424B5
Table of Contents

Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(5)

Registration No. 333-212404

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT (To Prospectus Dated July 14, 2016)

$14,500,000

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

We have entered into an equity distribution agreement, or the Equity Distribution Agreement, with Piper Jaffray & Co., or Piper Jaffray, relating to shares of our common stock offered by this prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus. In accordance with the terms of the Equity Distribution Agreement, we may offer and sell shares of our common stock having an aggregate offering price of up to $50.0 million from time to time through Piper Jaffray. This prospectus supplement is only offering $14.5 million in shares of our common stock. We will be required to file another prospectus supplement in the event we want to offer more than $14.5 million in shares of our common stock in accordance with the terms of the Equity Distribution Agreement.

Pursuant to General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3, in no event will we sell our common stock registered on the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement forms a part in a public primary offering with a value exceeding more than one-third of our public float in any 12-month period so long as our public float remains below $75.0 million, as measured in accordance with General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3. We have not offered any securities pursuant to General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3 during the 12 calendar months prior to and including the date of this prospectus.

Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ALPN.” On June 8, 2018, the last reported sale price of our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market was $9.13 per share.

Sales of our common stock, if any, under this prospectus supplement may be made in sales deemed to be “at the market offerings” as defined in Rule 415 promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. Piper Jaffray is not required to sell any specific number or dollar amount of our common stock, but will act as a sales agent using commercially reasonable efforts consistent with its normal trading and sales practices, on mutually agreed terms between Piper Jaffray and us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in any escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

The compensation to Piper Jaffray for sales of common stock sold pursuant to the Equity Distribution Agreement will be an amount of up to 3.0% of the gross proceeds of any shares of common stock sold thereunder. In connection with the sale of the common stock on our behalf, Piper Jaffray will be deemed to be an “underwriter” within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation of Piper Jaffray will be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have also agreed to provide indemnification and contribution to Piper Jaffray with respect to certain liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Please read the information contained and incorporated by reference under the heading “Risk Factors” on page S-5 of this prospectus supplement, and under similar headings in the documents incorporated by reference herein and in the accompanying prospectus.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus supplement or the accompanying prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Piper Jaffray

 

 

The date of this prospectus supplement is June 11, 2018.

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Supplement

 

     Page  

ABOUT THIS  PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

     S-1  

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

     S-2  

THE OFFERING

     S-4  

RISK FACTORS

     S-5  

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     S-40  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     S-42  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     S-43  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     S-49  

LEGAL MATTERS

     S-50  

EXPERTS

     S-50  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

     S-50  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

     S-51  

Prospectus

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     i  

SUMMARY

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     6  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD -LOOKING STATEMENTS

     6  

DEFICIENCY OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     6  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     13  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     22  

LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

     24  

SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     28  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     29  

LEGAL MATTERS

     33  

EXPERTS

     33  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     33  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

     34  

DISCLOSURE OF COMMISSIONS POSITION ON INDEMNIFICATION FOR SECURITIES ACT LIABILITY

     35  

 

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ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

This document is in two parts. The first part is this prospectus supplement, including the information incorporated by reference herein, which describes the specific terms of this offering. The second part is the accompanying prospectus, including the information incorporated by reference therein, which provides more general information. Generally, when we refer to this prospectus supplement, we are referring to both parts of this document combined. Before you invest, you should carefully read this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and all information incorporated by reference herein and therein, as well as the additional information described under “Where You Can Find Additional Information“ on page S-50 of this prospectus supplement. These documents contain information that you should consider when making your investment decision. This prospectus supplement may add, update or change information contained in the accompanying prospectus. To the extent that any statement that we make in this prospectus supplement is inconsistent with statements made in the accompanying prospectus or any information incorporated by reference therein, the statements made in this prospectus supplement will be deemed to modify or supersede those made in the accompanying prospectus and such information incorporated by reference therein.

Neither we nor Piper Jaffray & Co., or Piper Jaffray, have authorized anyone to provide you with information that is different from that contained in this prospectus supplement or in any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. We are offering to sell, and seeking offers to buy, shares of our common stock only in jurisdictions where offers and sales are permitted. The distribution of this prospectus supplement and the offering of the common stock in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus supplement must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the common stock and the distribution of this prospectus supplement outside the United States. This prospectus supplement does not constitute, and may not be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities offered by this prospectus supplement by any person in any jurisdiction in which it is unlawful for such person to make such an offer or solicitation.

Unless the context indicates otherwise, as used in this prospectus supplement, the terms “Alpine,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. and its subsidiaries. We use “vigD” and other marks as trademarks in the United States and other countries. This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the information incorporated by reference herein and therein contain references to our trademarks as well as third-party trademarks. Solely for convenience, trademarks and trade names, including logos, artwork and other visual displays, may appear without the ® or TM symbols, but such references are not intended to indicate in any way that we will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, our rights or the rights of the applicable licensor to these trademarks and trade names. We do not intend our use of third-party trade names or trademarks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other entity.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information about us, this offering and information appearing elsewhere in this prospectus supplement, in the accompanying prospectus and in the information incorporated by reference herein and therein. This summary is not complete and does not contain all the information that you should consider before making an investment decision. Before making an investment decision, to fully understand this offering and its consequences to you, you should carefully read this entire prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, including “Risk Factors“ beginning on page S-5 of this prospectus supplement, the financial statements and related notes and the other information incorporated by reference herein, including the periodic reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC.

Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc.

Overview

Our company is focused on discovering and developing innovative, protein-based immunotherapies targeting the immune synapse to treat cancer, autoimmune/inflammatory disorders, and other diseases. Our proprietary scientific platform uses a process known as directed evolution to create therapeutics potentially capable of modulating human immune system proteins.

In our pre-clinical studies, our scientific platform has proven capable of identifying novel molecules, including single domains capable of modulating multiple targets. These molecules have demonstrated efficacy in in vitro and in vivo mouse models. We believe therapeutics generated by our scientific platform have the potential to provide benefit in a broad range of immune system disorders. We have chosen to focus our initial efforts in select areas with unmet medical needs in oncology and inflammatory/autoimmune diseases.

The human immune system is a complex system evolved to protect humans from external infections and harmful changes of internal cells. The Immunoglobulin Superfamily (abbreviated “IgSF”) is the name given to the largest family of adhesion, costimulatory (activating), and inhibitory (blocking) proteins found on the surface of immunological, neurological, and other human cell types. Our scientific approach and platform are based upon IgSF protein units (referred to as “domains”). We believe the IgSF protein family is particularly valuable because many IgSF proteins naturally bind multiple binding partners, also referred to as “counterstructures”.

The scientific discoveries resulting from our work to date have resulted from applying our technology to IgSF proteins to create what we call “Variant Ig Domains” or “vIgDs”. Ours is a platform technology, and we believe our scientific platform represents a novel approach to targeting the immune system. Our scientists create vIgDs through directed evolution—an iterative scientific engineering process purposefully conducted to “evolve” an IgSF protein towards a desired therapeutic function. The potential to create therapies capable of working within a formed synapse, forcing a synapse to occur, or preventing a synapse from occurring are important, novel attributes of our scientific platform.

In cancer, the immune system is often suppressed by inhibitory signals (or quiescent due to lack of costimulatory signals) within the tumor microenvironment. We believe our vIgDs can stimulate the immune system by delivering an activating signal, blocking an inhibitory signal, or both. The potential of vIgDs to modulate multiple inhibitory and/or activating pathways simultaneously for the treatment of cancer is a powerful and novel attribute of our scientific platform.

In autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, the immune system has become overactive and mistakenly attacks healthy cells. Our vIgDs are potentially capable of delivering an inhibitory signal, blocking an activating signal, or both-potentially diminishing the severity of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.

Our scientific platform creates a variety of molecules with broad potential applicability across diseases. vIgDs can be formatted in many different ways, including standard Fc fusion proteins, localized Fc fusion proteins, and monoclonal antibody fusion proteins as well as formulated as a Transmembrane Immunomodulatory Protein (“TIP”) or as a Secreted Immunomodulatory Protein (“SIP”) The ability to utilize different formats potentially broadens future applications of vIgDs in addition to potentially conferring useful therapeutic properties.



 

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ALPN-101 is our lead program and is being developed for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. We are developing our ALPN-202 program for the treatment of cancer.

We expect to submit an investigational new drug application (“IND”) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for ALPN-101 (ICOSL vIgD-Fc), our dual ICOS/CD28 antagonist, in the fourth quarter of 2018, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin. We expect the target indications for ALPN-101 will be inflammatory and/or autoimmune disorders or both.

We expect to submit an IND for a molecule from our ALPN-202 program in 2019. The ALPN-202 program is a CD80 vIgD-Fc, a dual PD-1/CTLA-4 antagonist with CD28 costimulation. We expect the target indication for the ALPN-202 program will be the treatment of cancer.

In addition to advancing programs internally, we continue to seek partners who can bring therapeutic area experience, development expertise, commercialization capabilities, and funding allowing us to maximize the potential of vIgDs and our scientific platform.

In October 2015, we signed a research and license agreement with Kite Pharma, a Gilead company (“Kite”), granting Kite an exclusive license to two of our TIP programs for use in Kite’s ECT programs. We received $5.5 million in up-front cash and are eligible to receive up to $530.0 million in developmental, clinical, and regulatory milestone payments in addition to royalties on any products containing our TIPs. In the collaboration, we provide the TIPs and perform in vitro testing, while Kite is responsible for in vivo testing, manufacturing, clinical trials and commercialization of any resulting therapies. This collaboration was renewed in October 2017.

We generated revenue of $3.0 million, $1.7 million and $0.3 million in 2016, 2017 and the three months ended March 31, 2018, respectively, while incurring net losses of $1.2 million, $7.8 million and $5.4 million in 2016, 2017 and the first three months of 2018, respectively.

Corporate Information

On July 24, 2017, Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. completed its business combination with Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly held company. In connection with the merger, Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. changed its name to Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. For additional information regarding this business combination, see our Annual Report on Form 10-K., filed on March 28, 2018. Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in March 2007. Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (prior to its business combination with Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc.) was incorporated in Delaware on December 30, 2014.

Our principal executive office is located at 201 Elliott Avenue West, Suite 230, Seattle Washington, 98119. Our telephone number is (206) 788-4545. Our website address is www.alpineimmunesciences.com. Information contained on the website is not incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement, and should not be considered to be part of this prospectus supplement.



 

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THE OFFERING

 

Common stock offered by us    Shares of common stock having an aggregate offering price up to $14,500,000. Pursuant to General Instruction I.B.6, in no event will we sell our common stock registered on the registration statement of which this prospectus supplement forms a part in a public primary offering with a value exceeding more than one-third of our public float in any 12-month period so long as our public float remains below $75.0 million, as measured in accordance with General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3.
Manner of offering    “At-the-market” offering that may be made from time to time through our sales agent, Piper Jaffray. See “Plan of Distribution” on page S-49 of this prospectus supplement.
Use of proceeds    We currently plan to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes and to advance the development of our product candidates. Please see “Use of Proceeds” on page S-42 of this prospectus supplement.
Dividend policy    We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our common stock or any other securities. We anticipate that we will retain all available funds and any future earnings, if any, for use in the operation of our business and do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the foreseeable future. In addition, our credit facility materially restricts, and future debt instruments we issue may materially restrict, our ability to pay dividends on our common stock. Payment of future cash dividends, if any, will be at the discretion of our board of directors after taking into account various factors, including our financial condition, operating results, current and anticipated cash needs, the requirements of current or then-existing debt instruments and other factors our board of directors deems relevant.
Risk factors    Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-5 of this prospectus supplement for a discussion of factors that you should read and consider before making an investment decision.
Nasdaq Global Market symbol    ALPN


 

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RISK FACTORS

Investors should carefully consider the risks described below, in the accompanying prospectus and in the information incorporated by reference herein and therein before making an investment decision. The risks described below, in the accompanying prospectus and in the information incorporated by reference herein and therein are not the only ones we face. If any of these risks actually occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In such case, the trading price of our common stock could decline and you could lose all or part of your investment. Also carefully read “Forward-Looking Statements” on page S-40 of this prospectus supplement.

Risks Related to Our Financial Position, Capital Needs and Business

We will need to raise substantial additional funds to advance development of our therapeutic candidates, and we cannot guarantee we will have sufficient funds available in the future to develop and commercialize our current or future therapeutic candidates.

We will need to raise substantial additional funds to expand our development, regulatory, manufacturing, marketing, and sales capabilities or contract with other organizations to provide these capabilities to us. We have used substantial funds to develop our therapeutic candidates and will require significant funds to conduct further research and development, preclinical testing, and clinical trials of our therapeutic candidates, to seek regulatory approvals for our therapeutic candidates, and to manufacture and market products, if any are approved for commercial sale. As of March 31, 2018, we had $76.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments. Based on our current operating plan, we believe our available cash and cash equivalents, will be sufficient to fund our planned level of operations for at least the next 12 months. Our future capital requirements and the period for which we expect our existing resources to support our operations may vary significantly from what we expect. Our monthly spending levels vary based on new and ongoing development and corporate activities. Because the length of time and activities associated with successful development of our therapeutic candidates are highly uncertain, we are unable to estimate the actual funds we will require for development and any approved marketing and commercialization activities. To execute our business plan, we will need, among other things:

 

    to obtain the human and financial resources necessary to develop, test, obtain regulatory approval for, manufacture, and market our therapeutic candidates;

 

    to build and maintain a strong intellectual property portfolio and avoid infringing intellectual property of third parties;

 

    to establish and maintain successful licenses, collaborations, and alliances;

 

    to satisfy the requirements of clinical trial protocols, including patient enrollment;

 

    to establish and demonstrate the clinical efficacy and safety of our therapeutic candidates;

 

    to obtain regulatory approvals;

 

    to manage our spending as costs and expenses increase due to preclinical studies, clinical trials, regulatory approvals, manufacturing scale-up, and commercialization;

 

    to obtain additional capital to support and expand our operations; and

 

    to market our products to achieve acceptance and use by the medical community in general.

If we are unable to obtain necessary funding on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, we may have to delay, reduce, or terminate our research and development programs, preclinical studies, or clinical trials, if any, limit strategic opportunities, or undergo reductions in our workforce or other corporate restructuring activities. We also could be required to seek funds through arrangements with collaborators or others requiring us to relinquish rights to some of our technologies or therapeutic candidates we would otherwise pursue on our own. We do not expect to realize revenue from product sales, or royalties in the foreseeable future, if at all. Our revenue sources are, and will remain, extremely limited unless and until our therapeutic candidates are clinically tested, approved for commercialization, and successfully marketed.

 

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To date, we have financed our operations primarily through the sale of equity securities and payments received under our license and research agreement with Kite, a Gilead company. We will be required to seek additional funding in the future and intend to do so through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings, credit and loan facilities, research collaborations, and license agreements. Our ability to raise additional funds from these or other sources will depend on financial, economic, and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. Additional funds may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all.

If we raise additional funds by issuing equity securities, our stockholders will suffer dilution, and the terms of any financing may adversely affect the rights of our stockholders. In addition, as a condition to providing additional funds to us, future investors may demand, and may be granted, rights superior to those of existing stockholders. Debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants limiting our flexibility in conducting future business activities, and, in the event of a liquidation or insolvency, debt holders would be repaid before holders of equity securities receive any distribution of corporate assets. Our failure to raise capital or enter into such other arrangements within a reasonable timeframe would have a negative impact on our financial condition, and we may have to delay, reduce, or terminate our research and development programs, preclinical or clinical trials, or undergo reductions in our workforce or other corporate restructuring activities.

We are an early stage biopharmaceutical company with a history of losses, we expect to continue to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future, and we may never achieve or maintain profitability and we have a limited operating history that may make it difficult for investors to evaluate the potential success of our business.

We are a development-stage immunotherapy company, with a limited operating history, focused on developing treatments for autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer. Since inception, we have devoted our resources to developing novel protein-based immunotherapies using our proprietary scientific platform technology, which produces variant Ig domains or vIgDs. We have had significant operating losses since inception. For the three months ended March 31, 2018, our net loss was $5.3 million. Substantially all of our losses have resulted from expenses incurred in connection with our research programs and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations. Our technologies and therapeutic candidates are in early stages of development, and we are subject to the risks of failure inherent in the development of therapeutic candidates based on novel technologies.

We have historically generated revenue primarily from the receipt of research funding and upfront payments under our license and research agreement with Kite. We have not generated, and do not expect to generate, any revenue from product sales for the foreseeable future, and we expect to continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future due to the cost of research and development, preclinical studies, clinical trials, and the regulatory approval process for therapeutic candidates. The amount of future losses is uncertain. Our ability to achieve profitability, if ever, will depend on, among other things, our or our existing collaborators, or any future collaborators, successfully developing therapeutic candidates, obtaining regulatory approvals to market and commercialize therapeutic candidates, manufacturing any approved products on commercially reasonable terms, establishing a sales and marketing organization or suitable third party alternatives for any approved product, and raising sufficient funds to finance business activities. If we or our existing collaborators, or any future collaborators, are unable to develop and commercialize one or more of our therapeutic candidates or if sales revenue from any therapeutic candidate receiving approval is insufficient, we will not achieve profitability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Our approach to the discovery and development of innovative therapeutic treatments based on our technology is unproven and may not result in marketable products.

We plan to develop novel protein-based immunotherapies using our proprietary vIgD technology for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. The potential to create therapies capable of working within and/or modulating an immune synapse, forcing a synapse to occur, or preventing a synapse from occurring is an important, novel attribute of our vIgDs. However, the scientific research forming the basis of our efforts to develop therapeutic candidates based on our platform is relatively new. Further, the scientific evidence to support the feasibility of developing therapeutic treatments based on vIgDs is both preliminary and limited.

 

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Relatively few therapeutic candidates based on immunoglobulin superfamily, or IgSF, domains have been tested in animals or humans, and a number of clinical trials conducted by other companies using IgSF domains technologies have not been successful. We may discover the therapeutic candidates developed using our scientific platform do not possess certain properties required for the therapeutic to be effective, such as the ability to remain stable or active in the human body for the period of time required for the therapeutic to reach the target tissue and/or cell. We currently have only limited data, and no conclusive evidence, to suggest we can introduce these necessary therapeutic properties into vIgDs. We may spend substantial funds attempting to introduce these properties and may never succeed in doing so. In addition, vIgDs may demonstrate different chemical and pharmacological properties in human subjects or patients than they do in laboratory studies. Even if our programs, such as the ALPN-101 program, have successful results in animal studies, they may not demonstrate the same chemical and pharmacological properties in humans and may interact with human biological systems in unforeseen, ineffective, or harmful ways. For example, in the context of immunotherapies, in a Phase I clinical trial of TeGenero AG’s product candidate TGN1412, healthy volunteer subjects receiving the product candidate experienced a systemic inflammatory response resulting in renal and pulmonary failure requiring interventions such as dialysis and critical care support. Following this experience, regulatory agencies now ask for evaluation of immunomodulatory antibodies with a number of in vitro assays with human cells. While we are currently performing in vitro and in vivo proof of concept studies for several of our vIgDs preclinically, the risk profile in humans has yet to be assessed. As a result, we may never succeed in developing a marketable therapeutic, we may not become profitable, and the value of our common stock will decline.

Further, we believe that the FDA has no prior experience with vIgDs and no regulatory authority has granted approval to any person or entity, including our company, to market and commercialize therapeutics using vIgDs, which may increase the complexity, uncertainty, and length of the regulatory approval process for our therapeutic candidates. Our company and our current collaborators, or any future collaborators, may never receive approval to market and commercialize any therapeutic candidate. Even if our company or a collaborator obtains regulatory approval, the approval may be for disease indications or patient populations not as broad as we intended or desired or may require labeling, including significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings. Our company or a collaborator may be required to perform additional or unanticipated clinical trials to obtain approval or be subject to post-marketing testing requirements to maintain regulatory approval. If therapeutic candidates we develop using our scientific platform prove to be ineffective, unsafe, or commercially unviable, our entire platform and pipeline would have little, if any, value, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

The market may not be receptive to our therapeutic products based on a novel therapeutic modality, and we may not generate any future revenue from the sale or licensing of therapeutic products.

Even if approval is obtained for a therapeutic candidate, we may not generate or sustain revenue from sales of the therapeutic product due to factors such as whether the therapeutic product can be sold at a competitive price and otherwise accepted in the market. Therefore, any revenue from sales of the therapeutic product may not offset the costs of development. The therapeutic candidates we are developing are based on new technologies and therapeutic approaches. Market participants with significant influence over acceptance of new treatments, such as physicians and third-party payors, may not adopt a treatment based on our vIgDs, and we may not be able to convince the medical community and third-party payors to accept and use, or to provide favorable coverage or reimbursement for, any therapeutic products developed by our company, our existing collaborator, or any future collaborators. Market acceptance of our therapeutic products will depend on, among other factors:

 

    the timing of our receipt of any marketing and commercialization approvals;

 

    the terms of any approvals and the countries in which approvals are obtained;

 

    the safety and efficacy of our therapeutic products;

 

    the prevalence and severity of any adverse side effects associated with our therapeutic products;

 

    the prevalence and severity of any adverse side effects associated with therapeutics of the same type or class as our therapeutic products;

 

    limitations or warnings contained in any labeling approved by the FDA or other regulatory authority;

 

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    relative convenience and ease of administration of our therapeutic products;

 

    the willingness of patients to accept any new methods of administration;

 

    the success of our physician education programs;

 

    the availability of adequate government and third-party payor coverage and reimbursement;

 

    the pricing of our products, particularly as compared to alternative treatments;

 

    our ability to compliantly market and sell our products; and

 

    availability of alternative effective treatments for the disease indications our therapeutic products are intended to treat and the relative risks, benefits, and costs of those treatments.

With our focus on engineering wild-type IgSFs proteins, these risks may increase to the extent this field becomes more competitive or less favored in the commercial marketplace. Additional risks apply in relation to any disease indications we pursue which are classified as rare diseases and allow for orphan drug designation by regulatory agencies in major commercial markets, such as the United States, European Union, and Japan. Because of the small patient population for a rare disease, if pricing is not approved or accepted in the market at an appropriate level for an approved therapeutic product with orphan drug designation, such drug may not generate enough revenue to offset costs of development, manufacturing, marketing, and commercialization despite any benefits received from the orphan drug designation, such as market exclusivity, assistance in clinical trial design, or a reduction in user fees or tax credits related to development expense. Market size is also a variable in disease indications not classified as rare. Our estimates regarding potential market size for any rare indication may be materially different from what we discover to exist at the time we commence commercialization, if any, for a therapeutic product, which could result in significant changes in our business plan and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

If a therapeutic product with orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first FDA approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the therapeutic product is entitled to orphan product exclusivity, which means the FDA may not approve any other applications to market the same therapeutic product for the same indication, except in very limited circumstances, for seven years. Orphan drug exclusivity, however, could also block the approval of one of our therapeutic products for seven years if a competitor obtains approval of the same therapeutic product as defined by the FDA or if our therapeutic product is determined to be within the same class as the competitor’s therapeutic product for the same indication or disease.

As in the United States, we may apply for designation of a therapeutic product as an orphan drug for the treatment of a specific indication in the European Union before the application for marketing authorization is made. Sponsors of orphan drugs in the European Union can enjoy economic and marketing benefits, including up to ten years of market exclusivity for the approved indication unless another applicant can show its therapeutic product is safer, more effective, or otherwise clinically superior to the orphan-designated therapeutic product. The respective orphan designation and exclusivity frameworks in the United States and in the European Union are subject to change, and any such changes may affect our ability to obtain EU or U.S. orphan designations in the future.

Our therapeutic candidates are in early stages of development and may fail in development or suffer delays that materially and adversely affect their commercial viability.

We have no products on the market and all of our therapeutic candidates are in early stages of development. Our ability to achieve and sustain profitability depends on obtaining Institutional Review Board, or IRB, approval to conduct clinical trials at particular sites, regulatory approvals and successfully commercializing our therapeutic candidates, either alone or with third parties, such as our collaborator Kite. Before obtaining regulatory approval for the commercial distribution of our therapeutic candidates, we or a collaborator must conduct extensive preclinical tests and clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy in humans of our therapeutic candidates. Preclinical testing and clinical trials are expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete, and are uncertain as to outcome. The start or end of a clinical study is often delayed or halted due to changing regulatory requirements, manufacturing challenges, required clinical trial administrative actions, slower than anticipated patient enrollment, changing standards of care, availability or prevalence of use of a comparative therapeutic or

 

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required prior therapy, clinical outcomes, or financial constraints. For instance, delays or difficulties in patient enrollment or difficulties in retaining trial participants can result in increased costs, longer development times, or termination of a clinical trial. Clinical trials of a new therapeutic candidate require the enrollment of a sufficient number of patients, including patients who are suffering from the disease the therapeutic candidate is intended to treat and who meet other eligibility criteria. Rates of patient enrollment are affected by many factors, including the size of the patient population, the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial, the age and condition of the patients, the stage and severity of disease, the nature of the protocol, the proximity of patients to clinical sites, and the availability of effective treatments for the relevant disease.

A therapeutic candidate can unexpectedly fail at any stage of preclinical and clinical development. The historical failure rate for therapeutic candidates is high due to scientific feasibility, safety, efficacy, changing standards of medical care, and other variables. The novelty of our platform may mean our failure rates are higher than historical norms. The results from preclinical testing or early clinical trials of a therapeutic candidate may not predict the outcome of later phase clinical trials of the therapeutic candidate, particularly in immuno-oncology and autoimmune/inflammatory disorders. We, the FDA, an IRB, an independent ethics committee, or other applicable regulatory authorities may suspend clinical trials of a therapeutic candidate at any time for various reasons, including a belief that subjects participating in such trials are being exposed to unacceptable health risks or adverse side effects. Similarly, an IRB or ethics committee may suspend a clinical trial at a particular trial site. We may not have the financial resources to continue development of, or to enter into collaborations for, a therapeutic candidate if we experience any problems or other unforeseen events delaying or preventing regulatory approval of, or our ability to commercialize, therapeutic candidates, including:

 

    negative or inconclusive results from our clinical trials, or the clinical trials of others for therapeutic candidates similar to ours, leading to a decision or requirement to conduct additional preclinical testing or clinical trials or abandon a program;

 

    serious and unexpected drug-related side effects experienced by participants in our clinical trials or by individuals using therapeutics similar to our therapeutic candidates;

 

    serious drug-related side effects experienced in the past by individuals using therapeutics similar to our therapeutic candidates;

 

    delays in submitting Investigational New Drug, or IND, applications or clinical trial applications, or comparable foreign applications, or delays or failure in obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators or IRBs to commence a clinical trial, or a suspension or termination of a clinical trial once commenced;

 

    conditions imposed by the FDA or comparable foreign authorities, such as the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, regarding the scope or design of our clinical trials;

 

    delays in enrolling research subjects in clinical trials;

 

    high drop-out rates of research subjects;

 

    inadequate supply or quality of therapeutic product or therapeutic candidate components, or materials or other supplies necessary for the conduct of our clinical trials, including those owned, manufactured, or provided by companies other than ours;

 

    greater than anticipated clinical trial costs, including the cost of any approved drugs used in combination with our therapeutic candidates;

 

    poor effectiveness of our therapeutic candidates during clinical trials;

 

    unfavorable FDA or other regulatory agency inspection and review of a clinical trial site;

 

    failure of our third-party contractors or investigators to comply with regulatory requirements or otherwise meet their contractual obligations in a timely manner, or at all;

 

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    delays and changes in regulatory requirements, policies, and guidelines, including the imposition of additional regulatory oversight around clinical testing generally or with respect to our technology in particular; or

 

    varying interpretations of data by the FDA and similar foreign regulatory agencies.

Product development involves a lengthy and expensive process with an uncertain outcome, and results of earlier pre-clinical and clinical trials may not be predictive of future clinical trial results.

Clinical testing is expensive and generally takes many years to complete, and the outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. The results of pre-clinical trials and early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of larger, later-stage controlled clinical trials. Product candidates showing promising results in early-stage clinical trials may still suffer significant setbacks in subsequent clinical trials. We have conducted no clinical trials to date. We will have to conduct trials in our proposed indications to verify the results obtained to date and to support any regulatory submissions for further clinical development. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or adverse safety profiles despite promising results in earlier, smaller clinical trials. Moreover, clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses. We do not know whether Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, or other clinical trials we may conduct will demonstrate consistent or adequate efficacy and safety with respect to the proposed indication for use sufficient to receive regulatory approval or market our therapeutic candidates.

To date, our revenue has been primarily derived from our license and research agreement with Kite, and we are dependent on Kite for the successful development of therapeutic candidates in the collaboration.

In October 2015, we entered into an exclusive, worldwide license and research agreement with Kite to research, develop, and commercialize engineered autologous T cell therapies incorporating two programs from our technology. Pursuant to the license and research agreement, we will be potentially eligible to receive up to $530.0 million in total milestone payments upon the successful completion of research, clinical, and regulatory milestones. We will also potentially be eligible to receive a low single-digit percentage royalty for sales on a licensed product-by-licensed product and country-by-country basis.

Continued success of our collaboration with Kite, and our realization of the milestone and royalty payments under the agreement, depends upon the efforts of Kite. Kite has sole discretion in determining and directing the efforts and resources, including the ability to discontinue all efforts and resources, it applies to the development and, if approval is obtained, commercialization and marketing of the therapeutic candidates covered by the collaboration. Kite may not be effective in obtaining approvals for the therapeutic candidates developed under the collaboration arrangement or marketing or arranging for necessary supply, manufacturing, or distribution relationships for any approved products. Kite may change its strategic focus or pursue alternative technologies in a manner resulting in reduced, delayed, or no revenue to us. Kite has a variety of marketed products and its own corporate objectives and strategies may not be consistent with our best interests. If Kite fails to develop, obtain regulatory approval for, or ultimately commercialize any therapeutic candidate under the collaboration or if Kite terminates the collaboration, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, any dispute or litigation proceedings we may have with Kite in the future could delay development programs, create uncertainty as to ownership of intellectual property rights, distract management from other business activities and generate substantial expense.

If we are unable to secure intellectual property rights to programs covered under the license and research agreement, Kite may terminate the agreement and our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, any dispute or litigation proceedings we may have with Kite related to intellectual property rights or other aspects of the agreement or the relationship could delay development programs, create uncertainty as to ownership of intellectual property rights, may distract management from other business activities and generate substantial expense.

In October 2017, Kite was acquired by Gilead Pharma, Inc., or Gilead. While the research term of the collaboration was extended after the closing of the acquisition, there is no guarantee Gilead will place the same emphasis on the collaboration or wish to continue the collaboration. If either of these occurs, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

 

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If third parties on which we depend to conduct our preclinical studies, or any future clinical trials, do not perform as expected, fail to satisfy regulatory or legal requirements, or miss expected deadlines, our development program could be delayed, which may result in materially adverse effects on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

We rely, in part, on third party clinical investigators, contract research organizations, or CROs, clinical data management organizations, and consultants to design, conduct, supervise, and monitor preclinical studies of our therapeutic candidates and may do the same for any clinical trials. Because we rely on third parties to conduct preclinical studies or clinical trials, we have less control over the timing, quality, compliance, and other aspects of preclinical studies and clinical trials than we would if we conducted all preclinical studies and clinical trials on our own. These investigators, CROs, and consultants are not our employees and we have limited control over the amount of time and resources they dedicate to our programs. These third parties may have contractual relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors, which may draw their time and resources away from our programs. The third parties with which we contract might not be diligent, careful, compliant, or timely in conducting our preclinical studies or clinical trials, resulting in the preclinical studies or clinical trials being delayed or unsuccessful.

If we cannot contract with acceptable third parties on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, or if these third parties do not carry out their expected duties, satisfy legal and regulatory requirements for the conduct of preclinical studies or clinical trials, or meet expected deadlines, our clinical development programs could be delayed and otherwise adversely affected. In all events, we are responsible for ensuring each of our preclinical studies and clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the general investigational plan and protocols for the trial. The FDA and certain foreign regulatory authorities, such as the EMA, require preclinical studies to be conducted in accordance with applicable Good Laboratory Practices, or GLPs, and clinical trials to be conducted in accordance with applicable FDA regulations and Good Clinical Practices, or GCPs, including requirements for conducting, recording, and reporting the results of preclinical studies and clinical trials to assure data and reported results are credible and accurate and the rights, integrity, and confidentiality of clinical trial participants are protected. Our reliance on third parties we do not control does not relieve us of these responsibilities and requirements. Any such event could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Because we rely on third party manufacturing and supply partners, our supply of clinical trial materials may become limited or interrupted or may not be of satisfactory quantity or quality.

We have established in-house recombinant protein generation capabilities for producing sufficient protein materials to enable a portion of our current preclinical studies. We rely on third party supply and manufacturing partners to supply the materials, components, and manufacturing services for a portion of preclinical studies and all our clinical trial drug supplies. We do not own manufacturing facilities or supply sources for such components and materials for clinical trial supplies and our current manufacturing facilities are insufficient to supply such components and materials for all of our preclinical studies. Certain raw materials necessary for the manufacture of our therapeutic products, such as cell lines, are available from a single or limited number of source suppliers on a purchase order basis. There can be no assurance our supply of research and development, preclinical study, and clinical trial drugs and other materials will not be limited, interrupted, restricted in certain geographic regions, of satisfactory quality or quantity, or continue to be available at acceptable prices. In particular, any replacement of our therapeutic substance manufacturer could require significant effort and expertise and could result in significant delay of our preclinical or clinical activities because there may be a limited number of qualified replacements.

The manufacturing process for a therapeutic candidate is subject to FDA and foreign regulatory authority review. Suppliers and manufacturers must meet applicable manufacturing requirements and undergo rigorous facility and process validation tests required by regulatory authorities in order to comply with regulatory standards, such as cGMPs. In the event any of our suppliers or manufacturers fails to comply with such requirements or to perform its obligations to us in relation to quality, timing, or otherwise, or if our supply of components or other materials becomes limited or interrupted for other reasons, we may experience shortages resulting in delayed shipments, supply constraints, and/or stock-outs of our products, be forced to manufacture the materials alone, for which we currently does not have the capabilities or resources, or enter into an agreement with another third party, which we may not be able to do on reasonable terms, if at all. In some cases, the technical skills or technology required to manufacture our therapeutic candidates may be unique or proprietary to the original manufacturer and we may have difficulty, or there may be contractual and intellectual property restrictions prohibiting us from,

 

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transferring such skills or technology to another third party and a feasible alternative may not exist. These factors may increase our reliance on such manufacturer or require us to obtain a license from such manufacturer in order to have another third party manufacture our therapeutic candidates. If we are required to change manufacturers for any reason, we will be required to verify the new manufacturer maintains facilities and procedures complying with quality standards and with all applicable regulations. The delays associated with the verification of a new manufacturer could negatively affect our ability to develop therapeutic candidates in a timely manner, within budget, or at all.

We expect to continue to rely on third party manufacturers if we receive regulatory approval for any therapeutic candidate. To the extent we have existing, or enter into future, manufacturing arrangements with third parties, we will depend on these third parties to perform their obligations in a timely manner consistent with contractual and regulatory requirements, including those related to quality control and assurance. If we are unable to obtain or maintain third-party manufacturing for therapeutic candidates, or to do so on commercially reasonable terms, we may not be able to develop and commercialize our therapeutic candidates successfully. Our, or a third party’s, failure to execute on our manufacturing requirements could adversely affect our business in a number of ways, including as a result of:

 

    an inability to initiate or continue preclinical studies or clinical trials of therapeutic candidates under development;

 

    delay in submitting regulatory applications, or receiving regulatory approvals, for therapeutic candidates;

 

    the loss of the cooperation of a collaborator;

 

    subjecting manufacturing facilities of our therapeutic candidates to additional inspections by regulatory authorities;

 

    requirements to cease distribution or to recall batches of our therapeutic candidates; and

 

    in the event of approval to market and commercialize a therapeutic candidate, an inability to meet commercial demands for our products.

We may not successfully engage in strategic transactions, including any additional collaborations we seek, which could adversely affect our ability to develop and commercialize therapeutic candidates, impact our cash position, increase our expenses, and present significant distractions to our management.

From time to time, we may consider strategic transactions, such as collaborations, acquisitions of companies, asset purchases, and out- or in-licensing of therapeutic candidates or technologies. In particular, in addition to our current arrangements with Kite, we intend to evaluate and, if strategically attractive, seek to enter into additional collaborations, including with major biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. The competition for collaborative partners is intense, and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Any new collaboration may be on suboptimal terms for us, and we may be unable to maintain any new or existing collaboration if, for example, development or approval of a therapeutic candidate is delayed, sales of an approved therapeutic candidate do not meet expectations, or the collaborator terminates the collaboration. Any such collaboration, or other strategic transaction, may require us to incur non-recurring or other charges, increase our near- and long-term expenditures and pose significant integration or implementation challenges or disrupt our management or business.

These transactions would entail numerous operational and financial risks, including:

 

    exposure to unknown liabilities;

 

    disruption of our business and diversion of our management’s time and attention in order to manage a collaboration or develop acquired therapeutic candidates, or technologies;

 

    incurrence of substantial debt or dilutive issuances of equity securities to pay transaction consideration or costs;

 

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    higher than expected collaboration, acquisition, or integration costs;

 

    write-downs of assets or goodwill, or incurring impairment charges or increased amortization expenses; and

 

    difficulty and cost in facilitating the collaboration or combining the operations and personnel of any acquired business or impairment of relationships with key suppliers, manufacturers, or customers of any acquired business due to changes in management and ownership and the inability to retain key employees of any acquired business.

Accordingly, although there can be no assurance we will undertake or successfully complete any transactions of the nature described above, any transactions we do complete may be subject to the foregoing or other risks and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and prospects. Conversely, any failure to enter any collaboration or other strategic transaction beneficial to us could delay the development and potential commercialization of our therapeutic candidates and have a negative impact on the competitiveness of any therapeutic candidate reaching market.

We face competition from entities that have developed or may develop therapeutic candidates for our target disease indications, including companies developing novel treatments and technology platforms based on modalities and technology similar to us. If these companies develop technologies or therapeutic candidates more rapidly than we do, or their technologies, including delivery technologies, are more effective, our ability to develop and successfully commercialize therapeutic candidates may be adversely affected.

The development and commercialization of therapeutic candidates is highly competitive. We believe a significant number of products are currently under development, and may become commercially available in the future, for the treatment of conditions for which we may try to develop therapeutic candidates. There are also competitors to our proprietary therapeutic candidates currently in development, some of which may become commercially available before our therapeutic candidates.

We compete with a variety of multinational pharmaceutical companies and specialized biotechnology companies, as well as with technologies being developed at universities and other research institutions. Our competitors have developed, are developing, or may develop therapeutic candidates and processes competitive with our therapeutic candidates. Competitive therapeutic treatments include those already approved and accepted by the medical community and any new treatments entering or about to enter the market. We are aware of multiple companies developing therapies with the same target as at least one target of our lead program (ICOSL and/or CD28) as well as companies building novel platforms to generate multi-specific antibody or non-antibody-based targeting proteins. While it is still premature for us to determine which indications may be targeted by our lead program, potential competitors to our lead program include:

 

    an anti-ICOSL/B7RP-1 monoclonal antibody being developed by Amgen, Inc. (may be referred to as AMG557 or MEDI5872);

 

    an anti-CD28 monoclonal antibody fragment being developed by OSE ImmunoTherapeutics SA and Johnson & Johnson Inc. (FR104);

 

    a CTLA-4 Ig fusion selective for CD86 fusion protein being developed by Astellas Pharma Inc. (ASP 2408/09);

 

    a CD28 superagonist monoclonal antibody being developed by TheraMab LLC (TAB08); and

 

    an anti-BAFF, anti-ICOSL bispecific antibody being developed by Amgen, Inc. (AMG/570/MEDI0700).

Platforms potentially competitive with our scientific platform include:

 

    Nanobody® (Ablynx NV): Platform technology of single-domain, heavy-chain antibody fragments derived from camelidae (e.g., camels and llamas);

 

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    DART® (Macrogenics Inc): Dual-Affinity Re-Targeting and Trident technology platforms bind multiple targets with a single molecule;

 

    Anticalin® (Pieris Pharmaceuticals Inc): Engineered proteins derived from natural lipocalins found in blood plasma;

 

    Targeted Immunomodulation™ (Compass Therapeutics LLC): Antibody discovery targeting the tumor-immune synapse;

 

    Harpoon Therapeutics Inc: Trispecific antigen-binding proteins;

 

    Various bispecific antibody platforms (e.g., Amgen Inc (BiTE®-approved), Roche AG (RG7828), Zymeworks Inc (Azymetric™), Xencor Inc (XmAb Bispecific), Compass Therapeutics (StitchMabs™));

 

    Five Prime Therapeutics®: Proprietary protein library and rapid protein production and testing platform;

 

    Regeneron®: VEGF Trap and VelociSuite® antibody technology platforms; and

 

    Shattuck Labs® Agonist Redirected Antibody platform claimed to bind tumor-necrosis factor (“TNF”) and checkpoint targets.

Additionally, there are a number of other therapies for autoimmune/inflammatory diseases or cancer approved or in development that are also competitive with our lead program and other programs in development. Many of the other therapies include other types of immunotherapies with different targets than our programs. Other potentially competitive therapies work in ways distinct from our development programs.

Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and supply resources or experience than we have. If we successfully obtain approval for any therapeutic candidate, we will face competition based on many different factors, including safety and effectiveness, ease with which our products can be administered and the extent to which patients accept relatively new routes of administration, timing and scope of regulatory approvals, availability and cost of manufacturing, marketing and sales capabilities, price, reimbursement coverage, and patent position of our products. Competing products could present superior treatment alternatives, including by being more effective, safer, less expensive, or marketed and sold more effectively than any products we may develop. Competitive products may make any products we develop obsolete or noncompetitive before we recover the expense of developing and commercializing our therapeutic candidates. Competitors could also recruit our employees, which could negatively impact our ability to execute our business plan.

Any inability to attract and retain qualified key management and technical personnel would impair our ability to implement our business plan.

Our success largely depends on the continued service of key management and other specialized personnel, including Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., our Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jay R. Venkatesan, M.D., our President and a member of our board of directors, Stanford Peng, M.D., Ph.D., our Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer, and Paul Rickey, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

The loss of one or more members of our management team or other key employees or advisors could delay our research and development programs and materially harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. The relationships our key managers have cultivated within our industry make us particularly dependent upon their continued employment with us. We are dependent on the continued service of our technical personnel because of the highly technical nature of our therapeutic candidates and technologies, and the specialized nature of the regulatory approval process. Because our management team and key employees are not obligated to provide us with continued service, they could terminate their employment with us at any time without penalty. We do not maintain key person life insurance policies on any of our management team members or key employees. Our future success will depend in large part on our continued ability to attract and retain other highly

 

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qualified scientific, technical, and management personnel, as well as personnel with expertise in clinical testing, manufacturing, governmental regulation, and commercialization. We face competition for personnel from other companies, universities, public and private research institutions, government entities, and other organizations, including significant competition in the Seattle employment market.

If our therapeutic candidates advance into clinical trials, we may experience difficulties in managing our growth and expanding our operations.

We have limited experience in therapeutic development and very limited experience with clinical trials of therapeutic candidates. As our therapeutic candidates enter and advance through preclinical studies and any clinical trials, we will need to expand our development, regulatory, and manufacturing capabilities or contract with other organizations to provide these capabilities for us. In the future, we expect to have to manage additional relationships with collaborators or partners, suppliers, and other organizations. Our ability to manage our operations and future growth will require us to continue to improve our operational, financial, and management controls, reporting systems, and procedures. We may not be able to implement improvements to our management information and control systems in an efficient or timely manner and may discover deficiencies in existing systems and controls.

If any of our therapeutic candidates are approved for marketing and commercialization and we are unable to develop sales, marketing and distribution capabilities on our own or enter into agreements with third parties to perform these functions on acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully commercialize any such future products.

We currently have no sales, marketing, or distribution capabilities or experience. If any of our therapeutic candidates are approved, we will need to develop internal sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities to commercialize such products, which may be expensive and time-consuming, or enter into collaborations with third parties to perform these services. If we decide to market our products directly, we will need to commit significant financial, legal, and managerial resources to develop a marketing and sales force with technical expertise and supporting distribution, administration, and compliance capabilities. If we rely on third parties with such capabilities to market our approved products, or decide to co-promote products with collaborators, we will need to establish and maintain marketing and distribution arrangements with third parties, and there can be no assurance we will be able to enter into such arrangements on acceptable, compliant terms or at all. In entering into third-party marketing or distribution arrangements, any revenue we receive will depend upon the efforts of the third parties and there can be no assurance such third parties will establish adequate sales and distribution capabilities or be successful in gaining market acceptance of any approved therapeutic. If we are not successful in commercializing any therapeutic approved in the future, either on our own or through third parties, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

If we fail to comply with U.S. and foreign regulatory requirements, regulatory authorities could limit or withdraw any marketing or commercialization approvals we may receive and subject us to other penalties that could materially harm our business.

Our company, our therapeutic candidates, our suppliers, and our contract manufacturers, distributors, and contract testing laboratories are subject to extensive regulation by governmental authorities in the European Union, the United States, and other countries, with regulations differing from country to country.

Even if we receive marketing and commercialization approval of a therapeutic candidate, we and our third-party service providers will be subject to continuing regulatory requirements, including a broad array of regulations related to establishment registration and product listing, manufacturing processes, risk management measures, quality and pharmacovigilance systems, post-approval clinical studies, labeling, advertising and promotional activities, record keeping, distribution, adverse event reporting, import and export of pharmaceutical products, pricing, sales, and marketing, and fraud and abuse requirements. Any product promotion and advertising will also be subject to regulatory requirements and continuing regulatory review.

We are required to submit safety and other post market information and reports, and are subject to continuing regulatory review, including in relation to adverse patient experiences with the product and clinical results reported after a product is made commercially available, both in the United States and in any foreign jurisdiction in which we seek regulatory approval. The FDA and certain foreign regulatory authorities, such as the EMA, have significant post-market authority, including the authority to require labeling changes based on new safety information and to require post-market studies or clinical trials to evaluate safety risks related to the use of a product or to require withdrawal of the product from the market.

 

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The FDA also has the authority to require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies, or REMS, plan either before or after approval, which may impose further requirements or restrictions on the distribution or use of an approved therapeutic. The EMA now routinely requires risk management plans, or RMPs, as part of the marketing authorization application process, and such plans must be continually modified and updated throughout the lifetime of the product as new information becomes available. In addition, the relevant governmental authority of any EU member state can request an RMP whenever there is a concern about the risk/ benefit balance of the product.

The manufacturers and manufacturing facilities we use to make a future product, if any, will also be subject to periodic review and inspection by the FDA and other regulatory agencies, including for continued compliance with cGMP requirements. The discovery of any new or previously unknown problems with our third-party manufacturers, manufacturing processes or facilities may result in restrictions on the product, manufacturers or facilities, including withdrawal of the product from the market. If we rely on third-party manufacturers, we will not have control over compliance with applicable rules and regulations by such manufacturers.

If we or our collaborators, manufacturers, or service providers fail to comply with applicable continuing regulatory requirements in the U.S. or foreign jurisdictions in which we seek to market our products, we may be subject to, among other things, fines, warning and untitled letters, clinical holds, delay or refusal by the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications, suspension, refusal to renew or withdrawal of regulatory approval, product recalls, seizures, or administrative detention of products, refusal to permit the import or export of products, operating restrictions, inability to participate in government programs including Medicare and Medicaid, and total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunction, restitution, disgorgement, debarment, civil penalties, and criminal prosecution.

Imposed price controls may adversely affect our future profitability.

In most countries, the pricing of prescription drugs is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time after receipt of marketing approval for a product. In addition, there can be considerable pressure by governments and other stakeholders on prices and reimbursement levels, including as part of cost containment measures. Political, economic, and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing and reimbursement negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after reimbursement has been obtained.

Reference pricing used by various EU member states and parallel distribution, or arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced member states, can further reduce prices. In some countries, we or our collaborators may be required to conduct a clinical trial or other studies comparing the cost-effectiveness of our vIgD therapeutic candidates to other available therapies in order to obtain or maintain reimbursement or pricing approval. Publication of discounts by third-party payors or authorities may lead to further pressure on the prices or reimbursement levels within the country of publication and other countries. If reimbursement of any product candidate approved for marketing is unavailable or limited in scope or amount, or if pricing is set at unsatisfactory levels, our business, financial condition, results of operations, or prospects could be adversely affected.

Our business entails a significant risk of product liability and our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, or prospects.

Our business exposes us to significant product liability risks inherent in the development, testing, manufacturing, and marketing of therapeutic treatments. Product liability claims could delay or prevent completion of our development programs. If we succeed in marketing products, such claims could result in an investigation by certain regulatory authorities, such as FDA or foreign regulatory authorities, of the safety and effectiveness of our products, our manufacturing processes and facilities, or our marketing programs and potentially a recall of our products or more serious enforcement action, limitations on the approved indications for which they may be used, or suspension or withdrawal of approvals. Regardless of the merits or eventual outcome, liability claims may also result in decreased demand for our products, injury to our reputation, costs to defend the related litigation, a diversion of management’s time and our resources, substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients, and a decline in our valuation. We currently have product liability insurance we believe is appropriate for our stage of development and may need to obtain higher levels of product liability insurance prior to marketing any therapeutic candidates. Any insurance we have or may obtain may not provide sufficient coverage against potential liabilities.

 

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Furthermore, clinical trial and product liability insurance is becoming increasingly expensive. As a result, we may be unable to obtain sufficient insurance at a reasonable cost to protect us against losses caused by product liability claims with a potentially material adverse effect on our business.

Our employees may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including noncompliance with regulatory standards and requirements, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We are exposed to the risk of employee fraud or other misconduct. Misconduct by employees could include, but is not limited to:

 

    intentional failures to comply with FDA or U.S. health care laws and regulations, or applicable laws, regulations, guidance, or codes of conduct set by foreign governmental authorities or self-regulatory industry organizations;

 

    a provision of inaccurate information to any governmental authorities such as FDA;

 

    noncompliance with manufacturing standards we may establish;

 

    noncompliance with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations; and

 

    a failure to report financial information or data accurately or a failure to disclose unauthorized activities to us.

In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws, regulations, guidance and codes of conduct intended to prevent fraud, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws, regulations, guidance statements, and codes of conduct may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive program, health care professional, 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, including debarment or disqualification of those employees from participation in FDA regulated activities and serious harm to our reputation. This could include violations of provisions of the U.S. federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH, other U.S. federal and state law, and requirements of non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the European Union Data Protection Directive.

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, regulations, guidance, or codes of conduct. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending such actions or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business, including the imposition of significant fines, exclusion from government programs, or other sanctions.

Our business involves the use of hazardous materials and we and our third-party manufacturers must comply with environmental laws and regulations, which may be expensive and restrict how we conduct business.

Our third-party manufacturers’ activities and our own activities involve the controlled storage, use and disposal of hazardous and flammable materials, including the components of our pharmaceutical product candidates, test samples and reagents, biological materials and other hazardous compounds. We and our manufacturers are subject to federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations governing the use, generation, manufacture, storage, handling and disposal of these hazardous materials. Although we believe our safety procedures for handling and disposing of these materials and waste products comply with the standards prescribed by these laws and regulations, we cannot eliminate the risk of accidental injury or contamination from the use, storage, handling or disposal of hazardous materials. In the event of an accident, state or federal or other applicable authorities may curtail our use of these materials and/or interrupt our business operations. In addition, if an accident or environmental discharge occurs, or if we discover contamination caused by prior operations, including by prior owners and operators of properties we acquire, we could be liable for cleanup obligations, damages, and fines. If such unexpected costs are substantial, this could significantly harm our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Compliance with governmental regulations regarding the treatment of animals used in research could increase our operating costs, which would adversely affect the commercialization of our technology.

The Animal Welfare Act, or AWA, is the federal law covering the treatment of certain animals used in research. Currently, the AWA imposes a wide variety of specific regulations governing the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of certain animals by producers and users of research animals, most notably relating to personnel, facilities, sanitation, cage size and feeding, watering and shipping conditions. Third parties with whom we contract are subject to registration, inspections, and reporting requirements under the AWA. Furthermore, some states have their own regulations, including general anti-cruelty legislation, which establish certain standards in handling animals. Comparable rules, regulations, and or obligations exist in many foreign jurisdictions. If we or our contractors fail to comply with regulations concerning the treatment of animals used in research, we may be subject to fines and penalties and adverse publicity, and our operations could be adversely affected.

Our information technology systems could face serious disruptions adversely affecting our business.

Our information technology and other internal infrastructure systems, including corporate firewalls, servers, leased lines, and connection to the Internet, face the risk of systemic failure potentially disruptive to our operations. A significant disruption in the availability of our information technology and other internal infrastructure systems could cause interruptions in our collaborations with our partners and delays in our research and development work.

Our current operations are concentrated in one location and any events affecting this location may have material adverse consequences.

Our current operations are located in facilities situated in Seattle. Any unplanned event, such as flood, fire, explosion, earthquake, extreme weather condition, medical epidemics, power shortage, power outage, telecommunication failure, or other natural or manmade accidents or incidents resulting in our company being unable to fully utilize the facilities, may have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate our business, particularly on a daily basis, and have significant negative consequences on our financial and operating conditions. Loss of access to these facilities may result in increased costs, delays in the development of our therapeutic candidates, or interruption of our business operations. As part of our risk management policy, we maintain insurance coverage at levels we believe are appropriate for our business. However, in the event of an accident or incident at these facilities, we cannot assure you the amounts of insurance will be sufficient to satisfy any damages and losses or that the insurance covers all risks. If our facilities are unable to operate because of an accident or incident or for any other reason, even for a short period of time, any or all of our research and development programs may be harmed. Any business interruption may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, and prospects.

The investment of our cash, cash equivalents, and fixed income in marketable securities is subject to risks which may cause losses and affect the liquidity of these investments.

As of March 31, 2018, we had $76.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments. We expect to invest our excess cash in marketable securities. These investments are subject to general credit, liquidity, market and interest rate risks, including potential future impacts similar to the impact of U.S. sub-prime mortgage defaults previously affecting various sectors of the financial markets and which caused credit and liquidity issues. We may realize losses in the fair value of these investments, an inability to access cash in these investments for a potentially meaningful period, or a complete loss of these investments, which would have a negative effect on our financial statements.

Changes in accounting rules and regulations, or interpretations thereof, could result in unfavorable accounting charges or require us to change our compensation policies.

Accounting methods and policies for biopharmaceutical companies, including policies governing revenue recognition, research and development and related expenses, and accounting for stock-based compensation, are subject to review, interpretation, and guidance from our auditors and relevant accounting authorities, including the SEC. Changes to accounting methods or policies, or interpretations thereof, may require us to reclassify, restate, or otherwise change or revise our financial statements.

 

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Nivalis’ pre-merger net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes are likely subject to limitations. The pre-merger net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes of Alpine and of the combined organization may also be subject to limitations as a result of ownership changes resulting from the merger.

In general, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change” is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change net operating loss carryforwards, or NOLs, to offset future taxable income. In general, an ownership change occurs if the aggregate stock ownership of certain stockholders, generally stockholders beneficially owning five percent or more of a corporation’s common stock, applying certain look-through and aggregation rules, increases by more than 50 percentage points over such stockholders’ lowest percentage ownership during the testing period, generally three years. Nivalis may have experienced ownership changes in the past and may experience ownership changes in the future. In addition, the closing of the merger likely resulted in an ownership change for Nivalis. It is likely that, due to the method by which limitations on the utilization of NOL carryforwards are calculated, we will not be able to utilize any of Nivalis’ net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes. It is also possible that Alpine’s net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes may be subject to limitation as a result of ownership changes in the past and/or the closing of the merger. Consequently, even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to utilize a material portion of Alpine’s, or any of Nivalis’, net operating loss carryforwards and certain other tax attributes, which could have a material adverse effect on cash flow and results of operations.

Provisions of our debt instruments may restrict our ability to pursue our business strategies.

Our term loan agreement requires us, and any debt financing we may obtain in the future may require us, to comply with various covenants that limit our ability to, among other things:

 

    dispose of assets;

 

    compete mergers or acquisitions;

 

    incur indebtedness;

 

    encumber assets;

 

    pay dividends or make other distributions to holders of our capital stock;

 

    make specified investments;

 

    engage in any new line or business; and

 

    engagement in certain transactions with our affiliates

These restrictions could inhibit our ability to pursue our business strategies. If we default under our term loan agreement, and such event of default is not cured or waived, the lenders could terminate commitments to lend and cause all amounts outstanding with respect to the debt to be due and payable immediately, which in turn could result in cross defaults under other debt instruments. Our assets and cash flow may not be sufficient to fully repay borrowings under our outstanding debt instruments if some or all of these instruments are accelerated upon a default. We may incur additional indebtedness in the future. The debt instruments governing such indebtedness could contain provisions that are as, or more, restrictive than our existing debt instruments. If we are unable to repay, refinance or restructure our indebtedness when payment is due, the lenders could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure such indebtedness or force us into bankruptcy or liquidation.

Our business may be affected by litigation and government investigations.

We may from time to time receive inquiries and subpoenas and other types of information requests from government authorities and others and we may become subject to claims and other actions related to our business activities. While the ultimate outcome of investigations, inquiries, information requests, and legal proceedings is difficult to predict, defense of litigation claims can be expensive, time-consuming and distracting, and adverse resolutions or settlements of those matters may result in, among other things, modification of our business practices, costs, and significant payments, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

 

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We believe our development programs and platform have a particular mechanism of action, but this mechanism of action has not been proven conclusively.

Our scientific platform is novel and the underlying science is not exhaustively understood nor conclusively proven. In particular, the interaction of vIgDs with the immune synapse, the ability of vIgDs to slow, stop, restart, or accelerate immune responses, and the ability of vIgD domains to interact with multiple counterstructures is still largely theoretical. Graphical representations of proposed mechanisms of action of our therapies, the size, actual or relative, of our therapeutics, and how our therapeutics might interface with other cells within the human body, inside the immune synapse, or inside the disease and/or the tumor microenvironment are similarly theoretical and not yet conclusively proven. The lack of a proven mechanism of action may adversely affect our ability to raise sufficient capital, complete preclinical studies, adequately manufacture drug product, obtain regulatory clearance for clinical trials, or approval for marketing, or interfere with our ability to market our product to patients and physicians or achieve reimbursement from payors.

Because we have no products currently in human clinical trials, any inability to present our data in scientific journals or at scientific conferences could adversely impact our business and stock price.

We may from time to time submit data related to our research and development in peer-reviewed scientific publications or apply to present data related to our research and development at scientific or other conferences. We have no control over whether these submissions or applications are accepted. Even if accepted for a conference, we have no control over whether presentations at scientific conferences will be accepted for oral presentation, poster presentation, or abstract publication only. Even when accepted for publication, we have no control over the timing of the release of the publication. Rejection by publications, delays in publication, rejection for presentation, or a less-preferred format for a presentation may adversely impact our stock price, ability to raise capital, and business.

Our business may be affected by adverse scientific publications or editorial or discussant opinions.

We may from time to time publish data related to our research and development in peer-reviewed scientific publications or present data related to our research and development at scientific or other conferences. Editorials or discussants unrelated to us may provide opinions on our presented data unfavorable to us. In addition, scientific publications or presentations may be made which are critical of our science or research or the field of immunotherapy in general. This may adversely affect our ability to raise necessary capital, complete preclinical studies, adequately manufacture drug product, obtain regulatory clearance for clinical trials, or approval for marketing, or interfere with our ability to market our product to patients and physicians or achieve reimbursement from payors.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are not able to obtain and enforce patent protection for our technology, including therapeutic candidates, therapeutic products, and platform technology, development of our therapeutic candidates and platform, and commercialization of our therapeutic products may be materially and adversely affected.

Our success depends in part on our ability to obtain and maintain patents and other forms of intellectual property rights, including in-licenses of intellectual property rights of others, for our technology, including platform and therapeutic candidates and products, methods used to manufacture our therapeutic candidates, and products and methods for treating patients using our therapeutic candidates and products, as well as our ability to preserve our trade secrets, to prevent third parties from infringing upon our proprietary rights, and to operate without infringing upon the proprietary rights of others. As of March 31, 2018, our patent portfolio consists of over 30 pending patent applications. We may not be able to apply for patents on certain aspects of our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, in a timely fashion or at all. Any future patents we obtain may not be sufficiently broad to prevent others from using our technology or from developing competing therapeutics and technology. There is no guarantee that any of our pending patent applications will result in issued or granted patents, any of our issued or granted patents will not later be found to be invalid or unenforceable, or any issued or granted patents will include claims sufficiently broad to cover our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, or to provide meaningful protection from our competitors. Moreover, the patent position of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies can be highly uncertain because it involves complex legal and factual questions. We will

 

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be able to protect our proprietary rights from unauthorized use by third parties only to the extent our current and future technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, are covered by valid and enforceable patents or are effectively maintained as trade secrets. If third parties disclose or misappropriate our proprietary rights, it may materially and adversely impact our competitive position in the market.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, and various foreign governmental patent agencies require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment, and other provisions during the patent process. There are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. In such an event, competitors might be able to enter the market earlier than would otherwise have been the case. The standards applied by the USPTO and foreign patent offices in granting patents are not always applied uniformly or predictably. For example, there is no uniform worldwide policy regarding patentable subject matter or the scope of claims allowable in biotechnology and pharmaceutical patents. As such, we do not know the degree of future protection we will have on our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products. While we will endeavor to try to protect our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, with intellectual property rights such as patents, as appropriate, the process of obtaining patents is time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes unpredictable, and we can provide no assurances our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, will be adequately protected in the future against unauthorized uses or competing claims by third parties.

In addition, recent and future changes to the patent laws and to the rules of the USPTO or other foreign patent offices may have a significant impact on our ability to protect our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, and enforce our intellectual property rights. For example, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act enacted in 2011 involves significant changes in patent legislation. In addition, we cannot assure you court rulings or interpretations of any court decision will not adversely impact our patents or patent applications. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, there also may be uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on decisions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce our existing patents and patents we might obtain in the future.

Once granted, patents may remain open to opposition, interference, re-examination, post-grant review, inter partes review, nullification, or derivation action in court or before patent offices or similar proceedings for a given period before or after allowance or grant, during which time third parties can raise objections against such initial grant. In the course of such proceedings, which may continue for a protracted period of time, the patent owner may be compelled to limit the scope of the allowed or granted claims thus attacked, or may lose the allowed or granted claims altogether. Our patent risks include that:

 

    others may, or may be able to, make, use, offer to sell, or sell compounds that are the same as or similar to our therapeutic candidates and products but that are not covered by the claims of the patents we own or license;

 

    we or our licensors, collaborators, or any future collaborators may not be the first to file patent applications covering certain aspects of our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products;

 

    others may independently develop similar or alternative technology or duplicate any of our technology without infringing our intellectual property rights;

 

    a third party may challenge our patents and, if challenged, a court may not hold that our patents are valid, enforceable, and non-infringing;

 

    a third party may challenge our patents in various patent offices and, if challenged, we may be compelled to limit the scope of our allowed or granted claims or lose the allowed or granted claims altogether;

 

    any issued patents we own or have licensed may not provide us with any competitive advantages, or may be challenged by third parties;

 

    we may not develop additional proprietary technologies that are patentable;

 

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    the patents of others could harm our business; and

 

    our competitors could conduct research and development activities in countries where we do not or will not have enforceable patent rights and then use the information learned from such activities to develop competitive products for sale in major commercial markets where we do not or will not have enforceable patent rights.

We license patent rights from third-party owners or licensees. If such owners or licensees do not properly or successfully obtain, maintain or enforce the patents underlying such licenses, or if they retain or license to others any competing rights, our competitive position and business prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

We rely, and will continue to rely, upon intellectual property rights licensed from third parties to protect our technology, including platform technology and therapeutic candidates and products. We are a party to a number of licenses granting us rights to third-party intellectual property necessary or useful for our business. We may also license additional third-party intellectual property in the future. Our success will depend in part on the ability of our licensors to obtain, maintain, and enforce patent protection for our licensed intellectual property, in particular those patents to which we have secured exclusive rights. Our licensors may elect not to prosecute, or may be unsuccessful in prosecuting, the patent applications licensed to us. Even if patents issue or are granted, our licensors may fail to maintain these patents, may determine not to pursue litigation against other companies infringing these patents, or may pursue litigation less aggressively than we would. Further, substantially all of our existing licenses are non-exclusive and we may not be able to obtain exclusive rights in licenses obtained in the future, which would potentially allow third parties to develop competing products or technology. Without protection for, or exclusive right to, the intellectual property we license, other companies might be able to offer substantially identical products for sale, which could adversely affect our competitive business position and harm our business prospects. In addition, we may sublicense our rights under our third-party licenses to current or future collaborators or any future strategic partners. Any impairment of these sublicensed rights could result in reduced revenue under or result in termination of an agreement by one or more of our collaborators or any future strategic partners.

We may be unable to protect our patent intellectual property rights throughout the world.

Obtaining a valid and enforceable issued or granted patent covering our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, in the United States and worldwide can be extremely costly. In jurisdictions where we have not obtained patent protection, competitors may use our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, to develop their own products, and further, may commercialize such products in those jurisdictions and export otherwise infringing products to territories where we have not obtained patent protection. In certain instances, a competitor may be able to export otherwise infringing products in territories where we will obtain patent protection. In jurisdictions outside the United States where we will obtain patent protection, it may be more difficult to enforce a patent as compared to the United States. Competitor products may compete with our future products in jurisdictions where we do not or will not have issued or granted patents or where our issued or granted patent claims or other intellectual property rights are not sufficient to prevent competitor activities in these jurisdictions. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, make it difficult to enforce patents and such countries may not recognize other types of intellectual property protection, particularly relating to biopharmaceuticals. This could make it difficult for us to prevent the infringement of our patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally in certain jurisdictions. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign jurisdictions could result in substantial cost and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business.

We generally file a provisional patent application first (a priority filing) at the USPTO. An international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, is usually filed within twelve months after the priority filing, at times with a U.S. filing. Based on the PCT filing, national and regional patent applications may be filed in various international jurisdictions, such as Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States. We have so far not filed for patent protection in all national and regional jurisdictions where such protection may be available. In addition, we may decide to abandon national and regional patent applications before they are granted. Finally, the grant proceeding of each national or regional patent is an independent proceeding which may lead to situations in which applications might in some jurisdictions be refused by the relevant registration authorities, while granted by others. It is also quite common that, depending on the country, various scopes of patent protection may be granted on the same therapeutic candidate, product, or technology. The laws of some jurisdictions do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws in the United States, and many companies have encountered significant difficulties in protecting and defending such rights in such jurisdictions. If we or our licensors encounter

 

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difficulties in protecting, or are otherwise precluded from effectively protecting, the intellectual property rights important for our business in such jurisdictions, the value of these rights may be diminished and we may face additional competition from others in those jurisdictions. Many countries have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties. In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of such patent. If we or any of our licensors are forced to grant a license to third parties with respect to any patents relevant to our business, our competitive position in the relevant jurisdiction may be impaired and our business and results of operations may be adversely affected.

We or our licensors, collaborators, or any future strategic partners may become subject to third party claims or litigation alleging infringement of patents or other proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate patents or other proprietary rights, and we may need to resort to litigation to protect or enforce our patents or other proprietary rights, all of which could be costly, time consuming, delay or prevent the development of our therapeutic candidates and commercialization of our therapeutic products, or put our patents and other proprietary rights at risk.

We or our licensors, licensees, collaborators, or any future strategic partners may be subject to third-party claims for infringement or misappropriation of patent or other proprietary rights. We are generally obligated under our license or collaboration agreements to indemnify and hold harmless our licensors, licensees, or collaborators for damages arising from intellectual property infringement by us. If we or our licensors, licensees, collaborators, or any future strategic partners are found to infringe a third-party patent or other intellectual property rights, we could be required to pay damages, potentially including treble damages, if we are found to have willfully infringed. In addition, we or our licensors, licensees, collaborators, or any future strategic partners may choose to seek, or be required to seek, a license from a third party, which may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Even if a license can be obtained on acceptable terms, the rights may be non-exclusive, which could give our competitors access to the same technology or intellectual property rights licensed to or from us. If we fail to obtain a required license, we or our licensee or collaborator, or any future licensee or collaborator, may be unable to effectively market therapeutic products based on our technology, which could limit our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability and possibly prevent us from generating revenue sufficient to sustain our operations. In addition, we may find it necessary to pursue claims or initiate lawsuits to protect or enforce our patent or other intellectual property rights. The cost to us in defending or initiating any litigation or other proceeding relating to patent or other proprietary rights, even if resolved in our favor, could be substantial, and litigation would divert our management’s attention. 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. Uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of patent litigation or other proceedings could delay our research and development efforts and limit our ability to continue our operations.

Although we do not believe our technology infringes the intellectual property rights of others, we are aware of one or more patents or patent applications that may relate to our technology, and third parties may assert against our claims alleging infringement of their intellectual property rights regardless of whether their claims have merit. Infringement claims could harm our reputation, may result in the expenditure of significant resources to defend and resolve such claims, and could require us to pay monetary damages if we are found to have infringed the intellectual property rights of others.

If we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, patent ineligibility, lack of novelty, lack of written description, obviousness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability during patent litigation is unpredictable. With respect to the validity question, for example, we cannot be certain there is no invalidating prior art, of which we and the patent examiner were unaware during prosecution. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products. Such a loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on our business. Patents and other intellectual property rights also will not protect our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, if competitors design around our protected technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, without legally infringing our patents or other intellectual property rights.

 

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It is also possible we have failed to identify relevant third-party patents or applications. For example, patent applications in the United States and elsewhere are published approximately 18 months after the earliest filing for which priority is claimed, with such earliest filing date being commonly referred to as the priority date. Therefore, patent applications covering our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, could have been filed by others without our knowledge. Additionally, pending patent applications which have been published can, subject to certain limitations, be later amended in a manner that could cover our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products. Third party intellectual property rights holders may also actively bring infringement claims against us. We cannot guarantee we will be able to successfully settle or otherwise resolve such infringement claims. If we are unable to successfully settle future claims on terms acceptable to us, we may be required to engage in or continue costly, unpredictable, and time-consuming litigation and may be prevented from, or experience substantial delays in, marketing our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products. If we fail in any such dispute, in addition to being forced to pay damages, we may be temporarily or permanently prohibited from commercializing our technology, including a therapeutic product, held to be infringing. We might, if possible, also be forced to redesign therapeutic candidates or products so we no longer infringe the third party intellectual property rights. Any of these events, even if we were ultimately to prevail, could require us to divert substantial financial and management resources we would otherwise be able to devote to our business.

If we fail to comply with our obligations under any license, collaboration, or other agreements, we may be required to pay damages and could lose intellectual property rights necessary for developing and protecting our technology, including our platform technology, therapeutic candidates, and therapeutic products, or we could lose certain rights to grant sublicenses, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and business prospects.

Our current licenses impose, and any future licenses we enter into are likely to impose, various development, commercialization, funding, milestone, royalty, diligence, sublicensing, insurance, patent prosecution and enforcement, and other obligations on us. If we breach any of these obligations, or use the intellectual property licensed to us in an unauthorized manner, we may be required to pay damages and the licensor may have the right to terminate the license, which could result in us being unable to develop, manufacture, and sell products covered by the licensed technology or enable a competitor to gain access to the licensed technology. Moreover, our licensors may own or control intellectual property that has not been licensed to us and, as a result, we may be subject to claims, regardless of their merit, that we are infringing or otherwise violating the licensor’s rights. In addition, while we cannot currently determine the amount of the royalty obligations we would be required to pay on future sales of licensed products, if any, the amounts may be significant. The amount of our future royalty obligations will depend on the technology and intellectual property we use in therapeutic products we successfully develop and commercialize, if any. Therefore, even if we successfully develop and commercialize therapeutic products, we may be unable to achieve or maintain profitability.

If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our trade secrets, our business and competitive position would be harmed.

In addition to seeking patent protection for certain aspects of our technology, including platform technology and therapeutic candidates and products, we also consider trade secrets, including confidential and unpatented know-how, important to the maintenance of our competitive position. We protect trade secrets and confidential and unpatented know-how, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to such knowledge, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, CROs, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors, and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants obligating them to maintain confidentiality and assign their inventions to us. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts in the United States and certain foreign jurisdictions are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor, we would have no right to prevent them from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor, our competitive position would be harmed.

 

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We are also subject both in the United States and outside the United States to various regulatory schemes regarding requests for the information we provide to regulatory authorities, which may include, in whole or in part, trade secrets or confidential commercial information. While we are likely to be notified in advance of any disclosure of such information and would likely object to such disclosure, there can be no assurance our challenge to the request would be successful.

We may be in the future subject to claims we or our employees or consultants have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of our employees’ or consultants’ former employers or their clients. These claims may be costly to defend and if we do not successfully do so, we may be required to pay monetary damages, may be prohibited from using some of our research and development and may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel.

Many of our employees were previously employed at universities or biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our current and potential competitors. We may receive correspondence from other companies alleging the improper use or disclosure, and have received, and may in the future receive, correspondence from other companies regarding the use or disclosure, by certain of our employees who have previously been employed elsewhere in our industry, including with our competitors, of their former employer’s trade secrets or other proprietary information. Responding to these allegations can be costly and disruptive to our business, even when the allegations are without merit, and can be a distraction to management. We may be subject to claims in the future that our employees have, 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 current or future claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights, personnel, or the ability to use some of our research and development. A loss of intellectual property, key research personnel, or their work product could hamper our ability to commercialize, or prevent us from commercializing, our therapeutic candidates, 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.

If our trademarks and trade names are not adequately protected, then we may not be able to build name recognition in our markets of interest and our business may be materially and adversely affected.

Our trademarks or trade names may be challenged, infringed, circumvented, or declared generic or determined to be infringing on other marks. Any trademark litigation could be expensive. We may not be able to protect our rights to these trademarks and trade names or may be forced to stop using these names, which we need for name recognition by potential partners or customers in our markets of interest. If we are unable to establish name recognition based on our trademarks and trade names, we may not be able to compete effectively and our business may be materially and adversely affected.

Third parties may independently develop similar or superior technology.

There can be no assurance others will not independently develop, or have not already developed, similar or more advanced technologies than our technology or that others will not design around, or have not already designed around, aspects of our technology or our trade secrets developed therefrom. If third parties develop technology similar or superior to our technology, or they successfully design around our current or future technology, our competitive position, business prospects, and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Breaches of our internal computer systems, or those of our contractors, vendors, or consultants, may place our patents or proprietary rights at risk.

The loss of preclinical data or data from any future clinical trial involving our technology, including therapeutic candidates and products, could result in delays in our development and regulatory filing efforts and significantly increase our costs. In addition, theft or other exposure of data may interfere with our ability to protect our intellectual property, trade secrets, and other information critical to our operations. We have experienced in the past, and may experience in the future, unauthorized intrusions into our internal computer systems, including portions of our internal computer systems storing information related to our platform technology, therapeutic candidates and products, and we can provide no assurances that certain sensitive and proprietary information relating to one or more of our therapeutic candidates or products has not been, or will not in the future be, compromised. Although we have invested significant resources to enhance the security of our computer systems, there can be no assurances we will not experience additional unauthorized intrusions into our computer systems, or those of our CROs, vendors, contractors, and consultants, that we will successfully detect future unauthorized intrusions in a timely manner, or

 

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that future unauthorized intrusions will not result in material adverse effects on our financial condition, reputation, or business prospects. Payments related to the elimination of ransomware may materially affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Certain data breaches must also be reported to affected individuals and the government, and in some cases to the media, under provisions of HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, other U.S. federal and state law, and requirements of non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the European Union Data Protection Directive, and financial penalties may also apply.

Risks Related to Government Regulation

We may be unable to obtain U.S. or foreign regulatory approval and, as a result, may be unable to commercialize our therapeutic candidates.

Our therapeutic candidates are subject to extensive governmental regulations relating to, among other things, research, development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, promotion, storage, record-keeping, advertising, distribution, sampling, pricing, sales and marketing, safety, post-approval monitoring and reporting, and export and import of drugs. Rigorous preclinical testing and clinical trials and an extensive regulatory approval process are required to be completed successfully in the United States and in many foreign jurisdictions before a new therapeutic can be marketed. Satisfaction of these and other regulatory requirements is costly, time consuming, uncertain, and subject to unanticipated delays. It is possible none of the therapeutic candidates we may develop will obtain the regulatory approvals necessary for us or our collaborators to begin selling them.

We have very limited experience in conducting and managing the clinical trials necessary to obtain regulatory approvals, including approval by the FDA as well as foreign regulatory authorities, such as the EMA. The time required to obtain FDA and foreign regulatory approvals is unpredictable but typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials, depending upon the type, complexity, and novelty of the therapeutic candidate. The standards the FDA and its foreign counterparts use when regulating us are not always applied predictably or uniformly and can change. Any analysis we perform of data from preclinical and clinical activities is subject to confirmation and interpretation by regulatory authorities, who could delay, limit, or prevent regulatory approval. We may also encounter unexpected delays or increased costs due to new government regulations, for example, from future legislation or administrative action, or from changes in the policy of FDA or foreign regulatory authorities during the period of product development, clinical trials, and regulatory review by the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities. It is impossible to predict whether legislative changes will be enacted, or whether FDA or foreign laws, regulations, guidance, or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes, if any, may be.

Because the therapeutics we are developing may represent a new class of therapeutics, the FDA and its foreign counterparts have not yet established any definitive policies, practices, or guidelines in relation to these drugs. While we believe the therapeutic candidates we are currently developing are regulated as new biological products under the Public Health Service Act, or PHSA, the FDA could decide to reclassify them, namely to regulate them or other products we may develop as drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA. The lack of policies, practices, or guidelines may hinder or slow review by the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities of any regulatory filings we may submit. Moreover, the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities may respond to these submissions by defining requirements we may not have anticipated. Such responses could lead to significant delays in the clinical development of our therapeutic candidates. In addition, because there may be approved treatments for some of the diseases for which we may seek approval, in order to receive regulatory approval, we may need to demonstrate through clinical trials the therapeutic candidates we develop to treat these diseases, if any, are not only safe and effective, but safer or more effective than existing products.

Any delay or failure in obtaining required approvals could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate revenues from the particular therapeutic candidate for which we are seeking approval. Furthermore, any regulatory approval to market a product may be subject to limitations on the approved uses for which we may market the product or the labeling or other restrictions. Regulatory authorities also may impose requirements for costly post-marketing studies or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of the therapeutic. In addition, the FDA has the authority to require a REMS plan as part of a Biologics License Application, or BLA, or New Drug Application, or NDA, or after approval, which may impose further requirements or restrictions on the distribution or use of an approved drug or biologic, such as limiting prescribing to certain physicians or medical centers that have undergone specialized training, limiting treatment to patients who meet certain safe-use criteria, and requiring treated patients to enroll in a registry. These limitations and restrictions may limit the size of the market for the therapeutic and affect coverage and reimbursement by third-party payors.

 

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We are also subject to numerous foreign regulatory requirements governing, among other things, the conduct of clinical trials, manufacturing, marketing authorization, pricing, and third-party reimbursement. The foreign regulatory approval process varies among countries and may include all of the risks associated with FDA approval described above as well as risks attributable to the satisfaction of local regulations in foreign jurisdictions. Moreover, the time required to obtain approval may differ from that required to obtain FDA approval. Approval by the FDA does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities outside the U.S. and vice versa.

If we or our existing or future collaborators, manufacturers, or service providers fail to comply with healthcare laws and regulations, we or such other parties could be subject to enforcement actions, which could adversely affect our ability to develop, market, and sell our therapeutics and may harm our reputation.

Although we do not currently have any products on the market, once we begin commercializing our therapeutic candidates we will be subject to additional healthcare statutory and regulatory requirements and enforcement by the federal, state, and foreign governments of the jurisdictions in which we conduct our business. Healthcare providers, physicians, and third-party payors play a primary role in the recommendation and prescription of any therapeutic candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Our future arrangements with third-party payors and customers may expose us to broadly applicable fraud, abuse, and other healthcare laws and regulations constraining the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we market, sell, and distribute the therapeutic candidates for which we obtain marketing approval. Restrictions under applicable federal and state healthcare laws and regulations include the following:

 

    the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from soliciting, receiving, offering, or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce either the referral of an individual for a healthcare item or service, or the purchasing or ordering of an item or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal healthcare program such as Medicare or Medicaid;

 

    the U.S. federal False Claims Act, which imposes criminal and civil penalties, including through civil whistleblower or qui tam actions, against individuals or entities for knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, false or fraudulent claims for payment or making a false statement to avoid, decrease, or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government. In addition, the government may assert a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act;

 

    state all-payor fraud laws, which impose criminal and civil liability for executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, or knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing, or covering up a material fact or making any materially false statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services; similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation;

 

    HIPAA, HITECH, and their implementing regulations, which impose obligations on certain covered entity healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses as well as their business associates performing certain services involving the use or disclosure of individually identifiable health information, including mandatory contractual terms, with respect to safeguarding the privacy, security, and transmission of individually identifiable health information, and require notification to affected individuals and regulatory authorities of certain breaches of security of individually identifiable health information;

 

   

the federal Physician Payment Sunshine Act and its implementing regulations, also referred to as “Open Payments,” issued under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, or ACA, and any subsequent amending legislation or executive actions, which require manufacturers of pharmaceutical and biological

 

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drugs reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs to report to the Department of Health and Human Services all consulting fees, travel reimbursements, research grants, and other payments, transfers of value or gifts made to physicians and teaching hospitals with limited exceptions; and

 

    analogous state laws and regulations, such as, state anti-kickback and false claims laws potentially applicable to sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental third-party payors, including private insurers; and some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring drug manufacturers to report information related to payments to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures, and state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Ensuring our future business arrangements with third-parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations could involve substantial costs. If our operations are found to be in violation of any such requirements, we may be subject to penalties, including civil or criminal penalties, monetary damages, the curtailment or restructuring of our operations, or exclusion from participation in government contracting, healthcare reimbursement, or other government programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, any of which could adversely affect our financial results. Although effective compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, these risks cannot be entirely eliminated. Any action against us for an alleged or suspected violation could cause our company to incur significant legal expenses and could divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business, even if our defense is successful. In addition, achieving and sustaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations may be costly to us in terms of money, time, and resources.

If we or our current or future collaborators, manufacturers, or service providers fail to comply with applicable federal, state, or foreign laws or regulations, we could be subject to enforcement actions, which could affect our ability to develop, market, and sell our therapeutics successfully and could harm our reputation and lead to reduced acceptance of our therapeutics by the market. These enforcement actions include, among others:

 

    adverse regulatory inspection findings;

 

    warning or untitled letters;

 

    voluntary product recalls with public notification or medical product safety alerts to healthcare professionals;

 

    restrictions on, or prohibitions against, marketing our therapeutics;

 

    restrictions on, or prohibitions against, importation or exportation of our therapeutics;

 

    suspension of review or refusal to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications;

 

    exclusion from participation in government-funded healthcare programs;

 

    exclusion from eligibility for the award of government contracts for our therapeutics;

 

    FDA debarment;

 

    suspension or withdrawal of therapeutic approvals;

 

    seizures or administrative detention of therapeutics;

 

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    injunctions; and

 

    civil and criminal penalties and fines.

Any therapeutics we develop may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party coverage and reimbursement practices, or healthcare reform initiatives, thereby harming our business.

The regulations governing marketing approvals, pricing, coverage, and reimbursement for new drugs and biologics vary widely from country to country. Many countries require approval of the sale price of a drug 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. Although we intend to monitor these regulations, our programs are currently in the early stages of development and we will not be able to assess the impact of price regulations for a number of years. As a result, we might obtain regulatory approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations delaying our commercial launch of the product and negatively impacting the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country.

Our ability to commercialize any therapeutics successfully also will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers, and other organizations. However, there may be significant delays in obtaining coverage for newly-approved therapeutics. Moreover, eligibility for coverage does not necessarily signify a therapeutic will be reimbursed in all cases or at a rate covering our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale, and distribution costs. Also, interim payments for new therapeutics, if applicable, may be insufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Thus, even if we succeed in bringing one or more therapeutics to the market, these products may not be considered cost-effective, and the amount reimbursed for any of them may be insufficient to allow us to sell them on a competitive basis. Because our programs are in the early stages of development, we are unable at this time to determine their cost effectiveness, coverage prospects, potential compendia listings, or the likely level or method of reimbursement, if covered. It is equally difficult for us to predict how Medicare coverage and reimbursement policies will be applied to our products in the future, and coverage and reimbursement under different federal healthcare programs are not always consistent. Medicare reimbursement rates may also reflect budgetary constraints placed on the Medicare program.

Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policies and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement rates. These coverage policies and limitations may rely, in part, on compendia listings for approved therapeutics. Our inability to promptly obtain relevant compendia listings, coverage, and adequate reimbursement from both government-funded and private payors for new therapeutics we develop and for which we obtain regulatory approval could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products, and our financial condition.

We believe the efforts of governments and third-party payors to contain or reduce the cost of healthcare, and legislative and regulatory proposals to broaden the availability of healthcare, will continue to affect the business and financial condition of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. A number of legislative and regulatory changes in the healthcare system in the United States and other major healthcare markets have been proposed, and such efforts have expanded substantially in recent years. These developments could, directly or indirectly, affect our ability to sell our products, if approved, at a favorable price.

In addition, third-party payors who reimburse patients or healthcare providers, such as government and private insurance plans, are seeking greater upfront discounts, additional rebates, and other concessions to reduce the prices for therapeutics. If the price we are able to charge for any therapeutics we develop, or the reimbursement provided for such products, is inadequate, our return on investment could be adversely affected.

Pursuant to health reform legislation and related initiatives, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, are working with various healthcare providers to develop, refine, and implement Accountable Care Organizations, or ACOs, and other innovative models of care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative, the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative, the Duals Demonstration, and other models. The continued development and expansion of ACOs and other innovative models of care will have an uncertain impact on any future reimbursement we may receive for approved therapeutics administered by such organizations.

 

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In addition, in recent years, the U.S. Congress has enacted various laws seeking to reduce the federal debt level and contain healthcare expenditures. For example, as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, an annual 2% reduction to Medicare payments that took effect in 2013 has been extended through 2025. These across-the-board spending cuts could adversely affect our future revenues, earnings, and cash flows.

From time to time, legislation is drafted, introduced, and passed in Congress that could significantly change the statutory provisions governing coverage, reimbursement, and marketing of products regulated by CMS or other government agencies. In addition to new legislation, CMS coverage and reimbursement policies are often revised or interpreted in ways that may significantly affect our business and our products. In particular, we expect the Administration and Congress will seek to modify, repeal, or otherwise invalidate all, or certain provisions of, U.S. healthcare legislation . A number of additional executive orders have been issued affecting, or potentially affecting, the ACA and other aspects of the healthcare market in the United States. There is a high degree of uncertainty with respect to the impact President Trump’s Administration and Congress may have, and any changes will likely take time to unfold. Such reforms could have an adverse effect on anticipated revenues from therapeutic candidates we may successfully develop and for which we may obtain regulatory approval and may affect our overall financial condition and ability to develop therapeutic candidates. However, we cannot predict the ultimate content, timing, or effect of any healthcare reform legislation or executive orders or the impact of potential legislation and executive orders on us.

The healthcare industry is heavily regulated in the U.S. at the federal, state, and local levels, and our failure to comply with applicable requirements may subject us to penalties and negatively affect our financial condition.

As a healthcare company, our operations, clinical trial activities, and interactions with healthcare providers will be subject to extensive regulation in the United States, particularly if we receive FDA approval for any of our products in the future. For example, if we receive FDA approval for a therapeutic for which reimbursement is available under a federal healthcare program, it would be subject to a variety of federal laws and regulations, including those prohibiting the filing of false or improper claims for payment by federal healthcare programs, prohibiting unlawful inducements for the referral of business reimbursable by federal healthcare programs, and requiring disclosure of certain payments or other transfers of value made to U.S.-licensed physicians and teaching hospitals. We are not able to predict how government authorities will interpret these laws. They may challenge our practices and activities under one or more of these laws. If our past or present operations are found to be in violation of any of these laws, we could be subject to civil and criminal penalties, which could hurt our business, operations, and financial condition.

Similarly, some state laws prohibit, among other offenses, knowingly and willfully executing a scheme to defraud any health care benefit program, including private payors, or falsifying, concealing, or covering up a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for items or services under a health care benefit program. We may also be subject to the privacy and security provisions of HIPAA, as amended by HITECH, which restricts the use and disclosure of patient-identifiable health information, mandates the adoption of standards relating to the privacy and security of patient-identifiable health information, and requires the reporting of certain security breaches to healthcare provider customers with respect to such information. Additionally, many states have enacted similar laws imposing more stringent requirements on entities like us. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could result in substantial penalties and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our ability to obtain services, reimbursement, or funding from the federal government may be impacted by possible reductions in federal spending.

The U.S. federal budget remains in flux and could, among other things, cut Medicare payments to providers. The Medicare program is frequently mentioned as a target for spending cuts. The full impact on our business of any future cuts in Medicare or other programs is uncertain. In addition, we cannot predict any impact President Trump’s administration and Congress may have on the federal budget. If federal spending is reduced, anticipated budgetary shortfalls may also impact the ability of relevant agencies such as the FDA or the National Institutes of Health to continue to function at current levels. Amounts allocated to federal grants and contracts may be reduced or eliminated. These reductions may also impact the ability of relevant agencies to timely review and approve drug research and development, manufacturing, and marketing activities, which may delay our ability to develop, market, and sell any therapeutics we may develop.

 

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If any of our therapeutic candidates receives marketing approval and we or others later identify undesirable side effects caused by the therapeutic candidate, our ability to market and derive revenue from the therapeutic candidates could be compromised.

In the event any of our therapeutic candidates receive regulatory approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects, adverse events, or other problems caused by one of our therapeutics, any of the following adverse events could occur, which could result in the loss of significant revenue to us and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and business:

 

    regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of the product or seize the product;

 

    we may need to recall the therapeutic or change the way the therapeutic is administered to patients;

 

    additional restrictions may be imposed on the marketing of the particular therapeutic or the manufacturing processes for the therapeutic or any component thereof;

 

    we may not be able to secure or maintain adequate coverage and reimbursement for our proprietary therapeutic candidates from government (including U.S. federal health care programs) and private payors;

 

    we may lose or see adverse alterations to compendia listings or treatment protocols specified by accountable care organizations;

 

    we may be subject to fines, restitution, or disgorgement of profits or revenues, injunctions, or the imposition of civil penalties or criminal prosecution;

 

    regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements, such as a “black box” warning, or equivalent, or a contraindication;

 

    regulatory authorities may require us to implement a REMS plan, or to conduct post-marketing studies or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the safety or efficacy of the product;

 

    we may be required to create a Medication Guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;

 

    we could be sued and held liable for harm caused to patients;

 

    the therapeutic may become less competitive; and

 

    our reputation may suffer.

Significant developments stemming from the United Kingdom’s recent referendum on membership in the European Union could have a material adverse effect on us.

In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum and voted in favor of leaving the European Union. This referendum has created political and economic uncertainty, particularly in the United Kingdom and the European Union, and this uncertainty may last for years. Any business we conduct, now and in the future, in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and worldwide could be affected during this period of uncertainty, and perhaps longer, by the impact of the United Kingdom’s referendum. There are many ways in which our business could be affected, only some of which we can identify as of the date of this filing.

The referendum, and the likely withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union it triggers, has caused and, along with events potentially occurring in the future as a consequence of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, including the possible breakup of the United Kingdom, may continue to cause significant volatility in global financial markets, including in global currency and debt markets. This volatility could cause a slowdown in economic activity in the United Kingdom, Europe, or globally, which could adversely affect our operating results and growth prospects. In addition, our business could be negatively affected by new trade agreements between the United Kingdom and other countries, including the United States, and by the possible imposition of trade or other regulatory barriers in the United Kingdom.

 

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It is currently unknown how regulations affecting clinical trials, the approval of our future products, and the sale of these products will be affected by this referendum either in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in Europe.

These possible negative impacts, and others resulting from the United Kingdom’s actual or threatened withdrawal from the EU, may adversely affect our operating results and growth prospects.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

Our stock price may be volatile and an active, liquid and orderly trading market may not develop for our common stock. As a result, stockholders may not be able to resell shares at or above their purchase price.

Although our common stock is listed on Nasdaq, an active trading market for our common stock may not develop or, if it develops, may not be sustained. The lack of an active market may impair the ability of our stockholders to sell their shares at the time they wish to sell them or at a price that they consider reasonable, which may reduce the fair market value of their shares. Further, an inactive market may also impair our ability to raise capital by selling our common stock should we determine additional funding is required.

The market price of our common stock could be subject to significant fluctuations. Market prices for securities of early-stage pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other life sciences companies have historically been particularly volatile. Some of the factors that may cause the market price of our common stock to fluctuate following the merger include:

 

    our ability to obtain regulatory approvals for product candidates, and delays or failures to obtain such approvals;

 

    the failure of any of our product candidates, if approved, to achieve commercial success;

 

    issues in manufacturing our approved products, if any, or product candidates;

 

    the results of current, and any future, preclinical or clinical trials of our product candidates;

 

    the entry into, or termination of, key agreements, including key licensing, collaboration or acquisition agreements;

 

    the initiation or material developments in, or conclusion of, litigation to enforce or defend any of our intellectual property rights or defend against the intellectual property rights of others;

 

    announcements by commercial partners or competitors of new commercial products, clinical progress (or the lack thereof), significant contracts, commercial relationships, or capital commitments;

 

    adverse publicity relating to our markets, including with respect to other products and potential products in such markets;

 

    the introduction of technological innovations or new therapies competing with our potential products;

 

    the loss of key employees;

 

    changes in estimates or recommendations by securities analysts, if any, who cover our common stock;

 

    general and industry-specific economic conditions potentially affecting our research and development expenditures;

 

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    changes in the structure of health care payment systems;

 

    unanticipated serious safety concerns related to the use of any of our product candidates;

 

    failure to meet or exceed financial and development projections we may provide to the public;

 

    failure to meet or exceed the financial and development projections of the investment community;

 

    the perception of the pharmaceutical industry by the public, legislators, regulators, and the investment community;

 

    adverse regulatory decisions;

 

    disputes or other developments relating to proprietary rights, including patents, litigation matters, and our ability to obtain patent protection for our technologies;

 

    commencement of, or our involvement in, litigation;

 

    sales of our common stock by us or our stockholders in the future;

 

    trading volume of our common stock;

 

    period-to-period fluctuations in our financial results; and

 

    the other factors described in this “Risk Factors” section.

Moreover, the stock markets in general have experienced substantial volatility that has often been unrelated to the operating performance of individual companies or the biotechnology sector. These broad market fluctuations may also adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.

In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, stockholders have often instituted class action securities litigation against those companies. Such litigation, if instituted, could result in substantial costs and diversion of management attention and resources, which could significantly harm our business and reputation.

Our officers and directors, and their respective affiliates, have a controlling influence over our business affairs and may make business decisions with which stockholders disagree and which may adversely affect the value of their investment.

Our executive officers and directors together with their respective affiliates, own approximately 68% of our outstanding common stock as of March 31, 2018. As a result, if some of these persons or entities act together, they will have the ability to exercise significant influence over matters submitted to the stockholders for approval, including the election of directors, amendments to the certificate of incorporation and bylaws and the approval of any strategic transaction requiring the approval of the stockholders. These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by other stockholders. This concentration of ownership may also have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control of our company or discouraging others from making tender offers for our shares, which could prevent our stockholders from receiving a premium for their shares. Some of these persons or entities who make up our principal stockholders may have interests different from other stockholders. The significant concentration of stock ownership may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock due to investors’ perception that conflicts of interest may exist or arise.

Future sales, or the perception of future sales, of a substantial amount of our common stock could depress the trading price of our common stock.

Our stock price could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of our common stock or the perception that these sales could occur. These sales, or the possibility that these sales may occur, also might make it more difficult for us to sell equity securities in the future at a time and at a price that we deem appropriate.

 

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The resale of approximately 10.3 million shares was previously prohibited as a result of lock-up agreements entered into by certain of our stockholders in connection with our merger with Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. in July 2017; however, subject to applicable securities law restrictions, these shares became eligible for sale in the public market beginning January 21, 2018. In addition, the shares subject to outstanding options and warrants, of which options and warrants to purchase 559,125 shares and 14,819 shares, respectively, were exercisable as of March 31, 2018, and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans will become available for sale immediately upon the exercise of such options.

We also register the offer and sale of all shares of common stock that we may issue under our equity incentive plans. Once we register the offer and sale of shares for the holders of registration rights and option holders, they can be freely sold in the public market upon issuance, subject to any related lock-up agreements or applicable securities laws.

In addition, in the future, we may issue additional shares of common stock or other equity or debt securities convertible into common stock in connection with a financing, acquisition, litigation settlement, employee arrangements or otherwise. Any such future issuance, including any issuances pursuant to our “at the market” equity offering program, could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and could cause our stock price to decline.

We will have broad discretion over the use of the proceeds to us from our “at the market” equity offering program and may apply the proceeds to uses that do not improve our operating results or the value of your securities.

We will have broad discretion to use the net proceeds to us from our “at the market” equity offering program put into place in July 2016, and investors will be relying solely on the judgment of our board of directors and management regarding the application of these proceeds. Although we expect to use the net proceeds from our “at the market” equity offering program for general corporate purposes, we have not allocated these net proceeds for specific purposes. Investors will not have the opportunity, as part of their investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. Our use of the proceeds may not improve our operating results or increase the value of the securities offered pursuant to the “at the market” equity offering program.

The JOBS Act allows us to postpone the date by which we must comply with certain laws and regulations intended to protect investors and to reduce the amount of information we provide in our reports filed with the SEC. We cannot be certain if this reduced disclosure will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

The JOBS Act is intended to reduce the regulatory burden on “emerging growth companies.” As defined in the JOBS Act, we qualify as an “emerging growth company” and could remain an “emerging growth company” until as late as December 31, 2020. For so long as we are an “emerging growth company,” we will, among other things:

 

    not be required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of Sarbanes- Oxley;

 

    not be required to hold a nonbinding advisory stockholder vote on executive compensation pursuant to Section 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act;

 

    not be required to seek stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved pursuant to Section 14A of the Exchange Act;

 

    be exempt from any rule adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, requiring mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplemental auditor discussion and analysis; and

 

    be subject to reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements.

We have previously decided to opt out of an extended transition period under the JOBS Act that permits an emerging growth company to delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. Our decision is irrevocable. As a result, we will adopt new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for other companies.

 

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Furthermore, if we take advantage of some or all of the reduced disclosure requirements above, investors may find our common stock less attractive, which may result in a less active trading market for our common stock and greater stock price volatility.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis could be impaired.

We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. We must perform system and process evaluation and testing of our internal control over financial reporting to allow management to report on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filing for that year, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

We may discover weaknesses in our system of internal financial and accounting controls and procedures that could result in a material misstatement of our financial statements. Our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. An internal control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the internal control system’s objectives will be met. Because of the inherent limitations in all internal control systems, no evaluation of internal controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all internal control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.

If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or if we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements. If that were to happen, the market price of our common stock could decline and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities.

Our disclosure controls and procedures may not prevent or detect all errors or acts of fraud.

Our disclosure controls and procedures are designed to reasonably ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in reports we file or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management and recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC. We believe that any disclosure controls and procedures as well as internal controls and procedures, no matter how well-conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are and will be met. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty and that breakdowns can occur because of simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people or by an unauthorized override of the controls. Accordingly, because of the inherent limitations in our control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected.

We will continue to incur costs and demands upon management as a result of complying with the laws and regulations affecting public companies.

We will incur significant legal, accounting, and other expenses Alpine did not incur as a private company, including costs associated with public company reporting requirements. We will also incur costs associated with corporate governance requirements, including requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as new rules implemented by the SEC and The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC. Although the JOBS Act may for a limited period of time somewhat lessen the cost of complying with these additional regulatory and other requirements, we nonetheless expect that these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some activities more time-consuming and costly. For example, our management team will consist of the executive officers of Alpine prior to the merger, some of whom may not have previously managed and operated a public company. These executive officers and other personnel will need to devote substantial time to gaining expertise regarding operations as a public company and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. These rules and regulations may also make it difficult and expensive for us to obtain directors and officer’s liability insurance. As a result, it may be more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified individuals to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers of our company, which may adversely affect investor confidence in us and could cause our business or stock price to suffer.

 

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Anti-takeover provisions in our charter documents and under Delaware or Washington law could discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, limit attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management and may affect the trading price of our common stock.

Our corporate documents contain provisions that may delay or discourage transactions involving an actual or potential change in our control or change in our management, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares, or transactions that our stockholders might otherwise deem to be in their best interests. Therefore, these provisions could adversely affect the price of our stock. Among other things, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws:

 

    stagger the terms of our board of directors and require 66 and 2/3% stockholder voting to remove directors, who may only be removed for cause;

 

    provide that the authorized number of directors may be changed only by resolution of our board of directors;

 

    provide that all vacancies, including newly-created directorships, may, except as otherwise required by law, be filled by the affirmative vote of a majority of directors then in office, even if less than a quorum;

 

    authorize our board of directors to issue “blank check” preferred stock and to determine the rights and preferences of those shares, which may be senior to our common stock, without prior stockholder approval;

 

    establish advance notice requirements for nominating directors and proposing matters to be voted on by stockholders at stockholders’ meetings;

 

    prohibit our stockholders from calling a special meeting and prohibit stockholders from acting by written consent;

 

    require 66 and 2/3% stockholder voting to effect certain amendments to our certificate of incorporation and bylaws; and

 

    prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors, which limits the ability of minority stockholders to elect director candidates.

In addition, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of 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 any “interested” stockholder for a period of three years following the date on which the stockholder became an “interested” stockholder. Likewise, because our principal executive offices are located in Washington, the anti-takeover provisions of the Washington Business Corporation Act may apply to us under certain circumstances now or in the future. These provisions prohibit a “target corporation” from engaging in any of a broad range of business combinations with any stockholder constituting an “acquiring person” for a period of five years following the date on which the stockholder became an “acquiring person.” These provisions could discourage, delay or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of our company. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for stockholders to elect directors of their choosing and cause us to take other corporate actions our stockholders desire.

Claims for indemnification by our directors and officers may reduce our available funds to satisfy successful third-party claims against us and may reduce the amount of available cash.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that we will indemnify our directors to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law.

 

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In addition, as permitted by Section 145 of the DGCL, our amended and restated bylaws and our indemnification agreements that we have entered into with our directors and officers provide that:

 

    we will indemnify our directors and officers for serving us in those capacities or for serving other business enterprises at our request, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Delaware law provides that a corporation may indemnify such person if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation and, with respect to any criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe such person’s conduct was unlawful.

 

    we may, in our discretion, indemnify other employees and agents in those circumstances where indemnification is permitted by applicable law.

 

    we are required to advance expenses, as incurred, to our directors and officers in connection with defending a proceeding, except that such directors or officers shall undertake to repay such advances if it is ultimately determined that such person is not entitled to indemnification.

 

    we will not be obligated pursuant to our amended and restated bylaws to indemnify any director or officer in connection with any proceeding (or part thereof) initiated by such person unless the proceeding was authorized in the specific case by our board of directors or such indemnification is required to be made pursuant to our amended and restated bylaws.

 

    the rights conferred in our amended and restated bylaws are not exclusive, and we are authorized to enter into indemnification agreements with our directors, officers, employees and agents and to obtain insurance to indemnify such persons.

 

    we may not retroactively amend our amended and restated bylaw provisions to reduce our indemnification obligations to our directors or officers.

As a result, if we are required to indemnify one or more of our directors or officers, it may reduce our available funds to satisfy successful third-party claims against us, may reduce the amount of available cash and may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or our amended and restated bylaws or any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each case subject to the Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein and the claim not being one which is vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than the Court of Chancery or for which the Court of Chancery does not have subject matter jurisdiction. Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our common stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to this provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This choice of forum provision may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, employees and agents even though an action, if successful, might benefit our stockholders. Stockholders who do bring a claim in the Court of Chancery could face additional litigation costs in pursuing any such claim, particularly if they do not reside in or near Delaware. The Court of Chancery may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments or results may be more favorable to us than to our stockholders. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

 

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We do not expect to pay any dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future.

We currently expect to retain all future earnings, if any, for future operations and expansion, and have no current plans to pay any cash dividends to holders of our common stock for the foreseeable future. Any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. As a result, stockholders may not receive any return on an investment in our common stock unless stockholders sell our common stock for a price greater than that which they paid for it.

If equity research analysts do not publish research or reports, or publish unfavorable research or reports, about us, our business or our market, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that equity research analysts publish about us and our business. Equity research analysts may elect not to provide research coverage of our common stock or discontinue existing research coverage, and such lack of research coverage may adversely affect the market price of our common stock. We do not have any control over the analysts or the content and opinions included in their reports. The price of our common stock could decline if one or more equity research analysts downgrade our stock or issue other unfavorable commentary or research. If one or more equity research analysts ceases coverage of us or fails to publish reports regularly, demand for our common stock could decrease, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline.

Nasdaq may delist our common stock from its exchange, which could limit investors’ ability to make transactions in our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions.

Our common shares are listed on Nasdaq under the trading symbol “ALPN.” Our securities may fail to meet the continued listing requirements to be listed on Nasdaq. If Nasdaq delists our common shares from trading on its exchange, we could face significant material adverse consequences, including:

 

    significant impairment of the liquidity for our common stock, which may substantially decrease the market price of our common stock;

 

    a limited availability of market quotations for our securities;

 

    a determination that our common stock qualifies as a “penny stock” which will require brokers trading in our common stock to adhere to more stringent rules and possibly resulting in a reduced level of trading activity in the secondary trading market for our common stock;

 

    a limited amount of news and analyst coverage for our company; and

 

    a decreased ability to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future.

Risks Related to this Offering

Management will have broad discretion as to the use of the proceeds from this offering, and may not use the proceeds effectively.

Because we have not designated the amount of net proceeds from this offering to be used for any particular purpose, we will have broad discretion to use the net proceeds to us from this offering, and investors will be relying solely on the judgment of our board of directors and management regarding the application of these proceeds. Although we expect to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, we have not allocated these net proceeds for specific purposes. Investors will not have the opportunity, as part of their investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. Our use of the proceeds may not improve our operating results or increase the value of the securities being offered hereby.

You may experience immediate and substantial dilution.

Our net tangible book value per share as of March 31, 2018 was $5.23 and the last reported sale price of our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market on June 8, 2018 was $9.13. The shares subject to the Equity

 

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Distribution Agreement are being sold from time to time at various prices and the offering price per share investors pay may exceed the net tangible book value per share. The exercise of outstanding stock options and warrants will result in further dilution.

 

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the information incorporated by reference herein and therein may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “will,” “may,” “seek” and other similar expressions. You should read these statements carefully because they discuss future expectations, contain projections of future results of operations or financial condition, or state other “forward-looking” information. These statements relate to our future plans, objectives, expectations, intentions and financial performance and the assumptions that underlie these statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to:

 

    our ability to identify additional products or product candidates;

 

    our estimates regarding our expenses, revenues, anticipated capital requirements and our needs for additional financing;

 

    our ability to obtain funding for our operations;

 

    the implementation of our business model and strategic plans for our business and technology;

 

    the timing of the commencement, progress and receipt of data from any of our preclinical and potential clinical trials;

 

    the expected results of any preclinical or clinical trial and the impact on the likelihood or timing of any regulatory approval;

 

    the scope of protection we are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering our technology and product candidates;

 

    the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals;

 

    the therapeutic benefits, effectiveness and safety of our product candidates;

 

    the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of any future products

 

    our ability to maintain and establish collaborations;

 

    our expectations regarding market risk, including interest rate changes;

 

    developments relating to our competitors and our industry; and

 

    our expectations regarding licensing, acquisitions and strategic operations.

All forward-looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this prospectus supplement and we will not update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this prospectus supplement, except as required by law. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in this prospectus supplement. The forward-looking statements contained in this prospectus supplement, and other written and oral forward-looking statements made by us from time to time, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those discussed under “Risk Factors” beginning on page S-5 of this prospectus supplement. Forward-looking statements are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. These statements, like all statements in this prospectus supplement, speak only as of their date, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in light of future developments, except as required by law.

 

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In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this prospectus supplement, and while we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted an exhaustive inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received from this offering. In addition, the amount, allocation and timing of our actual expenditures will depend upon numerous factors, including the amount and timing of the proceeds from the sale of shares offered by this prospectus supplement, the progress of our product candidate development and related activities. In addition, expenditures may also depend on the establishment of new collaborative arrangements with other partners, the availability of other financing and other factors. Accordingly, we will have broad discretion in using the net proceeds from this offering.

We currently plan to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes and to advance the development of our product candidates. Pending these uses, we plan to invest the net proceeds of this offering in short-term, interest-bearing, investment-grade instruments, certificates of deposit or direct or guaranteed obligations of the U.S. government.

 

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DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

The description below of our capital stock and provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws are summaries and are qualified by reference to the amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the amended and restated bylaws, and the applicable provisions of Delaware and Washington law.

General

Our certificate of incorporation provides for authorized capital consisting of 200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share. As of March 31, 2018, there were 13,846,084 shares of our common stock, options to purchase 1,942,712 shares of our common stock, warrants to purchase 24,123 shares of our common stock, and no shares of preferred stock outstanding.

Common Stock

Voting rights

The holders of our common stock will be entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors, and will not have cumulative voting rights. Unless otherwise required by law, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, or our amended and restated bylaws, each matter submitted to a vote of our stockholders will require the approval of a majority of votes cast by stockholders represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote on such matter, except that directors will be elected by a plurality of votes cast. Accordingly, the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors will be able to elect all of the directors standing for election, if they so choose.

Dividend rights

Holders of common stock will be entitled to receive ratably dividends if, as and when dividends are declared from time to time by our Board of Directors out of funds legally available for that purpose, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any then-outstanding preferred stock.

Other matters

Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities, subject to any other distribution rights granted to holders of any outstanding preferred stock. Holders of common stock will have no preemptive or conversion rights or other subscription rights, and no redemption or sinking fund provisions will be applicable to our common stock.

Preferred Stock

Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders (unless such stockholder action is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or market on which our securities are then traded), to designate and issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding.

 

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We will fix the designations, voting powers, preferences and rights of the preferred stock of each series, as well as the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof, in a certificate of designation relating to that series. We will file as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of any certificate of designation that describes the terms of the series of preferred stock we are offering before the issuance of that series of preferred stock. This description will include:

 

    the title and stated value;

 

    the number of shares we are offering;

 

    the liquidation preference per share;

 

    the purchase price;

 

    the dividend rate, period and payment date and method of calculation for dividends;

 

    whether dividends will be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date from which dividends will accumulate;

 

    the procedures for any auction and remarketing, if any;

 

    the provisions for a sinking fund, if any;

 

    the provisions for redemption or repurchase, if applicable, and any restrictions on our ability to exercise those redemption and repurchase rights;

 

    any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange or market;

 

    whether the preferred stock will be convertible into our common stock, and, if applicable, the conversion price, or how it will be calculated, and the conversion period;

 

    whether the preferred stock will be exchangeable into debt securities, and, if applicable, the exchange price, or how it will be calculated, and the exchange period;

 

    voting rights, if any, of the preferred stock;

 

    preemptive rights, if any;

 

    restrictions on transfer, sale or other assignment, if any;

 

    whether interests in the preferred stock will be represented by depositary shares;

 

    a discussion of any material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock;

 

    the relative ranking and preferences of the preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights if we liquidate, dissolve or wind up our affairs;

 

    any limitations on the issuance of any class or series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on a parity with the series of preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights if we liquidate, dissolve or wind up our affairs; and

 

    any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the preferred stock.

Delaware law provides that the holders of preferred stock will have the right to vote separately as a class (or, in some cases, as a series) on an amendment to our certificate of incorporation if the amendment would change the par value or, unless the certificate of incorporation provided otherwise, the number of authorized shares of the class or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the class or series so as to adversely affect the class or series, as the case may be. This right is in addition to any voting rights that may be provided for in the applicable certificate of designation.

 

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Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of the common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could, among other things, have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control that may otherwise benefit holders of our common stock and may adversely affect the market price of the common stock and the voting and other rights of the holders of common stock.

Warrants

As of March 31, 2018, we had warrants outstanding to purchase 24,123 shares of our common stock.

Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and Delaware and Washington Law

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain certain provisions that are intended to enhance the likelihood of continuity and stability in the composition of the board of directors and which may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a future takeover or change in control of the Company unless such takeover or change in control is approved by the board of directors. These provisions include:

Classified Board.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors will be divided into three classes of directors, with the classes as nearly equal in number as possible. At each annual meeting of the stockholders, a class of directors will be elected for a three-year term to succeed the directors of the same class whose terms are then expiring. As a result approximately one-third of our directors will be elected each year. The current term of office of the directors of Class I shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2019; the current term of office of the directors of Class II shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2020; and the current term of office of the directors of Class III shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2018. The classification of directors will have the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that, subject to any rights of holders of preferred stock to elect additional directors under specified circumstances, the number of directors will be fixed exclusively pursuant to a resolution adopted by our board of directors. Any additional directorships resulting from an increase in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class shall consist of one third of the board of directors. Our board of directors currently has seven members.

Action by Written Consent; Special Meetings of Stockholders

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that stockholder action can be taken only at an annual or special meeting of stockholders and cannot be taken by written consent in lieu of a meeting. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of the stockholders can be called only by or at the direction of the board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of directors. Except as described above, stockholders are not permitted to call a special meeting or to require the board of directors to call a special meeting.

Removal of Directors

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our directors may be removed only for cause by the affirmative vote of at least 66-2/3% of the voting power of our outstanding shares of capital stock, voting together as a single class and entitled to vote in the election of directors. This requirement of a supermajority vote to remove directors could enable a minority of our stockholders to prevent a change in the composition of our board.

 

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Advance Notice Procedures

Our amended and restated bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to the board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting are only able to consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of the board of directors or by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has given our Secretary timely written notice, in proper form, of the stockholder’s intention to bring that business before the meeting. Although the amended and restated bylaws do not give the board of directors the power to approve or disapprove stockholder nominations of candidates or proposals regarding other business to be conducted at a special or annual meeting, the amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed or may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of the company.

Super Majority Approval Requirements

The Delaware General Corporation Law generally provides that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote on any matter is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, unless either a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws requires a greater percentage. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66-2/3% of the outstanding shares of capital stock, voting together as a single class and entitled to vote in the election of directors will be required to amend, alter, change or repeal the amended and restated bylaws and the provisions described above in the amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This requirement of a supermajority vote could enable a minority of our stockholders to exercise veto power over any such amendments.

Authorized but Unissued Shares

Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock will be available for future issuance without stockholder approval. These additional shares may be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital, corporate acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of a majority of our common stock by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.

Exclusive Forum

Our certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws or any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each case subject to the Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein and the claim not being one which is vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than the Court of Chancery or for which the Court of Chancery does not have subject matter jurisdiction. Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to this provision of our certificate of incorporation. This choice of forum provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, employees and agents. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with one or more actions or proceedings described above, a court could find the provision of our certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable.

 

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Section 203 of Delaware Law

We are subject to Section 203 of Delaware Law, or Section 203. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or did own within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock. Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions: before the stockholder became interested, the board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; upon consummation of the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances; or at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder. A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of these provisions with an express provision in its original certificate of incorporation or an express provision in its certificate of incorporation or bylaws resulting from a stockholders’ amendment approved by at least a majority of the outstanding voting shares. We have not opted out of these provisions. As a result, mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts of us may be discouraged or prevented.

Washington Business Corporation Act

The laws of Washington, where our principal executive offices are located, impose restrictions on certain transactions between certain foreign corporations and significant stockholders. In particular, the Washington Business Corporation Act, or WBCA, prohibits a “target corporation,” with certain exceptions, from engaging in certain “significant business transactions” with a person or group of persons which beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting securities of the target corporation, an “acquiring person,” for a period of five years after such acquisition, unless the transaction or acquisition of shares is approved by a majority of the members of the target corporation’s board of directors prior to the time of acquisition. Such prohibited transactions may include, among other things:

 

    any merger or consolidation with, disposition of assets to, or issuance or redemption of stock to or from, the acquiring person;

 

    any termination of 5% or more of the employees of the target corporation as a result of the acquiring person’s acquisition of 10% or more of the shares; and

 

    allowing the acquiring person to receive any disproportionate benefit as a stockholder.

After the five-year period, a significant business transaction may take place as long as it complies with certain fair price provisions of the statute or is approved at an annual or special meeting of stockholders.

We will be considered a “target corporation” so long as our principal executive office is located in Washington, and: (1) a majority of our employees are residents of the state of Washington or we employ more than one thousand residents of the state of Washington; (2) a majority of our tangible assets, measured by market value, are located in the state of Washington or we have more than $50 million worth of tangible assets located in the state of Washington; and (3) any one of the following: (a) more than 10% of our stockholders of record are resident in the state of Washington; (b) more than 10% of our shares are owned of record by state residents; or (c) 1,000 or more of our stockholders of record are resident in the state.

If we meet the definition of a target corporation, the WBCA may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change of control.

 

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Transfer Agent And Registrar

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219. The transfer agent for any series of preferred stock, debt securities or warrants that we may offer under this prospectus will be named and described in the prospectus supplement for that series.

Nasdaq Global Market Listing

Our common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ALPN.”

 

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PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

We have entered into the Equity Distribution Agreement with Piper Jaffray, as our sales agent, under which we may issue and sell from time to time up to $50 million of our common stock through Piper Jaffray as our sales agent. This prospectus supplement is only offering $14.5 million in shares of our common stock. We will be required to file another prospectus supplement in the event we want to offer more than $14.5 million in shares of our common stock in accordance with the terms of the Equity Distribution Agreement. Piper Jaffray will use commercially reasonable efforts to sell on our behalf all shares of our common stock requested to be sold by us, consistent with its normal trading and sales practices, under the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Equity Distribution Agreement. We may instruct Piper Jaffray not to sell our common stock if the sales cannot be effected at or above the price designated by us in any instruction. We or Piper Jaffray may suspend the offering of our common stock upon proper notice and subject to other conditions, as further described in the Equity Distribution Agreement.

Piper Jaffray may sell our common stock by any method permitted by law deemed to be an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415(a)(4) promulgated under the Securities Act, including sales made directly on or through the Nasdaq Global Market or on any other existing trading market for our common stock. Piper Jaffray will provide written confirmation to us each day in which our shares are sold under the Equity Distribution Agreement. Each such confirmation will include the number of shares of our common stock sold on such day, the net proceeds to us and the compensation payable by us to Piper Jaffray in connection with such sales.

We will pay Piper Jaffray commissions for its services in acting as sales agent in the sale of our common stock. Piper Jaffray will be entitled to compensation in an amount up to 3.0% of the gross sales price of all common stock sold through it as sales agent under the Equity Distribution Agreement. We have also agreed to reimburse Piper Jaffrey for the out-of-pocket reasonable fees and disbursements of its legal counsel, in an amount not to exceed $50,000, and for FINRA related expenses, in an amount not to exceed $15,000. We estimate that the total expenses for this offering, excluding compensation payable to Piper Jaffray under the terms of the Equity Distribution Agreement, will be approximately $290,000.

Settlement for sales of our common stock will occur on the second business day following the date on which any such sales are made, or on some other date that is agreed upon by us and Piper Jaffray in connection with a particular transaction, in return for payment of the net proceeds to us. There is no arrangement for funds to be received in an escrow, trust or similar arrangement.

We will report at least quarterly the number of shares of our common stock sold through Piper Jaffray, as sales agent, under the Equity Distribution Agreement, the net proceeds to us and the compensation paid by us to Piper Jaffray in connection with such sales.

Piper Jaffray and its affiliates have from time to time provided, and may in the future provide, various investment banking, commercial banking, fiduciary and advisory services for us for which they have received, and may in the future receive, customary fees and expenses. Piper Jaffray and its affiliates may from time to time engage in other transactions with and perform services for us in the ordinary course of their business.

In connection with the sale of our common stock on our behalf, Piper Jaffray will be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of the Securities Act, and the compensation paid by us to Piper Jaffray will be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts. We have agreed to indemnify Piper Jaffray against specified liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or to contribute to payments that Piper Jaffray may be required to make because of such liabilities.

The offering of our common stock pursuant to the Equity Distribution Agreement will terminate upon the termination of the Equity Distribution Agreement. The Equity Distribution Agreement may be terminated by Piper Jaffray or us at any time on the close of business on the date of receipt of written notice, and by Piper Jaffray at any time in certain circumstances, including any suspension or limitation on the trading of our common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market, as further described therein.

Pursuant to General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3, in no event will we sell our common stock in a public primary offering with a value exceeding more than one-third of our public float in any 12-month period so long as our public float remains below $75.0 million. We have not offered any securities pursuant to General Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3 during the 12 calendar months prior to and including the date of this prospectus.

 

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LEGAL MATTERS

The validity of the common stock offered hereby will be passed upon for us by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, Seattle, Washington. Certain matters will be passed upon for Piper Jaffray by Latham & Watkins LLP, Chicago, Illinois.

EXPERTS

The financial statements incorporated in this prospectus supplement by reference to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 have been so incorporated in reliance on the report of Ernst & Young LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, given on the authority of said firm as experts in auditing and accounting.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and other reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public over the Internet at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. You may also read and copy any document we file at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the Public Reference Room. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, including any amendments to those reports, and other information that we file with or furnish to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, can also be accessed free of charge from our website at http://www.alpineimmunesciences.com. These filings will be available as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Information contained on our website is not part of this prospectus supplement.

Neither we nor Piper Jaffray have authorized anyone else to provide you with information other than that provided, and incorporated by reference, in this prospectus supplement, the accompanying prospectus and the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part. Our securities are not being offered in any state where the offer is not permitted. The information contained in documents that are incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement is accurate only as of the dates of those documents. Our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects may have changed since those dates.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to incorporate by reference the information we file with it, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document that we have filed separately with the SEC. You should read the information incorporated by reference herein because it is an important part of this prospectus supplement. We incorporate by reference the following information or documents that we have filed with the SEC (excluding those portions of any Form 8-K that are not deemed “filed” pursuant to the General Instructions of Form 8-K):

 

    our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, filed with the SEC on March 28, 2018;

 

    our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, filed on May 14, 2018;

 

    the portions of our Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A (other than information furnished rather than filed) that are incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on April 24, 2018;

 

    our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on April 24, 2018; and

 

    the description of our common stock contained in our Registration Statement on Form 8-A12B, filed with the SEC on June 16, 2015 (File No. 001-37449), including any amendment or report filed for the purpose of updating such description.

We also incorporate by reference into this prospectus supplement additional documents that we may file with the SEC under Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act after the date of this prospectus supplement and prior to the termination of this offering, but excluding any information deemed furnished and not filed with the SEC. Any statements contained in a previously filed document incorporated by reference into this prospectus supplement is deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of this prospectus supplement to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus supplement, or in a subsequently filed document also incorporated by reference herein, modifies or supersedes that statement.

This prospectus supplement may contain information that updates, modifies or is contrary to information in one or more of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement. You should rely only on the information incorporated by reference or provided in this prospectus supplement. Neither we nor Piper Jaffray have authorized anyone else to provide you with different information. You should not assume that the information in this prospectus supplement is accurate as of any date other than the date of this prospectus supplement or the date of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom this prospectus supplement is delivered, upon written or oral request, at no cost to the requester, a copy of any and all of the information that is incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement.

Requests for such documents should be directed to:

Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc.

Attn: Investor Relations

201 Elliott Avenue West, Suite 230

Seattle, Washington 98119

(206) 788-4545

You may also access the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus supplement through our website at www.alpineimmunesciences.com. Except for the specific incorporated documents listed above, no information available on or through our website shall be deemed to be incorporated in this prospectus supplement or the registration statement of which it forms a part. Information contained on our website is not part of this prospectus supplement.

 

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This prospectus supplement is part of a registration statement we filed with the SEC. That registration statement and the exhibits filed along with the registration statement contain more information about us and our common stock. Because information about documents referred to in this prospectus supplement is not always complete, you should read the full documents which are filed as exhibits to the registration statement. You may read and copy the full registration statement and its exhibits at the SEC’s public reference rooms or its website.

 

 

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PROSPECTUS

$125,000,000

Common Stock

Preferred Stock

Debt Securities

Warrants

 

LOGO

 

 

Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc.

3,732,412 Shares of Common Stock

Offered by Selling Stockholders

 

 

From time to time, we may offer, issue and sell up to $125,000,000 of any combination of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings. We may also offer securities as may be issuable upon conversion, redemption, repurchase, exchange or exercise of any securities registered hereunder, including any applicable antidilution provisions. In addition selling stockholders may sell up to 3,732,412 shares of our common stock held by them from time to time, in amounts, at prices and on terms that will be determined at the time those shares are offered.

This prospectus provides a general description of the securities we and the selling stockholders may offer. Each time we or, if required, the selling stockholders offer securities, we will provide specific terms of the securities offered in a supplement to this prospectus. We may also authorize one or more free writing prospectuses to be provided to you in connection with these offerings. The prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus. You should carefully read this prospectus, the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, as well as any documents incorporated by reference, before you invest in any of the securities being offered.

Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “NVLS.” On July 1, 2016, the last reported sales price of our common stock was $4.75 per share. The applicable prospectus supplement will contain information, where applicable, as to any other listing on The NASDAQ Global Market or any securities market or other exchange of the securities, if any, covered by the prospectus supplement.

We and the selling stockholders will sell these securities directly to investors, through agents designated from time to time or to or through underwriters or dealers, on a continuous or delayed basis. For additional information on the methods of sale of securities we may offer, you should refer to the section entitled “Plan of Distribution—Primary Offering” in this prospectus, and “Plan of Distribution—Selling Stockholders” for the methods of sale of the selling stockholders. If any agents or underwriters are involved in the sale of any securities with respect to which this prospectus is being delivered, if required, the names of such agents or underwriters and any applicable fees, commissions, discounts or option to purchase additional securities will be set forth in a prospectus supplement. Each time we or, if required, the selling stockholders offer securities, we will provide a prospectus supplement containing more information about the particular offering together with this prospectus. The prospectus supplement also may add, update or change information contained in this prospectus.

We will not receive any proceeds from the sale of any shares of common stock covered by this prospectus sold by the selling stockholders. We will receive, however, proceeds from sale of other securities sold hereunder. We are bearing all of the expenses in connection with this offering, but all commissions, underwriting discounts, if any, and selling expenses incurred by the selling stockholders will be borne by the selling stockholders.

 

 

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should review carefully the risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the other documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus.

NEITHER THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION NOR ANY STATE SECURITIES COMMISSION HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED OF THESE SECURITIES OR DETERMINED IF THIS PROSPECTUS IS TRUTHFUL OR COMPLETE. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

 

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

     i  

SUMMARY

     1  

RISK FACTORS

     6  

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     6  

DEFICIENCY OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

     6  

USE OF PROCEEDS

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

     8  

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

     13  

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

     22  

LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

     24  

SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

     28  

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

     29  

LEGAL MATTERS

     33  

EXPERTS

     33  

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

     33  

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

     34  

DISCLOSURE OF COMMISSION’S POSITION ON INDEMNIFICATION FOR SECURITIES ACT LIABILITY

     35  

ABOUT THIS PROSPECTUS

This prospectus is a part of a registration statement on Form S-3 that we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, utilizing a “shelf” registration process. Under this shelf registration process, we may sell any combination of the securities described in this prospectus in one or more offerings up to a total aggregate offering price of $125,000,000. In addition, the selling stockholders may use this prospectus, from time to time, to sell an aggregate of up to 3,732,412 shares of common stock held by them. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we or the selling stockholders may offer.

Each time we or, if required, the selling stockholders sell securities under this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will contain specific information about the terms of that offering. We may also authorize one or more free writing prospectuses to be provided to you that may contain material information relating to these offerings. The prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus or in any documents that we have incorporated by reference into this prospectus. You should read this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, together with the information incorporated herein by reference as described under the heading “Incorporation of Certain Information By Reference,” before investing in any of the securities offered.

This prospectus may not be used to consummate a sale of securities by us unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

Neither we, nor any selling stockholder, agent, underwriter or dealer has authorized any person to give any information or to make any representation other than those contained or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. This prospectus, any applicable supplement to this prospectus or any related free writing prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities other than the registered securities to which they relate, nor does this prospectus, any applicable supplement to this prospectus or any related free writing prospectus constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation in such jurisdiction.

 

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You should not assume that the information contained in this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus is accurate on any date subsequent to the date set forth on the front of the document or that any information we have incorporated by reference is correct on any date subsequent to the date of the document incorporated by reference, even though this prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus is delivered, or securities are sold, on a later date.

This prospectus contains summaries of certain provisions contained in some of the documents described herein, but reference is made to the actual documents for complete information. All of the summaries are qualified in their entirety by the actual documents. Copies of some of the documents referred to herein have been filed, will be filed or will be incorporated by reference as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and you may obtain copies of those documents as described below under the heading “Where You Can Find More Information.”

 

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SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information from this prospectus and does not contain all of the information that you need to consider in making your investment decision. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, including the risks of investing in our securities discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in the applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in the other documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus. You should also carefully read the information incorporated by reference into this prospectus, including our financial statements, and the exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

Unless the context indicates otherwise, as used in this prospectus, the terms “Nivalis,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” refer to Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc., a Delaware corporation.

Company Overview

Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for people with cystic fibrosis. In addition to developing innovative solutions intended to extend and improve the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, we plan to utilize our proprietary S-nitrosoglutathione reductase, or GSNOR, inhibitor portfolio to develop therapeutics for other diseases.

Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is a life-shortening genetic disease that affects an estimated 70,000 people worldwide, predominately in the United States and Europe. CF is characterized by a defect in the chloride channel of human cells known as the “cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator,” or CFTR, which is caused by mutations in the CFTR gene. N91115 works through a novel mechanism of action called GSNOR inhibition to modulate the unstable and defective CFTR protein responsible for CF. GSNOR inhibition restores GSNO levels thereby modifying the chaperones responsible for CFTR protein degradation. This stabilizing effect increases the amount of CFTR protein at the cell surface and the function of the CFTR chloride channel which, in turn, leads to an increase in net chloride secretion. Nivalis discovered and owns exclusive rights to N91115 in the United States and all other major markets, including U.S. composition of matter patent protection until at least 2031.

We completed a Phase 1b clinical trial of N91115 in people with CF who had two copies of the F508del-CFTR mutation in September 2015. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study of orally administered N91115 demonstrated favorable safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of various doses of N91115 (50,100 and 200 mg twice daily) in a total of 51 people with CF. Furthermore, a trend toward a modest reduction in sweat chloride, a marker of CFTR activity, was observed in the highest dose tested. This reduction in sweat chloride was statistically significant within the group but not when compared with placebo.

During November 2015, we initiated a Phase 2, 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel group study to investigate the efficacy and safety of N91115 in approximately 135 adult patients with CF who have two copies of the F508del-CFTR mutation and are being treated with Orkambi™ (lumacaftor/ivacaftor). In early April 2016, we reached the 50 percent enrollment milestone for this clinical trial and are on track to report top line results in the fourth quarter of 2016.

During May 2016, we began dosing patients in a Phase 2, proof-of-concept study to further evaluate the effect of N91115 in patients who have one copy of the F508del-CFTR mutation and a second mutation that results in a gating defect in the CFTR protein. The study is designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of N91115 in adult patients who have these mutations and who are being treated with Kalydeco™ (ivacaftor). We currently expect results from this study in the first half of 2017.

Our operations to date have focused on discovery and development of our portfolio of GSNOR inhibitors, including N91115 and N6022. N6022 was the first product candidate to emerge from our GSNOR inhibitor portfolio and was optimized for inhaled delivery with low oral bioavailability. In



 

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order to provide translational evidence of GSNOR’s role in lung disease, we initially explored the effects of N6022 in patients with mild asthma using an intravenous formulation. N6022 demonstrated a significant, beneficial effect on the airways in these patients, thus confirming the beneficial effects of N6022 observed in our preclinical studies of asthma. N6022 paved the way for N91115 by establishing initial safety of the class in healthy subjects and patients with CF. Because an oral dosage form is preferable in CF, a systemic disease that is not confined to the lungs, we elected to discontinue further development of N6022 in the chronic management of CF, but we may pursue development of N6022 in an inhaled dosage form for other potential indications.

We commenced business operations in March 2007 as a limited liability company and incorporated in August 2012. Our operations to date have been limited to organizing and staffing our company, business planning, raising capital, undertaking preclinical studies and clinical trials of N91115, protecting our intellectual property and providing general and administrative support for these operations. To date, we have not generated any product revenue and have primarily financed our operations through the private placement of our equity securities, business development activities, convertible note financings, and our initial public offering, or IPO, completed in June 2015.

Corporate Information

We incorporated on August 1, 2012, under the laws of the State of Delaware, upon the conversion of our predecessor entity N30 Pharmaceuticals, LLC from a Delaware limited liability company to a Delaware corporation. On February 11, 2015, we changed our corporate name from N30 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. We completed our initial public offering of our common stock in June 2015. Our common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “NVLS”. Our principal executive offices are located at 3122 Sterling Circle, Suite 200, Boulder, Colorado 80301, and our telephone number is (720) 945-7700. Our website address is www.nivalis.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 prospectus.

The Securities We or the Selling Stockholders May Offer

We may offer shares of our common stock and preferred stock, various series of debt securities and warrants to purchase any of such securities, up to a total aggregate offering price of $125,000,000 from time to time in one or more offerings under this prospectus, together with any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, at prices and on terms to be determined by market conditions at the time of the relevant offering. In addition, the selling stockholders may sell an aggregate of up to 3,732,412 shares of common stock from time to time in amounts, at prices and on terms that will be determined at the time those shares are offered. This prospectus provides you with a general description of the securities we or the selling stockholders may offer.

Each time we offer a type or series of securities under this prospectus, we will provide a prospectus supplement that will describe the specific amounts, prices and other important terms of the securities, including, to the extent applicable:

 

    designation or classification;

 

    aggregate principal amount or aggregate offering price;

 

    maturity, if applicable;

 

    original issue discount, if any;

 

    rates and times of payment of interest or dividends, if any;

 

    redemption, conversion, exchange or sinking fund terms, if any;

 

    conversion or exchange prices or rates, if any, and, if applicable, any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the conversion or exchange prices or rates and in the securities or other property receivable upon conversion or exchange;


 

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    ranking, if applicable;

 

    restrictive covenants, if any;

 

    voting or other rights, if any; and

 

    important United States federal income tax considerations.

Each time the selling stockholders use this prospectus to offer shares of our common stock for resale, if required, we or such selling stockholders will provide you with a prospectus supplement that will describe the specific amounts, prices and terms of the shares of common stock being offered.

Any prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you may also add, update or change information contained in this prospectus or in documents we have incorporated by reference. However, no prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus will offer a security that is not registered and described in this prospectus at the time of the effectiveness of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part.

This prospectus may not be used by us to consummate a sale of securities unless it is accompanied by a prospectus supplement.

We or the selling stockholders may sell the securities directly to investors or through underwriters, dealers or agents. We, the selling stockholders and our or their underwriters or agents, reserve the right to accept or reject all or part of any proposed purchase of securities. If we or the selling stockholders do offer securities through underwriters or agents, if required, we will include in the applicable prospectus supplement:

 

    the names of those underwriters or agents;

 

    applicable fees, discounts and commissions to be paid to them;

 

    details regarding option to purchase additional securities, if any; and

 

    the estimated net proceeds to us.

Common stock.     We may issue shares of our common stock from time to time. In addition, the selling stockholders may sell shares of our common stock from time to time. Each holder of our common stock is entitled to one vote for each share on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors. Our stockholders do not have cumulative voting rights in the election of directors. An election of directors by our stockholders shall be determined by a plurality of votes cast by the stockholders entitled to vote on the election. Subject to preferences that may be applicable to any then outstanding preferred stock, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends, if any, as may be declared from time to time by our board of directors out of legally available funds. In the event of our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, holders of our common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities and the satisfaction of any liquidation preference granted to the holders of any then outstanding shares of preferred stock. Holders of common stock have no preemptive, conversion or subscription rights and there are no redemption or sinking fund provisions applicable to the common stock. The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate in the future. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of our common stock under “Description of Capital Stock—Common Stock.” We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement, if any, (and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to any common stock being offered.



 

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Preferred stock.     We may issue shares of our preferred stock from time to time, in one or more series. Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders, to issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding. Since our amended and restated certificate of incorporation became effective, we have not designated or issued any series of preferred stock, and therefore we are not offering previously designated series of preferred stock under this prospectus. If we sell any new series of preferred stock under this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement, our board of directors will determine the designations, voting powers, preferences and rights of the preferred stock being offered, as well as the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof, including dividend rights, conversion rights, preemptive rights, terms of redemption or repurchase, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms and the number of shares constituting any series or the designation of any series. Convertible preferred stock may be convertible into our common stock or exchangeable for our other securities. Conversion may be mandatory or at the holder’s option and would be at prescribed conversion rates. We will file as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of the certificate of designation that describes the terms of the series of preferred stock that we are offering before the issuance of the related series of preferred stock. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the preferred stock under “Description of Capital Stock—Preferred Stock.” We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of preferred stock being offered, as well as the complete certificate of designation that contains the terms of the applicable series of preferred stock.

Debt securities.     We may issue debt securities from time to time, in one or more series, as either senior or subordinated debt or as senior or subordinated convertible or exchangeable debt. The senior debt securities will rank equally with any other unsecured and unsubordinated debt. The subordinated debt securities will be subordinate and junior in right of payment, to the extent and in the manner described in the instrument governing the debt, to all of our senior indebtedness. Debt securities may be convertible or exchangeable into our common stock or preferred stock.

The debt securities will be issued under an indenture between us and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as trustee (the “trustee”) thereunder. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the debt securities and the indenture. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the series of debt securities being offered, as well as the complete indenture and supplemental indenture that contain the terms of the debt securities. The indenture between us and the trustee has been filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and supplemental indentures and forms of debt securities containing the terms of the debt securities being offered will be filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part or will be incorporated by reference from reports that we file with the SEC.

Warrants.     We may issue warrants for the purchase of common stock, preferred stock and/or debt securities in one or more series. We may issue warrants independently or together with common stock, preferred stock and/or debt securities, and the warrants may be attached to or separate from these securities. In this prospectus, we have summarized certain general features of the warrants. We urge you, however, to read the applicable prospectus supplement (and any free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) related to the particular series of warrants being offered, as well as the complete warrant agreements and warrant certificates that contain the terms of the warrants. Forms of the warrant agreements and forms of warrant certificates containing the terms of the warrants to be offered will be filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part or will be incorporated by reference from reports that we file with the SEC.



 

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We will evidence each series of warrants by warrant certificates that we will issue. Warrants may be issued under an applicable warrant agreement that we enter into with a warrant agent. We will indicate the name and address of the warrant agent, if applicable, in the prospectus supplement relating to the particular series of warrants being offered.



 

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RISK FACTORS

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully review the risks and uncertainties described under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in any applicable prospectus supplement and any related free writing prospectus, and under similar headings in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, as updated by our annual, quarterly and other reports and documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus, before deciding whether to purchase any of the securities being registered pursuant to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. See “Where You Can Find More Information” below. Each of the risk factors could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition, as well as adversely affect the value of an investment in our securities, and the occurrence of any of these risks might cause you to lose all or part of your investment. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently believe are immaterial may also significantly impair our business operations. Please also read carefully the section below titled “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This prospectus, each prospectus supplement and the information incorporated by reference in this prospectus and each prospectus supplement contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, which we refer to as the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which we refer to as the Exchange Act, that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although our forward-looking statements reflect the good faith judgment of our management, these statements can only be based on facts and factors currently known by us. Consequently, these forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results and outcomes may differ materially from results and outcomes discussed in the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believes,” “expects,” “hopes,” “may,” “will,” “plan,” “intends,” “estimates,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “continue,” “seeks,” “pro forma,” or “anticipates,” or other similar words (including their use in the negative), or by discussions of future matters. These statements include but are not limited to statements under the captions “Business,” “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and in other sections included in any applicable prospectus supplement or incorporated by reference from our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, as applicable, as well as our other filings with the SEC. You should be aware that the occurrence of any of the events discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in any applicable prospectus supplement and any documents incorporated by reference herein or therein could substantially harm our business, operating results and financial condition and that if any of these events occurs, it could adversely affect the value of an investment in our securities.

The cautionary statements made in this prospectus are intended to be applicable to all related forward-looking statements wherever they may appear in this prospectus or in any prospectus supplement or any documents incorporated by reference herein or therein. We urge you not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

DEFICIENCY OF EARNINGS TO FIXED CHARGES

The following table sets forth the deficiency of earnings to fixed charges for the three months ended March 31, 2016, and each of the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012, as our earnings have been inadequate to cover fixed charges for these periods. The following information should be read in conjunction with our financial statements, including the notes thereto, and the other financial information incorporated by reference herein.

 

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     Three Months
Ended
March 31,
2016
     Years Ended December 31,  

(dollars in thousands)

          2015      2014      2013      2012  

Deficiency of earnings to fixed charges

   $ 7,838      $ 22,818      $ 15,036      $ 16,198      $ 9,573  

Our convertible preferred stock was converted into common stock on June 22, 2015 upon the closing of our initial public offering, and we have no shares of preferred stock outstanding. Prior to the conversion of our previously outstanding shares of preferred stock in 2015, no preferred stock dividends were declared or paid. Consequently, during those periods, our deficiency of combined fixed charges and preference dividends to earnings would be identical to our deficiency of earnings to fixed charges.

For the purposes of computing this deficiency, “earnings” consist of income (loss) before income taxes plus “fixed charges” and certain other adjustments. “Fixed charges” consist of the sum of: (a) interest expense; (b) amortized debt discount and issuance costs; and (c) an estimate of the interest within rental expense.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We will retain broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by us hereby. Except as described in any prospectus supplement or any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you, we currently intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of the securities offered by us hereby for general corporate purposes, which may include capital expenditures, working capital and general and administrative expenses. We may also use a portion of the net proceeds to acquire or invest in businesses that are complementary to our own, although we have no current plans, commitments or agreements with respect to any acquisitions as of the date of this prospectus. We will set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus our intended use for the net proceeds received from the sale of any securities sold pursuant to the prospectus supplement or free writing prospectus. Pending these uses, we intend to invest the net proceeds in short-term obligations of the U.S. government and its agencies. Unless otherwise indicated in a prospectus supplement, we will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by selling stockholders.

DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK

The description below of our capital stock and provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws are summaries and are qualified by reference to the amended and restated certificate of incorporation, the amended and restated bylaws, and the applicable provisions of Delaware law.

General

Our certificate of incorporation provides for authorized capital consisting of 200,000,000 shares of common stock, par value $0.001 per share, and 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock, par value $0.001 per share. As of July 1, 2016, there were 15,503,149 shares of our common stock, options to purchase 1,896,604 shares of our common stock, restricted stock units for 216,667 shares of our common stock, warrants to purchase 18,534 shares of our common stock, and no shares of preferred stock outstanding.

Common Stock

Voting rights. The holders of our common stock will be entitled to one vote for each share held of record on all matters submitted to a vote of the stockholders, including the election of directors, and will not have cumulative voting rights. Unless otherwise required by law, each matter submitted to a vote of our stockholders will require the approval of a majority of votes cast by stockholders represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote on such matter, except that directors will be elected by a plurality of votes cast. Accordingly, the holders of a majority of the shares of common stock entitled to vote in any election of directors will be able to elect all of the directors standing for election, if they so choose.

Dividend rights. Holders of common stock will be entitled to receive ratably dividends if, as and when dividends are declared from time to time by our Board of Directors out of funds legally available for that purpose, subject to any preferential dividend rights of any then-outstanding preferred stock.

Other matters. Upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up, the holders of common stock will be entitled to share ratably in the net assets legally available for distribution to stockholders after the payment of all of our debts and other liabilities, subject to any other distribution rights granted to holders of any outstanding preferred stock. Holders of common stock will have no preemptive or conversion rights or other subscription rights, and no redemption or sinking fund provisions will be applicable to our common stock.

 

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Preferred Stock

Under our amended and restated certificate of incorporation, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by the stockholders (unless such stockholder action is required by applicable law or the rules of any stock exchange or market on which our securities are then traded), to designate and issue up to 10,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to establish from time to time the number of shares to be included in each such series, to fix the rights, preferences and privileges of the shares of each wholly unissued series and any qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereon and to increase or decrease the number of shares of any such series, but not below the number of shares of such series then outstanding.

We will fix the designations, voting powers, preferences and rights of the preferred stock of each series, as well as the qualifications, limitations or restrictions thereof, in a certificate of designation relating to that series. We will file as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of any certificate of designation that describes the terms of the series of preferred stock we are offering before the issuance of that series of preferred stock. This description will include:

 

    the title and stated value;

 

    the number of shares we are offering;

 

    the liquidation preference per share;

 

    the purchase price;

 

    the dividend rate, period and payment date and method of calculation for dividends;

 

    whether dividends will be cumulative or non-cumulative and, if cumulative, the date from which dividends will accumulate;

 

    the procedures for any auction and remarketing, if any;

 

    the provisions for a sinking fund, if any;

 

    the provisions for redemption or repurchase, if applicable, and any restrictions on our ability to exercise those redemption and repurchase rights;

 

    any listing of the preferred stock on any securities exchange or market;

 

    whether the preferred stock will be convertible into our common stock, and, if applicable, the conversion price, or how it will be calculated, and the conversion period;

 

    whether the preferred stock will be exchangeable into debt securities, and, if applicable, the exchange price, or how it will be calculated, and the exchange period;

 

    voting rights, if any, of the preferred stock;

 

    preemptive rights, if any;

 

    restrictions on transfer, sale or other assignment, if any;

 

    whether interests in the preferred stock will be represented by depositary shares;

 

    a discussion of any material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to the preferred stock;

 

    the relative ranking and preferences of the preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights if we liquidate, dissolve or wind up our affairs;

 

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    any limitations on the issuance of any class or series of preferred stock ranking senior to or on a parity with the series of preferred stock as to dividend rights and rights if we liquidate, dissolve or wind up our affairs; and

 

    any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of, or restrictions on, the preferred stock.

Delaware law provides that the holders of preferred stock will have the right to vote separately as a class (or, in some cases, as a series) on an amendment to our certificate of incorporation if the amendment would change the par value or, unless the certificate of incorporation provided otherwise, the number of authorized shares of the class or change the powers, preferences or special rights of the class or series so as to adversely affect the class or series, as the case may be. This right is in addition to any voting rights that may be provided for in the applicable certificate of designation.

Our board of directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of the common stock. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could, among other things, have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in our control that may otherwise benefit holders of our common stock and may adversely affect the market price of the common stock and the voting and other rights of the holders of common stock.

Warrants

As of July 1, 2016, we had warrants outstanding to purchase 18,534 shares of our common stock.

Registration Rights

We agreed to provide certain demand and piggyback registration rights to certain holders of our common stock pursuant to the terms of an Investor’s Rights Agreement, or IRA, dated November 18, 2014.

Anti-Takeover Effects of Provisions of Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws contain certain provisions that are intended to enhance the likelihood of continuity and stability in the composition of the board of directors and which may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a future takeover or change in control of the Company unless such takeover or change in control is approved by the board of directors. These provisions include:

Classified Board. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our board of directors will be divided into three classes of directors, with the classes as nearly equal in number as possible. At each annual meeting of the stockholders, a class of directors will be elected for a three-year term to succeed the directors of the same class whose terms are then expiring. As a result approximately one-third of our directors will be elected each year. The current term of office of the directors of Class I shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2019; the initial term of office of the directors of Class II shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2017; and the initial term of office of the directors of Class III shall expire as of the annual meeting of the Company’s stockholders taking place in fiscal year 2018. The classification of directors will have the effect of making it more difficult for stockholders to change the composition of our board.

 

    Our Class I directors are Paul Sekhri and John Moore;

 

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    Our Class II directors are Howard Furst, M.D. and Evan Loh, M.D.; and

 

    Our Class III directors are Jon Congleton and Robert Conway.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that, subject to any rights of holders of preferred stock to elect additional directors under specified circumstances, the number of directors will be fixed exclusively pursuant to a resolution adopted by our board of directors. Any additional directorships resulting from an increase in the number of directors will be distributed among the three classes so that, as nearly as possible, each class shall consist of one third of the board of directors. Our board of directors currently has six members.

Action by Written Consent; Special Meetings of Stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that stockholder action can be taken only at an annual or special meeting of stockholders and cannot be taken by written consent in lieu of a meeting. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws also provide that, except as otherwise required by law, special meetings of the stockholders can be called only by or at the direction of the board of directors pursuant to a resolution adopted by a majority of the total number of directors. Except as described above, stockholders are not permitted to call a special meeting or to require the board of directors to call a special meeting.

Removal of Directors. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our directors may be removed only for cause by the affirmative vote of at least 66-2/3% of the voting power of our outstanding shares of capital stock, voting together as a single class and entitled to vote in the election of directors. This requirement of a supermajority vote to remove directors could enable a minority of our stockholders to prevent a change in the composition of our board.

Advance Notice Procedures. Our amended and restated bylaws establish an advance notice procedure for stockholder proposals to be brought before an annual meeting of our stockholders, including proposed nominations of persons for election to the board of directors. Stockholders at an annual meeting are only able to consider proposals or nominations specified in the notice of meeting or brought before the meeting by or at the direction of the board of directors or by a stockholder who was a stockholder of record on the record date for the meeting, who is entitled to vote at the meeting and who has given our Secretary timely written notice, in proper form, of the stockholder’s intention to bring that business before the meeting. Although the amended and restated bylaws do not give the board of directors the power to approve or disapprove stockholder nominations of candidates or proposals regarding other business to be conducted at a special or annual meeting, the amended and restated bylaws may have the effect of precluding the conduct of certain business at a meeting if the proper procedures are not followed or may discourage or deter a potential acquirer from conducting a solicitation of proxies to elect its own slate of directors or otherwise attempting to obtain control of the company.

Super Majority Approval Requirements. The Delaware General Corporation Law generally provides that the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares entitled to vote on any matter is required to amend a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws, unless either a corporation’s certificate of incorporation or bylaws requires a greater percentage. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and amended and restated bylaws provide that the affirmative vote of holders of at least 66-2/3% of the outstanding shares of capital stock, voting together as a single class and entitled to vote in the election of directors will be required to amend, alter, change or repeal the amended and restated bylaws and the provisions described above in the amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This requirement of a supermajority vote could enable a minority of our stockholders to exercise veto power over any such amendments.

Authorized but Unissued Shares. Our authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock will be available for future issuance without stockholder approval. These additional

 

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shares may be utilized for a variety of corporate purposes, including future public offerings to raise additional capital, corporate acquisitions and employee benefit plans. The existence of authorized but unissued shares of common stock and preferred stock could render more difficult or discourage an attempt to obtain control of a majority of our common stock by means of a proxy contest, tender offer, merger or otherwise.

Exclusive Forum. Our certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware will be the sole and exclusive forum for any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL, our certificate of incorporation or our bylaws or any action asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine, in each case subject to the Court of Chancery having personal jurisdiction over the indispensable parties named as defendants therein and the claim not being one which is vested in the exclusive jurisdiction of a court or forum other than the Court of Chancery or for which the Court of Chancery does not have subject matter jurisdiction. Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to this provision of our certificate of incorporation. This choice of forum provision may have the effect of discouraging lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, employees and agents. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that, in connection with one or more actions or proceedings described above, a court could find the provision of our certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable.

Section 203 of Delaware Law

We are subject to Section 203 of Delaware Law, or Section 203. In general, Section 203 prohibits a publicly-held Delaware corporation from engaging in a “business combination” with an “interested stockholder” for a three-year period following the time that this stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, unless the business combination is approved in a prescribed manner. A “business combination” includes, among other things, a merger, asset or stock sale or other transaction resulting in a financial benefit to the interested stockholder. An “interested stockholder” is a person who, together with affiliates and associates, owns, or did own within three years prior to the determination of interested stockholder status, 15% or more of the corporation’s voting stock. Under Section 203, a business combination between a corporation and an interested stockholder is prohibited unless it satisfies one of the following conditions: before the stockholder became interested, the board of directors approved either the business combination or the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder; upon consummation of the transaction which resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the voting stock outstanding, shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers, and employee stock plans, in some instances; or at or after the time the stockholder became interested, the business combination was approved by the board of directors of the corporation and authorized at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the outstanding voting stock which is not owned by the interested stockholder. A Delaware corporation may “opt out” of these provisions with an express provision in its original certificate of incorporation or an express provision in its certificate of incorporation or bylaws resulting from a stockholders’ amendment approved by at least a majority of the outstanding voting shares. We have not opted out of these provisions. As a result, mergers or other takeover or change in control attempts of us may be discouraged or prevented.

 

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Transfer Agent And Registrar

The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC. The transfer agent and registrar’s address is 6201 15 th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11219. The transfer agent for any series of preferred stock, debt securities or warrants that we may offer under this prospectus will be named and described in the prospectus supplement for that series.

NASDAQ Global Market Listing

Our common stock is listed on The NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “NVLS.”

DESCRIPTION OF DEBT SECURITIES

We may issue debt securities from time to time, in one or more series, as either senior or subordinated debt or as senior or subordinated convertible or exchangeable debt. While the terms we have summarized below will apply generally to any debt securities that we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any debt securities that we may offer in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplement. The terms of any debt securities offered under a prospectus supplement may differ from the terms described below.

We will issue the debt securities under an indenture between us and the trustee. The indenture is filed as an exhibit to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, and supplemental indentures and forms of debt securities containing the terms of the debt securities being offered will be filed as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part or will be incorporated by reference from reports that we file with the SEC.

The following summary of material provisions of the debt securities and the indenture is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by reference to, all of the provisions of any supplemental indentures applicable to a particular series of debt securities. We urge you to read the applicable prospectus supplements and any related free writing prospectuses related to the debt securities that we may offer under this prospectus, as well as the complete indenture and supplemental indentures that contains the terms of the debt securities. Unless the context requires otherwise, whenever we refer to the indenture below, we also are referring to any supplemental indentures that specify the terms of a particular series of debt securities.

General

The indenture does not limit the amount of debt securities that we may issue. The indenture provides that we may issue debt securities up to the principal amount that we may authorize, which may be in any currency or currency unit that we may designate. Except for the limitations on consolidation, merger and sale of all or substantially all of our assets contained in the indenture, the terms of the indenture do not contain any covenants or other provisions designed to give holders of any debt securities protection against changes in our operations, financial condition or transactions involving us. For each series of debt securities, any restrictive covenants for those debt securities will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement for those debt securities.

We may issue the debt securities issued under the indenture as “discount securities,” which means they may be sold at a discount below their stated principal amount. These debt securities, as well as other debt securities that are not issued at a discount, may, for United States federal income tax purposes, be treated as if they were issued with “original issue discount,” or OID, because of interest payment and other characteristics. Special United States federal income tax considerations applicable to debt securities issued with original issue discount will be described in more detail in any applicable prospectus supplement.

 

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You should refer to the prospectus supplement relating to a particular series of debt securities for a description of the following terms of the debt securities offered by that prospectus supplement and by this prospectus:

 

    the title and authorized denominations of those debt securities;

 

    any limit on the aggregate principal amount of that series of debt securities;

 

 

    the date or dates on which principal and premium, if any, of the debt securities of that series is payable;

 

    interest rates, and the dates from which interest, if any, on the debt securities of that series will accrue, and the dates when interest is payable and the maturity;

 

    the right, if any, to extend the interest payment periods and the duration of the extensions;

 

    the applicability of any guarantees;

 

    if the amount of payments of principal or interest is to be determined by reference to an index or formula, or based on a coin or currency other than that in which the debt securities are stated to be payable, the manner in which these amounts are determined and the calculation agent, if any, with respect thereto;

 

    the place or places where and the manner in which principal of, premium, if any, and interest, if any, on the debt securities of that series will be payable and the place or places where those debt securities may be presented for transfer and, if applicable, conversion or exchange;

 

    the period or periods within which, the price or prices at which, the currency or currencies in which, and other terms and conditions upon which those debt securities may be redeemed, in whole or in part, at our option or the option of a holder of those securities, if we or a holder is to have that option;

 

    our obligation or right, if any, to redeem, repay or purchase those debt securities pursuant to any sinking fund or analogous provision or at the option of a holder of those securities, and the terms and conditions upon which the debt securities will be redeemed, repaid or purchased, in whole or in part, pursuant to that obligation;

 

    the terms, if any, on which the debt securities of that series and any guarantees thereof will be subordinate in right and priority of payment to our other debt;

 

    the denominations in which those debt securities will be issuable;

 

    if other than the entire principal amount of the debt securities when issued, the portion of the principal amount payable upon acceleration of maturity as a result of a default on our obligations;

 

    whether those debt securities will be issued in fully registered form without coupons or in a form registered as to principal only with coupons or in bearer form with coupons;

 

    whether any securities of that series are to be issued in whole or in part in the form of one or more global securities and the depositary for those global securities;

 

    if other than United States dollars, the currency or currencies in which payment of principal of or any premium or interest on those debt securities will be payable;

 

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    if the principal of or any premium or interest on the debt securities of that series is to be payable, or is to be payable at our election or the election of a holder of those securities, in securities or other property, the type and amount of those securities or other property, or the manner of determining that amount, and the period or periods within which, and the terms and conditions upon which, any such election may be made;

 

    the events of default and covenants relating to the debt securities that are in addition to, modify or delete those described in this prospectus;

 

    conversion or exchange provisions, if any, including conversion or exchange prices or rates and adjustments thereto;

 

    whether and upon what terms the debt securities may be defeased, if different from the provisions set forth in the indenture;

 

    the nature and terms of any security for any secured debt securities;

 

    the terms applicable to any debt securities issued at a discount from their stated principal amount; and

 

    any other specific terms of any debt securities.

The applicable prospectus supplement will present material United States federal income tax considerations for holders of any debt securities and the securities exchange or quotation system on which any debt securities are to be listed or quoted.

Conversion or Exchange Rights

Debt securities may be convertible into or exchangeable for shares of our capital stock or other securities. The terms and conditions of conversion or exchange will be stated in the applicable prospectus supplement. The terms will include, among others, the following:

 

    the conversion or exchange price;

 

    the conversion or exchange period;

 

    provisions regarding our ability or the ability of any holder to convert or exchange the debt securities;

 

    events requiring adjustment to the conversion or exchange price; and

 

    provisions affecting conversion or exchange in the event of our redemption of the debt securities.

Consolidation, Merger or Sale

The terms of the indenture prevent us from consolidating or merging with or into, or conveying, transferring or leasing all or substantially all of our assets to, any person, unless (i) we are the surviving corporation or the successor corporation or person to which our assets are conveyed, transferred or leased is organized under the laws of the United States, any state of the United States or the District of Columbia and it expressly assumes our obligations under the debt securities and the indenture and (ii) immediately after completing such a transaction, no event of default under the indenture, and no event that, after notice or lapse of time or both, would become an event of default under the indenture, has occurred and is continuing. When the person to whom our assets are conveyed or transferred has assumed our obligations under the debt securities and the indenture, we will be discharged from all our obligations under the debt securities and the indenture except in limited circumstances.

 

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This covenant would not apply to any recapitalization transaction, a change of control affecting us or a highly leveraged transaction, unless the transaction or change of control were structured to include a merger or consolidation or conveyance, transfer or lease of all or substantially all of our assets.

Events of Default

The indenture provides that the following will be “events of default” with respect to any series of debt securities:

 

    failure to pay interest for 30 days after the date payment is due and payable;

 

    failure to pay principal or premium, if any, on any debt security when due, either at maturity, upon any redemption, by declaration or otherwise;

 

    failure to make sinking fund payments when due and continuance of such default for a period of 30 days;

 

    failure to perform other covenants for 60 days after notice of such default or breach and request for it to be remedied;

 

    specified events of bankruptcy, insolvency or reorganization relating to us; or

 

    any other event of default provided in the applicable officer’s certificate, resolution of our board of directors or the supplemental indenture under which we issue a series of debt securities.

An event of default for a particular series of debt securities does not necessarily constitute an event of default for any other series of debt securities issued under the indenture. For each series of debt securities, any modifications to the above events of default will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement for those debt securities.

The indenture provides that if an event of default specified in the first, second, third, fourth or sixth bullets above occurs and is continuing, either the trustee or the holders of at least 25% in aggregate principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of that series may declare the principal amount of all those debt securities (or, in the case of discount securities or indexed securities, that portion of the principal amount as may be specified in the terms of that series) to be due and payable immediately. If an event of default specified in the fifth bullet above occurs and is continuing, then the principal amount of all those debt securities (or, in the case of discount securities or indexed securities, that portion of the principal amount as may be specified in the terms of that series) will be due and payable immediately, without any declaration or other act on the part of the trustee or any holder. In certain cases, the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of any series may, on behalf of holders of all those debt securities, waive any past default and consequences of such default.

The indenture imposes limitations on suits brought by holders of debt securities against us. Except for actions for payment of overdue principal or interest, no holder of debt securities of any series may institute any action against us under the indenture unless:

 

    the holder has previously given to the trustee written notice of a continuing event of default;

 

    the holders of at least 25% in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of the affected series have requested that the trustee institute the action;

 

    the requesting holders have offered the trustee indemnity or security satisfactory to the trustee for the costs, expenses and liabilities that may be incurred by bringing the action;

 

    the trustee has not instituted the action within 60 days of the request and offer of security or indemnity; and

 

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    the trustee has not received inconsistent direction by the holders of a majority in principal amount of the outstanding debt securities of the affected series.

We will be required to file annually with the trustee a certificate, signed by one of our officers, stating whether or not the officer knows of any default by us in the performance, observance or fulfillment of any condition or covenant of the indenture.

Discharge, Defeasance and Covenant Defeasance

We can discharge or decrease our obligations under the indenture as stated below.

We may discharge obligations to holders of any series of debt securities that have not already been delivered to the trustee for cancellation and that have either become due and payable or are by their terms to become due and payable, or are scheduled for redemption, within one year. We may effect a discharge by irrevocably depositing with the trustee cash or government obligations denominated in the currency of the debt securities, as trust funds, in an amount certified to be enough to pay when due, whether at maturity, upon redemption or otherwise, the principal of, and any premium and interest on, the debt securities and any mandatory sinking fund payments.

Unless otherwise provided in the applicable prospectus supplement, we may also discharge certain of our obligations to holders of any series of debt securities at any time, which we refer to as defeasance. We may also be released from the obligations imposed by certain covenants of outstanding series of debt securities and provisions of the indenture, and we may omit to comply with those covenants without creating an event of default under the indenture, which we refer to as covenant defeasance. We may effect defeasance and covenant defeasance only if, among other things:

 

    we irrevocably deposit with the trustee cash or government obligations denominated in the currency of the debt securities, as trust funds, in an amount certified by a nationally recognized firm of independent certified accountants to be enough to pay at maturity, or upon redemption, the principal (including any mandatory sinking fund payments) of, and any premium and interest on, all outstanding debt securities of the series; and

 

    we deliver to the trustee an opinion of counsel to the effect that the holders of the series of debt securities will not recognize income, gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a result of the defeasance or covenant defeasance and that defeasance or covenant defeasance will not otherwise alter the holders’ U.S. federal income tax treatment of principal, and any premium and interest payments on, the series of debt securities.

In the case of a defeasance by us, the opinion we deliver must be based on a ruling of the Internal Revenue Service issued, or a change in U.S. federal income tax law occurring, after the date of the indenture.

Although we may discharge or decrease our obligations under the indenture as described in the preceding paragraphs, we may not discharge certain enumerated obligations, including but not limited to, our duty to register the transfer or exchange of any series of debt securities, to replace any temporary, mutilated, destroyed, lost or stolen series of debt securities or to maintain an office or agency in respect of any series of debt securities.

Modification of the Indenture

The indenture provides that we and the trustee may amend the indenture or enter into supplemental indentures without the consent of the holders of debt securities to, among other things:

 

    evidence the assumption by a successor entity of our obligations;

 

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    add to our covenants for the benefit of the holders of debt securities, or to surrender any rights or power conferred upon us;

 

    add any additional events of default;

 

    cure any ambiguity or correct any inconsistency or defect in the indenture provided that it does not adversely affect the interests of the holders of any outstanding debt securities in any material respect;

 

    add to, change or eliminate any of the provisions of the indenture in a manner that will become effective only when there is no outstanding debt security which is entitled to the benefit of the provision as to which the modification would apply;

 

    add guarantees to or secure any debt securities;

 

    establish the forms or terms of debt securities of any series;

 

    evidence and provide for the acceptance of appointment by a successor trustee and add to or change any of the provisions of the indenture as is necessary for the administration of the trusts by more than one trustee;

 

    add to or change any provision of the indenture as is necessary to permit or facilitate the issuance of debt securities in bearer form;

 

    change the location of (i) payment of principal, premium or interest; (ii) surrender of the debt securities for registration, transfer or exchange and (iii) notices and demands to or upon us;

 

    supplement any provision of the indenture to permit or facilitate the defeasance and discharge of any debt securities provided that it does not adversely affect the interests of the holders of any outstanding debt securities in any material respect;

 

    conform the terms of any debt securities to the description of such debt securities in the prospectus and prospectus supplement offering the debt securities, as evidenced by an officer’s certificate, provided that it does not adversely affect the interests of the holders of any outstanding debt securities in any material respect;

 

    eliminate any provision that was required at the time we entered into the indenture but, as a result of an amendment to the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, is no longer required by the Trust Indenture Act as so amended;

 

    modify, eliminate or add to the provisions of the indenture to effect or evidence any change required by an amendment to the Trust Indenture Act; and

 

    make any other provisions with respect to matters or questions arising under the indenture as long as the new provisions do not adversely affect the interests of the holders of any outstanding debt securities of any series created prior to the modification in any material respect.

Any provision of the indenture shall automatically be deemed to have been modified, eliminated or added to the extent required to be made as a result of an amendment to the Trust Indenture Act.

The indenture also provides that we and the trustee may, with the written consent of the holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of debt securities of each series of debt securities affected by such supplemental indenture then outstanding, add any provisions to, or change in any manner, eliminate or modify in any way the provisions of, the indenture or any supplemental indenture or modify in any manner the rights of the holders of the debt securities. We and the trustee may not, however, without the consent of the holder of each outstanding debt security affected thereby:

 

    extend the final maturity of any debt security;

 

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    reduce the principal amount or premium, if any;

 

    reduce the rate or extend the time of payment of interest;

 

    change the method of calculating the rate of interest in a manner adverse to the holders of any outstanding debt securities;

 

    reduce the amount of the principal of any debt security issued with an original issue discount that is payable upon acceleration;

 

    change the currency in which the principal, and any premium or interest, is payable;

 

    impair the right to institute suit for the enforcement of any payment on any debt security when due;

 

    if applicable, adversely affect the right of a holder to convert or exchange a debt security; or

 

    reduce the percentage of holders of debt securities of any series whose consent is required for any modification of the indenture or for waivers of compliance with or defaults under the indenture with respect to debt securities of that series.

The indenture provides that the holders of not less than a majority in aggregate principal amount of the then outstanding debt securities of any series, by written notice to the trustee, may on behalf of the holders of the debt securities of that series waive any default and its consequences under the indenture except:

 

    a default in the payment of the principal of or premium or interest on any such debt security; or

 

    a default in respect of a covenant or provision of the indenture that cannot be modified or amended without the consent of the holder of each outstanding debt security of each series affected.

Registered Global Securities and Book Entry System

The debt securities of a series may be issued in whole or in part in book-entry form and may be represented by one or more fully registered global securities. We will deposit any registered global securities with a depositary or with a nominee for a depositary identified in the applicable prospectus supplement or with its custodian and such global securities shall be registered in the name of such depositary or nominee. In such case, we will issue one or more registered global securities denominated in an amount equal to the aggregate principal amount of all of the debt securities of the series to be issued and represented by such registered global security or securities. This means that we will not issue certificates to each holder. See “Legal Ownership of Securities.”

Unless and until it is exchanged in whole or in part for debt securities in definitive registered form, a registered global security may not be transferred except as a whole:

 

    by the depositary for the registered global security to its nominee;

 

    by a nominee of the depositary to the depositary or another nominee of the depositary; or

 

    by the depositary or its nominee to a successor of the depositary or a nominee of the successor.

The prospectus supplement relating to a series of debt securities will describe the specific terms of the depositary arrangement involving any portion of the series represented by a registered global security. We anticipate that the following provisions will apply to all depositary arrangements for debt securities:

 

    ownership of beneficial interests in a registered global security will be limited to persons that have accounts with the depositary for such registered global security, these persons being referred to as “participants,” or persons that may hold interests through participants;

 

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    upon the issuance of a registered global security, the depositary for the registered global security will credit, on its book-entry registration and transfer system, the participants’ accounts with the respective principal amounts of the debt securities represented by the registered global security beneficially owned by the participants;

 

    any dealers, underwriters or agents participating in the distribution of the debt securities will designate the accounts to be credited; and

 

    ownership of beneficial interest in the registered global security will be shown on, and the transfer of the ownership interest will be effected only through, records maintained by the depositary for the registered global security for interests of participants, and on the records of participants for interests of persons holding through participants.

The laws of some states may require that specified purchasers of securities take physical delivery of the securities in definitive form. These laws may limit the ability of those persons to own, transfer or pledge beneficial interests in registered global securities.

So long as the depositary for a registered global security, or its nominee, is the registered owner of the registered global security, the depositary or such nominee, as the case may be, will be considered the sole owner or holder of the debt securities represented by the registered global security for all purposes under the indenture. Except as stated below, owners of beneficial interests in a registered global security:

 

    will not be entitled to have the debt securities represented by a registered global security registered in their names;

 

    will not receive or be entitled to receive physical delivery of the debt securities in the definitive form; and

 

    will not be considered the owners or holders of the debt securities under the indenture.

Accordingly, each person owning a beneficial interest in a registered global security must rely on the procedures of the depositary for the registered global security and, if the person is not a participant, on the procedures of a participant through which the person owns its interest, to exercise any rights of a holder under the indenture.

We understand that under existing industry practices, if we request any action of holders or if an owner of a beneficial interest in a registered global security desires to give or take any action that a holder is entitled to give or take under the indenture, the depositary for the registered global security would authorize the participants holding the relevant beneficial interests to give or take the action, and the participants would authorize beneficial owners owning through the participants to give or take the action or would otherwise act upon the instructions of beneficial owners holding through them.

We will make or cause to be made payments of principal and premium, if any, and interest, if any, on debt securities represented by a registered global security registered in the name of a depositary or its nominee to the depositary or its nominee, as the case may be, as the registered owners of the registered global security. Neither we nor the trustee, or any agent of ours or the trustee will be responsible or liable for any aspect of the records relating to, or payments made on account of, beneficial ownership interests in the registered global security or for maintaining, supervising or reviewing any records relating to the beneficial ownership interests.

 

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We expect that the depositary for any debt securities represented by a registered global security, upon receipt of any payments of principal and premium, if any, and interest, if any, in respect of the registered global security, will immediately credit participants’ accounts with payments in amounts proportionate to their respective beneficial interests in the registered global security as shown on the records of the depositary. We also expect that standing customer instructions and customary practices will govern payments by participants to owners of beneficial interests in the registered global security held through the participants, as is now the case with the securities held for the accounts of customers in bearer form or registered in “street name.” We also expect that any of these payments will be the responsibility of the participants.

If the depositary for any debt securities represented by a registered global security is at any time unwilling or unable to continue as depositary, we will appoint an eligible successor depositary. If we fail to appoint an eligible successor depositary within 90 days, or if an event of default has occurred and is continuing and the holders of a majority in aggregate principal amount of the then outstanding debt securities of any series so request, we will issue the debt securities in definitive form in exchange for the registered global security. In addition, we may at any time and in our sole discretion and subject to the depositary’s procedures decide not to have any of the debt securities of a series represented by one or more registered global securities. In that event, we will issue debt securities of the series in a definitive form in exchange for all of the registered global securities representing the debt securities. The trustee will register any debt securities issued in definitive form in exchange for a registered global security in the name or names as the depositary, based upon instructions from its participants, shall instruct the trustee.

We may also issue bearer debt securities of a series in the form of one or more global securities, referred to as “bearer global securities.” We will deposit these securities with a depositary identified in the prospectus supplement relating to the series. The prospectus supplement relating to a series of debt securities represented by a bearer global security will describe the applicable terms and procedures. These will include the specific terms of the depositary arrangement and any specific procedures for the issuance of debt securities in definitive form in exchange for a bearer global security, in proportion to the series represented by a bearer global security.

Concerning the Trustee

The indenture provides that in the event that the trustee resigns or is removed with respect to less than all series of debt securities outstanding under the indenture, there may be more than one trustee under the indenture. If there are different trustees for different series of debt securities under the indenture, each such trustee will be a trustee of a trust under the indenture separate and apart from the trust administered by any other trustee under the indenture. Except as otherwise indicated in this prospectus or any prospectus supplement, any action permitted to be taken by a trustee may be taken by such trustee only on the one or more series of debt securities for which it is the trustee under the indenture. Any trustee under the indenture may resign or be removed from one or more series of debt securities.

The indenture provides that, except during the continuance of an event of default, the trustee will perform only such duties as are specifically set forth in the indenture. During the existence of an event of default, the trustee will exercise those rights and powers vested in it under the indenture and use the same degree of care and skill in its exercise as a prudent person would exercise under the circumstances in the conduct of such person’s own affairs.

The trustee may engage in other transactions with us. If the trustee acquires any conflicting interest relating to any duties concerning the debt securities, however, the trustee must eliminate the conflict or resign as trustee.

 

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No Individual Liability of Incorporators, Stockholders, Officers or Directors

The indenture provides that no past, present or future director, officer, stockholder or employee of ours, any of our affiliates, or any successor corporation, in their capacity as such, shall have any individual liability for any of our obligations, covenants or agreements under the debt securities or the indenture.

Governing Law; Jury Trial Waiver

The indenture is, and any debt securities will be, governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York. The indenture provides that we and the trustee, and each holder of a debt security by its acceptance thereof, irrevocably waives, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all right to trial by jury in any legal proceeding arising out of or relating to the indenture or the debt securities.

DESCRIPTION OF WARRANTS

The following description, together with the additional information we may include in any applicable prospectus supplements and free writing prospectuses, summarizes the material terms and provisions of the warrants that we may offer under this prospectus, which may consist of warrants to purchase common stock, preferred stock or debt securities and may be issued in one or more series. Warrants may be issued independently or together with common stock, preferred stock or debt securities offered by any prospectus supplement, and may be attached to or separate from those securities. While the terms we have summarized below will apply generally to any warrants that we may offer under this prospectus, we will describe the particular terms of any series of warrants that we may offer in more detail in the applicable prospectus supplement and any applicable free writing prospectus. The terms of any warrants offered under a prospectus supplement may differ from the terms described below. However, no prospectus supplement will fundamentally change the terms that are set forth in this prospectus or offer a security that is not registered and described in this prospectus at the time of its effectiveness.

We will file as exhibits to the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part, or will incorporate by reference from reports that we file with the SEC, the form of warrant agreement, if any, including a form of warrant certificate, that describes the terms of the particular series of warrants we are offering. The following summaries of material provisions of the warrants and the warrant agreements are subject to, and qualified in their entirety by reference to, all the provisions of the warrant agreement and warrant certificate applicable to the particular series of warrants that we may offer under this prospectus. We urge you to read the applicable prospectus supplements related to the particular series of warrants that we may offer under this prospectus, as well as any related free writing prospectuses, and the complete warrant agreements and warrant certificates that contain the terms of the warrants.

General

We will describe in the applicable prospectus supplement the terms relating to a series of warrants being offered, including:

 

    the title of such securities;

 

    the offering price or prices and aggregate number of warrants offered;

 

    the currency or currencies for which the warrants may be purchased;

 

    if applicable, the designation and terms of the securities with which the warrants are issued and the number of warrants issued with each such security or each principal amount of such security;

 

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    if applicable, the date on and after which the warrants and the related securities will be separately transferable;

 

    if applicable, the minimum or maximum amount of such warrants which may be exercised at any one time;

 

    in the case of warrants to purchase debt securities, the principal amount of debt securities purchasable upon exercise of one warrant and the price at which, and currency in which, this principal amount of debt securities may be purchased upon such exercise;

 

    in the case of warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock, the number of shares of common stock or preferred stock, as the case may be, purchasable upon the exercise of one warrant and the price at which, and the currency in which, these shares may be purchased upon such exercise;

 

    the effect of any merger, consolidation, sale or other disposition of our business on the warrant agreements and the warrants;

 

    the terms of any rights to redeem or call the warrants;

 

    the terms of any rights to force the exercise of the warrants;

 

    any provisions for changes to or adjustments in the exercise price or number of securities issuable upon exercise of the warrants;

 

    the dates on which the right to exercise the warrants will commence and expire;

 

    the manner in which the warrant agreements and warrants may be modified;

 

    a discussion of any material or special United States federal income tax consequences of holding or exercising the warrants;

 

    the terms of the securities issuable upon exercise of the warrants; and

 

    any other specific terms, preferences, rights or limitations of or restrictions on the warrants.

Before exercising their warrants, holders of warrants will not have any of the rights of holders of the securities purchasable upon such exercise, including:

 

    in the case of warrants to purchase debt securities, the right to receive payments of principal of, or premium, if any, or interest on, the debt securities purchasable upon exercise or to enforce covenants in the applicable indenture; or

 

    in the case of warrants to purchase common stock or preferred stock, the right to receive dividends, if any, or, payments upon our liquidation, dissolution or winding up or to exercise voting rights, if any.

Exercise of Warrants

Each warrant will entitle the holder to purchase the securities that we specify in the applicable prospectus supplement at the exercise price that we describe in the applicable prospectus supplement. Unless we otherwise specify in the applicable prospectus supplement, holders of the warrants may exercise the warrants at any time up to the specified time on the expiration date that we set forth in the applicable prospectus supplement. After the close of business on the expiration date, unexercised warrants will become void.

Unless we otherwise specify in the applicable prospectus supplement, holders of the warrants may exercise the warrants by delivering the warrant certificate representing the warrants to be exercised together with specified information, and paying the required amount to the warrant agent in

 

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immediately available funds, as provided in the applicable prospectus supplement. We will set forth on the reverse side of the warrant certificate and in the applicable prospectus supplement the information that the holder of the warrant will be required to deliver to the warrant agent in connection with the exercise of the warrant.

Upon receipt of the required payment and the warrant certificate properly completed and duly executed at the corporate trust office of the warrant agent or any other office indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement, we will issue and deliver the securities purchasable upon such exercise. If fewer than all of the warrants represented by the warrant certificate are exercised, then we will issue a new warrant certificate for the remaining amount of warrants. If we so indicate in the applicable prospectus supplement, holders of the warrants may surrender securities as all or part of the exercise price for warrants.

Governing Law

Unless we provide otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, the warrants and warrant agreements, and any claim, controversy or dispute arising under or related to the warrants or warrant agreements, will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York.

Enforceability of Rights by Holders of Warrants

Each warrant agent will act solely as our agent under the applicable warrant agreement and will not assume any obligation or relationship of agency or trust with any holder of any warrant. A single bank or trust company may act as warrant agent for more than one issue of warrants. A warrant agent will have no duty or responsibility in case of any default by us under the applicable warrant agreement or warrant, including any duty or responsibility to initiate any proceedings at law or otherwise, or to make any demand upon us. Any holder of a warrant may, without the consent of the related warrant agent or the holder of any other warrant, enforce by appropriate legal action its right to exercise, and receive the securities purchasable upon exercise of, its warrants.

LEGAL OWNERSHIP OF SECURITIES

We can issue securities in registered form or in the form of one or more global securities. We describe global securities in greater detail below. We refer to those persons who have securities registered in their own names on the books that we or any applicable trustee or depositary maintain for this purpose as the “holders” of those securities. These persons are the legal holders of the securities. We refer to those persons who, indirectly through others, own beneficial interests in securities that are not registered in their own names, as “indirect holders” of those securities. As we discuss below, indirect holders are not legal holders, and investors in securities issued in book-entry form or in street name will be indirect holders.

Book-Entry Holders

We may issue securities in book-entry form only, as we will specify in the applicable prospectus supplement. This means securities may be represented by one or more global securities registered in the name of a financial institution that holds them as depositary on behalf of other financial institutions that participate in the depositary’s book-entry system. These participating institutions, which are referred to as participants, in turn, hold beneficial interests in the securities on behalf of themselves or their customers.

 

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Only the person in whose name a security is registered is recognized as the holder of that security. Global securities will be registered in the name of the depositary or its participants. Consequently, for global securities, we will recognize only the depositary as the holder of the securities, and we will make all payments on the securities to the depositary. The depositary passes along the payments it receives to its participants, which in turn pass the payments along to their customers who are the beneficial owners. The depositary and its participants do so under agreements they have made with one another or with their customers; they are not obligated to do so under the terms of the securities.

As a result, investors in a global security will not own securities directly. Instead, they will own beneficial interests in a global security, through a bank, broker or other financial institution that participates in the depositary’s book-entry system or holds an interest through a participant. As long as the securities are issued in global form, investors will be indirect holders, and not legal holders, of the securities.

Street Name Holders

A global security may be terminated in certain situations as described under “—Special Situations When A Global Security Will Be Terminated,” or issue securities that are not issued in global form. In these cases, investors may choose to hold their securities in their own names or in “street name.” Securities held by an investor in street name would be registered in the name of a bank, broker or other financial institution that the investor chooses, and the investor would hold only a beneficial interest in those securities through an account he or she maintains at that institution.

For securities held in street name, we or any applicable trustee or depositary will recognize only the intermediary banks, brokers and other financial institutions in whose names the securities are registered as the holders of those securities, and we or any such trustee or depositary will make all payments on those securities to them. These institutions pass along the payments they receive to their customers who are the beneficial owners, but only because they agree to do so in their customer agreements or because they are legally required to do so. Investors who hold securities in street name will be indirect holders, not holders, of those securities.

Legal Holders

Our obligations, as well as the obligations of any applicable trustee or third party employed by us or a trustee, run only to the legal holders of the securities. We do not have obligations to investors who hold beneficial interests in global securities, in street name or by any other indirect means. This will be the case whether an investor chooses to be an indirect holder of a security or has no choice because we are issuing the securities only in global form.

For example, once we make a payment or give a notice to the legal holder, we have no further responsibility for the payment or notice even if that legal holder is required, under agreements with its participants or customers or by law, to pass it along to the indirect holders but does not do so. Similarly, we may want to obtain the approval of the holders to amend an indenture, to relieve us of the consequences of a default or of our obligation to comply with a particular provision of an indenture, or for other purposes. In such an event, we would seek approval only from the legal holders, and not the indirect holders, of the securities. Whether and how the legal holders contact the indirect holders is up to the legal holders.

 

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Special Considerations For Indirect Holders

If you hold securities through a bank, broker or other financial institution, either in book-entry form because the securities are represented by one or more global securities or in street name, you should check with your own institution to find out:

 

    how it handles securities payments and notices;

 

    whether it imposes fees or charges;

 

    how it would handle a request for the holders’ consent, if ever required;

 

    whether and how you can instruct it to send you securities registered in your own name so you can be a holder, if that is permitted in the future;

 

    how it would exercise rights under the securities if there were a default or other event triggering the need for holders to act to protect their interests; and

 

    if the securities are in book-entry form, how the depositary’s rules and procedures will affect these matters.

Global Securities

A global security is a security that represents one or any other number of individual securities held by a depositary. Generally, all securities represented by the same global securities will have the same terms.

Each security issued in book-entry form will be represented by a global security that we issue to, deposit with and register in the name of a financial institution or its nominee that we select. The financial institution that we select for this purpose is called the depositary. Unless we specify otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, The Depository Trust Company, New York, New York, known as DTC, will be the depositary for all securities issued in book-entry form.

A global security may not be transferred to or registered in the name of anyone other than the depositary, its nominee or a successor depositary, unless special termination situations arise. We describe those situations below under “—Special Situations When A Global Security Will Be Terminated.” As a result of these arrangements, the depositary, or its nominee, will be the sole registered owner and legal holder of all securities represented by a global security, and investors will be permitted to own only beneficial interests in a global security. Beneficial interests must be held by means of an account with a broker, bank or other financial institution that in turn has an account with the depositary or with another institution that does. Thus, an investor whose security is represented by a global security will not be a legal holder of the security, but only an indirect holder of a beneficial interest in the global security.

If the prospectus supplement for a particular security indicates that the security will be issued as a global security, then the security will be represented by a global security at all times unless and until the global security is terminated. If termination occurs, we may issue the securities through another book-entry clearing system or decide that the securities may no longer be held through any book-entry clearing system.

Special Considerations for Global Securities

As an indirect holder, an investor’s rights relating to a global security will be governed by the account rules of the investor’s financial institution and of the depositary, as well as general laws relating to securities transfers. We do not recognize an indirect holder as a holder of securities and instead deal only with the depositary that holds the global security.

 

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If securities are issued only as global securities, an investor should be aware of the following:

 

    an investor cannot cause the securities to be registered in his or her name, and cannot obtain non-global certificates for his or her interest in the securities, except in the special situations we describe below;

 

    an investor will be an indirect holder and must look to his or her own bank or broker for payments on the securities and protection of his or her legal rights relating to the securities, as we describe above;

 

    an investor may not be able to sell interests in the securities to some insurance companies and to other institutions that are required by law to own their securities in non-book-entry form;

 

    an investor may not be able to pledge his or her interest in the global security in circumstances where certificates representing the securities must be delivered to the lender or other beneficiary of the pledge in order for the pledge to be effective;

 

    the depositary’s policies, which may change from time to time, will govern payments, transfers, exchanges and other matters relating to an investor’s interest in the global security;

 

    we and any applicable trustee have no responsibility for any aspect of the depositary’s actions or for its records of ownership interests in the global security, nor will we or any applicable trustee supervise the depositary in any way;

 

    the depositary may, and we understand that DTC will, require that those who purchase and sell interests in the global security within its book-entry system use immediately available funds, and your broker or bank may require you to do so as well; and

 

    financial institutions that participate in the depositary’s book-entry system, and through which an investor holds its interest in the global security, may also have their own policies affecting payments, notices and other matters relating to the securities.

There may be more than one financial intermediary in the chain of ownership for an investor. We do not monitor and are not responsible for the actions of any of those intermediaries.

Special Situations When A Global Security Will Be Terminated

In a few special situations described below, a global security will terminate and interests in it will be exchanged for physical certificates representing those interests. After that exchange, the choice of whether to hold securities directly or in street name will be up to the investor. Investors must consult their own banks or brokers to find out how to have their interests in securities transferred to their own names, so that they will be direct holders. We have described the rights of holders and street name investors above.

Unless we provide otherwise in the applicable prospectus supplement, a global security will terminate when the following special situations occur:

 

    if the depositary notifies us that it is unwilling, unable or no longer qualified to continue as depositary for that global security and we do not appoint another institution to act as depositary within 90 days;

 

    if we notify any applicable trustee that we wish to terminate that global security; or

 

    if an event of default has occurred with regard to securities represented by that global security and has not been cured or waived.

The applicable prospectus supplement may also list additional situations for terminating a global security that would apply only to the particular series of securities covered by the applicable prospectus supplement. When a global security terminates, the depositary, and neither we nor any applicable trustee, is responsible for deciding the names of the institutions that will be the initial direct holders.

 

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SELLING STOCKHOLDERS

The following table, which was prepared based on information supplied to us by the selling stockholders, sets forth the name of each selling stockholder, the number of shares beneficially owned by each selling stockholder as of July 1, 2016 and the number of shares to be offered by each selling stockholder pursuant to this prospectus. The table also provides information regarding the beneficial ownership of our common stock by each selling stockholder as adjusted to reflect the assumed sale of all of the shares of common stock offered under this prospectus. However, because the selling stockholders may sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of all, some or none of the shares of common stock covered by the prospectus, we cannot determine the number of such shares, if any, that will be sold, transferred or otherwise disposed of by the selling stockholders, or the amount or percentage of shares of our common stock that will be held by the selling stockholders upon completion of any particular offering. See “Plan of Distribution—Selling Stockholders”. When we refer to the selling stockholders in the prospectus, we mean the persons listed in the table below, as well as their pledgees, donees, assignees, transferees and successors in interest. The ownership percentage indicated in the following table is based on 15,503,149 outstanding shares of common stock of as of July 1, 2016.

Beneficial ownership is determined in accordance with the rules of the SEC. Except as indicated by footnote and subject to community property laws where applicable, to our knowledge, each person named in the table below has sole voting and investment power with respect to the shares of common stock shown as beneficially owned by such person.

 

     Beneficial Ownership
Prior to Offering
           Beneficial Ownership
After Offering
 
           Number of
Shares
Offered
Hereby
        

Name of Beneficial Owner

   Number      Percentage        Number      Percentage  

Deerfield Special Situations Fund, L.P.(1)

     1,124,740        7.3      1,124,740        0       

Deerfield Private Design International, L.P.(1)

     647,152        4.2      647,152        0       

Deerfield Private Design Fund, L.P.(1)

     402,062        2.6      402,062        0       

Deerfield Private Design Fund II, L.P.(1)

     726,242        4.7      726,242        0       

Deerfield Private Design International II, L.P.(1)

     832,216        5.4      832,216        0       

 

(1) Deerfield Mgmt, L.P. is the general partner of the Funds, and Deerfield Management Company, L.P. is the investment manager of the Funds. Mr. James E. Flynn is the sole member of the general partner of each of Deerfield Mgmt, L.P. and Deerfield Management Company, L.P., collectively referred to as Deerfield Management. Each of the Deerfield Management entities and Mr. James E. Flynn may be deemed to beneficially own the shares held by the Funds. The address of the Funds, the Deerfield Management entities and Mr. James E. Flynn is c/o Deerfield Management Company, L.P., 780 Third Avenue, Floor 37, New York, NY 10017.

The selling stockholders own and have owned during the prior three years more than 5% of our outstanding capital stock. Prior to our initial public offering in June 2015, the selling stockholders also held an aggregate of $9.0 million in principal amount of convertible debt issued by the company, which bore interest at the rate of 8.0% per annum and which converted into shares of our Series 1 convertible preferred stock in September 2014 at a conversion rate of $1.40 per share. As a significant holder of our outstanding preferred stock, the selling stockholders had certain rights to appoint directors to our Board of Directors, rights to receive information, approval rights regarding significant transactions, rights of first refusal on transfers of stock by other stockholders and preemptive rights. These rights terminated automatically upon the closing of our initial public offering when all shares of preferred stock, including shares held by the selling stockholders, converted into shares of our common

 

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stock. Jonathan Leff and Dr. Howard Furst, our Chairman, both partners of Deerfield Management Company, an affiliate of the selling stockholders, have served on our Board of Directors. Mr. Leff came off our Board of Directors in April 2016 upon expiration of his term, and Dr. Furst continues to serve on our Board of Directors.

PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION

Primary Offering

We may sell the securities covered hereby from time to time pursuant to underwritten public offerings, direct sales to the public, negotiated transactions, block trades or a combination of these methods. A distribution of the securities offered by us under this prospectus may also be effected through the issuance of derivative securities, including without limitation, warrants and subscriptions. We may sell the securities to or through underwriters or dealers, through agents, or directly to one or more purchasers. We may distribute securities from time to time in one or more transactions:

 

    at a fixed price or prices, which may be changed;

 

    at market prices prevailing at the time of sale;

 

    at prices related to such prevailing market prices;

 

    at varying prices determined at the time of sale; or

 

    at negotiated prices.

We may also sell equity securities covered by this registration statement in an “at the market offering” as defined in Rule 415 under the Securities Act. Such offering may be made into an existing trading market for such securities in transactions at other than a fixed price, either:

 

    on or through the facilities of The Nasdaq Global Market or any other securities exchange or quotation or trading service on which such securities may be listed, quoted or traded at the time of sale; and/or

 

    to or through a market maker otherwise than on The Nasdaq Global Market or such other securities exchanges or quotation or trading services.

Such at-the-market offerings, if any, may be conducted by financial institutions acting as principal or agent.

A prospectus supplement or supplements (and any related free writing prospectus that we may authorize to be provided to you) will describe the terms of our offering of the securities, including, to the extent applicable:

 

    the name or names of any underwriters, dealers or agents participating in the offering, if any;

 

    the purchase price of the securities sold by us to any underwriter or dealer and the net proceeds we expect to receive from the offering;

 

    any option, under which underwriters may purchase additional securities from us;

 

    any agency fees or underwriting discounts or commissions and other items constituting agents’ or underwriters’ compensation;

 

    any public offering price;

 

    any discounts or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers; and

 

    any securities exchange or market on which the securities may be listed.

 

 

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Only underwriters named in the prospectus supplement are underwriters of the securities offered by the prospectus supplement.

If underwriters are used in the sale, they will acquire the securities for their own account and may resell the securities from time to time in one or more transactions at a fixed public offering price or at varying prices determined at the time of sale. The obligations of the underwriters to purchase the securities will be subject to the conditions set forth in the applicable underwriting agreement. We may offer the securities to the public through underwriting syndicates represented by managing underwriters or by underwriters without a syndicate. Subject to certain conditions, the underwriters will be obligated to purchase all of the securities offered by the prospectus supplement, other than securities covered by any option to purchase additional securities. Any public offering price and any discounts, commissions or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to dealers may change from time to time. We may use underwriters with whom we have a material relationship. We will describe in the prospectus supplement, naming the underwriter, the nature of any such relationship.

We may sell securities directly or through agents we designate from time to time. We will name any agent involved in the offering and sale of securities, and we will describe any commissions and other compensation we will pay the agent in the prospectus supplement. Unless the prospectus supplement states otherwise, an agent will act on a best-efforts basis for the period of its appointment.

We may authorize agents or underwriters to solicit offers by certain types of institutional investors to purchase securities from us at the public offering price set forth in the prospectus supplement pursuant to delayed delivery contracts providing for payment and delivery on a specified date in the future. We will describe the conditions to these contracts and the commissions we must pay for solicitation of these contracts in the prospectus supplement.

We may provide agents and underwriters with indemnification against civil liabilities related to this offering, including liabilities under the Securities Act, or contribution with respect to payments that the agents or underwriters may make with respect to these liabilities. Agents and underwriters may engage in transactions with, or perform services for, us in the ordinary course of business.

All securities we may offer, other than common stock, will be new issues of securities with no established trading market. Any agents or underwriters may make a market in these securities, but will not be obligated to do so and may discontinue any market making at any time without notice. We cannot guarantee the liquidity of the trading markets for any securities. There is currently no market for any of the securities we may offer, other than our common stock, which is listed on the on The Nasdaq Global Market. We have no current plans for listing of the debt securities, preferred stock or warrants on any securities exchange or quotation system; any such listing with respect to any particular debt securities, preferred stock or warrants will be described in the applicable prospectus supplement or other offering materials, as the case may be.

Any underwriter may engage in overallotment, stabilizing transactions, short covering transactions and penalty bids in accordance with Regulation M under the Exchange Act. Overallotment involves sales in excess of the offering size, which create a short position. Stabilizing transactions permit bids to purchase the underlying security so long as the stabilizing bids do not exceed a specified maximum. Short covering transactions involve purchases of the securities in the open market after the distribution is completed to cover short positions. Penalty bids permit the underwriters to reclaim a selling concession from a dealer when the securities originally sold by the dealer are purchased in a stabilizing or covering transaction to cover short positions. Those activities may cause the price of the securities to be higher than it would otherwise be. If commenced, the underwriters may discontinue any of the activities at any time. These transactions may be effected on any exchange or over-the-counter market or otherwise.

 

 

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Any agents and underwriters who are qualified market makers on The Nasdaq Global Market may engage in passive market making transactions in the securities on The Nasdaq Global Market in accordance with Rule 103 of Regulation M, during the business day prior to the pricing of the offering, before the commencement of offers or sales of the securities. Passive market makers must comply with applicable volume and price limitations and must be identified as passive market makers. In general, a passive market maker must display its bid at a price not in excess of the highest independent bid for such security; if all independent bids are lowered below the passive market maker’s bid, however, the passive market maker’s bid must then be lowered when certain purchase limits are exceeded. Passive market making may stabilize the market price of the securities at a level above that which might otherwise prevail in the open market and, if commenced, may be discontinued at any time.

In compliance with guidelines of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., or FINRA, the maximum compensation to be received by any FINRA member or independent broker dealer may not exceed 8% of the aggregate amount of the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus and any applicable prospectus supplement.

Selling Stockholders

We are registering the shares of common stock to permit the resale of these shares of common stock by the selling stockholders from time to time after the date of this prospectus. We will not receive any of the proceeds from the sale by the selling stockholders of the shares of common stock.

The selling stockholders may sell all or a portion of the shares of common stock beneficially owned by them and offered hereby from time to time directly or through one or more underwriters, broker-dealers or agents. If the shares of common stock are sold through underwriters or broker-dealers, the selling stockholders will be responsible for underwriting discounts or commissions or agent’s commissions. The shares of common stock may be sold in one or more transactions at fixed prices, at prevailing market prices at the time of the sale, at varying prices determined at the time of sale or at negotiated prices. These sales may be effected from time to time pursuant to one or more of the following methods, which may involve crosses or block transactions:

 

    on any national securities exchange or U.S. inter-dealer quotation system of a registered national securities association on which the securities may be listed or quoted at the time of sale;

 

    in the over-the-counter market;

 

    in transactions otherwise than on these exchanges or systems or in the over-the-counter market;

 

    through the writing or settlement of options or other hedging transactions, whether such options are listed on an options exchange or otherwise;

 

    ordinary brokerage transactions and transactions in which the broker-dealer solicits purchasers;

 

    block trades in which the broker-dealer will attempt to sell the shares as agent but may position and resell a portion of the block as principal to facilitate the transaction;

 

    purchases by a broker-dealer as principal and resale by the broker-dealer for its account;

 

    an exchange distribution in accordance with the rules of the applicable exchange;

 

    public or privately negotiated transactions;

 

    through the settlement of short sales;

 

    transactions in which broker-dealers agree with the selling stockholders to sell a specified number of such shares at a stipulated price per share;

 

    a combination of any such methods of sale; or

 

 

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    any other method permitted pursuant to applicable law.

If the selling stockholders effect such transactions by selling shares of common stock to or through underwriters, broker-dealers or agents, such underwriters, broker-dealers or agents may receive commissions in the form of discounts, concessions or commissions from the selling stockholders or commissions from purchasers of the shares of common stock for whom they may act as agent or to whom they may sell as principal (which discounts, concessions or commissions as to particular underwriters, broker-dealers or agents may be in excess of those customary in the types of transactions involved). In connection with sales of the shares of common stock or otherwise, the selling stockholders may enter into hedging transactions with broker-dealers, which may in turn engage in short sales of the shares of common stock in the course of hedging in positions they assume. The selling stockholders may also sell shares of common stock short and deliver shares of common stock covered by this prospectus to close out short positions, and to return borrowed shares in connection with such short sales, provided that the short sales are made after the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part is declared effective. The selling stockholders may also loan or pledge shares of common stock to broker-dealers in connection with bona fide margin accounts secured by the shares of common stock, which shares broker-dealers could in turn sell if the selling stockholders default in the performance of their respective secured obligations.

The selling stockholders may pledge or grant a security interest in some or all of the shares of common stock owned by them and, if any of them defaults in the performance of its secured obligations, the pledgees or secured parties may offer and sell the shares of common stock from time to time pursuant to this prospectus. The selling stockholders also may transfer and donate the shares of common stock in other circumstances in which case the transferees, donees or other successors in interest will be the selling beneficial owners for purposes of this prospectus. We will file an amendment or supplement to this prospectus under Rule 424(b)(3) or other applicable provision of the Securities Act of 1933, amending, if necessary, the list of selling stockholders to include the pledgee, transferee or other successors in interest as selling stockholders under this prospectus.

The selling stockholders and any broker-dealer participating in the distribution of the shares of common stock may be deemed to be “underwriters” within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, and any commission paid, or any discounts or concessions allowed to, any such broker-dealer may be deemed to be underwriting commissions or discounts under the Securities Act of 1933. At the time a particular offering of the shares of common stock is made, a prospectus supplement, if required, will be distributed which will set forth the aggregate amount of shares of common stock being offered and the terms of the offering, including the name or names of any underwriters, broker-dealers or agents, any discounts, commissions and other terms constituting compensation from the selling stockholders and any discounts, commissions or concessions allowed or reallowed or paid to underwriters or broker-dealers.

Under the securities laws of some states, the shares of common stock may be sold in such states only through registered or licensed brokers or dealers. In addition, in some states the shares of common stock may not be sold unless such shares have been registered or qualified for sale in such state or an exemption from registration or qualification is available and is complied with.

There can be no assurance that any selling stockholder will sell any or all of the shares of common stock registered pursuant to the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part.

The selling stockholders and any other person participating in such distribution will be subject to applicable provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and the rules and regulations thereunder, including, without limitation, Regulation M of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which may limit the timing of purchases and sales of any of the shares of common stock by the selling stockholders and any other participating person. Regulation M may also restrict the ability of any person engaged in the distribution of the shares of common stock to engage in market-making activities with respect to the shares of common stock. All of the foregoing may affect the marketability of the shares of common stock and the ability of any person or entity to engage in market-making activities with respect to the shares of common stock.

 

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We will pay all expenses of the registration of the shares of common stock pursuant to our obligations under the investor rights agreement with the selling stockholders, including, without limitation, SEC filing fees and expenses of compliance with state securities or “blue sky” laws; provided , however , that the selling stockholders will pay all underwriting discounts and selling commissions, if any. We will indemnify the selling stockholders against liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, in accordance with the investor rights agreement, or the selling stockholders will be entitled to contribution. We may be indemnified by the selling stockholders against civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act of 1933, that may arise from any written information furnished to us by the selling stockholders specifically for use in this prospectus, in accordance with the investor rights agreement, or we may be entitled to contribution.

Once sold under the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, the shares of common stock will be freely tradable by the purchasers of such shares, other than our affiliates.

Any shares covered by this prospectus that qualify for sale pursuant to Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933 may be sold under Rule  144, rather than pursuant to this prospectus.

LEGAL MATTERS

Gross Cutler Seiler Dupont LLC, Boulder, Colorado, will provide us with an opinion as to certain legal matters in connection with the issuance and sale of the securities. Hogan Lovells US LLP, Denver, Colorado, will provide us with an opinion as to certain legal matters in connection with the issuance and sale of the debt securities and the warrants.

EXPERTS

The financial statements of Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc. appearing in Nivalis Therapeutics, Inc.‘s Annual Report (Form 10-K) for the year ended December 31, 2015, have been audited by Ernst & Young LLP, independent registered public accounting firm, as set forth in their report thereon, included therein, and incorporated herein by reference. Such financial statements are, and audited financial statements to be included in subsequently filed documents will be, incorporated herein in reliance upon the reports of Ernst & Young LLP pertaining to such financial statements as of the respective dates (to the extent covered by consents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission) given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.

WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy the registration statement, as well as any other document filed by us with the SEC, at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20549. You can also request copies of these documents by writing to the SEC and paying a fee for the copying cost. You may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at (800) SEC-0330. The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including us. The address of the SEC website is www.sec.gov.

We maintain a website at www.nivalis.com. Information contained in or accessible through our website does not constitute a part of this prospectus.

 

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INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION BY REFERENCE

The SEC allows us to “incorporate by reference” information into this prospectus, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to another document filed separately with the SEC. The documents incorporated by reference into this prospectus contain important information that you should read about us. The information incorporated by reference is considered to be a part of this prospectus, and information in documents that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede information contained in documents filed earlier with the SEC or contained in this prospectus.

The following documents are incorporated by reference into this document:

 

    our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 and filed with the SEC on March 8, 2016;

 

    our Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A for our 2016 annual meeting of stockholders filed with the SEC on March 21, 2016;

 

    our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2016 filed with the SEC on May 3, 2016;

 

    our Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 15, 2016, January 26, 2016, February 18, 2016, March 1, 2016, March 7, 2016, April 5, 2016, April 22, 2016, May 2, 2016 (but not with respect to the Form 8-K filed on such date reporting information under Item 2.02) and May 16, 2016; and

 

    the description of our common stock contained in our registration statement on Form 8-A (No. 001-37449), filed with the SEC on June 16, 2015, including any amendments or reports filed for the purpose of updating such description.

We also incorporate by reference into this prospectus all documents (other than current reports furnished under Item 2.02 or Item 7.01 of Form 8-K and exhibits filed on such form that are related to such items) that are filed by us with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act (i) after the date of the initial filing of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part and prior to effectiveness of the registration statement, or (ii) after the date of this prospectus but prior to the termination of the offering. These documents include periodic reports, such as Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, as well as proxy statements. Information in these documents updates and supplements the information provided in this prospectus. Any statements in these documents will automatically be deemed to modify and supersede any information in any document we previously filed with the SEC that is incorporated or deemed to be incorporated herein by reference to the extent that statements in the later filed document modify or replace such earlier statements.

We will provide to each person, including any beneficial owner, to whom a prospectus is delivered, without charge upon written or oral request, a copy of any or all of the documents that are incorporated by reference into this prospectus but not delivered with the prospectus, including exhibits which are specifically incorporated by reference into such documents. You should direct any requests for documents by writing us at 3122 Sterling Circle, Suite 200, Boulder, Colorado 80301 or telephoning us at (720) 945-7700.

Any statement contained herein or in a document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference into this document will be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of the document to the extent that a statement contained in this document or any other subsequently filed document that is deemed to be incorporated by reference into this document modifies or supersedes the statement.

 

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DISCLOSURE OF COMMISSION’S POSITION ON INDEMNIFICATION FOR SECURITIES ACT LIABILITY

Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers or persons controlling the Company pursuant to the foregoing provisions, we have been informed that in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable.

 

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$14,500,000

 

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

PROSPECTUS SUPPLEMENT

 

 

Piper Jaffray

June 11, 2018