Mirna Therapeutics
Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (Form: 10-Q, Received: 08/15/2016 07:36:17)

Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 


 

FORM 10-Q

 


 

(Mark One)

 

 

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

 

For the quarterly period ended June 30, 2016  

 

or  

 

 

 

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

 

Commission File Number: 001-37566

 


 

Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 


 

Delaware

 

26-1824804

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

 

Identification No.)

 

2150 Woodward Street, Suite 100
Austin, TX (Address of principal executive offices)

 

78744

(Zip Code)

 

(512) 901-0900

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 


 

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

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes       No  

 

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

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

 

As of August 12, 2016 there were 20,835,868 shares of the registrant’s common stock, par value $0.001 per share, outstanding.

 

 

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

PART I—FINANCIAL INFORMATION  

 

 

Item 1. Condensed Financial Statements  

 

 

Condensed Balance Sheet as of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015  

 

 

Condensed Statement of Operations and Comprehensive Loss for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015  

 

 

Condensed Statements of Cash Flows for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 201 5

 

 

Notes to Financial Statements  

 

 

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations  

16 

 

 

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk  

24 

 

 

Item 4. Controls and Procedures  

24 

 

 

PART II—OTHER INFORMATION  

25 

 

 

Item 1. Legal Proceedings  

25 

 

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors  

25 

 

 

Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds  

72 

 

 

Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities  

72 

 

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures  

72 

 

 

Item 5. Other Information  

72 

 

 

Item 6. Exhibits  

73 

 

 

SIGNATURES  

74 

 

 

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PART I—FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

Item 1.

Condensed Financial Statements

Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.

Condensed Balance Sheets

 

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

June 30, 

    

December 31, 

 

 

 

2016

 

2015

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

30,796

 

$

89,713

 

Marketable securities

 

 

41,756

 

 

 —

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

947

 

 

829

 

Total current assets

 

 

73,499

 

 

90,542

 

Property and equipment, net

 

 

1,237

 

 

375

 

Restricted cash

 

 

2,430

 

 

 —

 

Total assets

 

$

77,166

 

$

90,917

 

Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

1,462

 

$

3,687

 

Accrued expenses

 

 

2,193

 

 

2,214

 

Total liabilities

 

 

3,655

 

 

5,901

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preferred stock, $0.001 par value, 5,000,000 shares authorized at June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015; 0 shares outstanding at June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Common stock, $0.001 par value; 250,000,000 shares authorized at  June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015; 20,835,868 and 20,830,555 shares issued and outstanding at June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, respectively

 

 

21

 

 

21

 

Additional paid in capital

 

 

162,216

 

 

161,518

 

Accumulated other comprehensive income

 

 

6

 

 

 —

 

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(88,732)

 

 

(76,523)

 

Total stockholders’ equity

 

 

73,511

 

 

85,016

 

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity

 

$

77,166

 

$

90,917

 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed financial statements.

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Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.

Condensed Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss (Unaudited)

 

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

    

2016

    

2015

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

$

3,682

 

$

4,499

 

$

8,205

 

$

7,901

 

General and administrative

 

 

2,049

 

 

1,185

 

 

4,179

 

 

2,062

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

5,731

 

 

5,684

 

 

12,384

 

 

9,963

 

Other income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

93

 

 

 

 

175

 

 

 

Total other income

 

 

93

 

 

 —

 

 

175

 

 

 —

 

Net loss

 

$

(5,638)

 

$

(5,684)

 

$

(12,209)

 

$

(9,963)

 

Less: Accretion and dividends on convertible preferred stock

 

 

 —

 

 

(1,544)

 

 

 —

 

 

(2,662)

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders

 

$

(5,638)

 

$

(7,228)

 

$

(12,209)

 

$

(12,625)

 

Other comprehensive income:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Unrealized gain on available for sale securities, net of tax

 

 

(3)

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

Total Other Comprehensive (Loss)

 

 

(5,641)

 

 

(7,228)

 

 

(12,203)

 

 

 

Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders—basic and diluted

 

$

(0.27)

 

$

(78.87)

 

$

(0.59)

 

$

(140.10)

 

Common shares used to compute basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders

 

 

20,831,723

 

 

91,643

 

 

20,831,139

 

 

90,102

 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed financial statements.  

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Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.  

Condensed Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)  

 

(in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

 

$

(12,209)

 

$

(9,963)

 

Adjustment to reconcile net loss to net cash used in operating activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

45

 

 

25

 

Stock-based compensation

 

 

689

 

 

351

 

Net amortization of premium/ discounts on marketable securities

 

 

98

 

 

 —

 

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant reimbursement and other receivables

 

 

28

 

 

129

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

(146)

 

 

(69)

 

Deferred financing costs

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Accounts payable

 

 

(2,584)

 

 

326

 

Accrued expenses

 

 

(21)

 

 

2

 

Net cash used in operating activities

 

 

(14,100)

 

 

(9,199)

 

Investing activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchases of marketable securities

 

 

(50,848)

 

 

 —

 

Maturities of marketable securities

 

 

9,000

 

 

 —

 

Restricted cash

 

 

(2,430)

 

 

 —

 

Purchases of property and equipment

 

 

(548)

 

 

(58)

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

 

(44,826)

 

 

(58)

 

Financing activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from issuance of convertible preferred stock, net of issuance costs

 

 

 —

 

 

41,482

 

Proceeds from the exercise of stock options

 

 

9

 

 

35

 

Cash provided by financing activities

 

 

9

 

 

41,517

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

 

 

(58,917)

 

 

32,260

 

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period

 

 

89,713

 

 

9,319

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

 

$

30,796

 

$

41,579

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplemental disclosures for non- cash investing activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property & equipment purchased in accounts payable

 

 

359

 

 

 —

 

 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these condensed financial statements.  

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Mirna Therapeutics, Inc.  

 

Notes to Condensed Financial Statements (Unaudited)  

 

1. Nature of Business and Basis of Presentation

 

Nature of business

 

Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. (“Mirna” or “the Company”) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of microRNA ‑based oncology therapeutics. The Company was incorporated in Delaware in December 2007 as a wholly ‑owned subsidiary of Asuragen, Inc. (“Asuragen”) and was spun out to existing Asuragen stockholders in December 2009. The Company is located in Austin, Texas.

 

In October 2015, the Company sold 6,250,000 shares of common stock, $0.001 par value per share, in an underwritten public offering (the “IPO”) and 2,395,010 shares of common stock in a concurrent private placement, with both offerings at a price of $7.00 per share.  The underwriters of the IPO purchased an additional 704,962 shares of common stock pursuant to their option to purchase additional shares.  The Company’s aggregate net proceeds from the IPO were $43.7 million, after deducting the transaction offering costs and the underwriting discounts incurred. The Company also received net proceeds of $16.7 million after deducting the offering transaction costs from the concurrent private placement.

 

The Company continues to be subject to a number of risks common to companies in similar stages of development. Principal among these risks are the uncertainties of the clinical drug development process (including the outcomes of clinical trials), the regulatory approval process, technological innovations, dependence on key individuals, development of the same or similar technological innovations by the Company’s competitors and protection of proprietary technology and the risk that our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval . The Company’s ability to fund its planned clinical operations, including completion of its planned trials, is expected to depend on the amount and timing of cash receipts from future collaboration and/or financing transactions. The Company believes that its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $72.6 million at June 30, 2016 will enable the Company to maintain its current and planned operations for at least the next twelve months.

 

Basis of presentation

 

The accompanying interim condensed financial statements as of June 30, 2016 and for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, and the related interim information contained within the notes to the financial statements, are unaudited. The unaudited interim condensed financial statements have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for interim financial information and on the same basis as the audited financial statements. In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited interim condensed financial statements contain all adjustments which include only normal recurring adjustments necessary to state fairly the Company’s financial position as of June 30, 2016, and the results of its operations and cash flows for the interim periods ended June 30, 2016 and 2015. Such adjustments are of a normal and recurring nature. The interim financial data as of June 30, 2016 is not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the year ending December 31, 2016, or for any future period.  

 

The accompanying condensed financial statements and related financial information should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements and related notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2015 included in the Company’s Form 10-K, most recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2016.

 

 

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2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

 

Use of estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles requires the Company’s management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

 

Research and development costs

 

Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Research and development costs include salaries and personnel ‑related costs, consulting fees, fees paid for contract research services, the costs of laboratory equipment and facilities, development of intellectual property, license fees and other external costs. The Company accounts for government grants as a reduction of research and development expenses. Government grants are recorded at the time the related research and development costs have been incurred by the Company and, accordingly, become eligible for reimbursement. The Company accrues for government grants that have been earned but not yet received.

 

Nonrefundable advance payments for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are deferred and capitalized. The capitalized amounts are expensed as the related goods are delivered or the services are performed.

 

Clinical Trial and Pre-Clinical Study Accruals

 

The Company estimates pre-clinical study and clinical trial expenses pursuant to contracts with research institutions and contract research organizations that conduct and manage preclinical studies and clinical trials on the Company’s behalf. These estimates are based on the level of service performed and the underlying agreement. Further, the Company accrues expenses related to clinical trials based on the level of patient enrollment and other activities according to the related agreements. The Company monitors patient enrollment levels and other activities to the extent reasonably possible and adjusts estimates accordingly. If actual costs incurred or the timing of services vary from our estimate, we adjust the accrual accordingly.

 

Stock ‑based compensation

 

The Company accounts for its stock ‑based compensation awards in accordance with ASC Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). ASC 718 requires all stock ‑based payments to employees, including grants of employee stock options, to be recognized in the statements of operations based on their grant date fair values. For stock options granted to employees and to members of the board of directors for their services on the board of directors, the Company estimates the grant date fair value of each option award using the Black ‑Scholes option ‑pricing model. The use of the Black ‑Scholes option ‑pricing model requires management to make assumptions with respect to the expected term of the option, the expected volatility of the common stock consistent with the expected life of the option, risk ‑free interest rates and expected dividend yields of the common stock. For awards subject to service ‑based vesting conditions, the Company recognizes stock ‑based compensation expense, net of estimated forfeitures, equal to the grant date fair value of stock options on a straight ‑line basis over the requisite service period.

 

Fair value measurements

 

The Company records money market funds at fair value. ASC Topic 820,   Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures , establishes a fair value hierarchy for those instruments measured at fair value that distinguishes between assumptions based on market data (observable inputs) and the Company’s own assumptions (unobservable inputs). The hierarchy consists of three levels:

 

·

Level 1 – Unadjusted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

 

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·

Level 2 – Quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices in markets that are not active, or inputs which are observable, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the asset or liability.

 

·

Level 3 – Unobservable inputs that reflect the Company’s own assumptions about the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability in which there is little, if any, market activity for the asset or liability at the measurement date.

 

The carrying amounts reflected in the balance sheets for cash, prepaid expenses and other current assets, accounts payable, and accrued expenses approximate their fair values at June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, due to their short ‑term nature.

 

The Company evaluates transfers between levels at the end of each reporting period. There were no transfers of assets or liabilities between Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 during the three or six months ended June 30, 2016 or 2015.

 

Restricted Cash

 

Restricted cash consists of cash amounts held for specific or limited purposes and, therefore, not available for general operating activities. In June 2016, the Company secured a standby letter of credit of $2.4 million for the benefit of the landlord in the event of default. The restricted cash consists of cash providing security under the terms of the lease described in Note 11.

 

Marketable Securities

 

The Company classifies marketable securities with a remaining maturity when purchased of greater than three months as available-for-sale. Marketable securities with a remaining maturity date greater than one year are classified as non-current. Available-for-sale securities are maintained by an investment manager and may consist of U.S. Treasury securities and government agency securities and corporate debt securities. Available-for-sale securities are carried at fair value with the unrealized gains and losses included in other comprehensive loss as a component of stockholders’ equity until realized. Any premium or discount arising at purchase is amortized and/or accreted to interest income and/or expense over the life of the instrument. Realized gains and losses are determined using the specific identification method and are included in other income.

 

If any adjustment to fair value reflects a decline in value of the investment, the Company considers all available evidence to evaluate the extent to which the decline is “other-than-temporary” and, if so, mark the investment to market through a charge to the Company’s statement of operations and comprehensive loss.

 

Comprehensive loss

 

Comprehensive loss is composed of net loss and other comprehensive income or loss. Other comprehensive income consists of unrealized gains on marketable securities.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

 

In March 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)   issued ASU 2016-09,   Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share Based Payment Accounting   ("ASU 2016-09") as part of the FASB simplification initiative. The new standard provides for changes to accounting for stock compensation including 1) excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies related to share based payment awards will be recognized as income tax expense in the reporting period in which they occur; 2) excess tax benefits will be classified as an operating activity in the statement of cash flow; 3) the option to elect to estimate forfeitures or account for them when they occur; and 4) increase tax withholding requirements threshold to qualify for equity classification. The ASU is effective for public companies for annual periods, and interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2016, and early adoption is permitted. The   Company   is currently evaluating the impact that ASU 2016-09 will have on the financial statements.

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In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02,   Leases (Topic 842) . The new standard requires the recognition of assets and liabilities arising from lease transactions on the balance sheet and the disclosure of key information about leasing arrangements. Accordingly, a lessee will recognize a lease asset for its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability for the corresponding lease obligation. Both the asset and liability will initially be measured at the present value of the future minimum lease payments over the lease term. Subsequent measurement, including the presentation of expenses and cash flows, will depend on the classification of the lease as either a finance or an operating lease. Initial costs directly attributable to negotiating and arranging the lease will be included in the asset. For leases with a term of twelve months or less, a lessee can make an accounting policy election by class of underlying asset to not recognize an asset and corresponding liability. Lessees will also be required to provide additional qualitative and quantitative disclosures regarding the amount, timing and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. These disclosures are intended to supplement the amounts recorded in the financial statements and provide additional information about the nature of an organization’s leasing activities. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those years, with early adoption permitted. In transition, lessees are required to recognize and measure leases at the beginning of the earliest period presented using a modified retrospective approach. The transition guidance also provides specific guidance for sale and leaseback transactions, build-to-suit leases and amounts previously recognized in accordance with the business combinations guidance for leases. We are currently evaluating our expected adoption method and the impact of this new standard on the financial statements.

 

3. Marketable Securities

 

The following table summarizes the available-for-sale securities held at June 30, 2016 (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Amortized Cost

    

Unrealized Gains

    

Unrealized Losses

    

Fair Value

   

June 30, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. government agency securities and treasuries

 

$

19,050

 

$

9

 

$

 —

 

$

19,059

 

Corporate debt securities

 

 

22,700

 

 

4

 

 

(7)

 

 

22,697

 

Total available-for-sale securities

 

$

41,750

 

$

13

 

$

(7)

 

$

41,756

 

 

The Company did not have available for sale securities at December 31, 2015. No available- for- sale securities held as of June 30, 2016 had remaining maturities greater than one year.

 

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4. Fair Value Measurements

 

The following table sets forth the Company’s assets that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015 (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quoted

 

 

Significant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prices in

 

 

other

 

 

Significant

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

active

 

 

observable

 

 

unobservable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

markets

 

 

inputs

 

 

inputs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Level 1)

 

 

(Level 2)

 

 

(Level 3)

 

June 30, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money Market Funds

 

$

22,784

 

$

22,784

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

US government agency securities and treasuries

 

 

8,012

 

 

 —

 

 

8,012

 

 

 —

 

Total cash and cash equivalents

 

 

30,796

 

 

22,784

 

 

8,012

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marketable securities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. government agency securities and treasuries

 

 

19,059

 

 

 —

 

 

19,059

 

 

 —

 

Corporate debt securities

 

 

22,697

 

 

 —

 

 

22,697

 

 

 —

 

    Total marketable securities

 

 

41,756

 

 

 —

 

 

41,756

 

 

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restricted cash

 

 

2,430

 

 

2,430

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

    Total assets

 

$

74,982

 

$

25,214

 

$

49,768

 

$

 —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Money Market Funds

 

 

89,713

 

 

89,713

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

Total Assets

 

$

89,713

 

$

89,713

 

$

 —

 

$

 —

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

The Company considers all highly liquid securities with original final maturities of three months or less from the date of purchase to be cash equivalents. As of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, cash and cash equivalents are comprised of money market accounts and U.S. government agency securities.

 

Marketable securities

 

The amortized cost of available-for-sale securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts to maturity. At June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015, the balance in the Company’s accumulated other comprehensive income was composed solely of activity related to the Company’s available-for-sale marketable securities. There were no realized gains or losses recognized on the sale or maturity of available-for-sale securities during the three and six months ended June 30, 2016, and, as a result, the Company did not reclassify any amounts of accumulated other comprehensive income for the same period.

 

As of June 30, 2016, the amortized cost and unrealized loss on available for sale securities in an unrealized loss position was approximately $11.6 million and $7,000, respectively. The Company has the intent and ability to hold such securities until recovery. The Company determined that there was no material changes in the credit risk of the above investments. The Company determined it did not hold any investments with an other- than- temporary impairment as of June 30, 2016 and December 31, 2015.

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5. Property and Equipment

 

Property and equipment consisted of the following (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

June 30, 

    

December 31, 

 

 

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Construction in Progress

 

$

98

 

$

 —

 

Machinery, computers and equipment

 

 

1,491

 

 

687

 

Leasehold improvements

 

 

18

 

 

18

 

Accumulated depreciation

 

 

(370)

 

 

(330)

 

 

 

$

1,237

 

$

375

 

 

Depreciation expense was approximately $26,000 and $13,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.  Depreciation expense was approxi mately $45,000 and $25,000 for the six mont hs ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.

 

6. Common Stock

 

The voting, dividend and liquidation rights of holders of shares of common stock are subject to and qualified by the rights, powers and preferences of the holders of shares of convertible preferred stock. The Company’s common stock has the following characteristics:

 

·

The holders of shares of common stock are entitled to one vote for each share of common stock held at all meetings of stockholders and written actions in lieu of meetings.

 

·

The holders of shares of common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if and when declared by the Company’s board of directors.

 

Cash dividends may not be declared or paid to holders of common stock until paid on each series of outstanding convertible preferred stock in accordance with their respective terms. Since inception, no cash dividends have been declared.

 

Offerings

 

In September 2015, the Company entered into a new grant contract with Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (“CPRIT”), in connection with an award of approximately $16.8 million. The 2015 award was in the form of an agreement by CPRIT to purchase $16.8 million of shares of common stock of the Company in a private placement concurrent with the initial public offering of the Company’s common stock. On October 5, 2015, CPRIT purchased 2,395,010 shares of the Company’s common stock at $7.00 per share.  Net proceeds from the private placement, after related transaction offering costs, were approximately $16.6 million. 

 

In October 2015, the Company issued 6.25 million shares of common stock in an underwritten public offering, with a price of $7.00 per share.  The underwriters purchased an additional 704,962 shares of common stock pursuant to their option to purchase additional shares.  The Company received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $43.7 million in the public offering, after deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by the Company.

 

 

7. Stock Option Plans

 

2008 Long Term Incentive Plan

 

During 2008, the Company adopted the 2008 Long Term Incentive Plan, which allows for incentive stock options for its employees and nonqualified stock options (inclusive of restricted stock units and stock appreciation rights)

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(the “2008 Plan”) for employees and nonemployees under which an aggregate of   330,582   stock options and stock purchase rights may be granted. In December 2013, the total amount available for grant under the 2008 Plan was increased by   224,200   to   554,782. In March 2014, the Company’s board of directors approved an increase of   115,153 shares available for grant pursuant to the 2008 Plan to   669,935. In March 2015, the total amount of available to grant under the 2008 Plan was increased in conjunction with the Company’s offering of Series D preferred stock by   391,650 shares to   1,061,585. Options under the 2008 Plan have a maximum life of   10 years from the date of grant. Options vest at various intervals, as determined by the Company’s board of directors at the date of grant.

 

2015 Equity Incentive Plan

 

In August 2015, the Company’s board of directors approved the 2015 Equity Incentive Award Plan, (the “2015 Plan”), which was effective in connection with the pricing of the IPO on September 30, 2015. The 2015 Plan provides for the granting of   a variety of stock ‑based compensation awards, including stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, restricted stock unit awards, deferred stock awards, dividend equivalent awards, stock payment awards, performance awards and other stock ‑based awards. The 2015 Plan is the successor to the 2008 Plan and the  792,717  options outstanding in the 2008 Plan at June 30, 2016 may be transferred to the 2015 Plan if awards thereunder terminate, expire or lapse for any reason without the delivery of shares to the holder thereof. Under the 2015 Plan,   1,671,800   shares of the Company’s common stock were initially authorized and reserved for issuance. In March 2016, the Company’s board of directors approved an increase of 1,041,527 shares available for grant pursuant to the 2015 Plan. A combined total of 3,508,492 shares have been authorized and reserved for issuance under the 2008 Plan and 2015 Plan at June 30, 2016.

 

2015 Employee Stock Purchase Plan

 

In August 2015, the Company’s board of directors approved the 2015 Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “ESPP”), which was effective in connection with the pricing of the IPO on September 30, 2015. The ESPP allows eligible employees to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock at a discount through payroll deductions of up to   15%   of their eligible compensation, subject to any plan limitations. The ESPP generally provides for set offering periods, and at the end of each offering period, employees are able to purchase shares at   85%   of the lower of the fair market value of the Company’s common stock on the first trading day of the offering period or on the last trading day of the offering period.  There were   no   sales under the ESPP as of June 30, 2016. Shares available for future purchase under the ESPP were 375,485   at June 30, 2016.

 

Stock Option Activity

 

The Company’s stock option activity for the six months ended June 30, 2016 was as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

    

Weighted‑

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average

 

Weighted‑Average

 

 

 

Number

 

Exercise

 

Contractual

 

 

 

of Shares

 

Price

 

Life (years)

 

Outstanding at December 31, 2015

 

1,529,459

 

 

6.29

 

9.00

 

Granted

 

665,250

 

 

4.40

 

 

 

Exercised

 

(5,313)

 

 

1.65

 

 

 

Forfeited/canceled

 

(293,854)

 

 

7.00

 

 

 

Outstanding at June 30, 2016

 

1,895,542

 

$

5.53

 

8.82

 

Options exercisable at June 30, 2016

 

474,542

 

$

4.93

 

7.44

 

 

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Stock Compensation Expense

 

Total stock- based compensation expense for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 was recognized as follows in the statements of comprehensive loss (in thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

 

2015

    

 

2016

 

    

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development expense (1)

 

$

(56)

 

$

49

 

$

115

 

$

81

 

General and administrative expense

 

 

298

 

 

168

 

 

574

 

 

270

 

    Total stock based compensation

 

$

242

 

$

217

 

$

689

 

$

351

 

 

(1)

Amount for stock- based compensation expense in research and development for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 includes the reversal of approximately $252,000 in previously recognized stock- based compensation expense for the forfeiture of unvested awards during the period.

 

As of June 30, 2016 there was approximately $5.0 million of unrecognized compensation cost related to the stock options granted under the 2015 Plan, which is expected to be amortized over a weighted average period of 3.0 years. There were no restricted stock units or stock appreciation rights granted under the 2015 Plan as of June 30, 2016.

 

8. Income Taxes

 

The Company had not recorded a provision for income taxes as of June 30, 2016 due to reported net losses since inception.

 

During the three and six months ended June, 2016 and 2015, the Company had no interest and penalties related to income taxes.

 

Deferred income taxes reflect the net tax effects of temporary differences between the carrying amount of assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes and the amounts used for income tax purposes. The Company has established a valuation allowance due to uncertainties regarding the realization of deferred tax assets based upon the Company’s lack of earnings history. The Company files income tax returns in the U.S. federal and Texas jurisdictions. The statute of limitations for assessment by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is open for tax years ending December 31, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2010, although carryforward attributes that were generated for tax years prior to 2011 may still be adjusted upon examination by the IRS if they either have been, or will be, used in a future period. The 2010 and subsequent tax years remain open and subject to examination by the State of Texas. There are currently no federal or state income tax audits in progress.

 

9. Agreements with Asuragen

 

On November 3, 2009, the Company entered into an agreement with Asuragen under which Asuragen shares space with and provides services to the Company in support of the Company’s business. Such services have included human resources, finance and accounting, information technology, purchasing, shipping and receiving, equipment use, and various facility expenses. The Company pays Asuragen a monthly service fee for the services provided by Asuragen to the Company, which does not include direct charges incurred by Asuragen on behalf of the Company. Total expenses under the Shared Services Agreement with Asuragen totaled approxi mately $ 119,000 and $98,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively and $ 237,000 and $195,000 for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.

 

On October 31, 2014, the Company entered into a sublease agreement with Asuragen for use of office, laboratory and shared space. Total rent expense was $22,200 and $44,400 for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016. Both the lease and the shared service agreements expire on August 31, 2016. The Company has entered into a new lease for additional space, as discussed in Note 11.

 

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10. License agreements

 

Rosetta Genomics Ltd. 

 

In December 2015, the Company entered into a Patent License Agreement (the “License Agreement”) with Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (“Rosetta”), licensing to the Company certain patents owned or controlled by Rosetta as specified in the License Agreement. Under the License Agreement, Rosetta granted the Company a non-assignable, non- transferable, worldwide license for certain patents in connection with the development and commercialization of products that relate to the tumor suppressor microRNA MIR-34 (“Products”). This license is exclusive with respect to Products that relate to MRX34, the Company’s lead product candidate, and non-exclusive for products that are not related to MRX34.  

 

Under the License Agreement, the Company paid Rosetta an up-front, non-refundable payment of   $1.6   million, which was accrued as an expense within research and development at December 31, 2015 and subsequently paid in January 2016. The Company is obligated to pay low single- digit royalties on net sales of Products, as well as royalties on sublicense revenues. Certain development and regulatory milestone payments   totaling   $3   million   may also be payable in connection with   specified types of   Products, upon the achievement of certain development and/ or regulatory milestone events.  

 

Marina Biotech, Inc.

 

In December 2011, the Company entered into a licensing agreement with Marina Biotech, Inc. (“Marina”), pursuant to which Marina granted to the Company a license to liposomal delivery technology, NOV340, known under the brand name “SMARTICLES,” to develop and commercialize drug products incorporating Marina’s delivery system exclusively in combination with the Company’s lead therapeutic product, MRX34. In December 2013, the license agreement was amended to include three additional specific microRNA mimics selected by the Company to use with SMARTICLES on an exclusive basis, and in May 2015, the license agreement was further amended to reduce the amount of a specific milestone payment and to provide for the prepayment of such milestone payment. In August 2015, the Company also entered into a side letter to the license agreement, under which it exercised its right to select an additional specific microRNA as a licensed product, in exchange for the payment of a specified selection fee payment.

 

The Company has cumulatively paid Marina approximately   $2.1 million through June 30, 2016 in up ‑front and milestone payments and as consideration for the inclusion within the license of four additional microRNA compounds. As the Company progresses with respect to development and commercialization of its products, the Company will be required to make payments to Marina based upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, totaling up to   $6 million in the aggregate for each licensed product. The Company has agreed to pay up to an additional   $4 million per licensed product upon the achievement of certain regulatory milestones for a specified number of additional indications, leading to a maximum cap on all milestone payments of   $10 million per product. The exception to this is for the Company’s lead therapeutic product, MRX34, where the aggregate of all remaining development and regulatory milestone payments due to Marina, including for all additional indications, is   $4.0 million.

 

In addition to milestone payments, the Company will be required to pay low single digit royalties on net sales of licensed products other than MRX34, subject to customary reductions and offsets. As a result of the Company’s 2013 amendment to the agreement with Marina, the Company is no longer required to pay a royalty to Marina with respect to sales of the Company’s lead therapeutic product, MRX34. If the Company sublicenses its rights under the license from Marina, for each optioned microRNA compound covered by such sublicense the Company is required to pay a specified lump ‑sum payment representing the remainder of the selection fee for the inclusion of such microRNA compound within the scope of the license agreement, as well as a portion of any revenue the Company receives from such sublicensees at a tiered percentage between the very low single digits and the mid ‑teens, depending on the circumstances in which the sublicense is entered into.

 

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Yale University

 

In 2006, Asuragen entered into an exclusive license agreement with Yale University (“Yale”) under certain patent rights relating to microRNAs. This agreement was assigned to the Company by Asuragen in connection with the Company’s acquisition of certain assets, including patent rights, in 2009. In February 2014, the Company as successor ‑in ‑interest to Asuragen, amended and restated the exclusive license agreement. Some of the patent filings in the Company’s intellectual property portfolio that are licensed to the Company by Asuragen are also included in the patents licensed under the agreement with Yale. The Company will be required to pay royalties to Yale on net sales of licensed products that contain specified microRNAs, at a percentage ranging from the very low to the low single digits, subject to customary reductions and offsets. The Company will also be required to pay to Yale a portion of specified gross revenue that the Company receives from the Company’s sublicensees at a percentage in the mid ‑single digits.

 

The Company will be required to make payments for achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones by products containing one specified microRNA and covered by the licensed patents, of up to $600,000 in the aggregate for each such product, subject to reduction in certain circumstances. In addition, the Company is required to pay an annual license maintenance fee and minimum annual royalties under certain circumstances.

 

11. Commitments and Contingencies

 

Operating Lease

 

In June 2016, the Company entered into a lease for its corporate headquarters and research facility in Austin, Texas (the “Headquarters”) under an operating lease agreement (the “Lease”). The lease will commence on the earlier of (i) the date on which the Company first conducts any business in the new Headquarters, (ii) substantial completion of the improvements made to the new Headquarters as defined in the Lease, or (iii) January 1, 2017 (collectively, the “Commencement Date”).  The initial term of the lease is for a 123 month period, with the option to extend the lease for up to two consecutive 60 month terms. The Company anticipates taking occupancy of the facilities in the latter half of 2016.

 

The lease provides annual base rent of approximately $600,000 in the first year after a three- month rent free period following the Commencement Date, with subsequent annual increases of approximately 3% in the annual base rent. In connection with the lease, the landlord has provided a tenant improvement allowance of approximately $1.9 million to be used by the Company to build-out certain improvements to the Headquarters. The Lease also provides for an additional improvement allowance of up to $1.3 million. The additional allowance, if exercised, will amortize over 120 months on a straight line basis. There have been no draws on the additional improvement allowance as of June 30, 2016.

 

Mirna has obtained a standby letter of credit for the initial amount of approximately $2.4 million, which may be drawn down by the landlord in the event of default. If Mirna meets certain requirements, the amount due under the Letter of Credit may be reduced to approximately $800,000.

 

Under the Lease agreement, future minimum payments payable are approximately as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating

 

Period ending December 31,

    

Lease

 

2016 (six months)

 

 

 -

 

2017

 

$

450,930

 

2018

 

 

614,856

 

2019

 

 

633,364

 

2020 and thereafter

 

 

5,306,111

 

Total

 

$

7,005,261

 

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Shared Services Agreement

 

Pursuant to a shared services agreement and sublease with Asuragen (see Note 9), the Company has remaining commitments for payments through August 2016 under the shared services agreement and sublease of $79,000 and $14,800, respectively.

 

12. Net Loss Per Share Attributable to Common Stockholders

 

The following table summarizes the computation of basic and diluted net loss per share attributable to common stockholders of the Company (in thousands, except share and per share data):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

    

2016

    

2015

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net loss

 

$

(5,638)

 

$

(5,684)

 

$

(12,209)

 

$

(9,963)

 

Accretion of convertible preferred stock to redemption value

 

 

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

(448)

 

Accrued dividends on convertible preferred stock

 

 

 —

 

 

(1,544)

 

 

 —

 

 

(2,214)

 

Net loss attributable to common stockholders—basic and diluted

 

 

(5,638)

 

 

(7,228)

 

 

(12,209)

 

 

(12,625)

 

Weighted-average number of common shares—basic and diluted

 

 

20,831,723

 

 

91,643

 

 

20,831,139

 

 

90,102

 

Net loss per share attributable to common stockholders—basic and diluted

 

$

(0.27)

 

$

(78.87)

 

$

(0.59)

 

$

(140.10)

 

 

The following potentially dilutive securities outstanding, prior to the use of the treasury stock method or if ‑converted method, have been excluded from the computation of diluted weighted ‑average common shares outstanding, because including them would have had an anti ‑dilutive effect due to the losses reported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convertible preferred stock

 

 —

 

10,159,614

 

Stock options

 

1,905,142

 

818,660

 

 

 

1,905,142

 

10,978,274

 

 

As the Company incurred a net loss for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016 there is no income allocation required under the two ‑class method or dilution attributed to weighted ‑average shares outstanding in the computation of diluted loss per share attributable to common stockholders.

 

 

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

You should read the following management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations in conjunction with our unaudited condensed financial statements and notes thereto included in Part I, Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and with our audited financial statements and notes thereto for the year ended December 31, 2015, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 30, 2016.

 

Special note regarding forward-looking statements

 

This report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. The statements contained in this report that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act).

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Forward-looking statements are often identified by the use of words such as, but not limited to, “anticipate,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “strategy,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions or variations intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on the beliefs and assumptions of our management based on information currently available to management. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results and the timing of certain events to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those identified below and those discussed in the section titled “Risk Factors” included under Part II, Item 1A below. Furthermore, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements.

 

Overview

 

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a pipeline of microRNA-based oncology therapeutics. microRNAs are naturally occurring, short ribonucleic acid, or RNA, molecules, or oligonucleotides, that play a critical role in regulating key biological pathways. Misexpression of even a single microRNA can contribute to disease development and tumor suppressor microRNAs are commonly reduced in cancer. Our scientists and others at leading academic institutions have identified numerous tumor suppressor microRNAs that play key roles in preventing normal cells from becoming cancerous and facilitating proper cancer immunosurveillance. We are developing mimics of naturally occurring microRNAs that are designed to increase this tumor suppressor activity and aid appropriate anti-tumor immune response.

 

Our lead product candidate, MRX34, a mimic of naturally occurring microRNA-34 (miR-34) encapsulated in a liposomal nanoparticle formulation, is the first microRNA mimic to enter clinical development in oncology and is currently being studied as a single agent in our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial. The Phase 1 trial is now in its expansion phase, wherein we intend to recruit patients in multiple cohorts based on cancer type, including: hepatocellular carcinoma cancer (HCC), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), melanoma, ovarian cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, sarcoma, small cell lung cancer and bladder cancer .  

Interim data from the Phase 1 trial were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in June 2016.  In an oral presentation, investigators reported on the final dose-escalation results from the first-in-human Phase 1 trial of MRX34, highlighting the safety profile, pharmacodynamic evidence of activity, and multiple clinical responses in cancer patients with a variety of advanced solid tumors. Data highlights included four confirmed partial responses for up to 50+ weeks in duration in patients with late-stage, metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma cancer or HCC (liver cancer), renal cell carcinoma or RCC (kidney cancer) and acral melanoma (a rare and difficult-to-treat form of skin cancer). Two of these responses occurred while the patients were on drug holiday.  Stable disease was also observed in an additional 15 patients for more than four cycles (approximately three months) of therapy, including a small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patient who showed stable disease for more than one year on MRX34 as fourth line therapy.

Since the beginning of the Phase 1 clinical trial in April 2013 and up until the data cut-off date for the ASCO presentation in April 2016, three patients had experienced possible immune-mediated serious adverse events (SAEs) after receiving MRX34. These previously reported events included enterocolitis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and pneumonitis/colitis. The first two patients recovered; the patient experiencing pneumonitis/colitis subsequently died.  Subsequently, a recently enrolled acral melanoma patient experienced an SAE of increased ALT and AST liver function tests, determined likely to be due to acute hepatitis, with subsequent liver failure leading to death on August 3, 2016. The event was deemed possibly related to MRX34 and reported to the FDA and Korean regulatory authority. 

The timing and pattern of response to treatment with MRX34 and the associated safety profile suggest a potential immune component to MRX34 activity.

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We had planned to initiate Phase 2 trials in RCC and melanoma by the end of 2016; however, we now plan to let the results from the Phase 1 expansion cohorts guide the next steps in development of MRX34, including the initiation of Phase 2 trials. In addition, we plan to initiate a translational medicine trial in the late 2016, aimed to deepen our insights into the mechanism of action of MRX34 in melanoma patients and to define biomarkers that would aid in furthering the development of MRX34.

 

We believe that microRNA mimics may represent a new paradigm in cancer therapy and have the potential to create a new, important class of effective cancer drugs that can potentially be used alone or in combination with other cancer therapeutics. For the next wave of cancer therapies to produce a measurable improvement over current approaches, we believe it will need to yield drugs that can disrupt multiple oncogenic and immuno ‑oncology pathways. We believe the microRNA field represents a highly promising area for the development of these drugs.

 

We were incorporated in 2007 under the laws of Delaware and were maintained as a wholly ‑owned subsidiary of our former parent company, Asuragen, Inc., or Asuragen, until the end of 2009, when we became an independent entity.

 

Our operations have focused on developing our understanding of and capabilities in microRNA biology, identifying potential product candidates, undertaking preclinical studies, initiating and conducting a clinical trial, protecting and enhancing our intellectual property estate and providing general and administrative support for these activities. We have not generated any revenue from product sales and, to date, have funded our operations primarily through the private placements of our capital stock, federal and state government grants and offerings of our equity securities. From our inception through June 30, 2016, we have raised an aggregate of approximately $167.3   million to fund our operations, of which approximately $89.9   million was from the issuance of preferred stock for cash and assets, $48.7 million from a public offering of our common stock, $16.8 million from a private placement of our common stock and $11.9   million was from federal and state grants.

 

Since our inception, we have incurred significant operating losses. Our net loss was $5.6 million and $12.2 for the three and six months ended June 30, 2016. At June 30, 2016, we had an accumulated deficit of $88.7 million. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses over the next several years. Our net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and from year to year. We anticipate that our expenses may increase significantly as we conduct clinical trials for MRX34 and other product candidates; manufacture clinical trial materials; continue to discover, validate and develop additional novel product candidates; expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio; and hire additional development and scientific personnel.

 

 

Financial Operations Overview

 

Revenue

 

We have not generated any revenue from product sales or from collaborations. In the future, we may generate revenue from collaborations and licenses. Revenue may fluctuate from period to period, and the timing and extent of any future revenue will depend on our ability to advance our product candidates through the clinical trial process and to obtain regulatory approval and our ability, or our future partners’ ability, to commercialize our product candidates.

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred for our research activities, including our drug discovery efforts, and the development of our product candidates, which include the following:

 

·

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

 

·

external research and development expenses incurred under arrangements with third parties, such as contract research organizations, or CROs, consultants and our scientific advisory board;

 

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·

lab supplies, and acquiring, developing and manufacturing preclinical study materials in accordance with Good Laboratory Practices;

 

·

costs of clinical trials, including costs for management, investigator fees and related vendors that provide services for the clinical trials;

 

·

costs to manufacture the drug used in the clinical trials in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices;

 

·

license and milestone fees;

 

·

development and prosecution of intellectual property; and

 

·

costs of facilities, depreciation and other expenses.

 

Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. In certain circumstances, we will make nonrefundable advance payments to purchase goods and services for future use pursuant to contractual arrangements. In those instances, we defer and recognize an expense in the period that we receive or consume the goods or services.

 

Our research and development expenses have been offset by proceeds derived from federal and state grants. These government grants, which have supplemented our research efforts on specific projects, generally provide for reimbursement of approved costs, as defined in the terms of the grant awards. The proceeds from these reimbursement grants are treated as a reduction to the associated expenses as the allowable expenses are incurred.

 

At any point in time, we typically have various early stage research and drug discovery projects ongoing. Our internal resources, employees and infrastructure are not directly tied to any one research or drug discovery project and are typically deployed across multiple projects. As such, we do not maintain information regarding the costs incurred for these early stage research and drug discovery programs on a project ‑specific basis. However, we have spent and are currently spending the vast majority of our research and development resources on our lead product candidate, MRX34.

 

Most of our product development programs are at an early stage, and successful development of future product candidates from these programs is highly uncertain and may not result in approved products. The process of conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approval is costly and time consuming, and we expect our research and development expenses to increase for the foreseeable future as we advance our research programs toward the clinic and initiate and continue clinical trials. 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. 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 the scientific and clinical success of each future product candidate, as well as ongoing assessments as to each future product candidate’s commercial potential. Completion dates and completion costs can vary significantly for each future product candidate and are difficult to predict. We will need to raise additional capital and may seek strategic alliances in the future in order to advance the various products in the pipeline and other products that may be developed.

 

General and Administrative Expenses

 

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related benefits, including stock ‑based compensation, related to our executive, finance and support functions. Other general and administrative expenses include allocated facility ‑related costs not otherwise included in research and development expenses, travel expenses and professional fees for auditing, tax and legal services. We expect that general and administrative expenses will increase in the future as we expand our operating activities and incur additional costs associated with being a publicly ‑traded company. These increases will likely include legal fees, accounting fees, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance premiums and fees associated with investor relations.

 

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

Our management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those related to stock based compensation and clinical trial and pre-clinical study accruals. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. In making estimates and judgments, management employs critical accounting policies. During the six months ended June 30, 2016, there were no material changes to our critical accounting policies as reported in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, which was filed with the SEC on March 30, 2016.

 

Results of Operations

 

Comparison of three months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Months Ended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

Dollar

 

 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

    

Change

    

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Statement of operations data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development, before grant reimbursement

 

$

3,691

 

$

4,608

 

$

(917)

 

(19.9)

%

Less grant reimbursement

 

 

(9)

 

 

(109)

 

 

100

 

(91.7)

%

Research and development

 

 

3,682

 

 

4,499

 

 

(817)

 

(18.2)

%

General and administrative

 

 

2,049

 

 

1,185

 

 

864

 

72.9

%

Interest (income)

 

 

(93)

 

 

 —

 

 

(93)

 

100.0

%

Net loss

 

$

5,638

 

$

5,684

 

$

(46)

 

(0.8)

%

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Research and development expenses were $3.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016 which was a decrease of $800,000, or 18%, compared to research and development expenses of approximately $4.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. The decrease in the three months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily due to the following:

 

·

A decrease of approximately $1.6 million in Phase 1 clinical trials and related costs associated with our lead product candidate MRX34, primarily due to the combination of adding additional sites and upfront drug costs in 2015 and the Company focusing on more specific indications in 2016.

 

·

An offsetting increase of approximately $900,000 in employee compensation, benefits and stock compensation expense due to increased headcount.

 

Research and development spending was partially offset by approximately $9,000 of grant reimbursements for the three months ended June 30, 2016, compared to reimbursement of approximately $109,000 for the same period in 2015. The decrease is primarily due to two grants expiring in August 2015.

 

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General and Administrative Expenses

 

General and administrative expenses were approximately $2.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2016, which was an increase of approximately $900,000 or 73%, compared to general and administrative expenses of $1.2 million for the three months ended June 30, 2015. The increase in the three months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily due to the following:

 

·

Approximately $700,000 for additional costs associated with operating as a publicly traded company, including higher legal, audit, insurance, professional and administrative costs.

 

·

Approximately $180,000 for increased employee compensation, benefits and stock compensation expense primarily due to increased headcount.

 

Comparison of six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

Dollar

 

 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

    

Change

    

% Change

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Statement of operations data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development, before grant reimbursement

 

$

8,254

 

$

8,089

 

$

165

 

2.0

%

Less grant reimbursement

 

 

(49)

 

 

(188)

 

 

139

 

(73.9)

%

Research and development

 

 

8,205

 

 

7,901

 

 

304

 

3.8

%

General and administrative

 

 

4,179

 

 

2,062

 

 

2,117

 

102.7

%

Interest (income)

 

 

(175)

 

 

 —

 

 

(175)

 

100.0

%

Net loss

 

$

12,209

 

$

9,963

 

$

2,246

 

22.5

%

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Research and development expenses were $8.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 which was an increase of $ 300,000 million, or 3%, compared to research and development expenses of approximately $7.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015. The increase in the six months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily due to the following:

 

·

Approximately $1.6 million of increased employee compensation, benefits and stock compensation expense due to increased headcount and changes in compensation.

 

·

Offset by a decrease of approximately $1.5 million in clinical trial costs related to our Phase 1 clinical trial for MRX34, due to a combination of higher site set-up costs and upfront drug costs, as well as slower patient in accrual 2016 as the trial focuses on specific indications.

 

Research and development spending was partially offset by approximately $49,000 of grant reimbursements for the six months ended June 30, 2016, compared to reimbursement of approximately $188,000 for the same period in 2015. The decrease is primarily due to two grants expiring in August 2015.

 

General and Administrative Expenses

 

General and administrative expenses were approximately $4.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016, which was an increase of approximately $2.1 million or 103%, compared to general and administrative expenses of $2.1 for the six months ended June 30, 2015. The increase in the six months ended June 30, 2016 was primarily due to the following:

 

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·

Approximately $1.5 million for additional costs associated with operating as a publicly traded company, including higher legal, audit, insurance, professional and administrative costs.

 

·

Approximately $700,000 of increased employee compensation, benefits and stock compensation expense due to increased headcount and changes in compensation.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Liquidity and Capital Expenditures

 

  Since inception,   our operations have been financed primarily through proceeds of $167.3   million to fund our operations, of which approximately $89.9   million was from the issuance of preferred stock for cash and assets, $48.7 million was from a public offering of our common stock, $16.8 million was from a private placement of our common stock and $11.9   million was from federal and state grants. At June 30, 2016, we had $30.8 million of cash and cash equivalents and $41.8 invested in marketable securities. Our primary uses of cash are to fund research and development expenditures and operating expenses. Cash used to fund operating expenses is impacted by the timing of when we pay these expenses, as reflected in the change in our outstanding accounts payable and accrued expenses.

 

We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of June 30, 2016, will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash requirements for at least the next 12 months. However, our forecast of the period of time through which our financial resources will be adequate to support our operations is a forward ‑looking statement that involves risks and uncertainties, and actual results could vary materially.

 

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

 

·

the demonstration of further clinical proof ‑of ‑concept with our product candidates, including MRX34, in one or more cancer types or other indications;

 

·

the rate of progress and cost of our clinical trials, preclinical and nonclinical studies and other discovery and research and development activities;

 

·

the successful outcome of one or more pivotal clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy of our product candidates, including MRX34;

 

·

the timing of, and costs involved in, seeking and obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals;

 

·

the costs of preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights, including litigation costs and the results of such litigation;

 

·

our ability to practice our technology without infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties;

 

·

our ability to enter into additional collaboration, licensing, government or other arrangements and the terms and timing of such arrangements;

 

·

the potential need to acquire, by acquisition or in ‑licensing, other products, technologies or businesses; and

 

·

the emergence of competing technologies or other adverse market developments.

 

 

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The following table shows a summary of our cash flows for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six Months Ended

 

 

 

June 30, 

 

 

    

2016

    

2015

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net cash provided by (used in):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

(14,100)

 

$

(9,199)

 

Investing activities

 

 

(44,826)

 

 

(58)

 

Financing activities

 

 

9

 

 

41,517

 

Net increase (decrease)

 

$

(58,917)

 

$

32,260

 

 

Operating Activities

 

Net cash used in operating activities was $14.1 million and $9.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The increase in overall spending for operating activities of approximately $4.9 million was due to increased headcount and personnel expenses and a reduction in payables and accrued liabilities, primarily related to payments for clinical trial related expenditures.

 

Investing Activities

 

Net cash used in investing activities for the periods presented relates primarily to the purchase of marketable securities during the six months ended June 30, 2016. We invested $50.8 million in US government agency and treasury securities and corporate debt securities with maturities greater than 90 days using surplus proceeds received in connection with our IPO and concurrent private placement in October 2015, partially offset by maturities during the period of $9.0 million. In addition, the Company obtained a standby letter of credit of $2.4 million in connection with the Lease reflected in fiscal year 2016 investing activities as restricted cash.

 

Financing Activities

 

Net cash provided by financing activities was approximately $41.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2015, which was attributable to the initial closing of our offering of Series D convertible preferred stock. There were no financing activities during the six months ended June 30, 2016.

 

Contractual Obligations and Commitments

 

The following table presents payments due under the Company’s contractual obligations as of June 30, 2016:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

    

Payments Due by Period

 

 

 

Total

 

 

Less than 1 Year

 

 

1-3 Years

 

 

3-5 Years

 

 

Over 5 Years

Operating Lease

 

$

7,005,261

 

$

150,310

 

$

1,232,158

 

$

1,994,934

 

$

3,627,859

Other (1)

 

 

234,157

 

 

234,157

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

 —

 

 

$

7,239,419

 

$

384,467

 

$

1,232,158

 

$

1,994,934

 

$

3,627,859

 

(1)

Reflects remaining commitments under the Shared Services and Sublease Agreements with Asuragen of approximately $94,000 and two leases for temporary space of approximately $140,000.

 

Off ‑balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We did not have during the periods presented, and we do not currently have, any off ‑balance sheet arrangements, as defined in the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

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Segment Information

 

We have one primary business activity and operate as one reportable segment.

 

JOBS Act

 

Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an emerging growth company can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this extended transition period and, as a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for other companies.

 

 

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

The market risk inherent in our financial instruments and in our financial position represents the potential loss arising from adverse changes in interest rates. At June 30, 2016, we had cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities of $30.8 million and $41.8 million, respectively, consisting of interest ‑bearing money market funds, U.S. treasury securities, U.S. government agency securities, and corporate debt securities. Our primary exposure to market risk is interest rate sensitivity, which is affected by changes in the general level of U.S. interest rates. Due to the short ‑term maturities of our cash equivalents and marketable securities, as well as the low risk profile of our investments, we do not believe a change in interest rates would have a material effect on the fair market value of our cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities.

 

Item 4. Controls and Procedures.

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

Our management, with the participation of our chief executive and financial officers, evaluated the effectiveness of our disclosures controls and procedures, as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, as of June 30, 2016. The term “disclosure controls and procedures,” as defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, means controls and other procedures of a company that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by a company in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the company’s management, including its principal executive and principal financial officers, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure. Management recognizes that any controls and procedures, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and management necessarily applies its judgment in evaluating the cost-benefit relationship of possible controls and procedures. Based on the evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of June 30, 2016, our chief executive officer and chief financial officer concluded that, as of such date, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective at a reasonable assurance level.

 

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

There were no changes in our internal controls over financial reporting during the period covered by this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q identified in connection with the evaluation required by Rule 13a-15(d) and 15d-15(d) of the Exchange Act that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

 

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PART II: OTHER INFORMATION

 

Item 1. Legal Proceedings

 

We are not currently a party to any material legal proceedings. We may at times be involved in litigation and other legal claims in the ordinary course of business. When appropriate in management’s estimation, we may record reserves in our financial statements for pending litigation and other claims.

 

Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

Our business involves a high degree of risk. You should consider carefully the following risks, together with all the other information in this periodic report, including our financial statements and notes thereto   and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” If any of the following risks actually materializes, our operating results, financial condition and liquidity could be materially adversely affected. As a result, the trading price of our common stock could decline. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial also may impair our business operations.

 

Risk Factors

 

Risks Related to Our Limited Operating History, Financial Position and Capital Requirements

 

We have incurred significant losses since inception. We anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and if we are unable to achieve and sustain profitability, the market value of our common stock will likely decline.

 

We are a clinical ‑stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history. Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We have not generated any product revenues and we do not expect to generate any product revenues for the foreseeable future. We have incurred losses in each year since our founding in 2007 and we expect to continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future. The amount of future losses is uncertain. All of our product candidates are in development, and none has been approved for sale. We have devoted substantially all of our efforts to research and development, including our preclinical and nonclinical development activities, and expect that it will be many years, if ever, before we have a product candidate ready for commercialization. To date, we have derived all of our funding from our collaboration with our former parent company, Asuragen, Inc., or Asuragen, private placements of our capital stock and government grants for research and development. Our net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2016 was $12.2 million. Since inception, we have incurred net losses leading to an accumulated deficit of approximately $88.7 million as of June 30, 2016.

 

We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and increasing operating losses for the foreseeable future as we seek to expand our clinical development plan for MRX34 as a monotherapy, pursue development of MRX34 as a combination therapy, conduct research and development of other product candidates and pursue marketing approval for MRX34 in the future. If we obtain marketing approval of MRX34, we also expect to incur significant sales, marketing, distribution and manufacturing expenses. Even after obtaining such marketing approval, our products may never gain sufficient market acceptance and adequate market share. If we fail to succeed in any of these activities or our product candidates fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy in clinical trials, do not gain regulatory approval or do not achieve significant market acceptance following regulatory approval and commercialization, we may never become profitable. Even if we achieve profitability in the future, we may not be able to sustain profitability in subsequent periods. Our prior losses, combined with expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital. If we are unable to achieve and sustain profitability, the market value of our common stock will likely decline. Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with developing biopharmaceutical products, we are unable to predict the extent of any future losses or whether we will become profitable.

 

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Our short operating history may make it difficult to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.

 

We are a clinical ‑stage biopharmaceutical company that was founded in 2007 and did not exist as a standalone company until 2009. Our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, acquiring and developing our technology, identifying and evaluating potential product candidates and delivery technologies, undertaking nonclinical studies, filing an Investigational New Drug, or IND, application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and conducting the Phase 1 clinical trial of our most advanced product candidate, MRX34. Except for MRX34, all of our product candidates are still in preclinical development. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to initiate clinical trials for product candidates other than MRX34, or successfully complete any clinical trials, including large ‑scale, pivotal clinical trials, obtain marketing approvals, manufacture a commercial scale medicine, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. Typically, it takes many years to develop one new product candidate from the time it is discovered to when it is available for treating patients. Consequently, any predictions about our future success or viability, or any evaluation of our business or prospects, may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history. In addition, as a new business, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown challenges. We will need to transition from a company with a research focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in such a transition.

 

We will need substantial additional funding. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to delay, reduce or terminate our product development, other operations or commercialization efforts.

 

Developing biopharmaceutical products, including conducting preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials, is an expensive and highly uncertain process that takes years to complete. Our expenses may increase substantially as we seek to expand our clinical development plan for MRX34 as a monotherapy, pursue development of MRX34 as a combination therapy, conduct research and development of other product candidates and pursue marketing approval for MRX34 in the future. Additional clinical trials, including one or more late ‑stage pivotal trials, will be required to obtain potential marketing approval for MRX34, and the costs of any future trials may be more expensive and time consuming than our current trial. If we obtain marketing approval of MRX34, we also expect to incur significant sales, marketing, distribution and outsourced manufacturing expenses.

 

As of June 30, 2016, we had working capital of $69.8 million, comprised of cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities of $30.8 million and $41.8 million, respectively. Based on our current operating plan, we believe that our available cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at such date are sufficient to fund our anticipated levels of operation for at least the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements for the period for which we expect our existing resources to support our operations may vary significantly from what we expect. For example, our expenses could increase beyond expectations if we are required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory agencies to perform studies or trials in addition to those that we currently anticipate. Our funds at June 30, 2016 will not be sufficient to obtain marketing approval for MRX34. As a result, we will be required to obtain additional financing in the future, which we may obtain through public or private equity offerings, debt financings, credit facilities, government grants and contracts and/or strategic collaborations. If we are required to secure additional capital, such additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from our day ‑to ‑day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize future product candidates. Additional financing may not be available to us when we need it or it may not be available to us on favorable terms, if at all. If we are unable to obtain adequate financing or form favorable collaborations, when needed, we may have to delay, reduce the scope of or eliminate one or more of our clinical trials, research and development programs or our commercialization efforts, including with respect to MRX34.

 

Additionally, our future financing requirements will depend on many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:

 

·

the demonstration of further clinical proof ‑of ‑concept with our product candidates, including MRX34, in one or more cancer types or other indications;

 

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·

the rate of progress and cost of our clinical trials, preclinical and nonclinical studies and other discovery and research and development activities;

 

·

the successful outcome of one or more pivotal clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy of our product candidates, including MRX34;

 

·

the timing of, and costs involved in, seeking and obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals;

 

·

the costs of preparing, filing, prosecuting, maintaining and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights, including litigation costs and the results of such litigation;

 

·

our ability to practice our technology without infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties;

 

·

our ability to enter into additional collaboration, licensing, government or other arrangements and the terms and timing of such arrangements;

 

·

the potential need to acquire, by acquisition or in ‑licensing, other products, technologies or businesses; and

 

·

the emergence of competing technologies or other adverse market developments.

 

Future capital requirements will also depend on the extent to which we acquire or invest in additional complementary businesses, products and technologies. We currently have no understandings, commitments or agreements relating to any of these types of transactions.

 

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our existing stockholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates.

 

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenues, we expect to finance our cash needs through public or private equity offerings, debt financings, credit facilities, government grants and contracts and/or strategic collaborations.

 

To raise capital, we may from time to time issue additional shares of common stock at a discount from the then ‑current trading price of our common stock. As a result, our common stockholders would experience immediate dilution upon the purchase of any shares of our common stock sold at such discount. In addition, as opportunities present themselves, we may enter into financing or similar arrangements in the future, including the issuance of debt securities, preferred stock or common stock. Whether or not we issue additional shares of common stock at a discount, any issuance of common stock will, and any issuance of other equity securities, securities convertible into equity securities or options, warrants or other rights to purchase equity securities, result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders and could cause our stock price to decline. New investors could also gain rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of holders of our common stock, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline. Debt securities may also contain covenants that restrict our operational flexibility, impose liens or other restrictions on our assets, restrict our ability to incur additional debt, impose limitations on our ability to acquire, sell or license intellectual property or impose other operating restrictions that could adversely affect our business and could also cause the price of our common stock to decline.

 

Other than our collaboration with our former parent company, Asuragen, private placements of our capital stock, and public offerings of common stock, the only significant external source of funds to date has been state and federal government grants for research and development. The grants have been, and any future government grants and contracts we may receive may be, subject to the risks and contingencies set forth below under the risk factor entitled “Reliance on government funding for our programs may add uncertainty to our research and commercialization efforts with respect to those programs that are tied to such funding and may impose requirements that limit our ability to take certain actions, increase the costs of commercialization and production of product candidates developed under those programs and subject us to potential financial penalties, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.” Although we might apply for government and private contracts and grants

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in the future, we cannot guarantee that we will be successful in obtaining additional grants or contracts for MRX34 or any other product candidates or programs.

 

Risks Related to Product Development and Commercialization

 

The approach we are taking to discover and develop novel therapeutics using microRNA is unproven and may never lead to marketable products.

 

The scientific discoveries that form the basis for our efforts to discover and develop new drugs are relatively recent. To date, neither we nor any other company has received regulatory approval to market therapeutics utilizing microRNA. The scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing drugs based on these discoveries is both preliminary and limited. Successful development of microRNA ‑based products by us will require solving a number of issues, including providing suitable methods of stabilizing the microRNA material and delivering it into target cells in the human body. In addition, any compounds that we develop may not demonstrate in patients the chemical and pharmacological properties ascribed to them in laboratory and nonclinical studies, and they may interact with human biological systems in unforeseen, ineffective or even harmful ways. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates based upon our technological approach, we may not become profitable and the value of our common stock may decline.

 

Further, the FDA has relatively limited experience with microRNA ‑based therapeutics. No regulatory authority has granted approval to any person or entity, including us, to market or commercialize microRNA therapeutics, which may increase the complexity, uncertainty and length of the regulatory approval process for our product candidates. If our microRNA technologies prove to be ineffective, unsafe or commercially unviable, our entire pipeline would have little, if any, value, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

Further, our exclusive focus on microRNA technology for developing products as opposed to multiple, more proven technologies for drug development increases the risk associated with our business. If we are not successful in developing a product candidate using microRNA technology, we may not be able to identify and successfully implement an alternative product development strategy.

 

We are heavily dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, MRX34, which is in Phase 1 clinical development.

 

We currently have no products approved for sale and have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources in the development of MRX34. The clinical development of MRX34 began in April 2013 with our multi ‑center Phase 1 clinical trial of patients with advanced stage solid cancers. We have also included in the Phase 1 clinical trial a separate cohort of patients with hematological malignancies, which may include patients with non ‑Hodgkin’s lymphoma, acute myelogenous leukemia, acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia in accelerated or blast phase, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndrome. The primary objectives of the Phase 1 clinical trial, including the hematological malignancy cohort, are to establish the maximum tolerated dose and an appropriate dose for Phase 2 clinical trials. The secondary objectives of the Phase 1 clinical trial are to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of MRX34 after intravenous dosing as well as to assess any biological and clinical activity.

 

Our prospects are substantially dependent on our ability to develop and commercialize MRX34. Our ability to timely develop and effectively commercialize MRX34 will depend on several factors, including the following:

 

·

successful completion of our Phase 1 clinical trial or other clinical trials, which will depend substantially upon the satisfactory performance of third ‑party contractors;

 

·

successful demonstration of further clinical proof ‑of ‑concept with MRX34 in one or more cancer types;

 

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·

successful outcome of one or more pivotal clinical trials required for regulatory approval demonstrating safety and efficacy of MRX34;

 

·

receipt of marketing approvals for MRX34 from the FDA and similar regulatory authorities outside the United States;

 

·

establishing commercial manufacturing capabilities, for example, by making arrangements with third ‑party manufacturers;

 

·

successfully launching commercial sales of the product, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

·

acceptance of the product by patients, the medical community and third ‑party payors;

 

·

establishing market share while competing with other therapies;

 

·

a continued acceptable safety and adverse event profile of the product following regulatory approval;

 

·

qualifying for, identifying, registering, maintaining, enforcing and defending intellectual property rights and claims covering the product; and

 

·

manufacturing, marketing, selling and using MRX34 and practicing our technology without infringing the proprietary rights of third parties, or successfully defending against claims alleging such infringement.

 

If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner, or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to commercialize MRX34, which would materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We have not previously submitted a new drug application, or NDA, to the FDA, or similar drug approval filings to comparable foreign authorities, for any product candidate, and we cannot be certain that any of our product candidates will be successful in clinical trials or receive regulatory approval. Further, our product candidates may not receive regulatory approval even if they are successful in clinical trials. If we do not receive regulatory approvals for our product candidates, we may not b