kod-10k_20201231.htm
false FY 0001468748 --12-31 P5Y P3Y kod:RetirementAndSavingsPlanMember 2018-10-31 2023-10-31 P9Y6M P3Y9M18D P8Y8M23D P8Y25D P6Y P5Y9M10D P6Y21D P5Y6M21D P6Y29D P9Y3M18D P6Y3M21D 0001468748 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 xbrli:shares 0001468748 2021-02-19 iso4217:USD 0001468748 2020-06-30 0001468748 2020-12-31 0001468748 2019-12-31 iso4217:USD xbrli:shares 0001468748 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2017-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2017-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2017-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2017-12-31 0001468748 2017-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2018-12-31 0001468748 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AdditionalPaidInCapitalMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:AccumulatedOtherComprehensiveIncomeMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RetainedEarningsMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:IPOMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:IPOMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember us-gaap:IPOMember 2018-10-08 2018-10-09 0001468748 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember kod:WarrantsExercisedIntoConvertiblePreferredSharesThenConvertedMember us-gaap:IPOMember 2018-10-09 0001468748 us-gaap:RedeemableConvertiblePreferredStockMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember us-gaap:WarrantMember us-gaap:IPOMember 2018-10-08 2018-10-09 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember kod:TwoThousandSeventeenConvertibleNotesMember us-gaap:IPOMember 2018-10-08 2018-10-09 0001468748 us-gaap:CommonStockMember kod:TwoThousandEighteenConvertibleNotesMember us-gaap:IPOMember 2018-10-08 2018-10-09 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-12-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-11-01 2020-11-30 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember us-gaap:CommonStockMember 2020-11-30 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember 2019-12-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:FollowOnOfferingMember 2020-11-01 2020-11-30 0001468748 srt:MaximumMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 kod:Segment 0001468748 us-gaap:BankTimeDepositsMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:BankTimeDepositsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:ComputerEquipmentAndOfficeEquipmentMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:SoftwareDevelopmentMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 xbrli:pure 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2019-12-01 2019-12-01 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2019-12-01 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember srt:MinimumMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2019-12-01 0001468748 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201602Member 2019-01-01 0001468748 us-gaap:AccountingStandardsUpdate201613Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:LaboratoryEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FurnitureAndFixturesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:ComputerEquipmentMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:ComputerSoftwareMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:ComputerSoftwareMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:OfficeEquipmentMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:OfficeEquipmentMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:ConstructionInProgressMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:MoneyMarketFundsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember kod:RepurchaseAgreementMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember kod:RepurchaseAgreementMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember kod:RepurchaseAgreementMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember kod:RepurchaseAgreementMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel1Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel2Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember us-gaap:FairValueInputsLevel3Member 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsRecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:FairValueMeasurementsNonrecurringMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:USTreasurySecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CommercialPaperMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CorporateNoteSecuritiesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 srt:MaximumMember 2020-12-31 kod:Building 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember stpr:CA 2020-06-01 2020-06-30 utr:sqft 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:BuildingOneMember stpr:CA 2020-06-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:BuildingTwoMember stpr:CA 2020-06-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:BuildingOneMember stpr:CA 2020-06-01 2020-06-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:BuildingTwoMember stpr:CA 2020-06-01 2020-06-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember stpr:CA 2020-06-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember stpr:CA 2020-07-01 utr:sqm 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnAprilTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:OfficeAndLaboratorySpaceMember country:CH 2020-04-30 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnAprilTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:OfficeAndLaboratorySpaceMember country:CH 2020-04-01 2020-04-30 iso4217:CHF 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnAprilTwoThousandAndTwentyMember kod:OfficeAndLaboratorySpaceMember country:CH srt:MaximumMember 2020-04-30 0001468748 kod:ManufacturingAgreementMember kod:ClinicalAndCommercialSupplyMember 2020-08-31 0001468748 kod:ManufacturingAgreementMember kod:ClinicalAndCommercialSupplyMember 2020-08-01 2020-08-31 0001468748 kod:ManufacturingAgreementMember kod:ClinicalAndCommercialSupplyMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-08-01 2020-08-31 0001468748 kod:LeaseAgreementOnAprilAndJuneTwoThousandAndTwentyMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:LonzaMember us-gaap:ServiceAgreementsMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:LonzaMember us-gaap:ServiceAgreementsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:LonzaMember us-gaap:ServiceAgreementsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:LonzaMember us-gaap:ServiceAgreementsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:LonzaMember us-gaap:ServiceAgreementsMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:PurchaseCommitmentMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:PurchaseCommitmentMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 srt:MaximumMember us-gaap:LicensingAgreementsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember stpr:CA kod:TenantImprovementAllowanceAgreementMember 2013-05-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember stpr:CA kod:TenantImprovementAllowanceAgreementMember 2013-05-01 2013-05-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember stpr:CA 2016-03-31 0001468748 us-gaap:LeaseholdImprovementsMember stpr:CA 2016-03-01 2016-03-31 0001468748 kod:TenantImprovementAllowancePayableMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TenantImprovementAllowancePayableMember srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TenantImprovementAllowancePayableMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TenantImprovementAllowancePayableMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember kod:NetOperatingLossNotSubjectToExpirationMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:DomesticCountryMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:StateAndLocalJurisdictionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:CaliforniaFranchiseTaxBoardMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 srt:MaximumMember 2019-12-31 kod:Vote 0001468748 kod:StockOptionsOutstandingAndReleaseOfRestrictedSharesMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:StockOptionsOutstandingAndReleaseOfRestrictedSharesMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:WarrantMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:WarrantMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeSharePurchasePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeSharePurchasePlanMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember kod:IncentiveStockOptionsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember srt:MinimumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember kod:IncentiveStockOptionsMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember kod:IncentiveStockOptionsGrantedToGreaterThanTenPercentStockholderMember srt:MaximumMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenAndTwoThousandFifteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenAndTwoThousandFifteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenAndTwoThousandFifteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenAndTwoThousandFifteenEquityIncentivePlanMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 kod:NonEmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:NonEmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:NonEmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 kod:OptionsGrantedToNonEmployeesMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:OptionsGrantedToNonEmployeesMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:OptionsGrantedToNonEmployeesMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockUnitsRSUMember srt:MaximumMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 kod:PerformanceBasedEquityAwardsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:PerformanceBasedEquityAwardsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:PerformanceBasedStockOptionsMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:PerformanceBasedStockOptionsMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:PerformanceBasedRestrictedStockUnitMember 2019-12-31 0001468748 kod:TwoThousandEighteenEmployeeSharePurchasePlanMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:ResearchAndDevelopmentExpenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:GeneralAndAdministrativeExpenseMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:EmployeeStockOptionMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:RestrictedStockMember 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0001468748 us-gaap:InternalRevenueServiceIRSMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2020-02-04 2020-02-04 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2020-02-29 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2020-12-31 0001468748 kod:BakerBrosAdvisorsLPMember kod:FundingAgreementMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 2020-01-01 2020-03-31 0001468748 2020-04-01 2020-06-30 0001468748 2020-07-01 2020-09-30 0001468748 2020-10-01 2020-12-31 0001468748 2019-01-01 2019-03-31 0001468748 2019-04-01 2019-06-30 0001468748 2019-07-01 2019-09-30 0001468748 2019-10-01 2019-12-31

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

(Mark One)

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

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

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

For the transition period from __________ to _________

Commission File Number: 001-38682

 

KODIAK SCIENCES INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

27-0476525

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

1200 Page Mill Road

Palo Alto, CA

 

94304

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (650) 281-0850

 

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

 

Title of each class

Trading Symbol(s)

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common stock, par value $0.0001

KOD

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

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

 

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

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 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 Exchange Act 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, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

 

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided 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 in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes No

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant, based on the closing price of a share of the registrant’s common stock on June 30, 2020 as reported by the Nasdaq Global Market on such date, was approximately $1.6 billion. Shares of common stock held by each executive officer and director and by each other person who may be deemed to be an affiliate of the registrant, have been excluded from this computation. The determination of affiliate status for this purpose is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.

As of February 19, 2021, the registrant had 51,162,424 shares of common stock, $0.0001 par value per share, outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement relating to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. The proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

Kodiak Sciences Inc.

Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020

 

 

 

 

Page

PART I.

 

 

Item 1.

Business

1

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

67

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

107

Item 2.

Properties

107

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

107

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

107

PART II.

 

 

Item 5.

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

108

Item 6.

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

109

Item 7.

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

110

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

118

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

119

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures

145

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

145

Item 9B.

Other Information

145

PART III.

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

146

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

146

Item 12.

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

146

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions, and Director Independence

146

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

146

PART IV.

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

147

Item 16.

Form 10-K Summary

150

 

Signatures

151

 

i


SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or Exchange Act. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends affecting the financial condition of our business. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indications of the times at, or by, which such performance or results will be achieved. Forward-looking statements are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith beliefs as of that time with respect to future events, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “objective,” “intend,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “would,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “project,” “target,” “design,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “plan” or the negative of these terms, or similar expressions and comparable terminology intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties, including those set forth under the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this report. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about:

 

the success, cost and timing of our development activities, preclinical studies, clinical trials and regulatory filings;

 

the translation of our preclinical results and data and early clinical trial results in particular relating to safety, efficacy and durability into future clinical trials in humans;

 

the continued durability, efficacy and safety of our product candidates;

 

our ability to achieve our “2022 Vision” of a Biologics License Application of KSI-301 in 2022;

 

the number, size and design of clinical trials that regulatory authorities may require to obtain marketing approval, including the order and number of clinical studies required to support a Biologics License Application, or BLA, in wet age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD, diabetic macular edema, or DME, retinal vein occlusion, or RVO, and diabetic retinopathy, or DR;

 

the timing or likelihood of regulatory filings and approvals, including the potential to achieve FDA approval of KSI-301 in wet AMD, DME, RVO and DR;

 

our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, and any related restrictions, limitations and/or warnings in the label of any approved product candidate;

 

our ability to obtain funding for our operations, including funding necessary to develop, manufacture and commercialize our product candidates;

 

the rate and degree of market acceptance of our product candidates;

 

the success of competing products or platform technologies that are or may become available;

 

our plans and ability to establish sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure to commercialize any product candidates for which we obtain approval;

 

our expectation as to the concentration of retinal specialists in the United States and its impact on our sales and marketing plans;

 

our expectations regarding our ability to enter into manufacturing-related commitments, and the timing thereof;

 

future agreements with third parties in connection with the commercialization of our product candidates;

 

the size and growth potential of the markets for our product candidates, if approved for commercial use, and our ability to serve those markets;

 

existing regulations and regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries;

 

the expected potential benefits of strategic collaboration agreements and our ability to attract collaborators with development, regulatory and commercialization expertise;

 

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

 

potential claims relating to our intellectual property and third-party intellectual property;

 

our ability to contract with third-party suppliers and manufacturers and their ability to perform adequately;

 

the pricing and reimbursement of our product candidates, if approved;

ii


 

our estimates regarding the impact of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic on our business and operations, the business and operations of our collaborators, and on the global economy;

 

our aspirational goals and objectives related to our human capital resources and workforce objectives;

 

our ability to attract and retain key managerial, scientific and medical personnel;

 

the accuracy of our estimates regarding the sufficiency of our cash resources, expenses, future revenue, capital requirements and needs for additional financing; and

 

our financial performance.

All forward-looking statements are based on information available to us on the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and we will not update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, except as required by law. Our actual results could differ materially from those discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and other written and oral forward-looking statements made by us from time to time, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, and you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that we will achieve our objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those discussed in the following discussion and within Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

In addition, statements that “we believe” and similar statements reflect our beliefs and opinions on the relevant subject. These statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and although we believe such information forms a reasonable basis for such statements, such information may be limited or incomplete, and our statements should not be read to indicate that we have conducted a thorough inquiry into, or review of, all potentially available relevant information. These statements are inherently uncertain and investors are cautioned not to unduly rely upon these statements.

All brand names or trademarks appearing in this report are the property of their respective holders. Unless the context requires otherwise, references in this report to “Kodiak” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to Kodiak Sciences Inc.

RISK FACTOR SUMMARY

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. Below is a summary of material factors that make an investment in our securities speculative or risky. Importantly, this summary does not address all of the risks that we face. The below summary is qualified in its entirety by that more complete discussion of such risks and uncertainties. You should consider carefully the risks and uncertainties described under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10‑K.

 

We are in the clinical stage of drug development and have a very limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale, which may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future success and viability.

 

We have incurred significant net losses in each period since our inception and anticipate that we will continue to incur significant and increasing net losses for the foreseeable future.

 

Drug development is a highly uncertain undertaking and involves a substantial degree of risk. We have never generated any revenue from product sales, and we may never generate revenue or be profitable.

 

Our prospects are heavily dependent on our KSI-301 product candidate, which is currently in clinical development for multiple indications.

 

A failure of KSI-301 in clinical development may require us to discontinue development of other product candidates based on our ABC Platform.

 

Research and development of biopharmaceutical products is inherently risky. We cannot give any assurance that any of our product candidates will receive regulatory, including marketing, approval, which is necessary before they can be commercialized.

 

We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical trials, or may not be able to conduct or complete our clinical trials on the timelines we expect, if at all.

iii


 

We may encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, and our clinical development activities could thereby be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.

 

Our clinical trials may fail to demonstrate substantial evidence of the safety and efficacy or durability of our product candidates, which would prevent, delay or limit the scope of regulatory approval and commercialization.

 

We face significant competition in an environment of rapid technological and scientific change, and there is a possibility that our competitors may retain their market share with existing drugs, or achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are safer, more advanced or more effective than ours, which may negatively impact our ability to successfully market or commercialize any product candidates we may develop and ultimately harm our financial condition.

 

The manufacture of our product candidates is highly complex and requires substantial lead time to produce.

 

We have no experience manufacturing any of our product candidates at a commercial scale. If we or any of our third-party manufacturers encounter difficulties in production, or fail to meet rigorously enforced regulatory standards, our ability to provide supply of our product candidates for clinical trials or our products for patients, if approved, could be delayed or stopped, or we may be unable to establish a commercially viable cost structure.

 

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

 

We plan to conduct clinical trials for our product candidates outside the United States, and the FDA, EMA, NMPA and applicable foreign regulatory authorities may not accept data from such trials.

 

Our business is subject to complex and evolving U.S. and foreign laws and regulations relating to privacy and data protection. These laws and regulations are subject to change and uncertain interpretation, and could result in claims, changes to our business practices, or monetary penalties, and otherwise may harm our business.

 

If we or any contract manufacturers and suppliers we engage fail to comply with environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or incur costs that could have a material adverse effect on the success of our business.

 

We expect to rely on third parties to conduct our clinical trials and some aspects of our research and preclinical testing, and those third parties may not perform satisfactorily, including failing to meet deadlines for the completion of such trials, research or testing.

 

If we are unable to obtain and maintain patent protection for any product candidates we develop or for our ABC Platform, our competitors could develop and commercialize products or technology similar or identical to ours, and our ability to successfully commercialize any product candidates we may develop, and our technology may be adversely affected.

 

If the scope of any patent protection we obtain is not sufficiently broad, or if we lose any of our patent protection, our ability to prevent our competitors from commercializing similar or identical technology and product candidates would be adversely affected.

 

Third-party claims of intellectual property infringement, misappropriation or other violation against us or our collaborators may prevent or delay the development and commercialization of our ABC Platform, product candidates and other technologies.

 

We may become involved in lawsuits to protect or enforce our patents and other intellectual property rights, which could be expensive, time consuming and unsuccessful.

 

We are highly dependent on our key personnel, and if we are not successful in attracting, motivating and retaining highly qualified personnel, we may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.

 

Our business is currently affected and could be materially and adversely affected in the future by the effects of disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, including the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our business and could materially and adversely affect our operations, as well as the business or operations of our manufacturers, CROs or other third parties with whom we conduct business.

 

 

 

iv


PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Overview

At Kodiak, we are bringing new science to the design and development of next generation retinal medicines. Our ABC Platform™ uses molecular engineering to merge the fields of antibody-based and chemistry-based therapies and is at the core of Kodiak's discovery engine. Our goal is to prevent and treat the major causes of blindness by developing and commercializing next-generation therapeutics for chronic, high-prevalence retinal diseases.

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, we have generated compelling clinical data with our most advanced product candidate, KSI-301, a novel anti-VEGF antibody biopolymer conjugate, which is designed to maintain potent and effective drug levels in ocular tissues for longer periods than the currently-marketed biologic medicines used to treat retinal diseases. We believe that KSI-301, if approved, has the potential to be an important therapy to treat patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD, diabetic macular edema, or DME, macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion, or RVO, and diabetic retinopathy, or DR, as well as other vision-threatening diseases that are less prevalent but also may be responsive to anti-VEGF therapy.

The ABC Platform and KSI-301 were developed at Kodiak, and we own rights to these assets in key geographies including the US, EU, China and other major countries. We have applied our ABC Platform to develop additional product candidates beyond KSI-301, including KSI-501, our bispecific anti-IL-6/VEGF bioconjugate, and we are expanding our early research pipeline to include ABC Platform-based triplet inhibitors for multifactorial retinal diseases such as dry AMD and the neurodegenerative aspects of glaucoma. In October 2020, we announced that we entered a supplemental research agreement with AbCellera to generate additional therapeutic antibody candidates for novel disease targets in ophthalmology in support of our evolving research pipeline. We intend to progress these and other product candidates to address high-prevalence ophthalmic diseases.

Our overall objective is to develop our product candidates, seek FDA and worldwide health authority marketing authorization approvals, and ultimately commercialize our product candidates.

Where Kodiak Stands Today

Growing KSI-301 Clinical Experience: We remain very pleased with the current clinical profile of KSI-301. Approximately 2,000 KSI-301 injections have been administered to approximately 500 patients representing approximately 350 patient-years of exposure. When and if we submit our planned single BLA in wet AMD, DME and RVO, we expect to have durability, efficacy and safety data on KSI-301 treatment in over 1,000 patients across our concurrent pivotal studies.

In our ongoing Phase 1b clinical study, we have administered multiple doses of KSI-301 over 52-weeks or more to treatment-naïve patients with wet AMD, DME or RVO, and we continue to observe promising durability, efficacy and safety data in each of the retinal diseases under study. Some patients have been given KSI-301 injections and followed for as long as two years in the Phase 1b study. KSI-301’s clinical durability continues to be supported with maturing data that demonstrate two in every three patients with wet AMD, DME, or RVO achieving six months or longer treatment-free intervals at Year 1. Additionally, KSI-301 continues to demonstrate an efficacy and safety profile that is tracking with standard of care anti-VEGF agents.

Thoughtfully Designed Pivotal Clinical Trials: Our ongoing registrational study program, designed based on an End of Phase 2 meeting we held in 2019 with the FDA, is assessing KSI-301 in four pivotal studies: two Phase 3 studies in DME (the GLEAM and GLIMMER studies), one Phase 2b/3 study in wet AMD (the DAZZLE study) and one Phase 3 study in RVO (the BEACON study). Each study protocol design has been optimized based on Phase 1b data and experience and will include similar treatment-naïve patient populations as in the Phase 1b, as well as tighter dosing interval ranging, tighter disease control criteria, decreased subjectivity for retreatments, high dose level of 2 mg, and each study has high statistical power for non-inferiority (>90%). The DAZZLE study completed recruitment in late 2020 and top-line results are expected in early 2022. Recruitment is underway for the GLEAM, GLIMMER and BEACON trials. We plan to expand the KSI-301 clinical study program in 2021 with one Phase 3 study (GLOW) in NPDR without DME, and potentially one or more additional clinical studies that could be beneficial for product labeling and/or reimbursement and market access purposes.

1


Investing with Conviction Commensurate with the Opportunity: Kodiak remains focused on thoughtful execution of our KSI-301 pivotal program, the requisite manufacturing efforts, the regulatory strategy and the pre-commercial readiness. As to manufacturing, in line with our 2022 Vision which sees us submitting our initial BLA in 2022 and potentially commercializing KSI-301 in 2023, it is our intent to be able to supply millions of doses in Year 1 from our Lonza-Kodiak Ibex Dedicate facility designed from inception with Flex Up capabilities and capacity for double digit millions of doses per year to supply a growing market demand.

Poised Commercial Opportunity: We are optimistic for the future care of patients with retinal vascular diseases. The competitive landscape of intravitreally-injected anti-VEGF biologic therapies and therapeutic candidates is clearing, due to the incremental durability of competing molecules, and/or safety challenges that, even if only recently appreciated, have been observed from early in the development of these potential competitors. Adjacent surgical and gene therapy solutions may also face challenges with long-term safety, limited accessibility and the complex economics of surgical implantation.

KSI-301, with its powerful combination of design attributes, has the potential to be a Generation 2.0 anti-VEGF – a first-line anti-VEGF “product for everyone” that may achieve a significant market share.

As a company, we remain independent. This independence provides us with the flexibility to adapt both R&D and commercial decision-making within the ever-changing domestic and global landscapes. We remain well capitalized and supported by a high-quality group of long-term stakeholders who understand what is needed to build, invest and execute commensurate with the opportunity.

Recent Developments

KSI-301 Phase 1b Study

Updated Year 1 durability, efficacy and safety data from our ongoing Phase 1b trial of KSI-301 in patients with treatment naïve wet AMD, DME or RVO were presented at the Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration 2021 – Virtual Edition meeting in February 2021. The data show 2 in every 3 patients are on a 6-month or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1 in each of the 3 major retinal vascular diseases after only 3 loading doses. Robust vision gains (particularly notable in the context of very good baseline vision) and robust retinal drying (when baseline anatomical characteristics are considered) were seen across all three diseases being studied. Strong anti-VEGF efficacy (achieving at Year 1 approximately 20/40 eye chart vision on average in wet AMD and approximately 20/32 vision on average in DME and RVO) and an encouraging safety profile continue to be observed across all three diseases. We believe the data continue to support the “anti-VEGF Generation 2.0” profile of KSI-301.

KSI-301 Pivotal Program

We saw robust patient enrollment in our DAZZLE pivotal study in wet AMD through the third quarter of 2020 and completed global patient recruitment in November 2020 – a potential reflection of the enthusiasm for KSI-301 on the part of clinical investigators and patients. With a one-year primary endpoint, we remain on track for DAZZLE top-line data readout in early 2022.

In the third quarter of 2020, we initiated two Phase 3 studies in DME (GLEAM and GLIMMER) and one Phase 3 study in RVO (BEACON). The randomization of treatment-naïve patients into these three studies is a critical step to build the clinical evidence for KSI-301 as a safe, effective and highly durable therapy for patients with retinal diseases. The initiation of the additional Phase 3 studies and the robust patient recruitment into DAZZLE represent strong operational progress towards our 2022 Vision of a single BLA filed for KSI-301 in wet AMD, DME, and RVO in 2022. Clinical trial applications for BEACON, GLEAM, and GLIMMER have been submitted and approved in countries across the EU. To date, we are pleased with progress in site activation, patient screening, and recruitment in these studies. We believe we are also on track to begin recruitment of the GLOW study in NPDR without DME in 2021.

Importantly, to date the data emerging in our Phase 1b study remain consistent and provide support for and confidence in our pivotal study designs.

Follow-on Equity Offering

On November 20, 2020, we completed a follow-on equity offering and issued and sold 5,972,222 shares of the Company’s common stock at a price to the public of $108.00 per share. The gross proceeds from this offering were $645.0 million, resulting in aggregate net proceeds of $612.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering costs.

2


Proceeds from the equity offering together with our current cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities are expected to advance the clinical programs for KSI-301 towards achieving our “2022 Vision” of a Biologics License Application, or BLA, of KSI-301 in 2022 for wet AMD, DME, RVO and potentially DR without DME, including the manufacturing activities necessary for BLA submission, as well as to advance our pipeline of drug candidates including KSI-501 and our triplet inhibitor drug candidates and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Our current cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities which includes the net proceeds from the November 2020 public offering provide the resources for us to advance the KSI-301 program towards achieving our “2022 Vision,” and also to advance our pipeline of drug candidates including KSI-501 and our triplet inhibitor drug candidates, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Commercial Manufacturing

We successfully negotiated a long-term agreement with Lonza for the manufacture of KSI-301. This agreement will provide Kodiak with a custom-built bioconjugation facility with a capacity to supply millions of doses per year. With construction targeted for completion in early 2022, the Lonza-Kodiak Ibex facility will provide Kodiak with the facility needed for commercial-scale manufacturing of KSI-301. The scale is designed to support KSI-301’s potential to achieve significant market share as a new first-line agent designed to improve outcomes for patients with common and serious retinal vascular diseases.

COVID-19

We are continuing to monitor the global ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since the initial outbreak in early 2020, governments globally have taken preventative and protective actions, including but not limited to, restrictions on non-essential travel, business operations, and gatherings of individuals. The State of California, where our corporate office is located, declared a state of emergency and shelter-in-place order in March 2020. Although certain restrictions have eased, and phased re-openings are underway, it is not certain when such restrictions will be fully lifted, and recent resurgences in number and rates of infections, reactions to increased testing and/or further spreading of the virus may result in the return or implementation of more restrictive measures. Global financial markets have also experienced extreme volatility and as a result, economic uncertainties have arisen which could impact our operations and its financial position. The extent of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will depend on certain evolving developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak, regulatory and private sector responses, and the impact on our employees, vendors including supply chain and clinical partners, all of which are uncertain and cannot be predicted.

We continue to monitor government responses and may elect to temporarily close our office and/or laboratory space to protect our employees. We continue to assess the potential for supply chain disruptions as the pandemic may impact personnel at third party manufacturing facilities in China, Switzerland and other countries, as well as its impact on the availability and/or cost of materials. We continue to monitor financial markets and the impact on our operations and capital resources.

We and our key clinical and manufacturing partners have been able to continue to advance our operations. Because the diseases under study in the KSI-301 development program are serious, vision-threatening conditions for which patients are still seeking and receiving treatment from retina specialists during the pandemic, we have been able to continue advancing the clinical programs for KSI-301 during the pandemic towards achieving our “2022 Vision.”

During this pandemic, we continue to work closely with our clinical sites towards maximal patient safety and the lowest number of missed visits and study discontinuations. We have taken and continue to take proactive measures to maintain the integrity of our ongoing clinical studies. To date, we are seeing low levels of patient missed visits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to business operations, clinical trials, and manufacturing activities:

 

We have taken steps in line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the State of California to protect the health and safety of our employees and the community. In particular, we have implemented remote work arrangements for certain employees since March 17, 2020.

 

We are working closely with our clinical trial sites to monitor and attempt to minimize the potential impacts of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic on patient enrollment, continued participation of patients already enrolled in our clinical studies, protocol compliance, data quality, and overall study integrity. Some specific actions we have taken in the United States include the use of remote study monitoring, temporarily increasing study site budget overhead rates, providing additional transportation service options for patients to attend study site visits and focusing on new patient enrollment only at study sites with appropriate backup resource plans in place and where the local COVID-19 situation allows. Since the month of March 2020, the rate of missed study visits has remained <5%. As of now, we have not experienced significant delays to our ongoing or planned clinical trials; however, this could change rapidly depending on the dynamics of the pandemic.

3


 

In June 2020, we restarted patient recruitment activities at certain sites in EU countries. DAZZLE study sites in the EU were activated in the first quarter of 2020, but we deferred study patient enrollment until June due to the pandemic.

 

To minimize the potential for disruption of our pivotal studies of KSI-301, we have refined our study designs, including sample size and country selection. We began enrollment of our pivotal DME (GLEAM and GLIMMER) and RVO (BEACON) studies in the third quarter of 2020 in the United States and aim to initiate the pivotal study in non-proliferative DR (GLOW) in the first half of 2021, dependent on the continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ex-U.S. clinical trial application submissions are underway for GLEAM, GLIMMER and BEACON, and most have already been approved; recruitment activities are now underway in the EU. We believe we are still on track to achieve our “2022 Vision” objective of filing a single BLA in 2022 for KSI-301 in wet AMD, DME and RVO.

 

Our supply chain and manufacturing activities remain intact, and we do not currently anticipate disruptions to our clinical supply of KSI-301 due to COVID-19.

 

As we work towards commercial scale-up and manufacturing activities to support BLA submission, there is increasing competition with COVID-19 related vaccine and therapeutic programs for manufacturing related (i) materials such as resins, filters, sterile tubesets, pipette tips; (ii) personnel such as facility engineering and construction as well as plant engineers and workers; and (iii) production slots in cGMP facilities. We are carefully monitoring any potential impacts to our manufacturing activities and timelines with the objective to intersect clinical timelines, manufacturing timelines and number of doses available in the first year(s) after commercial launch. We believe we are still on track for a close intersection of these three key elements.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely. The ultimate impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business operations remains highly uncertain and subject to change. We do not yet know the full extent of potential delays or impacts on our business, our clinical trials, healthcare systems or the global economy as a whole. See also the section titled “Risk Factors” for additional information on risks and uncertainties related to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Business Highlights

In 2020 and into the first quarter of 2021, additional highlights of our activities included:

 

Completed Lease Agreement for Kodiak’s New U.S. corporate offices: We have leased approximately 82,662 square feet located at 1200 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California and approximately 72,812 square feet located at 1250 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California. These newly leased buildings will serve as Kodiak’s U.S. corporate offices for office and laboratory space. We also leased approximately 10,750 square feet in Visp, Switzerland, for manufacturing support and supervision.

 

Supplemental Research Agreement with AbCellera: In October 2020, we announced that we entered a supplemental research agreement with AbCellera to generate additional therapeutic antibody candidates for novel disease targets in ophthalmology in support of our evolving research pipeline. We intend to progress these and other product candidates to address high-prevalence ophthalmic diseases.

 

Appointment of Charles Bancroft to Board of Directors: Charles Bancroft, formerly Chief Financial Officer of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), joined Kodiak’s Board of Directors as chair of our audit committee and member of our nominating and governance committee in April 2020. Mr. Bancroft recently retired from a successful career at BMS where he held a number of leadership roles in commercial, strategy and finance. Mr. Bancroft brings financial and management experience that will be vital to Kodiak as the company continues to scale and build its manufacturing and commercial capabilities.

 

Kodiak’s 2022 Vision and KSI-301 Accelerated Development Strategy

We believe we remain on track to achieve our “2022 Vision” of a single BLA submission and initial FDA approval for KSI-301 in wet AMD, DME and RVO in 2022 with a total of four pivotal trials - two in DME (GLEAM and GLIMMER), one in wet AMD (DAZZLE) and one in RVO (BEACON). These studies, together with our ongoing pivotal study in wet AMD, will be the basis of our intended BLA and supplemental BLA submissions. We currently expect to submit the wet AMD, DME, and RVO indications in a single initial BLA for KSI-301 and the DR indication (to be studied in the Phase 3 GLOW trial) in a supplemental BLA in the United States. We may also begin one or more additional KSI-301 clinical studies in 2021 that could be beneficial for product labeling and/or reimbursement and market access purposes.

4


We continue to invest in our science and our pipeline, including our bispecific ABC product candidate KSI-501 for retinal vascular diseases with a strong inflammatory component and our new triplet ABC product candidate KSI-601 for the high prevalence multifactorial retinal disease dry AMD.

 

Our 2022 Vision includes the following potential catalysts and milestones in 2021, 2022 and 2023, along with the important milestones achieved in 2019 and 2020 that support the accelerated development program:

 

5


 

Our “2022 Vision” is built on the following concurrent development strategy. This table incorporates our most recent view of the KSI-301 clinical program and its execution, as described above, and we believe the successful prosecution of this program is achievable based on our currently available information and the evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

 

 

Opportunity for Clinically Meaningful Differentiation

Current intravitreal anti-VEGF agents require frequent eye injections to achieve the best clinical results. When patients do not follow product labeling or miss treatments, improvements in their vision following treatment may be transient or decline over time. Real-world data demonstrate that most patients are not currently receiving their anti-VEGF therapy at the recommended intervals. We believe that our ABC Platform medicines could address this problem by requiring less frequent dosing, and the Year 1 Phase 1b clinical data with KSI-301 support meaningfully differentiated clinical profiles of KSI-301 relative to standard of care in each of the major retinal diseases treated today with anti-VEGF therapy. The current standard of care treatment regimens and the dosing regimens Kodiak intends to test in its pivotal trials with KSI-301 are shown in the below table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retinal disease:

Wet AMD

Diabetic macular
edema

Retinal vein
occlusion

Non-proliferative
diabetic retinopathy

Current standard of care

Aflibercept once every 2 months, after 3 monthly loading doses

 

 

Aflibercept once every 2 months, after 5 monthly loading doses

Aflibercept once monthly (for both Branch and Central RVO)

 Aflibercept once every 2 months, after 5 monthly loading doses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kodiak’s Potential Dosing Regimen for KSI-301 (as studied in ongoing or anticipated pivotal trials)

KSI-301 once every 3, 4 or 5 months, after 3 monthly loading doses

KSI-301 once every 2 to 6 months, after 3 monthly loading doses

KSI-301 once every 2 months or longer, after 2 monthly loading doses

 

KSI-301 once every 6 months, after 3 initiating doses

 

Data From Our Ongoing Phase 1b Trial Continue to Demonstrate KSI-301’s Differentiated Profile

We have continued to make progress with our studies of KSI-301, and the Year 1 durability, efficacy and safety data we observe in the Phase 1b study continue to surpass our expectations. We now have more than 168 patient-years of clinical experience with KSI-301 in the Phase 1b study.

6


The overall study duration was originally nine and then 18 months, and we have now extended the treatment and follow-up period to 36 months total, to continue generating long-term outcomes data in advance of the pivotal studies. Outcomes include vision, measured as change in best corrected visual acuity or BCVA using the standard ETDRS testing protocol, and retinal anatomy, which is measured as change in retinal central subfield thickness, or CST, using optical coherence tomography imaging, or OCT. We also obtain other images such as fluorescein angiography, color fundus photos, and OCT angiography.

The figures below present the most recent data on durability and efficacy outcomes from the ongoing Phase 1b study presented at the Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration 2021 - Virtual Edition meeting, held in February 2021. Across all three diseases under study, improvements in vision and retinal anatomy were observed through Year 1 of patient follow-up, with stability in OCT and BCVA over time in the monthly follow-up intervals following the three mandatory loading doses. Year 1 data show 2 in every 3 patients are on a 6-month or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1 in each of the 3 major retinal vascular diseases after only 3 loading doses. Strong anti-VEGF efficacy (achieving at Year 1 ~20/40 eye chart vision on average in wAMD and ~20/32 vision on average in DME and RVO) and an encouraging safety profile continue to be observed across all three diseases. Vision is measured as change in BCVA, on a standardized eye chart, and retinal anatomy is measured as change in retinal CST using OCT imaging.

The Phase 1b study design, retreatment criteria, and patient baseline characteristics are described below. In the Phase 1b study, treatment-naïve patients with wet AMD, DME or RVO receive three monthly loading doses of KSI-301 at either the 2.5 mg or 5 mg dose levels and are followed thereafter; retreatment with KSI-301 is administered as per the protocol-specified retreatment criteria.

 

7


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wet AMD

cohort

 

DME

cohort

 

RVO

cohort

Variable

 

(n=51)

 

(n=35)

 

(n=35)

Age, mean (SD), years

 

77.9 (10.5)

 

59.7 (11.7)

 

63.6 (12.6)

Gender, n (%), female

 

32 (62.7)

 

14 (40.0)

 

13 (37.1)

Race, n (%), White

 

48 (94.1)

 

28 (80.0)

 

31 (88.6)

BCVA, mean (SD), ETDRS letters

 

63.3 (13.3)

 

66.8 (10.2)

 

54.9 (15.4)

Snellen equivalent

 

~20/50

 

~20/50

 

~20/80

BCVA, Snellen 20/40 or better, n (%)

 

20 (39.2)

 

16 (45.7)

 

6 (17.1)

OCT CST, mean (SD), microns

 

450 (182)

 

453 (110)

 

675 (237)

SD = standard deviation; BCVA = best corrected visual acuity; OCT = optical coherence tomography; CST = central subfield thickness

 

8


The Phase 1b data in treatment-naïve patients demonstrate that the observed vision gains of 5.7 letters in wet AMD and 7.6 letters in DME at Year 1 are appropriate for the relatively high baseline vision. After one year of treatment, wet AMD subjects in our Phase 1b study were observed to have an average visual acuity of 69.7 eye chart letters or approximately 20/40 Snellen visual acuity, and DME subjects were observed to have an average visual acuity of 73.9 eye chart letters or approximately Snellen 20/32.

Although out Phase 1b study does not have an active comparator, the chart below places the observed baseline (pre-treatment) and one-year visual acuity outcomes in the context of the starting and one-year visual acuity metrics seen in other recent and historical clinical trials and also demonstrates how post-treatment average visual acuity is dependent on the starting (baseline) visual acuity.

 

 

Wet AMD

The data below are observed from 50 wet AMD patients who received all loading doses and reached Week 12 or later. These patients had good starting vision, approximately 64 letters. They experienced a visual acuity increase after 3 loading doses and maintained a gain of 5.7 letters, to an average BCVA of 69.7 letters (Snellen ~20/40), achieved with a mean of just 2.0 individualized doses. Supporting the extended durability, we see only a very slow fluctuation in the OCT over time, which compares favorably to the OCT fluctuations observed with existing anti-VEGFs given on shorter dosing intervals. The stability in BCVA over this interval is also consistent with the prolonged duration of KSI-301.

In the Phase 1b study, the average retinal thickness or OCT CST data as reported by our clinical investigators includes the height of pigment epithelial detachments or PEDs. PEDs are an anatomic feature in some patients with wet AMD; treatment success in subjects with PEDs does not necessarily imply complete flattening of the PED, but rather eliminating the intraretinal and subretinal fluid, particularly when the PED is very high prior to anti-VEGF treatment. Additionally, comparison across studies of OCT mean CST values is difficult because it is often not clear or not disclosed in presentations and publications whether the data include or exclude the height of the PED, and whether or how the data are corrected for different OCT machine, among other reasons.

9


When comparing subjects with and without very high PED at baseline, which we defined as 500 microns or more total CST, the BCVA and OCT CST curves are similar in shape to those of the full cohort. Excluding give patients with high PEDs, the OCT CST values are lower at baseline and over time, and the standard error of the mean (SEM) error bars are narrower. Thus, those five patients with high PEDs thus pull the overall average CST value up.

Excluding those patients, the average retinal center subfield thickness is 316 microns after initiation of treatment with KSI-301, as measured using the Heidelberg OCT machine employed by the Phase 1b study sites, in which 305 microns is normal for a healthy (no AMD) female and 315 microns is normal for a healthy male.

10


Overall, 66% of our wet AMD patients have achieved a 6-months treatment-free interval at Year 1 and 74% of patients achieved a five months or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1. 80% of patients have received two or fewer retreatments in Year 1. Remarkably, 80% of these wet AMD patients have achieved a 6-month treatment free interval at least once during follow-up. As this is an anti-VEGF treatment naïve population, there is no pre-selection for “anti-VEGF responders” or patients who might require or be predicted to require less frequent dosing.

 

 

11


 

The data generated in wAMD patients in the Phase 1b study form a compelling data package. At Year 1, KSI-301 is achieving remarkable durability, strong efficacy that brings patients to an average ~20/40 vision on the Snellen chart and a favorable safety profile. Together with strong anti-VEGF activity on both vision (BCVA gains) and retinal anatomy (OCT drying) in the DME and RVO cohorts of the Phase 1b, we believe KSI-301 continues to track well towards its “Generation 2.0” profile.

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

 

We measure KSI-301 efficacy data in treatment naïve DME as change from baseline in BCVA and OCT CST. Below are data from the 32 DME patients who received all loading doses and reached Week 12 or later. These patients had good starting vision, approximately 66 letters. They experienced a visual acuity increase after three loading doses and maintained a gain of 7.6 letters, to an average BCVA of 73.9 letters (Snellen ~20/32), achieved with a mean of just 1.0 retreatments.

12


Consistent with the extended durability effect of KSI-301, we see again only slight fluctuations in the OCT over time, which compares favorably to the OCT fluctuations observed with existing anti-VEGF agents that are given on shorter dosing intervals.

13


The swim lane plot for DME durability is shown below. At Year 1, 94% of DME patients have achieved a three months or longer treatment-free interval. Of these patients, 84% have gone four months or longer, and 78% five months or longer at Year 1. Further, 69% have gone six-months or longer – as there is no cap to the treatment interval in the DME cohort. Half of patients did not require any retreatment at Year 1. 81% of patients have achieved a six months or longer treatment-free interval at least once during follow-up.

14


Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)

KSI-301 efficacy in treatment naïve RVO is also measured as change from baseline in BCVA and OCT CST. The 34 RVO patients that received all loading doses and reached Week 12 or later began with a lower visual acuity baseline of approximately 54 letters, typical of this disease. After three loading doses, their visual acuity substantially improved, with a 22.2 letter improvement at Year 1, to an average vision of 76.6 letters (Snellen ~20/32). The vision gain was maintained with an average of just 1.7 injections. A sustained OCT response with a decrease of 357 microns was also noted.

15


In this swim lane plot of the durability of individual patients with RVO, the disease with arguably the highest VEGF load, the bars in pink and orange now denote retreatment intervals of six months or longer and two months or shorter, respectively. 87% of RVO patients have achieved a three months or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1. Only 3% of patients were on a monthly treatment interval at Year 1. 75% of patients achieved a four months or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1, and 69% achieved a five months or longer interval at Year 1. Remarkably, given that many RVO patients require monthly therapy for the best results with existing medicines, 66% of patients have achieved a six months or longer treatment-free interval at Year 1.

16


Safety of KSI-301 Injections

We believe the safety profile of KSI-301 continues to be very encouraging. Now with 710 injections given in the Phase 1a/1b program (as of January 26, 2021), and with patients followed for as long as 26 months, we are continuing to track with the expectations set by the safety profile of the current standard of care intravitreal medicines.

None of the serious adverse events, or SAEs, observed have been reported as or deemed drug-related, and they are typical of the systemic SAEs expected in these patient populations. The ocular SAE of worsening cataract was in a diabetic patient with pre-existing cataract, was not drug-related, and resolved with routine cataract surgery. The ocular SAE of subretinal hemorrhage in a wAMD patient is often found in wAMD patients and was not drug-related.

There have been only two events (previously described) of intraocular inflammation. The events were mild in nature, both trace to 1+ grade cells in the vitreous, on a standardized scale where 0 is none and 4+ is severe. They resolved completely, and there was no vasculitis or retinitis in either patient. Both patients have done very well with substantial improvements in vision from baseline; each of them had gained 30 letters or 6 lines of vision as of their last visits.

17


KSI-301 Pivotal Study Designs

 

Our pivotal study designs for wet AMD (our ongoing DAZZLE study), DME (our ongoing GLEAM and GLIMMER studies), and RVO (our ongoing BEACON study) have been optimized based on Phase 1b data and experience.

18


Wet AMD DAZZLE Study

DAZZLE (NCT04049266) assesses patients with treatment naïve wet AMD and are randomized 1:1 to receive KSI-301 every 12 to 20 weeks or Eylea every 8 weeks, each after 3 monthly loading doses. The determination of treatment interval for the patients assigned to KSI-301 is based on disease activity assessments where both OCT and BCVA are measured and compared against prior data, similar to other recent and ongoing Phase 3 studies in the field. By default, patients are on an every 20 week regimen. If disease activity criteria are met before 20 weeks, that is, 12 or 16 weeks after the last dose, then the treatment interval is correspondingly shortened.

The primary endpoint is at one year and is a non-inferiority comparison to Eylea, with a four-letter non-inferiority margin. The one-year endpoint is measured as the average of the BCVA change from baseline to weeks 48 and 52. All of the KSI-301 patients are analyzed together as a single group with respect to the primary comparison to Eylea. In the second year of the study, patients whose disease is stable can have their KSI-301 treatment interval extended, and patients originally randomized to Eylea will be re-randomized 1:1 to either continued Eylea or switched to every eight week KSI-301.

19


Disease assessment criteria are used to determine whether the treatment interval is 12, 16 or 20 weeks. These criteria are tightened, and subjectivity has been reduced, compared to the retreatment criteria used in the Phase 1b study. The DAZZLE criteria, and the overall approach to dosing regimen determination in DAZZLE, are very similar to other recent Phase 3 programs in wet AMD. The aim is to customize the dose interval per patient, in a way that is feasible in a large, multicenter, double-masked trial.

Diabetic Macular Edema Paired Studies, GLEAM and GLIMMER

In DME, we are conducting two Phase 3 studies in parallel with identical design. In each of the two studies, called GLEAM (NCT04611152) and GLIMMER (NCT04603937), we will randomize 450 treatment-naïve DME patients to either KSI-301 every 8 to 24 weeks after 3 loading doses, or Eylea every 8 weeks after 5 loading doses. The primary endpoint is the change from baseline in BCVA at one year, again the average of the week 48 and 52 visits. The studies are non-inferiority studies with a margin of 4.5 letters.

At each monthly study visit, patients who have been randomized to KSI-301 will undergo a disease activity assessment, using data from both BCVA and OCT measurements. Depending on their disease activity status, the dosing interval can be shortened, lengthened, or maintained at the same interval. This is different from the DAZZLE wet AMD study design where the interval can only be maintained or shortened in the first year. In DME, patients may experience disease modification (improvement in the severity of the underlying retinopathy) that curtails the need for therapy over time, an event that has been seen in many DME patients treated with KSI-301 allowing for the treatment interval to be potentially further prolonged after the first retreatment. The minimum KSI-301 treatment interval in GLEAM and GLIMMER is every eight weeks, and the maximum interval is every 24 weeks or six months.

20


In the second year of both studies, the same approach is maintained. Eylea will stay on its q8 week regimen, and patients on KSI-301 will continue to be on an 8 to 24 week regimen based on disease activity.

21


To determine the treatment interval for KSI-301 patients, we are employing disease activity assessments and protocol-specified criteria. All patients randomized to KSI-301 are on the longest interval by default. If patients meet any of these disease activity criteria at earlier timepoints, the retreatment interval is shortened. The criteria for shortening the treatment interval are tighter than they are in Phase 1b, and the subjectivity is reduced. Additional anatomic criteria have also been included.

 

Retinal Vein Occlusion BEACON Study Design

 

The Phase 3 BEACON study (NCT04592419) in patients with RVO is a year-long study in which we will randomize 550 patients with treatment-naïve RVO, either branch or central vein type, to either every 8 weeks KSI-301 after two loading doses, or to monthly Eylea, for the first six months. The primary endpoint is at six months, with a non-inferiority margin of 4.5 letters.

In the second six months, patients in both groups will receive treatment on an individualized regimen, again using typical disease activity assessments. This phase of the study will provide a direct, head-to-head comparison of Eylea and KSI-301 on the same criteria-driven regimen. The minimum interval is monthly and there is no upper limit to the retreatment interval in this six-month period.

22


Because the first six months of the study are fixed-interval dosing, the disease activity assessment criteria are only used to determine dosing in the second six months of the RVO study. The criteria are similar to our DME studies, and tighter than they are in Phase 1b, with the OCT and BCVA measured against the best previous measurements; subjectivity is also reduced.

23


Current Standard of Care for Wet AMD, DME/DR, and RVO

Overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, in ocular tissues is central to the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of wet AMD, DME/DR, and RVO. VEGF is a protein produced by cells that stimulates the formation of new blood vessels, a process called neovascularization, and induces vascular permeability. In wet AMD, DME, and RVO fluid that exits from blood vessels causes swelling, or edema, of the retina and loss of vision. This loss of vision can be reversed if treated early with an anti-VEGF agent to suppress VEGF signaling. Delayed treatment or undertreatment can result in permanent retinal damage and blindness. To reach effective ocular tissue concentrations, these agents must be injected into the vitreous humor, the jelly-like substance that fills the area between the lens and retina. These injections must occur at regular intervals in order to maintain anti-VEGF effects.

Lucentis (ranibizumab), marketed by Genentech, Inc., a subsidiary of the Roche Group, in the United States and by Novartis AG outside the United States, and Eylea (aflibercept), marketed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the United States and by Bayer HealthCare LLC outside the United States, are anti-VEGF therapies that have become the standard of care for treating wet AMD and severe forms of DR based on pivotal clinical studies in which Lucentis was injected every four weeks and Eylea was injected every eight weeks (after three initial monthly doses in the case of wet AMD and after five initial monthly doses in the case of DR with DME). Beovu (brolucizumab), marketed worldwide by Novartis, was approved in late 2019 in the United States and early 2020 in Europe for the treatment of wet AMD and is injected every eight to 12 weeks after three initial monthly doses. It is not currently approved for diseases other than wet AMD. Avastin (bevacizumab), marketed for non-ocular indications by Genentech in the United States and by Roche outside of the United States, is an anti-VEGF cancer therapy that shares structural characteristics with Lucentis and is commonly used off-label to treat wet AMD, DME, and RVO through intravitreal injection dosed every four weeks.

Annual worldwide sales of branded anti-VEGFs for all indications totaled more than $11.5 billion in 2020. We believe that a substantial majority of these sales were in connection with the treatment of wet AMD and DME. Avastin, which is currently approved and marketed for the treatment of cancer, is also used off-label to treat wet AMD, DME, and RVO. We estimate that off-label Avastin represents approximately 60% of the U.S. wet AMD market by volume. We believe that an improved anti-VEGF therapy could further increase both adoption of approved therapies and extend the duration patients remain on treatment, and thus the total addressable market opportunity in wet AMD, DME/DR, and RVO could be substantial.

Limitations of Current Anti-VEGF Therapies

The limitations of current anti-VEGF therapies include:

 

Existing anti-VEGF therapies block VEGF activity effectively but have limited durability. We believe current anti-VEGF therapies maintain potent and effective drug levels in ocular tissues for three to six weeks after injection on average. But typical treatment intervals in real-world clinical practice are longer. When a patient’s dosing cycle is extended beyond the durability of the anti-VEGF agent, and the amount of drug remaining in the eye falls below therapeutic levels, the disease can progress and cause cumulative and permanent retinal damage. Most wet AMD, DME, RVO and DR patients will require protracted anti-VEGF therapy, possibly for life. Under these circumstances, strict adherence to the manufacturer’s labeled treatment regimen of every four weeks for Lucentis and every eight weeks for Eylea is challenging.

 

Real-world utilization of current anti-VEGFs results in undertreatment, which diminishes effectiveness. A divergence between the efficacy of Lucentis and Eylea in pivotal clinical trials and in the real world is evidenced in multiple studies and is increasingly recognized as an important unmet medical need. A 2017 report by the Angiogenesis Foundation suggested that the burden involved in monthly visits for evaluation and treatment causes patients and physicians to extend treatment intervals, which in turn results in undertreatment and visual outcomes that fall short of the results seen in clinical trials. For example, Lucentis was tested and failed to successfully extend the treatment interval to 12-week dosing, with patients going back to pre-treatment baseline or even losing vision at the end of the first year of treatment, on average. The Lucentis U.S. product labeling refers to this regimen as an option which is “not as effective” as monthly dosing. The FDA allowed an update to Eylea’s labeling to allow 12-week dosing, but only in the second year of treatment (after one full year of intensive treatment). The labeling refers to it as “not as effective as the recommended every 8-week dosing.” Even a small deviation from per label dosing can be devastating for vision. Missing as few as one or two injections in a year from Eylea’s recommended dosing results in almost one line of vision lost.

 

Patients are not sustaining visual acuity gains over the long term. Following exit from tightly controlled clinical trials into the real-world environment, patients, on average, lose all the gains in visual acuity that had been previously achieved.

 

Damage caused by these retinal diseases may be irreversible if anti-VEGF therapy is not initiated early in the disease progression. A study in patients with diabetic macular edema, or DME, a severe form of DR, found that undertreatment in the early course of patients’ disease may reduce the patients’ ability to respond to anti-VEGF therapies.

24


Market Opportunity

Wet AMD

Overview of Wet AMD

AMD is a common eye condition affecting people of age 55 years and older with a reported prevalence of approximately 11 million people in the United States and 170 million people globally. It is a progressive disease affecting the central portion of the retina, known as the macula, which is the region of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision and color perception. The likelihood of AMD progression and associated vision loss increases with age.

Wet AMD is an advanced form of AMD characterized by neovascularization and fluid leakage under the retina. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss in patients over the age of 50 in the United States and the EU, with a reported prevalence of approximately 1.25 million people and an annual incidence of approximately 200,000 people in the United States. The likelihood of disease progression increases with age, so the prevalence and incidence of wet AMD is projected to accelerate in countries with aging populations. It has additionally been observed that approximately 50% of patients presenting with wet AMD in one eye will develop wet AMD in the other eye within five years, leading to a relatively significant number of patients requiring treatment in both eyes. While wet AMD represents only 10% of the number of cases of AMD overall, it is responsible for 90% of AMD-related severe vision loss. In many eyes with wet AMD, the disease can progress quickly with rapid loss of central vision needed for activities such as reading and driving. Untreated or undertreated wet AMD results in blood vessel leakage, fluid in the macula, and ultimately scar tissue formation, which can lead to permanent vision loss, or even blindness, as a result of the scarring and retinal deformation that occur during periods of non-treatment or undertreatment.

Current Therapies for Wet AMD

The standard of care treatments for wet AMD are two anti-VEGF drugs, Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Eylea (aflibercept). Lucentis (ranibizumab), marketed by Genentech, Inc., a subsidiary of the Roche Group, in the United States and by Novartis AG outside the United States, is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody fragment that binds to and inhibits VEGF proteins in the eye and was approved in the United States in 2006 and in Europe in 2007. Eylea (aflibercept), marketed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the United States and by Bayer HealthCare LLC outside the United States, is a recombinant fusion protein containing portions of the human VEGF receptor that binds to soluble VEGF and was approved in the United States in 2011 and in Europe in 2012. These drugs became the standard of care for treating wet AMD based on pivotal clinical trials in which Lucentis was injected every four weeks and Eylea was injected every eight weeks (after three initial monthly loading doses). Since its approval, Eylea has been widely adopted largely due to a durability advantage compared to Lucentis, but both agents were effective in improving visual acuity in the first months of the treatment period and sustaining this gain throughout the duration of their respective clinical trials. Avastin (bevacizumab), marketed for non-ocular indications by Genentech in the United States and by Roche outside of the United States, is an anti-VEGF cancer therapy that shares structural characteristics with Lucentis and is commonly used off-label as a monthly, intravitreal injection for wet AMD. Beovu (brolucizumab), marketed worldwide by Novartis, was approved in late 2019 in the United States and early 2020 in Europe for the treatment of wet AMD and is injected every eight to 12 weeks after three initial monthly doses. Its competitiveness with Lucentis and Eylea in the commercial marketplace has yet to be observed.

Total Market for Wet AMD

Annual worldwide sales of branded anti-VEGFs for all indications were an estimated $11.5 billion in 2020. We believe a substantial majority of these sales were in connection with the treatment of wet AMD, DME, and RVO. Avastin, which is currently approved and marketed for the treatment of cancer, is also used off-label to treat wet AMD, DME, RVO, and DR. We estimate that off-label Avastin represents approximately 60% of the U.S. wet AMD market by volume. We believe that an improved anti-VEGF therapy could further increase both adoption of approved therapies and extend the duration patients remain on treatment, and thus the total addressable market opportunity in wet AMD and DR could be substantial.

With an improved anti-VEGF therapy, we believe the total addressable market opportunity in wet AMD could be substantially greater than sales of Lucentis and Eylea in wet AMD, DME and RVO. A clinically meaningful durability advantage over existing treatments could increase long-term compliance rates and maintain patients on a consistent and FDA approved treatment regimen for this chronic condition. Furthermore, we believe that an anti-VEGF therapy that is more durable than Avastin may reduce the relative weight of cost as a deciding factor for patients and providers who currently favor Avastin and expand the market for “branded” treatments.

25


Diabetic Retinopathy

Overview of Diabetic Retinopathy

DR is an eye disease resulting from diabetes, in which chronically elevated blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. There are two major types of DR:

 

Non-proliferative DR, or NPDR. NPDR is an earlier, more typical stage of DR and can progress into more severe forms of DR over time if untreated and if exposure to elevated blood sugar levels persists.

 

Proliferative DR, or PDR. PDR is a more advanced stage of DR than NPDR. It is characterized by retinal neovascularization and, if left untreated, leads to permanent damage and blindness.

DME, which occurs when fluid accumulates in the macula due to leaking blood vessels, can develop at any stage of DR. PDR, together with DME, are the primary causes of vision-threatening DR, or VTDR. VTDR is the leading cause of blindness among people with diabetes and the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in the United States and the EU. Patients with mild or moderate NPDR who have not developed DME are characterized as patients with non-vision threatening DR, or NVTDR.

Current Therapies for DR

PDR has historically been treated with laser therapy. In recent years, use of anti-VEGF therapies has emerged as a complementary first-line treatment for PDR. Lucentis and Eylea are also approved for the treatment of DME with or without PDR. In April 2017, Lucentis’ approval was expanded to include all forms of DR, whether or not the patient also has DME. The approval was based on the demonstration that treatment with Lucentis results in more patients experiencing improvement of their diabetic retinopathy severity (disease regression). In March 2018, Regeneron announced results from its study in which Eylea demonstrated it can reverse disease progression in patients with moderately severe to severe NPDR when administered on average 4.4 times over 24 weeks. In 2019, Eylea received FDA approval as a treatment for DR without DME. For DR without DME, the recommended Lucentis regimen is monthly and the recommend Eylea regimen is every 8 weeks after 5 initial monthly injections.

The first-line interventions for non-vision threatening DR are observation, lifestyle changes and treatment of underlying diabetes. In practice, anti-VEGF therapies are not commonly prescribed for patients with NVTDR. However, results from the RISE and RIDE trials for Lucentis as well as the PANORAMA study for Eylea showed that anti-VEGF therapies can slow disease progression in patients with NPDR as well as induce regression.

 

Figure: Time to disease worsening (DR progression as defined by a composite endpoint)

from baseline in DME patients with NPDR treated with sham procedures vs. Lucentis.

 

26


 

Figure: Proportion of subjects improving or worsening per treatment arm.

Total Market for DR

According to the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, and National Institutes of Health, or NIH, (1) an estimated 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, with approximately 1.5 million additional people in the United States diagnosed with diabetes each year, and (2) 285 million people worldwide have diabetes. We estimate that the number of people in the United States and the EU with DR in 2015 was approximately 28.5 million. According to the NIH, the number of Americans with DR is expected to nearly double from 2010 to 2050. The CDC estimates that approximately 900,000 Americans are affected by VTDR. We believe a substantial majority of the approximately $11.5 billion in global sales of branded anti-VEGFs in 2020 were for the treatment of wet AMD, DME and RVO, with only a small proportion of sales for the treatment of NPDR without DME. Furthermore, we believe that the frequent injections required by current anti-VEGF therapies may dissuade patients with mild or asymptomatic forms of DR from accepting treatment. A more durable agent such as KSI-301 could be attractive for these untreated patients and extend the anti-VEGF market to include patients with NVTDR.

Limitations of Current Anti-VEGF Therapies

The underlying pathophysiologies of wet AMD, DME, DR and RVO are responsive to anti-VEGF drugs. Both conditions suffer from the limitations of current anti-VEGF therapies such as limited on-mechanism durability and frequent dosing intervals. On-mechanism durability is a function of the time that therapeutic levels are sustained in the ocular tissues. Data suggest that the effectiveness of Lucentis and Eylea in clinical practice is inferior to the results seen in well-controlled clinical studies, an observation attributed to insufficiently frequent dosing and resulting undertreatment even, in the case of Eylea, with its labeled eight-week regimen. Other studies show that while patients may benefit from anti-VEGF therapies in the early treatment phase, they may fail to sustain their visual acuity gains over the long term. Clinical studies have also shown that non-treatment or undertreatment with anti-VEGF agents in the months or years after disease onset may reduce the benefit of anti-VEGF therapies once therapy is initiated. These factors contribute to permanent and unnecessary vision loss for many patients.

27


Existing anti-VEGF therapies block VEGF activity effectively but have limited durability.

Wet AMD, DME, and DR are chronic and progressive diseases that require protracted treatment, possibly for life. Currently available anti-VEGF agents have relatively short durability. To maintain effective drug levels in the eye, existing anti-VEGF treatments must be administered on a frequent and sustained schedule. Lucentis was approved based on a monthly dosing interval. For wet AMD and DME, Eylea was approved based on a dosing interval of every eight weeks (following three initial, monthly loading doses for wet AMD, and five for DME). The most accepted sign of disease activity in wet AMD for retina specialists worldwide is recurrent accumulation of fluid in the macula, as determined by evaluating the retinal thickness and anatomic appearance with OCT. As can be seen in the figure below, when Eylea or Lucentis are dosed on a Q4W (once every four weeks) regimen, the retinal thickness remains stable between doses, as measured on OCT. However, when Eylea dosing is shifted to its Q8W (once every eight weeks) labeled regimen, the retina expands and contracts as it begins to swell with fluid before its next retreatment, exhibiting a seesaw pattern that we refer to as OCT flutter. This suggests that, although vision outcomes are comparable on average between fixed-interval 4-weekly and 8-weekly dosing, Eylea’s durability and ability to maintain disease control as measured by OCT is less than the approved 8-week per-label dosing.

 

Figure: Retinal thickness (y-axis), measured in microns, decreases upon treatment with Eylea. Rq4 = Lucentis every four weeks; 0.5q4 = Eylea 0.5mg every four weeks; 2q4 = Eylea 2mg every four weeks; 2q8 = Eylea 2mg every eight weeks.

The clinical implication is that when a patient’s dosing cycle is extended beyond the durability of the anti-VEGF agent and the amount of drug remaining in the eye falls below therapeutic levels, disease activity can recur. At this point, the disease can progress and begin to cause cumulative and possibly permanent retinal damage. To this point, the Eylea product labeling in the United States notes that “some patients may need every 4-week (monthly) dosing after the first 12 weeks (3 months).”

Additional evidence of the recognition of limited durability is seen in the FDA’s evaluation of both Lucentis and Eylea. Lucentis was tested for its potential to reach quarterly dosing in a Phase 3b study; it failed to successfully deliver the same efficacy results as monthly dosing. The FDA did accept dosing every three months after three initial monthly loading doses in the Lucentis product labeling, with the following wording: “Although not as effective, patients may be treated with 3 monthly doses followed by less frequent dosing with regular assessment. In the 9 months after three initial monthly doses, less frequent dosing with 4-5 doses on average is expected to maintain visual acuity while monthly dosing may be expected to result in an additional average 1-2 letter gain. Patients should be assessed regularly.” The loss of one line of vision translates into patients going back to baseline or even losing vision at the end of the first year of treatment, on average. Furthermore, the required wording of regular assessments means that the high burden of frequent office visits remains. For Eylea, recently, the FDA updated the product labeling to allow 12-week dosing but only in the second year of treatment, after one full year of intensive treatment. The labeling refers to it as “not as effective as the recommended every 8-week dosing.” For both Lucentis and Eylea, the recommended fixed interval dosing of monthly and bimonthly, respectively, appear to result in the best and most consistent visual acuity results, with all flexible or less-frequent dosing intervals labeled by FDA as “not as effective.”

Real-world utilization of current anti-VEGF therapies results in undertreatment which diminishes effectiveness.

Extended treatment intervals caused by the burden of frequent treatments causes undertreatment and visual outcomes that fall short of the results seen in pivotal clinical trials.

Compared to Lucentis’ pivotal trials in wet AMD, ANCHOR and MARINA, where initial vision gains are maintained with monthly dosing over two years, a variety of studies have shown that the initial gains (if achieved) are not maintained, on average, after the initial loading phase.

28


This is clearly seen in AURA, a multi-country real-world practice study of Lucentis. The visual acuity improvement seen in AURA falls significantly short of the visual acuity improvement that patients showed in MARINA and ANCHOR. A gradual loss of the initial vision gains can be seen as early as three months after initiation of treatment as depicted in the graph below. A key finding in AURA is that populations that received less frequent anti-VEGF treatment tended to experience less improvement in visual acuity, on average, as illustrated in the table below.

 

Figure: Vision gains seen in the AURA study over time for all patients by country (adapted from Holz et al).

*Last observation carried forward analysis.

 

Country

 

N

 

 

Mean

injections in

full 2 years

 

 

Change in

VA score to

day 90*

 

 

Change in

VA score to

year 1*

 

 

Change in

VA score

to year 2*

 

 

Mean VA

score at

year 2*

 

UK

 

 

410

 

 

 

9.0

 

 

 

5.7

 

 

 

6.0

 

 

 

4.1

 

 

 

59.0

 

The Netherlands

 

 

350

 

 

 

8.7

 

 

 

4.6

 

 

 

3.8

 

 

 

2.6

 

 

 

52.4

 

France

 

 

398

 

 

 

6.3

 

 

 

4.1

 

 

 

0.8

 

 

 

-1.1

 

 

 

54.4

 

Germany

 

 

420

 

 

 

5.6

 

 

 

3.3

 

 

 

1.1

 

 

 

-0.8

 

 

 

51.9

 

Italy

 

 

365

 

 

 

5.2

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

-2.9

 

 

 

62.7

 

 

Table: Summary of changes in visual acuity (VA) score from baseline and number of injections over two years, per country.

*Last observation carried forward analysis.

Consistent with the AURA study, an observational study following patients who completed the SEVEN UP and HORIZON trials for Lucentis in wet AMD showed a correlation between the number of injections and level of visual acuity benefit. Patients who received 11 or more injections during the period from four to eight years after they exited the pivotal clinical trial were more likely to experience improved vision (average gain of 3.9 letters) than patients who received six to ten injections during the same period (average loss of 6.9 letters).

 

 

 

No

injections

(n=26)

 

 

1-5

injections

(n=11)

 

 

6-10

injections

(n=11)

 

 

11

injections

(n=14)

Letter change:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEVEN UP vs HORIZON exit

 

 

-8.7

 

 

 

-10.8

 

 

 

-6.9

 

 

+3.9 1

 

1p<0.05

Table: Mean letter change from HORIZON to SEVEN UP by total number of anti-VEGF treatments.

The implication of these data is that in clinical practice and outside of clinical studies, patients are receiving fewer injections than the labeled regimens for Lucentis (12 per year) and Eylea (seven to eight in the first year and six in subsequent years). In 2017, the Angiogenesis Foundation reported that in routine clinical practice, 65% of wet AMD patients receive six or fewer injections during the first year of treatment. Likewise, a recent publication from the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS (Intelligent Research In Sight) patient registry showed that, in 13,859 U.S. patients with wet AMD, the average number of injections in the first year of treatment was approximately six.

29


As illustrated in the top right of the figure below, data regarding long-term anti-VEGF treatment show that visual acuity outcomes are positively correlated with number of injections, with the greatest benefit seen when therapies are used at 10.5 or more injections per year reflecting high intensity, fixed Q4W or Q8W dosing.

 

Figure: Five-year visual acuity outcomes versus injection frequency for three or more years in AMD.

In real-world practice, even a small deviation from per-labeled dosing can result in significant vision loss. In the PERSEUS Study, the real-world effectiveness of Eylea was evaluated in patients treated per-label (regular treatment) compared to patients treated irregularly. Patients treated regularly received a mean of 7.4 injections compared to 5.2 in the irregular treatment group. The initial vision gains seen after the loading doses started to decrease at month four, with vision returning, on average, to almost baseline in the irregularly treated patients, as shown in the graph below. The difference in vision of 4.6 letters gained between the two groups is statistically significant, and, more importantly, represents almost a line (five eye chart letters) of vision difference on average, which is recognized in the field as clinically meaningful. Additionally, in this study, the majority of patients (70.5%) did not receive regular treatment.

 

Figure: mean change in visual acuity for regularly and irregularly treated patients in the PERSEUS Study (effectiveness set)

Real-world outcomes of anti-VEGF treatment in patients with DME show similar patterns to wet AMD. For instance, a recently published report of electronic health records real-world data from 15,608 DME patient eyes showed that patients on average receive fewer injections over 12 months and have meaningfully worse visual acuity outcomes compared to randomized controlled trials.

30


Patients are not sustaining visual acuity gains over the long term.

Patients treated with anti-VEGF agents can sustain visual acuity gains over time if they adhere to a tighter dose frequency. Results from the VIEW 1 extension study demonstrate that it is possible for patients treated with anti-VEGF agents to sustain visual acuity gains over time, as long as patients adhere to a tighter dose frequency that is closer to the labeled regimen. In the early intensive treatment phase, patients in VIEW 1 achieved a ten-letter visual acuity gain, which they then maintained over two years on a Q8W regimen. At the end of two years, patients shifted into a less-intensive clinical monitoring regimen and into a more flexible dosing regimen in which they were required to maintain at least Q12W dosing. In this hybrid setting, patients showed a slow but steady decrease in average visual acuity from ten letters to seven letters; however, their average visual acuity did not drop to pretreatment levels or below.

 

Figure: Mean visual acuity and 95% confidence interval for 647 patients in the Comparison of Age-Related

Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials Follow-up Study: (A) overall and by drug assigned in the clinical

trial and (B) overall and by dosing regimen assigned in the clinical trial. PRN = “as needed.”

As mentioned above, AURA and many other real-world practice studies show that the vision gains seen in tightly controlled clinical trials are not transferrable to clinical practice. A United Kingdom study of approximately 93,000 Lucentis injections reviewed EMRs of thousands of patients treated outside the context of clinical trials. On average, patients received a median of 5, 4, and 4 injections of Lucentis over years one, two and three, respectively. The study found that although patients showed early improvement, they regressed, on average, to pretreatment levels by the end of year two with continued deterioration below their starting visual acuity by year three, as shown in the chart below.

 

Figure: Mean visual acuity (VA), as measured by letter score, over time comparing patients with follow-up of at least 1, 2 or 3 years.

More importantly, with many patients losing vision, during the study follow-up many patients experienced new sight impairment (29.6%, 41%, 48.7% and 53.7% in years one, two, three and four, respectively) and even new cases of blindness (5.1%, 8.6%, 12% and 15.6% in years one through four, respectively).

31


In the United States, an EMR study of 7,650 eyes treated with Lucentis and Eylea outside of the clinical trial setting showed that these therapies improved patients’ visual acuity less in practice than they do in clinical trials. Further, by the end of the first year of treatment, patients’ average visual acuity had deteriorated below their pretreatment levels.

 

Figure: Mean change in visual acuity (VA) letter score at 3, 6 and 12 months in the first year of treatment.

VA was lower at 12 months than at the beginning of treatment.

When patients leave the tightly controlled clinical trial environment, their eyesight, on average, falls to pretreatment levels. In practice, anti-VEGF therapies are not delivering the level of benefit that their pivotal clinical trials suggested. In the pivotal Lucentis trials MARINA and ANCHOR, patients were able to gain and maintain vision gains with monthly dosing over two years. After exiting the clinical trials, patients were followed in the HORIZON study with as needed dosing (Pro Re Nata or PRN) for three more years. Gradual vision decline can be seen immediately after exiting the trials, returning to pre-treatment baseline vision before the end of the third year of follow-up in HORIZON.

 

Figure: Mean change in visual acuity (VA) letter score in MARINA and ANCHOR

(years one and two) and in HORIZON (years three to five).

VA gradually decreased immediately after the patients exited monthly dosing in a clinical trial setting.

A study funded by the National Eye Institute followed patients who left the tightly controlled clinical trial environment into clinical practice and showed that these patients, on average, lost all the gains in visual acuity that they obtained while enrolled in the trial.

 

32


Undertreatment in the early course of patients’ disease risks the patients’ ability to benefit from anti-VEGF therapies after the passage of time.

After disease onset, how soon patients receive appropriate treatment is important to whether they can respond to treatment. Failure to appropriately treat neovascularization in the early period may reduce patients’ ability to respond to anti-VEGF therapies as the disease progresses, possibly leading to irreversible damage. In the RIDE/RISE clinical studies of Lucentis in DR, patients who received Lucentis saw an increase in visual acuity of 10 to 12 letters at month 24. Patients who received sham treatment (a procedure that is intended to mimic a therapy in a clinical trial as closely as possible without having any actual efficacy) for 24 months saw no benefit. At the 24-month mark, the patient arms were crossed over, such that the patients who had initially received sham treatment now began to receive Lucentis. These patients were only able to improve by four letters by year three. The interpretation is that the unchecked disease progression in the initial period damaged the retina to such an extent that patients were subsequently unable to respond to Lucentis to the same degree as patients treated with Lucentis earlier in their disease process.

 

Figure: At 36 months, patients who received Lucentis 0.5mg experienced a mean BCVA change from

baseline of 11.4 letters and 11.0 letters in RIDE and RISE, respectively. Patients who received sham treatment for

24 months and then crossed over to Lucentis 0.5mg experienced a diminished benefit in mean best corrected visual

acuity change from baseline at 36 months of 4.7 letters and 4.3 letters in RIDE and RISE, respectively.

Conclusions

There is a significant and urgent unmet medical need to find better therapeutic options for patients with neovascular diseases of the retina that can:

 

keep patients on mechanism for longer than currently available anti-VEGF therapies, thereby preventing repeated undertreatment by overextending treatment intervals and thus avoiding latent recurrence of retinal edema;

 

match the required frequency of injections to keep the patient’s disease quiescent with the frequency of visits that patient and physician behavior suggest is achievable in practice;  

 

sustain the strong visual acuity gains of the early intensive treatment phase over the long term and outside of clinical trial contexts; and

 

provide a tolerable treatment regimen even for patients who are early in the course of their disease, so they can achieve the maximal benefit of anti-VEGF therapy.

In the 2018 Preferences and Trends Survey conducted by the American Society of Retina Specialists, retina specialists worldwide cited both reduced treatment burden and long-acting durability as the greatest unmet needs regarding wet AMD treatment, and in the 2019 Survey, the majority of retina specialists believed that wet AMD patients are being undertreated.

Our Lead Product Candidate: KSI-301

Our lead product candidate, KSI-301, is a novel, clinical-stage anti-VEGF biological agent that combines inhibition of a known pathway with a potentially superior on-mechanism durability profile compared to currently marketed drugs for wet AMD, DME, DR and RVO. By addressing the primary causes of undertreatment, KSI-301 has the potential to improve and sustain visual acuity outcomes in patients with retinal vascular and exudative diseases.

33


Components of KSI-301

KSI-301 is a bioconjugate comprised of two novel components. The first component is a recombinant, full-length humanized anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody. The second component is a branched, optically clear phosphorylcholine biopolymer. The antibody is conjugated to the biopolymer in a one-to-one ratio through a stable and site-specific chemical linkage to form the antibody biopolymer conjugate. The molecular weight of KSI-301 is approximately 950,000 Daltons (Dalton is a standard measure of molecular weight), of which approximately 150,000 Daltons are attributable to the antibody component and 800,000 Daltons are attributable to the biopolymer component. It is well-established that substances, when injected intravitreally, with a smaller molecular weight will be cleared from ocular tissues more quickly than larger substances.

 

Figure: Functional structure of the KSI-301 antibody biopolymer conjugate.

Antibody Intermediate

The antibody intermediate of KSI-301 consists of a humanized anti-VEGF antibody. KSI-301 behaves pharmacologically similar to Lucentis by inhibiting VEGF-mediated neovascularization and vascular permeability.

Biopolymer Intermediate

The biopolymer component is a branched, optically clear phosphorylcholine biopolymer. Phosphorylcholine is a naturally occurring phospholipid head group present on the external surface of mammalian cellular membranes. Phosphorylcholine demonstrates physiological inertness that has been attributed to its molecular structure, where a permanent positive charge on the nitrogen group is equally balanced by a negative charge on the phosphate, yielding a net neutral charge over a wide range of conditions. Because of these biophysical properties, phosphorylcholine-based materials demonstrate super-hydrophilic properties in which they bind large amounts of water molecules very tightly, to create what we call “structured water.” Phosphorylcholine is used successfully in marketed medical materials as the key water control monomer, in particular as a hydrogel in certain contact lenses and as a polymeric surface coating in certain cardiac drug-eluting stents. In these applications, phosphorylcholine containing monomers are polymerized via “uncontrolled” free radical polymerization. For an external hydrogel application (contact lens) and an internal surface coating application (drug eluting stent), control of molecular weight and architecture are not important performance attributes. Kodiak’s objective was to incorporate phosphorylcholine into well-controlled biomaterials to use as conjugates for soluble, injectable medicines such as biopharmaceuticals. In such an application, control of molecular weight and architecture are important manufacturing and performance parameters. Therefore, we used controlled “living” polymerization techniques to build precise, star-shaped, high molecular weight, well-characterized phosphorylcholine-based biopolymers that preserve functional chemistry for subsequent conjugation to biologically active proteins and, once conjugated, bring a highly structured water environment into close proximity with the bioactive antibody’s target binding regions. We are also applying these controlled “living” polymerization techniques to develop phosphorylcholine-based biopolymers as copolymers of phosphorylcholine-containing and drug-containing comonomers to build chemistry-based product candidates that we believe may demonstrate high biocompatibility, high drug loading and sustained release of small molecule drugs for ophthalmology applications.

34


Characteristics of KSI-301

We believe that KSI-301 can be a highly differentiated treatment with an improved durability and bioavailability profile compared to current anti-VEGF therapies due to the following design features and resulting performance benefits we have observed with KSI-301 in our preclinical development:

 

Design feature: KSI-301’s ultra-high molecular weight of 950,000 Daltons as compared to 115,000 for Eylea, 48,000 for Lucentis and 27,000 for brolucizumab

 

Associated performance benefits:

 

3x improvement in key ocular pharmacokinetic parameters of KSI-301, as compared to Eylea

 

~1000x ocular concentration advantage at three months post-dosing of KSI-301, as compared to Eylea

 

Design feature: KSI-301’s phosphorylcholine-based ABC Platform

 

Associated performance benefits:

 

4x increase in key target ocular tissue bioavailability, as compared to Eylea

 

Same or increased bioactivity, as compared to the standard of care anti-VEGF agents

 

Increased stability and resistance to degradation of bioconjugates compared to therapeutic proteins

 

Design feature: KSI-301’s increased formulation strength of 50 mg/mL as compared to 40 mg/mL for Eylea and 10 mg/mL for Lucentis, as measured by weight of protein moiety

 

Associated performance benefits:

 

3.5x and 7x higher number of anti-VEGF binding sites per dose, as compared with Eylea and Lucentis, respectively

We believe that the aggregated effects of these properties could afford KSI-301 a longer on-mechanism durability that will more closely match the frequency of physician visits that is realistic for patients in clinical practice.

We also believe that these properties along with KSI-301’s delivery by intravitreal injection position it favorably compared to other therapies being studied in the clinic with the aim of long-interval dosing in retinal vascular disease. For example, both subretinal gene therapy and an implantable drug reservoir require the patient to undergo surgery, which is generally riskier than an intravitreal injection. This need for surgery may reduce the likelihood that those technologies could be useful for or adopted by a broad range of physicians and patients, especially those patients with earlier-stage disease. An implantable drug reservoir also leaves a foreign body permanently in the eye, with an attendant increased risk of infection or other long-term postoperative complications such as implant dislocation. Coated microsphere drug depots that deliver small-molecule receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs into the eye may leave a foreign residual material, which may cause visual symptoms and/or other safety problems. Additionally, receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor drugs affect signaling through additional receptors other than VEGF receptor; the effects on the eye of this additional receptor inhibition, either good or bad, are not yet known. Likewise, intravitreally-administered gene therapy vectors have been associated with chronic intraocular inflammation in a high percentage of treated patients, which may limit the efficacy of these treatments, the ability to retreat the first eye or treat the second eye over time, and the overall adoption of these approaches if they are successful. Finally, bispecific antibodies that target VEGF as well as other angiogenic signaling pathways are attempting to increase durability of treatment effect both through high molar doses and the targeting of additional pathways beyond VEGF, but the antibodies being used are the same size as typical monoclonal antibodies (~150 kDa) and we believe they do not have any unique size or half-life extending properties.

35


Trajectories in Field of Medicines Development for Retinal (Intravitreal) Therapies

Since the initial FDA approval of Lucentis in 2006 as a monthly therapy for wet AMD, efforts have been made to improve the durability of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy. Primarily, two parameters have been varied: size of molecule and amount of injected dose. First, increasing molecular weight, which can increase durability or ocular pharmacokinetics, or PK, in the eye because a larger molecule can lead to a slower exit from the eye. For example, Lucentis has a molecular weight of 48 kDa whereas Eylea, approved in 2011, has a molecular weight of 115 kDa. The second parameter is increasing the formulation strength (concentration) to increase the effective dose of anti-VEGF, given the limited volume of medicine that can be injected intravitreally in a single administration. This increases effective durability by keeping drug concentrations in the eye above a minimal threshold for longer periods of time. For example, Eylea has a 2x molar equivalence to Lucentis. In designing KSI-301, we addressed both parameters: first, increasing the molecular weight to 950 kDa through our ABC approach, and second, increasing the molar strength through a high concentration formulation of 50 mg/mL (by weight of protein). We believe our design decisions for KSI-301 may provide increased durability. The following figure illustrates these concepts.

36


Affinity for and Inhibition of VEGF

The therapeutic activity of KSI-301 is driven by its antibody component, OG1950, which (1) binds to VEGF and (2) prevents VEGF from carrying out its functions that promote neovascularization and increase vascular permeability. Our preclinical tests have demonstrated that OG1950 and KSI-301 bind to VEGF with similar affinity, which indicates that, despite the size and complex architecture of the biopolymer intermediate, the biopolymer does not interfere with antibody binding.

Table: Binding kinetics of OG1950 and KSI-301 to huVEGF-A165 by SPR or KinExA analysis.

 

Molecule

 

Platform (°C)

 

Kon (M)

 

Koff (M)

 

K(pM)

 

OG1950

 

Biacore(25°)

 

5.31x106

 

4.48x10-5

 

 

9.02

 

 

 

KinExA(37°)

 

5.09x105

 

1.75x10-6

 

 

3.43

 

KSI-301

 

Biacore(25°)

 

3.19x106

 

5.33x10-5

 

 

17.0

 

 

 

KinExA(37°)

 

2.69x105

 

1.82x10-6

 

 

6.75

 

°C = degrees Celsius; KD = dissociation constant

We have also tested OG1950 and KSI-301 in vitro alongside other anti-VEGF biologics to test their respective abilities to inhibit VEGF from binding to VEGF receptors. As shown in the figure and table below, while KSI-301 and OG1950 have similar IC50 (the concentration at which binding is reduced by half) compared to Eylea, KSI-301 consistently demonstrates a higher maximal inhibition than Eylea or Lucentis. Of note, KSI-301 improved maximal inhibition more than OG1950, suggesting that the special nature of our antibody biopolymer conjugate synergistically improves the bioactivity of the antibody intermediate acting alone.

 

Figure: Inhibition of VEGF binding to VEGF receptors by anti-VEGF agents.

 

Molecule

 

IC50 (nM)

 

Maximal

inhibition

(%)

KSI-301

 

3.72±0.74

 

93.89±1.41

OG1950

 

3.97±1.19

 

83.72±3.13

Ranibizumab (Lucentis)

 

8.60±1.29

 

70.67±2.36

Aflibercept (Eylea)

 

4.50±0.14

 

74.96±1.84

Bevacizumab (Avastin)

 

10.29±0.70

 

73.08±4.20

 

Table: Average IC50 and maximal inhibition of anti-VEGF agents. IC50 values measured in nanomoles (nM) and

calculated from concentration of anti-VEGF agents. All values shown as average with standard deviation.

37


Inhibition of VEGF-Mediated Processes

Based on its ability to bind and inhibit VEGF, KSI-301 is expected to behave pharmacologically similar to Lucentis, Eylea and Avastin to decrease the leakage of blood proteins and fluid into the retina. In fact, in vitro testing of KSI-301 against Lucentis, Eylea and Avastin in their respective ability to inhibit VEGF-mediated endothelial cell proliferation (a key component of neovascularization) in primary human retina microvascular endothelial cells, or HRMVECs, showed that KSI-301 inhibited proliferation to approximately the same degree as Eylea and with greater potency than Lucentis or Avastin. In addition, KSI-301 displayed a superior maximal inhibition of VEGF-mediated proliferation relative to Eylea and Avastin.

 

Figure: Effects of KSI-301, Lucentis, Eylea and Avastin on HRMVEC proliferation.

 

Molecule

 

IC50 (nM)

 

Maximal

Inhibition

(%)

KSI-301

 

0.96±0.18

 

64.74±2.36

OG1950

 

0.85±0.07

 

58.92±5.30

Ranibizumab (Lucentis)

 

1.25±0.14

 

60.96±2.53

Aflibercept (Eylea)

 

0.74±0.10

 

53.93±4.91

Bevacizumab (Avastin)

 

1.25±0.36

 

38.98±6.18

 

Table: IC50 Values and maximal inhibition of anti-VEGF agents on VEGF-mediated proliferation of HRMVECs. IC50 values were calculated from concentration of anti-VEGF agents. All values shown as average with standard deviation.

To mimic in vivo conditions where endothelial cells and pericytes coexist in blood vessels, a three-dimensional co-culture of HRMVECs and human mesenchymal pericytes, or HMPs, grown on beads was established. This model was then used to test the ability of KSI-301 to inhibit VEGF-mediated vascular sprouting compared to Lucentis and Eylea. The average number of sprouts per bead and the length per sprout were analyzed under each treatment condition.

38


As shown in the figures below, at maximal anti-VEGF inhibition the average sprout length of cultures treated with KSI-301 was substantially less than that of the control (481 compared with 990 microns) and comparable to Lucentis and Eylea (505 and 428 microns respectively). The average number of sprouts per bead for cultures treated with KSI-301 was 11.5, which was comparable to 13.3 and 13.0 sprouts per bead observed for the cultures treated with Lucentis and Eylea, respectively.

 

Figure: Effects of KSI-301 and other anti-VEGF molecules on length and number of vascular sprouts in 3-dimensional culture.

Extended Ocular Half-Life versus Standard of Care Agents

The addition of the biopolymer intermediate increases the size of the biologic, thereby extending the ocular half-life of the molecule beyond that of standard of care anti-VEGF agents. Preclinical studies with KSI-301 in the well-established rabbit ocular pharmacokinetics model have demonstrated that KSI-301 has ocular tissue half-lives of 10+ days in the retina and 12.5+ days in the choroid. This is in comparison to published data for ocular tissue half-lives for Lucentis of 2.9 days and Eylea of 4-5 days.

Enhanced Ocular Tissue Bioavailability versus Eylea

The data also show that KSI-301, despite its large size, penetrates ocular tissues well and has a retina and choroid ocular tissue biodistribution that is more than four-fold higher than Eylea.

 

39


Modeling On-Mechanism Durability and Human Dose Frequency

In order to estimate the impact of high potency and extended ocular half-life on durability of effect, we used a pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic model that overlays rabbit ocular tissue pharmacokinetic profiles of intravitreally injected anti-VEGF therapeutics and correlates the drug levels with (1) human OCT data to define a rabbit minimal inhibitory concentration to maintain human on-mechanism durability that corresponds with human OCT outcomes, and (2) human dose frequency to define a rabbit minimal inhibitory concentration to support a dose frequency in humans which corresponds to the ability to maintain visual acuity outcomes over the long-term. Specifically, we overlay the ocular tissue pharmacokinetic profiles of Lucentis at 0.5 mg dose (the marketed dose in wet AMD), Eylea at 2.0mg dose (the marketed dose), and bioconjugate KSI-301 at 5.0 mg dose (our selected dose), as separately tested.

 

Our modeling suggests a single dose of KSI-301 can stay above both on-mechanism and “dosing” minimal inhibitory concentrations for longer than 12 weeks in wet AMD patients. A minimal inhibitory concentration is the minimum concentration of a drug that still has the desired therapeutic effect. The implication is that KSI-301 may on average keep the retina dry for longer than 12 weeks after dosing, allowing patients to be dosed in regular 12-week intervals or less frequently and still maintain anti-VEGF mediated visual acuity gains over the long term. This contrasts with overextending the treatment interval beyond a point where retinal swelling recurs as observed in Eylea’s VIEW 2 Phase 3 clinical trial (as described above).

KSI-301 has demonstrated superior stability compared to typical protein therapeutics

Stability studies have shown that KSI-301 bioconjugate is stable in ex vivo vitreous for at least 4 months at 37°C. Further, forced degradation studies at the extreme condition of 64°C have shown that KSI-301 bioconjugate remains in solution and is optically clear for at least 48 hours whereas the precursor antibody protein precipitated forming an opaque white suspension within several hours.

Toxicology Profile

KSI-301 has demonstrated an attractive safety profile. In all GLP monkey toxicology studies conducted through ocular or systemic administration, KSI-301 has been well tolerated. In ocular studies, KSI-301 was dosed bilaterally via intravitreal injection at 2.5 or 5.0 mg per eye every four weeks up to seven doses and evaluated through 40 weeks. Findings were limited to a dose-related anterior segment and posterior segment mild inflammatory response, which was not associated with other ocular abnormalities. The anterior segment response declined during the interval between doses and generally the finding was not present one-week post dose. The posterior segment response was attributed to a mild immune mediated response typically observed to a humanized therapeutic in monkeys.  No drug related systemic toxicity was observed. Additionally, in a systemic administration study, KSI-301 was well tolerated up to the highest dose of 5 mg/kg when dosed intravenously every four weeks for ten weeks. In summary, the results of the toxicology studies strongly indicate that KSI-301’s well tolerated safety profile in monkeys is favorable compared to that reported for Lucentis and Eylea.

40


KSI-301 Commercialization

We currently have no sales, marketing or commercial product distribution capabilities and have no experience as a company in marketing products. We intend to build our own commercialization capabilities over time.

If KSI-301 receives marketing approval, we plan to commercialize it in the United States with our own focused, specialty sales force. We believe that retinal specialists in the United States, who perform most of the medical procedures involving diseases of the back of the eye, are sufficiently concentrated that we will be able to effectively promote KSI-301 to these specialists with a sales and marketing group of fewer than 200 persons.

We expect to use a variety of types of collaboration, distribution and other marketing arrangements with one or more third parties to commercialize KSI-301 in markets outside the United States.

KSI-301 Manufacturing

We believe it is important to our business and success to have a reliable, high-quality clinical drug supply. As we mature as a company and approach commercial stage operations, securing reliable high-quality commercial drug supply will be critical.

We do not currently own or operate facilities for product manufacturing, storage, distribution or testing.

We rely on third-party contract manufacturers, or CMOs, to manufacture and supply our clinical materials to be used during the development of our product candidates. We have established relationships with several CMOs, including Lonza AG, or Lonza, for the manufacture of KSI-301, as well as certain of our other product candidates.

We currently do not need commercial manufacturing capacity. When and if this becomes relevant, we intend to evaluate both third-party manufacturers as well as building out internal capabilities and capacity. We may choose one or both options, or a combination of the two.

The process for manufacturing KSI-301 consists of conjugating our antibody intermediate with our biopolymer intermediate. Our antibody intermediate is produced in a recombinant GS-CHO (Glutamine Synthetase—Chinese Hamster Ovary) cell line in a protein-free and animal component-free medium. Our biopolymer intermediate is synthesized via a multi-step controlled “living” polymerization process, purified and formulated. Following conjugation of the intermediates, the bioconjugate drug substance is further purified, concentrated, and stored.

To date, we have relied primarily on Lonza for the manufacture of KSI-301. Notably, in the first quarter of 2020, we completed three successful re-supply batches of cGMP-manufactured KSI-301 drug substance. We believe that supply from these new batches, together with previously available KSI-301 supply from prior cGMP drug substance manufacturing, is sufficient to support our ongoing and planned clinical development activities.

The manufacture of KSI-301, like other biologic products, is complex and we have actively worked with Lonza to develop and refine our manufacturing process. As our need for KSI-301 increases in connection with pre-BLA manufacturing and validation activities and, if approved, commercial quantities, we anticipate continued collaboration with Lonza. We have also identified multiple other CMOs that we believe would be capable of implementing, validating and commercializing our manufacturing process for KSI-301 should the need arise.

ABC Platform

We believe that our ABC Platform is well suited to extend the durability of soluble, injectable retinal medicines, while at the same time providing for other useful benefits. We intend to develop additional drug candidates by applying our ABC Platform in other significant areas of unmet medical need in retina and ophthalmic disease.

We believe our ABC Platform differentiates us and has the potential to fuel a pipeline of differentiated product candidates in high-prevalence ophthalmic diseases. In addition to KSI-301, we have leveraged our ABC Platform to build a pipeline of potential product candidates, including KSI-501, a recombinant, mammalian cell expressed dual inhibitor antibody biopolymer conjugate, targeting both VEGF and IL-6 for the treatment of retinal diseases with an inflammatory component. The cGMP master cell bank for KSI-501 has been completed, and KSI-501 is being further developed towards an IND in 2021.

In addition, we have expanded our early research pipeline to include ABC Platform-based triplet inhibitors. In this approach, a bispecific or dual inhibitor antibody is conjugated to a phosphorylcholine biopolymer variant that is embedded with hundreds of copies of a small-molecule drug. As a result, multiple disease-related biologies - both intracellular and extracellular - can be targeted with a single medicine. This approach can be of particular relevance for common vision-threatening diseases that are more complex because of their multifactorial pathophysiology, such as dry AMD and glaucoma. KSI-601 is a triplet inhibitor for dry AMD, and we currently intend to submit an IND in 2022.

41


Overview of KSI-501

In addition to angiogenesis, inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of retinal diseases. Anti-inflammatory therapies such as steroids have been effective in treating both uveitis (a spectrum of diseases with intraocular inflammation as a defining characteristic) and DME. Similarly, genetically inherited variations in the interleukin 6, or IL-6, gene have been associated with higher PDR incidence in patients with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, disease progression in AMD, DR and RVO have been reported to be associated with increased serum and/or ocular levels of IL-6. Additionally, chronic inflammatory cells have been seen on the surface of the basement membrane behind the retina in eyes with wet AMD. Interestingly, IL-6 has been implicated in resistance to anti-VEGF treatments in DME patients. This in part is believed to be an indirect result of IL-6 mediated upregulation of VEGF expression as well as more direct VEGF-independent angiogenic functions mediated by IL-6 signaling that occur in the presence of VEGF inhibitors.

Our KSI-501 product candidate is a dual inhibitor Trap-Antibody-Fusion, or TAF, bioconjugate molecule designed to target concurrent inflammation and abnormal angiogenesis observed in the pathogenesis of retinal vascular diseases. KSI-501 acts through an anti-VEGF mechanism similar to Eylea and an anti-inflammatory mechanism that targets the potent cytokine IL-6. Similar to KSI-301, KSI-501 uses the ABC Platform and is a bioconjugate of the TAF protein conjugated to our phosphorylcholine-based biopolymer. Preclinical binding and functional studies demonstrate that the TAF protein binds specifically and simultaneously to its intended targets. We believe that this dual inhibition may provide a superior treatment option for patients with retinal vascular diseases and in particular those patients with diseases known to have a high inflammatory component such as DME, as well as in ocular inflammatory diseases such as uveitis.

KSI-501 is now in GMP manufacturing, and we are currently working towards IND submission in early 2022.

Components of KSI-501

KSI-501 is a bioconjugate of a dual inhibitor TAF protein and a phosphorylcholine-based biopolymer. The protein portion of KSI-501 has two VEGF binding domains from human VEGF receptors which together act as a trap or soluble receptor decoy to bind the most abundant isoforms of VEGF. The anti-VEGF trap domains are fused to a high-affinity IgG1 antibody that binds with high specificity and affinity to IL-6 and disrupts the ligand’s association with its cognate IL-6 receptor. Moreover, the Fc domain has been engineered to reduce immune effector function and facilitate site-specific conjugation to our phosphorylcholine-based biopolymer.

Notably, this IgG1 antibody sequence is identical to that from KSI-301, except for the six CDR regions that mediate target binding and which are specific for binding to the IL-6 target. Retaining the IgG1 frameworks across ABC Platform-derived product candidates enables “platform capability” which simplify manufacturing and product development. KSI-501, furthermore, uses the same cGMP biopolymer intermediate as KSI-301.

 

Figure: Functional structure of the KSI-501 antibody biopolymer conjugate. CH – constant heavy, CL – constant light, VH – variable heavy, VL – variable light, – Complementarity Determining Regions (CDR).

42


Characteristics of KSI-501

We believe that KSI-501 can be a highly differentiated treatment due to its dual mechanism of action, with an improved durability and bioavailability profile due to the ABC Platform component. In addition, there are currently no IL-6 inhibitors approved for use in the eye.

We incorporated the following design features into KSI-501:

 

Binds with high affinity to the most abundant isoforms of VEGF

 

Engineered to remove a protease hotspot to prevent cleavage in Chinese Hamster Ovary, or CHO, mammalian expression systems, which may improve potency and formulation stability

Design Feature: KSI-501’s anti-IL-6 domain

 

Affinity matured, humanized anti-IL-6 IgG1 that binds with high affinity to IL-6 and inhibits binding of IL-6 to its cognate receptor

 

IgG1 Fc domain engineered to reduce immune effector functions

Design Feature: KSI-501’s phosphorylcholine-based ABC Platform

 

Ultra-high molecular weight of 1,000,000 Daltons for improved ocular pharmacokinetics

 

Same IgG1 framework sequences and same phosphorylcholine-based biopolymer as KSI-301 and other ABC Platform-derived product candidates to simplify manufacturing and product development

 

Other benefits of the ABC Platform such as enhanced tissue access to key ocular tissues and bioconjugate stability

Note that the in vitro data shown below are generated using the TAF (protein) of KSI-501, without conjugation to our ABC biopolymer. Results using KSI-501 may be different, but experience with a structurally similar prior molecule, KSI-201, has shown that these individual components, i.e., trap antibody fusion protein and biopolymer, can function together simultaneously as a dual inhibitor bioconjugate. Prior experiences with bioconjugates KSI-201 and KSI-301 have also demonstrated that the biopolymer portion does not interfere with the bioactivity of the protein portion.

Affinity and concurrent binding to VEGF and IL-6

Preclinical studies indicate that the TAF portion of KSI-501 binds with high affinity to both VEGF and IL-6, as measured by SPR analysis (Table). Importantly, binding of each molecule has no effect on the binding of the other, and KSI-501 can bind to both molecules as shown below. Thus, we believe our dual inhibitor can simultaneously inhibit both of its targets with high potency.

Table: Binding kinetics of TAF portion of KSI-501 to huVEGF-A165 or IL-6 by SPR analysis.

 

Molecule

 

Kon (M)

 

Koff (M)

 

KD (pM)

 

IL-6

 

3.72x106

 

4.06x10-4

 

 

109

 

VEGF-A165

 

1.07x107

 

1.63x10-4

 

 

15.2

 

 

Figure: TAF of KSI-501 simultaneously binds to IL-6 and VEGF by sandwich ELISA, which only shows a signal if a compound binds to both IL-6 and VEGF concurrently.

43


Inhibition of VEGF and IL-6

KSI-501 was designed to inhibit both VEGF and IL-6 mediated signaling that occur after the ligands bind to their respective receptors. The figure below shows that the TAF protein of KSI-501 effectively prevents VEGF from stimulating downstream VEGFR2 signaling in a reporter assay in a comparable manner to Eylea, while anti-IL-6 alone served as a negative control.

 

Figure: VEGF stimulated reporter assay with increasing concentrations of anti-VEGF inhibitors

The figure below shows that the control anti-IL-6 antibody and TAF protein of KSI-501 effectively compete with IL-6R for binding to plate-bound IL-6 and therefore inhibit this specific antigen-receptor interaction. The IC50 values for the control anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody and the TAF protein are comparable (anti-IL-6 = 0.36 nM, KSI-501 = 0.47 nM), while Eylea had no effect.

 

Figure: ELISA measuring IL-6 binding to IL-6R in the presence of increasing concentrations of anti-IL-6 inhibitors

Together, these data indicate that the TAF protein of KSI-501 inhibits both VEGF and IL-6 from binding their cognate receptors as effectively as the monotherapies. Importantly, these data also demonstrate that the TAF protein of KSI-501 can simultaneously block downstream signaling mediated by both VEGF and IL-6.

44


IL-6 and VEGF mediated proliferation of HUVECs

The ability of the TAF protein of KSI-501 to inhibit IL-6 and VEGF mediated angiogenic functions was tested in a Human Vascular Endothelial Cell, or HUVEC, proliferation assay as shown in the figure below. Importantly, the concentrations of VEGF and IL-6 used to stimulate proliferation were below the saturation point for each individual stimulant and under these conditions VEGF and IL-6 showed some synergy for growth. The presence of TAF protein significantly attenuated proliferation to approximately 50% of maximal growth, while neither Eylea nor control anti-IL-6 alone had quantifiable effects. These data provide supporting evidence that KSI-501 can synergistically abrogate endothelial cell proliferation that is driven by concurrent inflammatory and VEGF mediated signaling.

 

Figure: VEGF/IL-6 mediated HUVEC proliferation in the presence of inhibitors

IL-6 and VEGF mediated tubule formation of HUVECs:

TAF protein of KSI-501 was also tested in an endothelial cell tubule formation assay. Treatment of HUVECs seeded on an extracellular basement membrane matrix (Matrigel) with VEGF and IL-6 together stimulate tubule formation to a higher degree than either treatment alone. The TAF protein of KSI-501 demonstrated superior inhibition of this tubule formation when compared to Eylea or control anti-IL-6 antibody.

Furthermore, quantification of the effects of each inhibitor on twenty parameters of HUVEC tubule formation show that the TAF protein significantly inhibited 17 of 20 angiogenic parameters versus control (compared to 4 of 20 for Eylea and 7 of 20 for control anti-IL-6 antibody). TAF protein was statistically better than Eylea and anti-IL-6 control in 12 of 20 parameters.  

 

Figure: Quantification of IL-6/VEGF mediated HUVEC tubule formation in the presence or absence of inhibitor molecules using the Angiogenesis Analyzer plugin for ImageJ

45


Together, these data show that the TAF protein of KSI-501 can simultaneously bind IL-6 and VEGF to inhibit their downstream angiogenic signaling pathways. We believe that this novel dual inhibitor can provide an alternative option for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases, especially those that have a high inflammatory component and/or that do not respond adequately to anti-VEGF treatments alone.

Competition

The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries are characterized by rapidly advancing technologies, intense competition and a strong emphasis on proprietary products. While we believe that our technologies, knowledge, experience and scientific resources provide us with competitive advantages, we face potential competition from many different sources, including major pharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academic institutions and governmental agencies and public and private research institutions. Any product candidates that we successfully develop and commercialize will compete with existing therapies and new therapies that may become available in the future.

Our potential competitors include large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and specialty pharmaceutical and generic or biosimilar drug companies. Many of our competitors have significantly greater financial and human resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals and marketing approved products than we do. Smaller and other early-stage companies may also prove to be significant competitors, particularly through collaborative arrangements with large and established companies. These competitors compete with us in recruiting and retaining qualified scientific and management personnel, establishing clinical trial sites and patient enrollment for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring products, product candidates or other technologies complementary to our programs.

The key competitive factors affecting the success of KSI-301, if approved, are likely to be its efficacy, safety, method and frequency of administration, on-mechanism durability of therapeutic effect, convenience, price, the level of generic and biosimilar competition and the availability of coverage and reimbursement from government and other third-party payors. The method of administration of KSI-301, intravitreal injection, is commonly used to administer ophthalmic drugs for the treatment of severe disease and is generally accepted by patients facing the prospect of severe visual loss or blindness. However, a therapy that offers a less invasive method of administration might have a competitive advantage over one administered by intravitreal injection, depending on the relative safety of the other method of administration.

The current standard of care for wet AMD, advanced stages of DR (including DME), and RVO is monotherapy administration of anti-VEGF drugs, principally Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea, which are well-established therapies and are widely accepted by physicians, patients and third-party payors. Physicians, patients and third-party payors may not accept the addition of KSI-301 to their current treatment regimens for a variety of potential reasons, including:

 

if they do not wish to incur the additional cost of KSI-301;

 

if they perceive the addition of KSI-301 to be of limited benefit to patients;

 

if they wish to treat with more than an anti-VEGF drug;

 

if sufficient coverage and reimbursement are not available; and

 

if they do not perceive KSI-301 to have a favorable risk-benefit profile.

We are developing KSI-301 as an alternative to existing anti-VEGF drugs, including Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea. Accordingly, KSI-301 would directly compete with these therapies. While we believe KSI-301 will compete favorably with existing anti-VEGF drugs, future approved standalone or combination therapies with demonstrated improved efficacy over KSI-301 or currently marketed therapies with a favorable safety profile and any of the following characteristics might pose a significant competitive threat to us:

 

a mechanism of action that does not involve VEGF;

 

a duration of action that obviates the need for frequent intravitreal injection;

 

a method of administration that avoids intravitreal injection; and

 

significant cost savings or reimbursement advantages compared to KSI-301 and other anti-VEGF therapies.

Our commercial opportunity could be reduced or eliminated if one or more of 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. A drug with greater convenience than KSI-301 might make such a drug more attractive to physicians and patients. An anti-VEGF gene therapy product might substantially reduce the number and frequency of intravitreal injections when treating wet AMD, DME, RVO, or DR, making KSI-301 unattractive to physicians

46


and patients. Our competitors also may obtain FDA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours, which could result in our competitors establishing a strong market position before we are able to enter the market. In addition, our ability to compete may be affected because in many cases insurers or other third-party payors seek to encourage the use of generic products.

In addition to currently available therapies, we are aware of a number of products in preclinical research and clinical development by third parties to treat wet AMD, DME, RVO and DR. We expect that product candidates currently in clinical development, or that could enter clinical development in the near future, that inhibit the function of VEGF or inhibit the function of both VEGF and other factors, could represent significant competition if approved. These product candidates may provide efficacy, safety, convenience and other benefits that are not provided by currently marketed therapies. For example, Novartis has received FDA and EMA approval for Beovu (brolucizumab) for the treatment of wet AMD, and is studying Beovu as a potential treatment option for patients with DME and RVO. Roche is developing faricimab, a bispecific antibody targeting VEGF and another mechanism, in wet AMD, DME, and RVO, and recently presented Phase 3 data demonstrating the non-inferiority of faricimab to Eylea in wet AMD and DME. There are also several companies and research organizations pursuing treatments targeting other molecular targets, potential gene therapy treatments, stem cell transplant treatments and medical devices for the treatment of wet AMD, DME, DR, and RVO.

Because there are a variety of means to treat wet AMD, DME, DR, and RVO, our patents and other proprietary protections for KSI-301 will not prevent development or commercialization of product candidates that are different from KSI-301.

Funding Agreement

On December 1, 2019, we, and our subsidiary, Kodiak Sciences GmbH, entered into a funding agreement to sell a capped royalty right on global net sales of KSI-301 to BBA for $225,000,000. Under the funding agreement, BBA purchased the right to receive a capped 4.5% royalty on net sales following marketing approval of KSI-301 in exchange for $225,000,000 in committed development funding payable to us. Unless earlier terminated or re-purchased by us, the royalty “caps” or terminates upon the date that BBA has received an aggregate amount equal to 4.5 times the funding amount paid to us. Under the terms of the funding agreement, BBA was required to pay the first $100,000,000 of the funding amount at the closing of the funding transaction and the remaining $125,000,000 of the funding amount, subject to delivery of notice by the Company, payable upon enrollment of 50% of the patients in the RVO clinical program. We have the option, exercisable at any point during the term of the funding agreement, to repurchase from BBA 100% of the royalties due to BBA under the funding agreement for a purchase price equal to the funding amount paid to us as of such time times 4.5, less amounts paid by us to BBA. Under the funding agreement, BBA also received a right to a royalty interest on future net sales following marketing approval of other of our products that employ an anti-VEGF A, or VEGF-A, biology as a sole molecular or chemical biology. In the event we commercialize related products that contain both an anti-VEGF-A biology together with at least one additional molecular or chemical biology(ies), BBA would have the right to receive a fractional royalty of up to 2.25% for one additional molecular or chemical biology or 1.5% for two additional molecular or chemical biologies provided that such other products are being progressed in indications for, or patient populations with, retinal vein occlusion, wet AMD or diabetic macular edema, or indications or patient populations in which KSI-301 or a VEGF-A product has received marketing approval. Total royalty payments under the funding agreement are not to exceed the cap of 4.5 times the funding amount paid to us. The funding agreement was the result of a competitive process overseen by independent and disinterested directors of Kodiak with the assistance of outside counsel.

Government Regulation

Government authorities in the United States at the federal, state and local level and in other countries regulate, among other things, the research, development, testing, manufacture, quality control, approval, labeling, packaging, storage, record-keeping, promotion, advertising, distribution, post-approval monitoring and reporting, marketing and export and import of drug and biological products. Generally, before a new drug or biologic can be marketed, considerable data demonstrating its quality, safety and efficacy must be obtained, organized into a format specific for each regulatory authority, submitted for review and approved by the regulatory authority.

47


U.S. Drug Development

In the United States, the FDA regulates drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or FDCA, and its implementing regulations, and biologics under the FDCA, the Public Health Service Act, or PHSA, and their implementing regulations. Both drugs and biologics also are subject to other federal, state and local statutes and regulations. The process of obtaining regulatory approvals and the subsequent compliance with appropriate federal, state, local and foreign statutes and regulations requires the expenditure of substantial time and financial resources. Failure to comply with the applicable U.S. requirements at any time during the product development process, approval process or post-market may subject an applicant to administrative or judicial sanctions. These sanctions could include, among other actions, the FDA’s refusal to approve pending applications, withdrawal of an approval, a clinical hold, untitled or warning letters, product recalls or market withdrawals, product seizures, total or partial suspension of production or distribution, injunctions, fines, refusals of government contracts, restitution, disgorgement and civil or criminal penalties. Any agency or judicial enforcement action could have a material adverse effect on us.

Any future product candidates must be approved by the FDA through either a new drug application, or NDA, or a biologics license application, or BLA, process before they may be legally marketed in the United States. The process generally involves the following:

 

completion of extensive preclinical studies in accordance with applicable regulations, including studies conducted in accordance with good laboratory practice, or GLP, requirements;

 

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

 

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

 

performance of adequate and well-controlled human clinical trials in accordance with applicable IND regulations, good clinical practice, or GCP, requirements and other clinical trial-related regulations to establish the safety and efficacy of the investigational product for each proposed indication;

 

submission to the FDA of an NDA or BLA;

 

a determination by the FDA within 60 days of its receipt of an NDA or BLA to accept the filing for review;

 

satisfactory completion of a FDA pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facility or facilities where the drug or biologic will be produced to assess compliance with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMP, requirements to assure that the facilities, methods and controls are adequate to preserve the drug or biologic’s identity, strength, quality and purity;  

 

potential FDA audit of the preclinical and/or clinical trial sites that generated the data in support of the NDA or BLA;

 

FDA review and approval of the NDA or BLA, including consideration of the views of any FDA advisory committee, prior to any commercial marketing or sale of the drug or biologic in the United States; and

 

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

The data required to support an NDA or BLA are generated in two distinct developmental stages: preclinical and clinical. The preclinical and clinical testing and approval process requires substantial time, effort and financial resources, and we cannot be certain that any approvals for any future product candidates will be granted on a timely basis, or at all.

Preclinical Studies and IND

The preclinical developmental stage generally involves laboratory evaluations of drug chemistry, formulation and stability, as well as studies to evaluate toxicity in animals, which support subsequent clinical testing. The sponsor must submit the results of the preclinical studies, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and a proposed clinical protocol, to the FDA as part of the IND. An IND is a request for authorization from the FDA to administer an investigational product to humans, and must become effective before human clinical trials may begin.

48


Preclinical studies include laboratory evaluation of product chemistry and formulation, as well as in vitro and animal studies to assess the potential for adverse events and in some cases to establish a rationale for therapeutic use. The conduct of preclinical studies is subject to federal regulations and requirements, including GLP regulations for safety/toxicology studies. An IND sponsor must submit the results of the preclinical tests, together with manufacturing information, analytical data, any available clinical data or literature and plans for clinical studies, among other things, to the FDA as part of an IND. Some long-term preclinical testing, such as animal tests of reproductive adverse events and carcinogenicity, may continue after the IND is submitted. An IND automatically becomes effective 30 days after receipt by the FDA, unless before that time, the FDA raises concerns or questions related to one or more proposed clinical trials and places the trial on clinical hold. In such a case, the IND sponsor and the FDA must resolve any outstanding concerns before the clinical trial can begin. As a result, submission of an IND may not result in the FDA allowing clinical trials to commence.

Clinical Trials

The clinical stage of development involves the administration of the investigational product to healthy volunteers or patients under the supervision of qualified investigators, generally physicians not employed by or under the trial sponsor’s control, in accordance with GCP requirements, which include the requirement that all research subjects provide their informed consent for their participation in any clinical trial. Clinical trials are conducted under protocols detailing, among other things, the objectives of the clinical trial, dosing procedures, subject selection and exclusion criteria and the parameters to be used to monitor subject safety and assess efficacy. Each protocol, and any subsequent amendments to the protocol, must be submitted to the FDA as part of the IND. Furthermore, each clinical trial must be reviewed and approved by an IRB for each institution at which the clinical trial will be conducted to ensure that the risks to individuals participating in the clinical trials are minimized and are reasonable in relation to anticipated benefits. The IRB also approves the informed consent form that must be provided to each clinical trial subject or his or her legal representative, and must monitor the clinical trial until completed. There also are requirements governing the reporting of ongoing clinical trials and completed clinical trial results to public registries.

A sponsor who wishes to conduct a clinical trial outside of the United States may, but need not, obtain FDA authorization to conduct the clinical trial under an IND. If a foreign clinical trial is not conducted under an IND, the sponsor may submit data from the clinical trial to the FDA in support of an NDA or BLA. The FDA will accept a well-designed and well-conducted foreign clinical study not conducted under an IND if the study was conducted in accordance with GCP requirements and the FDA is able to validate the data through an onsite inspection if deemed necessary.

Clinical trials in the United States generally are conducted in three sequential phases, known as Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3, and may overlap.

 

Phase 1 clinical trials generally involve a small number of healthy volunteers or disease-affected patients who are initially exposed to a single dose and then multiple doses of the product candidate. The primary purpose of these clinical trials is to assess the metabolism, pharmacologic action, side effect tolerability and safety of the drug.

 

Phase 2 clinical trials involve studies in disease-affected patients to determine the dose required to produce the desired benefits. At the same time, safety and further pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information is collected, possible adverse effects and safety risks are identified and a preliminary evaluation of efficacy is conducted.

 

Phase 3 clinical trials generally involve a large number of patients at multiple sites and are designed to provide the data necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product for its intended use, its safety in use and to establish the overall benefit/risk relationship of the product and provide an adequate basis for product approval. These trials may include comparisons with placebo and/or other comparator treatments. The duration of treatment is often extended to mimic the actual use of a product during marketing.

Post-approval trials, sometimes referred to as Phase 4 clinical trials, may be conducted after initial marketing approval. These trials are used to gain additional experience from the treatment of patients in the intended therapeutic indication. In certain instances, the FDA may mandate the performance of Phase 4 clinical trials as a condition of approval of an NDA or BLA.

Progress reports detailing the results of the clinical trials, among other information, must be submitted at least annually to the FDA and written IND safety reports must be submitted to the FDA and the investigators for serious and unexpected suspected adverse events, findings from other studies suggesting a significant risk to humans exposed to the drug, findings from animal or in vitro testing that suggest a significant risk for human subjects and any clinically important increase in the rate of a serious suspected adverse reaction over that listed in the protocol or investigator brochure.

49


Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials may not be completed successfully within any specified period, if at all. The FDA or the sponsor may suspend or terminate a clinical trial at any time on various grounds, including a finding that the research subjects or patients are being exposed to an unacceptable health risk. Similarly, an IRB can suspend or terminate approval of a clinical trial at its institution if the clinical trial is not being conducted in accordance with the IRB’s requirements or if the drug or biologic has been associated with unexpected serious harm to patients. Additionally, some clinical trials are overseen by an independent group of qualified experts organized by the clinical trial sponsor, known as a data safety monitoring board or committee. This group provides authorization for whether a trial may move forward at designated check points based on access to certain data from the trial. Concurrent with clinical trials, companies usually complete additional animal studies and also must develop additional information about the chemistry and physical characteristics of the drug or biologic as well as finalize a process for manufacturing the product in commercial quantities in accordance with cGMP requirements. The manufacturing process must be capable of consistently producing quality batches of the product and, among other things, companies must develop methods for testing the identity, strength, quality and purity of the final product. Additionally, appropriate packaging must be selected and tested and stability studies must be conducted to demonstrate that our product candidates do not undergo unacceptable deterioration over their shelf life.

NDA/BLA Review Process

Following completion of the clinical trials, data are analyzed to assess whether the investigational product is safe and effective for the proposed indicated use or uses. The results of preclinical studies and clinical trials are then submitted to the FDA as part of an NDA or BLA, along with proposed labeling, chemistry and manufacturing information to ensure product quality and other relevant data. In short, the NDA or BLA is a request for approval to market the drug or biologic for one or more specified indications and must contain proof of safety and efficacy for a drug or safety, purity and potency for a biologic. The application may include both negative and ambiguous results of preclinical studies and clinical trials, as well as positive findings. Data may come from company-sponsored clinical trials intended to test the safety and efficacy of a product’s use or from a number of alternative sources, including studies initiated by investigators. To support marketing approval, the data submitted must be sufficient in quality and quantity to establish the safety and efficacy of the investigational product to the satisfaction of FDA. FDA approval of an NDA or BLA must be obtained before a drug or biologic may be marketed in the United States.

Under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, or PDUFA, as amended, each NDA or BLA must be accompanied by a user fee. The FDA adjusts the PDUFA user fees on an annual basis. PDUFA also imposes an annual program fee for approved human drugs and biologics. Fee waivers or reductions are available in certain circumstances, including a waiver of the application fee for the first application filed by a small business. Additionally, no user fees are assessed on NDAs or BLAs for products designated as orphan drugs, unless the product also includes a non-orphan indication.

The FDA reviews all submitted NDAs and BLAs before it accepts them for filing, and may request additional information rather than accepting the NDA or BLA for filing. The FDA must make a decision on accepting an NDA or BLA for filing within 60 days of receipt. Once the submission is accepted for filing, the FDA begins an in-depth review of the NDA or BLA. Under the goals and policies agreed to by the FDA under PDUFA, the FDA has ten months, from the filing date, in which to complete its initial review of a new molecular-entity NDA or original BLA and respond to the applicant, and six months from the filing date of a new molecular-entity NDA or original BLA designated for priority review. The FDA does not always meet its PDUFA goal dates for standard and priority NDAs or BLAs, and the review process is often extended by FDA requests for additional information or clarification.

Before approving an NDA or BLA, the FDA will conduct a pre-approval inspection of the manufacturing facilities for the new product to determine whether they comply with cGMP requirements. The FDA will not approve the product unless it determines that the manufacturing processes and facilities are in compliance with cGMP requirements and adequate to assure consistent production of the product within required specifications. The FDA also may audit data from clinical trials to ensure compliance with GCP requirements. Additionally, the FDA may refer applications for novel drug products or drug products which present difficult questions of safety or efficacy to an advisory committee, typically a panel that includes clinicians and other experts, for review, evaluation and a recommendation as to whether the application should be approved and under what conditions, if any. The FDA is not bound by recommendations of an advisory committee, but it considers such recommendations when making decisions on approval. The FDA likely will reanalyze the clinical trial data, which could result in extensive discussions between the FDA and the applicant during the review process. After the FDA evaluates an NDA or BLA, it will issue an approval letter or a Complete Response Letter. An approval letter authorizes commercial marketing of the drug with specific prescribing information for specific indications. A Complete Response Letter indicates that the review cycle of the application is complete and the application will not be approved in its present form. A Complete Response Letter usually describes all of the specific deficiencies in the NDA or BLA identified by the FDA. The Complete Response Letter may require additional clinical data, additional pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial(s) and/or other significant and time-consuming requirements related to clinical trials, preclinical studies or manufacturing. If a Complete Response Letter is issued, the

50


applicant may either resubmit the NDA or BLA, addressing all of the deficiencies identified in the letter, or withdraw the application. Even if such data and information are submitted, the FDA may decide that the NDA or BLA does not satisfy the criteria for approval. Data obtained from clinical trials are not always conclusive and the FDA may interpret data differently than we interpret the same data.

Expedited Development and Review Programs

The FDA has a fast track program that is intended to expedite or facilitate the process for reviewing new drugs and biologics that meet certain criteria. Specifically, new drugs and biologics are eligible for fast track designation if they are intended to treat a serious or life threatening condition and preclinical or clinical data demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs for the condition. Fast track designation applies to both the product and the specific indication for which it is being studied. The sponsor can request the FDA to designate the product for fast track status any time before receiving NDA or BLA approval, but ideally no later than the pre-NDA or pre-BLA meeting.

Any product submitted to the FDA for marketing, including under a fast track program, may be eligible for other types of FDA programs intended to expedite development and review, such as priority review and accelerated approval. Any product is eligible for priority review if it treats a serious or life-threatening condition and, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in safety and effectiveness compared to available therapies.

A product may also be eligible for accelerated approval, if it treats a serious or life-threatening condition and generally provides a meaningful advantage over available therapies. In addition, it must demonstrate an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit or on a clinical endpoint that can be measured earlier than irreversible morbidity or mortality, or IMM, that is reasonably likely to predict an effect on IMM or other clinical benefit. As a condition of approval, the FDA may require that a sponsor of a drug or biologic receiving accelerated approval perform adequate and well-controlled post-marketing clinical trials. If the FDA concludes that a drug or biologic shown to be effective can be safely used only if distribution or use is restricted, it may require such post-marketing restrictions, as it deems necessary to assure safe use of the product.

Additionally, a drug or biologic may be eligible for designation as a breakthrough therapy if the product is intended, alone or in combination with one or more other drugs or biologics, to treat a serious or life-threatening condition and preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the product may demonstrate substantial improvement over currently approved therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints. The benefits of breakthrough therapy designation include the same benefits as fast track designation, plus intensive guidance from the FDA to ensure an efficient drug development program. Fast track designation, priority review, accelerated approval and breakthrough therapy designation do not change the standards for approval, but may expedite the development or approval process.

Abbreviated Licensure Pathway of Biological Products as Biosimilar or Interchangeable

The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, or BPCIA, created an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products shown to be highly similar to an FDA-licensed reference biological product. An application for licensure of a biosimilar product must include information demonstrating biosimilarity based upon the following, unless the FDA determines otherwise:

 

analytical studies demonstrating that the proposed biosimilar product is highly similar to the approved product notwithstanding minor differences in clinically inactive components;

 

animal studies (including the assessment of toxicity); and

 

a clinical study or studies (including the assessment of immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics or pharmacodynamics) sufficient to demonstrate safety, purity and potency in one or more conditions for which the reference product is licensed and intended to be used.

In addition, an application must include information demonstrating that:

 

the proposed biosimilar product and reference product utilize the same mechanism of action for the condition(s) of use prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the proposed labeling, but only to the extent the mechanism(s) of action are known for the reference product;

 

the condition or conditions of use prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling for the proposed biosimilar product have been previously approved for the reference product;

51


 

the route of administration, the dosage form, and the strength of the proposed biosimilar product are the same as those for the reference product; and  

 

the facility in which the biological product is manufactured, processed, packed or held meets standards designed to assure that the biological product continues to be safe, pure, and potent.

Biosimilarity means that the biological product is highly similar to the reference product notwithstanding minor differences in clinically inactive components; and that there are no clinically meaningful differences between the biological product and the reference product in terms of the safety, purity, and potency of the product. In addition, the law provides for a designation of “interchangeability” between the reference and biosimilar products, whereby the biosimilar may be substituted for the reference product without the intervention of the health care provider who prescribed the reference product. The higher standard of interchangeability must be demonstrated by information sufficient to show that:

 

the proposed product is biosimilar to the reference product;

 

the proposed product is expected to produce the same clinical result as the reference product in any given patient; and

 

for a product that is administered more than once to an individual, the risk to the patient in terms of safety or diminished efficacy of alternating or switching between the biosimilar and the reference product is no greater than the risk of using the reference product without such alternation or switch.

FDA approval is required before a biosimilar may be marketed in the United States. In addition, as with BLAs, biosimilar product applications will not be approved unless the product is manufactured in facilities designed to assure and preserve the biological product’s safety, purity and potency.

The timing of final FDA approval of a biosimilar for commercial distribution depends on a variety of factors, including whether the manufacturer of the branded product is entitled to one or more statutory exclusivity periods, during which time the FDA is prohibited from approving any products that are biosimilar to the branded product. The FDA cannot approve a biosimilar application for twelve years from the date of first licensure of the reference product. Additionally, a biosimilar product sponsor may not submit an application for four years from the date of first licensure of the reference product. A reference product may also be entitled to exclusivity under other statutory provisions. For example, a reference product designated for a rare disease or condition (an “orphan drug”) may be entitled to seven years of exclusivity, in which case no product that is biosimilar to the reference product may be approved until either the end of the twelve-year period provided under the biosimilarity statute or the end of the seven-year orphan drug exclusivity period, whichever occurs later. In certain circumstances, a regulatory exclusivity period can extend beyond the life of a patent, and thus block biosimilarity applications from being approved on or after the patent expiration date. In addition, the FDA may under certain circumstances extend the exclusivity period for the reference product by an additional six months if the FDA requests, and the manufacturer undertakes, studies on the effect of its product in children, a so-called pediatric extension.

Post-Approval Requirements

Following approval of a new product, the manufacturer and the approved product are subject to continuing regulation by the FDA, including, among other things, monitoring and record-keeping requirements, requirements to report adverse experiences, and comply with promotion and advertising requirements, which include restrictions on promoting drugs for unapproved uses or patient populations (known as “off-label use”) and limitations on industry-sponsored scientific and educational activities. Although physicians may prescribe legally available drugs for off-label uses, manufacturers may not market or promote such uses. Prescription drug promotional materials must be submitted to the FDA in conjunction with their first use. Further, if there are any modifications to the drug or biologic, including changes in indications, labeling or manufacturing processes or facilities, the applicant may be required to submit and obtain FDA approval of a new NDA/BLA or NDA/BLA supplement, which may require the development of additional data or preclinical studies and clinical trials.

The FDA may also place other conditions on approvals including the requirement for a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS, to assure the safe use of the product. A REMS could include medication guides, physician communication plans or elements to assure safe use, such as restricted distribution methods, patient registries and other risk minimization tools. Any of these limitations on approval or marketing could restrict the commercial promotion, distribution, prescription or dispensing of products. Product approvals may be withdrawn for non-compliance with regulatory standards or if problems occur following initial marketing.

52


The FDA may withdraw approval if compliance with regulatory requirements and standards is not maintained or if problems occur after the product reaches the market. Later discovery of previously unknown problems with a product, including adverse events of unanticipated severity or frequency, or with manufacturing processes, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements, may result in revisions to the approved labeling to add new safety information; imposition of post-market studies or clinical studies to assess new safety risks; or imposition of distribution restrictions or other restrictions under a REMS program. Other potential consequences include, among other things:

 

restrictions on the marketing or manufacturing of the product, complete withdrawal of the product from the market or product recalls;

 

fines, warning letters or holds on post-approval clinical studies;

 

refusal of the FDA to approve pending applications or supplements to approved applications;

 

applications, or suspension or revocation of product license approvals;

 

product seizure or detention, or refusal to permit the import or export of products; or

 

injunctions or the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.

The FDA strictly regulates marketing, labeling, advertising, and promotion of products that are placed on the market. Drugs and biologics may be promoted only for the approved indications and in accordance with the provisions of the approved label. 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.

Other U.S. Regulatory Laws

Manufacturing, sales, promotion and other activities following product approval are also subject to regulation by numerous regulatory authorities in the United States in addition to the FDA, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, other divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and state and local governments.

For example, in the United States, our business operations, including any sales, marketing and scientific and educational programs, also must comply with state and federal fraud and abuse laws, including the federal Anti-Kickback Statue and false claims laws; federal data privacy and security laws; and federal transparency laws related to payments and/or other transfers of value made to physicians and other healthcare professionals and teaching hospitals. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute makes it illegal for any person, including a prescription drug manufacturer (or a party acting on its behalf), to knowingly and willfully solicit, receive, offer or pay any remuneration that is intended to induce or reward referrals, including the purchase, recommendation, order or prescription of a particular drug, for which payment may be made under a federal healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Moreover, the ACA provides that the government may assert that a claim including items or services resulting from a violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute constitutes a false or fraudulent claim for purposes of the False Claims Act. Federal false claims laws, including the False Claims Act, prohibit individuals or entities from, among other things, knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented, false or fraudulent claims for payment of federal funds, and knowingly making, or causing to be made, a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim to avoid, decrease or conceal an obligation to pay money to the federal government.

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, which prohibits, among other things, knowingly and willfully executing, or attempting to execute, a scheme or artifice to defraud any healthcare benefit program or obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody or control of, any healthcare benefit program, regardless of the payor (e.g., public or private), and knowingly and willfully falsifying, concealing or covering up by any trick or device a material fact or making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statements in connection with the delivery of, or payment for, healthcare benefits, items or services relating to healthcare matters. Similar to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, a person or entity does not need to have actual knowledge of the statute or specific intent to violate it in order to have committed a violation.

Many states have similar laws and regulations that may differ from federal law in significant ways, thus complicating compliance efforts. For example, states have anti-kickback and false claims laws that may be broader in scope than analogous federal laws and may apply regardless of payer. In addition, the federal physician payment transparency requirements, sometimes referred to as the “Physician Payments Sunshine Act,” created under the ACA and its implementing regulations, require certain manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics and medical supplies for which payment is available under Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (with certain exceptions) to report annually to CMS information related to payments or other transfers of value made to physicians (defined to include doctors, dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors) and teaching hospitals, as well as ownership and investment interests held by physicians and their immediate family members. Beginning in 2022, applicable manufacturers also will be required to report

53


such information related to payments or other transfers of value to physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, anesthesiologist assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives during the previous year.

HIPAA, as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH) and their respective implementing regulations, impose requirements on certain covered healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses and their respective business associates that perform services for them that involve the use, or disclosure of, individually identifiable health information as well as their covered subcontractors, relating to the privacy, security, and transmission of such individually identifiable health information. In addition, state data privacy laws that protect the security of health information may differ from each other and may not be preempted by federal law.

Moreover, several states and local jurisdictions have enacted legislation requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to, among other things, establish marketing compliance programs, file periodic reports with the state, make periodic public disclosures on sales and marketing activities, report information related to drug pricing, require the registration of sales representatives, and prohibit certain other sales and marketing practices.

Pricing and rebate programs must comply with the Medicaid rebate requirements of the U.S. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and more recent requirements in the ACA. If products are made available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule of the General Services Administration, additional laws and requirements apply. Products must meet applicable child-resistant packaging requirements under the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act. Manufacturing, sales, promotion and other activities also are potentially subject to federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

The distribution of biologic and pharmaceutical products is subject to additional requirements and regulations, including extensive record-keeping, licensing, storage and security requirements intended to prevent the unauthorized sale of pharmaceutical products.

Data Privacy

Privacy laws in the U.S. are also increasingly complex and changing rapidly. For example, the California legislature enacted the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which took effect on January 1, 2020. The CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California residents, and honor their requests to access, delete and opt-out of certain sharing of their personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations. Since the enactment of the CCPA, new privacy and data security laws have been proposed in more than half of the states and in the U.S. Congress, reflecting a trend toward more stringent privacy legislation in the U.S. The CCPA itself will expand substantially as a result of California voters approving a November 2020 ballot measure that adopted the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020, or CPRA, which will, among other things, create a new administrative agency to implement and enforce California’s privacy laws effective January 1, 2023.

In addition, the processing of personal data in connection with clinical trials in the EU must comply with comprehensive data protection requirements imposed by EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. GDPR, which took effect on May 25, 2018, imposes stringent data protection requirements and provides for penalties for noncompliance that can include bans on processing personal data and fines of up to the greater of 20 million euros or four percent of worldwide annual revenues. The GDPR requires organizations to give detailed disclosures about how they collect, use and share personal information; in most cases, obtain explicit consent to process sensitive personal information, such as health or genetic information; contractually require vendors to meet data protection requirements; maintain adequate data security measures; notify regulators and affected individuals of certain data breaches; meet extensive privacy governance and documentation requirements; and honor individuals’ data protection rights, including their rights to access, correct and delete their personal information.

European data protection laws, including the GDPR, also restrict the transfer of personal information from Europe, including the European Economic Area, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, to the U.S. and most other countries unless the parties to the transfer have implemented specific safeguards to protect the transferred personal information. One of the primary safeguards allowing U.S. companies to import personal information from Europe has been certification to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, the Court of Justice of the European Union adopted a decision in July 2020 invalidating the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The same decision also raised questions about whether one of the primary alternatives to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, namely, the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, can lawfully be used for personal information transfers from Europe to the U.S. or most other countries. Authorities in Switzerland also have issued guidance raising similar questions about the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Standard Contractual Clauses.

54


The failure to comply with any of these laws or regulatory requirements may result in possible legal or regulatory action. Depending on the circumstances, failure to meet applicable regulatory requirements can result in significant penalties, including administrative, civil, and criminal penalties, fines, imprisonment, disgorgement, injunctions, exclusion from participation in federal healthcare programs, integrity oversight and reporting obligations, requests for recall, seizure of products, total or partial suspension of production, denial or withdrawal of product approvals or refusal to allow a firm to enter into supply contracts, including government contracts. Any action against us for violation of these laws, even if we successfully defend against it, could cause us to incur significant legal expenses and divert our management’s attention from the operation of our business. Prohibitions or restrictions on sales or withdrawal of future products marketed by us could materially affect our business in an adverse way.

U.S. Health Care Reform

Changes in regulations, statutes or the interpretation of existing regulations could impact our business in the future by requiring, for example: (1) changes to our manufacturing arrangements; (2) additions or modifications to product labeling; (3) the recall or discontinuation of our products; or (4) additional record-keeping requirements. If any such changes were to be imposed, they could adversely affect the operation of our business. Further, the United States, there have been and continue to be a number of healthcare-related legislative initiatives that have significantly affected the healthcare industry.  For example, there remain judicial challenges to certain aspects of the ACA. On December 14, 2018, a U.S. District Court Judge in the Northern District of Texas, ruled that the individual mandate is a critical and inseverable feature of the ACA, and therefore, because it was Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Tax Act), the remaining provisions of the ACA are invalid as well. Additionally, on December 18, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld the District Court ruling that that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and remanded the case back to the District Court to determine whether the remaining provisions of the ACA are invalid as well. The United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing this case, but it is unknown when a decision will be reached. Although the United States Supreme Court has yet ruled on the constitutionality of the ACA, on January 28, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order to initiate a special enrollment period from February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021 for purposes of obtaining health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. The executive order also instructs certain governmental agencies to review and reconsider their existing policies and rules that limit access to healthcare, including among others, reexamining Medicaid demonstration projects and waiver programs that include work requirements, and policies that create unnecessary barriers to obtaining access to health insurance coverage through Medicaid or the ACA. It is unclear how the United States Supreme Court ruling, other such litigation, and the healthcare form measures of the Biden administration will impact the ACA and our business. Moreover, there has recently been heightened governmental scrutiny over the manner in which manufacturers set prices for their marketed products, which has resulted in several Congressional inquiries and proposed and enacted federal and state legislation designed to, among other things, bring more transparency to product pricing, review the relationship between pricing and manufacturer patient programs, and reform government program reimbursement methodologies for drug products. For example, on November 20, 2020, HHS finalized a regulation removing safe harbor protection for price reductions from pharmaceutical manufacturers to plan sponsors under Part D, either directly or through pharmacy benefit managers, unless the price reduction is required by law. The rule also creates a new safe harbor for price reductions reflected at the point-of-sale, as well as a safe harbor for certain fixed fee arrangements between pharmacy benefit managers and manufacturers. Further, on November 20, 2020, CMS issued an interim final rule implementing President Trump’s Most Favored Nation executive order, which would tie Medicare Part B payments for certain physician-administered drugs to the lowest price paid in other economically advanced countries, effective January 1, 2021. On December 28, 2020, the United States District Court in Northern California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the interim final rule. However, it is unclear whether the Biden administration will work to reverse these measures or pursue similar policy initiatives. Further, it is possible that additional governmental action is taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Patent-Term Restoration and Marketing Exclusivity

Depending upon the timing, duration and specifics of FDA approval of any future product candidates, some of our U.S. patents may be eligible for limited patent term extension under the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, commonly referred to as the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Hatch-Waxman Act permits restoration of the patent term of up to five years as compensation for patent term lost during product development and FDA regulatory review process. Patent-term restoration, however, cannot extend the remaining term of a patent beyond a total of 14 years from the product’s approval date. The patent-term restoration period is generally one-half the time between the effective date of an IND and the submission date of an NDA or BLA plus the time between the submission date of an NDA or BLA and the approval of that application, except that the review period is reduced by any time during which the applicant failed to exercise due diligence. Only one patent applicable to an approved drug is eligible for the extension and the application for the extension must be submitted prior to the expiration of the patent. The USPTO, in consultation with the FDA, reviews and approves the application for any patent term extension or restoration. In the future, we may apply for restoration of patent term for our currently owned or licensed patents to add patent life beyond its current expiration date, depending on the expected length of the clinical trials and other factors involved in the filing of the relevant NDA or BLA.

55


Market exclusivity provisions under the FDCA also can delay the submission or the approval of certain applications. The FDCA provides a five-year period of non-patent marketing exclusivity within the United States to the first applicant to gain approval of a NDA for a new chemical entity. A drug is a new chemical entity if the FDA has not previously approved any other new drug containing the same active moiety, which is the molecule or ion responsible for the action of the drug substance. During the exclusivity period, the FDA may not accept for review an abbreviated new drug application, or ANDA, or a 505(b)(2) NDA submitted by another company for another version of such drug where the applicant does not own or have a legal right of reference to all the data required for approval. However, an application may be submitted after four years if it contains a certification of patent invalidity or non-infringement. The FDCA also provides three years of marketing exclusivity for a NDA, 505(b)(2) NDA or supplement to an existing NDA if new clinical investigations, other than bioavailability studies, that were conducted or sponsored by the applicant are deemed by the FDA to be essential to the approval of the application, for example, new indications, dosages or strengths of an existing drug. This three-year exclusivity covers only the conditions of use associated with the new clinical investigations and does not prohibit the FDA from approving ANDAs for drugs containing the original active agent. Five-year and three-year exclusivity will not delay the submission or approval of a full NDA. However, an applicant submitting a full NDA would be required to conduct or obtain a right of reference to all of the preclinical studies and adequate and well-controlled clinical trials necessary to demonstrate safety and effectiveness.

A reference biological product is granted twelve years of data exclusivity from the time of first licensure of the product, and the FDA will not accept an application for a biosimilar or interchangeable product based on the reference biological product until four years after the date of first licensure of the reference product. “First licensure” typically means the initial date the particular product at issue was licensed in the United States. Date of first licensure does not include the date of licensure of (and a new period of exclusivity is not available for) a biological product if the licensure is for a supplement for the biological product or for a subsequent application by the same sponsor or manufacturer of the biological product (or licensor, predecessor in interest, or other related entity) for a change (not including a modification to the structure of the biological product) that results in a new indication, route of administration, dosing schedule, dosage form, delivery system, delivery device or strength, or for a modification to the structure of the biological product that does not result in a change in safety, purity, or potency. Therefore, one must determine whether a new product includes a modification to the structure of a previously licensed product that results in a change in safety, purity, or potency to assess whether the licensure of the new product is a first licensure that triggers its own period of exclusivity. Whether a subsequent application, if approved, warrants exclusivity as the “first licensure” of a biological product is determined on a case-by-case basis with data submitted by the sponsor.

European Union Drug Development

As in the United States, medicinal products can be marketed only if a marketing authorization from the competent regulatory agencies has been obtained.

Similar to the United States, the various phases of preclinical and clinical research in the European Union are subject to significant regulatory controls. Although the EU Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC has sought to harmonize the EU clinical trials regulatory framework, setting out common rules for the control and authorization of clinical trials in the EU, the EU Member States have transposed and applied the provisions of the Directive differently. This has led to significant variations in the member state regimes. Under the current regime, before a clinical trial can be initiated it must be approved in each of the EU countries where the trial is to be conducted by two distinct bodies: the National Competent Authority, or NCA, and one or more Ethics Committees, or ECs. Under the current regime all suspected unexpected serious adverse reactions to the investigated drug that occur during the clinical trial have to be reported to the NCA and ECs of the Member State where they occurred.

The EU clinical trials legislation currently is undergoing a transition process mainly aimed at harmonizing and streamlining clinical-trial authorization, simplifying adverse-event reporting procedures, improving the supervision of clinical trials and increasing their transparency. Recently enacted Clinical Trials Regulation EU No 536/2014 ensures that the rules for conducting clinical trials in the EU will be identical. In the meantime, Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC continues to govern all clinical trials performed in the EU.

56


European Union Drug Review and Approval

In the European Economic Area, or EEA, which is comprised of the 27 Member States of the European Union (including Norway and excluding Croatia), Iceland and Liechtenstein, medicinal products can only be commercialized after obtaining a Marketing Authorization, or MA. There are two types of marketing authorizations.

 

The Community MA is issued by the European Commission through the Centralized Procedure, based on the opinion of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, of the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, and is valid throughout the entire territory of the EEA. The Centralized Procedure is mandatory for certain types of products, such as biotechnology medicinal products, orphan medicinal products, advanced-therapy medicines such as gene-therapy, somatic cell-therapy or tissue-engineered medicines and medicinal products containing a new active substance indicated for the treatment of HIV, AIDS, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, auto-immune and other immune dysfunctions and viral diseases. The Centralized Procedure is optional for products containing a new active substance not yet authorized in the EEA, or for products that constitute a significant therapeutic, scientific or technical innovation or which are in the interest of public health in the EU.

 

National MAs, which are issued by the competent authorities of the Member States of the EEA and only cover their respective territory, are available for products not falling within the mandatory scope of the Centralized Procedure. Where a product has already been authorized for marketing in a Member State of the EEA, this National MA can be recognized in another Member States through the Mutual Recognition Procedure. If the product has not received a National MA in any Member State at the time of application, it can be approved simultaneously in various Member States through the Decentralized Procedure. Under the Decentralized Procedure an identical dossier is submitted to the competent authorities of each of the Member States in which the MA is sought, one of which is selected by the applicant as the Reference Member State, or RMS. The competent authority of the RMS prepares a draft assessment report, a draft summary of the product characteristics, or SPC, and a draft of the labeling and package leaflet, which are sent to the other Member States (referred to as the Member States Concerned) for their approval. If the Member States Concerned raise no objections, based on a potential serious risk to public health, to the assessment, SPC, labeling, or packaging proposed by the RMS, the product is subsequently granted a national MA in all the Member States (i.e., in the RMS and the Member States Concerned).

Under the above described procedures, before granting the MA, the EMA or the competent authorities of the Member States of the EEA make an assessment of the risk-benefit balance of the product on the basis of scientific criteria concerning its quality, safety and efficacy.

People’s Republic of China Drug Regulation

China heavily regulates the development, approval, manufacturing and distribution of drugs, including biologics. The legal framework for the administration of pharmaceutical products in China was established by the Drug Administration Law of the PRC (DAL). The DAL applies to entities and individuals engaged in the development, production, trade, clinical use, as well as supervision and administration of pharmaceutical products by regulatory agencies and provides a framework for regulating pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmaceutical trading companies, medical institutions, and the research, development, manufacturing, distribution, packaging, pricing, and advertisement activities related to pharmaceutical products. The DAL was revised in 2019 (rDAL) and reflects the regulatory trend of strengthening the lifecycle management of drugs, balancing the development of innovative drugs and generic drugs, and enhancing drug review and enforcement. It also represents legislative efforts to address prominent problems of the pharmaceutical industry, such as high drug prices and counterfeit and substandard drugs.

The rDAL contains a dedicated chapter on the Marketing Authorization Holder (MAH) system. Subject to approval by the NMPA, MAHs will be allowed to transfer their marketing authorizations, although it is uncertain whether the transferability of MAH will offer more flexibility in structuring cross-border transactions. In addition, the implementation of the MAH system was accompanied by a range of new requirements for the MAHs, such as establishing a quality assurance system and being responsible for the whole process including all aspects of preclinical research, clinical trials, manufacturing and distribution, post-marketing research, adverse drug reaction monitoring and reporting.

The rDAL also requires MAHs, manufacturers, distributors, and medical institutions to establish and implement drug track and trace systems. A drug pharmacovigilance system will also be established to monitor, identify, evaluate and control adverse drug reactions and other possible drug-related problems. The NMPA will issue related standards and regulations regarding drug track and trace system.

The rDAL no longer requires the certification for good clinical practice (GCP), good supply practice (GSP), and GMP. Drug manufacturers and drug distributors must still comply with current requirements and the NMPA and its local counterparts are directed to strengthen their surveillance, including through regular and continuous site inspections, to ensure their compliance.

57


The rDAL creates an expanded access pathway for investigational drugs under which a company sponsor of a clinical trial in China can apply to establish an expanded access treatment program for patients with life-threatening disease who otherwise do not satisfy the inclusion criteria of a clinical trial. To qualify for expanded access: (1) the drug must be used for life-threatening diseases that lack effective treatment; (2) the drug must have demonstrated its potential efficacy based on medical observations; (3) such use is in line with ethical principles; (4) such expanded use has been reviewed and approved (although the approval pathway not clear), and has obtained patients’ informed consent; and (5) the drug must be used within the clinical trial institution and used on patients with similar conditions.

The rDAL also significantly increases and expands penalties for violations. Depending on various types of violations, the DAL imposes different penalties, including warnings, confiscation of illegal gains, fines of up to 5 million RMB (about $725,000) or up to 30 times of illegal gains, revocation of required business and operating licenses, certificates or approval documents for drugs, suspension of business, temporary (10 years) or permanent debarment of companies, institutions and responsible persons, and criminal liabilities in the case of serious violations.

There are still uncertainties with respect to the interpretation and implementation of the rDAL. We plan to monitor the implementation of the rDAL in China.

Regulatory Authorities and Recent Government Reorganization

In China, the NMPA is the primary regulator for pharmaceutical products and businesses. The agency was formed from the prior China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) in 2018 as part of a complete government reorganization. The NMPA is no longer an independent agency and its parent agency is now the newly formed State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR), into which agencies responsible for, among other areas, consumer protection, advertising, anticorruption, antitrust, fair competition and intellectual property have been merged.

Like the CFDA, the NMPA is still the chief drug regulatory agency and implements the same laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines as the CFDA. The agency regulates almost all of the key stages of the lifecycle of pharmaceutical products, including nonclinical studies, clinical trials, marketing approvals, manufacturing, advertising and promotion, distribution, and pharmacovigilance (i.e., post-marketing safety reporting obligations). The Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE), which remains under the NMPA, conducts the technical evaluation of each drug and biologic application for safety and efficacy.

The National Health Commission (NHC), formerly known as Ministry of Health (MOH) and National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), is China’s chief healthcare regulator. It is primarily responsible for overseeing the operation of medical institutions, which also serve as clinical trial sites, and regulating the licensure of hospitals and other medical personnel. Furthermore, the NHC and its local counterparts also oversee and organize public medical institutions’ centralized bidding and procurement process for pharmaceutical products.. This is the primary way that public hospitals and their internal pharmacies procure drugs and the NHC plays a significant role in drug reimbursement.

Pre-Clinical and Clinical Development

The NMPA requires preclinical data to support registration applications for new drugs, which includes safety assessment studies that meet the GLP standards, issued in 2003 and amended in 2017. The rDAL requires the NMPA to accredit GLP labs, and that nonclinical studies of chemical drug substances and preparations and biologics that are not yet marketed in China be conducted in GLP-certified labs. There are no approvals required from the NMPA to conduct preclinical studies.

Registration Categories

An applicant will need to determine the registration category for its drug candidate, prior to engaging with the NMPA on research and development and approval, which will determine the requirements for its clinical trial and marketing application. There are five categories for small molecule drugs: Category 1 (innovative drugs) refers to drugs that have a new chemical entity that has not been marketed anywhere in the world, Category 2 (improved new drugs) refers to drugs with a new indication, dosage form, route of administration, combination, or certain formulation changes not approved in the world, Categories 3 and 4 are for generics that reference an innovator drug (or certain well-known generic drugs) marketed either abroad or in China, respectively, and Category 5 refers to innovative or generic drugs that have already been marketed abroad but are not yet approved in China (i.e., imported drugs).

The categories are similar for therapeutic biologics, with Category 1 for new and innovative biologics that have not been approved inside or outside of China. Biosimilars are under Category 3. KSI-301 is classified as Category 1 based on the defined registration category by the NMPA.

58


Expedited Programs – Priority Evaluation and Approval Programs to Encourage Innovation

The NMPA has adopted several expedited review and approval mechanisms since 2009 and created additional expedited programs in recent years that are intended to encourage innovation. Applications for these expedited programs can be submitted after the CTA is admitted for review by the CDE. The NMPA’s Drug Registration Rules effective from July 1, 2020 (DRR) provides certain categories of drugs that may be eligible for priority status. If admitted to one of these expedited programs, an applicant will be entitled to more frequent and timely communication with reviewers at the CDE, expedited review and approval, and more agency resources throughout the approval process.

Clinical Trials and Marketing Approval

Upon completion of pre-clinical studies, a sponsor typically needs to conduct clinical trials in China for registering a new drug in China. The materials required for this application and the data requirements are determined by the registration category. The NMPA has taken a number of steps to increase efficiency for approving CTAs, and it has also significantly increased monitoring and enforcement of GCP to ensure data integrity.

Trial Approval

All clinical trials conducted in China for the purpose of seeking marketing approvals must be approved by the NMPA and conducted at hospitals satisfying GCP requirements. In addition to a standalone China trial to support development, imported drug applicants may establish a site in China that is part of an international multicenter trial (IMCT). Domestically manufactured drugs are not subject to foreign approval requirements, and in contrast to prior practice, the NMPA has decided to permit those drugs to conduct development via an IMCT as well.

The rDAL has now also adopted an implied approval system for clinical trials of new drugs. Trials can proceed if after 60 business days, the applicant has not received any objections from the CDE, as opposed to the lengthier previous clinical trial pre-approval process in which the applicant had to wait for affirmative approval. In addition, by abolishing the GCP accreditation system, the rDAL also expanded the number of trial sites and simplified the notification procedure followed by trial sites.

Clinical Trial Register

Clinical trials conducted in China must be registered and published through the Drug Clinical Trial Information Platform (http://www.chinadrugtrials.org.cn). Applicants are required to pre-register the trial information within one month after trial approval to obtain the unique trial registration number and to complete registration of certain information before the first subject is enrolled. If the foregoing pre-registration and registration is not obtained within one year after obtaining the clinical trial approval, the applicant shall submit an explanation, and if the procedure is not completed within three years, the clinical trial approval automatically expires.

Human Genetic Resources Regulation

The Regulation on the Administration of Human Genetic Resources (HGR Regulation) became effective on July 1, 2019. The HGR Regulation applies to all human genetic resources (HGR)-related activities for R&D purposes, including sampling, biobanking, use of HGR materials and associated data in China, and the provision or sharing of such materials or data with foreign parties.

The HGR Regulation applies to foreign parties, including foreign entities and entities established or controlled by foreign entities and individuals. Such foreign parties seeking access to China’s HGRs for scientific research, including clinical trials intended to support marketing approval of drugs and medical devices in China, must engage in collaborations with Chinese parties, such as Chinese hospitals. The HGR Regulation prohibits foreign parties from independently sampling or biobanking any China HGR in China and requires approval for the sampling of certain HGR and biobanking of all HGR by Chinese parties. Any cross-border transfer of the HGR materials, either under an international collaboration or as a direct export, must be on an as-needed basis and requires approval. In addition, providing HGR data to foreign parties requires a record filing.

The HGR Regulation retains the provision in the Interim Measures for the Administration of Human Genetic Resources issued in 1998 (the Interim Measures) that parties should jointly apply for and own the patent rights arising from the results generated from international collaborations that utilize China HGR. Subject to approval, the parties may contractually agree on how to dispose of their patent rights and non-patent proprietary rights arising from the collaboration. As the joint ownership requirement is rather broad, it is unclear how this requirement will be implemented in practice.

59


The HGR Regulation also significantly increases and expands penalties for various violations, including warnings, disgorgement of illegal gains, confiscation of illegal HGR, fines up to 10 million RMB($1,450,000) or 5-10 times of illegal gains in the event such illegal gains exceed 1 million RMB ($145,000), and temporary (1-5 years) or permanent debarment of companies, institutions and responsible persons from future HGR projects regulated by the HGR Regulation.

Clinical Trial Process and Good Clinical Practices

As in other parts of the world, clinical trials in China typically have three phases. Phase 1 refers to the initial clinical pharmacology and human safety evaluation studies. Phase 2 refers to the preliminary evaluation of a drug candidate’s therapeutic efficacy and safety for target indication(s) in patients. Phase 3 (often the pivotal study) refers to clinical trials to further verify the drug candidate’s therapeutic efficacy and safety on patients with target indication(s) and ultimately provide sufficient evidence for the review of a drug registration application. The NMPA requires that the different phases of clinical trials in China receive ethics committee approval and comply with GCP. The NMPA conducts inspections on clinical trials conducted in China to assess GCP compliance and may refuse to approve the drug if it finds substantial issues in the trials. In addition, upon granting the drug registration certificate, NMPA may, at its sole discretion, require a Phase 4 trial to be conducted by MAH within a specified period of time so as to further monitor and obtain safety and efficacy data of the drug.

Pursuant to GCP, sponsors of clinical trials are responsible for proper packaging and labeling of drugs used for clinical trials, including that investigational drugs shall be consistent with the control drug or placebo in appearance, odor, packaging, labeling, and certain other features in double-blinded clinical trials. Pharmaceutical packaging must comply with national and professional standards or obtain approval from the provincial administration for medical products or bureau of standards if these standards are not available and need to be developed and implemented by the sponsors. Changes in such approved packaging standards need to be re-approved. Drugs of which the packaging standards are not approved shall not be released or marketed in China, except for those specifically supplied to the military.

Acceptance of Foreign Clinical Trial Studies

The NMPA may be flexible on the requirements of trials and data generated in China, dependent on the drug and the existing data. The NMPA has granted waivers for all or part of trials and has stated that it will accept data generated abroad (even if not part of a global study), including early phase data, that meets its requirements. In 2018, the NMPA issued the Technical Guidance Principles on Accepting Foreign Drug Clinical Trial Data (the Guidance Principles), as one of the implementing rules for the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Evaluation and Approval Systems and Encouraging Innovation on Drugs and Medical Devices (the Innovation Opinion). According to the Guidance Principles, data from foreign clinical trials must meet authenticity, completeness and accuracy requirements and such data must be obtained in compliance with the relevant requirements under the GCP of the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). Sponsors must be attentive to ethnic differences in the subject population that could be potentially meaningful.

New Drug Application (NDA) and Approval

Upon completion of clinical trials, a sponsor may submit clinical trial data to support marketing approval for the drug. For domestically manufactured drugs, NDA sponsors must submit data derived from the submitted drugs in support of their approval. Under the rDAL, upon approval of the registration application, the NMPA will issue a drug registration certificate to the applicant which is in fact the marketing approval of the drug, and the applicant is no longer required to be equipped with relevant manufacturing capability.

Manufacturing and Distribution

All facilities that manufacture drugs in China must receive a drug manufacturing license with an appropriate “scope of manufacturing” from the local drug regulatory authority. This license must be renewed every five years, and the manufacturing facility is also required to be in compliance with GMP.

New Drug Monitoring Period

Previously, new varieties of domestically produced drugs approved under Categories 1 or 2 in China could be placed under a monitoring period for three to five years. Category 1 innovative drugs were monitored for five years. During the monitoring period, the NMPA would not approve another CTA from another applicant for the same type of drug, except if another sponsor had an approved CTA at the time that the monitoring period was initiated, it could proceed with its trial and once approved become another drug that was part of the monitoring period. The DRR has abolished these new drug monitoring period programs; however, drugs that had been placed under a monitoring period before the DRR took effect are still entitled to exclusivity before the monitoring periods end.

60


Post-Marketing Surveillance

Under the rDAL, the MAH of a drug is ultimately responsible for pharmacovigilance, including quality assurance, adverse reaction reporting and monitoring, and product recalls. Distributors and user entities (e.g., hospitals) are also required to report, in their respective roles, adverse reactions of the products they sell or use, and assist the MAH with any product recalls. An MAH for a drug that is currently under the new drug monitoring period must report all adverse drug reactions (as opposed to just serious adverse reactions) for that period.

Advertising and Promotion of Pharmaceutical Products

China has a strict regime for the advertising of approved medicines. No unapproved medicines may be advertised. The definition of an advertisement is very broad and does not expressly exclude scientific exchange. It can be any media that directly or indirectly introduces the product to end users. There is no clear line between advertising and any other type of promotion.

Regulatory Intellectual Property Protections

In January 2020, the United States and China signed the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the PRC (the Trade Agreement), in which, among other things, China agreed to provide effective protection and enforcement of pharmaceutical-related intellectual property rights, such as patents and undisclosed test or other data submitted as a condition of marketing approval. These provisions of the Trade Agreement will need to be implemented in China. In October 2020, amendments to the PRC Patent Law (the Amended PRC Patent Law) were adopted, effective June 1, 2021, which contains both patent term extension and a mechanism for early resolution of patent disputes, that may be comparable to patent linkage in the United States. There is uncertainty around the scope and implementation of the patent term extension and the early resolution mechanism as the provisions are unclear and/or remain subject to the approval of implementing regulations that are still in draft form or have not yet been proposed.

Regulatory Data Protection

The Innovation Opinion provided a foundation for regulatory data protection to protect innovative drugs and will be available for undisclosed clinical trial data of drugs within the following categories: innovative drugs, innovative therapeutic biologics, drugs that treat orphan diseases, pediatric drugs, and drugs for which there has been a successful patent challenge. According to the Trade Agreement, China has committed to providing for effective protection of undisclosed clinical trial or other data submitted as a condition of marketing approval.

The NMPA has published draft regulations for public comment that would set regulatory data protection for innovative small molecule drugs at six years and for innovative therapeutic biologics at 12 years; pediatric and orphan drugs would receive six years to run concurrently from their approval dates. Full terms of protection would require reliance on local trials or sites of multi-center trials in China and simultaneous submissions of marketing applications in China and other countries. Submissions in China that are up to six years later than those abroad would result in the term being reduced to 1-5 years and submissions over six years later in China may not receive protection.

Patent Linkage

The Innovation Opinion also established the basic elements of a patent linkage system to protect innovators. A follow-on applicant would be required to identify patents that are relevant to its application and notify those relevant patent right holders (including, innovators) within a specified period after filing an application, permitting the patent holders the ability to protect their rights. The system will require that the NMPA continue to review the potentially infringing follow-on application during any lawsuit by the innovator and that the NMPA may not approve the follow-on application pending resolution of the patent litigation in favor of the follow-on application or for a specified period of time, whichever is shorter. Similarly, the Trade Agreement also adopted certain elements of a patent linkage system (notice to the patent right holder of the follow-on application, time and opportunity for that right holder to sue or to seek expeditious remedies, obtain a timely resolution of the patent dispute) but did not explicitly mention a stay of marketing approval of the follow-on application.

The Amended PRC Patent Law provides a cause of action to allow a patent holder to initiate a declarative action during the regulatory review process of a drug to determine whether the drug falls within the patent scope, that may be comparable to the patent linkage system in the United States. There is uncertainty around the scope and implementation of the early resolution mechanism as the provisions are unclear and/or remain subject to the approval of implementing regulations that are still in draft form or have not yet been proposed.

61


Patent Term Extension

In early 2019, pursuant to the Innovation Opinion, the National People’s Congress issued a proposal for patent term extension as part of a proposed amendment to the Patent Law. The Amended PRC Patent Law provides that the China National Intellectual Property Administration shall provide patent term extension, similar to the United States, for the patent term lost during the regulatory review process of a new drug upon the patent holder’s request. The extended term shall not exceed five years, and the total patent term after market entry of the new drug shall not exceed 14 years. The Trade Agreement also provides for patent term extension to compensate for unreasonable delay that occurs during pharmaceutical product marketing approvals. There is uncertainty around the scope and implementation of the patent term extension as the provisions are unclear and/or remain subject to the approval of implementing regulations that are still in draft form or have not yet been proposed.

Other PRC national- and provincial-level laws and regulations

Pharmaceutical companies operating in China are subject to changing regulations under many other laws and regulations administered by governmental authorities at the national, provincial and municipal levels, some of which are or may become applicable to our business. For example, regulations control the confidentiality of patient medical information and the circumstances under which patient medical information may be released for inclusion in our information systems or released by us to third parties. These laws and regulations governing both the disclosure and the use of confidential patient medical information may become more restrictive in the future, including restrictions on transfer of healthcare data. The Cybersecurity Law that took effect in 2017 designates healthcare as a priority area that is part of critical information infrastructure, and China’s cyberspace administration is working to finalize a draft rule on cross-border transfer of personal information.

Coverage and Reimbursement

Sales of our products will depend, in part, on the extent to which our products will be covered by third-party payors, such as government health programs, commercial insurance and managed healthcare organizations. In the United States no uniform policy of coverage and reimbursement for drug or biological products exists. Accordingly, decisions regarding the extent of coverage and amount of reimbursement to be provided for any of our products will be made on a payor-by-payor basis. As a result, the coverage determination process is often a time-consuming and costly process that will require us to provide scientific and clinical support for the use of our products to each payor separately, with no assurance that coverage and adequate reimbursement will be obtained.

The U.S. government, state legislatures and foreign governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost containment programs to limit the growth of government-paid health care costs, including price-controls, restrictions on reimbursement and requirements for substitution of generic products for branded prescription drugs. For example, the ACA contains provisions that may reduce the profitability of drug products through increased rebates for drugs reimbursed by Medicaid programs, extension of Medicaid rebates to Medicaid managed care plans, mandatory discounts for certain Medicare Part D beneficiaries and annual fees based on pharmaceutical companies’ share of sales to federal health care programs. Adoption of general controls and measures, coupled with the tightening of restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could limit payments for pharmaceutical drugs.

The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to enter into and have in effect a national rebate agreement with the Secretary of HHS as a condition for states to receive federal matching funds for the manufacturer’s outpatient drugs furnished to Medicaid patients. The ACA made several changes to the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, including increasing pharmaceutical manufacturers’ rebate liability by raising the minimum basic Medicaid rebate on most branded prescription drugs from 15.1% of average manufacturer price, or AMP, to 23.1% of AMP and adding a new rebate calculation for “line extensions” (i.e., new formulations, such as extended release formulations) of solid oral dosage forms of branded products, as well as potentially impacting their rebate liability by modifying the statutory definition of AMP. The ACA also expanded the universe of Medicaid utilization subject to drug rebates by requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay rebates on Medicaid managed care utilization and by enlarging the population potentially eligible for Medicaid drug benefits. CMS has proposed to expand Medicaid rebate liability to the territories of the United States as well.

62


The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or the MMA, established the Medicare Part D program to provide a voluntary prescription drug benefit to Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D, Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in prescription drug plans offered by private entities that provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs. Unlike Medicare Part A and B, Part D coverage is not standardized. While all Medicare drug plans must give at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare, Part D prescription drug plan sponsors are not required to pay for all covered Part D drugs, and each drug plan can develop its own drug formulary that identifies which drugs it will cover and at what tier or level. However, Part D prescription drug formularies must include drugs within each therapeutic category and class of covered Part D drugs, though not necessarily all the drugs in each category or class. Any formulary used by a Part D prescription drug plan must be developed and reviewed by a pharmacy and therapeutic committee. Government payment for some of the costs of prescription drugs may increase demand for products for which we receive marketing approval. However, any negotiated prices for our products covered by a Part D prescription drug plan likely will be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. Moreover, while the MMA applies only to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own payment rates. Any reduction in payment that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from non-governmental payors.

For a drug product to receive federal reimbursement under the Medicaid or Medicare Part B programs or to be sold directly to U.S. government agencies, the manufacturer must extend discounts to entities eligible to participate in the 340B drug pricing program. The required 340B discount on a given product is calculated based on the AMP and Medicaid rebate amounts reported by the manufacturer. In 2010, the ACA expanded the types of entities eligible to receive discounted 340B pricing, although, under the current state of the law, with the exception of children’s hospitals, these newly eligible entities will not be eligible to receive discounted 340B pricing on orphan drugs. In addition, as 340B drug prices are determined based on AMP and Medicaid rebate data, the revisions to the Medicaid rebate formula and AMP definition described above could cause the required 340B discount to increase.

As noted above, the marketability of any products for which we receive regulatory approval for commercial sale may suffer if the government and third-party payors fail to provide adequate coverage and reimbursement. An increasing emphasis on cost containment measures in the United States has increased and we expect will continue to increase the pressure on pharmaceutical pricing. Coverage policies and third-party reimbursement rates may change at any time. Even if favorable coverage and reimbursement status is attained for one or more products for which we receive regulatory approval, less favorable coverage policies and reimbursement rates may be implemented in the future.

In addition, in most foreign countries, the proposed pricing for a drug must be approved before it may be lawfully marketed. The requirements governing drug pricing and reimbursement vary widely from country to country. For example, the European Union provides options for its member states to restrict the range of medicinal products for which their national health insurance systems provide reimbursement and to control the prices of medicinal products for human use. A member state may approve a specific price for the medicinal product or it may instead adopt a system of direct or indirect controls on the profitability of the company placing the medicinal product on the market. There can be no assurance that any country that has price controls or reimbursement limitations for pharmaceutical products will allow favorable reimbursement and pricing arrangements for any of our products. Historically, products launched in the European Union do not follow price structures of the United States and generally prices tend to be significantly lower.

Intellectual Property

We strive to protect and enhance the proprietary technology, inventions, and improvements that are commercially important to our business, including seeking, maintaining, and defending patent rights. We seek to protect our proprietary position by, among other methods, filing patent applications in the United States and in jurisdictions outside of the United States related to our proprietary technology, inventions, improvements, and product candidates that are important to the development and implementation of our business. We also rely on trade secrets and know-how relating to our proprietary technology and product candidates and continuing innovation to develop, strengthen, and maintain our proprietary position in the field. Although we are not party to any material in-license agreements as of the date of this annual report, we may in the future pursue in-licensing opportunities to strengthen our proprietary position in the field. We additionally rely on data exclusivity, market exclusivity, and patent term extensions when available, and may seek and rely on regulatory protection afforded through orphan drug designations. Our commercial success may depend in part on our ability to obtain and maintain patent and other proprietary protection for our technology, inventions, and improvements; to preserve the confidentiality of our trade secrets; to defend and enforce our proprietary rights, including our patents; and to operate without infringing the valid and enforceable patents and other proprietary rights of third parties.

63


We have prosecuted numerous patents and patent applications and possess know-how and trade secrets relating to the development and commercialization of our ABC Platform and product candidates, including related manufacturing processes and technology. As of December 31, 2020, we were the assignee of record for approximately five U.S. issued patents, and approximately 13 U.S. pending patent applications directed to certain of our proprietary technology, inventions, and improvements and our most advanced product candidates, as well as 28 patents issued in jurisdictions outside of the United States and 66 patent applications pending in jurisdictions outside of the United States that, in many cases, are counterparts to the foregoing U.S. patents and patent applications. We also have one pending PCT application. For example, these patents and patent applications include claims directed to:

 

therapeutic proteins and biologically active agents conjugated to a biopolymer, which comprise our ABC Platform;

 

specific therapeutics, including KSI-301; and

 

components of our therapeutics.

64


The following patents and patent applications (including anticipated 20-year expiration dates, which could be altered by, for example, a disclaimer, patent term adjustment or patent term extension) relate to KSI-301 and/or ABC Platform:

 

Patent and Patent Application Numbers

 

Anticipated U.S.

Expiration Date

 

Description of Representative U.S. Claims

 

 

 

 

 

US 8,846,021, US Appl. No. 16/424265, EP Patent No. 1988910, JP Patent No. 5528710, JP Patent No. 5745009, and foreign applications in certain jurisdictions claiming priority to PCT/US2007/005372

 

2/28/2027

 

Representative claims include conjugates

 

 

 

 

 

US Appl. No. 15/368,376, AU Patent No. 2011239434, AU Patent No. 2017201930, CA Patent No. 2795667, EP Patent No. 2558538, JP Patent No. 6568748, JP Patent No. 6754749, MX Patent No. 365521, and foreign applications in certain jurisdictions claiming priority to PCT/US2011/032768

 

4/15/2031

 

Representative claims include conjugates

 

 

 

 

 

US 8,765,432, US Appl. No. 15/099,234, AU Patent No. 2010330727, CA Patent No. 2783615, EP Patent No. 2512462, EP Patent No. 3254678, CN Patent No. ZL201080062252.7, HK Patent No. 1247828, IN Patent No. 319269, JP Patent No. 5760007, JP Patent No. 5990629, JP Patent No. 6416832, JP Patent No. 6777706, MX Patent No. 346423, MX Patent No. 374020, KR Patent No. 10-1852044, MO Patent No. J/002943, and foreign applications in certain jurisdictions claiming priority to PCT/US2010/061358

 

5/10/2030

 

Representative claims include copolymers and methods of making copolymers (ABC Platform specifically)

 

 

 

 

 

US 10,702,608, US Appl. No. 16/781869, EP Patent No. 3041513, JP Patent No. 6463361, JP Patent No. 6732056, and foreign applications in certain jurisdictions claiming priority to PCT/US2014/054622

 

12/21/2034

 

Representative claims include polymers and method of making polymers

 

 

 

 

 

US Appl. No. 15/394500 and foreign applications in certain jurisdictions claiming priority to PCT/US2016/069336

 

 

12/29/2036

 

Representative claims include antibody and antibody conjugate claims, as well as methods of making and using the conjugates

 

 

 

 

 

US Appl. No. 17/066856 and PCT Application No. PCT/US2020/055074

 

10/9/2040

 

Representative claims include method of treating an eye disorder using the antibody conjugates

 

In the normal course of business, we intend to pursue, when possible, composition, method of use, dosing and formulation patent protection, as well as manufacturing and drug development processes and technology. The patents and patent applications we have filed outside of the United States are in Europe, Japan, and various other jurisdictions.

Individual patents extend for varying periods of time, depending upon the date of filing of the patent application, the date of patent issuance, and the legal term of patents in the countries in which they are obtained. Generally, patents issued for applications filed in the United States are effective for 20 years from the earliest effective filing date. In addition, in certain instances, a patent term can be extended to recapture a portion of the term effectively lost as a result of the FDA regulatory review period. The restoration period cannot be longer than five years and the total patent term, including the restoration period, must not exceed 14 years following FDA approval. The duration of patents outside of the United States varies in accordance with provisions of applicable local law, but typically is also 20 years from the earliest effective filing date.

65


Our issued U.S. patents will expire on dates ranging from 2027 to 2035. If patents are issued on our pending patent applications, the resulting patents are projected to expire on dates ranging from 2027 to 2040. However, the actual protection afforded by a patent varies on a product-by-product basis, from country-to-country, and depends upon many factors, including the type of patent, the scope of its coverage, the availability of regulatory-related extensions, the availability of legal remedies in a particular country, and the validity and enforceability of the patent.

We have filed 34 trademark applications. These include two applications that have matured to registration in the United States. One application has been abandoned in the United States. Sixteen of our applications have matured to registration, of which ten are in China, and one is in each of Canada, the European Union, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. We have eleven pending trademark applications, of which three are in the United States and eight are in China. We also may rely, in some circumstances, on trade secrets to protect our technology. However, trade secrets are difficult to protect. We seek to protect our technology and product candidates, in part, by entering into confidentiality agreements with those who have access to our confidential information, including our employees, contractors, consultants, collaborators, and advisors. We also seek to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of our proprietary technology and processes by maintaining physical security of our premises and physical and electronic security of our information technology systems. Although we have confidence in these individuals, organizations, and systems, agreements or security measures may be breached and we may not have adequate remedies for any breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known or may be independently discovered by competitors. To the extent that our employees, contractors, consultants, collaborators, and advisors use intellectual property owned by others in their work for us, disputes may arise as to the rights in related or resulting know-how and inventions. For this and more comprehensive risks related to our proprietary technology, inventions, improvements and products, please see the section on “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Intellectual Property.”

We are also a party to an assignment and license agreement with a former collaborator, whereby we were assigned and non-exclusively licensed certain intellectual property relating to KSI-201 and related technology. Under this agreement, we agreed to use commercially reasonable efforts to develop, obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize KSI-201, and will owe milestone payments to our former collaborator upon the achievement of certain milestones related to KSI-201, as well as a low single digit percentage royalty on net sales of KSI-201. The assignment and license agreement includes customary termination provisions, including the right of the company to terminate for convenience and the right of either party to terminate for cause.

Human Capital Management

As of February 19, 2021, we had 72 employees worldwide, of whom 8 were based outside of the U.S. Of these employees, 55 employees were engaged in or support research, development and clinical activities, 19 of whom hold a Ph.D. degree or M.D. (or equivalent) degree. None of our employees are subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Given our expanding operations and need to further grow our headcount to support our business, we continually assess employee turnover, recruitment initiatives, compensation and benefits programs, safety in performing critical laboratory work, diversity and other matters relevant to human capital management, and we review results with our Board of Directors on a periodic basis. We aim to offer competitive compensation (including salary, incentive bonus, and equity) and benefits packages in each of our locations and in each of employee groups at each level around the globe as assessed with internal and external benchmarking data. We aim to build a pipeline for talent to create more opportunities for workplace diversity and to support greater representation within the Company.

Legal Proceedings

As of the date of this annual report, we are not a party to any material legal proceedings. In the normal course of business, we may be named as a party to various legal claims, actions and complaints. We cannot predict whether any resulting liability would have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Additional Information

We maintain an internet website at the following address: https://kodiak.com. The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this annual report on Form 10-K or in any other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.

We make available on or through our website certain reports and amendments to those reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC in accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These include our annual reports on Form 10-K, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and our current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. We make this information available on or through our website free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file the information with, or furnish it to, the SEC. In addition, the SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

66


ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

You should consider carefully the following risk factors, together with all the other information in this report, including the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto. The occurrence of any events described in the following risk factors and the risks described elsewhere in this report could harm our business, operating results, financial condition, and/or growth prospects or cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements that we have made in this report and those we may make from time to time. You should consider all of the risk factors described when evaluating our business.

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

Our prospects are heavily dependent on our KSI-301 product candidate, which is currently in clinical development for multiple indications.

KSI-301 is our only product candidate currently in clinical trials. It may be years before a registrational-type trial is completed, if at all. Further, we cannot be certain that either KSI-301 or any of our product candidates will be successful in clinical trials.

Our early encouraging preclinical and Phase 1/1b clinical trial results for KSI-301 in the respective indications are not necessarily predictive of the results of our ongoing or future discovery programs or any future preclinical or clinical studies. Many companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries have suffered significant setbacks in late-stage clinical studies after achieving positive results in early-stage development, including early-stage clinical studies, and we cannot be certain that we will not face similar setbacks. These setbacks have been caused by, among other things, preclinical findings made while clinical studies were underway or safety or efficacy observations made in preclinical studies and clinical studies, including previously unreported or unobserved adverse events as more patients are treated with KSI-301 and followed for longer periods of time.

There can be significant variability in safety or efficacy results between different clinical studies of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in study procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the clinical study protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical study participants. Moreover, preclinical and 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 nonetheless failed to obtain FDA approval.

We may in the future advance product candidates into clinical trials and terminate such trials prior to their completion. While we have certain preclinical programs in development and intend to develop other product candidates, it will take additional investment and time for such programs to reach the same stage of development as KSI-301.

A failure of KSI-301 in clinical development may require us to discontinue development of other product candidates based on our ABC Platform.

If KSI-301 fails in development as a result of any underlying problem with our platform, then we may discontinue development of some or all of our product candidates that are based on our ABC Platform. If we discontinue development of KSI-301, or if KSI-301 were to fail to receive regulatory approval or were to fail to receive regulatory approval in one or more of our four planned key clinical indications or were to fail to achieve sufficient market acceptance, we could be prevented from or significantly delayed in achieving profitability.

Research and development of biopharmaceutical products is inherently risky. We cannot give any assurance that any of our product candidates will receive regulatory, including marketing, approval, which is necessary before they can be commercialized.

We are at an early stage of development of our product candidates. Our future success is dependent on our ability to successfully develop, obtain regulatory approval for, and then successfully commercialize our product candidates, and we may fail to do so for many reasons, including the following:

 

our product candidates may not successfully complete preclinical studies or clinical trials;

 

a product candidate may on further study be shown to have harmful side effects or other characteristics that indicate it is unlikely to be effective or otherwise does not meet applicable regulatory criteria;

 

our competitors may develop therapeutics that render our product candidates obsolete or less attractive;

 

our competitors may develop platform technologies that render our ABC Platform obsolete or less attractive;

67


 

the product candidates and ABC Platform that we develop may not be sufficiently covered by intellectual property for which we hold exclusive rights or may be covered by third party patents or other intellectual property or exclusive rights;

 

the market for a product candidate may change so that the continued development of that product candidate is no longer reasonable or commercially attractive;

 

a product candidate may not be capable of being produced in commercial quantities at an acceptable cost, or at all;  

 

if a product candidate obtains regulatory approval, we may be unable to establish sales and marketing capabilities, or successfully market such approved product candidate, to gain market acceptance; and

 

a product candidate may not be accepted as safe and effective by patients, the medical community or third-party payors, if applicable.

If any of these events occur, we may be forced to abandon our development efforts for a product candidate or candidates, which would have a material adverse effect on our business and could potentially cause us to cease operations. Failure of a product candidate may occur at any stage of preclinical or clinical development, and, because our product candidates and our ABC Platform are in development, there is a relatively higher risk of failure and we may never succeed in developing marketable products or generating product revenue.

We may not be successful in our efforts to further develop our ABC Platform and current product candidates. We are not permitted to market or promote any of our product candidates before we receive regulatory approval from the FDA or comparable foreign regulatory authorities, and we may never receive such regulatory approval for any of our product candidates. Each of our product candidates is in the early stages of development and will require significant additional clinical development, management of preclinical, clinical, and manufacturing activities, regulatory approval, adequate manufacturing supply, a commercial organization, and significant marketing efforts before we generate any revenue from product sales, if at all. Any clinical studies that we may conduct may not demonstrate the efficacy and safety necessary to obtain regulatory approval to market our product candidates. If the results of our ongoing or future clinical studies are inconclusive with respect to the efficacy of our product candidates or if we do not meet the clinical endpoints with statistical significance or if there are safety concerns or adverse events associated with our product candidates, we may be prevented or delayed in obtaining marketing approval for our product candidates.

If any of our product candidates successfully completes clinical trials, we generally plan to seek regulatory approval to market our product candidates in the United States, the EU, and in additional foreign countries where we believe there is a viable commercial opportunity. We have never commenced, compiled or submitted an application seeking regulatory approval to market any product candidate. We may never receive regulatory approval to market any product candidates even if such product candidates successfully complete clinical trials, which would adversely affect our viability. To obtain regulatory approval in countries outside the United States, we must comply with numerous and varying regulatory requirements of such other countries regarding safety, efficacy, chemistry, manufacturing and controls, clinical trials, commercial sales, pricing, and distribution of our product candidates. We may also rely on our collaborators or partners to conduct the required activities to support an application for regulatory approval, and to seek approval, for one or more of our product candidates. We cannot be sure that our collaborators or partners will conduct these activities successfully or do so within the timeframe we desire. Even if we (or our collaborators or partners) are successful in obtaining approval in one jurisdiction, we cannot ensure that we will obtain approval in any other jurisdictions. If we are unable to obtain approval for our product candidates in multiple jurisdictions, our revenue and results of operations could be negatively affected.

Even if we receive regulatory approval to market any of our product candidates, we cannot assure you that any such product candidate will be successfully commercialized, widely accepted in the marketplace or more effective than other commercially available alternatives. That approval may be for indications or patient populations that are not as broad as intended or desired or may require labeling that includes significant use or distribution restrictions or safety warnings. We may also be required to perform additional or unanticipated clinical studies to obtain approval or be subject to additional post-marketing testing requirements to maintain regulatory approval. In addition, regulatory authorities may withdraw their approval of a product or impose restrictions on its distribution, such as in the form of a modified Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS. The failure to obtain timely regulatory approval of product candidates, any product marketing limitations or a product withdrawal would negatively impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Investment in biopharmaceutical product development involves significant risk that any product candidate will fail to demonstrate adequate efficacy or an acceptable safety profile, gain regulatory approval, and become commercially viable. We cannot provide any assurance that we will be able to successfully advance any of our product candidates through the development process or, if approved, successfully commercialize any of our product candidates.

68


We may encounter substantial delays in our clinical trials, or may not be able to conduct or complete our clinical trials on the timelines we expect, if at all.

Clinical testing is expensive, time consuming, and subject to uncertainty. We cannot guarantee that any clinical trials will be conducted as planned or completed on schedule, if at all. We cannot be sure that submission of an IND application or a clinical trial application, or CTA, will result in the FDA, European Medicines Agency, or EMA, China National Medical Products Administration, or NMPA, or any other regulatory authority as applicable, allowing clinical trials to begin in a timely manner, if at all. Moreover, even if these trials begin, issues may arise that could suspend or terminate such clinical trials. A failure of one or more clinical trials can occur at any stage of testing, and our future clinical trials may not be successful. Events that may prevent successful or timely initiation or completion of clinical trials include:

 

inability to generate sufficient preclinical, toxicology, or other in vivo or in vitro data to support the initiation or continuation of clinical trials;

 

delays in reaching a consensus with regulatory agencies on study design or, in the case of China, the registration category for the drug candidate to be studied in the clinical trial;

 

the determination by the reviewing regulatory authority to require more costly or lengthy clinical trials than we currently anticipate;

 

delays in reaching agreement on acceptable terms with prospective CROs, and clinical trial sites, the terms of which can be subject to extensive negotiation and may vary significantly among different CROs and clinical trial sites;

 

delays in identifying, recruiting and training suitable clinical investigators;

 

delays in obtaining required Institutional Review Board, or IRB, approval at each clinical trial site;

 

imposition of a temporary or permanent clinical hold by regulatory agencies for a number of reasons, including after review of an IND or amendment, CTA or amendment, or equivalent application or amendment; as a result of a new safety finding that presents unreasonable risk to clinical trial participants; a negative finding from an inspection of our clinical trial operations or study sites; developments on trials conducted by competitors for related technology that raises FDA, EMA, NMPA or any other regulatory authority concerns about risk to patients of the technology broadly; or if the FDA, EMA, NMPA or any other regulatory authority finds that the investigational protocol or plan is clearly deficient to meet its stated objectives;

 

delays in identifying, recruiting and enrolling suitable patients to participate in our clinical trials, and delays caused by patients withdrawing from clinical trials or failing to return for post-treatment follow-up;

 

difficulty collaborating with patient groups and investigators;

 

failure by our CROs, other third parties, or us to adhere to clinical trial requirements;

 

failure to perform in accordance with the FDA’s or any other regulatory authority’s current good clinical practices, or cGCPs, requirements, or applicable EMA, NMPA or other regulatory guidelines in other countries;

 

occurrence of adverse events associated with the product candidate that are viewed to outweigh its potential benefits;

 

changes in regulatory requirements and guidance that require amending or submitting new clinical protocols;  

 

changes in the standard of care on which a clinical development plan was based, which may require new or additional trials;

 

the cost of clinical trials of our product candidates being greater than we anticipate;

 

clinical trials of our product candidates producing negative or inconclusive results, which may result in our deciding, or regulators requiring us, to conduct additional clinical trials or abandon development of such product candidates;

 

transfer of manufacturing processes to larger-scale facilities operated by CMOs or by us, and delays or failure by our CMOs or us to make any necessary changes to such manufacturing process; and

 

delays in manufacturing, testing, releasing, validating, or importing/exporting sufficient stable quantities of our product candidates for use in clinical trials or the inability to do any of the foregoing.

Any inability to successfully initiate or complete clinical trials could result in additional costs to us or impair our ability to generate revenue. In addition, if we make manufacturing or formulation changes to our product candidates, we may be required to or we may elect to conduct additional studies to bridge our modified product candidates to earlier versions. Clinical trial delays could also shorten any periods during which our products have patent protection and may allow our competitors to bring products to market before we do, which could impair our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates and may harm our business and results of operations.

69


We could also encounter delays if a clinical trial is suspended or terminated by us, by the data safety monitoring board for such trial or by the FDA, EMA, NMPA or any other regulatory authority, or if the IRBs of the institutions in which such trials are being conducted suspend or terminate the participation of their clinical investigators and sites subject to their review. Such authorities may suspend or terminate a clinical trial due to a number of factors, including failure to conduct the clinical trial in accordance with regulatory requirements or our clinical protocols, inspection of the clinical trial operations or trial site by the FDA, EMA, NMPA or other regulatory authorities resulting in the imposition of a clinical hold, unforeseen safety issues or adverse side effects, failure to demonstrate a benefit from using a product candidate, changes in governmental regulations or administrative actions or lack of adequate funding to continue the clinical trial.

Delays in the commencement or completion of any clinical trial of our product candidates will increase our costs, slow down our product candidate development and approval process and delay or potentially jeopardize our ability to commence product sales and generate revenue. In addition, many of the factors that cause, or lead to, a delay in the commencement or completion of clinical trials may also ultimately lead to the denial of regulatory approval of our product candidates.

Our product candidates may cause undesirable side effects or have other properties that could halt their clinical development, prevent their regulatory approval, limit their commercial potential or result in significant negative consequences.

Adverse events or other undesirable side effects caused by our product candidates could cause us or regulatory authorities to interrupt, delay or halt clinical trials and could result in a more restrictive label or the delay or denial of regulatory approval by the FDA, EMA, NMPA or other comparable foreign regulatory authorities.

During the conduct of clinical trials, patients report changes in their health, including illnesses, injuries, and discomforts, to their study doctor. Often, it is not possible to determine whether or not the product candidate being studied caused these conditions. It is possible that as we test our product candidates in larger, longer and more extensive clinical trials, or as use of these product candidates becomes more widespread if they receive regulatory approval, illnesses, injuries, discomforts and other adverse events that were not observed in earlier trials, as well as conditions that did not occur or went undetected in previous trials, will be reported by patients. Many times, side effects are only detectable after investigational products are tested in large-scale, Phase 3 clinical trials or, in some cases, after they are made available to patients on a commercial scale after approval. If additional clinical experience indicates that any of our product candidates has side effects or causes serious or life-threatening side effects, the development of the product candidate may fail or be delayed, or, if the product candidate has received regulatory approval, such approval may be revoked, which would severely harm our business, prospects, operating results and financial condition.

Our most advanced product candidate, KSI-301, is an anti-VEGF biologic that we are studying in wet AMD, DME/DR and RVO. There are some potential side effects associated with intravitreal anti-VEGF therapies such as intraocular hemorrhage, intraocular pressure elevation, retinal detachment, inflammation, vasculitis, artery occlusion or infection inside the eye and over-inhibition of VEGF, as well as the potential for potential systemic side effects such as heart attack, stroke, wound healing problems, and high blood pressure. Recent trends in the development of anti-VEGF therapies have favored increased molar dosages, as compared to currently marketed treatments. To date these heightened dosages have not exhibited a safety profile significantly worse than that of current treatments, as attributable to molar dose. However, anti-VEGF product candidates featuring higher molar dosages, including KSI-301, may heighten the risk of adverse effects associated with anti-VEGF treatments generally, both in the eye and in the rest of the body. There are risks inherent in the intravitreal injection procedure of drugs like KSI-301 which can cause injury to the eye and other complications including conjunctival hemorrhage, punctate keratitis, eye pain, conjunctival hyperemia, intra-ocular inflammation, and endophthalmitis.

Drug-related side effects could affect patient recruitment, the ability of enrolled patients to complete the study and/or result in potential product liability claims. We may not be able to maintain insurance coverage at a reasonable cost or in sufficient amounts to protect us against losses due to liability. A successful product liability claim or series of claims brought against us could cause our stock price to decline and, if judgments exceed our insurance coverage, could adversely affect our results of operations and business. In addition, regardless of merit or eventual outcome, product liability claims may result in impairment of our business reputation, withdrawal of clinical trial participants, costs due to related litigation, distraction of management’s attention from our primary business, initiation of investigations by regulators, substantial monetary awards to patients or other claimants, the inability to commercialize our product candidates and decreased demand for our product candidates, if approved for commercial sale.

Additionally, if one or more of our product candidates receives marketing approval, and we or others later identify undesirable side effects or adverse events caused by such products, a number of potentially significant negative consequences could result, including but not limited to:

 

regulatory authorities may withdraw approvals of such product;

 

regulatory authorities may require additional warnings on the label;

70


 

we may be required to change the way the product is administered or conduct additional clinical trials or post-approval studies;

 

we may be required to create a REMS plan, which could include a medication guide outlining the risks of such side effects for distribution to patients, a communication plan for healthcare providers and/or other elements to assure safe use;

 

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

 

our reputation may suffer.

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

We may encounter difficulties enrolling patients in our clinical trials, and our clinical development activities could thereby be delayed or otherwise adversely affected.

The timely completion of clinical trials in accordance with their protocols depends, among other things, on our ability to enroll a sufficient number of patients who remain in the trial until its conclusion. We may experience difficulties in patient enrollment in our clinical trials for a variety of reasons, including:

 

the size and nature of the patient population;

 

the patient eligibility criteria defined in the protocol, including certain highly-specific criteria related to stage of disease progression, which may limit the patient populations eligible for our clinical trials to a greater extent than competing clinical trials for the same indication that do not have such patient eligibility criteria;

 

the size of the study population required for analysis of the trial’s primary endpoints;

 

the proximity of patients to a trial site;

 

the effects of health epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shelter-in-place, travel or similar restrictions;

 

the design of the trial;

 

our ability to recruit clinical trial investigators with the appropriate competencies and experience;

 

competing clinical trials for similar therapies or targeting patient populations meeting our patient eligibility criteria;

 

clinicians’ and patients’ perceptions as to the potential advantages and side effects of the product candidate being studied in relation to other available therapies and product candidates;

 

our ability to obtain and maintain patient consents; and

 

the risk that patients enrolled in clinical trials will not complete such trials, for any reason.

For example, because patients with early stages of DR often lack symptoms, it may be challenging to identify and enroll patients at early stages of disease that may be required for a clinical trial. Our inability to enroll a sufficient number of patients for our clinical trials could result in significant delays or may require us to abandon one or more clinical trials altogether. Enrollment delays in our clinical trials may result in increased development costs for our product candidates, delay or halt the development of and approval processes for our product candidates and jeopardize our ability to commence sales of and generate revenues from our product candidates, which may harm our business and results of operation.

Our clinical trials may fail to demonstrate substantial evidence of the safety and efficacy or durability of our product candidates, which would prevent, delay or limit the scope of regulatory approval and commercialization.

Before obtaining regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of any of our product candidates, we must demonstrate through lengthy, complex and expensive preclinical studies and clinical trials that our product candidates are both safe and effective for use in each target indication. For those product candidates that are subject to regulation as biological drug products, we will need to demonstrate that they are safe, pure, and potent for use in their target indications. Each product candidate must demonstrate an adequate risk versus benefit profile in its intended patient population and for its intended use. This is especially true for anti-VEGF biologic agents where Lucentis and Eylea are established products with accepted safety profiles.

Clinical testing is expensive and can take many years to complete, and its outcome is inherently uncertain. Failure can occur at any time during the clinical trial process. The results of preclinical studies of our product candidates may not be

71


predictive of the results of early-stage or later-stage clinical trials, and results of early clinical trials of our product candidates may not be predictive of the results of later-stage clinical trials. The results of clinical trials in one set of patients or disease indications may not be predictive of those obtained in another. In some instances, there can be significant variability in safety, efficacy or durability results between different clinical trials of the same product candidate due to numerous factors, including changes in trial procedures set forth in protocols, differences in the size and type of the patient populations, changes in and adherence to the dosing regimen and other clinical trial protocols and the rate of dropout among clinical trial participants. Product candidates in later stages of clinical trials may fail to show the desired safety, efficacy and durability profile despite having progressed through preclinical studies and initial clinical trials. A number of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry have suffered significant setbacks in advanced clinical trials due to lack of efficacy or unacceptable safety issues, notwithstanding promising results in earlier trials. Most product candidates that begin clinical trials are never approved by regulatory authorities for commercialization.

We may be unable to design and execute clinical trials that support marketing approval. We cannot be certain that our planned clinical trials or any other future clinical trials will be successful. Additionally, any safety concerns observed in any one of our clinical trials in our targeted indications could limit the prospects for regulatory approval of our product candidates in those and other indications, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, even if such clinical trials are successfully completed, we cannot guarantee that the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities will interpret the results as we do, and more trials could be required before we submit our product candidates for approval. To the extent that the results of the trials are not satisfactory to the FDA or foreign regulatory authorities for support of a marketing application, we may be required to expend significant resources, which may not be available to us, to conduct additional trials in support of potential approval of our product candidates. Even if regulatory approval is secured for any of our product candidates, the terms of such approval may limit the scope and use of our product candidate, which may also limit its commercial potential.

We may not be successful in our efforts to continue to create a pipeline of product candidates or to develop commercially successful products. If we fail to successfully identify and develop additional product candidates, our commercial opportunity may be limited.

One of our strategies is to identify and pursue clinical development of additional product candidates through our ABC Platform. Our ABC Platform may not produce a pipeline of viable product candidates, or our competitors may develop platform technologies that render our ABC Platform obsolete or less attractive. Our research methodology may be unsuccessful in identifying potential product candidates, or our potential product candidates may be shown to have harmful side effects or may have other characteristics that may make them unmarketable or unlikely to receive marketing approval. Identifying, developing, obtaining regulatory approval and commercializing additional product candidates for the treatment of retinal diseases will require substantial additional funding and is prone to the risks of failure inherent in drug development. If we are unable to successfully identify, acquire, develop and commercialize additional product candidates, our commercial opportunity may be limited.

We face significant competition in an environment of rapid technological and scientific change, and there is a possibility that our competitors may retain their market share with existing drugs, or achieve regulatory approval before us or develop therapies that are safer, more advanced or more effective than ours, which may negatively impact our ability to successfully market or commercialize any product candidates we may develop and ultimately harm our financial condition.

The development and commercialization of new drug products is highly competitive. We may face competition with respect to any product candidates that we seek to develop or commercialize in the future from major pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology companies worldwide. Potential competitors also include academic institutions, government agencies, and other public and private research organizations that conduct research, seek patent protection, and establish collaborative arrangements for research, development, manufacturing, and commercialization.

There are a number of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that are currently pursuing the development of products for the treatment of the retinal disease indications for which we have product candidates, including wet AMD, DME/DR, and RVO. Certain of our competitors have commercially approved products for the treatment of retinal diseases that we are pursuing or may pursue in the future, including Roche, Regeneron and Novartis for the treatment of wet AMD, DME/DR, and RVO. These drugs are well established therapies and are widely accepted by physicians, patients and third-party payors, which may make it difficult to educate these parties on the benefits of switching to KSI-301. Companies that we are aware are developing therapeutics in the retinal disease area include large companies with significant financial resources, such as Roche, Novartis, Bayer and Regeneron, AbbVie/Allergan, Mylan, Momenta, and Samsung Bioepis. In addition to competition from other companies targeting retinal indications, any products we may develop may also face competition from other types of therapies, such as gene-editing therapies and drug delivery devices.

72


Many of our current or potential competitors, either alone or with their strategic partners, have significantly greater financial resources and expertise in research and development, manufacturing, preclinical testing, conducting clinical trials, obtaining regulatory approvals, and marketing approved products than we do. Mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries may result in even more resources being concentrated among a smaller number of our competitors. Smaller 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 trial sites and patient registration for clinical trials, as well as in acquiring technologies complementary to, or necessary for, our product candidates. 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. Furthermore, currently approved products could be discovered to have application for treatment of retinal disease indications, which could give such products significant regulatory and market timing advantages over any of our product candidates. Our competitors also may obtain FDA, EMA, NMPA or other regulatory approval for their products more rapidly than we may obtain approval for ours. Additionally, products or technologies developed by our competitors may render our potential product candidates uneconomical or obsolete, and we may not be successful in marketing any product candidates we may develop against competitors.

In addition, we could face litigation or other proceedings with respect to the scope, ownership, validity and/or enforceability of our patents relating to our competitors’ products and our competitors may allege that our products infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate their intellectual property. For more information regarding potential disputes concerning intellectual property, see the subsection of this report titled “Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property.”

The manufacture of our product candidates is highly complex and requires substantial lead time to produce.

Manufacturing our product candidates involves complex processes, including developing cells or cell systems to produce the biologic, growing large quantities of such cells, and harvesting and purifying the biologic produced by them. These processes require specialized facilities, highly specific raw materials and other production constraints. As a result, the cost to manufacture a biologic is generally far higher than traditional small molecule chemical compounds, and the biologics manufacturing process is less reliable and is difficult to reproduce. Because of the complex nature of our products, we need to oversee the manufacture of multiple components that require a diverse knowledge base and specialized personnel.

Moreover, unlike chemical pharmaceuticals, the physical and chemical properties of a biologic such as our product candidates generally cannot be adequately characterized prior to manufacturing the final product. As a result, an assay of the finished product is not sufficient to ensure that the product will perform in the intended manner. Accordingly, we expect to employ multiple steps to attempt to control our manufacturing process to assure that the process works and the product or product candidate is made strictly and consistently in compliance with the process

Manufacturing biologics is highly susceptible to product loss due to contamination, equipment failure, improper installation or operation of equipment, vendor or operator error, improper storage or transfer, inconsistency in yields and variability in product characteristics. Even minor deviations from normal manufacturing, distribution or storage processes could result in reduced production yields, product defects and other supply disruptions. Some of the raw materials required in our manufacturing process are derived from biological sources. Such raw materials are difficult to procure and may also be subject to contamination or recall. A material shortage, contamination, recall or restriction on the use of biologically derived substances in the manufacture of our product candidates could adversely impact or disrupt commercialization. Production of additional drug substance and drug product for any of our product candidates may require substantial lead time. For example, currently any new large-scale batches of KSI-301 would require at least 12 months to manufacture. In the event of significant product loss and materials shortages, we may be unable to produce adequate amounts of our product candidates or products for our operational needs.

Further, as product candidates are developed through preclinical studies to late-stage clinical trials towards approval and commercialization, it is common that various aspects of the development program, such as manufacturing methods, are altered along the way in an effort to optimize processes and results. Such changes carry the risk that they will not achieve these intended objectives, and any of these changes could cause our product candidates to perform differently and affect the results of planned clinical trials or other future clinical trials.

These challenges are magnified by the international nature of our supply chain, which, for KSI-301, requires drug substance and drug product sourced from single source suppliers from China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. For example, the effects of health epidemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shelter-in-place, travel or similar restrictions may impact the timing of clinical resupply facing and BLA facing manufacturing activities.

73


We have no experience manufacturing any of our product candidates at a commercial scale. If we or any of our third-party manufacturers encounter difficulties in production, or fail to meet rigorously enforced regulatory standards, our ability to provide supply of our product candidates for clinical trials or our products for patients, if approved, could be delayed or stopped, or we may be unable to establish a commercially viable cost structure.

In order to conduct clinical trials of our product candidates, or supply commercial products, if approved, we will need to manufacture them in small and large quantities. Our third-party manufacturer has made only a limited number of lots of KSI-301 to date and has not made any commercial lots. The manufacturing processes for KSI-301 have never been tested at commercial scale and the process validation requirement (the requirement to consistently produce the active pharmaceutical ingredient used in KSI-301 in commercial quantities and of specified quality on a repeated basis and document its ability to do so) has not yet been satisfied. Our manufacturing partners may be unable to successfully increase the manufacturing capacity for any of our product candidates in a timely or cost-effective manner, or at all. In addition, quality issues may arise during scale-up activities. If our manufacturing partners are unable to successfully scale up the manufacture of our product candidates in sufficient quality and quantity, the development, testing and clinical trials of our product candidates may be delayed or become infeasible, and regulatory approval or commercial launch of any resulting product may be delayed or not obtained, which could significantly harm our business. The same risks would apply to any internal manufacturing facilities, should we in the future decide to build internal manufacturing capacity.

In addition, the manufacturing process for any products that we may develop is subject to FDA, EMA, NMPA and foreign regulatory authority approval processes and continuous oversight. We will need to contract with manufacturers who can meet all applicable FDA, EMA, NMPA and foreign regulatory authority requirements, including complying with current good manufacturing practices, or cGMPs, on an ongoing basis. If we or our third-party manufacturers are unable to reliably produce products to specifications acceptable to the FDA, EMA, NMPA or other regulatory authorities, we may not obtain or maintain the approvals we need to commercialize such products. Even if we obtain regulatory approval for any of our product candidates, there is no assurance that either we or our CMOs will be able to manufacture the approved product to specifications acceptable to the FDA, EMA, NMPA or other regulatory authorities, to produce it in sufficient quantities to meet the requirements for the potential launch of the product, or to meet potential future demand. Any of these challenges could delay completion of clinical trials, require bridging clinical trials or the repetition of one or more clinical trials, increase clinical trial costs, delay approval of our product candidate, impair commercialization efforts, increase our cost of goods, and have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and growth prospects.  

If, in the future, we are unable to establish sales and marketing capabilities or enter into agreements with third parties to sell and market any product candidates we may develop, we may not be successful in commercializing those product candidates if and when they are approved.

We do not have a sales or marketing infrastructure and have no experience in the sale, marketing or distribution of pharmaceutical products. To achieve commercial success for any approved product for which we retain sales and marketing responsibilities, we must either develop a sales and marketing organization or outsource these functions to third parties. In the future, we may choose to build a focused sales, marketing and commercial support infrastructure to sell, or participate in sales activities with our collaborators for, some of our product candidates if and when they are approved.

There are risks involved with both establishing our own commercial capabilities and entering into arrangements with third parties to perform these services. For example, recruiting and training a sales force or reimbursement specialists is expensive and time consuming and could delay any product launch. If the commercial launch of a product candidate for which we recruit a sales force and establish marketing and other commercialization capabilities is delayed or does not occur for any reason, we would have prematurely or unnecessarily incurred these commercialization expenses. This may be costly, and our investment would be lost if we cannot retain or reposition our commercialization personnel.

Factors that may inhibit our efforts to commercialize any approved product on our own include:

 

our inability to recruit and retain adequate numbers of effective sales, marketing, reimbursement, customer service, medical affairs and other support personnel;

 

the inability of sales personnel to obtain access to physicians or educate adequate numbers of physicians on the benefits of prescribing any future approved products;

 

the inability of reimbursement professionals to negotiate arrangements for formulary access, reimbursement, and other acceptance by payors;

 

the inability to price our products at a sufficient price point to ensure an adequate and attractive level of profitability;

 

restricted or closed distribution channels that make it difficult to distribute our products to segments of the patient population;

74


 

the lack of complementary products to be offered by sales personnel, which may put us at a competitive disadvantage relative to companies with more extensive product lines; and

 

unforeseen costs and expenses associated with creating an independent commercialization organization.

If we enter into arrangements with third parties to perform sales, marketing, commercial support and distribution services, our product revenue or the profitability of product revenue may be lower than if we were to market and sell any products we may develop ourselves. In addition, we may not be successful in entering into arrangements with third parties to commercialize our product candidates or may be unable to do so on terms that are favorable to us. We may have little control over such third parties, and any of them may fail to devote the necessary resources and attention to sell and market our products effectively. If we do not establish commercialization capabilities successfully, either on our own or in collaboration with third parties, we will not be successful in commercializing our product candidates if approved.

Even if any product candidates we develop receive marketing approval, they may fail to achieve the degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors and others in the medical community necessary for commercial success.

The commercial success of any of our product candidates will depend upon its degree of market acceptance by physicians, patients, third-party payors and others in the medical community. Even if any product candidates we may develop receive marketing approval, they may nonetheless fail to gain sufficient market acceptance by physicians, patients, healthcare payors, and others in the medical community. The degree of market acceptance of any product candidates we may develop, if approved for commercial sale, will depend on a number of factors, including:

 

the efficacy and safety of such product candidates as demonstrated in pivotal clinical trials and published in peer-reviewed journals;