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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from __________to__________
Commission file number 0-22705
NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware33-0525145
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
12780 El Camino Real,San Diego,California92130
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(858617-7600
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Common Stock, $0.001 par valueNBIXNasdaq Global Select Market
(Title of each class)(Trading Symbol)(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
(Title of class)
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes      No   
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes       No   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes       No   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes       No   
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.   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. Yes      No   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes       No   
The aggregate market value of registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, computed by reference to the closing price as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, June 30, 2021, was approximately $9,105,256,378.
As of February 7, 2022, 95,242,683 shares of the registrant’s common stock were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the registrant’s annual meeting of stockholders to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A within 120 days following the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
   
 
   
Item 5.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
   
 
   
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
   
 
   
Item 15.
INGREZZA® and ONGENTYS® are registered trademarks of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. Any other brand names or trademarks appearing in this Annual Report that are not the property of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. are the property of their respective holders.
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PART I
Forward-Looking Statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the information incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although our forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of our management, these statements can only be based on facts and factors currently known by us. Consequently, these forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results and outcomes may differ materially from results and outcomes discussed in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believes,” “expects,” “hopes,” “may,” “will,” “plan,” “intends,” “estimates,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “continue,” “seeks,” “pro forma,” or “anticipates,” or other similar words (including their use in the negative), or by discussions of future matters such as the development of new products, technology enhancements, possible changes in legislation and other statements that are not historical. These statements include but are not limited to statements under the captions “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” as well as other sections in this report. You should be aware that the occurrence of any of the events discussed under the heading in Part I titled “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report could substantially harm our business, results of operations and financial condition and that if any of these events occurs, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or a part of the value of your shares of our common stock.
The cautionary statements made in this report are intended to be applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they may appear in this report. We urge you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this report. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

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Item 1. Business
Overview
At Neurocrine Biosciences, our purpose is simple: to relieve suffering for people with great needs, but few options. For three decades, we have applied our unique insight into neuroscience to advance medicines for neurology, neuroendocrinology and neuropsychiatry-related disorders and diseases. Our efforts have resulted in United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved treatments for tardive dyskinesia, Parkinson’s disease, endometriosis* and uterine fibroids* and a diversified portfolio of investigational therapies with the potential to address unmet clinical needs of patients worldwide living with neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders. (*in collaboration with AbbVie Inc., or AbbVie)
Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the ways in which we live and interact with one another. While we adapt to this new shared reality, our purpose remains unchanged: to relieve suffering for people with great needs, but few options.
Although the initial impact of the pandemic has subsided, we are uncertain as to how more transmissible variants may impact our business. We remain committed to (1) prioritizing the safety, health and well-being of patients and their caregivers, healthcare providers, and our employees; (2) ensuring patients with tardive dyskinesia are well supported and have continued uninterrupted access to INGREZZA, for which we have not experienced and currently do not expect any supply disruption; and (3) advancing clinical studies.
Most of our field-based employees have resumed in-person interactions in accordance with location-specific guidance. Our office-based employees have returned to the office under flexible work arrangement guidelines to help balance business needs, employee health, well-being and safety and the evolving work environment. However, as the effects of the pandemic continue to rapidly evolve with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, a remote work model may nevertheless need to be reinstated at some point in the future. We continue to evaluate the impact of global spikes or surges in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, as well as the impact of emerging COVID-19 variants on the efficacy of vaccines.
Most hospitals, community mental health facilities, physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other healthcare facilities have relaxed their policies that limited access of patients and our employees to such facilities and limited the ability of patients, pharmacies and prescribers to interact with each other. However, we anticipate these policies may change from time to time as communities or regions grapple with outbreaks. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any lasting effects on our revenue and the way we conduct our business, is highly uncertain and subject to continued change. We recognize that this pandemic will continue to present unique challenges for us throughout 2022.
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Product Pipeline
Commercially Available Medicines
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INGREZZA® (valbenazine). We launched INGREZZA in the United States in May 2017 as the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. INGREZZA net product sales totaled $1.1 billion for 2021, $993.1 million for 2020 and $752.9 million for 2019 and represent the significant majority of our total net product sales.
INGREZZA provides a once-daily dosing treatment option for tardive dyskinesia and has three dosing options (40 mg, 60 mg and 80 mg capsules), with a recommended dose of 40 mg taken for the first seven days of treatment and an option to take 40 mg, 60 mg or 80 mg thereafter, depending on the patient’s dosing needs.
We out-licensed the rights to valbenazine in Japan and other select Asian markets to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical Company, or MTPC, in 2015, in which markets valbenazine is a royalty-bearing product for us. In 2021, MTPC received approvals for marketing authorization for valbenazine for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. In addition, MTPC has submitted filings for marketing authorization, which are currently under review, in Japan and Malaysia.
Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable, abnormal and repetitive movements of the face, torso and/or other body parts, which may be disruptive and negatively impact patients. The condition is associated with prolonged use of treatments that block dopamine receptors in the brain, such as antipsychotics commonly prescribed to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and certain anti-nausea medications. In patients with tardive dyskinesia, these treatments are thought to result in irregular dopamine signaling in a region of the brain that controls movement. The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia can be severe and are often persistent and irreversible. Tardive dyskinesia affects an estimated 600,000 people in the United States.
ONGENTYS® (opicapone). We launched ONGENTYS in the United States in September 2020 as an FDA-approved add-on treatment to levodopa/carbidopa in patients with Parkinson's disease experiencing motor fluctuations. We acquired the United States and Canada rights to ONGENTYS in February 2017.
ONGENTYS is a once-daily, peripheral, selective and reversible catechol-O-methyltransferase, or COMT, inhibitor. COMT inhibitors are utilized to prolong the duration of effect of levodopa, the primary treatment option for Parkinson’s disease patients, during periods of the day where the effects of levodopa wear off and motor symptoms worsen, also known as “off” time.
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Parkinson’s disease is a chronic, progressive and debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by low dopamine levels produced in the brain. Dopamine helps transmit signals between the areas of the brain that control all purposeful movements, including talking, walking and writing. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, dopamine production steadily decreases, resulting in increased problems with motor symptoms including slowed movement, tremor, rigidity, impaired posture and balance and difficulty with speech and writing. Parkinson’s disease affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States and more than 10 million people worldwide.
ORILISSA® (elagolix tablets). AbbVie launched ORILISSA in the United States in August 2018 as an FDA-approved oral medication for the management of moderate to severe endometriosis pain in women. We out-licensed the global rights to elagolix to AbbVie in 2010. Elagolix is a royalty-bearing product for us.
Endometriosis affects nearly 200 million women worldwide, including more than 10 million women in the United States.
ORIAHNN® (elagolix, estradiol, and norethindrone acetate capsules and elagolix capsules). AbbVie launched ORIAHNN in the United States in June 2020 as the first FDA-approved non-surgical, oral medication option for the management of heavy menstrual bleeding associated with uterine fibroids in pre-menopausal women. We out-licensed the global rights to elagolix to AbbVie in 2010. Elagolix is a royalty-bearing product for us.
Uterine fibroids are benign hormonally responsive tumors that form in the wall of the uterus with a prevalence rate of at least 25% and are a leading indication for hysterectomy, resulting in the performance of more than 200,000 hysterectomies per year in the United States alone.
Our Pipeline of Investigational Therapies
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Neurology
Chorea in Huntington Disease (valbenazine – VMAT2 Inhibitor). We have announced positive top-line data from the KINECT-HD study, a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study evaluating the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of valbenazine in 120 adult patients with chorea in Huntington disease. The study met the primary endpoint of reduction in severity of chorea, the cardinal motor feature in Huntington disease, as measured by the change in the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale, or UHDRS®, total maximal chorea, or TMC, score from baseline to the average score at weeks 10 and 12. Treatment with valbenazine resulted in a placebo-adjusted mean reduction in the TMC score of 3.2 units (p < 0.0001), indicating a highly statistically significant improvement in chorea. The TMC score is part of the motor assessment of the UHDRS and measures chorea in seven different body parts, including the face, oral-buccal-lingual region, trunk, and each limb independently. The TMC score is the sum of the individual scores and ranges from 0 to 28. The secondary endpoints of Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI-C) Response Status and Patient Global Impression of Change (PGI-C) Response Status were also statistically significant in favor of treatment with valbenazine. We plan to submit a supplemental new drug application for valbenazine for the treatment of Huntington chorea with the FDA in the second half of 2022.
VMAT2 is a protein concentrated in the human brain that is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons. VMAT2 is primarily responsible for packaging and transporting monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine) in neurons. Specifically, dopamine enables neurotransmission among nerve cells that are involved in voluntary and involuntary motor control. In neurology, disease states such as tardive dyskinesia, Huntington chorea and tardive dystonia are characterized in part by a hyperdopaminergic state in the brain and modulation of neuronal dopamine levels may provide symptomatic benefits for patients with these conditions, among others. Huntington disease is a hereditary progressive neurodegenerative disorder, in which destruction of neuronal cells within the brain results in motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Symptoms generally appear between the ages of 30 to 50 and worsen over a 10 to 25-year period. Many patients with Huntington disease experience chorea, a troublesome involuntary movement disorder, in which patients develop sudden, irregular, unpredictable, and non-stereotyped movements. Chorea can affect various body parts, and may interfere with speech, swallowing, posture, and gait. Approximately 90% of the estimated 30,000 people affected by Huntington disease in the United Sates will develop chorea over the course of the disease.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (valbenazine – VMAT2 Inhibitor). We have initiated a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of valbenazine for the treatment of dyskinetic cerebral palsy in 144 pediatric and adult patients (aged 6 and older). We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
VMAT2 is a protein concentrated in the human brain that is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons. VMAT2 is primarily responsible for packaging and transporting monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine) in neurons. Specifically, dopamine enables neurotransmission among nerve cells that are involved in voluntary and involuntary motor control. In neurology, disease states such as tardive dyskinesia, Huntington chorea and tardive dystonia are characterized in part by a hyperdopaminergic state in the brain and modulation of neuronal dopamine levels may provide symptomatic benefits for patients with these conditions, among others. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is a non-progressive, permanent disorder marked by involuntary movement and is a result of damage to the fetal or infant brain’s basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are responsible for submitting messages to the body to help coordinate and control movements. When damaged, voluntary movements are compromised, resulting in involuntary and abnormal movements. It affects development and movement and has long term effects on patients’ quality of life. The long-term outlook for patients with dyskinetic cerebral palsy will depend upon the severity of the brain damage and how well the treatment works. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy affects up to 15% of the estimated 500,000 to 1 million people affected by cerebral palsy in the United States.
Essential Tremor (NBI-827104 – T-Type Calcium Channel Blocker). We have initiated a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of NBI-827104 in 28 adult patients with essential tremor. We anticipate having top-line data from this clinical study during the middle of 2022.
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NBI-827104 is a potent, selective, orally active and brain penetrating T-type calcium channel blocker. We acquired the global rights to NBI-827104 in May 2020. Essential tremor is one of the most common neurological disorders in adults. The disorder is characterized by involuntary, rhythmic, oscillatory movements that most often affect the upper limbs. As the disease progresses, tremor severity often increases and spreads to other parts of the body. Essential tremor has a significant impact on the activities of daily living often resulting in functional disability as the disease progresses and is associated with a high comorbidity rate of social phobia, depression and anxiety. Essential tremor affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States.
Epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders and is characterized by abnormal electrical activity in the brain that leads to unpredictable seizures that can vary in frequency, from less than one per year to several per day A description of our investigational treatments for potential use in epilepsy follow.
Epileptic Encephalopathy with Continuous Spike and Wave During Sleep, or EE-CSWS (NBI-827104 – T-Type Calcium Channel Blocker). We have initiated the STEAMBOATTM study, a Phase II multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of NBI-827104 in 24 pediatric patients (aged 4 to 12 years) with EE-CSWS, a rare pediatric form of epilepsy. We anticipate having top-line data from this clinical study during the second half of 2022.
NBI-827104 is a potent, selective, orally active and brain penetrating T-type calcium channel blocker. Due to the differentiated mechanism of action of this molecule, when compared to non-selective calcium channel inhibitors, treatment with NBI-827104 could lead to an enhanced benefit risk profile for patients with this rare pediatric form of epilepsy. We acquired the global rights to NBI-827104 in May 2020. EE-CSWS is a rare pediatric form of epilepsy. The typical onset of EE-CSWS occurs in children (aged 2 to 4 years) with a variety of seizure types, including atypical absence seizures, generalized tonic-clonic seizures and focal seizures, that occur primarily during sleep. Seizures associated with EE-CSWS, which often resolve around puberty, interfere with processes critical to learning and memory. Children with EE-CSWS often present with neurocognitive regression that can remain even after the seizures associated with EE-CSWS have resolved. It is estimated that EE-CSWS affects less than 2% of the estimated 470,000 children with active epilepsy in the United States.
SCN8A-DEE (NBI-921352 – Nav1.6 Sodium Channel Inhibitor). We have initiated the KAYAKTM study, a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of NBI-921352 as adjunctive therapy in 52 adolescent patients (aged 12 to 21 years) with SCN8A-DEE. In January 2022, the study protocol was amended to include pediatric patients (aged 2 to 11 years) with SCN8A-DEE. The FDA has granted us orphan drug and rare pediatric disease designations for NBI-921352 in SCN8A-DEE.
NBI-921352 is a potent, highly selective Nav1.6 sodium channel inhibitor being developed to treat pediatric patients with SCN8A-DEE and other potential indications, including adult focal epilepsy. We acquired the global rights to NBI-921352 in December 2019. SCN8A-DEE is a rare, extremely severe, single-gene epilepsy caused by mutations in the SCN8A gene that activates Nav1.6, the most highly expressed sodium channel in the excitatory pathways of the central nervous system. Children born with SCN8A-DEE typically start experiencing seizures between birth and 18 months of age, and most have multiple seizures per day. Other symptoms include learning difficulties, muscle spasms, low or high muscle tone, poor coordination, developmental delay and features similar to autism. As SCN8a mutations were discovered only recently, prevalence estimates will be determined in the future as awareness of and access to genetic surveillance increases.
Focal Onset Seizures (NBI-921352 – Nav1.6 Sodium Channel Inhibitor). We have initiated a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of NBI-921352 as adjunctive therapy in 100 adult patients with focal onset seizures. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
NBI-921352 is a potent, highly selective Nav1.6 sodium channel inhibitor being developed to treat pediatric patients with SCN8A-DEE and other potential indications, including adult focal epilepsy. We acquired the global rights to NBI-921352 in December 2019. Focal epilepsy is a neurological condition in which the predominant symptom is recurring seizures that affect one hemisphere of the brain. Focal epilepsies are also known as partial-onset seizures and include idiopathic location-related epilepsies, frontal lobe epilepsy, temporal lobe epilepsy, parietal lobe epilepsy and occipital lobe epilepsy. It is estimated that focal onset seizures affect 1.8 million adults in the United States, approximately 35% of whom are refractory to existing treatments.
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Neuroendocrinology
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, or CAH.
Classic CAH in Adults (crinecerfont – CRF1 Antagonist). We have initiated the CAHtalyst study, a global, registrational Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of crinecerfont in 165 adult patients with classic CAH, followed by an open-label treatment period. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
Classic CAH in Pediatrics (crinecerfont – CRF1 Antagonist). We have initiated a global, registrational Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of crinecerfont in 81 pediatric patients (aged 2 to 17 years) with classic CAH. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
We have been granted orphan drug designation for crinecerfont in the treatment of classic CAH in the United States and the European Union. Crinecerfont is a potent, selective, orally active, corticotropin-releasing factor1, or CRF1, receptor antagonist as demonstrated in a range of in vitro and in vivo assays. CRF1 is a hypothalamic hormone released directly into the hypophyseal portal vasculature which acts on the CRF1 receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor, or GPCR, in the anterior pituitary to stimulate the release of the adrenocorticotropin hormone, or ACTH. The primary role of ACTH is the stimulation of the synthesis and release of adrenal steroids, including cortisol. Cortisol from the adrenals have a negative feedback role at the level of the hypothalamus that decreases CRF1 release as well as at the level of the pituitary to inhibit the release of ACTH. This tight control loop is known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Blockade of CRF1 receptors at the pituitary has been shown to decrease the release of ACTH, which in turn decreases the production of adrenal steroids including androgens, and potentially the symptoms associated with classic CAH. Lower ACTH levels would also reduce the amount of exogenous corticosteroid necessary for classic CAH patients to thrive avoiding the side-effects currently associated with excessive steroid therapy. Corticosteroids are the current standard of care for classic CAH and are used chronically to both correct the endogenous cortisol deficiency and to reduce the excessive ACTH levels and androgen excess. However, the dose and duration of steroid use required to suppress ACTH is well above the normal physiological level of cortisol; resulting in metabolic syndrome, bone loss, growth impairment and Cushing’s syndrome as common and serious side effects. Classic CAH refers to a group of autosomal recessive genetic conditions that result in an enzyme deficiency that alters the production of adrenal hormones. If left untreated, classic CAH can result in salt wasting, dehydration and eventually death. Even with cortisol replacement, persistent elevation of ACTH from the pituitary gland results in excessive androgen levels, leading to virilization of females including precocious puberty, menstrual irregularity, short stature, hirsutism, acne and fertility problems. Classic CAH affects an estimated 30,000 people in the United States and 50,000 people in the European Union.
Neuropsychiatry
Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a spectrum of serious neuropsychiatric brain diseases in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily life. People with schizophrenia typically require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help improve long-term prognosis and get symptoms under control before serious complications develop. Schizophrenia affects an estimated 3.5 million people in the United States. A description of our investigational treatments for potential use in schizophrenia follow.
Adjunctive Treatment of Schizophrenia (valbenazine VMAT2 Inhibitor). We have initiated a Phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of valbenazine when administered orally once daily as adjunctive treatment in 400 adolescent and adult patients (aged 13 years and older) with schizophrenia who have had an inadequate response to antipsychotics. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
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VMAT2 is a protein concentrated in the human brain that is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses between neurons. VMAT2 is primarily responsible for packaging and transporting monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin and histamine) in neurons. Specifically, dopamine enables neurotransmission among nerve cells that are involved in voluntary and involuntary motor control. In psychiatry, disease states such as schizophrenia are characterized in part by a hyperdopaminergic state in the brain and modulation of neuronal dopamine levels may provide symptomatic benefits for patients with this condition, among others. Approximately 30% of the estimated 3.5 million people affected by schizophrenia in the United States fail to respond to current antipsychotic therapy.
Schizophrenia (NBI-1117568 – Muscarinic M4 Agonist). We plan to submit an investigational new drug application and initiate a placebo-controlled Phase II clinical study of NBI-1117568 as a potential treatment for schizophrenia in 2022. NBI-1117568 is a potential first-in-class muscarinic M4 receptor agonist with the potential to be developed for the treatment of schizophrenia. As a selective M4 orthosteric agonist, NBI-1117568 offers the potential for an improved safety profile without the need for combination therapy to ameliorate off-target effects or for cooperativity with acetylcholine. Muscarinic receptors are central to brain function and validated as drug targets in psychosis and cognitive disorders. We acquired the global rights to NBI-1117568 in December 2021. All currently approved antipsychotic medications are believed to work through direct action on monoaminergic receptors, with approximately 40% of patients reporting negative side effects and approximately 30% not benefiting adequately from these medications.
Cognitive Impairment Associated with Schizophrenia, or CIAS (luvadaxistat – DAAO Inhibitor). We have initiated a Phase II randomized, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of luvadaxistat when administered orally once daily as adjunctive treatment in 308 adult patients with CIAS.
Luvadaxistat is a potential first-in-class D-Amino Acid Oxidase, or DAAO, inhibitor with the potential to be developed for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. We acquired the global rights to luvadaxistat in June 2020. CIAS, which may include deficits in attention, working memory and executive function, has a negative impact on patients’ quality of life and ability to function. Although cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia are well characterized, no formal diagnostic criteria exist. Furthermore, no pharmacological agents are approved to treat the condition, and no marketed therapy tested to date has established clear, meaningful efficacy, which underscores the difficulty of drug development in this arena and accentuates the unmet need for proven treatment options. Approximately 80% of the estimated 3.5 million people affected by schizophrenia in the United States experience clinically relevant cognitive impairment.
Major Depressive Disorder. Major depressive disorder is characterized by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities that is present most of the day in addition to other symptoms that can impact normal daily functioning, relationships and overall quality of life. Treatments range from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, atypical antipsychotics, tricyclic antidepressants and psychotherapies, among others. Major depressive disorder affects more than 16 million people in the United States. A description of our investigational treatments for potential use in major depressive disorder follow.
Inadequate Response to Treatment in Major Depressive Disorder (NBI-1065845 – AMPA Potentiator). We have initiated a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NBI-1065845 as adjunctive treatment in 212 adult patients with inadequate response to treatment in major depressive disorder. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
NBI-1065845 is a potential first-in-class Alpha-Amino-3-Hydroxy-5-Methyl-4-Isoxazole Propionic Acid, or AMPA, potentiator with the potential to be developed for the treatment of inadequate response to treatment in major depressive disorder, also known as treatment-resistant depression. We acquired the global rights to NBI-1065845 in June 2020. NBI-1065845 is currently designated as a 50:50 profit-share product with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, which retains a one-time opt-out right to convert the designation to a royalty-bearing product. Major depressive disorder is one of the leading causes of disability. While there are a number of marketed treatments for major depressive disorder, approximately 30% of the more than 16 million people affected by the disorder in the United States do not adequately respond to treatment.
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Anhedonia in Major Depressive Disorder (NBI-1065846 – GPR Agonist). We have initiated a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-period cross-over, Proof of Activity clinical study to evaluate the effects of NBI-1065846 as adjunctive treatment in 88 adult patients with major depressive disorder experiencing anhedonia. We anticipate having top-line data for this clinical study in 2023.
NBI-1065846 is a potential first-in-class G Protein-Coupled Receptor 139, or GPR139, agonist with the potential to be developed for the treatment of anhedonia in major depressive disorder. We acquired the global rights NBI-1065846 in June 2020. NBI-1065846 is currently designated as a 50:50 profit-share product with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, which retains a one-time opt-out right to convert the designation to a royalty-bearing product. Anhedonia is characterized by the inability to experience pleasure and has been associated with changes in neurotransmitter levels involved in the brain’s reward system. Anhedonia is a core symptom of major depressive disorder and also frequently presents in people with bipolar depression, schizophrenia, substance-abuse disorders, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
Business Strategy
Commercializing Our Product Portfolio. We launched INGREZZA in the United States in May 2017 as the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia. In September 2020, we launched ONGENTYS in the United States as an FDA-approved add-on treatment to levodopa/carbidopa in patients with Parkinson's disease experiencing motor fluctuations. Our experience in marketing and selling pharmaceutical products began with INGREZZA’s approval in 2017, when we hired our salesforce and established our distribution and reimbursement capabilities, all of which are necessary to successfully commercialize our marketed products and products candidates. Our specialty salesforce in the United States consists of approximately 250 experienced sales professionals focused on educating healthcare professionals, including psychiatrists and neurologists, who treat patients with tardive dyskinesia and Parkinson’s disease. In the third quarter of 2021, we announced an expansion of our specialty salesforce, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, to approximately 350 experienced sales professionals that will establish three dedicated sales teams focused on psychiatry, neurology and providers in long-term care, respectively. Our commercial team is comprised of experienced professionals in marketing, access and reimbursement, managed markets, market research, commercial operations and salesforce planning and management. In addition, our commercial infrastructure includes capabilities in manufacturing, medical affairs, quality control and compliance. We intend to retain commercial rights to certain products, including INGREZZA, that we can effectively and efficiently develop, secure regulatory approval and commercialize, which includes products with a concentrated prescriber base and well-defined patient population that can be accessed with an efficient patient and prescriber outreach program.
Advancing Life-Changing Discoveries in Neurology, Neuroendocrinology and Neuropsychiatry. We believe that by continuing to advance and expand our product pipeline, we can mitigate some of the risks associated with drug development. We currently have multiple programs in various stages of research and development, including symptomatic disease modifying treatments. We take a portfolio approach to managing our pipeline that balances the size of market opportunities with clear and defined clinical and regulatory paths to approval. By doing so, we focus our internal development resources on innovative therapies with improved probabilities of technical and commercial success.
Discovering Novel Medicines to Address Unmet Patient Needs. We seek to identify and validate new medicines on novel targets for internal development or collaboration. We believe the creativity and productivity of our discovery research group will continue to be a critical component for our ongoing success.
Acquiring Rights to Commercial Products and Drug Development Candidates. We aim to continue to selectively acquire rights to commercial products and programs in all stages of clinical development to capitalize on our commercial and drug development capabilities.
Collaboration and License Agreements
In addition to our independent efforts to develop and market products, we may enter into collaboration and license agreements from time to time to enhance our drug development and commercial capabilities. Refer to Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements for more information on our significant collaboration and license agreements.
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Intellectual Property
We actively seek to protect our products and product candidates and related inventions and improvements that we consider important to our business. We own a portfolio of United States and ex-United States patents and patent applications and have licensed rights to a number of United States and ex-United States patents and patent applications. Our owned and licensed patents and patent applications cover or relate to our products and product candidates, including certain formulations, used to treat particular conditions and methods of administration, drug delivery technologies and delivery profiles and methods of manufacturing.
We own or have licensed rights to the following United States patents relating to INGREZZA and our other products and product candidates in our pipeline (in addition to non-United States patents and certain patents covering our early-stage product candidates):
INGREZZA, our highly selective VMAT2 inhibitor for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia, is covered by 19 issued United States patents that are listed in the FDA’s Orange Book and are set to expire between 2027 and 2040. There is also a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 2 years for United States Patent No. 8,039,627, which is currently set to expire in 2029 and is the earliest patent covering valbenazine, the active pharmaceutical ingredient contained in INGREZZA. In Japan and certain other East Asian markets, we are actively pursuing most of the patents corresponding to those listed in the FDA’s Orange Book entry for INGREZZA.
ONGENTYS, a highly selective COMT inhibitor for Parkinson’s disease, is covered by 9 issued United States patents that are listed in the FDA’s Orange Book and set to expire between 2026 to 2035 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 4 years for one of these patents).
ORILISSA, our small molecule GnRH antagonist for the treatment of endometriosis pain, is covered by 5 issued United States patents that are listed in the FDA’s Orange Book (the number of patents being dependent on dosage amount) and are set to expire between 2024 to 2036 (not including patent term extension of up to 5 years for patents listed in the Orange Book expiring in 2024).
ORIAHNN, containing our small molecule GnRH antagonist for the treatment of menstrual bleeding associated with uterine fibroids, is covered by 4issued United States patents that are listed in the FDA’s Orange Book and are set to expire between 2024 to 2034 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years for one of the patents).
Valbenazine, our highly selective VMAT2 inhibitor under further clinical development for the treatment of chorea in Huntington’s disease, is covered by at least 12 of the issued United States patents that are listed in the FDA’s Orange Book entry for INGREZZA and are set to expire between 2027 and 2038 . There is also a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 2 years for United States Patent No. 8,039,627, which is currently set to expire in 2029.
Crinecerfont, a CRF1 antagonist for the treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), is covered by United States Patent No. 10,905,690, which expires in 2035 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
Luvadaxistat, a DAAO inhibitor for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with Schizophrenia (CIAS), is covered by United States Patent No. 9,290,456, among others, which expires in 2032 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
NBI-827104, an inhibitor of T-type calcium channels for the treatment of CSWS epilepsy, is covered by United States Patent No. US 9,932,314, among others, which expires in 2035 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
NBI-921352, an inhibitor of the Nav1.6 voltage-gated sodium channel for the treatment of SCN8A-DEE epilepsy, is covered by United States Patent No. US 10,246,453, among others, which expires in 2037 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
NBI-1065845, a positive allosteric modulator of AMPA for the treatment of inadequate response to treatment in major depressive disorder is covered by United States Patent No. 8,778,934, among others, which expires in 2031 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
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NBI-1065846, a GPR139 agonist for the treatment of anhedonia in major depressive disorder, is covered by United States Patent No. 9,556,130, among others, which expires in 2035 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
NBI-1117568, a selective M4 agonist for the treatment of schizophrenia, is covered by United States Patent No. 10,961,225, among others, which expire in 2035 (not including a potential patent term extension of up to an additional 5 years).
In addition to the potential patent term extensions referenced above, the products and product candidates in our pipeline may be subject to additional terms of exclusivity that we may obtain by future patent issuances.
Separately, the United States, European Union and Japan each provide data and marketing exclusivity for new medicinal compounds. If this protection is available, no competitor may use the original applicant’s data as the basis of a generic marketing application during the period of data and marketing exclusivity, which is measured from the date of marketing approval by the FDA or corresponding foreign regulatory authority. This period of exclusivity is generally 5 years in the United States, 6 years in Japan and 10 years in the European Union, except that for biologics, the period of exclusivity in the United States is 12 years under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. In addition, if granted orphan drug designation, certain of our product candidates, including crinecerfont, may also be eligible for marketing exclusivity in the United States for 7 years and European Union for 10 years.
Refer to Item 1A. Risk Factors for a discussion of the challenges we may face in obtaining or maintaining patent and/or trade secret protection and Item 3. Legal Proceedings for a description of our legal proceedings related to intellectual property matters.
Manufacturing and Supply
We currently rely on, and intend to continue to rely on, third-party manufacturers for the production of INGREZZA and our product candidates. Raw materials, active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API, and other supplies required for the production of INGREZZA and our product candidates are sourced from various third-party manufacturers and suppliers in quantities adequate to meet our needs. Continuing adequate supply of such raw materials and API is assured through our long-term commercial supply and manufacturing agreements with multiple manufacturers and our continued focus on the expansion and diversification of our third-party manufacturing relationships. In addition, we rely on BIAL – Portela & Ca, S.A. for the commercial supply of ONGENTYS.
We believe our outsourced manufacturing strategy enables us to direct our financial resources to the maximization of our opportunities with INGREZZA and ONGENTYS, investment in our internal R&D programs and expansion of our clinical pipeline through business development opportunities.
Our third-party manufacturers, suppliers and service providers may be subject to routine current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, inspections by the FDA or comparable agencies in other jurisdictions. We depend on our third-party partners and our quality system oversight of them for continued compliance with cGMP requirements and applicable foreign standards.
Marketing, Sales and Distribution
Our experience in marketing and selling pharmaceutical products began with INGREZZA’s approval in 2017, when we hired our salesforce and established our distribution and reimbursement capabilities, all of which are necessary to successfully commercialize our marketed products and products candidates. Our expanded specialty salesforce in the United States will consist of approximately 350 experienced sales professionals divided into three dedicated sales teams focused on psychiatry, neurology and long-term care. We anticipate completing our salesforce expansion during the second quarter of 2022.
For INGREZZA, our customers in the United States consist of a limited network of specialty pharmacy providers that deliver INGREZZA to patients by mail, wholesale distributors that distribute INGREZZA primarily to certain specialty pharmacies, and specialty distributors that distribute INGREZZA primarily to closed-door pharmacies and government facilities. For ONGENTYS, our customers in the United States consist primarily of wholesale distributors. We rely on third-party service providers to perform a variety of functions related to the packaging, storage and distribution of INGREZZA and ONGENTYS.
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Government Regulation
Our business activities are subject to extensive regulation by the United States and other countries. Regulation by government authorities in the United States and foreign countries is a significant factor in the development, manufacture, distribution, tracking, marketing and sale of our proposed products and in our ongoing research and product development activities. All of our products in development will require regulatory approval by government agencies prior to commercialization. The process of obtaining these approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal and state statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.
In addition, federal and state healthcare laws restrict business practices in the pharmaceutical industry. These laws include, without limitation, federal and state fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, data privacy and security laws, as well as transparency laws regarding payments or other items of value provided to healthcare providers. We have a comprehensive compliance program designed to ensure our business practices remain compliant.
The federal Anti-Kickback Statute makes it illegal for any person or entity to knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, solicit, receive, offer, or pay any remuneration that is intended to induce the referral of business, including the purchase, order, lease of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Federal civil and criminal false claims laws and the federal civil monetary penalties law, which prohibit among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, for payment to, or approval by, federal programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, claims for items or services, including drugs, that are false or fraudulent or not provided as claimed and knowingly making, or causing to be made, a false record or to avoid or decrease an obligation to pay money to the federal government.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, created additional federal criminal statutes that prohibit, among other actions, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.
In addition, we may be subject to HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and their privacy and security regulations, which impose certain obligations, including the adoption of administrative, physical and technical safeguards to protect individually identifiable health information on covered entities subject to HIPAA (i.e., health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and certain healthcare providers) and their business associates that perform certain services for or on their behalf involving the use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information as well as their covered subcontractors.
The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies to report annually to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), other healthcare professionals (such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners) and teaching hospitals, as well as information regarding ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.
Also, many states have similar healthcare statutes or regulations that may be broader in scope and may apply regardless of payor. Additionally, to the extent that our product is sold in a foreign country, we may be subject to similar foreign laws.
Failure to comply with these laws, where applicable, can result in significant penalties, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, and additional reporting requirements and regulatory oversight, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.
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Development and Marketing Approval for Products. Preclinical studies generally are conducted in laboratory animals to evaluate the potential safety and efficacy of a product. Drug developers submit the results of preclinical studies to the FDA as a part of an investigational new drug application, or IND, before clinical trials can begin in humans. Typically, clinical evaluation involves a time consuming and costly three-phase process.
Phase IClinical trials are conducted with a small number of subjects to determine the early safety profile, maximum tolerated dose and pharmacokinetic properties of the product in human volunteers or in patients with the target disease.
Phase IIClinical trials are conducted with groups of patients afflicted with a specific disease in order to determine preliminary efficacy, optimal dosages and expanded evidence of safety.
Phase IIILarger, multi-center, comparative clinical trials are conducted with patients afflicted with a specific disease in order to determine safety and efficacy as primary support for regulatory approval by the FDA to market a product candidate for a specific disease.
The FDA closely monitors the progress of each of the three phases of clinical trials that are conducted in the United States and may, at its discretion, re-evaluate, alter, suspend or terminate the testing based upon the data accumulated to that point and the FDA’s assessment of the risk/benefit ratio to the patient. Institutional Review Boards, Institutional Ethics Committees and Data Safety Monitoring Boards also closely monitor the conduct of our trials and may also place holds on our clinical trials or recommend that we voluntarily do so. Clinical trials conducted in foreign countries are also subject to oversight by regulatory authorities in those countries.
Once Phase III trials are completed, drug developers submit the results of preclinical studies and clinical trials to the FDA in the form of an NDA for approval to commence commercial sales. In most cases, the submission of an NDA is subject to a substantial application user fee. Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, the FDA has a goal of ten months from the date of filing of a standard NDA for a new molecular entity to review and act on the submission. The FDA generally has a six-month review goal of priority NDAs.
In addition, under the Pediatric Research Equity Act of 2003 as amended and reauthorized, certain applications or supplements to an application must contain data that are adequate to assess the safety and effectiveness of the drug for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations, and to support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The FDA may, on its own initiative or at the request of the applicant, grant deferrals for submission of some or all pediatric data until after approval of the product for use in adults or full or partial waivers from the pediatric data requirements.
The FDA also may require submission of a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy to ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks. The risk evaluation and mitigation strategy could include medication guides, physician communication plans, assessment plans and/or additional elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries, or other risk minimization tools.
The FDA conducts a preliminary review of all NDAs within the first 60 days after submission, before accepting them for filing, to determine whether they are sufficiently complete to permit substantive review. The FDA may request additional information rather than accept an application for filing. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth substantive review. The FDA reviews an NDA to determine, among other things, whether the drug is safe and effective for its intended use and whether the facility in which it is manufactured, processed, packaged or held meets standards designed to assure the product’s continued safety, quality and purity.
The FDA may refer an application for a novel drug to an advisory committee. An advisory committee is a panel of independent experts, including clinicians and other scientific experts, that reviews, evaluates and provides a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.
Before approving an NDA, the FDA typically will inspect the facility or facilities where the product is manufactured. The FDA will not approve an application unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA, the FDA may inspect one or more clinical trial sites to assure compliance with Good Clinical Practice requirements.
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After evaluating the NDA and all related information, including the advisory committee recommendation, if any, and inspection reports regarding the manufacturing facilities and clinical trial sites, the FDA may issue an approval letter, or, in some cases, a complete response letter. A complete response letter generally contains a statement of specific conditions that must be met in order to secure final approval of the application and may require additional clinical or preclinical testing in order for FDA to reconsider the application. Even with submission of this additional information, the FDA ultimately may decide that the application does not satisfy the regulatory criteria for approval. If and when those conditions have been met to the FDA’s satisfaction, the FDA will typically issue an approval letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug with specific prescribing information for specific indications.
Even if the FDA approves a product, it may limit the approved indications for use of the product, require that contraindications, warnings or precautions be included in the product labeling, require that post-approval studies, including Phase IV clinical trials, be conducted to further assess a drug’s safety after approval, require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the product after commercialization, or impose other conditions, including distribution and use restrictions or other risk management mechanisms under a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, which can materially affect the potential market and profitability of the product. The FDA may prevent or limit further marketing of a product based on the results of post-marketing studies or surveillance programs. After approval, some types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications, manufacturing changes and additional labeling claims, are subject to further testing requirements and FDA review and approval.
We will also have to complete an approval process similar to that in the United States in order to commercialize our product candidates in each foreign country. The approval procedure and the time required for approval vary from country to country and may involve additional testing. Foreign approvals may not be granted on a timely basis, or at all. In addition, regulatory approval of prices is required in most countries other than the United States The resulting prices may not be sufficient to generate an acceptable return to us or our corporate collaborators.
In the European Union, there are currently two potential tracks for seeking marketing approval for a product not authorized in any European Union member state: a decentralized procedure and a centralized procedure. In the decentralized procedure, identical applications for marketing authorization are submitted simultaneously to the national regulatory agencies. Regulatory review is led by one member state (the reference-member state), and its assessment—based on safety, quality and efficacy—is reviewed and approved (assuming there are no concerns that the product poses a serious risk to public health) by the other member states from which the applicant is seeking approval (the concerned-member states). The decentralized procedure leads to a series of single national approvals in all relevant countries. In the centralized procedure, which is required of all products derived from biotechnology, a company submits a single marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, which conducts an evaluation of the dossier, drawing upon its scientific resources across Europe. If the drug product is proven to fulfill the requirements for quality, safety and efficacy, the EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products of Human Use, or CHMP, adopts a positive opinion, which is transmitted to the European Commission for final decision on grant of the marketing authorization. While the EC generally follows the CHMP’s opinion, it is not bound to do so. Subsequent commercialization is enabled by country-by-country reimbursement approval.
Orphan Drug Designation. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan drug designation to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or if it affects more than 200,000, there is no reasonable expectation that sales of the drug in the United States will be sufficient to offset the costs of developing and making the drug available in the United States Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in or shorten the duration of the regulatory review and approval process.
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If the FDA approves a sponsor’s marketing application for a designated orphan drug for use in the rare disease or condition for which it was designated, the sponsor is eligible for a seven-year period of marketing exclusivity, during which the FDA may not approve another sponsor’s marketing application for a drug with the same active moiety and intended for the same use or indication as the approved orphan drug, except in limited circumstances, such as if a subsequent sponsor demonstrates its product is clinically superior. During a sponsor’s orphan drug exclusivity period, competitors, however, may receive approval for drugs with different active moieties for the same indication as the approved orphan drug, or for drugs with the same active moiety as the approved orphan drug, but for different indications. Orphan drug exclusivity could block the approval of one of our products for 7 years if a competitor obtains approval for a drug with the same active moiety intended for the same indication before we do, unless we are able to demonstrate that grounds for withdrawal of the orphan drug exclusivity exist, or that our product is clinically superior. Further, if a designated orphan drug receives marketing approval for an indication broader than the rare disease or condition for which it received orphan drug designation, it may not be entitled to exclusivity.
Legislation similar to the Orphan Drug Act has been enacted in other countries outside of the United States, including the European Union. The orphan legislation in the European Union is available for therapies addressing conditions that affect five or fewer out of 10,000 persons, are life‑threatening or chronically debilitating conditions and for which no satisfactory treatment is authorized. The market exclusivity period is for 10 years, although that period can be reduced to 6 years if, at the end of the fifth year, available evidence establishes that the product does not justify maintenance of market exclusivity.
Post-Approval Requirements. Drugs manufactured or distributed pursuant to FDA approvals are subject to pervasive and continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, requirements relating to recordkeeping, periodic reporting, product sampling and distribution, advertising and promotion and reporting of adverse experiences with the product. After approval, most changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications or other labeling claims are subject to prior FDA review and approval. There also are continuing, annual program user fee requirements for any marketed products, as well as new application fees for supplemental applications with clinical data.
The FDA may impose a number of post-approval requirements as a condition of approval of an NDA. For example, the FDA may require post-marketing testing, including Phase IV clinical trials, and surveillance to further assess and monitor the product’s safety and effectiveness after commercialization.
In addition, drug manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs are required to register their establishments with the FDA and state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and these state agencies for compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices, or cGMP, requirements. Changes to the manufacturing process are strictly regulated and often require prior FDA approval before being implemented. FDA regulations also require investigation and correction of any deviations from cGMP requirements and impose reporting and documentation requirements upon the sponsor and any third-party manufacturers that the sponsor may decide to use. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance.
Once an approval is granted, the FDA may withdraw the approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in mandatory revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical trials to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution or other restrictions under a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy program. Other potential consequences include, among other things:
restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or product recalls;
fines, warning letters or holds on post-approval clinical trials;
refusal of the FDA to approve pending NDAs or supplements to approved NDAs, or suspension or revocation of product approvals;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products; or
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
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The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. However, companies may share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with a product’s FDA approved labeling. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company that is found to have improperly promoted off-label uses may be subject to significant liability. Physicians may prescribe legally available products for uses that are not described in the product’s labeling and that differ from those tested by us and approved by the FDA. The FDA does not regulate behavior of physicians in their choice of treatments. The FDA does, however, restrict manufacturer’s communications on the subject of off-label use of their products.
Reimbursement
Significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of any product candidates for which we obtain regulatory approval. In the United States and markets in other countries, sales of any products for which we receive regulatory approval will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors provide coverage and establish adequate reimbursement levels for such drug products.
In the United States, third-party payors include federal and state healthcare programs, government authorities, private managed care providers, private health insurers and other organizations. No uniform policy for coverage and reimbursement exists in the United States, and coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates, but also have their own methods and approval process apart from Medicare determinations. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time-consuming and costly process that will require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our drug products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance.
Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the price, examining the medical necessity and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical drug products and medical services, in addition to questioning their safety and efficacy. Such payors may limit coverage to specific drug products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the FDA-approved drugs for a particular indication. We may need to conduct expensive pharmaco-economic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of our products, in addition to the costs required to obtain the FDA approvals. Nonetheless, our products or product candidates, including INGREZZA, may not be considered medically necessary or cost-effective.
Moreover, the process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a drug product may be separate from the process for setting the price of a drug product or for establishing the reimbursement rate that such a payor will pay for the drug product. A payor’s decision to provide coverage for a drug product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage for the drug product. Adequate third-party payor reimbursement may not be available to enable us to maintain price levels sufficient to realize an appropriate return on our investment in product development.
The marketability of any product or product candidates for which we or our collaborators receive regulatory approval for commercial sale may suffer if third-party payors fail to provide coverage and adequate reimbursement. In addition, emphasis on managed care in the United States has increased and we expect will continue to increase the pressure on pharmaceutical pricing. Coverage policies and third-party payor reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which we receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.
Healthcare Reform
The United States and some foreign jurisdictions are considering or have enacted a number of legislative and regulatory proposals to change the healthcare system in ways that could affect our ability to sell our products profitably. Among policy makers and payors in the United States and elsewhere, there is significant interest in promoting changes in healthcare systems with the stated goals of containing healthcare costs, improving quality or expanding access. In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry has been a particular focus of these efforts and has been significantly affected by major legislative initiatives.
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By way of example, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, collectively the ACA, was signed into law, which intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms.
We expect that the ACA, as well as other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and lower reimbursement, and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government-funded programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private third-party payor.
There have been legal and political challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. Since January 2017, the Trump administration signed several executive orders and other directives designed to delay, circumvent, or loosen certain requirements mandated by the ACA. Concurrently, Congress considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the ACA. For example, legislation enacted in 2017, informally titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, includes a provision that repealed, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”. On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argued the ACA is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress. Thus, the ACA will remain in effect in its current form. Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, on January 28, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order that initiated a special enrollment period for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is possible that the ACA will be subject to judicial or Congressional challenges in the future. It is unclear how such challenges and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the ACA.
Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. These changes include, among others, aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which began in 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments, including the Investment and Jobs Act, will remain in effect through 2031, except for a temporary suspension from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unless additional Congressional action is taken. Under current legislation, the actual reduction in Medicare payments will vary from 1% in 2022 to up to 3% in the final fiscal year of this sequestration.
Also, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny recently over pharmaceutical pricing practices in light of the rising cost of prescription drugs and biologics. Such scrutiny has resulted in several Congressional hearings and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for products.
For example, on July 24, 2020 and September 13, 2020, the Trump administration announced several executive orders related to drug pricing that sought to implement several of the administration’s proposals. As a result, the FDA concurrently released a final rule and guidance in September 2020, providing pathways for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. This rule is undergoing legal challenge.
Further, on November 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or 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 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. This rule has been stayed by the Biden Administration until 2023 while pending litigation is heard in the courts.
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On November 20, 2020, CMS issued an interim final rule implementing President Trump’s Most Favored Nation executive order, which would tie Medicare Part B payments for certain physician-administered drugs to the lowest price paid in other economically advanced countries, effective January 1, 2021. As a result of litigation challenging the Most Favored Nation model, on December 27, 2021, CMS published a final rule that rescinds the Most Favored Nation model interim final rule.
Additionally, in July 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” with multiple provisions aimed at prescription drugs. In response to Biden’s executive order, on September 9, 2021, HHS released a Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices that outlines principles for drug pricing reform and sets out a variety of potential legislative policies that Congress could pursue as well as potential administrative actions HHS can take to advance these principles. No legislation or administrative actions have been finalized to implement these principles. It is unclear whether these or similar policy initiatives will be implemented in the future.
At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented 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, it is possible that additional governmental action is taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competition
The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are subject to rapid and intense technological change. We face, and will continue to face, competition in the development and marketing of our products and product candidates from academic institutions, government agencies, research institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approval and marketing than we do.
Competition may also arise from, among other things, new drug development technologies, new or improved treatment options for preventing or reducing the incidence of disease in diseases our products treat and new small molecule or other classes of therapeutic agents. Such developments by competitors could reduce or eliminate the use of our products or may limit the utility and application of ongoing clinical trials for our product candidates.
Tardive Dyskinesia. INGREZZA competes with AUSTEDO (deutetrabenazine), which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in adults in August 2017 and is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and several clinical development-stage programs targeting tardive dyskinesia and related movement disorders. Additionally, there are a number of commercially available medicines used to treat tardive dyskinesia off-label, such as Xenazine® (tetrabenazine) and generic equivalents, and various antipsychotic medications (e.g., clozapine), anticholinergics, benzodiazepines (off-label), and botulinum toxin.
Parkinson’s Disease. ONGENTYS competes with two other FDA-approved COMT inhibitors and their generic equivalents. Additionally, there are a number of alternative adjunctive treatment options (FDA-approved and in clinical development) for Parkinson’s patients which compete with ONGENTYS, including various L-dopa preparations, dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors and others. In terms of potential future competition, there are several programs in late-stage clinical development.
Endometriosis and Uterine Fibroids. ORILISSA and ORIAHNN each compete with several FDA-approved products for the treatment of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility and central precocious puberty. Additionally, there is also competition from surgical intervention, including hysterectomies and ablations. Separate from these options, there are many programs in clinical development which serve as potential future competition. Lastly, there are numerous medicines used to treat the symptoms of disease (vs. endometriosis or uterine fibroids directly) which may also serve as competition: oral contraceptives, NSAIDs and other pain medications, including opioids.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. For CAH, high doses of corticosteroids are the current standard of care to both correct the endogenous cortisol deficiency as well as reduce the excessive ACTH levels. In the United States alone, there are more than two dozen companies manufacturing steroid-based products. In addition, there are several programs in clinical development targeting CAH and several companies developing medicinal treatments for CAH.
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Epilepsy. Our investigational treatments for potential use in epilepsy may in the future compete with numerous approved anti-seizure medications and development-stage programs being pursued by several other companies. Commonly used anti-seizure medications include phenytoin, levetiracetam, brivaracetam, cenobamate, carbamazepine, clobazam, lamotrigine, valproate, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, lacosamide, perampanel and cannabidiol, among others. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments specifically indicated for the early infantile epileptic encephalopathies SCN8A-DEE and EE-CSWS; however, a number of different anti-seizure medications are currently used in these patient populations.
Neuropsychiatry. Our investigational treatments for potential use in schizophrenia and depression may in the future compete with several development-stage programs being pursued by other companies. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments specifically indicated for CIAS; however, there are a number of different anti-psychotic medications currently used in these patient populations.
Other. Our investigational treatments for potential use in neurology, neuroendocrinology and neuropsychiatry may in the future compete with numerous approved products and development-stage programs being pursued by several other companies.
Human Capital
Our Employees. We have grown to a team of more than 900 employees as of December 31, 2021, all of whom were employed in the United States. Our highly qualified and experienced team, which includes scientists, physicians and professionals across sales, marketing, manufacturing, regulatory, finance and other essential functions are critical to our success. We also leverage temporary workers to provide flexibility for our business needs. During 2021, we added over 200 new employees to our team.
We expect to continue to add additional employees in 2022 with a focus on expanding our commercial salesforce, research, and development organizations. We continually evaluate our business needs and opportunities and balance in house expertise and capacity with external expertise and capacity. Currently, we rely on third-party contract manufacturers.
Our Culture. The success of our human capital management investments is evidenced by our low employee turnover, a number which is regularly reviewed by our Board of Directors as part of their oversight of our human capital strategy. In recognition of our efforts, in 2021, we received the following rewards:
#4 in Fortune Best Workplaces in Health Care & BiopharmaTM
#7 in Fortune Best Small & Medium WorkplacesTM
#13 in Fortune Best Workplaces for WomenTM
#25 in Fortune Best Workplaces for MillennialsTM
Employee Engagement, Talent Development & Benefits. We believe that our future success largely depends upon our continued ability to attract and retain highly skilled employees. We provide our employees with competitive salaries and bonuses, opportunities for equity ownership, development programs that enable continued learning and growth and a robust employment package that promotes well-being across all aspects of their lives, including health care, retirement planning and paid time off. As part of our promotion and retention efforts, we also invest in ongoing leadership development programs as well as offer tuition reimbursement. In addition, we regularly conduct an employee survey to gauge employee engagement and identify areas of focus.
Diversity & Inclusion. Much of our success is rooted in the diversity of our teams and our commitment to inclusion. We value diversity at all levels and continue to focus on extending our diversity and inclusion initiatives across our entire workforce. We believe that our business benefits from the different perspectives a diverse workforce brings, and we pride ourselves on having a strong, inclusive and positive culture based on our shared mission and values.
Corporate Information
We were originally incorporated in California in January 1992 and reincorporated in Delaware in May 1996. Our principal executive offices are located at 12780 El Camino Real, San Diego, California 92130. Our telephone number is (858) 617-7600.
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Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on our website at www.neurocrine.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after such reports are available on the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, website at www.sec.gov. Additionally, copies of our Annual Report will be made available, free of charge, upon written request. Information found on, or accessible through, our website is not a part of, and is not incorporated into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
The following information sets forth risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements we have made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and those we may make from time to time. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, operating results, prospects or financial condition could be harmed. Additional risks not presently known to us, or that we currently deem immaterial, may also affect our business operations.
Summary Risk Factors
We face risks and uncertainties related to our business, many of which are beyond our control. In particular, risks associated with our business include:
We may not be able to continue to successfully commercialize INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, or any of our product candidates if they are approved in the future.
If physicians and patients do not continue to accept INGREZZA or do not accept ONGENTYS, or our sales and marketing efforts are not effective, we may not generate sufficient revenue.
Governmental and third-party payors may impose sales and pharmaceutical pricing controls on our products or limit coverage and/or reimbursement for our products that could limit our product revenues and delay sustained profitability.
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which could also cause significant disruption in the operations of third-party manufacturers, contract research organizations, or CROs, or other third parties upon whom we rely.
We face intense competition, and if we are unable to compete effectively, the demand for our products may be reduced.
Because the development of our product candidates is subject to a substantial degree of technological uncertainty, we may not succeed in developing any of our product candidates.
Our clinical studies may be delayed for safety or other reasons, or fail to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, which could prevent or significantly delay their regulatory approval.
We depend on our current collaborators for the development and commercialization of several of our products and product candidates and may need to enter into future collaborations to develop and commercialize certain of our product candidates.
Use of our approved products or those of our collaborators could be associated with side effects or adverse events.
We have recently increased the size of our organization and will need to continue to increase the size of our organization. We may encounter difficulties with managing our growth, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
If we are unable to retain and recruit qualified scientists and other employees or if any of our key senior executives discontinues his or her employment with us, it may delay our development efforts or impact our commercialization of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any product candidate approved by the FDA.
We currently have no manufacturing capabilities. If third-party manufacturers of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any of our product candidates fail to devote sufficient time and resources to our concerns, or if their performance is substandard, our clinical trials and product introductions may be delayed, and our costs may rise.
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We currently depend on a limited number of third-party suppliers. The loss of these suppliers, or delays or problems in the supply of INGREZZA or ONGENTYS, could materially and adversely affect our ability to successfully commercialize INGREZZA or ONGENTYS.
We license some of our core technologies and drug candidates from third parties. If we default on any of our obligations under those licenses, or violate the terms of these licenses, we could lose our rights to those technologies and drug candidates or be forced to pay damages.
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our competitors could develop and market products based on our discoveries, which may reduce demand for our products.
Health care reform measures and other recent legislative initiatives could adversely affect our business.
Our indebtedness and liabilities could limit the cash flow available for our operations, expose us to risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We have a history of losses and expect to increase our expenses for the foreseeable future, and we may not be able to sustain profitability.
Our customers are concentrated and therefore the loss of a significant customer may harm our business.
If we cannot raise additional funding, we may be unable to complete development of our product candidates or establish commercial and manufacturing capabilities in the future.
Risks Related to Our Company
We may not be able to continue to successfully commercialize INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, or any of our product candidates if they are approved in the future.
Our ability to produce INGREZZA revenues consistent with expectations ultimately depends on our ability to continue to successfully commercialize INGREZZA and secure adequate third-party reimbursement. Our experience in marketing and selling pharmaceutical products began with INGREZZA’s approval in 2017, when we hired our salesforce and established our distribution and reimbursement capabilities, all of which are necessary to successfully commercialize our current and future products. We have continued to invest in our commercial infrastructure and distribution capabilities in the past 4 years, including the expansion of our specialty salesforce, which we announced in the third quarter of 2021 and anticipate completing in the second quarter of 2022. While our team members and consultants have experience marketing and selling pharmaceutical products, we may face difficulties related to managing the rapid growth of our personnel and infrastructure, and there can be no guarantee that we will be able to maintain the personnel, systems, arrangements and capabilities necessary to continue to successfully commercialize INGREZZA, or to successfully commercialize ONGENTYS or any product candidate approved by the FDA in the future.
In addition, our business has been and may continue to be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In parts of the country where the pandemic is having a greater impact, some hospitals, community mental health facilities and other healthcare facilities continue to have policies that limit access of our sales representatives, medical affairs personnel and patients to such facilities. These policies are likely to change from time to time as communities or regions grapple with outbreaks. In addition, many health care practitioners have adopted telehealth for patient interactions, which may impact the ability of the health care practitioner to screen for and diagnose tardive dyskinesia. Further, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of physician telehealth services increased significantly, fueled by an expansion of coverage and reimbursement from government and other payors. The limitations that telehealth places on the ability to conduct a thorough visual and physical examination may impact the ability of providers to screen for movement disorders, leading to potentially fewer patients to be diagnosed and referred for treatment. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any lasting effects on the way we conduct our business, is highly uncertain and subject to continued change. If we fail to maintain successful marketing, sales and reimbursement capabilities, our product revenues may suffer.
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If physicians and patients do not continue to accept INGREZZA or do not accept ONGENTYS or our sales and marketing efforts are not effective, we may not generate sufficient revenue.
The commercial success of INGREZZA or ONGENTYS will depend upon the acceptance of those products as safe and effective by the medical community and patients.
The market acceptance of INGREZZA or ONGENTYS could be affected by a number of factors, including:
the timing of receipt of marketing approvals for additional indications;
the safety and efficacy of the products;
the pricing of our products;
the availability of healthcare payor coverage and adequate reimbursement for the products;
public perception regarding any products we may develop;
the success of existing competitor products addressing our target markets or the emergence of equivalent or superior products; and
the cost-effectiveness of the products.
If the medical community, patients and payors do not continue to accept our products as being safe, effective, superior and/or cost-effective, we may not generate sufficient revenue.
Governmental and third-party payors may impose sales and pharmaceutical pricing controls on our products or limit coverage and/or reimbursement for our products or impose policies that could limit our product revenues and delay sustained profitability.
Our ability to continue to commercialize INGREZZA successfully or to successfully commercialize ONGENTYS, will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available. The continuing efforts of government and third-party payors to contain or reduce the costs of health care and the price of prescription drugs through various means may impact our revenues. These payors’ efforts could decrease the price that we receive for any products we may develop and sell in the future.
Assuming we obtain coverage for a given product by a third-party payor, the resulting reimbursement payment rates may not be adequate or may require co-payments that patients find unacceptably high. Patients who are prescribed medications for the treatment of their conditions, and their prescribing physicians, generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their prescription drugs. Patients are unlikely to use our products unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate to cover all or a significant portion of the out-of-pocket cost of our products. Coverage decisions may depend upon clinical and economic standards that disfavor new drug products when more established or lower cost therapeutic alternatives are already available or subsequently become available regardless of whether they are approved by the FDA for that particular use. Coverage decisions by payors for our competitors' products may also impact coverage for our products.
Government authorities and other third-party payors are developing increasingly sophisticated methods of controlling healthcare costs, such as by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. Further, no uniform policy requirement for coverage and reimbursement for drug products exists among third-party payors in the United States. Therefore, coverage and reimbursement for drug products can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time-consuming and costly process that will require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance. In addition, communications from government officials regarding health care costs and pharmaceutical pricing could have a negative impact on our stock price, even if such communications do not ultimately impact coverage or reimbursement decisions for our products.
There may also be significant delays in obtaining coverage and reimbursement for newly approved drugs or indications, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug is approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for coverage and reimbursement does not imply that a drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which we receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.
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If coverage and reimbursement are not available or reimbursement is available only to limited levels, we may not successfully commercialize INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any other product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable reimbursement rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition. Further, a majority of our current revenue is derived from federal healthcare program payors, including Medicare and Medicaid. Thus, changes in government reimbursement policies, reductions in payments and/or our suspension or exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of physician telehealth services has rapidly increased, fueled by an unprecedented expansion of coverage and reimbursement across insurers. The limitations that telehealth places on the ability to conduct a thorough physical examination may impact the ability of providers to screen for movement disorders, leading potentially fewer patients to be diagnosed and/or treated.
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which could also cause significant disruption in the operations of third-party manufacturers CROs, or other third parties upon whom we rely.
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, which could also cause significant disruption in the operations of third-party manufacturers, CROs and other third parties upon whom we rely. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may experience disruptions that could severely impact our supply chain, ongoing and future clinical trials and commercialization of INGREZZA and ONGENTYS. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in travel restrictions and the shutdown or delay of business activities in various regions. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented a remote work model for all employees except certain key essential members involved in business-critical activities. Most of our field-based employees have resumed in-person interactions in accordance with location-specific guidance. Our office-based employees have returned to the office under flexible work guidelines to help balance business needs, employee health, well-being and safety and the evolving work environment. However, as the effects of the pandemic continue to rapidly evolve with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, a remote work model may nevertheless need to be reinstated at some point in the future. We continue to evaluate the impact of global spikes or surges in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, as well as the impact of emerging COVID-19 variants on the efficacy of vaccines. The effects of a remote and flexible work model may negatively impact productivity, disrupt our business and delay our clinical programs and timelines, the magnitude of which will depend, in part, on the length and severity of the restrictions and other limitations on our ability to conduct our business in the ordinary course. In addition, we may face several challenges or disruptions upon a return back to the workplace, including re-integration challenges by our employees and distractions to management related to such transition. These and similar, and perhaps more severe, disruptions in our operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively impact our business, operating results and financial condition.
Quarantines, stay at home orders, travel restrictions and other state and local restrictions, or the perception that such orders, shutdowns or other restrictions on the conduct of business operations could occur, related to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, could impact personnel at third-party manufacturing facilities in the United States and other countries, or the availability or cost of materials, which would disrupt our supply chain.
In addition, clinical site initiation and patient enrollment may be delayed due to concerns for patient safety and prioritization of healthcare resources toward the COVID-19 pandemic. Some patients may not be able to comply with clinical trial protocols if quarantines impede patient travel or interrupt healthcare services. Similarly, our ability to recruit and retain patients, principal investigators and site staff may be hindered, which would adversely impact our clinical trial operations. Increases in COVID-19 cases or hospitalizations in the future could cause us or any of our clinical sites to again limit or suspend our patient enrollment and screening activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a broad impact globally, may materially affect us economically. While the potential economic impact brought by, and the duration of, the COVID-19 pandemic may be difficult to assess or predict, the pandemic has caused disruption in the global financial markets. This disruption, if sustained or recurrent, could make it more difficult for us to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity. In addition, a recession or market correction resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could materially affect our business and the value of our common stock.
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The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to rapidly evolve. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or a similar health pandemic or epidemic is highly uncertain and subject to continued change. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical trials, healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole. These effects could have a material impact on our operations, or the operations of third parties on whom we rely.
We face intense competition, and if we are unable to compete effectively, the demand for our products may be reduced.
The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are subject to rapid and intense technological change. We face, and will continue to face, competition in the development and marketing of our products and product candidates from academic institutions, government agencies, research institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
Competition may also arise from, among other things:
other drug development technologies;
methods of preventing or reducing the incidence of disease, including vaccines; and
new small molecule or other classes of therapeutic agents.
Developments by others (including the development of generic equivalents) may render our product candidates or technologies obsolete or noncompetitive.
We are commercializing and performing research on or developing products for the treatment of several disorders including endometriosis, tardive dyskinesia, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia, pain, Parkinson’s disease and other neurology, neuroendocrinology and neuropsychiatry-related diseases and disorders, and there are a number of competitors to our products and product candidates. If one or more of our competitors’ products or programs are successful (including the development of generic equivalents), the market for our products may be reduced or eliminated.
INGREZZA competes with AUSTEDO (deutetrabenazine), which was approved by the FDA for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in adults in August 2017 and is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and several clinical development-stage programs targeting tardive dyskinesia and related movement disorders. Additionally, there are a number of commercially available medicines used to treat tardive dyskinesia off-label, such as Xenazine® (tetrabenazine) and generic equivalents, and various antipsychotic medications (e.g., clozapine), anticholinergics, benzodiazepines (off-label), and botulinum toxin.
ONGENTYS competes with two other FDA-approved COMT inhibitors and their generic equivalents. Additionally, there are a number of alternative adjunctive treatment options (FDA-approved and in clinical development) for Parkinson’s patients which compete with ONGENTYS, including various L-dopa preparations, dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors and others. In terms of potential future competition, there are several programs in late-stage clinical development.
ORILISSA and ORIAHNN each compete with several FDA-approved products for the treatment of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility and central precocious puberty. Additionally, there is also competition from surgical intervention, including hysterectomies and ablations. Separate from these options, there are many programs in clinical development which serve as potential future competition. Lastly, there are numerous medicines used to treat the symptoms of disease (vs. endometriosis or uterine fibroids directly) which may also serve as competition: oral contraceptives, NSAIDs and other pain medications, including opioids.
For CAH, high doses of corticosteroids are the current standard of care to both correct the endogenous cortisol deficiency as well as reduce the excessive ACTH levels. In the United States alone, there are more than two dozen companies manufacturing steroid-based products. In addition, there are several programs in clinical development targeting CAH and several companies developing medicinal treatments for CAH.
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Our investigational treatments for potential use in epilepsy may in the future compete with numerous approved anti-seizure medications and development-stage programs being pursued by several other companies. Commonly used anti-seizure medications include phenytoin, levetiracetam, brivaracetam, cenobamate, carbamazepine, clobazam, lamotrigine, valproate, oxcarbazepine, topiramate, lacosamide, perampanel and cannabidiol, among others. There are currently no FDA-approved treatments specifically indicated for the early infantile epileptic encephalopathies SCN8A-DEE and EE-CSWS; however, a number of different anti-seizure medications are currently used in these patient populations.
Our investigational treatments for potential use in schizophrenia and depression may in the future compete with several development-stage programs being pursued by other companies. Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments specifically indicated for CIAS; however, there are a number of different anti-psychotic medications currently used in these patient populations.
Our investigational treatments for potential use in neurology, neuroendocrinology and neuropsychiatry may in the future compete with numerous approved products and development-stage programs being pursued by several other companies.
Compared to us, many of our competitors and potential competitors have substantially greater:
capital resources;
sales and marketing experience;
research and development resources, including personnel and technology;
regulatory experience;
preclinical study and clinical testing experience;
manufacturing, marketing and distribution experience; and
production facilities.
Moreover, increased competition in certain disorders or therapies may make it more difficult for us to recruit or enroll patients in our clinical trials for similar disorders or therapies.
Because the development of our product candidates is subject to a substantial degree of technological uncertainty, we may not succeed in developing any of our product candidates.
Only a small number of research and development programs ultimately result in commercially successful drugs.
Potential products that appear to be promising at early stages of development may not reach the market for a number of reasons. These reasons include the possibilities that the potential products may:
be found ineffective or cause harmful side effects during preclinical studies or clinical trials;
fail to receive necessary regulatory approvals on a timely basis or at all;
be precluded from commercialization by proprietary rights of third parties;
be difficult to manufacture on a large scale; or
be uneconomical to commercialize or fail to achieve market acceptance.
If any of our product candidates encounters any of these potential problems, we may never successfully market that product candidate.
Our clinical trials may be delayed for safety or other reasons or fail to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, which could prevent or significantly delay their regulatory approval.
Before obtaining regulatory approval for the sale of any of our potential products, we must subject these product candidates to extensive preclinical and clinical testing to demonstrate their safety and efficacy for humans. Clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming and may take years to complete and the outcomes are uncertain.
In connection with the clinical trials of our product candidates, we face the risks that:
the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authority may not allow an IND or foreign equivalent filings required to initiate human clinical studies for our drug candidates or the FDA may require additional preclinical studies as a condition of the initiation of Phase I clinical studies, or additional clinical studies for progression from Phase I to Phase II, or Phase II to Phase III, or for NDA approval;
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the product candidate may not prove to be effective or as effective as other competing product candidates;
we may discover that a product candidate may cause harmful side effects or results of required toxicology or other studies may not be acceptable to the FDA;
clinical trial results may not replicate the results of previous trials;
the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authorities may require use of new or experimental endpoints that may prove insensitive to treatment effects;
we or the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authorities may suspend the trials;
the results may not be statistically significant;
clinical site initiation or patient recruitment and enrollment may be slower or more difficult than expected;
the FDA may not accept the data from any trial or trial site outside of the United States;
patients may drop out of the trials;
unforeseen disruptions or delays may occur, caused by man-made or natural disasters or public health pandemics or epidemics or other business interruptions, including, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic; and
regulatory requirements may change.
These risks and uncertainties impact all of our clinical programs and any of the clinical, regulatory or operational events described above could change our planned clinical and regulatory activities. In addition, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, clinical site initiation and new patient enrollment has been negatively impacted. Additionally, any of these events described above could result in suspension of a program and/or obviate any filings for necessary regulatory approvals.
In addition, late-stage clinical trials are often conducted with patients having the most advanced stages of disease. During the course of treatment, these patients can die or suffer other adverse medical effects for reasons that may not be related to the pharmaceutical agent being tested but which can nevertheless adversely affect clinical trial conduct, completion and results. Any failure or substantial delay in completing clinical trials for our product candidates may severely harm our business.
Even if the clinical trials are successfully completed, we cannot guarantee that the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities will interpret the results as we do, and more trials could be required before we submit our product candidates for approval. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, approval of our product candidates may be significantly delayed, or we may be required to expend significant additional resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates.
We depend on our current collaborators for the development and commercialization of several of our products and product candidates and may need to enter into future collaborations to develop and commercialize certain of our product candidates.
We depend on our current collaborators for the development and commercialization of several of our products and product candidates and may need to enter into future collaborations to develop and commercialize certain of our product candidates. For example, we depend on AbbVie for the manufacture and commercialization of ORILISSA and ORIAHNN and for the continued development of elagolix. We collaborate with MTPC for the development and commercialization of valbenazine for movement disorders in Japan and other select Asian markets. We also rely on BIAL for the commercial supply of ONGENTYS. In addition, we collaborate with Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the development of NBI-921352, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd for the development of NBI-827104, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited for the development of luvadaxistat, NBI-1065845 and NBI-1065846 and Heptares Therapeutics Limited for the development of NBI-1117568.
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Our current and future collaborations and licenses could subject us to a number of risks, including:
strategic collaborators may sell, transfer or divest assets or programs related to our partnered product or product candidates;
we may be required to undertake the expenditure of substantial operational, financial and management resources;
we may be required to assume substantial actual or contingent liabilities;
we may not be able to control the amount and timing of resources that our strategic collaborators devote to the development or commercialization of our products or product candidates;
we may not be able to influence our strategic collaborator’s decisions regarding the development and collaboration of our partnered product and product candidates, and as a result, our collaboration partners may not pursue or prioritize the development and commercialization of those partnered products and product candidates in a manner that is in our best interest;
strategic collaborators may select indications or design clinical trials in a way that may be less successful than if we were doing so;
strategic collaborators may not conduct collaborative activities in a timely manner, provide insufficient funding, terminate a clinical trial or abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new version of a product candidate for clinical testing;
strategic collaborators may not pursue further development and commercialization of products resulting from the strategic collaboration arrangement or may elect to discontinue research and development programs;
disagreements or disputes may arise between us and our strategic collaborators that result in delays or in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management’s attention and consumes resources;
strategic collaborators may experience financial difficulties;
strategic collaborators may not properly maintain, enforce or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our proprietary information in a manner that could jeopardize or invalidate our proprietary information or expose us to potential litigation;
strategic collaborators could terminate the arrangement or allow it to expire, which would delay the development and commercialization and may increase the cost of developing and commercializing our products or product candidates; and
strategic collaborators could develop, either alone or with others, products or product candidates that may compete with ours.
If any of these issues arise, it may delay and/or negatively impact the development and commercialization of drug candidates and, ultimately, our generation of product revenues.
We may not be able to successfully commercialize ONGENTYS.
In April 2020, we received FDA approval for ONGENTYS as an adjunctive therapy to levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors in adult Parkinson’s disease patients, and in September 2020, we launched the commercial sale of ONGENTYS with our existing commercial infrastructure. The successful commercialization of ONGENTYS is subject to many risks, and there are numerous examples of unsuccessful product launches and failures, including by pharmaceutical companies with more experience and resources than us. If we are unable to effectively train our employees and equip them with effective materials, including medical and sales literature to help them inform and educate health care practitioners about the benefits of ONGENTYS and its proper administration, our commercialization of ONGENTYS may not be successful. Even if we are successful in effectively training and equipping our salesforce, there are many factors that could cause the commercialization of ONGENTYS to be unsuccessful, including a number of factors that are outside our control. Health care practitioners may not prescribe ONGENTYS and patients may be unwilling to use ONGENTYS if insurance coverage is not provided or reimbursement is inadequate. In addition, our ability to train our employees and effectively communicate with potential prescribers could be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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Use of our approved products or those of our collaborators could be associated with side effects or adverse events.
As with most pharmaceutical products, use of our approved products or those of our collaborators could be associated with side effects or adverse events which can vary in severity (from minor adverse reactions to death) and frequency (infrequent or prevalent). Side effects or adverse events associated with the use of our products or those of our collaborators may be observed at any time, including after a product is commercialized, and reports of any such side effects or adverse events may negatively impact demand for our or our collaborators’ products or affect our or our collaborators’ ability to maintain regulatory approval for such products. Side effects or other safety issues associated with the use of our approved products or those of our collaborators could require us or our collaborators to modify or halt commercialization of these products or expose us to product liability lawsuits which will harm our business. We or our collaborators may be required by regulatory agencies to conduct additional studies regarding the safety and efficacy of our products which we have not planned or anticipated. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that we or our collaborators will resolve any issues related to any product related adverse events to the satisfaction of the FDA or any regulatory agency in a timely manner or ever, which could harm our business, prospects and financial condition.
We have recently increased the size of our organization and will need to continue to increase the size of our organization. We may encounter difficulties with managing our growth, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
As of December 31, 2021, we had more than 900 full-time employees. Although we have substantially increased the size of our organization, we may need to add additional qualified personnel and resources, especially with the planned increase in the size of our salesforce. Our current infrastructure may be inadequate to support our development and commercialization efforts and expected growth. Future growth will impose significant added responsibilities on our organization, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain and integrate additional employees, and may take time away from running other aspects of our business, including development and commercialization of our product candidates.
Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize INGREZZA, ONGENTYS and any other product candidates that receive regulatory approval will depend, in part, on our ability to manage any future growth effectively. In particular, as we commercialize INGREZZA and ONGENTYS, we will need to support the training and ongoing activities of our salesforce and will likely need to continue to expand the size of our employee base for managerial, operational, financial and other resources. To that end, we must be able to successfully:
manage our development efforts effectively;
integrate additional management, administrative and manufacturing personnel;
further develop our marketing and sales organization;
compensate our employees on adequate terms in an increasingly competitive, inflationary market;
attract and retain personnel; and
maintain sufficient administrative, accounting and management information systems and controls.
We may not be able to accomplish these tasks or successfully manage our operations and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals. Our failure to accomplish any of these goals could harm our financial results and prospects.
If we are unable to retain and recruit qualified scientists and other employees or if any of our key senior executives discontinues his or her employment with us, it may delay our development efforts or impact our commercialization of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any product candidate approved by the FDA.
We are highly dependent on the principal members of our management, commercial and scientific staff. The loss of any of these people could impede the achievement of our objectives, including the successful commercialization of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any product candidate approved by the FDA. Furthermore, recruiting and retaining qualified scientific personnel to perform research and development work in the future, along with personnel with experience marketing and selling pharmaceutical products, is critical to our success. We may be unable to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms given effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the competition among biotechnology, pharmaceutical and health care companies, universities and non-profit research institutions for experienced scientists and individuals with experience marketing and selling pharmaceutical products. We may face
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particular retention challenges in light of the recent rapid growth in our personnel and infrastructure and the perceived impact of those changes upon our corporate culture. In addition, we rely on a significant number of consultants to assist us in formulating our research and development strategy and our commercialization strategy. Our consultants may have commitments to, or advisory or consulting agreements with, other entities that may limit their availability to us.
We currently have no manufacturing capabilities. If third-party manufacturers of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any of our product candidates fail to devote sufficient time and resources to our concerns, or if their performance is substandard, our clinical trials and product introductions may be delayed, and our costs may rise.
We have in the past utilized, and intend to continue to utilize, third-party manufacturers to produce the drug compounds we use in our clinical trials and for the commercialization of our products. We have limited experience in manufacturing products for commercial purposes and do not currently have any manufacturing facilities. Establishing internal commercial manufacturing capabilities would require significant time and resources, and we may not be able to timely or successfully establish such capabilities. Consequently, we depend on, and will continue to depend on, several contract manufacturers for all production of products for development and commercial purposes, including INGREZZA and ONGENTYS. If we are unable to obtain or retain third-party manufacturers, we will not be able to develop or commercialize our products, including INGREZZA and ONGENTYS. The manufacture of our products for clinical trials and commercial purposes is subject to specific FDA regulations, including current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Our third-party manufacturers, including BIAL and its suppliers, might not comply with FDA regulations relating to manufacturing our products for clinical trials and commercial purposes or other regulatory requirements now or in the future. Our reliance on contract manufacturers also exposes us to the following risks:
contract manufacturers may encounter difficulties in achieving volume production, quality control or quality assurance, and also may experience shortages in qualified personnel. As a result, our contract manufacturers might not be able to meet our clinical schedules or adequately manufacture our products in commercial quantities when required;
switching manufacturers may be difficult because the number of potential manufacturers is limited. It may be difficult or impossible for us to find a replacement manufacturer quickly on acceptable terms, or at all;
our contract manufacturers may not perform as agreed or may not remain in the contract manufacturing business for the time required to successfully produce, store or distribute our products; and
drug manufacturers are subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, and other agencies to ensure strict compliance with cGMP and other government regulations and corresponding foreign standards. We do not have control over third-party manufacturers’ compliance with these regulations and standards.
Our current dependence upon third parties for the manufacture of our products may reduce our profit margin, if any, on the sale of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, or our future products and our ability to develop and deliver products on a timely and competitive basis.
We currently depend on a limited number of third-party suppliers. The loss of these suppliers, or delays or problems in the supply of INGREZZA or ONGENTYS, could materially and adversely affect our ability to successfully commercialize INGREZZA or ONGENTYS.
The manufacture of pharmaceutical products requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of process controls required to consistently produce the active pharmaceutical ingredients, or API, the finished drug product and packaging in sufficient quantities while meeting detailed product specifications on a repeated basis. Manufacturers of pharmaceutical products may encounter difficulties in production, such as difficulties with production costs and yields, process controls, quality control and quality assurance, including testing of stability, impurities and impurity levels and other product specifications by validated test methods, compliance with strictly enforced United States, state and non-United States regulations, and disruptions or delays caused by man-made or natural disasters, pandemics or epidemics, or other business interruptions, including, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic. We depend on a limited number of suppliers for the production and packaging of INGREZZA and its API. If our third-party suppliers for INGREZZA encounter these or any other manufacturing, quality or compliance difficulties, we may be unable to meet commercial demand for INGREZZA, which could
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materially and adversely affect our ability to successfully commercialize INGREZZA. In addition, under the terms of our agreement with BIAL, although we are responsible for the management of all ONGENTYS commercialization activities, we rely on BIAL and its suppliers to supply all drug product for the commercialization of ONGENTYS. BIAL relies on third-party contract manufacturers to produce ONGENTYS. These contract manufacturers may encounter difficulties in achieving volume production, quality control, or quality assurance. As a result, these contract manufacturers may not be able to adequately produce ONGENTYS in commercial quantities when required, which may impact our ability to deliver ONGENTYS on a timely basis.
In addition, if our suppliers fail or refuse to supply us with INGREZZA or its API for any reason, it would take a significant amount of time and expense to qualify a new supplier. The FDA and similar international regulatory bodies must approve manufacturers of the active and inactive pharmaceutical ingredients and certain packaging materials used in pharmaceutical products. The loss of a supplier could require us to obtain regulatory clearance and to incur validation and other costs associated with the transfer of the API or product manufacturing processes. If there are delays in qualifying new suppliers or facilities or if a new supplier is unable to meet FDA or a similar international regulatory body’s requirements for approval, there could be a shortage of INGREZZA, which could materially and adversely affect our ability to successfully commercialize INGREZZA. If BIAL is unable or refuses to supply us with ONGENTYS drug product for any reason, or does not meet FDA or international regulators’ requirements for approval, we have limited opportunity to qualify a new supplier. This could materially and adversely affect our ability to successfully commercialize ONGENTYS.
The independent clinical investigators and contract research organizations that we rely upon to conduct our clinical trials may not be diligent, careful or timely, and may make mistakes, in the conduct of our trials.
We depend on independent clinical investigators and CROs to conduct our clinical trials under their agreements with us. The investigators are not our employees, and we cannot control the amount or timing of resources that they devote to our programs. If our independent investigators fail to devote sufficient time and resources to our drug development programs, or if their performance is substandard, or not in compliance with Good Clinical Practices, it may delay or prevent the approval of our regulatory applications and our introduction of new treatments. The CROs we contract with for execution of our clinical trials play a significant role in the conduct of the trials and the subsequent collection and analysis of data. Failure of the CROs to meet their obligations could adversely affect clinical development of our products. Moreover, these independent investigators and CROs may also have relationships with other commercial entities, some of which may compete with us. If independent investigators and CROs assist our competitors at our expense, it could harm our competitive position.
We do not and will not have access to all information regarding the products and product candidates we licensed to AbbVie.
We do not and will not have access to all information regarding elagolix, including potentially material information about commercialization plans, medical information strategies, clinical trial design and execution, safety reports from clinical trials, safety reports, regulatory affairs, process development, manufacturing and other areas known by AbbVie. In addition, we have confidentiality obligations under our agreement with AbbVie. Thus, our ability to keep our shareholders informed about the status of elagolix will be limited by the degree to which AbbVie keeps us informed and allows us to disclose such information to the public. If AbbVie fails to keep us informed about commercialization efforts related to elagolix, or the status of the clinical development or regulatory approval pathway of other product candidates licensed to it, we may make operational and/or investment decisions that we would not have made had we been fully informed, which may materially and adversely affect our business and operations.
We are subject to ongoing obligations and continued regulatory review for INGREZZA. Additionally, our other product candidates, if approved, could be subject to labeling and other post-marketing requirements and restrictions.
Regulatory approvals for any of our product candidates may be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing, including Phase IV clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the product candidate. For example, with respect to the FDA’s approval of INGREZZA for tardive dyskinesia in April 2017, we are subject to certain post-marketing requirements and commitments. In addition, with respect to INGREZZA, and any product candidate that the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority approves, the
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manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion and recordkeeping for the product 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 current Good Clinical Practices for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. Failure to comply with these ongoing regulatory requirements, or later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, may result in, among other things:
restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, changes in the product’s label, withdrawal of the product from the market, or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;
fines, warning or untitled letters or holds on clinical trials;
refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us, or suspension or revocation of product license approvals;
adverse inspection findings or other activities that temporarily delay manufacture and distribution of our products;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products; and
product injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
The occurrence of any of these events may adversely affect our business, prospects and ability to achieve or sustain profitability on a sustained basis.
If the market opportunities for our products and product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, our expected revenues may be adversely affected, and our business may suffer.
Certain of the diseases that INGREZZA, ONGENTYS and our other product candidates are being developed to address are in underserved and underdiagnosed populations. Our projections of both the number of people who have these diseases, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who will seek treatment utilizing our products or product candidates, may not be accurate. If our estimates of the prevalence or number of patients potentially on therapy prove to be inaccurate, the market opportunities for INGREZZA, ONGENTYS and our other product candidates may be smaller than we believe they are, our prospects for generating expected revenue may be adversely affected and our business may suffer.
We license some of our core technologies and drug candidates from third parties. If we default on any of our obligations under those licenses, or violate the terms of these licenses, we could lose our rights to those technologies and drug candidates or be forced to pay damages.
We are dependent on licenses from third parties for some of our key technologies. These licenses typically subject us to various commercialization, reporting and other obligations. If we fail to comply with these obligations, we could lose important rights. If we were to default on our obligations under any of our licenses, we could lose some or all of our rights to develop, market and sell products covered by these licenses. For example, BIAL may terminate our license agreement, pursuant to which we have rights to commercialize ONGENTYS, if we fail to use commercially reasonable efforts to comply with specified obligations under the license agreement, or if we otherwise breach the license agreement. In addition, several of our collaboration and license agreements allow our licensors to terminate such agreements if we challenge the validity or enforceability of certain intellectual property rights or if we commit a material breach in whole or in part of the agreement and do not cure such breach within the agreed upon cure period. In addition, if we were to violate any of the terms of our licenses, we could become subject to damages. Likewise, if we were to lose our rights under a license to use proprietary research tools, it could adversely affect our existing collaborations or adversely affect our ability to form new collaborations. We also face the risk that our licensors could, for a number of reasons, lose patent protection or lose their rights to the technologies we have licensed, thereby impairing or extinguishing our rights under our licenses with them.
The conditional conversion feature of the 2024 Notes, if triggered, may adversely affect our financial condition, operating results, or liquidity.
In the event the conditional conversion feature of the 2.25% convertible senior notes due May 15, 2024, or the 2024 Notes, is triggered, holders of 2024 Notes will be entitled to convert their 2024 Notes at any time during specified periods at their option. If one or more of the holders of the 2024 Notes elects to convert their notes, unless we satisfy
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our conversion obligation by delivering only shares of our common stock with respect to any conversion premium, we would be required to settle all or a portion of our conversion obligation through the payment of cash, which could adversely affect our liquidity. The conditional convertibility of the 2024 Notes will be monitored at each quarterly reporting date and analyzed dependent upon market prices of our common stock during the prescribed measurement periods. In the event that we have the election to redeem the 2024 Notes or the holders of the 2024 Notes have the election to convert the 2024 Notes at any time during the prescribed measurement period, the 2024 Notes would then be considered a current obligation and classified as such. We are not aware of any events or market conditions that would allow us to redeem the 2024 Notes or the holders of the 2024 Notes to convert the 2024 Notes for the quarterly period ended December 31, 2021, or as of the date of this report.
Our indebtedness and liabilities could limit the cash flow available for our operations, expose us to risks that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In May 2017, we sold $517.5 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes. In November 2020, we entered into separate, privately negotiated transactions with certain holders of the 2024 Notes to repurchase $136.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes for an aggregate repurchase price of $186.9 million in cash. As of December 31, 2021, $381.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes remained outstanding. We may also incur additional indebtedness to meet future financing needs. Our indebtedness could have significant negative consequences for our security holders and our business, results of operations and financial condition by, among other things:
increasing our vulnerability to adverse economic and industry conditions;
limiting our ability to obtain additional financing;
requiring the dedication of a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to service our indebtedness, which will reduce the amount of cash available for other purposes;
limiting our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business;
diluting the interests of our existing stockholders as a result of issuing shares of our common stock upon conversion of the 2024 Notes; and
placing us at a possible competitive disadvantage with competitors that are less leveraged than us or have better access to capital.
Our business may not generate sufficient funds, and we may otherwise be unable to maintain sufficient cash reserves, to pay amounts due under the 2024 Notes and any additional indebtedness that we may incur. In addition, our cash needs may increase in the future. In addition, any future indebtedness that we may incur may contain financial and other restrictive covenants that limit our ability to operate our business, raise capital or make payments under our other indebtedness. If we fail to comply with these covenants or to make payments under our indebtedness when due, then we would be in default under that indebtedness, which could, in turn, result in that and our other indebtedness becoming immediately payable in full.
We have a history of losses and expect to increase our expenses for the foreseeable future, and we may not be able to sustain profitability.
Since our inception, we have incurred significant net losses and negative cash flow from operations. As of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $0.6 billion as a result of historical operating losses.
We received FDA approval for INGREZZA for tardive dyskinesia in April 2017 and for ONGENTYS for Parkinson’s disease in April 2020. Our partner AbbVie received FDA approval for ORILISSA for endometriosis in July 2018 and for ORIAHNN for uterine fibroids in May 2020. However, we have not yet obtained regulatory approvals for any other product candidates. Even if we continue to succeed in commercializing INGREZZA, or if we successfully commercialize ONGENTYS or are successful in developing and commercializing any of our other product candidates, we may not be able to sustain profitability. We also expect to continue to incur significant operating and capital expenditures as we:
commercialize INGREZZA for tardive dyskinesia;
commercialize ONGENTYS for Parkinson’s disease;
seek regulatory approvals for our product candidates or for additional indications for our current products;
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develop, formulate, manufacture and commercialize our product candidates;
in-license or acquire new product development opportunities;
implement additional internal systems and infrastructure; and
hire additional clinical, scientific, sales and marketing personnel.
We expect to increase our expenses and other investments in the coming years as we fund our operations, in-licensing or acquisition opportunities, and capital expenditures. While we were profitable for the year ended December 31, 2021, our future operating results and profitability may fluctuate from period to period due to the factors described above, and we will need to generate significant revenues to achieve and maintain profitability and positive cash flow on a sustained basis. We may not be able to generate these revenues, and we may never achieve profitability on a sustained basis in the future. Our failure to maintain or increase profitability on a sustained basis could negatively impact the market price of our common stock.
We may be subject to claims that we or our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers.
As is commonplace in the biotechnology industry, we employ individuals who were previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although no claims against us are currently pending, we may be subject to claims that these employees or we have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.
Because our operating results may vary significantly in future periods, our stock price may decline.
Our quarterly revenues, expenses and operating results have fluctuated in the past and are likely to fluctuate significantly in the future. Our financial results are unpredictable and may fluctuate, for among other reasons, due to seasonality and timing of customer purchases and commercial sales of INGREZZA, impact of the commercial launch of ONGENTYS and ORIAHNN, royalties from out-licensed products, the impact of Medicare Part D coverage, our achievement of product development objectives and milestones, clinical trial enrollment and expenses, research and development expenses and the timing and nature of contract manufacturing, contract research payments, fluctuations in our effective tax rate, and disruptions caused by man-made or natural disasters or public health pandemics or epidemics or other business interruptions, including, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic. A high portion of our costs are predetermined on an annual basis, due in part to our significant research and development costs. Thus, small declines in revenue could disproportionately affect financial results in a quarter. While we were profitable for the year ended December 31, 2021, our future operating results and profitability may fluctuate from period to period, and even if we become profitable on a quarterly or annual basis, we may not be able to sustain or increase our profitability. Moreover, as our company and our market capitalization have grown, our financial performance has become increasingly subject to quarterly and annual comparisons with the expectations of securities analysts or investors. The failure of our financial results to meet these expectations, either in a single quarterly or annual period over a sustained period time, could cause our stock price to decline.
Changes in tax laws or regulations that are applied adversely to us or our customers may have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flows, financial condition or results of operations.
New income, sales, use or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time, which could adversely affect our business and financial condition. Further, existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. For example, the Biden administration and Congress have proposed various United States federal tax law changes which, if enacted, could have a material impact on our business, cash flows, financial condition, or results of operations. In addition, it is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to federal tax laws. Future tax reform legislation could have a material impact on the value of our deferred tax assets, could result in significant one-time charges, and could increase our future United States tax expense.
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Our ability to use net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.
Our net operating loss, or NOL, carryforwards generated in tax years beginning on or prior to December 31, 2017, are only permitted to be carried forward for 20 years under applicable US tax law. Under current law, our federal NOLs generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal NOLs in tax years beginning after December 31, 2020, is limited to 80% of taxable income. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to federal tax laws. In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and corresponding provisions of state law, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” which is generally defined as a greater than 50% change, by value, in its equity ownership over a three-year period, the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change NOL carryforwards and other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. We do not believe we have experienced any previous ownership changes, but the determination is complex and there can be no assurance we are correct. Furthermore, we may experience ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership, some of which may be outside of our control.
As a result, our pre-2018 NOL carryforwards may expire prior to being used and our NOL carryforwards generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, will be subject to a percentage limitation and, if we undergo an ownership change (or if we previously underwent such an ownership change), our ability to use all of our pre-change NOLs and other pre-change tax attributes (such as research tax credits) to offset our post-change income or taxes may be limited. Similar provisions of state tax law may also apply to limit our use of accumulated state tax attributes. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed. As a result, we may be unable to use all or a material portion of our NOLs and other tax attributes, which could adversely affect our future cash flows.
Our effective tax rate may fluctuate, and we may incur obligations in tax jurisdictions in excess of accrued amounts.
Our effective tax rate is derived from a combination of applicable tax rates in the various places that we operate. In preparing our financial statements, we estimate the amount of tax that will become payable in each of such places. Nevertheless, our effective tax rate may be different than experienced in the past due to numerous factors, including changes in the mix of our profitability from state to state, the results of examinations and audits of our tax filings, our inability to secure or sustain acceptable agreements with tax authorities, changes in accounting for income taxes and changes in tax laws. Any of these factors could cause us to experience an effective tax rate significantly different from previous periods or our current expectations and may result in tax obligations in excess of amounts accrued in our financial statements.
In addition, on December 31, 2020, we determined, based on our facts and circumstances, that it was more likely than not that a substantial portion of our deferred tax assets would be realized and, as a result, substantially all of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets was released. Therefore, beginning in 2021, we commenced recording income tax expense at an estimated tax rate that will likely approximate statutory tax rates, which could result in a significant reduction in our net income and net income per share.
The price of our common stock is volatile.
The market prices for securities of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies historically have been highly volatile, and the market for these securities has from time to time experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that are unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has negatively affected the stock market and investor sentiment and has resulted in significant volatility. Furthermore, especially as we and our market capitalization have grown, the price of our common stock has been increasingly affected by quarterly and annual comparisons with the valuations and recommendations of the analysts who cover our business. If our results do not meet these analysts’ forecasts, the expectations of our investors or the financial guidance we provide to investors in any period, which is based on assumptions that may be incorrect or that may change from quarter to quarter, the market price of our common stock could decline. Over the course of the last twelve months, the price of our common stock has ranged from approximately $72 per share to approximately $120 per share. The market price of our common stock may fluctuate in response to many factors, including:
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sales of INGREZZA and our other products;
the status and cost of our post-marketing commitments for INGREZZA;
the results of our clinical trials;
reports of safety issues related to INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, ORILISSA, or ORIAHNN;
developments concerning new and existing collaboration agreements;
announcements of technological innovations or new therapeutic products by us or others;
general economic and market conditions, including economic and market conditions affecting the biotechnology industry;
developments in patent or other proprietary rights;
developments related to the FDA and foreign regulatory agencies;
future sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders;
comments by securities analysts;
additions or departures of key personnel;
fluctuations in our operating results;
potential litigation matters and developments in existing litigation matters, such as the ANDA litigation matters;
government regulation;
government and third-party payor coverage and reimbursement;
failure of any of our product candidates, if approved, to achieve commercial success;
disruptions caused by man-made or natural disasters, pandemics or epidemics or other business interruptions, including, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic; and
public concern as to the safety of our drugs.
In addition, we are a member of the S&P MidCap 400 index. If we cease to be represented in the S&P MidCap 400 index, or other indexes or indexed products, as a result of our market capitalization falling below the threshold for inclusion in the index, certain institutional shareholders may, due to their internal policies and investment guidelines, be required to sell their shareholdings. Such sales may result in further negative pressure on our stock price and, when combined with reduced trading volume and liquidity, could adversely affect the value of your investment and your ability to sell your shares.
Our customers are concentrated and therefore the loss of a significant customer may harm our business.
We have entered into agreements for the distribution of INGREZZA with a limited number of specialty pharmacy providers and distributors, and all of our product sales of INGREZZA are to these customers. Two of these customers represented approximately 82% of our total product revenue for 2021 and a significant majority of our accounts receivable balance as of December 31, 2021. If any of these significant customers becomes subject to bankruptcy, is unable to pay us for our products or is acquired by a company that wants to terminate the relationship with us, or if we otherwise lose any of these significant customers, our revenue, results of operations and cash flows would be adversely affected. Even if we replace the loss of a significant customer, we cannot predict with certainty that such transition would not result in a decline in our revenue, results of operations and cash flows.
If we cannot raise additional funding, we may be unable to complete development of our product candidates or establish commercial and manufacturing capabilities in the future.
We may require additional funding to continue our research and development programs, to conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials, for operating expenses, to pursue regulatory approvals for our product candidates, for the costs involved in filing and prosecuting patent applications and enforcing or defending patent claims, if any, and the cost of product in-licensing and any possible acquisitions. In addition, we may require additional funding to establish manufacturing and marketing capabilities in the future. We believe that our existing capital resources, together with investment income and future payments due under our strategic alliances, will be sufficient to satisfy our current and projected funding requirements for at least the next twelve months. However, these resources might be insufficient to conduct research and development programs, the cost of product in-taking and possible
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acquisitions, fully commercialize products and operate the company to the full extent currently planned. If we cannot obtain adequate funds, we may be required to curtail significantly our commercial plans or one or more of our research and development programs or obtain funds through additional arrangements with corporate collaborators or others that may require us to relinquish rights to some of our technologies or product candidates.
Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:
the commercial success of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, ORILISSA and/or ORIAHNN;
debt services obligations on the 2024 Notes;
continued scientific progress in our R&D and clinical development programs;
the magnitude and complexity of our research and development programs;
progress with preclinical testing and clinical trials;
the time and costs involved in obtaining regulatory approvals;
the cost involved in filing and pursuing patent applications, enforcing patent claims, or engaging in interference proceedings or other patent litigation;
competing technological and market developments;
developments related to any future litigation;
the cost of commercialization activities and arrangements, including advertising campaigns;
the cost of manufacturing our product candidates;
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and
the cost of any strategic alliances, collaborations, product in-licensing, or acquisitions.
We intend to seek additional funding through strategic alliances and may seek additional funding through public or private sales of our securities, including equity securities. In addition, during the second quarter of 2017, we issued the 2024 Notes and we have previously financed capital purchases and may continue to pursue opportunities to obtain additional debt financing in the future. In November 2020, we entered into separate, privately negotiated transactions with certain holders of the 2024 Notes to repurchase $136.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes for an aggregate repurchase price of $186.9 million in cash. As of December 31, 2021, $381.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes remained outstanding. Additional equity or debt financing might not be available on reasonable terms, if at all. In addition, disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic could make it more difficult for us to access capital. Any additional equity financings will be dilutive to our stockholders and any additional debt financings may involve operating covenants that restrict our business.
Compliance with changing regulation of corporate governance and public disclosure may result in additional expenses.
Changing laws, regulations and standards relating to corporate governance and public disclosure, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, new SEC regulations and Nasdaq rules, are creating uncertainty for companies such as ours. These laws, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations in some cases due to their lack of specificity, and as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies, which could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices. We are committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance and public disclosure. As a result, our efforts to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards have resulted in, and are likely to continue to result in, increased selling, general and administrative expenses and management time related to compliance activities. If we fail to comply with these laws, regulations and standards, our reputation may be harmed and we might be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities, such as the SEC. Any such action could adversely affect our financial results and the market price of our common stock.
Increasing use of social media could give rise to liability and result in harm to our business.
Our employees are increasingly utilizing social media tools and our website as a means of communication. Despite our efforts to monitor social media communications, there is risk that the unauthorized use of social media by our employees to communicate about our products or business, or any inadvertent disclosure of material, nonpublic information through these means, may result in violations of applicable laws and regulations, which may give rise to
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liability and result in harm to our business. In addition, there is also risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information, which could result in significant legal and financial exposure and reputational damages that could potentially have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, negative posts or comments about us or our products on social media could seriously damage our reputation, brand image and goodwill.
Risks Related to Our Industry
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, our competitors could develop and market products based on our discoveries, which may reduce demand for our products.
Our success will depend on our ability to, among other things:
obtain patent protection for our products;
preserve our trade secrets;
prevent third parties from infringing upon our proprietary rights; and
operate without infringing upon the proprietary rights of others, both in the United States and internationally.
Because of the substantial length of time and expense associated with bringing new products through the development and regulatory approval processes in order to reach the marketplace, the pharmaceutical industry places considerable importance on obtaining patent and trade secret protection for new technologies, products and processes. Accordingly, we intend to seek patent protection for our proprietary technology and compounds. However, we face the risk that we may not obtain any of these patents and that the breadth of claims we obtain, if any, may not provide adequate protection of our proprietary technology or compounds.
We also rely upon unpatented trade secrets and improvements, unpatented know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position, which we seek to protect, in part, through confidentiality agreements with our commercial collaborators, employees and consultants. We also have invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and some, but not all, of our commercial collaborators and consultants. However, if our employees, commercial collaborators or consultants breach these agreements, we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach, and our trade secrets may otherwise become known or independently discovered by our competitors.
In addition, although we own a number of patents, the issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its validity or enforceability, and third parties may challenge the validity or enforceability of our patents. We cannot assure you how much protection, if any, will be given to our patents if we attempt to enforce them and they are challenged in court or in other proceedings. It is possible that a competitor may successfully challenge our patents or that challenges will result in limitations of their coverage. Moreover, competitors may infringe our patents or successfully avoid them through design innovation. In addition, potential competitors have in the past and may in the future file an ANDA with the FDA seeking approval to market a generic version of our products, or our competitors’ products, before the expiration of the patents covering our products or our competitors’ products, as applicable. To prevent infringement or unauthorized use, we have in the past and may in the future need to file infringement claims, which are expensive and time-consuming. For example, we are currently engaged in various intellectual property litigation matters against potential competitors related to INGREZZA. Refer to Item 3. Legal Proceedings for a more detailed description of these matters. In addition, in an infringement proceeding a court may decide that a patent of ours or a patent of a competitor is not valid or is unenforceable or may refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover its technology. Interference proceedings declared by the United States Patent and Trademark Office may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patent applications (or those of our licensors) or a patent of a competitor. Litigation or interference proceedings may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management. Litigation or interference proceedings, including proceedings of a competitor, may also result in a competitor entering the marketplace faster than expected. We cannot assure you that we will be able to prevent misappropriation of our proprietary rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect such rights as fully as in the United States.
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Health care reform measures and other recent legislative initiatives could adversely affect our business.
The business and financial condition of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are affected by the efforts of governmental and third-party payors to contain or reduce the costs of health care and to lower drug prices. In the United States, comprehensive health care reform legislation has been enacted by the Federal government and we expect that there will continue to be a number of federal and state proposals to implement government control over the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals. In addition, increasing emphasis on reducing the cost of health care in the United States will continue to put pressure on the pricing and reimbursement of prescription pharmaceuticals. Moreover, in some foreign jurisdictions, pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is already subject to government control. Additionally, other federal and state legislation impose obligations on manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, among others, related to product tracking and tracing. Among the requirements of this legislation, manufacturers are required to provide certain information regarding the drug product provided to individuals and entities to which product ownership is transferred, label drug product with a product identifier, and keep certain records regarding distribution of the drug product. Further, under this legislation, manufacturers will have drug product investigation, quarantine, disposition, notification and purchaser license verification responsibilities related to counterfeit, diverted, stolen and intentionally adulterated products, as well as products that are the subject of fraudulent transactions or which are otherwise unfit for distribution such that they would be reasonably likely to result in serious health consequences or death.
Additionally, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively the ACA, was signed into law, which was intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add transparency requirements for the healthcare and health insurance industries, impose taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms. Among the provisions of the ACA of importance to our drug products and potential drug candidates are:
an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures, or imports, specified branded prescription drugs and biologic agents, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs;
an increase in the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to 23.1% and 13.0% of the average manufacturer price for branded and generic drugs, respectively;
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;
extension of a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability to covered drugs dispensed to individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations;
expansion of eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;
a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must now agree to offer 70% point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for a manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D;
expansion of the entities eligible for discounts under the Public Health Service pharmaceutical pricing program; and
a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research.
There have been executive legal and political challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. For example, on June 17, 2021 the United States Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argued the ACA is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress. Thus, the ACA will remain in effect in its current form.
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Further, prior to the United States Supreme Court ruling, President Biden issued an executive order that initiated a special enrollment period for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace, which began February 15, 2021 and remained open through August 15, 2021. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is possible that the ACA will be subject to judicial or Congressional challenges in the future. It is unclear how any such challenges and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the ACA.
Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted. These changes include aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which began in 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will remain in effect through 2031, except for a temporary suspension from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unless additional Congressional action is taken. Under current legislation, the actual reduction in Medicare payments will vary from 1% in 2022 to up to 3% in the final fiscal year of this sequestration. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals and cancer treatment centers, increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from 3 to 5 years.
Additional changes that may affect our business include the expansion of new programs such as Medicare payment for performance initiatives for physicians under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which ended the use of the statutory formula, also referred to as the Sustainable Growth Rate, for clinician payment and established a quality payment incentive program, also referred to as the Quality Payment Program. This program provides clinicians with two ways to participate, including through the Advanced Alternative Payment Models, or APMs, and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, or MIPS. In November 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, issued a final rule finalizing the changes to the Quality Payment Program. At this time, it remains unclear how the introduction of the Quality Payment Program will impact overall physician reimbursement.
Also, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny recently over pharmaceutical pricing practices in light of the rising cost of prescription drugs and biologics. Such scrutiny has resulted in several recent Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for products. At the federal level, the Trump administration used several means to propose or implement drug pricing reform, including through federal budget proposals, executive orders and policy initiatives. For example, on July 24, 2020 and September 13, 2020, the Trump administration announced several executive orders related to prescription drug pricing that attempted to implement several of the administration’s proposals. As a result, the FDA concurrently released a final rule and guidance in September 2020 providing pathways for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. Further, on November 20, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, or 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. 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 by the Biden administration until January 1, 2023. On November 20, 2020, CMS issued an interim final rule implementing President Trump’s Most Favored Nation executive order, which would tie Medicare Part B payments for certain physician-administered drugs to the lowest price paid in other economically advanced countries. As a result of litigation challenging the Most Favored Nation model, on December 27, 2021, CMS published a final rule that rescinds the Most Favored Nation interim final rule. In July 2021, the Biden administration released an executive order, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” with multiple provisions aimed at prescription drugs. In response to Biden’s executive order, on September 9, 2021, HHS released a Comprehensive Plan for Addressing High Drug Prices that outlines principles for drug pricing reform and sets out a variety of potential legislative policies that Congress could pursue to advance these principles. No legislation or administrative actions have been finalized to implement these principles. In addition, Congress is considering drug pricing as part of other
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reform measures. It is unclear whether these or similar policy initiatives will be implemented in the future. At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.
We expect that the ACA, as well as other healthcare reform measures that may be adopted in the future, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and lower reimbursement, and in additional downward pressure on the price that we receive for any approved product. In particular, it is possible that additional governmental action is taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government-funded 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 sustained profitability or commercialize our drugs, particularly since the majority of our current revenue is derived from federal healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
We are currently unable to predict what additional legislation or regulation, if any, relating to the health care industry may be enacted in the future or what effect recently enacted federal legislation or any such additional legislation or regulation would have on our business. The pendency or approval of such proposals or reforms could result in a decrease in our stock price or limit our ability to raise capital or to enter into collaboration agreements for the further development and commercialization of our programs and products.
Any relationships with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers (actual and potential) and third-party payors in connection with our current and future business activities are and will continue to be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare laws. If we are unable to comply, or have not fully complied, with such laws, we could face penalties, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings and curtailment or restructuring of our operations.
Our business operations and activities may be directly, or indirectly, subject to various federal and state healthcare laws, including without limitation, fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, data privacy and security laws, as well as transparency laws regarding payments or other items of value provided to healthcare providers. These laws may restrict or prohibit a wide range of business activities, including, but not limited to, research, manufacturing, distribution, pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. These laws may impact, among other things, our current activities with principal investigators and research subjects, as well as current and future sales, marketing, patient co-payment assistance and education programs.
Such laws include:
the federal Anti-Kickback Statute which prohibits, among other things, persons and entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid;
the federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the federal civil False Claims Act, and Civil Monetary Penalties Laws, which impose criminal and civil penalties against individuals or entities for, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment that are false or fraudulent or making a false statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government;
the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which imposes criminal and civil liability for, among other things, executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or making false statements relating to healthcare matters;
HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and its implementing regulations, which also imposes obligations, including mandatory contractual terms, on covered entities, including certain healthcare providers, health plans and healthcare clearinghouses, as well as their business associates and their covered subcontractors, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information;
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the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to CMS information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), other healthcare professionals (such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners) and teaching hospitals, and applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations to report annually to CMS ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members; and
analogous state, local and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third party payors, including private insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government; 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 or drug pricing; state laws that require disclosure of price increases above certain identified thresholds as well as of new commercial launches in the state; state and local laws that require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives; state and local “drug take back” laws and regulations; and state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.
Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements will comply with applicable healthcare laws may involve substantial costs. While our interactions with healthcare professionals, including our speaker programs and other arrangements, such as our contributions to patient assistance programs, have been structured to comply with these laws and related guidance, it is possible that governmental and enforcement authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law interpreting applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws. If our operations or activities are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other governmental regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to, without limitation, significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, disgorgement, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, additional reporting requirements and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings and curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate.
In addition, any sales of our product once commercialized outside the United States will also likely subject us to foreign equivalents of the healthcare laws mentioned above, among other foreign laws.
We could face liability if a regulatory authority determines that we are promoting INGREZZA, ONGENTYS or any of our product candidates that receives regulatory approval, for “off-label” uses.
A company may not promote “off-label” uses for its drug products. An off-label use is the use of a product for an indication that is not described in the product’s FDA-approved label in the United States or for uses in other jurisdictions that differ from those approved by the applicable regulatory agencies. Physicians, on the other hand, may prescribe products for off-label uses. Although the FDA and other regulatory agencies do not regulate a physician’s choice of drug treatment made in the physician’s independent medical judgment, they do restrict promotional communications from companies or their salesforce with respect to off-label uses of products for which marketing clearance has not been issued. However, companies may share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with a product’s FDA approved labeling. A company that is found to have promoted off-label use of its product may be subject to significant liability, including civil and criminal sanctions. We intend to comply with the requirements and restrictions of the FDA and other regulatory agencies with respect to our promotion of our products, including INGREZZA and ONGENTYS, but we cannot be sure that the FDA or other regulatory agencies will agree that we have not violated their restrictions. As a result, we may be subject to criminal and civil liability. In addition, our management’s attention could be diverted to handle any such alleged violations. If the FDA or any other governmental agency initiates an enforcement action against us, or if we are the subject of a qui tam suit brought by a private plaintiff on behalf of the government, and it is determined that we violated prohibitions relating to the promotion of products for unapproved uses, we could be subject to substantial civil or
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criminal fines or damage awards and other sanctions such as consent decrees and corporate integrity agreements pursuant to which our activities would be subject to ongoing scrutiny and monitoring to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Any such fines, awards or other sanctions would have an adverse effect on our revenue, business, financial prospects and reputation.
If our information technology systems or data is or were compromised, we could experience adverse impacts resulting from such compromise, including, but not limited to, interruptions to our operations such as our clinical trials, claims that we breached our data protection obligations, harm to our reputation, and a loss of customers or sales.
We are increasingly dependent on information technology systems and infrastructure, including mobile technologies, to operate our business. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, use, safeguard, share, transfer and otherwise process confidential and sensitive electronic information on our networks and in our data centers. This information includes, among other things, our intellectual property and proprietary information, the confidential information of our collaborators and licensees, and the personally identifiable information of our employees. It is important to our operations and business strategy that this electronic information remains secure and is perceived to be secure. The size and complexity of our information technology systems, and those of third-party vendors with whom we contract, and the volume of data we retain, make such systems potentially vulnerable to breakdown, malicious intrusion, security breaches, ransomware attacks, social engineering attacks, supply-chain attacks, and other cyber-attacks. Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly prevalent and severe. To alleviate the financial, operational and reputational impact of a ransomware attack, it may be preferable to make extortion payments, but we may be unwilling or unable to do so (including, for example, if applicable laws or regulations prohibit such payments). Similarly, supply chain attacks have increased in frequency and severity, and we cannot guarantee that third parties in our supply chain have not been compromised or that they do not contain exploitable defects or bugs that could result in a breach of or disruption to our information technology systems and infrastructure or the information technology systems and infrastructure of third parties that support our operations. Furthermore, if the COVID-19 pandemic requires us to reinstate a remote workforce model, our information technology systems and data will be at increased risk as more of our employees work from home, utilizing network connections outside our premises.
Additionally, natural disasters, public health pandemics or epidemics (including, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic), terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures may result in damage to or the interruption or impairment of key business processes, or the loss or corruption of confidential information, including intellectual property, proprietary business information and personal information. Information security risks have significantly increased in recent years in part due to the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, hackers, terrorists and other external parties, including foreign private parties and state actors. A security breach or privacy violation that leads to disclosure or modification of or prevents access to personally identifiable information or other protected information could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with federal and/or state breach notification laws and foreign law equivalents, subject us to mandatory corrective action, require us to verify the correctness of database contents and otherwise subject us to liability under laws and regulations that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenue. Similarly, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or ongoing or planned clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Additionally, theft of our intellectual property or proprietary business information could require substantial expenditures to remedy. If we are unable to prevent such security breaches or privacy violations or implement satisfactory remedial measures, our operations could be disrupted, and we may suffer loss of reputation, financial loss and other regulatory penalties because of lost or misappropriated information. In addition, these breaches and other inappropriate access can be difficult to detect, and any delay in identifying them may lead to increased harm of the type described above. Moreover, the prevalent use of mobile devices that access confidential information increases the risk of data security breaches, which could lead to the loss of confidential information, trade secrets or other intellectual property. As cyber threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. Although to our knowledge we have not experienced any material incident or disruption to date, we and our vendors have been the target of cybersecurity incidents of this nature and expect them to continue. While we have implemented security measures to protect our data security and information technology systems, such measures may not prevent such
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events. Significant disruptions of our information technology systems or breaches of data security could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If we fail to obtain or maintain orphan drug designation or other regulatory exclusivity for some of our product candidates, our competitive position would be harmed.
In addition to any patent protection, we rely on forms of regulatory exclusivity to protect our products such as orphan drug designation. A product candidate that receives orphan drug designation can benefit from a streamlined regulatory process as well as potential commercial benefits following approval. Currently, this designation provides market exclusivity in the United States for 7 years and the European Union for 10 years if a product is the first such product approved for such orphan indication. This market exclusivity does not, however, pertain to indications other than those for which the drug was specifically designated in the approval, nor does it prevent other types of drugs from receiving orphan designations or approvals in these same indications. Further, even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the new drug is clinically superior to the orphan product or a market shortage occurs.
In the European Union, orphan exclusivity may be reduced to 6 years if the drug no longer satisfies the original designation criteria or can be lost altogether if the marketing authorization holder consents to a second orphan drug application or cannot supply enough drug, or when a second applicant demonstrates its drug is “clinically superior” to the original orphan drug.
If we do not have adequate patent protection for our products, then the relative importance of obtaining regulatory exclusivity is even greater. We may not be successful obtaining orphan drug designations for any indications and, even if we succeed, such product candidates with such orphan drug designations may fail to achieve FDA approval. Even if a product candidate with orphan drug designation may receive marketing approval from the FDA, it may fail to result in or maintain orphan drug exclusivity upon approval, which would harm our competitive position.
The technologies we use in our research as well as the drug targets we select may infringe the patents or violate the proprietary rights of third parties.
We cannot assure you that third parties will not assert patent or other intellectual property infringement claims against us or our collaborators with respect to technologies used in potential products. If a patent infringement suit were brought against us or our collaborators, we or our collaborators could be forced to stop or delay developing, manufacturing or selling potential products that are claimed to infringe a third party’s intellectual property unless that party grants us or our collaborators rights to use its intellectual property. In such cases, we could be required to obtain licenses to patents or proprietary rights of others in order to continue to commercialize our products. However, we may not be able to obtain any licenses required under any patents or proprietary rights of third parties on acceptable terms, or at all. Even if our collaborators or we were able to obtain rights to the third party’s intellectual property, these rights may be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same intellectual property. Ultimately, we may be unable to commercialize some of our potential products or may have to cease some of our business operations as a result of patent infringement claims, which could severely harm our business.
Our business operations may subject us to disputes, claims and lawsuits, which may be costly and time-consuming and could materially and adversely impact our financial position and results of operations.
From time to time, we may become involved in disputes, claims and lawsuits relating to our business operations. In particular, we may face claims related to the safety of our products, intellectual property matters, employment matters, tax matters, commercial disputes, competition, sales and marketing practices, environmental matters, personal injury, insurance coverage and acquisition or divestiture-related matters. Any dispute, claim or lawsuit may divert management’s attention away from our business, we may incur significant expenses in addressing or defending any dispute, claim or lawsuit, and we may be required to pay damage awards or settlements or become subject to equitable remedies that could adversely affect our operations and financial results. For example, we are currently engaged in various intellectual property litigation matters against potential competitors related to INGREZZA. Refer to Item 3. Legal Proceedings for a more detailed description of these matters.
Litigation related to these disputes may be costly and time-consuming and could materially and adversely impact our financial position and results of operations if resolved against us. In addition, the uncertainty associated with litigation could lead to increased volatility in our stock price.
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Our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, consultants, commercial partners and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements.
We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees and independent contractors, such as principal investigators, consultants, commercial partners and vendors, or by employees of our commercial partners could include failures to comply with FDA regulations, to provide accurate information to the FDA, to comply with manufacturing standards we have established, to comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, to report financial information or data accurately, to maintain the confidentiality of our trade secrets or the trade secrets of our commercial partners, or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. In particular, sales, marketing and other business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. Employee and independent contractor misconduct could also involve the improper use of individually identifiable information, including, without limitation, information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. Any action against our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, consultants, commercial partners or vendors for violations of these laws could result in significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, fines and imprisonment.
We face potential product liability exposure far in excess of our insurance coverage.
The use of any of our potential products in clinical trials, and the sale of any approved products, including INGREZZA and ONGENTYS, may expose us to liability claims. These claims might be made directly by consumers, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies or others selling our products. We have product liability insurance coverage for our clinical trials in the amount of $45.0 million per occurrence and $45.0 million in the aggregate. In addition, we have product liability insurance related to the sale of INGREZZA and ONGENTYS in the amount of $45.0 million per occurrence and $45.0 million in the aggregate. However, our insurance may not reimburse us or may not be sufficient to reimburse us for any expenses or losses we may suffer. Moreover, insurance coverage is becoming increasingly expensive, and we may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in sufficient amounts to protect us against losses due to liability from any current or future clinical trials or approved products. A successful product liability claim, or series of claims, brought against us would decrease our cash reserves and could cause our stock price to fall. Furthermore, regardless of the eventual outcome of a product liability claim, any product liability claim against us may decrease demand for our approved products, including INGREZZA and ONGENTYS, damage our reputation, result in regulatory investigations that could require costly recalls or product modifications, cause clinical trial participants to withdrawal, result in costs to defend the related litigation, decrease our revenue, and divert management’s attention from managing our business.
Our activities involve hazardous materials, and we may be liable for any resulting contamination or injuries.
Our research activities involve the controlled use of hazardous materials. We cannot eliminate the risk of accidental contamination or injury from these materials. If an accident occurs, a court may hold us liable for any resulting damages, which may harm our results of operations and cause us to use a substantial portion of our cash reserves, which would force us to seek additional financing.
We are subject to stringent and changing obligations related to data privacy and information security. Our actual or perceived failure to comply with such obligations could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition or results of operations.
In the ordinary course of our business, we process confidential and sensitive electronic information, including personal information, on our networks and in our data centers. We are subject to numerous federal, state, local and foreign laws, orders, codes, regulations and regulatory guidance regarding privacy, data protection, information security and the processing of personal information, the number and scope of which are expanding, changing, subject to differing applications and interpretations, and may be inconsistent among countries. Our data processing activities may also subject us to other data privacy and security obligations, such as industry standards, external and internal privacy and security policies, contracts and other obligations that govern the processing of data by us and by third parties on our behalf.
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Laws in Europe regarding privacy, data protection, information security and the processing of personal data have been significantly reformed and continue to undergo reform. For example, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or the EU GDPR, and the United Kingdom’s GDPR, or the UK GDPR, impose strict requirements for processing the personal data of individuals located, respectively, within the European Economic Area, or EEA, and the United Kingdom, or the UK. The EU GDPR and the UK GDPR enhance data protection obligations for processors and controllers of personal data, including, for example, obligations relating to: processing health and other sensitive data; obtaining consent of individuals; providing notice to individuals regarding data processing activities; responding to data subject requests; taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors; notifying data subjects and regulators of data breaches; and implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data. The EU GDPR and the UK GDPR impose substantial fines for breaches of data protection requirements, which can be up to four percent of global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is greater, and also confer a private right of action on data subjects for breaches of data protection requirements. The EU GDPR, the UK GDPR and other changes in laws or regulations associated with the enhanced protection of certain types of sensitive data, such as EU regulations governing clinical trial data and other healthcare data, could require us to change our business practices or lead to government enforcement actions, private litigation or significant penalties against us and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Certain jurisdictions have enacted data localization laws and cross-border personal data transfers laws. For example, absent appropriate safeguards or other circumstances, the EU GDPR generally restricts the transfer of personal data to countries outside of the EEA, such as the United States, which the European Commission does not consider to provide an adequate level of personal data protection. If we cannot implement a valid compliance mechanism for cross-border personal data transfers, we may face increased exposure to regulatory actions, substantial fines and injunctions against processing or transferring personal data from Europe or elsewhere. The inability to import personal data to the United States may significantly and negatively impact our business operations, including by limiting our ability to conduct clinical trial activities in Europe and elsewhere; limiting our ability to collaborate with parties subject to European and other data protection laws or requiring us to increase our personal data processing capabilities in Europe and/or elsewhere at significant expense.
Laws regarding privacy, data protection, information security and the processing of personal information are also becoming increasingly common in the United States at both the federal and state level. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which went into effect in 2020, imposes obligations on businesses to which it applies. These obligations include, without limitation, providing specific disclosures in privacy notices, affording California residents certain rights related to their personal data, and requiring businesses subject to the CCPA to implement certain measures to effectuate California residents’ personal data rights. The CCPA allows for statutory fines for noncompliance (up to $7,500 per violation). In addition, it is anticipated that the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, or the CPRA, effective January 1, 2023, will expand the CCPA. For example, the CPRA establishes a new California Privacy Protection Agency to implement and enforce the CCPA (as amended), which could increase the risk of an enforcement action. Other states have also enacted data privacy laws.
Our obligations related to data privacy and security are quickly changing in an increasingly stringent fashion. These obligations may be subject to differing applications and interpretations, which may be inconsistent among jurisdictions or in conflict. Preparing for and complying with these obligations requires us to devote significant resources (including, without limitation, financial and time-related resources). These obligations may necessitate changes to our information technologies, systems and practices and those of any third parties that process personal data on our behalf. In addition, these obligations may even require us to change to our business model.
Although we endeavor to comply with all applicable data privacy and security obligations, we may at times fail (or be perceived to have failed) to do so. Moreover, despite our efforts, our personnel or third-parties upon whom we rely may fail to comply such obligations that impacts our compliance posture. If we fail, or are perceived to have failed, to address or comply with data privacy and security obligations, we could face significant consequences. These consequences may include, but are not limited to, government enforcement actions, litigation, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight, bans on processing personal data and orders to destroy or not use personal data. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition or results of operations.
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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 2. Properties
Our corporate headquarters are located in San Diego, California. We believe that our property and equipment are generally well maintained, in good operating condition and suitable for the conduct of our business.
Details of our leased facilities, which include our corporate headquarters and consist of office space and research and development laboratories, follow.
AddressTypeSquare Feet
12780 El Camino Real, San Diego, CaliforniaOffice Space, Research and Development Laboratories141,000 
12790 El Camino Real, San Diego, CaliforniaOffice Space88,000 
10420 Wateridge Circle, San Diego, CaliforniaResearch and Development Laboratories46,000 
12777 High Bluff Drive, San Diego, CaliforniaOffice Space45,000 
12770 El Camino Real, San Diego, CaliforniaOffice Space26,000 
On February 8, 2022, we entered into a lease agreement for a four-building campus facility consisting of up to approximately 535,000 gross square feet, to be constructed in San Diego, California, pursuant to which we also secured a 6-year option for the construction of a fifth building consisting of up to approximately 121,000 gross square feet and an option to purchase the entire campus facility, which will consist of office space and research and development laboratories, in the future. Upon completion of construction, we expect to utilize the campus facility as our new corporate headquarters and expect to begin subleasing our existing leased facilities.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
In the second quarter of 2021, we received notices from (i) Teva Pharmaceuticals Development, Inc., (ii) Lupin Limited, (iii) Crystal Pharmaceutical (Suzhou) Co. Ltd., and (iv) Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. (each an “ANDA Filer”) that each company had filed an abbreviated new drug application, or ANDA, with the FDA seeking approval of a generic version of INGREZZA. The ANDAs each contained a Paragraph IV Patent Certification alleging that certain of our patents covering INGREZZA are invalid and/or will not be infringed by each ANDA Filer’s manufacture, use or sale of the medicine for which the ANDA was submitted. We filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware in July 2021 against (i) Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and its affiliates Teva Pharmaceuticals Development, Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., (ii) Lupin Limited and its affiliates Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Lupin Atlantis Holdings S.A., (iii) Crystal Pharmaceutical (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., and its affiliate Crystal Pharmatech Co., Ltd., and (iv) Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. and its affiliates Zydus Worldwide DMCC, Cadila Healthcare Limited d/b/a Zydus Cadila and Zydus Healthcare (USA) LLC. We also filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in July 2021 against Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA) Inc. and its affiliates Zydus Worldwide DMCC, Cadila Healthcare Limited d/b/a Zydus Cadila and Zydus Healthcare (USA) LLC seeking to prevent any ANDA Filer from selling a generic version of INGREZZA.
From time to time, we may also become subject to other legal proceedings or claims arising in the ordinary course of our business. We currently believe that none of the claims or actions pending against us is likely to have, individually or in the aggregate, a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. Given the unpredictability inherent in litigation, however, we cannot predict the outcome of these matters.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
None.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “NBIX”.
As of February 7, 2022, there were approximately 47 stockholders of record of our common stock. We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock since inception and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
Information about our equity compensation plans is incorporated herein by reference to Item 12 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
There were no unregistered sales of our equity securities and we did not repurchase any of our equity securities during 2021.
Stock Performance Graph and Cumulative Total Return*
The graph below shows the cumulative total stockholder return assuming the investment of $100 on December 31, 2016 (and the reinvestment of dividends thereafter) in each of (i) Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.’s common stock, (ii) the Nasdaq Composite Index and (iii) the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index. The comparisons in the graph below are based upon historical data and are not indicative of, or intended to forecast, future performance of our common stock or Indexes.
nbix-20211231_g3.jpg
* The material in this section is not “soliciting material”, is not deemed “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, and is not to be incorporated by reference into any of our SEC filings whether made before or after the date hereof and irrespective of any general incorporation language in any such SEC filing except to the extent we specifically incorporate this section by reference.
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section contains forward-looking statements pertaining to, among other things, the commercialization of our product and product candidates, the expected continuation of our collaborative agreements, the receipt of research and development payments thereunder, the future achievement of various milestones in product development and the receipt of payments related thereto, the potential receipt of royalty payments, preclinical testing and clinical trials of potential products, the period of time that our existing capital resources will meet our funding requirements, and our financial results of operations. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including those set forth in this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the heading “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” See “Forward-Looking Statements” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Overview
At Neurocrine Biosciences, our purpose is simple: to relieve suffering for people with great needs, but few options. For three decades, we have applied our unique insight into neuroscience to advance medicines for neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders. Our efforts have resulted in United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved treatments for tardive dyskinesia, Parkinson’s disease, endometriosis* and uterine fibroids* and a diversified portfolio of investigational therapies with the potential to address unmet clinical needs of patients worldwide living with neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders. (*in collaboration with AbbVie Inc., or AbbVie)
We launched INGREZZA® (valbenazine) in the United States in May 2017 as the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia and launched ONGENTYS® (opicapone) in the United States in September 2020 as an FDA-approved add-on treatment to levodopa/carbidopa in patients with Parkinson's disease experiencing motor fluctuations. INGREZZA net product sales represent the significant majority of our total net product sales.
Our partner AbbVie launched ORILISSA® (elagolix tablets) in the United States in August 2018 and launched ORIAHNN® (elagolix, estradiol and norethindrone acetate capsules and elagolix capsules) in the United States in June 2020. We receive royalties at tiered percentage rates on AbbVie net sales of elagolix.
Business Highlights
INGREZZA net product sales for 2021 increased $88.8 million, or 8.9%, to $1.1 billion, primarily driven by increased total prescriptions reflecting higher customer demand and increased commercial activities.
On February 8, 2022, we entered into a lease agreement for a four-building campus facility to be constructed in San Diego, California, pursuant to which we also secured a 6-year option for the construction of a fifth building and an option to purchase the entire campus facility, which will consist of office space and research and development laboratories, in the future. Upon completion of construction, we expect to utilize the campus facility as our new corporate headquarters and expect to begin subleasing our existing leased facilities.
Pipeline Highlights
In the fourth quarter of 2021, we announced positive top-line data from the Phase III KINECT-HD study evaluating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of valbenazine in 120 adult patients with chorea in Huntington disease, also known as Huntington chorea. The study met the primary endpoint of reduction in severity of chorea. We plan to submit a supplemental new drug application for valbenazine for the treatment of Huntington chorea with the FDA in second half of 2022.
Completed strategic partnership with Heptares Therapeutics Limited, or Heptares, to expand clinical pipeline for psychiatry disorders. Upfront fee associated with the agreement totaled $100.0 million, which, including certain transaction-related costs, was expensed as in-process research and development in 2021.
In 2021, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, or MTPC, received approvals for marketing authorization for valbenazine for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. In addition, MTPC has submitted filings for marketing authorization, which are currently under review, in Japan and Malaysia.
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Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the ways in which we live and interact with one another. While we adapt to this new shared reality, our purpose remains unchanged: to relieve suffering for people with great needs, but few options.
Although the initial impact of the pandemic has subsided, we are uncertain as to how more transmissible variants may impact our business. We remain committed to (1) prioritizing the safety, health and well-being of patients and their caregivers, healthcare providers and our employees; (2) ensuring patients with tardive dyskinesia are well supported and have continued uninterrupted access to INGREZZA, for which we have not experienced and currently do not expect any supply disruption; and (3) advancing clinical studies.
Most of our field-based employees have resumed in-person interactions in accordance with location-specific guidance. Our office-based employees have returned to the office under flexible work arrangement guidelines to help balance business needs, employee health, well-being and safety and the evolving work environment. However, as the effects of the pandemic continue to rapidly evolve with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, a remote work model may nevertheless need to be reinstated at some point in the future. We continue to evaluate the impact of global spikes or surges in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, as well as the impact of emerging COVID-19 variants on the efficacy of vaccines.
Most hospitals, community mental health facilities, physicians’ offices, pharmacies and other healthcare facilities have relaxed their policies that limited access of patients and our employees to such facilities and limited the ability of patients, pharmacies and prescribers to interact with each other. However, we anticipate these policies may change from time to time as communities or regions grapple with outbreaks. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including any lasting effects on our revenue and the way we conduct our business, is highly uncertain and subject to continued change. We recognize that this pandemic will continue to present unique challenges for us throughout 2022.
Results of Operations
Revenues
Net Product Sales by Sales Product.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
INGREZZA net product sales$1,081.9 $993.1 $752.9 
ONGENTYS net product sales8.2 1.0 — 
Total net product sales$1,090.1 $994.1 $752.9 
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in total net product sales primarily reflected increased INGREZZA net product sales mainly driven by increased total prescriptions reflecting higher customer demand and increased commercial activities.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in total net product sales primarily reflected increased INGREZZA net product sales driven by increased total prescriptions.
Collaboration Revenues by Category.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Elagolix royalties$22.3 $19.2 $14.3 
Milestone15.0 30.0 20.0 
Non-cash collaboration revenue and other
6.1 2.6 0.9 
Total collaboration revenue$43.4 $51.8 $35.2 
For 2021, total collaboration revenue primarily reflected the achievement of a $15.0 million milestone associated with MTPC's marketing authorization application submission for valbenazine for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia in Japan and royalties earned on AbbVie net sales of elagolix.
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For 2020, total collaboration revenue primarily reflected the achievement of a $30.0 million milestone associated with the FDA’s approval of AbbVie’s ORIAHNN for uterine fibroids in 2020 and royalties earned on AbbVie net sales of elagolix.
For 2019, total collaboration revenue primarily reflected the achievement of a $20.0 million milestone associated with the FDA’s acceptance of AbbVie’s new drug application submission for elagolix for uterine fibroids and royalties earned on AbbVie net sales of elagolix.
Operating Expenses
Cost of Sales.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Cost of sales$14.3 $10.1 $7.4 
The increase in cost of sales from 2020 to 2021 and 2019 to 2020 reflected increased INGREZZA net product sales driven by increased total prescriptions.
Research and Development, or R&D, Expenses by Category.
We support our drug discovery and development efforts through the commitment of significant resources to discovery, R&D programs, and business development opportunities. Costs are reflected in the applicable development stage based upon the program status when incurred. Therefore, the same program could be reflected in different development stages in the same reporting period. For several of our programs, the R&D activities are part of our collaborative arrangements.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Late stage $55.7 $55.1 $43.7 
Early stage 43.9 30.2 25.3 
Research and discovery 50.5 43.3 24.6 
Milestone 5.4 20.0 10.0 
Payroll and benefits129.1 95.4 71.3 
Facilities and other 43.5 31.0 25.1 
Total R&D expense$328.1 $275.0 $200.0 
Late Stage. Consists of costs incurred for product candidates in Phase II registrational studies and all subsequent activities.
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in late stage R&D expense primarily reflected continued investment in Phase III programs for crinecerfont in congenital adrenal hyperplasia and valbenazine in Huntington disease and initiation of a Phase III program for valbenazine as adjunctive treatment of schizophrenia, offset by decreased investment associated with the termination of the NBIb-1817 program for Parkinson’s disease, which became effective in August 2021.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in late stage R&D expense primarily reflected increased investment in Phase III programs for crinecerfont in congenital adrenal hyperplasia and continued enrollment in the Phase III program for valbenazine Huntington disease.
Early Stage. Consists of costs incurred for product candidates after the approval of an investigational new drug application by the applicable regulatory agency through Phase II non-registrational studies.
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in early stage R&D expense primarily reflected continued enrollment in Phase II programs for NBI-827104 in epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike and wave during sleep and essential tremor and initiation of Phase II programs for NBI-921352 in focal onset seizure and SCN8A developmental epileptic encephalopathy.
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For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in early stage R&D expense primarily reflected increased investment in three in-licensed psychiatry clinical development programs beginning in mid-2020 and two in-licensed epilepsy clinical development programs beginning at the end of 2019.
Research and Discovery. Consists of costs incurred prior to the approval of an investigational new drug application by the applicable regulatory agency.
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in research and discovery R&D expense primarily reflected a full year of investment in psychiatry and epilepsy preclinical development programs in-licensed in 2020, offset by decreased investment in preclinical gene therapy programs.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in research and discovery R&D expense primarily reflected increased investment in preclinical gene therapy programs and an epilepsy preclinical development program in-licensed in 2020.
Milestone. Consists of costs incurred for development and/or regulatory milestones in connection with our collaborative arrangements.
In 2021, we expensed a milestone of $5.4 million associated with the European Union’s approval for the NBI-921352 clinical trial application in September 2021.
In 2020, we expensed a milestone of $20.0 million associated the FDA’s approval for ONGENTYS for Parkinson’s disease.
In 2019, we expensed a milestone of $10.0 million associated with the FDA’s acceptance of the new drug application for opicapone as an adjunctive therapy to levodopa/DOPA decarboxylase inhibitors in adult Parkinson's disease patients.
Payroll and Benefits. Consists of costs incurred for salaries and wages, payroll taxes, benefits and share-based compensation associated with employees involved in R&D activities. Share-based compensation may fluctuate from period to period based on factors that are not within our control, such as our stock price on the dates share-based grants are issued.
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in payroll and benefits R&D expense primarily reflected increased personnel expenses on higher headcount and a $14.7 million increase in non-cash share-based compensation expense, including a $6.4 million charge related to the modification of certain share-based awards.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in payroll and benefits R&D expense primarily reflected increased personnel expenses on higher headcount.
Facilities and Other. Consists of indirect costs incurred for the benefit of multiple programs, including depreciation, information technology and facility-based expenses, such as rent expense.
Acquired In-Process Research and Development, or IPR&D.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
IPR&D expense$105.3 $164.5 $154.3 
In 2021, we expensed as IPR&D $100.3 million in connection with the payment of the upfront fee pursuant to our collaboration with Heptares.
In 2020, we expensed as IPR&D $46.0 million and $118.5 million, respectively, in connection with the payments of the upfront fees pursuant to our collaborations with Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd, or Idorsia, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, or Takeda.
In 2019, we expensed as IPR&D $118.1 million and $36.2 million, respectively, in connection with the payments of the upfront fees pursuant to our collaborations with Voyager Therapeutics, Inc., or Voyager, and Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Xenon.
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Selling, General and Administrative, or SG&A.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
SG&A expense$583.3 $433.3 $354.1 
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in SG&A expense primarily reflected increased investment to support our commercial initiatives, including the May 2021 launch of our INGREZZA direct-to-consumer advertising campaign, "TD Spotlight", increased personnel expenses on higher headcount and a $19.5 million increase in non-cash share-based compensation expense.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in SG&A expense primarily reflected increased personnel expenses on higher headcount and continued investment in INGREZZA marketing.
Other Expense, Net.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Interest expense$(25.8)$(32.8)$(32.0)
Unrealized gain (loss) on equity securities20.9 (17.7)(13.0)
Loss on extinguishment of convertible senior notes— (18.4)— 
Investment income and other, net3.8 12.6 19.2 
Total other expense, net$(1.1)$(56.3)$(25.8)
For 2021 compared to 2020, the decrease in other expense, net, reflected a net unrealized gain of $20.9 million recognized to adjust our equity investments in Voyager and Xenon to fair value, a non-recurring debt extinguishment charge of $18.4 million in November 2020 associated with the partial repurchase of our convertible senior notes and decreased interest expense resulting from a lower convertible debt balance throughout 2021, partially offset by decreased interest income stemming from lower yields on our debt security investments.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in other expense, net, primarily reflected a debt extinguishment charge of $18.4 million in November 2020 associated with the partial repurchase of our convertible senior notes.
Provision for (Benefit from) Income Taxes.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes$11.8 $(300.6)$9.5 
For 2021, the effective tax rate was lower than federal and state tax rates primarily due to excess tax benefits associated with share-based compensation and research tax credits. Beginning in the first quarter of 2021, we began recording a provision for income taxes using an effective tax rate approximating federal and state statutory tax rates. Due to the ability to offset any pre-tax income against previously benefited federal net operating losses, no federal cash tax was incurred in 2021.
For 2020, the benefit from income taxes reflected a $296.3 million benefit associated with the release of substantially all of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets on December 31, 2020. The effective tax rate for 2020 varied from the statutory tax rate primarily due to changes in our valuation allowance, net of other permanent book/tax differences, tax credits generated and impacts of changes in tax laws.
For 2019, the provision for income taxes reflected estimated and current state income taxes. The effective tax rate for 2019 varied from the statutory tax rate primarily due to changes in our valuation allowance, net of other permanent book/tax differences, tax credits generated and impacts of changes in tax laws. As of December 31, 2019, we had a full valuation allowance against our net deferred tax assets as realization was uncertain.
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Net Income and Diluted Earnings per Share.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions, except per share data)202120202019
Net income$89.6 $407.3 $37.0 
Diluted earnings per share$0.92 $4.16 $0.39 
For 2021 compared to 2020, the decrease in net income and diluted earnings per share primarily reflected a $296.3 million benefit associated with the release of substantially all of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets on December 31, 2020, increased investment to support our commercial initiatives, including the May 2021 launch of our INGREZZA direct-to-consumer advertising campaign, "TD Spotlight", and increased investment in our expanded clinical portfolio, partially offset by increased INGREZZA net product sales and decreased IPR&D expense reflecting lower upfront payments for asset acquisitions.
For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in net income and diluted earnings per share primarily reflected a $296.3 million benefit associated with the release of substantially all of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets on December 31, 2020 and increased INGREZZA net product sales, partially offset by ongoing support for the commercial launch of INGREZZA for tardive dyskinesia and progression of our clinical pipeline.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Sources of Liquidity
We believe that our existing capital resources, funds generated by anticipated INGREZZA net product sales and investment income will be sufficient to satisfy our current and projected funding requirements for at least the next twelve months. However, we cannot guarantee that our existing capital resources and anticipated revenues will be sufficient to conduct and complete all of our research and development programs or commercialization activities as planned. We may seek to access the public or private equity markets whenever conditions are favorable or pursue opportunities to obtain additional debt financing in the future. We may also seek additional funding through strategic alliances or other financing mechanisms. However, we cannot provide assurance that adequate funding will be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all. In addition, the disruption of global financial markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, if sustained or recurrent, could make it more difficult for us to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity.
Information Regarding Our Financial Condition.
December 31,
(in millions)20212020
Total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
$1,272.0 $1,028.1 
Working Capital:
Total current assets$972.8 $1,016.2 
Less total current liabilities245.8 186.5 
Total working capital$727.0 $829.7 
Information Regarding Our Cash Flows.
 Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Net cash provided by operating activities$256.5 $228.5 $147.0 
Net cash (used in) provided by investing activities(130.2)4.1 (211.1)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities27.4 (157.8)32.4 
Change in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash$153.7 $74.8 $(31.7)
Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities.
For 2021 compared to 2020, the increase in net cash provided by operating activities primarily reflected increased INGREZZA net product sales and lower upfront payments for asset acquisitions, partially offset by increased investment to support our commercial initiatives and advancing our expanded clinical portfolio.
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For 2020 compared to 2019, the increase in net cash provided by operating activities primarily reflected increased INGREZZA net product sales, partially offset by incremental INGREZZA investment and progression of our clinical pipeline.
Net Cash (Used in) Provided by Investing Activities.
Periodic fluctuations in net cash (used in) provided by investing activities are generally driven by timing differences related to the purchases, sales and maturities of debt security investments and changes in our portfolio-mix.
For 2021, net cash used in investing activities reflected a $4.6 million equity investment in Xenon associated with the European Union’s approval of our clinical trial application in September 2021 for NBI-921352 for the treatment of focal onset seizures in adults.
For 2019, net cash used in investing activities reflected equity investments of $54.7 million in Voyager and $14.2 million in Xenon associated with newly entered into collaboration and license agreements.
Net Cash Provided by (Used in) Financing Activities.
For 2021 and 2019, net cash provided by investing activities reflected proceeds from issuances of our common stock under benefit plans.
For 2020, net cash used in financing activities primarily reflected the partial repurchase of $136.2 million aggregate principal amount of our convertible senior notes for an aggregate repurchase price of $186.9 million in cash, partially offset by proceeds from issuances of our common stock under benefit plans.
Material Cash Requirements
In the pharmaceutical industry, it can take a significant amount of time and capital resources to successfully complete all stages of research and development and commercialize a product candidate, which ultimate length of time and spend required cannot be accurately estimated as it varies substantially according to the type, complexity, novelty and intended use of a product candidate.
The funding necessary to execute our business strategies is subject to numerous uncertainties and we may be required to make substantial expenditures if unforeseen difficulties arise in certain areas of our business. In particular, our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:
the commercial success of INGREZZA, ONGENTYS, ORILISSA and/or ORIAHNN;
continued scientific progress in our R&D and clinical development programs;
the magnitude and complexity of our research and development programs;
progress with preclinical testing and clinical trials;
the time and costs involved in obtaining regulatory approvals;
the cost of commercialization activities and arrangements, including our advertising campaigns;
the cost of manufacturing of our product candidates;
the costs involved in filing and pursuing patent applications, enforcing patent claims, or engaging in interference proceedings or other patent litigation;
competing technological and market developments;
developments related to any future litigation;
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and
In addition to the foregoing factors, we have significant future capital requirements, including:
External Business Developments. In addition to our independent efforts to develop and market products, we may enter into collaboration and license agreements or acquire businesses from time-to-time to enhance our drug development and commercial capabilities. With respect to our existing collaboration and license agreements, we may be required to make potential future payments of up to $10.9 billion upon the achievement of certain event-based milestones.
Refer to Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements for more information on our significant collaboration and license agreements.
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Convertible Senior Notes. In May 2017, we completed a private placement of $517.5 million in aggregate principal amount of 2.25% convertible senior notes due May 15, 2024, or the 2024 Notes. At our election, we may redeem all, or any portion, of the 2024 Notes under certain circumstances. The 2024 Notes do not contain any financial or operating covenants or any restrictions on the payment of dividends, the issuance of other indebtedness or the issuance or repurchase of securities by us. There are customary events of default with respect to the 2024 Notes, including that upon certain events of default, 100% of the principal and accrued and unpaid interest on the notes would become due and payable. In November 2020, we entered into separate, privately negotiated transactions with certain holders of the 2024 Notes to repurchase $136.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes for an aggregate repurchase price of $186.9 million in cash. As of December 31, 2021, $381.2 million aggregate principal amount of the 2024 Notes remained outstanding. With respect to the 2024 Notes, unless earlier converted, redeemed or repurchased, we would be required to pay interest of $8.6 million in 2022, $8.6 million in 2023 and $4.3 million in 2024 and pay the aggregate principal amount outstanding of $381.2 million upon maturity of the notes in 2024.
Refer to Note 5 to the consolidated financial statements for more information on the 2024 Notes.
Leases. Our operating leases, which have terms that expire beginning 2024 through 2031, consist of office space and research and development laboratories, including our corporate headquarters.
On February 8, 2022, we entered into a lease agreement for a four-building campus facility to be constructed in San Diego, California, pursuant to which we also secured a 6-year option for the construction of a fifth building and an option to purchase the entire campus facility, which will consist of office space and research and development laboratories, in the future. Upon completion of construction, we expect to utilize the campus facility as our new corporate headquarters and expect to begin subleasing our existing leased facilities.
Refer to Note 10 to the consolidated financial statements for more information on our leases, including a presentation of our approximate future minimum lease payments under non-cancelable operating leases.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon financial statements that we have prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, or GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities and expenses, and related disclosures. On an on-going basis, we evaluate these estimates, including those related to revenue recognition and share-based compensation. Estimates are based on historical experience, information received from third parties and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. Historically, revisions to our estimates have not resulted in a material change to the financial statements. The items in our financial statements requiring significant estimates and judgments are as follows:
Net Product Sales. Revenues from product sales are recorded net of reserves established for applicable discounts and allowances that are offered within contracts with our customers, payors and other third parties. The transaction price, which includes variable consideration reflecting the impact of discounts and allowances, may be subject to constraint and is included in the net sales price only to the extent that it is probable that a significant reversal of the amount of the cumulative revenue recognized will not occur in a future period. Actual amounts may ultimately differ from our estimates. If actual results vary, we adjust these estimates, which could have an effect on earnings in the period of adjustment.
Government Rebates. We are obligated to pay rebates for mandated discounts under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. The liability for such rebates consists of invoices received for claims from prior quarters that remain unpaid, or for which an invoice has not been received, and estimated rebates for the current applicable reporting period, which are primarily based on actual historical rebates, estimated payor mix, state and federal regulations and related contractual terms. Estimated rebates are recorded as a reduction of revenue in the period the related sale is recognized. To date, actual government rebates have not differed materially from our estimates.
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Share-Based Compensation. For purposes of calculating share-based compensation, we estimate the fair value of share-based compensation awards using a Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The determination of the fair value of share-based compensation awards utilizing the Black-Scholes model is affected by our stock price and a number of assumptions, including but not limited to expected stock price volatility over the term of the awards and the expected term of stock options. Our stock options have characteristics significantly different from those of traded options, and changes in the assumptions can materially affect the fair value estimates. For example, an increase in the underlying stock price results in a significant increase in the Black-Scholes option-pricing. The fair value of performance-based restricted stock units, or PRSUs, is estimated based on the closing sale price of our common stock on the date of grant. Expense recognition for PRSUs commences when attainment of the associated performance-based criteria is determined to be probable.
If factors change and we employ different assumptions, share-based compensation expense may differ significantly from what we have recorded in the past. If there is a difference between the assumptions used in determining share-based compensation expense and the actual factors which become known over time, we may change the input factors used in determining share-based compensation expense for future grants. These changes, if any, may materially impact our results of operations in the period such changes are made. For actual forfeitures, we recognize the adjustment to compensation expense in the period the forfeitures occur.
Income Taxes. Our income tax benefit (provision) is computed under the asset and liability method. Significant estimates are required in determining our income tax benefit (provision). Some of these estimates are based on interpretations of existing tax laws or regulations. We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the financial statements or tax returns. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined on the basis of the difference between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their respective financial reporting amounts (temporary differences) at enacted tax rates in effect for the years in which the differences are expected to reverse. A valuation allowance is established for deferred tax assets for which it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets, including net operating losses and tax credits, will not be realized. We periodically re-assess the need for a valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets based on various factors including our historical earnings experience by taxing jurisdiction, and forecasts of future operating results and utilization of net operating losses and tax credits prior to their expiration. Significant judgment is required in making this assessment and, to the extent that a reversal of any portion of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets is deemed appropriate, a tax benefit will be recognized against our income tax provision in the period of such reversal. Prior to 2020, we recorded a valuation allowance that fully offset our deferred tax assets. On December 31, 2020, based on our evaluation of various factors, such as our achievement of a cumulative three-year income position as of December 31, 2020, as well as our consideration of forecasts of future operating results and utilization of net operating losses and tax credits prior to their expiration, we released substantially all of our valuation allowance against our deferred tax assets and recorded a corresponding income tax benefit. We continue to maintain a valuation allowance against our California state deferred tax assets.
Additional Information
Refer to Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for information on accounting pronouncements that have impacted or are expected to materially impact our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Interest Rate Risk
We are exposed to interest rate risk on our short-term investments. The primary objective of our investment activities is to preserve principal while at the same time maximizing yields without significantly increasing risk. To achieve this objective, we invest in highly liquid and high-quality government and other debt securities. To minimize our exposure due to adverse shifts in interest rates, we invest in short-term securities and ensure that the maximum average maturity of our investments does not exceed twelve months. If a 1% change in interest rates were to have occurred on December 31, 2021, this change would not have had a material effect on the fair value of our investment portfolio as of that date. Due to the short holding period of our investments, we have concluded that we do not have a material financial market risk exposure.
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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
INDEX TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Page

59


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Stockholders and the Board of Directors of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (the “Company”) as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, the related consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2021, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2021 and 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2021, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2021, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), and our report dated February 11, 2022 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the account or disclosure to which it relates.
Reserves for government rebates related to product sales
Description of the Matter
The Company sells drugs to specialty pharmacies and specialty distributors in the U.S. (collectively, “customers”). As described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company recognizes revenues for sales of INGREZZA to its customers after deducting management’s estimates of reserves, including drug coverage gap rebates it will provide under government programs (“government rebates”). Estimated government rebates are presented within accounts payable and accrued liabilities on the consolidated balance sheet.
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Auditing the estimates of government rebates was complex and judgmental due to the level of uncertainty involved in management’s assumptions used in the measurement process. In particular, management was required to estimate, for product that remains in the distribution channel at December 31, 2021, the portion of product that is expected to be subject to a government rebate and the applicable contractual government rebate percentage by forecasting the revenue, the payor type underlying the revenue and the applicable rebate amount for the payor type.
How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit
We tested the Company’s internal controls over management’s process for estimating the portion of product that is expected to be subject to a government rebate for product that remains in the distribution channel at December 31, 2021, including controls over management’s forecast of revenue and the accuracy of data used in the calculation.
To test management’s estimate of government rebate reserves our audit procedures included, among others, evaluating the methodologies used, testing the significant assumptions discussed above and testing the completeness and accuracy of the underlying data used by the Company in its analyses. Specifically, we compared the significant assumptions to third-party reports used by the Company to estimate product remaining in the distribution channel at December 31, 2021. In addition, we compared the underlying government rebate percentages used in the Company’s analyses to those published by the applicable government entity. We assessed the historical accuracy of management’s rebate estimates, tested payments of rebates and performed a sensitivity analysis of significant assumptions to evaluate the impact of changes in the rebate allowance that would result from changes in the assumptions.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1992.
San Diego, California
February 11, 2022
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NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 December 31,
(in millions, except per share data)20212020
Assets
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents$340.8 $187.1 
Debt securities available-for-sale (amortized cost was $370.6 and $612.4 as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively)
370.5 613.9 
Accounts receivable185.5 157.1 
Inventory30.5 28.0 
Other current assets45.5 30.1 
Total current assets972.8 1,016.2 
Deferred tax assets315.1 319.4 
Debt securities available-for-sale (amortized cost was $563.2 and $226.7 as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively)
560.7 227.1 
Right-of-use assets97.2 82.8 
Equity securities63.7 38.2 
Property and equipment, net58.6 44.6 
Other long-term assets4.4 6.4 
Total assets$2,072.5 $1,734.7 
Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$225.8 $168.7 
Other current liabilities20.0 17.8 
Total current liabilities245.8 186.5 
Convertible senior notes335.1 317.9 
Noncurrent operating lease liabilities105.3 94.4 
Other long-term liabilities12.3 9.7 
Total liabilities698.5 608.5 
Stockholders’ equity:
Preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 5.0 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2021 and 2020
  
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 220.0 shares authorized; 94.9 and 93.5 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively
0.1 0.1 
Additional paid-in capital2,011.4 1,849.7 
Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income(1.7)1.8 
Accumulated deficit(635.8)(725.4)
Total stockholders’ equity1,374.0 1,126.2 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity$2,072.5 $1,734.7 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
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NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS INCOME
AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions, except per share data)202120202019
Revenues:
Product sales, net$1,090.1 $994.1 $752.9 
Collaboration revenue43.4 51.8 35.2 
Total revenues1,133.5 1,045.9 788.1 
Operating expenses:
Cost of sales14.3 10.1 7.4 
Research and development328.1 275.0 200.0 
Acquired in-process research and development105.3 164.5 154.3 
Selling, general and administrative583.3 433.3 354.1 
Total operating expenses1,031.0 882.9 715.8 
Operating income102.5 163.0 72.3 
Other (expense) income:
Interest expense(25.8)(32.8)(32.0)
Unrealized gain (loss) on equity securities20.9 (17.7)(13.0)
Loss on extinguishment of convertible senior notes (18.4) 
Investment income and other, net3.8 12.6 19.2 
Total other expense, net(1.1)(56.3)(25.8)
Income before provision for (benefit from) income taxes101.4 106.7 46.5 
Provision for (benefit from) income taxes11.8 (300.6)9.5 
Net income89.6 407.3 37.0 
Unrealized (loss) gain on debt securities available-for-sale(3.5)0.4 3.4 
Comprehensive income$86.1 $407.7 $40.4 
Earnings per share, basic$0.95 $4.38 $0.40 
Earnings per share, diluted$0.92 $4.16 $0.39 
Weighted average common shares outstanding, basic94.6 93.1 91.6 
Weighted average common shares outstanding, diluted97.9 97.8 95.7 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
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NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Common StockAdditional
Paid-In Capital
Accumulated
Other
Comprehensive Income (Loss)
Accumulated DeficitTotal Stockholders’ Equity
(in millions)Shares$
Balances at December 31, 201890.8 $0.1 $1,660.4 $(2.0)$(1,177.7)$480.8 
Net income— — — — 37.0 37.0 
Unrealized gain on debt securities available-for-sale— — — 3.4 3.4 
Share-based compensation expense— — 75.3 — 75.3 
Cumulative-effect adjustment to equity due to adoption of ASU 2016-02— — — — 8.0 8.0 
Issuances of common stock under stock plans1.5 — 32.4 — 32.4 
Balances at December 31, 201992.3 $0.1 $1,768.1 $1.4 $(1,132.7)$636.9 
Net income— — — — 407.3 407.3 
Unrealized gain on debt securities available-for sale— — — 0.4 — 0.4 
Share-based compensation expense— — 100.0 — — 100.0 
Equity component of repurchased convertible senior notes, net— — (47.5)— — (47.5)
Issuances of common stock under stock plans1.2 — 29.1 — — 29.1 
Balances at December 31, 202093.5 $0.1 $1,849.7 $1.8 $(725.4)$1,126.2 
Net income— — — — 89.6 89.6 
Unrealized loss on debt securities available-for-sale, net of tax— — — (3.5)— (3.5)
Share-based compensation expense— — 134.2 — — 134.2 
Issuances of common stock under stock plans1.4 — 27.5 — — 27.5 
Balances at December 31, 202194.9 $0.1 $2,011.4 $(1.7)$(635.8)$1,374.0 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
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NEUROCRINE BIOSCIENCES, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
Year Ended December 31,
(in millions)202120202019
Cash Flows from Operating Activities:
Net income$89.6 $407.3 $37.0 
Reconciliation of net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
Share-based compensation expense134.2 100.0 75.3 
Depreciation10.9 8.6 7.4 
Amortization of debt discount16.2 20.0 18.9 
Amortization of debt issuance costs1.1 1.4 1.4 
Change in fair value of equity securities(20.9)17.7 13.0 
Deferred income taxes
4.3 (310.7) 
Loss on extinguishment of convertible senior notes 18.4  
Other4.4 3.7 (1.2)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
Accounts receivable(28.4)(30.5)(69.2)
Inventories(2.5)(10.7)(6.4)
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities56.8 26.9 54.0 
Other assets and liabilities, net(9.2)(23.6)16.8 
Net cash provided by operating activities256.5 228.5 147.0 
Cash Flows from Investing Activities:
Purchases of debt securities available-for-sale(800.1)(735.5)