S-1/A
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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 6, 2021.

Registration No. 333-251512

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

Amendment No. 3 to     

FORM S-1

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

CULLINAN MANAGEMENT, INC.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   2836  

81-387991

(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  (Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

One Main Street

Suite 520

Cambridge, MA 02142

(617) 410-4650

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of Registrant’s principal executive offices)

Owen Hughes

President and Chief Executive Officer

Cullinan Management, Inc.

One Main Street

Suite 520

Cambridge, MA 02142

(617) 410-4650

(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

Please send copies of all communications to:

 

Mitchell S. Bloom

Danielle M. Lauzon

Gabriela Morales-Rivera

Goodwin Procter LLP

100 Northern Avenue

Boston, MA 02110

(617) 570-1000

 

Jeffrey Trigilio

Chief Financial Officer

Cullinan Management, Inc.

One Main Street

Suite 520

Cambridge, MA 02142

(617) 410-4650

 

Patrick O’Brien

Nicholas Roper

Ropes & Gray LLP

Prudential Tower

800 Boylston Street

Boston, MA 02199

(617) 951-7000

Approximate date of commencement of the proposed sale to the public:

As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ☐

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ☐

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

 

Large accelerated filer      Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer      Smaller reporting company  
     Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act.  ☐

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Each Class of

Securities to be Registered

 

Amount

to be

Registered(1)

 

Proposed
Maximum

Offering Price
Per Share(2)

 

Proposed

Maximum

Aggregate
Offering Price(3)

 

Amount of

Registration Fee(4)

Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per share

  11,500,000   $20.00   $230,000,000   $25,093

 

 

 

(1)

Includes 1,500,000 shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase.

(2)

Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(3)

Includes the aggregate offering price of 1,500,000 shares that the underwriters have the option to purchase to cover over-allotments.

(4)

Calculated pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933 as amended. $19,866 of this registration fee was previously paid by the Registrant in connection with the filing of its Registration Statement on Form S-1 on January 4, 2021.

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.


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EXPLANATORY NOTE

We currently operate as Cullinan Oncology, LLC, or the LLC entity, a Delaware limited liability company. On September 15, 2016, we formed Cullinan Management, Inc., a Delaware corporation, or the Corporation, which is the registrant whose name appears on the cover of this registration statement and is a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the LLC entity. Prior to the completion of this offering, pursuant to a Contribution Agreement, the LLC entity will contribute all of the stock it owns of each of Cullinan Apollo Corp., Cullinan Florentine Corp., Cullinan Amber Corp., Cullinan Pearl Corp., and Cullinan MICA Corp., or collectively, the Asset Subsidiaries, to the Corporation in exchange for common stock of the Corporation, and as a result, the Asset Subsidiaries will become subsidiaries of the Corporation, or the Contribution. Following the Contribution and prior to the completion of this offering, the LLC entity will merge with and into the Corporation with the Corporation being the surviving entity of such merger, or the LLC Merger. As a result of this merger, the holders of existing units in the LLC entity will exchange those units for corresponding shares of capital stock of the Corporation.

We refer to these transactions throughout the prospectus included in this registration statement collectively as the “Reorganization.” See “Reorganization” for further detail regarding these transactions. On the effective date of the Reorganization, the members of the board of managers of the LLC entity will become the members of the board of directors of the Corporation and the officers of the LLC entity will become the officers of the Corporation.

Shares of the common stock of the Corporation are being offered by the prospectus included in this registration statement.

Except where the context otherwise requires or where otherwise indicated, all share and per share amounts in this registration statement reflect and assume (i) the Reorganization, including the exchange of units of the LLC for corresponding shares of capital stock of the Corporation and (ii) subsequent to the Reorganization, a one-for-7.0390 reverse split of the Corporation’s common stock, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT PRESENTATION

Except as disclosed in the accompanying prospectus, the audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 and the notes thereto and the condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2020 and the notes thereto and selected historical consolidated financial data and other financial information included in this registration statement are those of the LLC entity and do not give effect to the Reorganization.


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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities, and we are not soliciting offers to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED JANUARY 6, 2021

Preliminary Prospectus

10,000,000 Shares

 

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

We are offering 10,000,000 shares of our common stock. This is our initial public offering and no public market currently exists for our common stock. We expect the initial public offering price to be between $19.00 and $20.00 per share. Our common stock has been approved for listing on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol “CGEM”.

 

 

We are an “emerging growth company” and “smaller reporting company” as defined under the U.S. federal securities laws and will be subject to reduced public company reporting requirements for this prospectus and future filings. See “Prospectus Summary—Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Smaller Reporting Company.”

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Please read “Risk Factors” beginning on page 16 of this prospectus.

 

 

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

 

 

 

      

PER

SHARE

    

TOTAL

Initial public offering price

     $                  $            

Underwriting discounts and commissions(1)

     $                  $            

Proceeds, before expenses, to us

     $                  $            

 

(1)

See “Underwriting” for a description of all compensation payable to the underwriters.

We have granted the underwriters an option for a period of 30 days from the date of this prospectus to purchase an additional 1,500,000 shares of common stock.

The underwriters expect to deliver the shares of common stock against payment in New York. New York on or about                 , 2021.

 

 

Joint Book-Running Managers

 

MORGAN STANLEY   SVB LEERINK   EVERCORE ISI

Lead Manager

H.C. WAINWRIGHT & CO.

 

The date of this prospectus is                , 2021.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     16  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     89  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     92  

DIVIDEND POLICY

     94  

REORGANIZATION

     95  

CAPITALIZATION

     99  

DILUTION

     101  

SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

     104  

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

     106  

BUSINESS

     124  

MANAGEMENT

     195  
     Page  

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

     205  

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

     215  

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS

     218  

PRINCIPAL STOCKHOLDERS

     223  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     227  

SHARES ELIGIBLE FOR FUTURE SALE

     233  

MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS FOR NON-U.S. HOLDERS OF COMMON STOCK

     235  

UNDERWRITING

     239  

LEGAL MATTERS

     251  

EXPERTS

     251  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     252  

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     F-1  
 

 

 

Neither we nor the underwriters have authorized anyone to provide any information other than that contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. We and the underwriters take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We and the underwriters are not making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front cover of this prospectus. Our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may have changed since that date.

Through and including                , 2021 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that effect transactions in these securities, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the dealers’ obligation to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

For investors outside of the United States: We have not, and the underwriters have not, done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than the United States. Persons outside of the United States who come into possession of this prospectus must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the shares of common stock and the distribution of this prospectus outside of the United States.

Except as disclosed in this prospectus, the audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 and the notes thereto and the condensed consolidated financial statements as of and for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2020 and the notes thereto, and selected historical consolidated financial data and other financial information included in this registration statement are those of the LLC entity and do not give effect to the Reorganization described below.

Certain numerical figures included in this prospectus have been rounded. Accordingly, numerical figures shown as totals in various tables may not be arithmetic aggregations of the figures that precede them.


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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This summary highlights information contained elsewhere in this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you should consider in making your investment decision. Before investing in our common stock, you should read the entire prospectus carefully, including the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes.

Prior to the completion of this offering, we will complete a series of transactions pursuant to which Cullinan Oncology, LLC will merge with and into its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cullinan Management, Inc., a Delaware corporation, with Cullinan Management, Inc. being the surviving entity of such merger and the entity whose shares are being offered hereby. Prior to the merger, Cullinan Oncology, LLC will contribute all of the stock it owns in each of Cullinan Apollo Corp., Cullinan Florentine Corp., Cullinan Amber Corp., Cullinan Pearl Corp., and Cullinan MICA Corp., to Cullinan Management, Inc., in exchange for common stock of Cullinan Management, Inc. See “Reorganization.” Except where the context otherwise requires or where otherwise indicated, the terms “Cullinan,” “we,” “us,” “our,” “our company,” “the company,” and “our business” refer, prior to the Reorganization discussed below, to Cullinan Oncology, LLC and its consolidated subsidiaries and, after the Reorganization, to Cullinan Management, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a diversified pipeline of targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapies with transformative potential for cancer patients. Our strategy is to build a pipeline of therapeutic candidates that are uncorrelated across multiple dimensions, with a focus on assets that we believe have novel technology, employ differentiated mechanisms, are in a more advanced stage of development than competing candidates, or have a combination of these attributes. In approximately three and a half years, we have efficiently developed or in-licensed a pipeline of seven distinct programs by leveraging our hub-and-spoke business model. We continue to prioritize probability of success and capital efficiency. Specifically, before we advance a therapeutic candidate into clinical development, we evaluate its ability to generate an immune system response or to inhibit oncogenic drivers as a single agent. Importantly, we have terminated programs that do not meet our rigorous criteria for advancement and will continue to do so when we believe we can more efficiently allocate our capital. We currently have one clinical-stage targeted oncology candidate in Phase 1/2a development and six preclinical immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates and programs. We believe our approach will allow us to advance at least one therapeutic candidate into the clinic and one program into IND-enabling studies each year for at least the next several years.

Our lead candidate, CLN-081, is an orally available small molecule designed as a next generation, irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, inhibitor that is designed to selectively target cells expressing mutant EGFR variants, including EGFR exon 20 insertion, or EGFRex20ins, mutations, with relative sparing of cells expressing wild type EGFR. We are currently evaluating CLN-081 as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, or NSCLC, in adult patients with EGFRex20ins mutations in a Phase 1/2a trial. Our most advanced immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates include CLN-049, a bispecific antibody targeting FLT3 and CD3; and CLN-619, a monoclonal antibody designed to stimulate natural killer, or NK, and T cell responses by engaging a unique target, MICA/B. We intend to initially develop CLN-049 for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, and CLN-619 for the treatment of solid tumors. In addition, through our AMBER platform, we are developing CLN-617, a fusion protein uniquely combining, in a single agent, two potent antitumor cytokines, interleukin-2, or IL-2, and interleukin-12, or IL-12, fused with a collagen-binding domain designed to enable tumor retention for the treatment of solid tumors. Our pipeline includes three additional immuno-oncology programs in the lead optimization stage that we believe have compelling mechanisms of action and potential for clinical development. We currently hold worldwide development and commercialization rights to each of our therapeutic candidates, except for CLN-081 in Japan and Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau).



 

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The Cullinan Approach

Our mission is to advance and grow a portfolio of innovative, early-stage oncology assets based on the latest scientific breakthroughs. Given these foundations, we think about capital allocation and risk as much as we think about drug development. By focusing our efforts on translational medicine and portfolio diversification, we seek to mitigate overall exposure to many of the inherent risks of drug development. Fundamental to our success is our ability to apply a disciplined set of criteria for asset evaluation and advancement, as well as sequenced capital allocation that preserves resources for programs with greater potential. Our approach is guided by the following core elements:

 

   

Portfolio diversification to mitigate risk and maximize optionality

 

   

Capital allocation based on risk-adjusted potential, including staged funding to pre-specified scientific and clinical results

 

   

Virtual infrastructure and key external relationships to maintain a lean operating base

 

   

Internal development capabilities complemented by external business development

 

   

Focus on translational medicine and therapeutic candidates with in vivo single agent activity

 

   

Disciplined asset evaluation and selection

Our Hub-and-Spoke Business Model

We employ a hub-and-spoke business model to execute our strategy of building a diversified oncology company in a capital efficient manner and to provide us with the flexibility to either advance therapeutic candidates ourselves or through transactions with third parties. Our “hub” consists of a holding company, Cullinan Oncology, LLC, or the LLC entity, and an operating company, Cullinan Management, Inc., or Cullinan Management, which, collectively, provide capital, human resources, and other services to each spoke via a shared services agreement. We believe that by centralizing these shared services, including all research and development operations, administrative services, and business development, and allocating employees and resources to each spoke, we can enhance operational efficiency and maintain an optimal cost structure. For example, as of December 31, 2020, we had 20 full time employees and two consultants working on a pipeline of seven active programs. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions–Agreements with our Subsidiaries–Services Agreements” for more information.

Our hub-and-spoke model also enables us to access both internal and external expertise to build and develop our pipeline. We incubate internal programs, such as NexGem, Opal, and Jade, in our hub, leveraging Cullinan Management’s network of service providers as needed to support our discovery, lead optimization, and IND-enabling efforts. When we decide to license from or collaborate with external parties, we establish distinct subsidiaries, or “spokes”, to hold and advance those programs. This structure enables us to keep licensors economically incentivized at the program level through our ability to offer equity and access to potential cash milestones and royalty payments. Further, because each spoke is a separate legal entity that holds all of the assets related to the development candidate, including the relevant intellectual property, and has no employees, fixed assets, or overhead costs, we have flexibility both to raise capital at either the parent or subsidiary level and to pursue subsidiary-level licenses or stock sales. See “Business–Our Hub-and-Spoke Business Model” for more information.



 

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In the figure below, each “spoke” contains the subsidiary’s therapeutic candidate as well as any relevant licensors or shareholders. The LLC entity’s approximate ownership, as of December 31, 2020, as a percentage of fully-diluted shares outstanding is listed below each circle.

Our Hub-and-Spoke Business Model

 

 

LOGO

The structure of our financing arrangements with each subsidiary enable us to increase our economic ownership when we provide additional capital. Further information about our subsidiaries, including ownership and governance, is included in the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” section of this prospectus.



 

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Our Pipeline

We have built a pipeline of targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates and programs that are diversified by mechanism, therapeutic approach, modality, and stage of development. On a quarterly basis, we rigorously assess each of our programs using internally defined success criteria to justify continued investment and determine proper capital allocation. When certain programs do not meet our de-risking criteria for advancement, we terminate those programs and preserve our capital and resources to invest in programs with greater potential. As a result, our pipeline will continue to be dynamic. Our current pipeline is summarized in the diagram below:

 

 

LOGO

Our Programs

CLN-081

CLN-081 is an orally available small molecule designed as a next generation, irreversible EGFR inhibitor in development for the treatment of a genetically defined subset of patients with NSCLC. CLN-081 is being developed by our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Pearl, and is currently in a Phase 1/2a dose escalation and expansion trial evaluating oral, twice-daily, or BID, administration of various doses in patients with NSCLC harboring EGFRex20ins mutations that have had at least one prior treatment with platinum based chemotherapy or another approved standard therapy. We licensed worldwide rights, excluding Japan, to CLN-081 from Taiho Pharma in 2018, and we recently sublicensed such rights to Zai Lab (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in Greater China in exchange for an upfront fee, milestones, and royalties. For additional information, see “License Agreements—Zai Lab License Agreement.” In September 2020, at the European Society for Medical Oncology virtual congress, we disclosed preliminary results based on the first 22 patients dosed in this ongoing trial. As of September 1, 2020, amongst 17 evaluable patients across all dose cohorts, we observed a best overall response of partial response in six patients and stable disease in 11 patients. The partial responses included two confirmed and four unconfirmed partial responses, three of whom had not yet reached a confirmatory scan and one who progressed prior to a confirmatory scan. As of the September 1, 2020 data cut-off, no dose limiting toxicities, or DLTs, or Grade 3 treatment-related adverse events, or TRAEs, had been reported. As of the November 10, 2020 data cut-off, amongst 25 evaluable patients across all dose cohorts, we observed a best overall response of partial response in 10 patients, stable disease in 14 patients, and disease progression in one patient. The partial responses included six confirmed and four unconfirmed partial responses, two of whom had not yet reached a confirmatory scan. Regarding the two remaining patients with unconfirmed partial responses, one experienced progressive disease due to a new brain lesion and one died before their second scan after experiencing aspirational pneumonia that was deemed unrelated to study drug by the



 

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investigator. As of the November 10, 2020 data cut-off, we observed one DLT, which was Grade 3 diarrhea TRAE in the 150mg BID dosing cohort, our highest dose evaluated to date, and one other Grade 3 TRAE, which was anemia. We observed no Grade 2 diarrhea TRAEs in the 30, 45, 65, or 100mg BID dose cohorts. We observed one Grade 2 diarrhea TRAE in the 150mg BID dose cohort. As of the November 10, 2020 data cutoff, we observed eight Grade 2 skin rash TRAEs across all dose cohorts. Although these results are preliminary and based on a small number of patients with limited follow-up, we believe that the preclinical and early clinical data as of the data cut-off collectively support the potential of CLN-081 to be a clinically active molecule with a favorable product profile. Given the trial was designed as a dose escalation and expansion study, we anticipate observing additional TRAEs as we enroll more patients and follow them over longer duration periods at higher dose levels. We intend to provide a clinical update in the first half of 2021.

EGFR mutations are present in approximately 15% to 25% of U.S. and Western European NSCLC patients, and approximately 30% to 50% of Asian NSCLC patients. Among EGFR mutations, EGFRex20ins mutations account for 7% to 13% of all EGFR mutations in NSCLC patients, with an estimated annual incidence of 2,000 to 5,000 patients in the U.S. and approximately 1,000 to 3,000 patients in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, or EU5. These patients typically have poorer outcomes than those with common types of EGFR mutations, such as exon 19 deletion and exon 21 L858R substitution mutations. Currently, there are no targeted therapies approved for the treatment of NSCLC patients with EGFRex20ins mutations, and approved EGFR inhibitors do not adequately address the needs of this patient population.

CLN-049

CLN-049 is a humanized bispecific antibody that we are developing at our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Florentine for the treatment of AML. CLN-049 is designed to simultaneously bind to FLT3 on target leukemic cells and to CD3 on T cells, triggering the T cells to kill the targeted cancer cells via their intrinsic cytolytic mechanisms. FLT3 is expressed frequently on AML cells and leukemic blasts but minimally on healthy blood cells, unlike other tumor surface antigens identified in AML, such as CD33 and CD123. We believe that the expression of FLT3 on the surface of leukemic blasts in most AML patients and its role as a known oncogenic driver make it an attractive therapeutic target for a T cell engager approach. Furthermore, by targeting the extracellular domain of FLT3, we believe CLN-049 has the potential to address a broader patient population than existing small molecule FLT3 kinase inhibitors acting within the intracellular domain, but are limited to a subset of approximately 25% of AML patients with certain mutations. We have observed that CLN-049 led to potent FLT3-dependent killing of leukemic cells in vitro at a wide range of FLT3 expression levels on AML cells. In preclinical studies, treatment with CLN-049, even at low doses, led to survival benefit in an AML xenograft model and complete elimination of leukemic blasts in various mouse models implanted with primary patient leukemic cells or AML cell lines. We have completed IND-enabling pharmacology, pharmacokinetic, and safety studies, and we expect to submit our IND for CLN-049 in the first quarter of 2021.

CLN-619

CLN-619, which is being developed by our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan MICA, is a MICA/B-targeted, humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody that we are initially developing for the treatment of patients with advanced solid tumors. CLN-619 was designed to promote an antitumor response through multiple mechanisms of action, including engagement of NK and T cells for enhanced lysis of cancer cells. The MICA/B receptor, NKG2D, is expressed in both innate and adaptive effector cell populations. Although several companies have disclosed preclinical programs targeting MICA/B, we are unaware of any clinical-stage programs in development. In preclinical studies, CLN-619 demonstrated antitumor activity as a single agent in multiple in vivo models. We believe CLN-619 has the potential to become a novel backbone agent for immuno-oncology therapy given the broad expression of MICA/B across tumor types and the biologic rationale for combining CLN-619 with other agents. We have completed IND-enabling pharmacology and toxicology studies and are completing good manufacturing practice, or GMP, process work to support an IND submission in the first half of 2021.



 

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CLN-617

We are also developing CLN-617, a fusion protein uniquely combining, in a single agent, two antitumor cytokines, IL-2 and IL-12, with a collagen-binding domain for the treatment of solid tumors. This collagen-binding domain is designed to retain the cytokines in the tumor microenvironment following intratumoral administration, with the goal of minimizing systemic dissemination and associated toxicities of cytokines while prolonging their immunostimulatory antitumor activity. For nearly five decades, clinical researchers have characterized the powerful role cytokines play in stimulating an immune response to cancer. However, despite numerous advancements in protein engineering, delivery and targeting mechanisms, the short serum half-life and severe toxicities associated with systemic cytokine administration have hindered their clinical development and commercial uptake.

We believe that CLN-617, by utilizing a collagen-binding domain, has the potential to address these shortcomings and is the only anti-cancer therapeutic candidate in development that we are aware of that combines IL-2 and IL-12. In preclinical studies, murine surrogates of CLN-617 demonstrated robust single agent antitumor activity in both injected and non-injected contralateral tumors without inducing systemic toxicity, as measured by reduction in body weight. Based on these results, we believe CLN-617 may be capable of generating a systemic immune response that can mediate tumor regression, even in non-injected distal tumors. Given the broad expression of collagens across multiple tumor types and the well-validated antitumor activity of cytokine-based therapies, CLN-617 may have utility across many different types of solid tumors. CLN-617 is being developed by our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Amber, and we expect to submit an IND for CLN-617 in 2022. We refer to the collagen-binding technology used in CLN-617 as AMBER, which we believe represents a novel platform with the potential to broaden the therapeutic window of cytokines and other immunostimulatory agents by potentially reducing systemic toxicity.

CLN-978

CLN-978 is a half-life extended, humanized, single-chain T cell engaging antibody construct designed to simultaneously engage CD19 on target cancer cells and CD3 on T cells, triggering redirected T cells to lyse the target cancer cells. In addition to CD19 and CD3 binding domains, CLN-978 has a human serum albumin binding antibody domain, which is designed to prolong its serum half-life. We believe that by potentially extending the serum half-life of CLN-978, we can address limitations related to the dosing regimen of blinatumomab, the only CD19-targeting bispecific T cell engager approved for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, and potentially offer unique advantages and broader access for patients. CLN-978, referred to as NexGem, mediated highly potent CD19-dependent target cell lysis in vitro at various CD19 target expression levels. In preclinical in vivo studies, treatment with NexGem, at extremely low doses and with infrequent dosing, led to inhibition of tumor growth and tumor regression in a human CD3e transgenic lymphoma mouse model. CLN-978 is held in our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, Inc. We intend to initially evaluate CLN-978 as a novel treatment for B-cell ALL, and expect to submit our IND for CLN-978 in 2022.

Our Other Research Stage Programs

In addition to the therapeutic candidates and programs described above, we are currently evaluating two discovery-stage immuno-oncology programs. Opal is a bispecific fusion protein that is designed to block the PD-1 axis and to selectively activate the 4-IBB/CD137 pathway on T cells in tumors. Jade is a cell therapy that is designed to target a novel senescence and cancer-related protein, and we are collaborating with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to identify naturally occurring T cell receptors against this target.

Terminated Programs

Based on early preclinical and clinical results, we have terminated multiple programs in order to allocate resources to what we believe are more promising programs in our portfolio. We believe these decisions



 

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demonstrate our commitment and discipline with respect to our strategy and business model. For example, Apollo, our oral small molecule targeting EBNA1, was terminated due to a lack of translation of the compelling pharmacodynamic effect and antitumor activity seen in preclinical studies into patients. We were able to efficiently evaluate this program with minimal costs, spending approximately $10 million from initial licensing to date, including the costs related to the sponsored research agreement.

Our Strategy

Our goal is to develop targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapeutics that will dramatically improve the standard-of-care for patients with cancer. The key elements of our strategy are to:

 

   

Build a pipeline of differentiated oncology therapeutic candidates that are diversified by mechanism, therapeutic approach, modality, and stage of development

 

   

Expand our pipeline through research collaborations, business development, and internally designed programs

 

   

Advance our lead therapeutic candidate, CLN-081, toward potential regulatory approval for the targeted treatment of NSCLC patients with EGFRex20ins mutations

 

   

Establish clinical proof-of-concept for our most advanced immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates, CLN-619 and CLN-049, in patients with solid tumors and hematological malignancies, respectively

 

   

Continue to advance and evolve our pipeline with a goal of advancing one therapeutic candidate into the clinic and one program into IND-enabling studies each year

 

   

Evaluate strategic opportunities to accelerate development timelines and maximize the value of our portfolio

Our History and Team

We began substantive operations in 2017 following Series A funding from F2 Ventures and the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which is managed by MPM Capital and is one of the largest dedicated pools of capital focused exclusively on oncology investing. Since inception, we have raised approximately $277.0 million from these investors as well as other institutional investors, including Foresite Capital, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, Eventide Asset Management, Nextech Invest, OrbiMed, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Rock Springs Capital, BVF Partners, L.P., and Logos Capital. With less than $60 million spent as of September 30, 2020, we have prudently built a diverse pipeline of seven uncorrelated targeted oncology and immuno-oncology programs.

Critical to our success has been the ability to assemble an accomplished management team with proven track records in targeted oncology and immuno-oncology. We are led by a senior management team with extensive capabilities in immuno-oncology, biologics and small molecule drug development, as well as business development and portfolio management. Collectively, our team possesses a strong record of success, as demonstrated by 36 accepted INDs and six approved new drug applications, or NDAs, or biologics license applications, or BLAs, and significant previous experiences at leading life sciences companies, including Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb Company, MacroGenics, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novartis International AG, Pfizer Inc., and Sanofi S.A..

Summary of the Material Risks Associated with Our Business

Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that you should be aware of in evaluating our business. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

   

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



 

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We have incurred significant losses since inception, and we expect to incur losses over the next several years and may not be able to achieve or sustain revenues or profitability in the future.

 

   

Following consummation of this offering, we will still need substantial additional funding. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we would be compelled to delay, reduce or eliminate our product development programs or other operations.

 

   

We may not be successful in our efforts to use our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.

 

   

Our ability to realize value from our subsidiaries may be impacted if we reduce our ownership to a minority interest or otherwise cede control to other investors through contractual agreements or otherwise.

 

   

We are early in our development efforts and are substantially dependent on our lead candidate, CLN-081, and our most advanced immuno-oncology candidates, CLN-049 and CLN-619. If we are unable to advance CLN-081, CLN-049, or CLN-619, or any of our other product candidates through clinical development, or to obtain regulatory approval and ultimately commercialize CLN-081, CLN-049, or CLN-619, or any of our other product candidates, either by ourselves or with or by third parties, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

 

   

Interim, “topline,” and preliminary data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to confirmation, audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

 

   

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit their commercial potential or result in significant negative consequences following any potential marketing approval.

 

   

Our subsidiaries are party to certain agreements that provide our licensors, collaborators or other shareholders in our subsidiaries with rights that could delay or impact the potential sale of our subsidiaries or could impact the ability of our subsidiaries to sell assets or enter into strategic alliances, collaborations, or licensing arrangements with other third parties.

 

   

A single or limited number of subsidiaries may comprise a large proportion of our value.

 

   

Difficulty in enrolling patients could delay or prevent clinical trials of our product candidates, and ultimately delay or prevent regulatory approval.

 

   

We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing, or commercializing products before or more successfully than we do.

 

   

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our current product candidates and technology, or any other product candidates or technology we may develop, or if the scope of intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products and technology similar or identical to ours, and our ability to commercialize CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, or any other product candidates or technology may be adversely affected.

 

   

We currently rely and expect to continue to rely on the outsourcing of the majority of our development functions to third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials. If these third parties do not properly and successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of or commercialize our product candidates.

 

   

Our reliance on a central team consisting of a limited number of employees who provide various administrative, research and development, and other services across our organization presents operational challenges that may adversely affect our business.



 

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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, may adversely impact our business, including our preclinical studies and clinical trials.

 

   

We are highly dependent on our key personnel and anticipate hiring new key personnel. If we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.

The summary risk factors described above should be read together with the text of the full risk factors below, in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and the other information set forth in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes, as well as in other documents that we file with the SEC. The risks summarized above or described in full below are not the only risks that we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and future, growth prospects.

Corporate Information

Cullinan Pharmaceuticals, LLC was formed in September 2016 and was subsequently renamed Cullinan Oncology, LLC in November 2017. Cullinan Oncology, LLC’s, or the LLC entity’s, wholly-owned subsidiary, Cullinan Management, Inc., or the Corporation, was formed in September 2016. Our principal executive offices are located at One Main Street, Suite 520, Cambridge, MA 02142 and our telephone number is (617) 410-4650. Our corporate website address is https://www.cullinanoncology.com. Information contained on or accessible through our website is not a part of this prospectus, and the inclusion of our website address in this prospectus is an inactive textual reference only.

Prior to the completion of this offering, pursuant to a Contribution Agreement, or the Contribution Agreement, the LLC Entity will contribute all of the stock it owns of each of Cullinan Apollo Corp., Cullinan Florentine Corp., Cullinan Amber Corp., Cullinan Pearl Corp., and Cullinan MICA Corp., or collectively, the Asset Subsidiaries, to the Corporation in exchange for Common Stock of the Corporation that will result in the Asset Subsidiaries becoming subsidiaries of the Corporation, or the Contribution. Following the Contribution and prior to the completion of this offering, the LLC entity will merge with and into the Corporation, with the Corporation being the surviving entity. As a result of this merger, the holders of existing units in the LLC entity will exchange those units for corresponding shares of capital stock of the Corporation, after which those holders will have received 100% of the outstanding capital stock of the Corporation as of immediately prior to the completion of this offering. See “Reorganization” and “Description of Capital Stock” for additional information, including a description of the terms of our capital stock following the Reorganization and the terms of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, effective immediately prior to the closing of the offering, and amended and restated bylaws that will be effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

We use various trademarks and trade names in our business, including, without limitation, our corporate name and logo. All other trademarks or trade names referred to in this prospectus are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks and trade names in this prospectus may be referred to without the ® and symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, their rights thereto.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Smaller Reporting Company

We qualify as an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or JOBS Act, as amended. As an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of specified reduced



 

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disclosure and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include:

 

   

being permitted to only disclose two years of audited consolidated financial statements in addition to any required unaudited interim financial statements with correspondingly reduced “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” disclosure;

 

   

reduced disclosure about our executive compensation arrangements;

 

   

not being required to hold advisory votes on executive compensation or to obtain stockholder approval of any golden parachute arrangements not previously approved; and

 

   

an exemption from the auditor attestation requirement in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting.

We may take advantage of these exemptions for up to five years or such earlier time that we are no longer an emerging growth company. We would cease to be an emerging growth company on the date that is the earliest of (i) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more; (ii) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of this offering; (iii) the date on which we have issued more than $1.0 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years; or (iv) the last day of the fiscal year in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the prior June 30th. We may choose to take advantage of some but not all of these exemptions. We have taken advantage of reduced reporting requirements in this prospectus. Accordingly, the information contained herein may be different from the information you receive from other public companies in which you hold stock. In addition, we have elected to avail ourselves of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards until the earlier of the date that we (i) are no longer an emerging growth company or (ii) affirmatively and irrevocably opt out of the extended transition period. As a result, we will be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as private companies. Accordingly, our consolidated financial statements may not be comparable to the financial statements of public companies that comply with such new or revised accounting standards. We are in the process of evaluating the benefits of relying on other exemptions and reduced reporting requirements under the JOBS Act. Subject to certain conditions, as an emerging growth company, we may rely on certain of these exemptions in future filings, including without limitation, providing an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

We are also a “smaller reporting company” as defined in the Exchange Act. We may continue to be a smaller reporting company even after we are no longer an emerging growth company. We may take advantage of certain of the scaled disclosures available to smaller reporting companies until the fiscal year following the determination that either (i) the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates is greater than $700 million or (ii) the market value of our common stock held by non-affiliates is less than $700 million but greater than $250 million and our annual revenues during our most recently completed fiscal year are greater than $100 million.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered by us

 

10,000,000 shares

Option to purchase additional shares

 

We have granted the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days after the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional shares from us at the initial public offering price per share less the underwriting discounts and commissions.

Total common stock to be outstanding immediately after this offering

 


39,497,847 shares (or 40,997,847 shares if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full)

Use of proceeds

 

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from the sale of our common stock in this offering of approximately $178.5 million, or $205.6 million if the underwriters fully exercise their option to purchase additional shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses payable by us. We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments for (i) the completion of our Phase 1/2a trial of CLN-081, as well as the initiation of a later stage trial in treatment-experienced NSCLC patients with EGFRex20ins mutations; (ii) the advancement of CLN-049 and CLN-619 into Phase 1/2a clinical trials for patients with r/r AML and advanced solid tumors, respectively; (iii) the advancement of CLN-617 and CLN-978 through IND-enabling studies and, assuming success of those studies and subject to FDA review of an IND submission, the initiation of Phase 1/2a clinical trials; and (iv) the remaining proceeds for the continued advancement of our pipeline, including Jade and Opal, milestones for previously in-licensed programs, the identification and advancement of additional programs and development candidates, hiring of additional personnel, and costs of operating as a public company, and other general corporate purposes. See “Use of Proceeds” for additional information.

Directed share program

 

At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to 5% of the shares of common stock to be offered by this prospectus for sale, at the initial public offering price, to directors, officers, employees, business



 

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associates and related persons of the Company. Except for any shares acquired by our directors or officers, shares purchased pursuant to the directed share program will not be subject to lock-up agreements with the underwriters. The number of shares of common stock available for sale to the general public will be reduced to the extent these individuals purchase such reserved shares. Any reserved shares that are not so purchased will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same basis as the other shares offered by this prospectus. See “Underwriting—Directed Share Program.”

Risk factors

 

You should read carefully “Risk Factors” beginning on page 16 and other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of factors that you should consider before deciding to invest in our common stock.

Nasdaq Global Select Market symbol

 

“CGEM”

The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering gives effect to the Reorganization and is based on 29,497,847 shares of our common stock (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) outstanding as of September 30, 2020, which assumes the exchange of all outstanding units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC as of September 30, 2020 and 66,599,045 Series C preferred units issued after September 30, 2020 for an aggregate of 29,497,847 shares of common stock of our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) prior to the completion of this offering as if such exchange had occurred as of September 30, 2020. See the section of the prospectus titled “Reorganization.”

The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding immediately following the completion of this offering excludes:

 

   

12,226,158 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, or the 2021 Plan, which includes currently outstanding equity awards comprised of (i) 4,616,187 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options at a weighted average exercise price of $4.30; and (ii) an aggregate of 1,753,316 shares of our common stock, which will be granted to certain of our executive officers and other employees at the time of effectiveness of the 2021 Plan with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price per share;

 

   

320,228 shares of restricted common stock outstanding under our 2021 Plan after September 30, 2020; and

 

   

416,665 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or 2021 ESPP, which will become effective in connection with this offering.

Except as otherwise noted, all information in this prospectus assumes or gives effect to:

 

   

the completion of the Reorganization, including the exchange of all outstanding units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC as of September 30, 2020 and 66,599,045 Series C preferred units issued after September 30, 2020 for an aggregate of 29,497,847 shares of common stock of our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) prior



 

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to the completion of this offering as if such exchange had occurred as of September 30, 2020, assuming an initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. See “Reorganization” for further detail;

 

   

immediately following the Reorganization, a one-for-7.0390 reverse split of Cullinan Management’s common stock, which will become effective prior to the completion of this offering;

 

   

no exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional shares of our common stock in this offering; and

 

   

the filing of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, effective immediately prior to the closing of the offering, and the adoption of our amended and restated bylaws, effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.



 

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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following information is presented for Cullinan Oncology, LLC, which will merge with and into Cullinan Management, Inc., the entity whose shares are being offered hereby. The summary financial information below should be read in conjunction with the information contained in “Selected Financial Information,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, and other financial information included elsewhere in this prospectus. The consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss data for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. The consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss data for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2020 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2020 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements, both of which are included elsewhere in this prospectus. In the opinion of management, the unaudited financial statements include all adjustments, consisting of only normal and recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of such financial data.

 

    YEAR ENDED
DECEMBER 31,
    NINE MONTHS ENDED
SEPTEMBER 30,
 
    2018     2019     2019     2020  
                (unaudited)  
    (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Consolidated statement of operations data:

       

Operating expenses:

       

Research and development

  $ 9,584     $ 16,788     $ 12,986     $ 26,582  

General and administrative

    5,002       5,482       4,305       4,580  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

    14,586       22,270       17,291       31,162  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

    (14,586     (22,270     (17,291     (31,162

Other income, net:

       

Interest income

    397       620       368       809  

Other (expense) income, net

          (4           1  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other income, net

    397       616       368       810  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

    (14,189     (21,654     (16,923     (30,352

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

          (997     (835     (6,899
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to Cullinan

  $ (14,189   $ (20,657   $ (16,088   $ (23,453
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per unit attributable to common and non-voting incentive unit holders, basic and diluted(1)

  $ (5.56   $ (3.23   $ (2.67   $ (2.62
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total weighted-average common and non-voting incentive units used in computing net loss per unit, basic and diluted(1)

    2,549,865       6,397,443       6,017,973       8,960,373  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss:

       

Net loss

  $ (14,189   $ (21,654   $ (16,923   $ (30,352

Unrealized (loss) gain on investments

          (4           63  
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss

    (14,189     (21,658     (16,923     (30,289

Comprehensive loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

          (997     (835     (6,899
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss attributable to Cullinan

  $ (14,189   $ (20,661   $ (16,088   $ (23,390
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)(2)

    $ (1.80     $ (1.21
   

 

 

     

 

 

 

Total weighted-average common stock outstanding used in computing pro forma net loss per unit, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)(2)

      11,449,625         19,361,467  
   

 

 

     

 

 

 


 

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(1)

See Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements and our condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a description of how we compute net loss per unit attributable to common and non-voting incentive unit holders, basic and diluted, and the weighted-average common and non-voting incentive units used in computation of per unit amounts.

(2)

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited) and pro forma weighted average common stock outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited) gives effect to (i) the completion of the Reorganization—see “Reorganization” for further detail and (ii) subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock into common stock as if such transactions had occurred on the later of the beginning of the period or the issuance of the redeemable preferred units, but does not reflect the transactions described in “The Reorganization-Reorganization Equity Exchange”, nor does it include units from the Series C offering completed in December 2020.

 

     AS OF SEPTEMBER 30, 2020  
     ACTUAL     PRO FORMA(1)     PRO FORMA AS
ADJUSTED(2)
 
    

(unaudited)

(in thousands)

 

Consolidated balance sheet data:

      

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

   $ 94,892     $ 219,592     $ 398,042  

Working capital(3)

     89,298       213,998       392,448  

Total assets

     97,317       222,017       400,467  

Total liabilities

     7,806       7,806       7,806  

Redeemable preferred units

     151,811              

Common stock

           3       4  

Additional paid-in capital

     770       277,279       455,728  

Accumulated deficit

     (64,993     (64,993     (64,993

Total members’ (deficit), actual; total stockholders’ equity, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

     (62,300     214,211       392,661  

 

(1)

The consolidated pro forma balance sheet data give effect to the issuance and sale of 66,599,045 Series C preferred units in December 2020 and the completion of the Reorganization and, subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding preferred stock into common stock, but does not reflect the transactions described in “The Reorganization-Reorganization Equity Exchange.”

(2)

The pro forma as adjusted consolidated balance sheet data give further effect to our issuance and sale of 10,000,000 shares of our common stock offered in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

(3)

We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities.

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders’ equity by $9.3 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, working capital, total assets, and total stockholders’ equity by $18.1 million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, as well as the other information in this prospectus, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus and the section of this prospectus titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” before you make an investment decision. The risks described below are not the only risks that we face. The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. As a result, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment in our common stock.

Risks Related to Our Financial Condition and Capital Requirements

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

We began substantive operations in 2017, and our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital for us and our subsidiaries, filing patent applications, identifying and acquiring and investing in potential product candidates, undertaking clinical trials, building our intellectual property portfolio, and establishing arrangements and collaborating with third parties for identification, discovery and research activities, preclinical studies, clinical trials, and the manufacture of initial quantities of our product candidates and component materials. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully conduct late-stage clinical trials, complete any clinical trials, obtain marketing approvals, manufacture a commercial-scale product or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales, marketing, and distribution activities necessary for successful product commercialization.

In addition, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other known and unknown factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If we decide to commercialize any of our product candidates that may be approved for marketing, we will need to develop commercial infrastructure. We may not be successful in any such transition. Consequently, any predictions you make about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a longer operating history.

We have incurred significant losses since inception, and we expect to incur losses over the next several years and may not be able to achieve or sustain revenues or profitability in the future.

Investment in biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and entails substantial upfront capital expenditures and significant risk that any potential therapeutic candidate will fail to demonstrate adequate efficacy or an acceptable safety profile, gain regulatory approval, and become commercially viable. We are still in the early stages of development of our product candidates. We have no products approved for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales to date, and we continue to incur significant research and development and other expenses related to our ongoing operations. We have financed our operations primarily through private placements of Cullinan Oncology, LLC’s preferred units and our subsidiaries’ preferred stock.

We have incurred significant net losses in each period since we began substantive operations in September 2017. For the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019, we reported net losses of $14.2 million and $21.7 million, respectively. For the nine months ended September 30, 2020, we reported a net loss of $30.4 million. As of September 30, 2020, we had an accumulated deficit of $65.0 million. We expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and we expect these losses to increase substantially if and as we:

 

   

continue our research and development efforts and submit investigational new drug applications, or INDs, for our product candidates;

 

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conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current and future product candidates, including but not limited to CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619;

 

   

seek marketing approvals for any product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;

 

   

experience any delays or encounter any issues with any of the above, including but not limited to failed studies, complex results, safety issues, or other regulatory challenges;

 

   

establish a sales, marketing, and distribution infrastructure and scale-up manufacturing capabilities, whether alone or with third parties, to commercialize any product candidates for which we may obtain regulatory approval;

 

   

obtain, expand, maintain, enforce, and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

 

   

take temporary precautionary measures to help minimize the risk of COVID-19 to our employees;

 

   

hire additional clinical, regulatory, and scientific personnel; and

 

   

operate as a public company.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with developing pharmaceutical product candidates, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict the extent of any future losses or when we will become profitable, if at all. Even if we succeed in commercializing one or more of our product candidates, we will continue to incur substantial research and development and other expenditures to develop and seek regulatory approval for additional product candidates or additional indications. We may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. The size of our future net losses will depend, in part, on the rate of future growth of our expenses and our ability to generate revenue. Our prior losses and expected future losses have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our members’ equity and working capital.

We have not generated any revenue from our product candidates and may never be profitable.

Our ability to become profitable depends upon our ability to generate revenue. To date, we have not generated any sales, or collaboration or commercial revenue from any of our product candidates. We do not expect to generate significant sales revenue or commercial revenue from the sale or license of one or more of our preclinical programs or product candidates unless or until we successfully complete clinical development and obtain regulatory approval of, and then successfully commercialize, at least one of our product candidates or, alternatively, enter into agreements with third parties for the purchase, collaboration, or license of one of our product candidates. Most of our product candidates are in the preclinical stages of development and will require additional preclinical studies, and all of our product candidates will require additional clinical development, regulatory review and approval, substantial investment, access to sufficient commercial manufacturing capacity, and significant marketing efforts before we can generate any revenue from product sales. Except for CLN-081, we have not yet administered our product candidates in humans and, as such, we face significant translational risk as our preclinical product candidates advance to the clinical stage, if ever, as promising results in preclinical studies may not be replicated in subsequent clinical trials, and testing on animals may not accurately predict human experience. For example, Apollo, our oral small molecule targeting EBNA1, was terminated due to a lack of translation of compelling preclinical pharmacodynamic effect and antitumor activity into patients. Our ability to generate revenue depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

   

timely completion of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, which may be significantly slower or cost more than we currently anticipate and will depend substantially upon the performance of third-party contractors;

 

   

our ability to complete IND-enabling studies and successfully submit INDs or comparable applications for our product candidates, including CLN-049, CLN-619, CLN-617 and CLN-978;

 

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whether we are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, or similar foreign regulatory authorities to conduct additional clinical trials or other studies beyond those planned to support the approval and commercialization of our product candidates or any future product candidates;

 

   

our ability to timely seek and obtain regulatory and marketing approvals for any of our product candidates or any future product candidates for which we complete clinical trials, and such regulatory authorities’ acceptance of our tumor-agnostic development strategy (i.e., our pursuit of approval based on a biomarker rather than a specific cancer indication);

 

   

the prevalence, duration, and severity of potential side effects or other safety issues experienced by patients receiving our product candidates or future product candidates;

 

   

the willingness of physicians, operators of clinics, and patients to utilize or adopt any of our product candidates or future product candidates over alternative or more conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy;

 

   

the actual and perceived availability, cost, risk profile, and side effects, and efficacy of our product candidates, if approved, relative to existing and future alternative cancer therapies and competitive product candidates and technologies;

 

   

our ability and the ability of third parties with whom we contract to manufacture adequate clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates or any future product candidates, remain in good standing with regulatory authorities and develop, validate, and maintain commercially viable manufacturing processes that are compliant with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP;

 

   

our ability to successfully develop a commercial strategy and thereafter commercialize our product candidates or any future product candidates in the United States and internationally, if approved for marketing, reimbursement, sale, and distribution in such countries and territories, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

   

patient demand for our product candidates and any future product candidates, if approved; and

 

   

our ability to establish and enforce intellectual property rights in and for our product candidates or any future product candidates.

Many of the factors listed above are beyond our control and could cause us to experience significant delays or prevent us from obtaining regulatory approvals or commercializing our product candidates. Even if we are able to commercialize our product candidates, we may not achieve profitability soon after generating product sales, if ever. If we are unable to generate sufficient revenue through the commercial sale of our product candidates or any future product candidates, or from agreements with third parties for the purchase, collaboration, or license of one or more of our product candidates, we may be unable to continue operations without continued funding.

Following consummation of this offering, we will still need substantial additional funding. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we would be compelled to delay, reduce, or eliminate our product development programs or other operations.

The development of pharmaceutical products is capital intensive. We are currently advancing CLN-081 in clinical development and expect to advance CLN-049 and CLN-619 into clinical development in the near term. We expect our expenses to increase in parallel with our ongoing activities, particularly as we continue our discovery, preclinical, and clinical development activities for our current product candidates, identify and invest in new product candidates, and conduct clinical trials of, and seek marketing approval for, our product candidates. In addition, if we obtain marketing approval for and commercialize any of our product candidates, we expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing, and distribution. Furthermore, upon the closing of this offering, we expect to incur significant additional costs associated with operating as a public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional

 

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funding in connection with our continuing operations, which may include raising funding by one or more of our subsidiaries that could dilute our equity interest in the subsidiary. We have estimated our current additional funding needs based on assumptions that may prove to be wrong. Additionally, changing circumstances may cause us to consume capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to spend more money than currently expected because of circumstances beyond our control. We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenue, we expect to finance our operations through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, governmental funding, collaborations, strategic partnerships, and alliances, or marketing, distribution, or licensing arrangements with third parties, either by Cullinan Oncology, LLC, or by one or more of our subsidiaries. If we or our subsidiaries are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we or the applicable subsidiary would be forced to delay, reduce, or eliminate our identification, discovery, and preclinical or clinical development programs, or any future commercialization efforts.

We had cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments of $94.9 million as of September 30, 2020. In addition, on December 16, 2020, we received $124.7 million from the sale of our Series C preferred units. We estimate that our net proceeds from this offering will be $178.5 million, based on an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We believe that, based upon our current operating plan, our existing capital resources, together with the net proceeds from this offering will be sufficient to fund our anticipated operations through 2024. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

 

   

the scope, progress, results, and costs of discovery, preclinical development, and clinical trials for our product candidates;

 

   

the extent to which we enter into additional collaboration arrangements with regard to product discovery or acquire or in-license products or technologies;

 

   

our ability to establish additional discovery collaborations on favorable terms, if at all;

 

   

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

 

   

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

 

   

revenue, if any, received from commercial sales of our product candidates, should any of our product candidates receive marketing approval, or from licensing or collaboration agreements pursuant to which we may receive milestone, royalty, or other revenue from third parties developing or commercializing our product candidates; and

 

   

the costs of preparing, filing, and prosecuting patent applications, obtaining, maintaining, enforcing, and protecting our intellectual property rights and defending intellectual property-related claims.

Identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical testing and clinical trials is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain marketing approval and achieve product sales. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for many years, if at all. Accordingly, we will need to continue to rely on additional financing to achieve our business objectives. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.

In addition, if one of our subsidiaries raises funds through the issuance of its equity securities, our equity interest in such subsidiary could be substantially diminished. If one of our subsidiaries raises additional funds through collaboration and licensing arrangements, it may be necessary to relinquish some rights to our technologies or our product candidates or grant licenses on terms that are not favorable to us.

 

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If you purchase our common stock in this offering, you will incur immediate and substantial dilution in the book value of your shares.

The initial public offering price will be substantially higher than the net tangible book value per share of our common stock. Investors purchasing common stock in this offering will pay a price per share that substantially exceeds the book value of our tangible assets after subtracting our liabilities. As a result, investors purchasing common stock in this offering will incur immediate dilution of $9.56 per share, based on the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus. Further, investors purchasing common stock in this offering will contribute approximately 40.7% of the total amount invested by equity holders since our inception, but will own only approximately 25.3% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering.

This dilution is due to our investors who purchased units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC prior to this offering having paid substantially less when they purchased their units than the price offered to the public in this offering, and the grant of restricted units granted to our employees. As a result of the dilution to investors purchasing common stock in this offering, investors may receive significantly less than the purchase price paid in this offering, if anything, in the event of our liquidation. For a further description of the dilution that you will experience immediately after this offering, see the section of this prospectus entitled “Dilution.”

If we or our subsidiaries engage in acquisitions or strategic partnerships, this may increase our or their capital requirements, dilute our or their stockholders, cause us or them to incur debt or assume contingent liabilities, and subject us or them to other risks.

We intend to engage in various acquisitions and strategic partnerships in the future, including licensing or acquiring products, intellectual property rights, technologies, or businesses, either by our wholly-owned subsidiary, Cullinan Management, Inc., or Cullinan Management, or by one or more of our wholly- or partially-owned subsidiaries, including a newly-formed subsidiary formed for the purpose of such transaction. Any acquisition or strategic partnership may entail numerous risks to us or the applicable subsidiary, including:

 

   

increased operating expenses and cash requirements;

 

   

the assumption of indebtedness or contingent liabilities;

 

   

the issuance of equity securities which would result in dilution;

 

   

assimilation of operations, intellectual property, products, and product candidates of an acquired company, including difficulties associated with integrating new personnel;

 

   

the diversion of financial and managerial resources from our existing product programs and initiatives in pursuing such an acquisition or strategic partnership;

 

   

retention of key employees, the loss of key personnel, and uncertainties in our ability to maintain key business relationships;

 

   

risks and uncertainties associated with the other party to such a transaction, including the prospects of that party and their existing products or product candidates and regulatory approvals;

 

   

our inability to generate revenue from acquired intellectual property, technology, and/or products sufficient to meet our objectives or even to offset the associated transaction and maintenance costs;

 

   

risk of conducting research and development activities in new therapeutic areas or treatment modalities in which we have little to no experience;

 

   

successfully negotiating a proposed acquisition, in-license or investment in a timely manner and at a price or on terms and conditions favorable to us;

 

   

successfully combining and integrating a potential acquisition into our existing business to fully realize the benefits of such acquisition;

 

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the impact of regulatory reviews on a proposed acquisition, in-license or investment; and

 

   

the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted with respect to the proposed acquisition, in-license or investment.

If we fail to properly evaluate potential acquisitions, in-licenses, investments or other transactions associated with the creation of new research and development programs or the maintenance of existing ones, we might not achieve the anticipated benefits of any such transaction, we might incur costs in excess of what we anticipate, and management resources and attention might be diverted from other necessary or valuable activities.

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

We may not be successful in our efforts to use our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model to build a pipeline of product candidates with commercial value.

A key element of our strategy is to use our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model to form or seek strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations, or enter into licensing arrangements with third parties for programs, product candidates, technologies or intellectual property that we believe are novel, employ differentiated mechanisms of action, are more advanced in development than competitors, or have a combination of these attributes. We face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and licensing and acquisition opportunities, and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. We may not be successful in our efforts in building a pipeline of product candidates for the treatment of various cancers through acquisitions, licensing or through internal development or in progressing these product candidates through clinical development. Although our research and development efforts to date have resulted in our identification, discovery and preclinical and clinical development of certain of our product candidates, these product candidates may not be safe or effective as cancer treatments, and we may not be able to develop any other product candidates. Although we analyze whether we can replicate scientific results observed prior to our acquisition or investment in a product candidate, we may not be successful in doing so after our investment. Our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model is evolving and may not succeed in building a pipeline of product candidates. For example, we may not be successful in identifying additional genetic mutations which are oncogenic and which can be “basketed” into a group that is large enough to present a sufficient commercial opportunity or that is druggable with one chemical compound. Even if we are successful in building our pipeline of product candidates, the potential product candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development or generate acceptable clinical data, including as a result of unacceptable toxicity or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to receive marketing approval from the FDA or other regulatory authorities or achieve market acceptance. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates, we will not be able to generate product revenue in the future, which likely would result in significant harm to our financial position and adversely affect our stock price.

Additionally, we may pursue additional in-licenses or acquisitions of development-stage assets or programs, which entails additional risk to us. While we believe our hub-and-spoke model offers an attractive platform for these transactions and for potential partners, our model is unique and we may not be able to attract or execute transactions with licensors or collaborators who may choose to partner with companies that employ more traditional licensing and collaboration approaches. Identifying, selecting, and acquiring promising product candidates requires substantial technical, financial and human resources expertise. Efforts to do so may not result in the actual acquisition or license of a successful product candidate, potentially resulting in a diversion of our management’s time and the expenditure of our resources with no resulting benefit. For example, if we are unable to identify programs that ultimately result in approved products, we may spend material amounts of our capital and other resources evaluating, acquiring, and developing products that ultimately do not provide a return on our investment. We have terminated programs, and expect to terminate programs in the future if they do not meet our criteria for advancement.

 

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Our subsidiaries are party to certain agreements that provide our licensors, collaborators or other shareholders in our subsidiaries with rights that could delay or impact the potential sale of our subsidiaries or could impact the ability of our subsidiaries to sell assets, or enter into strategic alliances, collaborations or licensing arrangements with other third parties.

Each of our subsidiaries licenses intellectual property from third parties and, other than our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, has raised capital from third party investors. These third parties have certain rights that could delay collaboration, licensing or other arrangement with another third party, and the existence of these rights may adversely impact the ability to attract an acquirer or partner. These rights include rights of negotiation and fees payable upon a sale of assets or change of control of a subsidiary that are contained in license agreements, as well as rights such as drag-along rights in agreements with shareholders of the subsidiary.

For example, our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Pearl Corp., or Cullinan Pearl, is party to a license agreement, or the Taiho Agreement, with Taiho Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Taiho, pursuant to which Taiho has a right of negotiation that requires Cullinan Pearl to negotiate in good faith with Taiho prior to proceeding with a transaction to license, sell, assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of a majority of the assets of Cullinan Pearl to a third party, or any transaction with respect to any of the rights licensed from Taiho to Cullinan Pearl. While Cullinan Pearl is not obligated to enter into a transaction with Taiho, the right of negotiation could delay a potential sale or adversely impact our ability to attract a partner or acquirer and could negatively impact prospects for a larger company to acquire Cullinan Pearl or its assets or enter into a collaboration or licensing transaction that would benefit us. Further, Cullinan Pearl must pay Taiho a percentage of the proceeds from the sale, assignment or transfer of less than all or substantially all of Cullinan Pearl’s assets. In addition, our partially-owned subsidiaries Cullinan Florentine Corp., or Cullinan Florentine, and Cullinan Amber Corp., or Cullinan Amber, will also owe licensors a success fee in the event of a sale or other disposition of the majority of its assets. These fees will reduce the net proceeds we receive from any such sale or disposition of assets.

We have also entered into investor rights and voting agreements with third party investors, which may delay or impact our ability to sell our equity interests in or the assets of our partially-owned subsidiaries. For example, we would need to comply with certain notice and other provisions, such as a drag-along provision in the event of sale of the subsidiary, which may delay or prevent a specific transaction or make transacting with our subsidiaries and us less attractive to third parties. As of December 31, 2020, on a fully-diluted basis, we owned 71% of Cullinan Apollo, 80% of Cullinan Pearl, 90% of Cullinan Amber, 92% of Cullinan Florentine and 35% of Cullinan MICA.

We may form additional subsidiaries and enter into similar agreements with future partners or investors, or our subsidiaries may enter into further agreements, that in each case may contain similar provisions or other terms that are not favorable to us.

Our ability to realize value from our subsidiaries may be impacted if we reduce our ownership to a minority interest or otherwise cede control to other investors through contractual agreements or otherwise.

We currently own the majority of the fully-diluted shares outstanding of Cullinan Pearl, Cullinan Florentine, Cullinan Apollo, and Cullinan Amber. Our ownership in Cullinan MICA, which owns intellectual property related to CLN-619, represents 88% of Cullinan MICA’s Series A Senior Preferred Stock, but approximately 35% of its fully-diluted common stock equivalent outstanding as of December 31, 2020. However, we currently can designate three of the five directors of the company and have control over certain corporate actions such as the acquisition of Cullinan MICA by any other corporation or entity, through our majority ownership of the Series A Senior Preferred Stock. Further, we will maintain our Series A Senior Preferred Stock ownership percentage by participating in future milestone dependent closings of the Series A financing (for more information please see Note 5 of our condensed consolidated financial statements).

In the event that any of our subsidiaries require additional capital and its respective board of directors authorizes the transaction, our equity interest in our subsidiaries may be further reduced to the extent such additional capital is obtained from third party investors rather than from us. However, such transactions would

 

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still need to be approved by the board of directors of our respective subsidiary over which we maintain full or, in the case of Cullinan MICA, majority control. For example, in the event Cullinan MICA were to undertake a transaction that could lead to further dilution of our interest, such action would still be subject to protective provisions requiring the consent of a majority in interest of the then-outstanding shares of Series A Senior Preferred Stock, or the Protective Voting Rights, including, among other things, any authorization, designation, recapitalization or issuance of any new class or series of stock or any other securities convertible into equity securities of Cullinan MICA. Cullinan Oncology, LLC currently holds a majority of the Series A Senior Preferred Stock. These Protective Voting Rights give holders of Series A Senior Preferred voting control over any actions that would result in redemptions of equity securities.

However, if we do not wish to or cannot provide additional capital to any of our subsidiaries, we may approve of an issuance of equity by a subsidiary that dilutes our ownership and may lose control over the subsidiary. In addition, if the affairs of such minority-owned subsidiaries such as Cullinan MICA were to be conducted in a manner detrimental to the interests or intentions of the Company, our business, reputation, and prospects may be adversely affected. For example, other shareholders of Cullinan MICA could take actions without our consent, including that a majority of shareholders could demand a registration of their shares beginning in April 2025 and such a liquidity event by the other shareholders could have an adverse impact on our investment in the subsidiary.

A single or limited number of subsidiaries may comprise a large proportion of our value.

A large proportion of our value may at any time reside in one or two of our subsidiaries, including intellectual property rights and the value ascribed to the product candidate or program that it is developing. Our consolidated financial condition and prospects may be materially diminished if the clinical development or potential commercialization prospects of a subsidiary’s product candidate or program or one or more of the intellectual property rights held by a specific subsidiary becomes impaired. Furthermore, a large proportion of our consolidated revenue may at any time be derived from one, or a small number of, licensed technologies, and termination or expiration of licenses to these technologies would likely have a material adverse effect on our consolidated revenue. Any material adverse impact on the value of a particular subsidiary, including its intellectual property rights or the clinical development of its product candidate or program, could have a material adverse effect on our consolidated business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.

We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate or indication and fail to capitalize on product candidates or indications that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we must focus on a limited number of research programs and product candidates and on specific indications. As a result, we may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with other product candidates or for other indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential, or fail to recognize or acquire assets that may be more promising than those we acquire. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future identification, discovery, and preclinical development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products.

Our reliance on a central team consisting of a limited number of employees who provide various administrative, research and development, and other services across our organization presents operational challenges that may adversely affect our business.

As of December 31, 2020, we had 20 full-time employees who are employed by our wholly-owned subsidiary, Cullinan Management, upon which we rely for various administrative, research and development, and other support services shared among our other operating subsidiaries. We also have two consultants who we rely on for research and development, business development, and other services. While we believe this structure

 

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enables us to reduce certain infrastructure costs, the small size of our centralized team may limit our ability to devote adequate personnel, time, and resources to support the operations of all of our subsidiaries, including their research and development activities, and the management of financial, accounting, and reporting matters. Given that our employees and management are primarily incentivized at the parent company level, these employees and management team members may not be sufficiently incentivized to maximize the overall value of our entire organization. If our centralized team fails to provide adequate administrative, research and development, or other services across our entire organization, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be harmed.

Some of our officers and directors currently serve, and in the future may serve, as directors or officers of our subsidiaries, and, as a result, have and may continue to have, fiduciary and other duties to our subsidiaries causing conflicts of interest with respect to their duties to us and their duties to our subsidiaries and in determining how to devote themselves to our affairs and the affairs of our subsidiaries. Our subsidiaries’ partners may also disagree with the sufficiency of resources that we provide to each subsidiary.

Certain of our officers, including our CEO and director, Owen Hughes, and our Chief Scientific Officer, Leigh Zawel, are also directors and/or officers of one or more of our subsidiaries and, as a result, have fiduciary or other duties both to us and our subsidiaries. The conflicts of interest that arise from such duties could interfere with the management of our subsidiaries and their programs and product candidates, or result in disagreements with our subsidiaries’ partners. For example, an individual who is both a director of one of our subsidiaries and a director of Cullinan Oncology, LLC owes fiduciary duties to the subsidiary and to the Company as a whole, and such individual may encounter circumstances in which his or her decision or action may benefit the subsidiary while having a detrimental impact on the Company, or vice versa, or on another subsidiary, including one for which he or she also serves as a director. Further, our officers and directors who are also officers and directors of our subsidiaries will need to allocate his or her time to responsibilities owed to Cullinan Oncology, LLC, Cullinan Management and each of the subsidiaries for which he or she serves as an officer or director, and will make decisions on behalf of one entity that may negatively impact others. In addition, while most of our subsidiaries have waived any interest or expectation of corporate opportunities that is presented to, or acquired, created or developed by, or which otherwise comes into possession of any director or officer who is also a director or officer of Cullinan Oncology, LLC, disputes could arise between us and our subsidiary’s partners regarding a conflict of interest. These partners also may disagree with the amount and quality of resources that our officers and employees devote to the subsidiary they are invested in. Any such disputes or disagreements could distract our management, interfere with our relations with our partners, and take significant time to resolve, which could disrupt the development of our product candidates, delay our potential commercialization efforts, result in increased costs or make it less likely that other third parties will choose to partner with us in the future.

We currently outsource, and intend to continue to outsource, nearly all our discovery, clinical development, and manufacturing functions to third-party providers or consultants. Outsourcing these functions has significant risks, and our failure to manage these risks successfully could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our business model relies upon the use of third parties, such as vendors and consultants, to conduct our drug discovery, preclinical testing, clinical trials, manufacturing, and all other aspects of clinical development. While our reliance on third parties allows us to purposely employ a small number of full–time employees, we may not effectively manage and oversee the third parties that our business depends upon and we have less control over our operations due to our reliance on third parties. While we believe our business model significantly reduces overhead cost, we may not realize the efficiencies of this arrangement if we are unable to effectively manage third parties or if our limited number of employees are unable to manage the operations of each of our subsidiaries, including the development of their programs and product candidates. The failure to successfully and efficiently outsource operational functions or appropriately manage the operations of our subsidiaries could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

 

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Risks Related to the Development of Our Product Candidates

Our preclinical studies and clinical trials may fail to demonstrate adequately the safety and efficacy of any of our product candidates, which would prevent or delay development, regulatory approval, and commercialization.

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of our product candidates, including CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, we must demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our investigational product candidates for use in each target indication through lengthy, complex, and expensive preclinical studies and clinical trials. Failure can occur at any time during the preclinical study and clinical trial processes, and, because our product candidates are in an early stage of development, there is a high risk of failure and we may never succeed in developing marketable products. Any preclinical studies or clinical trials that we may conduct may not demonstrate the safety and efficacy necessary to obtain regulatory approval to market any of our product candidates. If the results of our ongoing or future preclinical studies and clinical trials are inconclusive with respect to the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, if we do not meet the clinical endpoints with statistical and clinically meaningful significance, or if there are safety concerns associated with our product candidates, we may be prevented or delayed in obtaining marketing approval for such product candidates. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different preclinical studies and clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. While we have not yet initiated clinical trials for certain of our product candidates and are in early stages of clinical trials for CLN-081, it is likely, as is the case with many oncology therapies, that there may be side effects associated with their use. Results of our trials could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects. In such an event, our trials could be suspended or terminated and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Treatment-related side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial or result in potential product liability claims. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.

Further, our product candidates could cause undesirable side effects in clinical trials related to on-target toxicity. If on-target toxicity is observed, or if our product candidates have characteristics that are unexpected, we may need to abandon their development or limit development to more narrow uses or subpopulations in which the undesirable side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective. In addition, our product candidates could cause undesirable side effects that we have not observed yet to date. Many compounds that initially showed promise in early stage testing for treating cancer have later been found to cause side effects that prevented further development of the compound. In addition to our ongoing clinical trial of CLN-081, patients have been, and will likely continue to be, treated with CLN-081 under an expanded access or “compassionate use” program. To the extent the experiences of patients being treated in this program are inconsistent with or less favorable than the results of our ongoing or planned company-sponsored trials with CLN-081, it may negatively affect perceptions of CLN-081, our other product candidates, or our business. In addition, the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may require us to obtain and submit additional clinical data due to these inconsistent or unfavorable results, which could delay clinical development or marketing approval of CLN-081 or potentially our other product candidates.

Our discovery, preclinical, and clinical development is focused on the development of targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates for cancer patients, and our approach to the identification, discovery, and development of product candidates is novel and may never lead to marketable products.

The scientific discoveries that form the basis for our efforts to discover and develop targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates for cancer patients are relatively new. The scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing product candidates based on these discoveries is both preliminary and

 

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limited. The patient populations for certain of our product candidates are limited to those with specific target mutations, and we will need to screen and identify these patients with the targeted mutations. Successful identification of patients is dependent on several factors, including achieving certainty as to how specific genetic alterations and larger classes of mutations, such as epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, Exon 20 mutations, respond to our product candidates, and developing companion diagnostics to identify such genetic alterations. Furthermore, even if we are successful in identifying patients, we cannot be certain that the resulting patient populations for each mutation or class of mutations will be large enough to allow us to successfully obtain indications for each mutation type and to commercialize our products and achieve profitability. The FDA and other regulatory authorities may not agree with our approach to seek labeling for groups of related mutations, rather than individual mutations, and may require us to conduct additional trials and obtain separate approvals for each individual mutation, which may further affect our ability to successfully commercialize our products, if approved. In addition, even if our approach is successful in showing clinical benefit for tumors harboring certain targeted mutations, we may never successfully identify additional oncogenic mutations. Therefore, we do not know if our approach of treating patients with targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapies will be successful, and if our approach is unsuccessful, our business will suffer.

If we are unable to successfully validate, develop, and obtain regulatory approval for any required companion diagnostic tests for our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, we may fail to obtain approval or may not realize the full commercial potential of these product candidates.

In connection with the clinical development of our product candidates for certain indications, we may engage third parties to develop or obtain access to in vitro companion diagnostic tests to identify patient subsets within a disease category who may derive benefit from our product candidates, as we are targeting certain genetically defined populations for our treatments. Such companion diagnostics may be used during our clinical trials and may be required in connection with the FDA approval of our product candidates. To be successful, we or our collaborators will need to address a number of scientific, technical, regulatory, and logistical challenges. Companion diagnostics are subject to regulation by the FDA, European Medicines Agency, or EMA, and other regulatory authorities as medical devices and require separate regulatory approval prior to commercialization.

Given our limited experience in developing and commercializing diagnostics, we may rely on third parties for the design, development, and manufacture of companion diagnostic tests for our therapeutic product candidates that may require such tests. If we enter into such collaborative agreements, we will be dependent on the sustained cooperation and effort of our future collaborators in developing and obtaining approval for these companion diagnostics. We and our future collaborators may encounter difficulties in developing and obtaining approval for the companion diagnostics, including issues relating to selectivity/specificity, analytical validation, reproducibility, or clinical validation of companion diagnostics. We and our future collaborators also may encounter difficulties in developing, obtaining regulatory approval for, manufacturing, and commercializing companion diagnostics similar to those we face with respect to our therapeutic product candidates themselves, including issues with achieving regulatory clearance or approval, production of sufficient quantities at commercial scale and with appropriate quality standards, and in gaining market acceptance. If we are unable to successfully develop companion diagnostics for these therapeutic product candidates, or experience delays in doing so, the development of these therapeutic product candidates may be adversely affected or these therapeutic product candidates may not obtain marketing approval or such approval may be delayed, and we may not realize the full commercial potential of any of these therapeutics that obtain marketing approval. As a result, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be materially harmed. In addition, a diagnostic company with whom we contract may decide to discontinue developing, selling or manufacturing the companion diagnostic test that we anticipate using in connection with development and commercialization of our product candidates or our relationship with such diagnostic company may otherwise terminate. We may not be able to enter into arrangements with another diagnostic company to obtain supplies of an alternative diagnostic test for use in connection with the development and commercialization of our product candidates or do so on commercially reasonable terms, which could adversely affect and/or delay the development or commercialization of our therapeutic product candidates.

 

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Preclinical and clinical development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future preclinical studies or clinical trial results. We may encounter substantial delays in preclinical and clinical trials, or may not be able to conduct or complete preclinical or clinical trials on the expected timelines, if at all. If our preclinical studies and clinical trials are not sufficient to support regulatory approval of any of our product candidates, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development of such product candidate.

It is impossible to predict when or if any of our product candidates will prove effective and safe in humans or will receive regulatory approval. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of any product candidate, we must complete preclinical studies and then conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. The outcome of preclinical development testing and early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in later stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in earlier stage clinical trials. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval of their product candidates. Our preclinical studies and future clinical trials may not be successful.

Additionally, some of the clinical trials we conduct may be open-label in study design and may be conducted at a limited number of clinical sites on a limited number of patients. An “open-label” clinical trial is one where both the patient and investigator know whether the patient is receiving the investigational product candidate or either an existing approved drug or placebo. Most typically, open-label clinical trials test only the investigational product candidate and sometimes may do so at different dose levels. Open-label clinical trials are subject to various limitations that may exaggerate any therapeutic effect, as patients in open-label clinical trials are aware when they are receiving treatment. Open-label clinical trials may be subject to a “patient bias” where patients perceive their symptoms to have improved merely due to their awareness of receiving an experimental treatment. Moreover, patients selected for early clinical studies often include the most severe sufferers and their symptoms may have been bound to improve notwithstanding the new treatment. In addition, open-label clinical trials may be subject to an “investigator bias” where those assessing and reviewing the physiological outcomes of the clinical trials are aware of which patients have received treatment and may interpret the information of the treated group more favorably given this knowledge. Given that our Phase 1/2a clinical trial of CLN-081 includes an open-label dosing design, the results from this clinical trial may not be predictive of future clinical trial results with this or other product candidates for which we conduct an open-label clinical trial when studied in a controlled environment with a placebo or active control.

We may experience delays in initiating or completing preclinical studies or clinical trials, including as a result of delays in obtaining, or failure to obtain, the FDA’s clearance to initiate clinical trials under future INDs. Additionally, we cannot be certain that preclinical studies or clinical trials for our product candidates will not require redesign, enroll an adequate number of subjects on time, or be completed on schedule, if at all. We may experience numerous adverse or unforeseen events during, or as a result of, preclinical studies and clinical trials that could delay or terminate our trials, or delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidates, including:

 

   

we may receive feedback from regulatory authorities that requires us to modify the design or implementation of our preclinical studies or clinical trials, including our ability to commence a clinical trial;

 

   

we may fail or be delayed in reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective contract research organizations, or CROs, and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical trial sites;

 

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we may be unable to add or be delayed in adding a sufficient number of clinical trial sites and obtaining Institutional Review Board, or IRB, or independent ethics committee approval at each clinical trial site;

 

   

preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates may fail to show safety or efficacy or otherwise produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional preclinical studies or clinical trials or abandon our research efforts for our other product candidates;

 

   

preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates may not produce differentiated or clinically significant results across tumor types or indications;

 

   

the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment in these clinical trials may be slower than we anticipate or participants may drop out of our clinical trials or fail to return for post-treatment follow-up at a higher rate than we anticipate;

 

   

our third-party contractors may fail to comply with regulatory requirements, fail to maintain adequate quality controls or be unable to provide us with sufficient product supply to conduct and complete preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates in a timely manner, or at all;

 

   

we or our investigators might have to suspend or terminate clinical trials of our product candidates for various reasons, including non-compliance with regulatory requirements, a finding that our product candidates have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics or a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;

 

   

the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates may be greater than we anticipate, for example, if we experiences delays or challenges in identifying patients with the mutations required for our clinical trials, we may have to reimburse sites for genetic sequencing costs in order to encourage sequencing of additional patients;

 

   

we may experience difficulties in having subjects complete a clinical trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;

 

   

clinical trial sites may deviate from clinical trial protocol or drop out of a clinical trial;

 

   

we may be unable to obtain or be delayed in obtaining sufficient product supply of product candidate for use in preclinical studies or clinical trials from third-party suppliers;

 

   

the quality of our product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates may be insufficient or inadequate, and any transfer of manufacturing activities may require unforeseen manufacturing or formulation changes;

 

   

reports from clinical testing of other therapies may raise safety or efficacy concerns about our product candidates;

 

   

regulators may revise the requirements for approving our product candidates, or such requirements may not be as we anticipate; and

 

   

future collaborators may conduct clinical trials in ways they view as advantageous to them but that are suboptimal for us.

If we are required to conduct additional preclinical studies or clinical trials or other testing of our product candidates beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these studies, trials or tests are not positive or are only moderately positive or if there are safety concerns, our business and results of operations may be adversely affected and we may incur significant additional costs.

We could also encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by the IRBs, or ethics committees of the institutions in which such clinical trials are being conducted, by the Data Safety Monitoring

 

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Board, if any, for such clinical trial or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities. Such authorities may suspend, place on clinical hold, or terminate a clinical trial due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical trial protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from the product candidates, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.

Moreover, principal investigators for our current and future clinical trials may serve as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and receive compensation in connection with such services. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected interpretation of the study. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may therefore question the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized. This could result in a delay in approval, or rejection, of our marketing applications by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority, as the case may be, and may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval of one or more of our product candidates.

If a sufficient number of our product candidates generally prove to be ineffective, unsafe or commercially unviable, our entire pipeline may have little, if any, value, which would have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We are early in our development efforts and are substantially dependent on our lead targeted oncology product candidate, CLN-081, and our most advanced immuno-oncology product candidates, CLN-049 and CLN-619. If we are unable to advance CLN-081, CLN-049, or CLN-619, or any of our other product candidates through clinical development, or to obtain regulatory approval and ultimately commercialize CLN-081, CLN-049, or CLN-619, or any of our other product candidates, either by ourselves or with or by third parties or if we experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

We are early in our development efforts. Our lead targeted oncology program, CLN-081 is in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial. Our most advanced immuno-oncology programs, CLN-049 and CLN-619, are currently in preclinical development. Our ability to generate product revenues, which we do not expect will occur for many years, if ever, will depend heavily on the successful clinical development and eventual commercialization of CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and one or more of our other product candidates, if approved. The success of our product candidates will depend on several factors, including the following:

 

   

sufficiency of our financial and other resources to complete the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials;

 

   

successful completion of preclinical studies;

 

   

regulator acceptance of and maintenance of INDs or comparable foreign applications that allow commencement and continuation of our planned clinical trials or future clinical trials;

 

   

successful initiation of clinical trials;

 

   

successful patient enrollment in and completion of clinical trials;

 

   

positive results from our preclinical and clinical trials that support a demonstration of safety and effectiveness and an acceptable-risk benefit profile for our product candidates that are satisfactory to the FDA or any foreign regulatory authority for marketing approval in the intended population;

 

   

receipt of marketing approvals for our product candidates and any companion diagnostics from applicable regulatory authorities;

 

   

the extent of any required post-marketing approval commitments to applicable regulatory authorities;

 

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obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity for our product candidates;

 

   

making arrangements with third-party manufacturers, or establishing manufacturing capabilities, for both clinical and commercial supplies of our product candidates, if any product candidates are approved;

 

   

establishing sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities and launching commercial sales of our products, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;

 

   

acceptance of our products, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;

 

   

effectively competing with other cancer therapies;

 

   

obtaining and maintaining third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement; and

 

   

maintaining a continued acceptable safety, tolerability, and efficacy profile of our products following approval.

If we do not succeed in one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays in our ability to successfully commercialize product candidates, or be unable to commercialize product candidates at all. If we are unable to advance our preclinical stage product candidates, including CLN-049 and CLN-619, to clinical development, successfully complete clinical trials for our product candidates, obtain regulatory approval, and ultimately commercialize our product candidates, our business will be materially harmed.

There is no guarantee that the results obtained in current preclinical studies, our ongoing and planned clinical trials in EGFR exon 20 insertion mutation non-small-cell lung carcinoma, or NSCLC patients for CLN-081 or, subject to submission to and receipt of authorization from applicable regulatory authorities, our planned dose escalation trials in patients with hematological cancer and solid tumors in CLN-049 and CLN-619, respectively, will be sufficient to obtain regulatory approval or marketing authorization for such product candidates. For example, the FDA may require us to complete trials in addition to our ongoing Phase 1/2a trial prior to granting regulatory approval. Although we believe our product candidates and programs are uncorrelated, negative results in the development process of one product candidate could impact other product candidates or programs. For each of our product candidates, antitumor activity may be different in each of the different tumor types we plan on evaluating in our clinical trials. Even as we build clinical experience with our product candidates, we may need to further discuss or meet with the FDA to agree on the optimal patient population, study design, and size for each trial in order to obtain regulatory approval, any of which may require significant additional resources and delay the timing of our clinical trials and ultimately the approval, if any, of any of our product candidates.

Difficulty in enrolling patients could delay or prevent clinical trials of our product candidates, and ultimately delay or prevent regulatory approval.

Identifying and qualifying patients to participate in clinical trials of our product candidates is critical to our success. The timing of completion of our clinical trials depends in part on the speed at which we can recruit patients to participate in testing our product candidates, and we may experience delays in our clinical trials if we encounter difficulties in enrollment. We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States, or as needed to provide appropriate statistical power for a given trial. In particular, because we are focused on patients with specific genetic mutations for the development of CLN-081, our ability to enroll eligible patients may be limited or enrollment may be slower than we anticipate due to the small eligible patient population. In addition, the target population we are seeking to treat may be smaller than expected, as we cannot be certain how many patients will

 

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harbor the EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations that CLN-081 is designed to target. In addition, our ability to enroll patients may be significantly delayed by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and we do not know the extent and scope of such delays at this point.

In addition to the potentially small populations, the eligibility criteria of our planned clinical trials will further limit the pool of available study participants as we will require that patients have specific characteristics, such as a certain severity or stage of disease progression, to include them in a study. Additionally, the process of finding eligible patients may prove costly. We also may not be able to identify, recruit, and enroll a sufficient number of patients to complete our clinical studies because of the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study, the availability and efficacy of competing therapies and clinical trials, the proximity and availability of clinical study sites for prospective patients, the availability of genetic sequencing information for patient tumors so that we can identify patients with the targeted genetic mutations, and the patient referral practices of physicians. If patients are unwilling to participate in our studies for any reason, the timeline for recruiting patients, conducting studies, and obtaining regulatory approval of potential products may be delayed.

The enrollment of patients further depends on many factors, including:

 

   

the proximity of patients to clinical trial sites;

 

   

the design of the clinical trial;

 

   

our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;

 

   

our ability to obtain and maintain patient consents;

 

   

reporting of the preliminary results of any of our clinical trials;

 

   

the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the clinical trials before clinical trial completion; and

 

   

factors we may not be able to control, such as current or potential pandemics that may limit patients, principal investigators or staff or clinical site availability (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic).

In addition, our clinical trials will compete with other clinical trials for product candidates that are in the same therapeutic areas as our product candidates, and this competition will reduce the number and types of patients available to us because some patients who might have opted to enroll in our clinical trials may instead opt to enroll in a clinical trial being conducted by one of our competitors. Since the number of qualified clinical investigators is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same clinical trial sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such clinical trial sites. Moreover, because certain of our product candidates represent a departure from more commonly used methods for cancer treatment and because certain of our product candidates have not been tested in humans before, potential patients and their doctors may be inclined to use conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy, rather than enroll patients in any future clinical trial of our product candidates.

If we experience delays in the completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of our product candidates will be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenue from any of these product candidates could be delayed or prevented.

Interim, “topline,” and preliminary data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to confirmation, audit, and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

From time to time, we may publicly disclose preliminary or topline data from our preclinical studies and clinical trials, which is based on a preliminary analysis of then-available data, and the results and related findings and conclusions are subject to change following a more comprehensive review of the data related to the

 

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particular study or trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations, and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully and carefully evaluate all data. As a result, the topline or preliminary results that we report may differ from future results of the same studies, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Topline data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, topline data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. From time to time, we may also disclose interim data from our clinical trials. Interim or preliminary data from clinical trials are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment and treatment continues and more patient data become available or as patients from our clinical trials continue other treatments for their disease. Adverse differences between preliminary or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects. Further, disclosure of interim data by us or by our competitors could result in volatility in the price of our common stock after this offering.

Further, others, including regulatory agencies, may not accept or agree with our assumptions, estimates, calculations, conclusions or analyses or may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently, which could impact the potential of the particular program, the likelihood of marketing approval or commercialization of the particular product candidate, any approved product, and our company in general. In addition, the information we choose to publicly disclose regarding a particular study or clinical trial is derived from information that is typically extensive, and you or others may not agree with what we determine is material or otherwise appropriate information to include in our disclosure.

If the interim, topline, or preliminary data that we report differ from actual results, or if others, including regulatory authorities, disagree with the conclusions reached, our ability to obtain approval for, and commercialize, our product candidates may be harmed, which could harm our business, operating results, prospects or financial condition.

We may not be able to file INDs or IND amendments to commence additional clinical trials on the timelines we expect, and even if we are able to, the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may not permit us to proceed.

We submitted our IND for CLN-081 in May 2019, which was allowed to proceed by the FDA in June 2019; however, we may not be able to file future INDs for our product candidates, including CLN-049 and CLN-619, on the timelines we expect. For example, we may experience manufacturing delays or other delays with IND-enabling studies or FDA or other regulatory authorities may require additional preclinical studies that we did not anticipate. Moreover, we cannot be sure that submission of an IND will result in the FDA allowing clinical trials to begin, or that, once begun, issues will not arise that result in a decision by us, by IRBs or independent ethics committees, or by the FDA or other regulatory authorities to suspend or terminate clinical trials, including as a result of a clinical hold. Additionally, even if FDA or other regulatory authorities agree with the design and implementation of the clinical trials set forth in an IND, we cannot guarantee that they will not change their requirements or expectations in the future. These considerations also apply to new clinical trials we may submit as amendments to existing INDs or to a new IND. Any failure to file INDs on the timelines we expect or to obtain regulatory approvals for our trials may prevent us from completing our clinical trials or commercializing our products on a timely basis, if at all.

We intend to develop CLN-619 and potentially other product candidates in combination with other therapies, which exposes us to additional risks.

We intend to develop CLN-619 and potentially other product candidates in combination with one or more approved or unapproved therapies to treat cancer or other diseases. Even if any product candidate we develop were to receive marketing approval for use in combination with other approved therapies, the FDA, the EMA, or

 

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comparable foreign regulatory authorities outside of the United States could still revoke approval of the therapy used in combination with our product. If the therapies used in combination with our product candidates are replaced as the standard of care for the indications we choose for any of our product candidates, the FDA, EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to conduct additional clinical trials. The occurrence of any of these risks could result in our own products, if approved, being removed from the market or being less successful commercially.

Further, we will not be able to market and sell any product candidate we develop in combination with an unapproved cancer therapy for a combination indication if that unapproved therapy does not ultimately obtain marketing approval either alone or in combination with our product. In addition, unapproved cancer therapies face the same risks described with respect to our product candidates currently in development and clinical trials, including the potential for serious adverse effects, delay in their clinical trials and lack of FDA approval.

If the FDA, EMA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities do not approve these other products or revoke their approval of, or if safety, efficacy, quality, manufacturing or supply issues arise with, the products we choose to evaluate in combination with our product candidate we develop, we may be unable to obtain approval of or market such combination therapy.

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit their commercial potential or result in significant negative consequences following any potential marketing approval.

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects. Additionally, the administration process or related procedures also can cause adverse side effects. Adverse events that occur in our trials may cause us, or cause the FDA, the EMA or other regulatory authorities, or IRBs to order us to halt, delay or amend preclinical development or clinical development of our product candidates and could result in more restrictive labelling or the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Even if serious adverse events are unrelated to study treatment, such occurrences could affect patient enrollment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial. In addition, if any of our product candidates are tested or used in combination with other drugs, such as our plans to potentially use CLN-619 in combination with other agents, these combinations may have additional side effects, which could be more severe than those caused by either therapy alone.

Furthermore, clinical trials by their nature utilize a sample of the potential patient population. With a limited number of patients and limited duration of exposure, rare and severe side effects of our product candidates or those of our competitors may only be uncovered when a significantly larger number of patients have been exposed to the drug. For example, while we believe that CLN-081 has demonstrated a manageable tolerability profile thus far, there can be no assurance that it or any of our other product candidates will not cause more severe side effects in a greater proportion of patients.

Moreover, if we elect, or are required, to delay, suspend or terminate any clinical trial of any of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of such product candidates or our other product candidates may be harmed, and our ability to generate product revenues from any of these product candidates may be delayed or eliminated. Any of these occurrences may harm our ability to develop other product candidates and may harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects significantly.

If our product candidates receive marketing approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by such product candidates (or any other similar drugs or biologics) after such approval, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

 

   

regulatory authorities may withdraw or limit their approval of such product candidates;

 

   

regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “boxed” warning or a contraindication;

 

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we may be required to change the way such product candidates are distributed or administered, conduct additional clinical trials or change the labeling of the product candidates;

 

   

regulatory authorities may require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, plan to mitigate risks, which 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;

 

   

we may be subject to regulatory investigations and government enforcement actions;

 

   

we may decide to remove such product candidates from the marketplace;

 

   

we could be sued and held liable for injury caused to individuals exposed to or taking our product candidates; and

 

   

our reputation may suffer.

We believe that any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product candidates and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing our product candidates, if approved, and significantly impact our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and generate revenues.

Since the number of patients that have been and will be dosed in our Phase 1/2a clinical trial of CLN-081, and that we plan to dose in our future clinical trials, is small, the results from such clinical trials, once completed, may be less reliable than results achieved in larger clinical trials, which may hinder our efforts to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.

The preliminary results of clinical trials with smaller sample sizes, such as our Phase 1/2a clinical trial of CLN-081, can be disproportionately influenced by various biases associated with the conduct of small clinical trials, such as the potential failure of the smaller sample size to accurately depict the characteristics of the broader patient population, which limits the ability to generalize the results across a broader community, thus making the clinical trial results less reliable than clinical trials with a larger number of patients. As a result, there may be less certainty that such product candidates would achieve a statistically significant effect in any future clinical trials. Further, the FDA or other regulatory authorities may require us to conduct additional and larger trials than we may plan to support applications for marketing authorization. If we conduct any future clinical trials of CLN-081 or other of our product candidates, we may not achieve a positive or statistically significant result or the same level of statistical significance, if any, that we might have anticipated based on prior results.

We are currently conducting and may in the future conduct clinical trials for product candidates outside the United States, and the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials.

We are evaluating CLN-081 in a global Phase 1/2a trial in patients with NSCLC harboring EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations. We may also in the future choose to conduct one or more additional clinical trials outside the United States, including in Europe. The acceptance of study data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States or another jurisdiction by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority may be subject to certain conditions or may not be accepted at all. If data from foreign clinical trials are intended to serve as the basis for marketing approval in the United States, the FDA will generally not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless (i) the data are applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice, and (ii) the trials were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence and pursuant to good clinical practice, or GCP, regulations. Additionally, the FDA’s clinical trial requirements, including sufficient size of patient populations and statistical powering, must be met. Many foreign regulatory authorities have similar approval requirements. In addition, foreign trials are subject to the applicable local laws of the foreign jurisdictions where

 

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the trials are conducted. We would need to conduct additional trials if the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority does not accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States or the applicable foreign jurisdiction, which could be costly and time-consuming, and which may result in product candidates that we may develop not receiving approval for commercialization in the United States or any such foreign jurisdiction.

Risks Related to Potential Commercialization

Even if we obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates, the products may not gain market acceptance among physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and others in the medical community.

The use of precision medicines or immuno-oncology medicines as a potential cancer treatment is a recent development and may not become broadly accepted by physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and others in the medical community. Various factors will influence whether our product candidates are accepted in the market, including:

 

   

the clinical indications for which our product candidates are licensed;

 

   

physicians, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, and patients considering our product candidates as a safe and effective treatment;

 

   

the potential and perceived advantages of our product candidates over alternative treatments;

 

   

our ability to demonstrate the advantages of our product candidates over other cancer medicines;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of any side effects caused by our product candidates;

 

   

the prevalence and severity of any side effects for other precision medicines and public perception of other precision medicines;

 

   

product labeling or product insert requirements of the FDA or other regulatory authorities;

 

   

limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved by the FDA;

 

   

the timing of market introduction of our product candidates as well as competitive products;

 

   

the cost of treatment in relation to alternative treatments;

 

   

the availability of adequate coverage, reimbursement and pricing by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

   

the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of coverage by third-party payors and government authorities;

 

   

relative convenience and ease of administration, including as compared to alternative treatments and competitive therapies; and

 

   

the effectiveness of our sales and marketing efforts.

If our product candidates are licensed but fail to achieve market acceptance among physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers or others in the medical community, we will not be able to generate significant revenue.

In addition, although our product candidates differ in certain ways from other precision medicine or immuno-oncology medicine approaches, serious adverse events or deaths in other clinical trials involving precision medicines, even if not ultimately attributable to our product or product candidates, could result in increased government regulation, unfavorable public perception and publicity, potential regulatory delays in the testing or licensing of our product candidates, stricter labeling requirements for those product candidates that are licensed, and a decrease in demand for any such product candidates.

 

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Even if our products achieve market acceptance, we may not be able to maintain that market acceptance over time if new products or technologies are introduced that are more favorably received than our products, are more cost effective or render our products obsolete.

We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing products before or more successfully than we do.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are characterized by the rapid evolution of technologies and understanding of disease etiology, intense competition, and a strong emphasis on intellectual property. We face, and will continue to face, competition from companies focused on more traditional therapeutic modalities, such as small molecule inhibitors. We believe that our differentiated business model, approach, scientific capabilities, know-how, and experience provide us with competitive advantages. However, we expect substantial competition from multiple sources, including major pharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical, and existing or emerging biotechnology companies, academic research institutions, governmental agencies, and public and private research institutions worldwide. Many of our competitors, either alone or through collaborations, have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals, and marketing approved products than we do. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These companies also compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and recruiting patients in clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs. As a result, our competitors may discover, develop, license or commercialize products before or more successfully than we do.

Product candidates that we successfully develop and commercialize will compete with existing therapies and new therapies that may become available in the future. We expect that CLN-081 will compete against small molecule EGFR inhibitors poziotinib from Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and mobocertinib (TAK-788) from Takeda Pharmaceuticals. CLN-081 may also compete against Black Diamond’s BDTX-189, an EGFR inhibitor. CLN-081 may also compete with amivantamab from Johnson & Johnson, an EGFRxcMET bispecific antibody. We expect that CLN-049 will compete against bi-specifics for the treatment of AML, including those targeting CD3 and CD33 (Amgen, Amphivena), CD123 (Macrogenics, Xencor), FLT3 (Amgen), and CCL1/CLEC12A (Merus, Genentech). We expect that CLN-619 will compete against cancer therapies targeting MICA/B as a monotherapy and/or in combination with other agents, including: Innate Pharma, Inc. (in collaboration with AstraZeneca Inc.), CanCure LLC, Genentech Inc., and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

If our product candidates, including CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, are approved for their currently proposed target indication, they will likely compete with the competitor products mentioned above and with other products that are currently in development. The key competitive factors affecting the success of all of our therapeutic candidates, if approved, are likely to be their efficacy, safety, convenience, price, the level of generic competition, and the availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors. Our competitors may obtain patent protection or other intellectual property rights that limit our ability to develop or commercialize our product candidates. The availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors will also significantly affect the pricing and competitiveness of our products. Our competitors may also obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. If our competitors develop and commercialize drugs that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient to administer, are less expensive or with a more favorable label than our therapeutic candidates, we could see a reduction or elimination in our commercial opportunity. For additional information regarding our competition, see “Business—Competition.”

 

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The insurance coverage and reimbursement status of newly-approved products is uncertain. Our product candidates may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party coverage and reimbursement practices, or healthcare reform initiatives, which would harm our business. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate coverage and reimbursement for new or current products could limit our ability to market those products and decrease our ability to generate revenue.

The regulations that govern marketing approvals, pricing, coverage, and reimbursement for new drugs vary widely from country to country. In the United States, recently enacted legislation may significantly change the approval requirements in ways that could involve additional costs and cause delays in obtaining approvals. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay our commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, and negatively impact the revenue we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if any product candidates we may develop obtain marketing approval.

In the United States and markets in other countries, patients generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the costs associated with their treatment. Adequate coverage and reimbursement from governmental healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and commercial payors is critical to new product acceptance. Our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Government authorities and other third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which medications they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. The availability of coverage and extent of reimbursement by governmental and private payors is essential for most patients to be able to afford treatments such as gene therapy products. Sales of these or other product candidates that we may identify will depend substantially, both domestically and abroad, on the extent to which the costs of our product candidates will be paid by health maintenance, managed care, pharmacy benefit and similar healthcare management organizations, or reimbursed by government health administration authorities, private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. If coverage and adequate reimbursement is not available, or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our product candidates. Even if coverage is provided, the approved reimbursement amount may not be high enough to allow us to establish or maintain pricing sufficient to realize a sufficient return on our investment.

Reimbursement by a third-party payor may depend upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the third-party payor’s determination that use of a product is:

 

   

a covered benefit under its health plan;

 

   

safe, effective and medically necessary;

 

   

appropriate for the specific patient;

 

   

cost-effective; and

 

   

neither experimental nor investigational.

A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Governmental authorities and other third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. In many countries, the prices of medical products are subject to varying price control mechanisms as part of national health systems. In general, the prices of medicines under such systems are substantially lower than in the United States. Other countries allow companies to fix their own prices for medicines, but monitor and control company profits. Additional foreign price controls or other changes

 

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in pricing regulation could restrict the amount that we are able to charge for our product candidates. Accordingly, in markets outside the United States, the reimbursement for products may be reduced compared with the United States and may be insufficient to generate commercially reasonable revenues and profits.

There is also significant uncertainty related to the insurance coverage and reimbursement of newly approved products and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the medicine is approved by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. In the United States, the principal decisions about reimbursement for new medicines are typically made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or HHS. CMS decides 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. No uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for products exists among third-party payors and coverage and reimbursement levels for products can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time consuming and costly process that may require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance. It is difficult to predict what CMS will decide with respect to reimbursement for fundamentally novel products such as ours. Reimbursement agencies in Europe may be more conservative than CMS. For example, a number of cancer drugs have been approved for reimbursement in the United States and have not been approved for reimbursement in certain European countries. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale, and distribution. Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost drugs and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products we may develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize product candidates, and our overall financial condition.

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. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and profitable reimbursement rates third-party payors for any approved products that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition.

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. Reimbursement may impact the demand for, or the price of, any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval. In order to obtain reimbursement, physicians may need to show that patients have superior treatment outcomes with our products compared to standard of care drugs, including lower-priced generic versions of standard of care drugs. We expect to experience pricing pressures in connection with the sale of any of our product candidates due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations and additional legislative changes. The downward pressure on healthcare costs in general, particularly prescription drugs and surgical procedures and other treatments, has become very intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products.

Additionally, we may develop companion diagnostic tests for use with our product candidates. We, or our collaborators, may be required to obtain coverage and reimbursement for these tests separate and apart from the coverage and reimbursement we seek for our product candidates, once approved. Even if we obtain regulatory approval or clearance for such companion diagnostics, there is significant uncertainty regarding our ability to

 

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obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement for the same reasons applicable to our product candidates. Medicare reimbursement methodologies, whether under Part A, Part B, or clinical laboratory fee schedule may be amended from time to time, and we cannot predict what effect any change to these methodologies would have on any product candidate or companion diagnostic for which we receive approval. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement from both third-party payors for the companion diagnostic tests that we develop and for which we obtain regulatory approval could have a material and adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Healthcare legislative measures aimed at reducing healthcare costs may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

The United States and many foreign jurisdictions have enacted or proposed legislative and regulatory changes affecting the healthcare system that could prevent or delay marketing approval of our product candidates or any future product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell a product for which we obtain marketing approval. Changes in regulations, statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (i) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (ii) additions or modifications to product labeling; (iii) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (iv) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business.

In the United States, there have been and continue to be a number of legislative initiatives to contain healthcare costs. For example, in March 2010, the ACA was passed, which substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers, and significantly impacted the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The ACA, among other things, subjects biological products to potential competition by lower-cost biosimilars, addresses 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, increases the minimum Medicaid rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and extends the rebate program to individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations, establishes annual fees and taxes on manufacturers of certain branded prescription drugs, and creates a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% (increased to 70% pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, effective as of 2019) point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D.

Since its enactment, there have been numerous judicial, administrative, executive, and legislative challenges to certain aspects of the ACA, and we expect there will be additional challenges and amendments to the ACA in the future. Various portions of the ACA are currently undergoing legal and constitutional challenges in the United States Supreme Court, the Trump Administration has issued various Executive Orders which eliminated cost-sharing subsidies and various provisions that would impose a fiscal burden on states or a cost, fee, tax, penalty or regulatory burden on individuals, healthcare providers, health insurers, or manufacturers of pharmaceuticals or medical devices; and Congress has introduced several pieces of legislation aimed at significantly revising or repealing the ACA. It is unclear whether the ACA will be overturned, repealed, replaced, or further amended. We cannot predict what affect further changes to the ACA would have on our business.

U.S. federal government agencies currently face potentially significant spending reductions. The Budget Control Act of 2011, or the BCA, established a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which was tasked with achieving a reduction in the federal debt level of at least $1.2 trillion. That committee did not draft a proposal by the BCA’s deadline. As a result, automatic cuts, referred to as sequestration, in various federal programs were scheduled to take place, beginning in January 2013, although the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 delayed the BCA’s automatic cuts until March 1, 2013. While the Medicare program’s eligibility and scope of benefits are generally exempt from these cuts, Medicare payments to providers and Part D health plans are not exempt. The BCA did, however, provide that the Medicare cuts to providers and Part D health plans

 

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would not exceed two percent unless additional Congressional action is taken. President Obama issued the sequestration order on March 1, 2013, and cuts went into effect on April 1, 2013. Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, these reductions are suspended from May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the legislation currently stands, the reductions will go back into effect January 2021 and will remain in effect through 2030 unless additional Congressional action is taken.

There has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the United States with respect to specialty drug pricing practices. Specifically, there have been several recent U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drugs. At the federal level, the Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2021 contains a $135 billion allowance (over a period of time) to support legislative proposals seeking to reduce drug prices, increase competition, lower out-of-pocket drug costs for patients, and increase patient access to lower-cost generic and biosimilar drugs. On March 10, 2020, the Trump administration sent “principles” for drug pricing to Congress, calling for legislation that would, among other things, cap Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket pharmacy expenses, provide an option to cap Medicare Part D beneficiary monthly out-of-pocket expenses, and place limits on pharmaceutical price increases. Additionally, the Trump administration released a “Blueprint” to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs of drugs that contains additional proposals to increase manufacturer competition, increase the negotiating power of certain federal healthcare programs, incentivize manufacturers to lower the list price of their products and reduce the out of pocket costs of drug products paid by consumers.

On July 24, 2020, President Trump signed four Executive Orders directing the Secretary of HHS to: (1) eliminate protection under an Anti-Kickback Statute safe harbor for certain retrospective price reductions provided by drug manufacturers to sponsors of Medicare Part D plans or pharmacy benefit managers that are not applied at the point-of-sale; (2) allow the importation of certain drugs from other countries through individual waivers, permit the re-importation of insulin products, and prioritize finalization of FDA’s December 2019 proposed rule to permit the importation of drugs from Canada; (3) ensure that payment by the Medicare program for certain Medicare Part B drugs is not higher than the payment by other comparable countries (depending on whether pharmaceutical manufacturers agree to other measures); and (4) allow certain low-income individuals receiving insulin and epinephrine purchased by a Federally Qualified Health Center, or FQHC, as part of the 340B drug program to purchase those drugs at the discounted price paid by the FQHC. On October 1, 2020, the FDA issued its final rule allowing importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada. On September 13, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing HHS to implement a rulemaking plan to test a payment model, pursuant to which Medicare would pay, for certain high-cost prescription drugs and biological products covered by Medicare Part B, no more than the most-favored-nation price (i.e., the lowest price) after adjustments, for a pharmaceutical product that the drug manufacturer sells in a member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that has a comparable per-capita gross domestic product. Although a number of these, and other proposed measures will require authorization through additional legislation to become effective, Congress and the current administration have each indicated that it will continue to seek new legislative and/or administrative measures to control drug costs.

HHS has already started the process of soliciting feedback on some of these measures and, at the same time, is immediately implementing others under its existing authority. For example, in May 2019, CMS issued a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy, a type of prior authorization, for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020. This final rule codified CMS’s policy change that was effective January 1, 2019.

Further, 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,

 

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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 pharmaceutical manufacturer to make its drug products available to eligible patients as a result of the Right to Try Act.

At the state level, individual states are increasingly aggressive in passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological 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 health care 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 health care programs. These measures could reduce the ultimate demand for our products, once approved, or put pressure on our product pricing.

We expect that additional state and federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services, which could result in reduced demand for our product candidates or additional pricing pressures.

Our revenue prospects could be affected by changes in healthcare spending and policy in the United States and abroad. We operate in a highly regulated industry and new laws, regulations or judicial decisions, or new interpretations of existing laws, regulations or decisions, related to healthcare availability, the method of delivery or payment for healthcare products and services could negatively impact our business, operations and financial condition.

There have been, and likely will continue to be, legislative and regulatory proposals at the foreign, federal and state levels directed at broadening the availability of healthcare and containing or lowering the cost of healthcare. We cannot predict the initiatives that may be adopted in the future, including repeal, replacement or significant revisions to the ACA. The continuing efforts of the government, insurance companies, managed care organizations and other payors of healthcare services to contain or reduce costs of healthcare and/or impose price controls may adversely affect:

 

   

the demand for our product candidates, if we obtain regulatory approval;

 

   

our ability to set a price that we believe is fair for our products;

 

   

our ability to obtain coverage and reimbursement approval for a product;

 

   

our ability to generate revenue and achieve or maintain profitability;

 

   

the level of taxes that we are required to pay; and

 

   

the availability of capital.

Any reduction in reimbursement from Medicare or other government programs may result in a similar reduction in payments from private payors, which may adversely affect our future profitability.

If product liability lawsuits are brought against us, we may incur substantial liabilities and may be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates.

We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing of our product candidates and will face an even greater risk if we commercialize any products. For example, we may be sued if our product candidates cause or are perceived to cause injury or are found to be otherwise unsuitable during clinical testing, manufacturing, marketing or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability or a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required

 

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to limit commercialization of our product candidates. Even successful defense would require significant financial and management resources. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

 

   

decreased demand for our product candidates or products that we may develop;

 

   

injury to our reputation;

 

   

withdrawal of clinical trial participants;

 

   

initiation of investigations by regulators;

 

   

costs to defend the related litigation;

 

   

a diversion of management’s time and our resources;

 

   

substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;

 

   

product recalls, withdrawals or labeling, marketing or promotional restrictions;

 

   

loss of revenue;

 

   

exhaustion of any available insurance and our capital resources;

 

   

the inability to commercialize any product candidate; and

 

   

a decline in our share price.

Failure to obtain or retain sufficient product liability insurance at an acceptable cost to protect against potential product liability claims could prevent or inhibit the commercialization of products we develop, alone or with corporate collaborators. Although we have clinical trial insurance, our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. We may have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts. Even if our agreements with any future corporate collaborators entitle us to indemnification against losses, such indemnification may not be available or adequate should any claim arise.

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

We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures and the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological and radioactive materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We generally contract with third parties for the disposal of these materials and wastes. We cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources. We also could incur significant costs associated with civil or criminal fines and penalties.

Although we maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover us for costs and expenses we may incur due to injuries to our employees resulting from the use of hazardous materials, this insurance may not provide adequate coverage against potential liabilities. We do not maintain insurance for environmental liability or toxic tort claims that may be asserted against us in connection with our storage or disposal of biological, hazardous or radioactive materials.

 

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The market opportunities for our product candidates may be relatively small since the patients who may potentially be treated with our product candidates are those who are ineligible for or have failed prior treatments, and our estimates of the prevalence of our target patient populations may be inaccurate.

Cancer therapies are sometimes characterized by line of therapy (first line, second line, third line, fourth line, etc.), and the FDA often approves new therapies initially only for a particular line or lines of use. When cancer is detected early enough, first line therapy is sometimes adequate to cure the cancer or prolong life without a cure. Whenever first line therapy, usually chemotherapy, antibody drugs, tumor-targeted small molecules, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these, proves unsuccessful, second line therapy may be administered. Second line therapies often consist of more chemotherapy, radiation, antibody drugs, tumor-targeted small molecules, or a combination of these. Third line therapies can include chemotherapy, antibody drugs and small molecule tumor-targeted therapies, more invasive forms of surgery, and new technologies. There is no guarantee that our product candidates, even if approved as a second or third or subsequent line of therapy, would be approved for an earlier line of therapy, and, prior to any such approvals, we may have to conduct additional clinical trials.

Our projections of both the number of people who have the cancers we are targeting, who may have their tumors genetically sequenced, as well as the subset of people with these cancers in a position to receive a particular line of therapy and who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on our beliefs and estimates. These estimates have been derived from a variety of sources, including scientific literature, surveys of clinics, patient foundations or market research, and may prove to be incorrect. Further, new therapies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence of the cancers that we are targeting. Consequently, even if our product candidates are approved for a second or third line of therapy, the number of patients that may be eligible for treatment with our product candidates may turn out to be much lower than expected. In addition, we have not yet conducted market research to determine how treating physicians would expect to prescribe a product that is approved for multiple tumor types if there are different lines of approved therapies for each such tumor type.

We currently have no marketing and sales organization and have no experience in marketing products. If we are unable to establish marketing and sales capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to market and sell our product candidates, if approved, we may not be able to generate product revenue.

We currently have no sales, marketing or distribution capabilities and have no experience in marketing products. If we commercialize ourselves any of our product candidates that may be approved, we will need to develop an in-house marketing organization and sales force, which will require significant capital expenditures, management resources and time. We will have to compete with other pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to recruit, hire, train and retain marketing and sales personnel.

If we are unable or decide not to establish internal sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, we will pursue arrangements with third-party sales, marketing, and distribution collaborators regarding the sales and marketing of our products, if approved. However, there can be no assurance that we will be able to establish or maintain such arrangements on favorable terms or at all, or if we are able to do so, that these third-party arrangements will provide effective sales forces or marketing and distribution capabilities. Any revenue we receive will depend upon the efforts of such third parties, which may not be successful. We may have little or no control over the marketing and sales efforts of such third parties and our revenue from product sales may be lower than if we had commercialized our product candidates ourselves. We also face competition in our search for third parties to assist us with the sales and marketing efforts of our product candidates.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop in-house sales and distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third-party collaborators to commercialize any product in the United States or overseas.

 

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A variety of risks associated with marketing our product candidates internationally could materially adversely affect our business.

We plan to seek regulatory approval of our product candidates outside of the United States and, accordingly, we expect that we will be subject to additional risks related to operating in foreign countries if we obtain the necessary approvals, including:

 

   

differing regulatory requirements in foreign countries, which may result in a longer timeline for obtaining regulatory approvals outside of the United States and be more costly than obtaining approval in the United States;

 

   

unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers, price and exchange controls and other regulatory requirements;

 

   

economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in particular foreign economies and markets;

 

   

compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad;

 

   

foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;

 

   

foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenue, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country;

 

   

difficulties staffing and managing foreign operations;

 

   

workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States;

 

   

potential liability under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 or comparable foreign regulations;

 

   

challenges enforcing our contractual and intellectual property rights, especially in those foreign countries that do not respect and protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the United States;

 

   

production shortages resulting from any events affecting raw material supply or manufacturing capabilities abroad; and

 

   

business interruptions resulting from geo-political actions, including war and terrorism.

These and other risks associated with international operations may materially adversely affect our ability to attain or maintain profitable operations.

Risks Related to Government Regulation

If we are not able to obtain, or are delayed in obtaining, required regulatory approvals for our product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize, or will be delayed in commercializing, our product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

Our product candidates and the activities associated with their development and commercialization, including their design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale, distribution, import and export are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the United States and by comparable authorities in other countries. Before we can commercialize any of our product candidates, we must obtain marketing approval. Whether the results from our current ongoing clinical trials and other trials will suffice to obtain approval will be a review issue and the FDA may not grant approval and may require that we conduct one or more controlled clinical trials to obtain approval. Additionally, even if FDA does grant approval for one or more of our product candidates, it may be for a more narrow indication than we seek. For example, we intend to develop our product candidates and seek

 

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approval for a tumor-agnostic indication based on a biomarker. FDA has approved only a small number of oncology products with tumor-agnostic indications, and there is a risk that FDA may disagree with or strategy or data and approve only a more narrow indication. Regulatory authorities, including the FDA, also may impose significant limitations in the form of narrow indications, warnings or a REMS. These regulatory authorities may require labeling that includes precautions or contra-indications with respect to conditions of use, or they may grant approval subject to the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials. In addition, regulatory authorities may not approve the labeling claims that are necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of any product candidates we may develop.

To date, we have had interactions with regulatory authorities outside of the United States in France, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. We intend to engage with EMA regarding regulatory requirements for registration in the European Union, or EU for our CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619 programs. There is limited experience of regulatory authorities outside of the United States with the approval of tumor-agnostic precision cancer medicines.

Securing regulatory approval also requires the submission of information about the product manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the relevant regulatory authority. Further, our product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have undesirable or unintended side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude our obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use.

The process of obtaining regulatory approvals, both in the United States and abroad, is expensive, may take many years if additional clinical trials are required, if approval is obtained at all, and can vary substantially based upon a variety of factors, including the type, complexity, and novelty of the product candidates involved. Changes in marketing approval policies during the development period, changes in or the enactment of additional statutes or regulations, or changes in regulatory review for each submitted IND, Biologics License Application, or BLA, New Drug Application, or NDA, or equivalent application types, may cause delays in the approval or rejection of an application. The FDA and comparable authorities in other countries have substantial discretion in the approval process and may refuse to accept any application or may decide that our data are insufficient for approval and require additional preclinical, clinical or other studies. Our product candidates could be delayed in receiving, or fail to receive, regulatory approval for many reasons, including the following:

 

   

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with the design or implementation of our clinical trials;

 

   

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our tumor-agnostic development strategy;

 

   

we may be unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities that a product candidate is safe and effective for its proposed indication or a related companion diagnostic is suitable to identify appropriate patient populations;

 

   

the results of clinical trials may not meet the level of statistical significance required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities for approval;

 

   

we may be unable to demonstrate that a product candidate’s clinical and other benefits outweigh its safety risks;

 

   

the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may disagree with our interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;

 

   

the data collected from clinical trials of our product candidates may not be sufficient to support the submission of a BLA, NDA or other submission or to obtain regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere;

 

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the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may determine that the manufacturing processes or controls or the facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we contract for clinical and commercial supplies are inadequate; and

 

   

the approval policies or regulations of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

Of the large number of therapeutic candidates in development, only a small percentage successfully complete the FDA or foreign regulatory approval processes and are commercialized. The lengthy approval process as well as the unpredictability of future clinical trial results may result in our failing to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, results of operations, and prospects.

We may in the future seek orphan drug status for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and some of our other future product candidates, but we may be unable to obtain such designations or to maintain the benefits associated with orphan drug status, including market exclusivity, which may cause our revenue, if any, to be reduced.

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug or biologic intended to treat a rare disease or condition, defined as a disease or condition with a patient population of fewer than 200,000 in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 in the United States when there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available the drug or biologic in the United States will be recovered from sales in the United States for that drug or biologic. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting a BLA or NDA. In the United States, orphan drug designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages, and user-fee waivers. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the generic identity of the drug or biologic 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 a particular drug for the disease for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including a BLA or NDA, to market the same drug for the same indication for seven years, except in limited circumstances such as a showing of clinical superiority to the product with orphan drug exclusivity or if the FDA finds that the holder of the orphan drug exclusivity has not shown that it can assure the availability of sufficient quantities of the orphan drug to meet the needs of patients with the disease or condition for which the drug was designated. As a result, even if one of our product candidates receives orphan exclusivity, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product candidate from competition because different product candidates can be approved for the same condition. In addition, even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA can subsequently approve a later product candidate that is the same drug as the drug with orphan exclusivity for the same condition if the FDA concludes that the later product candidate is clinically superior in that it is shown to be safer, more effective or makes a major contribution to patient care compared with the product that has orphan exclusivity. Orphan drug exclusivity may also be lost if the FDA determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantity of the product to meet the needs of the patients with the rare disease or condition.

We may seek orphan drug designation for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and some or all of our other future product candidates in additional orphan indications in which there is a medically plausible basis for the use of these products. Even when we obtain orphan drug designation, exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be limited if we seek approval for an indication broader than the orphan designated indication and may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or if the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition. In addition, although we intend to seek orphan drug designation for other product candidates, we may

 

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never receive such designations. For example, the FDA has expressed concerns regarding the regulatory considerations for orphan drug designation as applied to tumor-agnostic therapies, and the FDA may interpret the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended, or the FDCA, and regulations promulgated thereunder in a way that limits or blocks our ability to obtain orphan drug designation or orphan drug exclusivity, if our product candidates are approved, for our targeted indications.

On August 3, 2017, the United States Congress passed the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017, or FDARA. FDARA, among other things, codified the FDA’s pre-existing regulatory interpretation, to require that a drug sponsor demonstrate the clinical superiority of an orphan drug that is otherwise the same as a previously approved drug for the same rare disease in order to receive orphan drug exclusivity. The legislation was made in response to a court ruling holding that the Orphan Drug Act unambiguously requires that the FDA recognize the orphan exclusivity period of a company obtains approval of a drug designated as an orphan drug, regardless of a showing of clinical superiority. The FDA and legislators may further reevaluate the Orphan Drug Act and its regulations and policies. We do not know if, when, or how the FDA may change the orphan drug regulations and policies in the future, and it is uncertain how any changes might affect our business. Depending on what changes the FDA may make to its orphan drug regulations and policies, our business could be adversely impacted.

A Fast Track designation by the FDA, even if granted for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, or any other future product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

If a drug or biologic is intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and the product demonstrates the potential to address unmet medical needs for this condition, the product sponsor may apply for FDA Fast Track designation for a particular indication. We may seek Fast Track designation for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and certain of our future product candidates, but there is no assurance that the FDA will grant this status to any of our proposed product candidates. Marketing applications filed by sponsors of products in Fast Track development may qualify for priority review under the policies and procedures offered by the FDA, but the Fast Track designation does not assure any such qualification or ultimate marketing approval by the FDA. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant Fast Track designation, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, there can be no assurance that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even if we do receive Fast Track designation, we may not experience a faster development process, review or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures, and receiving a Fast Track designation does not provide assurance of ultimate FDA approval. In addition, the FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program. In addition, the FDA may withdraw any Fast Track designation at any time.

A Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA, even if granted for any of our product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process and it does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

We may seek Breakthrough Therapy designation for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and some or all of our future product candidates. A Breakthrough Therapy is defined as a drug or biologic that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug or biologic may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints. Sponsors of product candidates that have been designated as Breakthrough Therapies are eligible to receive more intensive FDA guidance on developing an efficient drug development program, an organizational commitment involving senior managers, and eligibility for rolling review and priority review. Drugs and biologics designated as Breakthrough Therapies by the FDA may also be eligible for other expedited approval programs, including accelerated approval.

Designation as a Breakthrough Therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe one of our product candidates meets the criteria for designation as a Breakthrough Therapy, the FDA may

 

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disagree and instead determine not to make such designation. In any event, the receipt of a Breakthrough Therapy designation for a product candidate may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to candidate products developed and considered for approval that have not received Breakthrough Designation and does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. In addition, even if one or more of our product candidates qualify as Breakthrough Therapies, the FDA may later decide that the product no longer meets the conditions for qualification. Thus, even though we may seek Breakthrough Therapy designation for CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619, and some or all of our future product candidates for the treatment of various cancers, there can be no assurance that we will receive breakthrough therapy designation.

Accelerated approval by the FDA, even if granted for CLN-081 or any other future product candidates, may not lead to a faster development or regulatory review or approval process and it does not increase the likelihood that our product candidates will receive marketing approval.

We may seek approval of CLN-081, and certain of our other current and future product candidates using the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. A product may be eligible for accelerated approval if it treats a serious or life-threatening condition, generally provides a meaningful advantage over available therapies, and demonstrates an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. As a condition of approval, the FDA requires that a sponsor of a product receiving accelerated approval perform a post-marketing confirmatory clinical trial or trials. These confirmatory trials must be completed with due diligence. In addition, the FDA currently requires as a condition for accelerated approval pre-approval of promotional materials, which could adversely impact the timing of the commercial launch of the product. Even if we do receive accelerated approval, we may not experience a faster development or regulatory review or approval process, and receiving accelerated approval does not provide assurance of ultimate full FDA approval. Accelerated approval may also be withdrawn if, among other things, a confirmatory trial required to verify the predicted clinical benefit of the product fails to verify such benefit or if such trial is not conducted with due diligence.

If approved, our investigational products regulated as biologics may face competition from biosimilars approved through an abbreviated regulatory pathway.

Most of our pipeline products, with the exception of CLN-081, will be regulated by the FDA as biologics, which must be licensed by FDA prior to marketing under a BLA. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, or collectively the ACA, includes a subtitle called the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, or BPCIA, which created an abbreviated approval pathway for biologic products that are biosimilar to or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed reference biologic product. Under the BPCIA, a reference biological product is granted 12 years of data exclusivity from the time of first licensure of the product, and the 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 In addition, the approval of a biosimilar product may not be made effective by the FDA until 12 years from the date on which the reference product was first licensed. During this 12-year period of exclusivity, another company may still market a competing version of the reference product if the FDA approves a BLA for the competing product containing the sponsor’s own preclinical data and data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, purity, and potency of the other company’s product. The law is complex and is still being interpreted and implemented by the FDA. As a result, its ultimate impact, implementation, and meaning are subject to uncertainty.

We believe that any of our product candidates approved as a biologic product under a BLA should qualify for the 12-year period of exclusivity. However, there is a risk that this exclusivity could be shortened due to congressional action or otherwise, or that the FDA will not consider our investigational medicines to be reference products for competing products, potentially creating the opportunity for generic competition sooner than anticipated. Moreover, the extent to which a biosimilar, once licensed, will be substituted for any one of our reference products in a way that is similar to traditional generic substitution for non-biologic products is not yet clear, and will depend on a number of marketplace and regulatory factors that are still developing.

 

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The BPCIA was enacted in March 2010 as an unrelated part of the ACA. Since its enactment, there have been judicial and Congressional challenges to certain aspects of the ACA, and as a result certain sections of the ACA have not been fully implemented or effectively repealed. In particular, in December of 2018, a Texas U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the ACA is unconstitutional in its entirety because the tax-based shared responsibility payment imposed by the ACA on certain individuals who fail to maintain qualifying health coverage for all or part of a year, commonly referred to as the “individual mandate”, was repealed by Congress as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, effective January 1, 2019. In December 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded part of the case back to the District Court to determine whether other reforms enacted as part of the ACA but not specifically related to the individual mandate or health insurance, including the provisions comprising the BPCIA, could be severed from the rest of the ACA so as not to be declared invalid as well. In March 2020, the United States Supreme Court granted the petitions for writs of certiorari to review this case and has allocated one hour and twenty minutes for oral arguments, which are scheduled to occur on November 10, 2020, with a decision likely to follow in 2021. Pending resolution of the litigation, ACA is still operational. It is unclear how such litigation and other efforts to repeal and replace the ACA will impact the ACA and our business. Complying with any new legislation or reversing changes implemented under the ACA could be time-intensive and expensive, resulting in a material adverse effect on our business.

If competitors are able to obtain marketing approval for biosimilars referencing our products, our products may become subject to competition from such biosimilars, with the attendant competitive pressure and consequences.

If the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities approve generic versions of any of our small molecule investigational products that receive marketing approval, or such authorities do not grant our products appropriate periods of exclusivity before approving generic versions of those products, the sales of our products, if approved, could be adversely affected.

Once an NDA is approved, the product covered thereby becomes a “reference listed drug” in the FDA’s publication, “Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” commonly known as the Orange Book. Manufacturers may seek approval of generic versions of reference listed drugs through submission of abbreviated new drug applications, or ANDAs, in the United States. In support of an ANDA, a generic manufacturer need not conduct clinical trials to assess safety and efficacy. Rather, the applicant generally must show that its product has the same active ingredient(s), dosage form, strength, route of administration and conditions of use or labelling as the reference listed drug and that the generic version is bioequivalent to the reference listed drug, meaning it is absorbed in the body at the same rate and to the same extent. Generic products may be significantly less costly to bring to market than the reference listed drug and companies that produce generic products are generally able to offer them at lower prices. Thus, following the introduction of a generic drug, a significant percentage of the sales of any branded product or reference listed drug is typically lost to the generic product.

The FDA may not approve an ANDA for a generic product until any applicable period of non-patent exclusivity for the reference listed drug has expired. The FDCA provides a period of five years of non-patent exclusivity for a new drug containing a new chemical entity. Specifically, in cases where such exclusivity has been granted, an ANDA may not be submitted to the FDA until the expiration of five years unless the submission is accompanied by a Paragraph IV certification that a patent covering the reference listed drug is either invalid or will not be infringed by the generic product, in which case the applicant may submit its application four years following approval of the reference listed drug.

Generic drug manufacturers may seek to launch generic products following the expiration of any applicable exclusivity period we obtain if our products are approved, even if we still have patent protection for such products. Competition that our products could face from generic versions of our products could materially and adversely affect our future revenue, profitability, and cash flows and substantially limit our ability to obtain a return on the investments we have made in those product candidates.

 

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

Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not guarantee that we will be able to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any other jurisdiction, while a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. For example, even if the FDA grants marketing approval of a product candidate, comparable regulatory authorities in foreign jurisdictions must also approve the manufacturing, marketing, and promotion of the product candidate in those countries. Approval procedures vary among jurisdictions and can involve requirements and administrative review periods different from, and greater than, those in the United States, including additional preclinical studies or clinical trials as clinical trials conducted in one jurisdiction may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions. In many jurisdictions outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that jurisdiction. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for our products is also subject to approval.

We may also submit marketing applications in other countries. Regulatory authorities in jurisdictions outside of the United States have requirements for approval of product candidates with which we must comply prior to marketing in those jurisdictions. Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties, and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in certain countries. If we fail to comply with the regulatory requirements in international markets and/or receive applicable marketing approvals, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be harmed.

Even if we receive regulatory approval of our product candidates, we will be subject to ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our product candidates.

Any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements governing, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacturing, labeling, packaging, distribution, storage, advertising, promotion, import, export, recordkeeping, monitoring, and reporting of our products. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, facility registration and drug listing requirements, as well as continued compliance with cGMPs, good laboratory practice, or GLP, regulations, and GCPs, for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. Even if marketing approval of a product candidate is granted, the approval may be subject to limitations on the indicated uses for which the product may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for costly post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of the product.

The FDA may require a REMS in order to approve our product candidates, which could entail requirements for a medication guide, physician communication plans or additional elements to ensure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with our product candidates, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

 

   

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of our product candidates, withdrawal of the product from the market or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;

 

   

manufacturing delays and supply disruptions where regulatory inspections identify observations of noncompliance requiring remediation;

 

   

revisions to the labeling, including limitation on approved uses or the addition of additional warnings, contraindications or other safety information, including boxed warnings;

 

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imposition of a REMS, which may include distribution or use restrictions;

 

   

requirements to conduct additional post-market clinical trials to assess the safety of the product;

 

   

fines, warning letters or holds on clinical trials;

 

   

refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us or suspension or revocation of approvals;

 

   

product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of our product candidates; and

 

   

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA’s and other regulatory authorities’ policies may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our product candidates. We cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the United States or abroad. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any marketing approval that we may have obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies closely regulate the post-approval marketing and promotion of products to ensure that they are marketed only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved labeling. The FDA and other regulatory agencies impose stringent restrictions on manufacturers’ communications regarding off-label use. If any of our product candidates are approved and we are found to have promoted such off-label uses, we may become subject to significant liability. The federal government has levied large civil and criminal fines against companies for alleged improper promotion of off-label use and has enjoined several companies from engaging in off-label promotion. Violation of the FDCA, and other statutes, including the False Claims Act, and equivalent legislation in other countries relating to the promotion and advertising of prescription products may also lead to investigations or allegations of violations of federal and state and other countries’ health care fraud and abuse laws and state consumer protection laws. Even if it is later determined we were not in violation of these laws, we may be faced with negative publicity, incur significant expenses defending our actions and have to divert significant management resources from other matters.

Inadequate funding for the FDA, the SEC and other government agencies, including from government shut downs, or other disruptions to these agencies’ operations, could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, prevent new products and services from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner or otherwise prevent those agencies from performing normal business functions on which the operation of our business may rely, which could negatively impact our business.

The ability of the FDA to review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, ability to hire and retain key personnel and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory and policy changes. Average review times at the agency have fluctuated in recent years as a result. Disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may also slow the time necessary for new product candidates to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. In addition, government funding of the SEC and other government agencies on which our operations may rely, including those that fund research and development activities, is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.

Disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may also slow the time necessary for new product candidates to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. For

 

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example, over the last several years the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA and the SEC, have had to furlough critical FDA, SEC and other government employees and stop critical activities. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, future government shutdowns could impact our ability to access the public markets and obtain necessary capital in order to properly capitalize and continue our operations.

Separately, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 10, 2020 the FDA announced its intention to postpone most inspections of foreign manufacturing facilities and products while local, national and international conditions warrant. On March 18, 2020, the FDA announced its intention to temporarily postpone routine surveillance inspections of domestic manufacturing facilities and provided guidance regarding the conduct of clinical trials, which the FDA continues to update. As of June 23, 2020, the FDA noted it was continuing to ensure timely reviews of applications for medical products during the COVID-19 pandemic in line with its user fee performance goals and conducting mission critical domestic and foreign inspections to ensure compliance of manufacturing facilities with FDA quality standards. As of July 2020, utilizing a rating system to assist in determining when and where it is safest to conduct such inspections based on data about the virus’ trajectory in a given state and locality and the rules and guidelines that are put in place by state and local governments, FDA is either continuing to, on a case-by-case basis, conduct only mission critical inspections, or, where possible to do so safely, resuming prioritized domestic inspections, which generally include pre-approval inspections. Foreign pre-approval inspections that are not deemed mission-critical remain postponed, while those deemed mission-critical will be considered for inspection on a case-by-case basis. FDA will use similar data to inform resumption of prioritized operations abroad as it becomes feasible and advisable to do so. The FDA may not be able to maintain this pace and delays or setbacks are possible in the future. Should FDA determine that an inspection is necessary for approval, and an inspection cannot be completed during the review cycle due to restrictions on travel, FDA has stated that it generally intends to issue a complete response letter. Further, if there is inadequate information to make a determination on the acceptability of a facility, FDA may defer action on the application until an inspection can be completed. Additionally, regulatory authorities outside the U.S. may adopt similar restrictions or other policy measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and may experience delays in their regulatory activities. If a prolonged government shutdown or other disruption occurs, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Future shutdowns or other disruptions could also affect other government agencies such as the SEC, which may also impact our business by delaying review of our public filings, to the extent such review is necessary, and our ability to access the public markets.

Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other illegal activity by our employees, independent contractors, consultants, commercial partners and vendors. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct that fails to: comply with the regulations of the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory authorities, provide true, complete and accurate information to the FDA and other similar foreign regulatory authorities, comply with manufacturing standards we have established, comply with healthcare fraud and abuse laws in the United States and similar foreign fraudulent misconduct laws or report financial information or data accurately or to disclose unauthorized activities to us. If we obtain FDA approval of any of our product candidates and begin commercializing those products in the United States, our potential exposure under such laws and regulations will increase significantly, and our costs associated with compliance with such laws and regulations are also likely to increase. These laws may impact, among other things, our current activities with principal investigators and research patients, as well as proposed and future sales, marketing and education programs. In particular, the promotion, sales and marketing of healthcare items and services, as well as certain business arrangements in the healthcare industry, are subject to extensive laws designed to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide

 

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range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, structuring and commission(s), certain customer incentive programs and other business arrangements generally. Activities subject to these laws also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of patient recruitment for clinical trials. The laws that may affect our ability to operate include, but are not limited to:

 

   

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce, or in return for, either the referral of an individual, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs. 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. Violations are subject to civil and criminal fines and penalties for each violation, plus up to three times the remuneration involved, imprisonment, and exclusion from government healthcare programs. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act. There are a number of statutory exceptions and regulatory safe harbors protecting some common activities from prosecution;

 

   

federal civil and criminal false claims laws and civil monetary penalty laws, including the False Claims Act, or FCA, which impose criminal and civil penalties, including through civil “qui tam” or “whistleblower” actions, against individuals or entities for, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment or approval from Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal health care programs that are false or fraudulent; knowingly making or causing a false statement material to a false or fraudulent claim or an obligation to pay money to the federal government; or knowingly concealing or knowingly and improperly avoiding or decreasing such an obligation. 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. When an entity is determined to have violated the federal civil False Claims Act, the government may impose civil fines and penalties for each false claim, plus treble damages, and exclude the entity from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs;

 

   

the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which created new federal criminal statutes that prohibit knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g., public or private) and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services relating to healthcare matters. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity can be found guilty of violating HIPAA without actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it;

 

   

HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, or HITECH, and their respective implementing regulations, 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 without appropriate authorization. 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

 

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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 Physician Payment Sunshine Act, created under the Affordable Care Act and its implementing regulations, which require manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to HHS information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members. Effective January 1, 2022, these reporting obligations will extend to include transfers of value made to certain non-physician providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners;

 

   

federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm consumers; and

 

   

analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state and foreign anti-kickback, false claims, consumer protection and unfair competition laws which may apply to pharmaceutical business practices, including but not limited to, research, distribution, sales and marketing arrangements as well as submitting claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by any third-party payor, including commercial insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government that otherwise restricts payments that may be made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources; state laws that require drug manufacturers to file reports with states regarding pricing and marketing information, such as the tracking and reporting of gifts, compensations and other remuneration and items of value provided to healthcare professionals and entities; state and local laws requiring the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives; and state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Effective upon the closing of this offering, we will adopt a code of business conduct and ethics, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent inappropriate conduct may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations.

Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. Because of the breadth of these laws and the narrowness of the statutory exceptions and safe harbors available, it is possible that some of our business activities could be subject to challenge under one or more of such laws. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant criminal, civil and administrative sanctions including monetary penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, and exclusion from participation in government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and we may be required to curtail or restructure our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business. The shifting compliance environment and the need to build and maintain robust and expandable systems to comply

 

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with multiple jurisdictions with different compliance and/or reporting requirements increases the possibility that a healthcare company may run afoul of one or more of the requirements.

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. The provision of benefits or advantages to physicians is governed by the national anti-bribery laws of EU Member States, such as the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, or the Bribery Act. Infringement of these laws could result in substantial fines and imprisonment. 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 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 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.

Data collection is governed by restrictive regulations governing the use, processing and cross-border transfer of personal information.

In the event we decide to conduct clinical trials or continue to enroll subjects in our ongoing or future clinical trials, we may be subject to additional privacy restrictions. The collection, use, storage, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the EU, including personal health data, is subject to the EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU, including the United States, and permits data protection authorities to impose large penalties for violations of the GDPR, including potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global revenues, whichever is greater. The GDPR also confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR includes restrictions on cross-border data transfers. The GDPR increased our responsibility and liability in relation to personal data that we process where such processing is subject to the GDPR, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms to ensure compliance with the GDPR, including as implemented by individual countries. Compliance with the GDPR will be a rigorous and time-intensive process that may increase our cost of doing business or require us to change our business practices, and despite those efforts, there is a risk that we may be subject to fines and penalties, litigation, and reputational harm in connection with our European activities. Further, the United Kingdom’s vote in favor of exiting the EU, often referred to as Brexit, has created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom. In particular, it is unclear how data transfers to and from the United Kingdom will be regulated.

In addition, California recently enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which creates new individual privacy rights for California consumers (as defined in the law) and places increased privacy and

 

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security obligations on entities handling personal data of consumers or households. The CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosure to consumers about such companies’ data collection, use and sharing practices, provide such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales or transfers of personal information, and provide consumers with additional causes of action. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020, and the California Attorney General commenced enforcement actions for violations on July 1, 2020. While there are currently exceptions for protected health information that is subject to HIPAA and clinical trial regulations, as currently written, the CCPA may impact our business activities. On August 14, 2020, implementing regulations were finalized and became effective as of that date. 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. We continue to monitor the impact the CCPA may have on our business activities,

Compliance with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could require us to take on more onerous obligations in our contracts, restrict our ability to collect, use and disclose data, or in some cases, impact our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions. Failure to comply with U.S. and international data protection laws and regulations could result in government enforcement actions (which could include civil or criminal penalties), private litigation or adverse publicity and could negatively affect our operating results and business. Moreover, clinical trial subjects about whom we or our potential collaborators obtain information, as well as the providers who share this information with us, may contractually limit our ability to use and disclose the information. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights, failed to comply with data protection laws, or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our current product candidates and technology, or any other product candidates or technology we may develop, or if the scope of intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize products and technology similar or identical to ours, and our ability to commercialize CLN-081, CLN-049 and CLN-619 or any other product candidates or technology may be adversely affected.

Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection in the United States and other countries with respect to our product candidates, including CLN-081, CLN-049 and CLN-619, their respective components, formulations, combination therapies, methods used to manufacture them and methods of treatment and development that are important to our business, as well as successfully defending these patents against third-party challenges. If we do not adequately protect our intellectual property rights, competitors may be able to erode or negate any competitive advantage we may have, which could harm our business and ability to achieve profitability.

We intend to rely upon a combination of patent applications, confidentiality agreements, trade secret protection and license agreements to protect the intellectual property related to our product candidates and technologies. Any disclosure to or misappropriation by third parties of our confidential proprietary information could enable competitors to quickly duplicate or surpass our technological achievements, thus eroding our competitive position in our market. We, or any future partners, collaborators, or licensees, may fail to identify patentable aspects of inventions made in the course of development and commercialization activities before it is too late to obtain patent protection on them. Therefore, we may miss potential opportunities to establish our patent position.

To protect our proprietary position, we have filed or in-licensed, and plan to file or in-license, patents and patent applications in the United States and abroad relating to our product candidates that are important to our business. Our ability to stop unauthorized third parties from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing

 

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our product candidates is dependent upon the extent to which we have rights under valid and enforceable patents or trade secrets that cover these activities. If we are unable to secure or maintain patent protection with respect to CLN-081, CLN-049 and CLN-619, or any other proprietary products and technology we develop, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects would be materially harmed.

The degree of patent protection we require to successfully compete in the marketplace may be unavailable or severely limited in some cases and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep any competitive advantage. We cannot provide any assurances that any patents we may own or in-license in the future will have, or that any of our patent applications that mature into issued patents will include, claims with a scope sufficient to protect our current and future product candidates or otherwise provide any competitive advantage. In addition, to the extent that we currently or in the future license intellectual property, we cannot assure you that those licenses will remain in force. In addition, the laws of foreign countries may not protect our rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Furthermore, patents have a limited lifespan, and the term of any patents we may own or in-license may be inadequate to protect our competitive position of our product candidates or technology for an adequate amount of time. In the United States, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years after it is filed. Various extensions may be available; however, the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized.

Even if they are unchallenged, our patent applications, if issued, and any patents we may own or in-license, may not provide us with any meaningful protection or prevent competitors from designing around our patent claims to circumvent any patents we may own or in-license by developing similar or alternative technologies or therapeutics in a non-infringing manner. For example, a third party may develop a competitive therapy that provides benefits similar to one or more of our product candidates but that uses a formulation and/or a device that falls outside the scope of any patent protection we may have in the future. If the patent protection provided by our patent applications or any patents we may pursue with respect to our product candidates is not sufficiently broad to impede such competition, our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates could be negatively affected, which would harm our business.

Patent positions of life sciences companies can be uncertain and involve complex factual and legal questions. Changes in either the patent laws or their interpretation in any jurisdiction that we seek patent protection may diminish our ability to protect our inventions, maintain and enforce our intellectual property rights; and, more generally, may affect the value of our intellectual property, including the narrowing of the scope of our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license.

The patent prosecution process is complex, expensive, time-consuming and inconsistent across jurisdictions. Patent license negotiations also can be complex and protracted, with uncertain results. We may not be able to file, prosecute, maintain, enforce, or license all necessary or desirable patent rights at a commercially reasonable cost or in a timely manner. In addition, we may not pursue or obtain patent protection in all relevant markets. It is possible that we will fail to identify important patentable aspects of our research and development efforts in time to obtain appropriate or any patent protection. While we enter into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to confidential or patentable aspects of our research and development efforts, including for example, our employees, corporate collaborators, external academic scientific collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors and other third parties, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose results before a patent application is filed, thereby endangering our ability to seek patent protection. In addition, publications of discoveries in the scientific and scholarly literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all. Consequently, we cannot be certain that we were the first to file for patent protection on the inventions claimed in our patent applications.

It is possible that defects of form in the preparation or filing of our patent applications, or any patents we may own or in-license, may exist or may arise in the future, for example with respect to proper priority claims,

 

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inventorship, claim scope, or requests for patent term adjustments. If we or our partners, collaborators, licensees or licensors fail to establish, maintain or protect such patents and other intellectual property rights, such rights may be reduced or eliminated. If our partners, collaborators, licensees or licensors are not fully cooperative or disagree with us as to the prosecution, maintenance or enforcement of any patent rights, such patent rights could be compromised. If there are material defects in the form, preparation, prosecution, or enforcement of our patent applications or patents we may own or in-license , such patents may be invalid and/or unenforceable, and such applications may never result in valid, enforceable patents. Any of these outcomes could impair our ability to prevent competition from third parties, which may have an adverse impact on our business.

Additionally, we cannot be certain that the claims in our patent applications covering composition of matter of our product candidates or technology will be considered patentable by the USPTO, or by patent offices in foreign countries, or that the claims in any issued patents we may own or in-license will be considered patentable by courts in the United States or foreign countries.

Method of use patents protect the use of a product for the specified method. These types of patents do not prevent a competitor from making and marketing a product that is identical to our product for an indication that is outside the scope of the patented method. Moreover, even if competitors do not actively promote their product for our targeted indications, physicians may prescribe these products “off-label.” Although off-label prescriptions may induce or contribute to the infringement of method of use patents, the practice is common and such infringement is difficult to prevent or prosecute.

The patent position of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies generally is highly uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions for which many legal principles remain unresolved. In recent years, patent rights have been the subject of significant litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of any rights we may have from our patent applications are highly uncertain. Our patent applications may not result in patents being issued in the United States or in other jurisdictions which protect our technology or products or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. Moreover, our ability to obtain and maintain valid and enforceable patents depends on whether the differences between our inventions and the prior art, including our own previously filed patent applications and scientific publications, allow our inventions to be patentable over the prior art. Even if our patent applications issue as patents, third parties could challenge the validity of such patents based on such scientific publications and we could potentially lose valuable patent rights. Further, the scope of the invention claimed in a patent application can be significantly reduced before the patent is issued, and this scope can be reinterpreted after issuance. Even where our patent applications, whether owned or in-licensed, issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors or other third parties from competing with us, or otherwise provide us with a competitive advantage. Any patents that eventually issue may be challenged, narrowed or invalidated by third parties. Consequently, we do not know whether any of our product candidates will be protectable or remain protected by valid and enforceable patent rights. Our competitors or other third parties may be able to evade any rights we may have by developing new compounds or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner.

The issuance or grant of a patent is not irrefutable as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, and any of our current or future patents, whether owned or in-licensed may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. Such challenges may result in the patent claims of any such patents being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, which could limit our ability to stop or prevent us from stopping others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and products. There may be prior art of which we are not aware that may affect the validity or enforceability of a patent claim. There also may be prior art of which we are aware, but which we do not believe affects the validity or enforceability of a claim, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to affect the validity or enforceability of a claim. We may in the future, become subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art or opposition, derivation, revocation, re-examination, post-grant and inter partes review, or interference proceeding and other similar proceedings challenging any rights we may have from

 

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our patent applications or the patent rights of others in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or other foreign patent office, or in declaratory judgment actions or counterclaims. An unfavorable determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, any rights we may have from our patents or patent applications, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or extinguish our ability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights.

Moreover, some of our intellectual property, may be co-owned with third parties. If we are unable to obtain an exclusive license to any such third-party co-owners’ interest in such intellectual property, including patents or patent applications, such co-owners may be able to license their rights to other third parties, including our competitors, and our competitors could market competing products and technology. In addition, we or our licensors may need the cooperation of any such co-owners of our owned and in-licensed intellectual property, including patents and patent applications, in order to enforce such intellectual property against third parties, and such cooperation may not be provided to us or our licensors. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.

If we fail to comply with our obligations in any agreements under which we may license intellectual property rights from third parties or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our licensors, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

We are currently, and may in the future be, party to license or collaboration agreements with third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of product candidates. Our current agreements impose, and we expect that future agreements may impose numerous obligations, such as development, diligence, payment, commercialization, funding, milestone, royalty, sublicensing, insurance, patent prosecution, enforcement and other obligations on us and may require us to meet development timelines, or to exercise commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize licensed products, in order to maintain the licenses. In spite of our best efforts, our licensors might conclude that we have materially breached our license agreements and might therefore terminate the license agreements, thereby removing or limiting our ability to develop and commercialize products and technologies covered by these license agreements.

Any termination of these licenses, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, could result in the loss of significant rights and could harm our ability to commercialize our product candidates, and competitors or other third parties would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical to ours and we may be required to cease our development and commercialization of certain of our product candidates. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial conditions, results of operations, and prospects.

Disputes may also arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including:

 

   

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;

 

   

whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate intellectual property rights of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

 

   

our right to sublicense patent and other rights to third parties under collaborative development relationships;

 

   

our diligence obligations with respect to the use of the licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of our product candidates, and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations;

 

   

the priority of invention of any patented technology; and

 

   

the ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners.

 

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In addition, licensing agreement are complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology, or increase what we believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. For example, under the Taiho Agreement, while our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Pearl is not obligated to enter into a transaction with Taiho, the right of negotiation could delay a potential sale or adversely impact our ability to attract a partner or acquirer and could negatively impact prospects for a larger company to acquire Cullinan Pearl or its assets or enter into a collaboration or licensing transaction that would benefit us. In addition, our partially-owned subsidiaries Cullinan Florentine and Cullinan Amber will also owe licensors a success fee in the event of a sale or other disposition of the majority of its assets. These fees will reduce the net proceeds we receive from any such sale or disposition of assets.

Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property prevent or impair our ability to maintain licensing arrangements on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected product candidates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed.

In addition to the protection afforded by our owned and in-licensed patents, we seek to rely on trade secret protection, confidentiality agreements, and license agreements to protect proprietary know-how that is not patentable, processes for which patents are difficult to enforce and any other elements of our product identification, discovery, and development processes, including our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model that involve proprietary know-how, information, or technology that is not covered by patents. Although we require all of our employees, consultants, advisors and any third parties who have access to our proprietary know-how, information, or technology to enter into confidentiality agreements, trade secrets can be difficult to protect and we have limited control over the protection of trade secrets used by our collaborators and suppliers. We cannot be certain that we have or will obtain these agreements in all circumstances and we cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or have had access to our trade secrets or proprietary information.

Moreover, any of these parties might breach the agreements and intentionally or inadvertently disclose our trade secret information and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. In addition, competitors may otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or independently develop substantially equivalent information and techniques. Furthermore, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights and trade secrets to the same extent or in the same manner as the laws of the United States. As a result, we may encounter significant problems in protecting and defending our intellectual property both in the United States and abroad. If we are unable to prevent unauthorized material disclosure of our intellectual property to third parties, we will not be able to establish or maintain a competitive advantage in our market, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. If we choose to go to court to stop a third party from using any of our trade secrets, we may incur substantial costs. These lawsuits may consume our time and other resources even if we are successful. For example, significant elements of our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model, including aspects of oncogenicity computational algorithms, in vivo experiments to validate mechanisms and pharmacology, drug design, and related processes, are based on unpatented trade secrets that are not publicly disclosed. Although we take steps to protect our proprietary information and trade secrets, including through contractual means with our employees and consultants, third parties may independently develop substantially equivalent proprietary information and techniques or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or

 

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disclose our technology. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us.

Thus, we may not be able to meaningfully protect our trade secrets. It is our policy to require our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers and other advisors to execute confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of employment or consulting relationships with us. These agreements provide that all confidential information concerning our business or financial affairs developed or made known to the individual or entity during the course of the party’s relationship with us is to be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties except in specific circumstances. In addition, we take other appropriate precautions, such as physical and technological security measures, to guard against misappropriation of our proprietary technology by third parties. In the case of employees, the agreements provide that all inventions conceived by the individual, and which are related to our current or planned business or research and development or made during normal working hours, on our premises or using our equipment or proprietary information, are our exclusive property. Although we require all of our employees to assign their inventions to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who, in fact, conceives or develops intellectual property that we regard as our own. The assignment of intellectual property rights may not be self-executing, or the assignment agreements may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims that they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. Such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Third-party claims of intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or other violations may be costly and time consuming and may prevent or delay our product identification, discovery and development efforts.

The intellectual property landscape around precision medicine is crowded, and third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing, misappropriating, or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business. Our commercial success depends upon our ability, or the ability of our third parties, to develop, manufacture, market and sell our current and future product candidates and use our proprietary technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property rights of third parties. There is a substantial amount of litigation involving patents and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as administrative proceedings for challenging patents, including derivation, interference, reexamination, inter partes review, and post grant review proceedings before the USPTO or oppositions and other comparable proceedings in foreign jurisdictions. We or any of our licensors or strategic partners may be party to, exposed to, or threatened with, future adversarial proceedings or litigation by third parties having patent or other intellectual property rights alleging that our current or future product candidates and/or proprietary technologies infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property rights. We cannot assure you that our product candidates and other technologies that we have developed, are developing or may develop in the future do not or will not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate existing or future patents or other intellectual property rights owned by third parties. Numerous U.S. and foreign issued patents and pending patent applications, which are owned by third parties, exist in the fields in which we are developing our product candidates. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our product candidates may give rise to claims of infringement of the patent rights of others. Moreover, it is not always clear to industry participants, including us, which patents cover various types of drugs, products or their methods of use or manufacture. Thus, because of the large number of patents issued and patent applications filed in our fields, there may be a risk that third parties may allege they have patent rights encompassing our product candidates, technologies or methods.

 

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If a third party claims that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate its intellectual property rights, we may face a number of issues, including, but not limited to:

 

   

infringement, misappropriation and other intellectual property claims which, regardless of merit, may be expensive and time-consuming to litigate and may divert our management’s attention from our core business and may impact our reputation;

 

   

substantial damages for infringement, misappropriation or other violations, which we may have to pay if a court decides that the product candidate or technology at issue infringes, misappropriates or violates the third party’s rights, and, if the court finds that the infringement was willful, we could be ordered to pay treble damages and the patent owner’s attorneys’ fees;

 

   

a court prohibiting us from developing, manufacturing, marketing or selling our product candidates, including CLN-081, CLN-049 and CLN-619, or from using our proprietary technologies, unless the third party licenses its product rights to us, which it is not required to do, on commercially reasonable terms or at all;

 

   

if a license is available from a third party, we may have to pay substantial royalties, upfront fees and other amounts, and/or grant cross-licenses to intellectual property rights for our products, or the license to us may be non-exclusive, which would permit third parties to use the same intellectual property to compete with us;

 

   

redesigning our product candidates or processes so they do not infringe, misappropriate or violate third party intellectual property rights, which may not be possible or may require substantial monetary expenditures and time; and

 

   

there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and, if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. In addition, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our operations or could otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.

We may choose to challenge the patentability of claims in a third party’s U.S. patent by requesting that the USPTO review the patent claims in an ex-parte re-exam, inter partes review or post-grant review proceedings. These proceedings are expensive and may consume our time or other resources. We may choose to challenge a third party’s patent in patent opposition proceedings in the EPO, or other foreign patent office. The costs of these opposition proceedings could be substantial, and may consume our time or other resources. If we fail to obtain a favorable result at the USPTO, EPO or other patent office then we may be exposed to litigation by a third party alleging that the patent may be infringed by our product candidates or proprietary technologies.

Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. Patents issued in the United States by law enjoy a presumption of validity that can be rebutted only with evidence that is “clear and convincing,” a heightened standard of proof. There may be issued third-party patents of which we are currently unaware with claims to compositions, formulations, methods of manufacture or methods for treatment related to the use or manufacture of our product candidates. Patent applications can take many years to issue. In addition, because some patent applications in the United States may be maintained in secrecy until the patents are issued, patent applications in the United States and many foreign jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, and publications in the scientific literature often lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that others have not filed patent applications covering our product candidates or technology. If any such patent applications issue as patents, and if such patents have priority over our patent applications or patents we

 

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may own or in-license, we may be required to obtain rights to such patents owned by third parties which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or may only be available on a non-exclusive basis. There may be currently pending patent applications which may later result in issued patents that our product candidates may infringe. It is also possible that patents owned by third parties of which we are aware, but which we do not believe are relevant to our product candidates or other technologies, could be found to be infringed by our product candidates or other technologies. In addition, third parties may obtain patents in the future and claim that use of our technologies infringes upon these patents. Moreover, we may fail to identify relevant patents or incorrectly conclude that a patent is invalid, not enforceable, exhausted, or not infringed by our activities. If any third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover the manufacturing process of our product candidates, molecules used in or formed during the manufacturing process, or any final product itself, the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to commercialize the product candidate unless we obtained a license under the applicable patents, or until such patents expire or they are finally determined to be held invalid or unenforceable. Similarly, if any third-party patent were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover aspects of our formulations, processes for manufacture or methods of use, including combination therapy or patient selection methods, the holders of any such patent may be able to block our ability to develop and commercialize the product candidate unless we obtained a license or until such patent expires or is finally determined to be held invalid or unenforceable. In either case, such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. If we are unable to obtain a necessary license to a third-party patent on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, our ability to commercialize our product candidates may be impaired or delayed, which could in turn significantly harm our business.

Parties making claims against us may seek and obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could effectively block our ability to further develop and commercialize our product candidates. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, could involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement, misappropriation or other violation against us, we may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure. We cannot predict whether any such license would be available at all or whether it would be available on commercially reasonable terms. Furthermore, even in the absence of litigation, we may need or may choose to obtain licenses from third parties to advance our research or allow commercialization of our product candidates. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all. In that event, we would be unable to further develop and commercialize our product candidates, which could harm our business significantly.

We may not be successful in obtaining or maintaining necessary rights to product components and processes for our development pipeline through acquisitions and in-licenses.

We have in-licensed four patent families and own a fifth patent family related to CLN-081. We have in-licensed one patent family related to CLN-049. We own three patent families related to CLN-619. Because additional product candidates may require the use of proprietary rights held by third parties, the growth of our business will likely depend in part on our ability to acquire, in-license or use these proprietary rights.

Our product candidates may also require specific formulations to work effectively and efficiently and these rights may be held by others. Similarly, efficient production or delivery of our product candidates may also require specific compositions or methods, and the rights to these may be owned by third parties. We may be unable to acquire or in-license any compositions, methods of use, processes or other third-party intellectual property rights from third parties that we identify as necessary or important to our business operations. We may fail to obtain any of these licenses at a reasonable cost or on reasonable terms, if at all, which would harm our business. We may need to cease use of the compositions or methods covered by such third-party intellectual property rights, and may need to seek to develop alternative approaches that do not infringe on such intellectual property rights which may entail additional costs and development delays, even if we were able to develop such alternatives, which may not be feasible. Even if we are able to obtain a license, it may be nonexclusive, thereby

 

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giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. In that event, we may be required to expend significant time and resources to develop or license replacement technology. Moreover, the molecules that will be used with our product candidates may be covered by the intellectual property rights of others.

Additionally, we sometimes collaborate with academic institutions to accelerate our preclinical research or development under written agreements with these institutions. In certain cases, these institutions provide us with an option to negotiate a license to any of the institution’s rights in technology resulting from the collaboration. Regardless of such option, we may be unable to negotiate a license within the specified timeframe or under terms that are acceptable to us. If we are unable to do so, the institution may offer the intellectual property rights to others, potentially blocking our ability to pursue our program and allowing third parties to compete with us. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property or to maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of such program and our business and financial condition could suffer.

The licensing and acquisition of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and companies, which may be more established, or have greater resources than we do, may also be pursuing strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider necessary or attractive in order to commercialize our product candidates. More established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, cash resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may be unable to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment or at all. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully complete such negotiations and ultimately acquire the rights to the intellectual property surrounding the additional product candidates that we may seek to acquire. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property or to maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of such program and our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects could suffer.

We may be involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our owned or in-licensed intellectual property rights, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful.

Competitors may infringe any patents we may own or in-license. In addition, any patents we may own or in-license may become involved in inventorship, priority, validity or unenforceability disputes. To counter infringement or unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate, and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. In addition, in an infringement proceeding, a court may decide that one or more of any patents we may own or in-license is not valid or is unenforceable or that the other party’s use of our technology that may be patented falls under the safe harbor to patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(e)(1). There is also the risk that, even if the validity of these patents is upheld, the court may refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that any of our owned or in-licensed patents do not cover the technology in question or that such third party’s activities do not infringe our patents. An adverse result in any litigation or defense proceedings could put one or more of our owned or in-licensed patents at risk of being invalidated, held unenforceable, or interpreted narrowly and could put our patent applications at risk of not issuing. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, would involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may have to pay substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, obtain one or more licenses from third parties, pay royalties or redesign our infringing products, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure. Such litigation or proceedings could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce the resources available for development activities or any future sales, marketing, or distribution activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to conduct such litigation or proceedings adequately. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater

 

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financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete in the marketplace.

Post-grant proceedings provoked by third parties or brought by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the validity or priority of inventions with respect to our owned or in-licensed patents or patent applications. These proceedings are expensive and an unfavorable outcome could result in a loss our current patent rights and could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. In addition to potential USPTO review proceedings, we may become a party to patent opposition proceedings in the European Patent Office, or EPO, or similar proceedings in other foreign patent offices, where either our foreign patents are challenged. The costs of these opposition or similar proceedings could be substantial, and may result in a loss of scope of some claims or a loss of the entire patent. An unfavorable result at the USPTO, EPO or other patent office may result in the loss of our right to exclude others from practicing one or more of our inventions in the relevant country or jurisdiction, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Litigation or post-grant proceedings may result in a decision adverse to our interests and, even if we are successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees. We may not be able to prevent, misappropriation of our trade secrets or confidential information, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States.

Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.

We may not be able to detect infringement against any of our owned or in-licensed patents . Even if we detect infringement by a third party, we may choose not to pursue litigation against or settlement with the third party. If we later sue such third party for patent infringement, the third party may have certain legal defenses available to it, which otherwise would not be available except for the delay between when the infringement was first detected and when the suit was brought. Such legal defenses may make it impossible for us to enforce any patents we may own or in-license against such third party.

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

Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuity fees and various other government fees on any issued patent are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent. The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process and following the issuance of a patent. While an inadvertent lapse can in some cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Noncompliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. In such an event, our competitors might be able to enter the market with similar or identical products or platforms, which could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects and financial condition.

 

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Any issued patents we may own or in-license covering our product candidates could be narrowed or found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, including the USPTO.

If we or our licensors or strategic partners initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that the patent covering our product candidate, as applicable, is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace, and there are numerous grounds upon which a third party can assert invalidity or unenforceability of a patent. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of patentable subject matter, lack of written description, lack of novelty, obviousness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Third parties may also raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include re-examination, inter partes review, post grant review and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions (such as opposition proceedings). Such proceedings could result in revocation or amendment to our owned or in-licensed patents or patent applications in such a way that they no longer cover our product candidates. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate or render unenforceable, any rights we may have, allow third parties to commercialize our product candidates or other technologies and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights. Moreover, we may have to participate in interference proceedings declared by the USPTO to determine priority of invention or in post-grant challenge proceedings, such as oppositions in a foreign patent office, that challenge our or priority of invention or other features of patentability with respect to our patents or patent applications. Such challenges may result in loss of patent rights, loss of exclusivity, or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated, or held unenforceable, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our product candidates and other technologies. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we or our licensing partners and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, or if we are otherwise unable to adequately protect our rights, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our product candidates. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business and our ability to commercialize or license our technology and product candidates.

Such proceedings also may result in substantial cost and require significant time from our scientists and management, even if the eventual outcome is favorable to us. If we are unsuccessful in any such proceeding or other priority or inventorship dispute, we may be required to obtain and maintain licenses from third parties, including parties involved in any such interference proceedings or other priority or inventorship disputes. Such licenses may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or may be non-exclusive. If we are unable to obtain and maintain such licenses, we may need to cease the development, manufacture, and commercialization of one or more of the product candidates we may develop. The loss of exclusivity or the narrowing of our patent application claims could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

Changes to patent law in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

As is the case with other biopharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biopharmaceutical industry involve both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time-consuming and inherently uncertain. Recent

 

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U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce patents that we might obtain in the future. For example, in the case Assoc. for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that certain claims to DNA molecules are not patentable. Any adverse changes in the patent laws of other jurisdictions could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Changes in the laws and regulations governing patents in other jurisdictions could similarly have an adverse effect on our ability to obtain and effectively enforce any rights we may have in our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license.

Recent or future patent reform legislation could also increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any patents we may own or in-license. The United States has enacted and implemented wide-ranging patent reform legislation. On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or America Invents Act, was signed into law, which includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law. These include provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art, may affect patent litigation, establish a new post-grant review system and switch the U.S. patent system from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first-to-file” system. Under a “first-to-file” system, assuming the other requirements for patentability are met, the first inventor to file a patent application generally will be entitled to a patent on the invention regardless of whether another inventor had made the invention earlier. Since patent applications in the United States and most other countries are confidential for a period of time after filing or until issuance, we cannot be certain that we were the first to either (i) file any patent application related to our product candidates or other technologies or (ii) invent any of the inventions claimed in our patent applications or any patents we may own or in-license. These changes also allow third party submission of prior art to the USPTO during patent prosecution and additional procedures to attack the validity of a patent by USPTO administered post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and derivation proceedings. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States federal courts necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action. An adverse determination in any such proceeding could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in the inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights. Accordingly, the America Invents Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of any of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

We have limited foreign intellectual property rights and may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

We may not be able to pursue generic coverage of our product candidates outside of the United States. Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as federal and state laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other jurisdictions. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories

 

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where we have patent protection, but where enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our product candidates and in jurisdictions where we do not have any issued patents our patent applications or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Our patent portfolio is at the very early stage. We will need to decide whether and in which jurisdictions to pursue protection for the various inventions in our portfolio prior to applicable deadlines.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property protection, particularly those relating to biopharmaceutical products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of any patents we may own or in-license or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce any rights we may have in our patents and patent applications in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put any of our owned or in-licensed patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

Many countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patent. If we are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any of our owned or in-licensed patents that are relevant to our business, our competitive position may be impaired, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected.

We may be subject to claims challenging the inventorship or ownership of any intellectual property, including any patents we may own or in-license.

We may be subject to claims that former employees, collaborators or other third parties have an interest in our owned or in-licensed patents , trade secrets, or other intellectual property as an inventor or co-inventor. For example, we may have inventorship disputes arise from conflicting obligations of employees, consultants or others who are involved in developing our product candidates or other technologies. We generally enter into confidentiality and intellectual property assignment agreements with our employees, consultants, and contractors. These agreements generally provide that inventions conceived by the party in the course of rendering services to us will be our exclusive property. However, those agreements may not be honored and may not effectively assign intellectual property rights to us. Moreover, there may be some circumstances, where we are unable to negotiate for such ownership rights. Disputes regarding ownership or inventorship of intellectual property can also arise in other contexts, such as collaborations and sponsored research. If we are subject to a dispute challenging our rights in or to patents or other intellectual property, such a dispute could be expensive and time consuming. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these and other claims challenging inventorship of any of our owned or in-licensed patents, trade secrets or other intellectual property. If we were unsuccessful, in addition to paying monetary damages, we could lose valuable rights in intellectual property that we regard as our own, such as exclusive ownership of, or right to use, intellectual property that is important to our product candidates and other technologies. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

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We may be subject to claims that our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information or alleged trade secrets of third parties or competitors or are in breach of non-competition or non-solicitation agreements with our competitors.

We have received confidential and proprietary information from third parties. In addition, as is common in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, we employ individuals who were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors, in some cases until recently. We may be subject to claims that we or our employees, consultants or independent contractors have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed confidential information or trade secrets of these third parties or our employees’ former employers or our consultants’ or contractors’ current or former clients or customers. In addition, we may become subject to claims that we caused an employee to breach the terms of his or her non-competition or non-solicitation agreement. Litigation or arbitration may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation or other legal proceedings relating to intellectual property claims and possible aftermath could result in substantial cost and be a distraction to our management and employees. Any litigation or the threat thereof may adversely affect our ability to hire employees. A loss of key personnel or their work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize product candidates, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, there could be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, and, if securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock. This type of litigation or proceeding could substantially increase our operating losses and reduce our resources available for development activities. We may not have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately conduct such litigation or proceedings. Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their substantially greater financial resources. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other intellectual property related proceedings could adversely affect our ability to compete in the marketplace.

If we do not obtain patent term extension and data exclusivity for any of our current or future product candidates we may develop, our business may be materially harmed.

Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of any of our current or future product candidates we may develop, one or more U.S. patents we may own or in-license may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent term extension of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. A patent term extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval, only one patent may be extended and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. However, we may not be granted an extension because of, for example, failing to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is shorter than what we request, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following expiration of any patents that issue from our patent applications, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our marks of interest and our business may be adversely affected.

Our trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, diluted, circumvented or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We intend to rely on both registration and common law

 

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protection for our trademarks. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names or may be forced to stop using these names, which we need for name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. During the trademark registration process, we may receive Office Actions from the USPTO objecting to the registration of our trademark. Although we would be given an opportunity to respond to those objections, we may be unable to overcome such rejections. In addition, in the USPTO and in comparable agencies in many foreign jurisdictions, third parties are given an opportunity to oppose pending trademark applications and/or to seek the cancellation of registered trademarks. Opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademarks, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. If we are unable to obtain a registered trademark or establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected.

Numerous factors may limit any potential competitive advantage provided by our intellectual property rights.

The degree of future protection afforded by our intellectual property rights, whether owned or in-licensed, is uncertain because intellectual property rights have limitations, and may not adequately protect our business, provide a barrier to entry against our competitors or potential competitors, or permit us to maintain our competitive advantage. Moreover, if a third party has intellectual property rights that cover the practice of our technology, we may not be able to fully exercise or extract value from our intellectual property rights. The following examples are illustrative:

 

   

patent applications that we own or in-license may not lead to issued patents;

 

   

patents, should they issue, that we may own or in-license , may not provide us with any competitive advantages, may be narrowed in scope, or may be challenged and held invalid or unenforceable;

 

   

others may be able to develop and/or practice technology, including compounds that are similar to the chemical compositions of our product candidates, that is similar to our technology or aspects of our technology but that is not covered by the claims of any patents we may own or in-license , should any patents issue;

 

   

third parties may compete with us in jurisdictions where we do not pursue and obtain patent protection;

 

   

we, or our licensors or collaborators, might not have been the first to make the inventions covered by a patent application that we own or may in-license in the future;

 

   

we, or our future licensors or collaborators, might not have been the first to file patent applications covering a particular invention;

 

   

others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating our intellectual property rights;

 

   

our competitors might conduct research and development activities in the United States and other countries that provide a safe harbor from patent infringement claims for certain research and development activities, as well as in countries where we do not have patent rights, and may then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;

 

   

we may not be able to obtain and/or maintain necessary licenses on reasonable terms or at all;

 

   

third parties may assert an ownership interest in our intellectual property and, if successful, such disputes may preclude us from exercising exclusive rights, or any rights at all, over that intellectual property;

 

   

we may choose not to file a patent in order to maintain certain trade secrets or know-how, and a third party may subsequently file a patent covering such trade secrets or know-how;

 

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we may not be able to maintain the confidentiality of our trade secrets or other proprietary information;

 

   

we may not develop or in-license additional proprietary technologies that are patentable; and

 

   

the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

Should any of these events occur, they could significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

We currently rely and expect to continue to rely on the outsourcing of the majority of our development functions to third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials. If these third parties do not properly and successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of or commercialize our product candidates.

We utilize and depend upon independent investigators and collaborators, such as medical institutions, CROs, contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, and strategic partners to conduct and support our preclinical studies and clinical trials under agreements with us, and expect to rely on such parties in the future.

We negotiate budgets and contracts with CROs, trial sites and CMOs and we may not be able to do so on favorable terms, which may result in delays to our development timelines and increased costs. We rely heavily on these third parties over the course of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, and we control only certain aspects of their activities. As a result, we have less direct control over the conduct, timing and completion of our preclinical studies and clinical trials and the management of data developed through preclinical studies and clinical trials than would be the case if we relied entirely upon our own staff. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our studies and trials is conducted in accordance with the applicable protocol, legal and regulatory requirements and scientific standards, and our reliance on third parties does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities. We and these third parties are required to comply with GCPs, which are regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for product candidates in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these GCPs through periodic inspections of trial sponsors, principal investigators and trial sites. If we or any of these third parties fail to comply with applicable GCP regulations, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure you that, upon inspection, such regulatory authorities will determine that any of our clinical trials comply with the GCP regulations. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with pharmaceutical product produced under cGMP regulations and will require a large number of test patients. Our failure or any failure by these third parties to comply with these regulations or to recruit a sufficient number of patients may delay ongoing or planned clinical trials or require us to repeat clinical trials, which would delay the regulatory approval process. Failure by us or by third parties we engage to comply with regulatory requirements can also result in fines, adverse publicity, and civil and criminal sanctions. Moreover, our business may be implicated if any of these third parties violates federal or state fraud and abuse or false claims laws and regulations or healthcare privacy and security laws.

Any third parties conducting our clinical trials are not and will not be our employees and, except for remedies available to us under our agreements with such third parties, we cannot control whether or not they devote sufficient time and resources to our ongoing, clinical and preclinical product candidates. These third parties may also have relationships with other commercial entities, including our competitors, for whom they may also be conducting clinical trials or other product development activities, which could affect their performance on our behalf. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols or regulatory requirements or for other reasons, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated and we may not be able to

 

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complete development of, obtain regulatory approval of or successfully commercialize our product candidates. As a result, our financial results and the commercial prospects for our product candidates would be harmed, our costs could increase and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed.

Switching or adding third parties to conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials involves substantial cost and requires extensive time and focus of our management. In addition, there is a natural transition period when a new third party commences work. As a result, delays occur, which can materially impact our ability to meet our desired clinical development timelines.

Additionally, we do not directly control the manufacturing facilities where our product candidates are made and we must depend on CMOs to make our product candidates according to standards for quality and reliability. We do not own any manufacturing facilities or equipment and do not employ any manufacturing personnel. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain qualified contract manufacturing services on reasonable terms. If any CMO with whom we contract fails to perform its obligations, we may be forced to enter into an agreement with a different CMO, which we may not be able to do on reasonable terms, if at all. In such scenario, our clinical trials supply could be delayed significantly as we establish alternative supply sources. In some cases, the technical skills required to manufacture our products or product candidates may be unique or proprietary to the original CMO and we may have difficulty, or there may be contractual restrictions prohibiting us from, transferring such skills to a back-up or alternate supplier, or we may be unable to transfer such skills at all. In addition, if we are required to change CMOs for any reason, we will be required to verify that the new CMO maintains facilities and procedures that comply with quality standards and with all applicable regulations. We will also need to verify, such as through a manufacturing comparability or bridging study, that any new manufacturing process will produce our product candidate according to the specifications previously submitted to the FDA or another regulatory authority. The delays associated with the verification of a new CMO could negatively affect our ability to advance clinical trials or otherwise develop product candidates or commercialize our products in a timely manner or within budget. Furthermore, a CMO may possess technology related to the manufacture of our product candidate that such CMO owns independently, which may increase our reliance on such CMO or require us to obtain a license from such CMO in order to have another CMO manufacture our product candidates. In addition, changes in manufacturers often involve changes in manufacturing procedures and processes, which could require that we conduct bridging studies between our prior clinical supply used in our clinical trials and that of any new manufacturer. We may be unsuccessful in demonstrating the comparability of clinical supplies which could require the conduct of additional clinical trials.

We may form or seek additional collaborations or strategic alliances or enter into additional licensing arrangements in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of such collaborations, alliances or licensing arrangements.

We may form or seek additional strategic alliances, create joint ventures or collaborations, or enter into additional licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to our product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Any of these relationships may require us to incur non-recurring and other charges, increase our near and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute our existing stockholders or disrupt our management and business.

In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership or other alternative arrangements for our product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort and third parties may not view our product candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety and efficacy and obtain marketing approval.

 

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Further, collaborations involving our product candidates are subject to numerous risks, which may include the following:

 

   

collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to a collaboration;

 

   

collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of our product candidates or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization of our product candidates based on clinical trial results, changes in their strategic focus due to the acquisition of competitive products, availability of funding or other external factors, such as a business combination that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;

 

   

collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial, stop a clinical trial, abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;

 

   

collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidates;

 

   

a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to their marketing and distribution;

 

   

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

 

   

disputes may arise between us and a collaborator that cause the delay or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our product candidates, or that result in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources;

 

   

collaborations may be terminated and, if terminated, may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable product candidates; and

 

   

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

As a result, if we enter into additional collaboration agreements and strategic partnerships or license our product candidates, we may not be able to realize the benefit of such transactions if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture, which could delay our timelines or otherwise adversely affect our business. We also cannot be certain that, following a strategic transaction or license, we will achieve the revenue or specific net income that justifies such transaction. Any delays in entering into new collaborations or strategic partnership agreements related to our product candidates could delay the development and commercialization of our product candidates in certain geographies for certain indications, which would harm our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

We currently rely and expect to rely in the future on the use of manufacturing suites in third-party facilities or third parties to manufacture our product candidates. Our business could be harmed if we are unable to use third-party manufacturing suites or if the third party manufacturers fail to provide us with sufficient quantities of our product candidates or fail to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices.

We do not currently own any facility that may be used as our clinical-scale manufacturing and processing facility and must currently rely on outside vendors to manufacture our product candidates. We will need to negotiate and maintain contractual arrangements with these outside vendors for the supply of our product candidates and we may not be able to do so on favorable terms. We have not yet caused our product candidates to be manufactured on a commercial scale and may not be able to do so for any of our product candidates.

 

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Our anticipated reliance on a limited number of third-party manufacturers exposes us to a number of risks, including the following:

 

   

we may be unable to identify manufacturers on acceptable terms or at all because the number of potential manufacturers is limited and the FDA must inspect any manufacturers for current cGMP compliance as part of our marketing application;

 

   

a new manufacturer would have to be educated in, or develop substantially equivalent processes for, the production of our product candidates;

 

   

our third-party manufacturers might be unable to timely manufacture our product candidates or produce the quantity and quality required to meet our clinical and commercial needs, if any;

 

   

contract manufacturers may not be able to execute our manufacturing procedures and other logistical support requirements appropriately;

 

   

our future contract manufacturers may not perform as agreed, may not devote sufficient resources to our product candidates or may not remain in the contract manufacturing business for the time required to supply our clinical trials or to successfully produce, store, and distribute our products, if any;

 

   

manufacturers are subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA and corresponding state agencies, as well as foreign regulatory authorities, to ensure strict compliance with cGMP and other government regulations and corresponding foreign standards and we have no control over third-party manufacturers’ compliance with these regulations and standards;

 

   

we may not own, or may have to share, the intellectual property rights to any improvements made by our third-party manufacturers in the manufacturing process for our product candidates;

 

   

our third-party manufacturers could breach or terminate their agreements with us;

 

   

raw materials and components used in the manufacturing process, particularly those for which we have no other source or supplier, may not be available or may not be suitable or acceptable for use due to material or component defects;

 

   

our contract manufacturers and critical reagent suppliers may be subject to inclement weather, as well as natural or man-made disasters; and

 

   

our contract manufacturers may have unacceptable or inconsistent product quality success rates and yields, and we have no direct control over our contract manufacturers’ ability to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel.

Each of these risks could delay or prevent the completion of our clinical trials or the approval of any of our product candidates by the FDA, result in higher costs or adversely impact commercialization of our product candidates. In addition, we will rely on third parties to perform certain specification tests on our product candidates prior to delivery to patients. If these tests are not appropriately done and test data are not reliable, patients could be put at risk of serious harm and the FDA could place significant restrictions on our company until deficiencies are remedied.

The manufacture of drug products, and particularly biologics, is complex and our third-party manufacturers may encounter difficulties in production. If any of our third-party manufacturers encounter such difficulties, our ability to provide supply of our current product candidates or any future product candidates for clinical trials or our products for patients, if approved, could be delayed or prevented.

Manufacturing drugs, particularly biologics, especially in large quantities, is often complex and may require the use of innovative technologies to handle living cells. Each lot of an approved biologic must undergo thorough testing for identity, strength, quality, purity and potency. Manufacturing biologics requires facilities specifically

 

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designed for and validated for this purpose, and sophisticated quality assurance and quality control procedures are necessary. Slight deviations anywhere in the manufacturing process, including filling, labeling, packaging, storage and shipping and quality control and testing, may result in lot failures, product recalls or spoilage. When changes are made to the manufacturing process, we may be required to provide preclinical and clinical data showing the comparable identity, strength, quality, purity or potency of the products before and after such changes. If microbial, viral or other contaminations are discovered at the facilities of our manufacturers, such facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination, which could delay clinical trials and adversely harm our business.

In addition, there are risks associated with large scale manufacturing for clinical trials or commercial scale including, among others, cost overruns, potential problems with process scale-up, process reproducibility, stability issues, compliance with good manufacturing practices, lot consistency and timely availability of raw materials. Even if we obtain marketing approval for any of our current product candidates or any future product candidates, there is no assurance that our manufacturers will be able to manufacture the approved product to specifications acceptable to the FDA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities, to produce it in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements for the potential commercial launch of the product or to meet potential future demand. If our manufacturers are unable to produce sufficient quantities for clinical trials or for commercialization, our development and commercialization efforts would be impaired, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.

Our manufacturing process needs to comply with FDA regulations relating to the quality and reliability of such processes. Any failure to comply with relevant regulations could result in delays in or termination of our clinical programs and suspension or withdrawal of any regulatory approvals.

In order to commercially produce our products at a third party’s facility, we will need to ensure compliance with the FDA’s cGMP regulations and guidelines. We may encounter difficulties in achieving quality control and quality assurance and may experience shortages in qualified personnel. Our third-party manufacturers are subject to inspections by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities to confirm compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. Any failure to follow cGMP or other regulatory requirements or delay, interruption or other issues that arise in the manufacture, fill-finish, packaging, or storage of our precision medicines as a result of a failure of the facilities or operations of third parties to comply with regulatory requirements or pass any regulatory authority inspection could significantly impair our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, including leading to significant delays in the availability of our product candidates for our clinical trials or the termination of or suspension of a clinical trial, or the delay or prevention of a filing or approval of marketing applications for our product candidates. Significant non-compliance could also result in the imposition of sanctions, including warning or untitled letters, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, failure of regulatory authorities to grant marketing approvals for our product candidates, delays, suspension or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures or recalls of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecutions, any of which could damage our reputation and our business.

If our third-party manufacturers use hazardous and biological materials in a manner that causes injury or violates applicable law, we may be liable for damages.

Our research and development activities involve the controlled use of potentially hazardous substances, including chemical and biological materials, by our third-party manufacturers. Our manufacturers are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations in the United States governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of medical and hazardous materials. Although we believe that our manufacturers’ procedures for using, handling, storing and disposing of these materials comply with legally prescribed standards, we cannot completely eliminate the risk of contamination or injury resulting from medical or hazardous materials. As a result of any such contamination or injury, we may incur liability or local, city, state or federal authorities may curtail the use of these materials and interrupt our business operations. In the event of an accident, we could be held liable for damages or penalized with fines, and the liability could exceed our

 

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resources. We do not have any insurance for liabilities arising from medical or hazardous materials. Compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations is expensive, and current or future environmental regulations may impair our research, development and production efforts, which could harm our business, prospects, financial condition or results of operations.

Risks Related to Managing Growth and Employee Matters

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, may adversely impact our business, including our preclinical studies and clinical trials.

In December 2019, a novel strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified in Wuhan, China. This virus spread globally, including within the United States and in March 2020 the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The pandemic and government measures taken in response have also had a significant impact, both direct and indirect, on businesses and commerce, as worker shortages have occurred; supply chains have been disrupted; facilities and production have been suspended; and demand for certain goods and services, such as medical services and supplies, has spiked, while demand for other goods and services, such as travel, has fallen. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could experience disruptions that could severely impact our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including:

 

   

delays or difficulties in enrolling and retaining patients in our clinical trials;

 

   

delays or difficulties in clinical site initiation, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff;

 

   

delays in receiving authorizations from regulatory authorities to initiate our planned clinical trials;

 

   

diversion of healthcare resources away from the conduct of clinical trials, including the diversion of hospitals serving as our clinical trial sites and hospital staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials;

 

   

interruption of key clinical trial activities, such as clinical trial site data monitoring, due to limitations on travel imposed or recommended by federal or state governments, employers and others or interruption of clinical trial subject visits and study procedures (such as endoscopies that are deemed non-essential), which may impact the integrity of subject data and clinical study endpoints;

 

   

risk that participants enrolled in our clinical trials will contract COVID-19 while the clinical trial is ongoing, which could impact the results of the clinical trial, including by increasing the number of observed adverse events;

 

   

risk that we are unable to enroll participants in our clinical trials in adequate numbers;

 

   

interruption or delays in the operations of the FDA or other regulatory authorities, which may impact review and approval timelines;

 

   

interruption of, or delays in receiving, supplies of our product candidates from our contract manufacturing organizations due to staffing shortages, production slowdowns or stoppages and disruptions in delivery systems;

 

   

interruptions in preclinical studies due to restricted or limited operations at our laboratory facility;

 

   

delays in necessary interactions with local regulators, ethics committees and other important agencies and contractors due to limitations in employee resources or forced furlough of government employees;

 

   

changes in local regulations as part of a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may require us to change the ways in which our clinical trials are conducted, which may result in unexpected costs, or to discontinue such clinical trials altogether;

 

   

limitations on employee resources that would otherwise be focused on the conduct of our preclinical studies and clinical trials, including because of sickness of employees or their families or the desire of employees to avoid contact with large groups of people; and

 

   

interruption or delays to our sourced identification, discovery and clinical activities.

 

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve. The extent to which the pandemic impacts our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, such as the ultimate geographic spread of the disease, the duration of the pandemic, travel restrictions and social distancing in the United States and other countries, business closures or business disruptions and the effectiveness of actions taken in the United States and other countries to contain and treat the disease.

We are highly dependent on our key personnel and anticipate hiring new key personnel. If we are not successful in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.

Our ability to compete in the highly competitive biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries depends upon our ability to attract and retain highly qualified managerial, scientific and medical personnel. We are highly dependent on our senior management, including scientific and medical personnel and other key employees. While we expect to engage in an orderly transition process as we integrate newly appointed officers and managers, we face a variety of risks and uncertainties relating to management transition, including diversion of management attention from business concerns, failure to retain other key personnel or loss of institutional knowledge. In addition, the loss of the services of any of our executive officers, other key employees and other scientific and medical advisors, and an inability to find suitable replacements could result in delays in product development and harm our business. In particular, due to our small number of employees, the loss of one employee may have a larger impact on our business than compared to a loss at one of our peers.

We conduct our operations at our facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Massachusetts region is headquarters to many other biopharmaceutical companies and many academic and research institutions. Competition for skilled personnel in our market is intense and may limit our ability to hire and retain highly qualified personnel on acceptable terms or at all. Changes to U.S. immigration and work authorization laws and regulations, including those that restrain the flow of scientific and professional talent, can be significantly affected by political forces and levels of economic activity. Our business may be materially adversely affected if legislative or administrative changes to immigration or visa laws and regulations impair our hiring processes and goals or projects involving personnel who are not U.S. citizens.

To encourage valuable employees to remain at our company, in addition to salary and cash incentives, we have provided other equity that vests over time. The value to employees of stock options that vest over time may be significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control, and may at any time be insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies. Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management, scientific and development teams may terminate their employment with us on short notice. Although we have employment agreements with our key employees, these employment agreements provide for at-will employment, which means that any of our employees could leave our employment at any time, with or without notice. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled junior, mid-level and senior managers as well as junior, mid-level and senior scientific and medical personnel.

We will need to grow the size of our organization, and we may experience difficulties in managing this growth.

As of December 31, 2020, we had 20 full-time employees and two consultants. As our development and commercialization plans and strategies develop, and as we transition into operating as a public company, we expect to need additional managerial, operational, sales, marketing, financial and other personnel. Future growth would impose significant added responsibilities on members of management, including:

 

   

identifying, recruiting, integrating, maintaining and motivating additional employees;

 

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managing our internal development efforts effectively, including the clinical and FDA review process for our product candidates, while complying with our contractual obligations to contractors and other third parties; and

 

   

improving our operational, financial and management controls, reporting systems and procedures.

Our future financial performance and our ability to commercialize any product candidates that are approved for marketing will depend, in part, on our ability to effectively manage any future growth, and our management may also have to divert a disproportionate amount of its attention away from day-to-day activities in order to devote a substantial amount of time to managing these growth activities.

We currently rely, and for the foreseeable future will continue to rely, in substantial part on certain independent organizations, advisors and consultants to provide certain services, including substantially all aspects of legal and compliance, regulatory approval, clinical trial management and manufacturing. There can be no assurance that the services of independent organizations, advisors and consultants will continue to be available to us on a timely basis when needed, or that we can find qualified replacements. In addition, if we are unable to effectively manage our outsourced activities or if the quality or accuracy of the services provided by consultants is compromised for any reason, our clinical trials may be extended, delayed or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain regulatory approval of our product candidates or otherwise advance our business. There can be no assurance that we will be able to manage our existing consultants or find other competent outside contractors and consultants on economically reasonable terms, or at all.

If we are not able to effectively expand our organization by hiring new employees and expanding our groups of consultants and contractors, we may not be able to successfully implement the tasks necessary to further develop and potentially commercialize our product candidates and, accordingly, may not achieve our research, development and commercialization goals.

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

Despite the implementation of security measures, our internal computer systems and those of our current and future CROs and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, and telecommunication and electrical failures. While we have not experienced any such material system failure or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our development programs and our business operations. For example, the loss of data from completed or future preclinical studies and clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Likewise, we rely on third parties for the manufacture of our product candidates and to conduct clinical trials, and similar events relating to their computer systems could also have a material adverse effect on our business. To the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability and the further development and commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed.

Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.

Our operations, and those of our CROs, CMOs and other contractors and consultants, could be subject to earthquakes, power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics and other natural or man-made disasters or business interruptions, for which we are predominantly self-insured. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could seriously harm our operations and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses. We rely on

 

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third-party manufacturers to produce our product candidates. Our ability to obtain clinical supplies of our product candidates could be disrupted if the operations of these suppliers are affected by a man-made or natural disaster or other business interruption.

Comprehensive tax reform legislation could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the TCJA, which significantly reformed the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The TCJA, among other things, contains significant changes to corporate and individual taxation, some of which could adversely impact an investment in our common stock. You are urged to consult your tax adviser regarding the implications of the TCJA on an investment in our common stock.

Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.

Under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change” (generally defined as a greater than 50% change (by value) in its equity ownership by 5% stockholders over a three-year period), the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards and other pre-change tax attributes to offset its post-change taxable income may be limited. As a result of our most recent private placements and other transactions that have occurred over the past three years, we may have experienced, and, upon closing of this offering, may experience, an “ownership change.” We may also experience ownership changes in the future as a result of subsequent shifts in our stock ownership. As of December 31, 2019, we had U.S. federal net operating loss carryforwards of $28.5 million and U.S. federal research and development tax credit carryforwards of $0.6 million, each of which will begin to expire at various dates through 2037 and which could be limited if we experience an “ownership change.” The reduction of the corporate tax rate under the TCJA may cause a reduction in the economic benefit of our net operating loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets available to us. Under the TCJA, federal net operating losses generated after December 31, 2017 will not be subject to expiration but will not be permitted to be carried back. In addition, under the TCJA, the amount of post 2017 net operating losses that we are permitted to deduct in any taxable year is limited to 80% of our taxable income in such year, where taxable income is determined without regard to the net operating loss deduction itself. As of December 31, 2019, we had a U.S. federal net operating loss carryforward of $25.5 million, which does not expire but is limited to an annual deduction equal to 80% of annual taxable income.

Unstable market and economic conditions may have serious adverse consequences on our business, financial condition and stock price.

As widely reported, global credit and financial markets have experienced extreme volatility and disruptions in the past several years, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. There can be no assurance that further deterioration in credit and financial markets and confidence in economic conditions will not occur. Our general business strategy may be adversely affected by any such economic downturn, volatile business environment or continued unpredictable and unstable market conditions. If the current equity and credit markets deteriorate, or do not improve, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult, more costly, and more dilutive.

Failure to secure any necessary financing in a timely manner and on favorable terms could have a material adverse effect on our growth strategy, financial performance and stock price and could require us to delay or abandon clinical development plans. In addition, there is a risk that one or more of our current service providers, manufacturers and other partners may not survive these difficult economic times, which could directly affect our ability to attain our operating goals on schedule and on budget.

Furthermore, our stock price may decline due in part to the volatility of the stock market and the general economic downturn.

 

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We may be unable to adequately protect our information systems from cyberattacks, which could result in the disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, including personal data, damage our reputation, and subject us to significant financial and legal exposure.

We rely on information technology systems that we or our third-party providers operate to process, transmit and store electronic information in our day-to-day operations. In connection with our product discovery efforts, we may collect and use a variety of personal data, such as name, mailing address, email addresses, phone number and clinical trial information. A successful cyberattack could result in the theft or destruction of intellectual property, data, or other misappropriation of assets, or otherwise compromise our confidential or proprietary information and disrupt our operations. Cyberattacks are increasing in their frequency, sophistication and intensity, and have become increasingly difficult to detect. Cyberattacks could include wrongful conduct by hostile foreign governments, industrial espionage, wire fraud and other forms of cyber fraud, the deployment of harmful malware, denial-of-service, social engineering fraud or other means to threaten data security, confidentiality, integrity and availability. A successful cyberattack could cause serious negative consequences for us, including, without limitation, the disruption of operations, the misappropriation of confidential business information, including financial information, trade secrets, financial loss and the disclosure of corporate strategic plans. Although we devote resources to protect our information systems, we realize that cyberattacks are a threat, and there can be no assurance that our efforts will prevent information security breaches that would result in business, legal, financial or reputational harm to us, or would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Any failure to prevent or mitigate security breaches or improper access to, use of, or disclosure of our clinical data or patients’ personal data could result in significant liability under state (e.g., state breach notification laws), federal (e.g., HIPAA, as amended by HITECH), and international law (e.g., the GDPR) and may cause a material adverse impact to our reputation, affect our ability to conduct new studies and potentially disrupt our business.

In addition, the computer systems of various third parties on which we rely, including our CROs and other contractors, consultants and law and accounting firms, may sustain damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, data breaches, phishing attacks, cybercriminals, natural disasters (including hurricanes and earthquakes), terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. We rely on our third-party providers to implement effective security measures and identify and correct for any such failures, deficiencies or breaches. If we or our third-party providers fail to maintain or protect our information technology systems and data integrity effectively or fail to anticipate, plan for or manage significant disruptions to our information technology systems, we or our third-party providers could have difficulty preventing, detecting and controlling such cyber-attacks and any such attacks could result in losses described above as well as disputes with physicians, patients and our partners, regulatory sanctions or penalties, increases in operating expenses, expenses or lost revenues or other adverse consequences, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, prospects and cash flows. Any failure by such third parties to prevent or mitigate security breaches or improper access to or disclosure of such information could have similarly adverse consequences for us. If we are unable to prevent or mitigate the impact of such security or data privacy breaches, we could be exposed to litigation and governmental investigations, which could lead to a potential disruption to our business.

Risks Related to this Offering and Ownership of Our Common Stock

We do not know whether an active, liquid and orderly trading market will develop for our common stock or what the market price of our common stock will be and, as a result, it may be difficult for you to sell your shares of our common stock.

Prior to this offering, there was no public trading market for shares of our common stock. Although we have been approved to list our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market, an active trading market for our shares may never develop or be sustained following this offering. You may not be able to sell your shares quickly or at the market price if trading in shares of our common stock is not active. The initial public offering price for our common stock will be determined through negotiations with the underwriters, and the negotiated price may

 

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not be indicative of the market price of the common stock after the offering. As a result of these and other factors, you may be unable to resell your shares of our common stock at or above the initial public offering price. Further, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling shares of our common stock and may impair our ability to enter into strategic partnerships or acquire companies or products by using our shares of common stock as consideration.

The price of our stock may be volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.

The trading price of our common stock following this offering is likely to be highly volatile and could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to various factors, some of which are beyond our control, including limited trading volume. In addition to the factors discussed in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this prospectus, these factors include:

 

   

the results of our ongoing, planned or any future preclinical studies, clinical trials or clinical development programs;

 

   

the commencement, enrollment, or results of clinical trials of our product candidates or any future clinical trials we may conduct, or changes in the development status of our product candidates;

 

   

adverse results or delays in preclinical studies and clinical trials, including as a result of clinical holds;

 

   

our decision to initiate a clinical trial, not to initiate a clinical trial, or to terminate an existing clinical trial;

 

   

any delay in our regulatory filings or any adverse regulatory decisions, including failure to receive regulatory approval of our product candidates;

 

   

changes in laws or regulations applicable to our products, including but not limited to clinical trial requirements for approvals;

 

   

adverse developments concerning our manufacturers or our manufacturing plans;

 

   

our inability to obtain adequate product supply for any licensed product or inability to do so at acceptable prices;

 

   

our inability to establish collaborations if needed;

 

   

our failure to commercialize our product candidates;

 

   

additions or departures of key scientific or management personnel;

 

   

unanticipated serious safety concerns related to the use of our product candidates;

 

   

introduction of new products or services offered by us or our competitors;

 

   

announcements of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments by us or our competitors;

 

   

our ability to effectively manage our growth;

 

   

the size and growth of our initial cancer target markets;

 

   

our ability to successfully treat additional types of cancers or at different stages;

 

   

actual or anticipated variations in quarterly operating results;

 

   

our cash position;

 

   

our failure to meet the estimates and projections of the investment community or that we may otherwise provide to the public;

 

   

publication of research reports about us or our industry, or immunotherapy in particular, or positive or negative recommendations or withdrawal of research coverage by securities analysts;

 

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changes in the market valuations of similar companies;

 

   

overall performance of the equity markets;

 

   

sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders in the future;

 

   

trading volume of our common stock;

 

   

changes in accounting practices;

 

   

ineffectiveness of our internal controls;

 

   

disputes or other developments relating to intellectual property or proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;

 

   

significant lawsuits, including intellectual property or stockholder litigation;

 

   

general political and economic conditions; and

 

   

other events or factors, many of which are beyond our control.

Further, at our request, the underwriters have reserved up to 5% percent of the shares of common stock to be issued by the Company and offered by this prospectus for sale, at the initial public offering price, to directors, officers, employees, business associates and related persons of the Company. Except for any shares acquired by our directors or officers, shares purchased pursuant to the directed share program will not be subject to lock-up agreements with the underwriters. The number of shares of common stock available for sale to the general public will be reduced to the extent these individuals purchase such reserved shares. Any reserved shares that are not so purchased will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same basis as the other shares offered by this prospectus.

In addition, the stock market in general, and the market for biopharmaceutical companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. If the market price of our common stock after this offering does not exceed the initial public offering price, you may not realize any return on your investment in us and may lose some or all of your investment. In the past, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities. This type of litigation, if instituted, could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which would harm our business, financial condition, results of operation and future prospects.

We expect our financial condition and results of operations to continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the results of any quarterly or annual periods as indications of future operating performance.

Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our 2021 Stock Option and Incentive Plan and 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our stockholders and could cause our stock price to fall.

We expect that significant additional capital may be needed in the future to continue our planned operations, including conducting clinical trials, expanded research and development activities, and costs associated with operating as a public company. To raise capital, we may sell common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. If we sell common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities, investors may be materially diluted by subsequent sales. Such sales may also result in material dilution to our existing stockholders, and new investors could gain rights, preferences, and privileges senior to the holders of our common stock, including shares of common stock sold in this offering.

 

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Pursuant to our 2021 Plan, which will become effective as of the business day immediately prior to the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, our management is authorized to grant stock options to our employees, directors, and consultants.

Initially, the aggregate number of shares of our common stock that may be issued pursuant to stock awards under the 2021 Plan will be 12,546,386 shares, of which options to purchase 6,369,503 shares and 320,228 shares of restricted common stock will be outstanding as of the consummation of this offering. The number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the 2021 Plan shall be cumulatively increased on January 1, 2022 and each January 1 thereafter by 5% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding on December 31 of the preceding calendar year or a lesser number of shares determined by our board of directors. Unless our board of directors elects not to increase the number of shares available for future grant each year, our stockholders may experience additional dilution, which could cause our stock price to fall.

Initially, the aggregate number of shares of our common stock that may be issued pursuant to the ESPP will be 416,665 shares. The number of shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under the ESPP will automatically increase each January 1, beginning on January 1, 2022, by the lesser of 833,330 shares of our common stock, 1% of the outstanding number of shares of our common stock on the immediately preceding December 31, or such lesser number of shares as determined by our compensation committee. Unless our compensation committee elects not to increase the number of shares available for future grant each year, our stockholders may experience additional dilution, which could cause our stock price to fall.

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

We may seek additional capital through a combination of public and private equity offerings, debt financings, strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, your ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a stockholder. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed payment obligations and could involve certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely impact our ability to conduct our business. If we raise additional funds through strategic partnerships and alliances and licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies or product candidates, or grant licenses on terms unfavorable to us.

We have broad discretion in the use of the net proceeds from this offering and may not use them effectively.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering, including for any of the purposes described in the section entitled “Use of Proceeds,” and you will not have the opportunity as part of your investment decision to assess whether the net proceeds are being used appropriately. Because of the number and variability of factors that will determine our use of the net proceeds from this offering, their ultimate use may vary substantially from their currently intended use. Our management might not apply our net proceeds in ways that ultimately increase or maintain the value of your investment.

We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock, so any returns will be limited to the value of our stock.

We currently anticipate that we will retain future earnings for the development, operation, and expansion of our business and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. In addition, we may enter into agreements that prohibit us from paying cash dividends without prior written consent from our contracting parties, or which other terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. Any return to stockholders will therefore be limited to the appreciation of their stock, which may never occur.

 

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Our principal stockholders and management own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exert significant influence over matters subject to stockholder approval.

Prior to this offering, our executive officers, directors, and 5% stockholders beneficially owned approximately 76.8% of our voting stock as of December 31, 2020, based on 29,818,075 shares of our common stock (which includes 2,010,177 shares of restricted common stock, including 320,228 shares of restricted common stock granted pursuant to the Restricted Stock Contribution Agreement subsequent to September 30, 2020) deemed to be outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and assuming the sale by us of 10,000,000 shares of common stock in this offering, based on and assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and not accounting for any shares purchased in this offering by certain of our existing stockholders (or their affiliates), we anticipate that same group will hold approximately 57.6% of our outstanding voting stock following this offering (assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares), without giving effect to any purchases that certain of these holders may make through our directed share program. Therefore, even after this offering, these stockholders will have the ability to influence us through this ownership position. These stockholders may be able to determine all matters requiring stockholder approval. For example, these stockholders may be able to control elections of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, or approval of any merger, sale of assets, or other major corporate transaction. This may prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or offers for our common stock that you may feel are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.

We are an emerging growth company and a smaller reporting company, and we cannot be certain if the reduced reporting requirements applicable to emerging growth companies and smaller reporting companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an emerging growth company, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, enacted in April 2012. For as long as we continue to be an emerging growth company, we may take advantage of exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as amended, or Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and our periodic reports and proxy statements, and exemptions from the requirements of holding nonbinding advisory votes on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. We could be an emerging growth company for up to five years following the year in which we complete this offering, although circumstances could cause us to lose that status earlier. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (1) the last day of the fiscal year (a) following the fifth anniversary of the closing of this offering, (b) in which we have total annual gross revenue of at least $1.07 billion or (c) in which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer, which requires the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates to exceed $700 million as of the prior June 30th, and (2) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt during the prior three-year period.

Under the JOBS Act, emerging growth companies can also delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. We have elected to not “opt out” of this exemption from complying with new or revised accounting standards and, therefore, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards at the time private companies adopt the new or revised accounting standard and will do so until such time that we either (i) irrevocably elect to “opt out” of such extended transition period or (ii) no longer qualify as an emerging growth company.

Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, we may still qualify as a “smaller reporting company,” which would allow us to continue to take advantage of many of the same exemptions from disclosure requirements, including not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in this prospectus and our periodic reports and proxy statements. We may take advantage of scaled disclosures

 

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available to smaller reporting companies until the fiscal year following the determination that either (i) the market value of our voting and nonvoting common stock held by non-affiliates is greater than $700 million, as measured on the last business day of the most recently completed second fiscal quarter, or (ii) the market value of our voting and nonvoting common stock held by non-affiliates, as measured on the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, is less than $700 million but greater than $250 million and our annual revenues during our most recently completed fiscal year are greater than $100 million. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

We will incur significant increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management will be required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives.

As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting, and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. We will be subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which will require, among other things, that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, annual, quarterly, and current reports with respect to our business and financial condition. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules subsequently adopted by the SEC and The Nasdaq Global Select Market to implement provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, impose significant requirements on public companies, including requiring establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and changes in corporate governance practices. Further, in July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, was enacted. There are significant corporate governance and executive compensation related provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act that require the SEC to adopt additional rules and regulations in these areas, such as “say on pay” and proxy access. Recent legislation permits emerging growth companies to implement many of these requirements over a longer period and up to five years from the pricing of this offering. We intend to take advantage of this new legislation but cannot guarantee that we will not be required to implement these requirements sooner than budgeted or planned and thereby incur unexpected expenses. Stockholder activism, the current political environment, and the current high level of government intervention and regulatory reform may lead to substantial new regulations and disclosure obligations, which may lead to additional compliance costs and impact the manner in which we operate our business in ways we cannot currently anticipate.

We expect the rules and regulations applicable to public companies to substantially increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly. If these requirements divert the attention of our management and personnel from other business concerns, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. The increased costs will decrease our net income or increase our net loss and may require us to reduce costs in other areas of our business or increase the prices of our products or services. For example, we expect these rules and regulations to make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance and we may be required to incur substantial costs to maintain the same or similar coverage. We cannot predict or estimate the amount or timing of additional costs we may incur to respond to these requirements. The impact of these requirements could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our board of directors, our board committees, or as executive officers.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock by our existing stockholders in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.

If our existing stockholders sell, or indicate an intention to sell, substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market after the lockup and other legal restrictions on resale discussed in this prospectus lapse, the trading price of our common stock could decline. Upon the closing of this offering, we will have outstanding a total of 39,497,847 shares of common stock. Of these shares, only the shares of common stock sold in this offering by us, plus any shares sold upon exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares, will

 

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be freely tradable without restriction in the public market immediately following this offering. In connection with this offering, our officers, directors and certain other stockholders, representing approximately 95% of our current stockholders, have agreed to be subject to a contractual lock-up with the underwriters, which will expire 180 days after the date of this prospectus.

The lock-up agreements contain important exceptions that govern their applicability. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, SVB Leerink LLC, and Evercore Group LLC, however, may, in their sole discretion, permit our officers, directors and other stockholders who are subject to these lock-up agreements to sell shares prior to the expiration of the lock-up agreements.

In addition, shares of common stock that are reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Plan and our 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, each of which became effective upon the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting schedules, the lock-up agreements and Rule 144 and Rule 701 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. If these additional shares of common stock are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold, in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline.

After this offering, the holders of 27,807,898 shares of our common stock will be entitled to rights with respect to the registration of their shares under the Securities Act, subject to the 180-day lock-up agreements described above. See “Description of Capital Stock—Registration Rights.” Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in such shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act, except for shares held by affiliates, as defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Any sales of securities by these stockholders could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our common stock.

Anti-takeover provisions under our charter documents and Delaware law could delay or prevent a change of control, which could limit the market price of our common stock and may prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws, which are to become effective upon the closing of this offering, will contain provisions that could delay or prevent a change of control of our company or changes in our board of directors that our stockholders might consider favorable. Some of these provisions include:

 

   

a board of directors divided into three classes serving staggered three-year terms, such that not all members of the board will be elected at one time;

 

   

a prohibition on stockholder action through written consent, which requires that all stockholder actions be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;

 

   

a requirement that special meetings of stockholders be called only by the board of directors acting pursuant to a resolution approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the directors then in office;

 

   

advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals and nominations for election to our board of directors;

 

   

a requirement that no member of our board of directors may be removed from office by our stockholders except for cause and, in addition to any other vote required by law, upon the approval of not less than two-thirds of all outstanding shares of our voting stock then entitled to vote in the election of directors;

 

   

a requirement of approval of not less than two-thirds of all outstanding shares of our voting stock to amend any bylaws by stockholder action or to amend specific provisions of our certificate of incorporation; and

 

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the authority of the board of directors to issue preferred stock on terms determined by the board of directors without stockholder approval and which preferred stock may include rights superior to the rights of the holders of common stock.

In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporate Law, which may prohibit certain business combinations with stockholders owning 15% or more of our outstanding voting stock. These antitakeover provisions and other provisions in our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws could make it more difficult for stockholders or potential acquirers to obtain control of our board of directors or initiate actions that are opposed by the then-current board of directors and could also delay or impede a merger, tender offer, or proxy contest involving our company. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for you and other stockholders to elect directors of your choosing or cause us to take other corporate actions you desire. Any delay or prevention of a change of control transaction or changes in our board of directors could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

Our amended and restated bylaws which become effective upon the consummation of this offering designate specific courts in as the exclusive forum for certain litigation that may be initiated by the Company’s stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us.

Pursuant to our amended and restated bylaws, which will become effective upon the effectiveness of this registration statement or which this prospectus forms a part, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for state law claims for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, or other employees to us or our stockholders; (3) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Delaware General Corporation Law or our certificate of incorporation or bylaws; (4) any action to interpret, apply, enforce or determine the validity of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws; or (5) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine, or the Delaware Forum Provision. The Delaware Forum Provision will not apply to any causes of action arising under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act. Our amended and restated bylaws will further provide that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for resolving any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act, or the Federal Forum Provision, as the Company is incorporated in the State of Delaware. In addition, our amended and restated bylaws will provide that any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock will be deemed to have notice of and consented to the Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision; provided, however, that stockholders cannot and will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.

The Delaware Forum Provision and the Federal Forum Provision in our amended and restated bylaws may impose additional litigation costs on stockholders in pursuing any such claims. Additionally, these forum selection clauses may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that they find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees, which may discourage the filing of lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and employees, even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. In addition, while the Delaware Supreme Court ruled in March 2020 that federal forum selection provisions purporting to require claims under the Securities Act be brought in federal court are “facially valid” under Delaware law, there is uncertainty as to whether other courts will enforce our Federal Forum Provision. If the Federal Forum Provision is found to be unenforceable, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters. The Federal Forum Provision may also impose additional litigation costs on stockholders who assert that the provision is not enforceable or invalid. The Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the United States District Court for the District of Delaware may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments may be more or less favorable to us than our stockholders.

 

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If we fail to establish and maintain proper and effective internal control over financial reporting, our operating results and our ability to operate our business could be harmed.

Ensuring that we have adequate internal financial and accounting controls and procedures in place so that we can produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis is a costly and time-consuming effort that needs to be re-evaluated frequently. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. In connection with this offering, we intend to begin the process of documenting, reviewing, and improving our internal controls and procedures for compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require annual management assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We have begun recruiting additional finance and accounting personnel with certain skill sets that we will need as a public company.

Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may distract our officers and employees, entail substantial costs to modify our existing processes, and take significant time to complete. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal controls, and any failure to maintain that adequacy, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and harm our business. In addition, investors’ perceptions that our internal controls are inadequate or that we are unable to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis may harm our stock price and make it more difficult for us to effectively market and sell our service to new and existing customers.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. Securities and industry analysts do not currently, and may never, publish research on our company. If no securities or industry analysts commence coverage of our company, the trading price for our stock would likely be negatively impacted. In the event securities or industry analysts initiate coverage, if one or more of the analysts who cover us downgrades our stock or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price may decline. If one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our stock could decrease, which might cause our stock price and trading volume to decline.

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus, including the sections entitled “Prospectus Summary,” “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Business,” contains forward-looking statements concerning our business, operations and financial performance and condition, as well as our plans, objectives and expectations for our business operations and financial performance and condition that are based on our management’s belief and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “target,” “seek,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements relate to our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans, objectives of management and expected market growth, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this prospectus include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

   

the success, cost and timing of our clinical development of our product candidates, including CLN-081, CLN-049, and CLN-619;

 

   

the initiation, timing, progress, results, and cost of our research and development programs and our current and future preclinical and clinical studies, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of studies or trials and related preparatory work, the period during which the results of the trials will become available, and our research and development programs;

 

   

our ability to initiate, recruit and enroll patients in and conduct our clinical trials at the pace that we project;

 

   

our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, and any related restrictions, limitations or warnings in the label of any of our product candidates, if approved;

 

   

our ability to compete with companies currently marketing or engaged in the development of treatments that our product candidates are designed to target;

 

   

our reliance on third parties to conduct our clinical trials and to manufacture drug substance for use in our clinical trials;

 

   

the size and growth potential of the markets for oncology and immuno-oncologic diseases and any of our current product candidates or other product candidates we may identify and pursue, and our ability to serve those markets;

 

   

our ability to identify and advance through clinical development any additional product candidates;

 

   

the commercialization of our current product candidates and any other product candidates we may identify and pursue, if approved, including our ability to successfully build a specialty sales force and commercial infrastructure to market our current product candidates and any other product candidates we may identify and pursue;

 

   

the expected benefits of our hub-and-spoke business model, including our ability to identify research priorities and apply a risk-mitigated strategy to efficiently discover and develop product candidates;

 

   

our ability to retain and recruit key personnel;

 

   

our ability to obtain and maintain adequate intellectual property rights;

 

   

our expectations regarding government and third-party payor coverage and reimbursement;

 

   

our estimates of our expenses, ongoing losses, capital requirements and our needs for or ability to obtain additional financing;

 

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our expected uses of the net proceeds to us from this offering;

 

   

the potential benefits of strategic collaboration agreements, our ability to enter into strategic collaborations or arrangements, and our ability to attract collaborators with development, regulatory and commercialization expertise;

 

   

our financial performance;

 

   

developments and projections relating to our competitors or our industry;

 

   

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; and

 

   

other risks and uncertainties, including those listed under the section titled “Risk Factors.”

You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could materially affect results. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, those listed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties occur, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual events or results may vary significantly from those implied or projected by the forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment and new risks emerge from time to time. It is not possible for our management to predict all risks, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in or implied by any forward-looking statements we may make. No forward-looking statement is a guarantee of future performance. You should read this prospectus and the documents that we reference in this prospectus and have filed with the SEC as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this prospectus represent our views as of the date of this prospectus. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should therefore not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this prospectus.

This prospectus also contains estimates, projections and other information concerning our industry, our business and the markets for our product candidates. Information that is based on estimates, forecasts, projections, market research or similar methodologies is inherently subject to uncertainties and actual events or circumstances may differ materially from events and circumstances that are assumed in this information. Unless otherwise expressly stated, we obtained this industry, business, market, and other data from our own internal estimates and research as well as from reports, research surveys, studies, and similar data prepared by market research firms and other third parties, industry, medical and general publications, government data and similar sources. While we are not aware of any misstatements regarding any third-party information presented in this prospectus, their estimates, in particular, as they relate to projections, involve numerous assumptions, are subject to risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

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MARKET, INDUSTRY AND OTHER DATA

We obtained the industry, market and competitive position data used throughout this prospectus from our own internal estimates and research, as well as from independent market research, industry and general publications and surveys, governmental agencies and publicly available information in addition to research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Internal estimates are derived from publicly available information released by industry analysts and third-party sources, our internal research and our industry experience, and are based on assumptions made by us based on such data and our knowledge of our industry and market, which we believe to be reasonable. In some cases, we do not expressly refer to the sources from which this data is derived. In that regard, when we refer to one or more sources of this type of data in any paragraph, you should assume that other data of this type appearing in the same paragraph is derived from the same sources, unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires. In addition, while we believe the industry, market and competitive position data included in this prospectus is reliable and based on reasonable assumptions, such data involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed in “Risk Factors.” These and other factors could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the estimates made by the independent parties or by us.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that our net proceeds from the sale of shares of our common stock in this offering will be approximately $178.5 million, or $205.7 million if the underwriters exercise in full their option to purchase additional shares, assuming an initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by $9.3 million, assuming the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our net proceeds from this offering by $18.1 million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

As of September 30, 2020, we had cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments of $94.9 million. In addition, on December 16, 2020, we received $124.7 million from the sale of our Series C preferred units. We currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, together with our existing cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments for the following:

 

   

approximately $45.0 million to $55.0 million to complete the Phase 1/2a trial of CLN-081, as well as to fund the initiation of a later stage trial in treatment experienced NSCLC patients with EGFRex20ins mutations;

 

   

approximately $50.0 million to $60.0 million to advance CLN-049 and CLN-619 into Phase 1/2a trials for patients with r/r AML and advanced solid tumors, respectively;

 

   

approximately $40.0 million to $50.0 million to advance CLN-617 and CLN-978 through IND-enabling studies and, assuming success of those studies and subject to FDA review of an IND submission, to initiate Phase 1/2a trials with those programs; and

 

   

the remaining proceeds for the continued advancement of our pipeline, including Jade and Opal, milestones for previously in-licensed programs, the identification and advancement of additional programs and development candidates, hiring of additional personnel, and costs of operating as a public company, and other general corporate purposes.

We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to make additional investments in our non-wholly-owned subsidiaries, or in-license, acquire, or invest in new businesses, technology, or assets. Although we have no current agreements, commitments, or understandings with respect to any additional investment, in-license, or acquisition, we evaluate such opportunities and engage in related discussions with third parties from time to time.

Based on our current operational plans and assumptions, we expect that the net proceeds from this offering, combined with our current cash, cash equivalents, and short term investments, will be sufficient to fund operations through 2024. We have based these estimates on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and we could utilize our available capital resources sooner than we expect. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to raise additional capital on reasonable terms or at all.

This expected use of the net proceeds from this offering represents our intentions based upon our current plans and business conditions. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot predict with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the completion of this offering or the amounts that we will actually spend on the uses set forth above.

 

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The amounts and timing of our actual expenditures and the extent of our research and development activities may vary significantly depending on numerous factors, including the progress of our development efforts, the status of and results from any preclinical studies or clinical trials we may commence in the future, our ability to take advantage of expedited programs or to obtain regulatory approval for any other therapeutic candidates we may identify and pursue, the timing and costs associated with the manufacture and supply of any other therapeutic candidates we may identify and pursue for clinical development or commercialization, and any unforeseen cash needs. As a result, our management will retain broad discretion over the allocation of the net proceeds from this offering, and investors will be relying on the judgment of our management regarding the application of the net proceeds.

Pending our use of the net proceeds from this offering, we intend to invest the net proceeds in a variety of capital preservation instruments, including short-term and long-term interest-bearing instruments, investment-grade securities, and direct or guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government. We cannot predict whether the proceeds invested will yield a favorable return.

 

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DIVIDEND POLICY

We have never made any cash distributions to our members. Subsequent to our Reorganization, we do not anticipate paying any dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and growth of our business. Any future determination to declare dividends will be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on various factors, including applicable laws, our results of operations, financial condition, future prospects and any other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Investors should not purchase our common stock with the expectation of receiving cash dividends.

 

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REORGANIZATION

LLC Entity (Cullinan Oncology, LLC)

Currently, the capital structure of Cullinan Oncology, LLC, or the LLC entity, consists of six classes of membership units: Non-voting incentive units, common units, Series Seed preferred units, Series A-1 preferred units, Series B preferred units, and Series C preferred units. The LLC entity is the direct parent company of Cullinan Management, Inc., and other operating subsidiaries. The subsidiaries of the LLC entity hold and advance individual therapeutic candidates, with the exception of our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, Inc., or the Corporation, which is our shared services provider and program incubator. Each subsidiary’s current governance rights will not change as a result of the Reorganization (as defined below). For more information regarding each subsidiary’s capitalization and governance rights, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Basis of Presentation and Consolidation” and for more information on each subsidiary’s license agreements, as applicable, see “Business—License Agreements.” The subsidiaries of the LLC entity currently consist of the following:

 

   

The Corporation is our wholly-owned operating subsidiary that employs all of our team members and incubates discovery programs until we establish a “spoke” in which to further advance them. We centralize shared services, including all research and development operations, administrative services, and business development at the Corporation, and then allocate employees and resources to the other operating subsidiaries based on the needs and development stage for each therapeutic candidate or program.

 

   

Cullinan Pearl Corp., or Cullinan Pearl, incorporated in November 2018, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights, excluding Japan and Greater China, to CLN-081.

 

   

Cullinan Florentine Corp., or Cullinan Florentine, incorporated in December 2019, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights to CLN-049.

 

   

Cullinan Amber Corp., or Cullinan Amber, incorporated in December 2019, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights to the patents related to the technology that originated from and was developed in the laboratory of Professor Dane Wittrup at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

   

Cullinan MICA, Corp. (formerly known as PDI Therapeutics, Inc.), or Cullinan MICA, which we assumed operational control of in May 2020, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that owns intellectual property related to CLN-619.

 

   

Cullinan Apollo Corp, or Cullinan Apollo, incorporated in November 2018, is our partially-owned subsidiary. In May 2020, Cullinan Apollo discontinued development of VK-2019 and terminated its license and collaboration agreements with The Wistar Institute.

Corporate Reorganization

Prior to the completion of this offering, we will complete a series of transactions, which we refer to collectively as the Reorganization. As a result of the Reorganization, we anticipate Cullinan Oncology, LLC will merge with and into the Corporation, with the Corporation being the surviving entity of such merger. The Corporation will become the registrant for purposes of this offering and our consolidated financial statements will be reported by the Corporation.

We believe the steps to the Reorganization will include:

 

   

The LLC entity will contribute all of the stock it owns of each of Cullinan Apollo, Cullinan Florentine, Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Pearl, and Cullinan MICA, or collectively, the Asset Subsidiaries, to the Corporation in exchange for common stock of the Corporation that will result in the Asset Subsidiaries becoming partially-owned subsidiaries of the Corporation;

 

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Following this contribution and prior to the completion of this offering, the LLC entity will merge with and into the Corporation with the Corporation being the surviving entity of such merger, or the LLC Merger; and

 

   

Any other steps necessary to effect the Corporation becoming the registrant for this offering and our combined consolidated financial statements being reported from the Corporation going forward after the Reorganization.

As part of the LLC Merger, by operation of law and pursuant to the merger agreement setting forth the terms and conditions of the LLC Merger, the Corporation will acquire all assets of the LLC entity and assume all of its liabilities and obligations. As part of the Reorganization, the existing units of the LLC entity will be cancelled and converted into the corresponding shares of capital stock of the Corporation, after which the holders of such LLC entity units will have received 100% of the outstanding capital stock of the Corporation as of immediately prior to the completion of this offering. As a result of the LLC Merger, the unit holders of the LLC will receive equity in the Corporation as follows:

 

   

Holders of the LLC entity’s outstanding Series Seed preferred units shall receive an aggregate of 2,273,050 shares of the Corporation’s Series Seed preferred stock;

 

   

Holders of the LLC entity’s outstanding Series A-1 preferred units shall receive an aggregate of 7,103,280 shares of the Corporation’s Series A preferred stock;

 

   

Holders of the LLC entity’s outstanding Series B preferred units shall receive an aggregate of 8,970,154 shares of the Corporation’s Series B preferred stock;

 

   

Holders of the LLC entity’s outstanding Series C preferred units shall receive an aggregate of 9,461,414 shares of the Corporation’s Series C preferred stock; and

 

   

Holders of the LLC entity’s outstanding restricted common units shall receive an aggregate of 320,228 shares of the Corporation’s restricted common stock.

Following the LLC Merger, and prior to the consummation of this offering, the Corporation will effect a one-for-7.0390 reverse split of its common stock and all outstanding preferred stock of the Corporation will automatically be converted on a 1-for-1 basis into common stock of the Corporation.

Treatment of Outstanding Incentive Equity of Cullinan Oncology, LLC

In connection with the Reorganization, all of the outstanding Non-Voting Incentive Units of the LLC entity will be exchanged for 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock of the Corporation as provided for in the distribution provisions of the LLC Agreement, and the terms and conditions of the LLC Merger. The portion of the outstanding Non-Voting Incentive Units of the LLC entity that have vested as of the consummation of the Reorganization will be exchanged for shares of common stock of the Corporation, and the remaining portion of unvested outstanding Non-Voting Incentive Units of the LLC entity will be exchanged for restricted common stock of the Corporation. The shares of restricted common stock will be subject to time-based vesting conditions, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Non-Voting Incentive Units of the LLC entity from which such shares are exchanged. In addition, in connection with the Reorganization, all of the outstanding options to purchase common units of the LLC entity will be exchanged for options to purchase shares of common stock of the Corporation as provided for in the distribution provisions of the LLC Agreement, and the terms and conditions of the LLC Merger. The options to purchase shares of common stock of the Corporation will be subject to time-based vesting conditions, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the options to purchase common units of the LLC entity from which such options are exchanged.

Holding Company Structure

Following the consummation of the Reorganization, the Corporation will be a holding company of the Asset Subsidiaries. As the controlling shareholder of the Asset Subsidiaries, with the exception of Cullinan MICA, and with the right to appoint the majority of members of the board of directors of Cullinan MICA, the Corporation will operate and control the business and affairs of the Asset Subsidiaries. The Corporation will consolidate the financial results of its subsidiaries.

 

 

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In connection with the Reorganization, all of the property and assets of the LLC entity, including equity in the Asset Subsidiaries, will become the property and assets of the Corporation, and all of the debts and obligations of the LLC entity will become the debts and obligations of the Corporation by operation of law. The Corporation will be governed by a second amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be filed with the Delaware Secretary of State and amended and restated bylaws, the material portions of each of which are described under the heading “Description of Capital Stock.”

On the effective date of the Reorganization, the members of the board of directors of the LLC entity will become the members of the Corporation’s board of directors and the officers of the LLC entity will become the officers of the Corporation.

The purpose of the Reorganization is to reorganize our corporate structure so that the entity that is offering

common stock to the public in this offering is a corporation rather than a limited liability company and so that our existing investors will own our common stock rather than units in a limited liability company. References in this prospectus to our capitalization and other matters pertaining to our equity and shares prior to the Reorganization relate to the capitalization and equity and units of the LLC entity, and after the Reorganization, to the Corporation.

Reorganization Equity Exchange

In October 2020, in connection with the Reorganization, the LLC entity adopted the 2020 Unit Option and Grant Plan, or the 2020 Unit Plan, reserving 36,972,854 million common units for issuance pursuant to the 2020 Unit Plan, and decreased the authorized reserve under the 2016 Equity Incentive Plan such that no more non-voting incentive units could be issued under that plan. Options in respect of 32,493,491 common units were then granted pursuant to the 2020 Unit Plan at an exercise price of $0.61 per common unit, including the awards to our named executive officers and non-employee directors as described below. The purpose of these option grants was to (a) provide the required equity pursuant to anti-dilution provisions in agreements with certain employees, directors and consultants; (b) grant recently hired individuals equity in accordance with their offer letters and per standard practices; and (c) exchange employees’ shares of restricted stock in Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Pearl, and Cullinan Florentine for restricted common units of the LLC entity as described below, thereby increasing the LLC entity’s ownership in Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Pearl, and Cullinan Florentine.

In addition, in November 2020, the LLC entity entered into a Contribution Agreement, or the Restricted Stock Contribution Agreement, with each holder of restricted stock of Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Pearl, and Cullinan Florentine. Pursuant to the Restricted Stock Contribution Agreement, each holder contributed their respective shares of restricted stock and in exchange received 2,254,231 restricted common units of the LLC entity under the 2020 Unit Plan with an aggregate value equal to the value of the restricted stock contributed to the LLC entity, or the Restricted Stock Contribution.

The board of directors of Cullinan Pearl further authorized the entry into a Common Unit Purchase Agreement with the LLC entity pursuant to which Cullinan Pearl purchased 22,868 common units of the LLC entity for a purchase price of $0.61 per common unit, for an aggregate of $13,950, or the Unit Purchase. In addition, the LLC entity entered into subscription agreements with Cullinan Pearl pursuant to which the LLC entity purchased an aggregate of 2,730,225 shares of common stock of Cullinan Pearl.

Simultaneous with the Restricted Stock Contribution, the board of directors of Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Pearl, and Cullinan Florentine determined to accelerate the vesting of the shares of unvested restricted stock immediately prior to the contribution of such stock pursuant to the Restricted Stock Contribution Agreement described above and then terminated their respective stock option and grant plans and the remaining shares reserved for issuance under each respective stock option and grant plan were retired to the status of authorized and unissued shares. The board of directors of Cullinan Pearl also approved the cancellation of all of its outstanding options that were issued pursuant to its stock option and grant plan. In exchange for the cancellation

 

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of the outstanding options, the holders of such options received a number of restricted common units of the LLC that were acquired in the Unit Purchase for each option’s spread value using fair market values prepared by a third party accounting firm. Such restricted common units vest on the same schedule as the options they replaced.

In connection with the equity exchange, each of Mr. Hughes and Drs. Baeuerle and Savill received anti-dilution and make-whole option grants under the 2020 Unit Plan as well as a cash bonus award of $37,500 each. See “Executive Compensation” for additional information.

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and our capitalization as of September 30, 2020:

 

   

on an actual basis;

 

   

on a pro forma basis to give effect to:

 

   

the issuance and sale of 66,599,045 Series C preferred units in December 2020 for net proceeds of $124.7 million;

 

   

the completion of the Reorganization and, subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding preferred stock into common stock; and

 

   

the filing and effectiveness of our second amended and restated certificate of incorporation, effective immediately prior to the closing of the offering; and

 

   

on a pro forma as adjusted basis to give further effect to our issuance and sale of shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The pro forma and pro forma as adjusted information below is illustrative only, and our capitalization following the completion of this offering will be adjusted based on the actual initial public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this table together with our combined and consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing at the end of this prospectus and the sections of this prospectus titled “Reorganization,” “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

     As of September 30, 2020  

(In thousands, except share and per share data)

   ACTUAL      PRO FORMA      PRO FORMA
AS ADJUSTED(1)
 

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

   $ 94,892    $ 219,592      $ 398,042  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Redeemable preferred units:

        

Series Seed redeemable preferred units, $0.0001 par value; 16,000,000 units authorized issued and outstanding, actual; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     3,956                

Series A1 redeemable preferred units, $0.0001 par value; 50,000,000 units authorized issued and outstanding, actual; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     49,946                

Series B redeemable preferred units, $0.0001 par value: 64,200,000 units authorized, and 63,141,020 units issued and outstanding, actual; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma; no units authorized, issued or outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

     97,909                

Members’ deficit, actual; Stockholders’ equity, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted:

        

Non-voting incentive units, $0.0001 par value; 23,860,000 units authorized, 11,896,500 units issued and outstanding, actual; no units authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

     1                

 

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     As of September 30, 2020  

(In thousands, except share and per share data)

   ACTUAL     PRO FORMA     PRO FORMA
AS ADJUSTED(1)
 

Common units, $0.0001 par value; no units authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; no units authorized, issued and outstanding, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

                  

Common stock, $0.0001 par value; no shares authorized, issued and outstanding, actual; 160,000,000 authorized, 29,497,847 shares issued and outstanding, pro forma; 160,000,000 authorized, 39,497,847 issued and outstanding, pro forma as adjusted

           3       4  

Noncontrolling interest in subsidiaries

     1,863       1,863       1,863  

Additional paid-in capital

     770       277,279       455,728  

Accumulated other comprehensive income

     59       59       59  

Accumulated deficit

     (64,993     (64,993     (64,993
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total members’ deficit, actual; Total stockholders’ equity, pro forma and pro forma as adjusted

     (62,300     214,211       392,661  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total capitalization

   $ 89,511   $ 214,211     $ 392,661  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1)

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by $9.3 million, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the pro forma as adjusted amount of each of cash, total stockholders’ equity and total capitalization by $18.1 million, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering gives effect to the Reorganization and, subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding preferred stock into common stock, and is based on (i) an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and (ii) 29,497,847 shares of our common stock (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) outstanding as of September 30, 2020, which assumes the exchange of all outstanding units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC as of September 30, 2020 and 66,599,045 Series C preferred units issued after September 30, 2020 for an aggregate of 29,497,847 shares of common stock of Cullinan Management, Inc. (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) prior to the completion of this offering as if such exchange had occurred as of September 30, 2020. See the section of the prospectus titled “Reorganization.”

The table above does not include:

 

   

12,226,158 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, or the 2021 Plan, which includes currently outstanding equity awards comprised of (i) 4,616,187 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options at a weighted average exercise price of $4.30; and (ii) an aggregate of 1,753,316 shares of our common stock, which will be granted to certain of our executive officers and other employees at the time of effectiveness of the 2021 Plan with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price per share;

 

   

320,228 shares of restricted common stock outstanding under our 2021 Plan after September 30, 2020; and

 

   

416,665 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 ESPP, which will become effective in connection with this offering.

 

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DILUTION

If you invest in our common stock in this offering, your ownership interest will be diluted immediately to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per share of our common stock and the pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after this offering.

Our historical net tangible book value (deficit) and historical net tangible book value (deficit) per share have not been presented as there were no common shares outstanding as of September 30, 2020.

Our pro forma net tangible book value as of September 30, 2020 was $214.2 million, or $7.26 per share of our common stock. Pro forma net tangible book value represents the amount of our total tangible assets less our total liabilities, after giving effect to (i) the issuance of our Series C preferred units and (ii) the Reorganization, including the exchange of all outstanding units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC as of September 30, 2020 and 66,599,045 Series C preferred units issued after September 30, 2020, for an aggregate of 29,497,847 shares of common stock of our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management (which includes shares of restricted common stock), prior to the completion of this offering, as if such exchange had occurred as of September 30, 2020, assuming an initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding preferred stock into common stock. Pro forma net tangible book value per share represents pro forma net tangible book value divided by the total number of shares outstanding as of September 30, 2020 after giving effect to the pro forma adjustments described above.

After giving further effect to our issuance and sale of shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of September 30, 2020 would have been $392.7 million, or $9.94 per share. This represents an immediate increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share of $2.68 to existing stockholders and immediate dilution of $9.56 in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering. Dilution per share to new investors is determined by subtracting pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering from the assumed initial public offering price per share paid by new investors. The following table illustrates this dilution on a per share basis:

 

Assumed initial public offering price per share

      $ 19.50  

Pro forma net tangible book value per share as of September 30, 2020

   $ 7.26     

Increase in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share attributable to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering

     2.68     
  

 

 

    

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering

        9.94  
     

 

 

 

Dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering

      $ 9.56  
     

 

 

 

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $0.24 and dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering by approximately $0.76, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. An increase of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $0.21 and decrease the dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering by approximately $0.21, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. A decrease of 1,000,000

 

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shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would decrease our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering by approximately $0.21 and increase the dilution per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering by approximately $0.21, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

If the underwriters fully exercise their option to purchase additional shares of common stock in this offering, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after this offering would be $10.24 and the dilution in pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share to new investors purchasing common stock in this offering would be $9.26, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share and after deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.

The following table summarizes, as of September 30, 2020, on the pro forma as adjusted basis described above, the total number of shares of common stock purchased from us, the total consideration paid or to be paid, and the average price per share paid or to be paid by existing stockholders and by new investors in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, before deducting estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. As the table shows, new investors purchasing common stock in this offering will pay an average price per share substantially higher than our existing stockholders paid.

 

     Shares Purchased     Total Consideration     Average
Price
Per
Share
 
     Number      Percent     Amount      Percent  

Existing stockholders

     29,497,847        74.7   $ 283,700,110        59.3   $ 9.62  

New investors

     10,000,000        25.3       195,000,000        40.7     $ 19.50  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

Total

     39,497,847        100%     $ 478,700,110        100%                     
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

    

 

 

   

A $1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of $19.50 per share, which is the midpoint of the price range set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors by $10.0 million and, in the case of an increase, would increase the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by 1.2 percentage points and, in the case of a decrease, would decrease the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by 1.3 percentage points, assuming that the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, remains the same. An increase (decrease) of 1,000,000 shares in the number of shares offered by us, as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus, would increase (decrease) the total consideration paid by new investors by $19.5 million and, in the case of an increase, would increase the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by 2.3 percentage points and, in the case of a decrease, would decrease the percentage of total consideration paid by new investors by 2.5 percentage points, assuming no change in the assumed initial public offering price per share.

The table above assumes no exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares in this offering. If the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares is fully exercised, the number of shares of our common stock held by existing stockholders would be reduced to 71.9% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering, and the number of shares of common stock held by new investors purchasing common stock in this offering would be increased to 28.1% of the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding after this offering.

The table above is based on 29,497,847 shares of common stock outstanding as of September 30, 2020 and gives effect to the Reorganization and assumes the exchange of all outstanding units of Cullinan Oncology, LLC as of September 30, 2020 and 66,599,045 Series C preferred units issued after September 30, 2020 for an aggregate of 29,497,847 shares of common stock of our wholly-owned subsidiary Cullinan Management, Inc. (which includes 1,689,949 shares of restricted common stock) prior to the completion of this offering as if such exchange had occurred as of September 30, 2020.

 

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The table above does not include:

 

   

12,226,158 shares of our common stock reserved for future issuance under our 2021 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, or the 2021 Plan, which includes currently outstanding equity awards comprised of (i) 4,616,187 shares of common stock issuable upon the exercise of stock options at a weighted average exercise price of $4.30; and (ii) an aggregate of 1,753,316 shares of our common stock, which will be granted to certain of our executive officers and other employees at the time of effectiveness of the 2021 Plan with an exercise price equal to the initial public offering price per share;

 

   

320,228 shares of restricted common stock outstanding under our 2021 Plan after September 30, 2020; and

 

   

416,665 shares of our common stock reserved for issuance under our 2021 Employee Stock Purchase Plan, or 2021 ESPP, which will become effective in connection with this offering.

If common stock options are issued under our equity incentive plan, or if we issue additional shares of common stock in the future, there will be further dilution to investors purchasing common stock in this offering.

 

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following information is presented for Cullinan Oncology, LLC, which will merge with and into the Corporation, the entity whose shares are being offered hereby. The consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss data for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018 and 2019 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements. The consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss data for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2020 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of September 30, 2020 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements, both of which are included elsewhere in this prospectus. In the opinion of management, the unaudited financial statements include all adjustments, consisting of only normal and recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair presentation of such financial data. You should read this data together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus and the information under the caption “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected in the future for a full year or any interim period.

 

     YEAR ENDED
DECEMBER 31,
    NINE MONTHS ENDED
SEPTEMBER 30,
 
     2018     2019     2019     2020  
                 (unaudited)  
     (in thousands, except share and per share data)  

Consolidated statement of operations data:

        

Operating expenses:

        

Research and development

   $ 9,584     $  16,788     $  12,986     $  26,582  

General and administrative

     5,002       5,482       4,305       4,580  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     14,586       22,270       17,291       31,162  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (14,586     (22,270     (17,291     (31,162

Other income, net:

        

Interest income

     397       620       368       809  

Other (expense) income, net

           (4           1  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total other income, net

     397       616       368       810  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss

     (14,189     (21,654     (16,923     (30,352

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

           (997     (835     (6,899
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to Cullinan

   $ (14,189   $ (20,657   $ (16,088   $ (23,453
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net loss per unit attributable to common and non-voting incentive unit holders, basic and diluted(1)

   $ (5.56   $ (3.23   $ (2.67   $ (2.62
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total weighted-average common and non-voting incentive units used in computing net loss per unit, basic and diluted(1)

     2,549,865       6,397,443       6,017,973       8,960,373  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss:

        

Net loss

   $ (14,189   $ (21,654   $ (16,923   $ (30,352

Unrealized (loss) gain on investments

           (4           63  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss

     (14,189     (21,658     (16,923     (30,289

Comprehensive loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

           (997     (835     (6,899
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Comprehensive loss attributable to Cullinan

   $ (14,189   $ (20,661   $ (16,088   $ (23,390
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)(2)

     $ (1.80     $ (1.21
    

 

 

     

 

 

 

Total weighted-average common stock outstanding used in computing pro forma net loss per share, basic and diluted (unaudited)(1)(2)

       11,449,625         19,361,467  
    

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

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(1)

See Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements and our condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus for a description of how we compute net loss per unit attributable to common and non-voting incentive unit holders, basic and diluted, and the weighted-average common and non-voting incentive units used in computation of per unit amounts.

(2)

Pro forma net loss per share attributable to common stockholders, basic and diluted (unaudited) and pro forma weighted average common stock outstanding—basic and diluted (unaudited) gives effect to (i) the completion of the Reorganization—see “Reorganization” for further detail—and (ii) subsequent to the Reorganization, the conversion of all outstanding shares of our preferred stock into common stock as if such transactions had occurred on the later of the beginning of the period or the issuance of the redeemable preferred units, but does not reflect the transactions described in “The Reorganization—Reorganization Equity Exchange”, nor does it include units from the Series C offering completed in December 2020.

 

     As of December 31,     As of September 30,  
     2018     2019     2020  
                 (unaudited)  
     (in thousands)  

Balance Sheet Data:

      

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments

   $ 33,832     $ 98,630     $ 94,892  

Working capital(1)

     32,895       97,568       89,298  

Total assets

     34,640       100,461       97,317  

Redeemable preferred units

     53,902       137,774       151,811  

Total members’ deficit

     (20,650     (39,909     (62,300

 

(1)

We define working capital as current assets less current liabilities.

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF

FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with the “Selected Consolidated Financial Data” section of this prospectus and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes appearing elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion and other parts of this prospectus contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, such as statements regarding our plans, objectives, expectations, intentions and projections. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of this prospectus.

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company developing a diversified pipeline of targeted oncology and immuno-oncology therapies with transformative potential for cancer patients. In approximately three and a half years, by leveraging our differentiated hub-and-spoke business model, we have efficiently developed or in-licensed a pipeline of seven distinct programs.    Our unique business model leverages a central operating company and separate subsidiaries that are established to hold and advance individual therapeutic candidates. Cullinan Management, Inc., or Cullinan Management, our wholly-owned operating subsidiary, employs all of our team members and incubates discovery programs until we establish a “spoke” in which to further advance them. In addition, we centralize shared services, including all research and development operations, administrative services, and business development, in Cullinan Management and allocate employees and resources to each spoke based on the needs and development stage of each therapeutic candidate. As of September 30, 2020, we had five partially-owned development subsidiaries, or spokes, in addition to Cullinan Management: Cullinan Pearl Corp., or Cullinan Pearl, which is advancing CLN-081; Cullinan Apollo Corp., or Cullinan Apollo, which was formed around VK-2019, a drug that we subsequently decided to discontinue development of in May 2020; Cullinan MICA Corp., or Cullinan MICA, which is advancing CLN-619; Cullinan Florentine Corp., or Cullinan Florentine, which is advancing CLN-049; and Cullinan Amber Corp., or Cullinan Amber, which is developing our AMBER platform and advancing CLN-617 as its first therapeutic candidate. Cullinan Management, Cullinan Pearl, Cullinan MICA, Cullinan Florentine and Cullinan Amber are collectively referred to as the Asset Subsidiaries. Our earlier-stage programs, NexGem, Opal and Jade, are currently held in Cullinan Management. At December 31, 2019, we had four partially-owned development subsidiaries in addition to Cullinan Management: Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Apollo, Cullinan Florentine and Cullinan Pearl.

Since our inception in 2016, we have focused substantially all of our efforts and financial resources on raising capital, organizing and staffing our company, identifying, acquiring or in-licensing, and developing product and technology rights, establishing and protecting our intellectual property portfolio, and developing and advancing our programs. To support these activities, we and our wholly-owned subsidiary, Cullinan Management, (i) identify and secure new programs, (ii) set up new subsidiaries to further advance individual programs, (iii) recruit key management team members, (iv) raise and allocate capital across the portfolio, and (v) provide certain shared services, including research and development operations, administrative services, and business development, to our subsidiaries. We do not have any products approved for sale and have not generated any revenue from product sales.

Since inception, we have funded our operations primarily through the sale of redeemable preferred units. In October 2016, we received $4.0 million from the purchase and sale of our Series Seed preferred units. Subsequently, in April 2017, we received approximately $50.0 million from the purchase and sale of our Series A preferred units. In October and December 2019, we received a total of approximately $84.3 million for the purchase and sale of our Series B preferred units. In February and March 2020, we received approximately $14.3 million for the additional sale of our Series B preferred units. Through December 16, 2020, after giving effect to the issuance of our Series C preferred units, our investors have provided approximately $277.0 million in cumulative net proceeds.

As of September 30, 2020, we had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $94.9 million. Subsequent to September 30, 2020, we have received $124.7 million of proceeds from sales of our Series C

 

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preferred units. We have incurred operating losses and have had negative cash flows from operations since our inception. Our net loss was $14.2 million, $21.7 million and $30.4 million, for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 and the nine months ended September 30, 2020, respectively. As of September 30, 2020, we had an accumulated deficit of $65.0 million. We expect to continue to generate operating losses for the foreseeable future. Our future viability is dependent on the success of our research and development and our ability to access additional capital to fund our operations. There can be no assurance that our current operating plan will be achieved or that additional funding will be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all.

We are subject to risks and uncertainties common to early-stage companies in the biotechnology industry including, but not limited to, new technological innovations, protection of proprietary technology, dependence on key personnel, compliance with government regulations, and the ability to obtain additional capital to fund operations. Our therapeutic programs will require significant additional research and development efforts, including preclinical and clinical testing and regulatory approval prior to commercialization. These efforts require additional capital, adequate personnel and extensive compliance-reporting capabilities. There can be no assurance that our research and development will be successfully completed, that adequate protection for our intellectual property will be obtained, that any products developed will obtain necessary government regulatory approval, or that any approved products will be commercially viable. The current outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. The full extent of the impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic will depend on future developments that are highly uncertain, including as a result of new information that may emerge concerning COVID-19 and actions taken to contain or treat COVID-19, as well as the economic impact. Given the uncertainty around the extent and timing of the potential future spread or mitigation efforts related to the current outbreak of COVID-19, the financial impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.

Basis of Presentation and Consolidation

Since our inception, we have created wholly-owned subsidiaries or made investments in certain controlled entities. Losses attributed to noncontrolling interests are reported separately in our consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss.

The entities that are consolidated in our consolidated financial statements include the following:

 

Consolidated Entities

  

Current Relationship

   Date Control
First Acquired
   Ownership as of
Sep 30, 2020 %(1)
    Ownership as of
Dec 31, 2020%(1)(2)
 

Cullinan Management, Inc.

   Wholly-owned Subsidiary    September 2016      100     100

Cullinan Apollo Corp.

   Partially-owned Subsidiary    November 2018      71     71

Cullinan Pearl Corp.

   Partially-owned Subsidiary    November 2018      65     80

Cullinan Amber Corp.

   Partially-owned Subsidiary    December 2019      52     90

Cullinan Florentine Corp.

   Partially-owned Subsidiary    December 2019      66     92 %(3) 

Cullinan MICA Corp.

   Partially-owned Subsidiary    May 2020      24 %(4)      35 %(4) 

 

(1)

Ownership percentages are reflected on a fully-diluted basis.

(2)

In November 2020, the board of directors of Cullinan Pearl, Cullinan Amber, and Cullinan Florentine terminated their respective stock option and grant plan and the remaining shares reserved for issuance under each respective stock option and grant plan were retired to the status of authorized and unissued shares.

(3)

Reflects the closing of the second tranche of the Series A Preferred Stock financing of Cullinan Florentine, which occurred on December 16, 2020, and the issuance of common stock of Cullinan Florentine to DKFZ and UFE on December 18, 2020.

(4)

In December 2020, the board of directors and stockholders of Cullinan MICA approved an amendment to its equity plan that decreased the authorized amount of shares under its equity plan such that no further grants could made under its equity plan. Any authorized but unissued shares under the equity plan were returned to the status of authorized, unissued shares of common stock. Pursuant to a subscription agreement, the LLC entity subsequently purchased an aggregate of 3,367,804 shares of common stock of Cullinan MICA. As a

 

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  result of these transactions, Cullinan Oncology, LLC’s, or the LLC entity’s, ownership will increase to approximately 54%, on a fully-diluted basis, upon completion of the remaining two tranches of Series A financing and are subject to the determination of Cullinan MICA’s board. See “—Cullinan MICA” below for additional information.

Cullinan Apollo

Cullinan Apollo, incorporated in November 2018, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that was formed around VK-2019. In December 2018, Cullinan Apollo licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to VK-2019, an Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen 1 (EBNA1) inhibitor, from The Wistar Institute, or Wistar. Cullinan Apollo also entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement with Wistar to continue preclinical research and development of VK-2019. In May 2020, Cullinan Apollo discontinued development of VK-2019 and terminated its license and collaboration agreements with Wistar.

Cullinan Pearl

Cullinan Pearl, incorporated in November 2018, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights, excluding Japan and Greater China, to CLN-081, our orally available small molecule designed as a next generation, irreversible EGFR inhibitor that is in development for the treatment of NSCLC patients with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations. In February 2019, Cullinan Pearl entered into a licensing and collaboration agreement with Taiho Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd., or Taiho Pharma, for the worldwide rights to CLN-081 outside of Japan, which Taiho Pharma retained. As of December 31, 2020, the LLC entity and Taiho Ventures, LLC, or Taiho Ventures, have purchased an aggregate of $23.0 million in Series A preferred stock of Cullinan Pearl. Specifically, in February 2019, Cullinan Pearl issued to Taiho Ventures 1,860,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock at a price of $1.00 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $1,860,000. In August 2020, at the election of the board of directors of Cullinan Pearl, Cullinan Pearl closed its subsequent closing of its Series A Preferred Stock financing and issued to Taiho Ventures an additional 1,206,000 shares of Series A Preferred Stock for an aggregate purchase price of $1,206,000. As of December 31, 2020, the LLC entity owns 87% and Taiho Ventures owns 13% of the Series A preferred stock. Assuming conversion of the Series A preferred stock, the LLC entity owns 80%, Taiho Ventures owns 10%, and Taiho Pharma owns 10% of the fully diluted common stock outstanding of Cullinan Pearl. Pursuant to a voting agreement, by and among Cullinan Pearl, the LLC entity, Taiho Ventures, and other stockholders of Cullinan Pearl, the Series A Preferred stockholders, acting by majority vote, have the right to appoint two members of the board of directors, Taiho Ventures has the right to appoint one director; the LLC entity’s chief executive officer, Mr. Hughes, serves as the fourth board member; and two independent directors are appointed by a majority of the other four Cullinan Pearl board of directors.

Cullinan Amber

Cullinan Amber, incorporated in December 2019, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights to the patents related to the technology that originated in the laboratory of Professor Dane Wittrup at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT. In December 2019, Cullinan Amber entered into an Exclusive Patent License Agreement with MIT. The LLC entity currently owns 90% of the issued equity of Cullinan Amber, on a fully-diluted basis, including 100% of the shares of Series A preferred stock. MIT and Dr. Wittrup each own approximately 5% of the issued and outstanding equity of Cullinan Amber on a fully-diluted basis. Pursuant to the Series A Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement, by and among Cullinan Amber and the LLC entity, upon election by the Cullinan Amber board of directors, the LLC entity will purchase up to an additional 9,000,000 Series A Preferred Stock at a purchase price of $1.00 per share of Series A Preferred Stock in one or more closings. Pursuant to a voting agreement by and among Cullinan Amber, the LLC entity, and other stockholders, of the three person board of directors, the holders of Series A preferred stock, acting by majority vote, have the right to designate two members of the board of directors.

Cullinan Florentine

Cullinan Florentine, incorporated in December 2019, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that has exclusive worldwide rights to CLN-049, our bispecific antibody targeting FLT3 and CD3, pursuant to an

 

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Exclusive License Agreement with Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, or DKFZ, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Faculty of Medicine, or University of Tübingen, and Universitätsmedizin Gesellschaft für Forschung und Entwicklung mbH, Tübingen, or UFE. Through December 16, 2020, the LLC entity has purchased an aggregate of $12.0 million of shares of Series A preferred stock of Cullinan Florentine through two closings of a Series A financing. In connection with the issuance of additional shares of Series A Preferred Stock to the LLC entity and pursuant to the license agreement with DKFZ, UFE and the University of Tubingen, Cullinan Florentine issued to each of DKFZ and UFE an additional 261,540 and 120,270 shares of common stock of Cullinan Florentine, respectively. As a result, the LLC entity currently owns 92% of the fully diluted shares outstanding of Cullinan Florentine, including 100% of the shares of Series A preferred stock. DKFZ and University of Tübingen currently own in the aggregate approximately 8% of the equity of Cullinan Florentine on a fully-diluted basis. Pursuant to a voting agreement, in the form filed as Exhibit 10.19 hereto, between Cullinan Florentine, the LLC entity and other stockholders, of the four person board of directors, the holders of Series A preferred stock, acting by majority vote, have the right to designate two members of the board of directors, DKFZ and UFE, acting jointly, have the right to appoint one director, and the CEO of Cullinan Florentine, who is currently our CEO, Mr. Owen Hughes, is the fourth board member.

Cullinan MICA

Cullinan MICA, Corp. (formerly known as PDI Therapeutics, Inc.), or Cullinan MICA, of which we assumed operational control in May 2020, is our partially-owned operating subsidiary that owns intellectual property related to CLN-619, our MICA/B-targeted humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody. The LLC entity purchased 24% of the issued equity of Cullinan MICA, on a fully-diluted basis, including 89% of the outstanding shares of Series A Senior Preferred Stock. Pursuant to the Series A Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement by and among the LLC entity, Cullinan MICA, and other stockholders of Cullinan MICA, the LLC entity will purchase up to an additional $16.0 million of the aggregate $18.0 million Series A Senior Preferred Stock in two milestone-dependent closings. The first closing milestone relates to the establishment of an acceptable preliminary dosing, pharmacokinetic, and safety profile, as well as certain Good Manufacturing Practice and regulatory events, in a monotherapy dose escalation study for CLN-619 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Upon the (i) determination of Cullinan MICA’s board of directors that the milestone has been achieved or (ii) the election of Cullinan MICA’s board of directors to waive the milestone requirements, the purchasers are required to invest approximately an additional $8.0 million. The second closing milestone relates to the global expansion cohorts for CLN-619 and will be met upon: confirmation of dosing and pharmacodynamics effects, demonstration of clinical efficacy, and achievement of an acceptable safety profile. Upon the (i) determination of Cullinan MICA’s board of directors that the milestone has been achieved or (ii) the election of Cullinan MICA’s board of directors to waive the milestone requirements, the purchasers are required to invest approximately an additional $10.0 million. In December 2020, the stockholders and the board of directors of Cullinan MICA approved an amendment to its equity plan that decreased the authorized amount of shares under its equity plan such that no further grants could be made under its equity plan. Any authorized but unissued shares under the equity plan were returned to the status of authorized, unissued shares of common stock. Pursuant to a subscription agreement, the LLC entity subsequently purchased an aggregate of 3,367,804 shares of common stock of Cullinan MICA. As a result of these transactions, the LLC entity’s ownership percentage in Cullinan MICA increased to approximately 35% as of December 31, 2020. Therefore, at the time of the first and second milestone closings, the LLC entity will own approximately 45% and 54%, respectively, of the fully diluted capital stock outstanding. Pursuant to a voting agreement, by and among Cullinan MICA, the LLC entity, and other stockholders of Cullinan MICA, of the five person board of directors, the LLC entity has the right to appoint three members of the board of directors. For additional disclosure on the accounting implications of this transaction, please see Note 5 of our condensed consolidated financial statements.

Components of Our Results of Operations

Revenue

We have not generated any revenue since our inception and do not expect to generate any revenue from the sale of products in the near future, if at all. If our development efforts for our therapeutic candidates are successful and result in regulatory approval or if we enter into collaboration or license agreements with third

 

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parties, we may generate revenue in the future from a combination of product sales or payments from such collaboration or license agreements.

Operating expenses

Research and development expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred in connection with the research and development of our therapeutic candidates and programs. We expense research and development costs and intangible assets acquired that have no alternative future use as incurred. These expenses include:

 

   

employee-related expenses, including salaries, related benefits and equity-based compensation expense, for employees engaged in research and development functions;

 

   

expenses incurred under agreements with organizations that support our drug discovery and development activities;

 

   

expenses incurred in connection with the preclinical and clinical development of our therapeutic candidates and programs, including under agreements with contract research organizations, or CROs;

 

   

costs related to contract manufacturing organizations, or CMOs, that are primarily engaged to provide drug substance and product for our clinical trials, research and development programs, as well as investigative sites and consultants that conduct our clinical trials, nonclinical studies and other scientific development services;

 

   

the costs of acquiring and manufacturing nonclinical and clinical trial materials, including manufacturing registration and validation batches;

 

   

costs related to compliance with quality and regulatory requirements; and

 

   

payments made under third-party licensing agreements.

Advance payments that we make for goods or services to be received in the future for use in research and development activities are recorded as prepaid expenses. Such amounts are recognized as an expense as the goods are delivered or the related services are performed, or until it is no longer expected that the goods will be delivered or the services rendered.

Therapeutic candidates in later stages of clinical development generally have higher development costs than those in earlier stages of clinical development, primarily due to the increased size and duration of later-stage clinical trials. We expect that our research and development expenses will increase substantially in connection with our planned clinical development activities in the near term and in the future. At this time, we cannot accurately estimate or know the nature, timing and costs of the efforts that will be necessary to complete the clinical development of any current or future therapeutic candidates.

Our clinical development costs may vary significantly based on factors such as:

 

   

per patient trial costs;

 

   

the number of trials required for approval;

 

   

the number of sites included in the trials;

 

   

the countries in which the trials are conducted;

 

   

the length of time required to enroll eligible patients;

 

   

the number of patients that participate in the trials;

 

   

the number of doses that patients receive;

 

   

the drop-out or discontinuation rates of patients;

 

   

potential additional safety monitoring requested by regulatory agencies;

 

   

the duration of patient participation in the trials and follow-up periods;

 

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the cost and timing of manufacturing our therapeutic candidates;

 

   

the phase of development of our therapeutic candidates;

 

   

the efficacy and safety profile of our therapeutic candidates; and

 

   

the number of therapeutic candidates we are developing.

The successful development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates is highly uncertain. This is due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with product development and commercialization, including the following:

 

   

the timing and progress of nonclinical and clinical development activities;

 

   

the number and scope of nonclinical and clinical programs we decide to pursue;

 

   

raising necessary additional funds;

 

   

the progress of the development efforts of parties with whom we may enter into collaboration arrangements;

 

   

our ability to maintain our current development programs and to establish new ones;

 

   

our ability to establish new licensing or collaboration arrangements;

 

   

the successful initiation and completion of clinical trials with safety, tolerability and efficacy profiles that are satisfactory to the FDA or any comparable foreign regulatory authority;

 

   

the receipt and related terms of regulatory approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;

 

   

the availability of drug substance and drug product for use in the production of our therapeutic candidates;

 

   

establishing and maintaining agreements with third-party manufacturers for clinical supply for our clinical trials and commercial manufacturing, if our therapeutic candidates are approved;

 

   

our ability to obtain and maintain patents, trade secret protection and regulatory exclusivity, both in the United States and internationally;

 

   

our ability to protect our rights in our intellectual property portfolio;

 

   

the commercialization of our therapeutic candidates, if and when approved;

 

   

obtaining and maintaining third-party insurance coverage and adequate reimbursement;

 

   

the acceptance of our therapeutic candidates, if approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;

 

   

competition with other products; and

 

   

a continued acceptable safety profile of our therapies following approval.

A change in the outcome of any of these variables with respect to the development of our therapeutic candidates could significantly change the costs and timing associated with the development of that therapeutic candidate. We may never succeed in obtaining regulatory approval for any of our therapeutic candidates or programs.

General and administrative expenses

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related costs for personnel in executive management, finance, corporate and business development, and administrative functions. General and administrative expenses also include legal fees relating to patent and corporate matters; professional fees for accounting, auditing, tax, and administrative consulting services; insurance costs; administrative travel expenses; marketing expenses; and other operating costs.

 

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We anticipate that our general and administrative expenses will increase in the future as we increase our headcount to support development of our therapeutic candidates and programs and our continued research activities. We also anticipate that we will incur increased accounting, audit, legal, regulatory, compliance, and director and officer insurance costs as well as investor and public relations expenses associated with being a public company.

Other Income

Interest Income

Interest income consists of interest income earned on our cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

Income Taxes

The LLC entity has elected to be treated under the Partnership provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Accordingly, the LLC entity is not viewed as a tax-paying entity in any jurisdiction and all income and deductions of the LLC entity are reported on our members’ individual income tax returns and no income taxes are recorded by the LLC entity. The LLC entity does not have any operations.

Our Subsidiaries are taxed as corporations for federal and state income tax purposes. Our Subsidiaries account for income taxes using the asset and liability method in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 740, Income Taxes. Current income taxes are based on taxable income for federal and state reporting purposes. Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to affect taxable income. A valuation allowance is provided when it is more likely than not that some portion, or all of a deferred tax asset will not be realized. Due to our Subsidiaries’ lacking earnings history, the net deferred tax assets have been fully offset by a valuation allowance.

Our Subsidiaries recognize the effect of income tax positions only if those positions are more likely than not of being sustained. Recognized income tax positions are measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than fifty percent likely to be realized upon settlement. Changes in measurement are reflected in the period in which the change in judgment occurs.

Results of Operations

Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2018 and 2019

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  

(in thousands)

   2018      2019  

Operating expenses:

     

Research and development

   $ 9,584      $ 16,788  

General and administrative

     5,002        5,482  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     14,586        22,270  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (14,586      (22,270

Other income, net:

     

Other income, net

     397        616  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other income, net

     397        616  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

   $ (14,189    $ (21,654

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

            (997
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to Cullinan

   $ (14,189    $ (20,657
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

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Research and Development Expenses

 

     Year Ended December 31,         

(in thousands)

       2018              2019          Change  

Cullinan Pearl (CLN-081)

   $ 114      $ 7,002      $ 6,888  

Cullinan Apollo (VK-2019)

     3,982        4,133        151  

Cullinan Florentine (CLN-049)

            909        909  

Cullinan Amber (CLN-617)

            281        281  

Cullinan Wittelsbach Program

     3,036               (3,036

Other terminated programs

     621               (621

Other personnel and unallocated

     1,831        4,463       
2,632
 
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total research and development expenses

   $ 9,584      $ 16,788      $ 7,204  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Research and development expenses were $9.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2018, compared to $16.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. We have separately provided additional detail for the research and development expenses incurred in connection with the research and development activities conducted for the therapeutic candidates and programs being developed by our partially-owned subsidiaries Cullinan Amber, Cullinan Florentine, and Cullinan Pearl, certain of our consolidated entities, as we believe they represent key portfolio value drivers. We have also included research and development expense detail for Cullinan Apollo and Cullinan Wittelsbach, which are subsidiaries that we have dissolved, or plan to dissolve in the case of Cullinan Apollo, in the near future. The increase of $7.2 million was primarily due to CLN-081 clinical activity following our 2019 IND submission and the upfront fee and fair value of common stock issued to Taiho Pharma in connection with our license of ex-Japan rights to CLN-081, as well as increased external research activity associated with our collaborations with Fred Hutch and Adimab LLC, or Adimab, offset by non-recurring costs from our terminated programs, including from Cullinan Wittelsbach.

We are heavily dependent on the success of our therapeutic candidates, the most advanced of which are in preclinical or the early stages of 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 therapeutic candidates will receive regulatory approval or, if approved, achieve commercial success.

General and Administrative Expenses

 

     Year Ended December 31,         

(in thousands)

       2018              2019          Change  

Personnel-related

   $ 2,580      $ 2,657      $ 77  

Professional services fees

     1,060        1,199        139  

Legal fees

     663        826        163  

Occupancy and other fees

     699        800        101  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total general and administrative expenses

   $ 5,002      $ 5,482      $ 480  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

General and administrative expenses were $5.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $5.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase of $0.5 million was primarily due to increased expenditure on outside professional services and diligence regarding the Cullinan Amber and Cullinan Florentine transactions, as well as inflationary impact of personnel- and occupancy-related expenses. These increases were largely due to our operations expanding and an increase in headcount to support the additional operations.

Other Income, Net

Other income, net was $0.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to $0.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase of $0.2 million was primarily related to an increase in interest income resulting from higher average balances on our cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments.

 

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Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interest

Net losses are attributed to noncontrolling interests under the hypothetical liquidation at book value, or HLBV, method for certain subsidiaries. The HLBV method is a point in time calculation that utilizes inputs to determine the amount that the noncontrolling interest holders would receive upon a hypothetical liquidation at each balance sheet date based on the liquidation provisions of the respective articles of incorporation. Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest was nil in 2018 compared to $1.0 million associated with our partially-owned subsidiary Cullinan Pearl in 2019.

Comparison of Periods Ended September 30, 2019 and 2020

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 and 2020:

 

     Nine Months Ended September 30,  

(in thousands)

         2019                  2020        
     (unaudited)  

Operating expenses:

     

Research and development

   $ 12,986      $ 26,582  

General and administrative

     4,305        4,580  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total operating expenses

     17,291        31,162  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Loss from operations

     (17,291      (31,162

Other income, net:

     

Other income, net

     368        810  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total other income, net

     368        810  
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss

     (16,923      (30,352

Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest

     (835      (6,899
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Net loss attributable to Cullinan

   $ (16,088    $ (23,453
  

 

 

    

 

 

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

     Nine Months Ended September 30,         

(in thousands)

         2019                  2020            Change  
     (unaudited)         

Cullinan MICA (CLN-619)

   $      $ 8,560      $ 8,560  

Cullinan Florentine (CLN-049)

            7,281        7,281  

Cullinan Pearl (CLN-081)

     5,948        5,390        (558

Cullinan Apollo (VK-2019)

     3,256        1,841        (1,415

Cullinan Amber (CLN-617)

            437        437  

Other personnel and unallocated

     3,782        3,073        (709
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total research and development expenses

   $ 12,986      $ 26,582      $ 13,596  
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Research and development expenses were $13.0 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $26.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2020. The increase of $13.6 million was primarily due to the consolidation of Cullinan MICA’s research and development expenses following our Series A investment in May 2020 and the CLN-049 IND-enabling studies in our Cullinan Florentine subsidiary in 2020 compared to 2019, partially offset by lower expenses associated with our Cullinan Apollo program, which was terminated in 2020 as well as the upfront license fee related to CLN-081 in our partially-owned Cullinan Pearl subsidiary that was incurred in 2019.

 

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General and Administrative Expenses

 

     Nine Months Ended September 30,         

(in thousands)

         2019                  2020            Change