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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 20-F

(Mark One)

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from to

OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report

 

Commission file number 001-41157

BIONOMICS LIMITED

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Not Applicable

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

Australia

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

200 Greenhill Road
Eastwood SA 5063

Australia

(Address of principal executive offices)

Spyridon “Spyros” Papapetropoulos, M.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Email: spyros@bionomics.com.au

Telephone: +61 8 881507400

2710 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 150N

Sacramento, CA 95833

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 

Securities registered or to be registered, pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depository Shares, each representing the right to receive one hundred eighty (180) Ordinary Shares, no par value per share

BNOX

The Nasdaq Global Market

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital stock or common stock as of the close of business covered by the annual report. 1,486,735,424 ordinary shares.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes No

Note—Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No

 


 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

  Large accelerated filer

  Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

U.S. GAAP

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board

Other

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow. Item 17 Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No

 

 

 

 


 

CONTENTS

 

 

Page

GENERAL INFORMATION

1

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION

1

MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

1

Trademarks, Service Marks and Trade names

1

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

3

PART I

5

 

ITEM 1.

Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

5

 

ITEM 2.

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

5

 

ITEM 3.

KEY INFORMATION

5

 

 

A.

Reserved

5

 

 

B.

Capitalization and Indebtedness

5

 

 

C.

Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

5

 

 

D.

Risk Factors

5

 

 

Summary of Risk Factors

5

 

 

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer

6

RISK FACTORS

8

 

ITEM 4.

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

65

 

 

A.

History and Development of the Company

65

 

 

B.

Business Overview

65

 

 

C.

Organizational Structure

103

 

 

D.

Property, Plant and Equipment

103

 

ITEM 4A.

Unresolved Staff Comments

103

 

ITEM 5.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

104

 

 

A.

Operating Results

104

 

 

B.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

110

 

 

C.

Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.

112

 

 

D.

Trend Information

112

 

 

E.

Critical Accounting Estimates

112

 

ITEM 6.

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

114

 

 

A.

Directors and Senior Management

114

 

 

B.

Compensation

117

 

 

C.

Board Practices

127

 

 

D.

Employees

130

 

 

E.

SHARE OWNERSHIP

130

 

ITEM 7.

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

130

 

 

A.

Major Shareholders

130

 

 

B.

Related Party Transactions

133

 

 

C.

Interests of Experts and Counsel

134

 

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

134

 

 

A.

Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information

134

 

 

B.

Significant Changes

134

 

ITEM 9.

THE OFFER AND LISTING

135

 

 

A.

Offer and Listing Details

135

 

 

B.

Plan of Distribution

135

 

 

C.

Markets

135

 

 

D.

Selling Shareholders

135

 

 

E.

Dilution

135

 

 

F.

EXPENSES OF THE ISSUE

135

 

ITEM 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

135

 

 

A.

Share Capital

135

 

 

B.

Constitution

135

 

 

C.

Material Contracts

135

 

 

D.

Exchange Controls

135

 

 

E.

Taxation

135

i


 

 

 

F.

Dividends and Paying Agents

141

 

 

G.

Statement by Experts

141

 

 

H.

Documents on Display

141

 

 

I.

Subsidiary Information

141

 

ITEM 11.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

142

 

ITEM 12.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

143

 

 

A.

Debt Securities

143

 

 

B.

Warrants and Rights

143

 

 

C.

Other Securities

143

 

 

D.

American Depositary Shares

143

 

PART II

146

 

ITEM 13.

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

146

 

ITEM 14.

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

146

 

ITEM 15.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

147

 

ITEM 16A.

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

147

 

ITEM 16B.

CODE OF ETHICS

147

 

ITEM 16C.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

147

 

ITEM 16D.

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

148

 

ITEM 16E.

PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

148

 

ITEM 16F.

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

148

 

ITEM 16G.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

148

 

ITEM 16H.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

149

 

ITEM 16I.

DISCLOSURE REGARDING FOREIGN JURISDICTIONS THAT PREVENT INSPECTIONS

149

 

PART III

150

 

ITEM 17.

Financial Statements

150

 

ITEM 18.

Financial Statements

150

 

ITEM 19.

EXHIBITS

150

 

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

F-1

ii


 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Except where the context otherwise requires or where otherwise indicated, the terms “Bionomics,” the “Company,” “the Group,” “we,” “us,” “our,” “our company” and “our business” refer to Bionomics Limited, in each case together with its consolidated subsidiaries as a consolidated entity.

PRESENTATION OF FINANCIAL AND OTHER INFORMATION

We report under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”). None of our financial statements were prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“U.S. GAAP”). We maintain our financial books and records and publish our consolidated financial statements in Australian Dollars, which is our functional and reporting currency.

Our financial information is presented in Australian Dollars. For the convenience of the reader, in this Annual Report, unless otherwise indicated, translations from Australian Dollars into United States (or “U.S.”) dollars were made at the rate of A$1.00 to $0.6630, which was the closing rate as of June 30, 2023 obtained from the website of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Such U.S. dollar amounts are not necessarily indicative of the amounts of U.S. dollars that could actually have been purchased upon exchange of Australian Dollars at the dates indicated. All references in this Annual Report to “$” mean U.S. dollars and all references to “A$” mean Australian Dollars.

Certain figures included in this Annual Report and in our financial statements contained herein have been rounded for ease of presentation. Percentage and variance figures included in this Annual Report have in some cases been calculated on the basis of such figures prior to rounding. For this reason, certain percentage and variance amounts in this Annual Report may vary from those obtained by performing the same calculations using the figures in this Annual Report and in the consolidated financial statements contained herein. Additionally, numerical figures shown as totals in some tables may not be an arithmetic aggregation of the figures that preceded them.

MARKET AND INDUSTRY DATA

Unless otherwise indicated, information contained in this Annual Report concerning our industry and the markets in which we operate, including our general expectations and market position, market opportunity and market share, is based on information from our own management estimates and research, as well as from industry and general publications and research, surveys and studies conducted by third parties. Management estimates are derived from publicly available information, our knowledge of our industry and assumptions based on such information and knowledge, which we believe to be reasonable. Our management estimates have not been verified by any independent source, and we have not independently verified any third-party information. In addition, assumptions and estimates of our and our industry’s future performance are necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in “Risk Factors.”

Industry publications and forecasts generally state that the information they contain has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but that the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed. Forecasts and other forward-looking information obtained from these sources are subject to the same qualifications and uncertainties as the other forward-looking statements in this Annual Report.

Trademarks, Service Marks and Trade names

We have proprietary rights to trademarks used in this Annual Report that are important to our business, many of which are registered under applicable intellectual property laws.

Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks, logos and trade names referred to in this Annual Report are without the ® and ™ 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 licensors to these trademarks, service marks and trade names. This Annual Report contains additional trademarks, service marks and trade names of others, which are the property of their respective owners. All trademarks, service marks and trade names appearing in this Annual Report are, to our knowledge, the property of their respective owners. We do not intend our use or display of other companies’ trademarks, service marks, copyrights or trade names to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, any other companies.

 


 

AUSTRALIAN DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

Our ordinary shares were publicly traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) under the symbol “BNO”. Effective August 28, 2023, Bionomics has been delisted from the official list of the ASX and its shares are no longer quoted or traded on the ASX. Our American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) each representing 180 of our ordinary shares are publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, or Nasdaq under the symbol “BNOX”. As part of our ASX listing, we were required to comply with various disclosure requirements as set out under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (the “Corporations Act”) and the ASX Listing Rules. Information furnished under this sub-heading is intended to comply with the ASX Listing Rules and the Corporations Act disclosure requirements (if and to the extent that information has not been provided elsewhere this annual report).

ENFORCEMENT OF CIVIL LIABILITIES

We are a public limited company incorporated under the laws of Australia. Certain of our directors are non-residents of the United States and substantially all of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may not be possible or practicable for you to:

effect service of process within the United States upon our non-U.S. resident directors or on us;
enforce in U.S. courts judgments obtained against our non-U.S. resident directors or us in the United States courts in any action, including actions under the civil liability provisions of U.S. securities laws;
enforce in U.S. courts judgments obtained against our non-U.S. resident directors or us in courts of jurisdictions outside the United States in any action, including actions under the civil liability provisions of U.S. securities laws; or
bring an original action in an Australian court to enforce liabilities against our non-U.S. resident directors or us based solely upon U.S. securities laws.

You may also have difficulties enforcing in courts outside the United States judgments that are obtained in U.S. courts against any of our non-U.S. resident directors or us, including actions under the civil liability provisions of the U.S. securities laws.

With that noted, there are no treaties between Australia and the United States that would affect the recognition or enforcement of foreign judgments in Australia. We also note that investors may be able to bring an original action in an Australian court against us to enforce liabilities based in part upon U.S. federal securities laws. The disclosure in this section is not based on the opinion of counsel.

We have appointed CSC-Lawyers Incorporating Service as our agent to receive service of process with respect to any action brought against us under the federal securities laws of the United States.

2


 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, Section 21E of the Exchange Act, and the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are based on our management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. These forward-looking statements are contained principally in Item 3.D. “Risk Factors,” Item 4. “Information on the Company” and Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: “may,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “seek,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “contemplate,” “possible” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, growth strategy and plans and objectives of management for future operations are forward-looking statements.

Our estimates and forward-looking statements are mainly based on our current expectations and estimates of future events and trends which affect or may affect our business, operations and industry. Although we believe that these estimates and forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, they are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties.

Many important factors could adversely impact our business and financial performance, including but not limited to those discussed in Item 3.D. “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report and the following:

the ability of our clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy of our product candidates, and other positive results;
the timing and focus of our future clinical trials and preclinical studies, and the reporting of data from those trials and studies;
our plans relating to commercializing our product candidates, if approved, including the geographic areas of focus and sales strategy;
the market opportunity and competitive landscape for our product candidates, including our estimates of the number of patients who suffer from the conditions we are targeting;
the success of competing therapies that are or may become available;
our estimates of the number of patients that we will enroll in our clinical trials;
the beneficial characteristics, safety, efficacy and therapeutic effects of our product candidates;
the timing of initiation and completion, and the progress of our drug discovery and research programs;
the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals for our product candidates for various diseases;
our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates;
our plans relating to the further development of our product candidates, including additional indications we may pursue;
existing regulations and regulatory developments in the United States, Australia, Europe and other jurisdictions;
risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has previously and may in the future materially and adversely impact our business, preclinical studies and clinical trials;
our plans and ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce our intellectual property rights and our proprietary technologies, including extensions of existing patent terms where available;
our continued reliance on third parties to conduct additional clinical trials of our product candidates, and for the manufacture of our product candidates for preclinical studies and clinical trials;
our plans regarding, and our ability to enter into, and negotiate favorable terms of, any collaboration, licensing or other arrangements that may be necessary or desirable to develop, manufacture or commercialize our product candidates;
the need to hire additional personnel and our ability to attract and retain such personnel;
our estimates regarding expenses, future revenue, capital requirements, needs for additional financing and the impact of a fluctuating currency exchange on these estimates;
our financial performance;
the period over which we estimate our existing cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund our future operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements;
our anticipated use of our existing resources;
cyber security risks and any failure to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our computer hardware, software and internet applications and related tools and functions;
our expectations regarding the period during which we will qualify as an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act;

3


 

our expectations regarding the period during which we will qualify as a foreign private issuer (“FPI”) and be exempt from a number of rules under the U.S. securities laws and Nasdaq corporate governance rules and permitted to comply with certain reduced disclosures as an FPI with the SEC than U.S. companies; and
other risks and uncertainties, including those listed under “Risk Factors.”

We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about our business, the industry in which we operate and financial trends that we believe may affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, and these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or development. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions described under the sections in this Annual Report entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and elsewhere in this Annual Report. Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond our control, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. The events and circumstances reflected in our forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Moreover, we operate in an evolving environment. New risk factors and uncertainties may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all risk factors and uncertainties. Except as required by applicable law, we do not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report are excluded from the safe harbor protection provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 27A of the Securities Act.

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 Annual Report, and although 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 a thorough 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. Furthermore, if our forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

4


 

PART I

Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers

Not applicable.

Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

Not applicable.

Item 3. Key Information

A. [Reserved]

B. Capitalization and Indebtedness

Not applicable.

C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

Not applicable.

D. Risk Factors

Summary of Risk Factors

An investment in our American Depository Shares (“ADSs”) is subject to a number of risks, including risks related to our financial position and capital requirements, risks related to the discovery, development and regulatory approval of our product candidates, risks related to our reliance on third parties, risks related to commercialization of our product candidates, risks related to regulation of our industry, risks related to intellectual property, and risks related to ownership of our ADSs. Investors should carefully consider all of the information in this annual report before making an investment in the ADSs. The following list summarizes some, but not all, of these risks. Please read the information in the section entitled “Risk Factors” for a more thorough description of these and other risks.

Risks Related to our Financial Condition and Capital Requirements

We have not received approval for any product candidate for commercial sale and, as a result, we have never generated any revenue, have incurred significant financial losses and expect to continue to incur significant financial losses in the future, which makes it difficult to assess our future viability.
We will require additional capital in the future, which may not be available to us on commercially favorable terms, or at all. Raising additional capital may cause dilution to holders of our ADSs.

Risks Related to the Discovery, Development and Regulatory Approval of Our Product Candidates

Our preclinical and clinical programs may experience delays, unforeseen costs or may never advance, which would adversely affect our ability to obtain regulatory approvals or commercialize our product candidates.
If we are not able to obtain required regulatory approvals for our current or future product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize, or will be delayed in commercializing, our current or future product candidates.
Changes in funding or disruptions within government agencies caused by funding shortages or global health concerns could prevent new or modified products from being developed, approved or commercialized.
We may have difficulties in attracting and retaining key personnel, and if we fail to do so our business may suffer.

Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

We rely on third-party manufacturers to produce current or any future product candidates. If such manufacturers do not produce acceptable product candidates, this could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are currently dependent on third parties to conduct clinical trials and some aspects of our research and development activities. Such third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for completion of such trial, research or testing.

Risks Related to Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

If we are unable to establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities for any product candidate that may receive regulatory approval, we may not be successful in commercializing those product candidates if and when they are approved.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing drugs before or more successfully than we do.

5


 

Risks Related to Regulation of Our Industry

The regulatory approval processes of the United States Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), European Medicines Agency ("EMA") comparable authorities are lengthy, time consuming, and inherently unpredictable, which could delay or prevent new products from being developed, approved or commercialized.
We are subject to economic, political, regulatory and other risks associated with international operations.
Changes in U.S. healthcare law may impact our business in ways that we cannot currently predict.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our products and technologies, or if we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, we may not be able to compete effectively in our markets.
We may become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our intellectual property, or third parties may initiate legal proceedings against us alleging that we infringe their intellectual property rights.
Our current intellectual property portfolio may not prove to be sufficient to protect our competitive advantage. Additional competitors could enter the market, including with biosimilar products, and sales of affected products may decline materially.

Risks Related to Ownership of Our ADSs

The rights of our shareholders may be different from the rights of shareholders in companies governed by the laws of U.S. jurisdictions.
As a FPI, we are permitted to rely on exemptions from certain Nasdaq corporate governance standards applicable to domestic U.S. issuers. This may afford less protection to holders of our shares.
As a FPI in the U.S., we are exempt from certain rules under U.S. securities laws and are permitted to comply with certain reduced disclosures as an FPI with the SEC than U.S. companies.

Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company and a Foreign Private Issuer

Emerging Growth Company

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. As such, we may take advantage of specific exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other publicly traded entities that are not emerging growth companies. These exemptions include:

not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002;
not being required to comply with any requirement that may be adopted by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board regarding mandatory audit firm rotation or a supplement to the auditor’s report providing additional information about the audit and the financial statements (i.e., an auditor discussion and analysis);
not being required to submit some executive compensation matters to shareholder advisory votes, such as “say-on-pay,” “say-on-frequency” and “say-on-golden parachutes;” and
not being required to disclose some executive compensation related items such as the correlation between executive compensation and performance and comparisons of the chief executive officer’s compensation to median employee compensation.

As a result, we do not know if some investors will find our ADSs less attractive. The result may be a less active trading market for our ADSs, and the price of our ADSs may become more volatile.

We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of: (i) the last day of the first fiscal year in which our annual gross revenues exceed $1.07 billion; (ii) the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of our initial public offering; (iii) the date that we become a “large accelerated filer” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our common equity held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter; or (iv) the date on which we have issued more than $1 billion in non-convertible debt securities during any three-year period.

6


 

Foreign Private Issuer

We report under the Exchange Act as a non-U.S. company with FPI status. Even after we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, as long as we qualify as an FPI under the Exchange Act, we will be exempt from specific provisions of the Exchange Act that are applicable to U.S. domestic public companies, including:

the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;
the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and
the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q containing unaudited financial and other specific information, or current reports on Form 8-K, upon the occurrence of specified significant events.

In addition, we will not be required to file annual reports and consolidated financial statements with the SEC as promptly as U.S. domestic companies whose securities are registered under the Exchange Act, and we will not be required to comply with Regulation FD, which restricts the selective disclosure of material information.

Both FPIs and emerging growth companies also are exempt from some more stringent executive compensation disclosure rules. Thus, even if we no longer qualify as an emerging growth company, but remain an FPI, we will continue to be exempt from the more stringent compensation disclosures required of companies that are neither an emerging growth company nor a FPI.

7


 

RISK FACTORS

Investors should carefully consider the risks described below before making an investment decision. Additional risks not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected by any of these risks. The trading price and value of our ordinary shares could decline due to any of these risks, and investors may lose all or part of their investment. This Annual Report also contains forward- looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including the risks faced by us described below and elsewhere in this Annual Report.

Risks Related to Our Financial Condition and Capital Requirements

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with no approved products. We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception and expect to incur significant losses for the foreseeable future. We may never generate any revenue or become profitable or, if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain it.

Biopharmaceutical product development is a highly speculative undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and commenced operations in 1996. To date, we have focused primarily on performing research and development activities, establishing our intellectual property portfolio (including acquisitions, in-licensing and out-licensing), discovering potential product candidates, conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials and raising capital. Our approach to the discovery and development of product candidates is unproven, and we do not know whether we will be able to develop any products of commercial value. Our lead CNS product candidate, BNC210, is in clinical development, and our additional wholly owned CNS development programs remain in the preclinical or discovery stage. There is no guarantee that we will be able to continue the development of or advance any product candidate into further clinical trials, or meet the capital requirements necessary to further conduct such activities. We have no products approved for commercial sale and we have not yet demonstrated an ability to successfully obtain regulatory approvals, manufacture a commercial scale product, or arrange for a third party to do so on our behalf or conduct sales and marketing activities necessary for successful product commercialization. Consequently, we cannot and do not make any predictions about our future success or viability as we have not had a history of successfully developing and commercializing biopharmaceutical products to date.

We have incurred significant operating losses since our inception. If our product candidates are not successfully developed and approved, we may never generate any revenue. Our total accumulated losses were A$204.8million ($135.8million) and A$173.3 million ($114.9 million) for the fiscal years ended June 30, 2023and June 30, 2022, respectively. As of June 30, 2023, we had net assets of A$33.1 million ($21.9 million). Substantially all of our losses have resulted from expenses incurred in connection with our research and development programs, preclinical studies, clinical trials and from general and administrative costs associated with our operations. Our product candidates will require substantial additional development time and resources before we would be able to apply for or receive regulatory approvals and begin generating revenue from such product sales, if any. We expect to continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future, and we anticipate these losses will increase substantially as we conduct our ongoing and planned preclinical studies and clinical trials, initiate and scale our production capacity, seek regulatory approvals for our product candidates, hire additional personnel, obtain and protect our intellectual property, initiate further research and development and incur additional costs for commercialization or to expand our pipeline of product candidates.

To become and remain profitable, we must succeed in developing and eventually commercializing, licensing and/or acquiring products that generate significant revenue. This will require us to be successful in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical studies and clinical trials of our product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval for these product candidates and manufacturing, marketing and selling any products for which we may obtain regulatory approval. We are only in the preliminary stages of some of these activities. We may never succeed in these activities and, even if we do, may never generate revenues that are significant enough to achieve profitability. We may also encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other unknown factors that may adversely affect our business. Even if we do achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability. If we fail to become and remain profitable, the value of our ADSs could be depressed and our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our research and development efforts, diversify our product candidates or continue our operations could be impaired, and some or all of the value of our ADSs could be lost.

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We will require substantial additional financing to achieve our goals, and a failure to obtain this necessary capital when needed on acceptable terms, or at all, could force us to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development programs, commercialization efforts or other operations. Our existing capital will not be sufficient for us to fund our product candidates through regulatory approval, and we will need to raise additional capital to complete their development and commercialization.

The development of biopharmaceutical product candidates is capital intensive. Since our inception, we have used substantial amounts of cash to fund our operations and we expect our expenses to increase in connection with our ongoing activities during the next several years, particularly as we conduct our ongoing and planned and future clinical trials of BNC210, continue research and development for any additional product candidates, and seek regulatory approval for our current product candidates and any future product candidates we may develop. In addition, if, following approval, we commercialize BNC210 or any other product candidates, we may need to make royalty or other payments to our licensors and other third parties. Further, in connection with the termination of our previous research and license agreement with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Ironwood”), we are obligated to pay Ironwood a low single digit royalty on the net sales of BNC210, if commercialized. Furthermore, if and to the extent we seek to acquire or in-license additional product candidates or rights in the future, we may be required to make significant upfront payments, milestone payments, licensing payments, royalty payments and/or other types of payments. If we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, we also expect to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution. Because the outcome of any clinical trial or preclinical study is highly uncertain, we cannot reasonably estimate the actual amounts necessary to successfully complete the development and commercialization of our product candidates. Furthermore, we have incurred and expect to continue to incur significant costs associated with operating as a U.S. public company. Accordingly, we will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with our continuing operations. If we are unable to raise capital or find alternative sources of financing when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs, clinical trials or any future commercialization efforts.

We had cash and cash equivalents of A$18.3 million ($12.1 million) as of June 30, 2023. Our operating plans and other demands on our cash resources may change as a result of many factors currently unknown to us, and we may need to seek additional funds sooner than planned, through public or private equity or debt financings or other capital sources, including potentially collaborations, licenses and other arrangements. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. The volatility of the capital markets, domestically and internationally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on and economic downturns that are out of our control may affect the availability, amount and type of financing available to us in the future. Attempting to secure additional financing may divert our management from our day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our ability to develop our product candidates.

Our future financing requirements will depend on many factors, including:

the type, number, scope, progress, expansions, results, costs and timing of our clinical trials (especially if and as we move into Phase 3 clinical trials) and preclinical studies of our product candidates which we are pursuing or may choose to pursue in the future;
safety concerns related to the use of our product candidates;
adverse findings regarding the efficacy of our product candidates as additional information is acquired;
the costs and timing of manufacturing for our product candidates, including commercial manufacturing if any product candidate is approved;
the costs, timing and outcome of regulatory review of our product candidates;
the number of jurisdictions in which we plan to seek regulatory approvals;
the costs of obtaining, maintaining, enforcing and defending our patents and other intellectual property and proprietary rights;
our efforts to enhance operational systems and hire additional personnel to satisfy our obligations as a U.S. public company, including enhanced internal controls over financial reporting;
the costs associated with hiring additional personnel and consultants as our clinical activities increase;
the timing and amount of the royalty or other payments we must make to our licensors and other third parties;
the timing and amount of milestone or royalty payments we receive from out-licensees, such as Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kenilworth NJ, USA (“MSD”), Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Cancer Therapeutics (“CTx”) or Carina Biotech;
the costs and timing of establishing or securing sales and marketing capabilities if any product candidate is approved;
our ability to achieve sufficient market acceptance, coverage and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors and adequate market share and revenue for any approved products;

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the terms and timing of establishing and maintaining collaborations, licenses and other similar arrangements; and
costs associated with any product candidates, products or technologies that we may in-license or acquire.

Conducting clinical trials (especially if and as we move into Phase 3 clinical trials, which are typically substantially more expensive and of longer duration) and preclinical studies is a time consuming, expensive and uncertain process that takes years to complete, and we may never generate the necessary data or results required to obtain regulatory approval and achieve product sales. In addition, our product candidates, if approved, may not achieve commercial success. Our commercial revenues, if any, will be derived from sales of products that we do not expect to be commercially available for many years, if at all.

Accordingly, we will need to continue to rely on additional financing to achieve our business objectives. Adequate additional financing may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. If we are unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, we could be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate our research and development programs, future commercialization efforts or other operations.

Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates. Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial revenues, we expect to finance our business and operational needs through equity offerings, debt financings or other financing sources, including potentially collaborations, licenses and other similar arrangements. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, investors’ ownership interest will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect investors’ rights as a holder of our ADSs. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include covenants limiting or restricting our ability to take specific actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends.

If we raise funds through future collaborations, licenses and other similar arrangements, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us and/or that may reduce the value of our ADSs. We may also lose control of the development of our products or product candidates, such as the pace and scope of clinical trials, as a result of such third-party arrangements. If we are unable to raise funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market products or product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves.

For example, on May 5, 2023, we announced the establishment of an “At-The-Market” program (the “ATM Program”) with Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor”), who will act as sales agent. Under the ATM Program, we may offer and sell up to US$11.5 million of ordinary shares in the capital of the Company (“Shares”) in the form of ADSs, with each ADS representing one hundred eighty (180) fully paid Shares, through Cantor. Sales of ADSs under the ATM Program may be made from time to time, with the timing and amount of any sales to be determined by us based on a variety of factors. We may determine to sell some, all, or none of the ADSs under the ATM Program and may terminate the ATM Program at our discretion. We, through Cantor, may sell ADSs by any lawful method deemed to be an “at-the-market offering” defined by Rule 415(a)(4) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Sales made through the ATM Program may be made at market prices prevailing at the time of a sale or at prices related to prevailing market prices. To effectuate the establishment of the ATM Program, we have entered into a Sales Agreement with Cantor, acting as sales agent. We currently intend to use the net proceeds from the ATM, together with its existing cash and cash equivalents, to fund our pipeline development and to maintain working capital and for general corporate purposes. We have filed a shelf registration statement on Form F-3, including a base prospectus relating to a proposed offer by the Company of securities (being Shares and ADSs, various series of debt securities and warrants to purchase any such securities) and a sales agreement prospectus relating to the ATM Program, with the SEC, which was declared effective by the SEC on May 17, 2023. We cannot assure you that the ATM Program, or any other mechanisms of raising additional capital, will not cause dilution to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or product candidates. For example, as of September 30, 2023, we have raised gross proceeds of $6,715,878 under the ATM Program having issued an aggregate of 2,100,866 ADSs.

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Our operating results have fluctuated significantly in the past and may continue to do so in the future, which makes our future operating results difficult to predict and could cause our operating results to fall below expectations or our guidance. Our operating results have fluctuated significantly in the past and may continue to do so in the future. Fluctuations in our operating results may occur due to a variety of factors, many of which are out of our control and may be difficult to predict, including:

the timing and cost of, and level of investment in, research, development, regulatory approval and commercialization activities relating to our product candidates, which may change from time to time;
the timing of milestone payments, if any, under our license and collaboration agreements;
the timing and amount of royalty or other payments, if any, under our license and collaboration agreements;
expenditures that we may incur to acquire, develop, or commercialize additional product candidates and technologies;
the level of demand for our current or future product candidates, if approved, which may vary significantly;
coverage and reimbursement policies with respect to our product candidates, if approved, and existing and potential future drugs that compete with our product candidates;
the cost of manufacturing our product candidates, which may vary depending on the quantity of production and the terms of our agreements with third-party manufacturers;
the timing and success or failure of clinical trials for our product candidates or competing product candidates, or any other change in the competitive landscape of our industry, including consolidation of our competitors or partners;
the timing and exercise, if any, of outstanding warrants and options;
foreign currency fluctuations; and
future accounting pronouncements or changes in our accounting policies.

The cumulative effect of these factors could result in large fluctuations and unpredictability in our operating results. As a result, comparisons of our operating results on a period-to-period basis may not be meaningful. Investors should not rely on our past results as an indication of future performance. This variability and unpredictability could also result in our failing to meet the expectations of industry or financial analysts or investors for any period. If our revenue or operating results fall below the expectations of analysts or investors or below any guidelines we may provide to the market, or if the guidelines we provide to the market are below the expectations of analysts or investors, this could adversely affect the trading price of our ADSs. Such a decline could occur even when we have met any previously publicly stated revenue or earnings guidance we may provide.

We are entitled to research and development incentives from the Australian Government. If we lose these research and development incentives, we may encounter difficulties in funding future research and development projects, which could harm our operating results.

We have historically received entitlements through the Australian Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive program, under which the Australian Government currently provides a refundable tax offset, payable as a cash incentive, of up to 43.5% of eligible approved research and development expenditures by Australian entities with an “aggregated turnover” of less than A$20 million and an additional tax deduction of 8.5 to 16.5% of eligible approved research and development expenditures if “aggregated turnover” is greater than A$20 million. For the fiscal years ended June 30, 2023and 2022, we recognized a refundable tax offset of approximately A$0.6 million and A$5.8 million, respectively. Entitlement to tax offsets under the Research and Development Tax Incentive for eligible research and development purposes is based on an annual application to the Australian Government. For overseas activities that have a significant scientific link to the Australian activities, the expenditure in Australia needs to be greater than the expected overseas expenditure to be eligible.

Payments under this program are available for our research and development activities in Australia, as well as certain activities conducted overseas that are required to be approved by AusIndustry, a branch of the Australian Government. On September 20, 2022 we lodged our tax return for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, which incorporated the research and development tax incentive schedule, and on 6 October 2022,we received A$6.7 million research and development tax incentive refund relating to the financial year ended June 30, 2022, which as at June 30, 2022 was included as part of the Research and Development Incentives Receivable, in the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position. In the event of our research and development expenditures being deemed “ineligible,” then our incentives would decrease, and our future cash flows would be negatively affected. In addition, the Australian Government may modify the requirements of, reduce the amounts of the tax offset entitlement under, or discontinue the Research and Development Tax Incentive program. If the Research and Development Tax Incentive program was discontinued, or if the tax incentive rate was reduced, it would have a negative effect on the size of future refundable tax offsets and our future cash flows.

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We plan to use our tax losses to offset potential future taxable income from revenue generated from operations or corporate collaborations. However, our ability to utilize our tax losses and certain other tax attributes may be limited as a result of our failure to pass either the continuity of ownership or business continuity tests.

We have substantial carried forward tax losses, which may not be available to offset future gains, if any. In order for an Australian corporate taxpayer to carry forward and utilize tax losses, the taxpayor must pass either the “continuity of ownership test” or, if it fails such test, the “business continuity test” in respect of relevant tax losses. We have not carried out any analysis as to whether we have met the continuity of ownership test or, failing such test, the business continuity test over relevant periods. In addition, shareholding changes may result in a significant ownership change for us under Australian tax law. It is therefore uncertain whether any of our losses carried forward as of June 30, 2023 will be available to be carried forward and available to offset our assessable income, if any, in future periods.

Inflation could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

While inflation in the United States has been relatively low in recent years, beginning in 2021 and continuing today, the economy in the United States has and continues to encounter a material level of inflation. The residual impact of COVID-19, geopolitical developments such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, government monetary and fiscal policy and global supply chain disruptions continue to increase uncertainty in the outlook of near-term and long-term economic activity, including whether inflation will continue and how long, and at what rate. Increases in inflation raise our costs for commodities, labor, materials and services and other costs required to grow and operate our business, and failure to secure these goods and services on reasonable terms may adversely impact our financial condition, operations and cash flows.

Risks Related to the Discovery, Development and Regulatory Approval of Our Product Candidates

Preclinical and clinical drug development is a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome. Our preclinical and clinical programs may experience delays, unforeseen costs or may never advance, which would adversely affect our ability to obtain regulatory approvals or commercialize our product candidates on a timely basis or at all, which could have an adverse effect on our business and shareholder value.

In order to obtain FDA approval to market a new small molecule product, we must demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans to the satisfaction of the FDA. To meet these requirements, we will have to conduct adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

Conducting preclinical testing and clinical trials is a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive process and is subject to uncertainty. Despite promising preclinical or clinical results, any product candidate can unexpectedly fail at any stage of preclinical or clinical development. The historical failure rate for product candidates in our industry is high. The length of time may vary substantially according to the type, complexity and novelty of the program, and often can be several years or more per program. Delays associated with programs for which we are directly conducting preclinical studies and clinical trials may cause us to incur additional operating expenses. The commencement and rate of completion of preclinical studies and clinical trials for a product candidate may be delayed by many factors, including, for example:

timely completion of preclinical laboratory tests, animal studies and formulation studies in accordance with FDA’s good laboratory practice requirements and other applicable regulations;
submission of an Investigational New Drug Application (“IND”) to the FDA and delays or failure in obtaining clearance thereof by the FDA;
delays or failure in obtaining approval by an independent Institutional Review Board (“IRB”) or ethics committee at each clinical site before each trial may be initiated;
delays in reaching a consensus with regulatory agencies on study design and obtaining regulatory authorization to commence clinical trials;
delays in reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective contract research organizations (“CROs”), and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical trial sites;
delays in identifying, contracting and training suitable clinical investigators;
delays in manufacturing, testing, releasing, validating or importing/exporting sufficient stable quantities of our product candidates for use in clinical trials or the inability to do any of the foregoing;
insufficient or inadequate supply or quality of product candidates or other materials necessary for use in clinical trials, or delays in sufficiently developing, characterizing or controlling a manufacturing process suitable for clinical trials;
imposition of a temporary or permanent clinical hold by regulatory authorities;
developments on trials conducted by competitors for related technology that raises FDA or foreign regulatory authority concerns about risk to patients of the technology broadly, or if the FDA or a foreign regulatory authority finds that the investigational protocol or plan is deficient to meet its stated objectives;

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delays or failure in screening and enrolling suitable patients and delays or failure caused by patients withdrawing from clinical trials or failing to return for post-treatment follow-up;
difficulties collaborating with patient groups and investigators;
failure by our investigators and patients to adhere to clinical trial protocols;
failure by our CROs, other third parties or us to manage the clinical trials according to the contracted terms and timelines;
failure to perform clinical trials in accordance with the FDA’s good clinical practice requirements (“GCPs”), or applicable regulatory guidelines in other countries;
occurrence of adverse events associated with the product candidate that are viewed to outweigh its potential benefits, or occurrence of adverse events in a trial of the same class of agents conducted by other companies;
changes to the clinical trial protocols;
clinical sites dropping out of a trial.
changes in regulatory requirements and guidance including primary efficacy endpoints for approval that require amending or submitting new clinical protocols;
changes in the standard of care on which a clinical development plan was based, which may require new or additional trials;
selection of clinical endpoints that require prolonged periods of observation or analyses of resulting data;
the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates being greater than we anticipate;
inability to generate sufficient preclinical, toxicology, or other in vivo or in vitro data to support the initiation or continuation of clinical trials;
clinical trials of our product candidates producing negative or inconclusive results, which may result in our deciding, or regulators requiring us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon development of such product candidates;
transfer of manufacturing processes to larger-scale facilities operated by a contract manufacturing organization (“CMO”), and delays or failure by our CMOs or us to make any necessary changes to such manufacturing process; and
third parties being unwilling or unable to satisfy their contractual obligations to us.

Further, conducting clinical trials in foreign countries for our product candidates presents additional risks that may delay completion of our clinical trials. These risks include the failure of enrolled patients in foreign countries to adhere to the clinical protocol as a result of differences in healthcare services or cultural customs, managing additional administrative burdens associated with foreign regulatory schemes, as well as political and economic risks relevant to such foreign countries.

Delays or failure in the completion of any preclinical studies or clinical trials of our product candidates will increase our costs, slow down our product candidate development and approval process and delay or potentially jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate product revenue. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates. Any delays to or failure in our preclinical studies or clinical trials that occur as a result could shorten any period during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates and our competitors may be able to bring products to market before we do, and the commercial viability of our product candidates could be significantly reduced. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.

We are preparing to enter into Phase 3 of our development efforts. If we are unable to commercialize our product candidates or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.

Our ability to become profitable depends upon our ability to generate revenue. To date we have not generated any sales revenue from our product candidates, and we do not expect to generate any revenue from the sale of drugs in the near future. We do not expect to generate revenue from product sales unless and until we complete the development of, obtain marketing approval for, and begin to sell, one or more of our product candidates. We are also unable to predict when, if ever, we will be able to generate revenue from such product candidates due to the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with drug development, including the uncertainty of:

our ability to timely and successfully complete preclinical studies and clinical trials for BNC210 and other current or future product candidates;
the ability of our existing or future licensees and collaborators to successfully develop and commercialize product candidates pursuant to collaboration agreements, including MSD with respect to its two product candidates and Carina Biotech with respect to BNC101;
our successful initiation, enrollment in and completion of clinical trials for BNC210 and other current or future product candidates, including our ability to generate positive data from any such clinical trials;

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our ability to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA and comparable regulatory authorities the safety, efficacy, consistent manufacturing quality and acceptable risk-benefit profile of our product candidates for their intended uses;
our plans to submit New Drug Applications (“NDA”) to the FDA for BNC210 and future product candidates;
our ability to obtain in a timely manner necessary approvals or authorizations from applicable regulatory authorities;
the costs associated with the development of any additional development programs we identify in-house or acquire through collaborations or other arrangements;
our ability to establish manufacturing capabilities or make arrangements with third-party manufacturers for clinical supply and commercial manufacturing;
our ability to advance our early-stage CNS assets into IND-enabling studies either on our own or through collaborations;
obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection or regulatory exclusivity for our current and future product candidates;
launching commercial sales of our product candidates, if and when approved, whether alone or in collaboration with others;
obtaining and maintaining acceptance of our product candidates, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;
effectively competing with other therapies;
obtaining and maintaining healthcare coverage and adequate reimbursement;
the terms and timing of any additional collaboration, license or other arrangement, including the terms and timing of any payments thereunder;
our ability to enforce and defend intellectual property rights and claims; and
our ability to maintain continued acceptable safety profiles of our product candidates following approval.

We expect to incur significant sales and marketing costs as we prepare to commercialize our current or future product candidates. Even if we initiate and successfully complete pivotal or registration-enabling clinical trials of our current or future product candidates, and our current or future product candidates are approved for commercial sale, and despite expending these costs, our current or future product candidates may not be commercially successful. We may not achieve profitability soon after generating drug sales, if ever. If we are unable to generate revenue, we will not become profitable and may be unable to continue operations without continued funding.

If we experience delays or difficulties in the initiation, enrollment and/or retention of patients in clinical trials, our regulatory submissions or receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.

We may not be able to initiate or continue our then ongoing or planned clinical trials on a timely basis or at all for our product candidates if we are unable to recruit, enroll and retain a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside the U.S. Patient enrollment is a significant factor in the timing of clinical trials. Our ability to enroll eligible patients may be limited or may result in slower enrollment than we anticipate.

Moreover, some of our clinical trials will compete with other companies’ clinical trials that are in the same therapeutic areas as our current or future product candidates, and this competition reduces the number and types of patients available to us, as some patients who would otherwise be eligible for our clinical trials may instead enroll in clinical trials of our competitors’ current or future product candidates. Because the number of qualified clinical investigators and clinical trial sites is limited, we expect to conduct some of our clinical trials at the same clinical trial sites that some of our competitors use, which will reduce the number of patients who are available for our clinical trials at such clinical trial sites. In addition, there may be limited patient pools from which to draw for clinical studies. In addition to the rarity of some diseases, the eligibility criteria of our clinical studies may further limit the pool of available study participants as we will require that patients have specific characteristics that we can measure or to assure their disease is either severe enough or not too advanced to include them in a study.

Patient enrollment for any of our future clinical trials may be affected by other factors including:

the size and nature of the patient population;
competition with other companies for clinical sites or patients;
the willingness of participants to enroll in our clinical trials in our countries of interest;
the severity of the disease under investigation;
availability and efficacy of approved drugs for the disease under investigation;
the eligibility criteria for the clinical trial in question as defined in the protocol;
the availability of an appropriate screening test(s) for the indications we are pursuing;
the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study in relation to other available therapies, including any new products that may be approved for the indications we are investigating;

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the efforts to facilitate timely enrollment in and completion of clinical trials;
delays in or temporary suspension of the enrollment of patients in our then ongoing or future clinical trials in the event of a future pandemic;
ability to obtain and maintain patient consents;
the patient referral practices of physicians;
the ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment;
the proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients; and
the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will drop out of the trials before completion.

These factors may make it difficult for us to enroll enough patients to complete our clinical trials in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials would result in significant delays or may require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates and jeopardize our ability to obtain marketing approval for the sale of our product candidates. Furthermore, even if we are able to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials, we may have difficulty maintaining participation in our clinical trials through the treatment and any follow-up periods.

Interim, topline or preliminary data from our preclinical studies and clinical trials that we announce or publish from time to time may change as more data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data.

From time to time, we may publicly disclose interim, topline or preliminary data from our preclinical studies and clinical trials, which are based on a preliminary analysis of then-available data, and the results and related findings and conclusions are subject to change following a more comprehensive review of the data related to the particular study or trial. We also make assumptions, estimations, calculations and conclusions as part of our analyses of data, and we may not have received or had the opportunity to fully and carefully evaluate all data. Moreover, caution should be exercised in drawing any conclusions from a comparison of data that does not come from head-to-head analysis. As a result, the interim, topline or preliminary results that we report may differ from future results of the same studies or clinical trials, or different conclusions or considerations may qualify such results, once additional data have been received and fully evaluated. Interim, topline or preliminary data also remain subject to audit and verification procedures that may result in the final data being materially different from the preliminary data we previously published. As a result, such data should be viewed with caution until the final data are available, as such interim, topline or preliminary data are subject to the risk that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as participant enrollment continues and more participant data become available or as participants from our clinical trials continue other treatments for their disease. Adverse differences between preliminary, interim or topline data and final data could significantly harm our business prospects.

Further, others, including regulatory authorities, may not accept or agree with our assumptions, estimates, calculations, conclusions or analyses or may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently, which could impact the value of the particular program, the approvability or commercialization of the particular product candidate or product and negatively impact the value of our ADSs. In addition, the information we choose to publicly disclose regarding a particular study or clinical trial is based on what is typically extensive information, and investors or others may not agree with what we determine is material or otherwise appropriate information to include in our disclosure, and any information we determine not to disclose may ultimately be deemed significant with respect to future decisions, conclusions, views, activities or otherwise regarding a particular product, product candidate or our business. If the interim, topline or preliminary data that we report differ from actual results, or if others, including regulatory authorities, disagree with the conclusions reached, our ability to obtain approval for, and commercialize, our product candidates may be harmed, which could harm our business, operating results, prospects or financial condition.

Results of earlier clinical trials may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials.

The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our current and/or our other future product candidates, if any, including positive results, may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Each of our current or any other future product candidates in later stages of clinical development may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy results despite having progressed through nonclinical studies and initial clinical trials, as is the case for results from our BNC210 Phase 2 PREVAIL Study and Phase 2 ATTUNE Study. Many companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in later-stage clinical trials due to adverse safety profiles or lack of efficacy, notwithstanding promising results in earlier studies. Similarly, our future clinical trial results may not be successful for these or other reasons.

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Moreover, nonclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in nonclinical studies and clinical trials nonetheless failed to obtain FDA approval or approval from a similar regulatory authority in another country. With respect to our current product candidates, if our current or future nonclinical or clinical studies fail to produce positive results, the development timeline and regulatory approval and commercialization prospects for these candidates and, correspondingly, our business and financial prospects, as well as the value of our securities, including our Ordinary Shares and ADSs, could be materially adversely affected.

If we are not able to obtain, or if there are delays in obtaining, required regulatory approvals for our current or future product candidates, we will not be able to commercialize, or will be delayed in commercializing, our current or future product candidates, and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

Our current or future product candidates and the activities associated with their development and commercialization, including their design, testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, recordkeeping, labeling, storage, approval, advertising, promotion, sale, distribution, import and export, are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FDA and other regulatory agencies in the U.S. and by comparable authorities in other countries. Before we can commercialize any of our current or future product candidates, we must obtain marketing approval from the regulatory authorities in the relevant jurisdictions. We have not received approval to market any of our current or future product candidates from regulatory authorities in any jurisdiction, and it is possible that none of our current product candidates, nor any product candidates we may seek to develop in the future, will ever obtain regulatory approval. Securing regulatory approval requires the submission of extensive preclinical and clinical data and supporting information to the various regulatory authorities for each therapeutic indication to establish the product candidate’s safety and efficacy. Securing regulatory approval also requires the submission of information about the drug manufacturing process to, and inspection of manufacturing facilities by, the relevant regulatory authority. Our current or future product candidates may not be effective, may be only moderately effective or may prove to have undesirable or unintended side effects, toxicities or other characteristics that may preclude our obtaining marketing approval or prevent or limit commercial use. In addition, even if we believe that our trials demonstrate the safety and/or effectiveness of a product candidature, regulatory authorities may not agree with our interpretation of the results of our trials and conclude that the data are not adequate to support approval.

In addition, even if we were to obtain approval, regulatory authorities may approve any of our current or future product candidates for fewer or more limited indications than we request, may not approve the price we intend to charge for our drugs, may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials, or may approve a product candidate with a label that does not include the labeling claims necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of that product candidate. Any of the foregoing scenarios could materially harm the commercial prospects for our current or future product candidates.

If we experience delays in obtaining approval or if we fail to obtain approval of our current or future product candidates, the commercial prospects for our current or future product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate revenues will be materially impaired.

Our current or future product candidates may cause adverse or other undesirable side effects that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit the commercial profile of an approved label or result in significant negative consequences following marketing approval, if any.

Undesirable side effects caused by our current or future product candidates could cause us to interrupt, delay or halt preclinical studies or could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other regulatory authorities for such products. It is likely that there may be adverse side effects associated with the use of our product candidates. To date, patients treated with BNC210 have experienced drug-related side effects including headaches, somnolence and nausea. There is also the potential risk of delayed adverse events following treatment using any of our current or future product candidates.

If unacceptable side effects arise in the development of our product candidates, we, the FDA, the IRBs at the institutions in which our studies are conducted, or the data safety monitoring board, could suspend or terminate our clinical trials or the FDA or comparable regulatory authorities could order us to cease clinical trials or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Treatment-related side effects could also affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled patients to complete the trial or result in potential drug liability claims. In addition, these side effects may not be appropriately recognized or managed by the treating medical staff. We expect to have to train medical personnel using our product candidates to understand the side effect profiles for our clinical trials and upon any commercialization of any of our product candidates. Inadequate training in recognizing or managing the potential side effects of our product candidates could result in patient injury or death. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.

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Further, our current or future product candidates could cause undesirable side effects in clinical trials related to on-target toxicity. If on-target toxicity is observed, or if our current or future product candidates have characteristics that are unexpected, we may need to abandon their development or limit development to more narrow uses or subpopulations in which the undesirable side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective. Many compounds that initially showed promise in early-stage testing have later been found to cause side effects that prevented further development of the compound.

In addition, clinical trials by their nature utilize a sample of the potential patient population. With a limited number of patients and limited duration of exposure, rare and severe side effects of our current or future product candidates may only be uncovered with a significantly larger number of patients exposed to the product candidate. In any such event, our studies could be suspended or terminated and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of or deny approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. The side effects experienced could affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled subjects to complete the study or result in potential product liability claims. Moreover, if we elect, or are required, not to initiate, or to delay, suspend or terminate any future clinical trial of any of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of such product candidates may be harmed and our ability to generate product revenues from any of these product candidates may be delayed or eliminated. Any of these occurrences may harm our ability to develop other product candidates, and may harm our business, financial condition and prospects significantly.

In addition, if our current or future product candidates receive marketing approval and we or others identify undesirable side effects caused by such current or future product candidates after such approval, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including:

regulatory authorities may suspend, withdraw or limit approvals of such current or future product candidates, or seek an injunction against their manufacture or distribution;
regulatory authorities may require the addition of labeling statements or warnings, such as a “boxed” warning or a contraindication, or issue safety alerts, Dear Healthcare Provider letters, press releases or other communications containing warnings or other safety information about the product;
we may be required to create a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;
we may be required to change the way such current or future product candidates are distributed or administered, conduct additional clinical trials or change the labeling of the current or future product candidates;
we may be required to conduct post-marketing studies or change the way the product is administered;
regulatory authorities may require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (“REMS”) plan to mitigate risks, which could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools;
we may be subject to regulatory investigations and government enforcement actions;
we may decide to remove such current or future product candidates from the market;
we could be sued and held liable for injury caused to individuals exposed to or taking our current or future product candidates;
we may be subject to fines, injunctions or imposition of criminal penalties; and
our reputation may suffer.

These events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of the affected product candidates and could substantially increase the costs of commercializing our current or future product candidates, if approved, and significantly impact our ability to successfully commercialize our current or future product candidates and generate revenues.

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We may seek and fail to obtain Breakthrough Therapy designation or Fast Track designation from the FDA for our current or future product candidates. Even if granted for any of our current or future product candidates, these programs may not lead to a faster development, regulatory review or approval process, and such designations do not increase the likelihood that any of our product candidates will receive marketing approval in the U.S.

We have obtained a Fast Track designation for BNC210 for the treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related and stressor-related disorders as well as for the acute treatment of anxiety in SAD patients and other anxiety-related disorders. We may also seek Breakthrough Therapy designations for BNC210. We may also seek Fast Track designation or Breakthrough Therapy designation for one or more of our other current or future product candidates.

The sponsor of a product candidate with Fast Track designation has opportunities for more frequent interactions with the applicable FDA review team during product development and, once an NDA is submitted, the product candidate may be eligible for priority review. Such product candidate may also be eligible for rolling review, where the FDA may consider for review sections of the NDA on a rolling basis before the complete application is submitted, if the sponsor provides a schedule for the submission of the sections of the NDA, the FDA agrees to accept sections of the NDA and determines that the schedule is acceptable, and the sponsor pays any required user fees upon submission of the first section of the NDA. A Breakthrough Therapy is defined as a drug that is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs, to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development. For drugs that have been designated as Breakthrough Therapies, interaction and communication between the FDA and the sponsor of the trial can help to identify the most efficient path for clinical development while minimizing the number of patients placed in ineffective control regimens. Product candidates designated as Breakthrough Therapies by the FDA may also be eligible for priority review and accelerated approval. Designation as a Breakthrough Therapy is within the discretion of the FDA. Accordingly, even if we believe one of our current or future product candidates meets the criteria for designation as a Fast Track or Breakthrough Therapy designation, the FDA may disagree and instead determine not to make such designation. In any event, the receipt of a Fast Track or Breakthrough Therapy designation for a current or future product candidate may not result in a faster development process, review or approval compared to drugs considered for approval under conventional FDA procedures and does not assure ultimate approval by the FDA. In addition, even if one or more of our current or future product candidates qualify as Breakthrough Therapies, the FDA may later decide that such product candidates no longer meet the conditions for qualification and rescind the designation or decide that the time period for FDA review or approval will not be shortened.

The incidence and prevalence for target patient populations of our product candidates have not been established with precision. If the market opportunities for our product candidates in SAD, PTSD, or other indications we may pursue are smaller than we estimate or if any approval that we obtain is based on a narrower definition of the patient population, our revenue and ability to achieve profitability will be adversely affected, possibly materially.

The precise incidence and prevalence for the indications being pursued for our current and future product candidates is currently unknown. Our projections of both the number of people who have these diseases, as well as the subset of people with these diseases who have the potential to benefit from treatment with our product candidates, are based on estimates. The total addressable market opportunity for these product candidates and future product candidates will ultimately depend upon, among other things, each product candidate’s proven safety and efficacy, the diagnosis criteria included in the final label for each, whether our product candidates are approved for sale for these indications, acceptance by the medical community and patient access, product pricing and reimbursement. The number of patients for our product candidates in the U.S. and elsewhere may turn out to be lower than expected, patients may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our products, or new patients may become increasingly difficult to identify or gain access to, all of which would adversely affect our results of operations and our business.

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Even if we receive marketing authorization for our product candidates, we will be subject to extensive ongoing regulatory obligations and continued regulatory review, which may result in significant additional expense and we may be subject to penalties if we fail to comply with regulatory requirements or experience unanticipated problems with our product candidates.

If the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority approves any of our current or future product candidates, the manufacturing processes, labeling, packaging, distribution, adverse event reporting, storage, advertising, promotion and recordkeeping for the drug will be subject to extensive and ongoing regulatory requirements. These requirements include submissions of safety and other post-marketing information and reports, registration requirements, and continued compliance with cGMPs and GCPs for any clinical trials that we conduct post-approval. For certain commercial prescription drug products, manufacturers and other parties involved in the supply chain must also meet chain of distribution requirements and build electronic, interoperable systems for product tracking and tracing and for notifying the FDA of counterfeit, diverted, stolen and intentionally adulterated products or other products that are otherwise unfit for distribution in the U.S. Any regulatory approvals that we receive for our current or future product candidates may also be subject to limitations on the approved indicated uses for which the drug may be marketed or to the conditions of approval, or contain requirements for potentially costly post-marketing testing, including Phase 4 clinical trials, and surveillance to monitor the safety and efficacy of the drug. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a drug, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with our third-party manufacturers or manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in, among other things:

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of our product candidates, withdrawal of the product from the market, or voluntary or mandatory product recalls;
manufacturing delays and supply disruptions where regulatory inspections identify observations of noncompliance during remediation;
revisions to the labeling, including limitation on approved uses or the addition of warnings, contraindications, or other safety information, including boxed warnings;
imposition of a REMS, which may include distribution or use restrictions;
requirements to conduct additional post-market clinical trials to assess the safety of the product;
fines, warning or untitled letters or holds on clinical trials;
refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications filed by us, or suspension or withdrawal of approvals;
product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of drugs; and
injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The occurrence of any event or penalty described above may inhibit our ability to commercialize our product candidates and generate revenue and could require us to expend significant time and resources in response and could generate negative publicity

The FDA’s and other regulatory authorities’ policies may change and additional government regulations may be enacted that could prevent, limit or delay regulatory approval of our current or future product candidates. We also cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the United States or abroad. If we are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, we may lose any marketing approval that we may have obtained, which would adversely affect our business, prospects and ability to achieve or sustain profitability.

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Even if we receive marketing approval for our current or future product candidates in the United States, we may never receive regulatory approval to market our current or future product candidates outside of the United States.

We plan to seek regulatory approval of our current or future product candidates outside of the United States. Obtaining and maintaining regulatory approval of our product candidates in one jurisdiction does not guarantee that we will be able to obtain or maintain regulatory approval in any other jurisdiction.

For example, even if the FDA grants marketing approval of a product candidate, we may not obtain approvals in other jurisdictions, and comparable regulatory authorities in foreign jurisdictions must also approve the manufacturing, marketing and promotion and reimbursement of the product candidate in those countries. However, a failure or delay in obtaining marketing approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. Approval procedures vary among countries and can involve additional product candidate testing and administrative review periods different from those in the United States. The time required to obtain approvals in other countries might differ substantially from that required to obtain FDA approval. The marketing approval processes in other countries generally implicate all of the risks detailed above regarding FDA approval in the United States as well as other risks. In particular, in many countries outside of the United States, products must receive pricing and reimbursement approval before the product can be commercialized. Obtaining this approval can result in substantial delays in bringing products to market in such countries.

Obtaining foreign regulatory approvals and establishing and maintaining compliance with foreign regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our products in certain countries. If we or any future collaborator fail to comply with regulatory requirements in international markets or fail to receive applicable marketing approvals, it would reduce the size of our potential market, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and prospects.

Changes in funding or disruptions at the FDA, the SEC, patent offices in the United States and abroad and other government agencies caused by funding shortages or global health concerns could hinder their ability to hire and retain key leadership and other personnel, or otherwise prevent new or modified products from being developed, approved or commercialized in a timely manner or at all, or otherwise prevent those agencies from performing normal business functions on which the operation of our business may rely, which could negatively impact our business.

The ability of the FDA to review and approve new products can be affected by a variety of factors, including government budget and funding levels, ability to hire and retain key personnel, and accept the payment of user fees, and statutory, regulatory and policy changes and other events that may otherwise affect the FDA’s ability to perform routine functions. Average review times at the agency FDA have fluctuated in recent years as a result. In addition, government funding of the SEC and other government agencies on which our operations may rely, including those that fund research and development activities is subject to the political process, which is inherently fluid and unpredictable.

Disruptions at the FDA, patent offices in the United States and abroad and other agencies caused by funding shortages or global health concerns may also slow the time necessary for new or modified products to be developed, approved, or commercialized, which would adversely affect our business. For example, in recent years, including for 35 days beginning on December 22, 2018, the U.S. government shut down several times and certain regulatory agencies, such as the FDA and the SEC, had to furlough critical employees and stop critical activities.

Separately, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 10, 2020, the FDA announced its intention to postpone most inspections of foreign manufacturing facilities and products, and on March 18, 2020, the FDA temporarily postponed routine surveillance inspections of domestic manufacturing facilities. Subsequently, on July 10, 2020, the FDA announced its intention to resume certain on-site inspections of domestic manufacturing facilities subject to a risk-based prioritization system. Additionally, on April 15, 2021, the FDA began conducting voluntary remote interactive evaluations of certain drug manufacturing facilities and clinical research sites, among other facilities in circumstances where the FDA determines that such remote evaluation would be appropriate based on mission needs and travel limitations. In July 2021, the FDA resumed standard inspectional operations of domestic facilities. Since that time, the FDA has continued to monitor and implement changes to its inspectional activities to ensure the safety of its employees and those of the firms it regulates. Regulatory authorities outside the United States may adopt similar restrictions or other policy measures in response to future pandemics, if any. If a prolonged government shutdown occurs, or if global health concerns continue to prevent the FDA or other regulatory authorities from conducting their regular inspections, reviews or other regulatory activities, it could significantly impact the ability of the FDA to timely review and process our regulatory submissions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, in our operations as a U.S. public company, future government shutdowns or delays could impact our ability to access the public markets and obtain necessary capital in order to properly capitalize and continue our operations.

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We may in the future conduct clinical trials for current or future product candidates outside the United States, and the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials, which may subject us to delays and expenses.

We have conducted and may in the future choose to conduct one or more of our clinical trials outside the United States, including in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, France and the United Kingdom. The acceptance of study data from clinical trials conducted outside the United States or another jurisdiction by the FDA or applicable foreign regulatory authority may be subject to certain conditions. In cases where data from foreign clinical trials are intended to serve as the basis for marketing approval in the United States, the FDA will not approve the application on the basis of foreign data alone unless the following are true: (i) the data are applicable to the United States population and United States medical practice; (ii) the studies were performed by clinical investigators of recognized competence and pursuant to GCP regulations; and (iii) the data are considered valid without the need for an on-site inspection by the FDA or, if the FDA considers such an inspection to be necessary, the FDA is able to validate the data through an on-site inspection or other appropriate means. Additionally, the FDA’s clinical trial requirements, including sufficient size of patient populations and statistical powering, must be met. In addition, even where the foreign study data are not intended to serve as the sole basis for approval, the FDA will not accept the data as support for an application for marketing approval unless the study is well-designed and well-conducted in accordance with GCP and the FDA is able to validate the data from the study through an onsite inspection if deemed necessary. Many foreign regulatory bodies have similar requirements. In addition, such foreign studies would be subject to the applicable local laws of the foreign jurisdictions where the studies are conducted. There can be no assurance the FDA or applicable foreign regulatory authority will accept data from trials conducted outside of the United States or the applicable jurisdiction. If the FDA or any applicable foreign regulatory authority does not accept such data, it would result in the need for additional trials, which would be costly and time-consuming and delay aspects of our business plan, and which may result in our product candidates not receiving approval for commercialization in the applicable jurisdiction.

The use of BNC210 with 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (“MDMA”) or EMP-01, an MDMA derivative, may generate public controversy. Adverse publicity or public perception regarding MDMA may negatively influence the success of any such combination therapy.

Therapies containing controlled substances may generate public controversy. Opponents of these therapies may seek restrictions on marketing and withdrawal of any regulatory approvals. In addition, these opponents may seek to generate negative publicity to persuade the medical community to reject these therapies. For example, we have a memorandum of understanding with EmpathBio Inc. (“EmpathBio”) to conduct preclinical feasibility studies to evaluate a combination of EMP-01, an MDMA derivative, and BNC210 as an adjunct to behavioral therapy for the treatment of PTSD. As a result, we may face media-communicated criticism directed at the use of BNC210 with EMP-01. Adverse publicity from MDMA misuse may adversely affect the commercial success or market penetration achievable by any combination therapy of BNC210 and EMP-01. Anti-psychedelic protests have historically occurred and may occur in the future and generate negative media coverage. Political pressures and adverse publicity could also lead to delays in, and increased expenses for, and limit or restrict the introduction and marketing of any therapeutic candidates that are used in combination with MDMA or an MDMA derivative.

We may expend our limited resources to pursue a particular product candidate or indication and fail to capitalize on product candidates or indications that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

The success of our business depends primarily on our ability to identify, develop and commercialize one or more product candidates.

We must balance our limited financial and managerial resources between BNC210 for PTSD and SAD and other product candidates and focus on clinical programs and product candidates for the indications that take advantage of our team’s deep expertise and knowledge and that we believe are the most scientifically and commercially promising. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial drugs or profitable market opportunities. In addition, we may spend valuable time and managerial and financial resources on clinical programs and product candidates for specific indications that ultimately do not yield any clinically or commercially viable drugs. If we do not accurately evaluate the clinical and commercial potential or target market for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through collaboration, licensing, or other royalty arrangements in situations where it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole rights to development and commercialization or miss out on the commercial opportunity entirely. This would adversely impact our business strategy and our financial position.

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We are highly dependent on the members of our senior management and scientific staff. We may have difficulties in attracting and retaining key personnel, and if we fail to do so our business may suffer.

We are highly dependent on the members of our senior management and scientific staff, particularly our President and Chief Executive Officer, Spyridon “Spyros” Papapetropoulos, M.D. and our Vice President Clinical Development, Liz Doolin, who are critical across multiple functions of our company, the loss of whose services could adversely affect the achievement of planned development objectives. We will need to hire and retain additional qualified personnel and could experience difficulty attracting and retaining such employees in the future. Competition for qualified personnel in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals fields is intense due to the limited number of individuals who possess the skills and experience required by our industry. As such, we could have difficulty attracting experienced personnel to our company and may be required to expend significant financial resources in our employee recruitment and retention efforts. Further, because we are currently an Australian company and may seek to retain employees in the United States, we may have additional difficulties attracting personnel to work intercontinentally.

For us to further expand our drug development plans, we will need to hire additional qualified personnel. We may not be able to attract and retain personnel on acceptable terms, given the competition for such personnel among biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, universities and non-profit research institutions. Although we may be successful in attracting and retaining suitably qualified scientific and medical personnel, there can be no assurance that we will be able to attract and retain such personnel on acceptable terms given the competition for experienced scientists and clinicians from numerous pharmaceutical and chemical companies, specialized biotechnology firms, universities and other research institutions. Our failure to do so could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects, and the trading price of our ADSs may decline.

Our internal computer systems, or those of our third-party CROs or other contractors or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, which could result in a material disruption of our drug development programs and other critical business functions.

Our internal computer systems and those of our third-party CROs and other contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. Attacks upon information technology systems are increasing in their frequency, levels of persistence, sophistication and intensity, and are being conducted by sophisticated and organized groups and individuals with a wide range of motives and expertise. Following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, face increased cybersecurity risks due to a broader reliance on internet technology and the number of our employees who are working remotely, which may create additional opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. Furthermore, because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access to, or to sabotage, systems change frequently and often are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. We may also experience security breaches that may remain undetected for an extended period. While we do not believe we have experienced any such system failure, accident or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur, it could result in a material disruption of our programs. For example, the loss of clinical trial data from completed or any future ongoing clinical trials for any of our product candidates could result in delays in our regulatory approval efforts and the loss of research data could result in delays of our research and development efforts and it would be expensive to recover or reproduce the data. We have also outsourced elements of our information technology infrastructure, and as a result a number of third-party vendors may or could have access to our confidential information. If our third-party vendors fail to protect their information technology systems and our confidential and proprietary information, we may be vulnerable to disruptions in service and unauthorized access to our confidential or proprietary information and we could incur liability and reputational damage. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a loss of or damage to our data or applications, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability and the further development of our product candidates could be delayed.

Risks associated with our international operations, including seeking and obtaining approval to commercialize our product candidates in foreign jurisdictions, could harm our business.

We engage extensively in international operations, which include seeking regulatory approval for certain of our product candidates in foreign jurisdictions. We expect that we are or will be subject to additional risks related to entering into these international business markets and relationships, including:

different regulatory requirements for product and biologics approvals in foreign countries;
differing U.S. and non-U.S. drug import and export rules;
reduced protection for intellectual property rights in foreign countries;
unexpected changes in tariffs, trade barriers and regulatory requirements;
different reimbursement systems, and different competitive drugs and biologics;
economic weakness, including inflation, or political instability in particular foreign economies and markets;
compliance with tax, employment, immigration and labor laws for employees living or traveling abroad;

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foreign taxes, including withholding of payroll taxes;
foreign currency fluctuations, which could result in increased operating expenses and reduced revenues, and other obligations incident to doing business in another country;
workforce uncertainty in countries where labor unrest is more common than in the United States;
production shortages resulting from any events affecting raw material supply or manufacturing capabilities abroad;
potential liability resulting from development work conducted by distributors; and
business interruptions resulting from geopolitical actions, including war and terrorism, or natural disasters.

We may engage in strategic transactions that could impact our liquidity, increase our expenses and present significant distractions to our management.

From time to time, we may pursue strategic transactions, such as acquisitions of companies, asset purchases, and in-licensing or out-licensing of drugs, product candidates or technologies. For example, in September 2012, we acquired Eclipse Therapeutics, Inc., a private biotechnology company. Additional potential transactions that we may consider include spin-offs, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, restructurings, divestitures, business combinations and investments. Any such transaction may require us to incur non-recurring or other charges, may increase our near- and long-term expenditures and may pose significant integration challenges or distract our senior management or disrupt our business, which could adversely affect our operations and financial results. For example, these transactions may entail numerous operational and financial risks, including:

upfront, milestone and royalty payments, equity investments and financial support of new research and development candidates including increase of personnel, all of which may be substantial;
exposure to unknown liabilities, including potential indemnification claims from a potential spin-off or out-license of certain of our intellectual property rights;
disruption of our business and diversion of our management’s time and attention in order to develop acquired drugs, product candidates or technologies;
incurrence of substantial debt or dilutive issuances of equity securities to pay for acquisitions;
higher-than-expected acquisition and integration costs;
lower-than-expected benefits from out-licensing or selling our technology, intellectual property or any of our subsidiaries;
write-downs of assets or goodwill or impairment charges;
difficulty and cost in combining or separating the operations and personnel of any acquired or sold businesses with our existing operations and personnel;
impairment of relationships with key suppliers or customers of any acquired or sold businesses due to changes in our senior management and ownership; and
inability to retain key employees of any acquired businesses.

Accordingly, although we cannot be certain that we will undertake or successfully complete any transactions of the nature described above, any transactions that we do complete may be subject to the foregoing or other risks, and could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

Clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process with uncertain timelines and uncertain outcomes. If clinical trials are prolonged or delayed, we, or our collaborators, may be unable to commercialize our product candidates on a timely basis.

Clinical testing of product candidates is expensive and can take a substantial period of time to complete. Clinical trial outcomes are inherently uncertain, and failure can occur at any time during the clinical development process. Success in preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will be successful. A number of companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have suffered significant setbacks in clinical trials even after promising results in earlier preclinical studies or clinical trials. These setbacks have been caused by, among other things, preclinical findings made while clinical trials were underway and safety or efficacy observations made in clinical trials, including previously unreported adverse events. The results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety and efficacy traits despite having progressed through preclinical and initial clinical trials. Notwithstanding any potential promising results in earlier studies, we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks. Even if our clinical trials are completed, the results may not be sufficient to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates.

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Clinical trials can be halted or delayed for a variety of reasons, including those related to:

side effects or adverse events in study participants presenting an unacceptable safety risk;
inability to reach agreements with prospective third-party CROs and clinical trial sites, or the breach of such agreements;
failure of third-party contractors, such as third-party CROs, or investigators to comply with regulatory requirements;
delay or failure in obtaining the necessary approvals from regulators or IRBs or ethics committees in order to commence a clinical trial at a prospective trial site, or their suspension or termination of a clinical trial once commenced;
a requirement to undertake and complete additional preclinical studies to generate data required to support the submission of an NDA or a Biologics License Application (“BLA”);
difficulty in having patients complete a trial or return for post-treatment follow-up;
clinical sites deviating from trial protocol or dropping out of a trial;
problems with Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (“API”) or drug product stability or shelf-life, storage and distribution;
adding new clinical trial sites;
our inability to manufacture, or obtain from third parties, adequate supply of API or drug product to complete our preclinical studies and clinical trials;
the impact of the prior COVID-19 or any future pandemic on our future clinical trials, including any enrollment delays; and
governmental or regulatory delays and changes in regulatory requirements, policy and guidelines.

We could also encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by our collaborators, by the IRBs or ethics committees of the institutions in which such trial is being conducted, by any data safety monitoring board for such trial, or by the ethics committees, FDA or other regulatory authorities. Such authorities may impose a suspension or termination due to a number of factors, including: failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements, such as the current GCPs, or our clinical protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, product candidate manufacturing problems, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from using a drug, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial. In addition, delays can occur due to safety concerns arising from trials or other clinical data regarding another company’s product candidate in the same compound class as one of ours.

Moreover, clinical investigators for our clinical trials may serve as scientific advisors or consultants to us from time to time and receive compensation in connection with such services. Under certain circumstances, we may be required to report some of these relationships to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may conclude that a financial relationship between us and a principal investigator has created a conflict of interest or otherwise affected interpretation of the study. The FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may therefore question the integrity of the data generated at the applicable clinical trial site and the utility of the clinical trial itself may be jeopardized. This could result in a delay in approval, or rejection, of our marketing applications by the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, as the case may be, and may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval of one or more of our product candidates.

If we or our collaborators experience delays in the completion of, or termination of, any clinical trial of one of our product candidates, the commercial prospects of the product candidate will be harmed, the patent protection period during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our drugs could be shortened and our or our collaborators’ ability to commence sales and generate revenue from the drug will be delayed. In addition, any delays in completing our clinical trials will increase our costs and slow down our product candidate development and approval process. Any of these occurrences may harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects significantly. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates.

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Risks Related to Our Reliance on Third Parties

We depend on collaboration partners to develop and commercialize our collaboration product candidates, including MSD. If our collaboration partners fail to perform as expected, fail to advance our collaboration product candidates, are unable to obtain the required regulatory approvals for our collaboration product candidates, or if the arrangements are terminated, the potential for us to generate future revenue from such product candidates would be significantly reduced and our business would be significantly harmed.

In 2014, we entered into a research collaboration and license agreement (as amended, the “2014 MSD License Agreement”) with Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (or “MSD”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck to develop compounds targeting cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other central nervous system conditions. Under the 2014 MSD License Agreement, MSD is responsible for using commercially reasonable efforts to develop, file for marketing authorization for and, following receipt thereof, to commercialize at least one product thereunder. We are dependent on MSD to provide us with any updates related to clinical trial results, serious adverse events and ongoing communications with the FDA and other regulatory agencies related to these programs, which MSD may provide or withhold in its sole discretion, and as a result we may not be able to provide material updates on a timely basis or at all with respect to these programs. In addition to our existing commercial and academic collaborations, we may also enter into collaboration agreements with other parties in the future relating to our other experimental drug candidates. Ultimately, if such drug candidates are successfully advanced through clinical trials and receive regulatory approval from the FDA, EMA or similar regulatory authorities, such collaboration partners will be responsible for commercialization of these collaboration drugs. The potential for us to obtain future development milestone payments and, ultimately, generate revenue from royalties on sales of such collaboration drugs depends entirely on successful development, regulatory approval, marketing and commercialization by our collaboration partners.

If our collaboration partners do not perform in the manner we expect or fulfil their responsibilities in a timely manner, or at all, if our agreements with them terminate or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain is compromised, the clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our collaboration product candidates could be delayed or terminated and it could become necessary, to the extent we have contractual rights to do so, for us to assume the responsibility at our own expense for these activities. In that event, we would likely be required to limit the size and scope of efforts for the development and commercialization of the affected product candidates, to seek additional financing to fund further development, or to identify alternative strategic collaboration partners, and our potential to generate future revenue from royalties and milestone payments from such product candidates would be significantly reduced or delayed and our business would be harmed. Additionally, under our current or future collaborations, our collaboration partners may not be required to disclose information regarding the status of the program, which may limit our ability to provide updates on the status of the program or input on the direction of the program.

Our existing collaborations and any future collaboration arrangements that we may enter into with third parties may not be scientifically, clinically or commercially successful. In addition to the risks inherent in the development of a product candidate, factors that may affect the success of our collaborations include the following:

our collaboration partners have the unilateral ability to choose not to develop a collaboration drug for one or more indications for which such drug has been or is currently being evaluated, and our collaboration partners may choose to pursue an indication that is not in our strategic best interest or to forego an indication that they believe does not provide significant market potential even if clinical data are supportive of further development for such indication;
our collaboration partners may choose not to develop and commercialize our collaboration product candidates in certain relevant markets;
our collaboration partners may take considerably more time advancing our product candidates through the clinical and regulatory process than we currently anticipate, which could materially delay the achievement of milestones and, consequently the receipt of milestone payments from our collaboration partners;
our collaboration partners may not inform us regarding the progress of compounds, including but not limited to whether a decision is made to advance certain compounds;
our collaboration partners have substantial discretion under their respective agreements regarding how they structure their efforts and allocate resources to fulfil their obligations to diligently develop, manufacture, obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize our collaboration drugs;
our collaboration partners control all aspects of commercialization efforts under their respective collaboration and license agreements and may change the focus of their development and commercialization efforts or pursue higher-priority programs and, accordingly, reduce the efforts and resources allocated to their collaborations with us;
our collaboration partners may not pursue all indications eligible for milestones;
our collaboration partners are solely responsible for obtaining and maintaining all regulatory approvals and may fail to develop a commercially viable formulation or manufacturing process for our product candidates, and may fail to manufacture or supply sufficient drug product for commercial use, if approved, which could result in lost revenue;

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our collaboration partners may not comply with all applicable regulatory requirements or may fail to report safety data in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements;
if any of our agreements with our collaboration partners terminate, we will no longer have any rights to receive potential revenue under such agreement, in which case we would need to identify alternative means to continue the development, manufacture and commercialization of the affected product candidates, alone or with others;
our collaboration may have to license other patents to enable marketing of compound, and our royalties may be reduced;
our collaboration partners have the discretion to sublicense their rights with respect to our collaboration technology in connection with collaboration product candidates to one or more third parties without our consent;
our collaboration partners may be pursuing alternative technologies or developing alternative drugs, either on their own or in collaboration with others, that may be competitive with drugs on which they are collaborating with us or which could affect our collaboration partners’ commitment to the collaboration; and
if our collaboration partners receive approval for any of the collaboration product candidates, reductions in marketing or sales efforts or a discontinuation of marketing or sales of our product candidates by our collaboration partners would reduce any milestones and royalties we could be entitled to receive.

In addition, the 2014 MSD License Agreement (see “Business—Research Collaboration and License Agreement with MSD”) and our other collaboration agreements provide MSD and our collaboration partners with rights to terminate such agreements and licenses under various conditions (including with respect to the 2014 MSD License Agreement, at MSD’s convenience), which if exercised would adversely affect our drug development efforts, make it difficult for us to attract new partners and adversely affect our reputation in the business and financial communities.

The timing and amount of any milestone and royalty payments we may receive under our agreements with our collaboration partners will depend on, among other things, the efforts, allocation of resources, and successful development and commercialization of our product candidates by our collaboration partners. Any payments we may receive in connection with certain milestones or royalties under the 2014 MSD License Agreement may differ materially from those described in this Annual Report, and there can be no assurance that we will receive any such payments at all. We cannot be certain that any of the development and regulatory milestones will be achieved or that we will receive any future milestone payments under these agreements. In addition, in certain circumstances we may believe that we have achieved a particular milestone and the applicable collaboration partner may disagree with our belief. In that case, receipt of that milestone payment may be delayed or may never be received, which may require us to adjust our operating plans.

We may explore future collaborations with third parties for the development and commercialization of our current product candidates that are not partnered. If we are unable to form such collaborations or they are not successful, we may not be able to complete the development of these product candidates.

We may seek to advance the development and commercialization of our unpartnered product candidates through collaboration with third parties, including our early-stage CNS assets and oncology product candidates. If any such collaborations are established in the future, we may have limited control over the amount and timing of resources that our collaborators dedicate to the development of these product candidates. This is also likely to be true in any future collaborations with third parties once any of our product candidates are commercialized. Our ability to generate revenue from these arrangements will depend on our collaborators’ abilities to successfully perform the functions assigned to them in these arrangements.

We face a number of challenges in seeking future collaborations. Collaborations are complex and any potential discussions may not result in a definitive agreement for many reasons. For example, whether we reach a definitive agreement for a collaboration will depend, among other things, upon our assessment of the collaborator’s resources and expertise, the terms and conditions of the proposed collaboration and the proposed collaborator’s evaluation of a number of factors, such as the design or results of our clinical trials, the potential market for our product candidates, the costs and complexities of manufacturing and delivering our product candidates to patients, the potential of competing drugs or product candidates, the existence of uncertainty with respect to ownership or the coverage of our intellectual property and industry and market conditions generally. If we determine that additional collaborations for any product candidate are necessary and are unable to enter into such collaborations on acceptable terms, we might elect to delay or scale back the development or commercialization of our product candidates in order to preserve our financial resources or to allow us adequate time to develop the required resources and systems and expertise ourselves.

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Collaboration agreements may not lead to development or commercialization of product candidates in the most efficient manner, or at all. In addition, there have been a significant number of recent business combinations among large biopharmaceutical companies that have resulted in a reduced number of potential future collaborators. If a future collaborator of ours were to be involved in a business combination, the continued pursuit and emphasis on our drug development or commercialization program could be delayed, diminished or terminated.

We have a memorandum of understanding with EmpathBio to evaluate a combination of EMP-01, an MDMA derivative as an adjunct to behavioral therapy, and BNC210 for the treatment of PTSD which could be impacted by the risks associated with the development of psychedelic scheduled drugs.

In the United States, MDMA is listed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substance Act (“CSA”). The DEA regulates chemical compounds as Schedule I, II, III, IV or V substances. Schedule I substances by definition have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, lack accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and may not be prescribed, marketed or sold in the United States. Pharmaceutical products approved for use in the United States may be listed as Schedule II, III, IV or V, with Schedule II substances considered to present the highest potential for abuse or dependence and Schedule V substances the lowest relative risk of abuse among such substances. Schedule I and II substances are subject to the strictest controls under the CSA, including manufacturing and procurement quotas, security requirements and criteria for importation. In addition, dispensing of Schedule II substances is further restricted. For example, they may not be refilled without a new prescription and may have a black box warning. Most, if not all, state laws in the United States classify MDMA as Schedule I controlled substance. For any product containing MDMA to be available for commercial marketing in the United States, MDMA must be rescheduled, or the product itself must be scheduled, by the DEA to Schedule II, III, IV or V. Commercial marketing in the United States will also require scheduling-related legislative or administrative action, which can further delay the path to market. Any clinical development of EMP-01 or the use of BNC210 in combination with EMP-01 will require FDA approval, and MDMA’s controlled substance status may negatively impact the FDA’s decision regarding whether to approve the clinical development.

Scheduling determinations by the DEA are dependent on FDA approval of a substance or a specific formulation of a substance. Therefore, while MDMA is a Schedule I controlled substance, products approved by the FDA for medical use in the United States that contain MDMA should be placed in Schedules II-V, since approval by the FDA satisfies the “accepted medical use” requirement. If EMP-01 receives FDA approval, we anticipate that the DEA will make a scheduling determination and place it in a schedule other than Schedule I in order for it to be prescribed to patients in the United States. This scheduling determination will be dependent on FDA approval and the FDA’s recommendation as to the appropriate schedule. During the review process, and prior to approval, the FDA may determine that it requires additional data, either from non-clinical or clinical studies, including with respect to whether, or to what extent, the substance has abuse potential. This may delay the approval process and any potential rescheduling process. That delay would be dependent on the quantity of additional data required by the FDA. This scheduling determination will require the DEA to conduct notice and comment rule making including issuing an interim final rule. Such action will be subject to public comment and requests for hearing which could affect the scheduling of these substances. There can be no assurance that the DEA will make a favorable scheduling decision. Even assuming categorization as a Schedule II or lower controlled substance (i.e., Schedule III, IV or V), at the federal level, such substances would also require scheduling determinations under state laws and regulations. Any failure by the DEA to make a favorable scheduling decision with respect to EMP-01 would delay clinical trials and potentially prevent the commercialization of any combination of BNC210 with EMP-01.

Individual U.S. states have also established controlled substance laws and regulations. Though state-controlled substances laws often mirror federal law because the states are separate jurisdictions, they may separately schedule product candidates. While some states automatically schedule a drug based on federal action, other states schedule drugs through rule making or a legislative action. State scheduling may delay or prevent commercial sale of EMP-01 in certain states even if it obtains federal regulatory approval, which would in turn prevent the commercialization of any combination of BNC210 with EMP-01 in those states.

Combination-use products, including a potential combination of EMP-01 and BNC210, may present safety or supply issues that could delay or prevent development and approval of our product candidates.

We are exploring BNC210 in combination with EMP-01 and could potentially explore other combination therapies with future product candidates. We will not be able to market and sell BNC210 or any product candidate we develop in combination with any unapproved therapies that do not ultimately obtain marketing approval. There are risks similar to the ones described for our products currently in development and clinical trials that result from the fact that such therapies are unapproved, such as the potential for serious adverse effects, delay in their clinical trials and lack of FDA approval.

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Furthermore, we cannot be certain that we will be able to obtain a steady supply of such therapies for use in developing combinations with our product candidates on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Any failure to obtain such therapies for use in clinical development, and the expense of purchasing therapies in the market, may delay our development timelines, increase our costs and jeopardize our ability to develop our product candidates as commercially viable therapies.

Even if any product candidate we develop were to receive marketing approval or be commercialized for use in combination with other existing therapies, we would continue to be subject to the risk that the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside of the United States could revoke approval of the therapy used in combination with our product candidate, or that safety, efficacy, manufacturing or supply issues could arise with these existing therapies. Similarly, if the therapies we use in combination with our product candidates are replaced as the standard of care for the indications we choose for any of our product candidates, the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside of the United States may require us to conduct additional clinical trials. The occurrence of any of these risks could result in our own products, if approved, being removed from the market or being less successful commercially.

If the FDA or similar regulatory authorities outside of the United States do not approve these other drugs or withdraw their approval, or if safety, efficacy, manufacturing, or supply issues arise with the drugs we choose to evaluate in combination with BNC210 or any product candidate we develop, we may be unable to obtain approval of, or market BNC210 or any product candidate we develop.

We currently rely extensively, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties to conduct and support our preclinical studies and clinical trials. If these third parties do not properly and successfully carry out their contractual duties, comply with regulatory requirements or meet expected deadlines, we may not be able to obtain marketing authorizations for or commercialize our current and potential future product candidates and our business could be substantially harmed.

We utilize and depend upon independent investigators and collaborators, such as medical institutions, CROs, CMOs and strategic partners to help conduct our preclinical studies and clinical trials. We rely extensively, and expect to continue to rely, on medical institutions, clinical investigators, contract laboratories, and other third parties, including collaboration partners, to conduct or otherwise support preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current and future product candidates. We continue to rely heavily on these parties for execution of preclinical studies and clinical trials for our product candidates and control only certain aspects of their activities. Nevertheless, we are responsible for ensuring that each of our preclinical studies and clinical trials is conducted in accordance with the applicable protocol, legal and regulatory requirements and scientific standards, and our reliance on CROs will not relieve us of our regulatory responsibilities.

We and any third parties that we contract with are required to comply with regulations and requirements, including GCP requirements, which are regulations and guidelines enforced by the FDA and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for product candidates in clinical development, for conducting, monitoring, recording and reporting the results of clinical trials to ensure that the data and results are scientifically credible and accurate, and that the trial patients are adequately informed of the potential risks of participating in clinical trials and their rights are protected. These regulations are enforced by the FDA, the Competent Authorities of the Member States of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and comparable foreign regulatory authorities for any drugs in clinical development. Regulatory authorities enforce these GCP requirements through periodic inspections of clinical trial sponsors, principal investigators and trial sites. If we or the third parties we contract with fail to comply with applicable GCP requirements, the clinical data generated in our clinical trials may be deemed unreliable and the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities may require us to perform additional clinical trials before approving our marketing applications. We cannot assure that, upon inspection, the FDA will determine that any of our current or future clinical trials will comply with GCP requirements. In addition, our clinical trials must be conducted with current or future product candidates produced under cGMP regulations and will require a large number of study subjects. Our failure or the failure of third parties that we may contract with to comply with these regulations or to recruit a sufficient number of subjects may require us to repeat some aspects of a specific, or an entire, clinical trial, which would delay the marketing approval process and could also subject us to enforcement action. We also are required to register certain then ongoing clinical trials and provide certain information, including information relating to the trial’s protocol, on a government-sponsored database, such as ClinicalTrials.gov, within specific timeframes. Failure to do so can result in fines, adverse publicity and civil and criminal sanctions.

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Although we have and will continue to design the preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current or future product candidates or be involved in the design when other parties sponsor the studies or trials, we anticipate that third parties will conduct all of our preclinical studies and clinical trials. As a result, many important aspects of our preclinical and clinical development are and will be outside of our direct control. Our reliance on third parties to conduct future clinical trials also results in less direct control over the management of data developed through clinical trials than would be the case if we were relying entirely upon our own staff, and we cannot control whether or not they will devote sufficient time and resources to our product candidates. These third parties may also have relationships with other commercial entities, including our competitors, for whom they may also be conducting clinical trials or other product development activities, which could affect their performance on our behalf. Communicating with outside parties can also be challenging, potentially leading to mistakes as well as difficulties in coordinating activities. Outside parties may:

have staffing difficulties;
fail to comply with contractual obligations;
experience regulatory compliance issues; and
form relationships with other entities, some of which may be our competitors.

These factors may materially adversely affect the willingness or ability of third parties to conduct our clinical trials and may subject us to unexpected cost increases that are beyond our control. If our CROs do not perform clinical trials in a satisfactory manner, breach their obligations to us or fail to comply with regulatory requirements, the development, marketing approval and commercialization of our current or future product candidates may be delayed, we may not be able to obtain marketing approval and commercialize our current or future product candidates, or our development programs may be materially and irreversibly harmed. If we are unable to rely on clinical data collected by our CROs, we could be required to repeat, extend the duration of, or increase the size of any clinical trials we conduct and this could significantly delay commercialization and require significantly greater expenditures.

If any of our relationships with these third-party CROs terminate, we may not be able to enter into arrangements with alternative CROs on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. If our CROs do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or obligations or meet expected deadlines, if they need to be replaced or if the quality or accuracy of the clinical data they obtain are compromised due to the failure to adhere to our clinical protocols, regulatory requirements or for other reasons, any clinical trials such CROs are associated with may be extended, delayed or terminated, and we may not be able to obtain marketing approval for or successfully commercialize our current or future product candidates. As a result, we believe that our financial results and the commercial prospects for our current or future product candidates in the subject indication would be harmed, our costs could increase and our ability to generate revenue could be delayed.

The third parties upon whom we rely for the supply drug product and starting materials used in our product candidates are limited in number, and the loss of any of these suppliers, or their noncompliance with regulatory requirements or our quality standards, could significantly harm our business.

The drug substance and drug product in our product candidates are supplied to us from a small number of suppliers, and in some cases sole source suppliers. Our ability to successfully develop our current or future product candidates, and to ultimately supply our commercial drugs in quantities sufficient to meet the market demand, depends in part on our ability to obtain the drug product and drug substance for these drugs in accordance with regulatory requirements and in sufficient quantities for commercialization and clinical testing.

The facilities used by our contract manufacturers to manufacture our product candidates will be subject to inspections that will be conducted after we submit any marketing application to the FDA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities. We may not control the manufacturing process of, and may be completely dependent on, our contract manufacturing partners for compliance with cGMP requirements and any other regulatory requirements of the FDA or other regulatory authorities for the manufacture of our product candidates. Beyond periodic audits, we have no control over the ability of our contract manufacturers to maintain adequate quality control, quality assurance and qualified personnel. If the FDA or a comparable foreign regulatory authority does not approve our marketing applications identifying these facilities for the manufacture of our product candidates or if it withdraws any approval in the future, we may need to find alternative manufacturing facilities, which would require that we incur significant additional costs and materially adversely affect our ability to develop, obtain regulatory approval for or market our product candidates, if approved. Similarly, if any third-party manufacturers on which we will rely fail to manufacture quantities of our product candidates at quality levels necessary to meet regulatory requirements and at a scale sufficient to meet anticipated demand at a cost that allows us to achieve profitability, our business, financial condition and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

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Further, we do not currently have arrangements in place for a redundant or second-source supply of all drug product or drug substance in the event any of our current suppliers of such drug product and drug substance cease their operations for any reason. Any delays in the delivery of our drug substance, drug product or starting materials could have an adverse effect and potentially harm our business.

For all of our current or future product candidates, we intend to identify and qualify additional manufacturers to provide drug product and drug substance prior to submission of an NDA to the FDA and/or an MAA to the EMA. We are not certain, however, that our single-source and dual source suppliers will be able to meet our demand for their products, either because of the nature of our agreements with those suppliers, our limited experience with those suppliers or our relative importance as a customer to those suppliers. It may be difficult for us to assess their ability to timely meet our demand in the future based on past performance. While our suppliers have generally met our demand for their products on a timely basis in the past, they may subordinate our needs in the future to their other customers.

Establishing additional or replacement suppliers for the drug product and drug substance used in our current or future product candidates, if required, may not be accomplished quickly. In some cases, the technical skills required to manufacture our products or product candidates may be unique or proprietary to the original supplier and we may have difficulty, or there may be contractual restrictions prohibiting us from, transferring such skills to a back-up or alternate supplier, or we may be unable to transfer such skills at all. If we are able to find a replacement supplier, such replacement supplier would need to be qualified and may require additional regulatory approval, which could result in further delay. In addition, changes in manufacturers often involve changes in manufacturing procedures and processes, which could require that we conduct bridging studies between our prior clinical supply used in our clinical trials and that of any new manufacturer. We may be unsuccessful in demonstrating the comparability of clinical supplies which could require the conduct of additional clinical trials.

While we seek to maintain adequate inventory of the drug product and drug substance used in our current or future product candidates, any interruption or delay in the supply of components or materials, or our inability to obtain drug product and drug substance from alternate sources at acceptable prices in a timely manner, could impede, delay, limit or prevent our development efforts, which could harm our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects.

We rely and will continue to rely on outsourcing arrangements for many of our activities, including clinical development and supply of BNC210.

We have only seven full-time employees, one part-time employee, two full-time consultants and sixteen part-time consultants and, as a result, we rely on outsourcing arrangements for a significant portion of our activities, including clinical research, data collection and analysis and manufacturing. We may have limited control over these third parties, and we cannot guarantee that they will perform their obligations in an effective and timely manner.

The manufacture of pharmaceutical products requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of any component of BNC210, nor do we have plans to develop our own manufacturing operations in the foreseeable future. We currently depend on third-party contract manufacturers for all of our required raw materials, drug substance and drug product for our clinical trials and to fill, label, package, store and distribute our investigational drug product. Although potential alternative suppliers and manufacturers for some components have been identified, we have not qualified these vendors to date. If we were required to change vendors, it could result in a failure to meet regulatory requirements or projected timelines and necessary quality standards for successful manufacturing of the various required lots of material for our development and commercialization efforts.

We do not have any current contractual relationships for the manufacture of commercial supplies of BNC210. If BNC210 is approved for sale by any regulatory agency, we intend to enter into agreements with third-party contract manufacturers for commercial production. The number of third-party manufacturers with the expertise, required regulatory approvals and facilities to manufacture bulk drug substance on a commercial scale is limited.

In addition, our reliance on third party CROs and CMOs entails further risks, including:

non-compliance by third parties with regulatory and quality control standards;
breach by third parties of our agreements with them;
termination or non-renewal of an agreement with third parties; and
sanctions imposed by regulatory authorities if compounds supplied or manufactured by a third party supplier or manufacturer fail to comply with applicable regulatory standards.

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Our success is dependent on our executive management team’s ability to successfully pursue business development, strategic partnerships and investment opportunities as our company matures. We may also form or seek strategic alliances or acquisitions or enter into additional collaboration and licensing arrangements in the future, and we may not realize the benefits of such collaborations, alliances, acquisitions or licensing arrangements.

We may in the future form or seek strategic alliances or acquisitions, create joint ventures, or enter into additional collaboration and licensing arrangements with third parties that we believe will complement or augment our development and commercialization efforts with respect to our current product candidates and any future product candidates that we may develop. Any of these relationships may require us to incur non-recurring and other charges, increase our near and long-term expenditures, issue securities that dilute our existing shareholders or disrupt our management and business.

In addition, we face significant competition in seeking appropriate strategic partners and the negotiation process is time-consuming and complex. Moreover, we may not be successful in our efforts to establish a strategic partnership or acquisition or other alternative arrangements for our current or future product candidates because they may be deemed to be at too early of a stage of development for collaborative effort and third parties may not view our current or future product candidates as having the requisite potential to demonstrate safety, potency, purity and efficacy and obtain marketing approval.

Further, collaborations involving our technologies or current or future product candidates are subject to numerous risks, which may include the following:

collaborators have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to a collaboration;
collaborators may not pursue development and commercialization of our current or future product candidates or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization of our current or future product candidates based on clinical trial results, changes in their strategic focus due to the acquisition of competitive products, availability of funding or other external factors, such as a business combination that diverts resources or creates competing priorities;
collaborators may delay clinical trials, provide insufficient funding for a clinical trial, stop a clinical trial, abandon a product candidate, repeat or conduct new clinical trials or require a new formulation of a product candidate for clinical testing;
collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with our current or future product candidates;
a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to one or more products may not commit sufficient resources to their marketing and distribution;
collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our intellectual property or proprietary information in a way that gives rise to actual or threatened litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential liability;
disputes may arise between us and a collaborator that cause the delay or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our current or future product candidates, or that result in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources;
collaborations may be terminated and, if terminated, may result in a need for additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of the applicable current or future product candidates;
collaborators may own or co-own intellectual property covering our products that results from our collaborating with them, and in such cases, we would not have the exclusive right to commercialize such intellectual property; and
collaborators may not pay milestones and royalties due to the company in a timely manner.

As a result, we may not be able to realize the benefit of our existing collaboration and licensing arrangements or any future strategic partnerships or acquisitions, collaborations or license arrangements we may enter into if we are unable to successfully integrate them with our existing operations and company culture, which could delay our timelines or otherwise adversely affect our business. We also cannot be certain that, following a strategic transaction, license, collaboration or other business development partnership, we will achieve the revenue or specific net income that justifies such transaction. Any delays in entering into new collaborations or strategic partnership agreements related to our current or future product candidates could delay the development and commercialization of our current or future product candidates in certain geographies or for certain indications, which would harm our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

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Manufacturing our product candidates is complex and we may encounter difficulties in production. If we encounter such difficulties, our ability to provide supply of our current or future product candidates for preclinical studies and future clinical trials or for commercial purposes could be delayed or stopped.

We do not have our own manufacturing facilities or personnel and, therefore, we currently rely, and expect to continue to rely, on third parties for the manufacture of our current or future product candidates. These third-party manufacturing providers may not be able to provide adequate resources or capacity to meet our needs and may incorporate their own proprietary processes into our product candidate manufacturing processes. We have limited control and oversight of a third party’s proprietary process, and a third party may elect to modify its process without our consent or knowledge. These modifications could negatively impact our manufacturing, including product loss or failure that requires additional manufacturing runs or a change in manufacturer, either of which could significantly increase the cost of and significantly delay the manufacture of our current or future product candidates.

Manufacturing of drug products is complex and requires significant expertise and capital investment, including the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and process controls. Manufacturers of drug products often encounter difficulties in production, particularly in scaling up, validating the production process and assuring high reliability of the manufacturing process, including the absence of contamination. These problems include logistics and shipping, difficulties with production costs and yields, quality control, including lot consistency, stability of the product, product testing, operator error and availability of qualified personnel, as well as compliance with strictly enforced federal, state and foreign regulations. Furthermore, if contaminants are discovered in our supply of our product candidates or in the manufacturing facilities, such manufacturing facilities may need to be closed for an extended period of time to investigate and remedy the contamination. We cannot assure that any stability failures or other issues relating to the manufacture of our product candidates will not occur in the future.

As our current or future product candidates progress through preclinical studies and clinical trials towards potential approval and commercialization, it is expected that various aspects of the manufacturing process will be altered in an effort to optimize processes and results. Such changes may require amendments to be made to regulatory applications which may further delay the timeframes under which modified manufacturing processes can be used for any of our current or future product candidates and additional bridging studies or trials may be required and may not be successful. We may be unsuccessful in demonstrating the comparability of clinical supplies which could require the conduct of additional clinical trials. Any such delay could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and prospects.

A COVID-19 pandemic resurgence (or other pandemic breakout) could materially and adversely impact our business, including our clinical trials, supply chain, capital raising and business development activities.

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 which causes the disease COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China and quickly became a global pandemic. In an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, many countries, including China, the United States and most other jurisdictions around the world, imposed unprecedented restrictions on travel, business closures, quarantines and lock-downs, resulting in a substantial reduction in economic activity. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (“WHO”), declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. On February 28, 2020, the WHO increased the assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to “very high” at a global level. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

As COVID-19 evolved into a worldwide pandemic, it resulted in adverse effects in the global economy and financial markets, including significant declines in the global stock markets. The prolonged nature of the pandemic has had residual negative impacts on many businesses in the biotechnology and healthcare industries, among others, in a varied manner due to the emergence of variants with increased transmissibility. Workforce trends starting during the pandemic resulted in staffing shortages in many industries, including those affecting our industry, which have not yet completely abated.

While we have observed, and expect to continue to observe, a normalization in patient and healthcare related practices, there remains uncertainty, in large part due to the prevalence of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus for example, and, accordingly, we may experience in the future disruptions that could severely impact our capital raising, business, preclinical studies and clinical trials, including:

difficulties in enrolling and retaining patients in our clinical trials in the future;
delays in receiving authorizations from local regulatory authorities, or approvals from IRBs or ethics committees to conduct our planned clinical trials;
risk that patients may withdraw from our clinical trials following enrollment as a result of contracting COVID-19 or other health conditions or being forced to quarantine, which could adversely influence the results of a clinical trial by increasing the number of adverse events or patients lost to follow-up;

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delays or difficulties in clinical site initiation or expansion, including difficulties in recruiting clinical site investigators and clinical site staff;
delays in clinical sites receiving the supplies and materials needed to conduct our clinical trials, including interruptions in global shipping that may affect the transport of clinical trial materials;
changes in regulations as part of a response to a future COVID-19 outbreak, including yet unknown variants of the virus, which may require us to change the ways in which our clinical trials are conducted, which may result in unexpected costs, or to discontinue such clinical trials altogether;
diversion of healthcare resources away from the conduct of clinical trials, including the diversion of hospitals serving as our clinical trial sites and hospital staff supporting the conduct of our clinical trials;
interruption of key clinical trial activities, such as clinical trial site monitoring, due to limitations on travel imposed or recommended by federal or state governments, employers and others, or interruption of clinical trial subject visits and study procedures, the occurrence of which could affect the integrity of clinical trial data;
delays in necessary interactions with regulators, ethics committees and other agencies and contractors due to limitations in employee resources or forced furloughs of government or contractor personnel;
interruption or delays in the operations of the FDA or other regulatory authorities, which may adversely affect review and approval timelines;
refusal of a regulatory authority to accept data from clinical trials in affected geographies outside its jurisdiction; and
Our ability to access the capital markets for financing opportunities, which are integral to the funding necessary for the continued development of our product candidates and to support our company working capital

These and other disruptions in our operations, the global economy or serious impacts on our stock price and ability to raise additional funds could negatively impact our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our clinical trials have been, and may in the future be, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We may once again experience enrollment delays and patient retention issues in our clinical trials as a result of a material resurgence of COVID-19. Similarly, our ability to recruit and retain principal investigators and site staff who, as healthcare providers, may have heightened exposure to COVID-19, may be adversely impacted. These and other events could delay our ongoing or future clinical trials, increase the cost of completing our clinical trials and negatively impact the integrity, reliability or robustness of the data from our clinical trials.

In addition, quarantines, shelter-in-place and similar government orders related to COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, or the perception that such orders, shutdowns or other restrictions on the conduct of business operations could once again occur, could adversely affect personnel at third-party manufacturing facilities upon which we rely, or the availability or cost of materials, which could disrupt the supply chain for our product candidates. To the extent our suppliers and service providers are unable to comply with their obligations under our agreements with them or they are otherwise unable to deliver or are delayed in delivering goods and services to us, our ability to continue meeting clinical supply demand for our product candidates or otherwise advancing development of our product candidates may become impaired.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had already caused, and any material resurgence could result in further, significant disruption of global financial markets, reducing our ability to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity and financial position. In addition, the trading prices for other biopharmaceutical companies have been highly volatile as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we may face difficulties raising capital through sales of our ADSs or other securities and such sales may be on unfavorable terms.

To the extent there is a material resurgence in the COVID-19, or such other communicable disease, resulting in another pandemic, it would adversely affect our business and financial results, and may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section, such as those relating to the timing and results of our clinical trials and our financing needs.

Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.

Our operations could be subject to earthquakes, power shortages, telecommunications failures, water shortages, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics and other natural or manmade disasters or business interruptions, for which we are predominantly self-insured. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could seriously harm our operations and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.

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The increasing use of social media platforms presents new risks and challenges.

Social media is increasingly being used to communicate about us and the diseases our products are designed to treat. Social media practices in the biopharmaceutical industry continue to evolve and regulations relating to such use are not always clear and create uncertainty and risk of noncompliance with regulations applicable to our business. For example, patients may use social media channels to comment on the effectiveness of a product or to report an alleged adverse event. When such disclosures occur, there is a risk that we fail to monitor and comply with applicable adverse event reporting obligations or we may not be able to defend ourselves or the public’s legitimate interests in the face of the political and market pressures generated by social media due to restrictions on what we may say about our products. There is also a risk of inappropriate disclosure of sensitive information or negative or inaccurate posts or comments about us on any social networking website. Further, there is a risk that unmerited or unsupported claims about our products may circulate on social media. If any of these events were to occur or we otherwise fail to comply with applicable regulations, we could incur liability, face overly restrictive regulatory actions, or incur other harm to us and our business, including damage to the reputation of our products, as well as the negative impact on the value of our assets and securities.

Risks Related to Commercialization of Our Product Candidates

Even if we receive marketing approval for our current or future product candidates, our current or future product candidates may not achieve broad market acceptance, which would limit the revenue that we generate from their sales.

The commercial success of our current or future product candidates, if approved by the FDA or other applicable regulatory authorities, will depend upon the awareness and acceptance of our current or future product candidates among the medical community, including physicians, patients and healthcare payors. If our product candidates do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant revenue and we may not become profitable. Market acceptance of our current or future product candidates, if approved, will depend on a number of factors, including, among others:

the efficacy of our current or future product candidates as demonstrated in clinical trials, and, if required by any applicable regulatory authority in connection with the approval for the applicable indications, to provide patients with incremental health benefits, as compared with other available medicines;
the timing of market introduction of the product candidates and potential advantages to alternative treatments;
limitations or warnings contained in the labeling approved for our current or future product candidates by the FDA or other applicable regulatory authorities;
the clinical indications for which our current or future product candidates are approved;
availability of alternative treatments already approved or expected to be commercially launched in the near future;
the potential and perceived advantages of our current or future product candidates over current treatment options or alternative treatments, including future alternative treatments;
the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies or treatment methods and of physicians to prescribe these therapies or methods;
the need to dose such product candidates in combination with other therapeutic agents, and related costs;
the strength of marketing and distribution support and timing of market introduction of competitive products;
publicity concerning our products or competing products and treatments;
our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection;
pricing and cost effectiveness;
the effectiveness of our sales and marketing strategies;
our ability to increase awareness of our current or future product candidates;
our ability to obtain sufficient third-party coverage or reimbursement; or
the willingness of patients to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of third-party coverage.

If our current or future product candidates are approved but do not achieve an adequate level of acceptance by patients, physicians and payors, we may not generate sufficient revenue from our current or future product candidates to become or remain profitable. Before granting reimbursement approval, healthcare payors may require us to demonstrate that our current or future product candidates, in addition to treating these target indications, also provide incremental health benefits to patients. Our efforts to educate the medical community, patient organizations and third-party payors about the benefits of our current or future product candidates may require significant resources and may never be successful.

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If we are unable to establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities for any product candidate that may receive regulatory approval, we may not be successful in commercializing those product candidates if and when they are approved.

We do not have sales, marketing or distribution infrastructure. To achieve commercial success for any product candidate for which we may obtain marketing approval, we will need to establish a sales, marketing and distribution organization. In the future, we expect to build a focused sales and marketing infrastructure to market some of our product candidates in the United States, if and when they are approved. There are risks involved with establishing our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities. For example, recruiting and training a sales force is expensive and time consuming and could delay any product launch. If the commercial launch of a product candidate for which we recruit a sales force and establish marketing capabilities is delayed or does not occur for any reason, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred these commercialization expenses. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our sales and marketing personnel.

Factors that may inhibit our efforts to market our products on our own include:

our inability to recruit, train and retain adequate numbers of effective sales and marketing personnel;
the inability of sales personnel to obtain access to physicians in order to educate physicians about our product candidates, once approved;
the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines; and
unforeseen costs and expenses associated with creating an independent sales and marketing organization.

If we are unable to establish our own sales, marketing and distribution capabilities and are forced to enter into arrangements with, and rely on, third parties to perform these services, our revenue and our profitability, if any, are likely to be lower than if we had developed such capabilities ourselves. In addition, we may not be successful in entering into arrangements with third parties to sell, market and distribute our product candidates or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. We likely will have little control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our products effectively.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to develop in-house sales, marketing and distribution capabilities or establish or maintain relationships with third parties to commercialize any product in the United States or overseas. If we do not establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates.

We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing drugs before or more successfully than we do.

The development and commercialization of new drugs is highly competitive. We face and will continue to face competition from third parties that use drug technologies similar to ours and from companies focused on more traditional therapeutic modalities. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of new drugs.

 

There are currently no FDA-approved drugs for the acute treatment of SAD. There are three FDA-approved generic antidepressants for treatment of SAD that include paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) and venlafaxine (Effexor). Although not FDA-approved for the acute treatment of SAD, generic benzodiazepines and beta blockers are used off-label as well. Additionally, we are aware of several product candidates in clinical development that are being developed for the acute treatment of SAD, by VistaGen Therapeutics and Vanda Pharmaceuticals, among others.

 

There are two FDA-approved generic antidepressants indicated to treat PTSD, sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil). In addition, the most recent and relevant PTSD treatment guidelines from the American Psychological Association and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense published in 2017 also recommend fluoxetine (Prozac) or venlafaxine (Effexor). We are aware of several other companies seeking to find improved therapeutics for PTSD by exploring mechanisms of action different from the approved SSRIs, including Otsuka, Lundbeck, Boehringer Ingelheim, MAPS, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Nobilis, among others.

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Many of our current or future competitors have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and reimbursement and marketing approved drugs than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Smaller or early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These competitors also compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific, sales, marketing and management personnel and establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.

Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize drugs that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any drugs that we or our collaborators may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their drugs more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we or our collaborators are able to enter the market. The key competitive factors affecting the success of all of our current or future product candidates, if approved, are likely to be their efficacy, safety, convenience, price, the level of generic competition and the availability of reimbursement from government and other third-party payors.

Third-party payor coverage and reimbursement status of newly-approved drugs is uncertain. Failure to obtain or maintain adequate coverage and reimbursement for our product candidates, if approved, could limit our ability to market those drugs and decrease our ability to generate revenue.

In the United States and markets in other countries, patients generally rely on third-party payors to reimburse all, or part of the costs associated with their treatment. Adequate coverage and reimbursement from governmental healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and commercial payors is critical to new product acceptance. The availability and adequacy of coverage and reimbursement by governmental healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, private health insurers and other third-party payors are essential for most patients to be able to afford drugs such as our product candidates, assuming approval. Our ability to achieve acceptable levels of coverage and reimbursement for drugs by governmental authorities, private health insurers and other organizations will have an effect on our ability to successfully commercialize and attract additional collaboration partners to invest in the development of our product candidates. We cannot provide any assurance that coverage and reimbursement in the United States, the European Union or elsewhere will be available for any drug that we may develop, and any reimbursement that may become available may be decreased or eliminated in the future. Third-party payors increasingly are challenging prices charged for pharmaceutical products and services. If reimbursement is not available or is available only at limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may not be able to obtain a satisfactory financial return on drugs that we may develop.

There is significant uncertainty related to the insurance coverage and reimbursement of newly approved drugs. In the United States, third-party payors, including private and governmental payors, such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs, play an important role in determining the extent to which new drugs and biologics will be covered. The Medicare and Medicaid programs increasingly are used as models for how private payors and other governmental payors develop their coverage and reimbursement policies for drugs and biologics. It is difficult to predict at this time what third-party payors will decide with respect to the coverage and reimbursement for our product candidates.

Factors payors consider in determining reimbursement are based on whether the product is:

a covered benefit under its health plan;
safe, effective and medically necessary;
appropriate for the specific patient;
cost-effective; and
neither experimental nor investigational.

Net prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors and by any future relaxation of laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States.

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Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. We cannot be sure that reimbursement will be available for any product candidate that we commercialize and, if reimbursement is available, the level of reimbursement. In addition, many pharmaceutical manufacturers must calculate and report certain price reporting metrics to the government, such as average sales price (“ASP”) and best price. Penalties may apply in some cases when such metrics are not submitted accurately and timely. Further, these prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs.

Outside the United States, international operations are generally subject to extensive governmental price controls and other market regulations, and we believe the increasing emphasis on cost-containment initiatives in Europe, Canada, and other countries has and will continue to put pressure on the pricing and usage of our product candidates. In many countries, the prices of medical drugs are subject to varying price control mechanisms as part of national health systems. Other countries allow companies to fix their own prices for medical drugs, but monitor and control company profits. Additional foreign price controls or other changes in pricing regulation could restrict the amount that we are able to charge for our product candidates. Accordingly, in markets outside the United States, the reimbursement for our drugs may be reduced compared with the United States and may be insufficient to generate commercially reasonable revenue and profits.

Moreover, increasing efforts by governmental and third-party payors in the United States and abroad to cap or reduce healthcare costs may cause such organizations to limit both coverage and the level of reimbursement for newly approved drugs and, as a result, they may not cover or provide adequate payment for our product candidates. We expect to experience pricing pressures in connection with the sale of any of our product candidates due to the trend toward managed healthcare, the increasing influence of health maintenance organizations, and additional legislative changes. The downward pressure on healthcare costs in general, particularly prescription drugs and surgical procedures and other treatments, has become very intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new drugs.

We are exposed to potential product liability or similar claims, and insurance against these claims may not be available to us at a reasonable rate in the future or at all.

Our business exposes us to potential liability risks that are inherent in the testing, manufacturing and marketing of human therapeutic drugs. Clinical trials involve the testing of product candidates on human subjects or volunteers under a research plan and carry a risk of liability for personal injury or death to patients due to unforeseen adverse side effects, improper administration of the product candidate or other factors. Many of these patients are already seriously ill and are therefore particularly vulnerable to further illness or death.

We currently carry clinical trial liability insurance in the amount of A$20.0 million in the aggregate, but there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain such insurance or that the amount of such insurance will be adequate to cover claims. We could be materially and adversely affected if we were required to pay damages or incur defense costs in connection with a claim outside the scope of indemnity or insurance coverage, if the indemnity is not performed or enforced in accordance with its terms or if our liability exceeds the amount of applicable insurance. In addition, there can be no assurance that insurance will continue to be available on terms acceptable to us, if at all, or that if obtained, the insurance coverage will be sufficient to cover any potential claims or liabilities. Similar risks would exist upon the commercialization or marketing of any drugs by us or our collaborators.

Regardless of their merit or eventual outcome, product liability claims may result in:

decreased demand for any of our future drugs;
injury to our reputation and significant negative media attention;
withdrawal of clinical trial participants;
costs of litigation;
distraction of management; and
substantial monetary awards to plaintiffs.

Should any of these events occur, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition that could adversely affect the trading price of our ADSs.

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Risks Related to Regulation of Our Industry

The regulatory approval processes of the FDA, EMA and comparable authorities are lengthy, time consuming, and inherently unpredictable. If we are ultimately unable to obtain regulatory approval for our product candidates, our business will be substantially harmed.

The research, testing, manufacturing, labeling, approval, selling, import, export, marketing and distribution of drug and biologic products are subject to extensive regulation by the FDA, EMA and comparable regulatory authorities in other jurisdictions, which regulations differ from country to country. Neither we nor any of our collaboration partners is permitted to market any drug or biologic products in the United States until we receive regulatory approval from the FDA. Equally, neither we nor any of our collaboration partners is permitted to market any drug or biologic in the EEA, until we receive a marketing authorization from the EMA or EEA Member State Competent Authorities. We have not submitted an application or obtained regulatory approval for any of our product candidates anywhere in the world. Obtaining regulatory approval of an NDA, BLA or marketing authorization, can be a lengthy, expensive and uncertain process. In addition, failure to comply with FDA and other applicable U.S., EEA and other comparable regulatory requirements may subject us to administrative or judicially imposed sanctions or other actions, including:

untitled or warning letters;
civil and criminal penalties;
injunctions;
withdrawal of regulatory approval of drugs;
drug seizure or detention;
drug recalls;
total or partial suspension of production; and
refusal to approve pending NDAs, BLAs, marketing authorization applications, or supplements to approved NDAs, BLAs or extensions or variations to marketing authorizations.

Prior to obtaining approval to commercialize a product candidate in the United States, the EEA, or elsewhere, we or our collaboration partners must demonstrate with substantial evidence from well-controlled clinical trials, and to the satisfaction of the FDA, EMA or other similar regulatory authorities, that such product candidates are safe and effective for their intended uses. The number of preclinical studies and clinical trials that will be required for approval by the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities varies depending on the product candidate, the disease or condition that the product candidate is designed to address, and the regulations applicable to any particular product candidate. Results from preclinical studies and clinical trials can be interpreted in different ways. Even if we believe the preclinical or clinical data for our product candidates are promising, such data may not be sufficient to support approval by the FDA, EMA and other regulatory authorities. Administering product candidates to humans may produce undesirable side effects, which could interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and result in the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authorities denying approval of a product candidate for any or all targeted indications.

The time required to obtain approval by the FDA, EMA and comparable authorities is unpredictable, typically takes many years following the commencement of clinical trials and depends upon numerous factors. The FDA, EMA and comparable authorities have substantial discretion in the approval process and we may encounter matters with the FDA, EMA or such comparable authorities that requires us to expend additional time and resources and delay or prevent the approval of our product candidates. For example, the FDA or EMA may require us to conduct additional studies or trials for product candidates either prior to or post-approval, such as additional drug-drug interaction studies or safety or efficacy studies or trials, or it may object to elements of our clinical development program such as the number of subjects in our current clinical trials from the United States. In addition, approval policies, regulations or the type and amount of clinical data necessary to gain approval may change during the course of a product candidate’s clinical development and may vary among jurisdictions, which may cause delays in the approval or result in a decision not to approve an application for regulatory approval. Despite the time and expense exerted, failure can occur at any stage. Applications for our product candidates could fail to receive regulatory approval for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

the FDA, EMA or other comparable regulatory authorities may disagree with the design or implementation of our, or our collaboration partners’, clinical trials;
the population studied in the clinical program may not be sufficiently broad or representative to assure safety in the full population for which approval is sought;
the FDA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may disagree with the interpretation of data from preclinical studies or clinical trials;
the data collected from clinical trials of our product candidates may not be sufficient to support the submission of an NDA, a BLA, marketing authorization application, or other submission or to obtain regulatory approval in the United States, the EEA, Australia or elsewhere;
we, or our collaboration partners, may be unable to demonstrate to the FDA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities that a product candidate’s risk-benefit ratio for its proposed indication is acceptable;

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the FDA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may fail to approve the manufacturing processes, test procedures and specifications, or facilities of third-party manufacturers responsible for clinical and commercial supplies; and
the approval policies or regulations of the FDA, EMA or comparable regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient for approval.

This lengthy approval process, as well as the unpredictability of the results of clinical trials, may result in our failure to obtain regulatory approval to market any of our product candidates, which would significantly harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. Additionally, if the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authority requires that we conduct additional clinical trials, places limitations on our label, delays approval to market our product candidates or limits the use of our drugs, our business and results of operations may be harmed.

In addition, even if we were to obtain approval, regulatory authorities may approve any of our product candidates for fewer or more limited indications than we request, may not approve the price we intend to charge for our drugs, may grant approval contingent on the performance of costly post-marketing clinical trials, or may approve a product candidate with a label that does not include the labeling claims necessary or desirable for the successful commercialization of any future drug. Any of the foregoing scenarios could harm the commercial prospects for our drugs.

Our clinical trials may fail to demonstrate adequately the safety and efficacy of our product candidates, which could prevent or delay regulatory approval and commercialization.

We have not completed all the clinical trials necessary to support an application with the FDA, EMA or other regulatory authority for approval to market any of our product candidates. Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of our drugs, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that the product candidate is both safe and effective for use in each target indication. Clinical trials often fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy of the product candidate studied for the target indication. Most product candidates that commence clinical trials are never approved as drugs. If our product candidates are not shown to be both safe and effective in clinical trials, we will not be able to obtain regulatory approval or commercialize these product candidates. In such case, we would need to develop other compounds and conducting associated preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as the potential need for additional financing, would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

The results of any Phase 3 or other pivotal clinical trial may not be adequate to support marketing approval. These clinical trials are lengthy and, with respect to non-orphan indications, usually involve many hundreds to thousands of patients. In addition, if the FDA, EMA or another applicable regulator disagrees with our or our collaborator’s choice of the key testing criteria or primary endpoint, or the results for the primary endpoint are not robust or significant relative to the control group of patients not receiving the experimental therapy, such regulator may refuse to approve our product candidate in the region in which it has jurisdiction. The FDA, EMA or other applicable regulators also may require additional clinical trials as a condition for approving any of these product candidates.

Changes in methods of product candidate manufacturing, formulation and mixed clinical trial results calling for an altered clinical approach may result in additional costs or delay.

As product candidates are developed through preclinical to late-stage clinical trials towards approval and commercialization, it is common that various aspects of the development program, such as manufacturing methods and formulation, are altered along the way in an effort to optimize processes and results. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve these intended objectives. Any of these changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of planned clinical trials or other future clinical trials conducted with the altered materials. This could delay completion of clinical trials, require the conduct of bridging clinical trials or the repetition of one or more clinical trials, increase clinical trial costs, delay approval of our product candidates or jeopardize our or our collaborators’ ability to commence drug sales and generate revenue. For example, following our Phase 2 RESTORE clinical trial in patients diagnosed with PTSD, which did not meet its primary endpoint, we reformulated BNC210 to be in tablet form to address limitations of the liquid suspension formulation used in the RESTORE trial, including overcoming the food effect (i.e. the requirement to be given with food), improving patient compliance and providing rapid absorption, dose linear pharmacokinetics and ability to reach blood exposure predicted from the pharmacometrics analysis as necessary to give us a higher probability of success in a subsequent PTSD trial. This resulted in additional costs and delays in our clinical program such as the need to conduct trials to demonstrate the clinical safety and pharmacokinetic activity of the tablet formulation and delays in the reporting of topline results in PTSD that may cause delays in initiation of Phase 3 registrational studies in the indication. Similarly, our Phase 2 PREVAIL trial for BNC210 for the acute treatment of SAD did not meet its primary endpoint. We then conducted a post-hoc in-depth analysis of the full dataset to better understand the true potential of the drug and guide late-stage trial design. These items have resulted in additional costs and delays in our clinical program such as the need to conduct trials to demonstrate the clinical safety, pharmacokinetic activity and stability

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of the tablet formulation and delays in the reporting of topline results in PTSD that may cause delays in initiation of Phase 3 registrational studies in the indication. There can be no assurance we will not have to alter manufacturing methods or formulations in the future and we will be able to recruit future trials based on projected timelines. These may result in additional costs or delays and materially adverse our business.

Even if we obtain and maintain approval for our product candidates from one jurisdiction, we may never obtain approval for our product candidates in other jurisdictions, which would limit our market opportunities and adversely affect our business.

Sales of our approved drugs will be subject to U.S. and non-U.S. regulatory requirements governing clinical trials and regulatory approval, and we plan to seek regulatory approval to commercialize our product candidates in the United States, the EEA, and other countries. Clinical trials conducted in one country may not be accepted by regulatory authorities in other countries and regulatory approval in one country does not ensure approval in any other country, while a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one country may have a negative effect on the regulatory approval process in others. For example, approval in the United States by the FDA does not ensure approval by the regulatory authorities in other countries or jurisdictions, and similarly approval by a non-U.S. regulatory authority, such as the EMA, does not ensure approval by regulatory authorities in other countries, including by the FDA. However, the failure to obtain approval in one jurisdiction may have a negative impact on our ability to obtain approval elsewhere. Approval processes and regulatory requirements vary among countries and can involve additional drug testing and validation and additional administrative review periods. Even if a drug is approved, the FDA or EMA, as the case may be, may limit the indications for which the drug may be marketed, require extensive warnings on the drug labeling or require expensive and time-consuming clinical trials or reporting as conditions of approval. In many countries outside the United States, a product candidate must be approved for reimbursement before it can be approved for sale in that country. In some cases, the price that we intend to charge for a drug is also subject to approval. Regulatory authorities in other countries also have their own requirements for approval of product candidates with which we must comply prior to marketing in those countries. Obtaining non-U.S. regulatory approvals and compliance with such non-U.S. regulatory requirements could result in significant delays, difficulties and costs for us and could delay or prevent the introduction of our current and any future drugs, in certain countries. If we fail to comply with regulatory requirements in international markets or to obtain and maintain required approvals, or if regulatory approvals in international markets are delayed, our target market will be reduced and our ability to realize the full market potential of our product candidates will be unrealized.

We may be subject to healthcare laws, regulation and enforcement and our failure to comply with these laws could harm our results of operations and financial conditions.

Our business operations and current and future arrangements with investigators, healthcare professionals, consultants, third-party payors, patient organizations and customers, may expose us to broadly applicable fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations. These laws may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we conduct our operations, including how we research, market, sell and distribute our product candidates, if approved. Such laws include:

the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons or entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, receiving or paying any remuneration (including any kickback, bribe or certain rebate), directly or indirectly, overtly or covertly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, lease, order or recommendation of, any good, facility, item or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under U.S. federal and state healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. 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. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), heavily scrutinizes relationships between pharmaceutical companies and persons in a position to generate referrals for or the purchase of their products, such as physicians, other healthcare providers, and pharmacy benefit managers, among others;
the federal civil monetary penalty laws and civil and criminal false claims laws and, such as the 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 U.S. Federal Government, claims for payment or approval that are false or fraudulent or from knowingly making a false statement to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the U.S. Federal Government. In addition, the Government may assert that a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the U.S. federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false of fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act. Manufacturers can be held liable under the False Claims Act, even when they do not submit claims directly to government payors, if they are deemed to have “caused” the submission of the claim. The False Claims Act allows private individuals acting as “whistleblowers” to bring actions on the U.S. Federal Government’s behalf and to share in any recovery;

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the U.S. federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), which imposes criminal and civil liability for knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, 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 U.S. 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;
the U.S. Physician Payments Sunshine Act and its implementing regulations, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies that are reimbursable under Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services information related to certain payments and other transfers of value to physicians (as defined by statute), certain non-physician practitioners (including nurse practitioners, certified nurse anesthetists, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, anesthesiology assistants and certified nurse midwives) as well as teaching hospitals. Manufacturers are also required to disclose ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members;
federal government price reporting laws, which require us to calculate and report complex pricing metrics in an accurate and timely manner to government programs; and
federal consumer protection and unfair competition laws, which broadly regulate marketplace activities and activities that potentially harm customers.

We are also subject to state and foreign equivalents of each of the healthcare laws and regulations described above, among others, some of which may be broader in scope and may apply regardless of the payor. Many U.S. states have adopted laws similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, and may apply to our business practices, including, but not limited to, research, distribution, sales or marketing arrangements and claims involving healthcare items or services reimbursed by non-governmental payors, including private insurers. In addition, some states have passed laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the April 2003 OIG Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and/or the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. Several states also impose other marketing restrictions or require pharmaceutical companies to make marketing or price disclosures to the state and require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives. There are ambiguities as to what is required to comply with these state requirements, and if we fail to comply with an applicable state law requirement, we could be subject to penalties.

The scope and enforcement of these laws is uncertain and subject to rapid change in the current environment of healthcare reform, especially in light of the lack of applicable precedent and regulations.

Ensuring that our future business arrangements with third parties comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations could involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices do not comply with current or future statutes, regulations or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any other governmental laws and regulations that may apply to us, we may be subject to significant penalties, including civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, fines, disgorgement, the exclusion from participation in federal and state government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, reputational harm, and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. It may also subject us to additional reporting obligations and oversight, if we become subject to a corporate integrity agreement, deferred prosecution agreement, or other agreement to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws. If any of the physicians or other providers or entities with whom we expect to do business is found to be not in compliance with applicable laws, they may be subject to similar criminal, civil or administrative sanctions, including exclusions from government funded healthcare programs and imprisonment. If any of the above occur, it could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

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Our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, CROs, consultants, vendors and collaboration partners 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 that our employees, independent contractors, principal investigators, CROs, consultants, vendors and collaboration partners may engage in fraudulent conduct or other illegal activities. Misconduct by these parties could include intentional, reckless and/or negligent conduct or unauthorized activities that violate: (i) the regulations of the FDA, EMA and other regulatory authorities, including those laws that require the reporting of true, complete and accurate information to such authorities; (ii) manufacturing standards; (iii) federal and state data privacy, security, fraud and abuse and other healthcare laws and regulations in the United States and abroad; or (iv) laws that require the reporting of true, complete and accurate financial information and data. In particular, sales, marketing and business arrangements in the healthcare industry are subject to extensive laws and regulations intended to prevent fraud, misconduct, kickbacks, self-dealing and other abusive practices. These laws and regulations may restrict or prohibit a wide range of pricing, discounting, marketing and promotion, sales commission, customer incentive programs and other business arrangements.

Activities subject to these laws could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials or creating fraudulent data in our preclinical studies or clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and cause serious harm to our reputation. It is not always possible to identify and deter misconduct by employees and other third parties, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent misconduct 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 comply with such laws or regulations.

Additionally, we are subject to the risk that a person could allege such fraud or other misconduct, even if none occurred. If any such actions are instituted against us, and we are not successful in defending ourselves or asserting our rights, those actions could have a significant impact on our business and results of operations, including the imposition of significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, monetary fines, possible exclusion from participation in Medicare, Medicaid and other U.S. federal healthcare programs, contractual damages, reputational harm, diminished profits and future earnings, and curtailment of our operations, any of which could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our results of operations.

Healthcare legislative reform measures may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes to the healthcare system that could affect our future results of operations. In particular, there have been and continue to be a number of federal and state initiatives in the United States that seek to reduce healthcare costs. For example, in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) was enacted, which substantially changed the way healthcare is financed by both governmental and private insurers. Among the provisions of the ACA, those of greatest importance to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are the following:

an annual, non-deductible fee payable by any entity that manufactures or imports certain branded prescription drugs and biologic agents (other than those designated as orphan drugs), which is apportioned among these entities according to their market share in certain government healthcare programs;
a new Medicare Part D coverage gap discount program, in which manufacturers must agree to offer 50% (increased to 70% pursuant to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, effective as of January 1, 2019) point-of-sale discounts off negotiated prices of applicable brand drugs to eligible beneficiaries during their coverage gap period, as a condition for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs to be covered under Medicare Part D;
an increase in the statutory minimum rebates a manufacturer must pay under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program to 23.1% and 13.0% of the average manufacturer price for branded and generic drugs, respectively;
a new methodology by which rebates owed by manufacturers under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program are calculated for drugs that are inhaled, infused, instilled, implanted or injected;
extension of a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate obligation to covered drugs dispensed to individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid managed care organizations;
expansion of eligibility criteria for Medicaid programs by, among other things, allowing states to offer Medicaid coverage to certain individuals with income at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, thereby potentially increasing a manufacturer’s Medicaid rebate liability;
a new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to oversee, identify priorities in, and conduct comparative clinical effectiveness research, along with funding for such research; and
establishment of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to test innovative payment and service delivery models to lower Medicare and Medicaid spending, potentially including prescription drug spending.

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Since its enactment, there have been judicial, Congressional and executive challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the most recent judicial challenge to the ACA brought by several states without specifically ruling on the constitutionality of the ACA. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, President Biden issued an executive order to initiate a special enrollment period from February 15, 2021 through August 15, 2021 for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructed certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is unclear how other healthcare reform measures, if any, will impact our business.

In addition, other legislative and regulatory changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the ACA was enacted.

On August 2, 2011, the U.S. Budget Control Act of 2011, among other things, included aggregate reductions of Medicare payments to providers of 2% per fiscal year. These reductions went into effect on April 1, 2013 and, due to subsequent legislative amendments to the statute, will remain in effect through 2030, with the exception of a temporary suspension from May 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022. Under current legislation, the actual reduction in Medicare payments varies from 1% from April 1, 2022, through June 30, 2022, to up to 3% in the final fiscal year of this sequester, unless additional Congressional action is taken.
On January 2, 2013, the U.S. American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law, which, among other things, further reduced Medicare payments to several types of providers.
On April 13, 2017, CMS published a final rule that gives states greater flexibility in setting benchmarks for insurers in the individual and small group marketplaces, which may have the effect of relaxing the essential health benefits required under the ACA for plans sold through such marketplaces.
On May 30, 2018, the Right to Try Act, was signed into law. The law, among other things, provides a federal framework for certain patients to access certain investigational new drug products that have completed a Phase 1 clinical trial and that are undergoing investigation for FDA approval. Under certain circumstances, eligible patients can seek treatment without enrolling in clinical trials and without obtaining FDA permission under the FDA expanded access program. There is no obligation for a pharmaceutical manufacturer to make its drug products available to eligible patients as a result of the Right to Try Act.
On May 23, 2019, CMS published a final rule to allow Medicare Advantage Plans the option of using step therapy for Part B drugs beginning January 1, 2020.
On August 16, 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) was signed into law, which, among other things, requires manufacturers of certain drugs to engage in price negotiations with Medicare (beginning in 2026), imposes rebates under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D to penalize price increases that outpace inflation (began in 2023), and replaces the Part D coverage gap discount program with a new discounting program (beginning in 2025).

Additionally, there has been increasing legislative and enforcement interest in the United States with respect to drug pricing practices. Specifically, there has been heightened governmental scrutiny over the way manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has already resulted in several U.S. Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to drug pricing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare, and review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs.

We expect that additional U.S. federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that the U.S. Federal Government will pay for healthcare drugs and services, which could result in reduced demand for our product candidates or additional pricing pressures.

Individual states in the United States have also become increasingly active in passing legislation and implementing regulations designed to control pharmaceutical and biological product pricing, including price or patient reimbursement constraints, discounts, restrictions on certain drug access and marketing cost disclosure and transparency measures, and designed to encourage importation from other countries and bulk purchasing. Legally mandated price controls on payment amounts by third-party payors or other restrictions could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, regional healthcare authorities and individual hospitals are increasingly using bidding procedures to determine what pharmaceutical products and which suppliers will be included in their prescription drug and other healthcare programs. This could reduce the ultimate demand for our drugs or put pressure on our drug pricing, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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In the EEA, similar political, economic and regulatory developments may affect our ability to profitably commercialize our current or any future drugs. In addition to continuing pressure on prices and cost containment measures, legislative developments at the EEA or member state level may result in significant additional requirements or obstacles that may increase our operating costs. In international markets, reimbursement and healthcare payment systems vary significantly by country, and many countries have instituted price ceilings on specific drugs and therapies.

We cannot predict the likelihood, nature or extent of government regulation that may arise from future legislation or administrative action, either in the United States or abroad. If we or our collaborators are slow or unable to adapt to changes in existing requirements or the adoption of new requirements or policies, or if we or our collaborators are not able to maintain regulatory compliance, our product candidates may lose any regulatory approval that may have been obtained and we may not achieve or sustain profitability, which would adversely affect our business.

Actual or perceived failures to comply with applicable data protection, privacy and security laws, regulations, standards and other requirements could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

The global data protection landscape is rapidly evolving, and we are or may become subject to numerous state, federal and foreign laws, requirements and regulations governing the collection, use, disclosure, retention, and security of personal data, such as information that we may collect in connection with clinical trials in the United States and abroad. Implementation standards and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future, and we cannot yet determine the impact future laws, regulations, standards, or perception of their requirements may have on our business. This evolution may create uncertainty in our business, affect our ability to operate in certain jurisdictions or to collect, store, transfer use and share personal information, necessitate the acceptance of more onerous obligations in our contracts, result in liability or impose additional costs on us. The cost of compliance with these laws, regulations and standards is high and is likely to increase in the future. Any failure or perceived failure by us to comply with federal, state or foreign laws or regulation, our internal policies and procedures or our contracts governing our processing of personal information could result in negative publicity, government investigations and enforcement actions, claims by third parties and damage to our reputation, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial performance and business.

As our operations and business grow, we may become subject to or affected by new or additional data protection laws and regulations and face increased scrutiny or attention from regulatory authorities. In Australia, Australia’s Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), as amended, imposes mandatory data breach notification requirements providing that where personal information is lost or is subject to unauthorized access or disclosure, and that would be likely to lead to serious harm, then affected individuals and the Information Commissioner must be notified within 30 days. A failure to notify can result in penalties of up to A$2.2 million. Further, the sending of commercial electronic messages without prior consent is prohibited under Australia’s Spam Act 2003. Violations of this legislation are subject to penalties of up to A$2.1 million for repeat offenders, and the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, is active in monitoring market behavior and prosecuting infringements. Obligations and restrictions imposed by current and future applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and industry standards may affect our ability to provide all the current features of our products and subscriptions and our customers’ ability to use our products and subscriptions, and could require us to modify the features and functionality of our products and subscriptions.

In the United States, HIPAA imposes, among other things, certain standards relating to the privacy, security, transmission and breach reporting of individually identifiable health information. Certain states have also adopted comparable privacy and security laws and regulations, some of which may be more stringent than HIPAA. Such laws and regulations will be subject to interpretation by various courts and other governmental authorities, thus creating potentially complex compliance issues for us and our future customers and strategic partners. In addition, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) went into effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA creates individual privacy rights for California consumers and increases the privacy and security obligations of entities handling certain personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation. The CCPA may increase our compliance costs and potential liability, and many similar laws have been proposed at the federal level and in other states. Further, the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”) recently passed in California. The CPRA will impose additional data protection obligations on covered businesses, including additional consumer rights processes, limitations on data uses, new audit requirements for higher risk data, and opt outs for certain uses of sensitive data. It will also create a new California data protection agency authorized to issue substantive regulations and could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. The majority of the provisions went into effect on January 1, 2023, and additional compliance investment and potential business process changes may be required. In the event that we are subject to or affected by HIPAA, the CCPA, the CPRA or other domestic privacy and data protection laws, any liability from failure to comply with the requirements of these laws could adversely affect our financial condition.

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In Europe, the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) went into effect in May 2018 and imposes strict requirements for processing the personal data of individuals within the EEA. Companies that must comply with the GDPR face increased compliance obligations and risk, including more robust regulatory enforcement of data protection requirements and potential fines for noncompliance of up to €20 million or 4% of the annual global revenues of the noncompliant company, whichever is greater. Among other requirements, the GDPR regulates transfers of personal data subject to the GDPR to third countries that have not been found to provide adequate protection to such personal data, including the United States, and the efficacy and longevity of current transfer mechanisms between the EU and the United States remains uncertain. Further, following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU on January 31, 2020, and since the expiration of the transition period on January 1, 2021, companies have had to comply with the GDPR and also the United Kingdom GDPR (the “UK GDPR”) which, together with the amended UK Data Protection Act 2018, retains the GDPR in UK national law. The UK GDPR mirrors the fines under the GDPR, i.e., fines up to the greater of €20 million (£17.5 million) or 4% of global turnover. The relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union in relation to certain aspects of data protection law remains unclear, and it is unclear how United Kingdom data protection laws and regulations will develop in the medium to longer term.

Although we work to comply with applicable laws, regulations and standards, our contractual obligations and other legal obligations, these requirements are evolving and may be modified, interpreted and applied in an inconsistent manner from one jurisdiction to another, and may conflict with one another or other legal obligations with which we must comply. Any failure or perceived failure by us or our employees, representatives, contractors, consultants, collaborators, or other third parties to comply with such requirements or adequately address privacy and security concerns, even if unfounded, could result in additional cost and liability to us, damage our reputation, and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we are unable to obtain and maintain sufficient patent and other intellectual property protection for our product candidates and technology, our competitors could develop and commercialize products and technology similar or identical to ours, and we may not be able to compete effectively in our market or successfully commercialize any product candidates we may develop.

We rely upon a combination of patents, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements to protect the intellectual property related to our products and technologies and to prevent third parties from copying and surpassing our achievements, thus eroding our competitive position in our market. Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection for our platform technologies, product candidates and their uses, as well as our ability to operate without infringing the proprietary rights of others. We seek to protect our proprietary position by filing patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our novel discoveries and technologies that are important to our business. Our pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued or that issued patents will afford sufficient protection of our product candidates or their intended uses against competitors, nor can there be any assurance that the patents issued will not be infringed, designed around, invalidated by third parties, or effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies, products or product candidates.

Composition of matter patents for biological and pharmaceutical product candidates often provide a strong form of intellectual property protection for those types of products, as such patents provide protection without regard to any method of use. We cannot be certain that the claims in our pending patent applications directed to composition of matter of our product candidates will be considered patentable by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) or by patent offices in foreign countries, or that the claims in any of our issued patents will be considered valid and enforceable by courts in the United States or foreign countries. Method of use patents protect the use of a product for the specified method. This type of patent does not prevent a competitor from making and marketing a product that is identical to our product for an indication that is outside the scope of the patented method.

The patenting process is expensive and time-consuming, and we may not be able to file and prosecute all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. In addition, we may not pursue or obtain patent protection in all relevant markets. It is possible that defects of form in the preparation or filing of our patents or patent applications may exist, or may arise in the future, for example with respect to proper priority claims, inventorship, claim scope, or requests for patent term adjustments. It is also possible that we will fail to identify patentable aspects of our research and development output before it is too late to obtain patent protection. The patent position of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies generally is highly uncertain and involves complex legal and factual questions for which many legal principles remain unresolved. Our pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued in the United States or in other jurisdictions which protect our technology or products, or which effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. There is no assurance that all the potentially relevant prior art relating to our patents and patent applications has been found, which can invalidate a patent or prevent a patent from issuing from a pending patent application. Even if our patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a

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form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors from competing with us or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage. Our competitors may be able to circumvent our owned or licensed patents by developing similar or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner.

The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its scope, validity or enforceability, and our owned and in-licensed patents may be challenged in the courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. For example, our pending patent applications may be subject to third-party pre-issuance submissions of prior art to the USPTO or our issued patents may be subject to post-grant review proceedings, oppositions, derivations, reexaminations, or inter partes review proceedings, in the United States or elsewhere, challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such challenges may result in loss of exclusivity or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated, or held unenforceable, in whole or in part, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technologies and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technologies and products. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability and commercial value of our patent rights are highly uncertain. If the breadth or strength of the claims of our patents and patent applications is threatened, regardless of the outcome, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop or commercialize our current product candidates or future product candidates, or could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise funds necessary to continue our research programs or clinical trials.

We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights throughout the world.

Filing, prosecuting and defending patents on product candidates in all countries throughout the world would be prohibitively expensive, and our intellectual property rights in some countries outside the United States can be less extensive than those in the United States. In addition, the laws of some countries do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as laws in the United States. Consequently, we may not be able to prevent third parties from practicing our inventions in all countries outside the United States, or from selling or importing products made using our inventions in and into the United States or other countries. Competitors may use our technologies in countries where we have not obtained patent protection to develop their own products and further, may infringe our patents in territories where we have patent protection, but enforcement is not as strong as in the United States. These products may compete with our products and our patents or other intellectual property rights may not be effective or sufficient to prevent them from competing.

Many companies have encountered significant problems in protecting and defending intellectual property rights in certain countries. The legal systems of certain countries, particularly certain developing countries, do not favor the enforcement or protection of patents, trade secrets and other intellectual property, particularly those relating to pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, which could make it difficult for us to stop the infringement of our patents or marketing of competing products in violation of our proprietary rights generally. Proceedings to enforce our patent rights in foreign countries could result in substantial costs and divert our efforts and attention from other aspects of our business, could put our patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and our patent applications at risk of not issuing and could provoke third parties to assert claims against us. We may not prevail in any lawsuits that we initiate and the damages or other remedies awarded, if any, may not be commercially meaningful. Accordingly, our efforts to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights around the world may be inadequate to obtain a significant commercial advantage from the intellectual property that we develop or license.

Obtaining and maintaining our patent protection depends on compliance with various procedural, document submission, fee payment and other requirements imposed by governmental patent agencies, and our patent protection could be reduced or eliminated if we fail to comply with these requirements.

Periodic maintenance fees, renewal fees, annuities fees and various other governmental fees on patents and/or patent applications are due to be paid to the USPTO and foreign patent agencies in several stages over the lifetime of the patent and/or patent application.

The USPTO and various foreign governmental patent agencies also require compliance with a number of procedural, documentary, fee payment and other similar provisions during the patent application process. While an inadvertent lapse can in many cases be cured by payment of a late fee or by other means in accordance with the applicable rules, there are situations in which noncompliance can result in abandonment or lapse of the patent or patent application, resulting in partial or complete loss of patent rights in the relevant jurisdiction. Non-compliance events that could result in abandonment or lapse of a patent or patent application include, but are not limited to, failure to respond to official actions within prescribed time limits, non-payment of fees and failure to properly legalize and submit formal documents. If we fail to maintain the patents and patent applications covering our product candidates, our competitive position would be adversely affected.

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Patent terms may be inadequate to protect our competitive position on our product candidates for an adequate amount of time.

Patents have a limited lifespan. In the United States, if all maintenance fees are timely paid, the natural expiration of a patent is generally 20 years from its earliest U.S. non-provisional filing date. Various extensions may be available, but the life of a patent, and the protection it affords, is limited. Even if patents covering our product candidates are obtained, once the patent life has expired for a product candidate, we may be open to competition. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such product candidates might expire before or shortly after such product candidates are commercialized. As a result, our patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing product candidates similar or identical to ours for a meaningful amount of time, or at all.

Depending upon the timing, duration and conditions of any FDA marketing approval of our product candidates, one or more of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, and similar legislation in the European Union and certain other countries. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments permit a patent term extension of up to five years for a patent covering an approved product as compensation for effective patent term lost during product development and the FDA regulatory review process. However, we may not receive an extension if we fail to exercise due diligence during the testing phase or regulatory review process, fail to apply within applicable deadlines, fail to apply prior to expiration of relevant patents or otherwise fail to satisfy applicable requirements. Moreover, the length of the extension could be less than we request. Only one patent per approved product can be extended, the extension cannot extend the total patent term beyond 14 years from approval and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. If we are unable to obtain patent term extension or the term of any such extension is less than we request, the period during which we can enforce our patent rights for the applicable product candidate will be shortened and our competitors may obtain approval to market competing products sooner. As a result, our revenue from applicable products could be reduced. Further, if this occurs, our competitors may take advantage of our investment in development and trials by referencing our clinical and preclinical data and launch their product earlier than might otherwise be expected, and our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects could be materially adversely affected.

Changes in U.S. patent laws, or laws in other countries, could diminish the value of patents in general and may limit our ability to obtain, defend, and/or enforce our patents.

Patent reform legislation in the United States and other countries, including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the “Leahy-Smith Act”), signed into law on September 16, 2011, could increase those uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents. The Leahy-Smith Act includes a number of significant changes to U.S. patent law, including provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art and provide more efficient and cost-effective avenues for competitors to challenge the validity of patents. These include allowing third-party submission of prior art to the USPTO during patent prosecution and additional procedures to attack the validity of a patent by USPTO administered post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and derivation proceedings. Further, because of a lower evidentiary standard in these USPTO post-grant proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States federal courts necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action. Thus, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

After March 2013, under the Leahy-Smith Act, the United States transitioned to a first inventor to file system in which, assuming that the other statutory requirements are met, the first inventor to file a patent application will be entitled to the patent on an invention regardless of whether a third-party was the first to invent the claimed invention. A third party that files a patent application in the USPTO after March 2013, but before we file an application covering the same invention, could therefore be awarded a patent covering an invention of ours even if we had made the invention before it was made by such third party. This will require us to be cognizant going forward of the time from invention to filing of a patent application. Since patent applications in the United States and most other countries are confidential for a period of time after filing or until issuance, we cannot be certain that we or our licensors were the first to either (i) file any patent application related to our product candidates and other proprietary technologies we may develop or (ii) invent any of the inventions claimed in our or our licensor’s patents or patent applications. Even where we have a valid and enforceable patent, we may not be able to exclude others from practicing the claimed invention where the other party can show that

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they used the invention in commerce before our filing date or the other party benefits from a compulsory license. However, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on several patent cases in recent years, either narrowing the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances or weakening the rights of patent owners in certain situations. In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain patents in the future, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on actions 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 patents that we have licensed or that we might obtain in the future. Similarly, changes in patent law and regulations in other countries or jurisdictions or changes in the governmental bodies that enforce them or changes in how the relevant governmental authority enforces patent laws or regulations may weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce patents that we have licensed or that we may obtain in the future.

Some of our intellectual property is licensed to us by a third party. If we fail to comply with our obligations in the agreement under which we license intellectual property rights from that third party, or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our licensor, we could lose license rights that are important to our business.

We are party to license agreements that enable us to utilize third party proprietary technologies in the development of our product candidates, and we may in the future enter into more license agreements with third parties under which we receive rights to intellectual property that are important to our business. These intellectual property license agreements may require us various development, regulatory and/or commercial diligence obligations, payment of milestones and/or royalties and other obligations. If we fail to comply with our obligations under these agreements (including as a result of COVID-19 impacting our operations), we use the licensed intellectual property in an unauthorized manner or we are subject to bankruptcy-related proceedings, the terms of the licenses may be materially modified, such as by rendering currently exclusive licenses non-exclusive, or it may give our licensors the right to terminate their respective agreement with us, which could limit our ability to implement our current business plan and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may also in the future enter into license agreements with third parties under which we are a sublicensee. If our sublicensor fails to comply with its obligations under its upstream license agreement with its licensor, the licensor may have the right to terminate the upstream license, which may terminate our sublicense. If this were to occur, we would no longer have rights to the applicable intellectual property unless we are able to secure our own direct license with the owner of the relevant rights, which we may not be able to do on reasonable terms, or at all, which may impact our ability to continue to develop and commercialize our product candidates incorporating the relevant intellectual property.

In addition, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing, prosecution, maintenance, enforcement and/or defense of patents and patent applications that are licensed to us. Consequently, 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, and any such licensed patents and patent applications may not be prepared, filed, prosecuted, maintained, enforced, and defended in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business. For instance, we cannot be certain that such activities by licensors have been or will be conducted in compliance with applicable laws and regulations or will result in valid and enforceable patents and other intellectual property rights. Further, it is possible that the licensors’ infringement proceeding, or defense activities may be less vigorous than had we conducted them ourselves. If our current or future licensors, licensees or collaborators fail to prepare, file, prosecute, maintain, enforce, and defend licensed patents and other intellectual property rights, such rights may be reduced or eliminated, and our right to develop and commercialize our product candidates or technology that is the subject of such licensed rights could be adversely affected. In addition, 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.

Licensing of intellectual property is important to our business and involves complex legal, business and scientific issues and certain provisions in intellectual property license agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. Disputes may arise between us and our licensors regarding intellectual property subject to a license agreement, including:

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation-related issues;
whether and the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;
our right to sublicense patents and other rights to third parties;

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our diligence obligations with respect to the use of the licensed technology in relation to our development and commercialization of our product candidates, and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations;
our right to transfer or assign the license; and
the ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our licensors and us and our partners.

The resolution of any contract interpretation disagreement that may arise could narrow what we believe to be the scope of our rights to the relevant intellectual property or technology or increase what we believe to be our financial or other obligations under the relevant agreement, either of which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. If disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on acceptable terms or at all, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize our product candidates. Moreover, any dispute or disagreement with our licensing partners may result in the delay or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our product candidates or any future product candidates and may result in costly litigation or arbitration that diverts management attention and resources away from our day-to-day activities, which may adversely affect our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects.

In addition, certain of our future agreements with third parties may limit or delay our ability to consummate certain transactions, may impact the value of those transactions, or may limit our ability to pursue certain activities. For example, we may in the future enter into license agreements that are not assignable or transferable, or that require the licensor’s express consent for an assignment or transfer to take place.

Our intellectual property licensed from third parties may be subject to retained rights.

Our current and future licensors may retain certain rights under their agreements with us, including the right to use the underlying technology for noncommercial academic and research use, to publish general scientific findings from research related to the technology, and to make customary scientific and scholarly disclosures of information relating to the technology. It is difficult to monitor whether our licensors limit their use of the technology to these uses, and we could incur substantial expenses to enforce our rights to our licensed technology in the event of misuse.

In addition, the United States federal government retains certain rights in inventions produced with its financial assistance under the Patent and Trademark Law Amendments Act (the “Bayh-Dole Act”). The federal government retains a “nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license” for its own benefit. The Bayh-Dole Act also provides federal agencies with “march-in rights.” March-in rights allow the government, in specified circumstances, to require the contractor or successors in title to the patent to grant a “nonexclusive, partially exclusive, or exclusive license” to a “responsible applicant or applicants.” If the patent owner refuses to do so, the government may grant the license itself. If, in the future, we co-own or license in technology which is critical to our business that is developed in whole or in part with federal funds subject to the Bayh-Dole Act, our ability to enforce or otherwise exploit patents covering such technology may be adversely affected.

If we are unable to obtain intellectual property licenses from third parties on commercially reasonable terms or at all, our business could be harmed.

It may be necessary for us to use the patented or proprietary technology of third parties to commercialize our products, in which case we would be required to obtain a license from these third parties. The licensing of third-party intellectual property rights is a competitive area, and more established companies may pursue strategies to license or acquire third-party intellectual property rights that we may consider attractive or necessary. More established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, capital resources and greater clinical development and commercialization capabilities. In addition, companies that perceive us to be a competitor may be unwilling to assign or license rights to us. We also may be unable to license or acquire third party intellectual property rights on terms that would allow us to make an appropriate return on our investment or at all. If we are unable to license such technology, or if we are forced to license such technology on unfavorable terms, our business could be materially harmed. If we are unable to obtain a necessary license, we may be unable to develop or commercialize our product candidates, which could materially harm our business, and the third parties owning such intellectual property rights could seek either an injunction prohibiting our sales, or, with respect to our sales, an obligation on our part to pay royalties and/or other forms of compensation. Even if we are able to obtain a license, it may be or become non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors access to the same technologies licensed to us.

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Any issued patents we may own covering our product candidates could be narrowed or found invalid or unenforceable if challenged in court or before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, including the USPTO.

Any of our intellectual property rights could be challenged or invalidated despite measures we take to obtain patent and other intellectual property protection with respect to our product candidates and proprietary technology. For example, if we were to initiate legal proceedings against a third party to enforce a patent covering one of our product candidates, the defendant could counterclaim that our patent is invalid and/or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States and in some other jurisdictions, defendant counterclaims alleging invalidity and/or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, for example, lack of novelty, obviousness or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld material information from the USPTO or the applicable foreign counterpart, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. A litigant or the USPTO itself could challenge our patents on this basis even if we believe that we have conducted our patent prosecution in accordance with the duty of candor and in good faith. The outcome following such a challenge is unpredictable.

With respect to challenges to the validity of our patents, there might be 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 and/or unenforceability, we would lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on a product candidate. Even if a defendant does not prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, our patent claims may be construed in a manner that would limit our ability to enforce such claims against the defendant and others. The cost of defending such a challenge, particularly in a foreign jurisdiction, and any resulting loss of patent protection could have a material adverse impact on one or more of our product candidates and our business. Enforcing our intellectual property rights against third parties may also cause such third parties to file other counterclaims against us, which could be costly to defend, particularly in a foreign jurisdiction, and could require us to pay substantial damages, cease the sale of certain products or enter into a license agreement and pay royalties, which may not be possible on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Any efforts to enforce our intellectual property rights are also likely to be costly and may divert the efforts of our scientific and management personnel.

Litigation or other proceedings or third-party claims of intellectual property infringement could require us to spend significant time and money and could prevent us from developing or selling our products.

Our commercial success will depend in part on not infringing the patents or violating the other proprietary rights of others. Significant litigation regarding patent rights occurs in our industry. Because the intellectual property landscape in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is rapidly evolving and interdisciplinary, it is difficult to conclusively assess our freedom to operate without infringing on third party rights. Our competitors in both the United States and abroad, many of which have substantially greater resources and have made substantial investments in patent portfolios and competing technologies, may have applied for or obtained or may in the future apply for and obtain, patents that will prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with our ability to make, use and sell our products. We do not always conduct independent reviews of patents issued to third parties. In addition, patent applications in the United States and elsewhere can be pending for many years before issuance, or unintentionally abandoned patents or applications can be revived, so there may be applications of others now pending or recently revived patents of which we are unaware. These applications may later result in issued patents, or the revival of previously abandoned patents, that will prevent, limit or otherwise interfere with our ability to make, use or sell our products.

There is a substantial amount of litigation involving patent and other intellectual property rights in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries generally. Third parties may, in the future, assert claims that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization, including claims from competitors or from non-practicing entities that have no relevant product revenue and against whom our own patent portfolio may have no deterrent effect. As we continue to commercialize our products in their current or updated forms, launch new products and enter new markets, we expect competitors may claim that one or more of our products infringe their intellectual property rights as part of business strategies designed to impede our successful commercialization and entry into new markets. The large number of patents, the rapid rate of new patent applications and issuances, the complexities of the technology involved, and the uncertainty of litigation may increase the risk of business resources and management’s attention being diverted to patent litigation. We have, and we may in the future, receive letters or other threats or claims from third parties inviting us to take licenses under, or alleging that we infringe, their patents.

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Moreover, we may become party to future adversarial proceedings regarding our patent portfolio or the patents of third parties. Such proceedings could include supplemental examination or contested post-grant proceedings such as review, reexamination, inter parties review, interference or derivation proceedings before the USPTO and challenges in U.S. District Court. Because of a lower evidentiary standard in USPTO proceedings compared to the evidentiary standard in United States federal courts necessary to invalidate a patent claim, a third party could potentially provide evidence in a USPTO proceeding sufficient for the USPTO to hold a claim invalid even though the same evidence would be insufficient to invalidate the claim if first presented in a district court action. Accordingly, a third party may attempt to use the USPTO procedures to invalidate our patent claims that would not have been invalidated if first challenged by the third party as a defendant in a district court action. Also, our patents may be subjected to opposition, post-grant review or comparable proceedings lodged in various foreign, both national and regional, patent offices.

The legal threshold for initiating litigation or contested proceedings may be low, so that even lawsuits or proceedings with a low probability of success might be initiated. Litigation and contested proceedings can also be expensive and time-consuming, and our adversaries in these proceedings may have the ability to dedicate substantially greater resources to prosecuting these legal actions than we can. In addition, any uncertainties resulting from the initiation and continuation of any litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to continue our operations or could otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and prospects. We may also occasionally use these proceedings to challenge the patent rights of others. We cannot be certain that any particular challenge will be successful in limiting or eliminating the challenged patent rights of the third party.

Any lawsuits resulting from such allegations could subject us to significant liability for damages and invalidate our proprietary rights. Any potential intellectual property litigation also could force us to do one or more of the following:

stop making, selling or using products or technologies that allegedly infringe the asserted intellectual property;
lose the opportunity to license our technology to others or to collect royalty payments based upon successful protection and assertion of our intellectual property rights against others;
incur significant legal expenses;
pay substantial damages or royalties to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be infringing;
pay the attorney’s fees and costs of litigation to the party whose intellectual property rights we may be found to be infringing;
redesign those products that contain the allegedly infringing intellectual property, which could be costly, disruptive and infeasible; and
attempt to obtain a license to the relevant intellectual property from third parties, which may not be available on reasonable terms or at all, or from third parties who may attempt to license rights that they do not have.

Any litigation or claim against us, even those without merit, may cause us to incur substantial costs, and could place a significant strain on our financial resources, divert the attention of management from our core business and harm our reputation.

If we are found to infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, we could be required to pay substantial damages, which may be increased up to three times of awarded damages, and/or substantial royalties and could be prevented from selling our products unless we obtain a license or are able to redesign our products to avoid infringement. Any such license may not be available on reasonable terms, if at all, and there can be no assurance that we would be able to redesign our products in a way that would not infringe the intellectual property rights of others. We could encounter delays in product introductions while we attempt to develop alternative methods or products. Ifc we fail to obtain any required licenses or make any necessary changes to our products or technologies, we may have to withdraw existing products from the market or may be unable to commercialize one or more of our products.

Further, competitors or third parties may infringe or otherwise violate our intellectual property. To counter infringement or other violations, we may be required to file claims, which can be expensive and time consuming. Any such claims could provoke these parties to assert counterclaims against us, including claims alleging that we infringe their patents or other intellectual property rights. In addition, in a patent infringement proceeding, a court may decide that one or more of the patents we assert is invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, construe the patent’s claims narrowly or refuse to prevent the other party from using the technology at issue on the grounds that our patents do not cover the technology. Similarly, if we assert trademark infringement claims, a court may determine that the marks we have asserted are invalid or unenforceable or that the party against whom we have asserted trademark infringement has superior rights to the marks in question. In such a case, we could ultimately be forced to cease use of such marks. In any intellectual property litigation, even if we are successful, any award of monetary damages or other remedy we receive may not be commercially valuable. If a defendant were to prevail on a legal assertion of invalidity and/or unenforceability, we would

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lose at least part, and perhaps all, of the patent protection on such product candidate. In addition, if the breadth or strength of protection provided by our patents and patent applications or those of our future licensors is threatened, it could dissuade other companies from collaborating with us to license, develop or commercialize current or future product candidates. Such a loss of patent protection would have a material adverse impact on our business.