SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☒||QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
FOR THE QUARTERLY PERIOD ENDED March 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: 001-35670
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization)
| ||(I.R.S. Employer|
|4224 Campus Point Court, Suite 210|| ||92121|
|(Address of Principal Executive Offices)|| ||(Zip Code)|
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
10628 Science Center Drive, Suite 225, San Diego, CA 92121
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class|| ||Trading Symbol(s)|| ||Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered|
Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share
| ||RGLS|| ||The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC|
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 x 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 x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether 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 registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ý
As of May 7, 2021, the registrant had 74,923,660 shares of Common Stock ($0.001 par value) outstanding.
REGULUS THERAPEUTICS INC.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RISK FACTOR SUMMARY
Below is a summary of the material factors that make an investment in our common stock speculative or risky. This summary does not address all of the risks that we face. Additional discussion of the risks summarized in this risk factor summary, and other risks that we face, can be found below under the heading “Risk Factors” under Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report and should be carefully considered, together with other information in this Quarterly Report before making investment decisions regarding our common stock.
•The approach we are taking to discover and develop drugs is novel and may never lead to marketable products.
•We may not be successful in our efforts to identify or discover potential product candidates.
•Preclinical and clinical studies of our product candidates may not be successful. If we are unable to generate successful results from our preclinical and clinical studies of our product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business may be materially harmed.
•If clinical trials of our product candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or do not otherwise produce positive results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
•Any of our product candidates may cause adverse effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval or limit the scope of any approved label or market acceptance.
•Even if we complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials, we cannot predict whether or when we will obtain regulatory approval to commercialize a product candidate and we cannot, therefore, predict the timing of any revenue from a future product.
•We will need to raise additional capital, and if we are unable to do so when needed, we will not be able to continue as a going concern.
•Payments under the instruments governing our indebtedness may reduce our working capital. In addition, a default under our loan and security agreement could cause a material adverse effect on our financial position.
•We have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future.
•We have never generated any revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.
•We will depend upon collaborations for the development and eventual commercialization of certain microRNA product candidates. If these collaborations are unsuccessful or are terminated, we may be unable to commercialize certain product candidates and we may be unable to generate revenues from our development programs.
•We rely on limited sources of supply for the drug substance of product candidates and any disruption in the chain of supply may cause a delay in developing and commercializing these product candidates.
•Manufacturing issues may arise that could increase product and regulatory approval costs or delay commercialization.
•We rely on third parties to conduct, supervise and monitor our clinical trials, and if those third parties perform in an unsatisfactory manner, it may harm our business.
•If we are unable to obtain or protect intellectual property rights related to our future products and product candidates, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets.
•We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.
•Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health pandemics or epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in regions where we or third parties on which we rely have significant manufacturing facilities, concentrations of clinical trial sites or other business operations, or materially affect our operations globally, including at our headquarters in San Diego, which is currently subject to a state executive order, and at our clinical trial sites, as well as the business or operations of our manufacturers, contract research organizations ("CROs") or other third parties with whom we conduct business.
•The market price of our common stock may be highly volatile.
•We may be unable to comply with the applicable continued listing requirements of The Nasdaq Capital Market.
PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
ITEM 1. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except share and per share data)
| ||(Unaudited)|| |
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||31,597 ||$||31,087 |
|Restricted cash||62 ||— |
|Contract and other receivables||72 ||503 |
|Prepaid materials, net||3,314 ||3,314 |
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||1,492 ||1,826 |
|Total current assets||36,537 ||36,730 |
|Property and equipment, net||219 ||472 |
|Intangibles, net||116 ||125 |
|Right of use asset||2,969 ||253 |
|Other assets||— ||24 |
|Total assets||$||39,841 ||$||37,604 |
|Liabilities and stockholders’ equity (deficit)|
|Accounts payable||$||810 ||$||535 |
|Accrued liabilities||620 ||581 |
|Accrued research and development expenses||726 ||1,097 |
|Accrued compensation||802 ||1,743 |
|Current portion of term loan, less debt issuance costs||4,657 ||4,652 |
|Other current liabilities||2,249 ||2,970 |
|Total current liabilities||9,864 ||11,578 |
|Lease liability, less current portion||2,866 ||— |
|Total liabilities||12,730 ||11,578 |
|Commitments and Contingencies||— ||— |
Class A-1 convertible preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 256,700 shares authorized, issued, and outstanding at March 31, 2021 (unaudited) and December 31, 2020.
|— ||— |
Class A-2 convertible preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 1,338,417 and 1,416,453 shares authorized, issued, and outstanding at March 31, 2021 (unaudited) and December 31, 2020, respectively
|1 ||1 |
Class A-3 convertible preferred stock, $0.001 par value; 258,707 shares authorized, issued, and outstanding at March 31, 2021 (unaudited) and December 31, 2020
|1 ||1 |
Common stock, $0.001 par value; 200,000,000 shares authorized, 74,689,132
and 67,432,712 shares issued and outstanding at March 31, 2021 (unaudited) and December 31, 2020, respectively
|75 ||67 |
|Additional paid-in capital||460,092 ||453,002 |
|Total stockholders’ equity ||27,111 ||26,026 |
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity ||$||39,841 ||$||37,604 |
See accompanying notes to these condensed financial statements.
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(In thousands, except share and per share data)
| ||Three months ended|
Revenue under collaborations
|$||— ||$||6 |
|Total revenues||— ||6 |
|Research and development||3,320 ||3,119 |
|General and administrative||2,478 ||2,422 |
|Total operating expenses||5,798 ||5,541 |
|Loss from operations||(5,798)||(5,535)|
|Other income (expense):|
|Interest and other income||1 ||79 |
|Interest and other expense||(216)||(489)|
|Loss before income taxes||(6,013)||(5,945)|
|Income tax benefit||— ||8 |
|Net loss and comprehensive loss||$||(6,013)||$||(5,937)|
|Net loss per share, basic and diluted||$||(0.08)||$||(0.25)|
|Weighted average shares used to compute basic and diluted net loss per share||71,290,918 ||24,064,373 |
See accompanying notes to these condensed financial statements.
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY (DEFICIT)
(In thousands, except share data)
|Convertible preferred stock||Common stock||Additional paid-in capital||Accumulated deficit||Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)|
|Balance at December 31, 2020||1,931,860 ||$||2 ||67,432,712 ||$||67 ||$||453,002 ||$||(427,045)||$||26,026 |
|Issuance of common stock upon vesting of restricted stock units||— ||— ||16,902 ||— ||— ||— ||— |
|Issuance of common stock upon exercise of options||— ||— ||26,770 ||— ||26 ||— ||26 |
|Issuance of common stock upon exercise of warrants||— ||— ||2,418,681 ||3 ||663 ||— ||666 |
|Issuance of common stock through ATM||— ||— ||4,009,585 ||4 ||5,709 ||— ||5,713 |
|Issuance of common stock under Employee Stock Purchase Plan||— ||— ||4,122 ||— ||2 ||— ||2 |
|Conversions of convertible preferred stock||(78,036)||— ||780,360 ||1 ||(1)||— ||— |
|Stock-based compensation expense||— ||— ||— ||— ||691 ||— ||691 |
|Net loss||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||(6,013)||(6,013)|
|Balance at March 31, 2021||1,853,824 ||$||2 ||74,689,132 ||$||75 ||$||460,092 ||$||(433,058)||$||27,111 |
|Balance at December 31, 2019||3,704,288 ||$||4 ||21,018,663 ||$||21 ||$||431,305 ||$||(411,315)||$||20,015 |
|Issuance of common stock upon vesting of restricted stock units||— ||— ||21,166 ||— ||— ||— ||— |
|Issuance of common stock upon exercise of options||— ||— ||468 ||— ||— ||— ||— |
|Issuance of common stock under Employee Stock Purchase Plan||— ||— ||1,666 ||— ||1 ||— ||1 |
|Conversions of convertible preferred stock||(656,682)||(1)||6,566,820 ||7 ||(6)||— ||— |
|Stock-based compensation expense||— ||— ||— ||— ||823 ||— ||823 |
|Net loss||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||(5,937)||(5,937)|
|Balance at March 31, 2020||3,047,606 ||$||3 ||27,608,783 ||$||28 ||$||432,123 ||$||(417,252)||$||14,902 |
See accompanying notes to these condensed financial statements.
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
| ||Three months ended|
|Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities|
|Depreciation and amortization expense||335 ||126 |
|Stock-based compensation||691 ||823 |
|Other||10 ||105 |
|Change in operating assets and liabilities:|
|Contracts and other receivables||432 ||466 |
|Prepaid expenses and other assets||356 ||264 |
|Accounts payable||275 ||(291)|
|Accrued liabilities||14 ||(182)|
|Accrued research and development expenses||(371)||125 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets and liabilities, net||90 ||(36)|
|Contract liabilities||— ||(6)|
|Net cash used in operating activities||(5,711)||(6,002)|
|Purchases of property and equipment||(53)||— |
|Net cash used in investing activities||(53)||— |
|Proceeds from issuance of common stock, net||6,382 ||1 |
|Proceeds from exercise of common stock options||26 ||— |
|Payments on financing leases||(72)||(68)|
|Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities||6,336 ||(67)|
|Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents||572 ||(6,069)|
|Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period||31,087 ||34,121 |
|Cash and cash equivalents at end of period||$||31,659 ||$||28,052 |
|Reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||31,597 ||$||28,052 |
|Restricted cash included in other assets||62 ||— |
|Total cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash||$||31,659 ||$||28,052 |
|Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information|
|Supplemental disclosure of non-cash investing and financing activities|
|Non-cash acquisition of property and equipment||$||24 ||$||— |
See accompanying notes to these condensed financial statements.
Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
NOTES TO CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
1. Basis of Presentation and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying unaudited condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) for interim financial information and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X. Accordingly, they do not include all of the information and footnotes required by GAAP for complete financial statements. In management’s opinion, the accompanying financial statements reflect all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, considered necessary for a fair presentation of the results for the interim periods presented.
Interim financial results are not necessarily indicative of results anticipated for the full year. These unaudited condensed financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and footnotes included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, from which the balance sheet information herein was derived.
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a basis which assumes we are a going concern, and does not include any adjustments to reflect the possible future effects on the recoverability and classification of assets or the amounts and classifications of liabilities that may result from any uncertainty related to our ability to continue as a going concern. Through the date of the issuance of these financial statements, we have principally been financed through proceeds received from the sale of our common stock and other equity securities, debt financings, up-front payments and milestones received from collaboration agreements, totaling $490.5 million. As of March 31, 2021, we had approximately $31.6 million of cash and cash equivalents. Based on our operating plans, we believe our cash and cash equivalents may not be sufficient to fund our operations for the period one year following the issuance of these financial statements. As a result, there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. All amounts due under the Term Loan (see note 5) have been classified as a current liability as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, due to the considerations discussed above and the assessment that the material adverse change clause under the Term Loan is not within our control. In the first quarter of 2021, we received a waiver from the Lender (as defined below) with respect to noncompliance with a covenant under the Loan Agreement (as defined below). We are in compliance with all Loan Agreement covenants as of the date of the filing of this Form 10-Q.
We intend to seek additional capital through equity and/or debt financings, collaborative or other funding arrangements with partners or through other sources of financing. Should we seek additional financing from outside sources, we may not be able to raise such financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. If we are unable to raise additional capital when required or on acceptable terms, we may be required to scale back or discontinue the advancement of product candidates, reduce headcount, file for bankruptcy, reorganize, merge with another entity, or cease operations.
If we become unable to continue as a going concern, we may have to liquidate our assets, and might realize significantly less than the values at which they are carried on our financial statements, and stockholders may lose all or part of their investment in our common stock.
Use of Estimates
Our condensed financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP, which requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements and accompanying notes. An estimated loss contingency is accrued in our financial statements if it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. Although these estimates are based on our knowledge of current events and actions we may undertake in the future, actual results may ultimately differ from these estimates and assumptions. Though the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to our business and operating results presents additional uncertainty, we continue to use the best information available to inform our critical accounting estimates.
Our revenues generally consist of upfront payments for licenses or options to obtain licenses in the future, milestone payments and payments for other research services under license and collaboration agreements.
We recognize revenue when we transfer promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which we expect to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. To determine revenue recognition for contracts with customers we perform the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligation(s) in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligation(s) in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) we satisfy the performance obligation(s). At contract inception, we assess the goods or services promised within each contract, assess whether each promised good or service is distinct and identify those that are performance obligations. We recognize as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when (or as) the performance obligation is satisfied.
We enter into collaborative arrangements with partners that typically include payment to us of one of more of the following: (i) license fees; (ii) payments related to the achievement of developmental, regulatory, or commercial milestones; and (iii) royalties on net sales of licensed products. Where a portion of non-refundable up-front fees or other payments received are allocated to continuing performance obligations under the terms of a collaborative arrangement, they are recorded as contract liabilities and recognized as revenue when (or as) the underlying performance obligation is satisfied.
As part of the accounting for these arrangements, we must develop estimates and assumptions that require judgment to determine the underlying stand-alone selling price for each performance obligation which determines how the transaction price is allocated among the performance obligation(s). The stand-alone selling price may include items such as forecasted revenues, development timelines, discount rates, and probabilities of technical and regulatory success. We evaluate each performance obligation to determine if it can be satisfied at a point in time, or over time. In addition, variable consideration must be evaluated to determine if it is constrained and, therefore, excluded from the transaction price.
If a license to our intellectual property is determined to be distinct from the other performance obligations identified in the arrangement, we recognize revenues from non-refundable, up-front fees allocated to the license when the license is transferred to the licensee and the licensee is able to use and benefit from the license. For licenses that are bundled with other performance obligations, we use judgment to assess the nature of the combined performance obligation to determine whether it is satisfied over time or at a point in time and, if over time, the appropriate method of measuring progress for purposes of recognizing revenue. We evaluate the measure of progress each reporting period and, if necessary, adjust the measure of performance and related revenue recognition.
At the inception of each arrangement that includes milestone payments (variable consideration), we evaluate whether the milestones are considered probable of being reached and estimate the amount to be included in the transaction price. If it is probable that a milestone event would occur at the inception of an arrangement, the associated milestone value is included in the transaction price. Milestone payments that are contingent upon the achievement of events that are uncertain or not controllable, such as regulatory approvals, are generally not considered probable of being achieved until those approvals are received, and therefore not included in the transaction price. The transaction price is then allocated to each performance obligation on a relative stand-alone selling price basis, for which we recognize revenue as or when the performance obligations under the contract are satisfied. At the end of each reporting period, we evaluate the probability of achievement of such milestones and any related constraint(s), and if necessary, may adjust our estimate of the overall transaction price. Any such adjustments are recorded on a cumulative catch-up basis, which could affect license, collaboration or other revenues and earnings in the period of adjustment.
For arrangements that include sales-based royalties, including milestone payments based on the level of sales, and for which the license is deemed to be the predominant item to which the royalties relate, we recognize revenue at the later of (i) when the related sales occur, or (ii) when the performance obligation to which some or all of the royalty has been allocated has been satisfied (or partially satisfied). To date, we have not recognized any royalty revenue resulting from any of our collaborative arrangements.
We account for stock-based compensation expense related to stock options granted to employees and members of our board of directors by estimating the fair value of each stock option on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. We recognize stock-based compensation expense using the accelerated multiple-option approach. Under the accelerated multiple-option approach (also known as the graded-vesting method), we recognize compensation expense over the requisite service period for each separately vesting tranche of the award as though the award was in substance multiple awards, resulting in accelerated expense recognition over the vesting period. For performance-based awards granted to employees (i) the fair value of the award is determined on the grant date, (ii) we assess the probability of the individual milestones under the award being achieved and (iii) the fair value of the shares subject to the milestone is expensed over the implicit service period commencing once management believes the performance criteria is probable of being met.
We account for restricted stock units by determining the fair value of each restricted stock unit based on the closing market price of our common stock on the date of grant. We recognize stock-based compensation expense using the accelerated multiple-option approach over the requisite service periods of the awards.
Clinical Trial and Preclinical Study Accruals
We make estimates of our accrued expenses for clinical trial and preclinical study activities as of each balance sheet date in our financial statements based on the facts and circumstances known to us at that time. These accruals are based upon estimates of costs incurred and fees that may be associated with services provided by clinical trial investigational sites and CROs and for other clinical trial-related activities. Payments under certain contracts with such parties depend on factors such as successful enrollment of patients, site initiation and the completion of clinical trial milestones. In accruing for these services, we estimate the time period over which services will be performed and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If possible, we obtain information regarding unbilled services directly from these service providers. However, we may be required to estimate these services based on other information available to us. If we underestimate or overestimate the activities or fees associated with a study or service at a given point in time, adjustments to research and development expenses may be necessary in future periods. Historically, our estimated accrued liabilities have approximated actual expense incurred. Subsequent changes in estimates may result in a material change in our accruals.
We capitalize the purchase of certain raw materials and related supplies for use in the manufacturing of drug product in our preclinical and clinical development programs, as we have determined that these materials have alternative future use. We can use these raw materials and related supplies in multiple clinical drug products, and therefore have future use independent of the development status of any particular drug program until it is utilized in the manufacturing process. We expense the cost of materials when used. We periodically review these capitalized materials for continued alternative future use and write down the asset to its net realizable value in the period in which an impairment is identified.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. Subsequently, in November 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-19, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses. ASU 2016-13 requires entities to measure all expected credit losses for most financial assets held at the reporting date based on an expected loss model which includes historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts. ASU 2016-13 also requires enhanced disclosures to help financial statement users better understand significant estimates and judgments used in estimating credit losses. This ASU is effective for smaller reporting companies for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2022, with early adoption permitted. We are assessing the impact this standard will have on our financial statements and disclosures.
In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-04, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), which provides guidance around reference rate reform initiatives to identify alternative reference rates that are more observable or transaction-based and less susceptible to manipulation in response to concerns about structural risks of interbank offered rates and the risk of cessation of the London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"). The amendments in the ASU provide option expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships and other transactions affected by reference rate reform and apply only if such contracts, hedging relationships and other transactions that reference LIBOR or another reference rate are expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform. The guidance does not apply to contract modifications made, and hedging relationships entered into or evaluated, after December 31, 2022. We are assessing the impact this standard will have on our financial statements and disclosures.
In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-06, Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40): Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity, which simplifies accounting for convertible instruments by removing major separation models required under current GAAP. This standard removes certain settlement conditions that are required for equity contracts to qualify for the derivative scope exception and it also simplifies the diluted earnings per share calculation in certain areas. This standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020 and adoption must be as of the beginning of the Company’s annual fiscal year. The adoption of this standard on January 1, 2021 did not impact our financial statements or disclosures.
2. Net Loss Per Share
Basic net loss per share is calculated by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the period, without consideration for common stock equivalents. Diluted net loss per share is calculated by dividing net loss by the weighted-average number of common share equivalents outstanding for the period determined using the treasury-stock method or if-converted method. Dilutive common stock equivalents are comprised of stock options, restricted stock units and convertible preferred stock outstanding. For all periods presented, there is no difference in the number of shares used to calculate basic and diluted net loss per share.
Potentially dilutive securities not included in the calculation of diluted net loss per common share, because to do so would be anti-dilutive, were (in common stock equivalent shares) 27,741,065 for the three months ended March 31, 2021, consisting of convertible preferred stock, stock options and restricted stock units, and 36,680,830 for the three months ended March 31, 2020, consisting of convertible preferred stock, stock options and restricted stock units.
Historically, we have invested our excess cash primarily in debt instruments of financial institutions, corporations, U.S. government-sponsored agencies and the U.S. Treasury. We generally hold our investments to maturity and do not sell our investments before we have recovered our amortized cost basis. As of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, our cash balance was comprised entirely of cash and cash equivalents (money market funds) and there was no unrealized gain or loss in either period.
4. Fair Value Measurements
We have certain financial assets recorded at fair value which have been classified as Level 1, 2, or 3 within the fair value hierarchy as described in the accounting standards for fair value measurements.
Accounting standards define fair value as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants as of the measurement date. Market participants are buyers and sellers in the principal market that are (i) independent, (ii) knowledgeable, (iii) able to transact, and (iv) willing to transact. The accounting standards provide an established hierarchy for inputs used in measuring fair value that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs by requiring that the most observable inputs be used when available. Observable inputs are inputs that market participants would use in valuing the asset or liability and are developed based on market data obtained from independent sources. Unobservable inputs are inputs that reflect our assumptions about the factors that market participants would use in valuing the asset or liability. The accounting standards prioritize the inputs used in measuring the fair value into the following hierarchy:
•Level 1 includes financial instruments for which quoted market prices for identical instruments are available in active markets.
•Level 2 includes financial instruments for which there are inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are observable for the instrument such as quoted prices for similar instruments in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets with insufficient volume or infrequent transactions (less active markets) or model-driven valuations in which significant inputs are observable or can be derived principally from, or corroborated by, observable market data.
•Level 3 includes financial instruments for which fair value is derived from valuation techniques in which one or more significant inputs are unobservable, including management’s own assumptions.
Financial Assets Measured at Fair Value
The following table presents our fair value hierarchy for assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020 (in thousands):
| ||Fair value as of March 31, 2021|
| ||Total||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Cash equivalents (money market funds)||$||24,902 ||$||24,902 ||$||— ||$||— |
|$||24,902 ||$||24,902 ||$||— ||$||— |
| ||Fair value as of December 31, 2020|
| ||Total||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Cash equivalents (money market funds)||$||26,901 ||$||26,901 ||$||— ||$||— |
|$||26,901 ||$||26,901 ||$||— ||$||— |
We obtain pricing information from quoted market prices or quotes from brokers/dealers. We have historically determined the fair value of our investment securities using standard observable inputs, including reported trades, broker/dealer quotes, bids and/or offers.
On June 17, 2016, we entered into a loan and security agreement ("Loan Agreement") with Oxford Finance, LLC, (the “Lender”), pursuant to which we received $20.0 million in proceeds, net of debt issuance costs, on June 22, 2016 (the "Term Loan").
The outstanding Term Loan will mature on May 1, 2022 (the “Maturity Date”) and bears interest at a floating per annum rate equal to (i) 8.51% plus (ii) the greater of (a) the 30 day U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate reported in The Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the month that immediately precedes the month in which the interest will accrue and (b) 0.44%. Under the original Loan Agreement, we were required to make interest-only payments through June 1, 2018, followed by 24 equal monthly payments of principal and unpaid accrued interest.
The Loan Agreement was amended eight times between October 2017 through May 2019. On May 1, 2020 we entered into a ninth amendment to the Term Loan with the Lender (the “Ninth Amendment”). Pursuant to the terms of the Ninth Amendment, (i) the approximately $0.7 million of loan proceeds (the "PPP Loan") we received under the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") was included as permitted indebtedness under the terms of the Term Loan, (ii) we agreed to apply for forgiveness of the maximum amount of PPP Loan permissible in accordance with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) and use best efforts to cause not less than $0.5 million of the PPP Loan to be forgiven by the PPP Loan lender on or before September 30, 2020 and (iii) we agreed not to amend any material provision in any document relating to the PPP Loan nor make any prepayment of the PPP Loan unless such prepayment is necessary or advisable due to change in the applicable law or guidance issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”).
On August 25, 2020 we entered into a tenth amendment to the Term Loan with the Lender (the "Tenth Amendment"). Pursuant to the terms of the Tenth Amendment, we are eligible for up to an additional seven months of interest only payments in the event we paid down $10.0 million in loan principal before April 30, 2021 (the "Principal Paydown Event"). In the event the Principal Paydown Event did not occur by April 30, 2021, we would make principal and accrued interest payments, in arrears, commencing May 1, 2021, in accordance with the terms of the Eighth Amendment. If the Principal Paydown Event occurred after April 30, 2021 but on or before July 31, 2021, we would recommence an extended interest only payment period through December 31, 2021. In the event we received the additional interest only period, principal and accrued interest payments would recommence on January 1, 2022.
We received $1.0 million, $4.0 million and $5.0 million in proceeds from Sanofi (see Note 7) on September 30, 2020, October 8, 2020 and November 30, 2020, respectively. Under the terms of the Tenth Amendment, we prepaid $1.0 million, $4.0 million and $5.0 million of outstanding principal to the Lender on September 30, 2020, October 8, 2020 and November 30, 2020, respectively, for a total of $10.0 million. We also paid the applicable 5.5% final payment fees related to the three prepayments to the Lender. As the Principal Paydown Event occurred by April 30, 2021, we received an additional seven
months of interest only payment extension and are not obligated to make principal payments on the Term Loan until January 1, 2022.
We used the proceeds from the Term Loan solely for working capital and to fund our general business requirements. Our obligations under the Loan Agreement are secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of our current and future assets, other than our intellectual property, for which the Lender currently has a positive lien, and certain assets under finance lease obligations. We have also agreed not to encumber our intellectual property assets, except as permitted by the Loan Agreement. The Loan Agreement includes customary events of default, including instances of a material adverse change in our operations, that may require prepayment of the outstanding Term Loan. During the first quarter of 2021, we received a waiver from the Lender with respect to noncompliance with a covenant under the Loan Agreement. As of the date of the filing of this Form 10-Q, we are in compliance with all Loan Agreement covenants as of the date of the filing of this Form 10-Q.
As of March 31, 2021, $4.7 million was outstanding under the Term Loan. An additional $1.3 million is also payable at the conclusion of the Term Loan (presented in other current liabilities on our balance sheet at March 31, 2021). We had less than $0.1 million of debt issuance costs outstanding as of March 31, 2021, which are being accreted to interest expense over the life of the Term Loan using an effective interest rate of 8.98%. The exit fees are being accrued over the life of the Term Loan through interest expense.
As of March 31, 2021, future principal payments for the Term Loan due under the Loan Agreement are as follows (in thousands):
Paycheck Protection Program Loan
On April 23, 2020, we received the proceeds from the PPP Loan in the amount of approximately $0.7 million from Silicon Valley Bank, as lender, pursuant to the PPP of the CARES Act. The PPP Loan matures on April 23, 2022 and bears interest at a rate of 1.0% per annum. The PPP Loan is evidenced by a promissory note dated April 23, 2020, which contains customary events of default relating to, among other things, payment defaults and breaches of representations and warranties. The PPP Loan may be prepaid by us at any time prior to maturity with no prepayment penalties.
All or a portion of the PPP Loan may be forgiven by the SBA upon our application and upon documentation of expenditures in accordance with the SBA requirements. Under the CARES Act and PPP Flexibility Act, loan forgiveness is available for the sum of documented payroll costs, covered mortgage interest, covered rent payments and covered utilities during the 24 week period beginning on the date of loan disbursement. For purposes of the PPP, payroll costs exclude compensation of an individual employee in excess of $100,000, annualized, prorated for the covered period. Not more than 40% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. Forgiveness is reduced if full-time headcount declines during the covered period as compared to specified reference periods, or if salaries and wages for employees with salaries of $100,000 or less annually are reduced by more than 25%, unless certain safe harbors are satisfied. In the event the PPP Loan, or any portion thereof, is forgiven pursuant to the PPP, the amount forgiven is applied to outstanding principal and includes accrued interest.
We have used all proceeds from the PPP Loan to retain employees, maintain payroll and make lease and utility payments, and are seeking forgiveness in accordance with the program. The $0.7 million proceeds from the PPP Loan is presented in other current liabilities on our balance sheet at March 31, 2021.
6. Stockholders’ Equity
As of March 31, 2021, there were 74,689,132 shares of common stock outstanding. Each share of common stock is entitled to one vote. The holders of the common stock are also entitled to receive dividends whenever funds are legally available and when declared by our Board of Directors.
2019 Equity Incentive Plan
On June 15, 2019, the Company's board of directors approved, and on August 1, 2019 the Company's stockholders approved, the Company's 2019 Equity Incentive Plan (the "2019 Plan"). The 2019 Plan is intended as the successor to and continuation of the Company's 2012 Equity Incentive Plan. As of December 31, 2020, 868,432 shares of common stock were available for new equity award grants under the 2019 Plan and 6,847,361 shares of common stock are reserved for issuance pursuant to equity awards outstanding as of December 31, 2020. The number of shares authorized for issuance under the 2019 Plan may be increased by (a) the shares subject to outstanding stock awards granted under the Company’s 2009 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2009 Plan”) and the Company’s 2012 Equity Incentive Plan (together the with 2009 Plan, the “Prior Plans”) that on or after the effective date of the 2019 Plan (i) expire or terminate for any reason prior to exercise or settlement; (ii) are forfeited because of the failure to meet a contingency or condition required to vest such shares or otherwise return to the Company, or (iii) are reacquired, withheld (or not issued) to satisfy a tax withholding obligation in connection with an award or to satisfy the purchase price or exercise price of a stock award. No further grants will be made under the Prior Plans. In addition, on January 22, 2020, an additional 4,166,860 shares of common stock became available for issuance under the 2019 Plan pursuant to the Milestone Closing of the May 2019 SPA. Further, on January 1st of each year, for a period of not more than ten years, beginning on January 1, 2021 and continuing through January 1, 2029, the number of shares authorized for issuance under the 2019 Plan will increase by 5.0% of the total number of shares of our capital stock outstanding on December 31 of the preceding calendar year, or a lesser number of shares as may be determined by our Board of Directors.
Private Placements of Common Stock, Non-Voting Preferred Stock and Warrants
On May 3, 2019, we entered into the May 2019 SPA with certain institutional and other accredited investors, including certain directors, executive officers and employees of the Company (the “Purchasers”), pursuant to which we agreed to sell and issue shares of our common stock, shares of our newly designated non-voting convertible preferred stock, and warrants to purchase common stock, in up to two closings, in a private placement transaction (the “Private Placement”).
At an initial closing under the May 2019 SPA that occurred on May 7, 2019 (the “Initial Closing”), we sold and issued to the Purchasers (i) 9,730,534 shares of common stock and accompanying warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 9,730,534 shares of common stock at a combined purchase price of $1.205 per share, and (ii) 415,898 shares of non-voting Class A-1 convertible preferred stock, in lieu of shares of common stock, at a price of $10.80 per share, and accompanying warrants to purchase an aggregate of 4,158,980 shares of common stock at a price of $0.125 for each share of common stock underlying such warrants. Total gross proceeds from the Initial Closing were approximately $16.7 million, which does not include any proceeds that may be received upon exercise of the warrants. Each share of non-voting Class A-1 convertible preferred stock is convertible into 10 shares of Common Stock, subject to certain beneficial ownership conversion limitations. The warrants are exercisable for a period of five years following the date of issuance and have an exercise price of $1.08 per share, subject to proportional adjustments in the event of stock splits or combinations or similar events. The warrants are exercisable on a net exercise "cashless" basis. An aggregate of 526,083 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase up to 526,083 shares of common stock were purchased for $0.6 million by certain directors and executive officers of the Company under the Initial Closing.
Pursuant to the May 2019 SPA, in the event our Board of Directors unanimously resolves to recommence our Phase 1 multiple ascending dose clinical trial of our RGLS4326 product candidate for the treatment of ADPKD (the “Phase 1 Trial”) based on correspondence from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products, and thereafter but on or before December 31, 2019, we make a public announcement of our plan to recommence the Phase 1 Trial (the “Public Announcement”), we may sell and the Purchasers may purchase, at a second closing under the May 2019 SPA (“Milestone Closing”), shares of our non-voting convertible preferred stock and accompanying warrants to purchase shares of Common Stock (collectively, "Milestone Securities"). On December 15, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors unanimously resolved to recommence the Phase 1 Trial based on correspondence from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products and on December 16, 2019, we made the related Public Announcement, triggering the Milestone Closing, which occurred on December 24, 2019. At the Milestone Closing, we sold and issued to the Purchasers 3,288,390 shares of non-voting Class A-2 convertible preferred stock and accompanying warrants to purchase an aggregate of 32,883,900 shares of common stock for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $26.0 million. Net proceeds to the Company from the Milestone Closing were approximately $24.6 million. Each share of non-voting Class A-2 convertible preferred stock is convertible into 10 shares of Common Stock, subject to certain beneficial ownership conversion limitations. The warrants will be exercisable for a period of five years following the date of issuance and have an exercise price of $0.666 per share, subject to proportional adjustments in the event of stock splits or combinations or similar events. The warrants are exercisable on a net exercise “cashless” basis. An aggregate of 121,581 shares of Class A-2 convertible preferred stock and warrants to purchase up to 1,215,810 shares of common stock were purchased for approximately $1.0 million by certain directors and executive officers of the Company under the Milestone Closing.
We evaluated the non-voting Class A-1 convertible preferred stock and common stock warrants sold in the Initial Closing and the Class A-2 convertible preferred stock and common stock warrants sold in the Milestone Closing under ASC 480, Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity, and ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging, and determined permanent equity treatment was appropriate for these freestanding financial instruments. The Initial Closing and Milestone Closing did not include any embedded features that required bifurcation. The non-voting Class A-2 convertible preferred stock and warrants issuable under the Milestone Closing were not subject to accounting recognition until the Milestone Closing occurred, as the terms of the Milestone Closing did not provide a right or an obligation on either the Company nor the Purchasers.
On December 1, 2020, we entered into a Securities Purchase Agreement (the "December 2020 SPA") with certain institutional and other accredited investors, including certain directors, executive officers and employees of the Company (the “2020 Purchasers”), pursuant to which we agreed to sell and issue shares of our common stock, shares of newly designated non-voting convertible preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock (the “2020 PIPE”).
At the closing under the December 2020 SPA that occurred on December 4, 2020 (the “2020 Closing”), we sold and issued to the 2020 Purchasers (i) 24,341,607 shares of common stock and accompanying warrants to purchase up to an aggregate of 18,256,204 shares of common stock at a combined purchase price of $0.7464 per share, and (ii) 272,970 shares of non-voting Class A-3 convertible preferred stock, in lieu of shares of common stock, at a price of $6.22 per share, and accompanying warrants to purchase an aggregate of 2,047,276 shares of common stock at a price of $0.125 for each share of common stock underlying such warrants. Total gross proceeds from the 2020 Closing were approximately $19.4 million, which does not include any proceeds that may be received upon exercise of the warrants. Each share of non-voting Class A-3 convertible preferred stock is convertible into 10 shares of common stock, subject to certain beneficial ownership conversion limitations. The warrants are exercisable for a period of five years following the date of issuance and have an exercise price of $0.622 per share, subject to proportional adjustments in the event of stock splits or combinations or similar events. The warrants are exercisable on a net exercise "cashless" basis. An aggregate of 833,208 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase up to 624,906 shares of common stock were purchased for $0.6 million by certain directors and executive officers of the Company at the 2020 Closing.
We evaluated the non-voting Class A-3 convertible preferred stock and common stock warrants sold in the 2020 PIPE under ASC 480, Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity, and ASC 815, Derivatives and Hedging, and determined permanent equity treatment was appropriate for these freestanding financial instruments and there were no embedded features that required bifurcation.
The following table summarizes preferred stock conversions and warrant exercises (and the related impact on common stock) under the 2019 SPA and 2020 SPA for the quarters ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (in thousands):
|Class A-1 Convertible Preferred Stock||Class A-2 Convertible Preferred Stock||Class A-3 Convertible Preferred Stock||Warrants||Common Stock|
|Balance at December 31, 2020||257 ||1,416 ||259 ||66,038 ||— |
|Conversions/Exercises||— ||(78)||— ||(3,920)||3,199 |
|Balance at March 31, 2021||257 ||1,338 ||259 ||62,118 |
|Balance at December 31, 2019||416 ||3,288 ||— ||46,774 ||— |
|Conversions/Exercises||— ||(656)||— ||— ||6,567 |
|Balance at March 31, 2020||416 ||2,632 ||— ||46,774 |
On December 12, 2018, we entered into a Common Stock Sales Agreement (the “Stock Sales Agreement”) with H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“HCW”), pursuant to which we may sell and issue shares of our common stock from time to time through HCW, as our sales agent (the “ATM Offering”). We have no obligation to sell any shares of common stock in the ATM Offering, and may at any time suspend offers under the Stock Sales Agreement or terminate the Stock Sales Agreement. Subject to the terms and conditions of the Stock Sales Agreement, HCW will use its commercially reasonable efforts to sell shares of our common stock from time to time based upon our instructions (including any price, time or size limits or other parameters or conditions the we may impose, subject to certain restrictions). We pay HCW a commission of 3.0% of the gross
sales price of any shares sold under the Stock Sales Agreement. A total of 4,009,585 shares were sold and settled for proceeds of $5.8 million (net of $0.2 million in commissions) under the ATM Offering during the three months ended March 31, 2021. No shares were sold under the ATM Offering during the three months ended March 31, 2020. At March 31, 2021, approximately $28.9 million remained eligible to be drawn down under the ATM Offering.
Shares Reserved for Future Issuance
The following shares of common stock were reserved for future issuance as of March 31, 2021 (in thousands):
|Class A-1 convertible preferred stock outstanding (as-converted)||2,567 |
|Class A-2 convertible preferred stock outstanding (as-converted)||13,384 |
|Class A-3 convertible preferred stock outstanding (as-converted)||2,587 |
|2019 PIPE Initial Closing warrants||12,778 |
|2019 PIPE Milestone Closing warrants||30,845 |
|2020 PIPE warrants||18,495 |
|Common stock options outstanding||9,186 |
|RSUs outstanding||17 |
|Common stock available for future grant under 2019 Equity Incentive Plan||1,841 |
|Employee Stock Purchase Plan||267 |
|Total common shares reserved for future issuance||91,967 |
The following table summarizes our stock option and RSU activity (together Stock Awards) under all equity incentive plans for the three months ended March 31, 2021 (shares in thousands):
|Weighted average grant date fair value|
|Stock Awards outstanding at December 31, 2020||6,813 ||$||1.10 ||34 ||$||1.50 |
|Granted||2,586 ||$||1.59 ||— ||$||— |
|Exercised (options) or Vested (RSUs)||(27)||$||0.97 ||(17)||$||1.50 |
|Canceled/forfeited/expired||(186)||$||1.24 ||— ||$||— |
|Stock Awards outstanding at March 31, 2021||9,186 ||$||1.23 ||17 ||$||1.50 |
The following table summarizes the weighted average assumptions used to estimate the fair value of stock options and performance stock awards granted to employees under our 2012 Equity Incentive Plan, 2015 Inducement Plan, 2019 Equity Incentive Plan and the shares purchasable under our Employee Stock Purchase Plan during the periods presented:
| ||Three months ended|
| Risk-free interest rate||0.9 ||%||1.4 ||%|
| Volatility||95.7 ||%||95.4 ||%|
| Dividend yield ||— ||— |
| Expected term (years)||6.1||6.1|
|Performance stock options|
| Risk-free interest rate||1.0 ||%||1.4 ||%|
| Volatility||95.7 ||%||95.4 ||%|
| Dividend yield||— ||— |
| Expected term (years)||6.1||6.1|
|Employee stock purchase plan shares|
| Risk-free interest rate||0.1 ||%||1.4 ||%|
| Volatility||101.3 ||%||105.9 ||%|
| Dividend yield||— ||— |
| Expected term (years)||0.5||0.5|
The following table summarizes the allocation of our stock-based compensation expense for all stock awards during the periods presented (in thousands):
| ||Three months ended|
|Research and development||$||181 ||$||157 |
|General and administrative||510 ||666 |
|Total||$||691 ||$||823 |
Revenue recognized from our strategic collaborations was zero and less than $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
In July 2012, we amended and restated our collaboration and license agreement with Sanofi to expand the potential therapeutic applications of the microRNA alliance targets to be developed under such agreement. The following elements were delivered as part of the strategic collaboration with Sanofi: (1) a license for up to four microRNA targets; and (2) a research license under our technology collaboration.
In June 2013, the original research term expired, upon which we and Sanofi entered into an option agreement pursuant to which Sanofi was granted an exclusive right to negotiate the co-development and commercialization of certain of our unencumbered microRNA programs and we were granted the exclusive right to negotiate with Sanofi for co-development and commercialization of certain miR-21 anti-miRs in oncology and Alport syndrome.
In February 2014, we and Sanofi entered into a second amended and restated collaboration and license agreement (the “2014 Sanofi Amendment”) to discover, develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics to focus on specific orphan disease and oncology targets. Under the terms of the 2014 Sanofi Amendment, Sanofi had opt-in rights to our clinical fibrosis program targeting miR-21 for the treatment of Alport syndrome, our preclinical program targeting miR-21 for oncology indications, and our preclinical program targeting miR-221/222 for hepatocellular carcinoma (“HCC”). We were responsible for developing each of these programs to proof-of-concept, at which time Sanofi had an exclusive option on each program. If Sanofi chooses to exercise its option on any of these programs, Sanofi would reimburse us for a significant portion of our preclinical and clinical development costs and would also pay us an option exercise fee for any such program, provided that $1.25 million of the $2.5 million upfront option fee paid to us by Sanofi in connection with the June 2013 option agreement will
be creditable against such option exercise fee. We are eligible to receive royalties on microRNA therapeutic products commercialized by Sanofi and will have the right to co-promote these products relating to our preclinical program targeting miR-221/222. As indicated below, we entered into an additional amendment with Sanofi in November 2018, under which Sanofi's opt-in rights to our miR-21 programs under the 2014 Sanofi Amendment were relinquished. Sanofi's opt-in rights with regard to our miR-221/222 preclinical program under the 2014 Sanofi Amendment remained unchanged.
We are eligible to receive milestone payments related to the development and commercialization of miR-221/222 for HCC of up to $38.8 million for proof-of-concept option exercise fees (net of $1.25 million creditable, as noted above), $25.0 million for clinical milestones and up to $130.0 million for regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, we are entitled to receive royalties based on a percentage of net sales of any products from the miR-221/222 program which, in the case of sales in the United States, will be in the middle of the 10% to 20% range, and, in the case of sales outside of the United States, will range from the low end to the middle of the 10% to 20% range, depending upon the volume of sales. If we exercise our option to co-promote a miR-221/222 product, we will continue to be eligible to receive royalties on net sales of each product in the United States at the same rate, unless we elect to share a portion of Sanofi’s profits from sales of such product in the United States in lieu of royalties.
In November 2018, we entered into an amendment to the 2014 Sanofi Amendment with Sanofi to modify the parties’ rights and obligations with respect to our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program (the “2018 Sanofi Amendment”). Under the terms of the 2018 Sanofi Amendment, we have granted Sanofi a worldwide, royalty-free, fee-bearing, exclusive license, with the right to grant sublicenses, under our know-how and patents to develop and commercialize miR-21 compounds and products for all indications, including Alport Syndrome. Sanofi will control and will assume all responsibilities and obligations for developing and commercializing each of our miR-21 programs, including our obligations regarding the administration and expense of clinical trials and all other costs, including in-license royalties and other in-license payments, related to our miR-21 programs. Under the terms of the 2018 Sanofi Amendment, we have assigned to Sanofi certain agreements, product-specific patents and all materials directed to miR-21 or to any miR-21 compound or product and are required to provide reasonable technical assistance to Sanofi for a period of 24 months after the date of the 2018 Sanofi Amendment. Under the terms of the 2018 Sanofi Amendment, we were eligible to receive approximately $6.8 million in upfront payments for the license and for miR-21 program-related materials (collectively, the “Upfront Amendment Payments”). We were also eligible to receive up to $40.0 million in development milestone payments, including a $10.0 million payment for an interim enrollment milestone (the "Enrollment Milestone"). In addition, Sanofi has agreed to reimburse us for certain out-of-pocket transition activities and assume our upstream license royalty obligations. In 2019, we completed the performance obligations under the 2018 Sanofi Amendment and recognized revenue for the $6.8 million in Upfront Amendment Payments.
In August 2020, we entered into an amendment to the 2018 Sanofi Amendment (the "2020 Sanofi Amendment"). Under the terms of the 2020 Sanofi Amendment, we agreed to transfer to Sanofi additional RG-012 development program materials (the “Materials”) in exchange for a payment from Sanofi of $1.0 million (the “Transfer Payment”). In addition, in lieu of the $10.0 million Enrollment Milestone under the 2018 Sanofi Amendment, Sanofi agreed to pay us a $4.0 million milestone upon the completion of the transfer and verification of the Materials, and $5.0 million upon achievement of the Enrollment Milestone. Additionally, we are eligible to receive $25.0 million upon achievement of an additional development milestone related to Sanofi's development of the miR-21 compounds. In September 2020, we received $1.0 million in exchange for the transfer of the Materials to Sanofi, and received an additional $4.0 million in October 2020 as a result of Sanofi's completion and verification of the Materials in September 2020. As the performance obligations associated with both of these payments had been satisfied under Topic 606 as of September 30, 2020, both amounts were recognized as revenue in the third quarter of 2020. In November 2020, we received $5.0 million upon achievement of the Enrollment Milestone. As the performance obligations associated with this payment had been satisfied under Topic 606 as of December 31, 2020, this amount was recognized as revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020.
As of March 31, 2021, the $25.0 million in development milestone payments (variable consideration) is fully constrained and therefore, does not meet the criteria for revenue recognition.
At the inception of a contractual arrangement, we determine whether the contract contains a lease by assessing whether there is an identified asset and whether the contract conveys the right to control the use of the identified asset in exchange for consideration over a period of time. For operating leases with an initial term greater than 12 months, we recognize operating lease right of use assets ("ROU assets") and operating lease liabilities based on the present value of lease payments over the lease term at the commencement date. Operating lease ROU assets are comprised of the lease liability plus any lease payments made and excludes lease incentives. Lease terms include options to renew or terminate the lease when we are reasonably certain that the renewal option will be exercised or when it is reasonably certain that the termination option will not be exercised. For
our operating leases, we generally cannot determine the interest rate implicit in the lease, in which case we use our incremental borrowing rate as the discount rate for the lease. We estimate our incremental borrowing rate for our operating leases based on what we would normally pay to borrow on a collateralized basis over a similar term for an amount equal to the lease payments. Operating lease expense is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Leases with a lease term of 12 months or less are not recorded on the unaudited condensed balance sheet. Instead, we recognize lease expense for these leases on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Our lease agreements do not contain any material variable lease payments, residual value guarantees or restrictive covenants. Certain leases require us to pay taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance costs for the building, which do not represent lease components. We elected to not separate lease and non-lease components.
On June 19, 2019, we entered into a lease agreement (the “Prior Lease”) with ARE SD Region No.44 LLC ("Landlord") for the lease of approximately 8,727 square feet of rentable area of the building located at 10628 Science Center Drive, Suite 225, San Diego, California 92121 (the “Prior Premises”). The commencement date of the Prior Lease was July 1, 2019 (the “Prior Commencement Date”). We used the Prior Premises as our principal executive offices and as a laboratory for research and development and other related uses. The term of the Prior Lease (the “Prior Initial Term”) was two years, six months, ending December 31, 2021. The base rent payments due for the Prior Premises are $0.4 million in 2020 and $0.4 million in 2021, net of certain rent abatement terms. We were also responsible for the payment of additional rent to cover our share of the annual operating expenses of the building, the annual tax expenses of the building and the annual utilities cost of the building.
On July 1, 2019, we recorded a $0.8 million lease liability for the Prior Lease, which was calculated as the present value of future lease payments to be made under the Prior Lease. A $0.6 million ROU asset was also recorded on July 1, 2019, which represents the difference between the lease liability and the remaining $0.2 million deferred credit for the reduction of the lease liability under the operating lease agreement with Landlord dated February 25, 2019.
On February 11, 2021, we entered into a lease agreement (the "Campus Point Lease") with ARE-SD Region No. 61, LLC (as successor in interest to ARE-SD Region No. 58, LLC) ("Campus Point Landlord"), for the lease of approximately 13,438 square feet of rentable area located at 4224 Campus Point Court, Suite 210, San Diego, California, 92121 (the "Campus Point Premises"). The commencement date of the Campus Point Lease was April 15, 2021. However, for accounting purposes the lease commencement date was February 11, 2021. We are using the Campus Point Premises as our new principal executive offices and as a laboratory for research and development, manufacturing and other related uses. The term of the Campus Point Lease (“Campus Point Initial Term”) is 60 months, ending April 30, 2026 (assuming an April 15, 2021 commencement date). The aggregate base rent due over the initial term of the Campus Point Lease is approximately $3.8 million. We are also responsible for the payment of additional amounts to cover our share of the annual operating expenses of the building, the annual tax expenses of the building and the utilities costs for the building.
On February 11, 2021, concurrently with entry into the Campus Point Lease, we entered into an Assignment and Assumption of Lease (the “Assignment Agreement”) with Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. (“Assignee”) and a Consent to Assignment (the "Consent") with Landlord. Pursuant to the Assignment Agreement, we will assign all rights, title, and interest under the New Lease to Assignee and delivered the New Premises to Assignee on April 22, 2021. Pursuant to the Assignment Agreement, Assignee paid us $60,000 in non-refundable assignment consideration. Additionally, the Consent stipulates that we were not required to pay a fee pursuant to the Prior Lease in connection with the assignment.
The execution of the Campus Point Lease, Consent, and Assignment Agreement resulted in a modification which was not accounted for as a separate contract. Rather, we accounted for the three contracts with Campus Point Landlord in combination, as they were entered into at the same time and negotiated as a package to achieve the same commercial objective. We accounted for a $0.2 million reduction in the lease liability for the Prior Lease as a deferred credit that is amortized as a reduction to rent expense over the term of the Campus Point Lease. A lease liability of less than $0.1 million and ROU asset of less than $0.1 million remained with respect to the Prior Lease as of March 31, 2021, and will amortize through April 30, 2021. On February 11, 2021, we recorded a $3.2 million lease liability for the Campus Point Lease, which was calculated as the present value of future lease payments to be made under the Campus Point Lease. A $3.0 million ROU asset was also recorded on February 11, 2021, which represents the difference between the lease liability and the $0.2 million deferred credit for the reduction of the lease liability under the Prior Lease.
Our future lease payments under operating leases at March 31, 2021 are as follows (in thousands):
|Remaining 2021||$||359 |
|Total lease payments||$||3,790 |
Less: amount representing interest
|Present value of obligations under leases||3,223 |
Less: current portion
|Long-term lease obligations||$||2,866 |
ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The interim unaudited condensed financial statements and this Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2020 and the related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, both of which are contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, or Annual Report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 9, 2021. Past operating results are not necessarily indicative of results that may occur in future periods.
This quarterly report on Form 10-Q contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth below under Part II, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These statements, which represent our current expectations or beliefs concerning various future events, may contain words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate” or other words indicating future results, though not all forward-looking statements necessarily contain these identifying words. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
•the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of, and our expected ability to undertake certain activities and accomplish certain goals with respect to our research and development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials;
•our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, and any related restrictions, limitations, and/or warnings in the label of an approved product candidate;
•our ability to obtain funding for our operations;
•our plans to research, develop and commercialize our product candidates;
•the potential election of any strategic collaboration partner to pursue development and commercialization of any programs or product candidates that are subject to a collaboration with such partner;
•our ability to attract collaborators with relevant development, regulatory and commercialization expertise;
•future activities to be undertaken by our strategic collaboration partners, collaborators and other third parties;
•our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates;
•the size and growth potential of the markets for our product candidates, and our ability to serve those markets;
•our ability to successfully commercialize, and our expectations regarding future therapeutic and commercial potential with respect to our product candidates;
•the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates;
•our ability to develop sales and marketing capabilities, whether alone or with potential future collaborators;
•regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;
•the performance of our third-party suppliers and manufacturers;
•the success of competing therapies that are or may become available;
•the loss of key scientific or management personnel;
•our ability to successfully secure and deploy capital;
•our ability to satisfy our debt obligations;
•the accuracy of our estimates regarding future expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and need for additional financing;
•the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and
•the risks and other forward-looking statements described under the caption “Risk Factors” under Part II, Item 1A of this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.
In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class drugs targeting microRNAs to treat diseases with significant unmet medical need. We were formed in 2007 when Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Alnylam") and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Ionis") contributed significant intellectual property, know-how and financial and human capital to pursue the development of drugs targeting microRNAs pursuant to a license and collaboration agreement. Our most advanced product candidates are RG-012 and RGLS4326. RG-012 is an anti-miR targeting miR-21 for the treatment of Alport syndrome, a life-threatening kidney disease with no approved therapy available. In November 2018, we and Sanofi agreed to transition further development activities of our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program, to Sanofi. As a result, Sanofi became responsible for all costs incurred in the development of RG-012 and any other miR-21 programs. The transition activities were completed in the second quarter of 2019. RGLS4326, an anti-miR targeting miR-17, is in Phase 1 development for the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease ("ADPKD"). In addition to these clinical programs, we continue to develop a pipeline of preclinical drug product candidates.
microRNAs are naturally occurring ribonucleic acid ("RNA") molecules that play a critical role in regulating key biological pathways. Scientific research has shown that an imbalance, or dysregulation, of microRNAs is directly linked to many diseases. Furthermore, many different infectious pathogens interact and bind to host microRNA to survive. To date, over 500 microRNAs have been identified in humans, each of which can bind to multiple messenger RNAs that control key aspects of cell biology. Since many diseases are multi-factorial, involving multiple targets and pathways, the ability to modulate multiple pathways by targeting a single microRNA provides a new therapeutic approach for treating complex diseases.
RNA plays an essential role in the process used by cells to encode and translate genetic information from deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") to proteins. RNA is comprised of subunits called nucleotides and is synthesized from a DNA template by a process known as transcription. Transcription generates different types of RNA, including messenger RNAs that carry the information for proteins in the sequence of their nucleotides. In contrast, microRNAs are RNAs that do not code for proteins but rather are responsible for regulating gene expression by modulating the translation and decay of target messenger RNAs. By interacting with many messenger RNAs, a single microRNA can regulate the expression of multiple genes involved in the normal function of a biological pathway. Many pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, also use host microRNAs to regulate the cellular environment for survival. In some instances, the host microRNAs are essential for the replication and/or survival of the pathogen. For example, miR-122 is a microRNA expressed in human hepatocytes and is a key factor for the replication of the hepatitis C virus ("HCV").
We believe that microRNA therapeutics have the potential to become a new and major class of drugs with broad therapeutic application for the following reasons:
•microRNAs play a critical role in regulating biological pathways by controlling the translation of many target genes;
•microRNA therapeutics regulate disease pathways which may result in more effective treatment of complex multi-factorial diseases;
•many human pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, use microRNAs (host and pathogen encoded) to enable their replication and suppression of host immune responses; and
•microRNA therapeutics may be synergistic with other therapies because of their different mechanism of action.
We have assembled significant expertise in the microRNA field, including expertise in microRNA biology and oligonucleotide chemistry, a broad intellectual property estate, relationships with key opinion leaders and a disciplined drug discovery and development process. We are using our microRNA expertise to develop chemically modified, single-stranded oligonucleotides that we call anti-miRs to modulate microRNAs and address underlying disease. We believe microRNAs may play a critical role in complex disease and that targeting them with anti-miRs may become a source of a new and major class of drugs with broad therapeutic application, much like small molecules, biologics and monoclonal antibodies.
We believe that microRNA biomarkers may be used to select optimal patient segments in clinical trials and to monitor disease progression or relapse. We believe these microRNA biomarkers can be applied toward drugs that we develop and drugs developed by other companies with which we partner or collaborate.
Since our inception through March 31, 2021, we have received $368.9 million from the sale of our equity and convertible debt securities, $101.8 million from our strategic collaborations, principally from upfront payments, research funding and preclinical and clinical milestones, and $19.8 million in net proceeds from our Term Loan. As of March 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of $31.6 million.
Development Stage Pipeline
We currently have two programs in clinical development.
RG-012: In May 2017, we completed a Phase 1 multiple-ascending dose ("MAD") clinical trial in 24 healthy volunteers (six-week repeat dosing) to determine safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics ("PK") of RG-012 prior to chronic dosing in patients. In Phase 1 clinical trials to date, RG-012 was well-tolerated, and there were no serious adverse events ("SAEs") reported. In the third quarter of 2017, we initiated HERA, a Phase 2 randomized (1:1), double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of RG-012 in 40 Alport syndrome patients. In parallel, a renal biopsy study was also initiated in the third quarter of 2017 to evaluate RG-012 renal tissue PK, target engagement and downstream effects on genomic disease biomarkers. Kidney tissue concentrations were achieved in biopsy patients that would be predictive of therapeutic benefit based on animal disease models. In addition, modulation of the target, miR-21, was observed. In December 2017, we concluded our global ATHENA natural history of disease study. RG-012 has received orphan designation in both the United States and Europe. In November 2018, we and Sanofi agreed to transition further development activities of our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program to Sanofi. As a result, Sanofi became responsible for all costs incurred in the development of these miR-21 programs. The transition activities, including the transfer of the investigational new drug application ("IND"), were completed in the second quarter of 2019. Sanofi is currently enrolling patients into a Phase 2 clinical trial, with sites in the United States, Europe, Australia and China.
RGLS4326: RGLS4326 is a novel oligonucleotide designed to inhibit miR-17 using a unique chemistry designed to preferentially deliver to the kidney. Preclinical studies with RGLS4326 have demonstrated a reduction in kidney cyst formation, improved kidney weight/body weight ratio, decreased cyst cell proliferation and preserved kidney function in mouse models of ADPKD. In March 2018, we completed dose escalation of a Phase 1 single ascending dose ("SAD") clinical trial in healthy volunteers and found RGLS4326 was well tolerated and no SAEs were reported. In April 2018, we initiated a Phase 1 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, MAD clinical trial in healthy volunteers designed to characterize the safety, tolerability, PK and pharmacodynamics of multiple doses of RGLS4326. In July 2018, we voluntarily paused this study due to unexpected observations in our 27-week mouse chronic toxicity study, which was designed to support the Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial in ADPKD previously planned to start in mid-2019. The observations in the mouse chronic toxicity study were unexpected, given the favorable safety profile of RGLS4326 in previous 7-week non-GLP and GLP toxicity studies in mouse and non-human primates required for Phase 1 testing, which had no significant findings across similar dose levels and frequencies. In September 2018, we initiated a new mouse chronic toxicity study with several changes believed to address the unexpected findings in the earlier terminated chronic mouse toxicity study.
In January 2019, we submitted a comprehensive data package for RGLS4326 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") that included the results from the planned 13-week interim analysis of the ongoing repeat mouse chronic toxicity study, as well as results from additional investigations, analytical testing, additional data from the previously terminated mouse chronic toxicity study, data from the completed Phase 1 SAD study and data from the first cohort of the Phase 1 MAD study to support our plan to resume the Phase 1 MAD study. In July 2019, FDA notified us of additional nonclinical data requirements and placed the IND on a partial clinical hold, formalizing the specific requirements to re-initiate the MAD study and further proceed into studies of extended duration (the “FDA Partial Clinical Hold Letter”). The additional data requirements were outlined in two parts. In order to resume the MAD study, FDA requested the final reports from the chronic toxicity studies in both mice and non-human primates and satisfactory related analyses to ensure subjects can be safely dosed. In November 2019, we submitted a complete response to the partial clinical hold in order to be able to resume the MAD study and in December 2019, FDA lifted the partial clinical hold on the MAD study. In February 2020, we recommenced the MAD study and in August 2020 completed treatment and follow-up. RGLS4326 was well-tolerated with no serious adverse events reported. Results show that plasma exposure is dose proportional. In July 2020, the FDA granted orphan drug designation to RGLS4326 for the treatment of ADPKD.
In February 2021, we completed enrollment in the first cohort of a Phase 1b clinical study for RGLS4326 in patients with ADPKD (the “Phase 1b”). The Phase 1b is an adaptive design, open-label, multiple dose study in up to three cohorts of patients with ADPKD. The study is designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and changes in levels of polycistin 1 ("PC1") and polycistin 2 ("PC2") in patients with ADPKD administered RGLS4326 every other week for a total of four doses. The dose level for the first cohort is 1 mg/kg of RGLS4326 and the dose level for the second cohort is 0.3 mg/kg. The third and final cohort will be dosed at a level to be determined based on the results of the first two cohorts. In May 2021, we announced top-line results from the first cohort of patients with ADPKD in our ongoing Phase 1b clinical trial of RGLS4326.
In the first cohort, nine patients were enrolled and received 1 mg/kg of RGLS4326 subcutaneously every other week for four doses. Safety, pharmacokinetics, and certain disease related biomarkers were evaluated through the course of the study. The biomarkers included: PC1 and PC2, kidney injury marker 1, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin ("NGAL"), as well as urea and creatinine and were chosen to evaluate changes in disease related measures.
Measured levels of PC1 and PC2 increased greater than 50% and 20%, respectively, by the end of study compared to baseline levels. We believe these initial data demonstrate that RGLS4326 engages the target miR-17 leading to increased expression of the PKD1 and PKD2 genes and the resultant increases in measured polycystin levels. Measured levels of PC1 and PC2 have been shown to inversely correlate with disease severity and are believed to be directly linked to the underlying genetic drivers of the disease. The overall trend in polycystin showed increasing levels of both PC1 and PC2 over time with a sustained effect suggesting less frequent dosing could be utilized. Importantly, at the time of the analysis, patient mutational status was not known and may further contribute to understanding differences in response rates. Approximately 85% of patients with ADPKD are reported to have a mutation in the PKD1 gene, while the remaining 15% have a mutation in the PKD2 gene. Additionally, the PKD1 gene has one predicted binding site for miR-17 while the PKD2 gene has two predicted binding sites for miR-17, potentially contributing to different response rates between the biomarkers.
RGLS4326 was well tolerated by all nine patients with no serious adverse events reported. All reported adverse events were mild and generally transient in nature.
Overall, the pharmacokinetic profile of RGLS4326 in patients with ADPKD was similar to that observed in a prior healthy volunteer study. Concentrations of RGLS4326 in plasma were greater in patients (Cmax ~ 3 ug/mL) relative to healthy volunteers (Cmax ~ 2 ug/mL), suggesting a lower dose in patients could achieve the desired exposure in the kidney, the target organ of interest.
Additional non-clinical studies initiated last year in mice and non-human primates to further characterize the PK properties of RGLS4326 have also been completed. The RGLS4326 IND is currently on a partial clinical hold for treatment of extended duration beyond the current Phase 1b study until the second set of requirements outlined by FDA have been satisfactorily addressed. We intend to use information from the Phase 1 clinical studies, including the first cohort of the Phase 1b together with information from the recently completed additional nonclinical studies generated in 2020, in our plan to address the second set of requirements outlined in the FDA Partial Clinical Hold Letter to support studies of extended duration. We plan to discuss our approach to addressing the remaining partial clinical hold requirements with FDA in mid-2021.
A major focus of our preclinical research has historically targeted dysregulated microRNAs implicated in diseases of high unmet medical need where we know we can effectively deliver to the target tissue or organ, such as the liver and kidney. We also have early discovery programs investigating additional microRNA targets for infectious diseases, immunology, oncology
and indications for which there is microRNA dysregulation or in disease settings where the host microRNAs are essential for the replication and/or survival of the pathogen.
We currently have multiple programs in various stages of preclinical development.
Hepatitis B virus program: We have determined that advancing our preclinical programs targeting the Hepatitis B virus ("HBV") represents an attractive opportunity in our pipeline for investment, affecting an estimated 250 million people worldwide. We have identified several microRNA targets that serve as host factors for the virus. Our lead compound directed to one of the host microRNAs has demonstrated sub-nanomolar potency against HBV DNA replication and more than 95% reduction in Hepatitis B surface antigen in in vitro studies. Additionally, we have demonstrated reduction of both HBV DNA and surface antigen in an in vivo efficacy model. We believe that targeting a host factor in the liver represents a unique mechanism of action for treatment of the virus compared to other programs in development and holds the potential for achieving a functional cure. We are currently optimizing our development candidate for HBV.
Cell Therapies program: Cell therapies have been approved to treat a variety of hematological malignancies. Targeting solid tumors, however, has proven challenging for cell therapies due to various factors including the immune-suppressive effect of the tumor microenvironment ("TME"). We believe that ex vivo modulation of microRNA may enable cell therapy approaches to overcome the effects of the TME and address other challenges faced by cell therapies. We have demonstrated that targeting microRNA ex vivo can improve certain characteristics of engineered cells including improved in vitro expansion, effector function, cytokine production, as well as resistance to exhaustion induced by tonic signaling. We are pursuing multiple applications of microRNA technology in a variety of cell therapies. We are seeking a partner to collaborate on this program.
FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OVERVIEW
Our revenues generally consist of upfront payments for licenses or options to obtain licenses in the future, milestone payments and payments for other research services under collaboration agreements.
In the future, we may generate revenue from a combination of license fees and other upfront payments, payments for research and development services, milestone payments, product sales and royalties in connection with strategic collaborations. We expect that any revenue we generate will fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter as a result of the timing of our achievement of preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones, if at all, the timing and amount of payments relating to such milestones and the extent to which any of our products are approved and successfully commercialized by us or our strategic collaboration partners. If our current or future collaboration partners do not elect or otherwise agree to fund our development costs pursuant to our current or future strategic collaboration agreements, or we or our strategic collaboration partner fails to develop product candidates in a timely manner or obtain regulatory approval for them, our ability to generate future revenues, and our results of operations and financial position would be adversely affected.
Research and development expenses
Research and development expenses consist of costs associated with our research activities, including our drug discovery efforts and the development of our therapeutic programs. Our research and development expenses include:
•employee-related expenses, including salaries, benefits, travel and stock-based compensation expense;
•external research and development expenses incurred under arrangements with third parties, such as contract research organizations, or CROs, contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, other clinical trial related vendors, consultants and our scientific advisors;
•license fees; and
•facilities, depreciation and other allocated expenses, which include direct and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities, amortization of leasehold improvements and equipment, and laboratory and other supplies.
We expense research and development costs as incurred. We account for nonrefundable advance payments for goods and services that will be used in future research and development activities as expenses when the service has been performed or when the goods have been received. Certain of the raw materials used in the process of manufacturing drug product are capitalized upon their acquisition and expensed upon usage, as we have determined these materials have alternative future use.
To date, we have conducted research on many different microRNAs with the goal of understanding how they function and identifying those that might be targets for therapeutic modulation. At any given time we are working on multiple targets, primarily within our therapeutic areas of focus. Our organization is structured to allow the rapid deployment and shifting of resources to focus on the most promising targets based on our ongoing research. As a result, in the early phase of our development programs, our research and development costs are not tied to any specific target. However, we are currently spending the vast majority of our research and development resources on our lead development programs.
Since our inception, we have incurred a total of approximately $376.7 million in research and development expenses through March 31, 2021.
The process of conducting clinical trials and preclinical studies necessary to obtain regulatory approval is costly and time consuming. We, or our strategic collaboration partners, may never succeed in achieving marketing approval for any of our product candidates. The probability of success for each product candidate may be affected by numerous factors, including preclinical data, clinical data, competition, manufacturing capability and commercial viability.
Successful development of future product candidates is highly uncertain and may not result in approved products. Completion dates and completion costs can vary significantly for each future product candidate and are difficult to predict. We anticipate we will make determinations as to which programs to pursue and how much funding to direct to each program on an ongoing basis in response to our ability to maintain or enter into new collaborations with respect to each program or potential product candidate, the scientific and clinical success of each future product candidate, as well as ongoing assessments as to each future product candidate’s commercial potential. We will need to raise additional capital and may seek additional collaborations in the future in order to advance our various programs.
General and administrative expenses
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related benefits, including stock-based compensation, related to our executive, finance, legal, business development and support functions. Other general and administrative expenses include allocated facility-related costs not otherwise included in research and development expenses and professional fees for auditing, tax and legal services, some of which are incurred as a result of being a publicly-traded company.
Other income (expense), net
Other income (expense) consists primarily of interest income and expense and various income or expense items of a non-recurring nature. We earn interest income from interest-bearing accounts and money market funds for cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities, such as interest-bearing bonds, for our short-term investments. Interest expense is primarily attributable to interest charges associated with borrowings under our secured Term Loan.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
There have been no significant changes to our critical accounting policies since December 31, 2020. For a description of critical accounting policies that affect our significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements, refer to Item 7 in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 1 to our financial statements contained in our Annual Report and Note 1 to our condensed financial statements contained in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Comparison of the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020
The following table summarizes our results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (in thousands):
| ||Three months ended|
|Revenue under collaborations||$||— ||$||6 |
|Research and development expenses||3,320 ||3,119 |
|General and administrative expenses||2,478 ||2,422 |
|Interest and other expenses, net||(215)||(410)|
Revenue under collaborations
Our revenues are generated from ongoing collaborations, and generally consist of upfront payments for licenses or options to obtain licenses in the future, milestone payments and payments for other research services. Revenue under our collaboration with Sanofi was zero and less than $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Research and development expenses
The following tables summarize the components of our research and development expenses for the periods indicated, together with year-over-year changes (dollars in thousands):
|Three months ended March 31, 2021||% of total||Three months ended March 31, 2020||% of total||$||%|
|Research and development|
| Personnel and internal expenses||$||1,520 ||46 ||%||$||1,295 ||41 ||%||$||225 ||17 ||%|
| Third-party and outsourced expenses||1,288 ||39 ||%||1,548 ||50 ||%||(260)||(17)||%|
|Non-cash stock-based compensation||181 ||5 ||%||157 ||5 ||%||24 ||15 ||%|
|Depreciation||331 ||10 ||%||119 ||4 ||%||212 ||178 ||%|
|Total research and development expenses||$||3,320 ||100 ||%||$||3,119 ||100 ||%||$||201 ||6 ||%|
Research and development expenses were $3.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $3.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. These amounts reflect the internal and external costs associated with advancing our clinical and preclinical pipeline.
General and administrative expenses
General and administrative expenses were $2.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $2.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. These amounts reflect personnel-related and ongoing general business operating costs.
Interest and other expenses, net
Net interest and other expenses were $0.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $0.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. These amounts are primarily related to interest charges associated with our outstanding Term Loan.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Since our inception through March 31, 2021, we have received $368.9 million from the sale of our equity and convertible debt securities, $101.8 million from our collaborations, principally from upfront payments, research funding and preclinical and clinical milestones, and $19.8 million in net proceeds from our Term Loan. As of March 31, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of $31.6 million.
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a basis which assumes we are a going concern, and does not include any adjustments to reflect the possible future effects on the recoverability and classification of assets or the amounts and classifications of liabilities that may result from any uncertainty related to our ability to continue as a going concern.
If we are unable to maintain sufficient financial resources, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected. There can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain the needed financing on acceptable terms or at all. Additionally, equity or debt financings may have a dilutive effect on the holdings of our existing stockholders. These factors raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
Our future capital requirements are difficult to forecast and will depend on many factors, including:
•whether and when we achieve any milestones under our collaboration and license agreement with Sanofi;
•the terms and timing of any other strategic collaboration, licensing and other arrangements that we may establish;
•the initiation, progress, timing and completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials for our development programs and product candidates, and associated costs;
•the number and characteristics of product candidates that we pursue;
•the outcome, timing and cost of regulatory approvals;
•delays that may be caused by changing regulatory requirements;
•the cost and timing of hiring new employees to support our continued growth;
•the costs involved in filing and prosecuting patent applications and enforcing and defending patent claims;
•the costs and timing of procuring clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates;
•the costs and timing of establishing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, and the pricing and reimbursement for any products for which we may receive regulatory approval;
•the extent to which we acquire or invest in businesses, products or technologies;
•the extent to which our PPP Loan is forgiven; and
•payments under our Term Loan.
The following table shows a summary of our cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 (in thousands):
| ||Three months ended|
|Net cash (used in) provided by:|
|Investing activities||(53)||— |
|Financing activities||6,336 ||(67)|
Net cash used in operating activities was $5.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to $6.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The decrease in net cash used in operating activities was attributable to a $0.4 million change in working capital for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.
Net cash used in investing activities was $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to zero for the three months ended March 31, 2020. Net cash used in investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was attributable to lab equipment purchases.
Net cash provided by financing activities was $6.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared to net cash used in financing activities of $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. Net cash provided by financing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was primarily attributable to proceeds from the issuance of our common stock.
CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS
As of March 31, 2021, there have been no material changes, outside of the ordinary course of business, in our outstanding contractual obligations from those disclosed in Note 8 Commitments and Contingencies and Note 13 Leases to our financial statements contained in our Annual Report, with the exception of the Campus Point Lease, Assignment Agreement and Consent with Campus Point Landlord concerning our new corporate headquarters and the assignment of our previous corporate headquarters (refer to Note 8 to our condensed financial statements contained in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q).
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
As of March 31, 2021, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.
ITEM 3. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Some of the securities that we invest in have market risk where a change in prevailing interest rates may cause the principal amount of short-term investments to fluctuate. Financial instruments that potentially subject us to significant concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash and cash equivalents. We invest our excess cash primarily in money market funds. The primary objectives of our investment activities are to ensure liquidity and to preserve principal while at the same time maximizing the income we receive from our investments without significantly increasing risk. We have established guidelines regarding approved investments and maturities of investments, which are designed to maintain safety and liquidity.
Because of the short-term maturities of our cash equivalents, we do not believe that an increase in market rates would have any significant impact on the realized value of our cash equivalents. If a 10% change in interest rates were to have occurred on March 31, 2021, this change would not have had a material effect on the fair value of our cash equivalents as of that date.
We also have interest rate exposure as a result of our outstanding Term Loan. As of March 31, 2021, the outstanding principal amount of the Term Loan was $4.7 million. The Term Loan bears interest at a floating per annum rate equal to (i) 8.51% plus (ii) the greater of (a) the 30 day U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate reported in The Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the month that immediately precedes the month in which the interest will accrue and (b) 0.44%. Changes in the U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate may therefore affect our interest expense associated with the Term Loan. LIBOR is currently scheduled to be phased out by the end of 2021. Before LIBOR is phased out, we may need to renegotiate the Term Loan to replace LIBOR with the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”). The consequences of these developments cannot be entirely predicted, but could result in higher interest rates on the principal amount of the Term Loan.
If a 10% change in interest rates were to have occurred on March 31, 2021, this change would not have had a material effect on our interest expense as of that date.
ITEM 4. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
Disclosure Controls and Procedures
We maintain disclosure controls and procedures that are designed to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed in our periodic and current reports that we file with the SEC is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. In designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance of achieving the desired control objectives. In reaching a reasonable level of assurance, management is required to apply its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. In addition, the design of any system of controls also is based, in part, upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions; over time, controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.
As of March 31, 2021, we carried out an evaluation, under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended. Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at the reasonable assurance level as of March 31, 2021.
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as such term is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the Exchange Act. An evaluation was also performed under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer, of any change in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during our last fiscal quarter and that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting. That evaluation did not identify any change in our internal control over financial reporting that occurred during our latest fiscal quarter that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
PART II. OTHER INFORMATION
ITEM 1. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
We currently are not a party to any legal proceedings, the adverse outcome of which, in management’s opinion, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial position.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully consider the following risk factors, as well as the other information in this report, before deciding whether to purchase, hold or sell shares of our common stock. The occurrence of any of the following risks could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and/or growth prospects or cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements we have made in this report and those we may make from time to time. You should consider all the factors described when evaluating our business. The risk factors set forth below that are marked with an asterisk (*) contain changes to the similarly titled risk factors included in, Item 1A of our Annual Report. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition, results of operations and future growth prospects would likely be materially and adversely affected. In these circumstances, the market price of our common stock would likely decline.
RISKS RELATED TO THE DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCT CANDIDATES
The approach we are taking to discover and develop drugs is novel and may never lead to marketable products.
We have concentrated our therapeutic product research and development efforts on microRNA technology, and our future success depends on the successful development of this technology and products based on our microRNA product platform. Neither we, nor any other company, has received regulatory approval to market therapeutics targeting microRNAs. The scientific discoveries that form the basis for our efforts to discover and develop product candidates are relatively new. The scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing product candidates based on these discoveries is both preliminary and limited. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates based upon our technological approach, we may not become profitable and the value of our common stock may decline.
Further, our focus solely on microRNA technology for developing drugs as opposed to multiple, more proven technologies for drug development increases the risks associated with the ownership of our common stock. If we are not successful in developing any product candidates using microRNA technology, we may be required to change the scope and direction of our product development activities. In that case, we may not be able to identify and implement successfully an alternative product development strategy.
We may not be successful in our efforts to identify or discover potential product candidates.
The success of our business depends primarily upon our ability to identify, develop and commercialize microRNA therapeutics. Our research programs may initially show promise in identifying potential product candidates, yet fail to yield product candidates for clinical development for a number of reasons, including:
•our research methodology or that of any collaboration partner may be unsuccessful in identifying potential product candidates;
•potential product candidates may be shown to have harmful side effects or may have other characteristics that may make the products unmarketable or unlikely to receive marketing approval; or
•our current or future collaboration partners may change their development profiles for potential product candidates or abandon a therapeutic area.
If any of these events occur, we may be forced to abandon our development efforts for a program or programs, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and could potentially cause us to cease operations. Research programs to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial and human resources. We may focus our efforts and resources on potential programs or product candidates that ultimately prove to be unsuccessful.
Preclinical and clinical studies of our product candidates may not be successful. If we are unable to generate successful results from our preclinical and clinical studies of our product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business may be materially harmed.
We have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources in the identification and development of product candidates that target microRNAs. Our ability to generate product revenues, which we do not expect will occur for many years, if ever, will depend heavily on the successful development and eventual commercialization of our product candidates.
The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including the following:
•successfully designing preclinical studies which may be predictive of clinical outcomes;
•successful results from preclinical and clinical studies;
•receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;
•obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection for future product candidates;
•establishing and maintaining manufacturing relationships with third parties or establishing our own manufacturing capability; and
•successfully commercializing our products, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others.
If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to successfully complete the development of, or commercialize, our product candidates, which would materially harm our business.
If clinical trials of our product candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of regulatory authorities or do not otherwise produce positive results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of product candidates, we or a collaboration partner must conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the product candidates in humans. Clinical trials are expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and is uncertain as to outcome. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. The outcome of preclinical studies and early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval for their products.
Events which may result in a delay or unsuccessful completion of clinical development include:
•delays in reaching an agreement with the FDA or other regulatory authorities on final trial design;
•imposition of a clinical hold of our clinical trial operations or trial sites by the FDA or other regulatory authorities;
•delays in reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective CROs and clinical trial sites;
•our inability to adhere to clinical trial requirements directly or with third parties such as CROs;
•delays in obtaining required institutional review board approval at each clinical trial site;
•delays in recruiting suitable patients to participate in a trial;
•delays in the testing, validation, manufacturing and delivery of the product candidates to the clinical sites;
•delays in having patients complete participation in a trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;
•delays caused by patients dropping out of a trial due to protocol procedures or requirements, product side effects or disease progression;
•clinical sites dropping out of a trial to the detriment of enrollment;
•time required to add new clinical sites; or
•delays by our contract manufacturers to produce and deliver sufficient supply of clinical trial materials.
For example, in July 2018, we voluntarily paused our Phase 1 MAD clinical trial for RGLS4326 due to unexpected observations in our 27-week mouse chronic toxicity study, which was designed to support the Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial in ADPKD previously planned to start in mid-2019. The observations in the mouse chronic toxicity study were unexpected, given the favorable safety profile of RGLS4326 in previous non-GLP and GLP toxicity studies at the same or similar doses supporting the IND and Phase 1 clinical trial. In consultation with the FDA, we initiated a new mouse chronic toxicity study with certain changes that are believed to address the unexpected observations. In January 2019, we announced data from a planned interim analysis of this study after 13 weeks of dosing in which no adverse or other significant findings across the range of doses tested were shown. We submitted a comprehensive data package for RGLS4326 to FDA that included the results from the planned 13-week interim analysis of the ongoing repeat mouse chronic toxicity study, as well as results from additional investigations, analytical testing, additional data from the previously terminated mouse chronic toxicity study, data from the completed Phase 1 SAD study and data from the first cohort of the Phase 1 MAD study to support our plan to resume the Phase 1 MAD study. In July 2019, FDA notified us of additional nonclinical data requirements and placed the IND on a partial clinical hold, formalizing the specific requirements to initiate the MAD study and further proceed into chronic dosing. The additional data requirements have been outlined in two parts. In order to resume the MAD study, FDA requested the final reports from the chronic toxicity studies in both mice and non-human primates and satisfactory related analyses to ensure subjects can be safely dosed. In November 2019, we submitted a complete response to the partial clinical hold in order to be able to resume the MAD study and in December 2019 FDA lifted the partial clinical hold of the MAD study. We recommenced the MAD study in February 2020 and have completed all dosing. Information from the clinical studies, together with information from additional nonclinical studies, will be used to address the requirements to support studies of extended duration. In addition to the MAD study in healthy volunteers, we have initiated a Phase 1b study in patients with ADPKD to evaluate RGLS4326 for safety, PK, and changes in levels of PC1 and PC2. We cannot be certain that we will be able to satisfy the requirements to initiate studies of extended duration in a timely manner, or at all.
In addition, enrollment and retention of patients in clinical trials could be disrupted by man-made or natural disasters, public health pandemics or epidemics or other business interruptions, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we expect new site initiation and patient enrollment has been delayed in the RG-012 Phase 2 clinical trial being conducted by Sanofi. In addition, COVID-19 may impact site initiation activities and subsequent study enrollment for our RGLS4326 clinical trials.
If we or our current or future collaboration partners are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of any product candidates beyond those that are currently contemplated, are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of any such product candidates or other testing, or if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only moderately positive or if there are safety concerns, we or our current or future collaboration partners may:
•be delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our future product candidates;
•not obtain marketing approval at all;
•obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as originally intended or desired;
•obtain approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings;
•be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements; or
•have the product removed from the market after obtaining marketing approval.
Our product development costs will also increase if we experience delays in testing or marketing approvals. We do not know whether any clinical trials will begin as planned, will need to be restructured or will be completed on schedule, or at all. Significant clinical trial delays also could shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize
our product candidates or allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do, which would impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may harm our business and results of operations. Any inability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development, whether independently or with a collaboration partner, could result in additional costs to us or impair our ability to generate revenues from product sales, regulatory and commercialization milestones and royalties.
Any of our product candidates may cause adverse effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval or limit the scope of any approved label or market acceptance.
Adverse events ("AEs") caused by our product candidates could cause us, other reviewing entities, clinical trial sites or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in the denial of regulatory approval. Certain oligonucleotide therapeutics have shown injection site reactions and pro-inflammatory effects and may also lead to impairment of kidney or liver function. There is a risk that our future product candidates may induce similar AEs.
If AEs are observed in any clinical trials of our product candidates, including those that a collaboration partner may develop under an agreement with us, our or our collaboration partners’ ability to obtain regulatory approval for product candidates may be negatively impacted.
Further, if any of our future products, if and when approved for commercial sale, cause serious or unexpected side effects, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:
•regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of the product or impose restrictions on its distribution in the form of a modified risk evaluation and mitigation strategy;
•regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as warnings or contraindications;
•we may be required to change the way the product is administered or conduct additional clinical trials;
•we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients; or
•our reputation may suffer.
Any of these events could prevent us or our collaboration partners from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing our future products and impair our ability to generate revenues from the commercialization of these products either on our own or with a collaboration partner.
Even if we complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials, we cannot predict whether or when we will obtain regulatory approval to commercialize a product candidate and we cannot, therefore, predict the timing of any revenue from a future product.
Neither we nor any collaboration partner can commercialize a product until the appropriate regulatory authorities, such as the FDA, have reviewed and approved the product candidate. The regulatory agencies may not complete their review processes in a timely manner, or we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval. Additional delays may result if an FDA Advisory Committee recommends restrictions on approval or recommends non-approval. In addition, we or a collaboration partner may experience delays or rejections based upon additional government regulation from future legislation or administrative action, or changes in regulatory agency policy during the period of product development, clinical trials and the review process.
Even if we obtain regulatory approval for a product candidate, we will still face extensive regulatory requirements and our products may face future development and regulatory difficulties.*
Even if we obtain regulatory approval in the United States, the FDA may still impose significant restrictions on the indicated uses or marketing of our product candidates, or impose ongoing requirements for potentially costly post-approval studies or post-market surveillance. The holder of an approved NDA is obligated to monitor and report AEs and any failure of a product to meet the specifications in the NDA. The holder of an approved NDA must also submit new or supplemental applications and obtain FDA approval for certain changes to the approved product, product labeling or manufacturing process. Advertising and promotional materials must comply with FDA rules and are subject to FDA review, in addition to other potentially applicable federal and state laws.
In addition, drug product manufacturers and their facilities are subject to payment of user fees and continual review and periodic inspections by the FDA and other regulatory authorities for compliance with current good manufacturing practices
("cGMP") and adherence to commitments made in the NDA. If we or a regulatory agency discovers previously unknown problems with a product such as AEs of unanticipated severity or frequency, or problems with the facility where the product is manufactured, a regulatory agency may impose restrictions relative to that product or the manufacturing facility, including requiring recall or withdrawal of the product from the market or suspension of manufacturing.
If we or our partners fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements following approval of any of our product candidates, a regulatory agency may:
•issue a warning letter asserting that we are in violation of the law;
•seek an injunction or impose civil or criminal penalties or monetary fines;
•suspend or withdraw regulatory approval;
•suspend any ongoing clinical trials;
•refuse to approve a pending NDA or supplements to an NDA submitted by us;
•seize product; or
•refuse to allow us to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts.
Moreover, the FDA closely regulates the marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of pharmaceutical products. A company can make only those claims relating to safety and efficacy, purity and potency that are approved by the FDA and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. Companies may also share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with the labeling. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties. 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 made in the physician’s independent medical judgement. Such off-label uses are common across medical specialties. Physicians may believe that such off-label uses are the best treatment for many patients in varied circumstances. The FDA does not regulate the 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.
Any government investigation of alleged violations of law could require us to expend significant time and resources in response and could generate negative publicity. The occurrence of any event or penalty described above may inhibit our ability to commercialize our future products and generate revenues.
We may not be successful in obtaining or maintaining necessary rights to microRNA targets, drug compounds and processes for our development pipeline through acquisitions and in-licenses.
Presently we have rights to the intellectual property, through licenses from third parties and under patents that we own, to modulate only a subset of the known microRNA targets. Because our programs may involve a range of microRNA targets, including targets that require the use of proprietary rights held by third parties, the growth of our business will likely depend in part on our ability to acquire, in-license or use these proprietary rights. In addition, our product candidates may require specific formulations to work effectively and efficiently and these rights may be held by others. We may be unable to acquire or in-license any compositions, methods of use, processes or other third-party intellectual property rights from third parties that we identify. The licensing and acquisition of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and a number of more established companies are also pursuing strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities.
For example, we may collaborate with U.S. and foreign academic institutions to accelerate our preclinical research or development under written agreements with these institutions. Typically, these institutions provide us with an option to negotiate a license to any of the institution’s rights in technology resulting from the collaboration. Regardless of such right of first negotiation for intellectual property, we may be unable to negotiate a license within the specified time frame or under terms that are acceptable to us. If we are unable to do so, the institution may offer the intellectual property rights to other parties, potentially blocking our ability to pursue our program.
In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may be unable to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property rights, our business, financial condition and prospects for growth could suffer.
We may use our financial and human resources to pursue a particular research program or product candidate and fail to capitalize on programs or product candidates that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.
Because we have limited financial and human resources, our existing strategy is to pursue collaboration agreements for the development and commercialization of our programs and potential product candidates in indications with potentially large commercial markets such as ADPKD, HCC, fibrosis, HCV, and HBV, while focusing our internal development resources and any internal sales and marketing organization that we may establish on research programs and product candidates for selected markets, such as orphan diseases. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other programs or product candidates or for other indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on research and development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through collaboration, licensing or other royalty arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate, or we may allocate internal resources to a product candidate in a therapeutic area in which it would have been more advantageous to enter into a partnering arrangement.
If we fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.
We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We generally contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.
Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of hazardous materials or other work-related injuries, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. These current or future laws and regulations may impair our research, development or production efforts. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR FINANCIAL CONDITION AND NEED FOR ADDITIONAL CAPITAL
We will need to raise additional capital, and if we are unable to do so when needed, we will not be able to continue as a going concern.*
This Form 10-Q includes disclosures regarding management’s assessment of our ability to continue as a going concern as our current liquidity position and recurring losses from operations since inception and negative cash flows from operating activities raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern. As of March 31, 2021, we had approximately $31.6 million of cash and cash equivalents and we had $6.0 million of outstanding debt obligations (which includes $4.7 million of outstanding principal and $1.3 million of final payment and loan amendment fees) under our Term Loan. Additionally, we had $0.7 million of debt obligations outstanding from amounts received under the PPP Loan. We will need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and service our debt obligations, and if we are unable to raise additional capital when needed, we will not be able to continue as a going concern.
Developing pharmaceutical products, including conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, is expensive. We expect our research and development expenses to substantially increase in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly as we advance our product candidates towards or through clinical trials. We will need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and such funding may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.
Additionally, our collaboration partners may not elect to pursue the development and commercialization of any of our microRNA product candidates that are subject to their respective collaboration agreements with us. Any of these events may increase our development costs more than we expect. In November 2018, we and Sanofi agreed to transition further
development activities of our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program, to Sanofi, which will be responsible for all costs incurred in the development of our miR-21 programs. As a result, we will not receive royalties in the event our miR-21 programs are eventually commercialized and will also receive significantly reduced milestones for these programs. We may need to raise additional capital or otherwise obtain funding through additional collaborations if we choose to initiate clinical trials for new product candidates other than programs currently partnered. In any event, we will require additional capital to obtain regulatory approval for, and to commercialize, future product candidates.
For the foreseeable future, we expect to rely primarily on equity and/or debt financings to fund our operations. Raising additional capital through the sale of securities could cause significant dilution to our stockholders.
Any additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates. Our ability to raise additional funds will depend, in part, on the success of our preclinical studies and clinical trials and other product development activities, regulatory events, our ability to identify and enter into licensing or other strategic arrangements, and other events or conditions that may affect our value or prospects, as well as factors related to financial, economic and market conditions, many of which are beyond our control. There can be no assurances that sufficient funds will be available to us when required or on acceptable terms, if at all.
If we are unable to raise additional capital when required or on acceptable terms, we may be required to:
•significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development or commercialization of any future product candidates;
•seek collaborations, or amend existing collaborations, for research and development programs at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable or for the development of programs that we otherwise would have sought to develop independently, or on terms that are less favorable than might otherwise be available;
•dispose of technology assets, or relinquish or license on unfavorable terms, our rights to technologies or any future product candidates that we otherwise would seek to develop or commercialize ourselves;
•pursue the sale of our company to a third party at a price that may result in a loss on investment for our stockholders; or
•file for bankruptcy or cease operations altogether.
Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects.
Payments under the instruments governing our indebtedness may reduce our working capital. In addition, a default under our loan and security agreement could cause a material adverse effect on our financial position.*
In June 2016, we entered into a Loan Agreement with the Lender. Under the terms of the Loan Agreement, the Lender provided us with a $20.0 million Term Loan. Our obligations under the Loan Agreement are secured by a first priority security interest in substantially all of our current and future assets, except for the assets that were licensed, assigned and transferred to Sanofi pursuant to the 2018 Sanofi Amendment that modify the parties’ rights and obligations with respect to our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program, provided that the Lender will continue to have liens on all proceeds received by us pursuant to the Sanofi License Agreement. We have also agreed not to encumber our intellectual property assets, except as permitted by the Loan Agreement. Our required monthly payments to the Lender are comprised of interest only through and including the payment to be made in December 2021. We are required to maintain $3.0 million in cash in a collateral account. During the first quarter of 2021, we received a waiver from the Lender with respect to noncompliance with a covenant under the Loan Agreement. We are in compliance with all Loan Agreement covenants as of the date of the filing of this Form 10-Q.
Amounts outstanding under the Term Loan mature on May 1, 2022.