sdgr-10k_20191231.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR

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

Commission File Number 001-39206

 

Schrödinger, Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

95-4284541

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

120 West 45th Street, 17th Floor

New York, NY

10036

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (212) 295-5800

 

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading

Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

SDGR

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

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

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES  NO 

Indicate by check mark if the Registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  YES  NO 

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, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, 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 is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  YES  NO 

The Registrant did not have a public float on the last business day of its most recently completed second fiscal quarter because there was no public market for the Registrant’s common equity as of such date.  

As of March 12, 2020, there was 50,101,169 shares of common stock and 13,164,193 shares of limited common stock outstanding.

 

 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

 

4

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

 

63

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

 

115

Item 2.

Properties

 

115

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

 

115

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

 

115

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases
of Equity Securities

 

116

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

 

119

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

121

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

 

147

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

147

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

148

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

 

148

Item 9B.

Other Information

 

149

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

150

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

 

156

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder
Matters

 

177

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

180

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

 

187

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

 

189

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

 

193

 

 

 

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CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K, or this Annual Report, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this Annual Report, including statements regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” or the negative of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words.

The forward-looking statements in this Annual Report include, among other things, statements about:

 

 

the potential advantages of our physics-based computational platform;

 

 

our strategic plans to accelerate the growth of our software business;

 

 

our research and development efforts for our internal drug discovery programs and our computational platform;

 

 

the initiation, timing, progress, and results of our internal drug discovery programs or the drug discovery programs of our collaborators;

 

 

our plans to discover and develop product candidates and to maximize their commercial potential by advancing such product candidates ourselves or in collaboration with others;

 

 

our plans to leverage the synergies between our businesses;

 

 

the timing of, the ability to submit applications for and the ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for any product candidates we or one of our collaborators may develop;

 

 

our drug discovery collaborations and our estimates or expectations regarding any milestone or other payments we may receive from such collaborations;

 

 

our expectations regarding our ability to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements with our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities;

 

 

the potential advantages of our drug discovery programs;

 

 

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our software solutions;

 

 

the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of our products;

 

 

our estimates regarding the potential market opportunity for our software solutions and any product candidate we or any of our collaborators may in the future develop;

 

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our marketing capabilities and strategy;

 

 

our intellectual property position;

 

 

our ability to identify technologies with significant commercial potential that are consistent with our commercial objectives;

 

 

our expectations related to the use of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities;

 

 

our expectations related to the key drivers of our performance;

 

 

the impact of government laws and regulations;

 

 

our competitive position and expectations regarding developments and projections relating to our competitors and any competing products, technologies, or therapies that are or become available;

 

 

our ability to maintain and establish collaborations or obtain additional funding;

 

 

our reliance on key personnel and our ability to identify, recruit, and retain skilled personnel; and

 

 

our expectations regarding the time during which we will be an emerging growth company under the Jumpstart our Business Startup Acts of 2012.

We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions, or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions, and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. We have included important factors in the cautionary statements included in this Annual Report, particularly in  “Item 1A. Risk Factors”, that we believe could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that we make. Moreover, we operate in a competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report. Our forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any future acquisitions, mergers, dispositions, collaborations, joint ventures, or investments we may make or enter into.

You should read this Annual Report and the documents that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. The forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report are made as of the date of this Annual Report, and we do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

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

This Annual Report includes statistical and other industry and market data that we obtained from industry publications and research, surveys, and studies conducted by third parties as well as our own estimates of potential market opportunities. All of the market data used in this Annual Report involves a number of assumptions and limitations, and you are cautioned not to give undue weight to such data. Industry publications and third-party research, surveys, and studies generally indicate that their information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, although they do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information. Our estimates of the potential market opportunities for our product candidates include several key assumptions based on our industry knowledge, industry publications, third-party research, and other surveys, which may be based on a small sample size and may fail to accurately reflect market opportunities. While we believe that our internal assumptions are reasonable, no independent source has verified such assumptions.

Unless the context otherwise requires, we use the terms “company,” “we,” “us” and “our” in this Annual Report to refer to Schrödinger, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.

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PART I

Item 1. Business. 

Overview

We are transforming the way therapeutics and materials are discovered.

Our differentiated, physics-based software platform enables discovery of high-quality, novel molecules for drug development and materials applications more rapidly, at lower cost, and with, we believe, a higher likelihood of success compared to traditional methods. Our software is used by biopharmaceutical and industrial companies, academic institutions, and government laboratories around the world, and we are the leading provider of computational software solutions for drug discovery. We also apply our computational platform to a broad pipeline of drug discovery programs in collaboration with biopharmaceutical companies, some of which we co-founded. In addition, we are using our platform to advance a pipeline of internal, wholly-owned drug discovery programs.

Traditional drug discovery and development efforts have become increasingly complex, lengthy, capital-intensive, and are prone to high failure rates. Traditional drug discovery relies upon many rounds of costly and time-consuming manual molecule design, chemical synthesis, and experimental testing. One of the primary reasons for long timelines, high costs, and high failure rates in drug discovery is that predicting properties of molecules in advance of chemical synthesis is extremely complex and not amenable to traditional approaches.

Over the past 30 years and with the concerted efforts of hundreds of our scientists and software engineers, we have developed a physics-based computational platform that is capable of predicting critical properties of molecules with a high degree of accuracy. This key capability enables drug discovery teams to design and selectively synthesize molecules with more optimal properties, reducing the average time and costs required to identify a development candidate and increasing the probability that a drug discovery program will enter clinical development. Furthermore, we believe that development candidates with more optimized property profiles will have a higher probability of success in clinical development. Additionally, since the physics underlying the properties of drug molecules and materials is the same, we have been able to extend our computational platform to materials science applications in fields such as aerospace, energy, semiconductors, and electronic displays.

We offer our customers a variety of software solutions that accelerate all stages of molecule discovery, design, and optimization. In 2019, all of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, measured by 2018 revenue, licensed our solutions, accounting for $23.9 million, or 28%, of our total 2019 revenue. The widespread adoption of our software, supported by our global team of sales, technical, and scientific personnel, has driven steady growth in our software revenue. Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly adopting our software at a larger scale, and we anticipate this scaling-up will drive future revenue growth. Our ability to expand within our customer base is best demonstrated by the increasing number of our customers with an annual contract value, or ACV, in excess of $100,000. We had 103, 122, and 131 such customers, which represented 75%, 77%, and 78% of our total ACV, for the years ended December 31, 2017,

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2018, and 2019, respectively. In addition, our customer retention rate for our customers with an ACV over $100,000 for the year ended December 31, 2019 and for each of the previous six fiscal years was 96% or higher. We believe the growth in the number of our customers demonstrates that companies are increasingly recognizing the power and efficiency of our platform while the retention in this group is indicative of the continued value of our platform. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Factors Affecting Our Performance” for additional information regarding ACV and customer retention rate.

We also leverage our platform and capabilities across a portfolio of collaborative and wholly-owned drug discovery programs spanning a wide range of disease targets and indications. Our drug discovery group is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of over 70 experts in protein science, biochemistry, biophysics, medicinal and computational chemistry, and discovery scientists with expertise in preclinical and early clinical development. During the year ended December 31, 2019, we collaborated on more than 25 drug discovery programs with more than ten different biopharmaceutical companies, including a number of companies we co-founded. These collaborations generate drug discovery revenue, including research funding payments, and discovery and development milestones, and have the potential to produce additional milestone payments, option fees, and future royalties. Furthermore, since mid-2018, we have launched five internal, wholly-owned programs. We are leveraging our computational platform with the goal of rapidly advancing the discovery of best-in-class and first-in-class therapies. Our current programs are focused on discovering and developing inhibitors for targets in DNA damage response pathways and genetically defined cancers. In the future we expect to expand into other therapeutic areas. We plan to begin to initiate investigational new drug, or IND, -enabling studies for our programs by the first half of 2021. While our revenue-generating collaborations are an important component of our business, our strategy is to pursue an increasing number of wholly-owned programs and strategically evaluate on a program-by-program basis entering into clinical development ourselves or out-licensing programs to maximize commercial opportunities.

We generated revenue of $66.6 million and $85.5 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of 28%. Our net loss was $28.4 million and $25.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019, respectively. 

Strategy

Our mission is to improve human health and quality of life by transforming the way therapeutics and materials are discovered. Our physics-based approach and differentiated software solutions enable the discovery of novel molecules for drug development and materials applications more rapidly, at lower cost, and with, we believe, a higher likelihood of success compared to traditional methods. We license our software to biopharmaceutical and industrial companies, government laboratories, and academic institutions globally. We are also using our software and internal capabilities across a diverse portfolio of drug discovery programs.

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Our strategies for fulfilling our mission are as follows:

 

Advance the science that underlies our computational platform: We have emerged as the leader in the field of physics-based computational drug discovery, and we believe our computational platform is far ahead of that of our nearest competitors. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 400 employees, roughly half of whom have Ph.D. degrees. We intend to maintain our industry-leading position by introducing new capabilities and refining our software to further strengthen our technology and advance the science underlying our platform.

 

Accelerate growth of our software business: We have experienced steady growth in our software revenues, achieving $66.7 million in revenue in 2019, primarily driven by broad adoption of our software solutions by the biopharmaceutical industry and the expansion of our materials science business.

 

Life science software business: In 2019, all of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, measured by 2018 revenue, licensed our solutions, accounting for $23.9 million, or 28%, of our 2019 revenue, and these companies have been our customers for an average of 15 years. However, we estimate that even our very largest customers are currently purchasing only enough software to optimally enable one or two drug discovery projects, which typically represents a small fraction of their drug discovery projects. Our ability to expand within our customer base is best demonstrated by the increasing number of our customers with an ACV of over $100,000. We had 103, 122, and 131 such customers for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. In addition, we had nine, 11, and 10 customers for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively, with an ACV of over $1.0 million. We intend to leverage our existing relationships with our customers to drive larger-scale adoption of our solutions. Further, we believe there remains a large opportunity for growth as there are thousands of biopharmaceutical companies that could benefit from our solutions.

 

Materials science software business: Beyond drug discovery, our solutions can be leveraged for broad application to address industrial challenges in molecule design, including in the fields of aerospace, energy, semiconductors and electronic displays. We intend to continue growing this business through increased brand awareness and a build-out of industry-specific functionality.

 

Accelerate growth of our drug discovery business: We also apply our computational platform across a diversified portfolio of more than 30 drug discovery programs through collaborations with companies we have co-founded, with biopharmaceutical companies, and through our own internal efforts on wholly-owned programs. Our collaborations generate revenues through research funding, pre-clinical and clinical milestones as well as the potential for option fees, commercial milestones, and future royalties. We also benefit from equity positions in our co-founded companies. Our drug discovery group comprises over 70 scientists, including biologists, medicinal chemists, biochemists, crystallographers, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics scientists, and pharmacologists.

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We are actively working with our collaborators to discover novel therapies. We also intend to add new collaborations that offer scientific synergies and favorable economic terms.

 

We plan to progress our existing wholly-owned programs and continue to add new programs that leverage our computational platform. As we progress these programs, we will strategically evaluate on a program-by-program basis entering into clinical development ourselves or out-licensing programs to maximize commercial opportunities.

 

Leverage the synergies between our businesses: We believe that there are significant synergies within our business. We leverage the feedback that we receive from our software customers, collaborators, and internal drug discovery experts to improve the functionality of our platform, which we believe supports increased customer adoption of our solutions and more rapid advancement of our collaborative and wholly-owned drug discovery programs. In addition, the success of our collaborators in advancing drug discovery programs provides significant validation of our platform and approach, which we believe increases the attractiveness of our platform to customers, helps us establish new collaborations, and validates the potential of our own internal drug discovery programs.

 

 

Central to our ability to pursue these distinct lines of business is a firewall policy consisting of a set of well-established protocols and technology measures designed to ensure that the intellectual property of our software customers and drug discovery collaborators remains confidential and segregated.

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Industry Overview

Traditional drug discovery and development efforts have become increasingly complex, lengthy, capital-intensive, and are prone to high failure rates. Traditional drug discovery involves experimental screening of existing libraries of molecules to find molecules with detectable activity, or “hit molecules,” followed by many rounds of chemical synthesis to attempt to optimize those hit molecules to a development candidate that can be advanced into clinical development. Efforts to optimize initial hit molecules for a drug discovery project involve costly and iterative synthesis and testing of molecules seeking to identify a molecule with the required property profile. The optimal profile has the acceptable balance of properties such as potency, selectivity, solubility, bioavailability, half-life, permeability, drug-drug interaction potential, synthesizability, and toxicity. These properties are often inversely correlated, meaning that optimizing one property often de-optimizes others. The challenge of optimizing hit molecules is amplified by the limited number of molecules that can be feasibly tested across these properties with traditional methods. As a result, this optimization process often fails to yield a molecule with a satisfactory property profile to be a development candidate, which is why many drug discovery programs fail to advance into clinical development.

The traditional approach to drug discovery takes too long, is too prone to failure, and is too costly. Successfully reaching an IND application filing requires on average five to six years, and the average success rates suggest two out of three projects will fail. Accounting for such failures, the average cost to complete a successful IND filing is $35 million.

A typical drug discovery project only has the budget and time to synthesize and assay fewer than 10,000 molecules, because the cost and timelines associated with interrogating a greater number of molecules is impractical. This small sampling of molecules represents a minuscule fraction of the total number of molecules that could potentially be synthesized. Exploring such a limited number of molecules reduces the likelihood of identifying molecules with the desired property profile, which we believe leads to development candidates with higher failure rates.

Being able to predict molecular properties before initiating costly and time-consuming experimental synthesis would accelerate drug discovery, reduce costs, and increase the probability of success. If it were possible to accurately predict critical properties of molecules, fewer molecules would have to be experimentally synthesized and tested. As a result, larger pools of molecules could be analyzed allowing for more selective synthesis of molecules, leading to higher-quality molecules. In addition, with predictive computational methods, better selections of molecules would be synthesized through exploration of larger portions of chemical space, leading to higher-quality molecules that would in turn have a higher probability of progressing through clinical development and obtaining regulatory approval for commercial sale.

There have been many attempts to improve the efficiency of the drug discovery process by using computational methods to predict properties of molecules. One of the primary computational methods that many companies have attempted to deploy is machine learning, often referred to as artificial intelligence, or AI. One of the main benefits of machine learning is its ability to rapidly process data at scale. However, machine learning on its own has significant limitations and has therefore had a limited impact on improving the efficiency of the drug

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discovery process. Machine learning requires input data, referred to as a training set, to build a predictive model. This model is expected to accurately predict properties of molecules similar to the training set, but cannot extrapolate to molecules that are not similar to the training set. Accordingly, since the number of possible molecules that could be synthesized is effectively infinite, machine learning can only cover a minuscule fraction of the total number of molecules that could potentially be synthesized.

The other primary computational method that has been attempted involves using fundamental, “first-principles” physics-based methods, which require a deep and thorough understanding of the specific property to be computed. However, physics-based methods are difficult to develop and can be slow compared to machine learning. Further, to apply such methods to design molecules that will bind with high affinity to a particular protein target, the three-dimensional structure of that protein must be generated with sufficient atomic detail to enable application of these physics-based approaches, which is referred to as being “structurally enabled,” and such structures have been historically difficult to obtain. Another factor preventing computational chemistry from realizing its promise has been limited compute speed. However, despite all of these challenges, physics-based methods have a significant advantage over machine learning in that they do not require a training set and can, in principle, compute properties for any molecule.

Our Platform

Over the past 30 years and with the concerted effort of hundreds of our scientists and software engineers, we have developed a computational platform that is capable of predicting critical properties of molecules with a high degree of accuracy. We have built our platform on a foundation of rigorous, physics-based methods, combined with the rapid data processing and scaling advantages of machine learning, that together provide a significant advantage over traditional methods. We believe that physics-based simulation is at a strategic inflection point as a result of the increased availability of massive computing power, combined with a more sophisticated understanding of models and algorithms and the growing availability of high-resolution protein structures.

We have demonstrated that our software platform can have a transformative impact on the drug discovery process by:

 

reducing the average time and cost required to identify a development candidate; and

 

increasing the probability of drug discovery programs entering clinical development.

Based on our collaborative drug discovery efforts to date, we believe that the development candidates discovered using our platform have a higher probability of successfully progressing through clinical development than the industry average.

As shown below, we achieve these outcomes by tightly integrating our predictive physics-based methods, which have a high degree of accuracy, with machine learning, which is highly scalable. In addition, our platform enables real-time collaboration on drug discovery projects to inform decision-making and fully benefit from the predictive capabilities of our computational platform.

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Our computational platform provides the following significant technological advantages over traditional approaches to drug discovery, all of which enable shortening timelines, decreasing costs, and increasing the probability of success of drug discovery efforts:

 

Speed. Our platform is able to evaluate molecules in hours rather than the weeks that it typically takes to synthesize and assay molecules in the laboratory.

 

Scale. Our platform can explicitly evaluate billions of molecules per week, whereas traditionally operated discovery projects only synthesize approximately one thousand molecules per year, thereby increasing the probability that we find a novel molecule with the desired property profile.

 

Quality. In a peer-reviewed study, our platform was tested against traditional methods for selecting tight-binding molecules and resulted in an eight-fold increase in the number of molecules with the desired affinity.

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The figure below compares the optimization process of drug discovery using traditional methods and our approach.

 

 

Our computational platform includes a broad array of proprietary capabilities:

 

Faster Lead Discovery: the ability to rapidly identify potent molecules suitable to initiate hit-to-lead and lead optimization efforts via solutions for virtual screening of extremely large libraries of molecules, as well as physics-based replacement of the central core of a molecule, known as scaffold hopping, to identify novel, highly potent molecules unavailable in library collections;

 

Accurate Property Prediction: the ability to assess key properties of drug-like molecules using physics-based calculations with accuracy comparable to that of experimental laboratory assays, to facilitate optimization of drug properties, including drug potency, selectivity, and bioavailability;

 

Large-Scale Molecule Exploration: the ability to computationally ideate and explore novel, high-quality drug-like molecules for consideration by discovery project teams utilizing computational enumeration and generative machine learning techniques that are trained and constructed to yield molecules that are synthetically feasible;

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Large-Scale Molecule Evaluation: the ability to scale our calculations of key drug properties to ultra-large idea sets of over a billion molecules to enable more rapid and successful identification of high-quality drug candidate molecules via integration of next-generation machine-learning methods with our physics-based techniques, as well as large-scale utilization of internal and cloud computing resources; and

 

Integrated Data Management and Visualization: the ability to generate, access, and analyze the data derived from complex calculations integrated with assay data through a powerful and user-friendly graphical interface.

Recognition of our scientific advances has come through customer adoption, and in citations of publications in peer reviewed journals. For example, the initial paper describing our ligand-protein docking program, Glide, published in 2004 is currently the most cited paper in the history of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a premier journal in its field. Glide continues to be broadly used as a hit-finding technology throughout the biopharmaceutical industry by our customers. We have made many similar scientific advances in fields including druggability assessment, affinity calculation, protein structure refinement, and molecule ideation and design. These advances were achieved by our team of hundreds of Ph.D.-level scientists and software engineers with extensive input from our Scientific Advisory Board, or SAB, which includes thought leaders in computational chemistry, physics-based simulations, statistical mechanics, and machine learning.

Also critically important to the advances we have made are the performance gains offered by using graphical processing unit, or GPU, computing and the cloud. Our platform is capable of running on all major cloud providers and taking advantage of their combined compute power. Combining the dramatic effects of GPU and cloud computing with our integrated physics-based and machine learning technologies enables shortening timelines, decreasing costs, and increasing the probability of success of drug discovery efforts.

Our computational platform is also applicable to new problems of interest and new fields of study. Since the underlying physics that drives a biologic to bind to its target is no different than the physics that drives a small drug molecule to bind to a protein, we have been able to successfully apply these technologies to the discovery of biologics. Similarly, the physics underlying the properties of materials is no different than the physics underlying the properties of drug molecules. Therefore, we have successfully applied our computational platform to materials science applications, including in the fields of aerospace, energy, semiconductors, and electronic displays.

Software Business

Overview

We are transforming drug discovery and materials design by driving widespread adoption of our computational platform by biopharmaceutical and industrial companies, academic institutions, and government laboratories globally.

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We are the leading provider of computational software solutions for drug discovery to the biopharmaceutical industry. In 2019, all of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, measured by 2018 revenue, licensed our solutions, accounting for $23.9 million, or 28%, of our total 2019 revenue. Additionally, in 2019, our software was used by researchers around the world at more than 1,350 academic institutions. The widespread adoption of our software is supported by an approximately 130-person global team of sales, technical, and scientific personnel. Our direct sales operations span across the United States, Europe, Japan and India, and we have sales distributors in other important markets, including China and South Korea.

We have a diverse and large existing customer base, ranging from startup biotechnology companies to the largest global pharmaceutical companies as well as an increasing number of materials science customers. Our ten largest software customers represented approximately 28% of our software revenue in 2019, and no single software customer represented more than 5% of our software revenue. We continue to expand our customer base as we promote the education and recognition of the potential of our computational platform across industries. As of December 31, 2019, we had 1,266 active customers, which we define as the number of customers who had an ACV of at least $1,000 in a given fiscal year, and the figure below shows the growth in the number of our active customers since 2013.

 

 

 

We believe there is significant opportunity to expand the adoption of our platform within our growing customer base. Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly adopting our software at a larger scale, and we anticipate that this scaling-up will drive future revenue growth. Our ability to expand within our customer base is best demonstrated by the increasing number of our customers with an ACV over $100,000. We had 103, 122, and 131 of such customers for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. In addition, for the year ended December 31, 2019, we had 10 customers with ACV of $1.0 million or more. We believe biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly recognizing and applying the power and efficiency of our platform.

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Furthermore, we believe our sales and marketing approach and the quality of our software solutions help us cultivate longstanding relationships and reoccurring sales. This is demonstrated by the length of our key relationships, with the average tenure of our 10 largest customers in 2019 being over 17 years. Furthermore, our ability to expand our customer relationships over time is exemplified by our ability to retain our customers with an ACV over $100,000. For the year ended December 31, 2019 and for each of the previous six fiscal years, our year-over-year customer retention rate for our customers with an ACV over $100,000 was 96% or higher. We believe the continued expansion of our customer base coupled with our ability to expand our customers’ use of our software will continue to drive revenue growth. The figure below shows the different ways in which we are accelerating our growth.

 

 

See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Key Factors Affecting Our Performance” for additional information regarding ACV and customer retention rate.

Our Software Solutions for Drug Discovery

We offer our customers a variety of software solutions that accelerate all stages of molecule discovery, design, and optimization pursuant to agreements with terms typically for one year. Our licenses give our customers the ability to execute a certain number of calculations across specified software solutions. Certain of our key software solutions are highlighted below, along with the particular stage of drug discovery in which they are employed:

 

 

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Target Identification and Validation: the identification and evaluation of a protein target that might be worthwhile to pursue as the subject of a drug discovery campaign.

 

WaterMap characterizes the locations and energetics of water molecules occupying the binding site of, or solvating, a target protein. From this analysis, one can infer the druggability of a protein, as well as uncover opportunities to significantly increase binding affinity by exploiting the water structure in the binding site.

 

SiteMap allows binding site identification and evaluation to help locate potential protein binding sites, including allosteric sites, and predict the approximate druggability of those sites.

 

Hit Discovery: the identification of hit molecules.

 

FEP+ is our free energy calculation software. In hit discovery, this software can be used to replace the central core of earlier known tight binding molecules to identify novel, highly potent molecules unavailable in library collections. Often these molecules have much higher binding affinity and have a better property profile than typical hit molecules.

 

Glide is our virtual screening program that is used to screen libraries of molecules to find hit molecules likely to bind a particular protein target in a specific conformation.

 

WScore is our next-generation virtual screening program that utilizes a more accurate and robust description of protein-ligand interaction solvation effects. This and other novel features enable WScore to more reliably find hit molecules for challenging protein targets when screening libraries of molecules.

 

Shape uses the three-dimensional structure and shape of earlier known hit molecules to find new hits when screening libraries of molecules.

 

AutoQSAR/DeepChem uses modern machine-learning methods trained to earlier known hit molecules to find novel hits when screening libraries of molecules.

 

Induced fit docking, or IFD, can computationally predict the binding mode of molecules to a binding site of a protein, including predicting how the conformation of the protein binding site may reorganize upon binding the molecule.

 

Hit to Lead and Lead Optimization: Hit to lead is the stage at which small molecule hits are evaluated and undergo limited optimization to identify promising lead molecules. Lead optimization improves on the property profile of lead molecules by designing new analogs with improved potency, reduced off-target activities, and favorable physicochemical/metabolic properties.

 

FEP+ is our free energy calculation software. In the hit to lead and lead optimization phases of drug discovery, FEP+ is used to predict the binding affinity of ligands to proteins with accuracy approaching that of physical experiments. It allows precise rank-ordering of large libraries of virtual molecules so that only the most potent molecules are synthesized in a program, which can save time and reduce cost. FEP+ can also be used to calculate the binding selectivity, solubility, and

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mutational resistance profiles of molecules, which are key properties for the optimization of bioavailability, toxicology, and efficacy.

 

AutoQSAR/DeepChem uses modern machine-learning methods to produce predictive quantitative structure-activity relationship, or QSAR, models. This allows more accurate methods, such as FEP+, to be applied at a much greater scale but with less accuracy to much larger sets of molecules than would otherwise be possible and enables predictive QSAR models of other properties to be developed and deployed on drug discovery projects.

 

PathFinder is an enumeration tool that enables the rapid exploration of synthetically tractable ligands. When PathFinder is deployed in conjunction with multiparameter optimization, machine learning, and FEP+ simulations, it provides a streamlined approach to create and evaluate large sets of synthetically tractable, lead-like, potent ligands.

 

Software Solutions Used Throughout the Drug Discovery Process:

 

LiveDesign is our user-friendly enterprise informatics solution that enables interactive and collaborative molecule design, aggregation and sharing of data, and end-to-end discovery project coordination between chemists, modelers, and biologists.

 

Maestro is our user-friendly modeling environment, which allows expert modelers to utilize our advanced modeling solutions.

Our Software Solutions for Materials Science

We also sell software licenses to customers engaged in molecule design for industrial purposes. The software solutions for our materials science customers leverage much of the same technology as our software for biopharmaceutical companies. In addition, similar to traditional drug discovery efforts, traditional approaches to discovering new molecules in these fields also suffer from long timelines, and it can take as long as 10 to 20 years to bring new materials to the market. We are focused on leveraging our technology to transform the way new materials are discovered, and we believe that materials science companies are only beginning to recognize the potential of computational methods. We are continuing to build a team of subject matter experts to further drive adoption of our computational platform in each of the following areas in which we currently operate:

 

mobile electronics and displays—organic electronics (OLED);

 

aerospace and defense—polymers, composites;

 

microelectronics—semiconductors, thin film processing;

 

oil and gas—catalysis, reactivity;

 

energy—alternative energy, batteries; and

 

consumer packaged goods—soft matter, formulations.

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Drug Discovery Business

Overview

We are using our computational platform in both collaborative and wholly-owned drug discovery programs. Traditional drug discovery and development efforts have become increasingly complex, lengthy, capital-intensive, and are prone to high failure rates. Decreasing returns on investments in drug research and development have created a significant opportunity for us to leverage our computational platform to design and discover new medicines. In drug discovery stages, our platform can reduce the time and cost required to identify a development candidate with a more optimized property profile as compared to traditional methods. We believe that these candidates with more optimized property profiles will have a higher probability of success in clinical development.

The figure below illustrates the advantages in time, cost, and molecule quality of our computational drug design approach over traditional drug discovery approaches.

 

 

Our Drug Discovery Expertise

Our drug discovery group is comprised of a team of over 70 experts in protein science, biochemistry, biophysics, medicinal and computational chemistry, and discovery scientists with expertise in preclinical and early clinical development. Many of our scientists have decades of biopharmaceutical industry experience across multiple disciplines and areas of expertise and deploy our computational platform across an array of disease targets and indications. Our differentiated, physics-based platform empowers our integrated team of experts to design better molecules, in shorter timeframes, and at a lower cost than traditional drug design.

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Our Drug Discovery Collaborations

Over the last decade, leveraging our platform and expertise, we have steadily grown our portfolio of collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies that have provided us with significant income and have the potential to produce additional milestone payments, option fees, and future royalties. These programs pursue design of clinical candidates across a wide range of therapeutic target protein classes and indications. Many of these programs are pursuing novel molecules for targets where a low-dose small molecule inhibitor or activator with optimal drug-like properties has been difficult to achieve or where selectivity for the target of interest has been difficult to achieve relative to other proteins. We have steadily grown our pipeline of collaborations by selectively entering into drug discovery collaborations with high potential from a large number of opportunities. Among the key factors that we use to select collaborators are whether the targets are well-validated, have high therapeutic potential, and are amenable to the strengths of our computational platform, and whether or not the collaborator brings complementary capabilities, all of which we believe contribute to an increased probability of success.

Our collaboration with Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC, or Nimbus, which we co-founded in 2009, is an example of the strength of our collaboration strategy and the power of our computational platform. Based on structural insights related to a novel allosteric binding site and our computational assays, Nimbus, in collaboration with us, was able to identify a unique series of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, or ACC, allosteric protein-protein interaction inhibitors with favorable pharmaceutical properties that inhibit the activity of the ACC enzyme. Nimbus achieved proof of concept in a Phase 1b clinical trial of its ACC inhibitor, firsocostat. In 2016, Nimbus sold the program to Gilead Sciences, Inc., or Gilead, in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion, comprised of an upfront payment and earnouts. Of this amount, $601.3 million has been paid to Nimbus to date, and we received a total of $46.0 million in cash distributions in 2016 and 2017. We are eligible to receive up to $46 million in future cash distributions on the remaining approximately $600 million of earn outs, if and when such earn outs are achieved. However, the likelihood and timing of such payments, if any, are not possible for us to predict as the achievement of the development and regulatory milestones under the transaction agreement is uncertain and outside of our control. In December 2019, Gilead announced topline results from its Phase 2 clinical trial which included firsocostat, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other investigational therapies, in which the primary endpoint was not met. Gilead announced that it was continuing to analyze the data from the trial and determine next steps. We do not know how this development will affect Nimbus’ right to receive earnout payments from Gilead or our right to receive cash distributions from Nimbus.

Morphic Holding, Inc., or Morphic, was founded in 2014 and leverages our computational platform, together with unique insights into the structure and function of integrins discovered by Professor Timothy A. Springer, to develop novel therapeutics. Based on unique structure-function insights, Morphic, in collaboration with us, was able to design an oral inhibitor of the alpha 4 beta 7 integrin, which is an established target for autoimmune diseases. The currently approved therapeutic for this target is a monoclonal antibody that is approved for intravenous administration. Morphic became a publicly-traded company in June 2019. According to Morphic’s public filings, its alpha 4 beta 7 inhibitor small molecules exhibited high potency and

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selectivity for alpha 4 beta 7, oral absorption, and pharmacokinetic properties in preclinical studies. In addition, according to Morphic’s public filings, it has been able to establish preclinical pharmacological proof of concept, including observed effects on T-cell trafficking similar to a comparator alpha 4 beta 7 antibody with its alpha 4 beta 7 inhibitor small molecules. Based on these disclosed preclinical results and its on-going IND-enabling studies, Morphic has stated that it expects to file an IND for its alpha 4 beta 7 program in the middle of 2020 and then advance the program into clinical development for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. Morphic has also disclosed that it is progressing a partnered alpha v beta 6 program toward clinical development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF. The most advanced product candidate in this program is MORF-720, a selective oral first-in-class alpha v beta 6-specific integrin inhibitor. In preclinical models of IPF, Morphic reported that it observed that administration of its alpha v beta 6 inhibitor was associated with local inhibition of TGF-beta, a clinically prominent pro-fibrotic cytokine. Morphic has stated that it expects to file an IND for its partnered alpha v beta 6 program in the second half of 2020. 

Furthermore, our collaboration with Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. that leveraged our computational platform resulted in two U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, approved therapies, Tibsovo (vosidenib) for the treatment of adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who have an isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 (IDH1) mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test, and IDHIFA (enasidenib), which is being marketed by Agios’ collaborator, Celgene Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and is indicated for certain adult patients with relapsed refractory AML who have an isocitrate dehydrogenase-2 (IDH2) mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test. We do not have any financial interest, such as the right to receive royalties or other payments, with respect to either of these approved therapies.

Through access to the maximum potential scale of our computational platform and our drug discovery and software development teams, our collaborators receive the following key benefits:

 

Immediate utilization of our platform: Ability to immediately and efficiently leverage the full benefits of our computational platform, without the need for training or ramp-up time, thereby enabling accelerated drug discovery.

 

Access to massive compute power: Ability to run our computational software on one of the largest GPU clusters dedicated to drug design in the industry, thereby avoiding the time and cost needed to build this infrastructure on their own.

 

Early access to cutting-edge functionality: Real-time access to emerging solutions as they are being developed.

 

Target exclusivity: Under our collaboration agreements, we agree to design drugs for a particular protein target or targets using our computational platform and knowhow exclusively for the collaborator.

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Collaboration Agreements

We have entered into a number of collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies under which our collaborators are pursuing research in a number of therapeutics areas, including without limitation, various programs in oncology, antifungal diseases, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic disease, autoimmune disease, immune-oncology, cardiopulmonary disease and tuberculosis. Our current collaborators include Ajax Therapeutics, Inc., Bright Angel Therapeutics Inc., Faxian Therapeutics, LLC, Morphic Holding, Inc., Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC, Ono Pharmaceuticals Co., LTD., Petra Pharma Corp., Sanofi S.A., ShouTi Inc., Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Ltd., TB Alliance and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited, or Takeda. With the exception of Takeda, where we retain all intellectual property rights until Takeda exercises its option to acquire a program, all of the programs being pursued under these collaborations are fully owned and controlled by each respective collaborator. Our opportunity to receive potential revenues from any of these programs is generally limited to research funding payments, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, option fees to license projects and royalties on commercial sales, if any. We are not responsible for advancing their preclinical or clinical development or their commercialization, if approved.

Equity Stakes. We have received equity consideration in certain of our collaborators, and from time to time, we have also made additional equity investments in certain of these collaborators. As noted above, all of these programs are fully owned and controlled by each respective collaborator, with the exception of Faxian, which is a 50/50 joint venture. The following table presents our equity stakes in our collaborators that are greater than 1.0% on an issued and outstanding basis as of December 31, 2019:

 

Company

 

Ownership %

 

Ajax Therapeutics, Inc.

 

8.7%

 

Bright Angel Therapeutics Inc.

 

33.3%

 

Faxian Therapeutics, LLC (JV)

 

50.0%

 

Morphic Holding, Inc. (1)

 

2.7%

 

Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC (2)

 

7.4%

 

Petra Pharma Corp.

 

5.5%

 

ShouTi Inc.

 

8.7%

 

 

(1)

Based on the number of shares of common stock outstanding as of February 27, 2020, as reported on Morphic’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the SEC on February 27, 2020.

(2)

On a fully diluted unit basis.

Financial Rights. In addition to our equity stakes in certain of our collaborators, we also have rights to various payments on a collaborator-by-collaborator agreement basis including research funding payments, discovery, development, and commercial milestones, potential option fees to license projects, and potential royalties in the single-digit range. Under certain of our collaboration agreements, we are also eligible to receive a percentage of our collaborators’ sublicense revenue.

The figures below show the number of collaborative programs we have worked on in each given year, as well as the amount of revenue we have generated from our collaborations through

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the combination of research funding payments, discovery and development milestones, and other fees for the periods presented.

 

Most of our collaborative programs are currently still in the discovery stages. Generally, the size of the payments we are eligible to receive from a collaborative program increases as the program advances. As a result of the broader validation of our platform, we intend to pursue an increasing number of wholly-owned programs, and we will continue evaluating new collaborative programs that fit our selection criteria and where the collaborator’s particular expertise has the potential to create substantial value. Importantly, our current collaboration agreements typically also contemplate additional program targets being added, allowing our collaborators to potentially increase the number of programs under our current collaboration agreements.

However, because these collaborations are not under our control, we cannot predict whether or when we might achieve any event-based increases in research funding payments, milestone payments, royalty or other payments under these collaborations or estimate the full amount of such payments, and we may never receive any such payments. For a further discussion of the risks we face with respect to receipt of any of these payments, please refer to “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Drug Discovery—We may never realize return on our investment of resources and cash in our drug discovery collaborations.”

How We Work with Our Collaborators. Generally, our existing collaboration agreements provide that we agree to design drugs for a particular target or targets using our computational platform and knowhow exclusively for the collaborator. The collaborator retains the intellectual property related to any molecules developed under the collaboration. Generally, our collaborators are not contractually required to provide us with, nor do we expect generally to receive, access to nonpublic information regarding key developments related to the advancement of these collaboration programs, such as clinical trial results, including safety and efficacy data, regulatory communications, or commercialization plans and strategies. To the extent we do receive such information, our collaboration agreements generally require us to maintain the confidentiality of information we receive under the collaboration.

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As our collaboration strategy has evolved, we are seeking to take more direct control and responsibility for all aspects of a drug discovery project and own a higher percentage of the value generated in the completed programs. For example, under our collaboration with Takeda, after mutual agreement on the target(s) of interest, our drug discovery group conducts all drug discovery research and pharmacology activities through the development candidate stage. Takeda has the option to acquire the program at either the lead optimization stage or development candidate stage and to develop and commercialize product candidate(s) from the program. Importantly, under the collaboration with Takeda, we control the drug discovery process and retain all intellectual property rights to any product candidates that are discovered under the program until Takeda exercises its option to acquire the program. The collaboration with Takeda anticipates drug discovery research on up to six targets. Three programs have been initiated to date in schizophrenia, oncology, and neurodegenerative disease with multiple milestone payments achieved. Two of these programs continue to advance while the program in schizophrenia is no longer an active collaboration and all rights to this program will continue to be retained by us.

The program in neurodegenerative disease is focused on the discovery of a best-in-class compound toward a protein involved in neuronal degeneration. As shown in the figures below, our lead molecule showed inhibition of the protein’s activity at 100-fold lower concentrations in biochemical and cell based assays and ex vivo in a preclinical neuronal injury protection assay when compared to a published benchmark molecule.

 

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Our Internal, Wholly-Owned Drug Discovery Programs

Since mid-2018, we have launched a total of five internal, wholly-owned programs. We expect to begin to initiate IND-enabling studies in our programs by the first half of 2021, first in oncology and then potentially in other areas. Our strategy is to pursue an increasing number of wholly-owned programs and strategically evaluate on a program-by-program basis entering into clinical development ourselves or out-licensing programs to maximize commercial opportunities.

Our Pipeline

We are leveraging our computational platform with the aim of rapidly advancing the discovery of best-in-class and first-in-class therapeutics. Our first cohort of internal programs is focused on discovering and developing inhibitors for targets in DNA damage response pathways and genetically defined cancers. The following is a summary of our internal, wholly-owned drug discovery programs:

 

 

Our Approach to Target Selection

Our selection of targets is based on an extensive analysis of human targets and drug discovery programs. We analyze targets using automated methods at scale. The key steps we take in prioritizing programs involve:

 

Structural and modeling enablement. We use our computational platform to analyze protein structure quality as well as druggability of binding sites across thousands of target proteins in parallel. For a subset of high-quality structures of interest, we confirm amenability to our computational platform.

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Evaluation of therapeutic potential. Our selection of targets is strongly influenced by the level of validation of the target, including analysis of human genetics and prior clinical data.

 

Identification of unsolved design challenges. We determine whether there are property profile challenges that could be solved by the application of our computational platform and provide a clinically meaningful differentiated, best-in-class or first-in-class product opportunity.

 

Assessment of potential value of pathways and mechanisms. We evaluate industry and commercial interest as well as the clinical utility with the aim of prioritizing programs with high commercial and therapeutic potential.

Using this comprehensive analysis, we have identified a large number of protein targets that we believe are amenable to our technology. We continue to evaluate a number of additional targets using this analysis methodology.

DNA Damage and Replication Stress Response Programs

Our first two drug discovery programs are focused on targets that mediate DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, replication stress responses, and apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Numerous structurally-enabled targets exist within cellular machinery that mediate these functions, including the targets of our programs, cell division cycle 7-related protein kinase, or CDC7, and Wee1 protein kinase. We made the decision to focus on these targets following third-party clinical success of other DNA damage response and cell cycle checkpoint inhibitors, such as poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, or PARP, inhibitors and CDK4/6 kinase inhibitors.

Healthy cells are programmed to respond to DNA damage through various pathways. The cell cycle is managed and regulated by several checkpoint kinases. For example, during the “S phase” of the cycle, checkpoint activation arrests the cell cycle and allows the cell sufficient time to repair damaged DNA before the initiation of cell division. This process prevents the propagation of cells with aberrant DNA.

Rapid cell division driven by cancer-causing genes known as oncogenes and mutations in tumor suppressor genes fuels cancer cell growth. The ability of cancer cells to sense and repair damaged DNA is impaired making them more susceptible to DNA damage and dependent on fewer repair pathways.

In order to achieve successful cell division, cancer cells depend on certain checkpoint kinases to repair DNA damage. This includes checkpoint kinases usually active during the S phase. Inhibition of these kinases leaves cancer cells vulnerable to failed DNA damage repair and high levels of replication stress, failure of cell division, and cell death. Combining the inhibition of multiple DNA damage response mechanisms has the potential to heighten the damage sustained by cancer cells and lead to durable efficacy.

The figure below illustrates the impact of checkpoint inhibition on cancer cells.

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SDGR1 Program—CDC7 Kinase Inhibitors

We are developing tight-binding, selective, novel small molecule inhibitors of CDC7 for the treatment of advanced solid tumors, including esophageal and lung cancers and potentially brain metastases. CDC7 is a serine/threonine protein kinase that has been shown to be a required step in DNA replication initiation. CDC7 levels are high in certain adenocarcinomas, and CDC7 is thought to be linked to these cancer cells’ proliferative capacity and ability to bypass normal DNA damage responses.

CDC7 phosphorylates and activates the enzymes responsible for DNA replication initiation. Disruption of CDC7 activity in cancer cells leads to delayed DNA replication, cell cycle abnormalities, and cell death.

The antiproliferative potential of CDC7 inhibition was validated by a third party in Phase 1 clinical trials of a CDC7 inhibitor in which responses were observed in patients, including those with bladder and pancreatic cancer. Prior to this positive result, existing CDC7 inhibitors were not sufficiently tight-binding, lacked selectivity, and demonstrated poor pharmacokinetic properties.

In order to maximize the number of cancer cells in cell cycle arrest, very tight-binding inhibitors are required to achieve durable clinical impact as monotherapy or in the context of clinical combinations. Using our computational platform, we have identified multiple tight-binding, selective, and novel CDC7 inhibitor series. We have progressed this program from conception to optimized lead molecules in approximately ten months.

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As shown in the figure below, our early molecules demonstrated inhibition of a downstream biomarker of CDC7, intratumoral phosphorylated MCM2, or pMCM2, that was used as an endpoint in recent third party clinical trials of a CDC7 inhibitor. Furthermore, one series of our molecules displayed high levels of brain penetration in preclinical assays, which may provide an opportunity for the treatment of brain metastases in solid tumor patients. Combination of our early molecules and the Wee1 inhibitor AZD1775 (adavosertib), which is undergoing clinical trial testing in cancer patients, showed additive anti-proliferative effect in Colo205 cells, or human colon adenocarcinoma cells. Combination of another of our molecules and olaparib, an FDA-approved PARP inhibitor marketed as LYNPARZA by AstraZeneca, also showed additive anti-proliferative effects in H460 cells, or human non-small-cell lung cancer cells. Additive effects were also shown in combination with ceralasertib, an ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related, or ATR, inhibitor in Colo205 cells.

 

 

SDGR2 Program—Wee1 Kinase Inhibitors

Wee1 is a gatekeeper checkpoint kinase that prevents cellular progression through the cell cycle allowing time for DNA repair before cell division takes place. We are therefore developing tight-binding, selective Wee1 inhibitors with optimized physicochemical properties that we believe will be well suited for combinations with other DNA damage response therapies such as PARP and ATR inhibitors for the treatment of ovarian, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancers.

Wee1 acts as a negative regulator of entry into mitosis at the G2/M transition by protecting the nucleus from CDC2, an important activator that triggers cell division. Wee1 is one of the two mechanisms known by which the G2 checkpoint is initiated in response to DNA damage. Blockade at the G2 checkpoint is especially important, as some tumors rely on DNA repair at the G2 checkpoint. Thus, inhibition of Wee1 can trigger massive DNA breakage and apoptosis in tumor cells.

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A Wee1 inhibitor currently being investigated in Phase 2 clinical trials by a third party has shown clinically meaningful tumor regression with partial responses and stable disease in ovarian cancer and small cell lung carcinoma, and is being studied in combinations with chemotherapy, PARP inhibitors, and immunotherapy.

A prior third party Wee1 inhibitor that has advanced to clinical trials may have off-target effects resulting from inhibition of polo-like kinase 1, or PLK1, and inactivation of a liver enzyme, CYP3A4, which is responsible for elimination of drug and drug metabolites from the body, making dosing and combinations more challenging. We believe our computational platform can be used to identify tight-binding molecules with optimized drug-like properties that exhibit neither of these liabilities.

We have identified Wee1 inhibitor lead molecules that are tight-binding and 100-fold more selective for Wee1 versus PLK1, and have exhibited a favorable property profile, including no observable inactivation of CYP3A4. We were able to achieve these outcomes within the first six months of project work. As of October 30, 2019 only 192 molecules have been synthesized from a pool of over 1 billion computationally evaluated molecule design ideas.

We are also pursuing in vitro Wee1 and PARP inhibitor combination studies to prepare for proof of concept studies in patient-derived tumor mouse models. In addition, we have demonstrated that combining CDC7 and Wee1 inhibitors leads to additive anti-proliferative effects in cancer cell models, which we believe may have implications for future clinical combination trials. We believe that our selective Wee1 inhibitors, with an optimized CYP3A4 profile, are well positioned for combination therapy.

Genetically-Defined Cancers

Our next three drug discovery programs are focused on genetically-defined cancers. Alterations in the DNA sequence of a cancer cell genome, including mutations, genomic amplification, and rearrangements are responsible for the initiation and progression of most cancers.

SDGR3 Program—MALT1 Inhibitors

We are developing novel MALT1 inhibitors for the treatment of patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia who are resistant to or have relapsed on Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, or BTK, inhibitors, a currently-approved therapy for lymphoma patients. Constant activation of nuclear factor-kappa B, or NF-κB, a key signaling molecule in B cells, is a hallmark of several subtypes of lymphoma. MALT1 is a protein that is downstream of BTK in the NF-κB signaling pathway and when rearranged, drives lymphoma cell growth.

The anti-proliferative effect of covalent BTK inhibitors, such as ibrutinib and acalabrutinib, provides clinical and commercial proof-of-concept that inhibiting NF-κB signaling can be effective for the treatment of B-cell malignancies with elevated B-cell receptors signaling, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia, mantle cell lymphoma and marginal zone lymphoma. However, a common active site mutation in patients following long-term BTK inhibitor treatment prevents covalent binding of ibrutinib and acalabrutinib to BTK leading to loss of efficacy.

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Activated B-cell, or ABC, a subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, or ABC DLBCL, is the most common type of aggressive non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma. ABC DLBCL is associated with a number of mutations that trigger a constitutively active NF-kB signaling pathway, which often is mediated by increased MALT1 protease activity. Among these mutations is a gain of function mutation or amplification of MALT1, which has also been identified in ABC DLBCL patients.

We have used our computational platform to rapidly identify novel, tight-binding MALT1 small-molecule allosteric inhibitors with drug-like properties. Furthermore, we have been able to demonstrate that our MALT1 inhibitors show additive effects when combined with BTK inhibitors in ABC DLBCL lymphoma cell lines. We achieved these outcomes in less than four months from project initiation.

In OCI-LY3 cells, which are resistant to BTK inhibitors, our current MALT1 inhibitors showed dose responsive anti-proliferative effects compared to ibrutinib, strongly suggesting the potential of our inhibitors to benefit patients with acquired resistance due to long term BTK inhibitor treatment.

Our MALT1 inhibitors demonstrated in vivo target engagement with decreased tumor B-cell lymphoma 10 (BCL 10) cleavage in a mouse model bearing OCI-LY10 cell derived tumors after oral daily dosing. Further, additive anti-proliferative effects were observed when combining our inhibitors with ibrutinib and acalabrutinib in preclinical studies of OCI-LY10 cells, which are responsive to BTK inhibitors. Additional combination studies were conducted with a next generation BTK inhibitor, ARQ-531, a third-party investigational reversible non-covalent inhibitor of BTK that inhibits wild type and ibrutinib-resistant BTK-C481S mutants. Our MALT1 inhibitors showed additive effects when combined with ARQ-531 in preclinical studies. This supports the potential for our MALT1 inhibitors to be combined with BTK inhibitors to treat patients with B-cell malignancies who no longer respond to existing BTK inhibitors.

 

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SDGR4 Program—HIF-2 alpha Inhibitor

We are developing a HIF-2 alpha inhibitor for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma as monotherapy or in combination with immunotherapy agents, PD-1 or PDL-1 antibodies, and potentially other indications, such as pulmonary hypertension. HIF-2 alpha, also known as EPAS1, is one of several master regulators of intratumoral hypoxia and control hypoxia-mediated pathological processes in tumors, including angiogenesis, pH homeostasis, cell migration/invasion, stem cell pluripotency, immune evasion, and therapy resistance. The work elucidating the underlying biology of this mechanism was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

In third-party studies, clinical proof of concept was recently demonstrated for the role of HIF-2 alpha inhibition in patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma, or CCRCC, caused by a germline mutation in the Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene. We have used our computational platform to design molecules that are predicted to be tight-binding, highly selective, orally bioavailable inhibitors of the HIF-2 alpha interaction with aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator, or ARNT. We plan to continue advancing these molecules through preclinical testing. Prolonged treatment of CCRCC patients with a HIF-2 alpha inhibitor resulted in resistance through a mutation (G323E) identified in approximately 20% of patients in a third-party Phase 1 clinical trial sub-study, consistent with observations from pre-clinical models. In designing our molecules, we are modeling the impact of this and other potential resistance mutations.

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SDGR5 Program—SOS1/KRAS Inhibitor

We are developing a SOS1/KRAS protein-protein interaction inhibitor for the treatment of KRAS-driven cancers. SOS1, or Son of sevenless-1, is involved in the activation and regulation of KRAS. Oncogenic mutant KRAS stimulates the growth of some of the most intractable tumors, such as lung, pancreatic, and colon cancer. Strategies to disrupt the persistently active Ras pathway have focused on targeting Cys12 of the oncogenic mutant KRAS G12C with covalent inhibitors. Disruption of the SOS1/KRAS interaction has emerged as an alternative approach based on third party preclinical data. Our initial efforts suggest that we can leverage our computational platform to identify a novel development candidate for this target to capitalize on this first-in-class opportunity.

Future Programs

We have identified a large number of protein targets that we believe are amenable to our computational platform, which creates a large and growing inventory of targets that we can potentially advance into discovery programs. Our drug discovery group also intends to pursue targets with strong biological validation and therapeutic potential that currently lack protein structures of sufficient quality to permit the use of our computational platform for drug discovery. We are actively pursuing strategic alliances with collaborators that have the ability to generate high-quality protein structures for these targets, which will enable us to initiate discovery efforts.

Genomic instability of malignant cells leads to genetic mutations that can drive resistance to kinase inhibitors, creating the need for second and third generation drugs targeting the same disease. Our computational platform has been shown to be capable of predicting the impact that mutations in the kinase domain have on drug binding, potency, and drug sensitivity. Use of our platform to assess and evaluate the impact of clinical mutations on drug potency can be a powerful tool for drug discovery. We believe that deploying our platform at scale with access to genomic profiling data for patients puts us in a strong position to predict the impact of active-site resistance mutations with clinically relevant accuracy to optimize the design of molecules that are robust against common resistant mutations.

Technical Details of Our Key Technologies

Calculation of key drug properties using physics-based methods

Over the past 30 years and with the concerted effort of hundreds of our scientists and software engineers, we have developed a physics-based computational platform that is capable of predicting the binding affinity of a drug molecule with a high degree of accuracy. The binding affinity of a drug molecule to a target protein is the key driving force of its in vivo efficacy. Specifically, when a drug binds to a target protein, the affinity with which it binds directly affects the extent to which it will modulate the function of the protein. Therefore, the ability to predict the binding affinity of a drug molecule to a target protein with a high degree of accuracy can significantly accelerate discovery of new efficacious medicines.

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Accurately calculating the binding affinity of a drug molecule to a protein is enormously complex and requires a full characterization of all the physical contributions to the binding. These contributions include the deformation and/or rigidification of the small molecule into the bound conformation (ΔG(1) in the figure below) and the rigidification of the protein in the bound conformation (ΔG(2)), the removal of waters surrounding the molecule (ΔG(3)) and the removal of waters within the protein binding site (ΔG(4)), and finally the interactions achieved between the molecule and protein when binding to form the protein-molecule complex (ΔG(5)).

 

 

We have developed a solution to consistently assess all of these contributions to binding with a high degree of accuracy, building on a method called “free energy perturbation.” Free energy perturbation perturbs, or transforms, an initial molecule into another molecule of interest and evaluates how that transformation changes binding affinity to a particular protein target. Our solution for conducting these calculations is called FEP+. FEP+ is enabled by the following differentiated constituent technologies:

 

classical molecular mechanics force field with broad coverage of drug-like molecules with a high degree of accuracy;

 

an automated workflow allowing for force field coverage to be extended on the fly utilizing our accurate quantum mechanics software;

 

computationally efficient molecular dynamics engine that runs on GPUs;

 

efficient, enhanced sampling methods that allow the calculation to be converged with reduced simulation times;

 

automated atom-mapping and interaction-mapping assignment; and

 

ability to scale these calculations to leverage large cloud computing environments.

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All of these constituent technologies are necessary to achieve the accuracy, scalability and applicability of our free energy perturbation implementation.

In a recent peer-reviewed study including approximately 3,000 molecules across approximately 90 distinct projects, FEP+ exhibited an error profile that indicates its affinity predictions approach the accuracy of running a laboratory experiment. FEP+ is also able to perform these computations more rapidly than experimental assays. Computational assessment of a molecule utilizing FEP+ requires approximately 24 hours of computation on a GPU or only a few hours on a computer that contains eight GPUs. In comparison, it often takes weeks to synthesize a drug-like molecule and assay its binding affinity for the target of interest in a laboratory. As a result, our FEP+ solution can be used to explore very large numbers of molecules to identify drug candidates much more rapidly than would be possible solely using experimental approaches.

In a peer-reviewed article published in collaboration with a large biopharmaceutical company, the ability of FEP+ to prioritize molecules for synthesis expected to bind more tightly than an initial hit was compared with several other industry-standard approaches. We found that FEP+ succeeded in prioritizing the synthesis of molecules with improved binding affinity with eight times greater success than any other technique tested. This evidence supports the essential role that FEP+ can play in advancing drug discovery programs.

Enumeration of extremely large libraries of molecules

We have developed methods to enumerate extremely large libraries of molecules with our PathFinder software solution, thereby allowing our software customers, our drug discovery collaborators, and our internal drug discovery team to explore a much larger portion of chemical space than is possible through manual design. The chemical enumeration technology we have developed incorporates over a hundred known chemical reactions that can, in a fully automated fashion, computationally explore billions of alterations of a molecule of interest.

Scaling accurate physics-based calculations to extremely large libraries of molecules

Although FEP+ calculations have been shown to be accurate, it is not possible to apply these calculations to billions of molecules given the current availability of computing resources. To address this problem, we developed an approach that leverages the accuracy of FEP+, but allows for exploration of billions of molecules in a reasonable amount of time by leveraging machine learning. We have succeeded in integrating our physics-based molecule scoring with highly computationally efficient modern machine-learning methods. This combined approach allows us to apply our physics-based calculations to much larger sets of molecules than would otherwise be computationally tractable. This allows us to both increase the speed and likelihood of identifying clinically viable molecules.

Advances in deep learning, a type of machine learning, in the past several years have required very large data sets as input to train the model. In a drug discovery program, the experimental data is typically sparse and expensive to procure, which is particularly problematic given that relevant drug-like chemical space is effectively infinitely large, estimated to be 10^60

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molecules. For this reason, we believe that it would be extremely difficult to realize competitive advantage in a drug discovery program by using a platform exclusively based on machine learning or deep learning. Instead, we have developed an approach to integrate physics-based and machine-learning based scoring methodologies that allows the machine learning model to interactively prioritize additional molecules for physics-based analyses, known as active learning. Active learning retains the computational efficiency of machine learning while also taking advantage of the accuracy of the physics-based method. One can evaluate the utility of any particular prediction method with regard to both its accuracy and its computational efficiency. Modern machine learning methods, such as deep learning, do provide a small improvement over conventional machine learning methods. However, for much of its history, conventional molecular simulations were much less computationally efficient than machine learning but not that much more accurate.

In developing FEP+, we were able to resolve deficiencies in early attempts to develop physics-based methods. FEP+ calculations are much more accurate than either conventional machine learning or modern machine learning when scoring molecules structurally distinct from the training set data. In addition, by integrating FEP+ with our machine learning implementation, which we refer to as AutoQSAR / DeepChem, we developed a solution that we refer to as Active Learning FEP+. Active Learning FEP+ combines the accuracy of free energy calculations with the speed of machine learning calculations and can be used to explore up to billions of molecules within a few days. By further combining this functionality with our ability to enumerate large sets of molecules provided by PathFinder and our ability to build and manage complex workflows utilizing cloud resources, we are able to deploy these capabilities at scale to advance projects.

Active Learning FEP+ is depicted in the figure below.

 

 

FEP+ is used to build a local model for a large library of molecules instead of relying on experimental data to provide the training set for the machine learning model. That machine learning model is then used to filter the large library of molecules down to a number that is small enough to be able to prioritize with FEP+. The result is that it takes only a few days to prioritize one billion molecules rather than one million days.

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Rapid identification of novel active hit molecules suitable to initiate hit-to-lead and lead optimization efforts

Several hit-finding technologies we have developed are routinely used to identify active hit molecules to initiate small molecule drug discovery programs. In our hit-finding campaigns, we and our software customers typically utilize:

 

modern machine learning models trained to the two-dimensional structures of known active molecules using our software solution, AutoQSAR/DeepChem;

 

shape-based methods trained to the known or computationally deduced three-dimensional bioactive conformations of known active molecules using our software solution, Shape;

 

structure-based docking methods that evaluate the number and kind of interactions possible utilizing a static atomistic representation of the experimentally determined three-dimensional structure of the target protein receptor using our software solutions, Glide and WScore; and

 

free energy calculations using our software solution FEP+, which provides a fully dynamic atomistic representation of the target protein receptor.

These four approaches are complementary to each other, and their integrated use has led to successful hit-finding campaigns for dozens of protein targets in our collaborative and wholly-owned drug discovery programs. There are also numerous reports in the literature and in patents of our software customers utilizing some combination of these approaches to identify hit molecules.

AutoQSAR/DeepChem is trained to find known active molecules in a search through a molecule library and operates solely on the two-dimensional structure of the molecule. From this training process, AutoQSAR/DeepChem learns to identify substructures in the molecules that may lead to activity. Then when applied to large libraries of molecules, these methods can identify molecules with measurable activity against the target protein. These methods are highly efficient and can be used to screen one billion molecules in less than one day on a few hundred CPUs. However, one significant limitation is that machine learning methods cannot extrapolate into chemical space that differs from the training set and therefore, this method tends to identify molecules similar to already known molecules.

Shape is used to identify molecules with a similar shape to known active molecules. It has been shown that molecules with similar three-dimensional shapes can have similar activities. While the hit rates and computational efficiencies of Shape and AutoQSAR/DeepChem are generally comparable, the hit molecules returned by these techniques tend to be distinct and complementary rather than redundant. This allows results from Shape to augment the AutoQSAR/DeepChem results while still being efficient for screening a large library.

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Glide and WScore use knowledge of three-dimensional structure of the binding site of the protein of interest, rather than the structure of active molecules, to evaluate the likelihood of a small molecule to bind a protein target. Glide and WScore evaluate molecules based on the number and kind of contacts made between the molecule and protein. These methods are much more computationally expensive than AutoQSAR/DeepChem or Shape, often requiring seconds to minutes of CPU computing time per molecule. However, they can be more readily applied to targets for which there is little or no earlier reported active molecules.

The fourth computational method we routinely use to identify hit molecules to initiate drug discovery programs is the FEP+ solution described above. When used in this context, FEP+ can be used to completely replace the core moiety of an earlier known molecule to yield a novel molecule with similar binding potency. This approach is much more computationally intensive than previous methods, often ~24 GPU hours per molecules, but is also much more accurate. Utilizing this approach on multiple programs, we have been able to identify novel nanomolar or picomolar inhibitors in the first few months of project chemistry that have property profiles typical of molecules only observed in the later hit-to-lead phases of drug discovery.

Computational analysis of the energetic properties of water molecules occupying molecule binding sites in proteins

Subtle structural variations in molecules can have a profound impact on binding affinity to the protein target. The effects of these structural variations can be explained by a detailed examination of the thermodynamics of binding, including the free energy changes resulting from displacing water molecules in the binding site. Our computational software solution WaterMap maps the locations and energetic properties of water molecules that occupy protein binding sites, provides insight into the properties of the binding site, and quantitatively describes the water-mediated forces driving the binding of small molecules. Further, such an analysis can be used to assess the propensity of drug-like molecules to bind to the protein target with high affinity. WaterMap presents the computed results graphically for easy visualization of the water molecules occupying a binding site and their energetic properties. This makes interpretation of binding affinity data more intuitive and provides insights to possible design routes to improve potency and selectivity.

Competition

The overall market for molecular discovery and design software is global, rapidly evolving, competitive, and subject to changing technology and shifting customer focus. The solutions and applications offered by our competitors vary in size, breadth, and scope.

We believe the principal competitive factors in our market include, among other things, accuracy of computations, level of customer satisfaction and functionality, ease of use, breadth and depth of solution and application functionality, brand awareness and reputation, modern and adaptive technology platform, integration, security, scalability and reliability of applications, total cost, ability to innovate and respond to customer needs rapidly, and ability to integrate with legacy enterprise infrastructures and third-party applications.

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We believe that we compete favorably on the basis of these factors and that the effort and investment required to develop a computational, physics-based platform similar to ours will hinder new entrants that are unable to invest the necessary capital and time, and lack the breadth and depth of technical expertise required to develop competing technology. Our ability to remain competitive will largely depend on our ability to continue to improve our computational platform and demonstrate success in our drug discovery efforts.

Our software solutions face competition from commercial competitors in the business of selling simulation and modeling software to biopharmaceutical companies. These competitors include BIOVIA, a brand of Dassault Systèmes SE, or BIOVIA, Chemical Computing Group (US) Inc., Cresset Biomolecular Discovery Limited, OpenEye Scientific Software, Inc., Optibrium Limited, and Simulations Plus, Inc. We also have competitors in materials science, such as BIOVIA and Materials Design, Inc., and in enterprise software for the life sciences, such as BIOVIA, Certara USA, Inc., and Dotmatics, Inc. In some cases, these competitors are well-established providers of these solutions and have long-standing relationships with many of our current and potential customers, including large biopharmaceutical companies. In addition, there are academic consortia that develop physics-based simulation programs for life sciences and materials applications. In life sciences, the most prominent academic simulation packages include AMBER, CHARMm, GROMACS, GROMOS, OpenMM, and OpenFF. These packages are primarily maintained and developed by graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, often without the intent for commercialization. We also face competition from solutions that biopharmaceutical companies develop internally, smaller companies that offer products and services directed at more specific markets than we target, enabling these competitors to focus a greater proportion of their efforts and resources on these markets, as well as a large number of companies that have been founded with the goal of applying machine learning technologies to drug discovery.

The biopharmaceutical industry is characterized by rapidly advancing technologies, intense competition, and strong emphasis on proprietary products. While we believe that our computational platform, technology, knowledge, experience, and scientific resources provide us with competitive advantages, our drug discovery business faces potential competition from many sources, including major pharmaceutical, specialty biopharmaceutical companies, technology companies, academic institutions and government agencies, and public and private research institutions. Any product candidates that we or one of our collaborators successfully develop and commercialize will compete with existing therapies and new therapies that may become available in the future.

License Agreements with Columbia University

We have entered into several license agreements with Columbia University, or the Columbia License Agreements. The Columbia License Agreements establish our rights and obligations with respect to certain patents, software code, technology, and improvements thereto that we license from Columbia University and that are used in, and integrated into, our software solutions, and our physics-based computational platform. Our rights and obligations under, and the terms and conditions of, the Columbia License Agreements that we consider material to the operation of our business are described more fully below.

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On November 1, 2008, we entered into an amendment, or the Royalty Amendment, to certain Columbia License Agreements, including each of the agreements described below. The Royalty Amendment simplified the royalties payable under each agreement on gross revenues generated from the use of any product which contains any code or software, or is covered by any patent, that we license from Columbia University, or a Licensed Product, in connection with a services agreement. We also pay royalties under the Columbia License Agreements on gross revenues generated from the sale, licensing or renting of our Licensed Products, which we calculate on a product-by-product basis. In the event that one or more Licensed Products are sold together with other products for a single aggregate license fee, we have agreed to pay to Columbia University the applicable royalty on the gross revenues attributable to each Licensed Product based on the relative list prices of each product covered by such license fee.

For a description of the royalties payable by us to Columbia University in connection with our services agreements, see “License Agreements with Columbia University—Services Royalty Amendment” below.

PS-GVB License Agreement

On May 5, 1994, we entered into a license agreement, or the 1994 Columbia Agreement, with Columbia University, which was amended on September 9, 2004 and November 1, 2008. The technology licensed under the 1994 Columbia Agreement is incorporated into our Jaguar quantum mechanical program, which we market and distribute as part of our physics-based computational platform. The 1994 Columbia Agreement grants us a worldwide, exclusive, license to the software code developed by Columbia University and incorporated into the electronic structure software program PS-GVB v1.0, or the PS-GVB Code, and all improvement to the PS-GVB v1.0 software program and PS-GVB Code developed by Columbia University, or the PS-GVB Improvements, including all PS-GVB Code and PS-GVB Improvements that are incorporated into any new products, new releases, and new versions related to the software, or the New PS-GVB Module Code, in each case, to reproduce, use, execute, copy, operate, sublicense, and distribute in connection with the marketing and sale of our products and services, to develop improvements thereto, and to conduct research and backup disaster recovery. We may only sublicense the PS-GVB Code, the PS-GVB Improvements, and the New PS-GVB Module Code, or the Licensed PS-GVB Software, to the extent they are incorporated into a product that is sold directly by us or that is distributed on our behalf. Under the 1994 Columbia Agreement, Columbia University retains the right to conduct, and to permit other academic and non-profit research institutions to conduct, research using the Licensed PS-GVB Software.

As consideration for entering into the 1994 Columbia Agreement, we have agreed to pay royalties to Columbia University in the low-single digit to low-double digit percentages based upon the contribution of Columbia University generated code to the applicable PS-GVB v1.0 software program on our, and our affiliates, gross revenues from the sale, licensing, or renting of the PS-GVB v1.0 software program, including any improvements and modifications thereto, regardless of whether such improvement or modification is marketed as a new version, new release, or new product, excluding any sales to Columbia University and any revenue generated under services agreements.

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The 1994 Columbia Agreement and the licenses granted thereunder may be terminated by us or Columbia University only upon the other party’s material breach of the agreement and such party’s failure to cure such breach. Upon termination, any third party that has licensed the Licensed PS-GVB Software from us will retain the right to use such software, and we will have the perpetual right to continue to provide support to any such third parties in connection with their use of such software.

Fast Multipole RESPA License Agreement

On July 15, 1998, we entered into a license agreement, or the 1998 Columbia Agreement, with Columbia University, which was amended on September 4, 2004, and November 1, 2008. The 1998 Columbia Agreement grants us a worldwide, non-exclusive, license to the Fast Multipole RESPA code developed at Columbia University, or the RESPA Code, which was incorporated into the IMPACT software program used in our Glide ligand-protein docking program, PrimeX protein modelling program, QSite QM/MM program, and Combglide automated library generation program, and all improvements to the IMPACT software program, including any new versions and new releases thereof, that are developed by Columbia University, or the IMPACT Improvements, in each case, to reproduce, use, execute, copy, compile, operate, sublicense, and distribute in connection with the marketing and sale of our products and services, to develop improvements thereto, and to conduct research and backup disaster recovery. We may sublicense the RESPA Code and the IMPACT Improvements, or the Licensed IMPACT Software, to the extent it is incorporated into a product that is sold directly by us or that is distributed on our behalf. Under the 1998 Columbia Agreement, Columbia University retains the right to conduct, and to permit other academic and non-profit research institutions to conduct, research using the Licensed IMPACT Software.

As consideration for entering into the 1998 Columbia Agreement, we have agreed to pay royalties to Columbia University in the low-single digit to low-double digit percentages based upon the contribution of Columbia University generated code to the applicable IMPACT software program on our, and our affiliates, gross revenues from the sale, licensing, or renting of the IMPACT software program, including any improvements and modifications thereto and any new versions and new releases thereof, excluding any sales to Columbia University and revenue generated under services agreements.

The 1998 Columbia Agreement and the licenses granted thereunder may be terminated by us or Columbia University only upon the other party’s material breach of the agreement and such party’s failure to cure such breach. Upon termination, any third party that has licensed software from us subject to the 1998 Columbia Agreement will retain the right to use such software, and we will have the perpetual right to continue to provide support to any such third parties in connection with their use of such software.

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Protein Folding License Agreement

In September 2001, we entered into a license agreement, or the 2001 Columbia Agreement, with Columbia University, which was amended on September 9, 2004 and November 1, 2008. The technology licensed under the 2001 Columbia Agreement is incorporated into our Prime protein modelling program, which we market and distribute as part of our physics-based computational platform. The 2001 Columbia Agreement grants us a worldwide, exclusive license to the protein folding code developed by Columbia University, or the Folding Code; all improvements to the Folding Code and to any of our products, software, or code that incorporates any part of the Folding Code, including any improvements thereto and new versions or new releases thereof, that are developed by Columbia University, or the Folding Code Improvements; and the issued patent covering the Folding Code, or the Folding Code Patent, in each case, to reproduce, use, execute, copy, compile, operate, sublicense, and distribute in connection with the marketing and sale of our products and services, to develop improvements thereto, and to conduct research and backup disaster recovery. We may sublicense the Folding Code, the Folding Code Improvements and the Folding Code Patent, or the Licensed Folding Code Software, to the extent it is incorporated into a product that is sold directly by us or that is distributed on our behalf. Under the 2001 Columbia Agreement, Columbia University retains the right to conduct, and to permit other academic and non-profit research institutions to conduct, research using the Licensed Folding Code Software.

As consideration for entering into the 2001 Columbia Agreement, we paid Columbia University a one-time, nominal license fee. In addition, we have paid royalties to Columbia University in low-single digit to low-double digit percentages based upon the contribution of Columbia University generated code to the applicable product, software program, or code on our, and our affiliates, gross revenues from the sale, licensing, or renting of any commercial product, software program, or code incorporating the Licensed Folding Code Software, excluding any sales to Columbia University and revenues generated under services agreements. Our obligation to pay any royalty under the 2001 Columbia Agreement, including any royalty paid pursuant to the Royalty Amendment, terminated with the expiration of the last to expire patent licensed under the 2001 Columbia Agreement in January 2014.

The 2001 Columbia Agreement and the licenses granted thereunder may be terminated by Columbia University only upon our material breach of the agreement and our failure to cure such breach. Upon termination, any third party that has licensed software from us subject to the 2001 Columbia Agreement will retain the right to use such software, and we will have the perpetual right to continue to provide support to any such third parties in connection with their use of such software.

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PLOP License Agreement

On June 19, 2003, we entered into a license agreement, or the 2003 Columbia Agreement, with Columbia University, which was amended on November 1, 2008. The technology licensed under the 2003 Columbia Agreement is incorporated into our Prime and PrimeX protein modelling programs and our Membrane Permeability model, which we market and distribute as part of our physics-based computational platform. The 2003 Columbia Agreement grants us a worldwide, exclusive license to the protein local optimization program software code, or the PLOP Code, developed at Columbia University and the University of California and all software code comprising improvements to the PLOP Code that are developed by Columbia University or the University of California, or the PLOP Improvements, in each case, to reproduce, use, execute, copy, compile, operate, sublicense, and distribute in connection with the marketing and sale of our products and services, to develop improvements thereto, and to conduct research and backup disaster recovery. Pursuant to an interinstitutional agreement between Columbia University and the University of California, the University of California granted Columbia University the sole right to license the PLOP Code and PLOP Improvements and has agreed not to license the PLOP Code or PLOP Improvements to any third party for as long as the interinstitutional agreement remains in effect. We may sublicense the PLOP Code and PLOP Improvements to the extent they are incorporated into a product that is sold directly by us or that is distributed on our behalf. We are restricted from distributing the PLOP Code and PLOP Improvements source code without the prior written consent of Columbia University.

Columbia University and the University of California retain the right to use, and to permit other academic and non-profit research institutions to use, the PLOP Code and PLOP Improvements for teaching and academic research purposes.

As consideration for entering into the 2003 Columbia Agreement, we paid Columbia University a one-time, nominal license fee. In addition, we have agreed to pay royalties to Columbia University in low-single digit to low-double digit percentages based upon the contribution of Columbia University generated code to the applicable product, software program, or code on our, and our affiliates, gross revenues from the sale, licensing, leasing, or renting any commercial product, software program, or code incorporating the PLOP Code or any PLOP Improvements, excluding any sales to Columbia University or the University of California and revenues generated under services agreements. Our obligation to pay any royalty under the 2003 Columbia Agreement, including any royalty paid pursuant to the Royalty Amendment, will terminate on June 19, 2023.

Columbia University is responsible for the copyright registration of the PLOP Code and PLOP Improvements. We are responsible for paying all reasonable copyright registration and attorney fees in connection with such copyright registrations.     

The 2003 Columbia Agreement and the licenses granted thereunder may be terminated by us or Columbia University only upon the other party’s material breach of the agreement and such party’s failure to cure such breach. Upon termination, any third party that has licensed software from us subject to the 2003 Columbia Agreement will retain the right to use such software, and we will have the perpetual right to continue to provide support to any such third parties in connection with their use of such software.

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Water Site Analysis License

On May 27, 2008, we entered into a software and patent license agreement, or the 2008 Columbia Agreement, with Columbia University, which was amended on November 1, 2008. The 2008 Columbia Agreement grants us a worldwide license, exclusive in the field of computational chemistry software and related services, to (a) certain software that implements the water site analysis method, or the Water Site Software; (b) all patent rights covering the Water Site Software, or the Water Site Patents; and (c) any products that incorporate or include the Water Site Software, or that is covered by the Water Site Patents, or the Water Site Products, in each case, to reproduce, modify, distribute, and perform and display in connection with the development, marketing, and sale of our products and services, to conduct research using the Water Site Software, and to conduct backup disaster recovery. Our Water Site Products include our WaterMap Core program, which we market and distribute as part of our physics-based computational platform. We are restricted from distributing the Water Site Software source code without the prior written consent of Columbia University. Under the 2008 Columbia Agreement, Columbia University retains the right to use, and to permit other entities and individuals to use, the Water Site Software and Water Site Patents for academic and non-commercial educational purposes in the field of computational chemistry software and related services.

As consideration for entering into the 2008 Columbia Agreement, we paid Columbia University a one-time, nominal license fee. In addition, we have agreed to pay royalties to Columbia University in low-double digit percentages on our, and our affiliates, gross revenues from the sale, licensing, leasing, or renting of any Water Site Product, excluding any sales to Columbia University and revenues generated under services agreement. The royalties under the 2008 Columbia Agreement are paid on a product-by-product basis and vary based on whether or not the gross revenues are generated in countries of manufacture or sale in which the Water Site Product is covered by a Water Site Patent. In the event that there are multiple royalties payable on a single product, we are required to (i) pay the higher of the two royalties, if there are no more than two royalties payable on the particular Water Site Product or (ii) negotiate in good faith with Columbia University on a single royalty, if there are more than two royalties payable on the particular Water Site Product. In the event that we take action against Columbia University with respect to the validity or enforceability of any Water Site Patents, excluding any defensive actions or claims, the royalties paid under the 2008 Columbia Agreement will increase by a specified amount. Our obligation to pay any royalty under the 2008 Columbia Agreement, including any royalty paid pursuant to the Royalty Amendment, will terminate on May 27, 2028.

Columbia University is responsible for the prosecution and maintenance of the Water Site Patents in the jurisdictions that we specify. If we decide to discontinue the prosecution or maintenance of any Water Site Patent in any jurisdiction, but Columbia University objects to such discontinuation, our license to use such Water Site Patent will terminate in that jurisdiction; provided that, if we are using the Water Site Patent or Water Site Software in the jurisdiction at issue, Columbia University is obligated to discuss in good faith whether the licenses should instead be non-exclusive. Columbia University is also responsible for the enforcement of the Water Site Patent at its own expense and in its sole judgment; provided that, if we provide Columbia University with evidence of infringement of a Water Site Patent by a third party, and Columbia University fails to take appropriate enforcement action, we may initiate legal proceedings against the alleged infringer. We are responsible for reimbursing Columbia University for their reasonable expenses in connection with prosecuting and maintaining the Water Site Patents.

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Unless terminated earlier, the 2008 Columbia Agreement will expire on a product by product and country by country basis upon the later of (i) the expiration of the last issued Water Site Patent, (ii) fifteen years from the date of the first commercial sale of a Water Site Product in a given country, and (iii) the expiration of the Water Site Software copyright. Columbia University may terminate the 2008 Columbia Agreement if we fail to cure a material breach, become subject to a voluntary or involuntary petition for bankruptcy or any other proceeding relating to insolvency, receivership or liquidation, or initiate any proceeding or assert any claim challenging the validity or enforceability of the Water Site Patents. Upon termination, any third party that has licensed a Water Site Product from us will retain the right to use such product, subject to the terms of their existing license agreement with us, and we will have the right to continue to provide support to any such third parties for the duration of their license agreement.

Services Royalty Amendment

On November 1, 2008, we entered into the Royalty Amendment with Columbia University, which amended and simplified our royalty obligations under each of the Columbia License Agreements described in each of the foregoing sections. Pursuant to the Royalty Amendment, we have agreed to pay royalties to Columbia University in mid-single digit percentages on the service fees generated from services (excluding certain gross revenue, including revenue generated under agreements with Columbia University) that we, or our affiliates, perform using one or more Licensed Products under an agreement with a third party. Upon termination of any of the Columbia License Agreements for any reason other than our material breach, we will have the right to continue to use the Licensed Products to provide services under existing third-party service agreements, until the expiration or termination of such agreements.

Intellectual Property

We strive to protect and enhance the proprietary technology, inventions, and improvements that are commercially important to the development of our business, including by seeking, maintaining, and defending patent rights, whether developed internally or jointly, or licensed from third parties. We also rely on trade secrets, know-how, continuing technological innovation, collaboration opportunities, and in-licensing opportunities to develop, strengthen, and maintain our proprietary position in our field.

It is important to our future commercial success to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection for commercially important technology, inventions, and know-how related to our business; defend and enforce our intellectual property rights, in particular our patent, trademark, and copyright rights; preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets; and operate without infringing, misappropriating, or violating the valid and enforceable patents and proprietary rights of third parties. Our ability to stop third parties from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing any products we develop may depend on the extent to which we have rights under valid and enforceable patents or trade secrets that cover these activities.

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The patent positions of companies like ours are generally uncertain and can involve complex legal, scientific, and factual issues. We cannot predict whether the patent applications we are currently pursuing will issue as patents in any particular jurisdiction or whether the claims of any issued patents will provide sufficient proprietary protection from competitors. We also cannot ensure that patents will issue with respect to any patent applications that we or our licensors may file in the future, nor can we ensure that any of our owned or licensed patents or future patents will be commercially useful in protecting our software, technology, computational platform, and any product candidates we develop. In addition, the coverage claimed in a patent application may be significantly reduced before a patent is issued, and its scope can be reinterpreted and even challenged after issuance. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any products we develop will be protected or remain protectable by enforceable patents. Moreover, any patents that we hold or may hold may be challenged, circumvented or invalidated by third parties. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property” for a more comprehensive description of risks related to our intellectual property.

Our strategy is to file patent applications directed to our key software and our key programs in an effort to secure our intellectual property positions vis-a-vis this software and these programs. The patent portfolio for our software business includes at least 13 published patent families. As of December 31, 2019, we owned or held exclusive license rights to approximately 60 patents and patent applications, including at least six issued or allowed U.S. cases, six pending U.S. non-provisional patent applications, nine issued or allowed non-U.S. cases, including three granted European patents which have been validated among multiple individual European Patent Convention nations and four non-European patents, six pending foreign patent applications, and three pending Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, applications relating to our computational platform. While we believe that the specific and generic claims contained in our wholly-owned and licensed pending U.S., non-U.S., and PCT applications provide protection for various aspects of our computational platform, third parties may nevertheless challenge such claims. Any patents that are issued or that may issue from these families are expected to expire between 2026 and 2038, absent any adjustments or extensions. As of December 31, 2019, there were no published patent families related to our internal drug discovery business, and although several of our drug discovery collaborators have filed patent applications related to our collaborations that include employees of ours as inventors, including over 100 compound patents and patent applications since 2010, we do not own any intellectual property rights related to these inventions. As of December 31, 2019, three wholly-owned provisional applications have been filed.

Prosecution is a lengthy process, during which the scope of the claims initially submitted for examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may be significantly narrowed before issuance, if issued at all. We expect this may be the case with respect to some of our pending patent applications.

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The term of individual patents depends upon the legal term of the patents in the countries in which they are obtained. In most countries in which we file, the patent term is 20 years from the earliest date of filing a non-provisional patent application, absent any adjustments or extensions.

In addition, in the United States, the term of a patent covering an FDA-approved drug may, in certain cases, be eligible for a patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 as compensation for the loss of patent term during the FDA regulatory review process. The period of extension may be up to five years, but cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the date of product approval. Only one patent among those eligible for an extension and only those claims covering the approved drug, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it may be extended. Similar provisions are available in Europe and in certain other jurisdictions to extend the term of a patent that covers an approved drug. It is possible that issued U.S. patents we may obtain in the future may be entitled to patent term extensions. If our use of product candidates or the product candidate itself receive FDA approval, we intend to apply for patent term extensions, if available, to extend the term of patents that cover the approved use or product candidate. We also intend to seek patent term extensions in any jurisdictions where available, however, there is no guarantee that the applicable authorities, including the FDA, will agree with our assessment of whether such extensions should be granted, and even if granted, the length of such extensions.

In addition to patent protection, as of December 31, 2019, we had approximately 40 copyright registrations covering our proprietary software code, and we rely upon unpatented trade secrets and confidential know-how and continuing technological innovation to develop and maintain our competitive position. However, trade secrets and confidential know-how are difficult to protect. We seek to protect our proprietary information, in part, using confidentiality agreements with any collaborators, scientific advisors, service providers, employees, and consultants and invention assignment agreements with our employees. We also have agreements requiring assignment of inventions with selected consultants, scientific advisors, and collaborators. These agreements may not provide meaningful protection. These agreements may also be breached, and we may not have an adequate remedy for any such breach. In addition, our trade secrets and/or confidential know-how may become known or be independently developed by a third party, or misused by any collaborator to whom we disclose such information. Despite any measures taken to protect our intellectual property, unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of our products or to obtain or use information that we regard as proprietary. Although we take steps to protect our proprietary information, third parties may independently develop the same or similar proprietary information or may otherwise gain access to our proprietary information. As a result, we may be unable to meaningfully protect our trade secrets and proprietary information. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property” for a more comprehensive description of risks related to our intellectual property.

We also own numerous trademarks registered in the United States and foreign jurisdictions, including “Schrödinger” and “LiveDesign”. We pursue additional trademark registrations to the extent we believe doing so would be beneficial to our competitive position.

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Sales and Marketing

Software Business

We commercialize our software solutions in various jurisdictions around the world through our software sales organization. We have sales operations in the United States, Europe, Japan, and India, and we also have established distribution channels in other important markets, including China and South Korea. These efforts are led by our approximately 130 person global team of sales, technical, and scientific personnel. Our marketing strategy leverages our strong base of scientific publications to support the continued growth of our computational platform into computational chemistry markets across industries and academia worldwide.

Drug Discovery Business

We have not established a commercial organization or developed distribution capabilities given the current stage of development of our internal, wholly-owned drug discovery programs. We plan to enter into agreements with biopharmaceutical companies that contribute to our ability to efficiently advance development candidates that we discover internally using our computational platform through to commercialization. We expect to utilize a variety of types of collaboration, distribution, and other arrangements with one or more of these third parties to develop and ultimately commercialize our development candidates. Over time, we may also create a commercial organization for drug product sales if and as we advance the development of any product candidates that we determine to commercialize ourselves.

Manufacturing

We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of any product candidates, nor do we have plans to develop our own manufacturing operations. We expect to rely on third-party contract manufacturers for all of our required raw materials, drug substance, and finished drug product for the preclinical and clinical development of any development candidates we develop ourselves.

Government Regulation and Product Approvals

Government authorities in the United States at the federal, state and local level, and in other countries and jurisdictions, including the European Union, extensively regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, pricing, reimbursement, quality control, approval, packaging, storage, recordkeeping, labeling, advertising, promotion, distribution, marketing, post-approval monitoring and reporting, and import and export of biopharmaceutical products. The processes for obtaining marketing approvals in the United States and in foreign countries and jurisdictions, along with compliance with applicable statutes and regulations and other regulatory authorities, require the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources.

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Approval and Regulation of Drugs in the United States

In the United States, drug products are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and applicable implementing regulations and guidance. The failure of an applicant to comply with the applicable regulatory requirements at any time during the product development process, including non-clinical testing, clinical testing, the approval process or post-approval process, may result in delays to the conduct of a study, regulatory review and approval, and/or administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to, the FDA’s refusal to allow an applicant to proceed with clinical trials, refusal to approve pending applications, license suspension or revocation, withdrawal of an approval, imposition of a clinical hold, issuance of warning letters and other types of letters, adverse publicity, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement of profits or civil, or criminal investigations and penalties brought by the FDA or the United States Department of Justice or other government entities, including state agencies.

An applicant seeking approval to market and distribute a new drug in the United States generally must satisfactorily complete each of the following steps before the product candidate will be approved by the FDA:

 

preclinical testing including laboratory tests, animal studies, and formulation studies, which must be performed in accordance with the FDA’s good laboratory practice, or GLP, regulations and standards;

 

submission to the FDA of an IND for human clinical testing, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;

 

approval by an independent institutional review board, or IRB, representing each clinical site before each clinical trial may be initiated;

 

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials to establish the safety, potency, and purity of the product candidate for each proposed indication, in accordance with current good clinical practices, or GCP;

 

preparation and submission to the FDA of a new drug application, or NDA, for a drug product which includes not only the results of the clinical trials, but also, detailed information on the chemistry, manufacture and quality controls for the product candidate and proposed labelling for one or more proposed indication(s);

 

review of the product candidate by an FDA advisory committee, where appropriate or if applicable;

 

satisfactory completion of an FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities, including those of third parties, at which the product candidate or components thereof are manufactured to assess compliance with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP, requirements and to assure that the facilities, methods, and controls are adequate to preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality, and purity;

 

satisfactory completion of any FDA audits of the non-clinical and clinical trial sites to assure compliance with GCP and the integrity of clinical data in support of the NDA;

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payment of user fees and securing FDA approval of the NDA to allow marketing of the new drug product; and

 

compliance with any post-approval requirements, including the potential requirement to implement a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, and the potential requirement to conduct any post- approval studies required by the FDA.

Preclinical Studies

Before an applicant begins testing a product candidate with potential therapeutic value in humans, the product candidate enters the preclinical testing stage, including in vitro and animal studies to assess the safety and activity of the drug for initial testing in humans and to establish a rationale for therapeutic use. Preclinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, formulation, and stability, as well as other studies to evaluate, among other things, the toxicity of the product candidate. The conduct of the preclinical tests and formulation of the compounds for testing must comply with federal regulations and requirements, including GLP regulations and standards. The results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and plans for clinical trials, among other things, are submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. Some long-term preclinical testing, such as animal tests of reproductive adverse events and carcinogenicity and long-term toxicity studies may continue after the IND is submitted.

The IND and IRB Processes

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational product to human subjects under the supervision of qualified investigators in accordance with GCP requirements, which include, among other things, the requirement that all research subjects provide their voluntary informed consent in writing before their participation in any clinical trial. Clinical trials are conducted under written study protocols detailing, among other things, the inclusion and exclusion criteria, the objectives of the study, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated. A protocol for each clinical trial and any subsequent protocol amendments must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND.

An IND is an exemption from the FDCA that allows an unapproved product candidate to be shipped in interstate commerce for use in an investigational clinical trial and a request for FDA authorization to administer such investigational product to humans. Such authorization must be secured prior to interstate shipment and administration of any product candidate that is not the subject of an approved NDA. In support of a request for an IND, applicants must submit a protocol for each clinical trial, and any subsequent protocol amendments must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. In addition, the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and plans for clinical trials, among other things, must be submitted to the FDA as part of an IND. The FDA requires a 30-day waiting period after the filing of each IND before clinical trials may begin. This waiting period is designed to allow the FDA to review the IND to determine whether human research subjects will be exposed to unreasonable health risks. At any time during this 30-day period or thereafter, the FDA may raise concerns or questions about the conduct of the trials as outlined in the IND and impose a clinical hold or partial clinical hold. In these cases, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before clinical trials can begin.

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Following commencement of a clinical trial under an IND, the FDA may also place a clinical hold or partial clinical hold on that trial. Clinical holds are imposed by the FDA whenever there is concern for patient safety and may be a result of new data, findings, or developments in clinical, nonclinical, and/or chemistry, manufacturing, and controls, or CMC. A clinical hold is an order issued by the FDA to the sponsor to delay a proposed clinical investigation or to suspend an ongoing investigation. A partial clinical hold is a delay or suspension of only part of the clinical work requested under the IND. For example, a specific protocol or part of a protocol may not be allowed to proceed, while other protocols may be allowed. No more than 30 days after imposition of a clinical hold or partial clinical hold, the FDA will provide the sponsor a written explanation of the basis for the hold.

Following issuance of a clinical hold or partial clinical hold, a clinical trial may only resume after the FDA has so notified the sponsor. The FDA will base that determination on information provided by the sponsor correcting the deficiencies previously cited or otherwise satisfying the FDA that the clinical trial can proceed.

A sponsor may choose, but is not required, to conduct a foreign clinical study under an IND. When a foreign clinical study is conducted under an IND, all FDA IND requirements must be met unless waived. When a foreign clinical study is not conducted under an IND, the sponsor must ensure that such studies are conducted in accordance with GCP, including review and approval by an independent ethics committee, or IEC, and informed consent from subjects.

In addition to the foregoing IND requirements, an IRB representing each institution participating in the clinical trial must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial before it commences at that institution, and the IRB must conduct continuing review and reapprove the study at least annually. The IRB must review and approve, among other things, the study protocol and informed consent information to be provided to study subjects. An IRB must operate in compliance with FDA regulations. An IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution, or an institution it represents, if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the product candidate has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients.

Additionally, some trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization as to whether or not a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access that only the group maintains to available data from the study. Suspension or termination of development during any phase of clinical trials can occur if it is determined that the participants or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Other reasons for suspension or termination may be made by us based on evolving business objectives and/or the competitive environment.

Information about clinical trials must be submitted within specific timeframes to the National Institutes of Health for public dissemination on its ClinicalTrials.gov website.

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Human Clinical Trials in Support of an NDA

Clinical trials involve the administration of the investigational product candidate to human subjects under the supervision of a qualified investigator in accordance with GCP requirements, which include, among other things, the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent in writing before their participation in any clinical trial. Clinical trials are conducted under written clinical trial protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the study, inclusion and exclusion criteria, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety, and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated.

Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases, but the phases may overlap or be combined. Additional studies may also be required after approval.

Phase 1 clinical trials are initially conducted in a limited population to test the product candidate for safety, including adverse effects, dose tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution, excretion, and pharmacodynamics in healthy humans or in patients. During Phase 1 clinical trials, information about the investigational drug product’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects may be obtained to permit the design of well-controlled and scientifically valid Phase 2 clinical trials.

Phase 2 clinical trials are generally conducted in a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, evaluate the efficacy of the product candidate for specific targeted indications and determine dose tolerance and optimal dosage. Multiple Phase 2 clinical trials may be conducted by the sponsor to obtain information prior to beginning larger and more costly Phase 3 clinical trials. Phase 2 clinical trials are well controlled, closely monitored and conducted in a limited patient population. A Phase 2 trial may be further subdivided to Phase 2a and Phase 2b trials. A Phase 2a trial is typically an exploratory (non-pivotal) study that has clinical efficacy, pharmacodynamics, or biological activity as the primary endpoint. A Phase 2b trial is a definite dose range finding study with efficacy as the primary endpoint.

Phase 3 clinical trials proceed if the Phase 2 clinical trials demonstrate that a dose range of the product candidate is potentially effective and has an acceptable safety profile. Phase 3 clinical trials are undertaken within an expanded patient population to further evaluate dosage, provide substantial evidence of clinical efficacy, and further test for safety in an expanded and diverse patient population at multiple, geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. A well-controlled, statistically robust Phase 3 clinical trial may be designed to deliver the data that regulatory authorities will use to decide whether or not to approve, and, if approved, how to appropriately label a drug. Such Phase 3 studies are referred to as “pivotal.”

In some cases, the FDA may approve an NDA for a product candidate but require the sponsor to conduct additional clinical trials to further assess the product candidate’s safety and effectiveness after approval. Such post-approval trials are typically referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials. These studies are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of a larger number of patients in the intended treatment group and to further document a clinical benefit in the case of drugs approved under Accelerated Approval regulations. Failure to exhibit due diligence with regard to conducting Phase 4 clinical trials could result in withdrawal of approval for products.

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Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and more frequently if serious adverse events occur. In addition, IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA for any of the following: serious and unexpected suspected adverse reactions; findings from other studies or animal or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk in humans exposed to the product; and any clinically important increase in the case of a serious suspected adverse reaction over that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure. Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials may not be completed successfully within any specified period, or at all. Furthermore, the FDA or the sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution, or an institution it represents, if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the product has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients. The FDA will typically inspect one or more clinical sites to assure compliance with GCP and the integrity of the clinical data submitted.

Concurrent with clinical trials, companies often complete additional animal studies. They must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the drug as well as finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the drug candidate and, among other things, must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality, purity, and potency of the final drug. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the drug candidate does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its shelf life.

Review and Approval of an NDA

In order to obtain approval to market a drug product in the United States, a marketing application must be submitted to the FDA that provides sufficient data establishing the safety, purity, and potency of the proposed drug product for its intended indication. The application includes all relevant data available from pertinent preclinical and clinical trials, including negative or ambiguous results as well as positive findings, together with detailed information relating to the product’s chemistry, manufacturing, controls, and proposed labeling, among other things. Data can come from company-sponsored clinical trials intended to test the safety and effectiveness of a use of a product, or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by independent investigators. To support marketing approval, the data submitted must be sufficient in quality and quantity to establish the safety, purity, and potency of the drug product to the satisfaction of the FDA.

The NDA is a vehicle through which applicants formally propose that the FDA approve a new product for marketing and sale in the United States for one or more indications. Every new non-biologic drug product candidate must be the subject of an approved NDA before it may be commercialized in the United States. Biologic License Applications, or BLAs, are submitted for approval of biologic products. Under federal law, the submission of most NDAs is subject to an application user fee. The sponsor of an approved NDA is also subject to an annual program fee.

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Certain exceptions and waivers are available for some of these fees, such as an exception from the application fee for products with orphan designation, an exception from the program fee when the program does not engage in manufacturing the drug during a particular fiscal year and a waiver for certain small businesses.

The FDA conducts a preliminary review of the application, generally within 60 calendar days of its receipt, and strives to inform the sponsor within 74 days whether the application is sufficiently complete to permit substantive review. The FDA may request additional information rather than accept the application for filing. In this event, the application must be resubmitted with the additional information. The resubmitted application is also subject to review before the FDA accepts it for filing. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth substantive review. The FDA has agreed to specified performance goals in the review process of NDAs. Under that agreement, 90% of applications seeking approval of New Molecular Entities, or NMEs, are meant to be reviewed within ten months from the date on which the FDA accepts the application for filing, and 90% of applications for NMEs that have been designated for Priority Review are meant to be reviewed within six months of the filing date. For applications seeking approval of products that are not NMEs, the ten-month and six-month review periods run from the date that the FDA receives the application. The review process and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, goal date may be extended by the FDA for three additional months to consider new information or clarification provided by the applicant to address an outstanding deficiency identified by the FDA following the original submission.

Before approving an application, the FDA typically will inspect the facility or facilities where the product is being or will be manufactured. These pre-approval inspections may cover all facilities associated with an NDA submission, including component manufacturing, finished product manufacturing, and control testing laboratories. The FDA will not approve an application unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. Additionally, before approving an NDA, the FDA will typically inspect one or more clinical sites to assure compliance with GCP.

In addition, as a condition of approval, the FDA may require an applicant to develop a REMS. A REMS uses risk-minimization strategies beyond the professional labeling to ensure that the benefits of the product outweigh the potential risks. To determine whether a REMS is needed, the FDA will consider the size of the population likely to use the product, the seriousness of the disease, the expected benefit of the product, the expected duration of treatment, the seriousness of known or potential adverse events, and whether the product is a new molecular entity.

The FDA may refer an application for a novel product to an advisory committee or explain why such referral was not made. Typically, an advisory committee is a panel of independent experts, including clinicians and other scientific experts, that review, evaluate and provide a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of an advisory committee, but the FDA considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions.

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The FDA’s Decision on an NDA

On the basis of the FDA’s evaluation of the application and accompanying information, including the results of the inspection of the manufacturing facilities, the FDA may issue an approval letter or a complete response letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the product with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A complete response letter generally outlines the deficiencies in the submission and may require substantial additional testing or information in order for the FDA to reconsider the application. If and when those deficiencies have been addressed to the FDA’s satisfaction in a resubmission of the NDA, the FDA will issue an approval letter. The FDA has committed to reviewing such resubmissions in two or six months depending on the type of information included. Even with submission of this additional information, the FDA ultimately may decide that the application does not satisfy the regulatory criteria for approval.

If the FDA approves a new product, it may limit the approved indications for use of the product, require that contraindications, warnings, or precautions be included in the product labeling, or require that post-approval studies, including Phase 4 clinical trials, be conducted to further assess the drug’s safety after approval. The agency may also require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the product after commercialization, or impose other conditions, including distribution restrictions or other risk management mechanisms, including a REMS, to help ensure that the benefits of the product outweigh the potential risks. REMS programs can include medication guides, communication plans for health care professionals, and elements to assure safe use, or ETASU. ETASU can include, but are not limited to, special training or certification for prescribing or dispensing, dispensing only under certain circumstances, special monitoring, and the use of patent registries. The FDA may prevent or limit further marketing of a product based on the results of post-market studies or surveillance programs. The FDA may require a REMS before or after approval if it becomes aware of a serious risk associated with use of the product. The requirement for a REMS can materially affect the potential market and profitability of a product. After approval, many types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications, changing manufacturing processes, and adding labeling claims, are subject to further testing requirements and FDA review and approval.

Patent Term Restoration and Extension

A patent claiming a new drug product may be eligible for a limited patent term extension under the Hatch- Waxman Act, which permits a patent restoration of up to five years for patent term lost during the FDA regulatory review. The restoration period granted on a patent covering a product is typically one-half the time between the effective date of a clinical investigation involving human beings is begun and the submission date of an application, plus the time between the submission date of an application and the ultimate approval date. Patent term restoration cannot be used to extend the remaining term of a patent past a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date. Only one patent applicable to an approved product is eligible for the extension, and only those claims covering the approved product, a method for using it, or a method for manufacturing it, may be extended. Additionally, the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent in question. A patent that covers multiple products for which approval is sought can only be extended in connection with one of the approvals. The United States Patent and Trademark Office reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration in consultation with the FDA.

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Health Care Law and Regulation

Our collaborators who use our platform and we, if we develop a product, may be subject to broadly applicable healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we market, sell, and distribute our software and any products for which we obtain marketing approval. Restrictions under applicable federal and state health care laws and regulations, include the following:

 

the federal health care Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons and entities from knowingly and willfully soliciting, offering, paying, receiving, or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, in cash or in kind, to induce or reward either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any good or service, for which payment may be made, in whole or in part, under a federal health care program such as Medicare and Medicaid and similar state anti-kickback laws. 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 federal civil and criminal false claims laws, including the civil False Claims Act (which can be enforced through civil whistleblower actions), and civil monetary penalties laws, which prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, to the federal government, claims for payment that are false, fictitious, or fraudulent or knowingly making, using or causing to made or used a false record or statement to avoid, decrease, or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government. In addition, the government may assert that a claim including items and services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the civil False Claims Act;

 

the federal and state laws and regulations that protect the privacy and security of health-related or other personal identifiable information that we may generate or receive, and that require disclosure of breaches in which such information is compromised by being lost or obtained or accessible by unauthorized persons, including, among others, laws and regulations implemented through informed consents for clinical research studies and the privacy and security standards imposed under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, for certain individually identifiable health information of patients and health plan beneficiaries;

 

the federal false statements statute, which prohibits 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 health care benefits, items or services;

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the federal transparency requirements known as the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care Education Reconciliation Act, or the ACA, which requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies to report annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, information related to certain payments and other transfers of value made by that entity to physicians and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members; and

 

analogous state and foreign laws, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws, which may apply to health care items or services that are reimbursed by non-government third-party payors, including private insurers.

Further, some state laws require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines and the relevant compliance guidance promulgated by the federal government in addition to requiring manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other health care providers or marketing expenditures. Additionally, some state and local laws require the registration of pharmaceutical sales representatives in the jurisdiction. State and foreign laws (such as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, regarding individuals in the European Union) also govern the privacy and security of health information in some circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA, thus complicating compliance efforts.

Violations of applicable healthcare laws and regulations may result in significant civil, criminal and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, fines, imprisonment, and possible exclusion of products from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

In addition to the health care laws set forth above, we may also be subject to additional federal laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, which prohibits, among other things, companies and their intermediaries from making, or offering or promising to make, improper payments to non-U.S. officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or otherwise seeking favorable treatment.

General Data Protection Regulation

The collection, use, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the European Union, including personal health data, is subject to the GDPR which became effective on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the

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European Union, including the United States, and permits data protection authorities to impose large penalties for violations of the GDPR, including potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global revenues, whichever is greater. The GDPR also confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. Compliance with the GDPR will be a rigorous and time-intensive process that may increase the cost of doing business or require companies to change their business practices to ensure full compliance.

Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage and Health Care Reform

In the United States and markets in other countries, patients who are prescribed treatments for their conditions and providers performing the prescribed services generally rely on third-party payers to reimburse all or part of the associated health care costs. Significant uncertainty exists as to the coverage and reimbursement status of products approved by the FDA and other government authorities. Thus, even if a product candidate of ours or one of our collaborators is approved, sales of the product will depend, in part, on the extent to which third-party payers, including government health programs in the United States such as Medicare and Medicaid, commercial health insurers and managed care organizations provide coverage and establish adequate reimbursement levels for the product. The process for determining whether a payer will provide coverage for a product may be separate from the process for setting the price or reimbursement rate that the payer will pay for the product once coverage is approved. Third-party payers are increasingly challenging the prices charged, examining the medical necessity and reviewing the cost-effectiveness of medical products and services and imposing controls to manage costs.

Third-party payers may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list, also known as a formulary, which might not include all of the approved products for a particular indication.

In order to secure coverage and reimbursement for any product that might be approved for sale, a company may need to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies in order to demonstrate the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of the product, in addition to the costs required to obtain FDA or other comparable marketing approvals. Nonetheless, product candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost effective. A decision by a third-party payer not to cover a product could reduce market acceptance once the product is approved and have a material adverse effect on sales, results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, a payer’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payer’s determination to provide coverage for a product does not assure that other payers will also provide coverage and reimbursement for the product, and the level of coverage and reimbursement can differ significantly from payer to payer.

In international markets, reimbursement and health care payment systems vary significantly by country, and many countries have instituted price ceilings on specific products and therapies. In some countries, the pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals is subject to governmental control. In these countries, pricing negotiations with governmental authorities can take considerable time

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after the receipt of marketing approval for a product. To obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement or pricing approval in some countries, we may be required to conduct a clinical trial that compares the cost-effectiveness of our product to other available therapies.

The containment of health care costs also has become a priority of federal, state, and foreign governments and the prices of products have been a focus in this effort. Governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on coverage, reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit a company’s revenue generated from the sale of any approved products including those that we are our collaborators may develop. Coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which a company or its collaborators receive marketing approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

Review and Approval of Medicinal Products in the European Union

In order to market any product outside of the United States, a company must also comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of other countries and jurisdictions regarding quality, safety, and efficacy and governing, among other things, clinical trials, marketing authorization, commercial sales, and distribution of products. Whether or not it obtains FDA approval for a product, an applicant will need to obtain the necessary approvals by the comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities before it can commence clinical trials or marketing of the product in those countries or jurisdictions. The approval process ultimately varies between countries and jurisdictions and can involve additional product testing and additional administrative review periods. The time required to obtain approval in other countries and jurisdictions might differ from and be longer than that required to obtain FDA approval. Regulatory approval in one country or jurisdiction does not ensure regulatory approval in another, but a failure or delay in obtaining regulatory approval in one country or jurisdiction may negatively impact the regulatory process in others. Specifically, however, the process governing approval of medicinal products in the European Union generally follows the same lines as in the United States. It entails satisfactory completion of preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials to establish the safety and efficacy of the product for each proposed indication. It also requires the submission to the relevant competent authorities of a marketing authorization application, or MAA, and granting of a marketing authorization by these authorities before the product can be marketed and sold in the European Union.

Clinical Trial Approval

The Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC, the Directive 2005/28/EC on GCP and the related national implementing provisions of the individual member states of the European Union, or EU Member States, govern the system for the approval of clinical trials in the European Union. Under this system, an applicant must obtain prior approval from the competent national authority of the EU Member States in which the clinical trial is to be conducted. Furthermore, the applicant may only start a clinical trial at a specific study site after the competent ethics

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committee has issued a favorable opinion. The clinical trial application must be accompanied by, among other documents, an investigational medicinal product dossier (the Common Technical Document) with supporting information prescribed by Directive 2001/20/EC, Directive 2005/28/EC, where relevant the implementing national provisions of the individual EU Member States and further detailed in applicable guidance documents.

In April 2014, the new Clinical Trials Regulation, (EU) No 536/2014, was adopted. The Clinical Trials Regulation was published on June 16, 2014 but is not expected to apply until 2020. The Clinical Trials Regulation will be directly applicable in all the EU Member States, repealing the current Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC and replacing any national legislation that was put in place to implement the Clinical Trials Directive. Conduct of all clinical trials performed in the European Union will continue to be bound by currently applicable provisions until the new Clinical Trials Regulation becomes applicable. The extent to which on-going clinical trials will be governed by the Clinical Trials Regulation will depend on when the Clinical Trials Regulation becomes applicable and on the duration of the individual clinical trial. If a clinical trial continues for more than three years from the day on which the Clinical Trials Regulation becomes applicable the Clinical Trials Regulation will at that time begin to apply to the clinical trial.

The new Clinical Trials Regulation aims to simplify and streamline the approval of clinical trials in the European Union. The main characteristics of the regulation include: a streamlined application procedure via a single entry point, the “EU Portal and Database”; a single set of documents to be prepared and submitted for the application as well as simplified reporting procedures for clinical trial sponsors; and a harmonized procedure for the assessment of applications for clinical trials, which is divided in two parts. Part I is assessed by the appointed reporting Member State, whose assessment report is submitted for review by the sponsor and all other competent authorities of all EU Member States in which an application for authorization of a clinical trial has been submitted (Concerned Member States). Part II is assessed separately by each Concerned Member State. Strict deadlines have been established for the assessment of clinical trial applications. The role of the relevant ethics committees in the assessment procedure will continue to be governed by the national law of the Concerned Member State. However, overall related timelines will be defined by the Clinical Trials Regulation.

PRIME Designation in the European Union

In March 2016, the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, launched an initiative to facilitate development of product candidates in indications, often rare, for which few or no therapies currently exist. The PRIority MEdicines, or PRIME, scheme is intended to encourage drug development in areas of unmet medical need and provides accelerated assessment of products representing substantial innovation reviewed under the centralized procedure. Products from small- and medium-sized enterprises may qualify for earlier entry into the PRIME scheme than larger companies. Many benefits accrue to sponsors of product candidates with PRIME designation, including but not limited to, early and proactive regulatory dialogue with the EMA, frequent discussions on clinical trial designs and other development program elements, and accelerated marketing authorization application assessment once a dossier has been submitted.

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Importantly, a dedicated agency contact and rapporteur from the Committee for Human Medicinal Products, or CHMP, or Committee for Advanced Therapies are appointed early in PRIME scheme facilitating increased understanding of the product at EMA’s Committee level. A kick-off meeting initiates these relationships and includes a team of multidisciplinary experts at the EMA to provide guidance on the overall development and regulatory strategies.

Marketing Authorization

To obtain a marketing authorization for a product under European Union regulatory systems, an applicant must submit an MAA either under a centralized procedure administered by the EMA, or one of the procedures administered by competent authorities in the EU Member States (decentralized procedure, national procedure or mutual recognition procedure). A marketing authorization may be granted only to an applicant established in the European Union. Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 provides that prior to obtaining a marketing authorization in the European Union, applicants have to demonstrate compliance with all measures included in an EMA-approved Paediatric Investigation Plan, or PIP, covering all subsets of the pediatric population, unless the EMA has granted (1) a product-specific waiver, (2) a class waiver, or (3) a deferral for one or more of the measures included in the PIP.

The centralized procedure provides for the grant of a single marketing authorization by the European Commission that is valid across the European Economic Area (i.e. the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). Pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 726/2004, the centralized procedure is compulsory for specific products, including for medicines produced by certain biotechnological processes, products designated as orphan medicinal products, advanced therapy medicinal products, and products with a new active substance indicated for the treatment of certain diseases. For products with a new active substance indicated for the treatment of other diseases and products that are highly innovative or for which a centralized process is in the interest of patients, the centralized procedure may be optional. The centralized procedure may at the request of the applicant also be used in certain other cases.

Under the centralized procedure, the CHMP is responsible for conducting the initial assessment of a product and for several post-authorization and maintenance activities, such as the assessment of modifications or extensions to an existing marketing authorization. Under the centralized procedure in the European Union, the maximum timeframe for the evaluation of an MAA is 210 days, excluding clock stops, when additional information or written or oral explanation is to be provided by the applicant in response to questions of the CHMP. Accelerated evaluation might be granted by the CHMP in exceptional cases, when a medicinal product is of major interest from the point of view of public health and in particular from the viewpoint of therapeutic innovation. If the CHMP accepts such request, the time limit of 210 days will be reduced to 150 days but it is possible that the CHMP can revert to the standard time limit for the centralized procedure if it considers that it is no longer appropriate to conduct an accelerated assessment. At the end of this period, the CHMP provides a scientific opinion on whether or not a marketing authorization should be granted in relation to a medicinal product. Within 15 calendar days of receipt of a final opinion from the CHMP, the European Commission must prepare a draft decision concerning an application for marketing authorization. This draft

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decision must take the opinion and any relevant provisions of European Union law into account. Before arriving at a final decision on an application for centralized authorization of a medicinal product the European Commission must consult the Standing Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use, or the Standing Committee. The Standing Committee is composed of representatives of the EU Member States and chaired by a non-voting European Commission representative. The European Parliament also has a related “droit de regard”. The European Parliament’s role is to ensure that the European Commission has not exceeded its powers in deciding to grant or refuse to grant a marketing authorization.

The European Commission may grant a so-called “marketing authorization under exceptional circumstances”. Such authorization is intended for products for which the applicant can demonstrate that it is unable to provide comprehensive data on the efficacy and safety under normal conditions of use, because the indications for which the product in question is intended are encountered so rarely that the applicant cannot reasonably be expected to provide comprehensive evidence, or in the present state of scientific knowledge, comprehensive information cannot be provided, or it would be contrary to generally accepted principles of medical ethics to collect such information. Consequently, marketing authorization under exceptional circumstances may be granted subject to certain specific obligations, which may include the following:

 

the applicant must complete an identified program of studies within a time period specified by the competent authority, the results of which form the basis of a reassessment of the benefit/risk profile;

 

the medicinal product in question may be supplied on medical prescription only and may in certain cases be administered only under strict medical supervision, possibly in a hospital and in the case of a radiopharmaceutical, by an authorized person; and

 

the package leaflet and any medical information must draw the attention of the medical practitioner to the fact that the particulars available concerning the medicinal product in question are as yet inadequate in certain specified respects.

A marketing authorization under exceptional circumstances is subject to annual review to reassess the risk- benefit balance in an annual reassessment procedure. Continuation of the authorization is linked to the annual reassessment and a negative assessment could potentially result in the marketing authorization being suspended or revoked. The renewal of a marketing authorization of a medicinal product under exceptional circumstances, however, follows the same rules as a “normal” marketing authorization. Thus, a marketing authorization under exceptional circumstances is granted for an initial five years, after which the authorization will become valid indefinitely, unless the EMA decides that safety grounds merit one additional five-year renewal.

The European Commission may also grant a so-called “conditional marketing authorization” prior to obtaining the comprehensive clinical data required for an application for a full marketing authorization. Such conditional marketing authorizations may be granted for product candidates (including medicines designated as orphan medicinal products), if (i) the risk-benefit balance of the product candidate is positive, (ii) it is likely that the applicant will be in a

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position to provide the required comprehensive clinical trial data, (iii) the product fulfills an unmet medical need, and (iv) the benefit to public health of the immediate availability on the market of the medicinal product concerned outweighs the risk inherent in the fact that additional data are still required. A conditional marketing authorization may contain specific obligations to be fulfilled by the marketing authorization holder, including obligations with respect to the completion of ongoing or new studies, and with respect to the collection of pharmacovigilance data. Conditional marketing authorizations are valid for one year, and may be renewed annually, if the risk-benefit balance remains positive, and after an assessment of the need for additional or modified conditions and/or specific obligations. The timelines for the centralized procedure described above also apply with respect to the review by the CHMP of applications for a conditional marketing authorization.

The European Union medicines rules expressly permit the EU Member States to adopt national legislation prohibiting or restricting the sale, supply or use of any medicinal product containing, consisting of or derived from a specific type of human or animal cell, such as embryonic stem cells. While the products we have in development do not make use of embryonic stem cells, it is possible that the national laws in certain EU Member States may prohibit or restrict us from commercializing our products, even if they have been granted a European Union marketing authorization.

Unlike the centralized authorization procedure, the decentralized marketing authorization procedure requires a separate application to, and leads to separate approval by, the competent authorities of each EU Member State in which the product is to be marketed. This application is identical to the application that would be submitted to the EMA for authorization through the centralized procedure. The reference EU Member State prepares a draft assessment and drafts of the related materials within 120 days after receipt of a valid application. The resulting assessment report is submitted to the concerned EU Member States who, within 90 days of receipt, must decide whether to approve the assessment report and related materials. If a concerned EU Member State cannot approve the assessment report and related materials due to concerns relating to a potential serious risk to public health, disputed elements may be referred to the European Commission, whose decision is binding on all EU Member States.

The mutual recognition procedure similarly is based on the acceptance by the competent authorities of the EU Member States of the marketing authorization of a medicinal product by the competent authorities of other EU Member States. The holder of a national marketing authorization may submit an application to the competent authority of an EU Member State requesting that this authority recognize the marketing authorization delivered by the competent authority of another EU Member State.

Regulatory Data Protection in the European Union

In the European Union, innovative medicinal products approved on the basis of a complete independent data package qualify for eight years of data exclusivity upon marketing authorization and an additional two years of market exclusivity pursuant to Directive 2001/83/EC. Regulation (EC) No 726/2004 repeats this entitlement for medicinal products authorized in accordance the centralized authorization procedure. Data exclusivity prevents

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applicants for authorization of generics of these innovative products from referencing the innovator’s data to assess a generic (abridged) application for a period of eight years. During an additional two-year period of market exclusivity, a generic marketing authorization application can be submitted and authorized, and the innovator’s data may be referenced, but no generic medicinal product can be placed on the European Union market until the expiration of the market exclusivity. The overall ten-year period will be extended to a maximum of 11 years if, during the first eight years of those ten years, the marketing authorization holder obtains an authorization for one or more new therapeutic indications which, during the scientific evaluation prior to their authorization, are held to bring a significant clinical benefit in comparison with existing therapies. Even if a compound is considered to be a new chemical entity so that the innovator gains the prescribed period of data exclusivity, another company nevertheless could also market another version of the product if such company obtained marketing authorization based on an MAA with a complete independent data package of pharmaceutical tests, preclinical tests, and clinical trials.

Periods of Authorization and Renewals

A marketing authorization has an initial validity for five years in principle. The marketing authorization may be renewed after five years on the basis of a re-evaluation of the risk-benefit balance by the EMA or by the competent authority of the EU Member State. To this end, the marketing authorization holder must provide the EMA or the competent authority with a consolidated version of the file in respect of quality, safety, and efficacy, including all variations introduced since the marketing authorization was granted, at least six months before the marketing authorization ceases to be valid. The European Commission or the competent authorities of the EU Member States may decide, on justified grounds relating to pharmacovigilance, to proceed with one further five- year period of marketing authorization. Once subsequently definitively renewed, the marketing authorization shall be valid for an unlimited period. Any authorization which is not followed by the actual placing of the medicinal product on the European Union market (in case of centralized procedure) or on the market of the authorizing EU Member State within three years after authorization ceases to be valid (the so-called sunset clause).

Brexit and the Regulatory Framework in the United Kingdom

On June 23, 2016, the electorate in the United Kingdom voted in favor of leaving the European Union, commonly referred to as Brexit. Following protracted negotiations, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on January 31, 2020.  Pursuant to the formal withdrawal arrangements agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the United Kingdom will be subject to a transition period until December 31, 2020, or the Transition Period, during which European Union rules will continue to apply. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union are expected to continue in relation to the customs and trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union following the expiry of the Transition Period. To date, only an outline of a trade agreement has been reached.  If no trade agreement has been reached before the end of the Transition Period, there may be significant market and economic disruption.  The Prime Minister has also indicated that the United Kingdom will not accept high regulatory alignment with the European Union.

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Pricing Decisions for Approved Products

In the European Union, pricing and reimbursement schemes vary widely from country to country. Some countries provide that products may be marketed only after a reimbursement price has been agreed. Some countries may require the completion of additional studies that compare the cost-effectiveness of a particular product candidate to currently available therapies or so-called health technology assessments, in order to obtain reimbursement or pricing approval. For example, EU Member States have the option to restrict the range of products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. EU Member States may approve a specific price for a product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the product on the market. Other EU Member States allow companies to fix their own prices for products, but monitor and control prescription volumes and issue guidance to physicians to limit prescriptions. Recently, many countries in the European Union have increased the amount of discounts required on pharmaceuticals and these efforts could continue as countries attempt to manage health care expenditures, especially in light of the severe fiscal and debt crises experienced by many countries in the European Union. The downward pressure on health care costs in general, particularly prescription products, has become intense. As a result, increasingly high barriers are being erected to the entry of new products. Political, economic, and regulatory developments may further complicate pricing negotiations, and pricing negotiations may continue after reimbursement has been obtained. Reference pricing used by various EU Member States, and parallel trade, i.e., arbitrage between low-priced and high-priced EU Member States, can further reduce prices. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any products, if approved in those countries.

Employees

As of December 31, 2019, we had 392 full-time employees and 394 total employees, including a total of 200 employees with Ph.D. degrees. None of our employees are represented by labor unions or covered by collective bargaining agreements. We consider our relationship with our employees to be good.

Our Corporate Information

We were incorporated under the laws of the state of California in August 1990 under the name Schrödinger, Inc. We reorganized under the laws of the state of Delaware in May 1995. Our principal executive offices are located at 120 West 45th Street, 17th Floor, New York, New York 10036, and our telephone number is (212) 295-5800. Our website address is http://www.schrodinger.com. The information contained on, or that can be accessed through, our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any reference to our website address is intended to be an inactive textual reference only. 

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We own or have rights to trademarks, service marks, and trade names that we use in connection with the operation of our business, including our corporate name, logos and website names. Other trademarks, service marks, and trade names appearing in this Annual Report are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, some of the trademarks, service marks, and trade names referred to in this Annual Report are listed without the ® and ™ symbols.

Available Information

We make available free of charge through our website our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. We make these reports available through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such reports with, or furnish such reports to, the SEC. We also make available, free of charge on our website, the reports filed with the SEC by our executive officers, directors and 10% stockholders pursuant to Section 16 under the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after copies of those filings are provided to us by those persons. The information contained on, or that can be access through, our website is not a part of or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report.

Item 1A. Risk Factors. 

You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described below together with all of the other information contained in this Annual Report and our other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The risks described below are not the only risks facing our company. The occurrence of any of the following risks, or of additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently believe to be immaterial, could cause our business, prospects, operating results, and financial condition to suffer materially. 

Risks Related to Our Financial Position and Need for Additional Capital

We have a history of significant operating losses, and we expect to incur losses over the next several years.

We have a history of significant operating losses. Our net loss was $28.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 and $25.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. As of December 31, 2019, we had an accumulated deficit of $105.1 million. We anticipate that our operating expenses will increase substantially in the foreseeable future as we continue to invest in our internal drug discovery programs, sales and marketing infrastructure, and our computational platform. We are still in the early stages of development of our own drug discovery program, and we have not yet identified our first clinical candidate. We have no drug products licensed for commercial sale and have not generated any revenue from our own drug product sales to date. We expect to continue to incur significant expenses and operating losses over the next several years. Our operating expenses and net losses may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year. We anticipate that our expenses will increase substantially as we:

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continue to invest in and develop our computational platform and software solutions;

 

continue our research and development efforts for our internal drug discovery programs;

 

conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials for any of our future product candidates;

 

maintain, expand, enforce, defend, and protect our intellectual property;

 

hire additional software engineers, programmers, sales and marketing, and other personnel to support our software business;

 

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

 

add operational, financial, and management information systems and personnel to support our operations as a public company.

If we are unable to increase sales of our software, or if we and our current and future collaborators are unable to successfully develop and commercialize drug products, our revenues may be insufficient for us to achieve or maintain profitability.

To achieve and maintain profitability, we must succeed in significantly increasing our software sales, or we and our current or future collaborators must succeed in developing, and eventually commercializing, a drug product or drug products that generate significant revenue. We currently generate revenues primarily from the sales of our software solutions and expect to continue to derive most of our revenue from sales of our software until such time as our or our collaborators’ drug development and commercialization efforts are successful, if ever. As such, increasing sales of our software to existing customers and successfully marketing our software to new customers are critical to our success. Demand for our software solutions may be affected by a number of factors, including continued market acceptance by the biopharmaceutical industry, market adoption of our software solutions beyond the biopharmaceutical industry including for material science applications, the ability of our platform to identify more promising molecules and accelerate and lower the costs of discovery as compared to traditional methods, timing of development and release of new offerings by our competitors, technological change, and the rate of growth in our target markets. If we are unable to continue to meet the demands of our customers, our business operations, financial results, and growth prospects will be adversely affected.

Achieving success in drug development will require us or our current or future collaborators to be effective in a range of challenging activities, including completing preclinical testing and clinical trials of product candidates, obtaining regulatory approval for these product candidates and manufacturing, marketing, and selling any products for which we or they may obtain regulatory approval. We and most of our current drug discovery collaborators are only in the preliminary stages of most of these activities. We and they may never succeed in these activities and, even if we do, we may never generate revenues that are significant enough to achieve profitability, or even if our collaborators do, we may not receive option fees, milestone payments, or royalties from them that are significant enough for us to achieve profitability. Because of the intense competition in the market for our software solutions and the numerous risks and uncertainties associated with biopharmaceutical product development, we are unable to accurately predict when, or if, we will be able to achieve or sustain profitability.

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Even if we achieve profitability, we may not be able to sustain or increase profitability on a quarterly or annual basis. Our failure to become and remain profitable would depress the value of our company and could impair our ability to raise capital, expand our business, maintain our research and development efforts, increase sales of our software, develop a pipeline of product candidates, enter into collaborations, or even continue our operations. A decline in the value of our company could also cause our stockholders to lose all or part of their investment.

In addition, although we have experienced revenue growth in recent periods, we may not be able to sustain revenue growth consistent with our recent history or at all. Our total revenues increased by 28% from $66.6 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 to $85.5 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019. You should not consider our revenue growth in recent periods as indicative of our future performance. As we grow our business, our revenue growth rates may slow in future periods.

Our quarterly and annual results may fluctuate significantly, which could adversely impact the value of our common stock.

Our results of operations, including our revenues, gross margin, profitability, and cash flows, have historically varied from period to period, and we expect that they will continue to do so. As a result, period-to-period comparisons of our operating results may not be meaningful, and our quarterly and annual results should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Our quarterly and annual financial results may fluctuate as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are outside of our control. Factors that may cause fluctuations in our quarterly and annual financial results include, without limitation, those listed elsewhere in this “Risk Factors” section and those listed below:

 

customer renewal rates and the timing and terms of customer renewals, including the seasonality of customer renewals of our on-premise software arrangements, for which revenue historically has been recognized at a single point in time in the first quarter of each fiscal year;

 

our ability to attract new customers for our software;

 

the addition or loss of large customers, including through acquisitions or consolidations of such customers;

 

the amount and timing of operating expenses related to the maintenance and expansion of our business, operations, and infrastructure;

 

network outages or security breaches;

 

general economic, industry, and market conditions, including within the life sciences industry;

 

our ability to collect receivables from our customers;

 

the amount of software purchased by our customers, including the mix of on-premise and hosted software sold during a period;

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variations in the timing of the sales of our software, which may be difficult to predict;

 

changes in the pricing of our solutions and in our pricing policies or those of our competitors;

 

the timing and success of the introduction of new software solutions by us or our competitors or any other change in the competitive dynamics of our industry, including consolidation among competitors, customers, or strategic collaborators;

 

changes in the fair value of or receipt of distributions or proceeds on account of the equity interests we hold in our drug discovery collaborators, such as Morphic;

 

the success of our drug discovery collaborators in developing and commercializing drug products for which we are entitled to receive milestone payments or royalties and the timing of receipt of such payments, if any; and

 

the timing of expenses related to our drug discovery programs, the development or acquisition of technologies or businesses and potential future charges for impairment of goodwill from acquired companies.

In addition, because we recognize revenues from our hosted software solutions ratably over the life of the contract, a significant upturn or downturn in sales of our hosted software solutions may not be reflected immediately in our operating results. We expect our hosted software revenue to trend higher over time as our customers continue to migrate from purchasing on-premise software licenses to utilizing our hosted software solutions, which will increase the difficulty of evaluating our future financial performance. As a result of these factors, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our operating results are not a good indication of our future performance and that our interim financial results are not necessarily indicative of results for a full year or for any subsequent interim period.

We may require additional capital to fund our operations. If we are unable to raise additional capital on terms acceptable to us or at all or generate cash flows necessary to maintain or expand our operations, we may not be able to compete successfully, which would harm our business, operations, and financial condition.

We expect to devote substantial financial resources to our ongoing and planned activities, including the development of drug discovery programs and continued investment in our computational platform. We expect our expenses to increase substantially in connection with our ongoing and planned activities, particularly as we advance our internal drug discovery programs, initiate preclinical and investigational new drug enabling studies and invest in the further development of our platform. In addition, if we determine to advance any of our drug discovery programs into clinical development and seek regulatory approval on our own, we expect to incur significant additional expenses. Furthermore, we expect to incur additional costs associated with operating as a public company.

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Our current drug discovery collaborators, from whom we are entitled to receive milestone payments upon achievement of various development, regulatory, and commercial milestones as well as royalties on commercial sales, if any, under the collaboration agreements that we have entered into with them, face numerous risks in the development of drugs, including the conduct of preclinical and clinical testing, obtaining regulatory approval, and achieving product sales. In addition, the amounts we are entitled to receive upon the achievement of such milestones tend to be smaller for near-term development milestones and increase if and as a collaborative product candidate advances through regulatory development to commercialization and will vary depending on the level of commercial success achieved, if any. We do not anticipate receiving significant milestone payments from many of our drug discovery collaborators for several years, if at all, and our drug discovery collaborators may never achieve milestones that result in significant cash payments to us. Accordingly, we may need to obtain substantial additional capital to fund our continuing operations.

As of December 31, 2019, we had cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of $86.3 million. In February 2020, we closed our initial public offering, in which we issued and sold 13,664,704 shares of common stock at a public offering price of $17.00 per share for net proceeds to us of $209.9 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, together with the proceeds from our initial public offering, will be sufficient to fund our operations and capital expenditure requirements for at least the next 12 months. However, we have based this estimate on assumptions that may prove to be wrong, and our operating plans may change as a result of many factors currently unknown to us. As a result, we could deplete our capital resources sooner than we currently expect.

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

 

the growth of our software revenue;

 

the timing and extent of spending to support research and development efforts;

 

the continued expansion of software sales and marketing activities;

 

the timing and receipt of payments from our collaborations as well as spending to support, advance, and broaden our internal drug discovery programs; and

 

the timing and receipt of any distributions or proceeds we may receive from our equity stakes in our co-founded companies.

In the event that we require additional financing, we may not be able to raise such financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. In addition, we may seek additional capital due to favorable market conditions or strategic considerations, even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. If we are unable to raise additional capital on terms acceptable to us or at all or generate cash flows necessary to maintain or expand our operations and invest in our computational platform, we may not be able to compete successfully, which would harm our business, operations, and financial condition.

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Raising additional capital may cause dilution to our stockholders, restrict our operations, or require us to relinquish rights to our technologies or drug programs.

To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, our stockholders’ ownership interests will be diluted, and the terms of these securities may include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect our stockholders’ rights as common stockholders. 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, selling or licensing our assets, making product acquisitions, making capital expenditures, or declaring dividends.

If we raise additional funds through collaborations, strategic alliances or marketing, distribution, or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs, or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us or agree to exploit a drug development target exclusively for one of our collaborators when we may prefer to pursue the drug development target for ourselves.

Our ability to use our NOLs and research and development tax credit carryforwards to offset future taxable income may be subject to certain limitations.

As of December 31, 2019, we had federal net operating losses, or NOLs, of approximately $104.3 million and state NOLs of approximately $64.8 million, which, if not utilized, generally begin to expire in 2019. As of December 31, 2019, we also had federal research and development tax credit carryforwards of approximately $8.0 million and state research and development tax credit carryforwards of approximately $0.4 million, which, if not utilized, generally begin to expire in 2020. These NOLs and research and development tax credit carryforwards could expire unused and be unavailable to offset future income tax liabilities. Federal NOLs generated after December 31, 2017 are not subject to expiration, but the deductibility of such NOLs is limited to 80% of our taxable income in any future taxable year.

In addition, in general, under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, and corresponding provisions of state law, a corporation that undergoes an “ownership change,” generally defined as a greater than 50 percentage point change (by value) in its equity ownership by certain stockholders over a three year period, is subject to limitations on its ability to utilize its pre-change NOLs and research and development tax credit carryforwards to offset future taxable income. We have performed an analysis through December 31, 2019 and determined that such an ownership change has not occurred. However, we may experience such ownership changes in the future as a result of our initial public offering or of subsequent changes in our stock ownership (which may be outside our control). As a result, if, and to the extent that, we earn net taxable income, our ability to use our pre-change NOLs and research and development tax credit carryforwards to offset such taxable income may be subject to limitations.

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If our estimates or judgments relating to our critical accounting policies prove to be incorrect or financial reporting standards or interpretations change, our results of operations could be adversely affected.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP, requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. We base our estimates on historical experience, known trends and events, and various other factors that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, as provided in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Critical Accounting Policies and Significant Judgments and Estimates.” The results of these estimates form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Significant assumptions and estimates used in preparing our consolidated financial statements include the estimated variable consideration included in the transaction price in our contracts with customers, stock-based compensation, and valuation of our equity investments in early-stage biotechnology companies. Our results of operations may be adversely affected if our assumptions change or if actual circumstances differ from those in our assumptions, which could cause our results of operations to fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors, resulting in a decline in the trading price of our common stock.

Additionally, we regularly monitor our compliance with applicable financial reporting standards and review new pronouncements and drafts thereof that are relevant to us. As a result of new standards, changes to existing standards and changes in their interpretation, we might be required to change our accounting policies, alter our operational policies, and implement new or enhance existing systems so that they reflect new or amended financial reporting standards, or we may be required to restate our published financial statements. Such changes to existing standards or changes in their interpretation may have an adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial position, and profit.

Risks Related to Our Software

If our existing customers do not renew their licenses, do not buy additional solutions from us, or renew at lower prices, our business and operating results will suffer.

We expect to continue to derive a significant portion of our software revenues from renewal of existing license agreements. As a result, maintaining the renewal rate of our existing customers and selling additional software solutions to them is critical to our future operating results. Factors that may affect the renewal rate for our customers and our ability to sell additional solutions to them include:

 

the price, performance, and functionality of our software solutions;

 

the availability, price, performance, and functionality of competing software solutions;

 

the effectiveness of our professional services;

 

our ability to develop complementary software solutions, applications, and services;

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the success of competitive products or technologies;

 

the stability, performance, and security of our technological infrastructure; and

 

the business environment of our customers.

We deliver our software through either (i) a product license that permits our customers to install the software solution directly on their own in-house hardware and use it for a specified term, or (ii) a subscription that allows our customers to access the cloud-based software solution for a specified term. Our customers have no obligation to renew their product licenses or subscriptions for our software solutions after the license term expires, which is typically after one year, and many of our contracts may be terminated or reduced in scope either immediately or upon notice. In addition, our customers may negotiate terms less advantageous to us upon renewal, which may reduce our revenues from these customers. Factors that are not within our control may contribute to a reduction in our software revenues. For instance, our customers may reduce the number of their employees who are engaged in research and who would have use of our software, which would result in a corresponding reduction in the number of user licenses needed for some of our solutions and thus a lower aggregate renewal fee. The loss, reduction in scope, or delay of a large contract, or the loss or delay of multiple contracts, could materially adversely affect our business.

Our future operating results also depend, in part, on our ability to sell new software solutions and licenses to our existing customers. For example, the willingness of existing customers to license our software will depend on our ability to scale and adapt our existing software solutions to meet the performance and other requirements of our customers, which we may not do successfully. If our customers fail to renew their agreements, renew their agreements upon less favorable terms or at lower fee levels, or fail to purchase new software solutions and licenses from us, our revenues may decline and our future revenues may be constrained.

Our software sales cycle can vary and be long and unpredictable.

The timing of sales of our software solutions is difficult to forecast because of the length and unpredictability of our sales cycle. We sell our solutions primarily to biopharmaceutical companies, and our sales cycles can be as long as nine to twelve months or longer. Further, the length of time that potential customers devote to their testing and evaluation, contract negotiation, and budgeting processes varies significantly, depending on the size of the organization and the nature of their needs. In addition, we might devote substantial time and effort to a particular unsuccessful sales effort, and as a result, we could lose other sales opportunities or incur expenses that are not offset by an increase in revenue, which could harm our business.

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A significant portion of our revenues are generated by sales to life sciences industry customers, and factors that adversely affect this industry could also adversely affect our software sales.

A significant portion of our current software sales are to customers in the life sciences industry, in particular the biopharmaceutical industry. Demand for our software solutions could be affected by factors that adversely affect the life sciences industry. The life sciences industry is highly regulated and competitive and has experienced periods of considerable consolidation. Consolidation among our customers could cause us to lose customers, decrease the available market for our solutions, and adversely affect our business. In addition, changes in regulations that make investment in the life sciences industry less attractive or drug development more expensive could adversely impact the demand for our software solutions. For these reasons and others, selling software to life sciences companies can be competitive, expensive, and time consuming, often requiring significant upfront time and expense without any assurance that we will successfully complete a software sale. Accordingly, our operating results and our ability to efficiently provide our solutions to life sciences companies and to grow or maintain our customer base could be adversely affected as a result of factors that affect the life sciences industry generally.

We also intend to continue leveraging our solutions for broad application to industrial challenges in molecule design, including in the fields of aerospace, energy, semiconductors, and electronic displays. However, we believe the materials science industry is in the very early stages of recognizing the potential of computational methods for molecular discovery, and there can be no assurance that the industry will adopt computational methods such as our platform. Any factor adversely affecting our ability to market our software solutions to customers outside of the life sciences industry, including in these new fields, could increase our dependence on the life sciences industry and adversely affect the growth rate of our revenues, operating results, and business.

The markets in which we participate are competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

The overall market for molecular discovery and design software is global, rapidly evolving, competitive, and subject to changing technology and shifting customer focus. Our software solutions face competition from commercial competitors in the business of selling simulation and modeling software to biopharmaceutical companies. These competitors include BIOVIA, a brand of Dassault Systèmes SE, or BIOVIA; Chemical Computing Group (US) Inc.; Cresset Biomolecular Discovery Limited; OpenEye Scientific Software, Inc.; Optibrium Limited; and Simulations Plus, Inc. We also have competitors in materials science, such as BIOVIA and Materials Design, Inc., and in enterprise software for the life sciences, such as BIOVIA; Certara USA, Inc.; and Dotmatics, Inc. In some cases, these competitors are well-established providers of these solutions and have long-standing relationships with many of our current and potential customers, including large biopharmaceutical companies. In addition, there are academic consortia that develop physics-based simulation programs for life sciences and materials applications. In life sciences, the most prominent academic simulation packages include AMBER, CHARMm, GROMACS, GROMOS, OpenMM, and OpenFF. These packages are primarily maintained and developed by graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, often

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without the intent for commercialization. We also face competition from solutions that biopharmaceutical companies develop internally and from smaller companies that offer products and services directed at more specific markets than we target, enabling these smaller competitors to focus a greater proportion of their efforts and resources on these markets, as well as a large number of companies that have been founded with the goal of applying machine learning technologies to drug discovery.

Many of our competitors are able to devote greater resources to the development, promotion, and sale of their software solutions and services. It is possible that our new focus on internal drug discovery will result in loss of management focus and resources relating to our software business, thereby resulting in decreasing revenues from our software business. Furthermore, third parties with greater available resources and the ability to initiate or withstand substantial price competition could acquire our current or potential competitors. Our competitors may also establish cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties that may further enhance their product offerings or resources. If our competitors’ products, services, or technologies become more accepted than our solutions, if our competitors are successful in bringing their products or services to market earlier than ours, if our competitors are able to respond more quickly and effectively to new or changing opportunities, technologies, or customer requirements, or if their products or services are more technologically capable than ours, then our software revenues could be adversely affected.

We may be required to decrease our prices or modify our pricing practices in order to attract new customers or retain existing customers due to increased competition. Pricing pressures and increased competition could result in reduced sales, reduced margins, losses, or a failure to maintain or improve our competitive market position, any of which could adversely affect our business.

We have invested and expect to continue to invest in research and development efforts that further enhance our computational platform. Such investments may affect our operating results, and, if the return on these investments is lower or develops more slowly than we expect, our revenue and operating results may suffer.

We have invested and expect to continue to invest in research and development efforts that further enhance our computational platform, often in response to our customers’ requirements. These investments may involve significant time, risks, and uncertainties, including the risk that the expenses associated with these investments may affect our margins and operating results and that such investments may not generate sufficient revenues to offset liabilities assumed and expenses associated with these new investments. The software industry changes rapidly as a result of technological and product developments, which may render our solutions less desirable. We believe that we must continue to invest a significant amount of time and resources in our platform and software solutions to maintain and improve our competitive position. If we do not achieve the benefits anticipated from these investments, if the achievement of these benefits is delayed, or if a slowdown in general computing power impacts the rate at which we expect our physics-based simulations to increase in power and domain applicability, our revenue and operating results may be adversely affected.

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If we are unable to collect receivables from our customers, our operating results may be adversely affected.

While the majority of our current customers are well-established, large companies and universities, we also provide software solutions to smaller companies. Our financial success depends upon the creditworthiness and ultimate collection of amounts due from our customers, including our smaller customers with fewer financial resources. If we are not able to collect amounts due from our customers, we may be required to write-off significant accounts receivable and recognize bad debt expenses, which could materially and adversely affect our operating results.

Defects or disruptions in our solutions could result in diminishing demand for our solutions, a reduction in our revenues, and subject us to substantial liability.

Our software business and the level of customer acceptance of our software depend upon the continuous, effective, and reliable operation of our software and related tools and functions. Our software solutions are inherently complex and may contain defects or errors. Errors may result from our own technology or from the interface of our software solutions with legacy systems and data, which we did not develop. The risk of errors is particularly significant when a new software solution is first introduced or when new versions or enhancements of existing software solutions are released. We have from time to time found defects in our software, and new errors in our existing software may be detected in the future. Any errors, defects, disruptions, or other performance problems with our software could hurt our reputation and may damage our customers’ businesses. If that occurs, our customers may delay or withhold payment to us, cancel their agreements with us, elect not to renew, make service credit claims, warranty claims, or other claims against us, and we could lose future sales. The occurrence of any of these events could result in diminishing demand for our software, a reduction of our revenues, an increase in collection cycles for accounts receivable, require us to increase our warranty provisions, or incur the expense of litigation or substantial liability.

We rely upon third-party providers of cloud-based infrastructure to host our software solutions. Any disruption in the operations of these third-party providers, limitations on capacity, or interference with our use could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

We outsource substantially all of the infrastructure relating to our hosted software solutions to third-party hosting services. Customers of our hosted software solutions need to be able to access our computational platform at any time, without interruption or degradation of performance, and we provide them with service-level commitments with respect to uptime. Our hosted software solutions depend on protecting the virtual cloud infrastructure hosted by third-party hosting services by maintaining its configuration, architecture, features, and interconnection specifications, as well as the information stored in these virtual data centers, which is transmitted by third-party internet service providers. Any limitation on the capacity of our third-party hosting services could impede our ability to onboard new customers or expand the usage of our existing customers, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, any incident affecting our third-party hosting

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services’ infrastructure that may be caused by cyber-attacks, natural disasters, fire, flood, severe storm, earthquake, power loss, telecommunications failures, terrorist or other attacks, and other similar events beyond our control could negatively affect our cloud-based solutions. A prolonged service disruption affecting our cloud-based solutions for any of the foregoing reasons would negatively impact our ability to serve our customers and could damage our reputation with current and potential customers, expose us to liability, cause us to lose customers, or otherwise harm our business. We may also incur significant costs for using alternative equipment or taking other actions in preparation for, or in reaction to, events that damage the third-party hosting services we use.

In the event that our service agreements with our third-party hosting services are terminated, or there is a lapse of service, elimination of services or features that we utilize, interruption of internet service provider connectivity, or damage to such facilities, we could experience interruptions in access to our platform as well as significant delays and additional expense in arranging or creating new facilities and services and/or re-architecting our hosted software solutions for deployment on a different cloud infrastructure service provider, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

If our security measures are breached or unauthorized access to customer data is otherwise obtained, our solutions may be perceived as not being secure, customers may reduce the use of or stop using our solutions, and we may incur significant liabilities.

Our solutions involve the collection, analysis, and storage of our customers’ proprietary information and sensitive proprietary data related to the discovery efforts of our customers. As a result, unauthorized access or security breaches, as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance, or otherwise could result in the loss of information, litigation, indemnity obligations, damage to our reputation, and other liability. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not identified until they are launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, if our employees fail to adhere to practices we have established to maintain a firewall between our internal drug discovery team and our teams that work with software customers, or if the technical solutions we have adopted to maintain the firewall malfunction, our customers and collaborators may lose confidence in our ability to maintain the confidentiality of their intellectual property, we may have trouble attracting new customers and collaborators, we may be subject to breach of contract claims by our customers and collaborators, and we may suffer reputational and other harm as a result. Any or all of these issues could adversely affect our ability to attract new customers, cause existing customers to elect to not renew their licenses, result in reputational damage or subject us to third-party lawsuits or other action or liability, which could adversely affect our operating results. Our insurance may not be adequate to cover losses associated with such events, and in any case, such insurance may not cover all of the types of costs, expenses, and losses we could incur to respond to and remediate a security breach.

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Any failure to offer high-quality technical support services could adversely affect our relationships with our customers and our operating results.

Our customers depend on our support organization to resolve technical issues relating to our solutions, as our software requires expert usage to fully exploit its capabilities. Certain of our customers also rely on us to troubleshoot problems with the performance of the software, introduce new features requested for specific customer projects, inform them about the best way to set up and analyze various types of simulations and illustrate our techniques for drug discovery using examples from publicly available data sets. We may be unable to respond quickly enough to accommodate short-term increases in customer demand for these support services. Increased customer demand for our services, without corresponding revenues, could increase costs and adversely affect our operating results. In addition, our sales process is highly dependent on the reputation of our solutions and business and on positive recommendations from our existing customers. Any failure to offer high-quality technical support, or a market perception that we do not offer high-quality support, could adversely affect our reputation, our ability to sell our solutions to existing and prospective customers and our business and operating results.

Our solutions utilize third party open source software, and any failure to comply with the terms of one or more of these open source software licenses could adversely affect our business or our ability to sell our software solutions, subject us to litigation, or create potential liability.

Our solutions include software licensed by third parties under any one or more open source licenses, including the GNU General Public License, or GPL, the GNU Lesser General Public License, or LGPL, the Affero General Public License, or AGPL, the BSD License, the MIT License, the Apache License, and others, and we expect to continue to incorporate open source software in our solutions in the future. Moreover, we cannot ensure that we have effectively monitored our use of open source software or that we are in compliance with the terms of the applicable open source licenses or our current policies and procedures. There have been claims against companies that use open source software in their products and services asserting that the use of such open source software infringes the claimants’ intellectual property rights. As a result, we and our customers could be subject to suits by third parties claiming that what we believe to be licensed open source software infringes such third parties’ intellectual property rights, and we may be required to indemnify our customers against such claims. Additionally, if an author or other third party that distributes such open source software were to allege that we had not complied with the conditions of one or more of these licenses, we or our customers could be required to incur significant legal expenses defending against such allegations and could be subject to significant damages, enjoined from the sale of our solutions that contain the open source software and required to comply with onerous conditions or restrictions on these solutions, which could disrupt the distribution and sale of these solutions. Litigation could be costly for us to defend, have a negative effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations, or require us to devote additional research and development resources to change our solutions.

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Use of open source software may entail greater risks than use of third party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code, including with respect to security vulnerabilities. In addition, certain open source licenses require that source code for software programs that interact with such open source software be made available to the public at no cost and that any modifications or derivative works to such open source software continue to be licensed under the same terms as the open source software license. The terms of various open source licenses have not been interpreted by courts in the relevant jurisdictions, and there is a risk that such licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to market our solutions. By the terms of certain open source licenses, we could be required to release the source code of our proprietary software, and to make our proprietary software available under open source licenses, if we combine our proprietary software with open source software in a certain manner. In the event that portions of our proprietary software are determined to be subject to an open source license, we could be required to publicly release the affected portions of our source code, re-engineer all or a portion of our solutions, or otherwise be limited in the licensing of our solutions, each of which could reduce or eliminate the value of our solutions. Disclosing our proprietary source code could allow our competitors to create similar products with lower development effort and time and ultimately could result in a loss of sales. Any of these events could create liability for us and damage our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our revenue, business, results of operations, and financial condition and the market price of our shares.

Risks Related to Drug Discovery

We may never realize return on our investment of resources and cash in our drug discovery collaborations.

We use our computational platform to provide drug discovery services to collaborators who are engaged in drug discovery and development. These collaborators include start-up companies we co-found, pre-commercial biotechnology companies, and large-scale pharmaceutical companies. When we engage in drug discovery with these collaborators, we typically provide access to our platform and platform experts who assist the drug discovery collaborator in identifying molecules that have activity against one or more specified protein targets. We historically have not received significant initial cash consideration for these services. However, we have received equity consideration in the collaborator and/or the right to receive option fees, cash milestone payments upon the achievement of specified development, regulatory, and commercial sales milestones for the drug discovery targets, and potential royalties. From time to time, we have also made additional equity investments in our drug discovery collaborators.

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We may never realize return on our investment of resources and cash in our drug discovery collaborations. Clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome. Our drug discovery collaborators may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of any product candidates. In addition, our ability to realize return from our drug discovery collaborations is subject to the following risks:

 

drug discovery collaborators have significant discretion in determining the amount and timing of efforts and resources that they will apply to our collaborations and may not perform their obligations as expected;

 

drug discovery collaborators may not pursue development or commercialization of any product candidates for which we are entitled to option fees, milestone payments, or royalties or may elect not to continue or renew development or commercialization programs based on results of clinical trials or other studies, changes in the collaborator’s strategic focus or available funding, or external factors, such as an acquisition, that divert resources or create competing priorities;

 

drug discovery collaborators may delay clinical trials for which we are entitled to milestone payments;

 

we may not have access to, or may be restricted from disclosing, certain information regarding our collaborators’ product candidates being developed or commercialized and, consequently, may have limited ability to inform our stockholders about the status of, and likelihood of achieving, milestone payments or royalties under such collaborations;

 

drug discovery collaborators could independently develop, or develop with third parties, products that compete directly or indirectly with any product candidates and products for which we are entitled to milestone payments or royalties if the collaborator believes that the competitive products are more likely to be successfully developed or can be commercialized under terms that are more economically attractive;

 

product candidates discovered in drug discovery collaborations with us may be viewed by our collaborators as competitive with their own product candidates or products, which may cause our collaborators to cease to devote resources to the commercialization of any such product candidates;

 

existing drug discovery collaborators and potential future drug discovery collaborators may begin to perceive us to be a competitor more generally, particularly as we advance our internal drug discovery programs, and therefore may be unwilling to continue existing collaborations with us or to enter into new collaborations with us;

 

a drug discovery collaborator may fail to comply with applicable regulatory requirements regarding the development, manufacture, distribution, or marketing of a product candidate or product, which may impact our ability to receive milestone payments;

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disagreements with drug discovery collaborators, including disagreements over intellectual property or proprietary rights, contract interpretation, or the preferred course of development, might cause delays or terminations of the research, development, or commercialization of product candidates for which we are eligible to receive milestone payments, or might result in litigation or arbitration;

 

drug discovery collaborators may not properly obtain, maintain, enforce, defend or protect our intellectual property or proprietary rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to potentially lead to disputes or legal proceedings that could jeopardize or invalidate our or their intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us and them to potential litigation;

 

drug discovery collaborators may infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate the intellectual property or proprietary rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability; and

 

drug discovery collaborations may be terminated prior to our receipt of any significant value from the collaboration.

Our drug discovery collaborations may not lead to development or commercialization of product candidates that results in our receipt of option fees, milestone payments, or royalties in a timely manner, or at all. If any drug discovery collaborations that we enter into do not result in the successful development and commercialization of drug products that result in option fees, milestone payments, or royalties to us, we may not receive return on the resources we have invested in the drug discovery collaboration. Moreover, even if a drug discovery collaboration initially leads to the achievement of milestones that result in payments to us, it may not continue to do so.

We may never realize return on our equity investments in our drug discovery collaborators.

We may never realize a return on our equity investments in our drug discovery collaborators. None of the drug discovery collaborators in which we hold equity generate revenue from commercial sales of drug products. They are therefore dependent on the availability of capital on favorable terms to continue their operations. In addition, if the drug discovery collaborators in which we hold equity raise additional capital, our ownership interest in and degree of control over these drug discovery collaborators will be diluted, unless we have sufficient resources and choose to invest in them further or successfully negotiate contractual anti-dilution protections for our equity investment. The financial success of our equity investment in any collaborator will likely be dependent on a liquidity event, such as a public offering, acquisition, or other favorable market event reflecting appreciation in the value of the equity we hold. The capital markets for public offerings and acquisitions are dynamic, and the likelihood of liquidity events for the companies in which we hold equity interests could significantly worsen. Further, valuations of privately held companies are inherently complex due to the lack of readily available market data. If we determine that any of our investments in such companies have experienced a decline in value, we may be required to record an impairment, which could negatively impact our financial results. The fair value of our equity interests in public companies, such as Morphic, may fluctuate significantly in future periods since we

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determine the fair value of such equity interests based on the market value of such companies’ common stock as of a given reporting date. All of the equity we hold in our drug discovery collaborators is subject to a risk of partial or total loss of our investment.

Our drug discovery collaborators have significant discretion in determining when to make announcements, if any, about the status of our collaborations, including about clinical developments and timelines for advancing collaborative programs, and the price of our common stock may decline as a result of announcements of unexpected results or developments.

Our drug discovery collaborators have significant discretion in determining when to make announcements about the status of our collaborations, including about preclinical and clinical developments and timelines for advancing the collaborative programs. While as a general matter we intend to periodically report on the status of our collaborations, our drug discovery collaborators, and in particular, our privately-held collaborators, may wish to report such information more or less frequently than we intend to or may not wish to report such information at all. The price of our common stock may decline as a result of the public announcement of unexpected results or developments in our collaborations, or as a result of our collaborators withholding such information.

Although we believe that our computational platform has the potential to identify more promising molecules than traditional methods and to accelerate drug discovery, our focus on using our platform technology to discover and design molecules with therapeutic potential may not result in the discovery and development of commercially viable products for us or our collaborators.

Our scientific approach focuses on using our platform technology to conduct “computational assays” that leverage our deep understanding of physics-based modeling and theoretical chemistry to design molecules and predict their key properties without conducting time-consuming and expensive physical experiments. Our computational platform underpins our software solutions, our drug discovery collaborations and our own internal drug discovery programs.

While the results of certain of our drug discovery collaborators suggest that our platform is capable of accelerating drug discovery and identifying high quality product candidates, these results do not assure future success for our drug discovery collaborators or for us with our internal drug discovery programs.

Even if we or our drug discovery collaborators are able to develop product candidates that demonstrate potential in preclinical studies, we or they may not succeed in demonstrating safety and efficacy of product candidates in human clinical trials. For example, in collaboration with us, Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC, or Nimbus, was able to identify a unique series of acetyl-CoA carboxylase, or ACC, allosteric protein-protein interaction inhibitors with favorable pharmaceutical properties that inhibit the activity of the ACC enzyme. Nimbus achieved proof of concept in a Phase 1b clinical trial of its ACC inhibitor, firsocostat, and later sold the program to Gilead Sciences, Inc., or Gilead Sciences, in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion,

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comprised of an upfront payment and earn outs. Of this amount, $601.3 million has been paid to Nimbus to date, and we received a total of $46.0 million in cash distributions in 2016 and 2017. In December 2019, Gilead Sciences announced topline results from its Phase 2 clinical trial which included firsocostat, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other investigational therapies for advanced fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, in which the primary endpoint was not met. Moreover, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval of their product candidates.

We may not be successful in our efforts to identify or discover product candidates and may fail to capitalize on programs, collaborations, or product candidates that may present a greater commercial opportunity or for which there is a greater likelihood of success.

Research programs to identify new product candidates require substantial technical, financial, and human resources. As an organization, we have not yet developed any product candidates, and we may fail to identify potential product candidates for clinical development. Similarly, a key element of our business plan is to expand the use of our computational platform through an increase in software sales and drug discovery collaborations. A failure to demonstrate the utility of our platform by successfully using it ourselves to discover internal product candidates could harm our business prospects.

Because we have limited resources, we focus our research programs on protein targets where we believe our computational assays are a good substitute for experimental assays, where we believe it is theoretically possible to discover a molecule with properties that are required for the molecule to become a drug and where we believe there is a meaningful commercial opportunity, among other factors. Currently, the focus of our internal drug discovery programs is in the area of oncology. We may forego or delay pursuit of opportunities with certain programs, collaborations, or product candidates or for indications that later prove to have greater commercial potential. However, the development of any product candidate we pursue may ultimately prove to be unsuccessful or less successful than another potential product candidate that we might have chosen to pursue on a more aggressive basis with our capital resources. If we do not accurately evaluate the commercial potential for a particular product candidate, we may relinquish valuable rights to that product candidate through strategic collaboration, partnership, licensing, or other arrangements in cases in which it would have been more advantageous for us to retain sole development and commercialization rights to such product candidate. Alternatively, we may allocate internal resources to a product candidate in a therapeutic area in which it would have been more advantageous to enter into a collaboration.

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We rely on contract research organizations to synthesize any molecules with therapeutic potential that we discover. If such organizations do not meet our supply requirements, development of any product candidate we may develop may be delayed.

We expect to rely on third parties to synthesize any molecules with therapeutic potential that we discover. Reliance on third parties may expose us to different risks than if we were to synthesize molecules ourselves. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties, meet expected deadlines, or synthesize molecules in accordance with regulatory requirements, if there are disagreements between us and such parties or if such parties are unable to expand capacities, we may not be able to fulfill, or may be delayed in producing sufficient product candidates to meet, our supply requirements. These facilities may also be affected by natural disasters, such as floods or fire, or geopolitical developments, or such facilities could face production issues, such as contamination or regulatory concerns following a regulatory inspection of such facility. In such instances, we may need to locate an appropriate replacement third-party facility and establish a contractual relationship, which may not be readily available or on acceptable terms, which would cause additional delay and increased expense, and may have a material adverse effect on our business.

We or any third party may also encounter shortages in the raw materials or active pharmaceutical ingredient, or API, necessary to synthesize any molecule we may discover in the quantities needed for preclinical studies or clinical trials, as a result of capacity constraints or delays or disruptions in the market for the raw materials or API. Even if raw materials or API are available, we may be unable to obtain sufficient quantities at an acceptable cost or quality. The failure by us or the third parties to obtain the raw materials or API necessary to synthesize sufficient quantities of any molecule we may discover could delay, prevent, or impair our development efforts and may have a material adverse effect on our business.

If we are not able to establish or maintain collaborations to develop and commercialize any of the product candidates we discover internally, we may have to alter our development and commercialization plans for those product candidates and our business could be adversely affected.

We have not yet identified any product candidates or advanced any of our drug discovery programs past the discovery stage and into preclinical studies or human clinical trials. We expect to rely on future collaborators for the development and potential commercialization of product candidates we discover internally when we believe it will help maximize the commercial value of the product candidate. We face significant competition in seeking appropriate collaborators for these activities, and a number of more established companies may also be pursuing such collaborations. These established companies may have a competitive advantage over us due to their size, financial resources, and greater clinical development and commercialization expertise. Whether we reach a definitive agreement for such collaborations 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. Those factors may include the design or results of preclinical studies and clinical trials, the likelihood of approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States, the potential market for the subject product

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candidate, the costs and complexities of manufacturing and delivering such product candidate to patients, the potential of competing products, the existence of uncertainty with respect to our ownership of technology, which can exist if there is a challenge to such ownership without regard to the merits of the challenge, and industry and market conditions generally. The collaborator may also consider alternative product candidates or technologies for similar indications that may be available to collaborate on and whether such a collaboration could be more attractive than the one with us for our product candidate. Collaborations are complex and time-consuming to negotiate and document. 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 we are unable to reach agreements with suitable collaborators on a timely basis, on acceptable terms or at all, we may have to curtail the development of a product candidate, reduce or delay its development program or one or more of our other development programs, or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense. If we elect to fund and undertake development or commercialization activities on our own, we may need to obtain additional expertise and additional capital, which may not be available to us on acceptable terms or at all. If we fail to enter into collaborations and do not have sufficient funds or expertise to undertake the necessary development and commercialization activities, we may not be able to further develop any product candidates or bring them to market.

As a company, we do not have any experience in clinical development and have not advanced any product candidates into clinical development.

We only began conducting our own internal drug discovery efforts in mid-2018. As a company, we do not have any experience in clinical development and have not advanced any product candidates into clinical development. Our lack of experience in conducting clinical development activities may adversely impact the likelihood that we will be successful in advancing our programs. Further, any predictions you make about the future success or viability of our internal drug discovery programs may not be as accurate as they could be if we had a history of conducting clinical trials and developing our own product candidates.

In addition, as our internal drug discovery business grows, we may encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays, and other known and unknown factors. Our internal drug discovery business may need to transition to a business capable of supporting clinical development activities. We may not be successful in such a transition.

If we and any future collaborators are unable to successfully complete clinical development, obtain regulatory approval for, or commercialize any product candidates, or experience delays in doing so, our business may be materially harmed.

The success of our and any future collaborators’ development and commercialization programs will depend on several factors, including the following:

 

successful completion of necessary preclinical studies to enable the initiation of clinical trials;

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successful enrollment of patients in, and the completion of, the clinical trials;

 

acceptance by the FDA or other regulatory agencies of regulatory filings for any product candidates we and our future collaborators may develop;

 

expanding and maintaining a workforce of experienced scientists and others to continue to develop any product candidates;

 

obtaining and maintaining intellectual property protection and regulatory exclusivity for any product candidates we and our future collaborators may develop;

 

making arrangements with third-party manufacturers for, or establishing, clinical and commercial manufacturing capabilities;

 

establishing sales, marketing, and distribution capabilities for drug products and successfully launching commercial sales, if and when approved;

 

acceptance of any product candidates we and our future collaborators may develop, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community, and third-party payors;

 

effectively competing with other therapies;

 

obtaining and maintaining coverage, adequate pricing, and adequate reimbursement from third-party payors, including government payors;

 

patients’ willingness to pay out-of-pocket in the absence of coverage and/or adequate reimbursement from third-party payors; and

 

maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile following receipt of any regulatory approvals.

Many of these factors are beyond our control, including clinical outcomes, the regulatory review process, potential threats to our intellectual property rights, and the manufacturing, marketing, and sales efforts of any future collaborator. Clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome. If we or our future collaborators are unable to develop, receive marketing approval for, and successfully commercialize any product candidates, or if we or they experience delays as a result of any of these factors or otherwise, we may need to spend significant additional time and resources, which would adversely affect our business, prospects, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Operations

Doing business internationally creates operational and financial risks for our business.

In our fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, sales to customers outside of the United States accounted for approximately 44% of our total revenues. Operating in international markets requires significant resources and management attention and subjects us to regulatory, economic, and political risks that are different from those in the United States. We have limited operating experience in some international markets, and we cannot assure you that our expansion efforts into other international markets will be successful. Our experience in the United States and other international markets in which we already have a presence may not be relevant to our ability to expand in other markets. Our international expansion efforts may not be successful in creating

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further demand for our solutions outside of the United States or in effectively selling our solutions in the international markets we enter. In addition, we face risks in doing business internationally that could adversely affect our business, including:

 

the need to localize and adapt our solutions for specific countries, including translation into foreign languages;

 

data privacy laws which require that customer data be stored and processed in a designated territory or handled in a manner that differs significantly from how we typically handle customer data;

 

difficulties in staffing and managing foreign operations, including employee laws and regulations;

 

different pricing environments, longer sales cycles, and longer accounts receivable payment cycles and collections issues;

 

new and different sources of competition;

 

weaker protection for intellectual property and other legal rights than in the United States and practical difficulties in enforcing intellectual property and other rights outside of the United States;

 

laws and business practices favoring local competitors;

 

compliance challenges related to the complexity of multiple, conflicting, and changing governmental laws and regulations, including employment, tax, reimbursement and pricing, privacy and data protection, and anti-bribery laws and regulations;

 

increased financial accounting and reporting burdens and complexities;

 

restrictions on the transfer of funds;

 

changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, including new tariffs, trade protection measures, import or export licensing requirements, trade embargoes, and other trade barriers;

 

changes in social, political, and economic conditions or in laws, regulations, and policies governing foreign trade, manufacturing, development, and investment both domestically as well as in the other countries and jurisdictions;

 

adverse tax consequences, including the potential for required withholding taxes; and

 

unstable regional and economic political conditions.

Our international agreements may provide for payment denominated in local currencies and our local operating costs are denominated in local currencies. Therefore, fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar and foreign currencies may impact our operating results when translated into U.S. dollars. We do not currently engage in currency hedging activities to limit the risk of exchange rate fluctuations.

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Additionally, we could face heightened risks as a result of the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on January 31, 2020, commonly referred to as Brexit. Pursuant to the formal withdrawal arrangements agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the United Kingdom will be subject to a transition period until December 31, 2020, or the Transition Period, during which European Union rules will continue to apply. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union are expected to continue in relation to the customs and trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union following the expiry of the Transition Period. To date, only an outline of a trade agreement has been reached. If no trade agreement has been reached before the end of the Transition Period, there may be significant market and economic disruption. The Prime Minister has also indicated that the United Kingdom will not accept high regulatory alignment with the European Union.

If we fail to manage our technical operations infrastructure, our existing customers, and our internal drug discovery team, may experience service outages, and our new customers may experience delays in the deployment of our solutions.

We have experienced significant growth in the number of users and data that our operations infrastructure supports. We seek to maintain sufficient excess capacity in our operations infrastructure to meet the needs of all of our customers and to support our internal drug discovery programs. We also seek to maintain excess capacity to facilitate the rapid provision of new customer deployments and the expansion of existing customer deployments. In addition, we need to properly manage our technological operations infrastructure in order to support version control, changes in hardware and software parameters and the evolution of our solutions. However, the provision of new hosting infrastructure requires adequate lead-time. We have experienced, and may in the future experience, website disruptions, outages, and other performance problems. These types of problems may be caused by a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, human or software errors, viruses, security attacks, fraud, spikes in usage, and denial of service issues. In some instances, we may not be able to identify the cause or causes of these performance problems within an acceptable period of time. If we do not accurately predict our infrastructure requirements, our existing customers may experience service outages that may subject us to financial penalties, financial liabilities, and customer losses. If our operations infrastructure fails to keep pace with increased sales and usage, customers and our internal drug discovery team may experience delays in the deployment of our solutions as we seek to obtain additional capacity, which could adversely affect our reputation and adversely affect our revenues.

Our international operations subject us to potentially adverse tax consequences.

We report our taxable income in various jurisdictions worldwide based upon our business operations in those jurisdictions. These jurisdictions include Germany, Japan, and India. The international nature and organization of our business activities are subject to complex transfer pricing regulations administered by taxing authorities in various jurisdictions. The relevant taxing authorities may disagree with our determinations as to the income and expenses attributable to specific jurisdictions. If such a disagreement were to occur, and our position were not sustained, we could be required to pay additional taxes, interest, and penalties, which could result in one-time tax charges, higher effective tax rates, reduced cash flows, and lower overall profitability of our operations.

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Taxing authorities may successfully assert that we should have collected or in the future should collect sales and use, value added, or similar taxes, and we could be subject to tax liabilities with respect to past or future sales, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

We do not collect sales and use, value added, and similar taxes in all jurisdictions in which we have sales, based on our belief that such taxes are not applicable or that we are not required to collect such taxes with respect to the jurisdiction. Sales and use, value added, and similar tax laws and rates vary greatly by jurisdiction. Certain jurisdictions in which we do not collect such taxes may assert that such taxes are applicable, which could result in tax assessments, penalties, and interest, and we may be required to collect such taxes in the future. Such tax assessments, penalties, and interest or future requirements may adversely affect our results of operations.

Unanticipated changes in our effective tax rate could harm our future results.

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and various foreign jurisdictions, and our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of expenses in differing jurisdictions. Forecasting our estimated annual effective tax rate is complex and subject to uncertainty, and there may be material differences between our forecasted and actual tax rates. Our effective tax rate could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings and losses in countries with differing statutory tax rates, certain non-deductible expenses as a result of acquisitions, the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, and changes in federal, state, or international tax laws and accounting principles. Increases in our effective tax rate would reduce our profitability or in some cases increase our losses.

In addition, we may be subject to income tax audits by many tax jurisdictions throughout the world. Although we believe our income tax liabilities are reasonably estimated and accounted for in accordance with applicable laws and principles, an adverse resolution of one or more uncertain tax positions in any period could have a material impact on the results of operations for that period.

We may acquire other companies or technologies, which could divert our management’s attention, result in additional dilution to our stockholders, and otherwise disrupt our operations and adversely affect our operating results.

We may in the future seek to acquire or invest in businesses, solutions, or technologies that we believe could complement or expand our solutions, enhance our technical capabilities, or otherwise offer growth opportunities. The pursuit of potential acquisitions may divert the attention of management and cause us to incur various expenses in identifying, investigating, and pursuing suitable acquisitions, whether or not they are consummated.

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In addition, we have limited experience in acquiring other businesses. If we acquire additional businesses, we may not be able to integrate the acquired personnel, operations, and technologies successfully, effectively manage the combined business following the acquisition or preserve the operational synergies between our business units that we believe currently exist. We cannot assure you that following any acquisition we would achieve the expected synergies to justify the transaction, due to a number of factors, including:

 

inability to integrate or benefit from acquired technologies or services in a profitable manner;

 

unanticipated costs or liabilities associated with the acquisition;

 

incurrence of acquisition-related costs;

 

difficulty integrating the accounting systems, operations, and personnel of the acquired business;

 

difficulties and additional expenses associated with supporting legacy products and hosting infrastructure of the acquired business;

 

difficulty converting the customers of the acquired business onto our solutions and contract terms, including disparities in the revenues, licensing, support, or professional services model of the acquired company;

 

diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns;

 

adverse effects to our existing business relationships with business partners and customers as a result of the acquisition;

 

the potential loss of key employees;

 

use of resources that are needed in other parts of our business; and

 

use of substantial portions of our available cash to consummate the acquisition.

In addition, a significant portion of the purchase price of companies we acquire may be allocated to acquired goodwill and other intangible assets, which must be assessed for impairment at least annually. In the future, if our acquisitions do not yield expected returns, we may be required to take charges to our operating results based on this impairment assessment process, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

Acquisitions could also result in dilutive issuances of equity securities or the incurrence of debt, which could adversely affect our operating results. In addition, if an acquired business fails to meet our expectations, our operating results, business, and financial position may suffer.

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A widespread outbreak of an illness or other health issue, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, could negatively affect various aspects of our business and make it more difficult and expensive to meet our obligations to our customers, and could result in reduced demand from our customers.

Our operations are susceptible to a widespread outbreak of an illness or other health issue, such as the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), or Coronavirus, resulting in thousands of confirmed cases in China and many additional cases identified in other countries, including in the United States. As a result of illness outbreaks, including Coronavirus, businesses can be shut down, supply chains can be interrupted, slowed, or rendered inoperable, and individuals can become ill, quarantined, or otherwise unable to work and/or travel due to health reasons or governmental restrictions. With respect our software business, we have important distribution channels in China and South Korea that could be disrupted by the Coronavirus, however, we cannot reasonably estimate its impact at this time. The extent to which the Coronavirus impacts our business or our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the Coronavirus and the actions to contain the Coronavirus or treat its impact, among others.

Our operations may be interrupted by the occurrence of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event at our primary facilities.

Our operations are primarily conducted at our facilities in New York, New York and Portland, Oregon and our internal hosting facility located in Clifton, New Jersey. The occurrence of natural disasters or other catastrophic events could disrupt our operations. Any natural disaster or catastrophic event in our facilities or the areas in which they are located could have a significant negative impact on our operations.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

If we fail to comply with our obligations under our existing license agreements with Columbia University, under any of our other intellectual property licenses, or under any future intellectual property licenses, or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our current or any future licensors, we could lose intellectual property rights that are important to our business.

We are party to a number of license agreements pursuant to which we have been granted exclusive and non-exclusive worldwide licenses to certain patents, software code, and software programs to, among other things, reproduce, use, execute, copy, operate, sublicense, and distribute the licensed technology in connection with the marketing and sale of our software solutions and to develop improvements thereto. In particular, the technology that we license from Columbia University pursuant to our license agreements with them are used in and incorporated into a number of our software solutions which we market and license to our customers. For further information regarding our license agreements with Columbia University, see “Item 1. Business—License Agreements with Columbia University.” Our license agreements with Columbia University and other licensors impose, and we expect that future licenses will impose, specified royalty and other obligations on us.

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In spite of our best efforts, our current or any future licensors might conclude that we have materially breached our license agreements with them and might therefore terminate the license agreements, thereby delaying our ability to market and sell our existing software solutions and develop and commercialize new software solutions that utilize technology covered by these license agreements. If these in-licenses are terminated, or if the underlying intellectual property fails to provide the intended exclusivity, competitors could market, products and technologies similar to ours. This could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Disputes may arise regarding intellectual property subject to a licensing agreement, including:

 

the scope of rights granted under the license agreement and other interpretation related issues;

 

the extent to which our technology and processes infringe on intellectual property of the licensor that is not subject to the licensing agreement;

 

the sublicensing of patent and other rights under any collaborative development relationships;

 

the inventorship and ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by our current or future licensors and us and our collaborators; and

 

the priority of invention of patented technology.

In addition, license agreements are complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. 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. For example, our counterparties have in the past and may in the future dispute the amounts owed to them pursuant to payment obligations. If disputes over intellectual property that we have licensed prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current licensing arrangements on commercially acceptable terms, we may experience delays in the development and commercialization of new software solutions and in our ability to market and sell existing software solutions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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Our obligations under our existing or future drug discovery collaboration agreements may limit our intellectual property rights that are important to our business. Further, if we fail to comply with our obligations under our existing or future collaboration agreements, or otherwise experience disruptions to our business relationships with our prior, current, or future collaborators, we could lose intellectual property rights that are important to our business.

We are party to collaboration agreements with biopharmaceutical companies, pursuant to which we provide drug discovery services but have no ownership rights, or only co-ownership rights, to certain intellectual property generated through the collaborations. We may enter into additional collaboration agreements in the future, pursuant to which we may have no ownership rights, or only co-ownership rights, to certain intellectual property generated through the future collaborations. If we are unable to obtain ownership or license of such intellectual property generated through our prior, current, or future collaborations and overlapping with, or related to, our own proprietary technology or product candidates, then our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

Our existing collaboration agreements contain certain exclusivity obligations that require us to design compounds exclusively for our collaborators with respect to certain specific targets over a specified time period. Our future collaboration agreements may grant similar exclusivity rights to future collaborators with respect to target(s) that are the subject of such collaborations. These existing or future collaboration agreements may impose diligence obligations on us. For example, existing or future collaboration agreements may impose the restrictions on us from pursuing the drug development targets for ourselves or for our other current or future collaborators, thereby removing our ability to develop and commercialize, or to jointly develop and commercialize with other current or future collaborators, product candidates, and technology related to the drug development targets. In spite of our best efforts, our prior, current, or future collaborators might conclude that we have materially breached our collaboration agreements. If these collaboration agreements are terminated, or if the underlying intellectual property, to the extent we have ownership or license of, fails to provide the intended exclusivity, competitors would have the freedom to seek regulatory approval of, and to market, products and technology identical to ours. This could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Disputes may arise regarding intellectual property subject to a collaboration agreement, including:

 

the scope of ownership or license granted under the collaboration agreement and other interpretation related issues;

 

the extent to which our technology and product candidates infringe on intellectual property that generated through the collaboration to of which we do not have ownership or license under the collaboration agreement;

 

the assignment or sublicense of intellectual property rights and other rights under the collaboration agreement;

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our diligence obligations under the collaboration agreement and what activities satisfy those diligence obligations; and

 

the inventorship and ownership of inventions and know-how resulting from the joint creation or use of intellectual property by us and our current or future collaborators.

In addition, collaboration agreements are complex, and certain provisions in such agreements may be susceptible to multiple interpretations. 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 increase what we believe to be our obligations under the relevant agreements, either of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. Moreover, if disputes over intellectual property that we have owned, co-owned, or in-licensed under the collaboration agreements prevent or impair our ability to maintain our current collaboration arrangements on commercially acceptable terms, we may be unable to successfully develop and commercialize the affected technology or product candidates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

If we are unable to obtain, maintain, enforce, and protect patent protection for our technology and product candidates or if the scope of the patent protection obtained is not sufficiently broad, our competitors could develop and commercialize technology and products similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully develop and commercialize our technology and product candidates may be adversely affected.

Our success depends in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain protection of the intellectual property we may own solely and jointly with others or may license from others, particularly patents, in the United States and other countries with respect to any proprietary technology and product candidates we develop. We seek to protect our proprietary position by filing patent applications in the United States and abroad related to our technology and any product candidates we may develop that are important to our business and by in-licensing intellectual property related to our technology and product candidates. If we are unable to obtain or maintain patent protection with respect to any proprietary technology or product candidate, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects could be materially harmed.

The patent prosecution process is expensive, time-consuming, and complex, and we may not be able to file, prosecute, maintain, defend, or license all necessary or desirable patent applications at a reasonable cost or in a timely manner. 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. Moreover, in some circumstances, we may not have the right to control the preparation, filing, and prosecution of patent applications, or to maintain, enforce, and defend the patents, covering technology that we co-own with third parties or license from third parties. Therefore, these co-owned and in-licensed patents and applications may not be prepared, filed, prosecuted, maintained, defended, and enforced in a manner consistent with the best interests of our business.

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The patent position of software and biopharmaceutical companies generally is highly uncertain, involves complex legal and factual questions, and has in recent years been the subject of much litigation. In addition, the scope of patent protection outside of the United States is uncertain and laws of non-U.S. countries may not protect our rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States or vice versa. With respect to both owned and in-licensed patent rights, we cannot predict whether the patent applications we and our licensor are currently pursuing will issue as patents in any particular jurisdiction or whether the claims of any issued patents will provide sufficient protection from competitors. Further, we may not be aware of all third-party intellectual property rights or prior art potentially relating to our computational platform, technology, and any product candidates we may develop. In addition, publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after filing of the priority application, or in some cases not published at all. Therefore, neither we nor our collaborators, or our licensor can know with certainty whether either we, our collaborators, or our licensor were the first to make the inventions claimed in the patents and patent applications we own or in-license now or in the future, or that either we, our collaborators, or our licensor were the first to file for patent protection of such inventions. As a result, the issuance, scope, validity, enforceability, and commercial value of our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed patent rights are highly uncertain. Moreover, our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed pending and future patent applications may not result in patents being issued that protect our technology and product candidates, in whole or in part, or that effectively prevent others from commercializing competitive technologies and products. Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of the patent laws in the United States and other countries may diminish the value of our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patents and our ability to obtain, protect, maintain, defend, and enforce our patent rights, narrow the scope of our patent protection and, more generally, could affect the value of, or narrow the scope of, our patent rights. For example, recent Supreme Court decisions have served to curtail the scope of subject matter eligible for patent protection in the United States, and many software patents have since been invalidated on the basis that they are directed to abstract ideas.

In order to pursue protection based on our provisional patent applications, we will need to file Patent Cooperation Treaty applications, non-U.S. applications, and/or U.S. non-provisional patent applications prior to applicable deadlines. Even then, as highlighted above, patents may never issue from our patent applications, or the scope of any patent may not be sufficient to provide a competitive advantage.

Moreover, we, our collaborators, or our licensor may be subject to a third-party preissuance submission of prior art to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, or become involved in opposition, derivation, revocation, reexamination, inter partes review, post-grant review or interference proceedings challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights or allow third parties to commercialize our technology or product candidates and compete directly with us, without payment to us. If the breadth or strength of protection provided by our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patents and patent applications is threatened, regardless of the outcome, it could dissuade companies from collaborating with us to license, develop, or commercialize current or future technology or product candidates.

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Additionally, the coverage claimed in a patent application can be significantly reduced before the patent is issued, and its scope can be reinterpreted after issuance. Even if our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed current and future patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors from competing with us, or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage. The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, 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. 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 technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and product candidates. Such proceedings also may result in substantial cost and require significant time from our management and employees, even if the eventual outcome is favorable to us. In particular, given the amount of time required for the development, testing, and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. Furthermore, our competitors may be able to circumvent our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patents by developing similar or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner. As a result, our owned, co-owned, and in-licensed current or future patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing technology and products similar or identical to any of our technology and product candidates.

Changes to patent laws in the United States and other jurisdictions could diminish the value of patents in general, thereby impairing our ability to protect our products.

Changes in either the patent laws or interpretation of patent laws in the United States, including patent reform legislation such as the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the Leahy-Smith Act, could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our owned and in-licensed patent applications and the maintenance, enforcement or defense of our owned and in-licensed issued patents. The Leahy-Smith Act includes a number of significant changes to United States patent law. These changes include provisions that affect the way patent applications are prosecuted, redefine prior art, provide more efficient and cost-effective avenues for competitors to challenge the validity of patents, and enable third-party submission of prior art to the USPTO during patent prosecution and additional procedures to attack the validity of a patent at USPTO-administered post-grant proceedings, including post-grant review, inter partes review, and derivation proceedings. Assuming that other requirements for patentability are met, prior to March 2013, in the United States, the first to invent the claimed invention was entitled to the patent, while outside the United States, the first to file a patent application was entitled to the patent. After March 2013, under the Leahy-Smith Act, the United States transitioned to a first-to-file system in which, assuming that the other statutory requirements for patentability 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. As such, 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.

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In addition, the patent positions of companies in the development and commercialization of software, biologics and pharmaceuticals are particularly uncertain. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have narrowed the scope of patent protection available in certain circumstances and weakened the rights of patent owners in certain situations. This combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the validity and enforceability of patents once obtained. Depending on future actions by the U.S. Congress, the federal courts, and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change in unpredictable ways that could have a material adverse effect on our patent rights and our ability to protect, defend and enforce our patent rights in the future.

A number of recent cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court have involved questions of when claims reciting abstract ideas, laws of nature, natural phenomena and/or natural products are eligible for a patent, regardless of whether the claimed subject matter is otherwise novel and inventive. These cases include Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 12-398 (2013) or Myriad; Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 13-298 (2014); and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., or Prometheus, 566 U.S. 10-1150 (2012). In response to these cases, federal courts have held numerous patents invalid as claiming subject matter ineligible for patent protection. Moreover, the USPTO has issued guidance to the examining corps on how to apply these cases during examination. The full impact of these decisions is not yet known.

In addition to increasing uncertainty with regard to our ability to obtain future patents, this combination of events has created uncertainty with respect to the value of patents, once obtained. Depending on these and other decisions by Congress, the federal courts and the USPTO, the laws and regulations governing patents could change or be interpreted in unpredictable ways that would weaken our ability to obtain new patents or to enforce any patents that may issue to us in the future. In addition, these events may adversely affect our ability to defend any patents that may issue in procedures in the USPTO or in courts.

We, our prior, existing, or future collaborators, and our existing or future licensors, may become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patent or other intellectual property rights, which could be expensive, time-consuming and unsuccessful.

Competitors and other third parties may infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate our, our prior, current and future collaborators’, or our current and future licensors’ issued patents or other intellectual property. As a result, we, our prior, current, or future collaborators, or our current or future licensor may need to file infringement, misappropriation, or other intellectual property related claims, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Any claims we assert against perceived infringers could provoke such parties to assert counterclaims against us alleging that we infringe, misappropriate, or otherwise violate their intellectual property. In addition, in a patent infringement proceeding, such parties could assert that the patents we or our licensors have asserted are invalid or unenforceable. In patent litigation in the United States, defenses alleging invalidity or unenforceability are commonplace. Grounds for a validity challenge could be an alleged failure to meet any of several statutory requirements, including lack of novelty, obviousness, or non-enablement. Grounds for an unenforceability assertion

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could be an allegation that someone connected with prosecution of the patent withheld relevant information from the USPTO, or made a misleading statement, during prosecution. Third parties may institute such claims before administrative bodies in the United States or abroad, even outside the context of litigation. Such mechanisms include re-examination, post-grant review, inter partes review, interference proceedings, derivation proceedings, and equivalent proceedings in non-U.S. jurisdictions (e.g., opposition proceedings). The outcome following legal assertions of invalidity and unenforceability is unpredictable.

An adverse result in any such proceeding could put one or more of our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patents at risk of being invalidated or interpreted narrowly and could put any of our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patent applications at risk of not yielding an issued patent. A court may also refuse to stop the third party from using the technology at issue in a proceeding on the grounds that our owned, co-owned, or in-licensed current or future patents do not cover such technology. Furthermore, because of the substantial amount of discovery required in connection with intellectual property litigation, there is a risk that some of our confidential information or trade secrets could be compromised by disclosure during this type of litigation. Any of the foregoing could allow such third parties to develop and commercialize competing technologies and products in a non-infringing manner and have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

Interference or derivation proceedings provoked by third parties, or brought by us or by our licensor, or declared by the USPTO may be necessary to determine the priority of inventions with respect to our patents or patent applications. An unfavorable outcome could require us to cease using the related technology or to attempt to license rights to it from the prevailing party. Our business could be harmed if the prevailing party does not offer us a license on commercially reasonable terms or at all, or if a non-exclusive license is offered and our competitors gain access to the same technology. Our defense of litigation or interference or derivation proceedings may fail and, even if successful, may result in substantial costs and distract our management and other employees. In addition, the uncertainties associated with litigation could have a material adverse effect on our ability to raise the funds necessary to conduct clinical trials, continue our research programs, license necessary technology from third parties, or enter into development collaborations that would help us bring any product candidates to market.

Third parties may initiate legal proceedings alleging that we are infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights, the outcome of which would be uncertain and could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

Our commercial success depends upon our ability and the ability of our collaborators to develop, manufacture, market and sell any product candidates we may develop and for our collaborators, customers and partners to use our proprietary technologies without infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating the intellectual property and proprietary rights of third parties. There is considerable patent and other intellectual property litigation in the software, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. We may become party to, or threatened with, adversarial proceedings or litigation regarding intellectual property rights with respect to our technology and product candidates, including interference proceedings, post grant review, inter

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partes review, and derivation proceedings before the USPTO and similar proceedings in non-U.S. jurisdictions such as oppositions before the European Patent Office. Numerous U.S. and non-U.S. issued patents and pending patent applications, which are owned by third parties, exist in the fields in which we are pursuing development candidates. As the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries expand and more patents are issued, the risk increases that our technologies or product candidates that we may identify may be subject to claims of infringement of the patent rights of third parties.

The legal threshold for initiating litigation or contested proceedings is low, so that even lawsuits or proceedings with a low probability of success might be initiated and require significant resources to defend. 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. The risks of being involved in such litigation and proceedings may increase if and as any product candidates near commercialization and as we gain the greater visibility associated with being a public company. Third parties may assert infringement claims against us based on existing patents or patents that may be granted in the future, regardless of merit. We may not be aware of all such intellectual property rights potentially relating to our technology and product candidates and their uses, or we may incorrectly conclude that third-party intellectual property is invalid or that our activities and product candidates do not infringe such intellectual property. Thus, we do not know with certainty that our technology and product candidates, or our development and commercialization thereof, do not and will not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any third party’s intellectual property.

Third parties may assert that we are employing their proprietary technology without authorization. There may be third-party patents or patent applications with claims to materials, formulations or methods, such as methods of manufacture or methods for treatment, related to the discovery, use or manufacture of the product candidates that we may identify or related to our technologies. Because patent applications can take many years to issue, there may be currently pending patent applications which may later result in issued patents that the product candidates that we may identify may infringe. In addition, third parties may obtain patents in the future and claim that use of our technologies infringes upon these patents. Moreover, as noted above, there may be existing patents that we are not aware of or that we have incorrectly concluded are invalid or not infringed by our activities. If any third-party patents were held by a court of competent jurisdiction to cover, for example, the manufacturing process of the product candidates that we may identify, any molecules formed during the manufacturing process or any final product itself, the holders of any such patents may be able to block our ability to commercialize such product candidate unless we obtained a license under the applicable patents, or until such patents expire.

Parties making claims against us may obtain injunctive or other equitable relief, which could effectively block our ability to further develop and commercialize the product candidates that we may identify. Defense of these claims, regardless of their merit, would involve substantial litigation expense and would be a substantial diversion of employee resources from our business. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may have to pay

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substantial damages, including treble damages and attorneys’ fees for willful infringement, pay royalties, redesign our infringing products, be forced to indemnify our customers or collaborators or obtain one or more licenses from third parties, which may be impossible or require substantial time and monetary expenditure.

We may choose to take a license or, if we are found to infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate a third party’s intellectual property rights, we could also be required to obtain a license from such third party to continue developing, manufacturing and marketing our technology and product candidates. However, we may not be able to obtain any required license on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Even if we were able to obtain a license, it could be non-exclusive, thereby giving our competitors and other third parties access to the same technologies licensed to us and could require us to make substantial licensing and royalty payments. We could be forced, including by court order, to cease developing, manufacturing and commercializing the infringing technology or product. A finding of infringement could prevent us from commercializing any product candidates or force us to cease some of our business operations, which could materially harm our business. In addition, we may be forced to redesign any product candidates, seek new regulatory approvals and indemnify third parties pursuant to contractual agreements. Claims that we have misappropriated the confidential information or trade secrets of third parties could have a similar material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

We may be subject to claims by third parties asserting that our employees, consultants, or contractors have wrongfully used or disclosed confidential information of third parties, or we have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their current or former employers or claims asserting we have misappropriated their intellectual property, or claiming ownership of what we regard as our own intellectual property.

Certain of our employees, consultants, and contractors were previously employed at universities or other software or biopharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. Although we try to ensure that our employees, consultants and contractors do not use the proprietary information or know-how of others in their work for us, we may be subject to claims that these individuals or we have used or disclosed intellectual property, including trade secrets or other proprietary information, of any such individual’s current or former employer. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims.

In addition, while it is our policy to require that our employees, consultants and contractors who may be involved in the development of intellectual property to execute agreements assigning such intellectual property to us, we may be unsuccessful in executing such an agreement with each party who in fact develops intellectual property that we regard as our own. Our intellectual property assignment agreements with them may not be self-executing or may be breached, and we may be forced to bring claims against third parties, or defend claims they may bring against us, to determine the ownership of what we regard as our intellectual property. Such claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

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If we fail in prosecuting or defending any such claims, in addition to paying monetary damages, we may lose valuable intellectual property rights or personnel, which could have a material adverse effect on our competitive business position and prospects. Such intellectual property rights could be awarded to a third party, and we could be required to obtain a license from such third party to commercialize our technology or products, which license may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, or such license may be non-exclusive. Even if we are successful in prosecuting or defending against such claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to our management and employees.

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

In addition to seeking patents for any product candidates and technology, we also rely on trade secrets and confidentiality agreements to protect our unpatented know-how, technology, and other proprietary information, to maintain our competitive position. We seek to protect our trade secrets and other proprietary technology, in part, by entering into non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements with parties who have access to them, such as our employees, corporate collaborators, outside scientific collaborators, contract research organizations, contract manufacturers, consultants, advisors, collaborators, and other third parties. We also enter into confidentiality and invention or patent assignment agreements with our employees and consultants, but we cannot guarantee that we have entered into such agreements with each party that may have or has had access to our trade secrets or proprietary technology. Despite these efforts, any of these parties may breach the agreements and disclose our proprietary information, including our trade secrets, and we may not be able to obtain adequate remedies for such breaches. Detecting the disclosure or misappropriation of a trade secret and enforcing a claim that a party illegally disclosed or misappropriated a trade secret is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, and the outcome is unpredictable. In addition, some courts inside and outside of the United States are less willing or unwilling to protect trade secrets. If any of our trade secrets were to be lawfully obtained or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, we would have no right to prevent them, or those to whom they communicate it, from using that technology or information to compete with us. If any of our trade secrets were to be disclosed to or independently developed by a competitor or other third party, our competitive position may be materially and adversely harmed.

Risks Related to Regulatory and Other Legal Compliance Matters

Compliance with global privacy and data security requirements could result in additional costs and liabilities to us or inhibit our ability to collect and process data globally, and the failure to comply with such requirements could subject us to significant fines and penalties, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

The regulatory framework for the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing, transfer, and other processing of information worldwide is rapidly evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Globally, virtually every jurisdiction in which we operate has established its own data security and privacy frameworks with which we must comply. For example, the collection, use, disclosure, transfer, or other processing of personal data regarding individuals in the European Union, including personal health data and employee data, is subject to the

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European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR, which took effect across all member states of the European Economic Area, or EEA, in May 2018. The GDPR is wide-ranging in scope and imposes numerous requirements on companies that process personal data, including requirements relating to processing health and other sensitive data, obtaining consent of the individuals to whom the personal data relates, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR would increase our obligations with respect to any clinical trials conducted in the EEA by expanding the definition of personal data to include coded data and requiring changes to informed consent practices and more detailed notices for clinical trial subjects and investigators. In addition, the GDPR also imposes strict rules on the transfer of personal data to countries outside the European Union, including the United States and, as a result, increases the scrutiny that such rules should apply to transfers of personal data from any clinical trial sites located in the EEA to the United States. The GDPR also permits data protection authorities to require destruction of improperly gathered or used personal information and/or impose substantial fines for violations of the GDPR, which can be up to four percent of global revenues or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater, and confers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies, and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. In addition, the GDPR provides that European Union member states may make their own further laws and regulations limiting the processing of personal data, including genetic, biometric, or health data.

Given the breadth and depth of changes in data protection obligations, preparing for and complying with the GDPR’s requirements is rigorous and time intensive and requires significant resources and a review of our technologies, systems and practices, as well as those of any third-party collaborators, service providers, contractors, or consultants that process or transfer personal data collected in the European Union. The GDPR and other changes in laws or regulations associated with the enhanced protection of certain types of sensitive data, such as healthcare data or other personal information, could require us to change our business practices and put in place additional compliance mechanisms, may interrupt or delay our development, regulatory and commercialization activities and increase our cost of doing business, and could lead to government enforcement actions, private litigation, and significant fines and penalties against us, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

Similar privacy and data security requirements are either in place or underway in the United States. There are a broad variety of data protection laws that may be applicable to our activities, and a range of enforcement agencies at both the state and federal levels that can review companies for privacy and data security concerns. The Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General all are aggressive in reviewing privacy and data security protections for consumers. New laws also are being considered at both the state and federal levels. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, is creating similar risks and obligations as those created by GDPR. Because of this, we may need to engage in additional activities (e.g., data mapping) to identify the personal information we are collecting and the purposes for which such information is collected. In addition, we will need to

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ensure that our policies recognize the rights granted to consumers (as that phrase is broadly defined in the CCPA and can include business contact information), including granting consumers the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information. Many other states are considering similar legislation. A broad range of legislative measures also have been introduced at the federal level. Accordingly, failure to comply with current and any future federal and state laws regarding privacy and security of personal information could expose us to fines and penalties. We also face a threat of consumer class actions related to these laws and the overall protection of personal data. Even if we are not determined to have violated these laws, investigations into these issues typically require the expenditure of significant resources and generate negative publicity, which could harm our reputation and our business.

We, and the collaborators who use our computational platform, may be subject to applicable anti-kickback, fraud and abuse, false claims, transparency, health information privacy and security, and other healthcare laws and regulations. Failure to comply with such laws and regulations, may result in substantial penalties.

We, and the collaborators who use our computational platform, may be subject to broadly applicable healthcare laws and regulations that may constrain the business or financial arrangements and relationships through which we market, sell, and distribute our software solutions and any products for which we obtain marketing approval. Such healthcare laws and regulations include, but are not limited to, the federal health care Anti-Kickback Statute; federal civil and criminal false claims laws, such as the federal False Claims Act; the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA; the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA; the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act; and analogous state and foreign laws and regulations, such as state anti-kickback and false claims laws and transparency laws.

Efforts to ensure that our business arrangements with third parties will comply with applicable healthcare laws and regulations will involve substantial costs. It is possible that governmental authorities will conclude that our business practices may not comply with current or future statutes, regulations, or case law involving applicable fraud and abuse or other healthcare laws and regulations. Violations of applicable healthcare laws and regulations may result in significant civil, criminal, and administrative penalties, damages, disgorgement, fines, imprisonment, exclusion of products from government funded healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, additional reporting requirements, and/or oversight if a corporate integrity agreement or similar agreement is executed to resolve allegations of non-compliance with these laws and the curtailment or restructuring of operations. In addition, violations may also result in reputational harm, diminished profits, and future earnings.

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We are subject to anti-corruption laws, as well as export control laws, customs laws, sanctions laws, and other laws governing our operations. If we fail to comply with these laws, we could be subject to civil or criminal penalties, other remedial measures, and legal expenses, be precluded from developing, manufacturing, and selling certain products outside the United States or be required to develop and implement costly compliance programs, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our operations are subject to anti-corruption laws, including the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, or Bribery Act, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA, and other anti-corruption laws that apply in countries where we do business and may do business in the future. The Bribery Act, FCPA, and these other laws generally prohibit us, our officers, and our employees and intermediaries from bribing, being bribed, or making other prohibited payments to government officials or other persons to obtain or retain business or gain some other business advantage. Compliance with the FCPA, in particular, is expensive and difficult, particularly in countries in which corruption is a recognized problem. In addition, the FCPA presents particular challenges in the biopharmaceutical industry, because, in many countries, hospitals are operated by the government, and doctors and other hospital employees are considered foreign officials. Certain payments to hospitals in connection with clinical trials and other work have been deemed to be improper payments to government officials and have led to FCPA enforcement actions.

We may in the future operate in jurisdictions that pose a high risk of potential Bribery Act or FCPA violations, and we may participate in collaborations and relationships with third parties whose actions could potentially subject us to liability under the Bribery Act, FCPA, or local anti-corruption laws. In addition, we cannot predict the nature, scope or effect of future regulatory requirements to which our international operations might be subject or the manner in which existing laws might be administered or interpreted. If we further expand our operations outside of the United States, we will need to dedicate additional resources to comply with numerous laws and regulations in each jurisdiction in which we plan to operate.

We are also subject to other laws and regulations governing our international operations, including regulations administered by the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States, and authorities in the European Union, including applicable export control regulations, economic sanctions on countries and persons, customs requirements, and currency exchange regulations, collectively referred to as the Trade Control laws. In addition, various laws, regulations, and executive orders also restrict the use and dissemination outside of the United States, or the sharing with certain non-U.S. nationals, of information classified for national security purposes, as well as certain products and technical data relating to those products. If we expand our presence outside of the United States, it will require us to dedicate additional resources to comply with these laws, and these laws may preclude us from developing, manufacturing, or selling certain products and product candidates outside of the United States, which could limit our growth potential and increase our development costs.

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There is no assurance that we will be completely effective in ensuring our compliance with all applicable anti-corruption laws, including the Bribery Act, the FCPA, or other legal requirements, including Trade Control laws. If we are not in compliance with the Bribery Act, the FCPA, and other anti-corruption laws or Trade Control laws, we may be subject to criminal and civil penalties, disgorgement and other sanctions and remedial measures, and legal expenses, which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, also may suspend or bar issuers from trading securities on U.S. exchanges for violations of the FCPA’s accounting provisions. Any investigation of any potential violations of the Bribery Act, the FCPA, other anti-corruption laws or Trade Control laws by United Kingdom, U.S., or other authorities could also have an adverse impact on our reputation, our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our employees, independent contractors, consultants, and vendors may engage in misconduct or other improper activities, including non-compliance with regulatory standards and requirements and insider trading laws, which could cause significant liability for us and harm our reputation.

We are exposed to the risk of fraud or other misconduct by our employees, independent contractors, consultants, and vendors. Misconduct by these partners could include intentional failures to comply with FDA regulations or similar regulations of comparable foreign regulatory authorities, provide accurate information to the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, comply with manufacturing standards, comply with federal and state healthcare fraud and abuse laws and regulations and similar laws and regulations established and enforced by comparable foreign regulatory authorities, report financial information or data accurately, or disclose unauthorized activities to us. Employee misconduct could also involve the improper use of information obtained in the course of clinical trials, which could result in regulatory sanctions and serious harm to our reputation. This could include violations of HIPAA, other U.S. federal and state law, and requirements of non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the European Union Data Protection Directive. We are also exposed to risks in connection with any insider trading violations by employees or others affiliated with us. It is not always possible to identify and deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in controlling unknown or unmanaged risks or losses or in protecting us from governmental investigations or other actions or lawsuits stemming from a failure to be in compliance with such laws, standards, regulations, guidance, or codes of conduct. Furthermore, our employees may, from time to time, bring lawsuits against us for employment issues, including injury, discrimination, wage and hour disputes, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, or other employment issues. 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 fines or other sanctions.

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Our internal information technology systems, or those of our third-party vendors, contractors, or consultants, may fail or suffer security breaches, loss or leakage of data, and other disruptions, which could result in a material disruption of our services, compromise sensitive information related to our business, or prevent us from accessing critical information, potentially exposing us to liability or otherwise adversely affecting our business.

We are increasingly dependent upon information technology systems, infrastructure, and data to operate our business. In the ordinary course of business, we collect, store, and transmit confidential information (including but not limited to intellectual property, proprietary business information, and personal information). It is critical that we do so in a secure manner to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of such confidential information. We also have outsourced elements of our operations to third parties, and as a result we manage a number of third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants who have access to our confidential information.

Despite the implementation of security measures, given the size and complexity of our internal information technology systems and those of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants, and the increasing amounts of confidential information that they maintain, our information technology systems are potentially vulnerable to breakdown or other damage or interruption from service interruptions, system malfunction, natural disasters, terrorism, war, and telecommunication and electrical failures, as well as security breaches from inadvertent or intentional actions by our employees, third-party vendors, contractors, consultants, business partners, and/or other third parties, or from cyber-attacks by malicious third parties (including the deployment of harmful malware, ransomware, denial-of-service attacks, social engineering, and other means to affect service reliability and threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information), which may compromise our system infrastructure, or that of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants or lead to data leakage. The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber-attacks or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments, and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity, and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. We may not be able to anticipate all types of security threats, and we may not be able to implement preventive measures effective against all such security threats. For example, third parties have in the past and may in the future illegally pirate our software and make that software publicly available on peer-to-peer file sharing networks or otherwise. The techniques used by cyber criminals change frequently, may not be recognized until launched, and can originate from a wide variety of sources, including outside groups such as external service providers, organized crime affiliates, terrorist organizations, or hostile foreign governments or agencies. To the extent that any disruption or security breach were to result in a loss of, or damage to, our data or applications, or those of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants, or inappropriate disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, we could incur liability and reputational damage and the further development and commercialization of our software could be delayed. The costs related to significant security breaches or disruptions could be material and exceed the limits of the cybersecurity insurance we maintain against such risks. If the information technology systems of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants become subject to disruptions or security breaches, we may have insufficient recourse against such third parties and we may have to expend significant resources to mitigate the impact of such an event, and to develop and implement protections to prevent future events of this nature from occurring.

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While we have not experienced any such system failure, accident, or security breach to date, and believe that our data protection efforts and our investment in information technology reduce the likelihood of such incidents in the future, we cannot assure you that our data protection efforts and our investment in information technology will prevent significant breakdowns, data leakages, breaches in our systems, or those of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants, or other cyber incidents that could have a material adverse effect upon our reputation, business, operations, or financial condition. For example, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations, or those of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants, it could result in a material disruption of our programs and the development of our services and technologies could be delayed. Furthermore, significant disruptions of our internal information technology systems or those of our third-party vendors and other contractors and consultants, or security breaches could result in the loss, misappropriation, and/or unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of, or the prevention of access to, confidential information (including trade secrets or other intellectual property, proprietary business information, and personal information), which could result in financial, legal, business, and reputational harm to us. For example, any such event that leads to unauthorized access, use, or disclosure of personal information, including personal information regarding our customers or employees, could harm our reputation directly, compel us to comply with federal and/or state breach notification laws and foreign law equivalents, subject us to mandatory corrective action, and otherwise subject us to liability under laws and regulations that protect the privacy and security of personal information, which could result in significant legal and financial exposure and reputational damages that could potentially have an adverse effect on our business. Further, sophisticated cyber attackers (including foreign adversaries engaged in industrial espionage) are skilled at adapting to existing security technology and developing new methods of gaining access to organizations’ sensitive business data, which could result in the loss of sensitive information, including trade secrets. Additionally, actual, potential, or anticipated attacks may cause us to incur increasing costs, including costs to deploy additional personnel and protection technologies, train employees, and engage third-party experts and consultants.

Risks Related to Employee Matters and Managing Growth

Our future success depends on our ability to retain key executives and to attract, retain, and motivate qualified personnel.

We are highly dependent on the research and development, clinical, financial, operational, scientific, software engineering, and other business expertise of our executive officers, as well as the other principal members of our management, scientific, clinical, and software engineering teams. Although we have entered into employment agreements with our executive officers, each of them may terminate their employment with us at any time. We do not maintain “key person” insurance for any of our executives or other employees.

The loss of the services of our executive officers or other key employees could impede the achievement of our development and sales goals in our software business and the achievement of our research, development, and commercialization objectives in our drug discovery business. In either case, the loss of the services of our executive officers or other key employees could seriously harm our ability to successfully implement our business strategy. Furthermore,

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replacing executive officers and key employees may be difficult and may take an extended period of time because of the limited number of individuals with the breadth of skills and experience required to successfully develop, gain regulatory approval of, and commercialize products in the life sciences industry.

Recruiting and retaining qualified scientific, clinical, manufacturing, accounting, legal, and sales and marketing personnel, as well as software engineers and computational chemists, will also be critical to our success. In the technology industry, there is substantial and continuous competition for engineers with high levels of expertise in designing, developing, and managing software and related services, as well as competition for sales executives, data scientists, and operations personnel. Competition to hire these individuals is intense, and we may be unable to hire, train, retain, or motivate these key personnel on acceptable terms given the competition among numerous biopharmaceutical and technology companies for similar personnel. We also experience competition for the hiring of scientific and clinical personnel from universities and research institutions. In addition, we rely on consultants and advisors to assist us in formulating our research and development and commercialization strategy and advancing our computational platform. Our consultants and advisors may be employed by employers other than us and may have commitments under consulting or advisory contracts with other entities that may limit their availability to us. If we are unable to continue to attract and retain high quality personnel, our ability to pursue our growth strategy will be limited and our business would be adversely affected.

We are pursuing multiple business strategies and expect to expand our development and regulatory capabilities, and as a result, we may encounter difficulties in managing our multiple business units and our growth, which could disrupt our operations.

Currently, we are pursuing multiple business strategies simultaneously, including activities in research and development, software sales, and collaborative and internal drug discovery. We believe pursuing these multiple business strategies offers financial and operational synergies, but these diversified operations place increased demands on our limited resources. Furthermore, we expect to experience significant growth in the number of our employees and the scope of our operations, particularly in the areas of drug development, clinical and regulatory affairs. To manage our multiple business units and anticipated future growth, we must continue to implement and improve our managerial, operational and financial systems, expand our facilities, and continue to recruit and train additional qualified personnel. Due to our limited financial resources and our management team’s limited attention and limited experience in managing a company with such anticipated growth, we may not be able to effectively manage our multiple business units and the expansion of our operations or recruit and train additional qualified personnel. The expansion of our operations may lead to significant costs and may divert our management and business development resources. In addition, in order to meet our obligations as a public company and to support our anticipated long-term growth, we will need to increase our general and administrative capabilities. Our management, personnel, and systems may not be adequate to support this future growth. Any inability to manage our multiple business units and growth could delay the execution of our business plans or disrupt our operations and the synergies we believe currently exist between our business units. In addition, adverse developments in one of these business units may disrupt these synergies.

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Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock

An active trading market for our common stock may not develop or be sustained.

Our shares of common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on February 6, 2020. Prior to February 6, 2020, there was no public market for our common stock, and we cannot assure you that an active trading market for our shares will continue to develop or be sustained. As a result, it may be difficult for our stockholders to sell their shares without depressing the market price of our common stock, or at all.

Our executive officers, directors, and principal stockholders, if they choose to act together, have the ability to control all matters submitted to stockholders for approval.

As of March 12, 2020, our executive officers and directors and our stockholders who beneficially owned more than 5% of our outstanding common stock, in the aggregate, beneficially owned shares representing approximately 52.3% of our common stock and all of our limited common stock, or, if the holder of our limited common stock exercised its right to exchange each share of its limited common stock for one share of our common stock, approximately 62.3% of our common stock. As a result, if these stockholders were to choose to act together, they would be able to control all matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, as well as our management and affairs. For example, these persons, if they choose to act together, would control the election of directors and approval of any merger, consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of our assets.

This concentration of ownership control may:

 

delay, defer, or prevent a change in control;

 

entrench our management and board of directors; or

 

delay or prevent a merger, consolidation, takeover, or other business combination involving us that other stockholders may desire.

This concentration of ownership may also adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

The price of our common stock may be volatile and fluctuate substantially, which could result in substantial losses for our stockholders.

Our stock price is likely to be volatile. Since our initial public offering in February 2020, the intraday price of our common stock has fluctuated from a low of $25.50 to a high of $56.65. As a result of volatility, our stockholders may not be able to sell their common stock at or above the price paid for the shares. The market price for our common stock may be influenced by many factors, including:

 

our investment in, and the success of, our software solutions;

 

the success of our research and development efforts for our internal drug discovery programs;

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initiation and progress of preclinical studies and clinical trials for any product candidates that we may develop;

 

results of or developments in preclinical studies and clinical trials of any product candidates we may develop or those of our competitors or potential collaborators;

 

the success of our drug discovery collaborators and any milestone or other payments we receive from such collaborators;

 

the success of competitive products or technologies;

 

regulatory or legal developments in the United States and other countries;

 

the recruitment or departure of key personnel;

 

variations in our financial results or the financial results of companies that are perceived to be similar to us;

 

sales of common stock by us, our executive officers, directors or principal stockholders, or others, or the anticipation of such sales;

 

market conditions in the biopharmaceutical sector;

 

general economic, industry, and market conditions; and

 

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

In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class-action litigation has often been instituted against that company. Any lawsuit to which we are a party, with or without merit, may result in an unfavorable judgment. We also may decide to settle lawsuits on unfavorable terms. Any such negative outcome could result in payments of substantial damages or fines, damage to our reputation, or adverse changes to our offerings or business practices. Such litigation may also cause us to incur other substantial costs to defend such claims and divert management’s attention and resources.

Our actual operating results may differ significantly from our guidance.

From time to time, we may release guidance in our quarterly earnings conference calls, quarterly earnings releases, or otherwise, regarding our future performance that represents our management’s estimates as of the date of release. This guidance, which would include forward-looking statements, would be based on projections prepared by our management. Neither our registered public accountants nor any other independent expert or outside party would compile or examine the projections. Accordingly, no such person would express any opinion or any other form of assurance with respect to the projections.

Projections are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that, while presented with numerical specificity, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control and are based upon specific assumptions with respect to future business decisions, some of which will change. The principal reason that we would release guidance is to provide a basis for our management to discuss our business outlook with analysts and investors. We do not accept any responsibility for any projections or reports published by any such third parties.

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Guidance is necessarily speculative in nature, and it can be expected that some or all of the assumptions underlying any guidance furnished by us will not materialize or will vary significantly from actual results. Accordingly, our guidance would be only an estimate of what management believes is realizable as of the date of release. Actual results may vary from our guidance and the variations may be material.

We and our collaborators may not achieve projected discovery and development milestones and other anticipated key events in the time frames that we or they announce, which could have an adverse impact on our business and could cause our stock price to decline.

From time to time, we expect that we will make public statements regarding the expected timing of certain milestones and key events, such as the commencement and completion of preclinical and IND-enabling studies in our internal drug discovery programs as well developments and milestones under our collaborations. Morphic has also made public statements regarding its expectations for the development of programs under collaboration with us and they and other collaborators may in the future make additional statements about their goals and expectations for collaborations with us. The actual timing of these events can vary dramatically due to a number of factors such as delays or failures in our or our current and future collaborators’ drug discovery and development programs, the amount of time, effort, and resources committed by us and our current and future collaborators, and the numerous uncertainties inherent in the development of drugs. As a result, there can be no assurance that our or our current and future collaborators’ programs will advance or be completed in the time frames we or they announce or expect. If we or any collaborators fail to achieve one or more of these milestones or other key events as planned, our business could be materially adversely affected and the price of our common stock could decline.

If securities analysts do not publish or cease publishing research or reports or publish misleading, inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business or if they publish negative evaluations of our stock, the price and trading volume of our stock could decline.

The market price and trading volume for our common stock relies, in part, on the research and reports that industry or financial analysts publish about us or our business. We do not have control over these analysts. There can be no assurance that existing analysts will continue to cover us or that new analysts will begin to cover us. There is also no assurance that any covering analyst will provide favorable coverage. Although we have obtained analyst coverage, if one or more of the analysts covering our business downgrade their evaluations of our stock or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, or provides more favorable relative recommendations about our competitors, the price of our stock could decline. If one or more of these analysts cease to cover our stock, we could lose visibility in the market for our stock, which in turn could cause our stock price and trading volume to decline.

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We have broad discretion in the use of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities and may not use them effectively.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities and could use such funds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common stock or in ways that our stockholders may not agree with. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects and could cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Because we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future, capital appreciation, if any, will be the sole source of gain for our stockholders.

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock. We currently intend to retain all of our future earnings to fund the development and expansion of our business. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our board of directors. As a result, capital appreciation of our common stock, if any, will be the sole source of gain for our stockholders for the foreseeable future.

A significant portion of our total outstanding shares are eligible to be sold into the market in the near future, which could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is doing well.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market, or the perception in the market that the holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could reduce the market price of our common stock, impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities, and make it more difficult for our stockholders to sell their common stock at a time and price that they deem appropriate. As of February 29, 2020, we had outstanding 50,091,685 shares of common stock and 13,164,193 shares of limited common stock.  This includes the 13,664,704 shares of common stock that we sold in our initial public offering, which became freely tradeable in the public market without restriction immediately following the offering, unless purchased by our affiliates. The remaining shares of our common stock and shares of our limited common stock are currently restricted as a result of securities laws or lock-up agreements, but will be eligible to be sold in the near future. The representatives of the underwriters for our initial public offering may release some or all of the shares of common stock subject to lock-up agreements at any time in their sole discretion and without notice, which would allow for earlier sales of shares in the public market.

Moreover, beginning in August 2020, certain holders of our common stock and our limited common stock will have rights, subject to specified conditions, to require us to file registration statements covering their shares, or to include their shares in registration statements that we may file for ourselves or other stockholders. We also have filed a registration statement on Form S-8 to register shares of common stock that we may issue under our equity compensation plans. Shares registered under this registration statement on Form S-8 are available for sale in the public market upon issuance, subject to volume limitations applicable to affiliates, vesting arrangements and exercise of options, and the lock-up agreements entered into in connection with our initial public offering.

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We are an “emerging growth company” and a “smaller reporting company,” and the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies and smaller reporting companies may make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” or EGC, as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. We may remain an EGC until December 31, 2025, although if we become a “large accelerated filer” or if we have annual gross revenues of $1.07 billion or more in any fiscal year, we would cease to be an EGC as of December 31 of the applicable year. We also would cease to be an EGC if we issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period. For so long as we remain an EGC, we are permitted and intend to rely on exemptions from certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not EGCs. These exemptions include:

 

not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements in the assessment of our internal control over financial reporting;

 

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;

 

reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation; and

 

exemptions from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved.

We are also a “smaller reporting company,” as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. We would cease to be a smaller reporting company if we have a public float in excess of $250 million or have annual revenues in excess of $100 million and a public float in excess of $700 million, determined on an annual basis. Similar to emerging growth companies, smaller reporting companies have reduced disclosure obligations, such as an exemption from providing selected financial data and an ability to provide simplified executive compensation information and only two years of audited financial statement in this Annual Report, with correspondingly reduced “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” disclosure.

We have taken advantage of reduced reporting obligations in this Annual Report. In particular, in this Annual Report we have provided only two years of audited financial statements and have not included all of the executive compensation related information that would be required if we were not an EGC or a smaller reporting company.

We cannot predict whether investors will find our common stock less attractive if we rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

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In addition, the JOBS Act permits an EGC to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We have elected to take advantage of such extended transition period, which means that when a standard is issued or revised and it has different application dates for public or private companies, we may adopt the new or revised standard at the time private companies adopt the new or revised standard and may do so until such time that we either irrevocably elect to “opt out” of such extended transition period or no longer qualify as an EGC.

We have incurred and will continue to incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management has devoted and will continue to be required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives and corporate governance practices.

As a public company, we have incurred and will continue to incur significant legal, accounting, and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company, which we expect to further increase after we are no longer an EGC. The Exchange Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of Nasdaq, and other applicable securities rules and regulations impose various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel devote and will need to continue to devote a substantial amount of time and resources to these compliance initiatives, potentially at the expense of other business concerns, which could harm our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects. Moreover, these rules and regulations will increase our legal and financial compliance costs, and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly compared to when we were a private company. 

We are evaluating these rules and regulations, and cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs. These rules and regulations are often subject to varying interpretations, in many cases due to their lack of specificity, and, as a result, their application in practice may evolve over time as new guidance is provided by regulatory and governing bodies. This could result in continuing uncertainty regarding compliance matters and higher costs necessitated by ongoing revisions to disclosure and governance practices.

 

If we fail to establish and maintain effective internal controls, we may be unable to produce timely and accurate financial statements, and we may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective, which could adversely impact our investors' confidence and our stock price.

As a private company, we had limited accounting and financial reporting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and related procedures. In connection with the audit of our consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018, we and our independent registered public accounting firm identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weakness related to our controls

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to review equity method investee financial information at a level of precision that would identify material misstatements in our financial statements, which was due to a deficiency in the design of entity-level controls. As a result of the material weakness, we failed to timely detect and correct a $3.4 million undervaluation of an equity method investment. The accompanying financial statements for 2018 were previously corrected to reflect the impact of this adjustment.

We have implemented measures designed to improve our internal control over financial reporting to remediate the material weakness. For example, we have increased communication with our equity investee companies to ensure timely receipt of relevant financial information; we have instructed our material investees to provide quarterly U.S. GAAP financial statements; and we have implemented completeness and accuracy controls surrounding the financial data received from investees.

We cannot assure you that the measures we have taken to date, together with any measures we may take in the future, will be sufficient to avoid potential future material weaknesses. In addition, neither our management nor an independent registered public accounting firm has ever performed an evaluation of our internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act because no such evaluation has been required. Had we or our independent registered public accounting firm performed an evaluation of our internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, additional material weaknesses may have been identified. If we are unable to successfully remediate any future material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or if we identify any additional material weakness, the accuracy and timing of our financial reporting may be adversely affected, we may be unable to maintain compliance with securities law requirements regarding timely filing of periodic reports in addition to applicable stock exchange listing requirements, investors may lose confidence in our financial reporting, and our stock price may decline as a result. We also could become subject to investigations by Nasdaq, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities.

As a result of becoming a public company, we will be obligated to develop and maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting. Any failure to maintain the adequacy of these internal controls may adversely affect investor confidence in our company and, as a result, the value of our common stock.

Pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we will be required to furnish a report by our management on our internal control over financial reporting beginning with our filing of an Annual Report on Form 10-K with the SEC for the year ended December 31, 2020. This assessment will need to include disclosure of any material weaknesses identified by our management in our internal control over financial reporting. However, our independent registered public accounting firm will not be required to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting until our first annual report required to be filed with the SEC following the date we are no longer an EGC. At such time as we are required to obtain auditor attestation, if we then have a material weakness, we would receive an adverse opinion regarding our internal control over financial reporting from our independent registered accounting firm.

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To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we will be engaged in a process to document and evaluate our internal control over financial reporting, which is both costly and challenging. In this regard, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, including through hiring additional financial and accounting personnel, potentially engage outside consultants and adopt a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of internal control over financial reporting, continue steps to improve control processes as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented, and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. During our evaluation of our internal control, if we identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. We cannot assure you that there will not be material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting in the future. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition, or results of operations. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm determines we have a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of shares of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by Nasdaq, the SEC, or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.

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

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

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Provisions in our corporate charter documents and under Delaware law could make an acquisition of our company, which may be beneficial to our stockholders, more difficult and may prevent attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current directors and members of management.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and our bylaws may discourage, delay, or prevent a merger, acquisition, or other change in control of our company that stockholders may consider favorable, including transactions in which stockholders might otherwise receive a premium for their shares. These provisions could also limit the price that investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock, thereby depressing the market price of our common stock. In addition, because our board of directors is responsible for appointing the members of our management team, these provisions may frustrate or prevent any attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our current management by making it more difficult for stockholders to replace members of our board of directors. Among other things, these provisions:

 

establish a classified board of directors such that only one of three classes of directors is elected each year;

 

allow the authorized number of our directors to be changed only by resolution of our board of directors;

 

limit the manner in which stockholders can remove directors from our board of directors;

 

establish advance notice requirements for stockholder proposals that can be acted on at stockholder meetings and nominations to our board of directors;

 

require that stockholder actions must be effected at a duly called stockholder meeting and prohibit actions by our stockholders by written consent, except in limited circumstances;

 

limit who may call stockholder meetings to the board of directors or to the secretary at the request of the holders of at least 25% of the outstanding shares of our common stock and limited common stock; and

 

authorize our board of directors to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval, which could be used to institute a “poison pill” that would work to dilute the stock ownership of a potential hostile acquirer, effectively preventing acquisitions that have not been approved by our board of directors.

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, or the DGCL, which prohibits a person who owns in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock from merging or combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which the person acquired in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner.

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Our certificate of incorporation designates the state courts in the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could discourage lawsuits against the company and our directors, officers, and employees.

Our certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to the selection of an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (or, if the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware does not have jurisdiction, the federal district court for the District of Delaware) will be the sole and exclusive forum for: (1) any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf, (2) any action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or stockholders to our company or our stockholders, (3) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the DGCL or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware or (4) any action asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of our certificate of incorporation or bylaws (in each case, as they may be amended from time to time) or governed by the internal affairs doctrine. These choice of forum provisions will not apply to suits brought to enforce a duty or liability created by the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Exchange Act or any other claim for which federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.

This exclusive forum provision may limit the ability of our stockholders to bring a claim in a judicial forum that such stockholders find favorable for disputes with us or our directors, officers, or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits against us and our directors, officers, and employees. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, and operating results.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

None.

Item 2. Properties.

Our principal facilities consist of office space. We occupy approximately 63,000 square feet of office space in New York, New York under a lease that currently expires in August 2021. We also occupy approximately 26,000 square feet of office space in Portland, Oregon under a lease that currently expires in August 2026, and we lease additional office space at our other office locations around the world. We believe our facilities are adequate and suitable for our current needs and that should it be needed, suitable additional or alternative space will be available to accommodate our operations.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

From time to time, we may become involved in legal proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business. We are not currently subject to any material legal proceedings.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock has been publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SDGR” since February 6, 2020. Prior to that date, there was no public market for our common stock. Our limited common stock is not listed or traded on any stock exchange.

Holders of Record

As of March 12, 2020, there were approximately 307 holders of record of our common stock and one holder of record of our limited common stock. The actual number of stockholders is greater than this number of holders of record and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees. This number of holders of record also does not include stockholders whose shares may be held in trust by other entities.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock or our limited common stock. We currently intend to retain all available funds and any future earnings to fund the development and expansion of our business and we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. Any future determination to declare and pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on then-existing conditions, including our results of operations, financial condition, contractual restrictions, capital requirements, business prospects, and other factors our board of directors may deem relevant.

 

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

The information required by this item is set forth in “Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters” and is incorporated herein by reference.

Use of Proceeds

On February 5, 2020, our registration statement on Form S-1, as amended (File No. 333-235890) was declared effective by the SEC in connection with our initial public offering of common stock, pursuant to which we issued and sold on February 10, 2020, 13,664,704 shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $17.00 per share, including 1,782,352 additional shares of common stock issued upon the full exercise by the underwriters of their option to purchase additional shares, for total gross proceeds of $232.3 million.

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On February 10, 2020, we received net proceeds of $209.9 million, after deducting $16.3 million in underwriting discounts and commissions and $6.1 million in estimated offering expenses borne by us. None of the underwriting discounts and commissions or offering expenses incurred by us were direct or indirect payments to any of (i) our officers or directors or their associates, (ii) persons owning 10% or more of our common stock or our limited common stock, or (iii) our affiliates.

The joint book-running managers of our initial public offering were Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BofA Securities, Inc., Jefferies LLC, and BMO Capital Markets Corp. The offering commenced on February 5, 2020 and did not terminate until the sale of all of the shares offered.

There has been no material change in the planned use of proceeds from our initial public offering from that described in the final prospectus related to the offering, dated February 5, 2020, as filed with the SEC on February 6, 2020.  

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

Set forth below is information regarding shares of our preferred stock and stock options granted by us during the year ended December 31, 2019 that were not registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and that have not been otherwise described in a Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or a Current Report on Form 8-K.

The following share numbers have been adjusted, as appropriate, to reflect the one-for-7.47534 reverse stock split of our common stock that became effective on January 24, 2020, which also resulted in a proportional adjustment to the ratios at which our outstanding shares of preferred stock converted into common stock.  Our shares of preferred stock converted into shares of common stock upon the closing of our initial public offering on February 10, 2020, at the as-adjusted conversion ratios.

Issuances of Preferred Stock

 

On January 4, 2019, we issued and sold 3,354,353 shares of our Series E preferred stock to one investor at a price per share of $1.4906 in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of $4,999,998.59.

On April 8, 2019, we issued and sold 3,689,788 shares of our Series E preferred stock to two investors at a price per share of $1.4906 in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of $5,499,998.01.

On April 26, 2019, we issued and sold 8,268,481 shares of our Series E preferred stock to three investors at a price per share of $1.4906 in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of $12,324,997.79.

On May 6, 2019, we issued and sold 3,354,353 shares of our Series E preferred stock to one investor at a price per share of $1.4906 in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of $4,999,998.59.

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On May 14, 2019, we issued and sold 1,459,143 shares of our Series E preferred stock to one investor at a price per share of $1.4906 in cash, for an aggregate purchase price of $2,174,998.56.

No underwriters were involved in the foregoing issuances of securities. The securities described in this section were issued to investors in reliance upon the exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act, as set forth in Section 4(a)(2) under the Securities Act and, in certain cases, Regulation D thereunder, relative to transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering, to the extent an exemption from such registration was required. All purchasers received written disclosures that the securities had not been registered under the Securities Act and that any resale must be made pursuant to a registration statement or an available exemption from such registration.

Stock Option Grants and Exercises

Between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, we granted options to purchase an aggregate of 1,255,242 shares of common stock, with exercise prices ranging from $4.34 to $11.52 per share, to our employees, directors, advisors and consultants pursuant to our 2010 Stock Plan. Between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, we issued 214,845 shares of our common stock to our employees, directors, advisors and consultants upon the exercise of stock options outstanding under our 2010 Stock Plan for aggregate consideration of $549,648.

The stock options and the shares of common stock issued upon the exercise of stock options described in this section were issued pursuant to written compensatory plans or arrangements with our employees, directors, advisors, and consultants, in reliance on the exemption provided by Rule 701 promulgated under the Securities Act, or pursuant to Section 4(a)(2) under the Securities Act, relative to transactions by an issuer not involving any public offering, to the extent an exemption from such registration was required. All recipients either received adequate information about our company or had access, through employment or other relationships, to such information.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Not applicable.

 

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Item 6. Selected Financial Data.

You should read the following selected consolidated financial data together with our consolidated financial statements and the related notes, “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other financial information included in this Annual Report. We have derived the consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2019 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018 and 2019 from our audited consolidated financial statements, which are included elsewhere in this Annual Report. The consolidated statement of operations data for the year ended December 31, 2017 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2017 is derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Annual Report. Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of results that should be expected in any future period.

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

 

 

2018

 

 

2019

 

 

 

(in thousands, except share and per share data)

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software products and services

 

$

50,841

 

 

$

59,885

 

 

$

66,735

 

Drug discovery

 

 

4,852

 

 

 

6,754

 

 

 

18,808

 

Total revenues

 

 

55,693

 

 

 

66,639

 

 

 

85,543

 

Cost of revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software products and services

 

 

7,843

 

 

 

10,687

 

 

 

13,646

 

Drug discovery

 

 

8,050

 

 

 

13,015

 

 

 

22,804

 

Total cost of revenues

 

 

15,893

 

 

 

23,702

 

 

 

36,450

 

Gross profit

 

 

39,800

 

 

 

42,937

 

 

 

49,093

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

 

27,669

 

 

 

34,523

 

 

 

39,404

 

Sales and marketing

 

 

16,716

 

 

 

17,831

 

 

 

21,364

 

General and administrative

 

 

14,436

 

 

 

18,552

 

 

 

27,040

 

Total operating expenses

 

 

58,821

 

 

 

70,906

 

 

 

87,808

 

Loss from operations

 

 

(19,021

)

 

 

(27,969

)

 

 

(38,715

)

Other income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gain on equity investment

 

 

3,243

 

 

 

 

 

 

943

 

Change in fair value

 

 

(1,641

)

 

 

(812

)

 

 

9,922

 

Interest income

 

 

359

 

 

 

433

 

 

 

1,878

 

Total other income (expense)

 

 

1,961

 

 

 

(379

)

 

 

12,743

 

Loss before income taxes

 

 

(17,060

)

 

 

(28,348

)

 

 

(25,972

)

Income tax expense (benefit)

 

 

332

 

 

 

77