acet-10k_20201231.htm
false FY 2020 0001720580 --12-31 2037-12-31 2035-12-31 2014-11-30 P5Y 0 P5Y 1200000 0 1200000 P3Y Lesser of useful life or lease term P3Y P3Y P3Y P9Y2M12D P5Y7M6D P1Y3M18D P8Y4M24D P7Y P5Y10M9D P6Y7M13D P6Y6M25D P6Y8M26D 81.1 82.1 82.1 93.3 0.35 0.42 1.53 1.93 P6Y7M20D P5Y7M28D P9Y3M7D P8Y6M25D P8Y6M10D P7Y11M23D P5Y1M9D P7Y11M23D 0.726 0.715 0.733 0.001 0.016 0.027 P1Y P5Y1M24D P6Y7D 0.963 0.865 0.74 0.017 0.025 0.028 P6Y29D P6Y29D P6Y29D 0001720580 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 iso4217:USD 0001720580 2020-06-30 xbrli:shares 0001720580 2021-03-10 0001720580 2020-12-31 0001720580 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 iso4217:USD xbrli:shares 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBRedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 xbrli:pure 0001720580 acet:AdicetTherapeuticsIncMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 2020-09-14 2020-09-15 0001720580 us-gaap:IPOMember us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember 2021-02-01 2021-02-28 0001720580 us-gaap:IPOMember us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember srt:MaximumMember 2021-02-01 2021-02-28 0001720580 us-gaap:IPOMember us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember 2021-02-28 0001720580 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 acet:Customer 0001720580 2020-01-01 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-09-15 2020-09-15 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-09-15 0001720580 2020-09-15 0001720580 2020-09-15 2020-09-15 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-09-15 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-10-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember srt:ScenarioPreviouslyReportedMember 2020-09-15 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember srt:RestatementAdjustmentMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ResTORbioMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:TransitionAgreementMember acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 acet:TransitionAgreementMember acet:ResTORbioMember 2020-04-27 2020-04-28 0001720580 acet:TransitionAgreementMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 acet:TransitionAgreementMember 2020-04-27 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member acet:MarketableSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:MarketableSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member acet:ContingentConsiderationMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentConsiderationMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:USGovernmentAgenciesDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:USGovernmentAgenciesDebtSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:MarketableSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:MarketableSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantsMember us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockTrancheLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 acet:TRDFLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockTrancheLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:TRDFLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockTrancheLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:TRDFLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:TRDFLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockTrancheLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentConsiderationLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentConsiderationLiabilityMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member us-gaap:ChangeDuringPeriodFairValueDisclosureMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:OtherNonoperatingIncomeExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantLiabilityMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:AssetBackedSecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CorporateDebtSecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:USGovernmentAgenciesDebtSecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ComputerEquipmentMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ComputerEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:SoftwareAndSoftwareDevelopmentCostsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:SoftwareAndSoftwareDevelopmentCostsMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ComputerEquipmentMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:SoftwareAndSoftwareDevelopmentCostsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 srt:MaximumMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 2020-04-28 0001720580 srt:MinimumMember us-gaap:PrimeRateMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:SeriesBPreferredStockMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:CommonStockMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2020-12-30 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-12-30 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2016-07-29 2016-07-29 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2020-04-01 2020-06-30 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2019-07-01 2019-09-30 0001720580 acet:ContractLiabilityMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContractLiabilityMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContractAssetMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContractLiabilityMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContractLiabilityMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContractLiabilityMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2020-01-01 2020-06-30 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentValueRightsAgreementMember acet:COVID19Member 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentValueRightsAgreementMember acet:COVID19Member 2020-10-30 2020-10-31 0001720580 acet:ContingentValueRightsAgreementMember acet:COVID19Member 2020-11-01 2020-11-30 0001720580 acet:ContingentValueRightsAgreementMember acet:COVID19Member 2020-11-30 0001720580 acet:NovartisInternationalPharmaceuticalLimitedMember acet:NovartisLicenseAgreementMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:NovartisLicenseAgreementMember acet:NovartisInternationalPharmaceuticalLimitedMember srt:MaximumMember 2017-03-23 0001720580 acet:NationalInstitutesOfHealthMember 2019-05-01 2019-05-31 0001720580 acet:NationalInstitutesOfHealthMember 2019-05-31 0001720580 acet:NationalInstitutesOfHealthMember acet:ResearchFundingAgreementMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:NationalInstitutesOfHealthMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 utr:sqft 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2015-09-30 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2015-09-30 2015-09-30 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2019-09-30 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2020-10-19 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2019-09-30 2019-09-30 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2020-10-19 2020-10-19 0001720580 acet:RedwoodCityLeaseAgreementMember 2018-10-28 0001720580 acet:RedwoodCityLeaseAgreementMember 2018-10-28 2018-10-28 0001720580 2019-04-30 0001720580 2019-04-01 2019-04-30 0001720580 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2020-01-01 0001720580 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedwoodCityLeaseAgreementMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:BostonMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:MenloParkLeaseAgreementMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedwoodCityLeaseAgreementMember 2018-12-31 acet:Lawsuit 0001720580 2020-10-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesARedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesA1RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesA2RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBRedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:DecemberThirtyOneTwoThoushandEighteenMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:JulyTweentyFiveTwoThoushandNinteenMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputSharePriceMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputSharePriceMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputSharePriceMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedTermMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedTermMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedTermMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedTermMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedTermMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputPriceVolatilityMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputPriceVolatilityMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputPriceVolatilityMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputPriceVolatilityMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputPriceVolatilityMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputRiskFreeInterestRateMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputRiskFreeInterestRateMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputRiskFreeInterestRateMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputRiskFreeInterestRateMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputRiskFreeInterestRateMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedDividendRateMember 2020-09-14 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedDividendRateMember 2020-04-28 0001720580 us-gaap:MeasurementInputExpectedDividendRateMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantOneMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantTwoMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantThreeMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantFourMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantFiveMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantOneMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantTwoMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantThreeMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantFourMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeptemberFifteenTwoThousandTwentyWarrantFiveMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:JulyTwentyFiveTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:AugustTwentyOneTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:SeptemberNineteenTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:SeptemberTwentySixThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:JulyTwentyFiveTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:AugustTwentyOneTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:SeptemberNineteenTwoThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:SeriesBWarrantsMember acet:SeptemberTwentySixThousandNineteenWarrantMember us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:AdditionalAuthorizedAndUnissuedRedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:OptionsAvailableForFutureGrantsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:OptionsAvailableForFutureGrantsMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantsMember 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:CommonStockWarrantsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:AtTheMarketOfferingMember acet:SalesAgreementMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 0001720580 acet:AtTheMarketOfferingMember 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:SubsequentEventMember acet:TwoThousandEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2021-01-01 2021-01-01 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2021-01-01 2021-01-01 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandSeventeenAndTwoThousandEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandSeventeenAndTwoThousandEighteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandFourteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandFifteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandFourteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandFifteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandFourteenAndTwoThousandFifteenStockIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember 2019-01-01 2019-01-01 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-01-01 0001720580 acet:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeStockPurchasePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:InducementGrantsMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:InducementGrantsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 2020-07-01 2020-09-30 0001720580 srt:ScenarioForecastMember 2021-04-08 2021-05-07 0001720580 2020-07-14 2020-07-14 0001720580 acet:MergerMember 2020-09-17 2020-09-17 0001720580 acet:MergerMember us-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheOneMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:MergerMember us-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheTwoMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:MergerMember us-gaap:ShareBasedCompensationAwardTrancheThreeMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:MergerMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2017-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MinimumMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MinimumMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember srt:MaximumMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockWarrantsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001720580 acet:CommonStockWarrantsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:UnvestedCommonStockFromEarlyExerciseOfOptionsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockTrancheLiabilityAndTRDFObligationMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001720580 acet:COVID19Member 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:ForeignCountryMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001720580 srt:MaximumMember acet:CaliforniaResearchAndDevelopmentMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 us-gaap:IntellectualPropertyMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember 2020-12-31 0001720580 acet:RegeneronPharmaceuticalsIncorporationMember us-gaap:SeriesBPreferredStockMember 2019-12-31

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File No. 001-38359

 

Adicet Bio, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

81-3305277

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

500 Boylston Street, 13th Floor

Boston, MA 02116

(857) 315-5528

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)  

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 $0.0001 per share

ACET

The Nasdaq Global Market

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.      Yes      No

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.      Yes      No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.      Yes       No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).      Yes     No

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.):     Yes     No

As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting and non-voting common stock held by non-affiliates was approximately $40.0 million based on a closing price of $15.05 per share as quoted by The Nasdaq Global Market as of such date. In determining the market value of non-affiliate common stock, shares of the registrant’s common stock beneficially owned by officers, directors and affiliates have been excluded. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

As of March 10, 2021, there were 31,780,347 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K incorporates by reference certain information from the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for its 2021 annual meeting of shareholders, scheduled to be held on April 27, 2021 which the registrant intends to file pursuant to Regulation 14A with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days after the registrant’s fiscal year end of December 31, 2020. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Form 10-K, the Proxy Statement is not deemed to be filed as part of this Form 10-K.

 

 


 

 

Summary of the Material and Other Risks Associated with Our Business

Our product candidates are based on novel technologies, which makes it difficult to predict the likely success of such product candidates and the time and cost of product candidate development and obtaining regulatory approval. Specifically, our gamma delta T cell candidates represent a novel approach to cancer treatment that creates significant challenges for us.

Our business is highly dependent on the success of ADI-001 and ADI-002. If we are unable to obtain regulatory approval for ADI-001 or ADI-002 and effectively commercialize ADI-001 or ADI-002 for the treatment of patients in our approved indications, our business would be significantly harmed.

All of our product candidates, including ADI-001 and ADI-002, will require additional clinical and non-clinical development and will require substantial investment. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital when needed, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed, and we will need to significantly modify our operational plans to continue as a going concern.

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

We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical trials or may not be able to conduct our trials on the timelines we expect.

A variety of risks associated with conducting research and clinical trials abroad and marketing our product candidates internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

A pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, may materially and adversely affect our business and operations.

We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. Failure to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could harm our business and negatively impact the value of our common stock.

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

If our collaboration agreement with Regeneron is terminated, or if Regeneron materially breaches our obligations thereunder, our business, prospects, operating results, and financial condition would be materially harmed.

We are subject to certain exclusivity obligations under our agreement with Regeneron.

The FDA regulatory approval process is lengthy and time-consuming, and we may experience significant delays in the clinical development and regulatory approval of our product candidates.

We depend on intellectual property licensed from third parties and termination of any of these licenses could result in the loss of significant rights, which would harm our business.

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

We do not currently operate our own manufacturing facility, which would require significant resources and any failure to successfully manufacture our products could adversely affect our clinical trials and the commercial viability of our product candidates.

 

i


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Page

EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

3

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

 

 

5

Item 1.

 

Business

 

5

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

 

45

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

83

Item 2.

 

Properties

 

83

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

 

83

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

83

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

84

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of
Equity Securities

 

84

Item 6.

 

Reserved

 

84

Item 7.

 

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

 

85

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

100

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

100

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

100

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

 

100

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

 

102

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

103

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

103

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

 

103

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

103

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

103

Item 14.

 

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

103

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

104

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

104

Item 16.

 

Form 10-K Summary

 

104

 

ii


 

 

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

 

Prior to September 15, 2020, we were a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company known as resTORbio, Inc. (resTORbio) that had historically focused on developing innovative medicines that target the biology of aging, to prevent or treat age-related diseases with the potential to extend healthy lifespans. resTORbio was originally incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in July 2016 and commenced research and development operations in March 2017.

On September 15, 2020, we completed our business combination whereby a wholly-owned subsidiary of resTORbio merged with and into Adicet Bio, Inc. (Former Adicet), with Former Adicet surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of resTORbio and changing our name to Adicet Therapeutics, Inc. (such transactions, the Merger). In connection with the completion of the Merger, resTORbio was renamed Adicet Bio, Inc. (Adicet Bio).

Immediately prior to the Effective Time of the Merger, resTORbio effected a reverse stock split of our common stock at a ratio of 1-for-7 (the Reverse Stock Split). At the Effective Time of the Merger, each outstanding share of Former Adicet’s capital stock was converted into the right to receive 0.1240 (the Exchange Ratio) shares of Adicet Bio’s common stock.

Unless otherwise noted, all references to common stock share and per share amounts in this Annual Report on Form 10-K have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the conversion of shares in the Merger based on the Exchange Ratio and Reverse Stock Split. As used herein, the words “the Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to, for periods following the Merger, Adicet Bio (formerly resTORbio, Inc.), together with its direct and indirect subsidiaries, and for periods prior to the Merger, Adicet Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Adicet Bio, Inc.), and our direct and indirect subsidiaries, as applicable.  In addition, the word “resTORbio” refers to the Company prior to the completion of the Merger, and we sometimes refer to Adicet Therapeutics, Inc. as “Adicet” or “Former Adicet.”

 

 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS AND INDUSTRY DATA

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management and expected market growth are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about:

 

the anticipated timing of our initiation of future clinical trials for ADI-001 in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), including the anticipated results;

 

the anticipated timing of our submission of our Investigational New Drug (IND) application or equivalent regulatory filings and initiation of future clinical trials for ADI-002 in solid tumors, including the timing of the anticipated results;

 

the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on our continuing operations, clinical development plans, including the timing of initiation and completion of studies or trials, financial forecasts and expectations, potential delays and increased costs in conducting clinical trials in nursing homes, and other matters related to our business and operations;

 

the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our product candidates;

 

the rate and degree of acceptance and clinical utility of any products for which we receive regulatory approval;

 

our commercialization, marketing and manufacturing capabilities and strategy;

 

our intellectual property position and strategy;

 

our ability to identify additional product candidates with significant commercial potential;

 

our plans to enter into collaborations for the development and commercialization of product candidates;

3


 

 

 

the potential benefits of any future collaboration;

 

our ability to contract with third party suppliers and manufacturers and their ability to perform adequately;

 

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

 

our ability to retain the continued service of our key professionals and to identify, hire, and retain additional qualified professionals;

 

our financial performance;

 

our expectations related to the use of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities;

 

our estimates regarding expenses, future revenue, capital requirements and needs for additional financing;

 

our ability to remediate the material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting and to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting;

 

our expectations regarding the time during which we will be an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act;

 

developments relating to our competitors and our industry;

 

the impact of government laws and regulations; and

 

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

We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. We have included important factors in the cautionary statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, particularly in the “Risk Factors” section, that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that we make. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, collaborations, joint ventures or investments that we may make or enter into.

You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents that we reference herein and have filed or incorporated by reference as exhibits hereto completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes statistical and other industry and market data that we obtained from industry publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies generally indicate that their information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. We are responsible for all of the disclosure contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and we believe these industry publications and third-party research, surveys and studies are reliable.

4


 

 

 

PART I

All brand names or trademarks appearing in this report are the property of their respective owners. Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this report to “Adicet Bio,” “Adicet,” “ the “Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Adicet Bio, Inc. and its subsidiaries, as applicable.

Item 1. Business.

Overview

We are a biotechnology company discovering and developing allogeneic gamma delta T cell therapies for cancer and other diseases. We are advancing a pipeline of “off-the-shelf” gamma delta T cells, engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and T cell receptor-like antibodies to enhance selective tumor targeting, facilitate innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune response, and improve persistence for durable activity in patients. Gamma delta cells are unique because they may have an inherent capacity to persist following treatment, and can recognize and kill circulating tumor cells and to infiltrate and kill solid tumors. We believe that by applying our proprietary engineering and manufacturing approach to gamma delta T cells we may have significant advantages over alpha beta T cell-based therapies, which are the basis of standard CAR-T cell therapies and also natural killer (NK) cell-based therapies, which are currently in development.

Our proprietary engineering and manufacturing process begins with extracting gamma delta T cells from the blood of  healthy donors, and results in the potential to treat up to 1,000 patients per batch with an “off-the-shelf” product that is available on demand. The potential to administer product candidates based on gamma delta T cells to patients without inducing a graft versus host immune response could mean that our products can potentially be used as “off-the-shelf” therapies. This is in contrast to products based on alpha beta T cells, which either must be manufactured for each patient from his or her own T cells, or require significant gene editing to manufacture if the T cells are derived from donors that are unrelated to the patient. Based on what we believe is the unique potential of gamma delta T cells and associated modifications, we are initially developing product candidates in oncology, both for hematological malignancies and for solid tumors. In October 2020, the United States (U.S.), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), cleared our Investigational New Drug (IND) application for ADI-001, our lead product candidate, for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). The active IND enables us to initiate the first-in-human clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy of ADI-001 in NHL patients in the first quarter of 2021. The Phase 1 study for ADI-001 will enroll up to 80 late-stage NHL patients at a number of cancer centers across the U.S. The study includes a dose finding portion followed by dose expansion cohorts to explore the activity of ADI-001 in multiple subtypes of NHL. Site initiation activities are underway and interim clinical data from this study are expected in 2021. We intend to file an IND with the FDA in late 2021 for ADI-002, our first solid tumor product candidate.

Gamma delta T cells have unique attributes that we believe make them especially well-suited to be used for cancer therapy. Approximately 95% of T cells in circulation are so-called alpha beta T cells, named after the proteins that make up the cells’ T cell receptor (TCR). The remaining T cells include a population that makes up between 1% and 5% of all T cells, the gamma delta T cells, along with a few other cell types. Distinct among immune cell populations, we believe gamma delta T cells may have the following combination of attributes:

 

Can be used in patient irrespective of the tissue-types of the patient i.e., a “universal” product;

 

Can be used “off-the-shelf” after being expanded from healthy donors;

 

Are actively cytotoxic to tumor cells;

 

May functionally persist in patients for clinically meaningful periods or time;

 

Can replicate in an appropriate and measured way after manufacture and administration; Can have their reactivity to tumor cells enhanced further by the addition of a CAR;

 

Express both T cell and natural killer, or NK, cell receptors, facilitating both adaptive and innate anti-tumor immune responses; and

 

Can be manufactured potentially in large numbers to facilitate the consistent treatment of many patients and avoids the cumbersome nature and expense of isolating  cells from each patient.

By contrast, approved CAR-T cell therapies, as well as the majority of CAR-T cell therapies in clinical development, are based on a different population of T cells, known as alpha beta T cells, which have the ability to attack healthy tissues if they are not immunologically matched to the patient. For this reason, the majority of alpha-beta-T-cell-derived CAR-T cell products are custom-generated from cells isolated from each patient. Gamma delta T cells, by contrast, do not in principle require

5


 

immunological matching and therefore cells isolated from healthy donors can potentially be administered to any patient. This may enable cell therapy products based on gamma delta T cells to be manufactured in bulk and be distributed as readily available off-the-shelf products. In animal models and early third-party clinical trials, gamma delta T cells do not expand in healthy tissues, indicating that they may be associated with a lower risk of life-threatening immune responses. In addition to their ability to circulate, gamma delta T cells have an inherent capacity to locate in tissues and recognize and attack cancerous cells.

In comparison to a number of NK cell therapies currently in development, CAR-modified gamma delta T cells functionally persist in non-clinical models for protracted periods of time and are designed to persist after single or repeat dosing of patients for clinically meaningful periods. Our manufacturing process results in highly homogeneous cell populations that we have observed to display potent anti-tumor activity in non-clinical models. Unlike most NK cells, that only exhibit characteristics on innate lymphocytes, gamma delta T cells display features of both innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity and readily recognize and kill tumor cells with and without expression of CARs. Additionally, we believe that our short proprietary process to manufacturing CAR-modified gamma delta T cells is not as complex, without any “feeder” cell lines, and compares favorably to alternatives used in the manufacture of expanded allogeneic NK cell-based therapies.

ADI-001 is a gamma delta T-cell product candidate into which we introduced a CAR that specifically recognizes CD20, a highly expressed surface protein found on the majority of NHLs. We are developing a highly efficient and robust process to activate, engineer and manufacture product candidates derived from peripheral blood cells of healthy donors. We are developing processes to produce these cells in bulk under conditions that meet current Good Manufacturing Practices, that is, are cGMP-compliant, to generate an inventory of cell product that is readily available to patients on demand “off-the-shelf” at clinical sites. Gamma delta T cells engineered with anti-CD20 CAR have demonstrated potent antitumor activity in preclinical models, leading to long-term control of tumor growth. In October 2020, FDA cleared our IND application for ADI-001 for the treatment of NHL. The active IND enables us to initiate the first-in-human clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy of ADI-001 in NHL patients in the first quarter of 2021. We believe that ADI-001 has the potential to benefit patients that have NHL while also providing clinical validation of our gamma delta T-cell platform technology.

In addition to potentially providing access to immunocellular therapies to a broader set of patients with hematological malignancies, we believe that our gamma-delta platform technology is well-positioned to bring these therapies to patients with solid tumors. ADI-002 is a product candidate containing a CAR directed against Glypican-3, or GPC3, a tumor antigen that is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, and other tumors such as gastric cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. ADI-002 has demonstrated dose-dependent antitumor activity in animal models and we intend to file an IND application with the FDA in late 2021 for ADI-002. Subject to the FDA regulatory process for review of INDs, we intend to initiate a clinical trial and treat the first patient with ADI-002 in 2022.

Our solid tumor efforts are further complemented by our proprietary T cell receptor-like antibody (TCRL), platform technology, a monoclonal antibody technology which enables the generation of CARs that recognize tumor antigens inside tumor cells, also known as intracellular proteins. These intracellular proteins are processed by the cell and presented by antigen-presenting molecules encoded by the major histocompatibility complex, (MHC). We believe that the ability to selectively bind to tumor antigens derived specifically from intracellular proteins is a critical advantage to immunocellular therapy due to the scarcity of tumor-specific surface antigens on solid tumors. Our approach to generating CARs for some product candidates takes advantage of this ability.

Our management team has extensive experience in the discovery and development of immunocellular therapies with prior experience at leading biopharmaceutical organizations including Novartis, Fate, Celgene, Amgen and Onyx. Our founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Aya Jakobovits, was the President and founding CEO of Kite Pharma Inc., (Kite). Prior to the business combination between Adicet Therapeutics, Inc, and resTORbio, Inc on September 2020, we had received investments valued at an aggregate of approximately $124 million from investors that include entities affiliated with OrbiMed Advisors LLC, aMoon Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Inc, Novartis Venture Fund, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Regeneron).

6


 

Pipeline

We have a pipeline of wholly owned product candidates. As part of a five-year collaboration with Regeneron pursuant to an agreement signed in 2016, Regeneron has the option to obtain development and commercial rights for a certain number of product candidates, and we have an option to participate in the development and commercialization of these potential products or are entitled to royalty payments by Regeneron. Immunocellular therapy product candidates developed and commercialized by us under our agreement with Regeneron will be subject to payment of royalties to Regeneron. To date, Regeneron has not exercised an option on any of our candidates. For additional information on our agreement with Regeneron, please see “Adicet Business—Strategic Agreements” beginning on page 27 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our pipeline of additional product candidates includes ADI-00x, for which we expect to file an IND for solid tumor indications in 2022 and an IND for solid tumor and hematological indications in 2023.

 

 

Strategies

Our objective is to be the leading biotechnology company developing CAR-modified gamma delta T cells for oncology and for additional indications. We plan to achieve this objective through the efficient clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our lead ADI-001 product candidate. We intend to achieve two key objectives with the development program for ADI-001:

 

bring a meaningful product to patients by developing ADI-001 in NHL; and

 

validate the gamma delta T cell platform to enable rapid application to additional oncology indications.

To achieve these objectives, we intend to evaluate in our clinical trials on the efficacy and safety profile of our candidate in comparison to the currently approved autologous (manufactured from the patient’s own cells) alpha-beta based T-cell therapy in similar patient populations of NHL, and if approved make the product available off the shelf.

 

Advance ADI-002 into clinical development. ADI-002, our lead solid tumor product candidate, is currently undergoing preclinical studies. We intend to file an IND application with the FDA in late 2021 for ADI-002. Subject to the FDA regulatory process for review of INDs, we intend to initiate a clinical trial and treat the first patient with ADI-002 in 2022. Our goal is to develop ADI-002, both in monotherapy and in combination with standard of care agents, in a number of solid tumors that express high levels of glypican 3 protein, or GPC3, the cell surface molecule targeted by the product.

 

Potential for outpatient administration. While we expect that the initial subjects treated with gamma delta T cell-based therapies in clinical studies will be hospitalized for a minimum of 24-hour observation after infusion, a favorable tolerability profile may allow administration of such therapies in an outpatient setting. This would represent a significant competitive advantage for gamma delta T cell-based therapies as compared to existing approved CAR-T cell therapies.

7


 

 

Continue to innovate and invest in the gamma delta T cell platform and pipeline. We expect to continue to develop product candidates in oncology based on the gamma delta T cell platform using either previously validated antigens or those that we identify and target using our TCRL technology. We may utilize additional genetic engineering, editing technologies or other technologies with the goal of further improving the activity and safety profile of our product candidates. A key strength of our gamma delta T cell therapy platform lies in our ability to target antigens of both known and unknown potential and devote our clinical development resources to those antigens that show the most promise in preclinical in vivo analyses and early human trials.

 

Expand and protect our intellectual property. We will continue to aggressively protect the gamma delta T cell production methodology we have developed as well as specific product candidates based on proprietary antigen-binding domains. For more information on our intellectual property, see “Adicet Business— Our Intellectual Property” on page 26 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Background

Anticancer immune cell therapy

In recent years, the field of immuno-oncology has transformed the treatment of cancer. Immuno-oncology deploys the immune system to attack and, in some cases, to eliminate cancer. One of the key breakthroughs in immuno-oncology involved using T cells, a key element of the immune system, and turning them into even more potent, tumor-cell-specific killers. Researchers have achieved this improvement and targeting by loading the T cells with a gene encoding a CAR. These engineered receptors represent a powerful combination of, first, a region that binds to a target on a cancer cell and tethers the T cell to it; and second, a signal that activates the T cell to eliminate the tethered cancer cell. To our knowledge, all marketed CAR-T cells contain predominantly alpha beta T cells. While we believe the use of CAR-T cell therapies is extremely promising, conventional CAR-T cell therapies also have some key flaws that, we believe, can potentially be addressed by using a cell population, specifically, gamma delta T cells rather than alpha beta T cells.

As of March 10, 2021, four CD19-targeting CAR-T cell therapies have been approved by the FDA: axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta®) and brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus™) developed by Kite Pharma (now Gilead); tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah®), developed by Novartis; and lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi®) developed by Juno Therapeutics, Inc. (now Bristol Myers Squibb Company). These therapies are highly effective in many patients. Among the 101 patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma, or DLBCL, treated with Yescarta® in a clinical trial, an objective response rate of 82% was observed with 54% of patients achieving a complete response. This high efficacy, however, is associated with significant adverse events, with 13% of patients experiencing grade 3 or higher cytokine release syndrome and 28% of patients experiencing grade 3 or higher neurologic events. In the Yescarta® DLBCL clinical trial, three patients died due to adverse events during treatment and ten patients who were enrolled in the trial were not able to be treated due to disease progression or complications that arose during the period of time required to generate the patient-specific therapy or because of the inability to generate the desired CAR-T cells from the patient’s cells. Despite these known adverse events, in 2017 and 2018, leading CAR-T cell companies Kite Pharma and Juno Therapeutics, Inc., or Juno, were acquired for a total of $20.9 billion by Gilead and Celgene, now Bristol Myers-Squibb, respectively. We believe these acquisitions were a result of a combination of the ability of Kite Pharma and Juno to treat cancer immediately through the initial product candidates and projected to generate numerous additional candidates. We believe that, despite their progress to date, currently available CAR-T cell therapies have not reached their full promise, and our gamma delta CAR-T cell approach has the potential to be a significant improvement.

The current generation of CAR-T cell therapies represented by Yescarta®, Tecartus™, and Kymriah® are autologous cell therapies, that is, they are based on immune cells isolated from a patient, modified and expanded in a laboratory and then reintroduced into the same patient. One key reason for taking this autologous approach is that the cytotoxic (cell-killing) predominantly alpha beta T cells that are used to generate these therapies are cells that the immune system uses to recognize and attack foreign cells. If these types of T cells were to be introduced into a patient from an unrelated donor, the donor T cells would attack healthy tissues throughout the patient in a process known as graft versus host disease (GvHD) potentially causing multiple organ failure and death.

The T cells used for first-generation CAR-T cell therapies were derived from a highly abundant subclass of T cells known as alpha beta T cells. Alpha beta T cells, which comprise approximately 95% of the T cells in circulation in the body, are able to distinguish whether cells that they encounter are normal cells that belong in the body or foreign or damaged cells that need to be destroyed. Alpha beta T cells have a receptor on their surface called a TCR which is made up of alpha and beta protein chains. These TCRs recognize targets, also known as antigens, on cells that are presented by antigen-presenting molecules encoded by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The MHC contains genes that encode a number of proteins with multiple variants (alleles), such that most individuals have a distinct MHC profile. During normal T cell development, those T cells that recognize the combination of the specific MHC profile and antigens that are presented by healthy cells of the specific individual are eliminated, resulting in a population of T cells that circulate throughout the body, vigilantly checking for abnormal antigens or foreign cells, including from another individual.

8


 

In one type of cellular immunotherapy known as adoptive cell therapy, naturally occurring immune cells from a patient are isolated and are activated using cytokines and tumor-specific antigens to stimulate the growth and expansion of antitumor T cells that already exist at low abundance in the patient. After activation and expansion in the laboratory, large numbers of T cells that are primed to recognize the tumor are reintroduced into the same patient.

CAR-T cell therapies are a variant of this adoptive cell therapy in which, instead of trying to activate T cells based on the ability of naturally occurring TCRs to recognize tumor antigens, a chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, that is designed to recognize a specific tumor antigen is genetically introduced into T cells. These CAR-T cells are then able to destroy any cells expressing the appropriate antigen completely independent of MHC. However, without further genetic engineering, CAR-T cells derived from alpha beta T cells still have endogenous TCRs which restrict their use to the original patient.

Limitations of autologous cell therapies

Autologous cell therapies, such as those developed by Kite Pharma and Novartis, have a number of limitations, including but not limited to the following:

 

Treatment delays imposed by individualized manufacturing. Due to the individualized manufacturing process, patients must wait up to three to four weeks for the individualized products to be manufactured and administered. In the registrational trials for Yescarta® and Kymriah®, up to 31% of intended patients ultimately did not receive treatment primarily due to complications from the underlying disease that occurred during manufacturing or due to manufacturing failures.

 

Manufacturing variability and failure. It was reported by Novartis in 2018 that variability in product specifications had been observed in the production of Kymriah®. In addition, in approximately 9% of the cases, no product could be shipped to patients at all due to out-of-specification issues or from manufacturing failures.

 

High cost limits patient access. The high cost of therapy and payer policies can limit access to autologous CAR-T cell therapies. According to a 2019 article published in the journal Managed Care, treating physicians estimate that the costs of autologous CAR-T cell therapies combined with patient care services are approximately $1 million per patient, generating reluctance of payers to approve these therapies for patients before they have exhausted other options. These therapies are then relegated to the most heavily pretreated patients who may be unable to withstand the severe side effects.

 

Scalability. Because each patient requires a custom manufacturing batch, the production of autologous CAR-T cells at the scale needed to meet commercial demand and anticipated label and geographic expansions may be challenging.

Autologous cell therapies, such as CAR-T cells derived from alpha beta T cells, have been successful in their initial use in hematological malignancies. Furthermore, they have provided critical data that demonstrates the potential of immunocellular cancer therapies. However, manufacturing of these cells imposes some critical limitations that could be minimized if similar allogeneic cell therapies that can be given to any patient, regardless of the donor of cells, are developed. We believe that allogeneic cell therapies offer great promise for optimizing the access to therapy, overcoming manufacturing-related and cost-related limitations of autologous cell therapies.

Gamma delta T cells and their allogeneic potential

Gamma delta T cells are a subset of T cells that have TCRs comprising gamma and delta receptor chains. In contrast to alpha beta T cells, gamma delta T cells are not selective for patient-specific MHC molecules. Therefore, gamma delta T cells from an unrelated donor can be administered to a patient without inducing GvHD and may recognize tumor-associated antigens in an MHC-independent manner. Gamma delta T cells primarily reside in tissues and comprise between 1% and 5% of circulating T cells.

9


 

Gamma delta T cells correlate with improved outcomes

An analysis of the transcriptional profiles of 5,872 patient tumor samples across 25 malignancies published in Nature Medicine in 2015 found that gene signatures consistent with gamma delta T cells were the strongest predictors of overall survival. The association of gamma delta T cells with overall survival in solid tumors had a z-score over three, meaning it was over three standard deviations above the mean, corresponding to a p value less than 0.001.

 

 

Figure 1. Analysis of the immune cell composition of tumor samples that gamma delta T cells were highly predictive of overall survival. Adapted from Gentles et al., Nat Med. 2015; 21(8).

10


 

Additionally, high levels of gamma delta T cells have been associated with improved overall survival in acute leukemia patients who received hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT). In a study published by KT Godder et al. in 2007 in the journal Bone Marrow Transplantation, those patients with high levels of gamma delta T cells after the transplant had a leukemia free survival at five-years of 54.4% and overall survival of 70.8%. Those with low levels of gamma delta T cells had a significantly lower five-year leukemia free survival of 19.1% and a five-year overall survival of 19.6%.

 

 

Figure 2. HSCT patients who develop high levels of gamma delta T cells have improved survival. Adapted from Godder et al., Bone Marrow Transplantation 2007; 39.

The correlation between high levels of gamma delta T cells and disease-free survival extends to patients with solid tumors. In a study published by Meraviglia et al in 2017 in the journal OncoImmunology, across a cohort of 557 patients with colorectal cancer, those with high gamma delta T cell levels had a five-year disease-free survival rate of over 80%, and revealed that DFS probability was significantly higher in CRC patients with high number of tumor infiltrating gamma delta T cells.

 

 

Figure 3. High levels of gamma delta T cells are correlated with increased disease-free survival in colorectal cancer patients. Adapted from Meraviglia et al., Oncoimmunology 2017; 6 (10).

We believe that these studies and others point to an important role of gamma delta T cells in disease control and overall survival and indicate that gamma delta T cell-based therapies have the potential to deliver clinically meaningful results.

11


 

Advantages of gamma delta T cell-based therapies

Immunotherapies developed using gamma delta T cells have a number of advantages over other therapies developed using other cell types, including the following:

 

Lack of GvHD. A body of published evidence, mainly in the field of HSCT, supports the safety profile of transfer of allogeneic gamma delta T cells from donors to unrelated patient recipients. HSCT procedures containing significant numbers of gamma delta T cells were able to proceed with no signs of acute or chronic GvHD. In many cases, the presence of gamma delta T cells in the HSCT products correlated with improved clinical outcomes, indicating the antitumor potential of gamma delta T cells. Additionally, a study performed by Martin Wilhelm and colleagues in 2014 indicated that gamma delta T cells from haploidentical donors could be successfully expanded and infused in large numbers (2.17x106 cells / kg (range, 0.9-3.84)), followed by further expansion (mean, 68-fold) in the patients without any observed GvHD.

 

MHC-independent tumor antigen recognition. Gamma delta TCR can recognize tumor associated antigens in a MHC-independent manner, facilitating the use of products derived from healthy donors who are unrelated to patients which may avoid the need to match the HLA-type of the donor to the patient.  

 

Tumor localization. In addition to being present in the circulation at low frequency, gamma delta T cells have an inherent propensity to home to tissues and tumors. Their ability to be activated in environments with low levels of oxygen such as those found in the tumor microenvironment has the potential to increase the activity of gamma delta T cells in solid tumors.

 

Limited cytokine secretion. Unlike alpha beta T cells, gamma delta T cells can be made to secrete lower levels of certain cytokines such as interleukin 2 (IL-2). This, combined with lack of recognition of normal, non-malignant, cells by of gamma delta T cells, may lower the risk of life-threatening cytokine release syndrome.

 

Limited ability for tumors to escape. Although the initial responses to immunotherapies such as antibodies and CAR-T cells are often impressive, many patients become refractory or relapse. A common mechanism for the relapse to these therapies is loss of the expression of the CAR-targeted antigen such as CD19 from tumor cells. Because gamma delta T cells also express innate cytotoxic immune receptors, they can recognize and kill tumor cells even in the absence of the CAR-targeted tumor antigen.

 

Ability to manufacture more efficiently and cost-effectively. Unlike alpha beta T cells, therapies based on gamma delta T cells can potentially be manufactured in bulk and used in the allogeneic or off-the-shelf setting, addressing many of the shortcomings of conventional alpha beta T cell therapy.

 

Potential for superior cytotoxic activity. T cells from some cancer patients, for example those with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, often display an exhausted, or otherwise dysfunctional, phenotype and CAR-T cell products from these cells may perform poorly. Our allogenic cell therapy is manufactured from healthy donors whose T cells have been proven to generate highly active CAR-T cell product.

 

Potential for re-dosing. Along with increased availability of material due to the ability to utilize off-the-shelf healthy allogeneic donor-derived starting material compared to conventional CAR-T cell therapies, the lack of MHC-dependent GvHD also opens up the possibility of being able to re-dose patients to achieve further clinical activity if they do not obtain an adequate clinical response from initial treatment or if they relapse. A number of studies with other CAR-T cell therapies have linked the development of cytokine release syndrome with high numbers of circulating CAR T cells following rapid alpha beta T cell proliferation. Having the option to retreat patients with gamma delta T cells provides the option of starting with a low dose and redosing if required.

Our CAR gamma delta T-cell technology

Human gamma delta T cells can be divided into three main subsets based on their TCR delta chain usage: Vδ1, Vδ2 and Vδ3. The most abundant subset of gamma delta T cells in the circulatory system, the Vδ2 cells, is the most well-studied. However, it is the Vδ1 subset which primarily resides in tissues and presents a favorable cytotoxic anti-tumor profile that we are activating and manufacturing using our proprietary platform technology.

12


 

Vδ1 gamma delta T cells

Vδ1 cells have properties of both the innate and adaptive immune system, meaning that they can be activated by tumor-specific antigens as well as by general activators common to damaged or otherwise abnormal cells. Similar to other T cells, they express TCRs, but also express cytotoxicity receptors that are found on innate immune cells such as natural killer (NK), cells. These gamma delta T cells can induce tumor cell death through multiple mechanisms including the secretion of cytotoxic proteins such as granzymes and perforin as well as through the secretion of cytokines such as interferon gamma (IFNγ), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα).

In in vitro and in vivo preclinical cancer models, Vδ1 cells are more cytotoxic and may have a longer durability than Vδ2 cells. Vδ1 cells are also more resistant to activation induced cell death (AICD), which has posed significant problems in clinical trials following chronic stimulation of Vδ2 cells. Vδ1 cells normally reside within tissues and they are able to adapt to lower nutrient availability and decreased oxygen levels, conditions which are similar to those in the microenvironments or localized areas associated with certain solid tumors. Incubation of these gamma delta T cells in conditions of low oxygen (hypoxia) that are typical of tumors has been shown to enhance their cytotoxicity.

Anticipated advantages of Vδ1 gamma delta T cells over NK cell based therapies

An alternate approach to the development of allogeneic CAR T cells consists of engineered natural killer (NK), cell-based therapy. While both gamma delta T cell and NK cell therapy generally are not expected to cause graft versus host disease, NK cells express a broad repertoire of both inhibitory and activating receptors and have more limited tumor induced secretion of multiple cytokines. We believe that the gamma delta T cell technology it uses has several advantages over this approach. Unlike engineered NK cells, Vδ1 gamma delta T-cells have the following advantages:

 

The presence of gamma delta cells in tumors is strongly correlated with positive clinical outcomes;

 

Can display tumor-induced secretion of multiple cytokines including expressing high levels of interferon-gamma;

 

Can be produced as highly homogeneous cell populations that display potent non-clinical anti-tumor activity;

 

Express activating receptors more predominantly;

 

Display features of adaptive immunity including, TCR-mediated, but MHC-independent, tumor antigen recognition, a long lifespan and persistence for protracted periods of time;

We believe these advantages position gamma delta T cell-based therapies to become an attractive alternative to NK based therapies for many oncology indications and lines of therapy.

Anticipated advantages of Vδ1 gamma delta T cells over other approaches to generate allogeneic CAR-T cells

An alternative approach to the development of allogeneic gamma delta CAR T cells consists of introducing genetic modifications that disable the TCR in alpha beta T cells derived from donors that are not related to the patient. This process prevents these cells from attacking the patient’s healthy cells. We believe that the healthy donor-derived gamma delta T cell technology, which lacks the ability to attack healthy cells from unrelated individuals, has a number of advantages over this approach. In an allogeneic paradigm, unlike alpha beta T cells, Vδ1 gamma delta T-cells have the following advantages:

 

Do not rely on genetic manipulations to inactivate the alpha beta TCR;

 

Display properties of both adaptive and innate immune systems and are capable of killing cells even if their specifically targeted CAR antigen is expressed at low levels or not present;

 

May not be prone to exhaustion and are likely to persist longer;

 

May maintain the capacity to home to tissues and tumors rather than predominantly residing in circulation; and

 

May be less likely to induce cytokine release syndrome due to more limited endogenous IL-2 secretion by activated cells.

We believe these advantages position gamma delta T cell based therapies to become an attractive alternative to alpha beta T cell based therapies.

13


 

Anticipated advantages of Vδ1 gamma delta T cells over bispecific antibody T cell recruitment for tumor immunotherapy

An alternative approach to the development of allogeneic CAR T cells consists of bispecific antibodies that are designed to crosslink T cells to specific targets on the tumor. This approach generally requires healthy and functional T cells able to attack the tumor when guided to the tumor expressing the target antigen. We believe that the healthy donor-derived gamma delta T cell technology has a number of potential advantages over this approach. Unlike bispecific antibodies, Vδ1 gamma delta T cells have the following advantages:

 

Do not rely on functional T cells derived from the patient for clinical activity;

 

Display properties of both adaptive and innate immune systems and are capable of killing cells even if their specifically targeted CAR antigen is not present;

 

Maintain the capacity to home to tissues and tumors rather than predominantly residing in circulation and can actively distribute into localized tumors; and

 

May be less likely to induce cytokine release syndrome due to more limited endogenous IL-2 secretion by activated cells.

We believe these advantages position gamma delta T cell-based therapies to become an attractive to bispecific-based therapies for many oncology indications and lines of therapy.

Our key anticipated differentiation from gamma delta T cell competitors

We believe that the gamma delta T cell technology that it is developing has a number of potential advantages over the technology of gamma delta T cell competitor companies, including the following:

 

Robust and practical proprietary antibody-based manufacturing method for gamma delta T cells

 

Large-scale expansion of blood-derived gamma delta T cells

 

Ability to selectively expand multiple gamma delta T cell subpopulations including highly potent Vδ1 cells

 

No potentially pro-tumorigenic Th17-type responses in our Vδ1 subpopulation

 

In-house chimeric antigen receptor target identification and verification process

 

Ability to effectively target tumor-specific intracellular protein-derived peptides using proprietary T cell receptor-like antibodies

We believe these advantages position our gamma delta T-cell based therapies to become an attractive approach to the technologies used by other gamma delta T cell competitor companies.

14


 

Production of gamma delta T cells

To produce gamma delta T cell-based product candidates, we isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), from healthy donors that meet all the safety criteria for human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/P), criteria for donors as outlined by the FDA in 21 CFR Part 1271. We then activate Vδ1 gamma delta T cells using a proprietary agonistic antibody and cytokines and expands these cells before introduction of replication-incompetent retroviral vectors containing the coding sequence for CAR constructs. These CAR-modified cells are further expanded, routinely greater than 6,000-fold at clinical scale, resulting in cell cultures that primarily consist of the desired gamma delta T cells. To reduce the chance of a patient developing GvHD, the remaining alpha beta T cells are then depleted using alpha-beta-specific, antibody-based techniques. The resulting gamma delta T cells are then formulated in an infusible solution to form the final drug product, which is filled into vials and then frozen to enable delivery of a post-thaw cell dose from each vial of CAR-T cells.

 

 

Figure 4. Production process for our CAR gamma delta T cell products.

 

Figure 5. Fold expansion of gamma delta T cells.

We believe that our manufacturing process, including the generation of the antibodies and retroviral vectors, meets current GMPs, i.e. is a cGMP-compliant process. We expect to be able to produce tens to hundreds of doses from a single donor, greatly increasing the efficiency of manufacturing compared to autologous alpha beta T cell therapies. We have chosen to partner with a number of contract manufacturing organizations in the U.S. and Europe to access specific capabilities to ensure that the manufacturing process is highly scalable, and fully cGMP-compliant, and we believe this process has the potential to treat up to 1,000 patients per batch.

ADI-001, an anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T-cell therapy

ADI-001 is an allogeneic Vδ1 gamma delta T cell product candidate containing an anti-CD20 CAR. We are developing ADI-001 for the treatment of NHL. In October 2020, the FDA cleared our IND application for ADI-001. We expect initial clinical results from this trial in 2021.

B cell NHL overview

NHL is the most common cancer of the lymphatic system. An estimated 77,240 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2020, according to the web site of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. According to the cancer.net web site maintained by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, approximately 90% of NHL patients in western countries have B

15


 

cell lymphomas of various types and diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), is the most common and aggressive type of NHL, accounting for 30% of NHL. The second most common type is follicular lymphoma (FL), which occurs in 20% of NHL patients. Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), is diagnosed in 5% to 7% of NHL cases.

Although B cell NHLs represent a heterogeneous set of lymphomas, many cell surface antigens are shared among them, including CD19 and CD20. First line therapy for patients with aggressive B cell NHLs, such as DLBCL, is chemotherapy in combination with radiation or rituximab, an antibody that targets CD20. According to the rituximab label as published on the FDA web site, the addition of rituximab to chemotherapy results in an approximately 10% to 15% overall increase in survival at one year compared to chemotherapy alone with almost no increase in toxicity. According to an article published by K.T. Godder et al. in the journal Bone Marrow Transplantation in 2007, up to 50% of patients become refractory or relapse after treatment. Of those, according to an article published by Andrew R. Rezvani and David G. Maloney in the journal Best Practice & Research Clinical Haematology in 2011, approximately 60% percent are resistant to rituximab upon relapse. Subsequent chemotherapy-based therapies typically have limited efficacy in these patients and, at that point, they become candidates for treatment with allogeneic HSCT or anti-CD19 CAR-T cell therapy. Approximately 35% of patients treated with anti-CD19 CAR-T cell therapies relapse within one year, according to the label for Kymriah® published on the Novartis web site.

Our solution, ADI-001

ADI-001 is a gamma delta T cell product candidate that targets malignant B-cells via an anti-CD20 CAR and via the gamma delta T cell endogenous receptors, which we are developing as an allogeneic immunocellular therapy for the treatment of B-cell NHL. ADI-001 is created from Vδ1 gamma delta T cells isolated from healthy donors. It is manufactured in bulk under cGMP-compliant conditions and is intended to be supplied as an immediately available off-the-shelf anti-CD20 CAR-T cell therapy. In October 2020, the FDA cleared our IND application for ADI-001. We intend to initiate a clinical trial and treat the first patient with ADI-001 in March 2021.

ADI-001 contains an anti-CD20 CAR that has a proprietary antigen-binding domain that recognizes a region of CD20 distinct from that recognized by rituximab. Similar to other CAR-Ts cells including the one used to create Kymriah®, our CAR-T cells contain the clinically validated costimulatory domain from 4-1BB and the CD3ζ.

16


 

Preclinical data

All preclinical experiments were conducted using anti-CD20 CAR-modified gamma delta T cells, a research version of ADI-001. We evaluated the in vitro potency of our anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells using human-derived laboratory cell lines, known as Raji and Daudi human Burkitt’s lymphoma cell lines, which are known to express high levels of CD20. Mixing the tumor cells with the anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells resulted in apoptosis, or cell death, of the tumor cells after four hours. Increasing the ratio of the number of anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells to tumor cells resulted in a higher percentage of dying tumor cells. Similar potency in the killing of target cells by anti CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells was observed in both Mino cells, a human mantle cell lymphoma line that expresses high levels of CD20; and WILL-2 cells, cells derived from a rituximab-resistant patient with B cell lymphoma that expresses low levels of CD20. These results suggest that anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta cells can be highly efficient at recognizing and eliminating tumor cells that express any level of CD20. In all the cases, our gamma delta T cells that did not have anti-CD20 CAR expression also caused tumor cell death due to innate cytotoxic receptors.

 

 

Figure 6. Anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells demonstrated potent cell killing activity across multiple human tumor cell lines.

17


 

We have tested the antitumor activity of our anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells in multiple tumor models in immunocompromised mice including Raji tumor models, a Mino tumor model and a Granta tumor model derived from a mantle cell tumor. Five to seven days after tumors were implanted into these mice, anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells were administered as a single intravenous dose. Human recombinant IL-2 was administered three times a week for the duration of the study to stimulate the gamma delta T cells. In all cases, treatment using our anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells was able to arrest tumor growth. The absolute duration of these studies was not pre-specified, however each of the studies were terminated when the growth of tumors in any of the animals in the no-treatment control group (tumor-only) exceeded a pre-specified limit; in subcutaneous tumor models this limit was generally tumor growth exceeding 4000mm3. This resulted in the individual studies being run for slightly different durations.

 

 

Figure 7. Anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells inhibited tumor growth in multiple animal models.

18


 

Treatment of Raji tumors in mice with anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells resulted in the complete elimination of tumors in four out of six mice. Sixty days after the original — and only – dose of anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells, the four mice with complete responses were re-challenged with Raji tumor cells. Growth of these newly introduced tumors continued to be suppressed at least until the end of the experiment at day 100. We believe that these results suggest that our gamma delta cells had a long persistence in vivo and remain active. Other preclinical experiments have shown that they can undergo up to twenty cell doublings and can have antitumor activity that can extend to six months in animal models.

 

 

Figure 8. Gamma delta T cells retained their antitumor activity for at least 90 days in a Raji tumor model. Four of the six mice in the primary tumor challenge exhibited complete responses, and these four mice were given a second tumor challenge without additional gamma delta CAR T cells.

We performed a direct analysis of the ability of our gamma delta CAR-T cells to migrate and proliferate in tumors using a fluorescent dye technology to examine cell division. Gamma delta CAR-T cells were treated with a fluorescent dye that attaches to cellular proteins. As these fluorescent cells divided, the molecules modified with the fluorescent dye were split among the mother and daughter cells. This resulted in a reduction in the average fluorescence signal per cell. Quantification of the amount of fluorescence per cell was then used as a surrogate for the number of divisions that a cell has undergone.

Using this assay, we observed that, within six days, our CAR gamma delta T cells had undergone significant cell divisions in tumors with little replication in blood, spleen, bone marrow or liver. By contrast, in a similar experiment using CAR alpha beta T cells, it was observed that replication occurred in all tissues examined. We believe that this selective replication in tumors by CAR gamma delta T cells, compared to CAR alpha beta T cells, may contribute to increased antitumor activity and a lower risk of developing life-threatening systemic immune responses such as cytokine release syndrome.

 

 

Figure 9. Proliferation of CAR gamma delta T cells was primarily localized in tumors, while the proliferation of CAR alpha beta T cells was observed in all tissues examined.

Interleukin 15 (IL-15) is a cytokine that preferentially stimulates T cell and NK cell activation, proliferation and cytolytic activity. These functional activities of IL-15 translate to enhanced antitumor responses in multiple tumor models. IL-15 is closely related to a cytokine that is a known activator of immune responses, IL-2. Both cytokines have the potential to

19


 

stimulate gamma delta T cells. IL-15 plays a more important role in maintaining T cell responses that are long-lasting and show high affinity for cancer cell targets, while IL-2 has a more significant role in activating cytotoxic responses.

The antitumor activity of our anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells was tested in SRG-15 mice. These are mice that lack much of their mouse immune system but that do express human IL-15. In these studies, potent antitumor activity against Raji tumors in was observed. Furthermore, this activity was not accompanied by the development of GvHD. In contrast, mice treated with anti-CD20 CAR alpha beta T cells had antitumor responses, but subsequently experienced increased mortality due to the development of GvHD.

 

 

Figure 10. Anti-CD20 CAR gamma delta T cells do not induce GvHD, whereas treatment with anti-CD20 CAR alpha beta cells caused GvHD that led to increased mortality.

ADI-001 clinical plans

In October 2020, the FDA cleared our IND application for ADI-001 for the treatment of NHL. The active IND enables us to initiate the first-in-human clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy of ADI-001 in NHL patients in the first quarter of 2021. The Phase 1 study for ADI-001 will enroll up to 80 late-stage NHL patients at a number of cancer centers across the U.S. The study includes a dose finding portion followed by dose expansion cohorts to explore the activity of ADI-001 in multiple subtypes of NHL. Included in this trial will be previously treated patients that were not able to receive approved autologous CAR-T cell therapies due to medical, technical, logistical, or financial reasons, as well as patients who relapsed after receiving autologous CAR-T cell therapies. Site initiation activities are underway and interim clinical data from this study are expected in 2021.

Patients enrolled in the trial will undergo chemotherapy-based lymphodepletion for three days followed by ADI-001 dosing by infusion on day five. Patients will be evaluated at four weeks, twelve weeks and then every three months for the first year and at months 18 and 24 after treatment. Once a recommended dose has been selected, up to 36 patients will be enrolled in indication-specific dose expansion cohorts: DLBCL, MCL, and one for all other B cell malignancies. Select patients experiencing clinical benefit with ADI-001 may be eligible for retreatment.

20


 

An additional cohort in this trial will investigate the potential of IL-2 therapy to boost the activity and durability of ADI-001. Treatment with IL-2 is supported by preclinical data that we have generated demonstrating that IL-2 improves the antitumor activity of our gamma delta T cells both in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of HSCT patients with IL-2 has also been shown to stimulate the proliferation of gamma delta T cells in the clinic.

 

(*)

Dose escalation study

 

Figure 11. Phase 1 study patient flow.

ADI-002, an anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T-cell therapy

ADI-002 is a gamma delta T cell containing a CAR that is specific for glypican 3 protein (GPC3), a protein that is highly expressed on the surface of multiple solid tumors including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), gastric cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma of the lung (SCCL). We intend to file an IND application with the FDA in late 2021 for ADI-002. Subject to the FDA regulatory process for review of INDs, we intend to initiate a clinical trial and treat the first patient with ADI-002 in 2022.

HCC disease background

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most prevalent form of liver cancer. The risk of HCC development is increased by a number of environmental and lifestyle factors such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus, alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, aflatoxin exposure, obesity and diabetes. These factors lead to wide disparities in disease incidence across geographies. According to a 2013 publication by Sahil Mittal and Hashem B. El-Serag in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, in the U.S., the incidence is approximately six per 100,000 per year, while in sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia the incidence is over 20 per 100,000 per year.

Patients diagnosed with HCC generally have a poor prognosis. The majority of patients are diagnosed with advanced disease and they have a five-year survival rate of approximately 11%, according to cancer.net, the web site of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Patients are initially treated with combinations of cytotoxic drugs or radiation. In some cases, they may also receive targeted therapies including kinase inhibitors such as lenvatinib, marketed as Lenvima® by Eisai; and sorafenib, marketed as Nexavar® by Bayer and subsequently cabozantinib, marketed as Cabometyx® by Exelixis. These therapies, however, have significant toxicities and limited clinical benefit with progression free survival of less than eight months. Checkpoint immunotherapies such as pembrolizumab and nivolumab have demonstrated some efficacy in HCC, although response rates are less than 20% according to the label for pembrolizumab, marketed by Merck as Keytruda®. The combination of both nivolumab and ipilimumab, despite increased toxicities, increased this response rate to 33%. We believe these results demonstrate that there is significant unmet need in HCC and that there is potential to treat HCC with immunotherapy.

GPC3, a tumor-associated antigen

GPC3, is a tumor-associated antigen that is expressed in many tumors but in almost no normal tissues other than embryonic liver and kidney or placenta.

21


 

Glypican 3 Expression in Tumors*

 

 

 

No. (%) Staining

 

 

Tumor Entity

 

No. of Cases

 

 

Negative

 

Positive

Hepatocellular carcinoma

 

 

44

 

 

15 (34)

 

29 (66)

Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

 

 

50

 

 

23 (46)

 

27 (54)

Liposarcoma

 

 

29

 

 

14 (48)

 

15 (52)

Testicular nonseminomatous germ cell tumor

 

 

62

 

 

30 (48)

 

32 (52)

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (grade 3)

 

 

29

 

 

17 (59)

 

12 (41)

Malignant melanoma

 

 

48

 

 

34 (71)

 

14 (29)

Adenoma of the adrenal gland

 

 

15

 

 

11 (73)

 

4 (27)

Schwannoma

 

 

46

 

 

34 (74)

 

12 (26)

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma

 

 

29

 

 

22 (76)

 

7 (24)

Adenocarcinoma of the stomach (intestinal subtype)

 

 

45

 

 

36 (80)

 

9 (20)

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

 

 

15

 

 

12 (80)

 

3 (20)

Invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast

 

 

46

 

 

37 (80)

 

9 (20)

Medullary carcinoma of the breast

 

 

30

 

 

25 (83)

 

5 (17)

Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx

 

 

49

 

 

41 (84)

 

8 (16)

Small cell carcinoma of the lung

 

 

49

 

 

41 (84)

 

8 (16)

Invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder

 

 

43

 

 

36 (84)

 

7 (16)

Mucinous carcinoma of the breast

 

 

26

 

 

22 (85)

 

4 (15)

Squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix

 

 

41

 

 

35 (85)

 

6 (15)

 

Figure 12. Screening of a panel of over 4,000 tumor samples found that GPC3 is expressed in numerous cancers. Baumhoer et al., Am. J. Clin. Pathol. 2008;129.

In a trial conducted by David Ho at the University of Hong Kong and colleagues and published in the journal PLOS One in 2012, high levels of GPC3 are detected by immunohistochemistry in a large proportion of HCC tumor tissue samples, but no GPC3 can be detected in adjacent normal cells.

 

 

Figure 13. Immunohistochemistry detected strong signals of GPC3 in liver tumor tissue, but negative staining for GPC3 was detected in the adjacent non-tumorous tissue. Adapted from Ho et al., PLoS One. 2012;7(5).

Our solution, ADI-002

ADI-002 is an anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T cell product candidate that we are developing for the treatment of solid tumors. We believe that modification of Vγ1 gamma delta T cells, which have an inherent tumor homing ability, with a CAR that is specific for GPC3, may result in a therapeutic product able to have potent antitumor activity in patients suffering from multiple solid tumors. We intend to file an IND application with the FDA in late 2021 for ADI-002. Subject to the FDA regulatory process for review of INDs, we intend to initiate a clinical trial and treat the first patient with ADI-002 in 2022.

To enhance the proliferative ability and durability of our anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T cells, we engineered these cells to express soluble IL-15. We anticipate that the tumor homing ability of gamma delta T cells will potentially result in expression of IL-15 predominantly in tumors. In combination with the inherent secretion of factors such as interferon gamma

22


 

from activated gamma delta T cells, the secretion of IL-15 is anticipated to lead to reversal of immunosuppressive effects in the tumor microenvironment and direct stimulation of the gamma delta T cells.

We demonstrated in in vitro assays that our anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T cells have potent and GPC3-antigen-dependent cell killing activity. When our anti-GPC3 CAR-T cells were added to HepG2 cells, a cell line expressing GPC3 that was derived from a patient with HCC, an increase in tumor cell killing was observed. Gamma delta T cells prepared without the addition of our anti-GPC3 CAR were still able to kill the HepG2 cells, only with less potency at 18 hours. We believe that this CAR-independent killing activity was driven by innate receptors on our gamma delta T cells and that this innate antitumor activity may provide meaningful antitumor clinical activity in cases in which tumors may lose the expression of the targeted GPC3 antigen. Loss of tumor-expressed antigens represents a significant mechanism of escape from antitumor activities from other immunotherapies such as anti-CD19 CAR-T cell therapies. The ability to continue to have antitumor activity driven by the innate immune cell properties of our gamma delta T cells is a distinct advantage compared to alpha beta T cells, which lack this capability. Our gamma delta T cells had no cell killing activity when added to RAT2 normal fibroblasts that do not express GPC3.

 

 

Figure 14. Expression of an anti-GPC3 CAR in gamma delta T cells led to potentiation of killing of HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cell line.

Anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T cells had dose-dependent antitumor activity in HepG2 tumors in immunodeficient mice. HepG2 tumor cells were inoculated into immunocompromised mice and allowed to grow to a volume of 200 mm3 over a period of approximately eight days. A single dose of anti-GPC3 CAR gamma delta T cells was then administered and tumor growth at day 37 was assessed. High doses of anti-GPC3 gamma delta T cells led to complete suppression of tumor growth.

 

 

Figure 15. Dose-dependent inhibition of HepG2 tumor growth by anti-GPC3 gamma delta T cells

23


 

Future clinical candidates in solid tumors.

In addition to the product candidates described above, we anticipate many further opportunities for developing product candidates based on our gamma delta T cell technology. We believe that the spectrum of indications that products such as CAR-T cell therapies have been able to address has been limited by two factors: the weak ability of alpha beta T cell-based therapies to penetrate solid tumors, and the scarcity of tumor-specific antigens on the cell surface that can be targeted by antibody-derived binding domains that are an essential component of the CAR constructs. We believe that the tumor homing ability of our gamma delta T cell technology represents a potential solution to the solid tumor localization problem and our TCRL antibody technology can be used to identify and target tumor-specific antigens.

The tumor recognition challenge

Therapeutics such as antibodies and CARs recognize cell surface molecules. In HCC and select other tumors, there are proteins such as GPC3 which are selectively expressed on the surface of tumors cells that can be used as antigens for immune-targeted therapy. The lack of their expression on normal cells limits the potential of on-target, off-tumor systemic toxicities. Surface-expressed proteins that are strictly expressed only on tumor cells are, however, rare. In most cases surface expressed antigens such as CD19 and CD20 are expressed both on hematopoietic tumor and normal cells. Therapies that target CD19 or CD20 therefore result in killing of both tumor and normal cells. In hematological malignancies these therapies result in systemic depletion of normal B cells. However, this is mechanism-based toxicity can be managed in clinical practice. Challenges arise with antigens such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that is overexpressed on some types of tumor cells, but also expressed on normal epithelial cells elsewhere in the body. Dosing with anti-EGFR antibodies has led to significant dermatological and cardiac toxicities.

Intracellular proteins represent nearly half of the proteins found in human cells. These proteins provide an untapped reservoir of potential tumor-specific antigens that are inaccessible to traditional antibody-binding domains. Immune surveillance for these intracellular proteins is normally done by alpha beta T cells. These intracellular proteins are chopped up by a cell component known as the proteasome into short peptides between eight and ten amino acids long. These short peptides are then presented to the T cells by the MHC. TCRs on the T cells are then able to recognize the complex of the peptide and the MHC, triggering creation of T-cell populations prepared to attack these specific sequences.

Gamma delta T cells have advantages compared to alpha beta T cells with regard to their potential as allogeneic therapies, their ability to localize to tumors and their retention of innate immune signaling pathways. However, to be most effective they need to be able to be engineered to attack specific tumors.

Our solution, TCRLs

We have developed an antibody platform that enables the discovery of TCRL antibodies that recognize peptides that are presented on the cell surface by specific MHC molecules. In effect, our TCRL antibodies have the same antigen recognition properties as TCRs but are highly specific for a single tumor antigen and MHC molecule. They do not recognize other MHC molecules or antigens that may be expressed by healthy cells.

 

 

Figure 16. Schematic diagram of the interaction between our TCRL antibodies and tumor-specific peptides presented by the MHC.

24


 

TCRLs are conventional antibodies with antigen binding domains that specifically recognize peptide-MHC complexes that can be used to create CARs. Introduction of these CARs into our gamma delta T cells enables them to target tumors expressing intracellular tumor antigens when these antigens are selectively presented by MHC on the surface of tumor cells. Gamma delta CAR-T cells generated using TCRLs open up the potential to bring immune cell therapy to tumors that lack tumor-specific surface antigens, a group that includes most solid tumors.

The TCRL discovery process starts by carrying out an analysis of the peptides expressed by MHC receptors in a panel of hundreds of tumor and normal tissues. In searching for candidate peptides, we focus on differentially expressed peptides that are broadly expressed in tumors but that are not found in normal tissues. Candidate peptides are then validated by expression analysis both in other tissues as well as in databases. Those peptides that, based on bioinformatic analysis, are predicted to have minimal cross-reactivity with peptides from normal cells are then further prioritized. This peptide discovery process leads, step-by-step, to the narrowing of the list of potential candidates by approximately one thousand-fold. Once a tractable number of remaining candidates has been identified, a population that includes the most promising ones, antibodies are then created that are specific to the complex of an MHC receptor and the bound peptides. These antibodies mimic key aspects of tumor as recognized by the immune system. By creating CARs that incorporate these antigen-recognition templates in gamma delta T cell-based product candidates, we create a set of candidates designed to specifically attack tumors by virtue of their intracellular proteins.

Tyrosinase is a well-validated tumor-expressed antigen for which we have developed TCRLs. The specificity for a mouse and a humanized version of one of these TCRLs was determined by comparing their binding affinity to that of a series of peptides that contained single amino acid changes. It was learned that changes to any of the internal eight amino acid positions to the amino acid alanine led to reductions in binding of 70% or greater. Substituting any amino acid in a non-anchor position resulted in substantial loss of binding and indicates the high degree of specificity that the TCRL antibody has for the targeted MHC peptide complex.

 

 

Figure 17. Single amino acid changes to the targeted peptide reduced binding by at least 70 percent.

The antigen-binding domain from a tyrosinase TCRL was incorporated into a CAR and introduced into our gamma delta T cells to assess cell killing activity against tumor cell lines. These anti-Tyr CAR gamma delta T cells led to cell killing of WM266.4 human metastatic melanoma tumor cells, which are known to express tyrosinase. Anti-Tyr CAR gamma delta T cells, however, had no cell killing activity when tested against ten other cell lines from tumors such as colon, bladder and pancreatic cancers, B cell leukemia and retinoblastoma – all of which do not express tyrosinase. That observation points to a desirable level of specificity for our anti-Tyr CAR gamma delta T cells and to an important in vitro proof of concept.

25


 

Furthermore, these anti-Tyr CAR gamma delta T cells had potent antitumor activity in a WM266.4 tumor model leading to tumor shrinkage within five days of administration and a durable antitumor response through 27 days. Although the TCRL-based CAR that is generated binds to an MHC-peptide complex, it does not induce the GvHD that is seen with alpha beta T cells because it recognizes a single peptide that has been selected to be highly specific for tumor cells.

 

 

Figure 18. Anti-Tyr CAR gamma delta T cells showed potent antitumor activity in a WM266.4 melanoma model.

We have generated TCRLs against a number of solid tumor antigens which are being evaluating in animal models. We intend to advance at least one candidate from these early-stage programs into IND-enabling studies in 2021. We believe that the combination of our gamma delta and TCRL technology provides the basis for a new generation of CAR-T cell therapies that have the potential to transform the treatment of solid tumors.

Our Intellectual Property

Our gamma delta T cell-based product candidates and substantially all of our intellectual property have been developed by us, with certain antigen binding domains derived from our collaboration with Regeneron. Additional intellectual portfolio assets were acquired via acquisition of Applied Immune Technologies Ltd. in 2016. We strive to protect and enhance the proprietary technology, inventions and improvements that are commercially material to our business, including seeking, maintaining and defending our patent rights.

Our policy is to develop and maintain protection of our proprietary position by, among other methods, filing or in-licensing U.S. and foreign patents and applications related to our technology, inventions, and improvements that are material to the development and implementation of our business. We also rely on trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, continuing technological innovation, confidentiality agreements, and invention assignment agreements to develop and maintain our proprietary position.

Our patent portfolio includes protection for our lead product candidates, ADI-001 and ADI-002, as well as our other research-stage candidates. As of March 10, 2021, there are multiple patent families comprising three pending U.S. non-provisional applications and over 20 foreign patent applications pending in such jurisdictions as Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Russia, and South Africa with claims directed to reagents and related protocols for gamma delta T cell expansion and resulting compositions of matter encompassing both ADI-001 and ADI-002, which, if issued, are expected to expire between 2035 and 2037. As of March 10, 2021, there are also two international patent applications (PCT) applications, with claims directed to CAR constructs and antigen binding domains relating to ADI-001 and ADI-002, as well as their methods of use for certain indications, preconditioning methods, and dosing regimens, where applications claiming the benefit of these PCT applications, if issued, would expire between 2038 and 2039. With respect to ADI-001, we have a collaboration with Regeneron which grants us access to certain proprietary antigen binding domains covered by Regeneron’s patent rights, including in particular the antigen binding domain incorporated into ADI-001. Additionally, there are multiple granted patents and pending patent applications in the U.S. and internationally directed to our TCRL platform technology, with actual and, in the case of pending applications, anticipated expiration dates between 2021 and 2037. Although certain earlier patents relating to our TCRL platform technology will expire in 2021, other patents covering this technology remain in force, or are expected to issue from pending applications, including three pending patent families directed to certain carcinoma, melanoma and glioblastoma targets, are expected to expire between 2036 and 2037. As a result, we do not expect that the expiration of the earlier patents in our TCRL portfolio, individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on our future operations or financial position.

The term of individual patents depends upon the legal term of the patents in the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, the patent term is 20 years from the date of filing of the first non-provisional application to which priority is claimed. In the U.S., patent term may be lengthened by patent term adjustment, which compensates a patentee

26


 

for administrative delays by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in granting a patent or may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over an earlier-filed patent. In the U.S., the term of a patent that covers an FDA-approved drug may also be eligible for a patent term extension of up to five years under the Hatch-Waxman Act, which is designed to compensate for the patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. The length of the patent term extension involves a complex calculation based on the length of time it takes for regulatory review. A patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval and only one patent applicable to an approved drug may be extended. Moreover, a patent can only be extended once, and thus, if a single patent is applicable to multiple products, it can only be extended based on one product. Similar provisions are available in Europe and certain other foreign jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug.

Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain proprietary protection for our product candidates, as well as novel discoveries, core technologies, and know-how, as well as our ability to operate without infringing on the proprietary rights of others and to prevent others from infringing our proprietary rights.

The patent positions of companies like us are generally uncertain and involve complex legal, scientific, and factual questions. In addition, the coverage claimed in a patent application can be significantly reduced before the patent is issued, and its scope can be reinterpreted after issuance. Consequently, we do not know whether any of our product candidates will be protectable or remain protected by enforceable patents or will be commercially useful in protecting our commercial products and methods of using and manufacturing the same. We also cannot predict whether the patent applications it is currently pursuing will issue as patents in any particular jurisdiction or whether the claims of any issued patents will provide sufficient proprietary protection from competitors. Any patents that we hold or control may be challenged, circumvented or invalidated by third parties. In addition, while we have confidence in our agreements and security measures, either may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies. Further, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or independently discovered by competitors.

We have licensed various intellectual property and trade secrets to third parties for purposes of collaboration, product development and research and development.

Strategic Agreements

License and Collaboration Agreement with Regeneron

On July 29, 2016, we entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Regeneron, which was amended in April 2019, with such amendment becoming effective in connection with Regeneron’s investment in our Series B preferred stock private placement transaction in July 2019 (as amended, referred to as the Regeneron Agreement).

Agreement Structure. The Regeneron Agreement has two principal components: (a) a research collaboration component under which the parties will research, develop, and commercialize next-generation engineered gamma delta immune cell therapeutics (ICPs) namely engineered gamma delta immune cells with CARs and TCRs directed to disease-specific cell surface antigens, which includes the grant of certain licenses to intellectual property between the two parties, and (b) for a certain period following the effective date, a license to us to use certain of Regeneron’s proprietary mice to develop and commercialize ICPs generated by us, with certain limitations relating to targets under the Regeneron Agreement.

Research Collaboration. Research activities under the collaboration are governed by research plans, which include the strategy, goals, activities, and responsibilities of the parties with respect to a target. We are primarily responsible for generating, validating, and optimizing ICPs, developing processes for manufacture of ICPs, and certain preclinical and clinical manufacturing activities for ICP’s; Regeneron’s key responsibility is generating, validating, and optimizing CARs and TCRs that bind to the applicable target. The parties have formed a joint research committee to monitor and govern the research and development efforts during the research program term.

Rights to Research Targets. Under the terms of the five-year research collaboration, the parties will conduct research on mutually agreed upon targets. Regeneron may obtain exclusive rights for the targets that it chooses in accordance with the target selection mechanism set forth in the Regeneron Agreement, and we similarly may obtain exclusive rights for targets it chooses in accordance with such target selection mechanism. We have the right to develop and commercialize ICPs to the first collaboration target to come out of the research program. In connection with an IND submission, Regeneron has an option to exercise exclusive rights for ADI-002 and potentially for additional targets to be mutually agreed upon. For those targets it does not have an option to license, Regeneron has a right of first negotiation for up to two targets. Regeneron has the right to terminate the research program in its entirety (a) for convenience on six months prior written notice given at any time after December 31, 2019, or (b) following a change of control (as defined in the Regeneron Agreement) of us. The parties mutually agreed to their first product declaration criteria for collaboration ICP, CD20, in 2018.

Rights to Adicet-Developed Targets. Regeneron has an exclusive license to use targeting moieties generated by us by its use of Regeneron’s proprietary mice to develop and commercialize non-ICPs.

27


 

Exclusivity. During the five-year target selection period, we may not directly or indirectly research, develop, manufacture or commercialize an ICP, or grant a license to do the foregoing, except pursuant to the Regeneron Agreement. For so long as either party is researching or developing an ICP to a target under the research program, neither party may research, develop, manufacture or commercialize any other ICP to such target, or grant a license to do the foregoing. And for so long as a party is researching, developing or commercializing an ICP to target that is licensed to it (and royalty bearing) under the agreement, neither party may research, develop, manufacture or commercialize any other ICP to such target, or grant a license to permit another party to do the foregoing. These exclusivity obligations are limited to engineered gamma delta immune cells to targets reasonably considered to have therapeutic relevance in oncology. The Regeneron Agreement includes certain exceptions to the exclusivity obligations of the parties, including with respect to targets that are rejected by one party in the target selection process, as well as protections in the event of a change of control of a party where the acquirer has a competing program.

Co-Funding and Profit Sharing. We have an option to co-fund specified portions of the future development costs for, and to co-promote, ICPs to a target for which Regeneron has exercised an option, and to participate in the profits for such target. We have the right to exercise this right in various geographic regions, including on a worldwide basis. In the event we exercise such right, the parties will share further development costs and revenues proportionally to their co-funding percentages.

Financial Terms. We received a non-refundable upfront payment of $25.0 million from Regeneron upon execution of the Regeneron Agreement, received an aggregate of $20.0 million of additional payments for research funding from Regeneron as of December 31, 2020. In addition, Regeneron may have to pay us additional amounts in the future consisting of up to an aggregate of $100.0 million of option exercise fees, as specified in the Regeneron Agreement. Regeneron must also pay us high single digit royalties as a percentage of net sales for ICPs to targets for which it has exclusive rights, and low single digit royalties as a percentage of net sales on any non-ICP product comprising a targeting moiety generated by us through the use of Regeneron’s proprietary mice. We must pay Regeneron mid-single to low double digit, but less than teens, of royalties as a percentage of net sales of ICPs to targets for which we have exercised exclusive rights, and low to mid-single digit of royalties as a percentage of net sales of targeting moieties generated from our license to use Regeneron’s proprietary mice. Royalties are payable until the longer of the expiration or invalidity of the licensed patent rights or twelve (12) years from first commercial sale.

Other Terms. The Regeneron Agreement contains customary representations, warranties and covenants by us and Regeneron and includes (i) an obligation of ours to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize at least one product based on a collaboration ICP that is not an optioned collaboration ICP for each collaboration target and (ii) an obligation of Regeneron to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize at least one product based on an optioned collaboration ICP for each collaboration target. We and Regeneron are required to indemnify the other party against all losses and expenses related to breaches of the representations, warranties and covenants under the Regeneron Agreement.

Term and Termination. The term of the Regeneron Agreement expires, on a product-by-product basis, on the expiration of the obligation to pay royalties for such product. The Regeneron Agreement is subject to early termination by either party upon uncured material breach by the other party. The licenses to develop and commercialize an ICP to a target that one party has exclusively licensed may be terminated by such party for convenience.

Equity Investments. In connection with the collaboration, Regeneron and we entered into a side letter pursuant to which, among other matters, Regeneron was granted certain stockholder rights and investment rights in connection with our next equity financing that met certain criteria and in connection with an initial public offering by us. Regeneron exercised its investment right and purchased approximately $10.0 million of our Series B preferred stock in a private placement transaction in July 2019.

License Agreement with TRDF

We and our wholly owned subsidiary, Adicet Bio Israel, Ltd. (formerly Applied Immune Technology Ltd.), are parties to an Amended and Restated License Agreement dated May 21, 2014, as was amended in June 2015 and January 2016, with Technion Research and Development Foundation Ltd. (TRDF) the technology transfer subsidiary of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (Technion). The license agreement provides us with an exclusive, royalty-bearing, worldwide license, with a right to grant sublicenses, to make use of certain TRDF patents and know-how relating to moieties that recognize and bind to TCRLs, along with certain improvements and research results developed at TRDF and relating to either the licensed patents and know-how of TCRL, in each case for the purposes of research, development, and commercialization of specified products. We further obtained joint ownership rights in improvements, developments, and inventions developed in the laboratory of a specified professor under certain conditions, including where we provided specified amounts of funding for research specific to TCRL compounds. TRDF also grants us an exclusive, worldwide, assignable, sublicensable license to TRDF’s rights in such jointly owned improvements, developments, and inventions. Technion further agrees not to enforce against us any TCRL-related technology owned by Technion but not licensed to us under the agreement, and to require its licensees to agree to the same. We are required to meet certain diligence obligations to preserve our exclusive licenses. Either Adicet or Technion may terminate the agreement or a specific license if the other party materially breaches its obligations under the agreement or with respect to a specific license granted under it and fails to cure that breach. We have the right to terminate the agreement at any time by providing notice to TRDF.

28


 

In return for the license, We are required to pay TRDF, for ten (10) years after the first commercial sale of a product for which it owes royalties under the agreement, on a licensed-product-by-licensed-product basis, (i) certain royalties in the low single-digit percentages of all net sales by us and any of our controlled affiliates, and (ii) the lesser of (a) a low single-digit percentage of net sales of our sublicensees, or (b) low double-digit percentage of amounts received by us or our controlled affiliates in the form of royalties on net sales from our sublicensees, subject to certain reductions. Furthermore, we agreed to pay for all patent filing and maintenance expenses for the patents included in the licenses granted to us by TRDF, with limited exceptions.

Under the agreement, TRDF reserves the right, for itself, alone or with other certain academic institutions, to utilize the licensed technology solely for educational and non-commercial research purposes.

The license agreement continues in full force and effect on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis until the expiration of all payment obligations for any licensed product as described above. Upon the expiration, we will have a fully paid-up, worldwide, non-exclusive license (with the right to grant sublicenses) to develop, have developed, manufacture, have manufactured, use, market, offer for sale, sell, have sold, import, export, and otherwise transfer physical possession or title to products for which royalties would have otherwise been due under the agreement.

Manufacturing

We are developing and enabling scalable and propriety cGMP-compliant manufacturing processes. We have invested resources to optimize our manufacturing process and plans to continue to invest to continuously improve our production and supply chain capabilities over time.

We manufacture cell-based immunotherapy products based on gamma delta T cells that are obtained from the blood of healthy donors who are unrelated to the patients that will be treated. These products are classed as allogeneic cell therapy products. Donor-derived blood is fractionated and the fractions containing gamma delta T cells are frozen prior to use in future manufacturing campaigns. We believe that our freezing and storing of the donor blood products allows us to efficiently schedule subsequent manufacturing steps. After obtaining blood products from healthy donors the manufacturing process begins with the activation of a subpopulation of gamma delta T cells using an antibody that is proprietary to us. This antibody, in combination with other factors including the cytokine, IL-2, induces gamma delta T cells to proliferate, whereupon we expose the cells to a viral vector that transfers a gene sequence encoding a CAR, or other gene sequences, to the proliferating cells. This step is referred to as the transduction step. Following the transduction step gamma delta T cells are induced to proliferate further with IL-2 before an enrichment step that increases the proportion of gamma delta T cells, removes unwanted residual alpha beta T cells and results in the CAR-modified gamma delta T cells drug product. CAR-modified gamma delta T cell products are then frozen in single-use vials for long-term storage at cryogenic temperatures. These storage conditions are designed to ensure stability of the cell-based drug products for protracted periods of time. The storage in singe use vials is designed to simplify the handling and treatment administration. Just prior to administration of treatment, the vials will be thawed and then the contents infused into the patient. We believe that the single manufacturing process we are developing will be able to be completed in approximately two weeks and will result in sufficient quantities of drug product to treat numerous patients.

To date, we currently rely, and expects to continue to rely, on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and any products that we may develop. We have chosen to partner with a number of contract manufacturing organizations in the U.S. and Europe to access specific capabilities to ensure that the manufacturing process is highly scalable, closed and fully cGMP compliant. This strategy allows us to maintain a more flexible infrastructure while focusing our expertise on developing our products. In addition to the quality management systems utilized by strategic manufacturing partners, we have established a quality control and quality assurance program, which includes a set of standard operating procedures and specifications designed to ensure that our products are manufactured in accordance with cGMPs, and other applicable domestic and foreign regulations.

For example, we currently engage a single US-based third-party manufacturer to provide the active pharmaceutical ingredient for ADI-001. We also utilize separate third party contractors to manufacture cGMP-compliant starting and critical materials that are used for the manufacturing of our product candidates, such as donor blood products, gamma delta T cell activating antibody and viral vectors that are used to deliver the applicable CAR gene into the T cells. We believe all materials and components utilized in the production of the cell line, viral vector and final gamma delta T cell product are available from qualified suppliers and suitable for pivotal process development in readiness for registration and commercialization. Going forward, we intend to continue to expand our manufacturing capability through agreements with leading cell therapy contract manufacturing organizations.

If any of our current manufacturers becomes unavailable to us for any reason, we believe that there are a number of potential replacements, although we would likely incur some delay in identifying and qualifying such replacements. We plan to continue to create a robust supply chain with redundant sources of supply comprised of both internal and external infrastructure.

29


 

Competition

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are characterized by rapidly advancing technologies, intense competition and a strong emphasis on proprietary products. We face potential competition from many different sources, including existing and novel therapies developed by biopharmaceutical companies, academic research institutions, governmental agencies and public and private research institutions, in addition to standard of care treatments.

Novartis and Kite Pharma (now Gilead) were the first to achieve FDA approval for autologous T cell therapies. In August 2017, Novartis obtained FDA approval to commercialize Kymriah®, for the treatment of children and young adults with B-cell ALL that is refractory or has relapsed at least twice. In May 2018, Kymriah® received FDA approval for adults with R/R large B-cell lymphoma. In October 2017, Kite Pharma obtained FDA approval to commercialize Yescarta®, the first CAR T cell product candidate for the treatment of adult patients with R/R large B-cell lymphoma. In July 2020, Gilead obtained FDA approval to commercialize Tecartus™, the first CAR T cell product candidate for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). In February 2021, Bristol Myers Squibb obtained FDA approval to commercialize Breyanzi® for the treatment of adults with R/R large B-cell lymphoma.

Due to the promising therapeutic effect of T cell therapies in clinical trials, we anticipate increasing competition from existing and new companies developing these therapies, as well as in the development of allogeneic T cell therapies generally. Potential T cell therapy competitors include, but are not limited to:

 

Allogeneic T cell therapy competition: Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., Allogene Therapeutics, Inc., Cellectis, S.A., Celyad S.A., CRISPR Therapeutics AG, Editas Medicine, Inc., Fate Therapeutics Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc. (acquired Kite Pharma), Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., Poseida Therapeutics, Inc., Precision Biosciences, Inc., Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, GammaDelta Therapeutics Limited, TC BioPharm Limited, Incysus Therapeutics, Inc. and Gadeta BV.

 

Autologous T cell therapy competition: Adaptimmune Therapeutics PLC, Autolus Therapeutics plc, bluebird bio, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc., Mustang Bio, Inc., Novartis International AG, TCR² Therapeutics Inc. and Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc.

Although we believe our development of proprietary processes for engineering and manufacturing gamma delta T cells expressing CARs is unique due to what we believe is the enormous potential of these cells, it is likely that additional competition may arise from existing companies currently focusing on development of alpha beta or gamma delta T-cell therapies, or from new entrants in the field.

Competition may also arise from non-cell based immune oncology platforms. For instance, we may experience competition from companies, such as Amgen Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Genmab A/S, GlaxoSmithKline plc, MacroGenics, Inc., Merus N.V., Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Xencor Inc., that are pursuing bispecific antibodies, which target both the cancer antigen and T-cell receptor, thus bringing both cancer cells and T cells in close proximity to maximize the likelihood of an immune response to the cancer cells. Additionally, companies, such as Amgen Inc., AbbVie, Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited, GlaxoSmithKline plc, ImmunoGen, Inc., Immunomedics, Inc., and Seattle Genetics, Inc., are pursuing antibody drug conjugates, which utilize the targeting ability of antibodies to deliver cell-killing agents directly to cancer cells.

Many of our competitors, either alone or with their collaboration partners, have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, preclinical testing, clinical trials, manufacturing, and marketing than we do. Future collaborations and mergers and acquisitions may result in further resource concentration among a smaller number of competitors.

Our commercial potential could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for our own products, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before We are able to enter the market or make our development more complicated. The key competitive factors affecting the success of all of our programs are likely to be efficacy, safety and tolerability profile, convenience, price, reimbursement and cost of manufacturing.

These competitors may also vie for a similar pool of qualified scientific and management talent, sites and patient populations for clinical trials, and investor capital, as well as for technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.

30


 

Government Regulation and Product Approval

As a biopharmaceutical company that operates in the U.S., we are subject to extensive regulation. Our cell products will be regulated as biologics. With this classification, commercial production of our products will need to occur in registered facilities in compliance with cGMP for biologics. The FDA categorizes human cell- or tissue-based products as either minimally manipulated or more than minimally manipulated and has determined that more than minimally manipulated products require clinical trials to demonstrate product safety and efficacy and the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA for marketing authorization. Our products are considered more than minimally manipulated and will require evaluation in clinical trials and the submission and approval of a BLA before we can market them. Generally, before a new drug or biologic can be marketed, considerable data demonstrating our quality, safety and efficacy must be obtained, organized into a format specific for each regulatory authority, submitted for review and approved by the regulatory authority.

Government authorities in the U.S. (at the federal, state, and local level) and in other countries extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacturing, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, storage, record-keeping, promotion, advertising, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, marketing and export and import of biopharmaceutical products such as those We are developing. Our product candidates must be approved by the FDA before they may be legally marketed in the U.S. and by the appropriate foreign regulatory agency before they may be legally marketed in foreign countries. Generally, our activities in other countries will be subject to regulation that is similar in nature and scope as that imposed in the U.S., although there can be important differences. Additionally, some significant aspects of regulation in Europe are addressed in a centralized way but country-specific regulation remains essential in many respects. The process for obtaining regulatory marketing approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

U.S. Product Development Process

In the U.S., the FDA regulates pharmaceutical and biological products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FDCA), the Public Health Service Act (the PHSA), and their implemented regulations. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. FDA sanctions could include, among other actions, refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, warning letters, product recalls or withdrawals from the market, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement or civil or criminal penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us. The process required by the FDA before a biological product may be marketed in the U.S. generally involves the following:

 

completion of nonclinical laboratory tests and key animal studies according to good laboratory practices (GLPs), and applicable requirements for the humane use of laboratory animals or other applicable regulations;

 

submission to the FDA of an IND application, which is subject to a waiting period of thirty (30) calendar days, must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;

 

approval by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee for each clinical site before the trial is commenced;

 

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials according to the FDA’s regulations commonly referred to as good clinical practices (GCPs) and any additional requirements for the protection of human research patients and their health information, to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed biological product for our intended use;

 

submission to the FDA of a BLA for marketing approval that includes substantial evidence of safety, purity, and potency from results of nonclinical testing and clinical trials;

 

satisfactory completion of an FDA Advisory Committee review, if applicable;

 

satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities where the biological product is produced to assess compliance with cGMP, to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the biological product’s identity, strength, quality and purity and, if applicable, the FDA’s current good tissue practices (GTPs) for the use of human cellular and tissue products;

 

potential FDA audit of the nonclinical study and clinical trial sites that generated the data in support of the BLA; and

31


 

 

 

FDA review and approval, or licensure, of the BLA prior to any commercial marketing or sale of the biologic in the U.S.

Before testing any biological product candidate, including our product candidates, in humans, the product candidate enters the preclinical testing stage. Preclinical tests, also referred to as nonclinical studies, include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, toxicity and formulation, as well as animal studies to assess the potential safety and activity of the product candidate. The conduct of the key preclinical tests must comply with federal regulations and requirements including GLPs. An IND is a request for authorization from the FDA to administer an investigational product to humans and must become effective before human clinical trials may begin. The clinical trial sponsor must submit the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and a proposed clinical protocol, to the FDA as part of the IND. Some preclinical testing may continue even after the IND is submitted. The IND automatically becomes effective thirty (30) days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions regarding the proposed clinical trials and requests additional information and or places the trial on a clinical hold within that 30-day time period. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. The FDA may also impose clinical holds on a biological product candidate at any time before or during clinical trials due to safety concerns or non-compliance. If the FDA imposes a clinical hold, trials may not recommence without FDA authorization and then only under terms authorized by the FDA. Accordingly, we cannot be sure that submission of an IND will result in the FDA allowing clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that suspend or terminate such trials.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the biological product candidate to patients under the supervision of qualified investigators at independent clinical sites/hospitals, physicians not employed by or under the trial sponsor’s control. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria, and the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety, including stopping rules that assure a clinical trial will be stopped if certain adverse events should occur. Each protocol and any amendments to the protocol must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. Clinical trials must be conducted and monitored in accordance with the FDA’s regulations comprising the GCP requirements, including the requirement that all research patients provide informed consent. Further, each clinical trial must be reviewed and approved by an independent IRB at or servicing each institution at which the clinical trial will be conducted. An IRB is charged with protecting the welfare and rights of trial participants and considers such items as whether the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trials are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB also approves the form and content of the informed consent that must be signed by each clinical trial subject or his or her legal representative and must monitor the clinical trial until completed. Some studies also include oversight by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical study sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board, which provides authorization for whether or not a study may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the study and may halt the clinical trial if it determines that there is an unacceptable safety risk for subjects or other grounds, such as no demonstration of efficacy. There are also requirements governing the reporting of ongoing clinical studies and clinical study results to public registries.

A sponsor who wishes to conduct a clinical trial outside of the U.S. may, but need not, obtain FDA authorization to conduct the clinical trial under an IND. If a foreign clinical trial is not conducted under an IND, the sponsor may submit data from the clinical trial to the FDA in support of a BLA. A clinical trial outside the U.S. may also be conducted under the authorization of similar regulatory authorities of the country/region. The FDA will accept a well-designed and well-conducted foreign clinical study not conducted under an IND if the study was conducted in accordance with GCP requirements, and the FDA is able to validate the data through an onsite inspection if deemed necessary.

Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap or be combined:

 

Phase 1. The biological product is typically introduced into healthy human subjects and tested for safety. However, in the case of some products for severe or life-threatening diseases, such as cancer or hematological malignancies that we aspire to treat, initial human testing is routinely conducted directly in ill patients with the approval of relevant ethics committee(s) under the supervision of a licensed physician.

 

Phase 2. The biological product is evaluated in a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted diseases and to determine dosage tolerance, optimal dosage and dosing schedule.

 

Phase 3. Clinical trials are undertaken to further evaluate dosage, clinical efficacy, potency, and safety in an expanded patient population at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. These clinical trials are intended to establish the overall risk to benefit ratio of the product and provide an adequate basis for product labeling.

Post-approval clinical trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These clinical trials are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication, particularly for long-term safety follow-up. In case of an accelerated BLA approval based on limited clinical data, FDA may mandate a Phase 4 clinical trial prior to full approval. During all phases of clinical development, regulatory agencies require extensive monitoring and auditing of all clinical activities, clinical data, and clinical trial investigators. Annual progress

32


 

reports detailing the results of the clinical trials must be submitted to the FDA. Written IND safety reports must be promptly submitted to the FDA, and the investigators for serious and unexpected adverse events, any findings from other studies, tests in laboratory animals or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk for human patients, or any clinically important increase in the rate of a serious suspected adverse reaction over that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure. The sponsor must submit an IND safety report within fifteen (15) calendar days after the sponsor determines that the information qualifies for reporting. The sponsor also must notify the FDA of any unexpected fatal or life-threatening suspected adverse reaction within seven (7) calendar days after the sponsor’s initial receipt of the information.

Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials may not be completed successfully within any specified period, if at all. The FDA or the sponsor or its data safety monitoring board may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk, including risks inferred from other unrelated immunotherapy trials. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the biological product has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients.

Concurrently with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional studies and must also develop additional information about the physical characteristics of the biological product as well as finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. To help reduce the risk of the introduction of adventitious agents with use of biological products, the PHSA emphasizes the importance of manufacturing control for products whose attributes cannot be precisely defined. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the product candidate and, among other things, the sponsor must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality, potency and purity of the final biological product according to the requirements of the phase of clinical development. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested, and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the biological product candidate does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its shelf life.

Further, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the extent and length of which is uncertain, we will be required to develop and implement additional clinical study policies and procedures designed to help protect study participants from the COVID-19 virus, which may include using telemedicine visits and remote monitoring of patients and clinical sites. We will also need to ensure data from our clinical studies that may be disrupted as a result of the pandemic is collected pursuant to the study protocol and is consistent with GCPs, with any material protocol deviation reviewed and approved by the site IRB. Patients who may miss scheduled appointments, any interruption in study drug supply, or other consequence that may result in incomplete data being generated during a study as a result of the pandemic must be adequately documented and justified. For example, on March 18, 2020, the FDA issued a guidance on conducting clinical trials during the pandemic, which describe a number of considerations for sponsors of clinical trials impacted by the pandemic, including the requirement to include in the clinical study report (or as a separate document) contingency measures implemented to manage the study, and any disruption of the study as a result of COVID-19; a list of all study participants affected by COVID-19-related study disruption by unique subject identifier and by investigational site, and a description of how the individual’s participation was altered; and analyses and corresponding discussions that address the impact of implemented contingency measures (e.g., participant discontinuation from investigational product and/or study, alternative procedures used to collect critical safety and/or efficacy data) on the safety and efficacy results reported for the study. As of August 4, 2020, the FDA continues to update and revise its guidance for ongoing clinical trials.

U.S. Review and Approval Processes

After the completion of clinical trials of a biological product, FDA approval of a BLA must be obtained before commercial marketing of the biological product. The BLA submission must include results of product safety, efficacy, development, laboratory and animal studies, human trials, information on the manufacture and composition of the product, proposed labeling and other relevant information. The testing and approval processes require substantial time and effort and there can be no assurance or guarantee that the FDA will accept the BLA for filing and, even if filed, that any approval will be granted on a timely basis, if at all.

Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), as amended, each BLA must be accompanied by a significant user fee. The FDA adjusts the PDUFA user fees on an annual basis. PDUFA also imposes an annual program fee for biological products. Fee waivers or reductions are available in certain circumstances, including a waiver of the application fee for the first application filed by a small business. Additionally, no user fees are assessed on BLAs for products designated as orphan drugs, unless the product also includes a non-orphan indication.

Within 60 or 74 days following submission of the application, the FDA reviews a BLA submitted to determine if it is substantially complete before the agency accepts it for filing. The FDA may refuse to file any BLA that it deems incomplete or not properly reviewable at the time of submission and may request additional information. In this event, the BLA must be resubmitted with the additional information. The resubmitted application also is subject to review before the FDA accepts it for filing. Under the goals and policies agreed to by the FDA under PDUFA, the FDA has 10 months from the filing date to complete its initial review of an original BLA and respond to the applicant, and six months from the filing date of an original

33


 

BLA designated for priority review. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates for standard and priority BLAs, and the review process is often extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification.

Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth substantive review of the BLA. The FDA reviews the BLA to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe, potent, and/or effective for its intended use, and has an acceptable purity profile, and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP to assure and preserve the product’s identity, safety, strength, quality, potency and purity. The FDA may refer applications for novel biological products or biological products that present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation and a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.

During the biological product approval process, the FDA also will determine whether a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) is necessary to assure the safe use of the biological product. A REMS is a safety strategy to manage a known or potential serious risk associated with a medicine and to enable patients to have continued access to such medicines by managing their safe use, and could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the BLA must submit a proposed REMS. The FDA will not approve a BLA without a REMS, if required. Both Kymriah® and Yescarta® were approved with a REMS.

Before approving a BLA, the FDA will inspect the facilities at which the product is manufactured. The FDA will not approve the product unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. For cellular immunotherapy products, the FDA also will not approve the product if the manufacturer is not in compliance with the cGTP, to the extent applicable. These are FDA regulations and guidance documents that in part govern the methods used in, and the facilities and controls used for, the manufacture of human cells, tissue, and cellular and tissue-based products (HCT/Ps) which are human cells or tissue intended for implantation, transplant, infusion, or transfer into a human recipient. The primary intent of the GTP requirements is to ensure that cell and tissue-based products are manufactured in a manner designed to prevent the introduction, transmission and spread of communicable disease. FDA regulations also require tissue establishments to register and list their HCT/Ps with the FDA and, when applicable, to evaluate donors through screening and testing. Additionally, before approving a BLA, the FDA will typically inspect one or more clinical sites to assure that the clinical trials were conducted in compliance with IND trial requirements and GCP requirements. To assure cGMP, GTP and GCP compliance, an applicant must incur significant expenditure of time, money and effort in the areas of training, record keeping, production, and quality control.

Notwithstanding the submission of relevant data and information, the FDA may ultimately decide that the BLA does not satisfy its regulatory criteria for approval and deny approval. Data obtained from clinical trials are not always conclusive and the FDA may interpret data differently than we interpret the same data. If the agency decides not to approve the BLA in its present form, the FDA will issue a complete response letter that describes all of the specific deficiencies in the BLA identified by the FDA. The deficiencies identified may be minor, for example, requiring labeling changes, or major, for example, requiring additional clinical trials. Additionally, the complete response letter may include recommended actions that the applicant might take to place the application in a condition for approval. If a complete response letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the BLA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, or withdraw the application.

If a product receives regulatory approval, the approval may be limited to specific diseases and dosages or the indications for use may otherwise be limited, which could restrict the commercial value of the product. Further, the FDA may require that certain contraindications, warnings or precautions be included in the product labeling. The FDA may impose restrictions and conditions on product distribution, prescribing, or dispensing in the form of a risk management plan, or otherwise limit the scope of any approval. In addition, the FDA may require post marketing clinical trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, designed to further assess a biological product’s safety and effectiveness, and testing and surveillance programs to monitor the safety of approved products that have been commercialized.

Pediatric Information

In addition, under the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), a BLA or supplement to a BLA must contain data to assess the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and to support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The FDA may grant deferrals for submission of data or full or partial waivers. A sponsor who is planning to submit a marketing application for a drug that includes a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen or new route of administration must submit an initial Pediatric Study Plan (PSP), within sixty (60) days of an end-of-Phase 2 meeting or, if there is no such meeting, as early as practicable before the initiation of the Phase 3 or Phase 2/3 study. The initial PSP must include an outline of the pediatric study or studies that the sponsor plans to conduct, including study objectives and design, age groups, relevant endpoints and statistical approach, or a justification for not including such detailed information, and any request for a deferral of pediatric assessments or a full or partial waiver of the requirement to provide data from pediatric

34


 

studies along with supporting information. The FDA and the sponsor must reach an agreement on the PSP. A sponsor can submit amendments to an agreed-upon initial PSP at any time if changes to the pediatric plan need to be considered based on data collected from preclinical studies, early phase clinical trials and/or other clinical development programs.

Orphan Drug Designation

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug or biologic intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the U.S., or more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S. and for which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available in the U.S. a drug or biologic for this type of disease or condition will be recovered from sales in the U.S. for that drug or biologic. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting a BLA. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the generic identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. The orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review or approval process.

If a product that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including a full BLA, to market the same biologic for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity. Orphan drug exclusivity does not prevent FDA from approving a different drug or biologic for the same disease or condition, or the same drug or biologic for a different disease or condition. Among the other benefits of orphan drug designation are tax credits for certain research and a waiver of the BLA application user fee.

A designated orphan drug may not receive orphan drug exclusivity if it is approved for a use that is broader than the indication for which it received orphan designation. In addition, exclusive marketing rights in the U.S. may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.

Expedited Development and Review Programs

The FDA has a fast track program that is intended to expedite or facilitate the process for reviewing new products that meet certain criteria. Specifically, new products are eligible for fast track designation if they are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the disease or condition. Fast track designation applies to the combination of the product and the specific indication for which it is being studied. Unique to a fast track product, the FDA may consider for review sections of the BLA on a rolling basis before the complete application is submitted, if the sponsor provides a schedule for the submission of the sections of the BLA, the FDA agrees to accept sections of the BLA and determines that the schedule is acceptable, and the sponsor pays any required user fees upon submission of the first section of the BLA.

Any product submitted to the FDA for approval, including a product with a fast track designation, may also be eligible for other types of FDA programs intended to expedite development and review, such as priority review and accelerated approval. A product is eligible for priority review if it has the potential to provide safe and effective therapy where no satisfactory alternative therapy exists or a significant improvement in the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of a disease compared to marketed products. The FDA will attempt to direct additional resources to the evaluation of an application for a new product designated for priority review in an effort to facilitate the review. Additionally, a product may be eligible for accelerated approval. Products studied for their safety and effectiveness in treating serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions may receive accelerated approval upon a determination that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality, that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit, taking into account the severity, rarity, or prevalence of the condition and the availability or lack of alternative treatments. As a condition of approval, the FDA may require that a sponsor of a drug or biological product receiving accelerated approval perform adequate and well-controlled post-marketing clinical studies. In addition, the FDA currently requires as a condition for accelerated approval pre-approval of promotional materials, which could adversely impact the timing of the commercial launch of the product.

Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT), designation was established by the FDA in 2017 to facilitate an efficient development program for, and expedite review of, any drug that meets the following criteria: (1) it qualifies as a RMAT, which is defined as a cell therapy, therapeutic tissue engineering product, human cell and tissue product, or any combination product using such therapies or products, with limited exceptions; (2) it is intended to treat, modify, reverse, or cure a serious or life-threatening disease or condition; and (3) preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug has the potential to address unmet medical needs for such a disease or condition. RMAT designation provides potential benefits that include more frequent meetings with FDA to discuss the development plan for the product candidate and eligibility for rolling review and priority review. Products granted RMAT designation may also be eligible for accelerated approval on the basis of a surrogate or intermediate endpoint reasonably likely to predict long-term clinical benefit, or reliance upon data obtained from a

35


 

meaningful number of sites, including through expansion to additional sites. Once approved, when appropriate, the FDA can permit fulfillment of post-approval requirements under accelerated approval through the submission of clinical evidence, clinical studies, patient registries, or other sources of real world evidence such as electronic health records; through the collection of larger confirmatory datasets; or through post-approval monitoring of all patients treated with the therapy prior to approval.

Breakthrough therapy designation is also intended to expedite the development and review of products that treat serious or life-threatening conditions. The designation by FDA requires preliminary clinical evidence that a product candidate, alone or in combination with other drugs and biologics, demonstrates substantial improvement over currently available therapy on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. Breakthrough therapy designation comes with all of the benefits of fast track designation, which means that the sponsor may file sections of the BLA for review on a rolling basis if certain conditions are satisfied, including an agreement with FDA on the proposed schedule for submission of portions of the application and the payment of applicable user fees before the FDA may initiate a review.

Fast Track designation, priority review, RMAT and breakthrough therapy designation do not change the standards for approval but may expedite the development or regulatory approval process for our products.

Post-Approval Requirements

Any products for which we receive FDA approvals are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, record-keeping requirements, reporting of adverse experiences with the product, providing the FDA with updated safety and efficacy information, product sampling and distribution requirements, and complying with FDA promotion and advertising requirements, which include, among others, standards for direct-to-consumer advertising, restrictions on promoting products for uses or in patient populations that are not described in the product’s approved uses (known as off-label use), limitations on industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities, and requirements for promotional activities involving the internet. Although a physician may prescribe a legally available product for an off-label use, if the physician deems such product to be appropriate in his/her professional medical judgment, a manufacturer may not market or promote off-label uses. However, it is permissible to share in certain circumstances truthful and not misleading information that is consistent with the product’s approved labeling.

Further, additional FDA limitations on approval or marketing could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory standards or if problems occur following initial marketing. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a product’s approved labeling, including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and may also require the implementation of other risk management measures, including a REMS, or the conduct of post-marketing studies to assess a newly discovered safety issue.

In addition, quality control and manufacturing procedures must continue to conform to applicable manufacturing requirements after approval to ensure the adequate stability of the product. cGMP regulations require among other things, quality control and quality assurance as well as the corresponding maintenance of records and documentation and the obligation to investigate and correct any deviations from cGMP. Manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved products are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP and other laws. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance. Discovery of problems with a product after approval may result in restrictions on a product, manufacturer, or holder of an approved BLA, including, among other things, recall or withdrawal of the product from the market. In addition, changes to the manufacturing process are strictly regulated, and depending on the significance of the change, may require prior FDA approval before being implemented. Other types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications and claims, are also subject to further FDA review and approval.

We rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to produce clinical and commercial quantities of our products in accordance with cGMP regulations. These manufacturers must comply with cGMP regulations that require, among other things, quality control and quality assurance, the maintenance of records and documentation and the obligation to investigate and correct any deviations from cGMP. Manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved biologics are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP requirements and other laws.

The FDA also may require post-marketing testing, known as Phase 4 testing, and surveillance to monitor the effects of an approved product. Discovery of previously unknown problems with a product or the failure to comply with applicable FDA requirements can have negative consequences, including adverse publicity, judicial or administrative enforcement, warning letters from the FDA, mandated corrective advertising or communications with doctors, and civil or criminal penalties, among others. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a product’s approved labeling,

36


 

including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and also may require the implementation of other risk management measures. Also, new government requirements, including those resulting from new legislation, may be established, or the FDA’s policies may change, which could delay or prevent regulatory approval of our products under development.

U.S. Marketing Exclusivity

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), amended the PHSA to authorize the FDA to approve similar versions of innovative biologics, commonly known as biosimilars. A competitor seeking approval of a biosimilar must file an application to establish its molecule as highly similar to an approved innovator biologic, among other requirements. The BPCIA, however, bars the FDA from approving biosimilar applications for 12 years after an innovator biological product receives initial marketing approval. This 12-year period of data exclusivity may be extended by six months, for a total of 12.5 years, if the FDA requests that the innovator company conduct pediatric clinical investigations of the product.

Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of the FDA approval of the use of our product candidates, some of our U.S. patents, if granted, may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent restoration term of up to five years, as compensation for patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. However, patent term restoration cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date. The patent term restoration period is generally one-half the time between the effective date of an IND and the submission date of a BLA plus the time between the submission date of a BLA and the approval of that application. Only one patent applicable to an approved product is eligible for the extension and the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration. In the future, we may intend to apply for restoration of patent term for one of our currently owned or licensed patents to add patent life beyond its current expiration date, depending on the expected length of the clinical trials and other factors involved in the filing of the relevant BLA.

Pediatric exclusivity is another type of regulatory market exclusivity in the U.S. Pediatric exclusivity, if granted, adds six months to existing exclusivity periods and patent terms. This six-month exclusivity, which runs from the end of other exclusivity protection or patent term, may be granted based on the voluntary completion of a pediatric trial in accordance with an FDA-issued “Written Request” for such a trial.

Other U.S. Healthcare Laws and Compliance Requirements

In the United States, our activities are potentially subject to regulation by various federal, state and local authorities in addition to the FDA, including but not limited to, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), other divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (e.g., the Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and individual U.S. Attorney offices within the DOJ, and state and local governments). For example, our business practices, including any of our research and future sales, marketing and scientific/educational grant programs may be required to comply with the anti-fraud and abuse provisions of the Social Security Act, the false claims laws, the patient data privacy and security provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), transparency requirements, and similar state, local and foreign laws, each as amended.

The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity, from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting or receiving any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering or arranging for the purchase, lease or order of any item, good, facility or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs. The term remuneration has been interpreted broadly to include anything of value. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on one hand and prescribers, purchasers, formulary managers, and other individuals and entities on the other. There are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution. The exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly and require strict compliance in order to offer protection. Practices that involve remuneration that may be alleged to be intended to induce prescribing, purchasing or recommending may be subject to scrutiny if they do not qualify for an exception or safe harbor. Failure to meet all of the requirements of a particular applicable statutory exception or regulatory safe harbor does not make the conduct per se illegal under the Anti-Kickback Statute. Instead, the legality of the arrangement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on a cumulative review of all of the facts and circumstances. Our practices may not in all cases meet all of the criteria for protection under a statutory exception or regulatory safe harbor.

Additionally, the intent standard under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, collectively, the Affordable Care Act, to a stricter standard such that a person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. Rather, if “one purpose” of the

37


 

remuneration is to induce referrals, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute is violated. In addition, the Affordable Care Act codified case law that a claim that includes items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act (discussed below).

The civil monetary penalties statute imposes penalties against any person or entity who, among other things, is determined to have presented or caused to be presented a claim to, among others, a federal healthcare program that the person knows or should know is for a medical or other item or service that was not provided as claimed or is false or fraudulent.

The federal civil False Claims Act prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false claim for payment to, or approval by, the federal government or knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to the federal government. As a result of a modification made by the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009, a claim includes “any request or demand” for money or property presented to the U.S. government. For example, pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies have been, and continue to be, investigated or prosecuted under these laws for allegedly providing free product to customers with the expectation that the customers would bill federal programs for the product and for causing false claims to be submitted because of the companies’ marketing of the product for unapproved, and thus non-reimbursable, uses.

HIPAA created additional federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud or to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises, any money or property owned by, or under the control or custody of, any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by trick, scheme or device, a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.

Also, many states have similar fraud and abuse statutes or regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may be broader in scope and apply regardless of payor. These laws are enforced by various state agencies and through private actions. Some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant federal government compliance guidance, require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers, and restrict marketing practices or require disclosure of marketing expenditures. In addition, certain state and local laws require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives.

We may be subject to data privacy and security regulations by both the federal government and the states in which we conduct business. HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and their implementing regulations, impose requirements on certain types of individuals and entities relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. Among other things, HITECH makes HIPAA’s privacy and security standards directly applicable to business associates that are independent contractors or agents of covered entities that receive or obtain protected health information in connection with providing a service on behalf of a covered entity. HITECH also created four new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce the federal HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions. In addition, state laws govern the privacy and security of health information in specified circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Additionally, the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act within the Affordable Care Act, and its implementing regulations, require that certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biological and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) annually report information to CMS related to certain payments or other transfers of value made or distributed to physicians, as defined by such law, and teaching hospitals, or to entities or individuals at the request of, or designated on behalf of, physicians and teaching hospitals and certain ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

In order to distribute products commercially, we must comply with state laws that require the registration of manufacturers and wholesale distributors of drug and biological products in a state, including, in certain states, manufacturers and distributors who ship products into the state even if such manufacturers or distributors have no place of business within the state. Some states also impose requirements on manufacturers and distributors to establish the pedigree of product in the chain of distribution, including some states that require manufacturers and others to adopt new technology capable of tracking and tracing product as it moves through the distribution chain. Several states have enacted legislation requiring pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to establish marketing compliance programs, file periodic reports with the state, make periodic public disclosures on sales, marketing, pricing, clinical trials and other activities, and/or register their sales representatives, as well as to prohibit pharmacies and other healthcare entities from providing certain physician prescribing data to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for use in sales and marketing, and to prohibit certain other sales and marketing practices. All of our activities are potentially subject to federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

38


 

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the federal and state healthcare laws described above or any other governmental regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including without limitation, civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, exclusion from participation in government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, refusal to allow us to enter into government contracts, contractual damages, reputational harm, administrative burdens, diminished profits and future earnings, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Coverage, Pricing and Reimbursement

Significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of any product candidates for which we obtain regulatory approval. In the U.S. and markets in other countries, sales of any products for which we receive regulatory approval for commercial sale will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors provide coverage, and establish adequate reimbursement levels for such products. In the U.S., third-party payors include federal and state healthcare programs, private managed care providers, health insurers and other organizations. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price of a product or for establishing the reimbursement rate that such a payor will pay for the product. Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list, or also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the FDA-approved products for a particular indication. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the price, examining the medical necessity and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical products, therapies and services, in addition to questioning their safety and efficacy. We may need to conduct expensive pharmaco-economic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of our products, in addition to the costs required to obtain the FDA approvals. Our product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost-effective. A payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage for the product. Adequate third-party reimbursement may not be available to enable us to maintain price levels sufficient to realize an appropriate return on our investment in product development.

Different pricing and reimbursement schemes exist in other countries. In the European Union (EU), governments influence the price of pharmaceutical products through their pricing and reimbursement rules and control of national health care systems that fund a large part of the cost of those products to consumers. Some jurisdictions operate positive and negative list systems under which products may only be marketed once a reimbursement price has been agreed. To obtain reimbursement or pricing approval, some of these countries may require the completion of clinical trials that compare the cost-effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies. Other member states allow companies to fix their own prices for medicines but monitor and control company profits. The downward pressure on health care costs has become very intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products. In addition, in some countries, cross-border imports from low-priced markets exert a commercial pressure on pricing within a country.

The marketability of any product candidates for which we receive regulatory approval for commercial sale may suffer if the government and third-party payors fail to provide adequate coverage and reimbursement. In addition, emphasis on managed care in the U.S. has increased and we expect will continue to increase the pressure on healthcare pricing. Coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which we receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

Healthcare Reform

In the U.S. and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and continue to be, several legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system that could prevent or delay marketing approval of product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities, and affect the ability to profitably sell product candidates for which marketing approval is obtained. Among policy makers and payors in the U.S. and elsewhere, there is significant interest in promoting changes in healthcare systems with the stated goals of containing healthcare costs, improving quality and/or expanding access. In the U.S., the pharmaceutical industry has been a particular focus of these efforts and has been significantly affected by major legislative initiatives.

For example, the Affordable Care Act has substantially changed healthcare financing and delivery by both governmental and private insurers. Among the Affordable Care Act provisions of importance to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, in addition to those otherwise described above, are the following:

 

created an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports certain specified branded prescription drugs and biologic agents apportioned among these entities according to their market share in some government healthcare programs that began in 2011;

39


 

 

increased the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, retroactive to January 1, 2010, to 23.1% and 13% of the average manufacturer price for most branded and generic drugs, respectively, and capped the total rebate amount for innovator drugs at 100% of the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP);

 

created a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must now agree to offer 50% (increase to 70% pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, effective as of January 1, 2019) point-of-sale discounts, off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for the manufacturers’ outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D;

 

extended manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability to covered drugs dispensed to individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations;

 

expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to additional individuals and added new mandatory eligibility categories for individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing manufacturers’ Medicaid rebate liability;

 

expanded the entities eligible for discounts under the 340B Drug Discount Program;

 

created a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research;

 

expanded healthcare fraud and abuse laws, including the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), created new government investigative powers, and enhanced penalties for noncompliance;

 

created a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted, or injected;

 

required reporting of certain financial arrangements with physicians and teaching hospitals;

 

required annual reporting of certain information regarding drug samples that manufacturers and distributors provide to physicians;

 

established a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at CMS to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending; and

 

created a licensure framework for follow on biologic products.

There remain legal and political challenges to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Since January 2017, the former U.S. President signed several executive orders and other directives designed to delay, circumvent, or loosen certain requirements mandated by the Affordable Care Act. In December 2017, Congress repealed the tax penalty for an individual’s failure to maintain Affordable Care Act-mandated health insurance, commonly known as the “individual mandate”, as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (Tax Act). On December 14, 2018, a Texas U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress as part of the Tax Act. On December 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and remanded the case back to the District Court to determine whether the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act are invalid as well. On March 2, 2020, the United States Supreme Court granted the petitions for writs of certiorari to review this case, and held oral arguments on November 10, 2020. It is unclear how these developments, subsequent appeals, and other efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will impact the Affordable Care Act.

In addition, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1865) permanently eliminated, effective January 1, 2020, the Affordable Care Act’s mandated “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage and medical device tax and, effective January 1, 2021, also eliminates the health insurer tax.  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), among other things, amended the Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2019, to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole”. In December 2018, CMS published a final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain Affordable Care Act qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the Affordable Care Act risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. Since then, the Affordable Care Act risk adjustment program payment parameters have been updated annually.

Further legislation or regulation could be passed that could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. For

40


 

example, in August 2011, President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act of 2011, which, among other things, created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to recommend to Congress proposals in spending reductions. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction did not achieve a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for fiscal years 2012 through 2021, triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions to Medicare payments to providers of up to 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect beginning on April 1, 2013 and will stay in effect through 2030 unless additional Congressional action is taken. Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, as well as subsequent legislation, these reductions have been suspended from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Proposed legislation, if passed, would extend this suspension until the end of the pandemic. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 required that CMS reduce the Medicare clinical laboratory fee schedule by 2% in 2013, which served as a base for 2014 and subsequent years. In addition, effective January 1, 2014, CMS also began bundling the Medicare payments for certain laboratory tests ordered while a patient received services in a hospital outpatient setting. In January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

Additionally, there has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the U.S. with respect to specialty drug pricing practices. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and federal and state legislative activity designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs.

At the federal level, the former U.S. Presidential administration’s budget proposal for the fiscal year 2021 includes a $135 billion allowance to support legislative proposals seeking to reduce drug prices, increase competition, lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients, and increase patient access to lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs.  HHS has solicited feedback on some of the measures supported by the prior administration and has implemented others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, CMS issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage plans the option to use step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. This final rule codified CMS’s policy change that was effective January 1, 2019. It is unclear whether the Biden administration will challenge, reverse, revoke or otherwise modify these executive and administrative actions after January 20, 2021.

Additionally, the FDA released a final rule on September 24, 2020, which went into effect on November 30, 2020, providing guidance for states to build and submit importation plans for drugs from Canada. Further, on November 20, 2020 CMS issued an Interim Final Rule implementing the Most Favored Nation, or MFN, Model under which Medicare Part B reimbursement rates will be calculated for certain drugs and biologicals based on the lowest price drug manufacturers receive in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries with a similar gross domestic product per capita.  The MFN Model regulations mandate participation by identified Part B providers and would have applied to all U.S. states and territories for a seven-year period beginning January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2027. However, in response to a lawsuit filed by several industry groups, on December 28, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction enjoining government defendants from implementing the MFN Rule pending completion of notice-and-comment procedures under the Administrative Procedure Act. On January 13, 2021, in a separate lawsuit brought by industry groups in the U.S. District of Maryland, the government defendants entered a joint motion to stay litigation on the condition that the government would not appeal the preliminary injunction granted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and that performance for any final regulation stemming from the MFN Interim Final Rule shall not commence earlier than 60 days after publication of that regulation in the Federal Register. Further, authorities in Canada have passed rules designed to safeguard the Canadian drug supply from shortages. If implemented, importation of drugs from Canada and the MFN Model may materially and adversely affect the price we receive for any of our product candidates. Additionally, on December 2, 2020, HHS published a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through pharmacy benefit managers, unless the price reduction is required by law. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers. Pursuant to an order entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the portion of the rule eliminating safe harbor protection for certain rebates related to the sale or purchase of a pharmaceutical product from a manufacturer to a plan sponsor under Medicare Part D has been delayed to January 1, 2023. Further, implementation of this change and new safe harbors for point-of-sale reductions in price for prescription pharmaceutical products and pharmacy benefit manager service fees are currently under review by the Biden administration and may be amended or repealed.

Individual states in the U.S. have also increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. Individual states in the U.S. have also been increasingly passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.

41


 

We anticipate that these and other healthcare reform efforts will continue to result in additional downward pressure on coverage and the price that we receive for any approved product, and could materially harm our business. Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare and other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors. The implementation of cost containment measures or other healthcare reforms may prevent us from being able to generate revenue, attain profitability, or commercialize our products. Such reforms could have an adverse effect on anticipated revenue from product candidates that we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval and may affect our overall financial condition and ability to develop product candidates.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The FCPA prohibits any U.S. individual or business from offering, paying, promising to pay, or authorizing payment of money or anything of value, to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to any foreign official, political party or candidate to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist the individual or business in obtaining or retaining business.

The FCPA also obligates companies whose securities are listed in the U.S. to comply with certain accounting provisions requiring us to maintain books and records that accurately and fairly reflect all transactions of the corporation, including international subsidiaries, and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls. Compliance with the FCPA is expensive and difficult, particularly in countries in which corruption is a recognized problem. In addition, the FCPA presents particular challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, because, in many countries, hospitals are owned and operated by the government, and doctors and other hospital employees are considered foreign officials for the purposes of the statute. Certain payments made in connection with clinical trials and other work have been deemed to be improper payments to government officials and have led to FCPA enforcement actions. Various laws, regulations and executive orders also restrict the use and dissemination outside of the U.S., or the sharing with certain non-U.S. nationals, of information classified for national security purposes, as well as certain products and technical data relating to those products.

Accordingly, if we expand our presence outside of the U.S., we will need to dedicate additional resources to complying with the laws and regulations in each jurisdiction in which it plans to operate. Therefore, this may preclude us from developing, manufacturing, or selling certain products and product candidates outside of the U.S., which could limit our growth potential and increase our development costs.

Packaging and Distribution in the U.S.

If our products are made available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule of the General Services Administration, additional laws and requirements apply. Products must meet applicable child-resistant packaging requirements under the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act. Manufacturing, sales, promotion and other activities also are potentially subject to federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

The distribution of pharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of pharmaceutical products. The failure to comply with any of these laws or regulatory requirements subjects firms to possible legal or regulatory action. Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements can result in criminal prosecution, fines or other penalties, injunctions, exclusion from federal healthcare programs, requests for recall, seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of product approvals, or refusal to allow a firm to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future products marketed by us could materially affect our business in an adverse way.

Changes in regulations, statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business.

Additional Regulation

In addition to the foregoing, state and federal laws regarding environmental protection and hazardous substances, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Resource Conservancy and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act, affect our business. These and other laws govern our use, handling and disposal of various biological, chemical and radioactive substances used in, and wastes generated by, our operations.

42


 

Even if we contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and waste products, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination or injury resulting from these materials. If our operations result in contamination of the environment or expose individuals to hazardous substances, we could be liable for damages and governmental fines, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties for failure to comply with such laws and regulations. We maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover costs and expenses it may incur due to injuries to our employees, but this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. However, we do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against it. In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. Current or future environmental laws and regulations may impair our research, development or production efforts. In addition, failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.

We believe that we are in material compliance with applicable environmental laws and that continued compliance therewith will not have a material adverse effect on our business. We cannot predict, however, how changes in these laws may affect our future operations.

Europe / Rest of World Government Regulation

In addition to regulations in the U.S., we will be subject to a variety of regulations in other jurisdictions governing, among other things, clinical trials and any commercial sales and distribution of our products. Whether or not we obtain FDA approval of a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in foreign countries prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of the product in those countries. Certain countries outside of the U.S. have a similar process that requires the submission of a clinical trial application much like the IND prior to the commencement of human clinical trials. In the EU, for example, a clinical trial application must be submitted to each country’s national health authority and an independent ethics committee, much like the FDA and IRB, respectively. Once the clinical trial application is approved in accordance with a country’s requirements, clinical trial development may proceed. Because biologically sourced raw materials are subject to unique contamination risks, their use may be restricted in some countries.

The requirements and process governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. In all cases, the clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP and the applicable regulatory requirements and the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki.

To obtain regulatory approval of an investigational drug or biological product under EU regulatory systems, we must submit an MAA. The application used to file the BLA in the U.S. is similar to that required in the EU, with the exception of, among other things, country-specific document requirements.

For other countries outside of the EU, such as countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America or Asia, the requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. In all cases, again, the clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP and the applicable regulatory requirements and the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki.

If we or our potential collaborators fail to comply with applicable foreign regulatory requirements, we may be subject to, among other things, fines, suspension or withdrawal of regulatory approvals, product recalls, seizure of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecution.

European Union General Data Protection Regulation

In addition to EU regulations related to the approval and commercialization of our products, we may be subject to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR imposes stringent requirements for controllers and processors of personal data of persons in the EU, including, for example, more robust disclosures to individuals and a strengthened individual data rights regime, shortened timelines for data breach notifications, limitations on retention of information, increased requirements pertaining to special categories of data, such as health data, and additional obligations when we contracts with third-party processors in connection with the processing of the personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the European Union to the U.S. and other third countries. In addition, the GDPR provides that EU member states may make their own further laws and regulations limiting the processing of personal data, including genetic, biometric or health data.

The GDPR applies extraterritorially, and we may be subject to the GDPR because of our data processing activities that involve the personal data of individuals located in the European Union, such as in connection with our EU clinical trials. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR and the applicable national data protection laws of the EU member states may result in fines of up to €20,000,000 or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, and other administrative penalties. GDPR regulations may impose additional responsibility and liability in relation to the personal data that we process and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to ensure compliance with the new data protection rules.

43


 

California Consumer Privacy Act

California recently enacted legislation, effective January 1, 2020, that has been dubbed the first “GDPR-like” law in the U.S. Known as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), it creates new individual privacy rights for consumers (as that word is broadly defined in the law) and places increased privacy and security obligations on entities handling personal data of consumers or households. The CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers, provides such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales of personal information, and allows for a new cause of action for data breaches. As our business progresses, the CCPA may impact (possibly significantly) our business activities and exemplifies the vulnerability of our business to the evolving regulatory environment related to personal data and protected health information.

Corporate Information

Prior to September 15, 2020, we were a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company known as resTORbio, Inc. that had historically focused on developing innovative medicines that target the biology of aging, to prevent or treat age-related diseases with the potential to extend healthy lifespan. resTORbio was originally incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in July 2016 and commenced research and development operations in March 2017.

On September 15, 2020, we completed our business combination whereby a wholly owned subsidiary of resTORbio, Inc. merged with and into Adicet Bio, Inc., with Adicet Bio, Inc. surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of resTORbio and changing our name to Adicet Therapeutics, Inc. In connection with the completion of the Merger, resTORbio was renamed Adicet Bio, Inc. (Adicet Bio).

Immediately prior to the Effective Time of the Merger, resTORbio effected a reverse stock split of our common stock at a ratio of 1-for-7. At the Effective Time of the Merger, each outstanding share of former our capital stock was converted into the right to receive 0.1240 shares of resTORbio common stock.

Our website is located at www.adicetbio.com. Our common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ACET.”

Employees

As of March 10, 2021, we had 81 full-time employees, one part-time employee, and 20 consultants. 51% of our employees are female; 23 of our employees hold a Ph.D; 4 of our employees hold a M.D. None of our employees are represented by labor unions or covered by collective bargaining agreements. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

 

In addition to providing attractive and competitive total rewards packages to employees, Adicet believes in fostering individual and organizational effectiveness by offering our employees professional development opportunities that are designed to provide individuals and the organization with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to current and future business demands and to provide ongoing support to the organization’s development efforts. Our culture is one that actively supports the application of new knowledge and skills on the job. We plan to continue to evolve and add to our suite of human capital resources as we grow.

Available Information

Our Internet address is www.adicetbio.com. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, including exhibits, proxy and information statements and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a), 14, and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), are available through the “Investors” portion of our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Information on our website is not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or any of our other securities filings unless specifically incorporated herein by reference. In addition, our filings with the SEC may be accessed through the SEC’s Interactive Data Electronic Applications system at http://www.sec.gov. All statements made in any of our securities filings, including all forward-looking statements or information, are made as of the date of the document in which the statement is included, and we do not assume or undertake any obligation to update any of those statements or documents unless we are required to do so by law.

44


 

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. In evaluating the Company and our business, you should carefully consider the following risks and uncertainties, together with all other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition,” as well as our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, before investing in our common stock. Any of the risk factors we describe below could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. The market price of our common stock could decline if one or more of these risks or uncertainties actually occur, causing you to lose all or part of your investment in our common stock. The risks and uncertainties we describe below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we currently do not know about or that we currently believe to be immaterial may also impair our business. Certain statements below are forward-looking statements. See “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Industry Data” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Risks Related to Our Business and Industry

Risks Related to Operating History

We have a limited operating history and face significant challenges and expense as we build our capabilities.

Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We began operation in November 2014. We have a limited operating history upon which you can evaluate our business and prospects and is subject to the risks inherent in any early stage company, including, among other things, risks that we may not be able to hire sufficient qualified personnel and establish operating controls and procedures. We currently do not have complete in-house resources to enable our gamma delta T cell platform. As we build our own capabilities, we expect to encounter risks and uncertainties frequently experienced by growing companies in new and rapidly evolving fields, including the risks and uncertainties described herein. Consequently, any predictions made about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a history of successfully developing and commercializing biopharmaceutical products.

We have incurred net losses in every period since our inception and anticipate that we will incur substantial net losses in the future.

We are an early clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. Investment in biopharmaceutical product development is highly speculative because it entails substantial upfront capital expenditures and significant risk that any potential product candidate will fail to demonstrate adequate effect or an acceptable safety profile, gain regulatory approval and become commercially viable. Our product candidates including ADI-001 and ADI-002, have not yet been evaluated in clinical trials. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales to date, and we will continue to incur significant research and development and other expenses related to our ongoing operations. As a result, we are not profitable and have incurred net losses in each period since our inception. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we reported net losses of $36.8 million, 28.1 million and $9.3 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2020, we had an accumulated deficit of $106.5 million.

We expect to incur significant expenditures for the foreseeable future, and we expect these expenditures to increase as we continue our research and development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, product candidates based on our gamma delta T cell platform, including ADI-001 and ADI-002. Even if we succeed in commercializing one or more of our product candidates, we will continue to incur substantial research and development and other expenditures to develop and market additional product candidates. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future net losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenue. Our prior losses and expected future losses have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital. Further, even if we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the value of our company and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our research and development efforts, diversify our product candidates or even continue our operations, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects and cause investors to lose all or part of their investments.

45


 

Our history of recurring losses and anticipated expenditures raise substantial doubts about our ability to continue as a going concern. Our ability to continue as a going concern requires that we obtain sufficient funding to finance our operations.

We have incurred operating losses to date and it is possible we will never generate a profit. Our financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the ordinary course of business. These financial statements do not include any adjustments relating to the recoverability and classification of recorded asset amounts or the amounts and classification of liabilities that might result from the outcome of these uncertainties related to our ability to operate on a going concern basis. If we are unable to raise sufficient capital when needed, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be harmed, and we will need to significantly modify our operational plans to continue as a going concern. If we are unable to continue as a going concern, we might have to liquidate our assets and the values we receive for our assets in liquidation or dissolution could be significantly lower than the values reflected in our financial statements. The potential inclusion of a going concern explanatory paragraph by our auditors, our lack of cash resources and our potential inability to continue as a going concern may negatively impact our share price and our ability to raise new capital or to enter into critical contractual relations with third parties due to concerns about our ability to meet our contractual obligations.

Risks Related to Our Product Candidates

Our business is highly dependent on the success of ADI-001 and ADI-002. If we are unable to obtain approval for ADI-001 or ADI-002 and effectively commercialize ADI-001 or ADI-002 for the treatment of patients in our approved indications, our business would be significantly harmed.

Our business and future success depends on our ability to obtain regulatory approval of, and then successfully commercialize, our most advanced product candidates, ADI-001 and ADI-002. ADI-001 is in the early stages of development and we intend to initiate the first-in-human clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy of ADI-001 in NHL patients in the first quarter of 2021. ADI-002 is also in the early stage of development and we intend to file an IND in late 2021.

Our preclinical results to date may not predict results for our planned trials or any future studies of ADI-001 and ADI-002 or any other allogeneic gamma delta T cell product candidate. Because of the lack of evaluation of allogeneic products and gamma delta T cell therapy products in the clinic to date, any such product’s failure, or the failure of other allogeneic T cell therapies or gamma delta T cell therapies, may significantly influence physicians’ and regulators’ opinions in regards to the viability of our entire pipeline of allogeneic T cell therapies, which could have a material adverse effect on our reputation. If our gamma delta T cell therapy is viewed as less safe or effective than autologous therapies or other allogeneic T cell therapies, our ability to develop other allogeneic gamma delta T cell therapies may be significantly harmed.

All of our product candidates, including ADI-001 and ADI-002, will require additional clinical and non-clinical development, regulatory review and approval in multiple jurisdictions, substantial investment, access to sufficient commercial manufacturing capacity and significant marketing efforts before we can generate any revenue from product sales. In addition, because ADI-001 is our most advanced product candidate, and because our other product candidates are based on similar technology, if ADI-001 encounters safety or efficacy problems, manufacturing problems, developmental delays, regulatory issues or other problems, our development plans and business would be significantly harmed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation and prospects.

Our gamma delta T cell candidates represent a novel approach to cancer treatment that creates significant challenges for us.

We are developing a pipeline of gamma delta T cell product candidates and a novel antibody platform that are intended for use in patient with certain cancers. Advancing these novel product candidates creates significant challenges for us, including:

 

manufacturing our product candidates to our specifications and in a timely manner to support our future clinical trials, and, if approved, commercialization;

 

sourcing future clinical and, if approved, commercial supplies for the raw materials used to manufacture our product candidates;

 

understanding and addressing variability in the quality of a donor’s T cells, which could ultimately affect our ability to produce product in a reliable and consistent manner;

 

inability to achieve efficacy in cancer patients following treatment with our product candidates;

46


 

 

 

achieving a side effect profile, including GvHD, from our product candidates that makes them commercially attractive for further development;

 

educating medical personnel regarding the potential side effect profile of our product candidates, if approved;

 

using medicines to manage adverse side effects of our product candidates which may not adequately control the side effects and/or may have a detrimental impact on the efficacy of the treatment;

 

conditioning patients with chemotherapy or other lymphodepletion agents in advance of administering our product candidates, which may increase the risk of adverse side effects;

 

obtaining regulatory approval, as the FDA and other regulatory authorities have limited experience with development of allogeneic T cell therapies for cancer; and

 

establishing sales and marketing capabilities upon obtaining any regulatory approval to gain market acceptance of a novel therapy.

The success of our business, including our ability to obtain financing and generate any revenue in the future, will primarily depend on the successful development, manufacturing, positive efficacy and safety profile in our clinical trials, regulatory approval and commercialization of our novel product candidates, which may never occur. We have not yet succeeded and may not succeed in demonstrating efficacy and safety for any of our product candidates in clinical trials or in obtaining marketing approval thereafter. Given our early stage of development, it may be several years, if at all, before we have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of a product candidate sufficient to warrant approval for commercialization. If we are unable to develop, or obtain regulatory approval for, or, if approved, successfully commercialize our product candidates, we may not be able to generate sufficient revenue to continue our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and prospects.

Our product candidates are based on novel technologies, which makes it difficult to predict the likely success of such product candidates and the time and cost of product candidate development and obtaining regulatory approval.

We have concentrated our research and development efforts on our allogeneic gamma delta T cell therapy and our future success depends on the successful development of this therapeutic approach. We are in the early stages of developing our platform and product candidates and there can be no assurance that any development problems we have experienced or may experience in the future will not cause significant delays or result in unforeseen issues or unanticipated costs, or that any such development problems or issues can be overcome. We may also experience delays in developing a sustainable, reproducible and scalable manufacturing process or transferring that process to commercial partners, which may prevent us from completing our future clinical studies or commercializing our products on a timely or profitable basis, if at all. In addition, our expectations with regard to the advantages of an allogenic gamma delta T cell therapy platform relative to other therapies may not materialize or materialize to the degree we anticipate. Further, our scalability and costs of manufacturing may vary significantly as we develop our product candidates and understands these critical factors.

In addition, the clinical study requirements of the FDA, European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory agencies and the criteria these regulators use to determine the safety and efficacy of a product candidate are determined according to the type, complexity, novelty and intended use and market of the potential products. The regulatory approval process for novel product candidates such as ours can be more complex and consequently more expensive and take longer than for other, better known or extensively studied pharmaceutical or other product candidates. Approvals by the EMA and FDA for existing autologous CAR-T therapies, such as Kymriah® and Yescarta®, may not be indicative of what these regulators may require for approval of our therapies. Also, while we expect reduced variability in our products candidates compared to autologous products, we do not have significant clinical data supporting any benefit of lower variability. More generally, approvals by any regulatory agency may not be indicative of what any other regulatory agency may require for approval or what such regulatory agencies may require for approval in connection with new product candidates.

Our product candidates may also not perform successfully in clinical trials or may be associated with adverse events that distinguish them from the autologous CAR-T therapies that have previously been approved or alpha beta T cell therapies that may be approved in the future. Unexpected clinical outcomes could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and prospects.

47


 

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that could halt our clinical development, prevent our regulatory approval, limit our commercial potential or result in significant negative consequences.

Undesirable or unacceptable side effects caused by our product candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities. Results of our clinical trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects or unexpected characteristics. Approved autologous CAR-T therapies and those under development have shown frequent rates of cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity, and adverse events have resulted in the death of patients. While we believe our gamma delta T cell therapy may lessen such results, similar or other adverse events for our allogeneic gamma delta T cell product candidates may occur. In addition, while we anticipate our focus on gamma delta T cells may lessen the likelihood of GvHD relative to therapies relying on unrelated alpha beta T cells, similar or other adverse events for our allogeneic gamma delta T cell product candidates may occur.

If unacceptable toxicities arise in the development of our product candidates, we could suspend or terminate our trials or the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease clinical trials or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. The data safety monitoring board may also suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk, including risks inferred from other unrelated immunotherapy trials. Treatment-related side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled subjects to complete the trial or result in potential product liability claims. Novel therapeutic candidates, such as those developed by us, may result in novel side effect profiles that may not be appropriately recognized or managed by the treating medical staff. We anticipate having to train medical personnel using our product candidates to understand the side effect profile of our product candidates for our clinical trials and upon any commercialization of any of our product candidates. Inadequate training in recognizing or managing the potential side effects of our product candidates could result in serious adverse events including patient deaths. Based on available preclinical data and on management’s clinical experience with other cell therapy agents, the safety profile of our pipeline product candidates is expected to include cytokine release syndrome, neurotoxicity, and possibly additional adverse events. Any of these occurrences may have a material adverse effect our business, financial condition and prospects.

Risks Related to Clinical Trials

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

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of our product candidates, including ADI-001 and ADI-002, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical testing and clinical trials that our product candidates are both safe and effective for use in each target indication. Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials.

There is typically an extremely high rate of attrition from the failure of product candidates proceeding through clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy profile despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy, insufficient durability of efficacy or unacceptable safety issues, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials. Most product candidates that commence clinical trials are never approved as products.

In addition, for ADI-001 and ADI-002 and any future trials that may be completed, we cannot guarantee that the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities will interpret the results as we do, and more trials could be required before we submit our product candidates for approval. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, approval of our product candidates may be significantly delayed, or we may be required to expend significant additional resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects and financial condition.

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

From time to time, we may publish interim “top line” or preliminary data from our clinical studies. Interim data from clinical trials that we may complete are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available.

48


 

Preliminary or “top line” data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, interim and preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Adverse differences between preliminary or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects.

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

In October 2020, the IND for our lead product candidate, ADI-001, to treat patients with NHL was cleared by the FDA. Additionally, we plan to submit an IND and, subject to the FDA’s regulatory process for review of INDs, initiate Phase 1 clinical trials of ADI-002 in late 2021. However, our timing of filing on ADI-002 is dependent on further preclinical and manufacturing success, which we work on with various third parties. We cannot be sure that we will be able to submit our IND in a timely manner, if at all, or that submission of an IND or IND amendment will result in the FDA allowing testing and clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that suspend or terminate such clinical trials. Additionally, even if such regulatory authorities agree with the design and implementation of the clinical trials set forth in an IND or clinical trial application, we cannot guarantee that such regulatory authorities will not change their requirements in the future. The inability to initiate a clinical trial on ADI-001 or ADI-002 on the timeline currently anticipated or at all could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and prospects.

We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical trials, or may not be able to conduct our trials on the timelines we expect.

Clinical testing is expensive, time consuming and subject to uncertainty. We cannot guarantee that any clinical studies will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, if at all. Even if these trials begin as planned, issues may arise that could suspend or terminate such clinical trials. A failure of one or more clinical studies can occur at any stage of testing, and our future clinical studies may not be successful. Events that may prevent successful or timely completion of clinical development include:

 

inability to generate sufficient preclinical, toxicology or other in vivo or in vitro data to support the initiation of clinical studies;

 

delays in sufficiently developing, characterizing or controlling a manufacturing process suitable for advanced clinical trials;

 

delays in developing suitable assays for screening patients for eligibility for trials with respect to certain product candidates;

 

delays in reaching a consensus with regulatory agencies on study design;

 

delays in reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective contract research organizations (CROs) and clinical study sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical study sites;

 

delays in obtaining required institutional review board (IRB) approval at each clinical study site;

 

imposition of a temporary or permanent clinical hold by regulatory agencies for a number of reasons, including after review of an IND application or amendment, or equivalent application or amendment; as a result of a safety finding that presents unreasonable risk to clinical trial participants; a negative finding from an inspection of our clinical study operations or study sites; developments on trials conducted by competitors for related technology that raises FDA concerns about risk to patients of the technology broadly; or if FDA finds that the investigational protocol or plan is clearly deficient to meet its stated objectives;

 

delays in recruiting suitable patients to participate in our clinical studies;

 

difficulty collaborating with patient groups and investigators;

 

failure by our CROs, other third parties or it to adhere to clinical study requirements;

 

failure to perform in accordance with the FDA’s GCP requirements or applicable regulatory guidelines in other countries;

49


 

 

transfer of manufacturing processes to any new CMO or our own manufacturing facilities or any other development or commercialization partner for the manufacture of product candidates;

 

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

 

patients dropping out of a study;

 

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

 

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

 

changes in the standard of care on which a clinical development plan was based, which may require new or additional trials;

 

the cost of clinical studies of our product candidates being greater than we anticipate;

 

clinical studies of our product candidates producing negative or inconclusive results, which may result in us deciding, or regulators requiring us, to conduct additional clinical studies or abandon product development programs;

 

delays or failure to secure supply agreements with suitable raw material suppliers, or any failures by suppliers to meet our quantity or quality requirements for necessary raw materials; and

 

delays in manufacturing, testing, releasing, validating, or importing/exporting sufficient stable quantities of our product candidates for use in clinical studies or the inability to do any of the foregoing.

Our timing of filing on these product candidates is dependent on further preclinical and manufacturing success, which we work on with various third parties. We cannot be sure that we will be able to submit our IND in a timely manner, if at all, or that submission of an IND or IND amendment will result in the FDA allowing testing and clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that suspend or terminate such clinical trials. Additionally, even if such regulatory authorities agree with the design and implementation of the clinical trials set forth in an IND or clinical trial application, we cannot guarantee that such regulatory authorities will not change their requirements in the future.

Any inability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development could result in additional costs to us or impair our ability to generate revenue. In addition, if we make manufacturing or formulation changes to our product candidates, we may be required to or we may elect to conduct additional studies to bridge our modified product candidates to earlier versions. Clinical study delays could also shorten any periods during which our products have patent protection and may allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do, which could impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may harm our business and results of operations.

Monitoring safety of patients receiving our product candidates is challenging, which could adversely affect our ability to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize.

In our planned clinical trials of our product candidates, we have contracted with and expect to continue to contract with academic medical centers and hospitals experienced in the assessment and management of toxicities arising during clinical trials. Nonetheless, these centers and hospitals may have difficulty observing patients and treating toxicities, which may be more challenging due to personnel changes, inexperience, shift changes, house staff coverage or related issues. This could lead to more severe or prolonged toxicities or even patient deaths, which could result in us or the FDA delaying, suspending or terminating one or more of our clinical trials, and which could jeopardize regulatory approval. Medicines used at centers to help manage adverse side effects of ADI-001 and ADI- 002 may not adequately control the side effects and/or may have a detrimental impact on the efficacy of the treatment. Use of these medicines may increase with new physicians and centers administering our product candidates, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to obtain regulatory approval and commercialize on the timelines anticipated or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

50


 

If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.

We may experience difficulties in patient enrollment in our clinical trials for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The timely completion of clinical trials in accordance with the protocols depends, among other things, on our ability to enroll a sufficient number of patients who remain in the study until the conclusion. The enrollment of patients depends on many factors, including:

 

the patient eligibility criteria defined in the protocol;

 

the size of the patient population required for analysis of the trial’s primary endpoints;

 

the proximity of patients to study sites;

 

the design of the trial;

 

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

 

Our ability to obtain and maintain patient consents; and

 

the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the trials before the infusion of our product candidates or trial completion.

We intend to conduct a number of clinical trials for product candidates in the fields of cancer and other indications in geographies which are affected by COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on various aspects of our future clinical trials. For example, investigators may not want to take the risk of exposing cancer patients to COVID-19 since the dosing of patients is conducted within an in-patient setting. Other potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our future various clinical trials include patient dosing and study monitoring, which may be paused or delayed due to changes in policies at various clinical sites, federal, state, local or foreign laws, rules and regulations, including quarantines or other travel restrictions, prioritization of healthcare resources toward pandemic efforts, including diminished attention of physicians serving as our clinical trial investigators and reduced availability of site staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials, interruption or delays in the operations of the government regulators, or other reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unknown how long these pauses or disruptions could continue.

In addition, our clinical trials will compete with other clinical trials for product candidates that are in the same therapeutic areas as our product candidates, and this competition will reduce the number and types of patients available to us because some patients who might have opted to enroll in our trials may instead opt to enroll in a trial being conducted by one of our competitors. Since the number of qualified clinical investigators is limited, some of our clinical trial sites are also being used by some of our competitors, which may reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials in that clinical trial site.

Moreover, because our product candidates represent unproven methods for cancer treatment, potential patients and their doctors may be inclined to use conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation or autologous CAR-T cell therapies, rather than enroll patients in our clinical trial. Patients eligible for allogeneic CAR-T cell therapies but ineligible for autologous CAR T cell therapies due to aggressive cancer and inability to wait for autologous CAR-T cell therapies may be at greater risk for complications and death from therapy.

Delays in patient enrollment may result in increased costs or may affect the timing or outcome of our ongoing clinical trial and planned clinical trials, which could prevent completion of these trials and adversely affect our ability to advance the development of our product candidates.

Clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming and difficult to design and implement.

Human clinical trials are expensive and difficult to design and implement, in part because they are subject to rigorous regulatory requirements. Because our gamma delta T cell product candidates are based on new technologies and will require the creation of inventory of mass-produced, off-the-shelf products, we expect that we will require extensive research and development and have substantial manufacturing and processing costs. In addition, costs to treat patients with NHL cancer and to treat potential side effects that may result from our product candidates can be significant. Accordingly, our clinical trial costs are likely to be significantly higher than for more conventional therapeutic technologies or drug products, which is expected to have a material adverse effect on our financial position and ability to achieve profitability.

51


 

A variety of risks associated with conducting research and clinical trials abroad and marketing our product candidates internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

We plan to globally develop our product candidates. Accordingly, we expect that it will be subject to additional risks related to operating in foreign countries, including:

 

differing regulatory requirements in foreign countries;

 

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

 

increased difficulties in managing the logistics and transportation of storing and shipping product candidates produced in the U.S. and shipping the product candidate to the patient abroad;

 

import and export requirements and restrictions;

 

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

 

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

 

foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;

 

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

 

difficulties staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the U.S.;

 

differing payor reimbursement regimes, governmental payors or patient self-pay systems, and price controls;

 

potential liability under the FCPA or comparable foreign regulations;

 

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

 

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

 

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

These and other risks associated with our potential international operations may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or maintain profitable operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Marketing Our Product Candidates

The market opportunities for our product candidates may be limited to those patients who are ineligible for or have failed prior treatments and may be small.

The FDA often approves new therapies initially only for use in patients who are currently not adequately treated with currently approved therapies. We expect to initially seek approval of ADI-001 and ADI-002 and our other product candidates in this setting. Subsequently, for those products that prove to be sufficiently beneficial, if any, we would expect to seek approval in earlier lines of treatment and potentially as a first line therapy. There is no guarantee that our product candidates, even if approved, would be approved for earlier lines of therapy, and, prior to any such approvals, we will have to conduct additional clinical trials, including potentially comparative trials against approved therapies. We are also targeting a similar patient population as autologous CAR-T product candidates, including approved autologous CAR-T products. Our therapies may not be as safe and effective as autologous CAR-T therapies and may only be approved for patients who are ineligible for autologous CAR-T therapy.

52


 

Our projections of both the number of people who have the cancers we are targeting, as well as the subset of people with these cancers in a position to receive second or later lines of therapy and who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on our beliefs and estimates. These estimates have been derived from a variety of sources, including scientific literature, patient foundations, or market research and may prove to be incorrect. Further, new studies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of these cancers. The number of patients may turn out to be lower than expected. Additionally, the potentially addressable patient population for our product candidates may be limited or may not be amenable to treatment with our product candidates. Even if we obtain significant market share for our product candidates, because the potential target populations are small, we may never achieve profitability without obtaining regulatory approval for additional indications.

If we fail to develop additional product candidates, our commercial opportunity will be limited.

One of our core strategies is to pursue clinical development of additional product candidates beyond ADI-001 and ADI-002. Developing, obtaining regulatory approval and commercializing additional gamma delta T cell product candidates will require substantial additional funding and is prone to the risks of failure inherent in medical product development. We cannot provide you any assurance that it will be able to successfully advance any of these additional product candidates through the development process.

Even if we receive FDA approval to market additional product candidates for the treatment of cancer, we cannot assure you that any such product candidates will be successfully commercialized, widely accepted in the marketplace or more effective than other commercially available alternatives. If we are unable to successfully develop and commercialize additional product candidates, our commercial opportunity will be limited. Moreover, a failure in obtaining regulatory approval of additional product candidates may have a negative effect on the approval process of any other, or result in losing approval of any approved, product candidate which could have a material adverse effect on our business and prospects.

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

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

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

There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop in-house sales and distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third-party collaborators to commercialize any product that receives regulatory approval in the U.S. or overseas. If we are unable to successfully market and distribute our products, our business, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.

We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.

The biopharmaceutical industry, and the immuno-oncology industry specifically, is characterized by intense competition and rapid innovation. Our competitors may be able to develop other compounds or drugs that are able to achieve similar or better results. Our potential competitors include major multinational pharmaceutical companies, established biotechnology companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and universities and other research institutions. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and other resources, such as larger research and development staff and experienced marketing and manufacturing organizations and well-established sales forces. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large, established companies. Mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries may result in even more resources being concentrated in our competitors. Competition may increase further as a result of advances in the commercial applicability of technologies and greater availability of capital for investment in these industries. Our competitors, either alone or with collaborative partners, may succeed in developing, acquiring or licensing on an exclusive basis drug or biologic products that are more effective, safer, more easily commercialized or less costly than our product candidates or may develop proprietary technologies or secure patent protection that we may need for the development of our technologies and products.

53


 

Specifically, engineered T cells face significant competition in both the CAR and TCR technology space from multiple companies. Even if we obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates, the availability and price of our competitors’ products could limit the demand and the price we are able to charge for our product candidates. We may not be able to implement our business plan if the acceptance of our product candidates is affected by price competition or the reluctance of physicians to switch from existing methods of treatment to our product candidates, or if physicians switch to other new drug or biologic products or choose to reserve our product candidates for use in limited circumstances.

Risks Related to Manufacturing

We do not currently operate our own manufacturing facility, which would require significant resources and any failure to successfully manufacture our products could adversely affect our clinical trials and the commercial viability of our product candidates.

We may not be able to achieve clinical or commercial manufacturing and cell processing on our own or through our CMOs, including mass-producing off-the-shelf product to satisfy demands for any of our product candidates. Very few companies have experience in manufacturing gamma delta T cell therapy derived from blood of healthy donors and gamma delta T cells require several complex manufacturing steps before being available as a mass-produced, off-the-shelf product. While we believe our manufacturing and processing approaches are appropriate to support our clinical product development, we have limited experience in managing the allogeneic gamma delta T cell engineering process, and our allogeneic processes may be more difficult or more expensive than the approaches taken by our competitors. We cannot be sure that the manufacturing processes employed by or on our behalf will result in T cells that will be safe and effective.

Our operations remain subject to review and oversight by the FDA and the FDA could object to our use of any manufacturing facilities. We must first receive approval from the FDA prior to licensure to manufacture our product candidates, which we may never obtain. Even if approved, we would be subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA and corresponding state agencies to ensure strict compliance with cGMPs and other government regulations. Our license to manufacture product candidates will be subject to continued regulatory review.

Our cost of goods development is at an early stage. The actual cost to manufacture and process our product candidates could be greater than we expect and could materially and adversely affect the commercial viability of our product candidates.

The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is complex and requires significant expertise, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. Manufacturers of cell therapy products often encounter difficulties in production, particularly in scaling out and validating initial production and ensuring the absence of contamination. These problems include difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including stability of the product, quality assurance testing, operator error, shortages of qualified personnel, as well as compliance with strictly enforced federal, state and foreign regulations. Furthermore, if contaminants are discovered in our supply of product candidates or in the manufacturing facilities, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination. We cannot assure you that any stability or other issues relating to the manufacture of our product candidates will not occur in the future.

We may fail to manage the logistics of storing and shipping our product candidates. Storage failures and shipment delays and problems caused by us, our vendors or other factors not in our control, such as weather, could result in loss of usable product or prevent or delay the delivery of product candidates to patients.

We may also experience manufacturing difficulties due to resource constraints or as a result of labor disputes. If we were to encounter any of these difficulties, our ability to provide our product candidates to patients would be jeopardized, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and prospects.

Risks Related to Our Operations

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

Our ability to compete in the highly competitive biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries depends upon our ability to attract and retain highly qualified managerial, scientific and medical personnel. We are highly dependent on our management, scientific and medical personnel. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers, other key employees, and other scientific and medical advisors, and our inability to find suitable replacements could result in delays in product development and harm our business.

We conduct substantially all of our operations at our facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. This region is headquarters to many other biopharmaceutical companies and many academic and research institutions. Competition for skilled personnel in this market is intense and may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms or at all.

54


 

To induce valuable employees to remain at the company, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we have provided stock options that vest over time. The value to employees of stock options that vest over time may be significantly affected by fluctuations in our stock price that are beyond our control and may at any time be insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management, scientific and development teams may terminate their employment with us on short notice. Although we have employment agreements with our key employees, these employment agreements provide for at-will employment, which means that any of our employees could leave our employment at any time, with or without notice. We do not maintain “key person” insurance policies on the lives of these individuals or the lives of any of our other employees. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled junior, mid-level and senior managers as well as junior, mid-level and senior scientific and medical personnel.

We have grown rapidly and will need to continue to grow the size of our organization, and it may experience difficulties in managing this growth.

As our development and commercialization plans and strategies develop, and as we transition into operating as a public company, we have rapidly expanded our employee base and expect to continue to add managerial, operational, sales, research and development, marketing, financial and other personnel. Current and future growth imposes significant added responsibilities on members of management, including:

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

If we are not able to effectively expand our organization by hiring new employees and expanding our groups of consultants and contractors, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and commercialize our product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and prospects.

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

We may form or seek strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations or enter into additional licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to our product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Any of these relationships may require us to incur non-recurring and other charges, increase our near and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute our existing stockholders or disrupt our management and business. In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership or other alternative arrangements for our product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort and third parties may not view our product candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Any delays in entering into new strategic partnership agreements related to our product candidates could delay the development and commercialization of our product candidates in certain geographies for certain indications, which would harm our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

55


 

If we license products or businesses, we may not be able to realize the benefit of such transactions if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture. For instance, our Exclusive License and Collaboration Agreement with Regeneron requires significant research and development commitments that may not result in the development and commercialization of product candidates. We cannot be certain that, following a strategic transaction or license, we will achieve the results, revenue or specific net income that justifies such transaction, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We will need substantial additional financing to develop our products and implement our operating plans. If we fail to obtain additional financing, we may be unable to complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

We expect to spend a substantial amount of capital in the clinical development of our product candidates, including the planned clinical trials for ADI-001 and ADI-002. We will need substantial additional financing to develop our products and implement our operating plans. In particular, we will require substantial additional financing to enable commercial production of our products and initiate and complete registration trials for multiple products. Further, if approved, we will require significant additional amounts in order to launch and commercialize our product candidates.

We believe that our cash, cash equivalents and marketable debt securities will be sufficient for us to continue as a going concern for at least one year from the issuance date of the accompanying consolidated financial statements. However, changing circumstances may cause us to consume capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to spend more money than currently expected because of circumstances beyond our control. We may require additional capital for the further development and commercialization of our product candidates, including funding our internal manufacturing capabilities and may need to raise additional funds sooner if we choose to expand more rapidly than we presently anticipate.

We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Other than the funding agreement and our loan agreement with Pacific Western Bank, we have no committed source of additional capital and if we are unable to raise additional capital in sufficient amounts or on terms acceptable to us, we may have to significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development or commercialization of our product candidates or other research and development initiatives. Our license agreements may also be terminated if we are unable to meet the payment obligations under the agreements. We could be required to seek collaborators for our product candidates at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable or on terms that are less favorable than might otherwise be available or relinquish or license on unfavorable terms our rights to our product candidates in markets where we otherwise would seek to pursue development or commercialization themselves. Additionally, we may not be able to incur indebtedness if the ongoing macroeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including certain actions taken by U.S. or other governmental authorities, such as decreases in short-term interest rates as announced by the Federal Reserve, cause the closure of banks for an extended period of time or a sudden increase in requests for indebtedness at one time by many potential borrowers, either or both of which could overwhelm the banking industry.

Any of the above events could significantly harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations and cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Risks Related to Business Disruptions

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

Our operations, and those of our CMO, CROs and other contractors and consultants, could be subject to earthquakes, power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and other natural or man-made disasters or business interruptions. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could seriously harm our operations and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.

Our ability to manufacture our product candidates could be disrupted if our operations or those of our suppliers are affected by a man-made or natural disaster or other business interruption. We have facilities located in California near major earthquake faults and fire zones. The ultimate impact on us, our significant suppliers and our general infrastructure of being located near major earthquake faults and fire zones and being consolidated in certain geographical areas is unknown, but our operations and financial condition could suffer in the event of a major earthquake, fire or other natural disaster.

A pandemic, epidemic or outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, may materially and adversely affect our business and operations.

Our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows may be affected by the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting volatility and uncertainty it has caused, and is likely to continue to cause, in the U.S. and international markets, including as a result of prolonged economic downturn or recession. On March 11, 2020, the World

56


 

Health Organization declared the recent outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. As a result, national, state, and local authorities have recommended social distancing and imposed or are considering quarantine, shelter-in-place, curfew, and similar isolation measures, including government orders and other restrictions on the conduct of business operations, which has resulted in significant unemployment levels, decreased productivity, decreases in certain non-COVID-19 healthcare activities and healthcare utilization. Such measures have had, and are likely to continue to have, adverse impacts on the U.S. economy of uncertain severity and duration and may negatively impact our operations and those of third parties on which we rely, including by causing disruptions in the supply of our product candidates and the conduct of current and future clinical trials. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the operations of the FDA and other health authorities, which could result in delays of reviews and approvals, including with respect to our product candidates. The evolving COVID-19 pandemic is also likely to directly or indirectly impact the pace of enrollment in our future clinical trials as patients may avoid or may not be able to travel to healthcare facilities and physicians’ offices unless due to a health emergency, and clinical trial sites may be less willing to enroll patients in clinical trials that may compromise a person’s immune system. Such facilities and offices may also be required to focus limited resources on non-clinical trial matters, including treatment of COVID-19 patients, and may not be available, in whole or in part, for clinical trial services related to ADI-001 or ADI-002 or our other product candidates. Additionally, while the potential economic impact brought by, and the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult to assess or predict, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global financial markets may reduce our ability to access capital, which could negatively impact our short-term and long-term liquidity. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. Due to the uncertain and rapidly evolving nature of current conditions in the U.S. and around the world, we cannot reasonably estimate the length or severity of the COVID-19 pandemic or the related response, including the length of time it may take for normal economic and operating conditions to resume. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, financing, or clinical trial activities or on healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole. However, any of the foregoing risks, or other unforeseen risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material impact on our liquidity, capital resources, operations, and business and those of the third parties on which it relies.

Inadequate funding for the FDA and other government agencies, or disruptions in their staffing levels related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, prevent new products and services from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner or otherwise prevent those agencies from performing normal business functions on which the approval of our product candidates rely, which would negatively impact our business.

The ability of the FDA to review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, adequate staffing, furloughs, ability to hire and retain key personnel and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory, and policy changes. Average review times at the agency have fluctuated in recent years as a result. In addition, government funding of other government agencies on which our operations may rely, including those that fund research and development activities is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.

Disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may also slow the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. For example, over the last several years, including beginning on December 22, 2018, the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, have had to furlough critical FDA and other government employees and stop critical activities. Since March 2020, foreign and domestic inspections by FDA have largely been on hold with FDA announcing plans in July 2020 to resume prioritized domestic inspections. Should FDA determine that an inspection is necessary for approval of a marketing application and an inspection cannot be completed during the review cycle due to restrictions on travel, FDA has stated that it generally intends to issue a complete response letter. Further, if there is inadequate information to make a determination on the acceptability of a facility, FDA may defer action on the application until an inspection can be completed. In 2020, several companies announced receipt of complete response letters due to the FDA's inability to complete required inspections for their applications. Regulatory authorities outside the U.S. may adopt similar restrictions or other policy measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and may experience delays in their regulatory activities. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, including our ability to access the public markets and obtain necessary capital in order to properly capitalize and continue our operations.

57


 

Risks Related to Government Regulation

Our relationships with customers, physicians including clinical investigators, clinical research organizations and third-party payors are subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws, health information privacy and security laws, transparency laws, government price reporting and other healthcare laws and regulations. If we or our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners, vendors, or other agents violate these laws, we could face substantial penalties.

These laws may impact, among other things, our clinical research program, as well as our proposed and future sales, marketing, and education programs. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services is subject to extensive laws and regulations designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive and other business arrangements. We may also be subject to federal, state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of identifiable patient information. The U.S. healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

 

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly and willfully, offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, the purchasing, leasing, ordering or arranging for the purchase, lease, or order of any item or service reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid or other federal healthcare programs. The term “remuneration” has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value. Although there are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution, the exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly. This statute has been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand, and prescribers, purchasers and formulary managers, among others, on the other. In addition, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of this statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act and the civil monetary penalties statute; On December 2, 2020, the Office of Inspector General, or OIG, published further modifications to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Under the final rules, OIG added safe harbor protections under the Anti-Kickback Statute for certain coordinated care and value-based arrangements among clinicians, providers, and others. This rule (with exceptions) became effective January 19, 2021. Implementation of this change and new safe harbors for point-of-sale reductions in price for prescription pharmaceutical products and pharmacy benefit manager service fees are currently under review by the Biden administration and may be amended or repealed. We continue to evaluate what effect, if any, the rule will have on our business;

 

federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws, including the federal civil False Claims Act, which prohibit, among other things, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment or approval from Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal government programs that are false or fraudulent or knowingly making a false statement to improperly avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government, including federal healthcare programs;

 

the federal HIPAA, which created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick, scheme or device, a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;

 

HIPAA, as amended by the HITECH and their respective implementing regulations, which impose requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information;

 

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

58


 

 

practitioners. In addition, many states also govern the reporting of payments or other transfers of value, many of which differ from each other in significant ways, are often not pre-empted, and may have a more prohibitive effect than the Sunshine Act, thus further complicating compliance efforts; and

 

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

Additionally, we may be subject to analogous state and foreign healthcare laws described above, among others, some of which may be broader in scope. For example, we may be subject to the following: state Anti-Kickback and false claims laws that may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third party payors, including private insurers, or that apply regardless of payor; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government; state laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; state and local laws requiring the registration of pharmaceutical sales and medical representatives; and state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts. Furthermore, we are subject to General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, and other ex-US protections, as discussed further below.

Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors available, it is possible that some of our business activities, or our arrangements with physicians, could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. If we or our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors violate these laws, we may be subject to investigations, enforcement actions and/or significant penalties.

We have adopted a code of business conduct and ethics, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct or business noncompliance, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations. Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements will comply with applicable healthcare laws may involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental and enforcement authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law interpreting applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending themselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, monetary fines, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, and curtailment of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations. In addition, the approval and commercialization of any of our product candidates outside the U.S. will also likely subject us to foreign equivalents of the healthcare laws mentioned above, among other foreign laws.

Data protection, privacy and similar laws restrict access, use, and disclosure of information, and failure to comply with or adapt to changes in these laws could materially and adversely harm our business.

We are subject to federal and state data privacy and security laws and regulations and Laws and expectations relating to privacy continue to evolve. Changes in these laws may limit our data access, use, and disclosure, and may require increased expenditures. In addition, data protection, privacy and similar laws protect more than patient information and, although they vary by jurisdiction, these laws can extend to employee information, business contact information, provider information, and other information relating to identifiable individuals. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act requires covered businesses to, among other things, provide disclosures to California consumers regarding the collection, use and disclosure of such consumers’ personal information and afford such consumers new rights with respect to their personal information, including the right to opt out of certain sales of personal information. We believe that further increased regulation in additional jurisdictions is likely in the area of data privacy. Any of the foregoing may have a material adverse effect on our ability to provide services to patients and, in turn, our results of operations

The collection and use of personal data in the European Union, or EU, are governed by the GDPR. The GDPR imposes stringent requirements for controllers and processors of personal data, including, for example, more robust disclosures to individuals and a strengthened individual data rights regime, shortened timelines for data breach notifications, limitations on retention of information, increased requirements pertaining to special categories of data, such as health data, and additional obligations when we contract with third-party processors in connection with the processing of the personal data. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data out of the European Union to the U.S. and other third countries. In addition, the GDPR provides that EU member states may make their own further laws and regulations limiting the processing of personal data, including genetic, biometric or health data.

59


 

The GDPR applies extraterritorially, and we may be subject to the GDPR because of our data processing activities that involve the personal data of individuals located in the European Union, such as in connection with our EU clinical trials. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR and the applicable national data protection laws of the EU member states may result in fines of up to €20,000,000 or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher, and other administrative penalties. GDPR regulations may impose additional responsibility and liability in relation to the personal data that our processes and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to ensure compliance with the new data protection rules. This may be onerous and may interrupt or delay our development activities, and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Data protection, privacy and similar laws protect more than patient information and, although they vary by jurisdiction, these laws can extend to employee information, business contact information, provider information, and other information relating to identifiable individuals. Failure to comply with these laws may result in, among other things, civil and criminal liability, negative publicity, damage to our reputation, and liability under contractual provisions. In addition, compliance with such laws may require increased costs to us or may dictate that wet not offer certain types of services in the future.

Risks Related to Litigation

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

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

 

decreased demand for our product candidates;

 

injury to our reputation;

 

withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

initiation of investigations by regulators;

 

costs to defend the related litigation;

 

a diversion of management’s time and our resources;

 

substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;

 

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

 

loss of revenue;

 

exhaustion of any available insurance and our capital resources; and

 

the inability to commercialize any product candidate.

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

60


 

Risks Related to Market Uncertainties

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

The global credit and financial markets have experienced extreme volatility and disruptions in the past several years, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. We believe that the state of global economic conditions are particularly volatile and uncertain, not only in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential global recession resulting therefrom, but also due to recent and expected shifts in political, legislative and regulatory conditions concerning, among other matters, international trade and taxation, and that an uneven recovery or a renewed global downturn may negatively impact our ability to conduct clinical trials on the scale and timelines anticipated. There can be no assurance that further deterioration in credit and financial markets and confidence in economic conditions will not occur. Our general business strategy may be adversely affected by any such economic downturn, volatile business or political environment or continued unpredictable and unstable market conditions. If the current equity and credit markets deteriorate, it may make obtaining any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly and more dilutive. Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and stock price and could require us to delay or abandon clinical development plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our current service providers, manufacturers and other partners may not survive an economic downturn, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget. To the extent that our profitability and strategies are negatively affected by downturns or volatility in general economic conditions, our business and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

Legal, regulatory, political and economic uncertainty surrounding the exit of the United Kingdom (U.K.) from the European Union may be a source of instability in international markets, create significant currency fluctuations, adversely affect operations in the U.K. and pose additional risks to our business.

Following the result of a referendum in 2016, the U.K. left the EU on January 31, 2020, commonly referred to as Brexit. Pursuant to the formal withdrawal arrangements agreed between the U.K. and the EU, the U.K. was subject to a transition period until December 31, 2020 (Transition Period), during which EU rules continued to apply. Negotiations between the U.K. and the EU are expected to continue in relation to the customs and trading relationship between the U.K. and the EU following the expiry of the Transition Period. Such a withdrawal from the EU is unprecedented, and it is unclear how the U.K’s access to the European single market for goods, capital, services and labor within the EU, or single market, and the wider commercial, legal and regulatory environment, will impact our business.

The uncertainty concerning the U.K’s legal, regulatory, political, and economic relationship with the EU after the Transition Period may be a source of instability in the international markets, create significant currency fluctuations, and/or otherwise adversely affect trading agreements or similar cross-border co-operation arrangements (whether economic, tax, fiscal, legal, regulatory or otherwise). It could also lead to a period of considerable uncertainty in relation to the regulatory process for drug development and approval in Europe, and make it more costly or difficult to advance our product candidates in the EU and U.K.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position

Our ability to use net operating losses and research and development credits to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations as a result of the Merger.

To the extent that we continue to generate taxable losses, unused losses will carry forward to offset future taxable income, if any, until such unused losses expire. Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50 percentage point change (by value) in its equity ownership by certain stockholders over a rolling three-year period), such corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) and other pre-change tax attributes (such as research tax credits) to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. We have not conducted a study to assess whether a change of control has occurred or whether there have been multiple changes of control since inception due to the significant complexity and cost associated with such a study. As a result, if we earn net taxable income, our ability to use our pre-change NOLs to offset such taxable income may be subject to limitations, if we experienced an ownership change. Similar provisions of state tax law may also apply to limit our use of accumulated state tax attributes. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed. As a result, even as we attained profitability, we may be unable to use a material portion of our NOLs and other tax attributes, which could adversely affect our future cash flows.

61


 

Raising funds through lending arrangements may restrict our operations or produce other adverse results.

Our current Loan and Security Agreement with Pacific Western Bank, which we entered into on April 28, 2020 (the Loan Agreement) at an interest rate equal to the greater of 0.25% above the Prime Rate or 5.00%. The Loan Agreement contains a variety of affirmative and negative covenants, including required financial reporting, limitations on certain dispositions of assets, limitations on the incurrence of additional debt and other requirements. To secure our performance of our obligations under this Loan Agreement, we granted a security interest in substantially all of our assets, other than certain intellectual property assets, to Pacific Western Bank and issued a warrant to purchase our capital stock. Our failure to comply with the covenants in the Loan Agreement, the occurrence of a material impairment in our prospect of repayment operations, business or financial condition, our ability to repay the loan, or in the value, perfection or priority of Pacific Western Bank’s lien on our assets, as determined by Pacific Western Bank, or the occurrence of certain other specified events could result in an event of default that, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of all or a substantial portion of our debt, potential foreclosure on our assets and other adverse results. Additionally, we are bound by certain negative covenants setting forth actions that are not permitted to be taken during the term of the Loan Agreement without consent of Pacific Western Bank, including, without limitation, incurring certain additional indebtedness, making certain asset dispositions, entering into certain mergers, acquisitions or other business combination transactions or incurring any non-permitted lien or other encumbrance on our assets. The foregoing prohibitions and constraints on our operations could result in our inability to: (a) acquire promising intellectual property or other assets on desired timelines or terms; (b) reduce costs by disposing of assets or business segments no longer deemed advantageous to retain; (c) stimulate further corporate growth or development through the assumption of additional debt; or (d) enter into other arrangements that necessitate the imposition of a lien on corporate assets. Moreover, if the conditions set forth in the consent provided by Pacific Western Bank are not satisfied, we would effectively need to terminate the Loan Agreement and repay any outstanding loan funds or refinance the facility with another lender. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, no amounts have been drawn under the Loan Agreement.

We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. Failure to achieve and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could harm our business and negatively impact the value of our common stock.

We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. In connection with the audit of our financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. The material weaknesses we identified were as follows: (i) we did not design or maintain an effective control environment commensurate with our financial reporting requirements due to lack of a sufficient number of accounting professionals with the appropriate level of experience and training; (ii) we did not design and maintain formal accounting policies, procedures and controls to achieve complete, accurate and timely financial accounting, reporting and disclosures, and monitoring controls maintained at the corporate level were not at a sufficient level of precision to provide for the appropriate level of oversight of activities related to our internal control over financial reporting; (iii) we did not design and maintain effective controls over segregation of duties with respect to the preparation and review of account reconciliations as well as creating and posting manual journal entries; and (iv) we did not design and maintain formal accounting policies, processes and controls to analyze, account for and disclose complex transactions.

Additionally, each of the control deficiencies could result in a misstatement of our accounts or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected, and accordingly, we determined that these control deficiencies constitute material weaknesses.

Risks Related to Reliance on Third Parties

Risks Related to Third Parties

If our collaboration with Regeneron is terminated, or if Regeneron materially breaches our obligations thereunder, our business, prospects, operating results, and financial condition would be materially harmed.

Our financial performance may be significantly affected by our Regeneron collaboration that we have entered into to develop next-generation engineered immune-cell therapeutics with fully human CARs and TCRs directed to disease-specific cell surface antigens in order to enable the precise engagement and killing of tumor cells. Under our agreement with Regeneron, Regeneron provided us with an upfront payment of $25 million and additional payments for research funding and we will collaborate with Regeneron to identify and validate targets and develop a pipeline of engineered immune-cell therapeutics for selected targets. Regeneron has the option to obtain development and commercial rights for a certain number of the product candidates developed by the parties, subject to an option payment for each product candidate. If Regeneron exercises our option on a given product candidate, we then have an option to participate in the development and commercialization for such product. If we do not exercise our option, we will be entitled to royalties on any future sales of such products by Regeneron. In addition to developing CARs and TCRs for use in novel immune-cell therapies as part of the

62


 

collaboration, Regeneron will have the right to use these CARs and TCRs in our other antibody programs outside of the collaboration. Regeneron will also be entitled to royalties on any future sales of products developed and commercialized by us under the agreement. If Regeneron were to terminate our collaboration agreement with us, we may not have the resources or skills to replace those of our collaborator, which could require us to seek additional funding or another collaboration that might not be available on favorable terms or at all, and could cause significant delays in development and/or commercialization efforts and result in substantial additional costs to us. Termination of such collaboration agreement or the loss of rights provided to us under such agreement may create substantial new and additional risks to the successful development and commercialization of our products and could materially harm our financial condition and operating results.

Regeneron may change its strategic focus or pursue alternative technologies in a manner that results in reduced, delayed or no revenue to us under the agreement. Regeneron has a variety of marketed products and product candidates either by itself or under collaboration with other companies, including some of our competitors, and the corporate objectives of Regeneron may not be consistent with our best interests. Regeneron may change its position regarding its participation and funding of our and Regeneron joint activities, which may impact our ability to successfully pursue the program.

Our existing and future collaborations will be important to our business. If we are unable to maintain any of these collaborations, or if these collaborations are not successful, our business could be adversely affected.

We have entered, and plan to enter, into collaborations with other companies, including our collaboration agreement with Regeneron, that we believe can provide us with additional capabilities beneficial to our business. The collaboration with Regeneron provides us with important technologies, expertise and funding for our programs and technology, and we expect to receive additional technologies, expertise and funding under this and other collaborations in the future. Our existing therapeutic collaborations, and any future collaborations we enter into, may pose a number of risks, including the following:

 

collaborators have significant