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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


FORM 10-K

 

 

(Mark One)

 

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

or

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

 


Commission file number 0‑29889

RIGEL PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

94‑3248524
(IRS Employer
Identification No.)

1180 Veterans Blvd.
South San Francisco, California
(Address of principal executive offices)

94080
(Zip Code)

 

(650) 624‑1100

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

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

 

 

 

Title of each class:

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered:

Common Stock, par value $.001 per share

RIGL

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Large accelerated filer ☐

Accelerated filer ☒

Non-accelerated filer ☐

Smaller reporting company ☒

 

 

 

Emerging growth company ☐

 

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

 

 

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

The approximate aggregate market value of the Common Stock held by non‑affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing price of the registrant’s Common Stock as reported on the Nasdaq Stock Market on June 30, 2019, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was $437,415,634. Shares of the registrant’s outstanding Common Stock held by each executive officer, director and affiliates of the registrant’s outstanding Common Stock have been excluded. The determination of affiliate status for the purposes of this calculation is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

As of February 20, 2020, there were 168,569,525 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Items 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K incorporate information by reference from the definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A not later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

 

 

 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I 

 

 

Item 1. 

Business

3

Item 1A. 

Risk Factors

25

Item 1B. 

Unresolved Staff Comments

57

Item 2. 

Properties

58

Item 3. 

Legal Proceedings

58

Item 4. 

Mine Safety Disclosures

58

PART II 

 

 

Item 5. 

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

59

Item 6. 

Selected Financial Data

61

Item 7. 

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

62

Item 7A. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

74

Item 8. 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

75

Item 9. 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

107

Item 9A. 

Controls and Procedures

107

Item 9B. 

Other Information

109

PART III 

 

 

Item 10. 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

110

Item 11. 

Executive Compensation

110

Item 12. 

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

110

Item 13. 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

110

Item 14. 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

111

PART IV 

 

 

Item 15. 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

112

Item 16. 

Form 10-K Summary

114

 

Signatures

118

 

 

 

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FORWARD‑LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10‑K contains statements indicating expectations about future performance and other forward‑looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that involve risks and uncertainties. We usually use words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “might,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “intend” or the negative of these terms or similar expressions to identify these forward‑ looking statements. These statements appear throughout this Annual Report on Form 10‑K and are statements regarding our current intent, belief or expectation, primarily with respect to our operations and related industry developments. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the following: our business and scientific strategies; the progress of our product development programs, including clinical testing, and the timing of commencement and results thereof; our corporate collaborations, and revenues that may be received from collaborations and the timing of those potential payments; our drug discovery technologies; our research and development expenses; protection of our intellectual property; and sufficiency of our cash resources and need for additional capital. You should not place undue reliance on these forward‑looking statements. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward‑looking statements for many reasons, including as a result of the risks and uncertainties discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. A forward‑ looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and, except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward‑looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict which factors will arise. In addition, we cannot assess the impact of each factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward‑looking statements. 

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PART I

 

Item 1.  Business

 

Overview

 

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering, developing and providing novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematologic disorders, cancer and rare diseases. Our pioneering research focuses on signaling pathways that are critical to disease mechanisms. Our first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved product is TAVALISSE® (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate), the only oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, for the treatment of adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. The marketing authorization application (MAA) for fostamatinib has been approved by the European Commission (EC) in Europe for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments, and will be marketed in Europe under the name TAVLESSE® (fostamatinib). Our clinical programs include a Phase 3 study of fostamatinib in warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA); a recently completed Phase 1 study of R835, a proprietary molecule from our interleukin receptor associated kinase (IRAK 1/4) inhibitor program; and an ongoing Phase 1 study of R552, a proprietary molecule from our receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIP1) inhibitor program. In addition, we have product candidates in clinical development with partners BerGenBio ASA (BerGenBio), Daiichi Sankyo (Daiichi), Aclaris Therapeutics (Aclaris), and AstraZeneca AB (AZ).

 

Business Update

 

TAVALISSE in ITP

 

We launched our first commercial product, TAVALISSE, in the United States (U.S.) in May 2018 after receipt of FDA approval in April 2018 for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. We reported net product sales of $43.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. With our fully integrated commercial team consisting of sales, marketing, market access, and commercial operations, we continue to execute on our commercial strategy to access the U.S. ITP market, which is estimated to be over $1.1 billion annually as of 2019.

 

In January 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreement with Grifols, S.A. (Grifols) to commercialize fostamatinib in all indications, including chronic ITP, AIHA, and IgA nephropathy (IgAN), in Europe and Turkey. Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $30.0 million, with the potential for $297.5 million in total regulatory and commercial milestones, which included a $20.0 million payment received in the first quarter of 2020 upon approval from the EC of fostamatinib in chronic ITP. We are also entitled to receive stepped double-digit royalty payments based on tiered net sales, which may reach 30% of net sales. In December 2019, we entered into a Drug Product Purchase Agreement with Grifols wherein we agreed to supply and sell to Grifols at 30% mark up the drug product requested under an anticipated first and only purchase order until Grifols enters into a supply agreement directly with a third-party drug product manufacturer.

 

In January 2020, the EC granted our MAA in Europe for fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments. With EC approval, in February 2020 we received a payment of $20.0 million, which includes a $17.5 million payment for European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval of fostamatinib for the first indication and a $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment based on the terms of our collaboration agreement with Grifols. Based on Grifols’ public statements, we expect TAVLESSE® (fostamatinib), the branded name for fostamatinib in Europe, to launch in the second quarter of 2020. With this launch, we expect to start generating incremental revenue from sales of fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey in the form of royalty payments, after the full credit of the $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment. Europe is estimated to comprise approximately half of the ex-U.S. ITP market estimated to be over $800.0 million.

In October 2018, we entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Kissei) to develop and commercialize fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan

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and the Republic of Korea. Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $33.0 million with the potential for up to $147 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. We will also receive product transfer price payments in the mid to upper twenty percent range based on tiered net sales for the exclusive supply of fostamatinib to Kissei. In September 2019, Kissei, initiated a Phase 3 trial in Japan of fostamatinib in adult patients with chronic ITP. The efficacy and safety of orally administered fostamatinib will be assessed by comparing it with placebo in a randomized, double-blind study.

In October 2019, we entered into two exclusive license agreements with Medison Pharma Ltd. and Medison Pharma Trading AG (Medison) to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. Under the terms of the agreements, we received an upfront payment of $5.0 million with the potential for approximately $35.0 million in regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, we will receive royalty payments beginning at 30% of net sales. 

In December 2019, we presented data at the 61st American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition held in Orlando, Florida, which included the post-hoc data analysis we conducted from a Phase 3 clinical program of TAVALISSE in adult patients with ITP. In this analysis, 32 patients received fostamatinib as a second-line therapy, and 78% (25/32) achieved ≥1 platelet count of ≥50,000/µL (without rescue therapy).

Fostamatinib in AIHA

 

In March 2019, we initiated our Fostamatinib Research in Warm AIHA Disease (FORWARD), the pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of TAVALISSE in warm AIHA and the first patient was enrolled in May 2019. Enrollment of the trial accelerated as planned and as of February 2020, 34 patients have been enrolled. The trial remains on track to complete enrollment in mid-2020.

 

In November 2019, we provided an update to previously presented data from a Phase 2 open-label study of fostamatinib in patients with warm AIHA. These updated data showed that 44% (11/25) of evaluable patients met the primary efficacy endpoint of a Hgb level >10 g/dL with an increase of ≥2 g/dL from baseline by week 24. Including one late responder at week 30, the overall response rate was 48% (12/25). Treatment-related adverse events were manageable and consistent with those previously reported with fostamatinib.

 

Other Clinical Stage Programs

 

In October 2019, we announced results from a Phase 1 clinical trial of R835, our IRAK1/4 inhibitor. The Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers showed positive tolerability and pharmacokinetic (PK) data, as well as established proof-of-mechanism by demonstrating the inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production in response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. In addition, we announced that we initiated a Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers with our RIP1 inhibitor, R552. Initial data from our ongoing Phase 1 suggests R552 has an attractive PK and safety profile with a half-life of approximately 15 hours. In earlier preclinical studies, the molecule was shown to prevent joint and skin inflammation in a RIP1 kinase-mediated murine model.

 

Other Business Updates

In September 2019, we entered into a $60.0 million term loan credit facility with MidCap Financial (MidCap). At closing, $10.0 million was funded to us in an initial tranche. The credit facility also gives us the ability to access an additional $50.0 million, of which $40.0 million is subject to the achievement of certain customary conditions. We also received a $4.0 million development milestone payment from Aclaris for the achievement of a certain event in accordance with the license and collaboration agreement with Aclaris and earned a $1.5 million fee relative to the first amendment to such license and collaboration agreement in October 2019. 

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Changes in Management

In October 2019, we announced the appointment of Wolfgang Dummer, MD, PhD as our new executive vice president and chief medical officer to replace Anne-Marie Duliege who resigned effective in August 2019. Dr. Dummer has more than 20 years of clinical and drug development experience at world class institutions, as well as an extensive academic history.

 

In December 2019, Eldon C. Mayer, III resigned from his position as the Company’s Chief Commercial Officer.  Our senior commercial leadership team, all of whom have been with the Company since prior to the launch of TAVALISSE and have played significant roles in establishing the current commercial infrastructure, will report directly to Raul R. Rodriguez, our Chief Executive Officer, during this interim period. We have commenced a search for a new chief commercial officer focusing on an experienced leader with a track record of driving market share growth and managing a product in multiple indications.

 

Strategy

 

Our goal is to establish ourselves as a successful commercial stage biopharmaceutical company with significant research capabilities. We aim to expand our commercial business in the U.S. on our own and globally through partnerships, and continue our research and development of novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematological disorders, cancer and rare diseases through our innovative drug discovery platform. We continue to build and maintain a strong commercial team in the U.S. to enable us to execute successfully on our commercialization strategy for TAVALISSE in chronic ITP. We entered into partnerships for the expansion of fostamatinib into Europe, Asia, Turkey, Canada, and Israel, and will be concentrating on the further development of the utility of fostamatinib in other indications on our own or through our partners. We also aim to expand our development pipeline on our own and/or with partnerships with pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies to further develop and market our additional product candidates.

 

In particular, there are four key elements that we believe are value drivers, which we plan to continue to execute on:

 

·

growing sales of TAVALISSE in the estimated over $1.1 billion U.S. ITP market;

 

·

capturing value in the estimated over $800.0 million ex-U.S. ITP market through partnerships in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Israel as well as future collaborations in additional geographies; 

 

·

completing the Phase 3 pivotal trial of TAVALISSE in warm AIHA and potentially becoming the first FDA-approved product in this indication; and

 

·

further expanding our development pipeline on our own and/or with a collaboration partner which includes programs with a focus on the inhibition of signaling pathways critical to immune-mediated diseases and other disease areas.  

 

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Our Product Portfolio

 

The following table summarizes our portfolio:

 

Picture 4

 

Product in Commercial Launch

 

TAVALISSE in ITP

 

Disease background.  Chronic ITP affects an estimated 83,000 adult patients in the U.S. In patients with ITP, the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s own blood platelets, which play an active role in blood clotting and healing. ITP patients can suffer extraordinary bruising, bleeding and fatigue as a result of low platelet counts. Current therapies for ITP include steroids, blood platelet production boosters that imitate thrombopoietin (TPOs) and splenectomy.

 

Orally-available fostamatinib program.  Taken in tablet form, fostamatinib blocks the activation of SYK inside immune cells. ITP is typically characterized by the body producing antibodies that attach to healthy platelets in the blood stream. Immune cells recognize these antibodies and affix to them, which activates the SYK enzyme inside the immune cell, and triggers the destruction of the antibody and the attached platelet. When SYK is inhibited by fostamatinib, it interrupts this immune cell function and allows the platelets to escape destruction. The results of our Phase 2 clinical trial, in which fostamatinib was orally administered to 16 adults with chronic ITP, published in Blood, showed that fostamatinib significantly increased the platelet counts of certain ITP patients, including those who had failed other currently available agents.

 

Our Fostamatinib for Immune Thrombocytopenia (FIT) Phase 3 clinical program had a total of 150 ITP patients which were randomized into two identical multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials. The patients were diagnosed with persistent or chronic ITP, and had blood platelet counts consistently below 30,000 per microliter of blood. Two-thirds of the subjects received fostamatinib orally at 100 mg twice daily bid and the other third received placebo on the same schedule. Subjects were expected to remain on treatment for up to 24 weeks. At week four of treatment, subjects who failed to meet certain platelet counts and met certain tolerability thresholds could have their dosage of fostamatinib (or corresponding placebo) increased to 150 mg bid. The primary efficacy endpoint of this program was a stable platelet response by week 24 with platelet counts at or above 50,000 per microliter of blood for at least four of the final six qualifying blood draws. In August 2015, the FDA granted our request for Orphan Drug designation for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP. In February 2020, Kissei was granted orphan drug designation from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for R788 (fostamatinib) in chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

 

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In August 2016, we announced the results of the first FIT study, reporting that fostamatinib met the study’s primary efficacy endpoint. The study showed that 18% of patients receiving fostamatinib achieved a stable platelet response compared to none receiving a placebo control (p=0.0261). In October 2016, we announced the results of the second FIT study, reporting that the response rate was 18%, consistent with the first study.  However, one patient in the placebo group (4%) achieved a stable platelet response, therefore the difference between those on treatment and those on placebo did not reach statistical significance (p=0.152) and the study did not meet its primary endpoint. Using the most conservative sensitivity analysis, rather than the protocol’s prespecified analysis, one more patient in the second study is considered a non-responder, resulting in 8 of 50 (16%) responders on fostamatinib (p = 0.256 vs. placebo). When the data from both studies are combined, however, this difference is statistically significant (p=0.007).

 

Patients from the FIT studies were given the option to enroll in a long-term open-label extension study and receive treatment with fostamatinib, also a Phase 3 trial. A total of 123 patients enrolled in this study. All the patients who responded to fostamatinib in the FIT studies and enrolled in the long-term open-label extension study maintained a median platelet count of 106,500/uL at a median of 16 months. In addition, there were 44 placebo non-responders that enrolled in the long-term open-label extension study, 41 of which patients had at least 12 weeks of follow-up.  Of those, 9 patients (22%) have achieved a prospectively defined stable platelet response, which is statistically significant (p=0.0078) and similar to the response rate fostamatinib achieved in the parent studies.

 

A stable response was defined as a patient achieving platelet counts of greater than 50,000/uL on more than 4 of the 6 visits between weeks 14 and 24, without rescue medication. In the post-study analysis we performed, a clinically-relevant platelet response was defined to include patients achieving one platelet count over 50,000/uL during the first 12 weeks of treatment, in absence of rescue medication, but who did not otherwise meet the stable response criteria. Once the platelet count of greater than 50,000/uL is achieved, a loss of response was defined as two consecutive platelet counts of less than 30,000/uL in any subsequent visits. In the combined dataset of both stable and clinically-relevant platelet responders for the FIT studies, the response rate was 43% (43/101), compared to 14% (7/49) for placebo (p=0.0006).

 

The most frequent adverse events were gastrointestinal-related, and the safety profile of the product was consistent with prior clinical experience, with no new or unusual safety issues uncovered.

 

TAVALISSE was approved by the FDA in April 2018 for the treatment of ITP in adult patients who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment, and successfully launched in the U.S. in May 2018. In January 2020, the EC granted our MAA in Europe for fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments.

 

Commercial launch activities, including sales and marketing

 

A significant portion of our business operations  was related to our commercial launch activities for TAVALISSE. Specifically, our marketing and sales efforts are focused on targeting hematologists and hematologist-oncologists in the United States, who manage chronic adult ITP patients. 

 

We have a fully integrated commercial team consisting of sales, marketing, market access, and commercial operations functions. Our sales team promotes TAVALISSE in the U.S. wherein, in the ordinary course of the business, we use customary pharmaceutical company practices to market our products in the U.S. and concentrate our efforts on hematologists and hematologists-oncologists. TAVALISSE is sold initially through third-party wholesale distribution and specialty pharmacy channels and group purchasing organizations before being ultimately prescribed to patients. To facilitate our commercial activities in the U.S., we also enter into arrangements with various third-parties, including advertising agencies, market research firms and other sales-support-related services as needed. We believe that our commercial team and distribution practices are adequate to ensure that our marketing efforts reach our target customers and deliver our products to patients in a timely and compliant fashion. Also, to help ensure that all eligible patients in the U.S. have appropriate access to TAVALISSE, we have established a comprehensive reimbursement and patient support program called Rigel One Care (ROC). Through ROC, we provide co-pay assistance to qualified, commercially insured patients to help minimize out-of-pocket costs and provide free drug to uninsured or under-insured patients who meet certain clinical and financial criteria. In addition, ROC is designed to provide comprehensive reimbursement support

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services, such as prior authorization support, benefits investigation and appeals support.

 

Competitive landscape for TAVALISSE

 

Our industry is intensely competitive and subject to rapid and significant technological change. TAVALISSE is competing with other existing therapies. In addition, a number of companies are pursuing the development of pharmaceuticals that target the same diseases and conditions that we are targeting. For example, there are existing therapies and drug candidates in development for the treatment of ITP that may be alternative therapies to TAVALISSE.

 

Currently, corticosteroids remain the most common first line therapy for ITP, occasionally in conjunction with intravenous immuglobulin (IVIg) or anti-Rh(D) to help further augment platelet count recovery, particularly in emergency situations. However, it has been estimated that frontline agents lead to durable remissions in only a small percentage of newly-diagnosed adults with ITP. Moreover, concerns with steroid-related side effects often restrict therapy to approximately four weeks. As such, many patients progress to persistent or chronic ITP, requiring other forms of therapeutic intervention. In long-term treatment of chronic ITP, patients are often cycled through several therapies over time in order to maintain a sufficient response to the disease.

 

Other approaches to treat ITP are varied in their mechanism of action, and there is no consensus about the sequence of their use. Options include splenectomy, thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) and various immunosuppressants (such as rituximab). The response rate criteria of the above-mentioned options vary, precluding a comparison of response rates for individual therapies. According to the most recent ITP guideline from the ASH, there was a lack of evidence to support strong recommendations for various management approaches. In general, strategies that avoided medication side effects were favored. A large focus was placed on shared decision-making especially with regard to second-line therapy.

 

Even with the above treatment options, a significant number of patients remain severely thrombocytopenic for long durations and are subject to risk of spontaneous or trauma-induced hemorrhage. The addition of fostamatinib to the treatment options could be beneficial since it has a different mechanism of action than any of the therapies that are currently available. Fostamatinib is a potent and relatively selective SYK inhibitor, and its inhibition of Fc receptors and B-cell receptors of signaling pathways make it a potentially broad immunomodulatory agent. 

 

Other products in the U.S. that are approved by the FDA to increase platelet production through binding and TPO receptors on megakaryocyte precursors include PROMACTA® (Novartis), Nplate® (Amgen, Inc.) and DOPTELET® (Dova Pharmaceuticals).

 

Fostamatinib in Global Markets

 

Fostamatinib in Europe/Turkey

 

In January 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreement with Grifols to commercialize fostamatinib for the treatment, palliation, or prevention of human diseases, including chronic or persistent ITP, AIHA, and IgAN in Europe and Turkey. Pursuant to the terms of the license agreement, Grifols received exclusive rights to commercialize, and non-exclusive rights to develop, fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey. Grifols also received an exclusive option to expand the territory under its exclusive and non-exclusive licenses to include the Middle East, North Africa and Russia (including Commonwealth of Independent States).

 

We are responsible for performing and funding certain development activities for fostamatinib for ITP and AIHA in Europe and Turkey and Grifols is responsible for all other development activities for fostamatinib in such territory. We remain responsible for the manufacture and supply of fostamatinib for all development and commercialization activities under the agreement. In December 2019, we entered into a Drug Product Purchase Agreement with Grifols wherein we agreed to supply and sell to Grifols at 30% mark up the drug product requested under an anticipated first and only purchase order until Grifols enters into a supply agreement directly with a third-party drug product manufacturer.

 

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Under the terms of the agreement, we received an upfront cash payment of $30.0 million and will be eligible to receive regulatory and commercial milestones of up to $297.5 million, which included a $20 million payment received in the first quarter of 2020, comprised of a $17.5 million payment for EMA approval of fostamatinib for the first indication and a $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment due upon EMA approval of fostamatinib in the first indication. We will also receive tiered royalty payments ranging from the mid-teens to 30% of net sales of fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey. We retain the global rights to fostamatinib outside the Kissei, Grifols and Medison territories. 

In January 2020, we received approval of our MAA for fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments. With this approval, we received a $20 million payment as described above. During the regulatory review process, Grifols began preparing to launch the product in the major European markets and is now able to begin the regulatory processes for marketing in the individual countries.

 

Fostamatinib in Japan/Asia

 

In October 2018, we entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei to develop and commercialize fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. Kissei is a Japan-based pharmaceutical company addressing patients' unmet medical needs through its research, development and commercialization efforts, as well as through collaborations with partners.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, we received an upfront cash payment of $33.0 million, with the potential for an additional $147.0 million in development and commercial milestone payments, and will receive product transfer price payments in the mid to upper twenty percent range based on tiered net sales for the exclusive supply of fostamatinib. Kissei receives exclusive rights to fostamatinib in ITP and all future indications in Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea. Rigel retains the global rights to fostamatinib outside the Kissei, Grifols and Medison territories.  

 

In September 2019, our collaboration partner, Kissei, has initiated a Phase 3 trial in Japan of fostamatinib in adult patients with chronic ITP. The efficacy and safety of orally administered fostamatinib will be assessed by comparing it with placebo in a randomized, double-blind study. Japan has the third highest prevalence of chronic ITP in the world behind the U.S. and EU. 

 

Fostamatinib in Canada/Israel

 

In October 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreements with Medison to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. Under the terms of the agreements, we will receive an upfront payment of $5.0 million with the potential for approximately $35.0 million in regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, the company will receive royalty payments beginning at 30% of net sales. Under our agreement with Medison for the Canada territory, we have the option to buy back all rights to the product upon regulatory approval in Canada for the indication of AIHA. The buyback provision if exercised would require both parties to mutually agree on commercially reasonable terms for us to purchase back the rights, taking into account Medison’s investment and the value of the rights, among others.

 

Clinical Stage Programs

 

Fostamatinib—AIHA

 

Disease background. AIHA is a rare, serious blood disorder where the immune system produces antibodies that result in the destruction of the body's own red blood cells. Symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, jaundice or enlarged spleen. While no medical treatments are currently approved for AIHA, physicians generally treat acute and chronic cases of the disorder with corticosteroids, other immuno-suppressants, or splenectomy. Research has shown that inhibiting SYK with fostamatinib may reduce the destruction of red blood cells. This disorder affects an estimated 45,000 Americans, for whom no approved treatment options currently exist.

 

Orally available fostamatinib program. We completed our Phase 2 clinical trial, also known as the SOAR study in patients with warm AIHA. This trial was an open-label, multi-center, two-stage study that evaluated the efficacy and

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safety of fostamatinib in patients with warm AIHA who had previously received treatment for the disorder but have relapsed. The primary efficacy endpoint of this study was to achieve increased hemoglobin levels by week 12 of greater than 10 g/dL, and greater than or equal to 2 g/dL higher than baseline. In November 2019, we announced updated data that in a Phase 2 open-label study of fostamatinib in patients with warm AIHA, data showed that 44% (11/25) of evaluable patients met the primary efficacy endpoint of a Hgb level >10 g/dL with an increase of ≥2 g/dL from baseline by week 24. Including one late responder at week 30, the overall response rate was 48% (12/25). Adverse events were manageable and consistent with those previously reported with fostamatinib. 

 

In March 2019, we initiated our warm AIHA pivotal Phase 3 clinical study of fostamatinib, known as FORWARD study. The clinical trial protocol calls for a placebo-controlled study of approximately 80 patients with primary or secondary warm AIHA who have failed at least one prior treatment. The primary endpoint will be a durable Hgb response on at least 3 visits by week 24, defined as Hgb > 10 g/dL and > 2 g/dL increase from baseline and durability response, with the response not being attributed to rescue therapy.

 

In May 2019, we enrolled the first patient in the FORWARD study.  Enrollment of the trial accelerated as planned and as of February 2020, 34 patients have been enrolled. The trial remains on track to complete enrollment in mid-2020.

 

In January 2018, the FDA granted our request for Orphan Drug designation for fostamatinib for the treatment of AIHA.

 

R835, an Oral IRAK1/4 Inhibitor for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

 

Orally Available IRAK 1/4 Inhibitor Program. During the second quarter of 2018, we selected R835, a proprietary molecule from our IRAK 1/4 preclinical development program, for human clinical trials. This investigational candidate was an orally administered, potent and selective inhibitor of IRAK1 and IRAK4 that blocks inflammatory cytokine production in response to toll-like receptor (TLR) and the interleukin-1 (IL-1R) family receptor signaling. TLRs and IL-1Rs play a critical role in the innate immune response and dysregulation of these pathways can lead to a variety of inflammatory conditions including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and gout (among others). R835 prevents cytokine release in response to TLR and IL-1R activation in vitro. R835 is active in multiple rodent models of inflammatory disease including psoriasis, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and gout. Preclinical studies show that R835 inhibits both the IRAK1 and IRAK4 signaling pathways, which play a key role in inflammation and immune responses to tissue damage. Dual inhibition of IRAK1 and IRAK4 allows for more complete suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine release.

 

In October 2019, we announced results from a Phase 1 clinical trial of R835 in healthy subjects to assess safety, tolerability, PK and pharmacodynamics. The Phase 1 study was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial in 91 healthy subjects, ages 18 to 55. The Phase 1 trial showed positive tolerability and PK data as well as established proof-of-mechanism by demonstrating the inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production in response to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge.

 

R552, a RIP1 Inhibitor for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

 

Orally Available RIP1 Inhibitor Program. R552, is a potent and selective inhibitor of RIP1. RIP1 is believed to play a critical role in induction of necroptosis. Necroptosis is a form of regulated cell death where the rupturing of cells leads to the dispersion of their inner contents, which activates immune responses and enhances inflammation.

 

Initial data from our ongoing Phase 1 in healthy volunteers suggests that R552 has an attractive PK and safety profile with a half-life of approximately 15 hours. In preclinical studies, R552 prevented joint and skin inflammation in a RIP1-mediated murine model of inflammation and tissue damage.

 

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Partnered Clinical Programs

 

R548 (ATI-501 and ATI-502) - Aclaris

 

Aclaris  is developing ATI-501 and ATI-502, an oral and topical janus kinase (JAK) 1/3 inhibitor discovered in Rigel’s laboratories. ATI- 501 is being developed as an oral treatment for patients with alopecia areata (AA), including the more severe forms of AA that result in total scalp hair loss, known as alopecia totalis (AT), and total hair loss on the scalp and body, known as alopecia universalis (AU).

 

In December 2018, Aclaris also reported on the enrollment and/or results for a number of Phase 2 studies with ATI-502 for the topical treatment of AA and Vitiligo, including results from its AUATB-201 study.

 

In June 2019, Aclaris reported positive results from its Phase 2 clinical trial of ATI-502 topical (AGA-201) in patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), a condition commonly known as male/female-pattern baldness. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events. Later in June 2019, Aclaris reported that its Phase 2 clinical trial of ATI-502 topical (AA-201) in patients with AA did not meet its endpoints. ATI-502 was observed to be generally well-tolerated. Adverse events were primarily mild or moderate in severity. No treatment-related serious adverse events were reported.

 

In July 2019, Aclaris announced that ATI-501 achieved statistically significant improvement over placebo in several measures of hair growth, including the primary endpoint and certain secondary endpoints of this trial. ATI-501 was observed to be generally well-tolerated at all doses.  There were no serious adverse events reported. All adverse events  (AEs) were mild or moderate in severity and rates of AEs were similar across all groups. No thromboembolic events were observed in the trial.

 

Aclaris is currently seeking a development and commercialization partner for ATI-501 and ATI-502 as potential treatments for alopecia. 

 

BGB324 - BerGenBio

 

BerGenBio is conducting Phase 1/2 studies with BGB324 (bemcentinib), a first-in-class selective AXL kinase inhibitor, as a single agent in relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS); and in combination with erlotinib (Tarceva®) in advanced (EGFR-positive) non-small-cell lung carcinoma. BerGenBio is also conducting Phase 2 studies with BGB324 in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in non-small cell adenocarcinoma of the lung and triple negative breast cancer in collaboration with another company.

 

In November 2019, BerGenBio showed that the primary endpoint of Overall Response Rate (ORR) had been met in Cohort A of its Phase II clinical trial evaluating bemcentinib in combination with KEYTRUDA as a potential new treatment regimen for previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The primary efficacy endpoint requires that at least 25% evaluable patients achieve a clinical response when treated with the novel drug combination, defined as either complete or partial response, as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). A secondary endpoint of median Progression Free Survival (mPFS) reported significant 3-fold improvement in AXL positive vs negative patients, as defined by BerGenBio’s composite AXL tumor-immune score.

 

In December 2019, BerGenBio reported results in combination with low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) in elderly AML patients. The bemcentinib-LDAC combination was safe and well tolerated in elderly AML patients. The overall response rate and duration surpass historical benchmarks and compare favorably to other LDAC combinations. 

 

DS-3032 - Daiichi

 

DS-3032 is an investigational oral selective inhibitor of the murine double minute 2 (MDM2) protein currently being investigated by Daiichi in three Phase 1 clinical trials for solid and hematological malignancies including AML, acute lymphocytic leukemia,  chronic myeloid leukemia in blast phase, lymphoma and MDS.

 

Preliminary safety and efficacy data from a Phase 1 study of DS-3032 suggests that DS-3032 may be a

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promising treatment for hematological malignancies including relapsed/refractory AML and high-risk MDS. Evaluation of additional dosing schedules of DS-3032 is underway and combination studies with fostamatinib are currently being conducted by Daiichi.

 

AZ-D0449 – AZ

 

AZ is currently conducting a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers and patients with mild asthma to investigate the safety, anti-inflammatory effect of inhaled AZ-D0449. The study, which follows the single and multiple ascending doses, is currently recruiting patients.

 

Research/Preclinical Programs

 

We are conducting proprietary research in the broad disease areas of inflammation/immunology, immuno-oncology and cancers. Within these disease areas, our researchers are investigating mechanisms of action as well as screening compounds against potential novel targets and optimizing those leads that appear to have the greatest potential.

 

Commercialization and Sponsored Research and License Agreements

 

We conduct research and development programs independently and in connection with our corporate collaborators. We are a party to collaboration agreements with ongoing performance obligations, with Kissei for the development and commercialization of fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea, with Grifols to commercialize fostamatinib in all indications, including chronic ITP, AIHA, and IgAN, in Europe and Turkey and with Medison to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. We are also a party to collaboration agreements, but do not have ongoing performance obligations with Aclaris for the development and commercialization of JAK inhibitors for the treatment of alopecia areata and other dermatological conditions, AZ for the development and commercialization of R256, an inhaled JAK inhibitor, BerGenBio for the development and commercialization of AXL inhibitors in oncology, and Daiichi to pursue research related to MDM2 inhibitors, a novel class of drug targets called ligases.

 

Under these agreements, which we entered into in the ordinary course of business, we received or may be entitled to receive upfront cash payments, payments contingent upon specified events achieved by such partners and royalties on any net sales of products sold by such partners under the agreements. Total future contingent payments to us under all of these agreements could exceed $631.7 million if all potential product candidates achieved all of the payment triggering events under all of our current agreements (based on a single product candidate under each agreement). Of this amount, up to $90.5 million relates to the achievement of development events, up to $165.2 million relates to the achievement of regulatory events and up to $376.0 million relates to the achievement of certain commercial or launch events. This estimated future contingent amount does not include any estimated royalties that could be due to us if the partners successfully commercialize any of the licensed products. Future events that may trigger payments to us under the agreements are based solely on our partners’ future efforts and achievements of specified development, regulatory and/or commercial events.

 

License and Supply Agreement with Kissei

 

In October 2018, we entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei to develop and commercialize fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. Kissei is responsible for performing and funding all development activities for fostamatinib in the above-mentioned territories. We received an upfront cash payment of $33.0 million with the potential for up to an additional $147.0 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, and will receive mid to upper twenty percent, tiered, escalated net sales-based payments for the supply of fostamatinib. Under the agreement, we are obligated to grant Kissei the license rights on fostamatinib on the territories above, as well as supply Kissei with drug product for use in clinical trials and pre-commercialization activities.  We remain responsible for the manufacture and supply of fostamatinib for all development and commercialization activities under the agreement. 

 

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License Agreement with Grifols

 

In January 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreement with Grifols to commercialize fostamatinib in all indications, including chronic ITP, AIHA, and IgAN, in Europe and Turkey. Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $30.0 million, with the potential for $297.5 million in total regulatory and commercial milestones, which included a $17.5 million payment for EMA approval of fostamatinib for the first indication and a $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment due upon EMA approval of fostamatinib in the first indication in chronic ITP. We will also receive stepped double-digit royalty payments based on tiered net sales which may reach 30% of net sales. In return, Grifols will receive exclusive rights to fostamatinib in human diseases, including chronic ITP, AIHA, and IgAN, in Europe and Turkey. The agreement also requires us to continue to conduct our long term open-label extension study on patients with ITP through EMA approval of ITP in Europe or until the study ends as well as conduct the Phase 3 trial in AIHA. In December 2019, we entered into a Drug Product Purchase Agreement with Grifols wherein we agreed to supply and sell to Grifols at 30% mark up the drug product requested under an anticipated first and only purchase order until Grifols enters into a supply agreement directly with a third-party drug product manufacturer. In January 2020, we received approval of our MAA for fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments.

 

Other license agreements

 

In October 2019, we entered into two exclusive commercialization license agreements with Medison to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. Under the terms of the agreements, we received an upfront payment of $5.0 million with the potential for approximately $35.0 million in regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, the Company will receive royalty payments beginning at 30% of net sales. Under our agreement with Medison for the Canada territory, we have the option to buy back all rights to the product upon regulatory approval in Canada for the indication of AIHA. The buyback provision if exercised would require both parties to mutually agree on commercially reasonable terms for us to purchase back the rights, taking into account Medison’s investment and the value of the rights, among others. The buyback provision precludes us from recognizing revenue from the upfront payment until such option lapses unexercised. We have recorded the upfront payment as a financing liability included as “other long-term liabilities” in our balance sheet.

   

In September 2019, we received a $4.0 million development milestone payment from Aclaris for the achievement of a certain event in accordance with the Aclaris License and Collaboration Agreement dated August 27, 2015. In October 2019, we also earned $1.5 million fee relative to the first amendment to the license and collaboration agreement with Aclaris. In October 2019, we received $3.8 million in a commercial launch milestone payment from Impact Biomedicines, Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Celgene. All deliverables under the above agreements had been previously delivered, as such, the above payments were recognized as revenue during the year ended December 31, 2019. 

 

Our Discovery Engine

The approaches that we use in connection with both our proprietary product development programs and our corporate collaborations are designed to identify protein targets for compound screening and validate the role of those targets in the disease process. Unlike genomics‑based approaches, which begin by identifying genes and then searching for their functions, our approach identifies proteins that are demonstrated to have an important role in a specific disease pathway. By understanding the disease pathway, we attempt to avoid studying genes that will not make good drug targets and focus only on the subset of expressed proteins of genes that we believe are specifically implicated in the disease process.

We begin by developing assays that model the key events in a disease process at the cellular level. We then identify potential protein targets. In addition, we identify the proteins involved in the intracellular process and prepare a map of their interactions, thus giving us a comprehensive picture of the intracellular disease pathway. We believe that our approach has a number of advantages, including:

·

improved target identification:  it focuses only on the subset of expressed proteins of genes believed to be

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specifically implicated in the disease process;

·

rapid validation of protein targets:  it produces validated protein targets quickly because it uses key events in the disease process as the basis to design the functional, disease‑based screen;

·

improved disease pathway mapping:  it produces a comprehensive map of the intracellular disease pathway, enabling the identification of a large number of potential protein targets;

·

informed target selection:  it provides a variety of different types of targets and information concerning the role each plays in their endogenous state to better select targets more susceptible to pharmaceutical intervention;

·

efficient compound screening:  it increases the probability and speed with which compound screening will identify “hits” because it provides detailed knowledge of the target that can be used to guide the design of the compound screen; and

·

risk reduction:  it may reduce the risk of failure in the product development process due to serious side effects, including toxicity or other reasons, by selecting only targets that are specific to the disease in question and that have no apparent role in other cell types or signaling pathways.

Because of the very large numbers of screens employed, our technology is labor intensive. The complexity of our technology requires a high degree of skill and diligence to perform successfully. We believe we have been and will continue to be able to meet these challenges successfully and increase our ability to identify targets for drug discovery.

Pharmacology and Preclinical Development

We believe that the rapid characterization and optimization of compounds identified in high‑throughput screening (HTS) will generate high quality preclinical development candidates. Our pharmacology and preclinical development group facilitates lead optimization by characterizing lead compounds with respect to PK, potency, efficacy and selectivity. The generation of proof‑of‑principle data in animals and the establishment of standard pharmacological models with which to assess lead compounds represent integral components of lead optimization. As programs move through the lead optimization stage, our pharmacology and preclinical development groups support our chemists and biologists by performing the necessary studies, including toxicology, for IND application submissions.

 

Clinical Development

 

We have assembled a team of experts in drug development to design and implement clinical trials and to analyze the data derived from these trials. The clinical development group possesses expertise in project management and regulatory affairs. We work with external clinical research organizations with expertise in managing clinical trials, drug formulation, and the manufacture of clinical trial supplies to support our drug development efforts.

Intellectual Property

 

We are able to protect our technology from unauthorized use by third parties only to the extent that it is covered by valid and enforceable patents or is effectively maintained as a trade secret. Accordingly, patents and other proprietary rights are an essential element of our business. As of December 31, 2019, we had 48 pending patent applications and 356 issued and active patents in the United States, as well as corresponding pending foreign patent applications and issued foreign patents. Our policy is to file patent applications to protect technology, inventions and improvements to inventions that are commercially important to the development of our business. We seek U.S. and international patent protection for a variety of technologies, including new screening methodologies and other research tools, target molecules that are associated with disease states identified in our screens, and lead compounds that can affect disease pathways. We also intend to seek patent protection or rely upon trade secret rights to protect other technologies that may be used to discover and validate targets and that may be used to identify and develop novel drugs. We seek protection, in part, through confidentiality and proprietary information agreements. We are a party to various license agreements that

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give us rights to use technologies in our research and development

 

We currently hold a number of issued patents in the United States, as well as corresponding applications that allow us to pursue patents in other countries, some of which have been allowed and/or granted and others of which we expect to be granted. Specifically, in most cases where we hold a U.S. issued patent, the subject matter is covered at least by an application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which is then used or has been used to pursue protection in certain countries that are members of the treaty.  Our patents extend for varying periods according to the date of patent filing or grant and the legal term of patents in the various countries where patent protection is obtained. Some of these patents may be eligible for patent term extensions, depending on their subject matter and length of time required to conduct clinical trials. Our material patents relate to fostamatinib, an oral SYK inhibitor, that is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in TAVALISSE, and R406, the active metabolite of fostamatinib.  These patents will expire in 2023, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2031, 2032 and 2034. 

 

Fostamatinib.  Fostamatinib is covered as a composition of matter in a U.S. issued patent that has an expected expiration date of September 2031, after taking into account a patent term adjustment and extension rules. Fostamatinib is also covered under broader composition of matter claims in a U.S. issued patent that has an expiration date in March 2026, after taking into account a patent term adjustment.  Additional patents covering fostamatinib composition of matter, methods for use, formulations, methods for making and intermediates expire in 2023, 2026, 2028, 2030, 2032 and 2034.  Corresponding applications have been filed in foreign jurisdictions under the PCT, and are at various stages of prosecution. Of note, a patent covering fostamatinib as a composition of matter and in compositions for use treating various diseases has been granted by the European Patent Office.

 

R406.  R406 is covered as a composition of matter in a U.S. issued patent and, with a patent term adjustment, has an expiration date in February 2025. R406 is also covered under two broader composition of matter patents issued in the U.S. expiring in February 2023 and July 2024. Methods of using R406 to treat various indications and compositions of matter covering certain intermediates used to make R406 are also covered under patents described above. Corresponding applications have been filed in foreign jurisdictions under the PCT and are at various stages of prosecution.

 

Competition

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are intensely competitive and subject to rapid and significant technological change. Many of the drugs that we are attempting to discover will be competing with existing therapies. In addition, a number of companies are pursuing the development of pharmaceuticals that target the same diseases and conditions that we are targeting.

 

There are existing therapies and drug candidates in development for the treatment of ITP that may be alternative therapies to TAVALISSE. Currently, corticosteroids remain the most common first line therapy for ITP, occasionally in conjunction with intravenous immuglobulin (IVIg) or anti-Rh(D) as added agents to help further augment platelet count recovery, particularly in emergency situations. However, it has been estimated that frontline agents lead to durable remissions in only a small percentage of newly-diagnosed adults with ITP. Moreover, concerns with steroid-related side effects often restrict therapy to approximately four weeks. As such, many patients progress to persistent or chronic ITP, requiring other forms of therapeutic intervention.

 

The FDA can approve an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic version of a branded drug without the ANDA applicant undertaking the clinical testing necessary to obtain approval to market a new drug. In September 2019, the FDA published product-specific bioequivalence guidance on fostamatinib disodium to let potential ANDA applicants understand the data the FDA would expect to see for approval of a generic version of TAVALISSE. The ANDA process can result in generic competition if the patents at issue are not upheld or if the generic competitor is found not to infringe our patents. In September 2019, the FDA published product-specific bioequivalence guidance on fostamatinib disodium to let potential ANDA applicants understand the data FDA would expect to see for approval of a generic version of TAVALISSE. 

 

Other approaches to treat ITP are varied in their mechanism of action, and there is no consensus about the

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sequence of their use. Options include splenectomy, thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TPO-RAs) and various immunosuppressants (such as rituximab). The response rate criteria of the above-mentioned options vary, precluding a comparison of response rates for individual therapies. According to the most recent ITP guideline from the ASH, there was a lack of evidence to support strong recommendations for various management approaches. In general, strategies that avoided medication side effects were favored. A large focus was placed on  shared decision-making especially with regard to second-line therapy.

 

Even with the above treatment options, a significant number of patients remain severely thrombocytopenic for long durations and are subject to risk of spontaneous or trauma-induced hemorrhage. The addition of fostamatinib to the treatment options could be beneficial since it has a different mechanism of action than the TPO agonists. Fostamatinib is a potent and relatively selective SYK inhibitor, and its inhibition of Fc receptors and B-cell receptors signaling pathways make it a potentially broad immunomodulatory agent. 

 

Other products in the U.S. that are approved by the FDA to increase platelet production through binding and TPO receptors on megakaryocyte precursors include PROMACTA® (Novartis), Nplate® (Amgen, Inc.) and DOPTELET® (Dova Pharmaceuticals).

 

We face, and will continue to face, intense competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as from academic and research institutions and government agencies, both in the United States and abroad. Some of these competitors are pursuing the development of pharmaceuticals that target the same diseases and conditions as our research programs. Our major competitors include fully integrated pharmaceutical companies that have extensive drug discovery efforts and are developing novel small molecule pharmaceuticals. We also face significant competition from organizations that are pursuing the same or similar technologies, including the discovery of targets that are useful in compound screening, as the technologies used by us in our drug discovery efforts.

Competition may also arise from:

·

new or better methods of target identification or validation;

·

other drug development technologies and methods of preventing or reducing the incidence of disease;

·

new small molecules; or

·

other classes of therapeutic agents.

Our competitors or their collaborative partners may utilize discovery technologies and techniques or partner with collaborators in order to develop products more rapidly or successfully than we or our collaborators are able to do. Many of our competitors, particularly large pharmaceutical companies, have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources and larger research and development staffs than we do. In addition, academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private organizations conducting research may seek patent protection with respect to potentially competitive products or technologies and may establish exclusive collaborative or licensing relationships with our competitors.

We believe that our ability to compete is dependent, in part, upon our ability to create, maintain and license scientifically advanced technology and upon our and our collaborators’ ability to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products based on this technology, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, obtain patent protection or otherwise develop proprietary technology or processes and secure sufficient capital resources for the expected substantial time period between technological conception and commercial sales of products based upon our technology. The failure by any of our collaborators or us, including our commercial team, in any of those areas may prevent the successful commercialization of our potential drug targets.

Many of our competitors, either alone or together with their collaborative partners, have significantly greater experience than we do in:

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·

identifying and validating targets;

·

screening compounds against targets; and

·

undertaking preclinical testing and clinical trials.

Accordingly, our competitors may succeed in obtaining patent protection, identifying or validating new targets or discovering new drug compounds before we do.

Our competitors might develop technologies and drugs that are more effective or less costly than any that are being developed by us or that would render our technology and product candidates obsolete and noncompetitive. In addition, our competitors may succeed in obtaining the approval of the FDA or other regulatory agencies for product candidates more rapidly. Companies that complete clinical trials, obtain required regulatory agency approvals and commence commercial sale of their drugs before us may achieve a significant competitive advantage, including certain patent and FDA marketing exclusivity rights that would delay or prevent our ability to market certain products. Any drugs resulting from our research and development efforts, or from our joint efforts with our existing or future collaborative partners, might not be able to compete successfully with competitors’ existing or future products or obtain regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere.

We face and will continue to face intense competition from other companies for commercial and collaborative arrangements with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, for establishing relationships with academic and research institutions and for licenses to additional technologies. These competitors, either alone or with their collaborative partners, may succeed in developing technologies or products that are more effective than ours.

Our ability to compete successfully will depend, in part, on our ability to:

·

identify and validate targets;

·

discover candidate drug compounds that interact with the targets we identify;

·

attract and retain scientific and product development personnel;

·

obtain patent or other proprietary protection for our new drug compounds and technologies; and

·

enter commercialization agreements for our new drug compounds.

Government Regulation

Government authorities in the United States, at the federal, state and local level, and in other countries and jurisdictions, extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, packaging, storage, recordkeeping, labeling, advertising, promotion, distribution, marketing, sales, post-approval monitoring and reporting, and import and export of pharmaceutical products. The processes for obtaining regulatory approvals in the United States and in foreign countries and jurisdictions, along with subsequent compliance with applicable statutes and regulations, require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

Review and Approval of Drugs in the United States

In the United States, the FDA approves and regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and implementing regulations. The failure to comply with requirements under the FDCA and other applicable laws at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval may subject an applicant and/or sponsor to a variety of administrative or judicial sanctions, including refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, imposition of a clinical hold, issuance of warning letters and other types of letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement of profits, or civil or criminal investigations and penalties.

A drug product candidate must be approved by the FDA through the new drug application  (NDA). An applicant

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seeking approval to market and distribute a new drug product in the United States must typically undertake the following:

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completion of preclinical laboratory tests, animal studies and formulation studies in compliance with the FDA’s good laboratory practice  (GLP) regulations;

·

submission to the FDA of an Investigational New Drug (IND), which must take effect before human clinical trials may begin;

·

approval by an independent institutional review board (IRB) for each clinical site before each clinical trial may be initiated;

·

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with good clinical practices  (GCP) to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug product for each indication;

·

preparation and submission to the FDA of an NDA requesting marketing for one or more proposed indications;

·

review by an FDA advisory committee, if requested by the FDA;

·

satisfactory completion of one or more FDA inspections of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the product, or components thereof, are produced to assess compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices  (cGMP), requirements and to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity;

·

satisfactory completion of FDA audits of clinical trial sites to assure compliance with GCPs and the integrity of the clinical data;

·

payment of user fees and securing FDA approval of the NDA; and

·

compliance with any post-approval requirements, including the potential requirement to implement a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, and potentially post-market requirement, or PMR, and commitment, or PMC, studies. 

Before an applicant begins testing a compound with potential therapeutic value in humans, the drug candidate enters the preclinical testing stage. Preclinical studies include laboratory evaluation as well as in vitro and animal studies to assess the safety and activity of the drug for initial testing in humans and to establish a rationale for therapeutic use. The results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and plans for clinical studies, among other things, are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. Some long-term preclinical testing, such as animal tests of reproductive adverse events and carcinogenicity, and long term toxicity studies, may continue after the IND is submitted.

In support of the IND, applicants must submit a protocol for each clinical trial and any subsequent protocol amendments. In addition, the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature, among other things, are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. The FDA requires a 30-day waiting period after the submission of each IND before clinical trials may begin. At any time during this 30-day period, or thereafter, the FDA may raise concerns or questions about the conduct of the trials as outlined in the IND and impose a clinical hold or partial clinical hold. In this case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before clinical trials can begin or resume. An IRB representing each institution participating in the clinical trial must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial before it commences at that institution, and the IRB must conduct continuing review and reapprove the study at least annually. An IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational product to human subjects under the supervision of qualified investigators in accordance with GCP requirements, which include, among other things, the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent in writing before their participation in any clinical trial. Human clinical trials are typically conducted in sequential phases, which may overlap or be combined:

 

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·

Phase 1. The drug is initially introduced into a small number of healthy human subjects or, in certain indications such as cancer, patients with the target disease or condition and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution, excretion and, if possible, to gain an early indication of its effectiveness and to determine optimal dosage.

·

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

·

Phase 3. These clinical trials are commonly referred to as “pivotal” studies, which denote a study that presents the data that the FDA or other relevant regulatory agency will use to determine whether or not to approve a drug. The drug is administered to an expanded patient population, generally at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites, in well-controlled clinical trials to generate enough data to statistically evaluate the efficacy and safety of the product for approval, identify adverse effects, establish the overall risk-benefit profile of the product and to provide adequate information for the labeling of the product.

·

Phase 4. Post-approval studies may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These studies are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication.

The FDA or the sponsor or the data monitoring committee may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk.

Review of an NDA by the FDA

If clinical trials are successful, the next step in the drug development process is the preparation and submission to the FDA of a NDA. The NDA is the vehicle through which drug applicants formally propose that the FDA approve a new drug for marketing and sale in the United States for one or more indications. The NDA must contain a description of the manufacturing process and quality control methods, as well as results of preclinical tests, toxicology studies, clinical trials and proposed labeling, among other things. The submission of most NDAs is subject to an application user fee and the sponsor of an approved NDA is also subject to annual product and establishment user fees. These fees are typically increased annually.

Following submission of an NDA, the FDA conducts a preliminary review of an NDA to determine whether the application is sufficiently complete to permit substantive review. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth substantive review. The FDA has agreed to goals to review and act within ten months from filing for standard review NDAs and within six months for NDAs that have been designated for “priority review”.

Before approving an NDA, the FDA typically will inspect the facility or facilities where the product is or will be manufactured. The FDA will not approve an application unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA, the FDA will typically inspect one or more clinical sites to assure compliance with GCP. In addition, as a condition of approval, the FDA may require an applicant to develop a REMS. REMS use risk minimization strategies beyond the professional labeling to ensure that the benefits of the product outweigh the potential risks. To determine whether a REMS is needed, the FDA will consider the size of the population likely to use the product, seriousness of the disease, expected benefit of the product, expected duration of treatment, seriousness of known or potential adverse events, and whether the product is a new molecular entity.

The FDA is required to refer an application for a novel drug to an advisory committee or explain why such referral was not made. Typically, an advisory committee is a panel of independent experts, including clinicians and other scientific experts, that reviews, evaluates and provides a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.

On the basis of the FDA’s evaluation of the NDA and accompanying information, including the results of the inspection of the manufacturing facilities, the FDA may issue an approval letter or a complete response letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the product with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A complete response letter generally outlines the deficiencies in the submission and may require substantial additional testing or information in order for the FDA to reconsider the application. If and when those deficiencies have

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been addressed to the FDA’s satisfaction in a resubmission of the NDA, the FDA will issue an approval letter.

If the FDA approves a product, it may limit the approved indications for use for the product, require that contraindications, warnings or precautions be included in the product labeling, require that post-approval studies, including Phase 4 clinical trials, be conducted to further assess the drug’s safety after approval, require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the product after commercialization, or impose other conditions, including distribution restrictions or other risk management mechanisms, including REMS, which can materially affect the potential market and profitability of the product. The FDA may prevent or limit further marketing of a product based on the results of post-market studies or surveillance programs. After approval, many types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications, manufacturing changes and additional labeling claims, are subject to further testing requirements and FDA review and approval.

Post-Approval Requirements

Drugs manufactured or distributed pursuant to FDA approvals are subject to pervasive and continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, requirements relating to recordkeeping, periodic reporting, product sampling and distribution, advertising and promotion and reporting of adverse experiences with the product. After approval, most changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications or other labeling claims, are subject to prior FDA review and approval. In addition, drug manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs are required to register their establishments with the FDA and state agencies, and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and these state agencies for compliance with cGMP requirements. Changes to the manufacturing process are strictly regulated and often require prior FDA approval before being implemented. FDA regulations also require investigation and correction of any deviations from cGMP and impose reporting and documentation requirements upon the sponsor and any third-party manufacturers that the sponsor may decide to use. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance.

Once an approval is granted, the FDA may withdraw the approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical trials to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution or other restrictions under a REMS program.

The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company that is found to have improperly promoted off-label uses may be subject to significant liability. However, physicians may, in their independent medical judgment, prescribe legally available products for off-label uses. The FDA does not regulate the behavior of physicians in their choice of treatments but the FDA does restrict manufacturer’s communications on the subject of off-label use of their products. 

In addition, the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical products is subject to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act, or PDMA, and its implementing regulations, as well as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, or DSCA, which regulate the distribution and tracing of prescription drugs and prescription drug samples at the federal level, and set minimum standards for the regulation of drug distributors by the states. The PDMA, its implementing regulations and state laws limit the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical product samples, and the DSCA imposes requirements to ensure accountability in distribution and to identify and remove counterfeit and other illegitimate products from the market.

Orphan Drug Designation and Exclusivity

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may designate a drug product as an “orphan drug” if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, generally meaning that it affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or more in cases in which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making a drug product available in the United States for treatment of the disease or condition will be recovered from sales of the product. A company must

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request orphan drug designation before submitting an NDA for the drug and rare disease or condition. Orphan drug designation does not shorten the goal dates for the regulatory review and approval process, although it does convey certain advantages such as tax benefits and exemption from the application fee.

If a product with orphan designation receives the first FDA approval for the disease or condition for which it has such designation, the product generally will receive orphan drug exclusivity. Orphan drug exclusivity means that the FDA may not approve another sponsor’s marketing application for the same drug for the same indication for seven years, except in certain limited circumstances. Orphan exclusivity does not block the approval of a different drug for the same rare disease or condition, nor does it block the approval of the same drug for different indications. If a drug designated as an orphan drug ultimately receives marketing approval for an indication broader than what was designated in its orphan drug application, it may not be entitled to exclusivity. Orphan exclusivity will not bar approval of another product under certain circumstances, including if a subsequent product with the same drug for the same indication is shown to be clinically superior to the approved product on the basis of greater efficacy or safety, or providing a major contribution to patient care, or if the company with orphan drug exclusivity is not able to meet market demand.

Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing and Reimbursement

In the United States and markets in other countries, patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Third-party payors include federal and state government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, commercial health insurers, managed care organizations, and other organizations. Significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of products approved by the FDA and other government authorities. For example, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed federal legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, reduce the cost of drugs under Medicare, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. Further, Congress and the Trump administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. Thus, even if a product candidate is approved, sales of the product will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors provide coverage and establish adequate reimbursement levels for the product. It is likely that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services, which could result in reduced demand for a pharmaceutical manufacturer’s products or additional pricing pressure.

In order to secure coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, a company may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of the product, in addition to the costs required to obtain FDA or other comparable marketing approvals. Nonetheless, product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. A decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product candidate could reduce physician utilization once the product is approved and have an  adverse effect on sales, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, a payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor.

The containment of healthcare costs also has become a priority of federal, state and foreign governments and the prices of drugs have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products. Coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive marketing approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

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Healthcare Law and Regulation

Healthcare providers and third-party payors play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of drug products that are granted marketing approval. Arrangements with providers, consultants, third-party payors and customers are subject to broadly applicable fraud and abuse, anti-kickback, false claims laws, reporting of payments to physicians and teaching physicians and patient privacy laws and regulations and other healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain business and/or financial arrangements. Restrictions under applicable healthcare laws and regulations, include the following:

 

·

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons and entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, paying, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program such as Medicare and Medicaid. The term “remuneration” has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value. The intent standard under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute was amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or the Affordable Care Act, to a stricter standard such that a person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it, in order to have committed a violation. Moreover, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act;

 

·

the federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the civil False Claims Act, and civil monetary penalties laws, which prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment that are false, fictitious or fraudulent or knowingly making, using or causing to made or used a false record or statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government.

 

·

the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which imposes criminal and civil liability for, among other things, executing or attempting to execute a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including any third-party payors, knowingly and willfully embezzling or stealing from a healthcare benefit program, willfully obstructing a criminal investigation of a healthcare offense, and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or making false statements relating to healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it to have committed a violation;

 

·

HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and their respective implementing regulations, which impose obligations, including mandatory contractual terms, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information, including PHI. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions;

 

·

the federal transparency requirements known as the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies to report annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, information related to payments and other transfers of value made by that entity to physicians, as defined by such law, and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members; and

 

·

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which

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may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services that are reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers.

Some state, local and foreign laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government, restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources, and/or require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and transfers of value made to physicians and other health care providers or entities or marketing expenditures. In addition, there are state and local laws that require registration of sales representatives; state laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to drug pricing; data privacy and security laws and regulations in foreign jurisdictions that may be more stringent than those in the United States (such as the European Union (E.U.), which adopted the General Data Protection Regulation, which became effective in May 2018); state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts; and state laws related to insurance fraud in the case of claims involving private insurers.

Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental and enforcement authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law interpreting applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, monetary fines, individual imprisonment, additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, possible exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Healthcare Reform

The United States and state governments continue to propose and pass legislation designed to reduce the cost of healthcare. In March 2010, the United States Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act which included changes to the coverage and payment for drug products under government health care programs. There remain judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act, as well as efforts by the Trump administration to repeal or replace certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act. Since January 2017, President Trump has signed two Executive Orders designed to delay the implementation of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act or otherwise circumvent some of the requirements for health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Concurrently, Congress has considered legislation that would repeal or repeal and replace all or part of the Affordable Care Act. While Congress has not passed comprehensive repeal legislation, several bills affecting the implementation of certain taxes under the Affordable Care Act have been enacted. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 includes a provision repealing, effective January 1, 2019, the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the Affordable Care Act on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year that is commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”. In addition, the 2020 federal spending package permanently eliminates, effective January 1, 2020, the Affordable Care Act’s mandated “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage and medical device tax and, effective January 1, 2021, also eliminates the health insurer tax.  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 ( BBA) among other things, amended the Affordable Care Act, effective January 1, 2019, to increase from 50% to 70% the point-of-sale discount that is owed by pharmaceutical manufacturers who participate in Medicare Part D and to close the coverage gap in most Medicare drug plans, commonly referred to as the “donut hole.” In December 2018, CMS published a new final rule permitting further collections and payments to and from certain Affordable Care Act qualified health plans and health insurance issuers under the Affordable Care Act risk adjustment program in response to the outcome of federal district court litigation regarding the method CMS uses to determine this risk adjustment. On December 14, 2018, a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Texas ruled that the individual mandate is a critical and inseverable feature of the Affordable Care Act, and because it was repealed as part of the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act are invalid as well. Additionally, on December 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the District Court ruling that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and remanded the case back to the District Court to determine whether the remaining provisions of the

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Affordable Care Act are invalid as well. It is unclear how this decision, future decisions, subsequent appeals, if any, and other efforts will impact the Affordable Care Act.

 

Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the Affordable Care Act was enacted. In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, created measures for spending reductions by Congress. A Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with recommending a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for the years 2013 through 2021, was unable to reach required goals, thereby triggering the legislation’s automatic reduction to several government programs. This includes aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year, which went into effect in April 2013, and, due to subsequent legislative amendments, will remain in effect through 2029, unless additional Congressional action is taken. In January 2013, President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA), which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years.

In addition, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny in the United States of pharmaceutical pricing practices in light of the rising cost of prescription drugs and biologics. Such scrutiny has resulted in several recent congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for products. At the federal level, the Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 contains further drug price control measures that could be enacted during the budget process or in other future legislation, including, for example, measures to permit Medicare Part D plans to negotiate the price of certain drugs under Medicare Part B, to allow some states to negotiate drug prices under Medicaid, and to eliminate cost sharing for generic drugs for low-income patients. Further, the Trump administration released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase drug manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products, and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has solicited feedback on some of these measures and has implemented others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, CMS issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage plans the option to use step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. This final rule codified CMS’s policy change that was effective January 1, 2019. While some of these and other measures may require additional authorization to become effective, Congress and the Trump administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs. At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.

Outside the United States, ensuring adequate coverage and payment for our products will face challenges. Pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control in many countries. Pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can extend well beyond the receipt of regulatory approval for a product and may require us to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost effectiveness of our product candidates or products to other available therapies. The conduct of such a clinical trial could be expensive and result in delays in our commercialization efforts. Third-party payors are challenging the prices charged for medical products and services, and many third-party payors limit reimbursement for newly approved health care products. Recent budgetary pressures in many E.U. countries are also causing governments to consider or implement various cost-containment measures, such as price freezes, increased price cuts and rebates. If budget pressures continue, governments may implement additional cost-containment measures. Cost-control initiatives could decrease the price we might establish for products that we may develop or sell, which would result in lower product revenues or royalties payable to us. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any of our products.  

Manufacturing and Raw Materials

We currently do not have the manufacturing capabilities or experience necessary to produce TAVALISSE or

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any product candidates for clinical trials, including fostamatinib in AIHA, our IRAK 1/4 inhibitor program and our RIP1 inhibitor program. We do not own or operate manufacturing or distribution facilities or resources for clinical or commercial production and distribution of our product for commercial use or for preclinical and clinical trials. We assign internal personnel to manage and oversee third parties working on our behalf under contract. These third parties manufacture raw materials, the active pharmaceutical ingredient  (API) and finished drug product for commercial distribution and for use in clinical studies. We currently rely on and will continue to rely on these third-party contract manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of our products.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had 163 full-time employees. None of our employees are represented by a collective bargaining arrangement, and we believe our relationship with our employees is good. Recruiting and retaining experienced and qualified sales and marketing personnel to successfully commercialize our product and scientific personnel to continue to perform research and development work in the future will be critical to our business success. We may not be able to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic and research institutions and government agencies for experienced scientists.

Scientific and Medical Advisors

We utilize scientists, key opinion leaders and physicians to advise us on scientific and medical matters as part of our ongoing commercialization activities and research and product development efforts, including experts in clinical trial design, preclinical development work, chemistry, biology, immunology, oncology and immuno-oncology. Certain of our consultants receive non‑employee options to purchase our common stock and certain of our scientific and medical advisors receive honorarium for time spent assisting us.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in Delaware in June 1996. Our principal executive office is located at 1180 Veterans Boulevard, South San Francisco, California 94080. Our telephone number is (650) 624-1100. Our website is located at www.rigel.com. The information found on our website is not part of or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Available Information

We electronically file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) our Annual Report on Form 10‑K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q, Current Reports on Form 8‑K and amendments to the reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. We make available free of charge on or through our website copies of these reports as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these reports with, or furnish them to, the SEC.  The SEC also maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.

Item 1A.  Risk Factor

In evaluating our business, you should carefully consider the following risks, as well as the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. These risk factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward‑looking statements we have made in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K and those we may make from time to time. If any of the following risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition and operating results could be harmed. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently see as immaterial, may also harm our business.

 

Our prospects are highly dependent on our first commercial product, TAVALISSE (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate). To the extent that TAVALISSE is not commercially successful, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected, and the price of our common stock may decline.

 

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TAVALISSE is our only drug that has been approved for sale in the United States and Europe for patients with chronic ITP. We are focusing a significant portion of our activities and resources on fostamatinib, and we believe our prospects are highly dependent on, and a significant portion of the value of our Company relates to, our ability to successfully commercialize TAVALISSE in the United States. We have entered into an exclusive commercialization agreement with Grifols to commercialize fostamatinib in Europe.

 

Successful commercialization of TAVALISSE is subject to many risks. We have never, as an organization, launched or commercialized a product, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to do so successfully with fostamatinib for its approved indication. There are numerous examples of unsuccessful product launches and failures to meet high expectations of market potential, including by pharmaceutical companies with more experience and resources than us.

 

Market acceptance of fostamatinib and any of our or collaborative partners’ future product candidates that may receive approval, will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

·

the efficacy and safety as demonstrated in clinical trials;

 

·

the timing of market introduction of the product as well as competitive products;

 

·

the clinical indications for which the product is approved;

 

·

acceptance by physicians, the medical community and patients of the product as a safe and effective treatment;

 

·

the ability to distinguish safety and efficacy from existing, less expensive generic alternative therapies, if any;

 

·

the convenience of prescribing, administrating and initiating patients on the product and the length of time the patient is on the product;

 

·

the potential and perceived value and advantages of the product over alternative treatments;

 

·

the cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments, including any similar generic treatments;

 

·

the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement and pricing by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

·

the prevalence and severity of adverse side effects; and

 

·

the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts.

 

Even if we are successful in building out our commercial team, there are many factors that could cause the launch and commercialization of TAVALISSE to be unsuccessful, including a number of factors that are outside our control. The commercial success of TAVALISSE depends on the extent to which patients and physicians accept and adopt TAVALISSE for patients with chronic ITP who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. We also do not know how physicians, patients and payors will respond to our future price increases of TAVALISSE.

 

Physicians may not prescribe TAVALISSE and patients may be unwilling to use TAVALISSE if coverage is not provided or reimbursement is inadequate to cover a significant portion of the cost. Additionally, any negative development for fostamatinib in clinical development in additional indications, may adversely impact the commercial results and potential of fostamatinib. Thus, significant uncertainty remains regarding the commercial potential of fostamatinib.

 

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If we are unable to achieve anticipated level of sales growth from TAVALISSE, or if we fail to achieve anticipated product royalties and collaboration milestones, we may need to reduce our operating expenses, access other sources of cash or otherwise modify our business plans, which could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We also may not be successful entering into arrangements with third parties to sell and market one or more of 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, including Kissei’s development and commercialization of fostamatinib in all indications in Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea, Grifols’ commercialization of fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey and Medison for future commercialization of fostamatinib in Canada and Israel. As a consequence of our license agreements with Kissei,  Grifols and Medison, we rely heavily upon their regulatory, commercial, medical affairs, market access and other expertise and resources for commercialization of TAVALISSE in their respective territories outside of the United States. We cannot control the amount of resources that our partners dedicate to the commercialization of TAVALISSE, and our ability to generate revenues from the commercialization of TAVALISSE by our partners depends on their ability to achieve market acceptance of TAVALISSE in its approved indications in their respective territories. Furthermore, foreign sales of TAVALISSE by our partners could be adversely affected by the imposition of governmental controls, political and economic instability, outbreaks of pandemic diseases, trade restrictions or barriers and changes in tariffs, including as a result of the pending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) and escalating global trade and political tensions. For example, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak emanating from China at the beginning of 2020 has resulted in increased travel restrictions and extended shutdowns of certain businesses in the region. If our collaborators are unable to successfully complete clinical trials, or do not invest the resources necessary to successfully commercialize TAVALISSE in international territories where it has been approved, this could reduce the amount of revenue we are due to receive under these license agreements, resulting in harm to our business and operations. If we do not establish and maintain sales and marketing capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates.

 

Even if we, or any of our collaborative partners, are able to continue to commercialize TAVALISSE or any product candidate that we, or they, develop, the product may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party payor reimbursement practices or labeling restrictions, any of which could harm our business.

 

The commercial success of any product for which we have obtained regulatory approval, or for which we obtain regulatory approval in the future will depend substantially on the extent to which the costs of our product candidates will be paid by third-party payors, including government health care programs and private health insurers. If coverage is not available, or reimbursement is limited, we, or any of our collaborative partners, may not be able to successfully commercialize TAVALISSE or any of our product candidates. Even if coverage is provided, the approved reimbursement amount may not be high enough to allow us, or any of our collaborative partners, to establish or maintain pricing sufficient to realize a sufficient return on our or their investments. In the United States, no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for products exists among third-party payors and coverage and reimbursement levels for products can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time consuming and costly process that may require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance.

 

There is significant uncertainty related to third-party payor coverage and reimbursement of newly approved drugs. Marketing approvals, pricing and reimbursement for new drug products vary widely from country to country. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we, or any of our collaborative partners, might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, which may negatively impact the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability or the ability of any future collaborators to recoup our or their investment in one or more product candidates, even if our product candidates obtain marketing approval.

 

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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. Therefore, our ability, and the ability of any of our collaborative partners, to successfully commercialize fostamatinib or any of our product candidates will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from third-party payors.

 

Additionally, the labeling ultimately approved for any of our product candidates for which we have or may obtain regulatory approval may include restrictions on their uses and may be subject to ongoing FDA or international regulatory authority requirements governing the labeling, packaging, storage, distribution, safety surveillance, advertising, promotion, record-keeping and reporting of safety and other post-market information. If we or any of our collaborative partners do not timely obtain or comply with the labeling approval by the FDA or international regulatory authorities on any of our product candidates, it may delay or inhibit our ability to successfully commercialize our products and generate revenues. 

 

If we are unable to successfully launch TAVALISSE and retain experienced sales force, our business will be substantially harmed.

 

We currently have limited experience in marketing and selling pharmaceutical products. TAVALISSE is a newly-marketed drug and, therefore, none of the members of our sales force will have ever promoted TAVALISSE prior to its launch. As a result, we will be required to expend significant time and resources and continuously train our sales force to be credible, persuasive and compliant with applicable laws in marketing TAVALISSE for patients with chronic ITP who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. In addition, we must continually train our sales force to ensure that an appropriate and compliant message about TAVALISSE is being delivered. If we are unable to effectively train our sales force and equip them with compliant and effective materials, including medical and sales literature to help them appropriately inform and educate regarding its potential benefits and proper administration, our efforts to successfully commercialize TAVALISSE could be put in jeopardy, which would negatively impact our ability to generate product revenues.

 

We have established our distribution and reimbursement capabilities, all of which will be necessary to successfully commercialize TAVALISSE. As a result, we will be required to expend significant time and resources to market, sell, and distribute TAVALISSE to hematologists and hematologists-oncologists. There is no guarantee that the marketing strategies, or the distribution and reimbursement capabilities, that we have developed will be successful. Particularly, we are dependent on third-party logistics, specialty pharmacies and distribution partners in the distribution of TAVALISSE. If they are unable to perform effectively or if they do not provide efficient distribution of the medicine to patients, our business may be harmed.

 

Maintaining our sales, marketing, market access and product distribution capabilities requires significant resources, and there are numerous risks involved with managing our commercial team, including our potential inability to successfully train, retain and incentivize adequate numbers of qualified and effective sales and marketing personnel. We are also competing for talent with numerous commercial and pre-commercial-stage oncology-focused biotechnology companies seeking to build out their commercial organizations, as well as other large pharmaceutical organizations that have extensive, well-funded and more experienced sales and marketing operations, and we may be unable to maintain or adequately scale our commercial organization as a result of such competition. If we cannot maintain effective sales, marketing, market access and product distribution capabilities, we may be unable to maximize the commercial potential of TAVALISSE. Also, to the extent that the commercial opportunities for TAVALISSE grow over time, we may not properly judge the requisite size and experience of our current commercialization teams or the level of distribution necessary to market and sell TAVALISSE which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Enacted or future legislation, including potentially unfavorable pricing regulations or other healthcare reform initiatives, may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates and/or commercialize fostamatinib or our product candidates, once approved, and affect the prices we may set or obtain.

 

The regulations that govern, among other things, regulatory approvals, coverage, pricing and reimbursement for

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new drug products vary widely from country to country. In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system that could prevent or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to successfully sell fostamatinib or any product candidates for which we obtain regulatory approval in the future. In particular, in March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, collectively, the Affordable Care Act, was enacted, which substantially changes the way health care is financed by both governmental and private insurers, and significantly impacts the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. 

 

There have been, and likely will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals at the foreign, federal and state levels directed at broadening the availability of healthcare and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. We cannot predict the initiatives that may be adopted in the future. The continuing efforts of the government, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce costs of healthcare and/or impose price controls may adversely affect:

 

·

the demand for fostamatinib or our product candidates, if we obtain regulatory approval;

 

·

our ability to set a price that we believe is fair for our products;

 

·

our ability to generate revenue and achieve or maintain profitability;

 

·

the level of taxes that we are required to pay; and

 

·

the availability of capital.

 

Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors, which may adversely affect our future profitability.

 

Legislative and regulatory proposals have been made to expand post-approval requirements and restrict sales and promotional activities for pharmaceutical products. We cannot be sure whether additional legislative changes will be enacted, or whether the FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes on the regulatory approvals of our product candidates, if any, may be.

 

In the United States, the European Union and other potentially significant markets for our current and future products, government authorities and third-party payors are increasingly attempting to limit or regulate the price of medical products and services, particularly for new and innovative products and therapies, which has resulted in lower average selling prices. For example, in the United States, there have been several recent Congressional inquiries and federal legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. Furthermore, the increased emphasis on managed healthcare in the United States and on country and regional pricing and reimbursement controls in the E.U. will put additional pressure on product pricing, reimbursement and usage, which may adversely affect our sales and results of operations. These pressures can arise from rules and practices of managed care groups, judicial decisions and governmental laws and regulations related to Medicare, Medicaid and healthcare reform, pharmaceutical reimbursement policies and pricing in general. “See Business – Government Regulation – Healthcare Reform” for more information on healthcare reform activities.

 

If the market opportunities for TAVALISSE and product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, our revenues may be adversely affected, and our business may suffer.

 

Certain of the diseases that TAVALISSE and our other product candidates being developed to address are in underserved and underdiagnosed populations. Our projections of both the number of people who have these diseases, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who will seek treatment utilizing our products or product candidates, may not be accurate. If our estimates of the prevalence or number of patients potentially on therapy prove to be

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inaccurate, the market opportunities for fostamatinib and our other product candidates may be smaller than what we believe they are, our prospects for generating expected revenue may be adversely affected and our business may suffer.

 

We have recently increased, and will continue to increase, the size of our organization. We may encounter difficulties with managing our growth, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

 

Although we have substantially increased the size of our organization, we may need to add additional qualified personnel and resources, especially now that we have a commercial sales force. Our current infrastructure may be inadequate to support our development and commercialization efforts and expected growth. Future growth will impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including the need to identify, recruit, maintain and integrate additional employees, and may take time away from running other aspects of our business, including development and commercialization of TAVALISSE and our other product candidates.

 

Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize TAVALISSE and our other product candidates that may receive regulatory approval will depend, in part, on our ability to manage any future growth effectively. In particular, as we continue to commercialize TAVALISSE, we will need to support the training and ongoing activities of our sales force and will likely need to continue to expand the size of our employee base for managerial, operational, financial and other resources. To that end, we must be able to successfully:

 

·

manage our development efforts effectively;

 

·

integrate additional management, administrative and manufacturing personnel;

 

·

further develop our marketing and sales organization; and

 

·

maintain sufficient administrative, accounting and management information systems and controls.

 

We may not be able to accomplish these tasks or successfully manage our operations and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development, and commercialization goals. Our failure to accomplish any of these goals could adversely affect our business and operations.

 

Regulatory approval for any approved product is limited by the FDA to those specific indications and conditions for which clinical safety and efficacy have been demonstrated, and we may incur significant liability if it is determined that we are promoting the “off-label” use of TAVALISSE or any of our future product candidates if approved.

 

Any regulatory approval is limited to those specific diseases, indications and patient populations for which a product is deemed to be safe and effective by the FDA. For example, the FDA-approved label for TAVALISSE is only approved for use in adults with ITP who have had an insufficient response to other treatments. In addition to the FDA approval required for new formulations, any new indication for an approved product also requires FDA approval. If we are not able to obtain FDA approval for any desired future indications for our products and product candidates, our ability to effectively market and sell our products may be reduced and our business may be adversely affected.

 

While physicians may choose to prescribe drugs for uses that are not described in the product’s labeling and for uses that differ from those tested in clinical studies and approved by the regulatory authorities, our ability to promote the products is limited to those indications and patient populations that are specifically approved by the FDA. These “off-label” uses are common across medical specialties and may constitute an appropriate treatment for some patients in varied circumstances. We have implemented compliance and monitoring policies and procedures, including a process for internal review of promotional materials, to deter the promotion of TAVALISSE for off-label uses. We cannot guarantee that these compliance activities will prevent or timely detect off-label promotion by sales representatives or other personnel in their communications with health care professionals, patients and others, particularly if these activities are concealed from the Company. Regulatory authorities in the United States generally do not regulate the behavior of physicians in their choice of treatments. Regulatory authorities do, however, restrict communications by pharmaceutical companies on the subject of off-label use. If our promotional activities fail to comply with the FDA’s regulations or guidelines, we may be subject to warnings from, or enforcement action by, these regulatory authorities. In addition, our

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failure to follow FDA rules and guidelines relating to promotion and advertising may cause the FDA to issue warning letters or untitled letters, suspend or withdraw an approved product from the market, require a recall or institute fines, which could result in the disgorgement of money, operating restrictions, injunctions or civil or criminal enforcement, and other consequences, any of which could harm our business.

 

Notwithstanding the regulatory restrictions on off-label promotion, the FDA and other regulatory authorities allow companies to engage in truthful, non-misleading and non-promotional scientific exchange concerning their products. We engage in medical education activities and communicate with investigators and potential investigators regarding our clinical trials. If the FDA or other regulatory or enforcement authorities determine that our communications regarding our marketed product are not in compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements and that we have improperly promoted off-label uses, or that our communications regarding our investigational products are not in compliance with the relevant regulatory requirements and that we have improperly engaged in pre-approval promotion, we may be subject to significant liability, including civil and administrative remedies as well as criminal sanctions.

 

We may be subject, directly or indirectly, to federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws, false claims laws and other federal and state healthcare laws, and the failure to comply with such laws could result in substantial penalties. Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, principal investigators, CROs, commercial partners and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements.

 

Our business operations and current and future arrangements with investigators, healthcare professionals, consultants, third-party payers and customers, may expose us to broadly applicable federal, state and foreign fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations including anti-kickback and false claims laws, data privacy and security laws, and transparency laws. These laws may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we conduct our operations, including how we research, market, sell and distribute any product for which we have obtained regulatory approval, or for which we obtain regulatory approval in the future.  In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as certain business arrangements in the healthcare industry, are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, including off-label uses of our products, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements generally. Activities subject to these laws also involve the improper use or misrepresentation of information obtained in the course of patient recruitment for clinical trials, creating fraudulent data in our preclinical studies or clinical trials or illegal misappropriation of drug product, which could result in regulatory sanctions and cause serious harm to our reputation. See “Business – Governmental Regulation – Healthcare Law and Regulation” for more information on the laws that may affect our ability to operate.

 

We are also exposed to the risk of fraud, misconduct or other illegal activity by our employees, independent contractors, consultants, principal investigators, CROs, commercial partners and vendors. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct that fails to: comply with the laws of the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory bodies; provide true, complete and accurate information to the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory bodies; comply with manufacturing standards we have established; comply with federal and state data privacy, security, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations in the United States and similar foreign fraudulent misconduct laws; or report financial information or data accurately or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations.

 

We are also subject to the risk that a person or government could allege such fraud or other misconduct, even if none occurred.  Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental and enforcement authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law interpreting applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not

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successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, monetary fines, individual imprisonment, additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

 

Enhanced governmental and public scrutiny over, or investigations or litigation involving, pharmaceutical manufacturer donations to patient assistance programs may require us to modify our programs and could negatively impact our business practices, harm our reputation, divert the attention of management and increase our expenses.

 

To help patients afford our products, we have a patient assistance program that help financially needy patients. This type of program has become the subject of scrutiny. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers were named in class action lawsuits challenging the legality of their patient assistance programs under a variety of federal and state laws. Our patient assistance program could become the target of similar litigation. In addition, certain state and federal enforcement authorities and members of Congress have initiated inquiries about co-pay assistance programs. Some state legislatures have also been considering proposals that would restrict or ban co-pay coupons.

 

If we are deemed not to have complied with laws or regulations in the operation of these programs, we could be subject to damages, fines, penalties or other criminal, civil or administrative sanctions or enforcement actions. Further, numerous organizations, including pharmaceutical manufacturers, have been subject to ongoing litigation, enforcement activities and settlements related to their patient assistance programs and support, and certain of these organizations have entered into, or have otherwise agreed to, significant civil settlements with applicable enforcement authorities. It is possible that future legislation may propose establishing requirements that affect pharmaceutical manufacturers. We cannot ensure that our compliance controls, policies and procedures will be sufficient to protect against acts of our employees, business partners or vendors that may violate the laws or regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate. A government investigation could negatively impact our business practices, harm our reputation, divert the attention of management and increase our expenses.

 

If manufacturers obtain approval for generic versions of TAVALISSE, or of products with which we compete, our business may be harmed.

 

Under the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act  (FDCA), the FDA can approve an ANDA for a generic version of a branded drug without the ANDA applicant undertaking the clinical testing necessary to obtain approval to market a new drug. Generally, in place of such clinical studies, an ANDA applicant usually needs only to submit data demonstrating that its product has the same active ingredient(s), strength, dosage form, route of administration and that it is bioequivalent to the branded product. In September 2019, the FDA published product-specific bioequivalence guidance on fostamatinib disodium to let potential ANDA applicants understand the data FDA would expect to see for approval of a generic version of TAVALISSE.

 

The FDCA requires that an applicant for approval of a generic form of a branded drug certify either that its generic product does not infringe any of the patents listed by the owner of the branded drug in the Orange Book or that those patents are not enforceable. This process is known as a paragraph IV challenge. Upon notice of a paragraph IV challenge, a patent owner has 45 days to bring a patent infringement suit in federal district court against the company seeking ANDA approval of a product covered by one of the owner’s patents. If this type of suit is commenced, the FDCA provides a 30-month stay on the FDA’s approval of the competitor’s application. If the litigation is resolved in favor of the ANDA applicant or the challenged patent expires during the 30-month stay period, the stay is lifted, and the FDA may thereafter approve the application based on the standards for approval of ANDAs. Once an ANDA is approved by the FDA, the generic manufacturer may market and sell the generic form of the branded drug in competition with the branded medicine.

 

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The ANDA process can result in generic competition if the patents at issue are not upheld or if the generic competitor is found not to infringe the owner’s patents. If this were to occur with respect to TAVALISSE or products with which it competes, our business would be harmed. We have a number of patents listed in the Orange Book, the last of which is expected to expire in July 2032.

 

Unforeseen safety issues could emerge with TAVALISSE that could require us to change the prescribing information to add warnings, limit use of the product, and/or result in litigation. Any of these events could have a negative impact on our business.

 

Discovery of unforeseen safety problems or increased focus on a known problem could impact our ability to commercialize TAVALISSE and could result in restrictions on its permissible uses, including withdrawal of the medicine from the market.

 

If we or others identify additional undesirable side effects caused by TAVALISSE after approval:

 

·

regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, specific warnings, contraindications, or field alerts to physicians and pharmacies;

 

·

regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of the product and require us to take our approved drugs off the market;

 

·

we may be required to change the way the product is administered, conduct additional clinical trials, change the labeling of the product, or implement a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS;

 

·

we may have limitations on how we promote our drugs;

 

·

third-party payers may limit coverage or reimbursement for TAVALISSE;

 

·

sales of TAVALISSE may decrease significantly;

 

·

we may be subject to litigation or product liability claims; and

 

·

our reputation may suffer.

 

Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of TAVALISSE and could substantially increase our operating costs and expenses, which in turn could delay or prevent us from generating significant revenue from sale of TAVALISSE.

 

If a safety issue emerges post-approval, we may become subject to costly product liability litigation by our customers, their patients or payers. Product liability claims could divert management’s attention from our core business, be expensive to defend, and result in sizable damage awards against us that may not be covered by insurance. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against claims that TAVALISSE 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 products that we may develop;

·

the inability to commercialize any products that we may develop;

·

injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;

·

withdrawal of patients from clinical studies or cancellation of studies;

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·

significant costs to defend the related litigation;

·

substantial monetary awards to patients; and

·

loss of revenue.

 

We currently hold $10.0 million in product liability insurance coverage, which may not be adequate to cover all liabilities that we may incur. Insurance coverage is increasingly expensive. We may not be able to obtain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in amounts adequate to satisfy any liability or associated costs that may arise in the future. These events could harm our business and results of operations and cause our stock price to decline.

 

If we fail to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program or other governmental pricing programs in the United States, we could be subject to additional reimbursement requirements, fines, sanctions and exposure under other laws which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, as administered by the CMS, and other federal and state government pricing programs in the United States, and we may participate in additional government pricing programs in the future. These programs generally require us to pay rebates or otherwise provide discounts to government payers in connection with drugs that are dispensed to beneficiaries/recipients of these programs. In some cases, such as with the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, the rebates are based on pricing that we report on a monthly and quarterly basis to the government agencies that administer the programs. Pricing requirements and rebate/discount calculations are complex, vary among products and programs, and are often subject to interpretation by governmental or regulatory agencies and the courts. The requirements of these programs, including, by way of example, their respective terms and scope, change frequently. Responding to current and future changes may increase our costs, and the complexity of compliance will be time consuming. Invoicing for rebates is provided in arrears, and there is frequently a time lag of up to several months between the sales to which rebate notices relate and our receipt of those notices, which further complicates our ability to accurately estimate and accrue for rebates related to the Medicaid program as implemented by individual states. Thus, there can be no assurance that we will be able to identify all factors that may cause our discount and rebate payment obligations to vary from period to period, and our actual results may differ significantly from our estimated allowances for discounts and rebates. Changes in estimates and assumptions may have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

In addition, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services and other Congressional enforcement and administrative bodies have recently increased their focus on pricing requirements for products, including, but not limited to the methodologies used by manufacturers to calculate average manufacturer price, or AMP, and best price, or BP, for compliance with reporting requirements under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. We are liable for errors associated with our submission of pricing data and for any overcharging of government payers. Failure to make necessary disclosures and/or to identify overpayments could result in allegations against us under the Federal False Claims Act and other laws and regulations. Any required refunds to the U.S. government or responding to a government investigation or enforcement action would be expensive and time consuming and could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, in the event that CMS were to terminate our rebate agreement, no federal payments would be available under Medicaid or Medicare for our covered outpatient drugs.

 

Even for those product candidates that have or may receive regulatory approval, they may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success, in which case we may not generate significant revenues or become profitable.

 

For our product candidates that have or may receive regulatory approval, they may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, hospital administrators, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community. The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on

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a number of factors, including the following:

 

·

relative convenience and ease of administration;

 

·

the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;

 

·

the willingness of physicians to change their current treatment practices;

 

·

the willingness of hospitals and hospital systems to include our product candidates as treatment options;

 

·

demonstration of efficacy and safety in clinical trials;

 

·

the prevalence and severity of any side effects;

 

·

the ability to offer product candidates for sale at competitive prices;

 

·

the price we charge for our product candidates;

 

·

the strength of marketing and distribution support; and

 

·

the availability of third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement and the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of such coverage and adequate reimbursement.

 

Efforts to educate the physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may not be successful. If any of our product candidates are approved, if at all, but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant product revenue and we may not become profitable on a sustained basis.

 

We will need additional capital in the future to sufficiently fund our operations and research.

 

We have consumed substantial amounts of capital to date as we continue our research and development activities, including preclinical studies and clinical trials and for the commercial launch of TAVALISSE. We may seek another collaborator or licensee in the future for further clinical development and commercialization of fostamatinib, as well as our other clinical programs, which we may not be able to obtain on commercially reasonable terms or at all. We believe that our existing capital resources will be sufficient to support our current and projected funding requirements, including the commercial launch of TAVALISSE in the U.S., through at least the next 12 months. We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could utilize our available capital resources sooner than we currently expect. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with commercial launch, the development of our product candidates and other research and development activities, we are unable to estimate with certainty our future product revenues, our revenues from our current and future collaborative partners, the amounts of increased capital outlays and operating expenditures associated with our current and anticipated clinical trials and other research and development activities.

 

We will continue to need additional capital and the amount of future capital needed will depend largely on the success of our commercial launch of TAVALISSE and the success of our internally developed programs as they proceed in later and more expensive clinical trials, including any additional clinical trials that we may decide to conduct with respect to fostamatinib. Unless and until we are able to generate a sufficient amount of product, royalty or milestone revenue, which may never occur, we expect to finance future cash needs through public and/or private offerings of equity securities, debt financings or collaboration and licensing arrangements, as well as through proceeds from exercise of stock options and interest income earned on the investment of our cash balances and short-term investments. We do not know whether additional financing will be available when needed, or that, if available, we will obtain financing on reasonable terms. To the extent we raise additional capital by issuing equity securities in the future, our stockholders could at that time experience substantial dilution. In addition, we have a significant number of stock options outstanding.

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To the extent that outstanding stock options have been or may be exercised or other shares issued, our stockholders may experience further dilution. Further, we may choose to raise additional capital due to market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans, including through an “at-the-market” equity offering program. Our credit facility with MidCap involve certain covenants and any other debt financing that we are able to obtain in the future may involve operating covenants that restrict our business. To the extent that we raise additional funds through any new collaboration and licensing arrangements, we may be required to refund certain payments made to us, relinquish some rights to our technologies or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us.

 

We have new indebtedness in the form of term loan pursuant to the Credit Agreement with MidCap, which could adversely affect our financial condition and our ability to respond to changes in our business. Further, if we are unable to satisfy certain conditions of the Credit Agreement, we will be unable to draw down the remainder of the facility. If we are unable to satisfy certain conditions of the Credit Agreement, we will unable to draw down the remainder of the facility.

 

In September 2019, we entered into the Credit Agreement with MidCap. Under the Credit Agreement, we are required to repay amounts due when there is an event of default for the term loans that results in the principal, premium, if any, and interest, if any, becoming due prior to the maturity date for the term loans.  The Credit Agreement also contains a number of other affirmative and restrictive covenants. Please see Note 13 to the Financial Statements herein for additional details of the Credit Agreement. These and other terms in the Credit Agreement have to be monitored closely for compliance and could restrict our ability to grow our business or enter into transactions that we believe would be beneficial to our business. Our business may not generate cash flow from operations in the future sufficient to service our debt and support our growth strategies. If we are unable to generate such cash flow, we may be required to adopt one or more alternatives, such as restructuring our debt or obtaining additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. Our ability to refinance our indebtedness will depend on the capital markets and our financial condition at such time. We may not be able to engage in any of these activities or engage in these activities on desirable terms, which could result in a default on our current debt obligations. In addition, we cannot be sure that additional financing will be available when required or, if available, will be on terms satisfactory to us. Further, even if we are able to obtain additional financing, we may be required to use such proceeds to repay a portion of our debt.

 

Our indebtedness may have other adverse effects, such as:

 

·

our vulnerability to adverse general economic conditions and heightened competitive pressures;

·

dedication of a portion of our cash flow from operations to interest payments, limiting the availability of cash for other operational purposes;

·

limited flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry; and

·

our inability to obtain additional financing in the future.

 

Our Credit Agreement with MidCap contains a mandatory prepayment provision that gives the Agent the right to demand payment of the outstanding principal and additional interest and fees in the event of default. We may not have enough available cash or be able to obtain financing at the time we are required to repay the term loan with additional interest and fees prior to maturity.

 

At closing, $10.0 million was funded to us in an initial tranche. The Credit Agreement also gives us the ability to access an additional $50.0 million at our option, of which $40.0 million may be drawn in 2 tranches subject to the achievement of certain customary conditions. If we are unable to satisfy these or other required conditions, we would not be able to draw down the remaining tranches of financing and may not be able to obtain alternative financing on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could adversely impact our business.

 

We rely and may continue to rely on a single distribution facility for the sale of TAVALISSE and potential sale of any of our product candidates.

 

Our distribution operations for the sale of TAVALISSE is currently concentrated in one distribution center owned by a third-party logistics provider. Our distribution operations, if and when we launch any of our product

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candidates in the future, may also be concentrated in a single distribution center owned by a third-party logistics provider. Any errors in inventory level management and unforeseen inventory shortage could adversely affect our business. In addition, any significant disruption in the operation of the facility due to natural disaster or severe weather, or events such as fire, accidents, power outages, system failures, or other unforeseen causes, could devalue or damage a significant portion of our inventories and could adversely affect our product distribution and sales until such time as we could secure an alternative facility. If we encounter difficulties with our distribution facility or other problems or disasters arise, we cannot ensure that critical systems and operations will be restored in a timely manner or at all, and this would have an adverse effect on our business. In addition, growth could require us to further expand our current facility, which could affect us adversely in ways that we cannot predict.

 

We lack the capability to manufacture compounds for clinical development and we intend to rely on third parties for commercial supply, manufacturing and distribution if any of our product candidates which receive regulatory approval and we may be unable to obtain required material or product in a timely manner, at an acceptable cost or at a quality level required to receive regulatory approval.

 

We currently do not have the manufacturing capabilities or experience necessary to produce TAVALISSE or any product candidates for clinical trials, including fostamatinib in AIHA, our IRAK inhibitor program and our RIP1 inhibitor program. We currently use one manufacturer of fostamatinib. We do not currently have, nor do we plan to acquire the infrastructure or capability to supply, manufacture or distribute preclinical, clinical or commercial quantities of drug substances or products. For each clinical trial of our unpartnered product candidates, we rely on third-party manufacturers for the active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as various manufacturers to manufacture starting components, excipients and formulated drug products.  Our ability to develop our product candidates, and our ability to commercially supply our products will depend, in part, on our ability to successfully obtain the APIs and other substances and materials used in our product candidates from third parties and to have finished products manufactured by third parties in accordance with regulatory requirements and in sufficient quantities for preclinical and clinical testing and commercialization. If we fail to develop and maintain supply relationships with these third parties, we may be unable to continue to develop or commercialize our product candidates.

 

We rely and will continue to rely on certain third parties, including those located outside the U.S., as our limited source of the materials they supply or the finished products they manufacture. The drug substances and other materials used in our product candidates are currently available only from one or a limited number of suppliers or manufacturers and certain of our finished product candidates are manufactured by one or a limited number of contract manufacturers. Any of these existing suppliers or manufacturers may:

 

·

fail to supply us with product on a timely basis or in the requested amount due to unexpected damage to or destruction of facilities or equipment or otherwise;

·

fail to increase manufacturing capacity and produce drug product and components in larger quantities and at higher yields in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all, to sufficiently meet our commercial needs;

 

·

be unable to meet our production demands due to issues related to their reliance on sole-source suppliers and manufacturers;

 

·

supply us with product that fails to meet regulatory requirements;

 

·

become unavailable through business interruption or financial insolvency;

 

·

lose regulatory status as an approved source;

 

·

be unable or unwilling to renew current supply agreements when such agreements expire on a timely basis, on acceptable terms or at all; or

 

·

discontinue production or manufacturing of necessary drug substances or products.

 

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Our current and anticipated future dependence upon these third-party manufacturers may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize product candidates on a timely and competitive basis, which could have an adverse effect on sales, results of operations and financial condition. If we were required to transfer manufacturing processes to other third-party manufacturers and we were able to identify an alternative manufacturer, we would still need to satisfy various regulatory requirements. Satisfaction of these requirements could cause us to experience significant delays in receiving an adequate supply of our products and products in development and could be costly. Moreover, we may not be able to transfer processes that are proprietary to the manufacturer, if any. These manufacturers may not be able to produce material on a timely basis or manufacture material at the quality level or in the quantity required to meet our development timelines and applicable regulatory requirements and may also experience a shortage in qualified personnel. We may not be able to maintain or renew our existing third-party manufacturing arrangements, or enter into new arrangements, on acceptable terms, or at all. Our third-party manufacturers could terminate or decline to renew our manufacturing arrangements based on their own business priorities, at a time that is costly or inconvenient for us. If we are unable to contract for the production of materials in sufficient quantity and of sufficient quality on acceptable terms, our planned clinical trials may be significantly delayed. Manufacturing delays could postpone the filing of our IND applications and/or the initiation or completion of clinical trials that we have currently planned or may plan in the future.

 

Drug manufacturers are subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other federal and state agencies to ensure strict compliance with cGMP and other government regulations and corresponding foreign standards. We do not have control over third-party manufacturers’ compliance with these regulations and standards and they may not be able to comply. Switching manufacturers may be difficult because the number of potential manufacturers is limited. It may be difficult or impossible for us to find a replacement manufacturer quickly on acceptable terms, or at all. Additionally, if we are required to enter into new supply arrangements, we may not be able to obtain approval from the FDA of any alternate supplier in a timely manner, or at all, which could delay or prevent the clinical development and commercialization of any related product candidates. Failure of our third-party manufacturers or us to comply with applicable regulations could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including fines, civil penalties, delays in or failure to grant marketing approval of our product candidates, injunctions, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or recalls of products and compounds, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions, any of which could adversely affect our business.

 

International health epidemics, such as coronavirus, and other outbreaks could disrupt and adversely affect our operations, financial condition and business.

 

Our business could be adversely impacted by the effects of health epidemics and outbreaks around the world, such as the coronavirus outbreak stemming from China. Currently, some of our suppliers of certain materials used in the production of our drug products are located in China.  While many of these materials may be obtained by more than one supplier, including suppliers outside of China, port closures and other restrictions resulting from the coronavirus outbreak in China may disrupt our supply chain or limit our ability to obtain sufficient materials for our drug products. In addition, we are party to an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei to develop and commercialize fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea.  Kissei is currently conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial for fostamatinib in ITP in Japan that is currently affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Further, have ongoing performance obligations under our agreement with Kissei that may be delayed or otherwise affected by the outbreak. As the outbreak is still evolving, much of its impact remains unknown. It is impossible to predict the effect and potential spread of the coronavirus in China and globally. Should the coronavirus continue to spread or not be contained in China or other parts of the world, our business operations could be harmed.    

 

Forecasting potential sales for any of our product candidates will be difficult, and if our projections are inaccurate, our business may be harmed, and our stock price may be adversely affected.

 

Our business planning requires us to forecast or make assumptions regarding product demand and revenues for any of our product candidates if they are approved despite numerous uncertainties. These uncertainties may be increased if we rely on our collaborators or other third parties to conduct commercial activities in certain geographies and provide us with accurate and timely information. Actual results may differ materially from projected results for various reasons, including the following, as well as risks identified in other risk factors:

 

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·

the efficacy and safety of any of our product candidates, including as relative to marketed products and product candidates in development by third parties;

 

·

pricing (including discounting or other promotions), reimbursement, product returns or recalls, competition, labeling, adverse events and other items that impact commercialization;

 

·

the rate of adoption in the particular market, including fluctuations in demand for various reasons;

 

·

lack of patient and physician familiarity with the drug;

 

·

lack of patient use and physician prescribing history;

 

·

lack of commercialization experience with the drug;

 

·

actual sales to patients may significantly differ from expectations based on sales to wholesalers; and

 

·

uncertainty relating to when the drug may become commercially available to patients and rate of adoption in other territories.

 

We expect that our revenues from sales of any of our product candidates will continue to be based in part on estimates, judgment and accounting policies.  Any incorrect estimates or disagreements with regulators or others regarding such estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to our guidance, projections or previously reported results. Expected and actual product sales and quarterly and other results may greatly fluctuate, including in the near-term, and such fluctuations can adversely affect the price of our common stock, perceptions of our ability to forecast demand and revenues, and our ability to maintain and fund our operations.

 

We might not be able to commercialize our product candidates successfully if problems arise in the clinical testing and approval process.

 

The activities associated with the research, development and commercialization of fostamatinib and other product candidates in our pipeline must undergo extensive clinical trials, which can take many years and require substantial expenditures, subject to extensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the U.S. and by comparable authorities in other countries. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals in the U.S. and other foreign jurisdictions is expensive, and lengthy, if approval is obtained at all.

 

Our clinical trials may fail to produce results satisfactory to the FDA or regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. The regulatory process also requires preclinical testing, and data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are susceptible to varying interpretations. The FDA has substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to approve any NDA or sNDA and decide that our data is insufficient for approval and require additional preclinical, clinical or other studies. Varying interpretations of the data obtained from preclinical and clinical testing could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval of fostamatinib for any individual, additional indications.

 

In addition, delays or rejections may be encountered based upon changes in regulatory policy for product approval during the period of product development and regulatory agency review, which may cause delays in the approval or rejection of an application for fostamatinib or for our other product candidates.

 

Commercialization of our product candidates depends upon successful completion of extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials to demonstrate their safety and efficacy for humans. Preclinical testing and clinical development are long, expensive and uncertain processes.

 

In connection with clinical trials of our product candidates, we face the risks that:

 

·

the product candidate may not prove to be effective;

 

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·

the product candidate may cause harmful side effects;

 

·

the clinical results may not replicate the results of earlier, smaller trials;

 

·

we, or the FDA or similar foreign regulatory authorities, may terminate or suspend the trials;

 

·

our results may not be statistically significant;

 

·

patient recruitment and enrollment may be slower than expected;

 

·

patients may drop out of the trials; and

 

·

regulatory and clinical trial requirements, interpretations or guidance may change.

 

We do not know whether we will be permitted to undertake clinical trials of potential products beyond the trials already concluded and the trials currently in process. It will take us, or our collaborative partners several years to complete any such testing, and failure can occur at any stage of testing. Interim results of trials do not necessarily predict final results, and acceptable results in early trials may not be repeated in later trials. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical industry, including biotechnology companies, have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials, even after achieving promising results in earlier trials.

 

Any product for which we have obtained regulatory approval, or for which we obtain approval in the future, is subject to, or will be subject to, extensive ongoing regulatory requirements by the FDA, EMA and other comparable regulatory authorities, and if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or if we experience unanticipated problems with our products, we may be subject to penalties, we will be unable to generate revenue from the sale of such products, our potential for generating positive cash flow will be diminished, and the capital necessary to fund our operations will be increased.

 

In April 2018, the FDA had approved TAVALISSE for the treatment of adult patients with chronic ITP who have had insufficient response to previous treatment. We launched fostamatinib in the United States on our own in late May 2018. In January 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreement with Grifols to commercialize fostamatinib for the treatment, palliation, or prevention of human diseases, including chronic or persistent immune ITP, AIHA, and IgAN in Europe and Turkey, and in October 2018, we entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei for the development and commercialization of fostamatinib in all indications in Japan, China, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea. In October 2019, we also entered into two exclusive license agreements with Medison to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. Any product for which we have obtained regulatory approval, or for which we obtain regulatory approval in the future, along with the manufacturing processes and practices, post-approval clinical research, product labeling, advertising and promotional activities for such product, are subject to continual requirements of, and review by, the FDA, the EMA and other comparable international regulatory authorities. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration and listing requirements, current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) requirements relating to manufacturing, quality control, quality assurance and corresponding maintenance of records and documents, requirements regarding the distribution of samples to physicians, import and export requirements and recordkeeping.

 

Promotional communications with respect to prescription drugs are subject to a variety of legal and regulatory restrictions and must be consistent with the information in the product's approved labeling. Thus, we will not be able to promote any products we develop for indications or uses for which they are not approved.

 

In addition, the FDA often requires post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor the effects of products. The FDA, the EMA and other comparable international regulatory agencies may condition approval of our product candidates on the completion of such post-marketing clinical studies. These post-marketing studies may suggest that a product causes undesirable side effects or may present a risk to the patient.  Additionally, the FDA may require Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies  (REMS) to help ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks. A REMS may be required to include various elements, such as a medication guide or patient package insert, a communication plan

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to educate healthcare providers of the drug’s risks, limitations on who may prescribe or dispense the drug, requirements that patients enroll in a registry or undergo certain health evaluations or other measures that the FDA deems necessary to ensure the safe use of the drug.

 

Discovery after approval of previously unknown problems with any of our products, manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in actions such as:

 

·

restrictions on our ability to conduct clinical trials, including full or partial clinical holds on ongoing or planned trials;

 

·

restrictions on product manufacturing processes;

 

·

restrictions on the marketing of a product;

 

·

restrictions on product distribution;

 

·

requirements to conduct post-marketing clinical trials;

 

·

untitled or warning letters or other adverse publicity;

 

·

withdrawal of products from the market;

 

·

refusal to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications that we submit;

 

·

recall of products;

 

·

refusal to permit the import or export of our products;

 

·

product seizure;

 

·

fines, restitution or disgorgement of profits or revenue;

 

·

refusal to allow us to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts;

 

·

injunctions; or

 

·

imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

 

If such regulatory actions are taken, the value of our company and our operating results will be adversely affected. Additionally, if the FDA, the EMA or any other comparable international regulatory agency withdraws its approval of a product that is or may be approved, we will be unable to generate revenue from the sale of that product in the relevant jurisdiction, our potential for generating positive cash flow will be diminished and the capital necessary to fund our operations will be increased. Accordingly, we continue to expend significant time, money and effort in all areas of regulatory compliance, including manufacturing, production, product surveillance, post-marketing studies and quality control.

 

We do not and will not have access to all information regarding fostamatinib and product candidates we licensed to Kissei,  Grifols and Medison.

 

We do not and will not have access to all information regarding fostamatinib and other product candidates, including potentially material information about commercialization plans, medical information strategies, clinical trial design and execution, safety reports from clinical trials, safety reports, regulatory affairs, process development, manufacturing and other areas known by Kissei,  Grifols and Medison. In addition, we have confidentiality obligations

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under our agreement with Kissei,  Grifols and Medison. Thus, our ability to keep our shareholders informed about the status of fostamatinib will be limited by the degree to which Kissei, Grifols and/or Medison keep us informed and allows us to disclose such information to the public. If Kissei, Grifols and/or Medison fail to keep us informed about commercialization efforts related to fostamatinib, or the status of the clinical development or regulatory approval pathway of other product candidates licensed to them, we may make operational and/or investment decisions that we would not have made had we been fully informed, which may adversely affect our business and operations.

 

If we are unable to obtain regulatory approval to market products in the United States and foreign jurisdictions, we will not be permitted to commercialize products we or our collaborative partners may develop.

 

We cannot predict whether regulatory clearance will be obtained for any product that we, or our collaborative partners, hope to develop. Satisfaction of regulatory requirements typically takes many years, is dependent upon the type, complexity and novelty of the product and requires the expenditure of substantial resources. Of particular significance to us are the requirements relating to research and development and testing.

 

Before commencing clinical trials in humans in the United States, we, or our collaborative partners, will need to submit and receive approval from the FDA of an IND application. Clinical trials are subject to oversight by institutional review boards and the FDA and:

 

·

must be conducted in conformance with the FDA’s good clinical practices and other applicable regulations;

 

·

must meet requirements for institutional review board oversight;

 

·

must meet requirements for informed consent;

 

·

are subject to continuing FDA and regulatory oversight;

 

·

may require large numbers of test subjects; and

 

·

may be suspended by us, our collaborators or the FDA at any time if it is believed that the subjects participating in these trials are being exposed to unacceptable health risks or if the FDA finds deficiencies in the IND or the conduct of these trials.

 

While we have stated that we intend to file additional INDs for future product candidates, this is only a statement of intent, and we may not be able to do so because we may not be able to identify potential product candidates. In addition, the FDA may not approve any IND we or our collaborative partners may submit in a timely manner, or at all.

 

Before receiving FDA approval to market a product, we must demonstrate with substantial clinical evidence that the product is safe and effective in the patient population and the indication that will be treated. Data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are susceptible to varying interpretations that could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approvals. In addition, delays or rejections may be encountered based upon additional government regulation from future legislation or administrative action or changes in FDA policy during the period of product development, clinical trials and FDA regulatory review. Failure to comply with applicable FDA or other applicable regulatory requirements may result in criminal prosecution, civil penalties, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production or injunction, adverse publicity, as well as other regulatory action against our potential products or us. Additionally, we have limited experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approval.

 

If regulatory approval of a product is granted, this approval will be limited to those indications or disease states and conditions for which the product is demonstrated through clinical trials to be safe and efficacious. We cannot assure you that any compound developed by us, alone or with others, will prove to be safe and efficacious in clinical trials and will meet all of the applicable regulatory requirements needed to receive marketing approval.

 

Outside the United States, our ability, or that of our collaborative partners, to market a product is contingent upon receiving a marketing authorization from the appropriate regulatory authorities. This foreign regulatory approval

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process typically includes all of the risks and costs associated with FDA approval described above and may also include additional risks and costs, such as the risk that such foreign regulatory authorities, which often have different regulatory and clinical trial requirements, interpretations and guidance from the FDA, may require additional clinical trials or results for approval of a product candidate, any of which could result in delays, significant additional costs or failure to obtain such regulatory approval.  There can be no assurance, however, that we or our collaborative partners will not have to provide additional information or analysis, or conduct additional clinical trials, before receiving approval to market product candidates.

 

We may be unable to expand our product pipeline, which could limit our growth and revenue potential.

 

Our business is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematologic disorders, cancer and rare diseases. In this regard, we are pursuing internal drug discovery efforts with the goal of identifying new product candidates to advance into clinical trials. Internal discovery efforts to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial and human resources. These internal discovery efforts may initially show promise in identifying potential product candidates, yet ultimately fail to yield product candidates for clinical development for a number of reasons. For example, potential product candidates may, on later stage clinical study, be shown to have inadequate efficacy, harmful side effects, suboptimal pharmaceutical profiles or other characteristics suggesting that they are unlikely to be commercially viable products.

 

Apart from our internal discovery efforts, our strategy to expand our development pipeline is also dependent on our ability to successfully identify and acquire or in-license relevant product candidates. However, the in-licensing and acquisition of product candidates is a highly competitive area, and many other companies are pursuing the same or similar product candidates to those that we may consider attractive. In particular, larger companies with more well-established and diverse revenue streams may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, financial resources and more extensive clinical development and commercialization capabilities. Furthermore, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us.  We may also be unable to in-license or acquire additional relevant product candidates on acceptable terms that would allow us to realize an appropriate return on our investment. If we are unable to develop suitable product candidates through internal discovery efforts or if we are unable to successfully obtain rights to suitable product candidates, our business and prospects for growth could suffer. Even if we succeed in our efforts to obtain rights to suitable product candidates, the competitive business environment may result in higher acquisition or licensing costs, and our investment in these potential products will remain subject to the inherent risks associated with the development and commercialization of new medicines. In certain circumstances, we may also be reliant on the licensor for the continued development of the in-licensed technology and their efforts to safeguard their underlying intellectual property.

 

With respect to acquisitions, we may not be able to integrate the target company successfully into our existing business, maintain the key business relationships of the target, or retain key personnel of an acquired business. Furthermore, we could assume unknown or contingent liabilities or incur unanticipated expenses. Any acquisitions or investments made by us also could result in our spending significant amounts, issuing dilutive securities, assuming or incurring significant debt obligations and contingent liabilities, incurring large one-time expenses and acquiring intangible assets that could result in significant future amortization expense and significant write-offs, any of which could harm our operating results.

 

Increasing use of social media could give rise to liability and may harm our business.

 

We and our employees are increasingly utilizing social media tools and our website as a means of communication. Despite our efforts to monitor evolving social media communication guidelines and comply with applicable laws and regulations, there is risk that the unauthorized use of social media by us or our employees to communicate about our products or business, or any inadvertent disclosure of material, nonpublic information through these means, may cause us to be found in violation of applicable laws and regulations, which may give rise to liability and result in harm to our business. In addition, there is also risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information,

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which could result in significant legal and financial exposure and reputational damages that could potentially have an  adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, negative posts or comments about us or our products on social media could seriously damage our reputation, brand image and goodwill.

 

Our future funding requirements will depend on many uncertain factors.

 

Our future funding requirements will depend upon many factors, many of which are beyond our control, including, but not limited to:

 

·

the costs to commercialize fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP in the United States, or any other future product candidates, if any such candidate receives regulatory approval for commercial sale;

 

·

the progress and success of our Phase 3 trial in warm AIHA, other clinical trials and preclinical activities (including studies and manufacture of materials) of our product candidates conducted by us;

 

·

the costs and timing of regulatory filings and approvals by us and our collaborators;

 

·

the progress of research and development programs carried out by us and our collaborative partners;

 

·

any changes in the breadth of our research and development programs;

 

·

the ability to achieve the events identified in our collaborative agreements that may trigger payments to us from our collaboration partners;

 

·

our ability to acquire or license other technologies or compounds that we may seek to pursue;

 

·

our ability to manage our growth;

 

·

competing technological and market developments;

 

·

the costs and timing of obtaining, enforcing and defending our patent and other intellectual property rights; and

 

·

expenses associated with any unforeseen litigation, including any arbitration and securities class action lawsuits.

 

Insufficient funds may require us to delay, scale back or eliminate some or all of our commercial efforts and/or research and development programs, to reduce personnel and operating expenses, to lose rights under existing licenses or to relinquish greater or all rights to product candidates at an earlier stage of development or on less favorable terms than we would otherwise choose or may adversely affect our ability to operate as a going concern.

 

There is a high risk that drug discovery and development efforts might not generate successful product candidates.

 

At the present time, a significant portion of our operations are focused on various stages of drug identification and development. We currently have various product candidates in the clinical testing stage. In our industry, it is statistically unlikely that the limited number of compounds that we have identified as potential product candidates will actually lead to successful product development efforts. We have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources into the development of fostamatinib.  Our ability to generate product revenue, which will not occur until after regulatory approval, if ever, will depend on the successful development, regulatory approval and eventual commercialization of one of our product candidates.

 

Our compounds in clinical trials and our future leads for potential drug compounds are subject to the risks and failures inherent in the development of pharmaceutical products. These risks include, but are not limited to, the inherent

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difficulty in selecting the right drug and drug target and avoiding unwanted side effects, as well as unanticipated problems relating to product development, testing, enrollment, obtaining regulatory approvals, maintaining regulatory compliance, manufacturing, competition and costs and expenses that may exceed current estimates. In future clinical trials, we or our partners may discover additional side effects and/or higher frequency of side effects than those observed in previously completed clinical trials. The results of preliminary and mid-stage clinical trials do not necessarily predict clinical or commercial success, and larger later-stage clinical trials may fail to confirm the results observed in the previous clinical trials. Similarly, a clinical trial may show that a product candidate is safe and effective for certain patient populations in a particular indication, but other clinical trials may fail to confirm those results in a subset of that population or in a different patient population, which may limit the potential market for that product candidate. With respect to our own compounds in development, we have established anticipated timelines with respect to the initiation of clinical trials based on existing knowledge of the compounds. However, we cannot provide assurance that we will meet any of these timelines for clinical development. Additionally, the initial results of a completed earlier clinical trial of a product candidate do not necessarily predict final results and the results may not be repeated in later clinical trials.

 

Because of the uncertainty of whether the accumulated preclinical evidence (PK, pharmacodynamic, safety and/or other factors) or early clinical results will be observed in later clinical trials, we can make no assurances regarding the likely results from our future clinical trials or the impact of those results on our business. If our clinical trials fail to meet the primary efficacy endpoints, the commercial prospects of our business may be harmed, our ability to generate product revenues may be delayed or eliminated or we may be forced to undertake other strategic alternatives that are in our shareholders’ best interests, including cost reduction measures. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or engage in a strategic transaction on commercially reasonable terms or at all, we may be required to implement further cost reduction strategies which could significantly impact activities related to our commercial efforts and/or research and development of our future product candidates, and could significantly harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, these cost reduction strategies could cause us to further curtail our operations or take other actions that would adversely impact our shareholders.

 

Delays in clinical testing could result in increased costs to us.

 

We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical studies or trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these clinical trials as required by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. Even if we are able to enroll a sufficient number of patients in our clinical trials, if the pace of enrollment is slower than we expect, the development costs for our product candidates may increase and the completion of our clinical trials may be delayed, or our clinical trials could become too expensive to complete. Significant delays in clinical testing could negatively impact our product development costs and timing. Our estimates regarding timing are based on a number of assumptions, including assumptions based on past experience with our other clinical programs. If we are unable to enroll the patients in these trials at the projected rate, the completion of the clinical program could be delayed and the costs of conducting the program could increase, either of which could harm our business.

 

Clinical trials can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including delays in obtaining regulatory approval to commence a study, delays from scaling up of a study, delays in reaching agreement on acceptable clinical trial agreement terms with prospective clinical sites, delays in obtaining institutional review board approval to conduct a study at a prospective clinical site or delays in recruiting subjects to participate in a study. In addition, we typically rely on third-party clinical investigators to conduct our clinical trials and other third-party organizations to oversee the operations of such trials and to perform data collection and analysis. The clinical investigators are not our employees, and we cannot control the amount or timing of resources that they devote to our programs. Failure of the third-party organizations to meet their obligations could adversely affect clinical development of our products. As a result, we may face additional delaying factors outside our control if these parties do not perform their obligations in a timely fashion. For example, any number of those issues could arise with our clinical trials causing a delay. Delays of this sort could occur for the reasons identified above or other reasons. If we have delays in conducting the clinical trials or obtaining regulatory approvals, our product development costs will increase. For example, we may need to make additional payments to third-party investigators and organizations to retain their services or we may need to pay recruitment incentives. If the delays are significant, our financial results and the commercial prospects for our product candidates will be harmed, and our ability to become profitable will be delayed. Moreover, these third-party investigators and organizations may also have

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relationships with other commercial entities, some of which may compete with us. If these third-party investigators and organizations assist our competitors at our expense, it could harm our competitive position.

 

We have obtained orphan drug designation from the FDA for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP and warm AIHA, but we may not be able to obtain or maintain orphan drug designation or exclusivity for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP, warm AIHA or our other product candidates, or we may be unable to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug designation, including the potential for market exclusivity.

 

We have obtained orphan drug designation in the United States for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP and warm AIHA. We may seek orphan drug designation for other product candidates in the future. 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, which is defined as one occurring in a patient population of fewer than 200,000 in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States where there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales in the United States. In the United States, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages and user-fee waivers. In addition, if a product that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including a full NDA, to market the same drug for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity or where the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient product quantity.

 

We cannot assure you that any future application for orphan drug designation with respect to any other product candidate will be granted. If we are unable to obtain orphan drug designation with respect to other product candidates in the United States, we will not be eligible to obtain the period of market exclusivity that could result from orphan drug designation or be afforded the financial incentives associated with orphan drug designation. Even though we have received orphan drug designation for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP and warm AIHA, we may not be the first to obtain marketing approval for the orphan-designated indication due to the uncertainties associated with developing pharmaceutical products. In addition, exclusive marketing rights in the United States for fostamatinib for the treatment of ITP, warm AIHA or any future product candidate may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan-designated indication or may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. Further, even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs with different active moieties can be approved for the same condition. Even after an orphan product is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve the same drug with the same active moiety for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later drug is safer, more effective, or makes a major contribution to patient care. 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.

 

Our research and development efforts will be seriously jeopardized if we are unable to attract and retain key employees and relationships.

 

As a small company, our success depends on the continued contributions of our principal management and scientific personnel and on our ability to develop and maintain important relationships with leading academic institutions, scientists and companies in the face of intense competition for such personnel. In particular, our research programs depend on our ability to attract and retain highly skilled chemists, other scientists, and development, regulatory and clinical personnel. If we lose the services of any of our key personnel, our research and development efforts could be seriously and adversely affected. Our employees can terminate their employment with us at any time.

 

Our success as a company is uncertain due to our history of operating losses and the uncertainty of any future profitability.

 

We incurred a loss from operations of approximately $65.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2019. Other than for 2010, we have historically incurred losses from operations each year since we were incorporated in June 1996, due in large part to the significant research and development expenditures required to identify and validate

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new product candidates and pursue our development efforts, and the costs of our ongoing commercial efforts for TAVALISSE. We expect to continue to incur losses from operations, at least in the next twelve months, and there can be no assurance that we will generate annual operating income in the foreseeable future. Currently, our potential sources of revenues are our sales of TAVALISE, upfront payments, research and development contingent payments and royalty payments pursuant to our collaboration arrangements, which may never materialize if our collaborators do not achieve certain events or generate net sales to which these contingent payments are dependent on. If our future drug candidates fail or do not gain regulatory approval, or if our drugs do not achieve sustainable market acceptance, we may not be profitable. As of December 31, 2019, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $1.3 billion. The extent of our future losses or profitability, if any, is highly uncertain.

 

If our corporate collaborations or license agreements are unsuccessful, or if we fail to form new corporate collaborations or license agreements, our research and development efforts could be delayed.

 

Our strategy depends upon the formation and sustainability of multiple collaborative arrangements and license agreements with third parties now and in the future. We rely on these arrangements for not only financial resources, but also for expertise we need now and in the future relating to clinical trials, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and for licenses to technology rights. To date, we have entered into several such arrangements with corporate collaborators; however, we do not know if these collaborations or additional collaborations with third parties, if any, will dedicate sufficient resources or if any development or commercialization efforts by third parties will be successful. In addition, our corporate collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial program, stop a clinical trial or abandon a drug candidate or development program. Should a collaborative partner fail to develop or commercialize a compound or product to which it has rights from us for any reason, including corporate restructuring, such failure might delay our ongoing research and development efforts, because we might not receive any future payments, and we would not receive any royalties associated with such compound or product. We are conducting a Phase 3 clinical program to study fostamatinib in AIHA on our own. We may seek another collaborator or licensee in the future for clinical development and commercialization of fostamatinib, as well as our other clinical programs, which we may not be able to obtain on commercially reasonable terms or at all. If we are unable to form new collaborations or enter into new license agreements, our research and development efforts could be delayed. In addition, the continuation of some of our partnered drug discovery and development programs may be dependent on the periodic renewal of our corporate collaborations.

 

Each of our collaborations could be terminated by the other party at any time, and we may not be able to renew these collaborations on acceptable terms, if at all, or negotiate additional corporate collaborations on acceptable terms, if at all. If these collaborations terminate or are not renewed, any resultant loss of revenues from these collaborations or loss of the resources and expertise of our collaborative partners could adversely affect our business.

 

Conflicts also might arise with collaborative partners concerning proprietary rights to particular compounds. While our existing collaborative agreements typically provide that we retain milestone payments, royalty rights and/or revenue sharing with respect to drugs developed from certain compounds or derivative compounds, any such payments or royalty rights may be at reduced rates, and disputes may arise over the application of payment provisions or derivative payment provisions to such drugs, and we may not be successful in such disputes.  For example, in September 2018, BerGenBio served us with a notice of arbitration seeking declaratory relief related to the interpretation of provisions under our June 2011 license agreement, particularly as they relate to the rights and obligations of the parties in the event of the license or sale of a product in the program by BerGenBio and/or the sale of BerGenBio to a third party.  The arbitration panel dismissed four of the six declarations sought by BerGenBio, and we thereafter consented to one of the remaining declarations requested by BerGenBio.  On February 27, 2019, the arbitration panel issued a determination granting the declaration sought by BerGenBio on the remaining issue, and held that in the event of a sale of shares by BerGenBio’s shareholders where there is no monetary benefit to BerGenBio, we would not be entitled to a portion of the proceeds from such a sale.  In this circumstance where the revenue share provision is not triggered, the milestone and royalty payment provisions remain in effect.  While we do not believe that the determination will have an  adverse effect on our operations, cash flows or financial condition, we can make no assurance regarding any such impact. Additionally, the management teams of our collaborators may change for various reasons including due to being acquired. Different management teams or an acquiring company of our collaborators may have different priorities which may have adverse results on the collaboration with us.

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We are also a party to various license agreements that give us rights to use specified technologies in our research and development processes. The agreements pursuant to which we have in-licensed technology permit our licensors to terminate the agreements under certain circumstances. If we are not able to continue to license these and future technologies on commercially reasonable terms, our product development and research may be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.

 

If conflicts arise between our collaborators or advisors and us, any of them may act in their self-interest, which may be adverse to our stockholders’ interests.

 

If conflicts arise between us and our corporate collaborators or scientific advisors, the other party may act in its self-interest and not in the interest of our stockholders. Some of our corporate collaborators are conducting multiple product development efforts within each disease area that is the subject of the collaboration with us or may be acquired or merged with a company having a competing program. In some of our collaborations, we have agreed not to conduct, independently or with any third party, any research that is competitive with the research conducted under our collaborations. Our collaborators, however, may develop, either alone or with others, products in related fields that are competitive with the products or potential products that are the subject of these collaborations. Competing products, either developed by our collaborators or to which our collaborators have rights, may result in their withdrawal of support for our product candidates.

 

If any of our corporate collaborators were to breach or terminate its agreement with us or otherwise fail to conduct the collaborative activities successfully and in a timely manner, the preclinical or clinical development or commercialization of the affected product candidates or research programs could be delayed or terminated. We generally do not control the amount and timing of resources that our corporate collaborators devote to our programs or potential products. We do not know whether current or future collaborative partners, if any, might pursue alternative technologies or develop alternative products either on their own or in collaboration with others, including our competitors, as a means for developing treatments for the diseases targeted by collaborative arrangements with us.

 

Our success is dependent on intellectual property rights held by us and third parties, and our interest in such rights is complex and uncertain.

 

Our success will depend to a large part on our own, our licensees’ and our licensors’ ability to obtain and defend patents for each party’s respective technologies and the compounds and other products, if any, resulting from the application of such technologies. For example, fostamatinib is covered as a composition of matter in a U.S. issued patent that has an expected expiration date of September 2031, after taking into account patent term adjustment and extension rules. 

 

In the future, our patent position might be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions. For example, we may be involved in post-grant proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Post-grant proceedings are complex and expensive legal proceedings and there is no assurance we will be successful in any such proceedings. A post-grant proceeding could result in our losing our patent rights and/or our freedom to operate and/or require us to pay significant royalties. Additional uncertainty may result because no consistent policy regarding the breadth of legal claims allowed in biotechnology patents has emerged to date. Accordingly, we cannot predict the breadth of claims allowed in our or other companies’ patents.

 

Because the degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain, we cannot assure you that:

 

·

we were the first to make the inventions covered by each of our pending patent applications;

 

·

we were the first to file patent applications for these inventions;

 

·

others will not independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies;

 

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·

any of our pending patent applications will result in issued patents;

 

·

any patents issued to us or our collaborators will provide a basis for commercially-viable products or will provide us with any competitive advantages or will not be challenged by third parties;

 

·

we will develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable; or

 

·

the patents of others will not have a negative effect on our ability to do business.

 

We rely on trade secrets to protect technology where we believe patent protection is not appropriate or obtainable; however, trade secrets are difficult to protect. While we require employees, collaborators and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements, we may not be able to adequately protect our trade secrets or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use or disclosure or the lawful development by others of such information.

 

We are a party to certain in-license agreements that are important to our business, and we generally do not control the prosecution of in-licensed technology. Accordingly, we are unable to exercise the same degree of control over this intellectual property as we exercise over our internally-developed technology. Moreover, some of our academic institution licensors, research collaborators and scientific advisors have rights to publish data and information in which we have rights. If we cannot maintain the confidentiality of our technology and other confidential information in connection with our collaborations, our ability to receive patent protection or protect our proprietary information may otherwise be impaired. In addition, some of the technology we have licensed relies on patented inventions developed using U.S. government resources.

 

The U.S. government retains certain rights, as defined by law, in such patents, and may choose to exercise such rights. Certain of our in-licenses may be terminated if we fail to meet specified obligations. If we fail to meet such obligations and any of our licensors exercise their termination rights, we could lose our rights under those agreements. If we lose any of our rights, it may adversely affect the way we conduct our business. In addition, because certain of our licenses are sublicenses, the actions of our licensors may affect our rights under those licenses.

 

If a dispute arises regarding the infringement or misappropriation of the proprietary rights of others, such dispute could be costly and result in delays in our research and development activities and partnering.

 

Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to operate without infringing or misappropriating the proprietary rights of others. There are many issued patents and patent applications filed by third parties relating to products or processes that are similar or identical to our licensors or ours, and others may be filed in the future. There may also be copyrights or trademarks that third parties hold. There can be no assurance that our activities, or those of our licensors, will not violate intellectual property rights of others. We believe that there may be significant litigation in the industry regarding patent and other intellectual property rights, and we do not know if our collaborators or we would be successful in any such litigation. Any legal action against our collaborators or us claiming damages or seeking to enjoin commercial activities relating to the affected products, our methods or processes could:

 

·

require our collaborators or us to obtain a license to continue to use, manufacture or market the affected products, methods or processes, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, if at all;

 

·

prevent us from using the subject matter claimed in the patents held by others;

 

·

subject us to potential liability for damages;

 

·

consume a substantial portion of our managerial and financial resources; and

 

·

result in litigation or administrative proceedings that may be costly, whether we win or lose.

 

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Our effective tax rate may fluctuate, and we may incur obligations in tax jurisdictions in excess of accrued amounts.

 

We are subject to taxation in numerous U.S. states and territories. As a result, our effective tax rate is derived from a combination of applicable tax rates in the various places that we operate. In preparing our financial statements, we estimate the amount of tax that will become payable in each of such places. Nevertheless, our effective tax rate may be different than experienced in the past due to numerous factors, including passage of the newly enacted federal income tax law, changes in the mix of our profitability from state to state, the results of examinations and audits of our tax filings, our inability to secure or sustain acceptable agreements with tax authorities, changes in accounting for income taxes and changes in tax laws. Any of these factors could cause us to experience an effective tax rate significantly different from previous periods or our current expectations and may result in tax obligations in excess of amounts accrued in our financial statements

 

Our ability to use net operating losses and certain other tax attributes is uncertain and may be limited.

 

Our ability to use our federal and state net operating losses to offset potential future taxable income and related income taxes that would otherwise be due is dependent upon our generation of future taxable income before the expiration dates of the net operating losses, and we cannot predict with certainty when, or whether, we will generate sufficient taxable income to use all of our net operating losses. Federal net operating losses generated prior to 2018 will continue to be governed by the net operating loss tax rules as they existed prior to the adoption of the new Tax Act, which means that generally they will expire 20 years after they were generated if not used prior thereto.  Many states have similar laws.  Accordingly, our federal and state net operating losses could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities.  Under the newly enacted Tax Act, federal net operating losses incurred in 2018 and in future years may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal net operating losses is limited to 80% of current year taxable income.  In addition, utilization of net operating losses to offset potential future taxable income and related income taxes that would otherwise be due is subject to annual limitations under the “ownership change” provisions of Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Internal Revenue Code) and similar state provisions, which may result in the expiration of net operating losses before future utilization. In general, under the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership over a three-year period, the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating losses and other pre-change tax attributes (such as research and development credit carryforwards) to offset its post-change taxable income or taxes may be limited. Our equity offerings and other changes in our stock ownership, some of which are outside of our control, may have resulted or could in the future result in an ownership change. Although we have completed studies to provide reasonable assurance that an ownership change limitation would not apply, we cannot be certain that a taxing authority would reach the same conclusion. If, after a review or audit, an ownership change limitation were to apply, utilization of our domestic net operating losses and tax credit carryforwards could be limited in future periods and a portion of the carryforwards could expire before being available to reduce future income tax liabilities. Moreover, our ability to utilize our net operating losses is conditioned upon us achieving profitability and generating U.S. federal taxable income.

 

Because we expect to be dependent upon collaborative and license agreements, we might not meet our strategic objectives.

 

Our ability to generate revenue in the near term depends on the timing of recognition of certain upfront payments, achievement of certain payment triggering events with our existing collaboration agreements and our ability to enter into additional collaborative agreements with third parties. Our ability to enter into new collaborations and the revenue, if any, that may be recognized under these collaborations is highly uncertain. If we are unable to enter into one or more new collaborations, our business prospects could be harmed, which could have an immediate adverse effect on our ability to continue to develop our compounds and on the trading price of our stock. Our ability to enter into a collaboration may be dependent on many factors, such as the results of our clinical trials, competitive factors and the fit of one of our programs with another company’s risk tolerance, including toward regulatory issues, patent portfolio, clinical pipeline, the stage of the available data, particularly if it is early, overall corporate goals and financial position.

 

To date, a portion of our revenues have been related to the research or transition phase of each of our collaborative agreements. Such revenues are for specified periods, and the impact of such revenues on our results of

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operations is at least partially offset by corresponding research costs. Following the completion of the research or transition phase of each collaborative agreement, additional revenues may come only from payments triggered by milestones and/or the achievement of other contingent events, and royalties, which may not be paid, if at all, until certain conditions are met. This risk is heightened due to the fact that unsuccessful research efforts may preclude us from receiving any contingent payments under these agreements. Our receipt of revenues from collaborative arrangements is also significantly affected by the timing of efforts expended by us and our collaborators and the timing of lead compound identification. We have received payments from our collaborations with Grifols, Kissei, Medison, Aclaris, Celgene, BMS, AZ, BerGenBio, Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V., a division of Johnson & Johnson, Novartis Pharma A.G., Daiichi, Merck & Co., Inc., Merck Serono and Pfizer. Under many agreements, future payments may not be earned until the collaborator has advanced product candidates into clinical testing, which may never occur or may not occur until sometime well into the future. If we are not able to generate revenue under our collaborations when and in accordance with our expectations or the expectations of industry analysts, this failure could harm our business and have an immediate adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

 

Our business requires us to generate meaningful revenue from royalties and licensing agreements. To date, we have not received any revenue from royalties for the commercial sale of drugs, and we do not know when we will receive any such revenue, if at all.

 

Securities class action lawsuits or other litigation could result in substantial damages and may divert management’s time and attention from our business.

 

We have been subject to class action lawsuits in the past and we may be subject to lawsuits in the future, such as those that might occur if there was to be a change in our corporate strategy. These and other lawsuits are subject to inherent uncertainties, and the actual costs to be incurred relating to the lawsuit will depend upon many unknown factors. The outcome of litigation is necessarily uncertain, and we could be forced to expend significant resources in the defense of such suits, and we may not prevail. Monitoring and defending against legal actions is time-consuming for our management and detracts from our ability to fully focus our internal resources on our business activities. In addition, we may incur substantial legal fees and costs in connection with any such litigation. We have not established any reserves for any potential liability relating to any such potential lawsuits. It is possible that we could, in the future, incur judgments or enter into settlements of claims for monetary damages. A decision adverse to our interests on any such actions could result in the payment of substantial damages, or possibly fines, and could have an adverse effect on our cash flow, results of operations and financial position.

 

Global economic conditions could adversely impact our business.

 

The U.S. government has indicated its intent to alter its approach to international trade policy and in some cases to renegotiate, or potentially terminate, certain existing bilateral or multi-lateral trade agreements and treaties with foreign countries. In addition, the U.S. government has initiated or is considering imposing tariffs on certain foreign goods. Related to this action, certain foreign governments, including China, have instituted or are considering imposing tariffs on certain U.S. goods. It remains unclear what the U.S. Administration or foreign governments will or will not do with respect to tariffs or other international trade agreements and policies. A trade war or other governmental action related to tariffs or international trade agreements or policies has the potential to disrupt our research activities, affect our suppliers and/or the U.S. economy or certain sectors thereof and, thus, could adversely impact our businesses.

 

If our competitors develop technologies that are more effective than ours, our commercial opportunity will be reduced or eliminated.

 

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are intensely competitive and subject to rapid and significant technological change. Many of the drugs that we are attempting to discover will be competing with existing therapies. In addition, a number of companies are pursuing the development of pharmaceuticals that target the same diseases and conditions that we are targeting. For example, the commercialization of new pharmaceutical products is highly competitive, and we face substantial competition with respect to TAVALISSE in which there are existing therapies and drug candidates in development for the treatment of ITP that may be alternative therapies to TAVALISSE. Many of our competitors, including a number of large pharmaceutical companies that compete directly with us, have significantly

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greater financial resources and expertise commercializing approved products than we do. Also, many of our competitors are large pharmaceutical companies that will have a greater ability to reduce prices for their competing drugs in an effort to gain market share and undermine the value proposition that we might otherwise be able to offer to payers. We face, and will continue to face, intense competition from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as from academic and research institutions and government agencies, both in the United States and abroad. Some of these competitors are pursuing the development of pharmaceuticals that target the same diseases and conditions as our research programs. Our competitors including fully integrated pharmaceutical companies have extensive drug discovery efforts and are developing novel small-molecule pharmaceuticals. We also face significant competition from organizations that are pursuing the same or similar technologies, including the discovery of targets that are useful in compound screening, as the technologies used by us in our drug discovery efforts.

 

Competition may also arise from:

 

·

new or better methods of target identification or validation;

 

·

generic version of TAVALISSE or of products with which we compete;

 

·

other drug development technologies and methods of preventing or reducing the incidence of disease;

 

·

new small molecules; or

 

·

other classes of therapeutic agents.

 

Our competitors or their collaborative partners may utilize discovery technologies and techniques or partner with collaborators in order to develop products more rapidly or successfully than we or our collaborators are able to do. Many of our competitors, particularly large pharmaceutical companies, have substantially greater financial, technical and human resources and larger research and development staffs than we do. In addition, academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private organizations conducting research may seek patent protection with respect to potentially competitive products or technologies and may establish exclusive collaborative or licensing relationships with our competitors.

 

We believe that our ability to compete is dependent, in part, upon our ability to create, maintain and license scientifically-advanced technology and upon our and our collaborators’ ability to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products based on this technology, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, obtain patent protection or otherwise develop proprietary technology or processes and secure sufficient capital resources for the expected substantial time period between technological conception and commercial sales of products based upon our technology. The failure by any of our collaborators or us in any of those areas may prevent the successful commercialization of our potential drug targets.

 

Many of our competitors, either alone or together with their collaborative partners, have significantly greater experience than we do in:

 

·

identifying and validating targets;

 

·

screening compounds against targets; and

 

·

undertaking preclinical testing and clinical trials.

 

Accordingly, our competitors may succeed in obtaining patent protection, identifying or validating new targets or discovering new drug compounds before we do.

 

Our competitors might develop technologies and drugs that are more effective or less costly than any that are being developed by us or that would render our technology and product candidates obsolete and noncompetitive. In addition, our competitors may succeed in obtaining the approval of the FDA or other regulatory agencies for product

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candidates more rapidly. Companies that complete clinical trials, obtain required regulatory agency approvals and commence commercial sale of their drugs before us may achieve a significant competitive advantage, including certain patent and FDA marketing exclusivity rights that would delay or prevent our ability to market certain products. Any drugs resulting from our research and development efforts, or from our joint efforts with our existing or future collaborative partners, might not be able to compete successfully with competitors’ existing or future products or obtain regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere.

 

We face and will continue to face intense competition from other companies for collaborative arrangements with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, for establishing relationships with academic and research institutions and for licenses to additional technologies. These competitors, either alone or with their collaborative partners, may succeed in developing technologies or products that are more effective than ours.

 

Our ability to compete successfully will depend, in part, on our ability to:

 

·

identify and validate targets;

 

·

discover candidate drug compounds that interact with the targets we identify;

 

·

attract and retain scientific and product development personnel;

 

·

obtain patent or other proprietary protection for our new drug compounds and technologies; and

 

·

enter commercialization agreements for our new drug compounds.

 

Our stock price may be volatile, and our stockholders’ investment in our common stock could decline in value.

 

The market prices for our common stock and the securities of other biotechnology companies have been highly volatile and may continue to be highly volatile in the future. The following factors, in addition to other risk factors described in this section, may have a significant impact on the market price of our common stock:

 

·

the progress and success of our clinical trials and preclinical activities (including studies and manufacture of materials) of our product candidates conducted by us;

 

·

our ability to continue to sell TAVALISSE in the United States;

 

·

our ability to enter into partnering opportunities across our pipeline;

 

·

the receipt or failure to receive the additional funding necessary to conduct our business;

 

·

selling by large stockholders;

 

·

presentations of detailed clinical trial data at medical and scientific conferences and investor perception thereof;

 

·

announcements of technological innovations or new commercial products by our competitors or us;

 

·

developments concerning proprietary rights, including patents;

 

·

developments concerning our collaborations;

 

·

publicity regarding actual or potential medical results relating to products under development by our competitors or us;

 

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·

regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;

 

·

changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;

 

·

litigation or arbitration;

 

·

economic and other external factors or other disaster or crisis; and

 

·

period-to-period fluctuations in financial results.

 

If we fail to continue to meet the listing standards of Nasdaq, our common stock may be delisted, which could have an  adverse effect on the liquidity of our common stock.

 

Our common stock is currently listed on the Nasdaq Global Market. The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC has requirements that a company must meet in order to remain listed on Nasdaq. In particular, Nasdaq rules require us to maintain a minimum bid price of $1.00 per share of our common stock. If the closing bid price of our common stock were to fall below $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive trading days or we do not meet other listing requirements, we would fail to be in compliance with Nasdaq listing standards. There can be no assurance that we will continue to meet the minimum bid price requirement, or any other requirement in the future. If we fail to meet the minimum bid price requirement, The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC may initiate the delisting process with a notification letter. If we were to receive such a notification, we would be afforded a grace period of 180 calendar days to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. In order to regain compliance, shares of our common stock would need to maintain a minimum closing bid price of at least $1.00 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading days. In addition, we may be unable to meet other applicable Nasdaq listing requirements, including maintaining minimum levels of stockholders’ equity or market values of our common stock in which case, our common stock could be delisted. If our common stock were to be delisted, the liquidity of our common stock would be adversely affected, and the market price of our common stock could decrease.

 

The withdrawal of the U.K. from the E.U. may adversely impact our ability to obtain regulatory approvals of our product candidates in the E.U., result in restrictions or imposition of taxes and duties for importing our product candidates into the E.U., and may require us to incur additional expenses in order to develop, manufacture and commercialize our product candidates in the E.U.

 

Following the result of a referendum in 2016, the U.K. left the E.U. on January 31, 2020, commonly referred to as Brexit.  Pursuant to the formal withdrawal arrangements agreed between the U.K. and the E.U., the U.K. will be subject to a transition period until December 31, 2020, or the Transition Period, during which E.U. rules will continue to apply.  Negotiations between the U.K. and the E.U. are expected to continue in relation to the customs and trading relationship between the U.K. and the E.U. following the expiry of the Transition Period. 

 

Since a significant proportion of the regulatory framework in the U.K. applicable to our business and our product candidates is derived from E.U. directives and regulations, Brexit, following the Transition Period, could adversely impact the regulatory regime with respect to the development, manufacture, importation, approval and commercialization of our product candidates in the U.K. or the E.U. For example, as a result of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the EMA relocated to Amsterdam from London. Following the Transition Period, the U.K. will no longer be covered by the centralized procedures for obtaining E.U-wide marketing authorization from the EMA and, unless a specific agreement is entered into, a separate process for authorization of drug products, including our product candidates, will be required in the U.K., the potential process for which is currently unclear. Any delay in obtaining, or an inability to obtain, any marketing approvals, as a result of Brexit or otherwise, would prevent us from commercializing our product candidates in the U.K. or the E.U. and restrict our ability to generate revenue and achieve and sustain profitability. In addition, we may be required to pay taxes or duties or be subjected to other hurdles in connection with the importation of our product candidates into the E.U., or we may incur expenses in establishing a manufacturing facility in the E.U. in order to circumvent such hurdles. If any of these outcomes occur, we may be forced to restrict or delay efforts to seek regulatory approval in the U.K. or the E.U. for our product candidates, or incur significant additional expenses to operate our business, which could significantly and materially harm or delay our

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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 U.K.

 

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

 

The testing and marketing of medical products and the sale of any products for which we obtain marketing approval exposes us to the risk of product liability claims. Product liability claims might be brought against us by consumers, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies or others selling or otherwise coming into contact with our products. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our products. We carry product liability insurance that is limited in scope and amount and may not be adequate to fully protect us against product liability claims. If and when we obtain marketing approval for our product candidates, we intend to expand our insurance coverage to include the sale of commercial products; however, we may be unable to obtain product liability insurance on commercially reasonable terms or in adequate amounts. Our inability to obtain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of pharmaceutical products we develop, alone or with corporate collaborators. We, or our corporate collaborators, might not be able to obtain insurance at a reasonable cost, if at all. While under various circumstances we are entitled to be indemnified against losses by our corporate collaborators, indemnification may not be available or adequate should any claim arise.

 

We depend on various scientific consultants and advisors for the success and continuation of our research and development efforts.

 

We work extensively with various scientific consultants and advisors. The potential success of our drug discovery and development programs depends, in part, on continued collaborations with certain of these consultants and advisors. We, and various members of our management and research staff, rely on certain of these consultants and advisors for expertise in our research, regulatory and clinical efforts. Our scientific advisors are not our employees and may have commitments to, or consulting or advisory contracts with, other entities that may limit their availability to us. We do not know if we will be able to maintain such consulting agreements or that such scientific advisors will not enter into consulting arrangements, exclusive or otherwise, with competing pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies, any of which would have a detrimental impact on our research objectives and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

If we use biological and hazardous materials in a manner that causes injury or violates laws, we may be liable for damages, penalties or fines.

 

Our research and development activities involve the controlled use of potentially harmful biological materials as well as hazardous materials, chemicals, animals, and various radioactive compounds. We cannot completely eliminate the risk of accidental contamination or injury from the use, storage, handling or disposal of these animals and materials. In the event of contamination or injury, we could be held liable for damages that result or for penalties or fines that may be imposed, and such liability could exceed our resources. We are also subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the use, storage, handling and disposal of these materials and specified waste products. The cost of compliance with, or any potential violation of, these laws and regulations could be significant.

 

Our internal computer systems, or those used by our contract research organizations or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches.

 

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our contract research organizations and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. While we have not experienced any such system failure, accident or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a disruption of our drug development programs. For example, the loss of

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clinical trial data from completed or ongoing clinical trials for a product candidate 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 were to result in a loss of or damage to our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability, incur significant remediation or litigation costs, result in product development delays, disrupt key business operations and divert attention of management and key information technology resources.

 

Companies have been increasingly subject to a wide variety of security incidents, cyber-attacks and other attempts to gain unauthorized access or otherwise compromise information technology systems. These threats can come from a variety of sources, ranging in sophistication from an individual hacker to a state-sponsored attack and motive including corporate espionage. Cyber threats may be generic, or they may be custom-crafted against our information systems. Cyber-attacks continue to become more prevalent and much harder to detect and defend against. Our network and storage applications and those of our contract manufacturing organizations, contract research organizations or vendors may be subject to unauthorized access by hackers or breached due to operator error, malfeasance or other system disruptions. It is often difficult to anticipate or immediately detect such incidents and the damage caused by such incidents. These data breaches and any unauthorized access or disclosure of our information or intellectual property could compromise our intellectual property and expose our sensitive business information. Any such event that leads to unauthorized access, use or disclosure of personal information, including personal information regarding our patients or employees, could harm our reputation and business, compel us to comply with federal and/or state breach notification laws and foreign law equivalents, subject us to investigations and mandatory corrective action, and otherwise subject us to liability under laws and regulations that protect the privacy and security of personal information, which could disrupt our business, result in increased costs or loss of revenue, or result in significant financial exposure. Furthermore, the costs of maintaining or upgrading our cyber-security systems at the level necessary to keep up with our expanding operations and prevent against potential attacks are increasing, and despite our best efforts, our network security and data recovery measures and those of our vendors may still not be adequate to protect against such security breaches and disruptions, which could cause harm to our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) could affect the value of certain short-term investments, outstanding debt from our existing credit facility as well as our ability to draw additional funds from our credit facility.

 

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, has announced plans to phase out the use of LIBOR by the end of 2021. We have certain short-term investments which includes financial instruments, as well an existing debt facility subject to LIBOR. There remains uncertainty regarding the future utilization of LIBOR and the nature of any replacement rate, and any potential effects of the transition away from LIBOR on certain instruments in to which we may enter in the future are not known. The transition process may involve, among other things, increased volatility or illiquidity in markets for instruments that currently rely on LIBOR. The transition may also result in reductions in the value of certain instruments or the effectiveness of related transactions such as hedges, increased borrowing costs, uncertainty under applicable documentation, or difficult and costly consent processes.  Any such effects of the transition away from LIBOR, as well as other unforeseen effects, result in expenses, difficulties, complications or delays in connection with future financing efforts, which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our facilities are located near known earthquake fault zones, and the occurrence of an earthquake or other catastrophic disaster could cause damage to our facilities and equipment, which could require us to cease or curtail operations.

 

Our facilities are located in the San Francisco Bay Area near known earthquake fault zones and are vulnerable to significant damage from earthquakes. We are also vulnerable to damage from other types of disasters, including fires, floods, power loss, communications failures and similar events. If any disaster were to occur, our ability to operate our business at our facilities would be seriously, or potentially completely, impaired, and our research could be lost or destroyed. In addition, the unique nature of our research activities and of much of our equipment could make it difficult for us to recover from a disaster. The insurance we maintain may not be adequate to cover our losses resulting from

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disasters or other business interruptions.

 

Future equity issuances or a sale of a substantial number of shares of our common stock may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

 

Because we will continue to need additional capital in the future to continue to expand our business and our research and development activities, among other things, we may conduct additional equity offerings. For example, under the universal shelf registration statement filed by us in March 2018 and declared effective by the SEC in April 2018, we may offer and sell any combination of common stock, preferred stock, debt securities and warrants in one or more offerings, up to a cumulative value of $200 million. To date, we have $128.2 million remaining under such universal shelf registration statement. If we or our stockholders sell, or if it is perceived that we or they will sell, substantial amounts of our common stock (including shares issued upon the exercise of options and warrants) in the public market, the market price of our common stock could fall. A decline in the market price of our common stock could make it more difficult for us to sell equity or equity-related securities in the future at a time and price that we deem appropriate. Furthermore, if we obtain funds through a credit facility or through the issuance of debt or preferred securities, these securities would likely have rights senior to the rights of our common stockholders, which could impair the value of our common stock.

 

Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware law may make an acquisition of us, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult.

 

Provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so would benefit our stockholders. These provisions:

 

·

establish that members of the board of directors may be removed only for cause upon the affirmative vote of stockholders owning a majority of our capital stock;

 

·

authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock that could be issued by our board of directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt;

 

·

limit who may call a special meeting of stockholders;

 

·

prohibit stockholder action by written consent, thereby requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;

 

·

establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to the board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at stockholder meetings;

 

·

provide for a board of directors with staggered terms; and

 

·

provide that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by a resolution of our board of directors.

 

In addition, Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which imposes certain restrictions relating to transactions with major stockholders, may discourage, delay or prevent a third party from acquiring us.

 

Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

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Item 2.  Properties

We currently lease facilities consisting of approximately 147,000 square feet of research and office space located at 1180 Veterans Boulevard, South San Francisco, California, of which, commencing in December 2014, we sublet approximately 57,000 square feet of our research and office space to an unrelated third party. In July 2017, we exercised our option to extend the term of our lease for another five years. Accordingly, we also extended the term of our sublease to an unrelated party. Both the lease and the sublease expire in January 2023. We believe our facilities are in good operating condition and that the leased real property that we still occupy is adequate for all present and near term uses.    

Item 3.  Legal Proceedings

None.

Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5.  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock commenced trading publicly on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “RIGL” on December 7, 2000.

Holders

As of February 20, 2020, there were approximately  88 stockholders of record of our common stock.

Dividends

We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock and currently do not plan to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

Performance Measurement Comparison

The graph below shows the cumulative total stockholder return of an investment of $100 (and the reinvestment of any dividends thereafter) on December 31, 2014 in (i) our common stock, (ii) the Nasdaq Composite Index and (iii) the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index is a modified‑capitalization weighted index that includes securities of Nasdaq‑listed companies classified according to the Industry Classification Benchmark as either Biotechnology or Pharmaceuticals and which also meet other eligibility criteria. Our stock price performance shown in the graph below is based upon historical data and is not indicative of future stock price performance.

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The following graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or be deemed to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.

COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*

Among Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the NASDAQ Composite Index

and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index

Picture 1


*$100 invested on December 31, 2014 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends at fiscal year ending December 31.

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Item 6.  Selected Financial Data

The following selected financial data has been derived from our audited financial statements. The information set forth below is not necessarily indicative of our results of future operations and should be read in conjunction with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10‑ K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended December 31,

 

 

    

2019

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

 

 

(in thousands, except per share amounts)

 

Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Contract revenues from collaborations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product sales, net

 

$

43,772

 

$

13,947

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

Contract revenues from collaborations

 

 

15,516

 

 

30,562

 

 

4,484

 

 

20,383

 

 

28,895

 

Total revenues

 

 

59,288

 

 

44,509

 

 

4,484

 

 

20,383

 

 

28,895

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costs and expenses: (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of product sales

 

 

906

 

 

287

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Research and development

 

 

52,885

 

 

46,903

 

 

46,269

 

 

63,446

 

 

62,825

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

 

74,588

 

 

70,002

 

 

37,831

 

 

20,908

 

 

17,813

 

Restructuring charges

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

5,770

 

 

 

Total costs and expenses

 

 

128,379

 

 

117,192

 

 

84,100

 

 

90,124

 

 

80,638

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(69,091)

 

 

(72,683)

 

 

(79,616)

 

 

(69,741)

 

 

(51,743)

 

Interest income

 

 

2,532

 

 

2,203

 

 

892

 

 

437

 

 

222

 

Interest expense

 

 

(335)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain on disposal of assets

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

732

 

 

88

 

 

57

 

Net loss

 

$

(66,894)

 

$

(70,480)

 

$

(77,992)

 

$

(69,216)

 

$

(51,464)

 

Net loss per share, basic and diluted (2)

 

$

(0.40)

 

$

(0.44)

 

$

(0.62)

 

$

(0.73)

 

$

(0.58)

 

Weighted average shares used in computing net loss per share, basic and diluted (2)

 

 

167,400

 

 

160,529

 

 

126,324

 

 

94,387

 

 

88,434

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

    

2019

    

2018

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

 

$

98,078

 

$

128,537

 

$

115,751

 

$

74,766

 

$

126,276

 

Working capital

 

 

60,793

 

 

109,253

 

 

99,096

 

 

53,626

 

 

95,228

 

Total assets (1)

 

 

147,569

 

 

139,109

 

 

119,111

 

 

78,134

 

 

131,747

 

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(1,276,228)

 

 

(1,209,334)

 

 

(1,138,854)

 

 

(1,060,862)

 

 

(991,646)

 

Total stockholders’ equity (1)

 

 

53,815

 

 

109,877

 

 

100,646

 

 

55,027

 

 

91,381

 

 

(1)

Effective January 1, 2019, we adopted FASB ASU No. 2016-02 – Leases (Topic 842) (ASU 2016-02) using a modified retrospective approach and elected the transition method and the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance, which allowed us to carryforward our historical lease classification and our assessment on whether a contract is or contains a lease. We also elected to combine lease and non-lease components and elected to use the short-term lease exception permitted by the standard. Please see Note 1 to the Financial Statements for the impact of our adoption of Topic 842.

(2)

See Note 1 to the Financial Statements for a  description of the number of shares used in the computation of basic and diluted loss per share.

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Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Overview

We are a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering, developing and providing novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematologic disorders, cancer and rare diseases. Our pioneering research focuses on signaling pathways that are critical to disease mechanisms. Our first U.S. FDA approved product is TAVALISSE® (fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate), the only oral SYK inhibitor, for the treatment of adult patients with chronic ITP who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. The MAA for fostamatinib has been approved by the EC in Europe for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments, and will be marketed in Europe under the name TAVLESSE® (fostamatinib). Our clinical programs include a Phase 3 study of fostamatinib in AIHA; a recently completed Phase 1 study of R835, a proprietary molecule from our IRAK 1/4 inhibitor program; and an ongoing Phase 1 study of R552, a proprietary molecule from our RIP1 inhibitor program. In addition, we have product candidates in clinical development with partners BerGenBio, Daiichi, Aclaris, AZ.

 

Business Update

 

TAVALISSE in ITP

 

We launched our first commercial product, TAVALISSE, in the United States (U.S.) in May 2018 after receipt of FDA approval in April 2018 for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. We reported net product sales of $43.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. With our fully integrated commercial team consisting of sales, marketing, market access, and commercial operations, we continue to execute on our commercial strategy to access the U.S. ITP market, which is estimated to be over $1.1 billion annually as of 2019.

 

In January 2019, we entered into an exclusive commercialization license agreement with Grifols, S.A. (Grifols) to commercialize fostamatinib in all indications, including chronic ITP, AIHA, and IgA nephropathy (IgAN), in Europe and Turkey. Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $30.0 million, with the potential for
$297.5 million in total regulatory and commercial milestones, which includes a $20.0 million payment upon approval from the EC for fostamatinib in chronic ITP. We are also entitled to receive stepped double-digit royalty payments based on tiered net sales, which may reach 30% of net sales.

 

In January 2020, the EC granted our MAA in Europe for fostamatinib for the treatment of chronic ITP in adult patients who are refractory to other treatments. With EC approval, we received a payment of $20.0 million, which includes a $17.5 million payment for EMA approval of fostamatinib for the first indication and a $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment, based on the terms of our collaboration with Grifols. Based on Grifols’ public statements, we expect TAVLESSE® (fostamatinib), the branded name for fostamatinib in Europe, to launch in the second quarter of 2020. With this launch, we expect to start generating incremental revenue from sales of fostamatinib in Europe and Turkey in the form of royalty payments, after the full credit of the $2.5 million creditable advance royalty payment. Europe is estimated to comprise approximately half of the ex-U.S. ITP market estimated to be over $800.0 million.

 

In October 2018, we entered into an exclusive license and supply agreement with Kissei to develop and commercialize fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $33.0 million with the potential for up to $147 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. We will also receive product transfer price payments in the mid to upper twenty percent range based on tiered net sales for the exclusive supply of fostamatinib to Kissei. In September 2019, Kissei, initiated a Phase 3 trial in Japan of fostamatinib in adult patients with chronic ITP. The efficacy and safety of orally administered fostamatinib will be assessed by comparing it with placebo in a randomized, double-blind study.

 

In October 2019, we entered into two exclusive license agreements with Medison to commercialize fostamatinib in all potential indications in Canada and Israel. Under the terms of the agreements, we received an upfront

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payment of $5.0 million, with the potential for approximately $35.0 million in regulatory and commercial milestones. In addition, the company will receive royalty payments beginning at 30% of net sales.

Other Business Updates

In September 2019, we received a $4.0 million development milestone payment from Aclaris for the achievement of a certain event in accordance with the license and collaboration agreement with Aclaris and earned a $1.5 million fee relative to the first amendment to such license and collaboration agreement in October 2019.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

From inception, we have financed our operations primarily through sales of equity securities, contract payments under our collaboration agreements and from sales of TAVALISSE beginning in May 2018. Our commercial launch, research and development activities, including preclinical studies and clinical trials, consume substantial amounts of capital. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately $98.1 million in cash, cash equivalents and short‑term investments. In September 2019, we entered into a $60.0 million term loan credit facility with MidCap. At closing, $10.0 million was funded to us in an initial tranche. The facility also gives us the ability to access an additional $50.0 million, of which $40.0 million is subject to the achievement of certain customary conditions. We believe that our existing capital resources will be sufficient to support our current and projected funding requirements, including the ongoing commercial launch of TAVALISSE in the U.S., through at least the next 12 months from the Form 10-K filing date.

 

Product Development Programs

Our product portfolio features multiple novel, targeted drug candidates in the therapeutic areas of immunology, hematology, cancer and rare diseases. Please refer to “Part I. Item 1. Business—Product Portfolio” for a detailed discussion of our multiple product candidates in development.

Corporate Collaborations

We conduct research and development programs independently and in connection with our corporate collaborators. Please refer to “Part I. Item 1. Business—Sponsored Research and License Agreements” for a detailed discussion of our corporate collaborations.

Critical Accounting Policies and the Use of Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP). The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. We evaluate our estimates, including those related to revenue recognition on product sales and collaboration agreements, recoverability of our assets, including accounts receivables and inventories, stock-based compensation and the probability of achievement of corporate performance-based milestone for our performance-based stock option awards, impairment issues, the estimated useful life of assets, and estimated accruals, particularly research and development accruals, on an ongoing basis. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements:

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Revenue Recognition

 

We recognize revenue when our customer obtains control of promised goods or services, in an amount that reflects the consideration which we expect to receive in exchange for those goods or services. To determine whether arrangements are within the scope of this new guidance, we perform the following five steps: (i) identify the contract(s) with a customer; (ii) identify the performance obligations in the contract; (iii) determine the transaction price; (iv) allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and (v) recognize revenue when (or as) the Company satisfies its performance obligation. We apply the five-step model to contracts when it is probable that we will collect the consideration we are entitled to in exchange for the goods or services we transfer to the customer. At contract inception, once the contract is determined to be within the scope of this new guidance, we assess the goods or services promised within each contract and identify, as a performance obligation, and assess whether each promised good or service is distinct. We then recognize as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when or as the performance obligation is satisfied.

 

Product Sales

 

Our revenues from product sales are recognized at net sales price when our customers, the specialty distributors (SDs), obtain control of our product, which occurs at a point in time, upon delivery to such SDs. Under the new revenue recognition guidance, we are required to estimate the transaction price, including variable consideration that is subject to a constraint, in our contracts with our customers. Variable considerations are included in the transaction price to the extent that it is probable that a significant reversal in the amount of cumulative revenue recognized will not occur. Revenue from product sales are recorded net of certain variable considerations which includes estimated government-mandated rebates and chargebacks, distribution fees, estimated product returns and other deductions.

 

Provisions for estimated returns and other adjustments are provided for in the period the related revenue is recorded. Our estimates are based on available customer and payer data received from the specialty pharmacies and distributors, as well as third-party market research data. Actual amounts of consideration ultimately received may differ from our estimates.  If actual results in the future vary from our estimates, we will adjust these estimates, which would affect net product revenue and earnings in the period such variances become known.

 

Contract Revenues from Collaborations

 

In the normal course of business, we conduct research and development programs independently and in connection with our corporate collaborators, pursuant to which we license certain rights to our intellectual property to third parties. The terms of these arrangements typically include payment to us for a combination of one or more of the following: upfront license fees; development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments; product supply services; and royalties on net sales of licensed products.

 

Upfront License Fees: If the license to our intellectual property is determined to be distinct from the other performance obligations identified in the arrangement, we recognize revenues from upfront license fees allocated to the license when the license is transferred to the licensee and the licensee is able to use and benefit from the license. For licenses that are bundled with other promises, we determine whether the combined performance obligation is satisfied over time or at a point in time. If the combined performance obligation is satisfied over time, we use judgment in determining the appropriate method of measuring progress for purposes of recognizing revenue from the up-front license fees. We evaluate the measure of progress each reporting period and, if necessary, adjust the measure of performance and related revenue recognition.

 

Development, Regulatory or Commercial Milestone Payments: At the inception of each arrangement that includes payments based the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial or launch events, we evaluate whether the milestones are considered probable of being achieved and estimate the amount to be included in the transaction price using the most likely amount method. If it is probable that a significant revenue reversal would not occur, the associated milestone value is included in the transaction price. Milestone payments that are not within our or the licensee’s control, such as regulatory approvals, are not considered probable of being achieved until uncertainty associated with the approvals has been resolved. The transaction price is then allocated to each performance obligation,

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on a relative standalone selling price basis, for which we recognize revenue as or when the performance obligations under the contract are satisfied. At the end of each subsequent reporting period, we re-evaluate the probability of achieving such development and regulatory milestones and any related constraint, and if necessary, adjust our estimate of the overall transaction price. Any such adjustments are recorded on a cumulative catch-up basis, and recorded as part of contract revenues from collaborations during the period of adjustment.

 

Product Supply Services: Arrangements that include a promise for future supply of drug product for either clinical development or commercial supply at the licensee’s discretion are generally considered as options. We assess if these options provide a material right to the licensee and if so, they are accounted for as separate performance obligations.

 

Sales-based Milestone Payments and Royalties: For arrangements that include sales-based royalties, including milestone payments based on the volume of sales, we determine whether the license is deemed to be the predominant item to which the royalties or sales-based milestones relate to and if such is the case, we recognize revenue at the later of (i) when the related sales occur, or (ii) when the performance obligation to which some or all of the royalty has been allocated has been satisfied (or partially satisfied).

 

Inventories

 

We value our inventories at the lower of cost or estimated net realizable value. We determine the cost of inventories using the standard cost method, which approximates actual cost based on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis. Prior to the regulatory approval of our product candidates, we incur expenses for the manufacture of drug product that could potentially be available to support the commercial launch of our products. Until the first reporting period when regulatory approval has been received or is otherwise considered probable, we record all such costs as research and development expense. We perform an assessment of the recoverability of capitalized inventories during each reporting period and write down any excess and obsolete inventories to its net realizable value in the period in which the impairment is first identified. As of December 31, 2019, no material write-downs in excess and obsolete inventory have occurred. See Note 4 under “Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information. 

 

Stock‑Based Compensation

 

We have two stock option plans that provide for granting to our officers, directors and all other employees and consultants options to purchase shares of our common stock. We also have our Employee Stock Purchase Plan (Purchase Plan), wherein eligible employees can purchase shares of our common stock at a price per share equal to the lesser of 85% of the fair market value on the first day of the offering period or 85% of the fair market value on the purchase date. The fair value of each option award is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model which considered our stock price, as well as assumptions regarding a number of complex and subjective variables. These variables include, but are not limited to, volatility, expected term, risk-free interest rate and dividends. We estimate volatility over the expected term of the option using historical share price performance. For expected term, we take into consideration our historical data of options exercised, cancelled and expired. The risk-free rate is based on the U.S. Treasury constant maturity rate. We have not paid and do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future. We use the straight-line attribution method over the requisite employee service period for the entire award in recognizing stock-based compensation expense. We account for forfeitures as they occur.

 

We granted performance-based stock options to purchase shares of our common stock which will vest upon the achievement of certain corporate performance-based milestones. We determined the fair values of these performance-based stock options using the Black-Scholes option pricing model at the date of grant. For the portion of the performance-based stock options of which the performance condition is considered probable of achievement, we recognize stock-based compensation expense on the related estimated grant date fair values of such options on a straight-line basis from the date of grant up to the date when we expect the performance condition will be achieved. For the performance conditions that are not considered probable of achievement at the grant date or upon quarterly re-evaluation, prior to the event actually occurring, we recognize the related stock-based compensation expense when the event occurs or when we can determine that the performance condition is probable of achievement. In those cases, we recognize the change in estimate at the time we determine the condition is probable of achievement (by recognizing stock-based

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compensation expense as cumulative catch-up adjustment as if we had estimated at the grant date that the performance condition would have been achieved) and recognize the remaining compensation cost up to the date when we expect the performance condition will be achieved, if any.

 

Research and Development Accruals

 

We have various contracts with third parties related to our research and development activities. Costs that are incurred but not billed to us as of the end of the period are accrued. We make estimates of the amounts incurred in each period based on the information available to us and our knowledge of the nature of the contractual activities generating such costs. Clinical trial contract expenses are accrued based on units of activity. Expenses related to other research and development contracts, such as research contracts, toxicology study contracts and manufacturing contracts are estimated to be incurred generally on a straight-line basis over the duration of the contracts. Raw materials and study materials not related to our approved drug, purchased for us by third parties are expensed at the time of purchase.

 

We make significant judgments and estimates in determining the accrual balance in each reporting period. As actual costs become known, we adjust our accruals. Although we do not expect our estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, such estimates for the status and timing of services performed relative to the actual status and timing of services performed may vary and could result in us reporting amounts that are too high or too low in any particular period. Variations in assumptions used to estimate accruals including, but not limited to, the number of patients enrolled, the rate of patient enrollment and the actual services performed may result in adjustments in research and development accruals in future periods. Changes in these estimates that result in material changes to our accruals could materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements 

For a discussion of new accounting pronouncements, see Note 1, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies”, in the Notes to Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”.

 

Results of Operations

Year Ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017

Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aggregate

 

Aggregate

 

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Change

 

Change

 

 

    

 

2019

    

2018

    

2017

    

2019 from 2018

    

2018 from 2017

 

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Product sales, net

 

 

$

43,772

 

$

13,947

 

$

 —

 

$

29,825

 

$

13,947

 

Contract revenues from collaborations

 

 

 

15,516

 

 

30,562

 

 

4,484

 

 

(15,046)

 

 

26,078

 

Total revenues

 

 

$

59,288

 

$

44,509

 

$

4,484

 

$

14,779

 

$

40,025

 

 

 

The following table summarizes revenues from each of our customers who individually accounted for 10% or more of our gross revenues (as a percentage of gross revenues):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2019

    

2018

 

2017

ASD Healthcare and Oncology Supply

 

 

 

37%

 

 

17%

 

 

 —

McKesson Specialty Care Distribution Corporation

 

 

 

30%

 

 

11%

 

 

 —

Kissei

 

 

 

 —

 

 

69%

 

 

 —

BerGenBio

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

74%

 

66

Table of Contents

Revenues by collaborative partners were:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aggregate

 

Aggregate

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

Change

 

Change

 

 

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

2019 from 2018

 

2018 from 2017

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Aclaris

 

$

5,500

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

$

5,500

 

$

 —

 

Grifols

 

 

4,712

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

4,712

 

 

 —

 

Celgene

 

 

3,750

 

 

 —

 

 

1,150

 

 

3,750

 

 

(1,150)

 

Kissei

 

 

1,554

 

 

30,562

 

 

 —

 

 

(29,008)

 

 

30,562

 

BerGenBio

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

3,334

 

 

 —

 

 

(3,334)

 

Total

 

$

15,516

 

$

30,562

 

$

4,484

 

$

(15,046)

 

$

26,078

 

 

Product sales for the year ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 relate to sales of TAVALISSE in the U.S. from continued uptake and use of the product as an early treatment option in steroid refractory patients as well as strong continuation of therapy among patients. There were no product sales during the year ended December 31, 2017. We recognize product sales net of discounts and allowances that are described in Note 1—Summary of Significant Accounting Policies of “Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”.  

 

Contract revenues from collaborations of $15.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 is comprised of a $4.0 million development milestone fee and $1.5 million fee pursuant to an amendment of our agreement with Aclaris,
$3.7 million development milestone payment from Celgene, as well as $4.7 million and $1.6 million revenue from our performance of certain research and development services and supply of fostamatinib with Grifols and Kissei, respectively. Contract revenues from collaborations of $30.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 relates to the portion of the $33.0 million upfront fee recognized as revenue upon delivery of license rights to Kissei for the development and commercialization of fostamatinib in all current and potential indications in Japan, China, Taiwan and the Republic of Korea. Contract revenues from collaborations of $4.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2017 is comprised of the $3.3 million payment we received from BerGenBio pursuant to advancing a licensed AXL kinase inhibitor to Phase 2 clinical study and a $1.2 million payment we earned pursuant to a license agreement with Celgene.  

Our potential future revenues may include product sales from TAVALISSE, payments from our current partners and from new partners with whom we enter into agreements in the future, if any, the timing and amount of which is unknown at this time, except as described under Note 15—Subsequent Event of “Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”. As of December 31, 2019, we have deferred revenue of $26.7 million which will be recognized as revenue upon occurrence of various future events including the approval of the EC of our MAA in Europe for fostamatinib in ITP, and performance of certain research and development services and supply of fostamatinib with Grifols and Kissei.

Cost of Product Sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year Ended

 

Aggregate

 

Aggregate

 

 

 

December 31,

 

Change

 

Change

 

    

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

2019 from 2018

 

2018 from 2017

 

 

 

(in thousands)

Cost of product sales

 

 

$

906

    

$

287

    

$

 —

    

$

619