allow greater insight into their role in human health in ways that have not been possible with any other current research and diagnostic technologies.

Our strategy to achieve this includes:

 

   

drive adoption of Saphyr in discovery research and cytogenetics markets;

 

   

support the publication of findings with Saphyr by our customers and partners;

 

   

expand gross margins through economies of scale and growing sales of consumables;

 

   

continue to innovate our products and technologies; and

 

   

partner with industry-leading companies and laboratories to accelerate adoption in clinical markets.

Risk Factors Summary

Investing in our common stock involves substantial risk. The risks described under the heading “Risk Factors” immediately following this summary may cause us to not realize the full benefits of our strengths or may cause us to be unable to successfully execute all or part of our strategy. Some of the more significant challenges include the following:

 

   

we have incurred losses since we were formed and expect to incur losses in the future. We cannot be certain that we will achieve or sustain profitability;

 

   

our quarterly and annual operating results and cash flows have fluctuated in the past and might continue to fluctuate, which could cause the market price of our common stock to decline substantially;

 

   

we are an early, commercial-stage company and have a limited operating history, which may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future performance;

 

   

if we are unable to maintain adequate revenue growth or do not successfully manage such growth, our business and growth prospects will be harmed;

 

   

our future capital needs are uncertain and we may need to raise additional funds in the future;

 

   

if our products fail to achieve and sustain sufficient market acceptance, our revenue will be adversely affected;

 

   

our future success is dependent upon our ability to further penetrate our existing customer base and attract new customers;



 

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we are currently limited to “research use only” with respect to many of the materials and components used in our consumable products including our assays;

 

   

in the near term, our business will depend on levels of research and development spending by academic and governmental research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies, a reduction in which could limit demand for our products and adversely affect our business and operating results;

 

   

if we do not successfully manage the development and launch of new products, our financial results could be adversely affected;

 

   

if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determines that our products are medical devices or if we seek to market our products for clinical diagnostic or health screening use, we will be required to obtain regulatory clearance(s) or approval(s), and may be required to cease or limit sales of our then marketed products, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any such regulatory process would be expensive, time-consuming and uncertain both in timing and in outcome;

 

   

if we are unable to protect our intellectual property, it may reduce our ability to maintain any technological or competitive advantage over our competitors and potential competitors, and our business may be harmed; and

 

   

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

Corporate Information

We were formed in January 2003 as BioNanomatrix LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. In August 2007, we became BioNanomatrix Inc., a Delaware corporation. In October 2011, we changed our name to BioNano Genomics Inc. Upon the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation immediately prior to the closing of this offering, our name will be Bionano Genomics, Inc.

Our principal executive offices are located at 9640 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92121, and our telephone number is (858) 888-7600. Our website address is www.bionanogenomics.com. Information contained in, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus. Our design logo, “Bionano,” and our other registered and common law trade names, trademarks and service marks are the property of Bionano Genomics, Inc.

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. We may take advantage of certain exemptions from various public company reporting requirements, including not being required to have our internal control over financial reporting audited by our independent registered public accounting firm under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, 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 any golden parachute payments. We may take advantage of these exemptions for up to five years or until we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” whichever is earlier. In particular, in this prospectus, we have provided only two years of audited financial statements and have not included all of the executive compensation related information that would be required if we were not an emerging growth company. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock.

In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This provision allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different transition dates for public and private companies until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period. As a result of this election, our timeline to comply with these standards will in many cases be delayed as compared to other public companies that are not eligible to take advantage of this election or have not made this election. Therefore, our financial statements may not be comparable to those of companies that comply with the public company effective dates for these standards.



 

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The Offering

 

Common stock offered by us

  

                 shares

Common stock to be outstanding after this offering

  

                 shares

Option to purchase additional shares of
common stock offered by us

  

                 shares

Use of proceeds

  

We estimate that our net proceeds from this offering will be $         million (or approximately $         million if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from us is exercised in full), after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering to expand our commercial capabilities in selling and marketing related to our products, to fund our ongoing research and development activities, and for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures. See “Use of Proceeds” for additional information.

Risk factors

  

You should carefully read and consider the information in the section titled “Risk Factors” and all other information set forth in this prospectus before deciding to purchase any shares of our common stock.

Proposed Nasdaq trading symbol

  

We have applied to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “BNGO.”

The number of shares of our common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 3,308,193 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and excludes:

 

   

18,679,643 shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2017 under our Amended and Restated 2006 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended, or 2006 Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.12 per share;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2018 Plan, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, as well as any future increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Plan and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2006 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation – Equity Incentive Plans”;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, and any automatic increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our ESPP;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 42,872 shares of our Series B convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants which, prior to the completion of this offering, are exercisable for 75,027 shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 510,417 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 291,667 shares of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock; and

 

   

     shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants to be issued to the Underwriters in connection with this offering, which will have an exercise price equal to 150% of the initial public offering price per share in this offering.

In addition, unless we specifically state otherwise, the information in this prospectus assumes or gives effect to:

 

   

the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, which will be in effect upon the completion of this offering;



 

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the conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering;

 

   

the net exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus));

 

   

the net exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share);

 

   

the conversion of outstanding convertible promissory notes issued in February 2018 into      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus);

 

   

that the initial public offering price of our shares of common stock is $         per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus;

 

   

no exercise of the outstanding options described above;

 

   

no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase up to an additional      shares of common stock from us in this offering; and

 

   

a 1-for-     reverse stock split of our common stock to be effected prior to the closing of this offering.



 

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Summary Financial Data

The summary statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 are derived from our audited financial statements that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our results in any future period.

You should read the following summary financial data together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary financial data in this section are not intended to replace our financial statements and the related notes and are qualified in their entirety by the financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2016      2017  

Total revenue

   $ 6,792,789      $ 9,505,043  

Operating expenses

     

Cost of revenue

     3,578,692        6,030,512  

Research and development

     11,431,841        12,009,170  

Selling, general and administrative

     12,950,572        14,079,658  

Impairment of property and equipment

     —          604,511  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     27,961,205        32,723,851  

Interest expense

     (470,072      (590,927

Other income

     2,802,797        462,923  

Provision for income taxes

     (12,924      (18,552
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (18,848,615    $ (23,365,364
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss per share(1):

     

Basic and diluted

   $ (7.30    $ (7.66

Pro forma net loss per share(1):

     

Basic and diluted

     

 

(1)

See Note 2 to our financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a description of how we compute basic and diluted net income per share attributable to common stockholders and preferred stockholders and pro forma basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

     As of December 31, 2017  
     Actual      Pro Forma(1)      Pro  Forma
As
Adjusted(2)(3)
 

Balance Sheet Data:

        

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 1,021,897        

Working capital(4)

     (9,512,886      

Total assets

     10,145,153        

Debt

     6,729,752        

Total liabilities

     17,362,227        

Convertible preferred stock

     43,010,137        —          —    

Accumulated deficit

     (54,266,036      

Total stockholders’ deficit

     (50,227,211      


 

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(1)

The pro forma balance sheet data gives effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock, (ii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), and (iv) the conversion of approximately $13.4 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest thereon into      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and a conversation date of             , 2018).

(2)

The pro forma as adjusted balance sheet data reflects (i) the items described in footnote (1) above and (ii) our receipt of estimated net proceeds from the sale of      shares of common stock at the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

(3)

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share would increase (decrease) cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, total liabilities, additional paid-in capital and total stockholders’ (deficit) equity by $         million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) each of cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets, additional paid-in capital and total stockholders’ (deficit) equity by $         million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share remains the same, and after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

(4)

Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should consider and read carefully all of the risks and uncertainties described below, as well as other information included in this prospectus, including our financial statements and related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus, before making an investment decision. The risks described below are not the only ones facing us. The occurrence of any of the following risks or additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In such case, the trading price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your original investment. This prospectus also contains forward-looking statements and estimates that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of specific factors, including the risks and uncertainties described below.

Risks related to our financial condition and need for additional capital

We have incurred losses since we were formed and expect to incur losses in the future. We cannot be certain that we will achieve or sustain profitability.

We incurred net losses of $18.8 million and $23.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $54.3 million. We cannot predict if we will achieve sustained profitability in the near future or at all. We expect that our losses will continue for the foreseeable future as we plan to invest significant additional funds toward expansion of our commercial organization and the development of our technology. In addition, as a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting, and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. These increased expenses will make it harder for us to achieve and sustain future profitability. We may incur significant losses in the future for a number of reasons, many of which are beyond our control, including the other risks described in this prospectus, the market acceptance of our products, future product development and our market penetration and margins.

Our quarterly and annual operating results and cash flows have fluctuated in the past and might continue to fluctuate, which could cause the market price of our common stock to decline substantially.

Numerous factors, many of which are outside our control, may cause or contribute to significant fluctuations in our quarterly and annual operating results. These fluctuations may make financial planning and forecasting uncertain. In addition, these fluctuations may result in unanticipated decreases in our available cash, which could negatively affect our business and prospects. In addition, one or more of such factors may cause our revenue or operating expenses in one period to be disproportionately higher or lower relative to the others. As a result, comparing our operating results on a period-to-period basis might not be meaningful. You should not rely on our past results as indicative of our future performance. Moreover, our stock price might be based on expectations of future performance that are unrealistic or that we might not meet and, if our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the price of our common stock could decline substantially.

Our operating results have varied in the past. In addition to other risk factors listed in this section, some of the important factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly and annual operating results include:

 

   

adoption of our systems and related products;

 

   

the timing of customer orders to purchase our systems;

 

   

the rate of utilization of consumables by our customers;

 

   

receipt and timing of revenue for services provided by out data solutions service;

 

   

the timing of the introduction of new systems, products, system and product enhancements and services; and

 

   

the receipt and timing of revenue from our distribution and marketing arrangements.

 

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In addition, a significant portion of our operating expense is relatively fixed in nature, and planned expenditures are based in part on expectations regarding future revenue. Accordingly, unexpected revenue shortfalls could decrease our gross margins and cause significant changes in our operating results from quarter to quarter. If this occurs, the trading price of our common stock could fall substantially.

We are an early, commercial-stage company and have a limited operating history, which may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future performance.

We are an early, commercial-stage company and have a limited commercial history. Our limited commercial history may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and makes predictions about our future success or viability subject to significant uncertainty. We will continue to encounter risks and difficulties frequently experienced by early, commercial-stage companies, including scaling up our infrastructure and headcount. If we do not address these risks successfully, our business will suffer.

If we are unable to maintain adequate revenue growth or do not successfully manage such growth, our business and growth prospects will be harmed.

We have experienced significant revenue growth in a short period of time. We may not achieve similar growth rates in future periods. Investors should not rely on our operating results for any prior periods as an indication of our future operating performance. To effectively manage our anticipated future growth, we must continue to maintain and enhance our financial, accounting, manufacturing, customer support and sales administration systems, processes and controls. Failure to effectively manage our anticipated growth could lead us to over-invest or under-invest in development, operational and administrative infrastructure; result in weaknesses in our infrastructure, systems, or controls; give rise to operational mistakes, losses, loss of customers, productivity or business opportunities; and result in loss of employees and reduced productivity of remaining employees.

Our continued growth could require significant capital expenditures and might divert financial resources from other projects such as the development of new products and services. As additional products are commercialized, we may need to incorporate new equipment, implement new technology systems, or hire new personnel with different qualifications. Failure to manage this growth or transition could result in turnaround time delays, higher product costs, declining product quality, deteriorating customer service, and slower responses to competitive challenges. A failure in any one of these areas could make it difficult for us to meet market expectations for our products, and could damage our reputation and the prospects for our business.

If our management is unable to effectively manage our anticipated growth, our expenses may increase more than expected, our revenue could decline or grow more slowly than expected and we may be unable to implement our business strategy. The quality of our products and services may suffer, which could negatively affect our reputation and harm our ability to retain and attract customers.

Our future capital needs are uncertain and we may need to raise additional funds in the future.

We believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our cash generated from commercial sales and our existing cash and cash equivalents, including the proceeds from our recent financings, will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 18 months. However, we may need to raise substantial additional capital to:

 

   

expand our sales and marketing efforts to further commercialize our products;

 

   

expand our research and development efforts to improve our existing products and develop and launch new products, particularly if any of our products are deemed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to be medical devices or otherwise subject to additional regulation by the FDA;

 

   

seek FDA approval to market our existing products or new products utilized for diagnostic purposes;

 

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lease a larger facility or build out our existing facility as we continue to grow our employee headcount;

 

   

hire additional personnel;

 

   

enter into collaboration arrangements, if any, or in-license other products and technologies;

 

   

add operational, financial and management information systems; and

 

   

incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company.

Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

   

market acceptance of our products;

 

   

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

 

   

the cost of our research and development activities;

 

   

the success of our existing distribution and marketing arrangements and our ability to enter into additional arrangements in the future; and

 

   

the effect of competing technological and market developments.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain additional funds on acceptable terms, or at all. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity or equity-linked securities, our stockholders may experience dilution. Future debt financing, if available, may involve covenants restricting our operations or our ability to incur additional debt. Any debt or equity financing may contain terms that are not favorable to us or our stockholders. If we raise additional funds through collaboration and licensing arrangements with third parties, it may be necessary to relinquish some rights to our technologies or our products, or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us. If we do not have, or are not able to obtain, sufficient funds, we may have to delay development or commercialization of our products. We also may have to reduce marketing, customer support or other resources devoted to our products or cease operations. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, operating results and business.

The recently passed comprehensive tax reform bill could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law new legislation that significantly revises the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The newly enacted federal income tax law, among other things, contains significant changes to corporate taxation, including reduction of the corporate tax rate from a top marginal rate of 35% to a flat rate of 21%, limitation of the tax deduction for interest expense to 30% of adjusted earnings (except for certain small businesses), limitation of the deduction for net operating losses to 80% of current year taxable income and elimination of net operating loss carrybacks, one time taxation of offshore earnings at reduced rates regardless of whether they are repatriated, elimination of U.S. tax on foreign earnings (subject to certain important exceptions), immediate deductions for certain new investments instead of deductions for depreciation expense over time and modifying or repealing many business deductions and credits (including reducing the business tax credit for certain clinical testing expenses incurred in the testing of certain drugs for rare diseases or conditions). Notwithstanding the reduction in the corporate income tax rate, the overall impact of the new federal tax law is uncertain, and our business and financial condition could be adversely affected. In addition, it is unknown if and to what extent various states will conform to the newly enacted federal tax law. The impact of this tax reform on holders of our common stock is likewise uncertain and could be adverse. We urge our stockholders to consult with their legal and tax advisors with respect to this legislation and the potential tax consequences of investing in or holding our common stock.

Our ability to use net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to limitations.

As of December 31, 2017, we had aggregate U.S. net operating loss carryforwards of approximately $30.5 million and aggregate U.S. research and development credits of approximately $4.1 million.

 

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These net operating loss carryforwards could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities. Under the newly enacted federal income tax law, federal net operating losses incurred in 2018 and in future years may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal net operating losses is limited. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the newly enacted federal tax law. In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and corresponding provisions of state law, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (which is generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership over a three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. We have experienced an ownership change in the past and we may also experience additional ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control. If an ownership change occurs and our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards is materially limited, it would harm our future operating results by effectively increasing our future tax obligations.

U.S. taxation of international business activities or the adoption of tax reform policies could materially impact our future financial position and results of operations.

Limitations on the ability of taxpayers to claim and utilize foreign tax credits and the deferral of certain tax deductions until earnings outside of the U.S. are repatriated to the U.S., as well as changes to U.S. tax laws that may be enacted in the future, could impact the tax treatment of future foreign earnings. Should the scale of our international business activities expand, any changes in the U.S. taxation of such activities could increase our worldwide effective tax rate and harm our future financial position and results of operations.

Provisions of our secured term loan facility with Western Alliance Bank may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategies. In addition, repayment of our outstanding debt and other obligations under our secured term loan facility with Western Alliance Bank is subject to acceleration upon the occurrence of an event of default, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have entered into a secured term loan facility with Western Alliance Bank, or the Loan Facility, that is secured by a lien covering substantially all of our assets, including intellectual property, under which we have borrowed $7.0 million. Our secured term loan facility requires us, and any debt instruments we may enter into in the future may require us, to comply with various covenants that limit our ability to take on new indebtedness, to permit new liens, to pay dividends, to dispose of our property (including the ability to license our intellectual property in certain situations), to engage in mergers or acquisitions and make certain other changes to our business. The Loan Facility also requires us to either maintain a specified minimum liquidity level with Western Alliance Bank or achieve a minimum six-month revenue level. These restrictions could inhibit our ability to pursue our business strategies, including our ability to raise additional capital and make certain dispositions or investments without the consent of Western Alliance Bank.

The obligations under the Loan Facility are subject to acceleration upon the occurrence of specified events of default, including our failure to make payments when due, our breach or default in the performance of our covenants and obligations under the facility following a cure period, bankruptcy and similar events, our breach of any agreement with a third party subject to certain conditions, or any circumstance that could have a material adverse effect on (i) our business operations or conditions (financial or otherwise), (ii) our ability to repay the secured term loan facility or otherwise perform our obligations in accordance with the facility documents, or (iii) the value or priority of Western Alliance Bank’s security interests in the collateral. While we do not believe it is probable that the lender would accelerate the obligations under the facility, the definition of a material adverse effect is inherently subjective in nature, and we cannot assure that a material adverse effect will not occur or be deemed to have occurred by the lender. If we default under the facility, Western Alliance Bank may accelerate all of our repayment obligations and, if we are unable to access funds to meet those obligations or to renegotiate our agreement, Western Alliance Bank could take control of our pledged assets and we could immediately cease operations. If we were to renegotiate our agreement under such circumstances, the terms may be significantly less favorable to us. If we were liquidated, Western Alliance Bank’s right to repayment would be senior to the rights of our stockholders to receive any proceeds from the liquidation. Any declaration by Western Alliance Bank of an event of default could significantly harm our liquidity, financial condition, operating results, business, and prospects and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

 

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Risks related to our business

If our products fail to achieve and sustain sufficient market acceptance, our revenue will be adversely affected.

Our success depends on our ability to develop and market products that are recognized and accepted as reliable, enabling and cost-effective. Most of the potential customers for our products already use expensive research systems in their laboratories that they have used for many years and may be reluctant to replace those systems with ours. Market acceptance of our systems will depend on many factors, including our ability to convince potential customers that our technology is an attractive alternative to existing technologies. Compared to some competing technologies, our technology is new and complex, and many potential customers have limited knowledge of, or experience with, our products. Prior to adopting our systems, some potential customers may need to devote time and effort to testing and validating our systems. Any failure of our systems to meet these customer benchmarks could result in potential customers choosing to retain their existing systems or to purchase systems other than ours. In addition, it is important that our gene mapping systems be perceived as accurate and reliable by the scientific and medical research community as a whole. Historically, a significant part of our sales and marketing efforts has been directed at demonstrating the advantages of our technology to industry leaders and encouraging such leaders to publish or present the results of their evaluation of our system. If we are unable to continue to motivate leading researchers to use our technology, or if such researchers are unable to achieve or unwilling to publish or present significant experimental results using our systems, acceptance and adoption of our systems will be slowed and our ability to increase our revenue would be adversely affected.

Our future success is dependent upon our ability to further penetrate our existing customer base and attract new customers.

Our current customer base is primarily composed of academic and governmental research institutions, as well as biopharmaceutical and contract research companies. Our success will depend upon our ability to respond to the evolving needs of, and increase our market share among, existing customers and additional potential customers, marketing new products as we develop them. Identifying, engaging and marketing to customers who are unfamiliar with our current products requires substantial time, expertise and expense and involves a number of risks, including:

 

   

our ability to attract, retain and manage the sales, marketing and service personnel necessary to expand market acceptance for our technology;

 

   

the time and cost of maintaining and growing a specialized sales, marketing and service force; and

 

   

our sales, marketing and service force may be unable to execute successful commercial activities.

We have utilized third parties to assist with sales, distribution and customer support in certain regions of the world. There is no guarantee, when we enter into such arrangements, that we will be successful in attracting desirable sales and distribution partners. There is also no guarantee that we will be able to enter into such arrangements on favorable terms. Any failure of our sales and marketing efforts, or those of any third-party sales and distribution partners, would adversely affect our business.

We are currently limited to “research use only” with respect to many of the materials and components used in our consumable products including our assays.

Our instruments, consumable products and assays are purchased from suppliers with a restriction that they be used for research use only, or RUO. While we have focused initially on the life sciences research market and RUO products only, part of our business strategy is to expand our product line to encompass products that are intended to be used for the diagnosis of disease and precision healthcare, either alone or in collaboration with third parties. The use of our products for any such diagnostic purposes would require that we obtain regulatory clearance or approval to market our products for those purposes and also that we acquire the materials and components used in such products from suppliers without an RUO restriction.

 

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There can be no assurance that we will be able to acquire these materials and components for use in diagnostic products on acceptable terms, if at all. If we are unable to do so, we would not be able to expand our product offerings beyond RUO, and our business and prospects would suffer.

In the near term, our business will depend on levels of research and development spending by academic and governmental research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies, a reduction in which could limit demand for our products and adversely affect our business and operating results.

In the near term, we expect that our revenue will be derived primarily from sales of our instruments and consumables to academic and governmental research institutions, as well as biopharmaceutical and contract research companies worldwide for research applications. The demand for our products will depend in part upon the research and development budgets of these customers, which are impacted by factors beyond our control, such as:

 

   

changes in government programs that provide funding to research institutions and companies;

 

   

macroeconomic conditions and the political climate;

 

   

changes in the regulatory environment;

 

   

differences in budgetary cycles; and

 

   

market acceptance of relatively new technologies, such as ours.

For example, in March 2017, the federal government announced the intent to cut federal biomedical research funding by as much as 18%. While there has been significant opposition to these funding cuts, the uncertainty regarding the availability of research funding for potential customers may adversely affect our operating results. Our operating results may fluctuate substantially due to reductions and delays in research and development expenditures by these customers. Any decrease in customers’ budgets or expenditures, or in the size, scope or frequency of capital or operating expenditures, could materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

The sales cycle for our systems can be lengthy and variable, which makes it difficult for us to forecast revenue and other operating results.

The sales process for our systems generally involves numerous interactions with multiple individuals within an organization, and often includes in-depth analysis by potential customers of our technology and products and a lengthy review process. Our customers’ evaluation processes often involve a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control. As a result of these factors, the capital investment required to purchase our systems and the budget cycles of our customers, the time from initial contact with a customer to our receipt of a purchase order can vary significantly. Given the length and uncertainty of our sales cycle, we have in the past experienced, and expect to in the future experience, fluctuations in our sales on a period-to-period basis. In addition, any failure to meet customer expectations could result in customers choosing to retain their existing systems, use existing assays not requiring capital equipment or purchase systems other than ours.

Our long-term results depend upon our ability to improve existing products and introduce and market new products successfully.

Our business is dependent on the continued improvement of our existing products and our development of new products utilizing our current or other potential future technology. As we introduce new products or refine, improve or upgrade versions of existing products, we cannot predict the level of market acceptance or the amount of market share these products will achieve, if any. We cannot assure you that we will not experience material delays in the introduction of new products in the future. For example, the introduction of our Saphyr system replaced our Irys system, and as a result we may never sell the remaining Irys units currently in our inventory. Therefore, we may from time to time determine it necessary to write down or write off units of our Irys inventory.

 

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Consistent with our strategy of offering new products and product refinements, we expect to continue to use a substantial amount of capital for product development and refinement. We may need additional capital for product development and refinement than is available on terms favorable to us, if at all, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

We generally sell our products in industries that are characterized by rapid technological changes, frequent new product introductions and changing industry standards. If we do not develop new products and product enhancements based on technological innovation on a timely basis, our products may become obsolete over time and our revenues, cash flow, profitability and competitive position will suffer. Our success will depend on several factors, including our ability to:

 

   

correctly identify customer needs and preferences and predict future needs and preferences;

 

   

allocate our research and development funding to products with higher growth prospects;

 

   

anticipate and respond to our competitors’ development of new products and technological innovations;

 

   

innovate and develop new technologies and applications, and acquire or obtain rights to third-party technologies that may have valuable applications in the markets we serve;

 

   

successfully commercialize new technologies in a timely manner, price them competitively and manufacture and deliver sufficient volumes of new products of appropriate quality on time; and

 

   

convince customers to adopt new technologies.

In addition, if we fail to accurately predict future customer needs and preferences or fail to produce viable technologies, we may invest heavily in research and development of products that do not lead to significant revenue. Even if we successfully innovate and develop new products and product enhancements, we may incur substantial costs in doing so, and our profitability may suffer.

Our ability to develop new products based on innovation can affect our competitive position and often requires the investment of significant resources. Difficulties or delays in research, development or production of new products and services or failure to gain market acceptance of new products and technologies may reduce future revenues and adversely affect our competitive position.

If we do not successfully manage the development and launch of new products, our financial results could be adversely affected.

We face risks associated with launching new products. If we encounter development or manufacturing challenges or discover errors during our product development cycle, the product launch dates of new products may be delayed. The expenses or losses associated with unsuccessful product development or launch activities or lack of market acceptance of our new products could adversely affect our business or financial condition.

Undetected errors or defects in our products could harm our reputation, decrease market acceptance of our products or expose us to product liability claims.

Our products may contain undetected errors or defects when first introduced or as new versions or new products are released. Disruptions affecting the introduction or release of, or other performance problems with, our products may damage our customers’ businesses and could harm their and our reputation. If that occurs, we may incur significant costs, the attention of our key personnel could be diverted, or other significant customer relations problems may arise. We may also be subject to warranty and liability claims for damages related to errors or defects in our products. In addition, if we do not meet industry or quality standards, if applicable, our products may be subject to recall. A material liability claim, recall or other occurrence that harms our reputation or decreases market acceptance of our products could harm our business and operating results.

 

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Although we do not, and cannot currently, promote the use of our products, or services based on our products, for diagnostic purposes, if our customers develop or use them for diagnostic purposes, someone could file a product liability claim alleging that one of our products contained a design or manufacturing defect that resulted in the failure to adequately perform, leading to death or injury. A product liability claim could result in substantial damages and be costly and time consuming to defend, either of which could materially harm our business or financial condition. We cannot assure investors that our product liability insurance would adequately protect our assets from the financial impact of defending a product liability claim. Any product liability claim brought against us, with or without merit, could increase our product liability insurance rates or prevent us from securing insurance coverage in the future.

Our reliance on distributors for sales of our products outside of the United States could limit or prevent us from selling our products and could impact our revenue.

We intend to continue to grow our business internationally, and to do so we must attract additional distributors and retain existing distributors to maximize the commercial opportunity for our products. There is no guarantee that we will be successful in attracting or retaining desirable sales and distribution partners or that we will be able to enter into such arrangements on favorable terms. Distributors may not commit the necessary resources to market and sell our products to the level of our expectations or may choose to favor marketing the products of our competitors. If current or future distributors do not perform adequately, or we are unable to enter into effective arrangements with distributors in particular geographic areas, we may not realize long-term international revenue growth. In addition, if our distributors fail to comply with applicable laws and ethical standards, including anti-bribery laws, this could damage our reputation and could have a significant adverse effect on our business and our revenues.

We expect to generate a substantial portion of our revenue internationally in the future and can become further subject to various risks relating to our international activities, which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

During 2017 approximately 60% of our product revenue was generated from customers located outside of the U.S. We believe that a substantial percentage of our future revenue will come from international sources as we expand our overseas operations and develop opportunities in additional areas. We have limited experience operating internationally and engaging in international business involves a number of difficulties and risks, including:

 

   

required compliance with existing and changing foreign regulatory requirements and laws;

 

   

difficulties and costs of staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

   

difficulties protecting or procuring intellectual property rights;

 

   

required compliance with anti-bribery laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, data privacy requirements, labor laws and anti-competition regulations;

 

   

export or import restrictions;

 

   

laws and business practices favoring local companies;

 

   

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

 

   

political and economic instability; and

 

   

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

Historically, most of our revenue has been denominated in U.S. dollars. In the future, we may sell our products and services in local currency outside of the U.S. As our operations in countries outside of the U.S. grow, our results of operations and cash flows may be subject to fluctuations due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates, which could harm our business in the future. For example, if the value of the U.S. dollar increases relative to foreign currencies, in the absence of a corresponding change in local currency prices, our revenue could be adversely affected as we convert revenue from local currencies to U.S. dollars. If we dedicate significant resources to our international operations and are unable to manage these risks effectively, our business, operating results and financial condition will suffer.

 

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We are subject to U.S. and foreign anti-corruption and anti-money laundering laws with respect to our operations and non-compliance with such laws can subject us to criminal and/or civil liability and harm our business.

We are subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 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, and other state and national anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees and third-party intermediaries from authorizing, promising, offering, providing, soliciting, or accepting, directly or indirectly, improper payments or benefits to or from any person whether in the public or private sector for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or securing any other improper advantage. We rely on third-party representatives, distributors, and other business partners to support sales of our products and services and our efforts to ensure regulatory compliance. In addition, as we increase our international sales and business, we may engage with additional business partners. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our employees, representatives, contractors, business partners, and agents, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have actual knowledge of such activities.

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

We are subject to governmental export and import controls that could impair our ability to compete in international markets due to licensing requirements and subject us to liability if we are not in compliance with applicable laws.

Our products are subject to export control and import laws and regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations, and various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls. Exports of our products must be made in compliance with these laws and regulations. If we fail to comply with these laws and regulations, we and certain of our employees could be subject to substantial civil or criminal penalties, including the possible loss of export or import privileges; fines, which may be imposed on us and responsible employees or managers; and, in extreme cases, the incarceration of responsible employees or managers.

In addition, changes in our products or changes in applicable export or import laws and regulations may create delays in the introduction and sale of our products in international markets, prevent our customers from deploying our products or, in some cases, prevent the export or import of our products to certain countries, governments or persons altogether. Any change in export or import laws and regulations, shift in the enforcement or scope of existing laws and regulations, or change in the countries, governments, persons or technologies targeted by such laws and regulations, could also result in decreased use of our products, or in our decreased ability to export or sell our products to existing or potential customers. Any decreased use of our products or limitation on our ability to export or sell our products would likely adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to recruit, train, retain, motivate and integrate key personnel, we may not achieve our goals.

Our future success depends on our ability to recruit, train, retain, motivate and integrate key personnel, including our recently expanded senior management team, as well as our research and development, manufacturing and sales and marketing personnel. Competition for qualified personnel is intense. Our growth depends, in particular, on attracting and retaining highly-trained sales personnel with the necessary scientific background and ability to understand our systems at a technical level to effectively identify and sell to potential new customers and develop new products. Because of the complex and technical nature of our products and the dynamic market in which we compete, any failure to attract, train, retain, motivate and integrate qualified personnel could materially harm our operating results and growth prospects.

 

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We have limited experience in marketing and selling our products, and if we are unable to successfully commercialize our products, our business and operating results will be adversely affected.

We have limited experience marketing and selling our products. We currently sell all our products for research use only, through our direct field sales and support organizations located in North America and Europe and through a combination of our own sales force and third-party distributors in additional major markets such as Australian, China, Japan and South Korea.

The future sales of our products will depend in large part on our ability to effectively market and sell our products, successfully manage and expand our sales force, and increase the scope of our marketing efforts. We may also enter into additional distribution arrangements in the future. Because we have limited experience in marketing and selling our products, our ability to forecast demand, the infrastructure required to support such demand and the sales cycle to customers is unproven. If we do not build an efficient and effective sales force, our business and operating results will be adversely affected.

We rely on a single contract manufacturer for our systems and rely on a single contract manufacturer for our chip consumables. If either of these manufacturers should fail or not perform satisfactorily, our ability to supply these instruments would be negatively and adversely affected.

We currently rely on a single contract manufacturer to manufacture and supply all of our instruments. See “Business–Key Agreements.” In addition, we rely on a single contract manufacturer to manufacture and supply all of our chip consumables. Since our contracts with these manufacturers do not commit them to supply quantities beyond the amounts included in our purchase orders, and do not commit them to carry inventory or make available any particular quantities, these contract manufacturers may give other customers’ needs higher priority than ours, and we may not be able to obtain adequate supplies in a timely manner or on commercially reasonable terms. If either of these manufacturers were to be unable to supply instruments, our business would be harmed.

In the event it becomes necessary to utilize different contract manufacturers for our instruments or chip consumables, we would experience additional costs, delays and difficulties in doing so as a result of identifying and entering into an agreement with a new supplier as well as preparing such new supplier to meet the logistical requirements associated with manufacturing our units, and our business would suffer. We may also experience additional costs and delays in the event we need access to or rights under any intellectual property of these current manufacturers.

We may experience manufacturing problems or delays that could limit the growth of our revenue or increase our losses.

We may encounter unforeseen situations that would result in delays or shortfalls in our production as well as delays or shortfalls caused by our outsourced manufacturing suppliers and by other third-party suppliers who manufacture components for our products. If we are unable to keep up with demand for our products, our revenue could be impaired, market acceptance for our products could be adversely affected and our customers might instead purchase our competitors’ products. Our inability to successfully manufacture our products would have a material adverse effect on our operating results.

We rely on a limited number of suppliers or, in some cases, one supplier, for some of our materials and components used in our consumable products, and may not be able to find replacements or immediately transition to alternative suppliers, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.

 

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We rely on limited or sole suppliers for certain reagents and other materials and components that are used in our consumable products. While we periodically forecast our needs for such materials and enter into standard purchase orders with them, we do not have long-term contracts with many of these suppliers. If we were to lose such suppliers, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify or enter into agreements with alternative suppliers on a timely basis on acceptable terms, if at all. An interruption in our operations could occur if we encounter delays or difficulties in securing these materials, or if the quality of the materials supplied do not meet our requirements, or if we cannot then obtain an acceptable substitute. The time and effort required to qualify a new supplier and ensure that the new materials provide the same or better quality results could result in significant additional costs. Any such interruption could significantly affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and reputation.

In addition, certain of the components used in our instruments are sourced from limited or sole suppliers. If we were to lose such suppliers, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify or enter into agreements with alternative suppliers on a timely basis on acceptable terms, if at all. An interruption in our ability to sell and deliver instruments to customers could occur if we encounter delays or difficulties in securing these components, or if the quality of the components supplied do not meet specifications, or if we cannot then obtain an acceptable substitute. If any of these events occur, our business and operating results could be harmed.

If we cannot provide quality technical and applications support, we could lose customers and our business and prospects will suffer.

The placement of our products at new customer sites, the introduction of our technology into our customers’ existing laboratory workflows and ongoing customer support can be complex. Accordingly, we need highly trained technical support personnel. Hiring technical support personnel is very competitive in our industry due to the limited number of people available with the necessary scientific and technical backgrounds and ability to understand our technology at a technical level. To effectively support potential new customers and the expanding needs of current customers, we will need to substantially expand our technical support staff. If we are unable to attract, train or retain the number of highly qualified technical services personnel that our business needs, our business and prospects will suffer.

Our business could be negatively impacted by cyber security threats.

In the ordinary course of our business, we collect and store sensitive data, intellectual property and proprietary business information owned or controlled by ourselves or our customers. We face various cyber security threats, including cyber security attacks to our information technology infrastructure and attempts by others to gain access to our proprietary or sensitive information. This information encompasses a wide variety of business-critical information including research and development information, commercial information, and business and financial information. The procedures and controls we use to monitor these threats and mitigate our exposure may not be sufficient to prevent cyber security incidents. The result of these incidents could include disrupted operations, lost opportunities, misstated financial data, liability for stolen assets or information, increased costs arising from the implementation of additional security protective measures, litigation and reputational damage. Any remedial costs or other liabilities related to cyber security incidents may not be fully insured or indemnified by other means.

The life sciences research and diagnostic markets are highly competitive. If we fail to effectively compete, our business, financial condition and operating results will suffer.

We face significant competition in the life sciences research and diagnostic markets. We currently compete with both established and early stage companies that design, manufacture and market systems and consumable supplies. We believe our principal competitors in the life sciences research and genome mapping markets include Pacific Biosciences of California, Oxford Nanopore Technologies, 10x Genomics, Genomic Vision and Dovetail Genomics. In addition, there are a number of new market entrants in the process of developing novel technologies for the life sciences research, diagnostic and screening markets.

Many of our current competitors are either publicly traded, or are divisions of publicly-traded companies, and may enjoy a number of competitive advantages over us, including:

 

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greater name and brand recognition;

 

   

substantially greater financial and human resources;

 

   

broader product lines;

 

   

larger sales forces and more established distributor networks;

 

   

substantial intellectual property portfolios;

 

   

larger and more established customer bases and relationships; and

 

   

better established, larger scale, and lower cost manufacturing capabilities.

We believe that the principal competitive factors in all of our target markets include:

 

   

cost of instruments and consumables;

 

   

accuracy, including sensitivity and specificity, and reproducibility of results;

 

   

reputation among customers;

 

   

innovation in product offerings;

 

   

flexibility and ease of use; and

 

   

compatibility with existing laboratory processes, tools and methods.

We cannot assure investors that our products will compete favorably or that we will be successful in the face of increasing competition from new products and technologies introduced by our existing competitors or new companies entering our markets. In addition, we cannot assure investors that our competitors do not have or will not develop products or technologies that currently or in the future will enable them to produce competitive products with greater capabilities or at lower costs than ours. Any failure to compete effectively could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

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

We may acquire other businesses, products or technologies as well as pursue strategic alliances, joint ventures, technology licenses or investments in complementary businesses. We have not made any acquisitions to date, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven. 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 customers, distributors 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;

 

   

diversion of management time and focus from operating our business to 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.

 

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Also, the anticipated benefit of any acquisition may not materialize. 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.

Risks related to government regulation and diagnostic product reimbursement

If the FDA determines that our products are medical devices or if we seek to market our products for clinical diagnostic or health screening use, we will be required to obtain regulatory clearance(s) or approval(s), and may be required to cease or limit sales of our then marketed products, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any such regulatory process would be expensive, time-consuming and uncertain both in timing and in outcome.

We have focused initially on the life sciences research market. This includes laboratories associated with academic and governmental research institutions, as well as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research companies. Accordingly, our products are labeled as “Research Use Only,” or RUO, and are not intended for diagnostic use. While we have focused initially on the life sciences research market and RUO products only, our strategy is to expand our product line to encompass products that are intended to be used for the diagnosis of disease, either alone or in collaboration with third parties (such as our collaboration with Berry Genomics). Such in-vitro diagnostic, or IVD, products will be subject to regulation by the FDA as medical devices, or comparable international agencies, including requirements for regulatory clearance or approval of such products before they can be marketed. If the FDA were to determine that our products are intended for clinical use or if we decided to market our products for such use, we would be required to obtain FDA 510(k) clearance or premarket approval in order to sell our products in a manner consistent with FDA laws and regulations. Such regulatory approval processes or clearances are expensive, time-consuming and uncertain; our efforts may never result in any approved premarket approval application, or PMA, or 510(k) clearance for our products; and failure by us or a collaborator to obtain or comply with such approvals and clearances could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or operating results.

IVD products may be regulated as medical devices by the FDA and comparable international agencies and may require either clearance from the FDA following the 510(k) pre-market notification process or PMA from the FDA, in each case prior to marketing. If we or our collaborators are required to obtain a PMA or 510(k) clearance for products based on our technology, we or they would be subject to a substantial number of additional requirements for medical devices, including establishment registration, device listing, Quality Systems Regulations which cover the design, testing, production, control, quality assurance, labeling, packaging, servicing, sterilization (if required), and storage and shipping of medical devices (among other activities), product labeling, advertising, recordkeeping, post-market surveillance, post-approval studies, adverse event reporting, and correction and removal (recall) regulations. One or more of the products we or a collaborator may develop using our technology may also require clinical trials in order to generate the data required for PMA approval. Complying with these requirements may be time-consuming and expensive. We or our collaborators may be required to expend significant resources to ensure ongoing compliance with the FDA regulations and/or take satisfactory corrective action in response to enforcement action, which may have a material adverse effect on the ability to design, develop, and commercialize products using our technology as planned. Failure to comply with these requirements may subject us or a collaborator to a range of enforcement actions, such as warning letters, injunctions, civil monetary penalties, criminal prosecution, recall and/or seizure of products, and revocation of marketing authorization, as well as significant adverse publicity. If we or our collaborators fail to obtain, or experience significant delays in obtaining, regulatory approvals for IVD products, such products may not be able to be launched or successfully commercialized in a timely manner, or at all.

Laboratory developed tests, or LDTs, are a subset of IVD tests that are designed, manufactured and used within a single laboratory. The FDA maintains that LDTs are medical devices and has for the most part exercised enforcement discretion for most LDTs. A significant change in the way that the FDA regulates any LDTs that we, our collaborators or our customers develop using our technology could affect our business. If the FDA requires laboratories to undergo premarket review and comply with other applicable FDA requirements in the future, the cost and time required to commercialize an LDT will increase substantially, and may reduce the financial incentive for laboratories to develop LDTs, which could reduce demand for our instruments and our other products.

 

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Failure to comply with applicable FDA requirements could subject us to misbranding or adulteration allegations under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. We could be subject to a range of enforcement actions, including warning letters, injunctions, civil monetary penalties, criminal prosecution, and recall and/or seizure of products, as well as significant adverse publicity. In addition, changes to the current regulatory framework, including the imposition of additional or new regulations, could arise at any time during the development or marketing of our products, which may negatively affect our ability to obtain or maintain FDA or comparable regulatory approval of our products, if required.

Foreign jurisdictions have laws and regulations similar to those described above, which may adversely affect our ability to market our products as planned in such countries. The number and scope of these requirements are increasing. As in the U.S., the cost and time required to comply with regulatory requirements may be substantial, and there is no guarantee that we will obtain the necessary authorization(s) required to make our products commercially viable. As a result, the imposition of foreign requirements may also have a material adverse effect on the commercial viability of our operations.

We expect to rely on third parties in conducting any required future studies of diagnostic products that may be required by the FDA or other regulatory authorities, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily.

We do not have the ability to independently conduct clinical trials or other studies that may be required to obtain FDA and other regulatory clearance or approval for future diagnostic products. Accordingly, we expect that we would rely on third parties, such as clinical investigators, consultants, and collaborators to conduct such studies if needed. Our reliance on these third parties for clinical and other development activities would reduce our control over these activities. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or regulatory obligations or meet expected deadlines, if the third parties need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the data they obtain is compromised, we may not be able to obtain regulatory clearance or approval.

If diagnostic procedures that are enabled by our technology are subject to unfavorable pricing regulations or third-party coverage and reimbursement policies, our business could be harmed.

Currently, our product is for research use only, but clinical laboratories may acquire our instrumentation through a capital purchase or capital lease and use the Saphyr and direct label stain chemistry to create their own potentially reimbursable products, such as laboratory developed tests for in vitro diagnostics. Our customers may generate revenue for these testing services by seeking the necessary approval of their product from the FDA or the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, along with coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors, including government health programs and private health plans. The ability of our customers to commercialize diagnostic tests based on our technology will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for these test will be available from such third-party payors.

In the U.S., molecular testing laboratories have multiple options for reimbursement coding, but we expect that the primary codes used will be the genomic sequencing procedure codes, or GSPs. The American Medical Association, or AMA, added GSPs to its clinical laboratory fee schedule in 2015. In addition, CMS recently issued a coverage determination providing for the reimbursement of next-generation sequencing for certain cancer diagnostics using an FDA-approved in vitro diagnostic test. Private health plans often follow CMS to a substantial degree, and it is difficult to predict what CMS will decide with respect to reimbursement of any products our customers try to commercialize.

In Europe, coverage for molecular diagnostic testing is varied. Countries with statutory health insurance (e.g., Germany, France, The Netherlands) tend to be more progressive in technology adoption with favorable reimbursement for molecular diagnostic testing. In countries such as the United Kingdom with tax-based insurance, adoption and reimbursement for molecular diagnostic testing is not uniform and is influenced by local budgets.

Ultimately, coverage and reimbursement of new products is uncertain, and whether laboratories that use our instruments to develop their own products will attain coverage and adequate reimbursement is unknown. In the U.S., there is no uniform policy for determining coverage and reimbursement.

 

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Coverage can differ from payor to payor, and the process for determining whether a payor will provide coverage may be separate from the process for setting the reimbursement rate, In addition, the U.S. government, state legislatures and foreign governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost containment programs to limit the growth of government-paid health care costs, including price controls and restrictions on reimbursement. We cannot be sure that coverage will be available for any diagnostic tests based on our technology, and, if coverage is available, the level of payments. Reimbursement may impact the demand for those tests. If reimbursement is not available or is available only to limited levels, our customers may not be able to successfully commercialize any tests for which they receive marketing authorization.

Current and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize any products based on our technology and affect the prices that may be obtained.

In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively, the ACA, became law. The ACA is a sweeping law intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add new transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose new taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms. The ACA’s provisions of importance to our business include, but are not limited to, a 2.3% excise tax on certain entities that manufacture or import medical devices offered for sale in the U.S., with limited exceptions, which has been suspended, but due to subsequent legislative amendments, will be automatically reinstated for medical device sales beginning January 1, 2020, unless Congress takes additional action to delay the implementation of the tax.

Some of the provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented, and there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the ACA, as well as efforts by the Trump administration to repeal or replace certain aspects of the ACA. Since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the ACA. Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the ACA. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, two bills affecting the implementation of certain taxes under the ACA have been signed into law. The 2017 U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”. Additionally, a 2018 continuing resolution on appropriations delays the implementation of certain ACA-mandated fees, including, without limitation, the medical device excise tax.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. For example, on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, or PAMA, was signed into law, which, among other things, significantly altered the payment methodology under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, or CLFS. PAMA requires certain laboratories performing clinical diagnostic laboratory tests to report to CMS the amounts paid by private payors for laboratory tests. Beginning January 1, 2018, CMS will use reported private payor pricing to periodically revise payment rates under the CLFS.

We expect that the ACA, as well as other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and additional downward pressure on the price that we or our collaborators will receive for any cleared or approved product. Any reduction in payments from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent our customers from successfully commercializing any tests for which they receive approval, which could prevent us from being able to generate revenue and attain profitability.

In addition, sales of our instruments outside of the U.S. will subject us to foreign regulatory requirements, which may also change over time.

We cannot predict whether future healthcare initiatives will be implemented at the federal or state level or in countries outside of the U.S. in which we may do business, or the effect any future legislation or regulation will have on us. The expansion in government’s effect on the U.S. healthcare industry may result in decreased profits to us, lower reimbursements by payors for our products or reduced medical procedure volumes, all of which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We may be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and other federal and state laws applicable to our marketing practices. If we are unable to comply, or have not complied, with such laws, we could face substantial penalties.

Our operations are directly or indirectly, through our customers, subject to various federal and state fraud and abuse laws, including, without limitation, the federal and state anti-kickback statutes and false claims laws. These laws may impact, among other things, our sales and marketing and education programs, and our financial and business relationships with researchers who use our instruments to develop marketed products. By way of example: the federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce, or in return for, purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending the purchase, lease, or order of any good, facility, item, or service reimbursable, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program; and the federal false claims laws, including, without limitation the federal civil False Claims Act, prohibit, among other things, anyone from knowingly and willingly presenting, or causing to be presented for payment, to the federal government (including Medicare and Medicaid) claims for reimbursement for, among other things, drugs or services that are false or fraudulent, claims for items or services not provided as claimed, or claims for medically unnecessary items or services. The ACA, among other things, amended the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute to clarify that a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a crime. In addition, the ACA clarifies that the government may assert that a claim that includes items or service resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act.

In addition, we may be subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and its implementing regulations, which imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without appropriate authorization by entities subject to the rule, such as health plans, health care clearinghouses and certain health care providers and their business associates who create, use or disclose HIPAA protected health information on their behalf. We may also be subject to state and foreign laws that govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws, we may be subject to penalties, including, without limitation, civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs, additional integrity oversight and reporting obligations, individual imprisonment, contractual damages, and reputational harm, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Risks Related to Intellectual Property

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, it may reduce our ability to maintain any technological or competitive advantage over our competitors and potential competitors, and our business may be harmed.

We rely on patent protection as well as trademark, copyright, trade secret and other intellectual property rights protection and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary technologies, all of which provide limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage. As of April 13, 2018, we were the assignee or assignee-applicant of 10 granted U.S. patents and approximately 13 pending U.S. patent applications. We also were the assignee-applicant of approximately 90 pending patent applications and granted patents in particular jurisdictions outside the U.S. If we fail to protect and/or maintain our intellectual property, third parties may be able to compete more effectively against us, we may lose our technological or competitive advantage, and/or we may incur substantial litigation costs in our attempts to recover or restrict use of our intellectual property.

We cannot assure investors that any of our currently pending or future patent applications will result in granted patents, and we cannot predict how long it will take for such patents to issue, if at all. It is possible that, for any of our patents that have issued or that may issue in the future, our competitors may design their products around our patented technologies.

 

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Further, we cannot assure investors that other parties will not challenge any patents granted to us, or that courts or regulatory agencies will hold our patents to be valid, enforceable, and/or infringed. We cannot guarantee investors that we will be successful in defending challenges made against our patents and patent applications. Any successful third-party challenge or challenges to our patents could result in the unenforceability or invalidity of such patents, or such patents being interpreted narrowly and/or in a manner adverse to our interests. Our ability to establish or maintain a technological or competitive advantage over our competitors and/or market entrants may be diminished because of these uncertainties. For these and other reasons, our intellectual property may not provide us with any competitive advantage. For example:

 

   

we or our licensors might not have been the first to make the inventions claimed or disclosed by our pending patent applications or issued patents;

 

   

we or our licensors might not have been the first to file patent applications for these inventions. To determine the priority of these inventions, we may have to participate in interference proceedings or derivation proceedings declared by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO, which could result in substantial cost to us, and could possibly result in a loss or narrowing of patent rights. No assurance can be given that our patent applications or granted patents (or those of our licensors) will have priority over any other patent or patent application involved in such a proceeding, or will be held valid as an outcome of the proceeding;

 

   

other parties may independently develop similar or alternative products and technologies or duplicate any of our products and technologies, which can potentially impact our market share, revenue, and goodwill, regardless of whether intellectual property rights are successfully enforced against these other parties;

 

   

it is possible that our owned or licensed pending patent applications will not result in granted patents, and even if such pending patent applications issue as patents, they may not provide intellectual property protection of commercially viable products or product features, may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be challenged and invalidated by third parties, patent offices, and/or the courts;

 

   

we may be unaware of or unfamiliar with prior art and/or interpretations of prior art that could potentially impact the validity or scope of our patents or pending patent applications, or patent applications that we intend to file;

 

   

we take efforts and enter into agreements with employees, consultants, collaborators, and advisors to confirm ownership and chain of title in intellectual property rights. However, an inventorship or ownership dispute could arise that may permit one or more third parties to practice or enforce our intellectual property rights, including possible efforts to enforce rights against us;

 

   

we may elect not to maintain or pursue intellectual property rights that, at some point in time, may be considered relevant to or enforceable against a competitor;

 

   

we may not develop additional proprietary products and technologies that are patentable, or we may develop additional proprietary products and technologies that are not patentable ;

 

   

the patents or other intellectual property rights of others may have an adverse effect on our business; and

 

   

we apply for patents relating to our products and technologies and uses thereof, as we deem appropriate. However, we or our representatives or their agents may fail to apply for patents on important products and technologies in a timely fashion or at all, or we or our representatives or their agents may fail to apply for patents in potentially relevant jurisdictions.

To the extent our intellectual property offers inadequate protection, or is found to be invalid or unenforceable, we would be exposed to a greater risk of direct or indirect competition. If our intellectual property does not provide adequate coverage of our competitors’ products, our competitive position could be adversely affected, as could our business.

Software is an important component of at least some of our products and services. To the extent such software is not protected by our patents, our dependence on trade secret protection may not provide adequate protection. In addition, the Supreme Court’s ruling Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, has narrowed the scope of patent protection available for software in certain circumstances.

 

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The measures that we use to protect the security of our intellectual property and other proprietary rights may not be adequate, which could result in the loss of legal protection for, and thereby diminish the value of, such intellectual property and other rights.

In addition to pursuing patents on our technology, we also rely upon trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and unfair competition laws, as well as license agreements and other contractual provisions, to protect our intellectual property and other proprietary rights. Despite these measures, any of our intellectual property rights could be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or misappropriated. In addition, we take steps to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology by entering into confidentiality agreements and intellectual property assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, corporate partners and, when needed, our advisors. Such agreements may not be enforceable or may not provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets and/or other proprietary information in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure or other breaches of the agreements, and we may not be able to prevent such unauthorized disclosure. Moreover, if a party having an agreement with us has an overlapping or conflicting obligation to a third party, our rights in and to certain intellectual property could be undermined. Monitoring unauthorized and inadvertent disclosure is difficult, and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to prevent such disclosure are, or will be, adequate. If we were to enforce a claim that a third party had illegally obtained and was using our trade secrets, it would be expensive and time consuming, the outcome would be unpredictable, and any remedy may be inadequate. In addition, courts outside the U.S. may be less willing to protect trade secrets.

In addition, competitors could purchase our products and attempt to replicate and/or improve some or all of the competitive advantages we derive from our development efforts, willfully infringe our intellectual property rights, design their products around our protected technology or develop their own competitive technologies that fall outside of our intellectual property rights. If our intellectual property does not adequately protect our market share against competitors’ products and methods, our competitive position could be adversely affected, as could our business.

We have rights in some intellectual property that has been discovered through government funded programs and thus is subject to federal regulations such as “march-in” rights, certain reporting requirements, and a preference for U.S. industry. Compliance with such regulations may limit our exclusive rights, subject us to expenditure of resources with respect to reporting requirements, and limit our ability to contract with non-U.S. manufacturers.

Some of the intellectual property rights assigned to us and/or in-licensed to us have been generated through the use of U.S. government funding and are therefore subject to certain federal regulations. For example, all of the intellectual property rights licensed to us under our license agreement with Princeton University have been generated using U.S. government funds. As a result, the U.S. government has certain rights to intellectual property embodied in our current or future products pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980. These U.S. government rights in certain inventions developed under a government-funded program include a non-exclusive, non-transferable, irrevocable worldwide license to use inventions for any governmental purpose. In addition, the U.S. government has the right to require us to grant exclusive, partially exclusive, or non-exclusive licenses to any of these inventions to a third party if the government determines that: (i) adequate steps have not been taken to commercialize the invention; (ii) government action is necessary to meet public health or safety needs; or (iii) government action is necessary to meet requirements for public use under federal regulations (also referred to as “march-in rights”). The U.S. government also has the right to take title to these inventions if we fail, or the applicable licensor fails, to disclose the invention to the government, elect title, and file an application to register the intellectual property within specified time limits. In addition, the U.S. government may acquire title to these inventions in any country in which a patent application is not filed within specified time limits. Intellectual property generated under a government funded program is also subject to certain reporting requirements, compliance with which may require us, or the applicable licensor, to expend substantial resources. In addition, the U.S. government requires that any products embodying the subject invention or produced through the use of the subject invention be manufactured substantially in the U.S. The manufacturing preference requirement can be waived if the owner of the intellectual property can show that reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to grant licenses on similar terms to potential licensees that would be likely to manufacture substantially in the U.S. or that, under the circumstances, domestic manufacture is not commercially

 

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feasible. This preference for U.S. manufacturing may limit our ability to license the applicable patent rights on an exclusive basis under certain circumstances.

If we enter into future arrangements involving government funding, and we make inventions as a result of such funding, intellectual property rights to such discoveries may be subject to the applicable provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act. To the extent any of our current or future intellectual property is generated through the use of U.S. government funding, the provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act may similarly apply. Any exercise by the government of certain of its rights could harm our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We depend on technology that is licensed to us by Princeton University. Any loss of our rights to this technology could prevent us from selling our products.

Some technology that relates to analysis of nucleic acids is licensed exclusively to us from Princeton University, or Princeton. We do not own the patents that underlie this license. Our rights to use this technology and employ the inventions claimed in the licensed patents are subject to the continuation of and compliance with the terms of the license. Our principal obligations under our license agreement with Princeton are as follows:

 

   

royalty payments;

 

   

annual maintenance fees;

 

   

using commercially reasonable efforts to develop and sell a product using the licensed technology and developing a market for such product;

 

   

paying and/or reimbursing fees related to prosecution, maintenance and enforcement of patent rights; and

 

   

providing certain reports.

If we breach any of these obligations, Princeton may have the right to terminate or modify the license, which could result in our being unable to develop, manufacture and sell our products or a competitor gaining access to the relevant technology. Termination or certain modifications of our license agreement with Princeton would have a material adverse effect on our business.

In addition, we are a party to a number of other agreements that include licenses to intellectual property, including non-exclusive licenses. We may need to enter into additional license agreements in the future. Our business could suffer, for example, if any current or future licenses terminate, if the licensors fail to abide by the terms of the license, if the licensed patents or other rights are found to be invalid or unenforceable, or if we are unable to enter into necessary licenses on acceptable terms.

As we have done previously, we may need or may choose to obtain licenses and/or acquire intellectual property rights from third parties to advance our research or begin commercialization of our current or future products, and

we cannot provide any assurances that third-party patents do not exist that might be enforced against our current or future products in the absence of such a license. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses or intellectual property rights on commercially reasonable terms. Even if we are able to obtain a license, it may be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. In that event, we may be required to expend significant time and resources to develop or license replacement technology. If we are unable to do so, we may be unable to develop or commercialize the affected products, which could materially harm our business and the third parties owning such intellectual property rights could seek either an injunction prohibiting our sales, or, with respect to our sales, an obligation on our part to pay royalties and/or other forms of compensation.

Licensing of intellectual property is important to our business and involves complex legal, business and scientific issues. Disputes may arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including:

 

   

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

 

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whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe any intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

 

   

whether to take action to enforce any intellectual property rights against an allegedly infringing product or process of a third party;

 

   

our right to sublicense patent and other rights to third parties;

 

   

our diligence obligations with respect to the use of licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of our products, and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations; and

 

   

the ownership of inventions and know-how, such as intellectual property resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners.

If disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product, or the dispute may have an adverse affect on our results of operation.

In addition to agreements pursuant to which we in-license intellectual property, we may in the future grant licenses under our intellectual property, or sell certain intellectual property. Like in-licenses, out-licenses can be complex and disputes may arise between us and our licensees, such as the types of disputes described above. Moreover, licensees may breach their obligations, or we may be exposed to liability due to our failure or alleged failure to satisfy our obligations. Any such occurrence could have an adverse affect on our business.

If we or any of our partners is sued for infringing intellectual property rights of third parties, it would be costly and time consuming, and an unfavorable outcome in that litigation could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our success also depends on our ability to develop, manufacture, market and sell our products and perform our services without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties. Numerous U.S. and foreign-issued patents and pending patent applications owned by third parties exist in the fields in which we are developing products and services. As part of a business strategy to impede our successful commercialization and entry into new markets, competitors may allege that our products and/or services infringe their intellectual property rights.

We could incur substantial costs and divert the attention of our management and technical personnel in defending ourselves against claims of infringement made by third parties. Any adverse ruling by a court or administrative body, or perception of an adverse ruling, may have a material adverse impact on our ability to conduct our business and our finances. Moreover, third parties making claims against us may be able to obtain injunctive relief against us, which could block our ability to offer one or more products or services and could result in a substantial award of damages against us. In addition, since we sometimes indemnify customers, collaborators or licensees, we may have additional liability in connection with any infringement or alleged infringement of third party intellectual property. Intellectual property litigation can be very expensive, and we may not have the financial means to defend ourselves or our customers, collaborators and licensees.

Because patent applications can take many years to issue, there may be pending applications, some of which are unknown to us, that may result in issued patents upon which our products or proprietary technologies may infringe. Moreover, we may fail to identify issued patents of relevance or incorrectly conclude that an issued patent is invalid or not infringed by our technology or any of our products. There is a substantial amount of litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights in our industry. If a third-party claims that we or any of our licensors, customers or collaboration partners infringe upon a third-party’s intellectual property rights, we may have to:

 

   

seek to obtain licenses that may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all;

 

   

abandon any product alleged or held to infringe, or redesign our products or processes to avoid potential assertion of infringement;

 

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pay substantial damages including, in exceptional cases, treble damages and attorneys’ fees, which we may have to pay if a court decides that the product or proprietary technology at issue infringes upon or violates the third-party’s rights;

 

   

pay substantial royalties or fees or grant cross-licenses to our technology; or

 

   

defend litigation or administrative proceedings that may be costly whether we win or lose, and which could result in a substantial diversion of our financial and management resources.

We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents or the patents of our licensors, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful.

Competitors may infringe our patents or the patents we license in. In the event of infringement or unauthorized use, we may file one or more infringement lawsuits, which can be expensive and time-consuming. An adverse result in any such litigation proceedings could put one or more of our patents at risk of being invalidated, being found to be unenforceable, and/or being interpreted narrowly and could put our patent applications at risk of not issuing and/or could impact the validity or enforceability positions of our other patents or those we license. 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.

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

In addition, patent litigation can be very costly and time-consuming. An adverse outcome in such litigation or proceedings may expose us or any of our future development partners to loss of our proprietary position, expose us to significant liabilities, or require us to seek licenses that may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, if at all.

Our issued patents could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or at the Patent Office or other administrative agency, which could have a material adverse impact on our business.

If we or any of our partners were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent related to one of our products or services, the defendant in such litigation could counterclaim that our patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the U.S., defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace, as are validity challenges by the defendant against the subject patent or other patents before the USPTO. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement, failure to meet the written description requirement, indefiniteness, and/or failure to disclose the best mode or to claim patent eligible subject matter. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent intentionally withheld material information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Additional grounds for an unenforceability assertion include an allegation of misuse or anticompetitive use of patent rights, and an allegation of incorrect inventorship with deceptive intent. Third parties may also raise similar claims before the USPTO even outside the context of litigation. The outcome is unpredictable following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that no invalidating prior art existed of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. These assertions may also be based on information known to us or the Patent Office. If a defendant or third party were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the claims of the challenged patent. Such a loss of patent protection would or could have a material adverse impact on our business.

 

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We may be subject to claims that our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their other clients or former employers to us, and/or that their other clients or former employers allegedly have rights in our intellectual property, which could subject us to costly litigation.

As is common in the life sciences industry, we engage the services of consultants and independent contractors to assist us in the development of our products. Many of these consultants and independent contractors were previously employed at, or may have previously or may be currently providing consulting or other services to, universities or other technology, biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. We may become subject to claims that our company, a consultant or an independent contractor inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other information proprietary to their former employers or their former or current clients. We may similarly be subject to claims stemming from similar actions of an employee, such as one who was previously employed by another company, including a competitor or potential competitor. We may become subject to claims that one or more current or former employees, consultants, advisors, or independent contractors of ours owns rights in our intellectual property and/or has assigned or is under an obligation to assign rights in our intellectual property to another party. This may include a competitor of ours. If a competitor has rights in our patents, the competitor or a licensee or related entity may be able to make, use, sell, import, and/or export the patented technology without liability to us under our patents or the patents we license. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to our management team. If we were not successful we could lose valuable intellectual property rights.

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

We generally enter into confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, and contractors. These agreements generally provide that inventions conceived by the party in the course of rendering services to us will be our exclusive property. However, those agreements may not be honored and may not effectively assign or may be alleged to ineffectively assign intellectual property rights to us. For example, even if we have a consulting agreement in place with an academic advisor pursuant to which such academic advisor is required to assign any inventions developed in connection with providing services to us, such academic advisor may not have the right to assign such inventions to us, as it may conflict with his or her obligations to assign all such intellectual property to his or her employing institution.

In addition, we sometimes enter into agreements where we provide services to third parties, such as customers. Under such circumstances, our agreements may provide that certain intellectual property that we conceive in the course of providing those services is assigned to the customer. In those cases, we may not be able to use that particular intellectual property in, for example, our work for other customers without a license.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world, which could materially and negatively affect our business.

Filing, prosecuting, maintaining, and defending patents on current and future products in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the U.S. can be less extensive than those in the U.S. 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 U.S. Consequently, regardless of whether we are able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in the U.S., we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the U.S., or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the U.S. or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not pursued and 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 it is in the U.S. These products may compete with our products and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Even if we pursue and obtain issued patents in particular jurisdictions, our patent claims or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent third parties from so competing. Patent protection must ultimately be sought on a country-by-country basis, which is an expensive and time-consuming process with uncertain outcomes. Accordingly, we may choose not to seek patent protection in certain countries, and we will not have the benefit of patent protection in such countries.

 

 

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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 and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biotechnology, 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 and may adversely impact our business.

In addition, we and our partners also face the risk that our products or components thereof are imported, reimported, or exported into markets with relatively higher prices from markets with relatively lower prices, which would result in a decrease of sales and any payments we receive from the affected market. Recent developments in U.S. patent law have made it more difficult to stop these and related practices based on theories of patent infringement.

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

As is the case with other life science industry companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents involve both technological complexity and legal complexity. Therefore, obtaining and enforcing patents is costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, the America Invents Act, or the AIA, became effective on March 16, 2013.

An important change introduced by the AIA is that the U.S. 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 claiming the same invention. A third party that files a patent application in the USPTO after that date but before us could therefore be awarded a patent claiming or disclosing an invention of ours even if we had made the invention before it was made by the third party. This will require us to be cognizant going forward of the time from invention to filing of a patent application, but circumstances could prevent us from promptly filing patent applications on our inventions. Additionally, there can be a trade-off between obtaining an earlier filing date, and waiting to obtain additional data and/or further refine a patent application. In some circumstances, the effects of a decision to pursue an earlier filing or a later filing will not be known until prior art or third party activities are subsequently discovered, such as by the USPTO or by a third party seeking to challenge patent rights. These circumstances may apply, for example, to patent applications prepared and filed around the time of the implementation of the AIA, or with a priority application that preceded the implementation of the AIA.

Among some of the other changes introduced by the AIA are changes that limit where a patent holder may file a patent infringement suit and providing additional opportunities for third parties to challenge an issued patent in the USPTO. This applies to all of our owned and in-licensed U.S. patents, even those issued before March 16, 2013. Because of a lower standard for evidence in USPTO proceedings compared to the standard for evidence in U.S. federal courts 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 court action. Accordingly, a third party may try to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party in court. 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. In addition, the contours of the laws under the AIA are subject to further judicial interpretation and/or legislative changes.

 

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Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, such as Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. and Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, either narrowing the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakening the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty as to the value of patents, once obtained, including patents in the molecular biology analysis and diagnostic space in particular. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that could weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future.

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

The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other provisions during the patent process. There are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, competitors might be able to enter the market earlier than would otherwise have been the case. In some cases, our licensors may be responsible for these payments, thereby decreasing our control over compliance with these requirements.

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

Our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names, which we need to build name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. In addition, there could be potential trade name or trademark infringement claims brought by owners of other registered trademarks. Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected.

We may use third-party open source software components in future products, and failure to comply with the terms of the underlying open source software licenses could restrict our ability to sell such products.

While our current products do not contain any software tools licensed by third-party authors under “open source” licenses, we may choose to use open source software in future products. Use and distribution of open source software may entail greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. Some open source licenses may contain requirements that we make available source code for modifications or derivative works we create based upon the type of open source software we use. If we combine our proprietary software with open source software in a certain manner, we could, under certain open source licenses, be required to release the source code of our proprietary software to the public. This would allow our competitors to create similar products with less development effort and time, and ultimately could result in a loss of product sales.

Although we intend to monitor any use of open source software to avoid subjecting our products to conditions we do not intend, the terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by U.S. courts, and there is a risk that any such licenses could be construed in a way that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to commercialize our products. Moreover, we cannot assure investors that our processes for controlling our use of open source software in our products will be effective. If we are held to have breached the terms of an open source software license, we could be required to seek licenses from third parties to continue offering our products on terms that are not economically feasible, to re-engineer our products, to discontinue the sale of our products if re-engineering could not be accomplished on a timely basis, or to make generally available, in source code form, our proprietary code, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

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We use third-party software that may be difficult to replace or cause errors or failures of our products that could lead to lost customers or harm to our reputation.

We use software licensed from third parties in our products. In the future, this software may not be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. Any loss of the right to use any of this software could result in delays in the production of our products until equivalent technology is either developed by us, or, if available, is identified, obtained and integrated, which could harm our business. In addition, any errors or defects in third-party software or other third-party software failures could result in errors or defects or cause our products to fail, which could harm our business and be costly to correct. Many of these providers attempt to impose limitations on their liability for such errors, defects or failures, and, if enforceable, we may have additional liability to our customers or third-party providers that could harm our reputation and increase our operating costs.

We intend to maintain our relationships with third-party software providers and to seek software from such providers that does not contain any errors or defects. Any failure to do so could adversely impact our ability to deliver reliable products to our customers and could harm our results of operations.

Numerous factors may limit any potential competitive advantage provided by our intellectual property rights.

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, provide a barrier to entry against our competitors or potential competitors, or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. Moreover, if a third party has intellectual property rights that cover or impact our use of our technology, we may not be able to fully use or extract value from our intellectual property rights. For example:

 

   

others may be able to develop and/or use technology that is similar to our technology or aspects of our technology but that does not cover the claims of any our patents or patents that may issue from our patent applications or those we license;

 

   

we or the licensor of our licensed-in patents might not have been the first to make the inventions disclosed and/or claimed in a pending patent application that we own or license;

 

   

we or the licensor of our licensed-in patents might not have been the first to file patent applications disclosing and/or claiming an invention;

 

   

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

 

   

pending patent applications that we own or license may not lead to issued patents or may not result in the claims that we want (for example, as to the scope of issued claims, if any);

 

   

patents, if issued, that we own or license may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by our competitors or other third parties;

 

   

third parties may compete with us in jurisdictions where we do not pursue and obtain patent protection;

 

   

we may not be able to obtain and/or maintain necessary or useful licenses on reasonable terms or at all;

 

   

third parties may assert an ownership interest in our intellectual property and, if successful, such disputes may preclude us from exercising exclusive rights over that intellectual property;

 

   

we may not be able to maintain the confidentiality of our trade secrets or other proprietary information;

 

   

we may not develop or in-license additional proprietary technologies that are patentable; and

 

   

the patents or other intellectual property of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

 

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Should any of these events occur, they could significantly harm our business and results of operations.

Risks Related to This Offering and Ownership of our Common Stock

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

Prior to this offering there has been no public market for shares of our common stock. Although we have applied to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market, or Nasdaq, an active trading market for our shares may never develop or be sustained following this offering. You may not be able to sell your shares quickly or at the market price if trading in shares of our common stock is not active. The initial public offering price for our common stock will be determined through negotiations with the underwriters, and the negotiated price may not be indicative of the market price of the common stock after the offering. As a result of these and other factors, you may be unable to resell your shares of our common stock at or above the initial public offering price. Further, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to enter into strategic partnerships or acquire companies or products by using our shares of common stock as consideration.

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

The trading price of our common stock following this offering is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control, including limited trading volume. In addition to the factors discussed in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this prospectus, these factors include:

 

   

our commercial progress in marketing and selling our systems, including sales and revenue trends;

 

   

changes in laws or regulations applicable our systems;

 

   

adverse developments related to our laboratory facilities;

 

   

increased competition in the diagnostics services industry;

 

   

the failure to obtain and/or maintain adequate reimbursement of our systems;

 

   

adverse developments concerning our manufacturers and suppliers;

 

   

our inability to establish future collaborations;

 

   

additions or departures of key scientific or management personnel;

 

   

introduction of new testing services offered by us or our competitors;

 

   

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

 

   

our ability to effectively manage our growth;

 

   

the size and growth, if any, of our targeted markets;

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in quarterly operating results;

 

   

our cash position;

 

   

our failure to meet the estimates and projections of the investment community or that we may otherwise provide to the public;

 

   

publication of research reports about us or our industry or positive or negative recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage by securities analysts;

 

   

changes in the market valuations of similar companies;

 

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overall performance of the equity markets;

 

   

issuances of debt or equity securities;

 

   

sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders in the future;

 

   

trading volume of our common stock;

 

   

changes in accounting practices;

 

   

ineffectiveness of our internal controls;

 

   

disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including our ability to adequately protect our technologies;

 

   

significant lawsuits, including patent or stockholder litigation;

 

   

general political and economic conditions; and

 

   

other events or factors, many of which are beyond our control.

In addition, the stock market in general, and diagnostic and biotechnology companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. If the market price of our common stock after this offering does not exceed the initial public offering price, you may not realize any return on your investment in us and may lose some or all of your investment. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities. This type of litigation, if instituted, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which would harm our business, operating results or financial condition.

We have never paid dividends and we do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock, so any returns on your investment in our common stock will be limited to appreciation in the value of our stock.

We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock. We currently anticipate that we will retain future earnings for the development, operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable law and other factors our board of directors deems relevant. Accordingly, if you purchase shares in this offering, realization of a gain on your investment will depend on the appreciation of the price of our common stock, which may never occur. In addition, our loan and security agreement with Western Alliance Bank contains a negative covenant which prohibits us from paying dividends without the prior written consent of Western Alliance Bank.

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

Our executive officers, directors, 5% stockholders and their affiliates held approximately 80.2% of our voting stock as of December 31, 2017, and, upon the closing of this offering, that same group will hold approximately     % of our outstanding voting stock (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option), based upon the number of shares of our common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017. Therefore, even after this offering, these stockholders will have the ability to influence us through this ownership position. These stockholders may be able to determine all matters requiring stockholder approval. For example, these stockholders may be able to control elections of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, or approval of any merger, sale of assets or other major corporate transaction. This may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our common stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.

 

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Purchasers in this offering will experience immediate and substantial dilution in the book value of their investment.

The initial public offering price of our common stock will be substantially higher than the pro forma net tangible book value per share of our common stock outstanding immediately following the completion of this offering. Therefore, if you purchase shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, you will experience immediate dilution of $         per share, the difference between the price per share you pay for our common stock and its pro forma net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2017, after giving effect to the issuance of shares of our common stock in this offering. This dilution is due in large part to the fact that our earlier investors paid substantially less than the initial public offering price when they purchased their shares of common stock.

In addition, we have issued options and warrants to acquire our capital stock at prices significantly below the initial public offering price. To the extent outstanding options and warrants are ultimately exercised, there will be further dilution to investors purchasing our common stock in this offering. In addition, if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares from us or if we issue additional equity securities, you will experience additional dilution.

We are an emerging growth company, and the reduced reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies could make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding nonbinding advisory votes on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years following the year in which we complete this offering, although circumstances could cause us to lose that status earlier, including if the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeds $700.0 million as of any June 30 before that time or if we have total annual gross revenue of $1.07 billion or more during any fiscal year before that time, in which cases we would no longer be an emerging growth company as of the following December 31 or, if we issue more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during any three year period before that time, we would cease to be an emerging growth company immediately. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we may still qualify as a “smaller reporting company” which would allow us to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions, which could result in a less active trading market for our common stock and increased volatility in our stock price.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period. As a result of this election, our timeline to comply with these standards will in many cases be delayed as compared to other public companies that are not eligible to take advantage of this election or have not made this election. Therefore, our financial statements may not be comparable to those of companies that comply with the public company effective dates for these standards.

In addition, if we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will no longer be able to use the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. As a result, changes in rules of U.S. generally accepted accounting principles or their interpretation, the adoption of new guidance or the application of existing guidance to changes in our business could significantly affect our financial position and results of operations.

 

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If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis could be impaired.

After the closing of this offering, we will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of Nasdaq. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting. Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S.. Commencing with our fiscal year ending December 31, 2018, we must perform system and process evaluation and testing of our internal controls over financial reporting to allow management to report on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in our Form 10-K filing for that year, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This will require that we incur substantial additional professional fees and internal costs to expand our accounting and finance functions and that we expend significant management efforts. Prior to this offering, we have never been required to test our internal controls within a specified period, and, as a result, we may experience difficulty in meeting these reporting requirements in a timely manner.

During the evaluation and testing process of our internal controls, if we identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. We cannot assure you that there will not be material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting in the future. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm determines we have a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by Nasdaq, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.

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 new compliance initiatives.

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. We will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which will require, among other things, that we file with the SEC annual, quarterly and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules subsequently adopted by the SEC and Nasdaq to implement provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, impose significant requirements on public companies, including requiring establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and changes in corporate governance practices. Further, in July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, was enacted. There are significant corporate governance and executive-compensation-related provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act that require the SEC to adopt additional rules and regulations in these areas. Recent legislation permits emerging growth companies to implement many of these requirements over a longer period and up to five years from the pricing of this offering. We intend to take advantage of this new legislation, but cannot assure you that we will not be required to implement these requirements sooner than planned and thereby incur unexpected expenses. Stockholder activism, the current political environment and the current high level of government intervention and regulatory reform may lead to substantial new regulations and disclosure obligations, which may lead to additional compliance costs and impact the manner in which we operate our business in ways we cannot currently anticipate.

We expect the rules and regulations applicable to public companies to substantially increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly. If these requirements divert the attention of our management and personnel from other business concerns, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The increased costs will decrease our net income or increase our consolidated net loss, and may require us to reduce costs in other areas of our business or increase the prices of our products or services. For example, we expect these rules and regulations to make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to incur substantial costs to maintain the same or similar coverage. We cannot predict or estimate the amount or timing of additional costs we may incur to respond to these requirements. The impact of these requirements could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers.

 

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Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock by our existing stockholders in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.

If our existing stockholders sell, or indicate an intention to sell, substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market after the lock-up and other legal restrictions on resale discussed in this prospectus lapse, the trading price of our common stock could decline. Based on shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, upon the closing of this offering we will have outstanding a total of      shares of common stock. Of these shares, only the shares of common stock sold in this offering by us, plus any shares sold upon exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option, will be freely tradable without restriction in the public market immediately following this offering (except for any shares purchased by our affiliates, if any, and shares purchased through the directed share program). Roth Capital Partners, however, may, in its discretion, permit our officers, directors and other stockholders who are subject to these lock-up agreements to sell shares prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements.

We expect that the lock-up agreements pertaining to this offering will expire 180 days from the date of this prospectus. After the lock-up agreements expire, up to an additional      shares of common stock will be eligible for sale in the public market, though such shares held by directors, executive officers and other affiliates and may be subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 under the Securities Act. In addition, shares of common stock that are either subject to outstanding options or reserved for future issuance under our employee benefit plans will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting schedules, the lock-up agreements and Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act. If these additional shares of common stock are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold, in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline.

After this offering, the holders of      shares of our common stock will be entitled to rights with respect to the registration of their shares under the Securities Act, subject to the lock-up agreements described above. See “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights.” Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in the shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act. Any sales of securities by these stockholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our equity incentive plans, could result in additional dilution to our stockholders and could cause our stock price to fall.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market following the completion of this offering, or the perception that these sales might occur, could depress the market price of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities. We are unable to predict the effect that such sales may have on the prevailing market price of our common stock.

All of our executive officers, senior management and directors and substantially all of the holders of all of our capital stock are subject to lock-up agreements that restrict the stockholders’ ability to transfer shares of our capital stock for 180 days from the date of this prospectus. Subject to certain exceptions, the lock-up agreements limit the number of shares of capital stock that may be sold immediately following this initial public offering. We expect that the lock-up agreements pertaining to this offering will expire 180 days from the date of this prospectus. After the lock-up agreements expire, up to an additional      shares of common stock will be eligible for sale in the public market, of which      shares are held by directors, executive officers and other affiliates and will be subject to volume limitations under Rule 144 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. In addition, shares of common stock that are either subject to outstanding options or reserved for future issuance under our employee benefit plans will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting schedules, the lock-up agreements and Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act. If these additional shares of common stock are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold, in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline. The underwriters of this offering may, in their sole discretion, permit our stockholders who are subject to these lock-up agreements to sell shares of common stock prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements.

 

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

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering, including for any of the purposes described in the section entitled “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds will be used appropriately. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. Our management might not apply our net proceeds in ways that ultimately increase the value of your investment. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering to expand our commercial capabilities in selling and marketing related to our products, to fund our ongoing research and development activities, and for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures.

Our expected use of net proceeds from this offering represents our current intentions based upon our present plans and business condition. 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 completion of this offering, or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. The amounts and timing of our actual use of the net proceeds will vary depending on numerous factors, including the commercial success of our systems and the costs of our research and development activities, as well as the amount of cash used in our operations. The costs and timing of research and development activities and the build out of our commercial selling and marketing capabilities, particularly as related to expansion of our systems, are highly uncertain, subject to substantial risks and can often change. Depending on the outcome of these activities, our plans and priorities may change, and we may apply the net proceeds from this offering differently than we currently anticipate. For example, in the event we identify other opportunities that we believe are in the best interests of our stockholders, we may use a portion of the net proceeds from this offering for the acquisition of, or investment in, technologies, products or companies that complement our business, although we have no current intentions, commitments or agreements to do so. As a result, our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds, and investors will be relying on our judgment regarding the application of the net proceeds of this offering. In addition, we might decide to postpone or not pursue expansion of our systems if the net proceeds from this offering and other sources of cash are less than expected.

The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could harm our business. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing securities. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our stockholders. If we do not invest or apply the net proceeds from this offering in ways that enhance stockholder value, we may fail to achieve expected financial results, which could cause our stock price to decline.

Anti-takeover provisions under our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change of control which could limit the market price of our common stock and may prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are to become effective immediately prior to the closing of this offering, contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our board of directors that our stockholders might consider favorable. Some of these provisions include:

 

   

a board of directors divided into three classes serving staggered three-year terms, such that not all members of the board will be elected at one time;

 

   

a prohibition on stockholder action through written consent, which requires that all stockholder actions be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;

 

   

a requirement that special meetings of stockholders be called only by the chairman of the board of directors, the chief executive officer, the president or by a majority of the total number of authorized directors;

 

   

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations for election to our board of directors;

 

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a requirement that no member of our board of directors may be removed from office by our stockholders except for cause and, in addition to any other vote required by law, upon the approval of not less than two-thirds of all outstanding shares of our voting stock then entitled to vote in the election of directors;

 

   

a requirement of approval of not less than two-thirds of all outstanding shares of our voting stock to amend any bylaws by stockholder action or to amend specific provisions of our certificate of incorporation; and

 

   

the authority of the board of directors to issue preferred stock on terms determined by the board of directors without stockholder approval and which preferred stock may include rights superior to the rights of the holders of common stock.

In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporate Law, which may prohibit certain business combinations with stockholders owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock. These anti-takeover provisions and other provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could make it more difficult for stockholders or potential acquirers to obtain control of our board of directors or initiate actions that are opposed by the then-current board of directors and could also delay or impede a merger, tender offer or proxy contest involving our company. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing or cause us to take other corporate actions you desire. Any delay or prevention of a change of control transaction or changes in our board of directors could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

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

The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. Securities and industry analysts do not currently, and may never, publish research on our company. If no securities or industry analysts commence coverage of our company, the trading price for our stock would likely be negatively impacted. In the event securities or industry analysts initiate coverage, if one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price may decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our stock could decrease, which might cause our stock price and trading volume to decline.

Our recurring losses and negative cash flows have raised substantial doubt regarding our ability to continue as a going concern.

Since inception, we have experienced recurring operating losses and negative cash flows, and we expect to continue to generate operating losses and consume significant cash resources for the foreseeable future. Without additional financing, these conditions raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, meaning that we may be unable to continue operations for the foreseeable future or realize assets and discharge liabilities in the ordinary course of operations. As a result, our financial statements include an explanatory paragraph expressing substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. If we are unable to obtain sufficient funding, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected and we may be unable to continue as a going concern. If we are unable to continue as a going concern, we may have to liquidate our assets and may receive less than the value at which those assets are carried on our consolidated financial statements, and it is likely that investors will lose all or a part of their investment. Future reports from our independent registered public accounting firm may also contain statements expressing doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. If we seek additional financing to fund our business activities in the future and there remains doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern, investors or other financing sources may be unwilling to provide additional funding on commercially reasonable terms or at all.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus contains forward-looking statements about us and our industry that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this prospectus, including statements regarding our future results of operations or financial condition, business strategy and plans, and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will” or “would” or the negative of these words or other similar terms or expressions.

We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including risks described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus, regarding, among other things:

 

   

the size and growth potential of the markets for our products, and our ability to serve those markets;

 

   

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our products;

 

   

ability to expand our sales organization to address effectively existing and new markets that we intend to target;

 

   

impact from future regulatory, judicial, and legislative changes or developments in the U.S. and foreign countries;

 

   

ability to compete effectively in a competitive industry;

 

   

the success of competing technologies that are or may become available;

 

   

the performance of our third-party contract sales organizations, suppliers and manufacturers;

 

   

our ability to attract and retain key scientific or management personnel;

 

   

the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues, reimbursement rates, capital requirements and needs for additional financing;

 

   

our ability to obtain funding for our operations;

 

   

our ability to attract collaborators and strategic partnerships; and

 

   

our use of the proceeds from this offering.

You should not rely on forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus primarily on our current expectations and projections about future events and trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors described in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus.

 

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The results, events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur, and actual results, events or circumstances could differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this prospectus. And while we believe that information provides a reasonable basis for these statements, that information may be limited or incomplete. Our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on these statements.

The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this prospectus to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this prospectus or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, joint ventures or investments.

 

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MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

This prospectus contains estimates and information concerning our industry, including market size and growth rates of the markets in which we participate, that are based on industry publications and reports. This information involves many assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to these estimates. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the data contained in these industry publications and reports. The industry in which we operate is subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors,” that could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in these publications and reports.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately $         million (or approximately $         million if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from us is exercised in full) based on the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share would increase (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 estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $         million, assuming the initial public offering price of $         per share remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

We intend to use the net proceeds we receive from this offering to expand our commercial capabilities in selling and marketing related to our products, to fund our ongoing research and development activities, and for general corporate purposes, including working capital, operating expenses and capital expenditures.

We will have broad discretion over how to use the net proceeds to us from this offering. We intend to invest the net proceeds to us from the offering that are not used as described above in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We do not anticipate declaring or paying, in the foreseeable future, any cash dividends on our capital stock. We intend to retain all available funds and future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business, and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination regarding the declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our financial condition, operating results, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of December 31, 2017:

 

   

on an actual basis;

 

   

on a pro forma basis, giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock, (ii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), and (iv) the conversion of approximately $13.4 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest thereon into      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and a conversation date of             , 2018); and

 

   

on a pro forma as adjusted basis, giving effect to (i) the pro forma adjustments set forth above and (ii) our receipt of estimated net proceeds from the sale of      shares of common stock in the offering at the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

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

 

     As of December 31, 2017  
     Actual      Pro Forma      Pro Forma As
Adjusted
 

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 1,021,897        
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Debt

     6,729,752        

Preferred stock warrant liability

     3,898,944        

Convertible preferred stock, $0.0001 par value 218,044,977 shares authorized, 121,992,497 shares issued and outstanding, actual, and no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

     43,010,137        

Stockholders’ deficit:

        

Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 243,160,120 shares authorized at December 31, 2017; 3,308,193 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2017; 125,300,690 shares issued and outstanding proforma at December 31, 2017

     332        

Additional paid-in capital

     4,038,493        

Accumulated deficit

     (54,266,036      
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ deficit

     (50,227,211      

Total capitalization

   $ (9,025,985      

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ (deficit) equity and total capitalization 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 estimated underwriting discounts and commissions. Similarly, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) each of our pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ (deficit) equity and total capitalization by approximately $         million, assuming

 

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the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us.

If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares of our common stock from us is exercised in full, pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ (deficit) equity, total capitalization and shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017 would be $        , $        , $        , $         and         , respectively.

The number of shares of our common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 3,308,193 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and excludes:

 

   

18,679,643 shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2017 under our Amended and Restated 2006 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended, or 2006 Plan, with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.12 per share;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2018 Equity Incentive Plan, or 2018 Plan, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, as well as any future increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Plan and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2006 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation – Equity Incentive Plans”;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or ESPP, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, and any automatic increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our ESPP;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 42,872 shares of our Series B convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants which, prior to the completion of this offering, are exercisable for 75,027 shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 510,417 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 291,667 shares of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock; and

 

   

     shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants to be issued to the Underwriters in connection with this offering, which will have an exercise price equal to 150% of the initial public offering price per share in this offering.

In addition, unless we specifically state otherwise, the information in this prospectus assumes or gives effect to:

 

   

the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, which will be in effect upon the completion of this offering;

 

   

the conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering;

 

   

the net exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus));

 

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the net exercise of outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share);

 

   

the conversion of outstanding convertible promissory notes issued in February 2018 into      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus);

 

   

that the initial public offering price of our shares of common stock is $         per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus;

 

   

no exercise of the outstanding options described above;

 

   

no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase up to an additional      shares of common stock from us in this offering; and

 

   

a 1-for-     reverse stock split of our common stock to be effected prior to the closing of this offering.

 

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DILUTION

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

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of December 31, 2017 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 our shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock, (ii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), and (iv) the conversion of approximately $13.4 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest thereon into      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and a conversation date of             , 2018).

After giving effect to the sale by us of      shares of common stock in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the mid-point of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of December 31, 2017 would have been $         million, or $         per share. This amount represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value of $         per share to our existing stockholders and an immediate dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value of $         per share to investors purchasing common stock in this offering. We determine dilution by subtracting the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the amount of cash paid by an investor for a share of common stock in this offering. The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

      $

Historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share as of December 31, 2017

   $     

Pro forma increase in net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2017 attributable to the conversion of convertible preferred stock and convertible notes described in the preceding paragraph

     

Pro forma net tangible book value (deficit) per share as of June 30, 2012, before giving effect to this offering

     

Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors participating in this offering

                  
  

 

 

    

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

     
     

 

 

 

Dilution per share to new investors participating in this offering

      $          
     

 

 

 

The dilution information discussed above is illustrative only and may change based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering. A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by $         per share and increase (decrease) the dilution to investors purchasing shares in this offering by $         per share, in each case assuming the number of shares of common stock offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us. Similarly, each increase or decrease of 1.0 million shares in the number of shares of common stock offered by us would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by approximately $         per share and decrease (increase) the dilution to investors purchasing shares in this offering by approximately $         per share, in each case assuming the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions.

 

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If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in full, the pro forma net tangible book value per share, as adjusted to give effect to this offering, would be $         per share, and the dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per share to investors in this offering would be $         per share.

The number of shares of our common stock that will be outstanding after this offering is based on 3,308,193 shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and excludes:

 

   

18,679,643 shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2017 under our 2006 Plan with a weighted-average exercise price of $0.12 per share;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under the 2018 Plan, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, as well as any future increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Plan and any shares underlying outstanding stock awards granted under our 2006 Plan that expire or are repurchased, forfeited, cancelled or withheld, as more fully described in the section titled “Executive Compensation – Equity Incentive Plans”;

 

   

     shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the ESPP, which will become effective once the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective, and any automatic increases in the number of shares of common stock reserved for future issuance under our ESPP;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 42,872 shares of our Series B convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants which, prior to the completion of this offering, are exercisable for 75,027 shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 510,417 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock;

 

   

     shares of our common stock issuable upon the exercise of an outstanding warrant which, prior to the completion of this offering, is exercisable for 291,667 shares of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock; and

 

   

     shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of warrants to be issued to the Underwriters in connection with this offering, which will have an exercise price equal to 150% of the initial public offering price per share in this offering.

To the extent that any outstanding options or warrants are exercised or new options are issued under our stock-based compensation plans, or we issue additional shares of common stock in the future, there will be further dilution to investors participating in this offering. If all outstanding options and warrants under our 2006 Plan, as of December 31, 2017, were exercised, then our existing stockholders, including the holders of these options, would own     % and our investors purchasing shares in this offering would own     % of the total number of shares of common stock outstanding upon the completion of this offering. In addition, we may choose to raise additional capital because of market conditions or strategic considerations, even if we believe that we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. If we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, the issuance of these securities could result in further dilution to our stockholders.

 

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SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017 and the balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016 and 2017 are derived from our audited financial statements that are included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our results in any future period.

You should read the following selected financial data together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. The selected financial data in this section are not intended to replace our financial statements and the related notes and are qualified in their entirety by the financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2016      2017  

Total revenue

   $ 6,792,789      $ 9,505,043  

Operating expenses

     

Cost of revenue

     3,578,692        6,030,512  

Research and development

     11,431,941        12,009,170  

Selling, general and administrative

     12,950,572        14,079,658  

Impairment of property and equipment

     —          604,511  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     27,961,205        32,723,851  

Interest expense

     (470,072      (590,927

Other income

     2,802,797        462,923  

Provision for income taxes

     (12,924      (18,552
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (18,848,615    $ (23,365,364
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss per share:(1)

     

Basic and diluted

   $ (7.30    $ (7.66

Pro forma net loss per share:(1)

     

Basic and diluted

     

 

 

(1)

See Note 2 of the notes to our financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a description of how we compute basic and diluted net income per share attributable to common stockholders and preferred stockholders and pro forma basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

     Year ended December 31,  
     2016      2017  

Balance Sheet Data:

     

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 5,249,620      $ 1,021,897  

Working capital

     1,371,819        (9,512,886

Total assets

     14,787,737        10,145,153  

Debt

     587,131        6,729,752  

Total liabilities

     16,630,182        17,362,227  

Convertible preferred stock

     25,416,527        43,010,137  

Accumulated deficit

     (30,900,672      (54,266,036

Total stockholders’ deficit

     (27,258,972      (50,227,211

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the “Selected Financial Data” and our financial statements and related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. In addition to historical information, this discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from management’s expectations. Factors that could cause such differences are discussed in the sections entitled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors.” We are not undertaking any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other statements we may make in the following discussion or elsewhere in this document even though these statements may be affected by events or circumstances occurring after the forward-looking statements or other statements were made. Therefore, no reader of this document should rely on these statements being current as of any time other than the time at which this document is declared effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Overview

We are a life sciences instrumentation company in the genome analysis space. We develop and market the Saphyr system, a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes, which is known as cytogenetics. Our Saphyr system comprises an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools.

Structural variation refers to large-scale structural differences in the genomic DNA of one individual compared to another. Each structural variation involves the rearrangement or repetition of as few as hundreds to as many as tens of millions of DNA base pairs. Those rearrangements may be insertions, deletions, duplications, inversions or translocations of segments of one or more chromosomes. Structural variations may be inherited or arise spontaneously and many cause genetic disorders and diseases. Until our commercial launch of the Saphyr system in February 2017, we believe no products existed that could more comprehensively and cost- and time-efficiently detect structural variation.

Our Saphyr system comprises an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools. Our customers include researchers and clinicians who seek to uncover and understand the biological or clinical impact of genome variation to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with better clinical tests and new medicines or to replace existing cytogenetic tests that are expensive, slow and labor-intense, with a modern solution that simplifies workflow and reduces costs and that has the potential to significantly increase diagnostic yields across the industry. Our customers also include researchers in non-human segments such as agricultural genomics where they seek to advance their understanding of how structural variation impacts industrial applications of plants and animals.

To date, we have financed our operations principally through private placements of our convertible preferred stock, convertible promissory notes, borrowings from credit facilities and revenue from our commercial operations.

Since our inception, we have raised net equity proceeds of $129.3 million to fund our operations from the issuance of convertible preferred stock and convertible promissory notes. We have incurred losses in each year since our inception. Our net losses were $18.8 million and $23.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $54.3 million.

We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses as we:

 

   

expand our sales and marketing efforts to further commercialize our products;

 

   

continue research and development efforts to improve our existing products;

 

   

hire additional personnel;

 

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enter into collaboration arrangements, if any;

 

   

add operational, financial and management information systems; and

 

   

incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company.

Financial Overview

Revenue

We generate product revenue from sales of our instruments and consumables. We currently sell our products for research use only applications and our customers are primarily laboratories associated with academic and governmental research institutions, as well as pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research companies. Sales of our consumables have consistently increased due to an increasing number of our instruments being installed in the field, all of which require certain of our consumables to run customers’ specific tests. Consumable revenue consists of sales of complete assays which are developed internally by us, plus sales of kits which contain all the elements necessary to run tests.

Other revenue consists of warranty and other service-based revenue.

The following table presents our revenue for the periods indicated:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2016      2017  

Product revenue

   $ 6,153,355      $ 8,769,704  

Other revenue

     639,434        735,339  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 6,792,789      $ 9,505,043  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

The following table reflects total revenue by geography and as a percentage of total revenue, based on the billing address of our customers. North America consists of the United States and Canada. EMEA consists of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific includes China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2016     2017  
     $      %     $      %  

North America

   $ 2,078,987        31   $ 3,801,481        40

EMEA

     1,666,188        24     1,282,897        13

Asia Pacific

     3,047,614        45     4,420,665        47
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total

   $ 6,792,789        100   $ 9,505,043        100
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cost of Revenue

Cost of revenue for our instruments and consumables includes cost from the manufacturer, raw material parts costs and associated freight, shipping and handling costs, contract manufacturer costs, salaries and other personnel costs, overhead and other direct costs related to those sales recognized as product revenue in the period.

Cost of other revenue consists of salaries and other personnel costs and costs related to warranties and other costs of servicing equipment at customer sites.

 

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Research and Development Expenses

Research and development expenses consist of salaries and other personnel costs, stock-based compensation, research supplies, third-party development costs for new products, materials for prototypes, and allocated overhead costs that include facility and other overhead costs. We have made substantial investments in research and development since our inception, and plan to continue to make investments in the future. Our research and development efforts have focused primarily on the tasks required to support development and commercialization of new and existing products. We believe that our continued investment in research and development is essential to our long-term competitive position.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and other personnel costs, and stock-based compensation for our sales and marketing, finance, legal, human resources and general management, as well as professional services, such as legal and accounting services.

Results of Operations

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2017

The following table sets forth our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017:

 

     Year Ended December 31,      Period-to-Period Change  
     2016      2017      $      %  

Product revenue

   $ 6,153,355      $ 8,769,704      $ 2,616,349        42.5

Other revenue

     639,434        735,339        95,905        15.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total revenue

     6,792,789        9,505,043        2,712,254        39.9
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Cost of product revenue

     3,459,771        5,958,537        2,498,766        72.2

Cost of other revenue

     118,921        71,975        (46,946      -39.5

Research and development

     11,431,941        12,009,170        577,229        5.0

Selling, general and administrative

     12,950,572        14,079,658        1,129,086        8.7

Impairment of property and equipment

     —          604,511        604,511        N/A  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     27,961,205        32,723,851        4,762,646        17.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (21,168,416      (23,218,808      (2,050,392      9.7

Interest expense

     (470,072      (590,927      (120,855      -25.7

Change in fair value of preferred stock warrants and expirations

     3,006,082        751,933        (2,254,149      -75.0

Other expense

     (203,285      (289,010      (85,725      -42.2
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss before income taxes

     (18,835,691      (23,346,812      (4,511,121      23.9

Provision for income taxes

     (12,924      (18,552      (5,628      43.5
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (18,848,615    $ (23,365,364    $ 4,516,749        24.0
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Revenue

Revenue increased by $2.7 million, or 39.9% to $9.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $6.8 million for the same period in 2016. Average sales prices of instruments and consumables increased in the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared with the year ended December 31, 2016 as we began selling our new Saphyr system, which includes higher priced instruments and consumables, in February 2017. The increase in product revenue of $2.6 million was primarily due to the sale of more and higher priced instruments in the year ended December 31, 2017 and the sale of more and, on average, higher priced consumables. The increase in other revenue of $0.1 million was due to increased warranty revenues.

Cost of Revenue

Cost of product revenue increased by $2.5 million, or 72.2%, to $6.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to $3.5 million for the same period in 2016. The increase was primarily due to increased sales of instruments and consumables and write-downs of Irys instruments (the predecessor to our Saphyr instrument) of $0.4 million included in inventory to net realizable value during 2017. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we also incurred higher costs related to the manufacturing of our instruments due to purchase quantities at lower volumes on a per-batch basis. We expect the cost of product revenue per instrument to decrease in future periods as we benefit from economies of scale and modifications to the components and assembly over time. Cost of revenues could adversely be affected if we are unable to sell our remaining Irys instruments at the current carrying amount of $1.3 million.

Research and Development Expenses

Research and development expenses were relatively consistent at $11.4 million and $12.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. During 2017, we began to transition our efforts from research and development to the commercialization of our products. As part of commercialization effort we reduced headcount related to research and development personnel during the second half of 2017. We expect our research and development expenses will be lower in the near term due to this transition.

Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

Selling, general and administrative expenses were $13.0 million and $14.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. The increase in selling, general and administrative expenses during this period of $1.1 million was primarily related to increases in marketing expense due to the launch of Saphyr, our new product platform, in February 2017 and increased headcount for customer support services. We expect selling, general and administrative expenses to increase in future periods as the number of sales, technical support and marketing and administrative personnel grows and we continue to broaden our customer base and grow our business. We also expect to incur additional expenses as a public company, including expenses related to compliance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and The Nasdaq Stock Market, additional insurance expenses, and expenses related to investor relations activities and other administrative and professional services.

Impairment of Property and Equipment

We did not recognize any impairment losses during the year ended December 31, 2016. During the year ended December 31, 2017, we recognized an impairment loss of $0.6 million related to our Irys instruments at customer sites as the carrying amount of the assets were determined to be in excess of the assets fair value.

Interest Expense

Interest expense was relatively consistent with $0.5 million and $0.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Change in Fair Value of Preferred Stock Warrants

Change in fair value of preferred stock warrants was $3.0 million and $0.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. The preferred stock warrants are subject to remeasurement at each reporting period, with changes in fair value recorded in the statement of operations.

 

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Other Expense

Other expense was relatively consistent with $0.2 million and $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Since our inception, we have incurred net losses and negative cash flows from operations. We incurred net losses of $18.8 million and $23.4 million, and used $23.5 million, and $20.8 million of cash from our operating activities for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we had an accumulated deficit of $54.3 million and cash and cash equivalents of $1.0 million.

Sources of Liquidity

To date, we have financed our operations principally through private placements of our convertible preferred stock, borrowings from credit facilities and revenue from our commercial operations.

Preferred stock financings

As of December 31, 2017, we had raised approximately $129.3 million in net equity proceeds through sales of our preferred stock, including the sale of 49,819,157 shares of our Series D and D-1 convertible preferred stock and warrants to purchase 31,672,817 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock, during the year ended December 31, 2016 at a purchase price of $0.48 per share for net proceeds of $23.5 million.

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we also issued 36,974,586 shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock at a purchase price of $0.48 per share for net proceeds of $17.6 million.

See Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of the terms and provisions of our Series D and Series D-1 Preferred Stock issued in 2016 and 2017.

Loan facility    

On March 8, 2016, we entered into a new term Loan and Security Agreement with Western Alliance Bank, or the Western Alliance LSA, for $7.0 million. The loan proceeds were used to repay the outstanding $5.0 million loan with Square 1 Bank, as required by the amended Loan and Security agreement between Square 1 Bank and us.

We received a notice of default from Western Alliance Bank notifying us that we were in default as of December 31, 2017, as we had failed to secure at least $15.0 million from the sale or issuance of our equity securities or subordinated debt as set forth in the amended Western Alliance LSA. Based on the loan default notice we determined to reclassify the total loan balance of approximately $6.7 million to current liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2017, as the loan could be called at any time by Western Alliance Bank.

In February 2018, the Western Alliance LSA was amended requiring the Company to secure $21.0 million in funding prior to June 30, 2018. As part of the amendment, Western Alliance Bank agreed to forbear from exercising any of its default remedies set forth in the LSA as a result of our loan default.

See Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements for a discussion of terms and provisions to the Western Alliance LSA.

Note purchase agreement

On February 9, 2018, we entered into a Note Purchase Agreement with various investors, which included related parties, or the Investors, pursuant to which we agreed to sell the Investors 8% Convertible Promissory Notes, or the Convertible Notes, in the original principal amount up to approximately $16.0 million. On April 2, 2018, we amended the Note Purchase Agreement to, among other things, increase the principal amount available for issuance under the Note Purchase Agreement to approximately $18.4 million. The Convertible Notes have a maturity date of September 30, 2018 and are convertible either into our common stock or preferred stock, dependent on the conversion events as described in Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

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As of May 1, 2018, the Company had received proceeds of approximately $13.4 million from the issuance of the Convertible Notes.

Cash Flows

The following table sets forth the cash flow from operating, investing and financing activities for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2016      2017  

Net cash provided by (used in):

     

Operating activities

   $ (23,496,358    $ (20,817,798

Investing activities

     (1,349,853      (1,017,830

Financing activities

     25,431,061        17,607,905  

 

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2016 and 2017

Operating Activities

We derive cash flows from operations primarily from the sale of our products and services. Our cash flows from operating activities are also significantly influenced by our use of cash for operating expenses to support the growth of our business. We have historically experienced negative cash flows from operating activities as we have developed our technology, expanded our business and built our infrastructure and this may continue in the future.

Net cash used in operating activities was $23.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to $20.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in cash used in operating activities of $2.7 million was primarily the result of increased revenues.

Investing Activities

Historically, our primary investing activities have consisted of capital expenditures for the purchase of capital equipment to support our expanding infrastructure. We expect to continue to incur additional costs for capital expenditures related to these efforts in future periods.

Net cash used in investing activities was $1.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to $1.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in cash used in investing activities of $0.4 million was the result of a decrease in the purchase of property and equipment in 2017.

Financing Activities

Historically, we have financed our operations principally through private placements of our convertible preferred stock and promissory notes and borrowings from credit facilities, as well as gross profits from our commercial operations.

Net cash provided by financing activities was $25.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2016 as compared to $17.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2017. The decrease in cash provided by financing activities of $7.8 million was the result of the issuance of a smaller aggregate amount of convertible preferred stock in 2017 as compared to 2016.

Capital Resources

We have not achieved profitability since our inception, and we expect to continue to incur net losses in the future. We also expect that our operating expenses will increase as we continue to increase our marketing efforts to drive adoption of our commercial products. Additionally, as a public company, we will incur significant audit, legal and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. Our liquidity requirements have historically consisted, and we expect that they will continue to consist, of sales and marketing expenses, research and development expenses, working capital, debt service and general corporate expenses.

 

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We believe that the net proceeds from this offering, together with our cash generated from commercial sales and our current cash and cash equivalents, including the proceeds from our recent financings, will be sufficient to meet our anticipated operating cash requirements for at least the next 18 months. In the future, we expect our operating and capital expenditures to increase as we increase headcount, expand our sales and marketing activities and grow our customer base. Our estimates of the period of time through which our financial resources will be adequate to support our operations and the costs to support research and development and our sales and marketing activities are forward-looking statements and involve risks and uncertainties and actual results could vary materially and negatively as a result of a number of factors, including the factors discussed in the section “Risk Factors” of this prospectus. We have based our estimates on assumptions that may prove to be wrong and we could utilize our available capital resources sooner than we currently expect. Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

   

market acceptance of our products;

 

   

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

 

   

the cost of our research and development activities; and

 

   

the effect of competing technological and market developments.

We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain additional funds on acceptable terms, or at all. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity or equity-linked securities, our stockholders may experience dilution. Future debt financing, if available, may involve covenants restricting our operations or our ability to incur additional debt. Any debt or equity financing that we raise may contain terms that are not favorable to us or our stockholders. If we do not have or are not able to obtain sufficient funds, we may have to reduce our commercialization efforts or delay our development of new products. We also may have to reduce marketing, customer support or other resources devoted to our products or cease operations

Contractual Obligations

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

 

     Payment Due by Period  

Contractual Obligations

   Total      Less than 1
year
     1-3 years      3-5 years      After 5 years  

Operating leases

   $ 2,591,952      $ 826,884      $ 1,765,068      $ —        $ —    

Principal payments, interest and end of term fees on loan

     8,426,862        8,426,862        —          —          —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
   $ 11,018,814      $ 9,253,746      $ 1,765,068      $ —        $ —    
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Our operating lease obligations primarily relate to leases for our current headquarters in San Diego, California.

We also have ongoing obligations related to license agreements which contain immaterial minimum annual payments that are credited against the actual royalty expense, which are not included in the table above.

Purchase orders or contracts for the purchase of supplies and other goods and services are not included in the table above. We have a contractual commitment with a supplier to purchase $0.1 million of products each quarter until the first quarter of 2019. We are not able to determine the aggregate amount of other such purchase orders that represent contractual obligations, as purchase orders may represent authorizations to purchase rather than binding agreements. Our purchase orders are based on our current procurement or development needs and are fulfilled by our vendors within short time horizons.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

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

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

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

 

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While our significant accounting policies are more fully described in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus, we believe that the following accounting policies are the most critical for fully understanding and evaluating our financial condition and results of operations.

Revenue Recognition

Product Revenue

Product revenue represents the sale of our instruments and consumables to third parties. Timing of revenue recognition on instrument sales is based upon when delivery has occurred, the price is fixed or determinable, and collectability is reasonable assured. Deferred revenue represents amounts received in advance for sale of instruments or unfulfilled service commitments.

Other Revenue

Other revenue includes revenue from extended service contracts and other services that may be performed. Revenue for extended warranty contracts is recognized ratably over the service period. Revenue for other services is generally recognized based on proportional performance of the contract, when the Company’s ability to complete project requirements is reasonably assured. Most of these services are completed in a short period of time from the receipt of the customer’s order. When significant risk exists in the Company’s ability to fulfill project requirements, revenue is recognized upon completion of the contract.

Multiple Element Arrangements

We regularly enter into contracts where revenue is derived from multiple deliverables, including products or services. These contracts typically include an instrument, consumables, and extended service contracts. Revenue recognition for contracts with multiple deliverables is based on the individual units of accounting determined to exist in the contract. A delivered item is considered a separate unit of accounting when the delivered item has value to the customer on a stand-alone basis. Items are considered to have stand-alone value when they are sold separately by any vendor or when the customer could resell the item on a stand-alone basis.

For transactions with multiple deliverables, consideration is allocated at the inception of the contract to all deliverables based on their relative selling price. The relative selling price for each deliverable is determined using vendor-specific objective evidence, or VSOE, of selling price or third-party evidence of selling price if VSOE does not exist. If neither VSOE nor third-party evidence exists, we use our best estimate of the selling price using average selling prices over an appropriate period coupled with an assessment of current market conditions. If the product or service has no history of sales or if the sales volume is not sufficient, we consider our approved standard prices adjusted for applicable discounts.

In order to establish VSOE of selling price, we must regularly sell the product or service on a standalone basis with a substantial majority priced within a relatively narrow range. In cases where there is not a sufficient number of standalone sales and VSOE of selling price cannot be determined, then we utilize third-party evidence to establish selling price.

Distributor Transactions

In certain markets, we sell products and provides services to customers through distributors that specialize in life sciences products. In cases where the product is delivered to a distributor, revenue recognition generally occurs when title transfers to the distributor. The terms of sales transactions through distributors are generally consistent with the terms of direct sales to customers, except the distributors do not require our services to install the instrument at the end customer and perform the services for the customer that are beyond our standard warranty in the first year following the sale. These transactions are accounted for in accordance with our revenue recognition policy described herein.

Stock-Based Compensation Expense

Stock-based compensation expense represents the cost of the grant date fair value of employee stock option grants recognized over the requisite service period of the awards (usually the vesting period) on a straight- line basis. We estimate the fair value of stock option grants using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model.

 

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The Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires the use of subjective assumptions, including the risk- free interest rate, the expected stock price volatility, the expected term of stock options, the expected dividend yield and the fair value of the underlying common stock on the date of grant. See Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for information concerning certain of the specific assumptions we used in applying the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the estimated fair value of our stock options granted in the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017.

Determination of the Fair Value of Common Stock

We are required to estimate the fair value of the common stock underlying our stock-based awards when performing the fair value calculations using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. Because our common stock is not currently publicly traded, the fair value of the common stock underlying our stock-based awards has been determined on each grant date by our board of directors, with input from management, considering our most recently available third-party valuation of common shares. All options to purchase shares of our common stock are intended to be granted with an exercise price per share no less than the fair value per share of our common stock underlying those options on the date of grant, based on the information known to us on the date of grant.

The third-party valuations of our common stock were performed using methodologies, approaches and assumptions consistent with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Audit and Accounting Practice Aid Series: Valuation of Privately Held Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation. In addition, our board of directors considered various objective and subjective factors to determine the fair value of our common stock, including:

 

   

the prices of our convertible preferred stock sold to investors in arm’s length transactions;

 

   

the rights, preferences and privileges of our convertible preferred stock as compared to those of our common stock, including the liquidation preferences of our convertible preferred stock;

 

   

our results of operations and financial position;

 

   

the composition of, and changes to, our management team and board of directors;

 

   

the lack of liquidity of our common stock as a private company;

 

   

the material risks related to our business and industry;

 

   

external market conditions affecting the life sciences and biotechnology industry sectors;

 

   

U.S. and global economic conditions;

 

   

the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event for the holders of our common stock, such as an initial public offering, or IPO, or a sale of our company, given prevailing market conditions; and

 

   

the market value and volatility of comparable companies.

Following the closing of this offering, the fair value of our common stock will be the closing price of our common stock on the date of the grant.

The fair value of the underlying preferred stock was determined using an Option Pricing Method, or OPM. Under the OPM, once the fair market value of the enterprise is established, shares are valued by creating a series of call options with exercise prices based on the liquidation preference and conversion behavior of the different classes of equity. Accordingly, the aggregate equity value is allocated to each of the classes of equity shares outstanding. The Company utilizes both the market and income approach to establish the fair market value of the enterprise.

Based on the assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), the intrinsic value of stock options outstanding as of                      December 31, 2017 would have been $         million, of which $         million and $         million would relate to stock options that were vested and unvested, respectively, at that date.

Preferred Stock Warrant Liability

 

 

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As of December 31, 2016, and 2017, we had outstanding warrants to purchase preferred stock of 36,676,737 and 36,603,557, respectively. As of December 31, 2017, we had outstanding warrants to purchase 42,872 shares of Series B convertible preferred stock, 4,085,784 shares of Series B-1 convertible preferred stock, 32,183,234 shares of Series D convertible preferred stock and 291,667 shares of Series D-1 convertible preferred stock. See Note 8 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for information concerning preferred stock warrant issuances during the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2017.

The warrants to purchase preferred stock are valued at each reporting period using the Black- Scholes-Merton model. This valuation includes observable inputs such as risk-free rate, as well as unobservable inputs for assumed volatility, the expected life of the warrants, and the fair value of the underlying preferred stock. See Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for information concerning certain of the specific assumptions we used in applying the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the estimated fair value of our preferred stock warrants as of December 31, 2016 and 2017. Following the closing of this offering, 35,683,574 of the outstanding warrants will be subject to a mandatory net exercise and be converted to common stock and 919,983 of the outstanding warrants will convert into common stock warrants.

JOBS Act

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act. Under the JOBS Act, an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This provision allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of new or revised accounting standards that have different transition dates for public and private companies until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to use this extended transition period. As a result of this election, our timeline to comply with these standards will in many cases be delayed as compared to other public companies that are not eligible to take advantage of this election or have not made this election. Therefore, our financial statements may not be comparable to those of companies that comply with the public company effective dates for these standards.

For so long as we are an emerging growth company we expect that:

 

   

we will present only two years of audited consolidated financial statements, plus unaudited consolidated condensed financial statements for any interim period, and related management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations in our initial registration statement;

 

   

we will avail ourselves of the exemption from the requirement to obtain an attestation and report from our auditors on the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act;

 

   

we will avail ourselves of the extended transition periods available to emerging growth companies under the JOBS Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards; and

 

   

we will provide less extensive disclosure about our executive compensation arrangements.

We will remain an emerging growth company for up to five years, although we will cease to be an “emerging growth company” upon the earliest of: (1) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of this offering, (2) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual revenues are $1.07 billion or more, (3) the date on which we have, during the previous rolling three-year period, issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities, and (4) the date on which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” as defined in the Exchange Act.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for information concerning recent accounting pronouncements.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

The market risk inherent in our financial instruments and in our financial position represents the potential loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates. As of December 31, 2017, we had $1.0 million in cash and cash equivalents, consisting of non-interest and interest-bearing bank accounts. Our primary exposure to market risk is interest rate sensitivity, which is affected by changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates. Due to the short-term, low-risk profile of our bank accounts, an immediate 100 basis point change in interest rates would not have a material effect on the fair market value of our cash equivalents.

 

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Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Pursuant to Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, commencing the year following our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC, our management will be required to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. To comply with the requirements of being a reporting company under the Exchange Act, we will need to implement additional financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures and hire additional accounting and finance staff, as well as potentially upgrade our information technology systems.

 

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BUSINESS

Overview

We are a life sciences instrumentation company in the genome analysis space. We develop and market the Saphyr system, a platform for ultra-sensitive and ultra-specific structural variation detection that enables researchers and clinicians to accelerate the search for new diagnostics and therapeutic targets and to streamline the study of changes in chromosomes, which is known as cytogenetics. Our Saphyr system comprises an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools.

Structural variation refers to large-scale structural differences in the genomic DNA of one individual compared to another. Each structural variation involves the rearrangement or repetition of as few as hundreds to as many as tens of millions of DNA base pairs. Those rearrangements may be insertions, deletions, duplications, inversions or translocations of segments of one or more chromosomes. Structural variations may be inherited or arise spontaneously, and many cause genetic disorders and diseases. Until our commercial launch of the Saphyr system in February 2017, we believe no products existed that could more comprehensively and cost- and time-efficiently detect structural variation.

Our Saphyr system comprises an instrument, chip consumables, reagents and a suite of data analysis tools. Our customers include researchers and clinicians who seek to uncover and understand the biological or clinical impact of genome variation to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with better clinical tests and new medicines or to replace existing cytogenetic tests that are expensive, slow and labor-intense, with a modern solution that simplifies workflow and reduces costs and that has the potential to significantly increase diagnostic yields across the industry. Our customers also include researchers in non-human segments such as agricultural genomics where they seek to advance their understanding of how structural variation impacts industrial applications of plants and animals. We have established relationships with key opinion leaders in genomics research and clinical applications, including rare diseases and oncology, and our installed base of over 90 systems made up of Saphyr and its predecessor system includes some of the world’s most prominent clinical, translational research, basic research, academic and government institutions as well as leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. Examples include Children’s National Health System, DuPont Pioneer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Genentech, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Pennsylvania State University and Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Approximately 6,000 high throughput sequencers are currently installed worldwide. These sequencers are developed and sold almost entirely by Illumina and are owned by an estimated 3,000 unique customers. Sequencing is very good at detecting genome differences involving just a few base pairs or single-nucleotide variations, but sequencing including next-generation sequencing, or NGS, cannot reliably detect the larger structural variations that our Saphyr system can detect. Therefore, Saphyr is being adopted alongside this installed base of sequencers as a complement that gives users the ability to see a much wider scope of genome variation than ever before.

The Saphyr system is also beginning to be adopted by cytogenetics labs, which rely on existing methods such as karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization, or FISH, and microarrays for clinical tests and research that look at chromosomal structure, location and function in cells. We estimate that approximately 2,500 clinical cytogenetics labs exist worldwide. We believe Saphyr makes clinical testing for structural variations simpler, higher throughput, more cost effective and more scalable. In addition, we believe that Saphyr makes it easier for cytogenetic labs to accommodate new content when the research community validates newly discovered structural variation-based biomarkers for clinical diagnostics.

Saphyr and its predecessor system, which we collectively refer to as our system in this prospectus, have been cited by researchers and clinicians in approximately 130 publications covering structural variations in areas of high unmet medical need and research interest, such as rare and undiagnosed pediatric diseases, muscular diseases, developmental delays and disorders, prostate cancer and leukemia.

Industry Background

Genome analysis is the process of extracting biological information from DNA. DNA is the code that is found in all living cells and determines the characteristics and health of all living organisms. Although each organism’s DNA order is unique, all DNA is composed of the same four nucleotides that come in pairs, which are referred to as base pairs. The human genome is composed of six billion of these base pairs (three billion of which are the maternal copy and three billion of which are the paternal copy of the genome), distributed across 23 pairs of chromosomes ranging in size from approximately 50 million to approximately 250 million base pairs. Genome variation is defined as at least one base pair differing in a comparison of sequence against a reference standard and can be as large as tens of millions of base pairs.

 

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It had long been believed by the scientific community that all problems in genome analysis could be addressed by DNA sequencing, which is a method of determining the precise order of the bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T) in a genome. Many in the industry felt that the only bottlenecks for sequencing companies to address were the cost per genome and the throughput of the sequencers. If these issues could be addressed, it was generally believed that sequencing would usher in a new wave of medical-grade genome analysis that would give rise to an abundance of highly impactful discoveries in medicine. These discoveries would lead to novel therapies and patient management pathways driven by exquisitely specific and sensitive diagnostic tests.

In recent years, however, it has become evident that sequencing is not completely fulfilling the needs of researchers and clinicians. For example, after 10 years with next-generation sequencing in use, the diagnostic yields of the leading genetic testing laboratories in the world continue to hover around only 50%, which is where they have been for at least two decades, meaning that only half of patients receive a confirmed pathogenic diagnosis. Researchers and clinicians now agree that despite major advances in the speed and cost-effectiveness of sequencing, it fails to reliably detect structural variations, which represent an entire class of genome variation.

Structural variation is one of the most biologically important aspects of the human genome. It is the underlying driver of many known human diseases, including numerous genetic disorders, inherited diseases and cancer. Structural variations occur when relatively large groups of base pairs change their existence or position in the genome relative to a normal standard. Structural variations can be as small as a few hundred base pairs or as large as tens of millions of base pairs and can be confined to one chromosome or can unfold between chromosomes. The changes can be rearrangements in location, order or orientation, and they can involve the insertion, deletion or duplication of entire blocks of base pairs. As an example of the importance of structural variations, thousands of base pairs can be rearranged and result in the ABL gene from one chromosome joining the BCR gene on an entirely different chromosome to form BCR-ABL, an oncogenic fusion gene which causes certain leukemias.

We believe the available methods to detect structural variations for research and clinical applications, other than Saphyr, are antiquated and cumbersome and can only detect a small proportion of the structural variations across an entire genome. These methods therefore have very limited utility in population research studies that seek to discover new structural variations to explain pathology. Without additional tools, researchers and clinicians cannot comprehensively study the genome, which will ultimately result in the failure of genomics to deliver on its full promise of new therapies and diagnostics.

The Saphyr system provides a solution for comprehensive structural variation analysis. The Saphyr system is a proprietary, sample-to-result platform based on physical mapping of the genome, which is the process of assigning the chromosomal location, order and orientation of the functional elements of the genome. We believe that Saphyr is the only product capable of detecting structural variations at high sensitivity and specificity with a workflow that is cost-effective and time-efficient. A complete and accurate physical map of the genome enables the user to much more readily and systematically detect the structural variations that sequencing and cytogenetics technologies miss. Our mapping makes it possible for researchers and clinicians to more comprehensively detect structural variations and measure the complete scope of genome variation present in their study populations.

Market Opportunity

According to Research and Markets, the worldwide market for genomics products and services is expected to reach approximately $23.9 billion by 2022, up from approximately $14.7 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10.2%. We believe that the market opportunity is predominantly split among three regions: North America, Europe and Asia. Within Asia, one of the fastest growing genomics markets is China, where adoption of genome analysis technology has been growing at approximately 20% per year.

The two segments of the genomics market that are driving the uptake of our product are:

 

   

Sequencing for Discovery Research. In discovery research across patient cohorts, sequencing is primarily used to find single nucleotide variations responsible for disease or therapeutic response. Sequencing alone, however, is significantly limited due to its inability to reveal structural variations. Our Saphyr system has been expanding this market segment by complementing sequencing to expand the scope of genome variation that can be analyzed in a study and achieve a more comprehensive view of the genome.

 

   

Cytogenetics. To provide a clinical diagnosis, cytogenetic tests detect known variations that are linked to specific diseases or therapeutic responses. The technologies used for detecting structural variations are expensive and involve cumbersome workflows with relatively limited ability to scale to higher volumes or more complex testing panels. Sequencers tend not to be used for cytogenetics due to their inability to reliably detect structural variations. Cytogenetics laboratories are beginning to adopt Saphyr as a more effective and efficient approach to finding the structural variations relevant to cytogenetics. For this segment, Saphyr is used alone to provide comprehensive detection of structural variations and make diagnostic calls without the need for any sequencing or cytogenetic technology.

 

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We believe that the discovery research and cytogenetics segments together comprise an addressable opportunity for us to sell up to approximately 8,500 Saphyr systems, representing a current total instrument market opportunity of approximately $2.1 billion. Importantly, we expect this market opportunity to expand at the rate of adoption of new high throughput sequencers which we estimate is over 15% per year. While we do not expect the number of cytogenetics labs to increase significantly, we do expect our growth in this market to be driven by conversion of traditional cytogenetics methodologies to our Saphyr system.

In addition to the instrument sales opportunity, Saphyr instruments generate recurring revenue from chip consumables that are used on a per-sample basis. We believe each Saphyr instrument has the potential to create recurring revenue in a range of approximately $75,000 to approximately $150,000 per year, suggesting a potential annual recurring revenue opportunity of approximately $0.6 billion to approximately $1.3 billion.

Therefore, we believe that our currently addressable portion of the genome analysis market is estimated to be between $2.7 billion and $3.4 billion.

Existing Technologies and Their Limitations

Existing technologies fail to adequately address the need for structural variation detection because they do not overcome the inherent complexity of the genome or they are not capable of providing a cost-effective, scalable solution to meet the increasing demands of genomics research and clinical applications.

The Genome Is Complex

Genome composition itself makes the measurement of genome structure and structural variation inherently difficult. Genome sequence is built from combinations of only the A, G, C and T nucleotides. The nucleotides have a natural pairing system in which A pairs with T and G pairs with C. Each pair of nucleotides is referred to as a base pair. In humans, the approximately six billion base pairs are distributed across 23 pairs of chromosomes. A chromosome is an organizational unit that biology has evolved to compartmentalize genomic information. One set of 23 chromosomes (three billion base pairs) is inherited from each parent. Within each chromosome, the base pairs are organized into functional elements such as genes, which code for protein production, and other elements that regulate how and when the genes are expressed for protein production.

The six billion base pairs that make up the human genome cannot be read by any existing technology in a simple linear, contiguous fashion. Due in part to only four unique nucleotides being available to write the entire genetic code, it is very common for stretches of sequence to be identical either within the same chromosome or between chromosomes. As much as two-thirds of the human genome is made up of repetitive DNA sequences. This repetition tends to cause structural variations to be flanked by sequences that are identical to sequences in other parts of the genome which further complicates structural variation detection.

The Genome Orchestrates Life and Genome Structure Is Key

Genome structure is the way in which the functional elements are organized. Namely, the location on each chromosome where the gene or functional regulatory elements are found, what order and orientation they are in and how many of each element are present. This organization is an essential part of the instructions that the organism uses in every one of its cells to develop and differentiate and to react and respond to its environment over its lifetime. When this critical location, order, orientation or quantity vary, it is termed structural variation.

Even though both single nucleotide variation and structural variation are each very common, a much larger number of variant nucleotides in the average human genome are found in structural variations as compared to single nucleotide variations. A recent study showed that 30 million base pairs, on average, in the human genome are part of structural variations while only 10 million are single nucleotide variations. Most variations are inconsequential and make up the background variation responsible for the diversity of life. Over time, these variations can randomly affect genes and proteins which, through natural selection, drive diversity and evolution across species and diversity within them. Variations can also cause disease.

 

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Relative to single nucleotide variations, structural variations are much more apt to be profoundly disruptive. They often cause a tectonic shift in the genome. These genomic shifts can have devastating effects on the health of a human. Examples where structural variations caused a disruption of genes resulting in disease include:

 

   

dystrophin gene variation – structural variation disrupting dystrophin production that is found in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy;

 

   

9pminus variation – deletion found in a rare developmental syndrome in children;

 

   

TMPRSS2-ERG fusion – gene fusion found in prostate cancer;

 

   

EML4-ALK fusion – gene fusion found in lung cancer; and

 

   

BCR-ABL fusion (Philadelphia chromosome) – gene fusion found in leukemias such as chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myelogenous leukemia.

It is important to detect these structural variations and the potentially thousands of other structural variations in each individual. Sequencing and cytogenetics simply do not elucidate comprehensive structural variations in a systematic and cost- and time-efficient manner. Most structural variations found to date that have been implicated in disease, such as those listed above, were discovered through laborious, expensive, unindustrialized and non-comprehensive methods over the course of many years. Thousands of additional important structural variations are believed to exist and are expected to be found with a systematic structural variation detection tool such as our Saphyr.

The Limitations of Sequencing

As the first complete draft of the human genome was being assembled in 2000, the belief arose that most questions in genome analysis could be addressed by sequencing. Over the course of over 15 years, sequencing proliferated across the entire genome analysis community with Illumina becoming the clear sequencing industry leader. As more sequencing data emerged, it became apparent that sequencing alone would not adequately elucidate the causes of human disease. The promise of sequencing was not fully delivered due to sequencing’s inability to address the complexities of genome composition.

Nearly all genome sequencing, including next-generation sequencing, uses a method called sequencing by synthesis. Sequencing by synthesis is an in-vitro process for synthesizing a copy of DNA, one base at a time in a way that makes it possible to measure the identity of each base as it is incorporated into the growing DNA copy. Sequencing by synthesis involves cutting genomic DNA into small pieces of a few hundred base pairs each, amplifying these pieces many times and anchoring them to a solid support where they are copied by a polymerase using fluorescently labeled bases. These copies are called sequencing reads. Illumina, which is the world leader in next-generation sequencing technology, markets systems that provide average read lengths that are 100 to 300 base pairs long. These short reads are matched by computer programs to a reference genome in a process called alignment. The reference is meant to represent the “standard” human genome in a normal, non-diseased state. It is the result of billions of dollars spent on the Human Genome Project and other initiatives begun in the late 1990s and early 2000s to put together the first complete set of human DNA code. When a patient’s genome is sequenced today, the short reads are compared against the reference as a template. Using this approach, sequencing attempts to reconstruct, or “resequence,” the genome and infer genome variations.

The read lengths typical for next-generation sequencing are often too short to determine the right location and orientation of a reading frame in the genome because many of the reads from one chromosome are identical to reads from either another chromosome or even another location on the same chromosome. When reads are indistinguishable from one another, computations cannot be performed to place the reads in the correct location in the genome.

The other significant limitation with next-generation sequencing is that the genome fragments used as templates in the copying process are also very short. This fragmentation is a result of the methods used for DNA isolation from the cell and the use of polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. These short lengths disconnect and destroy most of the structural information of the original genome and make next-generation sequencing unable to reliably detect genomic variations larger than a few hundred base pairs.

If the sequencing reads were accurate, on the order of hundreds of thousands of base pairs long and from templates that were even longer, they would overcome the redundancy of genome composition and every read would have a unique position in the genome. It would then be possible to assemble a structurally accurate picture of the genome. Accurate structural variation would be revealed upon comparing structurally accurate assemblies of genomes across a population to determine the structural changes that are driving the observed pathology or physiology.

 

 

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The recognition of the need for greater lengths of sequence reads to determine genome structure, birthed the so-called long-read sequencing submarket. Because of the need for long-read sequencing, Pacific Biosciences of California developed a system that uses another alternative form of sequencing by synthesis, while Oxford Nanopore Technologies developed a system that uses nanopore technology. These systems provide users with average read lengths in the tens of thousands of base pairs. However, these read lengths have proven not to be long enough to reliably and comprehensively detect structural variations. Pacific Biosciences’ polymerases cannot regularly produce reads that are the necessary hundreds of thousands of base pairs in length. In addition, Oxford Nanopore’s system has difficulty reliably feeding molecules that are, on average, hundreds of thousands of base pairs in length through each nanopore. The time and cost of providing a comprehensive whole genome analysis of a patient in a clinical setting is prohibitive when using these longer-read technologies.

In summary, all existing sequencing technologies, whether short or long, do no provide a solution for integrating structural variation into patient diagnosis and management.

The Limitations of Cytogenetics

Cytogenetics is the study of chromosomal structure and how structural variations impact health. The field has historically relied on karyotyping, FISH and more recently, microarrays. These methods each can detect some structural variations, but they are all inadequate solutions for high volume and low cost genetic testing for structural variations and none is an approach that can comprehensively detect structural variations with the ultra-high sensitivity and ultra-high specificity of the Saphyr system.

Karyotyping

Karyotyping is the gross optical examination of the chromosomes using a microscope. It is a laboratory technique, modernized in the 1960s, whereby the chromosomes from one cell are stained and visualized by a pathologist or technician to investigate the total number and structure of chromosomes.

Karyotyping has many limitations. It is cell culture dependent and therefore requires live and actively dividing cells. Karyotyping has extremely low resolution and is therefore only sensitive for very large structural variations that are unambiguous to identify. Given that chromosomes are being directly viewed on a slide by a pathologist with a microscope, resolution tends to be limited to structural events that are larger than five million base pairs. When karyotyping is used to diagnose unknown genetic disease, only about 5% of karyotyping tests result in a confirmed pathogenic finding. The test is costly, and its results are subject to each pathologist’s interpretation which introduces variability in diagnostic calls and makes the methodology not amenable to automation.

FISH

FISH is a molecular cytogenetic technique that is used to detect chromosomal aberrations. FISH is based on the idea of using a specifically developed probe to detect a particular gene abnormality that is suspected to be in the genome. When the probe finds targeted variation, it binds to it and generates a fluorescent signal which is observed with a fluorescence microscope.

Several characteristics of FISH limit its productivity and efficiency for use in structural variation detection. Like karyotyping, it is cell culture dependent and therefore requires live and actively dividing cells. Also, FISH is limited to known targets and cannot be used for discovery. Every FISH test performed needs to be chosen to look for a specific genetic marker that the clinician anticipates may be found based on the clinical symptoms of the patient. In addition, the test results can be ambiguous and inconclusive, and reproducibility and variability among users can be a significant issue. Like karyotyping, FISH’s diagnostic yield is very low when used to diagnose unknown genetic disease with only an estimated 7% of FISH providing a confirmed pathogenic finding. In addition, FISH is expensive, especially for the limited amount of information that it provides.

Microarrays

Chromosomal microarrays and SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) arrays are tests consisting of slides that contain thousands of spots of DNA fragments that bind to the DNA of the sample. Microarrays detect gains and losses of specifically chosen DNA sequence and can also infer gene expression levels. Microarrays interrogate thousands of genes simultaneously that are known to be associated with presumed genetic disorders of interest to the user. Probe coverage is typically highly focused in regions of known clinical significance.

 

 

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Microarrays have limited utility as a diagnostic tool as they are only useful when there are gains and losses of base pairs within the sample’s genome that are specific to the probes that are populated on the array. In addition, microarrays have low resolution as they cannot reliably detect structural variants smaller than 50,000 base pairs. Also, the diagnostic yield of microarrays is low. Only an estimated 20% of microarray tests provide a confirmed pathogenic finding when used to diagnose unknown genetic disease.

Our Solution

Our approach to measuring genome structure and structural variation is novel and highly differentiated. Most efforts in the genomic industry to address structural variation have been based on taking sequencing by synthesis as the starting point and attempting to overcome its deficiencies to make it applicable to structural variation analysis. In contrast, the Saphyr system directly observes extremely long genomic DNA without any amplification to construct a physical map that accurately assigns the chromosomal location, order, orientation and quantity of all the genome’s functional elements. Our solution is built upon four key elements:

 

   

Extremely long molecules for analysis. Structural accuracy can only come from analysis of extremely long chromosomal fragments. The Saphyr system is capable of analyzing single molecules that are on average approximately 250,000 base pairs long. Such fragments will contain enough unique sequence information that they are distinguishable from other fragments. These lengths are over 1,000 times longer than the average read length with Illumina systems and approximately 10 times longer than the average read lengths with Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore systems. Building a picture of the genome with massive building blocks overcomes the inherent challenge of genome complexity and is the key to Saphyr’s unprecedented sensitivity and specificity.

 

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Proprietary nanotechnology for massively parallel linearization and analysis of long molecules with single molecule imaging. Analyzing these extremely long chromosomal fragments required invention. Molecules of this size are more like balls of yarn in a test tube and must be unraveled for meaningful analysis. We invented, patented, developed and commercialized nanochannel arrays to capture them from solution and unwind and linearize them for structural variation analysis. Each molecule is imaged separately, making it possible to deconvolute complex mixtures including haplotypes and heterogeneous tumors, as shown in the graphic below.

 

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DNA labeling chemistry specifically for physical mapping. The detailed analysis of sequence we use is also highly unique and novel. Instead of identifying the sequence of every base pair in these long fragments, we label and detect specific sequence patterns or motifs that occur universally across every genome with an average frequency of approximately one site for every few thousand base pairs. The key to our method entails introducing fluorescent tags at the sequence-specific site using highly specific and robust enzymatic chemistry along the extremely long fragments. These fragments, stretched out in nanochannels, are then directly imaged allowing us to measure the distance between labels with high accuracy. The pattern of labels detected on all these fragments can then be related to the pattern of sequence motif sites in a reference genome for comparison. Changes in the pattern indicate structural variation.

 

   

Bioinformatic tools for structural variation analysis. Finally, our approach includes a novel bioinformatics platform that we developed from the ground-up to take advantage of the unique benefits of our solution. It comprises proprietary algorithms for the construction of a structurally accurate physical map of the genome without using a reference genome in assignment of structure. Physical maps of a test subject are then compared in cross-mapping analysis that allows our system to detect genome wide structural variation, including the most complex balanced events. Our system can do so by comparing one physical map against a common reference, or against the maps of a mother and father in the case of an afflicted child with an undiagnosed disease for example, or against maps of normal blood when studying solid tumor cancers. This comparative approach uses our proprietary database of healthy individuals to filter out the non-disease causing structural variants found in the general healthy population.

Our Focus Areas

Our Saphyr system serves many segments of the genomics market seeking to find and understand structural variation. We have identified focus areas where we concentrate our resources to ensure robust adoption of our system and frequent utilization of consumables. We have selected these segments because of their urgent need to detect structural variations and the significant economic opportunity they represent. Our current focus areas are human genetic diseases, including rare diseases and oncology.

Rare Diseases

In genetic disease, existing tools have reached a plateau where almost half of patients with genetic disease who are tested in clinical laboratories fail to receive a molecular diagnosis. In order to increase diagnostic yield, a massive increase in the understanding of the complete structure and variation of the genome is essential. We believe the various studies presented below illustrate how Saphyr is essential to achieving this objective.

Example: Undiagnosed Diseases Network Patient

The National Institutes of Health funded Undiagnosed Diseases Network, or UDN, brings together top clinical and genomics teams from several key institutes in the U.S. to study the most difficult to diagnose genetic disease patients. Through a collaboration with UCLA, Dr. Eric Vilain of Children’s National Medical Center runs all UDN patients of the UCLA cohort on Saphyr to identify pathogenic variants that go undetected using sequencing or cytogenetics in known or novel genes.

While data collection and a full analysis of the cohort is ongoing, at the American Society of Human Genetics, or ASHG, annual meeting, Dr. Vilain’s team presented preliminary results on the first 12 UDN patients and their parents analyzed with Saphyr. In each family, Saphyr detected thousands of variants of which more than 100 were rare, and typically three to seven structural variations that were new to the patient, referred to as de novo structural variations, were identified. In one case presented at ASHG, whole genome sequencing and chromosomal microarray on the DNA of a girl with developmental delay, autism, poor sleep and self-mutilation failed to identify pathogenic variants. Saphyr was able to detect a 2,500-base pair insertion inherited from the father in a gene where whole genome sequencing had picked up a random mutation inherited from the mother. Together, the two variants create a compound heterozygous mutation in a gene with a known phenotype that includes poor sleep, developmental delay and autism with self-mutilation. Large heterozygous insertions like the one presented here are seldomly detected by next-generation sequencing and are too small for microarrays. The diagnosis of this patient was only possible by the combination of next-generation sequencing and Saphyr.

Based on Dr. Vilain’s results, including a study on patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy published in Genome Medicine, Saphyr targets the 40% to 70% of genetics patients who cannot be diagnosed with exome or whole genome sequencing. Saphyr has the power to replace multiple tests for genetic disorders, including microarrays, PCR tests and chromosomal cytogenetic tests. Each existing test requires a patient to visit a clinician and most often provides an inconclusive result. Dr. Vilain showed evidence that integration of Saphyr into existing diagnostic regimens can help to change the way that medicine is practiced.

 

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Example: Rare Familial Cancer

A rare cancer, occurring in approximately one in one million people, was found in four members of a single extended family. A team at MD Anderson Cancer Center had used all standard clinical tools and whole genome sequencing on the affected family members but failed to identify any causative variants. Using Saphyr data, a 38,000-base pair sequence was found in these patients in six tandem copies, while unaffected family members had a single copy of this sequence. The duplication was found to be upstream of an important gene in the pathway known to be upregulated in this rare cancer. The identification of this mutation could be useful for pre-implantation embryo analysis and targeted treatments.

Example: Repeat Expansion Disorder

In a study by Dr. Eric Wang of the University of Florida, Saphyr was able to precisely count the number of times that a sequence segment was repeated in muscle cells derived from a patient with Myotonic Dystrophy. This devastating disease is a repeat expansion disorder, caused by the extreme lengthening of short repeat array in the genome. Other diseases in this category include ALS, Huntington’s Disease, and Fragile-X disease. Current methods that do not utilize our Saphyr system cannot measure the length of such repeat arrays accurately. Saphyr’s ability to measure the normal and expanded repeat with unprecedented accuracy and detail on single molecules could help allow the development of better targeted tests and medicines.

Example: Greenwood Genetic Center

Greenwood Genetic Center, based in South Carolina, has acquired Saphyr as part of a project to increase the diagnostic yield for patients with genetic disorders and cancer. As one of the first centers in the world to introduce next-generation sequencing in a diagnostic setting, Greenwood Genetic Center aims to introduce a lab developed test, or LDT, based on Saphyr. As such, a number of patients with a variety of birth defects and developmental disorders are being analyzed on Saphyr.

In genetic disease, the standard of care consists usually of a combination of both phenotype-dependent targeted tests, and whole-genome analysis approaches. Targeted tests can consist of Multiple Ligation Probe Amplification, or MLPA, to test for the presence or absence of specific exons, PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing of candidate genes and multiple FISH probes to pick up specific structural variants common to the expected disease. For whole genome approaches, first tier diagnostic tools include karyotyping techniques like metaphase chromosome spreads and in some cases microarrays. More recently, whole exome sequencing or whole genome sequencing are increasingly being introduced.

A future workflow in which Saphyr replaces the large majority of FISH and MLPA tests for a genetics clinic such as Greenwood Genetic Center would rely on Saphyr to detect all structural variants larger than 500 base pairs, and on next-generation sequencing to detect all single nucleotide variants and other variants smaller than 500 base pairs. Since up to numerous FISH and MLPA tests are often performed, Saphyr’s single whole genome analysis provides a cost effective solution that saves significant amounts of time, labor and analysis in lieu of such tests.

Oncology

In cancer, each patient has a unique disease with a complex pattern of genome changes. Traditional and recently-developed treatments do not attack the individual changes in each patient’s tumor. Recent personalized medicine programs aim to provide clinicians with individual treatments specifically targeting the mutations found in each patient’s cancer. For personalized cancer medicine to be successful, all variants in the cancer genome need to be detected, which is not feasible with cytogenetic or whole genome sequencing approaches. The studies presented below demonstrate that Saphyr is critical for a complete understanding of a cancer genome, which is essential to enable truly targeted treatments.

Example: Hematologic Malignancies

In a study to be published in Nature Genetics, Dr. James Broach, Director of the Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine, presented system’s ability to detect large rearrangements in leukemia, with a strong focus on translocations. In his research, our system detected all known translocations identified with standard clinical tools and, importantly, many structural variations never before identified in cancer, plus hundreds of structural variations that could not be seen by other methodologies.

 

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Attempts by Dr. Broach to detect translocations using next-generation sequencing were unsuccessful because of the large number of false positive translocation calls. Because of the highly repetitive nature of the human genome, many remote genomic regions have high sequence homology, and short-read sequencing often fails to correctly map reads to the correct genomic origin, leading to excessive false positive calls. The extremely long molecules that our system analyzes span long repetitive segments of sequence and can anchor sequences into the correct genomic context, leading to extremely few false positive calls.

Given the high speed, low cost, industry-leading sensitivity and high reliability of our system displayed in this study, Dr. Broach showed evidence that our system is well positioned to eventually become the primary tool for clinical detection of genomic structural variation.

Example: Prostate Cancer

In a study published in Oncotarget, Dr. Vanessa Hayes at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia presented a complete tumor-normal comparison from a primary prostate cancer. Dr. Hayes’ team identified 85 large somatic deletions and insertions, of which half directly impact potentially oncogenic genes or regions. Only one-tenth of these large structural variations were detected using high-coverage, short-read next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics analyses using a combination of the leading structural variation calling algorithms for next-generation sequencing data. Many structural variations detected with our system were flanked by repetitive sequences, making them undetectable to short-read sequencing.

In subsequent studies presented at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology annual meeting, Dr. Hayes detected several oncogenic driver mutations in metastasized prostate cancer samples. Several of the reported mutations were variants previously found in other cancer types but never before reported in prostate cancer, and for which effective treatments are available. Existing gene panels or FISH tests performed on cancer samples only test for expected variants. Our system’s whole genome analysis approach is the only molecular method that is capable of identifying all major structural variants in a cancer genome with sufficiently high sensitivity. To make existing targeted cancer therapies more effective and to discover new ones, a complete characterization of the genome is important, making our system valuable in personalized cancer medicine.

Our Products

 

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We develop and market the Saphyr system, a complete sample-to-result solution for structural variation analysis that empowers comprehensive genome analysis and facilitates a deeper understanding of genetic variation and function. We believe it is the only solution capable of addressing the needs for structural variation analysis because it is:

 

   

Highly sensitive. We believe Saphyr is the most sensitive structural variation detector currently on the market in that it can identify structural variations that no other system can.

 

   

Highly specific. The structural variations found by Saphyr are found by direct observation rather than inference. Saphyr has a very low false positive rate, typically less than 2%.

 

   

Cost effective. We anticipate that the Saphyr users’ cost per sample will reach $500 in 2018, which would represent one-tenth of what it was in 2014. We expect this cost per sample to continue to decline to less than $300 per sample in 2019 and less than $100 per sample in 2020.

 

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Fast. Saphyr generates greater than 640 giga base pairs of information per day, on par with some of the faster short-read sequencers in the market. For highly sensitive structural variation detection, this allows Saphyr to process two human samples per day. We expect Saphyr’s throughput to increase to six per day by the middle of 2019 and 12 per day by the end of 2020.

Saphyr is being adopted across an extensive base of customers in world-class clinical, translational research, basic research, academic and governmental institutions as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. We began marketing the Saphyr system in February 2017 after previously marketing Irys, our first-generation system, which was a slower system. We sell through a direct sales force and support organizations in North America and Europe, and through distribution partners in the Asia-Pacific and other regions of the world. We have sold more than 90 of our systems to over 80 customers globally. We continually seek to expand our product offerings to meet the needs of our customers.

When customers adopt the Saphyr system, they acquire one or more instruments, chips, reagents for DNA isolation and labeling and a suite of bioinformatics tools. The chips and reagents are used on a recurring basis. We also sell them ancillary solutions such as servers, reagents and other non-proprietary components used with the system. We designed Saphyr to accommodate performance upgrades without the need for replacement of the entire instrument. We intend for these performance enhancements to be delivered through software upgrades, hardware upgrades and new chips and reagents.

The Saphyr Instrument

 

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The Saphyr instrument is a single-molecule imager that includes high performance optics, automated sample loading based on machine learning algorithms and computational hardware and control software. The instrument’s high-performance optics simultaneously image DNA linearized in hundreds of thousands of nanochannels. The instrument’s control interface is the user’s primary control center to design and monitor experiments as they occur in real time. The computational hardware is responsible for the secondary processing of the image data being produced on the Saphyr.

The Saphyr instrument currently analyzes one Saphyr chip, containing up to two samples, per day with statistically relevant depth of coverage across each whole genome. An upgrade of the capability of the Saphyr instrument to process two chips, instead of one, per run is planned for the middle of 2019. This instrument upgrade along with the planned improvements to the chip mentioned below will enable Saphyr to process up to six human samples per day by the middle of 2019 and 12 per day by the end of 2020.

The Saphyr Chip

 

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The Saphyr chip is the consumable that packages the nanochannel arrays for use in genome analysis. In its current form, each Saphyr chip has two flow cells. Each flow cell contains approximately 120,000 nanochannels that are roughly 50 nanometers wide and can hold a unique sample, which enables a researcher to analyze two samples per chip per day. We plan to offer a new chip to our customers in the middle of 2019 that will have three flow cells which, combined with the instrument upgrade mentioned above, will allow Saphyr to process six human samples per day. In 2020, we expect to offer a 12-flow cell version of the chip.

 

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The instrument at that time will be able to run two chips per run; however, given the increased processing load of the 12-flow cell chip relative to the three-flow cell chip, Saphyr is expected to take two days to process two 12-flow cell chips, thereby enabling a throughput of 12 samples per day in 2020.

To manufacture the arrays, we use photolithography in a semiconductor fabrication facility to print hundreds of thousands of tiny grooves on silicon wafers and then dice the wafers into individual chips. Our chips are inexpensive to manufacture and highly scalable. The fluidic environment in each channel allows individual molecules to move swiftly utilizing only the charge of DNA. Our nanochannels allow only a single linearized molecule at a time to enter a given channel while preventing the molecule from tangling or folding back on itself. Importantly, hundreds of thousands of molecules can move through hundreds of thousands of parallel nanochannels simultaneously, enabling extremely high-throughput processing on a single-molecule basis.

Saphyr Sample Prep and Labeling Kits

 

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Our Bionano Prep Kits™ and labeling kits provide the critical reagents and protocols needed to extract and label high molecular weight, or HMW, DNA for use with the Saphyr™ system. These kits are optimized for performing our genome mapping applications on a variety of sample types.

Our workflow begins with the isolation of ultra-high molecular weight DNA. Our sample prep kits are optimized for isolating and purifying ultra-high molecular weight DNA in a process that is gentler than existing DNA extraction methods. The resulting purified DNA is millions of base pairs long and optimal for use with our systems. Each Bionano Prep Kit allows customers to perform five to 10 HMW DNA preps. Our kits and protocols enable the extraction of HMW DNA from a variety of sample types including soft or fibrous animal tissue, plant tissue, cell lines and human blood.

Our labeling reagents are optimized for applications on our genome mapping systems. Starting with HMW DNA purified using the appropriate Bionano Prep Kit, fluorescent labels are attached to specific sequence motifs. The result is uniquely identifiable genome-specific label patterns that enable de novo map assembly, anchoring sequencing contigs and discovery of structural variations as small as 500 base pairs to up to chromosome arm lengths.

Our newest and most powerful kit for DNA labeling, the Direct Label and Stain, or DLS, Kit is a proprietary, nondestructive chemistry for sequence motif labeling of genomic DNA that improves every aspect of our genome mapping. DLS uses a single direct-labeling enzymatic reaction to attach a fluorophore to the DNA at a specific 6-base pair sequence motif, yielding approximately 16 labels per 100,000 base pairs in the human genome. After labeling, the molecules are linearized in the Saphyr chip on the Saphyr instrument and imaged. Through the isolation, labeling and linearization steps, the molecules maintain an average length of around 250,000 base pairs. The label patterns on each molecule allow them to be uniquely identified and aligned in a pair-wise comparison against all other molecules imaged from the same sample.

Data Solutions

 

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Our data solutions offering includes a complete suite of hardware and software for end-to-end experiment management, algorithms for assembling genome maps and algorithms and databases for bioinformatics processing, all of which is driven through convenient web-based management and monitoring tools.

Bionano Access is our web-based hub for Saphyr operations. It provides all the software that our customers need for experiment management and our structural variation analysis in one place. With Bionano Access our customers can:

 

   

set up runs and monitor real-time data quality metrics remotely to flag potential sample quality issues early;

 

   

automatically start de novo assemblies and structural variation analysis when the desired amount of data has been collected;

 

   

visualize and manipulate maps and structural variants; and

 

   

analyze trios and clinical samples by filtering through uncommon variants to identify inherited and de novo variants, and export in a file format that is used consistently throughout the industry.

We have a suite of proprietary algorithms and databases that fully enable our proprietary bioinformatic and structural variation analysis pipelines. Using pairwise alignment of the single molecule images, consensus genome maps are constructed, refined, extended and merged. Molecules are then clustered into two alleles, and a diploid assembly is created to allow for heterozygous structural variation detection. Genome maps typically span entire chromosome arms in single, contiguous maps. Comparative analysis of maps reveals structural variation. Our customers use our variant annotation workflow to specifically uncover rare and sample-specific mutations. For example, to help a customer determine genomic variant frequency in a tumor, Saphyr compares the cancer sample structural calls against over 600,000 structural variations from over 160 humans with no evidence of diseases. To identify somatic mutations, the workflow can run comparisons of the tumor specimen against a control sample to determine whether the cancer mutations are present in low abundance among the control’s genome. Using this high through-put pipeline approach we can efficiently focus on dozens of clinically significant structural candidates for further analysis.

Our hardware solution includes the Saphyr Compute Server, which provides offers cluster-like performance in an affordable, compact solution and the Bionano Compute Server, which expands the analytical capacity of the suite of tools. With these solutions, our customers are capable of performing multiple simultaneous analyses and sustaining continuous throughput, which allows them to spend less time waiting for data, so they can focus on investigating results. We also offer a cloud-based solution for data analysis through a third party provider and expect to launch our own cloud-based solution by the fourth quarter of 2018.

The Saphyr System’s Industry-Leading Sensitivity and Specificity

Our Saphyr system detects structural variations that Illumina’s systems miss. As shown in the graphic below, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research generated data that we expect to be published which shows the density of structural variations found relative to the size of the structural variation found for our system (blue lines) against next-generation sequencing (Illumina; orange lines). Next-generation sequencing has a very significant deficiency in detecting structural variations. Given our system’s ability to detect structural variations, it picks up essentially where next-generation sequencing drops off, as shown below.

 

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LOGO

Retaining long-range contiguity throughout the genome mapping process is critical for any comprehensive study of genome structure and function, particularly for the analysis of structural variation in complex genomes. Saphyr offers unmatched sensitivity for the detection of large structural variations greater than 500 base pairs. Saphyr’s specific sensitivity percentages from recent studies are shown below:

 

   

99% sensitivity for homozygous insertions/deletions larger than 500 base pairs;

 

   

95% sensitivity for heterozygous insertions/deletions larger than 500 base pairs;

 

   

95% sensitivity for balanced and unbalanced translocations larger than 50,000 base pairs;

 

   

99% sensitivity for inversions larger than 30,000 base pairs;

 

   

97% sensitivity for duplications larger than 30,000 base pairs; and

 

   

97% sensitivity for copy number variants larger than 500,000 base pairs.

A study of Pacific Biosciences’ long-read sequencing’s ability to detect homozygous and heterozygous insertions and deletions was published recently. The sensitivity to detect homozygous structural variations using Pacific Biosciences was 87%, compared to 99% using Saphyr. The sensitivity to detect heterozygous structural variations using Pacific Biosciences was only 41%, which is less than half the 84% sensitivity for heterozygous structural variation detection using Saphyr. Even when the Pacific Biosciences structural variation calls were limited to insertions and deletions larger than 500 base pairs, the sensitivity for homozygous structural variations was only 81%, and for heterozygous structural variations was only 49%.

 

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Saphyr detects duplications over 30,000 base pairs, in direct or inverse orientation, with a sensitivity of 97%. Saphyr detects 99% of inversions of that same size range. Inversions are the invisible variants and have traditionally been the hardest to detect structural events. They are balanced, without gain or loss of sequence, and unlike translocations they do not create easily visible changes in genomic context. Inversions often escape detection by traditional cytogenetic techniques. Chromosomal microarrays cannot identify balanced events, and metaphase chromosome spreads can only visualize some megabase-size inversions. Next-generation sequencing approaches tend to miss inversions because reads from inside the inversion tend to map back to the reference without any indication that the orientation of the sequence has changed. Detection of the breakpoints often fails, especially if the inversion is flanked by segmental duplications, repeat sequences or other non-unique sequences. Saphyr’s imaging of extremely long molecules overcomes these obstacles to identifying inversions.

 

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In a separate study, our system detected seven times more structural variations larger than 5,000 base pairs compared to next-generation sequencing. Dr. Pui-Yan Kwok at the University of California, San Francisco, demonstrated the robustness of our system for genome-wide discovery of structural variations in a trio from the 1000 Genomes Project. Using our system, hundreds of insertions, deletions, and inversions greater than 5,000 base pairs were uncovered amounting to 7.3 times more than the large structural variation events detected by next-generation sequencing. Importantly, many of the structural variations that were found were in regions believed to contain functional elements leading to disruption of gene function or regulation.

 

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Our Strengths

We have established ourselves as one of the leaders in the field of genome analysis, and we believe we are the industry’s performance leader in structural variation detection. Below are our strengths that we believe will enable us to capture a significant portion of the genome analysis market and retain our leadership position in structural variation:

 

   

Highly differentiated technology platform enables researchers and clinicians to obtain information that cannot be had systematically and cost efficiently from traditional technologies. Saphyr’s unique ability to systematically and cost efficiently see structural variations across the genome from 500 base pairs to tens of millions of base pairs is unique in the industry. We believe this greater insight will facilitate a paradigm shift in healthcare from an emphasis on treatment with relatively untargeted therapies to a focus on earlier detection, more precise diagnosis and treatment with better targeted therapies.

 

   

Validated solution recognized industry-wide. We have deep and expanding scientific validation. Our system has been cited in approximately 130 publications, and we believe our technology is becoming a vital tool in cutting-edge life sciences research.

 

   

Strong installed base of premier customers. We have sold more than 90 of our systems to over 80 customers globally. Our customers include some of the world’s most prominent clinical, translational research, basic research, academic and government institutions as well as leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies. Examples include Examples include Children’s National Health System, DuPont Pioneer, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Genentech, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Pennsylvania State University and Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

 

   

Attractive business model with a growing, high-margin recurring revenue component. As we continue to grow our installed base of Saphyr systems, optimize workflows and expand our structural variation detection capabilities, we expect to rapidly increase our high-margin revenues derived from consumables. The successful integration of our technology into our customers’ projects provides ongoing sales of assays and consumables.

 

   

Industry-leading intellectual property portfolio. We have developed a global patent portfolio that includes 70 issued patents across 15 patent families with recent filing dates ranging from 2006 to 2017. We have robust intellectual property protection surrounding our devices, systems, and methods for macromolecular analysis. Our ideation stems from our highly active research programs and results in our patent portfolio continually expanding at a significant pace.

 

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Highly experienced senior management team. We are led by a dedicated and highly experienced senior management team with significant industry experience and proven ability to develop novel solutions. Each of the members of our senior management has more than 20 years of relevant experience.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to enable new research in genomics to allow greater insight into their role in human health in ways that have not been possible with any other current research and diagnostic technologies.

Our strategy to achieve this includes:

 

   

Drive adoption of Saphyr in discovery research and cytogenetics markets. Saphyr has the potential to significantly expand the life science research market and genomics-based diagnostics market because of its unrivaled sensitivity, by enabling researchers to perform studies on structural variations that they were previously unable to perform. We believe Saphyr has the capability to enable the development of a new category of diagnostic tests and tools.

 

   

Support the publication of findings with Saphyr by our customers beyond the over 130 papers published to date. The chart below shows the annual number of publications released since 2010 which featured data generated by Saphyr and its predecessor system. Recently, the overall number of these publications has grown significantly. For example, of the over 130 papers published to date, approximately half were published in 2017 alone. We will continue to support and foster our customer base to help grow the number of publications featuring our systems’ data. We believe that these publications are impactful as our customers’ studies cover structural variations in areas of high unmet medical need, such as rare and undiagnosed pediatric diseases, muscular diseases, developmental delays and disorders, prostate cancer and leukemia.

 

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Expand gross margins through economies of scale and growing sales of consumables. Our overall gross margin has historically been driven by our instrument gross margin as the sales of our instruments have constituted the vast majority of our total revenues to date. Our instrument gross margin is significantly lower than our consumables gross margin. We expect our overall gross margin to expand in 2018 and beyond as:

 

   

We further negotiate with silicon fabrication manufacturers for better contract pricing of our consumables. As our manufacturing lot volumes increase, we expect to have lower costs of goods sold. This is driven by the pass along of some of the economies of scale of contract manufacturers that mainly operate in the ultra-high-volume silicon computer chip industry.

 

   

Consumables sales continue to represent the fastest growing component of overall revenues. As consumables growth continues to outpace instrument growth, we expect the proportion of our product mix which is higher gross margin to increase, thereby expanding our overall gross margin.

 

   

Continue to innovate our products and technologies. We designed Saphyr to accommodate performance upgrades without the need for replacement of the entire instrument. We intend for these performance enhancements to be delivered on a regular basis through software upgrades, hardware upgrades and new consumables. We will continue to develop and refine our technologies to improve the ease of use of our Saphyr system and enable our existing installed systems to meaningfully increase sample throughput and sensitivity and specificity of structural variation detection.

 

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Partner with industry-leading companies and laboratories to accelerate adoption in clinical markets. Establish additional collaborations with customers to help drive validating studies. Expand partnership efforts with clinical diagnostic companies to commercialize LDTs in the U.S. as well as LDTs and approved tests outside the U.S.

Sales and Marketing

Our commercial team includes 16 individuals, including seven salespeople, two marketing personnel, and seven sales support personnel, including customer solutions personnel, field specialists and application specialists.

This commercial staff is primarily located in North America and Europe. Most of our sales support team is located at our headquarters in San Diego and some work remotely throughout the U.S., Europe and China.

We sell our products through a direct sales force in North America and Europe. Our sales strategy involves the use of a combination of sales managers, sales representatives and field application specialists. Our direct sales force includes four salespeople located in the U.S. and three located in Europe. We expect to increase our sales force as we expand our business.

We sell our products through a network of distributors in the Asia-Pacific region and select other markets outside of North America and Europe. Specifically, we distribute our instruments and reagents via third-party distributors in markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, India and South Africa. Four of our distributors are in China, one in Australia, one in Japan and one in South Korea.

The role of our sales managers and sales representatives is to educate customers on the advantages of Saphyr and the applications that our system makes possible. The role of our field application specialists is to provide on-site training and scientific technical support to prospective and existing customers. Our field application specialists are technical experts with advanced degrees, including four with Ph.D.s, and generally have extensive experience in academic research and core sequencing lab experience.

In addition, we maintain an applications lab team in San Diego, California composed of scientific experts who can transfer knowledge from the research and development team to the field application specialists. The applications lab team also runs foundational scientific collaborations and proof of principle studies, which help demonstrate the value of our product offering to prospective customers.

Our domestic and international sales force informs our current and potential customers of current product offerings, new product and new assay introductions, and technological advances in Saphyr systems, workflows, and notable research being performed by our customers or ourselves. As our primary point of contact in the marketplace, our sales force focuses on delivering a consistent marketing message and high level of customer service, while also attempting to help us better understand evolving market and customer needs.

 

LOGO

We intend to significantly expand our sales, support, and marketing efforts in the future by expanding our direct footprint in North America and Europe as well as developing a more comprehensive support network in China where significant market opportunities exist. Additionally, we believe that there is significant opportunity in other European, South American, Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern regions. We plan to expand into these regions via initial penetration with distributors.

 

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Our sales and marketing efforts are targeted at key opinion leaders, laboratory directors and principal investigators at leading translational research, clinical institutions, governmental research institutions and pharmaceutical companies. In addition to our selling activities, we align with key opinion leaders at leading institutions and clinical research laboratories to help increase scientific and commercial awareness of our technology, demonstrate its benefits relative to existing technologies and accelerate its adoption. We also seek to increase awareness of our products through participation at trade shows, academic conferences, online webinars and dedicated scientific events attended by prominent users and prospective customers.

Our systems are relatively new to the life science marketplace and require a capital investment by our customers. The sales process typically involves numerous interactions and demonstrations with multiple people within an organization. Some potential customers conduct in-depth evaluations of the system including having us run experiments on in-house Saphyr systems. In addition, in most countries, sales to academic or governmental institutions require participation in a tender process involving preparation of extensive documentation and a lengthy review process. Because of these factors and the budget cycles of our customers, our sales cycle, the time from initial contact with a customer to our receipt of a purchase order, can often be nine to 12 months.

Manufacturing and Supply

Our manufacturing strategy is to outsource instrument and chip manufacturing and internally develop and assemble reagent kits in our own facility.

Instruments

Our Saphyr instrument is manufactured by a third party medical device manufacturer. Nearly complete Saphyr instruments are shipped by the manufacturer to us for final assembly and quality control testing. Upon completion, we ship directly to our customers’ locations globally, or distributors’ locations in the case of certain systems sold in the Asia-Pacific region. Installation of, and training on, our products is provided by our employees in the markets where we conduct direct sales, and by distributors in those markets where we operate with distributors.

We believe this manufacturing strategy is efficient and conserves capital. However, in the event it becomes necessary to utilize a different contract manufacturer for Saphyr, we would experience additional costs, delays and difficulties in doing so, and our business could be harmed.

This manufacturer actively manages obsolescence of all components in our system. This is done through their supply management process where we get notified of any parts that will become obsolete with enough lead time to identify alternatives.

Consumables

All of our chip consumables are produced by a third party manufacturer at its facility; however, we have established procedures for a replacement manufacturer if required. We complete final assembly and quality control assessments of our chips at our headquarters in San Diego.

Our reagents are sourced from a limited number of suppliers, including certain single source suppliers. Reagents include all components required to run a sample on Saphyr, such as capture and detector reagents, enzyme reagents and enzyme substrate. Although we believe that alternatives would be available, it would take time to identify and validate replacement reagents for our assay kits, which could negatively affect our ability to supply assay kits on a timely basis. Reagents are supplied through a single source supplier. This supplier requires a sufficient notification period to allow for supply continuity and the identification and technology transfer to a new supplier in the event either party wishes to terminate the relationship.

We actively manage component obsolescence by subscribing to our vendors’ end-of-life notifications. If a vendor is unable to provide sufficient notification, we keep safety stock of the component to minimize disruption to operations.

Key Agreements

License Agreement with Princeton University

 

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In January 2004, we entered into a license agreement, or the License Agreement, with Princeton University, or Princeton. Pursuant to the License Agreement, we received a worldwide, exclusive right and license to, among other things, manufacture and market products or services utilizing patents and inventions related to our sample preparation, DNA imaging and genomic data analysis platform and other key technology.

We are obligated to pay Princeton an annual license maintenance fee in the mid-four digits, which can be reduced by royalties paid to Princeton during the preceding 12 month period. We are also obligated to make royalty payments to Princeton equal to (i) a percentage in the mid-single digits of our and any of our sub-licensees’ net sales of products covered by the License Agreement and (ii) a percentage in the low-single digits of our and any of our sub-licensees’ revenue from services covered by the License Agreement. Our royalty obligations continue on a licensed product-by-licensed product and licensed service-by-licensed service basis, in every country of the world, until the later of the last sale of a licensed product or service or the expiration of all Princeton patent rights.

The term of the License Agreement will continue until all of our royalty payment obligations have expired, unless terminated earlier. Princeton may terminate the License Agreement upon written notice in the event of our material breach of the License Agreement if such breach remains uncured for 60 days. We may terminate the License Agreement without cause upon 60 days’ advance written notice to Princeton.

Agreement for the Manufacture of Our Instruments

We have engaged a single third party manufacturer to produce and test our instruments on an as-ordered basis. The manufacturer of our instruments has no obligation to manufacture our instruments without a purchase order. In addition, this manufacturer has no obligation to maintain inventory in excess of any open purchase orders or materials in excess of the amount it reasonably determines will be consumed within 90 days. We are obligated to purchase any material deemed in excess pursuant to the agreement. The price we pay is determined according to a mutually agreed-upon pricing formula. We may terminate a purchase order by giving the manufacturer at least 30 days’ written notice.

Agreement for the Manufacture of Our Chip Consumables

We have engaged a single third party manufacturer to manufacture our chip consumables used in our Saphyr system and provide engineering services to us. This third party has no obligation to manufacture our chip consumables without a purchase order. The prices and fees we pay are established in our agreement with this manufacturer or determined by the manufacturer pursuant if supported by appropriate information. Our agreement with this manufacturer automatically renews for successive one year terms unless a party notifies the other party in writing at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the then-current term. We may terminate an order of the agreement at any time upon 30 days’ written notice.

Berry Genomics Agreement

We have entered into a collaboration agreement, or the Berry Agreement, with Berry Genomics Co., Ltd, or Berry. Under the terms of the Berry Agreement, Berry agreed to develop, market and commercialize a Berry-branded in-vitro diagnostic, or IVD, system (which is comprised of both kits and instruments) in the People’s Republic of China, or the PRC, in certain specified fields, as well as for clinical use by its partners. Pursuant to the Berry Agreement, Berry agreed to purchase certain of our components for use exclusively within the kits and instruments that make up the IVD system. Berry is then responsible for manufacturing the finished system, as well as for obtaining regulatory approvals for the sale of our components in the PRC. Per the Berry Agreement, we are obligated to provide the necessary support and documentation for the components, as well as provide training to enable Berry’s after-sales installation and support for the IVD system.

Pursuant to the terms of the Berry Agreement, we granted to Berry and its affiliates, an irrevocable, exclusive, sublicensable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, license during the term of the agreement, solely to seek and obtain CFDA registration, manufacture, market, distribute and sell IVD kits and IVD instruments. We also have the right to all IVD system improvements. We have the first right, but not obligation, to take any measures we deem appropriate to enforce our intellectual property rights. We also agree to provide reasonable assistance related to such enforcement actions as Berry may request at the cost and expenses of Berry.

The Berry Agreement may be renewed by either party upon 90 days written notice and subject to the negotiation of an agreement facilitating such renewal. Either party may terminate the agreement for a material breach if such breach remains uncured for 30 days, or immediately if the breach is not curable. We may also immediately terminate the Berry Agreement if Berry fails to fulfill its minimum quantity purchase requirements.

 

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Intellectual Property

Our core technology for nucleic acid research is related to methods and devices for non-sequencing based analysis of macromolecules such as nucleic acids. Using this technology, long (high-molecular weight) nucleic acids can be suitably labeled and elongated in order to ascertain structural information such as scaffold organization, copy number, and de novo analysis of genomic repeats that is not readily obtained with current sequencing-based approaches. We have secured and continue to pursue intellectual property rights globally, including rights related to analysis of nucleic acid molecules, as well as innovations in the molecular biology and bioinformatics spaces.

We have developed a global patent portfolio that includes 70 issued patents across 15 patent families with recent filing dates ranging from 2006 to 2017. The families contain issued patents and pending applications that relate to devices, systems, and methods for macromolecular analysis, and reflect our active and ongoing research programs. The patent families are discussed below.

 

Commercial Focus

  

Summary

  

Number of Issued and Pending Patents

Nanochannel devices and systems    Nanochannel systems that maintain macromolecules in an elongated state for use in analysis, imaging and other important uses    43
Methods of macromolecule analysis using nanochannel arrays    Methods of using nanochannels for macromolecule analysis including chemical composition, length, sequence and other commercial uses    42
Methods of genetic detection and copy number analysis    Methods of using nanochannels to detect copy number abnormality in a genomic of interest    29
Method of genomic sequence and epigenomic analysis.    Detection of genomic sequence information and epicgenomic information without nicking or altering the DNA.    33
Biomolecule isolation and processing for use in nanochannel analysis    Removal of contamination compounds using thin-layer porous matrices    4
Method of optimizing nanochannel analysis    A method and system for improving throughput of a fluidic system such as a biopolymer analysis system using light energy    6
Next-generation products    Nanonozzle system and methods of use and nanochannel arrays and near-field illumination devices    10

Additionally, we have in-licensed patents and patent applications from third parties, including a portfolio of patents and patent applications from Princeton University.

In addition to pursuing patents, we have taken steps to protect our intellectual property and proprietary technology by entering into confidentiality agreements and intellectual property assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, corporate partners and, as applicable, our advisors.

Government Regulation

Our products are currently intended for research use only, or RUO, applications, although our customers may use our products to develop their own products that are subject to regulation by the FDA. Although most products intended for RUO are not currently subject to clearance or approval by the FDA, RUO products fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction if they are used for clinical rather than research purposes. Consequently, our products are labeled “For Research Use Only.”

 

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The FDA’s 2013 Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff on “Distribution of In Vitro Diagnostic Products Labeled for Research Use Only or Investigational Use Only,” or, the RUO/IUO Guidance, provides the FDA’s thinking on when IVD products are properly labeled for RUO or for IUO. The RUO/IUO Guidance explains that the FDA will review the totality of the circumstances when evaluating whether equipment and testing components are properly labeled as RUO. Merely including a labeling statement that a product is intended for research use only will not necessarily exempt the device from the FDA’s 510(k) clearance, premarket approval, or other requirements, if the circumstances surrounding the distribution of the product indicate that the manufacturer intends its product to be used for clinical diagnostic use. These circumstances may include written or verbal marketing claims or links to articles regarding a product’s performance in clinical applications, a manufacturer’s provision of technical support for clinical validation or clinical applications, or solicitation of business from clinical laboratories, all of which could be considered evidence of intended uses that conflict with RUO labeling.

When marketed for clinical diagnostic use, our products will be regulated by the FDA as medical devices. The FDA defines a medical device in part as an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article which is intended for the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man. FDA regulates the development, testing, manufacturing, marketing, post-market surveillance, distribution, advertising and labeling of medical devices requires them to be register by the medical device manufacturer and listed as marketed products.

The FDA classifies medical devices into one of three classes on the basis of the intended use of the device, the risk associated with the use of the device for that indication, as determined by the FDA, and on the controls deemed by the FDA to be necessary to reasonably ensure their safety and effectiveness. Class I devices, which have the lowest level of risk associated with them, are subject to general controls. Class II devices are subject to general controls and special controls, including performance standards. Class III devices, which have the highest level of risk associated with them, are subject to general controls and premarket approval. Most Class I devices and some Class II devices are exempt from a requirement that the manufacturer submit a premarket notification, or 510(k), and receive clearance from the FDA which is otherwise a premarketing requirement for a Class II device. Class III devices may not be commercialized until a premarket approval application, or PMA, is submitted to and approved by the FDA.

510(k) Clearance Pathway

To obtain 510(k) clearance, a sponsor must submit to the FDA a premarket notification demonstrating that the device is substantially equivalent, or SE, to a device legally marketed in the U.S. for which a PMA was not required. The FDA is supposed to make a SE determination within 90 days of FDA’s receipt of the 510(k), but it often takes longer if the FDA requests additional information. Most 510(k)s do not require supporting data from clinical trials, but the FDA may request such data.

Premarket Approval Pathway

A PMA must be submitted if a new device cannot be cleared through the 510(k) process. The PMA process is generally more complex, costly and time consuming than the 510(k) process. A PMA must be supported by extensive data including, but not limited to, technical, preclinical, clinical trials, manufacturing and labeling to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. After a PMA is sufficiently complete, the FDA will accept the application for filing and begin an in-depth review of the submitted information. By statute, the FDA has 180 days to review the accepted application, although, review of the application generally can take between one and three years. During this review period, the FDA may request additional information or clarification of information already provided. Also during the review period, an advisory panel of experts from outside the FDA may be convened to review and evaluate the application and provide recommendations to the FDA as to the approvability of the device. In addition, the FDA will conduct a preapproval inspection of the manufacturing facility to ensure compliance with its quality system regulations, or QSRs. New premarket approval applications or premarket approval application supplements are also required for product modifications that affect the safety and efficacy of the device.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are usually required to support a PMA and are sometimes required for a 510(k). In the U.S., if the device is determined to present a “significant risk,” the manufacturer may not begin a clinical trial until it submits an investigational device exemption application, or IDE, and obtains approval of the IDE from the FDA. These clinical trials are also subject to the review, approval and oversight of an institutional review board, or IRB, at each clinical trial site. The clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with the FDA’s IDE regulations and good clinical practices. A clinical trial may be suspended by FDA, the sponsor or an IRB at its institution at any time for various reasons, including a belief that the risks to the study participants outweigh the benefits of participation in the trial.

 

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Even if a clinical trial is completed, the results may not demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a device to the satisfaction of the FDA, or may be equivocal or otherwise not be sufficient to obtain approval of a device.

After a medical device is placed on the market, numerous regulatory requirements apply. These include among other things:

 

   

compliance with QSRs, which require manufacturers to follow stringent design, testing, control, documentation, record maintenance, including maintenance of complaint and related investigation files, and other quality assurance controls during the manufacturing process;

 

   

reporting of device malfunctions, serious injuries or deaths;

 

   

registration of the establishments where the devices are produced;

 

   

labeling regulations, which prohibit the promotion of products for uncleared or unapproved uses; and

 

   

medical device reporting obligations, which require that manufacturers investigate and report to the FDA adverse events, including deaths, or serious injuries that may have been or were caused by a medical device and malfunctions in the device that would likely cause or contribute to a death or serious injury if it were to recur.

Failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements can result in enforcement action by the FDA, which may include sanctions, including but not limited to, warning letters; fines, injunctions, and civil penalties; recall or seizure of the device; operating restrictions, partial suspension or total shutdown of production; refusal to grant 510(k) clearance or PMA approvals of new devices; withdrawal of 510(k) clearance or PMA approvals; and civil or criminal prosecution. To ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, medical device manufacturers are subject to market surveillance and periodic, pre-scheduled and unannounced inspections by the FDA.

Laboratories that purchase certain of our products and perform clinical diagnostic testing are also subject to extensive regulation under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988, or CLIA, requiring clinical laboratories to meet specified standards in areas such as personnel qualifications, administration, participation in proficiency testing, patient test management, quality control, quality assurance and inspections. Adverse interpretations of current CLIA regulations or future changes in CLIA regulations could have an adverse effect on sales of any affected products. Moreover, if we decide to operate our own clinical testing laboratory, we will be required to comply with CLIA. If, in the future, we operate our own clinical laboratory to perform clinical diagnostic testing, we would become subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as well as additional federal and state laws that impose a variety of fraud and abuse prohibitions on healthcare providers, including clinical laboratories.

Europe/Rest of World Government Regulation

Whether or not we obtain FDA approval for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in non-U.S. countries prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of our product for clinical diagnostic use in those countries. The regulations in other jurisdictions vary from those in the U.S. and may be easier or more difficult to satisfy and are subject to change. For example, the European Union recently published new regulations that will result in greater regulation of medical devices and IVDs. The IVD Regulation is significantly different from the IVD Directive that it replaces in that it will ensure that the new requirements apply uniformly and on the same schedule across the member states, include a risk-based classification system and increase the requirements for conformity assessment. The conformity assessment process results in the receipt of a CE designation which has been sufficient to begin marketing many types of IVDs. That process will become more difficult and costly to complete.

Other Governmental Regulation

We are subject to laws and regulations related to the protection of the environment, the health and safety of employees and the handling, transportation and disposal of medical specimens, infectious and hazardous waste and radioactive materials. For example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has established extensive requirements relating specifically to workplace safety for healthcare employers in the U.S. This includes requirements to develop and implement multi-faceted programs to protect workers from exposure to blood-borne pathogens, including preventing or minimizing any exposure through needle stick injuries. For purposes of transportation, some biological materials and laboratory supplies are classified as hazardous materials and are subject to regulation by one or more of the following agencies: the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Postal Service and the International Air Transport Association. We generally use third-party vendors to dispose of regulated medical waste, hazardous waste and radioactive materials that we may use during our research.

Coverage and Reimbursement

 

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Currently, our product is for research use only, but clinical laboratories may acquire our instrumentation through a capital purchase or capital lease and use the Saphyr and direct label stain chemistry to create their own potentially reimbursable products, such as laboratory developed tests for in vitro diagnostics, Our customers may generate revenue for these testing services by seeking the necessary approval of their product from the FDA or the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, along with coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors, including government health programs and private health plans. The ability of our customers to commercialize diagnostic tests based on our technology will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for these tests will be available from such third-party payors.

In the U.S., molecular testing laboratories have multiple options for reimbursement coding, but we expect that the primary codes used will be the genomic sequencing procedure codes, or GSPs. The American Medical Association, or AMA, added GSPs to its clinical laboratory fee schedule in 2015. In addition, CMS recently issued a coverage determination providing for the reimbursement of next-generation sequencing for certain cancer diagnostics using an FDA-approved in vitro diagnostic test. Private health plans often follow CMS to a substantial degree, and it is difficult to predict what CMS will decide with respect to reimbursement of any products our customers try to commercialize.

In Europe, coverage for molecular diagnostic testing is varied. Countries with statutory health insurance (e.g., Germany, France, The Netherlands) tend to be more progressive in technology adoption with favorable reimbursement for molecular diagnostic testing. In countries such as the United Kingdom with tax-based insurance, adoption and reimbursement for molecular diagnostic testing is not uniform and is influenced by local budgets.

Ultimately, coverage and reimbursement of new products is uncertain, and whether laboratories that use our instruments to develop their own products will attain coverage and adequate reimbursement is unknown. In the U.S., there is no uniform policy for determining coverage and reimbursement. Coverage can differ from payor to payor, and the process for determining whether a payor will provide coverage may be separate from the process for setting the reimbursement rate, In addition, the U.S. government, state legislatures and foreign governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost containment programs to limit the growth of government-paid health care costs, including price controls and restrictions on reimbursement.

Healthcare Reform

In the U.S. and abroad, there have been and continue to be a number of legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs and change the way healthcare is financed. By way of example, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively, the ACA, became law. The ACA is a sweeping law intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add new transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose new taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms. The ACA’s provisions of importance to our business include, but are not limited to, a 2.3% excise tax on certain entities that manufactures or imports medical devices offered for sale in the U.S., which has been suspended, but due to subsequent legislative amendments, will be automatically reinstated for medical device sales beginning January 1, 2020, unless Congress takes additional action to delay the implementation of the tax.

Some of the provisions of the ACA have yet to be implemented, and there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the ACA, as well as efforts by the Trump administration to repeal or replace certain aspects of the ACA. Since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders and other directives designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the ACA or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the ACA. Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the ACA. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, two bills affecting the implementation of certain taxes under the ACA have been signed into law. The 2017 U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”. Additionally, a 2018 continuing resolution on appropriations delays the implementation of certain ACA-mandated fees, including, without limitation, the medical device excise tax.

Further, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. For example, on April 1, 2014, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, or PAMA, was signed into law, which, among other things, significantly altered the payment methodology under the Medicare Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule, or CLFS. PAMA requires certain laboratories performing clinical diagnostic laboratory tests to report to CMS the amounts paid by private payors for laboratory tests. Beginning on January 1, 2018, CMS has begun using reported private payor pricing to periodically revise payment rates under the CLFS.

 

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We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services. In addition, sales of our tests outside of the U.S. will subject us to foreign regulatory requirements, which may also change over time.

Other Healthcare Laws

Our operations are directly or indirectly, through our customers, subject to various federal and state fraud and abuse laws, including, without limitation, the federal and state anti-kickback statutes and false claims laws. These laws may impact, among other things, our sales and marketing and education programs, and our financial and business relationships with researchers who use our instruments to develop marketed products. By way of example: the federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce, or in return for, purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for or recommending the purchase, lease, or order of any good, facility, item, or service reimbursable, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program; and the federal false claims laws, including, without limitation the federal civil False Claims Act, prohibit, among other things, anyone from knowingly and willingly presenting, or causing to be presented for payment, to the federal government (including Medicare and Medicaid) claims for reimbursement for, among other things, drugs or services that are false or fraudulent, claims for items or services not provided as claimed, or claims for medically unnecessary items or services. The ACA, among other things, amended the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute to clarify that a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a crime. In addition, the ACA clarifies that the government may assert that a claim that includes items or service resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act.

In addition, we may be subject to HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and its implementing regulations, which imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without appropriate authorization by entities subject to the rule, such as health plans, health care clearinghouses and certain health care providers and their business associates who create, use or disclose HIPAA protected health information on their behalf. We may also be subject to state and foreign laws that govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws, we may be subject to penalties, including, without limitation, civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs, additional integrity oversight and reporting obligations, individual imprisonment, contractual damages, and reputational harm, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Employees

As of March 31, 2018, we had 65 employees, of which 28 work in sales, sales support and marketing, 28 work in research and development, four work in manufacturing and operations and five work in general and administrative. As of March 31, 2018, of our 65 employees, 57 were located in the U.S. and eight were employed outside the U.S. None of our employees is represented by a labor union or is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Facilities

We lease approximately 33,128 square feet of office, laboratory, and manufacturing space at our headquarters in San Diego, California, under a lease that expires on December 31, 2020. We believe that we will need additional space as we grow our operations, but believe that suitable additional or substitute space will be available to accommodate future growth of our business. We believe that our existing office, laboratory and manufacturing space will be sufficient to meet our needs in the interim.

 

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MANAGEMENT

Executive Officers and Directors

The following table sets forth information regarding our directors and executive officers as of April 30, 2018.

 

Name

   Age     

Position

Executive Officers:

     

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

     50     

President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mike Ward

     46     

Chief Financial Officer

Han Cao, Ph.D.

     49     

Chief Scientific Officer

Warren Robinson

     49     

Chief Commercial Officer

Mark Borodkin

     44     

Chief Operating Officer

Non-Employee Directors:

     

David L. Barker, Ph.D.(    )

     76     

Chairman, Director

Darren Cai, Ph.D.(    )

     53     

Director

Albert Luderer, Ph.D.(    )

     69     

Director

Junfeng Wang(    )

     43     

Director

 

(1)

Member of the compensation committee.

(2)

Member of the audit committee.

(3)

Member of the nominating and corporate governance committee.

Executive Officers

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D. Dr. Holmlin has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since January 2011. From June 2010 to February 2011, Dr. Holmlin served as president and Chief Executive Officer of GenVault Corporation, a private biosample management solutions company. Previously, Dr. Holmlin held positions as an entrepreneur in residence at Domain Associates, a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm; Chief Commercial Officer of Exiqon A/S, a publicly traded RNA research solutions company; founder and executive at GeneOhm Sciences, which was acquired by Becton Dickinson and Company; and a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University. Until June 2016, Dr. Holmlin served as a director of Nanosphere, Inc., a publicly traded molecular diagnostic company, which was subsequently acquired by Luminex Corporation, a publicly traded biological testing company. Dr. Holmlin received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Occidental College, his Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and MBAs from University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. Our board of directors believes that Dr. Holmlin’s over 17 years of experience in the life sciences and health care industries, which includes the areas of technology development, product commercialization and venture financing, qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.

Mike Ward. Mr. Ward has served as our Chief Financial Officer since May 2018, and previously served as our Chief Business Officer from July 2017 and as our Vice President, Corporate Development since April 2014. From September 2009 to September 2013, Mr. Ward served as a Director and Vice President of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Investment team of Lurie Investment Fund. In addition, Mr. Ward previously served in investment banking positions at Leerink Partners, BMO Capital Markets, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Prudential Securities and Credit Suisse. Mr. Ward is also a member of the board of directors of CytoPherx, Inc., a private medical device company, and has previously served on the boards of directors of other public and private companies, including Nanosphere, Inc., Aperion Biologics, Inc. and Impact Health, Inc. Mr. Ward has over 20 years of experience in the areas of investment banking, private equity and venture capital in the life sciences industry. Mr. Ward received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois.

Han Cao, Ph.D. Dr. Cao founded Bionano in 2003 and has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since July 18, 2011. From January 2000 to October 2003, Dr. Cao worked as a Research Fellow in the Nanostructure lab in the Department of Engineering at Princeton University. Dr. Cao was a postdoctoral fellow from October 2000 to December 2003 at the Institute for Human Gene Therapy, in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Dr. Cao received his bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Science and Technology of China and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Delaware.

 

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Warren Robinson. Mr. Robinson has served as our Chief Commercial Officer since November 2017 and previously served as a Vice President with us in various sales and marketing functions from October 2015 to November 2017, including most recently as our Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. From June 2013 to October 2015, Mr. Robinson served as Division Vice President of Aegis Chemical Solutions, LLC, a private oil production services company. Previously, Mr. Robinson held various leadership roles in sales-focused positions with Life Technologies Corporation, a publicly traded research tools development company acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. in February 2014, and Invitrogen Corporation, a publicly traded research tools development company acquired by Life Technologies in January 2008. Mr. Robinson received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from The University of Lethbridge, a research university located in Canada.

Mark Borodkin. Mr. Borodkin has served as our Chief Operating Officer since November 2017 and previously served as our Vice President, Product Development and Operations since October 2014. From December 2011 to August 2014, Mr. Borodkin served as the Senior Director of Engineering and Chief Product Officer at Brooks Life Science Systems, a private DNA microarray manufacturing company, and from April 2009 to October 2011 as a Director of Engineering at Affymetrix, Inc., a private life science systems company that was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in March 2016. Mr. Borodkin received both his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and his master’s degree in computer and systems engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Non-Employee Directors

David L. Barker, Ph.D. Dr. Barker has served on our board of directors since May 2010, and as Chairman of our board of directors since August 2016. Dr. Barker also serves as a member of the board of directors of AmideBio, LLC, a private biotechnology company, Singular Genomics Systems, Inc., a private biotechnology company, and Integrated Diagnostics Inc., a private molecular diagnostics company. In addition, Dr. Barker is a scientific advisor to MiNDERA Corp., a private molecular dermatology company, and Luna DNA Inc., a private medical research database company. From January 2000 to January 2007, Dr. Barker served as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Illumina, Inc., a public DNA sequencing technology company, and until May 2016 served as a member of the scientific advisory board of Illumina. Dr. Barker previously served as a member of the board of directors of IntegenX, Inc., a private Rapid human DNA identification technology company acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in May 2018, Zephyrus Biosciences, Inc., a private protein analysis research platform company acquired by Bio-Techne Corporation, a public life sciences company, in March 2016, ProteinSimple, a private protein analysis platform development company acquired by BioTechne in June 2014, and NextBio, a private genomic data analysis company acquired by Illumina in October 2013. Dr. Barker received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University. Our board of directors believes Dr. Barker’s extensive experience in managing and leading early stage and established companies within the clinical diagnostic and biotechnology industries qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.

Darren Cai, Ph.D. Dr. Cai has served on our board of directors since September 2014. From April 2015 to April 2018, Dr. Cai served as a Managing Director of Legend Capital, a Chinese early stage and expansion stage venture capital firm, and held a previous position as a Director of Legend Capital from October 2012. During his tenure at Legend Capital, Dr. Cai focused on investment opportunities in the healthcare sector and led investment in more than 20 companies located in the U.S. and China. In addition, Dr. Cai previously served on the board of directors of Beijing Genomics Institute. Dr. Cai received his bachelor’s degree in biophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China, MBA from Yale University and Ph.D. in vision science from the University of California, Berkeley. Our board of directors believes Dr. Cai’s extensive experience in managing and developing investment and business opportunities within the health care sector qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.

Albert Luderer, Ph.D. Dr. Luderer has served on our board of directors since October 2011. Since March 2010, Dr. Luderer has served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Integrated Diagnostics Inc., a private molecular diagnostics company. In addition, Dr. Luderer currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Indi Molecular, Inc., synthetic antibody technology company, and as a the Executive Chairman of the board of directors of Prostate Management Diagnostics Inc. Dr. Luderer has over 30 years of experience in executive leadership roles in the areas of technology development, operations and business development. Dr. Luderer received his bachelor’s degree in zoology from Drew University and his MS in immunochemistry and Ph.D. in immunogenics from Rutgers University. Our board of directors believes Dr. Luderer’s experience in the biotechnology sector, with special focuses on technology, business development and commercialization, qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.

Junfeng Wang. Mr. Wang has served on our board of directors since February 2018. Since October 2009, Mr. Wang has served as a Managing Director of Legend Capital, and held previous positions with Legend Capital as Executive Director from October 2007, Senior Vice President from October 2006 and Vice President from October 2005. Through his tenure at Legend Capital, Mr. Wang has worked in the healthcare and chemical industries, developing research and investment expertise in growth capital investment. Mr. Wang received his bachelor’s degree in polymer chemistry from Lanzhou University, a research university located in China, and his MBA from McMaster University, a research university located in Canada. Our board of directors believes Mr. Wang’s extensive experience as a venture capital investor in the healthcare and chemical industries qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.

 

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There are no family relationships among any of our directors or executive officers.

Composition of Our Board of Directors

Our business and affairs are managed under the direction of our board of directors. Each of our current directors was elected to serve as a member of our board of directors pursuant to a stockholders agreement dated August 5, 2016, by and among us and certain of our stockholders. Pursuant to the stockholders agreement: (1) Dr. Holmlin was designated to serve on our board of directors as the then-serving chief executive officer; (2) Dr. Cai was designated by LC Fund VI, L.P., LC Parallel Fund VI, L.P. and LC HealthCare Fund I, and their affiliates, collectively referred to as LC, to serve on our board of directors as a representative of the holders of our Series C convertible preferred stock; (3) Mr. Wang was designated by LC to serve on our board of directors as a representative of the holders of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock stockholders; and (4) Drs. Luderer and Barker were designated to serve on our board of directors as independent directors. The stockholders agreement will terminate upon the closing of this offering, and thereafter no stockholder will have any special rights regarding the election or designation of the members of our board of directors.

We currently have five directors, and our board of directors may establish the authorized number of directors from time to time by resolution.

In accordance with our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be filed in connection with this offering, immediately after this offering, our board of directors will be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. At each annual general meeting of stockholders, the successors to directors whose terms then expire will be elected to serve from the time of election and qualification until the third annual meeting following election. Our directors will be divided among the three classes as follows:

 

   

the Class I directors will be                      and                     , and their terms will expire at the annual general meeting of stockholders to be held in 2019;

 

   

the Class II directors will be                      and                     , and their terms will expire at the annual general meeting of stockholders to be held in 2020; and

 

   

the Class III director will be                     , and such director’s term will expire at the annual general meeting of stockholders to be held in 2021.

Board Leadership Structure

Our board of directors is currently chaired by Dr. Barker, who has authority, among other things, to call and preside over board of directors meetings, to set meeting agendas and to determine materials to be distributed to the board of directors. Accordingly, the chairperson of our board of directors has substantial ability to shape the work of the board of directors. We believe that separation of the positions of chairperson and chief executive officer reinforces the independence of our board of directors in its oversight of our business and affairs. In addition, we have a separate chair for each committee of our board of directors. The chair of each committee is expected to report annually to our board of directors on the activities of their committee in fulfilling their responsibilities as detailed in their respective charters or specify any shortcomings should that be the case.

Role of the Board in Risk Oversight

The audit committee of our board of directors is primarily responsible for overseeing our risk management processes on behalf of our board of directors. Going forward, we expect that the audit committee will receive reports from management at least quarterly regarding our assessment of risks. In addition, the audit committee reports regularly to our board of directors, which also considers our risk profile. The audit committee and our board of directors focus on the most significant risks we face and our general risk management strategies. While our board of directors oversees our risk management, management is responsible for day-to-day risk management processes. Our board of directors expects management to consider risk and risk management in each business decision, to proactively develop and monitor risk management strategies and processes for day-to-day activities and to effectively implement risk management strategies adopted by the audit committee and our board of directors. We believe this division of responsibilities is the most effective approach for addressing the risks we face and that our board of directors’ leadership structure, which also emphasizes the independence of our board of directors in its oversight of its business and affairs, supports this approach.

 

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Director Independence

Under the listing requirements and rules of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, or Nasdaq, independent directors must comprise a majority of our board of directors as a listed company within one year of the listing date. Our board of directors has undertaken a review of the independence of each director. Based on information provided by each director concerning her or his background, employment and affiliations, our board of directors has determined that all of our directors, except Dr. Holmlin, are independent directors, as defined by Rule 5605(a)(2) of the Nasdaq Listing Rules.

Committees of Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors has established an Audit Committee, a Compensation Committee, and a Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The composition and responsibilities of each of the committees of our board of directors are described below. Members serve on these committees until their resignation or until otherwise determined by our board of directors. Our board of directors may establish other committees as it deems necessary or appropriate from time to time.

Audit Committee

Our audit committee consists of                      ,                      and                     , each of whom our board of directors has determined satisfies the independence requirements under the Nasdaq listing standards and Rule 10A-3(b)(1) of the Exchange Act. The chair of our audit committee is                     , who our board of directors has determined is an “audit committee financial expert” within the meaning of SEC regulations. Each member of our audit committee can read and understand fundamental financial statements in accordance with applicable requirements. In arriving at these determinations, the board of directors has examined each audit committee member’s scope of experience and the nature of their employment in the corporate finance sector.

The primary purpose of the audit committee is to discharge the responsibilities of our board of directors with respect to our corporate accounting and financial reporting processes, systems of internal control and financial-statement audits, and to oversee our independent registered accounting firm. Specific responsibilities of our audit committee include:

 

   

helping our board of directors oversee our corporate accounting and financial reporting processes;

 

   

managing the selection, engagement, qualifications, independence and performance of a qualified firm to serve as the independent registered public accounting firm to audit our financial statements;

 

   

discussing the scope and results of the audit with the independent registered public accounting firm, and reviewing, with management and the independent accountants, our interim and year-end operating results;

 

   

developing procedures for employees to submit concerns anonymously about questionable accounting or audit matters;

 

   

reviewing related person transactions;

 

   

obtaining and reviewing a report by the independent registered public accounting firm at least annually, that describes our internal quality control procedures, any material issues with such procedures, and any steps taken to deal with such issues when required by applicable law; and

 

   

approving, or, as permitted, pre-approving, audit and permissible non-audit services to be performed by the independent registered public accounting firm.

Compensation Committee

Our compensation committee consists of                      and                     . The chair of our compensation committee is                     . Our board of directors has determined that each member of the compensation committee is independent under the Nasdaq listing standards, a “non-employee director” as defined in Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act and an “outside director” as that term is defined in Section 162(m) of the Code.

 

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The primary purpose of our compensation committee is to discharge the responsibilities of our board of directors in overseeing our compensation policies, plans and programs and to review and determine the compensation to be paid to our executive officers, directors and other senior management, as appropriate. Specific responsibilities of our compensation committee include:

 

   

reviewing and approving the compensation of our chief executive officer, other executive officers and senior management;

 

   

reviewing and recommending to our board of directors the compensation paid to our directors;

 

   

reviewing and approving the compensation arrangements with our executive officers and other senior management;

 

   

administering our equity incentive plans and other benefit programs;

 

   

reviewing, adopting, amending and terminating, incentive compensation and equity plans, severance agreements, profit sharing plans, bonus plans, change-of-control protections and any other compensatory arrangements for our executive officers and other senior management;

 

   

reviewing, evaluating and recommending to our board of directors succession plans for our executive officers; and

 

   

reviewing and establishing general policies relating to compensation and benefits of our employees, including our overall compensation philosophy.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Our nominating and corporate governance committee consists of                     and                     . The chair of our nominating and corporate governance committee is                    . Our board of directors has determined that each member of the nominating and corporate governance committee is independent under the Nasdaq listing standards, a non-employee director, and free from any relationship that would interfere with the exercise of his or her independent judgment.

Specific responsibilities of our nominating and corporate governance committee include:

 

   

identifying and evaluating candidates, including the nomination of incumbent directors for reelection and nominees recommended by stockholders, to serve on our board of directors;

 

   

considering and making recommendations to our board of directors regarding the composition and chairmanship of the committees of our board of directors;

 

   

instituting plans or programs for the continuing education of our board of directors and orientation of new directors;

 

   

developing and making recommendations to our board of directors regarding corporate governance guidelines and matters; and

 

   

overseeing periodic evaluations of the board of directors’ performance, including committees of the board of directors and management.

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

Effective upon the completion of this offering, we will adopt a code of business conduct and ethics that applies to all our employees, officers and directors. This includes our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. The full text of our code of business conduct and ethics will be posted on our website at www.bionanogenomics.com. We intend to disclose on our website any future amendments to our code of business conduct and ethics or waivers that exempt any principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, persons performing similar functions or our directors from provisions in our code of business conduct and ethics. Information contained in, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus, and you should not consider information on our website to be part of this prospectus.

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

 

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None of the members of the compensation committee is currently, or has been at any time, one of our officers or employees. None of our executive officers currently serves, or has served during the last calendar year, as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee of any entity that has one or more executive officers serving as a member of our board of directors or compensation committee.

Director Compensation

Our board of directors adopted a non-employee director compensation policy in                     , 2018 that will become effective upon the execution and delivery of the underwriting agreement related to this offering and will be applicable to all of our non-employee directors. This compensation policy provides that each such non-employee director will receive the following compensation for service on our board of directors:

 

   

an annual cash retainer of $        ;

 

   

an additional annual cash retainer of $        , $        and $         for service as a member of the audit committee, compensation committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee, respectively;

 

   

an additional annual cash retainer of $        , $         and $         for service as chair of the audit committee, compensation committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee, respectively;

 

   

an initial option grant to purchase      shares of our common stock on the date of each such non-employee director’s appointment to our board of directors; and

 

   

an annual option grant to purchase      shares of our common stock on the date of each of our annual stockholder meetings.

Each of the option grants described above will be granted under our 2018 Plan, the terms of which are described in more detail below under “— Equity Benefit Plans — 2018 Equity Incentive Plan.” Each such option grant will vest and become exercisable subject to the director’s continuous service to us. The term of each option will be 10 years, subject to earlier termination as provided in the 2018 Plan.

We have reimbursed and will continue to reimburse all of our non-employee directors for their reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending board of directors and committee meetings. Dr. Holmlin, our President and Chief Executive Officer, is also a director but did not receive any additional compensation for his service as a director. See the section titled “Executive Compensation” for more information regarding the compensation earned by Dr. Holmlin.

The following table sets forth in summary form information concerning the compensation that was earned by each of our non-employee directors during the year ended December 31, 2017:

 

NAME

   FEES EARNED OR PAID IN
CASH
     OPTION AWARDS ($)(1)      TOTAL ($)  

David L. Barker, Ph.D.

   $ 30,000      $ 8,066      $ 38,066  

Darren Cai, Ph.D.

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

Brian K. Halak, Ph.D. (2)

   $ —        $ 5,500      $ 5,500  

Albert Luderer, Ph.D.

   $ 10,000      $ 5,500      $ 15,500  

Junfeng Wang

   $ —        $ —        $ —    

 

(1)

The amounts reported reflect the aggregate grant date fair value of each equity award granted to our non-employee directors during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standard Board Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 for stock-based compensation transactions (ASC 718). Assumptions used in the calculation of these amounts are included in Note 2 to our financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. As required by SEC rules, the amounts shown exclude the impact of estimated forfeitures related to service-based vesting conditions. These amounts do not reflect the actual economic value that will be realized by our non-employee directors upon the vesting of the stock options, the exercise of the stock options, or the sale of the common stock underlying such stock options. As of December 31, 2017, the aggregate number of shares outstanding under all options to purchase our common stock held by our non-employee directors were: Dr. Barker, 573,200; Dr. Halak, 387,000; and Dr. Luderer, 393,000. None of our non-employee directors held unvested stock awards as of December 31, 2017.

(2)

Dr. Halak resigned from our Board of Directors in May 2018.

 

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Our named executive officers for the year ended December 31, 2017, consisting of our principal executive officer and the next two most highly compensated executive officers, were:

 

   

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D., our Chief Executive Officer;

 

   

Mike Ward, our Chief Financial Officer; and

 

   

Han Cao, Ph.D., our Chief Scientific Officer.

Summary Compensation Table

The following table presents all of the compensation awarded to or earned by or paid to our named executive officers during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

 

Name and Principal Position

   Year      Salary
($)
     Bonus
($)
     Option
Awards(1)
($)
     Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation(2)
($)
     All Other
Compensation(3)
($)
     Total
($)
 

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

     2017        378,628        —          93,786        118,132        14,784        605,330  

Chief Executive Officer

           —                

Mike Ward

     2017        289,380        —          20,841        72,056        14,198        396,475  

Chief Financial Officer

                    

Han Cao, Ph.D.

     2017        300,451        —          31,262        45,518        14,468        391,699  

Chief Scientific Officer

           —                

 

(1)

In accordance with SEC rules, this column reflects the aggregate grant date fair value of stock options granted to our named executive officers during fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 under our 2006 Plan, computed in accordance with ASC 718. The valuation assumptions used in calculating the fair value of the stock options are included in Note 2 to our financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. These amounts do not reflect the actual economic value that may be realized by the named executive officer upon the vesting of the stock options, the exercise of the stock options, or the sale of the common stock underlying such stock options.

(2)

Amounts reported represent bonuses earned for 2017 and paid in 2018 at the discretion of our board of directors.

(3)

Amounts reflect the following: for Mr. Holmlin, $14,424 for 401(k) matching contributions and $360 for life insurance premiums; for Mr. Ward, $13,838 for 401(k) matching contributions and $360 for life insurance premiums; for Mr. Cao, $14,108 for 401(k) matching contributions and $360 for life insurance premiums.

Annual Base Salary

The compensation of our named executive officers is generally determined and approved by our board of directors, based on the recommendation of the compensation committee of our board of directors. The 2017 base salaries that became effective as of February 7, 2017 were as follows:

 

NAME

   2017 BASE
SALARY
($)
 

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

     378,628  

Mike Ward

     289,380  

Han Cao, Ph.D.

     300,451  

Bonus Opportunity

In addition to base salaries, our named executive officers are eligible to receive annual performance-based cash bonuses, which are designed to provide appropriate incentives to our executives to achieve defined annual performance goals and to reward our executives for individual achievement towards these goals. The annual performance-based bonus each named executive officer is eligible to receive is generally based on the extent to which we achieve the corporate goals that our compensation committee establishes each year and, for all except Dr. Holmlin, the individual’s contributions to such achievements. Dr. Holmlin’s payout is based entirely on Company performance, Dr. Cao’s payout is based on Company performance (25% weighting) and his individual performance (75% weighting), and Mr. Ward’s payout is based on Company performance (50% weighting) and his individual performance (50% weighting). At the end of the year, our board of directors reviews each executive’s performance and determines the actual bonus payout to be awarded to each of our named executive officers.

 

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For 2017, the target bonus for Dr. Holmlin was 40% of base salary, for Dr. Cao was 20% of base salary and for Mr. Ward was 30% of base salary. Our corporate performance objectives for 2017, as established by our compensation committee, included achievement of our 2017 operating plan, launch of our Saphyr instrument, accomplishment of product development milestones, entry into product development and marketing arrangements and securing additional financing. In March 2018, our board of directors approved a 78% overall achievement level of our corporate goals and awarded bonuses to our named executive officers based on Company achievements and, except for Dr. Holmlin, on individual performance in 2017.

Equity-Based Incentive Awards

We believe that our ability to grant equity-based awards is a valuable and necessary compensation tool that aligns the long-term financial interests of our employees, consultants and directors with the financial interests of our stockholders. In addition, we believe that our ability to grant equity-based awards helps us to attract, retain and motivate employees, consultants and directors, and encourages them to devote their best efforts to our business and financial success. Our board of directors is responsible for approving equity grants. Vesting of equity awards is generally tied to continuous service with us and serves as an additional retention measure. Our executives generally are awarded an initial new hire grant upon commencement of employment. Additional grants may occur periodically in order to specifically incentivize executives with respect to achieving certain corporate goals or to reward executives for exceptional performance.

Prior to this offering, we have granted all equity awards pursuant to the 2006 Plan, the terms of which are described below under “—Equity Benefit Plans.” All options are granted with a per share exercise price equal to no less than the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of the grant of such award. Generally our stock option awards vest over a three-year period subject to the holder’s continuous service to us.

In February 2017, our board of directors granted options to purchase 6,590,702 shares to Dr. Holmlin, 2,196,900 shares to Dr. Cao and 1,464,600 shares to Mr. Ward. Each option has an exercise price of $0.03 per share and vests as follows: 25% of the shares subject to the option are fully vested and 6.25% of the shares subject to the option vest at the end of each three month anniversary of vesting commencement date, subject to single trigger acceleration of vesting in connection with a change of control, provided in each case that the holder is then providing services to us in accordance with the terms of the 2006 Plan. For additional information, please see below under “—Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End.”

Agreements with Our Named Executive Officers

Below are descriptions of our employment agreements with our named executive officers. For a discussion of the severance pay and other benefits to be provided in connection with a termination of employment and/or a change in control under the arrangements with our named executive officers, please see “—Potential Payments upon Termination or Change in Control” below.

Dr. Holmlin. We entered into an employment agreement with Dr. Holmlin in January 2011, as amended in March 2011 and in November 2017, which governs the current terms of his employment with us. Pursuant to the agreement, as amended, Dr. Holmlin was entitled to an initial annual base salary of $315,000 and is eligible to receive an annual performance bonus with a target of 40% of his base salary, with a higher amount possible if goals exceeding target are achieved, as determined by our compensation committee and subject to approval by our board of directors. In addition, Dr. Holmlin was eligible to receive an option to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock representing 5.0% of the fully-diluted equity shares immediately subsequent to the closing of a Series B transaction, which were equal to 1,280,828 shares of our common stock and were granted in 2011. In addition, Dr. Holmlin’s agreement provided for additional options to be granted in connection with specified events in order to maintain Dr. Holmlin’s ownership percentage, pursuant to which Dr. Holmlin was granted additional options to purchase 477,500 shares in 2012 and 1,090,067 shares in 2015. No obligations to make additional grants to maintain Dr. Holmlin’s ownership percentage remain under his employment agreement. Dr. Holmlin’s employment is at will.

Mr. Ward. We entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Ward in July 2016, which governs the current terms of his employment with us. Pursuant to the agreement, Mr. Ward was entitled to an initial annual base salary of $278,250 and is eligible to receive an annual performance bonus with a target amount of up to 30% of his base salary, as determined by our board of directors. Mr. Ward’s employment is at will.

Dr. Cao. We entered into an employment agreement with Dr. Cao in July 2011, as amended in November 2017, which governs the current terms of his employment with us. Pursuant to the agreement, Dr. Cao was entitled to an initial annual base salary of $250,000 and a one-time signing bonus of $40,000 in cash. Dr. Cao received certain benefits in connection with his relocation, which were paid in 2012.

 

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Dr. Cao is eligible to receive an annual performance bonus with a target amount of 20% of his base salary based on the Company’s performance (25% weighting) and Dr. Cao’s individual performance (75% weighting), as determined by our board of directors. In addition, Dr. Cao was eligible to receive an option to purchase a number of shares of the Company’s common stock that, together with shares and/or options then owned by Dr. Cao and the shares of Series B preferred stock of the Company that was to be issued to Dr. Cao as described in his employment agreement, represented no less than 7.5% of the total outstanding shares of the common stock of the Company on a fully diluted basis, which was equal to 1,003,501 shares of our common stock and was granted in 2011. No obligations to make additional grants to maintain Dr. Cao’s ownership percentage remain under his employment agreement. Dr. Cao was also entitled to a bonus consisting of 240,800 shares of Series B preferred stock of the Company pursuant to the terms of a restricted stock purchase agreement entered into in August 2011. Dr. Cao’s employment is at will.

Potential Payments upon Termination or Change in Control

Regardless of the manner in which a named executive officer’s service terminates, each named executive officer is entitled to receive amounts earned during his term of service, including unpaid salary and unused vacation. In addition, each of our named executive officers is eligible to receive certain benefits pursuant to his employment agreement with us, as described below. For the definitions of “cause,” “good reason” and “disability” referenced below, please refer to the individual employment agreements with each of our named executive officers.

Dr. Holmlin. Upon Dr. Holmlin’s termination for any reason other than death, disability, cause or resignation without good reason, and subject to Dr. Holmlin’s execution of a release, Dr. Holmlin shall be eligible to receive (i) a lump sum amount equal to nine months of base salary, (ii) accelerated vesting of any options or restricted shares that would have vested within 18 months after the date of termination and (iii) premiums for continued health coverage for nine months following the date of termination, or until Dr. Holmlin is no longer eligible for continuation coverage, whichever is earlier. In the event of termination due to disability, and subject to Dr. Holmlin’s execution of a release, Dr. Holmlin shall be eligible to receive accelerated vesting in full for any unvested portion of the options granted pursuant to his agreement. In the event of a deemed liquidation event (as defined in Dr. Holmlin’s employment agreement), the options granted to Dr. Holmlin pursuant to his agreement shall vest in full.

Mr. Ward. Upon termination without cause, and subject to Mr. Ward’s execution of a release, Mr. Ward will be eligible to receive (i) six months of continued base salary payments at the rate in effect at the time of termination and (ii) premiums for continued health coverage for six months following the date of termination or until Mr. Ward is no longer eligible for continuation coverage or he becomes eligible for new healthcare eligibility available through new employment, whichever is earlier.

Dr. Cao. Upon Dr. Cao’s termination without cause or resignation for good reason, and subject to Dr. Cao’s execution of a release, Dr. Cao will be eligible to receive (i) six months of continued base salary, to be paid on the Company’s normal pay days commencing with the first regular payroll date of the Company following the effective date of the release, and (ii) premiums for continued health coverage for a period of six months following the date of termination or until Dr. Cao is no longer eligible for such coverage, whichever is earlier. In addition, Dr. Cao’s unvested options shall immediately vest as if Dr. Cao had been employed for an additional six months from the date of termination, since more than two years has passed from start of Dr. Cao’s employment. Upon Dr. Cao’s termination by death or disability, Dr. Cao’s unvested options shall immediately vest as if Dr. Cao had been employed for an additional six months from the date of termination, since more than two years has passed from the start of Dr. Cao’s employment.

Each of our named executive officers holds stock options under the 2006 Plan that were granted subject to the general terms of the 2006 Plan and the form of stock option agreement. A description of the termination and change of control provisions in the 2006 Plan and stock options granted thereunder is provided below under “—Equity Benefit Plans” and the specific vesting terms of each named executive officer’s stock options are described below under “—Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End.”

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

The following table presents information regarding outstanding equity awards held by our named executive officers as of December 31, 2017.

 

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           Option Awards(1)  

Name

   Grant
Date
    Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Exercisable
     Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Unexercisable
     Option
Exercise
Price
Per
Share(2)
     Option
Expiration
Date
 

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.

     2/7/2017 (3)      2,883,432        3,707,270      $ 0.03        2/6/2027  
     1/29/2015 (4)      139,438        63,377      $ 1.50        1/28/2025  
     1/29/2015       109,006        —        $ 1.50        1/28/2025  
     6/20/2012       47,749        —        $ 1.60        6/19/2022  
     9/13/2011       6        —        $ 1.00        9/12/2021  
     5/16/2011       128,076        —        $ 1.00        5/15/2021  

Mike Ward

     2/7/2017 (3)      640,763        823,837      $ 0.03        2/6/2027  
     1/29/2015 (4)      29,873        13,575      $ 1.50        1/28/2025  
     4/21/2014 (4)      22,940        3,276      $ 1.90        4/20/2024  

Han Cao, Ph.D.

     2/7/2017 (3)      961,144        1,235,756      $ 0.03        2/6/2027  
     1/29/2015 (4)      75,265        34,210      $ 1.50        1/28/2025  
     1/29/2015       68,452        —        $ 1.50        1/28/2025  
     8/10/2011       100,350        —        $ 1.00        8/9/2021  
     4/2/2010       2,000        —        $ 0.90        4/1/2020  
     1/15/2009       2,000        —        $ 6.80        1/14/2019  

 

(1)

All of the option awards were granted under the 2006 Plan, the terms of which plan is described below under “—Equity Benefit Plans.”

(2)

All of the option awards were granted with a per share exercise price equal to the fair market value of one share of our common stock on the date of grant, as determined in good faith by our board of directors.

(3)

Each option award vests as follows: 25% of the shares subject to the option are fully vested and 6.25% of the shares subject to the option vest at the end of each three month anniversary of the vesting commencement date, subject to single trigger acceleration of vesting in connection with a change of control, provided in each case that the holder is then providing services to us in accordance with the terms of the 2006 Plan.

(4)

Each option award vests as follows: 25% of the shares subject to the option shall vest at the end of the first anniversary of the vesting commencement date, and 6.25% of the shares subject to the option vest at the end of each three month anniversary of the vesting commencement date, subject to single trigger acceleration of vesting in connection with a change of control, provided in each case that the holder is then providing services to us in accordance with the terms of the 2006 Plan.

Perquisites, Health, Welfare and Retirement Benefits

All of our current named executive officers are eligible to participate in our employee benefit plans, including our medical, dental, vision, life, disability and accidental death and dismemberment insurance plans, in each case on the same basis as all of our other employees. We pay the premiums for the life, disability, accidental death and dismemberment insurance for all of our employees, including our named executive officers. In addition, we provide a 401(k) plan to our employees, including our named executive officers, as discussed in the section below entitled “—401(k) Plan.” We generally do not provide perquisites or personal benefits to our named executive officers.

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

Our named executive officers did not participate in, or earn any benefits under, a nonqualified deferred compensation plan sponsored by us during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017. Our board of directors may elect to provide our officers and other employees with nonqualified defined contribution or other nonqualified deferred compensation benefits in the future if it determines that doing so is in our best interests.

401(k) Plan

We maintain a defined contribution employee retirement plan, or 401(k) plan, for our employees. Our named executive officers are eligible to participate in the 401(k) plan on the same basis as our other employees. The 401(k) plan is intended to qualify as a tax-qualified plan under Section 401(k) of the Code. The plan permits us to make discretionary contributions, including matching contributions and discretionary profit sharing contributions. The 401(k) plan currently does not offer the ability to invest in our securities.

 

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Equity Benefit Plans

The principal features of our equity plans are summarized below. These summaries are qualified in their entirety by reference to the actual text of the plans, which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

2018 Equity Incentive Plan

Our board of directors adopted our 2018 Plan on         2018 and our stockholders approved our 2018 Plan on         2018. Our 2018 Plan provides for the grant of incentive stock options, or ISOs, within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code, to employees, including employees of any parent or subsidiary, and for the grant of nonstatutory stock options, or NSOs, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, restricted stock unit awards, performance stock awards, performance cash awards and other forms of stock awards to employees, directors and consultants, including employees and consultants of our affiliates. Our 2018 Plan is a successor to and continuation of our 2006 Plan. No stock awards may be granted under the 2018 Plan until the date of the underwriting agreement related to this offering.

Authorized Shares. Initially, the maximum number of shares of our common stock that may be issued under our 2018 plan after it becomes effective will be the sum of (1)     new shares, plus (2) the number of shares (not to exceed     shares) (i) that remain available for the issuance of awards under our 2006 Plan at the time our 2018 Plan becomes effective, and (ii) any shares subject to outstanding stock options or other stock awards that were granted under our 2006 Plan that are forfeited, terminate, expire, are reacquired, withheld (or not issued) to satisfy a tax withholding obligation or the purchase or exercise price. In addition, the number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under our 2018 Plan will automatically increase on January 1 of each calendar year, starting on January 1, 2019 (assuming the 2018 Plan becomes effective in 2018) through January 1, 2028, in an amount equal to         % of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding on the last day of the calendar month before the date of each automatic increase, or a lesser number of shares determined by our board of directors. The maximum number of shares of our common stock that may be issued on the exercise of ISOs under our 2018 Plan is        .

Shares subject to stock awards granted under our 2018 Plan that expire or terminate without being exercised in full, or that are paid out in cash rather than in shares, do not reduce the number of shares available for issuance under our 2018 Plan. Additionally, shares become available for future grant under our 2018 Plan if they were issued under stock awards under our 2018 Plan if we repurchase them or they are forfeited. This includes shares used to pay the exercise price of a stock award or to satisfy the tax withholding obligations related to a stock award.

Plan Administration. Our board of directors, or a duly authorized committee of our board of directors, will administer our 2018 Plan. Our board of directors may also delegate to one or more of our officers the authority to (1) designate employees (other than officers) to receive specified stock awards and (2) determine the number of shares subject to such stock awards. Under our 2018 Plan, our board of directors has the authority to determine and amend the terms of awards and underlying agreements, including:

 

   

recipients;

 

   

the exercise, purchase or strike price of stock awards, if any;

 

   

the number of shares subject to each stock award;

 

   

the vesting schedule applicable to the awards, together with any vesting acceleration; and

 

   

the form of consideration, if any, payable on exercise or settlement of the award.

Under the 2018 Plan, the board of directors also generally has the authority to effect, with the consent of any adversely affected participant:

 

   

the reduction of the exercise, purchase, or strike price of any outstanding award;

 

   

the cancellation of any outstanding award and the grant in substitution therefore of other awards, cash, or other consideration; or

 

   

any other action that is treated as a repricing under generally accepted accounting principles.

 

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Stock Options. ISOs and NSOs are granted under stock option agreements adopted by the plan administrator. The plan administrator determines the exercise price for stock options, within the terms and conditions of the 2018 Plan, provided that the exercise price of a stock option generally cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of our common stock on the date of grant. Options granted under the 2018 Plan vest at the rate specified in the stock option agreement as determined by the plan administrator.

Tax Limitations on Incentive Stock Options. The aggregate fair market value, determined at the time of grant, of our common stock with respect to ISOs that are exercisable for the first time by an award holder during any calendar year under all of our stock plans may not exceed $100,000. Options or portions thereof that exceed such limit will generally be treated as NSOs. No ISO may be granted to any person who, at the time of the grant, owns or is deemed to own stock possessing more than 10% of our total combined voting power or that of any of our affiliates unless (1) the option exercise price is at least 110% of the fair market value of the stock subject to the option on the date of grant, and (2) the term of the ISO does not exceed five years from the date of grant.

Restricted Stock Unit Awards. Restricted stock units are granted under restricted stock unit award agreements adopted by the plan administrator. Restricted stock units may be granted in consideration for any form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to our board of directors and permissible under applicable law. A restricted stock unit may be settled by cash, delivery of stock, a combination of cash and stock as deemed appropriate by the plan administrator, or in any other form of consideration set forth in the restricted stock unit agreement. Additionally, dividend equivalents may be credited in respect of shares covered by a restricted stock unit. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable award agreement, restricted stock units that have not vested will be forfeited once the participant’s continuous service ends for any reason.

Restricted Stock Awards. Restricted stock awards are granted under restricted stock award agreements adopted by the plan administrator. A restricted stock award may be awarded in consideration for cash, check, bank draft or money order, past or future services to us, or any other form of legal consideration that may be acceptable to our board of directors and permissible under applicable law. The plan administrator determines the terms and conditions of restricted stock awards, including vesting and forfeiture terms. If a participant’s service relationship with us ends for any reason, we may receive any or all of the shares of common stock held by the participant that have not vested as of the date the participant terminates service with us through a forfeiture condition or a repurchase right.

Stock Appreciation Rights. Stock appreciation rights are granted under stock appreciation grant agreements adopted by the plan administrator. The plan administrator determines the purchase price or strike price for a stock appreciation right, which generally cannot be less than 100% of the fair market value of our common stock on the date of grant. A stock appreciation right granted under the 2018 Plan vests at the rate specified in the stock appreciation right agreement as determined by the plan administrator.

Performance Awards. The 2018 Plan permits the grant of performance-based stock and cash awards. Our compensation committee may structure awards so that the stock or cash will be issued or paid only following the achievement of certain pre-established performance goals during a designated performance period.

The performance goals that may be selected include one or more of the following: (i) sales; (ii) revenues; (iii) assets; (iv) expenses; (v) market penetration or expansion; (vi) earnings from operations; (vii) earnings before or after deduction for all or any portion of interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, incentives, service fees or extraordinary or special items, whether or not on a continuing operations or an aggregate or per share basis; (viii) net income or net income per common share (basic or diluted); (ix) return on equity, investment, capital or assets; (x) one or more operating ratios; (xi) borrowing levels, leverage ratios or credit rating; (xii) market share; (xiii) capital expenditures; (xiv) cash flow, free cash flow, cash flow return on investment, or net cash provided by operations; (xv) stock price, dividends or total stockholder return; (xvi) development of new technologies or products; (xvii) sales of particular products or services; (xviii) economic value created or added; (xix) operating margin or profit margin; (xx) customer acquisition or retention; (xxi) raising or refinancing of capital; (xxii) successful hiring of key individuals; (xxiii) resolution of significant litigation; (xxiv) acquisitions and divestitures (in whole or in part); (xxv) joint ventures and strategic alliances; (xxvi) spin-offs, split-ups and the like; (xxvii) reorganizations; (xxviii) recapitalizations, restructurings, financings (issuance of debt or equity) or refinancings; (xxix) or strategic business criteria, consisting of one or more objectives based on the following goals: achievement of timely development, design management or enrollment, meeting specified market penetration or value added, payor acceptance, patient adherence, peer reviewed publications, issuance of new patents, establishment of or securing of licenses to intellectual property, product development or introduction (including, without limitation, any clinical trial accomplishments, regulatory or other filings, approvals or milestones, discovery of novel products, maintenance of multiple products in pipeline, product launch or other product development milestones), geographic business expansion, cost targets, cost reductions or savings, customer satisfaction, operating efficiency, acquisition or retention, employee satisfaction, information technology, corporate development (including, without limitation, licenses, innovation, research or establishment of third party collaborations), manufacturing or process development, legal compliance or risk reduction, patent application or issuance goals, or goals relating to acquisitions, divestitures or other business combinations (in whole or in part), joint ventures or strategic alliances; and (xxx) other measures of performance selected by the board of directors.

 

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The performance goals may be based on company-wide performance or performance of one or more business units, divisions, affiliates, or business segments, and may be either absolute or relative to the performance of one or more comparable companies or the performance of one or more relevant indices. Unless specified otherwise by the board or committee (as applicable) (i) in the award agreement at the time the award is granted, or (ii) in another document setting forth the performance goals at the time the performance goals are established, the board or committee (as applicable) will appropriately make adjustments in the method of calculating the attainment of performance goals for a performance period as follows: (1) to exclude restructuring and/or other nonrecurring charges; (2) to exclude exchange rate effects; (3) to exclude the effects of changes to generally accepted accounting principles; (4) to exclude the effects of any statutory adjustments to corporate tax rates; (5) to exclude the effects of any items that are unusual in nature or occur infrequently as determined under generally accepted accounting principles; (6) to exclude the dilutive effects of acquisitions or joint ventures; (7) to assume that any business divested by the Company achieved performance objectives at targeted levels during the balance of a Performance Period following such divestiture; (8) to exclude the effect of any change in the outstanding shares of common stock of the Company by reason of any stock dividend or split, stock repurchase, reorganization, recapitalization, merger, consolidation, spin-off, combination or exchange of shares or other similar corporate change, or any distributions to common stockholders other than regular cash dividends; (9) to exclude the effects of stock based compensation and the award of bonuses under the Company’s bonus plans; (10) to exclude costs incurred in connection with potential acquisitions or divestitures that are required to be expensed under generally accepted accounting principles; (11) to exclude the goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges that are required to be recorded under generally accepted accounting principles; (12) to exclude the effect of any other unusual, non-recurring gain or loss or other extraordinary item; and (13) to exclude the effects of the timing of acceptance for review and/or approval of submissions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other regulatory body. In addition, the board or committee (as applicable) retains the discretion to reduce or eliminate the compensation or economic benefit due on attainment of performance goals and to define the manner of calculating the performance criteria it selects to use for such performance period. Partial achievement of the specified criteria may result in the payment or vesting corresponding to the degree of achievement as specified in the award agreement or the written terms of a performance cash award.

Other Stock Awards. The plan administrator may grant other awards based in whole or in part by reference to our common stock. The plan administrator will set the number of shares under the stock award and all other terms and conditions of such awards.

Changes to Capital Structure. In the event there is a specified type of change in our capital structure, such as a stock split, reverse stock split, or recapitalization, appropriate adjustments will be made to (1) the class and maximum number of shares reserved for issuance under the 2018 Plan, (2) the class and maximum number of shares by which the share reserve may increase automatically each year, (3) the class and maximum number of shares that may be issued on the exercise of incentive stock options, (4) the class and maximum number of shares subject to stock awards that may be awarded to any non-employee director under the 2018 Plan, and (5) the class and number of shares and exercise price, strike price, or purchase price, if applicable, of all outstanding stock awards.

Corporate Transactions. Our 2018 Plan provides that in the event of certain specified significant corporate transactions (or a change in control, as defined below), unless otherwise provided in an award agreement or other written agreement between us and the award holder, the administrator may take one or more of the following actions with respect to such stock awards:

 

   

arrange for the assumption, continuation, or substitution of a stock award by a successor corporation;

 

   

arrange for the assignment of any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by us to a successor corporation;

 

   

accelerate the vesting, in whole or in part, of the stock award and provide for its termination if not exercised (if applicable) at or before the effective time of the transaction;

 

   

arrange for the lapse, in whole or in part, of any reacquisition or repurchase rights held by us;

 

   

cancel or arrange for the cancellation of the stock award, to the extent not vested or not exercised before the effective time of the transaction, in exchange for a cash payment, if any, as determined by the board; or

 

   

make a payment, in the form determined by our board of directors, equal to the excess, if any, of (A) the value of the property the participant would have received on exercise of the award immediately before the effective time of the transaction, over (B) any exercise price payable by the participant in connection with the exercise.

The plan administrator is not obligated to treat all stock awards or portions of stock awards, even those that are of the same type, in the same manner and is not obligated to treat all participants in the same manner.

 

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Under the 2018 Plan, a corporate transaction is generally the consummation of: (1) a sale of all or substantially all of our assets, (2) the sale or disposition of more than 50% of our outstanding securities, (3) a merger or consolidation where we do not survive the transaction, or (4) a merger or consolidation where we do survive the transaction but the shares of our common stock outstanding immediately before such transaction are converted or exchanged into other property by virtue of the transaction.

In the event of a change in control, the board of directors may take any of the above-mentioned actions. Awards granted under the 2018 Plan will not receive automatic acceleration of vesting and exercisability in the event of a change in control, although this treatment may be provided for in an award agreement or other written agreement between the Company and the participant. Under the 2018 Plan, a change in control is generally (1) the acquisition by any person or company of more than 50% of the combined voting power of our then outstanding stock, (2) a merger, consolidation or similar transaction in which our stockholders immediately before the transaction do not own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of the combined voting power of the surviving entity (or the parent of the surviving entity), (3) a sale, lease, exclusive license or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets other than to an entity more than 50% of the combined voting power of which is owned by our stockholders, (4) a complete dissolution or liquidation of the Company, or (5) when a majority of our board of directors becomes comprised of individuals who were not serving on our board of directors on the date of the underwriting agreement related to this offering, or the incumbent board, or whose nomination, appointment, or election was not approved by a majority of the incumbent board still in office.

Transferability. Under the 2018 Plan, stock awards are generally not transferable other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution, or as otherwise permitted by our board of directors.

Plan Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend, suspend, or terminate our 2018 Plan, provided that such action does not materially impair the existing rights of any participant without such participant’s written consent. Certain material amendments also require the approval of our stockholders. No incentive stock options may be granted after the tenth anniversary of the date our board of directors adopted our 2018 Plan. No stock awards may be granted under our 2018 Plan while it is suspended or after it is terminated.

Amended and Restated 2006 Equity Compensation Plan

Our board of directors adopted and our stockholders originally approved our 2006 Plan in September 2006, and it was subsequently amended and restated in September 2008 and most recently amended in March 2016. All references herein to our 2006 Plan shall be deemed to refer to our Amended and Restated 2006 Equity Compensation Plan, as amended, unless the context otherwise requires. Our 2006 Plan allows for the grant of ISOs to employees, including employees of any subsidiary, and for the grant of NSOs, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards and restricted stock units and other equity awards to employees, directors and consultants, including employees and consultants of our subsidiaries.

Once our 2018 Plan becomes effective, no further grants will be made under our 2006 Plan. Any outstanding awards granted under our 2006 Plan will remain subject to the terms of our 2006 Plan and applicable award agreements.

Authorized Shares. The maximum number of shares of our common stock that may be issued under our 2006 Plan is 21,879,113 shares. Shares subject to stock awards granted under our 2006 Plan that expire, are forfeited, or terminate without being exercised in full do not reduce the number of shares available for issuance under our 2006 Plan.

Plan Administration. Our board of directors or a duly authorized committee of our board of directors administers our 2006 Plan. Our board of directors shall have the sole authority to (i) determine the individuals to whom grants shall be made under the 2006 Plan, (ii) determine the type, size and terms of the grants to be made to each such individual, (iii) determine the time when the grants will be made and the duration of any applicable exercise or restriction period, including the criteria for exercisability and the acceleration of exercisability, (iv) amend the terms of any previously issued grant, and (v) deal with any other matters arising under the 2006 Plan.

Change of Control. Our 2006 Plan provides that in the event of a change of control, all awards granted under the 2006 Plan shall become fully vested and exercisable (as applicable), unless the board of directors determines otherwise. In the event of a change of control, the administrator may take any of the following actions with respect to any or all outstanding awards: (i) determine that all outstanding options and stock appreciation rights that are not exercised shall be assumed by, or replaced with comparable options by the surviving corporation (or a parent or subsidiary of the surviving corporation), and other outstanding grants that remain in effect after the change of control shall be converted to similar grants of the surviving corporation (or a parent or subsidiary of the surviving corporation), (ii) require that grantees surrender their outstanding options and stock appreciation rights in exchange for one or more payments, in cash or Company stock as determined by the board of directors, in an amount, if any, equal to the amount by which the then fair market value of the shares of Company stock subject to the grantee’s unexercised options and stock appreciation rights exceeds the exercise price or base amount of the options and stock appreciation rights, on such terms as the board of directors determines, or (iii) after giving grantees an opportunity to exercise their outstanding options and stock appreciation rights, terminate any or all unexercised options and stock appreciation rights at such time as the board of directors deems appropriate.

 

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Such assumption, surrender or termination shall take place as of the date of the change of control or such other date as the board of directors may specify. The plan administrator is not obligated to treat all stock awards, even those that are of the same type, or all participants, in the same manner.

Under the 2006 Plan, a change of control is generally (1) the acquisition by any person or company of more than 50% of the combined voting power of our then outstanding stock, (2) the consummation of a merger or consolidation with another corporation where our stockholders, immediately prior to the merger or consolidation, will not beneficially own, immediately after the merger or consolidation, shares entitling such stockholders to more than 50% of all votes to which all stockholders of the surviving corporation would be entitled in the election of directors, (3) the consummation of a sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of our assets, or (4) the consummation of a liquidation or dissolution.

Transferability. Under our 2006 Plan, awards are generally not transferable other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution or as otherwise permitted by the Board.

Plan Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend, suspend, or terminate our 2006 Plan, although certain material amendments require the approval of our stockholders, and amendments that would materially impair the rights of any participant require the consent of that participant.

2018 Employee Stock Purchase Plan

Our board of directors adopted, and our stockholders approved, our 2018 ESPP in             2018. The ESPP will become effective immediately prior to and contingent upon the date of the underwriting agreement related to this offering. The purpose of the ESPP is to secure the services of new employees, to retain the services of existing employees, and to provide incentives for such individuals to exert maximum efforts toward our success and that of our affiliates. The ESPP is intended to qualify as an “employee stock purchase plan” within the meaning of Section 423 of the Code for U.S. employees.

Share Reserve. Following this offering, the ESPP authorizes the issuance of      shares of our common stock under purchase rights granted to our employees or to employees of any of our designated affiliates. The number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance will automatically increase on January 1 of each calendar year, beginning on January 1, 2019 (assuming the ESPP becomes effective in 2018) through January 1, 2028, by the lesser of (1)    % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding on the last day of the calendar month before the date of the automatic increase, and (2)     shares; provided that before the date of any such increase, our board of directors may determine that such increase will be less than the amount set forth in clauses (1) and (2). As of the date hereof, no shares of our common stock have been purchased under the ESPP.

Administration. Our board of directors administers the ESPP and may delegate its authority to administer the ESPP to our compensation committee. The ESPP is implemented through a series of offerings under which eligible employees are granted purchase rights to purchase shares of our common stock on specified dates during such offerings. Under the ESPP, we may specify offerings with durations of not more than 27 months, and may specify shorter purchase periods within each offering. Each offering will have one or more purchase dates on which shares of our common stock will be purchased for employees participating in the offering. An offering under the ESPP may be terminated under certain circumstances.

Payroll Deductions. Generally, all regular employees, including executive officers, employed by us or by any of our designated affiliates, may participate in the ESPP and may contribute, normally through payroll deductions, up to    % of their earnings (as defined in the ESPP) for the purchase of our common stock under the ESPP. Unless otherwise determined by our board of directors, common stock will be purchased for the accounts of employees participating in the ESPP at a price per share that is at least the lesser of (1) 85% of the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the first date of an offering, or (2) 85% of the fair market value of a share of our common stock on the date of purchase. For the initial offering, which we expect will commence on the execution and delivery of the underwriting agreement relating to this offering, the fair market value on the first day of the offering period will be the price at which shares of common stock are first sold to the public.

Limitations. Employees may have to satisfy one or more of the following service requirements before participating in the ESPP, as determined by our board of directors, including: (1) being customarily employed for more than 20 hours per week, (2) being customarily employed for more than five months per calendar year, or (3) continuous employment with us or one of our affiliates for a period of time (not to exceed two years).

 

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No employee may purchase shares under the ESPP at a rate in excess of $25,000 worth of our common stock based on the fair market value per share of our common stock at the beginning of an offering for each calendar year such a purchase right is outstanding and the maximum number of shares an employee may purchase during a single purchase period is                . Finally, no employee will be eligible for the grant of any purchase rights under the ESPP if immediately after such rights are granted, such employee has voting power over 5% or more of our outstanding capital stock measured by vote or value under Section 424(d) of the Code.

Changes to Capital Structure. In the event that there occurs a change in our capital structure through such actions as a stock split, merger, consolidation, reorganization, recapitalization, reincorporation, stock dividend, dividend in property other than cash, large nonrecurring cash dividend, liquidating dividend, combination of shares, exchange of shares, change in corporate structure, or similar transaction, the board of directors will make appropriate adjustments to: (1) the class(es) and maximum number of shares reserved under the ESPP, (2) the class(es) and maximum number of shares by which the share reserve may increase automatically each year, (3) the class(es) and number of shares subject to and purchase price applicable to outstanding offerings and purchase rights, and (4) the class(es) and number of shares that are subject to purchase limits under ongoing offerings.

Corporate Transactions. In the event of certain significant corporate transactions, any then-outstanding rights to purchase our stock under the ESPP may be assumed, continued or substituted for by any surviving or acquiring entity (or its parent company). If the surviving or acquiring entity (or its parent company) elects not to assume, continue, or substitute for such purchase rights, then the participants’ accumulated payroll contributions will be used to purchase shares of our common stock within 10 business days before such corporate transaction, and such purchase rights will terminate immediately.

Under the ESPP, a corporate transaction is generally the consummation of: (1) a sale of all or substantially all of our assets, (2) the sale or disposition of more than 50% of our outstanding securities, (3) a merger or consolidation where we do not survive the transaction, and (4) a merger or consolidation where we do survive the transaction but the shares of our common stock outstanding immediately before such transaction are converted or exchanged into other property by virtue of the transaction,

ESPP Amendment or Termination. Our board of directors has the authority to amend or terminate our ESPP, provided that except in certain circumstances such amendment or termination may not materially impair any outstanding purchase rights without the holder’s consent. We will obtain stockholder approval of any amendment to our ESPP as required by applicable law or listing requirements.

Limitations on Liability and Indemnification

On the closing of this offering, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will contain provisions that limit the liability of our current and former directors for monetary damages to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Delaware law provides that directors of a corporation will not be personally liable for monetary damages for any breach of fiduciary duties as directors, except liability for:

 

   

any breach of the director’s duty of loyalty to the corporation or its stockholders;

 

   

any act or omission not in good faith or that involves intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;

 

   

unlawful payments of dividends or unlawful stock repurchases or redemptions; or

 

   

any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.

Such limitation of liability does not apply to liabilities arising under federal securities laws and does not affect the availability of equitable remedies such as injunctive relief or rescission.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will authorize us to indemnify our directors, officers, employees and other agents to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Our amended and restated bylaws will provide that we are required to indemnify our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law and may indemnify our other employees and agents. Our amended and restated bylaws will also provide that, on satisfaction of certain conditions, we will advance expenses incurred by a director or officer in advance of the final disposition of any action or proceeding, and permit us to secure insurance on behalf of any officer, director, employee, or other agent for any liability arising out of his or her actions in that capacity regardless of whether we would otherwise be permitted to indemnify him or her under the provisions of Delaware law. We have entered and expect to continue to enter into agreements to indemnify our directors, executive officers and other employees as determined by the board of directors. With certain exceptions, these agreements provide for indemnification for related expenses including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and settlement amounts incurred by any of these individuals in any action or proceeding.

 

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We believe that these amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaw provisions and indemnification agreements are necessary to attract and retain qualified persons as directors and officers. We also maintain customary directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.

The limitation of liability and indemnification provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws may discourage stockholders from bringing a lawsuit against our directors for breach of their fiduciary duty. They may also reduce the likelihood of derivative litigation against our directors and officers, even though an action, if successful, might benefit us and other stockholders. Further, a stockholder’s investment may be adversely affected to the extent that we pay the costs of settlement and damage awards against directors and officers as required by these indemnification provisions.

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted for directors, executive officers, or persons controlling us, we have been informed that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.

Rule 10b5-1 Sales Plans

Our directors and officers may adopt written plans, known as Rule 10b5-1 plans, in which they will contract with a broker to buy or sell shares of our common stock on a periodic basis. Under a Rule 10b5-1 plan, a broker executes trades under parameters established by the director or officer when entering into the plan, without further direction from them. The director or officer may amend a Rule 10b5-1 plan in some circumstances and may terminate a plan at any time. Our directors and executive officers may also buy or sell additional shares outside of a Rule 10b5-1 plan when they do not possess of material nonpublic information, subject to compliance with the terms of our insider trading policy. During the first              days from this offering, the sale of any shares under such plan would be subject to the lock-up agreement that the director or officer has entered into with the underwriters.

 

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CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Other than compensation arrangements for our directors and executive officers, which are described elsewhere in this prospectus, below we describe transactions since January 1, 2015 to which we were a party or will be a party, in which:

 

   

the amounts involved exceeded or will exceed $120,000; and

 

   

any of our directors, executive officers or holders of more than 5% of our capital stock, or any member of the immediate family of, or person sharing the household with, the foregoing persons, had or will have a direct or indirect material interest.

Convertible Promissory Note Financing

In February 2016, we issued convertible promissory notes in the aggregate principal amount of $1.5 million with an interest rate of 8% per annum.

The participants in this note financing included the following members of our board of directors and holders of more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock:

 

Name of Participant

   Total Principal
Amount
 

Entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P.(1)

   $ 750,000  

Entities affiliated with Domain Partners VIII, L.P.(2)

   $ 750,000  

 

(1)

Includes (i) $715,042 in cash from LC Fund VI, L.P. and (ii) $34,958 in cash from LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P.

(2)

Includes (i) $744,476 in cash from Domain Partners VIII, L.P., and (ii) $5,524 in cash from DP VIII Associates, L.P.

Series D Convertible Preferred Stock and Warrant Financing

In March and April 2016, we issued and sold, in a series of closings, an aggregate of 20,652,486 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock at a purchase price of $0.48 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $9.9 million, and warrants to purchase an aggregate of 31,672,817 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $31,673. In connection with the first closing of this financing in March 2016, an aggregate of approximately $1.5 million in principal and accrued interest outstanding under the subordinated convertible promissory notes we issued in February 2016 converted into an aggregate of 3,138,013 shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock.

All purchasers of our Series D convertible preferred stock are entitled to specified registration rights. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights” for more information regarding these registration rights. The following table summarizes the Series D convertible preferred stock purchased by affiliates of our executive officers and of members of our board of directors and holders of more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock:

 

Name of Participant

   Shares of Series D
Convertible
Preferred Stock
     Warrants to Purchase
Shares of Series D
Convertible Preferred Stock
     Aggregate
Purchase
Price
 

Entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P. (1)

     6,443,565        11,263,624      $ 3,104,175  

Entities affiliated with Domain Partners VIII, L.P.(2)

     6,443,565        7,412,740      $ 3,100,324  

Han Cao

     4,362,062        10,731,083      $ 2,104,521  

Novartis Bioventures Ltd.

     1,615,096        —        $ 775,246  

 

(1)

Includes: (i) $716,609 of unpaid principal and accrued interest and $2,242,877 in cash from LC Fund VI, L.P., and (ii) $35,035 of unpaid principal and accrued interest and $109,654 in cash from LC Parallel Fund VI, L.P.

(2)

Includes: (i) $749,045 of unpaid principal and accrued interest and $2,328,444 in cash from Domain Partners VIII, L.P., and (ii) $5,558 of unpaid principal and accrued interest and $17,277 in cash from DP VIII Associates, L.P.

Series D-1 Convertible Preferred Stock Financing

In August 2016, as well as January, February, March, April, May, July, August and November 2017, we issued and sold, in a series of closings, an aggregate of 66,141,257 shares of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock at a purchase price of $0.48 per share for an aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $31.7 million.

 

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All purchasers of our Series D-1 convertible preferred stock are entitled to certain registration rights. See the section titled “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights” for more information regarding these registration rights. The following table summarizes the Series D-1 convertible preferred stock purchased by affiliates of our executive officers and of members of our board of directors and holders of more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock:

 

Name of Participant

   Shares of Series D-1
Convertible Preferred
Stock
     Aggregate
Purchase
Price
 

Entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P. (1)

     27,305,708      $ 13,106,740  

Praise Alliance International Limited

     12,500,000      $ 6,000,000  

Full Succeed International Limited

     10,416,667      $ 5,000,000  

Entities affiliated with Domain Partners VIII, L.P.(2)

     3,710,247      $ 1,780,918  

Novartis Bioventures Ltd.

     1,070,373      $ 513,779  

Han Cao

     104,167      $ 50,000  

 

(1)

Includes (i) $1,883,867 in cash from LC Fund VI, L.P.; (ii) $11,106,738 in cash from LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P.; and (iii) $116,135 in cash from LC Parallel Fund VI, L.P.

(2)

Includes (i) $1,767,801 in cash from Domain Partners VIII, L.P., and (ii) $13,117 in cash from DP VIII Associates, L.P.

Convertible Promissory Note Financing

In February 2018, we issued convertible promissory notes in the aggregate principal amount of approximately $13.4 million with an interest rate of 8% per annum.

The participants in this note financing included the following members of our board of directors and holders of more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock:

 

Name of Participant

   Total Principal
Amount
 

Entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P. (1)

   $ 8,460,000  

Entities affiliated with Domain Partners VIII, L.P.(2)

   $ 1,500,000  

 

(1)

Includes (i) $3,460,000 in cash from LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P.; and (ii) $5,000,000 cash from Rosy Shine Limited.

(2)

Includes (i) $1,488,952 in cash from Domain Partners VIII, L.P., and (ii) $11,048 in cash from DP VIII Associates, L.P.

One of our directors, Junfeng Wang, is affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P. (and its affiliated entities that participated in the financings described above).

Investors’ Rights Agreement

In August 2016, we entered into a fifth amended and restated investors’ rights agreement, or the IRA, with certain holders of our preferred stock and common stock, including entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P. and Domain Partners VIII, L.P. and including certain members of, and affiliates of, our directors and certain of our executive officers. The IRA provides the holders of our preferred stock with certain registration rights, including the right to demand that we file a registration statement or request that their shares be covered by a registration statement that we are otherwise filing. The Company has obtained a waiver of these rights in connection with the S-1. The IRA also provides these stockholders with information rights, which will terminate on the closing of this offering, and a right of first refusal with regard to certain issuances of our capital stock, which shall terminate immediately prior to, but subject to, the consummation of this firm-commitment underwritten public offering pursuant to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. After 12 months following the closing of this offering, the holders of          shares of our common stock issuable upon conversion of outstanding preferred stock will be entitled to rights with respect to the registration of their shares of common stock under the Securities Act under this agreement. For a description of these registration rights, see “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights.”

Indemnification Agreements

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation will contain provisions limiting the liability of directors, and our amended and restated bylaws will provide that we will indemnify each of our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws will also provide our board of directors with discretion to indemnify our employees and other agents when determined appropriate by the board. In addition, we have entered into an indemnification agreement with each of our directors and executive officers, which requires us to indemnify them. For more information regarding these agreements, see “Executive Compensation—Limitations on Liability and Indemnification Matters.”

 

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Policies and Procedures for Transactions with Related Persons

Prior to completion of this offering, we intend to adopt a written policy that our executive officers, directors, nominees for election as a director, beneficial owners of more than 5% of any class of our common stock and any members of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons are not permitted to enter into a related person transaction with us without the approval or ratification of our board of directors or our audit committee. Any request for us to enter into a transaction with an executive officer, director, nominee for election as a director, beneficial owner of more than 5% of any class of our common stock, or any member of the immediate family of any of the foregoing persons, in which the amount involved exceeds $120,000 and such person would have a direct or indirect interest, must be presented to our board of directors or our audit committee for review, consideration and approval. In approving or rejecting any such proposal, our board of directors or our audit committee is to consider the material facts of the transaction, including whether the transaction is on terms no less favorable than terms generally available to an unaffiliated third party under the same or similar circumstances and the extent of the related person’s interest in the transaction.

 

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PRINCIPAL STOCKHOLDERS

The following table sets forth information regarding beneficial ownership of our capital stock by:

 

   

each person, or group of affiliated persons, known by us to beneficially own more than 5% of our common stock;

 

   

each of our directors;

 

   

each our of named executive officers; and

 

   

all of our current executive officers and directors as a group.

We have determined beneficial ownership in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC, and the information is not necessarily indicative of beneficial ownership for any other purpose. Except as indicated by the footnotes below, we believe, based on information furnished to us, that the persons and entities named in the table below have sole voting and sole investment power with respect to all shares that they beneficially own, subject to applicable community property laws.

The percentage ownership information under the column entitled “Before Offering” is based on 125,310,846 shares of our common stock outstanding as of March 31, 2018, assuming the conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into 121,992,497 shares of common stock.

The percentage ownership information under the column entitled “After Offering” is based on the sale of      shares of common stock in this offering, assuming (i) no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, (ii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of      shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), and (iv) the conversion of approximately $13.4 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest thereon into          shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and a conversation date of         , 2018).

Information with respect to beneficial ownership has been furnished by each director, officer or beneficial owner of more than 5% of our common stock. We have determined beneficial ownership in accordance with the rules of the SEC. These rules generally attribute beneficial ownership of securities to persons who possess sole or shared voting power or investment power with respect to those securities. In addition, the rules include shares of our common stock issuable pursuant to the exercise of stock options or warrants that are either immediately exercisable or exercisable within 60 days after March 31, 2018. These shares are deemed to be outstanding and beneficially owned by the person holding those options or warrants for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of that person, but they are not treated as outstanding for the purpose of computing the percentage ownership of any other person. Unless otherwise indicated, the persons or entities identified in this table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all shares shown as beneficially owned by them, subject to applicable community property laws.

Unless otherwise indicated, the address for each beneficial owner listed in the table below is c/o Bionano Genomics, Inc., 9640 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92121.

 

Name of Beneficial Owner

   Number of
Shares
Beneficially
Owned
Before the
Offering
     Number of
Shares
Beneficially
Owned
After the
Offering
     Percentage of Shares
Beneficially Owned
 
         Before
Offering
    After
Offering
 

Greater than 5% Stockholders

          

Entities affiliated with LC Fund VI, L.P.(1)

     53,558,081           39.2     %  

Entities affiliated with Domain Partners VIII, L.P.(2)

     34,528,809           25.7     %  

Han Cao, Ph.D.(3)

     17,062,314           12.4     %  

Praise Alliance International Limited(4)

     12,500,000           10.0     %  

Full Succeed International Limited(5)

     10,416,667           8.3     %  

Novartis Bioventures Ltd.(6)

     9,806,455           7.8     %  

Directors and Named Executive Officers

          

David L. Barker, Ph.D.(7)

     330,325           *       %  

 

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Darren Cai, Ph.D.

     —          *       %  

Han Cao, Ph.D.(3)

     17,062,314        12.4     %  

R. Erik Holmlin, Ph.D.(8)

     4,156,896        3.2     %  

Albert Luderer, Ph.D.(9)

     226,688        *       %  

Junfeng Wang(1)

     53,558,081        39.2     %  

Mike Ward(10)

     885,357        *       %  

All directors and executive officers as a group (9 persons)(11)

     77,775,011        49.9     %  

 

*

Represents beneficial ownership of less than 1%.

(1)

Consists of (i) 18,271,322 shares of common stock and 10,738,615 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants held by LC Fund VI, L.P., (ii) 884,097 shares of common stock and 525,009 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants held by LC Parallel Fund VI, L.P. and (iii) 23,139,038 shares of common stock held by LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P. The number of shares beneficially owned after the offering includes an aggregate of      shares of our common stock issuable upon the automatic conversion of (i) $3,460,000 of outstanding principal, plus accrued interest thereon, underlying a convertible promissory note held by LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P. and (ii) $5,000,000 of outstanding principal, plus accrued interest thereon, underlying a convertible promissory note held by Rosy Shine Limited, upon the completion of this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), assuming a conversion date of         , 2018. Junfeng Wang, one of our directors, is a Managing Director of LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P. and as such, may be deemed to beneficially own the securities held by LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P. Each of LC Fund VI, L.P., LC Parallel Fund VI, L.P., LC Healthcare Fund I, L.P. and Rosy Shine Limited, collectively referred to as the LC Funds, share common management which has investment power over the LC Funds. The address of the LC Funds is Legend Capital, 10F, Tower A, Raycom Infotech Park, No.2, Kexueyuan South Road, Zhongguancun, Haidian District, Beijing 100190 PRC.

(2)

Consists of (i) 25,302,692 shares of common stock and 8,971,797 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants held by Domain Partners VIII, L.P. and (ii) 187,749 shares of common stock and 66,571 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of the warrants held by DP VIII Associates, L.P. The number of shares beneficially owned after the offering includes an aggregate of          shares of our common stock issuable upon the automatic conversion of $1,500,000 of outstanding principal plus accrued interest underlying convertible notes upon the completion of this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus), and assuming the occurrence of the conversion on         , 2018. James C. Blair, Brian H. Dovey, Brian K. Halak, Jesse I. Treu and Nicole Vitullo, the managing members of One Palmer Square VIII, L.L.C., share voting and investment power over the shares held by Domain Partners VIII, L.P. and DP VIII Associates, L.P. James C. Blair, Brian H. Dovey, Brian K. Halak, Nicole Vitullo, and Kim P. Kamdar, the managing members of Domain Associates, L.L.C., share voting and investment power over the shares held by Domain Associates, L.L.C. Each managing member of One Palmer Square VIII, L.L.C. and Domain Associates, L.L.C. disclaims beneficial ownership of all shares held by the Domain Entities, except to the extent of each such managing member’s actual pecuniary interest therein. The address for the Domain Entities is One Palmer Square, Suite 515, Princeton, NJ 08542.

(3)

Consists of 4,833,724 shares of common stock, 10,731,083 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants and 1,497,507 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

(4)

Consists of 12,500,000 shares of common stock held by Praise Alliance International Limited, or Praise Alliance. The address of Praise Alliance is Room 1226, Level 12, International Commerce Center, 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong.

(5)

Consists of 10,416,667 shares of common stock held by Full Succeed International Limited, or Full Succeed. The address of Full Succeed is Ping An Finance Centre, 1333 Lujiazui Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai.

(6)

Consists of 9,806,455 shares of common stock held by Novartis Bioventures Ltd., or NBV. NBV is a corporation organized under the laws of Switzerland and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Novartis AG. The board of directors of NBV has sole voting and investment power over the shares held by NBV. None of the members of the board of directors has individual voting or investment power with respect to such shares and each disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares. The address of NBV is Lichtstrasse 35, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

(7)

Consists of 330,325 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

(8)

Consists of 4,156,896 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

(9)

Consists of 226,688 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

(10)

Consists of 885,357 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

(11)

Consists of the shares identified in footnotes (1), (3), (7), (8), (9) and (10), and 1,555,350 shares of common stock subject to options exercisable as of May 30, 2018.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

General

Upon filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the completion of this offering, our authorized capital stock will consist of          shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, and          shares of preferred stock, par value $0.0001 per share. All of our authorized preferred stock upon the completion of this offering will be undesignated. The following is a summary of the rights of our common and preferred stockholders and some of the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which will become effective immediately prior to and upon the completion of this offering, respectively, and of the Delaware General Corporation Law. This summary is not complete. For more detailed information, please see our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, as well as the relevant provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law.

Common Stock

Outstanding Shares

As of December 31, 2017, there were 3,308,193 shares of common stock issued and outstanding held of record by 85 stockholders. This amount excludes our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock, which will convert into 121,992,497 shares of common stock in connection with the closing of this offering. Based on the number of shares of common stock outstanding as of December 31, 2017, and assuming (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 121,992,497 shares of common stock, (ii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of          shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iii) the net exercise of certain outstanding warrants to purchase shares of our Series D convertible preferred stock for an aggregate of          shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus)), (iv) the conversion of approximately $13.4 million aggregate principal amount of outstanding convertible promissory notes plus accrued interest thereon into          shares of common stock (based on an assumed initial public offering price of $         per share (the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus) and a conversation date of         , 2018), and (v) the issuance by us of          shares of common stock in this offering, there will be          shares of common stock outstanding upon the completion of this offering.

Voting Rights

Our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors, and does not have cumulative voting rights. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation establishes a classified board of directors that is divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms. Only the directors in one class will be subject to election by a plurality of the votes cast at each annual meeting of our stockholders, with the directors in the other classes continuing for the remainder of their respective three-year terms.

Economic Rights

Except as otherwise expressly provided in our eighth amended and restated certificate of incorporation or required by applicable law, all shares of common stock will have the same rights and privileges and rank equally, share ratably, and be identical in all respects for all matters, including those described below.

Dividends. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then-outstanding preferred stock, the holders of common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds.

Liquidation Rights. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding-up, holders of our common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities, subject to the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any outstanding shares of preferred stock.

No Preemptive or Similar Rights

The holders of our shares of common stock are not entitled to preemptive rights, and are not subject to conversion, redemption or sinking fund provisions. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of our common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of our preferred stock that we may designate and issue in the future.

 

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Fully Paid and Non-Assessable

All of our outstanding shares of common stock are, and the shares of common stock to be issued in this offering will be, fully paid and nonassessable.

Convertible Preferred Stock

As of December 31, 2017, there were 121,992,497 shares of our convertible preferred stock outstanding, held of record by 22 holders. Immediately prior to the closing of this offering, each outstanding share of our preferred stock will convert into one share of our common stock. In addition, immediately prior to the completion of this offering, our certificate of incorporation will be amended and restated to delete all references to such shares of convertible preferred stock. Under this amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors will have the authority, without further action by our stockholders, to issue up to         shares of convertible preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding.

Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of the common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could, among other things, have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control that may otherwise benefit holders of our common stock and may adversely affect the market price of the common stock and the voting and other rights of the holders of common stock. We have no current plans to issue any shares of preferred stock.

Stock Options

As of December 31, 2017, there were 18,679,643 shares of common stock were issuable upon the exercise of outstanding stock options, at a weighted-average exercise price of $0.12 per share.

Warrants

As of December 31, 2017, the following shares of our convertible preferred stock were issuable upon the exercise of outstanding warrants:

 

   

A warrant to purchase 42,872 shares of Series B convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $1.3995 per share, which we issued to Square 1 Bank.

 

   

Warrants to purchase an aggregate of 75,027 shares of Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $1.3995 per share, which we issued to Square 1 Bank.

 

   

Warrants to purchase an aggregate of 4,010,757 shares of Series B-1 convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $1.3995 per share, which we issued to investors in connection with a series of financing transactions.

 

   

A warrant to purchase 510,417 shares of Series D convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $0.41 per share, which we issued to Western Alliance Bank.

 

   

Warrants to purchase an aggregate of 31,672,817 shares of Series D convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $0.48 per share, which we issued to investors in connection with a financing transaction.

 

   

A warrant to purchase 291,667 shares of Series D-1 convertible preferred stock for an exercise price of $0.48 per share, which we issued to Western Alliance Bank.

Each of the foregoing warrants provide for the adjustment of the number of shares issuable upon the exercise thereof in the event of stock splits, recapitalizations, reclassifications and consolidations. In addition, the warrants to purchase shares of Series B-1 convertible preferred stock and Series D convertible preferred stock that we issued in connection with our financing transactions contain provisions that provide for the automatic net exercise of such warrants upon the closing of this offering.

Registration Rights

We are party to a fifth amended and restated investors’ rights agreement, dated August 5, 2016, pursuant to which certain holders of our capital stock, or their transferees, are entitled to certain registration rights, as set forth below.

 

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The registration of shares of our common stock by the exercise of registration rights described below would enable the holders to sell these shares without restriction under the Securities Act when the applicable registration statement is declared effective. We are obligated to pay the registration expenses, other than underwriting discounts and selling commissions, of the shares registered by the demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registrations described below. Generally, in an underwritten offering, the managing underwriter, if any, has the right, subject to specified conditions, to limit the number of shares such holders may include. The demand, piggyback and Form S-3 registration rights described below will expire on the fifth anniversary of the date of a qualified public offering, a deemed liquidation event, or with respect to any particular holder of registrable securities, such time after this offering that the holder can sell all of its registrable securities without restriction under Rule 144 of the Securities Act during any three month period.

Demand Registration Rights

Any time after the earlier of (i) 12 months following the effective date of a qualified public offering and (ii) August 5, 2020, the holders of at least 66-2/3% of the shares of our outstanding preferred stock (or shares of our common stock issued upon conversion of the shares of such preferred stock, or a combination thereof) may request that we file a registration statement covering all or any portion of the registrable securities held by them, subject to the requirement that the registration must cover at least 20% of the registrable securities then held by them, or a lesser percentage if the anticipated gross receipts from the offering would exceed $40,000,000. The holders of our convertible preferred stock may not request more than two registration statements which are declared effective. We are not obligated to effect a demand registration (i) during the period within 90 days after the effective date of a registration statement filed pursuant to a demand registration, (ii) if the registrable securities can be immediately registered on Form S-3, (iii) or during the 12 month period after the effective date of this registration statement.

In addition, the warrants to purchase our Series B and B-1 convertible preferred stock that we issued to Square 1 Bank provide for the same demand registration rights as described above.

Piggyback Registration Rights

If we register any securities for public sale, holders of registration rights have the right to include their shares in the registration statement. As a result, whenever we propose to file a registration statement under the Securities Act, other than with respect to registration statements on Forms S-4, S-8, or another form not available for registering the registrable securities for sale to the public, the holders of these shares are entitled to notice of the registration and have the right to include their shares in the registration, subject to limitations that the underwriters may impose on the number of shares included in the offering.

In addition, the warrants to purchase our Series B, B-1, D and D-1 convertible preferred stock that we issued to Square 1 Bank and Western Alliance Bank provide for the same piggyback registration rights as described above.

Form S-3 Registration Rights

If we are eligible to file a registration statement on Form S-3, holders of registrable securities will have the right to demand that we file a registration statement on Form S-3 so long as the aggregate price to the public of the securities to be sold under the registration statement on Form S-3 is at least $3.0 million, subject to specified exceptions, conditions and limitations. There is no limitation on the number of Form S-3 demand registrations that may be requested.

In addition, the warrants to purchase our Series B and B-1 convertible preferred stock that we issued to Square 1 Bank provide for the same Form S-3 registration rights as described above.

Anti-Takeover Provisions

The provisions of Delaware law, our eighth amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws, which are summarized below, may have the effect of delaying, deferring or discouraging another person from acquiring control of our company. They are also designed, in part, to encourage persons seeking to acquire control of us to negotiate first with our board of directors. We believe that the benefits of increased protection of our potential ability to negotiate with an unfriendly or unsolicited acquirer outweigh the disadvantages of discouraging a proposal to acquire us because negotiation of these proposals could result in an improvement of their terms.

Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws to be in Effect upon the Closing of this Offering

 

 

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Because our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights, stockholders holding a majority of the voting power of our shares of common stock will be able to elect all of our directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws to be effective upon the closing of this offering will provide for stockholder actions at a duly called meeting of stockholders or, before the date on which all shares of common stock convert into a single class, by written consent. A special meeting of stockholders may be called by a majority of our board of directors, the chair of our board of directors, our chief executive officer or, the holders of at least     % of the total voting power of our common stock. Our amended and restated bylaws will establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to our board of directors.

As described above in “Management— Composition of Our Board of Directors,” in accordance with our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be filed in connection with this offering, immediately after this offering, our board of directors will be divided into three classes with staggered three-year terms.

The foregoing provisions will make it more difficult for another party to obtain control of us by replacing our board of directors. Since our board of directors has the power to retain and discharge our officers, these provisions could also make it more difficult for existing stockholders or another party to effect a change in management. In addition, the authorization of undesignated preferred stock makes it possible for our board of directors to issue preferred stock with voting or other rights or preferences that could impede the success of any attempt to change our control.

These provisions are designed to reduce our vulnerability to an unsolicited acquisition proposal and to discourage certain tactics that may be used in proxy fights. However, such provisions could have the effect of discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares and may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or delaying changes in our control or management. As a consequence, these provisions may also inhibit fluctuations in the market price of our stock that could result fr