S-1/A 1 d123754ds1a.htm S-1/A S-1/A
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 24, 2021.

Registration No. 333-255393

 

 

 

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

 

Amendment No. 2

to

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

CENTESSA PHARMACEUTICALS PLC

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

 

 

England and Wales
  2834
  Not Applicable
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  (Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc

3rd Floor, 1 Ashley Rd,

Altrincham, Cheshire,

United Kingdom, WA14 2DT

+44 7391 789784

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

 

 

Saurabh Saha

Chief Executive Officer

Centessa Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

5 Walnut Grove Drive,

Suite 120 Horsham, PA 19044

+1 (267) 609-7550

+1 (617)-468-5770

(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Agent For Service)

 

 

  Copies to:

 

Mitchell S. Bloom

Edwin M. O’Connor

James Xu
Goodwin Procter LLP
100 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 570-1000

  Graham Defries
Goodwin Procter (UK) LLP
100 Cheapside
London EC2V 6DY
United Kingdom
+44 20 7447 4200
 

Iqbal Hussain
Centessa

Pharmaceuticals

plc

3rd Floor, 1 Ashley Rd,

Altrincham, Cheshire,

United Kingdom, WA14 2DT

 

Joshua A. Kaufman
Divakar Gupta
Geoffrey R. Starr
Cooley LLP
55 Hudson Yards
New York, New York

10001

 

Claire A. Keast-Butler
Cooley (UK) LLP
22 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4BQ

United Kingdom

+44 20 7583 4055

+44 7391 789784

 

 

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
  Amount to be
registered(1)
  Proposed
maximum
offering price
per share(2)
  Proposed
maximum
aggregate
offering price(3)
  Amount of
registration fee(4)

Ordinary shares, nominal value £0.002 per share(5)

  17,250,000   $20.00   $345,000,000  

$37,639.50

 

 

(1)

Includes 2,250,000 additional ordinary shares represented by American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(3)

Includes the aggregate offering price of 2,250,000 additional ordinary shares represented by ADSs that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

(4)

Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. $10,910.00 of this registration fee was previously paid by the registrant in connection with the filing of its Registration Statement on Form S-1 on April 21, 2021.

(5)

These ordinary shares are represented by ADSs, each of which represents one ordinary share of the registrant. ADSs issuable upon deposit of the 17,250,000 ordinary shares registered hereby are being registered pursuant to a separate registration statement on Form F-6 (File No. 333-256385), filed on May 21, 2021.

 

 

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

 

 

 


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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

Subject to Completion. Dated May 24, 2021

15,000,000 American Depositary Shares

Representing 15,000,000 Ordinary Shares

 

LOGO

 

 

This is an initial public offering of the American Depositary Shares, or the ADSs, of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc. We are offering 15,000,000 ADSs. Each ADS represents one ordinary share, nominal value £0.002 per share.

Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for the ADSs or our ordinary shares. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per ADS will be between $18.00 and $20.00. We have applied to list the ADSs on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “CNTA.”

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

 

 

See “Risk Factors” on page 16 to read about factors you should consider before buying the ADSs.

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

 

     Per
ADS
     Total  

Initial public offering price

   $                    $                

Underwriting discounts(1)

   $        $    

Proceeds, before expenses, to Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc

   $        $    

 

(1)

See the section titled “Underwriting” for compensation payable to the underwriters.

To the extent the underwriters sell more than 15,000,000 ADSs, the underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional 2,250,000 ADSs from us at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discounts.

The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs against payment in New York, New York on            , 2021.

 

 

 

Morgan Stanley     Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC
Jefferies     Evercore ISI

Prospectus dated            , 2021


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LOGO

LETTER FROM THE CEO

Over the last century, the traditional R&D model has made great strides in delivering transformational medicines to patients. In some instances, these drugs have fundamentally improved patient outcomes and have provided a new lease on life. In many other cases, patients are still waiting for those elusive life-altering medicines. With these patients in mind, we reimagined the R&D journey a drug takes to become a marketed medicine. We set out to find a clearer, less bumpy road to deliver impactful medicines to patients. That road, we learned, is called asset centricity.

At its core, asset centricity is a mindset rooted in a relentless focus on a single project by a dedicated team. The biotechnology industry has embraced this philosophy to successfully advance medicines for patients. We asked whether this philosophy could be replicated on a larger scale to build a pharmaceutical company from bottom-up in which asset centricity serves as its foundation. Our answer is Centessa Pharmaceuticals.

The DNA of Centessa is rooted in asset centricity, but the environment in which it flourishes includes enhanced scale, resources and management with deep technical expertise. Formed in October 2020, Centessa is a pharmaceutical company with a different phenotype conceived to accelerate the pace of impactful medicines reaching patients. Our journey started by combining a curated portfolio of 10 wholly-owned asset-centric companies that are developing 16 programs with compelling biology and led by entrepreneurs with deep subject matter expertise. In bringing asset centricity at scale to the world, we hope to deliver consequential medicines that patients are desperately in need of. Then, and only then, will our mission be achieved.

 

LOGO

Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

 

 

LOGO

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1  

Risk Factors

     16  

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     96  

Market, Industry and Other Data

     98  

Use of Proceeds

     99  

Dividend Policy

     101  

Share Capital Reorganization and Re-Registration

     102  

Capitalization

     105  

Dilution

     108  

Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Combined Financial Information

     111  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc

     122  

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of The Centessa Predecessor Group and Certain Other Acquired Entities

     132  

Business

     162  

Management

     285  

Executive Compensation

     293  

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions

     302  

Principal Shareholders

     310  

Description of Share Capital and Articles of Association

     314  

Description of American Depositary Shares

     335  

Ordinary Shares and American Depositary Shares Eligible for Future Sale

     347  

Material Income Tax Considerations

     349  

Underwriting

     358  

Legal Matters

     370  

Experts

     370  

Service of Process and Enforcement of Liabilities

     371  

Where You Can Find More Information

     373  

Index to Financial Statements

     F-1  

We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any person to provide you with information different from that contained in this prospectus or any related free-writing prospectus that we authorize to be distributed to 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 in this prospectus speaks only as of the date of this prospectus unless the information specifically indicates that another date applies, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of the securities offered hereby.

For investors outside of the United States: We have not, and the underwriters have not, done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than the United States. Persons outside of the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the ADSs and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

On May 14, 2021, we re-registered Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.

Unless otherwise indicated or the context otherwise requires, all references in this prospectus to the terms “Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited,” “Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc,” “the company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to (i) Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiaries prior to the re-registration of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public company, and (ii) Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and its subsidiaries after the re-registration of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company. See “Share Capital Reorganization and Re-Registration” for more information.

We own various trademark registrations and applications, and unregistered trademarks, including our name and our corporate logo. All other trade names, trademarks and service marks of other companies appearing in this prospectus are the property of their respective holders. Solely for convenience, the trademarks and trade names in this prospectus may be referred to without the ® and symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, their rights thereto. We do not intend to use or display other companies’ trademarks and trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL INFORMATION

We maintain the books and records of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and its wholly owned subsidiaries in pounds sterling. For financial reporting, our results are translated to U.S. dollars and we prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP, as issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. All references in this prospectus to “$” are to U.S. dollars and all references to “£” are to pounds sterling.

We have made rounding adjustments to some of the figures included in this prospectus. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures that preceded them. Prior to the re-registration, we have historically conducted our business through Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited’s subsidiaries and therefore our historical financial statements present the results of operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited. After the re-registration of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company named Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc, our consolidated financial statements will present the consolidated results of operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our ADSs, you should carefully read this entire prospectus, including our financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. You should also consider, among other things, the matters described in the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Unless otherwise stated, all references to “us,” “our,” “Centessa,” “we,” the “Company” and similar designations refer to Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and its consolidated subsidiaries.

Our Vision

We are reimagining the traditional pharmaceutical research and development model to build, from the bottom-up, an R&D engine predicated on asset centricity to discover, develop and ultimately deliver impactful medicines to patients. We believe the successful execution at scale of our asset-centric R&D model has the potential to result in R&D productivity surpassing that of today’s largest pharmaceutical companies and could translate into a dramatic impact for patients, providers and society more broadly.

Our approach to delivering consequential medicines to patients is guided by three foundational principles:

 

  1.

We pursue discovery and development of programs with clear biological rationale.

 

  2.

We aim to build a self-sustaining, evergreen R&D engine anchored on asset centricity.

 

  3.

We strive to be the partner of choice for founder-subject matter experts who share our vision.

Overview

Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc (Centessa) was conceived by combining the primary strengths of the asset-centric model with the benefits of diversification and scale typically attributed to traditional large R&D organizations. The asset-centric model refers to single-purpose companies which are focused on developing a single program or programs associated with a single biological pathway. We were inspired by the success realized by the asset-centric model and were founded on the principle of developing asset centricity at scale. We have implemented this reimagined approach to R&D by initially combining a curated portfolio of ten wholly-owned asset-centric companies, which we refer to as the Centessa Subsidiaries, which are developing 16 high conviction programs with clear biological rationale. Each Centessa Subsidiary is led by one or more individuals whom we believe to be some of the leading subject matter experts in their respective disciplines. We empower our subsidiaries to advance their research and development plans in an independent and unbiased manner. Our programs cover a range of high-value therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, immunology / inflammation, neuroscience, hepatology, pulmonology, nephrology, and range from discovery-stage research through late-stage clinical development. Additionally, a substantial number of our programs focus on rare disease indications with significant unmet need. We currently anticipate a total of more than a dozen clinical read-outs over the next three years, including three clinical read-outs in 2021. We expect this robust cadence of clinical progress will be coupled with significant development advancements for our earlier-stage preclinical programs. As a therapeutic-focused company, we intend to pursue a “develop to commercialize” approach for our programs with a relentless focus on efficiently delivering consequential medicines to patients.

Centessa was formed in October 2020 by Medicxi with a view to ultimately acquiring, and thereby becoming the holding company of, several pre-revenue, development stage biotech companies each of which was either controlled by and/or invested in by a fund affiliated with Medicxi or Index Ventures. On January 29, 2021, Centessa acquired 11 biotechnology companies and simultaneously closed a Series A funding round of



 

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$250 million. Prior to the acquisition, Centessa’s activities were limited mainly to engaging advisors and recruitment efforts. Centessa commenced active operations after the consummation of the acquisitions. Each of the Centessa Subsidiaries was a portfolio company of a fund affiliated with Medicxi or Index Ventures at the time of the acquisition.

We are led by our experienced management team who play a critical role in enabling our Centessa Subsidiaries by providing centralized resources, supporting development of programs, and overseeing judicious capital allocation. We are convinced that bringing together our 16 high conviction programs under a unified, asset-centric structure at scale is in itself a competitive advantage in the industry. Going forward, our intent is to become the partner of choice for founder-subject matter experts with high conviction programs by fostering a research engine that allows our leading talent to focus exclusively on the pursuit of their unique product visions, striving for scientific excellence and patient benefit. Consistent with our operating model today, these founder-subject matter experts will be directly incentivized and appropriately supported to develop and bring medicines to market. Direct incentivization is achieved through two principle financial incentives: first, through each founder-subject matter expert having a significant equity stake in Centessa and, thereby, compensated commensurately with the Company’s performance; second, they disproportionately share in upside through certain agreed milestones payment of a pre-agreed amount payable upon defined events such as regulatory approval of an applicable drug or the payment of a pre-agreed percentage of the net aggregate cash proceeds from certain strategic transactions (including partnerships / out-licensing agreements and/or a sale) concerning the relevant Centessa Subsidiary. These incentives are designed to motivate our founder-subject matter experts to develop and bring medicines to patients.

Separately, our relentless focus on data-driven decision-making is aimed at enabling us to embrace and implement a “fail fast, and fail early” philosophy to close programs expeditiously when data dictates. Data-driven decision making is at the core of our asset-centric model. Centessa management retains final authority over resource allocation decisions across the Centessa Subsidiaries’ programs, and aims to expeditiously terminate programs when the data do not support advancing a program. These features of our asset-centric model are designed to reflect our “fail fast and fail early” philosophy when data warrants. We believe our direct incentivization model and relentless focus on data-driven decision-making is a differentiated approach and philosophy to that deployed by traditional R&D models.

Our bottom-up, asset-centric operating model fosters an ecosystem in which we enable the founder-subject matter experts at each Centessa Subsidiary to develop their programs with a high degree of autonomy and with complementary operational and R&D support from Centessa. This is designed to enable each Centessa Subsidiary to execute its program or programs with greater agility and enhanced probability of success. Each Centessa Subsidiary focuses its resources and expertise on progressing high conviction programs that follow well elucidated biological pathways, with the goal of addressing a significant unmet patient need. While we focus on biological pathways where there is prior learning in human genetics and/or clinical evidence of activity to enhance odds of program success, many of our highly-differentiated programs are enabled by proprietary structural biology insights.



 

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Our ten initial Centessa Subsidiaries and their disease areas of focus as well as our expectation for expansion in the number of Centessa Subsidiaries are summarized in the below figure:

 

LOGO

Traditional R&D organizations realize the benefit of having a diversified pipeline with multiple uncorrelated programs while reaching a scale that allows for an optimized and flexible balance sheet and access to infrastructure and resources. Similarly, by initially combining a curated portfolio of asset-centric companies under a central management team, we expect to receive the benefits of a diversified pipeline of high conviction programs and mitigate the binary risk inherent in single-asset companies. We believe that our incentivization framework enables our Centessa Subsidiary teams to maintain an undiluted singular product focus, and to pursue paths forward that are determined primarily by the data that they generate. Subsidiary teams are designed to be small, with limited fixed costs to further enhance the economics of drug development, particularly in cases where expeditious closure of programs is warranted.

In addition to the broad range of disease areas we pursue, our portfolio is diversified in several other ways, including:

 

   

Therapeutic approaches: small molecule inhibitors, agonists, correctors, degraders, traditional and engineered antibodies and biologics based on engineered molecules;

 

   

Development approaches: novel targets, differentiated fast-follower based on improved safety, and/or refined mechanism; and

 

   

Discovery approaches: structure-based design, protein engineering and novel screening methods.

Our multiple modes of diversification across our portfolio substantially mitigate the binary nature of product development.

The Centessa Subsidiaries were selected by Medicxi out of the portfolio of biotechnology investments by funds affiliated with Medicxi or Index Ventures. The key criteria deployed to identify companies that would be considered for Centessa include: advancement of a single program with clear biological rationale, a differentiated product profile, and a team with deep expertise led by a founder-subject matter expert. Each of the Centessa Subsidiaries was controlled by funds affiliated with Medicxi or Index Ventures or funds affiliated with Medicxi or Index Ventures had a significant investment and/or influence. Whilst such funds affiliated with Medicxi and Index Ventures were a controlling or key investor to each Centessa Subsidiary with material influence, the decision as to whether to be acquired by Centessa was ultimately a decision of the executive management team



 

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of each Centessa Subsidiary including the founder subject-matter experts. An extensive negotiation exercise was undertaken with the executive management teams of each Centessa Subsidiary and each Centessa Subsidiary was represented by external counsel. These negotiations were conducted at arms’ length with each Centessa subsidiary having been acquired on highly negotiated contribution terms (including as to valuation) and on highly negotiated individual incentivization terms which become payable if negotiated milestones are achieved or certain exit events are triggered. Further, the incoming Series A Centessa investors had a significant opportunity to diligence each Centessa Subsidiary and test the relative valuation and terms negotiated with the individual Centessa Subsidiaries.

Our Pipeline

Our current portfolio consists of 16 high conviction programs, including four programs currently being evaluated in clinical trials and 12 additional preclinical programs. We aim to pursue programs that target pathways with clear biological rationale. Given that biological pathways have varying influence on disease pathophysiology, we believe it is paramount to identify the most critical pathways that contribute to disease onset and severity to aid in development of appropriate therapeutics. Human genetics offers a glimpse into specific genes, and downstream proteins that are associated with disease. By targeting such disease associated genes or proteins, we seek to increase the probability of impacting disease outcome. Further, we place a premium on learnings from the clinic whereby a drug has established the relevance of a biological pathway contributing to disease outcome. Our portfolio largely consists of programs where there is prior learning in human genetics or precedented human activity for a pathway of interest. Our strategy is to assemble a pipeline of product candidates bearing these attributes, which we believe may translate into program success.

 

LOGO

Our current pipeline includes the following four clinical stage product candidates:

 

   

Lixivaptan (Palladio Biosciences): vasopressin V2 receptor small molecule inhibitor currently in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). While the ongoing Phase 3 study is not a registrational trial, Palladio is preparing to conduct a global Phase 3 pivotal trial of lixivaptan in ADPKD patients, (designated the ACTION study) which we expect to commence by early-to-mid 2022. We believe lixivaptan has the potential to



 

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deliver similar efficacy benefits to tolvaptan, which is currently indicated for a subset of ADPKD patients, with a differentiated safety and tolerability profile that may enable access and therapeutic benefit to a broader set of patients;

 

   

SerpinPC (ApcinteX): activated protein C inhibitor currently in Phase 2a clinical development for the treatment of hemophilia A and B. We believe SerpinPC has the potential to improve upon the current standards of care by offering a long-acting, subcutaneous, non-replacement therapy that rebalances the coagulation cascade to provide both prophylactic and on-demand therapy in all patients with hemophilia regardless of subtype;

 

   

Imgatuzumab (Pega-One): anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody expected to enter a potential registrational Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). Imgatuzumab is also being considered for treatment of other solid tumors in the context of combination treatment with immunotherapy. We believe imgatuzumab represents a next-generation of antibody design offering enhanced antibody derived cell cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody derived cell phagocytosis (ADCP) properties; and

 

   

ZF874 (Z Factor): small molecule chemical chaperone folding corrector of the Z variant of alpha-1-antitrypsin (Z-A1AT) currently in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (A1ATD). ZF874 leverages Z Factor’s proprietary insights into the misfolding of the Z-A1AT protein to correct protein folding and normalize protein levels to treat both lung and liver disease manifestations of A1ATD.

In addition to our clinical stage product candidates, our current portfolio consists of 12 preclinical assets:

 

   

ZF887 (Z Factor): small molecule chemical chaperone folding corrector of Z-A1AT for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency;

 

   

MGX292 (Morphogen-IX): protein-engineered variant of human bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP 9) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension;

 

   

CBS001 (Capella Bioscience): high-affinity monoclonal antibody (mAb) selectively targeting the inflammatory membrane form of LIGHT for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis;

 

   

CBS004 (Capella Bioscience): humanized mAb targeting BDCA-2 for the treatment of systemic sclerosis and lupus;

 

   

LB1 (LockBody): bispecific antibody designed to be gradually unlocked in the tumor microenvironment targeting CD47 for the treatment of solid tumors;

 

   

LB2 (LockBody): bispecific antibody designed to be gradually unlocked in the tumor microenvironment targeting CD3 for the treatment of solid tumors;

 

   

Oral OX2R Agonist (Orexia): orally delivered selective orexin-receptor 2 (OX2R) agonist for the treatment of narcolepsy type 1 with potential expansion into narcolepsy type 2, rare hypersomnias and additional rare and common diseases;

 

   

Intranasal OX2R Agonist (Orexia): intranasally delivered OX2R agonist for the treatment of narcolepsy type 1 with potential expansion into narcolepsy type 2, rare hypersomnias and additional rare and common diseases;

 

   

Dual STAT3/5 Degrader (Janpix): small molecule STAT3/5 protein degrader for the treatment of hematological malignancies, including leukemias and lymphomas;

 

   

EGFR Ex20 Inhibitor (PearlRiver Bio): small molecule epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) Exon20 insertion mutation inhibitor for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer;

 

   

EGFR-C797S Inhibitor (PearlRiver Bio): small molecule EGFR C797S mutation inhibitor for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer; and



 

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Next Generation EGFR Inhibitors (PearlRiver Bio): ERBBinator proprietary platform technology to support design of next generation EGFR Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs).

Across our Centessa Subsidiaries, we currently have a portfolio of 173 issued patents which includes 156 ex-U.S. patents and 17 issued U.S. patents directed to either our clinical stage product candidates or other programs being developed.

Our Operating Model

We have implemented a reimagined R&D model that we believe leverages the key strengths of the traditional R&D organization and the core tenets of asset centricity. We believe that our approach will allow us to benefit from the characteristics of each model that are favorable for efficient drug development, while simultaneously removing the inefficiencies and potential challenges related to each. In particular, the convergence of scale, capital efficiency, and asset centricity enables our program teams to pursue development plans with the goal to commercialize while we maintain flexibility to pursue strategic partnerships that leverage third-party expertise and synergies when warranted.

 

LOGO

Our Approach

We have implemented a bottom-up, asset-centric operating model where the main premise is to build a non-hierarchical ecosystem in which we enable the founder-subject matter experts at each Centessa Subsidiary to develop their programs.



 

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LOGO

Our Strategy

We have embarked on a journey to build a sustainable, evergreen pharmaceutical company with a reimagined asset-centric approach that we believe has the potential to fundamentally reshape the traditional research and development model. Our strategy is guided by four key tenets and grounded in a singular focus on advancing exceptional science to the ultimate benefit of patients:

 

   

An unwavering focus on asset centricity;

 

   

Efficiently advancing our initial pipeline of high conviction programs to treat important unmet medical needs;

 

   

Attracting the next generation of founder-subject matter experts with high conviction programs; and

 

   

Incentivizing and enabling our Centessa Subsidiary leadership teams who have deep expertise in their respective disciplines.

Our History

Our company is built upon our demand for excellence amongst our various participants and stakeholders. We believe this high bar for excellence is initially demonstrated by our ten current Centessa Subsidiaries. Each of our Centessa Subsidiaries and their founder-subject matter experts have invested years dedicated to their program specialty. We intend to uphold this focus on excellence for future companies which may join our model as Centessa Subsidiaries. We complement the program expertise of our founder-subject matter experts with the broad experience of our centralized management team. Prior to establishing Centessa, our executive management team held positions in a wide range of settings, including some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, leading biotechnology companies and world-class venture capital funds.

We are supported by a high-quality group of investors who share our passion for excellence and believe in the vision for our reimagined R&D model. These investors include our founding investor, Medicxi, alongside General Atlantic, Vida Ventures, Janus Henderson Investors, Boxer Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Wellington Management Company, BVF Partners L.P., EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital, LifeSci Venture Partners and a U.S.-based, healthcare-focused fund.



 

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Corporate Information

We were incorporated pursuant to the laws of England and Wales as United Medicines Biopharma Limited on October 26, 2020 and renamed Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited on February 17, 2021. On May 14, 2021, we re-registered Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc. We are registered with the Registrar of Companies in England and Wales under number 12973576, and our registered office is at 3rd Floor, 1 Ashley Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, United Kingdom, WA14 2DT. Our website address is http://www.centessa.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not a part of this prospectus. We have included our website address in this prospectus solely as an inactive textual reference.

Palladio Biosciences was incorporated in 2015 under the laws of Delaware with primary operations in Horsham, Pennsylvania. ApcinteX was incorporated in 2014 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. Z Factor was incorporated in 2014 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. Morphogen-IX was incorporated in 2015 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. Capella Bioscience was incorporated in 2014 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. LockBody was incorporated in 2017 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. Orexia was incorporated in 2018 under the laws of England and Wales with primary operations in the United Kingdom. Pega-One was incorporated in 2019 under the laws of France with primary operations out of Princeton, New Jersey. Janpix was incorporated in 2013 under the law of England and Wales with primary operations in Canada. PearlRiver Bio was incorporated in 2019 under the laws of Germany with primary operations out of Germany.

Share Capital Reorganization and Re-Registration

Since our incorporation, we have performed a series of reorganization transactions. Please see the “Share Capital Reorganization and Re-Registration” section for more information.

Risks Affecting Our Business

Our business is subject to a number of risks of which you should be aware before making an investment decision. You should carefully consider all of the information set forth in this prospectus and, in particular, should evaluate the specific factors set forth in the section titled “Risk Factors” before deciding whether to invest in our ADSs. Among these important risks are, but not limited to, the following:

 

   

We may not be successful in our efforts to use our differentiated asset-centric business model to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.

 

   

A single or limited number of subsidiaries may comprise a large proportion of our value.

 

   

We face challenges, risks and expenses related to the Reorganization (as defined below) in integrating the operations of our asset-centric subsidiaries, as well as the management of the expected growth in the scale and complexity of our operations following this offering.

 

   

We, and our subsidiaries prior to the Reorganization, incurred net losses since inception, and we expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability.

 

   

Even if this offering is successful, we will need substantial additional funds to advance development of our product candidates, and we cannot guarantee that we will have sufficient funds available in the future to develop and commercialize our current or future product candidates.



 

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Our product candidates are in various stages of development, including many in preclinical stages, and may fail in development or suffer delays that materially adversely affect their commercial viability.

 

   

We may not be successful in our efforts to identify, discover, in-license or otherwise acquire additional product candidates and may fail to capitalize on programs or product candidates that may represent a greater commercial opportunity or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

 

   

Success in preclinical studies or early clinical trials may not be indicative of results obtained in later trials.

 

   

We may encounter substantial delays or challenges in the initiation, conduct or completion of our clinical trials, and the results of clinical development are uncertain.

 

   

Even if we complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials, the marketing approval process is expensive, time-consuming and uncertain and may prevent us from obtaining approvals for the commercialization of our product candidates.

 

   

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

 

   

We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials and if these third parties perform in an unsatisfactory manner, our business could be substantially harmed.

 

   

We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in our development or commercialization of our programs or otherwise harm our business.

 

   

If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates and technology, we may not be able to compete effectively in our market.

 

   

The patent protection we obtain for our product candidates and technology may be challenged or not sufficient enough to provide us with any competitive advantage.

 

   

A number of our programs and associated product candidates are heavily dependent on licensed intellectual property. If we were to lose our rights to licensed intellectual property, we may not be able to continue developing or commercializing our product candidates, if approved. If we breach any of the agreements under which we license the use, development and commercialization rights to our product candidates or technology from third parties or, in certain cases, we fail to meet certain development deadlines, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

 

   

We have never commercialized a product candidate and we may lack the necessary expertise, personnel and resources to successfully commercialize any of our products that receive regulatory approval on our own or together with collaborators.

 

   

Our international operations may expose us to business, regulatory, political, operational, financial, pricing and reimbursement risks associated with doing business outside of the United States.

 

   

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 ADSs less attractive to investors.

 

   

We have material weaknesses in our internal control systems over financial reporting and will need to hire additional personnel and design and implement proper and effective internal controls



 

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over financial reporting, or the accuracy and timeliness of our financial reporting will be adversely affected.

 

   

If we fail to develop or maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

 

   

Holders of ADSs may be subject to limitations on the transfer of their ADSs and the withdrawal of the underlying ordinary shares.

 

   

There is substantial uncertainty as to whether we are or will be a “passive foreign investment company” (a PFIC). If we are a PFIC, there could be material adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) enacted in April 2012. For so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we are permitted and intend to rely on certain exemptions from various public company reporting requirements, including not being required to have our internal control over financial reporting audited by our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments not previously approved. In particular, in this prospectus, we have provided only two years of audited financial statements and have not included all of the executive compensation related information that would be required if we were not an emerging growth company. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc — JOBS Act Transition Period.”

We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier to occur of (1) the last day of the fiscal year that is five years following this offering, (2) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of at least $1.07 billion, (3) the last day of the fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” under the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, which means the market value of our equity securities that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (4) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period.

In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards. This provision allows an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of some accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of delayed adoption of new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we will be subject to the same requirements to adopt new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not emerging growth companies.

Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we may still qualify as a “smaller reporting company” if the market value of our ordinary shares held by non-affiliates is below $250 million (or $700 million if our annual revenue is less than $100 million) as of June 30 in any given year, which would allow us to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements, including reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements.



 

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The Offering

 

ADSs offered by us   15,000,000 ADSs, each ADS representing one ordinary share.

Ordinary shares outstanding immediately after this offering

  85,924,419 ordinary shares (or 88,174,419 ordinary shares if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional ADSs is exercised in full).
ADSs outstanding immediately after this offering   15,000,000 ADSs (or 17,250,000 ADSs if the underwriters’ option to purchase additional ADSs is exercised in full).
Underwriters’ option to purchase additional ADSs   We have granted a 30-day option to the underwriters to purchase up to an aggregate of 2,250,000 additional ADSs.
American Depositary Shares   Each ADS represents one ordinary share with a nominal value of £0.002 per ordinary share. You will have the rights of an ADS holder as provided in the deposit agreement among us, the depositary and all holders and beneficial owners of ADSs issued thereunder. To better understand the terms of the ADSs, you should carefully read the section in this prospectus titled “Description of American Depositary Shares.” We also encourage you to read the deposit agreement, which is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement that includes this prospectus.
Depositary   Citibank, N.A.
Directed Share Program   At our request, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, or the DSP Underwriter, has reserved up to 450,000 ADSs, or 3% of the ADSs offered by this prospectus, for sale at the initial public offering price through a directed share program to certain of our directors, officers, employees and business associates and other parties related to us. If purchased by our directors and officers, these ADSs will be subject to a 180-day lock-up restriction.
  The number of ADSs available for sale to the general public will be reduced to the extent that such persons purchase such reserved ADSs. Any reserved ADSs not so purchased will be offered by the DSP Underwriter to the general public on the same basis as the other ADSs offered by this prospectus. The DSP Underwriter will administer our directed share program. See the sections titled “Related Party Transactions” and “Underwriting — Directed Share Program.”


 

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Use of proceeds   We currently expect to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash to fund the continued development and pre-commercialization costs of our clinical-stage product candidates, to fund continued development of the other programs in our pipeline, including designing and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as funding discovery, manufacturing, research and development; and the remainder for working capital and other general corporate purposes, as well as to fund the acquisition of, and drug development activities related to, new programs; although we have no material agreements, commitments or understandings with respect to any in-license or acquisition, we have and plan to continue to evaluate such opportunities and engage in related discussions with other business entities from time to time.
Risk factors   You should carefully read “Risk Factors” and the other information in this prospectus for a discussion of factors that you should consider before deciding to invest in the ADSs.
Proposed Nasdaq Global Market trading symbol   “CNTA”

The number of shares to be outstanding after this offering is based on 48,083,517 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021 and gives further effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares, into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering, and excludes:

 

   

7,576,811 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021 at a weighted average exercise price of $5.70 per ordinary share and an additional 2,716,105 ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares granted after such date, at a weighted average exercise price of $9.42 per ordinary share;

 

   

154,467 unvested ordinary shares and an additional 833,897 unvested ordinary shares granted after such date;

 

   

8,900,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Share Option Plan upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, from which we intend to grant options to purchase an aggregate of 237,500 ordinary shares, to our executive officers, at the public offering price per ADS in this offering; and

 

   

860,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Employee Share Purchase Plan, upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

Unless otherwise indicated, all information in this prospectus reflects or assumes the following:

 

   

the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering;

 

   

the effectiveness of the share capital reorganization effective on May 20, 2021, which had the effect of a one for two reverse share split of our share capital. See “Share Capital Reorganization and Re-Registration;”

 

   

the effectiveness of our articles of association to be adopted upon the closing of this offering;

 

   

no issuance or exercise of share options after March 31, 2021; and

 

   

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to an additional 2,250,000 ADSs in this offering.



 

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Summary Financial Data

The following tables set forth a summary of historical financial data as of, and for, the periods ended on the dates indicated. The summary statements of operations data presented below for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020 and the summary balance sheet data as of December 31, 2019 and 2020 for Centessa Predecessor Group (Predecessor) are derived from the combined financial statements of Centessa Predecessor Group included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary statement of operations data presented below for the period from October 26, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020, and the summary balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 for Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited are derived from the financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (prior to its reregistration as a public company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc) and from the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary statements of operations data presented below for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021 for Centessa Predecessor Group (Predecessor) are derived from the unaudited interim combined financial statements of Centessa Predecessor Group included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary statements of operations data presented below for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021 and the summary balance sheet data as of January 29, 2021 for Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited are derived from the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (prior to its reregistration as a public company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc) included elsewhere in this prospectus. The summary statements of operations data presented below for the period from January 30, 2021 through March 31, 2021 and the summary balance sheet data as of March 31, 2021 for Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (Successor) are derived from the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (Successor) (prior to its reregistration as a public company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc) included elsewhere in this prospectus. In our opinion, the unaudited interim combined and consolidated financial statements have been prepared on a basis consistent with the audited combined and consolidated financial statements and contains all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of such interim financial statements. The historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected in the future and operating results for the period from January 30, 2021 through March 31, 2021 are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021 or any other interim periods or any future year or period.

You should read this data together with our unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements and related notes and our audited financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the information under the sections titled “Capitalization,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Predecessor and Certain Other Acquired Entities.” Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of our future results.



 

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    Centessa Predecessor Group
(Predecessor)
    Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited
(Successor)
 

(in thousands, except share and
per share data)

  Year Ended
December 31,
    For the
Three
Months
Ended
March 31,
2020
    For the
Period from
January 1,
2021
through
January 29,
2021
    For the
Period from
October 26,
2020
(inception)
through
December 31,
2020
    Year Ended
December 31,
2020
Pro Forma
    For the
Period from
January 1,
2021
through
January 29,
2021
    For the
Period from
January 30,
2021 through
March 31,
2021
    For the
Three
Months
Ended
March 31,
2021
Pro Forma
 

Combined and consolidated
statement of operations data:

  2019     2020  
Operating expenses:               (unaudited)           (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (unaudited)     (unaudited)  

Research and development

  $ 4,263     $ 9,301     $ 2,809     $ 600     $ —       $ 41,138     $ —       $ 10,142     $ 13,302  

General and administrative

    790       1,139       383       121       3,139       7,587       187       8,092       9,252  

Acquired in-process research and development

    —         —         —         —         —         3,164       —         220,454       —    
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (5,053     (10,440     (3,192     (721     (3,139     (51,889     (187     (238,688     (22,554

Interest income (expense), net

    5       (68     (16     (9     (2     —         —         (3     —    

Change in fair value of derivative liability

    —         (186     —         —         —         —         (415     —         —    

Amortization of debt discount

    (118     (310     (70     (37     (8     —         (825     —         —    

Gain on extinguishment of debt

    105       341       267       —         —         341       —         —         —    

Foreign currency loss

    —         —         —         —         —         (36     (6     —         (6
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

  $ (5,061   $ (10,663   $ (3,011   $ (767   $ (3,149   $ (51,584   $ (1,433   $ (238,691   $ (22,560
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted

            $ (0.80   $ (1.07   $ (0.19   $ (4.97   $ (0.47
           

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding—basic and diluted

              3,918,149       48,033,654       7,500,000       48,050,083       48,110,901  
         

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro Forma net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted(1)

                  $ (3.37  
                 

 

 

   

Pro Forma weight average ordinary shares outstanding—basic and diluted(1)

                    70,890,985    
                 

 

 

   

 

(1)

Unaudited pro forma basic and diluted net income per ordinary share have been prepared to give effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares as if they had been converted at the later of the beginning of the reporting period or the issuance date of the convertible preferred shares.

 

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     Centessa Predecessor
Group
(Predecessor)
     Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited
(Successor)
 

(in thousands)

   As of December 31,      As of
December 31,
2020
    As of
January 29,
2021
    As of
March 31, 2021
 

Combined and consolidated
condensed balance sheet
data:

   2019     2020  
                        Actual      Pro
Forma(1)
     Pro Forma
As
Adjusted(2)(4)
 
                        (unaudited)     (unaudited)      (unaudited)      (unaudited)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 16,570     $ 7,227      $ 5,003     $ 4,965     $ 298,612      $ 298,612      $ 555,038  

Working capital(3)

     17,295       2,546        (3,462     (7,960     294,659        294,659        557,924  

Total assets

     19,730       11,717        5,262       8,558       320,520        320,520        570,107  

Convertible term notes

     3,615       5,339        4,171       5,001       —          —          —    

Derivative liability

     519       913        833       1,248       —          —          —    

Term loans

     544       288        —         —         —          —          —    

Convertible preferred shares

     25,521       25,521        —         —         —          —          —    

Total combined deficit and shareholders’ (deficit) equity

     (11,857     (22,243      (3,214     (4,651     278,634        278,634        535,060  

 

(1)

Pro forma amounts give effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares, into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering.

(2)

Pro forma as adjusted amounts reflect pro forma adjustments described in footnote (1) as well as the sale of 15,000,000 ADS in this offering at the assumed initial offering price of $19.00 per ADS, 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.

(3)

We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities. See our financial statements and related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus for further details regarding our current assets and current liabilities.

(4)

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, the amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets and total combined deficit and shareholders’ (deficit) equity by approximately $14.0 million, assuming the number of ADSs offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of ADSs we are offering. Each increase or decrease of 1.0 million ADSs in the number of ADSs we are offering would increase or decrease, as applicable, the amount of each of cash and cash equivalents, working capital, total assets and total combined deficit and shareholders’ (deficit) equity by approximately $17.7 million, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, the midpoint of the price range as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same. The pro forma as adjusted information is illustrative only, and we will adjust this information based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.

 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below, together with the other information in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus and in the sections titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of The Centessa Predecessor Group and Certain Other Acquired Entities,” before deciding whether to invest in our securities. The occurrence of one or more of the events or circumstances described in these risk factors, alone or in combination with other events or circumstances, may have a material adverse effect on the our business, reputation, revenue, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects, in which event the market price of our ADSs could decline, and you could lose part or all of your investment. Unless otherwise indicated, reference in this section and elsewhere in this prospectus to our business being adversely affected, negatively impacted or harmed will include an adverse effect on, or a negative impact or harm to, the business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations, revenue and our future prospects. The material and other risks and uncertainties summarized above and described below are not intended to be exhaustive and are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations. This prospectus also contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including the risks described below. See the section titled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

Risks Related to our Business Model and Structure

We may not be successful in our efforts to use our asset-centric business model to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.

A key element of Centessa’s strategy is to use our differentiated asset-centric business model to build, from the bottom-up, a research and development engine to source and develop high conviction programs, product candidates, technologies or intellectual property that we believe are novel, employ differentiated mechanisms of action, are more advanced in development than competitors, or have a combination of these attributes to ultimately deliver impactful medicines to patients. We face significant competition in sourcing such high conviction programs, product candidates, technologies or intellectual property, partnering with founder-subject matter experts with high conviction assets that follow well elucidated biological pathways, seeking appropriate strategic partners (including founder-subject matter experts) and licensing and acquisition opportunities, and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. We may not be successful in our efforts in building a pipeline of high conviction product candidates for the treatment of various diseases and disorders through acquisitions, licensing or through internal development or in progressing these product candidates through clinical development. Although we have initially combined a portfolio of ten asset centric companies, each a Centessa Subsidiary, that are developing high conviction programs with clear biological rationale and, through our Centessa Subsidiaries, our research and development efforts to date have resulted in our identification, discovery and preclinical and clinical development of certain of our product candidates, these product candidates may not be safe or effective treatments or therapies in humans, and we may not be able to develop any other product candidates. Although we analyze whether we can replicate scientific results observed prior to our acquisition or investment in a product candidate, we may not be successful in doing so after our investment. Our asset-centric business model is evolving and may not succeed in building a pipeline of product candidates. 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 in humans, including as a result of unacceptable toxicity or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to receive marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (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 the price of our ADSs.

 

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As part of our business strategy, we may expand our product candidate pipeline through in-licenses or acquisitions of discovery or development-stage assets or programs, which entails additional risk to us. While we believe our asset-centric model offers an attractive platform for these transactions and for founder subject matter experts and potential partners, our model is unique and we may not be able to attract or execute transactions with founder-subject matter experts, sellers, licensors or collaborators who may choose to divest to or grant license to companies that employ more traditional licensing and collaboration approaches. Identifying, selecting, and acquiring promising product candidates requires substantial technical, financial and human resources expertise. Efforts to do so may not result in the actual acquisition or license of a successful product candidate, potentially resulting in a diversion of our management’s time and the expenditure of our resources with no resulting benefit. For example, if we are unable to identify programs that ultimately result in approved products, we may spend material amounts of our capital and other resources evaluating, acquiring, and developing product candidates that ultimately do not provide a return on our investment. We may terminate programs in the future if they do not meet our criteria for advancement.

A single or limited number of subsidiaries may comprise a large proportion of our value.

A large proportion of our value may at any time reside in a limited number of our subsidiaries. Our consolidated financial condition and prospects may be materially diminished if the clinical development or potential commercialization prospects of a Centessa Subsidiary’s product candidate or program or one or more of the intellectual property rights held by a specific Centessa Subsidiary becomes impaired. Furthermore, a large proportion of our consolidated revenue may at any time be derived from one, or a small number of, licensed technologies, and termination or expiration of licenses to these technologies would likely have a material adverse effect on our consolidated revenue. Any material adverse impact on the value of a particular Centessa Subsidiary, including its intellectual property rights or the clinical development of its product candidate or program, could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.

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, or we may fail to recognize or acquire assets that may be more promising than those we acquire. 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 identification, discovery, and preclinical development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products.

We face challenges, risks and expenses related to the Reorganization in integrating the operations of our asset-centric Centessa Subsidiaries, as well as the management of the expected growth in the scale and complexity of our operations following this offering.

In connection with the Reorganization, we acquired the ownership interests of our operating Centessa Subsidiaries where our current development programs reside. These Centessa Subsidiaries have historically operated as independent entities with generally separate management and operational teams. As a result, we will need to expend significant resources and efforts in integrating the operations of these Centessa Subsidiaries into our larger organization, and such integration activities may be challenging due to the number of Centessa Subsidiaries acquired and the heterogeneity of their historical operations. For example, these Centessa Subsidiaries’ programs span a range of therapeutic modalities and are designed to address a variety of disease areas. In addition, the Centessa Subsidiaries acquired in the Reorganization have conducted their business in a variety of jurisdictions in the U.S. and Europe. All of our Centessa Subsidiaries have had historical relationships with different licensors, contract organizations and other third-party vendors.

 

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Each Centessa Subsidiary has historically had its own operational, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures and integrating such controls, reporting systems and procedures may be challenging and we may not be successful in doing so. We believe certain synergies may be achieved by harmonizing the operational, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures but we may not be successful in our harmonization efforts and this may result in not only being able to take advantage of synergies but expose us to additional operational, legal and financial risks and exposures associated with several levels of disorganized systems and procedures. With limited resources, historically the Centessa Subsidiaries may not have dedicated sufficient resources to ensure its operational, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems, compliance and other procedures meet required standards and this may expose us to historical non-compliance investigations and liabilities, which may have a material adverse effect on our post reorganization operations. We also may face difficulties with the integration of our Centessa Subsidiaries if there is disagreement between the founder-subject matter experts and management of Centessa with respect to the development of the Centessa Subsidiary programs.

As of April 15, 2021 we had an aggregate of 34 employees and 46 contractors. We may not be successful in integrating and retaining such employees and consultants or find replacements which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to develop and commercialize our programs and product candidates. 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, legal, financial and other personnel. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including:

 

   

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

 

   

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, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures.

Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize any product candidates that are approved for marketing 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 legal and compliance, 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, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and potentially commercialize our product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals. We may not have sufficient funding to support our expansion. For more information, please see “Use of Proceeds” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.”

 

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Our reliance on a central team consisting of a limited number of employees who provide various administrative, research and development, and other services across our organization presents operational challenges that may adversely affect our business.

As of April 15, 2021, our parent organization had 34 full-time equivalent employees, upon which we rely for various operational, administrative, research and development, and other support services shared among our other operating subsidiaries. We also have consultants who we rely on for research and development, business development, and other services. While we believe this structure enables us to reduce certain infrastructure costs, the small size of our centralized team may limit our ability to devote adequate personnel, time, and resources to support the operations of all of our subsidiaries, including their operational, research and development activities, and the management of compliance, financial, accounting, and reporting matters. If our centralized team fails to provide adequate operational, administrative, research and development, or other services across our entire organization, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be harmed.

Some of our officers currently serve, and in the future may serve, as directors or officers of our Centessa Subsidiaries, and, as a result, have and may continue to have, statutory, fiduciary and other duties to our subsidiaries causing conflicts of interest with respect to their duties to us and their duties to our subsidiaries and in determining how to devote themselves to our affairs and the affairs of our subsidiaries. Our subsidiaries’ partners may also disagree with the sufficiency of resources that we provide to each Centessa Subsidiary.

Certain of our officers, including Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., our Chief Executive Officer, Marella Thorell, our Chief Accounting Officer, and Iqbal Hussain, our General Counsel, are, or upon the completion of this offering will be, directors and/or officers of each Centessa Subsidiary and, as a result, have fiduciary or other duties both to us and our subsidiaries. Dr. Saha, Ms. Thorell and Mr. Hussain do not receive any additional compensation for their service as directors of our Centessa Subsidiaries. The conflicts of interest that arise from such duties could interfere with the management of our subsidiaries and their programs and product candidates, or result in disagreements with our subsidiaries’ partners. For example, an individual who is both a director of one of our subsidiaries and an officer of Centessa owes statutory and fiduciary duties to the Centessa Subsidiary and to us, and such individual may encounter circumstances in which his or her decision or action may benefit the Centessa Subsidiary while having a detrimental impact on Centessa, or vice versa, or on another Centessa Subsidiary, including one for which he or she also serves as a director. Further, in the future, certain of our officers may serve as officers and directors of our Centessa Subsidiaries. Any such individual would need to allocate his or her time to responsibilities owed to Centessa and each of the Centessa Subsidiaries for which he or she serves as an officer or director, and would make decisions on behalf of one entity that may negatively impact others. In addition, disputes could arise between us and our Centessa Subsidiary’s partners regarding a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest arising from the overlap between the officers and directors of the Centessa Subsidiary and those of Centessa. These partners also may disagree with the amount and quality of resources that are devoted to the Centessa Subsidiary they are invested in. Any such disputes or disagreements could distract our management, interfere with our relations with our partners, and take significant time to resolve, which could disrupt the development of our product candidates, delay our potential commercialization efforts, result in increased costs or make it less likely that other third parties will choose to partner with us in the future.

Our Centessa Subsidiaries are party to certain agreements that provide our licensors and/or collaborators with rights that could delay or impact the ability of our Centessa Subsidiaries to sell assets, or enter into strategic alliances, collaborations or licensing arrangements with other third parties or the potential sale of our Centessa Subsidiaries.

Each of our Centessa Subsidiaries licenses intellectual property from third parties and we expect such practice to continue in the future. These third parties have certain rights that could delay collaboration, licensing or other arrangements with another third party, and the existence of these rights may adversely impact our ability to attract an acquirer or partner. These rights include rights of negotiation and fees payable upon a sale of assets or change of control of a Centessa Subsidiary that are contained in license agreements.

 

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For example, each of Palladio, Pega-One, ApcinteX and Z Factor, is party to certain license agreements that provide for payments upon satisfaction of milestones, royalty payments, diligence obligations and other customary terms contained in agreements for the in-license of programs and their intellectual property. See “Business—License Agreements.”

We may incorporate, form or otherwise acquire additional subsidiaries and enter into similar agreements with future counterparties, or our Centessa Subsidiaries may enter into further agreements, that in each case may contain similar provisions or other terms that are not favorable to us.

Risks Related to our Financial Position, Need for Additional Capital and Growth Strategy

We, and our Centessa Subsidiaries prior to the Reorganization, incurred net losses since inception, and we expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future and may never achieve or maintain profitability.

We and our subsidiaries prior to the Reorganization incurred significant net losses since inception, have not generated any revenue from product sales to date, and financed operations primarily through private placements of preferred shares. Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc, the issuer of the securities in this offering, is a newly incorporated holding company for all of the Centessa Subsidiaries in our organization, and we expect to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future. As an organization, we have devoted substantially all of our efforts to research and development, including clinical and preclinical development of our product candidates, as well as to building out our team. We expect that it could be several years, if ever, before we have a commercialized product candidate. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and increasing operating losses for the foreseeable future. The net losses we incur may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter each financial year. We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially if, and as, we:

 

   

continue our research and the preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates, including our ongoing and planned clinical trials;

 

   

initiate additional clinical trials and preclinical studies for our other product candidates, including those in our pipeline that are expected to advance into the clinic in the near future; if any of our product candidates advance through and complete late-stage development, prepare and submit marketing applications with the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities;

 

   

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;

 

   

seek to discover and develop additional product candidates;

 

   

establish a sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure to commercialize any product candidates for which we may obtain marketing approval;

 

   

maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

 

   

fulfill future potential payment obligations under our incentivization agreements with each Centessa subsidiary; and

 

   

acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies.

To become and remain profitable, we must develop and eventually commercialize product candidates with significant market potential. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical testing and clinical trials of our product candidates, obtaining marketing approval for these product candidates, manufacturing, marketing and selling those products for which we may obtain marketing approval and satisfying any post-marketing requirements. We may never succeed in any or all of these activities and, even if we do, we may never generate revenues that are significant or large enough to achieve profitability. If we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would decrease the value of our company and could impair our ability to raise capital, maintain our research and development efforts and expand our business or continue our operations. A decline in the value of our company could cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

 

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Our limited operating history may make it difficult for investors to evaluate our business, operations and prospects.

We are a newly incorporated holding company incorporated in October 2020. Our wholly-owned Centessa Subsidiaries are each in the development stage and have had limited operating histories. Our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, developing our operating model, raising capital, acquiring our technology, identifying potential product candidates, establishing collaborations and undertaking preclinical studies and clinical trials of our most advanced product candidates. As an organization, we have not yet demonstrated a track record of conducting or completing Phase 3 trials of our product candidates, obtaining marketing approvals, manufacturing a commercial-scale product or conducting sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. Consequently, any predictions made 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 new business, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown factors. We will need to transition from a company with a research focus to a company that is also capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in such a transition.

We have never generated revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.

Our ability to generate revenue from product sales and achieve profitability depends on our ability, alone or with collaborative partners, to successfully complete the development of, and obtain the regulatory approvals necessary to commercialize, our product candidates. We do not anticipate generating revenues from product sales for the next several years, if ever. Our ability to generate future revenues from product sales depends heavily on our, or our collaborators’, success in:

 

   

completing research and preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates;

 

   

seeking and obtaining regulatory and marketing approvals for product candidates for which we complete clinical trials;

 

   

in-licensing, acquiring, discovering or otherwise expanding our pipeline of product candidates for clinical development;

 

   

launching and commercializing product candidates for which we obtain regulatory and marketing approval by establishing a sales force, marketing and distribution infrastructure or, alternatively, collaborating with a commercialization partner;

 

   

qualifying for adequate coverage and reimbursement by government and third-party payors for our product candidates;

 

   

maintaining and enhancing a sustainable, scalable, reproducible and transferable manufacturing process for our product candidates;

 

   

establishing and maintaining supply and manufacturing relationships with third parties that can provide adequate, in both amount and quality, products and services to support clinical development and the market demand for our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

obtaining market acceptance of our product candidates as a viable treatment option;

 

   

addressing any competing technological and market developments;

 

   

implementing additional internal systems and infrastructure, as needed;

 

   

negotiating favorable terms in any collaboration, licensing or other arrangements into which we may enter and performing our obligations in such collaborations;

 

   

maintaining, protecting and expanding our portfolio of intellectual property rights, including patents, trade secrets and know-how;

 

   

avoiding and defending against third-party interference or infringement claims; and

 

   

attracting, hiring and retaining qualified personnel.

 

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Even if one or more of the product candidates that we develop is approved for commercial sale, we anticipate incurring significant costs associated with commercializing any approved product candidate. Our expenses could increase beyond expectations if we are required by the FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), or other regulatory authorities to perform clinical and other studies in addition to those that we currently anticipate. Even if we are able to generate revenues from the sale of any approved products, we may not become profitable and may need to obtain additional funding to continue operations.

Even if this offering is successful, we will need substantial additional funds to advance development of our product candidates, and we cannot guarantee that we will have sufficient funds available in the future to develop and commercialize our current or future product candidates.

Developing pharmaceutical products, including conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, is a very time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete. We will need substantial additional funds to expand our development, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities or contract with other organizations in order to enter and advance our product candidates through preclinical studies and clinical trials. Our Centessa Subsidiaries have used substantial funds in their research and development programs and will continue to expend significant resources to advance their programs and product candidates.

As of March 31, 2021, we had $298.6 million in cash and cash equivalents. Based on our current operating plan, we believe that our available cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments, together with the net proceeds from this offering, will be sufficient to fund our anticipated level of operations through mid-2023. Our future capital requirements and the period for which we expect our existing resources to support our operations may vary significantly from what we expect, and changing circumstances, some of which may be beyond our control, could cause us to consume capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned. Our monthly spending levels vary based on new and ongoing development and corporate activities. Because the length of time and activities associated with successful development of our product candidates is highly uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require for development and any approved marketing and commercialization activities.

We currently expect to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash to fund the continued development and precommercialization costs of our clinical-stage product candidates; to fund continued development of the other programs in our pipeline, including designing and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as funding discovery, manufacturing, research and development; to fund the acquisition of and drug development activities related to new programs; although we have no material agreements, commitments or understandings with respect to any in-license or acquisition, we have and plan to continue to evaluate such opportunities and engage in related discussions with other business entities from time to time; and the remainder for working capital and other general corporate purposes. As a result, the net proceeds from this offering, together with our cash and cash equivalents, will not be sufficient for us to fund our development activities, operations, business plan, commercialization and other activities beyond            .

To execute our business plan, we will need, among other things, to:

 

   

obtain the human and financial resources necessary to develop, test, obtain regulatory approval for, manufacture and market our product candidates;

 

   

build and maintain a strong intellectual property portfolio and avoid infringing intellectual property of third parties;

 

   

establish and maintain successful licenses, collaborations and alliances;

 

   

satisfy the requirements of clinical trial protocols, including patient enrollment;

 

   

establish and demonstrate the clinical efficacy and safety of our product candidates;

 

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obtain regulatory approvals;

 

   

manage our spending as costs and expenses increase due to preclinical studies and clinical trials, regulatory approvals, commercialization, legal and regulatory compliance, and increased operations;

 

   

obtain additional capital to support and expand our operations; and

 

   

market our products to achieve acceptance and use by the medical community in general.

We do not expect to realize revenue from product sales, milestone payments or royalties in the foreseeable future, if at all. Our revenue sources are, and will remain, extremely limited unless and until our product candidates are clinically tested, approved for commercialization and successfully marketed.

We will be required to seek additional funding in the future and intend to do so through either public or private equity offerings or debt financings, credit or loan facilities or a combination of one or more of these funding sources. Attempting to secure additional financing may divert our management from our day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop our product candidates. Our ability to raise additional funds will depend on financial, economic and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Additional funds may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity securities, our shareholders will suffer dilution and the terms of any financing may adversely affect the rights of our shareholders. In addition, as a condition to providing additional funds to us, future investors may demand, and may be granted, rights superior to those of existing shareholders. Debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants limiting our flexibility in conducting future business activities, and, in the event of insolvency, debt holders would be repaid before holders of equity securities received any distribution of corporate assets.

If we raise additional funds through collaborations, strategic alliances 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 to grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, reduce or terminate our product development or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to third parties to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

If we engage in acquisitions or strategic partnerships, this may increase our capital requirements, dilute our shareholders, cause us to incur debt or assume contingent liabilities, and subject us to other risks.

As part of our asset-centric business model and strategy, we may engage in various acquisitions and strategic partnerships in the future, including licensing or acquiring new or complementary products, intellectual property rights, technologies, or businesses. Any acquisition or strategic partnership may entail numerous risks, including:

 

   

increased operating expenses and cash requirements;

 

   

the assumption of indebtedness or contingent liabilities;

 

   

the issuance of our equity securities which would result in dilution to our shareholders;

 

   

assimilation of operations, intellectual property, products and product candidates of an acquired company, including difficulties associated with integrating new personnel;

 

   

the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing product programs and initiatives in pursuing such an acquisition or strategic partnership;

 

   

retention of key employees, the loss of key personnel, and uncertainties in our ability to maintain key business relationships;

 

   

risks and uncertainties associated with the other party to such a transaction, including the prospects of that party and their existing products or product candidates and regulatory approvals; and

 

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our inability to generate revenue from acquired intellectual property, technology and/or products sufficient to meet our objectives or even to offset the associated transaction and maintenance costs; and

 

   

our assumption of liabilities of the acquired subsidiary or acquired assets.

In addition, if we undertake such a transaction, we may issue dilutive securities, assume or incur debt obligations, incur large one-time expenses and acquire intangible assets that could result in significant future amortization expense.

If we acquire additional companies in the future, it could adversely affect our operating results and the value of our ADSs.

As part of our asset-centric business model and strategy, we may acquire additional companies. Investments in our existing and any future subsidiaries involve numerous risks, including, but not necessarily limited to:

 

   

risk of conducting research and development activities in new therapeutic areas or treatment modalities in which we have little to no experience;

 

   

diversion of financial and managerial resources from existing operations;

 

   

successfully negotiating a proposed acquisition, in-license or investment in a timely manner and at a price or on terms and conditions favorable to us;

 

   

successfully combining and integrating a potential acquisition into our existing business to fully realize the benefits of such acquisition;

 

   

the impact of regulatory reviews on a proposed acquisition, in-license or investment; and

 

   

the assumption of liabilities of acquired subsidiaries and outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted with respect to the proposed acquisition, in-license or investment.

If we fail to properly evaluate potential acquisitions, in-licenses, investments or other transactions associated with the creation of new research and development programs or the maintenance of existing ones, we might not achieve the anticipated benefits of any such transaction, we might incur costs in excess of what we anticipate, and management resources and attention might be diverted from other necessary or valuable activities.

Risks Related to Our Business and the Clinical Development, Regulatory Review and Approval

Our product candidates are in various stages of development, including many in discovery and preclinical stages, and may fail in development or suffer delays that materially adversely affect their commercial viability.

We have no products on the market and most of our product candidates in our pipeline are in the early stages of development. For example, across our organization, we currently have four product candidates that are in clinical development—lixivaptan, developed by Palladio, imgatuzumab, developed by Pega-One, SerpinPC, developed by ApcinteX, and Z874, developed by Z Factor. The remainder of our programs are in discovery or IND-enabling phases. Our ability to achieve and sustain profitability depends on obtaining regulatory approvals for, and successfully commercializing, our product candidates, either alone or with third parties. Before obtaining regulatory approval for the commercial distribution of our product candidates, we or a collaborator must conduct extensive preclinical tests and clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our drug product candidates and the safety, purity, and potency or efficacy, of our biologic product candidates. Preclinical testing and clinical trials are expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and are uncertain as to outcome. The start or end of a clinical study is often delayed or halted due to changing regulatory requirements, manufacturing challenges, required clinical trial administrative actions, slower than anticipated patient enrollment, changing standards of care, availability or prevalence of use of a comparative drug or required prior therapy, clinical outcomes or financial constraints. For instance, delays or difficulties in patient enrollment or difficulties in retaining trial participants can result in increased costs, longer development times or termination of

 

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a clinical trial. Clinical trials of a new product candidate require the enrollment of a sufficient number of patients, including patients who are suffering from the disease the product candidate is intended to treat and who meet other eligibility criteria. Rates of patient enrollment are affected by many factors, including the size of the patient population, the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial, the age and condition of the patients, the stage and severity of disease, the nature of the protocol, the proximity of patients to clinical sites and the availability of effective treatments for the relevant disease.

A product candidate can unexpectedly fail at any stage of preclinical and clinical development. The historical failure rate for product candidates is high due to scientific feasibility, safety, efficacy, changing standards of medical care and other variables. The results from preclinical testing or early clinical trials of a product candidate may not predict the results that will be obtained in later phase clinical trials of the product candidate. We, the FDA or other applicable regulatory authorities may suspend clinical trials of a product candidate at any time for various reasons, including a belief that subjects participating in such trials are being exposed to unacceptable health risks or adverse side effects. We may not have the financial resources to continue development of, or to enter into collaborations for, a product candidate if we experience any problems or other unforeseen events that delay or prevent regulatory approval of, or our ability to commercialize, product candidates, including:

 

   

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

 

   

serious and unexpected drug-related side effects experienced by participants in our clinical trials or by individuals using drugs similar to our product candidates;

 

   

delays in submitting Investigational New Drug applications (INDs), Clinical Trial Applications (CTAs), or comparable foreign applications or delays or failure in obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators to commence a clinical trial, or a suspension or termination of a clinical trial once commenced;

 

   

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

 

   

delays in enrolling research subjects in clinical trials;

 

   

high drop-out rates of research subjects;

 

   

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

 

   

greater than anticipated clinical trial costs;

 

   

poor effectiveness of our product candidates during clinical trials;

 

   

unfavorable FDA or other regulatory agency inspection and review of a clinical trial site;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

varying interpretations of data by the FDA and similar foreign regulatory agencies; or

 

   

factors including any delays caused by the continuing impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and future epidemics, pandemics and other macroeconomic considerations.

Some of the clinical trials performed to date were, and in the future we may conduct, open-label studies involving only a limited number of clinical sites and a limited number of patients. An “open-label” clinical trial

 

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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 development programs for ApcinteX and Palladio have included open-label clinical trials, the results from these clinical trials may not be predictive of future clinical trial results with these or other product candidates when studied in a controlled environment with a placebo or active control.

We may not be successful in our efforts to identify, discover, in-license or otherwise acquire additional product candidates and may fail to capitalize on programs or product candidates that may be a greater commercial opportunity or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

The success of our business depends upon our ability to identify, develop and commercialize product candidates. Research programs to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial and human resources. Although certain of our product candidates are currently in clinical or preclinical development, we may fail to identify other potential product candidates for clinical development for several reasons. For example, our research may be unsuccessful in identifying potential product candidates or our potential product candidates may be shown to have harmful side effects, may be commercially impracticable to manufacture or may have other characteristics that may make the products unmarketable or unlikely to receive marketing approval.

Additionally, because we have limited resources, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with certain programs or product candidates or for indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our spending on current and future research and development programs may not yield any commercially viable products. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through strategic collaboration, licensing or other arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate. Alternatively, we may allocate internal resources to a product candidate in a therapeutic area in which it would have been more advantageous to enter into a partnering arrangement.

If any of these events occur, we may be forced to abandon our development efforts with respect to a particular product candidate or fail to develop a potentially successful product candidate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Success in preclinical studies or early clinical trials may not be indicative of results obtained in later trials.

Results from preclinical studies or previous clinical trials are not necessarily predictive of future clinical trial results, and interim results of a clinical trial are not necessarily indicative of final results. The results generated to date in preclinical studies or clinical trials for our product candidates do not ensure that later preclinical studies or clinical trials will demonstrate similar results. Our product candidates may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy in clinical development despite demonstrating positive results in preclinical studies or having successfully advanced through initial clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical and earlier stage clinical trials. In later-stage clinical trials, we will likely be subject to more rigorous statistical analyses than in completed earlier stage clinical trials. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results

 

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between different clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in clinical trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, adherence to the dosing regimen and other clinical trial protocols, and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. We cannot guarantee that any of our clinical trials will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, or at all. Clinical trials can fail at any stage of testing and failure may result from a multitude of factors, including, among other things, flaws in study design, dose selection issues, placebo effects, patient enrollment criteria and failure to demonstrate favorable safety or efficacy traits.

There is a high failure rate for small molecule drugs and biologic products proceeding through clinical development. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in preclinical testing and earlier-stage clinical trials. Data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are subject to varying interpretations, which may delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval, 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 products. In addition, we may experience regulatory delays or rejections as a result of many factors, including due to changes in regulatory policy during the period of our product candidate development. Furthermore, the failure of any of our product candidates to demonstrate safety and efficacy in any clinical trial could negatively impact the perception of our other product candidates and/or cause the FDA or other regulatory authorities to require additional testing before approving any of our product candidates. Any such delays could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may encounter substantial delays or challenges in the initiation, conduct or completion of our clinical trials, and the results of clinical development are uncertain.

Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of our product candidates, we must conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the product candidate for its intended indications. Clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming and uncertain as to outcome. We cannot guarantee that any clinical trials will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, if at all. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. Events that may prevent successful or timely completion of clinical development include:

 

   

delay in completing preclinical studies;

 

   

delays in reaching a consensus with regulatory authorities on trial design;

 

   

delays in obtaining authorizations of INDs to commence a clinical trial;

 

   

delays in reaching agreement or failing to agree on acceptable terms with prospective clinical research organizations (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;

 

   

delays in obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB), or independent ethics committee approval at each clinical trial site;

 

   

delays in opening a sufficient number of clinical trial sites and recruiting an adequate number of suitable patients to participate in our clinical trials;

 

   

imposition of a clinical hold by regulatory authorities as a result of a serious adverse event, concerns with a class of product candidates or after an inspection of our clinical trial operations or trial sites;

 

   

delays in having patients complete participation in a trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

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occurrence of serious adverse events associated with the product candidate that are viewed to outweigh its potential benefits; or

 

   

changes in regulatory requirements and guidance that require amending or submitting new clinical protocols; or

 

   

macro factors such as the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Any inability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development could result in additional costs to us or impair our ability to generate revenue from future drug sales and regulatory and commercialization milestones. In addition, if we make manufacturing or formulation changes to our product candidates, we may need to conduct additional testing to bridge our modified product candidate to earlier versions. Clinical trial delays could also shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates, if approved, or allow our competitors to bring comparable drugs to market before we do, which could impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Additionally, if the results of our clinical trials are inconclusive or if there are safety concerns or serious adverse events associated with our product candidates, we may:

 

   

be delayed in obtaining marketing approval, if at all;

 

   

obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired;

 

   

obtain approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings;

 

   

be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements;

 

   

be required to perform additional clinical trials to support approval or be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements;

 

   

have regulatory authorities withdraw, or suspend, their approval of the drug or impose restrictions on its distribution in the form of a modified risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, or REMS, plan;

 

   

be subject to the addition of labeling statements, such as warnings or contraindications;

 

   

be sued; or

 

   

experience damage to our reputation.

Our drug development costs will also increase if we experience delays in testing or obtaining marketing approvals. We do not know whether any of our preclinical studies or clinical trials will begin as planned, need to be restructured or be completed on schedule, if at all.

Further, we, the FDA or other regulatory authorities, or an IRB or ethics committee of the institutions in which our clinical trials are being conducted, or the Data Safety Monitoring Board for such trials, if any, may suspend or terminate our clinical trials. Such authorities may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time due to a number of factors, including if it appears that we or our collaborators are failing to conduct a trial in accordance with regulatory requirements, including the FDA’s current Good Clinical Practice (GCP), regulations, unforeseen safety issues or unacceptable health risks, failure to demonstrate a benefit from the product candidates, or if the FDA finds deficiencies in our INDs or the conduct of these trials. Therefore, we cannot predict with any certainty the schedule for commencement and completion of future clinical trials. If we experience delays in the commencement or completion of our clinical trials, or if we terminate a clinical trial prior to completion, the commercial prospects of our product candidates could be negatively impacted, and our ability to generate revenues from our product candidates may be delayed or eliminated entirely.

 

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Even if we complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials, the marketing approval process is expensive, time-consuming and uncertain and may prevent us from obtaining approvals for the commercialization of our product candidates.

Any product candidate we develop and the activities associated with its development and commercialization, including its design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution, are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory authorities in the United States and by comparable authorities in other countries. Failure to obtain marketing approval for a product candidate will prevent us from commercializing the product candidate in a given jurisdiction. We have not received approval to market any product candidates from regulatory authorities in any jurisdiction and it is possible that none of the product candidates we are developing or may seek to develop in the future will ever obtain regulatory approval. We have no experience in submitting and supporting the applications necessary to gain marketing approvals and expect to rely on third-party CROs or regulatory consultants to assist us in this process. Securing regulatory approval requires the submission of extensive preclinical and clinical data and supporting information to the various regulatory authorities for each therapeutic indication to establish the product candidate’s safety and efficacy. Securing regulatory approval also requires the submission of information about the product manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the relevant regulatory authority. Any product candidates we develop 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 its obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use.

The process of obtaining marketing approvals 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 product application, 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. This is particularly true for clinical trials in rare diseases, where the very small patient population makes it difficult or impossible to conduct traditional, adequate and well-controlled studies, and therefore the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities are often required to exercise flexibility in approving therapies for such diseases. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, we may be required to expend significant resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates. In addition, varying interpretations of the data obtained from preclinical and clinical testing could delay, limit, or prevent marketing approval of a product candidate. Any marketing approval that we may ultimately obtain could be limited or subject to restrictions or post-approval commitments that render the approved product not commercially viable.

If we experience delays in obtaining approval or if we fail to obtain approval of any product candidates we may develop, the commercial prospects for those product candidates may be harmed, and our ability to generate revenues will be materially impaired.

We may find it difficult to enroll patients in our clinical trials, which could delay or prevent us from proceeding with clinical trials of our product candidates.

Identifying and qualifying patients to participate in clinical trials of our product candidates is critical to our success. The timing of our clinical trials depends on our ability to recruit patients to participate in such trials as well as the completion of any required follow-up periods. Some of our product candidates are designed to target orphan indications. For example, Palladio is developing lixivaptan for the treatment of ADPKD and ApcinteX is developing SerpinPC for the treatment of hemophilia. Trials in orphan indications often take longer to enroll than trials for other indications due to the smaller patient population from which subjects can be recruited. We may

 

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experience delays in any of our future clinical trials. If patients are unwilling to participate in our studies because of negative publicity from adverse events related to certain modalities utilized in one or more of our product candidates, competitive clinical trials for similar patient populations or for other reasons, the timeline for recruiting patients, conducting studies and obtaining regulatory approval of our product candidates may be delayed. delays could result in increased costs, delays in advancing our product candidates, delays in testing the effectiveness of our product candidates or termination of the clinical trials altogether.

We may not be able to identify, recruit and enroll a sufficient number of patients, or those with required or desired characteristics, to complete our clinical trials in a timely manner. Patient enrollment and trial completion is affected by factors including:

 

   

size of the patient population and process for identifying subjects;

 

   

design of the trial protocol;

 

   

eligibility and exclusion criteria;

 

   

perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;

 

   

perceived risks and benefits of approaches utilized by one or more of our product candidates to treatment of diseases;

 

   

availability of competing therapies and clinical trials;

 

   

severity of the disease under investigation;

 

   

proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective subjects;

 

   

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

 

   

ability to obtain and maintain subject consent;

 

   

risk that enrolled subjects will drop out before completion of the trial;

 

   

patient referral practices of physicians;

 

   

ability to monitor subjects adequately during and after treatment; and

 

   

factors we may not be able to control, such as current or potential pandemics that may limit patients, principal investigators or staff or clinical site availability (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic).

We plan to seek initial marketing approval in the United States and certain other major markets such as major countries in the European Union (EU), and the United Kingdom. We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials if we cannot enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in the clinical trials required by FDA, EMA, MHRA or other regulatory authorities. Our ability to successfully initiate, enroll and complete a clinical trial in any foreign country is subject to numerous risks unique to conducting business in foreign countries, including:

 

   

difficulty in establishing or managing relationships with CROs, and physicians;

 

   

difficulty in obtaining local regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials;

 

   

different standards for the conduct of clinical trials;

 

   

our inability to locate qualified local consultants, physicians and partners; and

 

   

the potential burden of complying with a variety of foreign laws, medical standards and regulatory requirements, including the regulation of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products and treatment.

If we have difficulty enrolling a sufficient number of patients to conduct our clinical trials as planned, we may need to delay, limit or terminate ongoing or planned clinical trials, any of which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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We are dependent on third parties having accurately generated, collected, interpreted and reported data from certain preclinical studies and clinical trials that were previously conducted for our product candidates.

We have licensed patent and other intellectual property rights from third parties and we may continue to seek and enter into similar licenses for future programs. In certain cases, we intend to rely on results of studies previously conducted by third parties to support our own development of these candidates. For example, the historical development of imgatuzumab was conducted by Roche, the results from which Pega-One intends to utilize to support the further development of this program. In such cases, we may have no involvement with or control over the preclinical and clinical development of any of such product candidates prior to obtaining the in-license. Therefore, we would be dependent on these third parties having conducted their research and development in accordance with the applicable protocols, legal and regulatory requirements, and scientific standards; having accurately reported the results of all preclinical studies and clinical trials conducted with respect to such product candidates and having correctly collected and interpreted the data from these studies and trials. If these activities were not compliant, accurate or correct, the clinical development, regulatory approval or commercialization of our product candidates will be adversely affected.

In addition, our belief in the therapeutic potential of lixivaptan is based, in part, on experiences of Cardiokine in its development of this molecule for a hyponatremia indication, which included over 30 clinical trials. Cardiokine had previously submitted an NDA for lixivaptan for the hyponatremia indication, for which the FDA subsequently issued a complete response letter that cited certain product quality and safety issues and resulted in the agency’s determination not to approve lixivaptan for hyponatremia. Palladio subsequently obtained feedback from the FDA, following which, the FDA agreed with Palladio that no additional non-clinical work would be required to support the commencement of clinical trials or an NDA submission for an ADPKD indication. While, the meeting minutes issued by the FDA stated that the FDA did not believe the mortality findings from the legacy Cardiokine BALANCE trial — treatment of hyponatremia in hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure —would pose a barrier to approval of lixivaptan for the treatment of ADPKD, there can be no assurance that the FDA will maintain such position with respect to the lixivaptan ADPKD program under development by Palladio. If the FDA requires additional development and testing of lixivaptan, including in the form of additional preclinical or clinical studies that we have not planned for, we would be required to expend additional resources and our developmental timelines for this candidate will be delayed.

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

Our product candidates are subject to extensive governmental regulations relating to, among other things, research, testing, development, manufacturing, safety, efficacy, approval, recordkeeping, reporting, labeling, storage, packaging, advertising and promotion, pricing, marketing and distribution of drugs. Rigorous preclinical testing and clinical trials and an extensive regulatory approval process are required to be successfully completed in the U.S. and in many foreign jurisdictions before a new drug can be marketed. Satisfaction of these and other regulatory requirements is costly, time consuming, uncertain and subject to unanticipated delays. It is possible that none of the product candidates we may develop will obtain the regulatory approvals necessary for us or our collaborators to begin selling them. Regulatory authorities may also fail to approve the facilities or processes used to manufacture a product candidate, our dosing or delivery methods.

We have very limited experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval by the FDA. The time required to obtain FDA and other approvals is unpredictable but typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials, depending upon the type, complexity and novelty of the product candidate. The standards that the FDA and its foreign counterparts use when regulating us are not always applied predictably or uniformly and can change. For example, the FDA may revisit its stance that our planned pivotal trial of lixivaptan in ADPKD can serve as a potentially registrational trial. Further, certain historical trials conducted with lixivaptan were conducted by a third party sponsor for an indication other than ADPKD. To the extent any data from historical trials are intended to support a marketing

 

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application for ADPKD, lesser weight may be applied to such data. Any analysis we perform of data from preclinical and clinical activities is subject to confirmation and interpretation by regulatory authorities, which could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval. We may also encounter unexpected delays or increased costs due to new government regulations, for example, from future legislation or administrative action, or from changes in FDA policy during the period of product development, clinical trials and FDA regulatory review. It is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted, or whether FDA or foreign regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes, if any, may be.

In certain cases in the future, we may develop therapies that may represent a new class of drug for which the FDA and its foreign counterparts have not yet established any definitive policies, practices or guidelines in relation to these drugs. For example, we may in the future develop product candidates that we believe are regulated as new drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, but the FDA could decide to regulate them or other products we may develop as biologics under the Public Health Service Act. The lack of policies, practices or guidelines may hinder or slow review by the FDA of any regulatory filings that we may submit. Moreover, the FDA may respond to these submissions by defining requirements we may not have anticipated. Such responses could lead to significant delays in the clinical development of our product candidates. In addition, because there may be approved treatments for some of the diseases for which we may seek approval, in order to receive regulatory approval, we may need to demonstrate through clinical trials that the product candidates we develop to treat these diseases, if any, are not only safe and effective, but safer or more effective than existing products.

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

We are also subject to numerous foreign regulatory requirements governing, among other things, the conduct of clinical trials, manufacturing and marketing authorization, pricing and third-party reimbursement. The foreign regulatory approval process varies among countries and may include all of the risks associated with FDA approval described above as well as risks attributable to the satisfaction of local regulations in foreign jurisdictions. Moreover, the time required to obtain approval may differ from that required to obtain FDA approval. Approval by the FDA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities outside the U.S. and vice versa.

Interim, “top-line,” and preliminary data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available or as additional analyses are conducted, and as the data are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

From time to time, we may publish interim, “top-line,” or preliminary data from our clinical studies. Interim data from clinical trials that we may complete are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available. Preliminary or “top-line” data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, interim and preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Material adverse changes between preliminary, “top-line,” or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects.

 

 

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We may be unable to obtain orphan drug designation or exclusivity. If our competitors are able to obtain orphan drug exclusivity for products that constitute the same drug and treat the same indications as our product candidates, we may not be able to have competing products approved by the applicable regulatory authority for a significant period of time.

We have received orphan drug designation for lixivaptan for ADPKD in the United States and we may in the future seek orphan drug designation for certain of our other product candidates, but we may be unable to maintain orphan drug designation or obtain any benefits associated with orphan drug designation, including market exclusivity. Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union, may designate drugs and biologics intended to treat relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, FDA may designate a product candidate as an orphan drug if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is defined as a disease or condition having a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales in the United States. In the European Union, the European Commission after recommendation from the EMA’s Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products grants orphan drug designation to promote the development of products that are intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition affecting not more than 5 in 10,000 persons in the European Union. Additionally, orphan designation is granted for products intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening, seriously debilitating or serious and chronic condition and when, without incentives, it is unlikely that sales of the drug in the European Union would be sufficient to justify the necessary investment in developing the drug or biologic product.

Certain of our current product candidates, and our future potential product candidates may target patient populations that are smaller than the numbers described above. If we request orphan drug designation for our product candidates, there can be no assurances that FDA or the European Commission will grant any of our product candidates such designation. Additionally, the designation of any of our product candidates as an orphan product does not guarantee that any regulatory agency will accelerate regulatory review of, or ultimately approve, that product candidate, nor does it limit the ability of any regulatory agency to grant orphan drug designation to product candidates of other companies that treat the same indications as our product candidates prior to our product candidates receiving exclusive marketing approval.

Generally, if a product candidate with an orphan drug designation receives the first marketing approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to a period of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the FDA or the European Commission from approving another marketing application for a product that constitutes the same drug treating the same indication for that marketing exclusivity period, except in limited circumstances. If another sponsor receives such approval before we do (regardless of our orphan drug designation), we will be precluded from receiving marketing approval for our product for the applicable exclusivity period. The applicable period is seven years in the United States and 10 years in the European Union. The exclusivity period in the United States can be extended by six months if the sponsor submits pediatric data that fairly respond to a written request from the FDA for such data. The exclusivity period in the European Union can be reduced to six years if a product no longer meets the criteria for orphan drug designation or if the product is sufficiently profitable so that market exclusivity is no longer justified. Orphan drug exclusivity may be revoked if any regulatory agency determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.

Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product candidate, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product candidate from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition. In the United States, even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA may subsequently approve another drug for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the latter drug is not the same drug or is clinically superior in that it is

 

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shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. In the European Union, marketing authorization may be granted to a similar medicinal product for the same orphan indication if:

 

   

the second applicant can establish in its application that its medicinal product, although similar to the orphan medicinal product already authorized, is safer, more effective or otherwise clinically superior;

 

   

the holder of the marketing authorization for the original orphan medicinal product consents to a second orphan medicinal product application; or

 

   

the holder of the marketing authorization for the original orphan medicinal product cannot supply sufficient quantities of orphan medicinal product.

We face significant competition in an environment of rapid technological change and the possibility that our competitors may achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are more advanced or effective than ours, which may adversely affect our ability to successfully market or commercialize our product candidates and our financial condition.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are characterized by rapidly changing technologies, significant competition and a strong emphasis on intellectual property. We face substantial competition from many different sources, including large and specialty pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic research institutions, government agencies and public and private research institutions. In addition, we face competition from other companies that have adopted business models that are similar to ours in which they establish strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations, or enter into licensing arrangements with third parties for programs, product candidates, technologies or intellectual property. We may not be able to compete effectively with such companies. See “—We may not be successful in our efforts to use our differentiated asset-centric business model to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.”

For example, for our clinical-stage product candidates, our main competitors include:

 

   

For lixivaptan, tolvaptan for the treatment of ADPKD, along with venglustat and bardoxolone, which are currently undergoing Phase 3 trials.

 

   

For SerpinPC, approved treatments such as emicizumab that are factor replacement therapies. In addition to these approaches, gene therapies for HA and HB are being developed by various sponsors including BioMarin, Pfizer/Spark and Freeline.

 

   

For imgatuzumab, anti-PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitors such as cemiplimab and pembrolizumab. Cetuximab is also used off-label for advanced CSCC patients who are ineligible for anti-PD1 therapy or who relapse after treatment. Beyond immune checkpoint inhibitors, cisplatin-based combinations have demonstrated modest activity but with significant toxicity.

 

   

For Z874, several product candidates in clinical development such as VX-864 being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ARO-AAT being developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and belcesiran being developed by Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for A1ATD.

Many of our potential competitors, alone or with their strategic partners, may have substantially greater financial, technical and other resources, such as larger research and development, clinical, marketing and manufacturing organizations. Mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of competitors. Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any products that we may develop. Competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly or earlier than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our product being prevented from being marketed for significant periods (for example, where our competitor has secured regulatory exclusivity) or our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. Additionally, technologies

 

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developed by our competitors may render our potential product candidates uneconomical or obsolete, and we may not be successful in marketing our product candidates against competitors.

In addition, as a result of the expiration or successful challenge of our patent rights, we could face more litigation with respect to the validity and/or scope of patents relating to our competitors’ products. The availability of our competitors’ products could limit the demand, and the price we are able to charge, for any products that we may develop and commercialize.

Our product candidates and the process for administering our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit the commercial potential or result in significant negative consequences following any potential marketing approval.

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects. Additionally, the administration process or related procedures also can cause adverse side effects. Adverse events that occur in our trials may cause us, or cause regulatory authorities or others to order us to halt, delay or amend preclinical development or clinical development of our product candidates and could result in more restrictive labelling or the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Even if serious adverse events are unrelated to study treatment, such occurrences could affect patient enrollment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial. In addition, if any of our product candidates are tested or used in combination with other drugs, these combinations may have additional side effects, which could be more severe than those caused by either therapy alone.

Additionally, certain of our product candidates could cause undesirable side effects in clinical trials related to on-target toxicity. 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.

Furthermore, 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 or those of our competitors may only be uncovered when a significantly larger number of patients have been exposed to the drug. While we believe that our product candidates have demonstrated manageable tolerability profiles thus far in the target indications, there can be no assurance that it or any of our other product candidates will not cause more severe side effects in a greater proportion of patients. In addition, some of our product candidates are intended to address limitations in current treatment approaches by offering potentially greater tolerability. If we do not observe a favorable tolerability profile in testing of such product candidates that differentiate them from competitors in the market, we may decide to suspend or terminate development of such candidates.

In addition, certain of our product candidates target diseases that are life-threatening or are associated with significant co-morbidities. For example, some of our product candidates are designed to address cancers, an indication in which patients may undergo treatment with other therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation, and/or other high dose or myeloablative treatments in the course of treatment of their disease, and may therefore experience side effects or AEs, including death, that are unrelated to our product candidates. While these side effects or AEs may be unrelated to our product candidates, they may still affect the success of our clinical trials. The inclusion of critically ill patients in our clinical trials may also result in deaths or other adverse medical events due to underlying disease or to other therapies or medications that such patients may receive.

Additionally, if any of our product candidates receives marketing approval, FDA could require us to adopt REMS, to ensure that the benefits outweigh its risks, which may include, among other things, a medication guide outlining the risks of the product for distribution to patients and a communication plan to health care

 

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practitioners. Furthermore, if we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by our product candidate, several potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

 

   

regulatory authorities may suspend or withdraw approvals of such product candidate;

 

   

regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label;

 

   

we may be required to change the way a product candidate is administered or conduct additional clinical trials;

 

   

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

 

   

our reputation may suffer.

Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of our product candidates and could significantly harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

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.

Currently, most of the product candidates in our pipeline have not yet commenced clinical trials, and are in preclinical development and IND-enabling activities. We may not be able to file INDs for our product candidates 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.

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

We are planning to conduct future clinical trials for certain product candidates 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 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.

Even if we obtain and maintain approval for our product candidates from the FDA, we may never obtain approval for our product candidates outside of the United States, which would limit our market opportunities and adversely affect our business.

Approval of a product candidate in the United States by the FDA does not ensure approval of such product candidate by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions, and approval by one foreign regulatory

 

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authority does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other foreign countries or by the FDA. Sales of our product candidates outside of the United States will be subject to foreign regulatory requirements governing clinical trials and marketing approval. Even if the FDA grants marketing approval for a product candidate, comparable regulatory authorities of foreign countries also must approve the manufacturing and marketing of the product candidates in those countries. Approval procedures vary among jurisdictions and can involve requirements and administrative review periods different from, and more onerous than, those in the United States, including additional preclinical studies or clinical trials. In many countries outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that country. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for our products, if approved, is also subject to approval. We intend to submit a marketing authorization application to the EMA for approval of our product candidates in the European Union, but obtaining such approval from the European Commission following the opinion of the EMA is a lengthy and expensive process. We may also submit marketing applications to regulators in other jurisdictions, such as to the MHRA in the United Kingdom. Even if a product candidate is approved, the FDA, the European Commission, the MHRA and other foreign regulatory authorities, as the case may be, may limit the indications for which the product may be marketed, require extensive warnings on the product labeling or require expensive and time-consuming additional clinical trials or reporting as conditions of approval. Regulatory authorities in countries outside of the United States and the European Union also have requirements for approval of product candidates with which we must comply prior to marketing in those countries. 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 product candidates in certain countries.

Further, clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries. Also, regulatory approval for any of our product candidates may be withdrawn. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be harmed and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects will be adversely affected.

A Fast Track designation by the FDA, even if granted, 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 or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and the product demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the product sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation for a particular indication. We may seek Fast Track designation for certain of our current and future product candidates, but there is no assurance that the FDA will grant this status to any of our proposed product candidates. 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.

Even if we receive regulatory approval of one or more of our product candidates, we would 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

 

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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 (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;

 

   

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 market opportunities for our oncology product candidates may be relatively small since the patients who may potentially be treated with our oncology product candidates are those 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 by line of therapy (first line, second line, third line, fourth line, etc.), and the FDA often approves new therapies initially only for a particular line or lines 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. 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.

 

 

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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.

If we decide in the future to develop our product candidates in combination with other therapies, such strategy may expose us to additional risks.

We may in the future develop one or more of our product candidates in combination with one or more approved or unapproved therapies. Even if any product candidate we develop were to receive marketing approval for use in combination with other approved therapies, the FDA, the EMA, the MHRA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities outside of the United States could still revoke approval of the therapy used in combination with our product. If the therapies used in combination with our product candidates are replaced as the standard of care for the indications we choose for any of our product candidates, the FDA, the EMA, the MHRA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to conduct additional clinical trials. The occurrence of any of these risks could result in our own products, if approved, being removed from the market or being less successful commercially.

Further, we will not be able to market and sell any product candidate we develop in combination with an unapproved cancer therapy for a combination indication if that unapproved therapy does not ultimately obtain marketing approval either alone or in combination with our product. In addition, unapproved cancer therapies face the same risks described with respect to our product candidates currently in development and clinical trials, including the potential for serious adverse effects, delay in their clinical trials and lack of FDA approval.

If the FDA, EMA, MHRA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities do not approve these other products or revoke their approval of, or if safety, efficacy, quality, manufacturing or supply issues arise with, the products we choose to evaluate in combination with our product candidate we develop, we may be unable to obtain approval of or market such combination therapy.

Certain of our product candidates are expected to be used with a drug delivery system and thus may be regulated as a combination product and may face additional challenges, risks and delays in the product development and regulatory approval process.

Our intranasal OX2R agonist program is expected to be used with the Optinose Bi-Directional Exhalation Delivery System, to which we have an exclusive license agreement. When evaluating product candidates that utilize a specific drug delivery system or device, the FDA will evaluate the characteristics of that delivery system and its functionality, as well as the potential for undesirable interactions between the drug and the delivery system, including the potential to negatively impact the safety or effectiveness of the drug. Intranasal OX2R is in preclinical development and use of the Optinose Bi-Directional Exhalation Delivery System with OX2R may be unsuccessful in clinical trials and we may have to identify another delivery device or develop our own. The FDA review process can be more complicated for combination products, and may result in delays, particularly if novel delivery systems are involved. Additionally, quality or design concerns with the delivery system could delay or prevent regulatory approval and commercialization of intranasal OX2R.

 

 

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Risks Related to our Reliance on Third Parties

We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials and if these third parties perform in an unsatisfactory manner, our business could be substantially harmed.

We currently conduct and expect to continue to rely on third parties such as CROs to conduct our clinical trials. However, we do not currently have the ability to independently conduct large-scale clinical trials, such as a Phase 3 clinical trial, without assistance of third parties.

We have relied upon and plan to continue to rely upon medical institutions, clinical investigators, contract laboratories and other third parties, such as CROs, to conduct or assist us in conducting GCP-compliant clinical trials on our product candidates properly and on time, and may not currently have all of the necessary contractual relationships in place to do so. Once we have established contractual relationships with such third-party CROs, we will have only limited control over their actual performance of these activities.

We and our CROs and other vendors are required to comply with cGMP, GCP and GLP which are regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA, the Competent Authorities of the Member States of the European Union and any comparable foreign regulatory authorities for all of our product candidates in preclinical and clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these regulations through periodic inspections of trial sponsors, principal investigators, clinical trial sites and other contractors. Although we rely on CROs to conduct any current or planned GLP-compliant preclinical studies and GCP-compliant clinical trials and have limited influence over their actual performance, we remain responsible for ensuring that each of our preclinical studies and clinical trials is conducted in accordance with its investigational plan and protocol and applicable laws and regulations, and our reliance on the CROs does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. If we or any of our CROs or vendors fail to comply with applicable regulations, the data generated in our preclinical studies and clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA, EMA, MHRA or any comparable foreign regulatory agency may require us to perform additional preclinical studies and clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure you that upon inspection by a given regulatory agency, such regulatory agency will determine that all of our clinical trials comply with GCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with products produced under cGMP requirements. Our failure to comply with these requirements may require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process.

While we will have agreements governing their activities, our CROs will not be our employees, and we will not be able to control whether or not they devote sufficient time and resources to our future preclinical and clinical programs. These CROs 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 harm our business. We face the risk of potential unauthorized disclosure or misappropriation of our intellectual property by CROs, which may reduce our trade secret protection and allow our potential competitors to access and exploit our proprietary technology. CROs also may use our proprietary information and intellectual property in such a way as to result in litigation or other intellectual property-related proceedings that could jeopardize or invalidate our proprietary information and intellectual property. If our CROs do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations, fail to meet expected deadlines, 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 any other reason, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for, or successfully commercialize any product candidate that we develop. As a result, our financial results and the commercial prospects for any product candidate that we develop would be harmed, our costs could increase, and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed.

If our relationships with these CROs terminate, we may not be able to enter into arrangements with alternative CROs or do so on commercially reasonable terms. Switching or adding additional CROs involves substantial cost and requires management time and focus, and could delay development and commercialization of our product candidates. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new CRO commences work. As a result, delays

 

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occur, which can negatively impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines. Though we intend to carefully manage our relationships with our CROs, there can be no assurance that we will not encounter challenges or delays in the future or that these delays or challenges will not have a negative impact on our business and financial condition.

We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in our development or commercialization of our programs or otherwise harm our business.

The manufacturing processes our CMOs use to produce our and our affiliates’ product candidates are complex. Several factors could cause production interruptions, including inability to develop novel manufacturing processes, equipment malfunctions, facility contamination, raw material shortages or contamination, natural disasters, disruption in utility services, human error or disruptions in the operations of our suppliers, including acquisition of the supplier by a third party or declaration of bankruptcy. The expertise required to manufacture these product candidates may be unique to a particular CMO, and as a result, it would be difficult and time consuming to find an alternative CMO.

Some of our product candidates include biologics, some of which have physical and chemical properties that cannot be fully characterized. As a result, assays of the finished product may not be sufficient to ensure that the product is consistent from lot-to-lot or will perform in the intended manner. Accordingly, our CMOs must employ multiple steps to control the manufacturing process to assure that the process is reproducible and the product candidate is made strictly and consistently in compliance with the process. Problems with the manufacturing process, even minor deviations from the normal process, could result in product defects or manufacturing failures that result in lot failures, product recalls, product liability claims or insufficient inventory to conduct clinical trials or supply commercial markets. We may encounter problems achieving adequate quantities and quality of clinical-grade materials that meet the FDA, the EMA, the MHRA or other applicable standards or specifications with consistent and acceptable production yields and costs.

In addition, the FDA, the EMA, the MHRA and other foreign regulatory authorities may require us to submit samples of any lot of any approved product together with the protocols showing the results of applicable tests at any time. Under some circumstances, the FDA, the EMA, the MHRA or other foreign regulatory authorities may require that we not distribute a lot until the agency authorizes its release. Slight deviations in the manufacturing process, including those affecting quality attributes and stability, may result in unacceptable changes in the product that could result in lot failures or product recalls. Lot failures or product recalls could cause us to delay product launches or clinical trials, which could be costly to us and otherwise harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Our CMOs also may encounter problems hiring and retaining the experienced scientific, quality assurance, quality-control and manufacturing personnel needed to operate our manufacturing processes, which could result in delays in production or difficulties in maintaining compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.

Any problems in our CMOs’ supply chain, manufacturing process or facilities could result in delays in planned clinical trials and increased costs, and could make us a less attractive collaborator for potential partners, including larger biotechnology companies and academic research institutions, which could limit access to additional attractive development programs. Problems in our manufacturing process could restrict our ability to meet potential future market demand for products.

We currently rely and expect to rely in the future on the use of third parties to manufacture our product candidates. Our business could be harmed if the third party manufacturers experience supply chain shortages, fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of our product candidates or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices or deliver defective products.

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 will need to negotiate and maintain contractual arrangements with these outside vendors for the supply of our product candidates and we

 

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may not be able to do so on favorable terms. 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;

 

   

a change in manufacturers or certain changes in manufacturing processes/procedures will require that we conduct a manufacturing comparability study to verify that any new manufacturer or manufacturing process/procedures will produce our product candidate according to the specifications previously submitted to the FDA or other regulatory authority, and such study may be unsuccessful;

 

   

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 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. Moreover, because each of our Centessa Subsidiaries has a separate manufacturing process for their programs, we will not benefit from any synergies related to manufacturing costs. We may also face logistical problems in managing different CMOs and processes for all of our Centessa Subsidiaries.

 

 

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Certain third parties upon whom we rely for the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient used in our product candidates are our sole source of supply, and the loss of any of these suppliers could significantly harm our business.

Certain of the third parties upon whom we rely for the supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient used in our product candidates are our sole source of supply, and the loss of any of these suppliers could significantly harm our business. The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) used in certain of our product candidates are supplied to us from single-source suppliers. Our ability to successfully develop our product candidates, and to ultimately supply our commercial products in quantities sufficient to meet the market demand, depends in part on our ability to obtain the API for these products in accordance with regulatory requirements and in sufficient quantities for clinical testing and commercialization. We do not currently have arrangements in place for a redundant or second-source supply of any such API in the event any of our current suppliers of such API cease their operations for any reason. We are also unable to predict how changing global economic conditions or potential global health concerns such as the COVID-19 pandemic will affect our third-party suppliers and manufacturers. Any negative impact of such matters on our third-party suppliers and manufacturers may also have an adverse impact on our results of operations or financial condition. For all of our product candidates, we intend to identify and qualify additional manufacturers to provide such API prior to submission of an NDA or BLA (as applicable) to the FDA and/or EMA, MHRA or other applicable regulatory bodies. We are not certain, however, that our single-source suppliers will be able to meet our demand for their products, either because of the nature of our agreements with those suppliers, our limited experience with those suppliers or our relative importance as a customer to those suppliers. It may be difficult for us to assess their ability to timely meet our demand in the future based on past performance. While our suppliers have generally met our demand for their products on a timely basis in the past, they may subordinate our needs in the future to their other customers. Establishing additional or replacement suppliers for the API used in our product candidates, if required, may not be accomplished quickly. If we are able to find a replacement supplier, such replacement supplier would need to be qualified and may require additional regulatory inspection or approval, which could result in further delay. While we seek to maintain adequate inventory of the API used in our product candidates, any interruption or delay in the supply of components or materials, or our inability to obtain such API from alternate sources at acceptable prices in a timely manner could impede, delay, limit or prevent our development efforts, which could harm our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

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.

If we are unable to obtain licenses from third parties on commercially reasonable terms or fail to comply with our obligations under such agreements, our business could be harmed.

It may be necessary for us to use the patented or proprietary technology of third parties to commercialize our products, in which case we would be required to obtain a license from these third parties. If we are unable to license such technology, or if we are forced to license such technology, on unfavorable terms, our business could

 

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be materially harmed. If we are unable to obtain a necessary license, we may be unable to develop or commercialize the affected product candidates, which could materially harm our business, and the third parties owning such intellectual property rights could seek either an injunction prohibiting our sales, or, with respect to our sales, an obligation on our part to pay royalties and/or other forms of compensation. Even if we are able to obtain a license, it may be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us.

If we fail to comply with our obligations under our license agreements, our counterparties may have the right to terminate these agreements, in which event we might not be able to develop, manufacture or market, or may be forced to cease developing, manufacturing or marketing, any product that is covered by these agreements or may face other penalties under such agreements. Such an occurrence could materially adversely affect the value of the product candidate being developed under any such agreement. Termination of these agreements or reduction or elimination of our rights under these agreements may result in our having to negotiate new or reinstated agreements with less favorable terms, cause us to lose our rights under these agreements, including our rights to important intellectual property or technology, or impede, delay or prohibit the further development or commercialization of one or more product candidates that rely on such agreements.

We or the third parties upon whom we depend may be adversely affected by earthquakes, outbreak of disease, or other natural disasters and our business continuity and disaster recovery plans may not adequately protect us from a serious disaster.

Earthquakes, outbreak of disease, or other natural disasters could severely disrupt our operations, and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. If a natural disaster, power outage or other event occurred that prevented us from using all or a significant portion of our headquarters, that damaged critical infrastructure, such as the manufacturing facilities of our third-party CMOs, or that otherwise disrupted operations, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. For example, in December 2019, an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. See “—Business interruptions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak or similar public health crises could cause a disruption of the development of our product candidates and adversely impact our business.” In addition, two vaccines for the coronavirus were granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA in late 2020 and a third in February 2021, and more are likely to be authorized in the coming months. The resultant demand for vaccines and potential for manufacturing facilities and materials to be commandeered under the Defense Production Act of 1950, or equivalent foreign legislation, may make it more difficult to obtain materials or manufacturing slots for the products needed for our clinical trials, which could lead to delays in these trials. The disaster recovery and business continuity plans we have in place currently are limited and are unlikely to prove adequate in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which, particularly when taken together with our lack of earthquake insurance, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates and technology or other product candidates that may be identified, or if the scope of the intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize product candidates similar or identical to the product candidates, and our ability to successfully commercialize the product candidates and other product candidates that we may pursue may be impaired.

As is the case with other pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, our success depends in significant part on our ability and the ability of our licensors and collaborators to obtain, maintain, enforce and defend patents and other intellectual property rights with respect to our product candidates and technology and to operate our business without infringing, misappropriating, or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of others. We have and expect to continue to maintain and expand our own patent estate. See “Business—Intellectual Property.”

 

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We have also licensed patent and other intellectual property rights to and from our partners. For more information, see “Business—License Agreements.” Some of these licenses give us the right to prepare, file and prosecute patent applications and maintain and enforce patents we have licensed, whereas other licenses may not give us such rights. In some circumstances, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications or to maintain the patents covering technology that we license to or from our partners, and we may have to rely on our partners to fulfill these responsibilities. Consequently, these patents and applications may not be prosecuted and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. If our current or future licensors, licensees or collaborators fail to establish, maintain or protect such patents and other intellectual property rights, such rights may be reduced or eliminated. If our licensors, licensees or collaborators 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.

The patent prosecution process is expensive and time-consuming. We and our current or future licensors, licensees or collaborators may not be able to prepare, file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. It is also possible that we or our licensors will fail to file patent applications covering inventions made in the course of development and commercialization activities before a competitor or another third party files a patent application covering, or publishes information disclosing, a similar, independently-developed invention. Such competitor’s patent application may pose obstacles to our ability to obtain or limit the scope of patent protection we may obtain. Although we enter into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to confidential or patentable aspects of our research and development output, such as our employees, collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose such output before a patent application is filed, thereby jeopardizing our ability to seek patent protection. In addition, publications of discoveries in the scientific 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. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to make the inventions claimed in our owned or licensed patents or pending patent applications, or were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions, or if such licensed patents rights may otherwise become invalid.

The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies generally is uncertain, involves complex legal and factual questions and is the subject of much litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our and our current or future licensors’ patent rights are uncertain. Our and our licensors’ pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued that protect our technology or products, in whole or in part, or which effectively exclude others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. The patent examination process may require us or our licensors to narrow the scope of the claims of our pending and future patent applications, and therefore, even if such patent applications 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 any competitive advantage. Our and our licensors’ patent applications cannot be enforced against third parties practicing the technology claimed in such applications unless and until a patent issues from such applications, and then only to the extent the issued claims cover such technology. Any of the foregoing could harm our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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 United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), objecting to the registration of our trademark. Although we would

 

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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.

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

We rely on trade secrets and confidentiality agreements to protect our unpatented know-how, technology and other proprietary information and to maintain our competitive position. Trade secrets and know-how can be difficult to protect. We seek to protect these trade secrets and other proprietary technology, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to them, such as our employees, collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. We cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or has had access to our trade secrets or proprietary technology and processes. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. These risks are heightened due to our reliance on third parties, including third party consultants, CROs and CMOs, for certain aspects of our business. The activities conducted by our third party vendors require us to share our trade secrets with them, which increases the possibility that a competitor will discover them or that our trade secrets will be misappropriated or disclosed. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, our competitive position would be materially and adversely harmed.

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.

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. Even if we believe third-party intellectual property claims are without merit, there is no assurance that a court would find in our favor on questions of infringement, validity, enforceability, or priority. With regard to our subsidiary Capella Bioscience, we are aware of issued patents in Europe owned by La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology (the “La Jolla patents”) that are directed to a method of treatment with an inhibitor of LIGHT. The La Jolla patents could be construed to cover, and the owner of such patent may claim

 

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that its patents do cover, certain product candidates and technologies, including Capella Bioscience’s anti-LIGHT antibody in certain treatment indications in certain European jurisdictions. The La Jolla patents are expected to expire in 2028, without taking into account any possible patent term adjustments or extensions. The La Jolla patents are currently subject to an opposition proceeding at the EPO brought by European Oppositions Limited which may result in a narrowing of the patents scope or loss of rights under the patents or the patents may be upheld in their granted form. There can be no assurance that the challenge by European Oppositions Limited against the La Jolla patents, or other proceedings challenging the La Jolla patents, will be successful. Depending on the outcome of challenges to the La Jolla patents, Capella Bioscience’s product launch in Europe, if a product is approved, may need to be delayed until after the expiry of the La Jolla patents.

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 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, 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 ADSs.

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.

 

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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 European Patent Office (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 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

 

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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 become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents or other intellectual property, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful, and issued patents covering our technology and product candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged.

Competitors and other third parties may infringe or otherwise violate our issued patents or other intellectual property or the patents or other intellectual property of our licensors. In addition, our patents or the patents of our licensors may become involved in inventorship or priority disputes. Our pending patent applications cannot be enforced against third parties practicing the technology claimed in such applications unless and until a patent issues from such applications. To counter infringement or other unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Any claims we assert against perceived infringers could provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us alleging that we infringe their patents or that our patents or our licensed patents are invalid or unenforceable. In a patent infringement proceeding, a court may decide that a patent of ours or a licensed patent is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, construe the patent’s claims narrowly or refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover the technology. An adverse result in any litigation proceeding could put one or more of our owned or licensed patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable or interpreted narrowly. We may find it impractical or undesirable to enforce our intellectual property against some third parties.

If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent directed to our product candidates, or one of our future product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness, non-enablement or insufficient written description. 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 the USPTO or an equivalent foreign body, even outside the context of litigation. Potential proceedings include re-examination, post-grant review, inter partes review, interference proceedings, derivation proceedings and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions (e.g., opposition proceedings). Such proceedings could result in the revocation of, cancellation of, or amendment to our patents in such a way that they no longer cover our technology or any product candidates that we may develop. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on the applicable product candidates or technology covered by the patent rendered invalid or unenforceable. Such a loss of patent protection would materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Interference proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by us or declared by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patents or patent applications. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be materially harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms.

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.

Our competitors maybe larger than we are and may have substantially greater resources. They are, therefore, likely to be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation or proceedings more effectively

 

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than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing upon, misappropriating or otherwise violating our intellectual property. Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims could result in substantial costs and diversion of management resources, which could harm our business. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could compromise our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our clinical trials, continue our internal research programs, or in-license needed technology or other product candidates. There could also be public announcements of the results of the hearing, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive those results to be negative, it could cause the price of shares of our ADSs to decline. Any of the foregoing events could harm our business, financial condition, results of operation and prospects.

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

Even if resolved in our favor, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims may cause us to incur significant expenses, and could distract our technical and management personnel from their normal responsibilities. 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 ADSs. 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. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could compromise our ability to compete in the marketplace, including compromising our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our clinical trials, continue our research programs, license necessary technology from third parties, or enter into development collaborations that would help us commercialize our product candidates, if approved. Any of the foregoing events would harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

The patent protection we obtain for our product candidates and technology may be challenged or not sufficient enough to provide us with any competitive advantage.

Even if our owned or licensed patent applications issue as patents, the issuance of any such patents is not conclusive as to their inventorship, scope, validity, or enforceability, and such patents may be challenged, invalidated or held to be unenforceable, including in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad, or circumvented. We may be subject to a third party preissuance submission of prior art to the USPTO, or equivalent foreign bodies, or become involved in opposition, derivation, revocation, re-examination, post-grant and inter partes review, or interference proceedings challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others.

Currently, one of our in-licensed European patents related to Morphogen’s MGX292 is involved in a European opposition proceeding at the EPO. While we and the licensor are defending against this opposition, there is a risk that one or more of the grounds raised by the opponents will invalidate one or more of the granted claims or require an amendment of the claims in a way that does not cover our product candidates. This may prevent us from asserting this patent against our competitors marketing otherwise infringing products in relevant European countries where this patent has been granted.

An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation 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 third-party patent rights. Moreover, we, or one of our licensors, may have to participate in interference proceedings declared by the USPTO to determine priority of invention or in post-grant challenge

 

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proceedings, such as oppositions in a foreign patent office, that challenge priority of invention or other features of patentability. Such proceedings and any other patent challenges may result in loss of patent rights, loss of exclusivity, loss of priority, 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 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. Any of the foregoing could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Furthermore, given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolios may not provide us with adequate protection against third parties seeking to commercialize products similar or identical to ours. We expect to request extensions of patent terms to the extent available in countries where we obtain issued patents. In the United States, the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 permits a patent term extension of up to five years beyond the expiration of the patent. However, there are no assurances that the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority or national patent office will grant such extensions, in whole or in part. In such case, our competitors may launch their products earlier than might otherwise be anticipated. Moreover, some of our owned or in-licensed patents and patent applications are, and may in the future be, co-owned with third parties. If we are unable to obtain an exclusive license to any such co-owners’ interest in such 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 may need the cooperation of any such co-owners in order to enforce such patents against third parties, and such cooperation may not be provided to us.

In addition, our owned and in-licensed patents may be subject to a reservation of rights by the licensor, its affiliates and one or more third parties. When new technologies are developed with government funding, the government generally obtains certain rights in any resulting patents, including a non-exclusive license authorizing the government to use the invention for noncommercial purposes. These rights may permit the government to disclose our confidential information to third parties or allow third parties to use our licensed technology. The government can also exercise its march-in rights if it determines that action is necessary because we fail to achieve practical application of the government-funded technology, because action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs, to meet requirements of federal regulations, or to give preference to U.S. industry. In addition, our rights in such inventions may be subject to certain requirements to manufacture products embodying such inventions in the United States. Any of the foregoing could harm our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may be subject to claims by third parties asserting that we or our employees have infringed upon, misappropriated or otherwise violated their intellectual property rights, or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.

Many of our employees were previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. Although we try to ensure that our employees, consultants and advisors do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or these individuals have used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such individual’s former employer. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims.

In addition, we or our licensors may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators, or other third parties have an interest in our owned or in-licensed patents or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. While it is our policy to require our employees and contractors who may be involved in the development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who in fact develops intellectual property that we

 

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regard as our own. Our and their assignment agreements may not be self-executing or may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property.

If we fail in prosecuting or 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 prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs, delay development of our product candidates and be a distraction to management. Any of the foregoing events would harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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

Filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing patents on our product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and state laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own drugs and may export otherwise infringing drugs to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement rights are not as strong as those in the United States. These drugs may compete with our product candidates and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of some countries do not favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful.

Many countries, including major European Union countries, India, Japan and China, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled under specified circumstances to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In those countries, we may have limited remedies if patents are infringed or if we are compelled to grant a license to a third party, which could materially diminish the value of those patents. This could limit our potential revenue opportunities. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce 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, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

A number of our programs and associated product candidates are heavily dependent on licensed intellectual property. If we were to lose our rights to licensed intellectual property, we may not be able to continue developing or commercializing our product candidates, if approved. If we breach any of the agreements under which we license the use, development and commercialization rights to our product candidates or technology from third parties or, in certain cases, we fail to meet certain development deadlines, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

We are heavily reliant upon licenses to certain patent rights and other intellectual property from third parties that are important or necessary to the development of our product candidates. See “Business—License Agreements.” We may also need to obtain additional licenses to advance the development and commercialization of other

 

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product candidates we may develop. We expect that future license agreements will impose upon us, various development, regulatory and or commercial diligence obligations, payment of milestones and/or royalties and other obligations. If we fail to comply with our obligations under these agreements, or we are subject to a bankruptcy-related event, the licensor may have the right to terminate the license, in which event we would not be able to develop, market or otherwise commercialize products covered by the license, and in some instances, may be also obligated to transfer back to licensor our developments related to the licensed product and associated regulatory rights. Our business could suffer, for example, if any current or future licenses terminate, if the licensors fail to abide by the terms of the license, if the licensed patents or other rights are found to be invalid or unenforceable, or if we are unable to enter into necessary licenses on acceptable terms.

Licensing of intellectual property is of critical importance to our business and involves complex legal, business and scientific issues and certain provisions in intellectual property license agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. Disputes may arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including:

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

our right to transfer, assign, or sublicense patent and other rights to third parties;

 

   

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

 

   

our right to transfer or assign the license;

 

   

the ability and effects of termination; and

 

   

restrictive covenants that may restrict our abilities to compete or market competing products.

The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology, or increase what we believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement, either of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product candidates.

We may enter into additional licenses to third-party intellectual property that are necessary or useful to our business. Our current licenses and any future licenses that we may enter into impose various fees, royalty payment, milestone and other obligations on us. Under some license agreements, we may not control prosecution of the licensed intellectual property, or may not have the first right to enforce the intellectual property. In those cases, we may not be able to adequately influence patent prosecution or enforcement, or prevent inadvertent lapses of coverage due to failure to pay maintenance fees. If we fail to comply with any of our obligations under a current or future license agreement, the licensor may allege that we have breached our license agreement, and may accordingly seek to terminate our license. Termination of any of our current or future licenses could result in our loss of the right to use the licensed intellectual property, which could materially adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize a product candidate or product, if approved, as well as harm our competitive business position and our business prospects. Under some license agreements, termination may also result in the transfer or granting of rights under certain of our intellectual property and information related to the product candidate being developed under the license, such as regulatory information.

 

 

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In addition, if our licensors fail to abide by the terms of the license, if the licensors fail to prevent infringement by third parties, if the licensed patents or other rights are found to be invalid or unenforceable, or if we are unable to enter into necessary licenses on acceptable terms, our business, competitive position, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially harmed.

Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates for an adequate amount of time. If we are not able to obtain patent term extension or non-patent exclusivity in the United States under the Hatch-Waxman Act and in foreign countries under similar legislation, thereby potentially extending the marketing exclusivity term of our product candidates, our business may be materially harmed.

Patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date. Various extensions may be available, but the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Even if patents covering our product candidates are obtained, once the patent life has expired for a product candidate, we may be open to competition from competitive medications, including generic medications. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such product candidates might expire before or shortly after such product candidates are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing product candidates similar or identical to ours.

For instance, for our subsidiary, Pega-One SAS, in-licensed patents and patent applications directed to imgatuzumab and uses thereof are expected to expire between 2026 and 2028, which do not include any possible patent term extension. Our in-licensed patents may expire before, or soon after, our first product achieves marketing approval in the United States or foreign jurisdictions. Upon the expiration of our current patents, we may lose the right to exclude others from practicing these inventions. The expiration of these patents could also have a similar material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations.

For our subsidiary, Palladio Biosciences, the earliest in-licensed patents directed to composition of matter of lixivaptan and certain methods of use related to lixivaptan have expired. The expiration of these patents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations. We own pending patent applications directed to methods of treatment with lixivaptan that, if issued as patents, are expected to expire in 2038, without taking into account any possible patent term adjustments or extensions. However, we cannot be assured that the USPTO or relevant foreign patent offices will grant any of these patent applications.

With respect to Pega-One, we intend to utilize new preclinical, clinical and combination proprietary data to expand the product-specific patents estate. Additionally, with respect to our biologics products, we hope to take advantage of enhanced regulatory exclusivity periods, such as the 12 years of regulatory exclusivity available to biologics manufacturers under the Biologics Competition and Innovation Act of 2009. However, despite these measures, we may still lose the right the exclude others from practicing these inventions, which may negatively impact our business.

Depending upon the timing, duration and conditions of any FDA marketing approval of our product candidates, one or more of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, and similar legislation in the European Union. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent term extension of up to five years for a patent covering an approved product as compensation for effective patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. However, we may not receive an extension if we fail to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, fail to apply within applicable deadlines, fail to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents or otherwise fail to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the length of the extension could be less than we request. Only one patent per approved product can be extended, the extension cannot extend the total

 

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patent term beyond 14 years from approval and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the period during which we can enforce our patent rights for the applicable product candidate will be shortened and our competitors may obtain approval to market competing products sooner. As a result, our revenue from applicable products could be reduced. Further, if this occurs, our competitors may take advantage of our investment in development and trials by referencing our clinical and preclinical data and launch their product earlier than might otherwise be the case, and our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially harmed.

Changes in patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our product candidates.

Obtaining and enforcing patents in the pharmaceutical industry is inherently uncertain, due in part to ongoing changes in the patent laws. Depending on decisions by Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents, and interpretation thereof, could change in unpredictable ways that could weaken our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ ability to obtain new patents or to enforce existing or future patents. For example, the Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, either narrowing the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakening the rights of patent owners in certain situations. Therefore, there is increased uncertainty with regard to our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ ability to obtain patents in the future, as well as uncertainty with respect to the value of patents once obtained.

Recent patent reform legislation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our and our licensors’ or collaborators’ patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our or our licensors’ or collaborators’ issued patents. Assuming that other requirements for patentability are met, prior to March 2013, in the United States, the first to invent the claimed invention was entitled to the patent, while outside the United States, the first to file a patent application was entitled to the patent. After March 2013, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the Leahy-Smith Act), enacted in September 2011, the United States transitioned to a first inventor to file system in which, assuming that other requirements for patentability are met, the first inventor to file a patent application will be entitled to the patent on an invention regardless of whether a third party was the first to invent the claimed invention. The Leahy-Smith Act also includes a number of significant changes that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. These include allowing 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. The USPTO recently developed new regulations and procedures to govern administration of the Leahy-Smith Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith Act, particularly the first inventor-to-file provisions. Accordingly, it is not clear what, if any, impact the Leahy-Smith Act will have on the operation of our business. However, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our or our licensors’ patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our or our licensors’ issued patents, all of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Intellectual property rights do not necessarily address all potential threats.

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

 

   

others may be able to make products that are similar to any product candidates we may develop or utilize similar technology but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we license or may own in the future;

 

   

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

 

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we, or our current or future licensors might not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our or their inventions;

 

   

others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our owned or licensed intellectual property rights;

 

   

it is possible that our pending owned or licensed patent applications or those that we may own or license in the future will not lead to issued patents;

 

   

issued patents that we hold rights to may be held invalid or unenforceable, including as a result of legal challenges by our competitors;

 

   

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

 

   

we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;

 

   

the patents of others may harm our business; and

 

   

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 intellectual property.

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

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

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

We engage a number of consultants employed by academic institutions in jurisdictions that contain inventorship laws mandating that any inventions developed by such consultants whilst performing consultancy services automatically or otherwise shall reside in the employing institution and granting such institutions the first right to develop and/or commercialize such inventions. We may not be able to secure rights (whether through ownership or license interest) in inventions developed by such consultants during performance of consulting services for our companies.

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

 

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Despite our undertaking of the measures listed above, we are subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property and may be subject to further claims in the future. For example, our subsidiary PearlRiver Bio has entered into consulting arrangements with a number of its founders and other investigators who, in each case, are employed by or affiliated with certain universities in Germany. The consulting arrangements provide that in the event such consultants invent during the course of performing activities for PearlRiver Bio, such invention shall nonetheless be owned by the employing university and the employing university would be entitled to commercialize the invention. In order for PearlRiver Bio to gain access to such invention, it would need to negotiate and enter into a licensing arrangement with the employing university. There can be no assurances that PearlRiver Bio would be successful in such negotiations or that a license would be obtained on favorable terms. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or ownership. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business. 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.

Certain of our employees and inventions are subject to German law.

Certain of our personnel work in Germany and are subject to German employment law. Inventions which may be the subject of a patent or of protection as a utility model and which are or were made by personnel working in Germany (except for legal representatives of our respective legal entities, for example managing directors) are subject to the provisions of the German Act on Employees’ Inventions (Gesetz über Arbeitnehmererfindungen), or the German Inventions Act, which regulates the ownership of, and compensation for, inventions made by employees. We face the risk that disputes may occur between us and our current or past employees pertaining to the sufficiency of compensation paid by us, allocation of rights to inventions under this act or alleged non-adherence to the provisions of this act, any of which may be costly to resolve and take up our management’s time and efforts whether we prevail or fail in such dispute. Even if we lawfully own all inventions created by our employees who are subject to the German Inventions Act, we are required under German law to reasonably compensate such employees for the use of the inventions and intellectual property rights related thereto. If we are required to pay compensation or face other disputes under the German Inventions Act, our results of operations could be adversely affected. Legal representatives of legal entities, for example managing directors, whose contractual relationships with the respective entity are subject to German law and that are not subject to the German Inventions Act as well as consultants must assign and transfer their interest in inventions and/or patents they invent or co-invent to us in order for us to have any rights to such inventions or patents.

There can be no assurance that all such assignments are fully effective, which may lead to unexpected costs or economic disadvantages and may harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. If any of our current or past employees, legal representatives of our legal entities or consultants obtain or retain ownership or co-ownership of any inventions or related intellectual property rights that we believe we own, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights and be required to obtain and maintain licenses from such employees or legal representatives of legal entities or consultants to such inventions or intellectual property rights, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or may be non-exclusive. If we are unable to obtain and maintain a license to any such employee’s, legal representative’s of legal entities or consultant’s interest in such inventions or intellectual property rights, we may need to cease the development, manufacture, and commercialization of one or more of the products or solutions we may develop or may have developed. In addition, any loss of exclusivity of our intellectual property rights could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical products and solutions. Any of the foregoing events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations.

 

 

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Risks Related to Commercialization

We have never commercialized a product candidate and we may lack the necessary expertise, personnel and resources to successfully commercialize any of our products that receive regulatory approval on our own or together with collaborators.

We have never commercialized a product candidate. Our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, acquiring the rights to our product candidates and undertaking preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates. We currently have no sales force, marketing or distribution capabilities. To achieve commercial success of our product candidates, if any are approved, we will have to develop our own sales, marketing and supply capabilities or outsource these activities to a third party.

Factors that may affect our ability to commercialize our product candidates on our own include recruiting and retaining adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel, obtaining access to or persuading adequate numbers of physicians to prescribe our product candidates and other unforeseen costs associated with creating an independent sales and marketing organization. Developing a sales and marketing organization requires significant investment, is time-consuming and could delay the launch of our product candidates. We may not be able to build an effective sales and marketing organization in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom or other key global markets. If we are unable to build our own distribution and marketing capabilities or to find suitable partners for the commercialization of our product candidates, we may have difficulties generating revenue from them.

The commercial success of any of our product candidates will depend upon its degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community.

Ethical, social and legal concerns about our product candidates could result in additional regulations restricting or prohibiting our products. Even with the requisite approvals from the FDA in the United States, the European Commission (on the recommendation of the EMA) in the European Economic Area, the MHRA in the United Kingdom and other regulatory authorities internationally, the commercial success of our product candidates will depend, in part, on the acceptance of physicians, patients and health care payors of our product candidates as medically necessary, cost-effective and safe. Any product that we commercialize may not gain acceptance by physicians, patients, health care payors and others in the medical community. If these products do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant product revenue and may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on several factors, including:

 

   

the efficacy and safety of such product candidates as demonstrated in clinical trials;

 

   

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

 

   

the cost of treatment relative to alternative treatments;

 

   

the clinical indications for which the product candidate is approved by FDA, the EMA or the MHRA;

 

   

patient awareness of, and willingness to seek, genotyping;

 

   

the willingness of physicians to prescribe new therapies;

 

   

the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of any side effects;

 

   

product labeling or product insert requirements of FDA, EMA, MHRA or other regulatory authorities, including any limitations or warnings contained in a product’s approved labeling;

 

   

relative convenience and ease of administration;

 

 

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the strength of marketing and distribution support;

 

   

the timing of market introduction of competitive products;

 

   

publicity concerning our products or competing products and treatments; and

 

   

sufficient third-party payor coverage and reimbursement.

Even if a potential product displays a favorable efficacy and safety profile in preclinical studies and clinical trials, market acceptance of the product will not be fully known until after it is launched.

If the market opportunities for our product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, it may not be financially viable to commercialize, and if we do commercialize, our product revenues for any therapies that are approved for commercial sale may be adversely affected and our business may suffer.

We focus our research and product development on treatments for various diseases. Our understanding of both the number of people who have these diseases, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on estimates. These estimates may prove to be incorrect and new studies may reduce the estimated incidence or prevalence of these diseases. The number of patients in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and elsewhere may turn out to be lower than expected, may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our products or patients may become increasingly difficult to identify and access, all of which would adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Further, there are several factors that could contribute to making the actual number of patients who receive our potential products less than the potentially addressable market. These include the lack of widespread availability of, and limited reimbursement for, new products or therapies in many underdeveloped markets.

If we are unable to establish sales, medical affairs and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell our product candidates, we may be unable to generate any product revenue.

We currently have no sales and marketing organization. To successfully commercialize any products that may result from our development programs, we will need to develop these capabilities, either on our own or with others. The establishment and development of our own commercial team or the establishment of a contract sales force to market any products we may develop will be expensive and time-consuming and could delay any product launch. Moreover, we cannot be certain that we will be able to successfully develop this capability. We may enter into collaborations regarding our product candidates with entities to utilize their established marketing and distribution capabilities, but we may be unable to enter into such agreements on favorable terms, if at all. If any current or future collaborators do not commit sufficient resources to commercialize our products, or we are unable to develop the necessary capabilities on our own, we will be unable to generate sufficient product revenue to sustain our business. We compete with many companies that currently have extensive, experienced and well-funded medical affairs, marketing and sales operations to recruit, hire, train and retain marketing and sales personnel. We also face competition in our search for third parties to assist us with the sales and marketing efforts of our product candidates. Without an internal team or the support of a third party to perform marketing and sales functions, we may be unable to compete successfully against these more established companies.

Our efforts to educate the medical community and third-party payors on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may never be successful. Such efforts may require more resources than are typically required due to the complexity and uniqueness of our potential products. If any of our product candidates is approved but fails to achieve market acceptance among physicians, patients or third-party payors, we will not be able to generate significant revenues from such product, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

 

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Healthcare legislative reform measures may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

In the United States, there have been, and continue to be, several legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs. For example, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (ACA), was passed, which substantially changes the way health care is financed by both the government and private insurers, and significantly impacts the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The ACA, among other things: (i) 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; (ii) 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; (iii) establishes annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs; (iv) expands the availability of lower pricing under the 340B drug pricing program by adding new entities to the program; and (v) establishes a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% (increased to 70% pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, effective as of January 1, 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. Additionally, in the United States, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 created an abbreviated approval pathway for biologic products that are demonstrated to be “highly similar” or “biosimilar or interchangeable” with an FDA-approved biologic product. This new pathway could allow competitors to reference data from biologic products already approved after 12 years from the time of approval. This could expose us to potential competition by lower-cost biosimilars even if we commercialize a product candidate faster than our competitors.

Additional changes that may affect our business include those governing enrollment in federal healthcare programs, reimbursement changes, rules regarding prescription drug benefits under the health insurance exchanges and fraud and abuse and enforcement. Continued implementation of the ACA and the passage of additional laws and regulations may result in the expansion of new programs such as Medicare payment for performance initiatives, and may impact existing government healthcare programs, such as by improving the physician quality reporting system and feedback program.

For each state that does not choose to expand its Medicaid program, there likely will be fewer insured patients overall, which could impact the sales, business and financial condition of manufacturers of branded prescription drugs. Where patients receive insurance coverage under any of the new options made available through the ACA, the possibility exists that manufacturers may be required to pay Medicaid rebates on that resulting drug utilization, a decision that could impact manufacturer revenues. The U.S. federal government also has announced delays in the implementation of key provisions of the ACA. The implications of these delays for our and our partners’ business and financial condition, if any, are not yet clear.

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.

Enacted and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we may charge for such product candidates.

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, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell any product for which we obtain marketing approval.

In March 2010, the ACA was enacted, which includes measures that have significantly changed the way health care is financed by both governmental and private insurers. There have been executive, judicial and

 

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congressional challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. For example, in January 2017, then-President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies with authorities and responsibilities under the ACA to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision of the ACA that would impose a fiscal or regulatory burden on states, individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices. Further, various portions of the ACA are currently undergoing legal and constitutional challenges in the United States Supreme Court. It is unclear how the Supreme Court ruling, other such litigation, and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the ACA and our business.

In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. For example, in August 2011, then-President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, which, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals in spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction, which triggered the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of, on average, 2% per fiscal year, and, due to subsequent legislative amendments, will remain in effect through 2030 unless Congress takes additional action. Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, as well as subsequent legislation, these reductions have been suspended from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed legislation, if passed, would extend this suspension until the end of the pandemic. Recently, 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 bills 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. The probability of success of any previously announced policies under the former Trump administration and their impact on the United States prescription drug marketplace is unknown, particularly in light of the new Biden administration.

The former Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 included a $135 billion allowance to support legislative proposals seeking to reduce drug prices, increase competition, lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients, and increase patient access to lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs. On March 10, 2020, the former Trump administration sent “principles” for drug pricing to Congress, calling for legislation that would, among other things, cap Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses, provide an option to cap Medicare Part D beneficiary monthly out-of-pocket expenses, and place limits on pharmaceutical price increases. Further, the former Trump administration also previously 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 Health and Human Services (HHS), has already started the process of soliciting feedback on some of these measures from the former administration and, at the same time, is immediately implementing others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. However, it is unclear whether the Biden administration will challenge, reverse, revoke or otherwise modify these executive and administrative actions.

In addition, there have been several changes to the 340B drug pricing program, which imposes ceilings on prices that drug manufacturers can charge for medications sold to certain health care facilities. On December 27, 2018, the District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a reimbursement formula change under the 340B drug pricing program, and CMS subsequently altered the FYs 2019 and 2018 reimbursement formula on specified covered outpatient drugs (SCODs). The court ruled this change was not an “adjustment” which was within the Secretary’s discretion to make but was instead a fundamental change in the reimbursement calculation. However, more recently, on July 31, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the district court’s decision and found that the changes were within the Secretary’s authority. On September 14, 2020, the plaintiffs-appellees filed a Petition for Rehearing En Banc (i.e., before the full court), but was denied

 

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on October 16, 2020. Plaintiffs-appellees filed a petition for a writ of certiorari at the Supreme Court on February 10, 2021. It is unclear how these developments could affect covered hospitals who might purchase our future products and affect the rates we may charge such facilities for our approved products in the future, if any.

At the federal level, Trump administration used several means to propose or implement drug pricing reform, including through federal budget proposals, executive orders and policy initiatives. On July 24, 2020 and September 13, 2020, former President Trump announced several executive orders related to prescription drug pricing that seek to implement several of the administration’s proposals. In response, the FDA released a final rule on September 24, 2020, which went into effect on November 30, 2020, providing guidance for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. Further, on November 20, 2020 CMS issued an Interim Final Rule implementing the Most Favored Nation (MFN), Model under which Medicare Part B reimbursement rates will be calculated for certain drugs and biologicals based on the lowest price drug manufacturers receive in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries with a similar gross domestic product per capita. The MFN Model regulations mandate participation by identified Part B providers and would have applied to all U.S. states and territories for a seven-year period beginning January 1, 2021, and ending December 31, 2027. However, in response to a lawsuit filed by several industry groups, on December 28, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining government defendants from implementing the MFN Rule pending completion of notice-and-comment procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act. On January 13, 2021, in a separate lawsuit brought by industry groups in the U.S. District of Maryland, the government defendants entered a joint motion to stay litigation on the condition that the government would not appeal the preliminary injunction granted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and that performance for any final regulation stemming from the MFN Interim Final Rule shall not commence earlier than 60 days after publication of that regulation in the Federal Register. The Interim Final Rule has not been finalized and is subject to revision and challenge.

Additionally, on November 20, 2020, HHS finalized a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through pharmacy benefit managers, unless the price reduction is required by law. The implementation of the rule has been delayed by the Biden administration from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023 in response to ongoing litigation. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers, the implementation of which have also been delayed pending review by the Biden administration until March 22, 2021. Although a number of these and other proposed measures may require authorization through additional legislation to become effective, and the Biden administration may reverse or otherwise change these measures, Congress has indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative measures to control drug costs.

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. Further, on May 30, 2018, the Right to Try Act, was signed into law. The law, among other things, provides a federal framework for certain patients to access certain investigational new drug products that have completed a Phase 1 clinical trial and that are undergoing investigation for FDA approval. Under certain circumstances, eligible patients can seek treatment without enrolling in clinical trials and without obtaining FDA permission under the FDA expanded access program. There is no obligation for a pharmaceutical manufacturer to make its drug products available to eligible patients as a result of the Right to Try Act.

We expect that the healthcare reform measures that have been adopted and may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product and could seriously harm our future revenues. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability or commercialize our products.

 

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The insurance coverage and reimbursement status of newly-approved products is uncertain. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate coverage and reimbursement for our products, if approved, could limit our ability to market those products and decrease our ability to generate product revenue.

We expect the cost of our product candidates and programs, to be substantial, when and if they achieve regulatory approval. We expect that coverage and reimbursement by government and private payors will be essential for most patients to be able to afford these treatments. Accordingly, sales of our product candidates 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 will be reimbursed by government authorities, private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. Coverage and reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon several factors, including 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.

Obtaining coverage and reimbursement for a product from third-party payors is a time-consuming and costly process that could require us to provide to the payor supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data. We may not be able to provide data sufficient to gain acceptance with respect to coverage and reimbursement. If coverage and reimbursement are not available, or are available only at 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 adequate to realize a sufficient return on our investment.

There is significant uncertainty related to third-party coverage and reimbursement of newly approved products. In the United States, third-party payors, including government payors such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs, play an important role in determining the extent to which new drugs and biologics will be covered and reimbursed. The Medicare and Medicaid programs increasingly are used as models for how private payors and government payors develop their coverage and reimbursement policies. It is difficult to predict what the CMS will decide with respect to coverage and reimbursement for fundamentally novel products, as there is no body of established practices and precedents for these types of products. Moreover, reimbursement agencies in the European Union may be more conservative than CMS. For example, several cancer drugs have been approved for reimbursement in the United States and have not been approved for reimbursement in certain European Union Member States. It is difficult to predict what third-party payors will decide with respect to the coverage and reimbursement for our product candidates.

Outside the United States, international operations generally are subject to extensive government price controls and other market regulations, and increasing emphasis on cost-containment initiatives in the European Union, Canada and other countries may put pricing pressure on us. 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 medical products, 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 our products may be reduced compared with the United States and may be insufficient to generate commercially reasonable product revenues. Further, as discussed above, United States regulators are contemplating a MFN Model under which Medicare Part B reimbursement rates would be calculated for certain drugs and biologicals based on the lowest price drug manufacturers receive in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries with a similar gross domestic product per capita.

 

 

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Moreover, increasing efforts by government and third-party payors in the United States and abroad to cap or reduce healthcare costs may cause such organizations to limit both coverage and the level of reimbursement for new products approved and, as a result, they may not cover or provide adequate payment for our product candidates. 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. Payors increasingly are considering new metrics as the basis for reimbursement rates, such as average sales price (ASP), average manufacturer price, and actual acquisition cost. The existing data for reimbursement based on some of these metrics is relatively limited, although certain states have begun to survey acquisition cost data for the purpose of setting Medicaid reimbursement rates, and CMS has begun making pharmacy National Average Drug Acquisition Cost and National Average Retail Price data publicly available on at least a monthly basis. Therefore, it may be difficult to project the impact of these evolving reimbursement metrics on the willingness of payors to cover candidate products that we or our partners are able to commercialize. In addition, many pharmaceutical manufacturers must calculate and report certain price reporting metrics to the government, such as ASP, and best price. Penalties may apply in some cases when such metrics are not submitted accurately and timely. Further, these prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs. 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 intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products such as ours.

Product liability lawsuits against us could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and could limit commercialization of any product candidates that we may develop.

We face an inherent risk of product liability exposure related to the testing of product candidates in human clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercially sell any medicines that we may develop. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against claims that our product candidates or medicines caused injuries, we could incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

 

   

decreased demand for any product candidates or medicines that we may develop;

 

   

injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;

 

   

withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

   

significant costs to defend the related litigation;

 

   

substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;

 

   

loss of revenue; and

 

   

the inability to commercialize our product candidates.

Although we coverage for clinical trials that we sponsor, it may not be adequate to cover all liabilities that we may incur. We anticipate that we will need to increase our insurance coverage as we commence additional clinical trials and if we successfully commercialize any product candidates. The market for insurance coverage is increasingly expensive, and the costs of insurance coverage will increase as our clinical programs increase in size. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise.

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

Business interruptions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak or similar public health crises could cause a disruption of the development of our product candidates and adversely impact our business.

In December 2019, a novel strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. This virus spread globally, including within the United States and in March 2020 the World Health Organization declared

 

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COVID-19 a pandemic. The pandemic and government measures taken in response have also had a significant impact, both direct and indirect, on businesses and commerce, as worker shortages have occurred; supply chains have been disrupted; facilities and production have been suspended; and demand for certain goods and services, such as medical services and supplies, has spiked, while demand for other goods and services, such as travel, has fallen. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could experience disruptions that could severely impact our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including:

 

   

delays or difficulties in enrolling and retaining patients in our clinical trials;

 

   

delays or difficulties in clinical site initiation, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff;

 

   

delays in receiving authorizations from regulatory authorities to initiate our planned clinical trials;

 

   

diversion of healthcare resources away from the conduct of clinical trials, including the diversion of hospitals serving as our clinical trial sites and hospital staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials;

 

   

interruption of key clinical trial activities, such as clinical trial site data monitoring, due to limitations on travel imposed or recommended by federal or state governments, employers and others or interruption of clinical trial subject visits and study procedures (such as endoscopies that are deemed non-essential), which may impact the integrity of subject data and clinical study endpoints;

 

   

risk that participants enrolled in our clinical trials will contract COVID-19 while the clinical trial is ongoing, which could impact the results of the clinical trial, including by increasing the number of observed adverse events;

 

   

risk that we are unable to enroll participants in our clinical trials in adequate numbers;

 

   

interruption or delays in the operations of the FDA or other regulatory authorities, which may impact review and approval timelines;

 

   

interruption of, or delays in receiving, supplies of our product candidates from our contract manufacturing organizations due to staffing shortages, production slowdowns or stoppages and disruptions in delivery systems;

 

   

interruptions in preclinical studies due to restricted or limited operations at our laboratory facility;

 

   

delays in necessary interactions with local regulators, ethics committees and other important agencies and contractors due to limitations in employee resources or forced furlough of government employees;

 

   

changes in local regulations as part of a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may require us to change the ways in which our clinical trials are conducted, which may result in unexpected costs, or to discontinue such clinical trials altogether;

 

   

limitations on employee resources that would otherwise be focused on the conduct of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, including because of sickness of employees or their families or the desire of employees to avoid contact with large groups of people; and

 

   

interruption or delays to our sourced identification, discovery and clinical activities.

Since March 2020, foreign and domestic inspections by the FDA have largely been on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. In July 2020, FDA announced plans to resume prioritized domestic inspections. Should FDA determine that an inspection is necessary for approval of a marketing application and an inspection cannot be completed during the review cycle due to restrictions on travel, FDA has stated that it generally intends to issue a complete response letter. Further, if there is inadequate information to make a determination on the acceptability of a facility, FDA may defer action on the application until an inspection can be completed. In 2020, several companies announced receipt of complete response letters due to the FDA’s inability to complete required inspections for their applications. Regulatory authorities outside the U.S. may adopt similar restrictions or other policy measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and may experience delays in their regulatory activities.

 

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Additionally, as of June 23, 2020, the FDA noted it is continuing to ensure timely reviews of applications for medical products during the COVID-19 pandemic in line with its user fee performance goals. On July 16, 2020, FDA noted that it is continuing to expedite oncology product development with its staff teleworking full-time. However, FDA may not be able to continue its current pace and approval timelines could be extended, including where a pre-approval inspection or an inspection of clinical sites is required and due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions FDA is unable to complete such required inspections during the review period.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve. The extent to which the pandemic impacts our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, such as the ultimate geographic spread of the disease, the duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions and social distancing in the United States and other countries, business closures or business disruptions and the effectiveness of actions taken in the United States and other countries to contain and treat the disease.

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

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 dependent on our senior management, including scientific and medical personnel and other key employees. 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. In particular, due to our small number of employees, the loss of one employee may have a larger impact on our business than compared to a loss at one of our peers. We currently do not maintain “key person” insurance for any members of our management team.

Our Centessa Subsidiaries have historically conducted operations across facilities around the world. We may in the future expand our operations in the U.S. and other geographies, particularly in certain biotech hubs. 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 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 in the key jurisdictions in which we operate.

To encourage valuable employees to remain at our company, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we have provided equity awards that vest over time. The value to employees of equity awards that vest over time may be significantly affected by movements in our share 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 at any time. Although we have employment agreements with our key employees, certain of these employment agreements provide for at-will employment, which means that any of our employees could leave our employment at any time. 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.

Additionally, we rely on our scientific founders and other scientific and clinical advisors and consultants to assist us in formulating our research, development and clinical strategies. Certain of our scientific founders, advisors and consultants are not our employees and may have commitments to, or consulting or advisory contracts with,

 

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other entities that may limit their availability to us. If a conflict of interest arises between their work for us and their work for another entity, we may lose their services. Furthermore, our advisors may have arrangements with other companies to assist those companies in developing products or technologies that may compete with ours. In particular, if we are unable to maintain consulting relationships with our scientific founders or if they provide services to our competitors, our development and commercialization efforts will be impaired and our business will be significantly harmed.

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

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 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 for failure to comply with such laws and regulations.

In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. These current or future laws and regulations may impair our research, development or production efforts. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.

Our internal computer systems, or those of our collaborators or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our product development programs.

In the ordinary course of our business, we may store, use, process or otherwise gain access to certain sensitive information, including proprietary information, confidential information, personal data and personal health data, intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary business information owned or controlled by ourselves or other parties. We may use third-party service providers and subprocessors to help us operate our business and we may also share such sensitive information with our partners or other third parties in conjunction with our business. We may be required to expend significant resources, at significant cost, fundamentally change our

 

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business activities and practices, or modify our operations, including our clinical trial activities, or information technology in an effort to protect against security breaches and to mitigate, detect, and remediate actual or potential vulnerabilities as well as security breaches. Our internal computer systems (including, without limitation, any relevant sensitive information and other assets stored therein or accessible thereby) and those of our current and any future collaborators, contractors or consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, bugs, unauthorized access, denial-of-service attacks (such as credential stuffing); ransomware attacks, user errors or malfeasance, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. For example, Capella Biosciences was the victim of an attack in which an unrelated party hacked into the email of Capella Biosciences’ Chief Executive officer. In the past, a Centessa Subsidiary experienced unauthorized access to its systems through social engineering schemes. If any such material system failure, accident or security breach were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our development programs and our business operations, whether due to a loss of our trade secrets or other sensitive information or other similar disruptions, as well as necessitating that we incur significant costs to address such failure, accident or security breach. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or future clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. In addition, failures or significant downtime of our information technology or telecommunication systems or those used by our third-party service providers could cause significant interruptions in our operations and adversely impact the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive information. We may also be the subject of server malfunction, software or hardware failures, supply-chain cyber attacks, loss of data or other computer assets, and other similar issues. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant portion of our workforce works remotely that has increased the risk to our information technology assets and data.

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 sensitive information, we could incur liability, our competitive position could be harmed and the further development and commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed. Relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, as well as contractual obligations, may require us to implement specific security measures or use industry-standard or reasonable measures to protect against security breaches. Even if we were to take and have taken security measures designed to protect against security breaches, there can be no assurance that such security measures or those of our service providers, partners and other third parties will be effective in protecting against disruptions or security breaches, or militating against the impact or the adverse consequences thereof. We may be unable to detect, anticipate, measure or prevent threats or techniques used to detect or exploit vulnerabilities in our (or our third parties’) information technology, services, communications or software, or cause security breaches, because such threats and techniques change frequently, are often sophisticated in nature, and may not be detected until after an incident has occurred. We cannot be certain that we will be able to address any such vulnerabilities, in whole or part, and there may be delays in developing and deploying patches and other remedial measures to adequately address vulnerabilities. Relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards, as well as contractual obligations, may also require us to notify relevant stakeholders (including affected individuals, partners, collaborators, customers, regulators, law enforcement agencies, credit reporting agencies and others) of security breaches, and such disclosures are costly and could also have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, or financial condition.

Actual or perceived security breaches or vulnerabilities, lack of appropriate information security safeguards and concerns regarding data privacy or security may cause some of our actual or prospective customers, collaborators, partners and/or clinical trial participants to stop participating in our trials, using our products or working with us. Additionally, regulators could impose penalties and monetary fines against us for similar concerns. The discontinuance of relationships with third parties, or the failure to meet the expectations of such third parties, and/or regulatory investigation or enforcement, could result in material harm to our operations, financial performance or reputation and affect our ability to grow and operate our business. We cannot be sure that our insurance coverage, if any, will be adequate or otherwise protect us from or adequately mitigate liabilities arising out of such security breaches or vulnerabilities. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceeds our available insurance coverage, or results in changes to our insurance policies

 

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(including premium increases or the imposition of large excess or deductible or co-insurance requirements), could materially and adversely affect our business.

Unfavorable global economic conditions could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our results of operations could be adversely affected by general conditions in the global economy and in the global financial markets. The most recent global financial crisis caused extreme volatility and disruptions in the capital and credit markets. A severe or prolonged economic downturn, such as the most recent global financial crisis, could result in a variety of risks to our business, including weakened demand for our product candidates and our ability to raise additional capital when needed on acceptable terms, if at all. A weak or declining economy could strain our suppliers, possibly resulting in supply disruption, or cause delays in payments for our services by third-party payors or our collaborators. Any of the foregoing could harm our business and we cannot anticipate all of the ways in which the current economic climate and financial market conditions could adversely impact our business.

Our international operations may expose us to business, regulatory, legal, political, operational, financial, pricing and reimbursement risks associated with doing business across multiple jurisdictions outside of the United States.

Our business is subject to risks associated with conducting business internationally. Our Centessa Subsidiaries, suppliers, industry partners and clinical study centers are located across Europe, the United States and certain other jurisdictions. Furthermore, our business strategy incorporates potential international expansion as we seek to obtain regulatory approval for, and commercialize, our product candidates in patient populations outside the United States. If approved, we may hire sales representatives and conduct physician and patient association outreach activities across multiple jurisdictions. Doing business internationally involves a number of risks, including but not limited to:

 

   

multiple, conflicting and changing laws, regulations, and compliance requirements such as privacy regulations, tax laws and practice, export and import restrictions, employment laws, regulatory requirements, and other governmental approvals, permits and licenses;

 

   

failure by us to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for the use of our products in various countries;

 

   

rejection or qualification of foreign clinical trial data by the competent authorities of other countries;

 

   

additional potentially relevant third-party patent rights;

 

   

complexities and difficulties in obtaining, maintaining, protecting and enforcing our intellectual property;

 

   

difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

   

complexities associated with managing multiple payor reimbursement regimes, government payors or patient self-pay systems;

 

   

limits in our ability to penetrate international markets;

 

   

financial risks, such as longer payment cycles, difficulty collecting accounts receivable, the impact of local and regional financial crises on demand and payment for our products and exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations;

 

   

natural disasters, political and economic instability, including wars, terrorism and political unrest, outbreak of disease, boycotts, curtailment of trade and other business restrictions;

 

   

certain expenses including, among others, expenses for travel, translation and insurance; and

 

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regulatory and compliance risks that relate to anti-corruption compliance and record-keeping that may fall within the purview of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and/or the UK Bribery Act of 2010, or provisions of anti-corruption or anti-bribery laws in other countries.

Any of these factors could harm our future international expansion and operations and, consequently, our results of operations.

We may be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws and health information privacy and security laws. If we are unable to comply, or have not fully complied, with such laws, we could face substantial penalties.

If we obtain FDA approval for any of our product candidates and begin commercializing those products in the United States, our operations will be directly, or indirectly through our prescribers, customers and purchasers, subject to various federal and state fraud and abuse laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the federal Health Care Program Anti-Kickback Statute, the federal civil and criminal False Claims Act and Physician Payments Sunshine Act and regulations. These laws will impact, among other things, our proposed sales, marketing and educational programs. In addition, we may be subject to patient privacy laws by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business. The laws that will affect our operations include, but are not limited to:

 

   

the federal Health Care Program Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons or entities 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, in return for the purchase, recommendation, leasing or furnishing of an item or service reimbursable under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand, and prescribers, purchasers and formulary managers on the other. The ACA amends the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. A person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it. 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 federal False Claims Act or federal civil money penalties. On December 2, 2020, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), published further modifications to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Under the final rules, OIG added safe harbor protections under the Anti-Kickback Statute for certain coordinated care and value-based arrangements among clinicians, providers, and others. This rule (with exceptions) became effective January 19, 2021. Implementation of this change and new safe harbors for point-of-sale reductions in price for prescription pharmaceutical products and pharmacy benefit manager service fees are currently under review by the Biden administration and may be amended or repealed. We continue to evaluate what effect, if any, this rule will have on our business;

 

   

federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws which prohibit, among other things, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment or approval from Medicare, Medicaid or other government payors that are false or fraudulent. The ACA provides and recent government cases against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers support the view that Federal Anti-Kickback Statute violations and certain marketing practices, including off-label promotion, may implicate the False Claims Act;

 

   

the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit a person from, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing a scheme or from making false or fraudulent statements to defraud any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g., public or private);

 

 

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HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and its implementing regulations, and as amended again by the final HIPAA omnibus rule, Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement, and Breach Notification Rules Under HITECH and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; Other Modifications to HIPAA, published in January 2013, which imposes certain requirements on covered entities, including health plans, health care clearinghouses and certain health care providers and their business associates and covered subcontractors relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information without appropriate authorization;

 

   

federal transparency laws, including the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act, that require disclosure of payments and other transfers of value provided to physicians (defined to include defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, and ownership and investment interests held by physicians and other healthcare providers and their immediate family members and applicable group purchasing organizations. Beginning in 2022, applicable manufacturers also will be required to report such information regarding its payments and other transfers of value to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, anesthesiologist assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives during the previous year;

 

   

federal government price reporting laws, which require us to calculate and report complex pricing metrics in an accurate and timely manner to government programs;

 

   

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

 

   

state law equivalents of each of the above federal laws, state laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures 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 in certain circumstances, such as specific disease states.

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. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other government regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, exclusion from participation in government health care programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, imprisonment and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

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 prohibited in the European Union. The provision of benefits or advantages to physicians is also governed by the national anti-bribery laws of European Union Member States, such as the UK Bribery Act 2010. Infringement of these laws could result in substantial fines and imprisonment.

Payments made to physicians in certain European Union 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 European Union Member States. These requirements are provided in the national laws, industry codes or professional codes of conduct, applicable in the European Union Member States. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in reputational risk, public reprimands, administrative penalties, fines or imprisonment.

For further information on privacy laws, regulations and standards, as well as policies, contracts and other obligations related to data privacy and security, and the potential application thereof to our operations (including in relation to our use of health-related personal data), see the sub-section immediately below this.

 

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We are subject to stringent and changing privacy laws, regulations and standards as well as policies, contracts and other obligations related to data privacy and security. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could lead to government enforcement actions (that could include fines and penalties), a disruption of our clinical trials or commercialization of our products, private litigation, harm to our reputation, or other adverse effects on our business or prospects.

The legislative and regulatory framework relating to the collection, use, retention, safeguarding, disclosure, sharing, transfer, security and other processing (collectively, Process or Processing) of personal data (including health-related personal data) worldwide is rapidly evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Globally, virtually every jurisdiction in which we operate has established its own data security and privacy frameworks with which we must comply and some of which may impose potentially conflicting obligations.

Accordingly, we are, or may become, subject to data privacy and security laws, regulations, and industry standards as well as policies, contracts and other obligations that apply to the Processing of personal data both by us and on our behalf (collectively, Data Protection Requirements). If we fail, or are perceived to have failed, to address or comply with Data Protection Requirements, this could result in government enforcement actions against us that could include investigations, fines, penalties, audits and inspections, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight, temporary or permanent bans on all or some Processing of personal data, orders to destroy or not use personal data, and imprisonment of company officials. Further, individuals or other relevant stakeholders could bring a variety of claims against us for our actual or perceived failure to comply with the Data Protection Requirements. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, or financial condition, and could lead to a loss of actual or prospective customers, collaborators or partners; interrupt or stop clinical trials; result in an inability to Process personal data or to operate in certain jurisdictions; limit our ability to develop or commercialize our products; or require us to revise or restructure our operations.

For example, in May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), came into effect across the European Economic Area (EEA). Also, notwithstanding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, by operation of the so-called “UK GDPR,” the GDPR continues to apply in substantially equivalent form in the context of the UK, UK establishments and UK-focused Processing operations.

Collectively, European data protection laws (including the GDPR) are wide-ranging in scope and impose numerous, significant and complex compliance burdens in relation to the Processing of personal data, such as: limiting permitted Processing of personal data to only that which is necessary for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes; requiring the establishment of a legal basis for Processing personal data; broadening the definition of personal data to possibly include ‘pseudonymized’ or key-coded data; creating obligations for controllers and processors to appoint data protection officers in certain circumstances; increasing transparency obligations to data subjects; introducing the obligation to carry out data protection impact assessments in certain circumstances; establishing limitations on the collection and retention of personal data through ‘data minimization’ and ‘storage limitation’ principles; establishing obligations to implement ‘privacy by design’; introducing obligations to honor increased rights for data subjects; formalizing a heightened and codified standard of data subject consent; establishing obligations to implement certain technical and organizational safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data; introducing obligations to agree to certain specific contractual terms and to take certain measures when working with third-party processors or joint controllers; introducing the obligation to provide notice of certain significant personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority(ies) and affected individuals; and mandating the appointment of representatives in the UK and/or EU in certain circumstances. In particular, the Processing of “special category personal data” (such as personal data related to health and genetic information), which will be relevant to our operations in the context of our conduct of clinical trials, imposes heightened compliance burdens under European data protection laws and is a topic of active interest among relevant regulators.

In addition, the GDPR provides that EEA member states may introduce specific requirements related to the Processing of special categories of personal data such as health data that we may process in connection with

 

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clinical trials or otherwise. In the UK, the UK Data Protection Act 2018 complements the UK GDPR in this regard. This fact may lead to greater divergence on the law that applies to the Processing of such personal data across the EEA and/or UK, which may increase our costs and overall compliance risk. Such country-specific regulations could also limit our ability to Process relevant personal data in the context of our EEA and/or UK operations ultimately having an adverse impact on our business, and harming our business and financial condition.

Further, certain European data protection laws restrict transfers of personal data to the United States and most other countries outside Europe unless the parties to the transfer have implemented specific safeguards to protect the transferred personal data. One of the primary safeguards that allowed U.S. companies to import personal data from Europe had been certification to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, in a case known as “Schrems II.” Following this decision: the UK government has similarly invalidated use of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield as a mechanism for lawful personal data transfers from the UK to the United States under the UK GDPR; and the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner announced that the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield does not provide adequate safeguards for the purposes of personal data transfers from Switzerland to the United States. The CJEU’s decision in Schrems II also raised questions about whether one of the primary alternatives to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, namely, the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, can lawfully be used for personal data transfers from Europe to the United States or other third countries that are not the subject of an adequacy decision of the European Commission. While the CJEU upheld the adequacy of the Standard Contractual Clauses in principle in Schrems II, it made clear that reliance on the Standard Contractual Clauses alone may not necessarily be sufficient in all circumstances. Use of the Standard Contractual Clauses must now be assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into account the legal regime applicable in the destination country, in particular regarding applicable surveillance laws and relevant rights of individuals with respect to the transferred personal data. In the context of any given transfer, where the legal regime applicable in the destination country may or does conflict with the intended operation of the Standard Contractual Clauses and/or applicable European data protection laws, the decision in Schrems II and subsequent draft guidance from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) would require the parties to that transfer to implement supplementary technical, organizational and/or contractual measures in order to rely on the Standard Contractual Clauses as a compliant ‘transfer mechanism.’ However, the EDPB draft guidance appears to conclude that no combination of supplementary measures could be sufficient to allow effective reliance on the Standard Contractual Clauses in the context of transfers of personal data ‘in the clear’ to recipients in countries where the power granted to public authorities to access the transferred personal data goes beyond that which is ‘necessary and proportionate in a democratic society’ – which may, following the CJEU’s conclusions in Schrems II on relevant powers of United States public authorities and commentary in that draft EDPB guidance, include the United States in certain circumstances (for example, where Section 702 of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applies). At present, there are few, if any, viable alternatives to the Standard Contractual Clauses. The risks associated with such exports of personal data from locations within Europe are particularly relevant to our business as our group comprises several operating entities, many of which are located, and/or sponsor clinical trials, in Europe. We have yet to adopt and implement comprehensive processes, systems and other relevant measures within our organization, and/or with our relevant collaborators, service providers, contractors or consultants, which are appropriate to address relevant requirements relating to international transfers of personal data from Europe, and to minimize the potential impacts and risks resulting from those requirements, across our organization. Failure to implement valid mechanisms for personal data transfers from Europe, may result in our facing increased exposure to regulatory actions, substantial fines and injunctions against Processing personal data from Europe. Inability to export personal data may also: restrict our activities outside Europe; limit our ability to collaborate with partners as well as other service providers, contractors and other companies outside of Europe; and/or require us to increase our Processing capabilities within Europe at significant expense or otherwise cause us to change the geographical location or segregation of our relevant systems and operations – any or all of which could adversely affect our operations or financial results. Additionally, other countries outside of Europe have enacted or are considering enacting similar cross-border data transfer restrictions and laws requiring local data

 

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residency, which could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services and operating our business. The type of challenges we face in Europe will likely also arise in other jurisdictions that adopt laws similar in construction to the GDPR or regulatory frameworks of equivalent complexity.

European data protection laws also provide for more robust regulatory enforcement and greater penalties for noncompliance than previous data protection laws, including, for example, under the GDPR, fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual revenue of any noncompliant organization for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. In addition to administrative fines, a wide variety of other potential enforcement powers are available to competent supervisory authorities in respect of potential and suspected violations of the GDPR, including extensive audit and inspection rights, and powers to order temporary or permanent bans on all or some Processing of personal data carried out by noncompliant actors – including permitting authorities to require destruction of improperly gathered or used personal data. 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.

Further, the UK’s decision to leave the EU, often referred to as Brexit, and ongoing developments in the UK have created uncertainty regarding data protection regulation in the UK. Following December 31, 2020, and the expiry of transitional arrangements between the UK and EU, the data protection obligations of the GDPR continue to apply to UK-related Processing of personal data in substantially unvaried form under the so-called ‘UK GDPR’ (i.e., the GDPR as it continues to form part of UK law by virtue of section 3 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018, as amended). However, going forward, there is increasing risk for divergence in application, interpretation and enforcement of the data protection laws as between the UK and EEA. Furthermore, the relationship between the UK and the EEA in relation to certain aspects of data protection law remains uncertain. For example, it is unclear whether transfers of personal data from the EEA to the UK will be permitted to take place on the basis of a future adequacy decision of the European Commission, or whether a ‘transfer mechanism’ such as the Standard Contractual Clauses will be required. Under the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK, the UK and EU have agreed that transfers of personal data to the UK from EEA member states will not be treated as ‘restricted transfers’ to a non-EEA country for a period of up to four months from January 1, 2021, plus a potential further two months extension (the Extended Adequacy Assessment Period). Although the current maximum duration of the Extended Adequacy Assessment Period is six months, it may end sooner, for example, in the event that the European Commission adopts an adequacy decision in respect of the UK, or the UK amends the UK GDPR and/or makes certain changes regarding data transfers under the UK GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018 without the consent of the EU (unless those amendments or decisions are made simply to keep relevant UK laws aligned with the EU’s data protection regime). If the European Commission does not adopt an ‘adequacy decision’ in respect of the UK prior to the expiry of the Extended Adequacy Assessment Period, from that point onwards the UK will be an ‘inadequate third country’ under the GDPR and transfers of personal data from the EEA to the UK will require a ‘transfer mechanism’ such as the Standard Contractual Clauses.

Additionally, as noted above, the UK has transposed the GDPR into UK domestic law by way of the UK GDPR with effect from January 2021, which could expose us to two parallel regimes where the UK GDPR and EU GDPR both apply, each of which potentially authorizes similar fines and other potentially divergent enforcement actions for certain violations. Also, following the expiry of the post-Brexit transitional arrangements, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office is not able to be our ‘lead supervisory authority’ in respect of any ‘cross border Processing’ for the purposes of the GDPR. For so long as we are unable to, and/or do not, designate a lead supervisory authority in an EEA member state, with effect from January 1, 2021, we are not able to benefit from the GDPR’s ‘one stop shop’ mechanism. Amongst other things, this would mean that, in the event of a violation of the GDPR affecting data subjects across the UK and the EEA, we could be investigated by, and ultimately fined by, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office and the supervisory authority in each and every EEA member state where data subjects have been affected by such violation.

In the United States, there are a broad variety of data protection laws and regulations that may apply to our activities such as state data breach notification laws, state personal data privacy laws (for example, the California

 

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Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA)), state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws. A range of enforcement agencies exist at both the state and federal levels that can enforce these laws and regulations. For example, the CCPA requires covered businesses that process personal information of California residents to disclose their data collection, use and sharing practices. Further, the CCPA provides California residents with new data privacy rights (including the ability to opt out of certain disclosures of personal data), imposes new operational requirements for covered businesses, provides for civil penalties for violations as well as a private right of action for data breaches and statutory damages (that is expected to increase data breach class action litigation and result in significant exposure to costly legal judgements and settlements). Aspects of the CCPA and its interpretation and enforcement remain uncertain. In addition, it is anticipated that the CCPA will be expanded on January 1, 2023, when the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (CPRA) becomes operative. The CPRA will, among other things, give California residents the ability to limit use of certain sensitive personal information, further restrict the use of cross-contextual advertising, establish restrictions on the retention of personal information, expand the types of data breaches subject to the CCPA’s private right of action, provide for increased penalties for CPRA violations concerning California residents under the age of 16, and establish a new California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the new. Although there are limited exemptions for clinical trial data under the CCPA, the CCPA and other similar laws could impact our business activities depending on how it is interpreted.

In other foreign jurisdictions in which we operate or have operated (including sponsoring past, present or future clinical trials), such as, without limitation, Canada and Georgia, similar Data Protection Requirements may apply.

Generally, these laws exemplify the vulnerability of our business to the evolving regulatory environment related to personal data and may require us to modify our Processing practices at substantial costs and expenses in an effort to comply.

Additionally, regulations promulgated pursuant to HIPAA, as amended, establish privacy and security standards that limit the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information, or protected health information, and require the implementation of administrative, physical and technological safeguards designed to protect the privacy, confidentiality, integrity and availability of protected health information. These provisions may be applicable to our business or that of our collaborators, service providers, contractors or consultants.

Determining whether protected health information has been handled in compliance with applicable Data Protection Requirements can be complex and may be subject to changing interpretation. If we are unable to properly protect the privacy and security of protected health information, we could be found to have violated these privacy and security laws and/or breached certain contracts with our business partners (including as a business associate). Further, if we fail to comply with applicable Data Protection Requirements, such as, to the extent applicable, HIPAA privacy and security standards, we could face significant civil and criminal penalties. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services’ and state attorneys general enforcement activity can result in financial liability and reputational harm, and responses to such enforcement activity can consume significant internal resources. In addition, state attorneys general are authorized to bring civil actions seeking either injunctions or damages in response to violations that threaten the privacy of state residents. We cannot be sure how these regulations will be interpreted, enforced or applied to our operations. In addition to the risks associated with enforcement activities and potential contractual liabilities, our ongoing efforts to comply with evolving laws and regulations at the federal and state level may be costly and require ongoing modifications to our policies, procedures and systems.

Given the breadth and evolving nature of Data Protection Requirements, preparing for and complying with these requirements is rigorous, time-intensive and requires significant resources and a review of our technologies, systems and practices, as well as those of any third-party collaborators, service providers, contractors or consultants that Process personal data on our behalf.

We may publish privacy policies and other documentation regarding our Processing of personal data and/or other confidential, proprietary or sensitive information. Although we endeavor to comply with our published policies

 

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and other documentation, we may at times fail to do so or may be perceived to have failed to do so. Moreover, despite our efforts, we may not be successful in achieving compliance if our employees, third-party collaborators, service providers, contractors or consultants fail to comply with our policies and documentation. Such failures can subject us to potential foreign, local, state and federal action if they are found to be deceptive, unfair, or misrepresentative of our actual practices. Moreover, subjects about whom we or our partners obtain information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may contractually limit our ability to use and disclose the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights or failed to comply with data protection laws or applicable privacy notices 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 or otherwise materially and negatively impact our business.

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

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

We are comprised of multiple portfolio operating entities, all of which are at differing stages in their commercial, clinical, and pre-clinical operations, and all of which have taken differing measures to comply (and have varying degrees of compliance) with Data Protection Requirements. The lack of uniformity in the portfolio operating entities’ efforts to comply with Data Protection Requirements, including, without limitation, establishing appropriate information security measures, could materially and adversely affect our business.

We are comprised of multiple portfolio operating entities, many of which were previously unrelated to the others and have operated discretely. Accordingly, the particular application of Data Protection Requirements may vary significantly across our group; as may the approach adopted by, and success of, relevant members of our organization to comply with relevant Data Protection Requirements. We have yet to adopt a harmonized approach to compliance with Data Protection Requirements across our group. The design, implementation, consolidation and harmonization of Processing operations, and relevant systems and facilities, across our company may cause us to incur significant expense, even where relevant members of the group are located within the same jurisdictions. These efforts could adversely affect our financial results.

Furthermore, the risks resulting from potential failure to comply, or perception of failure to comply, with Data Protection Requirements may vary significantly across our group.

 

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Our company results from the combination of multiple early-stage operating companies within the life sciences sector. As early-stage companies, many of our operating companies are not at a level of maturity in relation to efforts to achieve compliance with Data Protection Requirements and the structuring of Processing operations, which would ordinarily be expected of an operating company that is a subsidiary of a publicly-traded company. Consequently, there exists a high level of risk with respect to one or more such companies as a result of its or their failure to comply, or perception of failure to comply, with Data Protection Requirements.

Risks Related to this Offering and Ownership of Our Securities

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 ADSs less attractive to investors.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (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 (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 shareholder 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 ordinary shares 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.

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 ADSs less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our ADSs less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our ADSs and our ADS price may be more volatile.

Our new articles of association, to be adopted with effect from the completion of this offering, will provide that the courts of England and Wales will be the exclusive forum for the resolution of all shareholder complaints other than complaints asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, and that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York will be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any shareholder complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.

Our articles of association will provide that, unless we consent by ordinary resolution to the selection of an alternative forum, the courts of England and Wales shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the exclusive forum for: (a) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (b) any action or proceeding asserting a

 

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claim of breach of fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers or other employees to us; (c) any action or proceeding asserting a claim arising out of any provision of the Companies Act 2006 (Companies Act), or our articles of association (as may be amended from time to time); or (d) any action or proceeding asserting a claim or otherwise related to our affairs, or the England and Wales Forum Provision. The England and Wales Forum Provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. Our articles of association will further provide that unless we consent by ordinary resolution to the selection of an alternative forum, the United States District Courts shall be the exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or the U.S. Federal Forum Provision. In addition, our articles of association will provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in our shares is deemed to have notice of and consented to the England and Wales Forum Provision and the U.S. Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that our shareholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.

The England and Wales Forum Provision and the U.S. Federal Forum Provision in our articles of association may impose additional litigation costs on our shareholders in pursuing any such claims. Additionally, the forum selection clauses in our articles of association may limit the ability of our shareholders to bring a claim in a judicial forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage the filing of lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees, even though an action, if successful, might benefit our shareholders. In addition, while the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions purporting to require claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether other courts, including the courts of England and Wales and other courts within the U.S., will enforce our U.S. Federal Forum Provision. If the U.S. Federal Forum Provision is found to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. The U.S. Federal Forum Provision may also impose additional litigation costs on our shareholders who assert that the provision is not enforceable or invalid. The courts of England and Wales and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a shareholder 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 shareholders.

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

The trading price of our ADSs 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;

 

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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;

 

   

changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;

 

   

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;

 

   

changes in the market valuations of similar companies;

 

   

overall performance of the equity markets;

 

   

sales of our ADSs by us or holders of our ADSs in the future;

 

   

trading volume of our ADSs;

 

   

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 shareholder 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 ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance. If the market price of our ADSs 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.

 

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Sales of a substantial number of securities by our existing shareholders in the public market could cause our ADS price to fall.

If our existing shareholders sell, or indicate an intention to sell, substantial amounts of our ADSs in the public market after the lockup and other legal restrictions on resale discussed in this prospectus lapse, the trading price of our ADSs could decline. Based on the number of shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021, upon the closing of this offering, we will have outstanding a total of 85,924,419 ordinary shares (including ordinary shares represented by ADSs) (or 88,174,419 ordinary shares if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional ADSs). Of these shares, only the ADSs sold in this offering by us, plus any ADSs sold upon exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional ADSs, 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 shareholders 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. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies LLC and Evercore Group L.L.C., however, may, in their sole discretion, permit our officers, directors and other shareholders who are subject to these lock-up agreements to sell ordinary shares or ADSs prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements.

In addition, ordinary shares that are either subject to outstanding options or reserved for future issuance under equity incentive plans, 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 ordinary shares are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold, in the public market, the trading price of our ADSs could decline.

After this offering, the holders of 49,197,753 ordinary shares 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 Share Capital and Articles of Association —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 shareholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our ADSs.

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

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

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

The trading market for our ADSs 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 ADSs 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 ADSs or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our ADS price may decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases

 

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coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our ADSs could decrease, which might cause our ADS price and trading volume to decline.

Our principal shareholders and management own a significant percentage of our voting shares and will be able to exert significant influence over matters subject to shareholders’ approval.

Prior to this offering, our executive officers, directors, and 5% shareholders beneficially owned approximately 54.5% of our voting shares as of March 31, 2021 and assuming the sale by us of 15,000,000 ADSs in this offering, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 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 shareholders (or their affiliates), we anticipate that same group will hold approximately 45.5% of our outstanding ordinary shares following this offering (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional ADSs), without giving effect to any purchases that certain of these holders may make through our directed share program. Therefore, even after this offering, these shareholders will have the ability to influence us through this ownership position. These shareholders may be able to determine all matters requiring shareholder approval. For example, these shareholders may be able to control elections, re-elections and removal of directors, amendments of our articles of association, or approval of any merger, scheme of arrangement, sale of assets, or other major corporate transaction. This may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our ADSs that you may feel are in your best interest as a holder of our ADSs.

In addition, some of these persons or entities may have interests different than yours. For example, because many of these shareholders purchased their ordinary shares at prices substantially below the price at which ADSs are being sold in this offering and have held their ordinary shares for a longer period, they may be more interested in selling our company to an acquirer than other investors or they may want us to pursue strategies that deviate from the interests of other shareholders.

If you purchase our ADSs 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 ADS. Investors purchasing ADSs 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 ADSs in this offering will incur immediate dilution of $12.77 per ADS, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. Further, investors purchasing ADSs in this offering will contribute approximately 53% of the total amount invested by shareholders since our inception, but will own only approximately 17% of the total number of ordinary shares (including ordinary shares represented by ADSs) outstanding after this offering (or 20% if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional ADSs).

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 share options granted to our employees. To the extent that outstanding share options or warrants are exercised, there will be further dilution to new investors. As a result of the dilution to investors purchasing ADSs 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.”

Future sales and issuances of our ADSs or rights to purchase ordinary shares, including pursuant to our equity incentive plans, could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our shareholders and could cause the price of our ADSs 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 ADSs, ordinary shares, convertible securities, or

 

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other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. If we sell ADSs, ordinary shares, convertible securities, or other equity securities, investors may be materially diluted by subsequent sales, and new investors could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to the holders of our ADSs, including ADSs sold in this offering. Pursuant to our 2021 Plan, our management is authorized to grant share options to our employees, directors, and consultants.

Initially, the aggregate number of ordinary shares that may be issued pursuant to share awards under the 2021 Plan will be 8,900,000 ordinary shares. The number of ordinary shares reserved for issuance under the 2021 Plan shall be cumulatively increased on January 1, 2022 and each January 1 thereafter by up to 5.0% of the total number of ordinary shares outstanding on December 31 of the preceding calendar year or a lesser number of ordinary shares determined by our board of directors. Unless our board of directors elects not to increase the number of ordinary shares available for future grant each year, our shareholders may experience additional dilution, which could cause the price of our ADSs to fall.

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. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from this offering in short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing securities. These investments may not yield a favorable return to our shareholders.

We do not intend to pay dividends on our ordinary shares, so any returns will be limited to the value of our ordinary shares or ADSs.

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 ADS. Furthermore, under the Companies Act, a company’s accumulated realized profits, so far as not previously utilized by distribution or capitalization, must exceed its accumulated realized losses so far as not previously written off in a reduction or reorganization of capital duly made (on a non-consolidated basis), before dividends can be paid. In the future, were our dividend policy to change, a dividend or distribution may still be restricted from being declared and paid. In addition, under the Companies Act, a public company can only affect a buyback of shares out of distributable profits or a fresh issue of shares and cannot do so out of capital. For these reasons, any return to shareholders may therefore be limited to the appreciation of their shares, which may never occur.

After the completion of this offering, we may be at an increased risk of securities class action litigation, which is expensive and could divert management attention.

The market price of our securities may be volatile and, in the past, companies that have experienced volatility in the market price of their stock have been subject to securities class action litigation. 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 share 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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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 (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 (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. Shareholder 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.

We have material weaknesses in our internal control systems over financial reporting and will need to hire additional personnel and design and implement proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting. We may identify additional material weaknesses in the future that may cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations or result in material misstatements in our financial statements. If we fail to remediate

our material weaknesses, we may not be able to report our financial results accurately or to prevent fraud.

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining internal control over financial reporting,

disclosure controls, and compliance with the other requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules

promulgated by the SEC thereunder. 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 international financial reporting standards. 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 misstatement of the financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

In connection with the audits of our financial statements as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from October 26, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020 and in connection with audits of our Centessa Subsidiaries as of December 31, 2019 and 2020 for the periods or years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. Neither Centessa nor the Centessa Subsidiaries have a sufficient complement of personnel commensurate with the accounting and reporting requirements of a public company. The material weaknesses identified relate to inadequate controls that address

 

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segregation of certain accounting duties and reconciliation and analysis of certain key accounts. We have concluded that these material weaknesses arose because, as a pre-revenue private company recently formed, we and Centessa Subsidiaries did not have the necessary personnel to design effective components of internal control including risk assessment control activities information/communication and monitoring to satisfy the accounting and financial reporting requirements of a public company.

Management will aim to remediate the material weaknesses described above through hiring additional qualified accounting and financial reporting personnel, and designing and implementing financial reporting systems, processes, policies and internal controls. However, we will not be able to fully remediate these material weaknesses until these steps have been completed and are functioning effectively, which may expose us to errors, losses or fraud until remediated. In addition, we cannot at this time provide an estimate of the costs we expect to incur or the expected timeline in connection with implementing our remediation plan. These remediation measures may be time-consuming and costly, and might place significant demands on our financial and operational resources. If we are unable to successfully remediate these material weaknesses or successfully supervise and rely on outside advisors with expertise in these matters to assist us in the preparation of our financial statements, our financial statements could contain material misstatements that, when discovered in the future, could cause us to fail to meet our future reporting obligations and cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

If we fail to develop or maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable regulations could be impaired.

As a public company, we will be required to develop and maintain internal control over financial reporting and to report any material weaknesses in such internal controls. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, requires that we evaluate and determine the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and, beginning with our second annual report following our IPO, provide a management report on internal control over financial reporting. In addition, once we are no longer an emerging growth company, we will be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm.

Any failure to develop or maintain effective controls, or any difficulties encountered in their implementation or improvement, could harm our results of operations, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations, result in a restatement of our financial statements for prior periods, or adversely affect the results of management evaluations and independent registered public accounting firm audits of our internal control over financial reporting that we will eventually be required to include in our periodic reports that will be filed with the SEC. In addition, to the extent we acquire or establish additional consolidated subsidiaries, the financial statements of such entities may not be initially prepared by us, and we will not have direct control over their financial statement preparation. As a result, we will, for our financial reporting, depend on what these entities report to us, which could result in our adding monitoring and audit processes, and increase the difficulty of implementing and maintaining adequate controls over our financial processes and reporting in the future, which could lead to delays in our external reporting. In particular, this may occur where we are establishing such entities with partners that do not have sophisticated financial accounting processes in place, or where we are entering into new relationships at a rapid pace, straining our integration capacity. Additionally, if we do not receive the information from the consolidated subsidiaries on a timely basis, it could cause delays in our external reporting. Ineffective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial and other information, which would likely have a negative effect on the trading price of our ADSs.

In preparation for this offering, we have relied upon and, in the future we expect to continue to rely upon third-party contracted service providers to assist with our financial reporting. We are in the process of designing and implementing internal controls over financial reporting required to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This process will be time consuming, costly, and complicated. If we are unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective or when required in the future, if our independent registered public accounting

 

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firm issues an adverse opinion on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our ADSs could be adversely affected and we could become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our securities are listed, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities, which could require additional financial and management resources.

Our business and operations in the UK and EU may be negatively impacted by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, which could adversely affect the price of our ADSs.

On June 23, 2016, the UK held a referendum in which a majority of voters approved an exit from the EU (Brexit). After nearly three years of negotiation and political and economic uncertainty, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU became effective on January 31, 2020. There was a transitional period, during which EU laws, including pharmaceutical laws, continued to apply in the UK, however this ended on December 31, 2020. The UK and EU have signed a EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement (EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement), which became provisionally applicable on January 1, 2021 and became formally applicable on May 1, 2021 following ratification from both the UK and EU. This agreement provides details on how some aspects of the UK and EU’s relationship regarding medicinal products will operate, particularly in relation to Good Manufacturing Practice, however there are still many uncertainties. Many of the regulations that now apply in the UK following the transition period (including financial laws and regulations, tax, intellectual property rights, data protection laws, supply chain logistics, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, medicine approval and regulations, immigration laws and employment laws), will likely be amended in future as the UK determines its new approach, which may result in significant divergence from EU regulations. This lack of clarity on future UK laws and regulations and their interaction with the EU laws and regulations increases our regulatory burden of operating in and doing business with both the UK and the EU.

The long-term effects of Brexit will depend in part on how the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and any future agreements signed by the UK and the EU, take effect in practice. Such a withdrawal from the EU is unprecedented, and it is unclear how the restrictions on the UK’s access to the European single market for goods, capital, services and labor within the EU and the wider commercial, legal and regulatory environment, could impact our current and future operations and clinical activities in the UK.

We may also face new regulatory costs and challenges that could have an adverse effect on our operations as a result of Brexit. Since the regulatory framework in the UK covering quality, safety and efficacy of medicinal products, clinical trials, marketing authorization, commercial sales and distribution of medicinal products is derived from EU directives and regulations, Brexit could materially impact the future regulatory regime with respect to the approval of any of our future product candidates in the UK. For instance, the UK will now no longer be covered by the centralized procedure for obtaining EEA-wide marketing and manufacturing authorizations from the EMA for medicinal products and a separate process for authorization of drug products will be required in the UK. For a period of two years from 1 January 2021, the MHRA may rely on a decision taken by the European Commission on the approval of a new marketing authorization in the centralized procedure, in order to more quickly grant a UK marketing authorization, however a separate application will still be required. Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, any regulatory approvals, as a result of Brexit or otherwise, would delay or prevent us from commercializing our current or future product candidates in the UK and could restrict our ability to generate revenue from that market.

We expect that, now the transition period has expired, Brexit could lead to legal uncertainty and potentially divergent national laws and regulations as the UK determines which EU laws to replicate or replace, including those related to the regulation of medicinal products. Any of these effects of Brexit, and others we cannot anticipate, could negatively impact our business and results of operations in the UK.

The uncertainty concerning the UK’s legal, political and economic relationship with the EU following Brexit may also be a source of instability in the international markets, create significant currency fluctuations, and/or otherwise adversely affect trading agreements or similar cross-border co-operation arrangements (whether economic, tax, fiscal, legal, regulatory or otherwise).

 

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Holders of ADSs are not treated as holders of our ordinary shares.

By participating in this offering you will become a holder of ADSs with underlying ordinary shares in a company incorporated under English law. Holders of ADSs are not treated as holders of our ordinary shares, unless they withdraw the ordinary shares underlying their ADSs in accordance with the deposit agreement and applicable laws and regulations. The depositary is the holder of the ordinary shares underlying the ADSs. Holders of ADSs therefore do not have any rights as holders of our ordinary shares, other than the rights that they have pursuant to the deposit agreement. See “Description of American Depositary Shares.”

Holders of ADSs may be subject to limitations on the transfer of their ADSs and the withdrawal of the underlying ordinary shares.

ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary think it is advisable to do so because of any requirement of law, government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason, subject to the right of ADS holders to cancel their ADSs and withdraw the underlying ordinary shares. Temporary delays in the cancellation of your ADSs and withdrawal of the underlying ordinary shares may arise because the depositary has closed its transfer books or we have closed our transfer books, the transfer of ordinary shares is blocked to permit voting at a shareholders’ meeting or we are paying a dividend on our ordinary shares. In addition, ADS holders may not be able to cancel their ADSs and withdraw the underlying ordinary shares when they owe money for fees, taxes and similar charges and when it is necessary to prohibit withdrawals in order to comply with any laws or governmental regulations that apply to ADSs or to the withdrawal of ordinary shares or other deposited securities. See “Description of American Depositary Shares.”

We are entitled to amend the deposit agreement and to change the rights of ADS holders under the terms of such agreement, or to terminate the deposit agreement, without the prior consent of the ADS holders.

We are entitled to amend the deposit agreement and to change the rights of the ADS holders under the terms of such agreement, without the prior consent of the ADS holders. We and the depositary may agree to amend the deposit agreement in any way we decide is necessary or advantageous to us or to the depositary. Amendments may reflect, among other things, operational changes in the ADS program, legal developments affecting ADSs or changes in the terms of our business relationship with the depositary. In the event that the terms of an amendment are materially disadvantageous to ADS holders, ADS holders will only receive 30 days’ advance notice of the amendment, and no prior consent of the ADS holders is required under the deposit agreement. Furthermore, we may decide to direct the depositary to terminate the ADS facility at any time for any reason. For example, terminations may occur when we decide to list our ordinary shares on a non-U.S. securities exchange and determine not to continue to sponsor an ADS facility or when we become the subject of a takeover or a going-private transaction. If the ADS facility will terminate, ADS holders will receive at least 30 days’ prior notice, but no prior consent is required from them. Under the circumstances that we decide to make an amendment to the deposit agreement that is disadvantageous to ADS holders or terminate the deposit agreement, the ADS holders may choose to sell their ADSs or surrender their ADSs and become direct holders of the underlying ordinary shares, but will have no right to any compensation whatsoever.

ADS holders may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to claims arising under the deposit agreement, which could result in less favorable outcomes to the plaintiff(s) in any such action.

The deposit agreement governing the ADSs representing our ordinary shares provides that, to the fullest extent permitted by law, holders and beneficial owners of ADSs irrevocably waive the right to a jury trial of any claim they may have against us or the depositary arising out of or relating to the ADSs or the deposit agreement.

 

 

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If this jury trial waiver provision is not permitted by applicable law, an action could proceed under the terms of the deposit agreement with a jury trial. If we or the depositary opposed a jury trial demand based on the waiver, the court would determine whether the waiver was enforceable based on the facts and circumstances of that case in accordance with the applicable state and federal law. To our knowledge, the enforceability of a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver in connection with claims arising under the federal securities laws has not been finally adjudicated by the United States Supreme Court. However, we believe that a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver provision is generally enforceable, including under the laws of the State of New York, which govern the deposit agreement, by a federal or state court in the City of New York, which has non-exclusive jurisdiction over matters arising under the deposit agreement. In determining whether to enforce a contractual pre-dispute jury trial waiver provision, courts will generally consider whether a party knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived the right to a jury trial. We believe that this is the case with respect to the deposit agreement and the ADSs. It is advisable that you consult legal counsel regarding the jury waiver provision before entering into the deposit agreement.

If you or any other holders or beneficial owners of ADSs bring a claim against us or the depositary in connection with matters arising under the deposit agreement or the ADSs, including claims under federal securities laws, you or such other holder or beneficial owner may not be entitled to a jury trial with respect to such claims, which may have the effect of limiting and discouraging lawsuits against us and/or the depositary. If a lawsuit is brought against us and/or the depositary under the deposit agreement, it may be heard only by a judge or justice of the applicable trial court, which would be conducted according to different civil procedures and may result in different outcomes than a trial by jury would have had, including results that could be less favorable to the plaintiff(s) in any such action, depending on, among other things, the nature of the claims, the judge or justice hearing such claims, and the venue of the hearing.

No condition, stipulation or provision of the deposit agreement or ADSs serves as a waiver by any holder or beneficial owner of ADSs or by us or the depositary of compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Moreover, as the jury trial waiver relates to claims arising out of or relating to the ADSs or the deposit agreement, we believe that, as a matter of construction of the clause, the waiver would likely to continue to apply to ADS holders who withdraw the ordinary shares from the ADS facility with respect to claims arising before the cancellation of the ADSs and the withdrawal of the ordinary shares, and the waiver would most likely not apply to ADS holders who subsequently withdraw the ordinary shares represented by ADSs from the ADS facility with respect to claims arising after the withdrawal. However, to our knowledge, there has been no caselaw on the applicability of the jury trial waiver to ADS holders who withdraw the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs from the ADS facility.

You will not have the same voting rights as the holders of our ordinary shares and may not receive voting materials in time to be able to exercise your right to vote.

Except as described in this prospectus and the deposit agreement, holders of the ADSs will not be able to exercise voting rights attaching to the ordinary shares represented by the ADSs. Under the terms of the deposit agreement, holders of the ADSs may instruct the depositary to vote the ordinary shares underlying their ADSs. Otherwise, holders of ADSs will not be able to exercise their right to vote unless they withdraw the ordinary shares underlying their ADSs to vote them in person or by proxy in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and our articles of association. Even so, ADS holders may not know about a meeting far enough in advance to withdraw those ordinary shares. If we ask for the instructions of holders of the ADSs, the depositary, upon timely notice from us, will notify ADS holders of the upcoming vote and arrange to deliver our voting materials to them. Upon our request, the depositary will mail to holders a shareholder meeting notice that contains, among other things, a statement as to the manner in which voting instructions may be given. We cannot guarantee that ADS holders will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that they can instruct the depositary to vote the ordinary shares underlying their ADSs. A shareholder is only entitled to participate in, and vote at, the meeting of shareholders, provided that it holds our ordinary shares as of the record date set for such

 

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meeting and otherwise complies with our articles of association. In addition, the depositary’s liability to ADS holders for failing to execute voting instructions or for the manner of executing voting instructions is limited by the deposit agreement. As a result, holders of ADSs may not be able to exercise their right to give voting instructions or to vote in person or by proxy and they may not have any recourse against the depositary or us if their ordinary shares are not voted as they have requested or if their shares cannot be voted.

You may not receive distributions on our ordinary shares represented by the ADSs or any value for them if it is illegal or impractical to make them available to holders of ADSs.

The depositary for the ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of our ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, in accordance with the limitations set forth in the deposit agreement, it may be unlawful or impractical to make a distribution available to holders of ADSs. We have no obligation to take any other action to permit distribution on the ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or anything else to holders of the ADSs. This means that you may not receive the distributions we make on our ordinary shares or any value from them if it is unlawful or impractical to make them available to you. These restrictions may have an adverse effect on the value of your ADSs.

Claims of U.S. civil liabilities may not be enforceable against us.

We are incorporated under English law and have our registered office in England. Certain members of our board of directors and senior management are non-residents of the United States, and all or a substantial portion of our assets and the assets of such persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may not be possible to serve process on such persons or us in the United States or to enforce judgments obtained in U.S. courts against them or us based on civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States.

The United States and England and Wales do not currently have a treaty providing for recognition and enforcement of judgments (other than arbitration awards) in civil and commercial matters. Consequently, a final judgment for payment given by a court in the United States, whether or not predicated solely upon U.S. securities laws, would not automatically be recognized or enforceable in England and Wales. In addition, uncertainty exists as to whether the courts of England and Wales would entertain original actions brought in England and Wales against us or our directors or senior management predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States. Any final and conclusive monetary judgment for a definite sum obtained against us in U.S. courts would be treated by the courts of England and Wales as a cause of action in itself and sued upon as a debt at common law so that no retrial of the issues would be necessary, provided that certain requirements are met. Whether these requirements are met in respect of a judgment based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. securities laws, including whether the award of monetary damages under such laws would constitute a penalty, is an issue for the court making such decision. If the courts of England and Wales give judgment for the sum payable under a U.S. judgment, the judgment of the English and Welsh court will be enforceable by methods generally available for this purpose. These methods generally permit the courts of England and Wales discretion to prescribe the manner of enforcement.

As a result, U.S. investors may not be able to enforce against us or our senior management, board of directors or certain experts named herein who are residents of England and Wales or countries other than the United States any judgments obtained in U.S. courts in civil and commercial matters, including judgments under the U.S. federal securities laws.

Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings.

We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is

 

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available. Also, under the deposit agreement, the depositary bank will not make rights available to you unless either both the rights and any related securities are registered under the Securities Act, or the distribution of them to ADS holders is exempted from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective. Moreover, we may not be able to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. If the depositary does not distribute the rights, it may, under the deposit agreement, either sell them, if possible, or allow them to lapse. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

If we are a controlled foreign corporation, there could be material adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to certain U.S. Holders.

Each “Ten Percent Shareholder” (as defined below) in a non-U.S. corporation that is classified as a “controlled foreign corporation,” or a CFC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes generally is required to include in income for U.S. federal tax purposes such Ten Percent Shareholder’s pro rata share of the CFC’s “Subpart F income” and investment of earnings in U.S. property, even if the CFC has made no distributions to its shareholders. Subpart F income generally includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties, “global intangible low-taxed income,” gains from the sale of securities and income from certain transactions with related parties. In addition, a Ten Percent Shareholder that realizes gain from the sale or exchange of shares in a CFC may be required to classify a portion of such gain as dividend income rather than capital gain. A non-U.S. corporation generally will be classified as a CFC for U.S. federal income tax purposes if Ten Percent Shareholders own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of either the total combined voting power of all classes of stock of such corporation entitled to vote or of the total value of the stock of such corporation. A “Ten Percent Shareholder” is a United States person (as defined by the Code) who owns or is considered to own 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote or 10% or more of the total value of all classes of stock of such corporation.

We do not expect to be a CFC in the current taxable year; however, it is possible that we may become a CFC in a subsequent taxable year. The determination of CFC status is complex and includes attribution rules, the application of which is not certain. In addition, as a result of recent changes made to the attribution rules in the Code, the stock of our non-U.S. subsidiaries is attributed to our U.S. subsidiary, which results in our non-U.S. subsidiaries being treated as CFCs and could result in certain United States persons being treated as Ten Percent Shareholders of such non-U.S. subsidiary CFCs. We cannot provide any assurances that we will assist holders of our ordinary shares or ADSs in determining whether we are treated as a CFC or whether any holder of ordinary shares or ADSs is treated as a Ten Percent Shareholder with respect to any such CFC or furnish to any Ten Percent Shareholders information that may be necessary to comply with the aforementioned reporting and tax paying obligations.

U.S. Holders should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the potential material adverse U.S. tax consequences of becoming a Ten Percent Shareholder in a CFC, including the possibility and consequences of becoming a Ten Percent Shareholder in our non-U.S. subsidiaries that are treated as CFCs due to the changes to the attribution rules. If we are classified as both a CFC and a PFIC (as defined below), we generally will not be treated as a PFIC with respect to those U.S. Holders that meet the definition of a Ten Percent Shareholder during the period in which we are a CFC.

There is substantial uncertainty as to whether we are or will be a passive foreign investment company (PFIC). If we are a PFIC, there could be material adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders.

Under the Code, we will be a PFIC, for any taxable year in which (1) 75% or more of our gross income consists of passive income or (2) 50% or more of the average quarterly value of our assets consists of assets that produce, or are held for the production of, passive income. For purposes of these tests, passive income includes dividends, interest, gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and certain rents and royalties. In addition, for purposes of the above calculations, a non-U.S. corporation that directly or indirectly owns at least 25% by value of the shares of

 

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another corporation is treated as holding and receiving directly its proportionate share of assets and income of such corporation. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder holds our ordinary shares or ADSs, the U.S. Holder may be subject to material adverse tax consequences regardless of whether we continue to qualify as a PFIC, including ineligibility for any preferred tax rates on capital gains or on actual or deemed dividends, interest charges on certain taxes treated as deferred and additional reporting requirements.

While we believe we may have been a PFIC for 2020, and we do not believe we will be a PFIC in the current year, it is uncertain whether we or any of our Centessa Subsidiaries will be treated as a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the current or any subsequent tax year. The determination of whether we are a PFIC is a fact-intensive determination made on an annual basis applying principles and methodologies that in some circumstances are unclear and subject to varying interpretation. The value of our assets would also be determined differently for the purposes of this determination if we were treated as a CFC, as discussed above. Under the income test described above, our status as a PFIC depends on the composition of our income which will depend on the transactions we enter into in the future and our corporate structure. The composition of our income and assets is also affected by the spending of the cash we raise in any offering, including this offering. Because PFIC status is based on our income, assets, and activities for the entire taxable year, we cannot make a conclusive determination at this time as to whether we will be a PFIC for 2021 and our PFIC status may change from year to year. Although we will try to manage our business to avoid becoming a PFIC, our operations currently generate very limited amounts of non-passive income. Until we generate sufficient revenue from active licensing and other non-passive sources, there is a risk that we will be a PFIC under the PFIC income test.

In certain circumstances, a U.S. Holder of shares in a PFIC may alleviate some of the adverse tax consequences described above by making either a “qualified electing fund,” or QEF, election or a mark-to-market election (if our ordinary shares or ADSs constitute “marketable” securities under the Code). However, a U.S. Holder may make a QEF election with respect to our ordinary shares or ADSs only if we agree to furnish such U.S. Holder annually with required information. If we determine that we are a PFIC for this taxable year or any future taxable year, we currently expect that we would make available the information necessary for U.S. Holders to make a QEF Election. However, there is also no assurance that we will have timely knowledge of our status as a PFIC in the future or of the required information to be provided.

If we are a PFIC and, at any time, have a foreign subsidiary that is classified as a PFIC, U.S. Holders generally would be deemed to own a portion of the shares of such lower-tier PFIC, and generally could incur liability for the deferred tax and interest charge described above if we receive a distribution from, or dispose of all or part of our interest in, the lower-tier PFIC or the U.S. Holders otherwise were deemed to have disposed of an interest in the lower-tier PFIC. If we determine that we are a PFIC, to the extent appropriate, we will cause any lower-tier PFIC that we control to provide to a U.S. Holder the information necessary for U.S Holders to make or maintain a QEF election with respect to the lower-tier PFIC. However, in the future, we may not hold a controlling interest in any such lower-tier PFIC and thus there can be no assurance that we will be able to cause the lower-tier PFIC to provide such required information. A mark-to-market election generally would not be available with respect to such lower-tier PFIC. U.S. Holders are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the tax issues raised by lower-tier PFICs.

For further discussion of the PFIC rules and the adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences in the event we are classified as a PFIC, see the section of this prospectus entitled “Material Income Tax Considerations — Material United States Federal Income Considerations for U.S. Holders.” U.S. Holders should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the potential material adverse U.S. tax consequences if we or any of our Centessa Subsidiaries are or were to become a PFIC.

Future changes to tax laws could materially adversely affect our company and reduce net returns to our shareholders.

We conduct business globally. The tax treatment of the company or any of the group companies is subject to changes in tax laws, regulations and treaties, or the interpretation thereof, tax policy initiatives and reforms under

 

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consideration and the practices of tax authorities in jurisdictions in which we operate, as well as international tax policy initiatives and reforms including those related to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s (OECD), Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), Project, the European Commission’s state aid investigations and other initiatives. Such changes may include (but are not limited to) the taxation of operating income, investment income, dividends received or (in the specific context of withholding tax) dividends paid.

We are unable to predict what tax reform may be proposed or enacted in the future or what effect such changes would have on our business, but such changes, to the extent they are brought into tax legislation, regulations, policies or practices, could affect our financial position, future results of operations, cash flows in a particular period and overall or effective tax rates in the future in countries where we have operations, reduce post-tax returns to our shareholders, and increase the complexity, burden and cost of tax compliance.

Tax authorities may disagree with our positions and conclusions regarding certain tax positions, resulting in unanticipated costs, taxes or non-realization of expected benefits.

We operate through various Centessa Subsidiaries in a number of countries throughout the world. Consequently, we are subject to tax laws, treaties, and regulations in the countries in which we operate, and these laws and treaties are subject to interpretation. We have taken, and will continue to take, tax positions based on our interpretation of such tax laws. A tax authority may disagree with tax positions that we have taken, which could result in increased tax liabilities. For example, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Internal Revenue Service or another tax authority could challenge our allocation of income by tax jurisdiction and the amounts paid between our affiliated companies pursuant to our intercompany arrangements and transfer pricing policies, including amounts paid with respect to our intellectual property development. There can be no assurance that a taxing authority will not have a different interpretation of applicable law and assess us with additional taxes. Similarly, a tax authority could assert that we are subject to tax in a jurisdiction where we believe we have not established a taxable connection, often referred to as a “permanent establishment” under international tax treaties, and such an assertion, if successful, could increase our expected tax liability in one or more jurisdictions. If we are assessed with additional taxes, this may result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and/or financial condition.

A tax authority may take the position that material income tax liabilities, interest and penalties are payable by us, for example where there has been a technical violation of contradictory laws and regulations that are relatively new and have not been subject to extensive review or interpretation, in which case, we expect that we might contest such assessment. Contesting such an assessment may be lengthy and costly and if we were unsuccessful in disputing the assessment, the implications could increase our anticipated effective tax rate, where applicable, or result in other liabilities.

We may be unable to use U.K. net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards and certain built-in losses to reduce future tax payments or benefit from favorable U.K. tax legislation.

As a U.K. incorporated and tax resident entity, we are subject to U.K. corporate taxation on tax-adjusted trading profits. Due to the nature of our business, we have generated losses since inception and have not paid any U.K. corporation tax. We therefore have accumulated carryforward tax losses. Subject to numerous utilization criteria and restrictions (including those that limit the percentage of profits that can be reduced by carried forward losses and those that can restrict the use of carried forward losses where there is a change of ownership of more than half the ordinary shares of the Company and a major change in the nature, conduct or scale of the trade), we expect these to be eligible for carry forward and utilization against future operating profits. The use of loss carryforwards in relation to U.K. profits incurred on or after April 1, 2017 is generally limited each year to £5.0 million plus an incremental 50% of U.K. taxable profits. In addition, if we were to have a major change in the nature of the conduct of our trade, loss carryforwards may be restricted or extinguished.

As a company that carries out extensive research and development activities, we seek to benefit from two U.K. research and development tax relief programs, the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises R&D Tax Credit

 

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Program (SME Program), and the Research and Development Expenditure Credit program (RDEC Program). Where available, we may be able to surrender the trading losses that arise from our qualifying research and development activities for cash or carried forward for potential offset against future profits (subject to relevant restrictions). The majority of our pipeline research, clinical trials management and manufacturing development activities are eligible for inclusion within these tax credit cash rebate claims. Our eligibility to claim payable research and development tax credits may be limited or eliminated because we may no longer qualify as a small or medium-sized company. Proposed changes to the SME Program are contained in draft legislation currently before the U.K. Parliament which, if enacted, will come into force with effect from April 2021 and could in some cases cap claims under the SME Program to a multiple of payroll taxes (broadly, to a maximum payable credit equal to £20,000 plus three times the total PAYE and NICs liability of the company). This cap may limit the value we can claim. We may benefit in the future from the United Kingdom’s “patent box” regime, which allows certain profits attributable to revenues from patented products (and other qualifying income) to be taxed at an effective rate of 10%. We are the exclusive licensee or owner of several patent applications which, if issued, would cover our product candidates, and accordingly, future upfront fees, milestone fees, product revenues and royalties could be taxed at this tax rate. When taken in combination with the enhanced relief available on our research and development expenditures, we expect a long-term lower rate of corporation tax to apply to us. If, however, there are unexpected adverse changes to the U.K. research and development tax credit regime or the “patent box” regime, or for any reason we are unable to qualify for such advantageous tax legislation, or we are unable to use net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards and certain built-in losses to reduce future tax payments then our business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.

Shareholder protections found in provisions under the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers, or the Takeover Code, will not apply if our place of central management and control remains outside of the United Kingdom (or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man).

We believe that, as of the date of this prospectus, our place of central management and control is not in the United Kingdom (or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) for the purposes of the jurisdictional criteria of the Takeover Code. Accordingly, we believe that we are not currently subject to the Takeover Code and, as a result, our shareholders are not currently entitled to the benefit of certain takeover offer protections provided under the Takeover Code, including the rules regarding mandatory takeover bids.

In the event that this changes, or if the interpretation and application of the Takeover Code by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (Takeover Panel), changes (including changes to the way in which the Takeover Panel assesses the application of the Takeover Code to English companies whose shares are listed outside of the United Kingdom), the Takeover Code may apply to us in the future.

The Takeover Code provides a framework within which takeovers of companies which are subject to the Takeover Code are regulated and conducted. The following is a brief summary of some of the most important rules of the Takeover Code:

 

   

in connection with a potential offer, if following an approach by or on behalf of a potential bidder, the company is “the subject of rumor or speculation” or there is an “untoward movement” in the company’s share price, there is a requirement for the potential bidder to make a public announcement about a potential offer for the company, or for the company to make a public announcement about its review of a potential offer

 

   

when any person, or group of persons acting in concert, acquires, whether by a series of transactions over a period of time or not, an interest in shares which (taken together with shares already held by that person and an interest in shares held or acquired by persons acting in concert with him or her) carry 30% or more of the voting rights of a company that is subject to the Takeover Code, that person is generally required to make a mandatory offer to all the holders of any class of equity share capital or other class of transferable securities carrying voting rights in that company to acquire the balance of their interests in the company;

 

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when any person who, together with persons acting in concert with him or her, is interested in shares representing not less than 30% but does not hold more than 50% of the voting rights of a company that is subject to the Takeover Code, and such person, or any person acting in concert with him or her, acquires an additional interest in shares which increases the percentage of shares carrying voting rights in which he or she is interested, then such person is generally required to make a mandatory offer to all the holders of any class of equity share capital or other class of transferable securities carrying voting rights of that company to acquire the balance of their interests in the company;

 

   

a mandatory offer triggered in the circumstances described in the two paragraphs above must be in cash (or be accompanied by a cash alternative) and at not less than the highest price paid within the preceding 12 months to acquire any interest in shares in the company by the person required to make the offer or any person acting in concert with him or her;

 

   

in relation to a voluntary offer (i.e. any offer which is not a mandatory offer), when interests in shares representing 10% or more of the shares of a class have been acquired for cash by an offeror (i.e., a bidder) and any person acting in concert with it in the offer period and the previous 12 months, the offer must be in cash or include a cash alternative for all shareholders of that class at not less than the highest price paid for any interest in shares of that class by the offeror and by any person acting in concert with it in that period. Further, if an offeror, or any person acting in concert with them, acquires for cash any interest in shares during the offer period, a cash alternative must be made available at not less than the highest price paid for any interest in the shares of that class;

 

   

if, after making an offer for a company, the offeror or any person acting in concert with them acquires an interest in shares in an offeree company (i.e., a target) at a price higher than the value of the offer, the offer must be increased to not less than the highest price paid for the interest in shares so acquired;

 

   

the offeree company must appoint a competent independent adviser whose advice on the financial terms of the offer must be made known to all the shareholders, together with the opinion of the board of directors of the offeree company;

 

   

special or favorable deals for selected shareholders are not permitted, except in certain circumstances where independent shareholder approval is given and the arrangements are regarded as fair and reasonable in the opinion of the financial adviser to the offeree;

 

   

all shareholders must be given the same information;

 

   

each document published in connection with an offer by or on behalf of the offeror or offeree must state that the directors of the offeror or the offeree, as the case may be, accept responsibility for the information contained therein;

 

   

profit forecasts, quantified financial benefits statements and asset valuations must be made to specified standards and must be reported on by professional advisers;

 

   

misleading, inaccurate or unsubstantiated statements made in documents or to the media must be publicly corrected immediately;

 

   

actions during the course of an offer by the offeree company, which might frustrate the offer are generally prohibited unless shareholders approve these plans. Frustrating actions would include, for example, lengthening the notice period for directors under their service contract or agreeing to sell off material parts of the target group;

 

   

stringent requirements are laid down for the disclosure of dealings in relevant securities during an offer, including the prompt disclosure of positions and dealing in relevant securities by the parties to an offer and any person who is interested (directly or indirectly) in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities; and

 

   

employees of both the offeror and the offeree company and the trustees of the offeree company’s pension scheme must be informed about an offer. In addition, the offeree company’s employee

 

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representatives and pension scheme trustees have the right to have a separate opinion on the effects of the offer on employment appended to the offeree board of directors’ circular or published on a website.

The rights of our shareholders may differ from the rights typically offered to shareholders of a U.S. corporation.

We are incorporated under the laws of England and Wales. The rights of holders of ordinary shares and, therefore, certain of the rights of holders of ADS, are governed by English law, including the provisions of the Companies Act, and by our articles of association. These rights differ in certain respects from the rights of shareholders in typical U.S. corporations. See “Description of Share Capital and Articles of Association — Differences in Corporate Law” in this prospectus for a description of the principal differences between the provisions of the Companies Act applicable to us and, for example, the Delaware General Corporation Law relating to shareholders’ rights and protections.

The principal differences include the following:

 

   

under English law and our articles of association, each shareholder present at a meeting has only one vote unless demand is made for a vote on a poll, in which case each holder gets one vote per share owned. Under U.S. law, each shareholder typically is entitled to one vote per share at all meetings;

 

   

under English law, it is only on a poll that the number of shares determines the number of votes a holder may cast. You should be aware, however, that the voting rights of ADS are also governed by the provisions of a deposit agreement with our depositary bank;

 

   

under English law, subject to certain exceptions and disapplications, each shareholder generally has preemptive rights to subscribe on a proportionate basis to any issuance of ordinary shares or rights to subscribe for, or to convert securities into, ordinary shares for cash. Under U.S. law, shareholders generally do not have preemptive rights unless specifically granted in the certificate of incorporation or otherwise;

 

   

under English law and our articles of association, certain matters require the approval of 75% of the shareholders who vote (in person or by proxy) on the relevant resolution (or on a poll of shareholders representing 75% of the ordinary shares voting (in person or by proxy)), including amendments to the articles of association. This may make it more difficult for us to complete corporate transactions deemed advisable by our board of directors. Under U.S. law, generally only majority shareholder approval is required to amend the certificate of incorporation or to approve other significant transactions;

 

   

in the United Kingdom, takeovers may be structured as takeover offers or as schemes of arrangement. Under English law, a bidder seeking to acquire us by means of a takeover offer would need to make an offer for all of our outstanding ordinary shares/ADS. If acceptances are not received for 90% or more of the ordinary shares/ADS under the offer, under English law, the bidder cannot complete a “squeeze out” to obtain 100% control of us. Accordingly, acceptances of 90% of our outstanding ordinary shares/ADSs will likely be a condition in any takeover offer to acquire us, not 50% as is more common in tender offers for corporations organized under Delaware law. By contrast, a scheme of arrangement, the successful completion of which would result in a bidder obtaining 100% control of us, requires the approval of a majority of shareholders voting at the meeting and representing 75% of the ordinary shares voting for approval; and

 

   

under English law and our articles of association, shareholders and other persons whom we know or have reasonable cause to believe are, or have been, interested in our shares may be required to disclose information regarding their interests in our shares upon our request, and the failure to provide the required information could result in the loss or restriction of rights attaching to the shares, including prohibitions on certain transfers of the shares, withholding of dividends and loss of voting rights. Comparable provisions generally do not exist under U.S. law.

 

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As an English public limited company, certain capital structure decisions will require shareholder approval, which may limit our flexibility to manage our capital structure.

English law provides that a board of directors may only allot shares (or grant rights to subscribe for or to convert any security into shares) with the prior authorization of shareholders, either pursuant to an ordinary resolution or as set out in the articles of association. This authorization must state the aggregate nominal amount of shares that it covers, can be valid up to a maximum period of five years and can be varied, renewed or revoked by shareholders. Such authority from our shareholders to allot additional shares for a period of five years from 2021 was included in the ordinary resolution passed by our shareholders on May 20, 2021, which authorization will need to be renewed upon expiration (i.e., at least every five years) but may be sought more frequently for additional five-year terms (or any shorter period).

English law also generally provides shareholders with preemptive rights when new shares are issued for cash. However, it is possible for the articles of association, or for shareholders to pass a special resolution at a general meeting, being a resolution passed by at least 75% of the votes cast, to disapply preemptive rights. Such a disapplication of preemptive rights may be for a maximum period of up to five years from the date of adoption of the articles of association, if the disapplication is contained in the articles of association, but not longer than the duration of the authority to allot shares to which this disapplication relates or from the date of the shareholder special resolution, if the disapplication is by shareholder special resolution. In either case, this disapplication would need to be renewed by our shareholders upon its expiration (i.e., at least every five years). Such authority from our shareholders to disapply preemptive rights for a period of five years was included in the special resolution passed by our shareholders on May 20, 2021, which disapplication will need to be renewed upon expiration (i.e., at least every five years) to remain effective, but may be sought more frequently for additional five-year terms (or any shorter period).

English law also generally prohibits a public company from repurchasing its own shares without the prior approval of its shareholders by ordinary resolution, being a resolution passed by a simple majority of votes cast, and other formalities. Such approval may be provided for a maximum period of up to five years. In addition, a public company can only affect a buyback of shares out of distributable profits or a fresh issue of shares and cannot do so out of capital.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus, including the sections titled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of The Centessa Predecessor Group and Certain Other Acquired Entities” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements that are based on our management’s views, beliefs, intentions, expectations and assumptions based on information currently available to our management. Although we believe that the beliefs, intentions and expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements relate to future events or our future financial performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

   

the initiation, timing, progress and results of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, and our research and development programs;

 

   

our ability to advance our product candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical trials;

 

   

our reliance on the success of our product candidates and our pipeline programs;

 

   

our ability to utilize our screening platform to identify and advance additional product candidates into clinical development;

 

   

our ability to become the partner of choice to attract founder-subject matter experts with high conviction programs;

 

   

the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals;

 

   

the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations;

 

   

the commercialization of our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

our ability to develop sales and marketing capabilities;

 

   

the pricing, coverage and reimbursement of our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

the implementation of our business model, strategic plans for our business, product candidates and technology;

 

   

the scope of protection we are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering our product candidates and technology;

 

   

our ability to operate our business without infringing the intellectual property rights and proprietary technology of third parties;

 

   

cost associated with defending intellectual property infringement, product liability and other claims;

 

   

regulatory development in the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions;

 

   

estimates of our expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and our needs for additional financing;

 

   

the potential benefits of strategic collaboration agreements and our ability to enter into strategic arrangements;

 

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our ability to maintain and establish collaborations or obtain additional funding;

 

   

the rate and degree of market acceptance of any approved products;

 

   

developments relating to our competitors and our industry, including competing therapies;

 

   

our ability to effectively manage our anticipated growth;

 

   

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

 

   

our expectations regarding the period during which we qualify as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act;

 

   

statements regarding future revenue, hiring plans, expenses, capital expenditures, capital requirements and share performance;

 

   

our expected use of proceeds of this offering;

 

   

the future trading price of the ADSs and impact of securities analysts’ reports on these prices; and

 

   

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

Forward-looking 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 “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-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 SEC as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this prospectus is 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 management’s 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.

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

 

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MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

This prospectus 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.

In addition, assumptions and estimates of our and our industry’s future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in the section titled “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause our future performance to differ materially from those expressed in the industry publications, as well as from our assumptions and estimates. See the section titled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds to us from the sale of 15,000,000 ADSs in this offering will be approximately $256.4 million based upon an assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs in full, we estimate that our net proceeds will be approximately $296.2 million, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $14.0 million, assuming the number of ADSs 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, each increase (decrease) of 1.0 million ADSs offered by us would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by approximately $17.7 million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The principal purposes of this offering are to create a public market for the ADSs and to facilitate our future access to the public equity markets and obtain additional capital. We currently expect to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash, as follows:

 

   

approximately $110.0 million to fund the continuation of the lixivaptan Phase 3 safety study (ALERT) and initiation of a Phase 3 pivotal trial (ACTION);

 

   

approximately $60.0 million for the initiation of Phase 2 clinical trials for imgatuzumab;

 

   

approximately $45.0 million for the completion of the ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial for ZF874 and initiation of future clinical studies for ZF874; IND enabling studies and initiation of Phase 1 for ZF887;

 

   

approximately $50.0 million for the completion of ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial and initiation of future clinical trials for SerpinPC;

 

   

approximately $200.0 million to fund continued development of the other programs in our pipeline, including designing and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as funding discovery, manufacturing, research and development; and

 

   

the remainder for working capital, and other general corporate purposes, including the build out and ongoing staffing and systems expenses related to our centralized operational and R&D support functions and the integration of operations at the Centessa Subsidiaries into our larger organization, including the harmonization of operational, legal, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures, as well as to fund the acquisition of, and drug development activities related to, new programs; although we have no material agreements, commitments or understandings with respect to any in-license or acquisition, we have and plan to continue to evaluate such opportunities and engage in related discussions with other business entities from time to time.

This expected use of the net proceeds from this offering and our existing cash represents our intentions based upon our current plans and business conditions. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot predict with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the completion of this offering or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above. We currently expect that our cash resources, together with the net proceeds of this offering, will enable us to fund operations until mid-2023. 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 efforts, the status of and results from preclinical

 

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studies and any ongoing clinical trials 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 and any unforeseen cash needs. As a result, our management will retain broad discretion over the allocation of the net proceeds from this offering and may change the allocation of use of these proceeds among the uses described above. An investor will not have the opportunity to evaluate the economic, financial or other information on which we base our decisions on how to use the proceeds.

Pending our use of the net proceeds from this offering, we intend to invest the net proceeds in a variety of capital preservation investments, including short-term, investment-grade, interest-bearing instruments, or hold as cash.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have not declared or paid any dividends to our shareholders on our ordinary shares or our convertible preferred shares. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Investors should not purchase the ADSs with the expectation of receiving cash dividends.

Any future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and may be based on a number of factors, including our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. In addition, our ability to pay dividends may be limited under English law. See “Risk Factors—We do not intend to pay dividends on our ordinary shares, so any returns will be limited to the value of our ordinary shares or ADSs.” If we pay any dividends, ADS holders will generally have the right to receive the dividends paid on the underlying ordinary shares, subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, including the fees and expenses payable thereunder. See “Description of American Depositary Shares.” Cash dividends on our ordinary shares, if any, will be paid in U.S. dollars.

 

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SHARE CAPITAL REORGANIZATION AND RE-REGISTRATION

Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited was incorporated under the laws of England and Wales on October 26, 2020 as a private company with limited liability, under the name United Medicines Biopharma Limited, with nominal assets and liabilities for the purpose of acquiring the Centessa Subsidiaries. The Centessa Subsidiaries were incorporated at various times within the period from 2013 to 2019, and have historically operated as independent companies. Pursuant to the terms of contribution agreements in respect of each Centessa Subsidiary dated December 31, 2021 in the case of PearlRiver Bio (as amended from time to time) and January 23, 2021 in the case of all other Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences), all shareholders of each of the Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences) exchanged the shares held by them in the relevant Centessa Subsidiary for newly issued B ordinary shares of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited and, as a result, each of the Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences) became a wholly owned subsidiary of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited, the issuer in this offering. On the same date, Palladio Biosciences merged with UPM Merger Sub, Inc. (a subsidiary of Centessa incorporated for the purposes of merging with Palladio Biosciences) pursuant to a merger agreement. Palladio Biosciences was the surviving entity of the merger and thereby became a wholly owned subsidiary of Centessa Pharmaceuticals.

In connection with this offering, we re-registered Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as an English public limited company and renamed it as Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc. Therefore, investors in this offering will only acquire, and this prospectus only describes the offering of, ADSs representing ordinary shares of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.

We refer to the reorganization, pursuant to which each of the Centessa Subsidiaries became a wholly owned subsidiary of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited, and the subsequent re-registration of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company with the name Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and reorganization of shares in Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc, as our “Reorganization.”

The Reorganization is taking place in several steps.

Founding of Centessa

Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited was incorporated on October 26, 2020 with a single subscriber share (being one Ordinary Share of £1) issued to an individual associated with Medicxi.

On November 17, 2020, Centessa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware as a wholly owned subsidiary of Centessa under the name of United Medicines Biopharma US Inc. Centessa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was incorporated to be Centessa’s operating company in the US.

On November 24, 2020, Centessa Limited was incorporated in England and Wales as a private company with limited liability and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centessa under the name of United Medicines Biopharma (Midco) Limited with company number 13040752 for the purposes of becoming the direct holding company of the Centessa Subsidiaries.

On November 27, 2020, the one Ordinary Share of £1 held by an individual associated with Medicxi was sub-divided into 500 Ordinary Shares of £0.002 each; and Centessa issued 6,747,500 Ordinary Shares to individuals associated with Medicxi and on 2 December 2020, Centessa issued 752,000 further Ordinary Shares to the Index Foundation. Each of the 7,500,000 Ordinary Shares were redesignated as A Ordinary Shares in connection with the closing of the Crossover Investment (as defined below) on January 29, 2021 and 4,450,000 A Ordinary Shares were acquired for nominal value and cancelled by Centessa.

On December 29, 2020, Centessa entered into a convertible loan agreement with Medicxi Growth I LP and Medicxi Growth Co-Invest I LP (collectively Medicxi Growth), whereby the Company issued $5.0 million of

 

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unsecured convertible term notes to Medicxi Growth (the Convertible Notes). The Convertible Notes converted into an aggregate 568,181 Series A Shares at a subscription price of $8.799999964 in connection with the closing of the Crossover Investment on January 29, 2021.

Contributions of Subsidiary Company Shares in Exchange for B Ordinary Shares of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited

Pursuant to the terms of contribution agreements in respect of each Centessa Subsidiary dated December 31, 2020 in the case of PearlRiver Bio (as amended from time to time) and January 23, 2021 in the case of all other Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences), all shareholders of each of the Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences) exchanged the shares held by them in the relevant Centessa Subsidiary for newly issued B ordinary shares of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited and, as a result, each of the Centessa Subsidiaries (other than Palladio Biosciences) became a wholly owned subsidiary of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited. As a result of the transactions contemplated by the Contribution Agreements, on January 29, 2021, Centessa simultaneously acquired 100% of the outstanding equity of the ten entities set out below, in each case in exchange for B ordinary shares in the capital of Centessa. Those Centessa Subsidiaries acquired by Centessa pursuant to the Contribution Agreements are:

 

1.

ApcinteX Limited (“ApcinteX”);

 

2.

Capella Bioscience Limited (“Capella”);

 

3.

Inexia Limited (“Inexia”);

 

4.

Janpix Limited (“Janpix”);

 

5.

LockBody Therapeutics Ltd (“LockBody”);

 

6.

Morphogen-IX Limited (“Morphogen-IX”);

 

7.

Orexia Limited (“Orexia”);

 

8.

PearlRiver Bio GmbH (“Pearl River”);

 

9.

Pega-One SAS (“PegaOne”); and

 

10.

Z Factor Limited (“Z Factor”).

On January 23, 2021, Palladio Biosciences entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization (the Merger Agreement) with Centessa UPM Merger Sub, Inc. (a subsidiary of Centessa incorporated in Delaware for the purposes of merging with Palladio Biosciences). Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, UPM Merger Sub, Inc. merged with and into Palladio Biosciences as the surviving corporation with the shareholders of Palladio receiving B ordinary shares of Centessa and certain Contingent Value Rights.

On January 29, 2021, immediately following the completion of the acquisition of the Centessa Subsidiaries, the entire issued share capital of each of the Centessa Subsidiaries (other than PearlRiver Bio, Pega-One and Palladio) held by Centessa was re-designated into a single class of ordinary shares.

Crossover Investment

On January 29, 2021, Centessa issued 22,272,721 Series A preferred shares to new investors in exchange for $245 million of gross proceeds (the Crossover Investment). In connection with the Crossover Investment, the Convertible Notes were converted into 568,181 Series A preferred shares of Centessa.

 

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Orexia Therapeutics Limited and Inexia Limited business combination

Due to the overlapping therapeutic focus of our Centessa subsidiaries, Orexia Therapeutics Limited and Inexia Limited, we determined it to be in the best interest of both entities to combine the business of Orexia Therapeutics Limited and Inexia Limited. We intend to implement the combination by the transfer of the business and assets of Inexia Limited to Orexia Therapeutics Limited after the date of this prospectus.

Capital Reduction and Re-designation of the Shares in Centessa

Pursuant to part 17 of the Companies Act, on April 30, 2021, Centessa reduced the nominal value of each of its B ordinary shares from £1.50 to £0.001 and cancelled the full amount standing to the credit of its share premium reserve pursuant to a capital reduction supported by a directors’ solvency statement. The capital reduction was carried out to create distributable reserves in Centessa to support future distributions. Following the capital reduction, Centessa re-designated all of the B Ordinary Shares into A Ordinary Shares in order to simplify the capital structure.

Sale of the Centessa Subsidiaries to Centessa Limited

Following the offering, Centessa will exchange all of the shares of the Centessa Subsidiaries for 11 ordinary shares of our wholly-owned subsidiary, Centessa Limited, pursuant to the terms of a share exchange agreement in order to insert an intermediate holding company between Centessa and each of the Centessa Subsidiaries.

Re-registration of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc

On May 14, 2021, we altered the legal status of our company under English law from a private limited company by re-registering Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as a public limited company and renaming it as Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc. Such re-registration required the passing of special resolutions by the shareholders of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited to approve the re-registration as a public company, the name change to Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc and the adoption of new articles of association for Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.

Re-designation and Consolidation of Shares in Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc

On May 20, 2021, Centessa undertook a reverse share split whereby every two of Centessa’s outstanding Series A preferred shares of nominal value £0.001 each were consolidated into one Series A preferred share of nominal value £0.002 each and every two of Centessa’s outstanding A ordinary shares of nominal value £0.001 each were consolidated into one A ordinary share of nominal value £0.002 each. The fractional entitlements resulting from the reverse share split were then consolidated into a single deferred share of £0.0052 which was transferred to us for no consideration and subsequently cancelled. These actions taken together are described in this registration statement as our “reverse share split”. Our reverse share split did not alter the proportionate shareholding of any of our existing shareholders (save for the consolidation of fractional entitlements).

Immediately prior to and conditional on the completion of this offering, and as the final step of the Reorganization, all of Centessa’s outstanding Series A preferred shares of nominal value £0.002 each and A ordinary shares of nominal value £0.002 each will be re-designated on a one-to-one basis into an aggregate of 71,078,886 ordinary shares of nominal value £0.002 each.

The steps described in these paragraphs required ordinary and special resolutions of our shareholders to be passed at a general meeting. For further detail regarding these required resolutions, please see “Description of share capital and articles of association.”

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash and cash equivalents and capitalization as of March 31, 2021 on:

 

   

an actual basis;

 

   

a pro forma basis to give effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares, into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering and (ii) the Reorganization; and

 

   

on a pro forma as adjusted basis giving effect to the pro forma adjustments set forth above and to give further effect to the sale of ADSs in this offering.

The pro forma as adjusted calculations assume an initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, 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.

You should read this information together with our financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the information set forth under the sections titled “Selected Financial Data,” “Use of Proceeds,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results Of Operations of The Centessa Predecessor Group and Certain Other Acquired Entities.”

 

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     As of March 31, 2021  
     Actual      Pro Forma      Pro Forma
As Adjusted(1)
 
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 
     (in thousands)  

Cash and cash equivalents

   $ 298,612      $ 298,612      $ 555,038  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loan with related party

     291        291        291  

Shareholders’ (deficit) equity:

        

Preferred Series A, £0.002 nominal value, 22,840,902 shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; £0.002 nominal value, 22,840,902 shares authorized, no shares issued and outstanding pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

     247,847        —          —    

A Ordinary shares, £0.002 nominal value, 7,500,000 shares authorized, 48,237,984 shares issued and 48,083,517 shares outstanding shares issued and outstanding, actual; £0.002 nominal value, 166,779,420 shares authorized and 71,078,886 shares issued and 70,924,419 shares outstanding pro forma; £0.002 nominal value, 166,779,420 share authorized and 86,078,886 shares issued and 85,924,149 shares outstanding pro forma as adjusted

     133        195        237  

Additional paid-in capital

     271,796        519,581        775,695  

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

     2,131        2,131        2,131  

Accumulated deficit

     (243,273      (243,273      (243,273
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total shareholders’ equity

     278,634        278,634        535,060  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 278,925      $ 278,925      $ 535,351  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

(1)

Each $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease, as applicable, each of pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total shareholders’ equity and total capitalization by approximately $14.0 million, assuming that the number of ADSs offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares we are offering. Each increase or decrease of 1.0 million ADSs in the number of ADSs we are offering would increase or decrease, as applicable, each of pro forma as adjusted cash and cash equivalents, additional paid-in capital, total shareholders’ equity and total capitalization by approximately $17.7 million, assuming the assumed initial public offering price per ADS, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same. The pro forma as adjusted information is illustrative only, and we will adjust this information based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing

The number of ordinary shares outstanding in the table above does not include:

 

   

7,576,811 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021 at a weighted average exercise price of $5.70 per ordinary share and an additional 2,716,105 ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares granted after such date, at a weighted average exercise price of $9.42 per ordinary share;

 

   

154,467 unvested ordinary shares and an additional 833,897 unvested ordinary shares granted after such date;

 

   

8,900,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Share Option Plan upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, from

 

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which we intend to grant options to purchase an aggregate of 237,500 ordinary shares, to our executive officers, at the public offering price per ADS in this offering; and

 

   

860,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Employee Share Purchase Plan, upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in the ADSs in this offering, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per ADS and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ordinary share/ADS immediately after this offering. Dilution results from the fact that the initial public offering price per ADS is substantially in excess of the net tangible book value per ordinary share/ADS.

Our net tangible book value as of March 31, 2021 was $23.9 million, or $0.50 per ordinary share/ADS. Net tangible book value represents our total assets less our deferred offering costs less our total liabilities and Series A preferred shares. Net tangible book value per share as of March 31, 2021 represents net tangible book value divided by the 48,083,517 ordinary shares outstanding as of that date.

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of March 31, 2021 was $271.8 million, or $3.83 per ordinary share/ADS. Pro forma net tangible book value represents our total assets less our deferred offering costs less our total liabilities. Pro forma net tangible book value per share is calculated by dividing such number by the number of ordinary shares outstanding as of such date, after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares, into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering.

After giving further effect to our issuance and sale of 15,000,000 ADSs in this offering at the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, 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, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of March 31, 2021 would have been $535.1 million, or $6.23 per share/ADS.

This represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ordinary share of $2.40 to existing shareholders and immediate dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS of $12.77 to new investors purchasing ADSs in this offering. Dilution per ADS to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS after this offering from the initial public offering price per ADS paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution:

 

Assumed initial public offering price

      $ 19.00  

Historical net tangible book value per ADS as of March 31, 2021

   $ 0.50     

Pro forma increase in net tangible book value per ADS as of March 31, 2021

     3.33     
  

 

 

    

Pro forma net tangible book value per ADS as of March 31, 2021

     3.83     

Increase in pro forma net tangible book value per ADS attributable to new investors

     2.40     
  

 

 

    

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS after this offering

        6.23  
     

 

 

 

Dilution per ADS to investors participating in this offering

      $ 12.77  
     

 

 

 

Each $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the dilution to new investors by $0.84 per ADS, assuming the number of ADSs 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. We may also increase or decrease the number of ADSs we are offering. An increase of 1,000,000 ADSs offered by us would decrease the dilution to new investors by $0.13 per ADS, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us. A decrease of 1,000,000 ADSs offered by us would increase the dilution to new investors by $0.14 per ADS, assuming the assumed initial public offering price remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated expenses payable by us.

 

 

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If the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs in full, the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value would be $6.52 per ordinary share/ADS, and the dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value to investors in this offering would be $12.48 per ADS.

The following table summarizes, on a pro forma as adjusted basis as of March 31, 2021, the differences between existing shareholders, including holders of our convertible preferred shares, and new investors with respect to the number of ordinary shares (in the form of ADSs or shares) purchased from us, the total consideration paid and the average price per ordinary share/ADS paid before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, at an assumed initial public offering price of $19.00 per ADS, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus.

The total number of ordinary shares does not include ordinary shares underlying the ADSs issuable upon the exercise of the option to purchase additional ADSs granted to the underwriters.

 

     Ordinary Shares (ADSs)
Purchased
    Total
Consideration
    Average
Price per
Ordinary

Share/ADS
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percent  

Existing shareholders

     70,924,419        83   $ 250,000,000        47   $ 3.52  

New investors

     15,000,000        17     285,000,000        53   $ 19.00  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Total

     85,924,419        100   $ 535,000,000        100  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

If the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional ADSs, the percentage of ordinary shares/ADSs held by existing shareholders would be reduced to 80% of the total number of ordinary shares/ADSs outstanding after the offering, and the number of ordinary shares/ADSs held by investors participating in the offering would be increased to 20% of the total number of ordinary shares/ADSs outstanding after the offering.

A $1.00 increase or decrease in the assumed initial offering price of $19.00 per ADS, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase or decrease total consideration paid by new investors by $14.0 million, assuming that the number of ADSs offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same, after deducting the estimated underwriting commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The number of shares to be outstanding after this offering is based on 48,083,517 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021 and gives further effect to the automatic conversion of all outstanding convertible preferred shares, into an aggregate of 22,840,902 ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering, and excludes:

 

   

7,576,811 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2021 at a weighted average exercise price of $5.70 per ordinary share and an additional 2,716,105 ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of options to subscribe for ordinary shares granted after such date, at a weighted average exercise price of $9.42 per ordinary share;

 

   

154,467 unvested ordinary shares and an additional 833,897 unvested ordinary shares granted after such date;

 

   

8,900,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Share Option Plan upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, from which we intend to grant options to purchase an aggregate of 237,500 ordinary shares, to our executive officers, at the public offering price per ADS in this offering; and

 

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860,000 ordinary shares that will be made available for future issuance under our 2021 Employee Share Purchase Plan, upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

The pro forma information discussed above is illustrative only. Our net tangible book value following the closing of this offering is subject to adjustment based on the actual initial public offering price of the ADSs and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.

To the extent that outstanding options are exercised, you will experience further dilution. In addition, we may choose to raise additional capital due to market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, the issuance of these securities may result in further dilution to our shareholders.

 

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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

On January 29, 2021, Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (“Centessa” or the “Company”) acquired the equity of eleven entities (“Contributed Companies”) in which the equity in each entity was contributed (or otherwise transferred by way of merger) to a new holding company, Centessa, in exchange for Centessa ordinary shares (the “Acquisition”). Three of the Contributed Companies form the Centessa Predecessor Group. Concurrent with the above transactions, Centessa completed a Series A preferred equity financing, whereby Centessa received gross proceeds of $250.0 million comprised of $245.0 million in proceeds from the sale of its Series A preferred shares and the conversion of $5.0 million in convertible debt (the “Financing”).

The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements are based on the historical financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited, Centessa Predecessor Group (the “Centessa Predecessor”) and the other acquired entities (the “Residual Entities”), as adjusted to give effect to the Acquisition and the Financing. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations for the year ended December 31, 2020 and three months ended March 31, 2021 give pro forma effect to the Acquisition and Financing as if they had occurred on January 1, 2020. An unaudited pro forma condensed combined balance sheet is not required as the Acquisition and the Financing are reflected in the unaudited historical consolidated balance sheet of Centessa (“Successor”) as of March 31, 2021.

The unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial statements were prepared in accordance with Article 11 of SEC Regulation S-X, as amended by the final rule, Release No. 33-10786 “Amendments to Financial Disclosures about Acquired and Disposed Businesses.” Release No. 33-10786 replaces the existing pro forma adjustment criteria with simplified requirements to depict the accounting for the transaction (“Transaction Accounting Adjustments”) and present the reasonably estimable synergies and other transaction effects that have occurred or reasonably expected to occur (“Management’s Adjustments”). Centessa has elected not to present Management’s Adjustments and will only be presenting Transaction Accounting Adjustments for the Acquisition and the Financing in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations. The adjustments presented in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations have been identified and presented to provide relevant information necessary for an understanding of the combined company upon consummation of the Acquisition and Financing.

The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations have been derived from and should be read in conjunction with:

 

   

the accompanying notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information;

 

   

the historical audited financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited as of December 31, 2020 and for the period from October 26, 2020 (inception) through December 31, 2020 and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus;

 

   

the historical audited financial statements of the Centessa Predecessor Group, as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus;

 

   

the historical audited financial statements of the Residual Entities as of and for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus;

 

   

The historical unaudited financial statements of the Centessa Predecessor Group (Predecessor) for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021, the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021 and the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited (Successor) for the period from January 30, 2021 through March 31, 2021 and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus; and

 

   

the sections entitled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation of The Centessa Predecessor Group and Certain Other Acquired Entities,” and other financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations are for illustrative purposes only and are not necessarily indicative of what the actual results of operations would have been had the Acquisition and Financing taken place on the dates indicated, nor are they indicative of the future consolidated results of operations of the combined company.

 

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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

     Historical     Historical     Historical                     
     Centessa
Pharmaceuticals
Limited
    Centessa
Predecessor
Group
    Other
Acquired
Entities
    Transaction
Accounting
Adjustments
           Pro forma
Statement
of Operations
 

Operating expenses:

             

Research & development

   $ —       $ 9,301     $ 25,536     $ 6,301       4a      $ 41,138  

Acquired in-process research and development

     —         —         3,164       —            3,164  

General and administrative

     3,139       1,139       6,448       (3,139     4b        7,587  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     3,139       10,440       35,148       3,162          51,889  

Loss from operations

     (3,139     (10,440     (35,148     (3,162        (51,889

Interest income (expense), net

     (2     (68     (924     994       4c        —    

Amortization of debt discount

     (8     (310     (2,386     2,704       4c        —    

Change in fair value of derivative liability

     —         (186     (1,067     1,253       4c        —    

Gain on extinguishment of debt

     —         341       —         —            341  

Foreign currency loss

     —         —         (36     —            (36
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (3,149   $ (10,663   $ (39,561   $ 1,789        $ (51,584
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Net loss per ordinary share – basic and diluted

   $ (0.80            $ (1.07
  

 

 

            

 

 

 

Weighted average ordinary shares – basic and diluted

     3,918,149             4d        48,033,654  
  

 

 

            

 

 

 

See accompanying notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information.

 

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UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED COMBINED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS

FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2021

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

     Historical     Historical     Historical                     
     Centessa
Pharmaceuticals
Limited*
    Centessa
Predecessor
Group
    Other
Acquired
Entities**
    Transaction
Accounting
Adjustments
           Pro forma
Statement of
Operations
 

Operating expenses:

             

Research & development

   $ 10,142     $ 600     $ 2,520     $ 40       4a      $ 13,302  

Acquired in-process research and development

     220,454       —         —         (220,454     4b        —    

General and administrative

     8,279       121       852       —            9,252  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     238,875       721       3,372       (220,414        22,554  

Loss from operations

     (238,875     (721     (3,372     220,414          (22,554 )

Interest income (expense), net

     (3     (9     —         12       4c        —    

Amortization of debt discount

     (825     (37     —         862       4c        —    

Change in fair value of derivative liability

     (415     —         —         415       4c        —    

Gain on extinguishment of debt

     —         —         —         —            —    

Foreign currency loss

     (6     —         —         —            (6 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (240,124   $ (767   $ (3,372   $ 221,703        $ (22,560 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

      

 

 

 

Net loss per ordinary share – basic and diluted

   $ (5.00            $ (0.47 )
  

 

 

            

 

 

 

Weighted average ordinary shares – basic and diluted

     48,011,232             4d        48,110,901  
  

 

 

            

 

 

 

See accompanying notes to the unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information.

 

*

The historical unaudited pro forma condensed combined statement of operations for Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited presented reflects a combination of the consolidated results of operations of Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited, as Successor, for the period from January 30, 2021 through March 31, 2021, plus the pre-Acquisition results of operations for Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021.

**

The historical unaudited pro forma condensed combined statement of operations for the Other Acquired Entities presented reflects a combination of such results for the following acquired entities: ApcinteX Limited, Capella Biosciences Limited, Inexia Limited, Janpix Limited, Orexia Limited, Palladio Biosciences, Inc., PearlRiver Bio GmbH, and PegaOne SAS, for the period from January 1, 2021 through January 29, 2021.

 

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NOTES TO UNAUDITED PRO FORMA

CONDENSED COMBINED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

1. Description of the Acquisition

On January 23, 2021, ten entities entered into a contribution agreement with Centessa (the “Contribution Agreements”) and one entity, Palladio Biosciences, Inc. (“Palladio”), entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization with Centessa and the other parties thereto (the “Merger Agreement”, and together with the Contribution Agreements, the “Transfer Agreements”). All eleven of the entities are pre-revenue development stage biotechnology companies.

As a result of the transactions contemplated by the Transfer Agreements, on January 29, 2021, Centessa simultaneously acquired 100% of the outstanding equity of the eleven entities, in each case in exchange for ordinary shares in the capital of Centessa (and, in the case of the Palladio acquisition, certain contingent value rights for ordinary shares in the capital of Centessa). The Contributed Companies acquired by Centessa as part of the Acquisition are as follows (individually a “Contributed Company”; collectively the “Contributed Companies”):

 

  1.

ApcinteX Limited (“ApcinteX”);

 

  2.

Capella Bioscience Limited (“Capella”);

 

  3.

Inexia Limited (“Inexia”);

 

  4.

Janpix Limited (“Janpix”);

 

  5.

LockBody Therapeutics Ltd (“LockBody”);

 

  6.

Morphogen-IX Limited (“Morphogen-IX”);

 

  7.

Orexia Limited (“Orexia”);

 

  8.

Palladio Biosciences, Inc;

 

  9.

PearlRiver Bio GmbH (“Pearl River”);

 

  10.

Pega-One SAS (“Pega-One”); and

 

  11.

Z Factor Limited (“Z Factor”)

Concurrent with the Acquisition, Centessa completed a Series A preferred equity financing, whereby Centessa received gross proceeds of $250.0 million comprised of $245.0 million in proceeds from the sale of its Series A preferred shares and the conversion of $5.0 million in convertible debt.

2. Basis of Pro Forma Presentation

Centessa was formed on October 26, 2020, with the acquisition of the Contributed Companies occurring on January 29, 2021. Prior to the acquisition, Centessa’s operations were not significant relative to the Contributed Companies. Accordingly, the Company determined that Centessa should not be presented as the predecessor for purposes of satisfying the historical audited financial statement requirement in this prospectus. The Company determined that certain entities under common control, pursuant to Accounting Standards Codification 810, could be included in a set of combined financial statements. Those entities, referred to as the Centessa Predecessor Group were Z Factor, LockBody, and Morphogen-IX. In addition, fair value indicators clearly point to the Centessa Predecessor Group entities as being the predecessor, as the combined value of that group is more than 50% higher (as a percentage) than the next Contributed Company or group of Contributed Companies under common control.

Management has made significant estimates and assumptions in its determination of the pro forma adjustments. As the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations have been prepared based on these preliminary estimates, the final amounts recorded may differ materially from the information presented.

 

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The pro forma adjustments reflecting the consummation of the Acquisition and Financing are based on certain currently available information and certain assumptions and methodologies that Centessa believes are reasonable under the circumstances. The pro forma adjustments, which are described in the accompanying notes, may be revised as additional information becomes available and is evaluated. Therefore, it is likely that the actual adjustments will differ from the pro forma adjustments, and it is possible the difference may be material. Centessa believes that its assumptions and methodologies provide a reasonable basis for presenting all of the significant effects of the Acquisition and Financing based on information available to management at this time and that the pro forma adjustments give appropriate effect to those assumptions and are properly applied in the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations.

The historical financial information has been adjusted to give effect to matters that are (i) directly attributable to the Acquisition and Financing, (ii) factually supportable and (iii) expected to have a continuing impact on the operating results of the combined company. The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations do not give effect to any anticipated synergies, operating efficiencies, tax savings, or cost savings that may be associated with the Acquisition. Centessa and the acquired entities have not had any historical relationship prior to the Acquisition. Accordingly, no pro forma adjustments were required to eliminate activities between the companies.

The Acquisition has been treated as eleven individual asset acquisitions, with the Company as the accounting acquirer. In accordance with U.S. GAAP the Company must first assess whether an integrated set of assets and activities should be accounted for as an acquisition of a business or an asset acquisition. The U.S. GAAP guidance requires an initial screen test to determine if substantially all of the fair value of the gross assets acquired is concentrated in a single asset or group of similar assets. If that screen is met, the set is not considered a business and is accounted for as an asset acquisition. If the screen is not met, the Company must then evaluate whether the set meets the requirement that a business include, at a minimum, an input and a substantive process that together significantly contribute to the ability to create outputs. The Company determined that none of the Contributed Companies meet the definition of a business due to one of the following conclusions, (1) substantially all of the fair value of the entity is concentrated in the acquired in-process research and development (“IPR&D”) asset, or (2) the entity did not have the requisite inputs and substantive processes to be considered a business.

3. Consideration transferred and purchase price allocation.

 

a)

Total Consideration Transferred

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Centessa acquired the Contributed Companies for total consideration of $289.9 million calculated as follows:

 

     (in thousands,
except share and
per share data)
      

Total ordinary shares issued

     44,758,079      i.

Centessa Pharmaceuticals Limited share price

   $ 5.86      i.
  

 

 

    

Stock portion of the consideration transferred

   $ 261,387      i.

Fair value of contingent consideration

     22,618      ii.

Fair value of replacement equity awards allocated to consideration

     1,310      iii.

Transaction costs

     4,597      iv.
  

 

 

    

Total consideration transferred

   $ 289,912     
  

 

 

    

i. The fair value of the ordinary shares issued was $261.4 million. In the absence of a public trading market for Centessa ordinary shares, the Company estimated the fair value of Centessa ordinary shares based on the information known to the Company on the acquisition date, upon a review of any recent

 

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events and their potential impact on the estimated fair value per share of the ordinary shares, and in part on contemporaneous input from an independent third-party valuation firm. The Centessa board of directors considered various objective and subjective factors, along with input from management, to determine the fair value of Centessa ordinary shares, including:

 

   

stage of development and business strategy, including the status of research and development efforts of the Company’s product candidates and the material risks related to its business and industry;

 

   

results of operations and financial position, including levels of available capital resources;

 

   

the valuation of publicly traded companies in the life sciences and biotechnology sectors, as well as recently completed mergers and acquisitions of peer companies;

 

   

the lack of marketability of Centessa ordinary shares as a private company;

 

   

the prices of Centessa preferred shares sold to investors in arm’s length transactions and the rights, preferences and privileges of Centessa preferred shares relative to those of Centessa ordinary shares;

 

   

the likelihood of achieving a liquidity event for the holders of Centessa ordinary shares, such as an initial public offering or a sale of the Company, given prevailing market conditions;

 

   

trends and developments in the Company’s industry; and

 

   

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

The third-party valuations of the Company’s ordinary shares that the Centessa board of directors considered in making its determinations 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 (“Practice Guide”), which prescribes several valuation approaches for determining the value of an enterprise, such as the cost, market and income approaches, and various methodologies for allocating the value of an enterprise to its capital structure and specifically the ordinary shares.

The Company’s determination of the fair value of the ordinary shares were performed using methodologies, approaches and assumptions consistent with the Practice Guide. In accordance with the Practice Guide, the Company considered the following methods for allocating the enterprise value across its classes and series of capital shares to determine the fair value of its ordinary shares at each valuation date.

 

   

Option Pricing Method (“OPM”). The OPM estimates the value of the ordinary equity of the Company using the various inputs in the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The OPM treats the rights of the holders of ordinary shares as equivalent to that of call options on any value of the enterprise above certain break points of value based upon the liquidation preferences of the holders of the Company’s convertible preferred shares, as well as their rights to participation, and the share prices of the outstanding options. Thus, the value of the ordinary shares can be determined by estimating the value of its portion of each of these call option rights. Under this method, the ordinary shares has value only if the funds available for distribution to shareholders exceed the value of the liquidation preference at the time of a liquidity event, such as a merger or sale. Given the ordinary shares represents a non-marketable equity interest in a private enterprise, an adjustment to the preliminary value estimates had to be made to account for the lack of liquidity that a shareholder experiences. This adjustment is commonly referred to as a discount for lack of marketability (“DLOM”).

 

   

Probability-Weighted Expected Return Method (“PWERM”). The PWERM is a scenario-based analysis that estimates the value per share based on the probability-weighted present value of

 

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expected future investment returns, considering each of the possible outcomes considered by the Company, as well as the economic and control rights of each share class.

 

   

Hybrid Method. The Hybrid Method is a hybrid between the PWERM and OPM, estimating the probability-weighted value across multiple scenarios, but using the OPM to estimate the allocation of value within one or more of those scenarios. Weighting allocations are assigned to the OPM and PWERM methods factoring possible future liquidity events.

The Company’s estimated the fair value of its ordinary shares based on the Hybrid Method. In doing so, the Company, with assistance from the third-party valuation specialist, considered one scenario reflecting a potential IPO (Scenario 1) and one scenario reflecting only the consummation of the Series A preferred share financing (Scenario 2), weighted at 35% and 65%, respectively. Subjective factors considered by the Centessa board of directors and management in January 2021 included the pending addition of new executive members and the election of new independent directors to the Centessa board of directors, as well as definitive plans to undertake an IPO. After application of the probability weightings for each of the two scenarios to the per share fair values, the Company established a fair value of $5.84 per share of the ordinary share.

For Scenario 1, the Guideline IPO Transactions Method was utilized to determine the value under a potential IPO. The future enterprise value at an expected IPO date of June 30, 2021 was projected at $917.6 million and was discounted to present value using a discount rate of 25.0% and allocated to each outstanding share class, on a fully diluted basis assuming all existing shares convert into ordinary share. The enterprise value was estimated using the original issue price of the Series A financing. The valuation used a DLOM of 10.0%, resulting in a value per ordinary share of $9.90.

For Scenario 2, the equity value of the Company was estimated using a market approach that derives an implied total equity value from the per share sale price of the Company’s equity securities in a recent arm’s-length transaction (the “Backsolve Method” of the OPM). The equity value of the Company was determined using the terms of the Series A preferred financing. The transaction was led by unrelated third-party investors. As such, it was determined to be an arm’s-length transaction that reasonably reflected the expected economics of the Company. The total implied equity value of the Company was determined to be approximately $551.2 million.

The OPM was then utilized to allocate the equity value for the Company. Specifically, the Backsolve Method was utilized to quantify the implied equity value in the Series A preferred share transaction by considering the economic and control rights of the preferred shareholders compared to the ordinary shareholders. In determining the total implied equity value under the Backsolve Method, the Company used the OPM to allocate the equity value using an estimated volatility of 66.5%, an estimated time to liquidity of 2.0 years, based on the mean of guideline companies at such time, and a DLOM of 35.0%, which was implied using put option values, resulting in a value per ordinary share of $3.66.

There are significant judgments and estimates inherent in the determination of the fair value of ordinary shares. These judgments and estimates include assumptions regarding the Company’s future operating performance, the time to complete an initial public offering or other liquidity event and the determination of the appropriate valuation methods. If the Company had made different assumptions, its ordinary shares could have been significantly different.

ii. In connection with the Acquisition, Centessa issued contingent value rights, or CVRs, to former shareholders and option holders of Palladio Biosciences, Inc, or Palladio. In total, the CVRs represent the contractual rights to receive payment of $39.7 million upon the first patient dosed in a Phase 3 pivotal study of lixivaptan for the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in any of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan (designated the ACTION Study). The contingent milestone, if triggered, will be settled through the issuance of Centessa ordinary shares equal to the amount of the total CVRs payable based on the per share value of ordinary shares at the milestone date.

 

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The Company has determined that the contingent value rights should be accounted for as a liability in accordance with ASC 480. Accordingly, fair value of the contingent consideration will be assessed quarterly until settlement. As such, the total consideration transferred in connection with the Acquisition reflected in this unaudited pro forma condensed combined financial information does not purport to represent the actual total consideration transferred in connection with the Acquisition. To estimate the fair value of the contingent consideration, the Company applied a cumulative probability of achieving the clinical milestone and applied it to the potential payout. Prior to initiating the ACTION Study and dosing the first patient, the Company will consider the status and on-going results of the Phase 3a safety study (designated the ALERT Study). As this is an open-label study for which enrollment is on-going, the Company will evaluate if the on-going results support the belief that lixivaptan has a de-risked safety profile. Assuming the on-going results from the ALERT Study continue to support this view, the probability of commencing the ACTION study and dosing the first patient is high and is currently expected during early-to-mid 2022. The cumulative probability of achieving positive results from the ALERT Study and dosing the first patient in the ACTION Study was applied to the CVR payout to arrive at a fair value of $22.6 million as of the Acquisition date.

iii. As part of the Acquisition, Centessa issued replacement equity awards to select employees and consultants of certain Contributed Companies. The awards consisted of options and restricted shares with vesting provisions generally consistent with the original awards prior to the Acquisition. Pursuant to ASC 805, the Company determined that a portion of the fair value of the replacement awards should be apportioned to consideration, with the remainder apportioned to post-combination share-based compensation expense.

iv. The Company incurred $4.6 million of transaction costs consisting primarily of legal, accounting and valuation services. Under ASC 805, transaction costs in an asset acquisition are included as a component of consideration transferred.

 

b)

Allocation of Total Consideration Transferred to Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed

 

     (in thousands)         

Cash

   $ 68,038     

Prepaid and other current assets

     11,303     

Other long-term assets

     203     

Accounts payable

     (3,607   

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

     (3,128   

Convertible notes

     (6,199   

Other long-term liabilities

     (291   
  

 

 

    

Net assets acquired

     66,319        i.  
  

 

 

    

IPR&D

   $ 223,593        i., ii.  
  

 

 

    

Total Consideration

   $ 289,912     
  

 

 

    

i. The net assets acquired have been prepared using the Company’s available accounting records as of January 29, 2021.

ii. IPR&D represents the research and development projects of each Contributed Company which were in-process, but not yet completed, and which Centessa plans to advance. Accounting standards require that the fair value of IPR&D projects acquired in an asset acquisition with no alternative future use be allocated a portion of the consideration transferred and charged to expense at the acquisition date.

The IPR&D charge, inclusive of transaction expenses, has been excluded from the unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations as the IPR&D charge does not have an ongoing impact.

 

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4. Acquisition Transaction Adjustments

The unaudited pro forma condensed combined statements of operations reflect the following adjustments:

 

a)

To account for components of share-based compensation as follows:

 

     Year Ended
December 31, 2020