(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 elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and 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, SQZTM Antigen Presenting Cells, or SQZ APCs, is currently in a Phase 1 trial Human Papillomavirus positive, or HPV+, tumors. We presented initial results from the first three cohorts of this ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial of SQZ-PBMC-HPV at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in June 2021. In these cohorts, the investigational cell therapy was observed to be well-tolerated and to stimulate immune responses in certain patients with advanced or metastatic HPV16+ tumors. The trial also demonstrated that our clinical stage manufacturing process of our autologous cell therapy was fast and reliable with production times consistently under 24 hours. Data from the fourth and highest monotherapy dose cohort of this trial will be presented in an oral presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology Immuno-Oncology Congress in December 2021. As recommended by the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board, the trial will now advance to the combination stage with checkpoint inhibitors. We have also been developing a next generation SQZ APC platform, enhanced APCs, or eAPCs, that use mRNA as the cargo, which we believe could enhance the functionality of the SQZ APCs to activate CD8 T cells and would be agnostic to patient HLA type. Our additional platforms currently in development are SQZ Activating Antigen Carriers, or SQZ AACs, also entering a Phase 1 trial in HPV+ tumors, and SQZ Tolerizing Antigen Carriers, or SQZ TACs. We have selected Celiac disease as the first autoimmune indication for the SQZ TAC platform with an IND submission targeted for the third quarter of 2022. We are leveraging each of these platforms to create differentiated product candidates that have applicability across multiple disease areas and we are also planning to expand certain of our clinical trials geographically to sites outside of the United States, including in Europe and Asia.
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 September 30, 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 $56.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2021. As of September 30, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $183.7 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:
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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 trials of SQZ-PBMC-HPV and SQZ-AAC-HPV and delay the initiation of future clinical trials, 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, staff shortages, including staff that are required to conduct certain testing, such as biopsies, at the Company's clinical sites or at third-party vendors have resulted in delays in site initiations and 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
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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.
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 (iii) annual maintenance fees ranging from $0.5 million to $0.9 million for each year following the fifth anniversary of the effective date, subject to specified prepayment discounts.
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
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consolidated balance sheet and will be recognized over the remaining research and development period until the performance obligation is satisfied.
During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, the total costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligation under the 2017 Roche Agreement decreased by $0.1 million and $0.4 million, respectively. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020, there were no significant changes in the total estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligation. We recognized revenue of $0.3 million and $0.1 million, under the 2017 Roche Agreement during the three months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively. We recognized revenue of $1.0 million and $0.4 million, respectively, during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 under this agreement.
As of September 30, 2021, we recorded as a contract liability deferred revenue related to the 2017 Roche Agreement of $0.2 million, all of which was a current liability. As of September 30, 2021, the research and development services related to the performance obligation were expected to be performed over a remaining period of approximately nine months.
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 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 September 30, 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.
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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 fourth quarter of 2019, we evaluated our overall program priorities and determined that we would continue to focus our resources on progressing the specified APC programs related to the 2018 Roche Agreement as well as our SQZ AAC and SQZ TAC platforms. As a result of its continuing focus on these specific programs, we reduced the level of priority of the TCL research activities under the 2018 Roche Agreement and expect to perform such TCL research activities over a longer time period than as originally expected under the specified research plan of the agreement. Since the fourth quarter of 2019, we have classified $9.2 million as non-current deferred revenue, which will remain unrecognized as revenue until TCL research activities resume or the 2018 Roche Agreement is modified by us and Roche.
During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021, the estimated costs expected to be incurred to satisfy the performance obligations under the 2018 Roche Agreement increased by $0.4 million. During the three and nine months ended September, 30, 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 $4.5 million and $6.0 million during the three months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively, under this agreement. We recognized revenue of $13.6 million and $18.1 million during the nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020, respectively, under the 2018 Roche Agreement. As of September 30, 2021, we recorded as a contract liability deferred revenue related to the 2018 Roche Agreement of $30.4 million, of which $21.2 million was a current liability. As of September 30, 2021, the research and development services related to the performance obligations were expected to be performed over remaining periods ranging from three to nine months.
As of September 30, 2021, the expected remaining period of performance of the Company's 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 the Company 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:
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 . . .
Nov 10, 2021
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