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DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A in connection with the registrant’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed subsequent to the date hereof, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission not later than 120 days following the end of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2021
Table of Contents
The Xencor logo is a trademark of Xencor, Inc. XmAb, PDA and Protein Design Automation are also registered trademarks of Xencor. All other product and company names are trademarks of their respective companies. References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to “we”, “our”, “us”, “Xencor” or “the Company” refer to Xencor, Inc.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends affecting the financial condition of our business. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth below under Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report. These statements, which represent our current expectations or beliefs concerning various future events, may contain words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate” or other words indicating future results. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the following:
|●||the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and performance;|
|●||our ability to execute on our plans to research, develop and commercialize our product candidates;|
|●||the success of our ongoing and planned clinical trials;|
|●||the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates;|
|●||our ability to identify additional products or product candidates with significant commercial potential that are consistent with our business objectives;|
|●||our ability to receive research funding and achieve anticipated milestones under our collaborations;|
|●||our partners’ ability to advance drug candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical trials;|
|●||our ability to attract collaborators with development, regulatory, and commercialization expertise;|
|●||our ability to protect our intellectual property position;|
|●||the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of our products;|
|●||costs of compliance and our failure to comply with new and existing governmental regulations;|
|●||the capabilities and strategy of our suppliers and vendors including key manufacturers of our clinical drug supplies;|
|●||significant competition in our industry;|
|●||the potential loss or retirement of key members of management;|
|●||our failure to successfully execute our growth strategy including any delays in our planned future growth;|
|●||our failure to maintain effective internal controls; and|
|●||our ability to accurately estimate expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and needs for additional financing.|
Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this Annual Report, and except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise after the date of this Annual Report. We qualify all of our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.
Item 1. Business.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing engineered monoclonal antibody and cytokine therapeutics to treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases who have unmet medical needs. We are advancing a broad portfolio of clinical-stage XmAb® drug candidates from our proprietary protein engineering technology platforms. We also use our protein engineering capabilities to increase our understanding of protein structure and interactions and to design new technologies and XmAb development candidates with improved properties. In addition to engineering protein-target interactions, our approach to protein design includes engineering Fc domains, the part of an antibody that interacts with multiple segments of the immune system and controls antibody structure. The Fc domain is constant and interchangeable among antibodies, and our engineered XmAb Fc domains can be readily substituted for natural Fc domains.
Our protein engineering capabilities and Fc technologies enable us and our partners to develop XmAb antibodies and biotherapeutic drug candidates with improved properties and functionality, which can provide innovative approaches to treating disease and potential clinical advantage over other treatment options. For example, we have developed an antibody scaffold to rapidly create novel bispecific antibodies that bind two different targets simultaneously, creating entirely new biological mechanisms. Other applications of our protein engineering technologies enhance antibody performance by increasing immune inhibitory activity, improving cytotoxicity, extending circulating half-life and stabilizing novel protein structures, such as engineered cytokines. Three marketed XmAb medicines have been developed with our protein engineering technologies and are generating royalties for us.
Our protein engineering capabilities allow us to continually explore new functionality in the Fc region, which provides us with opportunities to:
|●||Create new technology platforms;|
|●||Make new drug candidates for internal development or partnering opportunities; and|
|●||Provide collaboration and licensing opportunities with partners for application of our technologies, access to our technologies, access to our drug candidates, or combinations of each.|
Our goal is to become a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing engineered biologic medicines to treat patients with severe and life-threatening diseases with unmet medical needs. Key elements of our strategy are to:
|1.||Advance the clinical development of our XmAb bispecific antibody and cytokine drug candidates. Our modular bispecific technology and protein engineering capabilities enable us to rapidly advance multiple drug candidates into clinical development. We and our partners are enrolling patients in multiple mid-stage and early-stage clinical studies to evaluate our XmAb bispecific antibody drug candidates and engineered cytokine drug candidates. We and our partners plan to advance additional bispecific antibodies and cytokines into clinical development in the future.|
|2.||Build and manage a large and diversified portfolio of XmAb drug candidates. We create new XmAb bispecific antibody and cytokine product candidates to exploit the novel mechanisms of action enabled by our protein engineering technology platforms, and we advance them into our portfolio of preclinical and clinical-stage assets. We regularly evaluate our portfolio of candidates and make additional investments in those candidates that present promising early clinical and scientific data, partner certain drug candidates to third-party biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and will stop development of candidates based on the evaluation of emerging clinical and scientific data and the competitive environment for such programs.|
|3.||Leverage our protein engineering capabilities, XmAb Fc domains, and XmAb drug candidates with partnerships, collaborations, and licenses to generate revenue streams, create new drug candidates and combination treatments, and identify new indications for our pipeline of drug candidates.|
Generate revenue streams. The plug-and-play nature of our Fc technologies and our ability to generate multiple drug candidates efficiently provides us opportunities to generate revenue from licensing and collaboration arrangements. In 2021, we received total proceeds of $204.9 million in upfront payments, milestone payments and royalties from such arrangements.
Create new XmAb drug candidates and investigate novel combination therapies. We seek to leverage our XmAb Fc domains and protein engineering capabilities with partners to create novel XmAb drug candidates, and to evaluate our XmAb drug candidates in combination with other therapeutic agents, when applicable.
Identify new indications for our pipeline of drug candidates. We continue to support Investigator Sponsored Trials (ISTs) in which investigators may explore additional therapeutic indications with XmAb drug candidates.
|4.||Broaden the functionality of our XmAb Fc technology platforms. We are conducting further research into the function and application of antibody Fc domains in order to expand the scope of our XmAb Fc technology platforms. We use the modularity of our XmAb bispecific Fc domains to engineer bispecific antibodies and cytokines in a variety of structural formats. For example, CD3 bispecific antibodies of a mixed valency format, i.e., the XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody, may preferentially kill tumor cells that have higher target expression than normal cells, which may be especially beneficial in designing antibodies that target solid tumors. |
Additionally, we have engineered CD28 bispecific antibodies to provide conditional CD28 co-stimulation of T cells, activating them when bound to tumor cells. Targeted CD28 bispecific antibodies may provide conditional co-stimulation of T cells, for example, to T cells recognizing neoantigens or in concert with CD3 T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies.
|5.||Continue to expand our patent portfolio protecting our Fc technologies and XmAb drug candidates. We seek to expand our intellectual property estate and protect our proprietary Fc technologies, our development programs, and XmAb drug candidates by filing and prosecuting patents in the United States and other countries. Where appropriate, we will seek expansion and extension of patents issued for our product candidates and for partnered product candidates that incorporate one of our Fc technologies.|
XmAb Bispecific Fc Domain and New Multi-Specific Antibody Formats
Our modular approach to protein engineering is a distinguishing feature of our Fc technologies. This inherent flexibility enables us to design new XmAb bispecific antibody and cytokine drug candidates with distinct and novel mechanisms-of-action and to seek out new applications of the XmAb Bispecific Fc Domain. Our business, research, and clinical efforts are to develop and advance our Fc technologies and our portfolio of XmAb bispecific antibody and engineered cytokine drug candidates in oncology and autoimmune diseases.
CD3 candidates: CD3 bispecific antibody candidates are designed to redirect T cells to tumor cells through the engagement of an antigen on tumor cells and CD3, an activating receptor on T cells. We are currently advancing two CD3 bispecific antibody candidates in Phase 2 clinical development: plamotamab and tidutamab.
We have significantly expanded the potential of our CD3 bispecific antibodies with the multi-specific XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody format, utilizing two identical tumor targeting domains and one CD3 targeting domain. The affinities for antigen binding are engineered to enable selective engagement and killing of high antigen-expressing tumor cells over low antigen-expressing normal cells. In preclinical models, XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibodies bound preferentially to tumor cells compared to normal cells and effectively recruited T cells to kill tumor cells selectively. We
believe that these properties will be particularly important when developing bispecific antibodies against many solid tumor targets, where standard monovalent targeting of tumor antigens could lead to poor tolerability because such targets are often expressed on a range of normal tissues, including critical organs. We are currently initiating a Phase 1 study for XmAb819, an ENPP3 x CD3 bispecific antibody, which is engineered with the XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody format.
CD28 candidates: T cells in the tumor microenvironment require both T cell receptor (TCR) and co-stimulatory receptor engagement to achieve full activation. CD28 is a key immune co-stimulatory receptor on T cells; however, the ligands that activate T cells through CD28 are often not expressed on tumor cells. Targeted CD28 bispecific antibodies may provide conditional co-stimulation of T cells, for example, to T cells recognizing neoantigens or in concert with CD3 T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies. We have engineered XmAb bispecific antibodies to provide selective CD28 co-stimulation of T cells, activating them when bound to tumor cells, and we are conducting preclinical studies of internal CD28 candidates. Under our two collaborations with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), we are applying our bispecific technologies to create and characterize CD28 bispecific antibody candidates against a prostate tumor target, and against multiple B cell targets.
TME activator candidates: Our tumor microenvironment (TME) activators have been designed to promote tumor-selective T-cell activation by targeting multiple checkpoints or co-stimulating receptors. These candidates also incorporate our Xtend™ technology for longer half-life. We are currently advancing vudalimab in Phase 2 clinical development and are conducting Phase 1 studies for two additional TME activator candidates: XmAb841 and XmAb104.
Cytokine candidates: We have also expanded the use of our XmAb bispecific Fc domain to engineer novel cytokine candidates, which are not antibodies, but fusions of a heterodimeric Fc domain and immune signaling proteins. We engineer our cytokine candidates with reduced potency to improve therapeutic index and with our Xtend technology for longer half-life. Two XmAb cytokine candidates are being evaluated in Phase 1 studies: XmAb306 (RO7310729) and XmAb564.
We continue to invest in our protein engineering efforts to identify novel technologies and drug candidates.
Other XmAb Fc Domains
We have also created additional XmAb Fc domains, and we have successfully entered partnerships for these technologies and for XmAb drug candidates that incorporate them. We will continue to seek additional partnering and licensing opportunities for these Fc domains. Additional XmAb Fc domains include:
|1.||Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain – selective immune inhibition and rapid target clearance, targeting the receptor FcγRIIb;|
|2.||Cytotoxic Fc Domain – increased cytotoxicity, targeting the receptors FcγRIIIa on natural killer (NK) cells and FcγRIIa on other immune system cells; and|
|3.||Xtend™ Fc Domain – extended antibody half-life, targeting the receptor FcRn on endothelial cells.|
Approved or Authorized Medicines Engineered with XmAb Fc Domains
Currently three medicines that have been developed with our XmAb Fc domains are now marketed or made available by our partners. These medicines generated $80.3 million in royalty revenue for us in 2021, which has partially offset our internal development costs.
|●||Sotrovimab: Vir Biotechnology, Inc. and its partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc have made available sotrovimab, an antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and pediatric patients. Sotrovimab has been granted a marketing authorization in the European Union (EU), approved via Japan’s Special Approval for Emergency Pathway in Japan, and granted conditional,|
|provisional, or temporary authorizations in 15 other countries. GSK supplies sotrovimab under the name Xevudy. Sotrovimab incorporates our Xtend Fc domain for longer duration of action.|
|●||Ultomiris® (ravulizumab-cwvz): Alexion’s Ultomiris is approved in the U.S., Europe, and Japan for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and for the treatment of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Alexion used our Xtend™ Fc Domain to enhance the half-life of Ultomiris to allow for a longer duration of action, less frequent dosing and reduced patient burden of therapy compared to the previous generation therapy, Soliris®.|
|●||Monjuvi® (tafasitamab-cxix): In 2020, the FDA approved Monjuvi under accelerated approval. Monjuvi is a CD19-directed cytolytic antibody indicated in combination with lenalidomide for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from low grade lymphoma, and who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial(s). In August 2021, the European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization for Minjuvi® (tafasitamab) in combination with lenalidomide, followed by tafasitamab monotherapy, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). MorphoSys is also conducting studies of tafasitamab in additional B-cell indications. Tafasitamab was created and initially developed by us. Tafasitamab is co-marketed by Incyte and MorphoSys under the brand name Monjuvi in the U.S. and is marketed by Incyte under the brand name Minjuvi in the EU. Incyte has exclusive commercialization rights to tafasitamab outside the U.S. Monjuvi® and Minjuvi® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG.|
Drug Candidates in Clinical Development
There are currently 21 clinical-stage drug candidates or marketed medicines that have been developed with one or more of our Fc technologies.
A partner is also advancing a drug candidate that incorporates our DN-TNF technology.
Co-developed with Partners
Developed by Partners
Marketed by Partners
SARS-CoV-2 mAb Duo (BMS)
Novartis bispecific antibody
*Alexion and MorphoSys are conducting additional Phase 3 studies in new indications with these candidates.
We regularly evaluate our portfolio of candidates and make additional investments in candidates with promising early-stage clinical data, partner out other candidates, and stop development of candidates where early clinical data does not support further investment. During 2021:
|●||We initiated Phase 2 studies for our vudalimab and tidutamab programs,|
|●||We licensed the worldwide rights to our plamotamab and obexelimab programs to strategic biopharmaceutical partners, and|
|●||We stopped development of the vibecotamab program.|
XmAb Bispecific Fc Drug Candidates in Clinical Development
Currently, 9 XmAb drug candidates that have been engineered with our XmAb bispecific Fc domain are in clinical development.
|●||Five candidates are wholly owned and are being evaluated by us in Phase 2 or Phase 1 studies;|
|●||Two candidates are being co-developed with partners; and|
|●||Two additional candidates are being advanced by our partners.|
Additional candidates are advancing through the preclinical stages of development. Drug candidates with our bispecific Fc domain, both bispecific antibodies and cytokines, in clinical development include:
|1.||Vudalimab (XmAb717) is a bispecific antibody that targets PD-1 and CTLA-4, two immune checkpoint receptors, to selectively activate the tumor microenvironment, and it is being developed for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and other solid tumor types. Xencor has initiated a Phase 2 clinical study of vudalimab in patients with mCRPC, as a monotherapy or in combination depending on molecular subtype, and a Phase 2 clinical study in patients with advanced gynecologic and genitourinary malignancies, as well as clinically defined high-risk mCRPC. |
We presented updated data from the Phase 1 dose-escalation and expansion study at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in November 2021. 110 patients had been treated at the 10 mg/kg recommended dose level in dose-escalation (n=7) and in five dose expansion cohorts: melanoma (n=20), renal cell carcinoma (RCC, n=21), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC, n=20), CRPC (n=21) and other cancers without approved checkpoint therapies (n=21). The safety analysis includes all 110 patients, who were a median of 65 years old and were heavily pretreated, having a median of four prior systemic therapies. 65% of patients had received at least one prior checkpoint therapy, and 25% had received at least two prior checkpoint therapies. Vudalimab was generally well-tolerated, and the most common treatment-related adverse events were immune-related adverse events (irAEs). The most common irAEs of any grade were rash (45.5%), pruritus (30.9%), transaminase increases (23.6%), diarrhea (11.8%), hypothyroidism (9.1%), infusion related reaction (8.2%) and myalgia (8.2%).
The efficacy analysis included 78 evaluable patients receiving any amount of vudalimab, who had been followed for at least two cycles. Complete responses were observed in a patient with BRCA1+ high-grade serous ovarian cancer and in a patient with melanoma. Partial responses were observed in patients with melanoma (n=2), RCC (n=3), NSCLC (n=2) and CRPC (n=2). The objective response rate (ORR) across cohorts was 14.1% (11/78). All responses in patients with melanoma and CRPC and two responses in patients with RCC were confirmed. All responders, except those with CRPC, had received prior checkpoint inhibitor therapy. The median duration of response, unadjusted, for all responders was 18.3 weeks. The median duration of response, unadjusted, for patients with RCC was 24.1 weeks, and two patients remained on treatment.
Of the 12 efficacy-evaluable patients with CRPC, four had measurable disease and follow-up RECIST assessments, including the two CRPC responders. Six additional patients with CRPC, but without measurable disease, experienced a best overall response of non-CR/non-PD, as stable disease cannot be determined without measurable disease. The two CRPC responders had visceral and nodal metastases, had response durations of 41.3 and 27.0 weeks, were without progression on bone scans and had confirmed prostate-specific antigen (PSA) reductions of more than 50% from baseline. Among twelve patients with baseline and follow-up PSA assessments, including the two responders, 33% (4/12) had PSA reductions greater than 50%.
|2.||Plamotamab is a bispecific antibody that targets CD20, an antigen on B-cell tumors, and CD3, an activating receptor on T cells. In October 2021, we entered into a global collaboration and license agreement with Janssen to advance plamotamab and XmAb CD28 bispecific antibody combinations for the treatment of patients with B-cell malignancies, which expands our strategy to develop multiple highly active, chemotherapy-free regimens to treat patients with B-cell cancers. Janssen received worldwide exclusive development and commercial rights|
|to plamotamab, and we will collaborate with Janssen on further clinical development of plamotamab, with us paying 20% of costs, including those for a subcutaneous formulation study anticipated to enter clinical trials in 2022. We will continue, at our own expense, a Phase 1/2 combination study of plamotamab, tafasitamab (Monjuvi), and lenalidomide in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and we plan to initiate the study in early 2022.|
We presented updated data from Part B and Part C of a Phase 1 dose-escalation study at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in December 2021. Part B escalated dosing on administrations after the priming dose (doses between 80 and 360 mcg/kg). Part C established a step-up dosing regimen with higher, flat and less frequent dosing. The schedule, an intravenous, 50 mg flat dose every two weeks after step-up dosing during the first two cycles of treatment, was generally well tolerated and was determined to be the recommended Phase 2 dose.
The safety population included 50 patients in Part B (38 DLBCL, 12 FL) and 14 patients in Part C (8 DLBCL, 4 FL, 1 marginal zone lymphoma, 1 mantle cell lymphoma). Patients were heavily pretreated. The most common Grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) across all patients were anemia (21%), neutropenia (19%), hypophosphatemia (11%), thrombocytopenia (11%) and lymphopenia (10%). Four patients (5%) experienced Grade 3 or 4 cytokine release syndrome (CRS), each instance on the first dose, and no patients experienced Grade 3 or 4 CRS in Part C of the study. The rate of CRS of any grade fell from 74% in Part B to 57% in Part C. CRS was generally manageable with premedication. The efficacy analysis included 47 evaluable patients with either DLBCL or FL who were treated in Part B (n=38) or in Part C (n=9). The ORR was 51% (24/47), and complete responses were observed in 12 patients (26%). The median duration of response was 225 days for DLBCL and 171 days for FL, with six patients continuing to respond to plamotamab monotherapy.
In Part C, patients had generally more advanced disease and poorer responses to prior therapy. Of the 14 patients in Part C, eight patients received prior CAR-T and three patients received NK cell therapy; two of these patients received both. All eight patients with DLBCL received prior CAR-T therapy. In Part C, safety events were generally mild or moderate in severity. Grade 3 or 4 AEs experienced by more than 5% of patients included anemia (14%), lymphopenia (14%) and one patient each (7%) experiencing neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, decreases in neutrophil count, transaminase increases, fatigue and gamma-glutamyl transferase increases. The ORR was 100% (4/4) for FL, and CRs were observed in two patients (50%). For DLBCL, the ORR was 40% (2/5), and a CR was observed in one patient (20%). All 5 evaluable patients with DLBCL received prior CAR-T therapy, and two evaluable patients with DLBCL received prior NK cell therapy.
Expansion cohorts are actively recruiting patients with DLBCL and FL and are dosing using the recommended Phase 2 regimen to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of plamotamab monotherapy. We plan to present data from these cohorts in the second half of 2022.
|3.||Tidutamab is a bispecific antibody that targets somatostatin receptor 2, or SSTR2, a target on many neuroendocrine-like tumor types, and CD3. Dose-escalation and expansion data from the Phase 1 study in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NET) indicates that tidutamab was generally well tolerated at the recommended dose identified for the expansion portion of the study. Tidutamab induced sustained activation of cytotoxic T cells and engagement of the SSTR2 target and demonstrated an encouraging safety profile. We are enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical study for tidutamab in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma and small cell lung cancer, which are SSTR2-expressing tumor types known to be responsive to immunotherapy.|
|4.||XmAb306 (RO7310729) is an IL15/IL15-receptor alpha complex fused to our bispecific Fc domain (IL15/IL15Rα-Fc). This cytokine was engineered for reduced potency, and the Fc domain incorporates our Xtend technology for extended half-life. Xencor is co-developing the program in collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. Genentech is conducting a Phase 1 dose-escalation study of XmAb306 as a single agent and in combination with atezolizumab. Additional studies of XmAb306 in combination with other agents are being planned.|
In November 2021, we announced preliminary data from the Phase 1 study, while further dose escalation in both study arms continues. At the time, the study had enrolled six cohorts in a monotherapy arm and four cohorts in an atezolizumab combination arm. XmAb306 was generally well tolerated as both a monotherapy and in combination with atezolizumab. No dose-limiting toxicities or treatment-related serious adverse events had been observed. Assessments of pharmacokinetics indicated that XmAb306 has a multi-day circulating half-life, which is consistent with its reduced-potency design and data generated in preclinical studies. Unconfirmed responses, as evaluated by RECIST criteria, had been observed in multiple tumor types, including in a patient treated with XmAb306 monotherapy. The study had recently reached dose levels that promote T cell activity, and evidence of peripheral effector T cell proliferation had been observed. Consistent and robust dose-dependent natural killer (NK) cell expansion and NK cell accumulation upon repeat dosing had been observed for multiple NK cell subsets, including mature NK cells. Significant NK cell expansion and accumulation was observed beginning in lower dose cohorts, and at higher dosing cohorts NK cell expansion had reached 40- to 100-fold higher levels than baseline and had been sustained for weeks throughout dosing.
|5.||XmAb104 is a bispecific antibody that targets PD-1 and ICOS, an immune co-stimulatory receptor, and is being developed in multiple oncology indications. We are conducting an open-label, Phase 1, dose-escalation study to assess the safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of XmAb104 in patients with selected solid tumors. We continue to enroll patients with select solid tumors in the dose expansion portion of the study, evaluating XmAb104 as a monotherapy and in combination with ipilimumab, an anti-CTLA4 antibody.|
|6.||XmAb841 is a bispecific antibody that targets CTLA-4 and LAG-3, also an immune checkpoint receptor, and is being developed in multiple oncology indications. We are advancing XmAb841 in combination with an anti-PD-1 drug to create a triple checkpoint blockade and conducting an open-label, Phase 1, dose-escalation study to assess the safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of XmAb841 in patients with selected solid tumors. We recently completed dose escalation in monotherapy and pembrolizumab combination cohorts and are enrolling in the expansion portion of the study.|
|7.||XmAb564 is a monovalent, potency-reduced interleukin-2 Fc (IL-2-Fc) fusion protein, engineered to selectively activate and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs) for the potential treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases. XmAb564 is engineered with reduced binding affinity for IL-2's beta receptor and increased binding affinity for its alpha receptor. In preclinical studies, XmAb564 was well-tolerated, promoted the selective and sustained expansion of Tregs and exhibited a favorable pharmacokinetic profile. We are conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 clinical study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of a single dose of XmAb564, administered subcutaneously in healthy adult volunteers.|
|8.||AMG 509 is a STEAP1 x CD3 2+1 bispecific antibody that our partner Amgen is advancing for the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. The XmAb 2+1 multivalent format enables higher binding capability for STEAP1 expressing cells. Amgen is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1 study of AMG 509 in patients with mCRPC. In February 2022, Amgen presented encouraging, preliminary pharmacodynamic activity by induction of percent maximum PSA decline among 30 patients in the study, which provides an early signal of activity and validation of the potential of the XmAb 2+1 format.|
|9.||XmAb819 is a first-in-class ENPP3 x CD3 XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody that we are developing for patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The XmAb 2+1 multivalent format enables greater selectivity for ENPP3 expressing tumor cells compared to normal cells, which also express ENPP3 at lower levels. We are initiating a Phase 1 study evaluating XmAb819 in patients with RCC.|
|10.||Novartis XmAb undisclosed bispecific antibody candidate: in December 2019, Novartis initiated a Phase 1 clinical study with an undisclosed bispecific antibody candidate that was developed with our bispecific Fc technology under our collaboration with them.|
XmAb, Xtend, and Cytotoxic Fc Drug Candidates in Clinical Development
Currently, two drugs engineered with our Xtend Fc Domain and one drug we engineered with our XmAb Cytotoxic Fc Domain are marketed commercially by partners. In addition to these approved drugs, our partners are advancing six clinical-stage programs with antibodies engineered with XmAb, Xtend, and/or Cytotoxic Fc Domains, including:
|●||Vir Biotechnology, Inc.: Vir is advancing three candidates in clinical development. VIR-3434 is being evaluated in a Phase 2 combination study as a potential treatment for patients with hepatitis B virus infection. VIR-2482 is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 study as a universal prophylactic for influenza A. VIR-7832 is being evaluated in a Phase 1b/2a trial of adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19;|
|●||Bristol-Myers Squibb: Bristol-Myers Squibb’s SARS-CoV-2 mAb Duo antibody combination therapy (BMS-986414 + BMS-986413) is being evaluated in the Phase 2/3 NIH ACTIV-2 trial in treating COVID-19 in outpatients;|
|●||Gilead Sciences, Inc.: Gilead is supporting HIV candidates in clinical development that are broadly neutralizing antibodies that incorporate our Fc technologies; and|
|●||Our partners are conducting preclinical studies of additional drug candidates engineered with these XmAb Fc domains.|
Other Clinical Stage Drug Candidates
|●||AIMab7195 (XmAb7195) uses our XmAb Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain and is designed to reduce blood levels of IgE, which mediates allergic responses and allergic disease. In February 2020, we licensed this drug candidate to Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc., now a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., which is advancing the candidate in clinical studies for allergic indications.|
|●||Obexelimab targets CD19 with its variable domain and uses our XmAb Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain, which is designed to inhibit the function of B cells, an important component of the immune system. In November 2021, we licensed this drug candidate to Zenas BioPharma, which is developing this candidate in autoimmune disease.|
|●||Xpro1595 is a proprietary TNF inhibitor candidate which we licensed to INmune Bio, Inc., in October 2017. INmune is currently advancing Xpro1595 through clinical development for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and treatment-resistant depression.|
Collaborations, Partnerships and Licensing Arrangements
A key part of our business strategy is to leverage our protein engineering capabilities, XmAb technologies, and XmAb drug candidates with partnerships, collaborations, and licenses. Through these arrangements we generate revenues in the form of upfront payments, milestone payments, and royalties. For partnerships for our drug candidates, we aim to retain a major economic interest in these candidates through transactions that allow us to retain major geographic commercial rights, provide for profit-sharing on future sales of approved products, include co-development options, and also the right to conduct independent clinical studies with drug candidates developed in the collaboration.
Examples of arrangements we have entered with our partners include:
|●||Product Licenses: Janssen Biotech, Inc., Genentech, MorphoSys AG, Nestlé S.A., Zenas BioPharma, INmune Bio, Inc.|
|●||Novel Bispecific Antibody Collaborations: Janssen Biotech, Inc., Astellas Pharma, Inc., Amgen Inc., Novartis AG|
|●||Technology Licensing Agreements: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vir Biotechnology, Inc., Gilead Sciences, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Novartis AG, Omeros Corporation, Viridian Therapeutics, Inc., Astria Therapeutics, Inc.|
|●||Strategic Collaborations: MorphoSys AG, Atreca, Inc., The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center|
Product licenses are arrangements in which we license to third parties partial or full rights to develop and commercialize our internally developed drug candidates. We seek partners that can provide infrastructure and resources to successfully develop our drug candidates, have a track record of successfully developing and commercializing medicines, or have a portfolio of development-stage candidates and commercialized medicines which could potentially be developed in rational combinations with our drug candidates.
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
In October 2021, we entered into an agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) to develop, manufacture, and commercialize plamotamab and pursuant to which we, together, will conduct research and development activities to discover novel CD28 bispecific antibodies against undisclosed B cell tumor targets. Janssen will receive exclusive worldwide rights, subject to certain Xencor opt-in rights, to develop, manufacture and commercialize pharmaceutical products that contain one or more of such CD28 bispecific antibodies.
We received a $100.0 million upfront payment, and Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JJDC, Inc., purchased $25.0 million of newly issued unregistered shares of our common stock. In addition, we are eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on net sales as follows:
|●||Plamotamab. We are eligible to receive up to a total of $517.5 million in milestone payments, which includes $120.0 million in development milestones, $137.5 million in regulatory milestones, and $260.0 million in sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties in the mid-teen to low-twenties percent range on net sales of products containing plamotamab, including CD28/plamotamab combination products.|
|●||CD28 Licensed Antibodies. We are eligible to receive up to a total of $670.0 million in milestone payments, which includes an aggregate of $169.4 million in development milestones and $240.6 million in regulatory milestones. For any products containing CD28 bispecific antibodies, but excluding CD28/plamotamab combination products, we are eligible to receive $260.0 million in sales milestones, as well as tiered royalties in the high-single digit to low-double digit range on net sales.|
We are collaborating with Janssen on further clinical development of plamotamab with Janssen paying 80% and the Company paying 20% of costs. We are conducting, at our own expense, a clinical collaboration to evaluate the combination of plamotamab, tafasitamab, and lenalidomide in patients with B-cell lymphoma after which Janssen may opt into cost sharing to further develop the combination after establishing proof of concept.
We are generally responsible for conducting research activities, and Janssen is generally responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization activities for CD28 bispecific antibodies that are advanced. Independent of plamotamab development activities, upon clinical proof-of-concept for a CD28 bispecific antibody that is being developed outside of a plamotamab combination, we have the right to opt-in to fund 15% of development costs and, if we opt in to fund such development costs, to perform up to 30% of the detailing efforts in the United States. We would then be eligible for low-double digit to mid-teen percent royalties on net sales of those products.
In February 2019, we entered into an agreement with Genentech to develop and commercialize novel IL-15 cytokine therapeutics that use our bispecific Fc technology, including XmAb306, declared as a Collaboration Product under the agreement. We are jointly collaborating on the worldwide development of XmAb306 with Genentech maintaining worldwide commercialization rights, subject to us having a co-promotion option in the U.S. We retain the right to perform clinical studies with XmAb306 at our sole expense in combination with other therapeutic agents, subject to certain restrictions. Genentech received a worldwide exclusive license to XmAb306.
We received an upfront payment of $120.0 million. We are eligible to receive up to $160.0 million in clinical milestone payments for XmAb306, up to $180.0 million in clinical milestone payments for each new Collaboration Product, and a 45% share of net profits from sales from all Collaboration Products, while also sharing in the net losses at the same percentage rate. We are sharing in 45% of development and commercialization costs of Collaboration Products, while Genentech will pay for commercial launch costs.
In July 2020, the FDA approved Monjuvi® (tafasitamab-cxix) in combination with lenalidomide for treating certain patients with DLBCL, and the European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization to tafasitamab for treating certain patients with DLBCL, which is marketed as Minjuvi® in Europe, in August 2021. In 2010, we licensed exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize tafasitamab (formerly MOR208 and XmAb5574) to MorphoSys. Tafasitamab, which we engineered with an XmAb Cytotoxic Fc Domain, is the second XmAb medicine to be approved by the FDA.
In 2021, we earned $12.5 million in development milestones and royalties of $5.9 million on net sales. We are also eligible to receive up to $85.5 million in additional milestones for development of tafasitamab in additional oncology indications and $50.0 million in sales milestones across all indications. We are entitled to receive tiered royalties in the high-single digit to low-double digit percent range on net sales. Tafasitamab is co-marketed by Incyte and MorphoSys under the brand name Monjuvi® in the U.S., and is marketed by Incyte under the brand name Minjuvi® in the EU. Incyte has exclusive commercialization rights to tafasitamab outside the U.S.
Nestlé S.A./Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc.
In February 2020, we granted Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc., an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize XmAb7195, which was renamed AIMab7195. We received an upfront payment of $9.6 million in cash and shares of Aimmune common stock. Aimmune was subsequently acquired by Nestlé S.A. Nestlé is responsible for all further development and commercialization activities for AIMAb7195. We are eligible to receive up to $385.0 million in milestones, which includes $22.0 million in development milestones, $53.0 million in regulatory milestones and $310.0 million in sales milestones, and tiered royalties in the high-single to mid-teen percent range on net sales of approved products. Nestlé is planning additional studies of AIMab7195.
INmune Bio, Inc.
In October 2017, we entered into an agreement with INmune Bio, Inc., in which we provided INmune with an exclusive license to our Xpro1595 drug candidate. In connection with the license, we received 1,585,000 shares of INmune common stock, an option to acquire up to 10% of the outstanding shares of INmune for $10.0 million, and an option to acquire 108,000 shares of common stock. In 2021, we sold the option to acquire up to 10% of INmune, and we received $15.0 million in cash proceeds and an additional 192,533 share of INmune common stock. We also exercised the option to acquire 108,000 shares of common stock for total proceeds of $0.8 million.
We are also eligible to receive a percentage of sublicensing revenue received for Xpro1595 and royalties in the mid-single digit percentage range on the sale of approved products. INmune is currently planning Phase 2 studies in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and treatment-resistant depression, as Xpro1595; Phase 2 studies in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, as LIVNate; and additional studies in MUC4-positive cancers, as INB03.
Zenas BioPharma (Cayman) Limited
In November 2020, we entered into an agreement with Zenas BioPharma (Cayman) Limited (Zenas) to which we licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize three preclinical-stage Fc-engineered drug candidates for autoimmune disease: XmAb6755, Xpro9523, and XmAb10171. These programs incorporate an Xtend Fc Domain, a Cytotoxic Fc Domain, or both. We received a 15% equity interest in Zenas, and we will also receive royalties on net sales of approved products in the mid-single digit to mid-teen percentage range.
In November 2021, we entered into a second agreement with Zenas to which we licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize obexelimab, a bifunctional antibody that targets CD19 with its variable domain and uses our XmAb Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain. Zenas issued a warrant giving us the right to acquire additional Zenas equity, such that our total equity in Zenas would be 15% of its fully diluted capitalization following the closing of Zenas’ next round of equity financing, subject to certain requirements. We are also eligible to receive up to $470.0 million based on the achievement of certain clinical development, regulatory and commercialization milestones and are eligible to receive tiered, mid-single digit to mid-teen percent royalties upon commercialization of obexelimab, dependent on geography. Zenas will have sole responsibility for advancing the research, development, regulatory and commercial activities of obexelimab worldwide.
Novel Bispecific Antibody Collaborations
Novel bispecific antibody collaborations are arrangements in which our partner seeks to create an XmAb bispecific antibody using one or more of our bispecific technologies. Our partners provide an antibody or an antigen against tumors, and we conduct limited research and development activities to create potential bispecific antibody candidates for further development and commercialization by our partners.
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
In November 2020, we entered into an agreement, which became effective in December 2020, with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), to develop XmAb bispecific antibodies against CD28 and an undisclosed prostate tumor target, for the potential treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Under the agreement, we conducted research activities to develop CD28 bispecific drug candidates for further development by Janssen. Preclinical activities and all clinical development, regulatory and commercial activities will be conducted by Janssen, which has exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the novel drug candidates developed in the collaboration. We received a $50.0 million upfront payment and are eligible to receive a total of $662.5 million in milestone payments which include $161.9 million in development milestones, $240.6 million in regulatory milestones, and $260.0 million in sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive tiered royalties in the high-single to low-double digit percentage range on net sales.
Upon development of a bispecific candidate by Janssen through proof of concept, the agreement provides us the right to opt-in to fund 20% of development costs and to perform up to 30% of detailing efforts in the U.S. If we exercise this right, we will be eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low-double digit to mid-teen digit percentage range.
Both we and Janssen also have the right to access predefined agents from each other’s portfolios to evaluate potential combination therapies in prostate cancer, subject to certain limitations.
In 2021, we received a $5.0 million milestone payment related to Janssen selecting a candidate for further development, and we are eligible to receive an additional $156.9 million in development milestones as the program advances.
Astellas Pharma, Inc.
In March 2019, we entered into an agreement with Astellas Pharma, Inc., under which we applied our XmAb bispecific Fc technology to an antigen pair provided by Astellas and generated bispecific antibody candidates for further certain characterization and testing. Astellas was granted a worldwide exclusive license, with the right to sublicense products in the field created by the research activities. Astellas has selected a bispecific antibody developed under the
collaboration, ASP2138, a CLDN18.2 x CD3 bispecific antibody, for further development to treat patients with gastric, gastroesophageal, and pancreatic cancers. We received an upfront payment of $15.0 million, and we are eligible to receive up to $240.0 million in milestones which include $32.5 million in development milestones, $57.5 million in regulatory milestones and $150.0 million in sales milestones and royalties on net sales in the high-single to low-double digit percentage range. In 2020, we received a $2.5 million milestone payment related to Astellas advancing a bispecific candidate into IND enabling studies, and we are eligible to receive an additional $30.0 million in development milestones as the program advances.
In September 2015, we entered into an agreement with Amgen Inc. to develop and commercialize bispecific antibody product candidates using our proprietary XmAb bispecific Fc technology.
Amgen applied our XmAb bispecific Fc technology to create AMG 509, a STEAP1 x CD3 XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody. We have received a total of $60.5 million in upfront and milestone payments and are eligible to receive up to $255.0 million in future development, regulatory and sales milestone payments in total for AMG 509 and royalties on net sales.
In connection with our June 2016 agreement with Novartis, we also applied our XmAb bispecific Fc technology to two target pair antibodies selected by Novartis. Novartis is responsible for development and commercialization of these programs. We are eligible to receive up to $250.0 million in milestone payments for each program which includes $50.0 million in development milestones, $100.0 million in regulatory milestones, and $100.0 million in sales milestones and royalties in the mid-single digit percent range on net sales of approved products. Novartis is conducting a Phase 1 study of an undisclosed bispecific antibody candidate and we received a $10.0 million milestone payment for this program in 2020.
Technology Licensing Agreements
We enter into technology licensing agreements in which we license access to one or more of our XmAb Fc technologies on a restricted basis, typically to our XmAb Cytotoxic Fc Domain and/or our Xtend Fc Domain. Our partners are responsible for all research, development and commercialization activities of the drug candidates. The plug-and-play nature of XmAb Fc domains allows us to license access to our platforms with no internal research and development activities required of us.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Ultomiris® (ravulizumab-cwvz) was the first antibody incorporating XmAb Fc technology to be approved by the FDA for commercial marketing. It is approved in the U.S. and multiple global markets for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and for the treatment of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Ultomiris is commercialized by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
In 2013, we licensed Alexion the right to access our Xtend Fc domain, which Alexion used to develop an improved version of Alexion’s commercialized Soliris product. The Xtend technology increased the circulating half-life of Ultomiris by over three-fold compared to Soliris and extended the dosing schedule to bimonthly for Ultomiris compared to biweekly for Soliris. During 2021, we recorded royalty revenue of $22.2 million. We are eligible to receive an additional $20.0 million in sales milestones and a low-single digit percent royalty on the sale of approved products.
Vir Biotechnology, Inc.
Sotrovimab, an antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has received an emergency use authorization from the FDA and temporary authorizations in multiple global markets for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and pediatric patients. In addition, Vir is evaluating VIR-7832 in a Phase 1b/2a trial of adults with mild-
to-moderate COVID-19. In March 2020, we entered into an agreement in which we provided Vir a non-exclusive license to our Xtend technology to extend the half-life of novel antibodies, including sotrovimab, that Vir is investigating as potential treatments for patients with COVID-19. Vir is responsible for all research, development, regulatory and commercial activities for COVID-19 antibodies, and we are eligible to receive royalties on the net sales of approved products in the mid-single digit percentage range. During 2021, we recorded estimated royalty revenue of $52.2 million.
In August 2019, we entered into an agreement with Vir Biotechnology, Inc., in which we provided Vir a non-exclusive license to our Xtend technology for two targets in infectious disease. We have received a total of $1.5 million in upfront and milestone payments, and we are eligible to receive additional milestones of $154.5 million, including $4.5 million of development milestones, $30.0 million of regulatory milestones and $120.0 million of sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive royalties on the net sales in the low single digit percentage range. Vir has advanced two programs under this agreement. VIR-2482 is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 study as a universal prophylactic for influenza A, and VIR-3434 is being evaluated in a Phase 2 combination study as a potential treatment for patients with hepatitis B virus infection.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
In January 2020, we entered into an agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc., in which we provided Gilead an exclusive license to our Cytotoxic Fc and Xtend Fc technologies for broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies. Gilead is responsible for all development and commercialization activities. For each licensed antibody, we are eligible to receive up to $67.0 million in milestones, which includes $10.0 million in development milestones, $27.0 million in regulatory milestones, and $30.0 million in sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive royalties in the low-single digit percentage range on net sales of approved products.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
In May 2021, we entered into an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), in which we provided BMS a non-exclusive license to our Xtend Fc technology to extend the half-life of antibodies that specifically bind to SARS-CoV-2. BMS is responsible for all research, development, regulatory and commercial activities. We are eligible to receive royalties on net sales of approved products in the low-single digit percentage range. BMS is evaluating the SARS-CoV-2 mAb Duo antibody combination therapy (BMS-986414 + BMS-986413) in the Phase 2/3 NIH ACTIV-2 trial in treating COVID-19 in outpatients.
In August 2020, we entered into an agreement with Omeros Corporation, in which we provided Omeros a non-exclusive license to our Xtend Fc technology, an exclusive license to apply our Xtend Fc technology to an initial identified antibody, OMS906, and options to apply our Xtend Fc technology to three additional antibodies. Omeros is responsible for all development and commercialization activities. OMS906, a MASP-3 targeted antibody, is being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with PNH and other alternative pathway disorders. We received an upfront payment of $5.0 million, and for each product incorporating our Xtend Fc technology, we are eligible to receive up to $65.0 million in milestones, which includes $15.0 million in development milestones, $25.0 million in regulatory milestones and $25.0 million in sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive royalties in the mid-single digit percentage range on net sales of approved products.
Viridian Therapeutics, Inc.
In December 2020, we entered into an agreement with Viridian Therapeutics, Inc., in which we provided Viridian a non-exclusive license to our Xtend Fc technology and an exclusive license to apply our Xtend Fc technology to antibodies targeting IGF-1R. Viridian is responsible for all development and commercialization activities. We received an upfront payment of 322,407 shares of Viridian common stock valued at $6.0 million and are eligible to receive up to $55.0 million in milestones, which include $10.0 million in development milestones, $20.0 million in regulatory milestones and $25.0 million in sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive royalties in the mid-single digit percentage range on net sales of approved products.
In December 2021, we entered into a second agreement with Viridian for a non-exclusive license to certain antibody libraries developed by us. Under the agreement, Viridian received a one-year research license to review the antibodies and the right to select up to three antibodies for further development. Viridian is responsible for all further development of the selected antibodies. We received an upfront payment of 394,737 shares of Viridian common stock valued at $7.5 million and are eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestones in addition to royalties on net sales of approved products under the agreement.
Astria Therapeutics, Inc/Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Inc./Quellis Biosciences, Inc.
In May 2018, we entered into an agreement with Quellis Biosciences, Inc., in which we provided Quellis a non-exclusive license to our Xtend Fc technology to apply to an identified antibody. Quellis is responsible for all development and commercialization activities. We received an equity interest in Quellis, and in January 2021, upon Quellis merging into Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., we received common and preferred shares of Catabasis stock in exchange for our equity in Quellis. Catabasis subsequently changed its name to Astria Therapeutics, Inc. We are eligible to receive up to $66.0 million in milestones, which include $6.0 million in development milestones, $30.0 million in regulatory milestones and $30.0 million in sales milestones. We are also eligible to receive royalties in the mid-single digit percentage range on net sales of approved products.
We enter into strategic collaborations where we can create synergies between our partners’ capabilities and assets and our own protein engineering capabilities, Fc technologies and XmAb drug candidates. Through these arrangements we seek to create new drug candidates, investigate novel combination therapies and potentially identify additional indications for our portfolio of XmAb drug candidates.
In November 2020, we entered into a strategic collaboration with MorphoSys AG and Incyte to conduct clinical studies to investigate the chemo-therapy free combination of plamotamab and tafasitamab in combination with lenalidomide in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), first-line DLBCL, and relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL). MorphoSys and Incyte Corporation will provide tafasitamab for the studies, which Xencor will sponsor and fund.
In July 2020, we entered into an agreement with Atreca, Inc., to research, develop and commercialize novel CD3 bispecific antibodies as potential therapeutics in oncology. During a three-year research term, Atreca will provide antibodies against novel tumor targets through its discovery platform from which we will engineer XmAb bispecific antibodies that bind to the CD3 receptor on T cells. The two companies will share research costs equally during the research term. Up to two joint programs are eligible to be mutually selected for further development and commercialization, with each partner sharing 50% of costs and profits. Each company has the option to lead development, regulatory and commercialization activities for one of the joint programs. In addition, each partner has the option to pursue up to two programs independently, with a royalty in the mid- to high-single digit percentage range payable on net sales to the other partner.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
In September 2020, we entered into an agreement with MD Anderson, in which we will provide funding over a five-year period, and MD Anderson will collaborate to design and execute additional clinical studies with our portfolio of XmAb drug candidates, including novel bispecific antibody and cytokine candidates. We own all rights to the programs and results generated from these studies. In December 2021, we extended the agreement for an additional year at the same level of committed funding.
In December 2020, we entered into a second agreement with MD Anderson to develop novel CD3 bispecific antibody therapeutics for the potential treatment of patients with cancer. MD Anderson will work to identify and develop potential antibodies, and we will apply its our Fc bispecific technology to create therapeutic candidates. MD Anderson will then conduct and fund all preclinical activities to advance candidates toward clinical studies. We have certain exclusive options to license worldwide rights to develop and commercialize potential new medicines arising from the collaboration.
Our Research and Development Pipeline
We have used our XmAb Fc platforms and protein engineering capabilities to produce a growing pipeline of drug candidates in clinical and preclinical development. These include multiple oncology candidates using our bispecific Fc domain, including bispecific antibody and cytokine candidates. We continue to advance these candidates as additional options for clinical development by us or as out-licensing opportunities. We also from time to time in-license antibody technologies and compounds from other companies which we believe may allow us to create potential product candidates by incorporating our own proprietary technologies. These licenses may require us to pay upfront fees, development, and commercial milestone payments, and if commercial products are approved, royalties on net sales.
Human Capital Management
Our Employees and Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our ability to develop XmAb technologies, advance our programs into late-stage development, position our programs for commercialization and identify successful business partnerships is dependent on attracting, retaining, and developing our employees. We seek and support a diverse population of employees without regard to race, gender or sexual orientation. As of December 31, 2021, we had 254 full-time employees, representing a 26% increase in our employee workforce as compared to December 31, 2020. Of these, 205 were engaged in research and development activities, and 49 were engaged in business development, information systems, facilities, human resources, or administrative support. Of these employees, 65 hold Ph.D. degrees, and 10 hold M.D. degrees. None of our employees are represented by any collective bargaining unit. We believe we maintain good relations with our employees.
We are an equal opportunity employer and maintain policies that prohibit unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin/ancestry, age, disability, marital and veteran status. We are proud to employ a diverse workforce that, as of December 31, 2021, was 57% non-white and 56% women. In addition, as of December 31, 2021, women made up 22% of our senior leadership team. We strive to build and nurture a culture where all employees feel empowered to be their authentic selves.
We seek to provide human capital and employee health and safety policies that provide for the health, safety, and welfare of our employees. We continue practices that address the COVID-19 pandemic consistent with government guidelines to mitigate and prevent the spread of disease, such as masking, social distancing, contact tracing, and encouraging vaccinations. In 2021, in connection with the ongoing pandemic we continued the following practices:
|●||Provided a remote or hybrid work option for all non-laboratory staff with technical support, training, and equipment to enable employees to continue to perform their responsibilities while working remotely; and|
|●||Conducted safety procedures for all onsite staff which includes mandatory weekly onsite SARS-CoV-2 virus testing for all employees and their household members, reimbursement of 100% of medical insurance costs for onsite employees, and fully paid time off for any employee that missed time due to the COVID-19 virus including for the care of family members.|
Compensation, Benefits, and Development
We provide compensation packages designed to attract, retain, and motivate high-quality employees, and all of our employees are eligible for cash bonuses and grants of equity awards. We regularly evaluate our compensation programs with an independent compensation consultant and utilize industry benchmarking in an effort to ensure they are
competitive compared to similar biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies with which we compete for talent and that they are fair and equitable across our workforce with respect to gender, race, and other personal characteristics. All employees are eligible to participate in the Employee Stock Purchase Plan where they can purchase shares of Xencor common stock at a discounted price. This plan, and our other equity compensation plans, assists us in building long-term relationships with our employees and aligns the interest of employees with stockholders. We also deliver a benefits program that is designed to keep our employees and their families healthy, which includes not only medical, dental and vision benefits, but also dependent care, mental health, and other wellness benefits. In addition, we provide a variety of programs and services to help employees meet and balance their needs at work, at home and in life.
We value career development for all employees, and we provide reimbursement and time for employees to attend professional development courses ranging from technical training, competency-based workshops, and leadership development programs. Direct managers also take an active role in identifying individualized development plans to assist their employees in realizing their full potential and creating opportunities for promotions and added responsibilities that enhance the engagement and retention of our workforce.
Our drug candidates that use the XmAb bispecific Fc domain, including plamotamab, vudalimab, tidutamab, XmAb841, XmAb104, XmAb306, and XmAb564: We are developing our bispecific antibody and cytokine candidates to treat cancer. Cancer is a broad group of diseases in which cells divide and grow in an uncontrolled fashion, forming malignancies that can invade other parts of the body, and it is the second leading cause of death in the United States (U.S.). The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2022 there will be approximately 1.9 million new cases of cancer and approximately 609,360 deaths from cancer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated that based on growth and aging of the U.S. population, medical expenditures for cancer in the year 2030 are projected to reach at least $245.6 billion.
The foundation for our XmAb technology and our product candidates and partnering is the generation and protection of intellectual property for novel antibody and cytokine therapeutics. We combine proprietary computational methods for amino acid sequence design with laboratory generation and testing of new antibody and cytokine compositions. Our design and engineering team prospectively assesses, with patent counsel, the competitive landscape with the goal of building broad patent positions and avoiding third-party intellectual property.
As a pioneer in Fc domain engineering, we systematically scanned the structure of the Fc domain to discover Fc variants. We have filed patent applications relating to thousands of specific Fc domain variants with experimental data on specific improvements of immune function, pharmacokinetics, structural stability, and novel structural constructs. We have filed additional patent applications derived from these applications as we discover new properties of the Fc variants and as new business opportunities arise. We continually seek to expand the intellectual property coverage of our technology and candidates and invest in discovering new Fc domain technologies, antibody product candidates, and cytokine product candidates.
Our patent estate, on a worldwide basis, includes over 1,300 issued patents and pending patent applications which we own, with claims directed to XmAb Fc domains, all of our clinical and preclinical stage product candidates and our computational protein design methods and platforms. We also have a large number of issued patents and pending patent applications with claims directed specifically to our XmAb technology and candidates.
The patent expiration in the U.S. and major foreign countries (ex-U.S.) for our key technologies and drug candidates is set forth below. We have pending applications filed that may extend the exclusivity of some of our technology and products:
2025 U.S.; 2024 Ex-U.S.
2028 U.S.; 2025 Ex-U.S.
2025 U.S.; 2028 Ex-U.S.
2034 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
CD3 T Cell Engagers
2035 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
CD28 T Cell Engagers
2040 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
2037 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
Vudalimab, XmAb841, XmAb104
2037 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
2038 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
2040 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
2038 U.S.; 2037 Ex-U.S.
2029 U.S.; 2027 Ex-U.S.
2025 U.S.; 2028 Ex-U.S.
2029 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
2025 U.S.; 2028 Ex-U.S.
2029 U.S.; 2028 Ex-U.S.
2035 U.S. and Ex-U.S.
The Hatch-Waxman Act permits a patent term extension for FDA-approved drugs, including biological products, of up to five years beyond the expiration of the patent. The length of the patent term extension is related to the length of time the drug is under regulatory review. Patent extension cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval and only one patent applicable to an approved drug may be extended. Similar provisions are available in Europe and other jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug. In the future, if and when our pharmaceutical product candidates receive FDA approval, we expect to apply for patent term extensions on patents covering those products. We intend to seek patent term extensions to any of our issued patents in any jurisdiction where these are available; however, there is no guarantee that the applicable authorities, including the FDA in the United States, will agree with our assessment of whether such extensions should be granted, and even if granted, the length of such extensions.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Healthcare and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act (collectively the ACA) created a regulatory scheme authorizing the FDA to approve biosimilars via an abbreviated licensure pathway. In many cases, this allows biosimilars to be brought to market without conducting the full suite of clinical trials typically required of originators. Under the ACA, a manufacturer may submit an application for licensure of a biologic product that is "biosimilar to" or "interchangeable with" a previously approved biological product or "reference product." The "biosimilar" application must include specific information demonstrating bio similarity based on data derived from: (1) analytical studies, (2) animal studies, and (3) a clinical study or studies that are sufficient to demonstrate safety, purity, and potency in one or more appropriate conditions of use for which the reference product is licensed, except that FDA may waive some of these requirements for a given application. Under this new statutory scheme, an application for a biosimilar product may not be submitted to the FDA until four years after the date of first licensure. The FDA may not approve a biosimilar product until 12 years from the date on which the reference product was first licensed. The law does not change the duration of patents granted on biological products. Even if a product is considered to be a reference product eligible for exclusivity, another company could market a competing version of that product if the FDA approves a full Biologics License Application (BLA) for such product containing the sponsor's own preclinical data and data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to demonstrate the safety, purity, and potency of their product. There have been recent proposals to repeal or modify the ACA, and it is uncertain how any of those proposals, if approved, would affect these provisions.
In addition to patent protection, we rely on trade secret protection and know-how to expand our proprietary position around our technology and other discoveries and inventions that we consider important to our business. We seek to protect this intellectual property in part by entering into confidentiality agreements with our employees, consultants, scientific advisors, clinical investigators, and other contractors and also by requiring our employees, commercial contractors, and certain consultants and investigators, to enter into invention assignment agreements that grant us ownership of certain discoveries or inventions made by them.
Further, we seek trademark protection in the United States and in certain other jurisdictions where available and when we deem appropriate. We have obtained registrations for the Xencor trademark, as well as certain other trademarks, which we use in connection with our pharmaceutical research and development services and our clinical-stage products, including XmAb. We currently have registrations for Xencor and PDA in the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Community, and Japan, for Protein Design Automation in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the European Community, and for XmAb in the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Community and Japan.
Third Party Vendors and Suppliers
Our internal research activities are focused on early research stage and preclinical activities and studies. We rely on third party vendors, suppliers and contractors for all other research, development and clinical activities. We are able to internally manufacture the quantities of our product candidates required for relatively short preclinical animal studies. We believe that this allows us to accelerate the drug development process by not relying on third parties for all of our manufacturing needs. We have adopted a manufacturing strategy of contracting with third parties in accordance with current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) for the manufacture of drug substance and product, including our pipeline of bispecific antibody and cytokine development candidates. We have used third party manufacturers for all our bispecific antibody and cytokine candidates which include: plamotamab, tidutamab, vudalimab, XmAb841, XmAb104, XmAb306, XmAb564, and XmAb819. Additional contract manufacturers are used to fill, label, package and distribute investigational drug products. This allows us to maintain a more flexible infrastructure while focusing our expertise on developing our products. We do not have any long-term manufacturing agreements in place and will ultimately depend on contract manufacturers for the manufacture of our products for commercial sale, as well as for process development.
KBI Biopharma, Inc.
In July 2014, we entered into a master services agreement (KBI Agreement) with KBI Biopharma, Inc. (KBI). We have engaged KBI under the KBI Agreement for process development, clinical scale-up, analytical method development, formulation development, and other services related to drug substance and drug product for our bispecific antibody and cytokine development candidates: plamotamab, tidutamab, vudalimab, XmAb841, XmAb104, XmAb306, and XmAb564 in accordance with cGMP regulations. For each bispecific program, we have entered into a separate agreement with the terms and conditions of services and payment. The KBI Agreement is for a three-year term but is automatically extended on an annual basis until the services are completed. The KBI Agreement may be terminated by either party for a breach that is not remedied within 30 days after notice or 60 days after notice of the existence of an incurable scientific or technical issue that renders KBI unable to render services under the KBI Agreement, by after 60-day notice, or in the event of a bankruptcy of a party. For termination other than a material breach by KBI, we must pay for all services conducted prior to the termination and to wind down the activities.
Cell Line Agreements with Selexis
In December 2015, we entered into a master service agreement (Selexis Agreement) with Selexis SA (Selexis) for the manufacture of Selexis cell lines. Under the terms of the Selexis Agreement, Selexis will manufacture cell lines for the antibody candidates provided by us and upon completion of the cell lines, we have the option to take an unrestricted commercial license to the cell line. The terms of each commercial license require us to make payments upon achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones and we will also pay royalties based on a percentage of net sales for products that are derived from or utilize the Selexis cell line. The royalty is less than 1%.
Selexis has manufactured cell lines for certain of our bispecific antibody and cytokine drug candidates, and we currently have rights to obtain commercial licenses to the Selexis cell line for the following bispecific antibody and cytokine candidates: plamotamab, tidutamab, vudalimab, XmAb841, XmAb104, XmAb306, XmAb564, and XmAb819.
License Agreements with BIO-TECHNE
In February 2015, we entered into a license agreement with BIO-TECHNE Corporation (BIO-TECHNE) for a non-exclusive license to certain antibody technology including monoclonal antibodies which recognize human somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2). The variable domain of this antibody is incorporated in our tidutamab drug candidate. Under the terms of this agreement, we made an upfront payment and are obligated to make payments upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, and royalties based on a percentage of net sales from products that are derived from the tidutamab program. The royalty is less than 1%.
We entered into a second agreement with BIO-TECHNE effective February 2018 for a non-exclusive license to a certain recombinant monoclonal antibody reactive with human programmed death protein, PD-1. We expect to use this protein in certain of our oncology drug candidates. Under the terms of this agreement, we made an upfront payment and are obligated to make payments upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties based on a percentage of net sales from products that are derived from the PD-1 antibody. The royalty is 1%.
Umbrella Development Services Agreement with Patheon Biologics LLC
In September 2018, we entered into an Umbrella Development Services Agreement (Patheon Agreement) with Patheon Biologics LLC (Patheon). Under the terms of the Patheon Agreement, any of the affiliates within the global network of service sites in Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s Pharma Services Group may perform clinical manufacturing and development services for us in accordance with cGMP regulations. The Patheon Agreement may be terminated by either party for a breach or default that is not remedied within 30 days, or such other time period as may be reasonably necessary to remedy such breach after receiving notice of the breach from the non-breaching party or if the other party is subject to an insolvency event. We have the unilateral right to terminate the Patheon Agreement upon 30 days written notice to Patheon for any business reason, subject to cancellation fees. Patheon has the unilateral right to terminate the Patheon Agreement if we request to reschedule work beyond 120 days, the project work is not progressing according to our expectations and we cannot agree on appropriate changes, after six months of inactivity on a project at our request or if Patheon determines it is unable to perform its obligations in a safe and effective way in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.
Patheon is currently conducting process transfer, process development and cGMP manufacturing for our XmAb819 program.
Master Services Agreement with WuXi Biologics (Hong Kong) Limited
In February 2021, we entered into a Master Services Agreement (WuXi Agreement) with WuXi Biologics (Hong Kong) Limited (WuXi). Under the terms of the WuXi Agreement, WuXi and its affiliates will perform manufacturing, analytical, development and other services for Xencor in accordance with applicable regulations. The WuXi Agreement includes customary rights to replacement of non-conforming products. The WuXi Agreement may be terminated by either party for a breach by the other party that is not remedied within 45 days (or 10 days for a non-payment breach), or if the other party is subject to an insolvency event. We have the unilateral right to terminate the WuXi Agreement upon 90 days’ prior written notice to WuXi for any reason, subject to applicable cancellation fees. WuXi has the unilateral right to terminate the WuXi Agreement only if the services cannot be performed due to technical difficulties or the performance of the services is not permitted under applicable law.
WuXi is currently conducting process transfer, process development and cGMP manufacturing for our XmAb808 (B7-H3 x CD28) and our IL-12 programs.
Master Clinical Services Agreement with ICON Clinical Research Limited
In April 2016, we entered into a Master Clinical Services Agreement (ICON Agreement) with ICON Clinical Research Limited (ICON). Under the terms of the ICON Agreement, ICON and its affiliates will perform clinical trial services (including site selection, study design, site monitoring, management and training, and patient selection) for Xencor in accordance with applicable regulations. The ICON Agreement may be terminated by either party for a breach by the other party that is not remedied within 30 days, or if the other party is subject to an insolvency event. Each party may terminate the ICON Agreement upon 30 days’ prior written notice to the other party for any reason, however such termination would not affect any ongoing project under the ICON Agreement. We may unilaterally terminate any project under the ICON Agreement upon 30 days’ prior written notice to ICON for any reason, subject to applicable termination fees.
ICON is currently providing services to us in connection with each ongoing Xencor-sponsored clinical trial.
We compete in an industry that is characterized by rapidly advancing technologies, intense competition, and a strong emphasis on proprietary products. Our competitors include pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, academic institutions, and other research organizations. We compete with these parties for promising targets for antibody-based therapeutics, new technology for optimizing antibodies and cytokines, and in recruiting highly qualified personnel. Many competitors and potential competitors have substantially greater scientific, research, and product development capabilities as well as greater financial, marketing and sales, and human resources than we do. In addition, many specialized biotechnology firms have formed collaborations with large, established companies to support the research, development, and commercialization of products that may be competitive with ours. Accordingly, our competitors may be more successful than we may be in developing, commercializing, and achieving widespread market acceptance. In addition, our competitors’ products may be more effective, more effectively developed, or more effectively marketed and sold than any treatment we or our development partners may commercialize, which may render our product candidates obsolete or noncompetitive before we can recover the expenses related to developing and commercializing any of our product candidates.
Competition in the field of cancer drug development is intense, with hundreds of compounds in clinical trials. Many large pharmaceutical companies and other smaller biotechnology companies are developing competing bispecific antibody platforms, and many of these companies have advanced multiple drug candidates into clinical development, including Amgen Inc.; Genmab A/S; Macrogenics, Inc.; Merus N.V.; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Roche Holding AG.
We are developing bispecific antibody drug candidates engineered to direct cytotoxic T cell killing of tumor cells, by engaging the CD3 receptor on T cells and an antigen on tumor cells. Regarding plamotamab, other companies developing CD3 bispecific antibodies directed to CD20, an antigen expressed on many blood tumors, include AbbVie Inc. and Genmab A/S; IGM Biosciences, Inc.; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Roche Holding AG. Other antibodies, antibody drug candidates and cell therapies are in development or approved to treat patients with non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
We are also developing several bispecific antibody drug candidates engineered to selectively engage the immune system in order to treat patients with cancer, such as vudalimab, XmAb841 and XmAb104. Immuno-oncology is a competitive field within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and most large pharmaceutical companies are developing drug candidates, have marketed medicines in this space, or both: AstraZeneca plc; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; GlaxoSmithKline plc; Merck & Co., Inc.; Novartis AG; Pfizer Inc.; Roche Holding AG; and Sanofi S.A. While tuning the binding affinities plays a crucial role in designing the mechanism of action for this class of bispecific antibody, smaller companies advancing clinical programs that, like vudalimab, dually target the immune checkpoint receptors PD-1 and CTLA-4 include Akeso, Inc. and Macrogenics, Inc.
Several companies are developing engineered cytokines intended to activate specific immune cell populations in order to treat patients with cancer and/or autoimmune diseases, including Alkermes plc; Amgen Inc.; Cue Biopharma, Inc.; Cytune Pharma; Eli Lilly and Company; IGM Biosciences, Inc.; ImmunityBio, Inc.; Kadmon Holdings, Inc.; Medicenna Therapeutics Corp.; Merck & Co., Inc.; Nektar Therapeutics, Inc.; Neoleukin Therapeutics, Inc.; Novartis AG; Roche Holding AG; Sanofi S.A.; Sutro Biopharma, Inc.; and Xilio Therapeutics, Inc.
In addition, we are aware of a number of other companies with development-stage programs that may compete with the drug candidates we and our licensees are developing in the future. We anticipate that we will face intense and increasing competition as new treatments enter the market and advanced technologies become available.
Our business and operations are subject to a variety of U.S. federal, state and local and foreign supranational, national, provincial, and municipal laws, regulations and trade practices. The FDA and comparable regulatory authorities in state and local jurisdictions and in other countries impose substantial and burdensome requirements upon companies involved in the clinical development, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of drugs and biologics. These agencies and other federal, state and local entities regulate research and development activities and the testing, manufacture, quality control, safety, effectiveness, labeling, storage, recordkeeping, approval, advertising and promotion, and export and import of our product candidates.
U.S. Government Regulation
We are subject to extensive regulation by the U.S. and other countries. Regulation by government authorities is a significant factor in development, manufacture, distribution and ongoing research activities. All our products in development will require regulatory approval by government agencies prior to commercialization. In particular, drugs and biologic products are subject to rigorous preclinical studies and clinical trials and other approval procedures of the FDA and similar regulatory authorities in foreign countries. The process of obtaining these approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal and state statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Various federal and state statutes and regulation also govern or influence testing, manufacturing, safety, labeling, storage, tracking, tracing and record-keeping of drugs and biologic products and their marketing.
U.S. Drug Development Process
In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs and biologic products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), its implementing regulations, and other laws including, in the case of biologics, the Public Health Service Act. Our product candidates are subject to regulation by the FDA as a biologic. Biologics require the submission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the FDA and approval of the BLA by the FDA before marketing in the United States. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals for commercial sale and distribution and the subsequent compliance with applicable federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial civil or criminal sanctions. These sanctions could include the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, license suspension or revocation, withdrawal of an approval, imposition of a clinical hold on clinical trials, warning letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production, or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement or civil and/or criminal penalties. The process required by the FDA before a biologic may be marketed in the United States generally involves the following:
|1.||completion of preclinical laboratory tests, animal studies, and formulation studies performed in accordance with the FDA’s current Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) regulations;|
|2.||submission to and acceptance by the FDA of an IND which must become effective before human clinical trials in the United States may begin;|
|3.||performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with the FDA’s current Good Clinical Practices (GCP) regulations to establish the safety and efficacy of the product candidate for its intended use;|
|4.||submission to and acceptance by the FDA of a BLA;|
|5.||satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection (if the FDA deems it as a requirement) of the manufacturing facility or facilities where the product is produced to assess compliance with the FDA’s cGMP regulations to assure that the facilities, methods, and controls are adequate to preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality, and purity;|
|6.||potential audits by the FDA of the nonclinical and clinical trial sites that generated the data in support of the BLA;|
|7.||potential review of the BLA by an external Advisory Committee to the FDA, whose recommendations are not binding on the FDA; and|
|8.||FDA review and approval of the BLA prior to any commercial marketing or sale.|
Before testing any compounds with potential therapeutic value in humans, the product candidate enters the preclinical testing stage. Preclinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, stability, and formulation, as well as animal studies to assess the potential toxicity and activity of the product candidate. Clinical trials involve the administration of the product candidate to human patients under the supervision of qualified investigators, generally physicians not employed by or under the clinical trial sponsor’s control. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria, and the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety and effectiveness. The FDA or responsible Institutional Review Board may place a trial on hold at any time related to perceived risks to patient safety. Phases of clinical development include:
|1.||Phase 1. The product candidate is initially introduced into a limited population of healthy human subjects, or in some cases, patients with the disease for which the drug candidate is intended, and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution, and excretion. In the case of some products for some diseases, or when the product may be too inherently toxic to ethically administer to healthy volunteers, the initial human testing is often conducted in patients with the disease or condition for which the product candidate is intended to gain an early indication of its effectiveness.|
|2.||Phase 2. The product candidate is evaluated in a limited patient population (but larger than in Phase 1) to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted indications, and to assess dosage tolerance, optimal dosage, and dosing schedule.|
|3.||Phase 3. Clinical trials are undertaken to further evaluate dosage and provide substantial evidence of clinical efficacy and safety in an expanded patient population (such as several hundred to several thousand) at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. Phase 3 clinical trials are intended to establish the overall risk/benefit ratio of the product and provide an adequate basis for product labeling. Generally, two adequate and well-controlled Phase 3 clinical trials are required by the FDA for approval of a BLA.|
|4.||Post Approval. Clinical trials or other post-approval commitments may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These studies are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication and may be required by the FDA as a condition of approval.|
Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the biologic and finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements.
U.S. Review and Approval Processes
The results of product development, preclinical studies and clinical trials, along with descriptions of the manufacturing process, analytical tests, proposed labeling, and other relevant information are submitted to the FDA in the form of a BLA requesting approval to market the product for one or more specified indications. The standard time for the FDA to accept a BLA submission is two months.
If the FDA determines that the BLA is substantially complete, it will accept the BLA for review.
Once accepted, the FDA reviews the BLA to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe and effective for its intended use, and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMP to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality, and purity, and it may inspect the manufacturing facilities to assure cGMP compliance and clinical sites used during the clinical trials to assure cGMP compliance. The standard FDA review process is 10 months once a BLA is accepted for review, but it can take longer. During the review process, the FDA also will determine whether a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) is necessary to assure the safe use of the product. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the BLA must submit a proposed REMS prior to approval. A REMS can substantially increase the costs of obtaining approval. In addition, under the Pediatric Research Equity Act, a BLA or supplement to a BLA must contain data that are adequate to assess the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations, and to support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The FDA may, on its own initiative or at the request of the applicant, grant deferrals for submission of some or all pediatric data until after approval of the product for use in adults, or full or partial waivers from the pediatric data requirements.
The FDA will issue a complete response letter describing deficiencies in the BLA and recommend actions if the agency decides not to approve the BLA. The applicant will have to address all of the deficiencies which could take substantial time to address.
If the product receives regulatory approval, the approval may be significantly limited to specific diseases and dosages, or the indications for use may otherwise be limited and may require that certain contraindications, warnings, or precautions be included in the product labeling. In addition, the FDA may require post marketing studies, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 testing, which involves clinical trials designed to further assess drug safety and effectiveness and may require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the safety of approved products that have been commercialized.
Any biologic products for which we or our collaborators receive FDA approvals are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, cGMP compliance for product manufacture, record-keeping requirements, reporting of adverse experiences with the product, providing the FDA with updated safety and efficacy information, product sampling and distribution requirements, complying with certain electronic records and signature requirements, and complying with FDA promotion and advertising requirements, which include, among others, restrictions on direct-to-consumer advertising, promoting biologics for uses or in patient populations that are not described in the product’s approved labeling (known as “off-label use”), industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities, and promotional activities involving the internet. Failure to comply with these or other FDA requirements can subject a manufacturer to possible legal or regulatory action, such as product reclass, warning letters, suspension of manufacturing, seizure of product, injunctive action, mandated corrective advertising or communications with healthcare professionals, possible civil or criminal penalties, or other negative consequences, including adverse publicity.
U.S. Patent Term Restoration and Marketing Exclusivity
Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of the FDA approval of any of our biologic product candidates, we may apply for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Amendments. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent restoration term of up to five years for one patent per product as compensation for patent term lost during
product development and the FDA regulatory review process of that product. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration.
Market exclusivity provisions under the FDCA can also delay the submission or the approval of certain applications of other companies seeking to reference another company’s BLA. Specifically, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act established an abbreviated pathway for the approval of biosimilar and interchangeable biological products generally not earlier than 12 years after the original BLA approval. The abbreviated regulatory pathway establishes legal authority for the FDA to review and approve biosimilar biologics, including the possible designation of a biosimilar as “interchangeable” based on their similarity to existing brand product.
Pharmaceutical Coverage, Pricing and Reimbursement
The cost of pharmaceuticals continues to generate substantial governmental and third-party payor interest. We expect that the pharmaceutical industry will experience pricing pressures due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of managed care organizations and additional legislative proposals.
In the United States and foreign jurisdictions, there have been and will continue to be a number of legislative and regulatory proposals to change the healthcare system in ways that could affect our ability to sell our product candidates profitably, once they are approved for sale. Among policy makers and payors in the United States and elsewhere, there is significant interest in promoting changes in healthcare systems with the stated goals of containing healthcare costs, improving quality and/or expanding access. In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry has been a particular focus of these efforts and has been significantly affected by major legislative initiatives.
Other Healthcare Laws and Compliance Requirements
In the United States, the research, manufacturing, distribution, sale and promotion of drug products and medical devices are potentially subject to regulation by various federal, state and local authorities in addition to the FDA, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, other divisions of Health and Human Services (e.g., the Office of Inspector General), the U.S. Department of Justice, state Attorneys General, and other state and local government agencies.
Europe / Rest of World Government Regulation
In addition to regulations in the United States, we, and our collaborators, will be subject to a variety of regulations in other jurisdictions governing, among other things, clinical trials and any commercial sales, marketing and distribution of our products, similar or more stringent than the U.S. laws.
Whether or not we, or our collaborators, obtain FDA approval for a product, we must obtain the requisite approvals from regulatory authorities in foreign countries prior to the commencement of clinical trials or marketing of the product in those countries. The requirements and process governing the conduct of clinical trials, product licensing, pricing and reimbursement vary from country to country. In addition, we and our collaborators may be subject to foreign laws and regulations and other compliance requirements, including, without limitation, anti-kickback laws, false claims laws and other fraud and abuse laws, as well as laws and regulations requiring transparency of pricing and marketing information and governing the privacy and security of health information, such as the European Union’s Directive 95/46 on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data.
If we, or our collaborators, fail to comply with applicable foreign regulatory requirements, we may be subject to, among other things, fines, suspension or withdrawal of regulatory approvals, product recalls, seizure of products, operating restrictions and criminal prosecution.
We were incorporated in California in August 1997 under the name Xencor. In September 2004, we reincorporated in the state of Delaware under the name Xencor, Inc. Our principal offices are located at 111 West Lemon Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016, and our telephone number is (626) 305-5900. Our website address is www.xencor.com. Our website and the information contained on, or that can be accessed through, the website will not be deemed to be incorporated by reference in and are not considered part of this Annual Report. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on the Investor Relations portion of our web site at www.xencor.com as soon as reasonably practical after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC maintains an internet site at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Summary of Risk Factors
We are subject to a number of risks that if realized could materially harm our business, prospects, operating results, and financial condition. Some of the more significant risks and uncertainties we face include those summarized below. The summary below is not exhaustive and is qualified by reference to the full set of risk factors set forth in this “Risk Factors” section. Please carefully consider all of the information in this Form 10-K, including the full set of risks set forth in this
“Risk Factors” section, and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before making an investment decision regarding Xencor.
We have reviewed our risk factors and categorized them into five specific categories:
|1.||Risks related to our unique and specific business operations as a small biotechnology company. These risks include:|
|●||Our success depends on our ability to use and expand our XmAb technology platform to build a pipeline of XmAb product candidates and develop marketable products. We cannot be certain our candidates will receive regulatory approval or be successfully commercialized.|
|●||The clinical development stage of our operations may make it difficult for you to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.|
|●||Preliminary, interim, and topline data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.|
|●||The COVID-19 pandemic and the future outbreak of other highly infectious or contagious diseases could materially and adversely impact or disrupt our business and our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and performance.|
|2.||Risks specifically related to our financial position, capital requirements and ownership of our common stock. These risks include:|
|●||We have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future.|
|●||Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of uncertainty. We have never generated any revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.|
|●||We will require additional financing and may be unable to raise sufficient capital, which could lead us to delay, reduce or abandon research and development programs or commercialization.|
|●||The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.|
|●||Our principal stockholders, directors and management own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exert significant control over matters subject to stockholder approval.|
|●||Raising additional funds through debt or equity financing may be dilutive or restrict our operations and raising funds through licensing may require us to relinquish rights to our technology or product candidates.|
|●||Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our equity incentive plans, could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our stockholders and could cause our stock price to fall.|
|3.||Risks related to our intellectual property. These risks include:|
|●||If we are unable to obtain, maintain and enforce intellectual property protection covering our products, others may be able to make, use or sell products substantially the same as ours, which could adversely affect our ability to compete in the market.|
|●||We have in-licensed, and may in the future in-license, a portion of our intellectual property, and, if we fail to comply with our obligations under these arrangements, we could lose such intellectual property rights or owe damages to the licensor of such intellectual property.|
|●||We may be required to reduce the scope of our intellectual property due to third party intellectual property claims.|
|●||Our products could infringe patents and other property rights of others, which may result in costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages or limit our ability to commercialize our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.|
|●||If we are not able to prevent disclosure of our trade secrets and other proprietary information, the value of our technology and products could be significantly diminished.|
|●||If we do not obtain patent term extension and data exclusivity for any therapeutic candidates we develop, our business may be materially harmed.|
|4.||Risks related to our dependence on third parties. These risks include:|
|●||Our patent protection and prosecution for some of our product candidates is dependent on third parties.|
|●||We rely on third-party manufacturers for the manufacture of our product candidates. This entails a complex process and manufacturers often encounter difficulties in production. If we, or any of our third-party manufacturers, encounter any loss of our master cell banks or if any of our third-party manufacturers otherwise fail to comply with their contractual obligations, the development or commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed or stopped.|
|●||Our existing partnerships are important to our business, and future partnerships may also be important to us. If we are unable to maintain any of these partnerships, or if these partnerships are not successful, our business could be adversely affected.|
|●||We rely upon third-party contractors, and service providers for the execution of most aspects of our development programs. Failure of these collaborators to provide services of a suitable quality and within acceptable timeframes may cause the delay or failure of our development programs.|
|●||We rely on third parties to manufacture supplies of our preclinical and clinical product candidates. The development of such candidates could be stopped or delayed if any such third party fails to provide us with sufficient quantities of product or fails to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices or fails to maintain or achieve satisfactory regulatory compliance.|
|5.||Risks related to our industry. These risks include:|
|●||Clinical trials are expensive and take years to conduct, and the outcome of such clinical trials is uncertain. Clinical trials may fail to prove our product candidates are safe and effective. This could lead to delays, downsizing or termination of clinical development plans for any our product candidates.|
|●||Adverse side effects or other safety risks associated with our product candidates could delay or preclude approval, cause us to suspend or discontinue clinical trials, abandon product candidates, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.|
|●||If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.|
|●||Our industry is subject to competition for skilled personnel and the challenges we face to identify and retain key personnel could impair our ability to effectively conduct and grow our operations.|
|●||The development and commercialization of biologic products is subject to extensive regulation, and we may not obtain regulatory approvals for any of our product candidates.|
|●||We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.|
|●||Our current and future relationships with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers, and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere may be subject, directly or indirectly, to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, physician payment transparency, health information privacy and security and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to penalties.|
|●||Present and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we may obtain.|
|●||Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidates, our product candidates may be subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party coverage and reimbursement policies or healthcare reform initiatives.|
|●||Our business involves the controlled use of hazardous materials, and as such we are subject to environmental and occupational safety laws. Continued compliance with these laws may incur substantial costs and failure to maintain compliance could result in liability for damages that may exceed our resources.|
Risks Related to Our Unique and Specific Business Operations as a Small Biotechnology Company
Our success depends on our ability to use and expand our XmAb technology platform to build a pipeline of product candidates and develop marketable products. We cannot be certain our candidates will receive regulatory approval or be successfully commercialized.
We use our proprietary XmAb technology platform to develop engineered antibodies, with an initial focus on four properties: immune inhibition, cytotoxicity, extended half-life and most recently, heterodimeric Fc domains enabling molecules with dual target binding. This platform has led to our current pipeline of candidates as well as the other programs that utilize our technology and that are being developed by our partners and licensees. While we believe our preclinical and clinical data to date, together with our established partnerships, has validated our platform to a degree, most of the programs are in early stages of development. Although drug candidates incorporating our Fc technology, or Fc candidates, have been approved by the FDA, other product candidates have not yet been, and may never lead to, approved or marketable therapeutic antibody products. Even if we are successful in continuing to build our pipeline, the potential candidates that we identify may not be suitable for clinical development, including as a result of their harmful side effects, limited efficacy or other characteristics that indicate that they are unlikely to receive marketing approval and achieve market acceptance. If we do not successfully develop and commercialize product candidates, we may not be able to obtain product or partnership revenues in future periods, which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
The clinical development stage of our operations may make it difficult for you to evaluate the success of our business to date and to assess our future viability.
Our operations to date have been limited to raising capital, staffing our company, developing our proprietary XmAb technology platform, identifying potential product candidates, conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials, developing partnerships and business planning. We have conducted, or are currently conducting, early phase clinical
trials for several product candidates, but have not completed any late stage clinical trials for these or any other product candidate. We have not yet demonstrated our ability to successfully complete any pivotal clinical trials, obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a commercial scale product, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf, or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful product commercialization. Consequently, any predictions you make about our future success or viability may not be as accurate as they could be if we were further advanced in development of our product candidates.
In addition, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown factors. We believe we will need to transition from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be successful in this transition.
We expect our financial condition and operating results to continue to fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the results of any quarterly or annual periods as indications of future operating performance.
Preliminary, interim, and topline data from our clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.
From time to time, we may publicly disclose preliminary, interim or topline data from our clinical trials. These updates are based on a preliminary analysis of then-available data, and the results and related findings and conclusions are subject to change following a more comprehensive review of the data related to the particular study or trial. Additionally, interim data from clinical trials that we may complete are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues and more patient data become available. Therefore, positive interim results in any ongoing clinical trial may not be predictive of such results in the completed study or trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully and carefully evaluate all data. As a result, the preliminary results that we report may differ from future results of the same studies, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Preliminary data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, preliminary, interim or topline data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available. In addition, we may report interim analyses of only certain endpoints rather than all endpoints. Adverse changes between preliminary or interim data and final data could significantly harm our business and prospects. Further, additional disclosure of interim data by us or by our competitors in the future could result in volatility in the price of our common stock. See the description of risks under the heading “Risks Specifically Related to Our Financial Position, Capital Requirements and Ownership of Our Common Stock” for more disclosure related to the risk of volatility in our stock price.
Further, others, including regulatory agencies, may not accept or agree with our assumptions, estimates, calculations, conclusions or analyses or may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently, which could impact the value of the particular program, the approvability or commercialization of the particular product candidate or product and our company in general. In addition, the information we choose to publicly disclose regarding a particular study or clinical trial is typically selected from a more extensive amount of available information. You or others may not agree with what we determine is the material or otherwise appropriate information to include in our disclosure, and any information we determine not to disclose may ultimately be deemed significant with respect to future decisions, conclusions, views, activities or otherwise regarding a particular product, product candidate or our business. If the preliminary or topline data that we report differ from late, final or actual results, or if others, including regulatory authorities, disagree with the conclusions reached, our ability to obtain approval for, and commercialize our product candidates may be harmed, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the future outbreak of other highly infectious or contagious diseases, could materially and adversely impact or disrupt our business and our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and performance.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapid spread of COVID-19 a global pandemic, and on March 19, 2020, the Governor of the State of California, where we are headquartered and where our principal place of business is located, implemented a mandatory stay at home order for residents working in non-critical businesses.
While we have managed to maintain our operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional developments with this pandemic or another epidemic or pandemic, could cause significant disruptions to our business operations, business operations of our partners, on whom we rely for potential revenue, and product development collaborations; operations of our third-party manufacturers and contract research organizations (CROs), on which we rely to conduct our clinical trials; and to our clinical trials, including as a result of significant restrictions or bans on travel into and within the countries in which our manufacturers produce our product candidates or where we conduct our clinical trials. Such disruptions could impede, delay, limit or prevent our employees and CROs from continuing research and development activities.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has not materially affected our clinical development for the year ended December 31, 2021, certain of our clinical programs have seen slower enrollment and there have also been delays in initiating new studies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays are not seen across all our trials and are specific to certain trials enrolling at certain sites. In the future, the COVID-19 pandemic could further adversely affect our and our partners’ ability to enroll and recruit patients in current and future clinical trials. Our success is dependent on our ability and the ability of our partners to advance our wholly-owned and partnered development programs into later stages of clinical development. Many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have indicated that their clinical trials will be delayed and enrollment of current and ongoing trials will suffer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Completion of our ongoing clinical and preclinical studies or commencement of new clinical trials could be impeded, delayed, limited or prevented by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions including negative effects on the production, delivery or release of our product candidates to our clinical trial sites, as participation by our clinical trial investigators, patients or other critical staff, which to could delay data collection, analysis and other related activities, any of which could cause delay or denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates. The delay and impact on enrollment cannot be determined at this time and will depend on the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continued delays on our clinical and preclinical studies or trials will increase our costs and expenses and seriously harm our operations and financial condition, which will adversely affect our business.
The COVID-19 pandemic could also potentially affect the business of the FDA as well as other health regulatory authorities, which could result in delays in our communications with these authorities and ultimately in the ability for us and our partners to have drug products approved.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures also have had and may continue to have an adverse impact on global economic conditions which could have an adverse effect on our business and financial condition, including impairment of our ability to raise capital when needed. The trading prices for biopharmaceutical companies’ stock, including our common shares have been highly volatile as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, a recession, depression, or other sustained adverse market event resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could materially and adversely affect our business and the value of our common shares.
The COVID-19 pandemic could potentially affect our partnerships and collaborations which provide us with revenue and non-dilutive payments in the form of upfront payments, milestone payments, royalties, and cost-sharing of co-development programs. If our partners’ and collaborators’ operations are severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will adversely affect our future potential revenue from such partners and collaborators.
We have required most of our employees, including all of our administrative employees, to work remotely, restricted on-site staff to only those employees that must perform essential activities that must be completed on-site and limited the number of staff allowed in our laboratory and offices. These changes may negatively impact productivity, or disrupt, delay, or otherwise adversely impact our business. In addition, this could increase our cyber security risk, create data accessibility concerns, and make us more susceptible to communication disruptions, any of which could adversely impact our business operations. When we reopen our facilities, we could encounter delays in connection with implementing precautionary measures to mitigate the risk of exposing our facilities and employees to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic could adversely affect our supply chain for our research, development, and clinical programs. We rely on third party vendors for research supplies, development activities including manufacturing of drug product for our clinical studies and testing of drug material. In the third quarter of 2020, several manufacturing vendors notified us of critical supply shortages which delayed the development timelines for our earlier stage development programs by three to six months. We currently do not expect these supply shortages to delay the timelines for our programs that are already in clinical studies. However, if this supply disruption continues or becomes more acute, it will extend the timelines for advancing our earlier stage programs further and could also delay the current timelines for advancing our existing clinical programs. If any other vendors in our supply chain of products or services are also severely affected from the COVID-19 pandemic, it will adversely affect our ability to continue our research and development activities and also continue our clinical trial activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rapidly evolve. Its ultimate impact on our business operations is highly uncertain and subject to change that will depend on future developments, which cannot be accurately predicted, including the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, additional or modified government actions, new information that will emerge concerning the severity and impact of COVID-19 and the actions taken to address its impact in the short and long term, among others. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical trials, our research programs, healthcare systems or the global economy. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Risks Specifically Related to Our Financial Position, Capital Requirements and Ownership of Our Common Stock
We have incurred significant losses since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future.
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. To date, we have financed our operations primarily through equity financings and our research and development licensing agreements and have incurred significant operating losses since our inception in 1997. For the year ended December 31, 2021, we generated net income of $82.6 million and as of December 31, 2021, we had an accumulated deficit of $283.1 million. We expect to incur losses in future years as we execute our plan to continue our discovery, research and development activities, including the ongoing and planned clinical development of our antibody product candidates, and incur the additional costs of operating as a public company. We are unable to predict the extent of any future losses or when we will become profitable, if ever. Even if we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on an ongoing basis which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.
Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of uncertainty. We have never generated any revenue from product sales and may never be profitable.
We have devoted substantially all of our financial resources and efforts to developing our proprietary XmAb technology platform, identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials. We are still in the early stages of developing our product candidates, and we have not completed development of any of our wholly-owned products. Our revenue to date has been primarily revenue from the license of our proprietary XmAb technology platform and drug candidates for the development of product candidates by others or revenue from our partners. Our ability to generate revenue and achieve profitability depends in large part on our ability, alone or with partners, to achieve milestones and to successfully complete the development of, obtain the necessary regulatory approvals for, and commercialize and market, product candidates. We do not anticipate generating revenues from sales
of our own products in the foreseeable future that will provide sufficient proceeds to fund our operations on an ongoing basis.
Our ability to generate future revenues from licensing our proprietary XmAb technologies and drug candidates depends heavily on our and our partners’ success in advancing drug candidates that they have licensed from us or developed using one of our technologies. Our partners face the same development, regulatory and market risk for advancing their drug candidates and their ability to successfully advance these partnered programs will affect potential milestones and royalties we could earn under our collaboration agreements. Further, our partners may decide not to pursue, or decide to deprioritize our programs due to changing priorities which could affect our future potential revenue from such arrangements.
Because of the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with biologic product development, we are unable to predict the timing or amount of increased expenses and when we will be able to achieve or maintain profitability, if ever. In addition, our expenses could increase beyond expectations if we are required by the FDA, or foreign regulatory agencies, to perform studies and trials in addition to those that we currently anticipate, or if there are any delays in our or our partners’ completion of clinical trials or delays in the development of any of our product candidates. Even if we or our partners are able to generate revenues from the sale of any approved products, we may not become profitable and may need to obtain additional funding to continue operations, which may not be available to us on favorable terms, if at all.
We will require additional financing and may be unable to raise sufficient capital, which could lead us to delay, reduce or abandon research and development programs or commercialization.
As of December 31, 2021, we had $664.1 million in cash, cash equivalents, marketable debt securities, and receivables. We expect our expenses to increase in connection with our ongoing development activities, including the continued development of our pipeline of bispecific antibody and cytokine drug candidates and other research activities. Identifying potential product candidates and conducting preclinical testing and clinical trials are time-consuming, expensive, and uncertain processes that take years to complete, and we or our partners may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain regulatory approval and achieve product sales. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success.
Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for many years, if at all. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or any future commercialization efforts.
We believe our existing cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, together with interest thereon and expected milestones and royalty payments will be sufficient to fund our operations through the end of 2025. However, changing circumstances or inaccurate estimates by us may cause us to use capital significantly faster than we currently anticipate, and we may need to spend more money than currently expected because of circumstances beyond our control. We do not have sufficient cash to complete the clinical development of any of our product candidates and will require additional funding to complete the development activities required for regulatory approval of our current product candidates or any other future product candidates that we develop independently. Because successful development of our product candidates is uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require to complete research and development and commercialize our product candidates. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations; even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs or any future commercialization efforts.
The market price of our common stock is likely to be highly volatile, and you could lose all or part of your investment.
Prior to our initial public offering (IPO), there was no public market for our common stock. The trading price of our common stock is likely to be volatile. Since our IPO, the trading price of our common stock has ranged from a low
of approximately $5.75 to a high of approximately $58.345. Our stock price could be subject to wide fluctuations in response to a variety of factors, including the following:
|1.||adverse results or delays, or cancellations of clinical trials by us or our partners;|
|2.||inability to obtain additional funding;|
|3.||changes in laws or regulations applicable to our products;|
|4.||inability to obtain adequate product supply for our product candidates, or the inability to do so at acceptable prices;|
|5.||adverse regulatory decisions;|
|6.||changes in the structure of healthcare payment systems;|
|7.||introduction of new products or technologies by our competitors;|
|8.||failure to meet or exceed product development or financial projections we provide to the public;|
|9.||the perception of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry by the public, legislatures, regulators and the investment community;|
|10.||announcements of significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments by us or our competitors;|
|11.||disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;|
|12.||additions or departures of key scientific or management personnel;|
|13.||significant lawsuits, including patent or stockholder litigation;|
|14.||changes in the market valuations of similar companies;|
|15.||sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders in the future; and|
|16.||trading volume of our common stock.|
In addition, the stock market in general, and the Nasdaq Global Market and biotechnology companies in particular, have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market and industry factors may negatively affect the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance.
In the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following a decline in the market price of its securities. This risk is especially relevant for us because biopharmaceutical companies have experienced significant stock price volatility in recent years. If we face such litigation, it could result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources, which could harm our business.
Our principal stockholders, directors and management own a significant percentage of our stock and will be able to exert significant control over matters subject to stockholder approval.
Based on information available to us as of December 31, 2021 our executive officers, directors, 5% stockholders and their affiliates beneficially owned, as a group, approximately 70% of our voting stock.
Therefore, our officers, directors and 5% stockholders and their affiliates will have the ability to influence us through this ownership position and so long as they continue to beneficially own a significant amount of our outstanding voting stock. These stockholders may be able to determine all matters requiring stockholder approval and this concentration of ownership may deprive other stockholders from realizing the true value of our common stock. For example, these stockholders, acting together, may be able to control elections of directors, amendments of our organizational documents, or approval of any merger, sale of assets, or other major corporate transaction. This may
prevent or discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals, offers for our common stock or other transactions or arrangements that you may believe are in your best interest as one of our stockholders.
Raising additional funds through debt or equity financing may be dilutive or restrict our operations and raising funds through licensing may require us to relinquish rights to our technology or product candidates.
To the extent that additional capital is raised through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, the issuance of those securities could result in substantial dilution for our current stockholders and the terms may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect the rights of our current stockholders. Existing stockholders may not agree with our financing plans or the terms of such financings. If we are unable to obtain additional funding on required timelines, we may be required to:
1. seek collaborators for one or more of our product candidates at an earlier stage than otherwise would be desirable or on terms that are less favorable than might otherwise be available;
2. relinquish or license on unfavorable terms our rights to technologies or product candidates that we otherwise would seek to develop or commercialize ourselves; or
3. significantly curtail one or more of our research or development programs or cease operations altogether. Additional funding may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all.
Future sales and issuances of our common stock or rights to purchase common stock, including pursuant to our equity incentive plans, could result in additional dilution of the percentage ownership of our stockholders and could cause our stock price to fall.
We expect that significant additional capital will be needed in the future to continue our planned operations. To the extent we raise additional capital by issuing equity securities, our stockholders may experience substantial dilution. We may sell common stock, convertible securities, or other equity securities in one or more transactions at prices and in a manner, we determine from time to time. These sales may also result in material dilution to our existing stockholders, and new investors could gain rights superior to our existing stockholders.
Pursuant to our 2013 equity incentive plan (2013 plan), subject to board approval, our management is authorized to grant stock options and other equity-based awards to our employees, directors and consultants. The number of shares available for future grant under the 2013 plan will automatically increase each year until 2023 by 4% of all shares of our capital stock outstanding as of December 31 of the prior calendar year, subject to the ability of our Board of Directors to take action to reduce the size of the increase in any given year. As of December 31, 2021, we had options to purchase 8,676,329 shares outstanding under our equity compensation plans. In addition, we are also authorized to grant equity awards, including stock options, to our employees, directors, and consultants, covering up to 13,122,238 shares of our common stock, pursuant to our equity compensation plans. We plan to register the number of shares available for issuance or subject to outstanding awards under our equity compensation plans. If our Board of Directors elects to increase the number of shares available for future grant by the maximum amount each year, our stockholders may experience additional dilution, which could cause our stock price to fall.
If our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or file our periodic reports in a timely manner, which may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information and may lead to a decline in our stock price.
Effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports in a timely manner. If we fail to adequately staff our accounting and finance function to address the additional demands that will be placed upon us as a public company, including the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or fail to maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting, it could prevent our management from concluding our internal control over financial reporting is effective and impair our ability to prevent material misstatements in our financial statements, which could cause our business to suffer.
As a large accelerated filer, we are subject to additional internal control requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock by our existing stockholders in the public market could cause our stock price to fall.
If our existing stockholders sell, or indicate an intention to sell, substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline. In addition, a substantial number of shares of common stock are subject to outstanding options that are or will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting schedules. If these additional shares of common stock are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold, in the public market, the trading price of our common stock could decline.
Our ability to use our net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be limited.
Our net operating loss (NOL) carryforwards generated in tax years ending on or prior to December 31, 2017, are only permitted to be carried forward for 20 years under applicable U.S. tax law. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), our federal NOLs generated in tax years ending after December 31, 2017, may be carried forward indefinitely, but the deductibility of such federal NOLs generated in tax years beginning after December 31, 2021, is limited. It is uncertain if and to what extent various states will conform to the TCJA. In addition, under Sections 382 and 383 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and corresponding provisions of state law, if a corporation undergoes an “ownership change,” which is generally defined as a greater than 50% change, by value, in its equity ownership over a three-year period, the corporation’s ability to use its pre-change NOL carryforwards and other pre-change U.S. tax attributes (such as research tax credits) to offset its post-change income or taxes may be limited. It is also possible that we have in the past undergone, and in the future may undergo, ownership changes that could result in additional limitations on our net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards.
As a result, our pre-2018 NOL carryforwards may expire prior to being used. Similar provisions of state tax law may also apply to limit our use of accumulated state tax attributes. In addition, at the state level, there may be periods during which the use of NOLs is suspended or otherwise limited, which could accelerate or permanently increase state taxes owed. As a result, if we earn net taxable income, we may be unable to use all or a material portion of our NOLs and other tax attributes, which could potentially result in increased future tax liability to us and adversely affect our future cash flows.
New federal and state income tax legislation may affect our current and future income tax liabilities
The TCJA changed the income tax treatment of research and development expenses which may result in additional federal and state tax liabilities. For tax years ended in December 31, 2022 and subsequent years, research and development costs must be capitalized and amortized over a period of years which could result in additional federal and state tax liabilities in 2022 and future years.
We do not intend to pay dividends on our common stock so any returns will be limited to the value of our stock.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock. We currently anticipate that we will retain future earnings for the development, operation and expansion of our business and do not anticipate declaring or paying any cash dividends for the foreseeable future. Any return to stockholders will therefore be limited to the appreciation of their stock.
Provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as provisions of Delaware law, could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us or increase the cost of acquiring us, even if doing so would benefit our stockholders or remove our current management.
Some provisions of our charter documents and Delaware law may have anti-takeover effects that could discourage an acquisition of us by others, even if an acquisition would be beneficial to our stockholders and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management. These provisions include:
|●||authorizing the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock, the terms of which may be established and shares of which may be issued without stockholder approval;|
|●||prohibiting stockholder action by written consent, thereby requiring all stockholder actions to be taken at a meeting of our stockholders;|
|●||eliminating the ability of stockholders to call a special meeting of stockholders; and|
|●||establishing advance notice requirements for nominations for election to the Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at stockholder meetings.|
These provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our Board of Directors, which is responsible for appointing the members of our management. In addition, we are subject to Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, which generally prohibits a Delaware corporation from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with an interested stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless such transactions are approved by our Board of Directors. This provision could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control, whether or not it is desired by or beneficial to our stockholders. Further, other provisions of Delaware law may also discourage, delay, or prevent someone from acquiring us or merging with us. Any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws or Delaware law that has the effect of delaying or deterring change in control could limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their shares of our common stock, and could also affect the price that some investors are willing to pay for our common stock.
Requirements associated with being a public reporting company will continue to increase our costs significantly, as well as divert significant company resources and management attention.
We have been subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act and the other rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since December 2013. Effective for the year-ended December 31, 2016, we became a large accelerated filer and are subject to additional internal control and SEC reporting obligations. Compliance with the various reporting and other requirements applicable to public reporting companies requires considerable time, attention of management, and financial resources.
Further, the listing requirements of The Nasdaq Global Market require that we satisfy certain corporate governance requirements relating to director independence, distributing annual and interim reports, stockholder meetings, approvals, and voting, soliciting proxies, conflicts of interest and a code of conduct. Our management and other personnel need to devote a substantial amount of time to ensure that we comply with all of these requirements. Moreover, the reporting requirements, rules and regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs and also make some activities more time-consuming and costly. These reporting requirements, rules, and regulations, coupled with the increase in potential litigation exposure associated with being a public company, could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our Board of Directors or board committees or to serve as executive officers, or to obtain certain types of insurance, including directors’ and officers’ insurance, on acceptable terms.
In addition, being a public company could make it more difficult or more costly for us to obtain certain types of insurance, including directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and we may be forced to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. The impact of these events could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our Board of Directors, our Board committees, or as executive officers.
Any changes we make to comply with these obligations may not be sufficient to allow us to satisfy our obligations as a public company on a timely basis, or at all.
Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property
If we are unable to obtain, maintain and enforce intellectual property protection covering our products, others may be able to make, use or sell products substantially the same as ours, which could adversely affect our ability to compete in the market.
Our commercial success depends, in part, on our ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patents, trade secrets, trademarks and other intellectual property rights and to operate without having third parties infringe, misappropriate or circumvent the rights that we own or license. The value of many of our partnered licensing arrangements is based on the underlying intellectual property and related patents. If we are unable to obtain, maintain and enforce intellectual property protection covering our products or underlying technologies, others may be able to make, use or sell products that are substantially the same as ours without incurring the sizeable development and licensing costs that we have incurred, which would adversely affect our ability to compete in the market. As of December 31, 2021, we held over 1,300 issued patents and pending patent applications. We file patent applications in the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe and other major markets either directly or via the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Our ability to stop third parties from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing our product candidates is dependent upon the extent to which we have rights under valid and enforceable patents or trade secrets that cover these activities. However, the patent positions of biopharmaceutical companies, including ours, can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions for which important legal principles remain unresolved. No consistent policy regarding the breadth of claims allowed in patents in these fields has emerged to date in the United States. The U.S. patent laws have recently changed, there have been changes regarding how patent laws are interpreted, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the PTO) has also implemented changes to the patent system. Some of these changes are currently being litigated, and we cannot accurately determine the outcome of any such proceedings or predict future changes in the interpretation of patent laws or changes to patent laws which might be enacted into law. Those changes may materially affect our patents, our ability to obtain patents or the patents and applications of our collaborators and licensors. The patent situation in the biopharmaceutical industry outside the United States is even more uncertain. Therefore, there is no assurance that our pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or that we will develop additional proprietary products which are patentable. Moreover, patents issued or to be issued to us may not provide us with any competitive advantage. Our patent position is subject to numerous additional risks, including the following:
|1.||we may fail to seek patent protection for inventions that are important to our success;|
|2.||our pending patent applications may not result in issued patents;|
|3.||we cannot be certain that we are the first to invent the inventions covered by pending patent applications or that we were the first to file such applications and, if we are not, we may be subject to priority disputes;|
|4.||we may be required to disclaim part or all of the term of certain patents or all of the term of certain patent applications;|
|5.||we may file patent applications but have claims restricted or we may not be able to supply sufficient data to support our claims and, as a result, may not obtain the original claims desired or we may receive restricted claims. Alternatively, it is possible that we may not receive any patent protection from an application;|
|6.||we could inadvertently abandon a patent or patent application, resulting in the loss of protection of certain intellectual property rights in a certain country. We, our collaborators or, our patent counsel may take action resulting in a patent or patent application becoming abandoned which may not be able to be reinstated or if reinstated, may suffer patent term adjustments;|
|7.||the claims of our issued patents or patent applications when issued may not cover our product candidates;|
|8.||no assurance can be given that our patents would be declared by a court to be valid or enforceable or that a competitor’s technology or product would be found by a court to infringe our patents. Our patents or patent applications may be challenged by third parties in patent litigation or in proceedings before the PTO or its foreign counterparts, and may ultimately be declared invalid or unenforceable, or narrowed in scope;|
|9.||there may be prior art of which we are not aware that may affect the validity or enforceability of a patent claim. There also may be prior art of which we are aware, but which we do not believe affects the validity or enforceability of a claim, which may, nonetheless, ultimately be found to affect the validity or enforceability of a claim;|
|10.||third parties may develop products which have the same or similar effect as our products without infringing our patents. Such third parties may also intentionally circumvent our patents by means of alternate designs or processes or file applications or be granted patents that would block or hurt our efforts;|
|11.||there may be dominating patents relevant to our product candidates of which we are not aware;|
|12.||our patent counsel, lawyers or advisors may have given us, or may in the future give us incorrect advice or counsel. Opinions from such patent counsel or lawyers may not be correct or may be based on incomplete facts;|
|13.||obtaining regulatory approval for biopharmaceutical products is a lengthy and complex process, and as a result, any patents covering our product candidates may expire before, or shortly after such product candidates are approved and commercialized;|
|14.||the patent and patent enforcement laws of some foreign jurisdictions do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as laws in the United States, and many companies have encountered significant difficulties in protecting and defending such rights in foreign jurisdictions. If we encounter such difficulties or we are otherwise precluded from effectively protecting our intellectual property rights in foreign jurisdictions, our business prospects could be substantially harmed; and|
|15.||we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable.|
Any of these factors could hurt our ability to gain full patent protection for our products. Registered trademarks and trademark applications in the United States and other countries are subject to similar risks as described above for patents and patent applications, in addition to the risks described below.
Many of our product development partnership agreements are complex and may call for licensing or cross-licensing of potentially blocking patents, know-how or intellectual property. Due to the potential overlap of data, know-how and intellectual property rights there can be no assurance that one of our collaborators will not dispute our right to use, license or distribute data, know-how or other intellectual property rights, and this may potentially lead to disputes, liability or termination of a program. There are no assurances that our actions or the actions of our collaborators would not lead to disputes or cause us to default with other collaborators. For example, we may become involved in disputes with our collaborators relating to the ownership of intellectual property developed in the course of the partnership. We also cannot be certain that a collaborator will not challenge the validity or enforceability of the patents we license.
We cannot be certain that any country’s patent and/or trademark office will not implement new rules which could seriously affect how we draft, file, prosecute and/or maintain patents, trademarks and patent and trademark applications. We cannot be certain that increasing costs for drafting, filing, prosecuting and maintaining patents, trademarks and patent and trademark applications will not restrict our ability to file for patent protection. For example, we may elect not to seek patent protection in certain jurisdictions or for certain inventions in order to save costs. We may be forced to abandon or return the rights to specific patents due to a lack of financial resources.
We intend to file applications for trademark registrations in connection with our product candidates in various jurisdictions, including the United States. No assurance can be given that any of our trademark applications will be registered in the United States or elsewhere, or that the use of any registered or unregistered trademarks will confer a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Furthermore, even if we are successful in our trademark registrations, the FDA and regulatory authorities in other countries have their own process for drug nomenclature and their own views concerning appropriate proprietary names. No assurance can be given that the FDA or any other regulatory authority will approve of any of our trademarks or will not request reconsideration of one of our trademarks at some time in the future. The loss, abandonment, or cancellation of any of our trademarks or trademark applications could negatively affect the success of the product candidates to which they relate.
We have in-licensed, and may in the future in-license, a portion of our intellectual property, and, if we fail to comply with our obligations under these arrangements, we could lose such intellectual property rights or owe damages to the licensor of such intellectual property.
We currently rely, and may in the future rely, on certain intellectual property rights licensed from third parties to protect our technology and certain product candidates, and we may enter into additional license agreements in the future. As part of our discovery and development activities, we routinely evaluate in-licenses from academic and research institutions. We have sublicensed certain intellectual property rights related to our CD3 bispecific technology from a third party, and we have licensed certain intellectual property rights from a third party related to our tidutamab product candidate. We also license certain rights to the underlying cell lines for all our product candidates from third parties. Under these licenses, we have no right to control patent prosecution of the intellectual property or to enforce the patents, and as such the licensed rights may not be adequately maintained by the licensors. The termination of these or other licenses could also prevent us from commercializing product candidates covered by the licensed intellectual property.
Our existing license agreements impose, and we expect that future license agreements will impose, various diligence, milestone payment, royalty and other obligations on us. If there is any conflict, dispute, disagreement or issue of non-performance between us and our licensing partners regarding our rights or obligations under the license agreements, including any such conflict, dispute or disagreement arising from our failure to satisfy payment obligations under any such agreement, we may owe damages, our licensor may have a right to terminate the affected license, and our and our partners' ability to utilize the affected intellectual property in our drug discovery and development efforts, and our ability to enter into collaboration or marketing agreements for an affected product or therapeutic candidate, may be adversely affected.
We may be required to reduce the scope of our intellectual property due to third-party intellectual property claims.
Our competitors may have filed, and may in the future file, patent applications covering technology similar to ours. Any such patent application may have priority over our patent applications, which could further require us to obtain rights to issued patents covering such technologies. If another party has filed a U.S. patent application on inventions similar to ours that claims priority to an application filed prior to March 16, 2013, we may have to participate in an interference proceeding declared by the PTO to determine priority of invention in the United States. The costs of these proceedings could be substantial, and it is possible that such efforts would be unsuccessful if, unbeknownst to us, the other party had independently arrived at the same or similar invention prior to our own invention, resulting in a loss of our U.S. patent position with respect to such inventions. In addition, changes enacted on March 15, 2013 to the U.S. patent laws under the America Invents Act resulted in the United States changing from a “first to invent” country to a “first to file” country. As a result, we may lose the ability to obtain a patent if a third-party files with the PTO first and could become involved in proceedings before the PTO to resolve disputes related to inventorship. We may also become involved in similar proceedings in other jurisdictions.
Furthermore, changes in U.S. patent law under the America Invents Act allows for post-issuance challenges to U.S. patents, including ex parte reexaminations, inter parte reviews and post-grant review. There is significant uncertainty as to how the new laws will be applied and if our U.S. patents are challenged using such procedures, we may not prevail, possibly resulting in altered or diminished claim scope or loss of patent rights altogether. Similarly, some countries, notably members of the European Union, also have post grant opposition proceedings that can result in changes in scope and/or cancellation of patent claims.
Our products could infringe patents and other property rights of others, which may result in costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages or limit our ability to commercialize our products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our commercial success depends upon our ability, and the ability of our collaborators, to develop, manufacture, market and sell our product candidates and use our proprietary technologies without infringing the patents and other proprietary rights of third parties. There is considerable intellectual property litigation in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. For example, we are aware of issued patents owned by Merus B.V. (Merus) that may relate to
and claim components of our bispecific antibody product candidates and partnered bispecific product candidates, including plamotamab, tidutamab, vudalimab, XmAb104, XmAb841, and XmAb819 will putatively expire in 2033. We are additionally aware of several patents and pending applications directed to the use of IL-15 fused with Fc domains, and in some cases in combination with targeting domains, that might be relevant to XmAb306, with putative expirations ranging from 2025 to later than 2032. It is possible that these terms could be extended, for example, as a result of patent term restoration to compensate for regulatory delays. While we believe that our current development of these candidates currently falls into the “safe harbor” of non-infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(e)(1), this protection terminates upon commercialization. In addition, there can be no assurance that our interpretation of this statutory exemption would be upheld. We believe there exists reasonable arguments of invalidity for the Merus patents and the IL-15 patents; however, we cannot assure that if challenged in litigation for infringement of these patents that we would prevail. In order to successfully challenge the validity of any issued U.S. patent, we would need to overcome a presumption of validity. This burden is a high one requiring us to present clear and convincing evidence as to the invalidity of such claims. There is no assurance that a court would find these claims to be invalid or not infringed.
In addition, as the biopharmaceutical industry expands and more patents are issued, the risk increases that there may be patents issued to third parties that relate to our products and technology of which we are not aware or that we must challenge to continue our operations as currently contemplated. Our products may infringe or may be alleged to infringe these patents. Because some patent applications in the United States may be maintained in secrecy until the patents are issued, because patent applications in the United States and many foreign jurisdictions are typically not published until eighteen months after filing and because publications in the scientific literature often lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that others have not filed patents that may cover our technologies, our product candidates or their use. Additionally, pending patent applications which have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our technologies, our products or the use of our products. We may become party to, or threatened with, future adversarial proceedings or litigation regarding intellectual property rights with respect to our products and technology. Third parties may assert infringement claims against us based on existing patents or patents that may be granted in the future.
If we are sued for patent infringement, we would need to demonstrate that our products or methods either do not infringe the patent claims of the relevant patent or that the patent claims are invalid, and we may not be able to do this. Proving invalidity is difficult. For example, in the United States, proving invalidity requires a showing of clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption of validity enjoyed by issued patents. Even if we are successful in these proceedings, we may incur substantial costs and divert management’s time and attention in pursuing these proceedings, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Any such claims are likely to be expensive to defend, and some of our competitors may be able to sustain the costs of complex patent litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources.
If we are found to infringe a third party’s intellectual property rights, we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to continue developing and marketing our products and technology. We may also elect to enter into such a license in order to settle litigation or in order to resolve disputes prior to litigation. However, we may not be able to obtain any required license on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, it could be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us and could require us to make substantial royalty payments. We could also be forced, including by court order, to cease commercializing the infringing technology or product. In addition, we could be found liable for monetary damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees if we are found to have willfully infringed a patent. A finding of infringement could prevent us from commercializing our product candidates or force us to cease some of our business operations, which could materially harm our business. Claims that we have misappropriated the confidential information or trade secrets of third parties could have a similar negative impact on our business.
If we are not able to prevent disclosure of our trade secrets and other proprietary information, the value of our technology and products could be significantly diminished.
We rely on trade secret protection to protect our interests in proprietary know-how and in processes for which patents are difficult to obtain or enforce. We may not be able to protect our trade secrets adequately. We have a policy of
requiring our consultants, advisors, and collaborators to enter into confidentiality agreements and our employees to enter into invention, non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. However, no assurance can be given that we have entered into appropriate agreements with all parties that have had access to our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information. There is also no assurance that such agreements will provide for a meaningful protection of our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use or disclosure of information. Furthermore, we cannot provide assurance that any of our employees, consultants, contract personnel, or collaborators, either accidentally or through willful misconduct, will not cause serious damage to our programs and/or our strategy, for example by disclosing important trade secrets, know-how or proprietary information to our competitors. It is also possible that our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information could be obtained by third parties as a result of breaches of our physical or electronic security systems. Any disclosure of confidential data into the public domain or to third parties could allow our competitors to learn our trade secrets and use the information in competition against us. In addition, others may independently discover our trade secrets and proprietary information. Any action to enforce our rights is likely to be time consuming and expensive, and may ultimately be unsuccessful, or may result in a remedy that is not commercially valuable. These risks are accentuated in foreign countries where laws or law enforcement practices may not protect proprietary rights as fully as in the United States or Europe. Any unauthorized disclosure of our trade secrets or proprietary information could harm our competitive position.
If we do not obtain patent term extension and data exclusivity for any therapeutic candidates we develop, our business may be materially harmed.
Depending upon the timing, duration, and specifics of any FDA marketing approval of any therapeutic candidates we may develop, one or more of our owned or licensed U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Similar extensions as compensation for patent term lost during regulatory review processes are also available in certain foreign countries and territories, such as in Europe under a Supplementary Patent Certificate. However, we may not be granted an extension in the United States and/or foreign countries and territories because of, for example, failing to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, failing to apply within applicable deadlines, failing to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents, or otherwise failing to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the applicable time period or the scope of patent protection afforded could be less than we request. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is shorter than what we request or we fail to choose the most optimal patents to extend, our competitors may obtain approval of competing products following our patent expiration, and our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially harmed.
Risks Related to Our Dependence on Third Parties
Our patent protection and prosecution for some of our product candidates is dependent on third parties.
While we normally seek and gain the right to fully prosecute the patents relating to our product candidates, there may be times when patents relating to our product candidates are controlled by our licensors.
We rely on third-party manufacturers for the manufacture of our XmAb-engineered antibodies. This entails a complex process and manufacturers often encounter difficulties in production. If we, or any of our third-party manufacturers, encounter any loss of our master cell banks or if any of our third-party manufacturers otherwise fail to comply with their contractual obligations, the development or commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed or stopped.
The manufacture of biopharmaceutical products is complex and requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. We and our contract manufacturers must comply with cGMP regulations and guidelines. Manufacturers of biopharmaceutical products often encounter difficulties in production, particularly in scaling up and validating initial production and contamination. These problems include difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including stability of the product, quality assurance testing, operator error, shortages of qualified personnel, as well as compliance with strictly enforced federal, state and foreign regulations. Furthermore, if microbial, viral or other contaminations are discovered in our products or
in the manufacturing facilities in which our products are made, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination.
All of our XmAb engineered antibodies are manufactured by starting with cells which are stored in a cell bank. We have one master cell bank for each antibody manufactured in accordance with cGMP and multiple working cell banks and believe we would have adequate backup should any cell bank be lost in a catastrophic event. However, it is possible that we could lose multiple cell banks and have our manufacturing severely impacted by the need to replace the cell banks.
We cannot assure you that any stability or other issues relating to the manufacture of any of our product candidates or products will not occur in the future. Additionally, our manufacturer may experience manufacturing difficulties due to resource constraints or as a result of labor disputes or unstable political environments. If our manufacturers were to encounter any of these difficulties, or otherwise fail to comply with their contractual obligations, our ability to provide any product candidates to patients in clinical trials and products to patients, once approved, would be jeopardized. Any delay or interruption in the supply of clinical trial supplies could delay the completion of clinical trials, increase the costs associated with maintaining clinical trial programs and, depending upon the period of delay, require us to commence new clinical trials at additional expense or terminate clinical trials completely. Any adverse developments affecting clinical or commercial manufacturing of our product candidates or products may result in shipment delays, inventory shortages, lot failures, product withdrawals or recalls, or other interruptions in the supply of our product candidates or products. We may also have to take inventory write-offs and incur other charges and expenses for product candidates or products that fail to meet specifications, undertake costly remediation efforts or seek more costly manufacturing alternatives. Accordingly, failures or difficulties faced at any level of our supply chain could materially adversely affect our business and delay or impede the development and commercialization of any of our product candidates or products and could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Our existing partnerships are important to our business, and future partnerships may also be important to us. If we are unable to maintain any of these partnerships, or if these partnerships are not successful, our business could be adversely affected.
Because developing biologics products, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approval, establishing manufacturing capabilities and marketing approved products are expensive, we have entered into partnerships, and may seek to enter into additional partnerships, with companies that have more resources and experience than us, and we may become dependent upon the establishment and successful implementation of partnership agreements.
Our partnership and license agreements include those we have announced with Janssen, Genentech, Vir, Amgen, MorphoSys, Alexion and others. These partnerships and license agreements also have provided us with important funding for our development programs, and we expect to receive additional funding under these partnerships in the future. Our existing partnerships, and any future partnerships we enter into, may pose a number of risks, including the following:
|1.||collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to these partnerships. For example, in 2021, Novartis notified us of its decision to return the rights to vibecotamab to us under the terms of the Novartis Agreement, and in 2020, Amgen notified us of its decision to return the rights to AMG 424 to us under the terms of the Amgen Agreement;|
|2.||our Janssen Agreement provides for cost-sharing on development costs for the bispecific antibody candidate, plamotamab. Such an arrangement may require us to incur substantial costs in excess of our available resources;|
|3.||our Genentech Agreement requires that we fund 45% of worldwide development costs of XmAb306 and other IL-15 candidates. Such an arrangement may require us to incur substantial costs in excess of available resources;|
|4.||collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of any product candidates that achieve regulatory approval or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on clinical trial results, changes in the collaborators’ strategic focus or available funding, or external factors, such as an acquisition, that divert resources or create competing priorities;|
|5.||collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial program, stop a clinical trial or abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;|
|6.||collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our products or product candidates if the collaborators believe that competitive products are more likely to be successfully developed or can be commercialized under terms that are more economically attractive than ours, which may cause collaborators to cease to devote resources to the commercialization of our product candidates;|
|7.||a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more of our product candidates that achieve regulatory approval may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of such product or products;|
|8.||disagreements with collaborators, including disagreements over proprietary rights, contract interpretation or the preferred course of development, might cause delays or termination of the research, development or commercialization of product candidates, might lead to additional responsibilities for us with respect to product candidates, or might result in litigation or arbitration, any of which would be time-consuming and expensive;|
|9.||while we have generally retained the right to maintain and defend our intellectual property under our agreements with collaborators, certain collaborators may not properly maintain or defend certain of our intellectual property rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information;|
|10.||collaborators may infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability;|
|11.||collaborators may learn about our technology and use this knowledge to compete with us in the future;|
|12.||results of collaborators’ preclinical or clinical studies could produce results that harm or impair other products using our XmAb technology platform;|
|13.||there may be conflicts between different collaborators that could negatively affect those partnerships and potentially others; and|
|14.||the number and type of our partnerships could adversely affect our attractiveness to future collaborators or acquirers.|
If our partnerships and license agreements do not result in the successful development and commercialization of products or if one of our collaborators terminates its agreement with us, we may not receive any future research and development funding or milestone or royalty payments under the arrangement. If we do not receive the funding we expect under these arrangements, our continued development of our product candidates could be delayed, and we may need additional resources to develop additional product candidates. All of the risks described in these risk factors relating to product development, regulatory approval and commercialization described in this Annual Report also apply to the activities of our collaborators and there can be no assurance that our partnerships and license agreements will produce positive results or successful products on a timely basis or at all.
Our partnership agreements generally grant our collaborators exclusive rights under certain of our intellectual property and may therefore preclude us from entering into partnerships with others relating to the same or similar compounds, indications or diseases. In addition, partnership agreements may place restrictions or additional obligations on our ability to license additional compounds in different indications, diseases or geographical locations. If we fail to comply with or breach any provision of a partnership agreement, a collaborator may have the right to terminate, in whole or in part, such agreement or to seek damages. Many of our collaborators also have the right to terminate the partnership
agreement for convenience. If a partnership agreement is terminated, in whole or in part, we may be unable to continue the development and commercialization of the applicable product candidates, and even if we are able to do so, such efforts may be delayed and result in additional costs.
There is no assurance that a collaborator who is acquired by a third party would not attempt to change certain contract provisions that could negatively affect our partnership. The acquiring company may also not accept the terms or assignment of our contracts and may seek to terminate the agreements. Any one of our partners could breach covenants, restrictions and/or sub-license agreement provisions leading us into disputes and potential breaches of our agreements with other partners.
We may in the future determine to partner with additional pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for development and potential commercialization of therapeutic products. We face significant competition in seeking appropriate collaborators. Our ability to reach a definitive agreement for a partnership will depend, among other things, upon our assessment of the collaborator’s resources and expertise, the terms and conditions of the proposed partnership and the proposed collaborator’s evaluation of a number of factors. If we elect to fund and undertake development or commercialization activities on our own, we may need to obtain additional expertise and additional capital, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we fail to enter into partnerships and do not have sufficient funds or expertise to undertake the necessary development and commercialization activities, we may not be able to further develop our product candidates or bring them to market or continue to develop our product platform and our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
We rely upon third-party contractors, and service providers for the execution of most aspects of our development programs. Failure of these collaborators to provide services of a suitable quality and within acceptable timeframes may cause the delay or failure of our development programs.
We outsource manufacturing, certain functions, testing and services to CROs, medical institutions and collaborators, and we rely on third parties for quality assurance, clinical monitoring, clinical data management and regulatory expertise. We also have engaged, and may in the future engage, a CRO to run all aspects of a clinical trial on our behalf. There is no assurance that such individuals or organizations will be able to provide the functions, tests, biologic supply or services as agreed upon or in a quality fashion and we could suffer significant delays in the development of our products or processes.
In some cases, there may be only one or few providers of such services, including clinical data management or manufacturing services. In addition, the cost of such services could be significantly increased over time. We rely on third parties and collaborators as mentioned above to enroll qualified patients and conduct, supervise and monitor our clinical trials. Our reliance on these third parties and collaborators for clinical development activities reduces our control over these activities. Our reliance on these parties, however, does not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities, including ensuring that our clinical trials are conducted in accordance with GCP regulations and the investigational plan and protocols contained in the regulatory agency applications. In addition, these third parties may not complete activities on schedule or may not manufacture under GMP conditions. Preclinical or clinical studies may not be performed or completed in accordance with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) regulatory requirements or our trial design. If these third parties or collaborators do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, obtaining regulatory approval for manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates may be delayed or prevented. We rely substantially on third-party data managers for our clinical trial data. There is no assurance that these third parties will not make errors in the design, management or retention of our data or data systems. There is no assurance these third parties will pass FDA or regulatory audits, which could delay or prohibit regulatory approval.
We rely on third parties to manufacture supplies of our preclinical and clinical product candidates. The development of such candidates could be stopped or delayed if any such third party fails to provide us with sufficient quantities of product or fails to do so at acceptable quality levels or prices or fails to maintain or achieve satisfactory regulatory compliance.
We do not currently have nor do we plan to acquire the infrastructure or capability internally to manufacture our clinical drug supplies for use in the conduct of our clinical trials, and we lack the resources and the capability to
manufacture any clinical candidates on a clinical scale. Instead, we rely on our third-party manufacturing partners to manufacture our clinical drug supply. Any of our contract manufacturers may not perform as agreed, may be unable to comply with cGMP requirements and with FDA, state and foreign regulatory requirements or may terminate their respective agreements with us.
In addition, manufacturers are subject to ongoing periodic unannounced inspection by the FDA and other governmental authorities to ensure strict compliance with government regulations. We do not control the manufacturing processes of our third-party manufacturing partners, which include, among other things, quality control, quality assurance and the maintenance of records and documentation. If we were to experience an unexpected loss of supply, we could experience delays in our planned clinical trials as our third-party manufacturing partner would need to manufacture additional clinical drug supply and would need sufficient lead time to schedule a manufacturing slot. While there are other potential suppliers of clinical supplies of our biologics, the long transition periods necessary to switch manufacturers for any of our clinical drug supply would significantly delay our clinical trials and the commercialization of such products, if approved.
Risks Related to Our Industry
Clinical trials are expensive and take years to conduct and the outcome of such clinical trials is uncertain. Clinical trials may fail to prove our product candidates are safe and effective. This could lead to delays, downsizing or termination of clinical development plans for any our product candidates.
Each product candidate must receive regulatory approval and therefore must undergo rigorous and extensive preclinical studies and clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy in patients. Clinical trials at any stage in development may fail to demonstrate the safety, efficacy or pharmacologic properties needed to be a viable product candidate in patients. Early clinical trials may fail to demonstrate the safety and pharmacokinetic characteristics needed to invest in larger later stage clinical studies. Later clinical studies that are larger may not demonstrate the desired safety and efficacy profile needed to be of benefit to patients. Additionally, regulatory authorities may determine that the data provided is not sufficient to grant marketing approval for our product candidates and may request additional data including additional clinical trials or reject product approval.
Adverse side effects or other safety risks associated with our product candidates could delay or preclude approval, cause us to suspend or discontinue clinical trials, abandon product candidates, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.
Conducting early clinical trials is complex and the outcomes are uncertain. Preclinical studies are performed to help inform human clinical trials, but human and animal studies are not comparable. Expected or unexpected undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates could result in the delay, suspension or termination of clinical trials by us, our collaborators, the FDA or other regulatory authorities for a number of reasons. If we elect or are required to delay, suspend or terminate any clinical trial of any product candidates that we develop, the commercial prospects of such product candidates will be harmed and our ability to generate product revenues from any of these product candidates will be delayed or eliminated. Serious adverse events observed in clinical trials could hinder or prevent market acceptance of the product candidate at issue. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations significantly.
If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.
We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical trials for our product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. In addition, some of our competitors have ongoing clinical trials for product candidates that treat the same indications as our product candidates, and patients who would otherwise be eligible for our clinical trials may instead enroll in clinical trials of our competitors’ product candidates.
Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for any of our clinical trials could result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates and in delays to commercially launching our product candidates, if approved, which would cause the value of our company to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing.
Our industry is subject to competition for skilled personnel and the challenges we face to identify and retain key personnel could impair our ability to effectively conduct and grow our operations.
Attracting and retaining the highly qualified management, scientific and medical personnel necessary for us to successfully implement our business strategy is extremely competitive in the biotechnology industry. Our industry is experiencing an increasing rate of competition in hiring and retaining employees and in turnover of management personnel. We depend heavily on our current management team, whose services are critical to the successful implementation of our product candidate development and regulatory strategies. In order to induce valuable employees to continue their employment with us, we have provided equity incentives that vest over time. The value to employees of this equity is significantly affected by movements in our stock price that are beyond our control and may at any time be insufficient to counteract more lucrative offers from other companies.
Despite our efforts to retain valuable employees, members of our management team may terminate their employment with us at any time, with or without notice. Further, we do not maintain “key person” insurance for any of our executives or other employees. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers and our inability to find suitable replacements could harm our business, financial condition, prospects and ability to achieve the successful development or commercialization of our product candidates. Our success also depends on our ability to continue to attract, retain and motivate highly skilled scientific and medical personnel at all levels.
Since 2016 we have been increasing the number of our employees and expanding the scope of our operations with a goal of advancing multiple clinical candidates into development. The increase in our number of employees places a significant strain on our management, operations, and financial resources, and we may have difficulty managing this growth. As we continue to grow our operations and advance our clinical programs into later stages of development, it will require us to recruit and retain employees with additional knowledge and skill sets and no assurance can be provided that we will be able to attract employees with the necessary skill set to assist in our growth. Many of the other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions that we compete against for qualified personnel have greater financial and other resources, different risk profiles and a longer history in the industry than we do. We also may employ consultants or part-time and contract employees. There can be no assurance that these individuals are retainable. While we have been able to attract and retain skilled and experienced personnel and consultants in the past, no assurance can be given that we will be able to do so in the future.
The development and commercialization of biologic products is subject to extensive regulation, and we may not obtain regulatory approvals for any of our product candidates.
The clinical development, manufacturing, labeling, packaging, storage, recordkeeping, advertising, promotion, export, import, marketing and distribution and other possible activities relating to our current lead antibody product candidates, as well as any other antibody product candidate that we may develop in the future, are subject to extensive regulation in the United States and outside the US as biologics.
If we experience delays in obtaining approval, or if we fail to obtain approval of our product candidates, the commercial prospects for our product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate revenues will be materially impaired which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
We face significant competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and our operating results will suffer if we fail to compete effectively.
The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are intensely competitive. We have competitors both in the United States and internationally, including major multinational pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies,
universities and other research institutions. Many of our competitors have substantially greater financial, technical and other resources, such as larger research and development staff and experienced marketing and manufacturing organizations and well-established sales forces. Competition may increase further as a result of advances in the commercial applicability of technologies and greater availability of capital for investment in these industries. Our competitors may succeed in developing, acquiring or licensing on an exclusive basis, drug products that are more effective or less costly than any product candidate that we are currently developing or that we may develop.
Competition in autoimmune disease and cancer drug development is intense, with hundreds of compounds in clinical trials by large multinational pharmaceutical companies. In addition, many currently marketed drugs are undergoing clinical testing in new indications in order to expand their use to new patient populations. Other companies, including many large international companies, are developing bispecific antibody technologies and checkpoint inhibitors. This includes products in preclinical and clinical development. Some of these agents have received marketing approval, and companies continue to conduct clinical trials to expand their currently approved indications. Alternative technologies, such as standard chemotherapy, cellular therapies and cancer vaccines, may also compete with our products for patients to conduct clinical trials and future potential market share.
Our ability to compete successfully will depend largely on our ability to leverage our experience in drug discovery and development to:
|1.||discover and develop products that are superior to other products in the market;|
|2.||attract qualified scientific, product development and commercial personnel;|
|3.||obtain and maintain patent and/or other proprietary protection for our products and technologies;|
|4.||obtain required regulatory approvals; and|
|5.||successfully collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in the discovery, development and commercialization of new products.|
Established biopharmaceutical companies may invest heavily to accelerate discovery and development of products that could make our product candidates less competitive. In addition, any new product that competes with an approved product must demonstrate compelling advantages in efficacy, convenience, tolerability and safety in order to overcome price competition and to be commercially successful. Accordingly, our competitors may succeed in obtaining patent protection, receiving FDA approval or discovering, developing and commercializing medicines before we do, which would have a material adverse impact on our business. We will not be able to successfully commercialize our product candidates without establishing sales and marketing capabilities internally or through collaborators.
Our current and future relationships with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere may be subject, directly or indirectly, to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, physician payment transparency, health information privacy and security and other healthcare laws and regulations, which could expose us to penalties.
Healthcare providers, physicians and third-party payors in the United States and elsewhere will play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our current and future arrangements with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers and third-party payors may require us to comply with broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws, including, without limitation, the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the federal civil False Claims Act, that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we sell, market and distribute any product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. In addition, we may be subject to physician payment transparency laws and patient privacy and security regulation by the federal government and by the states and foreign jurisdictions in which we conduct our business.
Efforts to ensure that our future business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations may involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and
abuse or other healthcare laws. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws or any other governmental regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, including, without limitation, damages, fines, imprisonment, disgorgement, exclusion from participation in government healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, additional reporting requirements and/or oversight if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, as well as reputational harm, which could significantly harm our business.
Present and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we may obtain.
Among policy makers and payors in the United States and elsewhere, there is significant interest in promoting changes in healthcare systems with the stated goals of containing healthcare costs, improving quality and/or expanding access. In the United States, the pharmaceutical industry has been a particular focus of these efforts and has been significantly affected by major legislative initiatives. Healthcare reform measures, if approved, may result in more rigorous coverage criteria and lower reimbursement, and in additional downward pressure on the price that may be charged for any of our product candidates.
Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidates, our product candidates may be subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party coverage and reimbursement policies or healthcare reform initiatives.
Our ability to commercialize any product candidates successfully will depend, in part, on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for our product candidates will be available from government payor programs at the federal and state levels, including Medicare and Medicaid, private health insurers, managed care plans and other third-party payors. If coverage and adequate reimbursement are not available or reimbursement is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize any product candidates for which marketing approval is obtained.
The regulations that govern marketing approvals, pricing, coverage and reimbursement for new drugs and biological products vary widely from country to country. Current and future legislation may significantly change the approval requirements in ways that could involve additional costs and cause delays in obtaining approvals. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a product before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some foreign markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, and negatively impact the revenues able to be generated from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if our product candidates obtain marketing approval.
There can be no assurance that our product candidates, if they are approved for sale in the United States or in other countries, will be considered medically reasonable and necessary for a specific indication, that they will be considered cost-effective by third-party payors, that coverage or an adequate level of reimbursement will be available, or that third-party payors’ reimbursement policies will not adversely affect our ability to sell our product candidates profitably if they are approved for sale.
Our business involves the controlled use of hazardous materials and as such we are subject to environmental and occupational safety laws. Continued compliance with these laws may incur substantial costs and failure to maintain compliance could result in liability for damages that may exceed our resources.
Our research, manufacturing and development processes, and those of our third-party contractors and partners, involve the controlled use of hazardous materials. We and our manufacturers are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the use, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of such materials and certain waste products. Our operations involve the use of hazardous and flammable materials, including chemicals and biological materials. Our operations also produce hazardous waste products. The risk of accidental contamination or injury from
these materials cannot be completely eliminated. In the event of such an accident, we could be held liable for any damages that result, and any such liability could exceed our resources. We are not insured against this type of liability. We may be required to incur significant costs to comply with environmental laws and regulations in the future, and our operations, business or assets may be materially adversely affected by current or future environmental laws or regulations or any liability thereunder.
We may become subject to the risk of product liability claims.
We face an inherent risk of product liability as a result of the clinical testing of our product candidates and will face an even greater risk if we or our partners commercialize any products. Human therapeutic products involve the risk of product liability claims and associated adverse publicity. Currently, the principal risks we face relate to patients in our clinical trials, who may suffer unintended consequences. Claims might be made by patients, healthcare providers or pharmaceutical companies or others. For example, we may be sued if any product we develop allegedly causes injury or is found to be otherwise unsuitable during clinical testing, manufacturing, marketing, or sale. Any such product liability claims may include allegations of defects in manufacturing, defects in design, a failure to warn of dangers inherent in the product, negligence, strict liability, and a breach of warranties. Claims could also be asserted under state consumer protection acts. If we cannot successfully defend ourselves against product liability claims, we may incur substantial liabilities or be required to limit commercialization of our product candidates, if approved. Even successful defense would require significant financial and management resources.
General Risk Factors
Our intellectual property may be infringed upon by a third party.
Third parties may infringe one or more of our issued patents or trademarks. We cannot predict if, when or where a third party may infringe one or more of our issued patents or trademarks. To counter infringement, we may be required to file infringement claims, which can be expensive and time consuming. There is no assurance that we would be successful in a court of law in proving that a third party is infringing one or more of our issued patents or trademarks. Any claims we assert against perceived infringers could also provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us, alleging that we infringe their intellectual property. In addition, in a patent infringement proceeding, a court may decide that a patent of ours is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, construe the patent’s claims narrowly and/or refuse to stop the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover the technology in question, any of which may adversely affect our business. Even if we are successful in proving in a court of law that a third party is infringing one or more of our issued patents or trademarks there can be no assurance that we would be successful in halting their infringing activities, for example, through a permanent injunction, or that we would be fully or even partially financially compensated for any harm to our business. We may be forced to enter into a license or other agreement with the infringing third party at terms less profitable or otherwise commercially acceptable to us than if the license or agreement were negotiated under conditions between those of a willing licensee and a willing licensor. We may not become aware of a third-party infringer within legal timeframes for compensation or at all, thereby possibly losing the ability to be compensated for any harm to our business. Such a third party may be operating in a foreign country where the infringer is difficult to locate and/or the intellectual property laws may be more difficult to enforce. Some third-party infringers may be able to sustain the costs of complex infringement litigation more effectively than we can because they have substantially greater resources. Any inability to stop third-party infringement could result in loss in market share of some of our products or even lead to a delay, reduction and/or inhibition of the development, manufacture or, sale of certain products by us. There is no assurance that a product produced and sold by a third-party infringer would meet our or other regulatory standards or would be safe for use. Such third-party infringer products could irreparably harm the reputation of our products thereby resulting in substantial loss in market share and profits.
We may not have or be able to obtain or maintain sufficient and affordable insurance coverage to cover product liability claims, and without sufficient coverage any claim brought against us could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. We run clinical trials through investigators that could be negligent through no fault of our own and which could affect patients, cause potential liability claims against us and result in delayed or stopped clinical trials. We are required by contractual obligations to indemnify collaborators, partners, third-party contractors, clinical investigators, and institutions. These indemnifications could result in a material
impact due to product liability claims against us and/or these groups. We currently carry at least $10.0 million in product liability insurance, which we believe is appropriate for our current clinical trials. Although we maintain such insurance, any claim that may be brought against us could result in a court judgment or settlement in an amount that is not covered, in whole or in part, by our insurance or that is in excess of the limits of our insurance coverage. Our insurance policies also have various exclusions, and we may be subject to a product liability claim for which we have no coverage. We will have to pay any amounts awarded by a court or negotiated in a settlement that exceed our coverage limitations or that are not covered by our insurance, and we may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient capital to pay such amounts. We may also need to expand our insurance coverage as our business grows or if any of our product candidates is commercialized. We may not be able to maintain or increase insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise.
We may be subject to damages resulting from claims that we or our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of our employees’ former employers.
Many of our employees were previously employed at universities or other life sciences companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although no claims against us are currently pending, we or our employees may be subject to claims that these employees or we have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. If we fail in defending such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights. A loss of key research personnel work product could hamper or prevent our ability to commercialize certain potential products, which could severely harm our business. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.
Our business could be negatively impacted by cyber security threats and other disruptions, including the theft of our intellectual property, and could compromise our information and expose us to liability, which would cause our business and reputation to suffer.
We are increasingly dependent on information technology systems and infrastructure, including mobile technologies, to operate our business. In the ordinary course of our business, we use our data centers and our networks to store and access confidential and proprietary business information. The information includes, among other things, our intellectual property and proprietary information, the confidential information of our collaborators and licensees and the personally identifiable information of our employees, and the individually identified health information of patients participating in our clinical trials. It is important to our operations and business strategy that this electronic information remains secure and is perceived to be secure. The size and complexity of our information technology systems, and those of our partners and third-party vendors with whom we contract together with the volume of data we retain, make such systems potentially vulnerable to breakdown, malicious intrusion, security breaches and other cyber-security attacks.
Information security risks have significantly increased in recent years in part due to the proliferation of new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of organized crime, hackers, terrorists and other external parties, including foreign state actors. We face various cyber security threats, including cyber security attacks to our information technology infrastructure and attempts by others to gain access to our proprietary or sensitive information. A security breach or privacy violation that leads to disclosure or modification of or prevents access to personally identifiable information or other protected information could harm our reputation, compel us to comply with federal and/or state breach notification laws and foreign law equivalents, subject us to mandatory corrective action, require us to verify the correctness of database contents and otherwise subject us to liability under laws and regulations that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenue. Similarly, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or ongoing or planned clinical trials could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs to recover or reproduce the data. Moreover, a security breach that exposes our confidential intellectual property could compromise our patent portfolio. Additionally, theft of our intellectual property or proprietary business information could require substantial expenditures to remedy. If we are unable to prevent such security breaches or privacy violations or implement satisfactory remedial measures, our operations could be disrupted, and we may suffer loss of reputation, financial loss and other regulatory penalties because of lost or misappropriated information. In addition, these breaches and other inappropriate access can be difficult to detect, and any delay in identifying them may lead to increased harm of the type described above. Moreover, the prevalent use of mobile devices that access
confidential information increases the risk of data security breaches, which could lead to the loss of confidential information, trade secrets or other intellectual property. As cyber threats continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities.
The procedures and controls we use to monitor these threats and mitigate our exposure may not be sufficient to prevent cyber security incidents. The result of these incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations including disrupted operations, lost opportunities, misstated financial data, liability for stolen assets or information, increased costs arising from the implementation of additional security protective measures, litigation and reputational damage. Any remedial costs or other liabilities related to cyber security incidents may not be fully insured or indemnified by other means.
The increasing use of social media platforms presents new risks and challenges.
Social media is increasingly being used to communicate about our products, technologies and programs, and the diseases our product or product candidates are designed to treat. Social media practices in the biopharmaceutical industry continue to evolve and regulations relating to such use are not always clear. This evolution creates uncertainty and risk of noncompliance with regulations applicable to our business. For example, patients may use social media channels to comment on the effectiveness of a product or to report an alleged adverse event. When such disclosures occur, there is a risk that we fail to monitor and comply with applicable adverse event reporting obligations or we may not be able to defend ourselves or the public's legitimate interests in the face of the political and market pressures generated by social media due to restrictions on what we may say about our product or product candidates. There is also a risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information or negative or inaccurate posts or comments about us on any social networking website. If any of these events were to occur or we otherwise fail to comply with applicable regulations, we could incur liability, face overly restrictive regulatory actions or incur other harm to our business.
Compliance with global privacy and data security requirements could result in additional costs and liabilities to us or inhibit our ability to collect and process data globally, and the failure to comply with such requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
The regulatory framework for the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing, transfer and other processing of information worldwide is rapidly evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), imposes strict obligations on the processing of personal data, including personal health data, and the free movement of such data. The GDPR applies to any company established in the EU as well as any company outside the EU that processes personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EU or the monitoring of their behavior.
As such, the GDPR will apply to us in connection with any clinical trials we conduct in the EU. The GDPR enhances data protection obligations for processors and controllers of personal data, including, for example, obligations relating to: processing health and other sensitive data; obtaining consent of individuals; providing notice to individuals regarding data processing activities; responding to data subject requests; taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors; notifying data subjects and regulators of data breaches; implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data; and transferring personal data to countries outside the EU, including the U.S. The GDPR imposes substantial fines for breaches of data protection requirements, which can be up to four percent of global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is greater, and it also confers a private right of action on data subjects for breaches of data protection requirements. The GDPR and other changes in laws or regulations associated with the enhanced protection of certain types of sensitive data, such as healthcare data or other personal information from our clinical trials, could require us to change our business practices or lead to government enforcement actions, private litigation or significant penalties against us and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Additionally, California recently enacted legislation that has been dubbed the first “GDPR-like” law in the U.S. Known as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), it creates new individual privacy rights for consumers (as that word is broadly defined in the law) and places increased privacy and security obligations on entities handling personal
data of consumers or households. The CCPA, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers, and provides such consumers new ways to opt-out of certain sales of personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. The CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability. Some observers have noted that the CCPA could mark the beginning of a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the U.S., which could increase our potential liability and adversely affect our business.
We may be vulnerable to disruption, damage and financial obligation as a result of system failures.
Despite the implementation of security measures, any of the internal computer systems belonging to us, our collaborators or our third-party service providers are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failure. Any system failure, accident or security breach that causes interruptions in our own, in collaborators’ or in third-party service vendors’ operations could result in a material disruption of our drug discovery and development programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or future clinical trials could result in delays in our or our partners’ regulatory approval efforts and significantly increase our costs in order to recover or reproduce the lost data. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss or damage to our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we may incur liability as a result, our drug discovery programs and competitive position may be adversely affected and the further development of our product candidates may be delayed. Furthermore, we may incur additional costs to remedy the damages caused by these disruptions or security breaches.
Our employees may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements and insider trading.
We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees could include intentional failures to comply with FDA regulations, to provide accurate information to the FDA, to comply with manufacturing standards we have established, to comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations, or to report financial information or data accurately or disclose unauthorized activities to us. In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements. Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. We have adopted a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, but it is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws or regulations. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal, and administrative sanctions, and our reputation.
In addition, during the course of our operations our directors, executives, and employees may have access to material, nonpublic information regarding our business, our results of operations, or potential transactions we are considering. We may not be able to prevent a director, executive, or employee from trading in our common stock on the basis of, or while having access to, material, nonpublic information. If a director, executive, or employee was to be investigated or an action was to be brought against a director, executive, or employee for insider trading, it could have a negative impact on our reputation and our stock price. Such a claim, with or without merit, could also result in substantial expenditures of time and money, and divert attention of our management team from other tasks important to the success of our business.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
Our principal laboratory and administrative facilities are located in Monrovia, California, which is located in the greater Los Angeles region. We currently lease 48,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in Monrovia, California. The original lease was for 24,000 square feet under a lease that was set to expire in June 2020. In April and September 2020, we entered into amendments to the lease that extended the term under the original terms through October 2020. In November 2020, we entered into an amendment to the lease which extends the lease to December 2025.
In July 2017, under a separate lease agreement, we entered into a lease for an additional 24,000 square feet of space in the same building. The lease includes a 64-month term for the additional 24,000 square feet with an option to renew for an additional five years at then market rates. The lease terms for the original space were not amended. In June 2017, we entered into a lease for 23,500 of office space in San Diego. The lease term has a 61-month term beginning August 2017 and includes an option to renew for an additional five years.
In June 2021, the Company entered into an Agreement of Lease (the Halstead Lease) relating to 129,543 rentable square feet, for laboratory and office space, in Pasadena, California, where the Company intends to move its corporate headquarters in the second half of 2022. The term of the Halstead Lease will become effective in two phases. The first phase commences on August 1, 2022 and encompasses 83,083 square feet while the second phase commences no later than September 30, 2026 and encompasses an additional 46,460 square feet. The term of the Halstead Lease is 13 years from the first phase commencement date, August 1, 2022.
In June 2021, the Company entered into an 18-month lease for a 7,020-square-foot office space in Monrovia, California. The lease began on August 1, 2021 and includes options to renew.
We believe that our existing facilities and planned new corporate headquarters are adequate to meet our current and future needs.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our common stock began trading on The Nasdaq Global Market on December 3, 2013 under the symbol “XNCR.” Prior to such time, there was no public market for our common stock. On February 16, 2022, the closing price for our common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Market was $32.58.
Holders of Record
As of February 16, 2022, we had 59,375,320 shares of common stock outstanding held by approximately 180 stockholders of record. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of record holders and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners, but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to support our operations and finance the growth and development of our business. We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Any future determination related to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon, among other factors, our results of operations, financial condition, capital requirements, contractual restrictions, business prospects and other factors our Board of Directors may deem relevant.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
Information about our equity compensation plans is incorporated herein by reference to Item 12 of Part III of this Annual Report.
The following graph shows a comparison from December 30, 2016 through December 31, 2021 of the cumulative total return for our common stock, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NBI) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (CCMP). The graph assumes an initial investment of $100 on December 30, 2016 and assumes reinvestment of the full amount of all dividends, if any. The comparisons in the graph are not intended to forecast or be indicative of possible future performance of our common stock.
The performance graph shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference by means of any general statement incorporating by reference this Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate such information by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under such acts.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Under the terms of the Stock Purchase Agreement, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), purchased $25.0 million of newly issued unregistered shares of the Company’s common stock, priced at a 30-day volume-weighted average price of $33.4197 per share as of October 1, 2021. The Company issued 748,062 shares of common stock to JJDC on November 12, 2021. The issued shares are subject to customary resale restrictions pursuant to Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 6. [Reserved]
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
You should read the following discussion and analysis together with our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under the caption “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing engineered monoclonal antibody and cytokine therapeutics to treat patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases who have unmet medical needs. We are advancing a broad portfolio of clinical-stage XmAb® drug candidates from our proprietary Fc technology platforms. We also use our protein engineering capabilities to increase our understanding of protein structure and interactions and to design new Fc technologies and XmAb development candidates with improved properties. In addition to engineering protein-target interactions, our approach to protein design includes engineering Fc domains, the part of an antibody that interacts with multiple segments of the immune system and controls antibody structure. The Fc domain is constant and interchangeable among antibodies, and our engineered Fc domains can be readily substituted for natural Fc domains.
Our protein engineering capabilities and Fc technologies enable us and our partners to develop XmAb antibodies and biotherapeutic drug candidates with improved properties and function, which can provide innovative approaches to treating disease and potential clinical advantage over other treatment options. For example, we developed an antibody scaffold to rapidly create novel bispecific antibodies that bind two different targets simultaneously, creating entirely new biological mechanisms. Other applications of our Fc technologies enhance antibody performance by increasing immune inhibitory activity, improving cytotoxicity, extending circulating half-life and stabilizing novel protein structures, such as engineered cytokines. Three medicines have been developed with our Fc technologies. The medicines are marketed by our partners and, are generating royalty revenues for us, which partially offset our internal development costs.
Refer to Part I, Item 1, "XmAb Bispecific Technologies" and "Other XmAb Fc Technologies" in the description of our business included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of our core Fc technology platforms.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to evaluate its impact on all aspects of our business, including how it will affect our partners, collaborations, supply chains and research and development operations. While the pandemic did not significantly disrupt our business during the year ended December 31, 2021, the evolving nature of the pandemic prevents us from reasonably predicting how the pandemic will affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows due to numerous uncertainties. These uncertainties include the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, the actions taken to contain the pandemic or mitigate its impacts and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures, among others. Many states, including California, where we are headquartered and where our principal place of business is located, and cities therein have ongoing restrictions, rules and guidelines that affect the continued operation of businesses. Other countries and states where we conduct manufacturing of our drug product, testing activities and clinical sites where patients are enrolled in our clinical trials have enacted similar restrictions that could affect our ability to conduct our drug candidate development and clinical operations.
The potential impacts on our business, revenue, clinical studies and research and development activities of the COVID-19 pandemic include:
|●||Business: Our broad protein engineering capabilities and technologies are uniquely suited to provide us with opportunities to identify and enhance compounds that may target the novel coronavirus and potentially treat patients with COVID-19. For example, sotrovimab, an antibody that targets the SARS-CoV-2 virus, received an EUA from the FDA for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and pediatric patients, and is made available by Vir and its partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Sotrovimab incorporates our Xtend Fc technology for longer duration of action. VIR-7832, a second antibody licensed to Vir, which also targets the SARS-CoV-2 virus, incorporates Xtend technology and other XmAb Fc technologies, and it is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 1b/2a study. We are eligible to receive a mid-single digit percentage royalty on the net sales of both sotrovimab and VIR-7832. Our partner Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has also licensed our Xtend technology to improve the half-life of antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2 and is supporting a Phase 2 study for a combination of two half-life-extended antibodies. We are eligible to receive royalties on net sales of the BMS candidate.|
|●||Revenue: We receive upfront payments, milestone payments and royalties from licensing our XmAb technologies and drug candidates. The COVID-19 pandemic has not adversely affected the amount of revenue we generate from such partnerships and collaborations for the year ended December 31, 2021. During the year, we received $204.9 million from our partnerships and collaborations including those with Vir, MorphoSys, Alexion, Janssen, and Viridian.|
Our ability to earn revenue from these and other partnerships is dependent on the ability of our partners to generate sales from products, such as sotrovimab, Ultomiris®, and Monjuvi®, the ability of our partners to advance our partnered programs through regulatory approval, and the ability of our partners to advance our partnered programs into later stages of development, which would entitle us to potential milestone payments. If the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects the sales or clinical, development and regulatory progress of partnered programs, the amount of future revenue we could earn would be adversely affected.
|●||Clinical studies: We are currently enrolling patients into multiple trials evaluating our drug candidates, and our partner Genentech is enrolling patients in the Phase 1 study of XmAb306 (also known as RG6323), our co-development program with Genentech. Many partners are also enrolling patients in clinical trials with drug candidates that incorporate one or more of our XmAb technologies. Although the pandemic has not materially affected the development of our clinical programs for the year ended December 31, 2021, some of our clinical programs temporarily experienced slower patient enrollment, and the initiations of new studies for certain programs have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These delays have not broadly affected the status of our portfolio programs and have been limited to specific trials and specific sites. Many clinical sites have delayed starting new clinical trials and others have postponed enrollment to address the pandemic.|
|●||Research, development, and administrative activities: We have implemented environmental, health and safety procedures for all employees and have also offered reimbursement of costs incurred and time off to employees to receive vaccinations that have been authorized. We believe we provide a safe and healthy environment for our onsite employees who have been able to continue research operations, following an initial period of reduced onsite activities while new policies and procedures were developed and implemented. As of December 31, 2021, these activities have continued without interruption from the pandemic.|
Our development activities include initiating a Phase 1 study of XmAb819, our first 2+1 CD3 bispecific candidate that targets ENPP3, and conducting IND-enabling studies for XmAb808, our first tumor selective CD28 bispecific candidate that targets B7-H3, and XmAb662, our reduced-potency engineered IL12 cytokine candidate. Several other bispecific antibody and cytokine programs are in earlier stages of development. Certain manufacturing and supply companies have indicated supply chain issues and shortages of research and manufacturing supply materials. The development timelines for additional early-stage programs and ongoing clinical programs could be affected if the supply shortages and delays continue for an extended period.
Advancements in Our Clinical Portfolio of XmAb Bispecific Antibodies and Cytokine Candidates
Our modular XmAb bispecific technology and protein engineering capabilities enable us to rapidly advance multiple drug candidates into clinical development. We and our partners are currently enrolling Phase 1 or Phase 2 studies for seven wholly owned or co-development candidates to treat patients with many different types of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and an eighth, to be developed for patients with kidney cancer, is expected to enter clinical development in early 2022.
Plamotamab (CD20 x CD3): Plamotamab is a bispecific antibody that targets CD20, an antigen on B-cell tumors, and CD3, an activating receptor on T cells. At the ASH Annual Meeting in December 2021, we presented updated safety and anti-tumor activity data from the Phase 1 dose-escalation study of plamotamab in B-cell malignancies, including from patients with relapsed or refractory NHL. The results indicated that plamotamab monotherapy was generally well tolerated and demonstrated encouraging clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients at the recommended intravenous Phase 2 dose. We are currently enrolling patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the monotherapy dose expansion cohorts to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of plamotamab monotherapy at the Phase 2 recommended dose, and we plan to present data from these cohorts in the second half of 2022. Additionally, pharmacokinetic modeling supports subcutaneous administration, which we plan to incorporate into our ongoing Phase 1 monotherapy study.
In October 2021, we entered a global collaboration and license agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen), to advance plamotamab and XmAb CD28 bispecific antibody combinations for the treatment of patients with B-cell malignancies, which expands our strategy to develop multiple highly active chemotherapy-free regimens across B-cell cancers. Janssen received worldwide exclusive development and commercial rights, and we will collaborate with Janssen on further clinical development of plamotamab, with us paying 20% of costs. Under the collaboration, we will develop B-cell targeted CD28 bispecific antibodies to selectively enhance T-cell cytotoxic activity in combination with plamotamab.
In 2022, we plan to initiate a potentially registration-enabling Phase 2 study to evaluate the chemotherapy-free triple combination of plamotamab, tafasitamab and lenalidomide in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL Plamotamab, which redirects T cells to tumors, and tafasitamab, a CD19-directed XmAb antibody, combine powerful and distinct immune pathways, and the study is designed to generate new clinical insights and accelerate development timelines for the program. MorphoSys AG and Incyte Corporation will provide tafasitamab for the studies.
Vudalimab (PD-1 x CTLA-4): Vudalimab is a bispecific antibody that targets PD-1 and CTLA-4, two immune checkpoint receptors, to selectively activate the tumor microenvironment, and it is being developed for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, as well as for patients with other types of solid tumors. In November 2021, we presented updated data from the Phase 1 study of vudalimab in patients with multiple types of advanced solid tumors at the SITC Annual Meeting. Data from the Phase 1 study indicate that vudalimab was generally well-tolerated in heavily pretreated patients with encouraging clinical activity.
We have initiated a Phase 2 study of vudalimab in patients with certain molecular subtypes of CRPC, as a monotherapy or in combination depending on the molecular subtype, as these patients represent a high unmet medical need. We plan to present initial data from the Phase 2 study in mCRPC in the second half of 2022.
We are initiating a second Phase 2 study for patients with advanced gynecologic and genitourinary malignancies, and the study will include a cohort to evaluate vudalimab in patients with clinically-defined high-risk mCRPC.
Tidutamab (SSTR2 x CD3): Tidutamab is a bispecific antibody that targets somatostatin receptor 2, (SSTR2), a target on many neuroendocrine-like tumor types, and CD3. Dose-escalation and expansion data from the Phase 1 study in patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NET) indicates that tidutamab was generally well tolerated at the recommended dose identified for the expansion portion of the study. Tidutamab induced sustained activation of cytotoxic T cells and engagement of the SSTR2 target and demonstrated an encouraging safety profile. We are enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical study for tidutamab in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma and small cell lung cancer, which are SSTR2-
expressing tumor types known to be responsive to immunotherapy.
XmAb306/RO7310729 (IL15/IL15Rα-Fc Cytokine): XmAb306 is a reduced-potency IL15/IL15Rα-Fc fusion protein that incorporates our Xtend extended half-life technology, and we are co-developing this program in collaboration with Genentech. In November 2021, we announced encouraging early preliminary data from an ongoing Phase 1 study in patients with advanced solid tumors, while further dose escalation in both study arms continues.
We share in 45 percent of worldwide development and commercialization costs for XmAb306 and will receive a share of net profits or net losses from product sales at the same percentage rate. We retain the right to perform clinical studies with XmAb306, as well as with other collaboration programs developed in combination with other therapeutic agents, subject to certain restrictions and at our sole expense. Additional studies of XmAb306 in combination with other agents, such as NK- or T-cell recruiting therapies, are being planned.
XmAb564 (IL2-Fc Cytokine): XmAb564 is a wholly owned, monovalent, reduced-potency IL2-Fc fusion protein that we are developing for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases. XmAb564 is engineered to selectively activate and expand regulatory T cells (Tregs), with reduced binding affinity for IL-2's beta receptor and increased binding affinity for its alpha receptor. In preclinical studies, XmAb564 was well-tolerated, promoted the selective and sustained expansion of Tregs and exhibited a favorable pharmacokinetic profile. In April 2021, the first subject was dosed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single-ascending dose (SAD) Phase 1 clinical study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of XmAb564, administered subcutaneously in healthy adult volunteers. In 2022, we plan to present tolerability, durability, and biomarker data from the Phase 1 SAD study, and we plan to initiate a multiple-ascending dose study in patients with autoimmune diseases.
Additional wholly owned XmAb bispecific antibody programs in Phase 1 clinical studies include XmAb841 (CTLA-4 x LAG-3) and XmAb104 (PD-1 x ICOS). We have completed the dose escalation portions of these studies and are enrolling patients with advanced solid tumors.
XmAb968 (CD38 x CD3): XmAb968 is a bispecific antibody that targets CD38 and CD3. We are supporting a Phase 1 investigator sponsored trial, which is evaluating XmAb968 in patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia.
Vibecotamab is a bispecific antibody that targets CD123 and CD3. In August 2021, Novartis notified us it was terminating its rights with respect to the vibecotamab program, effective February 2022. We do not intend any further internal development of this program.
Advancements Expanding XmAb Bispecific Platforms
We conduct further research into the function and application of antibody Fc domains in order to expand the scope of our XmAb technology platforms and identify additional XmAb drug candidates. We use the modularity of our XmAb bispecific Fc technology to build bispecific antibodies and cytokines in a variety of formats, and we recently introduced CD3 bispecific antibodies of a mixed valency format, the XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody. XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibodies may preferentially kill tumor cells with high target expression, which may be especially beneficial in designing antibodies that target solid tumors. This selectivity potentially empowers CD3 bispecifics to address an expanded set of tumor antigens. Our lead XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody candidate is XmAb819, a first-in-class ENPP3 x CD3 bispecific antibody. ENPP3 is a tumor-associated antigen in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and exhibits low level expression on normal tissues. We are currently initiating a Phase 1 study to evaluate XmAb819 in patients with RCC.
Additionally, we have engineered CD28 bispecific antibodies to provide conditional CD28 co-stimulation of T cells, activating them when bound to tumor cells. Targeted CD28 bispecific antibodies may provide conditional co-stimulation of T cells, for example, to T cells recognizing neoantigens or in concert with CD3 T-cell engaging bispecific antibodies. We are advancing wholly owned CD28 candidates including our lead candidate, XmAb808, a B7-H3 x CD28 bispecific antibody designed to be evaluated for the treatment of patients with a range of solid tumors, which is currently advancing in IND-enabling studies. We plan to submit an IND application for XmAb808 in the first half of 2022 and initiate a Phase 1 study in the second half of 2022.
Our CD28 platform is also the subject of two collaborations with Janssen. The first collaboration was announced in 2020 and involves our research efforts to create and characterize CD28 bispecific antibody candidates against a prostate tumor target specified by Janssen. In November 2021, we completed our research efforts under the collaboration. Janssen selected a CD28 bispecific for further development, and we received a $5.0 million milestone payment. The second Janssen collaboration was announced in October 2021 and includes conducting research activities with Janssen to create and characterize CD28 bispecific antibody candidates against B-cell targets during a two-year period, with Janssen having an exclusive worldwide license to develop selected molecules from the research activities and also selected molecules in combination with plamotamab and other agents, such as other CD3 bispecific antibodies.
In November 2021, we presented emerging preclinical data from early-stage programs that highlighted several of our platform technologies at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, with poster presentations with data from our IL-12-Fc cytokine program, PD-L1 x CD28 bispecific antibody program, TGFβR2 bispecific program, and bispecific NK cell engager platform.
Progress Across Partnerships
A key part of our business strategy is to leverage our protein engineering capabilities, XmAb technologies and drug candidates with partnerships, collaborations and licenses. Through these arrangements we generate revenues in the form of upfront payments, milestone payments and royalties. For partnerships for our drug candidates, we aim to retain a major economic interest in the form of keeping major geographic commercial rights; profit-sharing; co-development options; and the right to conduct studies with drug candidates developed in the collaboration. The types of arrangements that we have entered with partners include product licenses, novel bispecific antibody collaborations, technology licensing agreements and strategic collaborations.
Product licenses are arrangements in which we have internally developed drug candidates and, based on a strategic review, licensed partial or full rights to third parties to continue development and potential commercialization. We seek partners that can provide infrastructure and resources to successfully develop our drug candidates, have a track record of successfully developing and commercializing medicines, or have a portfolio of development-stage candidates and commercialized medicines which could potentially be developed in rational combinations with our drug candidates.
The FDA approved Monjuvi® (tafasitamab-cxix) under accelerated approval in July 2020. Monjuvi is a CD19-directed cytolytic antibody indicated in combination with lenalidomide for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from low grade lymphoma, and who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT). This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in a confirmatory trial(s). In August 2021, the European Commission granted conditional marketing authorization for Minjuvi® (tafasitamab) in combination with lenalidomide, followed by tafasitamab monotherapy, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Tafasitamab was created and initially developed by us. Tafasitamab is co-marketed by Incyte and MorphoSys under the brand name Monjuvi in the U.S. and is marketed by Incyte under the brand name Minjuvi in the E.U. Incyte has exclusive commercialization rights to tafasitamab outside the U.S. Monjuvi® and Minjuvi® are registered trademarks of MorphoSys AG. In April 2021, MorphoSys and Incyte announced the initiation of a Phase 3 study (inMIND) evaluating the addition of tafasitamab to lenalidomide and rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma or marginal zone lymphoma. In May 2021, MorphoSys and Incyte announced the initiation of a pivotal Phase 3 study (frontMIND) evaluating tafasitamab and lenalidomide in addition to rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone (R-CHOP) compared to R-CHOP alone as first-line treatment for high-intermediate and high-risk patients with untreated DLBCL. In 2021, we earned $12.5 million for the development milestone related to the inMind trial, and we recognized royalty revenue of $5.9 million on net sales of Monjuvi.
In March 2021, our two-year research collaboration with Genentech to discover new targeted IL-15 cytokine candidates concluded, and we may independently advance into development targeted IL-15 programs not previously
nominated under the agreement. A targeted IL-15 program was identified as a development candidate under the Genentech Agreement in October 2020, and we were sharing in 45% of development costs for this candidate. In August 2021, Genentech and Xencor ceased development of the targeted IL-15 program due to observations in preclinical studies that suggested an undesirable clinical profile. No additional development of this candidate is planned by Genentech or us. Genentech and we are planning to study additional combination agents with XmAb306.
In October 2017, we entered into an agreement with INmune, pursuant to which we provided INmune with an exclusive license to our XPro1595 drug candidate. INmune is currently conducting or planning Phase 2 studies in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and treatment resistant depression. In connection with the license, we received shares of INmune common stock and an option to acquire up to 10% of the outstanding common stock of INmune for $10.0 million. In June 2021, we sold the option to INmune for $15.0 million in cash and $3.3 million in additional shares of INmune common stock. In September 2021, we exercised an option to acquire an additional 108,000 shares of INmune common stock for $0.8 million.
In November 2021, we entered into an agreement with Zenas BioPharma (Cayman) Limited (Zenas), to which we licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize obexelimab, a bifunctional antibody that targets CD19 with its variable domain and uses our XmAb Immune Inhibitor Fc Domain. Zenas issued a warrant giving us the right to acquire additional Zenas equity, such that our total equity in Zenas would be 15% of its fully diluted capitalization following the closing of Zenas’ next round of equity financing, subject to certain requirements. We are eligible to receive up to $470.0 million based on the achievement of certain clinical development, regulatory and commercial milestones and are eligible to receive tiered, mid-single digit to mid-teen percent royalties upon commercialization of obexelimab, dependent on geography.
Novel Bispecific Antibody Collaborations
Novel bispecific antibody collaborations are arrangements in which our partner seeks to create a bispecific antibody using one or more of our XmAb bispecific technologies. Our partners provide an antibody or a tumor-associated antigen, and we conduct limited research and development to create potential bispecific antibody candidates for further development and commercialization by our partners.
In November 2020, we entered an agreement with Janssen, focused on the discovery of XmAb bispecific antibodies against CD28, an immune co-stimulatory receptor on T cells, and an undisclosed prostate tumor target, for the potential treatment of patients with prostate cancer. Additionally, we have a right to access select, predefined agents from Janssen’s portfolio of clinical-stage drug candidates and commercialized medicines to evaluate potential combination therapies in prostate cancer with agents in our own pipeline, subject to some limitations. Janssen has the same right with our portfolio to evaluate potential combination therapies in prostate cancer, as well. The ability to study combinations of therapies from both companies’ prostate cancer portfolios leverages our broad clinical pipeline and Janssen's leading prostate cancer therapeutics portfolio. In 2021, we received a $5.0 million milestone payment related to our first agreement with Janssen, which selected an XmAb CD28 bispecific antibody candidate for further development.
Other XmAb bispecific antibodies being developed by our partners include Amgen's AMG 509, a STEAP1 x CD3 XmAb 2+1 bispecific antibody, which is being evaluated in a Phase 1 study for patients with prostate cancer; Astellas’ ASP2138, a CLDN18.2 x CD3 bispecific antibody, which is entering Phase 1 development for patients with gastric/GEJ adenocarcinomas and pancreatic adenocarcinoma and an undisclosed bispecific antibody candidate being developed by Novartis, which is also in Phase 1 development.
Technology License Agreements
We enter into technology licensing agreements in which we license access to one or more of our XmAb Fc technologies on a restricted basis, typically to an XmAb Cytotoxic Fc Domain and/or the Xtend Fc Domain. Our partners are responsible for all research, development and commercialization activities of the drug candidates. The plug-and-play nature of XmAb technologies allows us to license access to our platforms with limited or no internal research and development activities.
Alexion’s Ultomiris® uses Xtend Fc technology for longer half-life. Ultomiris has received marketing authorizations from regulatory agencies in the U.S. and multiple global markets for the treatment of patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and for patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Alexion is also evaluating Ultomiris in a broad late-stage development program across many indications in neurology and nephrology. In 2021, we earned $22.2 million in royalties from Alexion.
In August 2019, we provided Vir a non-exclusive license to our Xtend Fc technology for two targets in infectious disease. Vir has advanced two programs under this agreement. In the second quarter of 2021, Vir announced plans to initiate a Phase 2 trial of VIR-3434 in combination with an siRNA drug candidate as a potential treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection, and we earned $0.5 million for the development milestone.
In March 2020, we entered a second agreement with Vir Biotechnology, Inc., under which Vir has non-exclusive access to our Xtend Fc technology to extend the half-life of novel antibodies being investigated as potential treatments for patients with COVID-19. In May 2021, the FDA granted EUA to sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and pediatric patients. In December 2021, the EU granted a temporary authorization for sotrovimab, and several other countries have also provided temporary or conditional authorizations for its use. A second drug candidate, VIR-7832, is in a Phase 1b/2a trial of adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. In 2021, we earned estimated $52.2 million in royalties from Vir.
In May 2021, we entered into a technology license agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) under which BMS has access to Xtend Fc technology to extend the half-life of a novel antibody combination therapy that is intended to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Phase 2 and 3 studies are planned as part of the NIH ACTIV-2 trial examining treatment of infected outpatients. Under the terms of the agreement, BMS is solely responsible for the activities and costs related to research, development, regulatory, and commercial activities for their COVID-19 drug candidates, and we are eligible to receive royalties on net sales.
In December 2021, we entered into an agreement with Viridian Therapeutics, inc. (Viridian) for a non-exclusive license to certain antibody libraries developed by us. Under the agreement, Viridian received a one-year research license to review the antibodies and the right to select up to three antibodies for further development. Viridian is responsible for all further development of the selected antibodies. We received an upfront payment of 394,737 shares of Viridian common stock valued at $7.5 million and are eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestones in addition to royalties on net sales of approved products under the agreement.
In connection with our June 2016 collaboration and license agreement with Novartis, we granted Novartis a non-exclusive license to certain non-bispecific Fc technologies to apply against up to ten targets. In 2021, Novartis exercised its right to incorporate our Xtend Fc domain into a drug candidate. In 2021, we earned $3.0 million in milestones for a development milestone related to an undisclosed XmAb antibody program that Novartis has advanced into Phase 1 clinical studies.
We enter into strategic collaborations where we can create synergies between our partners' strengths and assets and our own protein engineering capabilities, Fc technologies and XmAb drug candidates. Through these arrangements we seek to create new drug candidates, investigate novel combination therapies and potentially identify additional indications for our portfolio of XmAb drug candidates.
In February 2021, we announced an agreement with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to develop therapeutic antibodies, pairing novel targets proposed by scientists at UCLA and utilizing our XmAb Fc domains. UCLA’s Technology Development Group will work with faculty to propose potential antibody drug candidates, and for selected candidates, we will use a streamlined framework with predefined terms to enter sponsored research agreements and potential license agreements.
Refer to Part IV, Item 15, Note 10, "Collaboration and Licensing Agreements" of the notes to our financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of the key terms of our arrangements.
Financial Operations Overview
Our revenues to date have been generated primarily from our collaboration agreements, our product licensing agreements, and our technology licensing agreements. Revenue recognized from our collaboration and product licensing agreements includes non-refundable upfront payments, milestone payments and royalties on net sales of approved products while revenue from our technology licensing agreements includes upfront payments, option payments to obtain commercial licenses, milestone payments and royalties on net sales of approved products. Since our inception through December 31, 2021, we have generated $820.7 million in revenues under the various product development partnership and technology license arrangements. Several of our product development partnership and technology license agreements provide us the opportunity to earn future milestone payments, royalties on product sales and option exercise payments.
Summary of Collaboration and Licensing Revenue by Partner
The following is a comparison of collaboration, product licensing, and technology licensing revenue for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 (in millions):
Research and Development Expenses
The following is a comparison of research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 (in millions):
External research and development expenses
Internal research and development expenses
Internal research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries, benefits, related personnel costs, supplies, and allocated overhead including facility costs. External research and development expenses include preclinical testing costs, clinical trial costs and fees paid to external service providers. External service providers include CROs and
contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) to conduct clinical trials, manufacturing and process development, IND-enabling toxicology testing and formulation of clinical drug supplies. We expense research and development expenses as incurred. We account for nonrefundable advance payments for goods and services that will be used in future research and development activities as expense when the service has been performed or when the goods have been received. We estimate contract manufacturing, preclinical study and clinical trial expenses based on the services performed pursuant to the contracts with manufacturing, research institutions and clinical research organizations that manufacture and conduct and manage preclinical studies and clinical trials on our behalf based on the actual time and expenses incurred by them. We accrue expenses related to clinical trials based on the level of patient enrollment and activity according to the related agreement. We monitor patient enrollment levels and related activity to the extent reasonably possible and adjust estimates accordingly. Our estimates of clinical trial expense have fluctuated on a period-to-period basis due to changes in the stage of the clinical trials and patient enrollment levels. We expect to experience a continuing pattern of fluctuations in clinical trial expenses as current clinical trials are completed and as we initiate additional and later stage clinical trials. To date, we have not experienced significant differences between our periodic estimates of clinical trial expense and the actual costs incurred. We expect changes in future clinical trial expenses to be driven by changes in service provider costs and changes in clinical stage and patient enrollment.
We expect that our future research and development expenses will increase overspending levels in recent years if we are successful in advancing our current clinical-stage drug candidates or any of our preclinical programs into later stages of clinical development. The process of conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approval is costly and time-consuming. We or our partners may never succeed in achieving marketing approval for any of our product candidates. Numerous factors may affect the probability of success for each product candidate, including preclinical data, clinical data, competition, manufacturing capability, approval by regulatory authorities and commercial viability.
Our research and development operations are conducted such that design, management and evaluation of results of all of our research and development is performed internally, while the execution of certain phases of our research and development programs, such as toxicology studies in accordance with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), and manufacturing in accordance with cGMP, is accomplished using CROs and CMOs. We account for research and development costs on a program-by-program basis except in the early stages of research and discovery, when costs are often devoted to identifying preclinical candidates and improving our discovery platform and technologies, which are not necessarily allocable to a specific development program. We assign costs for such activities to distinct projects for preclinical pipeline development and new technologies. We allocate research management, overhead, commonly used laboratory supplies and equipment, and facility costs based on the percentage of time of full-time research personnel efforts on each program.
The following is a comparison of research and development expenses for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 (in millions):
XmAb819 (ENPP3 x CD3)
Total CD3 programs
Tumor microenvironment (TME) activator programs:
Total TME activator programs
XmAb306/RG6323 and a targeted IL-15 candidate*
Total cytokine programs
Subtotal bispecific programs
Other, research and early-stage programs
Total research and development expenses
*Includes net payments to, and reimbursements from our partners pursuant to agreements that include cost-sharing arrangements.
General and Administrative Expenses
General and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and related benefits, including stock-based compensation related to our executive, finance, business development, and support functions. Other general and administrative expenses include intellectual property costs, facility costs, and professional fees for auditing, tax and legal services.
Other Income, Net
For the year ended December 31, 2021, other income, net, consists primarily of realized and unrealized gain on equity securities during the year, while for the year ended December 31, 2020, other income, net, consists primarily of interest income from our investments during the year.
Critical Accounting Policies, Significant Judgments, and Estimates
Our management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations is based on our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP). The preparation of our financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires our management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts and disclosures reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates. Our management believes judgment is
involved in determining revenue recognition, the fair value-based measurement of stock-based compensation, the fair value estimate of marketable securities, the capitalization and recoverability of intellectual property costs, valuation of deferred tax assets and accruals. Our management evaluates estimates and assumptions as facts and circumstances dictate. As future events and their effects cannot be determined with precision, actual results could differ from these estimates and assumptions, and those differences could be material to the financial statements. If our assumptions change, we may need to revise our estimates, or take other corrective actions, either of which may also have a material adverse effect on our statements of operations, liquidity and financial condition.
While our significant accounting policies are described in more detail in Note 1 to our financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report, we believe the following accounting policies to be critical to the judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our financial statements.
We have, to date, earned revenue from research and development collaborations, which may include research and development services, licenses of our internally developed technologies, licenses of our internally developed drug candidates, or combinations of these.
The terms of our license and research and development and collaboration agreements generally include non-refundable upfront payments, research funding, co-development reimbursements, license fees, and milestone and other contingent payments to us for the achievement of defined collaboration objectives and certain clinical, regulatory and sales-based events, as well as royalties on sales of any commercialized products.
The terms of our licensing agreements include non-refundable upfront fees, contractual payment obligations for the achievement of pre-defined preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales-based events by our partners. The licensing agreements also include royalties on sales of any commercialized products by our partners.
In certain transactions for licensing of our technologies or our product candidates, we may receive an equity interest from our partners as full or partial consideration for an upfront payment due under the arrangement. We record the initial equity at its fair value and mark the value to market quarterly for publicly traded securities and review for impairment for equity that is not publicly traded on a national exchange.
Capitalized Intellectual Property Costs
We capitalize and amortize third-party intellectual property costs such as amounts paid to outside patent counsel for filing, prosecuting and obtaining patents for our internally developed technologies and product candidates, to the extent such patents are deemed to have probable future economic benefit. We also capitalize amounts paid to third parties for licenses that we acquire for intellectual property or for research and development purposes where the technology has alternative uses. The net capitalized patents, licenses, and other intangible assets as of December 31, 2021 and 2020 were $16.5 million and $16.0 million, respectively. We believe that these costs should be capitalized as the intellectual property portfolio creates the underlying property right to our technologies and product candidates and supports the upfront payments, licensing fees, milestone payments and royalties made by our collaboration partners for licensing our technologies and product candidates.
We begin amortization of capitalized patent costs during the period that we obtain a patent relating to the capitalized cost over the shorter of the patent life or the estimated economic useful life. Capitalized licensing costs are amortized beginning in the period that access to the license or technology is available and is amortized over the shorter of the license term or the estimated economic useful life of the licensed asset. Such amortization is recorded as general and administrative expenses.
On a regular basis we review the capitalized intellectual property portfolio and determine if there have been changes in the scientific or patent landscape that leads us to decide to abandon an in-process patent application or abandon a previously issued patent. While we confer with outside patent counsel, the decision to continue prosecuting certain patent claims or abandon other claims are made by us based on our judgment and existing knowledge of our
technology, current U.S. and foreign patent authority rulings and expected rulings, and scientific advances and patent filings by competitors operating in our technology or drug development field. We record an expense for the write-off of capitalized intangible assets in the period that the decision to abandon a claim or license is made. We also review the carrying value of capitalized licensing costs on a regular basis to determine if there have been any changes to the useful life or estimated amortization period over which the costs should be amortized. We recorded a charge for abandoned intangible assets of $0.9 million and $0.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. Such charges are reflected as general and administrative expenses.
We determine if there has been an impairment of our intangible assets which include the capitalized patent and licensing costs whenever events such as recurring operating losses or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable.
Accrued Research and Development Expenses
As part of the process of preparing our financial statements, we are required to estimate our accrued research and development expenses. This process involves reviewing contracts and purchase orders, reviewing the terms of our license agreements, communicating with our applicable personnel to identify services that have been performed on our behalf, and estimating the level of service performed and the associated cost incurred for the service when we have not yet been invoiced or otherwise notified of actual cost. The majority of our service providers invoice us monthly in arrears for services performed. We make estimates of our accrued expenses as of each balance sheet date based on facts and circumstances known to us at that time. We periodically confirm the accuracy of our estimates with the service providers and make adjustments if necessary. Examples of estimated accrued research and development expenses include fees to:
|●||CROs and other service providers in connection with clinical studies;|
|●||contract manufacturers in connection with the production of and testing of clinical trial materials; and|
|●||vendors in connection with preclinical development activities.|
We base our expenses related to clinical studies on our estimates of the services received and efforts expended pursuant to contracts with multiple research institutions and CROs that conduct and manage clinical studies on our behalf. The financial terms of these agreements are subject to negotiation, vary from contract to contract, and may result in uneven payment flows and expense recognition. Payments under some of these contracts depend on factors such as the successful enrollment of patients and the completion of clinical trial milestones. In accruing these costs, we estimate the time period over which services will be performed for which we have not been invoiced and the level of effort to be expended in each period. If the actual timing of the performance of services or the level of effort varies from our estimate, we adjust the accrual accordingly. Our understanding of the status and timing of services performed relative to the actual status and timing of services performed may vary and may result in our reporting changes in estimates in any particular period.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between the financial reporting and tax basis of assets and liabilities and are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws that are expected to be in effect when the differences are expected to reverse. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized as income in the period that such tax rate changes are enacted. The measurement of a deferred tax asset is reduced, if necessary, by a valuation allowance if it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized. Financial statement recognition of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return is determined based on a more-likely-than not threshold of that position being sustained. If the tax position meets this threshold, the benefit to be recognized is measured as the largest amount that is more than 50% likely to be realized upon ultimate settlement. Our policy is to record interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions as a component of income tax expense. We have concluded that there are no material uncertain tax positions and have not recorded an income tax expense or liability for uncertain tax positions as of December 31, 2021.
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) was enacted into law, which beginning in 2018, made several changes to U.S. corporate income tax provisions including a reduction in the U.S. corporate rate from a maximum rate of 35% to 21% effective January 1, 2018. The TCJA also allowed net operating losses incurred after January 1, 2018 to be carried forward indefinitely.
The other material change in our tax provision from the TCJA is elimination of the U.S. corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) system and allowance for a tax refund for AMT credit carryovers as of December 31, 2017, which do not expire. We received a tax refund of $0.8 million in each of 2020 and 2019 related to federal AMT credit carryovers.
We recorded net deferred tax assets of $93.6 million as of December 31, 2021, which was fully offset by a valuation allowance due to uncertainties surrounding our ability to realize these tax benefits. The deferred tax assets are primarily comprised of deferred revenue, federal and state tax net operating loss (NOL) carryforwards and research and development tax credit carryforwards. As of December 31, 2021, we had cumulative net operating loss carryforwards for federal income tax purposes of approximately $168.2 million; $63.9 million of such losses were incurred prior to December 31, 2017 and $104.3 million were incurred in the years ending on or after December 31, 2018. We also had available tax credit carryforwards of $34.0 million for federal tax purposes. We had cumulative state tax loss carryforwards at December 31, 2021 of $161.6 million, and available state tax credit carryforwards of approximately $17.8 million, which can be carried forward to offset future taxable income, if any.
Our federal net operating loss carryforwards incurred prior to January 1, 2018 expire starting in 2026; state net operating loss carryforwards expire starting in 2035; and federal tax credit carryforwards begin to expire starting in 2020. Approximately $0.5 million of federal tax credits will expire if unused from 2021 through 2024.
No income tax expense or benefit was recorded for the year ended December 31, 2021 or 2020.
Valuation of Stock-Based Compensation
We record the fair value of stock options and shares issued under our Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) to employees as of the grant date as compensation expense over the service period, which is generally the vesting period. For non-employees, we also record the fair value of stock options as of the grant date as compensation expense over the service period. We then periodically re-measure the awards to reflect the current fair value at each reporting period until the non-employee completes the performance obligation or the date on which a performance commitment is reached. Expense is recognized over the related service period.
We calculate the fair value of stock-based compensation awards using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The Black-Scholes option-pricing model requires the use of subjective assumptions, including volatility of our common stock, the expected term of our stock options, the risk-free interest rate for a period that approximates the expected term of our stock options and the fair value of the underlying common stock on the date of grant.
Common Stock Options Fair Value
We recognize stock-based compensation expense in accordance with the provisions of ASC Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation. The use of a Black-Scholes model requires us to apply judgment and make assumptions and estimates that include the following:
|●||Expected Volatility—Volatility is a measure of the amount by which a financial variable such as a share price has fluctuated (historical volatility) or is expected to fluctuate (expected volatility) during a period.|
|●||Expected Dividend Yield—We have never declared or paid dividends and have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future.|
|●||Risk-Free Interest Rate—This is the U.S. Treasury rate for the week of each option grant during the year, having a term that most closely resembles the expected life of the option.|
|●||Expected Term—This is the period of time that the options granted are expected to remain unexercised. Options granted have a maximum term of ten years and we have estimated the expected life of the option term to be between six and eight years. We use a simplified method to calculate the average expected term for employee awards.|
Results of Operations
The discussion that follows includes a comparison of our results of operations and liquidity and capital resources for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. For a comparison of our results of operations and financial condition for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. see “Item 7 – Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our 2020 Annual report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2021.
Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020
The following table summarizes our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020 (in millions):