Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

v3.19.1
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

2.

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Principles of Consolidation


The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Heat Biologics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Heat Biologics I, Inc. (“Heat I”) Heat Biologics III, Inc. (“Heat III”), Heat Biologics IV, Inc. (“Heat IV”), Heat Biologics GmbH, Heat Biologics Australia Pty Ltd, and Zolovax, Inc. Additionally, beginning April 28, 2017 the accompanying consolidated financials include Pelican.  As of December 31, 2018 there was no activity for Delphi Therapeutics, Inc. or Scorpion Biosciences, Inc.  The functional currency of the entities located outside the United States of America (the foreign entities) is the applicable local currency of the foreign entities. Assets and liabilities of the foreign entities are translated at period-end exchange rates. Statement of operations accounts are translated at the average exchange rate during the period. The effects of foreign currency translation adjustments are included in other comprehensive loss, which is a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss in stockholders’ equity. All significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. At December 31, 2018 and 2017, Heat held 100% and 92.5% controlling interest respectively in Heat I. The December 31, 2018 year-end financials include 85% controlling interest in Pelican and the December 31, 2017 year-end financials include 80% controlling interest in Pelican as of April 28, 2017. Heat accounts for its less than 100% interest in the consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Accordingly, the Company presents non-controlling interest as a component of stockholders’ equity on its consolidated balance sheets and reports non-controlling interest net loss under the heading “net loss – non-controlling interest” in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss.


Liquidity and Capital Resources


The Company has an accumulated deficit of approximately $84.6 million as of December 31, 2018 and a net loss of approximately $16.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 and has not generated significant revenue or positive cash flows from operations. The Company expects to incur significant expenses and continued losses from operations for the foreseeable future. The Company expects its expenses to increase in connection with its ongoing activities, particularly as the Company continues its research and development and advances its clinical trials of, and seek marketing approval for, its product candidates and as the Company continues to fund the Pelican matching funds required in order to access the CPRIT Grant. In addition, if the Company obtains marketing approval for any of its product candidates, the Company expects to incur significant commercialization expenses related to product sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution. Accordingly, the Company will need to obtain substantial additional funding in connection with its continuing operations. Adequate additional financing may not be available to the Company on acceptable terms, or at all. If the Company is unable to raise capital when needed or on attractive terms, it would be forced to delay, reduce or eliminate its research and development programs or any future commercialization efforts. To meet its capital needs, the Company intends to continue to consider multiple alternatives, including, but not limited to, additional equity financings such as sales of its common stock under at-the-market offerings, if available, debt financings, partnerships, collaborations and other funding transactions. This is based on the Company’s current estimates, and the Company could use its available capital resources sooner than it currently expects. The Company is continually evaluating various cost-saving measures in light of its cash requirements in order to focus resources on its product candidates. The Company will need to generate significant revenues to achieve profitability, and it may never do so. As of December 31, 2018, the Company had approximately $27.7 million in cash, cash equivalents and short term investments and believes it has the ability to fund its operations within one year from the date these financial statements are issued.


Use of Estimates


The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Estimates are used for, but not limited to, useful lives of fixed assets, contingent consideration, income taxes and stock-based compensation. Actual results may differ from those estimates.


Segments


The Company has one reportable segment – the development of immunotherapies designed to activate and expand a patient’s T-cell mediated immune system against cancer.


Cash and Cash Equivalents and Restricted Cash


The Company considers all cash and other highly liquid investments with initial maturities from the date of purchase of three months or less to be cash and cash equivalents. The Company had a restricted cash balance of $0 and $2,292 at December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.


Concentration of Credit Risk


At times, cash balances may exceed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurable limits. The Company has never experienced any losses related to these balances. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, cash amounts in excess of $250,000 were not fully insured. The uninsured cash balance as of December 31, 2018 was $21,904,251. The Company does not believe it is exposed to significant credit risk on cash and cash equivalents.


Property and Equipment


Property and equipment are stated at cost and are capitalized. Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method and is based on estimated useful lives of five years for lab equipment and computer equipment, and seven years for furniture and fixtures.


Net Loss per Share


Basic net loss per share is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during each year. Fully diluted net loss per share is computed using the weighted average number of common shares and dilutive securities outstanding during each year. Dilutive securities having an anti-dilutive effect on diluted loss per share are excluded from the calculation.


Fair Value of Financial Instruments


The carrying amount of certain of the Company’s financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and accrued expenses and other payables approximate fair value due to their short maturities.


As a basis for determining the fair value of certain of the Company’s financial instruments, the Company utilizes a three-tier fair value hierarchy, which prioritizes the inputs used in measuring fair value as follows:


Level I – Observable inputs such as quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.


Level II – Observable inputs, other than Level I prices, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities, quoted prices in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities.


Level III – Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity and that are significant to the fair value of the assets or liabilities.


This hierarchy requires the Company to use observable market data, when available, and to minimize the use of unobservable inputs when determining fair value. Assets and liabilities measured at fair value are classified in their entirety based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. The Company's assessment of the significance of a particular input to the entire fair value measurement requires management to make judgments and consider factors specific to the asset or liability. The Company's cash equivalents are classified within Level I of the fair value hierarchy.


As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the fair values of cash, accounts payable, and accrued expenses  approximated their carrying values because of the short-term nature of these assets or liabilities. The Company’s short-term investments consist of Level I securities which are comprised of highly liquid money market funds. The estimated fair value of the short-term investments  was based on quoted market prices. There were no transfers between fair value hierarchy levels during the years ended December 31, 2018 or 2017.


The fair value of financial instruments measured on a recurring basis is as follows:


 

 

As of December 31, 2018

 

Description

 

Total

 

 

Level 1

 

 

Level 2

 

 

Level 3

 

Assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short-term investments

 

$

5,570,027

 

 

$

5,750,027

 

 

 

—

 

 

 

—

 

Liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contingent consideration

 

 

3,105,225

 

 

 

—

 

 

 

—

 

 

$

3,105,225

 


 

 

As of December 31, 2017

 

Description

 

Total

 

 

Level 1

 

 

Level 2

 

 

Level 3

 

Liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contingent consideration

 

$

2,609,289

 

 

 

—

 

 

 

—

 

 

$

2,609,289

 


The following table summarizes the change in fair value, as determined by Level 3 inputs, for all assets and liabilities using unobservable Level 3 inputs for the year ended December 31, 2018:


 

 

Contingent Consideration

 

Balance at December 31, 2016

 

$

—

 

Acquisition of Pelican

 

 

2,385,000

 

Change in fair value

 

 

224,289

 

Balance at December 31, 2017

 

 

2,609,289

 

Change in fair value

 

 

495,936

 

Balance at December 31, 2018

 

$

3,105,225

 


The change in the fair value of the contingent consideration of $495,936 and $224,289 for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 was primarily due to the effect of the change in discount rate, probability of achieving milestones, and passage of time on the fair value measurement. Adjustments associated with the change in fair value of contingent consideration are included in the Company’s consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss.


The following table presents quantitative information about the inputs and valuation methodologies used for the Company’s fair value measurements of contingent consideration classified as Level 3 as of December 31, 2018:


 

 

Valuation
Methodology

 

Significant
Unobservable Input

 

Weighted Average
(range, if applicable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contingent Consideration

 

Probability weighted
income approach

 

Milestone dates

 

2019-2025

 

 

 

 

Discount rate

 

13.82% to 3.66%

 

 

 

 

Probability of occurrence

 

23% to 86%


Income Tax


Income taxes are accounted for using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases, operating loss carryforwards, and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date.


In accordance with FASB ASC 740, Accounting for Income Taxes, the Company reflects in the financial statements the benefit of positions taken in a previously filed tax return or expected to be taken in a future tax return only when it is considered ‘more-likely-than-not’ that the position taken will be sustained by a taxing authority. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company had no unrecognized income tax benefits and correspondingly there is no impact on the Company’s effective income tax rate associated with these items. The Company’s policy for recording interest and penalties relating to uncertain income tax positions is to record them as a component of income tax expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. As of December 31, 2018 and 2017, the Company had no such accruals.


On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”) was signed into law. The Tax Act lowered the Federal corporate tax rate from 34% to 21% and made numerous other tax law changes. The Company has measured deferred tax assets at the enacted tax rate expected to apply when these temporary differences are expected to be realized or settled. Under the guidance of SAB 118, the Company is required to recognize the effect of tax law changes in the period of enactment.  Reasonable estimates were made based on the Company’s analysis of the Tax Act. These provisional amounts were adjusted during 2018 when additional information was obtained with no material adjustments.


Stock-Based Compensation


The Company accounts for stock-based compensation arrangements with employees and non-employee directors using a fair value method that requires the recognition of compensation expense for costs related to all stock-based payments, including stock options and restricted stock units. The fair value method requires the Company to estimate the fair value of stock-based payment awards on the date of grant using an option pricing model. The fair value of restricted stock units is estimated based on the closing price of the Company's stock on the date of grant, and for the purposes of expense recognition, the total new number of shares expected to vest is adjusted for estimated forfeitures.


Stock-based compensation costs are based on the fair value of the underlying option calculated using the Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing model on the date of grant for stock options and are recognized as expense on a straight-line basis over the requisite service period, which is the vesting period. Determining the appropriate fair value model and related assumptions requires judgment, including estimating stock price volatility, forfeiture rates and expected term. The expected volatility rates are estimated based on the actual volatility of comparable public companies over the expected term. The expected term for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017 represents the average time that options are expected to be outstanding based on the average of the vesting term and the contractual term of the option. Forfeitures are estimated at the time of grant and revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. The Company has not paid dividends and does not anticipate paying a cash dividend in the foreseeable future and, accordingly, uses an expected dividend yield of zero. The risk-free interest rate is based on the rate of U.S. Treasury securities with maturities consistent with the estimated expected term of the awards. The measurement of nonemployee share-based compensation is subject to periodic adjustments as the underlying equity instruments vest and is recognized as an expense in the period over which services are received.


Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests


Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests is the result of the Company's consolidation of subsidiaries of which it does not own 100%. In October 2018, the Company entered into an agreement with the University of Miami (“UM”) whereby UM exchanged its shares of stock in the Company’s subsidiaries, Heat I, Inc. and Pelican, a related party prior to acquisition, for 35,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. The stock exchange resulted in the Company owning 100% of Heat I, Inc. and increasing its controlling ownership in Pelican from 80% to 85%. The Company's net loss attributable to non-controlling interests relates to the 15% and 20% ownership of Pelican that Heat does not own as of December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively and University of Miami’s ownership in Heat I, for the year ended December 31, 2017.


Revenue Recognition


Effective January 1, 2018, the Company has adopted on a modified retrospective basis Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 606.


The Company’s sole source of revenue is grant revenue related to the CPRIT contract, which is being accounted for under ASC 606. ASC 606 introduces a new framework for analyzing potential revenue transactions by identifying the contract with a customer, identifying the performance obligations in the contract, determining the transaction price, allocating the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract, and recognizing revenue when (or as) the Company satisfies a performance obligation.


The performance obligations of the Contract include developing a human TNFRSF25 agonist antibody for use in cancer patients through research and development efforts and a noncommercial license from CPRIT-funded research to CPRIT and other government agencies and institutions of higher education in Texas.


Management has concluded that the license and R&D services should be combined into a single performance obligation as both are highly interdependent - a license cannot be effectively granted without the corresponding research basis and CPRIT cannot benefit from the license without the R&D services and are therefore not capable of being distinct.


The CPRIT grant covers a three-year period from June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2019, for a total grant award of up to $15.2 million.   CPRIT advances grant funds upon request by the Company consistent with the agreed upon amounts and schedules as provided in the contract. The first tranche of funding of $1.8 million was received in May 2017, and a second tranche of funding of $6.5 million was received in October 2017. The next tranche of funding is expected to be requested and received in early 2019. Funds received are reflected in deferred revenue as a liability until revenue is earned.  Grant revenue is recognized when qualifying costs are incurred. As of December 31, 2018, the deferred revenue balance was $1.0 million with $7.3 million recognized as revenue since contract inception.


Business Combinations


We account for acquisitions using the acquisition method of accounting, which requires that all identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed be recorded at their estimated fair values. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair values of identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill. When determining the fair values of assets acquired and liabilities assumed, management makes significant estimates and assumptions. Critical estimates in valuing certain intangible assets include but are not limited to future expected cash flows from acquired patented technology. Management’s estimates of fair value are based upon assumptions believed to be reasonable, but are inherently uncertain and unpredictable and, as a result, actual results may differ from estimates. Other estimates associated with the accounting for acquisitions may change as additional information becomes available regarding the assets acquired and liabilities assumed (see Note 4).


Goodwill and In-Process Research and Development


We classify intangible assets into three categories: (1) intangible assets with definite lives subject to amortization, (2) intangible assets with indefinite lives not subject to amortization and (3) goodwill. We determine the useful lives of definite-lived intangible assets after considering specific facts and circumstances related to each intangible asset. Factors we consider when determining useful lives include the contractual term of any agreement related to the asset, the historical performance of the asset, and other economic facts; including competition and specific market conditions. Intangible assets that are deemed to have definite lives are amortized, primarily on a straight-line basis, over their estimated useful lives. Intangible assets that are deemed to have indefinite lives, including goodwill, are reviewed for impairment annually on the anniversary of the Pelican acquisition which is April 1, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired. The impairment test for indefinite-lived intangibles, other than goodwill, consists of a comparison of the fair value of the intangible asset with its carrying amount. If the carrying amount exceeds the fair value, an impairment charge is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. Indefinite-lived intangible assets, such as goodwill, are not amortized. The Company tests the carrying amounts of goodwill for recoverability on an annual basis or when events or changes in circumstances indicate evidence a potential impairment exists, using a fair value based test. The Company performed a qualitative assessment during the annual impairment review for fiscal 2018 and concluded that it was more likely than not that the fair value of the Company’s single reporting unit is greater than its carrying amount. Therefore, the two-step goodwill impairment test for the reporting unit was not necessary at December 31, 2018.


In-process research and development, or IPR&D, assets are considered to be indefinite-lived until the completion or abandonment of the associated research and development projects. IPR&D assets represent the fair value assigned to technologies that we acquire, which at the time of acquisition have not reached technological feasibility and have no alternative future use. During the period that the assets are considered indefinite-lived, they are tested for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if we become aware of any events occurring or changes in circumstances that indicate that the fair value of the IPR&D assets are less than their carrying amounts. If and when development is complete, which generally occurs upon regulatory approval and the ability to commercialize products associated with the IPR&D assets, these assets are then deemed definite-lived and are amortized based on their estimated useful lives at that point in time. If development is terminated or abandoned, we may have a full or partial impairment charge related to the IPR&D assets, calculated as the excess of carrying value of the IPR&D assets over fair value (see Note 7). The Company performed a qualitative assessment during the annual impairment review for fiscal 2018 as of December 31, 2018 and concluded that it was more likely than not that the fair value of the Company’s IPR&D is greater than its carrying amount. Therefore, the two-step IPR&D impairment test for the reporting unit was not necessary at December 31, 2018.


Deferred Revenue


Deferred revenue is comprised of proceeds of $1.0 million received from CPRIT for which the costs have not been incurred or the conditions of the award have not been met and grant funds received from an economic development grant agreement with the City of San Antonio (“Economic Development Grant”) that we entered into on November 1, 2017. Under the Economic Development Grant, we received $0.2 million in state enterprise fund grants for the purpose of defraying costs toward the purchase of laboratory equipment. As part of the agreement, we will provide the city of San Antonio with a purchase money security interest in the equipment to secure the repayment of grant funds should we fail to perform under the terms and conditions of the agreement. Our obligations under the agreement include meeting certain employment levels for a period of not less than seven years commencing on or before December 31, 2017 and establishing Pelican’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio. The Economic Development Grant funds will be recognized as income upon the achievement of the performance criteria and determination that the cash is no longer refundable to the State of Texas.


Contingent Consideration


Consideration paid in a business combination may include potential future payments that are contingent upon the acquired business achieving certain milestones in the future (“contingent consideration”). Contingent consideration liabilities are measured at their estimated fair value as of the date of acquisition, with subsequent changes in fair value recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. The Company estimates the fair value of the contingent consideration as of the acquisition date using the estimated future cash outflows based on the probability of meeting future milestones. The milestone payments will be made upon the achievement of clinical and commercialization milestones as well as single low digit royalty payments and payments upon receipt of sublicensing income. Subsequent to the date of acquisition, the Company reassess the actual consideration earned and the probability-weighted future earn-out payments at each balance sheet date. Any adjustment to the contingent consideration liability will be recorded in the consolidated statements of operations. Contingent consideration liabilities expected to be settled within 12 months after the balance sheet date are presented in current liabilities, with the non-current portion recorded under long term liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets (see Note 4).


Research and Development


Research and development costs associated with developmental products not yet approved by the FDA as well as costs associated with bringing developmental products into advanced phase clinical trials as incurred. These costs consist primarily of pre-manufacturing and manufacturing drug costs, clinical trial execution, investigator payments, license fees, salaries, stock-based compensation and related personnel costs. Other costs include fees paid to consultants and outside service providers related to the development of the Company’s product candidates and other expenses relating to the design, development, and testing and enhancement of its product candidates.


Impact of Recently Issued Accounting Standards:


In November 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-18: Collaborative Arrangements (Topic 808): Clarifying the Interaction between Topic 808 and Topic 606. This ASU, in part, requires that certain transactions with collaboration partners be excluded from revenue recognized under Topic 606. ASU 2018-18 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. The Company is evaluating the impact of this standard and does not plan early adoption of this standard.


In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-07: Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting. This ASU expands the scope of Topic 718 to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from non-employees, and as a result, the accounting for share-based payments to non-employees will be substantially aligned. ASU 2018-07 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year, early adoption is permitted but no earlier than an entity’s adoption date of Topic 606. The Company does not anticipate ASU 2018-07 to have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.


In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-08Not-For-Profit Entities (Topic 958): Clarifying the Scope and the Accounting Guidance for Contributions Received and Contributions Made, which is intended to clarify and improve the scope and the accounting guidance for contributions received and contributions made. The amendments in ASU No. 2018-08 should assist entities in (1) evaluating whether transactions should be accounted for as contributions (nonreciprocal transaction) within the scope of Topic 958, Not-for-Profit Entities, or as exchange (reciprocal) transactions subject to other guidance and (2) determining whether a contribution is conditional. This amendment applies to all entities that make or receive grants or contributions. This ASU is effective for public companies serving as a resource recipient for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2018, including interim periods within that fiscal year. The Company does not anticipate ASU 2018-08 to have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-01, Business Combinations (Topic 805) to clarify the definition of a business, which is fundamental in the determination of whether transactions should be accounted for as acquisitions (or disposals) of assets or businesses combinations. The updated guidance requires that in order to be considered a business the integrated set of assets and activities acquired must include, at a minimum, an input and process that contribute to the ability to create output. If substantially all of the fair value of the assets acquired is concentrated in a single identifiable asset or group of similar assets, it is not considered a business, and therefore would not be considered a business combination. The update is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods with fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted. The Company does not anticipate ASU 2017-01 to have a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.


In August 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-18, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230)—Restricted Cash. ASU 2016-18 requires the statement of cash flows to be a reconciliation between beginning and ending cash balances inclusive of restricted cash balances. ASU 2016-18 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017 and is to be applied using a retrospective transition method to each period presented. The Company adopted this ASU for the year ending December 31, 2018. The adoption of this standard resulted in the removal of changes in Restricted Cash from the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows of $2,292 and $101,176 for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively and inclusion of these amounts as part of the starting and ending cash balances.


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), requiring lessees to recognize for all leases (with the exception of short-term leases) at the commencement date: (1) a lease liability, which is a lessee’s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis, and (2) a right-of-use (“ROU”) asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term. The update is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. The Company currently anticipates that upon adoption of the new standard, ROU assets and lease liabilities will be recognized in amounts that will be immaterial to the consolidated balance sheets.


In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASU 2014-09), which requires an entity to recognize the amount of revenue to which it expects to be entitled for the transfer of promised goods or services to customers. The ASU will replace most existing revenue recognition guidance in U.S. GAAP when it becomes effective. In July 2015, the FASB voted to defer the effective date of the new standard until fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017 with early application permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016. Grant revenue is recognized as work is performed and qualifying costs are incurred. The Company adopted the modified retrospective method of adoption in early 2018 and there was no material effect on the timing and measurement of revenue.