10-K
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022

OR

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

Commission File Number 001-41331

 

AN2 Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

82-0606654

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

1800 El Camino Real, Suite D

Menlo Park, California

94027

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)


Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (650) 331-9090

 

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading

Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock

 

ANTX

 

The Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

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

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
 

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

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the Registrant, based on the closing price of the shares of common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 30, 2022, was $118,888,897.

The number of shares of Registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 22, 2023 was 19,402,658 shares of common stock, par value $0.00001, outstanding.

 

 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

Item 1.

Business

5

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

30

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

80

Item 2.

Properties

81

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

81

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

81

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

Item 5.

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

82

Item 6.

[Reserved]

82

Item 7.

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

83

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

95

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

95

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

95

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

95

Item 9B.

Other Information

97

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

97

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

98

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

103

Item 12.

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

112

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

116

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

119

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

120

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

120

 

Signatures

123

 

 

i


 

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Annual Report”) contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy, product candidates, planned preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials, results of preclinical and nonclinical studies, clinical trials, research and development costs, regulatory approvals, timing and likelihood of success, as well as plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that are in some cases beyond our control and may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.

In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” or “continue,” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, statements about:

the initiation, timing, progress, and results of our preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials, and our research and development programs, including the manufacture of clinical trial material and drug product for launch;
the sufficiency of our existing cash to fund our future operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements;
the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, capital requirements and needs for additional financing;
the ability of our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in mycobacterium avium complex (“MAC”) lung disease to be sufficient for regulatory approval in the United States and Japan and potentially other territories;
the translation of our preclinical results and data and early clinical trial results, in particular relating to safety, efficacy and durability, into future clinical trial results;
our ability to retain the continued service of our key professionals and to identify, hire, and retain additional qualified professionals;
our ability to advance our initial product candidate and any other product candidates we may develop into, and successfully complete, clinical trials;
the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our initial product candidate and any other product candidates we may develop;
the commercialization of our initial product candidate and any other product candidates we may develop, if approved;
the ability of epetraborole, if approved, to successfully compete with other therapies, including therapies currently in development;
the size of the market opportunity for epetraborole or any other product candidates we may develop in each of the diseases we target;
the pricing, coverage, and reimbursement of epetraborole, if approved;
the implementation of our business model, strategic plans for our business, and our initial product candidate and any other product candidates we may develop;
the scope of protection we are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering epetraborole;
the expected post-approval marketing exclusivity granted to epetraborole by certain regulatory designations in the United States and Japan;
our ability to identify additional product candidates and advance them into clinical development;
our financial performance;
developments relating to our competitors and our industry;

1


 

our expectations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and operations, including clinical trials, manufacturing suppliers, collaborators, use of contract research organizations (“CROs”) and employees;
our expectations regarding the impact of inflation, macroeconomic conditions and geopolitical conflicts on our business and operations, including on our manufacturing suppliers, collaborators, CROs and employees; and
our expectations regarding the period during which we will qualify as an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”).

We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about our business, the industry in which we operate and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects and these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or development. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties, and assumptions described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in our forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein until after we distribute this Annual Report, whether as a result of any new information, future events, or otherwise.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain, and you are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

 

2


 

RISK FACTORS SUMMARY

Below is a summary of material factors that make an investment in our securities speculative or risky. Importantly, this summary does not address all of the risks and uncertainties that we face. Additional discussion of the risks and uncertainties summarized in this risk factor summary, as well as other risks and uncertainties that we face, can be found under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This summary is qualified in its entirety by that more complete discussion of such risks and uncertainties. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K as part of your evaluation of an investment in our common stock.

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale. We have incurred significant losses since our inception. We expect to incur losses over the next several years and may never achieve or maintain profitability.
We require substantial additional funding to meet our financial needs and to pursue our business objectives. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to delay, reduce, or altogether cease our current and future product development programs or future commercialization efforts.
We depend to a large degree on the success of epetraborole, for which we have initiated patient enrollment in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. If we do not obtain regulatory approval for and successfully commercialize epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, we may never become profitable.
If clinical trials of epetraborole or any future product candidate that we may advance to clinical trials fail to demonstrate safety, tolerability, and/or efficacy to the satisfaction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), Japan's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (“PMDA”), the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”), the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia (“TGA”), or other comparable regulatory authorities, or do not otherwise produce favorable results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of epetraborole or any future product candidate.
If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.
We rely on single-sourced third parties to conduct the preclinical and nonclinical studies, clinical trials, and manufacture of our clinical trial material for epetraborole and our future product candidates, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such studies, trials, and manufacturing services or failing to comply with applicable regulatory requirements.
Even if epetraborole or any of our future product candidates receives marketing approval, they may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success. If we are unable to establish sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities for epetraborole or our future product candidates, or enter into sales, marketing, and distribution agreements with third parties, we may not be successful in commercializing our product candidates, if and when they are approved.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing, or commercializing products before or more successfully than we do.
We operate with a small team and our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain, and motivate qualified personnel.
We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect our business.
Our rights to develop and commercialize our technology, epetraborole, and our other future product candidates are subject, in large part, to the terms and conditions of licenses granted to us by others, including Anacor. If we fail to comply with our obligations in the agreements under which we in-license or acquire development or commercialization rights to products, technology, or data from third parties, we could lose such rights that are important to our business.

3


 

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our technology, or for epetraborole or our future product candidates, or if the scope of the patent and other intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize technology and drugs similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize our technology and product candidates may be impaired.
If we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals, we will not be able to commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.
Future legislation, and/or regulations and policies adopted by the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA or comparable regulatory authorities, may increase the time and cost required for us to conduct and complete clinical trials of epetraborole or other future product candidates.
The trading price of our common stock may be volatile.
Our cash and cash equivalents may be exposed to failure of our banking institutions.



 

 

4


 

PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

AN2 Therapeutics, Inc. is a Delaware corporation incorporated on February 24, 2017. We launched operations in November 2019. We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for rare, chronic, and serious infectious diseases with high unmet needs. Our initial candidate is epetraborole, which we are studying as a once-daily, oral treatment with a novel mechanism of action for patients with non-tuberculous mycobacterial (“NTM”) lung disease, a rare, chronic and progressive infectious disease caused by bacteria known as mycobacteria, which leads to irreversible lung damage and can be fatal.

We are enrolling patients in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial evaluating epetraborole in treatment-refractory Mycobacterium avium complex (“MAC”), the most common form of NTM lung disease. If the data from the Phase 2/3 trial is positive, we plan to file for regulatory and marketing approval initially in the United States and Japan and potentially other territories. We are also planning to develop epetraborole for treatment-naïve MAC lung disease and M. abscessus lung disease.

Epetraborole has broad-spectrum antimycobacterial activity through inhibition of an essential and universal step in bacterial protein synthesis. Its novel mechanism of action is enabled by boron chemistry, our core technology approach. In 2022, the FDA granted us Fast Track designation to investigate epetraborole for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, Qualified Infectious Disease Product (“QIDP”) designation for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, and orphan drug designation for the treatment of infections caused by NTM. We have also received orphan medicinal product designation from the European Commission for the treatment of NTM lung disease using epetraborole. Based on clinical and preclinical data generated with epetraborole, its novel mechanism of action, and the convenience associated with once-daily, oral dosing, we believe that epetraborole has the potential to become an important component of a multi-drug treatment regimen for patients suffering from NTM lung disease.

We in-licensed the exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights for epetraborole from Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Anacor”), acquired by Pfizer Inc. (“Pfizer”) in 2016.

We believe our boron chemistry platform has the potential to address biological targets that have been difficult to inhibit using molecules that are solely carbon-based. Our research team is focused on bringing forward development candidates that address significant unmet needs in rare, chronic and serious infectious diseases.

In addition to our NTM development programs for epetraborole, we intend to pursue epetraborole and other compounds for global health initiatives, including melioidosis, using non-dilutive funding from sources such as public and private agencies and foundations. In 2022 we received a cost-reimbursement contract award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), part of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), under which we are able to receive up to $17.8 million in cost reimbursements to advance the development of epetraborole for acute systemic melioidosis and other biothreat pathogens.

The below table summarizes our development plans for epetraborole:

https://cdn.kscope.io/f40bc5d2b87cdfe8f38fc98d230607f3-img90168601_0.jpg 

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The status of each of our epetraborole programs is listed below:

Treatment-refractory MAC lung disease: We are initially focused on advancing our first product candidate, epetraborole, to commercialization in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We are conducting a pivotal Phase 2/3 study of epetraborole in treatment refractory MAC in the United States, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. For additional details, see the section titled “EBO-301: Ongoing Phase 2/3 Pivotal Clinical Trial.” We expect to complete enrollment in the Phase 2 portion of the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in mid-2023 and plan to seamlessly begin enrollment of the Phase 3 portion of the trial immediately thereafter. We expect to announce top-line data for each of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 portions of the trial approximately nine months after the completion of enrollment in each respective portion of the trial. Based on interactions with the FDA and PDMA and prior approval of Arikayce, currently the only approved therapy for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease in both jurisdictions, we believe that positive data from EBO-301 will be sufficient to support regulatory filings for approval in the United States, Japan and potentially other territories.
Treatment-naïve MAC lung disease: We plan to review Phase 2 clinical data in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease from EBO-301, when available, to inform further investigation of epetraborole as part of a first-line combination regimen in treatment-naïve MAC lung disease.
M. abscessus lung disease: We are currently conducting nonclinical studies as part of a dose selection study to support clinical development of epetraborole in M. abscessus.
Melioidosis: In September 2022 we received a cost-reimbursement contract award under which we are able to receive up to $17.8 million in non-dilutive funding in the form of cost reimbursements from the NIAID to support preclinical, Phase 1 studies, and other activities to enable advancement of epetraborole into a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial for acute systemic melioidosis. In 2023, we plan to initiate nonclinical studies as part of our agreement with the NIAID to support clinical development of intravenous epetraborole in acute systemic melioidosis.

Our Strategy

We aim to develop a portfolio of therapies to treat rare, chronic, and serious infectious diseases. Key components of our strategy to achieve this goal include:

Advance epetraborole through clinical development in NTM lung disease with an initial focus on patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We believe epetraborole has a high potential to bring therapeutic benefit to patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease as a once-daily, oral antibiotic with a novel mechanism of action. We are focused on advancing epetraborole in our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 trial in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We estimate that there are approximately 200,000 patients living with NTM lung disease in the United States (accounting for both diagnosed and undiagnosed cases), approximately 15,000 to 20,000 of whom have treatment-refractory MAC. The number of cases in Japan is among the highest in the world and is estimated to exceed the number of cases in the United States or Europe. Given the high unmet medical need for the treatment of NTM lung disease in Japan, and its major market potential, we plan to include Japanese patients in our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. Based on our discussions with the FDA and PMDA, we believe this Phase 2/3 pivotal clinical trial has the potential to be sufficient for regulatory approval in the United States and Japan. If approved, we intend to commercialize epetraborole in both the United States and Japan and potentially other territories. We are also enrolling patients from Australia and South Korea and, like Japan, we believe there are significant numbers of NTM patients in each country.
Develop epetraborole for treatment-naïve MAC lung disease and M. abscessus lung disease. We believe epetraborole has the potential to meet the ideal target product profile (“TPP”) for treatment-naïve NTM lung disease caused by MAC due to its once-daily, oral dosing, potential tolerability profile, and novel mechanism of action. In addition, we believe that the broad-spectrum antimycobacterial activity and ideal target product profile demonstrated by epetraborole may allow for the development in other infectious diseases caused by mycobacteria, including M. abscessus lung infections. To expand epetraborole’s potential to address significant unmet needs for the broader NTM patient population and to maximize the market potential, we plan to review clinical data from the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, when available, to inform further investigation of epetraborole in both these indications.

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Build and scale organizational capabilities to support commercialization of epetraborole in NTM lung disease. We have in-licensed the exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights for epetraborole and have entered into a strategic partnership with and licensed out our rights in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau to Brii Biosciences. We plan to build a specialized commercial organization to launch epetraborole in the United States, Japan, and potentially other territories, if approved. We also are working with several contract development and manufacturing organizations (“CDMOs”) to be launch-ready and in position to maximize the commercial potential of epetraborole should it gain regulatory approval in the United States, Japan, and potentially other territories.
Continue to invest in expanding our pipeline of product candidates. We have several research programs targeting the development of novel antimicrobial compounds based on our boron chemistry platform. There is a significant need for novel NTM drugs that improve upon the currently available antibiotics that have variable efficacy, safety and tolerability profiles. We anticipate that these compounds will have the potential to be developed in combination with epetraborole and other NTM drugs for the treatment of NTM lung disease. We are also applying our boron research capabilities to discover and develop novel therapeutics for other rare or chronic infectious diseases. In addition to our internal research efforts, our strategy also includes seeking in-licensing of other development-stage compounds that are complementary to our mission.
Apply our expertise in antimicrobial drug design and development to other global health problems. Our leadership team is committed to developing novel therapeutics to treat rare, chronic, and serious infectious diseases in areas of high unmet medical need. We have identified several serious infectious diseases, including melioidosis, where we believe our technology and global health development expertise has the potential to help deliver therapies to underserved populations. In September 2022, we announced receipt of a cost-reimbursement contract award under which we are able to receive up to $17.8 million of non-dilutive funding in the form of cost reimbursements from the NIAID to support preclinical, Phase 1 studies, and other activities to enable the advancement of epetraborole into a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial for acute systemic melioidosis, where we believe there is a potential to significantly lower unacceptably high mortality rates in patients. We intend to continue to collaborate with both public and private entities and foundations and are seeking non-dilutive capital to advance these global health initiatives.

Epetraborole

Key Attributes

We believe the development of epetraborole in NTM lung disease represents an attractive opportunity for the following reasons:

Large market opportunity. Treatment-refractory MAC lung disease requires long-term, daily antimycobacterial therapy. There is a high unmet need in NTM lung disease and an opportunity for a safe, tolerable, effective, and oral antibacterial drug that could significantly improve patient outcomes.
Novel mechanism of action with a broad spectrum of antimycobacterial activity. Epetraborole has a novel mechanism of action – inhibition of bacterial leucyl-tRNA synthetase, a bacterial target for which there are no approved drugs. Epetraborole has demonstrated broad antimycobacterial activity in preclinical studies against MAC, including but not limited to M. avium, M. intracellulare, and M. chimaera, which is the most common group of NTM that causes human disease (~80% cases) and is the initial focus of epetraborole’s clinical development. Furthermore, because epetraborole works through a novel mechanism of action, it is also active against strains that are resistant to other antibiotics currently used to treat NTM lung disease. Additionally, epetraborole has demonstrated potent in vitro activity as compared to. M. abscessus, a rapid-growing NTM species that has a high unmet need for new effective antibiotics.
Substantial data package supports ongoing clinical studies. Epetraborole has been investigated by AN2 in three completed Phase 1 studies and eight additional studies by Anacor and Anacor's previous partner, GSK. The Anacor and GSK studies, in intravenous and oral formulations of epetraborole, included six Phase 1 and two truncated Phase 2 clinical trials in over 200 subjects at a wide range of clinical doses. We are currently conducting a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. In parallel, we plan to initiate enrollment this year in a thorough QT (“TQT”) study (EBO-104) and a Phase 1 study evaluating the pharmacokinetics of epetraborole in patients with varying degrees of hepatic impairment (EBO-105). We believe that these additional studies, once completed, will support NDAs in the United States and Japan if a positive outcome in the Phase 3 portion of EBO-301 is achieved.

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Compatibility with guideline-based combination treatments. The current standard of care therapy for NTM lung disease includes administration of three or more antimycobacterial agents, the combination of which improves efficacy, shortens the duration of therapy, and significantly reduces the chance that resistance to individual drugs would develop. Given epetraborole’s novel mechanism of action and low potential for drug-drug interactions with existing antibiotics, we believe it has the potential to become an important component of a multi-drug treatment regimen for patients living with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. Additionally, in nonclinical pharmacokinetic models of NTM MAC infection, epetraborole added on top of a triple-drug guideline-based regimen demonstrated significantly improved bacteria reductions vs. guideline therapy alone.
Twelve years of regulatory exclusivity anticipated in the United States, if approved. In addition to current and potential future patent protection in the major geographies, epetraborole, if approved, is expected to receive 12 years of post-approval marketing exclusivity in the U.S. from its existing QIDP and orphan drug designations.

Mechanism of Action

Epetraborole is a boron-containing, orally bioavailable, small molecule inhibitor of bacterial leucyl-tRNA synthetase, or LeuRS, an enzyme that catalyzes the attachment of leucine to transfer RNA, or tRNA, molecules, an essential step in protein synthesis. As shown in Figure A below, epetraborole forms a complex with a tRNALeu molecule, trapping the terminal ribonucleotide of tRNALeu in the editing site of the enzyme, which prevents the synthetic site from attaching leucine to tRNALeu thus shutting down tRNA leucylation and leading to a block in protein synthesis.

https://cdn.kscope.io/f40bc5d2b87cdfe8f38fc98d230607f3-img90168601_1.jpg 

Figure A. Epetraborole inhibits the protein synthesis enzyme leucyl-tRNA synthetase, or LeuRS, by binding to the terminal adenosine ribose of tRNALeu in the editing site.

As shown in Table 1 below, epetraborole has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against a broad panel of 51 isolates of MAC, with minimum inhibitory concentrations, or MICs, of 0.25 mg/ml to 8 mg/ml. Because epetraborole works via a novel mechanism of action, it also maintained activity against MAC isolates that are resistant to clarithromycin, a current therapy for NTM treatment regimens.

 

 

MIC (mg/L)

 

 

 

Epetraborole

 

 

Clarithromycin

 

 

Amikacin

 

MIC Range

 

0.25 - 8

 

 

0.25 - >64

 

 

8 - >64

 

MIC50

 

 

2

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

16

 

MIC90

 

 

8

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

64

 

Table 1. Antimicrobial activity of epetraborole, clarithromycin and amikacin against 51 isolates of MAC including 17 M. intracellulare isolates, 1 M. avium isolate, 3 M. avium complex isolates, 20 M. avium subsp. hominissuis isolates, and 10 M. chimaera isolates.

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Unmet Need in NTM and Market Opportunity for Epetraborole

NTM lung disease is a rare, chronic, and progressive infectious disease caused by bacteria known as mycobacteria that leads to irreversible lung damage and can be fatal. Unlike most bacteria, which replicate quickly and spread outside of cells, mycobacteria replicate slowly and mostly infect alveolar (lung) macrophages and survive within them. Due to the slow growth and survival within macrophages of mycobacteria, the current standard of care for NTM lung infections requires prolonged treatments, often for 18 months or longer, with a combination of three or more antibiotics. Initially, we are focused on developing epetraborole to treat the most common type of NTM, MAC, which accounts for approximately 80% of NTM lung disease in the United States.

There are an estimated 200,000 patients with NTM lung disease in the United States. We believe that many remain underdiagnosed due to lack of clinical suspicion, nonspecific respiratory symptoms, and underlying lung diseases that are frequent in patients with this infection. The prevalence of NTM lung disease is increasing in the United States by an estimated 8% per year. Among the approximately 55,000 patients diagnosed with NTM lung disease in the United States, approximately 44,000 patients have MAC lung disease, and approximately 35% of these patients have treatment-refractory MAC lung disease.

In addition, Japan has some of the highest rates of NTM lung disease in the world. It is estimated that there are 220,000 patients with NTM lung disease and 21,000 patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease in Japan.

There is only one FDA-approved therapy for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease: Arikayce, an inhaled liposomal formulation of amikacin. Arikayce is also approved in Japan and certain other countries around the world. Insmed Incorporated reported net sales of Arikayce of approximately $245.4 million in 2022 ($186.0 million in the United States, $56.5 million in Japan, and $2.9 million in Europe and the rest of the world), a 30% increase over 2021. We believe there is significant unmet need for new treatments, particularly in an oral dosage form with differentiated tolerability and mechanism of action. In a clinical trial, the addition of Arikayce to standard of care (SOC) combination antibiotic therapy resulted in the resolution of MAC infection in 29% of patients as compared to 9% for SOC alone. Arikayce has boxed warnings for risk of increased respiratory adverse reactions, and warnings and precautions including ototoxicity, a known class effect with aminoglycosides, and other safety findings. In its clinical trial, between 20.3% and 33.5% of patients treated with Arikayce discontinued treatment. Other drugs used in combination with Arikayce as a part of a standard-of-care regimen are not approved to treat MAC lung disease and carry numerous safety and tolerability liabilities of their own.

Epetraborole Development Program

EBO-301: Ongoing Phase 2/3 Pivotal Clinical Trial

In June 2022, we announced the initiation of our pivotal Phase 2/3 trial evaluating epetraborole in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We are enrolling patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease in this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, with planned enrollment of 80 patients in the Phase 2 portion and approximately 234 patients in the Phase 3 portion (the final number of patients for the Phase 3 portion to be determined based on Phase 2 portion of the trial and assuming an 80% evaluability rate in the primary analysis population). To date we have activated nearly 60 sites worldwide. We designed this trial to include Japanese patients in sufficient numbers to support regulatory approval in Japan.

The Phase 2 portion of the trial consists of one cohort of approximately 40 patients treated with epetraborole plus an optimized background regimen (“OBR”) consisting of two or more standard-of-care drugs, and one cohort of approximately 40 patients treated with placebo plus an OBR. The primary objectives in the Phase 2 portion of the trial are to assess the measurement properties of a novel patient-reported outcome (“PRO”) instrument and to provide validation evidence in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease including determination of clinical response, microbiological response, and safety of oral epetraborole plus OBR compared to placebo plus OBR. Data from the Phase 2 portion of the trial will be used to inform the clinical response measures evaluated in the Phase 3 portion of the trial. While the Phase 2 portion of the trial is not powered for statistical significance, we believe these data will provide a meaningful indication of epetraborole’s activity in humans in treatment-resistant MAC lung disease.

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The primary objective in the Phase 3 portion of the trial will be to determine if epetraborole plus OBR is superior to placebo plus OBR in clinical response or microbiological response. The trial includes four PRO tools for measuring clinical improvement, including the Macro2 PRO, which we developed specifically for this trial. To support a U.S. NDA, the primary endpoint in the Phase 3 part of the trial may include a symptom-based clinical response measure as measured by a PRO at month six or culture conversion at month six. The primary endpoint will be confirmed upon FDA review of Phase 2 data. Based on our discussions with the PMDA, we expect that the primary endpoint for the Phase 3 portion of the trial in Japan will be culture conversion at month six, with supportive data on durability response required to support marketing authorization. We expect that secondary endpoints will include other microbiological, clinical, or safety measures.

We expect that the Phase 3 portion of the trial will consist of one cohort of approximately 156 patients treated with epetraborole plus an OBR and one cohort of approximately 78 patients treated with placebo plus an OBR. These anticipated enrollment figures may change as our sample-size and trial-design will be informed by the ongoing Phase 2 portion of our trial.

We expect to complete enrollment in the Phase 2 portion of the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in mid-2023 and plan to seamlessly begin enrollment of the Phase 3 portion of the trial immediately thereafter. We expect to announce top-line data for each of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 portions of the trial approximately nine months after the completion of enrollment in each respective portion of the trial.

Based on interactions with FDA, the PMDA, and the prior approval of Arikayce in both jurisdictions, we believe that positive data from EBO-301 has the potential to be sufficient to support regulatory filings for approval in the United States, Japan and potentially other countries.

An overview of our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial design is below in Figure B.

https://cdn.kscope.io/f40bc5d2b87cdfe8f38fc98d230607f3-img90168601_2.jpg 

Figure B. Pivotal Phase 2/3 pivotal clinical trial of epetraborole in treatment-refractory MAC lung disease

Clinical and Non-Clinical Data Package to Support Regulatory Filings

In addition to the ongoing EBO-301 trial, we have completed three Phase 1 studies and are in the process of initiating two additional Phase 1 studies: a TQT study and a study evaluating the pharmacokinetics of epetraborole in subjects with varying degrees of hepatic impairment. We believe that these studies, once completed, in conjunction with a positive outcome in EBO-301, will support marketing applications in the United States, Japan and other potential markets.

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Ongoing clinical studies

In 2022, we initiated our pivotal Phase 2/3 trial evaluating once-daily, oral epetraborole for treatment refractory MAC lung disease. See the section titled “EBO-301: Ongoing Phase 2/3 Pivotal Clinical Trial.”
In 2023, we plan to initiate enrollment in a Phase 1 TQT study (EBO-104) and a Phase 1 study evaluating the pharmacokinetics of epetraborole in subjects with varying degrees of hepatic impairment (EBO-105).

Completed clinical studies

In previous development work with epetraborole conducted by Anacor and GSK, its pharmacokinetics was well characterized using substantially higher doses.
In 2021, we completed EBO-101, a dose-ranging study in healthy volunteers, which assessed the pharmacokinetics and safety of oral epetraborole doses relevant for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease and administered for 28 days, including a food-effect cohort. Results from our Phase 1 clinical trial showed the exposures of epetraborole in alveolar (lung) macrophages, the human cells that are infected with mycobacteria in NTM lung disease, was approximately five-fold higher than in plasma. These results suggest therapeutically relevant exposures of epetraborole may be achieved in these macrophages with orally administered doses that are substantially lower than the maximum tolerated doses and exposures in previous trials.
In 2022, we completed EBO-102, which assessed the pharmacokinetics of epetraborole in subjects with varying degrees of renal function.
In 2022, we completed EBO-103, which assessed the pharmacokinetics of epetraborole in Japanese subjects to support initiation of clinical trials in Japan.

Completed non-clinical studies

We have completed toxicology and safety pharmacology studies, including chronic toxicology studies by oral administration in both rats (for a period of six months) and non-human primates (for a period of nine months) where epetraborole was tolerated at much higher exposures compared to the once-daily dose of 500 mg that we intend to use to treat patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease in our Phase 2/3 pivotal clinical trial. Additionally, we recently completed the last of the three standard reproductive toxicity studies (segment 3) that are necessary to support regulatory filings. No findings of concern were identified.

We have completed non-clinical studies to characterize the antimicrobial activity of epetraborole in vitro and in animal models. In one study, we tested the antimicrobial activity of epetraborole against 51 isolates of MAC compared to clarithromycin and amikacin resulting in an MIC90 of 8 µg/mL. Furthermore, we recently completed testing of epetraborole against 110 MAC clinical isolates from Japan and an MIC90 of 4 µg/mL was reported. These studies demonstrated that, preclinically, epetraborole has broad anti-mycobacterial activity as compared to MAC isolates both regionally as well as against resistant strains of amikacin and clarithromycin. In another study, we compared epetraborole to clarithromycin in a chronic model of MAC lung disease in mice. This study indicated that epetraborole has improved antibacterial activity at all doses as compared to a 250 mg/day clarithromycin human dose equivalent. A third study in a mouse model indicated that epetraborole showed a superior ability to decrease colony forming units as monotherapy and in combination with standard of care versus standard of care alone.

Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls

In 2022, we commenced work to enable manufacturing of registration batches of epetraborole drug substance and drug product. In 2023, we plan to complete drug substance and drug product registration batches and initiate stability studies that are necessary to support NDA filings. Furthermore, we have initiated work with two additional suppliers for a key intermediate needed to manufacture epetraborole, providing redundancy and risk mitigation. Our goal is to be NDA-ready and to maximize commercial launch potential.

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Prior Clinical Experience with Epetraborole

Prior to our clinical development program in NTM lung disease, epetraborole had been administered intravenously or orally as a monotherapy agent to over 200 subjects at a wide range of clinical doses across six Phase 1 and two truncated Phase 2 clinical trials conducted by Anacor and GSK with a focus on gram-negative infections that were unrelated to NTM lung disease, some of which were terminated prior to completion due to clinical resistance observed in a small number of patients in one of the two Phase 2 clinical trials. Epetraborole was not tested by Anacor or GSK in patients with NTM lung disease or in combination with other antimicrobial agents.

Future Development of Epetraborole

We plan to study epetraborole as part of first-line combination treatment of treatment-naive patients with MAC lung disease. We believe that the addition of epetraborole to first-line treatment has the potential to significantly improve clinical and/or microbiological response rates without increasing the incidence of adverse events. We plan to review treatment-refractory MAC lung disease pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical data to inform further investigation of epetraborole as a first-line therapeutic option in MAC lung disease.

We also intend to pursue development of epetraborole as a first-line therapy in M. abscessus lung disease, which represents a smaller subset of NTM (~20% of NTM patients) but also has a high unmet need. We are currently conducting nonclinical studies as part of dose selection to support clinical development of epetraborole in this disease. Current treatments for M. abscessus lung disease have poor efficacy (~50%), are often delivered by intravenous infusion and have significant tolerability and safety issues. We believe that oral epetraborole, in combination with other drugs, has the potential to treat M. abscessus lung disease based on its in vitro and in vivo potency against multiple isolates.

Epetraborole Regulatory Exclusivity

As an orphan and QIDP-designated product, if approved in the United States, we anticipate 12 years of regulatory exclusivity for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, independent of any applicable patent protection we may acquire. During the first ten years, the FDA would be prohibited from approving any 505(b)(2) or abbreviated new drug applications for any use of epetraborole. In years 11 and 12, the FDA would be prohibited from approving another company’s epetraborole for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. If approved in Japan, we anticipate at least eight years of exclusivity, independent of any applicable patent protection that we may acquire.

Our AN2 Drug Discovery Platform

Boron-Based Chemistry Platform Enables the Targeting of Novel Biological Targets

Our core technology approach is based on the use of boron chemistry platform for our research and development initiatives. Boron has both an ability to bind with biological targets through a reversible covalent bond and the potential to address biological targets that have been difficult to inhibit using traditional carbon-based molecules.

Historically, the starting points for small molecule antibiotic drug discovery have been based on natural products or peptides. These molecules typically do not contain boron, which has led to a lack of focus on boron-based compounds and a reduced understanding of the physical and biological properties of boron, thereby limiting the incorporation of this element into drug products. Additionally, boron-based compounds have been historically difficult to synthesize, but recent advancements in the science and practice of boron-based drug research have allowed for its incorporation in drug discovery efforts. In particular, advanced computational techniques have been developed to improve the understanding of boron and its interaction with key biological targets relevant to drug discovery efforts. Additionally, new tools and methods have been developed to facilitate the creation of novel boron-containing compound families. These unique compound families expand the universe of biological targets that can be addressed by small molecule boron-based compounds.

Boron-based inhibitors typically are highly selective for their biological target, thereby minimizing their potential off-target effects. The ability to modify boron’s reactive center, an activity known as tuning, allows drug developers to modulate key properties of the resulting compounds. Properties such as solubility, permeability, molecular charge at different pH values, and metabolic stability, may be designed such that inhibitors can reach any compartment in the body.

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Previous work at Anacor led to the generation of a class of boron compounds known as fused boron heterocyclic compounds that demonstrated greatly improved drug-like properties. This work enabled the discovery of compounds that inhibited aminoacyl transfer RNA, or tRNA, synthetases in a novel way that is dependent on boron for activity. One of these compounds, tavaborole, targets a fungal aminoacyl tRNA synthetase and is FDA-approved as Kerydin to treat onychomycosis of toenails. Epetraborole is a boron-containing analog of tavaborole and was designed to specifically target bacterial leucyl-tRNA synthetase. GSK is also researching a leucyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor that was specifically designed to target Mycobacterium tuberculosis (“TB”) by scientists at Anacor. The lead chemist and biologist on this program are employed by AN2 Therapeutics. Although this TB-specific boron-based leucyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor, GSK3036-656, is exceptionally potent against TB, it is devoid of MAC activity. Recently GSK reported positive Phase 2 data for GSK3036-656 in a 14-day early bactericidal study in TB patients whereby a single oral dose of 30 mg per day reduced bacteria in the sputum of patients nearly to the same levels as daily therapy of the standard four-drug regimen. While TB is a different disease to NTM lung disease, it does demonstrate proof of concept of a LeuRS inhibitor in a lung infection caused by a mycobacterium.

Expansion of Our Portfolio of Product Candidates

We have deep expertise in boron chemistry as exemplified by our team’s history of developing epetraborole and we are actively pursuing the identification of additional antimicrobial product candidates that leverage our boron chemistry capabilities. Once identified, we plan to develop these candidates targeting NTM lung disease and other rare and chronic infectious diseases. We are also selectively evaluating in-licensing opportunities of development-stage candidates addressing rare and chronic infectious diseases consistent with our corporate strategy.

Our Global Health Initiatives

Our leadership team is committed to applying our know-how to help solve some of the most challenging infections in global health. Our intent is to fund these efforts primarily through non-dilutive funding from sources such as public and private agencies and foundations.

Melioidosis

Our near-term global health priority is melioidosis, an urgent unmet global health infectious disease caused by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei (B. pseudomallei). This bacterium is also documented as a high priority biothreat pathogen. B. pseudomallei is endemic to tropical regions of the world with the majority of melioidosis cases occurring in South Asia. Melioidosis is contracted from direct contact with B. pseudomallei contaminated soil and water and is not transmitted person-to-person. Similar to NTM, B. pseudomallei can be an intra-cellular pathogen in macrophages, an important element in melioidosis. The disease can manifest as localized infections causing pain, swelling and ulceration; as pulmonary infections causing cough, chest pain, high fever, and headache; and as blood stream infections causing fever, headache, respiratory distress, and abdominal discomfort. Current treatment generally starts with an intense phase of intravenous antibiotic treatment for a minimum of two weeks. Even with antibiotic treatment, the mortality rate is between 20% and 40%. Without treatment, six out of ten people die. There are an estimated 165,000 cases of melioidosis diagnosed globally each year, mostly outside the United States, although small outbreaks have occurred in the United States and the pathogen was recently discovered in soil and water sampling from the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi. Nonclinical studies conducted by us, Anacor, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and Colorado State University indicate that epetraborole has potent activity against B. pseudomallei.

In September 2022, we announced receipt of a cost-reimbursement contract award under which we are able to receive up to $17.8 million from the NIAID to advance the development of epetraborole for acute systemic melioidosis and additional bacterial biothreat pathogens. The base period contract award is $4.3 million with additional options that, if exercised, would enable us to receive up to $17.8 million in total to support preclinical, Phase 1 studies, and other activities to enable advancement of epetraborole into a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial for acute systemic meliodosis. The project has been funded in whole with nondilutive federal funds from the NIAID, NIH, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to our work with the NIAID on our melioidosis program, we also have partnered with the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand and Colorado State University on preclinical research for our meliodosis program. We believe these partners provide substantial technical and capital resources to advance the melioidosis program and provide material benefits to our company and to our NTM lung disease program.

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Manufacturing

We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of any of our product candidates, nor do we have plans to develop our own manufacturing operations in the foreseeable future. We currently rely on a limited number of third-party contract manufacturers for all of our required raw materials, drug substance, and finished drug product for our preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials. We currently employ internal resources to manage our third-party manufacturing.

Licensing Agreements

License Agreement with Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In November 2019, we entered into a license agreement, or the Anacor Agreement, with Anacor, pursuant to which we obtained a worldwide exclusive, sublicensable license under certain patent rights of Anacor and a non-exclusive license under certain know-how of Anacor to use, develop, manufacture, commercialize, or otherwise exploit certain compounds and products, including epetraborole, for the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of all human diseases, and a worldwide non-exclusive license under certain chiral synthesis intellectual property rights from GSK for the sole purpose of manufacturing such compounds and products.

We granted Anacor a non-exclusive, sublicensable license to develop, manufacture or use (but not commercialize) licensed products under all intellectual property rights that are both (i) related to the licensed products and (ii) conceived or reduced to practice by us, our affiliates, or our sublicensees. We also granted Anacor a right of first refusal in the event a priority review voucher is issued for a licensed product, and we desire to sell such priority review voucher.

We are obligated to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop, seek regulatory approval for, and commercialize (where such regulatory approval is received) epetraborole.

In connection with the execution of the Anacor Agreement, we paid Anacor a non-refundable upfront payment of $2.0 million and granted Anacor shares of Series A redeemable convertible preferred stock. Additionally, we agreed to make further payments to Anacor upon achievement of various development milestones for an aggregate maximum payment of $2.0 million, various commercial and sales threshold milestones for an aggregate maximum payment of $125.0 million, and up to 50% of royalties received under certain sublicensing arrangements. Royalties are subject to certain customary reductions, including lack of patent coverage and generic product entry. We also agreed to pay Anacor non-refundable, non-creditable sales royalties on a tiered marginal royalty rate based on the country’s status as a developing or developed country as defined in the license agreement. Sales royalties are a percentage of net sales, as specified in the Anacor Agreement, and range from mid-single digit percentages for developing countries and single to mid-teen percentages for developed countries or the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau territories. The sales royalties are required to be paid on a product-by-product and country-by-country basis, until the latest to occur of (i) 15 years following from the date of first commercial sale of a product in such country, (ii) the expiration of all regulatory or data exclusivity for such product in such country, or (iii) the date of the expiration of the last to expire valid claim of a licensed patent covering such product in such country. Currently, the date of the expiration of the last to expire valid claim of a licensed patent covering epetraborole in the licensed territory is June 2028. In addition, Anacor is entitled to certain milestone payments upon a change of control of our company.

On December 3, 2021, we entered into an amendment to the Anacor Agreement, pursuant to which we obtained a worldwide non-exclusive, sublicensable license under certain patent rights of Anacor for the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of bacterial diseases caused by certain bacterial species, to support the continued manufacture of epetraborole by us.

The Anacor Agreement will expire upon expiration of the last to expire royalty term. Either party may terminate the Anacor Agreement for the other party’s material breach following a cure period or immediately upon certain insolvency events relating to the other party.

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License Agreement with Brii Biosciences Limited

In November 2019, we entered into a license agreement, or the Brii Biosciences License Agreement, pursuant to which we granted Brii Biosciences an exclusive, perpetual, sublicensable license to research, develop, manufacture, and commercialize certain compounds and products, including epetraborole, in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, we licensed the intellectual property rights we licensed under the Anacor Agreement, as they apply in these jurisdictions, to Brii Bioscience. Further, neither we nor Brii Biosciences can develop a competing product that is directed to the same target as a licensed compound during the term of the Brii Biosciences License Agreement.

The collaboration is overseen by a joint steering committee. In the event of a dispute relating to the determination of proof of concept criteria, or licensed products in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau for which Brii Biosciences has delivered a proof of concept acceptance notice, Brii Biosciences has the final decision-making authority, subject to certain veto rights of ours. Upon commencing development, Brii Biosciences is obligated to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop, seek regulatory approval for, and commercialize at least one licensed product in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

We did not receive an upfront payment, but we are eligible to receive up to $15.0 million in the aggregate for development and regulatory milestones for each licensed product and up to $150.0 million in the aggregate in commercial milestones upon achieving sales thresholds for each licensed product. We are also entitled to tiered mid-single digit percentage to high-first decile percentage sales-based royalties, subject to certain reductions, including lack of patent coverage and generic product entry. The sales royalties are required to be paid on a product-by-product and region-by-region basis, until the latest to occur of (i) 15 years following the date of first commercial sale of a product, (ii) the expiration of all regulatory or data exclusivity, or (iii) the date of the expiration of the last to expire valid claim of a licensed patent covering the composition of matter or approved use of such product in such region. The last to expire valid claim of a licensed patent covering the composition of matter or approved use of such product in the licensed territory is June 2028.

Global Health Agreement with Adjuvant Global Health Technology Fund

We entered into the Global Health Agreement with Adjuvant Global Health Technology Fund (Adjuvant) in connection with Adjuvant’s investment in November 2019 and March 2021 of an aggregate amount of $12.0 million in our Series A and Series B redeemable convertible preferred stock financings. In connection with such investment, we issued Adjuvant an aggregate of 2,430,714 shares of our redeemable convertible preferred stock in November 2019 and March 2021. Pursuant to the Global Health Agreement, we agreed to support the creation of innovative and affordable drugs to treat disease, through public health programs and private purchasers in low and low-middle income target countries.

Adjuvant’s investment supports the development of epetraborole for use in target countries that are melioidosis-endemic, melioidosis at-risk, tuberculosis-endemic, and tuberculosis-at-risk. Under the Global Health Agreement, we are required to comply with certain program-related investment global access commitments. We must use reasonably diligent endeavors to develop epetraborole for melioidosis, tuberculosis, and any other mutually agreed-upon products using non-dilutive funding and we must make them accessible to people in need in target countries on commercially reasonable terms and at a reasonable volume. Upon the occurrence of certain events, including the failure by ourselves to comply with the Global Health Agreement, we must grant Adjuvant a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, non-terminable, fully-paid up, royalty free license to epetraborole for melioidosis, tuberculosis, and any other mutually agreed-upon products.

Intellectual Property

We strive to protect and enhance our proprietary technology, inventions, and improvements that we consider commercially important to the development of our business, including by seeking, maintaining, and defending U.S. and foreign patent rights. As of December 31, 2022, all of the issued patents in our entire patent portfolio are in-licensed and if our current licensors are not cooperative or disagree with us as to the prosecution, maintenance, or enforcement of any such licensed patent rights, such patent rights could be compromised. The patent positions of pharmaceutical companies are generally uncertain and can involve complex legal, scientific, and factual issues. We cannot predict whether any patent applications we pursue, or any patent applications that we have in-licensed, will issue as patents in any particular jurisdiction, or whether the claims of any issued patents will provide sufficient proprietary protection from competitors.

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Our future commercial success depends, in part, on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection for commercially important technology, inventions, and know-how related to our business, including our product candidates, to defend and enforce our intellectual property rights, in particular our patent rights, to preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets, and to operate without infringing, misappropriating, or violating the valid and enforceable patents and other intellectual property rights of third parties. Our ability to preclude or restrict third parties from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing competing molecules to our products may depend on the extent to which we have rights under valid and enforceable patents and trade secrets that cover these activities. We seek to protect our proprietary technology and processes, in part, by confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, and contractors. We also seek to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of our data and trade secrets by maintaining physical security of our premises and physical and electronic security of our information technology systems.

In addition, the coverage claimed in a patent application may be significantly reduced before a patent is granted, and its scope can be reinterpreted and even challenged after issuance. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any of our products will be protected or remain protectable by enforceable patents. Moreover, any patents that we license or may own in the future may be challenged, circumvented, or invalidated by third parties. In addition, because of the extensive time required for clinical development and regulatory review of a product candidate we may develop, it is possible that, before our product candidate can be commercialized successfully, any related patents may expire or remain in force for only a short period following commercial launch, thereby limiting the protection such patent would afford the applicable product and any competitive advantage such patent may provide. For more information regarding the risks related to our intellectual property, please see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property.”

For any individual patent, the term depends on the applicable law in the country in which the patent is issued. In most countries where we have in-licensed patents and patent applications, including the United States, patents have a term of 20 years from the application filing date or earliest claimed nonprovisional priority date. In the United States, the patent term may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over another patent that expires earlier. The term of a U.S. patent may also be lengthened by a patent term adjustment that is permitted in order to address administrative delays by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in examining and granting a patent.

In the United States, the term of a patent that covers an FDA-approved drug or biologic may be eligible for patent term extension in order to restore the period of a patent term lost during the premarket FDA regulatory review process. Specifically, the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, permits a patent term extension of up to five years beyond the natural expiration of the patent (but the total patent term, including the extension period, must not exceed 14 years following FDA approval). The patent term extension period granted on a patent covering a product is typically one-half the time between the effective date of a clinical investigation involving human beings is begun and the submission date of an application, plus the time between the submission date of an application and the ultimate approval date. Only one patent applicable to an approved product is eligible for patent term extension, and only those claims covering the approved product, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. The application for patent term extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The USPTO reviews and approves the application for any Patent Term Extension in consultation with the FDA.

As of December 31, 2022, we exclusively licensed three U.S. patents, 40 foreign patents, and approximately four pending foreign patent applications, covering our key programs and pipeline. We do not own any issued patents. We own three pending PCT patent applications, which are not eligible to become issued patents until, among other things, we file a non-provisional patent application with the USPTO or a foreign patent office.

Prosecution is a lengthy process, during which the scope of the claims initially submitted for examination by the USPTO and other patent offices may be significantly revised before issuance, if granted at all. The in-licensed patents and patent applications for epetraborole are detailed below.

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Epetraborole Product Candidate

The patent portfolio for our epetraborole product candidate is based upon our in-licensed patent portfolio, which includes patents and patent applications directed generally to compositions of matter, pharmaceutical compositions, and methods of treatment. We have two granted patents in the United States, from the in-licensed patent portfolio, covering compositions of matter of a genus of molecules, and the epetraborole product candidate molecule specifically, pharmaceutical compositions, and methods of treating a bacterial-associated or fungal-associated disease. We have granted foreign patents from the in-licensed patent portfolio from Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldovia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Patent applications from the in-licensed patent portfolio are pending in Bangladesh, Brazil, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, and Venezuela. Patents and patent applications, if granted, in our in-licensed patent portfolio are expected to expire in 2028, without taking potential patent term extensions or patent term adjustment into account.

Trade Secrets

We also rely on trade secrets, know-how, confidential information and continuing technological innovation to develop, strengthen and maintain our proprietary position in our field and protect aspects of our business that are not amenable to, or that we do not consider appropriate for, patent protection. However, trade secrets can be difficult to protect. While we take measures to protect and preserve our trade secrets, such measures can be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach. We seek to protect our proprietary information, in part, using confidentiality agreements and invention assignment agreements with our collaborators, employees and consultants. These agreements are designed to protect our proprietary information and, in the case of the invention assignment agreements, to grant us ownership of technologies that are developed through a relationship with a third party. We cannot guarantee, however, that we have executed such agreements with all applicable counterparties. Furthermore, these agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors and other third parties, or misused by any collaborator to whom we disclose such information. To the extent that our collaborators, employees and consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions. For more information regarding the risks related to our intellectual property, please see the section titled “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property.”

Competition

The biopharmaceutical industry is characterized by intense competition and rapid innovation. Our potential competitors include large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and generic drug companies. Many of our potential competitors have greater financial and technical human resources than we do, as well as greater experience in the discovery and development of product candidates, obtaining FDA and other regulatory approvals of products, and the commercialization of those products. Accordingly, our potential competitors may be more successful than us in obtaining FDA-approved drugs and achieving widespread market acceptance. We anticipate that we will face intense and increasing competition as new drugs enter the market and advanced technologies become available. Finally, the development of new treatment methods for the diseases we are targeting could render our product candidates non-competitive or obsolete.

We believe the key competitive factors that will affect the development and commercial success of our initial product candidate, epetraborole, if approved, will be convenience of oral dosing, efficacy, safety, and tolerability profile, coverage of drug-resistant bacteria strains, lack of cross-resistance, price, and availability of reimbursement from governmental and other third-party payors.

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We are currently developing epetraborole for treatment-refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC isolates. If approved, epetraborole would compete with Insmed’s Arikayce, which is the only currently approved therapy for patients with this condition. Other drugs used to treat these patients include generic drugs such as macrolides (clarithromycin and azithromycin), ethambutol, rifabutin, fluoroquinolones such as levofloxacin, bedaquiline, linezolid, and clofazimine. There are also a number of product candidates in clinical development by third parties that are intended to treat NTM lung disease, including mid- to late-stage product candidates such as SPR720 from Spero Therapeutics, Inc., RHB-204 from Redhill Biopharma Ltd., and omadacycline from Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. We also expect that epetraborole, if approved, would compete with future and current generic versions of marketed antibiotics.

Government Regulation and Product Approval

Government authorities in the United States, at the federal, state, and local level, and other countries extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, storage, record-keeping, promotion, advertising, distribution, marketing, and export and import of drug products. A new drug must be approved by the FDA through the New Drug Application, or NDA, process before it may be legally marketed in the United States. We, along with any third-party contractors, will be required to navigate the various preclinical, clinical and commercial approval requirements of the governing regulatory agencies of the countries in which we wish to conduct studies or seek approval of our products and product candidates. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with applicable federal, state, local, and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

U.S. Drug Development Process

In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs under the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and its implementing regulations. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local, and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. The process required by the FDA before a drug may be marketed in the United States generally involves the following:

completion of preclinical laboratory tests, animal studies, and formulation studies in accordance with FDA’s Good Laboratory Practice requirements and other applicable regulations;
submission to the FDA of an IND application, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;
approval by an independent Institutional Review Board, or IRB, or ethics committee at each clinical site before each trial may be initiated;
performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with good clinical practices, or GCPs, to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug for its intended use;
preparation of and submission to the FDA of an NDA after completion of any or all pivotal trials;
a determination by the FDA within 60 days of its receipt of an NDA to file the application for review;
satisfactory completion of an FDA advisory committee review, if applicable;
satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the drug is produced to assess compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, requirements to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the drug’s identity, strength, quality and purity, and of selected clinical investigation sites to assess compliance with GCPs; and
FDA review and approval of the NDA to permit commercial marketing of the product for particular indication(s) for use in the United States.

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Prior to beginning the first clinical trial with a product candidate in the United States, a sponsor must submit an IND to the FDA. An IND is a request for authorization from the FDA to administer an investigational new drug product to humans. The central focus of an IND submission is on the general investigational plan and the protocol(s) for clinical studies. The IND also includes results of animal and in vitro studies assessing the toxicology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, and pharmacodynamic characteristics of the product; chemistry, manufacturing, and controls information; and any available human data or literature to support the use of the investigational product. An IND must become effective before human clinical trials may begin. The IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA, within the 30-day time period, raises safety concerns or questions about the proposed clinical trial. In such a case, the IND may be placed on clinical hold and the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns or questions before the clinical trial can begin. Submission of an IND therefore may or may not result in FDA authorization to begin a clinical trial.

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational product to human subjects under the supervision of qualified investigators in accordance with GCPs, which include the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent for their participation in any clinical study. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the study, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety, and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated. A separate submission to the existing IND must be made for each successive clinical trial conducted during product development and for any subsequent protocol amendments. Furthermore, an independent IRB for each site proposing to conduct the clinical trial must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial and its informed consent form before the clinical trial begins at that site and must monitor the study until completed. Some studies also include oversight by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical study sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board, which provides authorization for whether or not a study may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the study and may halt the clinical trial if it determines that there is an unacceptable safety risk for subjects or other grounds, such as no demonstration of efficacy. Depending on its charter, this group may determine whether a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the trial. The FDA or the sponsor may suspend a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the drug has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients. There are also requirements governing the reporting of ongoing clinical studies and clinical study results to public registries.

Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap or be combined:

Phase 1: The product candidate is initially introduced into healthy human subjects or patients with the target disease or condition. These studies are designed to test the safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism and distribution of the investigational product in humans, the side effects associated with increasing doses, and, if possible, to gain early evidence on effectiveness.
Phase 2: The product candidate is administered to a limited patient population with a specified disease or condition to evaluate the preliminary efficacy, optimal dosages, and dosing schedule and to identify possible adverse side effects and safety risks. Multiple Phase 2 clinical trials may be conducted to obtain information prior to beginning larger and more expensive Phase 3 clinical trials.
Phase 3: The product candidate is administered to an expanded patient population to further evaluate dosage, to provide statistically significant evidence of clinical efficacy, and to further test for safety, generally at multiple geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. These clinical trials are intended to establish the overall risk/benefit ratio of the investigational product and to provide an adequate basis for product approval.

In some cases, the FDA may require, or companies may voluntarily pursue, additional clinical trials after a product is approved to gain more information about the product. These so-called Phase 4 studies may be conducted after initial marketing approval and may be used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 clinical trials as a condition of approval of an NDA.

Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the drug and finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the product candidate and, among other things, the manufacturer must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality, and purity of the final drug. In addition, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested, and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the product candidate does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its shelf life.

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While the IND is active and before approval to commercialize, progress reports summarizing the results of the clinical trials and nonclinical studies performed since the last progress report must be submitted at least annually to the FDA, and written IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and investigators for serious and unexpected suspected adverse events, findings from other studies suggesting a significant risk to humans exposed to the same or similar drugs, findings from animal or in vitro testing suggesting a significant risk to humans, and any clinically important increased incidence of a serious suspected adverse reaction compared to that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure.

In addition, during the development of a new drug, sponsors are given opportunities to meet with the FDA at certain points. These points may be prior to submission of an IND, at the end of Phase 2, before an NDA is submitted, and at other times as requested. These meetings can provide an opportunity for the sponsor to share information about the data gathered to date, for the FDA to provide advice, and for the sponsor and the FDA to reach agreement on the next phase of development. Sponsors typically use the meetings at the end of the Phase 2 trial to discuss Phase 2 clinical results and present plans for the pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials that they believe will support approval of the new drug.


U.S. Review and Approval Process

Assuming successful completion of all required testing in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements, the results of product development, preclinical, and other nonclinical studies and clinical trials, along with descriptions of the manufacturing process, analytical tests conducted on the chemistry of the drug, proposed labeling, and other relevant information are submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA requesting approval to market the product. Data can come from company-sponsored clinical studies intended to test the safety and effectiveness of a use of the product, or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by independent investigators. The submission of an NDA is subject to the payment of substantial user fees; a waiver of such fees may be obtained under certain limited circumstances. Additionally, no user fees are assessed on NDAs for products designated as orphan drugs, unless the product also includes a non-orphan indication.

The FDA conducts a preliminary review of all NDAs within the first 60 days after submission, before accepting them for filing, to determine whether they are sufficiently complete to permit substantive review, The FDA may request additional information rather than accept an NDA for filing. In this event, the NDA must be resubmitted with the additional information. The resubmitted application also is subject to review before the FDA accepts it for filing. Once filed, the FDA reviews an NDA to determine, among other things, whether a product is safe and effective for its intended use and whether its manufacturing is cGMP-compliant to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality, and purity. Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, guidelines that are currently in effect, the FDA has a goal of ten months from the filing date to complete a standard review of an NDA for a drug that is a new molecular entity, and of ten months from the date of NDA receipt to complete a standard review of an NDA for a drug that is not a new molecular entity.

The FDA may refer an application for a novel drug to an advisory committee. An advisory committee is a panel of independent experts, including clinicians and other scientific experts, that reviews, evaluates, and provides a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.

Before approving an NDA, the FDA will typically inspect the facility or facilities where the product is manufactured. The FDA will not approve an application unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA, the FDA will typically inspect one or more clinical sites to assure compliance with GCPs. If the FDA determines that the application, manufacturing process or manufacturing facilities are not acceptable, it will outline the deficiencies in the submission and often will request additional testing or information. Notwithstanding the submission of any requested additional information, the FDA ultimately may decide that the application does not satisfy the regulatory criteria for approval.

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After the FDA evaluates an NDA and conducts inspections of manufacturing facilities where the investigational product and/or its drug substance will be produced, the FDA may issue an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter, or CRL. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the product with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A CRL will describe all of the deficiencies that the FDA has identified in the NDA, except that where the FDA determines that the data supporting the application are inadequate to support approval, the FDA may issue the CRL without first conducting required inspections and/or reviewing proposed labeling. In issuing the CRL, the FDA may recommend actions that the applicant might take to place the NDA in condition for approval, including requests for additional information or clarification. The FDA may delay or refuse approval of an NDA if applicable regulatory criteria are not satisfied, require additional testing or information and/or require post-marketing testing and surveillance to monitor safety or efficacy of a product.

If regulatory approval of a product is granted, such approval will be granted for particular indications and may entail limitations on the indicated uses for which such product may be marketed. For example, the FDA may approve the NDA with a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, to ensure the benefits of the product outweigh its risks. A REMS is a safety strategy to manage a known or potential serious risk associated with a medicine and to enable patients to have continued access to such medicines by managing their safe use, and 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. The FDA also may condition approval on, among other things, changes to proposed labeling or the development of adequate controls and specifications. The FDA may also require one or more Phase 4 post-market studies and surveillance to further assess and monitor the product’s safety and effectiveness after commercialization and may limit further marketing of the product based on the results of these post-marketing studies.

In addition, the Pediatric Research Equity Act, or PREA, requires a sponsor to conduct pediatric clinical trials for most drugs, for a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen, or new route of administration. Under PREA, original NDAs and supplements must contain a pediatric assessment unless the sponsor has received a deferral or waiver. The required assessment must evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The sponsor or FDA may request a deferral of pediatric clinical trials for some or all of the pediatric subpopulations. A deferral may be granted for several reasons, including a finding that the drug is ready for approval for use in adults before pediatric clinical trials are complete or that additional safety or effectiveness data needs to be collected before the pediatric clinical trials begin. The FDA must send a non-compliance letter to any sponsor that fails to submit the required assessment, keep a deferral current, or fails to submit a request for approval of a pediatric formulation.

Expedited Development and Review Programs

The FDA offers a number of expedited development and review programs for qualifying product candidates. For example, the Fast Track program is intended to expedite or facilitate the process for reviewing new products that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the disease or condition. Fast Track designation applies to the combination of the product and the specific indication for which it is being studied. The sponsor of a Fast Track designated product has opportunities for more frequent interactions with the applicable FDA review team during product development and, once an NDA is submitted, the product candidate may be eligible for priority review. A Fast Track designated product may also be eligible for rolling review, where the FDA may consider for review sections of the NDA on a rolling basis before the complete application is submitted, if the sponsor provides a schedule for the submission of the sections of the NDA, the FDA agrees to accept sections of the NDA and determines that the schedule is acceptable, and the sponsor pays any required user fees upon submission of the first section of the NDA.

A product candidate intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition may also be eligible for Breakthrough Therapy designation to expedite its development and review. A product candidate can receive Breakthrough Therapy designation if preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the product candidate, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. The designation includes all of the Fast Track program features, as well as more intensive FDA interaction and guidance beginning as early as Phase 1 and an organizational commitment to expedite the development and review of the product candidate, including involvement of senior managers.

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A marketing application for a drug submitted to the FDA for approval, including a product candidate with a Fast Track designation and/or Breakthrough Therapy designation, may be eligible for other types of FDA programs intended to expedite the FDA review and approval process, such as priority review. A product candidate is eligible for priority review if it is designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness compared to available alternatives for such disease or condition. For new-molecular-entity NDAs, priority review designation means the FDA’s goal is to take action on the marketing application within six months of the 60-day filing date, or with respect to non-new-molecular-entity NDAs, within six months of the NDA receipt date.

Additionally, product candidates studied for their safety and effectiveness in treating serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions may utilize an accelerated approval pathway upon a determination that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit, or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality, that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit, taking into account the severity, rarity, or prevalence of the condition and the availability or lack of alternative treatments. As a condition of accelerated approval, the FDA will generally require the sponsor to perform adequate and well-controlled post-marketing clinical studies to verify and describe the anticipated effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit. Products receiving accelerated approval may be subject to expedited withdrawal procedures if the sponsor fails to conduct the required post-marketing studies or if such studies fail to verify the predicted clinical benefit. 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.

Fast Track designation, Breakthrough Therapy designation, priority review designation, and the accelerated approval pathway do not change the standards for approval, but may expedite the development or approval process. Even if a product candidate qualifies for one or more of these programs, the FDA may later decide that the product no longer meets the conditions for qualification or decide that the time period for FDA review or approval will not be shortened.


Orphan Drug Designation and Exclusivity

Under the Orphan Drug Act, the FDA may grant orphan designation to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition, defined as a disease or condition with a patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population greater than 200,000 individuals in the United States and when there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing and making available the drug in the United States will be recovered from sales in the United States for that drug. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA. After the FDA grants orphan drug designation, the generic identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are disclosed publicly by the FDA.

If a product that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for a particular active ingredient 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 full NDA, to market the same drug for the same use 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. Orphan drug exclusivity does not prevent the FDA from approving a different drug for the same disease or condition, or the same drug for a different disease or condition. Among the other benefits of orphan drug designation are tax credits for certain research and a waiver of the NDA application user fee.

A designated orphan drug may not receive orphan drug exclusivity if it is approved for a use that is broader than the indication for which it received orphan designation. In addition, orphan drug exclusive marketing rights in the United States may be lost if the FDA later determines that the request for designation was materially defective or, as noted above, if a second applicant demonstrates that its product is clinically superior to the approved product with orphan exclusivity or the manufacturer of the approved product is unable to assure sufficient quantities of the product to meet the needs of patients with the rare disease or condition.

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Exclusivity

The FDA provides periods of non-patent regulatory exclusivity, which provides the holder of an approved NDA limited protection from new competition in the marketplace for the innovation represented by its approved drug for a period of three or five years following the FDA’s approval of the NDA. Five years of exclusivity are available to new chemical entities, or NCEs. An NCE is a drug that contains no active moiety that has been approved by the FDA in any other NDA. An active moiety is the molecule or ion, excluding those appended portions of the molecule that cause the drug to be an ester, salt, including a salt with hydrogen or coordination bonds, or other noncovalent, or not involving the sharing of electron pairs between atoms, derivatives, such as a complex (i.e., formed by the chemical interaction of two compounds), chelate (i.e., a chemical compound), or clathrate (i.e., a polymer framework that traps molecules), of the molecule, responsible for the therapeutic activity of the drug substance. During the exclusivity period, the FDA may not accept for review or approve an Abbreviated New Drug Application, or ANDA, or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted by another company that contains the previously approved active moiety. An ANDA or 505(b)(2) application, however, may be submitted one year before NCE exclusivity expires if a Paragraph IV certification is filed. Five-year and three-year exclusivity will not delay the submission or approval of a 505(b)(1) NDA; however, an applicant submitting a 505(b)(1) NDA would be required to conduct or obtain a right of reference to all of the preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials necessary to demonstrate safety and efficacy.

In addition, under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now, or GAIN, Act, the FDA may designate a product as a Qualified Infectious Disease Product, or QIDP. In order to receive this designation, a drug must qualify as an antibiotic or antifungal drug for human use intended to treat serious or life-threatening infections, including those caused by either (1) an antibiotic or antifungal resistant pathogen, including novel or emerging infectious pathogens, or (2) a so-called ‘‘qualifying pathogen’’ found on a list of potentially dangerous, drug-resistant organisms to established and maintained by the FDA. A sponsor must request such designation before submitting a marketing application. Upon approving a marketing application for a QIDP-designated product, the FDA will extend by an additional five years any non-patent marketing exclusivity period awarded. This extension is in addition to any pediatric exclusivity extension awarded, and the extension will be awarded only to a drug first approved on or after the date of enactment of the GAIN Act. The GAIN Act prohibits the grant of an exclusivity extension where the application is a supplement to an application for which an extension is in effect or has expired, is a subsequent application for a specified change to an approved product, or is an application for a product that does not meet the definition of QIDP based on the uses for which it is ultimately approved.


Post-approval Requirements

Drug products manufactured or distributed pursuant to FDA approvals are subject to pervasive and continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, requirements relating to record-keeping, reporting of adverse experiences, periodic reporting, product sampling and distribution, and advertising and promotion of the product. After approval, most changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications or other labeling claims, are subject to prior FDA review and approval. There also are continuing, annual program fees for any marketed products. Drug manufacturers and their subcontractors are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies, and are subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA and certain state agencies for compliance with cGMP, which impose certain procedural and documentation requirements upon us and our third-party manufacturers. Changes to the manufacturing process are strictly regulated, and, depending on the significance of the change, may require prior FDA approval before being implemented. FDA regulations also require investigation and correction of any deviations from cGMP and impose reporting requirements. Accordingly, manufacturers must continue to expend time, money, and effort in the area of production and quality control to maintain compliance with cGMP and other aspects of regulatory compliance.

The FDA may withdraw approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical studies to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution restrictions or other restrictions under a REMS program. Other potential consequences include, among other things:

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or product recalls;
fines, warning letters, or untitled letters;
clinical holds on clinical studies;

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refusal of the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications, or suspension or revocation of product approvals;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products;
consent decrees, corporate integrity agreements, debarment, or exclusion from federal healthcare programs;
mandated modification of promotional materials and labeling and the issuance of corrective information;
the issuance of safety alerts, Dear Healthcare Provider letters, press releases, and other communications containing warnings or other safety information about the product; or
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA closely regulates the marketing, labeling, advertising, and promotion of drug products. A company can make only those claims relating to safety and efficacy, purity, and potency that are approved by the FDA and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in, among other things, adverse publicity, warning letters, corrective advertising, and potential civil and criminal penalties. Physicians may prescribe, in their independent professional medical judgment, legally available products for uses that are not described in the product’s labeling and that differ from those tested by us and approved by the FDA. Physicians may believe that such off-label uses are the best treatment for many patients in varied circumstances. The FDA does not regulate the behavior of physicians in their choice of treatments. The FDA does, however, restrict manufacturer’s communications on the subject of off-label use of their products. However, companies may share truthful and not misleading information that is otherwise consistent with a product’s FDA-approved labelling.


Other Healthcare Laws

In the United States, we are subject to a number of federal and state healthcare regulatory laws that restrict business practices in the healthcare industry. These laws include, but are not limited to, federal and state anti-kickback, false claims, and other healthcare fraud and abuse laws, as follows:

The U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly and willfully offering, paying, soliciting, receiving, or providing any remuneration, directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, to induce or in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for, or recommending the purchase, lease, or order of any good, facility, item or service reimbursable, in whole or in part, under Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal healthcare 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.

The federal false claims, including the civil False Claims Act, prohibit, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, a false, fictitious or fraudulent claim for payment to, or approval by, the federal government, knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to the federal government, or knowingly making a false statement to avoid, decrease, or conceal an obligation to pay money to the U.S. federal government. A claim includes “any request or demand” for money or property presented to the U.S. government. Actions under the civil False Claims Act may be brought by the Attorney General or as a qui tam action by a private individual in the name of the government. Moreover, a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the federal civil False Claims Act.

In addition, the civil monetary penalties statute, subject to certain exceptions, prohibits, among other things, the offer or transfer of remuneration, including waivers of copayments and deductible amounts (or any part thereof), to a Medicare or state healthcare program beneficiary if the person knows or should know it is likely to influence the beneficiary’s selection of a particular provider, practitioner or supplier of services reimbursable by Medicare or a state healthcare program.

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HIPAA created additional federal criminal statutes that prohibit, among other actions, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors, knowingly and willfully embezzling or stealing from a healthcare benefit program, willfully obstructing a criminal investigation of a healthcare offense, and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation.

HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, and their respective implementing regulations, which impose obligations on “covered entities,” including certain healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, as well as their respective “business associates” and their respective subcontractors that create, receive, maintain, or transmit individually identifiable health information for or on behalf of a covered entity, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security, and transmission of individually identifiable health information.

The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMMS, information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and chiropractors), certain other healthcare professionals including physician assistants and nurse practitioners beginning in 2022, and teaching hospitals, and applicable manufacturers and applicable group purchasing organizations to report annually to CMMS ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.

Similar state and local laws and regulations may also restrict business practices in the pharmaceutical industry, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to business practices, including but not limited to, research, distribution, sales, and marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers, or by patients themselves; 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, or otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers and other potential referral sources; state laws and regulations that require drug manufacturers to file reports relating to pricing information and marketing expenditures or which require tracking gifts and other remuneration and items of value provided to physicians, other healthcare providers and entities; and state and local laws that require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives.

Violations of any of these laws and other applicable healthcare fraud and abuse laws may be punishable by criminal and civil sanctions, including fines and civil monetary penalties, the possibility of exclusion from federal healthcare programs (including Medicare and Medicaid), disgorgement and corporate integrity agreements, which impose, among other things, rigorous operational and monitoring requirements on companies. Similar sanctions and penalties, as well as imprisonment, also can be imposed upon executive officers and employees of such companies.

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Coverage and Reimbursement

Sales of any pharmaceutical product depend, in part, on the extent to which such product will be covered by third-party payors, such as federal, state, and foreign government healthcare programs, commercial insurance and managed healthcare organizations, and the level of reimbursement for such product by third-party payors. In the United States, no uniform policy exists for coverage and reimbursement for pharmaceutical products among third-party payors. Therefore, decisions regarding the extent of coverage and amount of reimbursement to be provided are made on a plan-by-plan basis. The process for determining whether a third-party payor will provide coverage for a product typically is separate from the process for setting the price of such product or for establishing the reimbursement rate that the payor will pay for the product once coverage is approved.

Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the FDA-approved products for a particular indication, or place products at certain formulary levels that result in lower reimbursement levels and higher cost-sharing obligation imposed on patients. One third-party payor’s decision to cover a particular medical product or service does not ensure that other payors will also provide coverage for the medical product or service and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payor to payor. As a result, the coverage determination process will often require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately and can be a time-consuming process, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be applied consistently or obtained in the first instance. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved.

Moreover, as a condition of participating in, and having products covered under, certain federal healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, we are subject to federal laws and regulations that require pharmaceutical manufacturers to calculate and report certain price reporting metrics to the government, such as Medicaid Average Manufacturer Price, or AMP, and Best Price, Medicare Average Sales Price, the 340B Ceiling Price, and Non-Federal AMP reported to the Department of Veteran Affairs, and with respect to Medicaid, pay statutory rebates on utilization of manufacturers’ products by Medicaid beneficiaries. Compliance with such laws and regulations require significant resources and any findings of non-compliance may have a material adverse effect on our revenues.


Healthcare Reform

In the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions, there have been, and we expect there will continue to be, a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system. In the United States, by way of example, in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) was signed into law, which substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers in the United States and significantly affected the pharmaceutical industry. The ACA, among other things, increased the minimum level of Medicaid rebates payable by manufacturers of brand name drugs; required collection of rebates for drugs paid by Medicaid managed care organizations; required manufacturers to participate in a coverage gap discount program, under which they must agree to offer point-of-sale discounts (increased to 70 percent, effective as of January 1, 2019) 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; imposed a non-deductible annual fee on pharmaceutical manufacturers or importers who sell certain “branded prescription drugs” to specified federal government programs; implemented a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted, or injected expanded the types of entities eligible for the 340B drug discount program; expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs; created a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research; and established a Center for Medicare Innovation at CMMS to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending.

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Since its enactment, there have been judicial, administrative, executive, and Congressional legislative challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. For example, on June 17, 2021 the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argued the ACA is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress. Thus, the ACA will remain in effect in its current form. Further, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, President Biden issued an executive order that initiated a special enrollment period from February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021 for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is possible that the Affordable Care Act will be subject to judicial or Congressional challenges in the future. It is unclear how such challenges and the healthcare reform measures of the Biden administration will impact the ACA.

Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the ACA was enacted, including aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year, which was temporarily suspended from May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021, and reduced payments to several types of Medicare providers. Moreover, there has recently been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted legislation designed, among other things, to bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for pharmaceutical products. By way of example, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2021, effective January 1, 2024, would eliminate the statutory cap on rebate amounts owed by drug manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, or MDRP, which is currently capped at 100% of the AMP for a covered outpatient drug. Further, based on a recent executive order, the Biden administration expressed its intent to pursue certain policy initiatives to reduce drug prices.

Individual states in the United States have also become increasingly active in implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain product access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures and, in some cases, mechanisms to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine which drugs and suppliers will be included in their healthcare programs. Furthermore, there has been increased interest by third-party payors and governmental authorities in reference pricing systems and publication of discounts and list prices.

We expect additional state and federal healthcare reform measures to 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 products or additional pricing pressure.


Data Privacy and Security Laws

Numerous state, federal and foreign laws, including consumer protection laws and regulations, govern the collection, dissemination, use, access to, confidentiality, and security of personal information, including health-related information. In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations, including data breach notification laws, health information privacy and security laws, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, and federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations (e.g., Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act) that govern the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of health-related and other personal information could apply to our operations or the operations of our partners. In addition, certain state and non-U.S. laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, the California Privacy Rights Act, or CPRA, and the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, govern the privacy and security of personal information, including health-related information in certain circumstances, some of which are more stringent than HIPAA and many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts. Failure to comply with these laws, where applicable, can result in the imposition of significant civil and/or criminal penalties and private litigation. Privacy and security laws, regulations, and other obligations are constantly evolving, may conflict with each other to make compliance efforts more challenging, and can result in investigations, proceedings, or actions that lead to significant penalties and restrictions on data processing.

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Japanese Drug Regulation

Being a member of the ICH, Japan has pharmaceutical regulations fundamentally similar to those of the United States and the EU. Clinical trials of medicinal products in Japan must be conducted in accordance with Japanese regulations based on ICH guidelines governing GCP. If the sponsor of the clinical trial is not established within Japan, it must appoint an entity within the country to act as its caretaker who should be authorized to act on the sponsor’s behalf. The sponsor must take out a clinical trial insurance policy, and, according to the industry agreement, should put in place a common compensation policy for the injuries from the trial. Prior to the commencement of human clinical studies, the sponsor must complete an evaluation of the safety of the investigative product and submit a clinical trial notification and clinical trial protocol to the authorities in advance, upon agreement of the IRB of the participating institutions. When the authorities do not comment on the notification, the sponsor may proceed with the clinical trial. Any substantial changes to the trial protocol or other information submitted must be cleared by the IRB and notified to the authorities. Medicines used in clinical trials must be manufactured in accordance with GMP.

To market a medicinal product in Japan, we must obtain regulatory approval. To obtain regulatory approval of an investigational medicinal product, we must submit a new drug application. If the product is designed for treating certain “difficult diseases” or those whose patient size is limited, we may be able to obtain designation as an orphan drug product if it demonstrates unique therapeutic value. Separately, the latest amendment to the law introduced separate pathways for (i) truly innovative products with a unique mode of action and (ii) those which will satisfy unmet medical needs.

The evaluation of new drug applications is based on an assessment of the risk-benefit balance of the product on the basis of scientific criteria concerning its quality, safety, and efficacy. Once the review organization completes its review, the matter is considered by the advisory committee of experts, and the government grants approval upon positive recommendation from the committee.

The volume and quality of the clinical data are key determinants of the approval decision. Clinical trial data generated overseas is accepted as part of the data package consistent with the ICH recommendation. Typically, a limited dose response clinical trial for Japanese subjects is required to ensure that data are extrapolatable for the Japanese population.

Separate from the approval requirement, it is also mandatory to possess a distribution license of an appropriate class for the manufacturer to commercially distribute the product in Japan. Non-Japanese companies who possess only the product approval may designate an appropriate license holder in Japan to commercially distribute the product, rather than distributing it on its own. The license is valid for five years.


Employees and Human Capital Resources

As of February 28, 2023, we had 35 full-time employees and one part-time employee, consisting of clinical operations, clinical development, research, development, manufacturing, regulatory, quality, finance, and operational personnel. Thirteen of our employees hold Ph.D. or M.D. degrees, or both. None of our employees is subject to a collective bargaining agreement. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

We recognize that our continued ability to attract, retain, and motivate exceptional employees is vital to ensuring our long-term competitive advantage. Our employees are critical to our long-term success and are essential to helping us meet our goals. Among other things, we support and incentivize our employees in the following ways:

Talent development, compensation, and retention: We strive to provide our employees with a rewarding work environment, including the opportunity for growth, success, and professional development. We provide a competitive compensation and benefits package, including bonus and equity incentive plans, a 401(k) plan—all designed to attract and retain a skilled and diverse workforce.
Health and safety: We support the health and safety of our employees by providing comprehensive insurance benefits, an employee assistance program, company-paid holidays, a personal time-off program, and other additional benefits which are intended to assist employees to manage their well-being.
Inclusion and diversity: We are committed to efforts to increase diversity and foster an inclusive work environment that supports our workforce.

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COVID-19 Impact on Facilities

We have implemented policies that enable our employees to work remotely, and such policies may continue for an indefinite period. As prescribed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, state and local guidelines, we have over time also implemented various safety protocols for all on-site personnel, including the requirements to wear masks, suspend all non-essential travel for our employees, and maintain social distance. We continue to evaluate our protocols and practices as the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. While we are partially operating virtually to align with local COVID-19 guidelines, we believe our operational needs are being met for the time being. To date, we have not experienced any material impact on our ability to operate our business. We plan to periodically reassess the impact of COVID-19 on our facility needs.

Securities Exchange Act Reports

The Company maintains a website at the following address: https:// www.an2therapeutics.com/. The information on the Company's website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We make available on or through our website reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC in accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These include our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports of Form 8-K and amendments to these reports. We make this information available on our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information available with, or furnish it to, the SEC. The SEC also maintains a website at the following address, through which this information is available: http://www.sec.gov.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Our business involves significant risks, some of which are described below. You should carefully consider the risks described below together with all of the other information contained in this Annual Report, including our financial statements and the related notes and the section titled “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and growth prospects. Unless otherwise indicated, references in these risk factors to our business being harmed will include harm to our business, reputation, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. In such an event, the market price of our common stock could decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial also may impair our business operations.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Capital Needs

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale. We have incurred significant losses since our inception. We expect to incur losses over the next several years and may never achieve or maintain profitability.

Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history upon which you can evaluate our business and prospects. We currently have no products approved for commercial sale, have not generated any revenue from the sale of products and have incurred losses in each year since our inception in 2017. In addition, we have limited experience as a company and have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully overcome many of the risks and uncertainties frequently encountered by companies in new and rapidly evolving fields, particularly in the biopharmaceutical industry. Our initial product candidate, epetraborole, is currently in clinical development. Our net loss was $41.0 million and $21.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. As of December 31, 2022, we had an accumulated deficit of $89.7 million. We have funded our operations to date primarily with proceeds from our initial public offering (“IPO”) and the sale of our redeemable convertible preferred stock. We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources and efforts to research and development, including preclinical studies, manufacturing, clinical trials, and general and administrative costs associated with our operations. We have initiated Phase 2/3 clinical development of epetraborole, and we have not completed development of any product candidates. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses over the next several years. Our net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year.

We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially as we:

continue our ongoing and planned preclinical, nonclinical, and clinical development of epetraborole;
initiate preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials for product candidates that we may pursue in the future;
seek to discover and develop future product candidates;
seek regulatory approvals for epetraborole and any of our future product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;
ultimately establish sales, marketing, and distribution infrastructure and scale up external manufacturing capabilities as we move into later-stage clinical trials and look to commercialize any product candidate for which we may obtain regulatory approval and intend to commercialize on our own;
maintain, expand, and protect our intellectual property portfolio;
hire additional clinical, scientific, chemistry, manufacturing, and controls personnel;
add operational, financial, and management, and compliance information systems and personnel, including personnel to support our product development and planned future commercialization efforts; and
incur additional legal, accounting, information systems, and other expenses associated with operating as a public company.

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To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and eventually commercializing drugs that generate significant revenue. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials of epetraborole and any future product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing, marketing, and selling any products for which we may obtain regulatory approval, as well as discovering and developing additional product candidates. We are only in the preliminary stages of most of these activities. We may never succeed in these activities and, even if we do, may never generate revenues that are significant enough to achieve profitability.

Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with drug development, we are unable to accurately predict the timing or amount of expenses or when, or if, we will be able to achieve profitability. If we are required by regulatory authorities to perform studies in addition to those currently expected, or if there are any delays in the initiation and completion of our clinical trials or the development of epetraborole and any of our future product candidates, our expenses could increase.

Even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the value of our common stock and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our research and development efforts, or continue our operations. A decline in the value of our common stock could also cause you to lose all or part of your investment.

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 commenced active operations in November 2019, and our operations to date have been largely focused on raising capital, developing epetraborole, broadening our expertise in the development of epetraborole, undertaking preclinical and nonclinical studies, manufacturing clinical trial material, preparing for and initiating clinical trials, and general and administrative operations. As a company, we have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully complete pivotal clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a commercial product or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful commercialization. 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 may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other known or unknown factors in achieving our business objectives. We will need to transition successfully at some point from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in such a transition.

We expect our financial condition and operating results 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.

We require substantial additional funding to meet our financial needs and to pursue our business objectives. If we are unable to raise capital when needed, we could be forced to delay, reduce, or altogether cease our current and future product development programs or future commercialization efforts.

We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents and investments will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months. However, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations and planned activities. Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors, including:

the timing, progress, and results of our ongoing and future clinical trials of epetraborole;
the costs, timing, and outcome of regulatory review of epetraborole and any of our future product candidates;
the scope, progress, results, and costs of identifying, obtaining, and conducting preclinical development, laboratory testing, and clinical trials of future product candidates that we may pursue;
the cost and timetable of manufacturing processes for development, clinical trials, and potential commercial use;
the number and development requirements of future product candidates that we may pursue;

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the amount of funding that we receive under our non-dilutive funding opportunities, including government awards that we may apply for;
the costs and timing of future commercialization activities, including product manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution, for epetraborole or any future product candidates that receive marketing approval;
the pricing and revenue, if any, received from commercial sales of epetraborole or any future product candidates that receive marketing approval;
the costs and timing of preparing, filing, and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights, and defending any intellectual property-related claims;
the costs of operating as a public company; and
the extent to which we acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies.

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 regulatory approval and achieve product sales. In addition, epetraborole and any of our future product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of drugs that we do not expect to be commercially available for several 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, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or altogether cease our research and development programs or future commercialization efforts.

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

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenue, we expect to finance our cash needs through a combination of equity offerings and debt financings. 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 of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect your rights as a stockholder. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures, or declaring dividends.

If we raise additional funds through collaborations, strategic alliances, or marketing, distribution, or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may be required to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs, or epetraborole or any future product candidates, or to grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce, or terminate our development of epetraborole or any future product candidate or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to a third party to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

We have a contractual commitment to develop epetraborole for global health initiatives, which may affect our ability to develop and commercialize epetraborole in certain countries and may impact our intellectual property rights. Our strategy for our global health initiatives depends on receiving non-dilutive funding, and we as a company have limited experience with this strategy.

Under our Global Health Agreement with Adjuvant, we have a contractual commitment to use reasonably diligent endeavors to develop epetraborole and any other mutually agreed-upon products for melioidosis, tuberculosis, and other indications for at-risk developing countries at accessible pricing and at reasonable volume, including selling epetraborole and any other mutually agreed-upon products in certain target countries at or slightly above the cost of sales, so long as we do not sell products at a loss. Under the Global Health Agreement, we made certain commitments to develop epetraborole and any other mutually agreed-upon products and to pursue regulatory strategies and product registrations. If we do not maintain compliance with these and other program-related global access commitments under the Global Health Agreement, Adjuvant may be entitled to repayment for any portion of its investment that is not used for the purposes outlined in the Global Health Agreement. Our obligations under the Global Health Agreement may affect our ability to commercialize epetraborole in certain countries.

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Our strategy for developing epetraborole for global health initiatives depends on receiving non-dilutive funding from sources such as public and private agencies and foundations. In September 2022, we received a cost-reimbursement contract award under which we are able to receive up to $17.8 million from the NIAID to support preclinical, Phase 1 studies, and other activities to enable advancement of epetraborole into late-stage development for acute systemic melioidosis and other biothreat pathogens. We, as a company, have limited experience with non-dilutive funding, and we may not be able to obtain additional non-dilutive funding to support our needs to fund our global health initiatives. For example, we cannot be certain that there will be additional awards, contracts, grants or funding sources or solicitations available to support our development efforts, that our other grant applications and funding proposals will be successful, or that we will be able to continue satisfying the award criteria of the NIAID contract award or any grants or funding awarded to us. If we fail to receive additional non-dilutive funding, progress in our global health initiatives may be impaired or delayed.

Risks Related to the Development of Our Current and Future Product Candidates

We depend to a large degree on the success of epetraborole, which is in clinical development, but for which we have not completed our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. If we do not obtain regulatory approval for and successfully commercialize epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, or if we experience significant delays in doing so, we may never become profitable.

We currently have no products approved for sale and have invested a significant portion of our efforts and financial resources on the development of our initial product candidate, epetraborole, as a treatment for serious infections caused by NTM lung disease resulting from MAC bacteria. We expect that a substantial portion of our efforts and expenses over the next few years will be devoted to the development of epetraborole. As a result, our business currently depends heavily on the successful development, regulatory approval, and, if approved, commercialization of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates. We cannot be certain that any product candidate will receive regulatory approval or will be successfully commercialized even if it receives regulatory approval. The research, development, manufacturing, safety, efficacy, labeling, approval, sale, marketing, and distribution of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates are, and will remain, subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, and other comparable foreign regulatory authorities. To date, we have completed three clinical trials, a Phase 1 dose-ranging study of epetraborole in Australia, a Phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetics study of oral epetraborole in healthy volunteers in Japan, and a Phase 1 renal impairment study in the United States. We are currently enrolling patients in a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical study of epetraborole in the United States, and are planning on initiating two additional Phase 1 studies in 2023. Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of epetraborole and any future product candidates, we must demonstrate through preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials that the product candidate is safe and effective for use in the target indication. Drug development is a long, expensive, and uncertain process, and delay or failure can occur at any stage during our nonclinical studies, clinical trials, or drug product manufacturing process. These delays or failures could be caused by a variety of factors, including but not limited to, toxicity, safety, tolerability, efficacy, problems with clinical trial enrollment, drug product availability, stability, and impurity issues related to drug product manufacturing. Failure to obtain regulatory approval for epetraborole and our future product candidates in the United States or other territories will prevent us from commercializing and marketing such product candidates. The success of epetraborole and our future product candidates will depend on several additional factors, including:

successful completion of preclinical and nonclinical studies and requisite clinical trials;
performing preclinical studies and clinical trials in compliance with the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or any comparable regulatory authority requirements;
receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;
the ability to manufacture sufficient quantity of product for development, clinical trials, or potential commercialization;
obtaining marketing approvals with labeling for sufficiently broad patient populations and indications, without unduly restrictive distribution limitations or safety warnings, such as black box warnings or a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, or REMS, program;
obtaining and maintaining patent, trademark, and trade secret protection, and regulatory exclusivity for epetraborole and any future product candidates;
making and retaining sufficient and reliable arrangements with third parties for manufacturing capabilities;
launching commercial sales of products, if and when approved;
acceptance of our therapies, if and when approved, by physicians, patients, and third-party payors;

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competing effectively with other therapies;
obtaining and maintaining healthcare coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors;
maintaining, protecting, and expanding our portfolio of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and know-how;
avoiding and defending against third-party infringement, misappropriation or other violation of intellectual property claims;
maintaining a continued acceptable safety and tolerability profile of our drugs following approval; and
approval of our future INDs.

If we do not achieve these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to successfully commercialize epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, which would harm our business.

We may not be successful in our efforts to build a pipeline of product candidates.

A key element of our strategy is to develop our AN2 drug discovery platform, build a pipeline of product candidates and progress these product candidates through clinical development for the treatment of serious infections (including different forms of NTM lung disease). We may not be able to develop product candidates that are safe and effective. Even if we are successful in continuing to build our pipeline, the potential product candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development, as a result of significant safety, tolerability, and other negative characteristics or limitations that may prevent successful marketing approval or limit market acceptance or reimbursements from third-party payors. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize epetraborole and/or any future product candidates, we will not be able to obtain product revenue in future periods, which could significantly harm our financial position and adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.

Success in preclinical or nonclinical studies or initial clinical trials may not be indicative of results in future clinical trials. To support our clinical development strategy for epetraborole, we are relying, in part, on clinical data from prior clinical trials conducted by Anacor and GlaxoSmithKline plc which were not conducted in patients with NTM. Differences with these prior clinical trials evaluating epetraborole will limit our use of prior clinical data for epetraborole and our ability to support our proposed clinical trial plan for epetraborole with the FDA.

Success in preclinical or nonclinical studies or initial clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will generate the same results or otherwise provide adequate data to demonstrate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of a product candidate. These clinical trials were not conducted in patients with NTM lung disease nor were they conducted over durations greater than 14 days, shorter than the typical treatment of patients with NTM lung disease. Epetraborole and our future product candidates may fail to show the desired safety, tolerability, and efficacy in clinical development despite promising results in preclinical studies or having successfully advanced through initial clinical trials in healthy volunteers. For instance, with respect to epetraborole, we cannot guarantee that the dose used in our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial will be safe, tolerable, or effective. We cannot guarantee that the dose selected will be validated in our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. The ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial will be the first evaluation of epetraborole in patients with MAC lung disease and specifically in treatment-refractory patients.

In addition, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic observations of epetraborole, used as monotherapy, in previous clinical trials conducted by Anacor and GSK, including penetration into alveolar (lung) macrophages and the long-term effects on red blood cell-related hematological parameters, such as hemoglobin and reticulocytes, may not be predictive of safety or efficacy results in our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. There are significant differences in the epetraborole Phase 1 clinical trial conducted by Anacor and the five Phase 1 clinical trials and two Phase 2 clinical trials conducted by GSK compared to the clinical trial design of our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. Other differences with these prior clinical trials, including differences in patient population, targeted indication, drug product formulation, and trial design, will limit our use of prior clinical data for epetraborole and our ability to support our clinical trial plan for epetraborole with the FDA.

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We are enrolling patients in a single pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial as the basis for submission to the FDA for product approval of epetraborole, and there can be no assurance that the single study will be sufficient for product approval.

The FDA generally requires two well-controlled Phase 3 clinical trials for product approval. However, in some cases the FDA has not required two Phase 3 clinical trials for product approval. For example, amikacin liposome inhalation suspension, marketed by Insmed Incorporated as Arikayce, was approved to treat treatment-refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC on the basis of a single Phase 3 clinical trial. We are conducting a single pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial to support approval of epetraborole in MAC, but there can be no assurance that the FDA will not require additional clinical trials for approval of epetraborole.

The data we have collected and continue to collect in our Phase 1 programs, and from the Phase 2 portion of our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial may not support continued clinical investigation due to insufficient clinical responses or occurrence of adverse safety events or may lead to adjustments in trial design, rendering it not feasible to conduct or not acceptable to the FDA or to us, including adjustments to clinical trial endpoints and sample size for the Phase 3 portion of our initiated pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. Our current trial design for our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial includes a Phase 2 portion that we expect will inform endpoint selection for the Phase 3 portion of the trial and gather data on the treatment effects of epetraborole-containing regimens, if any, which may require increases or other adjustments in the sample size for the Phase 3 portion and which could result in a delay in topline results and additional costs for the Phase 3 portion of the trial.

The FDA can recommend study design element changes at any time, including, for example, change of endpoints, eligibility criteria, or statistical analyses. For example, Arikayce, the only drug currently approved by the FDA for treatment-refractory NTM lung disease caused by MAC, was approved based on the primary endpoint of microbiological culture conversion, whereas we will be required to demonstrate efficacy based on clinical response endpoints. As a company, we have limited experience designing NTM clinical trials and have no experience conducting clinical trials in the United States and may be unable to design and execute a clinical trial to support regulatory approval. In addition, the design and results of a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial may not be sufficient to determine whether the trial results will support approval, since factors such as an insufficient dosage regimen or flaws in the design of a clinical trial may not become apparent until the clinical trial is in progress.

There is a high failure rate for drug and biologic products proceeding through clinical trials. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in later-stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in preclinical testing and earlier-stage clinical trials. For example, a Phase 2 clinical trial conducted by GSK to evaluate epetraborole in patients with complicated urinary tract infections was terminated early due to microbiological findings of resistance to epetraborole, which caused GSK to discontinue its epetraborole development program. In addition, data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are subject to varying interpretations, which may delay, limit, or prevent regulatory approval. Furthermore, the dosing duration for administering epetraborole in humans has been limited to a maximum of 28 days in previous clinical trials. The study drug dosing duration in our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial is up to 16 months total. The longer dosing duration expected in our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial, as well as the use of epetraborole in patients with NTM lung disease, may increase the risk of hematological abnormalities or the potential for the emergence of new, unknown treatment-emergent adverse events. In addition, we may experience regulatory delays or rejections as a result of many factors, including changes in regulatory policy during the period of our product candidate development. Any such delays could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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If clinical trials of epetraborole or any future product candidate that we may advance to clinical trials fail to demonstrate safety, tolerability, and/or efficacy to the satisfaction of the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities, or do not otherwise produce favorable results, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of epetraborole or any future product candidate.

We may not commercialize, market, promote, or sell any product candidate without obtaining marketing approval from the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities, and we may never receive such approvals. It is impossible to predict when or if epetraborole or any future product candidates will prove effective or safe in humans and will receive regulatory approval. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of epetraborole or any future product candidates, we must complete preclinical and nonclinical development and conduct extensive clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of such product candidates in humans. Clinical testing is expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete, and is uncertain as to outcome. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. Moreover, preclinical, nonclinical, and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval of their products.

We may experience numerous unforeseen events prior to, during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, including, but not limited to:

the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities may disagree as to the design or implementation of our clinical trials, which may result in changes to our planned clinical trial design and potential target clinical outcomes, which could otherwise delay or otherwise negatively impact our ability to complete our clinical plans effectively;
regulators or institutional review boards may not authorize us or our investigators to commence a clinical trial or conduct a clinical trial at a prospective trial site;
we may not reach 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;
clinical trials for epetraborole or any of our future product candidates may produce negative or inconclusive results;
we may be unable to successfully defeat bacterial resistance mechanisms in our initiated epetraborole pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial, which may require early termination of the trial or abandonment of our epetraborole program;
we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon product development programs;
enrollment in the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial of epetraborole and clinical trials of any future product candidates may be slower than we anticipate, participants may drop out of these clinical trials at a higher rate than we anticipate, we may fail to recruit suitable patients to participate in a trial, or the number of patients required for clinical trials of epetraborole and any of our future product candidates may be larger than we anticipate;
our third-party contractors may fail to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner, or at all;
regulators may issue a clinical hold, or regulators or institutional review boards may require that we or our investigators suspend or terminate clinical research for various reasons, including noncompliance with regulatory requirements or a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;
the cost of clinical trials of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates may be greater than we anticipate;
the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with whom we enter into agreements for clinical and commercial supplies;

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the supply or quality of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates or other materials necessary to conduct clinical trials of such product candidates may be insufficient or inadequate;
epetraborole or our future product candidates may have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics, causing us or our investigators, regulators, or institutional review boards to suspend or terminate the clinical trials; and
the approval policies or regulations of the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials (for instance, if regulatory authorities required us to conduct a separate Phase 2 clinical trial prior to the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical trial, rather than the ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial as designed) or other testing of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates beyond the studies that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to successfully complete clinical trials or other testing of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, or if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if there are safety concerns observed in these trials or tests, we may:

be delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our product candidates;
not obtain marketing approval at all;
obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired;
obtain approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings, such as black box warnings or a REMS program;
be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements; or
be required to remove the product from the market after obtaining marketing approval.

Our product development costs may also increase if we experience delays in testing or marketing approvals and we may be required to obtain additional funds to complete clinical trials. We do not know whether any of our preclinical and nonclinical studies or clinical trials will begin as planned, will need to be restructured, or will be completed on schedule or at all. Significant preclinical and nonclinical study or clinical trial delays also could shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates or allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do and impair our ability to successfully commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, delays of clinical trials may ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates.

We cannot predict whether or when bacteria may develop resistance to epetraborole or any of our future product candidates, which could affect the revenue potential of our product candidates.

We are developing epetraborole to treat bacterial infections. The bacteria responsible for these infections evolve quickly and may readily transfer their resistance mechanisms within and between species. Prescription or use of epetraborole or our product candidates, if approved, may depend on the type and rate of resistance of the targeted bacteria. Although we do analyze the potential of epetraborole and any future product candidates to develop resistance and only select those that we believe have low resistance potential, we cannot predict whether or when bacterial resistance to epetraborole or future product candidates may develop should they obtain market approval and be broadly prescribed. For example, clinical resistance to epetraborole as a monotherapy was observed by GSK in its Phase 2 trial for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infection, and we cannot guarantee that clinical resistance will not be observed in any of our future clinical trials with epetraborole. The growth of drug-resistant infections in community settings or in countries with poor public health infrastructures, or the potential use of any product candidates outside of controlled hospital settings, could contribute to the rise of resistance.

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

Epetraborole is not yet approved by the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or any other regulatory agency and has not yet been tested extensively in patients. In previous development programs evaluating epetraborole, which largely used higher doses administered intravenously and orally, subjects and patients receiving epetraborole experienced drug-related side effects. For example, the most common drug-related adverse events observed in oral administration of epetraborole in humans were gastrointestinal in nature. Further, in a 26-week study conducted with epetraborole in rats and in a 39-week study conducted with epetraborole in non-human primates, safety observations of reduced hematocrit, hemoglobin, and other associated red blood cell-related parameters (red cell distribution width, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular hemoglobin) levels were observed, which remained below normal during the recovery period of the study while other blood cell parameters returned to normal levels. In a Fertility and Embryo-Fetal Development study of epetraborole in rats, there were no external fetal malformations or variations, no soft-tissue (visceral or fixed-head) fetal malformations or variations, and no skeletal fetal malformations attributed to administration of epetraborole at any dose level evaluated in the study. However, there were multiple maternal and fetal adverse events, including reduced mean maternal body weight during gestation, reduced mean fetal weight, increased mean total resorptions per litter and higher mean post-implantation loss at the highest dose level tested, which was 1,000 mg/kg, compared to a control group. Decreased fetal body weights and increased incomplete fetal ossification was observed at all epetraborole dose levels. The significance of these observations in humans is unknown. Based on the observed maternal and fetal adverse events in rats, epetraborole could be harmful to human fetuses when taken during pregnancy.

Amongst the patients enrolled in the first six cohorts of our Phase 1b dose-ranging study of epetraborole in healthy volunteers, the most common treatment emergent adverse events, or TEAEs, were gastrointestinal events, such as nausea, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea, and headache and vascular site access pain. Most TEAEs observed in the Phase 1b dose-ranging study were mild or moderate in severity and no severe or serious TEAEs were observed in the study. Two subjects in the study experienced TEAEs that caused premature discontinuation from epetraborole: one epetraborole subject at the 250 mg q24h dose level had mild aminotransferase increases during a concomitant upper respiratory tract infection and one epetraborole subject at the 1,000 mg q48h dose level had mild nausea. These TEAEs were both considered possibly or probably related to epetraborole. Consistent with observations in chronic toxicology studies in non-human primates and rats, dose-dependent effects on red blood cell-related hematological parameters, such as hemoglobin and reticulocytes, were observed in the Phase 1b dose-ranging study. The observed effects on hematological parameters were mild and most RBC values remained within normal limits with a slight downward trend, and the hematological parameters recovered following completion of dosing of epetraborole. No subjects discontinued therapy as a result of the hematological effects that were observed.

Additional adverse events may emerge in any ongoing or subsequent clinical trials and there may be unforeseen serious adverse events or side effects that differ from those seen in studies completed to date. The dosing duration for administering epetraborole in humans has been limited to a maximum of 28 days in previous clinical trials, and we have initiated a pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial of epetraborole in patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We anticipate that the dosing duration in this pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial will be 16 months. The longer dosing duration expected in our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial, as well as the use of epetraborole in patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, may increase the potential for the emergence of new, unknown treatment-emergent adverse events. Often, it is not possible to determine whether or not a product candidate being studied caused side effects. Our current and planned clinical trials are designed to evaluate both the efficacy and safety of epetraborole. Consistent with all clinical trials, we will monitor the safety of our patients throughout our ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial. In addition, we plan to include an independent Safety Data Monitoring Committee (“SDMC”) to review safety as we increase dosing durations to 16 months and transition from clinical investigations in healthy volunteers to patients. Regulatory authorities may draw different conclusions or require additional testing to confirm these determinations, if they occur. In addition, it is possible that as we test epetraborole and our future product candidates in larger, longer, and more extensive clinical programs, or as use of such product candidates becomes more widespread, if they receive regulatory approval, subjects will report illnesses, injuries, discomforts, and other adverse events that were not observed in earlier trials, as well as conditions that did not occur or went undetected in previous trials. Many times, side effects are only detectable after investigational drugs are tested in large-scale, Phase 3 clinical trials or, in some cases, after they are made available to patients on a commercial scale after approval. If additional clinical experience indicates that epetraborole or any future product candidate has unexpected side effects or causes serious or life-threatening side effects, the development of the product candidate may fail or be delayed, or, if the product candidate has received regulatory approval, such approval may be revoked, which would harm our business.

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Epetraborole is being developed for use in the treatment of MAC lung disease as an add-on therapy to an optimized background regimen, which would include current standard of care drugs as outlined in the NTM treatment guidelines. Even if our product candidates demonstrate clinical efficacy, any unacceptable adverse side effects or toxicities, when administered in the presence of other pharmaceutical products, which can arise at any stage of development, may outweigh potential benefits. We may observe adverse or significant adverse events or drug-drug interactions in future preclinical studies or clinical trial candidates, which could result in the delay or termination of development, prevent regulatory approval, or limit market acceptance if ultimately approved.

Moreover, if we elect, or are required, to delay, suspend, or terminate any clinical trial of any of epetraborole or any future product candidates, the commercial prospects of such product candidate may be harmed and our ability to generate revenue through its sale may be delayed or eliminated. Any of these occurrences may significantly harm our business.

Additionally, if epetraborole or any of our future product candidates receive marketing approval, regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “black box” warning or a contraindication, or the adoption of a REMS program to ensure that the benefits outweigh its risks, which may include, among other things, a medication guide outlining the risks of the drug for distribution to patients and a communication plan to health care practitioners. Furthermore, if we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by any product candidates, several potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

regulatory authorities may suspend or withdraw approvals of such product candidate;
regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label or impose distribution or use restrictions;
we may be required to change the way a product candidate is administered or conduct additional clinical trials, including one or more post-marketing research studies, similar to Arikayce;
we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients;
we may be required to implement REMS, including the creation of a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;
we may need to conduct a recall; and
our reputation may suffer.

Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product candidate, if approved, or could substantially increase commercialization costs and expenses, which could delay or prevent us from generating revenue from the sale of our product candidates and harm our business and results of operations.

If we are not successful in discovering, developing, and commercializing additional product candidates, our ability to expand our business and achieve our strategic objectives would be impaired.

Although a substantial amount of our effort will focus on the continued clinical testing and potential regulatory approval of epetraborole, an element of our strategy is to discover, develop, and commercialize a portfolio of product candidates to treat rare chronic lung infections including NTM lung disease. We are seeking to do so by utilizing our targeted-design AN2 drug discovery platform, which uses bacterial genomics and state-of-the-art molecular and dynamic models to design active new compounds that target validated mechanisms. We focus our clinical development on pathogens and patients with high, unmet medical needs to leverage the development and regulatory paths available for first-in-class or best-in-class anti-infectives. Research efforts to identify and develop product candidates require substantial technical, financial, and human resources, whether or not any product candidates are ultimately identified. Our research programs may initially show promise in identifying potential product candidates, yet fail to yield product candidates for clinical development for many reasons, including the following:

the research methodology used may not be successful in identifying potential product candidates;
competitors may develop alternatives that render our product candidates obsolete or less attractive;
product candidates we develop may nevertheless be covered by third parties’ patents or other exclusive rights;
a product candidate may on further study be shown to have harmful side effects or other characteristics that indicate it is unlikely to be effective or otherwise does not meet applicable regulatory criteria;

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a product candidate may not be capable of being produced in commercial quantities at an acceptable cost, or at all;
a product candidate may not be accepted as safe, tolerable, and effective by patients, the medical community or third-party payors, if applicable; and
the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other regulatory authorities may not approve or agree with the intended use of a new product candidate.

If we fail to develop and successfully commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates, our business and future prospects may be harmed and our business will be more vulnerable to any problems that we encounter in developing and commercializing epetraborole.

If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.

We may not be able to initiate, continue, or complete clinical trials of epetraborole or any future product candidates that we develop if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials, as required by the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities. We have limited experience enrolling patients in our clinical trials and cannot predict how successful we will be in enrolling patients in future clinical trials.

We may face delays and difficulties in enrollment because NTM lung disease caused by MAC is considered a rare disease (i.e., the size of the targeted patient population is small) and patients are generally managed in the outpatient setting by specialized clinics and caregivers. Patients may also be reluctant to participate in a clinical trial with an investigational drug. In addition, some of our competitors may have ongoing clinical trials to treat the same indications as our product candidates, and patients who would otherwise be eligible for our clinical trials may instead enroll in clinical trials of our competitors. Patient enrollment is also affected by other factors including:

the severity of the disease under investigation;
the proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients;
the eligibility criteria for participation in the clinical trial;
the design of the clinical trial;
the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;
our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with appropriate experience;
the availability of drugs approved to treat the diseases under study;
the patient referral practices of physicians;
our ability to obtain and maintain patient consents;
the ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment; and
the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the trials before completion.

Additionally, most patients with NTM lung disease have pre-existing co-morbidities, including underlying structural lung disease. Because of this, we expect difficulties in determining clinical responses in some patients in our initiated pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial of epetraborole, which could result in a failure to meet prespecified clinical trial endpoints. For example, even if epetraborole has a beneficial effect on culture conversion, patient-reported symptom-based outcomes may not correlate with microbiological responses.

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In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal respiratory conditions like influenza may affect the enrollment of our planned clinical trials. For example, we have experienced delays enrolling our pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial in part due to staff shortages and other challenges that have arisen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We truncated the sixth cohort of our Phase 1b dose-ranging study of epetraborole in Australia after a rise in COVID-19 cases in Australia resulted in recruitment challenges. Clinical trial activities, including patient enrollment and data collection, are dependent upon global clinical trial sites which have been and continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients may be unwilling to enroll in clinical trials due to fear of contracting COVID-19. In addition, after enrollment in our trials, patients may drop out of our trials, miss scheduled doses or follow-up visits or otherwise fail to follow trial protocols, due to site-related restrictions or patient quarantines after COVID-19 exposures or infections. Clinical-trial sites may experience staff shortage and personnel at clinical-trial sites may have less time to work on our trials if COVID-19 or other seasonal respiratory conditions (e.g., flu or RSV) force hospitals to prioritize resources. If patients are unable to follow the trial protocols or if our trial results are otherwise disputed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or other respiratory conditions or actions taken to mitigate spread, the integrity of data from our trials may be compromised or not accepted by the FDA or other regulatory authorities, which would represent a significant setback for our product development.

Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for clinical trials would result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in these clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates, which would reduce the capital we have available to support our current and future product candidates and may result in our need to raise additional capital earlier than planned and could cause the value of our common stock to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing.

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 have a greater likelihood of success.

Because we have limited financial and management resources, we focus on research programs and product candidates that we identify for 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. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial drugs or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on current and future research and development programs and product candidates for specific indications may not yield any commercially viable products. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through collaboration, licensing, or other royalty arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate.

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 audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

From time to time, we may publish interim topline or preliminary data from our clinical trials. Interim data from clinical trials that we may complete are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available. Preliminary or 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, interim and preliminary data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. Differences between preliminary or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects and may cause the trading price of our common stock to fluctuate significantly.

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Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties

We rely on single-sourced third parties to conduct the preclinical and nonclinical studies, clinical trials, and manufacture of our clinical trial material for epetraborole and our future product candidates, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such studies, trials, and manufacturing services or failing to comply with applicable regulatory requirements.

We have engaged contract research organizations, or CROs, to conduct our ongoing and planned preclinical and nonclinical studies, clinical trials and manufacture of our clinical trial material. We also expect to engage CROs for any of our other future product candidates that may progress to clinical development. We expect to rely on CROs, as well as other third parties, such as clinical data management organizations, medical institutions, and clinical investigators, to conduct those preclinical and nonclinical studies, clinical trials, and manufacture of our clinical trial material. Currently, we rely on single source third-party research institutions, laboratories, clinical research and manufacturing organizations for research and development. Agreements with such third parties might terminate for a variety of reasons, including a failure to perform by the third parties. If we need to enter into alternative arrangements, or fail to enter into alternative arrangements in a timely manner, our product development activities would be delayed.

Our reliance on these third parties for research and development activities will reduce our control over these activities but will not relieve us of our responsibilities. For example, we will remain responsible for ensuring that each of our clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. Moreover, the FDA requires us to comply with regulatory standards, commonly referred to as good clinical practices, or GCPs, for conducting, recording, and reporting the results of clinical trials to assure that data and reported results are credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity, and confidentiality of trial participants are protected. Similar regulatory requirements apply outside the United States, including the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for the Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, or the ICH. We are also required to register certain ongoing clinical trials and post the results of certain completed clinical trials on a government-sponsored database, ClinicalTrials.gov, within specified timeframes. Failure to do so by us or by third parties can result in FDA refusal to approve applications based on the clinical data, enforcement actions, adverse publicity, and civil and criminal sanctions.

Furthermore, these third parties may also have relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, meet expected deadlines, or conduct our clinical trials in accordance with regulatory requirements or our stated protocols, we will not be able to obtain, or may be delayed in obtaining, marketing approvals for epetraborole and our future product candidates and will not be able to, or may be delayed in our efforts to, successfully commercialize such product candidates.

In addition, principal investigators for our clinical trials may serve as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and may receive cash compensation in connection with such services. If these relationships and any related compensation result in perceived or actual conflicts of interest, or the FDA concludes that the financial relationship may have affected the interpretation of the trial, the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site may be questioned and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized, which could result in the delay or rejection by the FDA of any New Drug Application, or NDA, we submit. Any such delay or rejection could prevent us from commercializing epetraborole or any future product candidates.

We also expect to rely on other third parties to store and distribute product supplies for our clinical trials. Any performance failure or regulatory noncompliance on the part of our distributors could delay clinical development or marketing approval of epetraborole or any future product candidates or commercialization of such product candidates, resulting in additional losses, and depriving us of potential product revenue.

Our reliance on single-sourced third parties to manufacture our product candidates increases the risk that we will not have sufficient quantities of our product candidates or products or such quantities at an acceptable cost, which could delay, prevent, or impair our development or commercialization efforts.

We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of clinical or commercial supplies of the product candidates that we are developing or evaluating, nor are we contemplating plans to do so. We have limited personnel with experience in drug manufacturing and lack the resources and the capabilities to manufacture any of our product candidates on a clinical or commercial scale. We currently rely on third parties, such as Esteve Química, S.A. and Catalent Pharma Solutions, for drug substance and drug product manufacturing, respectively, of our current product candidate, and our strategy is to continue to outsource all manufacturing of our product candidates and approved products, if any, to third parties.

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In order to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates and prepare for commercialization, we will need to identify suitable manufacturers with the capabilities to manufacture our compounds in large quantities in a manner consistent with existing regulations. Our future plans include identifying, qualifying, and contracting with a second manufacturing site to manufacture epetraborole, assuming we have adequate financial resources to pursue contingency manufacturing plans. Our current and future third-party manufacturers may be unable to successfully increase the manufacturing capacity for any of our product candidates in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all. In addition, quality issues may arise during scale-up activities at any other time. If our manufacturers are unable to successfully scale up the manufacture of our current or future product candidates in sufficient quality and quantity, the development, testing, and clinical trials of that product candidate may be delayed or infeasible, and regulatory approval or commercial launch of that product candidate may be delayed or not obtained, which could significantly harm our business.

We do not currently have any agreements with third-party manufacturers for the long-term commercial supply of epetraborole or any of our future product candidates. In the future, we may be unable to enter into agreements with third-party manufacturers for commercial supplies of such product candidates or may be unable to do so on acceptable terms.

Even if we are able to establish and maintain arrangements with third-party manufacturers, reliance on third-party manufacturers entails risks, including:

reliance on the third party for regulatory compliance and quality assurance;
the possible breach of the manufacturing agreement by the third party;
the possible misappropriation of our proprietary information, including our trade secrets and know-how; and
the possible termination or nonrenewal of the agreement by the third party at a time that is costly or inconvenient for us.

Third-party manufacturers may not be able to comply with current Good Manufacturing Practice, or cGMP, regulations or similar regulatory requirements outside the United States. Our failure, or the failure of our third-party manufacturers, to comply with applicable regulations could result in sanctions being imposed on us, including fines, injunctions, civil penalties, delays, suspension, or withdrawal of approvals, license revocation, seizures, or recalls of product candidates or products, operating restrictions, and criminal prosecutions, any of which could significantly and adversely affect supplies of our product candidates.

Epetraborole and our future products and product candidates may compete with other product candidates and products for access to manufacturing facilities. There are a limited number of manufacturers that operate under cGMP regulations and that might be capable of manufacturing for us.

If the third parties that we engage to supply any materials or manufacture product for our preclinical and nonclinical studies and clinical trials should cease to continue to do so for any reason, we likely would experience delays in advancing these studies and trials while we identify and qualify replacement suppliers, and we may be unable to obtain replacement supplies on terms that are favorable to us. In addition, if we are not able to obtain adequate supplies of epetraborole or any future product candidates or the substances used to manufacture them, it will be more difficult for us to develop such product candidates and compete effectively.

Our current and anticipated future dependence upon others for the manufacture of our product candidates may adversely affect our future profit margins and our ability to develop product candidates and commercialize any products that receive marketing approval on a timely and competitive basis.

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Risks Related to the Commercialization of Epetraborole and Our Future Product Candidates

Even if epetraborole or any of our future product candidates receives marketing approval, it may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors, and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.

Even if we obtain approvals from the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory agencies and are able to initiate commercialization of epetraborole or any future product candidates we develop, the product candidate may not achieve market acceptance among physicians, patients, and third-party payors and, ultimately, may not be commercially successful. The degree of market acceptance of our product candidates, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including:

the safety, tolerability, efficacy, and ease of use of a once-a-day oral dose and other potential advantages compared to alternative treatments;
the potential and perceived advantages and disadvantages of the product candidates, including cost and clinical benefit relative to alternative treatments;
the convenience and ease of once-a-day oral administration compared to alternative treatments (e.g., inhaled drug through nebulizer);
the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;
acceptance by physicians, patients, payor-formularies, and treatment facilities and parties responsible for coverage and reimbursement of the product;
the availability of coverage and adequate reimbursement by third-party payors, including government authorities;
our ability to manufacture the product candidates in sufficient quantities and yields;
the strength and effectiveness of marketing and distribution support;
the prevalence and severity of any side effects;
limitations or warnings, including distribution or use restrictions, contained in the product’s approved labeling or an approved REMS;
whether the product is designated under physician treatment guidelines as a first-line therapy or as a second- or third-line therapy for particular infections;
whether the product is safe, tolerable, and efficacious when used in combination therapy with the current multi-drug standard of care regiment;
the approval of other new products for the same indications;
the timing of market introduction of the approved product as well as competitive products; and
the emergence of bacterial resistance to the product; and drugs in the target infections grow.

If the market size of any product candidate that obtains regulatory approval is significantly smaller than we anticipate, it may not achieve market acceptance or commercial success. This could significantly and negatively impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

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

The development and commercialization of new drug products is highly competitive. We face competition from major multi-national pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies, and generic drug companies with respect to epetraborole and other product candidates that we may develop and commercialize in the future. There are a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that currently market and sell products or are pursuing the development of product candidates for the treatment of NTM lung infections. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies, and other public and private research organizations. If our competitors obtain marketing approval from the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory authorities for their product candidates more rapidly than we do, it could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. Our competitors may also succeed in developing, acquiring, or licensing technologies and drug products that are more effective, more effectively marketed and sold, or less costly than epetraborole or any future product candidates that we may develop, which could render our product candidate non-competitive and obsolete.

Our initial product candidate, epetraborole, is being initially developed for the treatment of patients with treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, and Insmed’s Arikayce is the only currently approved therapy for the treatment of MAC lung disease as part of a combination antibacterial drug regimen in patients who do not achieve negative sputum cultures after a minimum of six consecutive months of a multidrug background regimen therapy. Other drugs used to treat these patients include generic drugs such as macrolides (clarithromycin and azithromycin), ethambutol, rifabutin, and fluoroquinolones such as levofloxacin, bedaquiline, linezolid and clofazimine. There are a number of product candidates in clinical development by third parties that are intended to treat NTM lung disease. Some mid- to late-stage product candidates include SPR720 from Spero Therapeutics, Inc., RHB-204 from Redhill Biopharma Ltd., and omadacycline from Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In addition, there may also be unexpected or unknown competitors that we are not presently aware of.

Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical and nonclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals, and marketing approved products than we do as an organization. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Smaller and other early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These third parties compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.

Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient, or are less expensive than any product candidates that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain approval from the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or other comparable regulatory agencies for their product candidates more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in product approval delays if a competitor obtains market exclusivity from the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or any comparable regulatory agencies or our competitors establish a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. In addition, our ability to compete may be affected in many cases by insurers or other third-party payors seeking to encourage the use of generic drugs. Additional drugs may become available on a generic basis over the coming years. If epetraborole or any future product candidates achieve marketing approval, we expect that they will be priced at a significant premium over competitive generic drugs.

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If we are unable to establish sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities for epetraborole or our future product candidates, or enter into sales, marketing, and distribution agreements with third parties, we may not be successful in commercializing our product candidates, if and when they are approved.

We do not have a sales or marketing infrastructure and have limited experience in the sale, marketing, or distribution of pharmaceutical products. To achieve commercial success for any product candidate for which we may obtain marketing approval, we will need to establish a sales and marketing organization or enter into collaboration, distribution, and other marketing arrangements with one or more third parties to commercialize such product candidate. In the United States and other key markets, we intend to build a commercial organization to target areas with the greatest incidence of NTM lung infections and recruit experienced sales, marketing, and distribution professionals. The development of sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities will require substantial resources, will be time-consuming, and could delay any product launch. We may decide to work with regional specialty pharmacies, distributors, and/or multi-national pharmaceutical companies to leverage their commercialization capabilities to commercialize any product candidate for which we may obtain regulatory approval outside of the United States.

If the commercial launch of a product candidate for which we recruit a sales force and establish marketing and distribution capabilities is delayed or does not occur for any reason, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred these commercialization costs. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our sales and marketing personnel. In addition, we may not be able to hire a sales force in the United States that is sufficient in size or has adequate expertise to target the areas that we intend to target. If we are unable to establish a sales force and marketing and distribution capabilities, our operating results may be adversely affected.

Factors that may inhibit our efforts to commercialize our drugs on our own include:

our inability to recruit, train, and retain adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel;
the inability of sales personnel to obtain access to physicians or persuade adequate numbers of physicians to prescribe any future products;
the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage compared to companies with more extensive product lines;
unforeseen costs and expenses associated with creating an independent sales and marketing organization; and
unforeseen costs and limitations with regard to setting up a distribution network.

If we are unable to establish our own sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities in the United States and other jurisdictions in which epetraborole or any future product candidates are approved and, instead, enter into arrangements with third parties to perform these services, our revenues and profitability, if any, are likely to be lower than if we were to sell, market, and distribute any product candidates that we develop ourselves. We may not be successful in entering into arrangements with third parties to sell, market, and distribute our product candidates or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. We likely will have limited control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our product candidates effectively. If we do not establish sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing any product candidates.

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Coverage and adequate reimbursement may not be available for epetraborole or any future product candidates, which could make it difficult for us to sell profitably, if approved.

Market acceptance and sales of any product candidates that we commercialize, if approved, will depend in part on the extent to which reimbursement for these drugs and related treatments will be available from third-party payors, including government health administration authorities, managed care organizations and other private health insurers. Third-party payors decide which therapies they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own coverage and reimbursement policies. However, decisions regarding the extent of coverage and amount of reimbursement to be provided for any product candidates that we develop will be made on a payor-by-payor basis. One payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage and adequate reimbursement for the drug. Additionally, a third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a therapy does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Each payor determines whether or not it will provide coverage for a therapy, what amount it will pay the manufacturer for the therapy, and on what tier of its list of covered drugs, or formulary, it will be placed. The position on a payor’s formulary generally determines the co-payment that a patient will need to make to obtain the therapy and can strongly influence the adoption of such therapy by patients and physicians. Patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers prescribing such services generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all or part of the associated healthcare costs. Patients are unlikely to use our drugs, and providers are unlikely to prescribe our drugs, unless coverage is provided and reimbursement is adequate to cover a significant portion of the cost of our drugs and their administration.

A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. We cannot be sure that coverage and reimbursement will be available for any drug that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, what the level of reimbursement will be. Inadequate coverage and reimbursement may impact the demand for, or the price of, any drug for which we obtain marketing approval. If coverage and adequate reimbursement are not available, or are available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize epetraborole and any future product candidates that we develop.

Product liability lawsuits against us could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and to limit commercialization of any products that we may develop.

We face an inherent risk of product liability exposure related to the testing of epetraborole and any future product candidates in human clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercially sell any drugs that we may develop. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against claims that our product candidates or products caused injuries, we will incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:

reduced resources of our management to pursue our business strategy;
decreased demand for any product candidates or products that we may develop;
injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;
withdrawal of clinical trial participants;
initiation of investigations by regulators;
product recalls, withdrawals, or labeling, marketing, or promotional restrictions;
significant costs to defend the resulting litigation;
substantial monetary awards paid to clinical trial participants or patients;
loss of revenue;
the inability to commercialize any drugs that we may develop; and
a decline in our share price.

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We currently hold $5.0 million in domestic product liability insurance coverage with a per incident limit of $5.0 million, and the required local policies for foreign clinical trials, which may not be adequate to cover all liabilities that we may incur. We may need to increase our insurance coverage as we expand our clinical trials or if we commence commercialization of any product candidates. Insurance coverage is increasingly expensive. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise, if at all. Our product liability insurance policy contains 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 current or future collaborators entitle us to indemnification against losses, such indemnification may not be available or adequate should any claim arise.

There are a variety of risks associated with marketing epetraborole or any future product candidates internationally, which could affect our business.

We may seek regulatory approval for epetraborole or other future 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 and reimbursement landscapes in foreign countries;
the potential for so-called parallel importing, which is what happens when a local seller, faced with high or higher local prices, opts to import goods from a foreign market with low or lower prices rather than buying them locally;
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 revenues, 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 U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, or the FCPA, 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 our international operations may compromise our ability to achieve or maintain profitability.

Risks Related to Our Business, Industry, and Managing Our Growth

We operate with a small team and our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain, and motivate qualified personnel.

As of December 31, 2022, we had 32 employees and one part-time employee. We are highly dependent on the management, research and development, clinical, financial, and business development expertise of Eric Easom, our co-founder, president, and chief executive officer, Paul Eckburg, M.D., our chief medical officer, Sanjay Chanda, Ph.D., our chief development officer, Lucy Day, our chief financial officer, Josh Eizen, J.D., our chief legal officer, Kevin Krause, our chief strategy officer, and Michael R.K. (Dickon) Alley, Ph.D., our co-founder and head of biology, as well as the other members of our research, development, and business teams. Each may terminate employment with us at any time. We do not maintain “key person” insurance for any of our executives or employees.

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Our limited personnel and resources may result in greater workloads for our employees compared to those at companies with which we compete for personnel, which may lead to higher levels of employee dissatisfaction and turnover. Recruiting and retaining qualified research, development, and business personnel and, if we progress the development of epetraborole or any future product candidates, commercialization, manufacturing, and sales and marketing personnel, will be critical to our success. The loss of the services of our executive officers or other key employees could impede the achievement of our research, development and commercialization objectives and seriously harm our ability to successfully implement our business strategy. Furthermore, replacing executive officers and key employees may be difficult and may take an extended period of time because of the limited number of individuals in our industry with the breadth of skills and experience required to successfully develop, gain regulatory approval of and commercialize our product candidates. Competition to hire from this limited pool is intense, and we may be unable to hire, train, retain, or motivate these key personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for similar personnel. We also experience competition for the hiring of research and development personnel from universities and research institutions. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors, including scientific and clinical advisors, to assist us in formulating our research and development and commercialization strategy. Our consultants and advisors may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high-quality personnel, our ability to pursue our growth strategy will be limited.

Our business could be adversely affected by the effects of health epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Our business could be adversely affected by health epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic and influenza, in regions where we or third parties on which we rely have manufacturing facilities, concentrations of potential clinical trial sites or other business operations. For example, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of California, where our operations are located, has from time to time issued orders limiting activities to varying levels, including at the most restrictive level, an order for all residents to remain at home, except for the performance of essential activities, which include biomedical research. We have implemented policies that enable our employees to work remotely, and such policies may continue for an indefinite period. In accordance with state and local mandates, from time to time, we have also implemented various safety protocols for all on-site personnel, including the requirements to wear masks, suspend all non-essential travel for our employees and maintain social distance. We continue to evaluate our protocols and practices as the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. There can be no assurance that we will be able to avoid part or all of any impact from the spread of COVID-19 or its consequences.

In addition, our current preclinical and nonclinical studies and current and future clinical trial plans may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or other epidemic. Site initiation and patient enrollment may be delayed due to potential and ongoing patients being exposed to COVID-19, staff shortages and prioritization of hospital resources toward the COVID-19 pandemic or other epidemic, which may delay enrollment in our current and future global clinical trials, and some patients may not be able to comply with clinical trial protocols if quarantines impede patient movement or interrupt healthcare services. Further, some of our suppliers may experience disruption to their respective supply chain due to the effects of health epidemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which could delay, prevent, or impair our development or commercialization efforts.

The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or a similar health epidemic is highly uncertain and subject to change. Several measures are currently being implemented by the United States and other governments to address the current COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts. At this time, it is impossible to predict the impact of these measures and whether or not they will have unforeseen negative consequences for our business. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our planned preclinical studies or clinical trials, healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole; nor do we know when and how such regulations may be eased. The foregoing and other continued disruptions to our business as a result of COVID-19 could result in an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic could heighten the risks in certain of the other risk factors described herein.

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Macroeconomic uncertainties and the COVID-19 pandemic have in the past and may continue to adversely impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

There is currently an uncertain and inflationary economic environment in the United States, partially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to contain it and manage its impacts, which have created significant macroeconomic disruption and volatility. The global economy, including credit and financial markets, has experienced extreme volatility and disruptions, including, among other things, severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, supply chain shortages, increases in inflation rates, higher interest rates and uncertainty about economic stability. For example, the Federal Reserve recently raised interest rates multiple times in response to concerns about inflation and it may raise them again. Higher interest rates, coupled with reduced government spending and volatility in financial markets may increase economic uncertainty and affect consumer spending. For example, the Company has a banking relationship with Silicon Valley Bank ("SVB"). On March 10, 2023, SVB was closed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as receiver. On March 12, 2023, the Federal Reserve Board approved actions enabling the FDIC to complete its resolution of SVB in a manner that fully protects all depositors. Based on the foregoing and the Company’s analysis of the components of its relationship with SVB, the Company does not expect these events to have a material impact on the Company’s financial statements. Similarly, the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has created extreme volatility in the global capital markets and is expected to have further global economic consequences, including disruptions of the global supply chain and energy markets. Any such volatility and disruptions may adversely affect our business or the third parties on whom we rely. If the equity and credit markets deteriorate, including as a result of political unrest or war, it may make any necessary debt or equity financing more difficult to obtain in a timely manner or on favorable terms, more costly or more dilutive. Increased inflation rates can adversely affect us by increasing our costs, including labor and employee benefit costs. To the extent that macroeconomic uncertainties and the COVID-19 pandemic continue to harm our business, results of operations and financial condition, many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section will be exacerbated.

Our cash and cash equivalents may be exposed to failure of our banking institutions.

While we seek to minimize our exposure to third-party losses of our cash and cash equivalents, we hold our balances in a number of large financial institutions. Notwithstanding, those institutions are subject to risk of failure. For example, on March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”) was unable to continue their operations and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was appointed as receiver for SVB and created the National Bank of Santa Clara to hold the deposits of SVB after SVB was unable to continue their operations. As of March 29, 2023, we did not hold material cash and cash equivalents with SVB. Majority of our cash and cash equivalents are held with other large financial institutions, and we do not expect further developments with SVB to have a material impact on our cash and cash equivalents balance, expected results of operations, or financial performance for the foreseeable future. However, if further failures in financial institutions occur where we hold deposits, we could experience additional risk. Any such loss or limitation on our cash and cash equivalents would adversely affect our business.

We have identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. If we are unable to remediate these material weaknesses, or if we identify additional material weaknesses in the future or otherwise fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations, which may adversely affect our business.

Prior to the completion of the IPO, we had been a private company with limited accounting personnel to adequately execute our accounting processes and other supervisory resources with which to address our internal control over financial reporting. In connection with the preparation of our financial statements, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weaknesses are as follows:

We did not design and maintain an effective control environment commensurate with our financial reporting requirements. Specifically, we lacked a sufficient complement of resources with (i) an appropriate level of accounting knowledge, experience and training to appropriately analyze, record and disclose accounting matters timely and accurately, and (ii) an appropriate level of knowledge and experience to establish effective processes and controls. Additionally, the lack of a sufficient number of professionals resulted in an inability to consistently establish appropriate authorities and responsibilities in pursuit of our financial reporting objectives, as demonstrated by, among other things, insufficient segregation of duties in our finance and accounting functions. This material weakness contributed to the following additional material weaknesses.

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We did not design and maintain effective controls related to the period-end financial reporting process, including designing and maintaining formal accounting policies, procedures and controls to achieve complete, accurate and timely financial accounting, reporting and disclosures. Additionally, we did not design and maintain controls over the preparation and review of account reconciliations and journal entries, including maintaining appropriate segregation of duties.
We did not design and maintain effective controls related to the accounting for certain non-routine or complex transactions, including the proper application of U.S. GAAP to such transactions.

The above material weaknesses resulted in adjustments to the redeemable convertible preferred stock, tranche liability and accrued expenses balances, which were recorded prior to the issuance of the financial statements, as of and for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2021. Additionally, these material weaknesses could result in a misstatement of substantially all of our accounts or disclosures that would result in a material misstatement to the annual or interim financial statements that would not be prevented or detected.

We did not design and maintain effective controls over information technology, or IT, general controls for information systems that are relevant to the preparation of our financial statements. Specifically, we did not design and maintain (i) program change management controls to ensure that information technology program and data changes affecting financial IT applications and underlying accounting records are identified, tested, authorized and implemented appropriately, (ii) user access controls to ensure appropriate segregation of duties and that adequately restrict user and privileged access to financial applications, programs, and data to appropriate Company personnel, (iii) computer operations controls to ensure that critical batch jobs are monitored and data backups are authorized and monitored, and (iv) testing and approval controls for program development to ensure that new software development is aligned with business and IT requirements.

These IT deficiencies did not result in adjustments to the financial statements. However, the IT deficiencies, when aggregated, could impact maintaining effective segregation of duties, as well as the effectiveness of IT-dependent controls (such as automated controls that address the risk of material misstatement to one or more assertions, along with the IT controls and underlying data that support the effectiveness of system-generated data and reports) that could result in misstatements potentially impacting all financial statement accounts and disclosures that would not be prevented or detected. Accordingly, management has determined the IT deficiencies in the aggregate constitute a material weakness.

To address our material weaknesses, we are implementing measures designed to improve our internal control over financial reporting and remediate the control deficiencies that led to the material weaknesses. These measures include (i) the ongoing hiring of additional accounting personnel; (ii) the design and implementation of our financial control environment, including the establishment of formal accounting policies and procedures, financial reporting controls and controls to account for and disclose complex transactions; and (iii) implementation of an upgraded accounting system with IT controls to insure appropriate and restricted access to our accounting applications, programs, and data.

We are working to remediate the material weaknesses as efficiently and effectively as possible and expect full remediation could potentially go beyond December 31, 2023. We cannot assure you that there will not be future material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting in the future. Any failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. If we fail to remediate our identified material weaknesses, or identify additional material weaknesses, in our internal control over financial reporting investors may lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.

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We expect to expand our research, development, and business capabilities and potentially implement sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities, and as a result, we may encounter difficulties in managing our growth, which could disrupt our operations.

As the clinical development of epetraborole and any of our future product candidates progresses, we also expect to experience significant growth in the number of our employees and the scope of our operations, particularly in the areas of research, drug development, regulatory affairs and, if epetraborole or any future product candidate receives marketing approval, sales, marketing, and distribution. To manage our anticipated future growth, we must continue to implement and improve our managerial, operational, and financial systems, expand our facilities, and continue to recruit and train additional qualified personnel. Due to our limited financial resources and the limited experience of our management team in managing a company with such anticipated growth, we may not be able to effectively manage the expansion of our operations or recruit and train additional qualified personnel. The expansion of our operations may lead to significant costs and may divert our management and research and development resources. Any inability to manage growth could delay the execution of our business plans or disrupt our operations.

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

From time to time, we may evaluate various acquisitions and strategic collaborations, including licensing or acquiring complementary drug products, intellectual property rights, technologies, or businesses, as deemed appropriate to carry out our business plan. Any potential acquisition or strategic collaboration may entail numerous risks, including:

increased operating expenses and cash requirements;
the assumption of additional indebtedness or contingent liabilities;
assimilation of operations, intellectual property, and drug products of an acquired company, including difficulties associated with integrating new personnel;
the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing drug development programs and initiatives in pursuing such a strategic partnership, merger, or acquisition;
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 drugs or drug candidates and regulatory approvals; and
our inability to generate revenue from acquired technology and/or drugs sufficient to meet our objectives in undertaking the acquisition or even to offset the associated acquisition and maintenance costs.

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Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent and other intellectual property protection for our technology, or for epetraborole or our future product candidates, or if the scope of the patent and other intellectual property protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize technology and drugs similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize our technology and product candidates may be impaired.

We do not own any issued patents and we in-license patents and patent applications for epetraborole, our lead drug compound, and our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection in the United States and other countries with respect to epetraborole and any of our future product candidates. We seek to protect our proprietary position by in-licensing intellectual property relating to our product candidates including patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our technology and product candidates that are important to our business. If we or our licensors do not adequately protect the intellectual property we in-license or own, competitors may be able to use our technologies and erode or negate any competitive advantage that we may have, which could harm our business and ability to achieve profitability. To protect our proprietary positions, we and our licensors file patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our novel technologies and product candidates that are important to our business. The patent application and prosecution process is expensive and time-consuming. We and our current licensors and licensees, or any future licensors and licensees, may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. We or our current licensors and licensees, or any future licensors or licensees may also fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development before it is too late to obtain patent protection, or fail to continue to prosecute patents relating to our product candidates. Therefore, these and any of our in-licensed patents and patent applications may not be prosecuted and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. It is possible that defects of form in the preparation or filing of our licensors’ patents or our patent applications may exist, or may arise in the future, such as with respect to proper priority claims, inventorship, claim scope, or patent term adjustments. If our current licensors and licensees, or any future licensors or licensees, 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 and we might not be able to prevent third parties from making, using, and selling competing products. We cannot predict whether the patent applications we and our licensors or licensees are currently pursuing will issue as patents in any particular jurisdiction or whether the claims of any issued patents will provide sufficient protection from competitors. If there are material defects in the form or preparation of our or our licensors’ patents or patent applications, such patents or applications may be invalid and unenforceable. Moreover, our competitors may independently develop equivalent knowledge, methods, and know-how, and we may not be able to prevent such competitors from commercializing such equivalent knowledge, methods, and know-how. Any of these outcomes could impair our ability to prevent competition from third parties and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or prospects. The patent position of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies generally is highly uncertain and has been the subject of much litigation in recent years. Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our patents or narrow the scope of our patent protection. In addition, the laws of foreign countries may not protect our rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. No consistent policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents has emerged to date in the United States or in many foreign jurisdictions. In addition, the determination of patent rights with respect to pharmaceutical compounds and technologies commonly involves complex legal and factual questions, which has in recent years been the subject of much litigation. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability, and commercial value of our patent rights are highly uncertain. Furthermore, recent changes in patent laws in the United States, including the America Invents Act of 2011, and future changes in patent laws in or outside the United States may affect the scope, strength, and enforceability of our patent rights or the nature of proceedings that may be brought by us related to our patent rights.

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We may not be aware of all third-party intellectual property rights potentially relating to epetraborole or our future product candidates. Publications of discoveries in the scientific 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. Therefore, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to make the inventions claimed in patents or pending patent applications that we in-license or own, or that we or our licensors were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, and commercial value of our patent rights cannot be predicted with any certainty. Moreover, we or our licensors may be subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or become involved in opposition, derivation, reexamination, inter partes review, or interference proceedings, in the United States or elsewhere, challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding, or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or product candidates, and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize product candidates without infringing third-party patent rights.

Our licensors’ pending and future patent applications and our own pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued that protect our technology or product candidates, in whole or in part, or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. Even if our or our licensors’ patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection against competing products or processes sufficient to achieve our business objectives, prevent competitors from competing with us or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage. Our competitors may be able to circumvent our in-licensed patents or any patents we may own in the future by developing similar or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner. Our competitors may seek to market generic versions of any approved products by submitting abbreviated NDAs to the FDA in which they claim that patents licensed by us or may be owned by us in the future are invalid, unenforceable, and/or not infringed. Alternatively, our competitors may seek approval to market their own products similar to or otherwise competitive with our product candidates. In these circumstances, we may need to defend and/or assert our in-licensed or owned patents, including by filing lawsuits alleging patent infringement. In any of these types of proceedings, a court, or other agency with jurisdiction may find our in-licensed patents or any owned patents, should such patents issue in the future, invalid and/or unenforceable.

The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, scope, validity, or enforceability, and our in-licensed patents or patents we may own in the future may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. Such challenges may result in loss of exclusivity or freedom to operate or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, in whole or in part, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and product candidates, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and product candidates. In addition, 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. Any impairment of our intellectual property rights, or our failure to protect our intellectual property rights adequately, could give third parties access to our technology and product candidates and could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Our rights to develop and commercialize our technology, epetraborole, and our other future product candidates are subject, in large part, to the terms and conditions of licenses granted to us by others, such as Anacor. If we fail to comply with our obligations in the agreements under which we in-license or acquire development or commercialization rights to products, technology, or data from third parties, we could lose such rights that are important to our business.

We are heavily reliant upon licenses to certain patent rights and other intellectual property that are important or necessary to the development of epetraborole or our future product candidates. For example, we depend on a license agreement from Anacor, a biopharmaceutical company that originally developed epetraborole and is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer. Additionally, we have licensed our rights under the Anacor agreement in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau to Brii Biosciences.

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Anacor has relied upon, and any future licensors may have relied upon, third-party companies, consultants or collaborators, or on funds from third parties such that our licensors are not the sole and exclusive owners of the patents we in-licensed. We have sublicensed certain patents from Anacor that are owned, maintained and prosecuted by GSK. If third-party companies such as GSK fail to prosecute, maintain, enforce, and defend such patents, or lose rights to those patents, the rights we have licensed may be reduced or eliminated, and our right to develop and commercialize epetraborole or our other future product candidates that are the subject of such licensed rights could be adversely affected. Further, we rely upon Anacor’s compliance with its license agreement with GSK to maintain our sublicense to such patents owned by GSK, and any termination of Anacor’s license agreement with GSK could result in us losing our license to epetraborole. Further development and commercialization of epetraborole, and development of any future product candidates may, require us to enter into additional license or collaboration agreements. For example, our licensors or other third parties may develop intellectual property covering epetraborole which we have not licensed. Our future licenses may not provide us with exclusive rights to use the licensed patent rights and other intellectual property, or may not provide us with exclusive rights to use such patent rights and intellectual property in all relevant fields of use and in all territories in which we wish to develop or commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates in the future.

Our license agreement with Anacor, and other intellectual property-related agreements we may enter into in the future may impose diligence and other obligations, including payment of milestones and royalties. For example, our license agreement from Anacor requires us to satisfy diligence requirements, including using commercially reasonable efforts to develop and commercialize products. If we fail to comply with our obligations to Anacor or any future licensors, those counterparties may have the right to terminate the license agreements, in which event we might not be able to develop, manufacture, or market any product candidate licensed under the agreements, which could materially adversely affect the value of the product candidate being developed under any such agreement and further involve termination of our rights to important intellectual property or technology.

In spite of our efforts, Anacor or any future licensors might conclude that we are in material breach of obligations under our license agreements and may therefore have the right to terminate the license agreements, thereby removing our ability to develop and commercialize product candidates and technology covered by such license agreements. If such in-licenses are terminated, or if the underlying patents fail to provide the intended exclusivity, our competitors would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products identical to our product candidates and the licensors to such in-licenses could prevent us from commercializing product candidates that rely upon the patents or other intellectual property rights which were the subject matter of such terminated agreements. In addition, we may seek to obtain additional licenses from our licensors and, in connection with obtaining such licenses, we may agree to amend our existing licenses in a manner that may be more favorable to the licensors, including by agreeing to terms that could enable third parties (potentially including our competitors) to receive licenses to a portion of the intellectual property that is subject to our existing licenses. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Under our license agreement with Anacor, and any future license agreements, disputes may arise regarding intellectual property subject to a licensing agreement, including:

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;
the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;
the sublicensing of patent and other rights under our collaborative development relationships;
our diligence obligations under the license agreement and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations;
the inventorship and ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners; and
the priority of invention of patented technology.

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In addition, the license agreements involving intellectual property or technology from third parties 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. Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on commercially 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 condition, results of operations, and prospects.

We may not be successful in obtaining necessary rights to any product candidates we may develop through acquisitions and in-licenses.

We currently have rights to intellectual property, through licenses from third parties, to identify and develop product candidates. We may find it necessary or prudent to obtain licenses from such third-party intellectual property holders in order to avoid infringing these third-party patents. For example, many pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and academic institutions compete with us and may be filing patent applications potentially relevant to our business. The licensing or acquisition of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and several more established companies may pursue strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive or necessary. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, capital resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to 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. If we are unable to successfully obtain rights to required third-party intellectual property rights or maintain the existing intellectual property rights we have, we may have to abandon development of the relevant program or product candidate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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

Competitors or other third parties may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate our in-licensed issued patents or other intellectual property we may own. To counter such infringement, misappropriation, or other unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming and divert the time and attention of our management and scientific personnel. Any claims we assert against third parties could provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us alleging that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. In addition, our in-licensed patents may become involved in inventorship or priority disputes. Third parties may raise challenges to the validity of certain of our in-licensed patent claims and may in the future raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. For example, we may be subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art to the USPTO, or become involved in derivation, revocation, reexamination, post-grant review, or PGR, inter partes review, or IPR, interference proceedings, and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions, such as opposition proceedings challenging any patents that we may own or in-license. Such submissions may also be made prior to a patent’s issuance, precluding the granting of a patent based on one of our owned or licensed pending patent applications. A third party may also claim that our potential future owned patents or licensed patent rights are invalid or unenforceable in a litigation. 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, invalidate, or render unenforceable, our potential future owned patents or licensed patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize epetraborole or our other future product candidates 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 In a patent infringement proceeding, there is a risk that a court will decide that a patent we in-license is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, and that we do not have the right to stop the other party from using the invention at issue. There is also a risk that, even if the validity of such patents are upheld, the court will construe the patent’s claims narrowly or decide that we do not have the right to stop the other party from using the invention at issue on the grounds that our in-licensed patents do not cover the invention. An adverse outcome in a litigation or proceeding involving our in-licensed patents could limit our ability to assert our in-licensed patents against those parties or other competitors and may curtail or preclude our ability to exclude third parties from making and selling similar or competitive products. Similarly, in the future, we expect to rely on trademarks to distinguish epetraborole and any of our other future product candidates that are approved for marketing, and if we assert trademark infringement claims, a court may determine that the marks we have asserted are invalid or unenforceable, or that the party against whom we have asserted trademark infringement has superior rights to the marks in question. In this case, we could ultimately be forced to cease use of such trademarks.

In any infringement litigation, any award of monetary damages we receive may not be commercially valuable. 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 litigation. 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. Moreover, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately file and pursue such infringement claims, which typically last for years before they are concluded. Some of our competitors and other third parties may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Even if we ultimately prevail in such claims, the monetary cost of such litigation and the diversion of the attention of our management and scientific personnel could outweigh any benefit we receive as a result of the proceedings. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing, misappropriating, or successfully challenging our intellectual property rights. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a negative impact on our ability to compete in the marketplace, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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Competitors or other third parties may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate our in-licensed issued patents or other intellectual property we may own. To counter such infringement, misappropriation, or other unauthorized use, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming and divert the time and attention of our management and scientific personnel. Any claims we assert against third parties could provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us alleging that we infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property. In addition, our in-licensed patents may become involved in inventorship or priority disputes. Third parties may raise challenges to the validity of certain of our in-licensed patent claims and may in the future raise similar claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. For example, we may be subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art to the USPTO, or become involved in derivation, revocation, reexamination, post-grant review, or PGR, inter partes review, or IPR, interference proceedings, and equivalent proceedings in foreign jurisdictions, such as opposition proceedings challenging any patents that we may own or in-license. Such submissions may also be made prior to a patent’s issuance, precluding the granting of a patent based on one of our owned or licensed pending patent applications. A third party may also claim that our potential future owned patents or licensed patent rights are invalid or unenforceable in a litigation. 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, invalidate, or render unenforceable, our potential future owned patents or licensed patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize epetraborole or our other future product candidates 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 In a patent infringement proceeding, there is a risk that a court will decide that a patent we in-license is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, and that we do not have the right to stop the other party from using the invention at issue. There is also a risk that, even if the validity of such patents are upheld, the court will construe the patent’s claims narrowly or decide that we do not have the right to stop the other party from using the invention at issue on the grounds that our in-licensed patents do not cover the invention. An adverse outcome in a litigation or proceeding involving our in-licensed patents could limit our ability to assert our in-licensed patents against those parties or other competitors and may curtail or preclude our ability to exclude third parties from making and selling similar or competitive products. Similarly, in the future, we expect to rely on trademarks to distinguish epetraborole and any of our other future product candidates that are approved for marketing, and if we assert trademark infringement claims, a court may determine that the marks we have asserted are invalid or unenforceable, or that the party against whom we have asserted trademark infringement has superior rights to the marks in question. In this case, we could ultimately be forced to cease use of such trademarks.

In any infringement litigation, any award of monetary damages we receive may not be commercially valuable. 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 litigation. 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. Moreover, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient financial or other resources to adequately file and pursue such infringement claims, which typically last for years before they are concluded. Some of our competitors and other third parties may be able to sustain the costs of such litigation or proceedings more effectively than we can because of their greater financial resources and more mature and developed intellectual property portfolios. Even if we ultimately prevail in such claims, the monetary cost of such litigation and the diversion of the attention of our management and scientific personnel could outweigh any benefit we receive as a result of the proceedings. Accordingly, despite our efforts, we may not be able to prevent third parties from infringing, misappropriating, or successfully challenging our intellectual property rights. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could have a negative impact on our ability to compete in the marketplace, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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 significantly harm our business.

Our commercial success depends, in part, on our ability to develop, manufacture, market, and sell epetraborole or other future product candidates and use our proprietary chemistry technology without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property of third parties. Numerous third-party U.S. and non-U.S. issued patents exist in the area of antibacterial treatment, including compounds, formulations, treatment methods, and synthetic processes that may be applied towards the synthesis of antibiotics. If any such patents of third parties cover our product candidates or technologies, we may not be free to manufacture or market our product candidates as planned.

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There is a substantial amount of intellectual property litigation in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and we may become party to, or threatened with, litigation, or other adversarial proceedings regarding intellectual property rights with respect to our technology or product candidates, including interference proceedings before the USPTO. Third parties may assert claims against us based on existing or future intellectual property rights. The outcome of intellectual property litigation is subject to uncertainties that cannot be adequately quantified in advance.

If we are found to have infringed, misappropriated, or otherwise violated any third party’s intellectual property rights, we could be forced, including by court order, to cease developing, manufacturing, or commercializing epetraborole or other future product candidates. Alternatively, we may be required to obtain a license from such third party in order to use technology and continue developing, manufacturing, or marketing product candidates that infringe or violate such third party’s intellectual property. However, we may not be able to obtain any such required license on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, it could be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us. We may also be required to pay substantial ongoing royalty or license payments, fees, or comply with other unfavorable terms. In addition, we could be found liable for monetary damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to have willfully infringed a patent or other intellectual property right. A finding of infringement could prevent us from commercializing epetraborole or other future product candidates or force us to cease some of our business operations. Claims that we have misappropriated the confidential information or trade secrets of third parties could have a similar negative effect on our business. Even if we were to prevail in such a dispute, any litigation regarding our intellectual property could be costly and time-consuming and divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations. 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. During the course of litigation, there could be public announcements or 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. Negative publicity related to a decision by us to initiate such enforcement actions against a customer or former customer, regardless of its accuracy, may adversely impact our other customer relationships or prospective customer relationships, harm our brand and business and could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. Any of the foregoing arising from uncertainty in legal proceedings could materially and adversely impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

We may be subject to claims by third parties asserting that we or our employees, consultants, and advisors have misappropriated their intellectual property or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.

Many of our employees, consultants, and advisors were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although we try to ensure that our employees, consultants, and advisors do not use the proprietary information or know-how of third parties in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that we or such employees, consultants, and advisors have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such individual’s former employer. We may also in the future be subject to claims that we have caused an employee to breach the terms of his or her non-competition or non-solicitation agreement. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these potential claims.

In addition, while it is our policy to require our employees and contractors who may be involved in the development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, such employees and contractors may breach the agreement and claim the developed intellectual property as their own. Further, we may be unsuccessful in executing such agreements 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 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.

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If we fail in prosecuting or defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. A court could prohibit us from using technologies or features that are essential to epetraborole or other future product candidates if such technologies or features are found to incorporate or be derived from the trade secrets or other proprietary information of the former employers. Even if we are successful in prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and could be a distraction to management. In addition, any litigation or threat thereof may adversely affect our ability to hire employees or contract with independent service providers. Moreover, a loss of key personnel or their work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize our product candidates. Any of the foregoing could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Any trademarks we may obtain may be infringed or successfully challenged, resulting in harm to our business.

We expect to rely on trademarks as one means to distinguish any of our product candidates that are approved for marketing from the products of our competitors. We have not yet selected trademarks for our product candidates and have not yet begun the process of applying to register trademarks for our product candidates. Once we select trademarks and apply to register them, our trademark applications may not be approved. Third parties who have prior rights to our trademarks or third parties who have prior rights to similar trademarks may oppose our trademark applications, or otherwise challenge our use of the trademarks. In the event that our trademarks are successfully challenged, we could be forced to rebrand our product candidates, which could result in loss of brand recognition and could require us to devote resources to advertising and marketing new brands. At times, competitors may adopt trade names or trademarks similar to ours, thereby diluting or impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to market confusion. Our competitors may infringe our trademarks and we may not have adequate resources to enforce our trademarks and may not be able to prevent such third parties from using and marketing any such trademarks.

In addition, any proprietary name we propose to use with epetraborole or any future product candidate in the United States must be approved by the FDA, regardless of whether we have registered it, or applied to register it, as a trademark. The FDA typically conducts a review of proposed product names, including an evaluation of the potential for confusion with other product names. If the FDA objects to any of our proposed proprietary product names, we may be required to expend significant additional resources in an effort to identify a suitable proprietary product name that would qualify under applicable trademark laws, not infringe the existing rights of third parties and be acceptable to the FDA. If we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information, know-how, and trade secrets, the value of epetraborole or other future product candidates could be adversely affected and our business and competitive position would be harmed.

In addition to seeking patent protection for epetraborole or other future product candidates, we also rely on trade secrets, including unpatented know-how, technology, and other proprietary information, to maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect our trade secrets, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to them, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors, and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. However, these agreements may be inadequate to protect our proprietary and intellectual property rights. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets. In addition, we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for any such breaches. Although we use reasonable efforts to protect this proprietary information and technology, we also cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or have had access to our confidential information, know-how, trade secrets, or other proprietary information or each individual who has developed intellectual property on our behalf. Monitoring unauthorized uses and disclosures of our intellectual property is difficult, and we do not know whether the steps we have taken to protect our intellectual property will be effective. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive, distracting to management, and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable and varied depending on the jurisdiction. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States, in countries in which we operate or intend to operate, are less willing, or unwilling, to protect trade secrets, know-how, and other proprietary information. Any claims or litigation could cause us to incur significant expenses. Some third parties may be able to sustain the costs of complex litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources.

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Our employees, consultants, and other parties may unintentionally or willfully disclose our information or technology to competitors and there can be no assurance that the legal protections and precaution taken by us will be adequate to prevent misappropriation of our technology or that competitors will not independently develop technologies equivalent or superior to ours. Trade secrets and know-how can be difficult to protect. Our competitors or other third parties may independently develop knowledge, methods and know-how equivalent to our trade secrets. Additionally, competitors could purchase our product candidates and replicate some or all of the competitive advantages we derive from our development efforts for technologies on which we do not have patent protection. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent them, or those to whom they communicate, from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor, our competitive position would be harmed, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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

Given the amount of time required for the development, testing, and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents we license or may own in the future protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our intellectual property may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to our product candidates. Depending upon the timing, duration, and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of any of our product candidates, one or more of our in-licensed U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Action of 1984, or Hatch-Waxman Amendments. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent extension term 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 term of any such extension is less than we request, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following our patent expiration, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment, and other requirements imposed by government patent agencies, and our 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 patents and applications will be due to be paid to the USPTO and various government patent agencies outside of the United States over the lifetime of our owned or in-licensed patents and applications. In certain circumstances, we rely on our licensing partners to pay these fees due to U.S. and non-U.S. patent agencies. The USPTO and various non-U.S. government agencies require compliance with several procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other similar provisions during the patent application process. We are also dependent on our licensors to take the necessary action to comply with these requirements with respect to our licensed intellectual property. In some cases, an inadvertent lapse can be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules. There are situations, however, in which non-compliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in a partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, potential competitors might be able to enter the market with similar or identical products or technology, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

Filing, prosecuting, and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States could be less extensive than those in the United States. In some cases, we or our licensors may not be able to obtain patent protection for certain licensed technology outside 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, even in jurisdictions where we or our licensors do pursue patent protection. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our in-licensed inventions in all countries outside the United States, even in jurisdictions where our licensors do pursue patent protection 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 or our licensors have not pursued and obtained patent protection to develop their own products and, further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with epetraborole, our future product candidates, and our preclinical programs. Our in-licensed patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.

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 biotechnology products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our in-licensed patents, if pursued and obtained, or the marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our in-licensed patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our in-licensed 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 or any of our licensors are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents relevant to our business, our competitive position may be impaired, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected.

Risks Related to Regulatory Approval of Epetraborole and Our Future Product Candidates and Other Legal Compliance Matters

If we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals, we will not be able to commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

Epetraborole and our future product candidates and the activities associated with their development and commercialization, including their design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, record-keeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution, are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the United States and by comparable foreign regulatory authorities, with regulations differing from country to country. Failure to obtain marketing approval for a product candidate will prevent us from commercializing the product candidate. We currently do not have any products approved for sale in any jurisdiction. We as a company only have limited experience in filing and supporting the applications necessary to gain marketing approvals and may rely on third-party contract research organizations to assist us in this process.

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The time required to obtain approval, if any, by the FDA and comparable foreign authorities is unpredictable but typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and depends upon numerous factors, including the substantial discretion of the regulatory authorities, government budget, and funding levels and statutory, regulatory, and policy changes. Average review times at the FDA have fluctuated in recent years, and disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may slow the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved. For example, over the last several years, including for 35 days beginning on December 22, 2018, the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, including the FDA, have had to furlough nonessential employees and stop routine activities. Events like this could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions.

Approval policies, regulations, or the type and amount of clinical data necessary to gain approval may change during the course of a product candidate’s clinical development. For instance, recent changes to leadership, enhanced focus on countermeasures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reorganization and rededication of critical resources, at the FDA and within similar governmental health authorities across the world, may impact the ability of new products and services from being developed or commercialized in a timely manner. Regulations and requirements vary among jurisdictions, including in Japan and Europe. For instance, we met with the PMDA and gained alignment on the use of a microbiological primary endpoint to support registration in Japan. We are planning to include Japanese patients in the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial and expect that the data from the ongoing pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical trial of oral epetraborole for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease, if positive, will serve as the basis for the application for marketing approval in Japan. We have not obtained regulatory approval for any product candidate, and it is possible that epetraborole and any product candidates we may seek to develop in the future will never obtain regulatory approval. We are not permitted to market any product candidate in the United States until we receive regulatory approval of an NDA from the FDA.

In order to obtain approval to commercialize a product candidate in the United States or abroad, we or our collaborators must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or foreign regulatory agencies, that such product candidates are safe and effective for their intended uses. Results from nonclinical studies and clinical trials can be interpreted in different ways. Even if we believe that the nonclinical or clinical data for a product candidate is promising, such data may not be sufficient to support approval by the FDA and other regulatory authorities. The FDA may also require us to conduct additional nonclinical studies or clinical trials for product candidates either prior to or post-approval, and it may otherwise object to elements of our clinical development program.

We have not submitted a marketing application for epetraborole or any other product candidates in any country or region. Any marketing application must include extensive preclinical, nonclinical, and clinical data and supporting information to establish the product candidate’s safety and efficacy for each desired indication. The marketing application(s) must also include significant information regarding the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls for the product candidate. Obtaining marketing authorization is a lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process. The FDA, EMA, PMDA, TGA, and other comparable regulatory authorities have substantial discretion in the review and approval process and may refuse to accept for filing any application or may decide that our data are insufficient for approval and require additional nonclinical, clinical, or other studies. Foreign regulatory authorities have differing requirements for approval of drugs with which we must comply prior to marketing. There can be no assurance that any foreign regulatory authorities will accept FDA approval as sufficient to support approval in that country. Obtaining marketing approval for marketing of a product candidate in one country does not ensure that we will be able to obtain marketing approval in other countries, but the failure to obtain marketing approval in one jurisdiction could negatively affect our ability to obtain marketing approval in other jurisdictions. The FDA or any foreign regulatory bodies can delay, limit or deny approval of epetraborole or other future product candidates or require us to conduct additional nonclinical or clinical testing or abandon a program for many reasons, including:

disagreement with the design or implementation of our clinical trials;
negative or ambiguous results from our clinical trials or results that may not meet the level of statistical significance required by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory agencies for approval (for example, otherwise positive epetraborole results may be called into question if patient reported outcomes introduce ambiguity due to factors such as co-morbidities and other underlying patient issues);
serious and unexpected drug-related side effects experienced by participants in our clinical trials or by individuals using drugs similar to our product candidates;
our inability to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory body that our product candidates are safe and effective for the proposed indication;
disagreement with the interpretation of data from nonclinical studies or clinical trials;

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our inability to demonstrate the clinical and other benefits of our product candidates outweigh any safety or other perceived risks;
requirements for additional nonclinical studies or clinical trials;
disagreement regarding the formulation, labeling, and/or the specifications we propose for our product candidates; or
changes in a policies, requirements, or regulations rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

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

Even if we eventually receive approval of an NDA or foreign marketing application for our product candidates, the FDA, or the applicable foreign regulatory agency may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly additional clinical trials, often referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, and the FDA may require the implementation of a REMS, which may be required to ensure safe use of the drug after approval. The FDA or the applicable foreign regulatory agency also may approve a product candidate for a more limited indication or patient population than we originally requested, and the FDA or applicable foreign regulatory agency may not approve the labeling that we believe is necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of a product candidate. Any delay in obtaining, or inability to obtain, applicable regulatory approval would delay or prevent commercialization of that product candidate and would materially adversely impact our business and prospects.

Future legislation, and/or regulations and policies adopted by the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, the TGA, or comparable regulatory authorities, may increase the time and cost required for us to conduct and complete clinical trials of epetraborole or other future product candidates.

The FDA has established regulations to govern the drug development and approval process, as have foreign regulatory authorities. The policies of the FDA and other regulatory authorities may change and additional laws may be enacted or government regulations may be promulgated that could prevent, limit, delay, or alternatively accelerate regulatory review of epetraborole or other future product candidates. Further, disruptions at the FDA and other agencies may prolong the time necessary for new drugs to be reviewed and/or approved by necessary government agencies, which would adversely affect our business. For example, over the last several years, the U.S. government has shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, have had to furlough critical 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.

We have received orphan drug designation for epetraborole in the United States and in Europe, and we may seek orphan drug designation for epetraborole in other regions or indications, or for our future product candidates. We may not be able to obtain or maintain orphan drug designations for any product candidates, and we may be unable to take advantage of the benefits associated with orphan drug designation, including the potential for market exclusivity.

Regulatory authorities in some jurisdictions, including the United States, may designate drugs for relatively small patient populations as orphan drugs. Under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, the FDA may designate a product as an orphan product if it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally defined as a diagnosed patient population of fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States, or a patient population of greater than 200,000 individuals in the United States, but for which there is no reasonable expectation that the cost of developing the drug will be recovered from sales in the United States. Similar laws exist in Europe and Japan. The European Commission may grant a product orphan medicinal product designation if the product is intended for the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a life-threatening or very serious condition, with a prevalence in the European Union of not more than five in 10,000 people, and where either no satisfactory method of diagnosis, prevention or treatment of the condition in question exists, or if such method exists that the medicinal product will be of significant benefit to those affected by that condition.

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As part of our business strategy, we sought and have received orphan drug designation from the FDA and orphan medicinal product designation from the European Commission for epetraborole for the treatment of infections caused by NTM; however, we may not be able to maintain this status. There can be no assurance that the FDA or European Commission will grant orphan drug designation for epetraborole to treat any other condition for which we may apply. We may also seek orphan drug designation for future product candidates, and we may be unsuccessful in obtaining this designation.

In the United States, orphan designation entitles a party to financial incentives such as opportunities for grant funding towards clinical trial costs, tax advantages, and user-fee waivers. In addition, if a product candidate that has orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the disease for which it has such designation, it is entitled to orphan drug exclusivity, which means that the FDA may not approve any other applications, including an 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 where the manufacturer is unable to assure sufficient product quantity.

Pediatric exclusivity can provide an additional six months of market exclusivity in the United States. In addition, more than one product may be approved by the FDA for the same orphan indication or disease, as long as the products are different drugs. As a result, even though we have obtained orphan drug designation from the FDA for epetraborole for the treatment of infections caused by NTM, if epetraborole is approved by the FDA and receives orphan drug exclusivity, the FDA can still approve other drugs for use in treating the same indication or disease covered by epetraborole, which could create a more competitive market for us. The failure to successfully obtain orphan drug market exclusivity or pediatric drug market exclusivity would adversely affect our business.

Even if we obtain orphan drug exclusivity for a product, that exclusivity may not effectively protect the product from competition because different drugs can be approved for the same condition. Even after an orphan drug is approved, the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authority can subsequently approve the same drug for the same condition if such regulatory authority concludes that the later drug is clinically superior if it is shown to be safer, more effective, or makes a major contribution to patient care. Orphan drug designation neither shortens the development time or regulatory review time of a drug nor gives the drug any advantage in the regulatory review or approval process. While we have obtained orphan drug designation for epetraborole for the treatment of infections caused by NTM, we may not be able to maintain such designation; and while we may seek orphan drug designations for epetraborole for other indications or for any future product candidates for applicable indications, we may never receive such designations. Even though we have received orphan drug designation for epetraborole for the treatment of infections caused by NTM, and may receive further such designations in the future, there is no guarantee that we will utilize the benefits of those designations.

We have received FDA Qualified Infectious Disease Product, or QIDP, designation for epetraborole, and may seek designation of any future candidates as QIDPs. Even if we receive such designations, there is no assurance that the FDA will approve a product candidate.

A QIDP is an antibacterial or antifungal drug intended to treat serious or life-threatening infections, including those caused by an antibacterial or antifungal resistant pathogen, including novel or emerging infectious pathogens or certain “qualifying pathogens.” Upon the regulatory approval of an NDA for a drug product designated by the FDA as a QIDP, the product is granted an additional period of five years of regulatory exclusivity. Even though we have received a QIDP designation for epetraborole, or may receive such designation for any future product candidate, there is no assurance that such product candidate will be approved by the FDA.

We have received Fast Track designation from the FDA, but receipt of such designation may not actually lead to a faster development, regulatory review, or approval process, and does not assure ultimate FDA approval.

We received Fast Track designation from the FDA to investigate epetraborole for treatment-refractory MAC lung disease. We may seek breakthrough therapy designation for this indication, or Fast Track designation for future product candidates or for other indications.

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A breakthrough therapy is defined as a product that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other products, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the product may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. For products that have been designated as breakthrough therapies, interaction and communication between the FDA and the sponsor of the trial can help to identify the most efficient path for clinical development while minimizing the number of patients placed in ineffective control regimens. Products designated as breakthrough therapies by the FDA can also be eligible for 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 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 products considered for approval under conventional FDA procedures 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 products no longer meet the conditions for qualification and rescind the breakthrough designation.

If a product 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 Fast Track designation. The FDA has broad discretion whether or not to grant this designation, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for this designation, we cannot assure you that the FDA would decide to grant it. Even though we have received Fast Track designation to develop epetraborole in certain indications, or if we receive Fast Track designation for other product candidates or indications, we may not experience a faster development process, review, or approval compared to conventional FDA procedures and does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. The FDA may withdraw Fast Track designation if it believes that the designation is no longer supported by data from our clinical development program.

We may seek FDA approval using the limited-population antibacterial drug, or LPAD, pathway. We may not be able to obtain or maintain LPAD designations for epetraborole and/or any future candidates, and we may be unable to take advantage of the benefits associated with LPAD designation.

We may seek FDA approval for epetraborole using the LPAD pathway, through which the FDA may review and approve new antibacterial drugs to treat serious bacterial diseases in patients with an unmet medical need and for which effective antibacterial drugs are limited or lacking. This pathway may allow us to conduct a more streamlined development program. In accordance with the 2017 FDA Guidance for Industry Antibacterial Therapies for Patients With an Unmet Medical Need for the Treatment of Serious Bacterial Diseases, any drug approved under this pathway must be labeled with the statement “Limited Population” in a prominent manner and adjacent to the proprietary name of the drug and the INDICATIONS AND USAGE section of the label pathway should summarize the limitations of available data that supported the approval. For example, but not limited to, the label must specify the limitations of the pathogens evaluated in the clinical trial or clinical trials conducted to evaluate the approved drug or the limitations of the amount of available safety data.

If we do not receive LPAD pathway approval (for example, because the FDA determines the trial does not meet the requirement of safety and efficacy necessary for approval), longer and more costly clinical trials may be required. The FDA does not determine if the LPAD pathway is applicable until the time of the NDA submission, and this creates uncertainty as to our ability to use this pathway.

We may seek accelerated approval in the United States for our epetraborole and future candidates. If we are not able to use that pathway, we may be required to conduct additional clinical trials beyond those that are contemplated, which would increase the expense of obtaining, and delay the receipt of, necessary marketing approvals, if we receive them at all. In addition, even if an accelerated approval pathway is available to us it may not lead to expedited approval of our product candidates, or approval at all.

Under the FDCA and implementing regulations, the FDA may grant accelerated approval to a product candidate to treat a serious or life-threatening condition that provides meaningful therapeutic benefit over available therapies, upon a determination that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint or intermediate clinical endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. The FDA considers a clinical benefit to be a positive therapeutic effect that is clinically meaningful in the context of a given disease, such as irreversible morbidity or mortality. For the purposes of accelerated approval, a surrogate endpoint is a marker, such as a laboratory measurement, radiographic image, physical sign, or other measure that is thought to predict clinical benefit, but is not itself a measure of clinical benefit. An intermediate

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clinical endpoint is a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit measurement of a therapeutic effect that is considered reasonably likely to predict the clinical benefit of a drug. The accelerated approval pathway may be used in cases in which the advantage of a new drug over available therapy may not be a direct therapeutic advantage, but is a clinically important improvement from a patient and public health perspective. Prior to seeking such accelerated approval we will continue to seek feedback from the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory agencies and otherwise evaluate our, or their, ability to seek and receive such accelerated approval.

There can be no assurance that the FDA or foreign regulatory agencies will agree with our surrogate endpoints or intermediate clinical endpoints in any of our clinical trials, or that we will decide to pursue or submit any additional NDA for accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval. Similarly, there can be no assurance that, after feedback from the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory agencies, we will continue to pursue or apply for accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval. Furthermore, for any submission of an application for accelerated approval or application under another expedited regulatory designation, there can be no assurance that such submission or application will be accepted for filing or that any expedited development, review or approval will be granted on a timely basis, or at all.

In December 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, including the Food and Drug Omnibus Reform Act (“FDORA”), was signed into law. FDORA made several changes to the FDA’s authorities and its regulatory framework, including, among other changes, reforms to the accelerated approval pathway, such as requiring the FDA to specify conditions for post-approval study requirements and setting forth procedures for the FDA to withdraw a product on an expedited basis for non-compliance with post-approval requirements.

A failure to obtain accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval for our product candidates, or withdrawal of a product candidate, would result in a longer time period until commercialization of such product candidate, could increase the cost of development of such product candidate and could harm our competitive position in the marketplace.

Under accelerated or conditional approval regulations of the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, we must comply with post-approval development and regulatory requirements to maintain the approval and we fail to do so, the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could withdraw an approval for the indication that received accelerated or conditional approval, which would lead to substantially lower revenues.

For drugs approved under the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program, the FDA typically requires post-marketing confirmatory trials to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit. These confirmatory trials must be completed with due diligence. If we were to fail to perform the required post-approval studies with due diligence or on a timely basis, the FDA has the authority to withdraw approval of a drug following a hearing conducted under the FDA’s regulations, which could have a material adverse impact on our business. We cannot be certain of the results of any confirmatory clinical studies or what action the FDA may take if the results of those studies are not sufficient for full approval.

Failure to obtain marketing approval in foreign jurisdictions would prevent epetraborole or our future product candidates from being marketed in these territories. Any approval we are granted for our product candidates in the United States would not assure approval of our product candidates in foreign jurisdictions.

In order to market and sell epetraborole or our future product candidates in Japan, the European Union, United Kingdom, other areas of Asia, and any other jurisdictions, we must obtain separate marketing approvals and comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements. The approval procedure varies among countries and can involve additional testing. The time required to obtain approval may differ substantially from that required to obtain approval from the FDA. The regulatory approval process outside the United States generally includes all of the risks associated with obtaining approval from the FDA. In addition, in many countries outside the United States, it is required that the product be approved for reimbursement before the product can be approved for sale in that country. We may not obtain approvals from regulatory authorities outside the United States on a timely basis, if at all. Approval by the FDA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions, and data from clinical studies approved by the FDA may not be accepted by foreign regulatory agencies, and approval by one regulatory authority outside the United States does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions or by the FDA. However, failure to obtain approval in one jurisdiction may impact our ability to obtain approval elsewhere. We may not be able to file for marketing authorization and may not receive necessary approvals to commercialize our product candidates in any market.

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Even if we obtain marketing approvals for epetraborole or any future product candidates, the terms of approvals and ongoing regulation of such product candidates may limit how we manufacture and market the product candidates and compliance with such requirements may involve substantial resources, which could materially impair our ability to generate revenue.

Even if marketing approval of epetraborole or any future product candidates is granted, an approved product and its manufacturer and marketer are subject to ongoing review and extensive regulation, including the potential requirements to implement a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy or to conduct costly post-marketing studies or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of the product. We must also comply with requirements concerning advertising and promotion for any of our product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Promotional communications with respect to prescription drugs are subject to a variety of legal and regulatory restrictions and must be consistent with the information in the product’s approved labeling. Thus, we will not be able to promote any products we develop for indications or uses for which they are not approved. In addition, manufacturers of approved products and those manufacturers’ facilities are required to comply with extensive FDA requirements including ensuring that quality control and manufacturing procedures conform to cGMP, which include requirements relating to quality control and quality assurance as well as the corresponding maintenance of records and documentation and reporting requirements. We and our contract manufacturers could be subject to periodic unannounced inspections by the FDA to monitor and ensure compliance with cGMP.

Accordingly, assuming we receive marketing approval for one or more product candidates, we and our contract manufacturers will continue to expend time, money, and effort in all areas of regulatory compliance, including manufacturing, production, product surveillance, and quality control. If we are not able to comply with post-approval regulatory requirements, we could have the marketing approvals for our product candidates withdrawn by regulatory authorities and our ability to market any future products could be limited, which could adversely affect our ability to achieve or sustain profitability. Thus, the cost of compliance with post-approval regulations may have a negative effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval could be subject to post-marketing restrictions or recall or withdrawal from the market, and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or if we experience unanticipated problems with epetraborole or any future product candidates, when and if any of them are approved.

The FDA and other federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, or the DOJ, closely regulate compliance with all requirements governing prescription drug products, including requirements pertaining to marketing and promotion of drugs in accordance with the provisions of the approved labeling and manufacturing of products in accordance with cGMP requirements. The FDA and DOJ impose stringent restrictions on manufacturers’ communications regarding off-label use and if we do not market epetraborole or our future product candidates for their approved indications, we may be subject to enforcement action for off-label marketing. Violations of such requirements may lead to investigations alleging violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and other statutes, including the False Claims Act and other federal and state health care fraud and abuse laws as well as state consumer protection laws.

Our failure to comply with all regulatory requirements, and later discovery of previously unknown adverse events or other problems with our products, manufacturers or manufacturing processes, may yield various results, including:
litigation involving patients taking our product candidates;
restrictions on such products, manufacturers, or manufacturing processes;
restrictions on the labeling or marketing of a product;
restrictions on product distribution or use;
requirements to conduct post-marketing studies or clinical trials;
warning or untitled letters;
withdrawal of the products from the market;
refusal to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications that we submit;
recall of products;
fines, restitution or disgorgement of profits or revenues;

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suspension or withdrawal of marketing approvals;
damage to relationships with any potential collaborators;
unfavorable press coverage and damage to our reputation;
refusal to permit the import or export of our product candidates;
product seizure; or
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

Non-compliance by us or any future collaborator with regulatory requirements regarding safety monitoring or pharmacovigilance, and with requirements related to the development of products for the pediatric population, can also result in significant financial penalties. Similarly, failure to comply with regulatory requirements regarding the protection of personal information can also lead to significant penalties and sanctions.

Non-compliance with EU requirements regarding safety monitoring or pharmacovigilance, and with requirements related to the development of products for the pediatric population, also can result in significant financial penalties. Similarly, failure to comply with the EU’s requirements regarding the protection of personal information can also lead to significant penalties and sanctions.

Our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, CROs, consultants, commercial partners, and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct or failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements. Misconduct, errors, or omissions by employees and independent contractors, such as principal investigators, CROs, consultants, commercial partners, and vendors, could include failures to comply with regulations of the FDA, the PMDA, the EMA, and other comparable regulatory authorities, to provide accurate information to such regulators, to comply with manufacturing standards we have established, to comply with healthcare fraud and abuse laws, to report financial information or data accurately, to disclose unauthorized activities to us, or to comply with requirements of government contracts (e.g., the September 2022 NIAID contract). In particular, sales, marketing, and other business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing, and other abusive practices. These laws may restrict or prohibit a wide range of business activities, including, but not limited to, research, manufacturing, distribution, pricing, discounting, marketing, and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs, and other business arrangements. Employee and independent contractor misconduct could also involve the improper use of individually identifiable information, including, without limitation, information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. In addition, federal procurement laws impose substantial penalties for misconduct in connection with government contracts and require certain contractors to maintain a code of business ethics and conduct. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee and independent contractor misconduct, and any precautions we take to detect and prevent improper activities 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. If any such actions are instituted against us, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, disgorgement, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits, and future earnings, additional reporting or oversight obligations if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with the law and curtailment, or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate.

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If we successfully commercialize epetraborole or one of our future product candidates, failure to comply with our reporting and payment obligations under U.S. governmental pricing programs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

If we participate in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, Part D, if and when we successfully commercialize a product candidate, we will be required to report certain pricing information for such product candidate to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers the Medicaid and Medicare programs. We may also be required to report pricing information to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. If we become subject to these reporting requirements, we will be liable for errors associated with our submission of pricing data, for failure to report pricing data in a timely manner, and for overcharging government payers, which can result in civil monetary penalties under the Medicaid statute, the federal civil False Claims Act, and other laws and regulations.

Our current and future relationships with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers, and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere may be subject, directly or indirectly, to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, physician payment transparency, health information privacy and security, and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to penalties.

Healthcare providers, physicians, and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere will play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our current and future arrangements with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers, and third-party payors may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws, including, without limitation, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal False Claims Act, that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we research, sell, market, and distribute any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. In addition, we may be subject to physician payment transparency laws and patient privacy and security regulation by the federal government and by the states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct our business. The applicable federal, state, and foreign healthcare laws that may affect our ability to operate include the following:

the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward, or in return for, either the referral of an individual for, 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 federal and state healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid;
federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the federal False Claims Act, which impose criminal and civil penalties, including through civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, against individuals or entities for, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, claims for payment that are false or fraudulent or making a false statement to avoid, decrease, or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government;
the federal civil monetary penalties statute, which imposes penalties against any person or entity who, among other things, is determined to have presented or caused to be presented a claim to a federal health program that the person knows or should know is for an item or service that was not provided as claimed or is false or fraudulent;
the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which created additional 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 whether the payor is public or private, knowingly and willfully embezzling or stealing from a health care benefit program, willfully obstructing a criminal investigation of a health care offense 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;
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 obligations on “covered entities,” including certain healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses, as well as their respective “business associates” and their respective subcontractors that create, receive, maintain, or transmit individually identifiable health information for or on behalf of a covered entity, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security, and transmission of individually identifiable health information;

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the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, created under Section 6002 of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, or collectively, the ACA, and its implementing regulations, created annual reporting requirements for manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies for certain payments and “transfers of value” provided to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists, and chiropractors), certain other healthcare providers (such as nurse practitioners and physicians assistants) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members; and
analogous state and foreign laws, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; state and foreign 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 or to adopt compliance programs as prescribed by state laws and regulations, or that otherwise restrict payments that may be made to healthcare providers; state and foreign laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures; state and local laws requiring the licensure 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 often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Further, the ACA, among other things, amended the intent requirement of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and certain criminal statutes governing healthcare fraud. A person or entity no longer needs to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it. In addition, the ACA provided that 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.

Efforts to ensure that our future business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations may involve substantial costs. 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. 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 civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, including, without limitation, damages, monetary fines, disgorgement, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, additional reporting or oversight obligations if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with the law and curtailment or restructuring of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and pursue our strategy. If any of the physicians or other healthcare providers or entities with whom we expect to do business, including future collaborators, are found not to be in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to criminal, civil, or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from participation in government healthcare programs, which could also affect our business.

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Changes in healthcare policies, laws, and regulations may impact our ability to obtain approval for, or commercialize epetraborole or our future product candidates, if approved.

In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions there have been, and continue to be, several legislative and regulatory changes and proposed reforms of the healthcare system in an effort to contain costs, improve quality, and expand access to care. In the United States, there have been and continue to be a number of healthcare-related legislative initiatives, as well as executive, judicial, and Congressional challenges to existing healthcare laws that have significantly affected, and could continue to significantly affect, the healthcare industry. For example, on June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge on procedural grounds that argued the ACA is unconstitutional in its entirety because the “individual mandate” was repealed by Congress. On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or IRA, into law, which among other things, extends enhanced subsidies for individuals purchasing health insurance coverage in ACA marketplaces through plan year 2025. The IRA also eliminates the “donut hole” under the Medicare Part D program beginning in 2025 by significantly lowering the beneficiary maximum out-of-pocket cost and creating a new manufacturer discount program. In addition, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under government payor programs and review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs. For example, the IRA, among other things (i) directs HHS to negotiate the price of certain high-expenditure, single-source drugs and biologics covered under Medicare and (ii) imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation. These provisions will take effect progressively starting in fiscal year 2023, although they may be subject to legal challenges. Additionally, the Biden administration released an additional executive order on October 14, 2022, directing HHS to report on how the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation can be further leveraged to test new models for lowering drug costs for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. We expect that additional U.S. federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that the U.S. federal government will pay for healthcare products and services, which could result in reduced demand for epetraborole or our future product candidates or additional pricing pressures.

We are subject to privacy and data security laws, rules, regulations, policies, industry standards, and contractual obligations, and our failure to comply with them could harm our business.

We maintain a large quantity of sensitive information, including confidential business information and information related to our employees and we expect to maintain personal information in connection with the conduct of our clinical trials. As such, we are subject to laws and regulations governing the privacy and security of such information. In the United States, there are numerous federal and state privacy and data security laws and regulations governing the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of personal information, including federal and state health information privacy laws, federal and state security breach notification laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws. The legislative and regulatory landscape for privacy and data protection continues to evolve, and there has been an increasing focus on privacy and data protection issues, which may affect our business and is expected to increase our compliance costs and exposure to liability. In the United States, numerous federal and state laws and regulations could apply to our operations or the operations of our partners, including state data breach notification laws, state health information privacy laws, and federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations, including Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, that govern the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of health-related and other personal information. In addition, we may obtain health information from third parties, including research institutions from which we obtain clinical trial data, that are subject to privacy and security requirements under HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder. Depending on the facts and circumstances, we could be subject to significant penalties if we obtain, use or disclose individually identifiable health information in a manner that is not authorized or permitted by HIPAA.

Compliance with these and any other applicable privacy and data security laws and regulations we may be subject to in the future is a rigorous and time-intensive process, and we may be required to put in place additional mechanisms ensuring compliance with the new data protection rules. If we fail to comply with any such laws or regulations, we may face significant fines and penalties that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects. Any failure by us or our third-party processors to comply with these data protection and privacy laws and regulations could result in significant government enforcement actions, which could include civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, orders requiring that we change our practices, claims for damages, and other liabilities, regulatory investigations and enforcement action, private litigation, significant costs of remediation, and adverse publicity, any of which could negatively affect our operating results and business. Furthermore, the laws are not consistent, and compliance in the event of a widespread data breach is costly. In addition, states are constantly adopting new laws or amending existing laws, requiring attention to frequently changing regulatory requirements.

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With laws, regulations, and other obligations relating to privacy and data protection imposing new and relatively burdensome obligations, and with the substantial uncertainty over the interpretation and application of these and other obligations, we may face challenges in addressing their requirements and making necessary changes to our policies and practices and may incur significant costs and expenses in an effort to do so. We are currently in the process of developing and updating our policies and procedures in accordance with requirements under applicable data privacy and protection laws and regulations. We rely on our CROs to ensure compliance with data-privacy regulations that may arise in our trials. We do not currently have any formal data privacy policies and procedures in place and have not completed formal assessments of whether we are in compliance with all applicable data privacy laws and regulations. Additionally, if third parties with which we work, such as vendors or service providers, violate applicable laws, rules or regulations or our policies, such violations may also put our or our clinical trial and employee data, including personal data, at risk, and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects may be adversely affected.

Our product candidates may be subject to government price controls that may affect our revenue.

There has been heightened governmental scrutiny in the United States and abroad of pharmaceutical pricing practices in light of the rising cost of prescription drugs and biologics. In the United States, such scrutiny has resulted in several recent Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for products. At the state level, legislatures have become 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. Outside of the United States, particularly in the European Union, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after the receipt of marketing approval for a product. To obtain coverage and reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of epetraborole or our future product candidates to other available therapies. If reimbursement of our product candidates is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business could be harmed.

We are subject to U.S. and certain foreign export and import controls, sanctions, embargoes, anti-corruption laws, and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Compliance with these legal standards could impair our ability to compete in domestic and international markets. We can face criminal liability and other serious consequences for violations, which can harm our business.

We are subject to export control and import laws and regulations, including the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, U.S. Customs regulations, various economic and trade sanctions regulations administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls, the FCPA, the U.S. domestic bribery statute contained in 18 U.S.C. § 201, the U.S. Travel Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and other state and national anti-bribery and anti-money laundering laws in the countries in which we conduct activities. Anti-corruption laws are interpreted broadly and prohibit companies and their employees, agents, contractors, and other collaborators from authorizing, promising, offering, or providing, directly or indirectly, improper payments or anything else of value to recipients in the public or private sector.

We may engage third parties to sell epetraborole or our future product candidates outside the United States, to conduct clinical trials, and/or to obtain necessary permits, licenses, patent registrations, and other regulatory approvals. We have direct or indirect interactions with officials and employees of government agencies or government-affiliated hospitals, universities, and other organizations. We can be held liable for the corrupt or other illegal activities of our employees, agents, contractors, and other collaborators, even if we do not explicitly authorize or have actual knowledge of such activities. Any violations of the laws and regulations described above may result in substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties, imprisonment, the loss of export or import privileges, debarment, tax reassessments, breach of contract, and fraud litigation, reputational harm, and other consequences.

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Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

Concentration of ownership of our common stock among our existing executive officers, directors, and principal stockholders may prevent new investors from influencing significant corporate decisions and matters submitted to stockholders for approval.

Our executive officers, directors, and current beneficial owners of 5% or more of our capital stock and their respective affiliates beneficially own, in the aggregate, a significant percentage of our outstanding common stock. As a result, these persons, acting together, would be able to significantly influence all matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election and removal of directors, any merger, consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets, or other significant corporate transactions. In addition, these persons, acting together, may have the ability to control the management and affairs of our company. Accordingly, this concentration of ownership may harm the market price of our common stock by:

delaying, deferring, or preventing a change in control;
entrenching our management and/or the board of directors ("Board");
impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination involving us; or
discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.

In addition, some of these persons or entities may have interests different than yours. For example, because many of these stockholders purchased their shares at prices substantially below the price at which shares were sold in our IPO and have held their shares for a longer period, they may be more interested in selling our company to an acquirer than other investors, or they may want us to pursue strategies that deviate from the interests of other stockholders.

A sale of a substantial number of shares of our common stock may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market could occur at any time. If our stockholders sell, or the market perceives that our stockholders intend to sell, substantial amounts of our common stock
in the public market, the market price of our common stock could decline significantly.
 

We cannot predict what effect, if any, sales of our shares in the public market or the availability of shares for sale will have on the market price of our common stock. However, future sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, including shares issued upon exercise of outstanding options, or the perception that such sales may occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
 

We also expect that significant additional capital may be needed in the future to continue our planned operations. 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. These sales, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock.

Provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, acquisition, or other change in control of our company that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which you might otherwise receive a premium for your shares. These provisions also could limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, thereby depressing the market price of our common stock. In addition, because our Board is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our Board. Among other things, these provisions:

establish a classified board of directors such that not all members of the Board are elected at one time;
allow the authorized number of our directors to be changed only by resolution of our Board;
limit the manner in which stockholders can remove directors from the Board;

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establish advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals that can be acted on at stockholder meetings and nominations to our Board;
require that stockholder actions must be effected at a duly called stockholder meeting and prohibit actions by our stockholders by written consent;
limit who may call stockholder meetings;
authorize our Board to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used to institute a stockholder rights plan, or so-called “poison pill,” that would work to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, effectively preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our Board; and
require the approval of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the votes that all our stockholders would be entitled to cast to amend or repeal certain provisions of our charter or bylaws.

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, which prohibits a person who owns in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock from merging or combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person acquired more than 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner. These provisions could discourage potential acquisition proposals and could delay or prevent a change in control transaction. They could also have the effect of discouraging others from making tender offers for our common stock, including transactions that may be in your best interests. These provisions may also prevent changes in our management or limit the price that investors are willing to pay for our stock.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware and the federal district courts of the United States will be the exclusive forums for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, including claims under the Securities Act, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware is the exclusive forum for:

any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf;
any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty;
any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors, officers, employees, or agents arising under the DGCL, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated bylaws;
any action or proceeding to interpret, apply, enforce, or determine the validity of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated bylaws; and
any action asserting a claim against us or any of our directors, officers, employees, or agents that is governed by the internal-affairs doctrine.

Furthermore, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States shall be the exclusive forum for the resolution of any complaint asserting a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. However, these provisions would not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Exchange Act or any other claim for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction. In addition, Section 22 of the Securities Act creates concurrent jurisdiction for federal and state courts over all suits brought to enforce any duty or liability created by the Securities Act or the rules and regulations thereunder. To the extent the exclusive forum provision restricts the courts in which claims arising under the Securities Act may be brought, there is uncertainty as to whether a court would enforce such a provision. We note that investors cannot waive compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder.

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Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring or holding any interest in shares of our capital stock is deemed to have received notice of and consented to the foregoing provisions. These choice of forum provisions may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds more favorable for disputes with us or with our directors, officers, other employees or agents, or our other stockholders, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and such other persons, or may result in additional expense to a stockholder seeking to bring a claim against us. Alternatively, if a court were to find this choice of forum provision inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects.

We will have broad discretion in the use of our cash, and may invest or spend our cash in ways with which you do not agree and in ways that may not increase the value of your investment.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of our cash, and could spend our cash in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common stock. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses that could have a negative impact on our business, cause the price of our common stock to decline, and delay the development of epetraborole and planned pipeline and expansion programs as well as commercial preparedness.

We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, and accordingly, stockholders must rely on capital appreciation, if any, for any return on their investment.

We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Instead, we plan to retain any earnings to maintain and expand our existing operations. In addition, any future credit facility or debt securities may contain terms prohibiting or limiting the amount of dividends that may be declared or paid on our common stock. If we do not pay cash dividends, you could receive a return on your investment in our common stock only if you are able to sell your shares in the future and the market price of our common stock has increased when you sell your shares. As a result, investors seeking cash dividends should not purchase our common stock.

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

As of December 31, 2022, we had federal and state net operating loss, or NOLs, carryforwards of approximately $43.2 million and $66.3 million, respectively. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Act, as modified by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, our NOLs generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal NOLs in tax years beginning after December 31, 2020, is limited to 80% of taxable income. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the Tax Act or the CARES Act. In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” generally defined as a greater than 50 percentage point change (by value) in its equity ownership by certain stockholders over a three-year period, the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change NOLs and other pre-change tax attributes (such as research and development tax credits) to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. We may have experienced ownership changes in the past and may experience ownership changes in the future. As a result, our ability to use our pre-change NOLs and tax credits to offset post-change taxable income, if any, could be subject to limitations. Similar provisions of state tax law may also apply. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed.

General Risk Factors

The trading price of our common stock may be volatile.

The trading price of our common stock 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. The stock market in general and the market for biopharmaceutical companies in particular have experienced extreme volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. As a result of this volatility, investors may not be able to sell their shares at or above the price paid for the shares. In addition to the factors discussed in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this Form 10-K, these factors include:

the commencement, enrollment, or results of our planned and future clinical trials;

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the sufficiency of our existing cash to fund our future operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements;
the results of our testing and clinical trials;
unanticipated safety, tolerability, or efficacy concerns;
the loss of any of our key research, development, or management personnel;
regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries;
the success of competitive products or technologies;
adverse actions taken by regulatory agencies with respect to our clinical trials or manufacturers;
changes or developments in laws or regulations applicable to epetraborole or any future product candidates;
changes to our relationships with collaborators, manufacturers, or suppliers;
announcements concerning our competitors or the pharmaceutical industry in general;
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our operating results;
changes in financial estimates or recommendations by securities analysts;
potential acquisitions;
the results of our efforts to discover, develop, acquire, or in-license additional product candidates;
the trading volume of our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market;
sales of our common stock by us, our executive officers and directors or our stockholders or the anticipation that such sales may occur in the future;
general economic, political, and market conditions and overall fluctuations in the financial markets in the United States, Japan or other countries where we conduct critical business (including those relating to macroeconomic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, any global economic slowdown or recession, rising inflation, and increased interest rates);
stock market price and volume fluctuations of comparable companies and, in particular, those that operate in the biopharmaceutical industry;
banking crises or failures; and
investors’ general perception of us and our business.

These and other market and industry factors may cause the market price and demand for our common stock to fluctuate substantially, regardless of our actual operating performance, which may limit or prevent investors from selling their shares of our common stock at or above the price paid for the shares and may otherwise negatively affect the liquidity of our common stock. In addition, the stock market in general, and 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.

Some companies that have experienced volatility in the trading price of their shares have been the subject of securities class action litigation. Any lawsuit to which we are a party, with or without merit, may result in an unfavorable judgment. We also may decide to settle lawsuits on unfavorable terms. Any such negative outcome could result in payments of substantial damages or fines, damage to our reputation or adverse changes to our business practices. Defending against litigation is costly and time-consuming and could divert our management’s attention and our resources. Furthermore, during the course of litigation, there could be negative public announcements of the results of hearings, motions, or other interim proceedings or developments, which could have a negative effect on the market price of our common stock.

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If equity research analysts do not publish research or reports, or publish unfavorable research or reports, about us, our business, or our market, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that equity research analysts publish about us and our business. We currently have research coverage by a limited number of equity research analysts. Equity research analysts may elect not to continue to provide research coverage of our common stock, and such lack of research coverage may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We will not have any control over the analysts or the content and opinions included in their reports. The price of our shares could decline if one or more equity research analysts downgrade our shares or issue other unfavorable commentary or research about us. If one or more equity research analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our shares could decrease, which in turn could cause the trading price or trading volume of our common stock to decline.

We are incurring significantly increased costs as a result of operating as a company whose common stock is publicly traded in the United States, and our management is devoting substantial time to new compliance initiatives.

As a public company in the United States, we are incurring significant legal, accounting, and other expenses. These expenses will likely be even more significant after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies in the United States, including the establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our senior management and other personnel devotes a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations has increased our legal and financial compliance costs and has made some activities more time-consuming and costly. We cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we will incur or the timing of such costs.

However, these rules and regulations are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices.

Pursuant to Section 404, we will be required to furnish a report by our senior management on our internal control over financial reporting. However, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. To prepare for eventual compliance with Section 404, we have engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, engage outside consultants, and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented, and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, there is a risk that we will not be able to conclude, within the prescribed timeframe or at all, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. Identifying material weaknesses could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements.

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Significant disruptions of our information technology systems or data security incidents could result in significant financial, legal, regulatory, business, and reputational harm to us.

We are increasingly dependent on information technology systems and infrastructure, including mobile technologies, to operate our business. In the ordinary course of our business, we collect, store, process, and transmit large amounts of sensitive information, including intellectual property, proprietary business information, personal information, and other confidential information. It is critical that we do so in a secure manner to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and restricted availability of such sensitive information. We have also outsourced elements of our operations, including elements of our information technology infrastructure, to third parties and, as a result, we manage a number of third-party vendors who may or could have access to our computer networks or our confidential information. In addition, many of those third parties in turn subcontract or outsource some of their responsibilities to other third parties. While all information technology operations are inherently vulnerable to inadvertent or intentional security breaches, incidents, attacks, and exposures, the accessibility and distributed nature of our information technology systems, and the sensitive information stored on those systems, make such systems potentially vulnerable to unintentional or malicious, internal, and external attacks on our technology environment. Potential vulnerabilities can be exploited from inadvertent or intentional actions of our employees, third-party vendors, business partners, or by malicious third parties. Attacks of this nature are increasing in their frequency, levels of persistence, sophistication, and intensity, and are being conducted by sophisticated and organized groups and individuals with a wide range of motives (including industrial espionage) and expertise, including organized criminal groups, “hacktivists,” nation states, and others. In addition to the extraction of sensitive information, such attacks could include the deployment of harmful malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, social engineering, and other means to affect service reliability and threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. In addition, the prevalent use of mobile devices increases the risk of data security incidents.

Significant disruptions of our or our third-party vendors’ or business partners’ information technology systems or other similar data security incidents could adversely affect our business operations and result in the loss, misappropriation, and unauthorized access, use or disclosure of, or the prevention of access to, sensitive information, which could result in financial, legal, regulatory, business, and reputational harm to us. In addition, information technology system disruptions, whether from attacks on our technology environment or from computer viruses, natural disasters, terrorism, war, and telecommunication and electrical failures, could result in a material disruption of our development programs and our business operations. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from ongoing, completed or future clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. We cannot ensure that our data protection efforts and our investment in information technology, or the efforts or investments of CROs, consultants or other third parties with which we work, will prevent breakdowns or breaches in our or their systems or other cybersecurity incidents that cause loss, destruction, unavailability, alteration, dissemination of, or damage, or unauthorized access to, our data, including personal data, assets, and other data processed or maintained on our behalf, that could have a material adverse effect upon our reputation, business, operations, or financial condition.

While we have implemented security measures intended to protect our information technology systems and infrastructure, there can be no assurance that such measures will successfully prevent service interruptions or security incidents. There is no way of knowing with certainty whether we have experienced any data security incidents that have not been discovered. While we have no reason to believe this to be the case, attackers have become very sophisticated in the way they conceal access to systems, and many companies that have been attacked are not aware that they have been attacked. Any event that leads to unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of personal information, including personal information regard