UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

 

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

 

For the transition period from                   to                  

Commission file number: 001-38787

 

CYCLERION THERAPEUTICS, INC.

(Exact Name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Massachusetts

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

83-1895370

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

245 First Street, 18th Floor, Cambridge,  Massachusetts

(Address of principal executive offices)

02142

(Zip Code)

 

(857) 327-8778

Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, no par value

 

CYCN

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

(Nasdaq Global Select Market)

 

Securities registered pursuant of Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes      No  

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 every Interactive Data File required to be submitted 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 such files).  Yes      No  

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. 

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

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, as of June 30, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, was approximately $160.2 million, computed using the closing price on that day of $5.91.

As of February 18, 2021, there were 34,054,704 shares of common stock outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement, to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.


 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

PART I

Item 1.

Business.

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors.

18

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments.

49

Item 2.

Properties

49

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

49

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures.

49

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

50

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data.

50

Item 7.

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

51

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

60

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

60

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.

60

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures.

60

Item 9B.

Other Information.

61

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.

62

Item 11.

Executive Compensation.

62

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.

62

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.

62

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services.

62

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.

63

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary.

64

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, or this Annual Report, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in Part I, Item 1. “Business,” Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors,” and Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” but are also contained elsewhere in this Annual Report. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the words “may,” “might,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “potential,” “expects,” “plans,” “seeks,” “intends,” “evaluates,” “pursues,” “anticipates,” “continues,” “designs,” “impacts,” “affects,” “forecasts,” “target,” “outlook,” “initiative,” “objective,” “designed,” “priorities,” “goal” or the negative of those words or other similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking.

Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, by their nature, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include regional, national or global political, economic, business, competitive, market and regulatory conditions and the following:

 

the timing, investment and associated activities involved in developing, obtaining regulatory approval for, launching and commercializing our product candidates, including CY6463;

 

the COVID-19 pandemic affecting our clinical trials and other operating activities;

 

our relationships with third parties, collaborators and our employees;

 

our ability to execute our strategic priorities;

 

our ability to finance our operations and business initiatives;

 

our ability to out-license praliciguat;

 

the impact on our business of workforce and expense reduction initiatives;

 

our plans with respect to the development, manufacture or sale of our product candidates and the associated timing thereof, including the design and results of pre-clinical and clinical studies;

 

the safety profile and related adverse events of our product candidates;

 

the efficacy and perceived therapeutic benefits of our product candidates, their potential indications and their market potential;

 

U.S. and non-U.S. regulatory requirements for our product candidates, including any post-approval development and regulatory requirements, and the ability of our product candidates to meet such requirements;

 

our ability to attract and retain employees needed to execute our business plans and strategies and our ability to manage the impact of any loss of key employees;

 

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

 

our future financial performance, revenues, expense levels, payments, cash flows, profitability, tax obligations, capital raising and liquidity sources, real estate needs and concentration of voting control, as well as the timing and drivers thereof, and internal control over financial reporting;

 

our ability to compete with other companies that are or may be developing or selling products that are competitive with our product candidates;

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the impact of government regulation in the life sciences industry, particularly with respect to healthcare reform;

 

potential indemnification liabilities we may owe to Ironwood after the separation;

 

the tax treatment of the spin-off distribution and the limitations of the tax matters agreement that we entered into with Ironwood; and

 

trends and challenges in the markets for our potential products.

You should refer to “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of important factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. As a result of these factors, we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this Annual Report will prove to be accurate. Furthermore, if our forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report represent our views as of the date of this Annual Report. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments may cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this Annual Report.

You should read this report and the documents that we reference in this report, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this report to “Cyclerion,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. and, where appropriate, our consolidated subsidiaries.

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PART I

Item 1. Business

Overview

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company on a mission to develop treatments for serious central nervous system (CNS) diseases through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines. Our lead asset, CY6463 (previously known as IW-6463), is a pioneering, CNS-penetrant, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator that is currently in clinical development for Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and Alzheimer's disease with vascular pathology (ADv). sGC stimulators are small molecules that act synergistically with nitric oxide (NO) as positive allosteric modulators on sGC to boost production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP. cGMP is a key second messenger that, when produced by sGC, regulates diverse and critical biological functions in the CNS including neuronal function, neuroinflammation, cellular bioenergetics, and vascular dynamics.

Cyclerion became an independent public company on April 1, 2019 after Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Ironwood, completed a tax-free spin-off of its sGC business, which we refer to herein as the Separation. We are led by an accomplished team, with a track record of discovering, developing and commercializing meaningful therapies for patients while creating value for stockholders and with a long history of experience in the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway and expertise in CNS.

CY6463 is the core of our CNS portfolio with ongoing clinical programs in MELAS and ADv. In addition, our next-generation program is focused on discovering new, differentiated CNS-penetrant sGC stimulator(s). Outside of our CNS portfolio, we have clinical-phase sGC stimulators, praliciguat and olinciguat, and discovery and preclinical-phase compounds. The non-CNS assets are outside our current strategic focus and any further development would occur externally, subject to our reaching an out-license agreement with a third-party partner.  The following table presents the status of CNS pipeline and development-phase non-CNS programs in our portfolio:

 

The status of our programs in the table above represents the ongoing phase of development and does not correspond to the completion of a particular phase. Drug development involves a high degree of risk and investment, and the status, timing and scope of our development programs are subject to change. Important factors that could adversely affect our drug development efforts are discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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Research and Development programs

CNS programs

CY6463 is an orally administered CNS-penetrant sGC stimulator that is being developed as a symptomatic and potentially disease-modifying therapy for serious CNS diseases. Nitric oxide-sGC-cGMP is a fundamental signaling network that is widely used in the nervous system. CY6463 enhances the brain’s natural ability to produce cGMP, an important second messenger in the CNS, by stimulating sGC, a key node in the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway. This pathway is critical to basic CNS functions, and deficient NO-sGC-cGMP signaling is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Agents that stimulate sGC to produce cGMP may compensate for deficient NO signaling.

On January 13, 2020, we announced positive results from our Phase 1 first-in-human study that provided the foundation for continued development of CY6463. The results from this study indicate that CY6463 was well tolerated. Pharmacokinetic (PK) data, obtained from both blood and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), support once-daily dosing with or without food and demonstrated CY6463 penetration of the blood-brain-barrier with CSF concentrations expected to be pharmacologically active.

On October 14, 2020, we announced positive topline results from our CY6463 Phase 1 translational pharmacology study in healthy elderly participants. Treatment with CY6463 for 15 days in this 24-subject study confirmed and extended results seen in the earlier first-in-human Phase 1 study: once-daily oral treatment demonstrated blood-brain-barrier penetration with expected CNS exposure and target engagement. Results also showed significant improvements in neurophysiological and objective performance measures as well as in inflammatory biomarkers associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. CY6463 was safe and generally well tolerated in the study. Significant effects on cerebral blood flow and markers of bioenergetics were not observed in this study of healthy elderly participants. We believe that these results, together with nonclinical data, support continued development of CY6463 as a potential new medicine for serious CNS diseases.

We have initiated our CY6463 exploratory, open-label, Phase 2a clinical trial in adult participants with MELAS. We intend to use the findings of the translational pharmacology study, in addition to observations from the first-in-human Phase 1 study, to inform further clinical development activities, including the initiation of a planned Phase 2a clinical trial in ADv in mid-2021, as well as explore other potential indications. The ADv study will be supported in part by a grant from the Alzheimer's Association’s Part the Cloud-Gates Partnership Grant Program, which will provide Cyclerion with $2 million of funding over two years.

Our next-generation CNS program is focused on discovery of new sGC stimulators with, for example, greater CSF-to-plasma exposure and/or potentially differentiated patterns of CNS engagement relative to CY6463. Differentiated sGC stimulators will expand the potential of sGC stimulation for the treatment of disorders of the CNS.

Non-CNS assets

We have other assets that are outside of our current strategic focus. These non-core assets are not being internally developed at this time and are available for licensing to a third-party partner. Praliciguat is an orally administered, once-daily systemic sGC stimulator that was evaluated in two Phase 2 proof-of-concept studies for adult participants with diabetic nephropathy (DN) and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We released topline results from these studies in October 2019. Olinciguat is an orally administered, once-daily, vascular sGC stimulator that was evaluated in a Phase 2 study of participants with sickle cell disease. We released topline results from this study in October 2020. We also have discovery and pre-clinical phase compounds with targeted sGC stimulators.

6


 

Our Strategy

Our mission is to develop treatments for serious CNS diseases.  Key elements of our strategy include:

 

delivering results from an exploratory, open-label Phase 2a clinical trial in MELAS with CY6463 in mid-2021 that enable a go/no-go decision;

 

initiating a Phase 2 clinical trial in Alzheimer’s disease with vascular pathology (ADv) in mid-2021

 

identifying additional indications for clinical development where the scientific rationale is strong and the unmet need is high, creating a compelling opportunity

 

advancing our differentiated next-generation, CNS-penetrant, sGC stimulator program

 

completing an out-license of praliciguat and other non-CNS assets in in order to advance global development;

 

actively seeking partnerships when we believe doing so will offer the greatest risk-adjusted value for our shareholders and accelerate global patient access to our drugs;

 

leveraging our experienced team of individuals who have a passion for developing important new medicines for patients with serious CNS diseases; and

 

growing external CNS network of advisors and collaborators to augment our core team

Intellectual Property

We vigorously protect the intellectual property and proprietary technology that we believe is important to our business, including by pursuing and maintaining U.S. and foreign patents that cover our products and compositions, their methods of use and the processes for their preparation, as well as any other relevant inventions and improvements that are commercially important to the development of our business. We also rely on trade secrets to protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection.

Our commercial success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection for commercially important technology, inventions, improvements and know-how related to our business, defend and enforce our patents, preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets and operate without infringing the valid and enforceable patents and proprietary rights of third parties.

We have seventeen issued U.S. patents, twenty-nine pending U.S. patents applications (of which eight are in the provisional stage), one pending Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, application, and numerous foreign patents and pending patent applications. The PCT applications are filed under an international patent law treaty that provides a unified procedure for filing a single initial patent application to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of the 153 contracting states, followed by the process of entering national phase, which requires a separate application in each of the member states in which national patent protection is sought.

The technology underlying our sGC patents and pending patent applications has been developed by us and was not acquired from any in-licensing agreement. We own all of the issued patents and pending applications.

The intellectual property portfolios for our most advanced product candidates are summarized below.

CY6463 Patent Portfolio

Our patent portfolio includes two U.S. issued patents, seven pending US applications (of which three are in the provisional stage) and numerous foreign pending patent applications.

The two issued U.S. patents, US 10,858,363 and US 10,472,363 are directed to CY6463 and related compounds, and their pharmaceutical compositions thereof and will expire in 2037. The terms of these U.S. patents may be eligible for patent term extension as described below. One of the pending US patent applications is directed

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to methods of treating different types of neurodegenerative diseases and, if issued, will expire in 2037 or later. Another one of the pending U.S. patent applications is directed to methods of treating mitochondrial diseases with sGC stimulators, including CY6463 and, if issued, will expire in 2039 or later. Two additional pending U.S. patent applications are directed to solid forms and processes for the large scale synthesis of CY6463 and, if issued, will expire in 2039 or later.

Praliciguat Patent Portfolio

Our praliciguat patent portfolio includes six U.S. issued patents, eight pending U.S. patent applications, one PCT application, and numerous patents and pending patent applications in foreign jurisdiction.

One of the U.S. patents, US 9,481,689, which will expire in 2034, is directed to praliciguat and pharmaceutical compositions thereof. The term of this U.S. patent may be eligible for patent term extension as described below. Two other U.S. patents, US 8,748,442 and US 9,139,564, expire in 2031, and provide generic coverage of praliciguat and intermediates used in the preparation of praliciguat, respectively. A fourth U.S. patent, US 10,183,021 will expire in 2034 and is directed to the treatment of resistant hypertension with praliciguat or combinations of praliciguat and known anti-hypertensives. The fifth U.S. patent, US 209,639,308 will expire in 2034 and is directed to the treatment of diabetic nephropathy with praliciguat or combinations of praliciguat with other agents. The sixth U.S. patent, US 10,927,136 covers phosphorus prodrugs of praliciguat and will expire in 2037. A pending U.S. patent application, if issued, will expire in 2031 or later, and provides generic coverage for praliciguat.

We have a pending PCT and two U.S. applications directed to methods of treating diabetic nephropathy and other diseases with praliciguat, that if issued, will expire in 2037 or later. We have a pending U.S. application directed to a praliciguat formulation, that, if issued, will expire in 2036 or later. The remaining pending U.S. applications are directed to prodrugs of praliciguat, deuterated forms of praliciguat and processes and synthetic intermediates for preparing praliciguat that, if issued, will expire in 2037 or later.

Furthermore, we have three granted European patents, one expiring in 2031, another one in 2032 and the third one in 2034, each of them validated in multiple countries; two granted Japanese patents, one expiring in 2031 and the other in 2034; four granted Chinese patents, two expiring in 2031, one in 2032, and the third expiring in 2034; and fifteen issued patents in other foreign jurisdictions, eight of them expiring in 2031 and seven expiring in 2034. Some of these patents may be eligible for patent term extension depending on the jurisdiction. We also have numerous patent applications pending in foreign jurisdictions.

Olinciguat Patent Portfolio

Our olinciguat patent portfolio includes five U.S. issued patents, six pending U.S. patent applications and numerous patents and pending applications in foreign jurisdictions.

One of the U.S. patents, US 9,586,937, which will expire in 2034, is directed to olinciguat and pharmaceutical compositions thereof. The term of this U.S. patent may be eligible for patent term extension as described below. Two other U.S. patents, US 8,748,442 and US 9,139,564, expire in 2031, and provide generic coverage of olinciguat and intermediates used in the preparation of olinciguat, respectively. Another U.S. patent, US 10,517,874, which will expire in 2034 is directed to the treatment of SCD using olinciguat alone or in combinations with other therapeutic agents. The fifth U.S. issued patent, US 10,889,577, will expire in 2037 and is directed to polymorphs of olinciguat. A pending U.S. patent application, if issued, will expire in 2031 or later, and provides generic coverage for olinciguat.

The remaining pending U.S. patent applications are directed to other methods of use of olinciguat, deuterated forms of olinciguat, polymorphs of olinciguat and processes and synthetic intermediates for preparing olinciguat and, if issued, will expire in 2037 or later.

Furthermore, we have two granted European patents, one expiring in 2031 and the other in 2032, each of them validated in multiple countries; two granted Japanese patents, one expiring in 2031 and the other in 2034; three

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granted Chinese patents, two expiring in 2031 and another one in 2032; and nine issued patents in other foreign jurisdictions, eight of them expiring in 2031 and one expiring in 2034. We also have numerous pending patent applications in foreign jurisdictions. Some of these patents may be eligible for patent term extension or the foreign jurisdiction equivalent, depending on the jurisdiction.

Additional Intellectual Property

In addition to the patents and patent applications related to CY6463, praliciguat and olinciguat, we currently have six issued U.S. patents; six patents granted in foreign jurisdictions, including European patents that have each been validated in several countries; and a number of pending U.S. and foreign pending patent applications directed to other sGC stimulator molecules and uses thereof.

Patent Term

The term of individual patents depends upon the legal term of the patents in the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, the patent term is 20 years from the earliest date of filing a non-provisional patent application, assuming that all applicable maintenance or annuity fees are paid. In the United States, a patent's term may be lengthened by patent term adjustment, which compensates a patentee for administrative delays by the USPTO, in examining and granting a patent, or may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over an earlier-filed patent. The duration of foreign patents varies in accordance with provisions of applicable local law, but typically is also 20 years from the earliest effective filing date. However, the actual protection afforded by a patent varies on a product-by-product basis, from country to country, and depends upon many factors, including the type of patent, the scope of its coverage, the availability of regulatory-related extensions, the availability of legal remedies in that country, and the validity and enforceability of the patent.

In addition, the term of a U.S. patent that covers an FDA-approved drug may be eligible for patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Hatch-Waxman Act, to account for some of the time the drug is under development and regulatory review after the patent is granted. For a drug for which FDA approval is the first permitted marketing of the active ingredient, the Hatch-Waxman Act allows for extension of the term of one U.S. patent that includes at least one claim covering the composition of matter of an FDA-approved drug (drug substance or drug product), an FDA-approved method of treatment using the drug and/or a method of manufacturing the FDA-approved drug. The extended patent term cannot exceed the shorter of five years beyond the non-extended expiration of the patent or 14 years from the date of the FDA approval of the drug. Some foreign jurisdictions, including Europe and Japan, have similar patent term extension provisions, which allow for extension of the term of a patent that covers a drug approved by the applicable foreign regulatory agency.

Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information

In addition to patents, we rely upon unpatented trade secrets and know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position. We typically rely on trade secrets to protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection. We protect our proprietary information, including trade secrets and know-how, by establishing confidentiality agreements with our commercial partners, collaborators, scientific advisors, employees and consultants and invention assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, scientific advisors and contractors. These agreements generally provide that all confidential information developed or made known during the course of an individual or entities' relationship with us must be kept confidential during and after the relationship. These agreements also typically provide that all inventions resulting from work performed for us or relating to our business and conceived or completed during the period of employment or assignment, as applicable, shall be our exclusive property. These agreements are designed to protect our proprietary information and, in the case of the invention assignment agreements, to grant us ownership of technologies that are developed through a relationship with a third party. However, these agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. We also take other appropriate precautions, such as physical and technological security measures, to guard against misappropriation of our proprietary information by third parties. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors. To the extent that our commercial partners, collaborators, employees and consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions.

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Government Regulation

United States Regulation

The FDA regulates medical products, including prescription drugs under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and its implementing regulations. Products are also subject to other federal, state and local statutes and regulations. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with applicable federal, state, local and regulations requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval may subject an applicant and/or sponsor to a variety of administrative or judicial sanctions, including imposition of a clinical hold, refusal by the FDA to approve applications, withdrawal of an approval, import/export delays, issuance of warning letters and other types of enforcement letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement of profits, debarment, or civil or criminal investigations and penalties brought by the FDA, the Department of Justice, State Attorneys General, or other governmental entities.

The process required by the FDA before a drug may be approved and marketed in the United States generally involves the following:

 

completion of extensive nonclinical laboratory and animal studies conducted in accordance with applicable regulations, including Good Laboratory Practices, or GLP, regulations and applicable requirements for the humane use of laboratory animals;

 

submission to the FDA of an IND application for human clinical testing, which must become effective before human clinical trials may commence;

 

approval by an independent IRB to proceed with initiating the clinical trial at each corresponding investigational site.

 

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with applicable IND regulations, GCPs and other clinical-trial related regulations to establish the safety and efficacy of the product for each proposed indication;

 

preparation and submission to the FDA of an NDA;

 

satisfactory completion of one or more FDA inspections such as pre-approval inspection(s) of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the product, or components thereof, are made to assess compliance with current GMP;

 

payment of user fees for FDA review of the NDA; and

 

FDA acceptance, review and approval of the NDA, which may include an Advisory Committee review.

The development and approval process requires substantial time, effort and financial resources and the receipt and timing of any approval is uncertain.

Nonclinical and Clinical Trials in Support of an NDA

Before testing any drug product candidate in humans, the product candidate must undergo rigorous nonclinical testing. Nonclinical studies include laboratory evaluations of the product candidate, as well as in vitro and animal studies to assess the potential safety and efficacy of the product candidate. The conduct of nonclinical studies that determine the product safety information for administration to humans must comply with federal regulations and requirements, including GLP regulations. The sponsor must submit the results of the nonclinical studies, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and a proposed clinical study protocol, to the FDA as part of an IND, which must become effective before clinical trials in a given indication may be commenced. The IND will become effective automatically 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions about the content of the IND or the conduct of the proposed

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trial(s) as outlined in the IND prior to that time. In such a case, the IND sponsor must resolve any outstanding concerns with the FDA before the clinical trial(s) can proceed.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the product candidate to human subjects under the supervision of qualified investigators in accordance with GCP requirements. Each clinical trial must be reviewed and approved by an IRB for the sites at which the trial will be conducted to ensure that the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trials are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB will consider, among other things, ethical factors, the safety of human subjects and the possible liability of the institution. The IRB also approves the informed consent form, including a privacy statement, that must be provided to each clinical trial participant or his or her legal representative, and must monitor the clinical trial until completed.

Clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases prior to approval, which may overlap or be combined:

 

Phase 1.  Phase 1 clinical trials generally involve a small number of healthy participants or disease-affected participants who are initially exposed to a single dose and then multiple doses of the product candidate. The primary purpose of these clinical trials is to assess the metabolism, pharmacokinetics, pharmacologic action, side effect tolerability and safety of the drug.

 

Phase 2.  Phase 2 clinical trials usually involve studies in a limited population of participants with a disease or disorder to evaluate the efficacy of the product candidate for specific indications, determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage, and identify possible adverse effects and safety risks.

 

Phase 3.  Phase 3 clinical trials generally involve a larger number of participants at multiple sites and are designed to provide the data necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product for its intended use, its safety in use, to establish the overall benefit/risk profile of the product and to provide an adequate basis for product approval by the FDA.

 

Phase 4.  Post-approval trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be required to be conducted after approval to gain additional experience from the treatment of participants in the intended therapeutic indication and to document a clinical benefit in the case of drugs approved under accelerated approval regulations, or when otherwise requested by the FDA. Failure to conduct the Phase 4 clinical trials per the plan required by the FDA could result in enforcement action or withdrawal of approval.

Progress reports detailing new information and changes such as the results of clinical trials, new nonclinical studies, new product quality data, or changes to manufacturing controls must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and more frequently if serious adverse events occur. The FDA or the sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time, or the FDA may impose other sanctions on various grounds, including a finding that the research participants are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the requirements of the IRB or if the drug has been associated with unexpected serious harm to participants. There are also requirements related to registration and reporting of certain clinical trials and completed clinical trial results to public registries.

Submission and Review of an NDA

Assuming successful completion of the required nonclinical and clinical testing, the results of nonclinical studies and clinical trials, together with detailed information on the product's manufacture, composition, quality controls and proposed labeling, among other things, are submitted to the FDA in the form of an NDA, requesting approval to market the product for one or more indications. The application must be accompanied by a significant user fee payment, which typically increases annually, although waivers may be granted in limited cases (e.g., for products that have received an Orphan Designation).

The FDA has substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept any application or decide that the data is insufficient for approval and may require additional nonclinical or clinical studies, or other information (e.g., product quality data or manufacturing controls) before it accepts the filing. If an NDA has been accepted for filing, which occurs 60 days after submission, the FDA sets a user fee goal date that informs the

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applicant of the specific date by which the FDA intends to complete its review. Under the goals and policies agreed to by the FDA under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, for original NDAs, the FDA has ten months from the filing date in which to complete its review of a standard application, and six months from the filing date for an application with priority review. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates, and the review process may be significantly extended by FDA requests for additional information and clinical data or clarification.

The FDA reviews NDAs to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe and effective for its intended use, and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with current GMP to assure and preserve the product's identity, strength, quality and purity. Before approving an NDA, the FDA typically will inspect the facilities at which the product is manufactured and will not approve the product unless the manufacturing facilities comply with current GMP. Additionally, the FDA will frequently inspect one or more clinical trial sites for compliance with GCPs and integrity of the data supporting safety and efficacy.

During the approval process, the FDA will also prepare an integrated benefit-risk assessment and determine whether a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, is necessary to ensure that the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks and to assure the safe use of the product. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the application must submit a proposed REMS. A REMS that includes elements to assure safe use, or ETASU, can substantially increase the costs of commercializing a drug. The FDA could also require a special warning, known as a boxed warning, to be included in the product label in order to highlight a particular safety risk. Boxed warnings may limit the type of advertising for a drug. The FDA may also convene an advisory committee of external experts to provide input on certain review issues relating to risk, benefit and interpretation of clinical trial data.

On the basis of the FDA's evaluation of the NDA and accompanying information, including the results of the inspection of the manufacturing facilities, FDA will issue either an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug and is accompanied by specific prescribing information for specific conditions of use. A Complete Response Letter indicates that the review cycle of the application is complete and the application will not be approved in its present form. A Complete Response Letter usually describes all of the specific deficiencies in the submission identified by the FDA and may require additional clinical or other data, additional pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial(s) and/or other significant and time-consuming requirements related to clinical trials, nonclinical studies or manufacturing. If a Complete Response Letter is issued, the applicant may either amend the NDA with data to address the raised concerns, resubmit the NDA addressing all the deficiencies identified in the letter, engage in dispute resolution with the FDA about the identified deficiencies in the CRL, or withdraw the application. Even with submission of this additional information, the FDA may ultimately decide that the re-submitted application does not satisfy the regulatory criteria for approval.

Orphan Drug Designation

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition affecting fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or in other limited cases. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process, though companies developing orphan drugs may be eligible for certain incentives, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing.

Generally, if a product that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease or condition for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same active moiety for the same indication for seven years from the date of such approval, except in limited circumstances. Competitors, however, may receive approval of different active moieties for the same indication or obtain approval for the same active moiety for a different indication. If one of our products designated as an orphan drug receives marketing approval for an indication broader than that which is designated, it may not be entitled to orphan drug exclusivity.

Expedited Review and Approval

The FDA has various programs that are intended to expedite development and approval of drugs intended for the treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.

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An application may be eligible for a "fast track" designation for a product that is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and demonstrates the potential to address an unmet medical need. Fast track designation provides opportunities for more frequent interactions with the FDA review team and permits FDA to consider sections of the NDA on a rolling basis before the complete application is submitted.

In addition, a sponsor can request designation of a product candidate as a "breakthrough therapy." A breakthrough therapy is defined as a drug that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, where preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints. The FDA must take certain actions with respect to breakthrough therapies, such as holding timely meetings with and providing advice to the product sponsor.

An application may be eligible for "accelerated approval" where the product candidate is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening illness and provides meaningful therapeutic benefit over existing treatments; applications eligible for accelerated approval may be approved on the basis of adequate and well-controlled clinical trials establishing that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality, or IMM, that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on IMM or other clinical benefit, taking into account the severity, rarity or prevalence of the condition and the availability or lack of alternative treatments. As a condition of approval, the FDA requires a sponsor to conduct confirmatory studies to verify the predicted effect on IMM or another clinical endpoint, and the product may be subject to expedited withdrawal procedures.

Once an NDA is submitted for a product intended to treat a serious condition, the FDA may assign a priority review designation if the FDA determines that the product, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness. Under priority review, the FDA must review an application in six months, compared to ten months for a standard review. A product may be eligible for more than one expedited approval program. Even if a product qualifies for one or more of these programs, however, the FDA may later decide that the product no longer meets the conditions for qualification or decide that the time period for FDA review or approval will not be shortened. Furthermore, these expedited review pathways do not change the standards for approval and may not ultimately expedite the development or approval process.

Non-Patent Exclusivity

In addition to patent exclusivity, the holder of the NDA for the listed drug may be entitled to a period of non-patent exclusivity, during which the FDA cannot approve an ANDA for approval of a generic or 505(b)(2) application that relies on the listed drug as protected by regulatory exclusivity.

An NDA for a new chemical entity may receive five years of exclusivity, whereby the FDA will not accept for filing, with limited exceptions, a product seeking to rely upon the FDA's findings of safety or effectiveness for such new chemical entity. An ANDA containing a paragraph IV patent certification can be filed after four years. Alternatively, an NDA may obtain a three-year period of non-patent market exclusivity for a particular condition of approval, or change to a marketed product, such as a new formulation for a previously approved product, if one or more new clinical studies (other than bioavailability or bioequivalence studies) was essential to the approval of the application and was conducted/sponsored by the applicant.

Pediatric Exclusivity

Pediatric exclusivity is another type of non-patent marketing exclusivity in the United States and, if granted, provides for the attachment of an additional six months of marketing protection to the term of any existing regulatory exclusivity for both drugs and biologics, and also unexpired Orange Book listed patents in the case of drugs. This six-month exclusivity may be granted if a sponsor submits pediatric data that fairly respond to a written request from the FDA for such data. The data do not need to show the product to be effective in the pediatric population studied; rather, if the clinical trial is deemed to fairly respond to the FDA's request, the additional protection is granted.

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Post-Approval Requirements

Following approval of a new product, the manufacturer and the approved product are subject to pervasive and continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, requirements relating to recordkeeping, periodic reporting, product sampling and distribution, advertising and promotion and reporting of adverse experiences with the product. After approval, most changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications or other labeling claims and some manufacturing and supplier changes, are subject to prior FDA review and approval. There also are continuing, annual user fee requirements for marketed products and the establishments where such products are manufactured, as well as new application fees for certain supplemental applications. The FDA may impose a number of post-approval requirements as a condition of approval of an NDA, such as Phase 4 clinical trials or a REMS.

In addition, entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs are required to register their establishments with the FDA and state agencies and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and such state agencies for compliance with current GMP requirements. Changes to the manufacturing process are strictly regulated and often require prior FDA approval before being implemented. FDA regulations also require investigation and correction of any deviations from current GMP requirements and impose reporting and documentation requirements upon the sponsor and any third-party manufacturers that the sponsor may decide to use. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain current GMP compliance.

Once an approval is granted, the FDA may issue enforcement letters or withdraw the approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Corrective action could delay product distribution and require significant time and financial expenditures. Later discovery of previously unknown safety issues with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical trials to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution or other restrictions under a REMS program. Other potential consequences include:

 

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, suspension of the approval, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or product recalls;

 

fines, warning letters or other enforcement-related letters of clinical holds on post-approval clinical trials;

 

refusal of the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications, or suspension or revocation of product approvals;

 

product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products;

 

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties; and

 

consent decrees, corporate integrity agreements, debarment, or exclusion from federal healthcare programs.

The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs may be promoted only for the approved indications, in accordance with the provisions of the approved label and FDA guidance. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company that is found to have improperly promoted off-label uses may be subject to significant liability, including investigation by federal and state authorities. Additionally, all promotional material must be truthful and non-misleading, and present balanced information regarding the risks and benefits of the drug product.

Other Regulatory Requirements

Outside the U.S., our abilities to develop and market a product are contingent upon receiving approval and ultimately marketing authorization from the appropriate regulatory authorities. The requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, marketing authorization, pricing and reimbursement vary widely from jurisdiction to

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jurisdiction. At present, foreign marketing authorizations are applied for at a national level, although within the E.U. registration procedures are available to companies wishing to market a product in more than one E.U. member state.

We are subject to U.S. federal and foreign anti-corruption laws. Those laws include the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, which prohibits U.S. corporations and their representatives from offering, promising, authorizing, or making payments to any foreign government official, government staff member, political party or political candidate in an attempt to obtain or retain business abroad. The scope of the FCPA encompasses certain healthcare professionals in many countries. We are also subject to similar laws of other countries that have enacted anti-corruption laws and regulations.

Pediatric Development

In the European Union, companies developing a new medicinal product must agree to a Pediatric Investigation Plan, or PIP, with the EMA and must conduct pediatric clinical trials in accordance with that PIP, unless a deferral or waiver applies, (e.g., because the relevant disease or condition occurs only in adults). The MAA for the product must include the results of pediatric clinical trials conducted in accordance with the PIP, unless a waiver applies or a deferral has been granted, in which case the pediatric clinical trials must be completed at a later date. Where the MAA includes the results of all pediatric studies conducted in accordance with the PIP and the results are reflected in the approved summary of product characteristics, the holder of a patent or supplementary protection certificate is entitled to receive a six-month extension of the protection under a supplementary protection certificate or, in the case of orphan medicinal products, the product is eligible for a two-year extension of the orphan market exclusivity. This pediatric reward is subject to specific conditions and is not automatically available when data in compliance with the PIP are developed and submitted.

In the US, under Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA), a pediatric development plan is required to accompany an NDA for all drugs, except those receiving non-oncology Orphan Drug Designation. This may include waiver or deferral of pediatric studies. The Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) also allows for agreement with FDA on a pediatric written request that, if fulfilled, may extend data exclusivity for the molecule for an additional 6 months.

Competition

The biopharmaceutical industry is highly competitive within and across therapeutic categories and indications. There are many public and private biopharmaceutical companies, universities, government agencies and other research organizations actively engaged in the research and development of products that may be similar to our product candidates or address similar markets. In addition, the number of companies seeking to develop and commercialize products and therapies competing with our product candidates is likely to increase. However, we seek to build our portfolio with key differentiating attributes to provide a competitive advantage in the markets we target. The success of all of our product candidates, if approved, will likely depend upon their efficacy, safety, convenience, price, the level of generic competition and the availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors.

Many of our competitors, including those mentioned below, may have greater financial resources and broader expertise in research and development, manufacturing, nonclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved medicines than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. These competitors also compete with Cyclerion in establishing clinical trial sites and participant registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies.

Competition can be viewed as through at least two lenses:  1) companies that are developing products with a different mechanism of action but to address the same therapeutic need and 2) companies that are developing products that act through the same mechanism of action (i.e., sGC modulators).

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Competition within target therapeutic areas.

MELAS. There are currently no approved treatments for MELAS or Mitochondrial Disease in the United States.  We are aware of the following companies engaged in clinical development of products for the treatment of MELAS or Mitochondrial Disease, which include patients with MELAS:

PTC Therapeutics has a registrational Phase 2/3 study ongoing of vatiquinone, an antioxidant/NQO1 modulator, assessing the treatment of Mitochondrial Disease in participants with refractory epilepsy.  Khondrion B.V has a Phase 2b study ongoing with sonlicromanol, a redox modulator, assessing the attention domain of cognitive function in MELAS-spectrum disorders.  Abliva AB has a Phase 1a/b study ongoing of KL1333, an NAD+ modulator, in Primary Mitochondrial Disease.  Abliva AB has announced plans to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase II/III study of KL1333 in MELAS-Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) and Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS)-Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) spectrum disorders during 2021.  Reneo Pharma LTD ran a Phase 1 study of REN001, a PPARδ agonist, in patients with Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy and has a planned Phase 2/3 study of REN001 in Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy.  Astellas Pharma Inc has a planned Phase2/3 study of ASP0367, a PPARδ modulator, in patients with Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy.

ADv. There are currently no approved products in the United States to treat ADv.  There are five products approved in the United States to treat AD symptoms.

Aricept® (donepezil) is a cholinesterase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, including in patients with mild, moderate and severe AD.  Razadyne® (galantamine) and Exelon® (rivastigmine) are cholinesterase inhibitors indicated for treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  Namenda® (memantine) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  Namzaric® is a combination of donepezil and memantine indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type in patients stabilized on 10 mg of donepezil hydrochloride once daily.

We are not aware of any companies engaged in clinical development of products for the treatment of ADv.  There are many companies developing treatments for AD, which could be our competitors.  These include the following companies engaged in the late-stage clinical development of products for the treatment of AD:

Biogen has a BLA under review for aducanumab, an anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) mAb, for the treatment of AD.  There are multiple Aβ targeting agents in Phase 3 studies for the treatment of AD, including Eli Lilly’s solanezumab (anti-Aβ mAb), Eisai/Biogen’s BAN2401 (anti-Aβ mAb), Roche’s gantenerumab (anti-Aβ mAb), Alzheon’s ALZ-801 (Aβ aggregation inhibitor) and AZTherapies’ALZT-OP1 (Aβ aggregation inhibitor).  Compounds in Phase 3 studies with other mechanisms of action include TauRx’s TRx0237/LMTX (Tau aggregation inhibitor), Shanghai Greenvalley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s GV-971 (oligomannate), and AB Science’s masitinib (c-Kit, Lyn, Fyn and CSF1R kinase inhibitor).  Compounds in Phase 2/3 studies include AgeneBio’s AGB-101 (SV2A inhibitor), Grifols IVIG (Immunoglobulin), Cortexyme’s atuzaginstat (bacterial protease inhibitor), Anavex’s ANAVEX 2-73 (Sigma-1, M2/M3 RA), and vTv Therapeutics’ azeliragon/TTP-488 (RAGE antagonist).  There are many other companies engaged in earlier stage clinical development for products targeting AD.

Competition within the sGC mechanism.

There is one major competitor that is actively developing sGC modulators. We are not aware of any efforts to develop sGC modulators for treatment of CNS or mitochondrial diseases Bayer/Merck have an active collaboration on sGC stimulators, focused primarily on cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal indications. They have two approved sGC stimulators, ADEMPAS® (riociguat), indicated for PAH and CTEPH, and VERQUVO® (vericiguat) for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). In addition, they have three sGC activator programs in early clinical development for chronic kidney disease, pulmonary hypertension, and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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Manufacturing

We do not own or operate, and currently have no plans to establish, any manufacturing facilities. We depend on third-party contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, for all our requirements of raw materials, drug substance and drug product for our ongoing clinical trials of CY6463 and our nonclinical research. We intend to continue to rely on CMOs for the supply of CY6463 for all stages of clinical development and commercialization, as well as for the supply of any other product candidates that we may identify. We require all our CMOs to conduct manufacturing activities in compliance with current GMP requirements.

We believe that CY6463 drug substance and drug product may be manufactured from readily available raw materials and the processes are amenable to large-scale production and do not require unusual equipment or handling. We believe adequate supply of CY6463 drug substance and drug product is readily available from our current CMOs to satisfy our immediate clinical and nonclinical demands. We obtain our supplies from these CMOs on a purchase order basis and do not have arrangements in place for long-term supply or redundant supply of CY6463; however, we are working with our CMOs to implement improvements to our drug substance and drug product manufacturing processes to further ensure product capacity adequate to meet further development demands.  We are evaluating CMOs for drug substance and drug product that could meet potential commercial demands.

Human Capital Resources

We have built an exceptional and diverse team of individuals who have a passion for developing important new medicines that will have a profound impact on the lives of patients with serious CNS diseases.  As a small, innovative company, our success depends on attracting, retaining and motivating highly skilled and experienced scientific, medical and other personnel. Our ability to recruit and retain such employees depends on a number of factors, including our distinct corporate culture, our collaborative work environment and offering opportunities for our employees to grow and develop in their careers. We provide robust compensation and benefits programs which include competitive salaries, potential annual discretionary bonuses, stock awards, a 401(k) plan with employer match, healthcare and insurance benefits, health savings and flexible spending accounts, unlimited vacation time, among others.  Our employees are further guided by our code of conduct and our cultural values of seeking to serve patients, acting with integrity, empowering people and innovating for solutions.

We are committed to our employees’ health, safety and wellness. We provide our employees and their families with access to a variety of innovative, flexible and convenient health and wellness programs.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented significant changes that were determined to be in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we live and work, while continuing to ensure the safety of patients in our trials.

Employee Profile

As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately 34 employees, not including 17 employees who were impacted by our 2020 workforce reduction and are transitioning out during the first quarter of 2021. Approximately 14 employees hold M.D. or Ph.D. degrees and approximately 3 employees are in discovery research, 15 are in our drug development organization, 5 are in our strategy and corporate development organizations and 11 are in general and administrative functions. None of our employees is subject to a collective bargaining agreement or represented by a trade or labor union. We consider our employee relations to be good.

During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, we initiated certain reductions in our workforce. Refer to Note 13, Workforce Reduction, to our consolidated and combined financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further details.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on September 6, 2018. Our principal executive offices are located at 245 First Street, Riverview II, 18th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142. Our telephone number is (857) 327-8778.  Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “CYCN.”

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Available Information

Our internet website address is www.cyclerion.com. In addition to the information contained in this Annual Report, information about us can be found on our website. Our website and information included in or linked to our website are not part of this Annual Report.

Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information. The address of the SEC’s website is www.sec.gov.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

The following information sets forth risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements we have made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and those we may make from time to time. You should carefully consider the risks described below, in addition to the other information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and our other public filings. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be harmed by any of these risks. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks not presently known to us or other factors not perceived by us to present significant risks to our business at this time also may impair our business operations. In this section, we first provide a summary of the more significant risks and uncertainties we face and then provide a full set of risk factors and discuss them in greater detail.

Risk Factors Summary

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Capital Needs

 

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale.

 

We have incurred significant losses and have never generated revenue from product sales; we anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future and may never be profitable.

 

We will need to raise additional funding to advance our product candidates, which may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all, and may dilute existing shareholders or restrict our operations.

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

 

Our approach to the discovery and development of our product candidates may never lead to marketable products.

 

We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical studies, or we may fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory authorities in the development of CY6463.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our business, including our clinical development activities.

 

We could encounter difficulties in enrolling participants in our clinical studies, which could delay or prevent progress of our product candidates.

 

The FDA regulatory approval process is lengthy, time-consuming and inherently unpredictable. We may be unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates and unable to generate product revenue.

 

Our product candidates may cause side effects that may result in label restrictions.

 

We may have to change our nonclinical or clinical study protocols due to regulatory reasons or unanticipated events, which could result in increased costs to us and could delay our development timeline.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

 

We may not succeed in our pursuit of an out-license agreement for the development and commercialization of praliciguat.

 

We may enter into a collaboration or license arrangement in the future that ultimately is not successful.

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We rely, and expect that we will continue to rely, on third parties to conduct nonclinical or clinical studies and to manufacture drug supplies for our product candidates. If these third parties do not execute successfully, our business could be substantially harmed.

 

We share confidential information with third-party vendors, including trade secrets and know-how, which increases the possibility that our confidential information will be misappropriated or disclosed.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property Rights

 

We may be unable to adequately protect our proprietary technologies, or obtain and maintain issued patents that are sufficient to protect our product candidates.

 

We may infringe the intellectual property rights of others, which may prevent or delay our product development efforts.

 

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property.

 

We may not seek to protect our intellectual property rights in all jurisdictions throughout the world and we may not be able to adequately enforce our intellectual property rights even in the jurisdictions where we seek protection.

 

We may not be able to obtain additional protection under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, and similar foreign legislation by extending the patent terms and obtaining data exclusivity for our product candidates.

 

We may be subject to damages resulting from claims that we or our employees, consultants or advisors have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their current or former employers.

Risks Related to the Future Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

 

If the market opportunities for our product candidates are smaller than we estimate, our revenue and ability to achieve profitability may be harmed.

 

Even if we obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, they may not achieve broad market acceptance by patients, physicians and healthcare payors, which would limit our revenue

 

We may fail to comply with healthcare and other regulations and could face substantial penalties.

 

Our competitors may achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are safer, more advanced or more effective than ours.

 

The impact of healthcare reform and other governmental and private payor initiatives may harm our business.

Risks Related to Our Business Operations

 

Our prospects for success depend on our ability to retain our management team and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

 

We may need to expand our organization and we may experience difficulties in managing growth of our employee base.

 

We face potential product liability exposure, and, if claims are brought against us, we may incur substantial liability.

 

We could fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls and our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired.

 

Our internal computer systems, or those of our third-party CROs, CMOs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our product candidates' development programs.

 

If we or any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur.

 

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, and other worldwide anti-bribery laws.

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Risks Related to the Separation

 

Our rights under the intellectual property license agreement with Ironwood could be challenged.

 

Our historical financial information is not necessarily representative of the results that we would have achieved as a separate, publicly traded company and should not be relied upon as an indicator of our future results.

 

We may not be able to engage in attractive strategic or capital-raising transactions as a result of the separation.

 

We may be required to make payments to indemnify Ironwood for certain liabilities in connection with the separation.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

 

We have limited trading history and a relatively low-volume trading market for our shares and our market price of our common stock may fluctuate widely.

 

Our common stock market price is particularly volatile and we expect it to be more volatile than that of a seasoned issuer.

 

We may not attract securities or industry analysts to initiate or maintain coverage of our stock; analysts may publish negative reports or change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely and our stock price and trading volume could decline.

 

We have adopted anti-takeover provisions in our articles of organization and bylaws and are subject to provisions of Massachusetts law that may frustrate any attempt to remove or replace our current board of directors or to effect a change of control or other business combination involving our company.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Capital Needs

As we are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale, valuing our business and predicting our prospects is challenging.

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that was incorporated in 2018. Our business was conducted within Ironwood prior to that time, and we had no history as an independent company prior to the completion of the Separation. We are developing a pipeline of sGC stimulators, but we have no products approved for commercial sale, and we have never generated revenue from product sales. Our operating activities to date have been limited primarily to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, developing our technology, identifying potential product candidates, pursuing partnership opportunities and conducting early-stage clinical trials for our product candidates, including CY6463.

To date, we have not obtained marketing approval for any of our product candidates, engaged, on our own or through a third party, in commercial scale manufacturing, or conducted sales and marketing activities necessary for the successful commercialization of our product candidates. Our short operating history offers limited insight into our prospects for success or even viability. We expect our operating performance to fluctuate. We will encounter challenges frequently experienced by early-stage biopharmaceutical companies in rapidly evolving fields and we have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully navigate such challenges. If we do not successfully address the challenges we face, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations will be materially harmed.

Our business has incurred significant losses and we anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future. We have never generated revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.

Our business has incurred operating losses due to costs incurred in connection with our research and development activities and general and administrative expenses associated with our operations. Our net losses for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2020 were $123.0 million and $77.8 million, respectively. We expect to incur significant losses for several years, as we continue our research activities and conduct development of, and seek regulatory approvals for, our product candidates.

Our ability to generate revenue from our product candidates and achieve profitability depends on our ability, alone or with strategic partners, to complete the development of, and obtain the necessary regulatory and

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essential pricing and reimbursement approvals to commercialize, our product candidates. We do not know when, if ever, we will generate revenues from sales of our products.

Our expenses could increase beyond expectations if we are required by the FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), or other regulatory agencies, domestic or foreign, to perform clinical and other studies in addition to those that we currently anticipate. Even if one or more of the product candidates that we develop is approved for commercial sale, we may never generate revenue in amounts sufficient to achieve and maintain profitability.

We will need to raise additional funding to advance our product candidates, which may not be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Failure to obtain capital when needed may force us to delay, limit or terminate our product development efforts or other operations. Raising additional capital may dilute our existing shareholders, restrict our operations or cause us to relinquish valuable rights.

As of December 31, 2020, we had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of approximately $54.4 million. Our management believes that such cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund our current priorities, including the MELAS and ADv studies. However, we will require significant additional funding to advance our product candidates, alone or with strategic partners, through clinical studies and to seek marketing approval, as well as to continue advancing our research and development efforts with our other product candidates. We may also need to raise additional funds sooner than currently anticipated if we choose to pursue additional indications or geographies for our product candidates, identify additional product candidates to advance through clinical development or otherwise expand more rapidly than we presently anticipate. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant expenses related to product sales, medical affairs, marketing, manufacturing and distribution.

We are seeking funds through collaborations, strategic alliances, or licensing arrangements with third parties, and such agreements may impact rights to our product candidates or technologies, future revenue streams, research programs or products candidates or to grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. Such arrangements will limit our participation in the success of any of our product candidates that receive regulatory approval.

We may also seek to raise such capital through public or private equity, royalty financing or debt financing. Raising funds in the then-current economic environment may be challenging, and such financing may not be available in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms, if at all. The terms of any financing may harm existing shareholders. The issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our shares to decline. The sale of additional equity or convertible securities may dilute the ownership of existing shareholders. Incurring debt would result in increased fixed payment obligations, and we may agree to restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt or limitations on our ability to acquire, sell or license intellectual property rights that could impede our ability to conduct our business. Regardless of the terms of our debt or equity financing, our agreements and obligations under the tax matters agreement with Ironwood limits our ability to issue stock through April 1, 2021. See “Risk factors Risks Related to the Separation.”

If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on reasonable terms, we may curtail, delay or discontinue our research or development programs, scale back or cease any commercialization efforts or wind down our business. In addition, such additional fundraising efforts may divert our management from their day-to-day activities, which may impede our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates.

Risks Related to our Business and Industry

Our approach to the discovery and development of product candidates for the treatment of serious CNS diseases may never lead to marketable products.

We are focusing our research and development efforts on addressing serious CNS disorders.  The development of CNS therapies presents unique challenges, including an imperfect understanding of the biology, the presence of the blood-brain barrier that can restrict the flow of drugs to the brain, a frequent lack of translatability of

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nonclinical study results in subsequent clinical trials and dose selection, and the product candidate having an effect that may be too small to be detected using the outcome measures selected in clinical trials or if the outcomes measured do not reach statistical significance. There are few effective therapeutic options available for patients with MELAS and ADv and other CNS disorders. Our future success is highly dependent on the successful development of our technology and our product candidates for treating CNS. The scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing our product candidates is both preliminary and limited. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates, we will not become profitable and the value of our common stock may decline.

We are currently pursuing clinical development activities for CY6463. Research and development of biopharmaceutical products is inherently risky. We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical studies, or we may fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory authorities in the development of CY6463 to treat patients with serious diseases of the central nervous system.

Our business depends heavily on the successful development, clinical testing, regulatory approvals and commercialization of our lead product candidates. On October 14, 2020, we announced topline results from our Phase 1 translational pharmacology study of CY6463, the first sGC stimulator in clinical development for CNS disorders, which supported the ongoing development of CY6463 in serious CNS diseases. The Company also announced its focus on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative medicines for people with serious diseases of the CNS. Although we have several product candidates, CY6463 is the only product candidate we are now developing internally. CY6463, and any of our other current or potential product candidates, will require regulatory approvals based on substantial additional development and testing prior to commercialization.

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of any of our product candidates, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive nonclinical and clinical studies that our product candidates are both safe and effective for use in each target indication. Each product candidate must demonstrate an adequate benefit-risk profile for its intended use in its intended patient population. In some instances, significant variability in safety or efficacy appear in different clinical studies of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in study protocols, differences in the number and characteristics of the enrolled study participants, variations in the dosing regimen and other clinical study parameters or the dropout rate among study participants. Product candidates in later stages of clinical studies often fail to demonstrate adequate safety and efficacy despite promising nonclinical testing and early clinical studies. Companies in the biopharmaceutical industry often suffer significant setbacks in later-stage clinical studies; most product candidates that begin clinical studies are never approved for commercialization by regulatory authorities. Favorable results in earlier stage trials, such as the topline results from CY6463’s Phase 1 translational pharmacology study may not be replicated in later stage trials. If we fail to produce positive results in our clinical trials of CY6463, the development timeline, regulatory approval and commercialization prospects of CY6463 and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects, would be materially adversely affected.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our business, including our clinical development activities, and we are unsure when the disruptions will end or whether there will be future pandemics, epidemics or outbreaks of infectious disease.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues at pandemic levels. Many nations, including the United States, continue to implement stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak which, along with other related mitigation measures, may limit our ability to access patients and physicians at certain local clinical centers that are participating in our development activities. To a limited extent, the pandemic delayed and disrupted our recently completed studies.

We may face difficulties enrolling patients in our planned and future clinical trials if the patient populations that are eligible for our clinical trials are affected by the coronavirus and/or the COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 restrictions and/or COVID-19 vaccination efforts at trial sites could delay our clinical studies. In addition, if the patients enrolled in our clinical trials become infected with COVID-19, we may have more adverse events and deaths in our clinical trials as a result. Vulnerable patients, including patients with serious diseases of the CNS, such as the patients enrolling in our clinical trials, may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and may experience more severe symptoms from the disease, adversely affecting our chances for regulatory approval or requiring further clinical studies. The adverse effects that may occur from administration of COVID-19 vaccines to patients

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participating in our clinical trials may adversely affect our clinical trial outcomes or data analysis. Furthermore, the extent to which the pandemic, or future outbreaks of infectious disease, hinders access to facilities, procurement of resources, raw materials or components necessary for research studies or preclinical or clinical development is not fully predictable. Delays and disruptions from the pandemic, or future outbreaks of infectious disease, may increase our capital needs while potentially interfering with our access to capital.

If we encounter difficulties in enrolling participants in our clinical studies, we could be delayed or prevented from proceeding with clinical trials of our product candidates.

Identifying and qualifying participants to participate in clinical studies of our product candidates is critical to our success. The timing of our clinical studies depends in part on the speed at which we can recruit participants to participate in testing our product candidates. Estimates of the prevalence of our target indications vary considerably. Determining the incidence of these conditions, including in specific geographies or demographic groups, is challenging. The lower the actual prevalence of these conditions, the more challenges we will encounter enrolling participants in our clinical studies, which could delay development of our product candidates. Clinical trial enrollment may also encounter difficulties for a variety of other reasons. The number of participants eligible for a clinical trial may be substantially limited by stringent eligibility criteria in a study protocol, such as the inclusion of biomarker-driven identification or other highly specific criteria related to stage of disease progression or to specific patient reported outcome measures. The number of participants required to power the statistical analysis of the study's endpoints may be very large leading to an extended enrollment period. Issues such as the proximity of participants to a study site, the complexity of the study design, our ability to recruit investigators with appropriate skill and experience, competing clinical studies for similar therapies or targeting similar participants, perceptions of the benefit-risk profile of the product candidate relative to other available therapies or product candidates, and ability to obtain and maintain institutional review board, or IRB, or ethics committee, or EC, approvals and participant consents all could have a substantial impact on the timing of clinical trial enrollment. If we are unable to enroll sufficient participants in clinical studies in a timely way, obtaining study results will be delayed, which may harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

The regulatory approval processes of the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities are lengthy, time-consuming and inherently unpredictable. If we are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, we will be unable to generate product revenue and our business will be substantially harmed.

We cannot commercialize a product until the appropriate regulatory authorities have reviewed and approved the product candidate. The time required to obtain approval by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities is unpredictable, typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical studies and depends upon numerous factors, including the type and complexity of the product candidates involved. Regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept an application for review or may decide that our data are insufficient for approval and require additional nonclinical, clinical, or other information (e.g., product quality data or manufacturing controls). We have not requested or obtained regulatory approval for any product candidate, and it is possible that none of our existing product candidates or any product candidates we may seek to develop in the future will ever obtain regulatory approval.

Our ongoing clinical studies may not be completed on schedule, and our planned clinical studies may not begin on schedule, if at all. The completion or commencement of clinical studies can be delayed or prevented for a number of reasons, including, among others:

 

the FDA or other regulatory bodies may not authorize us or our investigators to commence planned clinical studies, or require that we suspend ongoing clinical studies through imposition of clinical holds;

 

negative results from our ongoing studies or other industry studies involving product candidates modulating the same or similar mechanism of action;

 

delays in reaching or failing to reach agreement on acceptable terms with prospective contract research organizations, or CROs, and clinical study sites, the terms of which can be subject to considerable negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and study sites;

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inadequate quantity or quality of a product candidate or other materials necessary to conduct clinical studies, for example delays in the manufacturing of sufficient supply of finished drug product;

 

difficulties obtaining EC or IRB approval(s) to conduct a clinical study at a prospective site or sites;

 

challenges in recruiting and enrolling participants in clinical studies, the proximity of participants to study sites, eligibility criteria for the clinical study, the nature of the clinical study protocol, the availability of approved effective treatments for the relevant disease and competition from other clinical study programs for similar indications;

 

severe or unexpected drug-related side effects experienced by participants in a clinical study;

 

the presence of unanticipated metabolites in participants in a clinical study may require considerable nonclinical and clinical assessment;

 

we may decide, or regulatory authorities may require us, to conduct additional clinical studies or abandon product development programs;

 

delays in validating, or inability to validate, any endpoints utilized in a clinical study;

 

the FDA or other regulatory bodies may disagree with our clinical study design and our interpretation of data from clinical studies, or may change the requirements for approval even after it has reviewed and commented on the design for our clinical studies;

 

reports from nonclinical or clinical testing of other competing candidates that raise safety or efficacy concerns; and

 

difficulties retaining participants who have enrolled in a clinical study but may be prone to withdraw due to rigors of the clinical studies, lack of efficacy, side effects, personal issues, or loss of interest.

Clinical studies may also be delayed or terminated as a result of ambiguous or negative interim results. In addition, a clinical study may be suspended or terminated by us, the FDA or other comparable authorities, the IRBs or ECs overseeing a clinical study, a data and safety monitoring board overseeing the clinical study, or other regulatory authorities due to a number of factors, including, among others:

 

failure to conduct the clinical study in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols;

 

inspection of the clinical study operations or study sites by the FDA or other regulatory authorities that reveals deficiencies or violations that require us to undertake corrective action, including in response to the imposition of a clinical hold;

 

unforeseen safety issues, including any that could be identified in our ongoing studies, adverse side effects or lack of effectiveness;

 

changes in government regulations or administrative actions;

 

problems with clinical supply materials; and

 

lack of adequate funding to continue clinical studies.

Our product candidates may cause side effects that are presented in the product labeling approved by regulatory authorities.  Some may result in label restrictions.

The most commonly reported adverse events in the repeat-dose clinical studies for CY6463 were headache and GI-related symptoms, most commonly dyspepsia. As with ADEMPAS® (riociguat), the only FDA-approved sGC stimulator to date, CY6463 may cause serious birth defects if taken while pregnant, and our clinical studies require stringent contraceptive safeguards to prevent pregnancy. These side effects and any other undesirable side effects observed with our product candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical studies and could result in restrictive label language or delay or denial of regulatory approval.

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Changes in regulatory requirements, FDA guidance or unanticipated events during our nonclinical studies and clinical studies of our product candidates may occur, which may result in changes to nonclinical or clinical study protocols or additional nonclinical or clinical study requirements, which could result in increased costs to us and could delay our development timeline.

Changes in regulatory requirements, FDA guidance or unanticipated events during our nonclinical studies and clinical studies may force us to amend nonclinical studies and clinical study protocols or the FDA may impose additional nonclinical studies and clinical study requirements. Amendments or changes to our clinical study protocols would require resubmission to the FDA and IRBs for review and approval, which may increase the cost or delay the timing or successful completion of clinical studies. Similarly, amendments to our nonclinical studies may increase the cost or delay the timing or successful completion of those nonclinical studies. If we experience delays completing, or if we terminate, any of our nonclinical or clinical studies, or if we are required to conduct additional nonclinical or clinical studies, the commercial prospects for our product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate product revenue will be delayed.

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not mean that we will be successful in obtaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in other jurisdictions.

In order to market any product outside of the United States, we must establish and comply with the numerous and varying safety, efficacy and other regulatory requirements of other countries. Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not guarantee that we will be able to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any other jurisdiction, but a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. For example, even if the FDA or other comparable foreign regulatory authority grants marketing approval of a product candidate, comparable regulatory authorities in foreign jurisdictions must also approve the manufacturing, marketing and promotion of the product candidate in those countries. Approval procedures vary among jurisdictions and can involve requirements and administrative review periods different from those in the United States, including additional nonclinical or clinical studies, as studies conducted in one jurisdiction may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. The marketing approval processes in other countries may implicate all of the risks detailed above regarding FDA approval in the United States, as well as other risks. In many jurisdictions outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that jurisdiction. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for our product candidates is also subject to approval.

Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in certain countries. Failure to obtain marketing approval in other countries or any delay or other setback in obtaining such approval would impair our ability to market our product candidates in such countries. Any such impairment would reduce the size of our potential market, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Data/market exclusivity may be more limited than we expect based upon the competitive landscape and other factors outside of our control that may occur during development or after approval

There are many types of data/market exclusivity mechanisms that we may seek to secure for our product candidates. Many of these have risk of loss of exclusivity if the competitive landscape changes or regulations are revised. If we seek and are awarded orphan drug designation in the US and/or the EU based upon criteria in effect at the time, this designation may be rescinded if a similar drug or another therapy that confers a significant benefit over ours is subsequently approved. If our product candidates were to fail to obtain orphan drug status, or lose such status after it is obtained, or the marketing exclusivity that such status provides, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed. There are other types of data/market exclusivity rights granted after approval that may not confer exclusivity anticipated if the competitive landscape changes and our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

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Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

We may not succeed in our pursuit of an out-license agreement for the development and commercialization of praliciguat, which would affect our financial condition.

We are seeking an out-license of praliciguat for the purpose of its further development and commercialization. There is no certainty that we will find a partner to fund and undertake development and commercialization, and failure to find such a partner would adversely affect the prospect of realizing any financial benefit from praliciguat.

Any collaboration or license arrangements that we enter into in the future may not be successful, which could impede our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates.

We intend to seek collaboration or license arrangements for the commercialization, and/or potentially for the development, of certain of our product candidates depending on the merits of retaining commercialization rights for ourselves as compared to entering into collaboration or license arrangements. We will face significant challenges in seeking appropriate partners. Moreover, collaboration and license arrangements are complex and time-consuming to negotiate, document, implement and maintain. We may not be successful in our efforts to establish and implement such arrangements. The terms of any collaborations, licenses or other arrangements that we may establish may not be favorable to us.

Any future collaboration or license arrangements that we enter into may not be successful. The success of such arrangements will depend heavily on the efforts and activities of our partners. Collaboration and license arrangements are subject to numerous risks, including that:

 

partners have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to collaborations;

 

a partner with marketing, manufacturing and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to or otherwise not perform satisfactorily in carrying out these activities;

 

partners may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our intellectual property or proprietary information in a way that gives rise to actual or threatened litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential liability;

 

collaboration and license arrangements may be terminated, and, if terminated, this may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable current or future product candidates;

 

partners may own or co-own intellectual property covering products that results from our collaborating with them, and in such cases, we would not have the exclusive right to develop or commercialize such intellectual property;

 

disputes may arise with respect to the ownership of any intellectual property developed pursuant to our collaboration or license arrangements; and

 

a partner’s sales and marketing activities or other operations may not be in compliance with applicable laws resulting in civil or criminal proceedings.

We rely, and expect that we will continue to rely, on third parties to conduct any nonclinical or clinical studies for our product candidates. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our product candidates and our business could be substantially harmed.

We do not have the infrastructure or internal resources and capabilities to independently conduct nonclinical or clinical studies. We rely on contract laboratories, medical institutions, clinical investigators, and other third parties, such as CROs, to conduct nonclinical studies on our discovery compounds and product candidates and

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clinical studies on product candidates. We rely heavily on such parties for execution of nonclinical and clinical studies and can control only certain aspects of their activities. As a result, we have less direct control over the conduct, timing and completion of our nonclinical and clinical studies and the management of data developed through these studies than would be the case if we were relying entirely upon our own staff. Communicating with outside parties can also be challenging, potentially leading to mistakes as well as difficulties in coordinating activities. Outside parties may have staffing difficulties, fail to comply with contractual obligations, experience regulatory compliance issues, undergo changes in priorities, become financially distressed or form relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors.

These factors may materially impede the willingness or ability of third parties to complete quality nonclinical and clinical studies and may subject us to unexpected cost increases that are beyond our control. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our nonclinical and clinical studies is conducted in accordance with any applicable protocol, legal, regulatory and scientific requirements and standards, and our reliance on CROs and other third parties does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. We, our CROs and other third parties are required to comply with regulations and guidelines, such as good laboratory practices (GLPs), good clinical practices (GCPs), and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs).  These regulations are enforced by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for any products in clinical development. The FDA enforces compliance to regulations through periodic inspections of clinical study sponsors, principal investigators, and third parties.  If the FDA determines there was a failure to comply with the regulations the clinical data generated in our clinical studies may be deemed unreliable and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical studies before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure you that, upon inspection, the FDA will determine that any of our nonclinical studies, clinical studies or product manufacturing complies with these regulations.  Our failure or the failure of our CROs to comply with these regulations may require us to repeat clinical studies, which would delay the regulatory approval process and could also subject us to enforcement action up to and including civil and criminal penalties.

Although we design or approve the designs of our product candidate clinical studies, CROs conduct all of the clinical studies. As a result, many important aspects of the execution of our drug development programs are outside of our direct control. In addition, the CROs may not perform all of their obligations under arrangements with us or in compliance with regulatory requirements, but we remain responsible and are subject to enforcement action that may include civil penalties and criminal prosecution for any violations of FDA laws and regulations during the conduct of our clinical studies. If the CROs do not perform clinical studies in a satisfactory manner, breach their obligations to us or fail to comply with regulatory requirements, the development and commercialization of our product candidates may be delayed or our development program materially and irreversibly harmed. We may fail to control the amount and timing of resources these CROs devote to our program or our clinical products. If we are unable to rely on clinical data collected by our CROs, we could be required to repeat, extend the duration of, or increase the size of our clinical studies and this could significantly delay commercialization and require significantly greater expenditures.

If any of our relationships with these third-party CROs terminate, we may not be able to enter into arrangements with alternative CROs. If CROs do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced, or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols, regulatory requirements or for other reasons, any clinical studies such CROs are associated with may be extended, delayed or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval for or successfully commercialize our product candidates. As a result, we believe that our financial results and the commercial prospects for our product candidates in the approved indication would be harmed, our costs could increase and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed.

We rely completely on third-party suppliers to manufacture our nonclinical and clinical drug supplies for our product candidates, and we intend to rely on third parties to produce commercial supplies of any product candidates that are approved.

We do not currently have, nor do we plan to acquire, the infrastructure or capability to internally manufacture the drug supply of our product candidates, or any future product candidates, for use in the conduct of our nonclinical and clinical studies.  We lack the internal resources and the capability to manufacture any product candidates on any scale. We depend on third-party contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, for all our

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requirements of raw materials, drug substance and drug product for our future and/or ongoing nonclinical studies and clinical trials of CY6463. We do not have long-term supply agreements in place with our CMOs and each batch of our product candidates is individually contracted under a services agreement on a purchase order basis. We expect to continue to rely on CMOs for the supply of CY6463 for later-stage development and commercialization, as well as for the supply of any other discovery compounds or product candidates that we may identify, and we may not be able to enter into long-term supply agreements with such CMOs on favorable terms. As a further result, we are subject to price fluctuations for our clinical drug supplies. If the prices charged by these CMOs increase, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed. We apply industry risk management practices to minimize the impact to nonclinical and clinical timelines associated with delays to our clinical supplies. However, these delays could still lead to clinical trials delays that could adversely impact our business.

In addition, the facilities used by our contract manufacturers to manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredient and final drug product must complete a pre-approval inspection by the FDA and other comparable foreign regulatory agencies to assess compliance with applicable requirements, including current GMP, after we submit our new drug application, or NDA, or relevant foreign regulatory submission to the applicable regulatory agency. If the FDA or an applicable foreign regulatory agency determines now or in the future that these facilities are noncompliant, we may need to find alternative manufacturing facilities, which would impede our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for or market our product candidates.

Our reliance on third parties requires us to share our confidential information, including trade secrets and know-how, which increases the possibility that our confidential information will be misappropriated or disclosed.

Because we rely on third parties to manufacture our product candidates, and because we collaborate with various CROs and other third parties to conduct our nonclinical studies and clinical trials, we must, at times, share our trade secrets or know-how with them. We seek to protect our confidential information, including know-how and trade secrets, in part by entering into confidentiality agreements and, if applicable, material transfer agreements, collaborative research agreements, consulting agreements or other similar agreements with our collaborators, advisors and consultants prior to beginning our collaborations or disclosing confidential information to such parties. These agreements typically limit the rights of the third parties to use or disclose our confidential information, such as trade secrets and know-how. Despite these contractual provisions, the need to share our confidential information with third parties increases the risk that confidential information such as trade secrets and know-how becomes known by our competitors, is inadvertently incorporated into the technology of others, or is disclosed or used in violation of these agreements. Given that our proprietary position is based, in part, on our confidential information including know-how and trade secrets, a competitor's discovery of our confidential information or other unauthorized use or disclosure could impair our competitive position and may have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property Rights

If we are unable to adequately protect our proprietary technologies, or obtain and maintain issued patents that are sufficient to protect our product candidates, others could compete against us more directly, which would have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Our success will depend significantly on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection in the United States and other countries for commercially important technology, inventions and know-how related to our business, defend and enforce our patents, should they issue, preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets and operate without infringing the valid and enforceable patents and proprietary rights of third parties. We strive to protect and enhance the proprietary technologies that we believe are important to our business, including seeking patents intended to cover our products and compositions, their methods of use and any other inventions that are important to the development of our business.

We have seventeen issued U.S. patents, twenty-nine pending U.S. patents applications (of which eight are in the provisional stage), one pending Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, application, and numerous foreign patents and pending patent applications.

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Our issued US patents covering 6463 expire in 2037, subject to patent term extension. Our issued U.S. and foreign patents covering olinciguat expire between 2031 and 2037 and our issued U.S. and foreign patents covering praliciguat and related compounds expire between 2031 and 2037, in each case subject to patent term extensions. Multiple pending U.S. and foreign patents applications covering different aspects of CY6463, praliciguat, and olinciguat will expire between 2031 and 2041, subject to patent term extensions. See “Business — Intellectual Property.” We also rely on trade secrets to protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection.

The patent positions of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including ours, involve complex legal and factual questions, which in recent years have been the subject of much litigation, and, therefore, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of any patent claims that we may obtain cannot be predicted with certainty. Our pending patent applications may not be granted as issued patents in any particular jurisdiction and, even if they do, these patents may not include claims with a sufficient scope to protect our product candidates or otherwise provide any competitive advantage.

Even if our patent applications are issued, competitors and other third parties may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate our patents and other intellectual property rights. We may not be able to prevent infringement, misappropriation or other violations of our intellectual property rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States. To counter infringement or unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming and divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations

Moreover, our patents, if issued, may be challenged, deemed unenforceable, invalidated or circumvented in the United States and abroad. U.S. patents and patent applications may also be subject to interference, derivation, ex-parte reexamination, post-grant review, or inter-partes review proceedings, supplemental examination and challenges in district court. Interference proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by us may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patents or patent applications. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. Our involvement in litigation or interference proceedings may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs, and distract our management and other employees. Furthermore, an adverse decision in an interference or derivation proceeding can result in a third party receiving the patent right sought by us, which in turn could affect our ability to develop, market or otherwise commercialize our product candidates.

Patents may also be subjected to opposition, post-grant review or comparable proceedings lodged in various foreign, both national and regional, patent offices or courts. Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment of our patents in such a way that they no longer cover our product candidates or competitive products. In addition, such proceedings may be costly. Thus, any patents, should they issue, that we may own or exclusively license may not provide any protection against competitors.

Furthermore, though a patent, if it were to issue, is presumed valid and enforceable, its issuance is not conclusive as to its validity or its enforceability and it may not provide us with adequate protection to exclude competitors from making similar products. Even if a patent issues and is held to be valid and enforceable, competitors may be able to design around or circumvent our patents, such as by using pre-existing or newly developed technology or products in a non-infringing manner. If these developments were to occur, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Any litigation to enforce or defend our patent rights, even if we were to prevail, would be costly and time-consuming and would divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded if we were to prevail may not be commercially meaningful.

In addition, proceedings to enforce or defend our patents, if and when issued, put our patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable or not infringed, or interpreted narrowly. Such proceedings could also provoke third parties to assert counterclaims against us, including that some or all of the claims in one or more of our patents are invalid, not infringed or unenforceable. Grounds for a validity challenge include alleged failures to meet any of

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several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement. Grounds for unenforceability assertions of a patent include allegations that someone connected with prosecution of the patent application that matured into the patent withheld relevant information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution of the patent application. In an infringement proceeding, a court may disagree with our allegations and refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover the technology in question, or may decide that a patent of ours is invalid or unenforceable. An adverse result in any litigation, defense or post-grant proceedings could result in one or more of our patents being invalidated or interpreted narrowly. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. There could also be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it would have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. With respect to validity, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our product candidates.

If any of our patents, if and when issued, covering our product candidates are invalidated or found not infringed or unenforceable, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

We may infringe the intellectual property rights of others, which may prevent or delay our product development efforts and stop us from commercializing or increase the costs of commercializing our product candidates, if approved.

Our success will depend in part on our ability to operate without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property and proprietary rights of third parties. Other parties may allege that our product candidates or the use of our technologies infringes or otherwise violates patent claims or other intellectual property rights held by them or that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. There may be third-party patents or patent applications with claims to compositions, materials, formulations, methods of manufacture or methods for treatment related to our product candidates. Because patent applications can take many years to issue, third parties may have currently pending patent applications which may later result in issued patents that our product candidates may infringe, or which such third parties claim are infringed by our technologies.

The pharmaceutical industry is characterized by extensive litigation regarding patents and other intellectual property rights. Patent and other types of intellectual property litigation can involve complex factual and legal questions, and their outcome is uncertain and cannot be adequately quantified in advance. The coverage of patents is subject to interpretation by the courts, and the interpretation is not always uniform. If we are sued for patent infringement, we would need to demonstrate that our product candidates, products or methods either does not infringe the patent claims of the relevant patent or that the patent claims are invalid or unenforceable, and we may not be able to do this. Even if we are successful in these proceedings, we may incur substantial costs and the time and attention of our management and scientific personnel could be diverted in pursuing these proceedings, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results. In addition, we may not have sufficient resources to bring these actions to a successful conclusion.

If we are unable to avoid infringing the patent rights of others, we may be required to seek a license, defend an infringement action or challenge the validity of the patents in court, or redesign our products. In addition, if any such claim were successfully asserted against us and we could not obtain such a license, we may be forced to stop or delay developing, manufacturing, selling or otherwise commercializing our product candidates. Any claim relating to intellectual property infringement that is successfully asserted against us may require us to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorney's fees if we are found to be willfully infringing another party's patents, for past use of the asserted intellectual property and royalties and other consideration going forward if we are forced to take a license.

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Any of these risks coming to fruition could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of our patents and other intellectual property.

Our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers and other advisors enter into confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements with us or have entered into confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements with Ironwood. We seek to have inventions assigned to us by the person rendering services. However, we may not be able to enter into these agreements with all parties or these agreements may not be honored and may not effectively assign intellectual property rights to us.

Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship or ownership. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, valuable intellectual property. Such an outcome could have a material adverse effect on our business. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated for non-compliance with these requirements.

The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions over the lifetime of our owned patents and applications. In some cases, an inadvertent lapse can be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules. However, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, competitors or other third parties might be able to enter the market earlier than would otherwise have been the case and this circumstance could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

We may not seek to protect our intellectual property rights in all jurisdictions throughout the world and we may not be able to adequately enforce our intellectual property rights even in the jurisdictions where we seek protection.

The statutory deadlines for pursuing patent protection in individual foreign jurisdictions are based on the priority date of each of our patent applications and we may not timely file foreign patent applications. Thus, for each of the patent families that we believe provide coverage for our product candidates, we will need to decide whether and where to pursue protection outside the United States. Filing and prosecuting patent applications, and defending patents on product candidates in all countries and jurisdictions throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and so we are unlikely to pursue and maintain patents in all countries worldwide. As such, competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we do not pursue and obtain patent protection to develop their own products.

The laws of some foreign countries may not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States even if we have a patent in that jurisdiction. Further, a competitor may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our products and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Even if we pursue and obtain issued patents in particular jurisdictions, our patent claims or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent third parties from so competing.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in certain foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of some countries, particularly developing countries, do not

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favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, especially those relating to biotechnology or pharmaceuticals. This could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents, if obtained, or the misappropriation of or marketing of competing products in violation of our other intellectual property rights. For example, many foreign countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner must grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against third parties, including government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, patents may provide limited or no benefit. Patent protection must ultimately be sought on a country-by-country basis, which is an expensive and time-consuming process with uncertain outcomes. Accordingly, we may choose not to seek patent protection in certain countries, and we will not have the benefit of patent protection in such countries.

Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly, could put our patent applications at risk of not issuing, and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

If we do not obtain additional protection under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, and similar foreign legislation by extending the patent terms and obtaining data exclusivity for our product candidates, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be materially harmed.

Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of FDA marketing approval of our product candidates, one or more of the U.S. patents we own may be eligible for a limited patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act, which permits a patent term extension as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. A maximum of five years can be restored to the eligible patent. In all cases, the total patent life for the product with the patent extension cannot exceed 14 years from the product's approval date, or in other words, 14 years of potential marketing time. However, we may not be granted an extension because of, for example, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain a patent term extension or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the duration of patent protection we obtain for our product candidates may not provide us with any meaningful commercial or competitive advantage, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products earlier than they would otherwise be able to do so, and our ability to generate revenues could be harmed.

Changes in U.S. patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

As is the case with other biotechnology companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biotechnology industry involve both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. In addition, the United States has recently enacted and is currently implementing wide-ranging patent reform legislation: the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the America Invents Act. The America Invents Act includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law. These provisions affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. It is not yet clear what, if any, impact the America Invents Act will have on the operation of our business. However, the America Invents Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any patents that may issue from our patent applications, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain future patents, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on these and other decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that could weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce any patents that may issue in the future.

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We may be subject to damages resulting from claims that we or our employees, consultants or advisors have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their current or former employers.

Our employees may have been previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. We also engage advisors and consultants who are concurrently employed at universities or who perform services for other entities.

We may be subject to claims that we or our employees, advisors or consultants have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of a former employer or other third party. We may be subject to claims that an employee, advisor or consultant performed work for us that conflicts with that person's obligations to a third party, such as an employer, and thus, that the third party has an ownership interest in the intellectual property arising out of work performed for us. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management. If we fail in defending such claims, in addition to paying money claims, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. A loss of key personnel or their work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize our product candidates, which would materially harm our commercial development efforts.

Risks Related to the Future Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

The incidence and prevalence for target patient populations of our product candidates have not been established with precision. If the market opportunities for our product candidates are smaller than we estimate, or if any approval that we obtain is based on a narrower definition of the patient population, our revenue and ability to achieve profitability may be harmed.

The incidence and prevalence for all the conditions we aim to address with our programs vary considerably. Our projections of both the number of people who have these diseases, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on beliefs and estimates. These estimates have been derived from a variety of sources, including the scientific literature, surveys of clinics, patient foundations or market research, and may prove to be incorrect. Further, new trials may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of these diseases. The total addressable market across all of our product candidates will ultimately depend upon, among other things, the diagnosis criteria included in the final label for each of our product candidates, if approved for sale for these indications, acceptance by the medical community and patient access, drug pricing and reimbursement. The number of patients in the United States and other major markets and elsewhere may turn out to be lower than expected, patients may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our products or new patients may become increasingly difficult to identify or gain access to, all of which would harm our results of operations and our business. Further, even if we obtain significant market share for our product candidates, because the potential target populations are very small, we may never achieve profitability despite obtaining such significant market share.

If we are unable to establish sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to sell and market any product candidates, if approved, we may not be successful in commercializing those product candidates if and when they are approved.

We do not currently have an infrastructure for the sale, marketing, market access, patient service and distribution of pharmaceutical products. In order to market our product candidates, if approved by the FDA or any other regulatory authority outside the United States, we must build our sales, marketing, managerial and other non-technical capabilities, or arrange with third parties to perform these services. There are risks involved with both establishing our own commercial capabilities and entering into arrangements with third parties to perform these services. For example, recruiting and training a sales force or reimbursement specialists is expensive and time-consuming and could delay any product candidate launch. If commercialization is delayed or does not occur, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred such expenses. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our commercialization personnel.

If we enter into arrangements with third parties to perform sales, marketing, commercial support and distribution services, our product revenue or the profitability of product revenue may be lower than if we were to

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market and sell any products we may develop ourselves. In addition, we may fail to enter into arrangements with third parties to commercialize our product candidates or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. We may have little control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our products effectively. If we do not establish commercialization capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, or if we are unable to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates if approved and our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations will be materially harmed.

Even if we obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, our product candidates may not achieve broad market acceptance by patients, physicians, healthcare payors or others in the medical community, which would limit the revenue that we generate from their sales.

The future commercial success of our product candidates, if approved by the FDA or other applicable regulatory authorities outside the United States, will depend upon the awareness and acceptance of our product candidates among the medical community, including patients, physicians and healthcare payors. If any of our product candidates are approved but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance by patients, physicians, healthcare payors and others in the medical community, we may not generate sufficient revenue to become, or remain, profitable. Market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved, will depend on a number of factors, including, among others:

 

the efficacy and safety of our approved product candidates as demonstrated in clinical trials;

 

the clinical indications and labeling claims for our product candidates that are approved;

 

limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved for our product candidates by the FDA or other applicable regulatory authorities;

 

any restrictions on the use of our products together with other medications or restrictions on the use of our products in certain types of patients;

 

the prevalence and severity of any adverse effects associated with our product candidates;

 

the size of the target patient population, and the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;

 

the safety, efficacy, cost and other potential advantages of our approved product candidates compared to other available therapies;

 

our ability to generate cost effectiveness data that supports a profitable price;

 

our ability to obtain sufficient reimbursement and pricing by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of sufficient payor coverage;

 

the effectiveness of our sales and marketing strategies; or

 

publicity concerning our products or competing products and treatments.

If our product candidates are approved but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance by patients, physicians and payors, we may not generate sufficient revenue from our product candidates to become or remain profitable. Before granting reimbursement approval, healthcare payors may require us to demonstrate that our product candidates, in addition to treating these target indications, also provide incremental health benefits to patients. Our efforts to educate the medical community and third-party payors about the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may never be successful.

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Reimbursement may be limited or unavailable in certain market segments for our product candidates, which could make it difficult for us to sell our products profitably. Price controls may be imposed in certain markets, which may harm our future profitability.

Market acceptance and sales of any approved product candidates will depend significantly on the availability of adequate coverage and reimbursement from third-party payors and government authorities and may be affected by existing and future health care reform measures. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which drugs they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including the third-party payor's determination that use of a product is: a covered benefit under its health plan; safe, effective and medically necessary; appropriate for the specific patient; cost-effective; and neither experimental nor investigational.

Obtaining coverage and reimbursement approval for a product from a government or other third-party payor is a time consuming and costly process that could require us to provide supporting scientific, clinical and cost-effectiveness data for the use of our products to the payor. We or our partners may not be able to provide data sufficient to gain acceptance with respect to coverage and reimbursement. We cannot be sure that coverage or adequate reimbursement will be available for any of our product candidates. Also, we cannot be sure that reimbursement amounts will not reduce the demand for, or the price of, our products. If reimbursement is not available or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to commercialize certain of our products. In addition, in the United States, third-party payors are increasingly attempting to contain health care costs by limiting both coverage and the level of reimbursement of new drugs. As a result, significant uncertainty exists as to whether and how much third-party payors will reimburse patients for their use of newly approved drugs, which in turn will put pressure on the pricing of drugs.

In some countries, particularly member states of the European Union, the pricing of prescription drugs is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after receipt of marketing approval for a product. In addition, there can be considerable pressure by governments and other stakeholders on prices and reimbursement levels, including as part of cost containment measures. Political, economic and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after reimbursement has been obtained. Reference pricing used by various European Union member states and parallel distribution, or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. In some countries, we or our partners may be required to conduct a clinical trial or other studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of our product candidates to other available therapies in order to obtain or maintain reimbursement or pricing approval. Publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If reimbursement of our products is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business could be harmed.

If we fail to comply with healthcare and other regulations, we could face substantial penalties and our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.

The product candidates that we are evaluating in clinical studies are subject to certain federal and state healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our business. These laws and regulations include:

 

federal healthcare program anti-kickback laws, which prohibit, among other things, persons from offering, soliciting, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, as an inducement or reward for their past, current or potential future prescribing, purchase, use, recommending for use, referral, formulary placement, or dispensing of our products;

 

the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which prohibits executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or making false statements relating to healthcare matters and which also imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information;

 

the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which among other things, strictly regulates drug product and medical device research, development, and marketing, prohibits manufacturers from marketing or promoting such products prior to approval; and

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state law equivalents of the above federal laws, such as anti-kickback laws, state transparency laws, state laws limiting interactions between pharmaceutical manufacturers and members of the healthcare industry and state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by federal laws, thus complicating compliance efforts.

In addition, we may be subject to privacy and security laws in the various jurisdictions in which we operate, obtain or store personally identifiable information. For example, if we conduct clinical studies in any of the member states of the European Union, the processing of personal data in the European Economic Area, or the EEA, is subject to the 1995 Data Protection Directive, imposing strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, analyze and transfer personal data. In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, took effect, increasing our obligations with respect to clinical studies conducted in the EEA and increasing the scrutiny applied by clinical study sites located in the EEA to transfers of personal data from such sites to countries that are considered by the European Commission to lack an adequate level of data protection, such as the United States. The compliance obligations imposed by the GDPR may increase our cost of doing business. In addition, the GDPR imposes substantial fines for breaches of data protection requirements, and it confers a private right of action on data subjects for breaches of data protection requirements.

If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other laws, rules or regulations that apply to us, we will be subject to penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Any penalties, damages, fines, curtailment or restructuring of our operations could impede our ability to operate our business and our financial results. We cannot be certain that compliance programs will address all areas of potential exposure and the risks in this area cannot be entirely eliminated, particularly because the requirements and government interpretations of the requirements in this space are constantly evolving. Any action against us for violation of these laws, rules or regulations, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management's attention from the operation of our business, as well as damage our business or reputation. Moreover, achieving and sustaining compliance with applicable federal and state privacy, security, fraud and reporting laws may prove costly.

We face significant competition in an environment of rapid technological and scientific change, and our competitors may achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are safer, more advanced or more effective than ours, which may harm our ability to successfully market or commercialize any product candidates we may develop and ultimately harm our financial condition.

Our future success depends on our ability to demonstrate and maintain a competitive advantage with respect to the design, development and commercialization of our product candidates. Our objective is to design, develop and commercialize new products with superior efficacy, safety, tolerability and convenience. In many cases, our product candidates that we commercialize will compete with existing, market-leading products. The development and commercialization of new drug products is highly competitive. We may face competition with respect to any product candidates that we seek to develop or commercialize in the future from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies worldwide. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization.

Bayer AG and Merck & Co., Inc. (“Bayer/Merck”), have an active collaboration on sGC and may be targeting some of the same indications through a similar mechanism of action with one sGC stimulator, ADEMPAS® (riociguat), which has been approved for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, or PAH, and Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension, or CTEPH. Bayer/Merck are also evaluating sGC product candidates in a number of indications, including vericiguat for the treatment of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Such sGC products may compete directly with our own product candidates in our target indications. Because Bayer/Merck already have experience conducting successful clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approvals for an sGC product, they may be able to conduct clinical trials and obtain regulatory approvals for additional product candidates and target indications more quickly or efficiently than we can.

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Furthermore, we are aware of a number of other approved products and late-stage product candidates for the treatment of our target indications.  

MELAS. There are currently no approved treatments for MELAS or Mitochondrial Disease in the United States.  We believe the following companies are engaged in clinical development of products for the treatment of MELAS or Mitochondrial Disease, which include patients with MELAS:

PTC Therapeutics has a registrational Phase 2/3 study ongoing of vatiquinone, an antioxidant/NQO1 modulator, assessing the treatment of Mitochondrial Disease in participants with refractory epilepsy.  Khondrion B.V has a Phase 2b study ongoing with sonlicromanol, a redox modulator, assessing the attention domain of cognitive function in MELAS-spectrum disorders.  Abliva AB has a Phase 1a/b study ongoing of KL1333, an NAD+ modulator, in Primary Mitochondrial Disease.  Abliva AB has announced plans to initiate a pivotal clinical Phase II/III study of KL1333 in MELAS-Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD) and Kearns-Sayre syndrome (KSS)-Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) spectrum disorders during 2021.  Reneo Pharma LTD ran a Phase 1 study of REN001, a PPARδ agonist, in patients with Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy and has a planned Phase 2/3 study of REN001 in Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy.  Astellas Pharma Inc has a planned Phase2/3 study of ASP0367, a PPARδ modulator, in patients with Primary Mitochondrial Myopathy.

ADv. There are currently no approved products in the United States to treat ADv.  There are five products approved in the United States to treat AD symptoms.

Aricept® (donepezil) is a cholinesterase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, including in patients with mild, moderate and severe AD.  Razadyne® (galantamine) and Exelon® (rivastigmine) are cholinesterase inhibitors indicated for treatment of mild to moderate dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  Namenda® (memantine) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type.  Namzaric® is a combination of donepezil and memantine indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type in patients stabilized on 10 mg of donepezil hydrochloride once daily.

We are not aware of any companies engaged in clinical development of products for the treatment of ADv.  There are many companies developing treatments for AD, which could be our competitors.  These include the following companies engaged in the late-stage clinical development of products for the treatment of AD:

Biogen has a BLA under review for aducanumab, an anti-amyloid beta (Aβ) mAb, for the treatment of AD.  There are multiple Aβ targeting agents in Phase 3 studies for the treatment of AD, including Eli Lilly’s solanezumab (anti-Aβ mAb), Eisai/Biogen’s BAN2401 (anti-Aβ mAb), Roche’s gantenerumab (anti-Aβ mAb), Alzheon’s ALZ-801 (Aβ aggregation inhibitor) and AZTherapies’ALZT-OP1 (Aβ aggregation inhibitor).  Compounds in Phase 3 studies with other mechanisms of action include TauRx’s TRx0237/LMTX (Tau aggregation inhibitor), Shanghai Greenvalley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.’s GV-971 (oligomannate), and AB Science’s masitinib (c-Kit, Lyn, Fyn and CSF1R kinase inhibitor).  Compounds in Phase 2/3 studies include AgeneBio’s AGB-101 (SV2A inhibitor), Grifols IVIG (Immunoglobulin), Cortexyme’s atuzaginstat (bacterial protease inhibitor), Anavex’s ANAVEX 2-73 (Sigma-1, M2/M3 RA), and vTv Therapeutics’ azeliragon/TTP-488 (RAGE antagonist).  There are many other companies engaged in earlier stage clinical development for products targeting AD.

If our product candidates do not obtain regulatory approvals in our target indications prior to these or any other competing product candidates, or if our product candidates do not demonstrate superior efficacy, safety or tolerability compared to these and any other approved therapeutics for our target indications, we may not be able to compete effectively.

Many of our current or potential competitors, either alone or with their strategic partners, have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, nonclinical testing, conducting clinical studies, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved products than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less

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severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours and may obtain orphan product exclusivity from the FDA for indications our product candidates are targeting, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market.

In addition, we could face litigation or other proceedings with respect to the scope, ownership, validity and/or enforceability of our patents relating to our competitors' products and our competitors may allege that our products infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property. The availability of our competitors' products could limit the demand, and the price we are able to charge, for any products that we may develop and commercialize. See “—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property Rights.”

The impact of healthcare reform and other governmental and private payor initiatives may harm our business.

Our revenue prospects could be affected by changes in healthcare spending and policy in the United States and abroad. We operate in a highly regulated industry and new laws, regulations or judicial decisions, or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations or decisions, related to health care availability, the method of delivery or payment for health care products and services could harm our business, operations and financial condition. There is significant interest in promoting health care reform, as evidenced by the enactment in the United States of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act in 2010. It is likely that federal and state legislatures within the United States and foreign governments will continue to consider changes to existing health care legislation. We cannot predict the reform initiatives that may be adopted in the future or whether initiatives that have been adopted will be repealed or modified. The continuing efforts of the government, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce costs of healthcare may adversely affect: the demand for any drug products for which we may obtain regulatory approval; our ability to set a price that we believe is fair for our products; our ability to obtain coverage and reimbursement approval for a product; our ability to generate revenues and achieve or maintain profitability; and the level of taxes that we are required to pay.

Our future growth may depend, in part, on our ability to commercialize our product candidates outside the United States, where we would be subject to additional regulatory burdens and other risks and uncertainties.

Our future profitability may depend, in part, on our ability to commercialize our product candidates outside the United States for which we may rely on partnerships with third parties. If we commercialize our product candidates outside the United States, we would be subject to additional risks and uncertainties, including:

 

our customers' ability to obtain reimbursement for our product candidates outside the United States;

 

our ability to gain reimbursement in foreign markets at a price that is profitable;

 

our inability to directly control commercial activities because we are relying on third parties;

 

the burden of complying with complex and changing foreign regulatory, tax, accounting and legal requirements;

 

different medical practices and customs in foreign countries affecting acceptance in the marketplace;

 

import or export licensing requirements;

 

longer accounts receivable collection times;

 

longer lead times for shipping;

 

language barriers for technical training;

 

reduced protection of intellectual property rights in some foreign countries;

 

the existence of additional potentially relevant third-party intellectual property rights;

 

foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; and

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the interpretation of contractual provisions governed by foreign laws in the event of a contract dispute.

Foreign sales of our product candidates could also be harmed by the imposition of governmental controls, political and economic instability, trade restrictions and changes in tariffs.

Our ability to generate meaningful revenues in jurisdictions outside of the United States may be limited due to the strict price controls and reimbursement limitations imposed by governments outside of the United States.

In some countries, particularly in the European Union, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after the receipt of marketing approval for a drug. To obtain coverage and reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of our product candidate to other available therapies, or to meet other criteria for pricing approval. If reimbursement of a product candidate, if approved, is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.

If any of our product candidates obtain regulatory approval, additional competitors could enter the market with generic versions of such drugs, which may result in a material decline in sales of affected products.

Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, a pharmaceutical manufacturer may file an abbreviated new drug application, or an ANDA, seeking approval of a generic copy of an approved, small-molecule innovator product. Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, a manufacturer may also submit an NDA that references the FDA's prior approval of the small-molecule innovator product. The Hatch-Waxman Act also provides for certain periods of regulatory exclusivity. These include, subject to certain exceptions, the period during which an FDA-approved drug is subject to orphan drug exclusivity. In addition to the benefits of regulatory exclusivity, an innovator NDA holder may have patents claiming the active ingredient, product formulation or an approved use of the drug, which would be listed with the product in the FDA publication, "Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations," known as the "Orange Book." If there are patents listed in the Orange Book, a generic or NDA applicant that seeks to market its product before expiration of the patents must include in the ANDA a "Paragraph IV certification," challenging the validity or enforceability of, or claiming non-infringement of, the listed patent or patents.

Accordingly, if any of our product candidates are approved, competitors could file ANDAs for generic versions of our small-molecule drug products or NDAs that reference our small-molecule drug products, respectively. If there are patents listed for our small-molecule drug products in the Orange Book, those ANDAs and NDAs would be required to include a certification as to each listed patent indicating whether the ANDA applicant does or does not intend to challenge the patent. We cannot predict which, if any, patents in our current portfolio or patents we may obtain in the future will be eligible for listing in the Orange Book, how any generic competitor would address such patents, whether we would sue on any such patents, or the outcome of any such suit.

We may not be successful in securing or maintaining proprietary patent protection for products and technologies we develop or license. Moreover, if any of our patents that are listed in the Orange Book are successfully challenged by way of a Paragraph IV certification and subsequent litigation, the affected product could immediately face generic competition and its sales would likely decline rapidly and materially.

Risks Related to Our Business Operations

Our prospects for success depend on our ability to retain our management team and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

We are highly dependent on our management, scientific and medical personnel, including our Chief Executive Officer, Peter M. Hecht, Ph.D., our Chief Financial Officer, Anjeza Gjino, our Chief Scientific Officer, Andreas Busch, Ph.D., our Chief Operating Officer, Cheryl Gault, and our Chief Medical Officer, Christopher Wright, M.D., Ph.D. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management, scientific and development teams may terminate their employment with us on short notice. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers, other key employees and other scientific and medical advisors and an inability to find suitable

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replacements could result in delays in product development and harm our business. Pursuant to their employment arrangements, each of our executive officers, and other employees may voluntarily terminate their employment at any time, with or without notice. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled junior, mid-level and senior managers as well as junior, mid-level and senior scientific and medical personnel.

We may not be able to attract or retain qualified management and scientific personnel in the future due to the competition for a limited number of qualified personnel among biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other businesses. Many of the other pharmaceutical companies that we compete against for qualified personnel have greater financial and other resources, different risk profiles and a longer history in the industry than we do. They also may provide more diverse opportunities and better chances for career advancement. Some of these characteristics may be more appealing to high quality candidates than what we may be able to offer. We also experience competition for the hiring of scientific personnel from universities and research institutions. The failure to succeed in nonclinical or clinical studies may make it more challenging to recruit and retain qualified personnel. In addition, in order to induce employees to continue their employment with us, we have provided equity awards that vest over time and the value to our employees of such equity awards may be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control and may be at any time insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high quality personnel, the rate and success at which we can develop and commercialize product candidates will be limited.

We may need to expand our organization and we may experience difficulties in managing growth of our employee base, which could disrupt our operations.

As of December 31, 2020, we had 51 full-time employees and we will continue to align our workforce with our business priorities throughout 2021. To the extent our operations grow, we may need to expand our full-time employee base and hire more consultants and contractors. Our management may then need to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from our day-to-day activities and devote a substantial amount of time to managing this growth. We may not be able to effectively manage the expansion of our operations, which may result in weaknesses in our infrastructure, operational mistakes, loss of business opportunities, loss of employees and reduced productivity among remaining employees. Our growth could require significant capital expenditures and may divert financial resources from other projects, such as the development of additional product candidates. If our management is unable to effectively manage our growth, our expenses may increase more than expected, our ability to generate revenues could be adversely affected and we may not be able to implement our business strategy.

We face potential product liability exposure, and, if claims are brought against us, we may incur substantial liability.

The use of our product candidates in clinical studies and the sale of our products, if approved, exposes us to the risk of product liability claims. Product liability claims might be brought against us by patients, healthcare providers or others selling or otherwise coming into contact with our product candidates. For example, we may be sued if any product candidate we develop allegedly causes injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during product testing, manufacturing, marketing or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, including as a result of interactions with alcohol or other drugs, negligence, strict liability and a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we become subject to product liability claims and cannot successfully defend ourselves against them, we could incur substantial liabilities. In addition, regardless of merit or eventual outcome, product liability claims may result in, among other things: withdrawal of subjects from our clinical studies; substantial monetary awards to patients or other claimants; decreased demand for our product candidates or any future product candidates following marketing approval, if obtained; damage to our reputation and exposure to adverse publicity; increased FDA warnings on product labels; litigation costs; distraction of management's attention from our primary business; loss of potential revenue; and the inability to successfully commercialize our product candidates or any future product candidates, if approved.

We maintain product liability insurance coverage for our clinical studies through both domestic and international insurance policies, subject to an annual coverage limit. Nevertheless, our insurance coverage may be insufficient to reimburse us for any expenses or losses we may suffer if a judgment or settlement exceeds available

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insurance proceeds. Moreover, in the future, we may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in sufficient amounts to protect us against losses, including if insurance coverage becomes increasingly expensive. If and when we obtain marketing approval for our product candidates, we intend to expand our insurance coverage to include the sale of commercial products; however, we may not be able to obtain this product liability insurance on commercially reasonable terms. Large judgments have been awarded in class action lawsuits based on drugs that had unanticipated side effects. The cost of any product liability litigation or other proceedings, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial, particularly in light of the size of our business and financial resources. A product liability claim or series of claims brought against us could cause our stock price to decline and, if we are unsuccessful in defending such a claim or claims and the resulting judgments exceed our insurance coverage, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

During the course of treatment, patients may suffer adverse events, including death, for reasons that may or may not be related to our product candidates. Such events could subject us to costly litigation, require us to pay substantial amounts of money to injured patients, delay, negatively impact or end our opportunity to receive or maintain regulatory approval to market our product candidates, if approved, or require us to suspend or abandon our commercialization efforts of any approved product candidates. Even in a circumstance in which we do not believe that an adverse event is related to our products, the investigation into the circumstance may be time-consuming or inconclusive. These investigations may interrupt our sales efforts, delay our regulatory approval process, or impact and limit the type of regulatory approvals our product candidates receive or maintain. As a result of these factors, a product liability claim, even if successfully defended, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired, which could result in sanctions or other penalties that would harm our business.

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or The Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the rules and regulations of the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq. We are an “emerging growth company” and a “smaller reporting company.” For so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we will be exempt from Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires auditor attestation to the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting. We will cease to be an emerging growth company on the date that is the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total gross annual revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) December 31, 2024, the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the Separation; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the date on which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the SEC. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we may still qualify as a smaller reporting company, which would allow us to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements, including exemption from compliance with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on the exemptions available to us as an emerging growth company and/or smaller reporting company. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

We are, however, subject to Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Beginning with our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, we must include a management assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. As of the expiration of our emerging growth company status and smaller reporting company status, we will be broadly subject to enhanced reporting and other requirements under the Exchange Act and Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We have engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. There can be no assurances that in future periods we will be able to timely conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404(a).

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We may discover weaknesses in our system of internal financial and accounting controls and procedures that could result in a material misstatement of our financial statements. Our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system's objectives will be met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.

If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner, or if we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements. If that were to happen, our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed, our investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, the market price of our stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities.

Unfavorable global economic conditions could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Our results of operations could be harmed by general conditions in the global economy and in the global financial markets. A severe or prolonged economic downturn could result in a variety of risks to our business, including, weakened demand for our product candidates and our ability to raise additional capital when needed on acceptable terms, if at all. A weak or declining economy could also strain our suppliers, possibly resulting in supply disruption. Any of the foregoing could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Our internal computer systems, or those of our third-party CROs, CMOs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our product candidates' development programs.

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our third-party CROs, CMOs, business development partners and other contractors and consultants may be vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, ransomware, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. If such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our programs. For example, the loss of clinical study data for our product candidates could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss of or damage to our data or applications or other data or applications relating to our technology or product candidates, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liabilities and the further development of our product candidates could be delayed. Insurance may not be adequate to fully cover costs to restore data and resume normal working operations, which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operation.

Our employees may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including violating applicable regulatory standards and requirements or engaging in insider trading, which could significantly harm our business.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees could include intentional failures to comply with the regulations of the FDA and applicable foreign regulators, provide accurate information to the FDA and applicable foreign regulators, comply with healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations in the United States and abroad, report financial information or data accurately and/or disclose unauthorized activities to us. In particular, research and development, commercialization and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to considerable laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations restrict, regulate or prohibit a wide range of activities pertaining to clinical trials including the informed consent process, data integrity and conducting the study in accordance with the investigational plan, and for approved products, pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of, including trading on, information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may be ineffective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other

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actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to comply with these laws or regulations. Additionally, we are subject to the risk that a person could allege such fraud or other misconduct, even if none occurred. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant fines or other sanctions, possible exclusions from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other U.S. federal healthcare programs, contractual damages and reputational harm.

If we or any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage fail to comply with environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

We and any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage are subject to numerous federal, state and local environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and permitting requirements, including those governing laboratory procedures; the generation, handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous and regulated materials and wastes; the emission and discharge of hazardous materials into the ground, air and water; and employee health and safety. Under certain environmental laws, we could be held responsible for costs relating to any contamination at our current or past facilities and at third-party facilities. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.

We could be adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, and other worldwide anti-bribery laws.

We are subject to the FCPA, which prohibits U.S. corporations and their representatives from offering, promising, authorizing or making payments to any foreign government official, government staff member, political party or political candidate in an attempt to obtain or retain business abroad. The scope of the FCPA includes interactions with certain healthcare professionals in many countries. Other countries have enacted similar anti-corruption laws and/or regulations. In some countries in which we operate, the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries are exposed to a high risk of corruption associated with the conduct of clinical trials and other interactions with healthcare professionals and institutions. Any such activities could expose us to potential liability under the FCPA, which may result in us incurring significant criminal and civil penalties and to potential liability under the anti-corruption laws and regulations of other jurisdictions in which we operate. In addition, the costs we may incur in defending against an FCPA investigation could be significant.

Risks Related to the Separation

Our rights under the intellectual property license agreement with Ironwood could be challenged.

In connection with the separation, we entered into an intellectual property license agreement with Ironwood, in connection with which Ironwood granted to us a license to use certain Ironwood know-how in connection with our research and development of sGC stimulator products. If we were to use such licensed know-how and if our rights under the intellectual property license agreement were challenged by a third party or we were otherwise prevented from exercising our rights as contemplated under the intellectual property license agreement, our research and development activities could be delayed until we were able to either resume exercising such rights or develop or acquire adequate alternative know-how.

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Our historical financial information is not necessarily representative of the results that we would have achieved as a separate, publicly traded company and should not be relied upon as an indicator of our future results.

Certain of our historical combined information provided in this Annual Report is derived from the consolidated financial statements and accounting records of Ironwood. Accordingly, the historical and combined financial information included in this Annual Report may not reflect the operating results, financial condition or cash flows that we would have achieved as a separate, publicly traded company during the periods presented, or the financial results we will achieve in the future. In particular, our future financial results may vary from the historical and combined financial information included in this Annual Report as a result of the following factors, among others:

 

our historical combined financial data prior to the separation does not reflect the separation;

 

our historical financial data prior to the separation reflects expense allocations for certain business and support functions that are provided on a centralized basis within Ironwood, such as expenses for research and development and corporate administrative services, including information technology, finance, legal, insurance, compliance and human resources activities, that may be lower than the comparable expenses we would have actually incurred, or will incur in the future, as a standalone company;

As a result of the separation, it may be difficult for investors to compare our future results to historical results or to evaluate our relative performance or trends in our business.

If the separation and distribution, together with certain related transactions, did not qualify as a transaction that was tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, Ironwood could be subject to significant tax liabilities, and we could be required to indemnify Ironwood for all or a portion of such taxes and related costs pursuant to indemnification obligations under the tax matters agreement.

Ironwood received a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS relating to the U.S. federal income tax treatment of the distribution. Consistent with the IRS's ruling guidelines, the IRS private letter ruling did not cover all of the issues that are relevant to determining whether the distribution was generally tax free for U.S. federal income tax purposes. In addition, as a condition to the distribution, Ironwood received an opinion of KPMG LLP confirming that the distribution, together with certain related transactions, generally was tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The opinion of KPMG LLP delivered to Ironwood and the IRS private letter ruling are based, among other things, on various facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations, statements and undertakings from us and Ironwood (including those relating to the past and future conduct of us and Ironwood). If any of these facts, assumptions, representations, statements or undertakings is, or becomes, inaccurate or incomplete, or if we or Ironwood breach any of our respective covenants relating to the separation, the IRS private letter ruling and/or the opinion of KPMG LLP may be invalid. In addition, the opinion of KPMG LLP delivered to Ironwood represents the judgment of KPMG LLP, which is not binding on the IRS or any court. Accordingly, notwithstanding receipt by Ironwood of the tax opinion and the favorable IRS private letter ruling referred to above, the IRS could assert that the distribution and/or certain related transactions did not qualify for tax-free treatment for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

If the distribution, together with certain related transactions, failed to qualify as a transaction that was tax-free under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, Ironwood would recognize taxable gain with respect to our distributed common stock and Ironwood stockholders who received shares of our common stock in the distribution would be subject to tax as if they had received a taxable distribution equal to the fair market value of such shares.

Even if the distribution otherwise qualified as tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code, Ironwood may have been required to recognize taxable gain under Section 355(e) of the Code as if it had sold our distributed shares for fair market value if the distribution were deemed to be part of a plan (or series of related transactions) pursuant to which one or more persons acquire, directly or indirectly, shares representing a 50% or greater interest (by vote or value) in Ironwood or us. Under the terms of the common stock

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purchase agreement, the investors in the private placement acquired 43% of our common stock on a basic shares outstanding method. For purposes of this test, the private placement will generally be treated as part of such a plan or series of transactions, although some portion of the private placement may have been excluded from such treatment if investors who owned shares of Ironwood common stock immediately prior to the distribution participated in the private placement to maintain their respective ownership held immediately prior to the private placement. The rules governing such exclusions are complex, and there can be no assurance given as to the amount or percentage of the private placement that will be excluded from such treatment under these rules. Thus, a relatively minor additional change in the ownership of the our common stock could trigger a prohibited change in control, resulting in a significant amount of taxable gain for Ironwood under Section 355 of the Code (as a result of which we would be required to indemnify Ironwood under the tax matters agreement, as discussed below), if that additional ownership change and the portion of the private placement that must be taken into account (together with, in certain circumstances, changes in ownership of Ironwood common stock) were each considered to be part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the distribution and, in the aggregate, resulted in a 50% or greater change in ownership of our common stock, as determined under the Code and applicable Treasury regulations. The process for determining whether a prohibited change in control has occurred under the rules is complex, inherently factual and subject to interpretation of the facts and circumstances of a particular case. If we or Ironwood do not carefully monitor our or its compliance with these rules, we or Ironwood might inadvertently cause or permit a prohibited change in our ownership or the ownership of Ironwood. Furthermore, sales and/or acquisitions by the investors in the private placement (or by other persons) of our or Ironwood common stock could potentially trigger a prohibited change of control in us or Ironwood. For purposes of these rules, any acquisitions of Ironwood or our shares within the period beginning two years before the distribution and ending two years after the distribution are presumed to be part of such a plan, although we or Ironwood may be able to rebut that presumption based on the facts or circumstances or under regulatory safe harbors.

In connection with the distribution, we entered into a tax matters agreement with Ironwood pursuant to which we are responsible for certain liabilities and obligations following the distribution. In general, under the terms of the tax matters agreement, if the distribution, together with certain related transactions, failed to qualify as a transaction that was generally tax-free, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1)(D) of the Code, and if and to the extent that such failure results from a prohibited change of control in Ironwood under Section 355(e) of the Code or an acquisition of shares of Ironwood common stock or assets or certain actions by Ironwood, then Ironwood will bear any resulting taxes, interest, penalties and other costs. If and to the extent that such failure results from a prohibited change of control in us under Section 355(e) of the Code or an acquisition of our stock or assets or certain actions by us, then we will indemnify Ironwood for any resulting taxes, interest, penalties and other costs, including any reductions in Ironwood's net operating loss carryforwards or other tax assets. If such failure does not result from a prohibited change of control in Ironwood or us under Section 355(e) of the Code and both we and Ironwood are responsible for such failure, liability will be shared according to relative fault. If neither we nor Ironwood is responsible for such failure, Ironwood will bear any resulting taxes, interest, penalties and other costs. Our indemnification obligations to Ironwood under the tax matters agreement is not limited in amount or subject to any cap. If we are required to pay any taxes or indemnify Ironwood under the circumstances set forth in the tax matters agreement, we may be subject to substantial liabilities. To the extent that the tax matters agreement requires Ironwood to bear any taxes, interest and penalties, Ironwood is required to indemnify us in the event that the IRS or another taxing authority asserts that we are jointly and severally liable as a result of our having been included in Ironwood’s consolidated or combined tax returns prior to the separation.

We may not be able to engage in attractive strategic or capital-raising transactions as a result of the separation.

To preserve the tax-free treatment of the separation and the distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes, for the period ending two years after the distribution, we will be prohibited under the tax matters agreement, except in specific circumstances, from: (i) entering into or approving any transaction or series of transactions involving the acquisition of our outstanding or newly issued equity that, when combined with other changes in ownership of our capital stock, results in a change in ownership of 3% or more; (ii) liquidating or partially liquidating, or merging or consolidating (unless we are the survivor); (iii) making or changing any entity classification election; (iv) ceasing to be engaged in an active trade or business, or selling, transferring or disposing of 25% or more of the net or gross assets of any active trade or business; (v) amending any of our organizational documents or taking any action affecting the voting rights of our capital stock; or (vi) redeeming or otherwise repurchasing any of our outstanding stock or options, unless we receive an IRS private letter ruling or an unqualified

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opinion of a tax advisor, in form and substance satisfactory to Ironwood, to the effect that such action will not result in tax liability to Ironwood in connection with the separation and distribution.  In addition, we are prohibited, except in specific circumstances, from taking or failing to take any action that would be inconsistent with or cause to be untrue any statement, information, covenant or representation from us relating to the IRS private letter ruling and/or the opinion of KPMG LLP or would prevent the distribution and certain related transactions from qualifying as a transaction that was generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 355 and 368(a)(1) (D) of the Code. These restrictions may limit for a period of time our ability to pursue certain strategic transactions, equity issuances or repurchases or other transactions that we may believe to be in the best interests of our shareholders or that might increase the value of our business.

In connection with the separation, we assumed and agreed to indemnify Ironwood for certain liabilities. If we are required to make payments pursuant to these indemnities to Ironwood, we may need to divert cash to meet those obligations and our financial results could be harmed.

Pursuant to the separation agreement and certain other agreements we entered into with Ironwood, we assumed and agreed to indemnify Ironwood for certain liabilities for uncapped amounts, which may include, among other items, associated defense costs, settlement amounts and judgments. Payments pursuant to these indemnities may be significant and could harm our business, particularly indemnities relating to our actions that could impact the tax-free nature of the distribution and certain related transactions as discussed in more detail above. Third parties could also seek to hold us responsible for any of the liabilities of the Ironwood business. Ironwood agreed to indemnify us for liabilities of the Ironwood business, but such indemnity from Ironwood may not be sufficient to protect us against the full amount of such liabilities, and Ironwood may not fully satisfy its indemnification obligations. Moreover, even if we ultimately succeed in recovering from Ironwood any amounts for which we are held liable, we may be temporarily required to bear these losses ourselves. Each of these risks could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

Our agreements with Ironwood may not reflect terms that would have resulted from negotiations with unaffiliated third parties.

The agreements related to the separation, including, among others, the separation agreement, the employment matters agreement, the tax matters agreement, the intellectual property license agreement, the transition services agreements and the development agreement, were negotiated in the context of the separation while we were still controlled by Ironwood. Until the distribution occurred, Ironwood effectively had the sole and absolute discretion to determine and change the terms of the separation, including the terms of any agreements between Ironwood and us and the establishment of the record date and distribution date. As a result, the provisions thereof may be unfavorable to us and may not reflect terms that would have resulted from negotiations between unaffiliated third parties.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

The market price of our common stock may fluctuate widely and you could lose all or part of your investment in our common stock as a result.

Our common stock has a limited trading history and the market price has fluctuated widely, and may in the future fluctuate widely, depending upon many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including the following:

 

a relatively low-volume trading market for our shares of common stock may result, which could cause trades of small blocks of shares to have a significant impact on the price of our shares of common stock;

 

results and timing of nonclinical studies and clinical studies of our product candidates;

 

the commercial performance of our products, if approved, as well as the costs associated with such activities;

 

results of clinical studies of our competitors' products;

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failure to adequately protect our trade secrets;

 

our inability to raise additional capital and the terms on which we raise it;

 

commencement or termination of any strategic partnership or licensing arrangement;

 

regulatory developments with respect to our products or our competitors' products, including any developments, litigation or public concern about the safety of such products;

 

announcements concerning product development results, including clinical trial results, the introduction of new products or intellectual property rights of us or others;

 

actual or anticipated fluctuations in our financial condition and our quarterly and annual operating results;

 

deviations in our operating results from any guidance we may provide or the estimates of securities analysts;

 

additions and departures of key personnel;

 

the passage of legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;

 

fluctuations in the valuation of companies perceived by investors to be comparable to us;

 

sales of our common stock by us, our insiders or our other shareholders;

 

strategic decisions by us or our competitors, such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, strategic investments or changes in business strategy;

 

announcement or expectation of additional financing efforts;

 

publication of research reports by securities analysts about us or our competitors or our industry and speculation regarding our company or our stock price in the financial or scientific press or in online investor communities;

 

changes in market conditions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector; and

 

changes in general market and economic conditions.

In addition, if the market for stocks in our industry or industries related to our industry, or the stock market in general, experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. If any of the foregoing occurs, it could cause our stock price to fall and may expose us to lawsuits that, even if unsuccessful, could be costly to defend and a distraction to management.

The market price for our common stock is particularly volatile.

The market for our common stock is characterized by significant price volatility when compared to seasoned issuers, and we expect that our stock price will continue to be more volatile than those of a seasoned issuer. Several factors cause the volatility in our share price. We are a speculative or “risky” investment due to our short operating history, lack of revenues and the uncertain success (including of regulatory approval) of any of our product candidates. For example, on October 14, 2020, we announced that topline results from our Phase 2 STRONG-SCD study of olinciguat in patients with sickle cell disease did not demonstrate adequate activity to support further internal clinical development in sickle cell disease. After this announcement, the market price of our common stock decreased substantially. As a consequence of this risk, more risk-averse investors may, under the fear of losing all or most of their investment in the event of further negative news or lack of progress, be more inclined to sell their shares of our common stock more quickly and at greater discounts than would be the case with the stock of a seasoned issuer. Plaintiffs have, in the past, initiated securities class action litigation against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We may in the future be the target of such litigation. Securities litigation could result in substantial costs and liabilities and could divert management’s attention and resources.

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If securities or industry analysts fail to initiate or maintain coverage of our stock, publish a negative report or change their recommendations regarding our stock adversely, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us, our business, our market or our competitors. If securities or industry analysts fail to initiate coverage of our stock, the lack of exposure to the market could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline. If any of the analysts who cover us or may cover us in the future publish a negative report or change their recommendation regarding our stock adversely, or provide more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, our stock price would likely decline. If any analyst who covers us or may cover us in the future were to cease coverage of our company or fail to regularly publish reports on us, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

We do not expect to pay any cash dividends for the foreseeable future.

We do not anticipate that we will pay any cash dividends to holders of our common stock in the foreseeable future. Instead, we plan to retain any earnings to maintain and expand our operations. In addition, any future debt financing arrangement may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. Accordingly, investors must rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may never occur, as the only way to realize any return on their investment. As a result, investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock.

We have adopted anti-takeover provisions in our articles of organization and bylaws and are subject to provisions of Massachusetts law that may frustrate any attempt to remove or replace our current board of directors or to effect a change of control or other business combination involving our company.

Our restated articles of organization and bylaws and certain provisions of Massachusetts law may discourage certain types of transactions involving an actual or potential change of control of our company that might be beneficial to us or our security holders. For example, our bylaws grant our directors the right to adjourn any meetings of shareholders. Our board of directors also may issue shares of any class or series of preferred stock in the future without shareholder approval and upon such terms as our board of directors may determine. The rights of the holders of our common stock will be subject to, and may be harmed by, the rights of the holders of any class or series of preferred stock that may be issued in the future. Massachusetts state law also prohibits us from engaging in specified business combinations unless the combination is approved or consummated in a prescribed manner. These provisions, alone or together, could delay hostile takeovers and changes in control of our company or changes in our management.

Our articles of organization designate the state and federal courts located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our shareholders, which could discourage lawsuits against us and our directors and officers.

Our restated articles of organization designate the state and federal courts located within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors or officers to us or our shareholders, creditors or other constituents, any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Massachusetts Business Corporation Act, or the MBCA, or any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in all cases subject to the court's having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants. In additional, our articles of organization provide that unless our board of directors consents in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the U.S. federal district courts shall be the exclusive forum for the resolutions of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the U.S. federal securities laws. This exclusive forum provision may limit the ability of our shareholders to bring a claim in a judicial forum that such shareholders find favorable for disputes with us or our directors or officers, which may discourage such lawsuits against the company and our directors and officers. Alternatively, if a court outside of Massachusetts were to find this exclusive forum provision inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings described above, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

48


 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties

Upon completion of the separation, we entered into a lease agreement with a landlord for approximately 114,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in Cambridge, Massachusetts expiring in June 2029. As a result of several amendments to the lease agreement, we currently occupy approximately 57,000 square feet. In November 2020, we announced our intention to exit our current laboratory and office facilities in early 2021 and move to an operating model under which we will outsource our research and development laboratory work and will lease office space on an “as-needed” basis.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

We are not a party to any material legal proceedings at this time. From time to time, we may be subject to various legal proceedings and claims, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

49


 

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

Market Information for Common Stock

Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “CYCN.”

Holders of Record

As of February 18, 2021, we had 94 holders of record of our common stock, which excludes stockholders whose shares were held in nominee or street name by brokers. The actual number of common stockholders is greater than the number of record holders, and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.

Dividend Policy

We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings, if any, to fund the development and expansion of our business and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on various factors, including applicable laws, our results of operations, financial condition, future prospects and any other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors.

Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities

The following sets forth information as to all securities we sold in 2020 which were not registered under the Securities Act:

On July 29, 2020, the Company entered into a Common Stock Purchase Agreement (the “2020 Equity Private Placement”) with two investors for a private placement of 6,062,500 shares of the Company’s common stock, at a purchase price of $4.00 per share for total gross proceeds of approximately $24.3 million. The closing of the 2020 Equity Private Placement occurred on July 29, 2020. The Company did not use a placement agent or broker in connection with the 2020 Equity Private Placement and incurred no commissions and no material direct transaction fees. In connection with the 2020 Equity Private Placement transaction, the Company filed a registration statement, Form S-3, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, registering for resale the shares of common stock and shares of common stock issuable upon exercise of the warrants. The registration statement was declared effective by the SEC on August 17, 2020.

Purchase of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Parties

None.

Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

We are a smaller reporting company as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act and are not required to provide the information required under this item.

50


 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and related notes and the related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Forward-Looking Information

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated and combined financial statements and the corresponding notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10‑K. This discussion contains forward‑looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those referenced or set forth under “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward‑looking statements.

Overview

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company on a mission to develop treatments for serious CNS diseases through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines. Our lead asset, CY6463 (previously known as IW-6463), is a pioneering, CNS-penetrant, soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator that is currently in clinical development for Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and Alzheimer's disease with vascular pathology (ADv). sGC stimulators are small molecules that act synergistically with nitric oxide (NO) as positive allosteric modulators on sGC to boost production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP. cGMP is a key second messenger that, when produced by sGC, regulates diverse and critical biological functions in the CNS including neuronal function, neuroinflammation, cellular bioenergetics, and blood flow and vascular dynamics.

We operate in one reportable business segment—human therapeutics.

Separation from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

On April 1, 2019, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc., or Ironwood, completed the separation of its sGC business, and certain other assets and liabilities, into us as a separate, independent publicly traded company by way of a pro-rata distribution of our common stock through a dividend distribution of one share of our common stock, with no par value per share, for every 10 shares of Ironwood common stock held by Ironwood stockholders as of the close of business on March 19, 2019, the record date for the distribution, which we refer to herein as the Separation. As a result of the Separation, we became an independent public company and commenced trading under the symbol “CYCN” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on April 2, 2019.

In connection with the Separation, on March 30, 2019, we entered into certain agreements with Ironwood to provide a framework for our relationship with Ironwood following the Separation, including, among others, a Separation Agreement, a Tax Matters Agreement, and an Employee Matters Agreement.

In addition, in connection with the Separation, on April 1, 2019, we entered into a Development Agreement, an Ironwood Transition Services Agreement, a Cyclerion Transition Services Agreement and an Intellectual Property License Agreement with Ironwood. All services provided to and from the Company under the Transition Services Agreements were completed as of March 31, 2020 and the agreements were terminated. Ironwood and the Company have agreed that the Development Agreement will not be renewed beyond its initial term which ends on March 31, 2021.

On April 2, 2019, we issued 11,817,165 shares of our common stock, in the 2019 Equity Private Placement, to accredited investors for gross proceeds of $175 million (net proceeds of approximately $165 million).

Our historical consolidated and combined financial statements for the periods prior to the Separation have been derived from Ironwood’s combined financial statements and accounting records and are presented in conformity with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or U.S. GAAP.

51


 

Our historical financial statements may not be indicative of our future performance and do not necessarily reflect what our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows would have been had we operated as a separate, publicly traded company for the periods presented prior to the Separation. The consolidated and combined financial statements prior to the Separation included herein do not reflect any changes that occurred in our financing or operations as a result of the Separation from Ironwood.

Financial Overview

Research and Development Expense.  Research and development expenses are incurred in connection with the discovery and development of our product candidates. These expenses consist primarily of the following costs: compensation, benefits and other employee-related expenses, research and development related facilities, third-party contracts relating to nonclinical study and clinical trial activities. All research and development expenses are charged to operations as incurred.

CNS programs. The core of our portfolio is CY6463, an orally administered CNS-penetrant sGC stimulator that is being developed as a symptomatic and potentially disease-modifying therapy for serious CNS diseases. Nitric oxide-sGC-cGMP is a fundamental CNS signaling network, but it has not yet been leveraged for its full therapeutic potential. CY6463 enhances the brain’s natural ability to produce cGMP, an important second messenger in the CNS, by stimulating sGC, a key node in the NO-sGC-cGMP pathway. This pathway is critical to basic CNS functions, and deficient NO-sGC-cGMP signaling is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Agents that stimulate sGC to produce cGMP may compensate for deficient NO signaling.

In January 2020, we announced positive Phase 1 study results that provided the foundation for continued development of CY6463. The Phase 1 healthy participant study results indicate that CY6463 was well tolerated. Pharmacokinetic (PK) data, obtained from both blood and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), support once-daily dosing with or without food and demonstrated CY6463 penetration of the blood-brain-barrier with CSF concentrations expected to be pharmacologically active.

In October 2020, we announced positive topline results from our CY6463 Phase 1 translational pharmacology study in healthy elderly participants. Treatment with CY6463 for 15 days in this 24-subject study confirmed and extended results seen in the earlier first-in-human Phase 1 study: once-daily oral treatment demonstrated blood-brain-barrier penetration with expected CNS exposure and target engagement. Results also showed significant improvements in neurophysiological and objective performance measures as well as in inflammatory biomarkers associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. CY6463 was safe and generally well tolerated in this study. Significant effects on cerebral blood flow and markers of bioenergetics were not observed in this study of healthy elderly participants. We believe that these results, together with nonclinical data, support continued development of CY6463 as a potential new medicine for serious CNS diseases.

We have initiated our CY6463 Phase 2 clinical trial in adult participants with MELAS. In the coming months, we will use the findings of the translational pharmacology study, in addition to observations from the first-in-human Phase 1 study, to inform further clinical development activities, including the initiation of a planned Phase 2 clinical trial in ADv in mid-2021, as well as explore other potential indications. The ADv study will be supported in part by a grant from the Alzheimer's Association’s Part the Cloud-Gates Partnership Grant Program, which provides Cyclerion with $2 million of funding over two years.

Our next-generation CNS program is focused on discovery of new sGC stimulators with, for example, greater CSF-to-plasma exposure and/or potentially differentiated patterns of CNS engagement relative to CY6463. Differentiated sGC stimulators will expand the potential of sGC stimulation for the treatment of disorders of the CNS.

Non-CNS assets. We have other assets that are outside of our current strategic focus. These non-core assets are not being internally developed at this time and are available for licensing to a third-party partner. Praliciguat is an orally administered, once-daily systemic sGC stimulator that was evaluated in two Phase 2 proof-of-concept studies for adult participants with diabetic nephropathy (DN) and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We released topline results from these studies in October 2019. Olinciguat is an orally administered, once-

52


 

daily, vascular sGC stimulator that was evaluated in a Phase 2 study of participants with sickle cell disease. We released topline results from this study in October 2020. We also have discovery and pre-clinical phase compounds with targeted sGC stimulators.

The following table summarizes our research and development expenses and employee and facility related costs allocated to research and development expense, for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. The product pipeline expenses relate primarily to external costs associated with nonclinical studies and clinical trial costs, which are presented by development candidate.

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Product pipeline external costs:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CY6463

 

$

5,561

 

 

$

4,278

 

Praliciguat

 

 

311

 

 

 

13,344

 

Olinciguat

 

 

6,868

 

 

 

13,064

 

Discovery research

 

 

1,218

 

 

 

1,293

 

Total product pipeline external costs

 

 

13,958

 

 

 

31,979

 

Personnel and related internal costs

 

 

27,503

 

 

 

40,008

 

Facilities and other

 

 

14,953

 

 

 

23,153

 

Total research and development expenses

 

$

56,414

 

 

$

95,140

 

 

Securing regulatory approvals for new drugs is a lengthy and costly process. Any failure by us to obtain, or any delay in obtaining, regulatory approvals would materially adversely affect our product development efforts and our business overall.

Given the inherent uncertainties of pharmaceutical product development, we cannot estimate with any degree of certainty how our programs will evolve, and therefore the amount of time or money that would be required to obtain regulatory approval to market them. As a result of these uncertainties surrounding the timing and outcome of any approvals, we are currently unable to estimate precisely when, if ever, our discovery and development candidates will be approved. We invest carefully in our pipeline, and the commitment of funding for each subsequent stage of our development programs is dependent upon the receipt of clear, supportive data.

The successful development of our product candidates is highly uncertain and subject to a number of risks including, but not limited to:

 

The COVID-19 pandemic could affect our programs and operations in ways that are difficult to judge at this time, including our operations, clinical trials, corporate development activities and other activities. Cyclerion is working closely with its clinical trial sites and investigators to deliver its ongoing and planned trials in a manner consistent with the safety of study participants and healthcare professionals.

 

The duration of clinical trials may vary substantially according to the type and complexity of the product candidate and may take longer than expected.

 

The United States FDA and comparable agencies outside the United States impose substantial and varying requirements on the introduction of therapeutic pharmaceutical products, which typically require lengthy and detailed laboratory and clinical testing procedures, sampling activities and other costly and time-consuming procedures.

 

Data obtained from nonclinical and clinical activities at any step in the testing process may be adverse and lead to discontinuation or redirection of development activity. Data obtained from these activities also are susceptible to varying interpretations, which could delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval.

 

The duration and cost of discovery, nonclinical studies and clinical trials may vary significantly over the life of a product candidate and are difficult to predict.

53


 

 

The costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of a product candidate may not be favorable, and, even if approved, a product may face post-approval development and regulatory requirements.

 

The emergence of competing technologies and products and other adverse market developments may reduce or eliminate the potential value of our pipeline.

As a result of the factors listed above, including the factors discussed under the “Risk Factors” section in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we are unable to determine the duration and costs to complete current or future nonclinical and clinical stages of our product candidates or when, or to what extent, we will generate revenues from the commercialization and sale of our product candidates. Development timelines, probability of success and development costs vary widely. We anticipate that we will make determinations as to which additional programs to pursue and how much funding to direct to each program on an ongoing basis in response to the data from the studies of each product candidate, the competitive landscape and ongoing assessments of such product candidate’s commercial potential.

General and Administrative Expense.  General and administrative expense consists primarily of compensation, benefits and other employee-related expenses for personnel in our administrative, finance, legal, information technology, business development, and human resource functions. Other costs include the legal costs of pursuing patent protection of our intellectual property, general and administrative related facility costs, insurance costs and professional fees for accounting and legal services. Certain costs associated with our separation from Ironwood are included in these expenses. We record all general and administrative expenses as incurred.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated and combined financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make certain estimates and assumptions that may affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated and combined financial statements, and the amounts of expenses during the reported periods. Significant estimates and assumptions in our consolidated and combined financial statements include those related to allocation of expenses, assets and liabilities from Ironwood’s historical financial statements for the periods prior to the Separation, impairment of long-lived assets; income taxes, including the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets; research and development expenses; contingencies and share-based compensation. We base our estimates on our historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities. Actual results may differ materially from our estimates under different assumptions or conditions. Changes in estimates are reflected in reported results in the period in which they become known.

We believe that our application of accounting policies requires significant judgments and estimates on the part of management and is the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our reported financial results. Our significant accounting policies are more fully described in Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of the consolidated and combined financial statements elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

All research and development expenses are expensed as incurred. We defer and capitalize nonrefundable advance payments we make for research and development activities until the related goods are received or the related services are performed. See Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of the consolidated and combined financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Results of Operations

For the period prior to the Separation, our consolidated and combined financial statements include an allocation of expenses related to certain Ironwood corporate functions, including senior management, legal, human resources, finance, information technology and quality assurance. These expenses were allocated to Cyclerion based on direct usage or benefit where identifiable, with the remainder allocated pro-rata based on project related costs, headcount or other measures. We considered the allocation methodologies used to be a reasonable and appropriate reflection of the historical Ironwood expenses attributable to us. The expenses reflected in the consolidated and

54


 

combined financial statements may not be indicative of expenses that will be incurred by us in the future. After the Separation, we began performing these corporate functions using internal resources or purchased services, certain of which were provided by Ironwood under the Transition Services Agreement.  The following discussion summarizes the key factors we believe are necessary for an understanding of our consolidated financial statements.

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

Change

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

$

 

 

%

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Revenue from related party

 

$

2,296

 

 

$

4,507

 

 

$

(2,211

)

 

 

(49

)%

Cost and expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

56,414

 

 

 

95,140

 

 

 

(38,726

)

 

 

(41

)%

General and administrative

 

 

28,816

 

 

 

34,404

 

 

 

(5,588

)

 

 

(16

)%

Gain on lease modification, net

 

 

(1,669

)

 

 

 

 

 

(1,669

)

 

 

100

%

Total cost and expenses

 

 

83,561

 

 

 

129,544

 

 

 

(45,983

)

 

 

(35

)%

Loss from operations

 

 

(81,265

)

 

 

(125,037

)

 

 

43,772

 

 

 

(35

)%

Sublease termination income, net

 

 

2,875

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,875

 

 

 

100

%

Interest and other income, net

 

 

588

 

 

 

2,029

 

 

 

(1,441

)

 

 

(71

)%

Net loss

 

$

(77,802

)

 

$

(123,008

)

 

$

45,206

 

 

 

(37

)%

 

Revenue from related party.  The decrease in revenue from related party for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 is due to a decrease in services provided in the current year as compared to the prior year, partially offset by the Company providing services to Ironwood for the full year 2020 compared to only three quarters post-Separation in 2019. Ironwood and the Company have agreed that the Development Agreement will not be renewed beyond its initial term which ends on March 31, 2021.

Research and development expenses.  The decrease in research and development expenses of approximately $38.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily due to a net decrease in personnel and related costs of approximately $12.5 million, a net decrease in facilities and other costs of approximately $8.2 million, and a net decrease in product pipeline external costs of approximately $18.0 million. The net decrease in personnel and related costs of $12.5 million was driven by lower salaries and related costs of $13.4 million, including $1.9 million in stock-based compensation, primarily due to lower average headcount, partially offset by $0.9 million in costs associated with the 2020 workforce reduction as compared to the 2019 workforce reduction. The net decrease in facilities and other costs allocated to research and development of approximately $8.2 million was primarily due to reductions in the Company’s total leased premises. The net decrease in product pipeline external costs was primarily due to decreases over the periods of approximately $13.0 million in praliciguat studies, approximately $6.2 million in olinciguat studies and approximately $0.1 million in discovery research, partially offset by an increase of approximately $1.3 million in CY6463 studies.  

General and administrative expenses.  The decrease in general and administrative expenses of approximately $5.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 was primarily driven by approximately $5.9 million in salaries and other employee-related costs, including $2.1 million in stock-based compensation, primarily due to lower average headcount and the pre-Separation allocation from Ironwood recorded in the prior period, and approximately $3.5 million of non-recurring outsourced professional services and other costs associated with the Separation recorded in the prior period partially offset by an increase of approximately $1.7 million in professional fees supporting the Company’s financing activities in the current year, including the Shelf, the 2020 Equity Private Placement and the ATM Offering, an increase of approximately $1.4 million in other outside professional and corporate expenses, an increase of approximately $0.4 million in other operating and administrative expenses, and an increase of approximately $0.3 million in costs associated with the 2020 workforce reduction as compared to the 2019 workforce reduction.

Gain on lease modification, net. The gain on lease modification, net of $1.7 million recorded in the year ended December 31, 2020 is driven by a $2.1 million gain related to the Lease Amendment to the Head Lease at 301 Binney Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was executed on February 28, 2020 in which the Company returned approximately 40,000 rentable square feet to the landlord, partially offset by a $0.4 million loss related to the Second Lease Amendment to the Head Lease at 301 Binney Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was executed

55


 

on September 15, 2020 in which the Company returned approximately 17,000 rentable square feet to the landlord.

Sublease termination income, net.  The sublease termination income, net of $2.9 million recorded in the year ended December 31, 2020 represents the difference between the consideration received and the consideration given up related to the Sublease Termination Agreement that was executed on September 15, 2020.

Interest and other income, net.  Interest and other income, net decreased by approximately $1.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 due to a decrease of approximately $1.6 million in interest income driven by lower cash balances and lower interest rates in the current year as compared to the prior year, partially offset by an increase of approximately $0.2 million in net sublease income from the sublease agreement which was in effect for more months in the current year than the prior year before its termination.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Prior to the Separation, the primary source of liquidity for our business was cash flow allocated to Cyclerion from Ironwood. Post Separation, transfers of cash to and from Ironwood related to the Transition Service Agreements, Development Agreement and provisions of the Separation Agreement, have been reflected in the consolidated and combined statement of cash flows.

After the Separation on April 1, 2019, we raised approximately $165 million net of direct financing expenses with the closing of the 2019 Equity Private Placement on April 2, 2019.

On July 29, 2020, we closed on a private placement of 6,062,500 shares of our common stock, pursuant to a Common Stock Purchase Agreement, for total gross proceeds of approximately $24.3 million. There were no material fees or commissions related to the transaction.

On September 3, 2020, the Company entered into the Sales Agreement with Jefferies with respect to an at-the-market offering, or ATM Offering, under the shelf registration statement. Under the ATM Offering, the Company may offer and sell, from time to time at its sole discretion, shares of its common stock, having an aggregate offering price of up to $50.0 million through Jefferies as its sales agent. The Company will pay to Jefferies cash commissions of 3.0 percent of the gross proceeds of sales of common stock under the Sales Agreement. As of December 31, 2020, no shares have been issued or sold under the ATM Offering.

Our ability to continue to fund our operations and meet capital needs will depend on our ability to generate cash from operations and access to capital markets and other sources of capital, as further described below. We anticipate that our principal uses of cash in the future will be primarily to fund our operations, working capital needs, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes.

On December 31, 2020, we had approximately $54.4 million of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents.  Our cash equivalents include amounts held in U.S. government money market funds.  We invest cash in excess of immediate requirements in accordance with our investment policy, which requires all investments held by us to be at least “AAA” rated or equivalent, with a remaining final maturity when purchased of less than twelve months, so as to primarily achieve liquidity and capital preservation.

Going Concern

Based on the timing expectations of our research and development plans, including our clinical trials, we expect that our existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2020, will be sufficient to fund our planned operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through the next 12 months following the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, particularly as the process of testing drug candidates in clinical trials is costly and the timing of progress in these trials is uncertain.

56


 

Cash Flows

The following is a summary of cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:

 

 

 

Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(dollars in thousands)

 

Net cash used in operating activities

 

$

(72,490

)

 

$

(102,215

)

Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities

 

$

18

 

 

$

(6,715

)

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

$

28,090

 

 

$

211,571

 

 

Cash Flows from Operating Activities

Net cash used in operating activities totaled approximately $72.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. The primary uses for cash were our net loss of $77.8 million, the payment of a $6.3 million termination fee related to the Head Lease modification, and the net changes in our operating assets and liabilities of $1.3 million. The uses of cash were partially offset by non-cash adjustments of $12.9 million, primarily from share-based compensation.

Net cash used in operating activities totaled approximately $102.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The primary uses of cash were our net loss of $123.0 million and the net changes in our operating assets and liabilities of $2.3 million from our working capital accounts, partially offset by non-cash adjustments of $23.1 million, primarily from share-based compensation.

Cash Flows from Investing Activities

Net cash provided by investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 was de minimis and related to the purchases and sales of property and equipment.

Net cash used in investing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 totaled approximately $6.7 million, primarily from the purchase of leasehold improvements and other property and equipment.

Cash Flows from Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2020 was approximately $28.1 million, primarily from $24.3 million in proceeds from the 2020 private placement, $3.5 million of proceeds from the PPP loan, and $0.3 million from proceeds from employee stock award plan.

Net cash provided by financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2019 was approximately $211.6 million, primarily from $164.6 million in net proceeds from the 2019 private placement, $46.4 million of cash transferred to us from Ironwood prior to Separation when Ironwood managed our cash and financing arrangements, and $0.5 million from proceeds from employee stock award plans.

Debt – Paycheck Protection Program

On April 21, 2020, we received loan proceeds in the amount of approximately $3.5 million pursuant to a promissory note agreement (the “Promissory Note”) with a bank under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), of which certain key terms were adjusted by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (“PPPFA”). The Promissory Note has an initial loan maturity of April 20, 2022, a stated interest rate of 1.0% per annum, and has payments of principal and interest that are due monthly after an initial deferral period where interest accrues, but no payments are due. Under the PPPFA, the initial deferral may be extended from six up to ten months and the loan maturity may be extended from two to five years. The Promissory Note provides for customary events of default, including, among others, those relating to failure to make payment when due and breaches of representations. We may prepay the principal of the Promissory Note at any time without incurring any prepayment charges. The loan is

57


 

subject to all the terms and conditions applicable under the PPPFA and is subject to review by the Small Business Association for compliance with program requirements.

The loan’s principal and accrued interest are forgivable to the extent that the proceeds are used for eligible purposes, subject to certain limitations, and that we maintain our payroll levels over a twenty-four-week period following the loan date. The loan forgiveness amount may be reduced if we terminate employees or reduce salaries during the twenty-four-week period. We believe that we have used the proceeds for eligible purposes consistent with the provisions of the PPPFA. However, the Company cannot assure at this time that the loan under the Promissory Note will be forgiven partially, or in full.

Funding Requirements

We expect our expenses to fluctuate as we advance the preclinical activities and clinical trials of our product candidates.

We believe that our existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2020 will enable us to fund our planned operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements at least through the next 12 months following the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, excluding net cash flows from potential business development activities. We based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could exhaust our available capital resources sooner than we expect.

Because of the many risks and uncertainties associated with research, development and commercialization of product candidates, we are unable to estimate the exact amount of our working capital requirements. Our expenses will fluctuate, and our future funding requirements will depend on, and could increase or decrease significantly as a result of, many factors, including the:

 

scope, progress, results and costs of researching and developing our product candidates, and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials;

 

costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our product candidates;

 

costs of future activities, including medical affairs, manufacturing and distribution, for any of our product candidates for which we receive marketing approval;

 

cost and timing of necessary actions to support our strategic objectives;

 

costs of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending intellectual property-related claims; and

 

timing, receipt and amount of sales of, or milestone payments related to or royalties on, our current or future product candidates, if any.

A change in any of these or other variables with respect to the development of any of our product candidates could significantly change the costs and timing of the development of that product candidate. Further, our operating plans may change in the future, and we may need additional funds to meet operational needs and capital requirements associated with such operating plans.

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenue, we expect to finance our cash needs through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances or licensing arrangements with third parties. As discussed under the “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, to preserve the tax-free treatment of the Separation, we may be barred, in certain circumstances, for a two-year period following the Separation, from engaging in certain capital raising transactions.  To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, outstanding equity ownership may be materially diluted, and the terms of securities sold in transactions could include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect the rights of holders of common stock. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include restrictive covenants that limit our ability to take specified actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends. In addition, debt financing would result in increased fixed payment obligations.

58


 

If we raise funds through collaborations, strategic alliances or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us.

If we are unable to raise additional funds when needed, we may be required to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development or future commercialization efforts, or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

Contractual Commitments and Obligations

Tax-related Obligations

We exclude assets, liabilities or obligations pertaining to uncertain tax positions from our summary of contractual commitments and obligations as we cannot make a reliable estimate of the period of cash settlement with the respective taxing authorities. As of December 31, 2020, we had no uncertain tax positions.

Other Funding Commitments

As of December 31, 2020, we had, and continue to have, several ongoing studies in various clinical trial stages. Our most significant clinical trial spending is with clinical research organizations, or CROs. The contracts with CROs generally are cancellable, with notice, at our option and do not have any significant cancellation penalties.

Transition from Ironwood and Costs to Operate as an Independent Company

Our consolidated and combined financial statements for the period prior to the Separation reflect our operating results and financial position as it was operated by Ironwood, rather than as an independent company. As a result of the Separation, we have incurred additional ongoing operating expenses to operate as an independent, publicly traded, company. These costs include the cost of various corporate functions, incremental information technology-related costs and incremental costs to operate stand-alone accounting, legal, human resources and other administrative functions. We also incurred non-recurring expenses and non-recurring capital expenditures.

The Ironwood Transition Services Agreement provided us with certain services and resources related to corporate functions for an initial term of up to two years from the date of the Separation (as applicable). All services provided by Ironwood to the Company under the Ironwood Transition Services Agreement were completed as of March 31, 2020, and it has been terminated.

It is not practicable to estimate the costs that would have been incurred in each of the periods presented in the historical financial statements for the functions described above. Actual costs that would have been incurred if we operated as a stand-alone company for the periods prior to the Separation would have depended on various factors, including organizational design, outsourcing and other strategic decisions related to corporate functions, information technology and back office infrastructure.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We do not have any relationships with unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships, such as entities often referred to as structured finance or special purpose entities, that would have been established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements (as that term is defined in Item 303(a)(4)(ii) of Regulation S-K) or other contractually narrow or limited purposes. As such, we are not exposed to any financing, liquidity, market or credit risk that could arise if we had engaged in those types of relationships. We enter into guarantees in the ordinary course of business related to the guarantee of our own performance.

59


 

New Accounting Pronouncements

For a discussion of new accounting pronouncements see Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, of the consolidated and combined financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

We are a smaller reporting company as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act and are not required to provide the information required under this item.

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

The information required by this Item 8 is set forth in our financial statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.

None.

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.

Disclosure Controls and Procedures

We maintain “disclosure controls and procedures,” as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act, that are designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in reports that we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in SEC rules and forms, and that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive and our principal financial officers, as appropriate, to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

With respect to the year ended December 31, 2020, under the supervision and with the participation of our management, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of the design and operations of our disclosure controls and procedures. Based upon this evaluation, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer have concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective as of December 31, 2020 to provide reasonable assurance that the information required to be disclosed by us in this Annual Report was (a) reported within the time periods specified by SEC rules and regulations and (b) communicated to our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, to allow timely decisions regarding any required disclosure.

Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of our financial reporting and the preparation of consolidated financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Internal control over financial reporting is a process designed by, or under the supervision of, our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and effected by our Board of Directors, management and other personnel, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and includes those policies and procedures that:

 

Pertain to the maintenance of records that accurately and fairly reflect in reasonable detail the transactions and dispositions of the assets of our company;

 

Provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that our receipts

60


 

 

and expenditures are being made only in accordance with authorizations of our management and directors; and

 

Provide reasonable assurances regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of our assets that could have a material adverse effect on our financial statements.

Management assessed our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, the end of our fiscal year. Management based its assessment on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework). Management’s assessment included evaluation of elements such as the design and operating effectiveness of key financial reporting controls, process documentation, accounting policies, and our overall control environment.

Based on this assessment, management has concluded that our internal controls over financial reporting were effective as of December 31, 2020 and provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external reporting purposes in accordance with GAAP. We reviewed the results of management’s assessment with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors.

Internal control over financial reporting has inherent limitations. Internal control over financial reporting is a process that involves human diligence and compliance and is subject to lapses in judgment and breakdowns resulting from human failures. Internal control over financial reporting also can be circumvented by collusion or improper management override. Because of such limitations, there is a risk that material misstatements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis by internal control over financial reporting. However, these inherent limitations are known features of the financial reporting process. Therefore, it is possible to design into the process safeguards to reduce, though not eliminate, this risk.

Attestation Report of the Registered Public Accounting Firm

This Annual Report does not include an attestation report of our independent registered public accounting firm regarding internal control over financial reporting. Our report was not subject to attestation by our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission for “emerging growth companies” that permit us to provide only management’s report in this report.

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) that occurred during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 which have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

Inherent Limitations on Effectiveness of Internal Controls

In designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, management does not expect that our internal control over financial reporting will prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control systems are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. The design of any disclosure controls and procedures also is based in part upon certain assumptions about the likelihood of future events, and there can be no assurance that any design will succeed in achieving its stated goals under all potential future conditions. Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, believes that our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives and are effective at the reasonable assurance level. However, our management does not expect that our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal control over financial reporting will prevent all errors and all fraud.

Item 9B. Other Information.

Not applicable.

61


 

PART III

We will file a definitive Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, or the Proxy Statement, with the SEC, pursuant to Regulation 14A, not later than 120 days after the end of our fiscal year. Accordingly, certain information required by Part III has been omitted under General Instruction G(3) to Form 10-K. Only those sections of the 2021 Proxy Statement that specifically address the items set forth herein are incorporated by reference.

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.

The information required by this Item 10 will be included in our Proxy Statement under the captions “Information Regarding the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance,” “Election of Directors,” “Executive Officers” and “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” and is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 11. Executive Compensation.

The information required by this Item 11 will be included in our Proxy Statement under the captions “Executive Compensation” and “Director Compensation” and is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.

The information required by this Item 12 will be included in our Proxy Statement under the captions “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” and “Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans” and is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.

The information required by this Item 13 will be included in our Proxy Statement under the captions “Transactions with Related Persons” and “Independence of the Board of Directors” and is incorporated herein by reference.

Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services.

The information required by this Item 14 will be included in our Proxy Statement under the caption “Ratification of Selection of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” and is incorporated herein by reference.

62


 

PART IV

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules.

(a)(1) Financial Statements

See the Index to Consolidated Financial Statements in the Financial Statements Section beginning on page F-1 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

(a)(2) Financial Statement Schedules

All financial statement schedules have been omitted as they are not required, not applicable, or the required information is included in the financial statements or notes to the financial statements.

(a)(3) Exhibits

EXHIBIT INDEX

 

Exhibit No.

 

Description

 

 

 

  2.1

 

Separation Agreement, dated March 30, 2019, by and between Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 2.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

  3.1

 

Restated Articles of Organization of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.1 to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed on March 29, 2019) (File No. 333-230615))

 

 

 

  3.2

 

Amended and Restated Bylaws of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.2 to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed on March 29, 2019) (File No. 333-230615))

 

 

 

  4.1

 

Description of Securities Registered pursuant to Section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended

 

 

 

10.1

 

Tax Matters Agreement, dated March 30, 2019, by and between Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.3 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.2

 

Employee Matters Agreement, dated March 30, 2019, by and between Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.4 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.3

 

Development Agreement, dated April 1, 2019, by and between Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.5 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.4

 

Intellectual Property License Agreement, dated April 1, 2019, by and between Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.6 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.5+

 

Form of Indemnification Agreement between Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. and individual directors and officers (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.7 to Form 10 filed on January 28, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.6+

 

Offer Letter, effective April 1, 2019, by and between Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. and Peter M. Hecht, Ph.D. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.11 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.7+

 

Offer Letter, effective April 1, 2019, by and between Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. and William Huyett (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.13 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

63


 

 

 

 

10.8+

 

Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. 2019 Employee Stock Purchase Plan (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.3 to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed on March 29, 2019 (File No. 333-230615))

 

 

 

10.9+

 

Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. 2019 Equity Incentive Plan and forms of agreements thereunder (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.4 to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed on March 29, 2019 (File No. 333-230615))

 

 

 

10.10+

 

Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. Amended and Restated 2010 Employee, Director and Consultant Equity Incentive Plan and forms of agreement thereunder (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 4.5 to Registration Statement on Form S-8 filed on March 29, 2019 (File No. 333-230615))

 

 

 

10.11+

 

Form of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. Executive Severance Agreement (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.5 to Form 10 filed on January 28, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.12+

 

Non-Employee Director Compensation Plan (effective June 1, 2019) (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.7 on Form 10-Q filed on August 12, 2019 (File No. 001-38737))

 

 

 

10.13

 

Lease, dated April 1, 2019, by and between BMR-Rogers Street LLC and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.14 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 2, 2019 (File No. 001-38787))

 

 

 

10.14

 

First Amendment to and Partial Termination of Lease Agreement Lease, dated April 1, 2019, by and between BMR-Rogers Street LLC and Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to Current Report on Form 8-K filed on March 5, 2020 (File No. 001-38787)

 

 

 

21.1

 

List of Subsidiaries

 

 

 

23.1

 

Consent of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

31.1

 

Certificate of Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer) pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

 

 

31.2

 

Certificate of Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer) pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

 

 

32.1

 

Certificate of Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

 

 

32.2

 

Certificate of Chief Financial Officer (Principal Executive Officer) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

 

 

 

101.INS

 

XBRL Instance Document

101.SCH

 

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Schema Document

101.CAL

 

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Calculation Linkbase Document

101.DEF

 

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Definition Linkbase Document

101.LAB

 

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Label Linkbase Document

101.PRE

 

XBRL Taxonomy Extension Presentation Linkbase Document

 

+  Indicates a management contract or compensatory plan.

Item 16.Form 10-K Summary.

Not applicable.

64


 

SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrants have duly caused this report to be signed on their behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, on February 25, 2021.

 

 

CYCLERION THERAPEUTICS, INC.

 

By:

/s/ PETER M. HECHT

 

 

Peter M. Hecht

 

 

Chief Executive Officer

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities indicated on February 25, 2021.

 

Signature

 

Title

 

/s/ PETER M. HECHT

 

 

Peter M. Hecht

 

Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer)

 

/s/ANJEZA GJINO

 

 

Anjeza Gjino

 

Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer and
Principal Accounting Officer)

 

/s/ KEVIN CHURCHWELL

 

 

Kevin Churchwell

 

Director

 

/s/ GEORGE CONRADES

 

 

George Conrades

 

Director

 

/s/ MARSHA FANUCCI

 

 

Marsha Fanucci

 

Director

 

/s/ OLE ISACSON

 

 

Ole Isacson

 

Director

 

/s/ STEPHANIE LOVELL

 

 

Stephanie Lovell

 

Director

 

/s/ TERRANCE MCGUIRE

 

 

Terrance McGuire

 

Director

 

/s/ MICHAEL MENDELSOHN

 

 

Michael Mendelsohn

 

Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65


 

 

Index to Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc.

 

 

Page

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

F-2

 

 

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2020 and 2019

F-3

 

 

Consolidated and Combined Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

F-4

 

 

Consolidated and Combined Statement of Stockholders’ Equity (Deficit) for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

F-5

 

 

Consolidated and Combined Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2020 and 2019

F-6

 

 

Notes to the Consolidated and Combined Financial Statements

F-7

 

 

 

F-1


 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated and combined balance sheets of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc. (the Company) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated and combined statements of operations and comprehensive loss, shareholders' equity (deficit) and cash flows for each of the two years in the period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated and combined  financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated and combined financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the two years in the period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company's internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2018.  

Boston, Massachusetts

February 25, 2021

 

 

F-2


 

 

Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc.

Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands except share and per share data)

 

 

 

December 31,

2020

 

 

December 31,

2019

 

ASSETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

54,395

 

 

$

94,895

 

Related party accounts receivable

 

 

127

 

 

 

1,474

 

Prepaid expenses

 

 

816

 

 

 

1,966

 

Other current assets

 

 

3,163

 

 

 

2,862

 

Total current assets

 

 

58,501

 

 

 

101,197

 

Restricted cash, net of current portion

 

 

3,837

 

 

 

4,991

 

Property and equipment, net

 

 

6,865

 

 

 

11,613

 

Operating lease right-of-use asset

 

 

43,402

 

 

 

68,137

 

Other assets

 

 

2,773

 

 

 

540

 

Total assets

 

$

115,378

 

 

$

186,478

 

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

1,149

 

 

$

3,230

 

Related party accounts payable

 

 

286

 

 

 

81

 

Accrued research and development costs

 

 

1,421

 

 

 

2,198

 

Accrued expenses and other current liabilities

 

 

7,294

 

 

 

9,320

 

Short-term note payable

 

 

3,509

 

 

 

 

Current portion of operating lease liabilities

 

 

3,293

 

 

 

3,420

 

Total current liabilities

 

 

16,952

 

 

 

18,249

 

Operating lease liabilities, net of current portion

 

 

38,933

 

 

 

70,500

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders' equity