As filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on August 26, 2020
Registration No. 333-248072
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO
UNDER THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933
AIKIDO PHARMA INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
Classification Code Number)
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (703) 992-9325
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)
Chief Executive Officer
AIkido Pharma Inc.
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (703) 992-9325
(Name, address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)
|Robert F. Charron, Esq.||Jeffrey J. Fessler, Esq.|
|Sarah E. Williams, Esq.||Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP|
|Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP||30 Rockefeller Plaza|
|1345 Avenue of the Americas||New York, NY 10112|
|New York, NY 10105||Tel: (212) 653-8700|
|Telephone: (212) 370-1300||Fax: (212) 653-8701|
Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.
If any of the securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933 check the following box. ☒
If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a 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 to Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act. ☐
CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
|Title of Each Class of Securities to be Registered|
|Common Stock, $0.0001 par value per share||$||20,000,000||$||2,596|
|Placement Agent’s Warrant to purchase shares of Common Stock (2)(5)|
|Common Stock issuable upon exercise of Placement Agent Warrants (3)||$||1,600,000||$||208|
|(1)||Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the amount of the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.|
|(2)||Represents warrants issuable to H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (the “Placement Agent’s Warrants”) to purchase a number of shares of Common Stock equal to 8.0% of the number of shares of Common Stock and pre-funded warrants being offered at an exercise price equal to 125% of the public offering price of the Common Stock. See “Plan of Distribution”.|
|(3)||Resales of the Placement Agent’s Warrants on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, are registered hereby. Resales of shares of the Common Stock issuable upon exercise of the Placement Agent’s Warrants are also being registered on a delayed or continuous basis hereby.|
|(4)||Pursuant to Rule 416(a), the securities being registered hereunder include such indeterminate number of additional securities as may be issuable to prevent dilution resulting from stock splits, stock dividends or similar transactions.|
|(5)||No fee pursuant to Rule 457(g) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.|
|(6)||Fee previously paid.|
The Registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to Section 8(a), may determine.
The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not sell these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.
|PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS||Subject to Completion||Dated August 26, 2020|
Shares of Common Stock
We are offering in a best-efforts offering up to [ ] shares of our common stock, par value $0.0001 per share.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AIKI”. On August 25, 2020, the closing price as reported on the Nasdaq Capital Market was $0.6954 per share. The public offering price per share of common stock will be determined at the time of pricing, and may be at a discount to the then current market price. The recent market price used throughout this prospectus may not be indicative of the final offering price. The final public offering price will be determined through negotiation between us and investors based upon a number of factors, including our history and our prospects, the industry in which we operate, our past and present operating results, the previous experience of our executive officers and the general condition of the securities markets at the time of this offering.
Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 3 of this prospectus.
Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this prospectus is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
|Public offering price||$||$|
|Placement agent fees(1)||$||$|
|Proceeds, before expenses, to us(2)||$||$|
|(1)||We have agreed to reimburse the placement agent for certain of its offering-related expenses, including a management fee of 1.0% of the gross proceeds raised in this offering. In addition, we have agreed to issue to the placement agent warrants to purchase up to a number of shares of our common stock equal to 8.0% of the number of shares of common stock being offered at an exercise price equal to 125% of the public offering price of the shares of common stock. See “Plan of Distribution” for additional information and a description of the compensation payable to the placement agent.|
|(2)||We estimate the total expenses of this offering payable by us, excluding the placement agent’s fees, will be approximately $ .|
We have engaged H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“Wainwright” or the “placement agent”) to act as our exclusive placement agent in connection with this offering. The placement agent is not purchasing or selling the securities offered by us, and is not required to sell any specific number or dollar amount of securities, but will use its reasonable best efforts to arrange for the sale of the securities offered by this prospectus. There are no minimum purchase requirements. Because there is no minimum offering amount required as a condition to closing in this offering, the actual public offering amount, placement agent fees and proceeds to us, if any, are not presently determinable and may be substantially less than the total maximum offering amounts set forth above. In either event, this offering may be closed without further notice to you.
Because there is no minimum offering amount required as a condition to closing this offering, we may sell fewer than all of the securities offered hereby, which may significantly reduce the amount of proceeds received by us, and investors in this offering will not receive a refund in the event that we do not sell an amount of securities sufficient to pursue the business goals outlined in this prospectus. In addition, because there is no escrow account and no minimum offering amount in this offering, investors could be in a position where they have invested in our company, but we are unable to fulfill our objectives due to a lack of interest in this offering. Also, any proceeds from the sale of securities offered by us will be available for our immediate use, despite uncertainty about whether we would be able to use such funds to effectively implement our business plan. See “Risk Factors” for more information.
We anticipate that delivery of the shares against payment will be made on or about , 2020.
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC
Prospectus dated , 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS||23|
|USE OF PROCEEDS||26|
|MARKET PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK||27|
|EXECUTIVE AND DIRECTOR COMPENSATION||45|
|CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS||47|
|SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT||48|
|DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK||50|
|PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION||56|
|WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION AND INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE||60|
We and the Placement Agent have not authorized anyone to provide any information or to make any representations other than those contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectuses prepared by or on behalf of us or to which we have referred you. We take no responsibility for, and can provide no assurance as to the reliability of, any other information that others may give you. This prospectus is an offer to sell only the shares offered hereby, but only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in or incorporated by reference in this prospectus is accurate only as of its date regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or of any sale of common stock.
To the extent there is a conflict between the information contained in this prospectus, on the one hand, and the information contained in any document incorporated by reference filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) before the date of this prospectus, on the other hand, you should rely on the information in this prospectus. If any statement in a document incorporated by reference is inconsistent with a statement in another document incorporated by reference having a later date, the statement in the document having the later date modifies or supersedes the earlier statement.
Neither we nor the Placement Agent have done anything that would permit this offering or possession or distribution of this prospectus in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons who come into possession of this prospectus and any free writing prospectus in jurisdictions outside the United States are required to inform themselves about and to observe any restrictions as to this offering and the distribution of this prospectus and any free writing prospectus applicable to that jurisdiction.
This prospectus and the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus contain market data and industry statistics and forecasts that are based on independent industry publications and other publicly available information. Although we believe that these sources are reliable, we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and we have not independently verified this information. Although we are not aware of any misstatements regarding the market and industry data presented or incorporated by reference in this prospectus, these estimates involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, including those discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” and any related free writing prospectus. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on this information.
There are numerous risks affecting our business, some of which are beyond our control. An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk and may not be appropriate for investors who cannot afford to lose their entire investment. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition or operating results could be materially harmed. This could cause the trading price of our common stock to decline, and you may lose all or part of your investment. In addition to the risks outlined below, risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial may also impair our business operations. Potential risks and uncertainties that could affect our operating results and financial condition include, without limitation, the following:
Risks Related to Our Business
Because we have a limited operating history to evaluate our company, the likelihood of our success must be considered in light of the problems, expenses, difficulties, complications and delays frequently encountered by an early-stage company.
Since we have a limited operating history in our current business of technology and biotechnology development, it will make it difficult for investors and securities analysts to evaluate our business and prospects. You must consider our prospects in light of the risks, expenses and difficulties we face as an early stage company with a limited operating history. Investors should evaluate an investment in our securities in light of the uncertainties encountered by early stage companies in an intensely competitive industry. There can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful or that we will be able to become profitable.
Our cancer treatment business is pre-revenue, pre-development and subject to the risks of an early stage biotechnology company.
Since the Company’s primary focus for the foreseeable future will likely be our cancer treatment business, shareholders should understand that we are primarily an early stage biotechnology company with no history of revenue-generating operations, and our only assets consist of our proprietary drug and the know-how of our officers. Therefore we are subject to all the risks and uncertainties inherent in a new business, in particular new businesses engaged in the early detection of certain cancers. DHA-dFdC is in its early stages of development, and we still must establish and implement many important functions necessary to commercialize the biotechnology.
Accordingly, you should consider the Company’s prospects in light of the costs, uncertainties, delays and difficulties frequently encountered by companies in their pre-revenue and pre-development generating stages, particularly those in the biotechnology field. Shareholders should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties that a business with no operating history will face. In particular, shareholders should consider that there is a significant risk that we will not be able to:
|●||demonstrate the effectiveness of DHA-dFdC;|
|●||implement or execute our current business plan, or that our current business plan is sound;|
|●||raise sufficient funds in the capital markets or otherwise to fully effectuate our business plan;|
|●||maintain our management team;|
|●||conduct the required clinical studies;|
|●||determine that the processes and technologies that we have developed or will develop are commercially viable; and/or|
|●||attract, enter into or maintain contracts with potential commercial partners such as licensors of technology and suppliers.|
Any of the foregoing risks may adversely affect the Company and result in the failure of our business. In addition, we expect to encounter unforeseen expenses, difficulties, complications, delays and other known and unknown factors. At some point, we will need to transition from a company with a research and development focus to a company capable of supporting commercial activities. We may not be able to reach such achievements, which would have a material adverse effect on our Company.
We continue to incur operating losses and may not achieve profitability.
Our loss from operations for the six months ended June 30, 2020 and 2019 was $4.2 million and $1.6 million, respectively. Our net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2020 and 2019 was $10.6 million and $1.8 million, respectively. Our accumulated deficit was $154.9 million at June 30, 2020. Our ability to become profitable depends upon our ability to generate revenue from biotechnology products. We do not know when, or if, we will generate any revenue from such biotechnology products. Even though our revenue may increase, we expect to incur significant additional losses while we grow and expand our business. We cannot predict if and when we will achieve profitability. Our failure to achieve and sustain profitability could negatively impact the market price of our common stock.
We expect to need additional capital to fund our growing operations and if we are unable to obtain sufficient capital, we may be forced to limit the scope of our operations.
We expect that for our business to grow we will need additional working capital. If adequate additional debt and/or equity financing is not available on reasonable terms or at all, we may not be able to continue to expand our business or pay our outstanding obligations, and we will have to modify our business plans accordingly. These factors would have a material adverse effect on our future operating results and our financial condition.
If we reach a point where we are unable to raise needed additional funds to continue as a going concern, we will be forced to cease our activities and dissolve the Company. In such an event, we will need to satisfy various creditors and other claimants, severance, lease termination and other dissolution-related obligations and we may not have sufficient funds to pay to our stockholders.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud and our business may be harmed and our stock price may be adversely impacted.
Effective internal controls over financial reporting are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and to effectively prevent fraud. Any inability to provide reliable financial reports or to prevent fraud could harm our business. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires management to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. In order to continue to comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we are required to continuously evaluate and, where appropriate, enhance our policies, procedures and internal controls. If we fail to maintain the adequacy of our internal controls over financial reporting, we could be subject to litigation or regulatory scrutiny and investors could lose confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports. We cannot assure you that in the future we will be able to fully comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or that management will conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. If we fail to fully comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, our business may be harmed and our stock price may decline.
Our assessment, testing and evaluation of the design and operating effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting resulted in our conclusion that, as of June 30, 2020, our internal control over financial reporting was not effective, due to our lack of segregation of duties, and lack of controls in place to ensure that all material transactions and developments impacting the financial statements are reflected. We can provide no assurance as to conclusions of management with respect to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in the future.
Our independent auditors have expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
Due to our net losses, negative cash flow and negative working capital, in their report on our audited financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, our independent auditors included an explanatory paragraph regarding substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.
We may seek to internally develop additional new inventions and intellectual property, which would take time and be costly. Moreover, the failure to obtain or maintain intellectual property rights for such inventions would lead to the loss of our investments in such activities.
Part of our business may include the internal development of new inventions or intellectual property that we will seek to monetize. For example, in December 2019, we acquired substantially all of the assets of CBM, including the acquisition of certain licensing rights with respect to patents and other intellectual property related to pioneering drug compounds that were developed at the University of Wake Forest and the University of Texas at Austin, in the areas of AML, ALL, acral lentiginous melanoma and pancreatic cancer (collectively, the “University Developments”). Should we choose to assist in the development of the University Developments and/or internally develop any other inventions or intellectual property, such aspect of our business will require significant capital and will take time to achieve. Such activities may also distract our management team from its present business initiatives, which could have a material and adverse effect on our business. There is also the risk that our initiatives in this regard would not yield any viable new inventions or technology, which would lead to a loss of our investments in time and resources in such activities.
Our ability to raise additional capital may be adversely affected by certain of our agreements.
Our ability to raise additional capital for use in our operating activities may be adversely impacted by the terms of a securities purchase agreement, dated as of July 15, 2015 (the “Securities Purchase Agreement”), between us and the investors who purchased securities in our July 2015 offering of our common stock and warrants for the purchase of our common stock. The Securities Purchase Agreement provides that, until the warrants issued thereunder are no longer outstanding, we will not effect or enter into a variable rate transaction, which includes issuances of securities whose prices or conversion prices may vary with the trading prices of or quotations for the shares of our common Stock at any time after the initial issuance of such securities, as well as the entry into agreements where our stock would be issued at a future-determined price. These warrants may remain outstanding as late as January 22, 2021, when the warrants expire in accordance with their terms. These restrictions may have an adverse impact on our ability to raise additional capital, or to use our cash to make certain payments that we are contractually obligated to make.
We may also identify targets with patent or other intellectual property assets that cost more than we are prepared to spend with our own capital resources. We may incur significant costs to organize and negotiate a structured acquisition that does not ultimately result in an acquisition of any patent assets or, if consummated, proves to be unprofitable for us. Acquisitions involving issuance of our securities could be dilutive to existing stockholders and could be at prices lower than those prices reflected in the trading markets. These higher costs could adversely affect our operating results and, if we incur losses, the value of our securities will decline. The integration of acquired assets may place a significant burden on management and our internal resources. The diversion of management attention and any difficulties encountered in the integration process could harm our business.
As we are targeting technology companies in the development stage, their patents and technologies are in the early stages of adoption. Demand for some of these technologies will likely be untested and may be subject to fluctuation based upon the rate at which our licensees or others adopt our patents and technologies in their products and services. As a result, there can be no assurance as to whether technologies we acquire or develop will have value that can be realized through licensing or other activities.
We are exploring and evaluating strategic alternatives and there can be no assurance that we will be successful in identifying, or completing any strategic alternative or that any such strategic alternative will yield additional value for shareholders.
Our management and Board of Directors (“Board of Directors”) has commenced a review of strategic alternatives which could result in, among other things, a sale, a merger, consolidation or business combination, asset divestiture, partnering or other collaboration agreements, or potential acquisitions or recapitalizations, in one or more transactions, or continuing to operate with our current business plan and strategy. There can be no assurance that the exploration of strategic alternatives will result in the identification or consummation of any transaction. In addition, we may incur substantial expenses associated with identifying and evaluating potential strategic alternatives. The process of exploring strategic alternatives may be time consuming and disruptive to our business operations and if we are unable to effectively manage the process, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected. We also cannot assure you that any potential transaction or other strategic alternative, if identified, evaluated and consummated, will provide greater value to our shareholders than that reflected in the current stock price. Any potential transaction would be dependent upon a number of factors that may be beyond our control, including, among other factors, market conditions, industry trends, the interest of third parties in our business and the availability of financing to potential buyers on reasonable terms.
We may be unsuccessful at integrating future acquisitions.
If we find appropriate opportunities in the future, we may acquire businesses to further the Company’s strategic business objectives. For example, in December 2019, we acquired substantially all of the assets of CBM, including the acquisition of certain licensing rights with respect to patents and other intellectual property related to pioneering drug compounds that were developed at the University of Wake Forest and the University of Texas at Austin, in the areas of AML, ALL, acral lentiginous melanoma and pancreatic cancer. There can be no guarantee that we will be able to successfully integrate the business or assets of CBM into the Company.
As we acquire businesses or substantial stakes in certain businesses, the process of integration may produce unforeseen operating difficulties and expenditures, fail to result in expected synergies or other benefits and absorb significant attention of our management that would otherwise be available for the ongoing development of our business. In addition, in the event of any future acquisitions, we may record a portion of the assets we acquire as goodwill, other indefinite-lived intangible assets or finite-lived intangible assets. We do not amortize goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, but rather review them for impairment on an annual basis or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying value may not be recoverable. The recoverability of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets is dependent on our ability to generate sufficient future earnings and cash flows. Changes in estimates, circumstances or conditions, resulting from both internal and external factors, could have a significant impact on our fair valuation determination, which could then have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify suitable acquisition opportunities, consummate any pending or future acquisitions or that we will realize any anticipated benefits from any such acquisitions.
Our pre-CBM acquisition stockholders have a reduced ownership and voting interest after the acquisition of CBM’s assets and exercise less influence over our management and policies than they did prior to the acquisition.
Our pre-CBM acquisition stockholders had the right to vote in the election of our Board of Directors on other matters affecting us. As a result of the CBM Purchase Agreement, because of the issuance of shares of common stock to the CBM shareholders, our pre-CBM acquisition stockholders hold a percentage ownership of the Company that is much smaller than the pre-CBM acquisition stockholder’s previous percentage ownership. Because of this, our pre-CBM acquisition stockholders have less influence over the management and policies of the Company than they now have after the consummation of the acquisition of CBM’s assets.
Any failure to maintain or protect our patent assets or other intellectual property rights could significantly impair our return on investment from such assets and harm our brand, our business and our operating results.
Our ability to operate our new line of business and compete in the intellectual property market largely depends on the superiority, uniqueness and value of our acquired patent assets and other intellectual property. To protect our proprietary rights, we will rely on a combination of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws, confidentiality agreements with our employees and third parties, and protective contractual provisions. No assurances can be given that any of the measures we undertake to protect and maintain our assets will have any measure of success.
We are required to spend significant time and resources to maintain the effectiveness of our assets by paying maintenance fees and making filings with the USPTO. We may acquire patent assets, including patent applications, which require us to spend resources to prosecute the applications with the USPTO prior to issuance of patents. Further, there is a material risk that patent related claims (such as, for example, infringement claims (and/or claims for indemnification resulting therefrom), unenforceability claims, or invalidity claims) will be asserted or prosecuted against us, and such assertions or prosecutions could materially and adversely affect our business.
Despite our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights, any of the following or similar occurrences may reduce the value of our intellectual property:
|●||our applications for patents, trademarks and copyrights may not be granted and, if granted, may be challenged or invalidated;|
|●||issued trademarks, copyrights, or patents may not provide us with any competitive advantages when compared to potentially infringing other properties;|
|●||our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights may not be effective in preventing misappropriation of our technology; or|
|●||our efforts may not prevent the development and design by others of products or technologies similar to or competitive with, or superior to those we acquire and/or prosecute.|
Moreover, we may not be able to effectively protect our intellectual property rights in certain foreign countries where we may do business or enforce our patents against infringers in foreign countries. If we fail to maintain, defend or prosecute our patent assets properly, the value of those assets would be reduced or eliminated, and our business would be harmed.
We may be unable to issue securities under our shelf registration statement, which may have an adverse effect on our liquidity.
We have filed a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 with the SEC. The registration statement, which has been declared effective, was filed in reliance on Instruction I.B.6. of Form S-3, which imposes a limitation on the maximum amount of securities that we may sell pursuant to the registration statement during any twelve-month period. At the time we sell securities pursuant to the registration statement, the amount of securities to be sold plus the amount of any securities we have sold during the prior twelve months in reliance on Instruction I.B.6. may not exceed one-third of the aggregate market value of our outstanding common stock held by non-affiliates as of a day during the 60 days immediately preceding such sale as computed in accordance with Instruction I.B.6. Whether we sell securities under the registration statement will depend on a number of factors, including availability of our existing S-3 under the 1/3 limitation calculations set forth in Instruction I.B.6 of Form S-3, the market conditions at that time, our cash position at that time and the availability and terms of alternative sources of capital. Furthermore, Instruction I.B.6. of Form S-3 requires that the issuer have at least one class of common equity securities listed and registered on a national securities exchange. If we are not able to maintain compliance with applicable Nasdaq rules, we will no longer be able to rely upon that Instruction. If we cannot sell securities under our shelf registration, we may be required to utilize more costly and time-consuming means of accessing the capital markets, which could materially adversely affect our liquidity and cash position.
We may be at risk for delay in technology development and other economic repercussions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We may be at risk as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Risks that could affect our business include the duration and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the demand for our products; actions by governments, businesses and individuals taken in response to the pandemic; the length of time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility of its reoccurrence; the timing required to develop effective treatments and a vaccine in the event of future outbreaks; the eventual impact of the pandemic and actions taken in response to the pandemic on global and regional economies; and the pace of recovery when the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Additionally, New York, where our U.S. operations are based, has been significantly affected by COVID-19, which led to measures taken by the New York government trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, such as shelter in place, closure of schools and travel restrictions. Additional travel and other restrictions may be put in place to further control the outbreak in U.S. Accordingly, our operation and business have been and will continue to be adversely affected as the results of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extent to which COVID-19 negatively impacts our business is highly uncertain and cannot be accurately predicted. We believe that the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to control it may have a significant negative impact on not only our business, but economic activities globally. The magnitude of this negative effect on the continuity of our business operations in the U.S. remains uncertain. These uncertainties impede our ability to conduct our daily operations and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, and as a result affect our stock price and create more volatility.
Risks Related to the Product Development, Regulatory Approval, Manufacturing and Commercialization
We are early in our development efforts and currently have no clinical-stage product candidates. If we are unable to clinically develop and ultimately commercialize DHA-dFdC, antiviral compounds or other product candidates, or experience significant delays in doing so, our business will be materially harmed.
We are early in our development efforts and have no clinical-stage product candidates as of the date of this prospectus. For example, we have the exclusive U.S. rights to develop DHA-dFdC for the treatment of cancer in the licensed field. We are presently planning on filing an IND for DHA-dFdC, and we hope to begin human testing for this indication in 2021, although no assurance can be given that we will be able to achieve this goal. We also have rights to assist in the development of various antiviral compounds with UMB, including UMB18, the initial compound, and two additional undisclosed hit compounds.
Therefore, our ability to generate product or royalty revenues, which we do not expect will occur for several years, if ever, will depend heavily on our ability to develop and eventually commercialize our product candidate. The positive development of our product candidate will depend on several factors, including the following:
|●||positive commencement and completion of clinical trials;|
|●||successful preparation of regulatory filings and receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;|
|●||obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and potential regulatory exclusivity for our product candidate and protecting our rights in our intellectual property portfolio;|
|●||launching commercial sales of our product, if and when approved for one or more indications, whether alone or in collaboration with others;|
|●||acceptance of the product for one or more indications, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;|
|●||protection from generic substitution based upon our own or licensed intellectual property rights;|
|●||effectively competing with other therapies;|
|●||obtaining and maintaining adequate reimbursement from healthcare payors; and|
|●||maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of our product following approval, if any.|
If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to clinically develop and commercialize DHA-dFdC as a therapy for cancer and UMB18 as an antiviral therapy, which would materially harm our business.
If we are unable to convince physicians as to the benefits of DHA-dFdC as a therapy for cancer or UMB18 as an antiviral therapy, if and when it is approved, we may incur delays or additional expense in our attempt to establish market acceptance.
Use of DHA-dFdC as a cancer therapy and UMB18 as an antiviral therapy will require physicians to be informed regarding the intended benefits of the product for a new indication. The time and cost of such an educational process may be substantial. Inability to carry out this physician education process may adversely affect market acceptance of DHA-dFdC as a therapy for cancer and UMB18 as an antiviral therapy. We may be unable to timely educate physicians in sufficient numbers regarding our intended application of DHA-dFdC and UMB18 to achieve our marketing plans or to achieve product acceptance. Any delay in physician education or acceptance may materially delay or reduce demand for our product candidate. In addition, we may expend significant funds toward physician education before any acceptance or demand for DHA-dFdC as a therapy for cancer or UMB18 as an antiviral therapy is created, if at all.
Clinical drug development involves a lengthy and expensive process, with an uncertain outcome. We may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidate.
The risk of failure for product candidates in clinical development is high. It is impossible to predict when our product candidates, including DHA-dFdC and UMB18, will prove effective and safe in humans or will receive regulatory approval for the treatment of any disease, the indication for which is licensed to us. Before obtaining marketing approval from regulatory authorities for the sale of DHA-dFdC as a cancer therapy and UMB18 as an antiviral therapy, we must conduct one or more clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidate in humans. Clinical testing is expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and is uncertain as to outcome. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing. Moreover, the outcome of early clinical trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials, and interim results of a clinical trial do not necessarily predict final results. In addition, preclinical and clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that have believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in clinical trials have nonetheless failed to obtain marketing approval of their products.
We may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, clinical trials that could delay or prevent our ability to receive marketing approval or commercialize our product candidate, including:
|●||regulators or institutional review boards may not authorize us or our investigators to commence a clinical trial or conduct a clinical trial at a prospective trial site;|
|●||we may experience delays in reaching, or fail to reach, agreement on acceptable clinical trial contracts or clinical trial protocols with prospective trial sites;|
|●||clinical trials of our product candidate may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon product development programs, which would be time consuming and costly;|
|●||the number of patients required for clinical trials of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, enrollment in these clinical trials may be slower than we anticipate or participants may drop out of these clinical trials at a higher rate than we anticipate;|
|●||we may have to suspend or terminate clinical trials of our product candidates for various reasons, including a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;|
|●||regulators or institutional review boards may require that we or our investigators suspend or terminate clinical research for various reasons, including noncompliance with regulatory requirements or a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks;|
|●||the cost of clinical trials may be greater than we anticipate;|
|●||the supply or quality of materials necessary to conduct clinical trials of our product candidate may be insufficient or inadequate;|
|●||our product candidate may have undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics, causing us or our investigators, regulators or institutional review boards to suspend or terminate the trials; and|
|●||interactions with other drugs.|
If we are required to conduct additional clinical trials or other testing of our product candidate beyond those that we currently contemplate, if we are unable to complete clinical trials of our product candidates or other testing, if the results of these trials or tests are not positive or are only modestly positive or if there are safety concerns, we may:
|●||be delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our product candidate for one or more indications;|
|●||not obtain marketing approval at all for one or more indications;|
|●||obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired (particularly, in our case, for different types of cancer);|
|●||obtain approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings;|
|●||be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements; or|
|●||have the product removed from the market after obtaining marketing approval.|
Our product development costs will also increase if we experience delays in testing or marketing approvals. We do not know which, if any, of our clinical trials will need to be restructured or will be completed on schedule, or at all. Significant preclinical or clinical trial delays also could shorten any periods during which we may have the right to commercialize our product candidate or allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do and impair our ability to commercialize our product candidate and may harm our business and results of operations.
If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in any future clinical trials, our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.
We may not be able to initiate or continue future clinical trials for DHA-dFdC, UMB 18 or our present or future product candidates if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in these trials as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) or similar regulatory authorities outside the United States. In addition, some of our competitors have ongoing clinical trials for product candidates that treat the same indications as our product candidate, and patients who would otherwise be eligible for our future clinical trials may instead enroll in clinical trials of our competitors’ product candidates.
Patient enrollment is affected by other factors including:
|●||the severity of the disease under investigation;|
|●||the eligibility criteria for the study in question;|
|●||the perceived risks and benefits of the product candidate under study;|
|●||the patient referral practices of physicians;|
|●||the ability to monitor patients adequately during and after treatment; and|
|●||the proximity and availability of clinical trial sites for prospective patients.|
Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for any future clinical trials would result in significant delays and could require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidate, which would cause the value of our company to decline and otherwise materially and adversely affect our company.
If serious adverse or unacceptable side effects are identified during the development of our product candidate, we may need to abandon or limit such development, which would adversely affect our company.
If clinical testing of our product candidates results in undesirable side effects or demonstrates characteristics that are unexpected, we may need to abandon such development or limit such development to more narrow uses or subpopulations in which the undesirable side effects or other characteristics are less prevalent, less severe or more acceptable from a risk-benefit perspective. Many compounds that initially showed promise in early stage testing for treating cancer or antiviral therapy have later been found to cause side effects that prevented further development of the compound.
For the foreseeable future, we expect to expend our limited resources primarily to pursue a particular product candidate, leaving us unable to capitalize on other product candidates or indications that may be more profitable or for which there is a greater likelihood of clinical and commercial development.
Because we have limited financial and managerial resources, we will focus for the foreseeable future on the clinical development of DHA-dFdC for the treatment of prostate cancer and UMB 18 for antiviral therapy. As a result, we may forego or be unable to pursue opportunities with other product candidates or for indications other than those we intend to pursue that later prove to have greater commercial potential. Our resource allocation decisions may cause us to fail to capitalize on viable commercial products or profitable market opportunities. Our spending on research and development programs related to DHA-dFdC for the treatment of cancer and UMB18 for antiviral therapy may not yield any commercially viable therapies. Because of this concentration of our efforts, our business will be particularly subject to significant risk of failure of our one current product candidate.
We expect to rely on collaborations with third parties for key aspects of our business. If we are unable to secure or maintain any of these collaborations, or if these collaborations do not achieve their goals, our business would be adversely affected.
We presently have very limited capabilities for drug development and do not yet have any capability for manufacturing, sales, marketing or distribution. Accordingly, we expect to enter into collaborations with other companies that we believe can provide such capabilities. These collaborations may also provide us with important funding for our development programs.
There is a risk that we may not be able to maintain our current collaboration or to enter into additional collaborations on acceptable terms or at all, which would leave us unable to progress our business plan. We will face significant competition in seeking appropriate collaborators. Our ability to reach a definitive agreement for a collaboration will depend, among other things, upon our assessment of the collaborator’s resources and expertise, the terms and conditions of the proposed collaboration and the proposed collaborator’s evaluation of a number of factors. If we are unable to maintain or reach agreements with suitable collaborators on a timely basis, on acceptable terms, or at all, we may have to curtail the development of our product candidate, reduce or delay its development program, delay its potential commercialization or reduce the scope of any sales or marketing activities, or increase our expenditures and undertake development or commercialization activities at our own expense.
Moreover, even if we are able to maintain and/or enter into such collaborations, such collaborations may pose a number of risks, including the following:
|●||collaborators may not perform their obligations as expected;|
|●||disagreements with collaborators, including disagreements over proprietary rights, contract interpretation or the preferred course of development, might cause delays or termination of the research, development or commercialization of our product candidate, might lead to additional responsibilities for us with respect to such product candidate, or might result in litigation or arbitration, any of which would be time-consuming and expensive;|
|●||collaborators could independently develop or be associated with products that compete directly or indirectly with our product candidate;|
|●||collaborators could have significant discretion in determining the efforts and resources that they will apply to our arrangements with them;|
|●||should our product candidate achieve regulatory approval, a collaborator with marketing and distribution rights to our product candidate may not commit sufficient resources to the marketing and distribution of such product;|
|●||collaborators may not properly maintain or defend our intellectual property rights or may use our proprietary information in such a way as to invite litigation that could jeopardize or invalidate our intellectual property or proprietary information or expose us to potential litigation;|
|●||collaborators may infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties, which may expose us to litigation and potential liability; and|
|●||collaborations may be terminated for the convenience of the collaborator and, if terminated, we could be required to either find alternative collaborators (which we may be unable to do) or raise additional capital to pursue further development or commercialization of our product candidate on our own.|
Our business could be materially harmed if any of the foregoing or similar risks comes to pass with respect to our key collaborations.
Even if any of our product candidates receive marketing approval for any indication, they may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.
Even if DHA-dFdC for the treatment of cancer or UMB 18 for antiviral therapy receives marketing approval for any indication, it may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community. For example, current cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy are well established in the medical community, and doctors may continue to rely on these treatments. If our product candidate does not achieve an adequate level of acceptance, we may not generate significant product revenues and we may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of DHA-dFdC for the treatment of cancer and UMB18 for antiviral therapy, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including:
|●||the efficacy and potential advantages compared to alternative treatments;|
|●||our ability to offer our products for sale at competitive prices;|
|●||the convenience and ease of administration compared to alternative treatments;|
|●||the willingness of the target patient population to try new therapies and of physicians to prescribe these therapies;|
|●||the strength of marketing and distribution support;|
|●||the availability of third-party coverage and adequate reimbursement;|
|●||the prevalence and severity of any side effects; and|
|●||any restrictions on the use of our product together with other medications.|
If we are unable to establish sales, marketing and distribution capabilities, we may not be able to commercialize our product candidate if and when it is approved.
We currently do not have a sales or marketing infrastructure. To achieve any level of commercial success for any product for which we have obtained marketing approval, we will need to establish a sales and marketing organization or outsource sales and marketing functions to third parties, and achieve the following:
|●||successful preparation of regulatory filings and receipt of marketing approvals from applicable regulatory authorities;|
|●||obtaining and maintaining patent and trade secret protection and potential regulatory exclusivity for our product candidate and protecting our rights in our intellectual property portfolio;|
|●||launching commercial sales of our product, if and when approved for one or more indications, whether alone or in collaboration with others;|
|●||acceptance of the product for one or more indications, if and when approved, by patients, the medical community and third-party payors;|
|●||protection from generic substitution based upon our own or licensed intellectual property rights;|
|●||effectively competing with other therapies;|
|●||obtaining and maintaining adequate reimbursement from healthcare payors; and|
|●||maintaining a continued acceptable safety profile of our product following approval, if any.|
If we do not achieve one or more of these factors in a timely manner or at all, we could experience significant delays or an inability to clinically develop and commercialize DHA-dFdC as a therapy for cancer or UMB18 as an antiviral therapy, which would materially harm our business.
In addition, given our current limited financial resources, we are currently focusing our efforts on one key cancer indication, namely prostate cancer. We are thus faced with the risk that DHA-dFdC could be ineffective in addressing this particular cancer indication, and if our efforts to demonstrate the efficacy of DHA-dFdC in prostate cancer are not positive, we may lack the resources to expand our efforts into other cancer indications.
We face substantial competition, which may result in others discovering, developing or commercializing products before or more successfully than we do.
The development and commercialization of new drug products is highly competitive. We face competition with respect to our current product candidate and will face competition with respect to any product candidates that we may seek to develop or commercialize in the future, from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies worldwide. There are a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that currently market and sell products or are pursuing the development of products for the treatment of cancer. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing and commercialization.
Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if our competitors develop and commercialize products that are safer, more effective, have fewer or less severe side effects, are more convenient or are less expensive than any products that we may develop. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market.
Many of the companies against which we are competing or against which we may compete in the future have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved products than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Smaller and other early stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These third parties compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs, and we may be unable to effectively compete with these companies for these or other reasons.
Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidates, the products may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party reimbursement practices or healthcare reform initiatives, which would harm our business.
The regulations that govern marketing approvals, pricing, coverage and reimbursement for new drug products vary widely from country to country. Current and future legislation may significantly change the approval requirements in ways that could involve additional costs and cause delays in obtaining approvals.
Our ability to commercialize any product candidate also will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and adequate reimbursement for our product candidate will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Government authorities and third party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which medications they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. A primary trend in the U.S. healthcare industry and elsewhere is cost containment. Government authorities and third party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications. Increasingly, third-party payors are requiring that drug companies provide them with predetermined discounts from list prices and are challenging the prices charged for medical products. Coverage and reimbursement may not be available for any product that we commercialize and, even if these are available, the level of reimbursement may not be satisfactory. Reimbursement may affect the demand for, or the price of, any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval. Obtaining and maintaining adequate reimbursement for our products may be difficult. We may be required to conduct expensive pharmacoeconomic studies to justify coverage and reimbursement or the level of reimbursement relative to other therapies. If coverage and adequate reimbursement are not available or reimbursement is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to commercialize any product candidate for which we obtain marketing approval.
In addition, there may be significant delays in obtaining reimbursement for newly approved drugs, and coverage may be more limited than the purposes for which the drug is approved by the FDA. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that a drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Interim reimbursement levels for new drugs, if applicable, may also not be sufficient to cover our costs and may not be made permanent. Reimbursement rates may vary according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used, may be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost drugs and may be incorporated into existing payments for other services. Net prices for drugs may be reduced by mandatory discounts or rebates required by government healthcare programs or private payors. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own reimbursement policies. Our inability to promptly obtain coverage and adequate reimbursement rates from both government-funded and private payors for any approved products that we develop could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition.
Product liability lawsuits against us could cause us to incur substantial liabilities and to limit commercialization of any products that we may develop.
We face an inherent risk of product liability exposure related to the testing of DHA-dFdC and UMB18 in human clinical trials and will face an even greater risk if we commercially sell any products that we may develop. If we cannot defend ourselves against claims that our product candidate or products caused injuries, we will incur substantial liabilities. Regardless of merit or eventual outcome, liability claims may result in:
|●||decreased demand for any product candidates or products that we may develop;|
|●||damage to our reputation and significant negative media attention;|
|●||withdrawal of clinical trial participants;|
|●||significant costs to defend the related litigation;|
|●||substantial monetary awards to trial participants or patients;|
|●||loss of revenue;|
|●||reduced resources of our management to pursue our business strategy; and|
|●||the inability to commercialize any products that we may develop.|
We currently do not have product liability insurance coverage, which leaves us exposed to any product-related liabilities that we may incur. We may be unable to obtain insurance on reasonable terms or at all. Insurance coverage is increasingly expensive. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in an amount adequate to satisfy any liability that may arise.
If we fail to comply with healthcare regulations, we could face substantial enforcement actions, including civil and criminal penalties and our business, operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We could be subject to healthcare fraud and abuse laws and patient privacy laws of both the federal government and the states in which we conduct our business. The laws include:
|●||the federal healthcare program anti-kickback law, which prohibits, among other things, persons from soliciting, receiving or providing remuneration, directly or indirectly, to induce either the referral of an individual, for an item or service or the purchasing or ordering of a good or service, for which payment may be made under federal healthcare programs such as the Medicare and Medicaid programs;|
|●||federal false claims laws which prohibit, among other things, individuals or entities from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, claims for payment from Medicare, Medicaid, or other third-party payers that are false or fraudulent, and which may apply to entities like us which provide coding and billing information to customers;|
|●||the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which prohibits executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or making false statements relating to healthcare matters and which also imposes certain requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information;|
|●||the FDCA which among other things, strictly regulates drug manufacturing and product marketing, prohibits manufacturers from marketing drug products for off-label use and regulates the distribution of drug sample; and|
|●||state law equivalents of each of the above federal laws, such as anti-kickback and false claims laws which may apply to items or services reimbursed by any third-party payer, including commercial insurers, and state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by federal laws, thus complicating compliance efforts.|
If our operations are found to be in violation of any of the laws described above or any governmental regulations that apply to us, we may be subject to penalties, including civil and criminal penalties, damages, fines and the curtailment or restructuring of our operations. Any penalties, damages, fines, curtailment or restructuring of our operations could adversely affect our ability to operate our business and our financial results. Although compliance programs can mitigate the risk of investigation and prosecution for violations of these laws, the risks cannot be entirely eliminated. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert management’s attention from the operation of our business. Moreover, achieving and sustaining compliance with applicable federal and state privacy, security and fraud laws may prove costly.
Members of our management team lack experience in the pharmaceutical field.
Members of our management team lack experience in the pharmaceutical field. This lack of experience may impair our ability to commercialize our pharmaceutical products and attain profitability. We will need to hire or engage managerial personnel with relevant experience in the pharmaceutical field; however, there can be no assurance that such personnel will be available to us or, that once engaged, will be retained by us. Failure to establish and maintain an effective management team with experience in the pharmaceutical field and commercialization of pharmaceuticals products would have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
The marketing approval process of the FDA is lengthy, time consuming and inherently unpredictable, and if were ultimately are unable to obtain marketing approval for the product candidates we intend to develop, our business will be substantially harmed.
None of the product candidates we intend to develop have gained marketing approval in the U.S. and we cannot guarantee that we will ever have marketable products. Our business is substantially dependent on our ability to complete the development of, obtain marketing approval for, and successfully commercialize our product candidates in a timely manner. We cannot commercialize our product candidates in the United States without first obtaining approval from the FDA to market each product candidate. Our product candidates could fail to receive marketing approval for many reasons.
In addition, the process of seeking regulatory clearance or approval to market the product candidates we intend to develop is expensive and time consuming and, notwithstanding the effort and expense incurred, clearance or approval is never guaranteed. If we are not successful in obtaining timely clearance or approval of our product candidates from the FDA, we may never be able to generate significant revenue and may be forced to cease operations. The FDA process is costly, lengthy and uncertain. Any FDA application filed by the Company will have to be supported by extensive data, including, but not limited to, technical, preclinical, clinical trial, manufacturing and labeling data, to demonstrate to the FDA’s satisfaction the safety and efficacy of the product for its intended use.
Obtaining clearances or approvals from the FDA and from the regulatory agencies in other countries is an expensive and time consuming process and is uncertain as to outcome. The FDA and other agencies could ask us to supplement our submissions, collect non-clinical data, conduct additional clinical trials or engage in other time-consuming actions, or it could simply deny our applications. In addition, even if we obtain an FDA approval or pre-market approvals in other countries, the approval could be revoked or other restrictions imposed if post-market data demonstrates safety issues or lack of effectiveness. We cannot predict with certainty how, or when, the FDA will act. If we are unable to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, our financial condition and cash flow may be adversely affected, and our ability to grow domestically and internationally may be limited. Additionally, even if cleared or approved, the Company’s products may not be approved for the specific indications that are most necessary or desirable for successful commercialization or profitability.
Modifications to our products may require new FDA approvals.
Once a particular product receives FDA approval or clearance, expanded uses or uses in new indications of our products may require additional human clinical trials and new regulatory approvals or clearances, including additional IND and FDA submissions and premarket approvals before we can begin clinical development, and/or prior to marketing and sales. If the FDA requires new clearances or approvals for a particular use or indication, we may be required to conduct additional clinical studies, which would require additional expenditures and harm our operating results. If the products are already being used for these new indications, we may also be subject to significant enforcement actions. Conducting clinical trials and obtaining clearances and approvals can be a time consuming process, and delays in obtaining required future clearances or approvals could adversely affect our ability to introduce new or enhanced products in a timely manner, which in turn would harm our future growth.
Additional delays to the completion of clinical studies may result from modifications being made to the protocol during the clinical trial, if such modifications are warranted and/or required by the occurrences in the given trial.
Each modification to the protocol during a clinical trial has to be submitted to the FDA. This could result in the delay or halt of a clinical trial while the modification is evaluated. In addition, depending on the quantity and nature of the changes made, the FDA could take the position that the data generated by the clinical trial is not poolable because the same protocol was not used throughout the trial. This might require the enrollment of additional subjects, which could result in the extension of the clinical trial and the FDA delaying clearance or approval of a product. Any such delay could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
There can be no assurance that the data generated from our clinical trials using modified protocols will be acceptable to FDA.
There can be no assurance that the data generated using modified protocols will be acceptable to the FDA or that if future modifications during the trial are necessary, that any such modifications will be acceptable to the FDA. If the FDA believes that its prior approval is required for a particular modification, it can delay or halt a clinical trial while it evaluates additional information regarding the change.
Serious injury or death resulting from a failure of one of our drug candidates during current or future clinical trials could also result in the FDA delaying our clinical trials or denying or delaying clearance or approval of a product.
Even though an adverse event may not be the result of the failure of our drug candidate, the FDA or an Internal Review Board (“IRB”) could delay or halt a clinical trial for an indefinite period of time while an adverse event is reviewed, and likely would do so in the event of multiple such events.
Any delay or termination of our current or future clinical trials as a result of the risks summarized above, including delays in obtaining or maintaining required approvals from IRBs, delays in patient enrollment, the failure of patients to continue to participate in a clinical trial, and delays or termination of clinical trials as a result of protocol modifications or adverse events during the trials, may cause an increase in costs and delays in the filing of any product submissions with the FDA, delay the approval and commercialization of our products or result in the failure of the clinical trial, which could adversely affect our business, operating results and prospects.
The future results of our current or future clinical trials may not support our product candidate claims or may result in the discovery of unexpected adverse side effects.
Even if our clinical trials are completed as planned, we cannot be certain that their results will support our drug candidate claims or that the FDA or foreign authorities will agree with our conclusions regarding them. Success in preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not ensure that later clinical trials will be successful, and we cannot be sure that the later trials will replicate the results of prior trials and preclinical studies. The clinical trial process may fail to demonstrate that our drug candidates are safe and effective for the proposed indicated uses. If the FDA concludes that the clinical trials for DHA-dFdC, UMB18 or any other product for which we might seek clearance, has failed to demonstrate safety and effectiveness, we would not receive FDA clearance to market that product in the United States for the indications sought.
In addition, such an outcome could cause us to abandon the product candidate and might delay development of others. Any delay or termination of our clinical trials will delay the filing of any product submissions with the FDA and, ultimately, our ability to commercialize our product candidates and generate revenues. It is also possible that patients enrolled in clinical trials will experience adverse side effects that are not currently part of the product candidate’s profile.
Current and future legislation may increase the difficulty and cost for us to obtain marketing approval of and commercialize our product candidates and affect the prices we may obtain for such product candidates.
In the United States and some foreign jurisdictions, there have been a number of legislative and regulatory changes and proposed changes regarding the healthcare system that could prevent or delay marketing approval for our product candidates, restrict or regulate post-approval activities and affect our ability to profitably sell our product candidates. Legislative and regulatory proposals have been made to expand post-approval requirements and restrict sales and promotional activities for pharmaceutical products. We do not know whether additional legislative changes will be enacted, or whether the FDA regulations, guidance or interpretations will be changed, or what the impact of such changes on the marketing approvals of our product candidates, if any, may be. In addition, increased scrutiny by the U.S. Congress of the FDA’s approval process may significantly delay or prevent marketing approval, as well as subject us to more stringent product labeling and post-marketing testing and other requirements.
In the United States, the Medicare Modernization Act (“MMA”) changed the way Medicare covers and pays for pharmaceutical products. As a result of this legislation and the expansion of federal coverage of drug products, we expect that there will be additional pressure to contain and reduce costs. These cost reduction initiatives and other provisions of this legislation could decrease the coverage and price that we receive for our product candidates and could seriously harm our business.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “Health Care Reform Law”) is a sweeping law intended to broaden access to health insurance, reduce or constrain the growth of healthcare spending, enhance remedies against fraud and abuse, add new transparency requirements for healthcare and health insurance industries, impose new taxes and fees on the health industry and impose additional health policy reforms. The Health Care Reform Law remains subject to legislative efforts to repeal, modify or delay the implementation of the law. However, if the Health Care Reform Law is repealed or modified, or if implementation of certain aspects of the Health Care Reform Law are delayed, such repeal, modification or delay may materially adversely impact our business, strategies, prospects, operating results or financial condition.
In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the Health Care Reform Law was enacted. We expect that additional federal healthcare reform measures will be adopted in the future, any of which could limit the amounts that federal and state governments will pay for healthcare products and services, and in turn could significantly reduce the projected value of certain development projects and reduce or eliminate our profitability.
Upon commercialization of our products, we may be dependent on third parties to market, distribute and sell our products.
Our ability to receive revenues may be dependent upon the sales and marketing efforts of any future co-marketing partners and third-party distributors. At this time, we have not entered into an agreement with any commercialization partner and only plan to do so after the successful completion of Phase 1 clinical trials and prior to commercialization. If we fail to reach an agreement with any commercialization partner, or upon reaching such an agreement that partner fails to sell a large volume of our products, it may have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Adverse events involving our products may lead the FDA to delay or deny clearance for our products or result in product recalls that could harm our reputation, business and financial results.
Once a product receives FDA clearance or approval, the agency has the authority to require the recall of commercialized products in the event of adverse side effects, material deficiencies or defects in design or manufacture. The authority to require a recall must be based on an FDA finding that there is a reasonable probability that the product would cause serious injury or death. Manufacturers may, under their own initiative, recall a product if any material deficiency in a product is found. A government-mandated or voluntary recall by us or one of our distributors could occur as a result of adverse side effects, impurities or other product contamination, manufacturing errors, design or labeling defects or other deficiencies and issues. Recalls of any of our products would divert managerial and financial resources and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. The FDA requires that certain classifications of recalls be reported to FDA within ten working days after the recall is initiated. Companies are required to maintain certain records of recalls, even if they are not reportable to the FDA. We may initiate voluntary recalls involving our products in the future that we determine do not require notification of the FDA. If the FDA disagrees with our determinations, they could require us to report those actions as recalls. A future recall announcement could harm our reputation with customers and negatively affect our sales. In addition, the FDA could take enforcement action for failing to report the recalls when they were conducted.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
We face evolving regulation of corporate governance and public disclosure that may result in additional expenses and continuing uncertainty.
As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or SOX, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the listing requirements of The Nasdaq Global Market 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 a substantial amount of time towards maintaining compliance with these requirements. These rules, regulations and standards are subject to varying interpretations, 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. We intend to invest the resources necessary to comply with evolving laws, regulations and standards, and this investment may result in increased general and administrative expenses and a diversion of management time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance activities. If our efforts to comply with new or changed laws, regulations and standards differ from the activities intended by regulatory or governing bodies, regulatory authorities may initiate legal proceedings against us, which could be costly and time-consuming, and our reputation and business may be harmed.
Our common stock may be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market if we fail to comply with continued listing standards.
Our common stock is currently traded on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AIKI”. If we fail to meet any of the continued listing standards of The Nasdaq Capital Market, our common stock could be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market. These continued listing standards include specifically enumerated criteria, such as:
|●||a $1.00 minimum closing bid price;|
|●||stockholders’ equity of $2.5 million;|
|●||500,000 shares of publicly-held common stock with a market value of at least $1 million;|
|●||300 round-lot stockholders; and|
|●||compliance with Nasdaq’s corporate governance requirements, as well as additional or more stringent criteria that may be applied in the exercise of Nasdaq’s discretionary authority.|
On April 28, 2020, we received a staff deficiency notice from Nasdaq informing the Company that its common stock failed to comply with the $1.00 minimum bid price required for continued listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5550(a)(2). Nasdaq’s letter advised the Company that, based upon the closing bid price during the period from March 16, 2020 to April 27, 2020, the Company no longer met this test.
Given the current extraordinary market conditions, Nasdaq had determined to toll the compliance periods for the bid price and market value of publicly held shares requirements through June 30, 2020. Pursuant to Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 5810(c)(3)(A), the Company had been provided with a compliance period of 180 calendar days, or until December 28, 2020, to regain compliance with the minimum bid price requirement. To regain compliance, the closing bid price of the Company’s common stock must meet or exceed $1.00 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days prior to December 28, 2020. As of the close of trading on July 30, 2020, the closing bid price of our common stock was at least $1.00 per share for 10 consecutive trading days and, accordingly, we regained compliance with NASDAQ’s continued listing requirements.
There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain compliance and remain in compliance in the future. In particular, our share price may continue to decline for a number of reasons, including many that are beyond our control. See “Our share price may be volatile and there may not be an active trading market for our common stock”.
If we fail to comply with Nasdaq’s continued listing standards, we may be delisted and our common stock will trade, if at all, only on the over-the-counter market, such as the OTC Bulletin Board or OTCQX market, and then only if one or more registered broker-dealer market makers comply with quotation requirements. In addition, delisting of our common stock could depress our stock price, substantially limit liquidity of our common stock and materially adversely affect our ability to raise capital on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Further, delisting of our common stock would likely result in our common stock becoming a “penny stock” under the Exchange Act.
Our share price may be volatile and there may not be an active trading market for our common stock.
There can be no assurance that the market price of our common stock will not decline below its present market price or that there will be an active trading market for our common stock. The market prices of technology or technology related companies have been and are likely to continue to be highly volatile. Fluctuations in our operating results and general market conditions for technology or technology related stocks could have a significant impact on the volatility of our common stock price. We have experienced significant volatility in the price of our common stock. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the share price of our common stock (on a split-adjusted basis) ranged from a high of $3.92 to a low of $1.05. The reason for the volatility in our stock is not well understood and may continue. Factors that may have contributed to such volatility include, but are not limited to:
|●||developments regarding regulatory filings;|
|●||our funding requirements and the terms of our financing arrangements;|
|●||introduction of new technologies by us or our competitors;|
|●||material changes in existing litigation;|
|●||changes in the enforceability or other matters surrounding our patent portfolios;|
|●||government regulations and laws;|
|●||public sentiment relating to our industry;|
|●||developments in patent or other proprietary rights;|
|●||the number of shares issued and outstanding;|
|●||the number of shares trading on an average trading day;|
|●||performance of companies in the non-performing entity space generally;|
|●||announcements regarding other participants in the technology and technology related industries, including our competitors;|
|●||block sales of our shares by stockholders to whom we have sold stock in private placements, or the cessation of transfer restrictions with respect to those shares; and|
|●||market speculation regarding any of the foregoing.|
We could fail in future financing efforts or be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market if we fail to receive stockholder approval when needed.
We are required under the Nasdaq rules to obtain stockholder approval for any issuance of additional equity securities that would comprise more than 20% of the total shares of our common stock outstanding before the issuance of such securities sold at a discount to the greater of book or market value in an offering that is not deemed to be a “public offering” by Nasdaq. Funding of our operations and acquisitions of assets may require issuance of additional equity securities that would comprise more than 20% of the total shares of our common stock outstanding, but we might not be successful in obtaining the required stockholder approval for such an issuance. If we are unable to obtain financing due to stockholder approval difficulties, such failure may have a material adverse effect on our ability to continue operations.
Our shares of common stock are thinly traded and, as a result, stockholders may be unable to sell at or near ask prices, or at all, if they need to sell shares to raise money or otherwise desire to liquidate their shares.
Our common stock has been “thinly-traded” meaning that the number of persons interested in purchasing our common stock at or near ask prices at any given time may be relatively small or non-existent. This situation is attributable to a number of factors, including the fact that we are a small company that is relatively unknown to stock analysts, stock brokers, institutional investors and others in the investment community that generate or influence sales volume, and that even if we came to the attention of such persons, they tend to be risk-averse and would be reluctant to follow an unproven company such as ours or purchase or recommend the purchase of our shares until such time as we become more seasoned and viable. Our trading volumes are further adversely affected by the 1-for-19 reverse stock split that was effective as of March 4, 2016. In addition, we believe that due to the limited number of shares of our common stock outstanding, an options market has not been established for our common stock, limiting the ability of market participants to hedge or otherwise undertake trading strategies available for larger companies with broader shareholder bases which prevents institutions and others from acquiring or trading in our securities. Consequently, there may be periods of several days or more when trading activity in our shares is minimal or non-existent, as compared to a seasoned issuer which has a large and steady volume of trading activity that will generally support continuous sales without an adverse effect on share price. We cannot give stockholders any assurance that a broader or more active public trading market for our common shares will develop or be sustained, or that current trading levels will be sustained.
Because of the “anti-takeover” provisions in our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, Amended and Restated Bylaws and Delaware General Corporation Law, a third party may be discouraged from making a takeover offer that could be beneficial to our stockholders.
The effect of certain provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, Amended and Restated Bylaws and the anti-takeover provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), could delay or prevent a third party from acquiring us or replacing members of our Board of Directors, or make more costly any attempt to acquire control of the Company, even if the acquisition or the Board designees would be beneficial to our stockholders. These factors could also reduce the price that certain investors might be willing to pay for shares of the common stock and result in the market price being lower than it would be without these provisions.
Dividends on our common stock are not likely.
During the last five years, we have not paid cash dividends on our common stock, and we do not anticipate paying cash dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Investors must look solely to the potential for appreciation in the market price of the shares of our common stock to obtain a return on their investment.
It may be difficult to predict our financial performance because our quarterly operating results may fluctuate.
Our revenues, operating results and valuations of certain assets and liabilities may vary significantly from quarter to quarter due to a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. You should not rely on period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations as an indication of our future performance. Our results of operations may fall below the expectations of market analysts and our own forecasts. If this happens, the market price of our common stock may fall significantly. The factors that may affect our quarterly operating results include the following:
|●||fluctuations in results of our enforcement and licensing activities or outcome of cases;|
|●||fluctuations in duration of judicial processes and time to completion of cases;|
|●||the timing and amount of expenses incurred to negotiate with licensees and obtain settlements from infringers;|
|●||the impact of our anticipated need for personnel and expected substantial increase in headcount;|
|●||fluctuations in the receptiveness of courts and juries to significant damages awards in patent infringement cases and speed to trial in the jurisdictions in which our cases may be brought and the accepted royalty rates attributable to damages analysis for patent cases generally, including the royalty rates for industry standard patents which we may own or acquire;|
|●||worsening economic conditions which cause revenues or profits attributable to infringer sales of products or services to decline;|
|●||changes in the regulatory environment, including regulation of NPE activities or patenting practices, that may negatively impact our or infringers practices;|
|●||the timing and amount of expenses associated with litigation, regulatory investigations or restructuring activities, including settlement costs and regulatory penalties assessed related to government enforcement actions;|
|●||Any changes we make in our Critical Accounting Estimates described in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our periodic reports;|
|●||the adoption of new accounting pronouncements, or new interpretations of existing accounting pronouncements, that impact the manner in which we account for, measure or disclose our results of operations, financial position or other financial measures; and|
|●||costs related to acquisitions of technologies or businesses.|
If we fail to retain our key personnel, we may not be able to achieve our anticipated level of growth and our business could suffer.
Our future depends, in part, on our ability to attract and retain key personnel and the continued contributions of our executive officers, each of whom may be difficult to replace. In particular, Anthony Hayes, our Chief Executive Officer, is important to the management of our business and operations and the development of our strategic direction. The loss of the services of any such individual and the process to replace any key personnel would involve significant time and expense and may significantly delay or prevent the achievement of our business objectives.
Because an increasing amount of our outstanding shares may become freely tradable, sales of these shares could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is performing well.
As of August 25, 2020, we had outstanding 34,920,219 shares of common stock, of which our directors and executive officers owned 24,283 shares which are subject to the limitations of Rule 144 under the Securities Act.
In general, Rule 144 provides that any non-affiliate of ours, who has held restricted common stock for at least six-months, is entitled to sell their restricted stock freely, provided that we are then current in our filings with the SEC.
An affiliate of the Company may sell after six months with the following restrictions:
|●||we are current in our filings;|
|●||certain manner of sale provisions;|
|●||filing of Form 144; and|
|●||volume limitations limiting the sale of shares within any three-month period to a number of shares that does not exceed the greater of 1% of the total number of outstanding shares or, the average weekly trading volume during the four calendar weeks preceding the filing of a notice of sale.|
Because almost all of our outstanding shares are freely tradable (subject to certain restrictions imposed by lockup agreements executed by the holders thereof) and the shares held by our affiliates may be freely sold (subject to the Rule 144 limitations), sales of these shares could cause the market price of our common stock to drop significantly, even if our business is performing well.
Risk Related to this Offering
Management will have broad discretion as to the use of the net proceeds from this offering, and we may not use these proceeds effectively.
We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes. Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from this offering and could spend the proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common stock. Accordingly, you will be relying on the judgment of our management with regard to the use of these net proceeds, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether the proceeds are being used appropriately. Our failure to apply these funds effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, delay the development of our product candidates and cause the price of our common stock to decline.
You will experience immediate and substantial dilution in the net tangible book value per share of the common stock you purchase.
Because the price per share of our common stock being offered is substantially higher than the net tangible book value per share of our common stock, you will suffer substantial dilution in the net tangible book value of the common stock you purchase in this offering. Based on a public offering price of $[____] per share, if you purchase shares of common stock in this offering, you will suffer immediate and substantial dilution of approximately ($[____]) per share in the net tangible book value of the common stock. See the section entitled “Dilution” in this prospectus for a more detailed discussion of the dilution you will incur if you purchase common stock in this offering.
In addition, we have a significant number of stock options, warrants and convertible preferred stock outstanding. To the extent that outstanding stock options, warrants have been or may be exercised or other shares issued, you may experience further dilution.
Future sales of substantial amounts of our common stock could adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We may choose to raise additional capital due to market conditions or strategic considerations even if we believe we have sufficient funds for our current or future operating plans. If additional capital is raised through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, or perceptions that those sales could occur, the issuance of these securities could result in further dilution to investors purchasing our common stock in this offering or result in downward pressure on the price of our common stock, and our ability to raise capital in the future.
A large number of shares issued in this offering may be sold in the market following this offering, which may depress the market price of our common stock.
A large number of shares issued in this offering may be sold in the market following this offering, which may depress the market price of our common stock. Sales of a substantial number of shares of our common stock in the public market following this offering could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. If there are more shares of our common stock offered for sale than buyers are willing to purchase, then the market price of our common stock may decline to a market price at which buyers are willing to purchase the offered shares of our common stock and sellers remain willing to sell the shares. All of the securities issued in the offering will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act.
This is a best efforts offering, no minimum number or dollar amount of securities is required to be sold, and we may not raise the amount of capital we believe is required for our business plans.
The Placement Agent has agreed to use its reasonable best efforts to solicit offers to purchase the securities in this offering. The Placement Agent has no obligation to buy any of the securities from us or to arrange for the purchase or sale of any specific number or dollar amount of the securities. There is no required minimum number of securities that must be sold as a condition to completion of this offering. Because there is no minimum offering amount required as a condition to the closing of this offering, the actual offering amount, Placement Agent fees and proceeds to us are not presently determinable and may be substantially less than the maximum amounts set forth above. We may sell fewer than all of the securities offered hereby, which may significantly reduce the amount of proceeds received by us, and investors in this offering will not receive a refund in the event that we do not sell an amount of securities sufficient to fund research and development of our lead product candidates, including clinical trial activities. Thus, we may not raise the amount of capital we believe is required for our operations in the short-term and may need to raise additional funds, which may not be available or available on terms acceptable to us.
Because there is no minimum required for the offering to close, investors in this offering will not receive a refund in the event that we do not sell an amount of securities sufficient to pursue the business goals outlined in this prospectus.
We have not specified a minimum offering amount nor have or will we establish an escrow account in connection with this offering. Because there is no escrow account and no minimum offering amount, investors could be in a position where they have invested in our company, but we are unable to fulfill our objectives due to a lack of interest in this offering. Further, because there is no escrow account in operation and no minimum investment amount, any proceeds from the sale of securities offered by us will be available for our immediate use, despite uncertainty about whether we would be able to use such funds to effectively implement our business plan. Investor funds will not be returned under any circumstances whether during or after the offering.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This prospectus contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the views of our management with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Forward-looking statements are identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “targets” and similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements may be contained in the sections “Risk Factors,” and “Business,” among other places in this prospectus. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are based on the information available to management at this time and which speak only as of this date. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For a discussion of some of the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements, please read carefully the information under “Risk Factors.”
The identification in this document of factors that may affect future performance and the accuracy of forward-looking statements is meant to be illustrative and by no means exhaustive. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. You may rely only on the information contained in this prospectus.
We have not authorized anyone to provide information different from that contained in this prospectus. Neither the delivery of this prospectus nor the sale of our common stock means that information contained in this prospectus is correct after the date of this prospectus. This prospectus is not an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy these securities in any circumstances under which the offer or solicitation is unlawful.
If you purchase shares of our common stock in this offering, you will experience dilution to the extent of the difference between the price per share you pay in this offering and the net tangible book value per share of our common stock immediately after this offering. The net tangible book value of our common stock on June 30, 2020 was approximately [ ], or approximately $[ ] per share. Net tangible book value per share is equal to the amount of our total tangible assets, less total liabilities, divided by the aggregate number of shares of our common stock outstanding.
After giving effect to the assumed sale by us of shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed combined public offering price of $[____] per share of common stock, after deducting the Placement Agent’s fees and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our as adjusted net tangible book value as of [____] would have been approximately $[____], or approximately $[____] per share of common stock. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of approximately $[____] per share to existing stockholders and an immediate dilution of approximately $[____] per share to new investors purchasing shares of our common stock in this offering. The following table illustrates this per share dilution:
|Assumed public offering price per share||$|
|Net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2020||$|
|Increase per share attributable to new investors in this offering|
|As adjusted net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2020 after giving effect to this offering||$|
|Dilution per share to investors participating in this offering||$|
Each $[____] increase (decrease) in the assumed public offering price of $[____] per share would increase (decrease) our as adjusted net tangible book value after this offering by $[____] million, or $[____] per share, and the dilution per share to new investors by $[____] per share, assuming that the number of shares of common stock offered by us, as set forth above, remains the same and after deducting the Placement Agent’s fees and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We may also increase or decrease the number of shares of common stock we are offering from the assumed number of shares of common stock set forth above. An increase (decrease) of [____] shares of common would increase (decrease) our as adjusted net tangible book value after this offering by $[____] million, or $[____] per share, and the dilution per share to new investors by $[____] per share, assuming that the combined public offering price remains the same and after deducting the Placement Agent’s fees and estimated offering expenses payable by us. The information discussed above is illustrative only and will adjust based on the actual public offering price, the actual number of shares that we offer in this offering, and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.
The number of shares of our outstanding common stock reflected in the discussion and table above is based on 34,920,219 shares of common stock outstanding as of August 25, 2020 and excludes, as of that date:
|●||85,234 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding options at a weighted average exercise price of $178.99 per share;|
|●||801,167 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants at a weighted average exercise price of $9.86 per share (without giving effect to any of the anti-dilution adjustment provisions thereof);|
|●||688 shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of our Series D and D-1 Preferred Stock; and|
|●||51,732 shares of our common stock to be reserved for potential future issuance pursuant to our 2012, 2013 and 2014 Equity Incentive Plans, combined.|
The following table sets forth our actual cash and cash equivalents and capitalization, each as of June 30, 2020, and as adjusted to give effect to the issuance and sale of shares of our common stock in this offering at an assumed public offering price of $[____] per share, which is the last reported sale price for our common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market on [____], after deducting the discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us.
The as adjusted information set forth below is illustrative only and will be adjusted based on the actual public offering price and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this information together with our consolidated financial statements and related notes incorporated by reference in this prospectus.
|As of June 30, 2020|
|(Dollars in thousands, except per share data)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||2,831||$|
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||969|
|Preferred stock, $0.0001 par value, 50,000,000 shares authorized; 4,725 shares of Series D Preferred Stock issued and outstanding at June 30, 2020; 834 shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock issued and outstanding at June 30, 2020||-|
|Common stock, $0.0001 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized; 34,920,219 shares issued and outstanding, actual, and , as adjusted, at June 30, 2020||3|
|Treasury stock, at cost, 3 shares at June 30, 2020||(264||)|
|Total stockholders’ equity||31,494|
|Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity||$||32,463|
The number of shares of our common stock to be outstanding after this offering is based on 34,920,219 shares of common stock outstanding as of August 25, 2020 and excludes as of that date:
|●||85,234 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding options at a weighted average exercise price of $178.99 per share;|
|●||801,167 shares of our common stock issuable upon exercise of outstanding warrants at a weighted average exercise price of $9.86 per share (without giving effect to any of the anti-dilution adjustment provisions thereof);|
|●||688 shares of common stock issuable upon the conversion of our Series D and D-1 Preferred Stock; and|
|●||51,732 shares of our common stock to be reserved for potential future issuance pursuant to our 2012, 2013 and 2014 Equity Incentive Plans in the aggregate.|
USE OF PROCEEDS
We estimate that our net proceeds from this offering will be approximately $[____] based on an assumed offering price of $[____], the last reported sale price of our common stock on the Nasdaq Capitals Markets on [____].
An $[____] increase (decrease) in the assumed public offering price of $[____] per share of our common stock would increase (decrease) the expected net cash proceeds of the offering to us by approximately $[____]. An increase (decrease) of [____] in the assumed number of shares sold in this offering would increase (decrease) the expected net cash proceeds of the offering to us by approximately $[____], assuming a public offering price of $[____] per share.
We intend to use the net proceeds of this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes. As of the date of this prospectus, we cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds we will have upon completion of the offering. Accordingly, we will retain broad discretion over the use of these proceeds.
The Company may also use a portion of the net proceeds of this offering to acquire or invest in complementary businesses, products or technologies, or to obtain the right to use such complementary technologies. The Company has no commitments with respect to any acquisition or investment and is not currently involved in any negotiations with respect to any such transactions.
As of the date of this prospectus, the Company cannot specify with certainty all of the particular uses for the net proceeds to be received upon the completion of this offering. The amounts and timing of its actual expenditures will depend on numerous factors, including the status of its product development efforts, sales and marketing activities, technological advances, amount of cash generated or used by its operations and competition. Accordingly, the Company’s management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds and investors will be relying on the judgment of its management regarding the application of the proceeds of this offering.
MARKET PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AIKI”.
As of August 25, 2020, the last reported sales price reported on the Nasdaq Capital Market for our common stock was $0.886 per share. As of the date of this prospectus, we had approximately 123 holders of our common stock. The number of record holders was determined from the records of our transfer agent and does not include beneficial owners of common stock whose shares are held in the names of various security brokers, dealers, and registered clearing agencies.
We have never declared or paid any cash dividends on our capital stock, and we do not anticipate paying cash dividends in the future.
AIkido Pharma Inc., formerly known as Spherix Incorporated, was initially formed in 1967 and is currently a biotechnology company with a diverse portfolio of small-molecule anti-cancer therapeutics in development. The Company’s platform consists of patented technology from leading universities and researchers and we are currently in the process of developing an innovative therapeutic drug platform through strong partnerships with world renowned educational institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Wake Forest University. Our diverse pipeline of therapeutics includes therapies for pancreatic cancer, AML and ALL. The Company is also developing a broad spectrum antiviral platform that may potentially inhibit replication of multiple viruses including Influenza virus, SARS-CoV (coronavirus), MERS-CoV, Ebolavirus and Marburg virus.
The Company previously focused its efforts on owning, developing, acquiring and monetizing intellectual property assets. Since May 2016, the Company has received limited funds from its intellectual property monetization. In addition to its patent monetization efforts, since the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company has been transitioning to focus its efforts as a technology and biotechnology development company. These efforts have focused on biotechnology research and blockchain technology research. The Company’s biotechnology research development includes: (i) an investment in Hoth, a development stage biopharmaceutical company focused on unique targeted therapeutics for patients suffering from indications such as atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, (ii) an investment in DatChat, a privately held personal privacy platform focused on encrypted communication, internet security and digital rights management, and (iii) the acquisition of assets of CBM, a pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of cancer treatments.
As a result of the Company’s biotechnology research development and associated investments and acquisitions, our business portfolio now focuses on the treatment of three different cancers, including pancreatic cancer, AML and ALL. Our AML and ALL compounds, developed at the Wake Forest University, are targeted therapeutics designed to overcome multiple resistance mechanisms observed with the current standard of care. DHA-dFdC, our pancreatic drug candidate developed at the University of Texas at Austin, is a new compound that we hope will become the next generation of chemotherapy treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. DHA-dFdC overcomes tumor cell resistance to current chemotherapeutic drugs and is well tolerated in preclinical toxicity tests. Preclinical studies have also indicated that DHA-dFdC inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth (up to 100,000-fold more potent that gemcitabine, a current standard therapy), targets pancreatic tumors and has demonstrated activities against other cancers, including leukemia, lung and melanoma. In addition, we are constantly seeking to grow our pipe to treat unmet medical needs in oncology.
In addition, the Company owns an exclusive world-wide license to patented technology from the University of Maryland Baltimore (“UMB”). Our license is for a broad spectrum antiviral drug platform. The licensed technology is a broadly acting pan-viral inhibitory compound targeting multiple viral pathogens. The technology works to inhibit replication of multiple viruses including Influenza virus, SARS-CoV (coronavirus), MERS-CoV, Ebolavirus and Marburg virus. The technology is covered by two patent applications already on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The UMB inventors are Drs. Matthew Frieman, Alexander MacKerell and Stuart Watson. The Company has also executed a Sponsored Research Agreement with UMB to support the development of the technology.
Our Products and Services
The acquisition of the CBM assets has transformed the Company into an innovative pharmaceutical company dedicated to translating fundamental biological insights into new drugs and treatments that address unmet medical needs. Our drug platform focuses on the treatment of three cancers, including pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Our Drug Platform
DHA-dFdC 4-(N)-Docosahexaenoyl 2´, 2´-Difluorodeoxycytidine, referred to as DHA-dFdC, is patented technology licensed to the Company from the University of Texas at Austin. DHA-dFdC is a new compound poised to become the next generation of second-line chemotherapy treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. DHA-dFdC overcomes tumor cell resistance to current chemotherapeutic drugs and is well tolerated in preclinical toxicity tests. Preclinical studies have also indicated that DHA-dFdC inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth (up to 100,000-fold more potent that gemcitabine, a current standard therapy (for example, the IC50 value of DHA-dFdC is more than 100,000-fold smaller than gemcitabine), targets pancreatic tumors and has demonstrated activities against other cancer cell lines, including leukemia, lung and melanoma. Our AML and ALL compounds, developed at the Wake Forest University and called KPC34, are next generation targeted therapeutics designed to overcome multiple resistance mechanisms observed with the current standard of care. Combined, the Company’s drug platform offers a robust drug pipeline focused on the development and commercialization of drugs to treat unmet medical needs in oncology. In addition, we are constantly seeking to grow our pipeline to treat unmet medical needs in oncology.
Pancreatic cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, surpassing breast cancer. It is expected to become the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States by the year 2020, surpassing colorectal cancer. In fact, pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. Approximately 91% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis, only 8% will survive more than five years and 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.
Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years. Treatment options for pancreatic cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which extend survival or relieve symptoms, but seldom produce a cure. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer because detection is often in late stages and has spread beyond the pancreas. The current state of the art chemotherapy treatment is gemcitabine, Folfirinox cocktail or gemcitabine in combination with Abraxane.
|*||Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research|
The University of Texas at Austin has identified a new drug, DHA-dFdC, that has shown positive results in preclinical studies, inhibiting pancreatic tumor growth in clinically relevant transgenic mouse models. In preclinical studies, DHA-dFdC has:
|●||inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth (up to 100,000-fold more potent that gemcitabine, a current standard therapy);|
|●||targets pancreatic tumors;|
|●||has overcome tumor cell resistance to current chemotherapeutic drugs;|
|●||is well tolerated in preclinical toxicity test;|
|●||has demonstrated activities against other cancers (e.g. leukemia, lung, melanoma); and|
|●||may stimulate immunogenic cell death to activate host antitumor immunity.|
Gem-DHA Technology Summary
Gem-DHA is a conjugate molecule containing gemcitabine linked to a fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The structure is:
The DHA structure is illustrated above the dashed line in the graphic above and the gemcitabine structure is illustrated below the dashed line. The DHA patent states that Gem-DHA was more effective than gemcitabine alone in killing cancer cells in vitro and in vivo in a certain mouse model. The patent also states that conjugation of gemcitabine with fatty acids other than DHA did not increase effectiveness over gemcitabine.
Gem-DHA Published Data
The science behind Gem-DHA has been published in the following peer-reviewed scientific journals:
|●||Naguib et al. (2016) Synthesis, characterization, and in vitro and in vivo evaluations of 4-(N)-docosahexaenoyl 2 ́, 2 ́- difluorodeoxycytidine with potent and broad-spectrum antitumor activity, NeoPlasia 18: 33-48.|
|●||Valdes et al. (2017) Preclinical evaluation of the short-term toxicity of 4-(N)-docosahexaenoyl 2 ́, 2 ́- difluorodeoxycytidine (DHA-dFdC), Pharm. Res. 34: 1224-1232.|
|●||Valdes et al. (2019) A solid lipid nanoparticle formulation of 4-(N)-docosahexaenoyl 2 ́, 2 ́- difluorodeoxycytidine with increased solubility, stability, and antitumor activity, Int. J. Pharm. 570:118609.|
The portions of the published data state the following:
|●||The drug unexpectedly concentrates itself in the pancreas relative to other organs.|
|●||It significantly increases the lifespan of mice with pancreatic cancer in either mice predisposed to develop the cancer, or into which human pancreatic cancer has been injected.|
|●||It significantly decreases the growth of pancreatic tumors in mice, better than gemcitabine, the current standard of care.|
|●||An oral formulation using lipid nanoparticles is highly effective and stable and has outstanding bioavailability.|
Gem-DHA Patent Coverage
Gem-DHA has one issued patent on the drug itself and one application on the oral formulation, as listed in the following table:
|App. Serial No. 16/576,127, filed 9/19/2019 as continuation of App. Serial No. 15/115,393, filed 1/29/2015||1/29/2014||N/A||Nucleobase Analogue Derivatives and Their Applications|
|U.S. Patent No. 10,463,684, issued 11/5/2019 from App. Serial No. 15/115,393, filed 1/29/2015||1/29/2014||10/07/2035||Nucleobase Analogue Derivatives and Their Applications|
|Provisional App. Serial No. 62/858,114, filed 06/06/2019||6/06/2019||N/A||Lipid Nanoparticles Containing Pharmaceutical and/or Nutraceutical agents and methods thereof|
All of this technology has been exclusively licensed to the Company for commercial development.
AML & ALL Cancer
Our AML and ALL compounds, developed at the Wake Forest University and called KPC34, are next generation targeted therapeutics designed to overcome multiple resistance mechanisms observed with the current standard of care.
Approximately 70% of all AML patients are over the age of 60 and only 6.6% of patients are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. Gemcitabine and Cytarabine are the backbone of AML and ALL therapy, but life expectancy is poor and relapses are much harder to treat.
Cytarabine (Ara-C) has been a major drug for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment for more than three decades, but KPC34 has shown superior results when tested against Cytarabine.
KPC34 Technology Summary
KPC34, a conjugate molecule made of a gemcitabine molecule linked to a phospholipid, has the following structure:
Picture in the illustration above, to the left of the dashed line is the phospholipid portion and to the right of the dashed line is gemcitabine.
Gemcitabine is a chemotherapy drug used to treat a wide array of cancers, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and bladder cancer. The drug interferes with DNA and its function of the phospholipid to which the gemcitabine is linked in KPC34, is to inhibit protein kinase C-type enzymes, which are involved in multiple signaling pathways in leukemia.
The strategy behind targeting both DNA synthesis and protein kinase C with one molecule is to double-target different mechanisms of action in leukemia cells and greatly reduce the possibility of development of resistance to the drug.
KPC34 is intended to treat the relatively small population of patients with AML and acute ALL. In 2019, an estimated 21,450 people of all ages (11,650 men and boys and 9,800 women and girls) in the United States will be diagnosed with AML. AML is the second most common type of leukemia diagnosed in adults and children, but most cases occur in adults. AML makes up 32% of all adult leukemia cases (source: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/leukemia-acute-myeloid-aml/statistics). In 2019, an estimated 5,930 people of all ages (3,280 men and boys and 2,650 women and girls) in the United States were diagnosed with ALL (source: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/leukemia-acute-lymphocytic-all/statistics).
The drug is intended for oral application, unlike standard chemotherapy drugs, which are given by injection.
Because of the low patient population, and the imminent expiration of the patent, FDA orphan drug status will be sought, which provides expedited review and seven years of exclusivity from approval of the new drug application.
Preliminary data from preclinical studies at Wake Forest on the drug includes the following results:
|●||kills leukemia cells in vitro;|
|●||inhibits protein kinase C in biochemical assays;|
|●||targets central nervous system leukemia;|
|●||targets AML exhibiting phosphorylated protein kinase C;|
|●||Wake Forest claims KPC34 targeted gemcitabine alone or cytarabine (another chemo drug) alone; and|
|●||KPC34 also appears to overcome resistance to gemcitabine; it is effective against gemcitabine-resistant cancer.|
The technology licensed is much broader than KPC34 represents, and includes both anticancer and antiviral conjugates, and could include a much broader range of indications, but we have no such drug candidates in development other than KPC34.
KPC34 Patent Coverage
The KPC34 license includes five issued patents, but only one of them covers KPC34. The patent is US7309696, entitled “Compositions and methods for targeting cancer cells.” It expires on August 11, 2021. All five of the licensed patents will expire by late 2022.
On April 12, 2018, CBM entered into a patent license agreement (the “UT Agreement”) with the University of Texas at Austin on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System. The UT Agreement granted to CBM an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to certain patent applications related to nucleobase analogue derivatives and their applications, and specifically to the DHA-dFdC drug candidate. On November 13, 2019, the University of Texas at Austin, the Company and CBM entered into an assignment of agreement, whereby CBM assigned all of its rights, title and interest to, and obligations under the UT Agreement to the Company.
On April 17, 2018, CBM entered into a license agreement (the “WF Agreement”) with Wake Forest University Health Sciences (“WF”). The WF Agreement granted to CBM an exclusive, royalty-bearing license to WF’s and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s patents relating to the KPC34 drug candidate. On November 13, 2019, WF, the Company and CBM entered into an assignment of agreement, whereby CBM assigned all of its rights, title and interest to, and obligations under the WF Agreement to the Company.
On April 13, 2020, the Company executed a Master License Agreement (the “UMB License Agreement”) with UMB, pursuant to which UMB agreed to license inventions collectively known as “Broad Spectrum Antiviral Compounds Which Target the SKI Complex” (the “Inventions”) to the Company. The Inventions, which are covered by two patent applications on file with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, are currently in the pre-clinical stage and seek to inhibit replication of multiple viruses, including the Influenza virus, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, Ebolavirus and Marburg virus. In addition, the Company entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement with UMB to support the development of various technologies.
Pursuant to the UMB License Agreement, UMB grants to the Company the ability to utilize the licensed products (“Licensed Products”) and patents associated with the Inventions, subject to certain limitations described in the UMB License Agreement. All improvements to the Inventions are solely owned by the party improving the Inventions, unless jointly made, in which case both parties jointly own the improvements; however, the Company grants to UMB the royalty-free license to practice the Company’s improvements. The Company has agreed to deliver to UMB a commercialization plan setting forth the Company’s plan for research and development required to develop the Licensed Products and the Company’s overall commercialization strategy by December 31, 2022.
The Company is required to pay UMB (i) a license fee of $100,000, (ii) an annual license maintenance fee of $25,000 on the fourth anniversary of the UMB License Agreement, (iii) future milestone payments in an aggregate amount equal to $2,875,000, (iv) a royalty on sales of Licensed Products by the Company, the Company’s affiliates and/or sublicensees at a rate of three percent (3%) until net revenues from sales of Licensed Products reach a certain dollar amount and six percent (6%) after net revenues from sales of Licensed products reach a certain dollar amount, provided, however, commencing the year in which the first commercial sale of Licensed Products occurs, if the royalty payments do not reach the minimum amount of $1,000,000 (which amount shall be increased by twenty percent (20%) in each subsequent calendar year), the Company shall pay an additional amount with the payment due on the next January 31, so that the total amount paid for such year reaches the minimum amount (such payment not to exceed $3,000,000 per year), and (v) a percentage of income received from any sublicensing income.
The UMB License Agreement, which continues on a Licensed Product-by-Licensed Product and country-by-country basis, will terminate upon the later of (i) the date of expiration of the last to expire claim of patent rights covering the Licensed Products, (ii) the expiration of data protection, new chemical entity, orphan drug exclusivity, regulatory exclusivity or other legally enforceable market exclusivity, or (iii) ten years after the first commercial sale of a Licensed Product. If none of the previously listed items occur, the UMB License Agreement will expire twenty years after the date of the UMB License Agreement. However, the parties may terminate the UMB License Agreement under certain conditions described in the UMB License Agreement, including but not limited to, missed payments and failure to achieve required milestones. The UMB License Agreement also contains various non-compete, non-solicitation and indemnification provisions as well as representations and warranties made by each party.
Our business success with our drug portfolio depends not only on the successful development and approval of the products but also on the commercialization. At present, our plan anticipates us making the investments necessary to build an in-house marketing and sales capability for the U.S. market for our drug pipeline, or to partner with a larger drug development company to commercialize our drugs as they move through the FDA approval process. As our drug compounds make their way through clinical development in the U.S., we intend to approach pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies outside the U.S. to negotiate and enter into strategic partnerships that will enable development and commercialization of our platform outside the U.S., where we believe the market opportunity is larger than that of the U.S. albeit far more complex to reach. We have no operations outside the U.S., nor are we planning to have any non-U.S. operations.
Manufacturing and Supply
We do not have any manufacturing capabilities and therefore we will have to engage a third party to assist in manufacturing. Such manufacturing will need to be done in accordance with good manufacturing practice requirements (“cGMP”) regulations, to formulate and manufacture our product candidates. A list of third party manufacturers is currently being developed.
Governmental authorities in the U.S. and other countries extensively regulate the research, development, testing, manufacture, labeling, promotion, advertising, distribution and marketing of pharmaceutical products such as those being developed by us. In the U.S., the FDA regulates such products under the FDCA and implements related regulations. Failure to comply with applicable FDA requirements, both before and after approval, may subject us to administrative and judicial sanctions, such as a delay in approving or refusal by the FDA to approve pending applications, warning letters, product recalls, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions and/or criminal prosecution.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Regulation
United States Drug Development
In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs, medical devices and combinations of drugs and devices, or combination products, under the FDCA and its implementing regulations. Drugs are also subject to other federal, state and local statutes and regulations. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or after approval, may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include, among other actions, the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, untitled or warning letters, requests for voluntary product recalls or withdrawals from the market, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement, or civil or criminal penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.
The process required by the FDA before a drug may be marketed in the United States generally involves the following:
|●||completion of extensive pre-clinical laboratory tests, animal studies and formulation studies in accordance with applicable regulations, including the FDA’s Good Laboratory Practice regulations;|
|●||submission to the FDA of an IND, which must become effective before human clinical trials may begin;|
|●||performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with an applicable IND and other clinical study related regulations, sometimes referred to as good clinical practices, or GCPs, to establish the safety and efficacy of the proposed drug for its proposed indication;|
|●||submission to the FDA of an NDA;|
|●||satisfactory completion of an FDA pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities at which the product, or components thereof, are produced to assess compliance with the FDA’s cGMP requirements;|
|●||potential FDA audit of the clinical trial sites that generated the data in support of the NDA; and|
|●||FDA review and approval of the NDA prior to any commercial marketing or sale.|
Once a pharmaceutical product candidate is identified for development, it enters the pre-clinical testing stage. Pre-clinical tests include laboratory evaluations of product chemistry, toxicity, formulation and stability, as well as animal studies. An IND sponsor must submit the results of the pre-clinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data and any available clinical data or literature, to the FDA as part of the IND. The sponsor must also include a protocol detailing, among other things, the objectives of the initial clinical trial, the parameters to be used in monitoring safety and the effectiveness criteria to be evaluated if the initial clinical trial lends itself to an efficacy evaluation. Some pre-clinical testing may continue even after the IND is submitted. The IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless the FDA raises concerns or questions related to a proposed clinical trial and places the trial on a clinical hold within that 30-day period. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. Clinical holds also may be imposed by the FDA at any time before or during clinical trials due to safety concerns or non-compliance, and may be imposed on all drug products within a certain class of drugs. The FDA also can impose partial clinical holds, for example, prohibiting the initiation of clinical trials of a certain duration or for a certain dose.
All clinical trials must be conducted under the supervision of one or more qualified investigators in accordance with GCP regulations. These regulations include the requirement that all research subjects provide informed consent in writing before their participation in any clinical trial. Further, an IRB must review and approve the plan for any clinical trial before it commences at any institution, and the IRB must conduct continuing review and reapprove the study at least annually. An IRB considers, among other things, whether the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trial are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB also approves the information regarding the clinical trial and the consent form that must be provided to each clinical trial subject or his or her legal Representative and must monitor the clinical trial until completed.
Each new clinical protocol and any amendments to the protocol must be submitted for FDA review, and to the IRBs for approval. Protocols detail, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria, and the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety.
Human clinical trials are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap or be combined:
|●||Phase 1. The product is initially introduced into a small number of healthy human subjects or patients and tested for safety, dosage tolerance, absorption, metabolism, distribution and excretion and, if possible, to gain early evidence on effectiveness. In the case of some products for severe or life-threatening diseases, especially when the product is suspected or known to be unavoidably toxic, the initial human testing may be conducted in patients.|
|●||Phase 2. Involves clinical trials in a limited patient population to identify possible adverse effects and safety risks, to preliminarily evaluate the efficacy of the product for specific targeted diseases and to determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage and schedule.|
|●||Phase 3. Clinical trials are undertaken to further evaluate dosage, clinical efficacy and safety in an expanded patient population at geographically dispersed clinical trial sites. These clinical trials are intended to establish the overall risk/benefit relationship of the product and provide an adequate basis for product labeling.|
Post-approval trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These studies are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 trials. Companies that conduct certain clinical trials also are required to register them and post the results of completed clinical trials on a government-sponsored database, such as ClinicalTrials.gov in the United States, within certain timeframes. Failure to do so can result in fines, adverse publicity and civil and criminal sanctions.
Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials, among other information, must be submitted at least annually to the FDA, and written IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and the investigators for serious and unexpected adverse events, findings from other studies that suggest a significant risk to humans exposed to the product, findings from animal or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk to human subjects, and any clinically important increase in the rate 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, if at all. The FDA or the clinical trial sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution 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. Additionally, some clinical trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the study. The clinical trial sponsor may also suspend or terminate a clinical trial based on evolving business objectives and/or competitive climate.
Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and must also develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the product and 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 product candidate and, among other things, the manufacturer must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality and purity of the final product. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that the product candidate does not undergo unacceptable deterioration over its shelf life.
NDA and FDA Review Process
The results of product development, pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, along with descriptions of the manufacturing process, analytical tests conducted on the drug, proposed labeling and other relevant information, are submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA for a new drug, requesting approval to market the product. The submission of an NDA is subject to the payment of a substantial user fee, and the sponsor of an approved NDA is also subject to an annual program user fee; although a waiver of such fee may be obtained under certain limited circumstances. For example, the agency will waive the application fee for the first human drug application that a small business or its affiliate submits for review.
The FDA reviews all NDAs submitted before it accepts them for filing and may request additional information rather than accepting an NDA for filing. The FDA typically makes a decision on accepting an NDA for filing within 60 days of receipt. The decision to accept the NDA for filing means that the FDA has made a threshold determination that the application is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review. Under the goals and policies agreed to by the FDA under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (“PDUFA”), the FDA’s goal to complete its substantive review of a standard NDA and respond to the applicant is ten months from the receipt of the NDA. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates, and the review process is often significantly extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification and may go through multiple review cycles.
After the NDA submission is accepted for filing, the FDA reviews the NDA to determine, among other things, whether the proposed product is safe and effective for its intended use, and whether the product is being manufactured in accordance with cGMPs to assure and preserve the product’s identity, strength, quality and purity. The FDA may refer applications for novel drug products or drug products which present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation and 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 it considers such recommendations carefully when making decisions. The FDA will likely re-analyze the clinical trial data, which could result in extensive discussions between the FDA and us during the review process. The review and evaluation of an NDA by the FDA is extensive and time consuming and may take longer than originally planned to complete, and we may not receive a timely approval, if at all.
Before approving an NDA, the FDA will conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facilities for the new product to determine whether they comply with cGMPs. The FDA will not approve the product 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. In addition, before approving an NDA, the FDA may also audit data from clinical trials to ensure compliance with GCP requirements. After the FDA evaluates the application, manufacturing process and manufacturing facilities, it may issue an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A Complete Response Letter indicates that the review cycle of the application is complete and the application will not be approved in its present form. A Complete Response Letter usually describes all the specific deficiencies in the NDA identified by the FDA. The Complete Response Letter may require additional clinical data and/or an additional pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial(s), and/or other significant and time-consuming requirements related to clinical trials, nonclinical studies or manufacturing. If a Complete Response Letter is issued, the applicant may either resubmit the NDA, addressing all the deficiencies identified in the letter, or withdraw the application. Even if such data and information are submitted, the FDA may ultimately decide that the NDA does not satisfy the criteria for approval. Data obtained from clinical trials are not always conclusive, and the FDA may interpret data differently than we interpret the same data.
There is no assurance that the FDA will ultimately approve a product for marketing in the United States, and we may encounter significant difficulties or costs during the review process. If a product receives marketing approval, the approval may be significantly limited to specific diseases and dosages or the indications for use may otherwise be limited, which could restrict the commercial value of the product. Further, the FDA may require that certain contraindications, warnings or precautions be included in the product labeling or may condition the approval of the NDA on other changes to the proposed labeling, development of adequate controls and specifications, or a commitment to conduct post-market testing or clinical trials and surveillance to monitor the effects of approved products. For example, the FDA may require Phase 4 clinical trials to further assess drug safety and effectiveness and may require testing and surveillance programs to monitor the safety of approved products that have been commercialized. The FDA may also place other conditions on approvals, including the requirement for a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (“REMS”), to assure the safe use of the drug. If the FDA concludes a REMS is needed, the sponsor of the NDA must submit a proposed REMS; the FDA will not approve the NDA without an approved REMS, if required. A REMS could include medication guides, physician communication plans, or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. Any of these limitations on approval or marketing could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory requirements or if problems occur following initial marketing.
Potential sales of any of our product candidates, if approved, will depend, at least in part, on the extent to which such products will be covered by third-party payors, such as government health care programs, commercial insurance and managed healthcare organizations. These third-party payors are increasingly limiting coverage and/or reducing reimbursements for medical products and services. A third-party payor’s decision to provide coverage for a drug product does not imply that an adequate reimbursement rate will be approved. Further, one payor’s determination to provide coverage for a drug product does not assure that other payors will also provide coverage for the drug product. In addition, the U.S. government, state legislatures and foreign governments have continued implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on 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 our future revenues and results of operations. Decreases in third-party reimbursement or a decision by a third-party payor to not cover a product candidate, if approved, or any future approved products could reduce physician usage of our products, and have a material adverse effect on our sales, results of operations and financial condition.
In the United States, the Medicare Part D program provides a voluntary outpatient drug benefit to Medicare beneficiaries for certain products. We do not know whether our product candidates, if approved, will be eligible for coverage under Medicare Part D, but individual Medicare Part D plans offer coverage subject to various factors such as those described above. Furthermore, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policies and payment limitations in setting their own coverage policies.
Pediatric Exclusivity and Pediatric Use
The Pediatric Research Equity Act, or PREA, requires a sponsor to conduct pediatric studies for most drugs and biologics, for a new active ingredient, new indication, new dosage form, new dosing regimen or new route of administration. Under PREA, original NDAs, biologics license applications and supplements thereto, must contain a pediatric assessment unless the sponsor has received a deferral or waiver. Unless otherwise required by regulation, PREA does not apply to any drug for an indication for which an orphan drug designation has been granted. The required assessment must assess the safety and effectiveness of the product for the claimed indications in all relevant pediatric subpopulations and support dosing and administration for each pediatric subpopulation for which the product is safe and effective. The sponsor or FDA may request a deferral of pediatric studies for some or all of the pediatric subpopulations. A deferral may be granted for several reasons, including a finding that the drug or biologic is ready for approval for use in adults before pediatric studies are complete or that additional safety or effectiveness data needs to be collected before the pediatric studies begin.
Pediatric exclusivity is another type of non-patent marketing exclusivity in the United States and, if granted, provides for the attachment of an additional six months of marketing protection to the term of any existing regulatory exclusivity, including the non-patent and orphan exclusivity. This six-month exclusivity may be granted if an NDA sponsor submits pediatric data that fairly respond to a written request from the FDA for such data. The data does not need to show the product to be effective in the pediatric population studied; rather, if the clinical trial is deemed to fairly respond to the FDA’s request, the additional protection is granted. If reports of requested pediatric studies are submitted to and accepted by the FDA within the statutory time limits, whatever statutory or regulatory periods of exclusivity or patent protection cover the product are extended by six months.
Healthcare Laws and Regulations
Sales of our product candidates, if approved, or any other future product candidate will be subject to healthcare regulation and enforcement by the federal government and the states and foreign governments in which we might conduct our business. The healthcare laws and regulations that may affect our ability to operate include the following:
|●||The federal Anti-Kickback Statute makes it illegal for any person or entity to knowingly and willfully, directly or indirectly, solicit, receive, offer, or pay any remuneration that is in exchange for or to induce the referral of business, including the purchase, order, lease of any good, facility, item or service for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. The term “remuneration” has been broadly interpreted to include anything of value.|
|●||Federal false claims and false statement laws, including the federal civil False Claims Act, prohibits, among other things, any person or entity from knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, for payment to, or approval by, federal programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, claims for items or services, including drugs, that are false or fraudulent.|
|●||Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) created additional federal criminal statutes that prohibit among other actions, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program, including private third-party payors or making any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement in connection with the delivery of or payment for healthcare benefits, items or services.|
|●||HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 and their implementing regulations, impose obligations on certain types of individuals and entities regarding the electronic exchange of information in common healthcare transactions, as well as standards relating to the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information.|
|●||The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, with specific exceptions, to report annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members.|
Also, many states have similar laws and regulations, such as anti-kickback and false claims laws that may be broader in scope and may apply regardless of payor, in addition to items and services reimbursed under Medicaid and other state programs. Additionally, we may be subject to state laws that require pharmaceutical companies to comply with the federal government’s and/or pharmaceutical industry’s voluntary compliance guidelines, state laws that require drug manufacturers to report information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians and other healthcare providers or marketing expenditures, as well as state and foreign laws governing the privacy and security of health information, many of which differ from each other in significant ways and often are not preempted by HIPAA.
Additionally, to the extent that our product is sold in a foreign country, we may be subject to similar foreign laws.
As of August 25, 2020, we have three full-time employees, none of which are represented by a labor union or covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Our main office is located in New York, New York where we lease one office with a monthly payment of approximately $3,200. We also lease space in Longview, Texas, on a month to month basis, for approximately $2,000 per month, and in Williamsburg, Virginia, on a month to month basis, for approximately $500 per month. We believe that the New York, Texas and Virginia facilities are sufficient to meet our needs. We leased office space in Bethesda, Maryland under a lease with monthly payments of $15,107 that expired on March 31, 2018, which we did not renew.
Other than ordinary routine litigation incidental to the business, we know of no material, active or pending legal proceedings or counterclaims against us.
The following table sets forth the name, age and position of each current director of the Company.
|Robert J. Vander Zanden (1)(2)||75||Director and Chairman of the Board||2004|
Executive Officer Director, and
Principal Accounting Officer
|Tim S. Ledwick (1)||63||Director||2015|
|Gregory James Blattner(1)(3)||43||Director||2018|
|(1)||Member of our Audit Committee.|
|(2)||Member of our Compensation Committee.|
|(3)||Member of our Nominating Committee.|
The biographies of our current directors are as follows:
Dr. Robert J. Vander Zanden
Dr. Robert J. Vander Zanden, a member of the Board of Directors since 2004, having served as a Vice President of R&D at Kraft Foods International, brings a long and distinguished career in applied technology, product commercialization, and business knowledge of the food science industry to us. Additionally, Mr. Vander Zanden has specific experience in developing organizations designed to deliver against corporate objectives. Dr. Vander Zanden holds a Ph.D. in Food Science and an M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from Kansas State University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, where he was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2002. In his 30-year career, he has been with ITT Continental Baking Company as a Product Development Scientist; with Ralston Purina’s Protein Technology Division as Manager Dietary Foods R&D; with Keebler as Group Director, Product and Process Development (with responsibility for all corporate R&D and quality); with Group Gamesa, a Frito-Lay Company, as Vice President, Technology; and with Nabisco as Vice President of R&D for their International Division. With the acquisition of Nabisco by Kraft Foods, he became the Vice President of R&D for Kraft’s Latin American Division. Dr. Vander Zanden retired from Kraft Foods in 2004. He currently holds the title of Adjunct Professor and Lecturer in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences at Clemson University, where he also is a member of their Industry Advisory Board. His focus on achieving product and process innovation through training, team building and creating positive working environments has resulted in his being recognized with many awards for product and packaging innovation. Mr. Vander Zanden executive experience provides him with valuable business expertise, which the Board believes qualifies him to serve as a director of the Company.
Mr. Anthony Hayes, a director and Chief Executive Officer since 2013, has served as the Chief Executive Officer of North South since March 2013 and since June 2013, as a consultant to our Company. Mr. Hayes was the fund manager of JaNSOME IP Management LLC and JaNSOME Patent Fund LP from August 2012 to August 2013, both of which he co-founded. Mr. Hayes was the founder and Managing Member of Atwater Partners of Texas LLC from March 2010 to August 2012 and a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP from May 1999 to March 2010. Mr. Hayes received his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University School of Law and his B.A. in economics from Mary Washington College. The Board believes Mr. Hayes is qualified to serve as a director of the Company based on his intimate knowledge of the Company through his service as Chief Executive Officer. On March 10, 2017, as a result of Mr. Frank Reiner’s resignation as Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Hayes began serving as the Company’s Principal Accounting Officer.
Tim S. Ledwick
Mr. Tim S. Ledwick, who joined as a director in 2015, is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Management Health Solutions, a private equity-backed company that provides software solutions and services to hospitals focused on reducing costs through superior inventory management practices. In addition, since 2012 he has served on the board and as Chair of the Audit Committee of Telkonet, Inc. (TKOI) a smart energy management technology company. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Ledwick provided CFO consulting services to AdvantageResourcing (former Advantage Human Resourcing, Inc.) a $150 million services firm and, in addition, from 2007-2008 also acted as special advisor to The Dellacorte Group, a middle market financial advisory firm focused on transactions between $100 million and $1 billion. From 2002 through 2006, Tim was a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice President-CFO of Dictaphone Corporation playing a lead role in developing a business plan which revitalized the company, resulting in the successful sale of the firm and delivering a seven times return to shareholders. From 2001-2002, Mr. Ledwick was brought on as CFO to lead the restructuring efforts of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products, a Belgium-based Nasdaq listed speech technology company, whose market cap had at one point reached a high of $9 billion. From 1999 through 2001, he was CFO of Cross Media Marketing Corp, an $80 million public company headquartered in New York City, playing a lead role in the firm’s acquisition activity, tax analysis and capital raising. Mr. Ledwick is a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants and received his B.B.A. in accounting from The George Washington University and his M.S. in Finance from Fairfield University. The Board of Directors believes that Mr. Ledwick’s executive experience and financial expertise qualifies him to serve as a director of the Company.
Gregory James Blattner
Mr. Blattner, who joined as a member of our Board of Directors in 2018, has nearly five years of experience in the alternative investment technology industry. Since January 2014, he has served as the Director of Business Development at Agio, a progressive managed information technology and cybersecurity services provider, where he is responsible for sales and account management of enterprise accounts. Prior to Agio, from May 2013 to December 2013, Mr. Blattner was a business development manager for the Eikon platform at Thomson Reuters. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Blattner was a sales manager at American Express for its foreign exchange business. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Blattner held various positions at JPMorgan, first in the operational risk management arm of the investment bank and later in Foreign Exchange product sales for its treasury services business. From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Blattner was an Associate at Morgan Stanley’s corporate treasury funding desk. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Iona College. The Board of Directors believes Mr. Blattner’s extensive experience in technology and operations solutions make him a qualified appointee as director.
Mr. LeMire, who joined as a member of our Board of Directors in 2020, is a high-performing investment sales manager and product specialist with 25 years of verifiable success in positioning investment management solutions across multiple channels. Mr. LeMire currently serves as the Managing Director of National Sales at Day Hagan Asset Management where he is responsible for managing the firm’s asset management business. Before joining Day Hagan Asset Management, Mr. LeMire was a Senior Regional Vice President for State Street Global Advisors and served in various other Vice President positions at Invesco, Old Mutual Investment Partners, Oppenheimer Funds and CitiGroup. Mr. LeMire holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic University, a Master of Business Administration from Adelphia University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Manhattan College. The Board of Directors believes that Mr. LeMire’s executive experience and financial expertise qualifies him to serve as a director of the Company.
Mr. Dudley, who joined as a member of our Board of Directors in 2020, currently serves as the Eastern Division and Metropolitan New York City Regional Sales Manager for Select Sector Standard & Poor’s Depositary Receipts (“SPDRs”). Prior to joining Select Sector SPDRs in 2008, Mr. Dudley held several managerial positions at Merrill Lynch within from 1981 through 2007. Mr. Dudley began his career in the Merrill Lynch White Weld Capital Markets in Corporate Bond Syndicate, later moving to Sales Manager for Taxable Fixed Income and Equity Marketing. Later, Mr. Dudley managed Merrill Lynch Consults for the New York City District and ended his career as a Financial Advisor and Sales Manager at the Merrill Lynch Rockefeller Center Branch office. The Board of Directors believes that Mr. Dudley’s executive experience and financial expertise qualifies him to serve as a director of the Company.
The names of our executive officers and their ages, positions, and biographies as of August 25, 2020 are set forth below. Mr. Hayes’ background is discussed above under the section “Directors.”
|Anthony Hayes||52||Chief Executive Officer, Director & Principal Accounting Officer|
Meetings of the Board of Directors and Committees
As of August 25, 2020, our Board of Directors has held, during the year 2020, a total of 12 regularly scheduled and special meetings, the Audit Committee held 2 meetings, the Compensation Committee held 2 meetings, and the Nominating Committee did not hold any meetings. None of our incumbent directors attended less than 100% of the Board or committee meetings.
Policy Regarding Attendance at Annual Meetings of Stockholders
Our Company does not have a policy with regard to Board members’ attendance at annual meetings. All of our directors attended our last annual meeting of stockholders.
Code of Ethics
We have adopted a Code of Ethics, which is available on our website at www.aikidopharma.com.
We have a standing Audit Committee. The Audit Committee members are Mr. Ledwick (Chairman), Dr. Vander Zanden and Mr. Blattner. The Committee has authority to review our financial records, deal with our independent auditors, recommend financial reporting policies to the Board of Directors, and investigate all aspects of our business. The Audit Committee Charter is available for your review on our website at www.aikidopharma.com. Each member of the Audit Committee satisfies the independence requirements and other criteria established by Nasdaq and the SEC applicable to audit committee members. The Board of Directors has determined that Mr. Ledwick meets the requirements of an audit committee financial expert as defined in the SEC and Nasdaq rules.
The Compensation Committee oversees the compensation for our executive officers and recommends various incentives for key employees to encourage and reward increased corporate financial performance, productivity and innovation. Its current members Dr. Vander Zanden, Mr. Weisblum (Chairman), and Mr. Dudley. The Compensation Committee Charter is available on our website at www.aikidopharma.com.
The Nominating Committee presents and recommends to the Board of Directors, for approval by the Board of Directors, the proposed Board of Directors for election by the stockholders. Its members are Mr. LeMire, Mr. Blattner (Chairman) and Mr. Dudley. The Nominating Committee Charter is available on our website at www.aikidopharma.com. The Nominating Committee does not have any formal minimum qualifications for director candidates. The Nominating Committee identifies candidates by first evaluating current members of the Board of Directors who are willing to continue in service. If any member of the Board of Directors does not wish to continue in service or if the Board of Directors decides not to re-nominate a member for re-election, the Nominating Committee then identifies the desired skills and experience of a new candidate(s).
Among other factors, when considering a prospective candidate, the Nominating Committee considers a candidate’s business experience and skills, attributes pertinent to Company business, personal integrity and judgment, and possible conflicts of interest. To date, the Nominating Committee has not utilized the services of any search firm to assist it in identifying director candidates. The Nominating Committee’s policy is to consider director candidate recommendations from its stockholders which are received prior to any annual meeting of stockholders, including confirmation of the candidate’s consent to serve as a director.
Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance
Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act requires our directors and executive officers, and anyone who beneficially owns ten percent (10%) or more of our common stock, to file with the SEC initial reports of beneficial ownership and reports of changes in beneficial ownership of common stock. Anyone required to file such reports also needs to provide us with copies of all Section 16(a) forms they file.
Based solely upon a review of (i) copies of the Section 16(a) filings received during or with respect to 2019 and 2020 and (ii) certain written representations of our officers and directors, we believe that all filings required to be made pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act during and with respect to 2019 and 2020 were filed in a timely manner.
EXECUTIVE AND DIRECTOR COMPENSATION
The following Summary of Compensation table sets forth the compensation paid by our Company during the two years ended December 31, 2019, to all executive officers earning in excess of $100,000 during any such year.
Summary of Compensation
|Anthony Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, Director,||2019||350,000||-||-||-||-||-||-||350,000|
|Principal Accounting Officer and Principal Financial Officer||2018||349,010||-||-||-||-||-||-||349,010|
Outstanding Equity Awards at December 31, 2019
|Number of Securities||Number of Securities|
|Underlying Unexercised||Underlying Unexercised||Option Exercise||Option|
|Name||Options (#) Exercisable||Options (#) Unexercisable||
Potential Payment upon Termination or Change in Control
Under the April 1, 2016 employment agreement with Mr. Hayes, we have agreed to, in the event of termination by us without “cause” or pursuant to a change in control, grant Mr. Hayes, in addition to reimbursement of any documented, unreimbursed expenses incurred prior to such date, (i) any unpaid compensation and vacation pay accrued during the term of the Employment Agreement, and any other benefits accrued to him under any of our benefit plans outstanding at such time, (ii) twelve (12) months base salary at the then current rate to be paid in a single lump sum within thirty (30) days of Mr. Hayes’ termination, (iii) continuation for a period of twelve (12) months of any benefits as extended to our executive officers from time to time, including but not limited to group health care coverage and (iv) payment on a pro rata basis of any annual bonus or other payments earned in connection with any bonus plans to which Mr. Hayes was a participant as of the date of termination. In addition, any options or restricted stock shall be immediately vested upon termination of Mr. Hayes’s employment without “cause” or pursuant to a change in control.
Executive Officer Agreements
On April 1, 2016, we entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Anthony Hayes pursuant to which Mr. Hayes serves as the Chief Executive Officer for a period of one year, subject to renewal. In consideration for his employment, we agreed to pay Mr. Hayes a base salary of $350,000 per annum. Mr. Hayes will be entitled to receive an annual bonus in an amount equal to up to 100% of his base salary if we meet or exceed certain criteria adopted by our Compensation Committee. We further agreed to grant executive restricted stock units, pursuant to the Corporation’s 2014 Equity Incentive Plan, with respect to 118,512 shares of the Company’s common stock. One-half of the grant shall vest if as of December 31, 2016, the Corporation has pro-forma cash of at least five million dollars ($5,000,000) (cash plus any cash used for a Board-approved extraordinary acquisition or transaction reconstituting the Company’s core operations, less accrued bonuses) and one-half shall vest upon the Company meeting certain agreed upon criteria. As of June 30, 2020, 59,256 restricted stock units were vested and 59,256 restricted stock units were forfeited.
On October 19, 2017, the Company entered into an amendment to the employment agreement of Mr. Hayes, pursuant to which, effective January 1, 2017, Mr. Hayes was entitled to receive an annual cash bonus in an amount equal to up to $250,000 if the Company meets or exceeds certain criteria adopted by the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Hayes was awarded a restricted stock unit grant for 30,000 shares of the Company’s common stock under the Company’s 2014 Equity Incentive Plan. Such grant shall vest in installments, in tandem with the satisfaction of the same criteria to which the cash bonus is subject. If all criteria are met, 100% of the grant of restricted stock units shall vest upon the determination of the Compensation Committee, which in any event shall not be later than March 15, 2018. All other terms of Mr. Hayes’ employment agreement, effective as of April 1, 2016, remain in full force and effect.
The following table summarizes the compensation paid to non-employee directors during the year ended December 31, 2019.
|paid in||Stock||Option||Plan||Compensation||All Other|
|Robert J. Vander Zanden (2)||65,000||-||-||-||-||-||65,000|
|Tim Ledwick (3)||60,000||-||-||-||-||-||60,000|
|Gregory Blattner (4)||60,000||-||-||-||-||-||60,000|
|(1)||All stock options were granted in accordance with ASC Topic 718.|
|(2)||Mr. Vander Zanden was paid $65,000 in cash compensation for his service as a director in 2019.|
|(3)||Mr. Ledwick was paid $60,000 in cash compensation for his service as a director in 2019.|
|(4)||Mr. Blattner was paid $60,000 in cash compensation for his service as a director in 2019.|
Non-employee directors received the following annual compensation for service as a member of the Board for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019:
|Annual Retainer||$||60,000||To be paid in cash in four equal quarterly installments.|
|Additional Retainer||$||5,000||To be paid to the Chairman of the Board upon election annually.|
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS
The current Board of Directors consists of Mr. Tim S. Ledwick, Mr. Anthony Hayes, Dr. Robert J. Vander Zanden, Mr. Gregory James Blattner, Mr. Paul LeMire and Mr. Robert Dudley. The Board of Directors has determined that Dr. Vander Zanden, Mr. Ledwick, Mr. Blattner, Mr. LeMire and Mr. Dudley are independent directors within the meaning of the applicable Nasdaq rules. Our Audit, Compensation and Nominating Committees consist solely of independent directors.
We have not adopted written policies and procedures specifically for related person transactions. Our Board of Directors is responsible to approve all related party transactions.
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT
Beneficial Ownership of Common Stock by Certain Beneficial Owners and Management
The following tables set forth certain information concerning the number of shares of our common stock owned beneficially as of August 25, 2020 by (i) our officers and directors as a group and (ii) each person (including any group) known to us to own more than 5% of our common stock, Series D Preferred Stock (as defined herein) and Series D-1 Preferred Stock (as defined herein). As of August 25, 2020, there were 34,920,219 shares of common stock outstanding, 4,725 shares of Series D Preferred Stock outstanding and 834 shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock outstanding. Unless otherwise indicated, it is our understanding and belief that the stockholders listed possess sole voting and investment power with respect to the shares shown.
Common Stock Beneficially
Series D Preferred
Series D-1 Preferred
|Name of Beneficial Owner(1)||Shares||Percentage||Shares||Percentage||Shares||Percentage|
|Robert J. Vander Zanden||19,499||(3)||*||—||—||—||—|
|Tim S. Ledwick||20,685||(5)||*||—||—||—||—|
|Gregory James Blattner||11,766||(6)||*||—||—||—||—|
|All Directors and Officers as a Group (6 persons)||75,380||*||—||—||—||—|
|Daniel W. Armstrong |
611 Loch Chalet
Ct Arlington, TX 76012-3470
|R. Douglas Armstrong |
570 Ocean Dr. Apt 201
Juno Beach, FL 33408-1953
|Thomas Curtis |
4280 10 Oaks Road
Dayton, MD 21036-1124
|Francis Howard |
376 Victoria Place
London, SW1 V1AA
|Charles Strogen |
6 Winona Ln
Sea Ranch Lakes,
|Chai Lifeline Inc.|
151 West 30th Street, Fl 3
New York, NY 10001-4027
CBM BioPharma, Inc.
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
|*||Less than 1% of the outstanding shares of the Company Common Stock.|
|(1)||Under Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act a beneficial owner of a security includes any person who, directly or indirectly, through any contract, arrangement, understanding, relationship or otherwise has or shares: (i) voting power, which includes the power to vote or to direct the voting of shares; and (ii) investment power, which includes the power to dispose or direct the disposition of shares. Certain shares may be deemed to be beneficially owned by more than one person (if, for example, persons share the power to vote or the power to dispose of the shares). In addition, shares are deemed to be beneficially owned by a person if the person has the right to acquire the shares (for example, upon exercise of an option) within 60 days of the date as of which the information is provided. In computing the percentage ownership of any person, the amount of shares outstanding is deemed to include the amount of shares beneficially owned by such person (and only such person) by reason of these acquisition rights.|
|(2)||Based on 34,920,219 shares of our common stock outstanding as of August 25, 2020 and takes into account the beneficial ownership limitations governing the Series D Preferred Stock and Series D-1 Preferred Stock. Beneficial ownership limitations on our Series D Preferred Stock prevent the conversion or voting of the stock if the number of shares of common stock to be issued pursuant to such conversion or to be voted would exceed, when aggregated with all other shares of common stock owned by the same holder at the time, the number of shares of common stock which would result in such holder beneficially owning more than 4.99% of all of the common stock outstanding at such time, subject to an increase in such limitation up to 9.99% of the issued and outstanding common stock on 61 days’ written notice to us. Beneficial ownership limitations on our Series D-1 Preferred Stock prevent the conversion or voting of the stock if the number of shares of common stock to be issued pursuant to such conversion or to be voted would exceed, when aggregated with all other shares of common stock owned by the same holder at the time, the number of shares of common stock which would result in such holder beneficially owning more than 9.99% of all of the common stock outstanding at such time.|
|(3)||Includes 4,944 shares of common stock and 14,555 options for purchase of common stock exercisable as of August 25, 2020.|
|(4)||Includes 12,280 shares of common stock and 11,150 options for purchase of common stock exercisable as of August 25, 2020.|
|(5)||Includes 7,059 shares of common stock and 13,626 options for purchase of common stock exercisable as of August 25, 2020.|
|(6)||Includes 11,766 options for purchase of common stock exercisable as of August 25, 2020.|
Effective January 1, 2013, and as amended and restated on June 9, 2017, the Company and Equity Stock Transfer, LLC entered into a Rights Agreement, which was subsequently assigned to Transfer Online Inc. as Rights Agent on June 20, 2016. The Rights Agreement provides each stockholder of record a dividend distribution of one “right” for each outstanding share of common stock. Rights become exercisable at the earlier of ten days following: (1) a public announcement that an acquirer has purchased or has the right to acquire 10% or more of our common stock, or (2) the commencement of a tender offer which would result in an offer or beneficially owning 10% or more of our outstanding common stock. All rights held by an acquirer or offer or expire on the announced acquisition date, and all rights expire at the close of business on December 31, 2020, subject to further extension. Each right entitles a stockholder to acquire, at a price of $7.46 per one nineteen-hundredths of a share of our Series A preferred stock, subject to adjustments, which carries voting and dividend rights similar to one share of our common stock. Alternatively, a right holder may elect to purchase for the stated price an equivalent number of shares of our common stock at a price per share equal to one-half of the average market price for a specified period. In lieu of the stated purchase price, a right holder may elect to acquire one-half of the common stock available under the second option. The purchase price of the preferred stock fractional amount is subject to adjustment for certain events as described in the Rights Agreement. At the discretion of a majority of the Board of Directors and within a specified time period, we may redeem all of the rights at a price of $0.001 per right. The Board may also amend any provisions of the Rights Agreement prior to exercise.
DESCRIPTION OF CAPITAL STOCK
The following description of common stock summarizes the material terms and provisions of the common stock and is not complete. For the complete terms of our common stock, please refer to our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, which may be further amended from time to time, any certificates of designation for our preferred stock, and our Amended and Restated Bylaws, as amended from time to time. The DGCL may also affect the terms of these securities.
On April 24, 2014, we filed an Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware, which was previously approved by our stockholders at our annual meeting held on February 6, 2014.
The Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, among other things, increases our authorized number of shares of common stock to 200,000,000 shares from 50,000,000 shares. The Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation also requires us to indemnify our directors, officer and agents and advance expenses to such persons to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law.
Additionally, on April 23, 2014, we filed a Certificate of Elimination with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware eliminating our Series B Convertible Preferred Stock, Series E Convertible Preferred Stock and Series F Convertible Preferred Stock and returning them to authorized but undesignated shares of our preferred stock.
Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation
On March 4, 2016, the Company implemented a reverse stock split with a ratio of 1-for-19. The par value and other terms of the common stock were not affected by the reverse stock split. In addition, the amendment to the Company’s certificate of incorporation that effected the reverse stock split simultaneously reduced the number of authorized shares of common stock from 200,000,000 to 100,000,000.
Subject to the rights of the preferred stock, holders of common stock are entitled to receive such dividends as are declared by our Board of Directors out of funds legally available for the payment of dividends. We presently intend to retain any earnings to fund the development of our business. Accordingly, we do not anticipate paying any dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Any future determination as to declaration and payment of dividends will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors.
In the event of the liquidation, dissolution, or winding up of the Company, each outstanding share of our common stock will be entitled to share equally in any of our assets remaining after payment of or provision for our debts and other liabilities.
Holders of common stock are entitled to one vote per share on matters to be voted upon by stockholders. There is no cumulative voting for the election of directors, which means that the holders of shares entitled to exercise more than fifty percent (50%) of the voting rights in the election of directors are able to elect all of the directors.
Holders of common stock have no preemptive rights to subscribe for or to purchase any additional shares of common stock or other obligations convertible into shares of common stock which we may issue after the date of this prospectus.
All of the outstanding shares of common stock are fully paid and non-assessable. Holders of our common stock are not liable for further calls or assessments.
The rights, preferences and privileges of the holders of common stock are subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of shares of any series of preferred stock that we may designate in the future.
Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation authorizes 50,000,000 shares of preferred stock. Our Board of Directors is authorized, without further stockholder action, to establish various series of such preferred stock from time to time and to determine the rights, preferences and privileges of any unissued series including, among other matters, any dividend rights, dividend rates, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption, liquidation preferences, sinking fund terms, the number of shares constituting any such series, and the description thereof and to issue any such shares. Although there is no current intent to do so, our Board of Directors may, without stockholder approval, issue shares of an additional class or series of preferred stock with voting and conversion rights which could adversely affect the voting power of the holders of the common stock.
One of the effects of the preferred stock may be to enable the Board of Directors to render more difficult or to discourage an attempt to obtain control of the Company by means of a merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise, and thereby to protect the continuity of the management.
The DGCL provides that the holders of preferred stock will have the right to vote separately as a class on any proposal involving certain fundamental changes in the rights of holders of that series of preferred stock. This right is in addition to any voting rights provided for in the applicable certificate of designation.
Our Board of Directors may authorize the issuance of preferred stock with voting or conversion rights that could adversely affect the voting power or other rights of the holders of our common stock. Preferred stock could be issued quickly with terms designed to delay or prevent a change in control of our Company or make removal of management more difficult. Additionally, the issuance of preferred stock could have the effect of decreasing the market price of our common stock.
The Company had designated separate series of its capital stock as of August 25, 2020 as summarized below:
as of August 25,
|Par Value|| Conversio|
On April 23, 2014, the Company filed a Certificate of Elimination with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware eliminating its Series B Convertible Preferred Stock, Series E Convertible Preferred Stock and Series F Convertible Preferred Stock and returning them to authorized but undesignated shares of preferred stock. No shares of the foregoing series of preferred stock were outstanding.
Series D Convertible Preferred Stock
In connection with the acquisition of North South’s patent portfolio in September 2013, the Company issued 1,379,685 shares of its Series D Convertible Preferred Stock (“Series D Preferred Stock”) to the stockholders of North South. Each share of Series D Preferred Stock has a stated value of $0.0001 per share and is convertible into ten-nineteenths of a share of common stock. Upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company’s business, each holder of Series D Preferred Stock shall be entitled to receive, for each share of Series D Preferred Stock held, a preferential amount in cash equal to the greater of (i) the stated value or (ii) the amount the holder would receive as a holder of common stock on an “as converted” basis. Each holder of Series D Preferred Stock shall be entitled to vote on all matters submitted to its stockholders and shall be entitled to such number of votes equal to the number of shares of common stock such shares of Series D Preferred Stock are convertible into at such time, taking into account the beneficial ownership limitations set forth in the governing Certificate of Designation and the conversion limitations described below. At no time may shares of Series D Preferred Stock be converted if such conversion would cause the holder to hold in excess of 4.99% of issued and outstanding common stock, subject to an increase in such limitation up to 9.99% of the issued and outstanding common stock on 61 days’ written notice to the Company. The conversion ratio of the Series D Preferred Stock is subject to adjustment in the event of stock splits, stock dividends, combination of shares and similar recapitalization transactions.
As of August 25, 2020, 4,725 shares of Series D Preferred Stock remained issued and outstanding.
Series D-1 Convertible Preferred Stock
The Company’s Series D-1 Convertible Preferred Stock (“Series D-1 Preferred Stock”) was established on November 22, 2013. Each share of Series D-1 Preferred Stock has a stated value of $0.0001 per share and is convertible into ten- nineteenths of a share of common stock. Upon the liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company’s business, each holder of Series D-1 Preferred Stock shall be entitled to receive, for each share of Series D-1 Preferred Stock held, a preferential amount in cash equal to the greater of (i) the stated value or (ii) the amount the holder would receive as a holder of common stock on an “as converted” basis. Each holder of Series D-1 Preferred Stock shall be entitled to vote on all matters submitted to the Company’s stockholders and shall be entitled to such number of votes equal to the number of shares of common stock such shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock are convertible into at such time, taking into account the beneficial ownership limitations set forth in the governing Certificate of Designation. At no time may shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock be converted if such conversion would cause the holder to hold in excess of 9.99% of issued and outstanding common stock. The conversion ratio of the Series D-1 Preferred Stock is subject to adjustment in the event of stock splits, stock dividends, combination of shares and similar recapitalization transactions. The Company commenced an exchange with holders of Series D Convertible Preferred Stock pursuant to which the holders of the Company’s outstanding shares of Series D Preferred Stock acquired in the Merger could exchange such shares for shares of the Company’s Series D-1 Preferred Stock on a one-for-one basis.
As of August 25, 2020, 834 shares of Series D-1 Preferred Stock remained issued and outstanding.
Series L Convertible Preferred Stock
Effective March 23, 2020, the Company declared a dividend of one right for each of the Company’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock. Each right entitles a holder of record, as of the close of business on March 30, 2020, to purchase from the Company one one-thousandth of a share of the Company’s Series L convertible preferred stock at a price of $5.00, subject to certain adjustments and subject to the terms of that certain Rights Agreement, dated as of March 23, 2020, by and between the Company and VStock Transfer, LLC, as rights agent (the “VStock Rights Agreement”). The purpose of the VStock Rights Agreement is to diminish the risk that the Company’s ability to use its net operating losses and certain other tax assets (collectively, “Tax Benefits”) to reduce potential future federal income tax obligations would become subject to limitations by reason of the Company experiencing an “ownership change,” as defined in Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Tax Code”). A company generally experiences such an ownership change if the percentage of its stock owned by its “5-percent shareholders,” as defined in Section 382 of the Tax Code, increases by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. The VStock Rights Agreement is designed to reduce the likelihood that the Company will experience an ownership change under Section 382 of the Tax Code by (i) discouraging any person or group from becoming a shareholder of 4.99% or more of Common Stock and (ii) discouraging any existing 4.99% shareholder from acquiring any additional shares of the Company’s stock. On March 24, 2020, the Company filed a Certificate of Designation of Series L Preferred Stock with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware to designate the new Series L Convertible Preferred Stock of the Company.
As of August 25, 2020, no rights have been exercised and zero shares of Series L Preferred Stock are issued and outstanding.
A summary of warrant activity for the six months ended June 30, 2020 and the year ended December 31, 2019 is presented below:
|Warrants||Weighted Average Exercise|
|Total Intrinsic Value||Weighted Average Remaining Contractual Life |
|Outstanding as of December 31, 2019||351,939||$||19.96||$||111,332||0.94|
|Outstanding as of June 30, 2020||801,167||$||9.86||53,999||0.46|
On May 29, 2019, the Company entered into the Master Service Agreement (“MSA”) with a consultant, World Wide Holdings, LLC (“Consultant”). In consideration for services provided by Consultant, the Company paid to Consultant three warrants (the “Consultant Warrant”), with each warrant immediately exercisable for 33,333 shares of common stock with a $0.01 strike price. The Company issued each of the three warrants on June 28, July 28 and August 27, 2019, respectively. The Company recorded $0.3 million in stock-based compensation during the year ended December 31, 2019 related to this arrangement. On July 12, 2019, the Company issued 33,333 shares of common stock upon exercise of one Consultant Warrant which resulted in gross proceeds of approximately $333.
During the six months ended June 30, 2020, the Company issued 3,897,113 and 6,860,903 shares of common stock upon exercise of 3,897,113 pre-funded warrants (“Pre-Funded Warrants”) to purchase shares of common stock with a purchase price of $1.0499 each Pre-Funded Warrant and common warrants (“Common Warrants”) to purchase up to 7,142,858 shares of common stock at a price of $1.05 per share of common stock and Common Warrant, respectively, which resulted in gross proceeds of approximately $7.2 million.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is VStock Transfer, LLC, with an address at 18 Lafayette Place, Woodmere, New York 11598.
Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “AIKI”. We have not applied to list our common stock on any other exchange or quotation system.
Limitations on Directors’ Liability
Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws contain provisions indemnifying our directors and officers to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law.
In addition, as permitted by Delaware law, our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation provides that no director will be liable to us or our stockholders for monetary damages for breach of the director’s fiduciary duty as a director. The effect of this provision is to restrict our rights and the rights of our stockholders in derivative suits to recover monetary damages against a director for breach of the director’s fiduciary duty as a director, except that a director will be personally liable for:
|●||any breach of his or her duty of loyalty to us or our stockholders;|
|●||acts or omissions not in good faith which involve intentional misconduct or a knowing violation of law;|
|●||the payment of dividends or the redemption or purchase of stock in violation of Delaware law; or|
|●||any transaction from which the director derived an improper personal benefit.|
This provision does not affect a director’s liability under the federal securities laws.
To the extent that our directors, officers and controlling persons are indemnified under the provisions contained in our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation or Delaware law against liabilities arising under the Securities Act of 1933, we have been advised that in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act of 1933 and is therefore unenforceable.
Provisions of our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws and DGCL that May Have an Anti-Takeover Effect
Certain provisions set forth in our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, Amended and Restated Bylaws and Delaware law could have the effect of discouraging potential acquisition proposals or making a tender offer or delaying or preventing a change in control, including changes a stockholder might consider favorable. Such provisions may also prevent or frustrate attempts by our stockholders to replace or remove our management.
Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws
In particular, our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws, among other things:
|●||authorize our Board of Directors to issue, without further action by the stockholders, up to 50,000,000 shares of undesignated preferred stock;|
|●||provide that stockholders must provide advance notice to nominate persons for election to our Board of Directors or submit proposals for consideration at stockholder meetings;|
|●||specify that special meetings of our stockholders can be called only by our Board of Directors or by any officer instructed by the Board of Directors to a call a special meeting;|
|●||provide that vacancies on the Board of Directors may be filled by a majority of directors in office, although less than a quorum, or by the sole remaining director; and|
|●||provide the Board of Directors with the ability to alter the bylaws without stockholder approval.|
Delaware Takeover Statute
Section 203 of the DGCL prohibits a Delaware corporation that is a public company from engaging in any “business combination” (as defined below) with any “interested stockholder” (defined generally as an entity or person beneficially owning 15% or more of the outstanding voting stock of the corporation and any entity or person affiliated with such entity or person) for a period of three years following the date that such stockholder became an interested stockholder, unless:
|●||before such date, the Board of Directors of the corporation approved either the business combination or the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder;|
|●||upon consummation of the transaction that resulted in the stockholder becoming an interested stockholder, the interested stockholder owned at least 85% of the voting stock of the corporation outstanding at the time the transaction commenced, excluding for purposes of determining the number of shares outstanding those shares owned by persons who are directors and also officers and by employee stock plans in which employee participants do not have the right to determine confidentially whether shares held subject to the plan will be tendered in a tender or exchange offer; or|
|●||on or subsequent to such date, the business combination is approved by the Board of Directors and authorized at an annual or special meeting of stockholders, and not by written consent, by the affirmative vote of at least 66-2/3% of the outstanding voting stock that is not owned by the interested stockholder.|
Section 203 of the DGCL defines “business combination” to include:
|●||any merger or consolidation involving the corporation and the interested stockholder;|
|●||any sale, transfer, pledge or other disposition of 10% or more of the assets of the corporation involving the interested stockholder;|
|●||subject to certain exceptions, any transaction that results in the issuance or transfer by the corporation of any stock of the corporation to the interested stockholder;|
|●||any transaction involving the corporation that has the effect of increasing the proportionate share of the stock of any class or series of the corporation beneficially owned by the interested stockholder; or|
|●||the receipt by the interested stockholder of the benefit of any loans, advances, guarantees, pledges or other financial benefits provided by or through the corporation.|
Disclosure of SEC Position on Indemnification for Securities Act Liabilities
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted for directors, officers and persons controlling us, we understand that it is the SEC’s opinion that such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and may therefore be unenforceable.
PLAN OF DISTRIBUTION
Pursuant to an engagement agreement, dated January 24, 2020 (as amended on March 2, 2020), we have engaged H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (the “Placement Agent”) to act as our exclusive placement agent in connection with this offering, on a reasonable best efforts basis, of our securities pursuant to this prospectus. The terms of this offering are subject to market conditions and negotiations between us, the Placement Agent, and prospective investors. The engagement agreement does not give rise to any commitment by the Placement Agent to purchase any of our common stock, and the Placement Agent will have no authority to bind us by virtue of the engagement agreement. Further, the Placement Agent does not guarantee that it will be able to raise new capital in any prospective offering. The Placement Agent may engage sub-agents or selected dealers to assist with the offering.
We will enter into a securities purchase agreement directly with certain investors in connection with this offering. Investors who do not enter into a securities purchase agreement shall rely solely on this prospectus in connection with the purchase of our securities in this offering.
We will deliver the securities being issued to the investors upon receipt of investor funds for the purchase of the securities offered pursuant to this prospectus. We expect to deliver the shares of our common stock being offered pursuant to this prospectus on or about [____], 2020.
Fees and Expenses
The following table show the total placement agent fees we will pay in connection with the sale of the securities in this offering, assuming the purchase of all of the securities we are offering.
|Placement Agent Fees||$|
We have agreed to pay to the Placement Agent a cash fee equal to 8.0% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised in this offering.
We estimate the total expenses payable by us for this offering to be approximately $[_____], which amount includes (i) a Placement Agent’s fee of $[_____], assuming the purchase of all of the securities we are offering; (ii) the management fee of $[____] (equal to 1.0% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised in this offering); (iii) a $35,000 non-accountable expense allowance payable to the Placement Agent; (iv) reimbursement of the accountable expenses of the Placement Agent equal to $100,000, including the legal fees of the Placement Agent being paid by us (none of which has been paid in advance); (v) the Placement Agent’s clearing expenses in the amount of $12,900 in connection with this offering; and (vi) other estimated expenses of approximately $[___] which include legal, accounting, printing costs and various fees associated with the registration and listing of our shares. In addition, we have agreed to issue the Placement Agent’s Warrants to the Placement Agent. See “Placement Agent’s Warrants” below for additional detail.
Placement Agent’s Warrants
We have agreed to issue to the Placement Agent Warrants to purchase shares of our common stock which represent 8.0% of the number of shares of common stock being sold in this offering. The Placement Agent’s Warrants will have a term of five years from the effective date of this prospectus and an exercise price per share equal to $ per share, which represents 125% of the public offering price for the common stock sold in this offering. Pursuant to FINRA Rule 5110(g), the Placement Agent’s Warrants and any shares issued upon exercise of the Placement Agent’s Warrants shall not be sold, transferred, assigned, pledged, or hypothecated, or be the subject of any hedging, short sale, derivative, put or call transaction that would result in the effective economic disposition of the securities by any person for a period of 180 days immediately following the date of effectiveness or commencement of sales of this offering, except the transfer of any security: (i) by operation of law or by reason of our reorganization; (ii) to any FINRA member firm participating in the offering and the officers or partners thereof, if all securities so transferred remain subject to the lock-up restriction set forth above for the remainder of the time period; (iii) if the aggregate amount of our securities held by the Placement Agent or related persons does not exceed 1.0% of the securities being offered; (iv) that is beneficially owned on a pro rata basis by all equity owners of an investment fund, provided that no participating member manages or otherwise directs investments by the fund and the participating members in the aggregate do not own more than 10% of the equity in the fund; or (v) the exercise or conversion of any security, if all securities remain subject to the lock-up restriction set forth above for the remainder of the time period.
Tail Financing Payments
We have also agreed to pay the Placement Agent, subject to certain exceptions, a tail fee equal to the cash and warrant compensation in this offering, if any investor, who was contacted or introduced to us by the Placement Agent during the term of its engagement, provides us with capital in any public or private offering or other financing or capital raising transaction during the 12-month period following expiration or termination of our engagement of the Placement Agent.
Our officers, directors and each of their respective affiliates and associated persons have agreed with the representative to be subject to a lock-up period of 90 days after the date of the securities purchase agreement. This means that, during the applicable lock-up period, such persons may not offer for sale, contract to sell, sell, distribute, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, pledge, hypothecate or otherwise dispose of, directly or indirectly, any shares of our common stock or any securities convertible into, or exercisable or exchangeable for, shares of our common stock. Certain limited transfers are permitted during the lock-up period if the transferee agrees to these lock-up restrictions. We have also agreed, in the purchase agreement, to similar lock-up restrictions on the issuance and sale of our securities for 90 days following the closing of this offering, subject to certain customary exceptions.
NASDAQ Capital Market Listing
Our stock is currently traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AIKI”. On August 25, 2020, the last reported sale price of our common stock was $0.6954 per share.
We have agreed to indemnify the Placement Agent and specified other persons against some civil liabilities, including liabilities under the Securities Act, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and to contribute to payments that the Placement Agent may be required to make in respect of such liabilities.
The Placement Agent may be deemed to be an underwriter within the meaning of Section 2(a)(11) of the Securities Act and any fees received by it and any profit realized on the sale of the securities by it while acting as principal might be deemed to be underwriting discounts or commissions under the Securities Act. The Placement Agent will be required to comply with the requirements of the Securities Act and the Exchange Act including, without limitation, Rule 10b-5 and Regulation M under the Exchange Act. These rules and regulations may limit the timing of purchases and sales of our securities by the Placement Agent. Under these rules and regulations, the Placement Agent may not (i) engage in any stabilization activity in connection with our securities; and (ii) bid for or purchase any of our securities or attempt to induce any person to purchase any of our securities, other than as permitted under the Exchange Act, until they have completed their participation in the distribution.
From time to time, the Placement Agent may provide in the future, various advisory, investment and commercial banking and other services to us in the ordinary course of business, for which it may receive customary fees and commissions. However, except as disclosed in this prospectus, and except for the Placement Agent’s service as our sales agent under our at-the-market offering program, we have no present arrangements with the Placement Agent for any services.
Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, New York, New York, will pass upon the validity of the shares of our common stock offered hereby. Certain legal matters in connection with this offer will be passed upon for the Placement Agent by Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, New York, New York.
Marcum LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, has audited our consolidated financial statements included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as set forth in their report dated January 31, 2020, which is incorporated by reference in this prospectus and elsewhere in the registration statement. Our consolidated financial statements are incorporated by reference in reliance on Marcum LLP’s report (which report includes an explanatory paragraph relating to our ability to continue as a going concern), given on the authority of such firm as experts in accounting and auditing.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We have filed with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-1 under the Securities Act with respect to the securities offered by this prospectus. This prospectus, which constitutes a part of the registration statement, does not contain all of the information set forth in the registration statement, some of which is contained in exhibits to the registration statement as permitted by the rules and regulations of the SEC. For further information with respect to us and our securities, we refer you to the registration statement, including the exhibits filed as a part of the registration statement. Statements contained in this prospectus concerning the contents of any contract or any other document is not necessarily complete. If a contract or document has been filed as an exhibit to the registration statement, please see the copy of the contract or document that has been filed. Each statement is this prospectus relating to a contract or document filed as an exhibit is qualified in all respects by the filed exhibit. We are subject to the informational requirements of the Exchange Act and in accordance therewith file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. The SEC maintains an Internet website that contains reports, proxy statements and other information about issuers, like us, that file electronically with the SEC. The address of that website is www.sec.gov. The registration statement and the documents referred to below under “Incorporation of Documents By Reference” are also available on our website, www.aikidopharma.com. We have not incorporated by reference into this prospectus the information on our website, and you should not consider it to be a part of this prospectus.
INCORPORATION OF DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE
This prospectus is part of the registration statement but the registration statement includes and incorporates by reference additional information and exhibits. The SEC permits us to “incorporate by reference” the information contained in documents we file with the SEC, which means that we can disclose important information to you by referring you to those documents rather than by including them in this prospectus. Information that is incorporated by reference is considered to be part of this prospectus and you should read it with the same care that you read this prospectus. Information that we file later with the SEC will automatically update and supersede the information that is either contained, or incorporated by reference, in this prospectus, and will be considered to be a part of this prospectus from the date those documents are filed. We have filed with the SEC, and incorporate by reference in this prospectus:
|●||Current Reports on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on February 24, 2020, March 9, 2020, March 10, 2020, March 25, 2020, March 26, 2020 (with respect to two reports), March 30, 2020, April 15, 2020, April 20, 2020, May 1, 2020 and June 25, 2020;|
|●||Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2020, filed with the SEC on August 6, 2020; and|
|●||Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, filed with the SEC on January 31, 2020.|
In addition, all documents subsequently filed by us pursuant to Sections 13(a), 13(c), 14 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, prior to the termination of the offering (excluding any information furnished rather than filed) shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into this prospectus.
Notwithstanding the statements in the preceding paragraphs, no document, report or exhibit (or portion of any of the foregoing) or any other information that we have “furnished” to the SEC pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended shall be incorporated by reference into this prospectus.
We will furnish without charge to you, on written or oral request, a copy of any or all of the documents incorporated by reference in this prospectus, including exhibits to these documents. You should direct any requests for documents to:
AIkido Pharma Inc.
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (703) 992-9325
You also may access these filings on our website at http://www.aikidopharma.com. We do not incorporate the information on our website into this prospectus or any supplement to this prospectus and you should not consider any information on, or that can be accessed through, our website as part of this prospectus or any supplement to this prospectus (other than those filings with the SEC that we specifically incorporate by reference into this prospectus or any supplement to this prospectus).
Any statement contained in a document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference in this prospectus will be deemed modified, superseded or replaced for purposes of this prospectus to the extent that a statement contained in this prospectus modifies, supersedes or replaces such statement. Any statement contained herein or in any document incorporated or deemed to be incorporated by reference shall be deemed to be modified or superseded for purposes of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part to the extent that a statement contained in any other subsequently filed document which also is or is deemed to be incorporated by reference modifies or supersedes such statement. Any such statement so modified or superseded shall not be deemed to constitute a part of the registration statement of which this prospectus forms a part, except as so modified or superseded.
Shares of Common Stock
H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC
INFORMATION NOT REQUIRED IN PROSPECTUS
ITEM 13. OTHER EXPENSES OF ISSUANCE AND DISTRIBUTION.
We estimate that expenses in connection with the distribution described in this registration statement (other than brokerage commissions, discounts or other expenses relating to the sale of the shares in this offering) will be as set forth below. We will pay all of the expenses with respect to the distribution, and such amounts, with the exception of the SEC registration fee and FINRA fee, are estimates.
|Legal fees and expenses||$||124,000|
|Accounting fees and expenses||$||30,000|
|Total offering expenses||$||175,544|
* To be filed by amendment
ITEM 14. INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS.
Section 145 of the DGCL provides, in general, that a corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware, as we are, may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding (other than a derivative action by or in the right of the corporation) by reason of the fact that such person is or was a director, officer, employee or agent of the corporation, or is or was serving at the request of the corporation as a director, officer, employee or agent of another enterprise, against expenses (including attorneys’ fees), judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by such person in connection with such action, suit or proceeding if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe such person’s conduct was unlawful. In the case of a derivative action, a Delaware corporation may indemnify any such person against expenses (including attorneys’ fees) actually and reasonably incurred by such person in connection with the defense or settlement of such action or suit if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation, except that no indemnification will be made in respect of any claim, issue or matter as to which such person will have been adjudged to be liable to the corporation unless and only to the extent that the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware or any other court in which such action was brought determines such person is fairly and reasonably entitled to indemnity for such expenses.
Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation and Amended and Restated Bylaws provide that we will indemnify our directors, officers, employees and agents to the extent and in the manner permitted by the provisions of the DGCL, as amended from time to time, subject to any permissible expansion or limitation of such indemnification, as may be set forth in any stockholders’ or directors’ resolution or by contract. Any repeal or modification of these provisions approved by our stockholders will be prospective only and will not adversely affect any limitation on the liability of any of our directors or officers existing as of the time of such repeal or modification.
We have entered into indemnification agreements with all of our executive officers and directors. These agreements provide, subject to limited exceptions and among other things, for the indemnification to the fullest extent permitted or required by Delaware law, provided however, that no director or officer shall be entitled to indemnification in connection with (i) any “claim” (as such term is defined in the agreement) initiated by him or her against the Company or the Company’s directors or officers unless the Company joins or consent to the initiation of such claim, or (ii) the purchase and sale of securities by him or her in violation of Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Our indemnification agreements also provide for the advancement of expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred by the indemnitee in connection with any action, suit, or proceeding (subject to the terms and conditions set forth therein). The indemnification agreements contain certain exclusions, including proceedings initiated by the indemnitee unless the Company has joined in or consented to the initiation of such claim.
We are also permitted to apply for insurance on behalf of any director, officer, employee or other agent for liability arising out of his actions, whether or not the DGCL would permit indemnification.
ITEM 15. RECENT SALES OF UNREGISTERED SECURITIES
In the three years preceding the filing of this registration statement, we have issued the following securities that were not registered under the Securities Act:
On May 15, 2019, the Company purchased substantially all of the assets, properties and rights (the “Acquisition”) of CBM. On December 5, 2019, the Company completed the Acquisition of CBM, pursuant to that certain Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of May 15, 2019, by and between the Company and CBM, as amended by that certain Amendment No. 1 to Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of May 30, 2019, and Amendment No. 2 to Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of December 5, 2019. As consideration for the Acquisition, the Company agreed to pay to CBM consideration consisting of (i) $1,000,000 in cash and (ii) an aggregate of 1,939,058 shares (the “Stock Consideration”) of the Company’s common stock valued at a price per share of $3.61. At closing, 7% or 135,734 shares of common stock of the Stock Consideration was deposited with VStock, the Company’s transfer agent, to be held in escrow for six months post-closing to satisfy certain indemnification obligations pursuant to the terms and conditions of the CBM Purchase Agreement, and 93% or 1,803,324 shares of the Stock Consideration was issued and delivered to CBM.
ITEM 16. EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES.
|(a)||Exhibits. The exhibits to the registration statement are listed in the Exhibit Index attached hereto and incorporated by reference herein.|
|(b)||Financial Statements. Financial statement schedules have been omitted, as the information required to be set forth therein is included in the Consolidated Financial Statements or Notes thereto appearing in the prospectus made part of this registration statement.|
ITEM 17. UNDERTAKINGS.
The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes to provide to the Placement Agent at the closing specified in the purchase agreement, certificates in such denominations and registered in such names as required by the Placement Agent to permit prompt delivery to each purchaser.
|(1)||To file, during any period in which offers or sales are being made, a post-effective amendment to this registration statement to:|
|(i)||To include any prospectus required by Section 10(a)(3) of the Securities Act.|
|(ii)||To reflect in the prospectus any facts or events arising after the effective date of the registration statement (or the most recent post-effective amendment thereof) which, individually or in the aggregate, represent a fundamental change in the information set forth in the registration statement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any increase or decrease in volume of securities offered (if the total dollar value of securities offered would not exceed that which was registered) and any deviation from the low or high end of the estimated maximum offering range may be reflected in the form of prospectus filed with the SEC pursuant to Rule 424(b) if, in the aggregate, the changes in volume and price represent no more than a 20% change in the maximum aggregate offering price set forth in the “Calculation of Registration Fee” table in the effective registration statement; and|
|(iii)||To include any material information with respect to the plan of distribution not previously disclosed in the registration statement or any material change to such information in the registration statement;|
provided, however, that paragraphs (1)(i), (ii) and (iii) do not apply if the information required to be included in a post-effective amendment by those paragraphs is contained in reports filed with or furnished to the Commission by the registrant pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are incorporated by reference in the registration statement, or is contained in a form of prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) that is part of the registration statement.
|(2)||That, for the purpose of determining any liability under the Securities Act, each such post-effective amendment shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to securities offered therein, and the offering of the securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof;|
|(3)||To remove from registration by means of a post-effective amendment any of the securities being registered which remain unsold at the termination of the offering;|
|(4)||That, for the purpose of determining liability under the Securities Act to any purchaser, each prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b) as part of a registration statement relating to an offering, other than registration statements relying on Rule 430B or other than prospectuses filed in reliance on Rule 430A, shall be deemed to be part of and included in the registration statement as of the date it is first used after effectiveness. Provided, however, that no statement made in a registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement or made in a document incorporated or deemed incorporated by reference into the registration statement or prospectus that is part of the registration statement will, as to a purchaser with a time of contract of sale prior to such first use, supersede or modify any statement that was made in the registration statement or prospectus that was part of the registration statement or made in any such document immediately prior to such date of first use.|
The undersigned registrant hereby undertakes that, for purposes of determining any liability under the Securities Act of 1933, each filing of the registrant’s annual report pursuant to section 13(a) or section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (and, where applicable, each filing of an employee benefit plan’s annual report pursuant to section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) that is incorporated by reference in the registration statement shall be deemed to be a new registration statement relating to the securities offered therein, and the offering of such securities at that time shall be deemed to be the initial bona fide offering thereof.
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to directors, officers and controlling persons of the registrant pursuant to the foregoing provisions, or otherwise, the registrant has been advised that in the opinion of the SEC such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable. In the event that a claim for indemnification against such liabilities (other than the payment by the registrant of expenses incurred or paid by a director, officer or controlling person of the registrant in the successful defense of any action, suit or proceeding) is asserted by such director, officer or controlling person in connection with the securities being registered, the registrant will, unless in the opinion of its counsel the matter has been settled by controlling precedent, submit to a court of appropriate jurisdiction the question whether such indemnification by it is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and will be governed by the final adjudication of such issue.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the registrant has duly caused this Registration Statement to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, in the City of New York, State of New York, on the 26th day of August, 2020.
|AIKIDO PHARMA INC.|
|By:||/s/ Anthony Hayes|
Chief Executive Officer, Director,
Principal Financial Officer and
Principal Accounting Officer
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, this Registration Statement has been signed below by the following persons in the capacities and on the dates indicated.
|/s/ Anthony Hayes||Chief Executive Officer, Director, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer||August 26, 2020|
|*||Director and Chairman of the Board||August 26, 2020|
|Robert J. Vander Zanden|
|*||Director||August 26, 2020|
|Tim S. Ledwick|
|*||Director||August 26, 2020|
|*||Director||August 26, 2020|
|Gregory James Blattner|
|*||Director||August 26, 2020|
|* By:||/s/ Anthony Hayes|
INDEX TO EXHIBITS
|1.2||Placement Agency Agreement, dated July 15, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and Chardan Capital Markets LLC (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 17, 2015)|
|3.1||Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Spherix Incorporated, dated April 24, 2014 (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed April 25, 2014)|
|3.2||Certificate of Amendment of the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Spherix Incorporated, dated March 2, 2016 (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed March 18, 2016)|
|3.2||Amended and Restated Bylaws of Spherix Incorporated (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed October 15, 2013)|
|3.3||Certificate of Amendment to the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of Spherix Incorporated, effective March 4, 2016 (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed March 29, 2016)|
|4.1||Specimen Certificate for common stock, par value $0.0001 per share, of Spherix Incorporated (incorporated by reference to Form S-3/A filed April 17, 2014)|
|4.2||Rights Agreement dated as of January 24, 2013, between Spherix Incorporated and Equity Stock Transfer, LLC (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed January 30, 2013)|
|4.3||Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of Series J Convertible Preferred Stock (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K/A filed on June 2, 2014)|
|4.4||Certificate of Designation of Preferences, Rights and Limitations of Series K Convertible Preferred Stock (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed on December 3, 2015)|
|4.5||Form of Warrant (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed on March 26, 2014)|
|4.6||Form of Placement Agent Warrant (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed on March 26, 2014)|
|4.7||Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 17, 2015)|
|4.8||Form of Warrant (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed December 3, 2015)|
|5.1†||Opinion of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP|
|10.1||2012 Equity Incentive Plan (incorporated by reference from the Company’s Information Statement on Form DEF 14c filed November 26, 2012)|
|10.2||Warrant Exchange Agreement dated March 1, 2013 between the Company and certain investors (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed March 7, 2013)|
|10.3||Agreement and Plan of Merger dated April 2, 2013 (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on April 4, 2013)|
|10.4||First Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger dated August 30, 2013 (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on September 4, 2013)|
|10.5||Spherix Incorporated 2013 Equity Incentive Plan (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on April 4, 2013)|
|10.6||Spherix Incorporated 2014 Equity Incentive Plan (incorporated by reference from the Company’s Proxy Statement on Form DEF 14A filed December 20, 2013)|
|10.7||Amendment to Spherix Incorporated 2014 Equity Incentive Plan (incorporated by reference from the Company’s Proxy Statement on Form DEF 14A filed March 28, 2014)|
|10.8||Form of Indemnification Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on September 10, 2013)|
|10.9||Employment Agreement between Spherix Incorporated and Anthony Hayes (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on September 13, 2013)|
|10.10||Indemnification Agreement between Spherix Incorporated and Alexander Poltorak (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on October 29, 2013)|
|10.11||Indemnification Agreement between Spherix Incorporated and Richard Cohen (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on January 9, 2014)|
|10.12||Indemnification Agreement between Spherix Incorporated and Jeffrey Ballabon (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on June 13, 2014)|
|10.13**||Patent Purchase Agreement between Spherix Incorporated and Rockstar Consortium US LP, including Amendment No. 1 thereto (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K/A filed on November 19, 2013)|
|10.14||Form of Series F Exchange Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on November 26, 2013)|
|10.15||Form of Series D Exchange Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on December 30, 2013)|
|10.16||Confidential Patent Purchase Agreement dated December 31, 2013 between Spherix Incorporated and Rockstar Consortium US LP (incorporated by reference to the Form S-1/A filed January 21, 2014)|
|10.17||Form of Subscription Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed March 26, 2014)|
|10.18||Form of Registration Rights Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed March 26, 2014)|
|10.19||Form of Subscription Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Form 8-K filed on May 29, 2014)|
|10.20||Letter of Agreement, dated January 6, 2014, between Spherix Incorporated and Chord Advisors, LLC (incorporated by reference to the Form 10-K filed on March 30, 2015)|
|10.21||Letter of Agreement, dated April 11, 2014, between Spherix Incorporated and Chord Advisors, LLC (incorporated by reference to the Form 10-K filed on March 30, 2015)|
|Placement Agency Agreement, dated July 15, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and Chardan Capital Markets LLC (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 17, 2015)|
|10.23||Securities Purchase Agreement, dated July 15, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and the purchasers party thereto (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 17, 2015)|
|10.24||Employment Agreement, dated as of March 14, 2014, between Spherix Incorporated and Frank Reiner (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed March 29, 2016)|
|10.25||Amendment to Employment Agreement, dated as of June 30, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and Frank Reiner (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed March 29, 2016)|
|10.26||Consulting Services Agreement, dated as of August 10, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and Howard E. Goldberg d/b/a Forward Vision Associates (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed August 19, 2015)|
|10.27||Settlement and License Agreement, dated October 13, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed March 29, 2016)|
|10.28||Patent License Agreement, dated as of November 23, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and RPX Corporation (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed November 30, 2015|
|10.29||Securities Purchase Agreement, dated as of December 2, 2015, between Spherix Incorporated and the investors party thereto (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed December 3, 2015)|
|10.30||Engagement Agreement, dated September 16, 2015, as amended, between Spherix Incorporated and H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed December 3, 2015)|
|10.31||Employment Agreement, effective as of April 1, 2016, between Spherix Incorporated and Anthony Hayes (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed May 26, 2016)|
|10.32||Separation Agreement and Release, dated March 10, 2017, between Spherix Incorporated and Frank Reiner (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed March 15, 2017)|
|10.33||Patent License Agreement, dated as of May 23, 2016, between Spherix Incorporated and RPX Corporation (incorporated by reference to Form 10-Q filed August 15, 2016)|
|10.34||Technology Monetization Agreement, dated as of March 11, 2016, and amended as of April 22, 2016, April 27, 2016 and May 22, 2016, between Spherix Incorporated and Equitable IP Corporation (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed August 2, 2016)|
|10.35||Underwriting Agreement, dated as of August 2, 2016, by and among Spherix Incorporated and the underwriters named on Schedule I thereto (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed August 3, 2016)|
|10.36||Assignment and Assumption of Rights Agreement, dated as of June 16, 2016, by and between Spherix Incorporated and Transfer Online, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed June 21, 2016)|
|10.37||Securities Purchase Agreement, dated as of June 30, 2017, by and between Spherix Incorporated and Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 3, 2017)|
|10.38||Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of June 30, 2017, by and between Spherix Incorporated and Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 3, 2017)|
|10.39||Form of Shareholders Agreement, dated as of June 30, 2017 (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed July 3, 2017)|
|10.40||Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of March 12, 2018, by and among Spherix Incorporated, Spherix Merger Subsidiary Inc., DatChat, Inc. and Darin Myman (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed March 14, 2018)|
|10.41||Placement Agent Agreement, dated as of March 14, 2018, by and between Spherix Incorporated and Laidlaw & Company (UK) Ltd. (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed March 19, 2018)|
|10.42||Assignment of Agreement, dated as of November 13, 2019, by and among The University of Texas in Austin, on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas, CBM BioPharma, Inc. and Spherix Incorporated. (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed February 3, 2020)|
|10.43||Assignment of Agreement, dated as of November 13, 2019, by and among Wake Forrest University Health Sciences, CBM BioPharma, Inc. and Spherix Incorporated. (incorporated by reference to Form 10-K filed February 3, 2020)|
|10.44||First Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of May 3, 2018, by and among Spherix Incorporated, Spherix Merger Subsidiary Inc., DatChat, Inc. and Darin Myman (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed May 7, 2018)|
|10.45||Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 10, 2018, by and among Spherix Incorporated, Spherix Delaware Merger Sub Inc., Scott Wilfong and CBM Biopharma, Inc. (incorporated by reference to Form 8-K filed October 16, 2018)|
|10.46||Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of May 15, 2019, by and between Spherix Incorporated and CBM BioPharma, Inc. (incorporated herein by reference to Form 10-Q filed on August 14, 2019)|
|10.47||Amendment No. 1 to Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of May 30, 2019, by and between Spherix Incorporated and CBM BioPharma, Inc. (incorporated herein by reference to Form 10-Q filed on August 14, 2019)|
|10.48||Amendment No. 2 to Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of December 5, 2019, by and between Spherix Incorporated and CBM BioPharma, Inc. (incorporated herein by reference to Form 8-K filed on December 10, 2019)|
|10.49**||Master License Agreement, dated as of April 13, 2020, by and between AIkido Pharma, Inc. and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (incorporated herein by reference to Form S-3/A filed on June 12, 2020)|
|10.50*||Engagement Agreement, dated January 24, 2020, as amended on March 2, 2020, between AIkido Pharma Inc. and H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC|
|10.51†||Form of Securities Purchase Agreement|
|21.1||List of Subsidiaries (incorporated by reference to 10-K filed on February 3, 2020)|
Consent of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP (included in Exhibit 5.1)
|23.4***||Power of Attorney (included on signature page)|
|**||Pursuant to a Confidential Treatment Request under Rule 24b-2 filed with and approved by the SEC, portions of this exhibit have been omitted.|
|†||To be filed by amendment.|
January 24, 2020
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Attn: Anthony Hayes, Chief Executive Officer
Dear Mr. Hayes:
This letter agreement (this “Agreement”) constitutes the agreement between Spherix Incorporated (the “Company”) and H.C. Wainwright &. Co., LLC (“Wainwright”), that Wainwright shall serve as the exclusive agent, advisor or underwriter in any of (each, an “Offering”) of securities of the Company (the “Securities”) during the Term (as hereinafter defined) of this Agreement. The terms of each Offering and the Securities issued in connection therewith shall be mutually agreed upon by the Company and Wainwright and nothing herein implies that Wainwright would have the power or authority to bind the Company and nothing herein implies that the Company shall have an obligation to issue any Securities. It is understood that Wainwright’s assistance in an Offering will be subject to the satisfactory completion of such investigation and inquiry into the affairs of the Company as Wainwright deems appropriate under the circumstances and to the receipt of all internal approvals of Wainwright in connection with the transaction. The Company expressly acknowledges and agrees that Wainwright’s involvement in an Offering is strictly on a reasonable best efforts basis and that the consummation of an Offering will be subject to, among other things, market conditions, The execution of this Agreement does not constitute a commitment by Wainwright to purchase the Securities and does not ensure a successful Offering of the Securities or the success of Wainwright with respect to securing any other financing on behalf of the Company. Wainwright may retain other brokers, dealers, agents or underwriters on its behalf in connection with an Offering.
A. Compensation; Reimbursement. At the closing of each Offering (each, a “Closing”), the Company shall compensate Wainwright as follows;
|1.||Cash Fee. The Company shall pay to Wainwright a cash fee, or as to an underwritten Offering an underwriter discount, equal to 8.0% of the aggregate gross proceeds raised in each Offering.|
430 Park Avenue | New York,
NY 10022 | 212.356.0500 | www.hcwco.com
|2||Warrant Coverage. The Company shall issue to Wainwright or its designees at each Closing, warrants (the “Wainwright Warrants”) to purchase that number of shares of common stock of the Company equal to 8.0% of the aggregate number of shares of common stock (or common stock equivalent, if applicable) placed in each Offering (and if an Offering includes a “greenshoe” or “additional investment” component, such number of shares of common stock underlying such “greenshoe” or “additional investment” component, with the Wainwright Warrants issuable upon the exercise of such component). If the Securities included in an Offering are convertible, the Wainwright Warrants shall be determined by dividing the gross proceeds raised in such Offering by the Offering Price (as defined hereunder). The Wainwright Warrants shall be in a customary form reasonably acceptable to Wainwright, have a term of five (5) years and an exercise price equal to 125% of the offering price per share (or unit, if applicable) in the applicable Offering and if such offering price is not available, the market price of the common stock on the date an Offering is commenced (such price, the “Offering Price”). If warrants are issued to investors in an Offering, the Wainwright Warrants shall have the same terms as the warrants issued to investors in the applicable Offering, except that such Wainwright Warrants shall have an exercise price equal to 125% of the Offering Price.|
|3.||Expense Allowance, Out of the proceeds of each Closing, the Company also agrees to pay Wainwright (a) a management fee equal to 1.0% of the gross proceeds raised in each Offering; (b) $25,000 for non-accountable expenses (to be increased to $35,000 in ease of a public Offering); (c) up to $50,000 for fees and expenses of legal counsel and other out-of-pocket expenses (to be increased to $100,000 in case of a public Offering); plus the additional amount payable by the Company pursuant to Paragraph D.3 hereunder and, if applicable, the costs associated with the use of a third-party electronic road show service (such as NetRoadshow); provided, however, that such amount in no way limits or impairs the indemnification and contribution provisions of this Agreement.|
|4.||Tail. Wainwright shall be entitled to compensation under clauses (1) and (2) hereunder, calculated in the manner set forth therein, with respect to any public or private offering or other financing or capital-raising transaction of any kind (“Tail Financing”) to the extent that such financing or capital is provided to the Company by investors whom Wainwright had contacted during the Term or introduced to the Company during the Term, if such Tail Financing is consummated at any time within the 12-month period following the expiration or termination of this Agreement.|
|5.||Right of First Refusal. If, from the date hereof until the I 2-month anniversary following consummation of each Offering, the Company or any of its subsidiaries (a) decides to dispose of or acquire business units or acquire any of its outstanding securities or make any exchange or tender offer or enter into a merger, consolidation or other business combination or any recapitalization, reorganization, restructuring or other similar transaction, including, without limitation, an extraordinary dividend or distributions or a spin-off or split-off, and the Company decides to retain a financial advisor for such transaction, Wainwright (or any affiliate designated by Wainwright) shall have the right to act as the Company’s exclusive financial advisor for any such transaction; or (b) decides to finance or refinance any indebtedness using a manager or agent, Wainwright (or any affiliate designated by Wainwright) shall have the right to act as sole book-runner, sole manager, sole placement agent or sole agent with respect to such financing or refinancing; or (c) decides to raise funds by means of a public offering (including at-the-market facility) or a private placement or any other capital-raising financing of equity, equity-linked or debt securities using an underwriter or placement agent, Wainwright (or any affiliate designated by Wainwright) shall have the right to act as sole book-running manager, sole underwriter or sole placement agent for such financing. If Wainwright or one of its affiliates decides to accept any such engagement, the agreement governing such engagement will contain, among other things, provisions for customary fees for transactions of similar size and nature and the provisions of this Agreement, including indemnification, which are appropriate to such a transaction,|
B. Term and Termination of Engagement: Exclusivity. The term of Wainwright’s exclusive engagement will begin on the date hereof and end on the earlier of (i) five (5) months after the date hereof and (ii) 30 days following the later of (a) the date that the Securities and Exchange Commission notifies the Company that it has no additional comments on the Company’s next registration statement on Form S-1 and (b) the date that the Company files its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2019 (the “Term”), Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Company agrees that the provisions relating to the payment of fees, reimbursement of expenses, right of first refusal, tail, indemnification and contribution, confidentiality, conflicts, independent contractor and waiver of the right to trial by jury will survive any termination or expiration of this Agreement. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Company has the right to terminate the Agreement for cause in compliance with FINRA Rule 5110(f)(2)(D)(ii). The exercise of such right of termination for cause eliminates the Company’s obligations with respect to the provisions relating to the tail fees and right of first refusal. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, in the event that an Offering pursuant to this Agreement shall not be carried out for any reason whatsoever during the Term, the Company shall be obligated to pay to Wainwright its actual and accountable out-of-pocket expenses related to an Offering (including the fees and disbursements of Wainwright’s legal counsel) and, if applicable, for electronic road show service used in connection with an Offering. During Wainwright’s engagement hereunder: (i) the Company will not, and will not permit its representatives to, other than in coordination with Wainwright, contact or solicit institutions, corporations or other entities or individuals as potential purchasers of the Securities and (ii) the Company will not pursue any financing transaction which would be in lieu of an Offering. Furthermore, the Company agrees that during Wainwright’s engagement hereunder, all inquiries, whether direct or indirect, from prospective investors will be referred to Wainwright and will be deemed to have been contacted by Wainwright in connection with an Offering. Additionally, except as set forth hereunder, the Company represents, warrants and covenants that no brokerage or finder’s fees or commissions are or will be payable by the Company or any subsidiary of the Company to any broker, financial advisor or consultant, finder, placement agent, investment banker, bank or other third-party with respect to any Offering,
C. Information; Reliance. The Company shall furnish, or cause to be furnished, to Wainwright all information requested by Wainwright for the purpose of rendering services hereunder and conducting due diligence (all such information being the “Information”). In addition, the Company agrees to make available to Wainwright upon request from time to time the officers, directors, accountants, counsel and other advisors of the Company. The Company recognizes and confirms that Wainwright (a) will use and rely on the Information, including any documents provided to investors in each Offering (the “Offering Documents”) which shall include any Purchase Agreement (as defined hereunder), and on information available from generally recognized public sources in performing the services contemplated by this Agreement without having independently verified the same; (b) does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the Offering Documents or the Information and such other information; and (e) will not make an appraisal of any of the assets or liabilities of the Company. Upon reasonable request, the Company will meet with Wainwright or its representatives to discuss all information relevant for disclosure in the Offering Documents and will cooperate in any investigation undertaken by Wainwright thereof, including any document included or incorporated by reference therein. At each Offering, at the request of Wainwright, the Company shall deliver such legal letters (including, without limitation, negative assurance letters), opinions, comfort letters, officers’ and secretary certificates and good standing certificates, all in form and substance satisfactory to Wainwright and its counsel as is customary for such Offering. Wainwright shall be a third party beneficiary of any representations, warranties, covenants, closing conditions and closing deliverables made by the Company in any Offering Documents, including representations, warranties, covenants, closing conditions and closing deliverables made to any investor in an Offering.
D. Related Agreements. At each Offering, the Company shall enter into the following additional agreements:
|1.||Underwritten Offering. If an Offering is an underwritten Offering, the Company and Wainwright shall enter into a customary underwriting agreement in form and substance satisfactory to Wainwright and its counsel.|
|2.||Best Efforts Offering. If an Offering is on a best efforts basis, the sale of Securities to the investors in the Offering will be evidenced by a purchase agreement (“Purchase Agreement”) between the Company and such investors in a form reasonably satisfactory to the Company and Wainwright. Wainwright shall be a third party beneficiary with respect to the representations, warranties and covenants, closing conditions and closing deliverables included in the Purchase Agreement. Prior to the signing of any Purchase Agreement, officers of the Company with responsibility for financial affairs will be available to answer inquiries from prospective investors.|
|3.||Escrow, Settlement and Closing. If each Offering is not settled via delivery versus payment (“DVP”), the Company and Wainwright shall enter into an escrow agreement with a third party escrow agent pursuant to which Wainwrights compensation and expenses shall be paid from the gross proceeds of the Securities sold. If the Offering is settled in whole or in part via DRIP, Wainwright shall arrange for its clearing agent to provide the funds to facilitate such settlement, The Company shall pay Wainwright closing costs, which shall also include the reimbursement of the out-of-pocket cost of the escrow agent or clearing agent, as applicable, which closing costs shall not exceed $12,900.|
|4.||FINRA Amendments. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in the event that Wainwright determines that any of the terms provided for hereunder shall not comply with a FINRA Rule, including but not limited to FINRA Rule 5110, then the Company shall agree to amend this Agreement (or include such revisions in the final underwriting agreement) in writing upon the request of Wainwright to comply with any such rules; provided that any such amendments shall not provide for terms that are less favorable to the Company than are reflected in this Agreement.|
E. Confidentiality. In the event of the consummation or public announcement of any Offering, Wainwright shall have the right to disclose its participation in such Offering, including, without limitation, the Offering at its cost of “tombstone” advertisements in financial and other newspapers and journals.
|1.||In connection with the Company’s engagement of Wainwright hereunder, the Company hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Wainwright and its affiliates, and the respective controlling persons, directors, officers, members, shareholders, agents and employees of any of the foregoing (collectively the “Indemnified Persons”), from and against any and all claims, actions, suits, proceedings (including those of shareholders), damages, liabilities and expenses incurred by any of them (including the reasonable fees and expenses of counsel), as incurred, whether or not the Company is a party thereto (collectively a “Claim”), that arc (A) related to or arise out of (i) any actions taken or omitted to be taken (including any untrue statements made or any statements omitted to be made) by the Company, or (ii) any actions taken or omitted to be taken by any Indemnified Person in connection with the Company’s engagement of Wainwright, or (B) otherwise relate to or arise out of Wainwright’s activities on the Company’s behalf under Wainwright’s engagement, and the Company shall reimburse any Indemnified Person for all expenses (including the reasonable fees and expenses of counsel) as incurred by such Indemnified Person in connection with investigating, preparing or defending any such claim, action, suit or proceeding, whether or not in connection with pending or threatened litigation in which any Indemnified Person is a party. The Company will not, however, be responsible for any Claim that is finally judicially determined to have resulted from the gross negligence or willful misconduct of any such Indemnified Person for such Claim. The Company further agrees that no Indemnified Person shall have any liability to the Company for or in connection with the Company’s engagement of Wainwright except for any Claim incurred by the Company as a result of such Indemnified Person’s gross negligence or willful misconduct.|
|2.||The Company further agrees that it will not, without the prior written consent of Wainwright, settle, compromise or consent to the entry of any judgment in any pending or threatened Claim in respect of which indemnification may be sought hereunder (whether or not any Indemnified Person is an actual or potential party to such Claim), unless such settlement, compromise or consent includes an unconditional, irrevocable release of each Indemnified Person from any and all liability arising out of such Claim.|
|3.||Promptly upon receipt by an Indemnified Person of notice of any complaint or the assertion or institution of any Claim with respect to which indemnification is being sought hereunder, such Indemnified Person shall notify the Company in writing of such complaint or of such assertion or institution but failure to so notify the Company shall not relieve the Company from any obligation it may have hereunder, except and only to the extent such failure results in the forfeiture by the Company of substantial rights and defenses. If the Company is requested by such Indemnified Person, the Company will assume the defense of such Claim, including the employment of counsel for such Indemnified Person and the payment of the fees and expenses of such counsel, provided, however, that such counsel shall be satisfactory to the Indemnified Person and provided further that if the legal counsel to such Indemnified Person reasonably determines that having common counsel would present such counsel with a conflict of interest or if the defendant in, or target of, any such Claim, includes an Indemnified Person and the Company, and legal counsel to such Indemnified Person reasonably concludes that there may be legal defenses available to it or other Indemnified Persons different from or in addition to those available to the Company, such Indemnified Person will employ its own separate counsel (including local counsel, if necessary) to represent or defend him, her or it in any such Claim and the Company shall pay the reasonable fees and expenses of such counsel. if such Indemnified Person does not request that the Company assume the defense of such Claim, such Indemnified Person will employ its own separate counsel (including local counsel, if necessary) to represent or defend him, her or it in any such Claim and the Company shall pay the reasonable fees and expenses of such counsel. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, if the Company fails timely or diligently to defend, contest, or otherwise protect against any Claim, the relevant Indemnified Person shall have the right, but not the obligation, to defend, contest, compromise, settle, assert crossclaims, or counterclaims or otherwise protect against the same, and shall be fully indemnified by the Company therefor, including without limitation, for the reasonable fees and expenses of its counsel and all amounts paid as a result of such Claim or the compromise or settlement thereof. In addition, with respect to any Claim in which the Company assumes the defense, the Indemnified Person shall have the right to participate in such Claim and to retain his, her or its own counsel therefor at his, her or its own expense,|
|4.||The Company agrees that if any indemnity sought by an Indemnified Person hereunder is held by a court to be unavailable for any reason then (whether or not Wainwright is the Indemnified Person), the Company and Wainwright shall contribute to the Claim for which such indemnity is held unavailable in such proportion as is appropriate to reflect the relative benefits to the Company, on the one hand, and Wainwright on the other, in connection with Wainwright’s engagement referred to above, subject to the limitation that in no event shall the amount of Wainwright’s contribution to such Claim exceed the amount of fees actually received by Wainwright from the Company pursuant to Wainwright’s engagement. The Company hereby agrees that the relative benefits to the Company, on the one hand, and Wainwright on the other, with respect to Wainwright’s engagement shall be deemed to be in the same proportion as (a) the total value paid or proposed to be paid or received by the Company pursuant to the applicable Offering (whether or not consummated) for which Wainwright is engaged to render services bears to (b) the fee paid or proposed to be paid to Wainwright in connection with such engagement.|
|5.||The Company’s indemnity, reimbursement and contribution obligations under this Agreement (a) shall be in addition to, and shall in no way limit or otherwise adversely affect ;any rights that any Indemnified Person may have at law or at equity and (b) shall be effective whether or not the Company is at fault in any way.|
G. Limitation of Engagement to the Company. The Company acknowledges that Wainwright has been retained only by the Company, that Wainwright is providing services hereunder as an independent contractor (and not in any fiduciary or agency capacity) and that the Company’s engagement of Wainwright is not deemed to be on behalf of, and is not intended to confer rights upon, any shareholder, owner or partner of the Company or any other person not a party hereto as against Wainwright or any of its affiliates, or any of its or their respective officers, directors, controlling persons (within the meaning of Section 15 of the Securities Act or Section 20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)), employees or agents. Unless otherwise expressly agreed in writing by Wainwright, no one other than the Company is authorized to rely upon this Agreement or any other statements or conduct of Wainwright, and no one other than the Company is intended to be a beneficiary of this Agreement. The Company acknowledges that any recommendation or advice, written or oral, given by Wainwright to the Company in connection with Wainwright’s engagement is intended solely for the benefit and use of the Company’s management and directors in considering a possible Offering, and any such recommendation or advice is not on behalf of, and shall not confer any rights or remedies upon, any other person or be used or relied upon for any other purpose. Wainwright shall not have the authority to make any commitment binding on the Company. The Company, in its sole discretion, shall have the right to reject any investor introduced to it by Wainwright,
H. Limitation of Wainwright’s Liability to the Company. Wainwright and the Company further agree that neither Wainwright nor any of its affiliates or any of its or their respective officers, directors, controlling persons (within the meaning of Section 15 of the Securities Act or Section 20 of the Exchange Act), employees or agents shall have any liability to the Company, its security holders or creditors, or any person asserting claims on behalf of or in the right of the Company (whether direct or indirect, in contract, tort, for an act of negligence or otherwise) for any losses, fees, damages, liabilities, costs, expenses or equitable relief arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the services rendered hereunder, except for losses, fees, damages, liabilities, costs or expenses that arise out of or are based on any action of or failure to act by Wainwright and that are finally judicially determined to have resulted solely from the gross negligence or willful misconduct of Wainwright.
l. Governing Law. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York applicable to agreements made and to be fully performed therein. Any disputes that arise under this Agreement, even after the termination of this Agreement, will be heard only in the state or federal courts located in the City of New York, State of New York. The parties hereto expressly agree to submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the foregoing courts in the City of New York, State of New York. The parties hereto expressly waive any rights they may have to contest the jurisdiction, venue or authority of any court sitting in the City and State of New York. in the event Wainwright or any Indemnified Person is successful in any action, or suit against the Company, arising out of or relating to this Agreement, the final judgment or award entered shall he entitled to have and recover from the Company the costs and expenses incurred in connection therewith, including its reasonable attorneys’ fees. Any rights to trial by jury with respect to any such action, proceeding or suit are hereby waived by Wainwright and the Company.
J. Notices. All notices hereunder will be in writing and sent by certified mail, hand delivery, overnight delivery, fax or e-mail, if sent to Wainwright, at the address set forth on the first page hereof, e-mail: email@example.com, Attention: Head of Investment Banking, and if sent to the Company, to the address set forth on the first page hereof, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Chief Executive Officer. Notices sent by certified mail shall he deemed received five days thereafter, notices sent by hand delivery or overnight delivery shall be deemed received on the date of the relevant written record of receipt, notices delivered by fax shall be deemed received as of the date and time printed thereon by the fax machine and notices sent by e-mail shall be deemed received as of the date and time they were sent.
K. Conflicts. The Company acknowledges that Wainwright and its affiliates may have and may continue to have investment banking and other relationships with parties other than the Company pursuant to which Wainwright may acquire information of interest to the Company. Wainwright shall have no obligation to disclose such information to the Company or to use such information in connection with any contemplated transaction.
L. Anti-Money Laundering. To help the United States government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering, the federal laws of the United States require all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person with whom they do business. This means Wainwright must ask the Company for certain identifying information, including a government-issued identification number (0,g., a U.S. taxpayer identification number) and such other information or documents that Wainwright considers appropriate to verify the Company’s identity, such as certified articles of incorporation, a government-issued business license, a partnership agreement or a trust instrument.
M. Miscellaneous. The Company represents and warrants that it has all requisite power and authority to enter into and carry out the terms and provisions of this Agreement and the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement does not breach or conflict with any agreement, document or instrument to which it is a party or bound. This Agreement shall not be modified or amended except in writing signed by Wainwright and the Company. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of both Wainwright and the Company and their respective assigns, successors, and legal representatives. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement of Wainwright and the Company with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes any prior agreements with respect to the subject matter hereof If any provision of this Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable in any respect, such determination will not affect such provision in any other respect, and the remainder of the Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts (including facsimile or electronic counterparts), each of which shall be deemed an original but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.
In acknowledgment that the foregoing correctly sets forth the understanding reached by Wainwright and the Company, please sign in the space provided below, whereupon this letter shall constitute a binding Agreement as of the date indicated above.
|Very truly yours,|
|H.C. WAINWRIGHT & CO., LLC|
|By||/s/ Edward D. Silvera|
|Name:||Edward D. Silvera|
|Title:||Chief operating Officer|
|Accepted and Agreed:|
|By||/s/ Anthony Hayes|
March 2, 2020
One Rockefeller Plaza, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Attn: Anthony Hayes, Chief Executive Officer
Reference is hereby made to that certain engagement agreement (the “Agreement”), dated as of January 24, 2020, by and between Spherix Incorporated (the “Company”) and H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC (“Wainwright”).
The Company and Wainwright hereby agree to amend the Engagement Agreement (the “Amendment”), as follows:
Section 5 shall be deleted in its entirety, as shall any references to “right of first refusal” in the Agreement.
The first sentence in Section B. shall be replaced with the following:
“The term of Wainwright’s exclusive engagement will begin on the date hereof and end twelve (12) months following the consummation of the Offering pursuant to the Company’s registration statement on form S-1 (File No. 333-236199) thereafter (the “Term”).
Except as expressly set forth above, all of the terms and conditions of the Agreement shall continue in full force and effect after the execution of this Amendment. Defined terms used herein but not defined herein shall have the meanings given to such terms in the Agreement.
This Amendment may be executed in two or more counterparts and by facsimile or “.pdf’ signature or otherwise, and each of such counterparts shall be deemed an original and all of such counterparts together shall constitute one and the same agreement.
[Signature page follows]
430 Park Avenue | New York,
NY 10022 | 212.356.0500 | www.hcwco.com
In acknowledgment that the foregoing correctly sets forth the understanding reached by Wainwright and the Company, please sign in the space provided below, whereupon this Amendment shall constitute a binding agreement as of the date indicated above.
|Very truly yours,|
|H.C. WAINWRIGHT & CO., LLC|
|By||/s/ Edward D. Silvera|
|Name:||Edward D. Silvera|
|Title:||Chief operating Officer|
|Accepted and Agreed:|
|By||/s/ Anthony Hayes|
430 Park Avenue | New York,
NY 10022 | 212.356.0500 | www.hcwco.com
INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM’S CONSENT
We consent to the incorporation by reference in this Registration Statement of Aikido Pharma, Inc. (the “Company”) on Amendment No. 1 to Form S-1 of our report, which includes an explanatory paragraph as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern, dated January 31, 2020, with respect to our audits of the consolidated financial statements of Aikido Pharma Inc. (formerly known as Spherix Incorporated) as of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and for each of the two years in the period ended December 31, 2019, appearing in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Aikido Pharma, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2019. We also consent to the reference to our firm under the heading “Experts” in the Prospectus, which is part of this Registration Statement.
/s/ Marcum LLP
New York, NY
August 26, 2020