SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to
|☐||SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
Date of event requiring this shell company report
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-39670
PURETECH HEALTH PLC
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
England and Wales
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
6 Tide Street, Suite 400
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
(Address of principal executive offices)
Chief Executive Officer Tel: (617) 482-2333
c/o PureTech Health LLC
6 Tide Street, Suite 400
Boston, Massachusetts 02210
(Name, telephone, e-mail and/or facsimile number and address of company contact person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class:
Name of each exchange
on which registered:
American Depositary Shares, each representing 10 ordinary shares, par value £0.01 per share
The Nasdaq Global Market
Ordinary shares, par value £0.01 per share*
The Nasdaq Global Market*
Listed not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of the American Depositary Shares on The Nasdaq Global Market.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None.
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None.
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report: Ordinary Shares: 287,796,585 outstanding as of December 31, 2021.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 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 whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, 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. ☐
|†||The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.|
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 which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP ☐
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements contained in this report, other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenues, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. The forward-looking statements in this annual report on Form 20-F include, among other things, statements about:
•our ability to realize value from our Founded Entities, which may be impacted if we reduce our ownership to a minority interest or otherwise cede control to other investors through contractual agreements or otherwise;
•the success, cost and timing of our clinical development of our Wholly Owned Programs, including the progress of, and results from, our preclinical and clinical trials of LYT-100, LYT-200, LYT-210, LYT-300, LYT-510, LYT-500, LYT-503/IMB-150, our discovery programs (Glyph, Orasome and our meningeal lymphatics discovery research program) and other potential product candidates within our Wholly Owned Programs;
•our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of the therapeutic candidates in our Wholly Owned Pipeline, and any related restrictions, limitations or warnings in the label of any of the therapeutic candidates in our Wholly Owned Pipeline, if approved;
•our ability to compete with companies currently marketing or engaged in the development of treatments for indications that the therapeutic candidates in our Wholly Owned Pipeline or those of our Founded Entities are designed to target;
•our plans to pursue research and development of other future product candidates;
•the potential advantages of our Wholly Owned Programs and the therapeutic candidates being developed by our Founded Entities;
•the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of our therapeutic candidates;
•the success of our collaborations and partnerships with third parties;
•our estimates regarding the potential market opportunity for our Wholly Owned Programs and the therapeutic candidates being developed by our Founded Entities;
•our sales, marketing and distribution capabilities and strategy;
•our ability to establish and maintain arrangements for manufacture of the therapeutic candidates in our Wholly Owned Pipeline and those being developed by our Founded Entities;
•our intellectual property position;
•our expectations related to the use of capital;
•the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, including mitigation efforts and economic effects, on any of the foregoing or other aspects of our business operations, including but not limited to our preclinical studies and future clinical trials;
•our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and needs for additional financing;
•the impact of government laws and regulations; and
•our competitive position.
SUMMARY OF RISK FACTORS
The risk factors described below are a summary of the principal risk factors associated with our business. These are not the only risks we face. You should carefully consider these risk factors, together with the risk factors incorporated by reference into Item 3D. of this annual report on Form 20-F and the other reports and documents filed by us with the SEC.
•As of December 31, 2021, we had never generated revenue from the therapeutic candidates within our Wholly Owned Pipeline, and we may never be operationally profitable.
•We may require substantial additional funding to achieve our business goals. If we are unable to obtain this funding when needed and on acceptable terms, we could be forced to delay, limit or terminate certain of our therapeutic development efforts. Certain of our Founded Entities will similarly require substantial additional funding to achieve their business goals.
•Our ability to realize value from our Founded Entities may be impacted if we reduce our ownership or otherwise cede control to other investors through contractual agreements or otherwise.
•We have limited information about and limited control or influence over our Non-Controlled Founded Entities.
•The therapeutic candidates within our Wholly Owned Pipeline and most of our Founded Entities’ therapeutic candidates are in preclinical or clinical development, which is a lengthy and expensive process with uncertain outcomes and the potential for substantial delays. We cannot give any assurance that any of our and our Founded Entities’ therapeutic candidates will receive regulatory approval, which is necessary before they can be commercialized.
•Preclinical development is uncertain. Our preclinical programs may experience delays or may never advance to clinical trials, which would adversely affect our ability to obtain regulatory approvals or commercialize these programs on a timely basis or at all, which would have an adverse effect on our business.
•Clinical trials of our or our Founded Entities’ therapeutic candidates may be delayed, and certain programs may never advance in the clinic or may be more costly to conduct than we anticipate, any of which can affect our ability to fund our company and would have a material adverse impact on our platform or our business.
•If we encounter difficulties enrolling patients in clinical trials, our clinical development activities could be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.
•Use of the therapeutic candidates within our Wholly Owned Pipeline or the therapeutic candidates being developed by our Founded Entities could be associated with side effects, AEs or other properties or safety risks, which could delay or halt their clinical development, prevent their regulatory clearance or approval, cause us to suspend or discontinue clinical trials, abandon a therapeutic candidate, limit their commercial potential, if cleared or approved, or result in other significant negative consequences that could severely harm our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.
•Our clinical trials may fail to demonstrate substantial evidence of the safety and effectiveness of therapeutic candidates that we may identify and pursue for their intended uses, which would prevent, delay or limit the scope of regulatory approval and potential commercialization.
•Even if we complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials, the marketing approval process is expensive, time-consuming and uncertain and may prevent us from obtaining approvals for the potential commercialization of therapeutic candidates.
•If we are unable to obtain regulatory clearance or approval in one or more jurisdictions for any therapeutic candidates that we may identify and develop, our business could be substantially harmed.
•Certain of the therapeutic candidates being developed by us or our Founded Entities are novel, complex and difficult to manufacture. We could experience manufacturing problems that result in delays in our development or commercialization programs or otherwise harm our business.
•If, in the future, we are unable to establish sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to sell and market any therapeutic candidates we may develop, we may not be successful in commercializing those therapeutic candidates if and when they are approved.
•If we fail to comply with healthcare laws, we could face substantial penalties and our business, operations and financial conditions could be adversely affected.
•We face significant competition in an environment of rapid technological and scientific change, and there is a possibility that our competitors may achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are safer, more advanced or more effective than ours, which may negatively impact our ability to successfully market or commercialize any therapeutic candidates we may develop and ultimately harm our financial condition.
•We are currently party to and may seek to enter into additional collaborations, licenses and other similar arrangements and may not be successful in maintaining existing arrangements or entering into new ones, and even if we are, we may not realize the benefits of such relationships.
•We rely on third parties to assist in conducting our clinical trials and some aspects of our research and preclinical testing, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such trials, research, or testing.
•If we or our Founded Entities are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient intellectual property protection for our or our Founded Entities’ existing therapeutic candidates or any other therapeutic candidates that we or they may identify, or if the scope of the intellectual property protection we or they currently have or obtain in the future is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize therapeutic candidates similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize our existing therapeutic candidates and any other therapeutic candidates that we or they may pursue may be impaired.
•We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.
•Our or our Founded Entities’ proprietary rights may not adequately protect our technologies and therapeutic candidates, and do not necessarily address all potential threats to our competitive advantage.
•The failure to maintain our licenses and realize their benefits may harm our business.
•If we or our Founded Entities fail to comply with our obligations in the agreements under which we license intellectual property rights from third parties or these agreements are terminated or we or our Founded Entities otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our licensors, we could lose intellectual property rights that are important to our business.
•Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on therapeutic candidates for an adequate amount of time.
•Issued patents covering our Wholly Owned Programs or our Founded Entities’ therapeutic candidates could be found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in courts or patent offices.
•If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, the value of our technology could be materially adversely affected and our business would be harmed.
•We and our Founded Entities may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship of our patents and other intellectual property.
•The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted, and will likely continue to impact, our business, including our clinical trials and preclinical studies, and may materially and adversely affect our business in the future.
•We may not be successful in our efforts to develop LYT-100 for the treatment of Long COVID respiratory complications and related sequelae.
•Failures in one or more of our programs could adversely impact other programs and have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and ability to fund our business.
•Our business is highly dependent on the clinical advancement of our programs and our success in identifying potential therapeutic candidates across the brain, immune and gastrointestinal therapeutic areas. Delay or failure to advance our programs could adversely impact our business.
•Our future success depends on our ability to retain key employees, directors, consultants and advisors and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.
•The market price of our ADSs has been and will likely continue to be highly volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
•Holders of ADSs are not treated as holders of our ordinary shares.
•As a foreign private issuer, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from Nasdaq corporate governance listing standards. These practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with corporate governance listing standards.
•If we are unable to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. As a result, shareholders could lose confidence in our financial and other public reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our ADSs.
•In connection with the audit of our consolidated financial statements in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB and U.S. securities laws, a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting was found to exist. If we fail to implement and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may be unable to accurately report our results of operations, meet our reporting obligations or prevent fraud.
Pursuant to Rule 12b-23(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the information for the 2021 Form 20-F of PureTech Health plc (the “Company”) set out below is being incorporated by reference from PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021”, portions of which are included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F. Only the information set out below with specific reference to items and pages of PureTech's "Annual Report and Accounts 2021" is deemed to be filed as part of this annual report on Form 20-F. Other information contained within PureTech's "Annual Report and Accounts 2021" that is not specified, including graphs and tabular data, is not included in this annual report on Form 20-F and is not deemed to be filed as part of this annual report on Form 20-F. Photographs are also not included. References herein to PureTech's websites are textual references only and information on or accessible through such websites does not form part of and is not incorporated into this annual report on Form 20-F.
References below to major headings include all information under such major headings, including subheadings, unless such reference is a reference to a subheading, in which case such reference includes only the information contained under such subheading. Unless the context otherwise requires, “PureTech” and “PureTech Health” refer to the Company, which is comprised of PureTech and its Founded Entities (together, the “Group”). “Founded Entities” are comprised of “Controlled Founded Entities” and “Non-Controlled Founded Entities.” References in this annual report on Form 20-F to “Controlled Founded Entities” refer to Follica, Incorporated, Vedanta Biosciences, Inc., Sonde Health, Inc. Alivio Therapeutics, Inc. and Entrega, Inc. References to “Non-Controlled Founded Entities” refer to Gelesis, Inc., and for periods after January 13, 2022, Gelesis Holdings, Inc. as its successor, Akili Interactive Labs, Inc., Karuna Therapeutics, Inc. and Vor Biopharma Inc., and, for all periods prior to December 18, 2019, resTORbio, Inc. PureTech formed each of its Founded Entities and has been involved in development efforts in varying degrees. In the case of each of the Company’s Controlled Founded Entities, the Company continues to maintain majority voting control. With respect to Non-Controlled Founded Entities, the Company may benefit from appreciation in its investment as a shareholder of such companies.
|ITEM 1.||IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS.|
|ITEM 2.||OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE|
B. CAPITALIZATION AND INDEBTEDNESS
C. REASONS FOR THE OFFER AND USE OF PROCEEDS
D. RISK FACTORS
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the heading “Risk Factor Annex" on pages 217 to 251 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
|ITEM 4.||INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY|
A. HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPANY
The information set forth under the heading "History and Development of the Company" on page 216 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
For a description of our principal capital expenditures and divestitures for the three years ended December 31, 2021 and for those currently in progress, see Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results”.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) maintains an internet website that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, like us, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that website is www.sec.gov. We also maintain an Internet website at www.puretechhealth.com. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, our website is not part of, and is not incorporated into, annual report on Form 20-F.
B. BUSINESS OVERVIEW
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the following headings is incorporated by reference herein: “Highlights of the Year—2021” (for the years of 2019, 2020 and 2021) on pages 2 to 9, “Components of Value” on pages 10 to 11, “How PureTech is building value for investors” on pages 23 to 27, "PureTech’s Wholly Owned Programs" on pages 35 to 56, “ESG Report—Patients” on page 75, “Risk Management—Risks related to regulatory approval" on page 91 and "Risk Management—Risks related to intellectual property protection" on page 92, “Financial Review—Revenue” on page 100, in each case of PureTech's "Annual Report and Accounts 2021" included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F, “Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income/(Loss),” “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 3.—Revenue” and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 4.—Segment information,” in each case of our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F. Seasonality does not materially impact the Company's main business.
The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries utilize rapidly advancing technologies and are characterized by intense competition. There is also a strong emphasis on intellectual property and proprietary products. Our pipeline around brain, immune and gastrointestinal therapeutic areas with a particular focus on immunological disorders builds on validated biology of known therapeutics while applying unique inventive steps that improve the clinical pharmacology. We further de-risk programs with key experiments at an early stage to validate the underlying value proposition. We believe that our technology, drug discovery and development expertise and capabilities enable such strong pipeline creation and provide us with a competitive advantage. However, we will continue to face competition from different sources including major pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, academic institutions, government agencies, and public and private research institutions. In addition, there are companies that are working on potential medicines targeting the brain, immune and gastrointestinal systems and many companies that have approved therapeutics for some of our target indications. For any products that we eventually commercialize, we will not only compete with existing therapies but also compete with new therapies that may become available in the future.
In addition to the competition we will face from the parties described above, we face competition for certain of the product candidates we are developing internally.
We are aware of two current drug product candidates in development for secondary lymphedema. Celltaxis is studying acebilustat, a leukotriene A4 hydrolase inhibitor, in an investigator-sponsored study, and Theralymph is developing a preclinical gene therapy.
The other current treatments for lymphedema include durable medical goods, such as compression sleeves and garments, and surgical options, including liposuction and debulking. A novel investigational surgery, lymph node transfer, is also being tested.
In the field of IPF, there are two approved drugs, pirfenidone (Esbriet), marketed by Roche, and nintedanib (Ofev), marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim. These drugs have unfavorable tolerability profiles, leading to sustained unmet need for novel therapies. Other potential competitive product candidates in various stages of development include, but are not limited to: Fibrogen’s pamrevlumab in Phase 3 clinical trials, Roche/Promedior, Inc.’s PRM-151 in Phase 3 clinical trials, treprostinil in Phase 3 clincial trials, Avalyn’s AP01 which is expected to enter a Phase 3 trial in 2022, Horizon Therapeutics’ HZN-825 in Phase 2 clinical development, Pliant Therapeutics’ PLN-74809 in Phase 2 clinical development, Boehringer Ingelheim’s BI1015550 in Phase 2 development, BMS’ BMS-986278 in Phase 2 clinical development, BMS/Celgene’s CC-90001 in Phase 2 clinical development, and Galecto’s GB0139 in Phase 2 clinical development.
In the field of COVID-19, there are numerous clinical trials for prevention of COVID-19 using vaccines, or for acute treatment of COVID-19 using anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents. Few trials are underway targeting respiratory complications of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. The other potential competitive product candidates in development include: an investigator-sponsored study of pirfenidone in post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, an investigator-sponsored study of nintedanib collaborating with Boehringer Ingelheim, and a pilot study of Treamid sponsored by PHARMENTERPRISES. Several pulmonary rehabilitation studies are also underway.
We are aware of one current drug product candidate targeting galectin-9 - HiFiBio Therapeutics’ HFB-200902 which was licensed by FibroGen in June 2021 and expects to enter clinical development in 2023. Additionally, if we are successful in developing LYT-200 as an immuno-oncology treatment we would expect to compete with currently approved IO therapies and those that may
be developed in the future. Current marketed IO products include CTLA-4, such as BMS’ Yervoy, and PD-1/PD-L1, such as BMS’ Opdivo, Merck’s Keytruda and Genentech’s Tecentriq, and T cell engager immunotherapies, such as Amgen’s Blincyto. In addition, there are other academic groups and/or companies that may be involved in pre-clinical research centered around galectin-9 as a therapeutic target.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no competitors in the space of immunosuppressive γδ T cells. However, there are other academic groups and/or companies that are involved in pre-clinical and clinical research and development centered around cytotoxic gamma delta T cells.
In the field of GABAA positive allosteric modulators, there are two approved drugs, allopregnanolone (Zulresso), marketed by Sage Therapeutics, and ganaxolone (Ztalmy), marketed by Marinus Pharmaceuticals. Other potential competitive product candidates in various stages of development include, but are not limited to, Sage Therapeutics’s SAGE-217 (Zuranolone) in Phase 3 clinical development, Praxis’s PRAX-114 in Phase 2/3 clinical development and Eliem Therapeutics’ ETX-155 in Phase 1b clinical development.
LYT-510, 500 and 503/IMB-150
In the field of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), there are many approved treatments and numerous clinical trials ongoing for induction and maintenance of IBD. If we are successful in developing LYT-510 for IBD, we would expect to compete with currently approved IBD therapies and those that may be developed in the future. Current marketed IBD products include anti-TNF agents like AbbVie’s Humira and JnJ’s Simponi, anti-integrin agents like Takeda’s Entyvio, anti-IL-12/IL-23 agents like JnJ’s Stelara and JAK-inhibitors like Pfizer’s Xeljanz.
LYT-510: There are no FDA-approved therapies are available for chronic pouchitis. Current chronic pouchitis agents in development include Applied Molecular Transport’s AMT-101 in Phase 2 clinical development and investigator sponsored clinical trials with Pfizer’s Xeljanz, Aviva Pharmaceutical’s metronidazole and Reponex Pharmaceutical’s molgramostim.
LYT-500: There are no FDA approved therapies in the field of interleukin-22 therapeutics. Competitive IL-22 product candidates in various stages of development include, but are not limited to, Genentech’s efmarodocokin alfa in Phase 2 clinical development, Evive Biotech’s F-652 in Phase 2 clinical development, Applied Molecular Transport’s AMT-126 in Phase 1 clinical development, AbbVie’s ABBV-022 in Phase 1 clinical development.
In the field of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, there are a few FDA approved agents including JnJ’s Elmiron, , and Mylan Pharmaceutical’s Rimso-50. There are also numerous clinical trials ongoing for interstitial cystitis. If LYT-503 is successful in interstitial cystitis, we would expect to compete with currently approved therapies and those that may be developed in the future. Current interstitial cystitis products in development include, but are not limited to, Urigen Pharmaceutical’s URG-101, Vaneltix Pharma’s Alenura, Trigone Pharma’s TRG-100, and Seikagaku Corp’s SI-722 all in Phase 2 clinical development.
We are not aware of any direct competitors to our Glyph, Orasome and meningeal lymphatics platforms, but they may compete with new therapies that become available in the future to target the indications we are focused on. There are several exosome programs being developed but to the best of our knowledge none of them are targeting oral delivery or using milk, thus differentiating our approach. Competitors developing exosomes or engineered exosomes to deliver payloads include Inc AstraZeneca plc, Capricor Therapeutics, Evox Therapeutics Ltd, ArunA Biomedical Inc, ExoCoBio Inc, Codiak Biosciences, Inc. and Exopharm Ltd.
Government authorities in the United States, at the federal, state and local level, and in other countries and jurisdictions, including the European Union, extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, packaging, storage, recordkeeping, labeling, advertising, promotion, distribution, marketing, post-approval monitoring and reporting, and import and export of drugs, biological products and medical devices. The processes for obtaining regulatory approvals in the United States and in foreign countries and jurisdictions, along with subsequent compliance with applicable statutes and regulations, require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.
U.S. Government Regulation of Drug and Biological Products
In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and its implementing regulations and biologics under the FDCA and the Public Health Service Act, or PHSA, and their implementing regulations. Both drugs and biologics also are subject to other federal, state and local statutes and regulations, such as those related to competition. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, and local statutes 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 following approval may subject an applicant to administrative actions or judicial sanctions. These actions and sanctions could include, among other actions, the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, license revocation, a clinical hold, untitled or warning letters, voluntary or mandatory product recalls or market withdrawals, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement and civil or criminal fines or penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on our business, the market acceptance of our products and our reputation.
Product candidates must be approved by the FDA through either a new drug application, or NDA, or a biologics license application, or BLA, process before they may be legally marketed in the United States. The process generally involves the following:
•completion of nonclinical, or preclinical, laboratory tests, animal studies and formulation studies in compliance with applicable good laboratory practice, or GLP, regulations;
•submission to the FDA of an investigational new drug application, or IND, which must take effect before human clinical trials may begin;
•approval by an independent IRB representing each clinical site before each clinical trial may be initiated at that site;
•performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with good clinical practices, or GCPs, to establish the safety and efficacy, or with respect to biologics, the safety, purity and potency, of the proposed drug product for each indication;
•preparation and submission to the FDA of an NDA or BLA, and payment of user fees, if applicable;
•a determination by the FDA within 60 days of its receipt of an NDA or BLA to accept the application for substantive review;
•review of the product by an FDA advisory committee, where appropriate or if applicable;
•satisfactory completion of one or more FDA pre-approval inspections of the manufacturing facility or facilities where the drug or biologic will be produced to assess compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practices, or cGMP, requirements to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the drug or biologic’s identity, strength, quality and purity;
•satisfactory completion of potential FDA audits of clinical trial sites to assure compliance with GCPs and the integrity of the clinical data; and
•FDA review and approval of the marketing application prior to any commercial marketing or sale of the drug or biologic in the United States.
Before testing any drug or biological product candidate in humans, the product candidate must undergo rigorous preclinical testing. Preclinical studies include laboratory evaluation of product chemistry and formulation, as well as in vitro and animal studies to assess safety and in some cases to establish a rationale for therapeutic use. The conduct of preclinical studies is subject to federal and state regulations and requirements, including GLP regulations.
The IND and IRB Processes
An IND is an exemption from the FDCA that allows an unapproved drug or biological product to be shipped in interstate commerce for use in an investigational clinical trial and a request for FDA authorization to administer such investigational drug or biological product to humans. Such authorization must be secured prior to interstate shipment and administration of the investigational drug or biological product. In an IND, applicants must submit a protocol for each clinical trial proposed to be initiated and any subsequent protocol amendments. In addition, the results of the preclinical tests, manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and plans for clinical trials, among other things, are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. Some long-term preclinical testing, such as animal tests of reproductive adverse events, or AEs, and carcinogenicity, may continue after the IND is submitted.
The FDA requires a 30-day waiting period after the submission of each IND before clinical trials may begin. At any time during this 30-day period, the FDA may raise concerns or questions about the conduct of the trials as outlined in the IND and impose a clinical hold. In this case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before clinical trials can begin.
Following commencement of a clinical trial under an IND, the FDA may also place a clinical hold or partial clinical hold on that trial due to safety concerns or non-compliance with specific FDA requirements. A clinical hold is an order issued by the FDA to the sponsor to delay a proposed clinical investigation or to suspend an ongoing investigation. A partial clinical hold is a delay or suspension of only part of the proposed or ongoing clinical investigation. No more than 30 days after imposition of a clinical hold or partial clinical hold, the FDA will provide the sponsor a written explanation of the basis for the hold. Following issuance of a clinical hold or partial clinical hold, an investigation may only resume after the FDA has notified the sponsor that the investigation may proceed. The FDA will base that determination on information provided by the sponsor correcting the deficiencies previously cited or otherwise satisfying the FDA that the investigation can proceed.
A sponsor may choose, but is not required, to conduct a foreign clinical study under an IND. When a foreign clinical study is conducted under an IND, all FDA IND requirements must be met unless waived. When the foreign clinical study is not conducted under an IND, the FDA may accept data from such study if the sponsor ensures that the study is conducted in accordance with GCP, including review and approval by an independent ethics committee, or IEC, and informed consent from subjects. The FDA must also be able to validate the data from the study through an on-site inspection if necessary.
In addition to the foregoing IND requirements, an IRB representing each institution participating in the clinical trial must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial before it commences at that institution, and the IRB must conduct continuing review of the study at least annually. The IRB must review and approve, among other things, the study protocol and informed consent information to be provided to study subjects. An IRB must operate in compliance with FDA regulations. An IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution, or an institution it represents, if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the product candidate has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients.
Additionally, some trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the trial sponsor, often known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether or not a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access that only the group maintains to available data from the study. Suspension or termination of development during any phase of clinical trials can occur if it is determined that the subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk.
Information about certain clinical trials must be submitted within specific timeframes to the NIH for public dissemination on its ClinicalTrials.gov website. Information related to the product, patient population, phase of investigation, study sites and investigators and other aspects of the clinical trial is made public as part of the registration of the clinical trial. Although sponsors are obligated to disclose the results of their clinical trials after completion, disclosure of the results can be delayed in some cases for up to two years after the date of completion of the trial. Failure to timely register a covered clinical study or to submit study results as provided for in the law can give rise to civil monetary penalties and also prevent the non-compliant party from receiving future grant funds from the federal government.
The clinical stage of development involves the administration of the investigational product to healthy volunteers or patients under the supervision of qualified investigators, generally physicians not employed by or under the trial sponsor’s control, in accordance with GCP requirements, which include the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent for their participation in any clinical trial. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria, the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated.
Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases, which may overlap or be combined:
•Phase 1. The drug is initially introduced into healthy human subjects or, in certain indications such as cancer, patients with the target disease or condition and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution, excretion and, if possible, to gain an early indication of its effectiveness and to determine optimal dosage.
•Phase 2. The drug is administered to a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted diseases and to determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage.
•Phase 3. The drug is administered to an expanded patient population, generally at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites, in well-controlled clinical trials to generate enough data to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the product for approval, to establish the overall risk-benefit profile of the product and to provide adequate information for the labeling of the product.
In most cases, the FDA requires two adequate and well-controlled Phase 3 clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the drug or biologic. In certain instances, a single Phase 3 trial may be sufficient when, for example, the trial is a large, multicenter trial demonstrating internal consistency and a statistically very persuasive finding of a clinically meaningful effect on mortality, irreversible morbidity or prevention of a disease with a potentially serious outcome and confirmation of the result in a second trial would be practically or ethically impossible, or ) the single trial is supported by other confirmatory evidence. Post-approval trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These trials are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication and are commonly intended to generate additional safety data regarding use of the product in a clinical setting. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 clinical trials as a condition of approval of an NDA or BLA.
Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials, among other information, must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and written IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and the investigators 15 days after the trial sponsor determines the information qualifies for reporting for serious and unexpected suspected AEs, findings from other studies or animal or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk for human subjects and any clinically important increase in the rate of a serious suspected adverse reaction over that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure. The sponsor must also notify the FDA of any unexpected fatal or life-threatening suspected adverse reaction as soon as possible but in no case later than seven calendar days after the sponsor’s initial receipt of the information.
The FDA or the sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients 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 IRB’s requirements or if the drug or biologic has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients. Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and also must develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the drug or biologic as well as finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the product and, among other things, companies must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality and purity of the final product. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the product candidates do not undergo unacceptable deterioration over their shelf life.
FDA Review Process
Following completion of the clinical trials, data are analyzed to assess whether the investigational product is safe and effective for the proposed indicated use or uses. The results of preclinical studies and clinical trials are then submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA or BLA, along with proposed labeling, chemistry and manufacturing information to ensure product quality and other relevant data. The NDA or BLA is a request for approval to market the drug or biologic for one or more specified indications and must contain proof of safety and efficacy for a drug or safety, purity and potency for a biologic. The application may include both negative and ambiguous results of preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as positive findings. Data may come from company-sponsored clinical trials intended to test the safety and efficacy of a product’s use or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by investigators. To support marketing approval, the data submitted must be sufficient in quality and quantity to establish the safety and efficacy of the investigational product to the satisfaction of FDA. FDA approval of an NDA or BLA must be obtained before a drug or biologic may be marketed in the United States.
Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, as amended, each NDA or BLA must be accompanied by a user fee. FDA adjusts the PDUFA user fees on an annual basis. Fee waivers or reductions are available in certain circumstances, including a waiver
of the application fee for the first application submitted by a small business. Additionally, no user fees are assessed on NDAs or BLAs for products designated as orphan drugs, unless the product also includes a non-orphan indication.
The FDA reviews all submitted NDAs and BLAs before it files them, and may request additional information rather than filing the NDA or BLA. The FDA must make a decision on filing an NDA or BLA within 60 days of receipt, and such decision could include a refusal to file by the FDA. In this event, the NDA or BLA must be resubmitted with the additional information requested by FDA. The resubmitted application also is subject to review before the FDA files it. Once the submission is filed, the FDA begins an in-depth review of the NDA or BLA. Under the goals and policies agreed to by the FDA under PDUFA, the FDA targets ten months, from the filing date, in which to complete its initial review of a new molecular entity NDA or original BLA and respond to the applicant, and six months from the filing date of a new molecular entity NDA or original BLA designated for priority review. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates for standard and priority NDAs or BLAs, and the review process is often extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification.
Before approving an NDA or BLA, the FDA will generally conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facilities for the new product to determine whether the facilities comply with cGMP requirements. The FDA will not approve the product unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. The FDA also may audit data from clinical trials to ensure compliance with GCP requirements. Additionally, the FDA may refer applications for novel products or products which present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation and a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions, if any. The FDA is not bound by recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations when making decisions on approval. The FDA may reanalyze the clinical trial data provided by the sponsor, including in connection with an advisory committee meeting, which could result in extensive discussions between the FDA and the applicant during the review process. After the FDA evaluates an NDA or BLA, it will issue an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug or biologic with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A Complete Response Letter states 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 NDA or BLA identified by the FDA. The Complete Response Letter may require the applicant to obtain additional clinical data, including the potential requirement to conduct additional clinical trial(s) and/or to complete other significant and time-consuming requirements related to clinical trials, or to conduct additional preclinical studies or manufacturing activities. If a Complete Response Letter is issued, the applicant may appeal the decision through the FDA’s administrative dispute resolution process, resubmit the NDA or BLA addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, withdraw the application or request an opportunity for a hearing. Even if the data and information requested in a Complete Response letter are submitted by the sponsor, the FDA may decide that the NDA or BLA does not satisfy the criteria for approval.
Expedited Development and Review Programs
A sponsor may seek to develop and obtain approval of its product candidates under programs designed to accelerate the development, FDA review and approval of new drugs and biologics that meet certain criteria. For example, the FDA has a fast track program that is intended to expedite or facilitate the process for reviewing new drugs and biologics that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the condition. Fast track designation applies to both the product and the specific indication for which it is being studied. For a fast track-designated product candidate, the FDA may consider sections of the NDA or BLA for review on a rolling basis before the complete application is submitted, if the sponsor provides a schedule for the submission of the sections of the application, the FDA agrees to accept sections of the application and determines that the schedule is acceptable and the sponsor pays any required user fees upon submission of the first section of the application. The sponsor can request the FDA to designate the product candidate for fast track status any time before receiving NDA or BLA approval, but ideally no later than the pre-NDA or pre-BLA meeting.
A product candidate submitted to the FDA for marketing, including under a fast track program, may be eligible for other types of FDA programs intended to expedite development or review, such as priority review and accelerated approval. Priority review means that, for a new molecular entity or original BLA, the FDA sets a target date for FDA action on the marketing application at six months after accepting the application for filing as opposed to ten months. An NDA or BLA is eligible for priority review if the product candidate designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease condition and, if applicable and if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety and effectiveness compared to available therapies. The FDA will attempt to direct additional resources to the evaluation of an application for a new drug or biologic designated for priority review in an effort to facilitate the review. If criteria are not met for priority review, the application for a new molecular entity or original BLA is subject to the standard FDA review period of ten months after FDA accepts the application for filing. Priority review designation does not change the scientific/medical standard for approval or the quality of evidence necessary to support approval.
A product candidate may also be eligible for accelerated approval if it is designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition upon a determination that the product candidate an effect on either 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 disease or condition and the availability or lack of alternative treatments. As a condition of approval, the FDA generally requires that a sponsor of a drug or biologic receiving accelerated approval perform adequate and well-controlled post-marketing clinical trials to confirm the product's clinical benefit. In addition, the FDA currently requires as a condition for accelerated approval that promotional materials be submitted for review prior to dissemination, which could adversely impact the timing of the commercial launch of the product. FDA may withdraw approval of a drug or indication approved under accelerated approval if, for example, the confirmatory trial fails to verify the predicted clinical benefit of the product.
Additionally, a drug or biologic may be eligible for designation as a breakthrough therapy if the product is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the product may demonstrate substantial improvement over currently approved therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. If the FDA designates a breakthrough therapy, it may take actions appropriate to expedite the development and review of the application, which may include holding meetings with the sponsor and the review team throughout the development of the therapy; providing timely advice to, and interactive communication with, the sponsor regarding the development of the drug to ensure that the development program to gather the nonclinical and clinical data necessary for approval is as efficient as practicable; involving senior managers and experienced review staff, as appropriate, in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary review; assigning a cross-disciplinary project lead for the FDA review team to facilitate an efficient review of the development program and to serve as a scientific liaison between the review team and the sponsor; and considering alternative clinical trial designs when scientifically appropriate, which may result in smaller trials or more efficient trials that require less time to complete and may minimize the number of patients exposed to a potentially less efficacious treatment. Breakthrough therapy designation comes with all of the benefits of fast track designation.
Even if a product qualifies for one or more of these programs, the FDA may later decide that the product no longer meets the conditions for qualification or the time period for FDA review or approval may not be shortened. Furthermore, fast track designation, priority review, accelerated approval and breakthrough therapy designation do not change the standards for approval.
Following approval of a new product, the manufacturer and the approved product are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, monitoring and record-keeping activities, reporting of adverse experiences, complying with promotion and advertising requirements, which include restrictions on promoting products for unapproved uses or patient populations (known as “off-label use”) and limitations on industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities. Although physicians may prescribe legally available products for off-label uses, manufacturers may not market or promote such uses. 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. Prescription drug promotional materials must be submitted to the FDA in conjunction with their first use or first publication. Further, if there are any modifications to the drug or biologic, including changes in indications, labeling or manufacturing processes or facilities, the applicant may be required to submit and obtain FDA approval of a new NDA/BLA or NDA/BLA supplement, which may require the development of additional data or preclinical studies and clinical trials.
The FDA may also place other conditions on approvals including the requirement for a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, to assure the safe use of the product. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the NDA or BLA must submit a proposed REMS. The FDA will not approve the NDA or BLA without an approved REMS, if required. A REMS could include medication guides, physician communication plans or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. Any of these limitations on approval or marketing could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory standards or if problems occur following initial marketing.
FDA regulations require that products be manufactured in specific approved facilities and in accordance with cGMP regulations. Manufacturers must comply with cGMP regulations that require, among other things, quality control and quality assurance, the maintenance of records and documentation and the obligation to investigate and correct any deviations from cGMP. Manufacturers and other entities involved in the manufacture and distribution of approved drugs or biologics are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies, and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP requirements and other laws. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain cGMP compliance. The discovery of violative conditions, including failure to conform to cGMP regulations, could result in enforcement actions, and the discovery of problems with a product after approval may result in restrictions on a product, manufacturer or holder of an approved NDA or BLA, including recall or withdrawal of approval.
Once an approval is granted, the FDA may issue enforcement letters or withdraw the approval of the product if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the drug or biologic reaches the market. Corrective action could delay drug or biologic distribution and require significant time and financial expenditures. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a drug or biologic, including AEs of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, 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, among other things:
•restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or voluntary product recalls;
•fines, warning or untitled letters or holds on post-approval clinical trials;
•refusal of the FDA to approve pending NDAs or supplements to approved NDAs, or suspension or revocation of product approvals;
•product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products; or
•injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs and biologics may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. However, companies may share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with a product’s FDA approved
labeling. 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.
In addition, the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical products is subject to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act, or PDMA, which regulates the distribution of drugs and drug samples at the federal level, and sets minimum standards for the registration and regulation of drug distributors by the states. Both the PDMA and state laws limit the distribution of prescription pharmaceutical product samples and impose requirements to ensure accountability in distribution.
Section 505 of the FDCA describes three types of marketing applications that may be submitted to the FDA to request marketing authorization for a new drug. A Section 505(b)(1) NDA is an application that contains full reports of investigations of safety and efficacy. A 505(b)(2) NDA is an application that contains full reports of investigations of safety and efficacy but where at least some of the information required for approval comes from investigations that were not conducted by or for the applicant and for which the applicant has not obtained a right of reference or use from the person by or for whom the investigations were conducted. This regulatory pathway enables the applicant to rely, in part, on the FDA’s prior findings of safety and efficacy for an existing product, or published literature, in support of its application. Section 505(j) establishes an abbreviated approval process for a generic version of approved drug products through the submission of an abbreviated new drug application, or ANDA. An ANDA provides for marketing of a generic drug product that has the same active ingredients, dosage form, strength, route of administration, labeling, performance characteristics and intended use, among other things, to a previously approved product, known as a reference listed drug, or RLD. ANDAs are termed “abbreviated” because they are generally not required to include preclinical (animal) and clinical (human) data to establish safety and efficacy. Instead, generic applicants must scientifically demonstrate that their product is bioequivalent to, or performs in the same manner as, the innovator drug through in vitro, in vivo, or other testing. The generic version must deliver the same amount of active ingredients into a subject’s bloodstream in the same amount of time as the innovator drug and can often be substituted by pharmacists under prescriptions written for the reference listed drug.
Under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, the FDA may not approve (or in some cases accept) an ANDA or 505(b)(2) application until any applicable period of non-patent exclusivity for the RLD has expired. The FDCA provides a period of five years of non-patent data exclusivity for a new drug containing a new chemical entity, or NCE. For the purposes of this provision, an NCE is a drug that contains no active moiety that has previously been approved by the FDA in any other NDA. An active moiety is the molecule or ion responsible for the physiological or pharmacological action of the drug substance. In cases where such NCE exclusivity has been granted, non 505(b)(2) NDA referencing the approved product or ANDA may be submitted to FDA for review until the expiration of five years unless the submission is accompanied by a Paragraph IV certification, which states the proposed 505(b)(2) or generic drug will not infringe one or more of the already approved product’s listed patents or that such patents are invalid or unenforceable, in which case the applicant may submit its application four years following the original product approval.
The FDCA also provides for a period of three years of exclusivity for non-NCE drugs if the NDA or a supplement to the NDA includes reports of one or more new clinical investigations, other than bioavailability or bioequivalence studies, that were conducted by or for the applicant and are essential to the approval of the application or supplement. This three-year exclusivity period often protects changes to a previously approved drug product, such as a new dosage form, route of administration, combination or indication, but it generally would not protect the original, unmodified product from generic competition. Unlike five-year NCE exclusivity, an award of three-year exclusivity does not block the FDA from filing and reviewing 505(b)(2) NDAs referencing the approved drug product or ANDAs seeking approval for generic versions of the drug as of the date of approval of the original drug product; it only prevents FDA from approving such 505(b)(2) NDAs or ANDAs.
Hatch-Waxman Patent Certification and the 30-Month Stay
In seeking approval of an NDA or a supplement thereto, NDA sponsors are required to list with the FDA each patent with claims that cover the applicant’s product or an approved method of using the product. Upon approval, each of the patents listed by the NDA sponsor is published in the FDA’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, commonly known as the Orange Book. Upon submission of an ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA, an applicant is required to certify to the FDA concerning any patents listed for the RLD in the Orange Book that:
•no patent information on the drug product that is the subject of the application has been submitted to the FDA;
•such patent has expired;
•the date on which such patent expires; or
•such patent is invalid, unenforceable or will not be infringed upon by the manufacture, use, or sale of the drug product for which the application is submitted.
Generally, the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA cannot be approved until all listed patents have expired, except where the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA applicant challenges a listed patent through the last type of certification, also known as a paragraph IV certification. If the applicant does not challenge the listed patents or indicates that it is not seeking approval of a patented method of use, the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA application will not be approved until all of the listed patents claiming the referenced product have expired. The ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA applicant may also elect to submit a section viii statement certifying that its proposed label does not contain (or carves out) any language regarding the patented method-of-use rather than certify to a listed method-of-use patent.. If the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA applicant has provided a paragraph IV certification the applicant must send notice of the paragraph IV certification to the NDA and patent holders once the application has been accepted for filing by the FDA. The NDA and patent holders may then initiate a patent infringement lawsuit in response to the notice of the paragraph IV certification. If the paragraph IV certification is challenged by an NDA holder or the patent owner(s) asserts a patent challenge to the paragraph IV certification, the FDA may not approve that application until the earlier of 30 months from the receipt of the notice of the paragraph IV certification, the expiration of the patent, when the infringement case concerning each such patent was favorably
decided in the applicant’s favor or settled, or such shorter or longer period as may be ordered by a court. This prohibition is generally referred to as the 30-month stay. In instances where an ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA applicant files a paragraph IV certification, the NDA holder or patent owner(s) regularly take action to trigger the 30-month stay, recognizing that the related patent litigation may take many months or years to resolve. Thus, approval of an ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA could be delayed for a significant period of time depending on the patent certification the applicant makes and the reference drug sponsor’s decision to initiate patent litigation. If the drug has NCE exclusivity and the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA is submitted four years after approval, the 30-month stay is extended so that it expires seven and a half years after approval of the innovator drug, unless the patent expires or there is a decision in the infringement case that is favorable to the ANDA or 505(b)(2) NDA applicant before then.
Patent Term Restoration and Extension
Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of FDA approval of our future product candidates, if any, some of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension. A patent term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. Patent-term restoration, however, cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date and only those claims covering such approved drug product, a method for using it or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. The patent-term restoration period is generally one-half the time between the effective date of an IND and the submission date of an NDA or BLA plus the time between the submission date of an NDA or BLA and the approval of that application, except that the review period is reduced by any time during which the applicant failed to exercise due diligence. Only one patent applicable to an approved drug is eligible for the extension and the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The USPTO, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration. In the future, we may apply for restoration of patent term for our currently owned or licensed patents to add patent life beyond its current expiration date, depending on the expected length of the clinical trials and other factors involved in the filing of the relevant NDA or BLA.
Orphan Drug Designation and Exclusivity
Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug or biological product intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or 200,000 or more individuals in the United States and for which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making the product available in the United States for this type of disease or condition will be recovered from sales of the product.
Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA or BLA. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in or shorten the duration of the regulatory review and approval process.
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 drug for the same disease or condition for seven years from the date of such approval, except in limited circumstances, such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan exclusivity by means of greater effectiveness, greater safety or providing a major contribution to patient care or in instances of drug supply issues. Competitors, however, may receive approval of either a different product for the same indication or the same product for a different disease or condition but that could be used off-label in the orphan indication. If an orphan designated product receives marketing approval for an disease or condition broader than what is designated, it may not be entitled to orphan exclusivity.
Pediatric Information and Pediatric Exclusivity
Under the Pediatric Research Equity Act, or PREA, certain NDAs and BLAs and certain supplements to an NDA or BLA must contain data to assess the safety and efficacy of the drug for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and to support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The FDA may grant deferrals for submission of pediatric data or full or partial waivers. A sponsor who is planning to submit a marketing application for a drug that includes a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen or new route of administration submit an initial Pediatric Study Plan, or PSP, within 60 days of an end-of-Phase 2 meeting or, if there is no such meeting, as early as practicable before the initiation of the Phase 3 or Phase 2/3 study. The initial PSP must include an outline of the pediatric study or studies that the sponsor plans to conduct, including study objectives and design, age groups, relevant endpoints and statistical approach, or a justification for not including such detailed information, and any request for a deferral of pediatric assessments or a full or partial waiver of the requirement to provide data from pediatric studies along with supporting information. The FDA and the sponsor must reach an agreement on the PSP. A sponsor can submit amendments to an agreed-upon initial PSP at any time if changes to the pediatric plan need to be considered based on data collected from preclinical studies, early phase clinical trials and/or other clinical development programs.
A drug or biologic product can also obtain pediatric market exclusivity in the United States. Pediatric exclusivity, if granted, adds six months to existing exclusivity periods and patent terms in the case of drugs and exclusivity periods in the case of biologics.. This six-month exclusivity, which runs from the end of other exclusivity protection or patent term, may be granted based on the voluntary completion of a pediatric study in accordance with an FDA-issued “Written Request” for such a study.
Biosimilars and Exclusivity
Certain of our product candidates are regulated as biologics. An abbreviated approval pathway for biological products shown to be similar to, or interchangeable with, an FDA-licensed reference biological product was created by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, or BPCI Act, as part of the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA. This amendment to the PHSA, in part, attempts to minimize duplicative testing. Biosimilarity, which requires that the biological product be highly similar to a biologic already licensed by the FDA pursuant to a BLA notwithstanding minor differences in clinically inactive components and that there be no clinically meaningful differences between the product and the reference product in terms of safety, purity and potency, can be shown through analytical studies, animal studies and a clinical trial or trials. Interchangeability requires that a biological product
be biosimilar to the reference product and that the product can be expected to produce the same clinical results as the reference product in any given patient and, for products administered multiple times to an individual, that the product and the reference product may be alternated or switched after one has been previously administered without increasing safety risks or risks of diminished efficacy relative to exclusive use of the reference biological product without such alternation or switch.
A reference biological product is granted four and twelve year exclusivity periods from the time of first licensure of the product. FDA will not accept an application for a biosimilar or interchangeable product based on the reference biological product until four years after the date of first licensure of the reference product, and FDA will not approve an application for a biosimilar or interchangeable product based on the reference biological product until twelve years after the date of first licensure of the reference product. “First licensure” typically means the initial date the particular product at issue was licensed in the United States. Date of first licensure does not include the date of licensure of (and a new period of exclusivity is not available for) a biological product if the licensure is for a supplement for the biological product or for a subsequent application by the same sponsor or manufacturer of the biological product (or licensor, predecessor in interest, or other related entity) for a change (not including a modification to the structure of the biological product) that results in a new indication, route of administration, dosing schedule, dosage form, delivery system, delivery device or strength, or for a modification to the structure of the biological product that does not result in a change in safety, purity, or potency. Therefore, one must determine whether a new product includes a modification to the structure of a previously licensed product that results in a change in safety, purity, or potency to assess whether the licensure of the new product is a first licensure that triggers its own period of exclusivity. Whether a subsequent application, if approved, warrants exclusivity as the “first licensure” of a biological product is determined on a case-by-case basis with data submitted by the sponsor.
U.S. Government Regulation of Medical Devices
Under the FDCA, a medical device is an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article, including any component part, or accessory which is: (i) recognized in the official National Formulary, or the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, or any supplement to them; (ii) intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, in man or other animals; or (iii) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals, and which does not achieve any of its primary intended purposes through chemical action within or on the body of man or other animals and which is not dependent upon being metabolized for the achievement of any of its primary intended purposes.
In the United States, medical devices are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA under the FDCA, and its implementing regulations, and certain other federal and state statutes and regulations. The laws and regulations govern, among other things, the research and development, design, testing, manufacture, packaging, storage, recordkeeping, approval, labeling, promotion, post-approval monitoring and reporting, distribution and import and export of medical devices. Failure to comply with applicable requirements may subject a device and/or its manufacturer to a variety of administrative sanctions, such as FDA refusal to approve pending premarket applications, issuance of warning letters, mandatory product recalls, import detentions, civil monetary penalties, and/or judicial sanctions, such as product seizures, injunctions, and criminal prosecution. Unless an exemption applies, medical devices require marketing clearance or approval from the FDA prior to commercial distribution. The two primary types of FDA marketing authorization applicable to a medical device are premarket notification, also called 510(k) clearance, and premarket approval, or PMA approval; however, some devices may be commercialized after the FDA grants marketing authorization under other premarket submission types, including a de novo request.
The FDCA classifies medical devices into one of three categories based on the risks associated with the device and the level of control necessary to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness. Class I devices are deemed to be low risk and are subject only to the general regulatory controls. Class II devices are moderate risk. They are subject to general controls and may also be subject to special controls. Class III devices are generally the highest risk devices. They are required to obtain premarket approval and comply with postmarket conditions of approval in addition to general regulatory controls.
Pre-Market Authorization and Notification
While most Class I and some Class II devices may be marketed without prior FDA authorization, most other medical devices can be legally sold within the U.S. only if the FDA has: (i) approved a pre-market approval, or PMA, application prior to marketing, generally applicable to most Class III devices; (ii) cleared the device in response to a premarket notification, or 510(k) submission, generally applicable to Class I and II devices; or (iii) authorized the device to be marketed through the de novo classification process, generally applicable for novel Class I or II devices. PMA applications, 510(k) premarket notifications, and de novo requests require payment of substantial user fees that are generally increased each fiscal year.
The 510(k) Process
Product marketing in the U.S. for most Class II and a limited number of Class I devices typically follows the 510(k) premarket notification pathway. Under the 510(k) process, the manufacturer must submit to the FDA a premarket notification, demonstrating that the device is “substantially equivalent,” as defined in the statute, to either
•a device that was legally marketed prior to May 28, 1976, the date upon which the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 were enacted, or
•another commercially available, similar device that was cleared through the 510(k) process.
To be “substantially equivalent,” the proposed device must have the same intended use as the predicate device, and either have the same technological characteristics as the predicate device or have different technological characteristics and not raise different questions of safety or effectiveness than the predicate device. Clinical data are sometimes required to support substantial equivalence.
After a 510(k) notification is submitted, the FDA determines whether to accept it for substantive review. If it lacks necessary information for substantive review, the FDA will refuse to accept the 510(k) notification. The applicant has 180 days to respond to the identified deficiencies. If it is accepted for filing, the FDA begins a substantive review. If the FDA agrees that the device is substantially equivalent, it will grant clearance to commercially market the device.
After a device receives 510(k) clearance, any modification that could significantly affect its safety or effectiveness, or that would constitute a major change in its intended use, requires a new 510(k) clearance or could require a PMA approval or de novo classification. The FDA requires each manufacturer to make this determination in the first instance, but the FDA can review any such decision. If the FDA disagrees with a manufacturer’s decision not to seek a new 510(k) clearance for the modified device, the agency may retroactively require the manufacturer to seek 510(k) clearance, de novo classification, or PMA approval. The FDA also can require the manufacturer to cease marketing and/or recall the modified device until 510(k) clearance or PMA approval is obtained.
The De Novo Process
Devices of a new type that the FDA has not previously classified based on risk are automatically classified into Class III regardless of the level of risk they pose. To avoid requiring PMA review of novel low- to moderate-risk devices classified in Class III by operation of law, Congress enacted a provision that allows the FDA to classify a novel low- to moderate-risk device into Class I or II in the absence of a predicate device that would support 510(k) clearance. The FDA evaluates the safety and effectiveness of devices submitted for review under the de novo pathway and devices determined to be Class II through this pathway oftenserve as predicate devices for future 510(k) applicants. The de novo pathway can requires the submission of clinical data.
The PMA Process
A Class III product not eligible for either 510(k) clearance or de novo classification must follow the PMA approval pathway.
Class III devices include devices deemed by the FDA to pose the greatest risk such as life-supporting or life-sustaining devices, or implantable devices, in addition to those deemed not substantially equivalent following the 510(k) process. The safety and effectiveness of Class III devices cannot be reasonably assured solely by the FDA's General Controls and Special Controls for medical devices. Therefore, these devices are subject to the PMA application process, which is generally more costly, rigorous, time consuming, and uncertain than the 510(k) and de novo processes. Through the PMA application process, the applicant must submit data and information demonstrating reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use to the FDA’s satisfaction. Accordingly, a PMA application typically includes, but is not limited to, extensive technical information regarding device design and development, preclinical and clinical study data, manufacturing information, labeling and financial disclosure information for the clinical investigators in device studies. The PMA application must provide valid scientific evidence that demonstrates to the FDA’s satisfaction reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. Overall, the FDA review of a PMA application generally takes between one and three years, but may take significantly longer.
As part of the PMA review, the FDA will typically inspect the manufacturer’s facilities for compliance with Quality System Regulation, or QSR, requirements, which impose elaborate testing, control, documentation and other quality assurance procedures.
If the FDA’s evaluation of the PMA application is favorable, the FDA will issue a PMA for the approved indications, which can be more limited than those originally sought by the manufacturer. The PMA can include post-approval conditions that the FDA believes necessary to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the device including, among other things, restrictions on labeling, promotion, sale and distribution. Failure to comply with the conditions of approval can result in material adverse enforcement action, including the loss or withdrawal of the approval and/or placement of restrictions on the sale of the device until the conditions are satisfied.
Even after approval of a PMA, a new PMA or PMA supplement may be required in the event of a modification to the device, its labeling or its manufacturing process. Supplements to a PMA often require the submission of the same type of information required for an original PMA, except that the supplement is generally limited to that information needed to support the proposed change from the product covered by the original PMA.
If a manufacturer’s device falls into a generic category of Class I or Class II devices that FDA has exempted by regulation, a premarket notification is not required before marketing the device in the United States. Manufacturers of such devices are required to register their establishments and list their devices. Some 510(k)-exempt devices are also exempt from QSR requirements, except for the QSR’s complaint handling and recordkeeping requirements.
The FDA has mechanisms to provide companies with guidance prior to formal submission of either a 510(k), de novo request or PMA. One such mechanism is the pre-submission program in which a company has a “pre-submission” meeting as outlined in the FDA guidance document “Requests for Feedback and Meetings for Medical Device Submissions: The Q-Submission Program” that was issued in January 2021. The main purpose of the pre-submission meeting is to provide companies with guidance from the FDA on matters of significance to product development, including verification and validation testing, and/or submission preparation. Prior to the pre-submission meeting, the company provides a briefing document to the FDA that poses specific questions on which the company is seeking FDA feedback.
A clinical trial is almost always required to support a PMA application or de novo request and is sometimes required for a 510(k) premarket notification. Clinical trials may also be required to be conducted or continued to satisfy post-approval requirements for devices with PMAs. For significant risk devices, the FDA regulations require that human clinical investigations conducted in the United States be approved via an investigational device exemption, or IDE, which must become effective before clinical testing may commence. A significant risk device is one that presents a potential for serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of a subject
and either is implanted, used in supporting or sustaining human life, substantially important in diagnosing, curing, mitigating or treating disease or otherwise preventing impairment of human health, or otherwise presents a potential for serious risk to a subject. A nonsignificant risk device does not require FDA approval of an IDE; however, the clinical trial must still be conducted in compliance with abbreviated IDE regulations, such as those relating to trial monitoring, informed consent, and labeling and record-keeping. In some cases, one or more smaller studies may precede a pivotal clinical trial intended to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the investigational device. A 30-day waiting period after the submission of each IDE is required prior to the commencement of clinical testing in humans. If the FDA determines that there are deficiencies or other concerns with an IDE that require modification, the FDA may permit a clinical trial to proceed under a conditional approval. If the FDA disapproves the IDE within this 30-day period, the clinical trial proposed in the IDE may not begin.
An IDE application must be supported by appropriate data, such as animal and laboratory test results, showing that it is safe to test the device in humans and that the testing protocol is scientifically sound. The IDE application must also include a description of product manufacturing and controls, and a proposed clinical trial protocol. FDA typically grants IDE approval for a specified number of patients to be treated at specified study centers. During the study, the sponsor must comply with the FDA’s IDE requirements for investigator selection, trial monitoring, reporting, and record keeping. The investigators must obtain patient informed consent, rigorously follow the investigational plan and study protocol, control the disposition of investigational devices, and comply with all reporting and record keeping requirements. Certain IDE requirements apply to all investigational devices, whether such devices are considered significant or nonsignificant risks. Prior to granting PMA approval, the FDA typically inspects the records relating to the conduct of the study and the clinical data supporting the PMA application for compliance with IDE requirements.
Clinical trials must be conducted: (i) in compliance with federal regulations; (ii) GCPs, which are intended to protect the rights and health of patients and to define the roles of clinical trial sponsors, investigators, and monitors; and (iii) under protocols detailing the objectives of the trial, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety, and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated. Clinical trials are typically conducted at geographically diverse clinical trial sites, and are designed to permit FDA to evaluate the overall benefit-risk relationship of the device and to provide adequate information for the labeling of the device. Clinical trials for both significant and nonsignificant risk devices, must be approved by an IRB.
The FDA may order the temporary, or permanent, discontinuation of a clinical trial at any time, or impose other sanctions, if it believes that the clinical trial either is not being conducted in accordance with FDA requirements or presents an unacceptable risk to the clinical trial subjects. An IRB may also require the clinical trial at the site to be halted, either temporarily or permanently, for failure to comply with the IRB’s requirements, or may impose other conditions.
Although the QSR does not fully apply to investigational devices, the requirement for controls on design and development does apply. The sponsor also must manufacture the investigational device in conformity with the quality controls described in the IDE application and any conditions of IDE approval that FDA may impose with respect to manufacturing. Investigational devices may only be distributed for use in an investigation, and must bear a label with the statement: “CAUTION—Investigational device. Limited by Federal law to investigational use.”
Information about certain clinical trials must be submitted within specific timeframes to the NIH for public dissemination on its ClinicalTrials.gov website.
After a device is placed on the market, numerous regulatory requirements apply. These include:
•annual establishment registration and device listing with the FDA;
•the QSR requirements, which require manufacturers, including specification developers and contract manufacturers, among others, to follow stringent design, testing, control, documentation, complaint handling and other quality assurance procedures during all aspects of the design, manufacturing, and distribution process;
•advertising and promotion requirements, which require that promotional materials are truthful, not misleading, and that all claims are substantiated, and also prohibit the promotion of products for unapproved or “off-label” uses and impose other restrictions on labeling;
•restrictions on sale, distribution or use of a device;
•labeling regulations, which include requirements that labelling is truthful, not misleading, and provides adequate directions;
•medical device reporting regulations, which require that a manufacturer report to the FDA if a device it markets may have caused or contributed to a death or serious injury, or has malfunctioned and the device or a similar device that it markets would be likely to cause or contribute to a death or serious injury, if the malfunction were to recur;
•correction, removal and recall reporting regulations, which require that manufacturers report to the FDA field corrections and product recalls or removals if undertaken to reduce a risk to health posed by the device or to remedy a violation of the FDCA that may present a risk to health; and
•complying with the federal law and regulations requiring Unique Device Identifiers on devices and also requiring the submission of certain information about each device to the FDA’s Global Unique Device Identification Database.
The FDA also may require post-marketing testing, surveillance, or other measures to monitor the effects of an approved or cleared product. The FDA may place conditions on a PMA-approved device that could restrict the distribution or use of the product. In addition, quality‑control, manufacture, packaging, and labeling procedures must continue to conform to the QSR after approval and clearance, and manufacturers are subject to periodic inspections by the FDA. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the areas of production and quality control to maintain compliance with the QSR. The FDA may withdraw product approvals or recommend or require product recalls if a company fails to comply with regulatory requirements.
FDA enforces these requirements by inspection and market surveillance. If the FDA finds a violation, it can institute a wide variety of enforcement actions, ranging from a public warning letter to more severe sanctions such as:
•warning letters, untitled letters, fines, injunctions, consent decrees, and civil penalties;
•recall, withdrawals, or administrative detention or seizure of products;
•operating restrictions, partial suspension or total shutdown of production;
•refusing or delaying requests for 510(k) clearance, de novo classification, or PMA approval of new products or modified products;
•withdrawing PMA approvals, de novo authorization, or 510(k) clearances already granted;
•refusal to grant export or import approvals for marketing products; and
Discovery of previously unknown problems with a product or the failure to comply with applicable FDA requirements can have negative consequences, including adverse publicity, judicial or administrative enforcement, warning letters from the FDA, mandated corrective advertising or communications with doctors, and civil or criminal penalties, among others. Newly discovered or developed safety or effectiveness data may require changes to a product’s cleared, authorized, or approved labeling, including the addition of new warnings and contraindications, and also may require the implementation of other risk management measures. Also, new government requirements, including those resulting from new legislation, may be established, or the FDA’s policies may change, which could delay or prevent marketing authorization of products under development.
Regulation of Companion Diagnostics
If safe and effective use of a product depends on an in vitro diagnostic, the FDA generally will require approval, authorization or clearance of that diagnostic, known as a companion diagnostic, before or at the same time that the FDA approves the therapeutic product. If FDA determines that a companion diagnostic device is essential to the safe and effective use of a new therapeutic product or indication, FDA generally will not approve the therapeutic product or new therapeutic product indication if the companion diagnostic device is not approved, authorized or cleared for that indication. Approval, authorization or clearance of the companion diagnostic device will ensure that the device has been adequately evaluated and has adequate performance characteristics in the intended population. The review of in vitro companion diagnostics in conjunction with the review of our products will, therefore, likely involve coordination of review by the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research or the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and the FDA’s Office of Health Technology 7: In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health. Premarket review of a companion diagnostic is typically done in parallel with development of the therapeutic product. However, it is possible that FDA may permit clearance, authorization or approval of the companion diagnostic for a therapeutic product as a post-marketing commitment following a potential regulatory approval. Under the FDCA, in vitro diagnostics, including companion diagnostics, are regulated as medical devices. The vast majority of companion diagnostics require PMA approval.
US Government Regulation of Combination Products
A combination product is a product comprised of (i) two or more regulated components, i.e., drug/device, biologic/device, drug/biologic, or drug/device/biologic, that are physically, chemically, or otherwise combined or mixed and produced as a single entity; (ii) two or more separate products packaged together in a single package or as a unit and comprised of drug and device products, device and biological products, or biological and drug products; (iii) a drug, device, or biological product packaged separately that according to its investigational plan or proposed labeling is intended for use only with an approved individually specified drug, device, or biological product where both are required to achieve the intended use, indication, or effect and where, upon approval of the proposed product, the labeling of the approved product would need to be changed, e.g., to reflect a change in intended use, dosage form, strength, route of administration, or significant change in dose; or (iv) any investigational drug, device, or biological product packaged separately that according to its proposed labeling is for use only with another individually specified investigational drug, device, or biological product where both are required to achieve the intended use, indication, or effect.
The FDA is divided into various Centers by product type. Different Centers typically review drug, biologic, or device applications. In order to review an application for a combination product, FDA must decide which Center should be responsible for the review. FDA regulations require that FDA determine the combination product’s primary mode of action, or PMOA, which is the single mode of a combination product that provides the most important therapeutic action of the combination product. The Center that regulates that portion of the product that generates the PMOA becomes the lead evaluator. If there are two independent modes of action, neither of which is subordinate to the other, the FDA makes a determination as to which Center to assign the product based on consistency with other combination products raising similar types of safety and effectiveness questions or to the Center with the most expertise in evaluating the most significant safety and effectiveness questions raised by the combination product. When evaluating an application, a lead Center may consult other Centers but still retain complete reviewing authority, or it may collaborate with another Center, by which the Center assigns review of a specific section of the application to another Center, delegating its review authority for that section. Typically, the FDA requires a single marketing application submitted to the Center selected to be the lead evaluator, although the agency has the discretion to require separate applications to more than one Center. One reason to submit multiple evaluations is if the applicant wishes to receive some benefit that accrues only from approval under a particular type of application, like new drug product exclusivity. If multiple applications are submitted, each may be evaluated by a different lead Center.
European Union Drug Development
In the European Union, or EU, our future products and product candidates also may be subject to extensive regulatory requirements. As in the United States, medicinal products can be marketed only if a marketing authorization from the competent regulatory agencies has been obtained.
Similar to the United States, the various phases of preclinical and clinical research in the EU are subject to significant regulatory controls.
Non-clinical studies are performed to demonstrate the health or environmental safety of new chemical or biological substances. Non-clinical studies must be conducted in compliance with the principles of GLP, as set forth in EU Directive 2004/10/EC. In particular, non-clinical studies, both in vitro and in vivo, must be planned, performed, monitored, recorded, reported and archived in accordance with the GLP principles, which define a set of rules and criteria for a quality system for the organizational process and the conditions for non-clinical studies. These GLP standards reflect the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development requirements.
Clinical trials of medicinal products in the EU must be conducted in accordance with EU and national regulations and the International Conference on Harmonization, or ICH, guidelines on Good Clinical Practices, or GCP, as well as the applicable regulatory requirements and the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki. If the sponsor of the clinical trial is not established within the EU, it must appoint an EU entity to act as its legal representative. The sponsor must take out a clinical trial insurance policy, and in most EU countries, the sponsor is liable to provide ‘no fault’ compensation to any study subject injured in the clinical trial.
While the Clinical Trials Directive required a separate clinical trial application, or CTA, to be submitted in each member state, to both the competent national health authority and an independent ethics committee, much like the FDA and IRB respectively, the CTR introduces a centralized process and only requires the submission of a single application to all member states concerned. The CTR allows sponsors to make a single submission to both the competent authority and an ethics committee in each member state, leading to a single decision per member state. The CTA must include, among other things, a copy of the trial protocol and an investigational medicinal product dossier containing information about the manufacture and quality of the medicinal product under investigation. The assessment procedure of the CTA has been harmonized as well, including a joint assessment by all member states concerned, and a separate assessment by each member state with respect to specific requirements related to its own territory, including ethics rules. Each member state’s decision is communicated to the sponsor via the centralized EU portal. Once the CTA is approved, clinical study development may proceed.
The CTR foresees a three-year transition period. The extent to which ongoing and new clinical trials will be governed by the CTR varies. For clinical trials whose CTA was made under the Clinical Trials Directive before January 31, 2022, the Clinical Trials Directive will continue to apply on a transitional basis for three years. Additionally, sponsors may still choose to submit a CTA under either the Clinical Trials Directive or the CTR until January 31, 2023 and, if authorized, those will be governed by the Clinical Trials Directive until January 31, 2025. By that date, all ongoing trials will become subject to the provisions of the CTR.
Medicines used in clinical trials must be manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice, or GMP. Other national and EU-wide regulatory requirements may also apply.
European Union Drug Marketing
Much like the Anti-Kickback Statue prohibition in the United States, the provision of benefits or advantages to physicians to induce or encourage the prescription, recommendation, endorsement, purchase, supply, order or use of medicinal products is also prohibited in the EU and in the UK. The provision of benefits or advantages to induce or reward improper performance generally is usually governed by national anti-bribery laws of the EU Member States. Infringement of these laws could result in substantial fines and imprisonment. EU Directive 2001/83/EC, which is the EU Directive governing medicinal products for human use, further provides that, where medicinal products are being promoted to persons qualified to prescribe or supply them, no gifts, pecuniary advantages or benefits in kind may be supplied, offered or promised to such persons unless they are inexpensive and relevant to the practice of medicine or pharmacy.
Payments made to physicians in certain EU Member States must be publicly disclosed. Moreover, agreements with physicians often must be the subject of prior notification and/or approval by the physician’s employer, his or her competent professional organization and/or the regulatory authorities of the individual EU Member States. These requirements are provided in the national laws, industry codes or professional codes of conduct, applicable in the EU Member States. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in reputational risk, public reprimands, administrative penalties, fines or imprisonment.
European Union Drug Review and Approval
In the EU, medicinal products can only be commercialized after obtaining a marketing authorization, or MA. There are two main types of MA.
•The centralized MA is issued by the European Commission through the centralized procedure, based on the opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the EMA, and is valid throughout the entire territory of the EU. The centralized procedure is mandatory for certain types of products, such as biotechnology medicinal products, orphan medicinal products, advanced-therapy medicinal products (i.e. gene-therapy, somatic cell-therapy or tissue-engineered medicines) and medicinal products containing a new active substance indicated for the treatment of HIV, AIDS, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, autoimmune and other immune dysfunctions and viral diseases. The centralized procedure is optional for products containing a new active substance not yet authorized in the EU, or for products that constitute a significant therapeutic, scientific or technical innovation or which are in the interest of public health. Under the centralized procedure the maximum timeframe for the evaluation of a MA application by the EMA is 210 days, excluding clock stops, when additional written or oral information is to be provided by the applicant in response to questions asked by the CHMP. Clock stops may extend the timeframe of evaluation of a MA application considerably beyond 210 days. Where the CHMP gives a positive opinion, the EMA provides the opinion together with supporting documentation to the European Commission, who make the final decision to grant an MA, which is issued within 67 days of receipt of the CHMP's opinion. Accelerated assessment might be granted by the CHMP in exceptional cases, when a medicinal product is expected to be of a major public health interest, particularly from the point of view of therapeutic innovation. The timeframe for the evaluation of a MA application under the accelerated assessment procedure is of 150 days, excluding stop-clocks, but it is possible that the
CHMP may revert to the standard time limit for the centralized procedure if it determines that the application is no longer appropriate to conduct an accelerated assessment.
•National MAs are issued by the competent authorities of the EU Member States only cover their respective territory, and are available for products not falling within the mandatory scope of the centralized procedure. Where a product has already been authorized for marketing in an EU Member State, , this national MA can be recognized in other Member States through the mutual recognition procedure. If the product has not received a national MA in any Member State at the time of application, it can be approved simultaneously in various Member States through the decentralized procedure. Under the decentralized procedure an identical dossier is submitted to the competent authorities of each of the Member States in which the MA is sought, one of which is selected by the applicant as the Reference Member State, or RMS. The competent authority of the RMS prepares a draft assessment report, a draft summary of the product characteristics, or SmPC, and a draft of the labeling and package leaflet, which are sent to the other Member States (referred to as the Concerned Member States, or CMSs) for their approval. If the CMSs raise no objections, based on a potential serious risk to public health, to the assessment, SmPC, labeling, or packaging proposed by the RMS, the product is subsequently granted a national MA in all the Member States (i.e., in the RMS and the CMSs).
Under the above described procedures, before granting the MA, the EMA or the competent authorities of the EU Member States make an assessment of the risk-benefit balance of the product on the basis of scientific criteria concerning its quality, safety and efficacy.
Now that the UK (which comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland) has left the EU, Great Britain will no longer be covered by centralized MAs (under the Northern Irish Protocol, centralized MAs will continue to be recognized in Northern Ireland). All medicinal products with a current centralized MA were automatically converted to Great Britain MAs on January 1, 2021 unless the MA holder chose to opt out. For a period of two years from January 1, 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, the UK medicines regulator, may rely on a decision taken by the European Commission on the approval of a new MA in the centralized procedure, in order to more quickly grant a new Great Britain MA. A separate application will, however, still be required.
European Data and Marketing Exclusivity
In the EU, innovative medicinal products (including both small molecules and biological medicinal products) generally receive eight years of data exclusivity upon MA and an additional two years of market exclusivity. The data exclusivity, if granted, prevents generic or biosimilar applicants from referencing the innovator’s pre-clinical and clinical trial data contained in the dossier of the reference product when applying for a generic or biosimilar MA , for a period of eight years from the date on which the reference product was first authorized in the EU. During the additional two-year period of market exclusivity, a generic or biosimilar MA can be submitted, and the innovator’s data may be referenced, but no generic or biosimilar product can be marketed until the expiration of the market exclusivity period. The overall ten-year period will be extended to a maximum of 11 years if, during the first eight years of those ten years, the MA holder obtains an authorization for one or more new therapeutic indications which, during the scientific evaluation prior to their authorization, are determined to bring a significant clinical benefit in comparison with currently approved therapies.
In the EU, there is a special regime for biosimilars, or biological medicinal products that are similar to a reference medicinal product but that do not meet the definition of a generic medicinal product, for example, because of differences in raw materials or manufacturing processes. For such products, the results of appropriate preclinical or clinical trials must be provided, and guidelines from the EMA detail the type of quantity of supplementary data to be provided for different types of biological product. There are no such guidelines for complex biological products, such as gene or cell therapy medicinal products, and so it is unlikely that biosimilars of those products will currently be approved in the EU. However, guidance from the EMA states that they will be considered in the future in light of the scientific knowledge and regulatory experience gained at the time.
European Orphan Designation and Exclusivity
The criteria for designating an “orphan medicinal product” in the EU are similar in principle to those in the United States. A medicinal product can be designated as an orphan if its sponsor can establish that: (1) the product is intended for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of life-threatening or chronically debilitating conditions, (2) either (a) such condition affects no more than 5 in 10,000 persons in the EU when the application is made, or (b) where it is unlikely that the marketing of the medicine would generate sufficient return in the EU to justify the necessary investment in its development, and (3) there exists no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention or treatment of the condition must have been authorized (or, if such a method exists, the product in question would be of significant benefit to those affected by the condition).
In the EU, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as reduction of fees or fee waivers and ten years of market exclusivity is granted following marketing approval for the orphan product. The period of market exclusivity is extended by two years for orphan medicinal products that have also complied with an agreed pediatric investigation plan, or PIP. No extension to any supplementary protection certificate can be granted on the basis of pediatric studies for orphan indications.
This period may be reduced to six years if, at the end of the fifth year the orphan drug designation criteria are no longer met, including where it is shown that the product is sufficiently profitable not to justify maintenance of market exclusivity. Additionally, MA may only be granted to a “similar medicinal product” for the same indication at any time, if (i) the holder of the MA for the original orphan medicinal product consents to a second orphan medicinal product application, (ii) the holder of the MA for the original orphan medicinal product cannot supply sufficient quantities of the orphan medicinal product, or (iii) the second applicant can establish that the second medicinal product, although similar, is safer, more effective or otherwise clinically superior to the authorized orphan medicinal product. A “similar medicinal product” is defined as a medicinal product containing a similar active substance or substances as contained in an authorized orphan medicinal product, and which is intended for the same therapeutic
indication. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an application for marketing approval. Orphan drug designation does not convey any advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the regulatory review and approval process.
European Pediatric Investigation Plan
In the EEA, companies developing a new medicinal product must agree upon a pediatric investigation plan, or PIP, with the EMA’s Pediatric Committee, or PDCO and must conduct pediatric clinical trials in accordance with that PIP, unless a waiver applies. The PIP sets out the timing and measures proposed to generate data to support a pediatric indication of the drug for which marketing authorization is being sought. The PDCO can grant a deferral of the obligation to implement some or all of the measures of the PIP until there are sufficient data to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of the product in adults. Further, the obligation to provide pediatric clinical trial data can be waived by the PDCO when this data is not needed or appropriate because the product is likely to be ineffective or unsafe in children, the disease or condition for which the product is intended occurs only in adult populations, or when the product does not represent a significant therapeutic benefit over existing treatments for pediatric patients. Products that are granted a marketing authorization with the results of the pediatric clinical trials conducted in accordance with the PIP (even where such results are negative) are eligible for six months’ supplementary protection certificate extension (if any is in effect at the time of approval). In the case of orphan medicinal products, a two year extension of the orphan market exclusivity may be available. This pediatric reward is subject to specific conditions and is not automatically available when data in compliance with the PIP are developed and submitted.
The aforementioned EU rules are generally applicable in the European Economic Area, or EEA, which consists of the 27 EU member states plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
European Union Device Development
In the EU, until May 25, 2021, medical devices were regulated by the Council Directive 93/42/EEC, or the EU Medical Devices Directive, and Active Implantable Medical Devices were regulated under Directive 90/385/EEC which both have been repealed and replaced by Regulation (EU) No 2017/745, or the EU Medical Devices Regulation. Unlike directives, regulations are directly applicable in all EU Member States without the need for member states to implement into national law. However, as of May 26, 2021, some of the EU Medical Devices Regulation requirements apply in place of the corresponding requirements of the EU Medical Devices Directive with regard to registration of economic operators and of devices, post-market surveillance and vigilance requirements.
Medical Devices Directive
Under the EU Medical Devices Directive, all medical devices placed on the market in the EU must meet the relevant essential requirements laid down in Annex I to the EU Medical Devices Directive, including the requirement that a medical device must be designed and manufactured in such a way that it will not compromise the clinical condition or safety of patients, or the safety and health of users and others. In addition, the device must achieve the performance intended by the manufacturer and be designed, manufactured, and packaged in a suitable manner.
To demonstrate compliance with the essential requirements laid down in Annex I to the EU Medical Devices Directive, medical device manufacturers must undergo a conformity assessment procedure, which varies according to the type of medical device and its (risk) classification. Except for low-risk medical devices (Class I non-sterile, non-measuring devices), where the manufacturer can self-assess the conformity of its products with the essential requirements (except for any parts which relate to sterility or metrology), a conformity assessment procedure requires the intervention of a notified body. Notified bodies are independent organizations designated by EU member states to assess the conformity of devices before being placed on the market. The conformity assessment usually involves an audit of the manufacturer’s quality system (the notified body must presume that quality systems which implement the relevant harmonized standards – which is ISO 13485:2016 for Medical Devices Quality Management Systems – conform to these requirements) and a review of the technical documentation from the manufacturer on the safety and performance of the device. If the notified body considers that the device is in conformity with the regulatory requirements, it will issue a conformity assessment certificate which the manufacturer uses as a basis for its own declaration of conformity. The manufacturer may then apply the CE mark to the device, allowing it to be marketed in any EU Member State .Notified bodies also conduct periodic inspections to ensure applicable regulatory requirements are met.
Medical Devices Regulation
The EU Medical Devices Regulation became effective on May 26, 2021. Devices lawfully placed on the market pursuant to the EU Medical Devices Directive prior to May 26, 2021 may generally continue to be made available on the market or put into service until May 26, 2025, provided that the requirements of the transitional provisions are fulfilled. In particular, the certificate in question must still be valid. However, even in this case, manufacturers must comply with a number of new or reinforced requirements set forth in the EU Medical Devices Regulation, in particular the obligations described below.
The EU Medical Devices Regulation requires that before placing a device, other than a custom-made device, on the market, manufacturers (as well as other economic operators such as authorized representatives and importers) must register by submitting identification information to the electronic system (Eudamed), unless they have already registered. The information to be submitted by manufacturers (and authorized representatives) also includes the name, address and contact details of the person or persons responsible for regulatory compliance. The new Regulation also requires that before placing a device, other than a custom-made device, on the market, manufacturers must assign a unique identifier to the device and provide it along with other core data to the unique device identifier, or UDI, database. These new requirements aim at ensuring better identification and traceability of the devices. Each device – and as applicable, each package – will have a UDI composed of two parts: a device identifier, or UDI-DI, specific to a device, and a production identifier, or UDI-PI, to identify the unit producing the device. Manufacturers are also notably responsible for entering the necessary data on Eudamed, which includes the UDI database, and for keeping it up to date. The obligations for registration in Eudamed will become applicable at a later date (as Eudamed is not yet fully functional). Until Eudamed is fully functional, the corresponding provisions of the EU Medical Devices Directive continue to apply for the purpose of
meeting the obligations laid down in the provisions regarding exchange of information, including, and in particular, information regarding registration of devices and economic operators.
All manufacturers placing medical devices into the market in the EU must comply with the EU medical device vigilance system. Under this system, serious incidents and Field Safety Corrective Actions, or FSCAs, must be reported to the relevant authorities of the EU member states. Manufacturers are required to take FSCAs defined as any corrective action for technical or medical reasons to prevent or reduce a risk of a serious incident associated with the use of a medical device that is made available on the market. An FSCA may include the recall, modification, exchange, destruction or retrofitting of the device.
The aforementioned EU rules are generally applicable in the EEA.
In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices
The EU regulatory landscape concerning medical devices is evolving. On April 5, 2017 Regulation (EU) 2017/746 of the European Parliament and of the Council on in vitro diagnostic medical devices and repealing Directive 98/79/EC and Commission Decision 2010/227/EU, or the IVDR, was adopted to establish a modernized and more robust EU legislative framework, with the aim of ensuring better protection of public health and patient safety. This aims at reducing the risk of discrepancies in interpretation across the different European markets. On October 14, 2021, the European Commission proposed a “progressive” roll-out of the IVDR to prevent disruption in the supply of IVD MDs. The European Parliament and Council voted to adopt the proposed regulation on December 15, 2021 and the regulation entered into force on January 2022.
The IVDR will fully apply on May 26, 2022 but there will be a tiered system extending the grace period for many devices (depending on their risk classification) before they have to be fully compliant with the regulation. Once applicable, the IVDR will among other things:
•strengthen the rules on placing devices on the market and reinforce surveillance once they are available;
•establish explicit provisions on manufacturers’ responsibilities for the follow-up of the quality, performance and safety of devices placed on the market;
•establish explicit provisions on importers’ and distributors’ obligations and responsibilities;
•impose an obligation to identify a responsible person who is ultimately responsible for all aspects of compliance with the requirements of the new regulation;
•improve the traceability of medical devices throughout the supply chain to the end-user or patient through the introduction of a unique identification number, to increase the ability of manufacturers and regulatory authorities to trace specific devices through the supply chain and to facilitate the prompt and efficient recall of medical devices that have been found to present a safety risk;
•set up a central database (Eudamed) to provide patients, healthcare professionals and the public with comprehensive information on products available in the EU; and
•strengthen rules for the assessment of certain high-risk devices that may have to undergo an additional check by experts before they are placed on the market.
The aforementioned EU rules are generally applicable in the EEA.
Brexit and the Regulatory Framework in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, or UK, left the EU on January 31, 2020, following which existing EU medicinal product legislation continued to apply in the UK during the transition period under the terms of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. The transition period, which ended on December 31, 2020, maintained access to the EU single market and to the global trade deals negotiated by the EU on behalf of its members. The transition period provided time for the UK and EU to negotiate a framework for partnership for the future, which was then crystallized in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, or TCA, and became effective on the January 1, 2021. The TCA includes specific provisions concerning pharmaceuticals, which include the mutual recognition of GMP inspections of manufacturing facilities for medicinal products and GMP documents issued, but does not foresee wholesale mutual recognition of UK and EU pharmaceutical regulations.
EU laws which have been transposed into UK law through secondary legislation continue to be applicable as “retained EU law”. However, new legislation such as the EU CTR will not be applicable. The UK government has passed a new Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021, which introduces delegated powers in favor of the Secretary of State or an ‘appropriate authority’ to amend or supplement existing regulations in the area of medicinal products and medical devices. This allows new rules to be introduced in the future by way of secondary legislation, which aims to allow flexibility in addressing regulatory gaps and future changes in the fields of human medicines, clinical trials and medical devices.
As of January 1, 2021, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, is the UK’s standalone medicines and medical devices regulator. As a result of the Northern Ireland protocol, different rules will apply in Northern Ireland than in England, Wales, and Scotland, together, Great Britain, or GB. Broadly, Northern Ireland will continue to follow the EU regulatory regime, but its national competent authority will remain the MHRA. The MHRA has published a guidance on how various aspects of the UK regulatory regime for medicines will operate in GB and in Northern Ireland following the expiry of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020. The guidance includes clinical trials, importing, exporting, and pharmacovigilance and is relevant to any business involved in the research, development, or commercialization of medicines in the UK. The new guidance was given effect via the Human Medicines Regulations (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, or the Exit Regulations.
The MHRA has introduced changes to national licensing procedures, including procedures to prioritize access to new medicines that will benefit patients, including a 150-day assessment and a rolling review procedure. All existing EU MAs for centrally authorized products were automatically converted or grandfathered into UK MAs, effective in GB (only), free of charge on January 1, 2021, unless the MA holder chooses to opt-out. In order to use the centralized procedure to obtain a MA that will be valid throughout the EEA, companies must be established in the EEA. Therefore after Brexit, companies established in the UK can no longer use the EU centralized procedure and instead an EEA entity must hold any centralized MAs. In order to obtain a UK MA to commercialize products in the UK, an applicant must be established in the UK and must follow one of the UK national authorization procedures or one of the remaining post-Brexit international cooperation procedures to obtain an MA to commercialize products in the UK. The MHRA may rely on a decision taken by the European Commission on the approval of a new (centralized procedure) MA when determining an application for a GB authorization; or use the MHRA’s decentralized or mutual recognition procedures which enable MAs approved in EU member states (or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) to be granted in GB.
European and United Kingdom Data Collection Regulation
In the event we decide to conduct clinical trials in the European Union and/or the United Kingdom, we may be subject to additional data protection requirements. The collection and use of personal data (which includes health information) in the European Union is governed by the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679, or GDPR. The GDPR applies to any company established in the EEA and to companies established outside the EEA that process personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to data subjects in the EU or the monitoring of the behavior of data subjects in the European Union. The GDPR enhances data protection obligations for controllers of personal data, including requiring controllers to: ensure legal bases they rely on to process personal data are aligned to the legal bases prescribed under the GDPR; individuals are informed as to what personal data is collected from them, how it is used and how they can exercise certain rights in line with the increased disclosures; conduct data protection impact assessments for “high risk” processing; only retain personal data for as long as it is needed in line with the purpose it was obtained; ensure an appropriate level of security in line with the nature and scope of the personal data being processed, and where there has been a personal data breach (i.e. a breach to security which had led to personal data being compromised), notify the relevant supervisory authority and/or individuals affected; embed “privacy by design” practices into new technologies which involve the processing of personal data; enter into data processing terms and carry out appropriate due diligence on any service provider which processes personal data on behalf of the controller (and therefore qualifying as a processor). The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data outside of the EEA to countries that do not ensure an adequate level of protection, like the U.S. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR and the related national data protection laws of the EEA Member States may result in fines up to 20 million Euros or 4 percent of a company’s global annual revenues for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. Moreover, the GDPR grants data subjects the right to claim for material and non-material damages resulting from infringement of the GDPR. In addition, further to the United Kingdom's exit from the EU on January 31, 2020, the GDPR ceased to apply in the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period on December 31, 2020. However, as of January 1, 2021, the UK’s European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 incorporated the GDPR (as it existed on December 31, 2020 but subject to certain UK specific amendments) into UK law (referred to as the 'UK GDPR'). The UK GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 set out the UK’s data protection regime, which is independent from but aligned to the EU’s data protection regime. Non-compliance with the UK GDPR may result in monetary penalties of up to £17.5 million or 4% of worldwide revenue, whichever is higher. The UK, however, is now regarded as a third country under the EU’s GDPR which means that transfers of personal data from the EEA to the UK will be restricted unless an appropriate safeguard, as recognized by the EU’s GDPR, has been put in place. Although, under the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement it is lawful to transfer personal data between the UK and the EEA for a 6 month period following the end of the transition period, with a view to achieving an adequacy decision from the European Commission during that period. Like the EU GDPR, the UK GDPR restricts personal data transfers outside the UK to
countries not regarded by the UK as providing adequate protection (this means that personal data transfers from the UK to the EEA remain free flowing).
Given the breadth and depth of these data protection obligations, maintaining compliance with the GDPR and UK GDPR will require significant time, resources and expense, and as an ongoing compliance measure we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms which help to ensure our compliance with the data protection rules. This may be onerous and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
Rest of the World Regulation
For other countries outside of the European Union and the United States, such as countries in Eastern Europe, Latin America or Asia, the requirements governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. Additionally, the clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with GCP requirements and the applicable regulatory requirements and the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki.
If we fail to comply with applicable foreign regulatory requirements, we may be subject to, among other things, fines, suspension or withdrawal of regulatory approvals, product recalls, seizure of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecution.
Additional Laws and Regulations Governing International Operations
If we further expand our operations outside of the United States, we must dedicate additional resources to comply with numerous laws and regulations in each jurisdiction in which we plan to operate. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, prohibits any U.S. individual or business from paying, offering, authorizing payment or offering of anything of value, directly or indirectly, to any foreign official, political party or candidate for the purpose of influencing any act or decision of the foreign entity in order to assist the individual or business in obtaining or retaining business. The FCPA also obligates companies whose securities are listed in the United States to comply with certain accounting provisions requiring the company to maintain books and records that accurately and fairly reflect all transactions of the corporation, including international subsidiaries, and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls for international operations.
Compliance with the FCPA is expensive and difficult, particularly in countries in which corruption is a recognized problem. In addition, the FCPA presents particular challenges in the pharmaceutical industry, because, in many countries, hospitals are operated by the government, and doctors and other hospital employees are considered foreign officials. Certain payments to hospitals in connection with clinical trials and other work have been deemed to be improper payments to government officials and have led to FCPA enforcement actions.
Various laws, regulations and executive orders also restrict the use and dissemination outside of the United States, or the sharing with certain non-U.S. nationals, of information classified for national security purposes, as well as certain products and technical data relating to those products. If we expand our presence outside of the United States, it will require us to dedicate additional resources to comply with these laws, and these laws may preclude us from developing, manufacturing, or selling certain products and product candidates outside of the United States, which could limit our growth potential and increase our development costs.
The failure to comply with laws governing international business practices may result in substantial civil and criminal penalties and suspension or debarment from government contracting. The SEC also may suspend or bar issuers from trading securities on U.S. exchanges for violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions.
Healthcare and Data Privacy and Security Laws and Regulation
Manufacturing, sales, promotion and other activities following product approval are also subject to regulation by numerous regulatory authorities in the United States in addition to the FDA, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, the Office of Inspector General and Office for Civil Rights, other divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local governments.
Healthcare providers and third-party payors play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of drug products and other medical items and services. Arrangements with providers, consultants, third-party payors and customers are subject to broadly applicable fraud and abuse, anti-kickback, false claims laws, reporting of payments to physicians and teaching hospitals and patient privacy laws and regulations and other healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain our business and/or financial arrangements. Restrictions under applicable federal and state healthcare and data privacy and security laws and regulations, include the following:
•the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which makes it illegal for any person, including a prescription drug manufacturer (or a party acting on its behalf), to knowingly and willfully solicit, receive, offer or pay any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe or certain rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, or in return for, that is intended to induce or reward referrals, including the purchase, recommendation, order or prescription of a particular drug, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. A person or entity need not have actual knowledge of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation.
•the federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the civil False Claims Act, or FCA, which prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment or approval that are false, fictitious or fraudulent; knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used, a false statement or record material to a false or fraudulent claim or obligation to pay or transmit money or property to the federal government; or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing an obligation to pay money to the federal government. Manufacturers can be held liable under the FCA even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors if they are deemed to “cause” the submission of false or fraudulent claims. The FCA also permits a private individual
acting as a “whistleblower” to bring actions on behalf of the federal government alleging violations of the FCA and to share in any monetary recovery.
•the federal civil monetary penalties laws, which impose civil fines for, among other things, the offering or transfer or remuneration to a Medicare or state healthcare program beneficiary if the person knows or should know it is likely to influence the beneficiary’s selection of a particular provider, practitioner, or supplier of services reimbursable by Medicare or a state health care program, unless an exception applies;
•the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which imposes civil and criminal liability for, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services; similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;
•HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH and their respective implementing regulations, including the Final Omnibus Rule published in January 2013, which impose requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information, relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. HITECH also created new tiers of civil monetary penalties, amended HIPAA to make civil and criminal penalties directly applicable to business associates, and gave state attorneys general new authority to file civil actions for damages or injunctions in federal courts to enforce the federal HIPAA laws and seek attorneys’ fees and costs associated with pursuing federal civil actions;
•the federal transparency requirements known as the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act,which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies to report annually to CMS information related to payments and other transfers of value made by that entity to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), certain non-physician practitioners such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by the physicians described above and their immediate family members.
•federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers;
•federal price reporting laws, which require manufacturers to calculate and report complex pricing metrics to government programs, where such reported prices may be used in the calculation of reimbursement and/or discounts on approved products;
•analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to healthcare items or services that are reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers;
•many state laws govern the privacy of personal information in specified circumstances, for example, in California the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, establishes a new privacy framework for covered businesses by creating an expanded definition of personal information, establishing new data privacy rights for consumers in the State of California, imposing special rules on the collection of consumer data from minors, and creating a new and potentially severe statutory damages framework for violations of the CCPA and for businesses that fail to implement reasonable security procedures and practices to prevent data breaches. While clinical trial data and information governed by HIPAA are currently exempt from the current version of the CCPA, other personal information may be applicable and possible changes to the CCPA may broaden its scope. Further, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, recently passed in California, which significantly amends the CCPA and will impose additional data protection obligations on covered businesses, and will create a new California data protection agency authorized to issue substantive regulations and could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. The majority of the provisions will go into effect on January 1, 2023, and additional compliance investment and potential business process changes may be required. Similar laws have passed in Virginia and Colorado, and have been proposed in other states and at the federal level, reflecting a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States. Foreign laws, including, for example, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, also govern the privacy and security of personal data, including health information, in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts; and
•some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring manufacturers to report information related to payments to physicians and other healthcare providers, marketing expenditures, and pricing information. Certain state and local laws require the registration of pharmaceutical sales and medical representatives.
Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and safe harbors available, in the event we obtain regulatory approval for any one of our products, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge and may not comply under one or more of such laws, regulations, and guidance. Law enforcement authorities are increasingly focused on enforcing fraud and abuse laws, and it is possible that some of our practices may be challenged under these laws. Violations of these laws can subject us to administrative, civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, the exclusion from participation in federal and state healthcare programs, individual imprisonment, reputational harm, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as additional reporting obligations and oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. Efforts to ensure that our current and future business arrangements with third parties, and our business generally, will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs.
At the state level, legislatures have increasingly passed legislation and implemented regulations designed to control pharmaceutical product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing.
Coverage and Reimbursement
In the United States and markets in other countries, patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Thus, even if a product candidate is approved, sales of the product will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payors, including government health programs in the United States such as Medicare and Medicaid, commercial health insurers and managed care organizations, provide coverage, and establish adequate reimbursement levels for, the product. In the United States, no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug and other medical products exists among third-party payors. Although CMS determines whether and to what extent a new medicine will be covered and reimbursed under Medicare and private payors tend to follow CMS to a substantial degree, coverage and reimbursement for drug and other medical products can differ significantly from payor to payor. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price or reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product once coverage is approved. Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the prices charged, examining the medical necessity, and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical products and services and imposing controls to manage costs. Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the approved products for a particular indication.
In order to secure coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, a company may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic or other studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of the product, in addition to the costs required to obtain FDA or other comparable regulatory approvals. Additionally, companies may also need to provide discounts to purchasers, private health plans or government healthcare programs. Nonetheless, product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. A decision by a third-party payor not to cover a product could reduce physician utilization once the product is approved and have a material adverse effect on sales, our operations and financial condition. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. Factors payors consider in determining reimbursement are based on whether the product is:
•a covered benefit under its health plan;
•safe, effective and medically necessary;
•appropriate for the specific patient;
•neither experimental nor investigational.
Net prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. We cannot be sure that reimbursement will be available for any product candidate that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, the level of reimbursement. In addition, many pharmaceutical manufacturers must calculate and report certain price reporting metrics to the government, such as average sales price, or ASP, and best price. Penalties may apply in some cases when such metrics are not submitted accurately and timely. Further, these prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs.
The containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of federal, state and foreign governments, and the prices of products have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products. Coverage policies and third-party payor reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.
In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and likely will continue to be, a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system directed at broadening the availability of healthcare, improving the quality of healthcare, and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. For example, in March 2010, the U.S. Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or collectively the ACA which, among other things, included changes to the coverage and payment for products under government health care programs. The ACA included provisions of importance to our potential product candidates that:
•created an annual, nondeductible fee on any entity that manufactures or imports specified branded prescription drugs and biologic products, apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs;
•expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;
•expanded manufacturers’ rebate liability under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program by increasing the minimum rebate for both branded and generic drugs and revising the definition of “average manufacturer price,” or AMP, for calculating and reporting Medicaid drug rebates on outpatient prescription drug prices;
•addressed a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected;
•expanded the types of entities eligible for the 340B drug discount program;
•established the Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program by requiring manufacturers to provide a 50 percent point-of-sale-discount (increased to 70% as of January 1, 2019 pursuant to subsequent legislation) off the negotiated price of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period as a condition for the manufacturers’ outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D; and
•created a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research.
Since its enactment, there have been numerous judicial, administrative, executive, and legislative challenges to certain aspects of the ACA.
On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the most recent judicial challenge to the ACA brought by several states without specifically ruling on the constitutionality of the ACA. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, President Biden issued an executive order to initiate a special enrollment period from February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021 for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is unclear how other healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration, if any, will impact our business. Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the ACA was enacted. In August 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, included aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2 percent per fiscal year, which went into effect in April 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, will remain in effect through 2030 unless additional Congressional action is taken. In January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several providers, including hospitals, imaging centers and cancer treatment centers, and increased the statute of limitations period for the government to recover overpayments to providers from three to five years. More recently, on March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, which eliminates the statutory Medicaid drug rebate cap, currently set at 100% of a drug’s average manufacturer price, beginning January 1, 2024.
Moreover, payment methodologies may be subject to changes in healthcare legislation and regulatory initiatives. For example, CMS may develop new payment and delivery models, such as bundled payment models. In addition, recently there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their commercial products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted state and federal legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for pharmaceutical products. Individual states in the United States have also become increasingly active in passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and, in some cases, designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other healthcare programs. Furthermore, there has been increased interest by third party payors and governmental authorities in reference pricing systems and publication of discounts and list prices. It is difficult to predict the future legislative landscape in healthcare and the effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. However, we expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future.
On May 30, 2018, the Right to Try Act was signed into law. The law, among other things, provides a federal framework for certain patients to access certain investigational new drug products that have completed a Phase 1 clinical trial and that are undergoing investigation for FDA approval. Under certain circumstances, eligible patients can seek treatment without enrolling in clinical trials and without obtaining FDA permission under the FDA expanded access program. There is no obligation for a drug manufacturer to make its drug products available to eligible patients as a result of the Right to Try Act. Drug manufacturers who provide their investigational product under the Right to Try Act are required to submit to FDA an annual summary of the use of their drug.
Outside the United States, ensuring coverage and adequate payment for a product also involves challenges. Pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to government control in many countries. Pricing negotiations with government authorities can extend well beyond the receipt of regulatory approval for a product and may require a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of a product to other available therapies. The conduct of such a clinical trial could be expensive and result in delays in commercialization.
In the European Union, or EU, pricing and reimbursement schemes vary widely from country to country Some countries may require the completion of additional studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies or so-called health technology assessments, in order to obtain reimbursement or pricing approval. For example, the EU provides options for its member states to restrict the range of products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. EU member states may approve a specific price for a product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the product on the market. Other member states allow companies to fix their own prices for products, but monitor and control prescription volumes and issue guidance to physicians to limit prescriptions. Recently, many countries in the EU have increased the amount of discounts required on pharmaceuticals and these efforts could continue as countries attempt to manage healthcare expenditures, especially in light of the severe fiscal and debt crises experienced by many countries in the EU. The downward pressure on
healthcare costs in general, particularly prescription products, has become intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products. 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 EU member states, and parallel trade, i.e., arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any products, if approved in those countries.
In December 2021, Regulation No 2021/2282 on health technology assessment, or HTA, amending Directive 2011/24/EU, was adopted. This regulation which entered into force in January 2022 intends to boost cooperation among EU member states in assessing health technologies, including new medicinal products, and providing the basis for cooperation at the EU level for joint clinical assessments in these areas. The regulation foresees a three-year transitional period and will permit EU member states to use common HTA tools, methodologies, and procedures across the EU, working together in four main areas, including joint clinical assessment of the innovative health technologies with the most potential impact for patients, joint scientific consultations whereby developers can seek advice from HTA authorities, identification of emerging health technologies to identify promising technologies early, and continuing voluntary cooperation in other areas. Individual EU member states will continue to be responsible for assessing non-clinical (e.g., economic, social, ethical) aspects of health technologies, and making decisions on pricing and reimbursement.
Foreign Private Issuer Status
We report under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, as a non-U.S. company with foreign private issuer status. As long as we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we will be exempt from certain provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including:
•the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;
•sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time;
•the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specified information, or current reports on Form 8-K, upon the occurrence of specified significant events; and
•Regulation FD, which regulates selective disclosures of material information by issuers.
C. ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the heading “Highlights of the Year—Founded Entities” on pages 5 to 9, of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
D. PROPERTY, PLANTS AND EQUIPMENT
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the headings “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 11. Property and Equipment” and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 21. Leases” in each case of our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
|ITEM 4A.||UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS|
|ITEM 5.||OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS|
You should read the following discussion and analysis, including those portions incorporated herein by reference, together with our consolidated financial statements, including the notes thereto, included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or incorporated herein, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business and related financing, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, including those factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section incorporated herein by reference, our actual results could differ materially from the results described in or implied by these forward-looking statements.
Our audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2021, 2020 and 2019 have been prepared in accordance with UK-adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs). The audited consolidated financial statements also comply fully with IFRSs as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ("IASB").
The following discussion contains references to the consolidated financial statements of PureTech Health plc and its consolidated subsidiaries, or the Company. These financial statements consolidate the Company’s subsidiaries and include the Company’s interest in associates and investments held at fair value. Subsidiaries are those entities over which the Company maintains control. Associates are those entities in which the Company does not have control for financial accounting purposes but maintains significant influence over the financial and operating policies. Where we have neither control nor significant influence for financial accounting purposes, we recognize our holding in such entity as an investment at fair value. For purposes of our consolidated financial statements, each of our Founded Entities are considered to be either a “subsidiary” or an “associate” depending on whether PureTech Health plc controls or maintains significant influence over the financial and operating policies of the respective entity at the respective period end date. For additional information regarding the accounting treatment of these entities, see Note 1 of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
A. OPERATING RESULTS
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the heading “Key Performance Indicators—2021” on page 95 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
2021 Compared with 2020
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the heading “Financial Review” on pages 96 to 110 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
2020 Compared with 2019
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the heading “Financial Review” on pages 96 to 110 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the headings “Risk Management—Brexit” on page 93 and “Risk Management” on pages 90 to 93 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
B. LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
The information (including tabular data) set forth or referenced under the following headings is incorporated by reference herein: "Viability" on page 94 and "Financial Review—Cash Flow and Liquidity" on pages 106 to 108 of PureTech's "Annual Report and Accounts 2021" included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 17.—Subsidiary Notes Payable”, “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 20.—Long-term Loan”, “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 21.—Leases”, “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 22.—Capital and Financial Risk Management” and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 23.—Commitments and Contingencies”, in each case of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
Under various license and collaboration agreements we are required to make milestone payments upon successful completion and achievement of certain intellectual property, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones. We will also be required to make royalty payments in connection with the sale of products developed under these agreements, if and when such sales occur. As of December 31, 2021, these milestone events have not yet occurred and therefore the Company does not have a present obligation to make the related payments in respect of the licenses. We believe that the occurrence of many of these milestones is remote at this time. As of December 31, 2021 payments in respect of contingent developmental milestones that are dependent on events that are outside the control of the Company but are reasonably possible to occur amounted to approximately $10.3 million. These milestone amounts represent an aggregate of multiple milestone payments depending on different milestone events in multiple agreements. The probability that all such milestone events will occur in the aggregate is remote. We are not able to predict when and if such milestone events will occur. Payments made to license IP represent the acquisition cost of intangible assets. For more information, see "Note 12 - Intangible Assets" to our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
We present the preferred shares issued by our subsidiaries to third parties as liabilities. Such preferred shares are redeemable only upon liquidation or deemed liquidation (as defined in the subsidiaries' incorporation documents) of the respective subsidiaries. We
are unable to predict when and if such liquidation or deemed liquidation events will occur, and therefore when and if such shares will be redeemed, if at all.
As of December 31, 2021, our off-balance sheet arrangements consist of outstanding standby letters of credit. We have no other off-balance sheet arrangements that have had, or are reasonably likely to have, a material current or future effect on our consolidated financial statements or changes in financial condition, revenues or expenses, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures or capital resources. See “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 13.—Other Financial Assets” included in our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
We consider the Group's working capital to be sufficient for its present requirements.
C. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, PATENTS AND LICENSES, ETC.
See "Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 3-12" of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
D. TREND INFORMATION
Other than as disclosed elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F, we are not aware of any trends, uncertainties, demands, commitments or events for the period from January 1, 2021 to the present time that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our net revenue, income, profitability, liquidity or capital resources, or that would cause the disclosed financial information to be not necessarily indicative of future operating results or financial condition.
E. CRITICAL ACCOUNTING ESTIMATES
|ITEM 6.||DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES|
A. DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT
The information (including tabular data) set forth under the heading “Board of Directors” on pages 112 to 114, “Management team” on pages 115 to 116 and "Directors’ Report for the year ended December 31, 2021” on pages 123 to 126 in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021" included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
The table below provides certain information regarding the diversity of our Board and Directors as of the date of this annual report.
|Board Diversity Matrix|
|Country of Principal Executive Offices||United States|
|Foreign Private Issuer||Yes|
|Disclosure Prohibited Under Home Country Law||No|
|Total Number of Directors ||9|
|Female||Male||Non-Binary||Did Not Disclose Gender|
|Part I: Gender Identity|
|Part II: Demographic Background|
|Underrepresented Individual in Home Country Jurisdiction||0|
|Did Not Disclose Demographic Background||0|
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the following headings is incorporated by reference herein: “Directors’ Report for the year ended December 31, 2021” on pages 123 to126, “Directors’ Remuneration Report for the year ended December 31, 2021” on pages 131 to 132, “Directors’ Remuneration Policy” on pages 133 to 137, “Annual Report on Remuneration” on pages 138 to 146, in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 8.—Share-Based Payments” of our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.
C. BOARD PRACTICES
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the headings "Board of Directors" on pages 112 to 114 “The Board” on pages 117 to 120,“Report of the Nomination Committee” on page 127, “Report of the Audit Committee” on pages 128 to 130, and "Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended December 31, 2021" on pages 131 to 132 in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
The information (including tabular data) set forth under the heading “ESG Report—People” on pages 76 to 79 of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
E. SHARE OWNERSHIP
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the headings “Directors’ Report for the year ended December 31, 2021” on pages 123 to 126 and “Annual Report on Remuneration” on pages 138 to 146, in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F 1 is incorporated by reference. For information regarding the share ownership of our directors and executive officers, see Item 7.A - "Major Shareholders".
|ITEM 7.||MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS|
A. MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS
The following table sets forth information with respect to the beneficial ownership of our ordinary shares as of by:
•each of our directors;
•each of our executive officers; and
•each person, or group of affiliated persons, who is known by us to beneficially own more than 3 percent of our outstanding ordinary shares.
The column entitled “Percentage of Shares Beneficially Owned” is based on a total of 287,841,508 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 31, 2022.
Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC and includes voting or investment power with respect to our ordinary shares. Ordinary shares subject to options that are currently exercisable or exercisable within 60 days after March 31, 2022 are considered outstanding and beneficially owned by the person holding the options for the purpose of calculating the percentage ownership of that person but not for the purpose of calculating the percentage ownership of any other person. Except as otherwise noted, the persons and entities in this table have sole voting and investment power with respect to all of the ordinary shares beneficially owned by them, subject to community property laws, where applicable. Except as otherwise set forth below, the address of the beneficial owner is c/o PureTech Health, 6 Tide Street, Suite 400, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. The information in the table below is based on information known to us or ascertained by us from public filings made by the shareholders. We have also set forth below information known to us regarding any significant change in the percentage ownership of our ordinary shares by any major shareholders during the past three years. The major shareholders listed below do not have voting rights with respect to their ordinary shares that are different from the voting rights of other holders of our ordinary shares.
|NAME OF BENEFICIAL OWNER||PERCENTAGE OF SHARES|
|3 Percent Shareholders|
Invesco Asset Management Limited1
Baillie Gifford & Co2
Lansdowne Partners Limited3
M&G Investment Management, LTD4
Miller Value Partners5
|Executive Officers and Directors|
|Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D.||*|
|Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.||*|
|John LaMattina, Ph.D.||*|
Robert Langer, Sc.D.8
|Dame Marjorie Scardino||*|
* Represents beneficial ownership of less than 1 percent of our outstanding ordinary shares.
1 Consists of 64,796,214 shares beneficially held. The address for Invesco Asset Management Limited is c/o 43-45 Portman Square, London W1H GLY, United Kingdom.
2 Consists of 29,594,224 shares beneficially held. The address for Baillie Gifford & Co. is c/o Calton Square, 1 Greenside Row, Edinburgh EH1 3AN, United Kingdom.
3 Consists of 24,918,760 shares beneficially held. The address for Lansdowne Partners Limited is c/o 15 Davies Street, London W1K 3AG, United Kingdom.
4 Consists of 12,102,590 shares beneficially held. The address for M&G Investment Management, LTD is c/o 10 Fenchurch Avenue London EC3M 5BM, United Kingdom.The address for Miller Value Partners is c/o 1 South Street #2550, Baltimore, MD 21202.
5 Consists of 10,538,400 shares beneficially held. The address for Miller Value Partners is c/o 1 South Street #2550, Baltimore, MD 21202.
6 Consists of 9,544,140 shares beneficially held. The address for Recordati S.p.A. is c/o Via Civitali, 1, 20148 Milano, Italy.
7 Consists of an aggregate of 12,197,307 shares held by (i) the Zohar Family Trust I, a U.S. established trust of which Ms. Zohar is a beneficiary and trustee (ii) the Zohar Family Trust II, a U.S. established trust of which Ms. Zohar is a beneficiary (in the event of her spouse’s death) and trustee; (iii) Zohar LLC, a U.S. established limited liability company and (iv) Ms. Zohar directly. Ms. Zohar owns or has a beneficial interest in 100 percent of the share capital of Zohar LLC.
8 Consists of an aggregate of 2,944,134 shares held by (i) Langer Family 2020 Trust and (ii) Dr. Langer directly.
We are not aware that the Company is directly owned or controlled by another corporation, any foreign government or any other natural or legal person(s) severally or jointly. We are not aware of any arrangement, the operation of which may result in a change of control of the Company.
The number of record holders in the United States is not representative of the number of beneficial holders nor is it representative of where such beneficial holders are resident since many of these ordinary shares were held by brokers or other nominees. As of March 31, 2022, assuming that all of our ordinary shares represented by ADSs are held by residents of the United States, we estimate that approximately 27% of our outstanding ordinary shares were held in the United States by approximately 102 holders of record.
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the headings “Directors’ Report for the year ended December 31, 2021—Substantial Shareholders” on page 123 and “Annual Report on Remuneration” on page 138 to 146, in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F is incorporated by reference.
Change in Ownership of Major Shareholders
The following ownership changes are based upon the reported ownership of the respective shareholders in each of our annual reports and accounts for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021.
From 2020 to 2021, changes in ownership of major shareholders were approximately as follows: Invesco Asset Management Limited's ownership decreased from 23.7% to 22.5%. Baillie Gifford & Co.’s ownership decreased from 10.8% to 10.3%, Landsdowne Partners International Limited's ownership increased from 7.2% to 8.7%, M&G Investment Management, LTD's ownership increased from 3.4% to 4.2%, and Miller Value Partners' ownership increased from 3.5% to 3.7%.
From 2019 to 2020, changes in ownership of major shareholders were approximately as follows: Invesco Asset Management Limited’s decreased from 31.6% to 23.7%, Baillie Gifford & Co.’s ownership increased from 9.1% to 10.8%, Landsdowne Partners International Limited decreased from 8.3% to 7.2%, Jupiter Asset Management Ltd. decreased from 8.2% to less than 3% and Miller Value Partners increased to 3.5%.
B. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
The information (including graphs and tabular data) set forth under the following headings is incorporated reference herein: headings “Directors’ Report for the year ended December 31, 2021—Related party transactions” on page 124, “Highlights of the Year – 2021” on pages 1 to 9, and "Highlights of the Year—Founded Entities" on pages 5 to 9, in each case of PureTech’s “Annual Report and Accounts 2021” included as exhibit 15.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F and “Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 24—Related Parties Transactions” of our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report. For information regarding transactions with our Founded Entities, see Item 10.C - "Material Contracts."
C. INTERESTS OF EXPERTS AND COUNSEL
|ITEM 8.||FINANCIAL INFORMATION|
A. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Consolidated Financial Statements
Please see the information below under the heading Item 18—“Financial Statements.”
Dividend Distribution Policy
We have never declared or paid any dividends on our ordinary shares, though we may consider doing so in the future depending on the progression of our business. Under English law, we may only pay dividends if our accumulated realized profits, which have not been previously distributed or capitalized, exceed our accumulated realized losses, so far as such losses have not been previously written off in a reduction or reorganization of capital. Therefore, we must have sufficient distributable profits before issuing a dividend. Distributable profits are determined at the holding company level and not on a consolidated basis. Subject to such restrictions and to any restrictions set out in the Articles of Association, declaration and payment of cash dividends in the future, if any, will be at the discretion of our Board of Directors (the "Board") (and in the case of final dividends, must be approved by our shareholders), and will depend upon such factors as results of operations, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, our overall financial condition or applicable laws and any other factors deemed relevant by the Board.
As of the date of this annual report, we were not party to any material legal matters or claims. In the future, we may become party to legal matters and claims arising in the ordinary course of business, the resolution of which we do not anticipate would have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
B. SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
Except as otherwise disclosed in this annual report on Form 20-F, no significant change has occurred since the date of the most recent financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F.
|ITEM 9.||THE OFFER AND LISTING|
A. OFFER AND LISTING DETAILS
Our American Depositary Shares ("ADSs") have been listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “PRTC” since November 16, 2020. Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our ADSs. Our ordinary shares have been trading on the main market of the London Stock Exchange since June 2015 under the ticker code “PRTC.” Prior to that date, there was no public trading market for our ordinary shares.
B. PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
Our ADSs have been listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “PRTC” since November 16, 2020 and our ordinary shares have been listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange since June 2015.
D. SELLING SHAREHOLDERS
F. EXPENSES OF THE ISSUE
|ITEM 10.||ADDITIONAL INFORMATION|
A. SHARE CAPITAL
B. MEMORANDUM AND ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION
Section 31 of the Companies Act 2006 provides that the objects of a company are unrestricted unless any restrictions are set out in the articles. There are no such restrictions in our Articles of Association ("Articles") and our objects are therefore unrestricted.
A copy of our Articles is attached as Exhibit 1.1 to this annual report on Form 20-F. The information called for by this Item is set forth in Exhibit 2.3 to this annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2021.
C. MATERIAL CONTRACTS
Except as otherwise set forth below or as otherwise disclosed in this report, we are not currently, and have not been in the last two years, party to any material contract, other than contracts entered into in the ordinary course of business.
The PureTech Health plc Performance Share Plan, or PSP, and forms of award agreements thereunder were approved on June 18, 2015. Under the PSP and subsequent amendments, awards of ordinary shares may be made to the Directors, senior managers and employees of, and other individuals providing services to the Company and its subsidiaries up to a maximum authorized amount of 10.0 percent of the total ordinary shares outstanding. The shares have various vesting terms over a period of service between two and four years, provided the recipient remains continuously engaged as a service provider.
On August 10, 2018, we entered into a Lease Agreement with RBK I Tenant, LLC for certain premises of approximately 50,858 rentable square feet of space at 6 Tide Street, Boston, MA 02210. The lease commenced on April 26, 2019 for an initial term consisting of ten years and three months and there is an option to extend for two consecutive periods of five years each.
We have executed agreements with the members of the Board substantially in the form of our Form of Deed of Indemnity.
We entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement by and between Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PureTech Health LLC, dated July 15, 2019, pursuant to which Auspex assigned and transferred all patent claims, inventory, technology, contracts and related rights relating to LYT-100 to us. As consideration, we paid an upfront payment, which we do not deem material. In addition, Auspex is eligible to receive milestone payments of approximately $84 million in the aggregate depending upon specified developmental, regulatory and commercial achievements. In addition, for ten years following the first commercial sale of any commercialized product containing LYT-100, Auspex is eligible to receive low to middle single-digit royalties on the worldwide net sales of such product.
We entered into a Royalty Agreement with Follica, Incorporated, dated July 23, 2013, pursuant to which Follica agreed to pay us a two percent royalty on net sales by Follica or its sublicensees of (i) products involving skin disruption using any mechanical, energy or chemical based approaches, applying compounds to the skin, or any other approaches to the treatment of hair follicles or other dermatological disorders commercialized by Follica, (ii) processes involving such products, or (iii) services which use or incorporate any such product or process. In the event that Follica sublicenses the rights to any of these products, processes or services, Follica will be obligated to pay us low teen royalties on any income received from the sublicensee. Either party may terminate this agreement upon an uncured material breach by the other party. To date, we have not received any royalty payments pursuant to this agreement. We do not direct or control the development and commercialization of the intellectual property licensed pursuant to this agreement.
We entered into a Royalty and Sublicense Income Agreement with Gelesis, dated December 18, 2009, pursuant to which we are required to provide certain funding, management services and services relating to intellectual property. In exchange, Gelesis is required to pay us a royalty equal to 2 percent of all net product sales and 10 percent of gross sublicense income received on certain food products as a result of developing hydrogel-based products that are covered by a licensed patent that has issued and has not been revoked or abandoned. The royalty rate is subject to customary downward adjustments in the event Gelesis is required to pay third parties to obtain a license to intellectual property rights that are necessary for Gelesis to develop or commercialize our products. There are no milestone payment obligations under this agreement. Management services provided by us include advisory services on corporate strategy, general and administrative support including office space, supplies and administrative support, payroll services and website development and support. Gelesis’ obligation to pay royalties to us will terminate on a country-by-country basis upon termination or expiration of the underlying patents. To date, we have not received any royalty payments pursuant to this agreement. We do not direct or control the development and commercialization of the intellectual property sublicensed pursuant to this agreement.
We entered into an Exclusive Patent License Agreement with Karuna, dated March 4, 2011, pursuant to which we granted Karuna an exclusive license to patent rights relating to combinations of a muscarinic activator with a muscarinic inhibitor for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. Karuna agreed to make milestone payments to us of up to an aggregate of $10 million upon the achievement of specified development and regulatory milestones. In addition, for the term of this agreement Karuna is obligated to pay us low single-digit running royalties on the worldwide net sales of any commercialized product covered by the licenses granted under this agreement. In the event that Karuna sublicenses any of the patent rights granted under this agreement, Karuna will be obligated to pay us royalties within the range of 15 percent to 25 percent on any income received from the sublicensee, excluding royalties. Karuna may terminate this agreement for any reason with proper prior notice to us, provided that it would lose its rights to the underlying patents as a result. Either party may terminate this agreement upon an uncured material
breach by the other party. To date, we have not received any royalty payments pursuant to this agreement. We do not direct or control the development and commercialization of the intellectual property licensed pursuant to this agreement.
We entered into a Research and License Agreement with New York University, or NYU, on March 6, 2017, pursuant to which NYU granted to us an exclusive worldwide license to patents relating to LYT-200 and LYT-210. In connection with this agreement, we are required to pay an annual license fee in addition to milestone payments upon the achievement of certain clinical and commercial milestones, both of which we deem immaterial. Additionally, for the term of this agreement, we are obligated to make low single digit royalty payments on the net sales of any commercialized product covered by the license granted under the agreement. In the event that we sublicense any of the patent rights granted under the Research and License Agreement, we will be obligated to pay NYU a low teen percentage of any royalties received by such sublicensee, provided that such payments are capped at a low single digit of net sales of any commercialized product by such sublicensee.
On January 13, 2022, Gelesis, Capstar Special Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation (“CPSR”), and CPSR Gelesis Merger Sub, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and wholly-owned subsidiary of CPSR (“Merger Sub”), consummated a business combination ("Gelesis Merger") pursuant to the business combination agreement, dated July 19, 2021, as amended on November 8, 2021 (the “Gelesis Business Combination Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the Gelesis Business Combination Agreement, Merger Sub merged with and into Gelesis, with Gelesis surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of CPSR. In connection with the consummation of the Merger on the Closing Date, CPSR changed its name to Gelesis Holdings, Inc ("GLS"). As a result of the Gelesis Merger, among other things, each common share of Gelesis that was issued and outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the Merger, after giving effect to the conversion of all preferred shares of Gelesis into common shares of Gelesis immediately prior to the effective time, was canceled and converted into the right to receive a number of shares of GLS Common Stock equal to an exchange ratio of approximately 2.59 multiplied by the number of common shares of Gelesis held by such holder immediately prior to the effective time. In addition, (a) all vested and unvested stock options of Gelesis were assumed by GLS and (b) each warrant of Old Gelesis was cancelled in exchange for a warrant to purchase shares of GLS, in each case based on an implied equity value of $675,000,000 as of the Closing.
Concurrently with the execution of the Gelesis Business Combination Agreement, on July 19, 2021, CPSR entered into subscription agreements (the “Subscription Agreements”) with certain investors, including us, pursuant to which we purchased 1.5 million shares of GLS common stock at a price of $10.00 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of $15.0 million (the “PIPE Financing”). The PIPE Financing was consummated concurrently with the closing of the Gelesis Merger.
On December 30, 2021, CPSR entered into a Backstop Agreement (the “Backstop Agreement”) with us and SSD2, LLC (“SSD2” and together with us, the “Backstop Purchasers”), pursuant to which the Backstop Purchasers agreed to purchase an aggregate of up to 1,500,000 shares of GLS common stock immediately prior to the closing at a cash purchase price of $10.00 per share (the “Backstop Purchase Shares”), resulting in aggregate proceeds of up to $15.0 million, which amount, when added to the proceeds from the PIPE Financing, would ensure that the minimum cash condition would be satisfied. Based on the number of redemptions at closing, we purchased 496,145 shares for an aggregate price of $5.0 million. In addition, at the closing of the sale of the Backstop Purchase Shares, GLS issued an additional 1,322,500 shares of common stock to us.
On the Closing January 13,2022, Gelesis, CPSR, certain former directors of CPSR (the “Director Holders”) and certain former stockholders of Gelesis (collectively with Sponsor and the Director Holders, the “Holders”), including us, entered into an Amended and Restated Registration and Stockholder Rights Agreement, pursuant to which, among other things, the Holders agreed not to effect any sale or distribution of any equity securities of GLS held by any of them during a lock-up period (180 days after closing of the Gelesis Merger in the case of PureTech Health LLC), and GLS agreed to register for resale, pursuant to Rule 415 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, certain shares of common stock and other equity securities of GLS that are held by the parties thereto from time to time.
On January 26, 2022, Akili entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Akili Merger Agreement”), by and among Akili, Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp. I (“SCS”), and Karibu Merger Sub, Inc., a Delaware corporation and a direct wholly owned subsidiary of SCS (“Merger Sub”). Pursuant to the Akili Merger Agreement, among other things: (i) prior to the closing of the transactions contemplated by the Akili Merger Agreement, SCS will domesticate as a Delaware corporation in accordance with the DGCL, and the Cayman Islands Companies Act (As Revised), (ii) at the closing, upon the terms and subject to the conditions of the Merger Agreement, in accordance with the DGCL, Merger Sub will merge with and into Akili, with Akili continuing as the surviving corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of SCS (the “Merger”), (iii) at the closing, all of the outstanding capital stock of Akili and all options and warrants to acquire capital stock of Akili will be converted into the right to receive shares of common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of SCS (after its domestication) (“SCS Common Stock”) or comparable equity awards that are settled or are exercisable for shares of SCS Common Stock, representing an aggregate of 60 million shares of SCS Common Stock, (iv) at the closing, SCS will be renamed “Akili, Inc.” and (v) at the closing, SCS will deposit into an escrow account for the benefit of the pre-Closing Akili stockholders, optionholders and warrantholders an aggregate number of shares of SCS Common Stock equal to 7.5% of the fully diluted shares of SCS Common Stock (including shares reserved under the equity incentive plan to be adopted by the combined company in connection with the Closing), determined as of immediately following the Closing (collectively, the “Earnout Shares”), which Earnout Shares will be subject to release from escrow to the pre-Closing Akili stockholders, optionholders and warrantholders in three equal tranches upon the daily volume weighted average price of a share of SCS Common Stock reaching $15.00/share, $20.00/share and $30.00/share, respectively, over any 20 trading days within any 30 consecutive trading day period following the closing and prior to the fifth anniversary of the closing, in each case, on the terms set forth in the Akili Merger Agreement.The Closing is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain closing conditions contained in the Merger Agreement, including the approval of SCS’s shareholders.
Voting and Investors’ Rights Agreements
We are party to voting and investors’ rights agreements with certain of our Founded Entities as described below:
•Pursuant to an Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement, as amended, between Vedanta and certain of its investors, dated July 15, 2021, we are entitled to designate a total of four directors to Vedanta’s board of directors, including (i) two directors for so long as PureTech Health LLC continues to hold a majority of Vedanta’s Series A-1 preferred stock, and (ii) two directors for so long as PureTech Health LLC continues to hold a majority of Vedanta’s Series B preferred stock. The execution of this agreement replaced and terminated the previous Amended and Restated Investors' Rights Agreement dated December 21, 2018, which had provided us with equivalent rights.
•Pursuant to a Voting Agreement between Sonde and certain of its investors, dated April 9, 2019, we are entitled to designate one director to Sonde’s board of directors for so long as PureTech Health LLC and its affiliates continue to hold at least 1,000,000 shares of Sonde’s Series A-2 preferred stock.
•Pursuant to a Voting Agreement between Entrega and certain of its investors, dated December 18, 2017, we are entitled to designate four directors to Entrega’s board of directors.
•Pursuant to the Fifth Amended and Restated Voting Agreement between Follica and certain of its investors, dated July 19, 2019, we are entitled to designate one director to Follica’s board of directors for so long as PureTech Health LLC and its affiliates continue to own at least 1,000,000 shares of Follica’s common stock.
Agreements with Founded Entities Restricting Sale of Shares in Connection with an Initial Public Offering
We are party to agreements containing market stand-off provisions with certain of our Founded Entities that restrict our ability to sell shares of such Founded Entities for 180 days after their initial public offerings or initial public listing through a business combination as follows:
•Third Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Akili and the investor parties named therein, dated May 25, 2021, the execution of which replaced and terminated the Second Amended and Restated Investors' Rights Agreement dated May 8, 2018, which had contained an equivalent restriction;
•Fifth Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Follica and the investor parties named therein, dated July 19, 2019;
•Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Vedanta, as amended, and the investor parties named therein, dated July 15, 2021,the execution of which replaced and terminated the previous Amended and Restated Investors' Rights Agreement dated December 21, 2018, which had contained an equivalent restriction;
•Investors’ Rights Agreement between Entrega and the investor parties named therein, dated December 18, 2017;
•Investors’ Rights Agreement between Sonde and the investor parties named therein, dated April 9, 2019;
•Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Vor and the investor parties named therein, dated June 30, 2020, which terminated as of Vor’s initial public offering, except for the registration rights granted thereunder;
•Amended and Restated Registration and Stockholders Rights Agreement dated January 13, 2022 between CPSR and the stockholder parties named therein, the execution of which terminated the Ninth Amended and Restated Stockholders Agreement between Gelesis and the stockholder parties named therein, dated December 5, 2019, which had contained an equivalent restriction; and
•The Backstop Agreement between CPSR and us, among others, dated December 30, 2021, which provides that certain shares acquired thereunder are subject to a 180-day market stand off provision.
Other Shareholder Rights Agreements
We have certain registration rights provisions in agreements with our Founded Entities as follows:
•Third Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Akili and the investor parties named therein, dated May 25, 2021, the execution of which replaced and terminated the Second Amended and Restated Investors' Rights Agreement dated May 8, 2018, which had provided us with similar rights;
•Fifth Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Follica and the investor parties named therein, dated July 19, 2019;
•Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Vedanta, as amended, and the investor parties named therein, dated July 15, 2021,the execution of which replaced and terminated the previous Amended and Restated Investors' Rights Agreement dated December 21, 2018, which had provided us with similar rights;
•Investors’ Rights Agreement between Entrega and the investor parties named therein, dated December 18, 2017;
•Investors’ Rights Agreement between Sonde and the investor parties named therein, dated April 9, 2019;
•Amended and Restated Registration and Stockholders Rights Agreement dated January 13, 2022 between CPSR and the stockholder parties named therein, the execution of which terminated the Ninth Amended and Restated Stockholders Agreement between Gelesis and the stockholder parties named therein, dated December 5, 2019, which had contained an equivalent restriction, which had provided us with similar rights;
•The Backstop Agreement between CPSR and us, among others, dated December 30, 2021;
•Subscription Agreement between CPSR and the investor parties thereto dated July 19, 2021; and
•Amended and Restated Investors’ Rights Agreement between Vor and the investor parties named therein, dated June 30, 2020.
We have certain preemptive rights of first refusal with respect to transfers of shares by other holders pursuant to the following agreements:
•Fifth Amended and Restated Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement, dated July 19, 2019, by and among Follica, Incorporated and the investors and key holders party thereto;
•Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement, dated April 9, 2019, by and between Sonde Health, Inc. and the investors and key holders party thereto; and
•Right of First Refusal and Co-Sale Agreement, dated December 18, 2017, by and between Entrega, Inc. and the investors and key holders party thereto.
D. EXCHANGE CONTROLS
Other than certain economic sanctions which may be in place from time to time, there are currently no UK laws, decrees or other regulations restricting the import or export of capital or affecting the remittance of dividends or other payment to holders of ordinary shares who are non-residents of the United Kingdom. Similarly, other than certain economic sanctions which may be in force from time to time, there are no limitations relating only to nonresidents of the United Kingdom under English law or the Company's articles of association on the right to be a holder of, and to vote in respect of, the ordinary shares.
Certain United Kingdom Tax Considerations
The following is a general summary of certain U.K. tax considerations relating to the ownership and disposal of an ordinary share or ADS and does not address all possible tax consequences relating to an investment in an ordinary share or ADS. It is based on U.K. tax law and generally published HM Revenue & Customs, or HMRC, practice (which may not be binding on HMRC) as of the date of this annual report on Form 20-F, both of which are subject to change, possibly with retrospective effect.
Save as provided otherwise, this summary applies only to a person who is the absolute beneficial owner of an ordinary share or ADS and who is resident (and, in the case of an individual, domiciled) in the United Kingdom for tax purposes and who is not resident for tax purposes in any other jurisdiction and does not have a permanent establishment or fixed base in any other jurisdiction with which the holding of an ordinary share or ADS is connected (“U.K. Holders”). A person (a) who is not resident (or, if resident, is not domiciled) in the United Kingdom for tax purposes, including an individual and company who trades in the United Kingdom through a branch, agency or permanent establishment in the United Kingdom to which an ordinary share or ADS is attributable, or (b) who is resident or otherwise subject to tax in a jurisdiction outside the United Kingdom, is recommended to seek the advice of professional advisors in relation to their taxation obligations.
This summary is for general information only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered to be, legal or tax advice to any particular investor. It does not address all of the tax considerations that may be relevant to specific investors in light of their particular circumstances or to investors subject to special treatment under U.K. tax law. In particular:
•this summary only applies to an absolute beneficial owner of an ordinary share or ADS and any dividend paid in respect of the ordinary share where the dividend is regarded for U.K. tax purposes as that person’s own income (and not the income of some other person);
•this summary: (a) only addresses the principal U.K. tax consequences for an investor who holds an ordinary share or ADS as a capital asset, (b) does not address the tax consequences that may be relevant to certain special classes of investor such as a dealer, broker or trader in shares or securities and any other person who holds an ordinary share or ADS otherwise than as an investment, (c) does not address the tax consequences for a holder that is a financial institution, insurance company, collective investment scheme, pension scheme, charity or tax-exempt organization, (d) assumes that a holder is not an officer or employee of the company (nor of any related company) and has not (and is not deemed to have) acquired the an ordinary share or ADS by virtue of an office or employment, and (e) assumes that a holder does not control or hold (and is not deemed to control or hold), either alone or together with one or more associated or connected persons, directly or indirectly (including through the holding of an ordinary share or ADS), an interest of 10 percent or more in the issued share capital (or in any class thereof), voting power, rights to profits or capital of the company, and is not otherwise connected with the company.
This summary further assumes that a holder of an ordinary share or ADS is the beneficial owner of the underlying ordinary share for U.K. direct tax purposes.
POTENTIAL INVESTORS IN THE ORDINARY SHARES OR ADSs SHOULD SATISFY THEMSELVES PRIOR TO INVESTING AS TO THE OVERALL TAX CONSEQUENCES, INCLUDING, SPECIFICALLY, THE CONSEQUENCES UNDER U.K. TAX LAW AND HMRC PRACTICE OF THE ACQUISITION, OWNERSHIP AND DISPOSAL OF THE ORDINARY SHARES OR ADSs, IN THEIR OWN PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES BY CONSULTING THEIR TAX ADVISERS.
Taxation of Dividends
A dividend payment in respect of an ordinary share may be made without withholding or deduction for or on account of U.K. tax.
A dividend received by individual U.K. Holders may, depending on his or her particular circumstances, be subject to U.K. income tax on the gross amount of the dividend paid.
An individual holder of an ordinary share or ADS who is not a U.K. Holder will not be chargeable to U.K. income tax on a dividend paid by the company, unless such holder carries on (whether solely or in partnership) a trade, profession or vocation in the United Kingdom through a permanent establishment in the United Kingdom to which the ordinary share or ADS is attributable. In these circumstances, such holder may, depending on his or her individual circumstances, be chargeable to U.K. income tax on a dividend received from the company.
All dividends received by a UK Holder from the Company or from other sources will form part of the UK Holder’s total income for UK income tax purposes and will constitute the top slice of that income. The rate of U.K. income tax that is chargeable on dividends received in the tax year 2020/2021 by (i) an additional rate taxpayer is 38.1 percent, (ii) a higher rate taxpayer is 32.5 percent, and (iii) a basic rate taxpayer is 7.5 percent. A nil rate of income tax will apply to the first £2,000 of taxable dividend income received by an individual U.K. Holder in a tax year.
A U.K. Holder within the charge to U.K. corporation tax may be entitled to exemption from U.K. corporation tax in respect of dividend payments, provided the dividends qualify for exemption (which is likely) and certain conditions are met (including anti-avoidance conditions). If the conditions for the exemption are not satisfied, or such U.K. Holder elects for an otherwise exempt dividend to be taxable, U.K. corporation tax will be chargeable on the gross amount of a dividend. If potential investors are in any doubt as to their position, they should consult their own professional advisers.
A corporate holder of an ordinary share or ADS that is not a U.K. Holder will not be subject to U.K. corporation tax on a dividend received from the company, unless it carries on a trade in the United Kingdom through a permanent establishment to which the ordinary share or ADS is attributable. In these circumstances, such holder may, depending on its individual circumstances and if the exemption from U.K. corporation tax discussed above does not apply, be chargeable to U.K. corporation tax on dividends received from the company.
Taxation of Disposals
A disposal or deemed disposal of an ordinary share or ADS by an individual U.K. Holder may, depending on his or her individual circumstances, give rise to a chargeable gain or to an allowable loss for the purpose of U.K. capital gains tax. The principal factors that will determine the capital gains tax position on a disposal of an ordinary share or ADS are the extent to which the holder realizes any other capital gains in the tax year in which the disposal is made, the extent to which the holder has incurred capital losses in that or any earlier tax year and the level of the annual exemption for tax-free gains in that tax year (the “annual exemption”). The annual exemption for the 2020/2021 tax year is £12,500. If, after all allowable deductions, an individual U.K. Holder’s total taxable income for the year exceeds the basic rate income tax limit, a taxable capital gain accruing on a disposal of an ordinary share or an ADS is taxed at the rate of 20 percent. In other cases, a taxable capital gain accruing on a disposal of an ordinary share or ADS may be taxed at the rate of 10 percent save to the extent that any capital gains exceed the unused basic rate tax band. In that case, the rate currently applicable to the excess would be 20 percent.
An individual U.K. Holder who ceases to be resident in the United Kingdom (or who fails to be regarded as resident in a territory outside the United Kingdom for the purposes of double taxation relief) for a period of five tax years or less than five years and who disposes of an ordinary share or ADS during that period of temporary non-residence may be liable to U.K. capital gains tax on a chargeable gain accruing on such disposal on his or her return to the United Kingdom (or upon ceasing to be regarded as resident outside the United Kingdom for the purposes of double taxation relief) (subject to available exemptions or reliefs).
A disposal (or deemed disposal) of an ordinary share or ADS by a corporate U.K. Holder may give rise to a chargeable gain or an allowable loss for the purpose of U.K. corporation tax. Any gain or loss in respect of currency fluctuations over the period of holding an ordinary share or an ADS are also brought into account on a disposal.
An individual holder who is not a U.K. Holder should not normally be liable to U.K. capital gains tax on capital gains realized on the disposal of an ordinary share or ADS unless such holder carries on (whether solely or in partnership) a trade, profession or vocation in the United Kingdom through a permanent establishment in the United Kingdom to which the ordinary share or ADS is attributable. In these circumstances, such holder may, depending on his or her individual circumstances, be chargeable to U.K. capital gains tax on chargeable gains arising from a disposal of his or her ordinary share or ADS.
A corporate holder of an ordinary share or ADS that is not a U.K. Holder will not be liable for U.K. corporation tax on chargeable gains realized on the disposal of an ordinary share or ADS unless: (i) it carries on a trade in the United Kingdom through a permanent establishment to which the ordinary share or ADS is attributable; or (ii) the corporate holder is disposing of an interest in a company and that disposal is of an asset that derives 75 percent or more of its gross asset value from UK land and that holder has a substantial indirect interest in UK land (broadly at least 25 percent at any time during the previous two years). In these circumstances, a disposal (or deemed disposal) of an ordinary share or ADS by such holder may give rise to a chargeable gain or an allowable loss for the purposes of U.K. corporation tax.
If, for the purposes of the Double Taxation Relief (Taxes on Estates of Deceased Persons and on Gifts) Treaty United States of America Order 1979 (S1 1979/1454) between the United States and the United Kingdom, an individual holder is domiciled at the time of their death or at the time of a transfer made during their lifetime in the United States and is not a national of the United Kingdom, any ordinary share or ADS beneficially owned by that holder should not generally be subject to U.K. inheritance tax, provided that any applicable U.S. federal gift or estate tax liability is paid, except where (i) the ordinary share or ADS is part of the business property of a U.K. permanent establishment or pertain to a U.K. fixed base used for the performance of independent personal services; or (ii) the ordinary share or ADS is comprised in a settlement unless, at the time the settlement was made, the settlor was domiciled in the United States and not a national of the U.K. (in which case no charge to U.K. inheritance tax should apply).
Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Reserve Tax
The stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax, or SDRT, treatment of the issue, transfer and agreement to transfer an ordinary share outside a depositary receipt system or a clearance service are discussed in the paragraphs under “General” below. The stamp duty and SDRT treatment of such transactions in relation to such systems are discussed in the paragraphs under “Depositary Receipt Systems and Clearance Services” below. The discussion below relates to the holders of our ordinary shares or ADSs wherever resident, however it should be noted that special rules may apply to certain persons such as market makers, brokers, dealers or intermediaries.
Issue of Ordinary Shares or ADSs
The issue of an ordinary share or ADS does not give rise to a SDRT liability, according to the HM Revenue & Customs practice and recent case law and is not subject to stamp duty.
Transfer of Ordinary Shares
A transfer of an ordinary share will generally be subject to stamp duty at the rate of 0.5 percent of the consideration given for the transfer (rounded up to the next £5). An exemption from stamp duty is available on an instrument transferring an ordinary share where the amount or value of the consideration is £1,000 or less, and it is certified on the instrument that the transaction effected does not form part of a larger transaction or series of transactions in respect of which the aggregate amount or value of the consideration exceeds £1,000. The purchaser normally pays the stamp duty.
An unconditional agreement to transfer an ordinary share will normally give rise to a charge to SDRT at the rate of 0.5 percent of the amount or value of the consideration payable for the transfer. SDRT is, in general, payable by the purchaser. If a duly stamped transfer completing an agreement to transfer is produced within six years of the date on which the agreement is made (or, if the agreement is conditional, the date on which the agreement becomes unconditional) any SDRT already paid is generally repayable, normally with interest, and any SDRT charge yet to be paid is cancelled.
Transfer of ADSs
No stamp duty will, in practice, be payable on a written instrument transferring an ADS or on an unconditional agreement to transfer an ADS provided the instrument of transfer or the unconditional agreement to transfer is executed and remains at all times outside the UK. Where these conditions are not met, the transfer of, or agreement to transfer, an ADS could, depending on the circumstances, attract a charge to U.K. stamp duty at the rate of 0.5 percent of the value of the consideration. No SDRT will be payable in respect of an agreement to transfer an ADS.
Depositary Receipt Systems and Clearance Services
Based on current HM Revenue & Customs practice and recent case law in respect of the European Council Directives 69/335/EC and 2009/7/EC, or the Capital Duties Directives, no SDRT is generally payable when shares are issued or transferred to a clearance service or depositary receipt system as an integral part of a raising of capital. HM Revenue & Customs has confirmed that it will continue not to apply the 1.5 percent stamp duty and SDRT charge on the issue of shares (and transfers integral to the raising of capital) into overseas clearance systems and depository receipt issuers once the U.K. leaves the European Union. In addition, a recent Court of Justice of the European Union judgment (Air Berlin plc v HM Revenue & Customs (2017)) held on the relevant facts that the Capital Duties Directives preclude the taxation of a transfer of legal title to shares for the sole purpose of listing those shares on a stock exchange which does not impact the beneficial ownership of the shares, but, as yet, the U.K. domestic law and HM Revenue & Customs’ published practice remain unchanged and, accordingly, we anticipate that amounts on account of SDRT will continue to be collected by the depositary receipt issuer or clearance service. Holders of ordinary shares should consult their own independent professional advisers before incurring or reimbursing the costs of such a 1.5 percent SDRT charge.
Where an ordinary share or ADS is otherwise transferred (i) to, or to a nominee or an agent for, a person whose business is or includes the provision of clearance services or (ii) to, or to a nominee or an agent for a person whose business is or includes issuing depositary receipts, stamp duty or SDRT will generally be payable at the higher rate of 1.5 percent of the amount or value of the consideration given or, in certain circumstances, the value of the shares.
There is an exception from the 1.5 percent charge on the transfer to, or to a nominee or agent for, a clearance service where the clearance service has made and maintained an election under section 97A(1) of the Finance Act 1986, which has been approved by HM Revenue & Customs. It is understood that HM Revenue & Customs regards the facilities of DTC as a clearance service for these purposes and we are not aware of any section 97A election having been made by the DTC.
Any liability for stamp duty or SDRT in respect of a transfer into a clearance service or depositary receipt system, or in respect of a transfer within such a service, which does arise will strictly be accountable by the clearance service or depositary receipt system operator or their nominee, as the case may be, but will, in practice, be borne by the participants in the clearance service or depositary receipt system.
Repurchase of Ordinary Shares
U.K. stamp duty will generally be due at a rate of 0.5% of the consideration paid (rounded up to the next £5.00) on a repurchase by the company of its ordinary shares.
Taxation in the United States
The following summary of the material U.S. federal income tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership and disposition of our ordinary shares or ADSs is based upon current law and does not purport to be a comprehensive discussion of all the tax considerations that may be relevant to a decision to purchase our ordinary shares or ADSs. This summary is based on current provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, existing, final, temporary and proposed U.S. Treasury Regulations, administrative rulings and judicial decisions, in each case as available on the date of this annual report on Form 20-F. All of the foregoing are subject to change, which change could apply retroactively and could affect the tax consequences described below.
This section summarizes the material U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders and certain non-U.S. holders, each as defined below, of our ordinary shares or ADSs. This summary addresses only the U.S. federal income tax considerations for holders that acquire our ordinary shares or ADSs at their original issuance and hold our ordinary shares or ADSs as capital assets. This summary does not address all U.S. federal income tax matters that may be relevant to a particular holder. Each prospective investor should consult a professional tax advisor with respect to the tax consequences of the acquisition, ownership or disposition of our