SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2022
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ________ to ________
Commission file number 001-40215
Instil Bio, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
3963 Maple Avenue, Suite 350
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $0.000001 par value per share||TIL||The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports); and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate web site, if any, 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 files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
|Large accelerated filer||☐|
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date:
|Class of Common Stock||Outstanding at |
129,293,504 shares of Common Stock, $0.000001 par value per share
|May 12, 2022|
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I. Financial Information
Item 1. Financial Statements (Unaudited)
INSTIL BIO, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
| ||March 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|Current assets:|| |
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||61,473 ||$||37,590 |
|Marketable securities||318,047 ||416,509 |
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||11,181 ||9,921 |
|Total current assets||390,701 ||464,020 |
|Property, plant and equipment, net||140,831 ||121,999 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||14,497 ||— |
|Intangibles||10,104 ||10,104 |
|Goodwill||5,722 ||5,722 |
|Other long-term assets||3,081 ||8,138 |
|Total assets||$||564,936 ||$||609,983 |
|LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY|
|Accounts payable||$||7,711 ||$||5,568 |
|Accrued expenses and other current liabilities||28,199 ||34,449 |
|Contingent consideration, current portion||867 ||1,341 |
|Total current liabilities||36,777 ||41,358 |
|Contingent consideration, net of current portion||11,108 ||10,980 |
|Operating lease liabilities, non-current||6,526 ||— |
|Deferred tax liabilities||1,946 ||2,426 |
|Other long-term liabilities||20 ||20 |
|Total liabilities||56,377 ||54,784 |
|Commitments and contingencies (Note 6)|
Common stock, par value $0.000001 per share; 300,000,000 and $300,000,000 shares authorized; 129,217,916 and 129,028,278 shares issued and outstanding as of March 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021, respectively
|— ||— |
|Additional paid-in capital||764,834 ||757,003 |
|Accumulated other comprehensive loss||(441)||(87)|
|Total stockholders’ equity||508,559 ||555,199 |
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||564,936 ||$||609,983 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed consolidated financial statements.
INSTIL BIO, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
| ||Three Months Ended|
|Research and development||$||39,174 ||$||14,424 |
|General and administrative||15,112 ||8,979 |
|Total operating expenses||54,286 ||23,403 |
|Loss from operations||(54,286)||(23,403)|
|Other (expense) income, net||(319)||71 |
|Loss before income tax benefit||(54,605)||(23,332)|
|Income tax benefit||488 ||204 |
|Other comprehensive (loss) income:|
|Foreign currency translation||(31)||30 |
|Unrealized loss on available-for-sale securities, net||(323)||— |
|Net comprehensive loss||$||(54,471)||$||(23,098)|
|Net loss per share, basic and diluted||$||(0.42)||$||(0.66)|
|Weighted-average shares used in computing net loss per share, basic and diluted||129,119,462||34,976,652|
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed consolidated financial statements.
INSTIL BIO, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF
CONVERTIBLE PREFERRED STOCK AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
| || |
Additional Paid-in Capital
|Accumulated Other Comprehensive|
Total Stockholders’ Equity
Balance—December 31, 2021
|129,028,278 ||$||— ||$||757,003 ||$||(87)||$||(201,717)||$||555,199 |
|Shares of common stock issued in connection with incentive stock plan ||189,638 ||— ||338 ||— ||— ||338 |
|Stock-based compensation||— ||— ||7,493 ||— ||— ||7,493 |
|Net loss||— ||— ||— ||— ||(54,117)||(54,117)|
|Other comprehensive loss||— ||— ||— ||(354)||— ||(354)|
Balance—March 31, 2022
|129,217,916 ||$||— ||$||764,834 ||$||(441)||$||(255,834)||$||508,559 |
Convertible Preferred Stock
Additional Paid-in Capital
|Accumulated Other Comprehensive|
Total Stockholders’ Equity
Balance—December 31, 2020
|70,176,046 ||$||331,966 ||20,591,554 ||$||— ||$||5,607 ||$||(283)||$||(44,923)||$||(39,599)|
Issuance of Series C convertible preferred shares at $12.58 per share
|4,174,551 ||52,460 ||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||— |
|Issuance of common shares upon initial public offering net of underwriting discounts, commissions and offering costs||— ||— ||18,400,000 ||— ||339,174 ||— ||— ||339,174 |
|Conversion of redeemable convertible preferred stock ||(74,350,597)||(384,426)||89,220,699 ||— ||384,426 ||— ||— ||384,426 |
|Shares of common stock issued in connection with inventive stock plan||— ||— ||530,870 ||— ||1,438 ||— ||— ||1,438 |
|Stock-based compensation||— ||— ||— ||— ||2,812 ||— ||— ||2,812 |
|Net loss||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||(23,128)||(23,128)|
|Other comprehensive income||— ||— ||— ||— ||— ||30 ||— ||30 |
Balance—March 31, 2021
|— ||$||— ||128,743,123 ||$||— ||$||733,457 ||$||(253)||$||(68,051)||$||665,153 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed consolidated financial statements.
INSTIL BIO, INC.
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
|Three Months Ended March 31,|
|Cash flows from operating activities:|
|Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:|
|Stock-based compensation||7,493 ||2,812 |
|Noncash lease expense||897 ||— |
|Foreign exchange remeasurement gain||(454)||(24)|
|Change in fair value of contingent consideration||(346)||220 |
|Depreciation and amortization||899 ||439 |
|Other||276 ||— |
|Changes in operating assets and liabilities:|
|Prepaid expenses and other current assets||(2,825)||836 |
|Other long-term assets||(291)||(2,216)|
|Operating lease liabilities||(456)||— |
|Accrued expenses and current other liabilities||(2,928)||3,603 |
|Net cash used in operating activities||(55,051)||(17,729)|
|Cash flows from investing activities:|
|Purchase of marketable securities||(252,398)||— |
|Maturities of marketable securities||350,500 ||— |
|Purchases of property, plant and equipment||(20,235)||(9,129)|
|Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities||77,867 ||(9,129)|
|Cash flows from financing activities:|
|Proceeds from initial public offering, net of issuance costs||— ||340,876 |
|Proceeds from issuance of convertible preferred stock, net of issuance costs||— ||52,460 |
|Proceeds from exercise of stock options||338 ||1,438 |
|Other financing activities||— ||(69)|
|Net cash provided by financing activities||338 ||394,705 |
|Net increase in cash and cash equivalents||23,154 ||367,847 |
|Effect of exchange rate changes on cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash||729 ||78 |
|Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash—beginning of period||38,090 ||241,764 |
|Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash—end of period||$||61,973 ||$||609,689 |
|Supplemental disclosure of noncash information:|
|Conversion of preferred stock to common stock upon IPO||$||— ||$||384,426 |
|Deferred offering costs in accrued expenses and other current liabilities||$||— ||$||1,702 |
|Purchases of property, plant and equipment in accounts payable and accrued expenses and other current liabilities||$||10,406 ||$||862 |
The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed consolidated financial statements.
INSTIL BIO, INC.
Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements
1. Organization and Description of Business
Instil Bio, Inc. (the “Company” or “Instil Bio”) is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and was incorporated in the state of Delaware in August 2018. The Company is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing an innovative cell therapy pipeline of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (“TIL”) therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. Principal operations commenced during the first quarter of 2019 when the Company in-licensed its foundational TIL technology.
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and include the accounts of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries Instil Bio (UK) Ltd. (formerly Immetacyte Ltd. (“Immetacyte”)) and Complex Therapeutics, LLC. Immetacyte was acquired on March 2, 2020 and Complex Therapeutics, LLC was formed on October 14, 2020. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as the audited annual consolidated financial statements and, in the opinion of management, reflect all adjustments, which include only normal recurring adjustments, necessary for the fair statement of the Company’s financial position as of March 31, 2022, the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, the condensed consolidated statements of convertible preferred stock and stockholders' equity for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, and the results of its cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021. The financial data and other information disclosed in these notes related to the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 are also unaudited. The results for the three months ended March 31, 2022 are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for the year ending December 31, 2022, any other periods, or any future year period. The Company has evaluated subsequent events through the date the condensed consolidated financial statements were issued.
The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and the related notes thereto included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 7, 2022.
Stock Split and Initial Public Offering
On March 12, 2021, the Company effected a 1.2-for-1 stock split of the Company’s common stock. The par value was not adjusted as a result of the stock split. The authorized shares as of March 12, 2021 were adjusted as a result of the stock split. All share and per share information included in the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements has been adjusted to reflect this stock split. The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements and notes thereto give retroactive effect to the stock split for all periods presented.
On March 23, 2021, the Company completed its initial public offering ("IPO") through an underwritten sale of an aggregate of 18,400,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $20.00 per share. The aggregate net proceeds from the offering, inclusive of an additional 2,400,000 common shares sold upon the full exercise of the underwriters' purchase option, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses, was $339.0 million.
Concurrent with the IPO, all then-outstanding shares of the Company's convertible preferred stock outstanding (see Note 7) were automatically converted into an aggregate of 89,220,699 shares of common stock and were reclassified into permanent equity. Further, immediately following the closing of the IPO, the Company amended and restated its certificate of incorporation such that the total number of shares of common stock authorized to be issued was 300,000,000 and the total number of shares of preferred stock authorized to be issued was 10,000,000. Following the IPO, there are no shares of convertible preferred stock outstanding.
Operating segments are identified as components of an enterprise about which separate discrete financial information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision-maker in making decisions regarding resource allocation and assessing performance. The Company views its operations and manages its business in one operating segment.
Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Marketable Securities
The Company considers all highly liquid investments purchased with original maturities of three months or less from the purchase date to be cash equivalents. Cash equivalents include amounts invested in money market accounts.
Restricted cash consists of a money market account which serves as collateral for the Company’s employee corporate credit cards and is classified within other long-term assets on the consolidated balance sheets.
The Company's short-term marketable securities have original maturities of less than a year at date of purchase. The Company classifies and accounts for marketable securities as available-for-sale securities, which are carried at their fair values based on the quoted market prices of the securities. Unrealized gains and losses are reported as accumulated other comprehensive loss. Realized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities are included in net loss in the period earned or incurred. As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, marketable securities consisted of U.S. Treasury bills.
Short-term marketable securities are recorded at their estimated fair value. The Company periodically reviews whether its securities may be other-than-temporarily impaired, including whether or not (i) the Company has the intent to sell the security or (ii) it is more likely than not that the Company will be required to sell the security before its anticipated recovery. If one of these factors is met, the Company will record an impairment loss associated with its impaired investment. The impairment loss will be recorded as a write-down of investments in the condensed consolidated balance sheets and a realized loss within other expense in the condensed consolidated statements of operations.
The following table provides a reconciliation of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash reported within the consolidated balance sheets that sum to the amounts shown in the consolidated statements of cash flows (in thousands):
| ||March 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||61,473 ||$||37,590 |
|Restricted cash||500 ||500 |
|Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash||$||61,973 ||$||38,090 |
Emerging Growth Company Status
The Company is an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards issued subsequent to the enactment of the JOBS Act until such time as those standards apply to private companies. The Company has elected to avail itself of this extended transition period for complying with new or
revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until the earlier of the date that it (i) is no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opts out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, these condensed consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with the new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
The Company determines if an arrangement is or contains a lease at contract inception by assessing whether the arrangement contains an identified asset and whether the lessee has the right to control such asset. Lessees are required to classify leases as either finance or operating leases and to record a right-of-use (“ROU”) asset and a lease liability for all leases with a term greater than 12 months regardless of the lease classification. The lease classification will determine whether the lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest rate method or on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. The Company determines the initial classification and measurement of its ROU assets and lease liabilities at the lease commencement date and thereafter if modified. For leases with a term greater than 12 months, the Company records the lease liability at the present value of lease payments over the term. The term of the Company’s leases equals the non-cancellable period of the lease, including any rent-free periods provided by the lessor, and also includes options to extend or terminate the lease that the Company is reasonably certain to exercise. The ROU asset equals the carrying amount of the related lease liability, adjusted for any lease payments made prior to lease commencement, any deferred rent upon adoption, and lease incentives provided by the lessor.
The Company has elected, for all classes of underlying assets, not to recognize ROU assets and lease liabilities for leases with a term of 12 months or less. Lease cost for short-term leases is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. The Company’s leases do not provide a readily determinable implicit rate. Therefore, the Company estimates its incremental borrowing rate to discount the lease payments based on information available at lease commencement. The Company determines its incremental borrowing rate based on the rate of interest that the Company would have to pay to borrow on a collateralized basis over a similar term, an amount equal to the lease payments in a similar economic environment.
Variable lease payments are expensed as incurred and do not factor into the measurement of the applicable ROU asset or lease liability. Lease payments may be fixed or variable; however, only fixed payments are included in the Company’s lease liability calculation. Lease costs for the Company’s operating leases are recognized on a straight-line basis within operating expenses over the lease term. The Company’s lease agreements may contain non-lease components such as common area maintenance, operating expenses or other costs, which are expensed as incurred for all classes of assets. The Company’s leases do not contain any residual value guarantees.
See also Note 6, Commitments and Contingencies, regarding the Company’s leases, below.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements Adopted
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) which supersedes FASB ASC Topic 840, Leases (Topic 840) and provides principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of leases for both lessees and lessors. The Company adopted the new standard effective January 1, 2022 using the modified retrospective transition approach. Upon adoption on January 1, 2022, the Company recognized ROU assets and lease liabilities totaling $15.4 million and $8.9 million, respectively, to reflect the present value of remaining lease payments under existing lease arrangements. The Company applied the modified retrospective transition approach and did not recast prior periods. As permitted by the standard, the Company elected the transition practical expedient package, which, among other things, allows the carryforward of historical lease classifications. The Company’s new accounting policies around leases are described in Leases, above, and in Note 6, Commitments and Contingencies.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. Additionally, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-04, Codification Improvements to Topic 326, in April 2019 and ASU 2019-05, Financial Instruments — Credit Losses (Topic 326) — Targeted Transition Relief, in May 2019. The amendments affect loans, debt securities, trade receivables, net investments in leases, off-balance-sheet credit exposures, reinsurance receivables, and any other financial assets not excluded from the scope that have the contractual right to receive cash. The Company adopted this standard on January 1, 2022. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements and disclosures.
In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12. Income Taxes (Topic 740): Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes. The standard simplifies the accounting for income taxes by removing certain exceptions to the general principles in Topic 740 and also improves consistent application by clarifying and amending existing guidance. The Company adopted this standard on January 1, 2022. The adoption of this standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements and disclosures.
3. Balance Sheet Components
Property, Plant and Equipment, Net
Property, plant and equipment, net consist of the following (in thousands):
|March 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|Land||$||31,243 ||$||31,243 |
|Laboratory equipment||14,036 ||13,962 |
|6,034 ||6,034 |
|Office and computer equipment||2,225 ||2,239 |
|Leasehold improvements||1,793 ||1,836 |
|Manufacturing equipment||1,669 ||1,717 |
|Vehicles||64 ||64 |
|Construction work-in-progress||87,501 ||67,883 |
|Total property, plant and equipment, gross||144,565 ||124,978 |
|Less: accumulated depreciation||(3,734)||(2,979)|
|Total property, plant and equipment, net||$||140,831 ||$||121,999 |
(1) Relates to buildings acquired as described below which are being developed as part of the Company’s clinical manufacturing facility in Tarzana, California. The buildings will be placed into service and depreciation will commence once the construction is complete and they are ready for intended use.
Depreciation expense was $0.9 million and $0.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively in the condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.
Accrued Expenses and Other Current Liabilities
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities consist of the following (in thousands):
| ||March 31, 2022||December 31, 2021|
|Accrued construction costs||$||13,191 ||$||11,928 |
|Accrued compensation and benefits||6,982 ||12,085 |
|Accrued research and development expenses||4,112 ||4,234 |
|1,914 ||— |
|Accrued operational expenses||1,357 ||5,292 |
|Other current liabilities||643 ||910 |
|Total accrued expenses and other current liabilities||$||28,199 ||$||34,449 |
4. Fair Value Measurement
The fair value of cash and cash equivalents approximates carrying value since cash and cash equivalents consist of short-term highly liquid investments with maturities of less than three months at the time of purchase. Cash and cash equivalents are quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets and are therefore classified as Level 1 assets. Money market funds are open-end mutual funds that invest in cash, government securities, and/or repurchase agreements that are collateralized fully. To the extent that these funds are valued based upon the reported net asset value, they are categorized in Level 1 of the fair value hierarchy.
Short-term marketable securities comprised of U.S. Treasury bills that are classified within Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy are valued based on other observable inputs, including broker or dealer quotations, alternative pricing sources or U.S. Government Treasury yield of appropriate term.
The following tables provide information by level for assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis:
As of March 31, 2022
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Total|
|Money market funds||$||39,730 ||$||— ||$||— ||$||39,730 |
|U.S. Treasury bills||— ||318,047 ||— ||318,047 |
|Total||$||39,730 ||$||318,047 ||$||— ||$||357,777 |
|Contingent consideration||$||— ||$||— ||$||11,975 ||$||11,975 |
As of December 31, 2021
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Total|
|Money market funds||$||18,493 ||$||— ||$||— ||$||18,493 |
|U.S. Treasury bills||— ||416,509 ||— ||416,509 |
|Total||$||18,493 ||$||416,509 ||$||— ||$||435,002 |
|Contingent consideration||$||— ||$||— ||$||12,321 ||$||12,321 |
There were no transfers in or out of Level 1, 2 and 3 measurements for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and the year ended December 31, 2021. As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, there were no securities within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy.
5. Financial Instruments
Marketable securities classified as available-for-sale on March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, consisted of the following (in thousands):
|March 31, 2022|
|Maturity||Amortized Cost||Unrealized Gains||Unrealized Losses||Fair Value|
|U.S. Treasury bills||Less than one year||$||318,419 ||$||— ||$||(373)||$||318,047 |
|December 31, 2021|
|Maturity||Amortized Cost||Unrealized Gains||Unrealized Losses||Fair Value|
|U.S. Treasury bills||Less than one year||$||416,559 ||$||— ||$||(50)||$||416,509 |
As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, all marketable securities had contractual maturities less than one year. Marketable securities with maturities greater than one year are classified as current because management considers all marketable securities to be available for current operations. The Company does not intend to sell its marketable securities and it is not likely that the Company will be required to sell these securities before recovery of their amortized cost bases.
6. Commitments and Contingencies
Operating Lease Obligations
The Company currently leases office spaces and laboratory spaces located in Greater Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Texas, the United Kingdom and other parts of the United States. The Company's leased facilities have original lease terms ranging from 2 to 5 years that predominately require the Company to provide a security deposit, while certain leases provide the right for the Company to renew the lease upon the expiration of the initial lease term, and various leases have scheduled rent increases on an annual basis. The exercise of lease renewal options for the Company’s existing leases is at the Company’s sole discretion, and not included in the measurement of ROU asset or lease liability as they are not reasonably certain to be exercised. Certain leases provide free rent, or tenant improvement allowances, of which certain of these improvements have been classified as leasehold improvements and are being amortized over the shorter of the estimated useful life of the improvements or the remaining life of the lease, while other tenant improvements incurred by the Company revert to the landlord at the expiration of the lease and are not assets on the Company's condensed consolidated balance sheets.
Information related to the Company's operating ROU assets and related lease liability was as follows (in thousands, except for years and percentages):
The Company's lease costs consist of the following (in thousands):
Three Months Ended March 31, 2022
|Short-term lease cost||$||167|
|Operating lease cost||1,323|
|Variable leases cost||218|
|Total lease cost||$||1,708|
The following table summarizes cash flow information related to the Company’s lease obligations (in thousands):
Three Months Ended March 31, 2022
|Cash paid for operating lease liabilities||$||605 |
The following table summarizes the Company’s lease assets and liabilities (in thousands):
As of March 31, 2022
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||$||14,497 |
|Current operating lease liabilities||$||1,914 |
|Non-current operating lease liabilities||$||6,526 |
The following table summarizes other supplemental information related to the Company’s lease obligations:
As of March 31, 2022
|Weighted-average remaining lease term (in years)||4.10|
|Weighted-average discount rate||6.75 ||%|
Future minimum lease payments under operating lease liabilities were (in thousands):
As of March 31, 2022
|2022 (remaining nine months)||$||1,799 |
|Total future lease payments||9,580 |
|Less: imputed interest||1,140 |
|Total lease liability balance||8,440 |
|Less: current portion of operating lease liabilities ||1,914 |
|Total operating lease liabilities, non-current||$||6,526 |
Under ASC 840, rent expense recognized under the leases was $0.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021.
Future minimum lease payments under noncancellable operating leases were (in thousands):
As of December 31, 2021
From time to time, the Company may have certain contingent liabilities that arise in the ordinary course of its business activities. The Company accrues a liability for such matters when it is probable that future expenditures will be made and that such expenditures can be reasonably estimated. Significant judgment is required to determine both probability and the estimated amount. The Company does not expect that the resolution of these matters will have a material adverse effect on its financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
Tarzana Land and Building Acquired
The Company’s contractual commitments for the acquired land and buildings in the Tarzana, California development project are limited to unreimbursed spend by the general contractor and as such, as of March 31, 2022, and December 31, 2021, $52.0 million and $63.2 million, respectively, is contractually committed to the development of this project.
Each share of common stock has the right to one vote. The holders of common stock are also entitled to receive dividends whenever funds are legally available and if declared by the board of directors, subject to the prior rights of holders of all classes of stock outstanding having priority rights as to dividends. No cash dividends have been declared by the board of directors from inception.
In November 2020, the Company executed a limited recourse promissory note with its Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Bronson Crouch, in the amount of $1.1 million which was secured by a pledge of a total of 3.2 million shares of its common stock issued upon exercise of vested stock options. The note bore an interest rate of 2.5% per annum with a maturity date of the earlier of (i) five years from the date of the note or (ii) business day prior to the filing or submission of the Company’s first registration statement covering the Company’s common stock with the SEC. The principal and interest under the note may be repaid at any time without penalty. Because the Company only has partial recourse under the promissory note, the Company deemed the note receivable to be non-substantive. As such, the note receivable was not reflected in the condensed consolidated financial statements and the related stock transaction will be recorded at the time the note receivable is settled in cash. The promissory note was fully repaid in January 2021.
On March 23, 2021, the Company completed its IPO through an underwritten sale of an aggregate of 18,400,000 shares of its common stock at a price of $20.00 per share (see Note 2).
As of March 31, 2022, the Company had outstanding 129,217,916 shares of common stock.
Convertible Preferred Stock
Concurrent with the IPO, all then-outstanding shares of the Company's convertible preferred stock were automatically converted into an aggregate of 89,220,699 shares of common stock and were reclassified into permanent equity. Following the IPO, there are no shares of preferred stock outstanding.
2021 Preferred Stock Activity
All then outstanding shares of convertible preferred stock were converted into an aggregate of 89,220,699 shares of common stock on March 23, 2021, the closing date of the Company's IPO (see Note 2). After the completion of the IPO, the Company's current amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes the Company to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock at $0.000001 par value per share. The board of directors is authorized to provide for the issuance of the preferred stock in one or more series, and to fix the number of shares and to determine or alter for each such series, such voting powers, full or limited, or no voting powers, and such designation, preferences, and relative, participating, optional, or other rights and such qualifications, limitations, or restrictions thereof, as shall be stated and expressed in subsequent resolution or resolutions adopted by the board providing for the issuance of such shares. As of March 31, 2022, there have been no shares of preferred stock issued by the Company.
8. Stock-Based Compensation
2021 Equity Incentive Plan
In March 2021, the Company adopted the 2021 Equity Incentive Plan (the “2021 Plan”), which became effective in connection with the IPO. The 2021 Plan was approved by the Company’s board of directors and stockholders in March 2021. The 2021 Plan is an equity incentive plan pursuant to which the Company may grant the following awards: (i) incentive stock options; (ii) nonstatutory stock options; (iii) stock appreciation rights; (iv) restricted stock awards; (v) restricted stock unit awards; (vi) performance awards; and (vii) other forms of stock awards to employees, directors, and consultants, including employees and consultants of the Company’s affiliates. The 2021 Plan is a successor to the Company's 2018 Stock Incentive Plan (the “2018 Plan”). Following the effectiveness of the 2021 Plan, no further grants may be made under the 2018 Plan; however, any outstanding equity awards granted under the 2018 Plan will continue to be governed by the terms of the 2018 Plan.
As of March 31, 2022, 6,647,121 shares of common stock remained available for issuance under the 2021 Plan. As of March 31, 2022, the total number of shares authorized for issuance under the 2021 Plan was 12,854,437 shares.
Compensation expense for share-based awards is recognized over the requisite service period. The fair value of stock option awards is estimated using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model, which involves using assumptions regarding price volatility, risk-free interest rate, expected dividends and projected employee stock option exercise behaviors.
The following table sets forth stock-based compensation included in the Company’s statement of operations and comprehensive loss (in thousands):
|Three Months Ended|
|Research and development expense||$||3,229 ||$||1,405 |
|General and administrative expense||4,264 ||1,407 |
|Total stock-based compensation expense||$||7,493 ||$||2,812 |
As of March 31, 2022, there was $101.1 million of total unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested stock options granted under the 2018 Plan and 2021 Plan, which is expected to be recognized over a weighted average period of 2.9 years.
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
In March 2021, the Company adopted the Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “ESPP”), which became effective in connection with the IPO. The ESPP was adopted by the Company’s board of directors and stockholders in March 2021. The ESPP initially provides participating employees with the opportunity to purchase up to an aggregate of 1,237,000 shares of common stock. The Company has not yet commenced offerings to employees under the ESPP.
9. Net Loss Per Share
The following outstanding potentially dilutive shares have been excluded from the calculation of diluted net loss per share for the periods presented due to their anti-dilutive effect:
|Stock options to purchase common stock||23,396,618||18,118,103|
Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and the audited financial statements and notes thereto as of and for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, both of which are contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 7, 2022. Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Instil Bio, Inc.
The information in this discussion contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects and plans and objectives of management. The words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that we make. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the risks set forth in Part II, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in our other filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements are applicable only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing an innovative cell therapy pipeline of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. We have assembled an accomplished team with a successful track record in the development, manufacture, regulatory approval and commercialization of multiple cell therapies. Using our optimized and scalable manufacturing process, we are advancing our lead TIL product candidate, ITIL-168, for the treatment of advanced melanoma. Based on the clinical results from a compassionate use program with a TIL product that was manufactured using a prior version of the ITIL-168 manufacturing process, we submitted an investigational new drug application, or IND, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and were cleared to initiate DELTA-1, a Phase 2 trial in patients with advanced melanoma whose disease has progressed following PD-1 inhibitor therapy and, if BRAF-mutated, targeted therapy, in late 2021. We expect topline safety and efficacy data in 2023 and believe this trial could support a biologics license application, or BLA, submission to the FDA and a Marketing Authorization Application, or MAA, to the European Medicines Agency, or the EMA. We plan to initiate DELTA-2, a Phase 1 trial of ITIL-168 with pembrolizumab in additional indications with unmet medical need, including non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, in 2022. ITIL-168 will be manufactured in our company-operated in-house manufacturing facilities for both our clinical trials and commercial sales, if approved.
We are also developing a novel class of genetically engineered TIL therapies using our Co-Stimulatory Antigen Receptor, or CoStAR, platform. These modified TILs still rely on their native, patient-specific T cell receptors, or TCRs, to bind to tumor neoantigens, but have been enhanced to express novel CoStAR molecules, which bind to shared tumor-associated antigens and provide potent costimulation to T cells within the tumor microenvironment. We believe that the ability of CoStAR to augment the activation of TILs upon native TCR-mediated recognition of tumor neoantigens has the potential to bring TIL therapy to patients with cancer types that have been historically resistant to immunotherapy. We anticipate initiating a trial for our lead CoStAR-TIL product candidate, ITIL-306, in 2022.
We were founded in August 2018. In February 2019, we entered into a license agreement with Immetacyte Ltd., or Immetacyte, pursuant to which we obtained a worldwide license to Immetacyte’s proprietary technology, know-how and intellectual property for the research, development, manufacture and commercialization of TIL therapies. Immetacyte had been manufacturing a TIL product under a compassionate use program since 2011. In March 2020, we acquired 100% of the share capital of Immetacyte and terminated the Immetacyte license agreement. We acquired Immetacyte primarily for the in process research and development, or IPR&D, which is critical to achieve our objective in developing an innovative cell therapy pipeline of autologous TIL therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. Utilizing this IPR&D, we have optimized and scaled the manufacturing process.
Since inception, we have had significant operating losses. Our net loss was $54.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022. As of March 31, 2022, we had an accumulated deficit of $255.8 million. As of March 31, 2022, we had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $380.0 million, which consists of $61.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, $0.5 million in restricted cash, and $318.0 million in marketable securities. We expect to continue to incur net losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect our research and development expenses, general and administrative expenses, and capital expenditures will continue to increase.
In September 2021, following clearance from the FDA, we initiated DELTA-1, a global Phase 2 clinical trial of ITIL-168 in patients with advanced melanoma whose disease has relapsed after a PD-1 inhibitor and, if positive for a BRAF-activating mutation, a BRAF inhibitor. The Phase 2 trial was expanded during the IND review process, in consultation with the FDA, to include additional populations of patients with advanced melanoma. Cohorts 2 and 3 will enroll patients who discontinued PD-1 inhibitor therapy due to intolerable toxicity and patients who had an unsatisfactory response to prior PD-1 inhibitor therapy but have not yet experienced disease progression, respectively. Topline safety and efficacy results are expected in 2023 and, if positive, we believe could support the submission of a BLA to the FDA and an MAA to the EMA. We plan to initiate DELTA-2, a Phase 1 trial of ITIL-168 with pembrolizumab in additional indications with unmet medical need in 2022 and enroll patients with non-small cell lung cancer, cervical cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who have failed standard therapies.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Our Operations
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic and recommended containment and mitigation measures. Since then, extraordinary actions have been taken by international, federal, state, and local public health and governmental authorities to contain and combat the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 in regions throughout the world, including the United Kingdom and California, where most of our operations are conducted. These actions include travel bans, quarantines, “stay-at-home” orders and similar mandates for many individuals to substantially restrict daily activities and for many businesses to curtail or cease normal operations. We have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to progress and its potential impact on our business. As a result of COVID-19, we have taken precautionary measures in order to minimize the risk of the virus to our employees. In addition, a significant portion of our workforce now works remotely. To date, we have been able to continue our key business activities and advance our clinical programs. However, in the future, it is possible that it will become more difficult to enroll participants in our clinical trials, which could delay our clinical development timelines. While the broader implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on our results of operations and overall financial performance remain uncertain, including any implications from the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants and new BA.2 subvariant of COVID-19, the COVID-19 pandemic has, to date, not had a material adverse impact on our results of operations or our ability to raise funds to sustain operations. The economic effects of the pandemic and resulting societal changes are currently not predictable, and the future financial impacts could vary from those foreseen.
See “Risk Factors” for a further discussion of the potential adverse impact of COVID-19 on our business.
Components of Operating Results
Research and Development
Research and development expenses account for a significant portion of our operating expenses. Research and development expenses consist primarily of research and development, manufacturing, monitoring and other services payments and, to a lesser extent, salaries, benefits and other personnel-related costs, including stock-based compensation, professional service fees and facility and other related costs. In addition, research and development expense is presented net of reimbursements from reimbursable tax and expenditure credits and grants from the U.K. government. For the three months ended March 31, 2022 and March 31, 2021, we did not allocate our research and development expenses by program.
We expect our research and development expenses to increase substantially for the foreseeable future as we continue to ramp up our clinical development activities and incur expenses associated with hiring additional personnel to support our research and development efforts. Our expenditures on future nonclinical and clinical development programs are subject to numerous uncertainties in timing and cost to completion. The duration, costs and timing of clinical trials and development of product candidates will depend on a variety of factors, including:
• the scope, rate of progress and expenses of clinical trials and other research and development activities;
• potential safety monitoring and other studies requested by regulatory agencies;
• significant and changing government regulation; and
• the timing and receipt of regulatory approvals, if any.
The process of conducting the necessary clinical research to obtain FDA and other regulatory approval is costly and time consuming and the successful development of product candidates is highly uncertain. The risks and uncertainties associated with our research and development projects are discussed more fully in the section of this Quarterly Report titled “Risk Factors.” As a result of these risks and uncertainties, we are unable to determine with any degree of certainty the duration and completion costs of our research and development projects, or if, when or to what extent we will generate revenues from the commercialization and sale of any of our product candidates that obtain regulatory approval. We may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for any of our product candidates.
General and Administrative
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation and personnel-related expenses, including stock-based compensation, for our personnel in executive, finance and other administrative functions. General and administrative expenses also include professional fees paid for accounting, auditing, legal, tax and consulting services, insurance costs, recruiting costs, travel expenses, amortization and depreciation, and other general and administrative costs.
We expect our general and administrative expenses to increase substantially for the foreseeable future as we continue to increase our headcount to support our research and development activities and operations generally, the growth of our business and, if any of our product candidates receive marketing approval, commercialization activities. We also expect to continue to incur additional expenses as a result of operating as a public company, including expenses related to compliance with the rules and regulations of the SEC, additional director and officer insurance expenses, investor relations activities and other administrative and professional services.
Other (Expense) Income, Net
Other (expense) income, net consists primarily foreign exchange remeasurement gains and other expenses.
Income Tax Provision
We are subject to income taxes in the United States and the foreign jurisdiction where we operate, the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has statutory tax rates that differ from those in the United States. Accordingly, our effective tax rates will vary depending on the relative proportion of United Kingdom to United States income, the availability of research and development tax credits, changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities and changes in tax laws.
In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which those temporary differences become deductible. Due to the uncertainty of the business in which we operate, projections of future profitability are difficult and past profitability is not necessarily indicative of future profitability. On March 31, 2022, we maintained a full valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets for the United States entity. The valuation allowance has been provided based on the positive and negative evidence relative to our company, including the existence of cumulative net operating losses, or NOLs since the Company’s inception, and the inability to carryback these NOLs to prior periods. Furthermore, the Company determined that it is more likely than not that the benefit of these assets would not be realized in the foreseeable future.
Results of Operations
Comparison of the Three Months Ended March 31, 2022 and 2021
The following table summarizes our results of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 (in thousands):
|Three Months Ended March 31,||Change|
|Research and development||$||39,174 ||$||14,424 ||$||24,750 |
|General and administrative||15,112 ||8,979 ||6,133 |
|Total operating expenses||54,286 ||23,403 ||30,883 |
|Loss from operations||(54,286)||(23,403)||(30,883)|
|Other (expense) income, net||(319)||71 ||(390)|
|Loss before income tax benefit||$||(54,605)||$||(23,332)||$||(31,273)|
|Income tax benefit||488 ||204 ||284 |
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses were $39.2 million and $14.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. The increase in research and development expenses of $24.8 million was primarily due to:
•$13.8 million in costs from an increase in headcount and related costs for our research and development personnel, including increased stock based compensation expense of $1.8 million, to support increased clinical trial activities, including clinical manufacturing;
•$5.7 million in costs related to research and clinical development activities, including from our clinical trials and expanded clinical manufacturing activities; and
•$5.3 million of expenses related to facilities and overhead, depreciation and amortization, and other expenses.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses were $15.1 million and $9.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. The net increase of $6.1 million was primarily due to:
•$5.6 million in costs resulting from increased headcount and personnel related costs, including increased stock based compensation expense of $2.9 million, to support our growing business and for preparation of clinical trials;
•$0.5 million in costs mainly consisting of expenses for general and administrative consultants of $0.3 million and $0.2 million resulting from increased facilities and offices costs.
Other (Expense) Income, Net
Other (expense) income, net was expense of $0.3 million and income of $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. The decrease of $0.4 million was due to a $0.5 million increase loss on foreign currency transactions and income of $0.1 million related to other expenses.
Income Tax Benefit
Income tax benefit for the three months ended March 31, 2022 did not change significantly compared to the three months ended March 31, 2021. During the three months ended March 31, 2022, income tax benefit was related to the deferred income taxes from our operations in the United Kingdom.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Sources of Liquidity
Since our inception, we have not generated any revenue from product sales and we have incurred significant operating losses. We do not have any products that have achieved regulatory marketing approval and we do not expect to generate revenue from sales of any product candidates for several years, if ever.
As of March 31, 2022, we had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $380.0 million, which consists of $61.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, $0.5 million in restricted cash, and $318.0 million in marketable securities. Cash in excess of immediate requirements is invested in accordance with our investment policy, primarily with a view to liquidity and capital preservation.
In the first quarter of 2021, we raised aggregate net cash proceeds of $52.5 million from the issuance and sale of our Series C convertible preferred stock.
In March 2021, we raised net proceeds of $339.0 million in our IPO, pursuant to which we sold an aggregate of 18,400,000 shares of common stock.
Prior to our IPO, we funded our operations primarily through the issuance and sale of convertible preferred stock. From our inception through December 31, 2020, we raised net cash proceeds of $327.6 million from the issuance and sale of our convertible preferred stock.
On April 1, 2022, we filed an automatic shelf registration statement on Form S-3, or the 2022 Shelf Registration Statement. Pursuant to the 2022 Shelf Registration Statement, we may offer and sell an indeterminate amount and combination of shares of our common stock, shares of our preferred stock, various series of debt securities and warrants to purchase any of such securities in one or more registered offerings. We have not yet sold and issued any securities under the 2022 Shelf Registration Statement.
Based on our current operating plan, we believe our existing cash and cash equivalents, will be sufficient to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into 2024. We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could utilize our available capital resources sooner than we expect. We expect to continue to expend significant resources for the foreseeable future.
We use our cash to fund operations, primarily to fund our research and development expenditures and related personnel costs. We expect our expenses to increase substantially for the foreseeable future as we continue to invest in research and development activities, particularly as we advance our product candidates into later stages of development and conduct larger clinical trials, seek regulatory approvals for and commercialize any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials, hire additional personnel and invest in and grow our business, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio, and operate as a public company. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with research, development and commercialization of our product candidates, we are unable to estimate the exact timing and amount of our funding requirements. Our future operating expenditures will depend on many factors, including:
• the scope, rate of progress, costs and results of our clinical and preclinical development activities;
• the number and characteristics of any additional product candidates we develop or acquire;
• the timing of, and the costs involved in, obtaining regulatory approvals for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any future product candidates, and the number of trials required for regulatory approval;
• the cost of manufacturing ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any future product candidates as well as any products we successfully commercialize;
• costs related to our manufacturing and other facilities;
• the cost of commercialization activities of our product candidates, if approved for sale, including marketing, sales and distribution costs;
• the timing, receipt and amount of sales of ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any future product candidates, if approved;
• the costs associated with constructing our new clinical and commercial manufacturing facility and building out lab space;
• the extent to which we acquire or in-license other companies’ product candidates and technologies;
• our ability to establish and maintain strategic collaborations, licensing or other arrangements and the financial terms of any such arrangements, including the timing and amount of any future milestone, royalty or other payments due under any such agreement;
• any product liability or other lawsuits;
• the expenses needed to attract, hire and retain skilled personnel;
• our investments in our operational, financial and management information systems;
• the costs associated with operating as a public company;
• the costs involved in preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, defending and enforcing our intellectual property portfolio; and
• any delays or issues resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, we acquired 100% of the share capital of Immetacyte for total cash and non-cash consideration, including contingent consideration, of $15.4 million. In connection with the acquisition, we terminated the Immetacyte license agreement and associated payment obligations. The maximum consideration that remained unpaid at March 31, 2022, which payment is contingent on future events, was $14.5 million.
Until such time as we can generate significant revenue from sales of our product candidates, if ever, we expect to finance our operations through equity offerings, debt financings or other capital sources, which may include strategic collaborations or other arrangements with third parties. Additional funds may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we raise additional funds by issuing equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders will suffer dilution and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect the rights of our common shareholders. Debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants limiting our flexibility in conducting future business activities, and, in the event of insolvency, debt holders would be repaid before holders of our equity securities receive any distribution of our corporate assets. If we raise funds through collaborations or other similar arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to technologies, future revenue streams, product candidates or research programs or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us and/or may reduce the value of our common shares. Our ability to raise additional funds may be adversely impacted by potential worsening global economic conditions and the recent disruptions to, and volatility in, the credit and financial markets in the United States and worldwide resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If we fail to obtain necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, it could force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development programs, commercialization efforts or other operations.
We lease various operating spaces in the United States and the United Kingdom under non-cancelable operating lease arrangements that expire on various dates through 2026. These arrangements require us to pay certain operating expenses, such as taxes, repairs, and insurance and contain landlord or tenant incentives or allowances, renewal and escalation clauses. As of March 31, 2022, our future minimum lease payments under committed or non-cancelable lease agreements were $9.6 million.
Our contractual obligations and commitments primarily consist of amounts we will pay to the general contractor constructing and developing land and buildings in Tarzana, California which we acquired in October 2020 for $37.6 million. We are in the process of developing this land for our United States operations and our contractual commitments for this development project are limited to unreimbursed spend by the general contractor. As of March 31, 2022, $52.0 million was contractually committed to the development of this project.
In the normal course of business, we enter into contracts with Clinical Research Organizations, or CROs and other third parties for preclinical studies and clinical trials, research and development supplies and other testing and manufacturing services. We are contractually obligated for approximately $47.2 million in future services related to clinical trials, depending on whether certain milestones are met, as of March 31, 2022.
The following table sets forth the significant sources and uses of cash for the periods set forth below (in thousands):
| ||Three Months Ended March 31,|
|Net cash provided by (used in):|
|Cash used in operating activities||$||(55,051)||$||(17,729)|
|Cash provided by (used in) investing activities||77,867 ||(9,129)|
|Cash provided by financing activities||338 ||394,705 |
|Net increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash||$||23,154 ||$||367,847 |
Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Cash used in operating activities for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $55.1 million, which consisted of the net loss of $54.1 million partially offset by $8.8 million in non-cash charges and other adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities and a $9.7 million net change to our net operating assets
and liabilities. The non-cash charges primarily consisted of stock-based compensation of $7.5 million, and depreciation and amortization expense of $0.9 million. The net change in our operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to an increase of $3.2 million in accounts payable, partially offset by a decrease of $2.9 million in accrued expenses and other liabilities, an increase of $2.8 million in prepaid expenses and other current assets and an increase of $0.7 million in other long-term assets and operating lease liabilities.
Cash used in operating activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was $17.7 million, which consisted of the net loss of $23.1 million, partially offset by $3.4 million in non-cash charges and other adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities and a $2.0 million net change to our net operating assets and liabilities. The non-cash charges primarily consisted of stock -based compensation of $2.8 million, loss on change in fair value of contingent consideration of $0.2 million, and depreciation and amortization expense of $0.4 million. The net change in our operating assets and liabilities was primarily due to a decrease of $0.3 million in accounts payable, an increase of $3.6 million in accrued expenses and other liabilities, partially offset by a decrease in $0.8 million in prepaid expenses and other current assets and an increase in $2.2 million in other long-term assets.
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
Cash used in investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $77.9 million, of which $20.2 million was related to cash used to purchase property and equipment, offset by $98.1 million from cash provided by marketable securities investments.
Cash used in investing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was $9.1 million, which was related to purchases of property and equipment.
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
Cash provided by financing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $0.3 million, which was primarily related to cash proceeds from exercise of stock options.
Cash provided by financing activities for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was $394.7 million, which was primarily related to net cash proceeds from our IPO of $340.9 million, net cash proceeds from the issuance of Series C convertible preferred stock of $52.5 million and cash proceeds from exercise of stock options of $1.4 million.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We did not have during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any off-balance sheet arrangements, as defined in SEC rules and regulations.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
This management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. The preparation of our condensed consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed financial statements, as well as the reported expenses incurred during the reporting periods. Our estimates are based on our historical experience and on various other factors that we believe are reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.
For a description of critical accounting policies that require significant judgments and estimates during the preparation of our financial statements, refer to "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates" and Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021. There have been no significant changes to our critical accounting policies from those disclosed in our 2021 Annual Report.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Information regarding recent accounting pronouncements applicable to us is included in Note 2 to our condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
Emerging Growth Company Status
We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act. For so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we are permitted and intend to rely on certain exemptions from various public company reporting requirements, including not being required to have our internal control over financial reporting audited by our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements and exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and any golden parachute payments not previously approved. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different than the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock.
In addition, emerging growth companies can delay adopting new or revised accounting standards issued subsequent to the enactment of the JOBS Act until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to avail ourselves of this extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards that have different effective dates for public and private companies until the earlier of the date that we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period provided in the JOBS Act. As a result, our financial statements may not be comparable to companies that comply with the new or revised accounting pronouncements as of public company effective dates.
We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (i) December 31, 2026, (ii) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion, (iii) the last day of the fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates exceeded $700.0 million as of the last business day of the second fiscal quarter of such year or (iv) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt securities during the prior three-year period.
Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Interest Rate Risk
We had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $380.0 million, which consists of $61.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, $0.5 million in restricted cash, and $318.0 million in marketable securities as of March 31, 2022. We generally hold our cash in interest-bearing money market accounts. We believe that historical fluctuations in interest rates have not had a material effect on our results of operations during the period presented.
Due to the low risk profile of our investments, a hypothetical one percentage point change in interest rates during the period presented would not have had a material impact on our financial statements included elsewhere in this report.
The Company does not believe that inflation, or foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations have had a significant impact on its results of operations for any periods presents herein.
Item 4. Controls and Procedures
Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures
Our management, with the participation of our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, has evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act) as of the end of the period covered by this Quarterly Report. Based upon that evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that, as of March 31, 2022, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported, within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms and to provide reasonable assurance that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) that occurred during the period covered by this report that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting. We have not experienced any material impact on our internal control over financial reporting despite the fact that most of our employees are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continually monitoring and assessing the COVID-19 situation on our internal controls to minimize the impact on their design and operating effectiveness.
Inherent Limitations on Effectiveness of Controls
Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, do not expect that our disclosure controls or our internal control over financial reporting will prevent all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, have been detected. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty, and that breakdowns can occur because of a simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people or by management override of the controls. The design of any system of controls is also based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions, over time, controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or the degree of compliance with policies or procedures may deteriorate. Because of the inherent limitations in a cost-effective control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.
Part II. Other Information
Item 1. Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business. We are not currently subject to any material legal proceedings.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
The following information sets forth risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements we have made in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and those we may make from time to time. You should carefully consider the risks described below, in addition to the other information contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our other public filings. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be harmed by any of these risks. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks not presently known to us or other factors not perceived by us to present significant risks to our business at this time also may impair our business operations.
Risks Associated with Our Business
Our business is subject to a number of risks of which you should be aware before making a decision to invest in our common stock. These risks are more fully described in this “Risk Factors” section, including the following:
•We have incurred significant losses since our inception. We expect to incur losses over the next several years and may never achieve or maintain profitability.
•We have a limited operating history and no history of commercializing products, which may make it difficult for an investor to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.
•We will need substantial additional funding to meet our financial obligations and to pursue our business objectives. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to curtail our planned operations and the pursuit of our growth strategy.
•All of our product candidates are currently in clinical and preclinical development. If we are unable to successfully develop, receive regulatory approval for and commercialize our product candidates for the indications we seek, or successfully develop any other product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be harmed.
•Because ITIL-168, as well as ITIL-306 and any future product candidates developed from our CoStAR platform, represent novel approaches to the treatment of disease, there are many uncertainties regarding the development, market acceptance, third-party reimbursement coverage and commercial potential of our product candidates.
•The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, EMA and comparable foreign authorities are lengthy, time consuming and inherently unpredictable. If we are not able to obtain required regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.
•Success in preclinical studies or earlier clinical trials, including our compassionate use program, may not be indicative of results in future clinical trials. Our product candidates may not have favorable results in later clinical trials, if any, or receive regulatory approval.
•Negative public opinion of TIL therapies and increased regulatory scrutiny of cell therapy using TILs may adversely impact the development or commercial success of our current and future product candidates.
•As an organization, we are early in the process of conducting our first clinical trials, have no prior experience in conducting clinical trials, and may be unable to complete clinical trials for any product candidates we may develop, including ITIL-168 and ITIL-306. Further, the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities may require us to obtain and submit additional nonclinical data supporting the comparability of ITIL-168 with the TIL product that was evaluated in the compassionate use program in the United Kingdom that was manufactured using a prior version of the ITIL-168 manufacturing process, or may not permit us to rely on the data from the compassionate use program to support the development of ITIL-168 at all, which could delay clinical development or marketing approval of ITIL-168.
•We may not be successful in our efforts to build a pipeline of additional product candidates.
•Our business and operations may be adversely affected by the evolving and ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
•Cell therapies are complex and difficult to manufacture. We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in the development or commercialization of our product candidates or otherwise harm our business.
•The affected populations for our product candidates may be smaller than we or third parties currently project, which may affect the addressable markets for our product candidates.
•We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.
•If we are unable to obtain or protect intellectual property rights related to any of our product candidates, we may not be able to compete effectively in our market.
•Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain.
Risks Related to our Financial Position and Capital Needs
We have incurred significant losses since our inception. We expect to incur losses over the next several years and may never achieve or maintain profitability.
Since our inception, we have incurred significant net losses, and we expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses for the foreseeable future. Our net losses were $54.1 million and $23.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. As of March 31, 2022, we had an accumulated deficit of $255.8 million. We have financed our operations with $719.0 million in net proceeds raised in our initial public offering and private placements of convertible preferred stock to date. We have no products approved for commercialization and have never generated any revenue from product sales.
All of our product candidates are still in clinical and preclinical testing. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses over the next several years. We expect that it could be several years, if ever, before we have a commercialized product. Our net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially as we:
• conduct our planned and ongoing clinical trials of ITIL-168 and planned clinical trial of ITIL-306, as well as initiate and complete additional clinical trials of future product candidates or current product candidates in new indications;
• continue to advance the preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates and our preclinical and discovery programs, including in our CoStAR platform;
• seek regulatory approval for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;
• continue to develop our product candidate pipeline;
• scale up our clinical and regulatory capabilities;
• manufacture current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP, material for clinical trials or potential commercial sales at our manufacturing facilities;
• establish and validate a commercial-scale cGMP manufacturing facility;
• establish a commercialization infrastructure and scale up internal and external manufacturing and distribution capabilities to commercialize any product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval;
• adapt our regulatory compliance efforts to incorporate requirements applicable to marketed products;
• maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;
• hire additional clinical, manufacturing quality control, regulatory, manufacturing and scientific and administrative personnel;
• add operational, financial and management information systems and personnel, including personnel to support our product development and planned future commercialization efforts; and
• incur additional legal, accounting and other expenses in operating as a public company.
To date, we have not generated any revenue from product sales. To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and eventually commercializing product candidates that generate significant revenue. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical testing and clinical trials of our product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval, and manufacturing, marketing and selling any product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval, as well as discovering and developing additional product candidates. We are only in the preliminary stages of most of these activities and all of our product candidates are in clinical or preclinical development. We may never succeed in these activities and, even if we do, may never generate any revenue or revenue that is significant enough to achieve profitability.
Even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the value of our company and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our development efforts, obtain product approvals, diversify our offerings or continue our operations. A decline in the value of our company could also cause you to lose all or part of your investment.
We have a limited operating history and no history of commercializing products, which may make it difficult for an investor to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history. We commenced operations in 2019, and our operations to date have been largely focused on organizing and staffing our company,
business planning, raising capital, acquiring our technology and product candidates, acquiring our facilities in Tarzana, California, developing our manufacturing capabilities and developing our clinical and preclinical product candidates, including undertaking preclinical studies and conducting clinical trials. To date, we have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully complete pivotal clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a product on a commercial scale, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. Consequently, any predictions you make 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.
We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known or unknown factors in achieving our business objectives. We will need to develop commercial capabilities, and we may not be successful in doing so.
We will need substantial additional funding to meet our financial obligations and to pursue our business objectives. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to curtail our planned operations and the pursuit of our growth strategy.
Our operations have consumed substantial amounts of cash since inception. Identifying and acquiring potential product candidates, conducting preclinical testing and clinical trials and developing manufacturing operations for our product candidates is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain regulatory approval and achieve product sales. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses over the next several years as we conduct clinical trials of our product candidates, initiate future clinical trials of our product candidates, advance our preclinical programs, build our manufacturing capabilities, seek marketing approval for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials and advance any of our other product candidates we may develop or otherwise acquire. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our revenue, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for a number of years, if at all. If we obtain marketing approval for any product candidates that we develop or otherwise acquire, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, distribution and manufacturing. We also expect an increase in our expenses associated with creating additional infrastructure to support operations as a public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in order to continue our operations.
As of March 31, 2022, we had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $380.0 million, which consists of $61.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, $0.5 million in restricted cash, and $318.0 million in marketable securities. We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities will be sufficient to fund our operating expenses and capital requirements into 2024. This estimate is based on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could use our available capital resources sooner than we expect. Changes may occur beyond our control that would cause us to consume our available capital before that time, including changes in and progress of our development activities, acquisitions of additional product candidates, and changes in regulation. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:
• the scope, progress, costs and results of discovery, preclinical development, laboratory testing and clinical trials for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and future product candidates;
• the extent to which we develop, in-license or acquire other product candidates and technologies in our product candidate pipeline;
• the costs and timing of process development and manufacturing scale-up activities associated with our product candidates and other programs as we advance them through preclinical and clinical development;
• the number and development requirements of product candidates that we may pursue;
• the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our product candidates;
• our headcount growth and associated costs as we expand our research and development capabilities and establish a commercial infrastructure;
• the costs of establishing and maintaining our own commercial-scale cGMP manufacturing facility;
• the costs and timing of future commercialization activities, including product manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution, for any of our product candidates for which we receive marketing approval;
• the costs and timing of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending any intellectual property-related claims;
• the revenue, if any, received from commercial sales of our product candidates for which we receive marketing approval; and
• the costs of operating as a public company.
We will require additional capital to achieve our business objectives. Additional funds may not be available on a timely basis, on favorable terms, or at all, and such funds, if raised, may not be sufficient to enable us to continue to implement our long-term business strategy. Further, our ability to raise additional capital may be adversely impacted by potential worsening global economic conditions and the recent disruptions to and volatility in the credit and financial markets in the United States and worldwide resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If we are unable to raise sufficient additional capital, we could be forced to curtail our planned operations and the pursuit of our growth strategy.
Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our stockholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates.
Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial revenue, we may finance our cash needs through a combination of equity offerings, government or private party grants, debt financings and license and collaboration agreements. We do not currently have any other committed external source of funds. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a common stockholder. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends.
If we raise additional funds through collaborations, strategic alliances or marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may be required to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams or product candidates, grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us or commit to future payment streams. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.
Risks Related to the Development of our Product Candidates
All of our product candidates are currently in clinical and preclinical development. If we are unable to successfully develop, receive regulatory approval for and commercialize our product candidates for the indications we seek, or successfully develop any other product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be harmed.
We currently have no products approved for commercial sale, and all of our product candidates are currently in clinical and preclinical development. To date, we have clinical experience in the context of a compassionate use
program at a single clinical site with a TIL product that was manufactured using a prior version of the ITIL-168 manufacturing process. However, as an organization, we are early in the process of conducting our first multi-center clinical trials with centralized manufacturing, have no prior experience in conducting any clinical trials, have limited experience in preparing, submitting and prosecuting regulatory filings and have not previously submitted a BLA for any product candidate. Each of our programs and product candidates will require additional preclinical and/or clinical development, regulatory approval, obtaining manufacturing supply, capacity and expertise, building a commercial organization or successfully outsourcing commercialization, substantial investment and significant marketing efforts before we generate any revenue from product sales. We do not have any products that are approved for commercial sale, and we may never be able to develop or commercialize marketable products.
Our ability to generate revenue from our product candidates, which we do not expect will occur for several years, if ever, will depend heavily on the successful development, regulatory approval and eventual commercialization of our product candidates. The success of ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidates that we develop or otherwise may acquire will depend on several factors, including:
• timely and successful completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials;
• effective INDs from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, or comparable foreign applications that allow commencement of our planned clinical trials or future clinical trials for our product candidates;
• sufficiency of our financial and other resources to complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials;
• successful enrollment and completion of clinical trials, including under the FDA’s current Good Clinical Practices, or GCPs, and current Good Laboratory Practices;
• successful development of, or making arrangements with third-party manufacturers for, our commercial manufacturing processes for any of our product candidates that receive regulatory approval;
• receipt of timely marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;
• launching commercial sales of products, if approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;
• acceptance of the benefits and use of our products, including method of administration, if approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors, for their approved indications;
• the prevalence and severity of adverse events experienced with ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidates;
• the availability, perceived advantages, cost, safety and efficacy of alternative therapies for any product candidate, and any indications for such product candidate, that we develop;
• our ability to produce ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidates we develop on a commercial scale;
• obtaining and maintaining patent, trademark and trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity for our product candidates and otherwise protecting our rights in our intellectual property portfolio;
• maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements, including cGMPs, and complying effectively with other procedures;
• obtaining and maintaining third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement and patients’ willingness to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of such coverage and adequate reimbursement; and
• maintaining a continued acceptable safety, tolerability and efficacy profile of the products following approval.
If we are not successful with respect to one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to successfully commercialize the product candidates we develop, which would materially harm our business. If we do not receive marketing approvals for any product candidate we develop, we may not be able to continue our operations.
Because ITIL-168, as well as ITIL-306 and any future product candidates developed from our CoStAR platform, represent novel approaches to the treatment of disease, there are many uncertainties regarding the development, market acceptance, third-party reimbursement coverage and commercial potential of our product candidates.
Human immunotherapy products are a new category of therapeutics, and to date, no TIL therapies have been approved by the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities. Because this is a relatively new and expanding area of novel therapeutic interventions, there are many uncertainties related to development, marketing, reimbursement and the commercial potential for our product candidates. There can be no assurance as to the length of the trial period, the number of patients the FDA will require to be enrolled in the trials in order to establish the safety, efficacy, purity and potency of immunotherapy products or that the data generated in these trials will be acceptable to the FDA to support marketing approval. The FDA may take longer than usual to come to a decision on any biologics license application, or BLA, 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. The FDA may also require that we conduct additional post-marketing studies or implement risk management programs, such as Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, or REMS, until more experience with our product candidates is obtained. Finally, after increased usage, we may find that our product candidates do not have the intended effect or have unanticipated side effects, potentially jeopardizing initial or continuing regulatory approval and commercial prospects.
The success of our business depends in part upon our ability to develop engineered TIL therapies using our CoStAR platform. The CoStAR platform is novel and we have not yet initiated or completed a clinical trial of any product candidate developed using the CoStAR platform. The platform may fail to deliver TIL therapies that are effective in the treatment of tumor types that have historically been resistant to immunotherapy. Even if we are able to identify and develop TIL therapies using the CoStAR platform, we cannot assure that such product candidates will achieve marketing approval to safely and effectively treat cancer.
If we uncover any previously unknown risks related to our CoStAR platform, or if we experience unanticipated problems or delays in developing our CoStAR product candidates, we may be unable to achieve our strategy of building a pipeline of TIL therapies.
We may also find that the manufacture of our product candidates is more difficult 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, we may face difficulties in transferring the process from our facility in Manchester, United Kingdom to our new facility in Tarzana, California, which could hinder our ability to replicate our manufacturing to supply our clinical development or our commercial efforts.
There is no assurance that the approaches offered by our products will gain broad acceptance among doctors or patients or that governmental agencies or third-party medical insurers will be willing to provide reimbursement coverage for proposed 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. Accordingly, we may spend significant capital trying to obtain approval for product candidates that have an uncertain commercial market. The market for any products
that we successfully develop will also depend on the cost of the product. We do not yet have sufficient information to reliably estimate what it will cost to commercially manufacture our current product candidates, and the actual cost to manufacture these products could materially and adversely affect the commercial viability of these products. Our goal is to reduce the cost of manufacturing and providing our product candidates. However, unless we can reduce those costs to an acceptable amount, we may never be able to develop a commercially viable product. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize products based upon our approach or find suitable and economical sources for materials used in the production of our products, we will not become profitable, which would materially and adversely affect the value of our common stock.
Our TIL therapies and our other therapies 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 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 governmental or private third party medical insurers.
Preclinical studies and clinical trials are expensive, time-consuming, difficult to design and implement and involve an uncertain outcome. Further, we may encounter substantial delays in completing the development of our product candidates.
All of our product candidates are in clinical and preclinical development and their risk of failure is high. The clinical trials and manufacturing of our product candidates are, and the manufacturing and marketing of our products, if approved, will be, subject to extensive and rigorous review and regulation by numerous government authorities in the United States and in other countries where we intend to test and market our product candidates. Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of any of our product candidates, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical testing and clinical trials that our product candidates are both safe and effective for use in each target indication. In particular, because our product candidates are subject to regulation as biological products, we will need to demonstrate that they are safe, pure and potent for use in their target indications. Each product candidate must demonstrate an adequate risk versus benefit profile in its intended patient population and for its intended use.
Clinical trials are expensive and can take many years to complete, and their outcomes are inherently uncertain. We cannot guarantee that our ongoing and any future clinical trials will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, if at all. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. Even if our ongoing and any future clinical trials are completed as planned, we cannot be certain that their results will support the safety and effectiveness of our product candidates for their targeted indications or support continued clinical development of such product candidates. Our ongoing and any future clinical trial results may not be successful.
In addition, even if such trials are successfully completed, we cannot guarantee that the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities will interpret the results as we do, and more trials could be required before we submit our product candidates for approval. Moreover, results acceptable to support approval in one jurisdiction may be deemed inadequate by another regulatory authority to support regulatory approval in that other jurisdiction. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, we may be required to expend significant resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates.
To date, we have not completed any clinical trials required for the approval of our product candidates. We may experience delays in conducting any clinical trials and we do not know whether our clinical trials will begin on time, need to be redesigned, recruit and enroll patients on time or be completed on schedule, or at all. Clinical trials can be delayed suspended or terminated for a variety of reasons, including in connection with:
• inability to generate sufficient preclinical, toxicology, or other in vivo or in vitro data to support the initiation of clinical trials;
• delays in sufficiently developing, characterizing or controlling a manufacturing process suitable for advanced clinical trials;
• delays in developing suitable assays for screening patients for eligibility for trials with respect to certain product candidates;
• delays in reaching agreement with the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities as to the design or implementation of our clinical trials;
• obtaining regulatory authorization to commence a clinical trial;
• reaching an agreement on acceptable terms with clinical trial sites or prospective contract research organizations, or CROs, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different clinical trial sites;
• obtaining IRB approval at each trial site;
• recruiting suitable patients to participate in a clinical trial;
• having patients complete a clinical trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;
• inspections of clinical trial sites or operations by applicable regulatory authorities, or the imposition of a clinical hold;
• clinical sites, CROs or other third parties deviating from trial protocol or dropping out of a trial;
• failure to perform in accordance with the applicable regulatory requirements, including FDA’s GCP requirements, or applicable regulatory requirements in other countries;
• addressing patient safety concerns that arise during the course of a trial, including occurrence of adverse events associated with the product candidate that are viewed to outweigh its potential benefits;
• adding a sufficient number of clinical trial sites;
• manufacturing sufficient quantities of product candidate for use in clinical trials; or
• suspensions or terminations by IRBs of the institutions at which such trials are being conducted, by the Data Safety Monitoring Board, or DSMB, for such trial or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities due to a number of factors, including those described above.
We may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidates or significantly increase the cost of such trials, including:
• we may experience changes in regulatory requirements or guidance, or receive feedback from regulatory authorities that requires us to modify the design of our clinical trials;
• clinical trials of our product candidates may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon development programs;
• the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment in these clinical trials may be slower than we anticipate or participants may drop out of these clinical trials at a higher rate than we anticipate;
• our third-party contractors may fail to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all;
• we or our investigators might have to suspend or terminate clinical trials of our product candidates for various reasons, including non-compliance with regulatory requirements, a finding that our product candidates have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics, or a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;
• the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates may be greater than we anticipate and we may not have funds to cover the costs;
• the supply or quality of our product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates may be insufficient or inadequate;
• regulators may revise the requirements for approving our product candidates, or such requirements may not be as we anticipate; and
• any future collaborators that conduct clinical trials may face any of the above issues, and may conduct clinical trials in ways they view as advantageous to them but that are suboptimal for us.
If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our product candidates beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if there are safety concerns, we may:
• incur unplanned costs;
• be delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our product candidates or not obtain marketing approval at all;
• obtain marketing approval in some countries and not in others;
• obtain marketing approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired;
• obtain marketing approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings, including boxed warnings or REMS.
• be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements;
• be subject to changes in the way the product is administered; or
• have regulatory authorities withdraw or suspend their approval of the product or to impose restrictions on its distribution after obtaining marketing approval.
We could encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by the IRBs of the institutions in which such trials are being conducted, by the Data Safety Monitoring Board for such trial or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. Such authorities may impose such a suspension or termination due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from using a drug, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.
All of our product candidates will require extensive clinical testing before we are prepared to submit a BLA or marketing authorization application, or MAA, for regulatory approval. We cannot predict with any certainty if or when we might complete the clinical development for our product candidates and submit a BLA or MAA for regulatory approval of any of our product candidates or whether any such BLA or MAA will be approved. We may also seek feedback from the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities on our clinical development program, and the FDA, EMA or such regulatory authorities may not provide such feedback on a timely basis, or such feedback may not be favorable, which could further delay our development programs.
We cannot predict with any certainty whether or when we might complete a given clinical trial. If we experience delays in the commencement or completion of our clinical trials, or if we terminate a clinical trial prior to completion, the commercial prospects of our product candidates could be harmed, and our ability to generate revenues from our product candidates may be delayed or lost. In addition, any delays in our clinical trials could increase our costs, slow down the development and approval process and jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenues. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates.
We have received Fast Track designation for ITIL-168 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, and we may seek Fast Track designation for other product candidates. Even if received, Fast Track designation may not actually lead to a faster review or approval process and does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.
We have received Fast Track designation for ITIL-168 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, and we may seek Fast Track designation for our other product candidates. If a drug or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and the product demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation for a particular indication. There is no assurance that the FDA will grant this status to any of our other product candidates. If granted, Fast Track designation makes a product eligible for more frequent interactions with FDA to discuss the development plan and clinical trial design, as well as rolling review of the application, which means that the company can submit completed sections of its marketing application for review prior to completion of the entire submission. Marketing applications of product candidates with Fast Track designation may qualify for priority review under the policies and procedures offered by the FDA, but the Fast Track designation does not assure any such qualification or ultimate marketing approval by the FDA. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant Fast Track designation, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, there can be no assurance that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures, and receiving a Fast Track designation does not provide any assurance of ultimate FDA approval. In addition, the FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation at any time if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program.
The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, EMA and comparable foreign authorities are lengthy, time consuming and inherently unpredictable. If we are not able to obtain required regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.
The time required to obtain approval or other marketing authorizations by the FDA, EMA and comparable foreign authorities is unpredictable, and it typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and depends upon numerous factors, including the substantial discretion of the regulatory authorities. In addition, approval policies, regulations, and the type and amount of clinical data necessary to gain approval may change during the course of a product candidate’s clinical development and may vary among jurisdictions. We have not obtained regulatory approval for any product candidate, and it is possible that we may never obtain regulatory approval for any product candidates we may seek to develop in the future. Neither we nor any current or future collaborator is permitted to market any drug product candidates in the United States until we receive regulatory
approval of a BLA from the FDA, and we cannot market them in the European Union until we receive approval for a MAA from the EMA, or in other foreign countries until we receive the required regulatory approval in such other countries. To date, we have had only limited discussions with the FDA, EMA and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regarding clinical development programs or regulatory approval for any product candidate within the United States, European Union and United Kingdom, respectively. In addition, we have had no discussions with other comparable foreign authorities, regarding clinical development programs or regulatory approval for any product candidate outside of those jurisdictions.
Prior to obtaining approval to commercialize any drug product candidate in the United States or abroad, we must demonstrate with substantial evidence from well-controlled clinical trials, and to the satisfaction of the FDA, EMA or other comparable foreign regulatory agencies, that such product candidates are safe, pure and effective for their intended uses. Results from preclinical studies and clinical trials can be interpreted in different ways. Even if we believe the preclinical or clinical data for our product candidates are promising, such data may not be sufficient to support approval by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. The FDA may also require us to conduct additional preclinical studies or clinical trials for our product candidates either prior to or after approval, or it may object to elements of our clinical development programs.
Our product candidates could fail to receive regulatory approval for many reasons, including the following:
• the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with the design or implementation of our clinical trials;
• we may be unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities that a product candidate is safe and effective for its proposed indication;
• the results of clinical trials may not meet the level of statistical significance required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities for approval;
• we may be unable to demonstrate that a product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;
• the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical and commercial supplies; and
• the approval policies or regulations of the FDA or comparable foreign authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.
Of the large number of products in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or foreign regulatory approval processes and are commercialized. The lengthy approval and marketing authorization process as well as the unpredictability of future clinical trial results may result in our failing to obtain regulatory approval and marketing authorization to market our product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We have invested a significant portion of our time and financial resources in the development of our clinical and preclinical product candidates. Our business is dependent on our ability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development of, obtain regulatory approval for, and, if approved, successfully commercialize ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and any future product candidates in a timely manner.
Even if we eventually complete clinical testing and receive approval of a BLA or foreign marketing application for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any future product candidates, the FDA, EMA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may grant approval or other marketing authorization contingent on the performance of costly additional clinical trials, including post-marketing clinical trials. The FDA, EMA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency also may approve or authorize for marketing a product candidate for a more limited indication or patient population than we originally request, and the FDA, EMA or applicable foreign regulatory agency may not
approve or authorize the labeling that we believe is necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of a product candidate. Any delay in obtaining, or inability to obtain, applicable regulatory approval or other marketing authorization would delay or prevent commercialization of that product candidate and would materially adversely impact our business and prospects.
In addition, the FDA, EMA and other regulatory authorities may change their policies, issue additional regulations or revise existing regulations, or take other actions, which may prevent or delay approval of our future products under development on a timely basis. Such policy or regulatory changes could impose additional requirements upon us that could delay our ability to obtain approvals, increase the costs of compliance or restrict our ability to maintain any marketing authorizations we may have obtained.
Success in preclinical studies or earlier clinical trials, including the compassionate use program, may not be indicative of results in future clinical trials. Our product candidates may not have favorable results in later clinical trials, if any, or receive regulatory approval.
Success in preclinical testing and early clinical trials, including the compassionate use program, does not ensure that later clinical trials will generate the same results or otherwise provide adequate data to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a product candidate. Preclinical tests and Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials are primarily designed to test safety, to study pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and to understand the side effects of product candidates at various doses and schedules. Success in preclinical or animal studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later large-scale efficacy trials will be successful nor does it predict final results. For example, we may be unable to identify suitable animal disease models for our product candidates, which could delay or frustrate our ability to proceed into clinical trials or obtain marketing approval. Our product candidates may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy in clinical development despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials.
Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in preclinical testing and earlier-stage clinical trials. Data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are subject to varying interpretations, which may delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval. In addition, we may experience regulatory delays or rejections as a result of many factors, including changes in regulatory policy during the period of our product candidate development. Any such delays could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Interim, “top-line” and preliminary results from our clinical trials 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 publish interim, top-line or preliminary results from our clinical trials. Interim results from clinical trials that we may complete are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available. Preliminary or top-line results also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, interim and preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Differences between preliminary, top-line or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects and may cause the trading price of our common stock to fluctuate significantly. 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 and carefully evaluate all data. As a result, the top-line results that we report may differ from future results of the same studies, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated.
Further, others, including regulatory agencies may not accept or agree with our assumptions, estimates, calculations, conclusions or analyses or may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently, which could impact the value of the particular development program, the approvability or commercialization of the particular product candidate or product and our company in general. In addition, the information we choose to publicly disclose regarding a particular study or clinical trial is based on what is typically extensive information, and you or others may not agree with what we determine is the material or otherwise appropriate information to include in our
disclosure. Any information we determine not to disclose may ultimately be deemed meaningful by you or others with respect to future decisions, conclusions, views, activities or otherwise regarding a particular product candidate or our business. If the interim, top-line or preliminary data that we report differ from actual results, or if others, including regulatory authorities, disagree with the conclusions reached, our ability to obtain approval for, and commercialize, product candidates may be harmed, which could significantly harm our business prospects.
Our preclinical studies and clinical trials may fail to demonstrate substantial evidence of the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, or serious adverse or unacceptable side effects may be identified during the development of our product candidates, which could prevent, delay or limit the scope of regulatory approval of our product candidates, limit their commercialization, increase our costs or necessitate the abandonment or limitation of the development of some of our product candidates.
To obtain the requisite regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of our product candidates, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical testing and clinical trials that our product candidates are safe, pure and potent for use in each target indication. These trials are expensive and time consuming, and their outcomes are inherently uncertain. Failures can occur at any time during the development process. Preclinical studies and clinical trials often fail to demonstrate safety or efficacy of the product candidate studied for the target indication, and most product candidates that begin clinical trials are never approved.
We may fail to demonstrate with substantial evidence from adequate and well-controlled trials, and to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, that our product candidates are safe and potent for their intended uses.
Possible adverse side effects that could occur with treatment with cell therapy products include thrombocytopenia, chills, anemia, pyrexia, febrile neutropenia, diarrhea, neutropenia, vomiting, hypotension, dyspnea, cytokine release syndrome and neurotoxicity. If our product candidates are associated with undesirable effects in preclinical studies or clinical trials or have characteristics that are unexpected, we may decide or be required to perform additional preclinical studies or to halt or delay further clinical development of our product candidates or to limit their development to more narrow uses or subpopulations in which the undesirable side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe, or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective, which may limit the commercial expectations for the product candidate, if approved. These side effects may not be appropriately recognized or managed by the treating medical staff, as toxicities resulting from personalized cell therapy, as with our TIL product candidates, are not normally encountered in the general patient population and by medical personnel. Further, patients in the United Kingdom have been treated under a compassionate use program with a TIL product that was manufactured using a prior version of the ITIL-168 manufacturing process. To the extent the experiences of patients being treated in this program are inconsistent with the results of our ongoing company-sponsored trials of ITIL-168, it may negatively affect perceptions of ITIL-168 or our business. In addition, the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities may require us to obtain and submit additional nonclinical data supporting the comparability of our ITIL-168 product candidate with the TIL product evaluated in the compassionate use study in the United Kingdom, or may not permit us to rely on the data from the compassionate use program to support the development of ITIL-168 at all, which could delay clinical development or marketing approval of ITIL-168.
If any such adverse events occur, our clinical trials could be suspended or terminated. If we cannot demonstrate that any adverse events were not caused by the drug, the FDA, EMA or foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of, or deny approval of, our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Even if we are able to demonstrate that all future serious adverse events are not product-related, such occurrences could affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial. Moreover, if we elect, or are required, to not initiate, delay, suspend or terminate any future clinical trial of any of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of such product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate product revenues from any of these product candidates may be delayed or eliminated. Any of these occurrences may harm our ability to develop other product candidates, and may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.
If our product candidates are associated with side effects in clinical trials or have characteristics that are unexpected, we may need to abandon their development or limit development to more narrow uses in which the side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective. The FDA or an IRB may also require that we suspend, discontinue, or limit our clinical trials based on safety information, or that we conduct additional animal or human studies regarding the safety and efficacy of our product candidates which we have not planned or anticipated. Such findings could further result in regulatory authorities failing to provide marketing authorization for our product candidates or limiting the scope of the approved indication, if approved. Many product candidates that initially showed promise in early stage testing have later been found to cause side effects that prevented further development of the product candidate.
Additionally, if one or more of our product candidates receives marketing approval, and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by such products, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:
• regulatory authorities may suspend, withdraw or limit approvals of such product, or seek an injunction against its manufacture or distribution;
• regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label;
• we may be required to create a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients or other requirements subject to a REMS;
• we may be required to change the way a product is administered or conduct additional trials;
• we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients;
• we may decide to remove the product from the market;
• we may not be able to achieve or maintain third-party payor coverage and adequate reimbursement;
• we may be subject to fines, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties; and
• our reputation and physician or patient acceptance of our products may suffer.
There can be no assurance that we will resolve any issues related to any product-related adverse events to the satisfaction of the FDA or foreign regulatory agency in a timely manner or at all. Moreover, any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the particular product candidate, if approved, and could significantly harm our business, results of operations and prospects.
Negative public opinion of TIL therapies and increased regulatory scrutiny of cell therapy using TILs may adversely impact the development or commercial success of our current and future product candidates.
The clinical and commercial success of our TIL therapies will depend in part on public acceptance of the use of cell therapy using TILs. Any adverse public attitudes about the use of TIL therapies may adversely impact our ability to enroll clinical trials. Moreover, our success will depend upon physicians prescribing, and their patients being willing to receive, treatments that involve the use of product candidates we may develop in lieu of, or in addition to, existing treatments with which they are already familiar and for which greater clinical data may be available.
More restrictive government regulations or negative public opinion would have a negative effect on our business or financial condition and may delay or impair the development and commercialization of our product candidates or demand for any products once approved. Adverse events in our or others’ clinical trials, even if not ultimately attributable to our product candidates, and the resulting publicity could result in increased governmental regulation, unfavorable public perception, potential regulatory delays in the testing or approval of our product
candidates, stricter labeling requirements for those product candidates that are approved and a decrease in demand for any such product candidates, all of which would have a negative impact on our business and operations.
As an organization, we are early in the process of conducting our first clinical trials, have no prior experience in conducting clinical trials, and may be unable to complete clinical trials for any product candidates we may develop, including ITIL-168 and ITIL-306.
We are early in our development efforts for our product candidates, and will need to successfully complete our ongoing and planned clinical trials, including pivotal clinical trials, in order to obtain FDA approval to market any of our product candidates. Carrying out clinical trials and the submission of a successful BLA is a complicated process. As an organization, we are early in the process of conducting our first multi-center clinical trials with centralized manufacturing, have no prior experience in conducting any clinical trials, have limited experience in preparing regulatory submissions and have not previously submitted a BLA for any product candidate. We have only previously treated patients with our TIL product in a compassionate use program. In addition, we have had limited interactions with the FDA and cannot be certain how many additional clinical trials of our product candidates will be required or how such trials should be designed. Consequently, we may be unable to successfully and efficiently execute and complete necessary clinical trials in a way that leads to BLA submission and approval of any product candidate. We may require more time and incur greater costs than our competitors and may not succeed in obtaining regulatory approvals of product candidates that we develop. Failure to commence or complete, or delays in, our planned clinical trials, could prevent us from or delay us in commercializing our product candidates.
We may experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment and/or retention of patients in clinical trials, which could delay or prevent our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.
Successful and timely completion of clinical trials will require that we enroll a sufficient number of patients. Patient enrollment, a significant factor in the timing of clinical trials, is affected by many factors, including the size and nature of the patient population and competition for patients eligible for our clinical trials with competitors which may have ongoing clinical trials for product candidates that are under development to treat the same indications as one or more of our product candidates, or approved products for the conditions for which we are developing our product candidates.
Trials may be subject to delays as a result of patient enrollment taking longer than anticipated or patient withdrawal. We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities. We cannot predict how successful we will be at enrolling subjects in future clinical trials. Subject enrollment is affected by other factors including:
• the severity and difficulty of diagnosing the disease under investigation;
• the eligibility and exclusion criteria for the trial in question;
• the size of the patient population and process for identifying patients;
• our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;
• the design of the trial protocol;
• the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate in the trial, including relating to cell therapy approaches;
• the availability of competing commercially available therapies and other competing therapeutic candidates’ clinical trials for the disease or condition under investigation;
• the willingness of patients to be enrolled in our clinical trials;
• the efforts to facilitate timely enrollment in clinical trials;
• potential disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including difficulties in initiating clinical sites, enrolling and retaining participants, diversion of healthcare resources away from clinical trials, travel or quarantine policies that may be implemented, and other factors;
• the patient referral practices of physicians;
• the ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment; and
• the proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients.
Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for clinical trials would result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in these clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates, which would cause the value of our company to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing. Furthermore, we expect to rely on CROs and clinical trial sites to ensure the proper and timely conduct of our clinical trials and we will have limited influence over their performance.
Furthermore, even if we are able to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials, we may have difficulty maintaining enrollment of such patients in our clinical trials.
We have received orphan designation for ITIL-168 for the treatment of malignant melanoma stages IIB to IV and may seek orphan drug designation for future product candidates. We may be unsuccessful, or may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug designation, including the potential for market exclusivity, for product candidates for which we obtain orphan drug designation.
We have obtained orphan designation for ITIL-168 for the treatment of malignant melanoma stages of IIB to IV and may seek orphan drug designation for some or all of our product candidates in specific orphan indications in which there is a medically plausible basis for the use of these product candidates. Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan drug designation to a drug or biologic intended to treat a rare disease or condition, defined as a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population of 200,000 or more in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available the drug or biologic will be recovered from sales in the United States. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting a BLA. Although we may seek orphan drug designation for some or all of our product candidates, we may never receive such designations.
In the United States, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as tax advantages and user fee waivers. Opportunities for grant funding toward clinical trial costs may also be available for clinical trials of drugs or biologics for rare diseases, regardless of whether the drugs or biologics are designated for the orphan use.
In addition, if a drug or biologic with an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first marketing approval for a particular active ingredient or principal molecular structural features for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to a seven year period of marketing exclusivity, which precludes the FDA from approving another marketing application for the same drug and indication for that time period, except in limited circumstances such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity or if the FDA finds that the holder of the orphan drug exclusivity has not shown that it can ensure the availability of sufficient quantities of the orphan product to meet the needs of patients with the disease or condition for which the drug was designated. Even if we obtain orphan drug designation for a product candidate, we may not be the first to obtain marketing approval for any particular orphan indication due to the uncertainties associated with developing biological products. If we seek orphan drug designation, we may be unsuccessful in obtaining such orphan drug designation for our product candidates. Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for any of our product candidates, we may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug designation, or such orphan drug exclusivity may not effectively protect those product candidates from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition, and orphan drug exclusivity does not prevent the FDA from approving the same or a different
drug in another indication. Even after an orphan drug is granted orphan exclusivity and approved, the FDA can subsequently approve a later application for the same drug for the same condition before the expiration of the seven-year exclusivity period if the FDA concludes that the later drug is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer in a substantial portion of the target populations, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care. In addition, a designated orphan drug may not receive orphan drug exclusivity if it is approved for a use that is broader than the indication for which it received orphan designation. Moreover, orphan-drug-exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or that we are unable to manufacture sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. Orphan drug designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug nor gives the drug any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process.
Breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA for any product candidate may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and it does not increase the likelihood that the product candidate will receive marketing approval.
We may, in the future, apply for breakthrough therapy designation, or the equivalent thereof in foreign jurisdictions (where available), 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 product candidate may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more 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 of the trial can help to identify the most efficient path for clinical development while minimizing the number of patients placed in ineffective control regimens. Product candidates designated as breakthrough therapies by the FDA are also eligible for priority review if supported by clinical data at the time of the submission of the BLA.
Designation as a breakthrough therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe that one of our product candidates meets the criteria for designation as a breakthrough therapy, the FDA may disagree and instead determine not to make such designation. In any event, the receipt of a breakthrough therapy designation for a product candidate may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to product candidates considered for approval under conventional FDA procedures and it would not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. In addition, even if one or more of our product candidates qualify as breakthrough therapies, the FDA may later decide that the product candidate no longer meets the conditions for qualification or it may decide that the time period for FDA review or approval will not be shortened.
We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate or indication and fail to capitalize on product candidates or indications that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.
Because we have limited financial and management resources, we must focus on development programs and product candidates that we identify for specific indications. As such, we are currently primarily focused on the development of ITIL-168 for the treatment of PD-1-inhibitor-relapsed or refractory advanced melanoma. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates or for other indications for these product candidates that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through collaboration, licensing or other royalty arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate.
We plan to conduct and may in the future conduct additional clinical trials for our product candidates outside the United States, and the FDA and similar foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials conducted in locations outside of their jurisdiction.
We may in the future choose to conduct clinical trials outside the United States, including in Australia, Canada, Europe or other foreign jurisdictions. The acceptance of trial data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States by the FDA may be subject to certain conditions or may not be accepted at all. In cases where data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States are intended to serve as the sole basis for marketing approval in the United States, the FDA will generally not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless (i) the data are applicable to the United States population and United States medical practice; (ii) the trials were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence and (iii) the data may be considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by the FDA or, if the FDA considers such an inspection to be necessary, the FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. Additionally, the FDA’s clinical trial requirements, including sufficient size of patient populations and statistical powering, must be met. Many foreign regulatory bodies have similar approval requirements. In addition, such foreign trials would be subject to the applicable local laws of the foreign jurisdictions where the trials are conducted. There can be no assurance that the FDA or any similar foreign regulatory authority will accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States or the applicable jurisdiction. If the FDA or any similar foreign regulatory authority does not accept such data, it would result in the need for additional trials, which would be costly and time-consuming and delay aspects of our business plan, and which may result in our product candidates not receiving approval or clearance for commercialization in the applicable jurisdiction.
We may not be successful in our efforts to build a pipeline of additional product candidates.
We may not be able to continue to identify and develop new product candidates in addition to our current pipeline. Even if we are successful in continuing to build our pipeline, the potential product candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development. For example, product candidates may be shown to have harmful side effects or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to be successfully developed, much less receive marketing approval and achieve market acceptance. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates based upon our approach, we will not be able to obtain product revenue in future periods, which likely would result in significant harm to our financial position and adversely affect our stock price.
If we do not achieve our projected development goals in the time frames we announce and expect, the commercialization of our products may be delayed.
From time to time, we may estimate the timing of the accomplishment of various scientific, clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and other product development goals, which we sometimes refer to as milestones. These milestones may include the commencement or completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials and the submission of regulatory filings, including IND submissions. From time to time, we may publicly announce the expected timing of some of these milestones. All of these milestones are, and will be, based on a variety of assumptions. The actual timing of these milestones can vary significantly compared to our estimates, in some cases for reasons beyond our control. We may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, any future clinical trials that we conduct that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidates.
Our business and operations may be adversely affected by the evolving and ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.
Our business and operations may be adversely affected by the effects of the recent and evolving COVID-19 virus, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in travel and other restrictions in order to reduce the spread of the disease, including public health directives and orders in the United States and the European Union that, among other things and for various periods of time, directed individuals to shelter at their places of residence, directed businesses and governmental agencies to cease non-essential operations at physical locations, prohibited certain non-essential gatherings and events and ordered cessation of non-essential travel. Future remote work policies and similar government orders or other restrictions on the conduct of business operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic may negatively impact productivity and may disrupt our ongoing research and development activities and our clinical programs and timelines, the magnitude of which will depend, in part, on the length and severity of the restrictions and other limitations on our ability to conduct our business in the ordinary course. Further, such orders also may impact the availability or cost of
materials, which would disrupt our supply chain and manufacturing efforts and could affect our ability to conduct ongoing and planned clinical trials and preparatory activities.
Although our planned clinical trials have not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to date, we may experience related disruptions in the future that could severely impact our clinical trials, including:
• delays, difficulties or a suspension in clinical site initiation, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff;
• interruptions in our ability to manufacture and deliver drug supply for trials;
• diversion of healthcare resources away from the conduct of clinical trials, including the diversion of hospitals serving as our clinical trial sites and hospital staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials;
• changes in local regulations as part of a response to the COVID-19 outbreak that may require us to change the ways in which our clinical trials are conducted, which may result in unexpected costs, or to discontinue the clinical trials altogether;
• interruption of key clinical trial activities, such as clinical trial site monitoring, and the ability or willingness of subjects to travel to trial sites due to limitations on travel imposed or recommended by federal or state governments, employers and others;
• limitations in employee resources that would otherwise be focused on the conduct of our clinical trials, including because of sickness of employees or their families or the desire of employees to avoid contact with large groups of people;
• delays in necessary interactions with local regulators, ethics committees and other important agencies and contractors due to limitations in employee resources or forced furlough of government employees; and
• refusal of the FDA to accept data from clinical trials in these affected geographies.
The spread of COVID-19, including the emergence and spread of the Delta and Omicron variants and BA.2 subvariant, which has caused a broad impact globally, may materially affect us economically. While the potential economic impact brought by, and the duration of, the COVID-19 pandemic may be difficult to assess or predict, a widespread pandemic could result in significant disruption of global financial markets, reducing our ability to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity. In addition, a recession or market correction resulting from the spread of COVID-19 could materially affect our business and the value of our common stock.
The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business and operations, including our clinical development and regulatory efforts, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence at the time of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, such as the ultimate geographic spread of the disease, the duration of the outbreak, the duration and effect of business disruptions and the short-term effects and ultimate effectiveness of the vaccine mandates, travel restrictions, quarantines, social distancing requirements and business closures in the United States and other countries to contain and treat the disease. Accordingly, we do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical and regulatory activities, healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole. However, these impacts could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.
In addition, to the extent the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and results of operations, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks and uncertainties described in this “Risk Factors” section.
The market opportunities for any current or future product candidate we develop, if approved, may be limited to those patients who are ineligible for established therapies or for whom prior therapies have failed, and may be small.
Any revenue we are able to generate in the future from product sales will be dependent, in part, upon the size of the market in the United States and any other jurisdiction for which we gain regulatory approval and have commercial rights. If the markets or patient subsets that we are targeting are not as significant as we estimate, we may not generate significant revenues from sales of such products, even if approved.
Cancer therapies are sometimes characterized as first-line, second-line or third-line, and the FDA often approves new therapies initially only for third-line use. When cancer is detected early enough, first-line therapy, usually chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, surgery, radiation therapy or a combination of these, is sometimes adequate to cure the cancer or prolong life without a cure. Second- and third-line therapies are administered to patients when prior therapy is not effective. We may initially seek approval for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and any other product candidates we develop as a therapy for patients who have received one or more prior treatments. If we do so, for those products that prove to be sufficiently beneficial, if any, we would expect to seek approval potentially as a first-line therapy, but there is no guarantee that any product candidate we develop, even if approved, would be approved for first-line therapy, and, prior to any such approvals, we may have to conduct additional clinical trials.
The number of patients who have the types of cancer we are targeting may turn out to be lower than expected. Additionally, the potentially addressable patient population for our current or future product candidates may be limited, if and when approved. Further, even if any of our product candidates are approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulators, their approved indications may be limited to a subset of the indications that we targeted. Even if we obtain significant market share for any product candidate, if and when approved, if the potential target populations are small, we may never achieve profitability without obtaining marketing approval for additional indications, including to be used as first- or second-line therapy.
We may develop ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and future product candidates for use in combination with other therapies or third party product candidates, which exposes us to additional regulatory risks.
We may develop ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and future product candidates for use in combination with one or more currently approved cancer therapies. Even if any product candidate we develop were to receive marketing approval or be commercialized for use in combination with other existing therapies, we would continue to be subject to the risk that the FDA, EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could revoke approval of the therapy used in combination with our product candidate or that safety, efficacy, manufacturing or supply issues could arise with these existing therapies. This could result in our own products being removed from the market or being less successful commercially. Combination therapies are commonly used for the treatment of cancer, and we would be subject to similar risks if we develop any of our product candidates for use in combination with other drugs or for indications other than cancer.
We may also evaluate ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any future product candidate in combination with one or more other third party product candidates that have not yet been approved for marketing by the FDA, EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. If so, we will not be able to market and sell ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any product candidate we develop in combination with any such unapproved cancer therapies that do not ultimately obtain marketing approval.
If the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities do not approve these other biological products or revoke their approval of, or if safety, efficacy, manufacturing or supply issues arise with, the biologics we choose to evaluate in combination with ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any product candidate we develop, we may be unable to obtain approval of or market any such product candidate.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union may have a negative effect on global economic conditions, financial markets and our business.
Following the result of a referendum in 2016, the United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, commonly referred to as Brexit. Pursuant to the formal withdrawal arrangements agreed to by the United Kingdom and the European Union, as of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer subject to the transition period, or the Transition Period, during which European Union rules continued to apply. A trade and cooperation agreement, or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, that outlines the post-Transition Period trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union was agreed to in December 2020 and formally entered into force on May 1, 2021.
We have significant operations in the United Kingdom. Further, since a significant proportion of the regulatory framework in the United Kingdom is applicable to our business and our product candidates is derived from European Union directives and regulations, Brexit has had, and will continue to have, a material impact on the regulatory regime with respect to the development, manufacture, importation, approval and commercialization of our product candidates in the United Kingdom or the European Union. For example, Great Britain is no longer covered by the centralized procedures for obtaining EU-wide marketing authorizations from the EMA, and a separate marketing authorization will be required to market our product candidates in Great Britain. Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, any marketing approvals, as a result of Brexit or otherwise, would delay or prevent us from commercializing our product candidates in the United Kingdom and limit our ability to generate revenue and achieve and sustain profitability. While the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for the tariff-free trade of medicinal products between the United Kingdom and the European Union, there are additional non-tariff costs to such trade that did not exist prior to the end of the Transition Period and frequent delays in the transit of goods between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Further, should the United Kingdom diverge from the European Union from a regulatory perspective in relation to medicinal products, tariffs could be put into place in the future, and we may incur expenses in establishing a manufacturing facility in the European Union in order to circumvent such hurdles or incur significant additional expenses to operate our business, which could significantly and materially harm or delay our ability to generate revenues or achieve profitability of our business. Any further changes in international trade, tariff and import/export regulations as a result of Brexit or otherwise may impose unexpected duty costs or other non-tariff barriers on us. These developments, or the perception that any of them could occur, may significantly reduce global trade and, in particular, trade between the impacted nations and the United Kingdom. It is also possible that Brexit may negatively affect our ability to attract and retain employees, particularly those from the European Union.
Risks Related to the Manufacturing of our Product Candidates
Cell therapies are complex and difficult to manufacture. We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in the development or commercialization of our product candidates or otherwise harm our business.
The manufacture of cell therapy products is technically complex and necessitates substantial expertise and capital investment. Production difficulties caused by unforeseen events may delay the availability of material for our clinical studies.
The manufacturers of pharmaceutical products must comply with strictly enforced cGMP requirements, state and federal regulations, as well as foreign requirements when applicable. Any failure of us or our contract manufacturing organizations to adhere to or document compliance to such regulatory requirements could lead to a delay or interruption in the availability of our program materials for clinical trials or enforcement action from the FDA, EMA or foreign regulatory authorities. If we or our manufacturers were to fail to comply with the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authority, it could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including clinical holds, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or recalls of product candidates or products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions, any of which could significantly and adversely affect supplies of our product candidates. Our potential future dependence upon others for the manufacture of our product candidates may also adversely affect our future profit margins and our ability to commercialize any product candidates that receive regulatory approval on a timely and competitive basis.
Biological products are inherently difficult to manufacture. Our program materials are manufactured using technically complex processes requiring specialized equipment and facilities, highly specific raw materials, cells, and reagents, and other production constraints. Our production process requires a number of highly specific raw
materials, cells and reagents with limited suppliers. Even though we aim to have backup supplies of raw materials, cells and reagents whenever possible, we cannot be certain they will be sufficient if our primary sources are unavailable. A shortage of a critical raw material, cell line, or reagent, or a technical issue during manufacturing may lead to delays in clinical development or commercialization plans. Any changes in the manufacturing of components of the raw materials we use could result in unanticipated or unfavorable effects in our manufacturing processes, resulting in delays.
Delays or failures in the manufacture of cell therapies (whether by us, any collaborator or our third party contract manufacturers) can result in a patient being unable to receive their cell therapy or a requirement to re-manufacture which itself then causes delays in manufacture for other patients. Any delay or failure or inability to manufacture on a timely basis can adversely affect a patient’s outcomes and delay the timelines for our clinical trials. Such delays or failure or inability to manufacture can result from:
• a failure in the manufacturing process itself, for example by an error in manufacturing process (whether by us or our third party CMO), equipment or reagent failure, failure in any step of the manufacturing process, failure to maintain a GMP environment or failure in quality systems applicable to manufacture, sterility failures, contamination during process;
• product loss or failure due to logistical issues associated with the collection of a patient’s tumor or other samples, shipping that material to analytical laboratories, and shipping the final product back to the location using cold chain distribution where it will be administered to the patient, manufacturing issues associated with the differences in patient starting materials, inconsistency in cell growth and variability in product characteristics;
• a lack of reliability or reproducibility in the manufacturing process itself leading to variability in end manufacture of cell therapy, which may lead to regulatory authorities placing a hold on a clinical trial or requesting further information on the process which could in turn result in delays to the clinical trials;
• variations in patient starting material or apheresis product resulting in less product than expected or product that is not viable, or that cannot be used to successfully manufacture a cell therapy;
• product loss or failure due to logistical issues including issues associated with the differences between patients’ white blood cells or characteristics, interruptions to process, contamination, failure to supply patient apheresis material within required timescales (for example, as a result of an import or export hold-up) or supplier error;
• inability to obtain viral vector manufacturing slots from CMOs or to have enough manufacturing slots to manufacture cell therapies for patients as and when those patients require manufacture;
• inability to procure starting materials or to manufacture starting materials;
• loss of or close-down of any manufacturing facility used in the manufacture of our cell therapies, or the inability to find alternative manufacturing capability in a timely fashion;
• loss or contamination of patient starting material, requiring the starting material to be obtained again from the patient or the manufacturing process to be re-started; and
• a requirement to modify or make changes to any manufacturing process, which may also require comparability testing that delays our ability to make the required modifications or perform any required comparability testing in a timely fashion, require further regulatory approval or require successful tech transfer to CMOs to continue manufacturing.
Our product candidates are biologics and the manufacture of our product candidates is complex and we may encounter difficulties in production, particularly with respect to process development or scaling-out of our manufacturing capabilities. If we encounter such difficulties, our ability to provide supply of our product candidates for clinical trials or any approved products could be delayed or stopped.
All entities involved in the preparation of therapeutics for clinical trials or commercial sale, including our existing contract manufacturers for components our product candidates, are subject to extensive regulation. Components of a finished therapeutic product approved for commercial sale or used in late-stage clinical trials in the European Union must be manufactured in accordance with cGMP. These regulations govern manufacturing processes and procedures (including record keeping) and the implementation and operation of quality systems to control and assure the quality of investigational products and products approved for sale. 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 our product candidates that may not be detectable in final product testing. We or our contract manufacturers must supply all necessary documentation in support of a BLA or MAA on a timely basis. Our facilities and quality systems and the facilities and quality systems of some or all of our third-party contractors must pass a pre-approval inspection for compliance with the applicable regulations as a condition of regulatory approval of our product candidates or any of our other potential products. In addition, the regulatory authorities may, at any time, audit or inspect a manufacturing facility involved with the preparation of our product candidates or our other potential products or the associated quality systems for compliance with the regulations applicable to the activities being conducted, and they could put a hold on one or more of our clinical trials if the facilities of our contract development and manufacturing organizations do not pass such audit or inspections. If these facilities do not pass a pre-approval plant inspection, FDA approval of the products will not be granted.
The regulatory authorities also may, at any time following approval of a product for sale, inspect or audit our manufacturing facilities or those of our third-party contractors. If any such inspection or audit identifies a failure to comply with applicable regulations or if a violation of our product specifications or applicable regulations occurs independent of such an inspection or audit, we or the relevant regulatory authority may require remedial measures that may be costly and/or time-consuming for us or a third party to implement and that 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 harm our business. If we or any of our third-party manufacturers fail to maintain regulatory compliance, the FDA can impose regulatory sanctions including, among other things, refusal to approve a pending application for a new drug product or biologic product, or revocation of a pre-existing approval. As a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be harmed. Additionally, if supply from one approved manufacturer is interrupted, there could be a significant disruption in commercial supply. An alternative manufacturer would need to be qualified through a BLA and/or MAA supplement which could result in further delay. The regulatory agencies may also require additional studies if a new manufacturer is relied upon for commercial production. Switching manufacturers may involve substantial costs and is likely to result in a delay in our desired clinical and commercial timelines.
These factors could cause the delay of clinical trials, regulatory submissions, required approvals or commercialization of our product candidates, cause us to incur higher costs and prevent us from commercializing our products successfully, if approved. Furthermore, if our suppliers fail to meet contractual requirements, and we are unable to secure one or more replacement suppliers capable of production at a substantially equivalent cost, our clinical trials may be delayed or we could lose potential revenue.
Although we are in the process of transferring the current manufacturing process of ITIL-168 from our manufacturing facility in Manchester, United Kingdom and establishing our manufacturing facility in Tarzana, California, we may utilize third parties if needed to manufacture our product candidates. Therefore, we are subject to the risk that such third parties may not perform satisfactorily.
Although we expect that our manufacturing facility in Tarzana, California will be the primary source of clinical and, if approved, commercial supply for ITIL-168 and future product candidates, we may continue to rely on outside vendors for at least a portion of the manufacturing process and intend to evaluate potential third-party manufacturing capabilities if necessary to meet further clinical and commercial demand. In the event that we engage
third-party manufacturers and they do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, meet expected deadlines or manufacture our product candidates in accordance with regulatory requirements or if there are disagreements between us and any third-party manufacturer, we may be delayed in producing sufficient clinical and commercial supply of our product candidates. In such instances, we may need to locate an appropriate replacement third-party relationship, which may not be readily available or on acceptable terms, which would cause additional delay or increased expense and would thereby have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Reliance on third-party providers may expose us to more risk than if we were to manufacture product candidates ourselves. The facilities used by our contract manufacturers to manufacture our product candidates must be approved by the FDA pursuant to inspections that will be conducted after we submit our BLA to the FDA. We do not control the manufacturing process of, and are completely dependent on, our contract manufacturing partners for compliance with the regulatory requirements, known as cGMPs for the manufacture of our product candidates. If our contract manufacturers cannot successfully manufacture material that conforms to our specifications and the strict regulatory requirements of the FDA or others, they will not be able to secure and/or maintain regulatory approval for their manufacturing facilities. In addition, we have no control over the ability of our contract manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA or a comparable foreign 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. In addition, 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 or that obtained approvals could be revoked, which would adversely affect our business and reputation. Furthermore, third-party providers may breach existing agreements they have with us because of factors beyond our control. They may also terminate or refuse to renew their agreement because of their own financial difficulties or business priorities, at a time that is costly or otherwise inconvenient for us. If we were unable to find adequate replacement or another acceptable solution in time, our clinical trials could be delayed or our commercial activities could be harmed.
We have initiated a technology transfer of the current manufacturing process of ITIL-168 from our manufacturing facility in Manchester, United Kingdom to our new manufacturing facility in Tarzana, California, and we intend to utilize material manufactured in our new manufacturing facility in our future clinical trials of ITIL-168. This technology transfer process is still underway, and to date, we have not successfully produced a batch of ITIL-168. We will need to perform analytical and other animal or cell-based tests to demonstrate that materials produced by our new manufacturing facility, or any other third-party manufacturer that we engage, is comparable in all respects, including potency, to the product produced by our Manchester manufacturing facility and utilized in prior clinical and preclinical studies of ITIL-168. There is no assurance that we, or any other future third-party manufacturer that we engage, will be successful in producing ITIL-168, that any such product will pass the required comparability testing, or that any materials produced by us or any other third-party manufacturer that we engage will have the same effect in patients that we have observed to date with respect to materials produced by our Manchester manufacturing facility. Once the technology transfer is complete, we believe that our manufacturing network will have sufficient capacity to meet demand for ITIL-168 for our future United States clinical trials. Although we have identified additional third-party cGMP-compliant manufacturers that we believe we will be able to contract with in order to provide additional sources of such materials, there is a risk that if supplies are interrupted or result in poor yield or quality, it would materially harm our business. In addition, we may change our manufacturing process for ITIL-168, which could cause delays in production as we and our third-party manufacturers seek to improve and streamline the process.
In addition, we do not currently have long-term supply or manufacturing arrangements in place for the production of ITIL-168. Although we intend to establish multiple sources for long-term supply, including our own commercial-scale cGMP-compliant manufacturing facility and one or more third-party manufacturers, if the cell therapy industry were to grow, we may encounter increasing competition for the raw materials and consumables necessary for the production of ITIL-168. Furthermore, demand for third-party cGMP manufacturing facilities may grow at a faster rate than existing manufacturing capacity, which could disrupt our ability to find and retain third-party manufacturers capable of producing sufficient quantities of ITIL-168 for future clinical trials or to meet initial
commercial demand in the United States. In addition to our own manufacturing facilities, we currently rely, and expect to continue to rely, on additional third parties to manufacture ingredients of our product candidates and to perform quality testing. Even following our establishment of our own cGMP-compliant manufacturing capabilities, we intend to maintain third-party manufacturers for these ingredients, as well as to serve as additional sources of our product candidates, which will expose us to risks including:
• reduced control for certain aspects of manufacturing activities;
• termination or nonrenewal of manufacturing and service agreements with third parties in a manner or at a time that is costly or damaging to us; and
• disruptions to the operations of our third-party manufacturers and service providers caused by conditions unrelated to our business or operations, including the bankruptcy of the manufacturer or service provider.
Building our new manufacturing facility has required additional investment, has been time-consuming and may be subject to delays, including because of shortage of labor or compliance with regulatory requirements. In addition, building our manufacturing facility may cost more than we currently anticipate. Delays or problems in the build out of our manufacturing facility may adversely impact our ability to provide supply for the development and commercialization of ITIL-168, as well as our financial condition.
Any of these events could lead to clinical trial delays or failure to obtain regulatory approval, or impact our ability to successfully commercialize ITIL-168. Some of these events could be the basis for FDA action, including injunction, recall, seizure or total or partial suspension of product manufacture.
Our current operations are concentrated in two locations. We or the third parties upon whom we depend may be adversely affected by earthquakes, wildfires or other natural disasters, and our business continuity and disaster recovery plans may not adequately protect us from a serious disaster.
We are in the process of transitioning from our manufacturing facility in Manchester, United Kingdom to our new manufacturing facility in Tarzana, California. Any unplanned event, such as flood, fire, explosion, earthquake, extreme weather condition, medical epidemics or pandemics, power shortage, telecommunication failure or other natural or manmade accidents or incidents that result in us being unable to fully utilize our facilities may have a material and adverse effect on our ability to operate our business, particularly on a daily basis, and have significant negative consequences on our financial and operating conditions. Loss of access to these facilities may result in increased costs, delays in the development of our product candidates or interruption of our business operations. Earthquakes, wildfires or other natural disasters could further disrupt our operations, and have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. If a natural disaster, power outage or other event prevents us from using all or a significant portion of our manufacturing facilities, or otherwise disrupted operations, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible, for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The disaster recovery and business continuity plans we have in place may prove inadequate in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. As part of our risk management policy, we maintain insurance coverage at levels that we believe are appropriate for our business. However, in the event of an accident or incident at these facilities, we cannot assure you that the amounts of insurance will be sufficient to satisfy any damages and losses. If our facilities are unable to operate because of an accident or incident or for any other reason, even for a short period of time, any or all of our research and development programs may be harmed. Any business interruption may have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
We depend on third-party suppliers for materials that are necessary for the conduct of preclinical studies and manufacture of our product candidates for clinical trials, and the loss of these third-party suppliers or their inability to supply us with sufficient quantities of adequate materials, or to do so at acceptable quality levels and on a timely basis, could harm our business.
Manufacturing our product candidates requires many reagents, which are substances used in our manufacturing processes to bring about chemical or biological reactions, and other specialty materials and equipment, some of which are manufactured or supplied by small companies with limited resources and experience to support commercial biologics production. We currently depend on a limited number of vendors for certain materials and equipment used in the manufacture of our product candidates. For example, we currently use facilities and equipment at external contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, as well as supply sources internal to the collaboration for vector supply. Our use of CMOs increases the risk of delays in production or insufficient supplies as we transfer our manufacturing technology to these CMOs and as they gain experience with our supply requirements. Some of these suppliers may not have the capacity to support clinical trials and commercial products manufactured under cGMP by biopharmaceutical firms or may otherwise be ill-equipped to support our needs. We also do not have supply contracts with many of these suppliers and may not be able to obtain supply contracts with them on acceptable terms or at all. Accordingly, we may experience delays in receiving key materials and equipment to support clinical or commercial manufacturing.
For some of these reagents, equipment, and materials, we rely and may in the future rely on sole source vendors or a limited number of vendors. The supply of the reagents and other specialty materials and equipment that are necessary to produce our product candidates could be reduced or interrupted at any time. In such case, identifying and engaging an alternative supplier or manufacturer could result in delay, and we may not be able to find other acceptable suppliers or manufacturers on acceptable terms, or at all. Switching suppliers or manufacturers may involve substantial costs and is likely to result in a delay in our desired clinical and commercial timelines. If we change suppliers or manufacturers for commercial production, applicable regulatory agencies may require us to conduct additional studies or trials. If key suppliers or manufacturers are lost, or if the supply of the materials is diminished or discontinued, we may not be able to develop, manufacture and market our product candidates in a timely and competitive manner, or at all. An inability to continue to source product from any of these suppliers, which could be due to a number of issues, including regulatory actions or requirements affecting the supplier, adverse financial or other strategic developments experienced by a supplier, labor disputes or shortages, unexpected demands or quality issues, could adversely affect our ability to satisfy demand for our product candidates, which could adversely and materially affect our product sales and operating results or our ability to conduct clinical trials, either of which could significantly harm our business.
As we continue to develop and scale our manufacturing process, we expect that we will need to obtain rights to and supplies of certain materials and equipment to be used as part of that process. We may not be able to obtain rights to such materials on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, and if we are unable to alter our process in a commercially viable manner to avoid the use of such materials or find a suitable substitute, it would have a material adverse effect on our business. Even if we are able to alter our process so as to use other materials or equipment, such a change may lead to a delay in our clinical development and/or commercialization plans. If such a change occurs for product candidate that is already in clinical testing, the change may require us to perform both ex vivo comparability studies and to collect additional data from patients prior to undertaking more advanced clinical trials. These factors could cause the delay of studies or trials, regulatory submissions, required approvals or commercialization of product candidates that we develop, cause us to incur higher costs and prevent us from commercializing our product candidates successfully.
Any contamination or interruption in our manufacturing process, shortages of raw materials or failure of our suppliers of reagents to deliver necessary components could result in delays in our clinical development or marketing schedules.
Given the nature of cell therapy manufacturing, there is a risk of contamination. Any contamination could adversely affect our ability to produce product candidates on schedule and could, therefore, harm our results of operations and cause reputational damage. Some of the raw materials required in our manufacturing process are derived from biologic sources. Such raw materials are difficult to procure and may be subject to contamination or recall. A material shortage, contamination, recall or restriction on the use of biologically derived substances in the manufacture of our product candidates could adversely impact or disrupt the commercial manufacturing or the production of clinical material, which could adversely affect our development timelines and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Changes in methods of product candidate manufacturing or formulation may result in additional costs or delay.
As product candidates proceed through preclinical studies to late-stage clinical trials towards potential approval and commercialization, it is common that various aspects of the development program, such as manufacturing methods and formulation, are altered along the way in an effort to optimize processes and product characteristics. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve our intended objectives. Any such changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of planned clinical trials or other future clinical trials conducted with the materials manufactured using altered processes. Such changes may also require additional testing, FDA notification or FDA approval. This could delay completion of clinical trials, require the conduct of bridging clinical trials or the repetition of one or more clinical trials, increase clinical trial costs, delay approval of our product candidates and jeopardize our ability to commence sales and generate revenue. In addition, we may be required to make significant changes to our upstream and downstream processes across our pipeline, which could delay the development of our future product candidates.
Risks Related to the Commercialization of our Product Candidates
Even if any of our product candidates receive marketing approval, they may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.
If any of our product candidates receive marketing approval, they may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community. If our product candidates do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant revenue and we may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including:
• the efficacy, safety and potential advantages compared to alternative treatments;
• our ability to offer our products for sale at competitive prices;
• the convenience and ease of administration compared to alternative treatments;
• product labeling or product insert requirements of the FDA, EMA or other foreign regulatory authorities, including any limitations or warnings contained in a product’s approved labeling, including any black box warning or REMS;
• the willingness of the target patient population to try new treatments and of physicians to prescribe these treatments;
• our ability to hire and retain a sales force in the United States;
• the strength of marketing and distribution support;
• the availability of third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 and any other product candidates, once approved;
• the prevalence and severity of any side effects; and
• any restrictions on the use of our products together with other medications.
If we are unable to establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidate that may receive regulatory approval, we may not be successful in commercializing those product candidates if and when they are approved.
We do not have sales or marketing infrastructure. To achieve commercial success for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidate for which we may obtain marketing approval, we will need to establish a sales and marketing organization. In the future, we expect to build a focused sales and marketing infrastructure to market our product candidates in the United States, if they are approved. There are 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.
Factors that may inhibit our efforts to market our products on our own include:
• our inability to recruit, train and retain adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel;
• the inability of sales personnel to obtain access to physicians in order to educate physicians about our product candidates, once approved;
• the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines; and
• unforeseen costs and expenses associated with creating an independent sales and marketing organization.
If we are unable to establish our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities and are forced to enter into arrangements with, and rely on, third parties to perform these services, our revenue and our profitability, if any, are likely to be lower than if we had developed such capabilities ourselves. In addition, we may not be successful in entering into arrangements with third parties to sell, market and distribute our product candidates or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. We likely will have little control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our products effectively. If we do not establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates.
The affected populations for our other product candidates may be smaller than we or third parties currently project, which may affect the addressable markets for our product candidates.
Our projections of the number of people who have the diseases we are seeking to treat, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are estimates based on our knowledge and understanding of these diseases. These estimates may prove to be incorrect and new studies may further reduce the estimated incidence or prevalence of this disease. The number of patients in the United States, the European Union and elsewhere may turn out to be lower than expected, may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our product candidates or patients may become increasingly difficult to identify and access, all of which would adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Further, even if we obtain approval for our product candidates, the FDA or other regulators may limit their approved indications to more narrow uses or subpopulations within the populations for which we are targeting development of our product candidates.
The total addressable market opportunity for our product candidates will ultimately depend upon a number of factors including the diagnosis and treatment criteria included in the final label, if approved for sale in specified indications, acceptance by the medical community, patient access and product pricing and reimbursement. Incidence and prevalence estimates are frequently based on information and assumptions that are not exact and may not be appropriate, and the methodology is forward-looking and speculative. The process we have used in developing an estimated incidence and prevalence range for the indications we are targeting has involved collating limited data from multiple sources. Accordingly, the incidence and prevalence estimates included in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, should be viewed with caution. Further, the data and statistical
information used in our filings with the SEC, including estimates derived from them, may differ from information and estimates made by our competitors or from current or future studies conducted by independent sources.
Off-label use or misuse of our products may harm our reputation in the marketplace, result in injuries that lead to costly product liability suits, and/or subject us to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with any product.
If our product candidates are approved by the FDA, we may only promote or market our product candidates for their specifically approved indications. We will train our marketing and sales force against promoting our product candidates for uses outside of the approved indications for use, known as “off-label uses.” We cannot, however, prevent a physician from using our products off-label, when in the physician’s independent professional medical judgment he or she deems it appropriate. Furthermore, the use of our products for indications other than those approved by the FDA may not effectively treat such conditions. Any such off-label use of our product candidates could harm our reputation in the marketplace among physicians and patients. There may also be increased risk of injury to patients if physicians attempt to use our products for these uses for which they are not approved, which could lead to product liability suits that that might require significant financial and management resources and that could harm our reputation.
Advertising and promotion of any product candidate that obtains approval in the United States will be heavily scrutinized by the FDA, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, or the DOJ, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, state attorneys general, members of the U.S. Congress, and the public. Additionally, advertising and promotion of any product candidate that obtains approval outside of the United States will be heavily scrutinized by comparable foreign entities and stakeholders. Violations, including actual or alleged promotion of our products for unapproved or off-label uses, are subject to enforcement letters, inquiries, and investigations, and civil and criminal sanctions by the FDA, DOJ, or comparable foreign bodies. Any actual or alleged failure to comply with labeling and promotion requirements may result in fines, warning letters, mandates to corrective information to healthcare practitioners, injunctions, or civil or criminal penalties.
We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.
Drug development is highly competitive and subject to rapid and significant technological advancements. There are several large and small pharmaceutical companies focused on delivering therapeutics for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and other oncology indications we might target in the future. Further, it is likely that additional drugs will become available in the future for the treatment of our target indications.
We face competition from segments of the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other related markets that pursue the development of TIL or other cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors. Companies that are developing TIL therapies include Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc., Adaptimmune Therapeutics, Plc., Achilles Therapeutics, Ltd., Intima Bioscience, Inc., Nurix Therapeutics, Inc., KSQ Therapeutics, Inc., Obsidian Therapeutics, Inc., PACT Pharma, Inc., Lyell Immunopharma, Inc., and Neogene Therapeutics, B.V. In addition, we may face competition from companies focused on CAR-T and TCR-T cell therapies, such as Kite Pharma, Inc., a subsidiary of Gilead, Inc., Juno Therapeutics, Inc., a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc., TCR2 Therapeutics, Inc., Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. and Immatics N.V. There are also companies utilizing other cell-based approaches that may be competitive to our product candidates. For example, companies such as Celyad, S.A., Artiva Biotherapeutics, Inc., and Nkarta, Inc. are developing therapies that target and/or engineer natural killer, or NK, cells.
Many of our existing or potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources than we do and significantly greater experience in the discovery and development of product candidates, as well as in obtaining regulatory approvals of those product candidates in the United States and in foreign countries. Our current and potential future competitors may also have significantly more experience commercializing drugs, particularly cell therapy and other biological products, that have been approved for marketing. Mergers and
acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries could result in even more resources being concentrated among a small number of our competitors.
We will face competition from other drugs or from other non-drug products currently approved or that will be approved in the future in the oncology field, including for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the therapeutic categories we intend to target. Therefore, our ability to compete successfully will depend largely on our ability to:
• develop and commercialize drugs that are superior to other products in the market;
• demonstrate through our clinical trials that our product candidates are differentiated from existing and future therapies;
• attract qualified scientific, product development and commercial personnel;
• obtain patent or other proprietary protection for our medicines;
• obtain required regulatory approvals;
• obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement from, and negotiate competitive pricing with, third-party payors; and
• successfully collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in the discovery, development and commercialization of new medicines.
The availability of our competitors’ products could limit the demand, and the price we are able to charge, for any product candidate we develop. The inability to compete with existing or subsequently introduced drugs would have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and prospects. In addition, the reimbursement structure of approved cell therapies by other companies could impact the anticipated reimbursement structure of our cell therapies, if approved, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Established pharmaceutical companies may invest heavily to accelerate discovery and development of novel compounds or to in-license novel compounds that could make our product candidates less competitive. In addition, any new product that competes with an approved product must demonstrate compelling advantages in efficacy, convenience, tolerability and safety in order to overcome price competition and to be commercially successful. Accordingly, our competitors may succeed in obtaining patent protection, discovering, developing, receiving regulatory and marketing approval for, or commercializing, drugs before we do, which would have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations.
Any product candidates for which we intend to seek approval as biologic products may face competition sooner than anticipated.
If we are successful in achieving regulatory approval to commercialize any biologic product candidate that we develop, it may face competition from biosimilar products. In the United States, our product candidates are regulated by the FDA as biologic products subject to approval under the BLA pathway. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or collectively, the ACA, includes a subtitle called the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, or BPCIA, which created an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products that are biosimilar to or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed reference biological product. Under the BPCIA, an application for a biosimilar product may not be submitted to the FDA until four years following the date that the reference product was first licensed by the FDA. In addition, the approval of a biosimilar product may not be made effective by the FDA until 12 years from the date on which the reference product was first licensed by the FDA. During this 12-year period of exclusivity, another company may still market a competing version of the reference product if the FDA approves a full BLA for the competing product containing the sponsor’s own preclinical data and data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, purity and potency of their product. The law is complex and is still being interpreted and implemented by the FDA. As a result, its ultimate impact, implementation and meaning are subject to uncertainty. While it is uncertain
when such processes intended to implement BPCIA may be fully adopted by the FDA, any such processes could have an adverse effect on the future commercial prospects for our biological products.
There is a risk that any of our product candidates approved as a biological product under a BLA would not qualify for the 12-year period of exclusivity or that this exclusivity could be shortened due to congressional action or otherwise, or that the FDA will not consider our product candidates to be reference products for competing products, potentially creating the opportunity for generic competition sooner than anticipated. Other aspects of the BPCIA, some of which may impact the BPCIA exclusivity provisions, have also been the subject of recent litigation. Moreover, the extent to which a biosimilar, once approved, will be substituted for any one of our reference products in a way that is similar to traditional generic substitution for non-biological products is not yet clear, and will depend on a number of marketplace and regulatory factors that are still developing. If competitors are able to obtain marketing approval for biosimilars referencing our candidates, if approved, our products may become subject to competition from such biosimilars, with the attendant competitive pressure and potential adverse consequences.
The success of our product candidates will depend significantly on coverage and adequate reimbursement or the willingness of patients to pay for these therapies.
We believe our success depends on obtaining and maintaining coverage and adequate reimbursement for our product candidates, including ITIL-168 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma, and the extent to which patients will be willing to pay out-of-pocket for such products, in the absence of reimbursement for all or part of the cost. In the United States and in other countries, patients who are provided medical treatment for their conditions generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their treatment. The availability of coverage and adequacy of reimbursement for our products by third-party payors, including government health care programs (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE), managed care providers, private health insurers, health maintenance organizations, and other organizations is essential for most patients to be able to afford medical services and pharmaceutical products such as our product candidates. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own coverage and reimbursement policies. However, decisions regarding the extent of coverage and amount of reimbursement to be provided are made on a payor-by-payor basis. One payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage, and adequate reimbursement. The principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, an agency within the United States. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS. CMS decides whether and to what extent products will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree.
Third-party payors determine which products and procedures they will cover and establish reimbursement levels. Even if a third-party payor covers a particular product or procedure, the resulting reimbursement payment rates may not be adequate. Patients who are treated in-office for a medical condition generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with the procedure, including costs associated with products used during the procedure, and may be unwilling to undergo such procedures in the absence of such coverage and adequate reimbursement. Physicians may be unlikely to offer procedures for such treatment if they are not covered by insurance and may be unlikely to purchase and use our product candidates, if approved, for our stated indications unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate. In addition, for products administered under the supervision of a physician, obtaining coverage and adequate reimbursement may be particularly difficult because of the higher prices often associated with such drugs.
Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including the third-party payor’s determination that a procedure is safe, effective and medically necessary; appropriate for the specific patient; cost-effective; supported by peer-reviewed medical journals; included in clinical practice guidelines; and neither cosmetic, experimental, nor investigational. Further, increasing efforts by third-party payors in the United States and abroad to cap or reduce healthcare costs may cause such organizations to limit both coverage and the level of reimbursement for newly approved products and, as a result, they may not cover or provide adequate payment for our product candidates. In order to secure coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, we may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of our products, in addition to the costs required to obtain FDA or comparable regulatory
approvals. Additionally, we may also need to provide discounts to purchasers, private health plans or government healthcare programs. Our product candidates may nonetheless not be considered medically necessary or cost-effective. If third-party payors do not consider a product to be cost-effective compared to other available therapies, they may not cover the product after approval as a benefit under their plans or, if they do, the level of payment may not be sufficient to allow a company to sell its products at a profit. We expect to experience pricing pressures from third-party payors in connection with the potential sale of any of our product candidates. Decreases in third-party reimbursement for any product or a decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product could reduce physician usage and patient demand for the product and also have a material adverse effect on sales.
Foreign governments also have their own healthcare reimbursement systems, which vary significantly by country and region, and we cannot be sure that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be made available with respect to the treatments in which our products are used under any foreign reimbursement system.
There can be no assurance that ITIL-168, ITIL-306, or any other product candidate, if approved for sale in the United States or in other countries, will be considered medically reasonable and necessary, that it will be considered cost-effective by third-party payors, that coverage or an adequate level of reimbursement will be available or that reimbursement policies and practices in the United States and in foreign countries where our products are sold will not adversely affect our ability to sell our product candidates profitably, if they are approved for sale.
Product liability lawsuits against us could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and to limit commercialization of any products that we may develop.
We face an inherent risk of product liability exposure related to the testing of our product candidates in human clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercially sell any products that we may develop. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against claims that our product candidates or drugs caused injuries, we will incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:
• decreased demand for any product candidates or drugs that we may develop;
• injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;
• withdrawal of clinical trial participants;
• significant costs to defend the related litigation;
• substantial monetary awards paid to trial participants or patients;
• loss of revenue;
• reduced resources of our management to pursue our business strategy; and
• the inability to commercialize any products that we may develop.
Although we maintain product liability insurance coverage, such insurance may not be adequate to cover all liabilities that we may incur. We may need to increase our insurance coverage as we expand our clinical trials or if we commence commercialization of our product candidates. Insurance coverage is increasingly expensive. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise.
Our business and operations would suffer in the event of computer system failures, cyberattacks or a deficiency in our cybersecurity.
Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems, and those of third parties on which we rely, are subject to attack by computer viruses, malware, natural disasters, terrorism, war, telecommunication and electrical failures, cyberattacks or cyber-intrusions over the Internet, attachments to emails,
persons inside our organization, or persons with access to systems inside our organization and vulnerable to damage therefrom. The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyberattacks or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments, and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. If such an event were to interrupt our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our product development programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or ongoing or planned clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. To the extent that any disruption or security breach was to result in a loss of or damage to our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur material legal claims and liability and damage to our reputation, and the further development of our product candidates could be delayed.
The effects of a security breach or privacy violation could be further amplified during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant and theft of our intellectual property or proprietary business information could require substantial expenditures to remedy. Further, we cannot be certain that (a) our liability insurance will be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to security breaches, cyberattacks and other related breaches; (b) such coverage will cover any indemnification claims against us relating to any incident, will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all; or (c) any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage, or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are subject to a variety of privacy and data security laws, and our failure to comply with them could harm our business.
We maintain a large quantity of sensitive information, including confidential business and personal information in connection with the conduct of our clinical trials and related to our employees, and we are subject to laws and regulations governing the privacy and security of such information. In the United States, there are numerous federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations governing the collection, use, disclosure and protection of personal information, including federal and state health information privacy laws, federal and state security breach notification laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws. The legislative and regulatory landscape for privacy and data protection continues to evolve, and there has been an increasing focus on privacy and data protection issues, which may affect our business and is expected to increase our compliance costs and exposure to liability. In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations could apply to our operations or the operations of our partners, including state data breach notification laws, state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations (e.g. Section 5 of the FTC Act), that govern the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of health-related and other personal information. 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, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, and regulations promulgated thereunder. Depending on the facts and circumstances, we could be subject to significant penalties if we obtain, use, or disclose individually identifiable health information in a manner that is not authorized or permitted by HIPAA.
In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation or the GDPR, took effect in May 2018. The GDPR governs the collection, use, disclosure, transfer or other processing of personal data of individuals within the European Economic Area, or the EEA, including clinical trial data. Among other things, the GDPR imposes requirements regarding the security of personal data and notification of data processing obligations to the competent national data processing authorities, requires having lawful bases on which personal data can be processed, and requires changes to informed consent practices, as well as more detailed notices for clinical trial subjects and investigators. In addition, the GDPR increases the scrutiny of transfers of personal data from the EEA to the United States and other jurisdictions that the European Commission does not recognize as having “adequate” data protection laws; in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union limited how organizations could lawfully transfer personal data
from the EEA to the United States by invalidating the EU-US Privacy Shield and imposing further restrictions on use of the standard contractual clauses, which could increase our costs and our ability to efficiently process personal data from the EEA. The GDPR imposes substantial fines for breaches and violations (up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of our consolidated annual worldwide gross revenue), and confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. Relatedly, following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Economic Area and the European Union, and the expiry of the transition period, which ended on January 1, 2021, companies have to comply with both the GDPR and the GDPR as incorporated into United Kingdom national law, the latter regime having the ability to separately fine up to the greater of £17.5 million or 4% of global turnover. On January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom became a third country for the purposes of the GDPR.
While the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union in relation to certain aspects of data protection law remains unclear, transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United Kingdom may continue to take place without a need for additional safeguards as a result of the European Commission formally adopting its adequacy decision finding the United Kingdom to be adequate under the GDPR on June 28, 2021. Should the European Commission amend, suspend, or repeal its adequacy decision, we may need to put in place additional safeguards for transfers of personal data from the European Union to the United Kingdom, such as standard contractual clauses approved by the EU Commission.
Compliance with these and any other applicable privacy and data security laws and regulations is a rigorous and time-intensive process, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with the new data protection rules. If we fail to comply with any such laws or regulations, we may face significant fines and penalties that could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the laws are not consistent, and compliance in the event of a widespread data breach is costly. In addition, states are constantly adopting new laws or amending existing laws, requiring attention to frequently changing regulatory requirements. For example, California enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, or the CCPA, which took effect on January 1, 2020, became enforceable by the California Attorney General on July 1, 2020, and has been dubbed the first “GDPR-like” law in the United States. The CCPA gives California residents expanded rights to access and delete their personal information, opt out of certain personal information sharing and receive detailed information about how their personal information is used by requiring covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers (as that term is broadly defined) and provide such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales of personal information. 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. Further, California voters passed the California Privacy Rights Act, or the CPRA, on November 3, 2020. The CPRA will impose additional data protection obligations on companies doing business in California, including additional consumer rights processes, limitations on data uses, new audit requirements for higher risk data, and opt outs for certain uses of sensitive data. It also created a new California data protection agency authorized to issue substantive regulations and could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. The majority of the provisions will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and additional compliance investment and potential business process changes may be required. Although the CCPA currently exempts certain health-related information, including clinical trial data, the CCPA and the CPRA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Similar laws have been proposed in other states and at the federal level, and if passed, such laws may have potentially conflicting requirements that would make compliance challenging.
If we or any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage fail to comply with environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could seriously harm our business.
We and any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage are subject to numerous federal, state and local environmental, health, and safety laws, regulations, and permitting requirements, including those governing laboratory procedures; the generation, handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous and regulated materials and wastes; the emission and discharge of hazardous materials into the ground, air and water; and
employee health and safety. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste. We generally contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. Under certain environmental laws, we could be held responsible for costs relating to any contamination at our current or past facilities and at third-party facilities. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.
Compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations may be expensive, and current or future environmental laws and regulations may impair our research, product development and manufacturing efforts. In addition, we cannot entirely eliminate the risk of accidental injury or contamination from these materials or wastes. Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of hazardous materials, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. We do not carry specific biological or hazardous waste insurance coverage, and our property, casualty, and general liability insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for damages and fines arising from biological or hazardous waste exposure or contamination. Accordingly, 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, and our clinical trials or regulatory approvals could be suspended, which could seriously harm our business.
Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties
We intend to rely on third parties to conduct, supervise and monitor a significant portion of our research and preclinical testing and clinical trials for our product candidates, and if those third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with regulatory requirements or otherwise perform satisfactorily, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval or commercialize product candidates, or such approval or commercialization may be delayed, and our business may be substantially harmed.
We intend to engage CROs and other third parties to conduct our planned preclinical studies or clinical trials and to monitor and manage data. We expect to continue to rely on third parties, including clinical data management organizations, medical institutions and clinical investigators, to conduct those clinical trials. Any of these third parties may terminate their engagements with us, some in the event of an uncured material breach and some at any time for convenience. If any of our relationships with these third parties terminate, we may not be able to timely enter into arrangements with alternative third parties or to do so on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. Switching or adding CROs involves substantial cost and requires management time and focus. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new CRO commences work. As a result, delays occur, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines. Though we intend to carefully manage our relationships with our CROs, there can be no assurance that we will not encounter challenges or delays in the future or that these delays or challenges will not have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and prospects. Further, the performance of our CROs and other third parties conducting our trials may also be interrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including due to travel or quarantine policies, heightened exposure of CRO or clinical site or other vendor staff who are healthcare providers to COVID-19 or prioritization of resources toward the pandemic.
In addition, any third parties conducting our clinical trials will not be our employees, and except for remedies available to us under our agreements with such third parties, we cannot control whether or not they devote sufficient time and resources to our clinical programs. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols, regulatory requirements or for other reasons, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize our product candidates. Consequently, our results of operations and the commercial prospects for our product candidates would be harmed, our costs could increase substantially and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed significantly.
We rely on these parties for execution of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, and generally do not control their activities. 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. For example, we will remain responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. Moreover, the FDA requires us to comply with standards, commonly referred to as good clinical practices, or GCPs, for conducting, recording and reporting the results of clinical trials to assure that data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial participants are protected. If we or any of our CROs or other third parties, including trial sites, fail to comply with applicable GCPs, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA, EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure you that upon inspection by a given regulatory authority, such regulatory authority will determine that any of our clinical trials complies with GCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with product produced under cGMP conditions. Our failure to comply with these regulations may require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process.
We also are required to register certain ongoing clinical trials and post the results of certain completed clinical trials on a government-sponsored database, ClinicalTrials.gov, within specified timeframes. Failure to do so can result in fines, adverse publicity and civil and criminal sanctions.
In addition, 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. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA. The FDA may conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected interpretation of the trial. The FDA 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 result in a delay in approval, or rejection, of our marketing applications by the FDA and may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval for ITIL-168, ITIL-306 or any other product candidates.
We also expect to rely on other third parties to store and distribute product supplies for our clinical trials. Any performance failure on the part of our distributors could delay clinical development or marketing approval of our product candidates or commercialization of our products, producing additional losses and depriving us of potential revenue.
We may seek collaborations with third parties for the development or commercialization of our product candidates. If those collaborations are not successful, we may not be able to capitalize on the market potential of these product candidates.
We may seek third-party collaborators for the development and commercialization of our product candidates, including for the commercialization of any of our product candidates that are approved for marketing outside the United States. Our likely collaborators for any such arrangements include regional and national pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies. If we enter into any additional such arrangements with any third parties, we will likely have limited control over the amount and timing of resources that our collaborators dedicate to the development or commercialization of our product candidates. Our ability to generate revenue from these arrangements will depend on our collaborators’ abilities to successfully perform the functions assigned to them in these arrangements.
Collaborations involving our product candidates would pose the following risks to us:
• collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to these collaborations;
• collaborators may not perform their obligations as expected;
• collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of any product candidates that achieve regulatory approval or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on clinical trial results, changes in the collaborators’ strategic
focus or available funding, or external factors, such as an acquisition, that divert resources or create competing priorities;
• collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial program, stop a clinical trial or abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;
• collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidates if the collaborators believe that competitive products are more likely to be successfully developed or can be commercialized under terms that are more economically attractive than ours;
• we could grant exclusive rights to our collaborators that would prevent us from collaborating with others;
• product candidates discovered in collaboration with us may be viewed by our collaborators as competitive with their own product candidates or drugs, which may cause collaborators to cease to devote resources to the commercialization of our product candidates;
• a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more of our product candidates that achieve regulatory approval may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of such products;
• disagreements with collaborators, including disagreements over proprietary rights, contract interpretation or the preferred course of development, might cause delays or termination of the research, development or commercialization of product candidates, might lead to additional responsibilities for us with respect to product candidates, or might result in litigation or arbitration, any of which would be time-consuming and expensive;
• collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our or their intellectual property rights or may use our or their proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate such intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential litigation;
• collaborators may infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability; and
• collaborations may be terminated for the convenience of the collaborator and, if terminated, we could be required to raise additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product candidates.
Collaboration agreements may not lead to development or commercialization of product candidates in the most efficient manner or at all. If any future collaborator of ours were to be involved in a business combination, the continued pursuit and emphasis on our product development or commercialization program could be delayed, diminished or terminated.
We face significant competition in seeking appropriate collaborators. Whether we reach a definitive agreement for any collaboration will depend, among other things, upon our assessment of the collaborator’s resources and expertise, the terms and conditions of the proposed collaboration and the proposed collaborator’s evaluation of a number of factors. Those factors may include the design or results of clinical trials, the likelihood of approval by the FDA, EMA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States, the potential market for the subject product candidate, the costs and complexities of manufacturing and delivering such product candidate to patients, the potential of competing products, the existence of uncertainty with respect to our ownership of technology, which can exist if there is a challenge to such ownership without regard to the merits of the challenge and industry and market conditions generally. The collaborator may also consider alternative product candidates or technologies for similar
indications that may be available to collaborate on and whether such a collaboration could be more attractive than the one with us for our product candidate. Collaborations are complex and time-consuming to negotiate and document. In addition, there have been a significant number of recent business combinations among large pharmaceutical companies that have resulted in a reduced number of potential future collaborators.