Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Research and License Agreements

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Research and License Agreements
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Research And License Agreements  
Research and License Agreements

NOTE 10 — RESEARCH AND LICENSE AGREEMENTS

 

The University of Louisville Research Foundation

 

Between June 2018 and September 2020, the Company entered into license and sponsored research agreements with the University of Louisville Research Foundation (“ULRF”) for QN-247, a novel aptamer-based compound that has shown promise as an anticancer drug. Under the agreements, the Company will take over development, regulatory approval and commercialization of the compound from ULRF and is responsible for maintenance of the related intellectual property portfolio. In return, ULRF received a $50,000 convertible promissory note in payment of an upfront license fee, which was subsequently converted into the Company’s common stock, and the Company agreed to reimburse ULRF for sponsored research expenses of up to $805,000 and prior patent costs of up to $200,000. In addition, the Company agreed to pay ULRF (i) royalties, on patent-covered net sales associated with the commercialization of anti-nucleolin agent-conjugated nanoparticles, of 4% (on net sales up to a cumulative $250,000,000) or 5% (on net sales above a cumulative $250,000,000), until expiration of the last to expire of the licensed patents, (ii) 30% to 50% of any non-royalty sublicensee income received (50% for sublicenses granted in the first two years of the ULRF license agreement, 40% for sublicenses granted in the third or fourth years of the ULRF license agreement, and 30% for sublicenses granted in the fifth year of the ULRF license agreement or thereafter), (iii) reimbursements for ongoing costs associated with the preparation, filing, prosecution and maintenance of licensed patents, incurred prior to June 2018, and (iv) payments ranging from $100,000 to $5,000,000 upon the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones. Milestone payments for the first therapeutic indication would be $100,000 for first dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial, $200,000 for first dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial, $350,000 for first dosing in a Phase 3 clinical trial, $500,000 for regulatory marketing approval and $5,000,000 upon achieving a cumulative $500,000,000 of Licensed Product sales; the Company would also pay another $500,000 milestone payment for any additional regulatory marketing approval for each additional therapeutic (or diagnostic) indication. The Company also must pay ULRF shortfall payments if the total amounts actually paid with respect to royalties and non-royalty sublicensee income for any year is less than the applicable annual minimum (ranging from $10,000 to $50,000) for such year.

  

There was approximately $62,000 and $0 in sponsored research expenses related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and these amounts are recorded in research and development expenses in the statements of operations. Minimum annual royalties of $0 and $10,000 related to these agreements are included in research and development expenses in the statements of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively. License costs were approximately $36,000 and $0 related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively, and are included in research and development expenses in the statements of operations.

 

In March 2019, the Company entered into a sponsored research agreement and an option for a license agreement with ULRF for development of several small-molecule RAS interaction inhibitor drug candidates. Under the terms of this agreement, the Company will reimburse ULRF for sponsored research expenses of up to $693,000 for this program. In February 2021, the Company extended the term of this agreement for an additional 18 months (expires July 2022) and increased the amount that the Company will reimburse ULRF for sponsored research expenses from $693,000 to approximately $1.4 million. In July 2020, the Company entered into an exclusive license agreement with ULRF for RAS interaction inhibitor drug candidates. Under the agreement, the Company will take over development, regulatory approval and commercialization of the candidates from ULRF and is responsible for maintenance of the related intellectual property portfolio. In return, ULRF received approximately $112,000 for an upfront license fee and reimbursement of prior patent costs. In addition, the Company has agreed to pay ULRF (i) royalties, on patent-covered net sales associated with the commercialization, of 4% (on net sales up to a cumulative $250,000,000) or 5% (on net sales above a cumulative $250,000,000), until expiration of the licensed patent, and 2.5% (on net sales for any sales not covered by Licensed Patents), (ii) 30% to 50% of any non-royalty sublicensee income received (50% for sublicenses granted in the first two years of the ULRF license agreement, 40% for sublicenses granted in the third or fourth years of the ULRF license agreement, and 30% for sublicenses granted in the fifth year of the ULRF license agreement or thereafter), (iii) reimbursements for ongoing costs associated with the preparation, filing, prosecution and maintenance of licensed patents, incurred prior to July 2020, and (iv) payments ranging from $50,000 to $5,000,000 upon the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones. Milestone payments for the first therapeutic indication would be $50,000 for first dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial, $100,000 for first dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial, $150,000 for first dosing in a Phase 3 clinical trial, $300,000 for regulatory marketing approval and $5,000,000 upon achieving a cumulative $500,000,000 of Licensed Product sales. The Company also must pay ULRF shortfall payments if the total amounts actually paid with respect to royalties and non-royalty sublicensee income for any year is less than the applicable annual minimum (ranging from $20,000 to $100,000) for such year.

 

Sponsored research expenses related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were approximately $107,000 and $108,000, respectively, and are recorded in research and development expenses in the statements of operations. License costs related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were approximately $46,000 and $0, respectively, and are included in research and development expenses in the statements of operations.

 

In June 2020, the Company entered into an exclusive license agreement with ULRF for its intellectual property in the use of QN-165 as a treatment for COVID-19. Under the agreement, the Company will take over development, regulatory approval and commercialization of the compound (for such use) from ULRF and is responsible for maintenance of the related intellectual property portfolio. In return, ULRF received approximately $24,000 for an upfront license fee and reimbursement of prior patent costs. In addition, the Company was required to enter into a separate sponsored research agreement with ULRF (for QN-165 as a treatment for COVID-19) for at least $250,000. In November 2020, the Company executed a sponsored research agreement with ULRF (for QN-165 as a treatment for COVID-19) supporting up to approximately $430,000 in research which satisfied this requirement.

 

In addition, the Company has agreed to pay ULRF (i) royalties, on patent-covered net sales associated with the commercialization of QN-165 as a treatment for COVID-19, of 4% (on net sales up to a cumulative $250,000,000) or 5% (on net sales above a cumulative $250,000,000), until expiration of the licensed patents, and 2.5% (on net sales for any sales not covered by Licensed Patents), (ii) 30% to 50% of any non-royalty sublicensee income received (50% for sublicenses granted in the first two years of the ULRF license agreement, 40% for sublicenses granted in the third or fourth years of the ULRF license agreement, and 30% for sublicenses granted in the fifth year of the ULRF license agreement or thereafter), (iii) reimbursements for ongoing costs associated with the preparation, filing, prosecution and maintenance of licensed patents, incurred prior to June 2020, and (iv) payments ranging from $50,000 to $5,000,000 upon the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones. Milestone payments would be $50,000 for first dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial, $100,000 for first dosing in a Phase 2 clinical trial, $150,000 for first dosing in a Phase 3 clinical trial, $300,000 for regulatory marketing approval and $5,000,000 upon achieving a cumulative $500,000,000 of Licensed Product sales. The Company also must pay ULRF shortfall payments if the total amounts actually paid with respect to royalties and non-royalty sublicensee income for any year is less than the applicable annual minimum (ranging from $5,000 to $50,000) for such year.

 

Sponsored research expenses related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were approximately $69,000 and $0, respectively, and are recorded in research and development expenses in the statements of operations. License costs related to these agreements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 were $0 for each period.

 

Advanced Cancer Therapeutics

 

In December 2018, the Company entered into a license agreement with Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, LLC (“ACT”), granting the Company exclusive rights to develop and commercialize QN-165, an aptamer-based drug candidate. In return, ACT received a $25,000 convertible promissory note in payment of an upfront license fee, which was subsequently converted into the Company’s common stock. In addition, the Company agreed to pay ACT (i) royalties, on net sales associated with the commercialization of QN-165, of 2% (only if patent-covered and only on net sales above a cumulative $3,000,000) or 1% (if not patent-covered, but only on net sales above a cumulative $3,000,000), until the 15th anniversary of the ACT license agreement and (ii) milestone payments of $100,000 for the Company raising a cumulative total of $2,000,000 in new equity financing after the date of the ACT license agreement, $100,000 upon any first QN-165-based licensed product receiving the CE Mark or similar FDA status, and $500,000 upon cumulative worldwide QN-165-based licensed product net sales reaching $3,000,000. For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, license costs of approximately $2,000 and $0 related to this agreement, respectively, are included in research and development expenses in the statements of operations.

 

Prediction Biosciences

 

In November 2015, the Company entered into a long-term development and supply agreement with Prediction Biosciences SAS to develop and manufacture diagnostic tests for use in the stroke point-of-care market. The Company recognizes development revenue and product sales over the performance period of the contract. For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, there was $0 and $45,000, respectively, in collaborative research revenue related to this agreement.

 

Sekisui Diagnostics

 

During the year ended March 31, 2018, the Company extended a strategic partnership entered into in May 2016 with Sekisui Diagnostics, LLC (“Sekisui”) until May 2022. The Company appointed Sekisui as its diagnostics commercial partner and exclusive worldwide distributor with the exception of certain customer accounts retained by Qualigen. The agreement contains a right of first refusal for Sekisui against any potential acquisition of the Company until May 2022.

 

There were product sales to Sekisui of approximately $1.0 million for both of the three month periods ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, related to this agreement.

 

Yi Xin

 

In October 2020, the Company entered into a Technology Transfer Agreement with Yi Xin Zhen Duan Jishu (Suzhou) Ltd. (“Yi Xin”), of Suzhou, China, for Yi Xin to develop, manufacture and sell new generations of diagnostic test systems based on the Company’s core FastPack technology. In addition, the Technology Transfer Agreement authorized Yi Xin to manufacture and sell the Company’s current generations of FastPack System diagnostic products (1.0, IP and PRO) in China.

 

Under the Technology Transfer Agreement, the Company received net cash payments of $250,000 in the final quarter of the year ended December 31, 2020, classified as deferred revenue on the December 31, 2020 balance sheet, and a cash payment of $420,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2021. The Company will also receive low- to mid-single-digit royalties on any future new-generations and current-generations product sales by Yi Xin. Of these amounts, the Company recognized approximately $38,000 in product sales and $479,000 in license revenue included in the statement of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2021. The Company provided technology transfer and patent/know-how license rights to facilitate Yi Xin’s development and commercialization.

 

The Company gave Yi Xin the exclusive rights for China – which is a market the Company has not otherwise entered – both for Yi Xin’s new generations of FastPack-based products and for Yi Xin-manufactured versions of the Company’s existing FastPack product lines. Yi Xin will also have the right to sell its new generations of FastPack-based diagnostic test systems throughout the world (but not to or toward current customers of the Company’s existing generations of FastPack products); any such non-China sales would, until May 1, 2022, need to be through Sekisui. In addition, after May 1, 2022, Yi Xin will have the right to sell Yi Xin-manufactured versions of existing FastPack 1.0, IP and PRO product lines worldwide (other than in the United States and other than to or toward current non-US customers of those products). Also, after May 1, 2022, Yi Xin will have the right to buy Company-manufactured FastPack 1.0, IP and PRO products from the Company at distributor prices for resale in and for the United States (but not to or toward current US customers of those products); the Company did not license Yi Xin to sell in the United States market any Yi Xin-manufactured versions of those legacy FastPack 1.0, IP and PRO product lines, even after May 1, 2022. In the Technology Transfer Agreement, the Company confirmed that it would not, after May 1, 2022, seek new FastPack customers outside the United States.

 

STA Pharmaceutical

 

In November 2020, the Company entered into a contract with STA Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, for GMP production of QN-165, the Company’s lead drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19 and other viral diseases, for potential clinical trials in 2021. In connection with this agreement, the Company paid an upfront deposit of approximately $1.1 million which was classified as prepaid expenses on the December 31, 2020 balance sheet date, and all of which was included in research and development expenses in the statement of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2021.