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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
 
FORM
20-F
 
 
(Mark One)
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
 
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number:
001-39363
 
 
Immatics N.V.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
The Netherlands
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
Paul-Ehrlich-Straße 15
72076 Tübingen, Federal Republic of Germany
(Address of principal executive offices)
Edward A. Sturchio
Immatics US, Inc.
2130 W. Holcombe Blvd., Suite 900
Houston, Texas 77030
(281810-7545
(Name, Telephone,
E-mail
and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
 
Title of each class
 
Trading
Symbol(s)
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Ordinary shares, nominal value €0.01 per share
 
IMTX
 
The Nasdaq Stock Market
Warrants to purchase ordinary shares
 
IMTXW
 
The Nasdaq Stock Market
 
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None
 
 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital stock or common stock as of the close of business covered by the annual report. Ordinary shares, nominal value €0.01 per share: 62,926,816
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    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, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer
 
  
Accelerated filer
 
       
Non-accelerated filer
 
  
Emerging growth company
 
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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.  
† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.
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 which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP  ☐
 
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
 
 
  
 
  
Other  ☐
 
 
by the International Accounting Standards Board
 
  
 
  
 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17  ☐    Item 18  ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes   ☐    No  
 
 
 

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ii

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION
Unless otherwise stated or the context otherwise indicates, (i) references to the “company”, “we”, “our” or “us” refer to Immatics N.V., together with its subsidiaries, including Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH; (ii) references to “Immatics” refer solely to Immatics N.V.; and (iii) references to “Immatics OpCo” refer solely to Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH. Immatics N.V. is a Dutch public limited liability company (
naamloze vennootschap
) incorporated on March 10, 2020 and the holding company of Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, a German biopharmaceutical company incorporated in 2000 focused on the development of T cell receptor-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH holds all material assets and conducts all business activities and operations of Immatics N.V.
Trademarks, Service Marks
The Immatics logo
 
, Immatics
®
, XPRESIDENT
®
, ACTengine
®
, ACTallo
®
, ACTolog
®
, XCEPTOR
, TCER
, AbsQuant
, IMADetect
and other trademarks or service marks of Immatics appearing in this Annual Report are the property of the company. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this Annual Report are presented without the
®
and
symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate, in any way, that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names. This Annual Report contains additional trademarks, service marks and trade names of others. All trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this Annual Report are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.
Financial Information
The terms “dollar,” “USD” or “$” refer to the U.S. dollar and the term “euro,” “EUR” or “€” refer to the euro, unless otherwise indicated. The exchange rate used for conversion between U.S. dollars and euros is based on the ECB euro reference exchange rate published by the European Central Bank.
Our consolidated financial statements are presented in euros and have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (“IFRS”). None of the consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”). We have made rounding adjustments to some of the figures included in this Annual Report. Accordingly, any numerical discrepancies in any table between totals and sums of the amounts listed are due to rounding.
Market and Industry Data
This Annual Report contains industry, market and competitive position data that are based on general and industry publications, surveys and studies conducted by third parties, some of which may not be publicly available, and our own internal estimates and research. Third-party publications, surveys and studies generally state that they have obtained information from sources believed to be reliable, but do not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of such information. These data involve a number of assumptions and limitations and contain projections and estimates of the future performance of the industries in which we operate that are subject to a high degree of uncertainty. We caution you not to give undue weight to such projections, assumptions and estimates.
 
iii

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements regarding our current expectations or forecasts of future events. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy, product candidates, research pipeline, ongoing and planned preclinical studies and clinical trials, regulatory submissions and approvals, research and development costs, timing and likelihood of success, as well as plans and objectives of management for future operations are forward-looking statements. Many of the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “should,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “will” and “potential,” among others.
Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this Annual Report and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our intent, belief or current expectations. Forward-looking statements are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to various factors, including, but not limited to, those identified under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” These forward-looking statements include:
 
   
the commencement, timing, progress and results of our research and development programs, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including our Adoptive Cell Therapy (“ACT”) and bispecific T cell engaging receptor (“TCR Bispecific”) trials;
 
   
the timing of investigational new drug application (“IND”) or clinical trial application (“CTA”), biologics license application (“BLA”), Marketing Authorization Application (“MAA”) and other regulatory submissions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) or comparable regulatory authorities;
 
   
the proposed clinical development pathway for our product candidates and the acceptability of the results of clinical trials for regulatory approval of such product candidates by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities;
 
   
assumptions relating to the identification of serious adverse, undesirable or unacceptable side effects related to our product candidates;
 
   
the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates;
 
   
the potential advantages and differentiated profile of ACT and TCER Bispecific product candidates compared to existing therapies for the applicable indications;
 
   
our ability to successfully manufacture or have manufactured drug product for clinical trials and commercialization;
 
   
our expectations regarding the size of the patient populations amenable to treatment with our product candidates, if approved;
 
   
assumptions relating to the rate and degree of market acceptance of any approved product candidates;
 
   
the pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates;
 
   
our ability to identify and develop additional product candidates;
 
   
the ability of our competitors to discover, develop or commercialize competing products before or more successfully than we do;
 
   
our competitive position and the development of and projections relating to our competitors or our industry;
 
   
our estimates of our expenses, ongoing losses, future revenue, capital requirements and our needs for or ability to obtain additional financing;
 
iv

   
our ability to raise capital when needed in order to continue our research and development programs or commercialization efforts;
 
   
our ability to identify and successfully enter into strategic collaborations or licensing opportunities in the future, and our assumptions regarding any potential revenue that we may generate thereunder;
 
   
our ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce intellectual property protection for our product candidates, and the scope of such protection;
 
   
our ability to operate our business without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of third parties;
 
   
our expectations regarding the impact of the
COVID-19
pandemic;
 
   
our expectations regarding
geo-political
actions and conflict, war and terrorism, including the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine and resulting sanctions, retaliatory measures, changes in the availability and price of various materials and effects on global financial markets;
 
   
our ability to attract and retain qualified key management and technical personnel; and
 
   
our expectations regarding the time during which we will be an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart our Business Startups Act of 2012 (“JOBS Act”) and a foreign private issuer.
These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described under the sections in this Annual Report titled “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond our control, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in our forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.
In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.
 
v

PART I
 
ITEM 1.
IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
A. Directors and Senior Management
Not applicable.
B. Advisers
Not applicable.
C. Auditors
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2.
OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
A. Offer Statistics
Not applicable.
B. Method and Expected Timetable
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 3.
KEY INFORMATION
A. [Reserved]
B. Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
D. Risk Factors
Risk Factors Summary
Our business faces significant risks and uncertainties. You should carefully consider all of the information set forth in this Annual Report and in other documents we file with or furnish to the SEC, including the following risk factors, before deciding to invest in or to maintain an investment in our securities. Our business, as well as our reputation, financial condition, results of operations and share price, could be materially adversely affected by any of these risks, as well as other risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or not currently considered material. These risks include, among others, the following:
 
   
We have a history of operating losses and expect to continue to incur losses and will need additional capital to fund our operations and complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
 
   
Our product candidates represent novel approaches to the treatment of diseases, and there are many uncertainties regarding the development of our product candidates.
 
1

   
Our current product candidates are in various stages of development, and it is possible that none of our product candidates will ever become commercial products.
 
   
Delays in the commencement and completion of clinical trials could increase costs and delay or prevent regulatory approval and commercialization of our product candidates.
 
   
Clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming and difficult to design and implement, and our clinical trial costs may be higher than for more conventional therapeutic technologies or drug products.
 
   
Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that may delay or prevent their development or regulatory approval or limit their commercial potential.
 
   
The regulatory review and approval processes of the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities are lengthy, time-consuming and uncertain. If we are unable to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, regulatory approval for our product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize our product candidates and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.
 
   
The regulatory landscape that will govern our product candidates is still evolving. Regulations relating to more established gene therapy and cell therapy products and TCR Bispecific products are still developing, and changes in regulatory requirements could result in delays or discontinuation of development of our product candidates or unexpected costs in obtaining regulatory approval.
 
   
Our product candidates are complex and difficult to manufacture. We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in our development or commercialization programs.
 
   
We rely on third parties to conduct preclinical studies and/or clinical trials of our product candidates. If they do not properly and successfully perform their obligations to us, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approvals for our product candidates.
 
   
We rely on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates. Our dependence on these third parties may impair the clinical advancement and commercialization of our product candidates.
 
   
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing products, treatment methods and/or technologies before or more successfully than we do.
Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital
We have a history of operating losses and expect to continue to incur losses.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company active in the development and discovery of potential T cell redirecting immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated revenue from operations. We have incurred net losses in each year since inception, including consolidated net losses of €93.3 million, €211.8 million and €32.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 respectively. As of December 31, 2021, we had accumulated consolidated losses of €537.8 million. We do not expect to generate any meaningful revenue from commercializing products for the foreseeable future. We expect to incur significant additional operating losses in the future as we continue and expand our research and development efforts for our product candidates.
Even if we obtain regulatory approval of and are successful in commercializing one or more of our product candidates, we may incur substantial research and development and other expenditures to develop and market additional product candidates. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future operating losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenue. Our operating losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and from year to year.
 
2

We may never achieve or sustain profitability.
We do not know when or whether we will become profitable. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated revenue from operations. To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing, obtaining regulatory approval for and commercializing one or more of our product candidates. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates, discovering and developing additional product candidates, making regulatory submissions, obtaining regulatory approval for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials, establishing commercialization capabilities for any approved products, manufacturing any approved products and achieving market acceptance for any approved products. We may never succeed in these activities. Even if we succeed in these activities, we may never generate revenue in an amount sufficient to achieve profitability.
Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with biotechnology product development and commercialization, we are unable to accurately predict whether and when we will achieve profitability.
Even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods. After we achieve profitability, if ever, we expect to continue to engage in substantial research and development activities and to incur substantial expenses to develop, manufacture and commercialize additional product candidates. In addition, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our revenues, expenses and profitability.
Our failure to achieve or sustain profitability would depress our market value and could impair our ability to execute our business plan, raise capital, develop additional product candidates or continue our operations. A decline in the value of our company could cause our shareholders to lose all or part of their investment.
We have never generated any revenue from product sales, which may make it difficult to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.
Since our inception, our operations have been largely focused on developing our product candidates, including conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, raising capital and building our management team and infrastructure. We have not yet demonstrated an ability to obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture products, or partner with contract manufacturing organizations (“CMOs”) to manufacture products, on a commercial scale or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. Additionally, the markets for our product candidates are competitive. Consequently, any predictions about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history or a history of successfully developing and commercializing products. Moreover, if our research and development efforts are successful, we will need to transition from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of undertaking commercial activities. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications and delays, and may not be successful in such a transition.
We will need additional capital to fund our operations and complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates. Our inability to obtain this capital when needed could force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development efforts.
Our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash since inception. The development of biotechnology product candidates is capital intensive and we expect that we will continue to expend substantial resources for the foreseeable future to develop and commercialize our current and future product candidates. Our expenditures in the foreseeable future may include costs associated with conducting research and development activities, conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals, undertaking commercialization activities, establishing our sales and marketing capabilities, manufacturing and selling approved products and potentially acquiring or
in-licensing
new technologies.
 
3

As of December 31, 2021, we had €145.1 million in cash and cash equivalents and other financial assets. We believe that we have sufficient financial resources available to fund our projected operating requirements for at least the next twelve months. Because the outcome of our current and planned clinical trials is highly uncertain, we cannot reasonably estimate the actual amounts necessary to successfully complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates. Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including, but not limited to:
 
   
progress, timing, scope and costs of our clinical trials, including the ability to timely initiate clinical sites, enroll subjects and manufacture ACT and TCR Bispecific product candidates for our ongoing, planned and potential future clinical trials;
 
   
time and cost to conduct
IND-
or
CTA-enabling
studies for our preclinical programs;
 
   
time and costs required to perform research and development to identify and characterize new product candidates from our research programs;
 
   
time and cost necessary to obtain regulatory authorizations and approvals that may be required by regulatory authorities to execute clinical trials or commercialize our products;
 
   
our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates, if approved;
 
   
our ability to have clinical and commercial products successfully manufactured consistent with FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities’ regulations;
 
   
amount of sales and other revenues from product candidates that we may commercialize, if any, including the selling prices for such potential products and the availability of adequate third-party coverage and reimbursement for patients;
 
   
sales and marketing costs associated with commercializing our products, if approved, including the cost and timing of building our marketing and sales capabilities;
 
   
cost of building, staffing and validating our manufacturing processes, which may include capital expenditure;
 
   
terms and timing of our current and any potential future collaborations, licensing or other arrangements that we have established or may establish;
 
   
cash requirements of any future acquisitions or the development of other product candidates;
 
   
costs of operating as a public company;
 
   
time and cost necessary to respond to technological, regulatory, political and market developments;
 
   
costs of filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights; and
 
   
costs associated with any potential business or product acquisitions, strategic collaborations, licensing agreements or other arrangements that we may establish.
Additional funds may not be available when we need them or on terms that are acceptable to us. In addition, market volatility resulting from the
COVID-19
pandemic and other factors could also adversely impact our ability to access capital as and when needed. If adequate funds are not available to us on a timely basis or on terms acceptable to us, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our research and development efforts.
Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our existing shareholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our intellectual property or product candidates on unfavorable terms.
Unless and until we can generate sufficient revenue to finance our cash requirements, which may never happen, we may seek additional capital through a variety of means, including through public and private equity
 
4

offerings and debt financings, credit and loan facilities and additional collaborations. If we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, our existing shareholders’ ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of such equity or convertible debt securities may include liquidation or other preferences that are senior to or otherwise adversely affect the rights of our existing shareholders. If we raise additional capital through the sale of debt securities or through entering into credit or loan facilities, we may be restricted in our ability to take certain actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures, acquiring or licensing intellectual property rights, declaring dividends or encumbering our assets to secure future indebtedness. Such restrictions could adversely impact our ability to conduct our operations and execute our business plan. If we raise additional capital through collaborations with third parties, we may be required to relinquish valuable rights to our intellectual property or product candidates or we may be required to grant licenses for our intellectual property or product candidates on unfavorable terms. If we are unable to raise additional capital when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our research and development efforts.
We may expend our resources to pursue particular product candidates and fail to capitalize on product candidates that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.
Because we have limited financial resources and personnel, we focus on the development of specific product candidates based on our product development strategy. As a result, we may forgo or delay the pursuit of other product candidates that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Decision making about which product candidates to prioritize involves inherent subjectivity and/or uncertainty. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Failure to properly assess potential product candidates could result in our focus on product candidates with low market potential, which would harm our business and financial condition. Our spending on current and future research programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable product candidates. In addition, if we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through partnering, licensing or other arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate.
We are exposed to risks related to currency exchange rates.
We operate internationally and are exposed to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates between the euro and other currencies, particularly the U.S. dollar. Our reporting currency is the euro and, as a result, financial line items are converted into euros at the applicable foreign exchange rates. As our business grows, we expect that at least some of our revenues and expenses will continue to be denominated in currencies other than the euro. Unfavorable developments in the value of the euro relative to other relevant currencies, especially the U.S. dollar, could adversely affect our business and financial condition.
The use of net operating loss carryforwards may be limited.
Both Immatics OpCo and Immatics US, Inc. (“Immatics US”) incurred significant losses in the past and therefore are entitled to use net operating loss carryforwards. As of December 31, 2021, we had German federal net operating loss carryforwards of €219.8 million and Immatics US had U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards of €135.6 million. German federal net operating loss carryforwards and U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards arising in taxable years ending after December 31, 2017 do not expire, whereas U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards arising before or in taxable years ending December 31, 2017 will begin to expire in 2027. Limitation on tax loss carry forwards in the US Inc. is 80% of each subsequent year`s net income starting with losses generated after January 1, 2018 and 60% of each subsequent year`s net income in Immatics OpCo. These have an indefinite carry forward period, but no carry back option. The operating loss carryforwards are subject to various limitations, including limitations under Sections 382 and 383 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) if Immatics US has a cumulative change in ownership of more than 50%
 
5

within a three-year period. Further, due to our limited income, there is a high risk that our operating loss carryforwards will expire in part and cannot be used to offset future taxable income.
Furthermore, any operating loss carryforwards that we report on our tax returns are subject to review by the relevant tax authorities. Consequently, we are exposed to the risk that the tax authorities may not accept the reported operating loss carryforwards in part or in their entirety. Any limitations in our ability to use operating loss carryforwards to offset taxable income could adversely affect our financial condition.
Risks Related to the Development of Our Product Candidates
Our product candidates represent novel approaches to the treatment of diseases, and there are many uncertainties regarding the development of our product candidates.
Human immunotherapy products are a new category of therapeutics. Because this is a relatively new and expanding area of novel therapeutic interventions, there are many uncertainties related to development of our product candidates. There can be no assurance as to the number of required clinical trials, the length of the trial period, the number of patients the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities will require to be enrolled in the trials in order to establish the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy products, or that the data generated in these trials will be acceptable to the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities to support marketing approval. The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities may take longer than usual to come to a decision on any BLA, MAA or similar marketing application that we submit and may ultimately determine that there is not enough data, information or experience with our product candidates to support an approval decision. Regulatory authorities may also require that we conduct additional post-marketing studies or implement risk management programs.
We may also find that the manufacture of our product candidates is more difficult or more expensive than anticipated, resulting in an inability to produce a sufficient amount of our product candidates for our clinical trials or, if approved, commercial supply. Moreover, because of the complexity and novelty of our manufacturing process, there are only a limited number of manufacturers who have the capability of producing our product candidates. Should any of our contract manufacturers no longer produce our product candidates, it may take us significant time to find a replacement, if we are able to find a replacement at all.
Our current product candidates are in various stages of development, and it is possible that none of our product candidates will ever become commercial products.
Our success depends heavily on the successful further development of our current and future product candidates and our research pipeline and regulatory approval of our current and future product candidates, all of which are subject to risks and uncertainties beyond our control. We are conducting clinical trials for IMA201, IMA202 and IMA203 and preclinical studies for our other product candidates. However, the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities may ultimately disagree that data generated from our clinical trials are sufficient for regulatory approval. There can be no assurance that any of our product candidates will prove to be safe, effective or commercially viable treatments for cancer.
If we discontinue development of a product candidate, we will not receive the anticipated revenues from that product candidate, and we may not receive any return on our investment in that product candidate. In the future, we may discontinue other product candidates for clinical reasons if such product candidates do not prove to be safe and effective. Any unexpected safety events or our failure to generate sufficient data in our clinical trials to demonstrate efficacy may cause a product candidate to fail clinical development. Furthermore, even if that product candidate meets its safety and efficacy endpoints, we may discontinue its development for various reasons, such as changes in the competitive environment or the standard of care and the prioritization of our resources.
We may also find that the development of a companion diagnostic for our product candidates is more difficult or more expensive than anticipated, resulting in an inability to provide the required diagnostic testing for
 
6

our clinical trials, or if approved, for the market. Moreover, because of the complexity and novelty of our companion diagnostic biomarker, there are only a limited number of providers who have the capability of supporting the development of a companion diagnostic. Should any of our clinical research organizations (“CROs”) fail to meet our development goals, it may take us significant time to find a replacement, if we are able to find a replacement at all.
Due to the uncertain and time-consuming clinical development and regulatory approval process, we may not successfully develop any of our product candidates and may choose to discontinue the development of any of our product candidates. Therefore, it is possible that none of our current product candidates will ever become commercial products. Our failure to develop and commercialize our current and future product candidates could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
Delays in the commencement and completion of clinical trials could increase costs and delay or prevent regulatory approval and commercialization of our product candidates.
We cannot guarantee that clinical trials of our product candidates will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, if at all. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of the clinical trial process, and other events may cause us to temporarily or permanently stop a clinical trial. Events that may prevent successful or timely commencement and completion of clinical development include:
 
   
negative preclinical data;
 
   
delays in receiving the required regulatory clearance from the appropriate regulatory authorities to commence clinical trials or amend clinical trial protocols, including any objections to our INDs or CTAs or protocol amendments from regulatory authorities;
 
   
delays in reaching, or a failure to reach, a consensus with regulatory authorities on study design;
 
   
delays in reaching, or a failure to reach, an agreement on acceptable terms with prospective independent clinical investigators, CROs and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different investigators, CROs and clinical trial sites;
 
   
difficulties in obtaining required Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) or ethics committee approval at each clinical trial site;
 
   
challenges in recruiting and enrolling suitable patients that meet the study criteria to participate in clinical trials;
 
   
the inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients in clinical trials to ensure adequate statistical power to detect statistically significant treatment effects;
 
   
imposition of a clinical hold by regulatory authorities or IRBs for any reason, including safety concerns and
non-compliance
with regulatory requirements;
 
   
failure by independent clinical investigators, CROs, other third parties or us to adhere to clinical trial requirements;
 
   
failure to perform in accordance with the FDA’s good clinical practices (“GCP”) or applicable regulatory guidelines in other jurisdictions;
 
   
the inability to manufacture adequate quantities of a product candidate or other materials necessary in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (“cGMPs”) and current Good Tissue Practices (“cGTPs”) to conduct clinical trials;
 
   
lower than anticipated patient retention rates;
 
   
difficulties in maintaining contact with patients after treatment, resulting in incomplete data;
 
7

   
ambiguous or negative interim results;
 
   
our independent clinical investigators, CROs or clinical trial sites failing to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all, deviating from the protocol or dropping out of a clinical trial;
 
   
unforeseen safety issues, including occurrence of adverse events associated with the product candidate that are viewed to outweigh the product candidate’s potential benefits;
 
   
changes in regulatory requirements and guidance that require amending or submitting new clinical protocols;
 
   
lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial; or
 
   
delays and disruptions as a result of the
COVID-19
pandemic.
Delays, including delays caused by the above factors, can be costly and could negatively affect our ability to complete a clinical trial. Further, there can be no assurance that submission of an IND, IND amendment or CTA will result in the FDA or any comparable regulatory authority allowing testing and clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that suspend or terminate such clinical trials. The manufacturing and preclinical safety and efficacy testing requirements of both ACT and TCR Bispecifics remain emerging and evolving fields. Accordingly, we expect chemistry, manufacturing and control related topics, including product specification, as well as preclinical safety testing, will be a focus of IND reviews, which may delay the allowance of INDs by the FDA or CTA approval by comparable regulatory authorities. If we are not able to successfully complete clinical trials, we will not be able to obtain regulatory approval and will not be able to commercialize our product candidates.
If we experience delays or difficulties in patient enrollment for clinical trials, our research and development efforts and the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be significantly delayed or prevented.
Commencement and successful and timely completion of clinical trials require us to enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities. Any delay or difficulty in patient enrollment could significantly delay or otherwise hinder our research and development efforts and delay or prevent receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. Despite diligent planning of our clinical trials and analysis of their feasibility regarding patient recruitment, we may experience difficulties, delays or inability in patient enrollment in our clinical trials for a variety of reasons, including:
 
   
the size and nature of the patient population;
 
   
the severity and incidence of the disease under investigation;
 
   
the eligibility criteria for the study in question, including any misjudgment of, and resultant adjustment to, the appropriate ranges applicable to the exclusion and inclusion criteria;
 
   
the size of the study population required for analysis of the trial’s primary endpoints;
 
   
the ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;
 
   
the number of clinical trial sites and the proximity of prospective patients to those sites;
 
   
the design of the trial and the complexity for patients and clinical sites;
 
   
the nature, severity and frequency of adverse side effects associated with our product candidates;
 
   
the screening procedures and the rate of patients failing screening procedures;
 
   
the ability to provide appropriate screening assays;
 
   
the risk that patients’ general health conditions do not allow the conduct of study/screening procedures (for example, tumor biopsy, or leukapheresis) or application of lymphodepletion regimen;
 
8

   
the ability to manufacture patient products appropriately (for example, at a sufficient high dose, or with sufficiently active T cells);
 
   
the efforts to facilitate timely enrollment in clinical trials and the effectiveness of recruiting publicity;
 
   
the patient referral practices of physicians within the same hospital as well as within other hospitals or private practices;
 
   
competing clinical trials for similar therapies, other new therapeutics, new combination treatments, new medicinal products;
 
   
approval of new indications for existing therapies or approval of new therapies in general or changes in standard of care;
 
   
clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages and side effects of the product candidate being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new drugs or treatments that may be approved or become standard of care for the indications we are investigating;
 
   
the ability to obtain and maintain patient consents; and
 
   
inability of clinical sites to enroll patients as healthcare capacities are required to cope with natural disasters, epidemics or other health system emergencies, such as the
COVID-19
pandemic.
Not all patients suffering from a specific cancer that is in principle addressable by our product candidates are eligible for our clinical trials and therapies. First, patients must express a specific genetic marker called
HLA-A*02.
While this marker is found on approximately
40-50%
of individuals in North America and Europe, it is less frequent in other populations, such as China or Japan. If human leukocyte antigen (“HLA”) screening for a patient shows that
HLA-A*02
is not expressed, he or she cannot be treated with our current product candidates. Second, the prevalence of the targets addressed by IMA201, IMA202 and IMA203 differs between different tumor entities. For a given patient, a biomarker assay must be performed in order to find out whether he or she expresses one of the targets and can be treated with one of our product candidates. We cannot be certain that the anticipated and assumed target prevalence rates are confirmed in the patient populations of our Phase 1 trials, and lower target prevalence rates may be experienced. Third, further eligibility criteria are in place to ensure that the patients can tolerate and potentially benefit from the treatment. Thus, only a few of the patients screened for our clinical trials will receive cellular products. Patients may therefore be hesitant to consent to our trials, and overall, many more patients will have to be screened to treat the targeted number of patients. It is uncertain how many more patients we will be required to screen. If the required number of patient screenings is much higher than anticipated, our clinical trial costs may increase. We may combine two or more product candidates into multi-target trials to mitigate this risk. However, we cannot be certain whether this measure will be effective in enhancing recruitment.
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 eligible patients may instead opt to enroll in a competitor’s trial. Because the number of qualified clinical investigators is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same clinical trial sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such clinical trial sites. Enrolling patients at the same sites as our competitors may compromise the quality and conclusiveness of our clinical data by introducing bias. Moreover, because our product candidates represent a departure from more commonly used methods for cancer treatment, potential patients and their doctors may be inclined to use conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy and approved immunotherapies, rather than enroll patients in any clinical trial. In addition, potential enrollees in our ACT trials with IMA201, IMA202 or IMA203 may opt to participate in other clinical trials because of the length of time between the time that their tumor is analyzed, and the cellular product is manufactured and infused back into the patient. Challenges in recruiting and enrolling suitable patients to participate in clinical trials could increase costs, affect the timing and outcome of our planned clinical trials and result in delays to our current development plan for our product candidates.
 
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Clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming and difficult to design and implement, and our clinical trial costs may be higher than for more conventional therapeutic technologies or drug products.
Clinical trials are expensive and difficult to design, implement and conduct, in part because they are subject to rigorous regulatory requirements. Because our ACT product candidates are based on new cell therapy technologies and manufactured on a
patient-by-patient
basis, we expect that such candidates will require extensive research and development and have substantial manufacturing costs per dose. Our TCR Bispecific product candidates also require extensive research and development, as the applicable technology is new and experience with developing such biologics is rare in the field. Moreover, the development of a companion diagnostic will also require extensive research and development, and such companion diagnostic must be suitable to support both enrollment into larger clinical trials and routine hospital procedures after marketing approval. Any failure or delay in developing a suitable companion diagnostic will delay or make it impossible to conduct larger clinical trials for ACT product candidates and/or TCR Bispecific product candidates.
In addition, costs to treat patients with recurrent and/or refractory cancer and to treat potential side effects that may result from our product candidates,
non-investigational
medicinal products, rescue or prophylactic medication applied in our clinical trials can be significant. Some clinical trial sites do not bill or obtain coverage from Medicare, Medicaid, health insurance or other third-party payors for some or all of these costs for patients enrolled in our clinical trials, and we can be required by those trial sites to pay such costs. In countries outside the United States, we expect that all costs related to the clinical trial and to the management of study patients (for example, management of adverse reactions or hospitalization) are paid by the sponsor of the clinical trial. As trial designs for development of our product candidates are complex, our clinical trial costs are likely to be significantly higher per patient than those of more conventional therapeutic technologies or drug products. We may combine two or more of our ACT product candidates within one clinical trial or within a
multi-TCR-T
concept in order to achieve durable clinical efficacy results and to increase the patient population. The setup and conduct of such
multi-TCR-T
clinical trials is expensive and may bear unknown risks, such as regulatory, preclinical, safety and manufacturing risks. In addition, our proposed personalized product candidates involve several complex and costly manufacturing and processing steps, the costs of which will be borne by us. We are also responsible for the manufacturing costs of products for patients that do not receive the product due to any reason (for example, rapid degradation of general health status, not meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria for infusion). Depending on the number of patients that we ultimately screen and enroll in our trials, the number of trials that we may need to conduct, and the companion diagnostic we need to develop, our overall clinical trial costs may be higher than for more conventional treatments.
Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that may delay or prevent their development or regulatory approval or limit their commercial potential.
Undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates or by similar product candidates developed by others could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in more restrictive labeling or the denial of regulatory approval by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities and potential product liability claims. Such side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial. Many compounds developed in the biotechnology industry that initially showed promise in early-stage testing for treating cancer have later been found to cause side effects that prevented their further development.
In our clinical trials, reported Grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events (“TEAEs”) included lymphopenia, neutropenia, leukopenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia. In addition, we observed a dose-limiting toxicity (“DLT”) of Grade 3 atrial fibrillation in a patient treated with IMA203. There can be no assurance that patients treated with our product candidates will not experience these and other serious adverse side effects and there can be no assurance that the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities will not place clinical holds on our current or future clinical trials, the result of which could delay or prevent us from obtaining regulatory approval. In particular, our clinical trials enroll patients who have failed all available
standard-of-care
 
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treatments. As a result, these patients may be immunocompromised and thus are more susceptible to serious adverse side effects. In addition, certain of our protocols involve further weakening of patients’ immune response (e.g., through lymphodepletion) prior to receiving our product candidates, which may further increase the severity and frequency of serious adverse side effects.
Further, because our product candidates represent novel approaches to the treatment of cancer, we may be less able to predict the nature, severity and frequency of adverse events and thus less able to undertake measures to prevent serious adverse events and mitigate their effects. For example, infused T cells may be more active than we expect or than we previously observed. Moreover, because our ACTengine product candidates for a specific patient are manufactured using that patient’s white blood cells, each patient receives an individually manufactured ACTengine product candidate. As a result, it may be difficult to predict how a patient will respond to that individualized product candidate.
For our current and future clinical trials, we have contracted with and expect to continue to contract with independent clinical investigators and CROs experienced in the assessment and management of toxicities arising during clinical trials. Nonetheless, they may have difficulty observing patients and treating toxicities, which may be more challenging due to personnel changes, shift changes, house staff coverage or related issues. This risk may be magnified by the novel nature of our product candidates, as independent clinical investigators and CROs may not be accustomed to using our product candidates at dose levels and in the manner prescribed by our clinical trial designs. This could lead to more severe or prolonged toxicities or even patient deaths, which could result in us or the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities delaying, suspending or terminating one or more of our clinical trials and which could jeopardize regulatory approval.
Furthermore, clinical trials by their nature utilize a sample of the potential patient population. With a limited number of subjects and limited duration of exposure, rare and severe side effects of our product candidates or those of our competitors may only be uncovered with a significantly larger number of patients exposed to the drug. In addition, some of our product candidates are developed or intended to be used in combination with other therapies. When used in combination, the severity and frequency of undesirable side effects may be greater than the cumulative severity and frequency of such side effects when the therapies are used as monotherapies and the nature of undesirable side effects may be different than such side effects when the therapies are used as monotherapies.
If we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates or those of our competitors, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:
 
   
we may encounter delays or difficulties in enrolling patients for our clinical trials due to a negative perception of our product candidates’ safety and tolerability profile;
 
   
we and/or regulatory authorities may temporarily or permanently put our clinical trials on hold;
 
   
we may be unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates;
 
   
regulatory authorities may withdraw or limit their approvals of our product candidates;
 
   
regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a contraindication, boxed warnings or additional warnings;
 
   
the FDA may require development of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy with Elements to Assure Safe Use as a condition of approval;
 
   
we may decide to remove our product candidates from the marketplace;
 
   
we may be subject to regulatory investigations and government enforcement actions;
 
   
we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients, including as a result of hospital errors; and
 
   
our reputation may suffer.
 
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Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining regulatory approval and market acceptance of our product candidates and could substantially increase commercialization costs.
Results from preclinical studies and early-stage clinical trials may not be predictive of results from late-stage or other clinical trials.
Positive and promising results from preclinical studies and early-stage clinical trials may not be predictive of results from late-stage clinical trials or from clinical trials of the same product candidates. The primary objectives of our current Phase 1 clinical trials are to establish safety and tolerability and, for our ACTengine Phase 1 clinical trials, to determine the recommended Phase 2 dose. Results from those and future early-stage clinical trials may not be representative of results from later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. Late-stage clinical trials could differ in significant ways from early-stage clinical trials, including changes to inclusion and exclusion criteria, efficacy endpoints, dosing regimen and statistical design. In particular, we expect there may be greater variability in results for products processed and administered on a
patient-by-patient
basis, as for our cellular therapy product candidates, than for
“off-the-shelf”
products, like many other drugs. Many companies in the biotechnology industry have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials after achieving encouraging or positive results in early-stage development. There can be no assurance that we will not face similar setbacks. Therefore, despite positive results observed in early-stage clinical trials, our product candidates may fail to demonstrate sufficient efficacy in our pivotal or confirmatory clinical trials.
Preliminary interim or
“top-line”
data that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more data become 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 announce or publish preliminary interim or
“top-line”
data from clinical trials. Positive preliminary data may not be predictive of such trial’s subsequent or overall results. Preliminary data are subject to the risk that one or more of the outcomes may materially change as more data become available. Additionally, preliminary data 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.
For example, our studies of cellular therapies in patients without any indicated
standard-of-care
treatment utilize an “open-label, single arm,
dose-escalation/de-escalation”
trial design. An open-label, single arm,
dose-escalation/de-escalation
trial is one where both the patient and investigator know what investigational treatment (monotherapy or combination) at which dose the patient is receiving. This trial design has the potential to create selection bias by encouraging the investigators to enroll a more favorable patient population (for example, indications better suitable for immunotherapies, fitter patients, fewer prior therapies) compared to a broader patient population. In our current Phase 1 clinical trials, investigators have significant discretion over the selection of patient participants. As the trials continue, the investigators may prioritize patients with more progressed forms of cancer and/or worse general health condition than the initial patient population, based on the safety/success or perceived safety/success of that initial population. Patients with more progressed forms of cancer or worse general health conditions may experience more and/or worse adverse events or be less responsive to treatment, and accordingly, interim or final safety and efficacy data may show an increase in frequency or severity of adverse events and/or a decline in patient response rate or change in other assessment metrics. As the trials continue or in subsequent trials, investigators may shift their approach to the patient population, which may ultimately experience more and/or worse adverse events and/or result in a decline in both interim and final efficacy data from the preliminary data, or conversely, a decrease in frequency and/or severity of adverse events or an increase in final efficacy data following a decline in the interim efficacy data, as patients with more progressed forms of cancer or worse general health condition are cycled out of the trials and replaced by patients with less advanced forms of cancer or with better general health conditions. This opportunity for investigator selection bias in our trials as a result of open-label design, which is standard in dose-escalation/
 
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de-escalation
trials, may not be adequately handled and may cause a decline in or distortion of clinical trial data from our preliminary results. Any future trial which utilizes an open-label design is similarly susceptible to such bias.
Therefore, positive preliminary results in any ongoing clinical trial may not be predictive of such results in the completed trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully evaluate all data. As a result, preliminary data that we report may differ from future results from the same clinical trials, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Preliminary 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, preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Material adverse changes in the final data compared to preliminary data could significantly harm our business prospects.
We may not be successful in our preclinical development efforts to identify, generate and characterize additional product candidates.
A significant portion of our research activities focus on the identification, generation and characterization of new product candidates. These activities are expensive, time-consuming and costly, and may never lead to a product candidate that shows appropriate safety and efficacy data in preclinical studies to enter clinical development. This means that success from research and development is uncertain, early programs may not reach clinical development and we may never produce revenues from our preclinical development activities. If the target criteria for a product candidate are not met, we may also decide to prolong preclinical development to improve the profile of a product candidate. In addition, if new treatment options are approved for the same indications as our preclinical product candidates, we may discontinue such early development programs.
The targets addressed by IMA201, IMA202, IMA203, IMA301, IMA401, and IMA402 belong to the class of cancer testis antigens that are well-established immunotherapy targets. Future targets for product development may not belong to well-known target proteins and generation of such product candidates may be challenging. For example, IMA204 is directed against a tumor stroma target. We are not aware of a comparable product candidate currently in preclinical or clinical development. We may find out during preclinical development that targets like the one addressed by IMA204 cannot be safely addressed by immunotherapy. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to show safety and efficacy for product candidates addressing new target classes like the one addressed by IMA204, and we may not be able to enter clinical testing with or to successfully market IMA204 or similar future product candidates.
The deviations in our proposed new products from existing products may require us to perform additional testing, which will increase the cost, and extend the time for obtaining approval.
Our ACT based therapy is based on first-generation adoptive cell therapy technology suitable for delivering for small, early-phase clinical trials. These current methods of treatment are very labor intensive and expensive, which has limited their widespread application. We have developed new processes that we anticipate will enable more efficient manufacturing of ACT. We may have difficulty demonstrating that the products produced from our new processes are comparable to the existing products. The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities may require additional clinical testing before permitting a larger clinical trial with the new processes, and the product may not demonstrate the desired activity in new clinical trials. In the manufacturing of cellular products, even small changes in manufacturing processes could alter the cell types, so our ability to predict the outcomes with newer manufacturing processes is limited. The changes that we have made to the historical manufacturing process may require additional testing, which may increase costs and timelines associated with these developments.
Our TCR Bispecific product candidates contain features that have not been previously tested in this composition in clinical trials or marketed products. The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities
 
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may require additional
non-clinical
studies before permitting us to enter clinical trials with our product candidates. Regulatory authorities may also ask for additional early-stage trials or production of additional batches of TCR Bispecific product candidates before permitting larger clinical trials or registration trials. To comply with those requests would increase costs and timelines for the development of our TCR Bispecific product candidates.
Risks Related to Regulatory Approval of Our Product Candidates
The regulatory review and approval processes of the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities are lengthy, time-consuming and uncertain. If we are unable to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, regulatory approval for our product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize our product candidates and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.
Our product candidates must be approved by the FDA in the United States, by the EMA in the European Union and by comparable regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions prior to commercialization. In order to obtain regulatory approval for the commercial sale of any product candidates, we must demonstrate through extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in each target indication and that manufacturing of the product candidate is robust and reproducible. The time required to obtain approval by the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities is uncertain, typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and depends upon numerous factors. Of the large number of drugs in development in the United States, only a small percentage will successfully complete the FDA regulatory approval process and will be commercialized. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that any of our product candidates will receive regulatory approval in the United States, the European Union or other jurisdictions.
Regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process. They may refuse to accept any application or may decide that our data are insufficient for approval and require additional clinical trials or other studies. We expect the novel nature of our product candidates to create additional challenges in obtaining regulatory approval. For example, the FDA has limited experience with commercial development of T cell directed therapies for cancer. Therefore, even if we believe the data collected from clinical trials of our product candidates are promising, such data may not be sufficient to support approval by the FDA, the EMA or any comparable regulatory authority. If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of any of our product candidates beyond those that are contemplated, we may incur significant additional costs and the regulatory approval of our product candidates may be delayed or prevented. Furthermore, additional clinical trials or other testing could shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates and could allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do, which may prevent the successful commercialization of our product candidates.
Furthermore, the process and time required to obtain regulatory approval differ by jurisdiction. In many countries outside the United States, a drug must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that country. Approval by one regulatory authority does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in certain countries. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements in international markets and/or receive applicable marketing approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be harmed.
Moreover, principal investigators for our clinical trials may serve as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and receive compensation in connection with such services at market rates. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, which could conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected the integrity of the study. The FDA, the EMA or
 
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comparable regulatory authorities may, therefore, question the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site, and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized. This could delay, or result in the rejection of, our marketing applications.
Applications for regulatory approval and regulatory approval of our product candidates could be delayed or be denied for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:
 
   
the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may disagree with the number, design or implementation of our clinical trials;
 
   
the population studied in the clinical trial may not be considered sufficiently broad or representative to assure safety in the full population for which we seek approval;
 
   
the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may disagree with our interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;
 
   
the data collected from clinical trials of our product candidates may not meet the level of statistical or clinical significance required by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities or may otherwise not be sufficient to support the submission of a BLA, MAA or other submission or to obtain regulatory approval in the United States, the European Union or elsewhere;
 
   
the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may not accept data generated by our preclinical service providers and clinical trial sites;
 
   
the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may require us to conduct additional preclinical studies and clinical trials;
 
   
the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes, test procedures and specifications applicable to the manufacture of our product candidates, the facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical or commercial supplies may fail to maintain a compliance status acceptable to the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities or the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may fail to approve facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical and commercial supplies;
 
   
we or any third-party service providers may be unable to demonstrate compliance with cGMPs and cGTPs to the satisfaction of the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, which could result in delays in regulatory approval or require us to withdraw or recall products and interrupt commercial supply of our products;
 
   
the approval policies or regulations of the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval; or
 
   
political factors surrounding the approval process, such as government shutdowns and political instability.
Any of these factors, some of which are beyond our control, may result in our failing to obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, financial condition and prospects.
The regulatory landscape that will govern our product candidates is still evolving. Regulations relating to more established gene therapy and cell therapy products and TCR Bispecific products are still developing, and changes in regulatory requirements could result in delays or discontinuation of development of our product candidates or unexpected costs in obtaining regulatory approval.
Because we are developing novel cell immunotherapy product candidates that are unique biological entities, the regulatory requirements to which we will be subject are not entirely clear and may change rapidly. Even with respect to more established products that fit into the categories of gene therapies or cell therapies, the regulatory
 
15

landscape is still developing. For example, regulatory requirements governing gene therapy products and cell therapy products have become more stringent and comprehensive frequently and may continue to extend in the future. Moreover, there is substantial, and sometimes uncoordinated, overlap in those responsible for regulation of existing gene therapy products and cell therapy products. For example, in the United States, the FDA has established the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies (“OTAT”), formerly known as the Office of Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies (“OCTGT”), within its Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (“CBER”) to consolidate the review of gene therapy and related products, and the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee to advise CBER on its review. Gene therapy clinical trials in the U.S. are also subject to review and oversight by an institutional biosafety committee (“IBC”), a local institutional committee that reviews and oversees basic and clinical research conducted at the institution participating in the clinical trial. Similar regulatory bodies exist in Europe and other jurisdictions. In addition, adverse developments in clinical trials of gene therapy products conducted by others may cause the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities to change the requirements for approval of any of our product candidates.
While there is already a T cell engaging bispecific molecule approved and regulatory guidelines have been issued for this class of drugs, bispecific therapeutics are still new in the field and regulators have even less experience with TCR Bispecifics. Thus, guidance for development and regulatory approval of such drugs may change.
Complex regulatory environments exist in the different jurisdictions in which we might consider seeking regulatory approvals for our product candidates, further complicating the regulatory landscape. For example, in the European Union, a special committee called the Committee for Advanced Therapies was established within the EMA in accordance with Regulation (EC) No. 1394/2007 on advanced therapy medicinal products (“ATMPs”) to assess the quality, safety and efficacy of ATMPs, and to follow scientific developments in the field. ATMPs include gene therapy products as well as somatic cell therapy products and tissue engineered products.
These various regulatory review committees and advisory groups and new or revised guidelines that they promulgate from time to time may lengthen the regulatory review process, require us to perform additional studies, increase our development costs, lead to changes in regulatory positions and interpretations, delay or prevent approval and commercialization of our product candidates or lead to significant post-approval limitations or restrictions. Because the regulatory landscape for our cell immunotherapy product candidates is new, our product candidates may face even more cumbersome and complex regulations than those emerging for other gene therapy products and cell therapy products. Furthermore, even if our product candidates obtain required regulatory approvals, such approvals may later be revoked, suspended or otherwise withdrawn as a result of changes in regulations or the interpretation of regulations by applicable regulatory agencies. Delay or failure to obtain, or unexpected costs in obtaining, the regulatory approval necessary to bring a potential product to market could decrease our ability to generate sufficient product revenue to maintain our business.
Development of a product candidate intended for use in combination with an already approved product may present more or different challenges than development of a product candidate for use as a single agent.
We may evaluate our other ACT and TCR Bispecifics product candidates in combination with other therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies. The development of product candidates for use in combination with another product may present challenges. For example, the FDA may require us to use more complex clinical trial designs, in order to evaluate the contribution of each product and product candidate to any observed effects. It is possible that the results of these trials could show that most or any positive results are attributable to the already approved product. Moreover, following product approval, the FDA may require that products used in conjunction with each other be cross-labeled. To the extent that we do not have rights to already approved products, this may require us to work with another company to satisfy such a requirement. Moreover, developments related to the already approved products may impact our clinical trials for the combination as well as our commercial prospects should we receive marketing approval. Such developments may include changes to
 
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the approved product’s safety or efficacy profile, changes to the availability of the approved product, and changes to the standard of care.
The FDA may disagree with our regulatory plan and we may fail to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates.
If and when our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trials for IMA201, IMA202 and IMA203 are completed and, assuming positive data, we expect to advance to potential registrational trials. We anticipate pursuing registrational trials, for example for IMA201, IMA202 and IMA203, as single agents or in combination that are designed to evaluate the efficacy of the respective product candidate in a single open-label,
non-comparative,
two-stage,
pivotal, multicenter,
single-arm
clinical trials in patients who have exhausted available treatment options.
If the trial results are sufficiently compelling, we intend to discuss with the FDA a BLA submission for the relevant product candidate. Further, we plan to have discussions with other authorities, such as the EMA or Health Canada regarding any planned marketing authorization submissions. It cannot be guaranteed that FDA, the EMA and other regulatory authorities will agree to move to a registrational trial on the basis of data generated from a single completed Phase 1 trial. Authorities may ask for additional early-stage or Phase 2 clinical data first. Even if the FDA, the EMA or other regulatory authorities agrees with the design and implementation of the clinical trials set forth in an IND and CTA, we cannot guarantee that the regulatory authorities will not change their requirements in the future. For example, the regulatory authorities may require that we conduct a comparative trial against an approved therapy including potentially an approved autologous T cell therapy, which would significantly delay our development timelines and require substantially more resources. In addition, the regulatory authorities may only allow us to evaluate patients that have already failed autologous therapy or very late-stage patients, which are extremely difficult patients to treat and patients with advanced and aggressive cancer, and our product candidates may fail to improve outcomes for such patients.
Certain of our current clinical trials are being conducted outside the United States, and the FDA may not accept data from trials conducted in foreign locations.
Certain current clinical trials of our drug candidates are being conducted or planned to be conducted partially outside the United States. We may also conduct future clinical trials for our drug candidates partially or fully outside the United States. Although the FDA may accept data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States, acceptance of this data is subject to certain conditions imposed by the FDA. For example, the clinical trial must be well designed and conducted and performed by qualified investigators in accordance with ethical principles and good clinical practice (“GCP”) requirements. Further, the data must be applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice in ways that the FDA deems clinically meaningful. In general, the patient population for any clinical trials conducted outside of the United States must be representative of the population for whom we intend to label the product in the United States. In addition, while these clinical trials are subject to the applicable local laws, FDA acceptance of the data will be dependent upon its determination that the trials also complied with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.
Conducting clinical trials outside the United States also exposes us to additional risks, including risks associated with:
 
   
additional foreign regulatory requirements;
 
   
foreign exchange fluctuations;
 
   
compliance with foreign manufacturing, customs, shipment and storage requirements;
 
   
an inability to negotiate the terms of clinical trial agreements at arms’ length in countries where a template agreement for such trials is required by law;
 
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cultural differences in medical practice and clinical research; and
 
   
diminished protection of intellectual property in some countries.
There can be no assurance that the FDA will accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States. If the FDA does not accept the data from such clinical trials, it would likely result in the need for additional clinical trials, which would be costly and time-consuming and delay or permanently halt our development of our product candidates.
We may seek accelerated approval for some of our product candidates, which may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and does not increase the likelihood that the product candidates will receive marketing approval.
We may attempt to seek approval on a per indication basis for our product candidates on the basis of a single pivotal trial or on the basis of data from one or more uncontrolled trials. While the FDA requires in most cases two adequate and well-controlled pivotal clinical trials to demonstrate the efficacy of a product candidate, a single trial with strong confirmatory evidence may be sufficient in instances where the trial is a large multicenter trial demonstrating internal consistency and a statistically very persuasive finding of a clinically meaningful effect on mortality, irreversible morbidity or prevention of a disease with a potentially serious outcome and if confirmation of the result in a second trial would be practically or ethically impossible. In rare cancer indications with very limited treatment options, a large and/or controlled trial is often not feasible and thus data from smaller and even uncontrolled trials may be sufficient for regulatory approval. It is difficult for us to predict with such a novel technology exactly what will be required by the regulatory authorities in order to take our product candidates to market or the timeframes under which the relevant regulatory approvals can be obtained.
For treatments granted accelerated approval, post-marketing confirmatory clinical trials are required to describe the anticipated effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit. These confirmatory clinical trials must be completed with due diligence and, in some cases, the FDA may require that the trial be designed, initiated and/or fully enrolled prior to approval. If any of our competitors were to receive full approval on the basis of a confirmatory clinical trial for an indication for which we seek accelerated approval before we receive accelerated approval, the indication we are seeking may no longer qualify as a condition for which there is an unmet medical end and accelerated approval of our product candidate would be more difficult. Moreover, the FDA may withdraw approval of our product candidate approved under the accelerated approval pathway if, for example:
 
   
the clinical trial(s) required to verify the predicted clinical benefit of a product candidate fails to verify such benefit or does not demonstrate sufficient clinical benefit to justify the risks associated with the product candidate;
 
   
other evidence demonstrates that a product candidate is not shown to be safe or effective under the conditions of use;
 
   
we fail to conduct any required post-marketing confirmatory clinical trial with due diligence; or
 
   
we disseminate false or misleading promotional materials relating to the relevant product candidate.
We may pursue orphan drug designation for certain of our product candidates, which we may not receive, and even if we receive such designation, we may be unable to maintain the associated benefits.
Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States and the European Union, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a product as an orphan drug if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, defined as a patient population of fewer than 200,000 in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales
 
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in the United States. In the European Union, the EMA’s Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products grants orphan drug designation to promote the development of products that meet the following criteria: (i) they are intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition affecting not more than five in 10,000 persons in the European Union or they are intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a life-threatening, seriously debilitating or serious and chronic condition when, without incentives, it is unlikely that sales of the drug in the European Union would be sufficient to justify the necessary investment in developing the drug or biological product and (ii) where there is no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention or treatment, or, if such a method exists, the medicine must be of significant benefit to those affected by the condition.
In the United States, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user fee waivers. In addition, if a product receives the first FDA approval for the indication for which it has orphan designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means the FDA may not approve any other application to market the same biologic (meaning, a product with the same principal molecular structural features) for that indication for a period of seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority over the product with orphan exclusivity or where the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient product quantity. In the European Union, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as reduction of fees or fee waivers and ten years of market exclusivity for the orphan indication following drug or biological product approval, provided that the criteria for orphan designation are still applicable at the time of the granting of the marketing authorization. This period may be reduced to six years if, at the end of the fifth year, the orphan drug designation criteria are no longer met, including where it is shown that the product is sufficiently profitable not to justify maintenance of market exclusivity. However, orphan drug designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug or therapeutic biologic nor gives the drug or therapeutic biologic any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process.
We may pursue orphan drug designation for one or more of our product candidates. However, obtaining an orphan drug designation can be difficult, and we may not be successful in doing so. Even if we obtain orphan drug designation for our product candidates in specific indications, we may not be the first to obtain regulatory approval of these product candidates for the orphan-designated indication. In addition, exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan-designated indication or 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. Furthermore, even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because a different biologic (with different principal molecular structural features) can be approved for the same condition. Even after an orphan product is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same biologic for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later biologic is safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. Our inability to obtain orphan drug designation for any product candidates for the treatment of rare cancers and/or our inability to maintain that designation for the duration of the applicable exclusivity period, could reduce our ability to make sufficient sales of the applicable product candidate to balance our expenses incurred to develop it.
Breakthrough Therapy Designation, Fast Track Designation and Priority Review Designation by the FDA, or comparable designations by comparable regulatory authorities, for our product candidates may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process and do not increase the likelihood that a product candidate would receive regulatory approval.
We do not currently have Breakthrough Therapy Designation, Fast Track Designation or Priority Review Designation or comparable designations by comparable regulatory authorities for our product candidates. A breakthrough therapy is defined as a product candidate that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over currently approved therapies on one or more
 
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clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. For product candidates that have been designated as breakthrough therapies, interaction and communication between the FDA and the sponsor can help to identify the most efficient path for development. A Fast Track Designation may be available if a product candidate is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and preclinical or clinical data demonstrate the potential to address an unmet medical need for this condition. Priority review may be granted for products that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety and effectiveness compared to available therapies. The FDA will attempt to direct additional resources to the evaluation of an application designated for priority review in an effort to facilitate the review.
In Europe, the EMA has implemented the
so-called
“PRIME” (PRIority MEdicines) status in order support the development and accelerate the approval of complex innovative medicinal products addressing an unmet medical need. The PRIME status enables early dialogue with the relevant EMA scientific committees and, possibly, some payers; and thus, reinforces the EMA’s scientific and regulatory support. It also opens accelerated assessment of the marketing authorization application (150 days instead of 210 days). The PRIME status, which is decided by the EMA, is reserved to medicines that may benefit from accelerated assessment, i.e., medicines of major interest from a public health perspective, in particular from a therapeutic innovation perspective and that target unmet medical need.
The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities have broad discretion whether or not to grant Breakthrough Therapy Designation, Fast Track Designation and Priority Review Designation and comparable designations. Accordingly, even if we believe, after completing early clinical trials, that one of our product candidates meets the criteria for such designations, the applicable regulatory authority may disagree and instead determine not to make such designations. Even if we receive such designation for a product candidate, it may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional procedures and does not guarantee ultimate approval by the applicable regulatory authority. Many drugs that have received such designations have failed to obtain ultimate approval. In addition, the applicable regulatory authority may decide to rescind such designations if it determines that our product candidates no longer meet the conditions for qualification, including as a result of the product candidates’ failure to meet endpoints in any clinical trial.
We are required to comply with comprehensive and ongoing regulatory requirements for any product candidates that receive regulatory approval, including conducting confirmatory clinical trials of any product candidates that receive accelerated approval.
Any product candidates for which we receive accelerated approval from the FDA or similar conditional approval from the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities are required to undergo one or more confirmatory clinical trials. If such a product candidate fails to meet its safety and efficacy endpoints in such confirmatory clinical trials, the regulatory authority may withdraw its conditional approval. There is no assurance that any such product will successfully advance through its confirmatory clinical trial(s). Therefore, even if a product candidate receives accelerated approval from the FDA or similar conditional approval from the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, such approval may be withdrawn at a later date.
The FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may also impose requirements for costly post-marketing studies or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of any approved product. The FDA may also require a Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (“REMS”) to approve our product candidates, which could entail requirements for a medication guide, physician communication plans or additional elements to ensure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. Moreover, the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities will continue to closely monitor the safety profile of any product even after approval. If the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities become aware of new safety information after approval of any of our product candidates, they may withdraw approval, require labeling changes or establishment of a REMS or similar strategy, impose significant restrictions on a product’s indicated uses or marketing, or impose ongoing requirements for potentially costly post-approval studies or post-market surveillance.
 
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In addition, any product candidates for which we receive regulatory approval in a particular jurisdiction and the activities associated with their commercialization, including testing, manufacture, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale and distribution, will be subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities. These requirements include, without limitation, submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration and listing requirements, the FDA’s cGMP and cGTPs requirements or comparable requirements in foreign jurisdictions, requirements relating to manufacturing, quality control, quality assurance and corresponding maintenance of records and documents, including periodic inspections by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, requirements regarding the distribution of samples to physicians, tracking and reporting of payments to physicians and other healthcare providers and recordkeeping. In the United States, the FDA closely regulates the post-approval marketing and promotion of drugs to ensure drugs are marketed only for the approved indications and in a manner consistent with the provisions of the approved labeling. The FDA also imposes stringent restrictions on manufacturers’ communications regarding use of their products and, if we promote our products beyond their approved indications or in a manner inconsistent with the approved labeling, we may be subject to enforcement action for
off-label
promotion. Violations of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “FDCA”) relating to the promotion of prescription drugs may lead to investigations alleging violations of federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, as well as state consumer protection laws.
In addition, the later discovery of previously unknown problems with an approved product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing operations or processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:
 
   
restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product;
 
   
withdrawal of the product from the market or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;
 
   
fines, restitution or disgorgement of profits or revenues;
 
   
warning or untitled letters;
 
   
requirements to conduct post-marketing studies or clinical trials;
 
   
holds on clinical trials;
 
   
refusal by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us, or suspension or revocation of product license approvals;
 
   
product seizure or detention;
 
   
refusal to permit the import or export of products; and
 
   
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
The policies of the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities may change and additional regulations may be enacted. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or to the adoption of new requirements, or not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any regulatory approval that may have been obtained. We cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the United States or abroad, as the regulatory environment changes rapidly.
Risk Related to the Manufacturing of Our Product Candidates
Our product candidates are complex and difficult to manufacture. We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in our development or commercialization programs.
Our product candidates are cellular products or biologics and the process of manufacturing our products is complex, highly regulated and subject to multiple risks. The manufacture of our cellular product candidates
 
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involves complex processes, including, for example, for ACTengine genetically modified autologous T cell products (IMA201, IMA202, IMA203, and IMA204), harvesting and transporting blood cells from every patient for T cell isolation, engineering of the T cells to express a specific T cell receptor for a tumor target,
ex vivo
multiplying the T cells to obtain the desired cell numbers for the dose, and finally transporting of the T cell product back to the patient for infusing the modified T cells back into the same patient. As a result of the complexities, the cost to manufacture cellular products per dose is generally higher than traditional small molecule chemical compounds or biologics, and the manufacturing process is less reliable, more variable and is more difficult to reproduce. Our manufacturing process may be susceptible to product loss or failure due to logistical issues associated with the collection of patients’ blood cells, shipping such material to the manufacturing site, shipping the final product back to the patient, and infusing the patient with the product. Product loss or failure may also be caused by manufacturing issues associated with the variability in patient starting material especially from heavily treated cancer patients, interruptions in the manufacturing process, contamination, equipment failure, assay failures, improper installation or operation of equipment, vendor or operator error, inconsistency in cell growth, and variability in product characteristics. Even minor deviations from normal manufacturing processes could result in reduced production yields, product defects, and other supply disruptions. If for any reason we lose a patient’s starting material, or any intermediate product at any point in the process, or if any product does not meet the preset specifications, the manufacturing process for that patient will need to be restarted, sometimes including
re-collection
of blood cells from the patient, and the resulting delay may adversely affect that patient’s outcome. It may even happen, that failed product manufacture may prevent a patient from getting a T cell product. If microbial, environmental or other contaminations are discovered in our product candidates or in the manufacturing facilities in which our product candidates are made, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination. If such contaminations or other product quality issues are not discovered and if as a result thereof patients are exposed to a health risk, we may be held liable. Our insurance may not cover those cases, or the financial coverage may not be sufficient.
Because our ACTengine cellular product candidates are manufactured specifically for each individual patient, we will be required to maintain a chain of identity with respect to the patient’s cellular material as it moves from the patient to the manufacturing facility, through the manufacturing process, and back to the patient. Maintaining such a chain of identity is difficult and complex, and failure to do so could result in adverse patient outcomes, loss of product, or regulatory action including withdrawal of our products from the market. Further, as product candidates are developed through preclinical to late-stage clinical trials towards approval and commercialization, it is common that various aspects of the development program, such as manufacturing methods, are altered along the way to optimize processes and results. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve these intended objectives, and any of these changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of planned clinical trials or other future clinical trials or otherwise necessitate the conduct of additional studies, including bridging clinical trials, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Currently, our cellular product candidates are manufactured using processes developed or modified by us but based on current industry standards and are designed to deliver a clinical proof of concept (“PoC”). We have selected an open process as the manufacturing process for early-stage clinical trials through PoC. However, we are currently developing a second-generation process that is closed, partially automated and viable for advanced clinical trials through product registration, and all ongoing and future company-sponsored clinical trials. Although we believe that the second-generation process is commercially viable, there are risks associated with scaling to the level required for advanced clinical trials or commercialization, including, among others, cost overruns, potential problems with process upscaling,
scale-out,
process reproducibility, technology transfer, stability issues, lot consistency, and timely availability of raw materials. This includes potential risks associated with FDA not agreeing with all of the details of our validation data or our potency assay for our Phase 1 or future Phase 2 clinical trials. Furthermore, some of our CMOs may not be able to establish comparability of their products with the ACT products used in our Phase 1 or future Phase 2 clinical trials or may not be fully validated prior to starting our pivotal or registration clinical trial. As a result of these challenges, we may experience delays in our clinical development and/or commercialization plans. We may ultimately be unable to reduce the cost of
 
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goods for our product candidates to levels that will allow for an attractive return on investment if and when those product candidates are commercialized.
Our manufacturing capabilities for our allogenic cellular therapy product candidate IMA301 are still in the process of being developed. We may not successfully establish a robust production process that fulfills the requirements of the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities. If we fail to establish such a manufacturing process, we may not be able to commence clinical trials in IMA301 or clinical trials may be delayed. There can be no assurance that the production process we are currently developing for IMA301 is viable and can be effectively scaled up or transferred to a CMO for later-phase clinical testing and commercialization. For example, there is insufficient experience in the field regarding vectors for transduction of the T cells used to manufacture IMA301. If it turns out that we cannot generate a suitable and cGMP-compliant vector, the IMA301 manufacturing process may be endangered. If we fail to develop a process that can be used throughout the life cycle of the product candidate, commercialization of IMA301 may be delayed or may not occur.
Manufacturing of TCR Bispecifics (TCER), such as IMA401, IMA402 and potential future product candidates, is susceptible to product loss due to contamination, equipment failure or improper installation or operation of equipment, vendor or operator error, inconsistency in yields, issues with purity, variability in product characteristics and difficulties in scaling the production process. Even minor deviations from normal manufacturing processes could result in reduced production yields, inacceptable purity, product defects, loss of production batches and other supply disruptions. In such cases, our development program may experience major delays and we may have to produce a new batch of a given TCER. This will be costly and will delay our TCER development program. In particular, production of a new cGMP batch may be time-consuming, as it relies on the availability of facilities with cGMP capabilities at our CMO, and such facilities must be booked far in advance. We may also experience failure of production of the master cell bank that is used to produce our TCER molecules. For example, missing clonality of the cell line or
non-sterility
of the cell bank may require production of a new master cell bank which would be associated with additional costs and delays.
Any failure to follow cGMP and cGTP or other regulatory requirements or any delay, interruption or other issues that arise in the manufacture, fill and finish, packaging, or storage of our product candidates as a result of a failure of our facilities or the facilities or operations of third parties to comply with regulatory requirements or pass any regulatory authority inspection could significantly impair our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, including leading to significant delays in the availability of drug product for our clinical trials or the termination of or hold on a clinical trial, or the delay or prevention of a filing or approval of marketing applications for our product candidates.
Our TCR Bispecific product candidates that have been produced and are stored for later use may degrade, become contaminated or suffer other quality defects, which may cause the affected product candidates to no longer be suitable for their intended use in clinical trials or other development activities. If the defective product candidates cannot be replaced in a timely fashion, we may incur significant delays in our development programs that could adversely affect the value of such product candidates.
In September 2015, we entered into a lease agreement with the University of Texas Health (“UTH”) facility in Houston, Texas for clinical production of ACT products, including our product candidates IMA201, IMA202, and IMA203 for clinical trials, and we also intend to manufacture IMA204, IMA301 and potentially also future cellular therapy product candidates in this facility once INDs or CTAs have been approved for these product candidates, especially for early-stage clinical trials, by the respective regulatory bodies. We would expect that development and construction of our own manufacturing facility would provide us with enhanced control of material supply for both clinical trials and the commercial market, enable a more efficient implementation of process changes, and allow for better long-term margins. However, we have no experience as a company in developing a large manufacturing facility, and we may not be successful in finalizing the development of our own manufacturing facility or capability. We may establish multiple manufacturing facilities as we expand our commercial footprint to multiple geographies, which may lead to regulatory delays or prove costly. Even if we
 
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are successful, our manufacturing capabilities could be affected by cost overruns due to idle capacity, unexpected delays, equipment failures, labor shortages, natural disasters, epidemics, power failures, and numerous other factors that could prevent us from realizing the intended benefits of our manufacturing strategy and have a material adverse effect on our business. The manufacture of cell therapy products requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls.
Manufacturers of cell therapy products often encounter difficulties in production, particularly in scaling up initial production. These problems include difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including stability, patient to patient variability of the product candidate and quality assurance testing, shortages of qualified personnel, and compliance with strictly enforced federal, state, local and foreign regulations. Any problems or delays we or our CMOs experience in preparing for commercial scale manufacturing of a cell therapy or biologic product candidate or component may result in a delay in the regulatory approval of the product candidate or may impair our ability to manufacture commercial quantities or such quantities at an acceptable cost, which could result in the delay, prevention, or impairment of clinical development and commercialization of our product candidates and could adversely affect our business. Furthermore, if we or our commercial manufacturers fail to deliver the required commercial quantities or supply of our product candidates on a timely basis and at reasonable costs, we would likely be unable to meet demand for our products, and we would lose potential revenues.
In addition, the manufacturing process and facilities for any products that we may develop is subject to FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authority approval processes, and we and our CMOs will need to meet all applicable regulatory authority requirements, including cGMP and cGTP requirements, on an ongoing basis, including requirements pertaining to quality control, quality assurance, and the maintenance of records and documentation. The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities enforce these requirements through facility inspections. Manufacturing facilities must be approved by the FDA pursuant to inspections that will be conducted after we submit our marketing applications. Manufacturers are also subject to continuing FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authority inspections following marketing approval. Further, we, in cooperation with our CMOs, must supply all necessary chemistry, manufacturing, and control documentation in support of a BLA on a timely basis.
We, or our CMOs’ manufacturing facilities, may be unable to comply with our specifications, cGMP and cGTP requirements, and with other regulatory requirements. Poor control of production processes can lead to the introduction of adventitious agents or other contaminants, or to inadvertent changes in the properties or stability of product candidates that may not be detectable in final product testing. If we or our CMOs are unable to reliably produce products to specifications acceptable to the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, or in accordance with the strict regulatory requirements, we may not obtain or maintain the approvals we need to commercialize such products. Even if we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, there can be no assurance that either we or our CMOs will be able to manufacture the approved product to specifications acceptable to the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, to produce it in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements for the potential launch of the product, or to meet potential future demand. Deviations from manufacturing requirements may further require remedial measures that may be costly and/or time-consuming for us or a third party to implement and may include the temporary or permanent suspension of a clinical trial or commercial sales or the temporary or permanent closure of a facility. Any such remedial measures imposed upon us or third parties with whom we contract could materially harm our business.
Even to the extent we use and continue to use CMOs, we are ultimately responsible for the manufacture of our products and product candidates. A failure to comply with these requirements may result in regulatory enforcement actions against our manufacturers or us, including fines and civil and criminal penalties, which could result in imprisonment, suspension or restrictions of production, suspension, injunctions, delay or denial of product approval or supplements to approved products, clinical holds or termination of clinical trials, warning or untitled letters, regulatory authority communications warning the public about safety issues with the biologic, refusal to permit the import or export of the products, product seizure, detention, or recall, operating restrictions,
 
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suits under the civil False Claims Act (“FCA”), corporate integrity agreements, consent decrees, or withdrawal of product approval. Challenges we may face could delay completion of clinical trials, require bridging clinical trials or the repetition of one or more clinical trials, increase clinical trial costs, delay approval of our product candidates, impair commercialization efforts, increase our cost of goods, cause a lack of patient participation in clinical trials and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
If we decide to operate our own manufacturing facility for our ACT product candidates in late-stage clinical testing and for our marketed products, which would require significant resources, we may fail to successfully operate our facility, which could adversely affect our clinical trials and the commercial viability of our product candidates.
Currently, we have no immediate plans to operate our own manufacturing facility for our product candidates in late-stage clinical testing or for our marketed products. However, we may not be able to achieve clinical or commercial manufacturing and cell processing at a scale to satisfy demands for late-stage clinical trials or commercialization on our own or with a CMO and thus may decide to operate a manufacturing facility for our product candidates. While we believe the manufacturing and processing approaches are appropriate to support our clinical product development, we have limited experience in managing a large-scale manufacturing facility. We cannot be sure that the manufacturing processes we employ or the technologies that we incorporate for manufacturing will result in
TCR-T
cell product candidates suitable for clinical trials or commercialization.
We have exclusive access to the early-stage facility at UTH designed for the manufacturing of cellular products comprised of three fully functional cGMP suites and support areas where our hired and trained personnel perform all manufacturing related activities. The current lease extends through the end of 2024. In case the lease is not extended, we may decide to build our own manufacturing facility. There can be no assurance that we will complete the
build-out
of our manufacturing facility in a timely manner, or at all. We also do not yet have sufficient information to reliably estimate the cost of the clinical and commercial manufacturing and processing of our product candidates, and the actual cost to manufacture and process our product candidates could materially and adversely affect the commercial viability of our product candidates. In addition, the ultimate clinical and any commercial dose will affect our ability to scale our costs per dose. As a result, we may never be able to develop a commercially viable product. The commercial manufacturing facility we may build will also require regulatory approval, including from FDA, which we may never obtain. Even if approved, we would be subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA or authorities from other jurisdictions, the Drug Enforcement Administration and corresponding state agencies to ensure strict compliance with cGMP and cGTP requirements, and other government regulations.
If we were to decide in the future to own and operate a manufacturing facility, the designing and building process would be time-consuming, expensive, and we may not realize the benefit of this investment. As a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, we are required to demonstrate and maintain compliance with cGMP and cGTP requirements, which include requirements related to production processes, quality control and assurance and recordkeeping. Furthermore, establishing and maintaining manufacturing operations requires a reallocation of other resources, particularly the time and attention of certain of our senior management. Any failure or delay in our manufacturing capabilities could adversely impact the clinical development or commercialization of our or our collaborators’ product candidates.
The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products, especially of those cellular in nature like our ACT product candidates, 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 up 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. The application of new regulatory guidelines or parameters, such as those related to release testing, may also adversely affect our ability to manufacture our
 
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product candidates. 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 that any stability or other issues relating to the manufacture of our product candidates will not occur in the future.
We or any of our CMOs may fail to manage the logistics of storing and shipping our raw materials and 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 the inability to manufacture product, the 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.
We have limited experience in large-scale or commercial manufacturing, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to effectively manufacture clinical or commercial quantities of our products.
In September 2015, we entered into a collaboration agreement with UTH to gain exclusive access to a cGMP facility specialized in the manufacturing of cellular products. This facility is used exclusively for the manufacturing of our product candidates by our hired and trained personnel. Although some of our employees have experience in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products from prior employment at other companies, we as a company do not have experience in large-scale or commercial manufacturing.
We may not succeed in scaling up our production processes for ACT and/or biologics for pivotal trials and/or commercial supply. We may need a larger scale manufacturing process for any TCR Bispecifics molecule than we have planned, depending on the dose and regimen that is to be determined in our Phase 1 and future Phase 2 studies. Any changes in our manufacturing processes, including those utilized by our CMOs, as a result of scaling up may result in the need to obtain additional regulatory approvals. Difficulties in achieving commercial-scale production or the need for additional regulatory approvals could delay the development and regulatory approval of our product candidates and ultimately affect our success.
Risks Related to the Commercialization of Our Product Candidates
As a company, we have never commercialized a product. We currently have no active sales force or commercial infrastructure. We may lack the necessary expertise, personnel and resources to successfully commercialize our product candidates.
We currently have no active sales force or commercial infrastructure. As a company, we have never commercialized a product for any indication. Even if we receive regulatory approval for one or more of our product candidates from the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, we will need to develop robust internal sales, marketing and distribution capabilities to commercialize such products, which will be expensive and time-consuming, or enter into collaborations with third parties to perform these services.
There are costs and risks involved with establishing our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities. For example, recruiting and training a sales force is expensive and time-consuming and could delay any product launch. If the commercial launch of a product candidate for which we recruit a sales force and establish marketing capabilities is delayed or does not occur for any reason, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred these commercialization expenses. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our sales and marketing personnel. We must also compete with other biotechnology companies to recruit, hire, train and retain marketing and sales personnel.
Alternatively, we may wish to establish collaborations with third parties to maximize the potential of our product candidates jurisdictions in which a product candidate has been approved. The biotechnology industry is characterized by intense competition. Therefore, we may not be successful in entering into such
 
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commercialization arrangements with third parties on favorable terms, or at all. In addition, we may have limited control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell, market and distribute our products effectively.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop the necessary commercial infrastructure and capabilities to successfully commercialize our product candidates or be able to establish or maintain relationships with third parties necessary to perform these services. As a result, we may not successfully commercialize any product in any jurisdiction.
Our commercial success depends upon attaining significant market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved, among physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups, third-party payors and the medical community.
If we obtain regulatory approval for any of our current or future product candidates, that product candidate may nevertheless not gain sufficient market acceptance among physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups, third-party payors and the medical community. For example, they may prefer current, well-established cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, to the exclusion of our product candidates or may prefer other novel product candidates rather than our product candidates. Efforts to educate physicians, patients, patient advocacy groups and third-party payors on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may not be successful. If our product candidates do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant product revenues and may not receive a satisfactory return on our investment into the research and development of those product candidates.
Market acceptance of our product candidates is heavily dependent on patients’ and physicians’ perceptions that our product candidates are safe and effective treatments. The perceptions of any product are influenced by perceptions of competitors’ products that are in the same class or that have a similar mechanism of action. As a result, adverse public perception of our competitors’ products may negatively impact the market acceptance of our product candidates. If any approved products are not accepted by the market to the extent that we expect, we may not be able to generate significant product revenues and may not become or remain profitable.
The market opportunities for our product candidates may be smaller than we estimate.
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 who are in a position to receive our product candidates, and who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on our beliefs and estimates that have been derived from a variety of sources, including scientific literature, surveys of clinics, patient foundations, or market research by third parties, and may prove to be incorrect. These estimates may be inaccurate or based on imprecise data. We do not have verifiable internal marketing data regarding the potential size of the commercial market for our product candidates, nor have we obtained current independent marketing surveys to verify the potential size of the commercial markets for our current product candidates or any future product candidates. Since our current product candidates and any future product candidates will represent novel approaches to treating various conditions, it may be difficult, in any event, to accurately estimate the potential revenues from these product candidates. The number of patients in the addressable markets may turn out to be lower than expected, patients may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our product candidates or new patients may become increasingly difficult to identify or gain access to, all of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
For any product candidates developed in combination with other therapies, regulatory approval, safety or supply issues with these other therapies may delay or prevent the development and approval of our product candidates.
For any product candidates developed for use in combination with an approved therapy, we are subject to the risk that the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities could revoke approval of, or that safety,
 
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efficacy, manufacturing or supply issues could arise with, the therapy used in combination with our product candidate. If the therapies we use in combination with our product candidates are replaced as the standard of care, the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may require us to conduct additional clinical trials. The occurrence of any of these risks could result in our product candidates, if approved, being removed from the market or being less successful commercially.
For any product candidates developed for us in combination with a therapy that has not been approved by the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities, we may not be able to market our product candidate for use in combination with such an unapproved therapy, unless and until the unapproved therapy receives regulatory approval. These unapproved therapies face the same risks described with respect to our product candidates currently in development, including serious adverse effects and delays in their clinical trials. In addition, other companies may also develop their products or product candidates in combination with the unapproved therapies with which we are developing our product candidates for use in combination. Any setbacks in these companies’ clinical trials, including the emergence of serious adverse effects, may delay or prevent the development and approval of our product candidates.
If the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities do not approve or revoke their approval of, or if safety, efficacy, manufacturing, or supply issues arise with, therapies we choose to evaluate in combination with any of our product candidates, we may be unable to obtain regulatory approval of or to commercialize such product candidates in combination with these therapies.
Coverage and reimbursement may be limited or unavailable for our product candidates, which could make it difficult to sell our products profitably.
The availability and extent of coverage and adequate reimbursement by governmental and private third-party payors are essential for most patients to be able to afford expensive medical treatments. In both domestic and foreign markets, sales of our product candidates will depend substantially on the extent to which the costs of our product candidates will be covered by third-party payors, such as government health programs, commercial insurance and managed healthcare organizations. These third-party payors decide which products will be covered and establish reimbursement levels for those products. We cannot be certain that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be available for any of our product candidates, if approved, or that reimbursement policies will not reduce the demand for any of our product candidates, if approved. If coverage and adequate reimbursement are not available, or are available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our product candidates.
Obtaining coverage approval and reimbursement for a product from a government or other third-party payor is a time-consuming and costly process that could require us to provide supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data for the use of our products to the payor. We may not be able to provide data sufficient to gain acceptance with respect to coverage and reimbursement at a satisfactory level. If coverage and adequate reimbursement of our future products, if any, are unavailable or limited in scope or amount, such as may result where alternative or generic treatments are available, we may be unable to achieve or sustain profitability. Adverse coverage and reimbursement limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in our product candidates, even if such product candidates obtain regulatory approval.
Our ACT product candidate may be provided to patients in combination with other agents provided by third parties. The cost of such combination therapy may increase the overall cost of ACT therapy and may result in issues regarding the allocation of reimbursements between our therapy and the other agents, all of which may affect our ability to obtain reimbursement coverage for the combination therapy from third-party medical insurers.
Furthermore, the containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of foreign and domestic governments as well as private third-party payors. The prices of drugs have been a focus in this effort.
 
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Governments and private third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications, which could affect our ability to sell our product candidates profitably. We also expect to experience pricing pressures due to the trend towards managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative changes. These and other cost-control initiatives could cause us to decrease the price we might establish for products, which could result in lower-than-anticipated product revenues. In addition, the publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels or if coverage and adequate reimbursement of our products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, our revenues and the potential profitability of our product candidates in those countries would be negatively affected.
Healthcare reform legislation and other changes in the healthcare industry and in healthcare spending may adversely affect our business model.
Our revenue prospects could be affected by changes in healthcare spending and policies in the United States, the European Union and any other potential jurisdictions we may seek to commercialize our product candidates, if approved. We operate in a highly regulated industry, and new laws, regulations and judicial decisions, or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations and decisions, related to healthcare availability, the method of delivery and payment for healthcare products and services could negatively affect our business, financial condition and prospects. There is significant interest in promoting healthcare reforms, and it is likely that federal and state legislatures within the United States and the governments of other countries will continue to consider changes to existing healthcare legislation.
In addition, there have been and continue to be a number of initiatives at the United States federal and state levels that seek to reduce healthcare costs. Any significant spending reductions affecting Medicare, Medicaid or other publicly funded or subsidized health programs that may be implemented, or any significant taxes or fees that may be imposed on us, as part of any broader healthcare cost reduction effort, could have an adverse impact on our anticipated product revenues. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other healthcare programs. We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future. Any adopted health reform measure could reduce the ultimate demand for our products, if approved, or put pressure on our product pricing.
Risks Related to Our Relationships with Third Parties
We rely on third parties to conduct preclinical studies and/or clinical trials of our product candidates. If they do not properly and successfully perform their obligations to us, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approvals for our product candidates.
We currently, and we expect that we will continue to, rely on independent clinical investigators and CROs to conduct our clinical trials. CROs may also assist us in the collection and analysis of data. As a result of our reliance on these third parties, we have less direct control over the conduct, timing and completion of these clinical trials and the management of data developed through clinical trials than we would otherwise have if we relied entirely upon our own staff. These third parties are not our employees and we have limited control over the amount of time and resources that they dedicate to our product candidates. In addition, communications with outside parties can also be challenging, potentially leading to mistakes as well as difficulties in coordinating activities. Outside parties may:
 
   
have staffing difficulties;
 
   
fail to comply with contractual obligations;
 
   
experience regulatory compliance issues;
 
29

   
undergo changes in priorities or become financially distressed; or
 
   
form relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors.
If these third parties do not successfully carry out their duties under their agreements, or if the quality or accuracy of the data they obtain is compromised due to their failure to adhere to clinical trial protocols or to regulatory requirements, or if they otherwise fail to comply with clinical trial protocols or meet expected deadlines, the clinical trials of our product candidates may not meet regulatory requirements. Specifically, the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities require compliance with regulations and standards, including GCP, for designing, conducting, monitoring, recording, analyzing and reporting the results of clinical trials to assure that the data and results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of study participants are protected. Although we rely, and intend to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct our clinical trials, they are not our employees, and we are responsible for ensuring that each of these clinical trials is conducted in accordance with its general investigational plan, protocol, legal and regulatory requirements and scientific standards. Our reliance on these third parties for research and development activities will reduce our control over these activities, but will not relieve us of our responsibilities. If our third-party research and development partners fail to comply with applicable GCPs or other regulatory requirements, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and preclinical development activities or clinical trials may be extended, delayed, suspended or terminated.
We compete with many other companies for the resources of these third parties. These third parties may have contractual relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors, which may draw time and resources from our product candidates. The third parties with whom we contract might not be diligent, careful or timely in conducting our preclinical studies or clinical trials, resulting in the preclinical studies or clinical trials being delayed or unsuccessful.
If any of our relationships with any third-party research and development partner terminates its relationship with us, we may not be able to enter into arrangements with alternative third-party research and development partners or to do so on commercially reasonable terms. Switching or adding additional third-party research and development partners involves additional cost and requires management time and focus. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new third-party research and development partner commences work. As a result, delays may occur in our clinical trials, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines. There can be no assurance that we will not encounter challenges or delays in the future or that these delays or challenges will not have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
We rely on third parties to obtain reagents and raw materials.
The manufacture of our product candidates by us or any of our CMOs requires access to a number of reagents and other critical raw materials from third-party suppliers. Such third parties may refuse to supply such reagents or other raw materials or alternatively refuse to supply on commercially reasonable terms. There may also be capacity issues at such third-party suppliers that impact our ability to increase production of our product candidates. Some of the materials used in the manufacture and processing of our product candidates may only be supplied by one or a few vendors, which means that, should those vendors be unable to supply, for whatever reason, our ability to manufacture product candidates and progress product candidates through clinical trials could be severely impacted and result in additional delays. Such failure to supply could also impact other supply relationships with other third parties and potentially result in additional payments being made or required in relation to such delays. In addition, where any raw material or precursor material (including, for example, lentiviral vector, cell culture medium, chromatographic column material or other essential raw material) is currently supplied by one or a few vendors, replacing such raw material or precursor or finding alternative vendors may not be possible or may significantly impact on the timescales for manufacture and supply of our product candidates. Even where alternative materials or precursors or alternative vendors are identified, such
 
30

alternative materials, precursors or vendors and their materials will need to be properly assessed and qualified and additional regulatory approvals may also need to be obtained all of which could result in significant delays to the supply of our product candidates or an inability to supply product candidates within anticipated timescales, if at all.
We rely on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates. Our dependence on these third parties may impair the clinical advancement and commercialization of our product candidates.
Currently, our ACT product candidates are manufactured by our personnel at the UTH facility. We expect to continue to manufacture product candidates for early-phase trials using our personnel at the UTH facility; but we are currently negotiating contracts with larger CMOs with experience in cell therapy development and manufacturing to manufacture our products for late-stage clinical trials, including any pivotal trials. The process will involve the development of a given manufacturing process in house using our personnel followed by technology transfer of each manufacturing process to the CMO. Our manufacturing strategy for TCER includes CMOs for cell line development, process development, formulation development, cGMP manufacturing, analytics, release testing, fill and finish, packaging and storage.
Reliance on third-party providers may expose us to different risks than if we were to manufacture and supply product candidates ourselves. The facilities used by our CMOs or other third-party manufacturers to manufacture our product candidates must be approved by the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities, and the FDA requires our CMOs or other third-party manufacturers to maintain a compliance status acceptable to the FDA, pursuant to inspections that will be conducted after we submit the marketing application to the applicable regulatory authorities. Although we have auditing rights with all our manufacturing counterparties, we do not have control over a supplier’s or manufacturer’s compliance with these laws, regulations, applicable cGMP and cGTP standards and other laws and regulations, such as those related to environmental health and safety matters.
If our CMOs or other third-party manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture material that conforms to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements of the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities, or if the quality or accuracy of the manufacturing and quality control data they obtain is compromised due to their failure to adhere to protocols or to regulatory requirements, we will not be able to secure and/or maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates. In addition, we have no control over the ability of our CMOs or other third-party manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If a CMO or other third-party manufacturer cannot maintain a compliance status acceptable to the FDA, or if the EMA or a comparable regulatory authority does not approve these facilities for the manufacture of our product candidates or if it withdraws any such approval in the future, we may need to find alternative manufacturing facilities, which would significantly impact our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for or market our product candidates, if approved. Any failure to achieve and maintain compliance with these laws, regulations and standards could subject us to the risk that we may have to suspend the manufacturing of our product candidates and that obtained approvals could be revoked, which would adversely affect our business and reputation.
Establishing additional or replacement CMOs could take a substantial amount of time and it may be difficult to establish replacement CMOs who meet regulatory requirements. There are a limited number of manufacturers that operate under cGMP and, for cellular products, also under cGTP regulations and that are both capable of manufacturing for us and willing to do so. In addition, there are limited CMOs specialized in the manufacturing of cellular therapy products. If we have to switch to a replacement CMO, the manufacture and delivery of our product candidates could be interrupted for an extended period, which could adversely affect our business. If we are able to find a replacement CMO, the replacement CMO would need to be qualified and may require additional regulatory authority approval, which could result in further delay regulatory approval and commercialization of our product candidates.
Furthermore, third-party providers may breach, terminate or decline to renew agreements they have with us because of factors beyond our control, such as their own financial difficulties or business priorities, international
 
31

trade restrictions and financial costs, potentially at a time that is costly or otherwise inconvenient for us or our partners. In such cases, we would face the challenge of transferring complicated manufacturing techniques to other CMOs. We may incur significant costs and be required to devote significant time to verify that the new manufacturer maintains facilities and procedures that comply with quality standards and with all applicable regulations and guidelines. A transfer of the manufacturing process for our product candidates would be time-consuming, and we or our partners may not be able to achieve such transfer. If we are unable to find an adequate replacement or another acceptable solution in time, clinical trials of our product candidates could be delayed or our commercial activities could be harmed.
Failure of third-party contractors to successfully develop and commercialize companion diagnostics for use with our product candidates could harm our ability to commercialize our product candidates.
We plan to develop companion diagnostics for our product candidates where appropriate. Such developments are expensive and time-consuming. The FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities may request or require the development and regulatory approval of a companion diagnostic as a condition to approving one or more of our product candidates. We do not have experience or capabilities in developing, seeking regulatory approval for or commercializing diagnostics and plan to rely in large part on third parties to perform these functions.
We will likely outsource the development, production and commercialization of companion diagnostics to third parties. By outsourcing these companion diagnostics to third parties, we become dependent on the efforts of our third-party contractors to successfully develop and commercialize these companion diagnostics. Our contractors:
 
   
may not perform their obligations as expected;
 
   
may encounter production difficulties that could constrain the supply of the companion diagnostic;
 
   
may encounter difficulties in obtaining regulatory approval;
 
   
may have difficulties gaining acceptance of the use of the companion diagnostic in the clinical community;
 
   
may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of such product; and
 
   
may terminate their relationship with us.
We collaborate with third parties in the research, development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates and may enter into other collaborations in the future for our other product candidates. If our collaborators do not perform as expected or if we are unable to maintain existing or establish additional collaborations, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates may be adversely affected.
From time to time, we may enter into collaboration agreements with third parties that have experience in product development, manufacturing and/or commercialization for other product candidates and/or research programs. We may face significant competition in seeking appropriate partners for our product candidates, and the negotiation process may be time-consuming and complex. In order for us to successfully partner our product candidates, potential collaborators must view these product candidates as economically valuable in markets they determine to be attractive in light of the terms that we are seeking and other available products for licensing by other companies. Even if we are successful in our efforts to establish collaborations, the terms that we agree upon may not be favorable to us, and we may not be able to maintain such collaborations if, for example, development or approval of a product candidate is delayed or sales of an approved product are disappointing. If we fail to establish and maintain collaborations related to our product candidates, we could bear all of the risk and costs related to the development of any such product candidate, and we may need to seek additional financing, hire additional employees and otherwise develop expertise for which we have not budgeted. This could negatively affect the development and commercialization of our product candidates.
 
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We have collaboration agreements and license agreements with, for example, MD Anderson, Genmab, Celgene Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb (“BMS”), and GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”). These agreements provide us with important funding for our development programs and technology platforms. If our therapeutic programs and related collaborations do not result in the successful development and commercialization of products or if one of our collaborators or licensors terminates its agreement with us, we may not receive any future research funding or milestone or royalty payments associated with such collaboration or license arrangement. For example, our collaboration agreements with Amgen and with MorphoSys AG were terminated in 2021, and our collaboration agreement with
Hoffmann-La
Roche Ltd and
Hoffmann-La
Roche Inc. was terminated in 2020. As a result, we will not receive any future milestone or royalty payments under these collaborations. In addition, any termination of an agreement by the relevant collaborators could affect our ability to develop further such product candidates or adversely affect how we are perceived in scientific and financial communities. All of the risks relating to product development, regulatory approval and commercialization described in this Annual Report also apply to the activities of our program collaborators.
In our collaboration arrangements, we depend on the performance of our collaborators. Our collaborators may fail to perform their obligations under the collaboration agreements or may not perform their obligations in a timely manner. If conflicts arise between our collaborators and us, the other party may act in a manner adverse to us and could limit our ability to implement our strategies. Furthermore, our collaborators may not properly obtain, maintain, enforce or defend our intellectual property or proprietary rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our proprietary information or expose us to potential litigation. In addition, we cannot control the amount and timing of resources our collaborators may devote to our product candidates. They may separately pursue competing products, therapeutic approaches or technologies to develop treatments for the diseases targeted by us. Competing products, either developed by the collaborators or to which the collaborators have rights, may result in the withdrawal of support for our product candidates. Even if our collaborators continue their contributions to the strategic collaborations, they may nevertheless determine not to actively pursue the development or commercialization of any resulting products. Additionally, if our collaborators pursue different clinical or regulatory strategies with their product candidates based on similar technology as used in our product candidates, adverse events with their product candidates could negatively affect our product candidates. Any of these developments could harm our product development efforts.
If our collaborators terminate or breach our agreements with them, or otherwise fail to complete their obligations in a timely manner, it may have a detrimental effect on our financial position by reducing or eliminating the potential for us to receive technology access and license fees, milestones and royalties, reimbursement of development costs, as well as possibly requiring us to devote additional efforts and incur costs associated with pursuing internal development of product candidates. Furthermore, if our collaborators do not prioritize and commit sufficient resources to our product candidates, we or our partners may be unable to develop or commercialize these product candidates, which would limit our ability to generate revenue and become profitable.
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. Additionally, although we intend to develop product candidates through our own internal research, we may need to obtain additional licenses from others to advance our research or allow commercialization of our product candidates and it is possible that we may be unable to obtain additional licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all. 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 shareholders or disrupt our management and business. In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic collaborations and licenses and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. We may also be unable to identify product candidates that we believe are an appropriate strategic fit for our company and intellectual property relating to, or necessary for, such product candidates. The
 
33

in-licensing
and acquisition of third-party intellectual property is a competitive area, and a number of more established companies are also pursuing strategies to
in-license
or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive or necessary. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. Furthermore, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may not be successful in our efforts to establish strategic collaborations or other alternative arrangements for our product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early 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 collaboration 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.
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 are dependent or may depend in the future on patents,
know-how
and proprietary technology licensed from others. We may also enter into additional license agreements that are material to the development of our product candidates. Our current license agreements impose, and future agreements may impose, various development, diligence, commercialization and other obligations on us and require us to meet development timelines, or to exercise commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize licensed products, in order to maintain the licenses. Disputes may arise between us and our licensors and licensees regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including those related to:
 
   
the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;
 
   
whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;
 
   
our right to sublicense patent and other rights to third parties under collaborative development relationships;
 
   
our diligence obligations with respect to the use of the licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of our product candidates, and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations; and
 
   
the ownership of inventions and
know-how
resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by us, our licensors, and our collaborators.
If disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed, or will license in the future, prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product candidates. Furthermore, if our licenses are terminated, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, competitors or other third parties would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical or competitive to ours and we may be required to cease our development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates. We are generally also subject to all of the same risks with respect to protection of intellectual property that we license, as it is for intellectual property that we own, which are described below. If we or our licensors fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability to commercialize products could suffer.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient patent protection for our product candidates, or if the scope of the patent protection is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products similar or identical to ours, and our ability to commercialize our product candidates successfully may be adversely affected.
Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection in the United States and other countries with respect to our product candidates. If we do not adequately protect or enforce our
 
34

intellectual property, competitors and other third parties may be able to erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business. To protect our proprietary position, we file patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our product candidates that are important to our business. The patent application and approval process is expensive, complex and time-consuming. We may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner.
The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies generally is highly uncertain. No consistent policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents has emerged to date in the United States or in many foreign jurisdictions. In addition, the determination of patent rights with respect to biological and pharmaceutical products commonly involves complex legal and factual questions, which has in recent years been the subject of much litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patent rights are highly uncertain. Our pending patent applications cannot be enforced against third parties practicing the technology claimed in such applications unless and until a patent issues from such applications. Assuming the other requirements for patentability are met, currently, the first to file a patent application is generally entitled to the patent. However, prior to March 16, 2013, in the United States, the first to invent was entitled to the patent. Publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we were the first to make the inventions claimed in our patents or pending patent applications, or that we were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions.
Moreover, because the issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, our patents or pending patent applications may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. For example, we may be subject to a third-party preissuance submission of prior art to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), or become involved in post-grant review procedures, oppositions, derivations, reexaminations,
inter partes
review or interference proceedings, in the United States or elsewhere, challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such challenges may result in loss of exclusivity or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, in whole or in part, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and products. In addition, given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized.
Even if our patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors from competing with us or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage. Our competitors may be able to circumvent our patents by developing similar or alternative technologies or products in a
non-infringing
manner. Alternatively, our competitors may seek to market generic versions of any approved products and may claim that patents owned or licensed by us are invalid, unenforceable or not infringed. In these circumstances, we may need to defend or assert our patents, or both, including by filing lawsuits alleging patent infringement. In any of these types of proceedings, a court or other agency with jurisdiction may find our patents invalid or unenforceable, or that our competitors are competing in a
non-infringing
manner. Thus, even if we have valid and enforceable patents, these patents still may not provide protection against competing products or processes sufficient to achieve our business objectives. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business.
If third parties claim that our activities or products infringe upon their intellectual property, our operations could be adversely affected.
There is a substantial amount of litigation, both within and outside the United States, involving patents and other intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical industry. We may, from time to time, be notified of claims that we or our third-party suppliers are infringing upon patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual
 
35

property rights owned by third parties, and we cannot provide assurances that other companies will not, in the future, pursue such infringement claims against us or any third-party proprietary technologies we have licensed. If we or our third-party suppliers were found to infringe upon a patent or other intellectual property right, or if we failed to obtain or renew a license under a patent or other intellectual property right from a third party, or if a third party that we were licensing technologies from was found to infringe upon a patent or other intellectual property rights of another third party, we may be required to pay damages, including treble damages if the infringement is found to be willful, suspend the manufacture of certain product candidates or reengineer or rebrand our product candidates, if feasible, or we may be unable to enter certain new product markets. We could also be required to obtain a license to such patents in order to continue the development and commercialization of the infringing product or technology, however such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if such license were available, it may require substantial payments or cross-licenses under our intellectual property rights, and it may only be available on a nonexclusive basis, in which case third parties, including our competitors, could use the same licensed intellectual property to compete with us. Any such claims could also be expensive and time-consuming to defend and divert management’s attention and resources. Our competitive position could suffer as a result. In addition, if we have declined to enter into a valid
non-disclosure
or assignment agreement for any reason, we may not own an invention or intellectual property rights and may not be adequately protected. Although we have reviewed certain third-party patents and patent filings that we believe may be relevant to our product candidates, we have not conducted a full
freedom-to-operate
search or analysis for such product candidates, and we may not be aware of patents or pending or future patent applications that, if issued, would block us from commercializing our product candidates. In addition, because patent applications can take many years to issue, may be confidential for 18 months or more after filing and can be revised before issuance, there may be applications now pending which may later result in issued patents that may be infringed by the manufacture, use, sale or importation of our product candidates and we may not be aware of such patents. Thus, we cannot guarantee that we can successfully commercialize product candidates in a way that will not infringe any third party’s intellectual property.
Where we license certain technology from a third party, the prosecution, maintenance and defense of the patent rights licensed from such third party may be controlled by the third party which may impact the scope of patent protection which will be obtained or enforced.
Where we license patent rights or technology from a third party, control of such third-party patent rights may vest in the licensor, particularly where the license is
non-exclusive
or field restricted. This may mean that we are not able to control or affect the scope of the claims of any relevant third-party patent or have control over any enforcement of such a patent. Therefore, we cannot be certain that such patents and patent applications will be prepared, filed, prosecuted, maintained, enforced, and defended in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. Where a licensor brings an enforcement action, this could negatively impact our business or result in additional restrictions being imposed on the license we have and the scope of such license or result in invalidation or limitation of the scope of the licensed patent. In addition, should we wish to enforce the relevant patent rights against a third person, we may be reliant on consent from the relevant licensor or the cooperation of the licensor. The licensor may refuse to bring such action and leave us unable to restrict competitor entry into the market.
We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents or the patents of our licensors, or lawsuits accusing our products of patent infringement, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful.
Competitors or third parties may infringe our patents or the patents of our licensors. To counter infringement or unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. In addition, in an infringement proceeding, a court may decide that one or more of our patents is not valid or is unenforceable or may refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover the technology in question. Further, such third parties could counterclaim that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property or that a patent or other intellectual property right asserted against them is invalid or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims challenging the validity, enforceability or scope of asserted patents are commonplace. The outcome of any such proceeding is generally unpredictable.
 
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An adverse result in any litigation or defense proceedings could put one or more of our patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable, or interpreted narrowly and could put our patents applications at risk of not issuing. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, would involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may be enjoined from manufacturing, using, and marketing our products, or may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure. Any required license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if such license were available, it may require substantial payments or cross-licenses under our intellectual property rights, and it may only be available on a nonexclusive basis, in which case third parties, including our competitors, could use the same licensed intellectual property to compete with us. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during litigation. There could also be public announcements of the results of hearing, motions, or other interim developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of shares of our stock.
Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment, and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for
non-compliance
with these requirements.
Periodic maintenance fees on any issued patent are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent. The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with several procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process. While an inadvertent lapse can in many cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Noncompliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits,
non-payment
of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may incur substantial costs as a result of litigation or other proceedings relating to patent and other intellectual property rights.
The cost to us of any litigation or other proceeding relating to intellectual property rights, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial. Some of our competitors may be better able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation because they have substantially greater resources. If there is litigation against us, we may not be able to continue to operate.
Should third parties file patent applications or be issued patents claiming technology we also use or claim, we may be required to participate in interference proceedings in the USPTO to determine priority of invention. We may be required to participate in interference proceedings involving our issued patents and pending applications. We may be required to cease using the technology or to license rights from prevailing third parties as a result of an unfavorable outcome in an interference proceeding. A prevailing party in that case may not offer us a license on commercially acceptable terms or at all.
Issued patents covering our product candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or the USPTO.
If we or one of our licensing collaborators initiates legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that the patent covering our product
 
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candidate, as applicable, is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace, and there are numerous grounds upon which a third party can assert invalidity or unenforceability of a patent. Third parties may also raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include
re-examination,
inter partes
and post grant review, and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions (for example, opposition proceedings). Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment to our patents in such a way that they no longer cover our product candidates. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art of which we, our patent counsel and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our product candidates. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business.
We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property.
Our agreements with employees and our personnel policies generally provide that any inventions conceived by such individuals in the course of rendering services to us shall be our exclusive property or that we may obtain full rights to such inventions, at our election. However, we may not obtain these agreements in all circumstances, and individuals with whom we have these agreements may not comply with their terms. We may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators, or other third parties have an ownership interest in our patents or other intellectual property. Ownership disputes may arise, for example, from conflicting obligations of consultants or others who are involved in developing our development candidates.
We also face the risk that present or former employees could continue to hold rights to intellectual property we use, may demand the registration of intellectual property rights in their name and demand damages or compensation pursuant to the German Employee Invention Act. In addition, under the German Employee Invention Act, certain employees retain rights to patents they invented or
co-invented
and disclosed to us prior to October 1, 2009 if the employee inventions were not actively claimed by us after notification by the employee inventors. While we believe that all of our current and past German employee inventors have assigned to us their interest in inventions and patents they invented or
co-invented,
there can be no assurance that all such assignments are fully effective. Even if we lawfully own all inventions of our employee inventors who are subject to the German Act on Employees’ Inventions, we are required under German law to reasonably compensate such employees for the use of the inventions. If we are required to pay increased compensation or face other disputes under the German Act on Employees’ Inventions, our business could be adversely affected.
Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or ownership. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse impact on our business. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.
Confidentiality agreements with employees and third parties may not prevent unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information.
In addition to the protection afforded by patents, we seek to rely on trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to protect proprietary
know-how
that is not patentable, processes for which patents are difficult to enforce and any other elements of our product discovery and development processes that involve proprietary
know-how,
information or technology that is not covered by patents. Trade secrets, however, may be difficult to protect. Although we require all of our employees to assign their inventions to us, and require all of our employees and key consultants who have access to our proprietary
know-how,
information, or technology to enter into confidentiality agreements, we cannot be certain that our trade secrets and other confidential
 
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proprietary information will not be disclosed or that competitors will not otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or independently develop substantially equivalent information and techniques. Furthermore, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent or in the same manner as the laws of the United States. As a result, we may encounter significant problems in protecting and defending our intellectual property both in the United States and abroad. If we are unable to prevent unauthorized material disclosure of our intellectual property to third parties, we will not be able to establish or maintain a competitive advantage in our market, which could materially adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
We may be subject to claims that we or our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information of third parties, that our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers, or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.
We employ individuals who were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. In addition, our employees involved in our strategic collaborations have access to certain joint confidential information or such information from the collaborator. Although we try to ensure that our employees, consultants, and independent contractors do not use the proprietary information or
know-how
of others in their work for us, from time to time we may be subject to claims that we, or our employees, consultants, or independent contractors, have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any of our employees’ former employers or other third parties, or that patents and applications we have filed to protect inventions of these individuals, even those related to one or more of our product candidates, are rightfully owned by their former or concurrent employer. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel, which could adversely impact our business. Such intellectual property rights could be awarded to a third party, and we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to commercialize our technology or products. Such a license may not be available on an exclusive basis or on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees. Such liability can also occur if we publish or disclose confidential information from our collaboration without permission of the respective collaborator.
Changes in U.S. or foreign countries’ patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.
As is the case with other biopharmaceutical companies, our success is dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biopharmaceutical industry involve both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, the U.S. Congress or other foreign legislative bodies may pass patent reform legislation that is unfavorable to us. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, or similar authorities in foreign jurisdictions, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents that we might obtain in the future. We cannot predict how future decisions by the courts, the U.S. Congress or the USPTO may impact the value of our patents, nor can we predict changes in international patent law.
We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.
The legal protection afforded to inventors and owners of intellectual property in countries outside of the United States may not be as protective or effective as that in the United States and we may, therefore, be unable
 
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to acquire and enforce intellectual property rights outside the United States to the same extent as in the United States. Many countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patent. If we or any of our licensors is forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents relevant to our business, our competitive position may be impaired and our business may be harmed.
Whether filed in the United States or abroad, our patent applications may be challenged or may fail to result in issued patents. In addition, our existing patents and any future patents we obtain may not be sufficiently broad to prevent others from utilizing our technologies or from developing or commercializing competing products. Furthermore, others may independently develop or commercialize similar or alternative technologies or therapies, or design around our patents. Our patents may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented or narrowed, or fail to provide us with any competitive advantages. In many foreign countries, patent applications and/or issued patents, or parts thereof, must be translated into the native language. If our patent applications or issued patents are translated incorrectly, they may not adequately cover our technologies; in some countries, it may not be possible to rectify an incorrect translation, which may result in patent protection that does not adequately cover our technologies in those countries. Filing, prosecuting, enforcing, and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States are less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and certain state laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from utilizing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors or other third parties may use our technologies, or technology that we license, in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop our own products and, further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our lead product candidate or any other current or future product candidates and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.
Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biotechnology. In addition, certain countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. Thus, it may be difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or the marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights, generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly, could place our patent applications at risk of not issuing, and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we own or license.
Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates or any future product candidates for an adequate amount of time.
Patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from our earliest U.S.
non-provisional
filing date. Various extensions may be available, but the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of any product candidates we may develop, one or more of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Action of 1984 (the “Hatch-Waxman Act”). The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent
 
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extension term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. A patent term extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval, only one patent may be extended and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. In the European Union, a maximum of five and a half years of supplementary protection can be achieved for an active ingredient or combinations of active ingredients of a medicinal product protected by a basic patent, if a valid marketing authorization exists (which must be the first authorization to place the product on the market as a medicinal product) and if the product has not already been the subject of supplementary protection. However, we may not receive an extension because of, for example, failing to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the length of the extension could be less than we request.
Even if patents covering our product candidates or any future product candidates are obtained and even if we are successful in obtaining patent term extension, once the patent life has expired, we may be open to competition from competitive products. The launch of a similar or biosimilar version of one of our products would likely result in an immediate and substantial reduction in the demand for our product, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing, and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting our current product candidates or any future product candidates might expire before or shortly after we or our collaborators commercialize those candidates. As a result, our patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.
Our business depends on a strong and trusted brand, and any failure to maintain, protect, and enhance our trademarks, trade names and brand would have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results or operations and prospects.
We may rely on trademarks and trade names to protect our business. Our trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names or may be forced to stop using these names or marks which we need for name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. During trademark registration proceedings, we may receive rejections. Although we would be given an opportunity to respond to those rejections, we may be unable to overcome such rejections. In addition, in the USPTO and in comparable agencies in many foreign jurisdictions, third parties are given an opportunity to oppose pending trademark applications and to seek to cancel registered trademarks. Opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademarks, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. If we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. For example, we have filed an opposition against Immunocore Limited’s U.S. trademark application for IMMTAX and Immunocore Limited has brought counterclaims against three of our registered U.S. trademarks for IMMATICS. If we are unsuccessful in this opposition or if Immunocore Limited is successful in its counterclaims, we may be required to change our branding which could cause us to incur substantial costs and impede our ability to build and sustain name recognition for such platform. For more information on the opposition proceeding see “Business — Legal Proceedings.” Over the long term, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may be significantly harmed. Our efforts to enforce or protect our proprietary rights related to trademarks, trade secrets, domain names, copyrights or other intellectual property may be ineffective and could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
 
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Intellectual property rights do not necessarily address all potential threats to our competitive advantage.
The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property rights is uncertain because intellectual property rights have limitations, and may not adequately protect our business or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. For example:
 
   
we may not be able to detect infringement of our issued patents;
 
   
others may be able to develop products that are similar to our products or product candidates, or any future product candidates we may develop, but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we may
in-license
in the future or own;
 
   
we, or our current or future collaborators or license partners, might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by the issued patents or patent application that we may
in-license
in the future or own;
 
   
we, or our current or future collaborators or license partners, might be found not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our or their inventions;
 
   
others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights;
 
   
it is possible that the pending patent applications we may
in-license
in the future or own will not lead to issued patents;
 
   
it is possible that there are prior public disclosures that could invalidate our patents, or parts of our patents, for which we are not aware;
 
   
issued patents that we hold rights to may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by our competitors;
 
   
issued patents may not have sufficient term or geographic scope to provide meaningful protection;
 
   
our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;
 
   
we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;
 
   
the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business; and
 
   
we may choose not to file a patent in order to maintain certain trade secrets, and a third party may subsequently file a patent covering such intellectual property.
Should any of these events occur, it could significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health epidemics, including the
COVID-19
pandemic, in regions where we or third parties on which we rely have significant manufacturing facilities, concentrations of clinical trial sites or other business operations.
Our business could be adversely affected by health epidemics in regions where we have clinical trial sites or other business operations; epidemics could also cause significant disruptions in the operations of third-party manufacturers and CROs upon whom we rely. Our operations, similar to those of other life sciences companies, have been impacted by the
COVID-19
pandemic. The outbreak has resulted in governments implementing numerous measures to contain the
COVID-19
pandemic, which although many have been relaxed in certain jurisdictions, are subject to change and the respective government authorities may tighten the restrictions at any time.
 
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The outbreak has caused us to modify our business practices including restricting employee travel, developing social distancing plans for our employees and canceling physical participation in meetings, events and conferences, and we may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or as we determine are in the best interests of our employees and business partners. Such modifications may negatively impact productivity, divert resources away from product development, disrupt our business operations and delay and disrupt our clinical trials and preclinical programs.
In addition, the outbreak and the resulting government actions may adversely impact our planned and ongoing clinical trials. Clinical site initiation, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff, and patient enrollment may be delayed due to prioritization of hospital resources toward the
COVID-19
pandemic. Some patients may not be willing and/or able to comply with clinical trial protocols due to the
COVID-19
pandemic, particularly if quarantines impede patient movement or interrupt healthcare services. Similarly, our ability to recruit and retain patients and principal investigators and site staff who, as healthcare providers, may have heightened exposure to
COVID-19
may be impeded, which would adversely impact our clinical trial operations. The diversion of healthcare resources away from the conduct of clinical trials to focus on pandemic concerns, including the attention of physicians serving as our clinical trial investigators and hospitals serving as our clinical trial sites, diversion of hospitals and medical centers or sites serving as our clinical trial sites and hospital or other staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials may significantly disrupt our research activities. As a result, the expected timeline for data readouts of our clinical trials and certain regulatory filings may be negatively impacted, which would adversely affect and delay our ability to obtain regulatory approvals for our product candidates, increase our operating expenses and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. Furthermore, we could face the interruption of key clinical activities such as trial site data monitoring, which may impact the integrity of clinical data. As a result of disruptions caused by the
COVID-19
pandemic, we may require additional capital to continue our research activities, which we may be unable to secure on favorable terms, if at all.
The outbreak and the resulting government actions may also adversely impact the operations of our CROs, CMOs, suppliers and other business partners due to staffing shortages, production slowdowns or stoppages and disruptions in delivery systems. Furthermore, we may experience longer lead times in procuring raw materials or components necessary to manufacture our product candidates, and our CMOs may be unable to manufacture product candidates in sufficient quantities that meet our standards.
As the
COVID-19
pandemic continues to evolve, we believe that the extent of its impact to our operations, operating results, cash flows, liquidity and financial condition will be primarily driven by the severity and duration of the pandemic, the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. and global economies and the timing, scope and effectiveness of national and local governmental responses to the pandemic. Those primary drivers are beyond our knowledge and control, and as a result, at this time, the
COVID-19
pandemic’s ultimate impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position cannot be reasonably predicted. Any disruption of our clinical trials, suppliers or contract manufacturers, closures of facilities, such as clinical trial sites, would delay the development of our product candidates. There are no comparable recent events that provide guidance as to the likely effect of the
COVID-19
pandemic, and, as a result, the ultimate impact of the outbreak is highly uncertain and subject to change. However, the
COVID-19
pandemic could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects and heighten many of our known risks described in this “D. Risk Factors” section.
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, including our Chief Executive Officer and other executive officers in our senior management. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our
 
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management, scientific and development teams could always terminate their employment with us on short notice. Even though we have employment agreements in place with all our employees including key personnel, these employment agreements provide for
at-will
employment, which means that any of our employees could leave us at any time, subject to notice periods and
non-competition
clauses. 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.
In addition, our failure to put in place adequate succession plans for senior and key management roles or the failure of key employees to successfully transition into new roles could have an adverse effect on our business and operating results. The unexpected or abrupt departure of one or more of our key personnel and the failure to effectively transfer knowledge and effect smooth key personnel transitions may have an adverse effect on our business resulting from the loss of such person’s skills, knowledge of our business, and years of industry experience. If we cannot effectively manage leadership transitions and management changes in the future, our reputation and future business prospects could be adversely affected.
Competition for skilled personnel is intense, particularly in the biotechnology industry. We conduct substantially all of our operations at our facilities in Tübingen, Germany, Houston, Texas and Munich, Germany. We face competition for personnel from other companies, universities, public and private research institutions and other organizations. This competition may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms, or at all. We may not be able to attract and retain these personnel on acceptable terms. This possibility is further compounded by the novel nature of our product candidates, as fewer people are trained in or are experienced with product candidates of this type. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors, including scientific and clinical advisors, to assist us in formulating our research and development and commercialization strategy. Our consultants and advisors may be employed or may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us.
We may encounter difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations successfully.
As we seek to advance our product candidates through clinical trials and commercialization, we are expanding our development, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities and may need to further expand or contract with third parties to provide these capabilities. In addition, as our operations expand, we expect that we will need to manage additional relationships with various collaborators, suppliers and other third parties. Our growth will impose significant added responsibilities on members of management. Our management may have to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from our
day-to-day
activities and devote a substantial amount of time to these growth activities, including identifying, recruiting, integrating, maintaining and motivating additional employees, managing our research and development efforts effectively, including the clinical trials and the FDA’s, the EMA’s or comparable regulatory authority’s 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 and to compete effectively will depend, in part, on our ability to manage our growth effectively. To that end, we must be able to effectively manage our research and development efforts and hire, train and integrate additional management, administrative and sales and marketing personnel. We may not be able to accomplish these tasks, and our failure to accomplish any of them could prevent us from successfully growing our company or could disrupt our operations.
In addition, we currently rely, and for the foreseeable future will continue to rely, in substantial part on certain independent organizations, advisors and consultants to provide certain services. There can be no assurance that the services of these 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. Furthermore, if we are unable to effectively manage our outsourced activities or if the quality or accuracy of the services provided by
 
44

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, if 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.
As a result of being a public company, we have incurred costs and expect to continue to incur additional costs, and we may not manage to comply with our internal control procedures and corporate governance structures.
To comply with the requirements imposed on us as a public company, we have incurred, and expect to continue to incur, significant legal, insurance, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The increased costs may require us to reduce costs in other areas of our business. In addition, our board of directors, management and administrative staff are required to perform additional tasks. For example, we bear all of the internal and external costs of preparing and distributing periodic public reports in compliance with our obligations under the securities laws. We have invested, and intend to continue to invest, resources to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment will result in increased general and administrative expenses and may divert management’s time and attention from research and development activities. These laws, regulations and standards are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters, enforcement proceedings and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing products, treatment methods and/or technologies before or more successfully than we do.
The biotechnology industry is characterized by rapidly advancing technologies, intense competition and a strong emphasis on proprietary products. We face competition with respect to our current product candidates and will face competition with respect to any product candidates that we may seek to develop or commercialize in the future. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Competition.” Our competitors include large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization. Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial resources and capabilities in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approval and marketing than we do. In addition, many of these competitors are active in seeking patent protection and licensing arrangements in anticipation of collecting royalties for use of technology that they have developed. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through strategic collaborations with large and established companies. Furthermore, mergers and acquisitions in the biotechnology industry may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors.
Our commercial opportunities could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects or are more convenient than any products that we may develop, which would render our products obsolete or noncompetitive. Our competitors also may obtain FDA, the EMA or regulatory approval in other jurisdictions for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position
 
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before we are able to enter the market. We anticipate that we will face increased competition in the future as additional companies enter our market and scientific developments surrounding other cancer therapies continue to accelerate.
If we do not achieve our projected development and commercialization goals in the timeframes we announce and expect, the commercialization of any of our product candidates may be delayed, and our business will be harmed.
For planning purposes, we sometimes estimate the timing of the accomplishment of various scientific, clinical, regulatory and other product development objectives. These milestones may include our expectations regarding the commencement or completion of scientific studies and clinical trials, the regulatory submissions or commercialization objectives. From time to time, we may publicly announce the expected timing of some of these milestones, such as the completion of an ongoing clinical trial, the initiation of other clinical trials, receipt of regulatory approval or the commercial launch of a product. The achievement of many of these milestones may be outside of our control. All of these milestones are based on a variety of assumptions which may cause the timing of achievement of the milestones to vary considerably from our estimates, including:
 
   
our available capital resources or capital constraints we experience;
 
   
the rate of progress, costs and results of our clinical trials and research and development activities, including the extent of scheduling conflicts with participating clinicians and collaborators;
 
   
our ability to identify and enroll patients who meet clinical trial eligibility criteria;
 
   
our receipt of approvals by the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities, and the timing thereof;
 
   
other actions, decisions or rules issued by regulators;
 
   
our ability to access sufficient, reliable and affordable supplies of materials used in the manufacture of our product candidates;
 
   
our ability to manufacture and supply clinical trial materials to our clinical sites on a timely basis;
 
   
the efforts of our collaborators with respect to the commercialization of our products; and
 
   
the securing of, costs related to, and timing issues associated with, commercial product manufacturing as well as sales and marketing activities.
If we fail to achieve announced milestones in the timeframes we expect, the commercialization of any of our product candidates may be delayed, and our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects may be adversely affected.
Failure to comply with health and data protection laws and regulations could lead to government enforcement actions, private litigation and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business.
We receive, generate and store significant and increasing volumes of sensitive information, such as employee and patient data. In addition, we actively seek access to medical information, including patient data, through research and development collaborations or otherwise. We have legal and contractual obligations regarding the protection of confidentiality and appropriate use of personal data. We and any potential collaborators may be subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations that apply to the collection, use, retention, protection, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal data. In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations, including federal health information privacy laws, state data breach notification laws, state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws (for example, Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act), that govern the collection, use, disclosure and
 
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protection of health-related and other personal information could apply to our operations or the operations of our collaborators. In addition, we may obtain health information from third parties, including research institutions from which we obtain clinical trial data, that are subject to privacy and security requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (“HITECH”). Depending on the facts and circumstances, we could be subject to civil, criminal and administrative penalties if we knowingly obtain, use, or disclose individually identifiable health information maintained by a HIPAA-covered entity in a manner that is not authorized or permitted by HIPAA.
Several foreign jurisdictions, including the European Union, its member states and Australia, among others, have adopted legislation and regulations that increase or change the requirements governing the collection, use, disclosure and transfer of the personal information of individuals in these jurisdictions and place greater control with the data subject. In the United States, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) increased the requirements governing the collection, use, disclosure and transfer of the personal information of individuals in the state of California. The CCPA gives California residents expanded rights to access and request deletion of their personal information, opt out of certain sales of personal information and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used by requiring covered companies to provide new disclosures to California residents regarding such use. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. Additionally, California voters approved a new privacy law, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”), in the November 3, 2020 election. Effective starting on January 1, 2023 , the CPRA will significantly modify the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal information. The CPRA also creates a new state agency that will be vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA. As we expand our operations and research and development efforts, the CCPA and CPRA may impose new and burdensome privacy compliance obligations on our business, may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Other states are considering similar laws.
These laws and regulations are complex and change frequently, at times due to changes in political climate, and existing laws and regulations are subject to different and conflicting interpretations, which adds to the complexity of processing personal data from these jurisdictions. These laws have the potential to increase costs of compliance, risks of
non-compliance
and penalties for
non-compliance.
Regulation 2016/679, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), as well as European Union member state implementing legislations, apply to the collection and processing of personal data, including health-related information, by companies located in the European Union, or in certain circumstances, by companies located outside of the European Union and processing personal information of individuals located in the European Union.
These laws impose strict obligations on the ability to process personal data, including health-related information, in particular in relation to their collection, use, disclosure and transfer. These include several requirements relating to (i) obtaining, in some situations, the consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, (ii) the information provided to the individuals about how their personal information is used, (iii) ensuring the security and confidentiality of the personal data, (iv) the obligation to notify regulatory authorities and affected individuals of personal data breaches, (v) extensive internal privacy governance obligations, and (vi) obligations to honor rights of individuals in relation to their personal data (for example, the right to access, correct and delete their data). The GDPR prohibits the transfer of personal data to countries outside of the European Economic Area (the “EEA”), such as the United States, which are not considered by the European Commission to provide an adequate level of data protection. Switzerland has adopted similar restrictions. Although there are legal mechanisms to allow for the transfer of personal data from the EEA and Switzerland to the United States, they are subject to legal challenges and uncertainty about compliance with European Union data protection laws remains. For example, in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidated the
so-called
Privacy Shield, which provided a framework for data transferred from the European Union to the United States. To the extent that we were to rely on the
EU-U.S.
Privacy Shield Framework, we will not be able to do so in the future, which could increase our costs and limit our ability to process personal data from the EU. The same decision also cast doubt on the ability to use one of the primary
 
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alternatives to the Privacy Shield, namely, the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, to lawfully transfer personal data from Europe to the United States and most other countries. At present, there are few if any viable alternatives to the Privacy Shield and the Standard Contractual Clauses.
Potential pecuniary fines for noncompliant companies may be up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of annual global revenue. Such penalties are in addition to any civil litigation claims by data controllers, customers and data subjects. The GDPR has increased our responsibility and liability in relation to personal data that we process, and we may be required to put in place additional potential mechanisms to ensure compliance with new European Union data protection rules. The GDPR also contains a private right of action allowing data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR.
Additionally, the United Kingdom’s vote in favor of exiting the EU, often referred to as Brexit, and ongoing developments in the United Kingdom have created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom. As of January 1, 2021, and the expiry of transitional arrangements agreed to between the United Kingdom and EU, data processing in the United Kingdom is governed by a United Kingdom version of the GDPR (combining the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018), exposing us to two parallel regimes, each of which potentially authorizes similar fines and other potentially divergent enforcement actions for certain violations. On June 28, 2021, the European Commission announced a decision of “adequacy” concluding that the United Kingdom ensures an equivalent level of data protection to the GDPR, which provides some relief regarding the legality of continued personal data flows from the EEA to the United Kingdom. This adequacy determination will automatically expire in June 2025 unless the European Commission renews or extends it and may be modified or revoked in the interim. Should the European Commission modify or revoke its adequacy determination, the United Kingdom may become an “inadequate third country” under the GDPR and transfers of data from the EEA to the United Kingdom would require a “transfer mechanism,” such as the standard contractual clauses. In the future there may be increasing scope for divergence in application, interpretation and enforcement of the data protection law as between the United Kingdom and EEA.
Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could result in government enforcement actions, which could include civil, criminal and administrative penalties, private litigation, and/or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business. Moreover, clinical trial subjects, employees and other individuals about whom we or our potential collaborators obtain personal information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may limit our ability to collect, use and disclose the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights, failed to comply with data protection laws, or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.
Our current and future operations are subject to applicable fraud and abuse, transparency, government price reporting, privacy and security, and other healthcare laws. If we are unable to comply, or do not fully comply, with such laws, we could face substantial penalties.
Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors will play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our operations, including any arrangements with healthcare providers, physicians, third-party payors and customers may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws that may affect the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we would market, sell and distribute our products. The healthcare laws that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:
 
   
The federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits any person or entity from, among other things, knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward either the referral of an individual
 
48

 
for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of an item or service reimbursable, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The term “remuneration” has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute has also been interpreted to apply to arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers on the one hand and prescribers, purchasers, and formulary managers on the other hand. There are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution, but the exceptions and safe harbors are drawn narrowly and require strict compliance in order to offer protection.
 
   
Federal civil and criminal false claims laws, such as the False Claims Act (“FCA”), which can be enforced by private citizens through civil qui tam actions, and civil monetary penalty laws prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, false, fictitious or fraudulent claims for payment of federal funds, and knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government. For example, pharmaceutical companies have been prosecuted under the FCA in connection with their alleged
off-label
promotion of drugs, purportedly concealing price concessions in the pricing information submitted to the government for government price reporting purposes, and allegedly providing free product to customers with the expectation that the customers would bill federal healthcare programs for the product. In addition, 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 FCA. 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. In addition, manufacturers can be held liable under the FCA even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims.
 
   
HIPAA, among other things, imposes criminal liability for executing or attempting to execute a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors, knowingly and willfully embezzling or stealing from a healthcare benefit program, willfully obstructing a criminal investigation of a healthcare offense, and creates federal criminal laws that prohibit knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation, or making or using any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.
 
   
HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, and their implementing regulations, which impose privacy, security and breach reporting obligations with respect to individually identifiable health information upon entities subject to the law, such as health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and certain healthcare providers, known as covered entities, and their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve individually identifiable health information. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in U.S. federal courts to enforce HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions.
 
   
Federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers.
 
   
The federal transparency requirements under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, created under the Health Care Reform Act, which requires, among other things, certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies reimbursed under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program to report annually to CMS information related to payments and other transfers of value provided to physicians, as defined by such law, and teaching hospitals and physician ownership and investment interests, including such ownership and investment interests held by a physician’s immediate family members.
 
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State and foreign laws that are analogous to each of the above federal laws, such as anti-kickback and false claims laws, that may impose similar or more prohibitive restrictions, and may apply to items or services reimbursed by
non-governmental
third-party payors, including private insurers.
 
   
State and foreign laws that require pharmaceutical companies to implement compliance programs, comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government, or to track and report gifts, compensation and other remuneration provided to physicians and other healthcare providers; state laws that require the reporting of marketing expenditures or drug pricing, including information pertaining to and justifying price increases; state and local laws that require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives; state laws that prohibit various marketing-related activities, such as the provision of certain kinds of gifts or meals; state laws that require the posting of information relating to clinical trials and their outcomes; and other federal, state and foreign laws that govern the privacy and security of health information or personally identifiable information in certain circumstances, including state health information privacy and data breach notification laws which govern the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of health-related and other personal information, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus requiring additional compliance efforts.
We have entered into consulting and scientific advisory board arrangements with physicians and other healthcare providers, including some who could influence the use of our product candidates, if approved. Because of the complex and
far-reaching
nature of these laws, regulatory agencies may view these transactions as prohibited arrangements that must be restructured, or discontinued, or for which we could be subject to other significant penalties. We could be adversely affected if regulatory agencies interpret our financial relationships with providers who may influence the ordering and use of our drug candidates, if approved, to be in violation of applicable laws.
Ensuring that our business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will likely be costly. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, agency guidance or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other current or future healthcare laws that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, imprisonment, exclusion from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of
non-compliance
with these laws, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could substantially disrupt our operations. Although effective compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, these risks cannot be entirely eliminated. Any action against us for an alleged or suspected violation could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and could divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business, even if our defense is successful. In addition, if any of the physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business is found not to be in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to significant criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government-funded healthcare programs.
Our employees, agents, contractors or collaborators may engage in misconduct or other improper activities.
We cannot ensure that our compliance controls, policies and procedures will in every instance protect us from acts committed by our employees, agents, contractors or collaborators that would violate the laws or regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate, including, without limitation, healthcare, employment, foreign corrupt practices, environmental, competition, and patient privacy and other privacy laws and regulations. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional failures to comply with FDA, the EMA or
 
50

other applicable regulations, provide accurate information to the FDA, the EMA and comparable regulatory authorities, comply with healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations in the United States and abroad, report financial information or data accurately or disclose unauthorized activities to us.
Such misconduct also could involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials or interactions with the FDA, the EMA or comparable regulatory authorities. If we obtain FDA approval of any of our product candidates and begin commercializing those products in the United States, our potential exposure under these laws will increase significantly, and our costs associated with compliance with these laws are likely to increase. Such improper actions could subject us to civil or criminal investigations, and monetary and injunctive penalties, and could adversely impact our ability to conduct business, operating results and reputation.
In addition, we are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and similar anti-bribery or anti-corruption laws, regulations or rules of other countries in which we operate, including the UK Bribery Act. The FCPA generally prohibits offering, promising, giving, or authorizing others to give anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to a
non-U.S.
government official in order to influence official action, or otherwise obtain or retain business. The FCPA also requires public companies to make and keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect the transactions of the corporation and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls. Our business is heavily regulated and therefore involves significant interaction with public officials, including officials of
non-U.S.
governments. Additionally, in many other countries, the healthcare providers who prescribe pharmaceuticals are employed by their government, and the purchasers of pharmaceuticals are government entities; therefore, our dealings with these prescribers and purchasers are subject to regulation under the FCPA. There is no certainty that all of our employees, agents, contractors, or collaborators, or those of our affiliates, will comply with all applicable laws and regulations, particularly given the high level of complexity of these laws. We have provisions in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, an anti-corruption policy and certain controls and procedures in place that are designed to mitigate the risk of
non-compliance
with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws. However, it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from government investigations or other actions stemming from a failure to comply with these laws or regulations. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in, among other things, significant administrative, civil and criminal fines and sanctions against us, our officers, or our employees, the closing down of our facilities, exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs including Medicare and Medicaid, implementation of compliance programs, integrity oversight and reporting obligations, and prohibitions on the conduct of our business. Any such violations could include prohibitions on our ability to offer our products in one or more countries and could materially damage our reputation, our brand, our international expansion efforts, our ability to attract and retain employees, and our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
We and our third-party contractors must comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. A failure to comply with these laws and regulations could expose us to significant costs or liabilities.
We and our third-party contractors are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the use, generation, manufacture, distribution, storage, handling, treatment, remediation and disposal of biohazardous materials and wastes and genetically modified organisms. Hazardous chemicals, including potentially infectious biological substances and genetically modified organisms, are involved in certain aspects of our business, and we cannot eliminate the risk of injury or contamination from the use, generation, manufacture, distribution, storage, handling, treatment or disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. In the event of contamination or injury, or failure to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, fines and penalties associated with such liability could exceed our assets and resources.
Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance as prescribed by Texas and German laws to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of biological or
 
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hazardous materials or wastes, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological, hazardous or radioactive materials.
Environmental, health and safety laws and regulations are becoming increasingly more stringent. We may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. These current or future laws and regulations may impair our research, development or production efforts. Our failure to comply with these laws and regulations also may result in substantial fines, penalties or other sanctions.
Our internal computer systems, or those of our partners, third-party CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security incidents, which could result in a material disruption of our product development programs and significant monetary losses.
Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our current or future partners, third-party CROs and other contractors and consultants have been subject to attacks by, and may be vulnerable to damage from, various methods, including cybersecurity attacks, breaches, intentional or accidental mistakes or errors, or other technological failures which can include, among other things, computer viruses, malicious codes, employee theft or misuse, unauthorized copying of our website or its content, unauthorized access attempts including third parties gaining access to systems using stolen or inferred credentials,
denial-of-service
attacks, phishing attempts, service disruptions, natural disasters, fire, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. As the cyber-threat landscape evolves, these attacks are growing in frequency, sophistication and intensity, and are becoming increasingly difficult to detect. Such attacks could include the use of keystroke loggers or other harmful and virulent malware, including ransomware or other denials of service, and can be deployed through malicious websites, the use of social engineering and/or other means. We may not be able to anticipate all types of security threats, and we may not be able to implement preventive measures effective against all such security threats. Further, as the current
COVID-19
pandemic continues to result in a significant number of people working from home, these cybersecurity risks may be heightened by an increased attack surface across our business. We cannot guarantee that our efforts, or the efforts of those upon whom we rely and partner with, will be successful in preventing any such information security incidents.
If a failure, accident or security breach were to occur and cause interruptions in our, our partners’ or our CROs’ operations, it could result in a misappropriation of confidential information, including personally identifiable information and our intellectual property or financial information, a material disruption of our programs and/or significant monetary losses. For example, the loss of XPRESIDENT raw data, the XPRESIDENT database or other data for our product candidates could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. In addition, because of our approach to running multiple clinical trials in parallel, any breach of our computer systems may result in a loss of data or compromised data integrity across many of our programs in many stages of development. Any such breach, loss or compromise of clinical trial participant personal data may also subject us to civil fines and penalties, including under the GDPR and relevant member state law in the European Union or the CCPA, HIPAA and other relevant state and federal privacy laws in the United States. Moreover, because we maintain sensitive company data on our computer networks, including our intellectual property and proprietary business information, any such security breach may compromise information stored on our networks and may result in significant data losses or theft of our intellectual property or proprietary business information. Our current cybersecurity liability insurance, and any such insurance that we may obtain in the future, may not cover the damages we would sustain based on any breach of our computer security protocols or other cybersecurity attack. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss of or damage to our data or applications or other data or applications relating to our technology or product candidates, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, our reputation could be harmed and we could incur significant liabilities and the further development of our product candidates could be disrupted.
 
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Product liability lawsuits could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and to limit development and commercialization of any products that we may develop.
We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing of our product candidates in human clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercialize any products that we successfully develop. 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 and a breach of warranties. We may also still face risks from previous research and development activities. For example, IMA950, a multi-peptide vaccine we previously developed, is still in clinical use under the responsibility of clinical investigators outside of our clinical trials (investigator-initiated trials). While any sponsor responsibility is with the investigator, we cannot fully be sure that we will not be held liable in the future for any potential product defects.
If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates. Even a successful defense would require significant financial and management resources. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:
 
   
decreased demand for our product candidates or products that we may develop;
 
   
injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;
 
   
withdrawal of clinical trial sites and/or study participants;
 
   
significant costs to defend the related litigations;
 
   
a diversion of management’s time and our resources to pursue our business strategy;
 
   
substantial monetary awards to study participants or patients;
 
   
product recalls, withdrawals or labeling, marketing or promotional restrictions;
 
   
loss of revenue;
 
   
the inability to commercialize our product candidates that we may develop; and
 
   
a decline in the price of our securities.
Failure to obtain and retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop. While we have obtained clinical trial insurance for our Phase 1 clinical trials and will also seek to obtain such insurance for future trials, any claim that may be brought against us could result in a court judgment or settlement in an amount that is not covered, in whole or in part, by our insurance or that is in excess of the limits of our insurance coverage. Our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. In such instance, we may have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts. If we are unable to obtain or maintain sufficient insurance coverage at an acceptable cost or to otherwise protect against potential product liability claims, it could prevent or inhibit the development and commercial production and sale of our product candidates, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Litigation and other legal proceedings may adversely affect our business.
From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings relating to patent and other intellectual property matters, product liability claims, employee claims, tort or contract claims, regulatory investigations, securities class action and other legal proceedings or investigations, which could have an adverse impact on our reputation, business and financial condition and divert the attention of our management from the operation of our business. Litigation is inherently unpredictable and can result in excessive or unanticipated verdicts and/or
 
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injunctive relief that affect how we operate our business. We could incur judgments or enter into settlements of claims for monetary damages or for agreements to change the way we operate our business, or both. Adverse publicity about regulatory or legal action against us could damage our reputation and brand image, even if the regulatory or legal action is unfounded or not material to our operations.
Our insurance policies are expensive and protect only from some business risks, which leaves us exposed to significant uninsured liabilities.
We do not carry insurance for all categories of risks that our business may encounter, and insurance coverage is becoming increasingly expensive. We do not know if we will be able to maintain existing insurance with adequate levels of coverage, and any liability insurance coverage we acquire in the future may not be sufficient to reimburse us for any expenses or losses we may suffer. If we obtain marketing approval for any product candidates that we or our collaborators may develop, we intend to acquire insurance coverage to include the sale of commercial products, but we may be unable to obtain such insurance on commercially reasonable terms or in adequate amounts. Required coverage limits for such insurances are difficult to predict and may not be sufficient. If potential losses exceed our insurance coverage, our financial condition would be adversely affected. In the event of contamination or injury, we could be held liable for damages or be penalized with fines in an amount exceeding our resources. Clinical trials or regulatory approvals for any of our product candidates could be suspended, which could adversely affect our results of operations and business, including by preventing or limiting the development and commercialization of any product candidates that we or our collaborators may develop. Additionally, operating as a public company will make it more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance. As a result, it may be more difficult to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors (the “Board”) or the Board committees.
If we engage in acquisitions and/or commercial collaborations in the future, we will incur a variety of costs and we may never realize the anticipated benefits of such acquisitions.
We may acquire technologies and assets, form strategic alliances or create joint ventures with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our existing business. Such efforts may never result in a transaction, and any future growth through acquisition or
in-licensing
will depend upon the availability of suitable products, product candidates, research programs or companies for acquisition or
in-licensing
on acceptable prices, terms and conditions. Even if appropriate opportunities are available, we may not be able to acquire rights to them on acceptable terms, or at all. The competition to acquire or
in-license
rights to promising products, product candidates, research programs and companies is fierce, and many of our competitors are large, multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with considerably more financial, development and commercialization resources and personnel than we have. In order to compete successfully in the current business climate, we may have to pay higher prices for assets than may have been paid historically, which may make it more difficult for us to realize an adequate return on any acquisition.
Even if we are able to successfully identify and acquire or
in-license
new products, product candidates, research programs or companies, we may not be able to successfully manage the risks associated with integrating any products, product candidates, research programs or companies into our business or the risks arising from anticipated and unanticipated problems in connection with an acquisition or
in-licensing.
Further, while we seek to mitigate risks and liabilities of potential acquisitions through, among other things, due diligence, there may be risks and liabilities that such due diligence efforts fail to discover, that are not disclosed to us or that we inadequately assess. In any event, we may not be able to realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisition or
in-licensing
for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that a product candidate fails to advance to clinical development, proves not to be safe or effective in clinical trials, or fails to reach its forecasted commercial potential, or that the integration of a product, product candidate, research program or company gives rise to unforeseen difficulties and expenditures. Any failure in identifying and managing these risks and uncertainties would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.
 
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In addition, acquisitions create other uncertainties and risks, particularly when the acquisition takes the form of a merger or other business consolidation. We may encounter unexpected difficulties, or incur unexpected costs, in connection with transition activities and integration efforts, which include:
 
   
high acquisition costs;
 
   
the need to incur substantial debt or engage in dilutive issuances of equity securities to pay for acquisitions;
 
   
the potential disruption of our historical business and our activities under our collaboration agreements;
 
   
the strain on, and need to expand, our existing operational, technical, financial and administrative infrastructure;
 
   
our lack of experience in late-stage product development and commercialization;
 
   
the difficulties in assimilating employees and corporate cultures;
 
   
the difficulties in hiring qualified personnel and establishing necessary development and/or commercialization capabilities;
 
   
the failure to retain key management and other personnel;
 
   
the challenges in controlling additional costs and expenses in connection with and as a result of the acquisition;
 
   
the need to write down assets or recognize impairment charges;
 
   
the diversion of our management’s attention to integration of operations and corporate and administrative infrastructures; and
 
   
any unanticipated liabilities for activities of or related to the acquired business or its operations, products or product candidates.
If we fail to integrate or otherwise manage an acquired business successfully and in a timely manner, resulting operating inefficiencies could increase our costs more than we planned, could negatively impact the market price of our ordinary shares and could otherwise distract us from execution of our strategy.
Our business is subject to economic, political, regulatory and other risks associated with conducting business internationally.
We currently conduct clinical trials in the United States and in Germany and we plan to market our product candidates, if approved, internationally. As a result, our business is subject to risks associated with conducting business internationally. Our future results could be harmed by a variety of factors, including:
 
   
differing regulatory requirements in
non-U.S.
countries;
 
   
unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers, price and exchange controls and other regulatory requirements;
 
   
differing standards for the conduct of clinical trials;
 
   
increased difficulties in managing the logistics and transportation of storing and shipping product candidates produced in the United States or elsewhere and shipping the product candidate to patients in other countries;
 
   
import and export requirements and restrictions;
 
   
economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in foreign economies and markets;
 
   
compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad;
 
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foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;
 
   
foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenue, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country;
 
   
difficulties staffing and managing foreign operations;
 
   
workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States or Germany;
 
   
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 United States or Germany;
 
   
production shortages resulting from any events affecting raw material supply or manufacturing capabilities abroad; and
 
   
business interruptions resulting from
geo-political
actions and conflict, war and terrorism, including the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine and resulting sanctions, retaliatory measures, changes in the availability and price of various materials and effects on global financial markets; and
 
   
business interruptions resulting from natural disasters including earthquakes, typhoons, floods and fires.
In addition, the formal change in the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, referred to as “Brexit,” may pose certain implications to our research, commercial and general business operations, including the approval and supply of our product candidates. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is comprehensive but does not cover all areas of regulation pertinent to the pharmaceutical industry, so certain complexities remain. It may be time-consuming and expensive for us to alter our internal operations in order to comply with new regulations as a result of Brexit. Altered regulations could also add time and expense to the process by which our product candidates receive regulatory approval in the United Kingdom and the European Union.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud.
Effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and prevent fraud. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in our implementation could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, any testing conducted by us, or any testing conducted by our independent registered public accounting firm, may reveal deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses or that may require prospective or retroactive changes to our financial statements or identify other areas for further attention or improvement. Inferior internal controls could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which is likely to negatively affect our business and the market price of our ordinary shares.
We are required to disclose changes made in our internal controls and procedures and assess the effectiveness of these controls annually. However, for as long as we are an “emerging growth company” under the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”). We could be an “emerging growth company” for up to five years from ARYA Sciences Acquisition Corp.’s initial public offering. An independent assessment of the effectiveness of our internal controls could detect problems that our management’s assessment might not. Material weaknesses in our internal controls could lead to financial statement restatements and require us to incur the expense of remediation.
 
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Risks Related to Ownership of Our Securities
The market price of our securities has been and may continue to be volatile and may fluctuate due to factors beyond our control
The market price of shares of our securities has been and may continue to be subject to wide fluctuations in response to many risk factors listed in this “D. Risk Factors” section, and others beyond our control, including:
 
   
results and timing of preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates;
 
   
results of clinical trials of our competitors’ products;
 
   
public concern relating to the commercial value or safety of any of our product candidates;
 
   
our inability to adequately protect our proprietary rights, including patents, trademarks and trade secrets;
 
   
our inability to raise additional capital and the terms on which we raise it;
 
   
commencement or termination of any strategic collaboration or licensing arrangement;
 
   
regulatory developments, including actions with respect to our products or our competitors’ products;
 
   
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our financial condition and operating results;
 
   
publication of research reports by securities analysts about us or our competitors or our industry;
 
   
our failure or the failure of our competitors to meet analysts’ projections or guidance that we or our competitors may give to the market;
 
   
additions and departures of key personnel;
 
   
strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, strategic investments o