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STEM > SEC Filings for STEM > Form 10-Q on 10-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Quarterly Report


This report contains forward looking statements within the meaning of
Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Such statements include, without limitation, all statements as to expectation or belief and statements as to our future results of operations; the progress of our research, product development and clinical programs; the need for, and timing of, additional capital and capital expenditures; partnering prospects; costs of manufacture of products; the protection of, and the need for, additional intellectual property rights; effects of regulations; the need for additional facilities; and potential market opportunities. Our actual results may vary materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements because of risks to which we are subject, including the fact that additional trials will be required to confirm the safety and demonstrate the efficacy of our HuCNS-SC cells for the treatment of any disease or disorder; uncertainty as to whether the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Swissmedic, or other regulatory authorities will permit us to proceed with clinical testing of proposed products despite the novel and unproven nature of our technologies; the risk that our clinical trials or studies could be substantially delayed beyond their expected dates or cause us to incur substantial unanticipated costs; uncertainties in our ability to obtain the capital resources needed to continue our current research and development operations and to conduct the research, preclinical development and clinical trials necessary for regulatory approvals; the uncertainty regarding our ability to obtain a corporate partner or partners, if needed, to support the development and commercialization of our potential cell-based therapeutics products; the uncertainty regarding the outcome of our clinical trials or studies we may conduct in the future; the uncertainty regarding the validity and enforceability of our issued patents; the risk that we may not be able to manufacture additional master and working cell banks when needed; the uncertainty whether any products that may be generated in our cell-based therapeutics programs will prove clinically safe and effective; the uncertainty whether we will achieve significant revenue from product sales or become profitable; uncertainties regarding our obligations with respect to our former facilities in Rhode Island; obsolescence of our technologies; competition from third parties; intellectual property rights of third parties; litigation risks; and other risks to which we are subject. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements and risk factors set forth in "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.


The Company

We are engaged in researching, developing, and commercializing cell-based therapeutics and enabling tools and technologies for stem cell-based research and drug discovery and development. Our research and development (R&D) programs are primarily focused on identifying and developing potential cell-based therapeutics which can either restore or support organ function. In particular, since we relocated our corporate headquarters to California in 1999, our R&D efforts have been directed at refining our methods for identifying, isolating, culturing, and purifying the human neural stem cell and developing this cell as potential cell-based therapeutics for the central nervous system (CNS). Our HuCNS-SCŪ product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) is currently in clinical development for several indications - chronic spinal cord injury, dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and

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Pelizeaus-Merzbacher disease (PMD), which is a myelination disorder in the brain. In October 2012, we published in Science Translational Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal, the data from our four-patient Phase I clinical trial in PMD, which showed preliminary evidence of durable and progressive donor-derived myelination in all four patients. In addition, there were measurable gains in neurological function in three of the four patients, with the fourth patient clinically stable. We are conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of chronic spinal cord injury. This trial is being conducted in Switzerland under authorization from Swissmedic, and represents the first time that neural stem cells have been transplanted as a potential therapeutic agent for spinal cord injury. In February 2013, we announced that the first patient cohort, all of whom had complete spinal cord injuries, had completed the trial. In addition, data from this first cohort continued to demonstrate a favorable safety profile and showed that the considerable gains in sensory function observed at the six month assessment in two of the three patients compared to pre-transplant baselines had persisted at the 12 month assessment; the third patient remained stable. Also, in September 2012, the first patient with an incomplete spinal cord injury was enrolled and dosed with our HuCNS-SC cells. We are also conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial in dry AMD, and in April 2013, we added a second trial site for this trial. We previously completed a Phase I clinical trial in infantile and late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), and the data from that trial showed that our HuCNS-SC cells were well tolerated and non-tumorigenic, and that there was evidence of engraftment and long-term survival of the transplanted HuCNS-SC cells. In April 2013, we entered into an agreement with CIRM under which CIRM will provide approximately $19.3 million as a forgivable loan, in accordance with mutually agreed upon terms and conditions and CIRM regulations. The CIRM loan will help fund preclinical development of our HuCNS-SC cells for Alzheimer's disease. For a brief description of our significant therapeutic research and development programs see Overview "Research and Development Programs" in the Business Section of Part I, Item 1 of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.

We are also engaged in developing and commercializing applications of our technologies to enable research, which we believe represent current and nearer-term commercial opportunities. Our portfolio of technologies includes cell technologies relating to embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and tissue-derived (adult) stem cells; expertise and infrastructure for providing cell-based assays for drug discovery; a cell culture products and antibody reagents business; and an intellectual property portfolio with claims relevant to cell processing, reprogramming and manipulation, as well as to gene targeting and insertion. Many of these enabling technologies were acquired in April 2009 as part of our acquisition of the operations of Stem Cell Sciences Plc (SCS).

We have not derived any revenue or cash flows from the sale or commercialization of any products except for license revenue for certain of our patented technologies and sales of products for use in stem cell research. As a result, we have incurred annual operating losses since inception and expect to incur substantial operating losses in the future. Therefore, we are dependent upon external financing, such as from equity and debt offerings, to finance our operations. Before we can derive revenue or cash inflows from the commercialization of any of our therapeutic product candidates, we will need to:
(i) conduct substantial in vitro testing and characterization of our proprietary cell types, (ii) undertake preclinical and clinical testing for specific disease indications; (iii) develop, validate and scale-up manufacturing processes to produce these cell-based therapeutics, and (iv) obtain required regulatory approvals. These steps are risky, expensive and time consuming.

Overall, we expect our R&D expenses to be substantial and to increase for the foreseeable future as we continue the development and clinical investigation of our current and future product candidates. However, expenditures on R&D programs are subject to many uncertainties, including whether we develop our product candidates with a partner or independently. We cannot forecast with any degree of certainty which of our current product candidates will be subject to future collaboration, when such collaboration agreements will be secured, if at all, and to what degree such arrangements would affect our development plans and capital requirements. In addition, there are numerous factors associated with the successful commercialization of any of our cell-based therapeutics, including future trial design and regulatory requirements, many of which cannot be determined with accuracy at this time given the stage of our development and the novel nature of stem cell technologies. The regulatory pathways, both in the United States and internationally, are complex and fluid given the novel and, in general, clinically unproven nature of stem cell technologies. At this time, due to such uncertainties and inherent risks, we cannot estimate in a meaningful way the duration of, or the costs to complete, our R&D programs or whether, when or to what extent we will generate revenues or cash inflows from the commercialization and sale of any of our therapeutic product candidates. While we are currently focused on advancing each of our product development programs, our future R&D expenses will depend on the determinations we make as to the scientific and clinical prospects of each product candidate, as well as our ongoing assessment of the regulatory requirements and each product candidate's commercial potential.

Given the early stage of development of our therapeutic product candidates, any estimates of when we may be able to commercialize one or more of these products would not be meaningful. Moreover, any estimate of the time and investment required to develop potential products based upon our proprietary HuCNS-SC technologies will change depending on the ultimate approach or approaches we take to pursue them, the results of preclinical and clinical studies, and the content and timing of decisions made by the FDA, Swissmedic and other regulatory authorities. There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop any product successfully, or that we will be able to recover our development costs, whether upon commercialization of a developed product or otherwise. We cannot provide assurance that any of these programs will result in products that can be marketed or marketed profitably. If certain of our development-stage programs do not result in commercially viable products, our results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

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The research markets served by our tools and technologies products are highly competitive, complex and dynamic. Technological advances and scientific discoveries have accelerated the pace of change in biological research, and stem cell technologies have been evolving particularly fast. We compete mainly by focusing on specialty media and antibody reagent products and human cell lines where we believe our expertise, intellectual property and reputation give us competitive advantage. We believe that, in this particular market niche, our products and technologies offer customers specific advantages over those offered by our competitors. We compete by offering innovative, quality-controlled products, consistently made and designed to produce reproducible results. We continue to make investments in research and development, quality management, quality improvement, and product innovation. We cannot assure you that we will have sufficient resources to continue to make such investments. For the three month period ended March 31, 2013, we generated revenues from the sale of specialty cell culture products of approximately $209,000. We can give no assurances that we will be able to continue to generate such revenues in the future.

Significant Events

In February 2013, the first patient cohort in our Phase I/II clinical trial of our proprietary HuCNS-SC cells for chronic spinal cord injury completed the trial. The data from this first cohort continued to demonstrate a favorable safety profile, and showed that the considerable gains in sensory function observed at the six month assessment in two of the three patients had persisted to the 12 month assessment. The third patient remained stable.

In March 2013, we acquired certain patents and patent applications from NsGene A/S, a Danish company. These patents and patent applications claim a purified population of GFAP+ Nestin+ precursor cells in which one or more of the cells are capable of differentiating into neurons.

In April 2013, we added the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, located in Palo Alto, California, as a second site for our Phase I/II clinical trial of our proprietary HuCNS-SC cells in AMD.

In April 2013, we entered into an agreement with CIRM under which CIRM will provide approximately $19.3 million to help fund preclinical development and IND-enabling activities of our HuCNS-SC cells for Alzheimer's disease. The funding, which will be in the form of a forgivable loan, was awarded under CIRM's Disease Team Therapy Development Award program (RFA 10-05) in September 2012. The goal of the research will be to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within four years.

Also in April 2013, we closed a $10 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The loan has a three-year term and the loan funds will be used for general corporate purposes.

Critical Accounting Policies and the Use of Estimates

The accompanying discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations are based on our condensed consolidated financial statements and the related disclosures, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these condensed consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates, assumptions, and judgments that affect the reported amounts in our condensed consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. These estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities. We base our estimates and judgments on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, and we have established internal controls related to the preparation of these estimates. Actual results and the timing of the results could differ materially from these estimates.

Stock-Based Compensation

U.S. GAAP requires us to recognize expense related to the fair value of our stock-based payment awards, including employee stock options and restricted stock units. Under the provisions of U.S. GAAP, the fair value of our employee stock-based payment awards is estimated at the date of grant using the Black-Scholes-Merton (Black-Scholes) option-pricing model and is recognized as expense ratably over the requisite service period. The Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires the use of certain assumptions, the most significant of which are our estimates of the expected volatility of the market price of our stock and the expected term of the award. Our estimate of the expected volatility is based on historical volatility. The expected term represents our estimated period during which our stock-based awards remain outstanding. We estimate the expected term based on historical experience of similar awards, giving consideration to the contractual terms of the awards, vesting requirements, and expectation of future employee behavior, including post-vesting terminations.

We review our valuation assumptions at each grant date and, as a result, our assumptions in future periods may change. As of March 31, 2013, we expect to recognize approximately $1,875,000 of compensation expense related to unvested stock-based awards over a weighted-average period of 1.8 years. See also Note 5, "Stock-Based Compensation," in the notes to condensed consolidated financial statements of Part I, Item 1 of this Form 10-Q for further information.

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Wind-down expenses - Rhode Island

In connection with our wind-down of our research and manufacturing operations in Lincoln, Rhode Island, and the relocation of our corporate headquarters and remaining research laboratories to California in October 1999, we provided a reserve for our estimate of the exit cost obligation. The reserve reflects estimates of the ongoing costs of our former research and administrative facility in Lincoln, which we hold on a lease that terminates on June 30, 2013. In determining the facility exit cost reserve amount, we are required to consider our lease payments through the end of the lease term and estimate other relevant factors such as facility operating expenses, real estate market conditions in Rhode Island for similar facilities, occupancy rates, and sublease rental rates projected over the course of the leasehold. We re-evaluate the estimate each quarter, taking into account changes, if any, in each of the underlying factors. The process is inherently subjective because it involves projections into time - from the date of the estimate through the end of the lease - and it is not possible to determine any of the factors except the lease payments with certainty over that period. Management forms its best estimate on a quarterly basis, after considering actual sublease activity, reports from our broker/realtor about current and predicted real estate market conditions in Rhode Island, the likelihood of new subleases in the foreseeable future for the specific facility and significant changes in the actual or projected operating expenses of the property. We discount the projected net outflow over the term of the lease to arrive at the present value, and adjust the reserve to that figure. The estimated vacancy rate for the facility is an important assumption in determining the reserve because changes in this assumption have the greatest effect on estimated sublease income. In addition, the vacancy rate estimate is the variable most subject to change, while at the same time it involves the greatest judgment and uncertainty due to the absence of highly predictive information concerning the future of the local economy and future demand for specialized laboratory and office space in that area. The average vacancy rate of the facility over the last ten years (2003 through 2012) was approximately 73%, varying from 62% to 89%. As of March 31, 2013, based on current information available to management, the vacancy rate is projected to be approximately 89% for the remainder of the lease that ends on June 30, 2013. These estimates are based on actual occupancy as of March 31, 2013, predicted lead time for acquiring new subtenants, historical vacancy rates for the area and assessments by our broker/realtor of future real estate market conditions. Due to the short time remaining on the lease period, the reserve assumes no additional tenants. A 5% increase or decrease in the operating expenses for the facility for the remaining lease term in 2013 would have increased or decreased the reserve by approximately $14,000.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, we recorded actual expenses against this reserve, net of subtenant income, of approximately $372,000. Based on management's evaluation of the factors mentioned above, and particularly the projected vacancy rates described above, we adjusted the reserve at March 31, 2013 by recording an additional $23,000 as wind-down expenses. At March 31, 2013, the reserve including deferred rent was approximately $629,000. Management does not wait for specific events to change its estimate, but instead uses its best efforts to anticipate them on a quarterly basis. See Note 6 "Wind-Down Expenses," in the notes to condensed consolidated financial statements of Part I, Item 1 of this Form 10-Q for further information.

Business Combinations

The operating results of acquired companies or operations are included in our consolidated financial statements starting on the date of acquisition. Goodwill is recorded at the time of an acquisition and is calculated as the difference between the aggregate consideration paid for an acquisition and the fair value of the net tangible and intangible assets acquired. Accounting for acquisitions requires extensive use of accounting estimates and judgments to allocate the purchase price to the fair value of the net tangible and intangible assets acquired, including in-process research and development. Goodwill and intangible assets deemed to have indefinite lives are not amortized but are subject to annual impairment tests. If the assumptions and estimates used to allocate the purchase price are not correct, or if business conditions change, purchase price adjustments or future asset impairment charges could be required. We test goodwill for impairment on an annual basis or more frequently if we believe indicators of impairment exist. Impairment evaluations involve management estimates of asset useful lives and future cash flows. Significant management judgment is required in the forecasts of future operating results that are used in the evaluations. It is possible, however, that the plans and estimates used may be incorrect. If our actual results, or the plans and estimates used in future impairment analysis, are lower than the original estimates used to assess the recoverability of these assets, we could incur impairment charges in a future period.

Warrant Liability

We account for our warrants in accordance with U.S. GAAP which defines how freestanding contracts that are indexed to and potentially settled in a company's own stock should be measured and classified. Authoritative accounting guidance prescribes that only warrants issued by us under contracts that cannot be net-cash settled, and are both indexed to and settled in our common stock, can be classified as equity. As part of both our November 2008 and November 2009 financings, we issued warrants with five year terms to purchase 1,034,483 and 400,000 shares of our common stock at $23.00 and $15.00 per share, respectively. As part of our December 2011 financing, we issued Series A Warrants with a five year term to purchase 8,000,000 shares at $1.40 per share and Series B Warrants with a ninety trading day term to purchase 8,000,000 units at $1.25 per unit. Each unit underlying the Series B Warrants consisted of one share of our common stock and one Series A Warrant. In the first and second quarter of 2012, an aggregate

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of 2,700,000 Series B Warrants were exercised. For the exercise of these warrants, we issued 2,700,000 shares of our common stock and 2,700,000 Series A Warrants. The remaining 5,300,000 Series B Warrants expired unexercised by their terms on May 2, 2012. As terms of the warrants issued in 2008 and 2009, as well as the Series A and Series B Warrants, do not meet the specific conditions for equity classification, we are required to classify the fair value of these warrants as a liability, with subsequent changes in fair value to be recorded as income (loss) due to change in fair value of warrant liability. The fair value of the warrants issued in the 2008 and 2009 financings is determined using the Black-Scholes-Merton (Black-Scholes) option pricing model and the fair value of the Series A and Series B Warrants is determined using a Monte Carlo simulation model (see Note 8, "Warrant Liability"). The fair value is affected by changes in inputs to these models including our stock price, expected stock price volatility, the contractual term, and the risk-free interest rate. The use of a Monte Carlo simulation model requires input of additional assumptions including the progress of our R&D programs and its affect on potential future financings. We will continue to classify the fair value of the warrants as a liability until the warrants are exercised, expire or are amended in a way that would no longer require these warrants to be classified as a liability. The estimated fair value of our warrant liability at March 31, 2013, was approximately $9,035,000.

Revenue Recognition

We currently recognize revenue resulting from the licensing and use of our technology and intellectual property, from government grants, from services provided to third parties, and from product sales. Licensing agreements may contain multiple elements, such as upfront fees, payments related to the achievement of particular milestones and royalties. Revenue from upfront fees for licensing agreements that contain multiple elements are generally deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the agreement. Fees associated with substantive at risk performance-based milestones are recognized as revenue upon completion of the scientific or regulatory event specified in the agreement, and royalties received are recognized as earned. Revenue from licensing agreements is recognized net of a fixed percentage due to licensors as royalties. Grant revenue from government agencies are funds received to cover specific expenses and are recognized as earned upon either the incurring of reimbursable expenses directly related to the particular research plan or the completion of certain development milestones as defined within the terms of the relevant collaborative agreement or grant. Revenue from services provided to third parties is recognized when we have performed the agreed upon services. Revenue from product sales are recognized when the product is shipped and the order fulfilled.

Results of Operations

Our results of operations have varied significantly from year to year and quarter to quarter and may vary significantly in the future due to the occurrence of material recurring and nonrecurring events, including without limitation the receipt and payment of recurring and nonrecurring licensing payments, the initiation or termination of clinical studies, research collaborations and development programs for both cell-based therapeutic products and research tools, unpredictable or unanticipated manufacturing and supply costs, unanticipated capital expenditures necessary to support our business, developments in on-going patent prosecution and litigation, the on-going expenses to lease and maintain our Rhode Island facilities, and the costs associated with operating our California and Cambridge, U.K. facilities.

We acquired the operations of SCS on April 1, 2009, and have consolidated such operations since that date.

Revenue and Cost of Product Sales

Revenue for the three-month period ended March 31, 2013, as compared with the
same period in 2012, is summarized in the table below:

                                             Three months ended,
                                                  March 31                 Change in 2013 versus 2012
                                             2013           2012                $                   %
Licensing agreements, grants and other    $   75,642      $ 372,677      $       (297,035 )          (80 )%
Product sales                                208,558        271,359               (62,801 )          (23 )%

Total revenue                                284,200        644,036              (359,836 )          (56 )%
Cost of product sales                         66,841         71,959                (5,118 )           (7 )%

Gross profit                              $  217,359      $ 572,077      $       (354,718 )          (62 )%

First quarter ended March 31, 2013 versus first quarter ended March 31, 2012. Total revenue in the first quarter of 2013 was approximately $284,000, which was 56% lower than total revenue of approximately $644,000 in the first quarter of 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, revenue from product sales was approximately . . .

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