Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2022
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Note 3 – Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of presentation and principles of consolidation


The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the consolidated accounts of Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiaries, BioPharma, and Nanotechnologies. The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”) and reflect the operations of the Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.


Financial impact of events beyond our control


Our financial condition and results of operations may be impacted by factors we may not be able to control, such as the COVID-19 or other pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, global trade disputes and/or political instability. Increases in interest rates, especially if coupled with reduced government spending and volatility in financial markets, may have the effect of further increasing economic uncertainty and heightening these risks. Additionally, rising inflation rates may affect us by increasing operating expenses, such as employee-related costs and clinical trial expenses, negatively impacting our results of operations.


The Company’s financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022 were not significantly impacted by COVID-19 or other factors beyond our control, such as those described above. However, the Company cannot predict the impact of any of these factors on future results or the Company’s ability to raise capital due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to the continued good health of Company employees, the ability of service providers and suppliers to continue to operate and deliver, the ability of the Company to maintain operations, and any government and/or public actions taken in response to these factors.



Use of estimates


The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.


Significant items subject to such estimates and assumptions include, but are not limited to, the Company’s research and development expenses, the assessment of the impairment of goodwill and intangible assets, income tax valuations and the determination of stock-based compensation.


Segment and geographic information


Operating segments are defined as components of an enterprise about which separate discrete information is available for evaluation by the chief operating decision maker, or decision-making group, in deciding how to allocate resources and in assessing performance. The Company views its operations and manages its business in one operating and reporting segment.


Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash


The Company considers all highly liquid financial instruments with original maturities of three months or less when purchased to be cash and cash equivalents and all investments with maturities of greater than three months from date of purchase are classified as marketable debt securities. Cash and cash equivalents consisted of cash in bank checking and savings accounts, money market funds and short-term U.S. treasury bonds that mature within three months of settlement date. The Company presents restricted cash with cash and cash equivalents in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows. Restricted cash represents funds the Company is required to set aside to cover building operating leases and other purposes. For a complete disclosure of the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash, see Note 4 – Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Marketable Debt Securities.


Marketable Debt Securities


Marketable debt securities, all of which are available-for-sale, consist of U.S. treasury bonds, U.S. government notes, corporate debt securities and state and municipal bonds. Marketable debt securities are carried at fair value, with unrealized gains and losses reported as accumulated other comprehensive (loss)/income, except for losses from impairments which are determined to be other-than-temporary. Realized gains and losses and declines in value judged to be other-than-temporary are included in the determination of net loss and are included in other income, net. Fair values are based on quoted market prices at the reporting date. Interest and dividends on available-for-sale securities are included in other income, net. For a complete disclosure of the Company’s marketable debt securities, see Note 4 – Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Marketable Debt Securities.


Concentration of credit risk


The Company’s financial instruments that are exposed to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash and marketable debt securities. The Company’s investment policy is to invest only in institutions that meet high credit quality standards and establishes limits on the amount and time to maturity of investments with any individual counterparty. Balances are maintained at U.S. financial institutions and may from time to time exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance limit of $250 per depositor, per insured bank for each account ownership category. The Company has not experienced any credit losses associated with its balances in such accounts for the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.


Leasehold improvements and equipment


Leasehold improvements and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Depreciation on equipment is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range from three to ten years. Capitalized costs associated with leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the lesser of the estimated useful life of the asset or the remaining term of the lease.



Goodwill and other intangible assets


Goodwill is recorded when consideration paid for an acquired entity exceeds the fair value of the net assets acquired. Goodwill is not amortized but rather is assessed for impairment at least annually on a reporting unit basis, or more frequently when events and circumstances indicate the goodwill may be impaired. U.S. GAAP provides that the Company has the option to perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If the Company determine this is the case, the Company can perform further analysis to identify and measure the amount of goodwill impairment loss to be recognized, if any.


A reporting unit is an operating segment, or one level below an operating segment. Historically, the Company has conducted its business in a single operating segment and reporting unit. For the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company assessed goodwill impairment by performing a qualitative test for its reporting unit. As part of the qualitative review, the Company considered relevant events and circumstances, with an emphasis on the fact that the Company’s fair value, as determined by its market capitalization, is well in excess of its book value. Based on the results of the Company’s assessment, it was determined that it is more-likely-than-not that its goodwill was not impaired during the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.


Indefinite lived intangible assets are composed of in-process research and development (“IPR&D”) and represent projects acquired in a business combination that have not reached technological feasibility or that lack regulatory approval at the time of acquisition. These IPR&D assets are reviewed for impairment annually, or sooner if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the asset may not be recoverable, and upon establishment of technological feasibility or regulatory approval. An impairment loss, if any, is calculated by comparing the fair value of the asset to its carrying value. If the asset’s carrying value exceeds its fair value, an impairment loss is recorded for the difference and its carrying value is reduced accordingly. Similar to the impairment test for goodwill, the Company may perform a qualitative review of its indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment. The Company used the qualitative approach and concluded that it was more-likely-than-not that its indefinite-lived assets were not impaired during the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021.




The Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 842, “Leases”, establishes a right-of-use (“ROU”) model that requires a lessee to recognize a ROU asset and lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with a term longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern and classification of expense recognition in the income statement. Lessor accounting under the new standard is substantially unchanged. Additional qualitative and quantitative disclosures are also required. For a complete disclosure of the Company’s leases, see Note 8 – Leases.


Preferred stock dividends


Subject to provisions detailed more fully in Note 12 - Stockholders’ Equity, shares of Series B Preferred Stock earned dividends at rates of 10%, 15% and 20% once per year on the first, second and third anniversary, respectively, of June 19, 2018. The dividends were paid when earned to the holders of the Series B Preferred Stock in the form of shares of the Company’s common stock and all Series B Preferred Stock were converted in 2021.


Income taxes


Deferred taxes are provided on a liability method whereby deferred tax assets are recognized for deductible temporary differences and operating loss and tax credit carry forwards and deferred tax liabilities are recognized for taxable temporary differences. Temporary differences are the differences between the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and their tax bases. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when, in the opinion of management, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates in the period that includes the enactment date.



The Company adopted the provisions of ASC 740-10 and has analyzed its filing positions in 2022 and 2021 in jurisdictions where it may be obligated to file returns. The Company believes that its income tax filing position and deductions will be sustained on audit and does not anticipate any adjustments that will result in a material change to its financial position. Therefore, no reserves for uncertain income tax positions have been recorded. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and/or penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense. The Company had no accrual for interest or penalties as of December 31, 2022.


Since the Company incurred net operating losses in every tax year since inception, the 2014 through 2021 income tax returns are subject to examination and adjustments by the Internal Revenue Service for at least three years following the year in which the tax attributes are utilized.


Fair Value Measurements


As defined in ASC 820 “Fair Value Measurement”, fair value measurements should be disclosed separately by three levels of the fair value hierarchy. For assets and liabilities recorded at fair value, it is the Company’s policy to maximize the use of observable inputs (quoted prices in active markets) and minimized the use of unobservable inputs (the Company’s assumptions) when developing fair value measurements, in accordance with the established fair value hierarchy. For a complete disclosure of the Company’s fair value measurements, see Note 5 – Fair Value Measurements.


Stock-based compensation


Stock-based compensation to employees consist of stock option grants and restricted shares. The Company accounts for stock-based compensation under the provisions of ASC 718-10, Compensation – Stock Compensation, which requires all share-based payments to employees, non-employees and directors, including grants of stock options and restricted shares, to be recognized in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss based on their fair values on the date of grant over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the respective award. Forfeitures are accounted for as they occur. Generally, the Company issues stock option awards with only service-based vesting conditions and records the expense for these awards using the straight-line method. The Company classifies stock-based compensation expense in the same manner in which the awards recipient’s payroll or service provider’s costs are classified.


The Company accounts for equity instruments issued to non-employees in accordance with the provisions of ASC Topic 505, subtopic 50, Equity-Based Payments to Non-Employees based upon the fair-value of the underlying instrument. The equity instruments, consisting of stock options granted to consultants, are valued using the Black-Scholes valuation model. The Company calculates the fair value of option grants utilizing the Black-Scholes pricing model and estimates the fair value of restricted stock based upon the estimated fair value or the common stock.


The resulting compensation expense for both employee and non-employee awards is generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period of the award.


Basic and diluted net loss per common share


Net loss per share information is determined using the two-class method, which includes the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period and other securities that participate in dividends (a “participating security”). The Company considered its Preferred Stock to be participating securities because the shares included rights to participate in dividends with the common stock.


Under the two-class method, basic net loss per share attributable to common stockholders is computed by dividing the net income attributable to common stockholders by the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. The net loss attributable to common stockholders is calculated by adjusting the net loss of the Company for the accretion on the Preferred Stock. Net losses are not allocated to preferred stockholders as they do not have an obligation to share in the Company’s net losses. In periods with net income attributable to common stockholders, the Company would allocate net income first to preferred stockholders based on dividend rights under the Company’s certificate of incorporation and then to preferred and common stockholders based on ownership interests. Diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders is computed using the more dilutive of (1) the two-class method or (2) the if-converted method.



During the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, diluted earnings per common share is the same as basic earnings per common share because, as the Company incurred a net loss during each period presented, the potentially dilutive securities from the assumed exercise of all outstanding stock options and warrants would have an anti-dilutive effect. The reconciliation of the diluted shares as of December 31, 2022 and 2021 are as follows:


    As of December 31,  
    2022     2021  
Stock options     34,739       28,184  
Warrants     238       988  
Total     34,977       29,172  


Revenue recognition


Pursuant to Topic 606, the Company recognizes revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to a customer in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. To achieve this core principle, Topic 606 outlines a five-step process for recognizing revenue from customer contracts that includes i) identification of the contract with a customer, ii) identification of the performance obligations in the contract, iii) determining the transaction price, iv) allocating the transaction price to the separate performance obligations in the contract, and v) recognizing revenue associated with performance obligations as they are satisfied.


At contract inception, the Company assesses the goods or services promised within each contract and assess whether each promised good or service is distinct and determine those that are performance obligations. The Company then recognizes as revenue the amount of the transaction price that is allocated to the respective performance obligation when the performance obligation is satisfied.


For the year ended December 31, 2022, the Company’s revenues primarily consist of contract research revenue from the BioNTech Agreement to evaluate the combination of mRNA formats utilizing the Company’s proprietary LNC Platform. For a complete disclosure of the Company’s Revenue Recognition, see Note 9 – Revenue Recognition, Collaboration Agreements, and Other Research and Development Agreements.


On December 12, 2019, the Company entered into a feasibility study agreement (the “Agreement”) with Genentech, Inc. (“Genentech”). This feasibility study involves the development of oral formulations using the Company’s LNC Platform, which enables the development of a wide range of difficult-to-deliver molecules. Under the terms of the Agreement, Genentech paid the Company a total of $100 for three molecules, or approximately $33 per molecule, which will be recognized upon the Company fulfilling its obligations for each molecule under the Agreement. The Agreement has a single performance obligation that is recognized over time as the services are performed. There are no contract assets associated with this Agreement. As of December 31, 2022, the Company completed the first and second of the three molecules and the Company recognized $33 of Genentech revenue for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. The Company is scheduled to complete performance obligation related to the remaining molecule during 2023.


Collaboration Agreements


The Company assess whether its collaboration agreements are subject to ASC Topic 808, Collaborative Arrangements (Topic 808) based on whether they involve joint operating activities and whether both parties have active participation in the arrangement and are exposed to significant risks and rewards. To the extent that the arrangement falls within the scope of Topic 808, the Company will apply by analogy the unit of account guidance under Topic 606 to identify distinct performance obligations, and then determine whether a customer relationship exists for each distinct performance obligation. If the Company determines a performance obligation within the arrangement is with a customer, the Company applies the guidance in Topic 606. If a portion of a distinct bundle of goods or services within an arrangement is not with a customer, then the unit of account is not within the scope of Topic 606, and the recognition and measurement of that unit of account shall be based on analogy to authoritative accounting literature or, if there is no appropriate analogy, a reasonable, rational, and consistently applied accounting policy election.



The terms of such arrangements typically include payments to the Company for one or more of the following: up-front fees; development and regulatory payments; product supply services; research and development cost reimbursements; profit-sharing arrangements; and royalties on certain products if they are successfully commercialized. As part of the accounting for these arrangements, the Company develops assumptions that require judgment to determine the standalone selling price for each performance obligation identified in the contract. These key assumptions may include forecasted revenues, clinical development timelines and costs, reimbursement rates for personnel costs, discount rates and probabilities of technical and regulatory success.


Up-front License Fees: If the license to the Company’s intellectual property is determined to be distinct from the other performance obligations identified in the arrangement, the Company would recognize revenues from nonrefundable up-front 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, which generally would occur at or near the inception of the contract. For licenses that are bundled with other promises, the Company would utilize judgment to assess the nature of the combined performance obligation to determine whether the combined performance obligation is satisfied over time or at a point in time and, if over time, the appropriate method of measuring progress for purposes of recognizing revenues from nonrefundable up-front fees. The Company will evaluate the measure of progress at the end of each reporting period and, if necessary, adjust the measure of performance and related revenue recognition.


Research and Development Milestone Payments: At the inception of each arrangement that includes development milestone payments, the Company will evaluate whether the milestones are considered probable of being reached 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 the Company’s 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, on a relative standalone selling price basis, for which the Company will recognize revenue as or when the performance obligations under the contract are satisfied. At the end of each subsequent reporting period, the Company re-evaluates the probability of achieving such development and regulatory milestones and any related variable consideration constraint, and if necessary, adjust the Company’s estimate of the overall transaction price. Any such adjustments are recorded on a cumulative catch-up basis.


Research and Development Cost Reimbursements: The Company’s collaboration arrangements may include promises of future clinical development and drug safety services, as well as participation on certain joint committees. When such services are provided to a customer or partner, and they are distinct from the licenses provided to the Company’s collaboration partners, these promises are accounted for as a separate performance obligation which the Company estimates using internal development costs incurred and projections through the term of the arrangements. The Company records revenues for these services as the performance obligations are satisfied over time based on measure of progress. However, if the Company concludes that its collaboration partner is not a customer for those collaborative research and development activities, it presents such payments as a reduction of research and development expenses.


Research and Development Arrangement: Under the terms of our research and development agreement with the CFF Agreement, the Company did not account for this arrangement in accordance with Topic 606. However, the Company has determined that it is a partner under a collaboration agreement as it shares in the risks and rewards that would be received if the product is successful and commercialized. Therefore the funds received under the terms of this agreement will be recorded as reimbursements of research and development costs and reduce the research and development expenses in the Company’s Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss. The Company records the reimbursements for certain materials and other research and development costs associated with the agreement when it is probable that a significant reversal in the amount of cumulative costs have been recognized. As of December 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company recognized $811 and $2,179, respectively, of reimbursed research and development costs associated with the CFF Agreement. For a complete disclosure of the CFF Agreement, see Note 9 – Collaboration Agreements, Collaboration Agreements, and other Research and Development Agreements.



Research and development expenses


Research and development expenses primarily consist of costs associated with the preclinical and clinical development of our product candidate portfolio, including the following:


external research and development expenses incurred under arrangements with third parties, such as contract research organizations (“CROs”) and other vendors and contract manufacturing organizations (“CMOs”) for the production of drug substance and drug product; and
employee-related expenses, including salaries, benefits and share-based compensation expense.


Research and development expenses also include costs of acquired product licenses and related technology rights where there is no alternative future use, costs of prototypes used in research and development, consultant fees and amounts paid to certain of our collaborative partners.


All research and development expenses are charged to operations as incurred in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 730, Research and Development. The Company accounts for non-refundable 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, rather than when the payment is made.


Accrued Research and Development Expenses


As part of the process of preparing the Company’s financial statements, the Company is required to estimate its accrued expenses. This process involves reviewing quotations and contracts, identifying services that have been performed on the Company’s behalf and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when the Company has not yet been invoiced or otherwise notified of the actual cost. Certain of the Company’s service providers invoice the Company monthly in arrears for services performed or when contractual milestones are met. The Company makes estimates of its accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date in its financial statements based on facts and circumstances known to the Company at that time. The Company periodically confirms the accuracy of its estimates with the service providers and adjust if necessary. The significant estimates in the Company’s accrued research and development expenses are related to expenses incurred with respect to CROs, CMOs and other vendors in connection with research and development and manufacturing activities.


The Company bases its expense related to CROs and CMOs on its estimates of the services received and efforts expended pursuant to quotations and contracts with such vendors that conduct research and development and manufacturing activities on its behalf. The financial terms of these agreements are subject to negotiation, vary from contract to contract and may result in uneven payment flows. There may be instances in which payments made to the Company’s vendors will exceed the level of services provided and result in a prepayment of the applicable research and development or manufacturing expense. In accruing service fees, the Company estimates the time period over which services will be performed and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from its estimate, the Company adjust the accrual or prepaid expense accordingly. Although the Company does not expect its estimates to be materially different from amounts actually incurred, the Company’s understanding of 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. There have been no material changes in estimates for the periods presented.


Patent expenses


Legal fees and other direct costs incurred in obtaining and protecting patents are also expensed as incurred and are included in general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations.


Other comprehensive loss


Other comprehensive loss consists of net gains/(losses) and unrealized losses on marketable debt securities available-for-sale and is presented in the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss.



Recent accounting pronouncements


There were no recent accounting pronouncements that impacted the Company or are expected to have a significant effect on its consolidated financial statements.