Collaborations, Licensing Agreements and Other Agreements
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2022
|Collaborations Licensing Agreements And Other Agreements [Abstract]
|Collaborations, Licensing Agreements and Other Agreements
5. Collaborations, Licensing Agreements and Other Agreements
Amended and Restated License Agreement with the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
In August 2018, the Company entered into a license agreement with Penn, as amended and restated in July 2019 to include the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as a party, and as amended in May 2020 and October 2021 (the License Agreement) pursuant to which the Company obtained (a) a non-exclusive, non-sublicensable worldwide license to certain of Penn’s intellectual property to conduct research, product development, clinical trials, cell manufacturing and other activities, and (b) an exclusive, worldwide, royalty-bearing right and license, with a right to sublicense, on a target-by-target basis, under certain of Penn’s intellectual property to make, use, sell, offer for sale, import, and otherwise commercialize products for the treatment of autoimmune and alloimmune diseases.
Unless earlier terminated, the License Agreement expires on the expiration or abandonment or other termination of the last valid claim in Penn’s intellectual property licensed by the Company. The Company may terminate the License Agreement at any time for convenience upon 60 days written notice. In the event of an uncured, material breach, Penn may terminate the License Agreement upon 60 days written notice.
Under the terms of the License Agreement, the Company was obligated to pay $2,000 annually for three years beginning August 2018 for funding to the laboratories of each of Drs. Milone and Payne (see Sponsored Research Agreements). During the term of the License Agreement until the first commercial sale of the first product, the Company is obligated to pay Penn a non-refundable, non-creditable annual license maintenance fee of $10.
The Company is required to pay certain milestone payments upon the achievement of specified clinical and commercial milestones. Milestone payments are reduced by a certain percentage for the second product that achieves a milestone, by an additional percentage for the third product that achieves a milestone, and so on, for each subsequent product that achieves a milestone. In the event that the Company is able to successfully develop and launch multiple products under the License Agreement, total milestone payments could be approximately $21,000. Penn is also eligible to receive tiered royalties at percentage rates in the low single-digits, subject to an annual minimum royalty, on annual worldwide net sales of any products that are commercialized by the Company or its sublicensees that contain or incorporate, or are covered by, the intellectual property licensed by the Company. To the extent the Company sublicenses its license rights under the License Agreement, Penn would be eligible to receive tiered sublicense income at percentage rates in the mid-single to low double-digits. There were no amounts due under the License Agreement as of March 31, 2022.
Sponsored Research Agreements
The Company has sponsored research agreements with two faculty members at Penn, who are also scientific co-founders of the Company and members of the Company’s scientific advisory board. In May 2020, one of the agreements was amended to expand the scope of sponsored research. In August 2020, this agreement was further amended to extend the term of the original research plan. In December 2021, the Company further amended this SRA to extend the term and expand the workplan to include additional correlative studies related to the DesCAARTesTM trial. In April 2021 and October 2021, the other SRA was amended to extend the term of the original research plan.
Under the amended SRAs, the Company has committed to funding defined research plans through December 2024 and November 2022, respectively. The total estimated cost of $12,483 under the SRAs satisfies the Company’s annual obligation under the License Agreement (see Amended and Restated License Agreement with the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania above). As of March 31, 2022, $10,831 of cost has been incurred pursuant to these SRAs. For the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, the Company recognized research and development expense of $900 and $837, respectively, related to these SRAs in the accompanying statements of operations. As of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, $173 and $346 respectively, of advance payments are included in Prepaid expenses and other current assets in the accompanying balance sheets and there was $764 and $36 included in Accrued and other current liabilities in the accompanying balance sheets as of March 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021.
In December 2021, the Company entered into a SRA with Penn for the laboratory of Dr. Drew Weissman, or the Weissman SRA. Under the Weissman SRA, discovery-stage proof of concept studies for lipid nanoparticle mRNA for the delivery and/or enhancement of CAAR technology is being conducted. Under the Weissman SRA, Penn granted the Company a non-transferable, non-exclusive license to use certain intellectual property for specific internal research purposes and further grants the Company the first option to negotiate to acquire, subject to agreement on commercial terms, an exclusive or non-exclusive worldwide license to certain patent rights for specific CAAR products developed under the Weissman SRA. Unless earlier terminated, the Weissman SRA will expire in December 2023. Pursuant to the Weissman SRA, the Company also entered into an Option Agreement with Penn, or the Weissman Option, which grants the Company the option to negotiate to acquire a non-exclusive worldwide license to certain patent rights in connection with the Weissman SRA. This SRA has a remaining cost of approximately $400.
Master Translational Research Services Agreement
In October 2018, the Company entered into a services agreement (the Services Agreement) with Penn for additional research and development services from various laboratories within Penn. The research and development activities are detailed in separately executed Penn organization-specific addenda. In May 2020, the Company amended its Addendum with the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics (CAROT) to expand access to vector manufacturing.
Research and development expense related to executed addenda under the master translational research service agreement with Penn recognized in the accompanying statements of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 was $635 and $395, respectively. The Company may incur additional expenses up to $1,360 through the remaining term of the CAROT Amended Addendum.
Subscription and Technology Transfer Agreement
In July 2019, the Company entered into a subscription and technology transfer agreement pursuant to which the Company owed Penn an upfront subscription fee, which was paid in the third quarter of 2019, and a nominal non-refundable royalty on the net sales of products, a portion of which will be credited toward milestone payments and royalties, respectively, under the Amended License Agreement. Technology transfer activities will be at the Company’s cost and subject to agreement as to the technology to be transferred. Expense recognized under this agreement was $0 and $150 during the three months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Collaboration and License Agreement
In July 2020, the Company entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Artisan Bio, Inc. (Artisan), wherein the Company and Artisan agreed to collaborate to potentially enhance certain pipeline products of the Company at specific targets using Artisan’s gene editing and engineering technology. If the Artisan technology is applied to any of the Company’s products, the Company will be responsible for the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of any such products. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company was required to pay Artisan a nominal upfront fee, as well as costs associated with research and development activities. Artisan is eligible to receive future research, development and regulatory milestones, and is also eligible to receive sales milestones and tiered royalties on net sales of products that incorporate the Artisan technology. The Company can terminate the agreement at will upon advance written notice with payment of a nominal cancellation fee.
Licence and Supply Agreement with Oxford Biomedica
In December 2021, the Company entered into a Licence and Supply agreement (LSA) with Oxford Biomedica (UK) Limited, wherein the LSA grants the Company a non-exclusive license to Oxford’s LentiVector® platform for its application in the Company’s DSG3-CAART program and puts in place a multi-year vector supply agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the Company is required to pay Oxford an upfront fee, as well as costs associated with initial vector manufacturing activities for a total cost of up to approximately $4,000, of which $1,100 was recognized in 2021. Oxford is eligible to receive regulatory and sales milestones in the low tens of millions and royalties in the low single digits on net sales of products that incorporate the Oxford technology. The Company can terminate the agreement at will upon advance written notice and subject to certain manufacturing slot cancellation fees. No expense was recognized under this LSA in the three months ended March 31, 2022.