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LPTN > SEC Filings for LPTN > Form 10-K on 18-Mar-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for LPATH, INC

Form 10-K for LPATH, INC


18-Mar-2014

Annual Report


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion and analysis in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes contained elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, including those set forth under "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and those discussed in other documents we file with the SEC. In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements represent beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Except as required by applicable law, we do not intend to update or revise forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to reflect future events or circumstances.

Overview

We are a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of lipidomic-based therapeutic antibodies, an emerging field of medical science that targets bioactive signaling lipids to treat a wide range of human diseases. We have two product candidates that are currently in clinical development, and one in pre-clinical evaluation.

iSONEP™ is the ocular formulation of sonepcizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody ("mAb") against sphingosine-1-phosphate ("S1P"). Sphingomab™ is the original mouse version of this monoclonal antibody. iSONEP is administered by intravitreal injection, and has demonstrated multiple mechanisms of action in ocular models of disease, including anti-angiogenesis, anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic and anti-vascular permeability. This combination of mechanisms would suggest: (i) iSONEP might have a comparative advantage over currently marketed products for "wet" age-related macular degeneration ("wet AMD") and
(ii) iSONEP might demonstrate clinical efficacy in a broad range of retinal diseases where there is currently a significant unmet medical need, including diabetic retinopathy, dry AMD, and glaucoma-related surgery.

In December 2010, we entered into an agreement with Pfizer Inc. (the "Pfizer Agreement"), which provides Pfizer with an exclusive option for a worldwide license to develop and commercialize iSONEP. Under the original terms of the Pfizer Agreement, Pfizer and the Company planned to conduct two studies, including a Phase 1b study in wet AMD patients with Pigment Epithelial Detachment (PED), a complication of wet AMD (the ''PEDigree trial''), and a larger Phase 2a study in wet AMD patients generally (the ''Nexus trial''). The Company began enrolling patients in the PEDigree and Nexus trials in September 2011 and October 2011, respectively.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed the PEDigree and Nexus trials on clinical hold in January 2012 following a determination by the FDA that the fill-and-finish contractor that had filled the iSONEP clinical trial vials was not in compliance with the FDA's current Good Manufacturing Practice (''cGMP'') standards during the time period it provided those services to the Company. Thereafter, we manufactured new iSONEP drug substance with an alternate fill-and-finish contractor and resumed dosing patients in the Nexus trial in September 2012.

As a result of the clinical hold and the requirement to manufacture new drug substance, the projected costs to complete the iSONEP trials increased significantly and Pfizer requested the Company to consider potential alternatives to reduce the increased costs of the iSONEP trials. In December 2012, Lpath and Pfizer amended the Pfizer Agreement to among other things, reflect the parties' agreement to discontinue the PEDigree trial and to focus on the Nexus trial. The parties agreed to continue to pursue and share the cost of the iSONEP trials, including any costs associated with discontinuing the PEDigree trial.

In October 2013, Lpath announced that it had received notice from Pfizer that Pfizer would be seeking to divest certain ophthalmology research and development assets, including Pfizer's rights and obligations under the Pfizer Agreement. Lpath presented offers to Pfizer to reacquire those rights. However, in December 2013, Pfizer informed Lpath that its offers were not competitive with other offers. Therefore, Lpath believes that a number of third parties may have an interest in acquiring Pfizer's rights. Acquisition of Pfizer's rights and obligations under the terms of the Pfizer Agreement by a third party would not affect the terms of the Pfizer Agreement, as the existing rights and obligations currently held by Pfizer will be assumed by to the third party or remain with Pfizer based on the terms of the agreement between Pfizer and the third party.

As of December 31, 2013, Pfizer had paid the Company $20.0 million pursuant to the terms of the Pfizer Agreement, including the $14 million upfront payment. The amendment to the Pfizer Agreement did not modify the Company's obligation to fund $6.0 million of Nexus trial expenses, which it completed during 2013. The terms of the Pfizer Agreement specify that, since the Company has fulfilled its funding obligation, Pfizer (or any third party who acquires Pfizer's rights) will fund the remaining expenses necessary to complete the Nexus trial.


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As of March 14, 2014, 135 patients have been enrolled in the Nexus trial, with 25 additional patients required to complete enrollment. We expect to complete dosing the last Nexus trial patient during the second half of 2014. The actual time required to complete our clinical trials will depend upon a number of factors outside of our direct control, including those discussed in "Risk Factors - We may have delays in completing our clinical trials, and we may not complete them at all."

Following completion of the Nexus study, Pfizer (or a third party who may acquire Pfizer's rights) has the right to exercise its option for worldwide rights to iSONEP for an undisclosed option fee and, if Pfizer (or a third party who may acquire Pfizer's rights) exercises its option, we will be eligible to receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments that could total up to $497.5 million. In addition, we will be entitled to receive tiered double-digit royalties based on sales of iSONEP.

ASONEP™ is the systemic formulation of sonepcizumab. We are collaborating with investigators at several medical research institutions on a Phase 2 clinical trial testing ASONEP as a treatment for renal cell carcinoma. The protocol for this Phase 2 study specifies that the number of patients in the study will be at least 37, with a maximum of 54. As of March 14, 2014, 20 patients have been enrolled in the study. The first cohort of 37 patients is expected to be completed in 2014.

As part of the Pfizer Agreement, Lpath has granted to Pfizer (or a third party who may acquire Pfizer's rights) a time-limited right of first refusal for ASONEP, which period ends when the iSONEP Nexus clinical trial is completed.

Lpathomab™, our pre-clinical product candidate, is a mAb against lysophosphatidic acid ("LPA"), a key bioactive lipid that has long been recognized as a significant promoter of cancer-cell growth and metastasis in a broad range of tumor types. Published research has also demonstrated that LPA is a significant contributor to neuropathic pain and traumatic brain injury, and plays a key role in pulmonary fibrosis. We have selected the clinical candidate mAb from among three humanized mAbs that inhibit LPA. These mAbs were tested against each other in various models of human disease to determine which mAb would be most likely to succeed in clinical trials. We are now engaged in the antibody manufacturing process development activities and expect to complete Investigational New Drug ("IND") enabling studies in 2014. We plan to file the IND in early 2015, and begin testing Lpathomab in clinical trials thereafter.

Lpath has incurred significant net losses since its inception. As of December 31, 2013, we had an accumulated deficit of approximately $49.5 million. We expect that the cost of our ongoing research and development activities, including general and administrative expenses, will approximate $26 million from December 31, 2013 through the first quarter of 2015. This estimate includes the expenses to conduct the Nexus clinical trial for iSONEP, as well as the Phase 2a clinical trial for ASONEP. In addition, this estimate includes the expenses to develop the manufacturing process and conduct the IND-enabling studies for our third product candidate, Lpathomab. As of December 31, 2013, we had cash and cash equivalents totaling $11.9 million. In addition, from January 1, 2014 through March 14, 2014, we have received net proceeds of $7 million from the issuance of common stock in "at-the-market" sales pursuant to at-the-market sales agreement we entered into in August 2013. Additional near-term sources of cash include our accounts receivable of $1.3 million and funding under the terms of the Pfizer Agreement to support our Nexus clinical trial, as well as $0.5 million of unexpended funding remaining on NIH grants awarded to the company. We believe these funds should be sufficient to fund our planned drug discovery and development activities through the first quarter of 2015.

We expect our expenditures to increase as we continue the advancement of our product development programs. The lengthy process of completing clinical trials and seeking regulatory approval for one product candidate typically requires expenditures in excess of approximately $100 million, according to industry data. Any failure by us or delay in completing clinical trials, or in obtaining regulatory approvals, would cause our research and development expenses to increase and, in turn, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

In connection with listing its shares of common stock for trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market, the Company effected 1-for-7 reverse split of its issued and outstanding common stock and a corresponding decrease in the number of authorized shares of common stock on October 9, 2012. Fractional shares created by the reverse stock split were rounded up to the nearest whole share. All issued and outstanding common stock, options exercisable for common stock, warrants exercisable for common stock, restricted stock units, and per-share amounts set forth in this Annual Report have been retroactively adjusted to reflect this reverse stock split for all periods presented.

Revenue

In December 2010, we entered into the Pfizer Agreement, which provides Pfizer with an exclusive option for a worldwide license to develop and commercialize iSONEP™, our lead monoclonal antibody product candidate that is being evaluated for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and other ophthalmic disorders. On December 5, 2012, the Company and Pfizer amended the Agreement to, among other things, reflect the parties' agreement to discontinue the PEDigree trial and to


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focus on the Nexus trial. Under the terms of the Pfizer Agreement, as amended, Pfizer made a $14 million upfront payment to Lpath in January 2011. In addition, Pfizer agreed to share the cost of the planned clinical trials, including any costs associated with discontinuing the PEDigree trial. Following completion of the Nexus trial, Pfizer has the right to exercise its option for worldwide rights to iSONEP for an undisclosed option fee and, if Pfizer exercises its option, Lpath will be eligible to receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments that could total up to $497.5 million. In addition, Lpath will be entitled to receive tiered double-digit royalties based on sales of iSONEP. As part of the agreement, Lpath granted to Pfizer a time-limited right of first refusal for ASONEP, and Pfizer specified that a designated portion of the upfront payment be used to fund the development of ASONEP™. As of December 31, 2013, Pfizer had paid the Company $20.0 million pursuant to the terms of the Pfizer Agreement, including the $14 million upfront payment.

From our inception through December 31, 2013, we have also generated $9.7 million in revenue from research grants awarded primarily by the National Institutes of Health, and $0.4 million in royalty revenue from a licensing agreement with a company that produces novel research assays. We expect to continue to receive small amounts of revenue from research grants and our existing source of royalty revenue.

Research and Development Expenses

Our research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries and related employee benefits; research supplies and materials; external costs associated with our drug discovery research; and external drug development costs, including preclinical testing and regulatory expenses, manufacturing of material for clinical trials, and the costs of conducting clinical trials. Our historical research and development expenses are principally related to the drug discovery and clinical development efforts in creating and developing our lead product candidates, iSONEP, ASONEP, and Lpathomab.

We charge all research and development expenses to operations as incurred. We expect our research and development expenses to increase significantly in the future as our product candidates move through pre-clinical testing and into clinical trials.

Due to the risks inherent in the drug discovery and clinical trial process and given the early stage of our product development programs, we are unable to estimate with any certainty the costs we will incur in the continued development of our product candidates for potential commercialization. Clinical development timelines, the probabilities of success, and development costs vary widely. While we are currently focused on advancing each of our product development programs, we anticipate that we will periodically make determinations as to the scientific and clinical success of each product candidate, as well as ongoing assessments as to each product candidate's commercial potential. In addition, we cannot forecast with any degree of certainty which product candidates will be subject to future partnering, when such arrangements will be secured, if at all, and to what degree such arrangements would affect our development plans and capital requirements. As a result, we cannot be certain when and to what extent we will receive cash inflows from the commercialization of our product candidates.

General and Administrative Expenses

Our general and administrative expenses principally comprise salaries and benefits and professional fees related to our business development, intellectual property, finance, human resources, legal, and internal systems support functions. In addition, general and administrative expenses include insurance and an allocated portion of facilities and information technology costs.

We anticipate increases in general and administrative expenses as we add personnel, increase our business development activities, become subject to the full Sarbanes-Oxley compliance obligations applicable to larger publicly-held companies, and continue to develop and prepare for the commercialization of our product candidates.

Application of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Research and Development

Our sponsored research and development costs related to future products and redesign of present products are expensed as incurred.


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Patent Expenses

Legal and filing costs directly associated with obtaining patents are capitalized. Upon issuance of a patent, amortization is computed using the straight-line method over the estimated remaining useful life of the patent.

Revenue Recognition

Research and Development Revenue Under Collaborative Agreements. We have and may in the future enter into collaborations where we receive non-refundable upfront payments. Generally, these payments are made to secure licenses or option rights to our drug candidates. Non-refundable payments are recognized as revenue when we have a contractual right to receive such payment, the contract price is fixed or determinable, the collection of the resulting receivable is reasonably assured, and we have no further performance obligations under the agreement. Multiple-element arrangements, such as license and development arrangements, are analyzed to determine whether the deliverables, which often include a license together with performance obligations such as research and development responsibilities and steering committee services, can be separated or whether they must be accounted for as a single unit of accounting. We recognize up-front license payments as revenue upon delivery of the license only if the license has stand-alone value and the fair value of the undelivered performance obligations, typically including research and/or steering committee services, can be determined. If the fair value of the undelivered performance obligations can be determined, such obligations would then be accounted for separately as performed. If the license is considered to either (i) not have stand-alone value or (ii) have stand- alone value but the fair value of any of the undelivered performance obligations cannot be determined, the arrangement would then be accounted for as a single unit of accounting and the license payments and payments for performance obligations are recognized as revenue over the estimated period of when the performance obligations are performed.

If we are involved in a steering committee as part of a multiple-element arrangement that is accounted for as a single unit of accounting, we assess whether our involvement constitutes a performance obligation or a right to participate. Steering committee services that are determined to be performance obligations are combined with other research services or performance obligations required under an arrangement, if any, in determining the level of effort required in an arrangement and the period over which we expect to complete our aggregate performance obligations.

When we receive reimbursement for our research costs under collaborative agreements, such reimbursements are recognized as revenue as the underlying costs are incurred.

Whenever we determine that an arrangement should be accounted for as a single unit of accounting, we must determine the period over which our performance obligations will be performed and revenue will be recognized. Revenue will be recognized using either a relative performance or straight-line method. We recognize revenue using the relative performance method provided that we can reasonably estimate the level of effort required to complete our performance obligations under an arrangement and such performance obligations are provided on a best-efforts basis. Revenue recognized is limited to the lesser of the cumulative amount of payments received or the cumulative amount of revenue earned, as determined using the relative performance method, as of each reporting period.

If we cannot reasonably estimate the level of effort required to complete our performance obligations under an arrangement, the performance obligations are provided on a best-efforts basis and we cannot reasonably estimate when the performance obligation ceases or the remaining obligations become inconsequential and perfunctory, then the total payments under the arrangement, excluding royalties and payments contingent upon achievement of substantive milestones, would be recognized as revenue on a straight-line basis over the period we expect to complete our performance obligations. Revenue is limited to the lesser of the cumulative amount of payments received or the cumulative amount of revenue earned, as determined using the straight-line basis, as of the period ending date.

If we cannot reasonably estimate when our performance obligation either ceases or becomes inconsequential and perfunctory, then revenue is deferred until we can reasonably estimate when the performance obligation ceases or becomes inconsequential. Revenue is then recognized over the remaining estimated period of performance.

Significant management judgment is required in determining the level of effort required under a collaboration arrangement and the period over which we are expected to complete our performance obligations under an arrangement.


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Collaboration agreements may also contain substantive milestone payments. Substantive milestone payments are considered to be performance bonuses that are recognized upon achievement of the milestone only if all of the following conditions are met:

†          the milestone payments are non-refundable;

†

†          achievement of the milestone involves a degree of risk and was not
reasonably assured at the inception of the arrangement;

† substantive company effort is involved in achieving the milestone;

† the amount of the milestone payment is reasonable in relation to the effort expended or the risk associated with achievement of the milestone; and

† a reasonable amount of time passes between the up-front license payment and the first milestone payment as well as between each subsequent milestone payment.

Determination as to whether a payment meets the aforementioned conditions involves management's judgment. If any of these conditions are not met, the resulting payment would not be considered a substantive milestone, and therefore the resulting payment would be considered part of the consideration for the single unit of accounting and would be recognized as revenue as such performance obligations are performed under either the relative performance or straight-line methods, as applicable, and in accordance with these policies as described above.

Grant Revenue. Our primary source of revenue to date has been research grants received from the National Institutes of Health. We recognize grant revenue as the related research expenses are incurred, up to contractual limits.

Royalty Revenue. We recognize royalty revenue from licensed products when earned in accordance with the terms of the license agreements. Net sales figures used for calculating royalties include deductions for costs of unsaleable returns, cash discounts, freight, postage, and insurance.

Stock-Based Compensation

Issuances of common stock, stock options, warrants, or other equity instruments to employees and non-employees as the consideration for goods or services we receive are accounted for based on the fair value of the equity instruments issued (unless the fair value of the consideration received can be more reliably measured). Generally, the fair value of any options, warrant or similar equity instruments issued, have been estimated based on the Black-Scholes option pricing model.

Net Operating Losses and Tax Credit Carryforwards

At December 31, 2013, we had federal and California net operating loss ("NOL") carryforwards of approximately $54 million and $49 million, respectively. Under current law, the federal and California NOL carryforwards may be available to offset taxable income through 2033. In some years, such as 2010 and 2011, the California state government has suspended the use of existing California NOL carryforwards. In those years companies have not been permitted to utilize NOL carryforwards to reduce the amount of taxes payable to the state. If that fiscal policy were to continue then the California benefits could be deferred, modified, or lost.

As of December 31, 2013, we also had federal and California research and development tax credit carryforwards of $1.2 million and $0.6 million, respectively. These tax credits may be available to offset future taxes. The federal credits begin expiring in 2014, and the state credits do not expire.

A valuation allowance has been established to reserve the potential benefits of these carryforwards in our consolidated financial statements to reflect the uncertainty of future taxable income required to utilize available tax loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets. Under the provisions of Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code, substantial changes in our ownership may limit the amount of net operating loss carryforwards that we can utilize annually in the future to offset taxable income. If a change in our ownership is deemed to have occurred or occurs in the future, our ability to use our net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards in any fiscal year may be significantly limited.


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Fair Value of Warrant Liability

We measure fair value in accordance with the applicable accounting standards in the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Codification. Fair value is a market-based measurement that should be determined based on assumptions that market participants would use in pricing an asset or liability. As a basis for considering such assumptions, there exists a three-tier fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs used in measuring fair value as follows:

† Level 1-unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that we have the ability to access as of the measurement date.

† Level 2-inputs other than quoted prices included within Level 1 that are directly observable for the asset or liability or indirectly observable through corroboration with observable market data.

† Level 3-unobservable inputs for the asset or liability only used when there is little, if any, market activity for the asset or liability at the measurement date.

This hierarchy requires us to use observable market data, when available, and to minimize the use of unobservable inputs when determining fair value.

We determined the fair value of the warrants using a Black-Scholes. The model considered amounts and timing of future possible equity and warrant issuances and historical volatility of our stock price.

Results of Operations

Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2013 and 2012

Grant and Royalty Revenue. Grant and royalty revenue for 2013 increased to $1.5 million from $1.0 million in 2012. The increase of $0.5 million is principally due to the January 2012 suspension of the iSONEP clinical trials. The clinical trials were resumed in September 2012. The suspension resulted in reduced reimbursable costs for outside services in 2012 compared to 2013.

Research and Development Revenue Under Collaborative Agreements. As described in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, in December 2010 we entered into an agreement with Pfizer, Inc., which agreement was amended in 2012, that provides financial support for our iSONEP and ASONEP development programs. We recognized revenues as follows:

                                          Years Ended
                                         December 31,
. . .
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