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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington D. C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

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

 

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021

or

 

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

 

For the transition period from

 

Commission file number 001-37823

 

Kintara Therapeutics, Inc.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Nevada

 

 99-0360497

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

12707 High Bluff Dr., Suite 200

San Diego, CA, 92130

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

 

(858) 350-4364

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

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

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock

 

KTRA

 

The Nasdaq Capital Market

 

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

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

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes    No

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

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

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

 

Large accelerated filer

 

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

 

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Act)  Yes    No

As of December 31, 2020, the aggregate market value of the issued and outstanding common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based upon the closing price of our common stock of $1.28 was approximately $26.9 million. For purposes of the above statement only, all directors, named executive officers and 10% shareholders are assumed to be affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for any other purpose.

Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of September 28, 2021 was 43,174,989. 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE – None

 


 

 

FORM 10-K

 

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Page

 

PART I

 

Item 1

Business

2

Item 1A

Risk Factors

33

Item 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

58

Item 2

Properties

58

Item 3

Legal Proceedings

59

Item 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

59

 

PART II

 

Item 5

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

60

Item 6

Selected Financial Data

60

Item 7

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

61

Item 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

68

Item 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

69

Item 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

98

Item 9A

Controls and Procedures

98

Item 9B

Other Information

98

 

PART III

 

Item 10

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

99

Item 11

Executive Compensation

103

Item 12

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

106

Item 13

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

108

Item 14

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

109

 

PART IV

 

Item 15

Exhibits

110

Item 16

Form 10-K Summary

114

 

Signatures

115

 

 

 

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PART I

Item 1. Business.

Background

Kintara Therapeutics, Inc. (“Kintara”) is a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of new cancer therapies.

On June 9, 2020, we entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among Adgero Acquisition Corp., our wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in the State of Delaware (“Merger Sub”), and Adgero Biopharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Adgero”). On August 19, 2020, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement, Merger Sub merged with and into Adgero (the “Merger”), the separate corporate existence of Merger Sub ceased and Adgero continued its existence under Delaware law as the surviving corporation in the Merger and became our direct, wholly-owned subsidiary. As a result of the Merger, each issued and outstanding share of Adgero common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Adgero Common Stock”) (other than treasury shares held by Adgero), was converted automatically into the right to receive 1.5740 shares (the “Exchange Ratio”) of our common stock, and cash in lieu of any fractional shares. Also, each outstanding warrant to purchase Adgero Common Stock was converted into a warrant exercisable for that number of shares of our common stock equal to the product of (x) the aggregate number of shares of Adgero Common Stock for which such warrant was exercisable and (y) the Exchange Ratio.

Following the completion of the Merger, we changed our name from DelMar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Kintara Therapeutics, Inc. and began trading on Nasdaq under the symbol “KTRA”.

We are the parent company of Del Mar Pharmaceuticals (BC) Ltd. (“Del Mar (BC)”), a British Columbia, Canada corporation, Adgero, and Adgero Biopharmaceuticals, Inc (“Adgero Biopharma”). We are also the parent company to 0959454 B.C. Ltd. (“Callco”), and 0959456 B.C. Ltd. (“Exchangeco”) which are British Columbia, Canada corporations.

References to “we”, “us”, and “our”, refer to Kintara and our wholly-owned subsidiaries, Del Mar (BC), Adgero, Adgero BioPharma, Callco and Exchangeco.

We are dedicated to the development of novel cancer therapies for patients with unmet medical needs.  Our mission is to benefit patients by developing and commercializing anti-cancer therapies for patients whose solid tumors exhibit features that make them resistant to, or unlikely to respond to, currently available therapies, with particular focus on orphan cancer indications.  

Our two lead candidates are VAL-083, a novel, validated, DNA-targeting agent, for the treatment of drug-resistant solid tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme (“GBM”) and potentially other solid tumors, including ovarian cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”), and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (“DIPG”) and REM-001, a late-stage photodynamic therapy (“PDT”) for the treatment of cutaneous metastatic breast cancer (“CMBC”). PDT is a treatment that uses light sensitive compounds, or photosensitizers, that, when exposed to specific wavelengths of light, act as a catalyst to produce a form of oxygen that induces local tumor cell death.  

Recent Highlights

 

On September 23, 2021, we entered into securities purchase agreements with certain institutional investors pursuant to which, on September 28, 2021, we issued an aggregate of 7,200,000 shares of common stock, pre-funded warrants to purchase 4,800,000 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase 12,000,000 shares of common stock for approximately $15 million in gross proceeds, before placement agent fees and other offering expenses payable by us. The warrants have an exercise price of $1.25 per share and expire on March 28, 2025. The offering was priced at a premium to market. We estimate that the financing will provide sufficient funding through stage 1 of our Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (“GCAR”) registrational Phase 2/3 clinical study for GBM, which could result in graduation to the final confirmatory stage, the potentially NDA enabling portion of this study.

 

On September 22, 2021, we reported positive topline data for the adjuvant arm of our open-label, Phase 2 clinical study of our lead compound, VAL-083, that was conducted at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”) in Houston, Texas.  The Phase 2 study was a two-arm, biomarker-driven study testing VAL-083 in GBM patients who have an unmethylated promoter of the methylguanine DNA-methyltransferase (“MGMT”) gene. The adjuvant arm of the study investigated newly-diagnosed patients suffering from GBM receiving VAL-083 in place of standard of care temozolomide (“TMZ”) as adjuvant therapy following surgery and chemoradiation TMZ.

 

On August 17, 2021, we announced that 26 clinical sites in the United States had been activated for our GCAR registrational Phase 2/3 clinical study for GBM. The study, titled GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment) Study, is a revolutionary, patient-centered, adaptive platform study for registration evaluating multiple therapies for patients with newly-diagnosed and recurrent GBM.

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On July 1, 2021, we announced positive top line data results from the recurrent arm of our open-label, Phase 2 clinical study of our lead compound, VAL-083, being conducted at MD Anderson. The recurrent arm of the study addressed patients who had been pre-treated with temozolomide prior to disease recurrence.

 

On June 7, 2021, we announced that effective June 28, 2021 we were added to the Russell Microcap Index. This milestone took place at the conclusion of the 2021 Russell Indexes' annual reconstitution.

 

On April 10, 2021, at the American Association for Cancer Research (“AACR”) Annual Meeting we announced positive data updates from our ongoing Phase 2 clinical studies in newly-diagnosed first-line, newly-diagnosed adjuvant, and recurrent GBM.  This update included top-line results for our newly-diagnosed first-line Phase 2 study being conducted in China at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center (SYSUCC”).

 

On January 13, 2021, we announced the initiation of patient recruitment for the VAL-083 study arm of the GBM AGILE registrational Phase 2/3 clinical study for GBM. We also announced that VAL-083 is the only therapeutic agent currently being evaluated in all three GBM patient subtypes: newly-diagnosed methylated MGMT; newly-diagnosed unmethylated MGMT; and recurrent.

Targeted Clinical Milestones

(calendar quarters)

Below are our completed, planned, or expected milestones for the respective time periods noted:

Q1 2021

 

Commenced enrollment – GCAR GBM AGILE registration study

Q2 2021

 

American Association for Cancer Research posters – provided data updates for Phase 2 GBM studies

 

VAL-083: reported top line results for Phase 2 recurrent GBM study

Q3 2021

 

VAL-083: announced top line results for Phase 2 newly-diagnosed, adjuvant GBM study

Q2 2022

 

REM-001: enroll first patient – CMBC fifteen patient confirmatory study leading into pivotal study

Q3 2022

 

VAL-083: GCAR GBM AGILE registration study graduation from Stage 1 (safety and efficacy: 100-150 patients) to Stage 2 (confirmatory: 50 additional patients)

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Product Pipeline

 

 

VAL-083

Background

VAL-083 is a first-in-class, small-molecule, DNA-targeting chemotherapeutic that has demonstrated activity against a range of tumor types in prior Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute (“NCI”). “First-in-class” means that VAL-083 embodies a unique molecular structure which is not an analogue, or derivative, of any approved product, or product under development, for the treatment of cancer.   As part of our business strategy, we leverage and build upon these prior NCI investments and data from more than 40 NCI- Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies, which includes an estimated 1,200 patient safety database.

Prior studies of VAL-083 have shown increased median overall survival benefits versus radiation alone validating the positive tumor affecting properties of VAL-083. Our research has highlighted the opportunities afforded by VAL-083’s unique mechanism of action and its potential to address unmet medical needs in a well-defined and acknowledged biomarker selected population within the larger GBM population. Historically, we have focused our development efforts on patients whose tumors exhibit biological features that make them resistant to, or unlikely to respond to, currently available therapies as identified by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (“NCCN”). For example, our research demonstrating VAL-083’s activity in GBM independent of the O6-methyl guanine methyltransferase (“MGMT”) methylation status has allowed us to focus our Phase 2 study patient selection based on this important biomarker and thus improve the probability of success in our current and future clinical studies.

In GBM, we are part of the GBM AGILE Study which is a registrational Phase 2/3 clinical study for GBM. The study is a revolutionary, patient centered, adaptive platform study for registration evaluating multiple therapies for patients with newly-diagnosed and recurrent GBM. VAL-083 is currently the only therapeutic agent being evaluated in all three GBM patient subtypes in this study: newly-diagnosed methylated MGMT; newly-diagnosed unmethylated MGMT; and recurrent.

We have also completed two open-label, biomarker-driven, Phase 2 studies in MGMT-unmethylated GBM. MGMT is a DNA-repair enzyme that is associated with resistance to TMZ, the current standard-of-care chemotherapy used in the treatment of GBM. Greater than 60% of GBM patients have MGMT-unmethylated tumors and exhibit a high expression of MGMT which is correlated with TMZ treatment failure and poor patient outcomes as indicated in the current NCCN guidelines for GBM treatment. Our research demonstrates that VAL-083’s anti-tumor activity is independent of MGMT expression. In our completed Phase 2 studies we used MGMT as a biomarker to identify patients for treatment with VAL-083 in three distinct GBM patient populations:

 

MGMT-unmethylated GBM comprising two separate Phase 2 clinical studies for:

 

GBM patients in two study arms at MD Anderson:

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as adjuvant therapy immediately following concomitant TMZ treatment with chemoradiation in newly-diagnosed GBM patients; and

 

in Avastin®-naïve recurrent GBM patients;

 

As first-line therapy in newly-diagnosed GBM patients at SYSUCC.

We have also undertaken research in ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women and is the leading cause of death among women diagnosed with gynecological malignancies. We are in the process of evaluating the best path forward in ovarian cancer including the potential combination of VAL-083 with PARP inhibitors. The FDA granted orphan drug designation for the use of VAL-083 in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

In addition to our clinical development activities in the United States, pursuant to our collaboration with Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. (“Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company”), we have provided Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company certain commercial rights to VAL-083 in China where it is approved as a chemotherapy for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (“CML”) and lung cancer. Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company is the only manufacturer presently licensed by the China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) to produce the product for the China market.

We have a broad patent portfolio to protect our intellectual property. Our patents and patent applications claim methods of use of VAL-083 and related compounds, synthetic methods, and quality controls for the manufacturing process of VAL-083. We believe that our portfolio of intellectual property rights provides a defensible market position for the commercialization of VAL-083. In addition, VAL-083 has been designated by the FDA as an orphan drug under the Orphan Drug Act and the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) for the treatment of gliomas, including GBM. The FDA has also granted Orphan Drug description to VAL-083 for the treatment of medulloblastoma and ovarian cancer.

Our corporate development strategy is to advance VAL-083 on an indication-by-indication basis, and then to consider out-licensing when it has matured enough to warrant proper licensing valuations. In addition to VAL-083’s applicability to multiple solid tumor indications, we are also constantly evaluating licensing, or acquiring additional product candidates, in order to establish a product pipeline and to position us for long-term sustainability and growth of shareholder value. We believe the experience of our clinical development team will position us to efficiently develop possible drug candidates that we may acquire, or license, in the future.

We intend to continue to evaluate options for our strategic direction. These options may include raising additional capital, the acquisition of another company and/or complementary assets, our sale, or another type of strategic partnership.

MGMT-unmethylated GBM

GBM is the most common and the most lethal form of glioma. Approximately 30,000 new cases of GBM are diagnosed per year in the United States and Europe combined. Within the GBM patient population, over 60% of patients are unmethylated with respect to their MGMT status.

Measurement of MGMT (O6-methyl guanine methyltransferase) methylation status has become routine in clinical practice as a biomarker that correlates with resistance to the standard-of-care chemotherapy with TMZ (Temodar®), and patient outcomes in GBM. Over 60% of GBM patients’ tumors are characterized as “MGMT-unmethylated” and exhibit a high expression of MGMT, a naturally occurring DNA-repair enzyme, the activity of which nullifies the chemotherapeutic activity of TMZ. The lack of specific therapies for MGMT-unmethylated GBM is a significant unmet medical need. Current NCCN guidelines state that the treatment benefit of TMZ is likely to be lower in GBM patients with an unmethylated MGMT promoter.

We have demonstrated that VAL-083’s anti-tumor mechanism is active independent from the MGMT status in vitro. We believe this distinct mechanism of action suggests the potential of VAL-083 as a replacement for the current standard-of-care chemotherapy, temozolomide, in both MGMT methylated and MGMT-unmethylated GBM. We have utilized MGMT-methylation status to identify GBM patients who are unlikely to respond to TMZ and have included only MGMT-unmethylated patients in our current Phase 2 clinical studies of VAL-083. We have recently received approval to treat newly-diagnosed methylated, newly-diagnosed unmethylated, and recurrent GBM patients as part of our treatment arm in the GCAR GBM AGILE study.

We believe that our research highlights the opportunity for VAL-083 as a potential new standard-of-care in the treatment of both MGMT methylated and MGMT-unmethylated GBM.

VAL-083 Clinical Studies

GBM AGILE

On June 4, 2020, we accepted an invitation from GCAR to include VAL-083 in GCAR’s GBM AGILE Study, an adaptive clinical study platform for patients with GBM. On October 21, 2020, we announced we had entered into a definitive agreement with GCAR and on January 13, 2021, we announced the initiation of patient recruitment for the VAL-083 study arm of the GBM AGILE

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Study.  We also announced that VAL-083 is the only therapeutic agent currently being evaluated in all three GBM patient subtypes in the GBM AGILE Study: newly-diagnosed methylated MGMT; newly-diagnosed unmethylated MGMT; and recurrent. The GBM AGILE Study employs a cost-efficient, adaptive study design with a Stage 1 (Phase 2) learning and adapting phase and a Stage 2 (Phase 3) expansion and confirmation phase. On August 17, 2021, we announced that 26 clinical sites in the United States had been activated for this study. GCAR plans to enroll 150-200 patients in the Kintara arm of the study at over 40 sites in the U.S. and Canada with potential to increase this total to 65 clinical study centers worldwide.

GBM AGILE is an international, innovative platform study designed to more rapidly identify and confirm effective therapies for patients with glioblastoma through response adaptive randomization and a seamless phase 2/3 design.  The study, conceived by over 130 key opinion leaders, is conducted under a master protocol, allowing multiple therapies or combinations of therapies from different pharmaceutical partners to be evaluated simultaneously.  With its innovative design and efficient operational infrastructure, we believe data from the GBM AGILE Study can be used as the foundation for a New Drug Application (“NDA”) and biologics license application submissions and registrations to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and other health authorities.

GCAR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization uniting physicians, clinical researchers, advocacy and philanthropic organizations, biopharma, health authorities, and other key stakeholders in healthcare to expedite the discovery and development of treatments for patients with rare and deadly diseases by serving as sponsor of innovative and complex studies including master protocols and platform studies. GCAR is the sponsor of GBM AGILE. Key strategic partners for the GBM AGILE study effort include the National Brain Tumor Society (“NBTS”), National Foundation for Cancer Research, and Asian Fund for Cancer Research.

Phase 2 Study in Newly-Diagnosed MGMT-unmethylated GBM

In September 2017, we initiated a single arm, biomarker driven, open-label Phase 2 study in newly-diagnosed MGMT-unmethylated GBM patients at SYSUCC in Guangzhou, China. The study was conducted under our collaboration agreement with Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company.

In this Phase 2 study, VAL-083 was combined with radiotherapy as a potential replacement for standard-of-care chemoradiation with temozolomide in patients with MGMT-unmethylated GBM. The goals of the study were to confirm the safety of the three-day VAL-083 dosing regimen in combination with radiotherapy and to investigate efficacy outcomes of the combination of VAL-083 and radiotherapy in MGMT-unmethylated GBM patients.

We have completed enrollment of this study with a total of 29 newly-diagnosed, MGMT-unmethylated GBM patients and we have also completed treatment of the patients on this study. The efficacy endpoints of the study include tumor response, as assessed by the Response Assessment in NeuroOncology (“RANO”), and progression-free survival (“PFS”), progression-free survival at six months (“PFS6”), and overall survival (“OS”), compared to historical results in the target population. The study was conducted in two parts: (1) Dose-confirmation: VAL-083 in cohorts (20, 30 and 40 mg/m2/day IV daily x 3 every 21 days) to assess safety and activity when administered concurrently with x-ray therapy (“XRT”) to confirm the maximum tolerated dose (“MTD”), and (2) Expansion: VAL-083 was studied in 20 additional patients at the target dose, as determined by the dose-confirmation part of the study, administered concurrently with XRT. Assessments of safety and tolerability were used to support further clinical development of VAL-083 in combination with radiotherapy. Pharmacokinetic assessments of VAL-083 in plasma and cerebral spinal fluid (“CSF”) were used to correlate drug exposure in the central nervous system with patient outcomes.

Dose-confirming cohorts studying 20, 30, and 40 mg/m2/day x three every 21 days have been completed. Based on the dose confirmation phase of the study, we have selected 30 mg/m2/day for combination with irradiation for the treatment of newly-diagnosed MGMT-unmethylated GBM patients. This study is fully enrolled at 29 patients.

On April 10, 2021 at the virtual AACR Annual Meeting, we provided top-line results on patient data as follows:

 

For the 29 patients as of the March 11, 2021 cut-off date, median PFS with VAL-083 was 9.3 months (95% confidence interval (“CI”) 6.4-12.0 months).  Additionally, for the 25 patients initially receiving the treatment dose that is being carried forward into the GBM AGILE pivotal Phase 3 study of 30 mg/m2/day on days 1, 2 and 3 of a 21-day cycle, median PFS was reported to be 8.7 months (CI 6.4-12.5 months).

 

While this was not a head-to-head study, this PFS data compares favorably to historical TMZ control data.  Published data from Hegi et al. (2005 - New England Journal of Medicine) and Tanguturi et al. (2017 - NeuroOncology) indicates that MGMT-unmethylated patients receiving the current standard of care have a median PFS of 5.3 months and 6.9 months, respectively.  Multiple treatment cycles of VAL-083 at the 30 mg/m2/day dose in combination with standard radiation treatment (2 Gy/day, 5 days/week) was shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated.

Phase 2 Study in MGMT-unmethylated GBM in Collaboration with University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

 

In February 2017, we initiated a biomarker driven, open-label, single-arm Phase 2 study in collaboration with MD Anderson for recurrent GBM patients.  This biomarker-driven study (testing for MGMT methylation status) has been completed. The study enrolled

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a total of 89 patients with 35 patients (35 efficacy evaluable) initially receiving a dose of VAL-083 at 40 mg/m2/day, and 54 patients (48 efficacy evaluable) initially receiving the treatment dose of 30 mg/m2/day on days 1, 2 and 3 of a 21-day cycle. This 30 mg dose corresponds to the dose being studied in the currently enrolling VAL-083 study arm of the GBM AGILE study.

 

The study was designed to determine the potential of VAL-083 treatment to improve overall survival in GBM patients whose tumors have recurred following treatment with temozolomide. These patients will not have been treated previously with Avastin®.

Recurrent Study Arm

On July 1, 2021 we reported topline patient data as follows:

 

 

Median overall survival (mOS) for the 48 efficacy evaluable patients initially receiving the treatment dose of 30 mg/m2/day was 8.0 months (95% CI 5.9-9.9 months); and

 

For the 83 efficacy evaluable patients who have completed at least one cycle of treatment mOS was 7.5 months (CI 6.1-9.0 months).

While this was not a head-to-head study, historically, lomustine, which is the most commonly used chemotherapy for these patients, has demonstrated mOS of 7.2 months as indicated by published data from Wick et al. (2017 – New England Journal of Medicine).

We believe a positive outcome from this study will help support approval of VAL-083 for the treatment of MGMT-unmethylated recurrent GBM.

A detailed description of this study can be found at clinicatrials.gov, Identifier Number: NCT02717962.

Newly-Diagnosed Adjuvant Study Arm

On July 24, 2019, we announced the enrollment of the first patient in the newly-diagnosed adjuvant arm of the Phase 2 study being conducted at MD Anderson. The newly-diagnosed adjuvant arm was originally planned for 24 patients, but based on encouraging outcomes, we increased the newly-diagnosed adjuvant arm enrollment from the originally planned 24 patients to include up to 12 additional patients. These patients will have had initial cycles of temozolomide concomitant with radiation but will not have yet started subsequent cycles of TMZ (i.e., maintenance stage TMZ patients).

On September 22, 2021 we reported topline data as follows:

 

PFS for the 36 efficacy evaluable patients is 10.0 months (95% CI 8.2-10.8); and

 

mOS for the 36 efficacy evaluable patients is 16.5 months (CI 13.3-19.3 months).

 

While this was not a head-to-head study, this PFS data compares favorably to historical TMZ control data of 5.3 months and 6.9 months as indicated by published data from Hegi et al. (2005 - New England Journal of Medicine) and Tanguturi et al. (2017 – NeuroOncology), respectively.

Based on published data from our MD Anderson and SYSUCC clinical studies, we believe there is a significant opportunity to treat GBM patients in the pre-temozolomide maintenance stage (i.e., adjuvant). We have previously reported that myelosuppression (thrombocytopenia and neutropenia) is the most common adverse event associated with VAL-083.

A detailed description of this study can be found at clinicatrials.gov, Identifier Number: NCT02717962.

 

Safety Across Studies

 

Consistent with prior studies, myelosuppression was the most common adverse event with VAL-083 in both the recurrent GBM and adjuvant treatment setting at MD Anderson. In the 30 mg/m2/day starting dose cohort (the dose being studied in the GBM AGILE Study) five subjects have experienced a serious adverse event (“SAE”) possibly related to VAL-083 in the recurrent group and one patient has experienced a possible drug-related SAE in the newly-diagnosed adjuvant group as of the relevant data cut-off dates.

 

In the newly-diagnosed first-line study being conducted at SYSUCC, three subjects have experienced an SAE possibly related to VAL-083. Multiple treatment cycles of VAL-083 at the 30 mg/m2/day dose in combination with standard radiation treatment (2 Gy/day, 5 days/week) were shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated. This study has been fully enrolled, and all patients have completed treatment with VAL-083 and are currently in follow-up.

 

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VAL-083 Fast Track Designation

The FDA has granted us Fast Track designation for VAL-083 in recurrent GBM.

Fast Track designation is designed to expedite the review of drugs that show promise in treating life-threatening diseases and address unmet medical needs, with the goal of getting new treatments to patients earlier. Fast Track designation provides sponsors with an opportunity for increased frequency for communication with the FDA to ensure an optimal development plan and to collect appropriate data needed to support drug approval. Additional benefits of the Fast Track designation may include an Accelerated Approval, a Priority Review, and a Rolling Review. Accelerated Approval is granted to drugs that demonstrate an effect on a surrogate, or intermediate endpoints, reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. Priority Review shortens the FDA review process for a new drug from ten months to six months and is appropriate for drugs that demonstrate significant improvements in both safety and efficacy of an existing therapy. Rolling Review provides a drug company the opportunity to submit completed sections of its NDA for review by the FDA. Typically, NDA reviews do not commence until the drug company has submitted the entire application to the FDA. Through the Fast Track designation, the FDA attempts to ensure that questions raised during the drug development process are resolved quickly, often leading to earlier approval and increased access for patients.

Current Treatments for Gliomas and Glioblastoma Multiforme

Gliomas are a type of Central Nervous System (“CNS”) tumor that arises from glial cells in the brain or spine. Glial cells are the cells surrounding nerves. Their primary function is to provide support and protection for neurons in the CNS.

Common symptoms of GBM include headaches, seizures, nausea, weakness, paralysis and personality or cognitive changes such as loss of speech or difficulty in thinking clearly. GBM progresses quickly and patients’ conditions deteriorate rapidly progressing to death. The outlook for GBM patients is generally poor. The overall median survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients with best available treatments is less than 15 months, and two-year and five-year survival rates are approximately 30% and 10%, respectively. Median overall survival in newly-diagnosed, unmethylated GBM patients is 12.2 months.

The recommended treatment regimen for GBM includes surgical resection to remove as much of the tumor as possible (“debulking”) followed by radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide with or without tumor treating fields (“TTF”). GBM patients whose tumors exhibit an unmethylated promoter for the gene encoding the DNA repair enzyme MGMT, a biomarker correlated with resistance to temozolomide, may be treated with radiation alone following surgery.

Patients with an unmethylated MGMT promoter have high levels of MGMT, a naturally-occurring DNA repair enzyme that repairs tumor-fighting lesions induced by TMZ thus allowing a patient’s tumor to continue to grow despite treatment, which leads to poor outcomes. Measurement of MGMT methylation status has become routine in clinical practice as biomarker that correlates with response to TMZ and patient outcomes in GBM.

Probability of GBM Patient Survival Correlated to Expression of MGMT Enzyme (Unmethylated promoter = High MGMT Expression and Significantly Shorter Survival)

 

 

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TTF (Optune®) is a non-invasive technique for adults with GBM. TTF uses alternating electrical fields to disrupt tumor cell division, or cause cell death, thereby preventing the tumor from growing or spreading as quickly. A clinical study reported that GBM patients treated with TTF combined with TMZ experienced longer survival than those treated with TMZ alone.

The majority of GBM patients’ tumors recur within 6 – 12 months of initial treatment. Experimental therapy through clinical studies is recommended under NCCN guidelines for eligible patients. NCCN guidelines also recommend treatment with systemic chemotherapy, such as lomustine (“CCNU”). For patients who are eligible for additional surgical debulking, local chemotherapy with carmustine (“BCNU”) wafers may be employed. CCNU and BCNU target the same DNA-site as TMZ and are also subject to MGMT-related resistance.

Avastin (Avastin®, an anti-VEGF antibody) recently received full approval in the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan as a single agent for patients with recurrent GBM following prior therapy. Avastin carries an FDA “black-box warning” related to severe, sometimes fatal, side effects such as gastrointestinal perforations, wound healing complications and hemorrhage. There are no data demonstrating an improvement in disease-related symptoms or increased survival for GBM patients treated with Avastin.

Recurrent GBM patients, especially those whose tumors progress following treatment with Avastin, have limited or no treatment options and a very poor prognosis. According to published literature, the median survival for GBM patients whose tumors progress following Avastin is less than five months.

VAL-083 Mechanism of Action

Chemotherapy forms the basis of treatment in nearly all cancers. We believe that VAL-083 may be effective in treating tumors exhibiting biological features that cause resistance to currently available chemotherapy, particularly for patients who have failed, or become resistant to, other treatment regimens.

Based on published research and our own data, the cytotoxic functional groups, and the mechanism of action of VAL-083 are functionally different from alkylating agents commonly used in the treatment of cancer. VAL-083 has previously demonstrated activity in cell-lines that are resistant to other types of chemotherapy. No evidence of cross-resistance has been reported in published clinical studies.

Our research suggests that VAL-083 attacks cancer cells via a unique mechanism of action which is distinct from other chemotherapies used in the treatment of cancer. Our data indicate that VAL-083 forms inter-strand crosslinks at the N7 position of guanine on the DNA of cancer cells. Our data also indicate that this crosslink forms rapidly and is not easily repaired by the cancer cell, resulting in cell-cycle arrest and lethal double-strand DNA breaks in cancer cells. VAL-083 readily crosses the blood brain barrier. Published preclinical and clinical research demonstrate that VAL-083 is absorbed more readily in tumor cells than in normal cells.

In vitro, our data also demonstrate that VAL-083’s distinct mechanism may be able to overcome drug resistance against a range of cancers. For example, VAL-083 is active against MGMT-unmethylated GBM cells which are resistant to treatment with temozolomide and nitrosoureas. VAL-083 also retains a high level of activity in p53 mutated non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”), ovarian cancer and medulloblastoma cell lines that are resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Importantly, clinical activity against each of the tumors mentioned above was established in prior NCI-sponsored Phase 2 clinical studies. We believe that these historical clinical data and our own research support the development of VAL-083 as a potential new treatment for multiple types of cancer.

The main dose-limiting toxicity (“DLT”) related to the administration of VAL-083 in previous NCI-sponsored clinical studies and our own clinical studies is myelosuppression, particularly thrombocytopenia. Myelosuppression, including thrombocytopenia, is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Myelosuppression is the decrease in cells responsible for providing immunity, carrying oxygen, and causing normal blood clotting. Thrombocytopenia is a reduction in platelet counts which assist in blood clotting. Modern medicine allows for better management of myelosuppressive side effects. We believe this offers the potential opportunity to improve upon the drug’s already established efficacy profile by substantially increasing the dose of VAL-083 that can be safely administered to cancer patients.

There is no evidence of lung, liver, or kidney toxicity even with prolonged treatment by VAL-083. Data from the Chinese market where the drug has been approved for more than 15 years supports the safety findings of the NCI studies.

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VAL-083 is Active Independent of MGMT

We have presented data at several peer reviewed meetings demonstrating that VAL-083 is active independent of MGMT resistance in GBM cell lines and other CNS tumor cells. Our research, along with that of others, demonstrates that VAL-083’s unique cytotoxic mechanism forms DNA cross-links at the N 7position of guanine and retains cytotoxic activity independent of MGMT expression in vitro. Our studies demonstrate that VAL-083 has more potent activity against brain tumor cells in comparison to TMZ and overcomes resistance associated with MGMT, suggesting the potential to surpass the current standard-of-care in the treatment of GBM.

 

 

In addition, historical NCI clinical study data and our own research support the activity of VAL-083 as a potentiator of radiotherapy. Radiotherapy in combination with temozolomide is the current standard of care in the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM. Our research demonstrates that temozolomide and radiotherapy are ineffective against GBM cells exhibiting a high expression of MGMT, whereas VAL-083 potentiates the tumor-killing effect of radiation independent of MGMT expression. Furthermore, the combination of VAL-083 and radiation has been demonstrated to be active against GBM cancer stem cells (“CSCs”) in vitro. CSCs are often resistant to chemotherapy and form the basis for tumor recurrence and metastasis. GBM CSCs display strong resistance to TMZ, even where MGMT expression is low. However, our data demonstrates that GBM CSCs are susceptible to VAL-083 independent of MGMT expression.

Other Indications for VAL-083—Potential Future Opportunities

VAL-083 in Ovarian Cancer

With the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approval for our investigational new drug application (“IND”) for ovarian cancer, we have future plans for a phase 1/2, open-label, multicenter study of VAL-083 in patients with Recurrent Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer (“REPROVe”). Platinum-based chemotherapy is the standard-of-care in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Nearly all ovarian cancer patients eventually become resistant to platinum (“Pt”) based chemotherapy leading to treatment failure and poor patient outcomes. We have demonstrated that VAL-083 is active against Pt-resistant ovarian cancer in vitro. However, based on ongoing evaluation and input from our ovarian cancer advisory board, we are reassessing the development of VAL-083 for the treatment of ovarian cancer. We are in the process of evaluating the best path forward in ovarian cancer and are evaluating strategic options, including the potential combination of VAL-083 with PARP inhibitors. As a result, we have inactivated the IND while we explore alternative study designs.

VAL-083 in Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death around the world and effective treatment for lung cancer remains a significant global unmet need despite advances in therapy. Incidence of lung cancer in the United States is approximately 47 per 100,000 with the majority (85%) being NSCLC, the most common type of lung cancer. Globally, the market for lung cancer treatment may exceed $24 billion by 2033 according to a report published by Evaluate Pharma.

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The activity of VAL-083 against solid tumors, including lung cancer, has been established in both preclinical and human clinical studies conducted by the NCI. We have developed nonclinical data to support the utility of VAL-083 in the modern treatment of lung cancer. In an established murine xenograft model of NSCLC, the activity of VAL-083 was compared to standard platinum-based therapy with cisplatin against human NSCLC cell lines A549 (TKI-sensitive) and H1975 (TKI-resistant). In the study, VAL-083 demonstrated superior efficacy and safety in the treatment of TKI-susceptible (A549) tumors and in TKI-resistant (H1975) tumors.

Central Nervous System Metastases of Solid Tumors

The successful management of systemic tumors by modern targeted therapies has led to increased incidence of mortality due to CNS metastases of lung cancer and other solid tumors. In June 2013, we split our Phase 1/2 clinical study protocol into two separate studies: one focusing solely on refractory GBM and the other focusing on secondary brain cancers caused by other tumors that have spread to the brain.

Based on historical clinical activity and our own research, we believe that VAL-083 may be suitable for the treatment of patients with CNS metastases who currently have limited treatment options. Subject to the availability of financial and operating resources, we plan to develop a separate protocol for the continued exploration of VAL-083 in patients with secondary brain cancer caused by a solid tumor spreading to the brain.

Pediatric Brain Tumors

Tumors of the brain and spine make up approximately 20 percent of all childhood cancers and they are the second most common form of childhood cancer after leukemia.

The activity of VAL-083 against childhood and adolescent brain tumors has been established in both preclinical and human clinical studies conducted by the NCI. We have presented data indicating that VAL-083 offers potential therapeutic alternatives for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors including SHH-p53 mutated medulloblastoma. In March 2016, the FDA granted orphan drug designation for the use of VAL-083 in the treatment of medulloblastoma. Subject to the availability of resources, we intend to collaborate with leading academic researchers for the continued exploration of VAL-083 as a potential treatment of childhood brain tumors.

Additional Indications for VAL-083

In historical studies sponsored by the NCI in the United States, VAL-083 exhibited clinical activity against a range of tumor types including central nervous system tumors, solid tumors, and hematologic malignancies. We have gathered nonclinical data supporting the activity of VAL-083 in different types of cancer that are resistant to modern targeted therapies and we believe that the unique cytotoxic mechanism of VAL-083 may provide benefit to patients in a range of indications. We intend to continue to research these opportunities, and if appropriate, expand our clinical development efforts to include additional indications.  

VAL-083 Target Markets

 

VAL-083 target markets

 

Estimated

Global

Sales

Glioblastoma multiforme by 2027

 

>$1.0B1

Ovarian cancer by 2028

 

>$6.0B1

Non-small cell lung cancer by 2027

 

>$22.0B2

 

Sources: 1 - GlobalData; 2 - iHealthcareAnalyst.

DNA-targeting agents such as alkylating agents or platinum-based chemotherapy form the mainstay of chemotherapy treatments used in the treatment of cancers. For example, TMZ had peak annual sales of $1.1 billion in 2010, while bendamustine, had peak annual sales of $0.8 billion in 2014.

We believe VAL-083 is a first-in-class DNA targeting agent with a novel mechanism of action. VAL-083’s anti-cancer activity was established in a range of tumor types in prior NCI-sponsored clinical studies. Based on this novel mechanism, we have demonstrated that the anti-cancer activity is maintained against tumor cells that are resistant to other DNA-targeting agents. We believe this positions VAL-083 as a potential chemotherapy-of-choice for patients whose tumors are resistant to current standard-of-care chemotherapy in orphan and major cancer indications.

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Our ongoing research and development activities are focused on indications where VAL-083 demonstrated promising activity in prior NCI-sponsored studies and where our research suggests an opportunity to address significant unmet medical needs due to the failure of existing treatments.

Glioblastoma Multiforme

Newly diagnosed patients suffering from GBM are initially treated through invasive brain surgery, although disease progression following surgical resection is nearly 100%. Temozolomide (Temodar®) in combination with radiation is the front-line therapy for GBM following surgery. Global revenues of branded Temodar reached $1.1 billion in 2010. Approximately 60% of GBM patients treated with Temodar® experience tumor progression within one year. Median overall survival in newly-diagnosed, unmethylated GBM patients is 12.2 months.

Bevacizumab (Avastin®) has been approved for the treatment of GBM in patients failing Temodar®. In clinical studies, approximately 20% of patients failing Temodar® respond to Avastin® therapy and no improvement in median survival was reported.

The market for refractory (Avastin-failed) GBM is limited to those jurisdictions where Avastin is approved for the treatment of GBM. The United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Switzerland represent the major markets where Avastin is used in the treatment of GBM.

Based on a November 2018 report from GlobalData, we believe there is a projected market opportunity for GBM of approximately $800 million, estimated to reach approximately $1.8 billion by 2027.

REM-001

Background

Through REM-001, we are developing our photodynamic therapy (“PDT”) for the treatment of rare, unmet medical needs. PDT is a treatment that uses light sensitive compounds, or photosensitizers, that, when exposed to specific wavelengths of light, act as catalysts to produce a form of oxygen that induces local tumor cell death. REM-001 consists of three parts, the laser light source, the light delivery device, and the REM-001 drug product (collectively, the “REM-001 Therapy”). REM-001 consists of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (“API”) in a lipid formulation. The REM-001 API is SnET2 (“tin ethyl etiopurpurin”) which is a second-generation PDT photosensitizer agent. We believe REM-001 possesses multiple advantages over earlier generation PDT compounds.

Our lead indication for REM-001 is CMBC which is a disease that may strike individuals with advanced breast cancer and for which effective treatment options are limited. In four Phase 2 and/or Phase 3 clinical studies in CMBC patients, primarily targeting patients who had previously received chemotherapy and failed radiation therapy, REM-001 Therapy was able to reduce or eliminate a substantial number of the treated CMBC tumors. Specifically, our analysis of the data collected from these studies indicates that in approximately 80% of evaluable tumor sites treated with REM-001 Therapy, there was a complete response; meaning that follow-up clinical assessments indicated no visible evidence of the tumor remaining. We believe clinical data indicates that REM-001 Therapy holds promise as a treatment to locally eliminate, or slow the growth of, treated cutaneous cancerous tumors in this difficult-to-treat patient population.

 

In 2012, Adgero acquired certain assets and regulatory filings, including REM-001 Therapy developed by Miravant Medical Technologies, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries (collectively, “Miravant”), and the associated technology, clinical data and intellectual property, from a creditor of Miravant. The primary motivation behind the acquisition of the technology was to secure the rights to the REM-001 Therapy and its associated technology, proprietary processes and regulatory filings which have already undergone substantial clinical development which we believe will help expedite the process of gaining regulatory approval to market our REM-001 Therapy.

Miravant initiated commercial development of REM-001 and its associated device components in the 1990s. This led to late-stage clinical studies in CMBC and also in an aspect of “wet” age-related macular degeneration (“AMD”). Of these two indications, AMD represented a much larger market, and in 1998, for what we believe were primarily business reasons, Miravant discontinued its CMBC program and, together with, or through its corporate partners, ultimately focused its REM-001 development efforts on AMD. In 2004, Miravant submitted an NDA to the FDA for the use of REM-001 to treat an aspect of AMD. The FDA reviewed this submission and granted Miravant an approvable letter for REM-001 in the treatment of AMD, with final approval contingent on, among other things, the successful completion of a Phase 3 study. Miravant ceased operations in 2006 prior to completing this study.

While Miravant did not pursue the CMBC indication through to approval, it did compile substantial clinical data in the four Miravant CMBC Studies. The first two of these studies were Phase 2/3 studies that treated 68 CMBC patients who, for the most part, previously failed radiation therapy, and were then treated with REM-001 Therapy. Miravant compiled both safety and efficacy data

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for these two studies. At the time Miravant discontinued its CMBC program, REM-001 Therapy was also being tested in two additional Phase 2 or 3 clinical studies that treated a total of 81 CMBC patients. Our review of internal Miravant records indicates that data was collected in all four studies generally in accordance with Good Clinical Practice and the data was analyzed for safety, and reports were filed with the FDA. Our review also indicates that Miravant never conducted an efficacy analysis of the 81 patients in the last two studies which were not yet complete when Miravant discontinued its CMBC program.

Based on our analysis of both the 81 CMBC patients, and data collected from the initial 68 patients, we believe REM-001 Therapy provided promising safety and efficacy in CMBC patients and that, taken together, these results provide strong support for REM-001 Therapy as a potential therapy for this disease. Furthermore, we believe the approvable letter previously granted to Miravant with respect to its NDA for REM-001 in an aspect of AMD may indicate that many of the elements required for approval have already been completed for REM-001.

Numerous approaches have been utilized to treat CMBC patients, including various forms of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical excision, hyperthermia, cryotherapy, electro-chemotherapy, topical drugs, and intra-lesional chemotherapy injections. However, for the most part, we believe that these therapies are often inadequate given the limited efficacy, toxicities and/or side effects of each. We believe our REM-001 Therapy has several advantages for this indication: it can be highly directed to the tumor site, has minimal systemic effects or normal tissue toxicities, can be used in conjunction with other therapies, and can be periodically repeated.

As a result of our review, we submitted questions to the FDA under a Type C format to review the technology and results and determine the anticipated requirements for regulatory approval. On March 3, 2017, we received FDA’s written response to these questions. Based on that response, we believe our plans to manufacture REM-001 by revising the prior quality standards to meet the currently recommended regulatory standards will be acceptable. The FDA also indicated our plans for utilizing light delivery devices that have been shown to be functionally equivalent to the devices used by Miravant will be acceptable.

In October 2017, we held a Type B face-to-face guidance meeting with the FDA that was primarily focused on the design of a Phase 3 study in CMBC. Then, in May 2018, we held a Type B end-of-phase 2 meeting with the FDA that focused on our plans for addressing CMC and device topics related to our CMBC effort. In these interactions, the FDA provided guidance on a number of clinical parameters it would like us to measure in the planned clinical study, and on the associated CMC and device plans. Based on the FDA’s responses, we plan to conduct an initial open-label 15 patient study in CMBC to confirm the planned dose and optimized study design followed by a Phase 3 clinical study to test the safety and efficacy of REM-001 Therapy for marketing approval. In June 2018, we submitted to the FDA a Phase 3 protocol and statistical analysis plan incorporating feedback received from FDA at the October 2017 meeting. We have also undertaken extensive discussions with clinical research organizations to carry out this study and have received detailed proposals from five of these organizations. Since our May 2018 meeting, we have engaged a contract manufacturer who has manufactured the starting material for our API and manufactured two API lots under GMP. We are currently planning to undertake GMP manufacturing of finished drug product for use in the initial planned clinical study. Drug substance and drug product manufacturing, and associated analytical methods, are currently being optimized for Phase 3.

We also believe REM-001 Therapy holds promise as a treatment for cutaneous metastatic cancers other than CMBC, as well as locally-advanced basal cell cancer such as often occurs in patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome (“BCCNS”) and cutaneously recurrent basal cell cancer. On January 16, 2018, the FDA granted our request that tin ethyl etiopurpurin (the active pharmaceutical ingredient in REM-001) be designated as an orphan drug for treatment of BCCNS. Following this designation, we contacted clinical experts in BCCNS and related indications to seek their guidance on the most appropriate clinical pathway for REM-001 Therapy in these indications.

We believe REM-001 Therapy also holds promise for certain cardiovascular conditions, including de novo treatment of cardiovascular access sites in hemodialysis patients to ameliorate current high failure rates. We also hold an orphan drug designation that was initially awarded to Miravant for tin ethyl etiopurpurin for the prevention of access graft failure in hemodialysis patients. We have been working to further develop this indication, including engaging with a key opinion leader in this area and submitting an NIH grant proposal for late stage preclinical research that we believe could lead directly to an IND and clinical study.  On July 17, 2020 we received notification that that grant had been awarded.

REM-001 Regulatory Filings

The IND filing for REM-001 Therapy was IND 39,940 which was filed in June 1992 with the FDA’s Division of Oncology and Pulmonary Drug Products. This IND is now under the purview of the FDA’s Division of Oncology Products. All CMBC studies were conducted under this IND. Miravant kept this IND in place but in 2005 they placed it on inactive status since they had focused their REM-001 development efforts on ophthalmology. In 2012, following St Cloud’s foreclosure action on Miravant and our subsequent purchase of the Miravant assets, St. Cloud transferred ownership of this IND to us. This transfer was formally recognized by the FDA with a Change of Sponsor letter dated December 14, 2012. Our interactions with the FDA for CMBC are under the auspices of this

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IND. It is our expectation, based on input from regulatory consultants, that clinical development in CMBC, non-CMBC cutaneous metastatic cancer and BCCNS basal cell nevus syndrome would be conducted under this IND. Recent FDA approvals in locally advanced basal cell cancers, which included patients with BCCNS, have been under the purview of the FDA’s Division of Oncology Products.

As part of our purchase agreement with St. Cloud, sponsorship of two other INDs was transferred to us. On February 25, 2013, the FDA’s Division of Dermatology and Dental Products notified us with a Change of Sponsor letter that it recognized us as the sponsor of IND 50,116. On May 8, 2013 the FDA’s Division of Transplant and Ophthalmology Products notified us with a Change of Sponsor letter that it recognized Adgero as the sponsor of IND 49,648. At this time, we do not anticipate any of our planned, or contemplated, clinical development activities would be under either of these INDs.

REM-001 Therapy

Our REM-001 Therapy product consists of three parts, the DD series laser light source (or equivalent), the ML2-0400 light delivery device (or equivalent) and the drug REM-001. Pursuant to the Miravant oncology IND, the FDA previously approved all three components to be used together in certain Miravant CMBC Studies. In use, the drug REM-001 is first administered by intravenous infusion and allowed to distribute within the body and be taken up by the tumors. Tumors are then illuminated with light using the light delivery device, which is attached to the laser light source, so that the accumulated drug REM-001 can be activated for the desired clinical effect. Our analysis of clinical data collected in the Miravant CMBC Studies shows that REM-001 Therapy provides a stronger reaction in tumor tissues than in healthy tissues, which was a goal with REM-001’s formulation.

Our plan is to use new lasers that are functionally equivalent to the Miravant DD2, the laser used in certain prior Miravant clinical studies, for CMBC. The Miravant DD2 lasers are capable of delivering two watts of optical power centered at a wavelength of 664 nanometers. Based on our interactions with the FDA, we believe that use of such new functionally equivalent lasers will be acceptable to the FDA.

The light delivery devices we plan to use in our CMBC program are the same basic design developed and as used previously by Miravant in its clinical studies. In the case of cutaneous treatment, such as with CMBC, the light delivery device consists of an optical fiber which has a modified end to allow it to deliver a uniform light treatment field to the tumor. Our plan is to have clinical light delivery devices built by a contract medical device manufacturer using the basic Miravant design and tested to the same performance specifications as used previously.

The REM-001 Drug

REM-001 is a light activated photosensitizer drug used in PDT. During light activation, photosensitizer drugs act as a catalyst and absorb light energy which they transfer to surrounding oxygen-containing molecules to create reactive oxygen species (“ROS”). ROS can initiate various biological mechanisms of action:

 

Apoptosis—Certain photosensitizer drugs associate with the cells’ mitochondria. When light activated, these drugs generate ROS that alter mitochondria membrane permeability to allow the release of activators that initiate a programmed cell death process known as apoptosis. Apoptosis is a desirable means of inducing tumor cell death as it is the body’s natural mode for eliminating damaged cells.

 

Necrosis—At higher doses these photosensitizer-generated ROS can overwhelm a cell and induce cellular necrosis.

 

Anti-angiogenesis—As they grow, tumors develop their own micro-vasculature network. ROS can be used to create permeability in these micro-vessels which reduces their effectiveness and cuts off the tumor’s blood supply.

 

Immune Response—PDT is known to induce an immune response including activation of CD8+ T cells to attack tumor cells. Such T cells provide one of the key mechanisms making up the body’s immune response system, which response may enhance anti-tumor immunity. Therapeutic drugs that produce such an immune response are known as immunotherapies. Optically activated drugs that induce such a response are known as photoimmunetherapies.  We believe that immunotherapies are promising areas of cancer treatment and are being developed as either monotherapies or in combination with other treatments.

REM-001 is a second-generation photosensitizer drug designed with the following attributes to overcome several of the shortcomings of earlier, first generation photosensitizer drugs:

 

It is activated with longer wavelength, deeper penetrating light;

 

It has a stronger light absorption coefficient;

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It is a synthetic single molecule; and

 

It causes transient photosensitivity of shorter duration.

REM-001 Safety and Toxicology

PDT carries what we believe is an inherent safety advantage since it uses photosensitizer compounds that are largely inactive except when they are being illuminated by intense light at specific wavelengths. Nevertheless, drug molecules, including photosensitizer molecules, can carry safety or toxicology risks on their own. REM-001 has previously undergone preclinical and clinical studies throughout its development cycle and has undergone certain tests typically required for FDA drug approval. REM-001 has been safely administered to over 1,100 patients in prior clinical studies. Most significantly, REM-001 has been previously reviewed by the FDA as part of the NDA submitted by Miravant for the use of REM-001 to treat an aspect of AMD, a non-CMBC indication. Following that review, the FDA granted an approvable letter for REM-001 in an aspect of AMD in 2004, with final approval contingent on, among other things, the successful completion of a Phase 3 study. While not definitive, we believe this letter, along with feedback we received from FDA meetings, indicates that it is unlikely that there will be significant safety or toxicology issues associated with REM-001 that would ultimately prevent marketing approval.

Based on our review of the clinical data of the Miravant CMBC Studies, we believe pain was the most common treatment-related adverse event experienced by patients in these studies. The second most common safety issue experienced with REM-001 was a transient photosensitivity, meaning extended exposure in bright light and direct sunlight should be avoided.  Transient photosensitivity occurs with all photosensitizers to some degree. We believe this issue can be addressed by minimizing one’s exposure to bright light and sunlight for two to four weeks after treatment. In general, the potentially treatment-related adverse events observed in these CMBC studies were expected in nature (pain, edema, skin photosensitivity) and severity, and mostly resolved during the course of the studies.

REM-001 Therapy Target Markets

Our development plan for REM-001 Therapy is focused on the treatment of rare unmet needs in cancer, particularly those where the tumor can be accessed with a light delivery fiber device.

CMBC

While most internal cancers can metastasize to the skin, the internal cancer where this most commonly occurs is breast cancer. Radiotherapy is often used as an adjunctive therapy in breast cancer, in part to help prevent the development of local recurrences including CMBC. However, breast cancer survivors may still develop CMBC lesions, even over a decade after their original cancer treatment. In fact, physicians often watch for cutaneous (skin surface) metastases as a sign of breast cancer recurrence. A 2003 meta-analysis of approximately 20,000 cancer patients found that 24% of metastatic breast cancer patients included in the analysis had developed cutaneous metastases, which was the highest rate of skin metastases of any cancer type. Given that approximately 155,000 women suffer from metastatic breast cancer, we believe the prevalence of CMBC may approach 40,000 in the United States. In many cases of CMBC, surgical excision is not possible, so various standard cancer therapies, particularly radiotherapy or chemotherapy, are the first course of treatment. We believe these therapies are inadequate given the well-known dose limiting toxicities, limited efficacy, and/or side effects of each. We are not aware of any prospective clinical studies that have led to FDA approval of a therapy specifically for the treatment of CMBC and we do not expect any to be approved in the near future.

According to an April 2018 market assessment from Charles River Associates, there is an estimated market opportunity of approximately $500 million for the treatment of CMBC.

Cutaneous Metastatic Cancers

A meta-analysis has shown that approximately five percent of people with internal (non-melanoma, non-lymphatic, non-leukemic) cancers develop cutaneous metastatic tumors in their skin. Based on an estimated incidence of 1,500,000 such internal cancers in the United States, this means that the incidence of such cutaneous metastases is approximately 75,000 with a substantially higher prevalence given the fact that individuals often live with metastatic cancer for years. Regardless of the primary source of the cancer, these cutaneous metastatic tumors often begin as small skin nodules but, as the cancer spreads, more nodules form and can eventually cover large areas of skin. With progression, the tumor field generally becomes more painful as tumors may grow larger and more numerous, ulcerate, bleed and carry a strong odor. Part of our goal is to treat these cutaneous tumors as early as possible to either cause them to be locally eliminated or to slow their growth sufficiently to reduce their late-stage development.

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Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome (“BCCNS”)

In addition to the clinical studies that Miravant conducted with REM-001 Therapy in CMBC, it also generated clinical data for patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome (“BCCNS”) who developed extensive basal cell carcinoma. BCCNS is a rare but serious condition that is often characterized by the formation of multiple and recurring cutaneous basal cell carcinoma lesions. According to Cancer.net, as of April 2020, approximately 1 in 40,000 individuals in the U.S. have an underlying genetic condition that causes BCCNS and approximately 90% of these have BCCNS and it has been recognized as an orphan indication by FDA. In a Miravant Phase 1/2 clinical study (CA001B), 14 patients with BCCNS were enrolled and treated with REM-001 Therapy using the same dosing conditions as were used in the CMBC studies. A total of 157 lesions were treated in these patients and showed a 91% overall response rate. This was composed of a 68% complete response rate (no remaining visible evidence of a lesion) and a 23% partial response rate (lesion was reduced in size by more than 50%). In addition, 7% of lesions had stable disease (any increase in lesion size was less than 25%). The various response rates are shown in the graph below and are similar to the results seen in CMBC patients as we would expect. Based on these results we requested, and were granted, an orphan drug designation for tin ethyl etiopurpurin, the API in REM-001.

Until the FDA approval of the drugs Odomzo and Erivedge approximately six and nine years ago, respectively, treatment options for these BCCNS patients were very limited. However, we believe that, based on their package inserts, Odomzo and Erivedge have dose limiting toxicity profiles which are broader in scope than the primarily transient adverse effects observed to-date with REM-001 Therapy. We believe that the potential toxicity limitations related to the existing therapies for BCCNS, plus the positive initial Phase 1/2 data generated in clinical studies with REM-001 Therapy, suggest that REM-001 Therapy could be a viable alternative in treating recurrent basal cell carcinoma in BCCNS patients.

 

 

Current and Experimental Treatments for CMBC

As with many cancers, the current standard treatment for CMBC is surgical excision. However, this is often not feasible due to the extent of the tumor field or the condition of the skin, particularly in patients who have had radiation therapy. A number of other therapies have been used on patients with CMBC, including various forms of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hyperthermia, cryotherapy, electro-chemotherapy, topical drugs and intra-lesional chemotherapy injections. Researchers have also attempted to combine therapies in an effort to improve efficacy. However, we believe that these therapies are often inadequate given the limited efficacy, toxicities and/or side effects of each. The side effects associated with therapies may be particularly difficult for patients who may have already experienced extensive surgery along with a full course of radiation and/or systemic chemotherapy. Also, the fact that CMBC tumors continue to develop following these therapies is a signal that the tumor cells may have developed a resistance to some of these approaches. Based on our discussions with clinicians and literature reviews, and the March 3, 2017 response from FDA, we believe that treatment of unresectable CMBC tumors is a largely unmet medical need, particularly in patients who have already received extensive radiation and chemotherapy.

Clinical Results in CMBC

While Adgero has not conducted any clinical studies, we have undertaken an analysis of the Phase 1 and four Phase 2 and/or Phase 3 CMBC clinical studies done previously with REM-001 Therapy by Miravant (the “Miravant CMBC Studies”) and have concluded that, in these studies, REM-001 Therapy provided higher tumor response rates than are generally seen with alternative CMBC treatments but this program was discontinued in 1998. Our review of Miravant’s records further indicates that, following this decision, Miravant continued to monitor patients in the CMBC studies and collected data as required by protocol, but they conducted

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no further treatment of CMBC patients with REM-001 Therapy. We believe that Miravant primarily chose to discontinue this program in order to focus its REM-001 development efforts on an aspect of “wet” AMD.

 

Phase 1 Clinical Study

A Phase 1 dose escalation clinical study was initially conducted by Miravant to establish the REM-001 dosimetry to be used in subsequent safety and efficacy studies. The study was initiated in 1993 and enrolled 22 patients with a variety of types of cutaneous cancer lesions. Of these, 213 cutaneous cancer lesions were treated using escalating REM-001 drug and light doses. This study used earlier generation light delivery devices than those used in later studies but these devices provided equivalent light output to those units used in later studies. In these studies, REM-001 drug doses ranged from 0.1 mg/kg to 1.2 mg/kg, light doses ranged from 100 to 200 J/cm2 and treatment time-points ranged from 24 to 72 hours. This study indicated that a drug dose of 0.8 mg/kg or higher and a light dose of 200 J/cm2 administered at 24 hours provided a high overall response rate when delivered in a variety of cutaneous cancer lesions. The dose of 1.2mg/kg was then tested further in a second Phase 1 study, where it was administered to 27 cutaneous tumor lesions and provided a 66% complete response rate and a 90% overall response rate. Based on these results, this dosimetry was used in subsequent CMBC studies, including the Miravant CMBC Studies described below.

Phase 2/3 Studies

Miravant conducted four Phase 2/3 studies with REM-001 Therapy for the treatment of CMBC as summarized below. These studies all used the same dosimetry as described above and most of the patients had been previously treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The light delivery devices used in these studies were the ML1-0400 or the functionally equivalent ML2-0400. The laser light source used in three of the studies was the Miravant DD2 laser and one study used the KTP model laser manufactured by LaserScope. Each study was conducted under Miravant’s cancer IND using Good Clinical Practices with safety and efficacy data collected accordingly. In connection with our acquisition of the Miravant assets, ownership of that IND has been transferred to us.

The table below summarizes the Miravant CMBC Studies. Studies CA008, CA009 and CA019 required that the patients enrolled had received prior radiation therapy. Study CA013 did not have this specific inclusion requirement but our review of the data indicates that at least 50 of the 56 patients in CA013 had received prior radiation therapy. A second difference across the studies is that studies CA008, CA009 and CA019 had a 24-week follow-up period while study CA013 had a 52-week follow-up period. Also, in studies CA008 and CA009 two tumor lesions on each patient were randomly selected as controls and did not receive light activation. CA013 was conducted in Europe by a corporate partner of Miravant. Beyond these differences and those device differences noted above, we believe there were no other substantive differences between the studies and that all studies enrolled similar patients.

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Table of Phase 2 and/or 3 Miravant CMBC Studies

(Note: SnET2 is now called REM-001.)

 

Study Title

 

Phase

 

 

Location

 

Total

Patients

 

 

Total

Patients

Previously

Treated with

Radiotherapy

 

 

Included

Randomly

Selected

Control

Tumors

CA008: Open-Label Randomized No Treatment

   Concurrent Controlled Study of Single Dose

   Tin Ethyl Etiopurpurin (SnET2) Photodynamic

   Therapy (PDT) in Patients with Advanced Breast

   Cancer Who Have Failed Radiation Therapy for the

   Management of Cutaneous Metastatic Breast

   Carcinoma (24 Week Follow Up)

 

2/3

 

 

U.S.

 

 

32

 

 

 

32

 

 

Yes

CA009: Open-Label Randomized No Treatment

   Concurrent Controlled Study of Single Dose

   Tin Ethyl Etiopurpurin (SnET2) Photodynamic

   Therapy (PDT) in Patients with Advanced Breast

   Cancer Who Have Failed Radiation Therapy for the

   Management of Cutaneous Metastatic Breast

   Carcinoma (24 Week Follow Up)

 

2/3

 

 

U.S.

 

 

36

 

 

 

36

 

 

Yes

CA013: Multinational, Open-Label Study of Single Dose

   Tin Ethyl Etiopurpurin (SnET2) Photodynamic Therapy

   (PDT) in Patients with Advanced Breast Cancer for the

   Management of Cutaneous Metastases of Breast

   Carcinoma (52 Week Follow Up)

 

 

2

 

 

Europe

 

 

56

 

 

 

50

 

 

No

CA019: Open-Label Study of Single Dose Tin Ethyl

   Etiopurpurin (SnET2) Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) in

   Patients with Advanced Breast Cancer Who Have Failed

   Radiation Therapy for the Management of Cutaneous

   Metastatic Breast Carcinoma (24 Week Follow Up)

 

 

3

 

 

U.S.

 

 

25

 

 

 

25

 

 

No

 

The primary endpoints for studies CA008 and CA009 were objective tumor response rate, quality-of-life change, device performance and patient safety. Our review of the tumor response rate and quality-of-life endpoints indicated they were defined as follows:

 

Tumor Response: Measured as paired response difference, as calculated by the percentage of a patient’s evaluable lesions that respond minus the percentage of the patient’s control lesions that respond with this difference averaged over all treated patients.

 

Quality of Life Change: Measured using the Dermatologic Life Quality Index (DLQI, A.Y. Finlay and O.K. Khan, “Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI—a simple practical measure for routine clinical use”. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology 1994; 19: 210-2 16) with change measured from baseline measurements.

The following table shows the results of these two endpoints for studies CA008 and CA009 as calculated by Miravant. In some cases, patients dropped out of the study before lesion responses could be assessed or they did not complete their quality of life questionnaires. The Eligible Patients column in this and the following tables refers to the number of patients in each case for which sufficient data is available to calculate the relevant endpoint.

 

 

 

Tumor Response as Measured by

Paired Response Endpoint

 

24 Week Quality of Life Change

 

Study

 

Eligible

Patients (N)

 

 

Mean ± SD

(%)

 

P value

 

Eligible

Patients (N)

 

 

Mean ± SD

 

P value

 

CA008

 

 

18

 

 

33% ± 37%

 

< 0.001

 

 

7

 

 

0.4 ± 4.8

 

 

0.813

 

CA009

 

 

19

 

 

39% ± 47%

 

< 0.001

 

 

10

 

 

-0.3 ± 4.1

 

 

0.554

 

 

18


 

 

The FDA typically requires a p value of 0.05 or less for approval. Based on the above results, it appears that the Paired Response endpoint achieved statistical significance in both the CA008 and CA009 studies. However, it is our understanding that FDA questions the strength of this data, in part due to the small number of patients involved as well as the fact that each patient had only two control lesions.

Following discussions with the FDA, an endpoint called Clinical Success was added as an additional measure of tumor response. This was defined as follows:

 

Clinical Success: Clinical success is determined by a two-step process. First, for each patient, clinical success occurs when the fraction of evaluable lesions that respond minus the fraction of evaluable lesions that progress is greater than 0.5. Second, for the entire study, an average rate of clinical success is determined, simply by taking the ratio of individual patients who are clinical successes to the total number of eligible patients. Note this endpoint does not involve the control lesions or any other control, so a p-value is not appropriate since p-values refer to the difference between a treated and a control group. In such uncontrolled settings, the statistical measure commonly used by regulatory agencies instead of a p-value is the confidence interval, which is provided in the charts below.

The clinical success rates for studies CA008 and CA009 as calculated by Miravant are provided in the following table:

 

 

 

Tumor Response as Measured by Clinical Success

Study

 

Eligible

Patients (N)

 

 

Average

Rate of

Clinical

Success (%)

 

 

95% Confidence

Interval

CA008

 

 

20

 

 

 

60

%

 

39% - 81%

CA009

 

 

20

 

 

 

50

%

 

28% - 72%

 

No significant device failures were observed in either study. Secondary endpoints in CA008 and CA009 were patient disease burden, duration of response and patient pain assessment. Miravant’s analysis indicated, for patients for which data was available, there was a treatment benefit in disease burden (p = 0.0017 for CA008, p = 0.0020 for CA009) and duration of response (p < 0.001 for CA008, not significant in CA009) when comparing treated and control lesions. In terms of pain, there was no significant change in pain in CA008 and a treatment related increase in pain at 4 Weeks post-treatment in CA009. Treatment related pain, particularly during the first month after treatment, was the most commonly reported adverse event and was often treated with analgesics.

Studies CA013 and CA019 used similar endpoints with one notable exception. Tumor Response as Measured by Paired Response was not possible in these studies since this measurement relies on control lesions and CA013 and CA019 did not include controls. Miravant did not conduct an efficacy analysis of these two studies but we have conducted an analysis of the Quality of Life and Clinical Success endpoints used in the pivotal CA008 and CA009 studies. Results from that analysis are shown in the following table:

 

 

 

Clinical Success

 

24 Week Quality of Life Change

 

Study

 

Eligible

Patients (N)

 

 

Average

Rate of

Clinical

Success (%)

 

 

95%

Confidence

Interval

 

Eligible

Patients (N)

 

 

Mean ± SD

 

P value

 

CA013

 

 

32

 

 

 

88

%

 

71% - 97%

 

 

16

 

 

1.3 ± 3.6

 

 

1.00

 

CA019

 

 

18

 

 

 

83

%

 

45% - 86%

 

 

11

 

 

2.5 ± 4.7

 

 

1.00

 

 

The most common adverse events seen in these four studies (CA008, CA009, CA013, CA019) were pain and photosensitivity, both of which are expected with this therapy. In the four studies there were a total of 17 serious adverse events (SAE’s) that were judged by investigators to be possibly, probably or definitely related to treatment. None of these were classified by the investigator as life threatening and none resulted in death. Of these 17 SAE’s, eight were related to necrosis of the treated lesions, three were related to treatment field infection, four were treatment related pain, one was a photosensitivity skin reaction and one was an allergic reaction.

We believe that the data from these studies show that REM-001 Treatment is a promising therapy for CMBC. However, because there are no approved therapies for CMBC, we have no basis for comparing these results to existing therapies. Based on the FDA’s March 3, 2017 response, we believe the FDA will view these results as supportive data and our plan is to conduct a new pivotal Phase 3 study to support a new drug application.

19


 

The figure below shows the results of this initial preliminary analysis of Miravant clinical data and depicts the percentage of evaluable lesions in each Miravant CMBC Study for which there was a complete response; i.e. where all visible clinical evidence of the tumor is gone after treatment with REM-001 Therapy.

 

 

Clinical Development Plans

CMBC

Our plan is to conduct an initial open-label, 15 patient study in CMBC to confirm planned dose and optimized study design followed by a Phase 3 clinical study in CMBC.  In June 2018, we submitted to the FDA a Phase 3 protocol and statistical analysis plan incorporating feedback received from the FDA at our October 2017 meeting.

At this time, we estimate the necessary pivotal study design will be a Phase 3 multi-center study that would enroll approximately 100-150 CMBC patients who have received prior radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This study design incorporates input from the FDA with the goal of gaining expedited development and review through one or more of the FDA’s expedited programs. Following our meeting with the FDA, we undertook further analysis of the original Miravant study data and concluded that the data may support use of a lower dose than Miravant used in its original study design. Use of such a lower dose may have potential benefits including faster post-treatment healing and response assessment and lower drug exposure. Based on this analysis and discussions with regulatory and clinical consultants, including prior FDA employees or consultants, and clinical research organizations, we plan to add a preliminary confirmatory element to our Phase 3 study, or, if it provides a faster pathway, we may formally structure this as a standalone Phase 2 study. This confirmatory element anticipates treating up to 15 patients at a lower dose than used by Miravant. Patients treated in this confirmatory phase will not be included in the pivotal study efficacy population but their results should provide an indication that a lower dose may be as effective as the original Miravant dose and they may be used to provide a further preliminary confirmation of the potential of REM-001 Therapy in CMBC and if the results are sufficiently compelling, we may use them as guidance for the use of a slightly lowered dose in the pivotal study. This confirmatory phase was included in the protocol submitted to FDA in June 2018 and we have not received comment on this from FDA although based on guidance from our regulatory consultants we believe the FDA will be supportive of this design.

If approved, the FDA grants five years of data exclusivity for a new chemical entity (“NCE”). A drug is an NCE if the FDA has not previously approved any other new drug containing the same active ingredient. We believe that REM-001 would qualify for this form of exclusivity.

Manufacturing

VAL-083

VAL-083 is a small-molecule chemotherapeutic. Chemical synthesis of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (“API”) was initially established by the NCI. We have made improvements to this process and have obtained patents on these improvements. The current manufacturing process involves fewer than five synthetic steps.

VAL-083 drug product is a lyophilized (freeze-dried) formulation that is reconstituted for intravenous injection. We anticipate that overall cost of goods for an eventual commercial product will be similar to other injectable, small-molecule pharmaceuticals.

20


 

For our clinical study being conducted in China, the supply of VAL-083 has been provided through our collaboration with Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company. Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company as a manufacturer has established a commercial-scale manufacturing process based on the North American process originally developed for the NCI that has been licensed by the CFDA for commercial supply of VAL-083 in China. However, to-date, they have not achieved the quality of systems necessary to meet FDA manufacturing standards.

To address the need to meet FDA standards, we have engaged third-party contract manufacturers with the capabilities to establish the processes, procedures and quality systems necessary to meet U.S., Canadian, E.U. and other international manufacturing requirements in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (“cGMP”) regulations. We have now received drug supply manufactured under full cGMP conditions. We intend to use this drug supply for all future clinical studies.

We have developed and patented certain intellectual property related to quality controls that are used in the release of VAL-083 for our clinical studies in the United States. This intellectual property is also required for product release under CFDA guidelines and we have granted access to our intellectual property for this purpose.

REM-001

The manufacturing process for the API in REM-001 was developed over a ten-year period and we believe is now well established and suitable for commercial scale production. This process was also included as part of Miravant’s prior NDA for the use of REM-001 to treat an aspect of AMD, which underwent an FDA review where an approvable letter was granted. The final REM-001 drug product is a lipid-based formulation and was previously produced at a commercial scale by a contract manufacturer for use in Miravant’s past clinical studies and commercialization activities. We do not own or operate manufacturing facilities for the production of REM-001, nor the laser light source, or light delivery device for use with REM-001 Therapy. We will depend on third-party suppliers and manufacturing organizations for both commercial and clinical study supplies of all of our raw materials, the REM-001 drug substance, drug product and the REM-001 Therapy, laser light source, and light delivery device. We have engaged a contract manufacturer who has manufactured the starting material for our API and then manufactured two API lots under GMP and has stability testing underway. We are currently working to undertake a GMP manufacturing of the finished drug product for use in our planned clinical study. With the feedback from the FDA that we could utilize the existing supply of laser systems or devices that were functionally equivalent, an in-depth assessment was made to determine which pathway would be appropriate. It has been determined that the existing lasers that were utilized in the previous clinical studies will not be used in the current clinical studies. We have engaged a third-party contract medical product manufacturer to build new lasers and light-delivery devices, train the clinical staff in the use of the units, provide regulatory support for the devices, and maintain the devices while being used in the study. We believe there are readily available supplies of all raw materials needed for the manufacture of REM-001 and the related required light device components.

Research and Development Collaborations

Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company

Pursuant to a memorandum of understanding and collaboration agreement, dated October 25, 2012, we have established a strategic collaboration with Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company, a subsidiary of publicly traded Guangxi Wuzhou Zhongheng Group Co., Ltd. (SHG: 600252) (the “Guangxi Agreement”). VAL-083 is approved for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (“CML”) and lung cancer in China and Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company is the only manufacturer licensed by the CFDA to produce the product for the China market. Through the Guangxi Agreement, we have been provided drug product for our ongoing Phase 2 study in China as well as for certain clinical studies in the United States. In addition, we have secured certain commercial rights in China.

Pursuant to the Guangxi Agreement, we have granted to Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company a royalty-free license to certain of our intellectual property for use in China as it relates to quality control and drug production methods for VAL-083. In addition, subject to successful agreement on definitive commercial terms, we have agreed that Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company will be our exclusive supplier of VAL-083 for clinical studies and commercial sales, subject to Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company obtaining and maintaining cGMP certification by the FDA, EMA or other applicable regulatory agencies, and Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company being able to meet volumes ordered by us. To-date, Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company has not achieved cGMP certification with respect to the manufacturing of VAL-083.

This Guangxi Agreement also provides us with certain exclusive commercial rights related to drug supply. Specifically, the Guangxi Agreement establishes an exclusive supply relationship between us and Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company for the Chinese market and all markets outside China. Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company agreed that it may not sell VAL-083 for markets outside of China to any other purchaser other than us, provided that, during the first three years following regulatory clearance for marketing of VAL-083 in a particular country or region, we meet proposed sales volumes set by Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical

21


 

Company for the country or region. In addition, Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company granted us a pre-emptive right in China (subject to our acceptance of proposed sales volume and prices) to purchase VAL-083 produced by Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company.

With respect to the Phase 3, or registration study, for GBM to be undertaken in China in order to ultimately commercialize VAL-083 in China, we are not under an obligation to participate in such a study. However, our participation in such a study in China, for the Chinese market, would be part of a larger negotiation process between us and Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company to determine how such a study would be conducted. We plan to execute a Phase 3 study and to seek approval for VAL-083 outside of China and we have no dependency or obligations to Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company with respect to studies we plan to conduct outside of China.

The term of the Guangxi Agreement (except as it relates to the exclusive rights in the China market) is indefinite, subject to termination upon written agreement of all parties, or if either party breaches any material term and fails to remedy such breach within 30 days of receipt of notice of the breach, or if any action to be taken thereunder is not agreed to by both parties, provided that such matter is referred to the chief executive officer of both parties, and they are unable to resolve such matter within 90 days. No payments have been made to date under the Guangxi Agreement to, or from, either Kintara or Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical Company.

St. Cloud Asset Purchase Agreement

Adgero acquired certain Miravant assets, including the REM-001 Therapy and the associated technology and intellectual property, through an asset purchase agreement with St. Cloud Investments, LLC (“St. Cloud”), dated November 26, 2012, as amended (the “St. Cloud Agreement”). In conjunction with the merger with Adgero which closed on August 19, 2020, we assumed the St. Cloud Agreement.  St. Cloud was previously a Miravant creditor and acquired these Miravant assets pursuant to a foreclosure process St. Cloud completed under California law. Pursuant to the terms of the St. Cloud Agreement, we are obligated to make certain payments under the agreement. The amounts paid or owed under that agreement are as follows:

 

Thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000) was paid to Steven Rychnovsky, PhD, our Vice President, Research and Development, upon the initial closing of an Adgero private placement conducted in 2016 (the “2016 Private Placement”).

 

Forty thousand dollars ($40,000) was paid to St. Cloud upon the initial closing of the 2016 Private Placement.

 

Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) was paid to Steven Rychnovsky, PhD during the 2016 Private Placement, because the 2016 Private Placement was completed for an amount that exceeded four million dollars ($4,000,000).

 

Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) was paid to St. Cloud during the 2016 Private Placement, because the 2016 Private Placement was completed for an amount that exceeded four million dollars ($4,000,000).

 

Upon the earlier of (i) a subsequent equity financing to take place after we conduct a Phase 2B clinical study in which fifty patients complete the study and their clinical data can be evaluated or (ii) the commencement of a clinical study intended to be used as a definitive study for market approval in any country, we are obligated to pay an aggregate amount of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) in cash or an equivalent amount of common stock, with two hundred forty thousand dollars ($240,000) to St. Cloud and sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) to Steven Rychnovsky, PhD.

 

Upon receipt of regulatory approval of REM-001 Therapy, we are obligated to pay an aggregate amount of seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) in cash or an equivalent amount of common stock, with five hundred and sixty thousand dollars ($560,000) to St. Cloud and one hundred forty thousand dollars ($140,000) to Steven Rychnovsky, PhD.

With respect to the $300,000 and $700,000 potential milestone payments referenced above (each a “Milestone Payment”), if either such Milestone Payment becomes payable, and in the event we elect to pay either such Milestone Payment in shares of our common stock, the value of the common stock will equal the price per share of the most recent financing, or, if we are considered to be a publicly-traded company, the average of the closing price per share of our common stock over the twenty (20) trading days following the first public announcement of the applicable event described above.

In addition, we must pay to St. Cloud and Steven Rychnovsky, PhD, in the aggregate, a royalty fee of six percent (6%) of net sales during the royalty term on a country-by-country and product-by-product basis with St. Cloud receiving a royalty rate of four and eight tenths percent (4.8%) and Steven Rychnovsky, PhD, receiving a royalty of one and two tenths percent (1.2%). The royalty term for a product commences on the first commercial sale of the product, such as REM-001 Therapy, in any country, and the royalty fee must be paid within 30 days of each calendar quarter during which revenue is collected. The royalty term terminates on the later of (i) the invalidation, revocation, lapse or expiration of the last to expire valid claim on any patent acquired in the St. Cloud Agreement that would be infringed by the sale of the product in the country where the commercial sale takes place or (ii) the expiration of the period for which we hold exclusive marketing rights of the product in the country, if we were granted those rights under the St. Cloud Agreement.

22


 

Patents and Proprietary Rights

Our success will depend in part on our ability to protect our existing product candidates and the products we acquire or license by obtaining and maintaining a strong proprietary position. To develop and maintain our position, we intend to continue relying upon the validity and enforceability of our patents patent protection, orphan drug status, Hatch-Waxman exclusivity, trade secrets, know-how, continuing technological innovations and licensing opportunities. 

There is no guarantee that patents will be granted with respect to any patent applications we may submit, own or license in the future, nor can we be sure that any of our existing patents or any patents we may own or license in the future will be useful in protecting our technology.

VAL-083

We have filed patent applications claiming the use of, and improvements related to VAL-083. Our patent filings also include proposed treatment regimens, improvements to the manufacturing process, formulation and composition of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, and finished dosage forms of VAL-083. We are prosecuting our patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions which we deem important for the potential commercial success of VAL-083.

Our patents and patent applications for VAL-083 can be summarized in fourteen series as follows:

 

Series I is generally directed to synthesis of VAL-083.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent No. 8,563,758

 

Method Of Synthesis Of Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 8,921,585

 

Method Of Synthesis Of Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 9,085,544

 

Method Of Synthesis Of Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 9,630,938

 

Method Of Synthesis Of Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2011/048032

 

Method Of Synthesis Of Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol. National phase applications pending and granted in various countries.

 

2031

 

 

Series II is generally directed to use of VAL-083 to treat a range of diseases and conditions, including but not limited to malignancies.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent No. 9,066,918

 

Compositions And Methods To Improve The Therapeutic Benefit Of Suboptimally Administered Chemical Compounds Including Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol And Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 9,901,563

 

Compositions And Methods To Improve The Therapeutic Benefit Of Suboptimally Administered Chemical Compounds Including Substituted Hexitols Such As Dianhydrogalactitol And Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol

 

 

 

 

Series III is generally directed to analytical methods for VAL-083.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent No. 9,759,698

 

Improved Analytical Methods For Analyzing And Determining Impurities In Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 10,145,824

 

Improved Analytical Methods For Analyzing And Determining Impurities In Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

United States Patent No. 9,029,164

 

Improved Analytical Methods For Analyzing And Determining Impurities In Dianhydrogalactitol

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/IB2013/000793

 

Improved Analytical Methods For Analyzing And Determining Impurities In Dianhydrogalactitol. National phase applications pending and granted in various countries.

 

2033

23


 

 

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2014/066087

 

Improved Analytical Methods For Analyzing And Determining Impurities In Dianhydrogalactitol.

 

2034

 

 

Series IV is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 to treat GBM or medulloblastoma.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 16/242,752

 

Use Of Substituted Hexitols Including Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs To Treat Neoplastic Disease And Cancer Stem Cells Including Glioblastoma Multiforme And Medulloblastoma

 

 

United States Patent No. 9,687,466

 

Use Of Substituted Hexitols Including Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs To Treat Neoplastic Disease And Cancer Stem Cells Including Glioblastoma Multiforme And Medulloblastoma

 

 

United States Patent No. 10,201,521

 

Use Of Substituted Hexitols Including Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs To Treat Neoplastic Disease And Cancer Stem Cells Including Glioblastoma Multiforme And Medulloblastoma

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2013/022505

 

Use Of Substituted Hexitols Including Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs To Treat Neoplastic Disease And Cancer Stem Cells Including Glioblastoma Multiforme And Medulloblastoma. National phase applications pending in various countries.

 

2033

 

 

Series V is generally directed to the veterinary use of VAL-083.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent No. 9,814,693

 

Veterinary Use Of Dianhydrogalactitol, Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol, And Dibromodulcitol To Treat Malignancies

 

 

 

 

Series VI is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 to treat tyrosine-kinase-inhibitor-resistant malignancies.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 14/409,909

 

Methods For Treating Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor-Resistant Malignancies In Patients With Genetic Polymorphisms Or Ahi1 Dysregulations Or Mutations Employing Dianhydrogalactitol, Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol, Dibromodulcitol, Or Analogs Or Derivatives Thereof

 

 

United States Patent Application Serial No. 17/177,665

 

Methods For Treating Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor-Resistant Malignancies In Patients With Genetic Polymorphisms Or Ahi1 Dysregulations Or Mutations Employing Dianhydrogalactitol, Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol, Dibromodulcitol, Or Analogs Or Derivatives Thereof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2013/047320

 

Methods For Treating Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor-Resistant Malignancies In Patients With Genetic Polymorphisms Or Ahi1 Dysregulations Or Mutations Employing Dianhydrogalactitol, Diacetyldianhydrogalactitol, Dibromodulcitol, Or Analogs Or Derivatives Thereof. National phase applications pending in various countries.

 

2033

24


 

 

 

 

Series VII is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 to treat recurrent malignant glioma and progressive secondary brain tumor.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent No. 11,026,914

 

Use Of Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs And Derivatives Thereof To Treat Recurrent Malignant Glioma Or Progressive Secondary Brain Tumor

 

 

PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US2014/040461

 

Use Of Dianhydrogalactitol And Analogs And Derivatives Thereof To Treat Recurrent Malignant Glioma Or Progressive Secondary Brain Tumor. National phase applications pending and granted in various countries.

 

2034

 

 

Series VIII is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 to treat non-small-cell lung cancer.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 14/710,240

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol and Analogs or Derivatives Thereof in Combination With Platinum-Containing Antineoplastic Agents to Treat Non Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Lung and Brain Metastases

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2015/024462

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol and Analogs or Derivatives Thereof to Treat Non-Small Cell Carcinoma of the Lung and Ovarian Cancer. National phase applications pending in various countries.

 

2035

 

 

Series IX is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 and radiation to treat NSCLC and GBM.

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 15/525,933

 

Dianhydrogalactitol Together with Radiation to Treat Non-Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Lung and Glioblastoma Multiforme.

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No. PCT/US2015/059814

 

Dianhydrogalactitol Together with Radiation to Treat Non-Small-Cell Carcinoma of the Lung and Glioblastoma Multiforme. National phase applications pending in various countries.

 

2035

 

 

Series X is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 in NSCLC and ovarian cancer:

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 15/759,104

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol And Derivatives Thereof in the Treatment of Glioblastoma, Lung Cancer and Ovarian Cancer.

 

 

 

25


 

 

 

Series XI is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 in the treatment of CNS malignancies:

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 15/771,631

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol or Derivatives and Analogs Thereof for Treatment of Pediatric Central Nervous System Malignancies.

 

 

 

 

Series XII is generally directed to the analysis and resolution of VAL-083 preparations:

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 10,591,445

 

Methods for analysis and Resolution of Preparations of Dianhydrogalactitol and Derivatives and Analogs Thereof.

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No.
PCT/US2016/063362

 

Methods for analysis and Resolution of Preparations of Dianhydrogalactitol and Derivatives and Analogs Thereof. National phase applications pending in various countries.

 

2036

 

 

Series XIII is generally directed to combinations:

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 16/609,721

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol and Analogs and Derivatives in Combination VEGF inhibitors to Treat Cancer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 16/489,122

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol and Analogs and Derivatives in Combination with a P53 Modulator or a PARP Inhibitor

 

 

PCT Patent Application Serial No.
PCT/US2018/020314

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol and Analogs and Derivatives in Combination with a P53 Modulator or a PARP Inhibitor

 

2038

 

 

Series XIV is generally directed to the use of VAL-083 in the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma:

 

Patent or Patent Application No.

 

Title

 

Expiry

United States Patent Application Serial No. 16/768,827

 

Use of Dianhydrogalactitol or Derivatives and Analogs Thereof to Treat Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.

 

 

In addition to patent protection, we may also seek orphan drug status whenever it is available. If a product which has an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first regulatory approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan exclusivity, meaning that the applicable regulatory authority may not approve any other applications to market the same drug for the same indication, except in very limited circumstances, for a period of seven years in the U.S. and Canada, and 10 years in the E.U. Orphan drug designation does not prevent competitors from developing or marketing different drugs for the same indication or the same drug for a different clinical indication.

VAL-083 has been granted protection under the Orphan Drug Act by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of gliomas, including GBM. The FDA has also granted Orphan Drug protection to VAL-083 for the treatment of medulloblastoma and ovarian cancer.

In February 2012, the FDA granted orphan drug status to VAL-083 for the treatment of glioma. In January 2013, the EMA also granted orphan drug protection to VAL-083 for the treatment of glioma. In the spring of 2016, the FDA Office of Orphan Products Development granted orphan drug designations to VAL-083 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and medulloblastoma.

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In addition to our patents and orphan drug protection, we intend to rely on the Hatch-Waxman Amendments for five years of data exclusivity for VAL-083.Under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments, newly approved drugs and indications benefit from a statutory period of non-patent marketing exclusivity. These amendments provide five-year data exclusivity to the first applicant to gain approval of an NDA for a new chemical entity, meaning that the FDA has not previously approved any other new drug containing the same active ingredient. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments prohibit the approval of an abbreviated new drug application, also known as an ANDA or generic drug application, during the five-year exclusive period if no patent is listed. If there is a patent listed and the ANDA applicant certifies that the NDA holder’s listed patent for the product is invalid or will not be infringed, the ANDA can be submitted four years after NDA approval. Protection under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments will not prevent the filing or approval of another full NDA; however, the applicant would be required to conduct its own pre-clinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical studies to demonstrate safety and effectiveness. The Hatch-Waxman Amendments also provide three years of data exclusivity for the approval of NDAs with new clinical studies for previously approved drugs and supplemental NDAs, for example, for new indications, dosages or strengths of an existing drug, if new clinical investigations were conducted by or on behalf of the sponsor and were essential to the approval of the application. This three-year exclusivity covers only the new changes associated with the supplemental NDA and does not prohibit the FDA from approving ANDAs for drugs containing the original active ingredient.

We also rely on trade secret protection for our confidential and proprietary information. We believe that the substantial costs and resources required to develop technological innovations, such as the manufacturing processes associated with VAL-083, will help us to protect the competitive advantage of our product candidate.

The protection of intellectual property rights in China (where VAL-083 is manufactured pursuant to a collaboration agreement with the only manufacturer presently licensed by the CFDA to produce the product for the China market, and where VAL-03 is approved for the treatment of CML and lung cancer) is relatively weak compared to the United States, which may negatively affect our ability to generate revenue from VAL-083 in China.

Our policy is to require our employees, consultants, outside scientific collaborators, sponsored researchers and other advisors to execute confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of employment or consulting relationships with us. These agreements provide that all confidential information developed or made known to the individual during the course of the individual’s relationship with us is to be kept confidential and not disclosed to third parties except in specific circumstances. In the case of employees and consultants, the agreements provide that all inventions conceived by the individual shall be our exclusive property.

REM-001

Our intellectual property and product pipeline for REM-001 is based on technology we acquired that was originally developed by Miravant. We acquired this intellectual property through an asset purchase agreement and our retention of the intellectual property is dependent on us meeting the terms of that agreement, most of which are milestone and royalty-based payments. The acquired intellectual property includes scientific and regulatory data and product know-how. We have filed two US provisional applications which are currently pending. The proprietary regulatory data we own includes two INDs for use of REM-001 in oncology and ophthalmology, and one NDA for use of REM-001 to treat an aspect of AMD.

The FDA granted our request that tin ethyl etiopurpurin (the active pharmaceutical ingredient in REM-001) be designated as an orphan drug for treatment of BCCNS.  We also hold an orphan drug designation that was initially awarded to Miravant for tin ethyl etiopurpurin for the prevention of access graft disease in hemodialysis patients.

Government Regulation and Product Approval

Regulation by governmental authorities in the U.S. and other countries is a significant factor, affecting the cost and time of our research and product development activities, and will be a significant factor in the manufacture and marketing of any approved products. Our product candidates will require regulatory approval by governmental agencies prior to commercialization. In particular, our products are subject to rigorous preclinical and clinical testing and other approval requirements by the FDA and similar regulatory authorities in other countries. Various statutes and regulations also govern or influence the manufacturing, safety, reporting, labeling, transport and storage, record keeping and marketing of our products. The lengthy process of seeking these approvals, and the subsequent compliance with applicable statutes and regulations, require the expenditure of substantial resources. Any failure by us to obtain, or any delay in obtaining, the necessary regulatory approvals could harm our business.

The regulatory requirements relating to the testing, manufacturing and marketing of our products may change from time to time and this may impact our ability to conduct clinical studies and the ability of independent investigators to conduct their own research with support from us.

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The clinical development, manufacturing and marketing of our products are subject to regulation by various authorities in the U.S., the E.U. and other countries, including, in the U.S., the FDA, in Canada, Health Canada, and, in the E.U., the EMA. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Public Health Service Act in the U.S. and numerous directives, regulations, local laws and guidelines in Canada and the E.U. govern the testing, manufacture, safety, efficacy, labeling, storage, record keeping, approval, advertising and promotion of our products. Product development and approval within these regulatory frameworks takes a number of years and involves the expenditure of substantial resources.

Regulatory approval will be required in all the major markets in which we seek to develop our products. At a minimum, approval requires the generation and evaluation of data relating to the quality, safety, and efficacy of an investigational product for its proposed use. The specific types of data required and the regulations relating to this data will differ depending on the territory, the drug involved, the proposed indication and the stage of development.

In general, new chemical entities are tested in animals until adequate evidence of safety is established to support the proposed clinical study protocol designs. Clinical studies for new products are typically conducted in three sequential phases that may overlap. In Phase 1, the initial introduction of the pharmaceutical into either healthy human volunteers or patients with the disease (20 to 50 subjects), the emphasis is on testing for safety (adverse effects), dosage tolerance, metabolism, distribution, excretion and clinical pharmacology. Phase 2 involves studies in a limited patient population (50 to 200 patients) to determine the initial efficacy of the pharmaceutical for specific targeted indications, to determine dosage tolerance and optimal dosage and to identify possible adverse side effects and safety risks. Once a compound shows preliminary evidence of some effectiveness and is found to have an acceptable safety profile in Phase 2 evaluations, Phase 3 studies are undertaken to more fully evaluate clinical outcomes in a larger patient population in adequate and well-controlled studies designed to yield statistically sufficient clinical data to demonstrate efficacy and safety.

In the U.S., specific preclinical data, manufacturing and chemical data, as described above, need to be submitted to the FDA as part of an IND application, which, unless the FDA objects, will become effective 30 days following receipt by the FDA. Phase 1 studies in human volunteers may commence only after the application becomes effective. Prior regulatory approval for human healthy volunteer studies is also required in member states of the E.U. Currently, in each member state of the E.U., following successful completion of Phase 1 studies, data are submitted in summarized format to the applicable regulatory authority in the member state in respect of applications for the conduct of later Phase 2 studies. The regulatory authorities in the E.U. typically have between one and three months in which to raise any objections to the proposed study, and they often have the right to extend this review period at their discretion. In the U.S., following completion of Phase 1 studies, further submissions to regulatory authorities are necessary in relation to Phase 2 and 3 studies to update the existing IND.

Authorities may require additional data before allowing the studies to commence and could demand that the studies be discontinued at any time if there are significant safety issues. In addition to the regulatory review, studies involving human subjects must be approved by an independent body. The exact composition and responsibilities of this body will differ from country to country. In the U.S., for example, each study will be conducted under the auspices of an independent institutional review board (IRB) at each institution at which the study is conducted. The IRB considers among other things, the design of the study, ethical factors, the privacy of protected health information as defined under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the safety of the human subjects and the possible liability risk for the institution. Equivalent rules to protect subjects’ rights and welfare apply in each member state of the E.U. where one or more independent ethics committees, which typically operate similarly to an IRB, will review the ethics of conducting the proposed research. Other regulatory authorities around the rest of the world have slightly differing requirements involving both the execution of clinical studies and the import/export of pharmaceutical products. It is our responsibility to ensure we conduct our business in accordance with the regulations of each relevant territory.

In order to gain marketing approval, we must submit a dossier to the relevant authority for review, which is known in the U.S. as an NDA and in the E.U. as a marketing authorization application (“MAA”). The format is usually specific and laid out by each authority, although in general it will include information on the quality of the chemistry, manufacturing and pharmaceutical aspects of the product as well as the nonclinical and clinical data. Once the submitted NDA is accepted for filing by the FDA, it undertakes the review process that currently takes on average 10 months, unless an expedited priority review is granted which takes six months to complete. Approval can take several months to several years, if multiple 10-month review cycles are needed before final approval is obtained, if at all.

The approval process can be affected by a number of factors. The NDA may require additional preclinical, manufacturing data or clinical studies which may be requested at the end of the 10-month NDA review cycle, thereby delaying approval until additional data are submitted and may involve substantial unbudgeted costs.

In addition to obtaining approval for each product, in many cases each drug manufacturing facility must be approved. The regulatory authorities usually will conduct an inspection of relevant manufacturing facilities, and review manufacturing procedures,

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operating systems and personnel qualifications. Further inspections may occur over the life of the product. An inspection of the clinical investigation sites by a competent authority may be required as part of the regulatory approval procedure. As a condition of marketing approval, the regulatory agency may require post-marketing surveillance to monitor for adverse effects or other additional studies as deemed appropriate. After approval for the initial indication, further clinical studies may be necessary to gain approval for any additional indications. The terms of any approval, including labeling content, may be more restrictive than expected and could affect the marketability of a product.

The FDA offers a number of regulatory mechanisms that provide expedited or accelerated approval procedures for selected drugs in the indications on which we are focusing our efforts. These include accelerated approval under Subpart H of the agency’s NDA approval regulations, fast track drug development procedures, breakthrough drug designation and priority review. At this time, we have not determined whether any of these approval procedures will apply to our current drug candidates.

By leveraging existing preclinical and clinical safety and efficacy data, we seek to build upon an existing knowledge base to accelerate our research. In addition, through our focus on end-stage population which has no current treatment options, regulatory approval for commercialization may sometimes be achieved in an accelerated manner. Accelerated approval by the FDA in this category may be granted on objective response rates and duration of responses rather than demonstration of survival benefit. As a result, studies of drugs to treat end-stage refractory cancer indications have historically involved fewer patients and generally have been faster to complete than studies of drugs for other indications. We are aware that the FDA and other similar agencies are regularly reviewing the use of objective endpoints for commercial approval and that policy changes may impact the size of studies required for approval, timelines and expenditures significantly.

The U.S., E.U. and other jurisdictions may grant orphan drug designation to drugs intended to treat a “rare disease or condition,” which, in the U.S., is generally a disease or condition that affects no more than 200,000 individuals. In the E.U., orphan drug designation can be granted if: the disease is life threatening or chronically debilitating and affects no more than 50 in 100,000 persons in the E.U.; without incentive, it is unlikely that the drug would generate sufficient return to justify the necessary investment; and no satisfactory method of treatment for the condition exists or, if it does, the new drug will provide a significant benefit to those affected by the condition. If a product that has an orphan drug designation subsequently receives the first regulatory approval for the indication for which it has such designation, the product is entitled to orphan exclusivity, meaning that the applicable regulatory authority may not approve any other applications to market the same drug for the same indication, except in very limited circumstances, for a period of seven years in the U.S. and 10 years in the E.U. Orphan drug designation does not prevent competitors from developing or marketing different drugs for the same indication or the same drug for different indications. Orphan drug designation must be requested before submitting an NDA or MAA. After orphan drug designation is granted, the identity of the therapeutic agent and its potential orphan use are publicly disclosed. Orphan drug designation does not convey an advantage in, or shorten the duration of, the review and approval process. However, this designation provides an exemption from marketing and authorization fees charged to NDA sponsors under the Prescription Drug Act (PDUFA Fees).

Maintaining substantial compliance with appropriate federal, state and local statutes and regulations requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Drug manufacturers are required to register their establishments with the FDA and certain state agencies, and after approval, the FDA and these state agencies conduct periodic unannounced inspections to ensure continued compliance with ongoing regulatory requirements, including cGMPs. In addition, after approval, some types of changes to the approved product, such as adding new indications, manufacturing changes and additional labeling claims, are subject to further FDA review and approval. The FDA may require post-approval testing and surveillance programs to monitor safety and the effectiveness of approved products that have been commercialized. Any drug products manufactured or distributed by us pursuant to FDA approvals are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including:

 

record-keeping requirements;

 

reporting of adverse experiences with the drug;

 

providing the FDA with updated safety and efficacy information;

 

reporting on advertisements and promotional labeling;

 

drug sampling and distribution requirements; and

 

complying with electronic record and signature requirements.

In addition, the FDA strictly regulates labeling, advertising, promotion and other types of information on products that are placed on the market. There are numerous regulations and policies that govern various means for disseminating information to health-care professionals as well as consumers, including to industry sponsored scientific and educational activities, information provided to the media and information provided over the Internet. Drugs may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label.

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The FDA has very broad enforcement authority and the failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements can result in administrative or judicial sanctions being imposed on us or on the manufacturers and distributors of our approved products, including warning letters, refusals of government contracts, clinical holds, civil penalties, injunctions, restitution and disgorgement of profits, recall or seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, withdrawal of approvals, refusal to approve pending applications, and criminal prosecution resulting in fines and incarceration. The FDA and other agencies actively enforce the laws and regulations prohibiting the promotion of off-label uses, and a company that is found to have improperly promoted off-label uses may be subject to significant liability. In addition, even after regulatory approval is obtained, later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product may result in restrictions on the product or even complete withdrawal of the product from the market.

Sales of our product candidates, if approved, will depend, 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 or reducing reimbursements for medical products and services. 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. Third-party payors decide which therapies they will pay for and establish reimbursement levels. Third-party payors often rely upon Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own coverage and reimbursement policies. However, decisions regarding the extent of coverage and amount of reimbursement to be provided for any drug candidates that we develop will be made on a payor-by-payor basis. Each payor determines whether or not it will provide coverage for a therapy, what amount it will pay the manufacturer for the therapy, and on what tier of its formulary it will be placed. The position on a payor’s list of covered drugs, or formulary, generally determines the co-payment that a patient will need to make to obtain the therapy and can strongly influence the adoption of such therapy by patients and physicians. 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 net revenue and results. Decreases in third-party reimbursement for our product candidates or a decision by a third-party payor to not cover our product candidates could reduce physician usage of our product candidates, once approved, and have a material adverse effect on our sales, results of operations and financial condition.

Because of our current and future arrangements with healthcare professionals, principal investigators, consultants, customers and third-party payors, we will also be subject to healthcare regulation and enforcement by the federal government and the states and foreign governments in which we will conduct our business, including our clinical research, proposed sales, marketing and educational programs. Failure to comply with these laws, where applicable, can result in the imposition of significant civil penalties, criminal penalties, or both. The U.S. laws that may affect our ability to operate, among others, include: the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which governs the conduct of certain electronic healthcare transactions and protects the security and privacy of protected health information; certain state laws governing the privacy and security of health information in certain circumstances, some of which are more stringent than HIPAA and many of which differ from each other in significant ways and may not have the same effect, thus complicating compliance efforts; the federal healthcare programs’ Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits, among other things, persons from knowingly and willfully soliciting, receiving, offering or paying remuneration, directly or indirectly, in exchange for or to induce either the referral of an individual for, or the purchase, order or recommendation of, any 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 payors that are false or fraudulent; federal criminal laws that prohibit executing a scheme to defraud any healthcare benefit program or making false statements relating to healthcare matters; the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, which requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics, and medical supplies to report annually to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services information related to payments and other transfers of value to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, and ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members; 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 payor, including commercial insurers.

In addition, 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, to the extent that our product is sold in a foreign country, we may be subject to similar foreign laws.

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We are also subject to numerous environmental and safety laws and regulations, including those governing the use and disposal of hazardous materials. The cost of compliance with and any violation of these regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations. Although we believe that our safety procedures for handling and disposing of these materials comply with the standards prescribed by state and federal regulations, accidental contamination or injury from these materials may occur. Compliance with laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment has not had a material effect on our capital expenditures or our competitive position. However, we are not able to predict the extent of government regulation, and the cost and effect thereof on our competitive position, which might result from any legislative or administrative action pertaining to environmental or safety matters.

Competition

The development and commercialization of new drug products is highly competitive. We expect that we will face significant competition from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies worldwide with respect to VAL-083 and REM-001 and any other product candidates that we may seek to develop or commercialize in the future. Specifically, due to the large unmet medical need, global demographics and relatively attractive reimbursement dynamics, the oncology market is fiercely competitive and there are a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that currently market and sell products or are pursuing the development of product candidates for the treatment of cancer. Our competitors may succeed in developing, acquiring or licensing technologies and drug products that are more effective, have fewer or more tolerable side effects or are less costly than any product candidates that we are currently developing or that we may develop, which could render our product candidates obsolete and noncompetitive.

All of the top ten global pharmaceutical companies, and many of the mid-size pharmaceutical companies, have a strong research and development and commercial presence in oncology. Smaller companies also focus on oncology, including companies such as Clovis Oncology, Inc., Epizyme, Inc., ImmunoGen, Inc., Incyte Corporation, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., MacroGenics, Inc., Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Onconova Therapeutics, Inc., Pharmacyclics, Inc., Puma Biotechnology, Inc. and Seagen, Inc.

In addition, we are currently participating in GCAR's GBM AGILE study to facilitate the advancement of VAL-083's clinical development. As part of the study there are currently two additional product candidates being studied: Kazia Therapeutics, LTD’s (Paxalisib) and Bayer Pharmaceuticals’ (Regorafenib) Both of these companies are also seeking approval in GBM.  

Several companies are marketing and developing oncology immunotherapy products. Companies with approved marketed oncology products for GBM are Merck (Temodar ®) and Genentech (Avastin ®). Companies with oncology immunotherapy product candidates in clinical development for GBM include, but are not limited to, Northwest Biotherapeutics (DCVax-L), Celldex Therapeutics (Rindopepimut (CDX-110)) and ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (ICT-107).

We are not aware of any therapies specifically approved for CMBC in the US. IGEA Medical S.p.A. is developing an electro-chemotherapy treatment for CMBC. Pinnacle Biologics Inc., a subsidiary of Advanz Pharma Healthcare Corp., sells Photofrin, a first-generation PDT product for treatment of certain endobronchial non-small-cell lung cancers and esophageal cancers. Photofrin is currently in Phase 2 studies in recurrent glioma. To our knowledge, there is no reported development program for Photofrin in CMBC. Rogers Sciences Inc. is a medical device company that is developing a light delivery device for use with PDT treatment of cutaneous cancers that they are currently clinically testing in a Phase 2 study in CMBC patients.

There are numerous therapies currently used to treat CMBC patients including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgical excision, hyperthermia, cryotherapy, electro-chemotherapy, topical drugs and intra-lesional chemotherapy injections, but, to our knowledge, there are no PDT therapies currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of CMBC or similar cutaneous cancers. Some topical PDT agents have been approved by the FDA for actinic keratosis which is a precancerous skin condition and they have been approved in some other countries for some conditions that we believe pose low medical risk such as basal cell cancer and acne.

In the BCCNS field we are aware of approved drugs in the U.S., including vismodegib (Eviredge), Odomzo (sonidegib), imiquimod and topical fluorouracil that are sometimes use off-label. PellePharm also recently completed a Phase 3 study in BCCNS but, to our knowledge, has not received marketing approval.

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 marketing approval for their products before we are able to obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market.

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Many of our existing and potential future competitors have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical studies, obtaining marketing 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, or early stage, companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These competitors also compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel and establishing clinical study sites and patient registration for clinical studies, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our programs.

We expect that our ability to compete effectively will depend upon our ability to:

 

successfully and rapidly complete adequate and well-controlled clinical studies that demonstrate statistically significant safety and efficacy and to obtain all requisite regulatory approvals in a cost-effective manner;

 

maintain a proprietary position for our manufacturing processes and other technology;

 

produce our products in accordance with FDA and international regulatory guidelines;

 

attract and retain key personnel; and

 

build or access an adequate sales and marketing infrastructure for any approved products.

Failure to do one or more of these activities could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Corporate History

We are a Nevada corporation formed on June 24, 2009 under the name Berry Only Inc. On January 25, 2013, we entered into and closed an exchange agreement (the “Exchange Agreement”), with Del Mar Pharmaceuticals (BC) Ltd. (“Del Mar (BC)”), 0959454 B.C. Ltd. (“Callco”), and 0959456 B.C. Ltd. (“Exchangeco”) and the security holders of Del Mar (BC). Upon completion of the Exchange Agreement, Del Mar (BC) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of ours (the “Reverse Acquisition”).

On August 19, 2020, we acquired Adgero Biopharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. (“Adgero”) and changed our name from DelMar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Kintara Therapeutics, Inc. We are the parent company to the following entities:

 

Del Mar (BC), a British Columbia, Canada corporation incorporated on April 6, 2010, which is a clinical stage company with a focus on the development of drugs for the treatment of cancer;

 

Adgero, a Delaware corporation incorporated on October 26, 2015, which is a clinical stage company with a focus on the development of photodynamic therapy for the treatment of rare, unmet medical needs, specifically orphan cancer indications;

 

Adgero Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. a Delaware corporation incorporated on November 16, 2007; and

 

Callco and Exchangeco which are British Columbia, Canada corporations. Callco and Exchangeco were formed to facilitate the Reverse Acquisition.

Research and Development

During the years ended June 30, 2021 and 2020, we recognized approximately $11.8 million and $3.6 million, respectively, in research and development expenses.

Employees

We have four full-time employees and retain the services of approximately 20 persons on an independent contractor/consultant and contract-employment basis. As such, we currently operate in a “virtual” corporate structure in order to minimize fixed personnel costs.

Available Information

We maintain an internet website at www.kintara.com. We do not incorporate the information on our website into this report and you should not consider it part of this report.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Summary of Risk Factors

 

We have a limited operating history, are not profitable and may never become profitable.

 

We have expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

 

We face significant risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have material and adverse impacts on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.

 

Our business is heavily dependent on the successful development, regulatory approval and commercialization of our product candidates.

 

We will require substantial additional capital to fund our operations, and if we fail to obtain necessary financing, we may not be able to complete the development and commercialization of any of our product candidates.

 

Our product candidates will face significant competition and may be unable to compete effectively.

 

Various government regulations could limit or delay our ability to develop and commercialize our products or otherwise negatively impact our business.

 

The commercial potential of our products is difficult to predict. The market for any product, or for companion animal diagnostics and medical devices overall, is uncertain and may be smaller than we anticipate, which could significantly and negatively impact our revenue, results of operations and financial condition.

 

Our ability to obtain intellectual property protection for our products is limited.

 

We will rely on third parties to conduct certain portions of our development activities. If these third parties do not successfully carry out their contractual duties or meet expected deadlines, we may be unable to obtain regulatory approval for or commercialize our product candidates.

 

We will rely on a third-party manufacturers to produce our products. If we experience problems with any of these suppliers, the manufacturing of our product candidates or products could be delayed.

 

If we fail to attract and keep key personnel and members of management, we may be unable to successfully develop any of our existing or future product candidates, conduct our in-licensing and development efforts and commercialize any of our existing or future products.

 

Any failure by us to protect our intellectual property rights or maintain the right to use certain intellectual property may negatively affect our ability to compete.

 

We expect that the price of our common shares will fluctuate substantially.

 

Substantial future sales of shares of our common stock could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

 

Issuance of our common stock upon exercise of convertible securities may depress the price of our common stock.

 

We have incurred significant costs as a result of operating as a U.S. public company, and our management will continue to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives.

An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. In determining whether to purchase our common stock, an investor should carefully consider all of the material risks described below, together with the other information contained in this report before making a decision to purchase our securities. An investor should only purchase our securities if he or she can afford to suffer the loss of his or her entire investment.

Risks Related to Our Business

We have expressed substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2021, our consolidated financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2021, include an explanatory paragraph that such financial statements were prepared assuming that we will continue as a going concern. A going concern basis assumes that we will continue our operations for the foreseeable future and contemplates the realization of assets and the settlement of liabilities in the normal course of business.

For the year ended June 30, 2021, we reported a loss of approximately $38.3 million and a negative cash flow from operations of approximately $18.9 million. We had an accumulated deficit of approximately $111.2 million and had cash and cash equivalents of

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approximately $10.5 million as of June 30, 2021. We are in the clinical stage and have not generated any revenues to-date. We do not have the prospect of achieving revenues until such time that our product candidates are commercialized, or partnered, which may not ever occur. In the near future, we will require additional funding to maintain our clinical studies, research and development projects, and for general operations. These circumstances indicate substantial doubt exists about our ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the date of filing of the consolidated financial statements.

 

Despite the completion of a registered direct financing subsequent to June 30, 2021 for net proceeds of approximately $13.6 million, we will need additional financing to complete all of our planned operations.  Consequently, management is pursuing various financing alternatives to fund our operations so we can continue as a going concern. However, the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic has created significant economic uncertainty and volatility in the credit and capital markets. Management plans to secure the necessary financing through the issue of new equity and/or the entering into of strategic partnership arrangements but the ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our ability to raise additional capital is unknown and will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and any new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. We may not be able to raise sufficient additional capital and may tailor our drug candidates development programs based on the amount of funding we are able to raise in the future. Nevertheless, there is no assurance that these initiatives will be successful.

The financial statements do not give effect to any adjustments to the amounts and classification of assets and liabilities that may be necessary should we be unable to continue as a going concern. Such adjustments could be material.

We are a clinical stage company, have a history of operating losses, and expect to incur significant additional operating losses.

We are a clinical stage company with a history of operating losses.  For the fiscal years ended June 30, 2021 and 2020, we had net losses of approximately $38.3 million and $9.1 million, respectively and an accumulated deficit of approximately $111 million at June 30, 2021. Our prospects must be considered in light of the uncertainties, risks, expenses, and difficulties frequently encountered by companies in similar stages of operations. We expect to incur substantial additional net expenses and losses over the next several years as our research, development, clinical studies, and commercial activities increase.

The amount of future losses and when, if ever, we will achieve profitability are uncertain. Our ability to generate revenue and achieve profitability will depend on, among other things, successful completion of the preclinical and clinical development of our product candidates; obtaining necessary regulatory approvals from the FDA and international regulatory agencies; successful manufacturing, sales and marketing arrangements; and raising sufficient funds to finance our activities. If we are unsuccessful at some or all of these undertakings, our business, prospects and results of operations may be materially adversely affected.

We will need to raise additional capital, which may cause dilution to our stockholders, restrict our operations or require us to relinquish rights to technologies or product candidates.

Until such time, if ever, as we can generate substantial product revenues, we expect to finance our cash needs through a combination of public or private equity offerings, debt financings and/or license and development agreements with collaboration partners. As of June 30, 2021, we had cash and cash equivalents of approximately $10.5 million.  We expect the cash available at June 30, 2021, and the cash received from a registered direct financing of approximately $13.6 million in net proceeds received subsequent to June 30, 2021, to fund our planned operations through stage 1 of our GBM AGILE study which could result in graduation to the final confirmatory stage, the potentially NDA enabling portion of the study. We will need to raise additional capital to fund our planned operations. We do not have any committed external source of funds. To the extent that we raise additional capital through the sale of equity or convertible debt securities, then-existing stockholders’ interests may be materially diluted, and the terms of such securities could include liquidation or other preferences that adversely affect their rights as common stockholders. Debt financing and preferred equity financing, if available, may involve agreements that include restrictive covenants that limit our ability to take specified actions, such as incurring additional debt, making capital expenditures or declaring dividends. In addition, debt financing would result in fixed payment obligations.

If we raise funds through collaborations, strategic partnerships or marketing, distribution or licensing arrangements with third parties, we may have to relinquish valuable rights to our technologies, future revenue streams, research programs or product candidates or grant licenses on terms that may not be favorable to us. If we are unable to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings when needed, we may be required to delay, limit, reduce or terminate our product development or future commercialization efforts or grant rights to develop and market product candidates that we would otherwise prefer to develop and market ourselves

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Our inability to obtain additional financing could adversely affect our ability to meet our obligations under our planned clinical studies and could negatively impact the timing of our clinical results.

Our ability to meet our obligations and continue the research and development of our product candidates is dependent on our ability to continue to raise adequate financing. We may not be successful in obtaining such additional financing in the amount required at any time, or for any period, or, if available, that it can be obtained on terms satisfactory to us. In the event that we are unable to obtain such additional financing, we may be unable to meet our obligations under our planned clinical studies and we may have to tailor the drug development programs for our drug candidates based on the amount of funding we raise which could negatively impact the timing of our clinical results. In addition, we could be required to cease our operations.

We face significant risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, or the widespread outbreak of any other communicable disease, which could have material and adverse impacts on our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.

We face risks related to health epidemics or outbreaks of communicable diseases, including the recent outbreak around the world of the highly transmissible and pathogenic coronavirus, COVID-19. The outbreak of such communicable diseases could result in a widespread health crisis that could adversely affect general commercial activity and the economies and financial markets of many countries.

 

In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, was reported to have surfaced in Wuhan, China and on March 11, 2020, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations is unknown and will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and any additional preventative and protective actions that governments, or we, may determine are needed.

 

To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has not caused significant disruption to our GBM AGILE or our Phase 2 clinical studies. Each of our Phase 2 clinical studies is now complete.  They were conducted at single sites which reduced the risk of disruption. Patient visits took place on schedule at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center during the respective studies. Any disruptions to patient treatments were within allowances under each study protocol. Access to the sites during the Phase 2 studies by our clinical monitors was limited during the COVID-19 pandemic but the recording of study data and patient treatments at both study sites was conducted per protocol. With respect to the REM-001 drug supply, we are currently experiencing some delays in contract manufacturing schedules and supplies which we attribute to COVID-19.  The current delays could have an impact on our REM-001 program timeline.

Changes in circumstances surrounding COVID-19, such as additional travel limitations imposed by governmental authorities could result in new patients being unable to be enrolled in our studies, or existing patients being unable to continue to receive treatment, could impact the cost of our studies as we may have to enroll additional patients in order to obtain the data necessary to be able to conclude our studies. We cannot predict whether any of our clinical testing sites will withdraw from participation in any of our studies temporarily, or permanently. In addition, even if we are able to fully enroll and treat all patients in our studies, obtaining full data could be impacted by an inability to ship and analyze samples, or otherwise complete data assessment. Further, if the patients enrolled in our clinical studies become infected with COVID-19, we may have more adverse events and deaths in our clinical studies as a result. We may also face difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical studies if the patient populations that are eligible for our clinical studies are impacted by the coronavirus disease. Vulnerable patients, such as the cancer patients enrolled in our clinical studies, may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and may experience more severe symptoms from the disease, adversely affecting our chances for regulatory approval, or requiring further clinical studies. The continued spread of COVID-19 globally, and the resulting travel restrictions in place by governments to help stop the spread of COVID-19, could adversely impact our clinical study operations, including the ability of our principal investigators and site staff to travel to our clinical study sites, and our ability to recruit and retain principal investigators and site staff who, as healthcare providers, may have heightened exposure to COVID-19 if an outbreak occurs in their geography.

In addition, the continued impact resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak in areas where we have manufacturing operations for our clinical drug supply, or where our suppliers or distributors operate, or if the COVID-19 outbreak in these areas were to increase in severity, and the measures taken by the governments of countries affected, could adversely affect our business, financial condition, or results of operations by limiting our ability to manufacture or ship materials, or by forcing temporary closure of facilities that it relies upon.

The spread of COVID-19, which has caused a broad impact globally, may materially affect us economically. While the potential economic impact brought by, and the duration of, COVID-19 may be difficult to assess or predict, a widespread pandemic could result in significant disruption of global financial markets, reducing our ability to access capital, which could in the future negatively affect our liquidity. In addition, a recession or market correction resulting from the spread of COVID-19 could materially affect our business and the value of our Common Stock.

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While our common stock is expected to continue listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market, there is no guarantee as to how long such listing will be maintained.

Our common stock is listed for trading on The Nasdaq Capital Market (“Nasdaq”). We must satisfy Nasdaq’s continued listing requirements, including, among other things, a minimum closing bid price requirement of $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive business days. If a company’s common stock trades for 30 consecutive business days below the $1.00 minimum closing bid price requirement, Nasdaq will send a deficiency notice, advising that such company has been afforded a “compliance period” of 180 calendar days to regain compliance with the applicable requirements. Thereafter, if such a company does not regain compliance with the bid price requirement, a second 180-day compliance period may be available, provided (i) it meets the continued listing requirement for market value of publicly held shares and all other applicable requirements for initial listing on Nasdaq, including stockholder equity requirements, which we may be unable to satisfy (except for the bid price requirement), and (ii) it provides written notice to Nasdaq of its intention to cure this deficiency during the second compliance period by effecting a reverse stock split, if necessary. In the event the company does not regain compliance with Rule 5550(a)(2) prior to the expiration of the initial 180 calendar day period, and if it appears to the Staff of the Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (the “Nasdaq Staff”) that the company will not be able to cure the deficiency, or if the company is not otherwise eligible, the Nasdaq Staff will provide the company with written notification that its securities are subject to delisting from Nasdaq. At that time, the company may appeal the delisting determination to a Hearings Panel.

If we fail to meet any of the other continued listing requirements, including stockholder equity requirements, our securities may be delisted from Nasdaq and trade on the OTC Markets Group Inc. or other small trading markets, which could reduce the liquidity of our common stock materially and result in a corresponding material reduction in the price of our common stock. In addition, delisting could harm our ability to raise capital through alternative financing sources on terms acceptable to us, or at all, and may result in the potential loss of confidence by investors, employees and business development opportunities. Such a delisting likely would impair your ability to sell or purchase our common stock when you wish to do so. Further, if we were to be delisted from Nasdaq, our common stock may no longer be recognized as a “covered security” and we would be subject to regulation in each state in which it offers securities. Thus, delisting from Nasdaq could adversely affect our ability to raise additional financing through the public or private sale of equity securities, would significantly impact the ability of investors to trade our securities and would negatively impact the value and liquidity of our common stock.

The Series C Preferred Stock has rights, preferences and privileges that will not be held by, and will be preferential to, the rights of holders of our common stock, which could adversely affect the liquidity and financial condition of the Company, and may result in the interests of the holders of Series C Preferred Stock differing from those of the holders of our common stock.

The Series C Preferred Stock ranks on parity with the shares of our Series A Preferred Stock with respect to liquidation preferences. Upon any dissolution, liquidation or winding up, whether voluntary or involuntary, holders of Series C Preferred Stock will be entitled to receive distributions out of our assets in an amount per share equal to $1,000 plus all accrued and unpaid dividends, whether capital or surplus before any distributions shall be made on any shares of our common stock.

In addition, holders of Series C Preferred Stock will be entitled to dividends, payable in shares of our common stock at a rate of 10%, 15%, 20% and 25% of the number of shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock, on the 12th, 24th, 36th and 48th month, anniversary of the initial closing of the Private Placement, which occurred on August 19, 2020. Dividends will be payable in shares of our common stock and will only be payable to those holders that continue to hold Series C Preferred Stock on the respective anniversary dates of August 19, 2020.

These dividend obligations to the holders of Series C Preferred Stock could limit our ability to obtain additional financing, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition. The preferential rights described above could also result in divergent interests between the holders of shares of Series C Preferred Stock and the holders of our common stock.

Any issuance of our common stock upon conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock will cause dilution to our then existing stockholders and may depress the market price of our common stock.

The Series C Preferred Stock accrues dividends in shares of our common stock at an initial rate of 10% per annum and following the forty-eight-month anniversary of the initial closing of the Private Placement which occurred on August 19, 2020, such dividend rate will increase to 25% per annum. Each class of Series C Preferred Stock has a Conversion Price that will be equal to the lesser of (i) the closing price of our common stock on Nasdaq on the date immediately preceding the signing of the applicable binding agreements for the applicable closing date of the Private Placement for which the Series C Preferred Stock is issued or (ii) the average closing price of the our common stock on Nasdaq for the five trading days immediately preceding the signing of the applicable binding agreements for the applicable closing date of the Private Placement for which the Series C Preferred Stock is issued, subject to

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adjustment. The Conversion Prices for the Series C-1 Preferred Stock, Series C-2 Preferred Stock and Series C-3 Preferred Stock are $1.16, $1.214 and $1.15, respectively.

The issuance of our common stock upon conversion of the Series C Preferred Stock and as payment of dividends on the Series C Preferred Stock will result in immediate and substantial dilution to the interests of holders of our common stock, and such dilution will increase over time in connection with the accrual of dividends on the Series C Preferred Stock.

We may incur future indebtedness that will rank senior to the Series C Preferred Stock or issue additional series of preferred stock that rank on a parity with, or senior to, the Series C Preferred Stock as to dividend payments and liquidation preference.

We may incur substantial amounts of additional debt and other obligations that will rank senior to the Series C Preferred Stock, and the terms of the Series C Preferred Stock do not limit the amount of such debt or other obligations that we may incur. The terms of the Series C Preferred Stock will not prohibit us from issuing additional series of preferred stock that would rank on parity with the Series C Preferred Stock. The Articles allow for the board of directors to create new series of preferred stock without further approval by its stockholders, which could adversely affect the rights of the holders of the Series C Preferred Stock and common stock. The issuances of other series of preferred stock could have the effect of reducing the amounts available to the Series C Preferred Stock in the event of liquidation. If we issue preferred stock with voting rights that dilute the voting power of our common stock, the market price of our common stock could decrease, adversely affecting the value of the Series C Preferred Stock. Additional issuances and sales of preferred stock, or the perception that such issuances and sales could occur, may cause prevailing market prices for our common stock to decline and may adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital in the financial markets at times and prices favorable to it.

If we are unable to effectively maintain a system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial results and our stock price could be adversely affected.

Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and related regulations require us to evaluate the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of the end of each fiscal year, and to include a management report assessing the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for that fiscal year. Any failure to implement new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in the implementation or operation of these controls, could harm our operations, decrease the reliability of our financial reporting, and cause us to fail to meet our financial reporting obligations, which could adversely affect our business and reduce our stock price.

We are subject to state laws in California that require gender and diversity quotas for boards of directors of public companies headquartered in California.

 In September 2018, California enacted SB 826, requiring public companies headquartered in California to maintain minimum female representation on their boards of directors as follows: by December 31, 2019, public company boards must have a minimum of one female director; by December 31, 2021, public company boards with five members will be required to have at least two female directors, and public company boards with six or more members will be required to have at least three female directors.

Additionally, on September 30, 2020, California enacted AB 979, requiring public companies with principal executive offices in California to each have at least one director from an underrepresented community based on ethnicity and sexual orientation by December 31, 2021. By December 31, 2022, each of these companies will be required to have at least two directors from such underrepresented communities if such company has more than four but fewer than nine directors, or at least three directors from underrepresented communities if the company has nine or more directors.

We cannot assure that we can recruit, attract and/or retain qualified members of the board and continue to meet gender and diversity quotas as required by California law (provided that such laws are not repealed before the compliance deadlines), which may cause certain investors to divert their holdings in our securities and expose us to financial penalties and/or reputational harm.

We are a clinical stage company and may never achieve commercialization of our product candidates or profitability.

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We are a clinical stage of development and commercialization of our technologies and product candidates. We have not yet begun to market any products and, accordingly, have not begun or generate revenues from the commercialization of our products. Our products will require significant additional clinical testing and investment prior to commercialization. A commitment of substantial resources by us and, potentially, our partners to conduct time-consuming research and clinical studies will be required if we are to complete the development of our product candidates. There can be no assurance that our product candidates will meet applicable regulatory standards, obtain required regulatory approvals, be capable of being produced in commercial quantities at reasonable costs or be successfully marketed. Our product candidates are not expected to be commercially available for several years, if at all.

We are currently focused on the development of two product candidates.

Our product development efforts are currently focused on two product candidates: VAL-083 for GBM and REM-001 for CMBC. If either VAL-083 or REM-001 fail to achieve clinical endpoints or exhibit unanticipated toxicity or if a superior product is developed by a competitor, our prospects for obtaining regulatory approval and commercialization for either candidate may be negatively impacted. In the long-term, we hope to establish a pipeline of multiple product candidates. However, at this time we do not have any formal agreements granting us any rights to such additional product candidates.

Even if we are able to commercialize any product candidate that we develop, the product may become subject to unfavorable pricing regulations, third-party payor reimbursement practices or healthcare reform initiatives that could harm our business.

The commercial success of our current or future product candidates will depend substantially, both domestically and abroad, on the extent to which the costs of our product candidates will be paid by health maintenance, managed care, pharmacy benefit and similar healthcare management organizations, or reimbursed by government health administration authorities (such as Medicare and Medicaid), private health coverage insurers and other third-party payors. If reimbursement is not available, or is available only to limited levels, we may not be able to successfully commercialize our products. Even if coverage is provided, the approved reimbursement amount may not be high enough to allow us to establish and maintain pricing sufficient to realize a meaningful return on our investment.

There is significant uncertainty related to third-party payor coverage and reimbursement of newly approved drugs. Marketing approvals, pricing and reimbursement for new drug products vary widely from country to country. Some countries require approval of the sale price of a drug before it can be marketed. In many countries, the pricing review period begins after marketing or product licensing approval is granted. In some non-U.S. markets, prescription pharmaceutical pricing remains subject to continuing governmental control even after initial approval is granted. As a result, we might obtain marketing approval for a product in a particular country, but then be subject to price regulations that delay commercial launch of the product, possibly for lengthy time periods, which may negatively impact the revenues we are able to generate from the sale of the product in that country. Adverse pricing limitations may hinder our ability to recoup our investment in one or more product candidates, even if our product candidates obtain marketing approval.

Our ability to commercialize VAL-083, REM-001, or any other product candidates will depend in part on the extent to which coverage and reimbursement for these products and related treatments will be available from government health administration authorities, private health insurers and other organizations. Government authorities and third-party payors, such as private health insurers and health maintenance organizations, decide which medications they will cover and establish reimbursement levels. The healthcare industry is acutely focused on cost containment, both in the United States and elsewhere. Government authorities and third-party payors have attempted to control costs by limiting coverage and the amount of reimbursement for particular medications, which could affect our ability to sell our product candidates profitably. These payors may not view our products, if any, as cost-effective, and coverage and reimbursement may not be available to our customers, or may not be sufficient to allow our products, if any, to be marketed on a competitive basis. Cost-control initiatives could cause us to decrease the price we might establish for products, which could result in lower than anticipated product revenues. If the prices for our products, if any, decrease or if governmental and other third-party payors do not provide adequate coverage or reimbursement, our prospects for revenue and profitability will suffer.

There may also be delays in obtaining coverage and reimbursement for newly approved drugs, and coverage may be more limited than the indications for which the drug is approved by the FDA or comparable non- U.S. regulatory authorities. Moreover, eligibility for reimbursement does not imply that any drug will be paid for in all cases or at a rate that covers our costs, including research, development, manufacture, sale and distribution. Reimbursement rates may vary, by way of example, according to the use of the drug and the clinical setting in which it is used. Reimbursement rates may also be based on reimbursement levels already set for lower cost drugs or may be incorporated into existing payments for other services.

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In addition, increasingly, third-party payors are requiring higher levels of evidence of the benefits and clinical outcomes of new technologies and are challenging the prices charged. We cannot be sure that coverage will be available for any product candidate that we, or third-parties, commercialize and, if available, that the reimbursement rates will be adequate. Further, the net reimbursement for drug products may be subject to additional reductions if there are changes to laws that presently restrict imports of drugs from countries where they may be sold at lower prices than in the United States. An inability to promptly obtain coverage and adequate payment rates from both government-funded and private payors for any of our product candidates for which we obtain marketing approval could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, our ability to raise capital needed to commercialize products and our overall financial condition.

Pursuant to the terms of our converted Series B Preferred Stock, the Valent Technologies, LLC (“Valent”) Patent Assignment Agreement, and the St. Cloud Agreement we may be required to pay royalties.

Pursuant to the terms of the Valent Patent Assignment Agreement and our Series B Preferred Stock Certificate of Designation and the related Series B Preferred Royalty Agreement, we will be required to pay royalties if we receive revenue or milestone payments from product sales, or the partnering of VAL-083. If we obtain FDA or EMA approval of VAL-083, and/or if we generate sales of such products, or we receive any proceeds from the licensing or other disposition of VAL-083, we are required to pay to the holders of our common stock received upon conversion of our Series B Preferred Stock, a single-digit royalty. In addition, we are also required to pay a future royalty on all revenues derived from the development and commercialization of VAL-083 to Valent. The royalty payment rights will expire when the patents covering the applicable product expire.

In addition, under our St. Cloud agreement, we must pay to St. Cloud and Steven Rychnovsky, PhD, in the aggregate, a royalty fee of six percent (6%) of net sales during the royalty term on a country-by-country and product-by-product basis with St. Cloud receiving a royalty rate of four and eight tenths percent (4.8%) and Steven Rychnovsky, PhD, receiving a royalty of one and two tenths percent (1.2%). The royalty term for a product commences on the first commercial sale of the product, such as REM-001 Therapy, in any country, and the royalty fee must be paid within 30 days of each calendar quarter during which revenue is collected. The royalty term terminates on the later of (i) the invalidation, revocation, lapse or expiration of the last to expire valid claim on any patent acquired in the St. Cloud Agreement that would be infringed by the sale of the product in the country where the commercial sale takes place or (ii) the expiration of the period for which we hold exclusive marketing rights of the product in the country, if we are granted those rights under the St. Cloud Agreement.

We are dependent on obtaining certain patents and protecting our proprietary rights.

Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to obtain patents, maintain trade secret protection and operate without infringing on the proprietary rights of third parties or having third parties circumvent our rights. We have filed and are actively pursuing patent applications for our products. The patent positions of biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies can be highly uncertain and involve complex legal and factual questions. Thus, there can be no assurance that any of our patent applications will result in the issuance of patents, that we will develop additional proprietary products that are patentable, that any patents issued to us or those that already have been issued will provide us with any competitive advantages or will not be challenged by any third parties, that the patents of others will not impede our ability to do business or that third parties will not be able to circumvent our patents. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that others will not independently develop similar products, duplicate any of our products not under patent protection, or, if patents are issued to us, design around the patented products we developed or will develop.

We may be required to obtain licenses from third parties to avoid infringing patents or other proprietary rights. No assurance can be given that any licenses required under any such patents or proprietary rights would be made available, if at all, on terms we find acceptable. If we do not obtain such licenses, we could encounter delays in the introduction of products or could find that the development, manufacture or sale of products requiring such licenses could be prohibited.

A number of pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and research and academic institutions have developed technologies, filed patent applications or received patents on various technologies that may be related to or affect our business. Some of these technologies, applications or patents may conflict with our technologies or patent applications. Such conflict could limit the scope of the patents, if any, that we may be able to obtain or result in the denial of our patent applications. In addition, if patents that cover our activities are issued to other companies, there can be no assurance that we would be able to obtain licenses to these patents at a reasonable cost or be able to develop or obtain alternative technology. If we do not obtain such licenses, we could encounter delays in the introduction of products, or could find that the development, manufacture or sale of products requiring such licenses could be prohibited. In addition, we could incur substantial costs in defending ourselves in suits brought against us on patents it might infringe or in filing suits against others to have such patents declared invalid.

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Patent applications in the U.S. are maintained in secrecy and not published if either: (i) the application is a provisional application or (ii) the application is filed and we request no publication, and certify that the invention disclosed “has not and will not” be the subject of a published foreign application. Otherwise, U.S. applications or foreign counterparts, if any, publish 18 months after the priority application has been filed. Since publication of discoveries in the scientific or patent literature often lag behind actual discoveries, we cannot be certain that we or any licensor were the first creator of inventions covered by pending patent applications or that we or such licensor was the first to file patent applications for such inventions. Moreover, we might have to participate in interference proceedings declared by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) to determine priority of invention, which could result in substantial cost to us, even if the eventual outcome were favorable to us. There can be no assurance that our patents, if issued, would be held valid or enforceable by a court or that a competitor’s technology or product would be found to infringe such patents.

Moreover, we may be subject to third-party preissuance submissions of prior art to the USPTO, or become involved in opposition, derivation, reexamination, inter partes review, post-grant review or interference proceedings challenging our patent rights or the patent rights of others. An adverse determination in any such submission, proceeding or litigation could reduce the scope of, or invalidate, our patent rights, allow third parties to commercialize our technology or products and compete directly with us, without payment to us, or result in our inability to manufacture or commercialize products without infringing third-party patent rights.

Even if our patent applications issue as patents, they may not issue in a form that will provide us with any meaningful protection, prevent competitors from competing with us, or otherwise provide us with any competitive advantage. Our competitors may be able to circumvent our patents by developing similar or alternative technologies or products in a non-infringing manner.

The issuance of a patent is not conclusive as to its inventorship, scope, validity or enforceability, and our patents may be challenged in courts or patent offices in the United States and abroad. Such challenges may result in loss of exclusivity or freedom to operate, or in patent claims being narrowed, invalidated or held unenforceable, in whole or in part, which could limit our ability to stop others from using or commercializing similar or identical technology and products, or limit the duration of the patent protection of our technology and products. Given the amount of time required for the development, testing and regulatory review of new product candidates, patents protecting such candidates might expire before or shortly after such candidates are commercialized. As a result, our owned and licensed patent portfolio may not provide us with sufficient rights to exclude others from commercializing products similar or identical to ours.

In addition, the protection of intellectual property rights in China (where one of our clinical product candidates, VAL-083, is manufactured pursuant to a collaboration agreement with the only manufacturer presently licensed by the CFDA to manufacture VAL-083 for the China market, and where VAL-083 is approved for the treatment of CML and lung cancer) is relatively weak compared to the United States, which may negatively affect our ability to generate royalty revenue from sales of VAL-083 in China.

Much of our know-how and technology may not be patentable. To protect our rights, we require employees, consultants, advisors and collaborators to enter into confidentiality agreements. There can be no assurance, however, that these agreements will provide meaningful protection for our trade secrets, know-how or other proprietary information in the event of any unauthorized use or disclosure. Further, our business may be adversely affected by competitors who independently develop competing technologies, especially if we obtain no, or only narrow, patent protection.

 

We do not hold any patents covering our laser light source or light delivery device for REM-001.

Our laser light source and light delivery device are not currently covered by any patents; We do not have any patents pending, and do not currently intend to seek patent protection for these devices. As a result, competitors may be able to offer and sell products or drug delivery technology, as the case may be, using the same technology as our laser light source and/or light delivery devices, so long as these competitors do not infringe any other valid patents that it or third-parties hold.

While we plan to protect our proprietary information related to our laser light source and light delivery device as trade secrets through certain agreements with our employees, consultants, agents and other organizations to which we have disclosed our proprietary information, we cannot give any assurance that these agreements will provide effective protection for our proprietary information in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of such information. If other laser light sources or light delivery devices are approved and marketed, we will be unable to prevent them from competing with REM-001 Therapy in the marketplace using a different drug molecule that is not encompassed by any of our owned or licensed patents. We expect that the presence of one or more competing products would reduce our market share and could negatively impact price levels and third-party reimbursement policies for REM-001 Therapy, any of which would materially affect our business.

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We may be unable to protect our patents and proprietary rights.

Our future success will depend to a significant extent on our ability to:

 

obtain and keep patent protection for our products and technologies on an international basis;

 

enforce our patents to prevent others from using our inventions;

 

maintain and prevent others from using our trade secrets; and

 

operate and commercialize products without infringing on the patents or proprietary rights of others.

We can provide no assurance that our patent rights will afford any competitive advantages and these rights may be challenged or circumvented by third parties. Further, patents may not be issued on any of our pending patent applications in the U.S. or abroad. Because of the extensive time required for development, testing and regulatory review of a product candidate, it is possible that before a product candidate can be commercialized, any related patent may expire, or remain in existence for only a short period following commercialization, reducing or eliminating any advantage of the patent.

If we sue others for infringing on our patents, a court may determine that such patents are invalid or unenforceable. Even if the validity of our patent rights is upheld by a court, a court may not prevent the alleged infringement of our patent rights on the grounds that such activity is not covered by our patent claims.

In addition, third parties may sue us for infringing on their patents. In the event of a successful claim of infringement against us, we may be required to:

 

defend litigation or administrative proceedings;

 

pay substantial damages;

 

stop using our technologies and methods;

 

stop certain research and development efforts;

 

develop non-infringing products or methods; and

 

obtain one or more licenses from third parties.

If required, we can provide no assurance that we will be able to obtain such licenses on acceptable terms, or at all. If we are sued for infringement, we could encounter substantial delays in development, manufacture and commercialization of our product candidates. Any litigation, whether to enforce our patent rights or to defend against allegations that we infringed third-party rights, will be costly, time consuming, and may distract management from other important tasks.

As is commonplace in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, we employ individuals who were previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. To the extent our employees are involved in research areas which are similar to those areas in which they were involved at their former employers, we may be subject to claims that such employees and/or we have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed the alleged trade secrets or other proprietary information of the former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against such claims, which could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management and which may have a material adverse effect on us, even if we are successful in defending such claims.

We are subject to various government regulations.

The manufacture and sale of human therapeutic and diagnostic products in the U.S., Canada and foreign jurisdictions are governed by a variety of statutes and regulations. These laws require approval of manufacturing facilities, controlled research and testing of products and government review and approval of a submission containing manufacturing, preclinical and clinical data in order to obtain marketing approval based on establishing the safety and efficacy of the product for each use sought, including adherence to current cGMP during production and storage, and control of marketing activities, including advertising and labeling.

VAL-083, REM-001 and any other products we may develop will require significant development, preclinical and clinical testing and investment of substantial funds prior to its commercialization. The process of obtaining required approvals can be costly and time-consuming, and there can be no assurance that we will successfully develop any future products that will prove to be safe and effective in clinical studies or receive applicable regulatory approvals. Markets other than the U.S. and Canada have similar restrictions. Potential investors and shareholders should be aware of the risks, problems, delays, expenses and difficulties which we may encounter in view of the extensive regulatory environment which controls our business.

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We may request priority review for our product candidates in the future. The FDA may not grant priority review for our product candidates. Moreover, even if the FDA designated such product for priority review, that designation may not lead to a faster regulatory review or approval process and, in any event, would not assure FDA approval.

We may be eligible for priority review designation for our product candidates if the FDA determines such product candidate offers major advances in treatment or provides a treatment where no adequate therapy exists. A priority review designation means that the goal for the FDA to review an application is six months, rather than the standard review period of ten months. The FDA has broad discretion with respect to whether or not to grant priority review status to a product candidate, so even if we believe a particular product candidate is eligible for such designation or status, the FDA may decide not to grant it. Thus, while the FDA has granted priority review to other oncology disease products, our product candidates, should we determine to seek priority review, may not receive similar designation. Moreover, even if our product candidate is designated for priority review, such a designation does not necessarily mean a faster regulatory review process or necessarily confer any advantage with respect to approval compared to conventional FDA procedures. Receiving priority review from the FDA does not guarantee approval within an accelerated timeline or thereafter.  

We believe we may in some instances be able to secure approval from the FDA or comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities to use accelerated development pathways. If we are unable to obtain such approval, we may be required to conduct additional preclinical studies or clinical studies beyond those that it contemplates, which could increase the expense of obtaining, and delay the receipt of, necessary marketing approvals.

We anticipate that we may seek an accelerated approval pathway for our product candidates. Under the accelerated approval provisions in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”), and the FDA’s implementing regulations, the FDA may grant accelerated approval to a product designed to treat a serious or life-threatening condition that provides meaningful therapeutic benefit over available therapies upon a determination that the product has an effect on a surrogate endpoint or intermediate clinical endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. The FDA considers a clinical benefit to be a positive therapeutic effect that is clinically meaningful in the context of a given disease, such as irreversible morbidity or mortality. For the purposes of accelerated approval, a surrogate endpoint is a marker, such as a laboratory measurement, radiographic image, physical sign, or other measure that is thought to predict clinical benefit, but is not itself a measure of clinical benefit. An intermediate clinical endpoint is a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on irreversible morbidity or mortality or other clinical benefit. The accelerated approval pathway may be used in cases in which the advantage of a new drug over available therapy may not be a direct therapeutic advantage, but is a clinically important improvement from a patient and public health perspective. If granted, accelerated approval is usually contingent on the sponsor’s agreement to conduct, in a diligent manner, additional post-approval confirmatory studies to verify and describe the drug’s clinical benefit. If such post-approval studies fail to confirm the drug’s clinical benefit, the FDA may withdraw its approval of the drug.

Prior to seeking such accelerated approval, we will seek feedback from the FDA and will otherwise evaluate our ability to seek and receive such accelerated approval. There can also be no assurance that after our evaluation of the feedback and other factors we will decide to pursue or submit a New Drug Application (“NDA”), for accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval. Similarly, there can be no assurance that after subsequent FDA feedback that we will continue to pursue or apply for accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval, even if we initially decide to do so. Furthermore, if we decide to submit an application for accelerated approval or under another expedited regulatory designation (e.g., breakthrough therapy designation), there can be no assurance that such submission or application will be accepted or that any expedited development, review or approval will be granted on a timely basis, or at all. The FDA or other non-U.S. authorities could also require us to conduct further studies prior to considering our application or granting approval of any type. A failure to obtain accelerated approval or any other form of expedited development, review or approval for any of our product candidates that we decide to seek accelerated approval for would result in a longer time period to commercialization of such product candidate, could increase the cost of development of such product candidate and could harm our competitive position in the marketplace.

We have conducted, and may in the future conduct, clinical studies for certain of our product candidates at sites outside the United States, and the FDA may not accept data from studies conducted in such locations.

We have conducted and may in the future choose to conduct one or more of our clinical studies outside the United States. Although the FDA may accept data from clinical studies conducted outside the United States, acceptance of this data is subject to certain conditions imposed by the FDA. For example, the clinical study must be well designed and conducted and performed by qualified investigators in accordance with ethical principles. The study population must also adequately represent the U.S. population, and the data must be applicable to the U.S. population and U.S. medical practice in ways that the FDA deems clinically meaningful. Generally, the patient population for any clinical studies conducted outside of the United States must be representative of the population for whom we intend to seek approval in the United States. In addition, while these clinical studies are subject to the applicable local laws, FDA acceptance of the data will be dependent upon its determination that the studies also complied with all

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applicable U.S. laws and regulations. There can be no assurance that the FDA will accept data from studies conducted outside of the United States. If the FDA does not accept the data from any of our clinical studies that we determine to conduct outside the United States, it would likely result in the need for additional studies, which would be costly and time-consuming and delay or permanently halt our development of the product candidate.

In addition, the conduct of clinical studies outside the United States could have a significant impact on us.  The risks inherent in conducting international clinical studies include:

 

foreign regulatory requirements that could restrict or limit our ability to conduct our clinical studies;

 

administrative burdens of conducting clinical studies under multiple foreign regulatory schema;

 

foreign exchange fluctuations; and

 

diminished protection of intellectual property in some countries.

If our clinical studies fail to demonstrate safety and efficacy to the satisfaction of the FDA and comparable non-U.S. regulators, we may incur additional costs or experience delays in completing, or ultimately be unable to complete, the development and commercialization of our product candidates.

We are not permitted to commercialize, market, promote or sell any product candidate in the United States without obtaining marketing approval from the FDA. Comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities, such as the EMA, impose similar restrictions. We may never receive such approvals. We must complete extensive preclinical development and clinical studies to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of our product candidates in humans before we will be able to obtain these approvals.

Clinical testing is expensive, difficult to design and implement, can take many years to complete and is inherently uncertain as to outcome. We have not previously submitted an NDA to the FDA or similar drug approval filings to comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities for any product candidate.

Any inability to successfully complete preclinical and clinical development could result in additional costs to us and impair our ability to generate revenues from product sales, regulatory and commercialization milestones and royalties. In addition, if (1) we are required to conduct additional clinical studies or other testing of our product candidates beyond the studies and testing that we contemplate, (2) we are unable to successfully complete clinical studies of our product candidates or other testing, (3) the results of these studies or tests are unfavorable, uncertain or are only modestly favorable, or (4) there are unacceptable safety concerns associated with our product candidate, we, in addition to incurring additional costs, may:

 

be delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our product candidates;

 

not obtain marketing approval at all;

 

obtain approval for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as we intended or desired;

 

obtain approval with labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or significant safety warnings, including boxed warnings;

 

be subject to additional post-marketing testing or other requirements; or

 

be required to remove the product from the market after obtaining marketing approval.

If we experience any of a number of possible unforeseen events in connection with clinical studies of our product candidates, potential marketing approval or commercialization of our product candidates could be delayed or prevented.

We may experience numerous unforeseen events during, or as a result of, clinical studies that could delay or prevent marketing approval of our product candidates, including:

 

clinical studies of our product candidates may produce unfavorable or inconclusive results;

 

we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical studies or abandon product development programs;

 

the number of patients required for clinical studies of our product candidates may be larger than we anticipate, patient enrollment in these clinical studies may be slower than we anticipate or participants may drop out of these clinical studies at a higher rate than we anticipate;

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data safety monitoring committees may recommend suspension, termination or a clinical hold for various reasons, including concerns about patient safety;

 

regulators or IRBs may suspend or terminate the study or impose a clinical hold for various reasons, including noncompliance with regulatory requirements or concerns about patient safety;

 

patients with serious, life-threatening diseases included in our clinical studies may die or suffer other adverse medical events for reasons that may not be related to our product candidates;

 

participating patients may be subject to unacceptable health risks;

 

patients may not complete clinical studies due to safety issues, side effects, or other reasons;

 

changes in regulatory requirements and guidance may occur, which require us to amend clinical study protocols to reflect these changes;

 

our third-party contractors, including those manufacturing our product candidates or components or ingredients thereof or conducting clinical studies on our behalf, may fail to comply with regulatory requirements or meet their contractual obligations to us in a timely manner or at all;

 

regulators or institutional review boards, or IRBs may not authorize us or our investigators to commence a clinical study or conduct a clinical study at a prospective study site;

 

we may experience delays in reaching or fail to reach agreement on acceptable clinical study contracts or clinical study protocols with prospective study sites;

 

patients who enroll in a clinical study may misrepresent their eligibility to do so or may otherwise not comply with the clinical study protocol, resulting in the need to drop the patients from the clinical study, increase the needed enrollment size for the clinical study or extend the clinical study’s duration;

 

we may have to suspend or terminate clinical studies of our product candidates for various reasons, including a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks, undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics of a product candidate;

 

regulators or IRBs may require that we or our investigators suspend or terminate clinical research for various reasons, including noncompliance with regulatory requirements or their respective standards of conduct, a finding that the participants are being exposed to unacceptable health risks, undesirable side effects or other unexpected characteristics of the product candidate or findings of undesirable effects caused by a chemically or mechanistically similar drug or drug candidate;

 

the FDA or comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities may fail to approve or subsequently find fault with the manufacturing processes or facilities of third-party manufacturers with which we enter into agreements for clinical and commercial supplies;

 

the FDA or comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities may disagree with our clinical study design or our interpretation of data from preclinical studies and clinical studies;

 

the supply or quality of raw materials or manufactured product candidate or other materials necessary to conduct clinical studies of our product candidates may be insufficient, inadequate, delayed, or not available at an acceptable cost, or we may experience interruptions in supply; and

 

the approval policies or regulations of the FDA or comparable non-U.S. regulatory authorities may significantly change in a manner rendering our clinical data insufficient to obtain marketing approval.

Product development costs for us will increase if we experience delays in testing or pursuing marketing approvals and we may be required to obtain additional funds to complete clinical studies and prepare for possible commercialization of our product candidates. We do not know whether any preclinical tests or clinical studies will begin as planned, will need to be restructured or will be completed on schedule, or at all. Significant preclinical or clinical study delays also could shorten any periods during which we may have the exclusive right to commercialize our product candidates or allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do and impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may harm our business and results of operations. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, clinical study delays may ultimately lead to the denial of marketing approval of our product candidates.

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If we experience delays or difficulties in the enrollment of patients in clinical studies, our product candidates may not achieve clinical development on our anticipated timeline, or at all, and our receipt of necessary regulatory approvals could be delayed or prevented.

We may not be able to initiate or continue clinical studies for VAL-083, REM-001 or any other product candidate if we are unable to locate and enroll a sufficient number of eligible patients to participate in clinical studies. Patient enrollment is a significant factor in the timing of clinical studies, and is affected by many factors, including:

 

the size and nature of the patient population;

 

the severity of the disease under investigation;

 

the proximity of patients to clinical sites;

 

the eligibility criteria for the study;

 

the design of the clinical study;

 

efforts to facilitate timely enrollment;

 

competing clinical studies; and

 

clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages and risks of the drug being studied in relation to other available therapies, including any new drugs that may be approved for the indications we are investigating.

Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical studies could result in significant delays or may require us to abandon one or more clinical studies altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical studies may result in increased development costs for our product candidates, delay or halt the development of and approval processes for our product candidates and jeopardize our ability to achieve our clinical development timeline and goals, including the dates by which we will commence, complete and receive results from clinical studies. Enrollment delays may also delay or jeopardize our ability to commence sales and generate revenues from our product candidates. Any of the foregoing could cause our value to decline and limit our ability to obtain additional financing, if needed.

Positive results in previous clinical studies of VAL-083 and REM-001 may not be replicated in future clinical studies, which could result in development delays or a failure to obtain marketing approval.

Positive results in previous clinical studies of VAL-083 and REM-001 may not be predictive of similar results in future clinical studies. Also, interim results during a clinical study do not necessarily predict final results. A number of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical studies even after achieving promising results in early-stage development. Accordingly, the results from the completed preclinical studies and clinical studies for VAL-083 and REM-001 may not be predictive of the results we may obtain in later stage studies. Our clinical studies may produce negative or inconclusive results, and we may decide, or regulators may require us, to conduct additional clinical studies. Moreover, clinical data are often susceptible to varying interpretations and analyses, and many companies that believed their product candidates performed satisfactorily in preclinical studies and clinical studies have nonetheless failed to obtain FDA or EMA, or other regulatory agency, approval for their products.

 

If we are required by the FDA to obtain approval of a companion diagnostic test in connection with approval of VAL-083, and we do not obtain, or face delays in obtaining such FDA approval, we may not be able to commercialize VAL-083 and our ability to generate revenue will be materially impaired.

If the FDA determines that a companion diagnostic device is necessary to the safe and effective use of a novel therapeutic product, the FDA will require that the companion diagnostic be approved or cleared for that indication along with that therapeutic product. Companion diagnostics are developed in conjunction with clinical programs for the associated therapeutic product candidate and are subject to regulation as medical devices by the FDA.

If the FDA requires a companion diagnostic for the safe and effective use of VAL-083 in the MGMT unmethylated GBM population and a satisfactory companion diagnostic is not approved and commercially available, we may be required to create or obtain one that would be subject to regulatory approval requirements. The process of obtaining or creating such diagnostic is time consuming and costly. Any delay or failure to develop or obtain regulatory approval or clearance of a companion diagnostic could delay or prevent approval or continued marketing of such drug product candidate.

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FDA approval of VAL-083, REM-001, or future product candidates may be denied.

There can be no assurance that the FDA will ultimately approve our NDAs. The FDA may deny approval of VAL-083 or REM-001 for many reasons, including:

 

we may be unable to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA that our products are safe and effective for its intended uses;

 

the FDA may disagree with our interpretation of data from the clinical studies;

 

we may be unable to demonstrate that any clinical or other benefits of our products outweigh any safety or other perceived risks; or

 

we may not be able to successfully address any other issues raised by the FDA.

If VAL-083 or REM-001 fail to receive FDA approval, our business and prospects will be materially adversely impacted.

We expect to rely on orphan drug status to develop and commercialize our product candidates, but our orphan drug designations may not confer marketing exclusivity or other expected commercial benefits as anticipated.

Market exclusivity afforded by orphan drug designation is generally offered as an incentive to drug developers to invest in developing and commercializing products for unique diseases that impact a limited number of patients. The FDA may grant orphan drug designation to drugs intended to treat a rare disease or condition, which is generally a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. Qualification to maintain orphan drug status is generally monitored by the regulatory authorities during the orphan drug exclusivity period, currently seven years from the date of approval in the United States.

For VAL-083, we have been granted orphan drug designation in the United States for GBM, ovarian cancer, and medulloblastoma, and in Europe for GBM. In addition, for REM-001 the FDA granted our request that tin ethyl etiopurpurin (the active pharmaceutical ingredient in REM-001) be designated as an orphan drug for treatment of BCCNS. We also hold an orphan drug designation that was initially awarded to Miravant for tin ethyl etiopurpurin for the prevention of access graft disease in hemodialysis patients.

We expect to rely on orphan drug exclusivity for our product candidates. It is possible that the incidence and prevalence numbers for GBM, CMBC, and access graft disease could change. Should the incidence and prevalence of these diseases materially increase, it is possible that the orphan drug designation, and related market exclusivity, in the United States could be lost. Further, while we have been granted these orphan designations, the FDA can still approve different drugs for use in treating the same indication or disease, which would create a more competitive market for us and our revenues, if any, will be diminished.

Further, it is possible that another company also holding orphan drug designation for the same product candidate will receive marketing approval for the same indication before we do. If that were to happen, our applications for that indication may not be approved until the competing company’s period of exclusivity expires. Even if we are the first to obtain marketing authorization for an orphan drug indication, there are circumstances under which a competing product may be approved for the same indication during the seven-year period of marketing exclusivity, such as if the later product is shown to be clinically superior to the orphan product, or if the later product is deemed a different product than ours. Further, the seven-year marketing exclusivity would not prevent competitors from obtaining approval of the same product candidate as ours for indications other than those in which we have been granted orphan drug designation, or for the use of other types of products in the same indications as our orphan products.

If the market opportunities for our product candidates are smaller than we believe they are, our future revenues may be adversely affected and our business may suffer. Because the target patient populations of our product candidates are small, we must be able to successfully identify patients and capture a significant market share to achieve and maintain profitability.

We focus our research and product development on treatments for orphan cancer indications. Our projections of both the number of people who have failed other therapies or have limited medical options, are based on estimates. These estimates may prove to be incorrect and new studies may change the estimated incidence or prevalence. The number of patients in the United States, Europe and elsewhere may turn out to be lower than expected or may not be otherwise amenable to treatment with our products, or new patients may become increasingly difficult to identify or gain access to, all of which would adversely affect our results of operations and our business. Additionally, because our target patient populations are small, we will be required to capture a significant market share to achieve and maintain profitability.

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We may be required to suspend or discontinue clinical studies due to unexpected side effects or other safety risks that could preclude approval of our products.

Our clinical studies may be suspended at any time for a number of reasons. For example, we may voluntarily suspend or terminate our clinical studies if at any time we believe that they present an unacceptable risk to the clinical study patients. In addition, the FDA or other regulatory agencies may order the temporary or permanent discontinuation of our clinical studies at any time if they believe that the clinical studies are not being conducted in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements or that they present an unacceptable safety risk to the clinical study patients.

Administering any product candidate to humans may produce undesirable side effects. These side effects could interrupt, delay or halt clinical studies of our product candidates and could result in the FDA or other regulatory authorities denying further development or approval of our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Ultimately, some or all of our product candidates may prove to be unsafe for human use. Moreover, we could be subject to significant liability if any volunteer or patient suffers, or appears to suffer, adverse health effects or even death as a result of participating in our clinical studies.

Our product candidates may cause undesirable adverse events or have other properties that could delay or prevent their regulatory approval, limit the commercial profile of an approved label, and/or result in significant negative consequences following regulatory approval, if any, including withdrawal from the market.

The REM-001 Therapy may exhibit undesirable and unintended side effects that may prevent or limit its commercial adoption and use. Even upon receiving approval by the FDA and other regulatory authorities, our products may later exhibit adverse side effects that prevent widespread use or necessitate withdrawal from the market. The manifestation of such side effects could cause its business to suffer.

Undesirable adverse events caused by our product candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical studies and may result in a more restrictive label, a delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA or other comparable regulatory authorities, or a significant change in our clinical protocol or even our development plan. For example, in the four clinical studies of REM-001 therapy conducted by Miravant, there were a total of 17 serious adverse events, a large portion of which were related to necrosis of treated lesions. One adverse event that has been seen with REM-001 Therapy is a period of photosensitivity after receiving REM-001 Therapy. This period of photosensitivity is generally dose dependent and typically declines over time. A second such adverse event is pain that arises or results from the treatment. Treatment-related pain has been experienced by some patients and it is often treated with analgesics but in some cases more aggressive treatment can be required.

If clinical studies of our product candidates reveal a high and unacceptable severity or prevalence of certain adverse events, our studies could be suspended or terminated and the FDA and/or other comparable regulatory authorities could order us to cease further development of, or deny approval of, our product candidates for any or all targeted indications. Adverse events related to our candidates also may affect patient recruitment or the ability of enrolled subjects to complete the study and could result in potential liability claims. Any of these occurrences may significantly harm our reputation, business, financial condition and prospects.

Additionally, adverse events associated with our future approved products candidates may lead to potentially significant negative consequences, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

suspension of our marketing of the product;

 

withdrawal or revocation by regulatory authorities of their approvals of or the licenses for the product;

 

the requirement by regulatory authorities to conduct additional post-approval clinical studies, add additional warnings to, or otherwise change, the label of the product, or create a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients;

 

restrictions on the distribution of the product or imposition of burdensome implementation requirements on us through the establishment of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (“REMS”) or similar strategy as may be required by the FDA or a comparable regulatory authority;

 

changes in the way the product is distributed or administered;

 

regulatory investigations, government enforcement actions or litigation proceedings, and being held liable for harm caused to subjects or patients;

 

removal of products from the marketplace; and

 

harm to our reputation.

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Any of these events could prevent us from achieving or maintaining market acceptance of any particular product candidate that is approved and could significantly harm our business, results of operations and prospects.

Our plan to achieve marketing approval of REM-001 Therapy depends partly on the accuracy of its preliminary efficacy analysis of REM-001 Therapy CMBC study data. While we believe the results of our preliminary efficacy analysis accurately reflect the actual clinical study results, a detailed analysis overseen by regulatory experts may yield different results.

We plan to utilize existing REM-001 Therapy clinical study data as supportive data when seeking marketing approval of REM-001 Therapy for the treatment of CMBC. Between February 1996 and January 1999, Miravant, with support from certain corporate partners, conducted four clinical studies for the treatment of CMBC using REM-001 Therapy. As part of our review of REM-001 Therapy’s data package, we noted that while Miravant’s investigators had done a safety analysis of all treated patients, these reports indicated an efficacy analysis was only performed on two of their four clinical studies. Notably, there had been no efficacy analysis on the other two studies which constituted approximately half of the CMBC patients who were treated with REM-001 Therapy. We originally performed a preliminary efficacy analysis on the data from all four CMBC studies, including the two that had not previously been analyzed. We then engaged regulatory experts who were either former FDA employees with directly related experience in reviewing similar oncology treatments who were then acting as independent consultants or individuals who have provided senior regulatory guidance to major pharmaceutical or medical device companies in situations that led to regulatory approval. These individuals guided us in conducting a second more in-depth analysis that yielded results consistent with our original analysis. Following that, we compiled a briefing document and submitted questions to FDA. While we believe the results of our preliminary efficacy analysis, and subsequent analysis conducted under the guidance of these experts which was consistent with its original preliminary analysis, accurately reflect the actual clinical study results and that the age of the underlying data from the clinical studies is not material, a more in-depth review may yield different conclusions. Such differing results may negatively impact our ability to pursue or achieve, or result in delays to obtain, marketing approval of REM-001 Therapy. There can be no certainty that results from our analyses done to date or results from future analyses that we may undertake will be sufficiently complete to satisfy FDA requests or that any results will be favorable to us.

We intend to use laser light devices that the FDA finds to be functionally equivalent to the Miravant devices in our planned clinical studies. If we are unable to demonstrate functional equivalence between the Miravant device and our intended laser light device or if the FDA refuses to allow the use of our intended laser light device, we will be unable to complete clinical studies for REM-001 Therapy and our business will be materially impaired.

Our REM-001 Therapy product consists of three parts, the DD series laser light source (or equivalent), the ML2-0400 light delivery device (or equivalent) and the drug REM-001. Pursuant to the Miravant oncology IND, the FDA previously approved all three components to be used together in certain Miravant CMBC Studies. Our plan is to use new lasers that are functionally equivalent to the Miravant DD2, the laser used in certain prior Miravant clinical studies, for CMBC. The light delivery devices we plan to use in our CMBC program are the same basic design developed and used previously by Miravant in its clinical studies. Our plan is to have clinical light delivery devices built by a contract medical device manufacturer using the basic Miravant design and tested to the same performance specifications as used previously. If the FDA finds that our intended laser light device is not functionally equivalent to the Miravant devices, the FDA may not approve any marketing application for REM-001.

Our REM-001 Therapy clinical study data may not be deemed acceptable by the FDA to support our new drug applications.

In seeking regulatory approval for REM-001, we intend to rely at least in part upon data gathered by Miravant Medical Technologies in its initial Phase 1 studies and in four later Phase 2/3 clinical studies that were conducted approximately 20 years ago. Based on our initial interactions with the FDA, we believe the agency will accept these results as supportive data but we cannot ultimately be certain that the FDA will accept data that old to support our new drug applications. Also based on our initial interactions with the FDA, we believe our plans for manufacturing investigational test materials will lead to investigational test materials that FDA will recognize as being sufficiently comparable to Miravant’s materials and also suitable for further investigational studies but FDA may later raise questions about the similarity of Miravant’s investigational testing material versus its manufactured investigational testing material, or may raise questions about the processes and methods under which this old data was collected or may raise additional concerns regarding the elapsed time period. If the FDA does not accept this data, we will have to incur significant costs which may require additional capital to redo some or all of the Miravant studies or supplement these studies with additional studies.

We may not receive regulatory approvals for our product candidates or there may be a delay in obtaining such approvals.

Our products and our ongoing development activities are subject to regulation by regulatory authorities in the countries in which we or our collaborators and distributors wish to test, manufacture or market our products. For instance, the FDA will regulate the product in the U.S. and equivalent authorities, such as the EMA, will regulate in Europe. Regulatory approval by these authorities will be subject to the evaluation of data relating to the quality, efficacy and safety of the product for its proposed use, and there can be no

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assurance that the regulatory authorities will find our data sufficient to support product approval of VAL-083 or any future product candidates.

The time required to obtain regulatory approval varies between countries. The FDA is required to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs and biologics that are intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and which demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the condition. Filling an unmet medical need is defined as providing a therapy where none exists or providing a therapy that may be potentially better than available therapy. Under the fast track program, the sponsor of a new drug or biologic candidate may request the FDA to designate the product for a specific indication as a fast track product concurrent with or after the filing of the IND for the product candidate. The FDA must determine if the product candidate qualifies for fast track designation within 60 days after receipt of the sponsor’s request. In the U.S., for products without “Fast Track” status, it can take over eighteen (18) months after submission of an application for product approval to receive the FDA’s decision. Even with Fast Track status, FDA review and decision can take over twelve (12) months.

In December 2017, the FDA granted Fast Track designation for VAL-083 in patients with recurrent GBM.

Different regulators may impose their own requirements and may refuse to grant, or may require additional data before granting, an approval, notwithstanding that regulatory approval may have been granted by other regulators. Regulatory approval may be delayed, limited or denied for a number of reasons, including insufficient clinical data, the product not meeting safety or efficacy requirements or any relevant manufacturing processes or facilities not meeting applicable requirements as well as case load at the regulatory agency at the time.

We may fail to comply with regulatory requirements.

Our success will be dependent upon our ability, and our collaborative partners’ abilities, to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, including cGMP, and safety reporting obligations. The failure to comply with applicable regulatory requirements can result in, among other things, fines, injunctions, civil penalties, total or partial suspension of regulatory approvals, refusal to approve pending applications, recalls or seizures of products, operating and production restrictions and criminal prosecutions.

Even if one of our product candidates receives marketing approval, it 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 and the market opportunity for the product candidate may be smaller than our estimates.

We have never commercialized a product. Even if VAL-083, REM-001, or any other product candidates is approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities for marketing and sale, it may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community. For example, physicians are often reluctant to switch their patients from existing therapies even when new and potentially more effective or convenient treatments enter the market. Further, patients often acclimate to the therapy that they are currently taking and do not want to switch unless their physicians recommend switching products or they are required to switch therapies due to lack of reimbursement for existing therapies.

Efforts to educate the medical community and third-party payors on the benefits of our product candidates may require significant resources and may not be successful. If our product candidates are approved but do not achieve an adequate level of market acceptance, we may not generate significant revenues and we may not become profitable. The degree of market acceptance of VAL-083, REM-001, or any other product candidate, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

the efficacy and safety of the product;

 

the potential advantages of the product compared to alternative treatments;

 

the prevalence and severity of any side effects;

 

the clinical indications for which the product is approved;

 

whether the product is designated under physician treatment guidelines as a first-line therapy or as a second- or third-line therapy;

 

limitations or warnings, including distribution or use restrictions, contained in the product’s approved labeling;

 

our ability to offer the product for sale at competitive prices;

 

our ability to establish and maintain pricing sufficient to realize a meaningful return on our investment;

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the product’s convenience and ease of administration compared to alternative treatments;

 

the willingness of the target patient population to try, and of physicians to prescribe, the product;

 

the strength of sales, marketing and distribution support;

 

the approval of other new products for the same indications;

 

changes in the standard of care for the targeted indications for the product;

 

the timing of market introduction of our approved products as well as competitive products and other therapies;

 

availability and amount of reimbursement from government payors, managed care plans and other third-party payors;

 

adverse publicity about the product or favorable publicity about competitive products; and

 

potential product liability claims.

The potential market opportunities for our product candidates are difficult to estimate precisely. Our estimates of the potential market opportunities are predicated on many assumptions, including industry knowledge and publications, third-party research reports and other surveys. While we believe that our internal assumptions are reasonable, these assumptions involve the exercise of significant judgment on the part of our management, are inherently uncertain and the reasonableness of these assumptions has not been assessed by an independent source. If any of the assumptions proves to be inaccurate, the actual markets for our product candidate could be smaller than our estimates of the potential market opportunities.

If one of our product candidates receives marketing approval and we, or others, later discover that the drug is less effective than previously believed or causes undesirable side effects that were not previously identified, our ability to market the drug could be compromised.

Clinical studies of our product candidates are conducted in carefully defined subsets of patients who have agreed to enter into clinical studies. Consequently, it is possible that our clinical studies may indicate an apparent positive effect of a product candidate that is greater than the actual positive effect, if any, or alternatively fail to identify undesirable side effects. If, following approval of one of our product candidates, we, or others, discover that the drug is less effective than previously believed or causes undesirable side effects that were not previously identified, any of the following adverse events could occur:

 

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

 

we may be required to recall the drug or change the way