(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on March 18, 2021 (the "2020 Form 10-K"). Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in the "Risk Factors" section of our 2020 Form 10-K, our actual results could differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.
We are a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cell therapies for patients in multiple therapeutic areas, including cancer, infectious diseases and other serious conditions. We use our proprietary technology, Cell Squeeze(R), to physically squeeze cells through a microfluidic chip, temporarily opening the cell membrane and enabling biologic material of interest, or cargo, to diffuse into the cell. This technology allows us to create a broad pipeline of product candidates for different diseases. We believe our Cell Squeeze technology has the potential to create well-tolerated cell therapies that can provide therapeutic benefit for patients. Our potential differentiation includes accelerated timelines with production time under 24 hours, compared to four to six weeks for other existing cell therapies, improved patient experience by eliminating the need for pre-conditioning or lengthy hospital stays, and broadened therapeutic impact. Our goal is to use the Cell Squeeze approach to establish a new paradigm for cell therapies. We are currently using Cell Squeeze to create multiple cell therapy platforms focused on directing specific immune responses. Our most advanced platform in development, SQZ Antigen Presenting Cells, or SQZ APCs, is currently in a Phase 1 trial in HPV+ tumors. Our additional platforms currently in development are SQZ Activating Antigen Carriers, or SQZ AACs and SQZ Tolerizing Antigen Carriers, or SQZ TACs. We are leveraging each of these platforms to create differentiated product candidates that have applicability across multiple disease areas.
Since our inception, we have focused substantially all of our resources on building our Cell Squeeze technology, establishing and protecting our intellectual property portfolio, conducting research and development activities, developing our manufacturing process and manufacturing product candidate materials, preparing for and initiating clinical trials of our product candidates, organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital and providing general and administrative support for these operations. We do not have any products approved for sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales. Through March 31, 2021, we have funded our operations from sales of common and preferred stock, upfront and milestone payments under our collaboration agreements with Roche and with proceeds from our initial public offering, or IPO, and follow-on public offering of common stock, or the Follow-on Offering. In November 2020, we completed our IPO pursuant to which we issued and sold 5,073,529 shares of common stock, inclusive of 661,764 shares sold by us pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares. We received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $75.5 million from the IPO, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, but before deducting offering costs payable by us, which were $2.6 million. In February 2021, we completed the Follow-on Offering pursuant to which we issued and sold 3,000,000 shares of common stock. We received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $56.4 million in the Follow-on Offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, but before deducting offering costs payable by us, which were approximately $0.8 million.
Since our inception, we have incurred significant operating losses. Our ability to generate any product revenue or product revenue sufficient to achieve profitability will depend on the successful development and eventual commercialization of one or more of our product candidates. We reported a net loss of $15.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021. As of March 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $142.2 million. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and increasing operating losses for at least the next several years. We expect that our expenses and capital requirements will increase substantially in connection with our ongoing activities, particularly if and as we:
conduct clinical trials for our product candidates, including our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of SQZ-PBMC-HPV and SQZ-AAC-HPV;
further develop our Cell Squeeze technology;
continue to develop additional product candidates;
maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;
hire additional clinical, scientific manufacturing and commercial personnel;
expand external and/or establish internal commercial manufacturing sources and secure supply chain capacity sufficient to provide commercial quantities of any product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval;
acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies;
seek regulatory approvals for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;
establish a sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure to commercialize any products for which we may obtain regulatory approval; and
add operational, financial and management information systems and personnel to support our product development, clinical execution and planned future commercialization efforts, as well as to support our transition to a public company.
Table of Contents
We will not generate revenue from product sales unless and until we successfully complete clinical development and obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates. If we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant expenses related to developing our commercialization capability to support product sales, marketing, and distribution.
As a result, we will need substantial additional funding to support our continuing operations and pursue our growth strategy. Until such time as we can generate significant revenue from product sales, if ever, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances and marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements. We may be unable to raise additional funds or enter into such other agreements or arrangements when needed on favorable terms, or at all. If we fail to raise capital or enter into such agreements as, and when, needed, we would have to significantly delay, scale back or discontinue the development and commercialization of one or more of our product candidates.
Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with cell therapy product development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of increased expenses or when, or if, we will be able to achieve or maintain profitability. Even if we are able to generate product sales, we may not become profitable. If we fail to become profitable or are unable to sustain profitability on a continuing basis, then we may be unable to continue our operations at planned levels and be forced to reduce or terminate our operations.
We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through the first half of 2023. See "-Liquidity and Capital Resources."
Impact of the COVID-19 Coronavirus
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, was reported to have surfaced in Wuhan, China. Since then, COVID-19 coronavirus has spread globally. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic and the U.S. government-imposed travel restrictions on travel between the United States, Europe and certain other countries. The outbreak and government measures taken in response have had a significant impact, both direct and indirect, on hospitals, businesses and commerce, as worker shortages have occurred, supply chains have been disrupted, and facilities and production have been suspended. The future progression of the pandemic and its effects on our business and operations are uncertain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and may continue to impact personnel at third-party manufacturing facilities or the availability or cost of materials, which would disrupt our supply chain. It also has affected and may continue to affect our ability to enroll patients in and timely complete our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of SQZ-PBMC-HPV and delay the initiation of future clinical trials, including SQZ-AAC-HPV, disrupt regulatory activities or have other adverse effects on our business and operations. For example, we have experienced delays in receiving supplies of raw materials for our preclinical activities due to the impact of COVID-19 on our suppliers' ability to timely manufacture these materials, and we have experienced an increase in the transportation cost of our product candidates due to the decreased availability of commercial flights. In addition, we have experienced delays in opening clinical trial sites and sites that are open may also have challenges enrolling patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, some staff that are required to conduct certain testing, such as biopsies, at our clinical sites or at third-party vendors have been required to stay at home or have been reallocated to other activities, resulting in such tests not being properly or timely performed or being delayed. In response to the public health directives and to help reduce the risk to our employees, we took precautionary measures, including implementing work-from-home policies for our administrative employees and staggered work times for our lab employees. We plan to continue these measures and are assessing when and how to resume normal operations. The effects of the public health directives and our work-from-home policies may negatively impact productivity, disrupt our business and delay our clinical programs and timelines and future clinical trials, the magnitude of which will depend, in part, on the length and severity of the restrictions and other limitations on our ability to conduct our business in the ordinary course. These and similar, and perhaps more severe, disruptions in our operations could negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition, including our ability to obtain financing.
The pandemic has already caused significant disruptions in the financial markets, and may continue to cause such disruptions, which could impact our ability to raise additional funds to support our operations. Moreover, the pandemic has significantly impacted economies worldwide and could result in adverse effects on our business and operations. We are monitoring the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial statements. To date, we have not incurred impairment losses in the carrying values of our assets as a result of the pandemic and we are not aware of any specific related event or circumstance that would require us to revise our estimates reflected in our interim condensed consolidated financial statements. We cannot be certain what the overall impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on our business and people. The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic will directly or indirectly impact our business, results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity, including planned and future clinical trials and research and development costs, will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain, including as a result of new information that may emerge concerning COVID-19, the actions taken to contain or treat it, and the duration and intensity of the related effects.
Table of Contents
Components of Our Results of Operations
To date, we have not generated any revenue from product sales and do not expect to do so for the next several years. All of our revenue to date has been derived from three collaboration agreements with Roche, which we entered into in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and, to a lesser extent, from government grants.
If our development efforts for our product candidates are successful and result in regulatory approval, or in license or additional collaboration agreements with third parties, we may generate revenue in the future from product sales, payments from additional collaboration or license agreements that we may enter into with third parties, or any combination thereof. We expect that our revenue for the next several years will be derived primarily from our collaboration agreements with Roche as well as any additional collaborations that we may enter into in the future. We cannot provide assurance as to the timing of future milestone or royalty payments or that we will receive any of these payments at all.
2017 License and Collaboration Agreement with Roche
In April 2017, we entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Roche, or the 2017 Roche Agreement, to allow Roche to use our Cell Squeeze technology to enable gene editing of immune cells to discover new targets in cancer immunotherapy. The 2017 Roche Agreement includes several licenses granted by Roche to us and by us to Roche in order to conduct a specified research program in accordance with a specified research plan.
Under the agreement, we received an upfront payment of $5.0 million as a technology access fee and are entitled to (i) payments of up to $1.0 million as reimbursement for our research costs; (ii) milestone payments of up to $7.0 million upon the achievement of specified development milestones; and
We assessed our accounting for the 2017 Roche Agreement under Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, or ASC 606, and identified the following promises under the agreement: (i) a non-exclusive license granted to Roche to perform research related to and use our Cell Squeeze technology for gene editing of immune cells; (ii) specified research and development services related to gene editing of immune cells through the research term; (iii) manufacturing activities to support the specified research plan; and (iv) participation on a joint research committee, or JRC. We concluded at the outset of the 2017 Roche Agreement that the first three promises should be combined into a single performance obligation and that the JRC participation had an immaterial impact on the accounting model.
We received the upfront payment of $5.0 million in April 2017 upon execution of the 2017 Roche Agreement. We also received the payments of $0.5 million in each of 2017 and 2018 related to our reimbursable research costs. In addition, during the third quarter of 2018, we received a payment of $2.0 million following the achievement of the first development milestone under the agreement related to Roche's validation of preclinical proof of concept.
We recognize revenue associated with the performance obligation as the research and development services are provided using an input method, based on the cumulative costs incurred compared to the total estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligation. The amounts received from Roche that have not yet been recognized as revenue are deferred as a contract liability in our consolidated balance sheet and will be recognized over the remaining research and development period until the performance obligation is satisfied.
During the three months ended March 31, 2021, the total costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligation under the 2017 Roche Agreement decreased by $0.3 million. During the three months ended March 31, 2020, there were no significant changes in the total estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligation. We recognized revenue of $0.6 million and $0.2 million, respectively, during the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 under the 2017 Roche Agreement. As of March 31, 2021, the research and development services related to the performance obligation were expected to be performed over a remaining period of approximately 1.3 years.
2018 License and Collaboration Agreement with Roche
In October 2018, we entered into a license and collaboration agreement with Roche, or the 2018 Roche Agreement, to jointly develop certain products based on mononuclear antigen presenting cells, or APCs, including human papilloma virus, or HPV, using our SQZ APC platform for the treatment of oncology indications. We granted Roche a non-exclusive license to our intellectual property, and Roche granted us a non-exclusive license to its and its affiliates' intellectual property for the purpose of performing research activities. In connection with this agreement, the parties terminated an earlier agreement.
Under the 2018 Roche Agreement, Roche was granted option rights to obtain an exclusive license to develop APC products or products derived from the collaboration programs on a product-by-product basis and to develop a Tumor Cell Lysate, or TCL, product. For each of the APC
Table of Contents
products and TCL product, once Roche exercises its option and pays a specified incremental amount, Roche will receive worldwide, exclusive commercialization rights for the licensed products. Through March 31, 2021, Roche had not exercised any of its options under the 2018 Roche Agreement.
Under the 2018 Roche Agreement, we received an upfront payment of $45.0 million and are eligible to receive (i) reimbursement of a mid-double-digit percentage of our development costs; (ii) aggregate milestone payments on a product-by-product basis of up to $1.6 billion upon the achievement of specified milestones, consisting of up to $217.0 million of development milestone payments, up to $240.0 million of regulatory milestone payments and up to $1.2 billion of sales milestone payments; and (iii) tiered royalties on annual net sales of APC and TCL products licensed under the agreement at specified rates ranging from a mid-single-digit percentage to a percentage in the mid-twenties. We received the upfront payment of $45.0 million in October 2018 upon execution of the agreement. In addition, during the second quarter of 2019, we received a payment of $10.0 million following the achievement of the first development milestone under the 2018 Roche Agreement related to submission by us of preclinical data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and during the first quarter of 2020, we received a payment of $20.0 million following the achievement of the second development milestone under the 2018 Roche Agreement related to first-patient dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial.
We identified three performance obligations at the outset of the 2018 Roche Agreement: (1) the license to our intellectual property, the research and development activities related to HPV through Phase 1 clinical trials under a specified research plan, and the manufacturing of our SQZ APC platform and equipment in order to support the HPV research plan (the "first performance obligation"); (2) the license to our intellectual property and the research and development activities on next-generation APCs (the "second performance obligation"); and (3) the license to our intellectual property and the research and development activities on TCL (the "third performance obligation").
In addition, we determined that the upfront payment of $45.0 million as well as the reimbursable costs of $10.8 million estimated by us constituted the entirety of the consideration to be included in the transaction price. This transaction price of $55.8 million was initially allocated to the three performance obligations based on the relative standalone selling price of each obligation. The potential milestone payments that we may be eligible to receive were excluded from the transaction price at the outset of the arrangement. We reevaluate the transaction price at the end of each reporting period and as uncertain events are resolved or other changes in circumstances occur, and, if necessary, we will adjust our estimate of the transaction price.
During the second quarter of 2019, we received a payment of $10.0 million following the achievement of the first development milestone under the 2018 Roche Agreement related to submission by us of preclinical data to the FDA. During the first quarter of 2020, we received a payment of $20.0 million following the achievement of the second development milestone under the 2018 Roche Agreement related to first-patient dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial. These milestones were added to the transaction price in the period that it was "most likely" and that it was probable that a significant reversal in the amount of cumulative revenue recognized would not occur.
We separately recognize revenue associated with each of the three performance obligations as the research, development and manufacturing services are provided using an input method, based on the cumulative costs incurred compared to the total estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy each performance obligation. The amounts received from Roche that have not yet been recognized as revenue are deferred as a contract liability in our consolidated balance sheet and will be recognized over the remaining research and development period until each performance obligation is satisfied.
During the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, there were no significant changes in the total estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligations under the 2018 Roche Agreement. We recognized revenue of $4.9 million and $6.3 million during the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, under the 2018 Roche Agreement. As of March 31, 2021, the research and development services related to the performance obligations were expected to be performed over remaining periods ranging from 0.8 to 1.3 years.
As of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, the expected remaining period of performance of our research and development services related to the third performance obligation was not determinable, and it will not become determinable until TCL research activities resume or the 2018 Roche Agreement is modified by us and Roche.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for our research activities, including development of our product candidates and costs incurred under our collaboration arrangements with Roche, which include:
employee-related expenses, including salaries, related benefits and stock-based compensation expense for employees engaged in research and development functions;
expenses incurred in connection with the preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates and research programs, including under agreements with third parties, such as consultants, contractors and contract research organizations, or CROs;
Table of Contents
the costs of developing and scaling our manufacturing process and of manufacturing our product candidates for use in our preclinical studies and clinical trials, including the costs under agreements with third parties, such as consultants, contractors and contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs;
laboratory and consumable materials and research materials;
facilities, depreciation and other expenses, which include direct and allocated expenses for rent and utilities; and
payments made under third-party licensing agreements.
We expense research and development costs as incurred. Nonrefundable advance payments that we make for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are recorded as prepaid expenses. The prepaid amounts are expensed as the related goods are delivered or the services are performed, or when it is no longer expected that the goods will be delivered or the services rendered. Upfront payments under license agreements are expensed upon receipt of the license, and annual maintenance fees under license agreements are expensed in the period in which they are incurred. Milestone payments under license agreements are accrued, with a corresponding expense being recognized, in the period in which the milestone is determined to be probable of achievement and the related amount is reasonably estimable.
Our direct research and development expenses are tracked on a program-by-program basis and consist of external costs and fees paid to consultants, contractors, CMOs and CROs in connection with our preclinical and clinical development and manufacturing activities. Such program costs also include the external costs of laboratory and consumable materials and costs of raw materials that are directly attributable to and incurred for any single program. We do not allocate employee costs, costs associated with our platform development and discovery efforts, payments made under third-party licensing agreements, costs of laboratory supplies and consumable materials that are not directly attributable to any single program, and facilities expenses, including rent, depreciation and other indirect costs, to specific product development programs because these costs are deployed across multiple programs and our platform technology and, as such, are not separately classified.
Product candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later-stage clinical trials. We expect that our research and development expenses will increase substantially in connection with our planned preclinical and clinical development activities in the near term and in the future, particularly should Roche determine not to exercise its options and we decide to continue clinical development of a product candidate. At this time, we cannot accurately estimate or know the nature, timing and costs of the efforts that will be necessary to complete the preclinical and clinical development of any of our product candidates. The successful development of our product candidates is highly uncertain. This is due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with product development, including the following:
the timing and progress of preclinical and clinical development activities;
the number and scope of preclinical and clinical programs we decide to pursue;
raising additional funds necessary to complete preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates;
the progress of the development efforts of parties with whom we have entered, or may enter, into collaboration arrangements;
our ability to maintain our current research and development programs and to establish new ones;
our ability to establish new licensing or collaboration arrangements;
the successful initiation and completion of clinical trials with safety, tolerability and efficacy profiles that are satisfactory to the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority;
. . .
May 11, 2021
Is there a problem with this press release? Contact the source provider Comtex at email@example.com. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.
(c) 1995-2021 Cybernet Data Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved