Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies

Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2016
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies

2. Basis of Presentation and Significant Accounting Policies

Principles of Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All intercompany accounts and transactions among consolidated entities were eliminated upon consolidation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, and related disclosures. On an ongoing basis, management evaluates its estimates including, but not limited to, those related to contingent warrant liabilities, revenue recognition, debt amendments, research and development expense, long-lived assets, restructuring liabilities, legal contingencies, derivative instruments and stock-based compensation. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other market-specific and other relevant assumptions 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 significantly from these estimates, such as the Company’s billing under government contracts and the Company’s accrual for clinical trial expenses. Under the Company’s contracts with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”), a part of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), the Company bills using NIH provisional rates and thus is subject to future audits at the discretion of NIAID’s contracting office. These audits can result in an adjustment to revenue previously reported which potentially could be significant. In March 2016, the Company effected the novation of its remaining active contract with NIAID to Nanotherapeutics, Inc. (“Nanotherapeutics”) (see Note 6). The billings made prior to the effective date of the novation of such contract are still subject to future audits, which may result in significant adjustments to reported revenues. The Company’s accrual for clinical trials is based on estimates of the services received and efforts expended under contracts with clinical trial centers and clinical research organizations.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue is recognized when the four basic criteria of revenue recognition are met: (1) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists; (2) delivery has occurred or services have been rendered; (3) the fee is fixed or determinable; and (4) collectability is reasonably assured. The determination of criteria (2) is based on management’s judgments regarding whether a continuing performance obligation exists. The determination of criteria (3) and (4) are based on management’s judgments regarding the nature of the fee charged for products or services delivered and the collectability of those fees. Allowances are established for estimated uncollectible amounts, if any.

The Company recognizes revenue from its license and collaboration arrangements, contract services, and royalties. Revenue arrangements with multiple elements are divided into separate units of accounting if certain criteria are met, including whether the delivered element has stand-alone value to the customer and whether there is objective and reliable evidence of the fair value of the undelivered items. Each deliverable in the arrangement is evaluated to determine whether it meets the criteria to be accounted for as a separate unit of accounting or whether it should be combined with other deliverables. In order to account for the multiple-element arrangements, the Company identifies the deliverables included within the arrangement and evaluates which deliverables represent separate units of accounting. Analyzing the arrangement to identify deliverables requires the use of judgment, and each deliverable may be an obligation to deliver services, a right or license to use an asset, or another performance obligation. The consideration received is allocated among the separate units of accounting based on their respective fair values and the applicable revenue recognition criteria are applied to each of the separate units. Advance payments received in excess of amounts earned are classified as deferred revenue until earned.

License and Collaborative Fees

Revenue from non-refundable license, technology access or other payments under license and collaborative agreements where the Company has a continuing obligation to perform is recognized as revenue over the estimated period of the continuing performance obligation. The Company estimates the performance period at the inception of the arrangement and reevaluates it each reporting period. Management makes its best estimate of the period over which it expects to fulfill the performance obligations, which may include clinical development activities. Given the uncertainties of research and development collaborations, significant judgment is required to determine the duration of the performance period. This reevaluation may shorten or lengthen the period over which the remaining revenue is recognized. Changes to these estimates are recorded on a prospective basis.

License and collaboration agreements with certain third parties also provide for contingent payments to be paid to the Company based solely upon the performance of the partner. For such contingent payments revenue is recognized upon completion of the milestone event, once confirmation is received from the third party, provided that collection is reasonably assured and the other revenue recognition criteria have been satisfied. Milestone payments that are not substantive or that require a continuing performance obligation on the part of the Company are recognized over the expected period of the continuing performance obligation. Amounts received in advance are recorded as deferred revenue until the related milestone is completed.

Payment related to an option to purchase the Company’s commercialization rights is considered substantive if, at the inception of the arrangement, the Company is at risk as to whether the collaboration partner will choose to exercise the option. Factors that the Company considers in evaluating whether an option is substantive include the overall objective of the arrangement, the benefit the collaborator might obtain from the arrangement without exercising the option, the cost to exercise the option and the likelihood that the option will be exercised. For arrangements under which an option is considered substantive, the Company does not consider the item underlying the option to be a deliverable at the inception of the arrangement and the associated option fees are not included in allocable arrangement consideration, assuming the option is not priced at a significant and incremental discount. Conversely, for arrangements under which an option is not considered substantive or if an option is priced at a significant and incremental discount, the Company would consider the item underlying the option to be a deliverable at the inception of the arrangement and a corresponding amount would be included in allocable arrangement consideration.

Contract and Other Revenues

Contract revenue for research and development involves the Company providing research and development services to collaborative parties or others. Cost reimbursement revenue under collaborative agreements is recorded as contract and other revenues and is recognized as the related research and development costs are incurred, as provided for under the terms of these agreements. Revenue for certain contracts is accounted for by a proportional performance, or output-based, method where performance is based on estimated progress toward elements defined in the contract. The amount of contract revenue and related costs recognized in each accounting period are based on management’s estimates of the proportional performance during the period. Adjustments to estimates based on actual performance are recognized on a prospective basis and do not result in reversal of revenue should the estimate to complete be extended. In 2014, the Company had a $1.8 million adjustment to decrease previously invoiced balances from the NIAID contract (see Note 4).

Up-front fees associated with contract revenue are recorded as license and collaborative fees and are recognized in the same manner as the final deliverable, which is generally ratably over the period of the continuing performance obligation. Given the uncertainties of research and development collaborations, significant judgment is required to determine the duration of the arrangement.


Royalty revenue and royalty receivables are recorded in the periods these royalty amounts are earned, if estimable and collectability is reasonably assured. The royalty revenue and receivables recorded in these instances are based upon communication with the Company’s licensees, historical information and forecasted sales trends.

Sale of Future Revenue Streams


The Company has sold its rights to receive certain milestones and royalties on product sales. In the circumstance where the Company has sold its rights to future milestones and royalties under a license agreement and also maintains limited continuing involvement in the arrangement (but not significant continuing involvement in the generation of the cash flows that are due to the purchaser), the Company defers recognition of the proceeds it receives for the milestone or royalty stream and recognizes such deferred revenue as contract and other revenue over the life of the underlying license agreement. The Company recognizes this revenue under the "units-of-revenue" method. Under this method, amortization for a reporting period is calculated by computing a ratio of the proceeds received from the purchaser to the total payments expected to be made to the purchaser over the term of the agreement, and then applying that ratio to the period’s cash payment.

Estimating the total payments expected to be received by the purchaser over the term of such arrangements requires management to use subjective estimates and assumptions. Changes to the Company’s estimate of the payments expected to be made to the purchaser over the term of such arrangements could have a material effect on the amount of revenues recognized in any particular period.

Research and Development Expenses

The Company expenses research and development costs as incurred. Research and development expenses consist of direct costs such as salaries and related personnel costs, and material and supply costs, and research-related allocated overhead costs, such as facilities costs. In addition, research and development expenses include costs related to clinical trials. From time to time, research and development expenses may include up-front fees and milestones paid to collaborative partners for the purchase of rights to in-process research and development. Such amounts are expensed as incurred.

The Company’s accrual for clinical trials is based on estimates of the services received and efforts expended under contracts with clinical trial centers and clinical research organizations. The Company may terminate these contracts upon written notice and is generally only liable for actual effort expended by the organizations to the date of termination, although in certain instances the Company may be further responsible for termination fees and penalties. The Company makes estimates of its accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date based on the facts and circumstances known to the Company at that time. Expenses resulting from clinical trials are recorded when incurred based in part on estimates as to the status of the various trials.

Stock-Based Compensation

The Company recognizes compensation expense for all stock-based payment awards made to the Company’s employees, consultants and directors that are expected to vest based on estimated fair values. The valuation of stock option awards is determined at the date of grant using the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model (the “Black-Scholes Model”). The Black-Scholes Model requires inputs such as the expected term of the option, expected volatility and risk-free interest rate. To establish an estimate of expected term, the Company considers the vesting period and contractual period of the award and its historical experience of stock option exercises, post-vesting cancellations and volatility. The estimate of expected volatility is based on the Company’s historical volatility. The risk-free rate is based on the yield available on United States Treasury zero-coupon issues corresponding to the expected term of the award.

The valuation of restricted stock units (“RSUs”) is determined at the date of grant using the Company’s closing stock price.

To establish an estimate of forfeiture rate, the Company considers its historical experience of option forfeitures and terminations. Forfeitures are estimated at the time of grant and revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from estimates.

Restructuring and Impairment Charges

Restructuring costs are primarily comprised of severance costs related to workforce reductions, contract termination costs and asset impairments. The Company recognizes restructuring charges when the liability has been incurred, except for employee termination benefits that are incurred over time. Generally, employee termination benefits (i.e., severance costs) are accrued at the date management has committed to a plan of termination and employees have been notified of their termination dates and expected severance payments. Key assumptions in determining the restructuring costs include the terms and payments that may be negotiated to terminate certain contractual obligations and the timing of employees leaving the Company. Other costs, including contract termination costs, are recorded when the arrangement is terminated. Asset impairment charges have been, and will be, recognized when management has concluded that the assets have been impaired.

Cash, Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities

The Company considers all highly liquid debt instruments with maturities of three months or less at the time the Company acquires them and that can be liquidated without prior notice or penalty to be cash equivalents.

All marketable securities have been classified as “available-for-sale” and are carried at fair value, with unrealized gains and losses, net of tax, if any, reported in other comprehensive income (loss). The estimate of fair value is based on publicly available market information. Realized gains and losses and declines in value judged to be other-than-temporary on available-for-sale securities are included in other income (expense), net. The Company reviews its instruments for other-than-temporary impairment whenever the value of the instrument is less than the amortized cost. The cost of investments sold is based on the specific identification method. Interest and dividends on securities classified as available-for-sale are included in other income (expense), net.

Property and Equipment and Long-Lived Assets

Property and equipment is stated at cost less depreciation. Equipment depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets (three to seven years). Leasehold improvements, buildings and building improvements are depreciated using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease terms or the useful lives (one to fifteen years). Amortization expense for assets acquired through capital leases is included in depreciation expense in the consolidated statements of comprehensive loss. Upon the sale or retirement of assets, the cost and related accumulated depreciation and amortization are removed from the consolidated balance sheets, and the resulting gain or loss, if any, is reflected in other income (expense), net in the consolidated statements of comprehensive loss. Repairs and maintenance costs are charged to expense as incurred.

Long-lived assets include property and equipment. The carrying value of our long-lived assets is reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may not be recoverable. An impairment loss would be recognized when estimated future cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset and its eventual disposition is less than its carrying amount. During the year ended December 31, 2016, the Company recognized an impairment charge of $0.2 million (see Note 3). During the years ended December 31, 2015, and 2014, there were no material impairment losses recognized.



The Company has issued warrants to purchase shares of its common stock in connection with financing activities. The Company accounts for some of these warrants as a liability at fair value and others as equity at fair value. The fair value of the outstanding warrants is estimated using the Black-Scholes Model. The Black-Scholes Model requires inputs such as the expected term of the warrants, expected volatility and risk-free interest rate. These inputs are subjective and require significant analysis and judgment to develop. For the estimate of the expected term, the Company uses the full remaining contractual term of the warrant. The Company determines the expected volatility assumption in the Black-Scholes Model based on historical stock price volatility observed on the Company’s underlying stock. The assumptions associated with contingent warrant liabilities are reviewed each reporting period and changes in the estimated fair value of these contingent warrant liabilities are recognized in revaluation of contingent warrant liabilities within the consolidated statements of comprehensive loss.

Income Taxes

The Company accounts for income taxes using the liability method under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities and are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws that will be in effect when the differences are expected to reverse. Valuation allowances are established when necessary to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount which is more likely than not to be realizable.

The recognition, derecognition and measurement of a tax position is based on management’s best judgment given the facts, circumstances and information available at each reporting date. The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties related to the underpayment of income taxes as a component of income tax expense. To date, there have been no interest or penalties charged in relation to the unrecognized tax benefits.

Net Loss per Share of Common Stock

Basic net loss per share of common stock is based on the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the period. Diluted net loss per share of common stock is based on the weighted average number of shares outstanding during the period, adjusted to include the assumed conversion of certain stock options, RSUs, and warrants for common stock. The calculation of diluted loss per share of common stock requires that, to the extent the average market price of the underlying shares for the reporting period exceeds the exercise price of the warrants and the presumed exercise of such securities are dilutive to earnings (loss) per share of common stock for the period, adjustments to net loss used in the calculation are required to remove the change in fair value of the warrants for the period. Likewise, adjustments to the denominator are required to reflect the related dilutive shares.


Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued guidance codified in Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue Recognition — Revenue from Contracts with Customers, which amends the guidance in ASC 605, Revenue Recognition. The standard’s core principle is that a company will recognize revenue when it transfers promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the company expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. In August 2015, the FASB issued an accounting update to defer the effective date by one year for public entities such that it is now applicable for annual and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is permitted for periods beginning after December 15, 2016. ASC 606 also permits two methods of adoption: retrospectively to each prior reporting period presented (full retrospective method), or retrospectively with the cumulative effect of initially applying the guidance recognized at the date of initial application (the modified retrospective method). The Company currently plans to adopt the standard on January 1, 2018. A decision regarding the adoption method has not been finalized at this time. The Company’s final determination will depend on a number of factors such as the significance of the impact of the new standard on the Company’s financial results and the Company’s ability to accumulate and analyze the information necessary to assess the impact on prior period financial statements, as necessary.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). ASU 2016-2 is aimed at making leasing activities more transparent and comparable, and requires substantially all leases be recognized by lessees on their balance sheet as a right-of-use asset and corresponding lease liability, including leases currently accounted for as operating leases. ASU 2016-2 is effective for the Company’s interim and annual reporting periods during the year ending December 31, 2019, and all annual and interim reporting periods thereafter. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is evaluating the impact of the adoption of the standard on its consolidated financial statements.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation-Stock Compensation (Topic 718) Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (“ASU 2016-09”), which is intended to simplify several aspects of the accounting for employee share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, the determination of forfeiture rates, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. This ASU is effective for fiscal years and interim periods within those years beginning after December 15, 2016 and early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact that the adoption of ASU 2016-09 will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.