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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, 2023

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 001-39114

 

Galera Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

Delaware

46-1454898

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

P.O. Box 134

Malvern, Pennsylvania

19355

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

 

(610) 725-1500

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

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

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock,

$0.001 par value per share

GRTX

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq Global 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

At June 30, 2023, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $129.8 million. Solely for purposes of this disclosure, shares of common stock held by executive officers, directors and certain stockholders of the registrant as of such date have been excluded because such holders may be deemed to be affiliates.

The number of shares of registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of March 26, 2024 was 54,392,170.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

None.

 

 

 


 

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including without limitation statements regarding the impact of our discontinuation of the development of our product candidates; our plans to evaluate strategic alternatives; the sufficiency of our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations; and the plans and objectives of management for future operations and capital expenditures are forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are only predictions and are based largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those described under the sections in this Annual Report on Form 10-K entitled “Summary Risk Factors,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond our control, 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. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise. We intend the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act.

ii


 

SUMMARY RISK FACTORS

Our business is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties when investing in our common stock. The principal risks and uncertainties affecting our business include the following:

We are a biopharmaceutical company with a limited operating history and have not generated any revenue from product sales. We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception and anticipate that we will incur continued losses for the foreseeable future.
We have currently halted clinical development of our product candidates, and there can be no assurance that we will resume such clinical development in future.
Any financial or strategic option we pursue may not be successful.
We are heavily dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, avasopasem manganese (avasopasem) and, because avasopasem has not received regulatory approval and we have halted all commercial preparation efforts, our business has and may continue to be harmed.
The regulatory approval process is lengthy, expensive and uncertain, and we may be unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates under applicable regulatory requirements. The denial or delay of any such approval would delay commercialization of our product candidates and adversely impact our ability to generate revenue, our business and our results of operations.
We rely, and will continue to rely, on third parties to conduct our clinical trials for our product candidates, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such trials.
If we are unable to establish our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, or enter into agreements with third parties to sell and market avasopasem or any other product candidates, we may not be successful in commercializing our product candidates if and when they are approved, and we may not be able to generate any revenue.
We do not have our own manufacturing capabilities and will rely on third parties to produce additional clinical supplies, if needed, and commercial supplies of avasopasem and our other product candidates. This reliance on third parties increases the risk that we will not have sufficient quantities of our product candidates or such quantities at an acceptable cost, which could delay, prevent or impair our development or commercialization efforts.
The incidence and prevalence for target patient populations of our product candidates have not been established with precision. If the market opportunities for our product candidates are smaller than we estimate, or if any approval that we obtain is based on a narrower definition of the patient population, our revenue and ability to achieve profitability may be materially adversely affected.
The successful commercialization of avasopasem or any other product candidates will depend in part on the extent to which governmental authorities and health insurers establish coverage, adequate reimbursement levels and pricing policies. Failure to obtain or maintain coverage and adequate reimbursement for our product candidates, if approved, could limit our ability to market those products and decrease our ability to generate revenue.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing drugs before or more successfully than we do.
Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval, cause us to suspend or discontinue clinical trials, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.

iii


 

Table of Contents

 

Page

PART I

Item 1.

Business

1

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

14

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

42

Item 1C.

Cybersecurity

42

Item 2.

Properties

43

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

43

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

44

 

PART II

 

Item 5.

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

44

Item 6.

[Reserved]

44

Item 7.

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

45

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

55

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

56

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

80

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

80

Item 9B.

Other Information

80

Item 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

81

 

PART III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

82

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

85

Item 12.

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

91

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

93

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

96

 

PART IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

97

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

100

 

iv


PART I

Item 1. Business.

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company that has historically focused on developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary therapeutics that have the potential to transform radiotherapy in cancer. Our lead product candidate, avasopasem manganese (avasopasem), is a highly selective small molecule dismutase mimetic that we have been developing for the reduction of severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC), the reduction of esophagitis in patients with lung cancer, and the reduction of cisplatin-induced kidney damage in patients with cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations to avasopasem for the reduction of SOM induced by radiotherapy. Our second product candidate, rucosopasem manganese (rucosopasem), has been in development to augment the anti-cancer efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). The FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have granted orphan drug designation and orphan medicinal product designation, respectively, to rucosopasem for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

In August 2023, we announced receipt of a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA regarding our New Drug Application (NDA) for avasopasem for radiotherapy-induced SOM in patients with HNC undergoing standard-of-care treatment. In the CRL, the FDA communicated that results from an additional clinical trial will be required for resubmission. During the Type A meeting held in September 2023, and in the subsequently received meeting minutes, the FDA reiterated the need for a second Phase 3 trial to support resubmission of the NDA. With our current resources it is not feasible to conduct this additional trial. We continue to explore appropriate development paths for avasopasem, including in radiotherapy-induced SOM.

In connection with the avasopasem CRL, we wound down our commercial readiness efforts for avasopasem, reduced headcount across several departments and began to pursue strategic alternatives. The reduction in force, which was approved by our board of directors, reduced our workforce by 22 employees, or approximately 70%, as of August 9, 2023. The decision was based on cost-reduction initiatives intended to reduce operating expenses.

In October 2023, we halted our Phase 2b GRECO-2 trial of rucosopasem in patients with LAPC, following a futility analysis of the trial, which indicated that the trial was unlikely to succeed as designed. At the same time, we also halted our Phase 1/2 GRECO-1 trial of rucosopasem in patients with NCSLC.

In October 2023, we also announced that we had engaged Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., as our financial advisor, to assist in reviewing strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for our stockholders. Such alternatives may include a merger, sale, divestiture of assets, licensing, or other strategic transaction. If we are unable to undertake any strategic alternative, we may be required to cease operations altogether.

Disease Overviews and Our Product Candidates

Reducing Radiotherapy-Induced Toxicities in Patients with Cancer (Radioprotection)

The American Cancer Society estimates approximately two million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States in 2024 and over 50% of patients with cancer will be treated with radiotherapy at some time in their treatment cycle. While radiotherapy has variable success depending on the cancer being treated, the toxicity or side effects associated with its use can limit its effectiveness. Radiotherapy causes acute and late toxicities that affect various organs and functions.

One of the most common radiotherapy-induced toxicities results in a condition referred to as mucositis which occurs when cells lining the gastro-intestinal tract, known as the mucosa, are damaged or killed. The oral mucosa is a common location for mucositis to occur, particularly for patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy.

1


Another common location for mucositis to occur in patients receiving radiotherapy is the esophagus, referred to as esophagitis.

Oral Mucositis

Oral mucositis (OM) occurs when radiotherapy induces the production of superoxide that attacks and breaks down the epithelial cells lining the mouth. The severity of OM is commonly measured using the WHO scale, which is also used by the FDA as a basis for product approvals. The scale consists of five Grades: Grade 0 through Grade 4. SOM is commonly defined as Grade 3 or Grade 4 OM.

 

Grade

 

WHO Scale Description

0

 

No OM

1

 

Erythema (redness) and soreness

2

 

Erythema and ulcers but patients can swallow solid food

3

 

Ulcers with extensive erythema and patients cannot swallow solid food

4

 

Oral alimentation (solid or liquid) is not possible

Each year in the United States, approximately 71,000 patients are diagnosed with HNC, according to the American Cancer Society and we estimate that approximately 65% will be treated with standard-of-care radiotherapy. All patients with HNC treated with radiotherapy are at risk for developing SOM. Based on observations from multiple studies, we estimate that approximately 70% will develop SOM and between 20% to 30% will develop Grade 4 OM.

Current Treatment Landscape and Limitations

There are currently no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of OM in patients with HNC. In 2020, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC / ISOO), published an update to the leading clinical practice guidelines for the management of OM. These guidelines, which are summarized below, underscore how limited the existing approaches are for the management of OM in patients with HNC, and that these approaches have been largely palliative to date.

Basic oral care. The guidelines suggest the use of basic oral care protocols to prevent OM across all cancer modalities; however, the guidelines indicate the clinical evidence is weak in supporting the effectiveness of this approach.
Anti-inflammatory agents. The guidelines recommend the use of benzydamine mouthwash to prevent OM in patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy doses up to 50 gray without concomitant chemotherapy and suggest the use of benzydamine for patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy with chemotherapy.
Antimicrobials, coating agents, anesthetics, and analgesics. The guidelines suggest the use of 0.2% morphine mouthwash to treat pain associated with OM in patients with HNC.
Laser and other light therapy. The guidelines recommend the use of low-level laser therapy to prevent OM in patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy. However, some evidence suggests that low-level laser therapy may have long-term carcinogenic effects, so MASCC / ISOO advises the clinician to inform patients about the expected benefits and potential risks of this therapy.
Cryotherapy. The guidelines recommend the use of 30 minutes of oral cryotherapy to prevent OM in certain cancer patients, not including those receiving radiotherapy for HNC.
Natural and other miscellaneous agents. The guidelines suggest oral glutamine to prevent OM in patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy. The suggestion is made with caution because of the higher mortality rate seen in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation who

2


receive parenteral glutamine. The guidelines also suggest the use of honey to prevent OM in patients with HNC receiving radiotherapy, with or without chemotherapy.

These MASCC / ISOO guidelines demonstrate that there is a high unmet need for the treatment or prevention of OM in patients with HNC, driven by the lack of clear efficacy of the existing treatment options.

Avasopasem for Radiotherapy-Induced Severe Oral Mucositis

Avasopasem is a highly selective small molecule dismutase mimetic that we were developing for the reduction of SOM in patients with HNC. We believe avasopasem, which to date is not approved for any indication, has the potential to address shortcomings associated with current approaches and become the standard of care treatment for SOM in patients with locally advanced HNC.

Potential Benefits of Avasopasem for Severe Oral Mucositis

We believe that avasopasem has the following benefits:

Mechanism of action designed to address the root cause of OM: Unlike existing treatment options that are largely symptomatic and reactive in nature, we believe avasopasem has the potential to address and mitigate the root cause of OM. Avasopasem is designed to rapidly convert superoxide to hydrogen peroxide, reducing mucosal damage and thereby the incidence and severity of mucositis.
Compelling clinical data from two positive, randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trials: Results from our ROMAN and GT-201 trials demonstrate the potential benefits of avasopasem across multiple parameters of SOM. Avasopasem has received Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the FDA.
Maintenance of anti-cancer efficacy of radiotherapy: Two-year follow-up clinical data from our ROMAN trial and GT-201 trials for avasopasem in patients with locally advanced HNC showed similar rates of tumor control and survival between avasopasem and placebo. We believe this is significant as maintenance of anti-cancer efficacy of radiotherapy is of key importance to physicians when considering new drugs to manage side effects of radiotherapy.
Higher patient adherence: The intravenous formulation of avasopasem, administered in a clinical setting by a health care provider, promotes higher patient adherence, optimizing clinical outcomes.

Our market research surveys conducted with radiation and medical oncologists suggest avasopasem has a clinically meaningful product profile based on the safety and efficacy data from our two randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trials. Respondents in the various rounds of market research conducted between 2018 and 2022 projected the use of avasopasem in a range of 48% to 69% of their eligible patients, with a majority of physicians suggesting they would adopt avasopasem within the first 12 months of it becoming available.

Reducing Platinum-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Patients with Cancer (Chemoprotection)

While platinum-based chemotherapy is widely used to treat a variety of cancers, the toxicity or side effects associated with its use can limit its dosage and effectiveness. One common cisplatin-induced toxicity results in increased incidence of a condition referred to as chronic kidney disease (CKD) which occurs when cells in the renal tubules are damaged, with such damage progressing into fibrosis over time.

Chronic Kidney Disease

CKD occurs when cisplatin induces the production of superoxide that attacks and breaks down the renal tubule cells in the kidney, and the resulting injury drives a progressive fibrosis compromising kidney function. Over time in its most severe manifestations, CKD may lead to the requirement for renal replacement therapy (dialysis or

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transplant) or death. Other platinum-containing therapies may also increase the rate of CKD long-term in patients treated with them.

Avasopasem for Platinum-Induced Chronic Kidney Disease

We believe avasopasem, which to date is not approved for any indication, has the potential to address, and become the standard of care treatment for, cisplatin-induced CKD in patients with locally advanced HNC and other cancers.

Potential Benefits of Avasopasem for Cisplatin-Induced CKD

We believe that avasopasem has the following benefits:

Mechanism of action designed to address the root cause of platinum-induced renal tubule injury and CKD: There are no products approved to prevent cisplatin-induced CKD, and we believe avasopasem has the potential to address and mitigate the root cause of cisplatin-induced CKD. Avasopasem is designed to rapidly convert superoxide to hydrogen peroxide, reducing renal tubule damage by cisplatin and thereby the incidence and severity of CKD.
Compelling clinical data from two positive, randomized, double-blinded placebo-controlled trials: Prospectively defined assessment of renal function through one-year follow-up in our ROMAN trial showed a marked reduction in the incidence of CKD in the avasopasem arm compared to the placebo arm. Retrospective analysis of our GT-201 trial showed similar results.
Maintenance of anti-cancer efficacy of chemoradiotherapy: Our ROMAN and GT-201 trials prescribed concurrent cisplatin chemotherapy along with radiotherapy and two-year follow-up clinical data from both trials of avasopasem in patients with locally advanced HNC showed similar rates of tumor control and survival between avasopasem and placebo. We believe this is significant as maintenance of anti-cancer efficacy of cisplatin therapy is of key importance to physicians when considering new drugs to manage side effects.

Historical Clinical Development of Avasopasem and Rucosopasem

We have suspended our clinical development of and halted our commercial readiness efforts for avasopasem and rucosopasem. Below is a summary of the results of our previous clinical trials of avasopasem and rucosopasem.

ROMAN Trial (Phase 3)

In December 2021, we announced positive topline efficacy results from the ROMAN trial. We had previously announced topline results from the ROMAN trial in October 2021. Upon further analysis following the October topline data announcement, an error by the contract research organization was identified in the statistical programming. Correction of this error yielded the correct, statistically significant p-values for the primary and a key secondary endpoint. The trial was a randomized, double-blinded, multicenter, placebo-controlled trial assessing the effects of avasopasem on the incidence, duration and severity of SOM. 455 patients were enrolled in the trial and randomized 3:2 in favor of the avasopasem 90 mg treatment arm. Like our Phase 1b/2a and GT-201 trials, the eligible population was patients with locally advanced, squamous cell HNC who were eligible for seven weeks of standard-of-care radiotherapy.

 

The primary endpoint of the ROMAN trial was the reduction in the incidence of SOM through the radiotherapy period for patients being treated with 90 mg of avasopasem as compared to placebo received as a 60-minute intravenous infusion less than 60 minutes before radiation, Monday to Friday, for seven weeks. All patients were assessed twice weekly for OM by trained evaluators during the course of their radiotherapy treatment.

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Additional endpoints included, among others, reduction in the number of days of SOM experienced by all patients and reduction in the severity of SOM, as well as the effect of treatment on tumor outcomes measured by overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), locoregional control (LRC), and distant metastasis-free (DMF), rates. Adverse events were monitored during the trial period. One-year tumor outcomes and two-year survival rates were collected.

In this trial, avasopasem demonstrated efficacy across SOM endpoints with a statistically significant 16% relative reduction on the primary endpoint of reduction in the incidence of SOM (p=0.045) and a statistically significant 56% relative reduction in the number of days of SOM (p=0.002), with a median of 18 days in the placebo arm versus 8 days in the avasopasem arm. The severity of SOM (incidence of Grade 4 OM) was reduced by 27% in the avasopasem arm compared to placebo (p=0.052).

Exploratory analyses, such as time to SOM onset and SOM incidence at various landmarks of radiotherapy delivered, also demonstrated clinical efficacy of avasopasem in reducing the burden of SOM. The median time to onset of SOM for all patients was delayed by 11 days, from 38 days in the placebo arm to 49 days in the avasopasem arm. The incidence of SOM at all radiotherapy landmarks for patients on avasopasem was reduced compared to placebo, with the relative reductions greater than the primary endpoint both earlier during the course of therapy and during the two-week observation period after radiotherapy. The gray (Gy) is the International System of Units unit of absorbed radiation dose.

In another prospectively defined exploratory analysis, after one year of post treatment follow-up, patients treated with avasopasem in combination with IMRT plus cisplatin had a 10% incidence of CKD, compared to 20% of patients in the placebo arm (p=0.0043).

We also followed patients from this trial for tumor outcomes out to one year following radiotherapy and continued to follow patients out to two years for overall survival. In the assessment of tumor outcomes and overall survival, we observed similar outcomes among patients in the avasopasem and placebo arms in OS, PFS, LRC and DMF rates, demonstrating that avasopasem protected HNC patients from SOM without affecting the treatment benefit of standard-of-care chemoradiotherapy.

 

Avasopasem appeared to be generally well tolerated compared to placebo.

GT-201 Trial (Phase 2b) in Patients with HNC

In December 2017, we announced positive topline data from the GT-201 trial in 223 patients with locally advanced HNC being treated with IMRT and concurrent cisplatin at multiple sites in the United States and Canada. The trial was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial assessing the effects of avasopasem on the median duration, incidence and severity of SOM. Patients received 30 mg of avasopasem, 90 mg of avasopasem or placebo as a 60-minute infusion less than 60 minutes before radiation, Monday to Friday, for seven weeks. All patients were assessed twice weekly for OM by trained evaluators during the course of their radiotherapy treatment. If SOM was present in a patient at the end of the course of his or her radiotherapy treatment, that patient continued to be evaluated weekly for up to eight additional weeks.

 

The primary endpoints of the trial were reduction in the duration of SOM in the 90 mg and 30 mg treatment arms. Duration was defined as the number of days from when a patient was first assessed with SOM until the first day that patient was assessed with Grade 2 or less OM, with no subsequent occurrences of SOM.

In this trial, the 90 mg treatment arm of avasopasem demonstrated a statistically significant reduction compared to placebo on the primary endpoint (p=0.024). The median duration of SOM in this arm was 1.5 days, a 92% reduction compared to placebo.

Secondary endpoints included reduction in the incidence and severity of SOM in each of the 90 mg and 30 mg treatment arms. For these purposes, we define the severity of SOM as the incidence of Grade 4 OM. The incidence of SOM in the 90 mg treatment arm was reduced by 36% through 60 Gy and 34% through the full course

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of radiotherapy treatment compared to placebo and the severity of SOM in the 90 mg treatment arm was reduced by 47% through the full course of radiotherapy treatment compared to placebo.

In the 30 mg treatment arm, intermediate reductions compared to placebo were observed in median duration of SOM (58%), incidence of SOM through 60 Gy (31%) and through the full course of radiotherapy treatment (8%), and in severity of SOM (30%) through the full course of radiotherapy treatment.

In the trial, we also observed an apparent delay in the onset of SOM in the 90 mg treatment arm compared to placebo, reduced usage of opioids in both the 30 mg and 90 mg treatment arms compared to placebo, and reduced placement and use of gastrostomy tubes in the 90 mg treatment arm compared to placebo.

Results of this trial were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in October 2019.

We followed patients from this trial for tumor outcomes out to two years following radiotherapy. In the two-year assessment of tumor outcomes, we observed similar outcomes among the three arms in OS, PFS, LRC and DMF rates.

Tumor outcome results of this trial were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology/Biology/Physics in November 2022.

Phase 2a Trial in Patients with HNC in Europe (EUSOM)

In December 2021, we announced topline results from EUSOM, a Phase 2a multi-center trial of avasopasem in Europe evaluating avasopasem in combination with IMRT and concurrent cisplatin in patients with locally advanced HNC. This trial was conducted in twelve centers across six countries in Europe and enrolled 38 patients, of which 33 completed full treatment.

The primary objective of this trial was to assess the safety of avasopasem in combination with IMRT and concurrent cisplatin. Secondary objectives included, among others, the reduction in the incidence of SOM through the radiotherapy period.

Avasopasem appeared to be generally well tolerated. The incidence of SOM was 54.5% and the median number of days of SOM was 9 days for patients who completed treatment in the EUSOM trial, in line with the ROMAN trial, in which the incidence of SOM in the avasopasem arm was 54% and the median number of days of SOM was 8 days.

Phase 1b/2a Trial in Patients with HNC

In August 2016, we completed a Phase 1b/2a, open-label, multi-center, dose escalation trial of the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of avasopasem in combination with radiotherapy and concurrent cisplatin in 46 patients with locally advanced HNC. Doses ranged from 15 mg to 112 mg. The objectives of this trial were to evaluate the safety and tolerability of avasopasem in combination with IMRT and cisplatin, to determine a maximum tolerated dose and to assess the potential of avasopasem to reduce the duration, incidence and severity of SOM.

In this trial, patients were assigned to treatment duration groups based upon the dose and duration of dosing of avasopasem received and we observed that the incidence, duration, and severity of SOM through six weeks of radiotherapy (with patients receiving a cumulative radiotherapy dose of 60 Gy) decreased for patients who received six to seven weeks of avasopasem. In the group receiving six to seven weeks of avasopasem, 29% of patients experienced SOM, with a median duration of 2.5 days, and no patients experienced Grade 4 OM. Avasopasem was well tolerated and a maximum tolerated dose was not reached.

Patients in the trial were followed for tumor outcomes at one-year post-radiotherapy. The observed LRC, DMF, PFS, and OS rates in 44 patients evaluable for tumor outcome at one year were 93%, 93%, 84% and

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93%, respectively. We believe these outcomes are similar to the outcomes observed in historical control studies, suggesting that avasopasem does not decrease the anti-cancer efficacy of radiotherapy.

Results of this trial were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology/Biology/Physics in February 2018.

Radiotherapy-Induced Esophagitis

Radiotherapy-induced esophagitis is a common and debilitating adverse effect that develops in patients receiving radiotherapy, most commonly for lung, esophageal, breast or head and neck cancers or for lymphoma. Radiotherapy-induced esophagitis is inflammation, edema, erythema, and erosion of the mucosal surface of the esophagus caused by radiotherapy. Esophagitis can be life-threatening, and symptoms include an inability to swallow, severe pain, ulceration, infection, bleeding and weight loss and may require hospitalization. The severity of esophagitis is graded using the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, which is a five-point grading scale:

 

Grade

 

Description

1

 

Patients are asymptomatic with only clinical observations

2

 

Patients are symptomatic with altered eating or swallowing, with oral supplements indicated

3

 

Patients exhibit severely altered eating or swallowing requiring tube feeding, total parenteral nutrition or hospitalization

4

 

Patient requires urgent operative intervention; condition is life-threatening

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Results in death

 

In lung cancer, there are approximately 235,000 new patients annually in the United States, of which approximately 50,000 are treated with radiotherapy. The overall frequency of Grade 2 or higher esophagitis in patients receiving radiotherapy for the treatment of lung cancer is approximately 50% and approximately 20-30% will experience Grade 3 or higher.

There are currently no FDA-approved drugs and no established guidelines for the treatment of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis. Treatment options are not only ineffective but also largely symptomatic in nature, with medications being administered in conjunction with a focus on adequate hydration and nutrition. These approaches, which include various analgesics such as topical lidocaine and opioids, and tube or intravenous feeding, do not treat the underlying cause of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis.

Avasopasem for Radiotherapy-Induced Esophagitis

Unlike existing treatment options that are largely palliative in nature, we believe avasopasem has the potential to address and mitigate the root cause of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis. By removing superoxide, avasopasem is designed to reduce the damage radiotherapy ordinarily causes to the patient’s esophageal mucosa, and thereby reduce the incidence of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis.

Historical Clinical Development of Avasopasem for Esophagitis

 

Phase 2a Trial in Patients with Lung Cancer (AESOP Trial)

 

In May 2022, we announced topline results from an open-label, single-arm Phase 2a trial evaluating avasopasem for its potential to reduce the incidence of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis in patients with lung cancer, which we refer to as the AESOP trial. This multi-center trial enrolled 39 patients (62 screened) of which 35 completed treatment with 60 Gy of radiotherapy plus chemotherapy over six weeks. Of these 35 patients, 29 received at least five weeks of 90 mg of avasopasem on the days they underwent radiotherapy. These 29 patients were evaluated as the pre-specified per protocol population. The results demonstrated that avasopasem substantially reduced the incidence of severe esophagitis in patients with lung cancer receiving chemoradiotherapy compared to our expectations based on review of historical data in the literature. Avasopasem was generally well tolerated. The adverse events experienced are comparable to those expected with chemoradiotherapy.

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Increasing Anti-Cancer Efficacy of Radiotherapy (Radiosensitization)

As cancer cells are much more sensitive than normal cells to elevated hydrogen peroxide, we believe the conversion of excess superoxide to hydrogen peroxide by our dismutase mimetics has the potential to increase the anti-cancer efficacy of radiotherapy. We were developing rucosopasem with the goal to increase the anti-cancer efficacy of high daily doses of radiotherapy.

Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer Overview

Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which solid tumors form in the tissues of the pancreas. The first line of treatment for patients with unresectable tumors is chemotherapy. For those patients whose tumors remain unresectable following chemotherapy, SBRT is an emerging treatment option. Even with SBRT as an option, patients with pancreatic cancer often have a poor prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of only approximately 10%. As a result, there remains a large unmet need to increase the effectiveness of disease management and ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Overview

According to the NCI, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. SBRT is an established radiotherapy treatment for some forms of NSCLC. Even with current treatment options, NSCLC remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. As such, improving the effectiveness of lung cancer treatment and improving patient outcomes represents a significant unmet need.

Rucosopasem (GC4711) for Increasing Anti-Cancer Efficacy in Patients Receiving SBRT

Rucosopasem is our second product candidate. We were specifically developing rucosopasem, an analog of avasopasem, with the goal of increasing the anti-cancer efficacy of SBRT.

Phase 1 Trials

In December 2017, we completed a Phase 1 single-dose trial of intravenously administered rucosopasem in Australia. In March 2020, we completed a second Phase 1 single-ascending dose and multiple-dose trial of rucosopasem administered by 15-minute intravenous infusions to healthy volunteers in Australia.

 

In these trials, rucosopasem was observed to be well tolerated. There were no Grade 3, 4, or 5 adverse events, and no adverse events led to withdrawal from these trials.

Historical Clinical Development for Increasing Anti-Cancer Efficacy

 

Phase 1/2 Pilot Trial of Avasopasem in Patients with LAPC

In September 2021, we announced final results from a pilot Phase 1/2 safety and anti-cancer efficacy trial of avasopasem in combination with SBRT in patients with unresectable or borderline resectable LAPC. The primary objective of this trial was to determine the maximum tolerated daily dose of SBRT in conjunction with our dismutase mimetic, with secondary measures assessing, among others, OS, PFS, resectability and overall response rate compared to placebo. The trial was designed to evaluate three dose levels of SBRT, with each patient receiving five doses of SBRT. SBRT daily dose levels ranged from 10 Gy/dose to 12 Gy/dose.

The results included a minimum follow up of one year on all 42 patients enrolled in the trial. In this proof-of-concept trial, relative improvements were observed in OS, PFS, local tumor control and time to distant metastases. 46% of patients in the active arm were alive at last follow-up (11 out of 24) compared to 33% in the placebo arm (6 out of 18). 29% of patients in the active arm achieved a 30% or greater decrease in primary tumor size (partial response) compared to 11% of patients in the placebo arm. Avasopasem was well tolerated, with similar rates of early and late adverse events in the active and placebo arms. The data from this trial enabled us to select the SBRT regimen for our subsequent trial in this indication, the GRECO-2 trial, of five daily doses at 10 Gy/dose.

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Results of this avasopasem trial were published in The Lancet Oncology in November 2023.

Phase 1/2 Trial of rucosopasem in Patients with NSCLC (GRECO-1 Trial)

In October 2020, we initiated a Phase 1/2 trial of rucosopasem in combination with SBRT in patients with NSCLC, which we refer to as the GRECO-1 trial.

The trial was designed to enroll approximately five patients with locally advanced NSCLC as part of the Phase 1 open-label safety run-in portion of the trial. Patients received 100 mg of rucosopasem with SBRT over five consecutive weekdays. Following the safety run-in cohort, up to 66 NSCLC patients with locally advanced disease will receive 100 mg of rucosopasem with SBRT or placebo with SBRT over five consecutive weekdays in the randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled Phase 2 portion of trial.

The primary objective of the trial was to assess safety with secondary measures assessing, among others, objective response rate, PFS and OS.

In June 2022, we reported interim results from the Phase 1 open-label stage of the trial with six months follow-up on all seven patients enrolled. Rucosopasem in combination with SBRT appeared to be well tolerated through the cutoff date of June 14, 2022. The most frequent adverse events were fatigue, cough, and nausea, which are common in patients with lung cancer receiving radiotherapy. Through six months, in-field partial responses were observed in three patients and stable disease was observed in three others based on RECIST criteria. These results include target tumor reductions in five patients of 61%, 58%, 33%, 29% and 27% and one patient with an 8% increase as of the cutoff date. Preservation of pulmonary lung function was also observed compared to expectations based on review of historical literature evaluating pulmonary function in a similar patient population with SBRT alone.

In October 2023, we halted the GRECO-1 trial, following the futility analysis of the GRECO-2 trial (discussed below).

Phase 2b Trial of rucosopasem in Patients with LAPC (GRECO-2 Trial)

In May 2021, we initiated a randomized, double-blinded, multicenter, placebo-controlled Phase 2b trial of rucosopasem in combination with SBRT in patients with LAPC, which we refer to as the GRECO-2 trial.

The primary objective of this trial was to determine the impact on OS of adding 100 mg of rucosopasem to SBRT following chemotherapy in patients with unresectable or borderline resectable nonmetastatic pancreatic cancer.

In October 2023, we halted our Phase 2b GRECO-2 trial of rucosopasem in patients with LAPC, following a futility analysis of the trial, which indicated that the trial was unlikely to succeed as designed.

Manufacturing

We do not own or operate, and currently have no plans to establish, any manufacturing facilities. We historically have relied on third party contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), for the supply of current good manufacturing practice- (cGMP-) grade clinical trial materials and commercial quantities of our product candidates. We have a formal agreement with Patheon Manufacturing Services LLC (Patheon) for commercial production of avasopasem, if approved. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources-Patheon Manufacturing Agreements” in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Competition

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries put significant emphasis and resources into the development of novel and proprietary therapies for cancer treatment. We have historically faced potential

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competition from many different sources, including large and specialty pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic research institutions and governmental agencies and public and private research institutions.

The key competitive factors affecting the success of avasopasem and rucosopasem, if approved, are likely to be their efficacy, safety, convenience, price, the level of generic competition and the availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of OM in patients with HNC and no FDA-approved drugs or established guidelines for the treatment of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis.

Intellectual Property

Our policy has historically been to seek to protect our proprietary position by, among other methods, filing or in-licensing U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications related to our product candidates and other proprietary technologies, inventions and improvements, including claims related to composition of matter and methods of use, that are important to the development and implementation of our business. We have relied on trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, continuing technological innovation and potential in-licensing opportunities to develop and maintain our proprietary position. For more information, please see “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Intellectual Property.”

Patents and Patent Applications

As of December 31, 2023, our owned and currently pending and/or in-force patent portfolio consisted of approximately 18 issued U.S. patents, 12 pending U.S. patent applications, 112 issued foreign patents including 4 issued European patents that have been validated in many European countries, and 107 pending foreign applications.

The term of individual patents depends upon the legal term for patents in the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, including the United States, the patent term is 20 years from the earliest filing date of a non-provisional patent application. In the United States, a patent’s term may be lengthened by patent term adjustment, which compensates a patentee for administrative delays by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in examining and granting a patent, or may be shortened if a patent is terminally disclaimed over an earlier expiring patent. In some instances, such a patent term adjustment may result in the term of a United States patent extending beyond 20 years from the earliest filing date of a non-provisional patent application. In the United States, the term of a patent that covers a drug product may also be eligible for patent term extension when regulatory approval is granted, provided the legal requirements are met. This permits patent term restoration as compensation for the patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review process. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent term extension of up to a maximum of five years beyond the expiration of the patent if the patent is eligible for such an extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act. The length of the patent term extension is related to the length of time the drug is under regulatory review; however, it cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval. For patents that might expire during the application phase, the patent owner may request an interim patent extension. An interim patent extension increases the patent term by one year and may be renewed up to four times. For each interim patent extension granted, the post-approval patent extension is reduced by one year. The director of the USPTO must determine that approval of the drug covered by the patent for which a patent extension is being sought is likely. Interim patent extensions are not available for a drug for which an NDA has not been submitted. Only one patent applicable to an approved drug may be extended. Similar provisions are available in Europe and certain other jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug. In the future, if and when our drug candidates receive approval by the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities, we expect to apply for patent term extensions on issued patents covering those drugs, depending upon the length of the clinical trials for each drug and other factors.

The two most advanced product candidates in our portfolio as of December 31, 2023, avasopasem and rucosopasem, are protected by issued patents with claims directed to composition of matter and method of use. Avasopasem is covered by a composition of matter patent in the United States that had a natural expiration date in March 2022. The U.S. patent family covering the method of treating OM has a natural expiration date in late 2027, and a patent term extension of up to five years may be available, if sought, depending upon the duration of clinical trials and the regulatory review process necessary for approval and subject to the FDA’s decision as to the length of any extension. The U.S. patent family covering treating tissue damage resulting from radiation therapy,

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chemotherapy or a combination thereof by administering high doses of avasopasem, including that tested in the ROMAN Phase 3 trial, has a natural expiration date in 2032. A patent term extension of up to five years may be available, if sought, depending upon the duration of clinical trials and the regulatory review process necessary for approval and subject to the FDA’s decision as to the length of any extension. In any event, we can only extend one applicable patent for each approved drug. Rucosopasem is covered by a composition of matter patent in the United States, which also covers oral bioavailability of the product candidate, and has a natural expiration date in 2036. A patent term extension of up to five years may be available, if sought, depending upon the duration of clinical trials and the regulatory review process necessary for approval and subject to the FDA’s decision as to the length of any extension. Additional pending or future patent applications may supplement or extend this patent portfolio.

However, there can be no assurance that any of our pending patent applications will issue or that we will pursue or benefit from any patent term extension or favorable adjustment to the term of any of our patents. The applicable authorities, including the FDA in the United States, may not agree with our assessment of whether such patent term extensions should be granted, and if granted, they may grant more limited extensions than we request. In all cases, the total patent life for the product with the patent extension cannot exceed 14 years from the product’s approval date, or in other words, 14 years of potential marketing time. If the patent life of the product after approval has 14 or more years before expiration, the product would not be eligible for patent extension.

We also have pending patent families in the United States that cover certain combinations of our product candidates with several oncology products and therapies that may provide protection for the use of our product candidates in connection with those oncology products and therapies, which, if granted, are projected to expire between 2037 and 2043.

Trademarks and Trade Secrets

As of December 31, 2023, our owned and currently pending and/or in-force trademark portfolio consisted of 3 registered U.S. trademarks, 8 pending U.S. trademark applications, 29 registered foreign trademarks, and 16 pending foreign trademark applications.

Furthermore, we have historically relied upon trade secrets, know-how, continuing technological innovation and potential in-licensing opportunities to develop and maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect our proprietary information, in part, using confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our commercial partners, 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 an employee or a third party. These agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate resources to pursue or remedies for any such breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or be independently discovered by competitors. To the extent that our commercial partners, collaborators, employees, and consultants use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions.

Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences (Formerly Known as Clarus Ventures)

In November 2018, we entered into the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences. Pursuant to the Royalty Agreement, Blackstone agreed to pay us, in the aggregate, up to $80.0 million (the Royalty Purchase Price), in four tranches of $20.0 million each upon the achievement of specified clinical milestones in our ROMAN trial. We agreed to apply the proceeds from such payments primarily to support clinical development and regulatory activities for avasopasem, rucosopasem and any pharmaceutical product comprising or containing avasopasem or rucosopasem (collectively, the Products) as well as to satisfy working capital obligations and for general corporate expenses. We received the first tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in November 2018, the second tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in April 2019, and the third tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in February 2020, in each case in connection with the achievement of the first three milestones, respectively, under the Royalty Agreement.

In May 2020, we entered into Amendment No. 1 to the Royalty Agreement (the Amendment) with Clarus IV Galera Royalty AIV, L.P. (the Blackstone Purchaser). The Blackstone Purchaser is affiliated with Blackstone Life Sciences, successor in interest to Clarus Ventures. The Amendment increased the Royalty Purchase Price by $37.5 million to $117.5 million by increasing the fourth tranche from $20.0 million to $37.5 million and

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adding a new $20.0 million tranche upon the achievement of an additional clinical enrollment milestone. We received the new $20.0 million tranche of the Amendment in June 2021, in connection with the enrollment of the first patient in the GRECO-2 trial. Also in June 2021, we completed enrollment in the ROMAN trial, thereby achieving the milestone associated with the fourth tranche, and received the associated $37.5 million in July 2021.

Pursuant to the amended Royalty Agreement, in connection with the payment of each tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price, we have agreed to sell, convey, transfer and assign to Blackstone all of our right, title and interest in a high single-digit percentage of (i) worldwide net sales of the Products and (ii) all amounts received by us or our affiliates, licensees and sublicensees with respect to Product-related damages (collectively, the Product Payments) during the Royalty Period. The Royalty Period means, on a Product-by-Product and country-by-country basis, the period of time commencing on the commercial launch of such Product in such country and ending on the latest to occur of (i) the 12th anniversary of such commercial launch, (ii) the expiration of all valid claims of our patents covering such Product in such country, and (iii) the expiration of regulatory data protection or market exclusivity or similar regulatory protection afforded by the health authorities in such country, to the extent such protection or exclusivity effectively prevents generic versions of such Product from entering the market in such country.

The amended Royalty Agreement will remain in effect until the date on which the aggregate amount of the Product Payments paid to Blackstone exceeds a fixed single-digit multiple of the actual amount of the Royalty Purchase Price received by us, unless earlier terminated pursuant to the mutual written agreement of us and Blackstone. If no Products are commercialized, we would not have an obligation to make Product Payments to Blackstone, which is the sole mechanism for repaying the liability.

In May 2020, as partial consideration for the Amendment, we issued two warrants to the Blackstone Purchaser to purchase an aggregate of 550,661 shares of our common stock at an exercise price equal to $13.62 per share, each of which became exercisable upon the receipt by Galera of the applicable specified milestone payment. The issued warrants expire six years after the initial exercise date of each respective warrant.

Government Regulation

The FDA and comparable regulatory authorities in state and local jurisdictions and in other countries impose substantial and burdensome requirements upon companies involved in the clinical development, manufacture, marketing and distribution of drugs, such as those we were historically developing. These agencies and other federal, state and local entities regulate, among other things, the research and development, testing, manufacture, quality control, safety, effectiveness, labeling, storage, record keeping, approval, advertising and promotion, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, sampling and export and import of the product candidates that we were developing.

Data Privacy and Security Laws

Numerous state, federal and foreign laws 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, and consumer protection laws and regulations govern the collection, use, disclosure, and protection of health-related and other personal information and could apply to our operations or the operations of our partners. In addition, certain foreign laws, such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 (collectively, the “UK GDPR”), govern the privacy and security of personal data, including health-related data. 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 complicate compliance efforts, and can result in investigations, proceedings, or actions that lead to significant civil and/or criminal penalties and restrictions on data processing.

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Employees

As of March 26, 2024, we had 7 employees. None of our employees is subject to a collective bargaining agreement or represented by a trade or labor union. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

Corporate Information

We were incorporated in Delaware in November 2012. Our address is 45 Liberty Blvd., Suite 230, Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355. Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “GRTX.”

Available Information

Our internet website address is www.galeratx.com. In addition to the information about us and our subsidiaries contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, information about us can be found on our website. Our website and information included in or linked to our website are not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below, as well as the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” before deciding whether to invest in our common stock. The occurrence of any of the events or developments described below could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth 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

Any financial or strategic option we pursue may not be successful.

In August 2023, in connection with the Complete Response Letter announcement, we initiated a process to explore potential strategic alternatives. We engaged Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., as our financial advisor, to assist in reviewing strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for our stockholders. Such alternatives may include a merger, sale, divestiture of assets, licensing, or other strategic transaction. If we are unable to undertake any suitable strategic alternative, we may be required to cease operations altogether. The process of continuing to evaluate these strategic options may be costly, time-consuming and complex and we may incur significant costs related to this continued evaluation, such as legal, accounting and advisory fees and expenses and other related charges. There can be no assurance of completion of any particular course of action or a defined timeline for completion, and we can provide no assurance that any strategic alternative we pursue will have a positive impact on our results of operations or financial condition.

We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception and anticipate that we will incur continued losses for the foreseeable future.

We have incurred losses in each year since our inception in 2012, related to expenses for research and development and our ongoing operations, and we anticipate incurring losses for the foreseeable future. Historically, we invested substantially all of our efforts and financial resources in identifying, acquiring, in-licensing and developing our product candidates, including commencing and conducting clinical trials and providing general and administrative support for these operations. Our net losses for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 were $59.1 million and $62.2 million, respectively. As of December 31, 2023, we had an accumulated deficit of $437.4 million.

To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and eventually commercializing product candidates that generate significant revenue. Given that we are not currently pursuing the clinical development of our product candidates and are exploring strategic alternatives, we may never succeed in these activities and we expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future. Our prior losses, combined with expected future losses, have had and will continue to have an adverse effect on our stockholders’ equity and working capital.

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

We may seek to finance our cash needs through securities offerings or debt financings, or possibly, license and collaboration agreements or research grants. The terms of any financing may adversely affect the holdings or the rights of our stockholders and our issuance of additional securities, whether equity or debt, or the possibility of such issuance, may cause the market price of our common stock to decline. The sale of additional equity or convertible securities would dilute all of our stockholders, including their ownership interest. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased fixed or variable payment obligations, and we may be required to agree to certain restrictive covenants, such as limitations on our ability to incur additional debt, limitations on our ability to acquire, sell or license intellectual property rights and other operating restrictions that could adversely

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impact our ability to conduct our business. We could also be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborators or otherwise at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable and we may be required to relinquish rights to some of our technologies, product candidates or future revenue streams, or otherwise agree to terms unfavorable to us, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and prospects. If we raise funds through research grants, we may be subject to certain requirements, which may limit our ability to use the funds or require us to share information from our research and development. Raising additional capital through any of these or other means could adversely affect our business and the holdings or rights of our stockholders and may cause the market price of our shares to decline.

Risks Related to the Discovery and Development of Our Product Candidates

We have been heavily dependent on the success of our lead product candidate, avasopasem, and because avasopasem has not received regulatory approval and we have suspended all commercial preparation efforts, our business has and may continue to be harmed.

We currently have no products that are approved for commercial sale and have suspended clinical and commercial preparation efforts, and there can be no assurance that we will resume such efforts in future.

We have not completed the development of any product candidates and we may never be able to develop marketable products. The research, testing, manufacturing, labeling, approval, sale, marketing and distribution of products are, and will remain, subject to extensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory authorities in the United States and other countries that each have differing regulations.

Obtaining approval of a New Drug Application, or NDA, or similar regulatory approval is an extensive, lengthy, expensive and inherently uncertain process, and the FDA or other foreign regulatory authorities may delay, limit or deny approval of any product candidates.

Clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process with uncertain timelines and outcomes, and results of earlier studies and trials may not be predictive of future trial results. If development of our product candidates is unsuccessful, we may be unable to obtain required regulatory approvals and be unable to commercialize our product candidates on a timely basis, if at all.

We have currently suspended clinical development of our product candidates, and there can be no assurance that we will resume such clinical development in future. Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure or delay can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. Success in preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will be successful. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical industry, including biotechnology companies, have suffered significant setbacks in clinical trials, even after promising results in earlier preclinical studies or clinical trials. These setbacks have been caused by, among other things, preclinical findings made while clinical trials were underway and safety or efficacy observations made in clinical trials, including previously unreported adverse events. The results of preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. Notwithstanding any potential promising results in earlier studies, we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks. While we have currently halted clinical development, even if our clinical trials are completed, the results may not be sufficient to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.

Furthermore, we have historically relied on contract research organizations, or CROs, and clinical trial sites to ensure the proper and timely conduct of our clinical trials. While we have agreements with our CROs governing their committed activities, and the ability to audit their performance, we have limited influence over their actual performance. We have relied on third-party vendors, such as CROs, scientists and collaborators to provide us with significant data and other information related to our preclinical studies or clinical trials and our business. If such third parties provide inaccurate, misleading or incomplete data, our business, prospects and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. For example, in October 2021, we announced topline data from the Phase 3 ROMAN trial of avasopasem in SOM and reported that the trial did not achieve statistical significance on the primary endpoint. Upon further analysis of the ROMAN data, an error by the CRO was identified in the

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statistical programming. Correction of this error yielded the correct, statistically significant p-values for the primary and a key secondary endpoint. We announced the correct topline results in December 2021.

Success in preclinical studies or earlier clinical trials may not be indicative of results in future clinical trials.

Success in preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will generate the same results or otherwise provide adequate data to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a product candidate. Preclinical studies and early-stage clinical trials are primarily designed to test safety, to study pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and to understand the side effects of product candidates at various doses and schedules. Success in preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later, large-scale efficacy trials will be successful, nor does it predict final results. Our product candidates may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy in clinical development despite positive results in preclinical studies or having successfully advanced through initial clinical trials.

Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical trials even after achieving promising results in preclinical studies and earlier-stage clinical trials. Data obtained from preclinical and clinical activities are subject to varying interpretations, which may delay, limit or prevent regulatory approval.

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

Undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates could cause regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, such as the EMA or the competent authorities of the member states of the European Union, or EU. Results of clinical trials of our product candidates could reveal a high and unacceptable severity and prevalence of side effects or unexpected characteristics. To date, patients treated with our product candidates have experienced drug-related side effects including lymphopenia, nausea, fatigue, oropharyngeal pain, constipation, radiation skin injury and vomiting.

If unacceptable side effects arise in the development of our product candidates, we, the FDA, the institutional review board, or IRBs, at the institutions in which our studies are conducted, or the Data Safety Monitoring Board, or DSMB, could suspend or terminate clinical trials or the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could require clinical trials to stop or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Treatment-related side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial or result in potential product liability claims. In addition, these side effects may not be appropriately recognized or managed by the treating medical staff.

In addition, if any of our product candidates receives marketing approval in the future, and we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by such products, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

regulatory authorities may suspend, withdraw or limit their approval of the product, or seek an injunction against its manufacture or distribution;
the product may be recalled or the way such product is administered to patients may be required to change;
additional restrictions may be imposed on the marketing of the particular product or the manufacturing processes for the product or any component thereof;
regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “black box” warning or a contraindication, or issue safety alerts, Dear Healthcare Provider letters, press releases or other communications containing warnings or other safety information about the product;

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we may be required to implement a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, or similar risk management measures, or create a Medication Guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients, or implement other changes to how a product is distributed or administered;
we may be subject to fines, injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties;
we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients; and
the product may become less competitive.

Risks Related to Competition, Retaining Key Employees and Managing Growth

Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel.

We have a limited operating history and are highly dependent on the expertise of the principal members of our management team. Although we have entered into employment agreements with our executive officers, each of them may terminate their employment with us at any time. We do not maintain “key person” insurance for any of our executives or other employees. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors. Our consultants and advisors may be employed by employers other than us and may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us.

As we explore strategic alternatives, and particularly in light of the Workforce Reduction, we may find it difficult to maintain valuable aspects of our culture, to prevent a negative effect on employee morale or attrition beyond our planned reduction in headcount, and to retain competent personnel. If we are not able to continue to retain, on acceptable terms, the qualified personnel necessary for the continued operation of our business, we may not be able to sustain our operations.

Our recent reduction in force undertaken to significantly reduce our ongoing operating expenses may not result in our intended outcomes and may yield unintended consequences and additional costs.

In August 2023, we implemented the Workforce Reduction. The decision was based on cost-reduction initiatives intended to reduce operating expenses. We incurred a $2.3 million charge in connection with the Workforce Reduction in the third quarter of 2023, primarily consisting of severance payments, employee benefits and related costs. In connection with the Workforce Reduction, we wound down our commercial readiness efforts for avasopasem and reduced headcount across several departments.

The Workforce Reduction may result in unintended consequences and costs, such as the loss of institutional knowledge and expertise, attrition beyond the intended number of employees, decreased morale among our remaining employees, and the risk that we may not achieve the anticipated benefits of the Workforce Reduction. In addition, while positions have been eliminated certain functions necessary to our operations remain, and we may be unsuccessful in distributing the duties and obligations of departed employees among our remaining employees. We may also be unsuccessful in negotiating any desired strategic alternative or partnership relating to such functions on a timely basis, on acceptable terms, or at all. The Workforce Reduction could also make it difficult for us to pursue, or prevent us from pursuing, new opportunities and initiatives due to insufficient personnel, or require us to incur additional and unanticipated costs to hire new personnel to pursue such opportunities or initiatives. Further, inflationary pressure may increase our costs, including employee compensation costs, or result in employee attrition to the extent our compensation does not keep up with inflation, particularly if our competitors’ compensation does. If we are unable to realize the anticipated benefits from the Workforce Reduction, if we experience significant adverse consequences from the reduction in force, or if we are otherwise unable to retain our employees, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

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Risks Related to Intellectual Property

If we are unable to adequately protect our proprietary technology and product candidates, if the scope of the patent protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, or if the terms of our patents are insufficient to protect our product candidates for an adequate amount of time, our competitors could develop and commercialize technology and products similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates may be materially impaired.

We rely primarily upon a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secret protection, and other intellectual property rights as well as nondisclosure, confidentiality and other contractual agreements to protect the intellectual property related to our brands, product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and other proprietary technologies. Our success depends on our ability to develop, manufacture, market and sell our product candidates, if approved, and use our proprietary technologies without alleged or actual infringement, misappropriation or other violation of the patents and other intellectual property rights of third parties. There have been many lawsuits and other proceedings asserting patents and other intellectual property rights in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. We cannot assure you that our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, will not infringe existing or future third-party patents. Because patent applications can take many years to issue and may be confidential for 18 months or more after filing, there may be applications now pending of which we are unaware and which may later result in issued patents that we may infringe by commercializing our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. There may also be issued patents or pending patent applications that we are aware of, but that we think are irrelevant to our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, which may ultimately be found to be infringed by the manufacture, sale, or use of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Moreover, we may face claims from non-practicing entities that have no relevant product revenue and against whom our own patent portfolio may thus have no deterrent effect. In addition, many of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, have a complex structure that makes it difficult to conduct a thorough search and review of all potentially relevant third-party patents. Because we have not yet conducted a formal freedom to operate analysis for patents related to our product candidates, we may not be aware of issued patents that a third party might assert are infringed by one of our current or future product candidates, which could materially impair our ability to commercialize our product candidates. Even if we diligently search third-party patents for potential infringement by our products or product candidates, including avasopasem or rucosopasem, we may not successfully find patents that our products or product candidates, including avasopasem or rucosopasem, may infringe. If we are unable to secure and maintain freedom to operate, others could preclude us from commercializing our product candidates.

The process of obtaining patent protection is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. We may choose not to seek patent protection for certain innovations or products and may choose not to pursue patent protection in certain jurisdictions, and under the laws of certain jurisdictions, patents or other intellectual property rights may be unavailable or limited in scope and, in any event, any patent protection we obtain may be limited. As a result, in some jurisdictions some of our products currently or in the future may not be, protected by patents. We generally apply for patents in those countries where we intend to make, have made, use, offer for sale, or sell products and where we assess the risk of infringement to justify the cost of seeking patent protection. However, we may not accurately predict all the countries where patent protection would ultimately be desirable. If we fail to timely file a patent application in any such country or major market, we may be precluded from doing so at a later date. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and, further, may export otherwise infringing products to territories in which we have patent protection that may not be sufficient to terminate infringing activities. In addition, the actual protection afforded by a patent varies on a product-by-product basis, from country to country, and depends upon many factors, including the type of patent, the scope of its coverage, the availability of regulatory-related extensions, the availability of legal remedies in a particular country and the validity and enforceability of the patent.

Furthermore, we cannot guarantee that any patents will be issued from any pending or future owned or licensed patent applications, or that any current or future patents will provide us with any meaningful protection or competitive advantage. Even if issued, existing or future patents may be challenged, including with respect to ownership, narrowed, invalidated, held unenforceable or circumvented, any of which could limit our ability to prevent competitors and other third parties from developing and marketing similar products or limit the length of

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terms of patent protection we may have for our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and technologies. Moreover, should we be unable to obtain meaningful patent coverage for clinically relevant dosages or infusion rates for avasopasem and rucosopasem in jurisdictions with commercially significant markets, our ability to extend and reinforce patent protection for these product candidates in those jurisdictions may be adversely impacted, which could limit our ability to prevent competitors and other third parties from developing and marketing similar products or limit the length of terms of patent protection we may have for those product candidates. Other companies may also design around technologies we have patented, licensed or developed. In addition, the issuance of a patent does not give us the right to practice the patented invention. Third parties may have blocking patents that could prevent us from marketing our products or practicing our own patented technology.

The patent positions of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal, scientific and factual questions for which important legal principles remain unresolved. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patent rights may be uncertain. The standards that the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or the USPTO, and its foreign counterparts use to grant patents are not always applied predictably or uniformly. Changes in either the patent laws, implementing regulations or the interpretation of patent laws may diminish the value of our rights. The legal systems of certain countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States, and many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending such rights in foreign jurisdictions. For example, patent laws in various jurisdictions, including significant commercial markets such as Europe, restrict the patentability of methods of treatment of the human body more than United States law does. In addition, many countries, including certain countries in Europe, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties (for example, the patent owner has failed to “work” the invention in that country, or the third party has patented improvements). 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 the patent. Moreover, the legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the aggressive enforcement of patent and other intellectual property protection, which makes it difficult to stop infringement.

Because patent applications in the United States, Europe and many other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing, or in some cases not at all, and because publications of discoveries in scientific literature lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that we were the first to conceive or reduce to practice the inventions claimed in our issued patents or pending patent applications, or that we were the first to file for protection of the inventions set forth in our patents or pending patent applications. We can give no assurance that all of the potentially relevant art relating to our patents and patent applications has been found; overlooked prior art could be used by a third party to challenge the validity, enforceability and scope of our patents or prevent a patent from issuing from a pending patent application. As a result, we may not be able to obtain or maintain protection for certain inventions. Therefore, the validity, enforceability and scope of our patents in the United States, Europe and in other countries cannot be predicted with certainty and, as a result, any patents that we own or license may not provide sufficient protection against our competitors.

Third parties may challenge any existing patent or future patent we own or license through adversarial proceedings in the issuing offices or in court proceedings, including as a response to any assertion of our patents against them. In any of these proceedings, a court or agency with jurisdiction may find our patents invalid and/or unenforceable, or even if valid and enforceable, insufficient to provide protection against competing products and services sufficient to achieve our business objectives. We may be subject to a third-party pre-issuance submission of prior art to the USPTO, or reexamination by the USPTO if a third party asserts a substantial question of patentability against any claim of a U.S. patent we own or license. The adoption of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the Leahy-Smith Act, in September 2011 established additional opportunities for third parties to invalidate U.S. patent claims, including inter partes review and post-grant review proceedings. Outside of the United States, patents we own or license may become subject to patent opposition or similar proceedings, which may result in loss of scope of some claims or the entire patent. In addition, such proceedings are very complex and expensive, and may divert our management’s attention from our core business. If any of our patents are challenged, invalidated, circumvented by third parties or otherwise limited or expire prior to the commercialization of our products, and if we do not own or have exclusive rights to other enforceable patents protecting our products or other technologies, competitors and other third parties could market products and use processes that are substantially similar to, or superior to, ours and our business would suffer.

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The degree of future protection for our proprietary rights is uncertain because legal means afford only limited protection and may not adequately protect our rights or permit us to gain or keep a competitive advantage. For example:

others may be able to develop products that are similar to, or better than, ours in a way that is not covered by the claims of our patents;
we might not have been the first to conceive or reduce to practice the inventions covered by our patents or pending patent applications;
we might not have been the first to file patent applications for our inventions;
any patents that we obtain may not provide us with any competitive advantages or may ultimately be found invalid or unenforceable; or
we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable.

We are generally also subject to all of the same risks with respect to protection of intellectual property that we license as we are for intellectual property that we own. We currently in-license certain intellectual property from third parties to be able to use such intellectual property in our products and product candidates and to aid in our research activities. In the future, we may in-license intellectual property from additional licensors. We may rely on certain of these licensors to file and prosecute patent applications and maintain, or assist us in the maintenance of, patents and otherwise protect the intellectual property we license from them. We may have limited control over these activities or any other intellectual property that may be related to our in-licensed intellectual property. For example, we cannot be certain that such activities by these licensors have been or will be conducted diligently or in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or will result in valid and enforceable patents and other intellectual property rights. We may have limited control over the manner in which our licensors initiate, or support our efforts to initiate, an infringement proceeding against a third-party infringer of the intellectual property rights, or defend certain of the intellectual property that is licensed to us. If we or our licensors fail to adequately protect this intellectual property, our ability to commercialize products could suffer.

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

Competitors may infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate our patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets or other intellectual property, or those of our licensors. To counter infringement, misappropriation, unauthorized use or other violations, we may be required to file legal claims, which can be expensive and time consuming and divert the time and attention of our management and scientific personnel. In some cases, it may be difficult or impossible to detect third-party infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property rights, even in relation to issued patent claims, and proving any such infringement may be even more difficult.

We may not be able to prevent, alone or with our licensees or any future licensors, infringement, misappropriation or other violations of our intellectual property rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States. Any claims we assert against perceived infringers could provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us alleging that we infringe their patents. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity or unenforceability are commonplace. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable. We cannot be certain that there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a third party or a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of any future patent protection on our current or future product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Such a loss of patent protection could harm our business. In addition, in a patent infringement proceeding, there is a risk that a court will decide that a patent of ours is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, and that we do not have the right to stop the other party from exploiting the claimed subject matter at issue. There is also a risk that, even if the validity of such patents is 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 exploiting its technology on the

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grounds that our patents do not cover such technology. An adverse outcome in a litigation or proceeding involving our patents could limit our ability to assert our patents against those parties or other competitors and may curtail or preclude our ability to exclude third parties from making, using, importing and selling similar or competitive products. Any of these occurrences could adversely affect our competitive business position, business prospects and financial condition. Similarly, 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, misappropriation or other intellectual property 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. Moreover, there can be no assurance that we will have sufficient financial or other resources to file and pursue such infringement claims, which typically last for years before they are concluded. 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. We may not be able to detect or prevent misappropriation of our intellectual property rights, particularly in countries where the laws may not protect those rights as fully as in the United States. Our business could be harmed if in litigation the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms. Any litigation or other proceedings to enforce our intellectual property rights may fail, and even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees.

Our commercial success depends significantly on our ability to operate without infringing upon the intellectual property rights of third parties.

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are subject to rapid technological change and substantial litigation regarding patent and other intellectual property rights. Our competitors in both the United States and abroad, many of which have substantially greater resources and have made substantial investments in patent portfolios and competing technologies, may have applied for or obtained or may in the future apply for or obtain, patents that will prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with our ability to make, use and sell our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and services. Numerous third-party patents exist in the fields relating to our products and services, and it is difficult for industry participants, including us, to identify all third-party patent rights relevant to our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, services and technologies. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our product candidates may give rise to claims of infringement of the patent rights of others. Moreover, because some patent applications are maintained as confidential for a certain period of time, we cannot be certain that third parties have not filed patent applications that cover our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, services and technologies. Therefore, it is uncertain whether the issuance of any third-party patent would require us to alter our development or commercial strategies for our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or processes, or to obtain licenses or cease certain activities.

Patents could be issued to third parties that we may ultimately be found to infringe. Third parties may have or obtain valid and enforceable patents or proprietary rights that could block us from developing products using our technology. If any third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover the manufacturing process of our product candidates, constructs or molecules used in or formed during the manufacturing process, or any final product itself, the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to commercialize the product candidate unless we obtain a license under the applicable patents, or until such patents expire or they are determined to be held invalid or unenforceable. Our failure to obtain or maintain a license to any technology that we require to develop or commercialize our current and future product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, may materially harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, we would be exposed to a threat of litigation.

From time to time, we may be party to, or threatened with, litigation or other proceedings with third parties, including non-practicing entities, who allege that our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, components of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, services, and/or

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proprietary technologies infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property rights. The types of situations in which we may become a party to such litigation or proceedings include:

we or our collaborators may initiate litigation or other proceedings against third parties seeking to invalidate the patents held by those third parties or to obtain a judgment that our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or processes do not infringe those third parties’ patents;
we or our collaborators may participate at substantial cost in International Trade Commission proceedings to abate importation of third-party products that would compete unfairly with our products;
if our competitors file patent applications that claim technology also claimed by us or our licensors, we or our licensors may be required to participate in interference, derivation or opposition proceedings to determine the priority of invention, which could jeopardize our patent rights and potentially provide a third party with a dominant patent position;
if third parties initiate litigation claiming that our processes or product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, infringe their patent or other intellectual property rights, we and our collaborators will need to defend against such proceedings;
if third parties initiate litigation or other proceedings, including inter partes reviews, oppositions or other similar agency proceedings, seeking to invalidate patents owned by or licensed to us or to obtain a declaratory judgment that their products, services, or technologies do not infringe our patents or patents licensed to us, we will need to defend against such proceedings;
we may be subject to ownership disputes relating to intellectual property, including disputes arising from conflicting obligations of consultants or others who were involved in developing our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem; and
if a license to necessary technology is terminated, the licensor may initiate litigation claiming that our processes or product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, infringe or misappropriate its patent or other intellectual property rights and/or that we breached our obligations under the license agreement, and we and our collaborators would need to defend against such proceedings.

These lawsuits and proceedings, regardless of merit, are time-consuming and expensive to initiate, maintain, defend or settle, and could divert the time and attention of managerial and technical personnel, which could materially adversely affect our business. Any such claim could also force use to do one or more of the following:

incur substantial monetary liability for infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights, which we may have to pay if a court decides that the product candidate, service, or technology at issue infringes or violates the third party’s rights, and if the court finds that the infringement was willful, we could be ordered to pay up to treble damages and the third party’s attorneys’ fees;
pay substantial damages to our customers or end users to discontinue use or replace infringing technology with non-infringing technology;
stop manufacturing, offering for sale, selling, using, importing, exporting or licensing the product or technology incorporating the allegedly infringing technology or stop incorporating the allegedly infringing technology into such product, service, or technology;

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obtain from the owner of the infringed intellectual property right a license, which may require us to pay substantial upfront fees or royalties to sell or use the relevant technology and which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all;
redesign our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, services, and technology so they do not infringe or violate the third party’s intellectual property rights, which may not be possible or may require substantial monetary expenditures and time;
enter into cross-licenses with our competitors, which could weaken our overall intellectual property position;
lose the opportunity to license our technology to others or to collect royalty payments based upon successful protection and assertion of our intellectual property against others;
find alternative suppliers for non-infringing products and technologies, which could be costly and create significant delay; or
relinquish rights associated with one or more of our patent claims, if our claims are held invalid or otherwise unenforceable.

Some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex intellectual property litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. In addition, intellectual property litigation, regardless of its outcome, may cause negative publicity, adversely impact prospective customers, cause product shipment delays, or prohibit us from manufacturing, marketing or otherwise commercializing our products, services and technology. Any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise additional funds or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operation, financial condition or cash flows.

In addition, we may indemnify our customers and distributors against claims relating to the infringement of intellectual property rights of third parties related to our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Third parties may assert infringement claims against our customers or distributors. These claims may require us to initiate or defend protracted and costly litigation on behalf of our customers or distributors, regardless of the merits of these claims. If any of these claims succeed, we may be forced to pay damages on behalf of our customers, suppliers or distributors, or may be required to obtain licenses for the product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or services they use. If we cannot obtain all necessary licenses on commercially reasonable terms, our customers may be forced to stop using our products or services.

Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. There could also be public announcements of the results of hearings, motions or other interim proceedings or developments, which could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. If securities analysts or investors perceive these results to be negative, it could have a material adverse effect on the price of our common stock. The occurrence of any of these events may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operation, financial condition or cash flows.

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

In addition to patent and trademark protection, we also rely on trade secrets, including unpatented know-how, technology and other proprietary information, to maintain our competitive position. Because we expect to rely on third parties to manufacture our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and we may collaborate with third parties on the development of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, we must, at times, share trade secrets with them. We seek to protect our trade secrets, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to them prior to disclosing our proprietary information, such as our consultants and vendors, or our former or current employees. These

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agreements typically limit the rights of third parties to use or disclose our confidential information, including our trade secrets. We also enter into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and consultants. Despite these efforts, however, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our trade secrets and other unpatented or unregistered proprietary information, and once disclosed, we are likely to lose trade secret protection. 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. In addition, we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for any such breaches. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts inside and outside the United States are less willing or unwilling to enforce trade secret protection. A competitor’s discovery of our trade secrets would impair our competitive position and have an adverse impact on our business, operating results and financial condition. Additionally, we cannot be certain that competitors will not gain access to our trade secrets and other proprietary confidential information or independently develop substantially equivalent information and techniques.

Changes in patent law could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our existing and future product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and processes.

As is the case with other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, our success is heavily dependent on intellectual property, particularly patents. Obtaining and enforcing patents in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries involves both technological and legal complexity, and is therefore costly, time consuming, and inherently uncertain. In addition, the United States has recently enacted and is currently implementing wide-ranging patent reform legislation. Recent patent reform legislation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents. On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith Act was signed into law. The Leahy-Smith Act includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law. These include provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art, may affect patent litigation, and switched the United States patent system from a “first-to-invent” system to a “first-to-file” system. Under a “first-to-file” system, assuming the other requirements for patentability are met, the first inventor to file a patent application generally will be entitled to the patent on an invention regardless of whether another inventor had conceived or reduced to practice the invention earlier. The USPTO recently developed new regulations and procedures to govern administration of the Leahy-Smith Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith Act, in particular, the first-to-file provisions, only became effective on March 16, 2013. Accordingly, it is not clear what, if any, impact the Leahy-Smith Act will have on the operation of our business. The Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

In addition, patent reform legislation may pass in the future that could lead to additional uncertainties and increased costs surrounding the prosecution, enforcement and defense of our patents and pending patent applications. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have made, and will likely continue to make, changes in how the patent laws of the United States are interpreted. Similarly, foreign courts have made, and will likely continue to make, changes in how the patent laws in their respective jurisdictions are interpreted. We cannot predict future changes in the interpretation of patent laws or changes to patent laws that might be enacted into law by United States and foreign legislative bodies. Those changes may materially affect our patents or patent applications and our ability to obtain additional patent protection in the future.

The United States federal government retains certain rights in inventions produced with its financial assistance under the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act, or the Bayh-Dole Act. The federal government retains a “nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license” for its own benefit. The Bayh-Dole Act also provides federal agencies with “march-in rights.” March-in rights allow the government, in specified circumstances, to require the contractor or successors in title to the patent to grant a “nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license” to a “responsible applicant or applicants.” If the patent owner refuses to do so, the government may grant the license itself. We have received, and in the future may receive financial assistance in support of research and development activities that could result in inventions. We also partner with a number of universities, including the University of Iowa, Northwestern University, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, with

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respect to certain of our research, development and manufacturing. While it is our policy to avoid engaging our university partners in projects in which there is a risk that federal funds may be commingled, we cannot be sure that any co-developed intellectual property will be free from government rights pursuant to the Bayh-Dole Act. If, in the future, we own, co-own or license in technology which is critical to our business that is developed in whole or in part with federal funds subject to the Bayh-Dole Act, our ability to enforce or otherwise exploit patents covering such technology may be adversely affected.

If we do not obtain patent term extensions in the United States under the Hatch-Waxman Act and in foreign countries under similar legislation with respect to our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, thereby potentially extending the term of marketing exclusivity for such product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, our business may be harmed.

In the United States, a patent that covers an FDA-approved drug or biologic may be eligible for a term extension designed to restore the period of the patent term that is lost during the premarket regulatory review process conducted by the FDA. Depending upon the timing, duration and conditions of FDA marketing approval of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, one or more of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, or the Hatch-Waxman Act, which permits a patent term extension of up to a maximum of five years beyond the normal expiration of the patent if the patent is eligible for such an extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act as compensation for patent term lost during development and the FDA regulatory review process, which is limited to the approved indication (and potentially additional indications approved during the period of extension) covered by the patent. This extension is limited to only one patent that covers the approved product, the approved use of the product, or a method of manufacturing the product. However, the applicable authorities, including the FDA and the USPTO in the United States, and any equivalent regulatory authority in other countries, may not agree with our assessment of whether such extensions are available, and may refuse to grant extensions to our patents, or may grant more limited extensions than we request.

We may not receive an extension if we fail to apply within applicable deadlines, fail to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents or otherwise fail to satisfy applicable requirements. Even if we are granted such extension, the duration of such extension may be less than our request and the patent term may still expire before or shortly after we receive FDA marketing approval. If we are unable to extend the expiration date of our existing patents or obtain new patents with longer expiry dates, our competitors may be able to take advantage of our investment in development and clinical trials by referencing our clinical and preclinical data to obtain approval of competing products following our patent expiration and launch their product earlier than might otherwise be the case.

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

The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other similar provisions during the patent application process. In addition, periodic maintenance fees on issued patents often must be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies over the lifetime of the patent. While an unintentional lapse can in many cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Non-compliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. If we fail to maintain the patents and patent applications covering our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or procedures, we may not be able to stop a competitor from marketing products that are the same as or similar to our own, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.

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

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During trademark registration proceedings, our trademark application(s) may be rejected. Although we are given an opportunity to respond to those rejections, we may be unable to overcome such rejections. In addition, in the USPTO and in comparable agencies in many foreign jurisdictions, third parties can oppose pending trademark applications and seek to cancel registered trademarks. Opposition or cancellation proceedings may be filed against our trademarks, and our trademarks may not survive such proceedings. Moreover, any name we propose to use with our product candidate(s), including avasopasem and rucosopasem, 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 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 substitute name that would qualify under applicable trademark laws, not infringe the existing rights of third parties and be acceptable to the FDA.

Our registered or unregistered trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented, declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. We may not be able to protect our rights in these trademarks and trade names, which we need in order to build name recognition with potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. In addition, third parties have used trademarks similar and identical to our trademarks in foreign jurisdictions and have filed or may in the future file for registration of such trademarks. If they succeed in registering or developing common law rights in such trademarks, and if we are not successful in challenging such third-party rights, we may not be able to use these trademarks to market our products in those countries. In any case, if we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, then we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be adversely affected.

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

Certain of our key patent families have been filed in the United States, as well as in numerous jurisdictions outside the United States. However, our intellectual property rights in certain jurisdictions outside the United States may be less robust. The laws of some foreign countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. For example, the requirements for patentability may differ in certain countries, particularly developing countries, and we may be unable to obtain issued patents that contain claims that adequately cover or protect our current or future product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in certain foreign jurisdictions. The legal systems of some countries, particularly developing countries, do not favor the enforcement of patents and other intellectual property protection, especially those relating to life sciences. This could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or the misappropriation of our other intellectual property rights. For example, many foreign countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner must grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against third parties, including government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, patents may provide limited or no benefit.

Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions, whether or not successful, could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business. Furthermore, while we intend to protect our intellectual property rights in our expected significant markets, we cannot ensure that we will be able to initiate or maintain similar efforts in all jurisdictions in which we may wish to market current or future product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our technology in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our technology in and into those other jurisdictions where we do not have intellectual property rights. Competitors may use our technologies in jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and may also export infringing products to territories where we have patent protection, but where enforcement is not as strong as that in the United States. These products may compete with our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing. Accordingly, our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights in such countries may be inadequate. In addition, changes in the law and legal decisions by courts in the United States and foreign countries may affect our ability to obtain and enforce adequate intellectual property protection for our technology.

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We may not identify relevant third-party patents or may incorrectly interpret the relevance, scope or expiration of a third-party patent which might adversely affect our ability to develop and market our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem.

We cannot guarantee that any of our or our licensors’ patent searches or analyses, including the identification of relevant patents, the scope of patent claims or the expiration of relevant patents, are complete or thorough, nor can we be certain that we have identified each and every third-party patent and pending application in the United States and abroad that is relevant to or necessary for the commercialization of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, in any jurisdiction. For example, U.S. patent applications filed before November 29, 2000 and certain U.S. patent applications filed after that date that will not be filed outside the United States remain confidential until patents issue. Patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are published approximately 18 months after the earliest filing for which priority is claimed, with such earliest filing date being commonly referred to as the priority date. Therefore, patent applications covering our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications that have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or the use of our products. The scope of a patent claim is determined by an interpretation of the law, the written disclosure in a patent and the patent’s prosecution history. Our interpretation of the relevance or the scope of a patent or a pending application may be incorrect, which may negatively impact our ability to market our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. We may incorrectly determine that our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, are not covered by a third-party patent or may incorrectly predict whether a third party’s pending patent application will issue with claims of relevant scope. Our determination of the expiration date of any patent in the United States or abroad that we consider relevant may be incorrect, which may negatively impact our ability to develop and market our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and services. Our failure to identify and correctly interpret relevant patents may negatively impact our ability to develop and market our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, and services.

If we fail to identify and correctly interpret relevant patents, we may be subject to infringement claims. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to successfully settle or otherwise resolve such infringement claims. If we fail in any such dispute, in addition to being forced to pay damages, we may be temporarily or permanently prohibited from commercializing any of our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, that are held to be infringing. We might, if possible, also be forced to redesign products, product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or services so that we no longer infringe the third-party intellectual property rights. Any of these events, even if we were ultimately to prevail, could require us to divert substantial financial and management resources that we would otherwise be able to devote to our business.

Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, for an adequate amount of time.

Patents have a limited lifespan, and the protection patents afford is limited. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date. Even if patents covering our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, are obtained, once the patent life has expired for patents covering a product or product candidate, we may be open to competition from competitive products and services. As a result, our patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.

Intellectual property rights do not necessarily address all potential threats to our business.

While we seek broad coverage under our existing patent applications, there is always a risk that an alteration to products or processes may provide sufficient basis for a competitor to avoid infringing our patent claims. In addition, patents, if granted, expire and we cannot provide any assurance that any potentially issued patents will adequately protect our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Once granted, patents may remain open to invalidity challenges including opposition, interference, re-examination, post-grant review, inter partes review, nullification or derivation action in court or before patent offices or similar proceedings for a given period after allowance or grant, during which time third parties can raise objections against such grant. In the course of such proceedings, which may continue for a protracted period of time, the patent owner may be

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compelled to limit the scope of the allowed or granted claims thus attacked or may lose the allowed or granted claims altogether.

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

others may be able to develop and/or practice technology that is similar to our technology or aspects of our technology, but that are not covered by the claims of the patents that we own or control, assuming such patents have issued or do issue;
we or our licensors or any future strategic partners might not have been the first to conceive or reduce to practice the inventions covered by the issued patents or pending patent applications that we own or have exclusively licensed;
we or our licensors or any future strategic partners might not have been the first to file patent applications covering certain of our inventions;
others may independently develop similar or alternative technologies or duplicate any of our technologies without infringing our intellectual property rights;
it is possible that our pending patent applications will not lead to issued patents;
issued patents that we own or have exclusively licensed may not provide us with any competitive advantage, or may be held invalid or unenforceable, as a result of legal challenges by our competitors;
our competitors might conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not have patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in our major commercial markets;
third parties performing manufacturing or testing for us using our product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem, or technologies could use the intellectual property of others without obtaining a proper license;
parties may assert an ownership interest in our intellectual property and, if successful, such disputes may preclude us from exercising exclusive rights over that intellectual property;
we may not develop or in-license additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;
we may not be able to obtain and maintain necessary licenses on commercially reasonable terms, or at all; and
the patents of others may have an adverse effect on our business.

Should any of these events occur, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may be subject to claims that our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information of their former employers or other third parties.

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We do and may employ individuals who were previously employed at universities or other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our licensors, competitors or potential competitors. Although we try to ensure that our employees, consultants and independent contractors do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, and we are not currently subject to any claims that our employees, consultants or independent contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information of third parties, we may in the future be subject to such claims.

Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel. Such intellectual property rights could be awarded to a third party, and we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to commercialize our technology or product candidates, including avasopasem and rucosopasem. Such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we are successful in defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and other employees and could result in customers seeking other sources for the technology or in ceasing from doing business with us.

Our intellectual property agreements with third parties may be subject to disagreements over contract interpretation, which could narrow the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology.

Certain provisions in our intellectual property agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could affect the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology or affect 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.

In addition, while we typically require our employees, consultants and contractors who may be involved in the conception or development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who in fact conceives or develops intellectual property that we regard as our own. To the extent that we fail to obtain such assignments, such assignments do not contain a self-executing assignment of intellectual property rights or such assignment agreements are breached, we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property and this may interfere with our ability to capture the commercial value of such intellectual property. 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. Such intellectual property rights could be awarded to a third party, and we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to commercialize our technology or products. Such a license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we are successful in prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to our management and scientific personnel. Disputes regarding ownership or inventorship of intellectual property can also arise in other contexts, such as collaborations and sponsored research. We may be subject to claims that former collaborators or other third parties have an ownership interest in our patents or other intellectual property. If we are subject to a dispute challenging our rights in or to patents or other intellectual property, such a dispute could be expensive and time-consuming. If we are unsuccessful, we could lose valuable rights in intellectual property that we regard as our own.

Other Risks Related to Our Business

Our business operations and current and future relationships with investigators, healthcare professionals, consultants, third-party payors, patient organizations and customers will be subject to applicable healthcare regulatory laws, which could expose us to penalties.

Our business operations and current and future arrangements with investigators, healthcare professionals, consultants, third-party payors, patient organizations and customers, may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations. These laws may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we conduct our operations, including how we research, market, sell and distribute our product candidates, if approved. Such laws include:

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the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons or entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or providing any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe, or certain rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, 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 U.S. federal and state healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. 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 U.S. federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the civil False Claims Act, and civil monetary penalties laws, which prohibit, among other things, including through civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the U.S. federal government, claims for payment or approval that are false or fraudulent, knowingly making, using or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim, or from knowingly making a false statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the U.S. federal government. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act;
the U.S. federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which created additional federal criminal statutes which prohibit, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, or knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up a material fact or making any materially false statement, in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services. Similar to the 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;
the U.S. Physician Payments Sunshine Act and its implementing regulations, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies that are reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to the government information related to certain payments and other transfers of value to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors), certain non-physician providers (physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, anesthesiologist assistants, and certified-nurse midwives) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members;
analogous U.S. state laws and regulations, including: state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to our business practices, including but not limited to, research, distribution, sales and marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by any third-party payor, including private insurers; state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the U.S. 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 and marketing information, which requires tracking gifts and other remuneration and items of value provided to healthcare professionals and entities; and state and local laws that require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives; and
similar healthcare laws and regulations in the EU and other jurisdictions, including reporting requirements detailing interactions with and payments to healthcare providers.

Ensuring that our internal operations and future business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities

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will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, agency guidance or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other governmental laws and regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant penalties, including civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, exclusion from government-funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid or similar programs in other countries or jurisdictions, integrity oversight and reporting obligations to resolve allegations of non-compliance, disgorgement, individual imprisonment, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. If any of the physicians or other providers or entities with whom we expect to do business are found to not be in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs and imprisonment, which could affect our ability to operate our business. Further, defending against any such actions can be costly, time-consuming and may require significant personnel resources. Therefore, even if we are successful in defending against any such actions that may be brought against us, our business may be impaired.

Unfavorable global economic conditions could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Our results of operations could be adversely affected by general conditions in the global economy and in the global financial markets. The global economy, including credit and financial markets, has recently experienced extreme volatility and disruptions, including severely diminished liquidity and credit availability, rising interest and inflation rates, declines in consumer confidence, declines in economic growth, increases in unemployment rates and uncertainty about economic stability. A severe or prolonged economic downturn, such as the global financial crisis, could result in a variety of risks to our business, including, our ability to raise additional capital when needed on acceptable terms, if at all. Doing business internationally involves a number of risks, including but not limited to:

multiple, conflicting and changing laws and regulations such as privacy regulations, tax laws and export and import restrictions;
employment laws, regulatory requirements and other governmental approvals, permits and licenses;
failure by us to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for the use of our products in various countries;
additional potentially relevant third-party patent rights;
complexities and difficulties in obtaining protection and enforcing our intellectual property;
difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations;
complexities associated with managing multiple payor reimbursement regimes, government payors or patient self-pay systems;
limits in our ability to penetrate international markets;
financial risks, such as longer payment cycles, difficulty collecting accounts receivable, the impact of local and regional financial crises on demand and payment for our products and exposure to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations;
natural disasters, political and economic instability, including wars, such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, terrorism, political unrest, outbreak of disease, such as the novel coronavirus, and boycotts;
curtailment of trade, and other business restrictions;

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certain expenses including, among others, expenses for travel, translation and insurance; and
regulatory and compliance risks that relate to maintaining accurate information and control over sales and activities that may fall within the purview of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, its books and records provisions or its anti-bribery provisions.

Any of the foregoing could harm our business and we cannot anticipate all of the ways in which the current economic climate and financial market conditions could adversely impact our business.

 

Our business and operations may suffer in the event of information technology system failures, cyberattacks or deficiencies in our cybersecurity.

Despite the implementation of security measures, our information technology systems and those of our third-party CMOs, CROs, contractors and consultants are vulnerable to attack, interruption and damage from computer viruses and malware (e.g. ransomware), malicious code, natural disasters, terrorism, war, telecommunication and electrical failures, hacking, cyberattacks, phishing attacks and other social engineering schemes, employee theft or misuse, human error, fraud, denial or degradation of service attacks, sophisticated nation-state and nation-state-supported actors or unauthorized access or use by persons inside our organization, or persons with access to systems inside our organization. Attacks upon information technology systems 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 and expertise. Furthermore, because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access to, or to sabotage, systems change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. We may also experience security breaches that may remain undetected for an extended period. Even if identified, we may be unable to adequately investigate or remediate incidents or breaches due to attackers increasingly using tools and techniques that are designed to circumvent controls, to avoid detection, and to remove or obfuscate forensic evidence. There can be no assurance that our cybersecurity risk management program and processes, including our policies, controls or procedures, will be fully implemented, complied with or effective in protecting our systems and information.

While we do not believe that we have experienced any significant failure or accident of our systems, from time to time, we have been the target of cybersecurity breach attempts and we expect them to continue as cybersecurity threats have been rapidly evolving in sophistication and becoming more prevalent. We do not believe that these cybersecurity breaches have had a material impact on our operations, but future breaches may have such impact. If such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, it could result in a material disruption of our programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data for our product candidates could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss of or damage to our data or applications or other data or applications relating to our technology or product candidates, or inappropriate disclosure or theft of confidential or proprietary information, and we could incur liabilities. Federal, state and international laws and regulations could expose us to enforcement actions and investigations by regulatory authorities, and potentially result in regulatory penalties, fines and significant legal liability, if our information technology security efforts fail. We maintain cyber liability insurance; however, this insurance may not be sufficient to cover the financial, legal, business or reputational losses that may result from an interruption or breach of our systems.

Actual or perceived failures to comply with applicable data protection, privacy and security laws, regulations, standards and other requirements could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The global data protection landscape is rapidly evolving, and we are or may become subject to numerous state, federal and foreign laws, requirements and regulations governing the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and security of personal data, such as information that we may collect in connection with clinical trials in the U.S. and abroad. Implementation standards and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future, and we cannot yet determine the impact future laws, regulations, standards, or perception of their requirements may have on our business. This evolution may create uncertainty in our business, affect our ability to

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operate in certain jurisdictions or to collect, store, transfer use and share personal information, necessitate the acceptance of more onerous obligations in our contracts, result in liability or impose additional costs on us. The cost of compliance with these laws, regulations and standards is high and is likely to increase in the future. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with federal, state or foreign laws or regulation, our internal policies and procedures or our contracts governing our processing of personal information could result in negative publicity, government investigations and enforcement actions, claims by third parties and damage to our reputation, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial performance and business.

Most healthcare providers, including research institutions from which we obtain patient health information, are subject to privacy and security regulations promulgated under HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or collectively, HIPAA. HIPAA imposes, among other things, certain standards relating to the privacy, security, transmission and breach reporting of individually identifiable health information. While we do not believe we are currently acting or regulated as a covered entity or business associate under HIPAA and thus are not directly regulated under HIPAA, any person may be prosecuted under HIPAA’s criminal provisions either directly or under aiding-and-abetting or conspiracy principles. Consequently, depending on the facts and circumstances, we could face substantial criminal penalties if we knowingly receive individually identifiable health information.

Certain states have also adopted comparable privacy and security laws and regulations, which govern the privacy, processing and protection of health-related and other personal information. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, went into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA creates individual privacy rights for California consumers and increases the privacy and security obligations of entities handling certain personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches has increased the likelihood of, and risks associated with data breach litigation. Further, the CPRA generally went into effect on January 1, 2023 and significantly amends the CCPA. The CPRA imposes additional data protection obligations on covered businesses, including additional consumer rights processes, limitations on data uses, new audit requirements for higher risk data, and opt outs for certain uses of sensitive data. It also creates a new California data protection agency authorized to issue substantive regulations and could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. Additional compliance and business process changes may be required. Similar laws have passed in Virginia, Connecticut, Utah and Colorado and have been proposed in other states and at the federal level, reflecting a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the United States. The enactment of such laws could have potentially conflicting requirements that would make compliance challenging. In the event that we are subject to or affected by HIPAA, the CCPA, the CPRA or other domestic privacy and data protection laws, any liability from failure to comply with the requirements of these laws could adversely affect our financial condition.

Our operations abroad may also be subject to increased scrutiny or attention from data protection authorities. Our activities outside the United States impose additional compliance requirements and generate additional risks of enforcement for noncompliance. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, went into effect in May 2018 and imposes strict requirements for processing the personal data of individuals within the European Economic Area, or EEA. Companies that must comply with the GDPR face increased compliance obligations and risk, including more robust regulatory enforcement of data protection requirements and potential fines for noncompliance of up to €20 million or 4% of the annual global revenues of the noncompliant company, whichever is greater. In addition to fines, a breach of the GDPR may result in regulatory investigations, reputational damage, orders to cease/ change our data processing activities, enforcement notices, assessment notices (for a compulsory audit) and/ or civil claims (including class actions). Among other requirements, the GDPR regulates transfers of personal data subject to the GDPR to third countries that have not been found to provide adequate protection to such personal data, including the United States; in July 2020, the Court of Justice of the EU, or CJEU, limited how organizations could lawfully transfer personal data from the EU/EEA to the United States by invalidating the Privacy Shield for purposes of international transfers and imposing further restrictions on the use of standard contractual clauses, or SCCs. In March 2022, the US and EU announced a new regulatory regime intended to replace the invalidated regulations; however, this new EU-US Data Privacy Framework has not been implemented beyond an executive order signed by President Biden on October 7, 2022 on Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities. European court and regulatory decisions subsequent to the CJEU decision of July 16, 2020 have taken a restrictive approach to international data transfers. As supervisory authorities issue further guidance on personal data export mechanisms, including circumstances where the SCCs cannot be

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used, and/or start taking enforcement action, we could suffer additional costs, complaints and/or regulatory investigations or fines, and/or if we are otherwise unable to transfer personal data between and among countries and regions in which we operate, it could affect the manner in which we conduct our business, the geographical location or segregation of our relevant systems and operations, and could adversely affect our financial results.

Further, from January 1, 2021, companies have had to comply with the GDPR and also the United Kingdom GDPR, or UK GDPR, which, together with the amended UK Data Protection Act 2018, retains the GDPR in UK national law. The UK GDPR mirrors the fines under the GDPR, i.e., fines up to the greater of €20 million (£17.5 million) or 4% of global turnover. As we continue to expand into other foreign countries and jurisdictions, we may be subject to additional laws and regulations that may affect how we conduct business.

Although we work to comply with applicable laws, regulations and standards, our contractual obligations and other legal obligations, these requirements are evolving and may be modified, interpreted and applied in an inconsistent manner from one jurisdiction to another, and may conflict with one another or other legal obligations with which we must comply. Claims that we have violated individuals’ privacy rights or breached our contractual obligations, even if we are not found liable, could be expensive and time-consuming to defend and could result in adverse publicity that could harm our business. Any threatened or actual government enforcement action could also generate adverse publicity and require that we devote substantial resources that could otherwise be used in other aspects of our business. Increasing use of social media could give rise to liability, breaches of data security or reputational damage.

Violations of or liabilities under environmental, health and safety laws and regulations could subject us to fines, penalties or other costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

We are subject to numerous environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, including those governing laboratory procedures, the handling, use, storage, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials and wastes and the cleanup of contaminated sites. Our operations involve the use of potentially hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. We could incur substantial costs as a result of violations of or liabilities under environmental requirements in connection with our operations or property, including fines, penalties and other sanctions, investigation and cleanup costs and third-party claims. Although we generally contract with third parties for the disposal of hazardous materials and wastes from our operations, we cannot eliminate the risk of contamination or injury from these materials. In the event of contamination or injury resulting from our use of hazardous materials, we could be held liable for any resulting damages, and any liability could exceed our resources.

Furthermore, environmental laws and regulations are complex, change frequently and have tended to become more stringent. We cannot predict the impact of changes to applicable laws and regulations and cannot be certain of our future compliance. In addition, we may incur substantial costs in order to comply with current or future environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.

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

Insurance policies are expensive and protect us only from some business risks, which leaves us exposed to uninsured liabilities.

Some of the insurance policies we currently maintain include general liability, employment practices liability, property, workers’ compensation, umbrella, and directors’ and officers’ insurance. These policies may not adequately cover all categories of risk that our business may encounter.

Moreover, insurance coverage is becoming increasingly expensive and in the future we may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in sufficient amounts to protect us against losses due to liability. A successful product liability claim or series of claims brought against us could cause our share price to

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decline and, if judgments exceed our insurance coverage, could adversely affect our results of operations and business, including preventing or limiting the development and commercialization of any product candidates we develop. We do not carry specific biological or hazardous waste insurance coverage, and our property, casualty and general liability insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for damages and fines arising from biological or hazardous waste exposure or contamination. Accordingly, in the event of contamination or injury, we could be held liable for damages or be penalized with fines in an amount exceeding our resources, and our clinical trials or regulatory approvals could be suspended.

We also expect that operating as a public company will make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified people to serve on our board of directors, our board committees or as executive officers. We do not know, however, if we will be able to maintain existing insurance with adequate levels of coverage. Any significant uninsured liability may require us to pay substantial amounts, which would adversely affect our cash position and results of operations.

We and our employees are increasingly utilizing social media tools as a means of communication both internally and externally.

Despite our efforts to monitor evolving social media communication guidelines and comply with applicable rules, there is risk that the use of social media by us or our employees to communicate about our product candidates or business may cause us to be found in violation of applicable requirements. In addition, our employees may knowingly or inadvertently make use of social media in ways that may not comply with our social media policy or other legal or contractual requirements, which may give rise to liability, lead to the loss of trade secrets or other intellectual property or result in public exposure of personal information of our employees, clinical trial patients, customers and others. Furthermore, negative posts or comments about us or our product candidates in social media could seriously damage our reputation, brand image and goodwill. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition and could adversely affect the price of our common stock.

Our employees and independent contractors, including consultants, vendors, and any third parties we may engage in connection with development and commercialization may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements, which could harm our business.

Misconduct by our employees and independent contractors, including consultants, vendors, and any third parties we may engage in connection with development and commercialization, could include intentional, reckless or negligent conduct or unauthorized activities that violate: (i) the laws and regulations of the FDA and other comparable regulatory authorities, including those laws that require the reporting of true, complete and accurate information to such authorities; (ii) manufacturing standards; (iii) data privacy, security, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations; or (iv) laws that require the reporting of true, complete and accurate financial information and data. Specifically, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Activities subject to these laws could also involve the improper use or misrepresentation of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, creation of fraudulent data in preclinical studies or clinical trials or illegal misappropriation of drug product, which could result in regulatory sanctions and cause serious harm to our reputation. It is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct by employees and other third parties, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity 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 comply with such laws or regulations. Additionally, we are subject to the risk that a person or government could allege such fraud or other misconduct, even if none occurred. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business and results of operations, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, disgorgements, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, other U.S. federal healthcare programs or healthcare programs in other jurisdictions, integrity oversight and

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reporting obligations to resolve allegations of non-compliance, individual imprisonment, other sanctions, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment of our operations.

We or the third parties upon whom we depend may be adversely affected by natural disasters and our business continuity and disaster recovery plans may not adequately protect us from a serious disaster.

Natural disasters could severely disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. If a natural disaster, power outage, public health emergency, such as the novel coronavirus, or other event occurred that prevented us from using all or a significant portion of our headquarters, that damaged critical infrastructure, such as the manufacturing facilities on which we rely, or that otherwise disrupted operations, it may be difficult or, in certain cases, impossible for us to continue our business for a substantial period of time. The disaster recovery and business continuity plans we have in place may prove inadequate in the event of a serious disaster or similar event. We may incur substantial expenses as a result of the limited nature of our disaster recovery and business continuity plans, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our ability to use our net operating losses to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.

In general, under Section 382 of the Code, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change,” generally defined as a greater than 50% change by value in its equity ownership over a three-year period, is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre change net operating losses, or NOLs, to offset future taxable income. Our existing NOLs may be subject to limitations arising from ownership changes that we might have undergone in the past. Future changes in our stock ownership, some of which might be beyond our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code, further limiting our ability to utilize a material portion of the NOLs even if we attain profitability.

We are a multinational company that faces complex taxation regimes in various jurisdictions. Audits, investigations, and tax proceedings could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We are subject to income and non-income taxes in multiple jurisdictions. Income tax accounting often involves complex issues, and judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities. In particular, the jurisdictions in which we operate have detailed transfer pricing rules, which require that all transactions with non-resident related parties be priced using arm’s length pricing principles within the meaning of such rules. We could be subject to tax audits involving transfer pricing issues. We believe that our tax positions are reasonable and our tax reserves are adequate to cover any potential liability. However, tax authorities in certain jurisdictions may disagree with our position, including the propriety of our related party arm’s length transfer pricing policies and the tax treatment of corresponding expenses and income. If any of these tax authorities were successful in challenging our positions, we may be liable for additional income tax and penalties and interest related thereto in excess of any reserves established therefore, which may have a significant impact on our results and operations and future cash flow.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

Our common stock may be delisted from The Nasdaq Global Market if we cannot regain compliance with Nasdaq’s continued listing requirements, which could harm our business, the trading price of our common stock, our ability to raise additional capital, our ability to undertake a strategic alternative, and the liquidity of the market for our common stock.

 

Our common stock is currently listed on The Nasdaq Global Market. To maintain the listing of our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Market, we are required to meet certain listing requirements, including related to the price of our common stock. On September 22, 2023, we received two written notices, or the Notices, from The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, or Nasdaq, indicating that (i) we are no longer in compliance with the minimum Market Value of Listed Securities, or MVLS, of $50.0 million required for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market, as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(2)(A), or the MVLS Requirement, and (ii) for the last 30 consecutive business days, the bid price for our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, had closed below the

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$1.00 per share minimum bid price requirement for continued inclusion on the Nasdaq Global Market as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(a)(1), or the Minimum Bid Price Requirement. In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C), we had a period of 180 calendar days, or until March 20, 2024 to regain compliance with the MVLS Requirement and the Minimum Bid Price Requirement, respectively.

 

On September 25, 2023, we received an additional written notice, or the Additional Notice, from Nasdaq, indicating that we are no longer in compliance with the minimum Market Value of Publicly Held Shares, or MVPHS, of $15.0 million required for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market, as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(2)(C), or the MVPHS Requirement. In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C), we had a period of 180 calendar days, or until March 25, 2024 to regain compliance with the MVPHS Requirement.

 

We did not regain compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Requirement or the MVLS Requirement by March 20, 2024, and on March 21, 2024 we received a notice of delisting from Nasdaq. In addition, we did not regain compliance with the MVPHS requirement by March 25, 2024 and on March 26, 2024, we received a notice of delisting from Nasdaq. On March 28, 2024, we requested a hearing before a Nasdaq Hearings Panel (“Panel”) to appeal Nasdaq’s delisting determinations. There can be no assurance that our appeal will be successful. Our hearing request will stay the suspension of trading and delisting of our common stock pending the conclusion of the hearing process. Consequently, we expect our common stock will to remain listed on The Nasdaq Global Market at least until the Panel renders a decision following the hearing.

 

Delisting from the Nasdaq Global Market or any Nasdaq market could make trading our common stock more difficult for investors, potentially leading to declines in our share price and liquidity. In addition, without a Nasdaq market listing, stockholders may have a difficult time getting a quote for the sale or purchase of our common stock, the sale or purchase of our common stock would likely be made more difficult and the trading volume and liquidity of our common stock could decline. Delisting from Nasdaq could also result in negative publicity, make it more difficult for us to raise additional capital or undertake a strategic alternative. The absence of such a listing may adversely affect the acceptance of our common stock as currency or the value accorded by other parties. If our common stock is delisted by Nasdaq, our common stock may be eligible to trade on an over-the-counter quotation system, such as the OTCQB market, where an investor may find it more difficult to sell our common stock or obtain accurate quotations as to the market value of our common stock. We cannot assure that our common stock, if delisted from Nasdaq, will be listed on another national securities exchange or quoted on an over-the counter quotation system.

Our directors, officers and principal stockholders own a significant percentage of our stock and, if they choose to act together, are able to exercise influence over matters submitted to stockholders for approval.

Our officers, directors and principal stockholders each holding more than 5% of our common stock, collectively, control approximately 33% of our outstanding common stock as of March 15, 2024. Accordingly, these stockholders, if they act together, will be able to exert a significant degree of influence over our management and affairs of our company and most matters requiring stockholder approval, including the election of directors and approval of significant corporate transactions. The interests of these stockholders may not be the same as or may even conflict with the interests of other stockholders. For example, these stockholders could attempt to delay or prevent a change in control of us, even if such change in control would benefit our other stockholders, which could deprive our stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of us or our assets, and might affect the prevailing market price of our common stock due to investors’ perceptions that conflicts of interest may exist or arise. As a result, this concentration of ownership may not be in the best interests of our other stockholders.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier of (a) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.235 billion or more, (b) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of our initial public offering, or IPO (December 31, 2024), (c) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years, or (d) the

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date on which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the SEC, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter. For so long as we remain an emerging growth company, we are permitted and intend to rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:

not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404;
an exemption from compliance with the requirement of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding the communication of critical audit matters in the auditor’s report on the financial statements;
providing only two years of audited financial statements in addition to any required unaudited interim financial statements and a correspondingly reduced “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” disclosure;
reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation; and
exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

We may choose to take advantage of some, but not all, of the available exemptions. In particular, we have provided only two years of audited financial statements and have not included all of the executive compensation information that would be required if we were not an emerging growth company. We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive if we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our shares price may be more volatile.

We are a “smaller reporting company” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to smaller reporting companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are considered a “smaller reporting company.” We are therefore entitled to rely on certain reduced disclosure requirements, such as an exemption from providing selected financial data and executive compensation information. These exemptions and reduced disclosures in our SEC filings due to our status as a smaller reporting company may make it harder for investors to analyze our results of operations and financial prospects. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock prices may be more volatile.

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

As a public company, we have incurred, and particularly after we are no longer an “emerging growth company,” expect to continue to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and Nasdaq have imposed various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel need to devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations have increased our legal and financial compliance costs and have made some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, we expect that these rules and regulations may make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance.

Pursuant to Section 404, we are required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting. However, while we remain an emerging growth company, we will not be required to

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include an attestation report on internal control over financial reporting issued by our independent registered public accounting firm. To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we have engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which has been both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, potentially 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 neither we nor our independent registered public accounting firm, as applicable, will be able to conclude within the prescribed timeframe that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404. If we identify one or more material weaknesses, it could cause us to need to restate our previously issued financial statements and could result in an adverse reaction in the financial markets due to a loss of confidence in the reliability of our financial statements.

Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws 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 could also 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 of directors 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 of directors. Among other things, these provisions include those establishing:

a classified board of directors with three-year staggered terms, which may delay the ability of stockholders to change the membership of a majority of our board of directors;
no cumulative voting in the election of directors, which limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates;
the exclusive right of our board of directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the board of directors or the resignation, death or removal of a director, which prevents stockholders from filling vacancies on our board of directors;
the ability of our board of directors to authorize the issuance of shares of preferred stock and to determine the terms of those shares, including preferences and voting rights, without stockholder approval, which could be used to significantly dilute the ownership of a hostile acquirer;
the ability of our board of directors to alter our bylaws without obtaining stockholder approval;
the required approval of the holders of at least two-thirds of the shares entitled to vote at an election of directors to adopt, amend or repeal our bylaws or repeal the provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation regarding the election and removal of directors;
a prohibition on stockholder action by written consent, which forces stockholder action to be taken at an annual or special meeting of our stockholders;
the requirement that a special meeting of stockholders may be called only by the chairman of the board of directors, the chief executive officer, the president or the board of directors, which may delay the ability of our stockholders to force consideration of a proposal or to take action, including the removal of directors; and

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advance notice procedures that stockholders must comply with in order to nominate candidates to our board of directors or to propose matters to be acted upon at a stockholders’ meeting, which may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect the acquirer’s own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us.

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, 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 in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for substantially all disputes between us and our stockholders, 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, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum to the fullest extent permitted by law, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim for breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, other employees or our stockholders to us or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the General Corporation Law of the State of Delaware, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws, or (4) any action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, this exclusive forum provision will not apply to claims which are vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, or for which the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware does not have subject matter jurisdiction. For instance, the provision would not apply to actions arising under federal securities laws, including suits brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Securities Act, the Exchange Act, or the rules and regulations thereunder. In addition, our bylaws provide that the federal district courts of the United States are the exclusive forum for any complaint raising a cause of action arising under the Securities Act. Any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to the provisions of our restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws described above.

These exclusive forum provisions may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against us and our directors, officers and other employees. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with any applicable action brought against us, a court could find the choice of forum provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in such action. If a court were to find the choice of forum provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or bylaws to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our capital stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be your sole source of gain.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our capital stock. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings, if any, to finance the growth and development of our business. Additionally, the proposal to pay future dividends to stockholders will effectively be at the sole discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors our board of directors deems relevant, including our business prospects, capital requirements, financial performance and new product development. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock will be your sole source of gain for the foreseeable future.

General Risk Factors

 

New tax legislation may impact our results of operations and financial condition.

40


 

On December 22, 2017, the United States enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”), which significantly reformed the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. Among a number of significant changes to the current U.S. federal income tax rules, the Tax Act reduced the marginal U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, limited the deduction for net interest expense, shifted the United States toward a more territorial tax system, and imposed new taxes to combat erosion of the U.S. federal income tax base. The financial statements contained herein reflect the effects of the Tax Act based on current guidance. However, there remain uncertainties and ambiguities in the application of certain provisions of the Tax Act, and, as a result, we made certain judgments and assumptions in the interpretation thereof. More recently, on August 16, 2022, the United States enacted the Inflation Reduction Act introducing, among other changes, a 15% corporate minimum tax on certain United States corporations and a 1% excise tax on certain stock redemptions by United States corporations. As we further analyze the impact of the Tax Act, the Inflation Reduction Act and any new tax legislation and collect relevant information to complete our computations of the related accounting impact, we may make adjustments to the provisional amounts that could materially affect our results of operations and financial condition.

An active trading market for our common stock may not be sustained.

An active public trading market for our common stock may not be sustained. The lack of an active market may impair stockholders' ability to sell their shares at the time they wish to sell them or at a price that they consider reasonable. The lack of an active market may also reduce the fair value of our shares. An inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital to continue to fund operations by selling shares and may impair our ability to acquire other companies or technologies by using our shares as consideration.

The price of our common stock is likely to be volatile and fluctuate substantially, which could result in substantial losses for purchasers of our common stock.

Our share price is likely to be volatile. 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, stockholders may not be able to sell their common stock at a price that they consider reasonable. The market price for our common stock may be influenced by many factors, including:

developments in our exploration of strategic alternatives for our business;
delays in the commencement, enrollment and the ultimate completion of clinical trials;
discontinuation of clinical trials;
the results and potential impact of competitive products or technologies;
our ability to manufacture and successfully produce our product candidates;
actual or anticipated changes in estimates as to financial results, development timelines or recommendations by securities analysts;
variations in our financial results or those of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;
financing or other corporate transactions, or inability to obtain additional funding;
failure to meet or exceed expectations of the investment community;
regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries;
the recruitment or departure of key personnel;

41


developments or disputes concerning patent applications, issued patents or other proprietary rights;
changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;
market conditions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors;
general economic, industry and market conditions;
changes in voting control of our executive officers and certain other members of our senior management or affiliates who hold our shares; and
the other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or reports, or publish unfavorable research or reports, about us, our business or our market, our shares 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 do 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 downgrades our shares or issues other unfavorable commentary or research. If one or more equity research analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease, which in turn could cause the price of our common stock or its trading volume to decline.

Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our equity incentive plans, could result in dilution of the percentage ownership of our stockholders and could cause our common stock price to fall.

We will need additional capital in the future to continue our planned operations. To the extent we raise additional capital by issuing additional common stock or other equity securities, our stockholders may experience substantial dilution. We may sell common stock, convertible securities or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner we determine from time to time. If we sell common stock, convertible securities or other equity securities in more than one transaction, investors may be materially diluted by subsequent sales. These sales may also result in material dilution to our existing stockholders, and new investors could gain rights superior to our existing stockholders.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 1C. Cybersecurity.

Risk Management and Strategy

We have developed and implemented a cybersecurity risk management program intended to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our critical systems and information. Our cybersecurity risk management program includes a cybersecurity incident response plan.

We design and assess our program based on guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other industry sources. This does not imply that we meet any particular technical standards, specifications, or requirements, only that we use NIST publications and other sources as guides to help us identify, assess, and manage cybersecurity risks relevant to our business.

Our cybersecurity risk management program is integrated into our overall enterprise risk management program, and shares common methodologies, reporting channels and governance processes that apply across the enterprise risk management program to other legal, compliance, strategic, operational, and financial risk areas.

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Our cybersecurity risk management program includes:

risk assessments designed to help identify material cybersecurity risks to our critical systems, information, products, services, and our broader enterprise IT environment;
a security team principally responsible for managing (1) our cybersecurity risk assessment processes, (2) our security controls, and (3) our response to cybersecurity incidents;
the use of external service providers, where appropriate, to assess, test or otherwise assist with aspects of our security controls;
cybersecurity awareness training of our employees, incident response personnel, and senior management;
a cybersecurity incident response plan that includes procedures for responding to cybersecurity incidents; and
a third-party risk management process for service providers, suppliers, and vendors.

We have not identified risks from known cybersecurity threats, including as a result of any prior cybersecurity incidents, that have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect us, including our operations, business strategy, results of operations, or financial condition.

Governance

Our board of directors considers cybersecurity risk as part of its risk oversight function and has delegated to the Audit Committee (Committee) oversight of cybersecurity and other information technology risks. The Committee oversees management’s implementation of our cybersecurity risk management program.

The Committee receives regular reports from management on our cybersecurity risks. In addition, management updates the Committee, as necessary, regarding any material cybersecurity incidents, as well as any incidents with lesser impact potential.

The Committee reports to the full Board regarding its activities, including those related to cybersecurity. The full Board also receives briefings from management on our cyber risk management program. Board members receive presentations on cybersecurity topics from our Chief Operating Officer (COO) or external experts as part of the Board’s continuing education on topics that impact public companies.

Our management team, including our COO, is responsible for assessing and managing our material risks from cybersecurity threats. The team has primary responsibility for our overall cybersecurity risk management program and supervises our retained external cybersecurity consultants.

Our management team supervises efforts to prevent, detect, mitigate, and remediate cybersecurity risks and incidents through various means, which may include briefings from external consultants engaged by us, and alerts and reports produced by security tools deployed in the IT environment.

Item 2. Properties.

Our principal office is located at 45 Liberty Blvd, Suite 230, Malvern, Pennsylvania 19355, where we lease approximately 6,900 square feet of office space under a lease that terminates on September 30, 2030.

From time to time, we may be involved in claims and proceedings arising in the course of our business. The outcome of any such claim or proceeding, regardless of the merits, is inherently uncertain.

On May 30, 2023, we filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas in Chester County, Pennsylvania, or the Court, against Alira Health Clinical, LLC and IQVIA Biotech, LLC, or the CROs, seeking damages and alleging

43


breach of contract, professional negligence, and negligence related to an error by the defendants in 2021 in their statistical program for the Phase 3 ROMAN trial of avasopasem for the reduction of severe oral mucositis induced by radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (the Phase 3 ROMAN trial). In October 2023, the Court granted a joint motion to stay the lawsuit, and in March 2024 the Court granted a joint motion to continue the stay until April 22, 2024.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

 

PART II

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

Market Information and Holders

Our common stock has been publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “GRTX” since November 7, 2019. Prior to that time, there was no public market for our common stock.

On March 26, 2024, there were 12 holders of record of our common stock.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid any dividends on our common stock. We anticipate that we will retain all of our future earnings, if any, for use in the operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future.

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer or Affiliated Purchasers

We did not repurchase any of our equity securities during the quarter ended December 31, 2023.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

We did not make any sales of unregistered securities during the year ended December 31, 2023.

Item 6. [Reserved]

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

You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes and other financial information included elsewhere in this Form 10-K. Some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should review the sections titled “Summary Risk Factors” and Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described below. Our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2021, including a discussion of the year ended December 31, 2022 compared to the year ended December 31, 2021, has been reported previously in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on March 8, 2023, under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

Overview

We are a biopharmaceutical company that has historically focused on developing a pipeline of novel, proprietary therapeutics that have the potential to transform radiotherapy in cancer. Our lead product candidate, avasopasem manganese (avasopasem), is a highly selective small molecule dismutase mimetic that we have been developing for the reduction of severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC), the reduction of esophagitis in patients with lung cancer, and the reduction of cisplatin-induced kidney damage in patients with cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations to avasopasem for the reduction of SOM induced by radiotherapy. Our second product candidate, rucosopasem manganese (rucosopasem), has been in development to augment the anti-cancer efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC). The FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have granted orphan drug designation and orphan medicinal product designation, respectively, to rucosopasem for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

In August 2023, we announced receipt of a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA regarding our New Drug Application (NDA) for avasopasem for radiotherapy-induced SOM in patients with HNC undergoing standard-of-care treatment. In the CRL, the FDA communicated that results from an additional clinical trial will be required for resubmission. During the Type A meeting held in September 2023, and in the subsequently received meeting minutes, the FDA reiterated the need for a second Phase 3 trial to support resubmission of the NDA. With our current resources it is not feasible to conduct this additional trial. We continue to explore appropriate development paths for avasopasem, including in radiotherapy-induced SOM.

In connection with the avasopasem CRL, we wound down our commercial readiness efforts for avasopasem, reduced headcount across several departments and began to pursue strategic alternatives. The reduction in force, which was approved by our Board of Directors, reduced our workforce by 22 employees, or approximately 70%, as of August 9, 2023. The decision was based on cost-reduction initiatives intended to reduce operating expenses.

In October 2023, we halted our Phase 2b GRECO-2 trial of rucosopasem in patients with LAPC, following a futility analysis of the trial, which indicated that the trial was unlikely to succeed as designed. At the same time, we also halted our Phase 1/2 GRECO-1 trial of rucosopasem in patients with NCSLC.

In October 2023, we also announced that we had engaged Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., as our financial advisor, to assist in reviewing strategic alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for our stockholders. Such alternatives may include a merger, sale, divestiture of assets, licensing, or other strategic transaction. If we are unable to undertake any strategic alternative, we may be required to cease operations altogether.

Since our inception, we have devoted substantially all of our resources to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, acquiring and developing product and technology rights, and conducting research and development. We have incurred recurring losses and negative cash flows from operations and have funded our operations primarily through the sale and issuance of equity and $117.5 million of proceeds

45


received under the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences, receiving aggregate gross proceeds of $377.0 million.

Our ability to generate product revenue sufficient to achieve profitability will depend heavily on the successful resumption of development and eventual commercialization of one or more of our current or future product candidates. Given that we have suspended pursuing the clinical development of our product candidates and are exploring strategic alternatives, we may never succeed in these activities and we expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future. Our net loss was $59.1 million and $62.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. As of December 31, 2023, we had $18.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and an accumulated deficit of $437.4 million.

We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses for the foreseeable future. We expect our existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2023 will enable us to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements into the second quarter of 2025.

 

Nasdaq Listing Notification

 

On September 22, 2023, we received two written notices (the Notices) from The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (Nasdaq) indicating that (i) we are no longer in compliance with the minimum Market Value of Listed Securities (MVLS) of $50.0 million required for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market, as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(2)(A) (the MVLS Requirement), and (ii) for the last 30 consecutive business days, the bid price for our common stock, par value $0.001 per share, had closed below the $1.00 per share minimum bid price requirement for continued inclusion on the Nasdaq Global Market as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(a)(1) (the Minimum Bid Price Requirement). In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C), we had a period of 180 calendar days, or until March 20, 2024 to regain compliance with the MVLS Requirement and the Minimum Bid Price Requirement, respectively.

 

On September 25, 2023, we received an additional written notice (the Additional Notice) from Nasdaq, indicating that we are no longer in compliance with the minimum Market Value of Publicly Held Shares (MVPHS) of $15.0 million required for continued listing on The Nasdaq Global Market, as set forth in Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(2)(C) (the MVPHS Requirement). In accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5810(c)(3)(C), we had a period of 180 calendar days, or until March 25, 2024 to regain compliance with the MVPHS Requirement.

 

We did not regain compliance with the Minimum Bid Price Requirement or the MVLS Requirement by March 20, 2024, and on March 21, 2024 we received a notice of delisting from Nasdaq. In addition, we did not regain compliance with the MVPHS requirement by March 25, 2024 and on March 26, 2024, we received a notice of delisting from Nasdaq. On March 28, 2024, we requested a hearing before a Nasdaq Hearings Panel (Panel) to appeal Nasdaq’s delisting determinations. There can be no assurance that our appeal will be successful. Our hearing request will stay the suspension of trading and delisting of our common stock pending the conclusion of the hearing process. Consequently, we expect our common stock will to remain listed on The Nasdaq Global Market at least until the Panel renders a decision following the hearing.

 

Delisting from the Nasdaq Global Market or any Nasdaq market could make trading our common stock more difficult for investors, potentially leading to declines in our share price and liquidity. In addition, without a Nasdaq market listing, stockholders may have a difficult time getting a quote for the sale or purchase of our common stock, the sale or purchase of our common stock would likely be made more difficult and the trading volume and liquidity of our common stock could decline. Delisting from Nasdaq could also make it more difficult for us to raise additional capital. The absence of such a listing may adversely affect the acceptance of our common stock as currency or the value accorded by other parties. If our common stock is delisted by Nasdaq, our common stock may be eligible to trade on an over-the-counter quotation system, such as the OTCQB market, where an investor may find it more difficult to sell our common stock or obtain accurate quotations as to the market value of our common stock. We cannot assure that our common stock, if delisted from Nasdaq, will be listed on another national securities exchange or quoted on an over-the counter quotation system.

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Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, and expenses and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities in our financial statements. On an ongoing basis, we evaluate our estimates and judgments, including those described below. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events, and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we believe the following accounting policies are the most critical to the judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements.

Royalty Purchase Liability

Pursuant to our amended Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences, we have received cash payments totaling $117.5 million from Blackstone based upon the achievement of specified clinical milestones, which have been recorded as long-term debt obligations. Interest expense on such obligation is imputed by estimating risk adjusted future royalty payments over the term of the amended Royalty Agreement which takes into consideration the probability of obtaining FDA approval. Other significant assumptions include adjustments to estimated gross revenues to arrive at net product sales from which a royalty payment can be estimated. The non-cash interest expense recorded increases the balance of our royalty obligation. The royalty obligation will be reduced when royalty payments are made, if any.

Actual royalty payments, however, are highly uncertain and may change depending on a number of factors, including our ability to obtain FDA approval, successfully commercialize our product candidates and the timing of future royalty payments. We impute interest expense on our royalty purchase obligations based on such factors at each reporting period. As these factors change, we will adjust our estimate of the imputed interest expense accordingly.

Given the uncertainty of obtaining future avasopasem revenue based on the FDA stating the need for a second Phase 3 trial for NDA resubmission, our inability to conduct that additional trial with our current resources, and our focus on exploring strategic alternatives for the development of avasopasem, coupled with our decision in October 2023 to discontinue clinical trials of rucosopasem, we suspended accreting interest on the royalty purchase liability at the end of October 2023.

Research and Development Expenses

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred in connection with the development of our product candidates. We expense research and development costs as incurred.

We accrue an expense for manufacturing, preclinical studies and clinical trial activities performed by third parties based upon estimates of the proportion of work completed over the term of the individual trial and patient enrollment rates in accordance with agreements with CMOs, CROs and clinical trial sites. We determine the estimates by reviewing contracts, vendor agreements and purchase orders, and through discussions with our internal research and development personnel and external service providers as to the progress or stage of completion of trials or services and the agreed-upon fee to be paid for such services. However, actual costs and timing of these activities are highly uncertain, subject to risks and may change depending upon a number of factors, including our clinical development plan.

We make estimates of our accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date in our consolidated financial statements based on facts and circumstances known at that time. If the actual timing of the performance of services

47


or the level of effort varies from the estimate, we will adjust the accrual accordingly. Nonrefundable advance payments for goods and services, including fees for process development or manufacturing and distribution of clinical supplies that will be used in future research and development activities, are deferred and recognized as expense in the period that the related goods are consumed or services are performed.

JOBS Act Transition Period

In April 2012, the JOBS Act was enacted. Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that an “emerging growth company” can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. Thus, an emerging growth company can delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. However, we have chosen to opt out of such extended transition period and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for non-emerging growth companies. Our decision to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards is irrevocable. However, we may take advantage of the other exemptions discussed below.

Subject to certain conditions, as an emerging growth company we may rely on certain exemptions and reduced reporting requirements, including, without limitation, (1) not being required to provide an auditor’s attestation report on our system of internal control over financial reporting pursuant to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and (2) not being required to comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements, known as the auditor discussion and analysis. We will remain an emerging growth company until the earlier to occur of (a) the last day of the fiscal year in which we have total annual gross revenues of $1.235 billion or more, (b) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the completion of our IPO (December 31, 2024), (c) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in nonconvertible debt during the previous three years, or (d) the date on which we are deemed to be a large accelerated filer under the rules of the SEC, which means the market value of our common stock that is held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter.

Components of Results of Operations

Research and Development Expense

Research and development expenses consist primarily of costs incurred in connection with the discovery and development of our product candidates. We expense research and development costs as incurred. These expenses include:

expenses incurred to conduct the necessary preclinical studies and clinical trials required to obtain regulatory approval;
personnel expenses, including salaries, benefits and share-based compensation expense for employees engaged in research and development functions;
costs of funding research performed by third parties, including pursuant to agreements with contract research organizations (CROs), as well as investigative sites and consultants that conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials;
expenses incurred under agreements with contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), including manufacturing scale-up expenses and the cost of acquiring and manufacturing preclinical study and clinical trial materials;
fees paid to consultants who assist with research and development activities;
expenses related to regulatory activities, including filing fees paid to regulatory agencies; and

48


allocated expenses for facility costs, including rent, utilities, depreciation and maintenance.

We track our external research and development expenses on a program-by-program basis, such as fees paid to CROs, CMOs and research laboratories in connection with our preclinical development, process development, manufacturing and clinical development activities. However, we do not track our internal research and development expenses on a program-by-program basis as they primarily relate to personnel-related and share-based compensation expense, early-stage research expenses and other costs that are deployed across multiple projects under development.

The following table summarizes our research and development expenses by program for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 (in thousands):

 

 

 

Year ended
December 31,

 

 

 

2023

 

 

2022

 

Avasopasem manganese

 

$

4,281

 

 

$

9,086

 

Rucosopasem manganese

 

 

12,188

 

 

 

9,590

 

Other research and development expense

 

 

2,316

 

 

 

3,294

 

Personnel related and share-based compensation
   expense

 

 

5,330

 

 

 

9,042

 

 

$

24,115

 

 

$

31,012

 

 

We have ceased all clinical trial activity and have suspended the clinical development of our product candidates.

 

If we decide to resume product candidate development, the successful development of any future product candidates would be highly uncertain. We are unable to predict when, if ever, material net cash inflows would commence from sales of any future product candidates that we may develop due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with clinical development, including:

delays in regulators or institutional review boards authorizing us or our investigators to commence our clinical trials, or in our ability to negotiate agreements with clinical trial sites or CROs;
our ability to secure adequate supply of our product candidates for our trials;
the number of clinical sites included in the trials;
the ability and the length of time required to enroll suitable patients;
the number of patients that ultimately participate in the trials;
the number of doses patients receive;
any side effects associated with our product candidates;
the duration of patient follow-up;
the results of our clinical trials;
significant and changing government regulations; and
the impact of unforeseen events on the initiation and completion of our preclinical studies, clinical trials and manufacturing scale-up.

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We may never succeed in achieving regulatory approval for any future product candidates we may develop.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative expense consists primarily of personnel expenses, including salaries, benefits and share-based compensation expense for employees in executive, finance, accounting, legal, information technology, commercial, business development and human resource functions. General and administrative expense also includes corporate facility costs, including rent, utilities, depreciation and maintenance, not otherwise included in research and development expense, as well as legal fees related to intellectual property and corporate matters and fees for accounting and consulting services.

The process of continuing to evaluate strategic options may be costly, time-consuming and complex, and we may incur significant costs related to this continued evaluation, such as legal, accounting and advisory fees and expenses and other related charges.

Interest Income

Interest income consists of amounts earned on our cash and cash equivalents held with large institutional banks, U.S. Treasury obligations and a money market mutual fund invested in U.S. Treasury obligations, and our short-term investments in U.S. Treasury and government agency obligations.

Interest Expense

Interest expense consists of non-cash interest on proceeds received under the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone and non-cash interest expense associated with the amortization of the debt discount recorded for the Blackstone warrants.

Foreign Currency Loss

Foreign currency loss consists primarily of exchange rate fluctuations on transactions denominated in a currency other than the U.S. dollar.

Income Tax Benefit

In the year ended December 31, 2022, we recognized an income tax benefit for the revaluation of our deferred tax liability as a result of changes to the anticipated effective tax rate in certain state and local jurisdictions in which we have operations.

Net Operating Loss and Research and Development Tax Credit Carryforwards

As of December 31, 2023, we had federal and state tax net operating loss carryforwards of $191.3 million and $213.8 million, respectively, which will begin to expire in 2032 unless previously utilized. We also had foreign net operating loss carryforwards of $1.7 million which do not expire. As of December 31, 2023, we also had federal, state and foreign research and development tax credit carryforwards of $10.4 million. The federal and state research and development tax credit carryforwards will begin to expire in 2032 and 2037, respectively, unless previously utilized. The foreign research and development tax credit carryforwards do not have an expiration date.

Utilization of the federal and state net operating losses and credits may be subject to a substantial annual limitation. The annual limitation may result in the expiration of our net operating losses and credits before we can use them. In addition, future changes in our stock ownership, some of which might be beyond our control, could result in an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code, further limiting our ability to utilize a material portion of the NOLs and credits. We have recorded a valuation allowance on substantially all of our deferred tax assets, including our deferred tax assets related to our net operating loss and research and development tax credit carryforwards, given the current uncertainty over our ability to utilize such amounts.

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Results of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

The following table sets forth our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 (in thousands):

 

 

 

Year ended
December 31,

 

 

 

 

 

 

2023

 

 

2022

 

 

Change

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

$

24,115

 

 

$

31,012

 

 

$

(6,897

)

General and administrative

 

 

22,836

 

 

 

20,214

 

 

 

2,622

 

Restructuring costs

 

 

2,309

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,309

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(49,260

)

 

 

(51,226

)

 

 

1,966

 

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

1,595

 

 

 

506

 

 

 

1,089

 

Interest expense

 

 

(11,414

)

 

 

(11,571

)

 

 

157

 

Foreign currency loss

 

 

(3

)

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(2

)

Loss before income tax benefit

 

 

(59,082

)

 

 

(62,292

)

 

 

3,210

 

Income tax benefit

 

 

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

(70

)

Net loss

 

$

(59,082

)

 

$

(62,222

)

 

$

3,140

 

Research and Development Expense

Research and development expense decreased by $6.9 million from $31.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 to $24.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2023. The decrease was primarily attributable to a decrease of $4.8 million for avasopasem development costs, as the EUSOM and AESOP trials were completed in 2022 and the ROMAN trial reached completion in 2023, and decreased manufacturing expenses. Personnel related and share-based compensation expenses decreased $3.7 million due to decreased headcount and reductions in stock compensation expense and the accruals for 2023 annual bonuses. Other research and development expenses decreased $1.0 million due to reductions in regulatory expenses, costs for independent contractors and consultants, and recruiting expenses. Partially offsetting these decreases, rucosopasem development costs increased $2.6 million as enrollment increased in the GRECO-1 and GRECO-2 trials.

General and Administrative Expense

General and administrative expense increased by $2.6 million from $20.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 to $22.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, principally due to the timing of spend for avasopasem commercial preparations, which increased $5.3 million, and to professional fees, which increased $1.2 million. Partially offsetting these increases, personnel-related and share-based compensation expenses decreased $2.4 million due to decreased headcount and reductions in stock compensation expense and the accruals for 2023 annual bonuses, and insurance premiums decreased $1.5 million.

Restructuring Costs

In connection with the CRL announcement, we restructured our operations and reduced our workforce by 22 employees, or approximately 70%, as of August 9, 2023. As a result of these restructuring initiatives, we incurred total restructuring-related charges of $2.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2023. No such costs were incurred during the year ended December 31, 2022.

Interest Income

Interest income increased by $1.1 million from $0.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2022 to $1.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2023, due to increased interest rates on invested cash and securities.

51


Interest Expense

We recognized $11.4 million and $11.6 million in non-cash interest expense during the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively, in connection with the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences. Given the uncertainty of obtaining future avasopasem revenue based on the FDA reiterating the need for an additional Phase 3 trial for NDA resubmission, our inability to conduct an additional trial with our current resources, and our focus on exploring strategic alternatives for the development of avasopasem, coupled with our decision in October 2023 to discontinue clinical trials of rucosopasem, we suspended accreting interest on the royalty purchase liability at the end of October 2023.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

We do not currently have any approved products and have never generated any revenue from product sales. Through December 31, 2023, we have funded our operations primarily through the sale and issuance of equity and $117.5 million of proceeds received under the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences, receiving aggregate gross proceeds of $377.0 million. In November 2019, we completed our IPO, which resulted in the issuance and sale of 5,000,000 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $12.00 per share, generating net proceeds of $53.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts and other offering costs. On December 9, 2019, in connection with the partial exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters of our IPO, 445,690 additional shares of common stock were sold at the IPO price of $12.00 per share, generating net proceeds of approximately $5.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts and other offering costs.

In December 2020, we entered into an Open Market Sale Agreement (the Sales Agreement) with Jefferies LLC (Jefferies) as sales agent, pursuant to which we could, from time to time, issue and sell common stock with an aggregate value of up to $50.0 million in “at-the-market” (ATM), offerings under our Registration Statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-251061) filed with the SEC on December 1, 2020. Sales of common stock pursuant to the Sales Agreement were made in sales deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a) of the Securities Act, including sales made directly through the Nasdaq Global Market or on any other existing trading market for our common stock. During the year ended December 31, 2023, we sold an aggregate of 10,463,504 shares of our common stock under the Sales Agreement at a weighted average price per share of $0.20, generating aggregate net proceeds of $1.7 million after deducting fees, commissions and other expenses. The S-3 expired on December 1, 2023, and therefore as of December 31, 2023, no further sales are available under the Sales Agreement.

On February 17, 2023, we completed a registered direct offering, which resulted in the issuance and sale of 14,320,000 shares of our common stock and warrants to purchase up to 14,320,000 shares of common stock at a combined offering price of $2.095 per share and accompanying warrant, generating gross proceeds of $30.0 million. The warrants have an exercise price of $1.97 per share of common stock, are exercisable immediately following their issuance and will expire five years from the date of issuance. We received net proceeds of approximately $27.6 million from this offering, after deducting placement agent fees and offering expenses.

As of December 31, 2023, we had $18.3 million in cash and cash equivalents and an accumulated deficit of $437.4 million. We have no ongoing material financing commitments, such as lines of credit or guarantees, that are expected to affect our liquidity over the next five years.

Cash Flows

The following table shows a summary of our cash flows for the periods indicated (in thousands):

 

 

 

Year ended
December 31,

 

 

 

2023

 

 

2022

 

Net cash used in operating activities

 

$

(44,848

)

 

$

(43,426

)

Net cash provided by investing activities

 

 

27,293

 

 

 

23,994

 

Net cash provided by financing activities

 

 

31,496

 

 

 

3,889

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash

 

$

13,941

 

 

$

(15,543

)

 

52


Operating Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2023, we used $44.8 million of net cash in operating activities. Cash used in operating activities reflected our net loss of $59.1 million plus $6.2 million from other changes in operating assets and liabilities, partially offset by non-cash charges of $17.2 million primarily related to share-based compensation, interest expense on our Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences and depreciation expense, and $3.2 million from the refund of the PDUFA fee. The primary use of cash was to fund our operations related to the development of our product candidates.

During the year ended December 31, 2022, we used $43.4 million of net cash in operating activities. Cash used in operating activities reflected our net loss of $62.2 million, partially offset by non-cash charges of $18.8 million related to share-based compensation, interest expense on our Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences, depreciation and amortization expense and deferred income tax. The primary use of cash was to fund our operations related to the development of our product candidates.

Investing Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2023, investing activities provided $27.3 million, primarily from the net sales of our short-term investments.

During the year ended December 31, 2022, investing activities provided $24.0 million in cash proceeds from net sales of our short-term investments.

Financing Activities

During the year ended December 31, 2023, financing activities provided $31.5 million from the sale of our common stock and common stock warrants in our registered direct offering in February 2023, from the sale of our common stock under the Sales Agreement with Jefferies, and from the exercise of common stock warrants and stock options during the period.

During the year ended December 31, 2022, financing activities provided $3.9 million from the sale of our common stock under the Sales Agreement with Jefferies and the exercise of stock options.

Funding Requirements

Our future success is dependent on our ability to identify and ultimately consummate a strategic transaction. Potential strategic alternatives to be explored and evaluated during the review process may include a merger, the sale of our company, acquisition or other business combination, a strategic partnership with one or more parties, or the licensing, sale or divestiture of some of our proprietary technologies. We are actively working with a financial advisor in this process. If we are unable to undertake any strategic alternative, we may be required to cease operations altogether.

Our future funding requirements will depend on many factors, including:

the outcome and timing of the process we have initiated to review strategic alternatives, which may include a merger, sale of our company, acquisition or other business combination, a strategic partnership with one or more parties, or the licensing, sale or divestiture of some of our proprietary technologies;
the scope, progress, results and costs of any future preclinical studies and clinical trials;
the scope, prioritization and number of any future research and development programs;
the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of any future product candidates;
our ability to establish and maintain any future collaborations on favorable terms, if at all;

53


the extent to which we are obligated to reimburse, or entitled to reimbursement of, clinical trial costs under any future collaboration agreements, if any;
the costs of preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications, maintaining and enforcing our intellectual property rights and defending intellectual property-related claims;
the extent to which we acquire or in-license other product candidates and technologies; and
the costs of securing manufacturing arrangements for any future commercial production.

Identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials is a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes many years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain marketing approval and achieve product sales. In addition, any future product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success.

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenues, we expect to finance our cash needs through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders’ ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect our existing stockholders’ rights. Debt 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 are unable to raise additional funds when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our assessment of strategic alternatives. If we do not successfully consummate a strategic alternative, our board of directors may decide to pursue a dissolution and liquidation of our company.

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

Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences (Formerly Known as Clarus Ventures)

In November 2018, we entered into the Royalty Agreement with Blackstone Life Sciences. Pursuant to the Royalty Agreement, Blackstone agreed to pay us, in the aggregate, up to $80.0 million (the Royalty Purchase Price), in four tranches of $20.0 million each upon the achievement of specified clinical milestones in our ROMAN trial. We agreed to apply the proceeds from such payments primarily to support clinical development and regulatory activities for avasopasem, rucosopasem and any pharmaceutical product comprising or containing avasopasem or rucosopasem (collectively, the Products), as well as to satisfy working capital obligations and for general corporate expenses. We received the first tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in November 2018, the second tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in April 2019, and the third tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price in February 2020, in each case in connection with the achievement of the first three milestones, respectively, under the Royalty Agreement.

In May 2020, we entered into Amendment No. 1 to the Royalty Agreement (the Amendment), with Clarus IV Galera Royalty AIV, L.P. (the Blackstone Purchaser). The Blackstone Purchaser is affiliated with Blackstone Life Sciences, successor in interest to Clarus Ventures. The Amendment increased the Royalty Purchase Price by $37.5 million to $117.5 million by increasing the fourth tranche from $20.0 million to $37.5 million and adding a new $20.0 million tranche upon the achievement of an additional clinical enrollment milestone. We received the new $20.0 million tranche of the Amendment in June 2021, in connection with the enrollment of the first patient in the GRECO-2 trial. Also in June 2021, we completed enrollment in the ROMAN trial, thereby achieving the milestone associated with the fourth tranche, and received the associated $37.5 million in July 2021.

54


Pursuant to the amended Royalty Agreement, in connection with the payment of each tranche of the Royalty Purchase Price, we have agreed to sell, convey, transfer and assign to Blackstone all of our right, title and interest in a high single-digit percentage of (i) worldwide net sales of the Products and (ii) all amounts received by us or our affiliates, licensees and sublicensees with respect to Product-related damages (collectively, the Product Payments) during the Royalty Period. The Royalty Period means, on a Product-by-Product and country-by-country basis, the period of time commencing on the commercial launch of such Product in such country and ending on the latest to occur of (i) the 12th anniversary of such commercial launch, (ii) the expiration of all valid claims of our patents covering such Product in such country, and (iii) the expiration of regulatory data protection or market exclusivity or similar regulatory protection afforded by the health authorities in such country, to the extent such protection or exclusivity effectively prevents generic versions of such Product from entering the market in such country.

The amended Royalty Agreement will remain in effect until the date on which the aggregate amount of the Product Payments paid to Blackstone exceeds a fixed single-digit multiple of the actual amount of the Royalty Purchase Price received by us, unless earlier terminated pursuant to the mutual written agreement of us and Blackstone. If no Products are commercialized, we would not have an obligation to make Product Payments to Blackstone, which is the sole mechanism for repaying the liability.

In May 2020, as partial consideration for the Amendment, we issued two warrants to the Blackstone Purchaser to purchase an aggregate of 550,661 shares of our common stock at an exercise price equal to $13.62 per share, each of which became exercisable upon the receipt by us of the applicable specified milestone payment. The issued warrants expire six years after the initial exercise date of each respective warrant.

Patheon Manufacturing Agreements

In August 2021, we entered into a Master Manufacturing Services Agreement with Patheon (the Master Agreement). The Master Agreement governs the general terms under which Patheon, or one of its affiliates, will provide non-exclusive manufacturing services to us for the drug products specified by us from time to time. Pursuant to the Master Agreement, we have agreed to order from Patheon at least a certain percentage of our commercial requirements for a product under a related product agreement. Each product agreement that we may enter into from time to time will be governed by the terms of the Master Agreement, unless expressly modified in such product agreement.

In August 2021, we and Patheon entered into a product agreement for avasopasem (the Product Agreement), under the Master Agreement to govern the terms and conditions of Patheon’s manufacture and commercial supply to us of avasopasem manganese from Patheon’s Greenville, North Carolina manufacturing site.

The Master Agreement, and any related product agreement, has an initial term that expires on December 31, 2027 and includes renewal terms, as applicable. In addition, each party has the ability to terminate the Product Agreement upon the occurrence of certain customary conditions. The Master Agreement contains representations, warranties and indemnity obligations customary for agreements of this type, and the Product Agreement establishes certain pricing for avasopasem that may be adjusted as set forth in the Master Agreement.

Our obligation to purchase avasopasem under the Product Agreement is subject to certain binding forecast periods at certain established prices, which will be reviewed each year on January 1 by us and Patheon. We currently do not have any contractual commitment to purchase avasopasem under the Product Agreement.

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

We are a smaller reporting company as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act and are not required to provide the information otherwise required under this Item 7A.

55


Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

57

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2023 and 2022

58

Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

59

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss for the Years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

60

Consolidated Statements of Changes in Stockholders’ Deficit for the Years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

61

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022

62

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

63

 

56


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

 

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors
Galera Therapeutics, Inc.:

 

Opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements

 

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Galera Therapeutics, Inc. and subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, changes in stockholders’ deficit, and cash flows for the years then ended, and the related notes (collectively, the consolidated financial statements). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 31, 2023 and 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

 

Basis for Opinion

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

/s/ KPMG LLP

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2014.

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 28, 2024

57


GALERA THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT SHARE AND PER-SHARE AMOUNTS)

 

 

 

December 31, 2023

 

 

December 31, 2022

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

18,257

 

 

$

4,266

 

Short-term investments

 

 

 

 

 

27,331

 

Restricted cash

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

Refundable PDUFA fee

 

 

 

 

 

3,242

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

 

3,372

 

 

 

3,646

 

Total current assets

 

 

21,629

 

 

 

38,535

 

Property and equipment, net

 

 

71

 

 

 

438

 

Acquired intangible asset

 

 

2,258

 

 

 

2,258

 

Goodwill

 

 

881

 

 

 

881

 

Right-of-use lease assets

 

 

1,212

 

 

 

43

 

Other assets

 

 

90

 

 

 

1,881

 

Total assets

 

$

26,141

 

 

$

44,036

 

Liabilities and stockholders’ deficit

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts payable

 

$

1,375

 

 

$

3,581

 

Accrued expenses

 

 

3,449

 

 

 

9,754

 

Lease liabilities

 

 

133

 

 

 

44

 

Total current liabilities

 

 

4,957

 

 

 

13,379

 

Royalty purchase liability

 

 

151,049

 

 

 

139,635

 

Lease liabilities, net of current portion

 

 

1,117

 

 

 

 

Deferred tax liability

 

 

203

 

 

 

203

 

Total liabilities

 

 

157,326

 

 

 

153,217

 

Commitments (Note 9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders’ deficit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preferred stock, $0.001 par value: 10,000,000 shares authorized; no shares
   issued and outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common stock, $0.001 par value: 200,000,000 shares authorized;
 
54,392,170 and 28,510,066 shares issued and outstanding at
  December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022, respectively

 

 

54

 

 

 

28

 

Additional paid-in capital

 

 

306,167

 

 

 

269,137

 

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

 

 

 

 

 

(22

)

Accumulated deficit

 

 

(437,406

)

 

 

(378,324

)

Total stockholders’ deficit

 

 

(131,185

)

 

 

(109,181

)

Total liabilities and stockholders’ deficit

 

$

26,141

 

 

$

44,036

 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

58


GALERA THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT SHARE AND PER SHARE AMOUNTS)

 

 

 

Year ended
December 31,

 

 

 

2023

 

 

2022

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

$

24,115

 

 

$

31,012

 

General and administrative

 

 

22,836

 

 

 

20,214

 

Restructuring costs

 

 

2,309

 

 

 

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(49,260

)

 

 

(51,226

)

Other income (expenses):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

 

1,595

 

 

 

506

 

Interest expense

 

 

(11,414

)

 

 

(11,571

)

Foreign currency loss

 

 

(3

)

 

 

(1

)

Loss before income tax benefit

 

 

(59,082

)

 

 

(62,292

)

Income tax benefit

 

 

 

 

 

70

 

Net loss

 

 

(59,082

)

 

 

(62,222

)

Net loss per share of common stock, basic and diluted

 

$

(1.33

)

 

$

(2.30

)

Weighted-average shares of common stock outstanding, basic and diluted

 

 

44,549,285

 

 

 

27,086,664

 

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

59


GALERA THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS

(IN THOUSANDS)

 

 

 

Year ended
December 31,

 

 

 

2023

 

 

2022

 

Net loss

 

$

(59,082

)

 

$

(62,222

)

Unrealized gain (loss) on short-term investments

 

 

22

 

 

 

(8

)

Comprehensive loss

 

$

(59,060

)

 

$

(62,230

)

 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

60


GALERA THERAPEUTICS, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CHANGES IN STOCKHOLDERS’ DEFICIT

(IN THOUSANDS EXCEPT SHARE AMOUNTS)

 

 

 

Common stock

 

 

Additional
paid-in

 

 

Accumulated
other
comprehensive

 

 

Accumulated

 

 

Total
Stockholders’

 

 

 

Shares

 

 

Amount

 

 

capital

 

 

gain (loss)

 

 

Deficit

 

 

Deficit

 

 Balance at December 31, 2021

 

 

26,458,767

 

 

$

26

 

 

$

258,086

 

 

$

(14

)

 

$

(316,102

)

 

$

(58,004

)

 Share-based compensation expense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7,164

 

 Exercise of stock options

 

 

68,526

 

 

 

 

 

 

81

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

81

 

 Sale of shares under Open Market Sale
 Agreement, net

 

 

1,982,773

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3,806

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,808

 

 Unrealized loss on short-term
   investments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(8

)

 

 

 

 

(8

)

 Net loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(62,222

)

 

(62,222

)

 Balance at December 31, 2022

 

 

28,510,066

 

 

 

28

 

 

 

269,137

 

 

 

(22

)

 

 

(378,324

)

 

 

(109,181

)

 Share-based compensation expense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,560

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5,560

 

 Exercise of stock options

 

 

78,600

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

187

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

188

 

 Exercise of common stock warrants

 

 

1,020,000

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

2,008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,009

 

 Sale of common stock and common stock
   warrants in registered direct offering, net of
   issuance costs of $
2,403

 

 

14,320,000

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

27,584

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27,598

 

 Sale of shares under Open Market Sale
 Agreement, net

 

 

10,463,504

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

1,691