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ARGS > SEC Filings for ARGS > Form 10-K on 16-Mar-2017All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for ARGOS THERAPEUTICS INC

Form 10-K for ARGOS THERAPEUTICS INC


16-Mar-2017

Annual Report


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 appearing in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical information, some of the information contained in this discussion and analysis or set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including information with respect to our plans and strategy for our business, future financial performance, expense levels and liquidity sources, includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. You should read "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in the following discussion and analysis.

Overview

We are an immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of individualized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases based on our proprietary precision immunotherapy technology platform called Arcelis.

Our most advanced product candidate is rocapuldencel-T, which we are developing for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, or mRCC, and other cancers. We are currently conducting a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of rocapuldencel-T plus sunitinib or another therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed mRCC under a special protocol assessment, or SPA, with the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. We opened the ADAPT trial for enrollment in January 2013, dosed the first patient in May 2013 and completed enrollment of the ADAPT trial in July 2015. In February 2017, the independent data monitoring committee for the ADAPT trial recommended that the trial be discontinued for futility based on its planned interim data analysis. The IDMC concluded that the study was unlikely to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in overall survival in the combination treatment arm, utilizing the intent-to-treat population, the primary endpoint of the study. In conjunction with our clinical and scientific advisors, we are analyzing the preliminary ADAPT trial data set and plan to discuss the data with the FDA. We have continued the ADAPT trial while we conduct our ongoing data review and have discussions with FDA. We expect that we will make a determination as to the next steps for the rocapuldencel-T clinical program based on this review and discussions. We are also currently supporting an investigator-initiated Phase 2 trial in patients with early stage RCC. Depending upon the results of our ongoing analysis of the data from the ADAPT trial and discussions with the FDA, and subject to our obtaining financing, we plan to support an investigator-initiated Phase 2 trial in bladder cancer and a Phase 2 trial of rocapuldencel-T in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor in mRCC.

We are developing AGS-004, our second Arcelis-based product candidate, for the treatment of HIV. We have completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials funded by government grants and a Phase 2b trial that was funded in full by the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NIAID. We are currently supporting an ongoing investigator-initiated clinical trial of AGS-004 in adult HIV patients evaluating the use of AGS-004 in combination with vorinostat, a latency reversing drug for HIV eradication, and plan to support an investigator-initiated Phase 2 clinical trial of AGS-004 evaluating AGS-004 for long-term viral control in pediatric patients provided that results from our ongoing trial in adult HIV patients are favorable.

On March 3, 2017, we entered into a payoff letter with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation and Fortress Credit Co LLC, or the Lenders, under our venture loan and security agreement, or the Loan Agreement, pursuant to which we paid, on or about March 6, 2017, a total of $23.1 million to the Lenders, representing the principal balance and accrued interest outstanding under the Loan Agreement in repayment of our outstanding obligations under the Loan Agreement. In addition, we issued to the Lenders five year warrants to purchase an aggregate of 100,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price of $1.30 per share in consideration of the Lenders acceptance of $23.1 million as payment in full. Upon the payment of the $23.1 million and the issuance of the warrants pursuant to the payoff letter, all of our outstanding indebtedness and obligations to the Lenders under the Loan Agreement were paid in full, and the Loan Agreement and the notes thereunder were terminated.

As of December 31, 2016, we had cash and cash equivalents of $53.0 million and working capital of $24.9 million. We do not currently have sufficient cash resources to pay our obligations as they become due. In March 2017, we entered into the payoff letter with the Lenders and paid the Lenders $23.1 million. In addition, we announced that our board of directors approved a workforce action plan designed to streamline operations and reduce our operating expenses. We anticipate incurring approximately $1.3 million in total costs associated with the workforce reduction contemplated by the plan and that such costs will be incurred over the second and third quarters of 2017. We expect that the workforce reduction will decrease our annual operating costs by $5.7 million once the plan is fully implemented. We have also initiated discussions with Saint Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, or Saint Gobain, and Invetech Pty Ltd, or Invetech, regarding the fees that we owe them, including potentially the conversion by them of some or all of the outstanding fees into equity of the Company. However, even taking these measures into account, we do not have sufficient cash resources to pay all of our accrued obligations in full or to continue our business operations beyond April 2017. Therefore, we will need to raise additional capital by April 2017 in order to continue to operate our business beyond that time. Alternatively, we may seek to engage in one or more potential transactions, such as the sale of our company, a strategic partnership with one or more parties or the licensing, sale or divestiture of some of our assets or proprietary technologies, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to enter into such a transaction or transactions on a timely basis or on terms that are favorable to us. Under these circumstances, we may instead determine to dissolve and liquidate our assets or seek protection under the bankruptcy laws. If we decide to dissolve and liquidate our assets or to seek protection under the bankruptcy laws, it is unclear to what extent we will be able to pay our obligations, and, accordingly, it is further unclear whether and to what extent any resources will be available for distributions to stockholders.

We have devoted substantially all of our resources to our drug development efforts, including advancing our Arcelis precision immunotherapy technology platform, conducting clinical trials of our product candidates, protecting our intellectual property and providing general and administrative support for these operations. We have not generated any revenue from product sales and, to date, have funded our operations primarily through public offerings of our common stock and warrants, a venture loan, private placements of common stock, preferred stock and warrants, convertible debt financings, government contracts, government and other third party grants and license and collaboration agreements. From inception in May 1997 through December 31, 2016, we have raised a total of $494.9 million in cash, including:

$331.7 million from the sale of our common stock, convertible debt, warrants and preferred stock;

$32.9 million from the licensing of our technology;

$105.3 million from government contracts, grants and license and collaboration agreements; and

$25.0 million from the Loan Agreement with the Lenders.

We have incurred losses in each year since our inception in May 1997. Our net loss was $53.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, $74.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 and $53.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. As of December 31, 2016, we had an accumulated deficit of $332.0 million. Substantially all of our operating losses have resulted from costs incurred in connection with our development programs and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations.

If we determine to proceed with the development of our product candidates, including rocapuldencel-T, we anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially if and as we:

continue our ongoing ADAPT trial of rocapuldencel-T for the treatment of mRCC or initiate other clinical trials of rocapuldencel-T for the treatment of mRCC, if we decide to do so following our ongoing review of the preliminary data set and discussions with the FDA;

continue to support ongoing investigator-initiated clinical trials of rocapuldencel-T and AGS-004;

support investigator-initiated clinical trials of rocapuldencel-T and AGS-004;

initiate and conduct additional clinical trials of rocapuldencel-T and AGS-004 for the treatment of cancers and HIV;

seek regulatory approvals for our product candidates that successfully complete clinical trials;

lease, build out and equip a facility for the commercial manufacture of our products based on our Arcelis precision immunotherapy technology platform;

establish a sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure to commercialize products for which we may obtain regulatory approval;

maintain, expand and protect our intellectual property portfolio;

continue our other research and development efforts;

hire additional clinical, quality control, scientific and management personnel; and

add operational, financial and management information systems and personnel, including personnel to support our product development and commercialization efforts.

We have no external sources of funds other than our contract with the NIH and NIAID, as described under the section entitled NIH Funding below. We do not expect to generate significant additional funds or product revenue unless and until we successfully complete development, obtain marketing approval and commercialize our product candidates, either alone or in collaboration with third parties, which we expect will take a number of years and is subject to significant uncertainty. Accordingly, we will need to raise additional capital prior to the commercialization of rocapuldencel-T, AGS-004 or any of our other product candidates if we determine to continue our business operation. Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenues, we expect to seek to finance our operating activities through a combination of equity offerings, debt financings, government contracts, government and other third party grants or other third party funding, marketing and distribution arrangements and other collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing arrangements. However, we may be unable to raise additional funds through these means when needed, on favorable terms or at all.

NIH Funding

In September 2006, we entered into a multi-year research contract with the NIH and NIAID to design, develop and clinically test an autologous HIV immunotherapy capable of eliciting therapeutic immune responses. We have used funds from this contract to develop AGS-004, including to fund in full our Phase 2b clinical trial of AGS-004. On June 29, 2016, a contract modification was agreed to that extended the NIH and NIAID's commitment under the contract to July 31, 2018. We have agreed to a statement of work under the contract, and are obligated to furnish all the services, qualified personnel, material, equipment, and facilities not otherwise provided by the U.S. government needed to perform the statement of work.

Under this contract, as amended, the NIH and NIAID have committed to fund up to a total of $39.8 million, including reimbursement of direct expenses and allocated overhead and general and administrative expenses of up to $38.4 million and payment of other specified amounts totaling up to $1.4 million upon our achievement of specified development milestones. This amount includes a September 2014 modification of the contract under which the NIH and NIAID agreed to fund up to an additional $500,000 to cover a portion of the manufacturing costs of the planned Phase 2 clinical trial of AGS-004 for long-term viral control in pediatric patients. The NIH's commitment under the contract extends to July 31, 2018. Since September 2010, we have received reimbursement of our allocated overhead and general and administrative expenses at provisional indirect cost rates equal to negotiated provisional indirect cost rates agreed to with the NIH and NIAID in September 2010. These provisional indirect cost rates are subject to adjustment based on our actual costs pursuant to the agreement with the NIH and NIAID and may result in additional payments to us from the NIH and NIAID to reflect our actual costs since September 2010.

We have recorded revenue of $38.1 million through December 31, 2016 under the NIH and NIAID contract. This contract is the only arrangement under which we have generated substantial revenue. As of December 31, 2016, there was up to $1.9 million of potential revenue remaining to be earned under the agreement with the NIH and NIAID.

Development and Commercialization Agreements

An important part of our business strategy is to enter into arrangements with third parties for the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

Pharmstandard. In August 2013, in connection with the purchase of shares of our series E preferred stock by Pharmstandard, we entered into an exclusive royalty-bearing license agreement with Pharmstandard. Under this license agreement, we granted Pharmstandard and its affiliates a license, with the right to sublicense, to develop, manufacture and commercialize rocapuldencel-T and other products for the treatment of human diseases, which are developed by Pharmstandard using our individualized immunotherapy platform, in the Russian Federation, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, which we refer to as the Pharmstandard Territory. We also provided Pharmstandard with a right of first negotiation for development and commercialization rights in the Pharmstandard Territory to specified additional products we may develop.

Under the terms of the license agreement, Pharmstandard licensed us rights to clinical data generated by Pharmstandard under the agreement and granted us an option to obtain an exclusive license outside of the Pharmstandard Territory to develop and commercialize improvements to our Arcelis technology generated by Pharmstandard under the agreement, a non-exclusive worldwide royalty-free license to Pharmstandard improvements to manufacture products using our Arcelis technology and a license to specified follow-on licensed products generated by Pharmstandard outside of the Pharmstandard Territory, each on terms to be negotiated upon our request for a license. In addition, Pharmstandard agreed to pay us pass-through royalties on net sales of all licensed products in the low single digits until it has generated a specified amount of aggregate net sales. Once the net sales threshold is achieved, Pharmstandard will pay us royalties on net sales of specified licensed products, including rocapuldencel-T, in the low double digits below 20%. These royalty obligations last until the later of the expiration of specified licensed patent rights in a country or the twelfth anniversary of the first commercial sale in such country on a country by country basis and no further royalties on specified other licensed products. After the net sales threshold is achieved, Pharmstandard has the right to offset a portion of the royalties Pharmstandard pays to third parties for licenses to necessary third party intellectual property against the royalties that Pharmstandard pays to us.

The agreement will terminate upon expiration of the royalty term, upon which all licenses will become fully paid up perpetual exclusive licenses. Either party may terminate the agreement for the other party's uncured material breach or if specified conditions occur relating to the other party's insolvency or bankruptcy and we may terminate the agreement if Pharmstandard challenges or assists a third party in challenging specified patent rights of ours. If Pharmstandard terminates the agreement upon our material breach or bankruptcy, Pharmstandard is entitled to terminate our licenses to improvements generated by Pharmstandard, upon which we may come to rely for the development and commercialization of rocapuldencel-T and other licensed products outside of the Pharmstandard Territory, and Pharmstandard is entitled to retain its licenses from us and to pay us substantially reduced royalty payments following such termination.

In November 2013, we entered into an agreement with Pharmstandard under which Pharmstandard purchased additional shares of our series E preferred stock. Under this agreement, we agreed to enter into a manufacturing rights agreement for the European market with Pharmstandard and that the manufacturing rights agreement would provide for the issuance of warrants to Pharmstandard to purchase 499,788 shares of our common stock at an exercise price of $5.82 per share. As of March 16, 2017, we had not entered into this manufacturing rights agreement or issued the warrants.

Green Cross. In July 2013, in connection with the purchase of our series E preferred stock by Green Cross, we entered into an exclusive royalty-bearing license agreement with Green Cross. Under this agreement we granted Green Cross a license to develop, manufacture and commercialize rocapuldencel-T for mRCC in South Korea. We also provided Green Cross with a right of first negotiation for development and commercialization rights in South Korea to specified additional products we may develop.

Under the terms of the license, Green Cross has agreed to pay us $500,000 upon the initial submission of an application for regulatory approval of a licensed product in South Korea, $500,000 upon the initial regulatory approval of a licensed product in South Korea and royalties ranging from the mid-single digits to low double digits below 20% on net sales until the fifteenth anniversary of the first commercial sale in South Korea. In addition, Green Cross has granted us an exclusive royalty free license to develop and commercialize all Green Cross improvements to our licensed intellectual property in the rest of the world, excluding South Korea, except that, as to such improvements for which Green Cross makes a significant financial investment and that generate significant commercial benefit in the rest of the world, we are required to negotiate in good faith a reasonable royalty that we will be obligated to pay to Green Cross for such license. Under the terms of the agreement, we are required to continue to develop and to use commercially reasonable efforts to obtain regulatory approval for rocapuldencel-T in the United States.

The agreement will terminate upon expiration of the royalty term, which is 15 years from the first commercial sale, upon which all licenses will become fully paid up perpetual non-exclusive licenses. Either party may terminate the agreement for the other party's uncured material breach or if specified conditions occur relating to the other party's insolvency or bankruptcy and we may terminate the agreement if Green Cross challenges or assists a third party in challenging specified patent rights of ours. If Green Cross terminates the agreement upon our material breach or bankruptcy, Green Cross is entitled to terminate our licenses to improvements and retain its licenses from us and to pay us substantially reduced milestone and royalty payments following such termination.

Medinet. In December 2013, we entered into a license agreement with Medinet. Under this agreement, we granted Medinet an exclusive, royalty-free license to manufacture in Japan rocapuldencel-T and other products using our Arcelis technology solely for the purpose of the development and commercialization of rocapuldencel-T and these other products for the treatment of mRCC. We refer to this license as the manufacturing license. In addition, under this agreement, we granted Medinet an option to acquire a nonexclusive, royalty-bearing license under our Arcelis technology to sell in Japan rocapuldencel-T and other products for the treatment of mRCC. We refer to the option as the sale option and the license as the sale license.

The sale option expired on April 30, 2016. As a result, Medinet may only manufacture rocapuldencel-T and these other products for us or our designee. We have agreed to negotiate in good faith a supply agreement under which Medinet would supply us or our designee with rocapuldencel-T and these other products for development and sale for the treatment of mRCC in Japan. During the term of the manufacturing license, we may not manufacture rocapuldencel-T or these other products for us or any designee for development or sale for the treatment of mRCC in Japan.

In consideration for the manufacturing license, Medinet paid us $1.0 million. Medinet also loaned us $9.0 million in connection with us entering into the agreement. We have agreed to use these funds in the development and manufacturing of rocapuldencel-T and the other products. Medinet also agreed to pay us milestone payments of up to a total of $9.0 million upon the achievement of developmental and regulatory milestones and $5.0 million upon the achievement of a sales milestone related to rocapuldencel-T and these products.

We borrowed the $9.0 million pursuant to an unsecured promissory note that bears interest at a rate of 3.0 % per annum. The principal and interest under the note are due and payable on December 31, 2018. Under the terms of the note and the manufacturing license agreement, any milestone payments related to the developmental and regulatory milestones that become due will be applied first to the repayment of the loan. The first milestone with a $1.0 million payment was achieved in July 2015 and the second milestone with a $2.0 million payment was achieved in June 2016, reducing the outstanding principal of the loan as of December 31, 2016 to $6.0 million. We have the right to prepay the loan at any time. If we have not repaid the loan by December 31, 2018, then we have agreed to grant to Medinet a non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to make and sell Arcelis products in Japan for the treatment of cancer. In such event, the amounts owing under the loan as of December 31, 2018 may constitute pre-paid royalties under the license or would be due and payable. Royalties under this license would be paid until the expiration of the licensed patent rights in Japan at a rate to be negotiated. If we cannot agree on the royalty rate, we have agreed to submit the matter to arbitration.

Under the agreement, we have the right to revoke both the manufacturing license and the sale license to be granted to Medinet or the sale license only. If we exercise this right, we will be obligated to make a one-time payment to Medinet calculated based on the nonroyalty payments made to us by Medinet under the agreement, repay the outstanding amount due under the loan and assume certain obligations of Medinet, and Medinet will be obligated to assist us in transitioning the relevant rights in Japan to us or a party that we designate. If we exercise our revocation right with respect to the sale license only, the one-time payment will equal the total amount of nonroyalty payments. If we exercise our revocation right with respect to the manufacturing license and the sale license, the one-time payment will equal 150% or 200% of the nonroyalty payments depending on the timing of the exercise of the revocation right.

The agreement will terminate upon expiration of the royalty term, upon which all licenses will become fully paid up, perpetual non-exclusive licenses. Either party may terminate the agreement for the other party's uncured material breach or if specified conditions occur relating to the other party's insolvency or bankruptcy, and we may terminate the agreement if Medinet challenges or assists a third party in challenging specified patent rights of ours. If Medinet terminates the agreement upon our material breach or bankruptcy, Medinet is entitled to terminate our licenses to improvements and retain its royalty-bearing licenses from us.

Lummy. On April 7, 2015, we and Lummy HK entered into a license agreement pursuant to which we granted to Lummy HK an exclusive license under the Arcelis technology, including patents, know-how and improvements to manufacture, develop and commercialize products for the treatment of cancer in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Lummy HK also has a right of first negotiation with respect to a license under the Arcelis technology for the treatment of infectious diseases in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. This agreement was subsequently amended in December 2016.

Under the terms of the license agreement, the parties will share relevant data, and we will have a right to reference Lummy HK data for purposes of its development programs under the Arcelis technology. In addition, Lummy HK has granted to us an exclusive, royalty-free license under and to any and all Lummy HK improvements to the Arcelis technology conceived or reduced to practice by Lummy HK and Lummy HK data to develop and/or commercialize products outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, an exclusive, royalty-free license under and to any and all INDs and other regulatory approvals and Lummy HK trademarks used for an Arcelis-Based Product to develop and/or commercialize an Arcelis-Based Product outside China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau and a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license under any Lummy HK improvements and Lummy HK data to manufacture Arcelis-Based Products anywhere in the world. Lummy HK has the right to reference our data, INDs and other regulatory filings and submissions for the purpose of developing and obtaining regulatory approval of licensed products in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau.

Pursuant to the license agreement, Lummy HK will pay us royalties on net sales and up to an aggregate of up to $20.5 million upon the achievement of manufacturing, regulatory and commercial milestones. The license agreement will terminate upon expiration of the last to expire royalty term for all Arcelis-Based Products, with each royalty term being the longer of the expiration of the last valid patent claim covering the applicable Arcelis-Based Product and 10 years from the first commercial sale of such Arcelis-Based Product. Either party may terminate the license agreement for the other party's uncured material breach or if specified conditions occur relating to the other party's insolvency or bankruptcy. We may terminate the license agreement if Lummy HK challenges or assists a third party in challenging specified patent rights of ours. If Lummy HK terminates the license agreement upon our material breach or bankruptcy, Lummy HK is entitled to terminate the licenses it granted to us and retain its licenses from us with respect to Arcelis-Based Products then in development or being commercialized, subject to Lummy HK's continued obligation to pay royalties and milestones with respect to such Arcelis-Based Products.

Invetech. On October, 29, 2014, we entered into a development agreement with Invetech Pty Ltd, or Invetech. The development agreement supersedes and replaces the development agreement entered into by the parties as of July 20, 2005. Under the development agreement, Invetech agreed to continue to develop and provide prototypes of the automated production system to be used for the manufacture of our Arcelis-based products, or the Production Systems. Development services will be performed on a proposal by proposal basis. Invetech has agreed to defer 30% of its fees, but such deferral may not exceed $5,000,000. We are paying these deferred fees (plus interest of 7% per annum) pursuant to an installment plan (eight installments payable within the first two years after December 31, 2016). We are currently renegotiating the terms of the development agreement related to the deferred fees, and are in discussions with Invetech regarding the repayment of the fees, including the potential conversion . . .

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