DRS/A 1 filename1.htm DRS/A
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As confidentially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 30, 2019 as Amendment No. 2 to the draft registration statement submitted on August 23, 2019. This Amendment No. 2 to the draft registration statement has not been publicly filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and all information herein remains 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

 

 

Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

 

2836

 

81-4254660

(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc.

139 Main Street

Cambridge, MA 02142

617-252-0848

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code,

of registrant’s principal executive offices)

David M. Epstein, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc.

139 Main Street

Cambridge, MA 02142

617-252-0848

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

Copies to:

 

Mitchell S. Bloom, Esq.
Robert E. Puopolo, Esq.
Goodwin Procter LLP
100 Northern Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
(617) 570-1000
 

Richard D. Truesdell, Jr., Esq.

Marcel R. Fausten, Esq.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

450 Lexington Avenue

New York, New York 10017

(212) 450-4000

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

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, 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      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 pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each class of
securities to be registered
  Proposed
maximum
aggregate
offering price(1)
  Amount of
registration
fee(2)

Common stock, $0.0001 par value per share

  $                   $                

 

 

 

(1)   Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Includes the aggregate offering price of shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase to cover over-allotments, if any.

 

(2)   Registration fee will be paid when registration statement is first publicly filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

 

 

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

 

 


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

 

Subject to completion, dated                    , 2019

Preliminary prospectus

                shares

 

 

LOGO

Common stock

This is our initial public offering of our common stock. We are offering                  shares of common stock. Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our shares. We expect that the initial public offering price will be between $            and $             per share. We intend to apply to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “BDTX.”

We are an “emerging growth company” and a “smaller reporting company” under the federal securities laws and, as such, we have elected to comply with certain reduced public company reporting requirements for this prospectus and for future filings.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Before buying any shares, you should read carefully the discussion of the material risks of investing in our common stock under the heading “Risk Factors” starting on page 13 of this prospectus.

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

 

     
      Per share      Total  

Initial public offering price

   $                        $                    

Underwriting discount(1)

   $        $    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc.

   $        $    

 

(1)   We refer you to “Underwriting” beginning on page 193 of this prospectus for additional information regarding underwriting compensation.

Delivery of the shares of common stock is expected to be made on or about                , 2019.

We have granted the underwriters an option for a period of 30 days to purchase an additional                shares of our common stock. If the underwriters exercise the option in full, the total underwriting discounts and commissions payable by us will be $            , and the total proceeds to us, before expenses, will be $            .

 

J.P. Morgan   Jefferies   Cowen

Canaccord Genuity

The date of this prospectus is                , 2019.

 


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Table of contents

 

     Page  

Prospectus summary

     1  

The offering

     9  

Summary consolidated financial data

     11  

Risk factors

     13  

Special note regarding forward-looking statements

     85  

Use of proceeds

     87  

Dividend policy

     88  

Capitalization

     89  

Dilution

     91  

Selected consolidated financial data

     94  

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations

     96  

Business

     114  

Management

     157  

Executive compensation

     167  

Non-Employee director compensation

     175  

Certain relationships and related person transactions

     177  

Principal stockholders

     180  

Description of capital stock

     182  

Material U.S. federal income tax considerations for non-U.S. holders

     189  

Underwriting

     193  

Legal matters

     205  

Experts

     205  

Change in our independent public accounting firm

     205  

Where you can find more information

     206  

Index to financial statements

     F-1  

 

 

Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide you with information different from, or in addition to, that contained in this prospectus, any amendment or supplement to this prospectus and any related free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. We and the underwriters take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurances as to the reliability of, any information that others may give you. This prospectus is not an offer to sell, nor is it seeking an offer to buy, these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. The information contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus is only accurate as of its date, regardless of its time of delivery or the time of any sale of our common stock. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects may have changed since that date. No action is being taken in any jurisdiction outside the United States to permit a public offering of our common stock or possession or distribution of this prospectus in that jurisdiction. Persons who come into possession of this prospectus in jurisdictions outside the United States are required to inform themselves about and to observe any restrictions as to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus applicable to that jurisdiction.


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We have applied for various trademarks that we use in connection with the operation of our business. This prospectus may also contain trademarks, service marks and trade names of third parties, which are the property of their respective owners. Our use or display of third parties’ trademarks, service marks, trade names or products in this prospectus is not intended to, and does not imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship by us. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks and trade names referred to in this prospectus may appear without the ®, TM or SM symbols, but the omission of such references is not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the right of the applicable owner of these trademarks, service marks and trade names.

 

 

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


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Prospectus summary

This summary highlights information contained in greater detail elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our common stock, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. You should also consider, among other things, the information set forth under the sections titled “Risk Factors,” “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” in each case appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms “Black Diamond,” “Black Diamond Therapeutics,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” “our” and similar designations in this prospectus to refer to Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc. and, where appropriate, its subsidiary.

Overview

We are a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery and development of small molecule, tumor-agnostic therapies. Our goal is to bring precision oncology medicine to a greater number of patients. We target undrugged mutations in patients with genetically-defined cancers. The foundation of our company is built upon a deep understanding of cancer genetics, protein structure and function, and medicinal chemistry. Our proprietary technology platform, which we refer to as our Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology, or MAP, platform, is designed to allow us to i) analyze population-level genetic sequencing data to identify oncogenic mutations that promote cancer across tumor types, ii) group these mutations into families and iii) develop a single small molecule therapy in a tumor-agnostic manner that targets a specific family of mutations. We have designed our lead product candidate, BDTX-189, to block the function of an undrugged family of oncogenic proteins defined by mutations which occur across a range of tumor types, and which affect both the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, and the tyrosine-protein kinase ErbB-2, or HER2. We have designed BDTX-189 to bind to the active site of these mutant kinases and to inhibit their function. BDTX-189 is also designed to spare normal, or wild type, EGFR, which we believe will improve upon the toxicity profiles of current ErbB kinase inhibitors. We are completing Investigational New Drug, or IND, enabling activities for BDTX-189 and plan to start a combined Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2020 to pursue a tumor-agnostic development strategy. We are also leveraging our MAP platform to expand the reach of targeted therapies by identifying other families of mutations in genes known to drive disease.

Background of targeted oncology therapies

Cancer is a genetic disease that is caused by changes in DNA that control the way cells function, especially how they grow and divide, and has historically been diagnosed and treated based on a tumor’s organ site or tissue of origin. Oncogene addiction, which is the dependency of tumors on genetic drivers for a growth and survival advantage, has enabled the development of targeted therapies that exploit this dependency.

Approved targeted therapies, such as kinase inhibitors, have transformed the treatment of cancers by providing substantial clinical benefit and have emerged as an important part of standard of care for cancer patients. Worldwide sales of kinase inhibitors, one class of targeted therapies, exceeded $25 billion in 2018. Despite the success of these drugs, a recent analysis found that only nine percent of patients with metastatic cancer have tumors with genetic profiles that could make them eligible for treatment with an approved precision oncology medicine.

Genetic sequencing of cancers has become increasingly widespread, leading to the discovery of multiple genetic alterations which were previously unaddressed, unsuccessfully targeted or overlooked. Furthermore,

 

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advancements in genetic sequencing and a better understanding of genetic alterations that drive cancers have facilitated more precise cancer drug development to be conducted in a tumor and histology agnostic manner. We believe our MAP platform will allow us to reveal the oncogenic nature of families of undrugged mutations having similar protein structures, and our approach offers a substantial opportunity to expand the number of patients who could benefit from precision oncology medicines.

The Black Diamond Therapeutics approach

At Black Diamond Therapeutics, our goal is to bring precision oncology medicine to a greater number of patients. Our drug development efforts leverage our novel findings that:

 

 

mutations throughout a gene can drive oncogenic activation and change the drug selectivity profile of their active sites;

 

 

these oncogenic mutations can be grouped as families because they drive similar structural changes, and exhibit a shared selectivity profile; and

 

 

a family of oncogenic proteins can therefore be inhibited by a single small molecule that targets the active site.

We believe we can address certain key limitations of current generation precision medicine therapies in oncology by applying our MAP Platform to identify and target novel classes of oncogenic mutations. We believe this will allow us to design and develop potential therapies for patients for whom there are currently no targeted treatment options.

Our MAP platform

Our proprietary MAP platform was developed to reveal the oncogenic nature of families of undrugged driver mutations, at or outside the active site, and their associated protein structures. We believe there is a substantial opportunity for designing novel classes of tumor-agnostic precision medicines targeting families of mutations.

Our proprietary MAP platform is built on three central pillars:

Discover — Through comprehensive analysis of population-level genetic sequencing data, we identify oncogenic mutations among hundreds of unique alterations within a single gene. Our MAP platform algorithm uses genetic and proteomic features to rank mutations for potential oncogenicity. We use our algorithm as a machine learning tool to classify mutations as either pathogenic or benign and predict the probability, or MAP score, that a mutation is pathogenic.

Reveal — We confirm the oncogenicity of the identified mutations through cell and tumor models and reveal how these mutations drive conformational changes in proteins. This allows us to group subsets of mutations into families based upon similar protein structures and shared selectivity profiles.

 

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Target — Using these shared characteristics, we seek to develop single small molecule product candidates, each designed to inhibit only the intended mutation family.

 

LOGO

Our pipeline

Utilizing our proprietary MAP platform, we are developing a pipeline of orally available, potent and selective small molecule kinase inhibitors, each targeting a family of undrugged driver mutations in cancer. An overview of our pipeline of product candidates is shown in the table below.

 

LOGO

 

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Our BDTX-189 program

BDTX-189 is designed to be an orally available, irreversible small molecule inhibitor that targets undrugged oncogenic driver mutations of the ErbB kinases EGFR and HER2. These include extracellular domain allosteric mutations of HER2 as well as EGFR and HER2 kinase domain exon 20 insertions, and additional activating oncogenic drivers of ErbB. Currently, there are no drugs approved by the FDA to target all of these oncogenic mutations with a single therapy. In preclinical models, BDTX-189 exhibited anti-tumor activity evidenced by potent tumor growth inhibition and tumor regression.

We are completing IND-enabling activities for BDTX-189 and plan to start a combined Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2020. The Phase 1 portion of the trial will evaluate escalating doses of BDTX-189 and is designed to determine the recommended Phase 2 dose and to assess preliminary indications of anti-tumor activity. The Phase 2 portion will determine the objective response rate, or ORR, and duration of response in patients with solid tumors that have an allosteric HER2 mutation or EGFR or HER2 exon 20 insertion mutation using next-generation sequencing, or NGS. Depending on results, we plan to pursue an accelerated approval of BDTX-189 for a tumor-agnostic indication in patients with mutations of the ErbB family. The figure below shows the selectivity pattern for BDTX-189 for non-canonical oncogenic mutations and additional oncogenic drivers of ErbB (with wild type for reference) as well as comparable data for erlotinib and osimertinib (each as determined by measuring 50 percent inhibition, or IC50, values). The data in the figure below were generated through head-to-head comparisons of BDTX-189 to erlotinib and osimertinib by determining the in vitro anti-proliferative activity for each molecule against a panel of cell lines under the same experimental conditions for each molecule.

BDTX-189 potently inhibited the proliferation of BaF3 cells transformed by allosteric EGFR mutations and allosteric HER2 mutations when evaluated in vitro. BDTX-189 additionally inhibited the proliferation of lung cancer patient-derived cells expressing EGFR exon 20 insertions (CUTO-14 and CUTO-17 cell lines), and human tumor cells expressed amplified wild type HER2 (BT-474 cells). BDTX-189 further inhibited the proliferation of BaF3 cells transformed by EGFR ATP-site mutations, including the EGFR exon 19 deletion E745-750 and EGFR-L858R, and extracellular domain EGFR mutations, including EGFR-Viii when evaluated in vitro. In each case, BDTX-189 inhibits the targeted ErbB mutation more potently than wild type EGFR.

 

 

LOGO

 

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In preclinical animal models, BDTX-189 was observed to have high potency and fast irreversible inactivation of a range of non-canonical oncogenic mutations, as illustrated in the figure below.

 

LOGO

 

BDTX-189 inhibits activity across a range of EGFR and HER2 mutants in vivo (50mpk once a day, or QD, acute oral dosing), including mutants with a range of in vitro 50 percent inhibition, or IC50, values.

Glioblastoma program

Glioblastoma is a difficult-to-treat, aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord. Current therapy consists primarily of surgical resection of the tumor, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Almost 50 percent of glioblastoma tumors express one or more allosteric EGFR mutations that affect the extracellular region of the receptor tyrosine kinase, consequently promoting oncogenic activation. Although the disease appears to be genetically-defined, there are no precision oncology medicines approved to treat these patients. We believe that current targeted therapies have been unsuccessful in treating glioblastoma due to (i) the concurrent expression of these allosteric EGFR mutations within individual patients, (ii) insufficient drug potency for allosteric EGFR mutations and (iii) low levels of brain penetration. Our lead molecules are designed to be potent, allosteric EGFR selective and to be brain penetrant. We have observed measurable brain exposure in animal models. We are completing preclinical characterization of our glioblastoma candidate leads and plan to select a development candidate in 2020.

Early-stage programs

We are also progressing our early stage pipeline programs targeting groups of allosteric mutations in kinases relevant to cancer and/or rare genetic diseases. These programs, which we have developed using our MAP platform, are currently progressing through lead optimization.

 

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Our history and team

We were founded by Dr. David M. Epstein and Dr. Elizabeth Buck in 2014 and, beginning in 2017, together with Versant Ventures began building the MAP platform and chemistry discovery engine. As of October 30, 2019, we have raised more than $109 million in funding from leading investors including Versant Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, RA Capital Management, NexTech Invest, The Invus Group and Perceptive Advisors.

We have assembled a team with significant expertise in drug discovery and development with particular strengths in the discovery of small molecule protein kinase inhibitors. David M. Epstein, Ph.D., our President and Chief Executive Officer, was previously Chief Scientific Officer at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and founder of Archemix, where he led the advancement of multiple product candidates into the clinic in multiple therapeutic areas. Thomas Leggett, our Chief Financial Officer, was previously Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Axcella Health, Inc. Christopher D. Roberts, our Chief Scientific Officer, was previously Entrepreneur in Residence at S.R. One Limited, the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline plc. Elizabeth Buck, Ph.D., our Executive Vice President of Discovery & Translational Sciences, previously led preclinical pharmacology and oncology translational research at OSI Pharmaceuticals. Karsten Witt, M.D., our Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, previously led clinical development at Array Biopharma Inc. and OSI Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Witt has been involved in eight regulatory approvals, four of which are related to Tarceva (erlotinib), an approved kinase inhibitor for the treatment of certain lung and pancreatic cancers. Brent Hatzis-Schoch, our Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, was previously General Counsel at Radius Health.

Our strategy

Our goal is to continue building a differentiated, global biopharmaceutical company by discovering, developing and commercializing novel precision medicines for a greater number of patients. The critical components of our strategy include:

 

 

rapidly advancing our lead drug candidate, BDTX-189, through clinical development, as a tumor-agnostic, spectrum-selective small molecule therapy;

 

 

rapidly advancing our glioblastoma program to identify a small molecule lead product candidate and progress it through clinical development;

 

 

expanding our pipeline of potent and selective small molecule inhibitors to fully exploit the potential of our proprietary MAP platform;

 

 

continuing to invest in our proprietary MAP platform to identify and characterize new mutation families; and

 

 

selectively entering into strategic partnerships to maximize the potential of our pipeline and our proprietary MAP platform.

Risks associated with our business

Our ability to implement our business strategy is subject to numerous risks that you should be aware of before making an investment decision. These risks are described more fully in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in this prospectus. These risks include, among others:

 

 

our limited operating history may make it difficult for you to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability;

 

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we have incurred significant losses since inception, and we expect to incur losses over the next several years and may not be able to achieve or sustain revenues or profitability in the future. As of September 30, 2019, we had an accumulated deficit of $41.1 million;

 

 

we have not generated any revenue from our product candidates and may never be profitable;

 

 

we will need substantial additional funding. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we would be compelled to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or commercialization efforts;

 

 

our discovery and preclinical development is focused on the development of targeted therapeutics for patients with genetically defined cancers, which is a rapidly evolving area of science, and the tumor-agnostic approach we are taking to discover and develop drugs is novel and may never lead to marketable products;

 

 

we are very early in our development efforts. All of our product candidates are still in preclinical development. If we are unable to advance our product candidates to clinical development, obtain regulatory approval and ultimately commercialize our product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed;

 

 

if we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals for our product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize, or will be delayed in commercializing, our product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired;

 

 

we do not currently own or in-license any issued patents or non-provisional patent applications relating to our product candidates or technology, including BDTX-189. If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for BDTX-189, our MAP platform and our other product candidates and technology, or any other product candidates or technology we may develop, or if the scope of intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products and technology similar or identical to ours, and our ability to commercialize BDTX-189 or any other product candidates or technology may be adversely affected;

 

 

we are highly dependent on our key personnel, and if we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy; and

 

 

we have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect our business.

Corporate information

We were formed as an LLC in December 2014 and we converted to a corporation in September 2016 under the laws of the State of Delaware under the name ASET Therapeutics, Inc. On January 2, 2018, we changed our name to Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc. Our principal executive offices are located at 139 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02142, and our telephone number is 617-252-0848. We have one subsidiary located in Canada, Black Diamond Therapeutics (Canada) Inc. Our website address is https://www.blackdiamondtherapeutics.com. The information contained in or accessible from our website is not incorporated into this prospectus, and you should not consider it part of this prospectus. We have included our website address in this prospectus solely as an inactive textual reference.

 

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Implications of being an emerging growth company and a smaller reporting company

We qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, as amended. As an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of specified reduced disclosure and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include:

 

 

being permitted to only two years of audited financial statements in addition to any required unaudited interim financial statements with correspondingly reduced “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” disclosure in this prospectus;

 

 

reduced disclosure about our executive compensation arrangements;

 

 

not being required to hold advisory votes on executive compensation or to obtain stockholder approval of any golden parachute arrangements not previously approved; and

 

 

an exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting.

We may take advantage of these exemptions for up to five years or such earlier time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. We would cease to be an emerging growth company on the date that is the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of this offering; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these exemptions. We have taken advantage of reduced reporting requirements in this prospectus. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different from the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock.

We have elected not to “opt out” of the exemption for the delayed adoption of certain accounting standards and, therefore, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards at the time private companies adopt the new or revised accounting standard and will do so until such time that we either (i) irrevocably elect to “opt out” of such extended transition period or (ii) no longer qualify as an emerging growth company.

We are also a “smaller reporting company,” meaning that the market value of our stock held by non-affiliates plus the proposed aggregate amount of gross proceeds to us as a result of this offering is less than $700 million and our annual revenue was less than $100 million during the most recently completed fiscal year. We may continue to be a smaller reporting company after this offering if either (i) the market value of our stock held by non-affiliates is less than $250 million or (ii) our annual revenue was less than $100 million during the most recently completed fiscal year and the market value of our stock held by non-affiliates is less than $700 million. If we are a smaller reporting company at the time we cease to be an emerging growth company, we may continue to rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements that are available to smaller reporting companies. Specifically, as a smaller reporting company we may choose to present only the two most recent fiscal years of audited financial statements in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and, similar to emerging growth companies, smaller reporting companies have reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation.

 

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The offering

 

Shares of common stock offered by us

             shares.

 

Shares of our common stock to
be outstanding after this
offering

             shares (or              shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full).

 

Underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares

We have granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to              additional shares of our common stock at the public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions on the same terms as set forth in this prospectus.

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from the sale of shares of our common stock in this offering will be approximately $         million, or $         million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, assuming an initial public offering price of $         per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering to fund the Phase 1/2 development of BDTX-189, to identify a lead development candidate and conduct IND-enabling studies in our glioblastoma program and for continued development of our MAP discovery platform and identification of additional targets and development candidates, hiring of additional personnel, capital expenditures, costs of operating as a public company and other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds.”

 

Proposed Nasdaq Global Market symbol

“BDTX”

 

Risk factors

Investment in our common stock involves substantial risks. You should read this prospectus carefully, including the section entitled “Risk Factors” and the financial statements and the related notes to those statements included in this prospectus, before investing in our common stock.

The number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering is based on 6,695,460 shares of our common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2019, after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock into an aggregate of 45,419,229 shares of common stock upon the completion of this offering, and excludes:

 

 

4,850,721 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of options outstanding under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan at a weighted-average exercise price of $2.22 per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

 

            shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase common stock at an exercise price of $                 per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

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1,460,392 shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan as of September 30, 2019, which such shares will cease to be available for issuance at the time our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan becomes effective;

 

 

            shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part; and

 

 

            shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Employee Stock Purchase Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

Except as otherwise noted, all information in this prospectus:

 

 

gives effect to a 1-for      reverse stock split of our common stock effected on                , and corresponding adjustments to (i) the rate at which shares of our preferred stock convert into shares of our common stock, (ii) the exercise price of all outstanding stock options and warrants and (iii) the number of shares of our common stock subject to each outstanding option and warrant;

 

 

assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase up to                additional shares of common stock in this offering;

 

 

assumes no exercise of the outstanding options and warrants described above;

 

 

gives effect to the automatic conversion upon the completion of this offering of all of our outstanding shares of preferred stock into an aggregate of                shares of common stock; and

 

 

assumes the filing of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and the effectiveness of our amended and restated bylaws, which will occur upon the closing of this offering.

 

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Summary consolidated financial data

You should read the following summary consolidated financial data together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of this prospectus. We have derived the consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018 from our audited consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary consolidated statements of operations data presented below for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2019 and the summary balance sheet data as of September 30, 2019 have been derived from our unaudited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and have been prepared on the same basis as the audited financial information in those statements. In the opinion of management, the unaudited data reflect all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the financial information in those statements. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected the future, and our results for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any full year.

 

     
    Year ended
December 31,
    Nine months ended
September 30,
 
     2017     2018     2018     2019  
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Consolidated statement of operations data:

       

Operating expenses:

       

Research and development (inclusive of $1,348, $2,403, $1,595 and $8,497, respectively, with a related party)

  $ 3,453     $ 6,950     $ 4,571     $ 14,293  

General and administrative (inclusive of $42, $325, $238 and $357, respectively, with a related party)

    666       1,954       1,287       4,695  
 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    4,119       8,904       5,858       18,988  
 

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (4,119     (8,904     (5,858     (18,988
 

 

 

 

Other income (expense):

       

Interest expense

    (65                  

Interest income

          4       2       21  

Loss on extinguishment of convertible promissory notes

    (282                  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

    (130     (15           (6,416

Other income (expense)

    (6     (16     (9      
 

 

 

 

Total other income (expense), net

    (483     (27     (7     (6,395
 

 

 

 

Net loss

    (4,602     (8,931     (5,865     (25,383
 

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

  $ (4,602   $ (8,931   $ (5,865   $ (25,383
 

 

 

 

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

  $ (0.79   $ (1.47   $ (0.97   $ (4.10
 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding—basic and diluted(1)

    5,802,740       6,089,819       6,069,399       6,194,913  
 

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss attributable to common stockholders outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

    $ (0.41     $ (0.37
   

 

 

     

 

 

 

Pro forma weighted average common shares outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

      21,701,364         51,614,142  

 

 

 

(1)   See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for details on the calculation of basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

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(2)   See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for details on the calculation of basic and diluted pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

   
     As of September 30, 2019  
(in thousands)    Actual    

Pro

forma(2)

     Pro forma
as
adjusted(3)
 

Balance sheet data:

       

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 78,659     $ 78,659      $                

Working capital(1)

     74,306       74,306     

Total assets

     80,734       80,734     

Derivative liabilities

     39           

Convertible preferred stock

     115,840           

Accumulated deficit

     (41,095     (41,095   

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

     (39,792     76,087     

 

 

 

(1)   We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities. See our financial statements for further details regarding our current assets and current liabilities.

 

(2)   Pro forma balance sheet data give effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock upon the closing of this offering and (ii) the settlement of our derivative liabilities upon the closing of this offering due to all outstanding warrants to purchase shares of convertible preferred stock becoming warrants to purchase shares of common stock.

 

(3)   The pro forma as adjusted balance sheet data give further effect to the sale by us of                shares of our common stock offered in this offering, at the initial public offering price of $                per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The pro forma as adjusted information discussed above is illustrative only and will change based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, working capital, total assets and total stockholders’ equity (deficit) by $                million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. Similarly, an increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, working capital, total assets and total stockholders’ equity (deficit) by $                million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

 

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Risk factors

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, as well as the other information in this prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes thereto and the section of this prospectus titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” before you make an investment decision. The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. As a result, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment in our common stock.

Risks related to our financial condition and capital requirements

Our limited operating history may make it difficult for you to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.

We are a preclinical stage biotechnology company with a limited operating history. We commenced operations in December 2014, and our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, conducting discovery and research activities, filing patent applications, identifying potential product candidates, undertaking preclinical studies and establishing arrangements with third parties for the manufacture of initial quantities of our product candidates and component materials. All of our product candidates are still in preclinical development. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully initiate, conduct or complete any clinical trials, obtain marketing approvals, manufacture a commercial-scale product or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales, marketing and distribution activities necessary for successful product commercialization. Consequently, any predictions you make about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history.

In addition, as a young business, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown factors. We will need to transition at some point from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in such a transition.

We expect our financial condition and results of operations to continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the results of any quarterly or annual periods as indications of future operating performance.

We have incurred significant losses since inception, and we expect to incur losses over the next several years and may not be able to achieve or sustain revenues or profitability in the future.

Investment in biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and entails substantial upfront capital expenditures and significant risk that any potential product candidate will fail to demonstrate adequate efficacy or an acceptable safety profile, gain regulatory approval and become commercially viable. We are still in the early stages of development of our product candidates and have not yet initiated our first clinical trial. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales to date, and we continue to incur significant research and development and other expenses related to our ongoing operations. We have financed our operations primarily through private placements of our preferred stock.

We have incurred significant net losses in each period since our inception in December 2014. For the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018, we reported net losses of $4.6 million and $8.9 million, respectively. For

 

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the nine months ended September 30, 2019, we reported a net loss of $25.4 million. As of September 30, 2019, we had an accumulated deficit of $41.1 million. We expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect these losses to increase substantially if and as we:

 

 

continue our research and development efforts and submit investigational new drug applications, or INDs, for our lead product candidates;

 

 

conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current and future product candidates based on our Mutation—Allostery—Pharmacology, or MAP, platform;

 

 

seek marketing approvals for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;

 

 

experience any delays or encounter any issues with any of the above, including but not limited to failed studies, complex results, safety issues or other regulatory challenges;

 

 

establish a sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure and scale-up manufacturing capabilities, whether alone or with third parties, to commercialize any product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval, if any;

 

 

obtain, expand, maintain, enforce and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

 

 

hire additional clinical, regulatory and scientific personnel; and

 

 

operate as a public company.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with pharmaceutical product development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of increased expenses we will incur or when, if ever, we will be able to achieve profitability. Even if we succeed in commercializing one or more of our product candidates, we will continue to incur substantial research and development and other expenditures to develop, seek regulatory approval for and market additional product candidates. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future net losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenue. Our prior losses and expected future losses have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital.

We have not generated any revenue from our product candidates and may never be profitable.

Our ability to become profitable depends upon our ability to generate revenue. To date, we have not generated any revenue from any of our product candidates. We do not expect to generate significant revenue unless or until we successfully complete clinical development and obtain regulatory approval of, and then successfully commercialize, at least one of our product candidates. All of our product candidates are in the preclinical stages of development and will require additional preclinical studies, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, substantial investment, access to sufficient commercial manufacturing capacity and significant marketing efforts before we can generate any revenue from product sales. BDTX-189, our most advanced product candidate targeting ErbB family receptors, has yet to complete IND-enabling studies. Our other product candidates are in early preclinical stages. We have not yet administered any of our product candidates in humans and, as such, we face significant translational risk as our product candidates advance to the clinical stage, as promising results in preclinical studies may not be replicated in subsequent clinical trials, and testing on animals may not accurately predict human experience. Our ability to generate revenue depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

 

timely completion of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, which may be significantly slower or cost more than we currently anticipate and will depend substantially upon the performance of third-party contractors;

 

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our ability to complete IND-enabling studies and successfully submit INDs or comparable applications;

 

 

whether we are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, or similar foreign regulatory authorities to conduct additional clinical trials or other studies beyond those planned to support the approval and commercialization of our product candidates or any future product candidates;

 

 

our ability to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA and similar foreign regulatory authorities the safety, potency, purity, efficacy and acceptable risk to benefit profile of our product candidates or any future product candidates and such regulatory authorities’ acceptance of our tumor-agnostic development strategy (i.e., our pursuit of approval based on a biomarker rather than a specific cancer indication);

 

 

the prevalence, duration and severity of potential side effects or other safety issues experienced with our product candidates or future product candidates, if any;

 

 

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

 

 

the willingness of physicians, operators of clinics and patients to utilize or adopt any of our product candidates or future product candidates over alternative or more conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy, to treat solid tumors;

 

 

the actual and perceived availability, cost, risk profile and side effects and efficacy of our product candidates, if approved, relative to existing and future alternative cancer therapies and competitive product candidates and technologies;

 

 

our ability and the ability of third parties with whom we contract to manufacture adequate clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates or any future product candidates, remain in good standing with regulatory authorities and develop, validate and maintain commercially viable manufacturing processes that are compliant with current good manufacturing practices, cGMP;

 

 

our ability to successfully develop a commercial strategy and thereafter commercialize our product candidates or any future product candidates in the United States and internationally, if approved for marketing, reimbursement, sale and distribution in such countries and territories, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

 

patient demand for our product candidates and any future product candidates, if approved; and

 

 

our ability to establish and enforce intellectual property rights in and to our product candidates or any future product candidates.

Many of the factors listed above are beyond our control and could cause us to experience significant delays or prevent us from obtaining regulatory approvals or commercializing our product candidates. Even if we are able to commercialize our product candidates, we may not achieve profitability soon after generating product sales, if ever. If we are unable to generate sufficient revenue through the sale of our product candidates or any future product candidates, we may be unable to continue operations without continued funding.

We will need substantial additional funding. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we would be compelled to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or commercialization efforts.

We expect our expenses to increase in parallel with our ongoing activities, particularly as we continue our discovery and preclinical development activities to identify new product candidates and initiate clinical trials of, and seek marketing approval for, our product candidates. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution. Furthermore, upon the closing of this offering, we expect to incur

 

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significant additional costs associated with operating as a public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations. However, we have estimated our current additional funding needs based on assumptions that may prove to be wrong. Additionally, changing circumstances may cause us to consume capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to spend more money than currently expected because of circumstances beyond our control. We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenue, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, governmental funding, collaborations, strategic partnerships and alliances or marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements with third parties. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we would be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our discovery and preclinical development programs or any future commercialization efforts.

We had cash and cash equivalents of $78.7 million as of September 30, 2019. We estimate that our net proceeds from this offering will be $             million, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We believe that, based upon our current operating plan, our existing capital resources, together with the net proceeds from this offering will be sufficient to fund our anticipated operations for at least             , including the Phase 1/2 development of BDTX-189, the identification of a lead product candidate and IND-enabling studies in our glioblastoma program, with additional resources for continued development of our MAP platform. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

 

the scope, progress, results and costs of discovery, preclinical development and clinical trials for our product candidates;

 

 

the extent to which we enter into collaboration arrangements with regard to product discovery or acquire or in-license products or technologies;

 

 

our ability to establish discovery collaborations on favorable terms, if at all;

 

 

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

 

 

the costs of future commercialization activities, including product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution, for any of our product candidates for which we receive marketing approval;

 

 

revenue, if any, received from commercial sales of our product candidates, should any of our product candidates receive marketing approval; and

 

 

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

Identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical testing and clinical trials is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain marketing approval and achieve product sales. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for many years, if at all. Accordingly, we will need to continue to rely on additional financing to achieve our business objectives. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

 

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If we do not obtain adequate capital funding or improve our financial performance, we may not be able to continue as a going concern.

The report of our independent registered public accounting firm for the year ended December 31, 2018 included herein contains an explanatory paragraph indicating that there is substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern as a result of recurring losses from operations. Our financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, which contemplate that we will continue to operate as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern will be determined by our ability to complete this offering, which will enable us to fund our expansion plans and realize our business objectives. In addition, we have incurred a net loss in each period since our inception and expect to incur losses in future periods as we continue to increase our expenses in order to position us to grow our business. If we are unable to obtain adequate funding from this proposed offering or in the future, or if we are unable to grow our revenue substantially to achieve and sustain profitability, we may not be able to continue as a going concern.

Risks related to the development of our product candidates

Our discovery and preclinical development is focused on the development of precision medicines for patients with genetically defined cancers, which is a rapidly evolving area of science, and the approach we are taking to discover and develop drugs is novel and may never lead to marketable products.

The discovery and development of precision medicines for patients with genetically defined cancers is an emerging field, and the scientific discoveries that form the basis for our efforts to discover and develop product candidates are relatively new. The scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing product candidates based on these discoveries is both preliminary and limited. Although we believe, based on our preclinical work, that the mutations targeted by our programs are oncogenic drivers, clinical results may not confirm this hypothesis or may only confirm it for certain mutations or certain tumor types. The patient populations for our product candidates are limited to those with specific target mutations and may not be completely defined but are substantially smaller than the general treated cancer population, and we will need to screen and identify these patients with the targeted mutations. Successful identification of patients is dependent on several factors, including achieving certainty as to how specific genetic alterations respond to our product candidates and developing companion diagnostics to identify such genetic alterations. Furthermore, even if we are successful in identifying patients, we cannot be certain that the resulting patient populations for each mutation will be large enough to allow us to successfully obtain approval for each mutation type and commercialize our products and achieve profitability. In addition, even if our approach is successful in showing clinical benefit for tumors harboring the targeted mutations affecting the ErbB proteins EGFR and HER2, we may never successfully identify additional oncogenic mutations for other receptor tyrosine kinases. Therefore, we do not know if our approach of treating patients with genetically defined cancers will be successful, and if our approach is unsuccessful, our business will suffer.

In addition, we are pursuing a tumor-agnostic development strategy (i.e., pursuing approval based on a biomarker rather than a specific cancer indication). There is currently a limited number of approved tumor-agnostic therapies. We may not receive approval for a tumor-agnostic indication or may be delayed in receiving tumor-agnostic approval.

We are very early in our development efforts and are substantially dependent on our lead product candidate, BDTX-189. If we are unable to advance BDTX-189 or any of our other product candidates through clinical development, obtain regulatory approval and ultimately commercialize BDTX-189 or any of our other product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We are very early in our development efforts. All of our product candidates are still in preclinical development and have never been tested in human subjects. Our ability to generate product revenues, which we do not

 

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expect will occur for many years, if ever, will depend heavily on the successful clinical development and eventual commercialization of BDTX-189 and one or more of our other product candidates. In addition, our drug development programs contemplate the development of companion diagnostics, which are assays or tests to identify an appropriate patient population. Companion diagnostics are subject to regulation as medical devices and must themselves be approved for marketing by the FDA or certain other foreign regulatory agencies before we may commercialize our product candidates. The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including the following:

 

 

successful completion of preclinical studies;

 

 

approval of INDs for our planned clinical trials or future clinical trials;

 

 

FDA acceptance of our proposed Phase 1/2 clinical trial design for BDTX-189 and our tumor-agnostic development strategy;

 

 

successful initiation of clinical trials;

 

 

successful patient enrollment in and completion of clinical trials;

 

 

successful development of companion diagnostics for use with our product candidates;

 

 

safety, tolerability and efficacy profiles for our product candidates that are satisfactory to the FDA or any foreign regulatory authority for marketing approval;

 

 

receipt of marketing approvals for our product candidates and any companion diagnostics from applicable regulatory authorities;

 

 

the extent of any required post-marketing approval commitments to applicable regulatory authorities;

 

 

obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity for our product candidates;

 

 

making arrangements with third-party manufacturers, or establishing manufacturing capabilities, for both clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates, if any product candidates are approved;

 

 

establishing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities and launching commercial sales of our products, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

 

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

 

 

effectively competing with other cancer therapies;

 

 

obtaining and maintaining third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement; and

 

 

maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of our products following approval.

There is no guarantee that the results obtained in current preclinical studies or our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial of BDTX-189 will be sufficient to obtain regulatory approval or marketing authorization for such product candidate. Negative results in the development of our lead product candidate may also impact our ability to obtain regulatory approval for our other product candidates, either at all or within anticipated timeframes because, although other product candidates may target different indications, the underlying technology platform, manufacturing process and development process is the same for all of our product candidates. Accordingly, a failure in any one program may affect the ability to obtain regulatory approval to continue or conduct clinical programs for other product candidates. For example, although we believe based on

 

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our preclinical studies that the conformational change to the active site receptor is similar for all of the genetic mutations we are targeting and therefore the chemical structure of BDTX-189 will suffice to bind adequately to such receptor for all such mutations, this may not prove true in clinical testing of BDTX-189 for all or any of the targeted mutations. Moreover, anti-tumor activity may be different in each of the different tumor types we plan on evaluating in the clinical trial. Therefore, even though we plan on pursuing tumor agnostic clinical development of BDTX-189, the tumor response may be low in patients with some cancers compared to others. This may result in discontinuation of development of BDTX-189 for patients with these tumor types and/or mutations due to insufficient clinical benefit while continuing development for a more limited population of patients more likely to benefit. As a consequence, we may have to negotiate with the FDA to reach agreement on defining the optimal patient population, study design and size in order to obtain regulatory approval, any of which may require significant additional resources and delay the timing of our clinical trials and ultimately the approval, if any, of any of our product candidates.

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

Difficulty in enrolling patients could delay or prevent clinical trials of our product candidates. We may find it difficult to enroll patients in our open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial for BDTX-189 with the genetic mutations that BDTX-189 is designed to target.

Identifying and qualifying patients to participate in clinical studies of our product candidates is critical to our success. The timing of completion of our clinical studies depends in part on the speed at which we can recruit patients to participate in testing our product candidates, and we may experience delays in our clinical trials if we encounter difficulties in enrollment. We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. In particular, because we are focused on patients with specific genetic mutations, our ability to enroll eligible patients may be limited or may result in slower enrollment than we anticipate. For example, with respect to BDTX-189, we cannot be certain how many patients will have each of the genetic mutations that BDTX-189 is designed to target or that the number of patients enrolled for each mutation will suffice for regulatory approval and inclusion of each such mutation in the approved label. In addition, some of our competitors have ongoing clinical trials for product candidates that treat the same indications as our product candidates, and patients who would otherwise be eligible for our clinical trials may instead enroll in clinical trials of our competitors’ product candidates.

In addition to the potentially small populations, the eligibility criteria of our planned clinical trials will further limit the pool of available study participants as we will require that patients have specific characteristics that we can measure to assure their disease is either severe enough or not too advanced to include them in a study. Additionally, the process of finding and diagnosing patients may prove costly. We also may not be able to identify, recruit and enroll a sufficient number of patients to complete our clinical studies because of the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study, the availability and efficacy of competing therapies and clinical trials, the proximity and availability of clinical study sites for prospective patients, the availability of genetic sequencing information for patient tumors so that we can identify patients with the targeted genetic mutations, and the patient referral practices of physicians. If patients are unwilling to

 

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participate in our studies for any reason, the timeline for recruiting patients, conducting studies and obtaining regulatory approval of potential products may be delayed.

We intend to engage third parties to develop companion diagnostics for use in our clinical trials, but such third parties may not be successful in developing such companion diagnostics, furthering the difficulty in identifying patients with the targeted genetic mutations for our clinical trials. Further, if we are unable to include patients with the targeted genetic mutations, this could compromise our ability to seek participation in FDA’s expedited review and development programs, including Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Fast Track Designation, or otherwise seek to accelerate clinical development and regulatory timelines.

The enrollment of patients further depends on many factors, including:

 

 

the proximity of patients to clinical trial sites;

 

 

the design of the clinical trial;

 

 

our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;

 

 

our ability to obtain and maintain patient consents;

 

 

reporting of the preliminary results of any of our clinical trials; and

 

 

the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the clinical trials before clinical trial completion.

In addition, our clinical trials will compete with other clinical trials for product candidates that are in the same therapeutic areas as our product candidates, and this competition will reduce the number and types of patients available to us because some patients who might have opted to enroll in our clinical trials may instead opt to enroll in a clinical trial being conducted by one of our competitors. Since the number of qualified clinical investigators is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same clinical trial sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such clinical trial sites. Moreover, because our product candidates represent a departure from more commonly used methods for cancer treatment and because our product candidates have not been tested in humans before, potential patients and their doctors may be inclined to use conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy, rather than enroll patients in any future clinical trial. Additionally, because our clinical trials are in patients with relapsed/refractory cancer, the patients are typically in the late stages of their disease and may experience disease progression independent from our product candidates, making them unevaluable for purposes of the clinical trial and requiring additional patient enrollment.

If we experience delays in the completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of our product candidates will be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenue from any of these product candidates could be delayed or prevented.

We have no experience as a company in conducting clinical trials.

We have no experience as a company in conducting clinical trials. In part because of this lack of experience, we cannot be certain that our ongoing preclinical studies will be completed on time or if the planned preclinical studies and clinical trials will begin or be completed on time, if at all. Large-scale clinical trials would require significant additional financial and management resources and reliance on third-party clinical investigators, contract research organizations, or CROs, and consultants. Relying on third-party clinical investigators, CROs and consultants may force us to encounter delays that are outside of our control. We may be unable to identify and contract with sufficient investigators, CROs and consultants on a timely basis or at all. For our lead product candidate, BDTX-189, we recently entered in to a master services agreement with a CRO to lead our

 

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first-in-human planned open label Phase 1/2 clinical trial. There can be no assurance that we will be able to negotiate and enter into any additional master services agreement with other CROs, as necessary, on terms that are acceptable to us on a timely basis or at all.

Our preclinical studies and clinical trials may fail to demonstrate adequately the safety, potency, purity and efficacy of any of our product candidates, which would prevent or delay development, regulatory approval and commercialization.

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of our product candidates, including BDTX-189, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that our product candidates are both safe and effective for use in each target indication. Preclinical and clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the preclinical study and clinical trial processes, and, because our product candidates are in an early stage of development, there is a high risk of failure and we may never succeed in developing marketable products.

The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Although product candidates may demonstrate promising results in preclinical studies and early clinical trials, they may not prove to be effective in subsequent clinical trials. For example, testing on animals occurs under different conditions than testing in humans and therefore, the results of animal studies may not accurately predict human experience. There is typically an extremely high rate of attrition from the failure of product candidates proceeding through preclinical studies and clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety, potency, purity and efficacy profile despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. Likewise, early, smaller-scale clinical trials may not be predictive of eventual safety or effectiveness in large-scale pivotal clinical trials. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of potency or efficacy, insufficient durability of potency or efficacy or unacceptable safety issues, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials. Most product candidates that commence preclinical studies and clinical trials are never approved as products.

Any preclinical studies or clinical trials that we may conduct may not demonstrate the safety, potency, purity and efficacy necessary to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates. If the results of our ongoing or future preclinical studies and clinical trials are inconclusive with respect to the safety, potency, purity and efficacy of our product candidates, if we do not meet the clinical endpoints with statistical and clinically meaningful significance, or if there are safety concerns associated with our product candidates, we may be prevented or delayed in obtaining marketing approval for such product candidates. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety, potency, purity or efficacy results between different preclinical studies and clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. While we have not yet initiated clinical trials for any of our product candidates, as is the case with all oncology drugs, it is likely that there may be side effects associated with their use. Results of our trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of these or other side effects. In such an event, our trials could be suspended or terminated and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Drug-related side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial or result in potential product liability claims. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.

Further, our product candidates could cause undesirable side effects in clinical trials related to on-target toxicity. For example, other EGFR inhibitors have experienced dose limiting toxicities due to rash in patients

 

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and, although we have designed BDTX-189 to be “wild-type” sparing to limit the risk of similar toxicities, clinical results may differ and patients may also experience similar or different toxicities that limit the dose and/or efficacy of BDTX-189. If on-target toxicity is observed, or if our product candidates have characteristics that are unexpected, we may need to abandon their development or limit development to more narrow uses or subpopulations in which the undesirable side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective. Many compounds that initially showed promise in early stage testing for treating cancer have later been found to cause side effects that prevented further development of the compound.

We may not be able to file INDs or IND amendments to commence additional clinical trials on the timelines we expect, and even if we are able to, the FDA may not permit us to proceed.

We expect to submit an IND for BDTX-189 in time to commence the Phase 1/2 trial for BDTX-189 in the first half of 2020. However, we may not be able to file the IND on the timelines we expect. For example, we may experience manufacturing delays or other delays with IND-enabling studies. Moreover, we cannot be sure that submission of an IND will result in the FDA allowing further clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that suspend or terminate clinical trials. Additionally, even if such regulatory authorities agree with the design and implementation of the clinical trials set forth in an IND, we cannot guarantee that such regulatory authorities will not change their requirements in the future. These considerations also apply to new clinical trials we may submit as amendments to existing INDs or to a new IND. Any failure to file INDs on the timelines we expect or to obtain regulatory approvals for our trials may prevent us from completing our clinical trials or commercializing our products on a timely basis, if at all.

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

As one of the central elements of our business strategy and approach, we seek to screen and identify subsets of patients with a genetic alteration who may derive meaningful benefit from our development product candidates. To achieve this, our product development program is dependent on the development and commercialization of a companion diagnostic by us or by third party collaborators. Companion diagnostics are developed in conjunction with clinical programs for the associated product and are subject to regulation as medical devices. Each agency that approves a product candidate will independently need to approve the companion diagnostic before or concurrently with its approval of the product candidate, and before a product can be commercialized. The approval of a companion diagnostic as part of the product label will also limit the use of the product candidate to only those patients who express the specific genetic alteration it was developed to detect.

Companion diagnostics are subject to regulation by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities as medical devices and require separate clearance or approval prior to their commercialization. To date, the FDA has required premarket approval of all companion diagnostics for cancer therapies. We and our third-party collaborators may encounter difficulties in developing and obtaining approval for these companion diagnostics. Any delay or failure by us or third- party collaborators to develop or obtain regulatory approval of a companion diagnostic could delay or prevent approval of our related product candidates.

Since the number of patients that we plan to dose in our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial of BDTX-189 is small, the results from such clinical trial, once completed, may be less reliable than results achieved in larger clinical trials, which may hinder our efforts to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.

In our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial of BDTX-189, we plan to evaluate the safety profile of BDTX-189 and establish the recommended Phase 2 dose in patients with bladder cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, and other solid tumors.

 

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The Phase 1 portion of the trial is expected to enroll up to 80 patients with solid tumors that have alterations likely to be associated with anti-tumor activity based on preclinical studies as well as some patients with the targeted genetic mutations and is designed to establish the recommended dose for the Phase 2 portion of the trial. The Phase 1 portion may have to evaluate different dosing schedules if the pharmacokinetic or safety data suggest once daily dosing is suboptimal. This may delay initiation of the Phase 2 portion. The open-label Phase 2 portion of the trial is expected to enroll up to 100 patients with the targeted mutations to evaluate efficacy as determined by objective response rate, or ORR, a measure of tumor response and tumor duration response, or DOR. This portion may need to be expanded to provide additional safety and efficacy data to support an application for accelerated approval even if tumor response and duration is adequate. The preliminary results of clinical trials with smaller sample sizes, such as our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial of BDTX-189, can be disproportionately influenced by various biases associated with the conduct of small clinical trials, such as the potential failure of the smaller sample size to accurately depict the features of the broader patient population, which limits the ability to generalize the results across a broader community, thus making the clinical trial results less reliable than clinical trials with a larger number of patients. As a result, there may be less certainty that such product candidates would achieve a statistically significant effect in any future clinical trials. If we conduct any future clinical trials of BDTX-189, we may not achieve a statistically significant result or the same level of statistical significance, if any, that we might have anticipated based on the results observed in our initial open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial.

Further, clinical trials by their nature utilize a sample of the potential patient population. With a limited number of patients and limited duration of exposure, rare and severe side effects of our product candidates may only be uncovered with a significantly larger number of patients exposed to the drug candidate. If our product candidates receive marketing approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by such product candidates (or any other similar drugs) after such approval, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

 

 

regulatory authorities may withdraw or limit their approval of such product candidates;

 

 

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

 

 

we may be required to change the way such product candidates are distributed or administered, conduct additional clinical trials or change the labeling of the product candidates;

 

 

regulatory authorities may require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, plan to mitigate risks, which could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools;

 

 

we may be subject to regulatory investigations and government enforcement actions;

 

 

we may decide to remove such product candidates from the marketplace;

 

 

we could be sued and held liable for injury caused to individuals exposed to or taking our product candidates; and

 

 

our reputation may suffer.

We believe that any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product candidates and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing our product candidates, if approved, and significantly impact our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and generate revenues.

 

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Clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future clinical trial results. We may encounter substantial delays in clinical trials, or may not be able to conduct or complete clinical trials on the expected timelines, if at all. If our preclinical studies and clinical trials are not sufficient to support regulatory approval of any of our product candidates, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development of such product candidate.

All of our lead product candidates are in preclinical development and their risk of failure is high. It is impossible to predict when or if any of our product candidates will prove effective and safe in humans or will receive regulatory approval. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of any drug candidate, we must complete preclinical studies and then conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. The outcome of preclinical development testing and early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval of their product candidates. Our pre-clinical studies and future clinical trials may not be successful.

We cannot be certain that our preclinical study and clinical trial results will be sufficient to support regulatory approval of our product candidates. Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Human clinical trials are expensive and difficult to design and implement, in part because they are subject to rigorous regulatory requirements. Failure or delay can occur at any time during the clinical trial process.

Additionally, some of the clinical trials we conduct may be open-label in study design and may be conducted at a limited number of clinical sites on a limited number of patients. An “open-label” clinical trial is one where both the patient and investigator know whether the patient is receiving the investigational product candidate or either an existing approved drug or placebo. Most typically, open-label clinical trials test only the investigational product candidate and sometimes may do so at different dose levels. Open-label clinical trials are subject to various limitations that may exaggerate any therapeutic effect as patients in open-label clinical trials are aware when they are receiving treatment. Open-label clinical trials may be subject to a “patient bias” where patients perceive their symptoms to have improved merely due to their awareness of receiving an experimental treatment. Moreover, patients selected for early clinical studies often include the most severe sufferers and their symptoms may have been bound to improve notwithstanding the new treatment. In addition, open-label clinical trials may be subject to an “investigator bias” where those assessing and reviewing the physiological outcomes of the clinical trials are aware of which patients have received treatment and may interpret the information of the treated group more favorably given this knowledge. Given that our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial of BDTX-189 includes an open-label dosing design, the results from this clinical trial may not be predictive of future clinical trial results with this or other product candidates for which we conduct an open-label clinical trial when studied in a controlled environment with a placebo or active control.

 

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We may experience delays in obtaining the FDA’s authorization to initiate clinical trials under future INDs, completing ongoing preclinical studies of our other product candidates, and initiating our planned preclinical studies and clinical trials. Additionally, we cannot be certain that preclinical studies or clinical trials for our product candidates will begin on time, not require redesign, enroll an adequate number of subjects on time, or be completed on schedule, if at all. Clinical trials can be delayed or terminated for a variety of reasons, including delays or failures related to:

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities disagreeing as to the design or implementation of our clinical trials;

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities disagreeing with our tumor-agnostic development strategy;

 

 

delays in obtaining regulatory approval to commence a clinical trial;

 

 

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

 

 

obtaining IRB approval at each clinical trial site;

 

 

recruiting an adequate number of suitable patients to participate in a clinical trial;

 

 

the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

addressing subject safety concerns that arise during the course of a clinical trial;

 

 

adding a sufficient number of clinical trial sites; or

 

 

obtaining sufficient product supply of product candidate for use in preclinical studies or clinical trials from third-party suppliers.

We may experience numerous adverse or unforeseen events during, or as a result of, preclinical studies and clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidates, including:

 

 

we may receive feedback from regulatory authorities that requires us to modify the design of our clinical trials;

 

 

clinical trials of our product candidates may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon our research efforts for our other product candidates;

 

 

clinical trials of our product candidates may not produce differentiated or clinically significant results across tumor types or indications;

 

 

the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment in these clinical trials may be slower than we anticipate or participants may drop out of our clinical trials at a higher rate than we anticipate;

 

 

our third-party contractors may fail to comply with regulatory requirements, fail to maintain adequate quality controls or be unable to provide us with sufficient product supply to conduct and complete preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates in a timely manner, or at all;

 

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we or our investigators might have to suspend or terminate clinical trials of our product candidates for various reasons, including non-compliance with regulatory requirements, a finding that our product candidates have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics or a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;

 

 

the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates may be greater than we anticipate, for example, if we experiences delays or challenges in identifying patients with the mutations required for our clinical trials, we may have to reimburse sites for genetic sequencing costs in order to encourage sequencing of additional patients;

 

 

the quality of our product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates may be insufficient or inadequate, and any transfer of manufacturing activities may require unforeseen manufacturing or formulation changes;

 

 

regulators may revise the requirements for approving our product candidates, or such requirements may not be as we anticipate; and

 

 

future collaborators may conduct clinical trials in ways they view as advantageous to them but that are suboptimal for us.

If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our product candidates beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only moderately positive or if there are safety concerns, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected and we may incur significant additional costs.

We could also encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by the IRBs of the institutions in which such clinical trials are being conducted, by the Data Safety Monitoring Board, if any, for such clinical trial or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. Such authorities may suspend or terminate a clinical trial due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical trial protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from the product candidates, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.

Moreover, principal investigators for our future clinical trials may serve as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and receive compensation in connection with such services. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected interpretation of the study. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may therefore question the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized. This could result in a delay in approval, or rejection, of our marketing applications by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority, as the case may be, and may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval of one or more of our product candidates.

If we experience delays in the completion, or termination, of any preclinical study or clinical trial of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of our product candidates may be harmed, and our ability to generate revenues from any of these product candidates will be delayed or not realized at all. In addition, any delays in completing our preclinical studies or clinical trials may increase our costs, slow down our product candidate development and approval process and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate

 

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revenues. Any of these occurrences may significantly harm our business, financial condition and prospects. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates. If one or more of our product candidates generally prove to be ineffective, unsafe or commercially unviable, our entire pipeline and MAP platform would have little, if any, value, which would have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may in the future conduct clinical trials for product candidates outside the United States, and the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials.

We may in the future choose to conduct one or more clinical trials outside the United States, including in Europe. The acceptance of study data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States or another jurisdiction by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may be subject to certain conditions or may not be accepted at all. In cases where data from foreign clinical trials are intended to serve as the basis for marketing approval in the United States, the FDA will generally not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless (i) the data are applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice; and (ii) the trials were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence and pursuant to good clinical practice, or GCP, regulations. Additionally, the FDA’s clinical trial requirements, including sufficient size of patient populations and statistical powering, must be met. Many foreign regulatory authorities have similar approval requirements. In addition, such foreign trials would be subject to the applicable local laws of the foreign jurisdictions where the trials are conducted. There can be no assurance that the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority will accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States or the applicable jurisdiction. If the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority does not accept such data, it would result in the need for additional trials, which could be costly and time-consuming, and which may result in product candidates that we may develop not receiving approval for commercialization in the applicable jurisdiction.

Our approach to the discovery and development of product candidates is unproven, and we may not be successful in our efforts to use and expand our MAP platform to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.

A key element of our strategy is to use and expand our MAP platform to build a pipeline of product candidates and progress these product candidates through clinical development for the treatment of various cancers. Although our research and development efforts to date have resulted in our discovery and preclinical development of BDTX-189, BDTX-189 may not be safe or effective as a cancer treatment, and we may not be able to develop any other product candidates. Our MAP platform is evolving and may not reach a state at which building a pipeline of product candidates is possible. For example, we may not be successful in identifying additional genetic mutations which are oncogenic and which can be “basketed” into a group that is large enough to present a sufficient commercial opportunity or that is druggable with one chemical compound. Even if we are successful in building our pipeline of product candidates, the potential product candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development or generate acceptable clinical data, including as a result of being shown to have unacceptable toxicity or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to be products that will receive marketing approval from the FDA or other regulatory authorities or achieve market acceptance. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates, we will not be able to generate product revenue in the future, which likely would result in significant harm to our financial position and adversely affect our stock price.

 

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We will rely on third parties to manufacture our clinical product supplies, and we may rely on third parties to produce and process our product candidates, if approved.

We do not currently own any facility that may be used as our clinical scale manufacturing facility and expect to rely on outside vendors to manufacture supplies of our product candidates. We will need to negotiate and maintain contractual arrangements with these outside vendors for the supply of our product candidates and we may not be able to do so on favorable terms. We have not yet caused any product candidates to be manufactured on a commercial scale and may not be able to do so for any of our product candidates.

The facilities used by our contract manufacturers to manufacture our product candidates must be approved by the FDA or other foreign regulatory authorities following inspections that will be conducted after we submit an application to the FDA or other foreign regulatory authorities. We may not control the manufacturing process of, and may be completely dependent on, our contract manufacturing partners for compliance with cGMPs and any other regulatory requirements of the FDA or other regulatory authorities for the manufacture of our product candidates. Beyond periodic audits, we have no control over the ability of our contract manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority does not approve these facilities for the manufacture of our product candidates or if it withdraws any approval in the future, we may need to find alternative manufacturing facilities, which would require the incurrence of significant additional costs and significantly impact our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for or market our product candidates, if approved. Similarly, if any third-party manufacturers on which we will rely fail to manufacture quantities of our product candidates at quality levels necessary to meet regulatory requirements and at a scale sufficient to meet anticipated demand at a cost that allows us to achieve profitability, our business, financial condition and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

Manufacturing our product candidates is complex and we may encounter difficulties in production. If we encounter such difficulties, our ability to provide supply of our product candidates for preclinical studies and clinical trials or for commercial purposes could be delayed or stopped.

The process of manufacturing of our product candidates is complex and highly regulated.

We rely on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates. These third-party manufacturers may incorporate their own proprietary processes into our product candidate manufacturing processes. We have limited control and oversight of a third party’s proprietary process, and a third party may elect to modify its process without our consent or knowledge. These modifications could negatively impact our manufacturing, including product loss or failure that requires additional manufacturing runs or a change in manufacturer, both of which could significantly increase the cost of and significantly delay the manufacture of our product candidates.

As our product candidates progress through preclinical studies and clinical trials towards approval and commercialization, it is expected that various aspects of the manufacturing process will be altered in an effort to optimize processes and results. Such changes may require amendments to be made to regulatory applications which may further delay the timeframes under which modified manufacturing processes can be used for any of our product candidates and additional bridging studies or trials may be required.

We do not have our own clinical-scale manufacturing facility and are currently reliant on a limited number of manufacturers for our product candidates. These third-party manufacturing providers may not be able to provide adequate resources or capacity to meet our needs.

 

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The market opportunities for our product candidates may be relatively small as it will be limited to those patients who are ineligible for or have failed prior treatments and our estimates of the prevalence of our target patient populations may be inaccurate.

Cancer therapies are sometimes characterized as first line, second line, or third line, and the FDA often approves new therapies initially only for a particular line of use. When cancer is detected early enough, first line therapy is sometimes adequate to cure the cancer or prolong life without a cure. Whenever first line therapy, usually chemotherapy, antibody drugs, tumor-targeted small molecules, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these, proves unsuccessful, second line therapy may be administered. Second line therapies often consist of more chemotherapy, radiation, antibody drugs, tumor-targeted small molecules, or a combination of these. Third line therapies can include chemotherapy, antibody drugs and small molecule tumor-targeted therapies, more invasive forms of surgery and new technologies. We expect to initially seek approval of our product candidates in most instances at least as a second or third line therapy, for use in patients with relapsed or refractory metastatic cancer. Subsequently, for those product candidates that prove to be sufficiently safe and beneficial, if any, we would expect to seek approval as a second line therapy and potentially as a first line therapy, but there is no guarantee that our product candidates, even if approved as a second or third or subsequent line of therapy, would be approved for an earlier line of therapy, and, prior to any such approvals, we may have to conduct additional clinical trials.

Our projections of both the number of people who have the cancers we are targeting, who may have their tumors genetically sequenced, as well as the subset of people with these cancers in a position to receive a particular line of therapy and who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on our beliefs and estimates. These estimates have been derived from a variety of sources, including scientific literature, surveys of clinics, patient foundations or market research, and may prove to be incorrect. Further, new therapies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of the cancers that we are targeting. Consequently, even if our product candidates are approved for a second or third line of therapy, the number of patients that may be eligible for treatment with our product candidates may turn out to be much lower than expected. In addition, we have not yet conducted market research to determine how treating physicians would expect to prescribe a product that is approved for multiple tumor types if there are different lines of approved therapies for each such tumor type.

We currently have no marketing and sales organization and have no experience in marketing products. If we are unable to establish marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell our product candidates, if approved, we may not be able to generate product revenue.

We currently have no sales, marketing or distribution capabilities and have no experience in marketing products. We intend to develop an in-house marketing organization and sales force, which will require significant capital expenditures, management resources and time. We will have to compete with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to recruit, hire, train and retain marketing and sales personnel.

If we are unable or decide not to establish internal sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, we will pursue arrangements with third-party sales, marketing, and distribution collaborators regarding the sales and marketing of our products, if approved. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to establish or maintain such arrangements on favorable terms or if at all, or if we are able to do so, that these third-party arrangements will provide effective sales forces or marketing and distribution capabilities. Any revenue we receive will depend upon the efforts of such third parties, which may not be successful. We may have little or no control over the marketing and sales efforts of such third parties and our revenue from product sales may be lower than if we had commercialized our product candidates ourselves. We also face competition in our search for third parties to assist us with the sales and marketing efforts of our product candidates.

 

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There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop in-house sales and distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third-party collaborators to commercialize any product in the United States or overseas.

A variety of risks associated with marketing our product candidates internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

We plan to seek regulatory approval of our product candidates outside of the United States and, accordingly, we expect that we will be subject to additional risks related to operating in foreign countries if we obtain the necessary approvals, including:

 

 

differing regulatory requirements in foreign countries, for example, no country other than the United States has a pathway for accelerated drug approval and so obtaining regulatory approvals outside of the United States will take longer and be more costly than obtaining approval in the United States;

 

 

unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers, price and exchange controls and other regulatory requirements;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;

 

 

foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenue, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country;

 

 

difficulties staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

 

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

 

 

potential liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 or comparable foreign regulations;

 

 

challenges enforcing our contractual and intellectual property rights, especially in those foreign countries that do not respect and protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the United States;

 

 

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

 

 

business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including war and terrorism.

These and other risks associated with international operations may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or maintain profitable operations.

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

Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we must focus on a limited number of research programs and product candidates and on specific indications. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates or for other indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future discovery and preclinical development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products.

 

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

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries utilize rapidly advancing technologies and are characterized by intense competition. While we believe that our scientific knowledge, platform technology and development expertise provide us with competitive advantages, we face potential competition from many different sources, including major pharmaceuticals, specialty pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, academic institutions and government agencies, and public and private research institutes that conduct research, development, manufacturing and commercialization. Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, regulatory approvals and product marketing than we do. Our competitors may compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel and establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs. As a result, our competitors may discover, develop, license or commercialize products before or more successfully than we do.

Product candidates that we successfully develop and commercialize will compete with existing therapies and new therapies that may become available in the future. Specifically, we expect that BDTX-189 will compete against approved drugs, including neratinib, which is marketed by Puma Biotechnology under the trade name Nerlynx and osimertinib, which is marketed by AstraZeneca plc under the trade name Tagrisso. In the allosteric HER2 patient population we expect competition from drugs in late-stage clinical development, including trastuzumab deruxtecan (DS-8201), which is under development by Daiichi Sankyo Company Ltd. and AstraZeneca plc. and ZW25 and ZW49, which is under development by Zymeworks Inc. and Beigene Co., Ltd. We also expect BDTX-189 will compete in exon20 insertion patient population against drugs under development, including poziotinib, which is under development by Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; tarloxitinib, which is under development by Rain Therapeutics Inc.; and TAK-788, which is under development by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.

If our drug candidates, including BDTX-189, are approved for the indications for which we are currently planning clinical trials, they will likely compete with the competitor drugs mentioned above and with other drugs that are currently in development. Key product features that would affect our ability to effectively compete with other therapeutics include the efficacy, safety and convenience of our products. Our competitors may obtain patent protection or other intellectual property rights that limit our ability to develop or commercialize our product candidates. The availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors will also significantly affect the pricing and competitiveness of our products. Our competitors may also obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. For additional information regarding our competition, see “Business—Competition.”

Risks related to government regulation

We are very early in our development efforts. All of our product candidates are still in preclinical development. If we are unable to advance our product candidates to clinical development, obtain regulatory approval and ultimately commercialize our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We are very early in our development efforts, and all of our product candidates are still in preclinical development. We have invested substantially all of our efforts and financial resources in the identification and preclinical development of our product candidates, including the development of our initial product candidate, BDTX-189. Our ability to generate product revenues, which we do not expect will occur for many years, if ever,

 

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will depend on the successful development, approval and eventual commercialization of our product candidates, which may never occur. We currently generate no revenue from sales of any products, and we may never be able to develop or commercialize a marketable product. The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including the following:

 

 

successful completion of preclinical studies;

 

 

FDA acceptance of our proposed phase 1/2 clinical trial design for BDTX-189 and our tumor-agnostic development strategy;

 

 

approval of INDs for our planned clinical trials or future clinical trials;

 

 

successful enrollment in future clinical trials;

 

 

positive results from future clinical trials that are supportive of safety and efficacy in the intended patient populations;

 

 

successful development of companion diagnostics for use with certain of our product candidates;

 

 

receipt of regulatory approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;

 

 

establishing commercial manufacturing capabilities or making arrangements with third-party manufacturers for clinical supply and commercial manufacturing;

 

 

obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection or regulatory exclusivity for our product candidates;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

effectively competing with other therapies;

 

 

obtaining and maintaining third-party insurance coverage and adequate reimbursement;

 

 

obtaining, enforcing and defending intellectual property rights and claims; and

 

 

maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of the product candidates following approval.

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

If we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals for our product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize, or will be delayed in commercializing, our product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

Our product candidates and the activities associated with their development and commercialization, including their design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale, distribution, import and export are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the United States and by comparable authorities in other countries. Before we can commercialize any of our product candidates, we must obtain marketing approval. Depending on results from

 

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our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial for BDTX-189, we expect, subject to discussions with FDA, to either expand the Phase 2 portion of the trial or initiate a second Phase 2 trial in order to seek accelerated approval from the FDA for the treatment of patients with advanced solid tumors that harbor one or more of the targeted genetic mutations detected by an NGS test requiring contemporaneous FDA clearance or approval, who have progressed or relapsed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory treatment options. Whether the results from our planned open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial and other trials will suffice to obtain accelerated approval will be a review issue and the FDA may not grant accelerated approval and may require that we conduct one or more controlled, randomized Phase 3 clinical trials to obtain approval. In addition, because there is limited experience of the FDA with the approval of tumor-agnostic cancer treatments and since we will need to show that there is no available therapy for each of the tumors tested in our open-label Phase 1/2 clinical trial, we may experience challenges in obtaining accelerated approval across all such tumor types. To date, we have had no interactions with regulatory authorities outside of the United States. We intend to engage with the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, following the results of the Phase 2 portion of the planned trial regarding regulatory requirements for registration in the European Union, or EU. There is limited experience of regulatory authorities outside of the United States with the approval of tumor-agnostic precision cancer medicines.

Securing regulatory approval also requires the submission of information about the drug manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the relevant regulatory authority. Further, our product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have undesirable or unintended side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude our obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use.

The process of obtaining regulatory approvals, both in the United States and abroad, is expensive, may take many years if additional clinical trials are required, if approval is obtained at all, and can vary substantially based upon a variety of factors, including the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidates involved. Changes in marketing approval policies during the development period, changes in or the enactment of additional statutes or regulations, or changes in regulatory review for each submitted IND, New Drug Application, or NDA, or equivalent application types, may cause delays in the approval or rejection of an application. The FDA and comparable authorities in other countries have substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept any application or may decide that our data are insufficient for approval and require additional preclinical, clinical or other studies. Our product candidates could be delayed in receiving, or fail to receive, regulatory approval for many reasons, including the following:

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with the design or implementation of our clinical trials, including our proposed phase 1/2 clinical trial design for BDTX-189;

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our tumor-agnostic development strategy;

 

 

we may be unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities that a drug candidate is safe and effective for its proposed indication or a related companion diagnostic is suitable to identify appropriate patient populations;

 

 

the results of clinical trials may not meet the level of statistical significance required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities for approval;

 

 

we may be unable to demonstrate that a product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;

 

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the data collected from clinical trials of our product candidates may not be sufficient to support the submission of an NDA or other submission or to obtain regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere;

 

 

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical and commercial supplies; and

 

 

the approval policies or regulations of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

Of the large number of drugs in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or foreign regulatory approval processes and are commercialized. The lengthy approval process as well as the unpredictability of future clinical trial results may result in our failing to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, results of operations and prospects.

Our clinical trials may fail to demonstrate adequately the safety and efficacy of any of our product candidates, which would prevent or delay regulatory approval and commercialization.

To obtain the requisite regulatory approvals to market and sell any of our product candidates, including BDTX-189 and any other future product candidates, we must demonstrate through extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that our products are safe and effective in humans. Our product candidates may fail to demonstrate efficacy in humans, and particularly across tumor types. Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process and our future clinical trial results may not be successful. Further, the process of obtaining regulatory approval is expensive, often takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and can vary substantially based upon the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidates involved, as well as the target indications, patient population and regulatory agency. Prior to obtaining approval to commercialize a product candidate in the United States or abroad, we or our potential future collaborators must demonstrate with substantial evidence from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, and to the satisfaction of the FDA, the EMA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities, that such product candidates are safe and effective for their intended uses.

Clinical trials that we conduct may not demonstrate the efficacy and safety necessary to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. If the results of our ongoing or future clinical trials are inconclusive with respect to the efficacy of our product candidates, if we do not meet the clinical endpoints with statistical and clinically meaningful significance, or if there are safety concerns associated with our product candidates, we may be delayed in obtaining marketing approval, if at all.

Even if the trials are successfully completed, clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and we cannot guarantee that the FDA, the EMA, or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities will interpret the results as we do, and more trials could be required before we submit our product candidates for approval. We cannot guarantee that the FDA, the EMA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities will view our product candidates as having sufficient efficacy to support a tumor-agnostic indication even if positive results are observed in clinical trials. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA, the EMA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, approval of our product candidates may be significantly delayed, or we may be required to expend significant additional resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates. Additionally, any safety or efficacy concerns observed in any tumor-specific

 

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subgroup of our clinical trials could limit the prospects for regulatory approval of our product candidates for a tumor-agnostic indication, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may in the future seek orphan drug status for BDTX-189 and some of our other future product candidates, but we may be unable to obtain such designations or to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug status, including market exclusivity, which may cause our revenue, if any, to be reduced.

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug or biologic intended to treat a rare disease or condition, defined as a disease or condition with a patient population of fewer than 200,000 in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States when there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available the drug or biologic in the United States will be recovered from sales in the United States for that drug or biologic. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. In the United States, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user-fee waivers. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the generic identity of the drug and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process.

If a product that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for a particular active ingredient for the disease for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including an NDA, to market the same biologic for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity or if the FDA finds that the holder of the orphan drug exclusivity has not shown that it can assure the availability of sufficient quantities of the orphan drug to meet the needs of patients with the disease or condition for which the drug was designated. As a result, even if one of our product candidates receives orphan exclusivity, the FDA can still approve other drugs that have a different active ingredient for use in treating the same indication or disease. Furthermore, the FDA can waive orphan exclusivity if we are unable to manufacture sufficient supply of our product.

We may seek orphan drug designation for BDTX-189 and some or all of our other future product candidates in additional orphan indications in which there is a medically plausible basis for the use of these products. Even when we obtain orphan drug designation, exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan designated indication and may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. In addition, although we intend to seek orphan drug designation for other product candidates, we may never receive such designations. For example, the FDA has expressed concerns regarding the regulatory considerations for orphan drug designation as applied to tissue agnostic therapies, and the FDA may interpret the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended, or the FD&C Act, and regulations promulgated thereunder in a way that limits or blocks our ability to obtain orphan drug designation or orphan drug exclusivity, if our product candidates are approved, for our targeted indications.

On August 3, 2017, the Congress passed the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, or FDARA. FDARA, among other things, codified the FDA’s pre-existing regulatory interpretation, to require that a drug sponsor demonstrate the clinical superiority of an orphan drug that is otherwise the same as a previously approved drug for the same rare disease in order to receive orphan drug exclusivity. The legislation reverses prior precedent holding that the Orphan Drug Act unambiguously requires that the FDA recognize the orphan exclusivity period regardless of a showing of clinical superiority. The FDA may further reevaluate the Orphan Drug Act and its regulations and policies. We do not know if, when, or how the FDA may change the orphan drug regulations and policies in

 

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the future, and it is uncertain how any changes might affect our business. Depending on what changes the FDA may make to its orphan drug regulations and policies, our business could be adversely impacted.

A Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA, even if granted for any of our product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process and it does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

We may seek Breakthrough Therapy designation for BDTX-189 and some or all of our future product candidates. A breakthrough therapy is defined as a drug or biologic that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug or biologic may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. For product candidates that have been designated as breakthrough therapies, interaction and communication between the FDA and the sponsor of the trial can help to identify the most efficient path for clinical development while minimizing the number of patients placed in ineffective control regimens. Drugs designated as breakthrough therapies by the FDA may also be eligible for other expedited approval programs, including accelerated approval.

Designation as a breakthrough therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe one of our product candidates meets the criteria for designation as a breakthrough therapy, the FDA may disagree and instead determine not to make such designation. In any event, the receipt of a Breakthrough Therapy designation for a product candidate may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to candidate products considered for approval under non-expedited FDA review procedures and does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. In addition, even if one or more of our product candidates qualify as breakthrough therapies, the FDA may later decide that the product no longer meets the conditions for qualification. Thus, even though we intend to seek Breakthrough Therapy designation for BDTX-189 and some or all of our future product candidates for the treatment of various cancers, there can be no assurance that we will receive breakthrough therapy designation.

A Fast Track designation by the FDA, even if granted for BDTX-189 or any other future product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

If a drug is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and the drug demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the drug sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation for a particular indication. We may seek Fast Track designation for BDTX-189 and certain of our future product candidates, but there is no assurance that the FDA will grant this status to any of our proposed product candidates. Marketing applications filed by sponsors of products in Fast Track development may qualify for priority review under the policies and procedures offered by the FDA, but the Fast Track designation does not assure any such qualification or ultimate marketing approval by the FDA. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant Fast Track designation, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, there can be no assurance that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures, and receiving a Fast Track designation does not provide assurance of ultimate FDA approval. In addition, the FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program. In addition, the FDA may withdraw any Fast Track designation at any time.

 

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Accelerated approval by the FDA, even if granted for BDTX-189 or any other future product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process and it does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

We plan to seek approval of BDTX-189, and may seek approval of future product candidates using the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. A product may be eligible for accelerated approval if it treats a serious or life-threatening condition and generally provides a meaningful advantage over available therapies. In addition, it must demonstrate an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. As a condition of approval, the FDA may require that a sponsor of a drug receiving accelerated approval perform adequate and well-controlled post-marketing clinical trials. These confirmatory trials must be completed with due diligence. In addition, the FDA currently requires as a condition for accelerated approval pre-approval of promotional materials, which could adversely impact the timing of the commercial launch of the product. Even if we do receive accelerated approval, we may not experience a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and receiving accelerated approval does not provide assurance of ultimate full FDA approval.

If we are unable to successfully validate, develop and obtain regulatory approval for companion diagnostic tests for our drug candidates that are required or experience significant delays in doing so, we may not realize the full commercial potential of these drug candidates.

In connection with the clinical development of our drug candidates for certain indications, we intend to engage third parties to develop or obtain access to in vitro companion diagnostic tests to identify patient subsets within a disease category who may derive selective and meaningful benefit from our drug candidates. Such companion diagnostics would be used during our clinical trials as well as in connection with the FDA approval of our product candidates. To be successful, we or our collaborators will need to address a number of scientific, technical, regulatory and logistical challenges. The FDA regulates in vitro companion diagnostics as medical devices and, under that regulatory framework, will require the test to be analytically validated and used for patient selection in the clinical trial, which we expect will require separate regulatory clearance or approval prior to commercialization if not already approved.

We intend to rely on third parties for the design, development and manufacture of companion diagnostic tests for our therapeutic drug candidates that may require such tests. If we enter into such collaborative agreements, we will be dependent on the sustained cooperation and effort of our future collaborators in developing and obtaining approval for these companion diagnostics. It may be necessary to resolve issues such as selectivity/specificity, analytical validation, reproducibility, or clinical validation of companion diagnostics during the development and regulatory approval processes. Moreover, even if data from preclinical studies and early clinical trials appear to support development of a companion diagnostic for a product candidate, data generated in later clinical trials may fail to support the analytical and clinical validation of the companion diagnostic. We and our future collaborators may encounter difficulties in developing, obtaining regulatory approval for, manufacturing and commercializing companion diagnostics similar to those we face with respect to our therapeutic candidates themselves, including issues with achieving regulatory clearance or approval, production of sufficient quantities at commercial scale and with appropriate quality standards, and in gaining market acceptance. If we are unable to successfully develop companion diagnostics for these therapeutic drug candidates, or experience delays in doing so, the development of these therapeutic drug candidates may be adversely affected, these therapeutic drug candidates may not obtain marketing approval, and we may not realize the full commercial potential of any of these therapeutics that obtain marketing approval. As a result, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially harmed. In addition, a diagnostic company with whom we contract may decide to discontinue selling or manufacturing the companion diagnostic test that we anticipate using in connection with development and commercialization of our product candidates or our relationship with such diagnostic company may otherwise terminate. We may not be able to enter into arrangements with another diagnostic company to obtain supplies of an alternative diagnostic test for use in

 

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connection with the development and commercialization of our product candidates or do so on commercially reasonable terms, which could adversely affect and/or delay the development or commercialization of our therapeutic candidates.

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not mean that we will be successful in obtaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in other jurisdictions.

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not guarantee that we will be able to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any other jurisdiction, while a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. For example, even if the FDA grants marketing approval of a product candidate, comparable regulatory authorities in foreign jurisdictions must also approve the manufacturing, marketing and promotion of the product candidate in those countries. Approval procedures vary among jurisdictions and can involve requirements and administrative review periods different from, and greater than, those in the United States, including additional preclinical studies or clinical trials as clinical trials conducted in one jurisdiction may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. In many jurisdictions outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that jurisdiction. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for our products is also subject to approval.

We may also submit marketing applications in other countries. Regulatory authorities in jurisdictions outside of the United States have requirements for approval of product candidates with which we must comply prior to marketing in those jurisdictions. Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in certain countries. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements in international markets and/or receive applicable marketing approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be harmed.

Even if we receive regulatory approval of our product candidates, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our product candidates.

Any regulatory approvals that we receive for our product candidates will require surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the product candidate. The FDA may also require a REMS in order to approve our product candidates, which could entail requirements for a medication guide, physician communication plans or additional elements to ensure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. In addition, if the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority approves our product candidates, the manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion, import, export and recordkeeping for our product candidates will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration, as well as continued compliance with cGMPs, good laboratory practice, or GLP, regulations and GCPs, for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with our product candidates, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

 

 

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

 

 

manufacturing delays and supply disruptions where regulatory inspections identify observations of noncompliance requiring remediation;

 

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revisions to the labeling, including limitation on approved uses or the addition of additional warnings, contraindications or other safety information, including boxed warnings;

 

 

imposition of a REMS, which may include distribution or use restrictions;

 

 

requirements to conduct additional post-market clinical trials to assess the safety of the product;

 

 

fines, warning letters or holds on clinical trials;

 

 

refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us or suspension or revocation of approvals;

 

 

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

 

 

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

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

The FDA and other regulatory agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses.

If any of our product candidates are approved and we are found to have improperly promoted off-label uses of those products, we may become subject to significant liability. The FDA and other regulatory agencies strictly regulate the promotional claims that may be made about prescription products, if approved. In particular, while the FDA permits the dissemination of truthful and non-misleading information about an approved product, a manufacturer may not promote a product for uses that are not approved by the FDA or such other regulatory agencies as reflected in the product’s approved labeling. If we are found to have promoted such off-label uses, we may become subject to significant liability. The federal government has levied large civil and criminal fines against companies for alleged improper promotion of off-label use and has enjoined several companies from engaging in off-label promotion. The FDA has also requested that companies enter into consent decrees, corporate integrity agreements or permanent injunctions under which specified promotional conduct must be changed or curtailed. If we cannot successfully manage the promotion of our product candidates, if approved, we could become subject to significant liability, which would materially adversely affect our business and financial condition.

The insurance coverage and reimbursement status of newly-approved products is uncertain. Our product candidates may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party coverage and reimbursement practices, or healthcare reform initiatives, which would harm our business. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate coverage and reimbursement for new or current products could limit our ability to market those products and decrease our ability to generate revenue.

The regulations that govern marketing approvals, pricing, coverage and reimbursement for new drugs vary widely from country to country. In the United States, recently enacted legislation may significantly change the approval requirements in ways that could involve additional costs and cause delays in obtaining approvals. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets,

 

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prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, and negatively impact the revenue we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if any product candidates we may develop obtain marketing approval.

Patients generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their treatment. Adequate coverage and reimbursement from governmental healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and commercial payors is critical to new product acceptance. Our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which medications they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. The availability of coverage and extent of reimbursement by governmental and private payors is essential for most patients to be able to afford treatments such as gene therapy products. Sales of these or other product candidates that we may identify will depend substantially, both domestically and abroad, on the extent to which the costs of our product candidates will be paid by health maintenance, managed care, pharmacy benefit and similar healthcare management organizations, or reimbursed by government health administration authorities, private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. If coverage and adequate reimbursement is not available, or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our product candidates. Even if coverage is provided, the approved reimbursement amount may not be high enough to allow us to establish or maintain pricing sufficient to realize a sufficient return on our investment.

Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the third-party payor’s determination that use of a product is:

 

 

a covered benefit under its health plan;

 

 

safe, effective and medically necessary;

 

 

appropriate for the specific patient;

 

 

cost-effective; and

 

 

neither experimental nor investigational.

A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Government authorities and third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. In many countries, the prices of medical products are subject to varying price control mechanisms as part of national health systems. In general, the prices of medicines under such systems are substantially lower than in the United States. Other countries allow companies to fix their own prices for medicines, but monitor and control company profits. Additional foreign price controls or other changes in pricing regulation could restrict the amount that we are able to charge for our product candidates. Accordingly, in markets outside the United States, the reimbursement for products may be reduced compared with the United States and may be insufficient to generate commercially reasonable revenues and profits.

There is also significant uncertainty related to the insurance coverage and reimbursement of newly approved products and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. In the United States, the principal decisions about reimbursement

 

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for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CMS decides whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree. No uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for products exists among third-party payors and coverage and reimbursement levels for products can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time consuming and costly process that may require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance. It is difficult to predict what CMS will decide with respect to reimbursement for fundamentally novel products such as ours. Reimbursement agencies in Europe may be more conservative than CMS. For example, a number of cancer drugs have been approved for reimbursement in the United States and have not been approved for reimbursement in certain European countries. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale, and distribution. Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost drugs and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products we may develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize product candidates, and our overall financial condition.

Net prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable reimbursement rates third-party payors for any approved products that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition.

Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. We cannot be sure that reimbursement will be available for any product candidate that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, the level of reimbursement. Reimbursement may impact the demand for, or the price of, any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval. In order to obtain reimbursement, physicians may need to show that patients have superior treatment outcomes with our products compared to standard of care drugs, including lower-priced generic versions of standard of care drugs. We expect to experience pricing pressures in connection with the sale of any of our product candidates due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative changes. The downward pressure on healthcare costs in general, particularly prescription drugs and surgical procedures and other treatments, has become very intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products.

Additionally, we may develop companion diagnostic tests for use with our product candidates. We, or our collaborators, may be required to obtain coverage and reimbursement for these tests separate and apart from the coverage and reimbursement we seek for our product candidates, once approved. Even if we obtain regulatory approval or clearance for such companion diagnostics, there is significant uncertainty regarding our ability to obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement for the same reasons applicable to our product candidates. Medicare reimbursement methodologies, whether under Part A, Part B, or clinical laboratory fee schedule may be amended from time to time, and we cannot predict what effect any change to these methodologies would have on any product candidate or companion diagnostic for which we receive approval.

 

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Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement from both third-party payors for the companion diagnostic tests that we develop and for which we obtain regulatory approval could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Healthcare legislative measures aimed at reducing healthcare costs may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The United States and many foreign jurisdictions have enacted or proposed legislative and regulatory changes affecting the healthcare system that could prevent or delay marketing approval of our product candidates or any future product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell a product for which we obtain marketing approval. Changes in regulations, statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business.

In the United States, there have been and continue to be a number of legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs. For example, in March 2010, the ACA was passed, which substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers, and significantly impacted the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The ACA, among other things, subjects biological products to potential competition by lower-cost biosimilars, addresses a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected, increases the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the rebate program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations, establishes annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs, and creates a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 70% (as of 2019) point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D.

Members of the U.S. Congress and the Trump administration have expressed an intent to pass legislation or adopt executive orders to fundamentally change or repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act. While Congress has not passed repeal legislation to date, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or TCJA, repealed, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the Affordable Care Act 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.” On December 14, 2018, a federal district court in Texas ruled the individual mandate is a critical and inseverable feature of the ACA, and therefore, because it was repealed as part of the TCJA, the remaining provisions of the ACA are invalid as well. The Trump Administration and CMS have both stated that the ruling will have no immediate effect, and on December 30, 2018, the Texas District Court Judge issued an order staying the judgment pending appeal. A Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals hearing to determine whether certain states and the House of Representatives have standing to appeal the lower court decision was held on July 9, 2019, but it is unclear when a Court will render its decision on this hearing, and what effect it will have on the status of the ACA. Litigation and legislation over the ACA are likely to continue, with unpredictable and uncertain results. We will continue to evaluate the effect that the ACA and its possible repeal and replacement has on our business.

Further, on January 20, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the Affordable Care Act that would impose a fiscal burden on states or a cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden on individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or

 

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manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. On October 13, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order terminating the cost-sharing subsidies that reimburse insurers under the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration has concluded that cost-sharing reduction, or CSR, payments to insurance companies required under the ACA have not received necessary appropriations from Congress and announced that it will discontinue these payments immediately until those appropriations are made. The loss of the CSR payments is expected to increase premiums on certain policies issued by qualified health plans under the ACA. Several state Attorneys General filed suit to stop the administration from terminating the subsidies, but their request for a restraining order was denied by a federal judge in California on October 25, 2017.

Moreover, on January 22, 2018, President Trump signed a continuing resolution on appropriations for fiscal year 2018 that delayed the implementation of certain ACA-mandated fees, including the so called “Cadillac” tax on certain high cost employer-sponsored insurance plans, the annual fee imposed on certain health insurance providers based on market share, and the medical device excise tax on non-exempt medical devices. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, also amended the ACA, effective January 1, 2019, by increasing the point-of-sale discount that is owed by pharmaceutical manufacturers who participate in Medicare Part D and closing the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole.” CMS published a final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain ACA qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the ACA risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. In addition, CMS has recently published a final rule that would give states greater flexibility, starting in 2020, in setting benchmarks for insurers in the individual and small group marketplaces, which may have the effect of relaxing the essential health benefits required under the ACA for plans sold through such marketplaces. Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created measures for spending reductions by Congress. A Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with recommending a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for the years 2013 through 2021, was unable to reach required goals, thereby triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers up to 2% per fiscal year, and, due to subsequent legislative amendments, will remain in effect through 2027 unless additional Congressional action is taken. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, or ATRA, among other things, reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

There has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the United States with respect to specialty drug pricing practices. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. At the federal level, the Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2019 contains further drug price control measures that could be enacted during the 2019 legislative session, or in other future legislation, including, for example, measures to permit Medicare Part D plans to negotiate the price of certain drugs under Medicare Part B, to allow some states to negotiate drug prices under Medicaid, and to eliminate cost sharing for generic drugs for low-income patients. Additionally, the Trump administration released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. The U.S. Department of HHS, has already started the process of soliciting feedback on some of these measures and, at the same time, is immediately implementing others under its existing authority. For example, in August 2018, CMS announced that it will allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option to use step therapy, or ST, a type of prior

 

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authorization, or PA, for Medicare Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2019. In May 2019, CMS issued a final rule under which Medicare Advantage Plans may implement ST for Part B drugs as a recognized utilization management tool.

At the state level, individual states are increasingly aggressive in passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. In addition, regional health care authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other health care programs. These measures could reduce the ultimate demand for our products, once approved, or put pressure on our product pricing.

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, which could result in reduced demand for our product candidates or additional pricing pressures.

Our revenue prospects could be affected by changes in healthcare spending and policy in the United States and abroad. We operate in a highly regulated industry and new laws, regulations or judicial decisions, or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations or decisions, related to healthcare availability, the method of delivery or payment for healthcare products and services could negatively impact our business, operations and financial condition.

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

 

 

the demand for our product candidates, if we obtain regulatory approval;

 

 

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

 

 

our ability to obtain coverage and reimbursement approval for a product;

 

 

our ability to generate revenue and achieve or maintain profitability;

 

 

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

 

 

the availability of capital.

Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors, which may adversely affect our future profitability.

Inadequate funding for the FDA, the SEC and other government agencies could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, prevent new products and services from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner or otherwise prevent those agencies from performing normal business functions on which the operation of our business may rely, which could negatively impact our business.

The ability of the FDA to review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, ability to hire and retain key personnel and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory and policy changes. Average review times at the agency have fluctuated in

 

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recent years as a result. Disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may also slow the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. In addition, government funding of the SEC and other government agencies on which our operations may rely, including those that fund research and development activities, is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.

For example, over the last several years, including beginning on December 22, 2018, the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA and the SEC, have had to furlough critical FDA, SEC and other government employees and stop critical activities. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, future government shutdowns could impact our ability to access the public markets and obtain necessary capital in order to properly capitalize and continue our operations.

Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other illegal activity by our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct that fails to: comply with the regulations of the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory authorities, provide true, complete and accurate information to the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory authorities, comply with manufacturing standards we have established, comply with healthcare fraud and abuse laws in the United States and similar foreign fraudulent misconduct laws or report financial information or data accurately or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. If we obtain FDA approval of any of our product candidates and begin commercializing those products in the United States, our potential exposure under such laws and regulations will increase significantly, and our costs associated with compliance with such laws and regulations are also likely to increase. These laws may impact, among other things, our current activities with principal investigators and research patients, as well as proposed and future sales, marketing and education programs. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as certain business arrangements in the healthcare industry, are subject to extensive laws designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements generally. Activities subject to these laws also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of patient recruitment for clinical trials. The laws that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

 

 

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, either the referral of an individual, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. A person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. Violations are subject to civil and criminal fines and penalties for each violation, plus up to three times the remuneration involved, imprisonment, and exclusion from government healthcare programs. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act. There are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution;

 

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federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws, including the False Claims Act, which impose criminal and civil penalties, including through civil “qui tam” or “whistleblower” actions, against individuals or entities for, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment or approval from Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal health care programs that are false or fraudulent; knowingly making or causing a false statement material to a false or fraudulent claim or an obligation to pay money to the federal government; or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing such an obligation. Manufacturers can be held liable under the FCA even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The FCA also permits a private individual acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the FCA and to share in any monetary recovery. When an entity is determined to have violated the federal civil False Claims Act, the government may impose civil fines and penalties for each false claim, plus treble damages, and exclude the entity from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs;

 

 

the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g., public or private) and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services relating to healthcare matters. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity can be found guilty of violating HIPAA without actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it;

 

 

HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and their respective implementing regulations, which impose requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without appropriate authorization. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce the federal HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions;

 

 

the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, created under the Affordable Care Act and its implementing regulations, which require manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to HHS information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members. Effective January 1, 2022, these reporting obligations will extend to include transfers of value made to certain non-physician providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners;

 

 

federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers; and

 

 

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state and foreign anti-kickback, false claims, consumer protection and unfair competition laws which may apply to pharmaceutical business practices, including but not limited to, research, distribution, sales and marketing arrangements as well as submitting

 

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claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by any third-party payor, including commercial insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government that otherwise restricts payments that may be made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources; state laws that require drug manufacturers to file reports with states regarding pricing and marketing information, such as the tracking and reporting of gifts, compensations and other remuneration and items of value provided to healthcare professionals and entities; state and local laws requiring the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives; and state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Effective upon the closing of this offering, we will adopt a code of business conduct and ethics, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations.

Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and safe harbors available, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant criminal, civil and administrative sanctions including monetary penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, and exclusion from participation in government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and we may be required to curtail or restructure our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business. The shifting compliance environment and the need to build and maintain robust and expandable systems to comply with multiple jurisdictions with different compliance and/or reporting requirements increases the possibility that a healthcare company may run afoul of one or more of the requirements.

The provision of benefits or advantages to physicians to induce or encourage the prescription, recommendation, endorsement, purchase, supply, order or use of medicinal products is also prohibited in the EU. The provision of benefits or advantages to physicians is governed by the national anti-bribery laws of EU Member States, such as the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, or the Bribery Act. Infringement of these laws could result in substantial fines and imprisonment. Payments made to physicians in certain EU Member States must be publicly disclosed.

Moreover, agreements with physicians often must be the subject of prior notification and approval by the physician’s employer, his or her competent professional organization and/or the regulatory authorities of the individual EU Member States.

These requirements are provided in the national laws, industry codes or professional codes of conduct, applicable in the EU Member States.

 

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Failure to comply with these requirements could result in reputational risk, public reprimands, administrative penalties, fines or imprisonment.

Data collection is governed by restrictive regulations governing the use, processing and cross-border transfer of personal information.

In the event we decide to conduct clinical trials or continue to enroll subjects in our ongoing or future clinical trials, we may be subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection, use, storage, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the EU, including personal health data, is subject to the EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU, including the United States, and permits data protection authorities to impose large penalties for violations of the GDPR, including potential fines of up to 20 million or 4% of annual global revenues, whichever is greater. The GDPR also confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR includes restrictions on cross-border data transfers. The GDPR increased our responsibility and liability in relation to personal data that we process where such processing is subject to the GDPR, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to ensure compliance with the GDPR, including as implemented by individual countries. Compliance with the GDPR will be a rigorous and time-intensive process that may increase our cost of doing business or require us to change our business practices, and despite those efforts, there is a risk that we may be subject to fines and penalties, litigation, and reputational harm in connection with our European activities. Further, the United Kingdom’s vote in favor of exiting the EU, often referred to as Brexit, has created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom. In particular, it is unclear how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated.

In addition, California recently enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which creates new individual privacy rights for California consumers (as defined in the law) and places increased privacy and security obligations on entities handling personal data of consumers or households. The CCPA will require covered companies to provide new disclosure to consumers about such companies’ data collection, use and sharing practices, provide such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales or transfers of personal information, and provide consumers with additional causes of action. The CCPA goes into effect on January 1, 2020, and the California Attorney General may bring enforcement actions for violations beginning July 1, 2020. The CCPA was amended on September 23, 2018, and it remains unclear what, if any, further modifications will be made to this legislation or how it will be interpreted. As currently written, the CCPA may impact our business activities and exemplifies the vulnerability of our business to the evolving regulatory environment related to personal data and protected health information.

Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Failure to comply with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could result in government enforcement actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties), private litigation or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business. Moreover, clinical trial subjects about whom we or our potential collaborators obtain information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may contractually limit our ability to use and disclose

 

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the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights, failed to comply with data protection laws, or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.

If we fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological and radioactive materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We generally contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.

Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of hazardous materials, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological, hazardous or radioactive materials.

Risks related to our intellectual property

We do not currently own or in-license any issued patents or non-provisional patent applications relating to our product candidates or technology, including BDTX-189. If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for BDTX-189, our MAP platform and our other product candidates and technology, or any other product candidates or technology we may develop, or if the scope of intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products and technology similar or identical to ours, and our ability to commercialize BDTX-189 or any other product candidates or technology may be adversely affected.

Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection in the United States and other countries with respect to our product candidates, including BDTX-189, their respective components, formulations, combination therapies, methods used to manufacture them and methods of treatment and development that are important to our business, as well as successfully defending

these patents against third-party challenges. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property rights, competitors may be able to erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business and ability to achieve profitability.

We intend to rely upon a combination of patent applications, confidentiality agreements, trade secret protection and license agreements to protect the intellectual property related to our product candidates and technologies. Any disclosure to or misappropriation by third parties of our confidential proprietary information could enable competitors to quickly duplicate or surpass our technological achievements, thus eroding our competitive position in our market. We, or any future partners, collaborators, or licensees, may fail to identify patentable aspects of inventions made in the course of development and commercialization activities before it is too late to obtain patent protection on them. Therefore, we may miss potential opportunities to establish our patent position.

To protect our proprietary position, we plan to file patent applications in the United States and abroad relating to our product candidates and MAP platform that are important to our business; we may in the future also

 

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license or purchase patents or patent applications owned by others. Our ability to stop unauthorized third parties from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing our product candidates is dependent upon the extent to which we have rights under valid and enforceable patents or trade secrets that cover these activities. If we are unable to secure or maintain patent protection with respect to BDTX-189, our MAP platform or any other proprietary products and technology we develop, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects would be materially harmed.

We do not currently own or in-license any issued patents or non-provisional patent applications relating to BDTX-189, including its composition of matter, and we do not currently own or in-license any issued patents or non-provisional patent applications relating to any of our other product candidates or technology. We own one Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, patent application that covers the composition of matter for BDTX-189, as well as methods of using and making BDTX-189. This PCT application may never result in an issued patent. This pending PCT patent application is not eligible to become an issued patent until, among other things, we file a national stage patent application within 30 months in the countries in which we seek patent protection. If we do not timely file any national stage patent applications, we may lose our priority date with respect to our PCT patent application and any patent protection on the inventions disclosed in such PCT patent application. While we intend to timely file a national stage patent application relating to our PCT patent application, we cannot predict whether any of our future patent applications for BDTX-189 or any of our other product candidates will result in the issuance of patents that effectively protect BDTX-189 or our other product candidates. If we do not successfully obtain patent protection, or, even if we do obtain patent protection, if the scope of the patent protection we or our potential licensors obtain with respect to BDTX-189 or our other product candidates and technology is not sufficiently broad, we will be unable to prevent others from using our technology or from developing or commercializing technology and products similar or identical to ours or other competing products and technologies. Any failure to obtain or maintain patent protection with respect to BDTX-189 and our other product candidates would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

The degree of patent protection we require to successfully compete in the marketplace may be unavailable or severely limited in some cases and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage. We cannot provide any assurances that any patents we may own or in-license in the future will have, or that any of our patent applications that mature into issued patents will include, claims with a scope sufficient to protect our current and future product candidates or otherwise provide any competitive advantage. In addition, to the extent that we license intellectual property in the future, we cannot assure you that those licenses will remain in force. In addition, the laws of foreign countries may not protect our rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Furthermore, patents have a limited lifespan, and the term of any patents we may own or in-license in the future may be inadequate to protect our competitive position of our product candidates or technology for an adequate amount of time. In the United States, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years after it is filed. Various extensions may be available; however, the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized.

Even if they are unchallenged, our patent applications, if issued, and any patents we may own or in-license in the future, may not provide us with any meaningful protection or prevent competitors from designing around our patent claims to circumvent any patents we may own or in-license in the future by developing similar or alternative technologies or therapeutics in a non-infringing manner. For example, a third party may develop a competitive therapy that provides benefits similar to one or more of our product candidates but that uses a formulation and/or a device that falls outside the scope of any patent protection we may have in the future. If the patent protection provided by our patent applications or any patents we may pursue with respect to our

 

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product candidates is not sufficiently broad to impede such competition, our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates could be negatively affected, which would harm our business. Although we currently own our patent applications, similar risks would apply to any patents or patent applications that we may own or in-license in the future.

Patent positions of life sciences companies can be uncertain and involve complex factual and legal questions. Changes in either the patent laws or their interpretation in any jurisdiction that we seek patent protection may diminish our ability to protect our inventions, maintain and enforce our intellectual property rights; and, more generally, may affect the value of our intellectual property, including the narrowing of the scope of our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future.

The patent prosecution process is complex, expensive, time-consuming and inconsistent across jurisdictions. Patent license negotiations also can be complex and protracted, with uncertain results. We may not be able to file, prosecute, maintain, enforce, or license all necessary or desirable patent rights at a commercially reasonable cost or in a timely manner. In addition, we may not pursue or obtain patent protection in all relevant markets. It is possible that we will fail to identify important patentable aspects of our research and development efforts in time to obtain appropriate or any patent protection. While we enter into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to confidential or patentable aspects of our research and development efforts, including for example, our employees, corporate collaborators, external academic scientific collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose results before a patent application is filed, thereby endangering our ability to seek patent protection. In addition, publications of discoveries in the scientific and scholarly literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. Consequently, we cannot be certain that we were the first to file for patent protection on the inventions claimed in our patent applications.

It is possible that defects of form in the preparation or filing of our patent applications, or any patents we may own or in-license in the future, may exist or may arise in the future, for example with respect to proper priority claims, inventorship, claim scope, or requests for patent term adjustments. If we or our partners, collaborators, licensees or licensors fail to establish, maintain or protect such patents and other intellectual property rights, such rights may be reduced or eliminated. If our partners, collaborators, licensees or licensors are not fully cooperative or disagree with us as to the prosecution, maintenance or enforcement of any patent rights, such patent rights could be compromised. If there are material defects in the form, preparation, prosecution, or enforcement of our patent applications or patents we may own or in-license in the future, such patents may be invalid and/or unenforceable, and such applications may never result in valid, enforceable patents. Any of these outcomes could impair our ability to prevent competition from third parties, which may have an adverse impact on our business.

Additionally, we cannot be certain that the claims in our patent applications covering composition of matter of our product candidates or technology will be considered patentable by the USPTO, or by patent offices in foreign countries, or that the claims in any issued patents we may own or in-license in the future will be considered patentable by courts in the United States or foreign countries.

Method of use patents protect the use of a product for the specified method. These types of patents do not prevent a competitor from making and marketing a product that is identical to our product for an indication that is outside the scope of the patented method. Moreover, even if competitors do not actively promote their product for our targeted indications, physicians may prescribe these products “off-label.” Although off-label prescriptions may induce or contribute to the infringement of method of use patents, the practice is common and such infringement is difficult to prevent or prosecute.

 

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The patent position of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies generally is highly uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions for which many legal principles remain unresolved. In recent years, patent rights have been the subject of significant litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of any rights we may have from our patent applications are highly uncertain. Our patent applications may not result in patents being issued in the United States or in other jurisdictions which protect our technology or products or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. Moreover, our ability to obtain and maintain valid and enforceable patents depends on whether the differences between our inventions and the prior art, including our own previously filed patent applications and scientific publications, allow our inventions to be patentable over the prior art. Even if our patent applications issue as patents, third parties could challenge the validity of such patents based on such scientific publications and we could potentially lose valuable patent rights. Further, the scope of the invention claimed in a patent application can be significantly reduced before the patent is issued, and this scope can be reinterpreted after issuance. Even where patent applications we currently own or that we may license in the future issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors or other third parties from competing with us, or otherwise provide us with a competitive advantage. Any patents that eventually issue may be challenged, narrowed or invalidated by third parties. Consequently, we do not know whether any of our product candidates will be protectable or remain protected by valid and enforceable patent rights. Our competitors or other third parties may be able to evade any rights we may have from our patent applications by developing new compounds or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner.

The issuance or grant of a patent is not irrefutable as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, and any patents we may own or in-license in the future may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. Such challenges may result in the patent claims of any patents we may own or in-license being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, which could limit our ability to stop or prevent us from stopping others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and products. There may be prior art of which we are not aware that may affect the validity or enforceability of a patent claim. There also may be prior art of which we are aware, but which we do not believe affects the validity or enforceability of a claim, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to affect the validity or enforceability of a claim. We may in the future, become subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art or opposition, derivation, revocation, re-examination, post-grant and inter partes review, or interference proceeding and other similar proceedings challenging any rights we may have from our patent applications or the patent rights of others in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or other foreign patent office, or in declaratory judgment actions or counterclaims. An unfavorable determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, any rights we may have from our patent applications, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or extinguish our ability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights.

In addition, given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our intellectual property may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.

Moreover, some of our intellectual property, including any patents we may own or in-license in the future, may be co-owned with third parties. If we are unable to obtain an exclusive license to any such third-party co-owners’ interest in such intellectual property, including patents or patent applications, such co-owners may be able to license their rights to other third parties, including our competitors, and our competitors could market competing products and technology. In addition, we or our future licensors may need the cooperation of

 

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any such co-owners of our owned and in-licensed intellectual property, including patents and patent applications, in order to enforce such intellectual property against third parties, and such cooperation may not be provided to us or our future licensors. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.

We are generally also subject to all of the same risks with respect to protection of intellectual property that we license, as we are for intellectual property that we own, which are described below. If we or our future licensors fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability to commercialize products could suffer.

If we fail to comply with our obligations in any future agreements under which we may license intellectual property rights from third parties or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our future licensors, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

In the future, we may be party to license or collaboration agreements with third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of product candidates. Such future agreements may impose numerous obligations, such as development, diligence, payment, commercialization, funding, milestone, royalty, sublicensing, insurance, patent prosecution, enforcement and other obligations on us and may require us to meet development timelines, or to exercise commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize licensed products, in order to maintain the licenses. In spite of our best efforts, our future licensors might conclude that we have materially breached our future license agreements and might therefore terminate the license agreements, thereby removing or limiting our ability to develop and commercialize products and technologies covered by these license agreements.

Any termination of these licenses, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, could result in the loss of significant rights and could harm our ability to commercialize our product candidates, and competitors or other third parties would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical to ours and we may be required to cease our development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial conditions, results of operations, and prospects.

Disputes may also arise between us and our future licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including:

 

 

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

 

 

whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate intellectual property rights of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

 

 

our right to sublicense patent and other rights to third parties under collaborative development relationships;

 

 

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

 

 

the priority of invention of any patented technology; and

 

 

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

In addition, the agreements under which we may license intellectual property or technology from third parties in the future are likely to be complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology, or increase what we

 

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believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property that we may license in the future prevent or impair our ability to maintain future licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product candidates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.

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

In addition to the protection afforded by patents we may own or in-license in the future, we seek to rely on trade secret protection, confidentiality agreements, and license agreements to protect proprietary know-how that is not patentable, processes for which patents are difficult to enforce and any other elements of our product discovery and development processes, including our MAP platform that involve proprietary know-how, information, or technology that is not covered by patents. Although we require all of our employees, consultants, advisors and any third parties who have access to our proprietary know-how, information, or technology to enter into confidentiality agreements, trade secrets can be difficult to protect and we have limited control over the protection of trade secrets used by our collaborators and suppliers. We cannot be certain that we have or will obtain these agreements in all circumstances and we cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or have had access to our trade secrets or proprietary information.

Moreover, any of these parties might breach the agreements and intentionally or inadvertently disclose our trade secret information and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. In addition, competitors may otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or independently develop substantially equivalent information and techniques. Furthermore, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights and trade secrets to the same extent or in the same manner as the laws of the United States. As a result, we may encounter significant problems in protecting and defending our intellectual property both in the United States and abroad. If we are unable to prevent unauthorized material disclosure of our intellectual property to third parties, we will not be able to establish or maintain a competitive advantage in our market, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. If we choose to go to court to stop a third party from using any of our trade secrets, we may incur substantial costs. These lawsuits may consume our time and other resources even if we are successful. For example, significant elements of our MAP platform, including aspects of oncogenicity computational algorithms, in vivo experiments to validate mechanisms and pharmacology, drug design, and related processes, are based on unpatented trade secrets that are not publicly disclosed. Although we take steps to protect our proprietary information and trade secrets, including through contractual means with our employees and consultants, third parties may independently develop substantially equivalent proprietary information and techniques or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or disclose our technology. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us.

Thus, we may not be able to meaningfully protect our trade secrets. It is our policy to require our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers and other advisors to execute confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of employment or consulting relationships with us. These agreements provide that all confidential information concerning our business or financial affairs developed or made known to the individual or entity during the course of the party’s relationship with us is to be kept

 

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confidential and not disclosed to third parties except in specific circumstances. In addition, we take other appropriate precautions, such as physical and technological security measures, to guard against misappropriation of our proprietary technology by third parties. In the case of employees, the agreements provide that all inventions conceived by the individual, and which are related to our current or planned business or research and development or made during normal working hours, on our premises or using our equipment or proprietary information, are our exclusive property. Although we require all of our employees to assign their inventions to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who, in fact, conceives or develops intellectual property that we regard as our own. The assignment of intellectual property rights may not be self-executing, or the assignment agreements may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims that they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. Such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Third-party claims of intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or other violations may be costly and time consuming and may prevent or delay our product discovery and development efforts.

The intellectual property landscape around precision medicine is crowded, and third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing, misappropriating, or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business. Our commercial success depends upon our ability to develop, manufacture, market and sell our current and future product candidates and use our proprietary technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of third parties. There is a substantial amount of litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as administrative proceedings for challenging patents, including derivation, interference, reexamination, inter partes review, and post grant review proceedings before the USPTO or oppositions and other comparable proceedings in foreign jurisdictions. We or any of our future licensors or strategic partners may be party to, exposed to, or threatened with, future adversarial proceedings or litigation by third parties having patent or other intellectual property rights alleging that our current or future product candidates and/or proprietary technologies infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property rights. We cannot assure you that our product candidates and other technologies that we have developed, are developing or may develop in the future do not or will not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate existing or future patents or other intellectual property rights owned by third parties. Numerous U.S. and foreign issued patents and pending patent applications, which are owned by third parties, exist in the fields in which we are developing our product candidates. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our product candidates may give rise to claims of infringement of the patent rights of others. Moreover, it is not always clear to industry participants, including us, which patents cover various types of drugs, products or their methods of use or manufacture. Thus, because of the large number of patents issued and patent applications filed in our fields, there may be a risk that third parties may allege they have patent rights encompassing our product candidates, technologies or methods.

If a third party claims that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate its intellectual property rights, we may face a number of issues, including, but not limited to:

 

 

infringement, misappropriation and other intellectual property claims which, regardless of merit, may be expensive and time-consuming to litigate and may divert our management’s attention from our core business and may impact our reputation;

 

 

substantial damages for infringement, misappropriation or other violations, which we may have to pay if a court decides that the product candidate or technology at issue infringes, misappropriates or violates the

 

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third party’s rights, and, if the court finds that the infringement was willful, we could be ordered to pay treble damages and the patent owner’s attorneys’ fees;

 

 

a court prohibiting us from developing, manufacturing, marketing or selling our product candidates, including BDTX-189, or from using our proprietary technologies, unless the third party licenses its product rights to us, which it is not required to do, on commercially reasonable terms or at all;

 

 

if a license is available from a third party, we may have to pay substantial royalties, upfront fees and other amounts, and/or grant cross-licenses to intellectual property rights for our products, or the license to us may be non-exclusive, which would permit third parties to use the same intellectual property to compete with us;

 

 

redesigning our product candidates or processes so they do not infringe, misappropriate or violate third party intellectual property rights, which may not be possible or may require substantial monetary expenditures and time; and

 

 

there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and, if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. In addition, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our operations or could otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.

We may choose to challenge the patentability of claims in a third party’s U.S. patent by requesting that the USPTO review the patent claims in an ex-parte re-exam, inter partes review or post-grant review proceedings. These proceedings are expensive and may consume our time or other resources. We may choose to challenge a third party’s patent in patent opposition proceedings in the EPO, or other foreign patent office. The costs of these opposition proceedings could be substantial, and may consume our time or other resources. If we fail to obtain a favorable result at the USPTO, EPO or other patent office then we may be exposed to litigation by a third party alleging that the patent may be infringed by our product candidates or proprietary technologies.

Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. Patents issued in the United States by law enjoy a presumption of validity that can be rebutted only with evidence that is “clear and convincing,” a heightened standard of proof. There may be issued third-party patents of which we are currently unaware with claims to compositions, formulations, methods of manufacture or methods for treatment related to the use or manufacture of our product candidates. Patent applications can take many years to issue. In addition, because some patent applications in the United States may be maintained in secrecy until the patents are issued, patent applications in the United States and many foreign jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, and publications in the scientific literature often lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that others have not filed patent applications covering our product candidates or technology. If any such patent applications issue as patents, and if such patents have priority over our patent applications or patents we may own or in-license, we may be required to obtain rights to such patents owned by third parties which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or may only be available on a non-exclusive basis. There may be currently pending patent applications which may later result in issued patents that our product candidates may infringe. It is also possible that patents owned by third parties of which we are aware, but which we do not believe are relevant to our product candidates or other technologies, could be found to be infringed by our product candidates or other technologies. In addition, third parties may obtain patents in the future and claim that use of our technologies infringes upon these patents. Moreover, we

 

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may fail to identify relevant patents or incorrectly conclude that a patent is invalid, not enforceable, exhausted, or not infringed by our activities. If any third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover the manufacturing process of our product candidates, molecules used in or formed during the manufacturing process, or any final product itself, the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to commercialize the product candidate unless we obtained a license under the applicable patents, or until such patents expire or they are finally determined to be held invalid or unenforceable. Similarly, if any third-party patent were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover aspects of our formulations, processes for manufacture or methods of use, including combination therapy or patient selection methods, the holders of any such patent may be able to block our ability to develop and commercialize the product candidate unless we obtained a license or until such patent expires or is finally determined to be held invalid or unenforceable. In either case, such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. If we are unable to obtain a necessary license to a third-party patent on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, our ability to commercialize our product candidates may be impaired or delayed, which could in turn significantly harm our business. Even if we obtain a license, it may be nonexclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. In addition, if the breadth or strength of protection provided by our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future is threatened, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop or commercialize current or future product candidates.

Parties making claims against us may seek and obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could effectively block our ability to further develop and commercialize our product candidates. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, could involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement, misappropriation or other violation against us, we may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure. We cannot predict whether any such license would be available at all or whether it would be available on commercially reasonable terms. Furthermore, even in the absence of litigation, we may need or may choose to obtain licenses from third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of our product candidates. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all. In that event, we would be unable to further develop and commercialize our product candidates, which could harm our business significantly.

We may not be successful in obtaining or maintaining necessary rights to product components and processes for our development pipeline through acquisitions and in-licenses.

Presently we own one PCT patent application related to BDTX-189. Because additional product candidates may require the use of proprietary rights held by third parties, the growth of our business will likely depend in part on our ability to acquire, in-license or use these proprietary rights.

Our product candidates may also require specific formulations to work effectively and efficiently and these rights may be held by others. Similarly, efficient production or delivery of our product candidates may also require specific compositions or methods, and the rights to these may be owned by third parties. We may be unable to acquire or in-license any compositions, methods of use, processes or other third-party intellectual property rights from third parties that we identify as necessary or important to our business operations. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all, which would harm our business. We may need to cease use of the compositions or methods covered by such third-party intellectual property rights, and may need to seek to develop alternative approaches that do not infringe on such intellectual property rights which may entail additional costs and development delays, even if we were able to develop such alternatives, which may not be feasible. Even if we are able to obtain a license, it may be

 

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nonexclusive, 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. Moreover, the molecules that will be used with our product candidates may be covered by the intellectual property rights of others.

Additionally, we sometimes collaborate with academic institutions to accelerate our preclinical research or development under written agreements with these institutions. In certain cases, these institutions provide us with an option to negotiate a license to any of the institution’s rights in technology resulting from the collaboration. Regardless of such option, we may be unable to negotiate a license within the specified timeframe or under terms that are acceptable to us. If we are unable to do so, the institution may offer the intellectual property rights to others, potentially blocking our ability to pursue our program and allowing third parties to compete with us. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property or to maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of such program and our business and financial condition could suffer.

The licensing and acquisition of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and companies, which may be more established, or have greater resources than we do, may also be pursuing strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider necessary or attractive in order to commercialize our product candidates. More established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may be unable to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment or at all. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully complete such negotiations and ultimately acquire the rights to the intellectual property surrounding the additional product candidates that we may seek to acquire. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property or to maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of such program and our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could suffer.

We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights, including any patents we may own or in-license in the future, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful.

Competitors may infringe any patents we may own or in-license in the future. In addition, any patents we may own or in-license also may become involved in inventorship, priority, validity or unenforceability disputes. To counter infringement or unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. In addition, in an infringement proceeding, a court may decide that one or more of any patents we may own or in-license in the future is not valid or is unenforceable or that the other party’s use of our technology that may be patented falls under the safe harbor to patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(e)(1). There is also the risk that, even if the validity of these patents is upheld, the court may refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that any patents we may own or in-license in the future do not cover the technology in question or that such third party’s activities do not infringe our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future. An adverse result in any litigation or defense proceedings could put one or more of any patents we may own or in-license in the future at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable, or interpreted narrowly and could put our patent applications at risk of not issuing. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, would involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and

 

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monetary expenditure. Such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing, or distribution activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to conduct such litigation or proceedings adequately. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete in the marketplace.

Post-grant proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the validity or priority of inventions with respect to our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future. These proceedings are expensive and an unfavorable outcome could result in a loss our current patent rights and could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. In addition to potential USPTO review proceedings, we may become a party to patent opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office, or EPO, or similar proceedings in other foreign patent offices, where either our foreign patents are challenged. The costs of these opposition or similar proceedings could be substantial, and may result in a loss of scope of some claims or a loss of the entire patent. An unfavorable result at the USPTO, EPO or other patent office may result in the loss of our right to exclude others from practicing one or more of our inventions in the relevant country or jurisdiction, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Litigation or post-grant proceedings may result in a decision adverse to our interests and, even if we are successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees. We may not be able to prevent, misappropriation of our trade secrets or confidential information, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States.

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

We may not be able to detect infringement against any patents we may own or in-license in the future. Even if we detect infringement by a third party of any patents we may own or in-license in the future, we may choose not to pursue litigation against or settlement with the third party. If we later sue such third party for patent infringement, the third party may have certain legal defenses available to it, which otherwise would not be available except for the delay between when the infringement was first detected and when the suit was brought. Such legal defenses may make it impossible for us to enforce any patents we may own or in-license against such third party.

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

Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuity fees and various other government fees on any issued patent are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent. The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process and following the issuance of a patent. While an inadvertent lapse can in some cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in

 

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abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Noncompliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market with similar or identical products or platforms, which could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects and financial condition.

Any issued patents we may own or in-license in the future covering our product candidates could be narrowed or found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, including the USPTO.

If we or our future licensors or strategic partners initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that the patent covering our product candidate, as applicable, is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace, and there are numerous grounds upon which a third party can assert invalidity or unenforceability of a patent. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of patentable subject matter, lack of written description, lack of novelty, obviousness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Third parties may also raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include re-examination, inter partes review, post grant review and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions (such as opposition proceedings). Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment to our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future in such a way that they no longer cover our product candidates. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate or render unenforceable, any rights we may have from our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future, allow third parties to commercialize our product candidates or other technologies and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights. Moreover, we may have to participate in interference proceedings declared by the USPTO to determine priority of invention or in post-grant challenge proceedings, such as oppositions in a foreign patent office, that challenge our or priority of invention or other features of patentability with respect to our patent applications and any patents we may own or in-license. Such challenges may result in loss of patent rights, loss of exclusivity, or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated, or held unenforceable, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our product candidates and other technologies. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we or our future licensing partners and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, or if we are otherwise unable to adequately protect our rights, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our product candidates. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business and our ability to commercialize or license our technology and product candidates.

Such proceedings also may result in substantial cost and require significant time from our scientists and management, even if the eventual outcome is favorable to us. If we are unsuccessful in any such proceeding or other priority or inventorship dispute, we may be required to obtain and maintain licenses from third parties, including parties involved in any such interference proceedings or other priority or inventorship disputes. Such licenses may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or may be non-exclusive. If we are

 

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unable to obtain and maintain such licenses, we may need to cease the development, manufacture, and commercialization of one or more of the product candidates we may develop. The loss of exclusivity or the narrowing of our patent application claims could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Changes to patent law in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

As is the case with other biopharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biopharmaceutical industry involve both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. 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 would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce patents that we might obtain in the future. For example, in the case Assoc. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that certain claims to DNA molecules are not patentable. Any adverse changes in the patent laws of other jurisdictions could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Changes in the laws and regulations governing patents in other jurisdictions could similarly have an adverse effect on our ability to obtain and effectively enforce any rights we may have in our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future.

Recent or future patent reform legislation could also increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any patents we may own or in-license in the future. The United States has enacted and implemented wide-ranging patent reform legislation. On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or America Invents Act, was signed into law, which includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law. These include provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art, may affect patent litigation, establish a new post-grant review system and switch the U.S. patent system from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first-to-file” system. Under a “first-to-file” system, assuming the other requirements for patentability are met, the first inventor to file a patent application generally will be entitled to a patent on the invention regardless of whether another inventor had made the invention earlier. Since patent applications in the United States and most other countries are confidential for a period of time after filing or until issuance, we cannot be certain that we were the first to either (i) file any patent application related to our product candidates or other technologies or (ii) invent any of the inventions claimed in our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license. These changes also allow third party submission of prior art to the USPTO during patent prosecution and additional procedures to attack the validity of a patent by USPTO administered post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and derivation proceedings. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States 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 district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action. An adverse determination in any such proceeding could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing

 

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third-party patent rights. Accordingly, the America Invents Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any issued patents we may own or in-license in the future, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

We have limited foreign intellectual property rights and may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

We may not be able to pursue generic coverage of our product candidates or MAP platform outside of the United States. Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and state laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but where enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our product candidates and in jurisdictions where we do not have any issued patents our patent applications or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Our patent portfolio is at the very early stage. We will need to decide whether and in which jurisdictions to pursue protection for the various inventions in our portfolio prior to applicable deadlines.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biopharmaceutical products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of any patents we may own or in-license in the future or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce any rights we may have in our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license in the future in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put any patents we may own or in-license in the future 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.

Many countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patent. If we are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents we may own or license in the future that are relevant to our business, our competitive position may be impaired, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected.

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of any intellectual property, including any patents we may own or in-license in the future.

We may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators or other third parties have an interest in any patents we may own or in-license in the future, trade secrets, or other intellectual property as an inventor or

 

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co-inventor. For example, we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting obligations of employees, consultants or others who are involved in developing our product candidates or other technologies. 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 intellectual property rights to us. Moreover, there may be some circumstances, where we are unable to negotiate for such ownership rights. Disputes regarding ownership or inventorship of intellectual property can also arise in other contexts, such as collaborations and sponsored research. If we are subject to a dispute challenging our rights in or to patents or other intellectual property, such a dispute could be expensive and time consuming. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship of any patents we may own or in-license in the future, trade secrets or other intellectual property. If we were unsuccessful, in addition to paying monetary damages, we could lose valuable rights in intellectual property that we regard as our own, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, intellectual property that is important to our product candidates and other technologies. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We are party to a services agreement with Ridgeline Therapeutics GmbH, or the Ridgeline Services Agreement, pursuant to which Ridgeline provides certain drug discovery and development services. Pursuant to the Ridgeline Services Agreement, we own all rights in and to all patent, copyright and other intellectual property rights generated by Ridgeline in the course of performing the specified services. If it is unclear whether certain intellectual property generated by Ridgeline is our property, we may be subject to conflicting claims of ownership.

We may be subject to claims that our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information or alleged trade secrets of third parties or competitors or are in breach of non-competition or non-solicitation agreements with our competitors.

We have received confidential and proprietary information from third parties. In addition, as is common in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, we employ individuals who were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors, in some cases until recently. We may be subject to claims that we or our employees, consultants or independent contractors have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed confidential information or trade secrets of these third parties or our employees’ former employers or our consultants’ or contractors’ current or former clients or customers. In addition, we have been and may in the future be subject to claims that we caused an employee to breach the terms of his or her non-competition or non-solicitation agreement. Litigation or arbitration may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims and possible aftermath could result in substantial cost and be a distraction to our management and employees. Any litigation or the threat thereof may adversely affect our ability to hire employees. A loss of key personnel or their work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize product candidates, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and, if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. This type of litigation or proceeding could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce our resources available for development activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately conduct such litigation or proceedings. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we

 

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can because of their substantially greater financial resources. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other intellectual property related proceedings could adversely affect our ability to compete in the marketplace.

If we do not obtain patent term extension and data exclusivity for any of our current or future product candidates we may develop, our business may be materially harmed.

Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of any of our current or future product candidates we may develop, one or more U.S. patents we may own or in-license in the future may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent term extension of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. A patent term extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval, only one patent may be extended and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. However, we may not be granted an extension because of, for example, failing to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is shorter than what we request, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following expiration of any patents that issue from our patent applications, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

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

Our trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, diluted, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We intend to rely on both registration and common law protection for our trademarks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names or may be forced to stop using these names, which we need for name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. During the trademark registration process, we may receive Office Actions from the USPTO objecting to the registration of our trademark. Although we would be given an opportunity to respond to those objections, we may be unable to overcome such rejections. In addition, in the USPTO and in comparable agencies in many foreign jurisdictions, third parties are given an opportunity to oppose pending trademark applications and/or to seek the cancellation of registered trademarks. Opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademarks, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. If we are unable to obtain a registered trademark or establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected.

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, whether owned or in-licensed, 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 the practice of our technology, we may not be able to fully exercise or extract value from our intellectual property rights. The following examples are illustrative:

 

 

patent applications that we own or may in-license in the future may not lead to issued patents;

 

 

patents, should they issue, that we may own or in-license in the future, may not provide us with any competitive advantages, may be narrowed in scope, or may be challenged and held invalid or unenforceable;

 

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others may be able to develop and/or practice technology, including compounds that are similar to the chemical compositions of our product candidates, that is similar to our technology or aspects of our technology but that is not covered by the claims of any patents we may own or in-license in the future, should any patents issue;

 

 

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

 

 

we, or our future licensors or collaborators, might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by a patent application that we own or may in-license in the future;

 

 

we, or our future licensors or collaborators, might not have been the first to file patent applications covering a particular invention;

 

 

others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating our intellectual property rights;

 

 

our competitors might conduct research and development activities in the United States and other countries that provide a safe harbor from patent infringement claims for certain research and development activities, as well as in countries where we do not have patent rights, and may then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;

 

 

we may not be able to obtain and/or maintain necessary 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, or any rights at all, over that intellectual property;

 

 

we may choose not to file a patent in order to maintain certain trade secrets or know-how, and a third party may subsequently file a patent covering such trade secrets or know-how;

 

 

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 of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

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

Risks related to our reliance on third parties

We plan to rely on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials. If these third parties do not properly and successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of or commercialize our product candidates.

We plan to utilize and depend upon independent investigators and collaborators, such as medical institutions, CROs, contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, and strategic partners to conduct and support our preclinical studies and clinical trials under agreements with us. For example, we contract with Ridgeline for services related to our drug discovery and preclinical work, but we are continuing to build our internal chemistry, manufacturing and controls, biology and preclinical development capabilities to assume activities conducted by Ridgeline on our behalf. We expect to transition from our current service model to a more limited consulting arrangement with Ridgeline. As part of this transition, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in engaging directly with other third-party CROs and CMOs.

 

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We expect to have to negotiate budgets and contracts with CROs, trial sites and CMOs and we may not be able to do so on favorable terms, which may result in delays to our development timelines and increased costs. We will rely heavily on these third parties over the course of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, and we control only certain aspects of their activities. As a result, we will have less direct control over the conduct, timing and completion of these preclinical studies and clinical trials and the management of data developed through preclinical studies and clinical trials than would be the case if we were relying entirely upon our own staff. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our studies is conducted in accordance with applicable protocol, legal and regulatory requirements and scientific standards, and our reliance on third parties does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. We and these third parties are required to comply with GCPs, which are regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for product candidates in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these GCPs through periodic inspections of trial sponsors, principal investigators and trial sites. If we or any of these third parties fail to comply with applicable GCP regulations, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure you that, upon inspection, such regulatory authorities will determine that any of our clinical trials comply with the GCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with pharmaceutical product produced under cGMP regulations and will require a large number of test patients. Our failure or any failure by these third parties to comply with these regulations or to recruit a sufficient number of patients may require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process. Moreover, our business may be implicated if any of these third parties violates federal or state fraud and abuse or false claims laws and regulations or healthcare privacy and security laws.

Any third parties conducting our clinical trials are not and will not be our employees and, except for remedies available to us under our agreements with such third parties, we cannot control whether or not they devote sufficient time and resources to our ongoing, clinical and non-clinical product candidates. These third parties may also have relationships with other commercial entities, including our competitors, for whom they may also be conducting clinical trials or other drug development activities, which could affect their performance on our behalf. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols or regulatory requirements or for other reasons, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated and we may not be able to complete development of, obtain regulatory approval of or successfully commercialize our product candidates. As a result, our financial results and the commercial prospects for our product candidates would be harmed, our costs could increase and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed.

Switching or adding third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials involves substantial cost and requires extensive management time and focus. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new third party commences work. As a result, delays occur, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines.

We may form or seek collaborations or strategic alliances or enter into additional licensing arrangements in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of such collaborations, alliances or licensing arrangements.

We may form or seek strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations, or enter into additional licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to our product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Any of these relationships may require us to incur non-recurring and other charges, increase our near and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute our existing stockholders or disrupt our management and business.

 

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In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership or other alternative arrangements for our product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort and third parties may not view our product candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety, potency, purity and efficacy and obtain marketing approval.

Further, collaborations involving our product candidates are subject to numerous risks, which may include the following:

 

 

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

 

 

collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of our product candidates or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization of our product candidates based on clinical trial results, changes in their strategic focus due to the acquisition of competitive products, availability of funding or other external factors, such as a business combination that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;

 

 

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

 

 

collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidates;

 

 

a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to their marketing and distribution;

 

 

collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our intellectual property or proprietary information in a way that gives rise to actual or threatened litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential liability;

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

collaborators may own or co-own intellectual property covering our products that results from our collaborating with them, and in such cases, we would not have the exclusive right to commercialize such intellectual property.

As a result, if we enter into additional collaboration agreements and strategic partnerships or license our product candidates, we may not be able to realize the benefit of such transactions if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture, which could delay our timelines or otherwise adversely affect our business. We also cannot be certain that, following a strategic transaction or license, we will achieve the revenue or specific net income that justifies such transaction. Any delays in entering into new collaborations or strategic partnership agreements related to our product candidates could delay the development and commercialization of our product candidates in certain geographies for certain indications, which would harm our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We currently rely and expect to rely in the future on the use of manufacturing suites in third-party facilities or third parties to manufacture our product candidates. Our business could be harmed if we are unable to use third-party manufacturing suites or if the third party manufacturers fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of our product candidates or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.

We do not currently own any facility that may be used as our clinical-scale manufacturing and processing facility and must currently rely on outside vendors to manufacture our product candidates. We have not yet caused our product candidates to be manufactured on a commercial scale and may not be able to do so for any of our product candidates.

Our anticipated reliance on a limited number of third-party manufacturers exposes us to a number of risks, including the following:

 

 

we may be unable to identify manufacturers on acceptable terms or at all because the number of potential manufacturers is limited and the FDA must inspect any manufacturers for current cGMP compliance as part of our marketing application;

 

 

a new manufacturer would have to be educated in, or develop substantially equivalent processes for, the production of our product candidates;

 

 

our third-party manufacturers might be unable to timely manufacture our product candidates or produce the quantity and quality required to meet our clinical and commercial needs, if any;

 

 

contract manufacturers may not be able to execute our manufacturing procedures and other logistical support requirements appropriately;

 

 

our future contract manufacturers may not perform as agreed, may not devote sufficient resources to our product candidates or may not remain in the contract manufacturing business for the time required to supply our clinical trials or to successfully produce, store, and distribute our products, if any;

 

 

manufacturers are subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA and corresponding state agencies to ensure strict compliance with cGMP and other government regulations and corresponding foreign standards and we have no control over third-party manufacturers’ compliance with these regulations and standards;

 

 

we may not own, or may have to share, the intellectual property rights to any improvements made by our third-party manufacturers in the manufacturing process for our product candidates;

 

 

our third-party manufacturers could breach or terminate their agreements with us;

 

 

raw materials and components used in the manufacturing process, particularly those for which we have no other source or supplier, may not be available or may not be suitable or acceptable for use due to material or component defects;

 

 

our contract manufacturers and critical reagent suppliers may be subject to inclement weather, as well as natural or man-made disasters; and

 

 

our contract manufacturers may have unacceptable or inconsistent product quality success rates and yields, and we have no direct control over our contract manufacturers’ ability to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel.

Each of these risks could delay or prevent the completion of our clinical trials or the approval of any of our product candidates by the FDA, result in higher costs or adversely impact commercialization of our product

 

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candidates. In addition, we will rely on third parties to perform certain specification tests on our product candidates prior to delivery to patients. If these tests are not appropriately done and test data are not reliable, patients could be put at risk of serious harm and the FDA could place significant restrictions on our company until deficiencies are remedied.

Our manufacturing process needs to comply with FDA regulations relating to the quality and reliability of such processes. Any failure to comply with relevant regulations could result in delays in or termination of our clinical programs and suspension or withdrawal of any regulatory approvals.

In order to commercially produce our products either at our own facility or at a third party’s facility, we will need to comply with the FDA’s cGMP regulations and guidelines. We may encounter difficulties in achieving quality control and quality assurance and may experience shortages in qualified personnel. We are subject to inspections by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to confirm compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Any failure to follow cGMP or other regulatory requirements or delay, interruption or other issues that arise in the manufacture, fill-finish, packaging, or storage of our precision medicines as a result of a failure of our facilities or the facilities or operations of third parties to comply with regulatory requirements or pass any regulatory authority inspection could significantly impair our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, including leading to significant delays in the availability of our precision medicines for our clinical trials or the termination of or suspension of a clinical trial, or the delay or prevention of a filing or approval of marketing applications for our product candidates. Significant non-compliance could also result in the imposition of sanctions, including warning or untitled letters, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, failure of regulatory authorities to grant marketing approvals for our product candidates, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or recalls of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions, any of which could damage our reputation and our business.

If our third-party manufacturers use hazardous and biological materials in a manner that causes injury or violates applicable law, we may be liable for damages.

Our research and development activities involve the controlled use of potentially hazardous substances, including chemical and biological materials, by our third-party manufacturers. Our manufacturers are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations in the United States governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of medical and hazardous materials. Although we believe that our manufacturers’ procedures for using, handling, storing and disposing of these materials comply with legally prescribed standards, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination or injury resulting from medical or hazardous materials. As a result of any such contamination or injury, we may incur liability or local, city, state or federal authorities may curtail the use of these materials and interrupt our business operations. In the event of an accident, we could be held liable for damages or penalized with fines, and the liability could exceed our resources. We do not have any insurance for liabilities arising from medical or hazardous materials. Compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations is expensive, and current or future environmental regulations may impair our research, development and production efforts, which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations.

Risks related to managing growth and employee matters

We are highly dependent on our key personnel and anticipate hiring new key personnel. If we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.

Our ability to compete in the highly competitive biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries depends upon our ability to attract and retain highly qualified managerial, scientific and medical personnel. We are highly

 

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dependent on our management, scientific and medical personnel, including our Chief Executive Officer and President, our newly-hired Chief Financial Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, our Executive Vice President of Discovery and Translational Sciences and our Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. Our Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, Karsten Witt, M.D., is not our employee and provides services under a consulting agreement. We plan to transition from our current service model with Ridgeline to a more limited consulting arrangement. While we expect to engage in an orderly transition process as we integrate newly appointed officers and managers, we face a variety of risks and uncertainties relating to management transition, including diversion of management attention from business concerns, failure to retain other key personnel or loss of institutional knowledge. In addition, the loss of the services of any of our executive officers, other key employees and other scientific and medical advisors, and an inability to find suitable replacements could result in delays in product development and harm our business.

We conduct our operations at our facilities in Cambridge, MA, New York, NY, Stony Brook, NY, Toronto, Canada, and at the Ridgeline facilities in Switzerland. The Massachusetts region is headquarters to many other biopharmaceutical companies and many academic and research institutions. Competition for skilled personnel in our market is intense and may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms or at all. Changes to U.S. immigration and work authorization laws and regulations, including those that restrain the flow of scientific and professional talent, can be significantly affected by political forces and levels of economic activity. Our business may be materially adversely affected if legislative or administrative changes to immigration or visa laws and regulations impair our hiring processes and goals or projects involving personnel who are not U.S. citizens.

To encourage valuable employees to remain at our company, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we have provided stock options that vest over time. The value to employees of stock options that vest over time may be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control, and may at any time be insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management, scientific and development teams may terminate their employment with us on short notice. Although we have employment agreements with our key employees, these employment agreements provide for at-will employment, which means that any of our employees could leave our employment at any time, with or without notice. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled junior, mid-level and senior managers as well as junior, mid-level and senior scientific and medical personnel.

We will need to grow the size of our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth.

As of October 30, 2019, we had 23 full-time employees. We also contract for the services of six full-time equivalent employees through our agreement with Ridgeline. We intend to hire new employees to assume activities and responsibilities from Ridgeline personnel and conduct our research and development activities in the future. Any delay in hiring such new employees or disruption in the transition of activities and responsibilities from Ridgeline personnel could result in delays in our research and development activities and would harm our business. As our development and commercialization plans and strategies develop, and as we transition into operating as a public company, we expect to need additional managerial, operational, sales, marketing, financial and other personnel, as well as additional facilities to expand our operations. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including:

 

 

identifying, recruiting, integrating, maintaining and motivating additional employees;

 

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managing our internal development efforts effectively, including the clinical and FDA review process for our product candidates, while complying with our contractual obligations to contractors and other third parties; and

 

 

improving our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures.

Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize our product candidates will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively manage any future growth, and our management may also have to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from day-to-day activities in order to devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities.

We currently rely, and for the foreseeable future will continue to rely, in substantial part on certain independent organizations, advisors and consultants to provide certain services, including substantially all aspects of regulatory approval, clinical trial management and manufacturing. There can be no assurance that the services of independent organizations, advisors and consultants will continue to be available to us on a timely basis when needed, or that we can find qualified replacements. In addition, if we are unable to effectively manage our outsourced activities or if the quality or accuracy of the services provided by consultants is compromised for any reason, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates or otherwise advance our business. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage our existing consultants or find other competent outside contractors and consultants on economically reasonable terms, or at all.

If we are not able to effectively expand our organization by hiring new employees and expanding our groups of consultants and contractors, or we are not able to effectively build out new facilities to accommodate this expansion, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and commercialize our product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals.

Our internal computer systems, or those used by our third-party CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of the development programs of our product candidates.

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our current and future CROs and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, and telecommunication and electrical failures. While we have not experienced any such material system failure or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our development programs and our business operations. For example, the loss of data from completed or future preclinical studies and clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Likewise, we rely on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and to conduct clinical trials, and similar events relating to their computer systems could also have a material adverse effect on our business. To the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability and the further development and commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed.

Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.

Our operations, and those of our CROs, CMOs and other contractors and consultants, could be subject to earthquakes, power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics and other natural or man-made disasters or business

 

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interruptions, for which we are predominantly self-insured. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could seriously harm our operations and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses. We rely on third-party manufacturers to produce our product candidates. Our ability to obtain clinical supplies of our product candidates could be disrupted if the operations of these suppliers are affected by a man-made or natural disaster or other business interruption.

Even if we obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates, the products may not gain market acceptance among physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers and others in the medical community.

The use of precision medicines as a potential cancer treatment is a recent development and may not become broadly accepted by physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers and others in the medical community. Various factors will influence whether our product candidates are accepted in the market, including:

 

 

the clinical indications for which our product candidates are licensed;

 

 

physicians, hospitals, cancer treatment centers and patients considering our product candidates as a safe and effective treatment;

 

 

the potential and perceived advantages of our product candidates over alternative treatments;

 

 

our ability to demonstrate the advantages of our product candidates over other cancer medicines;

 

 

the prevalence and severity of any side effects;

 

 

the prevalence and severity of any side effects for other precision medicines and public perception of other precision medicines;

 

 

product labeling or product insert requirements of the FDA or other regulatory authorities;

 

 

limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved by the FDA;

 

 

the timing of market introduction of our product candidates as well as competitive products;

 

 

the cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments;

 

 

the availability of adequate coverage, reimbursement and pricing by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

 

the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of coverage by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

 

relative convenience and ease of administration, including as compared to alternative treatments and competitive therapies; and

 

 

the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts.

If our product candidates are licensed but fail to achieve market acceptance among physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers or others in the medical community, we will not be able to generate significant revenue.

In addition, although our product candidates differ in certain ways from other precision medicine approaches, serious adverse events or deaths in other clinical trials involving precision medicines, even if not ultimately attributable to our product or product candidates, could result in increased government regulation, unfavorable public perception and publicity, potential regulatory delays in the testing or licensing of our product candidates, stricter labeling requirements for those product candidates that are licensed, and a decrease in demand for any such product candidates.

 

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Even if our products achieve market acceptance, we may not be able to maintain that market acceptance over time if new products or technologies are introduced that are more favorably received than our products, are more cost effective or render our products obsolete.

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

injury to our reputation;

 

 

withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

 

initiation of investigations by regulators;

 

 

costs to defend the related litigation;

 

 

a diversion of management’s time and our resources;

 

 

substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;

 

 

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

 

 

loss of revenue;

 

 

exhaustion of any available insurance and our capital resources;

 

 

the inability to commercialize any product candidate; and

 

 

a decline in our share price.

Failure to obtain or retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop, alone or with corporate collaborators. Although we have clinical trial insurance, our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. We may have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts. Even if our agreements with any future corporate collaborators entitle us to indemnification against losses, such indemnification may not be available or adequate should any claim arise.

Comprehensive tax reform legislation could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the TCJA, which significantly reformed the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The TCJA, among other things, contains significant changes to corporate and individual taxation, some of which could adversely impact an investment in our common stock. You are urged to consult your tax adviser regarding the implications of the TCJA on an investment in our common stock.

 

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

Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership by 5% stockholders 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 taxable income may be limited. As a result of our most recent private placements and other transactions that have occurred over the past three years, we may have experienced, and, upon closing of this offering, may experience, an “ownership change.” We may also experience ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership. As of December 31, 2018, we had U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards of $2.6 million and U.S. federal research and development tax credit carryforwards of $0.5 million, each of which will begin to expire at various dates through 2037 and which could be limited if we experience an “ownership change.” The reduction of the corporate tax rate under the TCJA may cause a reduction in the economic benefit of our net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets available to us. Under the TCJA, federal net operating losses generated after December 31, 2017 will not be subject to expiration but will not be permitted to be carried back. In addition, under the TCJA, the amount of post 2017 net operating losses that we are permitted to deduct in any taxable year is limited to 80% of our taxable income in such year, where taxable income is determined without regard to the net operating loss deduction itself. As of December 31, 2018, we had a U.S. federal net operating loss carryforward of $8.5 million, which does not expire but is limited to an annual deduction equal to 80% of annual taxable income.

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

As widely reported, global credit and financial markets have experienced extreme volatility and disruptions in the past several years, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. There can be no assurance that further deterioration in credit and financial markets and confidence in economic conditions will not occur. Our general business strategy may be adversely affected by any such economic downturn, volatile business environment or continued unpredictable and unstable market conditions. If the current equity and credit markets deteriorate, or do not improve, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly, and more dilutive.

Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and stock price and could require us to delay or abandon clinical development plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our current service providers, manufacturers and other partners may not survive these difficult economic times, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget.

Furthermore, our stock price may decline due in part to the volatility of the stock market and the general economic downturn.

We may be unable to adequately protect our information systems from cyberattacks, which could result in the disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, including personal data, damage our reputation, and subject us to significant financial and legal exposure.

We rely on information technology systems that we or our third-party providers operate to process, transmit and store electronic information in our day-to-day operations. In connection with our MAP platform and product discovery efforts, we may collect and use a variety of personal data, such as name, mailing address, email addresses, phone number and clinical trial information. A successful cyberattack could result in the theft or destruction of intellectual property, data, or other misappropriation of assets, or otherwise compromise our

 

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confidential or proprietary information and disrupt our operations. Cyberattacks are increasing in their frequency, sophistication and intensity, and have become increasingly difficult to detect. Cyberattacks could include wrongful conduct by hostile foreign governments, industrial espionage, wire fraud and other forms of cyber fraud, the deployment of harmful malware, denial-of-service, social engineering fraud or other means to threaten data security, confidentiality, integrity and availability. A successful cyberattack could cause serious negative consequences for us, including, without limitation, the disruption of operations, the misappropriation of confidential business information, including financial information, trade secrets, financial loss and the disclosure of corporate strategic plans. Although we devote resources to protect our information systems, we realize that cyberattacks are a threat, and there can be no assurance that our efforts will prevent information security breaches that would result in business, legal, financial or reputational harm to us, or would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Any failure to prevent or mitigate security breaches or improper access to, use of, or disclosure of our clinical data or patients’ personal data could result in significant liability under state (e.g., state breach notification laws), federal (e.g., HIPAA, as amended by HITECH), and international law (e.g., the GDPR) and may cause a material adverse impact to our reputation, affect our ability to conduct new studies and potentially disrupt our business.

In addition, the computer systems of various third parties on which we rely, including our CROs and other contractors, consultants and law and accounting firms, may sustain damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, data breaches, phishing attacks, cybercriminals, natural disasters (including hurricanes and earthquakes), terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. We rely on our third-party providers to implement effective security measures and identify and correct for any such failures, deficiencies or breaches. If we or our third-party providers fail to maintain or protect our information technology systems and data integrity effectively or fail to anticipate, plan for or manage significant disruptions to our information technology systems, we or our third-party providers could have difficulty preventing, detecting and controlling such cyber-attacks and any such attacks could result in losses described above as well as disputes with physicians, patients and our partners, regulatory sanctions or penalties, increases in operating expenses, expenses or lost revenues or other adverse consequences, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, prospects and cash flows. Any failure by such third parties to prevent or mitigate security breaches or improper access to or disclosure of such information could have similarly adverse consequences for us. If we are unable to prevent or mitigate the impact of such security or data privacy breaches, we could be exposed to litigation and governmental investigations, which could lead to a potential disruption to our business.

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 was no public trading market for shares of our common stock. Although we have applied to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market, 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.

 

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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:

 

 

the results of our ongoing, planned or any future preclinical studies, clinical trials or clinical development programs;

 

 

the commencement, enrollment, or results of clinical trials of our product candidates or any future clinical trials we may conduct, or changes in the development status of our product candidates;

 

 

adverse results or delays in preclinical studies and clinical trials;

 

 

our decision to initiate a clinical trial, not to initiate a clinical trial, or to terminate an existing clinical trial;

 

 

any delay in our regulatory filings or any adverse regulatory decisions, including failure to receive regulatory approval of our product candidates;

 

 

changes in laws or regulations applicable to our products, including but not limited to clinical trial requirements for approvals;

 

 

adverse developments concerning our manufacturers or our manufacturing plans;

 

 

our inability to obtain adequate product supply for any licensed product or inability to do so at acceptable prices;

 

 

our inability to establish collaborations if needed;

 

 

our failure to commercialize our product candidates;

 

 

additions or departures of key scientific or management personnel;

 

 

unanticipated serious safety concerns related to the use of our product candidates;

 

 

introduction of new products or 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 of our initial cancer target markets;

 

 

our ability to successfully treat additional types of cancers or at different stages;

 

 

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 immunotherapy in particular, or positive or negative recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage by securities analysts;

 

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changes in the market valuations of similar companies;

 

 

overall performance of the equity markets;

 

 

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 intellectual property or proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;

 

 

significant lawsuits, including intellectual property 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 the market for biopharmaceutical 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, financial condition, results of operation and future prospects.

If you purchase our common stock in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution in the book value of your shares.

The initial public offering price will be substantially higher than the net tangible book value per share of our common stock. Investors purchasing common stock in this offering will pay a price per share that substantially exceeds the book value of our tangible assets after subtracting our liabilities. As a result, investors purchasing common stock in this offering will incur immediate dilution of $             per share, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. Further, investors purchasing common stock in this offering will contribute approximately     % of the total amount invested by stockholders since our inception, but will own only approximately     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering.

This dilution is due to our investors who purchased shares prior to this offering having paid substantially less when they purchased their shares than the price offered to the public in this offering, and the exercise of stock options granted to our employees. To the extent that outstanding stock options or warrants are exercised, there will be further dilution to new investors. As a result of the dilution to investors purchasing common stock in this offering, investors may receive significantly less than the purchase price paid in this offering, if anything, in the event of our liquidation. For a further description of the dilution that you will experience immediately after this offering, see the section of this prospectus entitled “Dilution.”

 

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Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our stockholders and could cause our stock price to fall.

We expect that significant additional capital may be needed in the future to continue our planned operations, including conducting clinical trials, expanded research and development activities, and costs associated with operating as a public company. To raise capital, we may sell common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. If we sell common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities, investors may be materially diluted by subsequent sales. Such sales may also result in material dilution to our existing stockholders, and new investors could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to the holders of our common stock, including shares of common stock sold in this offering.

Pursuant to our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, or 2019 Plan, which will become effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, our management is authorized to grant stock options to our employees, directors, and consultants.

Initially, the aggregate number of shares of our common stock that may be issued pursuant to stock awards under the 2019 Plan will be              shares, less the shares of common stock remaining available for issuance under our 2015 Stock Option and Grant Plan as of the business day immediately prior to the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. The number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the 2019 Plan shall be cumulatively increased on January 1, 2021 and each January 1 thereafter by     % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding on December 31 of the preceding calendar year or a lesser number of shares determined by our board of directors. Unless our board of directors elects not to increase the number of shares available for future grant each year, our stockholders may experience additional dilution, which could cause our stock price to fall.

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

We may seek additional capital through a combination of public and private equity offerings, debt financings, strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a stockholder. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed payment obligations and could involve certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. If we raise additional funds through strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies or product candidates, or grant licenses on terms unfavorable to us.

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 are being 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 or maintain the value of your investment.

 

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We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock, so any returns will be limited to the value of our 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. In addition, we may enter into agreements that prohibit us from paying cash dividends without prior written consent from our contracting parties, or which other terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. Any return to stockholders will therefore be limited to the appreciation of their stock, which may never occur.

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

Prior to this offering, our executive officers, directors, and 5% stockholders beneficially owned approximately     % of our voting stock as of September 30, 2019, and, assuming the sale by us of             shares of common stock in this offering, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and not accounting for any shares purchased in this offering by certain of our existing stockholders (or their affiliates), we anticipate that same group will hold approximately     % of our outstanding voting stock following this offering (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares). 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.

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

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, enacted in April 2012. 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, as amended, or 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. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the closing of this offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which requires the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates to exceed $700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to not “opt out” of this exemption from complying with new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards at the time private companies adopt the new or revised accounting standard and will do so until such time that we either (i) irrevocably elect to “opt out” of such extended transition period or (ii) no longer qualify as an emerging growth company.

 

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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 continue to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and 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. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

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, or the Exchange Act, which will require, among other things, that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or 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 The Nasdaq Global Market 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, such as “say on pay” and proxy access. 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 guarantee that we will not be required to implement these requirements sooner than budgeted or 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 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.

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 lockup and other legal restrictions on resale discussed in this prospectus lapse, the trading price of our common stock could decline. Based on the number of shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2019, upon the closing of this offering, we will have outstanding a total of              shares of

 

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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’ option to purchase additional shares, will be freely tradable without restriction in the public market immediately following this offering. In connection with this offering, our officers, directors and substantially all of our stockholders have agreed to be subject to a contractual lock-up with the underwriters, which will expire 180 days after the date of this prospectus. The lock-up agreements contain important exceptions that govern their applicability. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Jefferies LLC and Cowen and Company, LLC, however, may, in their sole 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.

In addition, shares of common stock that are either subject to outstanding options or reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Plan and our 2019 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, each to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, 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 of 1933, as amended, or 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 180-day lock-up agreements described above. See “Description of Capital Stock— Registration Rights.” Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in such shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act, except for shares held by affiliates, as defined in Rule 144 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.

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 upon the closing of this offering, will 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 chairperson of the board of directors, the chief executive officer, 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;

 

 

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

 

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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 antitakeover 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.

Our bylaws to be effective upon the consummation of this offering designate certain courts as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees.

Our bylaws that will become effective upon the completion of this offering provide that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (i) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (ii) any action asserting a claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, and employees to us or our stockholders, (iii) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws or (iv) any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each case subject to the Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein. This exclusive forum provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Exchange Act. In addition, our amended and restated bylaws will provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our common stock is deemed to have notice of and consented to the foregoing provisions. We recognize that the forum selection clause in our bylaws may impose additional litigation costs on stockholders in pursuing any such claims, particularly if the stockholders do not reside in or near the State of Delaware. Additionally, the forum selection clauses in our amended and restated bylaws may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than our stockholders.

We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect our business.

In preparation of our financial statements to meet the requirements of this offering, we determined that material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting existed during fiscal 2017 and remained unremediated as of December 31, 2018. A material weakness is a deficiency or combination of deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material

 

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misstatement of a company’s annual and interim financial statements will not be detected or prevented on a timely basis.

The material weaknesses we identified are related to the design and maintenance of an effective control environment commensurate with our financial reporting requirements. Specifically, we lacked a sufficient complement of professionals with an appropriate level of accounting knowledge, training and experience to appropriately analyze, record and disclose accounting matters timely and accurately and we did not design and maintain controls to ensure adequate segregation of duties within our financial reporting function including the preparation and review of journal entries.

The material weaknesses contributed to the restatement of our previously issued 2017 annual financial statements. Specifically, the material weaknesses resulted in errors in our accounting for and reporting of derivative liabilities, loss on extinguishment of convertible promissory notes and expense classification.

Prior to the completion of this offering, we have been a private company with limited accounting personnel to adequately execute our accounting processes. We are in the process of building a finance organization and implementing measures designed to improve our internal control over financial reporting and remediate the control deficiencies that led to these material weaknesses, including hiring additional finance and accounting personnel and the establishment of controls to account for and disclose complex transactions.

If we are unable to successfully remediate our existing or any future material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, or identify any additional material weaknesses, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting may be adversely affected, we may be unable to maintain compliance with securities law requirements regarding timely filing of periodic reports and applicable Nasdaq Global Market listing requirements, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting, and our share price may decline as a result. In addition, we could become subject to investigations by Nasdaq, the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

If we fail to establish and maintain proper and effective internal control over financial reporting, our operating results and our ability to operate our business could be harmed.

Ensuring that we have adequate internal financial and accounting controls and procedures in place so that we can produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis is a costly and time-consuming effort that needs to be re-evaluated frequently. Our 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 generally accepted accounting principles. In connection with this offering, we intend to begin the process of documenting, reviewing, and improving our internal controls and procedures for compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require annual management assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We have begun recruiting additional finance and accounting personnel with certain skill sets that we will need as a public company.

Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may distract our officers and employees, entail substantial costs to modify our existing processes, and take significant time to complete. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal controls, and any failure to maintain that adequacy, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and harm our business. In addition, investors’ perceptions that our internal controls are inadequate or that we are unable to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis may harm our stock price and make it more difficult for us to effectively market and sell our service to new and existing customers.

 

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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 cover 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.

After the completion of this offering, we may be at an increased risk of securities class action litigation.

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

 

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Special note regarding forward-looking statements

This prospectus, including the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business,” contains express or implied forward-looking statements that are based on our management’s belief and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements relate to future events or our future operational or financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

 

the initiation, timing, progress and results of our research and development programs, preclinical studies, any clinical trials and IND and other regulatory submissions;

 

 

our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for BDTX-189 or any of our other current or future product candidates that we may identify or develop;

 

 

our need to raise additional funding before we can expect to generate any revenues from product sales;

 

 

our ability to identify and develop product candidates for treatment of additional disease indications;

 

 

the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility for any product candidates we may develop;

 

 

the effects of competition with respect to BDTX-189 or any of our other current or future product candidates, as well as innovations by current and future competitors in our industry;

 

 

the implementation of our strategic plans for our business, any product candidates we may develop and our MAP platform;

 

 

our ability to successfully develop companion diagnostics for use with our product candidates;

 

 

our intellectual property position, including the scope of protection we are able to establish, maintain and enforce for intellectual property rights covering our product candidates and MAP platform;

 

 

our ability to use the proceeds of this offering in ways that increase the value of your investment;

 

 

our financial performance and our ability to effectively manage our anticipated growth;

 

 

our estimates regarding the market opportunities for our product candidates;

 

 

our ability to remediate our existing material weaknesses and to design and maintain an effective system of internal controls; and

 

 

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

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could materially affect results. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, those listed under the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties occur, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual events or results may vary significantly from those implied or projected by the forward-looking statements. No forward-

 

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looking statement is a guarantee of future performance. You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this prospectus forms a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

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

This prospectus also contains estimates, projections and other information concerning our industry, our business and the markets for our product candidates. Information that is based on estimates, forecasts, projections, market research or similar methodologies is inherently subject to uncertainties and actual events or circumstances may differ materially from events and circumstances that are assumed in this information. Unless otherwise expressly stated, we obtained this industry, business, market, and other data from our own internal estimates and research as well as from reports, research surveys, studies, and similar data prepared by market research firms and other third parties, industry, medical and general publications, government data and similar sources. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding any third-party information presented in this prospectus, their estimates, in particular, as they relate to projections, involve numerous assumptions, are subject to risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from the sale of                 shares of our common stock in this offering will be $                million, or $                 if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $                per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and 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, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by $                 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by $                 million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We do not expect that a change in the offering price or the number of shares by these amounts would have a material effect on our intended uses of the net proceeds from this offering, although it may impact the amount of time prior to which we may need to seek additional capital.

As of September 30, 2019, we had a cash and cash equivalents balance of $78.7 million. We currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering as follows:

 

 

approximately $                million to fund the Phase 1/2 development of BDTX-189;

 

 

approximately $                million to identify a lead development candidate and conduct IND-enabling studies in our glioblastoma program; and

 

 

the remaining proceeds for continued development of our MAP platform and identification of additional targets and development candidates, hiring of additional personnel, capital expenditures, costs of operating as a public company and other general corporate purposes.

Based on our current plans, we believe our existing cash, together with the net proceeds from this offering, will be sufficient to fund our operations and capital expenditure requirements through                .

This expected use of the net proceeds from this offering represents our intentions based upon our current plans and business conditions, which could change in the future as our plans and business conditions evolve. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot predict with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the closing of this offering or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. The amounts and timing of our actual expenditures and the extent of clinical development may vary significantly depending on numerous factors, including the progress of our development, the status of and results from preclinical studies or clinical trials we may commence in the future, as well as any collaborations that we may enter into with third parties for our product candidates or strategic opportunities that become available to us, and any unforeseen cash needs. As a result, our management will retain broad discretion over the allocation of the net proceeds from this offering.

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

 

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Dividend policy

We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain any future earnings to fund the development and expansion of our business, and therefore we do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.

 

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Capitalization

The following table sets forth our cash and capitalization as of September 30, 2019:

 

 

on an actual basis;

 

 

on a pro forma basis to give effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock into an aggregate of 45,419,229 shares of common stock upon the closing of this offering, (ii) the settlement of our derivative liabilities upon the closing of this offering and (iii) the filing and effectiveness of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, which will occur upon the closing of this offering; and

 

 

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

You should read this table below with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of this prospectus.

 

   
     As of September 30, 2019  
      Actual     Pro forma     Pro forma as
adjusted
 
     (In thousands, except share and per
share data)
 

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 78,659     $ 78,659     $                
  

 

 

 

Derivative liabilities(1)

     39              

Convertible preferred stock (Series A and B), $0.0001 par value; 45,451,685 shares authorized and 45,419,229 shares issued and outstanding, actual; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma; no shares authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     115,840              

Stockholders’ equity (deficit):

      

Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value; 45,451,685 shares authorized,              issued and outstanding, actual;                  shares authorized and no shares issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

                  

Common stock, $0.0001 par value; 58,803,522 shares authorized, 6,695,460 shares issued and outstanding, actual; 58,803,522 shares authorized, 52,114,689 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma;                  shares authorized,                  shares issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     1       5    

Additional paid-in capital

     1,302       117,177    

Accumulated deficit

     (41,095     (41,095  
  

 

 

 

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

     (39,792     76,087    
  

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 76,087     $ 76,087     $    

 

 

 

(1)    

The derivative liabilities will be settled upon the closing of this offering due to all outstanding warrants to purchase shares of convertible preferred stock becoming warrants to purchase shares of common stock.

 

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A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $             per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and total capitalization by $                 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, additional paid-in capital, total stockholders’ equity (deficit) and total capitalization by $                 million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The table above excludes each of the following:

 

 

4,850,721 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of options outstanding under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan, as amended, at a weighted-average exercise price of $2.22 per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

 

             shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase common stock at the exercise price of $         per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

 

1,460,392 shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan as of September 30, 2019, which such shares will cease to be available for issuance at the time our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan becomes effective;

 

 

             shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part; and

 

 

            shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Employee Stock Purchase Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

 

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Dilution

If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our common stock and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock after this offering. As of September 30, 2019, our historical net tangible book value (deficit) was $(41.4) million, or $(6.18) per share of common stock. Our historical net tangible book value (deficit) is the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities and the carrying value of our convertible preferred stock, which is not included in stockholders’ deficit. Historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share represents historical net tangible book value (deficit) divided by 6,695,460 shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2019.

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of September 30, 2019 was $74.5 million, or $1.43 per share of common stock, after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding shares of our convertible preferred stock into an aggregate of 45,419,229 shares of our common stock upon the closing of this offering and (ii) the settlement of our derivative liabilities upon the closing of this offering due to all outstanding warrants to purchase shares of convertible preferred stock becoming warrants to purchase shares of common stock. Pro forma net tangible book value per share represents pro forma net tangible book value divided by the total number of shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2019, after giving effect to the pro forma adjustment described above.

After giving further effect to our issuance and sale of                  shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of September 30, 2019 would have been $                 million, or $             per share of common stock. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value of $                 per share to existing stockholders and an immediate dilution of $                in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering. Dilution per share to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the assumed initial public offering price per share paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

           $                

Historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share as of September 30, 2019

   $ (6.18  

Increase per share attributable to the pro forma adjustments described above

     7.61    
  

 

 

   

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of September 30, 2019, before giving effect to this offering

     1.43    

Increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering

    
  

 

 

   

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

    
    

 

 

 

Dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering

     $    

 

 

The dilution information discussed above is illustrative only and will change based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth

 

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on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $                per share and the dilution to investors purchasing common stock in this offering by $                per share, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us. An increase of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us in this offering would increase the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value by $                per share and would decrease the dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering by $                per share, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us. A decrease of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would decrease our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by $                and increase the dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering by $                , assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $                 per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering would be $                 , representing an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of $                to existing stockholders and immediate dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of $             to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering, assuming an initial public offering price of $                 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The following table summarizes, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as of September 30, 2019, the total number of shares of common stock purchased from us on an as converted basis, the total consideration paid or to be paid and the average price per share paid, or to be paid by existing stockholders and by new investors in this offering, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us:

 

       
     Shares purchased      Total consideration      Average price
per share
 
      Number      Percent      Amount      Percent  

Existing stockholders

        %      $                      %      $                

New investors

              
  

 

 

    

Total

        100.0%      $          100.0%     

 

 

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $                per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors by $            million, would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors by $             million and, in the case of an increase, would increase the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by             percentage points and, in the case of a decrease, would decrease the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by             percentage points, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us in this offering would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors in this offering by $            million, and, in the case of an increase, would increase the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by             percentage points and, in the case of a decrease, would decrease the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by                 percentage points, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price of $            per share, the

 

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midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The table above assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares in this offering. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares of our common stock in full, the number of shares of our common stock held by existing stockholders would be reduced to      % of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering.

The foregoing tables and calculations exclude:

 

 

4,850,721 shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of options outstanding under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan at a weighted-average exercise price of $2.22 per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

 

             shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of warrants to purchase common stock at an exercise price of $     per share as of September 30, 2019;

 

 

1,460,392 shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2017 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan as of September 30, 2019, which such shares will cease to be available for issuance at the time our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan becomes effective;

 

 

             shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Stock Option and Incentive Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part; and

 

 

            shares of common stock to be reserved for future issuance under our 2019 Employee Stock Purchase Plan to be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

To the extent that outstanding stock options or warrants are exercised, new stock options are issued, or we issue additional shares of common stock in the future, there will be further dilution to existing stockholders and new investors. 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 consolidated financial data

You should read the following selected consolidated financial data together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section of this prospectus. We have derived the consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 and 2018 from our audited consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. The consolidated statements of operations data for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2019 and the balance sheet data as of September 30, 2019 are derived from our unaudited financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus and have been prepared on the same basis as the audited financial statements. In the opinion of management, the unaudited data reflects all adjustments, consisting only of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair statement of the financial information in those statements. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future, and our results for any interim period are not necessarily indicative of results that may be expected for any full year.

 

     
    Year ended
December 31,
    Nine months ended
September 30,
 
     2017     2018     2018     2019  
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Consolidated statement of operations data:

       

Operating expenses:

       

Research and development (inclusive of $1,348, $2,403, $1,595 and $8,497, respectively, with a related party)

  $ 3,453     $ 6,950     $ 4,571     $ 14,293  

General and administrative (inclusive of $42, $325, $238 and $357, respectively, with a related party)

    666       1,954       1,287       4,695  
 

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    4,119       8,904       5,858       18,988  
 

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (4,119     (8,904     (5,858     (18,988

Other income (expense):

       

Interest expense

    (65                  

Interest income

          4       2       21  

Loss on extinguishment of convertible promissory notes

    (282                  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

    (130     (15           (6,416

Other income (expense)

    (6     (16     (9      
 

 

 

 

Total other income (expense), net

    (483     (27     (7     (6,395
 

 

 

 

Net loss

    (4,602     (8,931     (5,865     (25,383
 

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

  $ (4,602   $ (8,931   $ (5,865   $ (25,383
 

 

 

 

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

  $ (0.79   $ (1.47   $ (0.97   $ (4.10
 

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding—basic and diluted(1)

    5,802,740       6,089,819       6,069,399       6,194,913  
 

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss attributable to common stockholders outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

    $ (0.41     $ (0.37
   

 

 

     

 

 

 

Pro forma weighted average common shares outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited)(2)

      21,701,364         51,614,142  

 

 

 

(1)   See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for details on the calculation of basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

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(2)   See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus for details on the calculation of basic and diluted pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

     
     As of
December 31,
    As of
September 30,
 
      2017     2018     2019  
     (in thousands)  

Consolidated balance sheet data:

      

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 7,878     $ 51,660     $ 78,659  

Working capital(1)

     5,684       49,109       74,306  

Total assets

     8,021       51,826       80,734  

Derivative liabilities

     8       4,023       39  

Convertible preferred stock

     12,458       60,770       115,840  

Accumulated deficit

     (6,781     (15,712     (41,095

Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)

     (6,675     (15,542     (39,732

 

 

 

(1)   We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities.

 

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Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations

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

Overview

We are a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery and development of small molecule, tumor-agnostic therapies. We target undrugged oncogenic driver mutations in patients with genetically-defined cancers. The foundation of our company is built upon a deep understanding of cancer genetics, protein structure and function, and medicinal chemistry. Our proprietary technology platform, which we refer to as our Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology, or MAP, platform, is designed to allow us to analyze population-level genetic sequencing data to discover oncogenic mutations that promote cancer across tumor types. Our goal is to identify families of mutations that can be inhibited with a single small molecule therapy in a tumor-agnostic manner. We have designed our lead product candidate, BDTX-189, to potently and selectively inhibit a family of oncogenic proteins defined by mutations which occur outside the adenosine triphosphate, or ATP site, and which we refer to as non-canonical mutations. Non-canonical mutations occur across a range of tumor types that affect both the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, and the tyrosine-protein kinase ErbB-2, or HER2. We have designed BDTX-189 to bind to the active site of these mutant Kinases and inhibit their function. BDTX-189 is also designed to spare normal, or wild type, EGFR, which we believe will improve upon the toxicity profiles of current ErbB kinase inhibitors. We are completing Investigational New Drug, or IND, enabling activities for BDTX-189 and plan to start a combined Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2020 to pursue a tumor-agnostic development strategy. We are also leveraging our MAP platform to identify other families of non-canonical mutations in validated oncogenes beyond ErbB, which has the potential to expand the reach of targeted therapies.

Since our inception in 2014, we have devoted substantially all of our efforts and financial resources to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, acquiring, discovering product candidates and securing related intellectual property rights and conducting research and development activities for our programs. We do not have any products approved for sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales. We may never be able to develop or commercialize a marketable product. We have not yet successfully completed any pivotal clinical trials, obtained any regulatory approvals, manufactured a commercial-scale drug, or conducted sales and marketing activities. Through September 30, 2019, we had received net proceeds of $115.8 million from sales of our preferred stock and net cash proceeds of $1.8 million from borrowings under convertible promissory notes.

We have incurred significant operating losses since inception. Our net losses were $4.6 million and $8.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018, respectively, and $5.9 million and $25.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2019, respectively. As of September 30, 2019, we had an accumulated deficit of $41.1 million. Our ability to generate product revenue sufficient to achieve profitability will depend heavily on the successful development and eventual commercialization of one or more of our current or future product

 

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candidates. We expect that our expenses and capital requirements will increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly if and as we:

 

 

continue preclinical studies and initiate clinical trials for BDTX-189, our glioblastoma program and other product candidates;

 

 

advance the development of our product candidate pipeline;

 

 

continue to develop and expand our proprietary MAP platform to identify additional product candidates;

 

 

obtain, maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

 

 

seek marketing approvals for our product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials, if any;

 

 

hire additional clinical, scientific and commercial personnel;

 

 

acquire or in-license additional product candidates;

 

 

expand our infrastructure and facilities to accommodate our growing employee base; and

 

 

add operational, financial and management information systems and personnel, including personnel to support our research and development programs, any future commercialization efforts and our transition to operating as a public company following the completion of this offering.

Furthermore, upon the closing of this offering, we expect to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company, including significant legal, accounting, investor relations and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company.

As a result, we will need substantial additional funding to support our continuing operations and pursue our growth strategy. Until such time as we can generate significant revenue from product sales, if ever, we expect to finance our operations through the sale of equity, debt financings or other capital sources, which may include collaborations with other companies or other strategic transactions. We may be unable to raise additional funds or enter into such other agreements or arrangements when needed on favorable terms, or at all. If we fail to raise capital or enter into such agreements as and when needed, we may have to significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development and commercialization of one or more of our product candidates or delay our pursuit of potential in-licenses or acquisitions.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with product development, we are unable to predict the timing or amount of increased expenses or when or if we will be able to achieve or maintain profitability. Even if we are able to generate product sales, we may not become profitable. If we fail to become profitable or are unable to sustain profitability on a continuing basis, then we may be unable to continue our operations at planned levels and be forced to reduce or terminate our operations.

As of September 30, 2019, we had cash and cash equivalents of $78.7 million. We believe that the anticipated net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through                    . We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could exhaust our available capital resources sooner than we expect. See “—Liquidity and capital resources.” Our future viability beyond that point is dependent on our ability to raise additional capital to finance our operations.

Without giving effect to the net proceeds from this offering, we expect that our cash and cash equivalents balance at September 30, 2019 will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital requirements through the third quarter of 2020. To finance our operations beyond that point, we will need to raise additional capital, which cannot be assured. We have concluded that this circumstance raises substantial doubt about our ability

 

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to continue as a going concern within one year after the August 22, 2019 issuance date of our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018, and within one year after the October 30, 2019 issuance date of our interim consolidated financial statements for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. See Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements appearing at the end of this prospectus for additional information on our assessment.

In its report on our consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2018, our independent registered public accounting firm included an explanatory paragraph stating that our recurring losses from operations and required additional funding to finance our operations raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

Components of our results of operations

Revenue

To date, we have not generated any revenue from any sources, including from product sales, and we do not expect to generate any revenue from the sale of products in the foreseeable future. If our development efforts for our product candidates are successful and result in regulatory approval, or license agreements with third parties, we may generate revenue in the future from product sales. However, there can be no assurance as to when we will generate such revenue, if at all.

Operating expenses

Research and development expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for our research activities, including our drug discovery efforts and the development of our product candidates. We expense research and development costs as incurred, which include:

 

 

expenses incurred under our services agreement with Ridgeline Therapeutics GmbH, or Ridgeline;

 

 

expenses incurred to conduct the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials required to obtain regulatory approval;

 

 

expenses incurred under agreements with contract research organizations, or CROs, that are primarily engaged in the oversight and conduct of our drug discovery efforts and preclinical studies, clinical trials and contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, that are primarily engaged to provide preclinical and clinical drug substance and product for our research and development programs;

 

 

other costs related to acquiring and manufacturing materials in connection with our drug discovery efforts and preclinical studies and clinical trial materials, including manufacturing validation batches, as well as investigative sites and consultants that conduct our clinical trials, preclinical studies and other scientific development services;

 

 

payments made in cash or equity securities under third-party licensing, acquisition and option agreements;

 

 

employee-related expenses, including salaries and benefits, travel and stock-based compensation expense for employees engaged in research and development functions;

 

 

costs related to compliance with regulatory requirements; and

 

 

allocated facilities-related costs, depreciation and other expenses, which include rent and utilities.

 

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We recognize external development costs based on an evaluation of the progress to completion of specific tasks using information provided to us by our service providers. This process involves reviewing open contracts and purchase orders, communicating with our personnel to identify services that have been performed on our behalf and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when we have not yet been invoiced or otherwise notified of actual costs. Any nonrefundable advance payments that we make for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are recorded as prepaid expenses. Such amounts are expensed as the related goods are delivered or the related services are performed, or until it is no longer expected that the goods will be delivered or the services rendered.

We do not track our research and development expenses on a program-by-program basis. Our direct external research and development expenses consist primarily of external costs, such as fees paid to outside consultants, CROs, CMOs and research laboratories in connection with our preclinical development, process development, manufacturing and clinical development activities. Our direct research and development expenses also include fees incurred under license, acquisition and option agreements. We do not allocate employee costs, costs associated with our discovery efforts, laboratory supplies, and facilities, including depreciation or other indirect costs, to specific programs because these costs are deployed across multiple programs and, as such, are not separately classified. We use internal resources primarily to conduct our research and discovery as well as for managing our preclinical development, process development, manufacturing and clinical development activities. These employees work across multiple programs and, therefore, we do not track their costs by program.

Research and development activities are central to our business model. Product candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later-stage clinical trials. As a result, we expect that our research and development expenses will increase substantially over the next several years as we commence our planned clinical trials for BDTX-189, as well as conduct other preclinical and clinical development, including submitting regulatory filings for our other product candidates. Historically, many of our research and development activities have been conducted pursuant to our services agreement with Ridgeline, a related party, and we expect to transition many of these activities internally as we increase our internal capacity. While we expect the service fee we have historically paid under our Ridgeline Services Agreement to reduce significantly as a result of that transition, we expect that we will incur increased personnel and overhead costs associated with moving those functions in-house, which we expect will offset that reduction in Ridgeline services fees. In addition, we expect our discovery research efforts and our related personnel costs will increase and, as a result, we expect our research and development expenses, including costs associated with stock-based compensation, will increase above historical levels. In addition, we may incur additional expenses related to milestone and royalty payments payable to third parties with whom we may enter into license, acquisition and option agreements to acquire the rights to future product candidates.

At this time, we cannot reasonably estimate or know the nature, timing and costs of the efforts that will be necessary to complete the preclinical and clinical development of any of our product candidates or when, if ever, material net cash inflows may commence from any of our product candidates. The successful development and commercialization of our product candidates is highly uncertain. This uncertainty is due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with product development and commercialization, including the uncertainty of the following:

 

 

the scope, progress, outcome and costs of our preclinical development activities, clinical trials and other research and development activities;

 

 

establishing an appropriate safety and efficacy profile with Investigational New Drug, or IND, enabling studies;

 

 

successful patient enrollment in and the initiation and completion of clinical trials;

 

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the timing, receipt and terms of any marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities including the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, or FDA and non-U.S. regulators;

 

 

the extent of any required post-marketing approval commitments to applicable regulatory authorities;

 

 

establishing clinical and commercial manufacturing capabilities or making arrangements with third-party manufacturers in order to ensure that we or our third-party manufacturers are able to make product successfully;

 

 

development and timely delivery of clinical-grade and commercial-grade drug formulations that can be used in our clinical trials and for commercial launch;

 

 

obtaining, maintaining, defending and enforcing patent claims and other intellectual property rights;

 

 

significant and changing government regulation;

 

 

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

 

 

maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of our product candidates following approval, if any, of our product candidates.

Any changes in the outcome of any of these variables with respect to the development of our product candidates in preclinical and clinical development could mean a significant change in the costs and timing associated with the development of these product candidates. For example, if the FDA or another regulatory authority were to delay our planned start of clinical trials or require us to conduct clinical trials or other testing beyond those that we currently expect or if we experience significant delays in enrollment in any of our planned clinical trials, we could be required to expend significant additional financial resources and time on the completion of clinical development of that product candidate.

General and administrative expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and benefits, travel and stock-based compensation expense for personnel in executive, business development, finance, human resources, legal, information technology, pre-commercial and support personnel functions. General and administrative expenses also include direct and allocated facility-related costs as well as insurance costs and professional fees for legal, patent, consulting, investor and public relations, accounting and audit services.

We anticipate that our general and administrative expenses will increase in the future as we increase our headcount to support our continued research activities and development of our product candidates and prepare for potential commercialization activities. We also anticipate that we will incur significantly increased accounting, audit, legal, regulatory, compliance and director and officer insurance costs as well as investor and public relations expenses associated with operating as a public company. Additionally, if and when we believe a regulatory approval of a product candidate appears likely, we anticipate an increase in payroll and other employee-related expenses as a result of our preparation for commercial operations, especially as it relates to the sales and marketing of that product candidate.

Other income (expense)

Interest expense

Interest expense consists of interest accrued on our convertible promissory notes which were converted into shares of Series A preferred stock during March 2017. As a result, in periods subsequent to this conversion, we no longer incurred interest expense.

 

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Interest income

Interest income consists of income earned on our cash balance. Our interest income has not been significant due to low balances and low interest earned on those balances.

Loss on the extinguishment of convertible promissory notes

In March 2017, in connection with the conversion of our convertible promissory notes into Series A preferred stock, we recorded a loss on extinguishment of convertible promissory notes of $0.3 million.

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

We issued convertible promissory notes that contained a conversion feature, which met the definition of a derivative instrument. We classified this derivative instrument as a liability on our consolidated balance sheet. We remeasured this derivative liability to fair value at each reporting date and recognized changes in the fair value of the derivative liability in our consolidated statement of operations.

In March 2017, in connection with the issuance of our Series A preferred stock, the outstanding convertible promissory notes were automatically converted into shares of our Series A preferred stock. Subsequent to this conversion, no convertible promissory notes remained outstanding and therefore we no longer have a derivative liability related to the convertible promissory notes.

Additionally, our issuance of Series A and Series B preferred stock provided investors the right to participate in subsequent offerings of Series A and Series B preferred stock, respectively, in the event specified developmental and regulatory milestones were achieved (see Note 7 to our consolidated financial statements). We classified the tranche rights as derivative liabilities on our consolidated balance sheets. We remeasured the derivative liabilities associated with tranche rights to fair value at each reporting date, and recognized changes in the fair value of the derivative liabilities in the consolidated statements of operations.

Other income (expense)

Other income (expense) consists primarily of realized and unrealized foreign currency transaction gains and losses.

Income taxes

Since our inception, we have not recorded any U.S. federal or state income tax benefits for the net losses we have incurred in each year or for our earned research and development tax credits, as we believe, based upon the weight of available evidence, that it is more likely than not that all of our net operating loss carryforwards and tax credits will not be realized. As of December 31, 2018, we had U.S. federal and state net operating loss carryforwards of $2.6 million and $11.1 million, respectively, which expire at various dates through 2037 and 2038, respectively. As of December 31, 2018, we had federal and state research and development tax credit carryforwards of approximately $0.5 million available to reduce future tax liabilities, which expire at various dates through 2038. As of December 31, 2018, we had a U.S. federal net operating loss carryforward of $8.5 million, which does not expire but is limited in usage to an annual deduction equal to 80% of annual taxable income. We have recorded a full valuation allowance against our net deferred tax assets at each balance sheet date.

On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA, was signed into United States law. The TCJA includes a number of changes to existing tax law, including, among other things, a permanent reduction in the federal

 

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corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective as of January 1, 2018, as well as limitation of the deduction for net operating losses to 80% of annual taxable income and elimination of net operating loss carrybacks, in each case, for losses arising in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 (though any such net operating losses may be carried forward indefinitely). The tax rate change resulted in (i) a reduction in the gross amount of our deferred tax assets as of December 31, 2017, without an impact on the net amount of our deferred tax assets, which are recorded with a full valuation allowance, and (ii) no income tax expense or benefit being recognized as of the enactment date of the TCJA.

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118 to address the application of U.S. GAAP in situations when a registrant does not have the necessary information available, prepared or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete the accounting for certain income tax effects of the TCJA. In connection with the initial analysis of the impact of the TCJA, the Company remeasured its deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the rates at which they are expected to reverse in the future, which is generally 21% for federal tax purposes. The remeasurement of the Company’s deferred tax assets and liabilities was offset by a change in the valuation allowance.

Comparison of the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2019

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2019:

 

     
     Nine months ended
September 30,
       
      2018     2019     Change  
     (in thousands)  

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development (inclusive of $1,595 and $8,497 respectively, with a related party)

   $ 4,571     $ 14,293     $ 9,722  

General and administrative (inclusive of $238 and $357, respectively, with a related party)

     1,287       4,695       3,408  
  

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     5,858       18,988       13,130  
  

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (5,858     (18,988     (13,130

Interest income

     2       21       19  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

           (6,416     (6,416

Other income (expense)

     (9           9  
  

 

 

 

Total other income (expense), net

     (7     (6,395     (6,388
  

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (5,865   $ (25,383   $ (19,518

 

 

Research and development expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

Research and development expenses were $4.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to $14.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The increase of $9.7 million was primarily due to an increase in external fees related to the continued development of our MAP platform and our product candidates, including BDTX-189. We do not currently track expenses on a program-by-program basis.

 

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General and administrative expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

General and administrative expenses were $1.3 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to $4.7 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The increase of $3.4 million was primarily a result of higher personnel-related costs due to additional headcount and higher legal and other professional fees.

Interest income

Interest income was less than $0.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to less than $0.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019.

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

The change in the fair value of derivative liabilities was $6.4 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $0 for the nine months ended September 30, 2018. The increase was due to the remeasurement of derivative liabilities related to the tranche right on our Series B preferred stock primarily due to an increase in the probability of a liquidity event during the nine months ended September 30, 2019. We did not have any derivative liabilities during the nine months ended September 30, 2018.

Other income (expense)

Other income (expense) was less than $0.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, compared to less than $0.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019.

Comparison of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018:

 

     
     Year ended
December 31,
       
      2017     2018     Change  
     (in thousands)  

Operating expenses:

      

Research and development (inclusive of $1,348 and $2,403, respectively, with a related party)

   $ 3,453     $ 6,950     $ 3,497  

General and administrative (inclusive of $42 and $325, respectively, with a related party)

     666       1,954       1,288  
  

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     4,119       8,904       4,785  
  

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (4,119     (8,904     (4,785

Interest expense

     (65           65  

Interest income

           4       4  

Loss on the extinguishment of convertible promissory notes

     (282           282  

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

     (130     (15     115  

Other income (expense)

     (6     (16     (10
  

 

 

 

Total other income (expense), net

     (483     (27     456  
  

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (4,602   $ (8,931   $ (4,329

 

 

Research and development expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

Research and development expenses were $3.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $7.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase of $3.5 million was primarily due to an increase

 

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in external fees related to the continued development of our MAP platform and our product candidates, including BDTX-189.

General and administrative expenses (inclusive of amounts with a related party)

General and administrative expenses were $0.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $2.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The increase of $1.3 million was primarily a result of higher personnel-related costs due to additional headcount and higher legal and other professional fees incurred in connection with financing activities.

Interest expense

Interest expense was $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $0 for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $0.1 million was due to the conversion of our convertible promissory notes into shares of our Series A preferred stock during March 2017 and, therefore, no interest expense being incurred during 2018.

Loss on the extinguishment of convertible promissory notes

Loss on extinguishment of convertible promissory notes was $0.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to $0 for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease of $0.3 million was due to the conversion of our convertible promissory notes into shares of our Series A preferred stock during March 2017, which resulted in a loss on extinguishment of debt.

Change in fair value of derivative liabilities

The change in the fair value of derivative liabilities was $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to less than $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018. The decrease was primarily due to the derivative liabilities related to the conversion option, our convertible promissory notes, and tranche rights on our Series A preferred stock being settled during 2017.

Other income (expense)

Other income (expense) was less than $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, compared to less than $0.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2018.

Liquidity and capital resources

Since our inception, we have not generated any revenue from any product sales or any other sources, and have incurred significant operating losses and negative cash flows from our operations. We have not yet commercialized any of our product candidates and we do not expect to generate revenue from sales of any product candidates for several years, if at all. We have funded our operations to date primarily with proceeds from the sale of preferred stock and borrowings under convertible promissory notes. Through September 30, 2019, we had received net cash proceeds of $115.8 million from sales of our preferred stock and net cash proceeds of $1.8 million from borrowings under convertible promissory notes.

As of September 30, 2019 we had cash and cash equivalents of $78.7 million.

 

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Cash flows

The following table summarizes our cash flows for each of the years presented:

 

     
     Year ended
December 31,
    Nine months ended
September  30,
 
      2017     2018     2018     2019  
     (in thousands)     (in thousands)  

Net cash used in operating activities

   $ (2,351   $ (8,454   $ (6,070   $ (17,163

Net cash used in investing activities

     (77     (76     (71     (44

Net cash provided by financing activities

     9,974       52,312       4,987       44,261  
  

 

 

 

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

   $ 7,546     $ 43,782     $ (1,154   $ 27,054  

 

 

Operating activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2018, we used cash in operating activities of $6.1 million, primarily resulting from our net loss of $5.9 million, partially offset by a decrease in amounts due to related parties due to payments to Ridgeline.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2019, we used cash in operating activities of $17.2 million, primarily resulting from our net loss of $25.4 million, partially offset by the non-cash charge related to the change in fair value of derivative liabilities of $6.4 million, an increase in prepaid expenses and other current assets primarily due to payments for research services and a decrease in amounts due to related parties due to payments to Ridgeline.

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we used cash in operating activities of $2.4 million, primarily resulting from our net loss of $4.6 million, partially offset by the non-cash interest expense related to our convertible promissory notes and an increase in amounts due to related parties due to amounts owed to Ridgeline.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, we used cash in operating activities of $8.5 million, primarily resulting from our net loss of $8.9 million, partially offset by an increase in accrued expenses.

Changes in accounts payable and accrued expenses in all periods were generally due to growth in our business, the advancement of our product candidates, and the timing of vendor invoicing and payments.

Investing activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2018, we used cash in investing activities of $0.1 million, consisting solely of purchases of equipment.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2019, we used cash in investing activities of less than $0.1 million, consisting primarily of increases in security deposits related to our lease agreements.

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we used cash in investing activities of $0.1 million, consisting solely of purchases of equipment.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, we used cash in investing activities of $0.1 million, consisting solely of purchases of equipment.

Financing activities

During the nine months ended September 30, 2018, we had cash provided by financing activities of $5.0 million from the issuance of convertible preferred stock.

 

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During the nine months ended September 30, 2019, we had cash provided by financing activities of $44.3 million from the issuance of convertible preferred stock.

During the year ended December 31, 2017, we had cash provided by financing activities of $10.0 million, consisting primarily of proceeds from the issuance of our preferred stock.

During the year ended December 31, 2018, we had cash provided by financing activities of $52.3 million, consisting primarily of proceeds from the issuance of our preferred stock.

Funding requirements

We expect our expenses to increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we advance the preclinical activities and clinical trials of our product candidates. In addition, upon the closing of this offering, we expect to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company, including significant legal, accounting, investor relations and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The timing and amount of our operating expenditures will depend largely on our ability to:

 

 

advance preclinical development of our early-stage programs, including BDTX-189;

 

 

manufacture, or have manufactured on our behalf, our preclinical and clinical drug material and develop processes for late state and commercial manufacturing;

 

 

seek regulatory approvals for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;

 

 

establish a sales, marketing, medical affairs and distribution infrastructure to commercialize any product candidates for which we may obtain marketing approval and intend to commercialize on our own;

 

 

hire additional clinical, quality control and scientific personnel;

 

 

expand our operational, financial and management systems and increase personnel, including personnel to support our clinical development, manufacturing and commercialization efforts and our operations as a public company; and

 

 

obtain, maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio.

As of September 30, 2019, we had cash and cash equivalents of $78.7 million. We believe that the anticipated net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash and cash equivalents, will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through                         . We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could utilize our available capital resources sooner than we expect. We anticipate that we will require additional

capital as we seek regulatory approval of our product candidates and if we choose to pursue in-licenses or acquisitions of other product candidates. If we receive regulatory approval for BDTX-189 or our other product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product manufacturing, sales, marketing and distribution, depending on where we choose to commercialize.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with research, development and commercialization of biologic product candidates, we are unable to estimate the exact amount of our working capital requirements. Our future funding requirements will depend on and could increase significantly as a result of many factors, including:

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

the costs, timing and ability to manufacture our product candidates to supply our clinical and preclinical development efforts and our clinical trials;

 

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the costs of future activities, including product sales, medical affairs, marketing, manufacturing and distribution, for any of our product candidates for which we receive marketing approval;

 

 

the costs of manufacturing commercial-grade product and necessary inventory to support commercial launch;

 

 

the ability to receive additional non-dilutive funding, including grants from organizations and foundations;

 

 

the revenue, if any, received from commercial sale of our products, should any of our product candidates receive marketing approval;

 

 

the costs of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, obtaining, maintaining, expanding and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending intellectual property-related claims;

 

 

our ability to establish and maintain collaborations on favorable terms, if at all; and

 

 

the extent to which we acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies.

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenue, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, governmental funding, collaborations, strategic partnerships and alliances or marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements with third parties. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest may be materially diluted, and the terms of such securities could include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a common stockholder. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include restrictive covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends. In addition, debt financing would result in fixed payment obligations.

If we raise additional funds through governmental funding, collaborations, strategic partnerships and alliances or marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings or other arrangements when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our research, product development or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

Contractual obligations and commitments

As of December 31, 2018, our future minimum lease payments under non-cancelable operating lease commitments, which are all due during the year ending December 31, 2019, totaled $0.1 million. The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of September 30, 2019 and the effects that such obligations are expected to have on our liquidity and cash flows in future periods:

 

   
     Payments due by period  
     

Less than

1 year

    

1 to 3

years

    

4 to 5

years

    

More than

5 years

     Total  
     (in thousands)  

Operating lease commitments

   $ 235      $ 343      $      $      $ 578  

Total

   $ 235      $ 343      $      $      $ 578  

 

 

We enter into contracts in the normal course of business with CMOs, CROs and other third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and to support clinical trials and preclinical research studies and

 

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testing. These contracts are generally cancelable by us. Payments due upon cancellation consist only of payments for services provided or expenses incurred, including noncancelable obligations of our service providers, up to the date of cancellation. These payments are not included in the preceding table as the amount and timing of such payments are not known.

Similarly, we have not included the monthly service fee payments under our services agreement with Ridgeline, as although the amount and timing are known, we cannot currently determine the final termination date of that agreement and, as a result, we cannot determine the total amount of such payment.

Critical accounting policies and significant judgments and estimates

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or GAAP. The preparation of our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, costs and expenses. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events and various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. We evaluate our estimates and assumptions on an ongoing basis. Our actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this prospectus, we believe that the following accounting policies are those most critical to the judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements.

Accrued research and development expenses (including amounts due to related party)

As part of the process of preparing our consolidated financial statements, we are required to estimate our accrued research and development expenses. This process involves reviewing open contracts and purchase orders, communicating with our applicable personnel to identify services that have been performed on our behalf and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when we have not yet been invoiced or otherwise notified of actual costs. The majority of our service providers invoice us in arrears for services performed, on a pre-determined schedule or when contractual milestones are met; however, some require advance payments. We make estimates of our accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date in the consolidated financial statements based on facts and circumstances known to us at that time. We periodically confirm the accuracy of the estimates with the service providers and make adjustments if necessary. Examples of estimated accrued research and development expenses include fees paid to:

 

 

vendors, including research laboratories, in connection with preclinical development activities;

 

 

CROs and investigative sites in connection with preclinical studies and clinical trials; and

 

 

CMOs in connection with drug substance and drug product formulation of preclinical studies and clinical trial materials.

We base our expenses related to preclinical studies and clinical trials on our estimates of the services received and efforts expended pursuant to quotes and contracts with multiple research institutions and CROs that supply, conduct and manage preclinical studies and clinical trials on our behalf. The financial terms of these agreements are subject to negotiation, vary from contract to contract and may result in uneven payment flows. There may be instances in which payments made to our vendors will exceed the level of services provided and result in a prepayment of the expense. Payments under some of these contracts depend on factors such as the successful enrollment of patients and the completion of clinical trial milestones. In accruing service fees, we

 

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estimate the time period over which services will be performed and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from the estimate, we adjust the accrual or the prepaid expense accordingly. Although we do not expect our estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, our understanding of the status and timing of services performed relative to the actual status and timing of services performed may vary and may result in reporting amounts that are too high or too low in any particular period. To date, there have not been any material adjustments to our prior estimates of accrued research and development expenses.

Stock-based compensation

We measure stock options and other stock-based awards granted to employees and directors based on their fair value on the date of the grant and recognize the corresponding compensation expense of those awards over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the respective award. We have only issued stock options and restricted share awards with service-based vesting conditions and record the expense for these awards using the straight-line method. We would apply the graded-vesting method to all stock-based awards with performance-based vesting conditions or to awards with both service-based and performance-based vesting conditions.

For stock-based awards granted to consultants and non-employees, we recognize compensation expense over the period during which services are rendered by such consultants and non-employees until completed. At the end of each financial reporting period prior to the completion of the service, the fair value of these awards is remeasured using the then-current fair value of our common stock and updated assumption inputs in the Black-Scholes option-pricing model.

We estimate the fair value of each stock option grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which uses as inputs the fair value of our common stock and assumptions we make for the volatility of our common stock, the expected term of our stock options, the risk-free interest rate for a period that approximates the expected term of our stock options and our expected dividend yield.

Determination of the fair value of common stock

As there has been no public market for our common stock to date, the estimated fair value of our common stock has been determined by our board of directors as of the date of each option grant, with input from management, considering our most recently available third-party valuations of common stock, and our board of directors’ assessment of additional objective and subjective factors that it believed were relevant and which may have changed from the date of the most recent valuation through the date of the grant. These third-party valuations were performed in accordance with the guidance outlined in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Accounting and Valuation Guide, Valuation of Privately-Held-Company Equity Securities Issued as Compensation. Our common stock valuations were prepared using either an option pricing method, or OPM, or a hybrid method, both of which used market approaches to estimate our enterprise value. The OPM treats common stock and preferred stock as call options on the total equity value of a company, with exercise prices based on the value thresholds at which the allocation among the various holders of a company’s securities changes. Under this method, the common stock has value only if the funds available for distribution to stockholders exceeded the value of the preferred stock liquidation preferences at the time of the liquidity event, such as a strategic sale or a merger. A discount for lack of marketability of the common stock is then applied to arrive at an indication of value for the common stock. The hybrid method is a probability-weighted expected return method, or PWERM, where the equity value in one or more scenarios is calculated using an OPM. The PWERM is a scenario-based methodology that estimates the fair value of our common stock based upon an analysis of our future values, assuming various outcomes. The common stock value is based on the

 

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probability-weighted present value of expected future investment returns considering each of the possible outcomes available as well as the rights of each class of stock. The future value of the common stock under each outcome is discounted back to the valuation date at an appropriate risk-adjusted discount rate and probability weighted to arrive at an indication of value for the common stock. These third-party valuations were performed at various dates, which resulted in valuations of our common stock of $0.24 per share as of August 31, 2018, $1.06 per share as of December 21, 2018, $1.37 per share as of June 12, 2019, $2.13 per share as of July 30, 2019 and $3.60 per share as of September 9, 2019. In addition to considering the results of these third-party valuations, our board of directors considered various objective and subjective factors to determine the fair value of our common stock as of each grant date, including:

 

 

the prices at which we sold shares of preferred stock and the superior rights and preferences of the preferred stock relative to our common stock at the time of each grant;

 

 

the progress of our research and development programs, including the status and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials for our product candidates;

 

 

our stage of development and commercialization and our business strategy;

 

 

external market conditions affecting the biopharmaceutical industry and trends within the biopharmaceutical industry;

 

 

our financial position, including cash on hand, and our historical and forecasted performance and results of operations;

 

 

the lack of an active public market for our common stock and our preferred stock;

 

 

offers we have received to be purchased by prospective buyers;

 

 

the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering, or IPO, or sale of our company in light of prevailing market conditions; and

 

 

the analysis of IPOs and the market performance of similar companies in the biopharmaceutical industry.

The assumptions underlying these valuations represented management’s best estimate, which involved inherent uncertainties and the application of management’s judgment. As a result, if we had used significantly different assumptions or estimates, the fair value of our common stock and our stock-based compensation expense could have been materially different.

Once a public trading market for our common stock has been established in connection with the closing of this offering, it will no longer be necessary for our board of directors to estimate the fair value of our common stock in connection with our accounting for granted stock options and other such awards we may grant, as the fair value of our common stock will be determined based on the quoted market price of our common stock.

 

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Awards granted

The following table sets forth by grant date the number of shares subject to options and restricted stock granted from January 1, 2017 through the date of this prospectus, the per share purchase prices and exercise prices, the fair value of common stock per share on each grant date, and the per share estimated fair value of the awards:

 

           
Grant Date    Type of award    Number of
shares subject
to award
     Per share
exercise price
of options or
purchase price
of  restricted
stock
     Per share
fair value
of common
stock on
grant date
     Per share
estimated fair
value of
award on
grant date
 

March 14, 2017

   Option      10,000      $ 0.10      $ 0.10      $ 0.06  

March 14, 2017

   Option      10,000      $ 0.10      $ 0.10      $ 0.07  

December 11, 2017

   Restricted stock      276,500      $ 0.10      $ 0.10      $ 0.10 (2)  

September 13, 2018

   Option      73,970      $ 0.24      $ 0.24      $ 0.14  

September 13, 2018

   Option      50,000      $ 0.24      $ 0.24      $ 0.12  

October 8, 2018

   Restricted stock      278,960      $ 0.24      $ 0.24      $ 0.24 (2)  

March 4, 2019

   Option      15,000      $ 1.06      $ 1.06      $ 0.58  

March 4, 2019

   Option      88,199      $ 1.06      $ 1.06      $ 0.62  

March 4, 2019

   Restricted stock      140,000      $ 1.06      $ 1.06      $ 1.06 (2)  

June 12, 2019(1)

   Option      39,000      $ 1.06      $ 1.37      $ 0.86  

June 12, 2019(1)

   Option      78,000      $ 1.06      $ 1.37      $ 0.88  

June 12, 2019(1)

   Option      1,154,839      $ 1.06      $ 1.37      $ 0.92  

August 8, 2019

   Option      117,200      $ 2.13      $ 2.13      $ 1.22  

August 14, 2019

   Option      1,745,870      $ 2.13      $ 2.13      $ 1.22  

September 9, 2019

   Option      100,000      $ 3.60      $ 3.60      $ 1.89  

September 9, 2019

   Option      1,368,643      $ 3.60      $ 3.60      $ 2.06  

 

 

 

(1)    

For options granted on June 12, 2019, the board of directors determined that the fair value of our common stock was $1.06 per share as of the grant date. However, the fair value of our common stock at the date of the grant was adjusted in connection with a retrospective fair value assessment solely for accounting purposes.

 

(2)   

For purposes of recording stock-based compensation for grants of options or restricted stock to non-employees, we measure the fair value of the award on the service completion date (vesting date). At the end of each reporting period prior to completion of the services, we remeasure the value of any unvested portion of the award based on the then-current fair value of the award and adjust the expense accordingly. Amounts in this column reflect only the grant-date fair value of awards to non-employees.

Valuation of derivative liabilities

Conversion feature

We issued convertible promissory notes that contained a conversion feature, which met the definition of a derivative instrume