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10-Q: REGULUS THERAPEUTICS INC.

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(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The interim unaudited condensed financial statements and this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the related Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, both of which are contained in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, or Annual Report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 10, 2022. Past operating results are not necessarily indicative of results that may occur in future periods.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This quarterly report on Form 10-Q contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth below under Part II, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These statements, which represent our current expectations or beliefs concerning various future events, may contain words such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "estimate" or other words indicating future results, though not all forward-looking statements necessarily contain these identifying words. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:

the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of, and our expected ability to undertake certain activities and accomplish certain goals with respect to our research and development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials;

our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, and any related restrictions, limitations, and/or warnings in the label of an approved product candidate;

our ability to obtain funding for our operations;

our plans to research, develop and commercialize our product candidates;

the potential election of any strategic collaboration partner to pursue development and commercialization of any programs or product candidates that are subject to a collaboration with such partner;

our ability to attract collaborators with relevant development, regulatory and commercialization expertise;

future activities to be undertaken by our strategic collaboration partners, collaborators and other third parties;

our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates;

the size and growth potential of the markets for our product candidates, and our ability to serve those markets;

our ability to successfully commercialize, and our expectations regarding future therapeutic and commercial potential with respect to our product candidates;

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates;

our ability to develop sales and marketing capabilities, whether alone or with potential future collaborators;

regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;

the performance of our third-party suppliers and manufacturers;

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

the loss of key scientific or management personnel;

our ability to successfully secure and deploy capital;

our ability to satisfy our debt obligations;

the accuracy of our estimates regarding future expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and need for additional financing;

the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business; and

the risks and other forward-looking statements described under the caption "Risk Factors" under Part II, Item 1A of this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

In addition, statements that "we believe" and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

OVERVIEW

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class drugs targeting microRNAs to treat diseases with significant unmet medical need. We were formed in 2007 when Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Alnylam") and Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Ionis") contributed significant intellectual property, know-how and financial and human capital to pursue the development of drugs targeting microRNAs pursuant to a license and collaboration agreement. Our lead product candidate is RGLS8429, an anti-miR targeting miR-17, our next-generation compound for the treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease ("ADPKD"). In May 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") accepted our Investigational New Drug application ("IND") for RGLS8429. We initiated a Phase 1 study for RGLS8429 in June 2022. In addition to this program, we continue to develop a pipeline of other preclinical drug product candidates.

microRNAs are naturally occurring ribonucleic acid ("RNA") molecules that play a critical role in regulating key biological pathways. Scientific research has shown that an imbalance, or dysregulation, of microRNAs is directly linked to many diseases. Furthermore, many different infectious pathogens interact and bind to host microRNA to survive. To date, over 500 microRNAs have been identified in humans, each of which can bind to multiple messenger RNAs that control key aspects of cell biology. Since many diseases are multi-factorial, involving multiple targets and pathways, the ability to modulate multiple pathways by targeting a single microRNA provides a new therapeutic approach for treating complex diseases.

RNA plays an essential role in the process used by cells to encode and translate genetic information from deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA") to proteins. RNA is comprised of subunits called nucleotides and is synthesized from a DNA template by a process known as transcription. Transcription generates different types of RNA, including messenger RNAs that carry the information for proteins in the sequence of their nucleotides. In contrast, microRNAs are RNAs that do not code for

proteins but rather are responsible for regulating gene expression by modulating the translation and decay of target messenger RNAs. By interacting with many messenger RNAs, a single microRNA can regulate the expression of multiple genes involved in the normal function of a biological pathway. Many pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, also use host microRNAs to regulate the cellular environment for survival. In some instances, the host microRNAs are essential for the replication and/or survival of the pathogen. For example, miR-122 is a microRNA expressed in human hepatocytes and is a key factor for the replication of the hepatitis C virus ("HCV").

We believe that microRNA therapeutics have the potential to become a new and major class of drugs with broad therapeutic application for the following reasons:

microRNAs play a critical role in regulating biological pathways by controlling the translation of many target genes;

microRNA therapeutics regulate disease pathways which may result in more effective treatment of complex multi-factorial diseases;

many human pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, use microRNAs (host and pathogen encoded) to enable their replication and suppression of host immune responses; and

microRNA therapeutics may be synergistic with other therapies because of their different mechanism of action.

We have assembled significant expertise in the microRNA field, including expertise in microRNA biology and oligonucleotide chemistry, a broad intellectual property estate, relationships with key opinion leaders and a disciplined drug discovery and development process. We are using our microRNA expertise to develop chemically modified, single-stranded oligonucleotides that we call anti-miRs to modulate microRNAs and address underlying disease. We believe microRNAs may play a critical role in complex disease and that targeting them with anti-miRs may become a source of a new and major class of drugs with broad therapeutic application, much like small molecules, biologics and monoclonal antibodies.

We believe that microRNA biomarkers may be used to select optimal patient segments in clinical trials and to monitor disease progression or relapse. We believe these microRNA biomarkers can be applied toward drugs that we develop and drugs developed by other companies with which we partner or collaborate.

Since our inception through June 30, 2022, we have received $416.4 million from the sale of our equity and convertible debt securities, $101.8 million from our strategic collaborations, principally from upfront payments, research funding and preclinical and clinical milestones, and $19.8 million in net proceeds from our Term Loan. As of June 30, 2022, we had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $47.5 million.

Lead Programs

RGLS8429: RGLS8429 is an anti-miR next-generation oligonucleotide targeting miR-17 for the treatment of ADPKD. In October 2021, we announced that we would discontinue further development of RGLS4326, our first-generation compound for the treatment of ADPKD, based on discussions with the FDA and data from the second cohort of patients in the Phase 1b trial of RGLS4326. We believe RGLS8429 has a superior pharmacologic profile compared with RGLS4326 in preclinical studies. In both in vitro and in vivo efficacy studies, RGLS8429 exhibits equal potency for its molecular target (miR-17) as RGLS4326. Furthermore, in recently-completed IND-enabling 13-week toxicity studies, RGLS8429 was well tolerated at dose levels higher than those that resulted in off-target central nervous system effects in the chronic toxicity studies of RGLS4326.

In May 2022, the FDA accepted our IND for RGLS8429 for the treatment of ADPKD. In June 2022, we initiated a Phase 1 single-ascending dose ("SAD") study in healthy volunteers to assess safety, tolerability and PK of RGLS8429. Following the SAD study, we plan to initiate a Phase 1b MAD study in adult patients with ADPKD to assess safety, tolerability and PK of RGLS8429, and to evaluate the efficacy of RGLS8429 treatment across three different dose levels, including changes in polycystins, cystic kidney volume (htTKV), and overall kidney function. Top-line data from the healthy volunteer portion of the study are expected in the second half of 2022, and top-line biomarker data for the first cohort of RGLS8429-treated patients with ADPKD are expected in the first half of 2023. In June 2022, the FDA granted orphan drug designation to RGLS8429 for the treatment of ADPKD.

RG-012: In May 2017, we completed a Phase 1 multiple-ascending dose ("MAD") clinical trial in 24 healthy volunteers (six-week repeat dosing) to determine safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics ("PK") of RG-012 prior to chronic dosing in patients. RG-012 was well-tolerated and no serious adverse events ("SAEs") were reported. In the third quarter of 2017, we initiated HERA, a Phase 2 randomized (1:1), double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of RG-012 in 40 Alport syndrome patients. In parallel, a renal biopsy study was also initiated in the third quarter of 2017 to evaluate RG-012 renal tissue PK, target engagement and downstream effects on genomic disease biomarkers. Kidney tissue concentrations were achieved in biopsy patients that would be predictive of therapeutic benefit based on animal disease models.

In addition, modulation of the target, miR-21, was observed. In December 2017, we concluded our global ATHENA natural history of disease study. RG-012 has received orphan designation in both the United States and Europe. In November 2018, we and Sanofi agreed to transition further development activities of our miR-21 programs, including our RG-012 program, to Sanofi. As a result, Sanofi became responsible for all costs incurred in the development of these miR-21 programs. The transition activities, including the transfer of the IND, were completed in the second quarter of 2019. In July 2022, Sanofi notified us of its decision to terminate the HERA trial for failure to meet Sanofi's pre-defined futility criteria. Sanofi also notified us that it is currently evaluating different opportunities with respect to RG-012.

Preclinical Pipeline

A major focus of our preclinical research has historically targeted dysregulated microRNAs implicated in diseases of high unmet medical need where we know we can effectively deliver to the target tissue or organ, such as the liver, kidney and central nervous system ("CNS"). Furthermore, we are investigating the potential for target organ-selective delivery strategies.

FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OVERVIEW

Revenue

Our revenues generally consist of upfront payments for licenses or options to obtain licenses in the future, milestone payments and payments for other research services under collaboration agreements.

In the future, we may generate revenue from a combination of license fees and other upfront payments, payments for research and development services, milestone payments, product sales and royalties in connection with strategic collaborations. We expect that any revenue we generate will fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter as a result of the timing of our achievement of preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones, if at all, the timing and amount of payments relating to such milestones and the extent to which any of our products are approved and successfully commercialized by us or our strategic collaboration partners. If our current or future collaboration partners do not elect or otherwise agree to fund our development costs pursuant to our current or future strategic collaboration agreements, or we or our strategic collaboration partner fails to develop product candidates in a timely manner or obtain regulatory approval for them, our ability to generate future revenues, and our results of operations and financial position would be adversely affected.

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist of costs associated with our research activities, including our drug discovery efforts and the development of our therapeutic programs. Our research and development expenses include:

employee-related expenses, including salaries, benefits, travel and stock-based compensation expense;

external research and development expenses incurred under arrangements with third parties, such as contract research organizations, or CROs, contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, other clinical trial related vendors, consultants and our scientific advisors;

license fees; and

facilities, depreciation and other allocated expenses, which include direct and allocated expenses for rent and maintenance of facilities, amortization of leasehold improvements and equipment, and laboratory and other supplies.

We expense research and development costs as incurred. We account for nonrefundable advance payments for goods and services that will be used in future research and development activities as expenses when the service has been performed or when the goods have been received. Certain of the raw materials used in the process of manufacturing drug product are capitalized upon their acquisition and expensed upon usage, as we have determined these materials have alternative future use.

To date, we have conducted research on many different microRNAs with the goal of understanding how they function and identifying those that might be targets for therapeutic modulation. At any given time we are working on multiple targets, primarily within our therapeutic areas of focus. Our organization is structured to allow the rapid deployment and shifting of resources to focus on the most promising targets based on our ongoing research. As a result, in the early phase of our development programs, our research and development costs are not tied to any specific target. However, we are currently spending the vast majority of our research and development resources on our ADPKD program.

Since our inception, we have incurred a total of approximately $399.6 million in research and development expenses through June 30, 2022.

The process of conducting clinical trials and preclinical studies necessary to obtain regulatory approval is costly and time consuming. We, or our strategic collaboration partners, may never succeed in achieving marketing approval for any of our product candidates. The probability of success for each product candidate may be affected by numerous factors, including preclinical data, clinical data, competition, manufacturing capability and commercial viability.

Successful development of future product candidates is highly uncertain and may not result in approved products. Completion dates and completion costs can vary significantly for each future product candidate and are difficult to predict. We anticipate we will make determinations as to which programs to pursue and how much funding to direct to each program on an ongoing basis in response to our ability to maintain or enter into new collaborations with respect to each program or potential product candidate, the scientific and clinical success of each future product candidate, as well as ongoing assessments as to each future product candidate's commercial potential. We will need to raise additional capital and may seek additional collaborations in the future in order to advance our various programs.

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related benefits, including stock-based compensation, related to our executive, finance, legal, business development and support functions. Other general and administrative expenses include allocated facility-related costs not otherwise included in research and development expenses and professional fees for auditing, tax and legal services, some of which are incurred as a result of being a publicly-traded company.

Other income (expense), net

Other income (expense) consists primarily of interest income and expense and various income or expense items of a non-recurring nature. We earn interest income from interest-bearing accounts and money market funds. Interest expense is primarily attributable to interest charges associated with borrowings under our secured Term Loan.

CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES

There have been no significant changes to our critical accounting policies since December 31, 2021. For a description of critical accounting policies that affect our significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements, refer to Item 7 in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 1 to our financial statements contained in our Annual Report and Note 1 to our condensed financial statements contained in this quarterly report on Form 10-Q.







        RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
        Comparison of the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021
        The following table summarizes our results of operations for the three and six
        months ended June 30, 2022 and 2021 (in thousands):
                                                                       Three months ended                             Six months ended
                                                                            June 30,                                      June 30,
                                                                  2022                     2021                 2022                    2021
        Research and development expenses                          4,708                   4,150                 8,387                   7,470
        General and administrative expenses                        2,467                   2,488                 5,357                   4,967
        Interest and other (expenses) income, net                    (83)                    605                  (232)                    391
        


Research and development expenses

The following tables summarize the components of our research and development expenses for the periods indicated, together with year-over-year changes (dollars in thousands):







                                                                                                                                            Increase (decrease)
                                               Three months                                 Three months
                                              ended June 30,                               ended June 30,
                                                   2022               % of total                2021               % of total                $                 %
        Research and development
           Personnel and internal expenses   $       1,798                    38  %       $       1,534                    37  %       $       264             17  %
           Third-party and outsourced
        expenses                                     2,785                    59  %               2,346                    56  %               439             19  %
        Non-cash stock-based compensation               99                     2  %                 229                     6  %              (130)           (57) %
        Depreciation                                    25                     1  %                  41                     1  %               (16)           (39) %
        Total research and development
        expenses                             $       4,707                   100  %       $       4,150                   100  %       $       557             13  %
                                                                                                                                            Increase (decrease)
                                             Six months ended                             Six months ended
                                              June 30, 2022           % of total           June 30, 2021           % of total                $                 %
        Research and development
           Personnel and internal expenses   $       3,512                    42  %       $       3,055                    41  %       $       457             15  %
           Third-party and outsourced
        expenses                                     4,461                    53  %               3,633                    49  %               828             23  %
        Non-cash stock-based compensation              369                     4  %                 410                     5  %               (41)           (10) %
        Depreciation                                    45                     1  %                 372                     5  %              (327)           (88) %
        Total research and development
        expenses                             $       8,387                   100  %       $       7,470                   100  %       $       917             12  %
        


Research and development expenses were $4.7 million and $8.4 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, respectively, compared to $4.2 million and $7.5 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively. These amounts reflect the internal and external costs associated with advancing our clinical and preclinical pipeline. The aggregate increases for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, as compared to the three and months ended June 30, 2021, were primarily attributable to increases in internal and external research and development expenses, which were primarily driven by increases in spend on activities for our RGLS8429 program.

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses were $2.5 million and $5.4 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, respectively, compared to $2.5 million and $5.0 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively. The increase for the six months ended June 30, 2022, as compared to the six months ended June 30, 2021, was attributable to a general increase in personnel-related and ongoing general business operating costs.

Interest and other (expenses) income, net

Net interest and other expenses were $0.1 million and $0.2 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022, respectively, compared to net interest and other income of $0.6 million and $0.4 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively. The amounts for the three and six months ended June 30, 2022 were primarily related to interest charges associated with our outstanding Term Loan, partially offset by interest earned on our short-term investments. The net interest income amounts for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021 included a $0.7 million gain on forgiveness of our PPP loan during the three months ended June 30, 2021, partially offset by interest charges associated with our outstanding Term Loan.

LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES

As of June 30, 2022, we had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $47.5 million. We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund our anticipated and operating capital expenditure requirements into the fourth quarter of 2023. If we are unable to maintain sufficient financial resources, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be materially and adversely affected. We will need to raise additional capital to develop our product candidates and implement our operating plans. There can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain this needed financing on acceptable terms or at all. Additionally, equity or debt financings may have a dilutive effect on the holdings of our existing stockholders.

Our future capital requirements are difficult to forecast and will depend on many factors, including:

the terms and timing of any strategic collaboration, licensing and other arrangements that we may establish;

the initiation, progress, timing and completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials for our development programs and product candidates, and associated costs;

the number and characteristics of product candidates that we pursue;

the outcome, timing and cost of regulatory approvals;

delays that may be caused by changing regulatory requirements;

the cost and timing of hiring new employees to support our continued growth;

the costs involved in filing and prosecuting patent applications and enforcing and defending patent claims;

the costs and timing of procuring clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates;

the costs and timing of establishing sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, and the pricing and reimbursement for any products for which we may receive regulatory approval;

the extent to which we acquire or invest in businesses, products or technologies; . . .

Aug 11, 2022

COMTEX_412101612/2041/2022-08-11T17:01:27

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